- Centre gives Jharkhand 17% of its drought bill
- The Centre has approved ?272.42 crore as drought relief to Jharkhand against the state’s demand of ?1,535 crore.
- The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) approved ?1,600 crore in assistance to four states — Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Manipur — as compensation for the natural calamities they faced last year.
- The state government declared 129 blocks out of 264 blocks in Jharkhand as drought-hit. As many as 93 blocks were severely affected by drought last year.
- Around 36% of the arable land, meant for rabi crops, are lying fallow. Against the target of 11.69 lakh hectares, sowing coverage of rabi crops was recorded in only 7.58 hectares of land, meaning 64.84% coverage this year. Sowing coverage for the same season in 2017-18 was about 79%.
- India and Brunei signed TIEA agreement
- The Government of India and the Government of Brunei Darussalam signed an Agreement for the Exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection with respect to Taxes (TIEA) in New Delhi.
- The Agreement enables the exchange of information, including banking and ownership information between the two countries for tax purposes.
- It is based on international standards of tax transparency and exchange of information and enables sharing of information on request as well as on an automatic basis.
- The Agreement also provides for mutual assistance in collection of tax revenue claims between both countries.
- Government increases MSP for 50 minor forests produces
- Union minister Jual Oram announced that tribal forest produce gatherers will get minimum support price for 50 items under a new scheme.
- Under the “Scheme of Minimum Support Price and Value Addition”, the MSP for 50 items will be hiked by 30 to 40 per cent.
- It will benefit 5.5 crore tribals who depend on forest produce for livelihood.
- Oram also said the government’s flagship Van Dhan scheme for increasing incomes of tribal population is ready to be extended to all tribal districts in phases.
- The ministry will also set up around 6,000 Van Dan Vikas Kendras, each comprising 300 tribal gatherers, in the country.
· NITI Aayogpartnered with Adobe to enhance digital literacy
- NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and software major Adobehave signed a Statement of Intent to collaborateon enhancing digital literacy and creativity skills.
- Under the agreement, Adobe would implement the Adobe Digital Disha Programmeacross 100 schools under Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) Teachers and Children across these 100 schools would benefit from the creative learning resources via free access to Adobe Spark premium.
· Union Cabinet approved the National Policy on Software Products
- The Union Cabinet approved the National Policy on Software Products 2019that aims to help the industry grow at CAGR of 40% to reach $70-80 billion by 2025 while creating employment opportunities for 3.5 million people.
- The policy aims to adopt a shift in strategy so that IT products also contribute equitably and significantly to the industry along with IT services. The government’s initial outlay of 1,500 croreis being planned for various schemes under in policy in the next seven years.
- Further, the policy proposes to create a Rs.5,000 crore fund with industry participation to promote emerging technology such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big Data, and robotics.Of this, government contribution will be 1,000 crore.
- Cabinet approved the National Mineral Policy 2019 on 28th February
- The Union Cabinet approvedthe National Mineral Policy 2019 on 28th February 2019. The policy is aimed at bringing about more effective regulation to the sector as well as a more sustainable approach while addressing the issues of those affected by mining.
- The policy will also provide a moreeffective, meaningful and implementable policy that brings in further transparency, better regulation, and enforcement, balanced social and economic growth as well as sustainable mining practices.
- It also aims to increase the share of Indian software products in global market by tenfold, pitches for nurturing of 10,000 technology start-ups in software product industry, including 1,000 such startups in tier-II and tier-III towns.
· MHRD launched STARS scheme on 28th February
- The Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar launched theSTARS scheme on National Science Day that is 28th February. STARS is abbreviated as Scheme for Translational and Advanced Research in Science.
- The Ministry has allocated250 croresfor the implementation of the scheme. Under the scheme 500 science projects will be funded whose selection will be made based on competition. Indian Institute of Science (IISC) will be the coordinator of the scheme.
- The National Science Day is celebrated on 28th February every year in the memory of Indian physicist and a Nobel laureate Sir CV. Raman
- The theme of the 2019 National Science Day is Science for people and people for science
· Tamil Nadu is the first State in the country to introduce TAVI
- Tamil Naduis the first State in the country to introduce Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) in the government sector. The TAVI was launched at the Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital (TNGMSSH), Omandurar Estate, in November 2018.
- Tamil Nadu State government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with HeartTeam India to perform the procedure for patients at the TNGMSSH. The procedure costs 20 lakh to Rs.25 lakh in the private sector, while it is done free in the government sector.
- Conventionally, open heart surgery is performed for replacing the aortic valve for treating aortic stenosis. But not all patients such as the elderly are fit to undergo open heart surgery. This is where TAVI helps as in this procedure the valve is replacedthrough a keyhole procedure from the groin.
· HRD Ministry Launches SHREYAS Scheme
- Union Human Resources Development Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar, launched the “Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS)”.
- Main aim to provide industry apprenticeship opportunities to the general graduates exiting in April 2019 through the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) in New Delhi.
- The program will enhance the employability of Indian youth by providing ‘on the job work exposure’ and earning of stipend.
- SHREYAS is a programme basket comprising the initiatives of 3 Central Ministries, which are:
- Ministry of Human Resource Development
- Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
- Ministry of Labour & Employment