Government Schemes Current Affairs - 2020

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Government hands over new Maritime Security Gadget to Navy, Coast guard

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has handed over Resident Identity Card (RIC) readers to Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan and Coast Guard Director General Vice-Admiral A G Thapliyal.

As part of RIC Scheme, these maritime security gadgets will be used by security agencies to check identity cards of the residents of coastal areas issued under RIC Scheme.

Government had issued more than 65 lakh people mainly residents of coastal villages with identity cards as per RIC Scheme under the National Population Registrar.

Key facts of Resident Identity Card (RIC) scheme

  • It aims to strengthen coastal security measures in 9 states and 4 Union Territories which have a sea-line running along their borders.
  • The scheme of issuing Cards is being implemented by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner– an office under the aegis of Union Home Ministry.
  • Under this scheme, Union Government will prepare National Population Registrar (NPR) in 3,331 coastal villages by issuing Resident Identity Cards (RIC).
  • RIC readers will be used by coastal security agencies to authenticate an individual’s demographic and biometric authentication without using Internet services.
  • RIC cards are manufactured indigenously and can be read only when the key present in the RIC readers.
  • RIC reader is temper-proof and self-destructs itself if it is opened in an unauthorized manner.
  • Initially, these card readers will be issued to the Navy and Coast Guard. Later it will be given to Maritime Police stations and state governments.

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Idukki district of Kerala becomes India’s first district with rural broadband network

Idukki district of Kerala has become first district in India to have high speed Rural Broadband Network i.e. National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) Internet connectivity.

Union Minister of Information Technology and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad commissioned this Hi-speed rural broadband network under the governments flagship Digital India programme.

In Idukki, 8 block offices and 52 village panchayats out of 53 will benefit from this project.

Facts about National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)

  • NOFN is the largest rural connectivity project of its kind in the world.
  • It aims to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
  • It seeks to link each of the 2.5 lakh village panchayats in the country spread over 6600 blocks and 631 districts through broadband optical fibre network in order to provide a minimum bandwidth of 100 Mbps.
  • On its completion, NOFN is expected to facilitate Broadband connectivity to over 600 million rural citizens of the country.
  • NOFN, is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), Department of Telecom, Ministry of Communications & IT.
  • It will offer people with friendly services like e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, public internet access etc. It will also enable delivery of various government services such as local planning, management, monitoring and payments of Government schemes at panchayat level.

Thus it will help to provide non-discriminatory telecom infrastructure, in order to bridge the gap of digital divide in rural internet access.

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