Government Schemes Current Affairs

Over Rs 57,000 crore saved through DBT: Government

The Union Government has saved around Rs 57,000 crore in 2016-17 through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme under which subsidies are given directly to beneficiaries.

In 2017-18, the beneficiary base rose from 10.71 crore in 2013-14 to 35.62 crore. A total of 485 schemes have been identified from 60 ministries for the DBT.

Key Facts

According to government data, of the Rs 57,029 crore saved under DBT in 2016-17, the LPG subsidy scheme ‘Pahal’ alone accounted for Rs 29,769 crore savings. Besides, about Rs 14,000 crore were saved in providing subsidies directly to beneficiaries under the Public Distribution System (PDS).

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) Scheme saved Rs 11,741 crore. Rs 399 crore were saved in DBT transfers for the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), which deals with old age and widow pensions and among other things.

About Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme

The DBT Scheme, a major reform initiative to check graft in welfare funds was launched by then UPA Government on 1 January 2013. It aims at transferring benefits of various central government-run social welfare schemes directly to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.

Its objective is to reform Government delivery system by re-engineering the existing process in welfare schemes for simpler and faster flow of funds/information and ensure accurate targeting of the beneficiaries, reduce duplication and fraud.

DBT functions under the Cabinet Secretariat and its implementation is directly monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). JAM Trinity i.e. Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile are DBT enablers. However, Aadhaar is not mandatory in DBT schemes. DBT scheme has been high priority and focus area of the government to bring efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability in the Government system and infuse confidence of citizen in the governance.

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Government launches 4 digital initiatives to push e-education

President Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of Guru Purnima launched four major digital initiatives in to push e-education. They are Swayam, Swayam Prabha, National Academic Depository and National Digital Library. All these digital initiatives are operational under Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development. 

Key Facts

Swayam: It an indigenously designed massive open online course (MOOC), It will host all the courses, taught in classrooms from 9th class till post-graduation and can be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. It aims to bridge the digital divide for students in e-education.

Swayam Prabha: It will provide high quality educational contents, developed by experts, through 32 DTH (direct to home) Television Channels with an aim to bring uniformity in standards of education. It will cover diverse disciplines of all levels of education in various languages. It will be available to all and will be having new content of 4 hours to be telecasted 6 times a day.

National Academic Depository: It is a digital depository of academic awards for authenticating all certificates issued by institutions. NAD will directly integrate with Boards/Universities which issue Certificates which will be verified, authenticated, accessed and retrieved in a digital depository for purpose of employment, higher education, and loans.

National Digital Library: It is a large online library containing 6.5 million books. It provides free access to many books in English and the Indian languages.

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