1. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana
The Union Cabinet has approved the extension for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY-Phase V) by another 4 months from December 2021 till March 2022.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana ensures 5 kg per person per month free of cost for all the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) [Antodaya Anna Yojana & Priority Households] including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
- Considered as the world’s largest food security scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana aims at ensuring sufficient food for the poor and needy during the coronavirus crisis.
- It was announced as part of the first relief package during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- As part of the scheme, the food needs to be provided to all the beneficiaries under the public distribution system (TPDS) for Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority household (PHH) ration cardholders.
- As per updates, the eligible beneficiaries will receive 5kg of foodgrains and 1 kg Gram per month.
- Families belonging to the Below Poverty Line – Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) categories will be eligible for the scheme.
- PHH is to be identified by State Governments/Union Territory Administrations as per criteria evolved by them.
- AAY families are to be identified by States/UTs as per the criteria prescribed by the Central Government:
- Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
- Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
- All primitive tribal households.
- Landless agriculture laborers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitute and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
- All eligible Below Poverty Line families of HIV-positive persons.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the continuation of the umbrella scheme “ACROSS” for the next five years at an estimated cost of Rs 2,135 crore.
The Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS) scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) through the India Meteorological Department, National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, and the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services.
- ACROSS pertains to the ministry’s atmospheric science programs and addresses different aspects of weather and climate services.
- Each of these aspects is incorporated as eight sub-schemes under the umbrella scheme “ACROSS” and is implemented in an integrated manner through the four agencies.
- The objective of the scheme is to provide improved weather, climate, ocean forecast and services, and other hazard-related services to ensure the transfer of commensurate benefits to the end-user.
- The scheme will provide improved weather, climate, and ocean forecast and services. This would include warnings for cyclones, storm surges, heatwaves, and thunderstorms.
- The whole process from the generation of forecast to its delivery requires considerable manpower at every stage, thereby generating employment opportunities for many people.
3. Exercise Dosti
- The 15th edition of the biennial trilateral coast guard exercise ‘Dosti’ involving India, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka is underway in the Maldives. 2021 marks 30 years since these exercises were first launched.
- Indian Coast Guard vessels, the ICGS Vajra and ICGS Apoorva joined the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, SLCGS Suraksha for the five-day exercise that started on November 20 and will conclude today.
- The aim of the India-Maldives-Sri Lanka tri-lateral exercise ‘Dosti’ is to further fortify the friendship, enhance the mutual operational capability, and exercise interoperability, and build cooperation between the Coast Guards of Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka.
- India does have these kinds of military exercises with other countries. Sometimes it is multilateral, sometimes it is trilateral.
- For many years after it was first launched in 1991, these exercises were bilateral, involving the Indian and the Maldives Coast Guards.
- In 2012, however, Sri Lanka joined these exercises for the first time and since then, it has been a trilateral exercise.