Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 2 November 2017

Government tweaks RKVY scheme to make farming remunerative

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the continuation of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana- Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied sector Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) for three years i.e. 2017-18 to 2019-20.  The financial allocation of the scheme will be Rs. 15,722 crore with the objective of making farming as a remunerative economic activity through strengthening the farmer’s effort, risk mitigation and promoting agri­business entrepreneurship.

RKVY-RAFTAAR funds would be provided to the States as 60:40 grants between Centre and States (90:10 for North Eastern States and Himalayan States). The scheme will incentivize States in enhancing more allocation to Agriculture and Allied Sectors.  This will also strengthen farmer’s efforts through creation of agriculture infrastructure that help in supply of quality inputs, market facilities etc.  This will further promote agri-entrepreneurship and support business models that maximize returns to farmers.

 

Odisha govt imposes 7-month ban on sea fishing activity

The Odisha government has imposed a seven-month ban on sea fishing activity as breeding season of Olive Ridley is approaching. The government imposed the ban till May 31st next year in view of the commencement of the mass nesting in winter and to protect the endangered marine animals sea turtles.

The ban activity was clamped within 20 km off the coastline of Dhamra-Devi-Rushikulya river mouth. Nearly 26,000 marine fishermen in coastal districts of Puri, Kendrapara, Ganjam and Jagatsinghpur are likely to be affected due to the ban.

 

Draft Regulation of CAR on Civil Use of Drones Announced

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced  draft regulations on civil use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, commonly known as Drones. The Union Minister of Civil Aviation Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju and the Minister for State for Civil Aviation Shri Jayant Sinha presented and briefed the media about the draft regulation.

As per the draft Civil Aviation Requirements for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS),
the drones have been classified as follows on the basis of their maximum take-off weight:

1)         Nano         :     Less than or equal to 250 gm
2)         Micro        :     Greater than 250 gm and less than or equal to 2 kg.
3)         Mini          :     Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.
4)         Small        :     Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.
5)         Large        :     Greater than 150 kg

As per the draft regulation all drones are proposed to be operated in visual line of sight, during day time only and below 200 feet. Dropping of any substance, carriage of hazardous material or animal or human payload is not permitted.

All commercial categories of drones  except those in the Nano category and those operated by government security agencies,  will have to be registered by DGCA as per ICAO proposed policy, in the form of Unique Identification Number (UIN). The Mini and above categories will require Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP), but the model aircraft up to maximum take-off weight of 2 Kgs flown below 200 feet inside educational institution premises will not require UIN/UAOP. The draft regulation also mandates tremote pilots to undergo requisite training, except for Nano and micro categories. As per the draft regulation, the Micro and above category drones will have to be equipped with RFID/SIM, return to home option and anti-collision lights.

The draft regulation also specifies certain restricted areas for operations of drones. Drones cannot be operated within an area of 5km from airport, within permanent or temporary Prohibited, Restricted and Danger Areas as notified by AAI in AIP and without prior approval over densely populated areas or over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway and within 50 km from international border and beyond 500 m (horizontal) into sea along the coastline. Drones cannot be operated within 5 km radius from Vijay Chowk in Delhi and from a mobile platform such as a moving vehicle, ship or aircraft.

 

Maximum age of joining National Pension System (NPS) increased from the existing 60 years to 65 years under NPS- Private Sector

In continuance of the several initiatives under taken by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) during the last few years to increase the pension coverage in the country, PFRDA has now increased the maximum age of joining under NPS-Private Sector (i.e. All Citizen and Corporate Model) from the existing 60 years to 65 years of age.

Now, any Indian Citizen, resident or non-resident, between the age of 60- 65 years, can also join NPS and continue up to the age of 70 years in NPS. With this increase of joining age, the subscribers who are willing to join NPS at the later stage of life will be able to avail the benefits of NPS.

NPS provides a very robust platform to the subscriber to save for his/her old age income security. Due to the better healthcare facilities and increased fitness, along with the opportunities and avenues available in the private sector as well as in the capacity of self-employment, more and more people in their late 50s or 60s are now living an active life allowing them to be employed productively.

The increase in joining age will provide the options to the subscribers who are at the fag-end of the employment and expecting lump-sum amount at the time of retirement, but willing to defer their retirement planning for future, to open the NPS account and contribute the lump-sum corpus to NPS for better fund management by Professional Fund Manager to fetch better returns and plan for the regular income after some time.

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