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Girls Can Now Get Admission In Sainik Schools

The decision has grown out of a successful pilot project in Sainik School Chhingchhip in Mizoram two years ago.



NEW DELHI: Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal for admission of girl children in Sainik schools w.e.f. academic session 2021-22 in a phased manner.

The decision has been taken following the success of the pilot project started by the Ministry of Defence for admission of girl children in Sainik School Chhingchhip in Mizoram two years ago.

Raksha Mantri has directed concerned authorities to ensure availability of necessary infrastructure and sufficient female staff in Sainik schools for smooth implementation of the directive.

The decision is in line with the objective of the Government towards greater inclusiveness, gender equality, enabling greater participation of women in Armed Forces and strengthening the motto of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, propagated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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AAI Starts Taking Bids Under UDAN 4.0; Focus On Northeast India, J-K

To create an enabling ecosystem to enhance connectivity to remote regions via optimum incentives, operational flexibility.



NEW DELHI: The Union Government has launched the fourth round of the regional connectivity scheme, UDAN 4.0 to boost connectivity to more remote and regional areas of the country.

Interested bidders and airline operators can view the bidding details of UDAN 4 on the Airports Authority of India (AAI) site or on the e-commerce company, MSTC’s portal.

UDAN, which stands for ‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik’, aims to make air travel affordable and widespread. The UDAN 4.0 will focus on the priority regions including the northeast, hilly states, Jammu and Kashmir UT, Ladakh and islands.

The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation launched the 4th round of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) UDAN following three successful rounds of bidding to enhance connectivity in the remote and regional areas of the country.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Tuesday initiated the process of taking bids from airlines for various routes under the fourth round of bidding of its regional connectivity scheme UDAN.

Airports that have already been developed by AAI would be given higher priority for the award of VGF (viability gap funding) under the scheme, followed by airports…located in priority areas…followed by airports located in areas other than priority area(s),” it said.

UDAN 4.0: 

Revision of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) – The VGF provision for Category 2 / 3 aircraft (with more than 20 seats) has been enhanced for the operation of flights under RCS to priority areas.

The VGF cap applicable for operation of category 1 / 1 A aircraft (below 20 seaters) has also been revised to incentivize the operation of smaller aircraft under the scheme.

Priority Areas:

The priority areas include the two new union territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir, hilly states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, north-eastern states and island regions of Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Short-haul routes:

The VGF provision would be restricted to routes with stage length of up to 600 km for the operation of category 2 / 3 aircraft. Beyond this, no monetary support would be provided. The table for the provision of VGF for various stage lengths would be available for stage length up to 500 km.

Prioritization framework:

Under the scheme, airports already developed by the Airport Authority of India will be given higher priority for the Viability Gap Funding. The airports not part of the list but are located in the priority areas will be given priority next, followed by airports located in other areas.

Flexibility to change the flight operation frequency:

The Selected Airline Operator (SAO) will be allowed to change the flight operation frequency during the tenure of flight operation of the given route. However, this will only be allowed when the total scheduled flight operation, which was submitted as a part of the Technical Proposal, was conformed and adhered to within a year.

Inclusion of helicopter and seaplane operation:

The operation of helicopter and seaplane would be allowed under round four of the UDAN scheme under the NSOP license.


The UDAN scheme was launched in October 2016 to make air travel affordable by providing connectivity to the under-served areas in the country by the revival of existing airports and airstrips.

Till date, under the scheme, a total of 688 routes connecting 137 cities have been awarded to airlines.

MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation) aims to operationalise 1,000 routes and more than 100 airports in the next five years. This would be achieved by focusing on operationalising routes in priority areas,” it said.

On November 28, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the Lok Sabha that flight operations have begun on 232 routes — connecting 43 small cities — out of total 688 routes awarded under UDAN scheme.

Besides making travel affordable and accessible to all, the UDAN scheme aims to boost inclusive national economic development, development of air transport infrastructure in all regions and job growth.

In the last three years, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation completed three rounds of bidding under the scheme in the last three years and awarded around 700 routes, many of which will be operationalized during the winter schedule 2019. The Ministry is working to develop more airports and operationalize the pending routes.

Overall, the Civil Aviation Ministry aims to operationalize around 1000 routes and develop more than 100 airports in the next five years. The Ministry aims to achieve this by focusing on operationalizing routes in the priority areas.

The Aviation Ministry aims to develop short-haul routes. The Airport Authority of India also aims to develop no-frills airports in the future and the routes connecting such airports will be prioritized for awarding the Viability Gap Funding.

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Over 18 Lakh Farmers Registered Under PM KISAN MAAN DHAN YOJANA

PM-KMY Scheme aims to cover around three crore small and marginal farmers.



NEW DELHI: The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar informed the Lok Sabha that 18,29,469 farmers in the country have been registered under the PM KISAN MAAN DHAN YOJANA, including 61,496 farmers of Gujarat as on 14 November 2019.

The Scheme aims to cover around 3 crore beneficiaries. With a view to provide social security net for the Small and Marginal Farmers (SMF) as they have minimal or no savings to provide for old age and to support them in the event of consequent loss of livelihood, the Government has launched a new Central Sector Scheme, namely, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY).

Under this Scheme, a minimum fixed pension of Rs 3000 is provided to the eligible small and marginal farmers, subject to certain exclusion clauses, on attaining the age of 60 years. It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme, with an entry age of 18 to 40 years.

Replying to a query in the Lok Sabha today, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the scheme provides social security to small and marginal farmers in their old age. He said a minimum fixed pension of three thousand rupees is being provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years.

Tomar said on the death of a pensioner, the spouse is entitled to receive fifty per cent of the assured pension as ‘family pension‘. Adding further he said that the pension fund is managed by the Life Insurance Corporation of India.

All Small and Marginal Farmers in the country, who are of the age of 18 years and above and up to the age of 40 years, and who do not fall within the purview of the exclusion criteria, are eligible to avail the benefits of this Scheme.

The ratio of contribution to be made by small and marginal farmers and the Union Government under this Yojana is 1:1. Government contribution under the Scheme is equal to the monthly contribution made by the farmer, which varies from Rs 55 to Rs 200 depending on the age of entry.

The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is the Pension Fund Manager for the Scheme.

PM-KMY Scheme aims to cover around three crore small and marginal farmers.

Earlier, On September 12, 2019:

In another major effort to secure the lives of the farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana at Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand.

The Scheme shall secure the lives of 5 Crore Small and Marginal Farmers by providing a minimum pension of Rs 3000 per month, to those who attain 60 years of age.

PM stated that the electoral promise of a strong government that will fulfil your aspirations is delivered.

I said that every farmer family of the country will get the benefit of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi after the formation of the new government. Today, more than 21 thousand crore rupees have been deposited in the accounts of about six and a half crore farmer families of the country. There are also 8 lakh farmer families of Jharkhand, in whose account about two hundred and fifty crores have been deposited.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated “Development is our priority as well as commitment. Our government is trying to provide a shield of social security to every Indian.”

Government is becoming the companion of those who need it the most. Since March this year, a similar pension scheme is going on for crores of unorganized sector workers of the country.”

Eligibility of PM-Kisan Maandhan Yojana:

  • Small & Marginal Farmer – one who owns cultivable land up to two hectares as per land records of the concerned State or Union Territory.
  • Age of 18 to 40 years

Essential documents for PM-Kisan Maandhan Yojana:

A farmer must have two things i.e. Aadhaar card and Savings Bank Account or PM- KISAN Account.

How to Apply for PM-Kisan Maandhan Yojana:

Farmers can get themselves enrolled in the scheme either through online self-registration or through Common Service Centres (CSC) available in different states. It must be noted that the enrollment is free of cost for them.

For Self-Enrollment Through Online Registration, Click Here

For Enrollment Through CSC:

The Common Service Centres will charge Rs.30 per enrollment that will be borne by the Government.

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Reform: Air India, BPCL Among 33 CPSEs Up For Strategic Disinvestment

The success of disinvestment depends upon factors like the interest of strategic investors and prevailing market conditions.



NEW DELHI: The Union Government has given ‘in-principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of 33 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) including subsidiaries, Units and Joint Ventures with the sale of a majority stake of Government of India and transfer of management control. This was stated by Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

These include profit-making as well as loss-making CPSEs. Government follows a policy of strategic disinvestment of CPSEs, which are not in ‘priority sectors’ For this purpose, NITI Aayog has been mandated to identify such CPSEs based on the criteria of (i) National Security; (ii) Sovereign function at arm’s length, and (iii) Market Imperfections and Public Purpose. However, profitability/loss of the CPSEs is not among the relevant criteria.

The Central Government has mandated the NITI Aayog to identify the CPSEs that require disinvestment. The NITI Aayog identifies such CPSEs based on the certain criteria laid down by the Central Government itself.

Criteria followed by NITI Aayog to identify the CPSEs that require disinvestment:

  • National Security
  • Sovereign function at arm’s length
  • Market Imperfections and Public Purpose
    (Note: Profitability or loss of the CPSEs is not considered as a relevant criterion.)

Disinvestment targets set by the Finance Ministry over the last five years

Year Budget Estimate Revised Estimate Actual Realisation
2018-19 80,000 80,000 84,972
2017-18 72,500 1,00,000 1,00,057
2016-17 56,500 40,500 46,247
2015-16 69,500 25,313 23,997
2014-15 43,425 26,353 24,349

Complete list of 33 CPSEs: Disinvestment Completed; Disinvestment in process & Recent Approvals

S.No. CPSE Administrative Ministry/Department
Disinvestment Completed
 1 Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
 2 Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd. Ministry of Power
 3 Hospital Services Consultancy Ltd. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
 4 National Projects Construction Corporation Ministry of Water Resources
 5 Dredging Corporation of India Ministry of Shipping
Disinvestment in process
Project & Development India Ltd. Department of Fertilizers
7 Hindustan Prefab Ltd. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
8 Engineering Projects (India) Ltd. Department of Heavy Industry
Bridge & Roof Co. India Ltd. Department of Heavy Industry
10 Hindustan Newsprint Ltd. Department of Heavy Industry
11  Scooters India Ltd. Department of Heavy Industry
 12 Bharat Pumps and Compressors Ltd. Department of Heavy Industry
 13 Cement Corporation of India Ltd. Department of Heavy Industry
 14 Hindustan Fluorocarbon Ltd. Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals
 15 Central Electronics Ltd. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research
 16 Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. Department of Defence Production
 17 Ferro Scrap Nigam Ltd. (Subsidiary) Ministry of Steel
 18 Nagarnar Steel Plant of NMDC Ministry of Steel
 19 Alloy Steel Plant; Salem Steel Plant Ministry of Steel
 20 Pawan Hans Ltd. Ministry of Civil Aviation
 21 Air India and its five subsidiaries and one JV Ministry of Civil Aviation
 22 HLL Lifecare Ministry of Health
 23 Indian Medicines & Pharmaceutical Corporation Ltd. Ministry of Ayush
 24 Kamarajar Port Limited Ministry of Shipping
 25 Indian Tourism Development Corporation Ministry of Tourism
 26 Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Department of Pharmaceuticals
 27 Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd. Department of Pharmaceuticals
 28 Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Department of Pharmaceuticals
Recent approval for strategic disinvestment
 29 (a) Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd – BPCL (except Numaligarh Refinery Limited)

(b) BPCL stake in Numaligarh Refinery Limited

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
 30 Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. Ministry of Shipping
 31 Container Corporation of India Ltd. Ministry of Railways
 32 THDC India Limited Ministry of Power
 33 North Eastern Electric Power Corp. Ltd. Ministry of Power

A government generally undertakes the Strategic disinvestment of CPSEs when it considers that the need has arrived when it should discontinue investment in sectors demanding technological advancement, capital infusion and resourceful management practices.

In such a scenario, the management of such entities or organizations should better be left in the hands of strategic investors such as Private Companies and MNCs.

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