National Current Affairs October 2015 (Part 4)

Cabinet Approved Additional 50 Days under MGNREGA

  • The Union government approved additional 50 days of employment over and above 100 days per household per year under the MGNREGA in drought affected areas bn September 16, 2015.
  • The poorest rural households will benefit from this as it will help in immediate absorption of rural seasonal unemployment and reduce rural distress.
  • The approval will enable States to provide 50 days of additional wage employment to rural poor in drought affected areas as 40% of the area in the country facing drought situation due to deficient Monsoon rainfall.

‘Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission’ Approved

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) on September 16, 2015 with an outlay of ? 5142.08 crores. The Rurban Mission will aim at developing a cluster of Smart Villages.
  • The Mission aims at development of rural growth clusters which have latent potential for growth, in all States and UTs, which would trigger overall development in the region. These clusters would be developed by provisioning of economic activities, developing skills & local entrepreneurship and providing infrastructure amenities.
  • These clusters would be well delineated areas with planned layouts prepared following the planning norms, which would be duly notified by the State/UTs. These plans would be finally integrated with the District Plans/ Master Plans as the case may be.

Read Also – State Current Affairs October 2015.

E-visa Facility to be Extended to 37 More Countries

  • Tourism Secretary Vinod Zuthsi said at the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) function at New Delhi said on September 12, 2015 that e-Visa facility would be extended to 37 more countries to attract maximum foreign tourists.
  • Initially, during the launch only 45 countries were brought under ambit of the scheme. Currently, India is providing e-Visa facility, to 113 countries. Union government had launched e-Tourist Visa Scheme (first named as Visa on Arrival scheme) in November, 2014.

Gold Monetisation Schemes Unveiled

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, gave its approval for introduction of Gold Monetisation Schemes (GMS) on September 9, 2015. It was announced in the Union Budget 2015-16.
  • The objective of introducing the modifications in the schemes is to make the existing schemes more effective and to broaden the ambit of the existing schemes from merely mobilising gold held by households and institutions in the country to putting this gold into , productive use.
  • The long-term objective which is sought through this arrangement is to reduce the country’s reliance on the import of gold to meet domestic demand. GMS would benefit the Indian gems and jewelry sector which is a major contributor to India’s exports.
  • In fiscal year 2014-15, gems and jewelry constituted 12% of India’s total exports and the value of gold items alone was more than $ 13 billion (provisional figures).

Union Cabinet Approved National Offshore Wind Energy Policy

  • The Union Cabinet cleared National Offshore Wind Energy Policy on September 9, 2015. The approval paves way for offshore Wind > energy development in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the country.
  • The developments includes setting-up of offshore .wind power projects and research and development activities, in waters, in or adjacent to the country, up to the seaward distance of 200 nautical miles from the base line.
  • Under the new policy, the ministry for new and renewable energy will be the nodal authority for offshore wind power, while the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) will be the nodal agency to allocate offshore” blocks for Wind Energy and coordinate with other ministries.

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Mansi Agarwal
Mansi Agarwal

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