Why in news? The scheme was approved in May 2017 but until January 2018, the government programme had covered only 90,000 women, a mere 2% of the target. Provisions are being made to increase the coverage of the scheme at the earliest.
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana:
The maternity benefits under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) are available to all Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers (PW&LM).
Some exceptions are to those in regular employment with the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force.
It is valid for first pregnancy of a woman which exposes her to new kind of challenges and stress factors.
The objectives of the scheme are:
providing partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first living child
the cash incentives provided would lead to improved health seeking behaviour amongst the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM)
Also a number of interventions are provided to the pregnant women viz. universal screening of pregnant women for Anaemia and Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation, Calcium supplementation in pregnancy, Deworming in pregnancy, Weight gain monitoring and Counselling on nutrition, family planning and prevention of diseases.
PMMVY is applicable in all districts of the country under which the eligible beneficiaries gets Rs. 5,000/- and the remaining cash incentive as per approved norms towards Maternity Benefit under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) after institutional delivery so that on an average, a woman gets Rs. 6000/-.
As a downside to the scheme, states like Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha and West Bengal have their own maternity benefit schemes and have been reluctant to implement the PMMVY.
FACT # 2
Why in news? Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons has launched the new Incredible India website.
Incredible India is the name of an international tourism campaign by the Government of India to promote tourism in India.
It is in force since 2002 to an audience of global appeal.
Incredible India title was officially branded and promoted by Amitabh Kant, the then Joint Secretary under the Union Ministry of Tourism, in 2002
The phrase “Incredible India” was adopted as a slogan by the ministry.
The campaign projected India as an attractive tourist destination by showcasing different aspects of Indian culture and history like yoga, spirituality, etc.
The campaign was conducted globally and received appreciation from tourism industry observers and travelers alike.
New Incredible India website:
The New Incredible India website portrays India as a holistic destination with experiences in spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga, wellness, etc.
The website is of international standard. It aims to project India as a “must-visit” destination.
The new website is more interactive.
Tech Mahindra, Google, Adobe and NIC team participated in the development of this website.
Using Adobe solution suite, the Ministry of Tourism will provide real time personalized experiences for each visitor, based on their interest.
Ministry of Tourism has tied up with Google Arts & Culture in creating great visuals for the website.
Salient Features of the new website are:
User Friendly Design
User Generated Content
FACT # 3
Why in news? The Brahmaputra Board has taken up major projects in the world’s largest river island Majuli to protect it from flood and erosion.
Mājuli is the world’s biggest river islandin the Brahmaputra River, Assam and in 2016 became the first island to be made a district in India.
It had an area of 880 square kilometres at the beginning of the 20th century, but having lost significantly to erosion it covers 352 square kilometres as of 2014.
Majuli has shrunk as the river surrounding it has grown.
It is recognised as the world’s largest river island, although Ilha do Bananalmeets the same qualifications and is much larger.
The island is formed by the BrahmaputraRiver in the south and joined by the Subansiri River in the north.
Mājuli Island is accessible by ferries from the city of Jorhat.
The island is about 300–400 kilometres (186–249 mi) east from the state’slargest city Guwahati.
It was formed due to course changes by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries, mainly the Lohit.
Mājuli is the abode of the Assameseneo-Vaishnavite
The locals speak in the Mising language and its dialects mainly.
Majuli has been the cultural capital of Assamese civilisation since the 16th century.
Sankardeva, a pioneer of the medieval-age neo-Vaishnavite movement, preached a monotheist form of Hinduismcalled Vaishnavism and established monasteries and hermitages known as satra on the islet.
The island soon became the leading center of Vaishnavinism with the establishment of these satras.
After the arrival of the British, Majuli was under the rule of the British until India gained independencein 1947.
The main industry is agriculture, with paddybeing the chief crop.
Majuli has a rich and diverse agricultural tradition, with as many as 100 varieties of rice grown, all without pesticidesor artificial fertilisers.
Fishing is also among the main industry after agriculture.
Handloom is a major occupation among the distaff population of the villages.
The population of Majuli comprises the tribals, non-tribals and the scheduled castes.
The tribal communities include the Misings, the Deoris and the Sonowal Kacharis.
The scheduled castes include the Kaivartas, the Brittial Banias etc.
The non-tribal communities includes Koch, Kalitas, Ahoms, Chutiyas, Keot, Yogis etc.