Ministry of Railways Current Affairs - 2019

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Bulletin: PM approves changes in Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on assuming his office took the very first decision of granting approval to major changes in the ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’ under the National Defence Fund. This decision is in line with PM’s vision for India’s safety, security and well-being of those who protect the nation.

Changes approved by Prime Minister

  • Scholarship Rate: The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs.2000pm (per month) to Rs.2500pm for boys and from Rs.2250pm to Rs.3000pm for girls.
  • Scholarship Extended: The ambit of Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme is now extended to include the wards of State Police officials who are or were martyred during terror or naxal attacks. The new scholarships quota for wards of state police officials will be 500 in one year. For the implementation of it the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be the nodal Ministry.

Significance

  • The move of including police personnel wards provides recognition to the length of monumental contribution of our police personnel who performing their duties with utmost diligence.
  • The availability of scholarship under the scheme will enable more youngsters from police families to study and excel in different fields and will also have an empowering effect on several bright young minds.
  • The Prime Minister took the decision in spirit that it is country’s duty not only to express gratitude but also do things towards welfare of police personnel and their families.

About National Defence Fund

  • Background: NDF was set up in 1962. It was meant to take charge of voluntary donations (in cash and kind) received for promotion of national defence effort, and also to decide on their utilisation. National Defence Fund also accepts online voluntary contributions.
  • Purpose: NDF is used for welfare of members of Armed Forces, Para Military forces and Railway Protection Force, and their dependents.
  • Administration: An Executive Committee chaired by Prime Minister and with Defence Ministers, Finance Ministers and Home Ministers as Members administers the fund.
  • Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’ (PMSS) is implemented under NDF.
  • PMSS: encourages technical and post-graduate education for widows and wards of deceased or ex-service personnel of Armed Forces, Para Military Forces and Railway Protection Force (RPF).
  • Scholarships under the scheme are available for education at technical institutions such as MBA, MCA, engineering, medical, dental, veterinary, or any other equivalent technical professions (with suitable AICTE/UGC approval).
  • Under PMSS new scholarships are given every year for about 5500 wards of armed forces (which is controlled by Ministry of Defence), 2000 wards of paramilitary forces (by Ministry of Home Affairs) and for 150 wards of forces (by Ministry of Railways).

Rail Sahyog web portal launched for corporates to fund creation of amenities at Railway stations

Union Ministry of Railways has launched Rail Sahyog web portal (www.railsahyog.in). It will provide platform for Corporates and PSUs to fund creation of amenities at railway stations through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds.

Rail Sahyog portal

This portal will allow companies to register their requests for contributing to create amenities at railway stations through their CSR funds. These requests will be processed by Railway officials and based on tprinciple of first come first serve, requests will be shortlisted. Selected applicants will be intimated to deposit the funds with Railways or its nominated agencies like RITES or RAILTEL etc. The nominated agency will get the work executed thereafter.

The portal with provide simplicity and transparency for companies to fund creation of amenities at Railway stations through CSR funds. It will provide opportunity for industry, companies, associations to collaborate with Indian Railways. Fund utilized for creation of amenities will be beneficial for passengers and for neighbourhood of railway vicinity.