Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana

    Recently, the Ministry of Rural Development has started a scheme to provide facilities to women farmers namely, Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP).

    • It is a sub-component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), which is under implementation since 2011 through State Rural Livelihoods Mission as Project Implementation Agencies.
    • Objectives
      • To empower women in agriculture by making systematic investments to enhance their participation and productivity.
        • It also creates and sustains agriculture-based livelihoods of rural women.
      • To enable women to gain better access to the inputs and services provided by the government and other agencies.

    National Medical Commission

    • It has been established by an Act of Parliament known as the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 which came into force in 2020.
    • Objectives
      • To improve access to quality and affordable medical education.
      • To ensure adequate and high-quality medical professionals in all parts of India and provide equitable and universal health care.
    • Functions
      • Laying down policies for maintaining high quality and high standards in medical education.
      • Assessing the requirements in healthcare, including human resources for health and healthcare infrastructure.
        • Developing a road map for meeting such requirements.
      • Act as the appellate jurisdiction with respect to decisions of Autonomous Boards.

    PM Formalisation of Micro-food processing Enterprises Scheme

    Recently, the Minister of State for Food Processing Industries has given information about the Prime Minister Formalisation of Micro-food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme in Rajya Sabha.

    • It was launched by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), in partnership with the State/UT Governments.
    • It is an all India Centrally Sponsored scheme.
    • The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with a total outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore.
    • It has a special focus on supporting Groups engaged in Agri-food processing such as Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.
    • Aims and Objectives
      • To enhance the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry.
      • To provide financial, technical and business support for the up-gradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.

    Clone Train Scheme

    Recently, Indian Railways has been operating “Clone trains”, on routes where traffic demand is high.

    • Clone trains is a special scheme to transport waitlisted passengers to their destination.
    • These trains will be operated as an alternative to existing trains, when the actual trains will have a large number of waitlisted passengers.
    • As per the plan, these trains are assigned only for waitlisted passengers.
    • The concept was mooted almost a decade ago, however, it was materialised only after the pandemic.
    • Once the original train reservation charts are prepared (four hours before departure), waitlisted passengers are informed about their seats on the clone train.
    • This scheme is similar to the ‘Vikalp’ scheme under which waitlisted passengers are accommodated in another train on the same route, regardless of booking quota and concession.
      • However, in the case of ‘Vikalp’ scheme, instead of the original boarding and destination stations, nearby boarding and destination stations may be allotted to the passengers.
    • Although an alternative, a clone train will run with the same train number as the actual train.
    • A clone train will not stop at all halts of the original train but only at key stations.

    Creamy Layer

    Recently, Members of Parliament (MPs) have raised the issue of revising the criteria for defining the “creamy layeramong Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

    • While there is a 27 per cent quota for OBCs in government jobs and higher educational institutions, those falling within the creamy layer cannot get the benefits of this quota.
    • Creamy layer is a concept that sets a threshold within which OBC reservation benefits are applicable.
    • Based on the recommendation of the Second Backward Classes Commission (Mandal Commission), the government notified 27 per cent reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) in vacancies in civil posts and services that are to be filled on direct recruitment in August 1990.
    • After this was challenged, the Supreme Court in the Indira Sawhney case, November 1992 upheld reservation for OBCs, subject to exclusion of the creamy layer.
    • Following the order in Indra Sawhney, an expert committee headed by Justice (retired) R N Prasad was constituted for fixing the criteria for determining the creamy layer.
    • In September 1993, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) listed out various categories of people of certain rank/status/income whose children cannot avail benefit of OBC reservation.
      • For those not in government, the current threshold is an income of Rs. 8 lakh per year.
        • The income threshold is supposed to be raised every three years.
        • However, the last hike was in 2017 and the previous threshold was Rs. 6 lakh set in 2013.
      • For children of government employees, the threshold is based on their parents’ rank and not income.
      • Income from salaries or agricultural land is not clubbed while determining the creamy layer, according to a DoPT clarification issued in October 2004.

    Operation Blue Freedom

    Recently, it has been decided that a team of retired special forces personnel will lead a group of differently abled people to attempt a world record by trekking the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield on 15th August.

    • After scaling Siachen, the group plans to set a record for the largest team of PWDs doing accelerated free fall in Dubai and later set out to the Maldives for scuba diving.
    • A group of veterans of India’s Special Forces will train people with disabilities (PWDs) in skydiving, scuba diving and mountaineering in an attempt to create unique world records on land, air and underwater.
    • This expedition is called Operation Blue Freedom.
    • The team, consisting of ex-servicemen, serving soldiers and civilians, is part of an organisation called ‘Conquer Land Air Water (CLAW)’ founded by former Para Officer Major Vivek Jacob.
      • Major Jacob set up the organisation to rehabilitate people with disabilities through sports and induce powerful global action for inclusion.
      • It aims to mainstream the mindset that Special Forces and people with disabilities share to survive, stabilize and thrive in hostile environments.