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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES - February 2020

Feb 2020

Feb 29, 2020

Government Approves Rs. 162 crore under Operation Green Scheme

  • The government has approved Rs. 162 crore under Operation Green scheme which has an outlay of Rs 500 crore to stabilize the supply of tomato, onion and potato (TOP) crops and to ensure their availability round the year without price volatility.
  • The scheme announced in 2018-19 budget aims to enhance value realisation for farmers by targeted interventions to strengthen production clusters and the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) and linking them with the market.
  • Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said five projects have been sanctioned in the country and more were in line for approvals. "The total cost of the projects is Rs 426 crore and the grant we will give is Rs 162 crore," she said.

Feb 27, 2020

Surrogacy Bill Gets Cabinet Approval

  • The Union Cabinet approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020, allowing a "willing" woman to be a surrogate mother and proposing that the Bill would benefit widows and divorced women besides infertile Indian couples.
  • The Cabinet approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill after incorporating the recommendations of a Rajya Sabha Select Committee.
  • The 15 major changes suggested by the 23-member committee to the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, also included deleting the definition of "infertility" as the inability to conceive after five years of unprotected intercourse on the ground that it was too long a period for a couple to wait for a child.
  • The Bill is aimed at banning commercial surrogacy and allowing altruistic surrogacy.
  • Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani added that only Indian couples can opt for surrogacy in the country.
  • The Bill proposes to regulate surrogacy by establishing a National Surrogacy Board and State Surrogacy Boards and appropriate authorities in the States and Union Territories respectively. The proposed insurance cover for a surrogate mother has now been increased to 36 months from 16 months earlier.

Feb 25, 2020

Y. S. Jagan Reddy Launches Jagananna Vasathi Deevena Scheme

  • Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy launched 'Jagananna Vasathi Deevena' Scheme at Vizianagaram. Under the scheme, financial assistance will be given to ITI, polytechnic and degree students towards hostel and mess charges. It will benefit as many as 11,87,904 students.
  • The Education Department allocated Rs. 2,300 crore to it for the current financial year. The money will be credited into the bank accounts of the mothers or guardians of eligible students. ITI students will get Rs. 10,000, polytechnic students Rs. 15,000 and degree students Rs. 20,000 every year in two equal instalments in February and July.
  • The objective of the scheme is to enable the mothers to send their wards to higher education without any financial difficulty. The courses covered are ITI, polytechnic, degree and PG/Ph.D (except Intermediate students who are covered under 'Amma Vodi') and full fee reimbursement is provided for SC/ST students irrespective of courses.

Feb 23, 2020

Second Phase of Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural)

  • The Centre approved the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural), Prime Minister Narendra Modi''s pet project focussed on sustainability of ODF and management of solid and liquid waste.
  • The second phase will be implemented on a mission mode between 2020-21 and 2024-25 with an estimated central and state budget of Rs. 52,497 crore, the Jal Shakti Ministry said in a statement.
  • The rural sanitation programme was started on October 2, 2014, when the sanitation coverage in the country was reported at 38.7 per cent. More than 10 crore individual toilets have been constructed since the launch of the mission and as a result, rural areas in all states have declared themselves open defecation free (ODF) as on October 2, 2019.
  • The second phase will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and solid and liquid waste management (SLWM.
  • The ODF Plus programme will converge with MGNREGA, especially for grey water management, and will complement the newly launched Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • The programme will also work towards ensuring that no one is left behind and everyone uses a toilet.

Feb 20, 2020

Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill

  • The Union Cabinet approved the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill, 2020 to monitor medical procedures used to assist people to achieve pregnancy.
  • The Bill provides for a national Board which will lay down a code of conduct to be observed by those operating clinics.
  • It will also formulate minimum standards for laboratory and diagnostic equipment and practices to be followed by human resources employed by clinics and banks. The States and Union Territories will also have to form State Boards and State authorities within three months of the notification of the proposed legislation.
  • Under the proposed law, a national registry and registration authority will maintain a database to assist the national Board to perform its functions, according to a statement issued by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry.

Jagan Mohan Reddy launches Nadu Nedu Scheme

  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy launched Nadu Nedu (meaning 'then and now' in Telugu) Scheme in all government hospitals to help improve the health conditions of the people of the state.
  • All the state government hospitals would be made on a par with the highest Indian standard.
  • In November last year, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister had launched 'Mana Badi Nadu Nedu' (Our school, then and now) programme on the eve of Children's Day, wherein the state government will provide Rs. 12,000 crores for infrastructure development in schools.
  • The Andhra Chief Minister also launched the third phase of 'Dr. YSR Kanti Velugu', which is a programme initiated with the aim to provide basic health facilities to all citizens.
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