India-World Bank Current Affairs

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana: Government inks $500 million loan agreement with World Bank

Government (Union Finance Ministry) has signed US $500 million (Rs 3,371 crore) loan agreement with World Bank to provide additional financing for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) rural road projects. The loan has maturity of 10 years along with 3 year grace period. It will provide additional financing for PMGSY Rural Roads Project to build 7,000 km of climate resilient roads, out of which 3,500 km will be constructed using green technologies.

Key Facts

World Bank has supported PMGSY since its inception in 2004. So far it has invested over US $1.8 billion in loans and credits mostly in economically weaker and hill states across North India viz. Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. It has helped to built and improved about 35,000 km of rural roads and benefited about 8 million people with access to all-weather roads.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

PMGSY fully funded centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2000. It aims to provide single all-weather road connectivity to all eligible unconnected habitations in the rural areas with population of 500  persons  and  above  (in plain areas) and 250 persons and above (in Hilly States , desert Areas,  Tribal   areas   and   selected Tribal and Backward Districts). Union Ministry of Rural Development is nodal ministry for implementation of Scheme.

For this scheme, 75  paise  per  litre  has  been  earmarked out  of  cess  levied on high speed diesel. It considers habitation as unit for providing connectivity and not a revenue village. The scheme encourages use of “Green Technologies” and non-conventional materials (like waste plastic, geo-textiles, fly-ash, iron and copper slag etc) for constructing rural roads.

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National Biopharma Mission: Government inks Legal Agreements with World Bank

The Union Government has entered into agreement with World Bank for flexible financing arrangement to accelerate research towards early development for biopharmaceuticals under National Biopharma Mission.

The agreement was signed between project implementing agency, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a PSU of Department of Biotechnology, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on behalf of World Bank.

National Biopharma Mission

The mission was launched by Ministry of Science & Technology in 2017 at total cost of US $250 million for five years with 50% funding through World Bank Loan. It aims to make India hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective biopharmaceutical products such as vaccines, biologics and medical devices for combating public health concerns.

Its objective is to strengthen translational capability of academic researchers, empower bio-entrepreneurs and SMEs by decreasing cost and risk during early stages of product development and also elevate innovation quotient of industry.

It will provide a holistic and integrated approach to strengthen and support entire product development value chain for accelerating research leads to product development. This will help not only in immediate product development for addressing public health needs, but also help to create ecosystem which will facilitate development of continuous pipeline of products.

The mission will concentrate on development of specific products such as vaccines, medical devices, biotherapeutics and diagnostics etc. Besides, it will also work on establishment of shared infrastructure and facilities. It will help in building and strengthening domain specific knowledge and management skills at the same time creating and enhancing technology transfer capabilities in public and private sector.

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