One Nation One Ration Card Scheme
Why in News
• Recently the Department of Food and Public Distribution had reviewed the progress of States/UTs towards implementation of “One Nation One Ration Card” (ONORC) scheme.
• The department has approved the inclusion of Chhattisgarh in the existing group of portability states/UTs under ONORC after successful testing of portability transactions.
• Accordingly, ONORC scheme for nationwide portability of National Food Security Act (NFSA) ration cards has been implemented in Chhattisgarh with effect from February 2, 2022.
• After the inclusion of Chhattisgarh, the ONORC scheme is being implemented in 35 states/UTs and is covering about 96.8 per cent of the NFSA population of the country (about 77 crore NFSA beneficiaries).
• Overseas NFSA beneficiaries of Chhattisgarh will also now be able to purchase subsidized food grains at any Fair Price Shop (FPS) across the country.
“One Nation One Ration Card”
• ONORC is a technology driven distribution system, which makes food security affordable across the country. This is of great benefit to migrant NFSA beneficiaries, who generally frequently change their place of residence in search of temporary employment etc.
• It provides an option to the beneficiaries to purchase their fixed quantity of food grains from any FPS of their choice anywhere in the country using their same/existing ration card.
• It is also to be mentioned that the migrant beneficiary family members, who have returned home, can purchase the remaining ration without any difficulty.
• Since the launch of the ONORC scheme in August, 2019, more than 56 crore portability transactions have been registered in the States/UTs so far.
• At the same time, 100 lakh metric tonnes of food grains worth Rs 31,000 crore have been distributed as food subsidy through inter-state and intra-state portability transactions.
• As a key indicator, at present around 2.5 crore portability transactions (including intra-state, intra-state and PM-GKAY food grains transactions) are being registered in the States/UTs on an average per month under ONORC.
• It is evident from the large number of portability transactions of around 49 crores done by the beneficiaries during the period of COVID-19 (April 2020 till date) that the flexibility to choose any FPS (Ration Shop) under ONORC is available to many migrant beneficiaries. / Has proved to be a very good source of food security for families.
• Through this, they can now procure the quantity of foodgrains fixed for them under NFSA and PMGKAY without any hindrance.
GS PAPER III
Why in News
• The fifth submarine of Project 75, Yard 11879 in the Kalvari class of the Indian Navy, commenced its sea trial voyage on February 1, 2022.
• The submarine was launched from Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in November 2020. After commissioning, this submarine will be named Vagir.
• Despite the COVID pandemic, MDL has ‘delivered’ two submarines of Project-75 in the year 2021 and commencement of sea trials of the fifth submarine is an important milestone.
• The submarine will now undergo intensive tests of all its systems at sea, including propulsion systems, weapons and sensors.
• After the completion of these trials, the submarine is scheduled to be handed over to the Indian Navy in the year 2022.
GS PAPER III
Why in News
• The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget 2022-23 in Parliament today announced the implementation of Digital Rupee, which will be launched by the Reserve Bank of India from 2022-23.
• The Finance Minister said that the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will give a big boost to the digital economy.
• The Finance Minister said that a more efficient and affordable currency management system will be seen with digital currency. Digital currency will use block chain and other technologies.
• Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman said that digital banking, digital payments and fintech innovations have seen rapid growth in the country in recent years.
• The Government is promoting these sectors on a regular basis to ensure that the benefits of digital banking reach each and every region of the country in a consumer friendly manner.
• Moving towards this goal and celebrating 75 years of its independence, it is proposed that 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUS) will be set up by scheduled commercial banks in 75 districts of the country.
Anytime, Anywhere, Post Office Savings:
• In another important announcement, the Finance Minister said that 1.5 lakh post offices will be brought under 100% core banking system in 2022, thereby enabling financial inclusion and access to accounts through net banking, mobile banking, ATMs and postal services. Ghar will also facilitate online transfer between accounts and bank accounts.
• It will be helpful for farmers and senior citizens especially in rural areas and will also enable interoperability and financial inclusion.
• The Finance Minister assured that the financial support for the ‘Digital Payment Ecosystem’ announced in the last budget will continue in 2022-23 as well.
• This will encourage more adoption of digital payments.
• Under this, attention will also be given to promoting the use of payment platform, which is economical and user friendly.
GS PAPER III
Technology in an unhealthy budget
Why in News
• The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2022-23 in Parliament today. The main place of technology in the health sector of the general budget.
• The Finance Minister announced two new digital schemes, which indicate that digital technology will improve health across the country. It is playing an important role in expanding the access and health care facilities of the country.
• The announcements reflect the COVID-19 pandemic. Union Finance Minister Sitharaman expressed sympathy for those who had to face severe health and economic impact due to the pandemic.
• The country stands in a strong position today due to the rapid improvement in the health infrastructure in the last two years.
• The speed and coverage of our immunization campaign has helped in fighting the pandemic. The Finance Minister said, “I am sure that with everyone’s efforts, we will continue this journey of strong growth.”
• Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman underlined that the initiatives taken in the last year’s budget have made very good progress, for which appropriate amount has been allocated in this budget as well.
• He said that the strengthening of health infrastructure, rapid implementation of immunization campaigns, rapid nationwide response to the current wave of pandemic have brought relief to all of us.
Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission
• A newly opened platform for a national digital health ecosystem will be launched.
• This will include comprehensive digital registration of health providers and health facilities, unique health identification, joint framework and will provide universal access to healthcare facilities.
National Tele Mental Health Program
• The Union Finance Minister acknowledged that the pandemic has caused mental health problems among people of all ages.
• The ‘National Tele Mental Health Program’ was announced today to provide better access to quality mental health counseling and care services.
• This will include a network of 23 tele-mental health centers of excellence, with NIMHANS acting as the nodal centre.
• International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIITB) will provide technical support for this.
GS PAPER III
Special economic zone act
Why in New
• Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the budget for 2022-23 in Parliament today said, “Special Economic Zones Act will be replaced by a new law, which will enable states to partner in the development of enterprises and service centres. ”
• It will cover all major existing and new industrial enclaves so that they can make optimum use of the available infrastructure and enhance export competitiveness.
• He also proposed various initiatives to make GIFT City more attractive.
• World class foreign universities and institutes will be allowed to run courses in financial management, fintech, science, technology, engineering, mathematics in GIFT cities and will be exempted from domestic regulations except for courses run by IFSCA.
• Smt. Sitharaman proposed setting up of International Arbitration Center in GIFT cities, so that disputes can be resolved in a timely manner as per international jurisprudence.
• Services required to raise global capital for sustainable and eco-friendly funding in the country will be provided in GFIT cities.