Daily GK Potion – 11th to 14th January 2016

  1. Cabinet approves New Crop Insurance Scheme – Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
    • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has approved the ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ – a path breaking scheme for farmers’ welfare.
    • There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
    • In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
    • The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low and balance premium will be paid by the Government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
    • There is no upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government.
    • Earlier, there was a provision of capping the premium rate which resulted in low claims being paid to farmers. This capping was done to limit Government outgo on the premium subsidy. This capping has now been removed and farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.
  2. India to join International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems
    • The Union Cabinet today gave the go ahead for India to become a member-country of the International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES) by signing the Implementing Agreement (IA).
    • By becoming a member of the IEA-OES, India will have access to advanced R&D teams and technologies across the world
    • This will help in testing Indian prototypes as per international requirements and norms.
  3. Kerala becomes 1st state in country to achieve 100% primary education
    • Kerala has become the first state in the country to achieve total primary education
    • This has been achieved through the primary education equivalency drive of the state literacy mission — Athulyam.
    • The equivalency programmes have proved a huge success and the ultimate objective is to achieve total Plus-Two education in the state
  4. BSNL starts 4G service with soft launch in Chandigarh
    • State-owned BSNL on Wednesday started 4G services on non-commercial basis in Chandigarh promising broadband speed of up to 100 megabit per second (Mbps).
    • It is non-commercial service as of now. It will be open for limited number of BSNL employees, while customers can visit the 4G centre to experience it
    • BSNL has 4G spectrum across India except in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kolkata.
  5. EPFO bags National Award on e-Governance
    • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has won the National Award on e-Governance 2015-16 for launching the Universal Account Number (UAN).
    • The UAN facility enables workers to transfer their provident fund deposits while switching jobs anywhere in India easily.
    • The EPFO won the gold award in the ‘innovative use of technology in e-governance’ category and the retirement body will get a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.
    • The EPFO had launched UAN in July 2014 and 5.65 crore workers in 4.57 lakh organisations had been allocated UAN till November last year.
  6. Supreme Court stays Centre’s notification allowing Jallikattu
    • The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Centre’s decision permitting bull-fighting, or Jallikattu, a traditional sport in Tamil Nadu that animal rights activists term as inhuman and cruel.
    • Justices Dipak Misra and NV Ramana asked why the ban on Jallikattu had been relaxed four years after the court imposed it and stayed a Ministry of Environment and Forests notification allowing the sport during festivals such as Pongal.

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