Government Schemes Current Affairs - 2020

Government launches DBT Tribal web portal

Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched DBT Tribal web portal to streamline and expedite the process of releasing scholarship grants directly into bank accounts of beneficiary students. 

DBT Tribal web portal

The portal provide single common platform to states to upload data related to beneficiaries, raise queries and give feedback. It has uniform 29-column data sharing format, related to personal and location details of beneficiaries. It is linked with Aadhaar and the Public Financial Management System, thus help to reduce the chances of duplication of beneficiary and manipulation. 

Significance: It is binding on all states and Union territories to upload data on this portal in prescribed format. It will enable central government to monitor who are receiving scholarship benefits in which state, district, block or school and how many grievances have been received and addressed. It will provide beneficiary data for monitoring purposes as the entire system has been digitized in uniform format. 

Background

The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs is currently running various schemes to bridge the gap between Scheduled Tribe (ST) and general category students. There are total five scholarship schemes funded by Central Government and implemented by State Governments. 

Two main scholarship schemes: They are for pre-matric and post-matric education. They are being implemented through states.

For higher education: It runs “Top Class Education For ST Students” scheme in which 246 prestigious institutions, such as IITs and IIMs, participate. Around 1,000 students avail benefits under the scheme every year.

For Mphil and PhD programmes: It is running national fellowship scheme for 750 beneficiaries.

Overseas education: It is running scholarship scheme for tribal students willing to pursue higher studies overseas. Under it, 30 students can avail benefit every year.

Total Beneficiaries: Under these five schemes, so far 1.58 crore beneficiaries have received scholarships worth Rs 7,900 crore across 31 states/UTs in the past five years.

Responsibility of states: They are responsible for identification and verification of beneficiaries and timely disbursement of scholarships. Currently some states are doing it manually, while others have their own direct benefit transfer portals.

Bulletin: Cabinet extends PM-KISAN to all farmers

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has comprehensively extended ambit of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) to all land holding eligible farmer families who will avail benefits under the scheme (but subject to existing exclusion factor).

The revised scheme is expected to cover around 2 crore more farmers and increase total coverage of PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries. It also costs Central Government around Rs. 87,217.50 crores for year 2019-20.

Key Features of PM-KISAN

  • It was announced in interim Budget for the year 2019-2020 and launched on 24th February 2019 in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh where the first rounds of instalments was paid to several farmers.
  • It provides beneficiary farmers income support of Rs. 6000. This amount is released in three four (quaterly)-monthly instalments of Rs.2000 each over the year. It is credited directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries held in destination banks through Direct Benefit Transfer mode.
  • The previsions criteria for small and marginal landholder farmer families to avail this benefit was cultivable land holding upto 2 hectare across the country.
  • So far, 1st instalment to 3.11 crore beneficiaries and 2nd instalment to 2.66 crore beneficiaries have been credited directly to the bank accounts of the farmer families.