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Question and Answer
Q. 481. Artificial leaf
Scientists at CSIR have developed an artificial leaf that absorbs sunlight to generate hydrogen fuel from water. The invention may provide clean energy for powering eco-friendly cars in the future. It is an ultra-thin wireless device that mimics plant leaves to produce energy using water and sunlight. The device is of an area of 23 square centimetres and could produce 6 litres of hydrogen fuel per hour.
Hydrogen burning gives energy and water as a side product. This underscores its importance and relevance to the present day world. India is blessed with plenty of sunlight through the year that is not exploited significantly to produce energy or hydrogen.
The device consists of semiconductors stacked in a manner to simulate the natural leaf system. When visible light strikes the semiconductors, electrons move in one direction, producing electric current. The current almost instantaneously splits water into hydrogen which makes it the main by product.
At present, hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels by steam reforming and in this process emits a large amount of carbon di-oxide (CO2) – a green house gas that promotes global warming. In not so distant future cars fuelled by hydrogen generated from the artificial leaf process could start running on the roads.
In the recent past, automakers have been offering cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. To improve the light-absorbing efficiency of the artificial leaf gold nanoparticles, titanium dioxide and quantum dots were used. Quantum dots are semiconductor crystals of nanometre dimensions with properties that depend on the size of the dots. When exposed to sunlight for 25 hours, the device retained its efficiency. The cell does not need any external voltage and performs better than existing solar cells, he said.
The Union Health Ministry has recently announced the launch of LaQshya, a programme aimed at improving quality of care in labour room and maternity operation theatre.
LaQshya is expected to improve the quality of care that is being provided to the pregnant mother in the Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatres, thereby preventing the undesirable adverse outcomes associated with childbirth. This initiative will be implemented in Government Medical Colleges (MCs) besides District Hospitals (DHs), and high delivery load Sub- District Hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs). The initiative plans to conduct quality certification of labour rooms and also incentivize facilities achieving the targets outlined. The goal of this initiative is to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity OT and ensure respectful maternity care.
India has improved maternal survival as Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) reduced from 301 maternal deaths in 2001-03 to 167 in 2011-13, an impressive decline of 45% in a decade.
Q. 479. Modernisation of Police Forces
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for implementation of umbrella scheme of "Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)" for years 2017-18 to 2019-20. The financial outlay for the scheme over the three year’s period is Rs.25,060 crore, out of which the Central Government share will be Rs.18,636 crore and the States’ share will be Rs.6,424 crore.
Special provision has been made under the Scheme for internal security, law and order, women security, availability of modern weapons, mobility of police forces, logistics support, hiring of helicopters, upgradation of police wireless, National Satellite Network, CCTNS project, E-prison project etc.
Under the umbrella scheme, central budget outlay of Rs.10,132 crore has been earmarked for internal security related expenditure for Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and left wing extremism affected States.
Scheme of Special Central Assistance (SCA) for 35 worst LWE affected districts has been introduced with an outlay of Rs.3,000 crore to tackle the issue of underdevelopment in these district.
An outlay of Rs.100 crore has been earmarked in the North Eastern States for police infrastructure upgradation, training institutes, investigation facilities etc.
Implementation of this scheme would bolster the Government's ability to address challenges faced in different theatres such as areas affected by LWE, Jammu and Kashmir and North East effectively and undertake development interventions which will catalyze in improving the quality of life in these areas and help combat these challenges effectively at the same time.
Police Stations will be integrated to set up a national data base of crime and criminals’ records. It will be linked with other pillars of criminal justice system such as ‘prisons, forensic science laboratories and prosecution offices.
The umbrella scheme also provides for setting up of a State-of Art forensic science laboratory in Amravati, Andhra Pradesh and upgradation of Sardar Patel Global Centre for Security, Counter Terrorism and Anti Insurgency in Jaipur and Gujarat Forensic Science University in Gandhi Nagar.
The umbrella scheme, "Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)" will go a long way to boost the capability and efficiency of Central and State Police Forces by modernizing them.
Why is it necessary to resolve child custody disputes as early as possible? Discuss what steps have been taken at the international level to solve such disputes.
Child custody disputes sometimes erupt when a marriage dissolves. It creates challenging and disruptive environments for children.
This disruption is magnified when parents cannot agree on living arrangements, especially if one parent takes unilateral action and removes children from their country of residence, often in violation of that country’s laws.
Families may find themselves in legal disputes in multiple countries, resulting in significant financial and emotional tolls. These legal battles can drag on for years, leaving children in limbo and potentially harming their development.
However, a global consensus has emerged to address this problem. Ninety-eight countries have recognised that despite different laws and norms, there is a minimum requirement of commitment in the best interests of children. Hague Convention
Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a vital international instrument that works to protect children from the harmful effects of international parental child abduction. According to the consensus, families agree to follow the laws and respect court decisions in their country of residenceas more families elect to live in a foreign country. One of the defining features of the convention is that, disputes are resolved within months and not years, allowing parents and children to move on with their lives. The Convention offers multiple safeguards to ensure that the rights of all parties are protected.
It prevents parents from unilaterally removing children.
The Convention encourages all parties to seek mutually acceptable child custody arrangements in accordance with the laws of the country they are living in.
If a parent unilaterally removes the child to another country, the Hague Convention sets forth a process to resolve the issue.
The Convention does not resolve the custody dispute; it simply stipulates that the courts where the family has been living are in the best position to make child custody decisions.
Children are not automatically returned to the left-behind parent. If a court orders children to be returned to their home country, it is then up to the courts there to decide on custody, in the best interests of the children.
Joining the Convention can force abuse victims to return to their abusers. However, Article 13 of the Convention allows courts to decide not to return abducted children if the return would expose them to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place them in an intolerable situation.
Q. 478. Campaign to promote Geographical Indications
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has launched a social media campaign (#LetsTalkIP) to promote Indian Geographical Indications (GIs). It is an ongoing movement initiated by Cell for IPR Promotions & Management (CIPAM) under the aegis of DIPP to make more people aware about the importance of Intellectual Property Rights. Geographical Indications (GIs)
A Geographical Indication or a GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
GI is an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality. It’s an area of strength and optimism for India, whereby the GI tag has accorded protection to a number of hand-made and manufactured products, especially in the informal sector.
Darjeeling Tea, Mahabaleshwar Strawberry, Blue Pottery of Jaipur, Banarasi Sarees and Tirupati Laddus are some of the GIs.
GIs are of utmost importance to the country as they are an integral part of India’s rich culture and collective intellectual heritage. The promotion of GIs will augment the Government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Certain GI products can benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen. Our rural artisans possess unique skills and knowledge of traditional practices and methods, passed down from generation to generation, which need to be protected and promoted.
Q. 477. Marginal Cost of funds based Lending rate (MCLR)
MARGINAL COST OF FUNDS BASED LENDING RATE (MCLR)
The marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) refers to the minimum interest rate of a bank below which it cannot lend, except in some cases allowed by the RBI. It is an internal benchmark or reference rate for the bank. MCLR actually describes the method by which the minimum interest rate for loans is determined by a bank - on the basis of marginal cost or the additional or incremental cost of arranging one more rupee to the prospective borrower.
The MCLR methodology for fixing interest rates for advances was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India with effect from April 1, 2016. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed to link the base rate for loans with the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) from 1 April, 2018 to improve monetary policy transmission.
This new methodology replaces the base rate system introduced in July 2010. In other words, all rupee loans sanctioned and credit limits renewed w.e.f. April 1, 2016 would be priced with reference to the Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) which will be the internal benchmark (means a reference rate determined internally by the bank) for such purposes.
Existing loans and credit limits linked to the Base Rate (internal benchmark rate used to determine interest rates uptill 31 March 2016) or Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR or the internal benchmark rate used to determine the interest rates on advances/loans sanctioned upto June 30, 2010.) would continue till repayment or renewal, as the case may be. However, existing borrowers will have the option to move to the Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) linked loan at mutually acceptable terms.
Reasons for introducing MCLR
RBI decided to shift from base rate to MCLR because the rates based on marginal cost of funds are more sensitive to changes in the policy rates. This is very essential for the effective implementation of monetary policy. Prior to MCLR system, different banks were following different methodology for calculation of base rate /minimum rate – that is either on the basis of average cost of funds or marginal cost of funds or blended cost of funds. Thus, MCLR aims:
To improve the transmission of policy rates into the lending rates of banks.
To bring transparency in the methodology followed by banks for determining interest rates on advances.
To ensure availability of bank credit at interest rates which are fair to borrowers as well as banks.
To enable banks to become more competitive and enhance their long run value and contribution to economic growth.
Q. 476. Government e-Marketplace (GeM)
Introduction: Public procurement forms a very important part of Government activity and reform in Public Procurement is one of the top priorities of the present Government. Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is a very bold step of the Government with the aim to transform the way in which procurement of goods and services is done by the Government Ministries/Departments, PSUs, autonomous bodies etc.
GeM is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface. Benefits of GeM 1.Transparency: GeM eliminates human interface in vendor registration, order placement and payment processing, to a great extent. Being an open platform, GeM offers no entry barriers to bonafide suppliers who wish to do business with the Government. 2. Efficiency: Direct purchase on GeM can be done in a matter of minutes and the entire process in online, end to end integrated and with online tools for assessing price reasonability. For procurements of higher value, the bidding/RA facility on GeM is among the most transparent and efficient, in comparison to e-procurement systems in vogue within the Government sector. 3. Secure and safe: GeM is a completely secure platform and all the documents on GeM are e-Signed at various stages by the buyers and sellers. The antecedents of the suppliers are verified online and automatically through MCA21, Aadhar and PAN databases. In addition, SEBI empaneled credit rating agencies are also being used for conducting third-party assessment of suppliers. 4. Potential to support Make in India: On GeM, the filters for selecting goods which are Preferential Market Access (PMA) compliant and those manufactured by Small Scale Industries(SSI), enables the Government buyers to procure Make in India and SSI goods very easily. 5. Savings to the Government: The transparency, efficiency and ease of use of the GeM portal has resulted in a substantial reduction in prices on GeM, in comparison to the tender, Rate Contract and direct purchase rates. The average prices on GeM are lower by atleast 15-20%, and in some cases even upto 56%.
Q. 475. Public cloud policy
Maharashtra has unveiled a public cloud policy, virtually mandating its departments to shift their data storage onto the cloud, which intends to make them available for free to the general public.The policy, a first by any State, will create a $2 billion opportunity for the industry.
The objective is to use public cloud in cases wherever the Right to Information Act is applicable, and then go in for enhanced security features for private and sensitive data, which will also be stored on the cloud. This will accelerate e-governance, and open an area for private sector investments, taking new technologies to all the departments as the government is the biggest data creator and consumer.
Once the policy is implemented and the data stored on the cloud, the access to the public cloud services will either be free or on a pay-per-usage model.
Q. 474. Ayushman Bharat programme
The Government has announced two major initiatives in health sector , as part of Ayushman Bharat programme. It is aimed at making path breaking interventions to address health holistically, in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both prevention and health promotion.
The initiatives are as follows:-
(i) Health and Wellness Centre:- The National Health Policy, 2017 has envisioned Health and Wellness Centres as the foundation of India’s health system. Under this 1.5 lakh centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people. These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services. These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. The Budget has allocated Rs.1200 crore for this flagship programme. Contribution of private sector through CSR and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres is also envisaged.
(ii) National Health Protection Scheme:- The second flagship programme under Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. This will be the world’s largest government funded health care programme. Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this programme.
Q. 473. SpaceX Falcon Heavy
Falcon Heavy is a reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX. The Falcon Heavy (which was earlier described as the Falcon 9 Heavy) is a variant of the Falcon 9 vehicle and consists of a strengthened Falcon 9 rocket core with two additional Falcon 9 first stages as strap-on boosters. This increases the low Earth orbit (LEO) maximum payload to 63,800 kilograms (140,700 lb), compared to 22,800 kg (50,300 lb) for a Falcon 9 Full Thrust, 27,500 kg (60,600 lb) for the now-retired NASA Space Shuttle and 140,000 kg (310,000 lb) for the Saturn V. The Falcon Heavy is the world's 4th highest capacity rocket ever to be built, after Saturn V, Energia and N1, and the highest capacity rocket in current operation as of February 6, 2018, superseding the Delta IV Heavy payload by more than double. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space, including the Moon and Mars, although as of February 5, 2018, there are no plans to use Falcon Heavy for crewed missions; it will instead be devoted to payloads such as large satellites.
SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon Heavy on February 6, 2018. The dummy payload on its maiden flight was SpaceX founder Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster
Q. 472. LI-FI
Light Fidelity or Li-Fi technology is a ground-breaking light-based communication technology, which makes use of light waves instead of radio technology to deliver data. Li-Fi can compensate as the radio spectrum becomes overloaded
Using the visible light spectrum, Li-Fi technology can transmit data and unlock capacity which is 10,000 times greater than that available within the radio spectrum.
The visible light spectrum is plentiful, free and unlicensed, mitigating the radio frequency spectrum crunch effect.
How it works?
Li-Fi and Wi-Fi are quite similar as both transmit data electromagnetically. However, Wi-Fi uses radio waves while Li-Fi runs on visible light.
As we now know, Li-Fi is a Visible Light Communications (VLC) system. This means that it accommodates a photo-detector to receive light signals and a signal processing element to convert the data into 'stream-able' content.
An LED lightbulb is a semi-conductor light source meaning that the constant current of electricity supplied to an LED lightbulb can be dipped and dimmed, up and down at extremely high speeds, without being visible to the human eye.
For example, data is fed into an LED light bulb (with signal processing technology), it then sends data (embedded in its beam) at rapid speeds to the photo-detector (photodiode).
The tiny changes in the rapid dimming of LED bulbs is then converted by the 'receiver' into electrical signal.
The signal is then converted back into a binary data stream that we would recognise as web, video and audio applications that run on internet enables devices.
Li-Fi vs Wi-Fi
While some may think that Li-Fi with its 224 gigabits per second leaves Wi-Fi in the dust, Li-Fi's exclusive use of visible light could halt a mass uptake.
Li-Fi signals cannot pass through walls, so in order to enjoy full connectivity, capable LED bulbs will need to be placed throughout the home. Not to mention, Li-Fi requires the lightbulb is on at all times to provide connectivity, meaning that the lights will need to be on during the day.
What's more, where there is a lack of lightbulbs, there is a lack of Li-Fi internet so Li-Fi does take a hit when it comes to public Wi-Fi networks.
But it's not all doom and gloom! Due to its impressive speeds, Li-Fi could make a huge impact on the internet of things too, with data transferred at much higher levels with even more devices able to connect to one another.
What's more, due to its shorter range, Li-Fi is more secure than Wi-Fi and it's reported that embedded light beams reflected off a surface could still achieve 70 megabits per second.
The future internet
Li-Fi technology will in future enable faster, more reliable internet connections, even when the demand for data usage has outgrown the available supply from existing technologies such as 4G, LTE and Wi-Fi. It will not replace these technologies, but will work seamlessly alongside them.
Using light to deliver wireless internet will also allow connectivity in environments that do not currently readily support Wi-Fi, such as aircraft cabins, hospitals and hazardous environments.
Light is already used for data transmission in fibre-optic cables and for point to point links, but Li-Fi is a special and novel combination of technologies that allow it to be universally adopted for mobile ultra-high speed internet communications.
A dual use for LED lighting
The wide use of solid state lighting offers an opportunity for efficient dual use lighting and communication systems.
Innovation in LED and photon receiver technology has ensured the availability of suitable light transmitters and detectors, while advances in the modulation of communication signals for these types of components has been advanced through signal processing techniques, such as multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO), to become as sophisticated as those used in mobile telecommunications.
Q. 471. Inclusive Development Index
The Inclusive Development Index (IDI) is an annual assessment of 103 countries’ economic performance that measures how countries perform on eleven dimensions of economic progress in addition to GDP. It has 3 pillars; growth and development; inclusion and; intergenerational equity – sustainable stewardship of natural and financial resources.
The IDI is a project of the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on the Future of Economic Progress, which aims to inform and enable sustained and inclusive economic progress through deepened public-private cooperation through thought leadership and analysis, strategic dialogue and concrete cooperation, including by accelerating social impact through corporate action.
Norway tops the chart followed by Iceland and Luxemburg in advanced economies. Lithuania, Hungary, and Azerbaijan are the toppers among the emerging economies. India has been ranked 62 out of 74 emerging economies. Pakistan has been ranked 47, Sri Lanka is at 40, and Nepal at 22; Uganda (59) and Mali (60) are also higher on the index than India. This Inclusive Development Index has been developed as a new metric of national economic performance as an alternative to GDP.
Q. 470. Microwaves
Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths ranging from one meter to one millimeter; with frequencies between 300 MHz (100 cm) and 300 GHz (0.1 cm). The prefix micro- in microwave is not meant to suggest a wavelength in the micrometer range. It indicates that microwaves are "small", compared to the radio waves used prior to microwave technology, in that they have shorter wavelengths. The boundaries between far infrared, terahertz radiation, microwaves, and ultra-high-frequency radio waves are fairly arbitrary and are used variously between different fields of study.
Microwaves travel by line-of-sight; unlike lower frequency radio waves they do not diffract around hills, follow the earth's surface as ground waves, or reflect from the ionosphere, so terrestrial microwave communication links are limited by the visual horizon to about 40 miles (64 km). At the high end of the band they are absorbed by gases in the atmosphere, limiting practical communication distances to around a kilometer.
Microwaves are extremely widely used in modern technology. They are used for point-to-point communication links, wireless networks, microwave radio relay networks, radar, satellite and spacecraft communication, medical diathermy and cancer treatment, remote sensing, radio astronomy, particle accelerators, spectroscopy, industrial heating, collision avoidance systems, garage door openers and keyless entry systems, and for cooking food in microwave ovens.
According to a recent study, Microwave use across the European Union (EU) emits as much carbon dioxide as nearly 7 million cars.
The factors under investigation were: climate change, depletion of natural resources and ecological toxicity. As per the study, the main environmental “hotspots” are materials used to manufacture microwaves, the manufacturing process and end-of-life waste management.
It found that, on average, one microwave uses 573 kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity over its lifetime of eight years which is equivalent to the electricity consumed by a 7-watt LED light bulb, switched on continuously for almost nine years.
Efforts to reduce consumption should focus on improving consumer awareness and behaviour to use appliances more efficiently. Electricity consumption by microwaves can be reduced by adjusting the time of cooking to the type of food.
Waste is another major problem because due to their relative low cost and ease of manufacture, consumers are throwing more electrical and electronic (EE) equipment away than ever before, including microwaves.
Q. 469. Cyber Surakshit Bharat
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), announced the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative in association with National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and industry partners.
It has been conceptualized with the mission to spread awareness about cybercrime and building capacity for safety measures for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT staff across all government departments. Cyber Surakshit Bharat will be operated on the three principles of Awareness, Education and Enablement.
It will include an awareness program on the importance of cybersecurity; a series of workshops on best practices and enablement of the officials with cybersecurity health tool kits to manage and mitigate cyber threats.
Cyber Surakshit Bharat is the first public-private partnership of its kind and will leverage the expertise of the IT industry in cybersecurity. The founding partners of the consortium are leading IT companies Microsoft, Intel, WIPRO, Redhat and Dimension Data. Additionally, knowledge partners include Cert-In, NIC, NASSCOM and the FIDO Alliance and premier consultancy firms Deloitte and EY.
With a billion plus mobile phone linked with a billion plus Aadhaar connections and a billion plus bank accounts Cyber Surakshit Bharat has the primary objective to keep data safe and protected.
Q. 468. What is Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme?
The Government of India has launched the Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme. Investors will get returns that are linked to gold price, the scheme offers the same benefits as physical gold. They can be used as collateral for loans and can be sold or traded on stock exchanges.
The Sovereign Gold Bonds will be available both in demat and paper form.
The tenor of the bond is for a minimum of 8 years with option to exit in 5th, 6th and 7th years.
They will carry sovereign guarantee both on the capital invested and the interest.
Bonds can be used as collateral for loans.
Bonds would be allowed to be traded on exchanges to allow early exits for investors who may so desire.
Further, bonds would be allowed to be traded on exchanges to allow early exits for investors who may so desire.
Capital gain tax arising on redemption of SGB to an individual has been exempted. The indexation benefit will be provided to LTCG arising to any person on transfer of bonds. The department of revenue has said that they will consider indexation benefit if bond is transferred before maturity and complete capital gains tax exemption at the time of redemption
HOW TO IT?
Sovereign Gold Bonds will be issued on payment of rupees and denominated in grams of gold. Minimum investment in the bond shall be 1 gram. The bonds can be bought by Indian residents or entities and is capped at 500 grams. WHERE TO BUY?
Investors can apply for the bonds through scheduled commercial banks and designated post offices. NBFCs, National Saving Certificate (NSC) agents and others, can act as agents. They would be authorised to collect the application form and submit in banks and post offices.
BSE and NSE are included as receiving offices, apart from the commercial banks, SHCIL, designated post offices WHO IS ISSUING THE BONDS?
The Bonds are issued by the Reserve Bank of India on behalf of the Government of India. The bonds are distributed through banks and designated post offices. This should make subscribing to the bonds an easy affair. During redemption, "the price of gold may be taken from the reference rate, as decided, and the Rupee equivalent amount may be converted at the RBI Reference rate on issue and redemption".
Q. 467. Rocket Lab
Ans. A U.S. space startup has become the first ever private company to successfully send satellites into orbit without the help of a government agency. The launch has paved the way for a “new era” of commercial access to space.
Rocket Lab is headquartered in Los Angeles. It deployed three satellites on only the second test launch of its Electron orbital launch vehicle, Still Testing.
As more private companies enter the space industry, the cost of rocket launches and sending satellites into orbit will be drastically reduced. Other private space firms include Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin, headed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Q. 466. Schemes for Minorities
Ans. Schemes for Minorities
• Nai Manzil Scheme is an integrated Education and Livelihood Initiative for the Minority Communities. The scheme aims to benefit the minority youths who are school-dropouts or educated in the community education institutions like Madrasas, by providing them an integral input of formal education (up till Class VIII or X) and skill training along with certification. This will enable them to seek better employment in the organised sector and equipping them with better lives. The scheme covers the entire country.
• The Ministry of Minority Affairs has started implementation of a scheme “Nai Roshni” for Leadership Development of Minority Women from 2012-13. The scheme aims to empower and instil confidence among minority women by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, Banks and other institutions at all levels. The scheme is implemented through Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
• Jiyo Parsi is a new scheme for containing population decline of Parsis in India. Its objective is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions to stabilize their population and increase the population of Parsis in India.
• USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development): The scheme has been launched to preserve rich heritage of traditional arts/crafts of minorities and build capacity of traditional artisans/craftsmen. The scheme will also establish linkages of traditional arts/crafts with the national and international market and ensure dignity of labour. The scheme, which will be funded by the Central Government, will prepare skilled and unskilled artisans and craftsmen to compete with big companies.
• Preservation of Rich Heritage: --Ministry launched a new scheme “Hamari Dharohar” in 2014-15 to preserve the rich heritage of minority communities of India. The scheme aims at curating iconic exhibitions, supporting calligraphy, preservation of old documents, research and development, etc.
• Maulana Azad National Fellowship For Minority Students: -The objective of the Fellowship is to provide integrated five year fellowships in the form of financial assistance to minority students to pursue higher studies such as M.Phil and Ph.D. The Fellowship covers all Universities/Institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC). 30% of the scholarships are earmarked for girl students.
• Padho Pardesh-scheme of interest subsidy on educational loans for overseas studies for the students belonging to the Minority communities. This is a Central Sector Scheme to provide Interest Subsidy to Meritorious Students belonging to economically weaker sections of notified Minority Communities so as to provide them better opportunities for higher education abroad and enhance their employability to pursue study in courses approved in the Scheme.
• Maulana Azad National academy for Skills (MANAS) was established under the aegis of Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA) by National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) on 11th November, 2014, in order to fulfil the vision of “Skill India” and also achieve the over-riding goal of the Government of India “SabkaSaath – SabkaVikas”. MANAS provides an institutional arrangement to meet all Skill Development/Up-gradation needs of the Minority communities in the country. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), MANAS comprises of an extensive All India Level, Training Framework based on Collaboration (PPP mode) with leading and reputed Training Providers at National/ International level, in the country.
• Nai Udaan Scheme: under which free coaching is given to the minority students through empanelled coaching institutions/ organisations for preparation of various entrance examinations including prelims examinations for recruitment to Group ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ services and other equivalent posts under the Central and State Governments including public sector undertakings, banks, insurance companies etc. Under the said scheme stipend of Rs. 1500 per month and Rs. 3000/- per month is provided to the local and outstation students respectively.
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