PM Narendra Modi announced a new campaign " Start-up India; Stand up India"
i. On the eve of celebration of 69th Independence Day at Red Fort Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new campaign ‘Start-up India; Stand up India’ an initiative to promote bank finance for Start-ups (an entrepreneurial venture).
ii. The campaign was announced with an aim to boost entrepreneurship among the youth and to create employment in India. As per the initiative PM urged 1.25 lakh bank branches to provide finance to at least one Dalit or Adivasi and at least one woman entrepreneur.
iii. The initiative is expected to open a new dimension to entrepreneurship and to set up a network of start-ups in the country. It also aims to make India a number one country in Start-ups.
- Government will rename the present Agriculture Ministry as ‘Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Ministry’.
- He announced to replace the current practice of ‘interview-based’ selections with online merit based recruiting for low-skilled government jobs.
- Under the Skill India and Digital India initiative government to provide package of incentives to manufacturing units.
- To provide houses and access to basic services to all and to make India a developed nation by 2022.
- Set deadline of 1000 days to connect 18,500 villages with electricity.
Union Government unveils Indradhanush Mission for PSBs
i. Union Government has launched a seven pronged plan called Indradhanush Mission to revamp functioning of public sector banks (PSBs). It was launched by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.
Facts about Indradhanush Mission
- The seven shades of Indradhanush mission include appointments, de-stressing PSBs, capitalisation, empowerment, framework of accountability and governance reforms.
- It seeks to achieve the objective of economic growth revival through improving credit and minimising the political interference in the functioning of PSBs.
- Appointments: Selection of non-executive chairman in remaining 6 state owned PSBs till November 2015. Appointing MD & CEO of two PSBs as early as possible.
- Bank Board Bureau (BBB): It will be a body of ’eminent’ professionals to be selected within 6 months i.e. February 2015. It will become functional from Financial year 2016-17 i.e. form 1st April 2016.
- Capitalisation: Infuse 25,000 crore rupees of capital into debt-laden banks in this fiscal in phased manner. Out of this 20,000 crore rupees would be injected in August 2015. Rest 5,000 crore rupees will be performance based allocation to be allocated in the last quarter of 2016.
- De-stressing PSBs: To develop vibrant debt market for PSBs in order to reduce lending pressure on banks. Strengthen asset reconstruction of companies.
- Empowerment: Provide greater flexibility in hiring of manpower in PSBs.
- Framework of accountability: It will seek to streamline vigilance process for quick action in case major frauds and also include connivance of staff.
- Governance reforms in PSBs: Next Gyan Sangam (also known as the Banker’s Retreat) will be held from 14 to 16 January 2016. Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) will be initiated for top management.
Union Government to form Bank Board Bureau
i. Union Government has decided to set up a Bank Board Bureau (BBB) to monitor key performance indicators of two dozen public sector banks (PSBs). It was announced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jailtley as part of a seven-pronged revamp plan for PSBs dubbed as Indradhanush (rainbow) plan.
Facts about Bank Board Bureau
- Bank Board Bureau (BBB) will start the functioning from next financial year i.e. from 1st April 2015 and the selection of its member will start in the next six months.
- It will replace existing system Appointments Board in which appointments for top level jobs at PSBs are made by an appointments committee led by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor.
- Composition: The BBB will be a body of ’eminent’ professionals and shall consist of only one government official. It will be six members body with at least 3 former bankers, 2 professionals and secretary, department of financial services representing government.
- Functions: Give recommendations for appointment of full-time Directors as well as non-Executive Chairman of PSBs.
- Give advice to PSBs in developing differentiated strategies for raising funds through innovative financial methods and instruments and to deal with issues of stressed assets.
- Guide banks on mergers and consolidations.
Gujarat Govt declares ban on use of Plastic
i. Gujarat Government has declared ban on the use of plastic in the State for the first time. It was announced by Gujarat’s first women Chief Minister Anandiben Patel after unfurling the National Flag at the Independence Day ceremony in Mahisagar district of Gujarat.
ii. This decision was taken keeping in view protection of environment, cleanliness and cattle health. It should be several municipal bodies in the state already have banned use of plastic bags thinner than 40 microns.
iii. Apart from plastic ban decision, she also announced that 159 towns and 8 cities in the state now have 100 per cent in-house toilets and nearly 8 lakh toilets have been built in rural areas.
Kerala Govt declares state as "Digital State"
i. Kerala Government has declared state totally digital, thus becoming first state in the country to achieve it. It was announced by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy during his Independence Day speech held in the capital Thiruvananthapuram.
ii. This declaration was made considering the rapid digital strides of the state which has achieved 100 percent mobile connectivity, maximum digital banking, 75 percent e-literacy, broadband connectivity upto the Panchayat level, linking bank accounts with Aadhar cards and e-district plan in all districts.
Abhishek Verma wins gold medal in Archery World Cup
i. Ace Indian Archer Abhishek Verma has won gold medal in Archery World Cup in the stage 3 in the compound men’s individual section.
ii. In the individual final held in Wroclaw in Poland he defeated Esmaeil Ebadi of Iran by 148-145 score in the five round match. In the summit clash, Verma had shot 13 perfect 10s pointers, including five arrows closest to the centre from the total 15 arrows.
iii. It should be noted that Verma is currently ranked 18 in the world in the men’s individual Archery. He hails from Delhi and earlier had won silver medal in the Asian Games.