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National Service Scheme
The President of India presented the National Service Scheme Awards at New Delhi on 24th September.
About the National Service Scheme:
- The National Service Scheme (NSS) is a Central Sector Scheme of the Government of India, under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.
- It gives opportunities to school students of classes XI and XII, and university/college students to take part in various government led community service activities and programmes.
- The chief objective of the NSS is to offer students and young people a first-hand experience in delivering service to the community.
- It was started in the year 1969.
- Currently, there are 3.8 million student volunteers in this scheme.
- Motto of NSS: “Not Me But You”
- All volunteers wear the NSS badge which is a symbol of pride and honour for them. The badge signifies that they are ready for service round the clock.
- The benefits that students get from being a part of this scheme are:
- They can get skills to become accomplished social leaders in the future
- They get experience which will help them become efficient administrators
- It will help them understand human nature better
- It will also help them understand the rich cultural diversity of India
- It will help them have national pride through a better knowledge of the country
- NSS organises camps, parades, youth festivals, etc. as part of its activities.
India Water Week-2019
The President Shri Ramnath Kovind inaugurated the 6th India Water Week-2019 at New Delhi on 24th September.
About the India Water Week-2019:
- The 6th edition of the India Water Week is being organised in New Delhi between 24th and 28th September 2019.
- It was organised for the first time in 2012.
- The idea behind the Water Week is to have talks, discussions, seminars, and sessions to build public awareness, to get support to implement key strategies for conservation, preservation and optimum use of available water.
- The theme for the 2019 event is “Water Cooperation – Coping with 21st Century Challenges”.
- This year, the focus is on the need and importance of water use across all sectors.
- It is organised by the Ministry of Water Resources in coordination with the nodal ministries of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Agriculture; Urban Development; Rural Development; New and Renewable Energy; Power; Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation; the NITI Aayog and other PSUs, national and international bodies.
- The conference will be attended by more than 1000 national and international delegates, and there will also be an exhibition.
Two Agriculture Mobile Apps Launched
The Union Minister for Agriculture Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launched two mobile apps for agriculture in New Delhi on 24th September. They are ‘CHC Farm Machinery’ and ‘Krishi Kisan App’.
About CHC Farm Machinery App:
- CHC stands for Custom Hiring Centres.
- Through this app, farmers will be able to select and order the required farm machinery at rates feasible for them from Custom Hiring Centres located in a 50 km radius.
- Over 40000 CHCs have already registered on the app.
- This is a multilingual app and can be downloaded onto any android phone.
- It is especially helpful for small and marginal farmers who will have easy access to high value and technical agricultural equipment facilitating optimum use of all types of inputs using these farming machines.
- This will help farmers increase their income.
- This will also help increase the rate of mechanisation of farm holdings.
About Krishi Kisan App:
- This app will provide farmers the information about the best demonstration of high-yielding crops and seeds in their nearby area.
- Any farmer with a high quality of crops can utilise this platform to demonstrate best practices of cultivation to other farmers so that this will help other farmers adopt these methods.
- The app will also help in geo-tagging and geo-fencing of crops and give weather forecast messages to farmers.
Central Government takes several key decisions to curb rise in prices of Onions
The Central Government has taken many decisions to check the rise in prices of onions.
Steps Taken – Details:
- States have been requested to utilise a stock of 35,000 tons available with the Central Government for direct retailing to ease the pressure on prices.
- The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) which holds the central buffer on behalf of the Union Government has been directed to distribute onions in Delhi through stores of Safal, Mother dairy, NCCF and its own outlets at a fixed rate of not more than Rs. 24 per kilo.
- The Kharif crop of onions from Karnataka has already started arriving in the market and this will ease the pressure on supply from Maharashtra as well as prices in adjoining regions.
- According to the government, there is enough stock in Maharashtra to meet the demand. But, supplies are being restrained by sellers to increase the prices. The government is considering imposing stock limit if the prices do not moderate on account of speculative behaviour of traders.
- MMTC Ltd. (Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India) has also been directed to float a tender for the import of onions to meet any shortfall in availability.
- The government has also asked NAFED to prepare for the upcoming festive season by moving adequate stock to places of consumption and distribution to ensure that supply remains unhindered.
- The reported export below Minimum Export Price to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be immediately stopped and the government will take strict action against those who are found to be violating this decision of the government.
About Minimum Export Price (MEP):
It is the price below which an exporter is not allowed to export the commodity from India. MEP is imposed in view of the rising domestic retail/wholesale price or production disruptions in the country. It is a kind of quantitative restriction to trade.
- NAFED is an agricultural cooperative organisation established with the objective of promoting cooperative marketing of agricultural produce to benefit farmers.
- It was established in 1958 to promote the trade of agricultural products and forest resources.
- With its headquarters in New Delhi, it is today one of the largest procurement as well as marketing agencies for agricultural products in India.
- It is the nodal agency to implement price stabilization measures under Operation Greens. Read more about Operation Greens in BYJU’S CNA dated February 2, 2018 under the Economy Section, at the linked article.
Leadership Group for Industry Transition
A ‘Leadership Group for Industry Transition’ was announced at the Global Climate Action Summit to help guide the world’s heaviest greenhouse gas emitting industries towards a low-carbon economy.
- This group comprising of countries and private companies will drive transformation in hard-to-decarbonize and energy-intensive sectors.
- Countries that are part of the Group are:
- The Netherlands
- South Korea
- The United Kingdom
- Private organisations include Dalmia Cement, DSM, Heathrow Airport, LKAB, Mahindra Group, Royal Schiphol Group, Scania, SpiceJet, SSAB, ThyssenKrupp and Vattenfall.
- This global initiative will be supported by the World Economic Forum, the Energy Transitions Commission, Mission Innovation, Stockholm Environment Institute, and the European Climate Foundation among many others.
- India and Sweden will lead the Group.
- Industry sector emissions, including those from hard-to-abate and energy-intensive sectors like steel, cement, aluminum, aviation and shipping are expected to be 15.7 Gigatonnes (Gt) by 2050.
- This initiative is hence, important for industry to find a workable pathway towards reducing emissions and deliver on the Paris Agreement.
Read more about the Climate Action Summit in our CNA dated 24th September 2019 at the linked article.
16th Global SME Business Summit
Union Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the 16th Global SME Business Summit 2019 in New Delhi on 24th September.
About the Global SME Business Summit:
- The Summit is organised every year by the Ministry of MSME and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) for bringing together stakeholders and leaders in the MSME sector.
- Theme for 2019: “Making Indian MSMEs Globally Competitive”.
- The summit will help:
- Disseminate knowhow on assessing the export potential of the products and services of Indian MSMEs.
- Identify suitable markets.
- Develop strategies to penetrate new markets through trade associations, multi-lateral agencies, international business forums and E-Commerce platforms.
- The event will also help participating Indian MSMEs to single out avenues for joint ventures, franchising, cross-marketing, buyer-seller meets, etc.
- The Minister, speaking on the occasion, said that the Government’s target is to increase MSME’s present share of 29 percent of GDP to 50 percent in the next five years and raise its export contribution from 49 percent to 60 percent.
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