Why in news? Government has launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) recently.
Features of PMVVY:
‘Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)’ aims to provide social security during old age and to protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above.
It will protect elderly against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.
The scheme enables old age income security for senior citizens through provision of assured pension/return linked to the subscription amount based on government guarantee to Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
The scheme provides an assured return of 8% per annum for 10 years.
The differential return, i.e. the difference between return generated by LIC and the assured return of 8% per annum would be borne by Government of India as subsidy on an annual basis.
Pension is payable at the end of each period during the policy tenure of 10 years as per the frequency of monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/yearly as chosen by the subscriber at the time of purchase.
FACT # 2
GREEN REVOLUTION – KRISHONNATI YOJANA
Why in news? The government has recently approved the continuation of the agriculture sector umbrella programme, ‘Green Revolution Krishonnati Yojana’.
‘Green Revolution Krishonnati Yojana’:
“Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana” is an Umbrella Scheme in agriculture sector that has been implemented since 2016-17 by clubbing several schemes / missions under one umbrella scheme.
The scheme has now been continued for the period from 2017-18 to 2019.
The Umbrella scheme comprises of 11 Schemes/Missions.
These schemes look to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production, productivity and better returns on produce.
Schemes/Missions covered are as follows:
o Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH):
MIDH aims to:
promote holistic growth of horticulture sector
to enhance horticulture production
improve nutritional security
improve income support to farm households
o National Food Security Mission (NFSM):
It aims to:
increase production of rice, wheat, pulses, coarse cereals and commercial crops, through area expansion and productivity enhancement
restoring soil fertility and productivity at the individual farm level
enhancing farm level economy
augment the availability of vegetable oils
to reduce the import of edible oils
o National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA):
NMSA aims at:
promoting sustainable agriculture practices best suitable to the specific agro-ecology
appropriate soil health management
synergizing resource conservation technology
o Sub-Mission on Agriculture Extension (SMAE):
SMAE aims to:
strengthen the ongoing extension mechanism of State Governments, local bodies etc.
achieving food and nutritional security and socio-economic empowerment of farmers
to institutionalize programme planning and implementation mechanism
o Sub-Mission on Seeds and Planting Material (SMSP):
SMSP aims to:
increase production of certified / quality seed
to upgrade the quality of farm saved seeds
to strengthen the seed multiplication chain
to promote new technologies and methodologies in seed production, processing, testing etc.
to strengthen and modernizing infrastructure for seed production, storage, certification and quality etc.
o Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM)
SMAM aims to:
increase the reach of farm mechanization to small and marginal farmers and to the regions where availability of farm power is low
to promote ‘Custom Hiring Centres’ to offset the adverse economies of scale arising due to small landholding and high cost of individual ownership
to create hubs for hi-tech and high value farm equipment
to create awareness among stakeholders through demonstration and capacity building activities
to ensure performance testing and certification at designated testing centers located all over the country
o Sub Mission on Plant Protection and Plan Quarantine (SMPPQ)
SMPPQ aims to:
minimize loss to quality and yield of agricultural crops from the ravages of insect pests, diseases, weeds, nematodes, rodents, etc.
to shield our agricultural bio-security from the incursions and spread of alien species
to facilitate exports of Indian agricultural commodities to global markets
to promote good agricultural practices, particularly with respect to plant protection strategies and strategies
o Integrated Scheme on Agriculture Census, Economics and Statistics (ISACES)
It aims to:
undertake the agriculture census
study of the cost of cultivation of principal crops, to undertake research studies on agro-economic problems of the country
to fund conferences/workshops and seminars involving eminent economists, agricultural scientists, experts and to bring out papers to conduct short-term studies
to improve agricultural statistics methodology
to create a hierarchical information system on crop condition and crop production from sowing to harvest
o Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Cooperation (ISAC)
It aims to:
provide financial assistance for improving the economic conditions of cooperatives
remove regional imbalances and to speed up – cooperative development in agricultural marketing, processing, storage, computerization and weaker section programmes
to help cotton growers fetch remunerative price for their produce through value addition besides ensuring supply of quality yarn at reasonable rates to the decentralized weavers
o Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Marketing (ISAM)
ISAM aims to:
develop agricultural marketing infrastructure
to promote innovative and latest technologies and competitive alternatives in agriculture marketing infrastructure
to provide infrastructure facilities for grading, standardization and quality certification of agricultural produce
to establish a nationwide marketing information network
to integrate markets through a common online market platform to facilitate pan-India trade in agricultural commodities, etc.
o National e-Governance Plan (NeGP-A)
bring farmer centricity & service orientation to the programmes
to build upon, enhance & integrate the existing ICT initiatives of Centre and States
to enhance efficiency & effectiveness of programs through making available timely and relevant information to the farmers for increasing their agriculture productivity
The Schemes/Missions focus on creating/strengthening of the infrastructure of production, reducing production cost and marketing of agriculture and allied produce.
These schemes / missions have been under implementation for varying duration during past few years.
FACT # 3
Why in news? A new joint Indo-US study has found that global warming is leading to large-scale fish kills in the Arabian Sea by fuelling the growth of harmful bioluminescent algae.
Noctiluca scintillans is commonly known as the sea sparkle.
It is a free-living, nonparasitic, marine-dwelling species of dinoflagellate that exhibits bioluminescence when disturbed (popularly known as mareel).
scintillans populations can exhibit high concentrations due to high concentrations of the plankton on which they feed.
And these planktons are likely due to environmental conditions such as well-mixed, nutrient-rich waters, seasonal circulation, and runoff from agricultural pollution.
The glow produced by N. scintillans organisms can be perceived by humans as ghostly colored glow or bloom in the water.
This bloom appears when the water is disturbed.
This gives N. scintillans the popular names “sea ghost” or “fire of sea”.
Findings of the study:
Study has found that global warming is leading to large-scale fish kills in the Arabian Sea by fuelling the growth of harmful bioluminescent algae.
Growing numbers of Noctiluca scintillans are indicators of fish mortality.
Scientists highlight that their growing abundance is a cause of concern, because they adversely affect fish, which do not thrive in such waters.
Less dense water comes to the surface because of the warming of oceans, encouraging these intense blooms, which has an adverse impact on fisheries.
Currently, the western coast, Persian Gulf, and Oman are largely affected, but if it keeps on increasing, it will have drastic effects on fisheries along the Indian coast.
The researchers said that warming causes sea-water layers to stratify more intensely and slows upward movement of nutrients like silicate from the ocean bottom.
This discourages growth of diatoms, which need silicate and sunlight.
It instead leads to flourishing of Noctiluca which preys on diatoms.
But, the present findings show no evidence that cultural eutrophication has contributed to the decadal scale shifts in plankton (algae) composition in the north- eastern Arabian Sea.
These findings may help to forecast the effects that climate change may have in other productive oceanic ecosystems.
Following the research, INCOIS has announced the setting up of a Marine Observation System along Indian Coast (MOSAIC) to monitor the water quality of the Indian coastal waters.