Government Schemes in India Current Affairs - 2020

Latest Government Schemes Current Affairs 2019 for UPSC Exams, Bank Exams, Civil Services, SSC and other Competitive Exams. This category comprises current affairs related to various government schemes, government policies, projects, and government campaign launches such as portal, apps etc. also.

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Implementation Updates: National Biofuel Policy

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas notified a new National Policy on Biofuels in June 2018. On a written reply at the opening session of Lok Sabha on November 18, 2019, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas provided its implementation steps.

Government measures and achievements

  • The percentage of Ethanol in Ethanol blended petrol has been increased from 1.53% in 2013-14 to 4.22% in 2017-18
  • GoI has procured 180 crore litres of ethanol against the target of 225 crore litres for the year 2018-19
  • The total Ethanol production capacity of the country is 355 crore litres per annum.

Current Government schemes on Biofuels

  • The Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable scheme aims at establishing 5000 compressed bio gas plants across the country by 2023.
  • The Oil Marketing Companies that are part of the Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme can sell blended petrol with maximum ethanol percentage of 10%.

Salient Features of the Policy

  • The Biofuels will be categorized as Basic Biofuels and Advanced Biofuels.
  • Government will provide incentives, viability gap funding and off-take insurance for advanced biofuels. Advanced Biofuels are derived from non-food feedstocks. They are also known as second-generation biofuels.
  • According to the new policy, B-molasses, damaged food grains, sugarcane juice and surplus food grains can be used for ethanol production
  • A supply chain will be set up for the production of biodiesel. It is to be produced from non-edible oil seeds, short gestation crops and used cooking oil
  • The Policy defines the roles and responsibilities of all the ministries and other concerned departments that are involved in production and supply of Biodiesel.

Health Ministry sign MoC with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for technical support

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed memorandum of cooperation (MoC) with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for technical support. Under this MoC, BMGF will provide technical, management and program design support to Union Health Ministry through its grantees as well as other partners. The special focus under MoC will be on innovation, best practices and enhancing performance management.

Highlights of MoC

BMGF will support Health Ministry’s work towards strengthening primary health aspects. This includes reducing maternal mortality and child mortality, improving nutrition services as well as increasing immunization reach.

It will also make efforts towards bolstering entire health system by-

Increasing access to family planning measures amongst younger women as well as reduce the burden of select infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB), Visceral Leishmaniasis (Black fever aka Kala Azar) and Lymphatic Filariasis (commonly known as Elephantiasis).

Strengthening of supply chains and monitoring systems while focusing on budget utilization, management as well as skills of human resources for health.

Significance

BMGF will support Union Ministry of Health’s ambitious vision to improve the primary healthcare system in this country–especially for women and children. Thus, Union Ministry of Health will use support to achieve the universal health coverage in the country with an effective and quality-driven primary healthcare system.

About Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)

It is American private foundation founded by Microsoft Co-founder Bill and his wife Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is based in Seattle, Washington. It is largest private foundation (philanthropic organisation) in the world, holding $50.7 billion in assets. It is controlled by its three trustees: Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett (joined in 2006 with £30 billion pledge.)

It is guided by the belief that every life has equal value and works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In US, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.