Current Affairs Government Schemes

 The Centre has reconstituted Supreme Court-empowered Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority or the EPCA, which is tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region. Former secretary Bhure Lal continues to be the chairman, while the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) DG Sunita Narain is one of the members.  The other members of the 20-member re-constituted authority include Ajay Mathur, who is the Director General of The Energy Research Institute (TERI), Arunabha Ghosh, the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Energy Environment and Water, Navroz K. Dubash, the Senior Fellow for the Centre for Policy Research. 
Source- NDTV News

 The Karnataka Government has unveiled ‘Unnati Scheme’ to help entrepreneurs from SC/ST Communities. Karnataka Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge announced that the state government, under the Unnati scheme, will invest up to Rs 20 crore to create end-to-end support infrastructure for startups and entrepreneurs from a marginalised background. The government, under the scheme, will identify the problems dogging society and solve them by identifying companies, working on products and solutions for related problems.
Source- DD News

 Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched ‘Nirman Kusuma’ programme for providing financial assistance to the children of the construction workers for their technical education in the state.  The children of construction workers would get financial assistance for their education in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics. While an ITI student will be entitled to get financial assistance of Rs. 23,600, a diploma student to get Rs. 26,300 per annum. A total of 1,878 students will get benefit from the programme. 
Source- NDTV News

 The Government constituted a seven-member ministerial panel headed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi to examine modalities for revenue mobilisation in case of natural calamities and disasters. The panel would look into five issues flagged by the Council, including whether the new tax should be levied only in the state concerned or should it be an all-India levy, and that should it be on specified luxury or sin goods only.
Source- The Times of India

 In pursuance of its objective of ensuring that Legislation is in sync with the needs of strong economic fundamentals, the Government has constituted a Competition Law Review Committee to review the Competition Act. The Committee will be headed by Injeti Srinivas, Secretary of the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The Competition Act was passed in the year 2002 and the Competition Commission of India was set up in pursuance of the same. The Commission started functioning in right earnest from 2009.
Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

 Assam Government has become the first Indian state to offer a Wage Compensation Scheme for pregnant women working in the tea gardens of the state. The scheme will be launched by Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal in Guwahati. The announcement was made by the state’s Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Under the scheme, an amount of Rs 12,000 will be given to the pregnant women so that they can take care of themselves and the unborn baby. The compensation of wages to pregnant women will be given in 4 instalments – Rs 2,000 in the first trimester, Rs 4,000 in the second trimester, Rs 3,000 for institutional delivery and Rs 3,000 for registration of the child’s birth. 
Source- All India Radio

 The government has set up an eight-member Lokpal Search Committee under the Chairmanship of former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai. Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash, former SBI Chief Arundhati Bhattacharya and Justice Sukha Ram Singh Yadav among others will be members of the panel. An official order issued by Ministry of Personnel stated that the panel will recommend the names for the Chairperson and Members of the Lokpal to the Lokpal Selection Committee. According to the Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh the search panel is a major step towards setting up of the Lokpal and the committee will start functioning soon. 
Source- News on AIR

  The Supreme Court constituted a three-member committee headed by its former judge Justice Amitava Roy to look into the aspect of jail reforms across the country and suggest measures to deal with them. A bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said the panel will look into the issues including over-crowding in prisons. The Supreme court on August 27 had reserved its order on the issue of constituting a committee to deal with issues pertaining to jails and suggest reforms for prisons across the country. The committee will also look into the various issues concerning women prisoners.
Source- The Hindu

 The government has raised interest rates on Small Savings Schemes (SSS), including National Savings Certificate (NSC) and Public Provident Fund (PPF) by up to 0.4% for the October-December quarter, in line with rising deposit rates in the banks. Interest rates for small savings schemes are notified on a quarterly basis.
The interest rate for the different deposits and schemes are as follows: 
Sl.No. Instrument Rate of interest(01.07.2018 to 30.09.2018) Rate of interest(01.10.2018 to 31.12.2018) Compounding frequency
1. Savings Deposit 4.0 4.0 Annually
2. 1 Year Time Deposit 6.6 6.9 Quarterly
3. 2 Year Time Deposit 6.7 7.0 Quarterly
4. 3 Year Time Deposit 6.9 7.2 Quarterly
5. 5 Year Time Deposit 7.4 7.8 Quarterly
6. 5 Year Recurring Deposit 6.9 7.3 Quarterly
7. 5 Year Senior Citizen Savings Scheme 8.3 8.7 Quarterly and paid
8. 5 Year Monthly Income Account 7.3 7.7 Monthly and paid
9. 5 Year National Savings Certificate 7.6 8.0 Annually
10. Public Provident Fund Scheme 7.6 8.0 Annually
11. Kisan Vikas Patra 7.3 (will mature in 118 months) 7.7 (will mature in 112 months) Annually
12. Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme 8.1 8.5 Annually
Source- The Hindu Business Lines

 The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has approved a new scheme- Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna for Insured Persons covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act. This scheme is a relief payable in cash directly to their Bank Account in case of unemployment and while they search for new engagement. The decision was taken at the ESIC board meeting chaired by the Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar in New Delhi. The eligibility for availing Super Specialty treatment for dependents of Insured Person has now been relaxed to insurable employment of one year with 156 days of contributions. The ESIC also approved the proposal for increasing the funeral expenses from existing 10 thousand rupees to 15 thousand rupees being paid on the death of Insured Person. 
Source- AIR World Service


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