Government Schemes in News – Part-2 | Prelims Capsules 2021

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Government Schemes for MSMEs and industries

Production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the telecom Sector

News: The Union Cabinet has approved the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the telecom sector.

Background: PLI scheme was first announced in April 2020 as a part of the National Policy on Electronics by the IT Ministry to give incentives of 4-6% to electronic companies, manufacturing mobile phones and other electronic components like transistors, diodes, etc.

  • With the inclusion of telecom equipment manufacturing under the ambit of PLI scheme, the total number of sectors under it stands at 13.

About the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the telecom Sector: The scheme is expected to lead to an incremental production of about ₹2.4 lakh crore, with exports of about ₹2 lakh crore over five years and bring in investments of more than ₹3,000 crore.

Aim: It will make India a global hub for manufacturing telecom equipment. Moreover, it will create jobs and reduce imports especially from China.

Objective: The scheme will balance the huge import of telecom equipment worth more than Rs 50,000 crore. By that, it will encourage the foreign manufacturers and domestic manufacturers to set up production units in India.

Coverage: The scheme will cover domestic manufacturing of equipment such as

  • core transmission equipment,
  • 4G/5G and next-generation radio access network and wireless equipment,
  • Internet of Things (IoT) access devices,
  • enterprise equipment such as switches and routers

Duration: The scheme will be operational from April 1 and will run for the next five years.

Eligibility: The eligibility for the scheme will be subject to –

  • Achieving a minimum threshold of total investment.
  • Incremental sales of manufactured goods, with 2019-20 as the base year.


  • Lesser minimum threshold for MSMEs: For the inclusion of MSMEs in the scheme, the minimum investment threshold has been kept at ₹10 crores while for others it is ₹100 crore.
  • Higher initial incentive to MSMEs: Further, for MSMEs, it proposes a 1% higher incentive in the first three years.
  • Once qualified, the investor (industries like MSMEs) will be incentivized up to 20 times of minimum investment threshold enabling them to utilize their unused capacity,

Significance of the scheme:

  • Scheme is likely to generate 40,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities and generate tax revenue of ₹17,000 crore from telecom equipment manufacturing,
  • Scheme is also expected to lead to an incremental production of about ₹2.4 lakh crore with exports of about ₹2 lakh crore over five years. Moreover, it may bring in investments of more than ₹3,000 crores.

Samarth Scheme

News: The Ministry of Textiles has informed Rajya Sabha about the Samarth Scheme.

  • It is also known as Scheme for Capacity Building in the Textile Sector (SCBTS)

Launched by: Ministry of Textiles

Aim: It will address the skill gap in the textile sector and supplement the efforts of the textile industry in providing gainful and sustainable employment to the youth.

Objectives: Following are the objectives of Samarth Scheme:

  • It will provide a program which is demand-driven, placement oriented and National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) compliant.
  • It will help in creating jobs in the organized textile and related sectors, covering the entire value chain of textile.
  • It will provide for skilling and skill up-gradation in the traditional sectors of handlooms, handicrafts, sericulture, and jute.
  • It excludes Spinning and Weaving.

Target: The Scheme targets to train 10 lakh persons (9 lakhs in organized & 1 lakh in traditional sector).

Implementing agencies: Programmes would be implemented through the Textile industry, government institutions and Reputed training institutions/ NGOs/ Societies active in the textile sector.

Monitoring and Management Information System(MIS): It is a centralized web-based Information System that has been put in place for monitoring and implementation of the scheme.

Make in India Initiative 2.0

News: The Minister of Commerce and Industry has informed Lok Sabha about the Make in India Initiative 2.0.

Make in India Initiative: This scheme was launched with the objective of facilitating investment, fostering innovation, building best in class manufacturing infrastructure, making it easy to do business and enhancing skill development.

Launch year: It was launched in 2014 by the Government of India.

Aim: To make India a global hub for the manufacturing, research and innovation and integrating India in the global supply chain.


  • To increase the manufacturing sector’s growth rate to 12-14% per annum in order to increase the sector’s share in the economy;
  • To create 100 million additional manufacturing jobs in the economy by 2022; and
  • To ensure that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP is increased to 25% by 2022 (revised to 2025) from the current 16%.

About Make in India 2.0:

  • It presently focuses on 27 sectors with a special focus on ten champion sectors including; 1. capital goods, 2. auto, 3. defence, 4. pharma, 5. renewable energy, 6. biotechnology, 7. chemicals, 8. leather, 9. textiles, 10. food processing.
  • These sectors have the potential to drive double-digit growth in manufacturing.
  • In manufacturing, action plans are coordinated by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
  • In services, action plans are coordinated by the Department of Commerce.

Achievements so far:

  • Increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): India has registered its highest-ever annual FDI Inflow of US $74.39 billion during the last financial year 2019-20 as compared to US $ 45.15 billion in 2014-2015.
    • Further, in the last six years (2014-20), India has received FDI inflow which is 53% of the FDI reported in the last 20 years.
  • Ease of Doing Business Ranking: India has jumped to 63rd place in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking. This is due to reforms in the areas of Starting a Business, Paying Taxes, Trading Across Borders, and Resolving Insolvency.

Startup India Seed Fund Scheme

News: A Rs 1,000-crore ‘Startup India Seed Fund’ was launched during the ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’, which marked the five-year anniversary of the Startup India initiative.

About Startup India Seed Fund Scheme: The scheme was announced to support startups and help budding entrepreneurs pursue innovative ideas. The Rs 945 crore corpus will be divided over the next four years for providing seed funding to eligible startups through eligible incubators across India.

  • Individual entrepreneurs are not eligible to apply for support under the scheme. Only DPIIT recognized startups can apply for the SISFS
  • Startups from any sector can apply for the scheme

Launched by: Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry)

Objective: Fund has been set up to provide initial capital to the startups. After that start-ups will be provided with the Govt. Guarantees, to help them raise debt capital.

Beneficiary: The fund would offer financial assistance to startups for proofs of concept, prototype development, product trials, market-entry, and commercialization of products or ideas.

Monitoring & implementation: An Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) constituted by DPIIT will be responsible for the overall implementation and monitoring of the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme.

Funding: The Scheme will offer startups up to Rs. 20 Lakhs as a grant for Proof of Concept. Up to Rs. 50 Lakhs can also be availed through convertible debentures or debt or debt-linked instruments for commercialization.

Startups in India: 

  • India is home to the world’s third–largest startup ecosystem. There are over 41,000 startups in the country.
  • In 2014, there were only four startups in the unicorn club but in 2020 there are more than 30. Further, 11 of these startups entered the unicorn club in 2020 itself.
  • The startups in India are not limited to big cities and about 40% of such budding entrepreneurs are coming from tier-II and -III cities.

PRISM Scheme

News: The Union Minister for Science & Technology inaugurates the Event for Publicity of the PRISM (Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Startups, and MSMEs) scheme.

About PRISM Scheme:

  • PRISM along with its network partners provides grants, technical guidance and mentoring to individual innovators.
  • It does it by incubating their idea towards creation of new enterprises in phases.
  • It also provides grant-in-aid support to technology solution providers developing technology solutions aimed at helping MSME cluster.

Launched by: PRISM is an initiative of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology.

Aim: Help an individual innovator to become a successful technopreneur. It promotes and funds implementable and commercially viable innovations created for society.

Beneficiary: Under the initiative, an innovator of Indian nationality – student, professional and common citizen- is eligible.


  • Eligible candidates are provided with technical, strategic, and financial assistance by DSIR-PRISM. Assistance is provided on the stages like idea development, prototype development, and pilot scaling and patenting.
  • Sectors Covered: The proposals under the scheme will be accepted for the following sectors:
    • Green technology
    • Clean energy
    • Industrially utilizable smart materials
    • Waste to Wealth
    • Affordable Healthcare
    • Water & Sewage Management and
    • any other technology or knowledge-intensive area.
  • Financial Assistance: The grant under the scheme is given in two phases:
    • Phase I:
      • Category-I: For proof of concept/prototype/models, a grant amount of around Rs. 2 lakhs to Rs. 20 lakhs.
      • Category-II: For fabrication of working model/ process know-how/ testing, a grant amount of around Rs. 2 lakhs to Rs. 20 lakhs.
    • Phase II: For Enterprise incubation, a grant amount of a maximum of around Rs.50 lakhs.

UdyogAadhaar Memorandum and UDYAM Initiative

News: The RBI has made it mandatory for MSMEs to be registered under the UDYAM scheme to be eligible for PSL, by March 31, 2021.

Ministry: Min of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

MSMEs in India

India is called as the land of MSMEs. MSMEs are the backbone of our country contributing enormously to distribution of products, services, employment and consequently wealth.

  • There is one MSME for every 21 citizens (6.34 crore MSMEs), of which a significantly large number (99.4%) are micro enterprises (less than ₹5 crore of turnover and ₹1 crore of investment).
  • More than half (51.4%) are from rural India with activities spanning across manufacturing (31%), trading (36%) and other services (33 per cent).
  • A fifth of the MSMEs are run by women entrepreneurs and in all they provide over 100 million jobs.

Need for UDYAM

Availability of quality data has been a serious limitation affecting targeted welfare measures for MSMEs. Hence, to promote identification and access to various schemes of MSMEs, the Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum (UAM) was introduced and more than 8.6 million (as of January 2020) units were registered under the scheme.

  • In July 2020, UAM was substituted by UDYAM

About UdyogAadhaar Memorandum (UAM):

  • It is an online filing system for MSMEs, notified by the government in 2015.
  • The registration process is free, paperless and awarded instant registration.
  • It was based on the self-declaration and self-certification of basic information regarding the enterprise’s existence and functioning.
  • In 2016, the government notified rules under which MSMEs had to furnish information relating to their enterprises, online, in an MSME databank.

About UDYAM:

  • In July 2020, the UAM was substituted by UDYAM.
  • UDYAM is an “online only” registration which provides for classification of units engaged in manufacturing and service sector into Micro Small Medium Enterprises based on investment and turnover.
  • The scheme links both income tax and GST returns for assessing eligible turnover and investment criteria.

Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS)

News: Government extends the Rs. 3-lakh-crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). It also widens its scope to new sectors, including hospitality, travel and tourism.

  • The scheme, termed as ECLGS 3.0, has been extended until June 30, or until Rs 3 trillion is disbursed,

About Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS): Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) was launched in May 2020, as part of the Covid-19 relief package called the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

Aim: The aim of the scheme is to provide collateral-free, government guaranteed loans to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across India.

  • It also aims to mitigate the distress caused by the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Beneficiary: This scheme can help business enterprises and MSMEs impacted by COVID pandemic by covering their working capital needs and operational costs

Guarantee Provider: National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC) is the guarantee provider under the ECLGS scheme.

  • NCGTC was set up in 2014 as a private limited company. The Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance established it under the Indian Companies Act,1956.
  • Purpose: To act as a common trustee company to manage and operate various credit guarantee trust funds.

ECLGS 1.0:

  • Purpose: It aims to provide fully guaranteed and collateral free additional credit to MSMEs, business enterprises, MUDRA borrowers and individual loans for business purposes. The credit provided to the extent of 20% of their credit outstanding as of 29th February, 2020.
  • Eligibility: MSMEs with up to Rs 25 crore outstanding and Rs.100 crore turnover were eligible.
  • Duration: It had a 1-year moratorium period and a 4-year repayment period.

ECLGS 2.0:

  • Purpose: It aims to extend the ECLGS Scheme to the 26 stressed sectors identified by the Kamath Committee and the healthcare sector.
  • Eligibility: Companies with dues of Rs 50-500 crore as of February 29, 2020 were eligible.
  • Duration: The tenor of the credit under the ECLGS 2.0 was five years including a one-year moratorium.

ECLGS 3.0:

  • Beneficiary: Under ECLGS 3.0, business enterprises in the hospitality, travel and tourism, leisure and sporting sectors would be able to avail credit.
  • Extension of Credit: It involves the extension of credit of up to 40% of the total credit outstanding from 20% earlier.
  • Duration: The tenor of loans granted under ECLGS 3.0 is six years, including a moratorium period of two years.
  • Eligibility: The scheme will only consider loans less than 60 days overdue as on February 29, 2020, with total credit outstanding not exceeding Rs 500 crore.
Note: The validity of ECLGS that is ECLGS 1.0, ECLGS 2.0 & ECLGS 3.0 has been extended up to 30 June 2021 or till guarantees for an amount of Rs. 3 lakh crore are issued.

PLI Scheme for Pharmaceutical Sector

News: Union Cabinet has approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for the pharmaceuticals and IT hardware sectors.

About PLI Scheme for Pharmaceutical Sector: The Scheme will benefit domestic manufacturers, help in creating employment and is expected to contribute to the availability of wider range of affordable medicines for consumers.

  • The scheme is expected to bring in investment of ₹15,000 crore in the pharmaceutical sector
  • Growth in the sector is expected to add 20,000 direct and 80,000 indirect jobs for both skilled and unskilled personnel.


  • It will promote the manufacturing of high-value products in the pharmaceutical sector like emerging therapies, diagnostic devices and self-reliance in important drugs
  • increase value-addition in exports
  • Improving accessibility and affordability of medical products, including orphan drugs, to the Indian population.
    • Orphan drugs: An orphan drug is a pharmaceutical agent developed to treat medical conditions which, because they are so rare, would not be profitable to produce without government assistance.

Duration: The duration of the scheme will be for nine years from 2020-21 till 2028-29.

Category of Goods: The scheme shall cover pharmaceutical goods under three categories as mentioned below:

  • Category 1: Biopharmaceuticals such as complex generic drugs, patented drugs, Gene therapy drugs, phytopharmaceuticals, and orphan drugs.
  • Category 2: It would cover active pharmaceutical ingredients, key starting materials, and drug intermediaries.
  • Category 3: Drugs not covered under Category 1 and Category 2.

Significance of the scheme: The scheme will benefit domestic manufacturers. Moreover, it will help to create employment and will make available a wider range of affordable medicines for consumers.

PLI Scheme for IT hardware sectors:

Cabinet also approved the PLI Scheme for IT hardware such as laptops, tablets, all-in-one PCs and servers.

  • Objective: It will boost domestic manufacturing and investments in the value chain of IT Hardware.
  • Target Segment: The target sectors under the scheme includes laptops, tablets, all-in-one PCs and servers.
  • Incentives: Under the scheme, beneficiaries will be given incentives of 4% to 1% on net incremental sales over the base year (2019-20) for a period of four years.
  • Significance: The government expects the scheme to reduce India’s import dependence for IT hardware in a major way. Currently, 80% of the country’s laptop and tablet demand is met through imports.


News: Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog in association with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) launch AIM-PRIME (Program for Researchers on Innovations, Market-Readiness & Entrepreneurship).

About AIM-PRIME: AIM-PRIME Program aims at promoting science-based, deep technology. For that, it will provide training and guidance over a period of 12 months.

  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog is Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country and was setup in 2016.
  • AIM’s initiatives have resulted in the advancement of India from a position of 81 in the Global Innovation Index in 2015 to a position of 48 in 2020.

Implementation by: Venture Center – a non-profit technology business incubator hosted by Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research–National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL).

Eligibility: The program is open to:

  • Technology developers (early-stage deep tech start-ups, and scientists/ engineers/ clinicians) with strong science-based deep tech business ideas.
  • CEOs and Senior incubation managers of AIM Funded Atal Incubation Centers that are supporting deep tech entrepreneurs.
    • Business Incubator: These are institutions that support entrepreneurs in developing their businesses, especially in initial stages. These are organizations geared towards speeding up the growth and success of start-ups and early stage companies

Benefits of the programme:

  • The candidates selected for the program will get access to in-depth learning resources via a comprehensive lecture series, live team projects, exercises, and project-specific mentoring.
  • They will also have access to a deep tech startup playbook, curated video library, and plenty of peer-to-peer learning opportunities.
About Deep Technology: Deep technology are very high cutting-edge and disruptive technologies, like artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, advanced material science, photonics and electronics, biotech and quantum computing.

Central Sector Scheme for Industrial Development of Jammu & Kashmir

News: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Central Sector Scheme for Industrial Development of Jammu & Kashmir.

Aim: Development of manufacturing as well as service Sector Units in J&K which will generate employment and lead to the socio-economic development of the area.

Key Features of the Scheme:

  • The scheme aims to take industrial development to the block level in UT of J&K, which is first time in any Industrial Incentive Scheme of the Government of India and attempts for a more sustained and balanced industrial growth in the entire UT
  • Scheme has been simplified on the lines of ease of doing business by bringing one major incentive- GST Linked Incentive- that will ensure less compliance burden without compromising on transparency.
  • Implementation by: The scheme will be implemented under the supervision of Government of India i.e. the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT).

Expenditure involved: The financial outlay of the proposed scheme is Rs.28,400 crore for the scheme period 2020-21 to 2036-37.


  • Scheme will bring radical transformation in the existing industrial environment of J&K with emphasis on job creation, skill development and sustainable development.
  • The scheme is likely to attract unprecedented investment and give direct and indirect employment to about 4.5 lakh persons.

Government Schemes on Digital India

Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) scheme

News: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced operational guidelines for the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) scheme.


  • A High-Level Committee on Deepening of Digital Payments under the Chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani had recommended creation of this fund.
  • Initially called the Acceptance Development Fund (ADF), the initiative was announced on 4 October 2019

About Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) scheme: PIDF is intended to subsidise deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure in Tier-3 to Tier-6 centres with special focus on North-Eastern States of the country.

  • What is meant by payment acceptance infrastructure?Payment acceptance infrastructure includes physical PoS, mPoS (mobile PoS), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), QR code-based payments, among others.
  • How are cities classified into different tiers?Cities are divided into various tiers as per their population, as follows

Tier-based classification of cities

Objectives of the Fund:

  • To increase the number of acceptance devices in the country.
  • To benefit the acquiring banks / non-banks and merchants by lowering overall cost of acceptance infrastructure.
  • To increase payments acceptance infrastructure.

Purpose: The fund will be used to subsidize banks and non-banks for deploying payment infrastructure which will be based upon specific targets being achieved.

Accountability: Those who get subsidy shall submit quarterly reports on the achievement of targets to the RBI.


  • The primary focus shall be to create payment acceptance infrastructure in Tier-3 to Tier-6 centres.
  • North Eastern states of the country shall be given special focus.
  • The fund will also focus on those merchants who are yet to be terminalized (merchants who do not have any payment acceptance device).
  • Merchants engaged in services such as transport and hospitality, government payments, public distribution system(PDS) shops, healthcare may be included especially in targeted geographies.

Duration of Fund: The fund will be operational for three years effective from 1st January, 2021 and may be extended for two more years.


It has a corpus of Rs. 345 crore with Rs. 250 crore contributed by the RBI and Rs. 95 crore by the major authorised card networks in the country.

  • The authorised card networks shall contribute in all Rs. 100 crore.
  • Besides the initial corpus, PIDF shall also receive annual contributions from card networks and card issuing banks.

Advisory Council: An Advisory Council (AC) under the chairmanship of RBI deputy governor BP Kanungo has been constituted for managing the PIDF. The council will devise a transparent mechanism for allocation of targets to acquiring banks and non-banks in different segments and locations.

Monitoring: Implementation of targets under PIDF shall be monitored by RBI’s Regional Office Mumbai with assistance from card networks, the Indian Banks’ Association, and the Payments Council of India.

Pradhan Mantri Wireless Access Network Interface (PM-WANI)

Context/News: PM-WANI has the potential to revolutionize the way India accesses the internet.

About PM-WANI: The scheme envisages setting up of public Wi-Fi networks and access points by local Kirana and neighborhood shops through public data offices (PDO will be set up on the lines of Public Call Offices (PCOs)) that will not involve any license, fee or registration.

Aim: Bring large scale deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots through the country to drive up connectivity options and improve digital access.

What are different players involved in PM-WANI?

Public Data Office (PDO): It will establish, maintain, and operate only WANI compliant Wi-Fi Access Points and deliver broadband services to subscribers.

  • The PDO, to be set up along the lines of public calling office (PCO), can be a mom-and-pop store in the area or the common services centre (CSC) present in various small towns, gram panchayats, and villages in the country.
  • The PDOs can either provide the internet on other own or lease it from other telecom and internet service providers
  • Government also sees this as a way to generate revenue for individuals and small shopkeepers

Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA): It will be an aggregator of PDOs and perform the functions relating to Authorization and Accounting of PDOs.

  • PDOA will buy bandwidth from Internet service provider (ISPs) and telecom companies and sell it to PDOs, while also accounting for data used by all PDOs

App Provider: It will develop an App to register users and discover WANI compliant Wi-Fi hotspots in the nearby area and display the same within the App for accessing the internet service. Users, however, will not be required to download different apps, as a single app will provide seamless connectivity to any PDO across the country

Central Registry: It will maintain the details of App Providers, PDOAs, and PDOs. To begin with, the Central Registry will be maintained by C-DoT

Two pillars of public-WiFi

As per a TRAI report there will be two pillars acting as baseline for public WiFi

  • Interoperability: The first is interoperability, where the user will be required to login only once and stay connected across access points
  • Multiple payment options: The second is multiple payment options, allowing the user to pay both online and offline.

Needs of PM-WANI: 

  • To create value for the consumer.
  • To quickly reach people in the remotest areas.
  • To deliver a resilient and reliable connection to every Indian and reliable access everywhere.


It will promote the growth of Public Wi-Fi Networks in the country and, in turn, will help in the following:

  • Spreading of Broadband Internet (Despite excellent advances in 4G technology, wired connections still offer superior quality, reliability and throughput)
    • Throughput is the rate of successful message delivery i.e., how much data can be transferred from source to destination within a given timeframe.
  • Boost GDP: Enhancing of disposable incomes in the hands of small and medium entrepreneurs thereby boosting GDP of the country
  • Employment and empowerment of people: For example: Umang App (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance), which allows access to 2,084 services, across 194 government departments, across themes such as education, health, finance, social security, etc. The ability to access and utilise the app enhances an individual’s capabilities to benefit from services that they are entitled to.
  • Reducing the digital divide: PM-WANI can help to bridge the increasing digital divide in India
  • Ensuring last mile connectivity: A major objective behind this initiative is ensuring last-mile connectivity where anyone living in their house, a paanshop owner or a tea seller can all provide public Wi-Fi hot posts, and where anyone within range can access it.
  • Creation of economic value: Recently, the NITI Aayog chief executive officer had said that India can create $1 trillion of economic value using digital technology by 2025.
  • Can revitalize BharatNet: It has the potential to change the fortunes of Bharat Net as well.
    • Bharat Net envisions broadband connectivity in all villages in India. The project has missed multiple deadlines, and even where the infrastructure has been created, usage data is not enough to incentivize ISPs to use Bharat Net infra to provide services.
  • Increased demand for broadband: It will also provide a demand-side pull to fixed line connectivity making these as profitable lines for Telcos
    • Demand for broadband will increase
  • Content distribution from PDOs: PDOs can become local distribution centres for content. Students in rural areas can access offline content without using bandwidth. Even with the world’s lowest data rates, the average Indian consumer still monitors their total data consumption to save money.
  • Lesser cost of access: The cost of access over PM-WANI will be lesser than that of 4G.

Concerns regarding PM-WANI

There are some concerns, mainly with respect to security and privacy

  • A large-scale study conducted at public Wi-Fi spots in 15 airports across the United States, Germany, Australia, and India discovered that 2/3rd of users leak private information whilst accessing the Internet.
  • Data protection: Further, the TRAI report recommends that ‘community interest’ data be stored locally, raising questions about data protection in a scenario where the country currently does not have a data protection law in place.
In most major economies, for 50 to 70% of their total usage time, mobile users use WiFi technology to communicate. In India, this figure is less than 10%. Therefore, there is a dire need to exploit WiFi technology also for delivering broadband services at affordable prices. To plug gaps of broadband connectivity, there should at least be a 100 million public WiFi hotspots in the country by 2023.

Miscellaneous Schemes

Guru Shishya Parampara Scheme

About Guru Shishya Parampara Scheme: This scheme was launched through Zonal Cultural Centre (ZCCs) to preserve and promote rare and vanishing art forms whether classical or folk/tribal.

Launched by: Government of India and Department of Culture

Aim: To nurture young talents to acquire skills in their chosen field of art through some financial assistance by the ZCCs.

  • Assistance will be in the form of scholarship under the guidance of Experts and Masters in these fields.

Significance: This scheme has provided security to a large number of old and retired artistes. Most of the artistes covered under this scheme are from rural areas and teaching shishyas from within reasonable catchment area of their residence.


  • A Monitoring Workshop-cum-Presentations of Gurus and Shishyas is organised for reviewing and evaluating the progress made in this direction.
  • An Expert Committee comprising eminent Art Experts is constituted for this purpose.
  • To implement this scheme, Great Masters (Gurus) of different art forms of constituent states of NZCC, who are capable to train the interested shishyas are identified.
  • The committee is constituted to process, evaluate and recommend the candidature of expert (Guru) and each Guru is expected to train five to eight shishyas.
  • A small scholarship is provided to the learner and an honorarium to the Master (Guru) as per the norms fixed by Ministry of Culture to motivate them

What are the positives in the guru shishya learning?

  • The guru shishya parampara provides intimate learning and sharing that goes beyond the syllabus.
  • There are students and teachers who share a bond that goes beyond what the university demanded of them.
  • There are stories of great gurus and famous shishyas across disciplines and geographies.

About Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs)

  • To protect, promote & preserve various forms of folk art and culture throughout the country the Government of India has set up seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs)
    • Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata
    • North Central Zone Cultural Centre, Allahabad
    • North east Zone Cultural centre, Dimapur
    • North Zone Cultural centre, Patiala
    • South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur
    • South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur
    • West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur
  • These ZCCs organize various cultural activities & programmes on regular basis all over the country.

Dekho Apna Desh Initiative

News: The Ministry of Tourism has organized an interesting webinar titled “Exploring Buddhist Circuit by Train” as a part of the ‘DekhoApnaDesh’ Webinar series.

Launched by: It is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism launched in January 2020.

Aim: To promote domestic tourism in India which is intended to enhance tourist footfalls in places of tourist interest so as to help develop the local economy.

Dekho Apna Desh Webinar series: During the pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism as part of its ongoing engagement with the industry and its audiences is organising webinars on the overall theme of ‘DekhoApnaDesh’.

Objective: To create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations of India – including the lesser-known destinations and lesser-known facets of popular destinations.

Adopt a Heritage Project

News: Union Minister for Tourism has held a review meeting review meeting of the “Adopt a Heritage: ApniDharohar, ApniPehchaan” project.

About Adopt a Heritage Project: It is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). It was launched in September 2017 on World Tourism Day.

Aim: To ensure amenities and facilities across heritage, natural, & tourist sites through active participation of private and public sector organizations and individuals. These organizations would be known as “Monument Mitras” for their collaboration initiative.

Objectives of the Project:

  • Developing basic tourism infrastructure in and around heritage sites, monuments, natural sites and tourist sites.
  • Develop facilities and amenities to improve the tourist experience at heritage sites, monuments, natural sites and tourist sites.
  • Promote cultural and heritage value of the country and create awareness about the heritage/natural/tourist sites in the country
  • Develop and promote sustainable tourism infrastructure and ensure proper Operations and Maintenance therein.
  • Develop employment opportunities and support livelihoods of local communities at heritage sites.

Eligibility: Private and Public Sector Companies, Trusts, NGOs and Individuals are eligible for adopting heritage site (s)/ monument (s) under this project.

Key Features of the Project:

  • The sites/monuments are selected on the basis of tourist footfall and visibility and can be adopted by private and public sector companies and individuals known as Monument Mitras for an initial period of five years.
  • The Monument Mitras are selected by the ‘oversight and vision committee,’ co-chaired by the Tourism Secretary and the Culture Secretary on the basis of the bidder’s ‘vision’ for development of all amenities at the heritage site.
  • There is no financial bid involved. The corporate sector is expected to use corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds for the upkeep of the site.

Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme

News: Government has inaugurated the newly constructed Hisar airport in Haryana from Chandigarh under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN).

Launched by: It was launched in 2017 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) was announced in 2016.

  • One of the objectives of NCAP was to “enhance regional connectivity through fiscal support and infrastructure development”. Under this RCS-UDAN was launched.

Aim: To facilitate / stimulate regional air connectivity by making it affordable and to develop a regional aviation market. It seeks to connect under-served and unserved airports in India through the revival of existing airstrips and airports.


  • Create affordable yet economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes.
  • Development of remote areas and enhancing trade and commerce and tourism expansion.
  • Employment creation in the aviation sector.

Duration: The scheme would be in operation for a period of 10 years.

Key Features of the scheme:

  • Under the scheme, airlines have to cap airfares for 50% of the total seats at Rs. 2,500 per hour of flight.
  • This is achieved through
    • Concessions by state and central government: a financial stimulus in the form of concessions from Central and State governments and airport operators
    • Viability Gap Funding– A government grant provided to the airlines to bridge the gap between the cost of operations and expected revenue.
  • The partner State Governments (other than North Eastern States and Union Territories where contribution will be 10 %) would contribute a 20% share to this fund.
  • Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) would be created to meet the viability gap funding requirements under the scheme. The RCF levy per departure will be applied to certain domestic flights.

Phases under the Scheme:

  • UDAN 1.0 and 2.0: During RCS-UDAN version 1.0 & 2.0, 66 airports were identified and 31 heliports (28 unserved heliports and 3 unserved airports).
  • UDAN 3.0: During UDAN version 3.0, to increase the tourism potential at the coastal areas, Tourism routes in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism and Seaplanes for connecting Water Aerodromes were included.
  • UDAN 4.0: The focus of UDAN 4.0 is on priority areas like North East Region, Hilly States, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Islands.

Khelo India Programme

News: Sports Ministry has approved the inclusion of four indigenous Games to be a part of Khelo India Youth Games 2021.The games include Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba.

Launched by: Ministry of Sports and Youth affairs

Aim: To revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation.


  • Mass participation of youth in annual sports competitions through a structured competition;
  • Identification of talent
  • Guidance and nurturing of the talent through existing sports academies and new set up either by the central Government or State Government or in PPP mode.
  • Creation of Sports Infrastructure at mofussil, Tehsil, District, State levels among others.

Merger: The scheme is a merger of three schemes namely:

  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan: Infrastructure in rural areas and encouraging sports through competitions
    • It was a centrally sponsored scheme
    • Launched in2014.
    • It was launched in place of erstwhile Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA).
    • RGKA aimed at constructing sports complexes in each block and exclusively both for indoor and outdoor in different sports discipline for 5 years.
  • Urban Infrastructure Scheme: Development of Infrastructure in urban areas.
  • National Sports Talent Search: Identifying sports talent.

Key Features of the Scheme:

  • Under the scheme, talented players identified in priority sports disciplines at various levels by the High-Powered Committee will be provided annual financial assistance of INR 5 lakh per annum for 8 years.
  • State wise budget allocation is not made and projects are sanctioned based on their viability. Funds are released project wise.

PS: Sports is a state subject


·         Gatka- Martial Art Punjab

·         Kalaripayattu– Martial Art Kerala

·         Thang-Ta– Martial Art Manipur

·         Mallakhamba– Traditional Sports Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra


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