UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Aug 27

UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Aug 27 for IAS Exam Preparation.

PM's third interaction with Additional Secretaries and Joint Secretaries

During the interaction, officers shared their experiences on subjects such as agriculture, drinking water, citizen-centric governance, innovation and teamwork in governance, project implementation, education, manufacturing, internal security, and solar energy.

Prime Minister mentioned his PRAGATI initiative for project monitoring. On manufacturing, the Prime Minister said that the ecosystem for electronics manufacturing in India should now be focused on manufacture of medical equipment devices.

The PM highlighted the importance of maintaining a positive working environment in Government, in order to make it an “organic entity.” He said that as new laws are made, old ones should be reviewed and weeded out if found unnecessary.

Highlighting the current positive global environment in favour of India, the Prime Minister asked officers to work with clear objectives towards creating a New India by 2022.

He asked the officers to focus attention on the 100 most backward districts of India, so that they can be brought up to the national average level, on various development parameters.

 

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare addresses at Banaras Hindu
University, Varanasi.

Sankalp Se Siddhi campaign has become a Mass Movement in the country, after Prime Minister’s Call for Building a New India.

Sankalp Se Siddhi campaign has become a Mass Movement in the country. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call, people have come forward to build a New India. The impact of Sankalp Se Siddhi campaign, which was launched on the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement, can be seen across the country.

On the occasion, the Minister asked the people to make a pledge to construct a New India and double farmers’ income by the year 2022.

Also, farmers were asked to take a pledge to create Soil Health Cards, adopt integrated and organic farming methods to double farmers’ income by 2022.

The integrated program is eco-friendly, economically beneficial and homogeneous.

There has been an unprecedented growth in agricultural productivity over the last five decades due to the integrated program.

With the integrated program, average yield per hectare has increased from 0.91 tonnes in 1964-65 to 3.22 tonnes in 2016-17.

We acquired the status of self-sufficient in food grain in the 1970s and during the same period we became wheat exporter too and that is why we can manage the volatility in food stocks or fluctuations year after year so easily.

Innovative techniques, technical interventions and policy reforms made Green Revolution successful. Such sustained efforts resulted in an increase in production and productivity and self-sufficiency in food grain.

For this, credit goes to dwarf variety developed under the All India Wheat and Barley Reform Project. An important milestone in this process was the establishment of the All India Coordinated Wheat Improvement Project in 1965 by the ICAR.

The Union Minister said that so far 421 species of wheat and 92 barleys have been developed under the All India Integrated Wheat and Barley Reform Project, which is being cultivated in different parts of the country.

Some achievements are as follows:

  • India’s first zinc fortified variety WB2 was developed in the year 2016.
  • Production of breeder seeds and capacity building of farmers to produce seeds.
  • The draft sequence of Karnal Bunt Fungus has been a big achievement.
  • Development of large plots for phenotyping, which are now available as a nodal centre.
  • To fulfil our objective of Per Drop More Crop, development work on deep-rooted wheat variety has started to ensure judicious use of water.

 

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley: Jan Dhan Yojana and the 1 Billion-1 Billion-1 
Billion “JAM” Revolution it is Unleashing

Three years ago today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a flagship program: Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) aimed at providing financial services to the poor. These included opening bank accounts for the poor, giving them electronic means of payment (via RUPAY cards), and placing them in a position to avail themselves of credit and insurance.

The vision underlying it was, of course, much broader: nothing short of ending the financial, and hence economic, digital and social exclusion faced by India’s poor. India’s poor would not only be able to overcome their economic deprivation but they would also become an integral part of the social mainstream.

Three years on, the achievements have been remarkable along many dimensions.

  1. Total PMJDY accounts opened increased from 12.55 crore in January 2015 to 29.52 crore as of 16th Aug 2017.
  2. The number of rural accounts opened under PMJDY has grown from 7.54 crore in January 2015 to 17.64 crore as of 16th Aug 2017.
  3. No. of RuPay cards issued increased from 11.08 crore in January 2015 to 22.71 crore as of 16th Aug 2017.
  4. The total balance in beneficiary accounts Rs. 65,844.68 crore and the average balance per account increased from Rs. 837 in January 2015 to Rs. 2231 as of 16th Aug 2017.
  5. Zero balance accounts under PMJDY declined from 76.81 % in September 2014 to 21.41 % in August 2017.
  6. As of March 2014, women constituted about 28 per cent of all savings accounts, with 33.69 crore accounts. As of March 2017, according to data from top 40 banks and RRBs, women’s share has risen to about 40 per cent. This includes 14.49 crore accounts opened by women under PMJDY, out of a total of 43.65 crore women’s accounts. This represents a sizeable and rapid growth in financial inclusion of women.

In addition to financial inclusion, the government has taken steps to provide security to the poor via life insurance under the Pradhan Mantra Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and accident insurance Pradhan Mantra Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY). As on 7th August, 2017, total enrollment was 3.46 crore under the PMJJBY and 10.96 crore under PMSBY. In both schemes, close to 40 percent of the enrollees are women.

The entire network created by the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) has also enabled implementation of the Mudra Yojana. As on 18.8.2017, Rs.3.66 lakh crore have been distributed to 8.77 crore beneficiaries. These monies have all gone into their bank accounts.

But as it turned out, PMJDY and the other schemes were only the first step because in turn they have unleashed the “JAM” revolution.

JAM, a term coined, and a vision conceptualized, by our Chief Economic Adviser, is nothing short of a social revolution because it has brought together financial inclusion (PMJDY), biometric identification (Aadhaar) and mobile telecommunications. Today, about 52.4 crore unique Aadhaar numbers are linked to 73.62 crore accounts in India.

As a result, the poor are able to make payments electronically. Every month now, about 7 crore successful payments are made by the poor using their Aadhaar identification.

JAM in distribution of Subsidy to the poor

Above all, the government now makes direct transfer of Rs. 74,000 crore to the financial accounts of 35 crore beneficiaries annually, at more than Rs. 6,000 crore per month. These transfers are made under various government anti-poverty and support schemes such as PAHAL, MNREGA, old age pensions, student scholarships etc.

Digital Payments:

Now with the BHIM app and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), JAM can become fully operational. A secure and seamless digital payments infrastructure has been created so that all Indians, especially the poor can become part of the digital mainstream.

The JAM social revolution offers substantial benefits for government, the economy and especially the poor. The poor will have access to financial services and be cushioned against life’s major shocks. Government finances will be improved because of the reduced subsidy burden; at the same time, government will also be legitimized and strengthened because it can transfer resources to citizens faster and more reliably and with less leakage.

Within reach of the country is what might be called the 1 billion-1 billion-1 billion vision. That is 1 billion unique Aadhaar numbers linked to 1 billion bank accounts and 1 billion mobile phones. Once that is done, all of India can become part of the financial and digital mainstream.

Just as GST created one tax, one market, one India, the PMJDY and the JAM revolution can link all Indians into one common financial, economic, and digital space. No Indian will be outside the mainstream. This is nothing short of a social revolution.

 

English rendering of the text of PM’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme on All India Radio 
on 27.08.2017

Some Highlights:

India as a land of diversity

Our country is a land of diversities – these diversities are not limited to our cuisine, life style and attire. 

We observe diversity in every walk of life. Even our festivals are replete with diversity. Ours is arich cultural heritage, spanning thousands of years – when we look at our cultural traditions, social customs, historical events, there would hardly be a day left in the year which is not connected with a festival.

One would have noticed, that all our festivals follow the almanac of nature. There is a direct connect with nature. Many of our festivals are linked straightaway with farmers and fishermen.

Kshamavani Parva – Jain community

The Jain community celebrated the Samvatsari Parva yesterday. In the month of Bhadra, Paryushan Parva is celebrated by the Jain Community. The last day of Paryushan Parva is observed as Samvatsari.

This is indeed a remarkable tradition. The festival of Samvatsari is symbolic of forgiveness, non-violence and brotherhood. It is also known as the Kshamavani Parva, and on this day, people traditionally greet each other with, ‘michhamidukkadam.’ We have been hearing in our shaastras, our holy texts, “KshamaVeerasya Bhushanam”, that is, forgiveness is the adornment of the brave. The one who forgives is valiant. And Mahatma Gandhi always said, that forgiveness is the quality of great men.

Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav

Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav, that is, community celebrations of the Ganesh Festival.

This tradition was established by Bal Gangadhar Tilak 125 years ago, and it was 125 years ago that Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav became a symbol of India’s struggle for freedom.

And after Independence, this festival has become a vehicle of raising social and educational awareness. Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day festival. This Mahaparva, mega-festival stands for unity, equality, integrity and honesty.

Classic example of communal harmony and cleanliness

Gujarat saw devastating floods recently.  Many people lost their lives. When the waters receded, there was so much filth everywhere.

That is when, in Dhanera in the Banaskantha District of Gujarat, volunteers of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind cleaned twenty-two affected temples and two mosques in a phased manner. They came together and toiled collectively.

The volunteers of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind set a fine, inspiring example of unity for cleanliness. If this committed effort towards cleanliness becomes inherent to us, we will certainly take our nation to greater heights.

 

UPSC Mains Practice Questions:

GS Paper 3

  1. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is necessary for bringing unbanked to the institutional finance fold. Do you agree with this for financial inclusion of the poor section of the Indian society? Give arguments to justify your opinion. (UPSC Mains 2016).
  2. JAM(Jan Dhan Bank Account – Aadhar card- Mobile Number) revolution can link all Indians into one common financial, economic, and digital space. Critically examine the statement.