GoI: Interest Rates on Small Savings Schemes lowered

On March 31, 2020, the Government of India lowered interest rates of several small savings scheme facing Economic challenges created by the threat of COVID-19 virus.

Highlights

The interest rates of the schemes like Sukanya Samriddhi, Kisan Vikas Patra and Pubilc Provident Funds were reduced. The changes were introduced for Q1 of the fiscal year 2020-21. They are as follows

Sukanya Samriddhi

Rate of interest for Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme has been reduced from 8.4 to 7.6%. The scheme targets girl child and her parents. It encourages the parents to build fund for future education and marriage expenses of their girl child.

Public Provident Fund

Interest rate for Public Provident Fund reduced from 7.9 to 7.1%. It is savings-cum-tax saving scheme introduced in 1968 by the National Savings Institute operating under Ministry of Finance. The main aim of the scheme is to increase small savings offering returns based on the investments made with the savings deposited.

National Savings Certificate

Interest rate for National Savings Certificate 7.9 to 6.8%. It is a part of the postal savings system. It is a savings bond scheme launched for income tax savings and small savings.

Kisan Vikas Patra

Interest rate for Kisan Vikas Patra reduced from 7.6% to 6.9%. The KVP will mature in 124 months instead of 113 months earlier. It is a saving certificate scheme that was launched by India Post in 1988.

Other Schemes

  • Rate of interest for the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme reduced to 7.4 from 8.6%
  • Rate of interest for the monthly income scheme lowered to 6.6% from 7.6%
  • For five-year recurring deposit, the interest has been reduced from 7.2 to 5.8%.
  • For five-year time-deposit, it has been brought down from 7.7% to 6.7%
  • For three-years, two-years and one-year time deposits, the interest rate has been cut from 6.9 to 5.5%
  • Interest on savings deposit stays unchanged at 4%.

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NASA announces SUNRISE Mission

On March 30, 2020, NASA announced Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SUNRISE) mission. The mission is to study about how sun creates Giant Solar Particle Storms.

Highlights

Studying the solar storms, the mission aims to understand the working of the solar system. The study will also aid future astronauts travelling to Mars and protect them from solar storms.

About the Mission

The mission is to deploy six CubeSats in Geosynchronous-orbit. The mission has come true because of the success of DARPA High-Frequency Research and Mars Cube One (MARCO).

Tasks assigned to SUNRISE

The Cubesats will use radio telescope to capture radio images of low-frequency emission that are emitted from the sun. These will be sent to the earth through Deep Space Network. Also, the Cubesats will create a 3D mapping to learn about location of giant particle that are originated from the sun.

The mission is to study sun’s spectrum. This is important as sun’s spectrum cannot be studied from the earth due to the ionosphere.

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