1.Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
Context: The Ministry of Women and Child Development has made total payment of Rs. 271.66 crores to beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY). The payment has been made to 11,47,386 beneficiaries across the country.
Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is a maternity benefit rechristened from erstwhile Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY). The IGMSY was launched in 2010.
The scheme is a conditional cash transfer schemefor pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for first two live births.
Exceptions: The maternity benefits under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) are available to all Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) except those in regular employment with the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force.
Funding: The scheme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under which cost sharing ratio between the Centre and the States & UTs with Legislature is 60:40 while for North-Eastern States & three Himalayan States; it is 90:10. It is 100% Central assistance for Union Territories without Legislature.
Need for special attention:
Under-nutrition continues to adversely affect majority of women in India. In India, every third woman is undernourished and every second woman is anaemic. An undernourished mother almost inevitably gives birth to a low birth weight baby. When poor nutrition starts in-utero, it extends throughout the life cycle since the changes are largely irreversible. Owing to economic and social distress many women continue to work to earn a living for their family right up to the last days of their pregnancy. Furthermore, they resume working soon after childbirth, even though their bodies might not permit it, thus preventing their bodies from fully recovering on one hand, and also impeding their ability to exclusively breastfeed their young infant in the first six months.
2.Swadhar Greh Scheme
Context: Recently released government data shows that there are 559 Swadhar Greh presently functional in the country with 17231 beneficiaries. Swadhar Greh is a DBT compliant scheme.
About Swadhar Greh Scheme:
The Swadhar scheme was launched by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2002 for rehabilitation of women in difficult circumstances.
- The scheme provides shelter, food, clothing and care to the marginalized women/girls who are in need.
- The beneficiaries include widows deserted by their families and relatives, women prisoners released from jail and without family support, women survivors of natural disasters, women victims of terrorist/extremist violence etc.
Implementation of the scheme:
The State Governments/UT Administration invite applications from eligible organizations and the proposals which fulfil the norms are placed before a Project Sanctioning Committee (PSC) chaired by Secretary(WCD) of the State/UT concerned.
As per guidelines of the Swadhar Greh Scheme, to seek financial assistance the agency should meet following requirements:
- The agency should be either recognized by State/UT under existing law or should be well known with the experience or working in the field for at least 3 years and its work should be reported satisfactory by the State Govt./UT Administration concerned.
- It should ordinarily have been engaged in the field of women’s welfare/social welfare for a minimum period of two years.
- Its financial position should be sound.
- It should have facilities, resources, experience and personnel to undertake the management of such project.
- It should run Swadhar Greh on a no-profit basis.
- It should have facilities like computers, internet connection etc at Swadhar Greh.
3.Mahila Shakti Kendra Scheme
Context: Government of India is implementing Mahila Shakti Kendra scheme to empower rural women through community participation. The scheme is envisaged to work at various levels, and at the National level (domain based knowledge support) and State level (State Resource Centre for Women) technical support to the respective governments on issues related to women is provided.
About Mahila Shakti Kendra:
What is it?
It is envisioned as a one-stop convergence support service for empowering rural women with opportunities for skill development, employment, digital literacy, health and nutrition.
What it does?
It will aim to improve declining child sex ratio, ensure survival and protection of the girl child, ensuring her education and empowering her to fulfil her potential. It will provide an interface for rural women to approach the government for getting their entitlements and for empowering them through training and capacity building.
At the national level, the Mahila Shakti Kendra will provide domain-based knowledge support while at the state level, it will cater to the State Resource Centre for Women that will provide technical support to the respective government on issues related to women, the district and block level centres, and will provide support to the PMMSK and also give a foothold to Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in 640 districts.
Context: The Union government has banned imports of the hormone oxytocin to stop its misuse in the livestock industry, where activists say it causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals.
- The government has also asked customs officials to step up vigilance against those likely to try and smuggle oxytocin into India.
- The government has decided to rely on domestic production to satisfy requirements of the hormone.
A panel of top drug experts had recommended an import ban in February. It also recommended that sale be limited to registered government hospitals and clinics, a bar code system used on all forms of the drug to ensure tracking and prevent abuse.
- Oxytocin has also been dubbed the hug hormone, cuddle chemical, moral molecule, and the bliss hormone due to its effects on behavior, including its role in love and in female reproductive biological functions in reproduction.
- Oxytocin is a hormone that is made in the brain, in the hypothalamus. It is transported to, and secreted by, the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain.
- It acts both as a hormone and as a brain neurotransmitter.
- The release of oxytocin by the pituitary gland acts to regulate two female reproductive functions: Childbirth and Breast-feeding.
- The drug is used by diary owners and farmers to boost milk production and make vegetables look bigger and fresher. But, it was found that indiscriminate use of Oxytocin in milch animals and by farmers was causing irreversible hormone damage.
- The drug’s abuse in animals shortens their lives and makes them barren sooner.
- Implications to human health are humongous, from reproductive complications to hormonal imbalances.
5.Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS)
Context: The Reserve Bank has deferred the implementation of the Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) by one year as many banks are not prepared to migrate to the new accounting system. The earlier deadline for banks to switch to the Ind AS was from April 1 2018.
What is it?
Ind AS or Indian Accounting Standards govern the accounting and recording of financial transactions as well as the presentation of statements such as profit and loss account and balance sheet of a company. Ind AS has been evolved as a compromise formula that tries to harmonise Indian accounting rules with the IFRS.
6.Van Dhan Vikas Kendra
Context: Ministry of Tribal Affairs is planning to launch first ever “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” at Bijapur, Chhattisgarh for value addition of Forest Produce. Value addition assumes critical importance in ensuring remunerative prices to the tribals in this approach.
- This first model Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is being implemented for training of 300 beneficiaries with a total outlay of Rs 43.38 lakhs for training, providing equipments & tools for primary level processing and infrastructure & building for housing the Kendra.
- It provides skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility.
- The selection of the tribal beneficiaries and formation of the SHGs under this has been undertaken by TRIFED.
Significance of MFP:
- Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a major source of livelihood for tribals living in forest areas. The importance of MFPs for this section of the society can be gauged from the fact that around 100 million forest dwellers depend on MFPs for food, shelter, medicines and cash income.
- It provides them critical subsistence during the lean seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter gatherers, and the landless. Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend major portion of their time.
- This activity has strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the MFPs are collected and used/sold by women. MFP sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays annually in the country.