UGC Current Affairs - 2019
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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.
- 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).
Tags: AICTE • Armed Forces • Ministry of Defence • Ministry of Home Affairs • Ministry of Railways • National Defence Fund • NDF • Para Military Forces • Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme • Railway Protection Force • Scholarship • State Police Officials • UGC
The University Grants Commission (UGC, the higher education regulator) has directed universities and higher educational institutions (HEIs) in India to observe 21 May as Anti-Terrorism Day so as to wean youth away from terrorism.
- Background: Every year 21 May is observed as Anti-Terrorism Day throughout India. It seeks to spread awareness among people about dangers of violence and terrorism and its effect on people, society and country altogether.
- Reason: ‘21 May’ marks the death anniversary of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who was assassinated in 1991 at an election rally near Chennai by a women suicide bomber from Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, a separatist Sri Lankan Tamil outfit). The year 2019 mark 28th death anniversary of Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
- Objective: to wean youth away from violence and terrorism, and showing them how it is prejudicial to national interest. It also seeks to promote harmony, peace and unity across the nation.
- UGC also suggested varsities to undertake activities for the day which includes discussions, symposium, debates, pledge taking ceremony and films screening as per the recommendations of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India.
Tags: 21 May: Anti-Terrorism Day • Anti-Terrorism Day • Higher Educational Institutions • Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Eelam • LTTE • MHA • Ministry of Home Affairs • Prime Minister of India • Rajiv Gandhi • UGC • University Grants Commission