Government Schemes Current Affairs

Government launches nationwide campaign Gaj Yatra to protect elephants

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has launched a nationwide campaign Gaj Yatra to protect elephants. It was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day observed on August 12.

The ministry also released the All India Census 2017 Report on elephants and Agreed Points of Action on Trans-Boundary Conservation of Elephants by India and Bangladesh.

Gaj Yatra Campaign

The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states across the country. It is 15 months campaign the will be led by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The ‘Gaju’ mascot, which was released by the Ministry in 2012, will be helm of the campaign.

The campaign aims create awareness about elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat. During the period of the campaign, artists and craftsmen will create life-size works on the theme of elephants in places along the route of the roadshow using local art and craft. Specially fabricated vehicles will be also deployed to display these on pre-determined routes with campaigners.

World Elephant Day

The World Elephant Day is observed every year on August 12 to support various stakeholders involved in supporting various conservation policies to protect elephants. It also seeks to support stakeholders involved in improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and trade in ivory, conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing captive elephants into sanctuaries.

The World Elephant Day was conceived in 2011 by Canadian filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark of Canazwest Pictures and Sivaporn Dardarananda, Secretary-General of Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand. Now it is supported by over 65 wildlife organisations and many individuals in several countries across the globe.

Elephants

As per the available population estimates, there are about 400,000 African elephants and 40,000 Asian elephants across the globe. Asian elephants are listed as “endangered” and African elephants are listed as “vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

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Government to launch Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana under DAY-NRLM

The Union Ministry of Rural Development is going to launch Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY), a sub-scheme under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).

The scheme aims at providing an alternative source of livelihood to members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) by facilitating them to operate public transport services in backward rural areas.

Key Facts

AGEY will help to provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services to connect remote villages with key services and amenities such as access to markets, education and health for the overall economic development of backward rural areas.

The transport services will be provided by e-rickshaws, 3 and 4 wheeler motorised transport vehicles to connect remote villages with the help of Self Help Groups (SHGs) under DAY-NRLM. This will provide an additional avenue of livelihood for SHGs.

The scheme will be implemented initially in 250 blocks in the country on a pilot basis for a period of 3 years (2017-20) with each block provided upto six vehicles to operate transport services. The Community Investment Fund (CIF) provided to Community Based Organization (CBOs) under DAY-NRLM will be utilized to provide interest free loan to SHG member for purchase of transport vehicles.

About Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)

DAY-NRLM is a poverty alleviation scheme implemented by Union Ministry of Rural Development to promote self-employment and organization of rural poor.  It was launched as NRLM in 2011 but was succeeded by Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana in 2016. It is supported by World Bank.

The scheme aims to organize the poor into SHGs and make them capable for self-employment. It has a special focus on women empowerment including a dedicated component for promoting farm and non-farm based livelihoods for women farmers in rural areas.

The scheme will help rural poor to set up self-employment ventures by ensuring easy access to credit. It is implemented across the country in all States and Union Territories (except Chandigarh and Delhi ). It is one of the world’s largest initiatives to improve the livelihood of poor.

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