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Cabinet approved hike in rates of scholarship under National Defence Fund
In the first meeting of Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved major changes in the PM’s Scholarship Scheme under the National Defence Fund. The Cabinet has increased the rates of scholarship from Rs 2,000 per month to Rs 2,500 per month for boys and Rs 2,250 per month to Rs 3,000 per month for girls.
i. The scope of the PM’s Scholarship has also extended to the wards of State Police officials who were martyred during the terror and naxal attacks.
ii. The quota for wards of state police officials will be 500 in a year and Home Ministry will be the nodal ministry for scholarship to state police officials.
iii.This has been implemented under scheme of ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS)’ for encouraging technical and post-graduate education for the widows and wards of the deceased and ex-service personnel of Armed Forces, Para Military Forces and Railway Protection Forces.
About National Defence Fund
♦ Set Up – 1962
Cabinet approved Rs 3,000 pension for small traders
Cabinet meeting chaired by PM Modi has approved to give monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to small traders, businessmen, and shopkeepers after they attain the age of 60 years. The aim is to provide universal social security to all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons a monthly pension under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana (PM–KPY).
i. All small shopkeepers, self-employed persons and retail traders who have Goods and Services Tax (GST) turnover below Rs 1.5 crore and also aged between 18 years to 40 years are eligible under the scheme.
ii. this decision will benefit 5 crore small traders in the upcoming three years. The person eligible under the scheme can enrol through the Common Service Centre. Those who are 18 years of age have to invest only Rs 2 per day.
iii. Those person who have attained 29 years of age will have to make a monthly investment of Rs 100 and those who have attained the age of 40 years will have to make a monthly investment of Rs 200.
Cabinet approved the extension of PM-KISAN Yojana to all eligible farmers
The newly formed Union Cabinet has given its consent for the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana ((PM-KISAN) to all eligible farmer families, irrespective of the size of their landholding. Earlier, it was applicable to farmers having two hectares of land. The extension will include additional of 2.5 crore farmers which will led to rise its coverage to 14.5 crore farmers. The outlay of the revised scheme will be Rs 87,217.50 crore for 2019-20.
- The Cabinet also cleared pension schemes Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana for farmers. It will provide a minimum fixed pension of Rs 3,000 per month to farmers above the age of 60. The scheme will cover 5 crore small and marginal farmers in the first three years. The outlay will be Rs 10,774.50 crore.
- Farmers can also make their contributions to the fund from the PM-Kisan Yojana.
About Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana:
It is an income support scheme, launched in February 24. As per this, households with agricultural landholdings smaller than two hectares were eligible to receive Rs 6,000 annually as direct benefit transfers from the Centre.
Cabinet approved a new initiative to control FMD and Brucellosis to support livestock rearing farmers
On May 31, 2019, The Cabinet, first since the outcome of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, approved a new initiative to control Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis to support livestock rearing farmers The FMD and Brucellosis is a common threat among livestock like cow-bulls, buffaloes, sheeps, goats, pigs etc.
i. The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Prakash Javadekar announced that the initiative will benefit the crores of farmers and improve the health of livestock.
ii. The Cabinet sanctioned Rs 13,343 crores for the implantation of the initiative. For the Financial Year 2019-20, Rs 2683 crore was allocated.
iii. In FMD, the scheme covers vaccination to 30 crore bovines (cows-bulls and buffaloes), 20 crore sheep or goat and 1 crore pigs at six months interval along with primary vaccination in bovine calves.
iv. The Brucellosis control programme will cover 100% vaccination coverage to 3.6 crore female calves (4-8 months of age).
v. If a cow or buffalo is infected with FMD, the milk loss is up to 100% which lasts for 4-6 months whereas in the case of Brucellosis the milk output reduces by 30% in the entire life cycle.
vi. Brucellosis can cause infertility in animals. Its infection can be transmitted to the farm workers and livestock owners.
Kasturirangan Committee submitted the draft National Education Policy to the new Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal
The K. Kasturirangan Committee has submitted the 484-pages draft report of National Education Policy to the new Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal. The report on the National Education Policy has been put on the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)’s website for suggestions from the public till June 30.
i. The Committee has recommended renaming Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) as Ministry of Education (MoE).
ii. The Draft National Education Policy 2019 is based on the foundational pillars of five components of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.
iii. The Kasturirangan Committee has also recommended major changes in the curricular and pedagogical structure with Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as an integral part of school education.
iv. The committee also proposed for the extension of Right to Education Act, 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18 instead of 6 to 14 years.
v. The committee has also recommended a 4-year integrated stage-specific B.Ed programme for teachers which will be the minimum degree qualification.
vi. The committee has also recommended forming a new apex body Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog (RSA) which will be headed by the Prime Minister.
India has 20 health workers per 10,000 people: NSSO study
A recent study based on the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) data, India has 20.6 health workers per 10,000 people. This is less than the World health Organization’s (WHO) minimum overreach of 22.8 per 10,000 people.
i. Distribution of health workers: This is uneven between the urban and rural areas. Rural areas with 71% of India’s population have only 36% of health workers.
ii. Delhi has the highest concentration of health workers followed by Kerala, Punjab, and Haryana.
iii. Public and private sector: The study has further notified that there is uneven distribution of health work force seen in public and health sector too. More than 80% of doctors and 70% of nurses and midwives are employed in the private sector.
♦ Founded on: 1950
♦ Headquarters: Delhi
Puerto Williams named as the World’s southernmost city
Puerto Williams in Chile has become the southernmost city in the world after getting it’s status upgraded to city category. Previously, the southernmost city was Ushuaia in Argentina.
♦ Capital – Santiago
♦ Currency – Chilean peso
BANKING & FINANCE
Fitch certified long-term ratings to six banks at ‘BBB-‘ with stable outlook
International rating agency Fitch Ratings certified long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to six banks.
i. It affirmed the long-term IDRs to State Bank of India(SBI), Bank of Baroda(New Zealand), Punjab National Bank(PNB), Bank of Baroda (BOB), Canara Bank and Bank of India(BOI) with ‘BBB-‘ a stable outlook.
ii. The rating of IDBI Bank’s long-term IDR was certified at ‘BB+’.
iii. As the banks are likely to receive extraordinary government support as a result of high systemic importance and majority government ownership, the long-term IDRs were given to SBI, BOB, PNB, Canara Bank and BOI.
iv. The five banks were also given the Viability Ratings (VR).
v. BOB’s VR is maintained at Rating Watch Negative (RWN) and the VR of Canara Bank was downgraded to ‘bb-‘ from ‘bb’ as the bank’s core capital position was not compared with its weak asset quality and earnings.
vi. Fitch estimated that the ratio of the loan of the bank had declined to 10.8% in 9 months of FY19 from 11.5% in the fiscal ended March 2018. The capital infusion of over $14.5 billion in FY19 by the government helped the banks to raise capital position of the banks.
vii. After Fitch affirmed long-term IDRs, the shares of SBI and PNB rose in the stock exchanges.
About Fitch Ratings:
♦ Headquarters: New York, US
♦ CEO: Paul Taylor
ADB and MIGA to expand Development Finance in Asia and Pacific to increase the flow of private sector investment
On May 30, 2019, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group, have agreed to expand Development Finance in Asia and Pacific to increase the flow of private sector investment.
i. They signed a Cooperation Agreement which will be effective for 3 years from signing. It replaced the previous agreement signed between them.
ii. This was signed in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
iii. It will help to encourage more private investment in developing countries.
♦ Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Manila, Philippines
♦ President: Takehiko Nakao
♦ Founded: 19 December 1966
♦ Membership: 68 countries
♦ Headquarters: Washington DC, US
♦ Founded: 1988
♦ Parent Organization: World Bank
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
CSO-GDP growth slips to 5.8% in Q4 in 2018-19
As per the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the rate of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the January-March quarter of 2018-19 decreased to 5.8% as compared to the forecast of 6.5%. The economic growth rate for the full 2018-19 financial year stood at a 5-year low of 6.8% in comparison to 7.1%.
The reason behind the slip is the slowdown in the country’s key sectors like agriculture, industry and manufacturing in the past nine months.
i. The country’s fiscal deficit in full 2018-19 stood at 3.4% of GDP.
ii. Spending was Rs 23.1 trillion, against the revised target of Rs 24.1 trillion.
iii. Gross value added (GVA) growth for FY19 came in at 6.6%.
iv. The sectors which registered growth GDP rate of over 7% in FY19 are public administration, defence and other services (8.6 per cent), construction (8.7 per cent), financial, real estate and professional services (7.4 percent), ‘electricity, gas, water supply & other utility services (7 per cent).
v. The GDP data for the April-June and July-September quarters of 2018-19 had also be revised to 8 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.
About Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation:
♦ Founded: 15 October 1999
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Minister of State (Independent Charge): Rao Inderjit Singh
KVB to form venture with Centrum Wealth to provide wealth management services
Karur Vysya Bank Ltd (KVB) partnered with Centrum Wealth Management Ltd (Centrum) to form private limited Joint Venture (JV) to provide wealth management services to its clients. KVB will hold 51% of the share capital, Centrum will hold 45% and the remaining 4% will be held by the JV’s Staff.
i. There will be 5 Board of Directors, of which 3 will be from the bank.
ii. Centrum Wealth Management is a unit of Centrum Capital Ltd.
♦ Headquarters: Karur, Tamil Nadu
♦ Managing Director & CEO: Shri P. R. Seshadri
♦ Founded: 1997
♦ Founders: Chandir Gidwani & Khushrooh Byramjee.
♦ Executive Chairman: Jaspal Bindra
Horticulture production registered an upward growth at 314.87 million tonne in 2018-19
Horticulture production registered a rise to 314.87 million tonne in 2018-19 which was 1.01% higher than horticulture production in 2017-18. In the previous year, the output was 311.71 million tonnes. The crop year in India is from July-June.
i. The data was released by the Ministry of Agriculture in the Second Advanced Estimate (2018-19) of area and production of various horticulture crops on May 31, 2019. It was compiled from the information received from different States and Union Territories (UTs) and source agencies.
ii. As per the data, the area under horticulture crop registered an increase to 25.6 million hectare from 25.43 million hectare.
iii. The production of fruits was around 97.38 million tonnes in 2018-19 against 97.36 million tonnes of 2017-18.
iv. Vegetables production saw a rise of 1.6%, around 187.36 million tonnes.
v. Onion Production was around 23.28 million tonnes, slightly higher than last year. Potato production was around 52.96 million tonnes, 3.2% higher than 2017-18, and Tomato production was around 19.66 million tonnes, 0.5% lower than 2017-18.
vii. Spices Production was around 8.61 million tonnes, 6.01% higher than 2017-18.
About Ministry of Agriculture:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Minister In-charge: Narendra Singh Tomar
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Flight Lieutenant Mohana Singh became the first IAF woman pilot to fly Hawk jets
Flight Lieutenant Mohana Singh became the first IAF woman pilot to become completely operational by day on Hawk advanced jet aircraft. She landed the grueling 4 aircraft combat sortie at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station in West Bengal.
i. At the training period, she was trained to fly air-to-air combat and air-to-ground missions.
ii. She has the experience of more than 500 hours of incident-free flying, of which 380 hours are on the Hawk Mk 132 jet.
iii. In June 2016, she along with two other women pilots Bhawana Kanth and Avani Chaturvadi had joined the fighter stream.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
India’s Anita Bhatia Picked up for Deputy Executive Director of UN Women
Anita Bhatia has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio as the Deputy Executive Director of the UN (United Nations) Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
i. She has a famed career at the World Bank, serving in various senior leadership and management positions.
ii. Bhatia holds a BA in history from Calcutta University, an Master of Arts in Political Science in political science from Yale University and a Juris Doctor in law from Georgetown University.
♦ Secretary general: Antonio Guterrs
♦ Head Quarter: Newyork. U.S
Anton Aditya Subowo re-elected as a president of Badminton Asia
i. Indonesia’s Anton Aditya subowo re-elected as a president of badminton
for another four year period.
ii. There were seven people selected as the vice-presidents. India’s Badminton Asia’s president Himanta Biswa Sarma was one among them. Moosa Nashid from the Maldives named as its Secretary-General while Jassem Kanso (Lebanon) appointed as Treasurer.
iii. 40 countries were voted for the posts of President, Vice President, and Secretary-General.
About Badminton Asia:
♦ Headquarters: Kulala Lumpur, Malaysia
♦ President: Anton Aditya Subowo
Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra given three-month extension in office
On May 31, 2019, The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has given 3-month extension in office to the Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra up to August 23, 2019. He was supposed to retire from his service on May 31, 2019, after the completion of 2 years in office.
i. Sanjay Mitra is a 1982-batch IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer of the West Bengal cadre.
ii. He was appointed as the defence secretary on May 24, 2017 succeeding G. Mohan Kumar.
iii. He has served as the secretary to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and as the chief secretary of West Bengal.
iv. On Acting basis, he has also served as the chairperson of the Defence Research and Development Organization(DRDO) for 3 months.
Arun Kumar, Senior Aviation Official to hold additional charge as DG of DGCA
Arun Kumar, additional secretary in the ministry of Civil Aviation was assigned with an additional charge as the Director General (DG) of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). He assumed the charge on June 1, 2019, succeeding B S Bhullar who retired on May 31, 2019.
i. The Senior IAS (Indian Administrative Service) Officer will hold this position for 3 months or till the time a new incumbent joins, whichever is earlier.
ii. Arun Kumar has experience in the aviation ministry over 5 years as joint secretary in areas like airports, DGCA, international cooperations, Air India and other airlines.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Parent Organization: Ministry of Civil Aviation
♦ Minister responsible: Hardeep Singh Puri
Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal joins Ujjivan Small Finance Bank
Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal to join Ujjivan Small Finance banks as it’s an independent director from June 1st. This step is taken in order to achieve the banks plan to upgrade itself as an state-of-the-art mass market bank.
Headquarters of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank – Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Under-20 Eurasian Athletics Championship: Indian juniors bagged 5 gold, 3 silver medals
At the Under-20 Eurasian Athletics Championships held at Almaty, Kazakshstan, Indian juniors bagged 5 gold and 3 silver medals. The national teams from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, India and Tajikistan participated in a 2-day event held on May 29-30, 2019.
List of Winners:
Gold Medal Winners:
|Sl.No||Name of the winner||Event||Time/Distance|
|1.||Gurvinder Singh||100m- Boys||10.42 seconds|
|2.||Vikrant Panchal||400m-Boys||47.90 seconds|
|3.||Florence Barla||400m-Girls||54.73 seconds|
|5.||Rohit Yadav||Javelin Throw||74.55m|
|6.||Abdul Razak, Priscilla Daniel, Florence Barla, Vikrant Panchal||4*100m Mixed Relay||3:30.58s|
|Sl.No||Name of the winner||Event|
|3.||Sahil Silwal||Javelin Throw|
♦ Organizer: European Athletics Association.
♦ First held in 1934 in Turin, Italy every 4 years.
♦ Since 2010, it is organized every 2 years.
About European Athletics Association:
♦ Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland
♦ President: Svein Arne Hansen
♦ Founded: November 1, 1969
Chelsea crunches Arsenal to win Europa League title
Chealsea produced their best to win the UEFA Europa League 2019 by beating Arsenal 4-1 at the Baku Olympic Stadium, Azarbaijan.
It is their fifth major UEFA European competition final, with only Liverpool winning more among eight English clubs.
UEFA Europa League:
♦ Founded: 1971
♦ Current champion: Chelsea
Global Day of Parents observed on June 1
Global Day of Parents is observed globally on 1st June to honor parents all around the world. It aims to celebrate the parent’s selfless love to shape their children’s future.
i. First ever Global day of Parents was declared by UN general assembly in 2012 with resolution A/RES/66/292.
ii. Theme for this year – Honor your parents
IMD issued ‘Red-colour’ warning for Delhi due to rise in temperature
On May 31, 2019, India Meteorological Department (IMD)issued ‘Red-colour’ warning for Delhi-NCR with as the temperature had reached 46.8 degree Celsius, the highest since May 2013. It forecasted that the heat waves in central and northwest central India including Rajasthan will continue to hit maximum temperatures and they are expected to reach 50 degree Celsius.
i. The IMD has 4 color-coded messages which are green, yellow, amber and red. Green indicates normal conditions whereas red symbolizes extreme weather situations. Amber indicates to be prepared and Yellow indicates awareness on bad weather conditions.
ii. The maximum temperature of 49.6 degree Celsius was recorded in Sri Ganganagar, Western Rajasthan and Prayagraj (Earlier-Allahabad) recorded 48.6° Celsius, the highest in 25 years.
iii. The MeT department has predicted that heat waves will severely hit over parts of the northwest, central and adjoining east and peninsular India in the next 4-5 days. Temperatures in the southern peninsula will remain 2-3 degrees above which is considered normal.
Rs 384 crore sanctioned by Bihar Cabinet for old age pension scheme
On May 31, 2019, Bihar cabinet chaired by the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar sanctioned Rs 384 crore for old age pension scheme under the Chief Minister Old Age Pension Scheme for financial year 2019-20. Under this scheme, people in the age group of 60-79 will get Rs 400 per month and people aged above 80 will get Rs 500 per month as pension with the total beneficiaries being 36.50 lakh.
i. Altogether, the cabinet approved 18 decisions.
ii. Rs 384 crore was sanctioned from the Bihar Contingency Fund(BCF) to the people aged over 60 who do not receive any salary, pension, family pension or social security pension either from central and state government.
iii. It increased the corpus of the Bihar Contingency Fund to Rs 8020.04 crore from Rs 350 crore till March 30, 2020.
iv. Along with this, the hike was given in ex-gratia payment to the families of polling personnel who died during election duty. If the personnel died in a violence, armed attack, blast, etc while performing election duty, he would be given Rs. 30 lakh against the existing Rs. 15 lakh. Rs 15 lakh would be given to personnel suffering from permanent disability against the existing Rs. 7 lakh. The payment would be shared by the Centre and State government in 50:50 ratio.
v. It permitted to set up one dispensary each in 38 district court premises with the creation of 5 posts which includes a medical officer, nurse, pharmacist and lower division clerk in each dispensary.
vi. It sanctioned the release of Rs. 33 crore for salaries to teachers under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rs. 103 crore for the construction of sewage treatment plant at Danapur and Rs. 46.25 crore for Phulwarisharif under the Namami Gange project.
vii. The proposal to declare the post of Shram Kalyan Padadhikari(Supervisor) was approved and hereafter, as per the amended rules, the schemes of ‘Har ghar nal ka jal’ worth less than Rs 2 crore for a ward is to be cleared by executive engineer.
viii. Approval was given to transfer 3 acres of land to Bardhaman Ayurvigyan Sansthan, Pawapuri for the establishment of model health institute to give healthcare under Ayurvedic system.
ix. 5 acres of government land would also be provided for the establishment of Sashastra Seema Bal camp, 12th battalion, at Pathamari in Thakurganj block of Kishanganj district.
♦ Capital: Patna
♦ Chief Minister: Nitish kumar
♦ Governor: Lalji Tandon
♦ National Parks: Valmiki National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Barela Jheel Salim Ali Bird WLS, Bhimbandh WLS, Gautam Budha WLS, Kusheshwar Asthan Bird WLS, Pant (Rajgir) WLS, Udaipur WLS, Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin WLS etc.
Assam govt hikes parental income limit under fee wavier to Rs 2 Lakhs
Assam govt has increased the parent’s annual income limit of students eligible for fee wavier scheme up to post graduation level from Rs 1 Lakh to Rs 2 Lakh. This was announced by Assam education minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya.
This scheme does not cover private colleges and universities in Assam. Children of parents working in state and central government are not eligible for this.
♦ Capital – Dispur
♦ Chief Minister – Sarbananda Sonowal
♦ Governor – Jagdish Mukhi
Rajasthan Government banned advertisement and sale of e-cigarettes; Increased financial aid under ‘Aapki Beti’ scheme
On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day(May 31), Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced the ban on advertisement, production, distribution and online or offline sale of e-cigarettes in the state. This was a part of Congress party’s manifesto for Elections 2019.
i. This was done to discourage the youth from tobacco addiction.
ii. The government has also constituted a committee to do a detailed study on the rising use of e-cigarettes.
iii. Though the e-cigarettes are banned in the state, sale of tobacco products and cigarettes are allowed.
‘Aapki Beti’ Scheme:
i. It has increased the financial assistance given to school girls under the ‘Aapki Beti’ scheme. For girls studying in class 1 to 8, it is hiked to Rs. 2,100 from Rs. 1,100 and for the girls in class 9 to 12, its hiked to Rs. 2,500 from Rs. 1,500.
ii. Girls under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) whose mother or father or both have passed away get annual financial assistance under the ‘Aapki Beti’ Scheme of the State Government.
iii. Along with this, the hike has been given in ex-gratia payment to the families of polling personnel who died during election duty. It has been increased to Rs. 20 lakh from Rs. 15 lakh.
♦ Capital: Jaipur
♦ Chief Minister: Ashok Gehlot
♦ Governor: Kalyan Singh
♦ National Parks: Mukundra Hills (Darrah) National Park, Desert National Park, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Ranthambhore National Park, Sariska National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Mount Abu WLS, Nahargarh WLS, Kesarbagh WLS, Sariska WLS, Van Vihar WLS, Sawai Man Singh WLS etc.
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