PIB Analysis : 18th and 19th January


Topics Covered

  1. National Food Security Act
  2. Official Development Assistance Loan
  3. National Testing Agency
  4. District Mineral Foundation
  5. Facts for Prelims

1 . National Food Security Act

Chief Minister of Mizoram, Shri PU Zoramthanga calls on Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan for enhancement of coverage under National Food Security Act

About NFSA 2013

  • The National Food Security Act, 2013 was notified on 10th September, 2013 with the objective to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
  • The Act provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), thus covering about two-thirds of the population.
  • The eligible persons will be entitled to receive 5 Kgs of foodgrains per person per month at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains. The existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households, which constitute the poorest of the poor, will continue to receive 35 Kgs of foodgrains per household per month.
  • The Act also has a special focus on the nutritional support to women and children. Besides meal to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after the child birth, such women will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
  • Children upto 14 years of age will be entitled to nutritious meals as per the prescribed nutritional standards.
  • In case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains or meals, the beneficiaries will receive food security allowance.
  • The Act also contains provisions for setting up of grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels. Separate provisions have also been made in the Act for ensuring transparency and accountability.

Features of the bill

  • All Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) or the poorest of the poor group, a priority group to receive 7 kg of subsidised foodgrains per person per month ie. 35 kg of foodgrain/family/month. General households will be entitled to atleast 3 kg/person/month. Upto 75 percent of the rural and up to 50 percent of the urban population will be covered by the bill. Of these, at least 46 percent of the rural and 28 percent of the urban population will be designated as priority households. The rest will be designated as general households.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to meals and maternity benefits of not less than Rs 6000. It is however restricted to two children only.
  • The eldest women of the household of age 18 years or above will be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing ration cards.
  • All beneficiaries will have to pay Rs 3/kg for rice, Rs 2/kg for wheat, Re 1/kg for coarse grains. These prices can be revised after the first three years, up to the level of the minimum support price (assured price paid by the Centre to farmers at the time it buys grains from them).

2 . Official Development Assistance

The Government of India and JICA sign Loan Agreements on Japan’s Official Development Assistance Loan to India

Official Development Assistance (ODA) and ODA Loans

  • ODA is broadly divided into bilateral aid, in which assistance is given directly to developing countries, and multilateral aid, which is provided through international organizations. Bilateral aid consists of Finance and Investment Cooperation (ODA loans and Private Sector Investment Finance) and grants (grant aid and technical cooperation). Of these, JICA provides concessional loans as ODA loans.

What are ODA Loans?

  • In many developing countries, economic and social infrastructure such as electricity, gas, transportation and communications services is underdeveloped. In recent years, in addition to an increasing population living in poverty in some regions, global problems have emerged, including HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases, air and water pollution, and conflicts and terrorism.
  • To address these issues, the United Nations set out the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)*” as common goals, and individual countries have launched a range of measures.
  • ODA loans support developing countries by providing low-interest, long-term and concessional funds to finance their development efforts.

Target areas

  • International organizations and developed nations are making a variety of efforts to achieve the SDGs.
  • The Development Cooperation Charter adopted in 2015, moreover, assigned priority on quality growth and realizing a peaceful and secure society, in line with the SDGs. Following the Development Cooperation Charter, ODA loans are being actively used to provide support in the areas contributing to quality growth, realizing a peaceful and secure society, and addressing global issues.

Current Assistance

  • Project for the Construction of Chennai Peripheral Ring Road, Program for Japan-India Cooperative Actions towards Sustainable Development Goals in India   
  • The Program for Japan-India Cooperative Actions towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in India aims to contribute to promotion of SDGs in India especially in social development by supporting the efforts by the Government of India to strengthen the Policy Framework and Implementation Mechanism, thereby supporting India in achieving SDGs by 2030.

3 . National Testing Agency

National Testing Agency Declares results of JEE (Main) January-2019 

About National Testing Agency

  • National Testing Agency (NTA) has been established as a premier, specialist, autonomous and self-sustained testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for admission/fellowship in higher educational institutions.
  • To assess competence of candidates for admissions and recruitment has always been a challenge in terms of matching with research based international standards, efficiency, transparency and error free delivery. The National Testing Agency is entrusted to address all such issues using best in every field, from test preparation, to test delivery and to test marking.

4 . District Mineral Foundation

1st National Level workshop on DMF/ PMKKKY on 18.01.2019 held in New Delhi

About District Mineral Foundation

  • District Mineral Foundation (DMF) is a trust set up as a non-profit body, in those districts affected by the mining works, to work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining related operations.
  • It is funded through the contributions from miners.
  • Its manner of operation comes under the jurisdiction of the relevant State Government.
  • In case of all mining leases executed before 12th January, 2015 (the date on which MMDR Amendment Act came into force) miners will have to contribute an amount equal to 30% of the royalty payable by them to the DMFs.  Where mining leases are granted after 12.01.2015, the rate of contribution would be 10% of the royalty payable 
  • Thus, every holder of a mining lease or a prospecting licence-cum-mining lease shall, in addition to the royalty, pay to the District Mineral Foundation of the district in which their mining operations are carried on. If the mining area is spread across several districts, the fund is shared on a pro-rata basis by these districts.
  • DMF funds are treated as extra-budgetary resources for the State Plan. Efforts are made to achieve convergence with the State and the District Plans so that the activities taken up by the DMF can supplement the development and welfare activities already being carried out.

Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana

  • Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) is a programme to provide for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations.
  • PMKKKY is implemented by the District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) of the respective districts using the funds accruing to the DMF from miners. (Khanij means Mineral and Kshetra means area or field in Hindi. Kalyan stands for welfare and Yojana stands for a Plan or project)

Objectives of PMKKY 

  • to implement various developmental and welfare projects/programs in mining affected areas. These projects/ programs will be complementing the existing ongoing schemes/projects of State and Central Government;
  • to minimize/mitigate the adverse impacts, during and after mining, on the environment, health and socio-economics of people in mining districts; and
  • to ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected people in mining areas.

Coverage of PMKKY 

  • Directly affected areas are those areas where direct mining related operations such as excavation, mining, blasting, beneficiation and waste disposal take place.
  • Indirectly affected areas are those where negative impacts of mining in the form of deterioration of water, soil and air quality, reduction in stream flows and depletion of ground water, congestion and pollution etc. happen due to mining operations.

5 . Facts for Prelims

Diffo River

  • Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 426.60 metre long Pre Stressed Concrete Box Girder type bridge over Diffo river on Roing-Koron-Paya road in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It would provide uninterrupted access between Dibang valley and Lohit valley region of Eastern Arunachal Pradesh and an all-weather Road to the troops deployed on the China Border.
  • It is constructed by Border Road Organisation

INS Kohassa

  • Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur will be commissioned as INS Kohassa on   24 Jan 19 by Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of Naval Staff.  INS Kohassa has been named after a White- Bellied Sea Eagle, which is a large bird of prey endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Lithium ion Giga Factory

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Libcoin are in dialogue to form a world class consortium to initially build 1GWh lithium ion battery plant in India. Its capacity will be scaled up to 30GWh in due course. With this, India has finally taken steps into its energy security and clean energy commitment to the world.
  • This project will bring energy independence by replacing oil imports with abundant renewable.
  • This project also includes “Made by India, for India”, with focus on core-cost components manufactured domestically. It will also create integrated manufacturing ecosystem resulting in self-reliance and lower cost.
  • Various Indian cities including Delhi have been struggling to cut down their pollution level for last several years and electric transportation has been considered as one of the viable approaches to cut down emission

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