PM-KUSUM SCHEME

CONTEXT:

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has planned various activities under “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” during the week starting from 23rd August to 27th August  2021.

 

ABOUT SWACHH BHARAT

During the week, special efforts will be made to disseminate information of PM-KUSUM to farmers and Rooftop Solar Phase-II to consumers. Both the Schemes were launched in March, 2019 and are being implemented by most of the States in the country.

OBJECTIVE:

  • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme for farmers for installation of solar pumps and grid connected solar and other renewable power plants in the country.
  • The scheme aims to add solar and other renewable capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022 with total central financial support of Rs. 34,422 Crore including service charges to the implementing agencies.

 

FEATURES

The Scheme consists of three components:

  1. Component A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants of individual plant size up to 2 MW.
  2. Component B:Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps of individual pump capacity up to 7.5 HP.
  3. Component C: Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Agriculture Pumps of individual pump capacity up to 7.5 HP.
  4. State Nodal Agencies (SNAs) of MNRE will coordinate with States/UTs, Discoms and farmers for implementation of the scheme.
  5. Components A and C of the Scheme will be implemented in Pilot mode till 31st December 2019. The Component B, which is a ongoing sub-programme, will be implemented in entirety without going through pilot mode.

COMPONENT-A

  • Renewable power projects of capacity 500 kW to 2 MW will be setup by individual farmers/ group of farmers/ cooperatives/ panchayats/ Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO). In the above specified entities are not able to arrange equity required for setting up the REPP, they can opt for developing the REPP through developer(s) or even through local DISCOM, which will be considered as RPG in this case.
  • DISCOMs will notify sub-station wise surplus capacity which can be fed from such RE power plants to the Grid and shall invite applications from interested beneficiaries for setting up the renewable energy plants.
  • The renewable power generated will be purchased by DISCOMs at a feed-in-tariff (FiT) determined by respective State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC).
  • DISCOM would be eligible to get PBI @ Rs. 0.40 per unit purchased or Rs. 6.6 lakh per MW of capacity installed, whichever is less, for a period of five years from the COD.

COMPONENT B:                                       

  • Individual farmers will be supported to install standalone solar Agriculture pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP.
  • CFA of 30% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, of the stand-alone solar Agriculture pump will be provided. The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 40% will be provided by the farmer. Bank finance may be made available for farmer’s contribution, so that farmer has to initially pay only 10% of the cost and remaining up to 30% of the cost as loan.
  • In North Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and A&N Islands, CFA of 50% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, of the stand-alone solar pump will be provided. The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 20% will be provided by the farmer. Bank finance may be made available for farmer’s contribution, so that farmer has to initially pay only 10% of the cost and remaining up to 10% of the cost as loan.

COMPONENT C:

  • Individual farmers having grid connected agriculture pump will be supported to solarise pumps. Solar PV capacity up to two times of pump capacity in kW is allowed under the scheme.
  • The farmer will be able to use the generated solar power to meet the irrigation needs and the excess solar power will be sold to DISCOMs.
  • Central Finance Assistance (CFA) of 30% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, of the solar PV component will be provided. The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 40% will be provided by the farmer. Bank finance may be made available for farmer’s contribution, so that farmer has to initially pay only 10% of the cost and remaining up to 30% of the cost as loan.
  • In North Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and A&N Islands, CFA of 50% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, of the solar PV component will be provided. The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 20% will be provided by the farmer. Bank finance may be made available for farmer’s contribution, so that farmer has to initially pay only 10% of the cost and remaining up to 10% of the cost as loan.

BENEFITS

The scheme will open a stable and continuous source of income to the rural land owners for a period of 25 years by utilisation of their dry/uncultivable land.

Further, in case cultivated fields are chosen for setting up solar power project, the farmers could continue to grow crops as the solar panels are to be set up above a minimum height.

The scheme would ensure that sufficient local solar/ other renewable energy based power is available for feeding rural load centres and agriculture pump-set loads, which require power mostly during the day time.

As these power plants will be located closer to the agriculture loads or to electrical substations in a decentralized manner, it will result in reduced Transmission losses for STUs and Discoms. Moreover, the scheme will also help the Discoms to achieve the RPO(Renewable Purchasing Obligation) target.

The solar pumps will save the expenditure incurred on diesel for running diesel pump and provide the farmers a reliable source of irrigation through solar pump apart from preventing harmful pollution from running diesel pump.

 

 

FEED-IN-TARIFF

  • A feed-in tariff is a policy tool designed to promote investment in renewable energy sources. This usually means promising small-scale producers of the energy—such as solar or wind energy—an above-market price for what they deliver to the grid.

UNION MINISTER OF I&B SHRI ANURAG THAKUR TO START OFF ‘ICONIC WEEK’ AS PART OF AZADI KA AMRIT MAHOTSAV

CONTEXT:

Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is all set to launch a gamut of activities to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav from 23rd to 29th August, 2021, under its Iconic Week celebrations. Hon. Union Minister of I&B Shri Anurag Thakur will start off the grand celebration that will attract participation from across the country under the overall spirit of “Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan” The objective is to showcase the journey of New India and celebrate the contribution of freedom fighters including the ‘Unsung Heroes’ of the freedom struggle through massive outreach activities.

ABOUT AZADI KA AMRIT MAHOTSAV

  • On 12 march 2021 The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi flagged off the ‘Padyatra’ (Freedom March) from Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad and inaugurated the curtain raiser activities of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (India@75). He also launched various other cultural and digital initiatives for the India@75 celebrations.’
  • Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav is a series of events to be organised by the Government of India to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence. The Mahotsav will be celebrated as a Jan-Utsav in the spirit of Jan-Bhagidari.
  • During the Launch The Prime Minister reiterated five pillars i.e. Freedom Struggle, Ideas at 75, Achievements at 75, Actions at 75 and Resolves at 75 as guiding force for moving forward keeping dreams and duties as inspiration.
  • This Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of Indiawho have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in it’s evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Modi’s vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is an embodiment of all that is progressive about India’s socio-cultural, political and economic identity. The official journey of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” commences on 12th March, 2021 which starts a 75 week countdown to our 75th anniversary of Independence and will end post a year on 15th August, 2023.

ABOUT THE 2021 DANDI MARCH:

  • The padyatra is being undertaken by 81 marchers from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi in Navsari, a journey of 386 km. The march will end after 25 days, on 5thApril 2021.
  • Descendantsof those who walked the Salt March (in 1930) will be honoured.
  • Marchers will traverse the route in memory of the 78 who accompanied MahatmaGandhi in 1930 from Ahmedabad to Dandi and two others who had joined mid-route.
  • Big events will be organised at six placesassociated with Gandhi. These include MK Gandhi’s birthplace Porbandar, along with Rajkot, Vadodara, Bardoli (Surat), Mandvi (Kutch) and Dandi (Navsari).
  • Cultural programmes are planned at 21 spotson the route at the nightly stops for the walkers

 

1183 MOBILISATION CAMPS ORGANISED ACROSS THE COUNTRY UNDER THE DEEN DAYAL UPADHYAYA GRAMEEN KAUSHALYA YOJANA (DDU-GKY) AS PART OF AZADI KA AMRIT MAHOTSAV

CONTEXT:

As part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) celebrations, around 1183 ‘mobilisation camps’ were organised across the country under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) programme between 13th and 19th August, 2021, with much fervour commemorating 75 years of Indian independence. State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs), State Skills Missions (SSM) came together with various Project Implementation Agencies (PIAs) to make the all-India event a grand success.

DEEN DAYAL UPADHYAYA GRAMEEN KAUSHALYA YOJANA (DDU-GKY)

  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) launched on the 25thSeptember, 2014, is a nationwide placement-linked skill training program funded by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India (GoI). DDUGKY seeks to build the placement-linked skills of the poor rural youth and place them in wage employment across various sectors of the economy. The programme has an outcome led design with guaranteed placements for at least 70% trained candidates.
  • According to Census 2011, India has 55 million potential workers between the ages of 15 and 35 years in rural areas. At the same time, the world is expected to face a shortage of 57 million workers by 2020. This presents a historic opportunity for India to transform its demographic surplus into a demographic dividend.
  • The Ministry of Rural Development implements DDU-GKY to drive this national agenda for inclusive growth, by developing skills and productive capacity of the rural youth from poor families.
  • There are several challenges preventing India’s rural poor from competing in the modern market, such as the lack of formal education and marketable skills. DDU-GKY bridges this gap by funding training projects benchmarked to global standards, with an emphasis on placement, retention, career progression and foreign placement.

FEATURES OF DEEN DAYAL UPADHYAYA GRAMEEN KAUSHALYA YOJANA

 

Enable Poor and Marginalized to Access Benefits

  • Demand led skill training at no cost to the rural poor

Inclusive Program Design

  • Mandatory coverage of socially disadvantaged groups (SC/ST 50%; Minority 15%; Women 33%)

Shifting Emphasis from Training to Career Progression

  • Pioneers in providing incentives for job retention, career progression and foreign placements

Greater Support for Placed Candidates

  • Post-placement support, migration support and alumni network

Proactive Approach to Build Placement Partnerships

  • Guaranteed Placement for at least 75% trained candidates

Enhancing the Capacity of Implementation Partners

  • Nurturing new training service providers and developing their skills

Regional Focus

  • Greater emphasis on projects for poor rural youth in Jammu and Kashmir (HIMAYAT),
  • The North-East region and 27 Left-Wing Extremist (LWE) districts (ROSHINI)

Standards-led Delivery

  • All program activities are subject to Standard Operating Procedures that are not open to interpretation by local inspectors. All inspections are supported by geo-tagged, time stamped videos/photographs.

BENEFICIARY ELIGIBILITY

  • Rural Youth:15 – 35 Yrs
  • SC/ST/Women/PVTG/PWD: upto 45 Yrs

IMPLEMENTATION MODEL

  • DDU-GKY follows a 3-tier implementation model.  The DDU-GKY National Unit at MoRD functions as the policy-making, technical support and facilitation agency.  The DDU-GKY State Missions provide implementation support; and the Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs) implement the programme through skilling and placement projects.

PROJECT IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES (PIAS)

 

Necessary Conditions & Eligibility Criteria

  • Registered under Indian Trust Acts or any State Society Registration Act or any State Cooperative Societies or Multi – State Cooperative Acts or the Companies Act 2013 or the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2008 OR Government or a semi – government organization at the State and National Level
  • Existence as an operational Legal Entity in India for more than 3 financial years (Not applicable for NSDC Partners)
  • Positive Net Worth for atleast 2 out of last 3 financial years (Not applicable for NSDC Partners)
  • Turnover in excess of at least 25% of the proposed project

In funding projects, priority is given to PIAs offering

  • Foreign Placement
  • Captive Employment: Those PIAs or organizations that take up skill training to meet internal ongoing HR needs
  • Industry Internships: Support for internships with co-funding from industry
  • Champion Employers:  PIAs who can assure skill training and placement for a minimum of 10,000 DDU-GKY trainees in a span of 2 years
  • Educational Institution of High Repute: Institutes with a minimum National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grading of 3.5 or Community Colleges with University Grants Commission (UGC)/ All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) funding   willing to take up DDU-GKY projects.

Project Funding Support

  • DDU-GKY provides funding support for placement linked skilling projects that address the market demand with funding support ranging from Rs. 25,696 to over Rs. 1 lakh per person, depending on the duration of the project and whether the project is residential or non-residential.  DDU-GKY funds projects with training duration from 576 hours (3 months) to 2304 hours (12 months).
  • Funding components include support for training costs, boarding and lodging (residential programmes), transportation costs, post-placement support costs, career progression and retention support costs

TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

  • DDU-GKY funds a variety of skill training  programs  covering over 250 trades  across a range of sectors  such as Retail, Hospitality , Health, Construction, Automotive, Leather, Electrical, Plumbing, Gems and Jewelry, to name a few.  The only mandate is that skill training should be demand based and lead to placement of at least 75% of the trainees.
  • The trade specific skills are required to follow the curriculum and norms prescribed by specified national agencies: the National Council for Vocational Training and Sector Skills Councils.
  • In addition to the trade specific skills, training must be provided in employability and soft skills, functional English and functional Informational technology literacy so that the training can build cross cutting essential skills.

INDIAN NAVY SHIPS SHIVALIK AND KADMATT ARRIVE AT GUAM TO PARTICIPATE IN MULTILATERAL MARITIME EX MALABAR

CONTEXT:

Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt arrived at Guam, an Island Territory of the USA on 21 Aug 21 as part of their on-going deployment to nations in South East Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

The two ships are scheduled to participate in the annual Exercise MALABAR-21, between navies of Australia, India, Japan and the USA.

Exercise MALABAR-21 will be conducted with USN, JMSDF and RAN at sea from 26-29 Aug 21.

ABOUT MALABAR EXERCISE

  • MALABAR series of maritime exercises commenced in 1992 as a bilateral IN-USN exercise and has grown in stature over the years to include four prominent navies in the Pacific and Indian Ocean Region
  • The exercise will provide an opportunity for common minded navies to enhance inter-operability, gain from best practices and develop a common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations.
  • MALABAR-21 would witness high-tempo exercises conducted between Destroyers’, Frigates, Corvettes, Submarines, Helicopters and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the participating navies. Complex surface, sub-surface and air operations including Live Weapon Firing Drills, Anti-Surface, Anti-Air and Anti-Submarine Warfare Drills, Joint Manoeuvres and Tactical exercises will be conducted during the exercise.

ABOUT PREVIOUS EXERECISE

It began as a bilateral naval exercise between India and the USA in 1992 and was expanded into a trilateral format with the inclusion of Japan in 2015.

The Exercise is aimed to support free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules based international order.

In 2017, Australia requested for observer status in the exercise

China has repeatedly expressed strong opposition to any expansion of the Malabar Exercise, which it sees as a multilateral naval construct designed to “counter and contain” it.

However, the recent India-China tensions over the situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) may have brought more flexibility to India’s decision making process.

ABOUT SHIVALIK AND KADMATT

Indian Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt are the latest indigenously designed and built, multi-role Guided Missile Stealth Frigate and Anti-Submarine Corvette respectively and form part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam, Eastern Naval Command.

 

 

VICE PRESIDENT VENKAIYA NAIDU CELEBRATES RAKSHA BANDAN

The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, on the occasion of Rakshabandhan today, urged everyone to uphold the dignity of women and ensure a safe environment for them at all times.

Praising the age-old Indian family system, he said that it teaches us to respect the elderly and inculcates the spirit of sharing and caring among the youngsters. Stating that sisters bring cheer and happiness in the house, he said that there are many Indian festivals that celebrate family relations and strengthen the bond of togetherness.

Earlier in the day, Shri Naidu tweeted Rakshabandhan greetings in 13 languages including Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Marathi, Konkani, Odia, Bengali, Assamese, Gujarati, Punjabi.

SCHEDULE-8

The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India. At the time when the Constitution was enacted, inclusion in this list meant that the language was entitled to representation on the Official Languages Commission.

As per Articles 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution, the eighth schedule includes the recognition of the following 22 languages.

 

  1. Assamese
  2. Bengali
  3. Bodo
  4. Dogri
  5. Gujarati
  6. Hindi
  7. Kannada
  8. Kashmiri
  9. Konkani
  10. Maithili
  11. Malayalam
  12. Meitei (Manipuri)
  13. Marathi
  14. Nepali
  15. Odia
  16. Punjabi
  17. Sanskrit
  18. Santhali
  19. Sindhi
  20. Tamil
  21. Telugu
  22. Urdu

Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. Subsequently, Sindhi was added in 1967 by 21st Constitutional Amendment Act; Konkani, Manipuri (Meitei) and Nepali were added in 1992 by 71st Constitutional Amendment Act; and Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santali were added in 2003 by 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act.The spelling Oriya was replaced by Odia by 96th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2011