Why in news?
- The Month-long Rato Machchhindranath Chariot Festival concluded with great fervor and enthusiasm as Bhoto Jatra took place at Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, Nepal.
- Bhoto Jatra, a significant ceremony, marked the end of the Rato Machchhindranath chariot festival, attracting a large gathering of devotees and spectators.
- A Symbolic Conclusion to Rato Machchhindranath Chariot Festival
- Understanding the Tradition: Bhoto Jatra holds immense cultural and
religious significance as it symbolizes the conclusion of the month-long chariot festival dedicated to Rato Machchhindranath, the deity associated with rain and agricultural prosperity.
- The festival honors Rato Machchhindranath as the god of rain and good harvest, reflecting the Nepalese belief in his divine powers and the reliance on a bountiful harvest for sustenance and prosperity.
- The Display of the Jewel-Studded Bhoto.
- A special ceremony at Jawalakhel showcased a jewel-studded bhoto (vest) to the public, adding grandeur to the Bhoto Jatra event.
- The meticulously adorned bhoto, displaying intricate designs and studded with precious jewels, captivated the attention of onlookers, highlighting the artistic and cultural richness of Nepal.
Presidential Participation and Blessings from the Kumari of Lalitpur
- President Ram Chandra Paudel and other dignitaries actively participated in the ceremony, demonstrating their commitment to preserving and promoting Nepal’s rich cultural traditions.
- On this auspicious occasion, the
esteemed Kumari of Lalitpur, considered a living goddess, bestowed tika (vermilion mark) and prasad (blessed food) upon President Paudel and other attendees, symbolizing divine blessings and protection.
- Masses Flock to Witness: People from all walks of life congregated in large numbers to witness the grand spectacle of Bhoto Jatra, reflecting the deep-rooted cultural and religious devotion of the Nepalese population.
- Celebratory Atmosphere: The air was filled with enthusiasm and excitement as devotees and spectators immersed themselves in the vibrant festivities, creating a sense of unity and celebration among the community.
The Significance of Rato Machchhindranath Chariot Festival
- A Time-Honored Tradition: The Rato Machchhindranath chariot festival, dating back to the reign of Lichchhavi king Narendra Dev, holds historical importance and is considered the longest-running chariot festival in the Kathmandu Valley.
- Easing Drought and Invoking Prosperity: The festival celebrates the arrival of Rato Machchhindranath in Nepal and is believed to bring an end to drought, symbolizing the onset of rain and ensuring a successful harvest, essential for the well-being and sustenance of the community.
Rato Machchhindranath: The God of Rain and Good Harvest
- Divine Patronage: Rato Machchhindranath is venerated as the deity responsible for rainfall, fertility, and agricultural abundance, embodying the hopes and aspirations of the Nepalese people for a prosperous and fruitful harvest.
- Cultural Beliefs and Practices: The deep-rooted faith in Rato Machchhindranath’s divine powers manifests in the elaborate rituals, processions, and ceremonies carried out during the chariot festival, symbolizing the symbiotic relationship between nature, agriculture, and spirituality.
GS II &GS III
Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana
WHY IN NEWS?
- Telangana State Achieves 100% Household Coverage of Banking Services through Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana.
- Telangana State Achieves 100% Household Coverage of Banking Services: Since the implementation of Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana, Telangana State has achieved 100% household coverage of banking services, ensuring access to banking facilities for all sections of the population.
- Zero-Balance Bank Accounts Benefit the Masses: According to the Social Security Administration survey, the state has successfully extended the benefits of 135 welfare schemes and programs, spanning 20 departments, to beneficiaries through their zero-balance Jan Dhan bank accounts.
- Testimonials Highlight the Benefits: Asha Jyothi from Warangal district and Mohammad Khalem near Hyderabad’s Charminar share their positive experiences with Jan Dhan bank accounts, emphasizing the significant help and advantages they provide.
- Over 1.11 Crore Jan Dhan Bank Account Holders in Telangana: Telangana state currently boasts more than 1.11 crore Jan Dhan bank account holders, with a cumulative balance exceeding 3,000 crore rupees.
- Disparity in Zero-Balance Accounts: While banking services have reached every corner of the state, approximately 61 lakh people in rural areas and nearly 50 lakh people in urban areas still possess zero-balance Jan Dhan accounts.
- Utilizing RuPay Cards for Credit Facilities: Out of the Jan Dhan account holders, more than 84 lakh individuals are utilizing RuPay cards to access various benefits, including credit facilities.
What is PMJAY?
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is a nationwide initiative aimed at ensuring financial inclusion for all citizens.
- It provides affordable access to a range of financial services, including banking and savings accounts, remittance services, credit facilities, insurance coverage, and pensions. PMJDY serves as the cornerstone for various people-centric economic programs, such as Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), Covid-19 financial assistance, PM-KISAN, increased wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA), and life and health insurance schemes.
- The primary objective of PMJDY is to offer convenient and cost-effective access to financial products and services, leveraging technology to expand their reach.
- The key principles of the scheme include bringing the unbanked population into the formal banking system through simplified documentation, relaxed Know Your Customer (KYC) norms, e-KYC, camp-based account opening, zero balance requirements, and zero charges.
- Additionally, PMJDY aims to provide security to the previously underserved by issuing indigenous debit cards for cash withdrawals and merchant payments, accompanied by free accident insurance coverage of Rs. 2 lakhs.
- The initiative also focuses on catering to the financial needs of marginalized individuals and communities by offering micro-insurance, overdraft facilities for consumption, micro-pension options, and micro-credit.
- The achievement of 100% household coverage of banking services in Telangana State through the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana stands out as a noteworthy accomplishment. The provision of zero-balance Jan Dhan bank accounts has enabled the seamless delivery of welfare benefits to beneficiaries, improving their financial well-being and contributing to the state’s overall development. While there is still room for progress in ensuring balanced account usage across all areas, the utilization of RuPay cards and other credit facilities by a significant number of account holders highlights the positive impact of this initiative.
GS II & GS III
Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana
WHY IN NEWS?
- The MUDRA Yojana has emerged as a significant initiative, empowering individuals to start their own businesses and promoting financial inclusion.
- MUDRA Yojana: Empowering Entrepreneurs: The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, a flagship scheme of the government, has played a crucial role in empowering individuals to start their own businesses and fulfill their entrepreneurial aspirations.
- Financial Inclusion and Job Creation: The MUDRA Yojana has not only provided credit to micro-businesses, especially in underserved areas, but has also significantly contributed to financial inclusion and job creation by making entrepreneurship accessible to all.
- Success Stories: Sheetal from Nabrangpur district and Jitendra Singh from Puri are among the beneficiaries of MUDRA loans who have established their own successful businesses, employing others and contributing to the personal sector as a viable livelihood and self-employment option.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) Overview
- The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) was introduced by the government in 2015 to provide loans up to Rs. 10 lakh to small and micro enterprises outside the corporate and farming sectors.
- MUDRA, an acronym for Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd., is a government-established financial institution.
- It facilitates funding to the non-corporate small business sector through various last-mile financial institutions such as Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs).
- MUDRA does not directly lend to individual micro-entrepreneurs.
- PMMY offers three loan categories tailored to the growth stage and funding requirements of the beneficiary micro units:
- Shishu: Covers loans up to Rs. 50,000.
- Kishore: Covers loans above Rs. 50,000 and up to Rs. 5 lakh.
- Tarun: Covers loans above Rs. 5 lakh and up to Rs. 10 lakh.
- Loans provided under the PMMY scheme are collateral-free, relieving micro-entrepreneurs of the need for extensive collateral to secure funding.
- PMMY has made significant strides in providing loans to underprivileged sections of society, including women entrepreneurs, SC/ST/OBC borrowers, and individuals from minority communities. The scheme has also prioritized support for new entrepreneurs.
- According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, PMMY has contributed to the generation of 1.12 crore net additional employment opportunities from 2015 to 2018.
- Notably, women accounted for 69 lakh (62%) of this estimated increase in employment.
- As the Narendra Modi Government marks its nine-year milestone , its commitment to promoting self-reliance and entrepreneurship in Bharat (India) is evident. The MUDRA Yojana has emerged as a significant initiative, empowering individuals to start their own businesses and promoting financial inclusion.
India’s First Mining Start-up Summit
Why in News?
- Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, is set to host the country’s first-ever Mining Start-up Summit on May 29.
- Union Minister Pralhad Joshi will inaugurate the summit, while Union Minister Raosaheb Patil Danve will chair the concluding session.
- The summit is organized in collaboration with IIT Bombay and aims to promote innovation, technique, performance, safety, and autonomy in the field of mining and metallurgy.
- More than 120 start-ups and 20 major industries will participate in the summit.
- The event will be beneficial for students and young professionals working in exploration, virtual reality, automation, drone technology, consultancy, and other relevant fields.
- Start-ups are expected to address technological challenges in the mining sector and bring fresh ideas and innovative technologies to improve efficiency and production.
- The summit facilitates interaction between the government and mining start-ups to explore collaborative opportunities.
India’s Mining Sector
- India’s mining sector has played a vital role in the country’s economic growth, employment generation, energy security, and industrial development.
- The sector supports a significant workforce engaged in mining operations, exploration, processing, transportation, and related industries.
- The summit aims to leverage the massive mineral resources of the country and harness their full potential.
- The Mining Start-up Summit provides a platform for government officials, industry experts, and start-ups to exchange ideas, showcase technological advancements, and explore collaborations.
- An exhibition showcasing technological advancements in the mining sector will be a part of the summit.
- The event will also include technical sessions, panel discussions, start-up presentations, and brainstorming sessions.
- By encouraging start-ups and embracing innovative solutions, the mining sector can simplify processes, enhance exploration and mining techniques, and boost mineral production in India.