Government Schemes Current Affairs - 2019

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Government extends Atal Pension Yojana indefinitely

Union Cabinet decided to indefinitely extended Atal Pension Scheme, which had lapsed in August 2018. It also has broadened its scope by keeping it open-ended. The extension was given by taking into consideration of mass participation.

New Provisions

To further incentivize people’s participation in the scheme, age criterion for participation has been revised. Earlier, people of age 18 to 60 years were entitled to enroll in this scheme. But now it has been relaxed further to 65 years, taking into consideration rise in average age-expectancy,

Henceforth the scheme will expand its focus to target individuals, instead of households. Moreover, all accounts opened after August 2018 will have accident insurance limit of Rs 2 lakh, double than earlier Rs 1 lakh limit. The overdraft facility of the scheme was also increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.

Atal Pension Yojana (APY)

It is a social security scheme that aims to provide affordable universal access to essential social security protection to unorganized work force of country, which constitute more than 85% of the workforce. It had replaced earlier government-backed pension Swavalamban scheme targeted at the unorganised sector. It was launched in June 2015.

It is available to all citizens of India in age group of 18-40 years (making minimum period of contribution by subscriber is 20 years). There is no exit to scheme before maturity age. In case of death of subscriber, spouse of subscriber is entitled for same amount of pension till his or her death.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Tourism Ministry sanctions Rs. 80.37 crore for developing cruise tourism in Kerala

Ministry of Tourism sanctioned Malanad Malabar Cruise Tourism Project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme for development of rural circuit in Kerala. Under this project, Ministry of Tourism will be developing three cruises with budget of Rs. 80.37 crores.

Three approved cruise are

  • Malabari Cuisine and Culinary Cruise (Muthappan Cruise): It will start from Valapattanam and cover distance of 40 km to reach Munambu Kadavu in Valapattanam River.
  • Valapattanam River- Theyyam Cruise: It will begin from Valapattanam and will go up to Pazhayangadi in Valapattanam River.
  • Mangrove Cruise: It will be running on Kuppam River covering distance of 16 Km from Pazhayangadi to Kuppam.

The project will be focusing on development of water-based thematic cruise experiences in and around Valapattanam and Kuppam Rivers of Kannur District to tap potential of water tourism of Kerala. The cruises under it will be operated under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Ministry of Tourism will provide funds for development of basic infrastructure facilities such as passenger terminals, boat terminals, jetties, boat race gallery, food courts, performance areas, bio toilets, wifi facility, drinking water facilities, floating markets for local produce among others.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

The scheme was launched by Union Tourism Ministry with an objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist circuits will be developed on principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.

Under this scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development. They are Buddhist Circuit, North-East India Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.

It is 100% centrally funded scheme for the project components undertaken for public funding. It also has provision for leveraging voluntary funding under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.

The funding of projects under this scheme varies from state to state. It is finalised on basis of detailed project reports prepared by Programme Management Consultant (PMC) which is national level consultant for implementing the scheme.