1) India Global Week 2020
- Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural address on Day 1 of India Global Week 2020.
- A three – day virtual conference themed ‘Be The Revival : India and a Better New World’, India Global Week 2020 will have 5000 global participants from 30 nations being addressed by 250 global speakers across 75 sessions.
- Other high profile speakers participating at the event will include Dr. S. Jaishankar, Union External Affairs Minister, Sh. Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Railways, and Commerce & Industry, Lt Governor of J&K, GC Murmu, Isha Foundation Founder Sadhguru, Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, along with UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Priti Patel, US Ambassador to India Ken Juster, and others.
- It will also feature a never seen before performance “Atmanirbhar Bharat” by Madhu Nataraj and a special 100 birth anniversary concert in tribute to the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar by three of his most eminent students.
2) ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval to a new pan India Central Sector Scheme-Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
- The scheme shall provide a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support.
- Under the scheme, Rs. One Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), Self Help Group (SHG), Farmers, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Startups, Aggregation Infrastructure Providers and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public Private Partnership Project
- Loans will be disbursed in four years starting with sanction of Rs. 10,000 crore in the current year and Rs. 30,000 crore each in next three financial years.
- All loans under this financing facility will have interest subvention of 3% per annum up to a limit of Rs. 2 crore. This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years.
- Further, credit guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers from this financing facility under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for a loan up to Rs. 2 crore.
- The fee for this coverage will be paid by the Government. In case of FPOs the credit guarantee may be availed from the facility created under FPO promotion scheme of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DACFW).
Management of fund
- Agri Infra fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform. It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for loan under the fund.
- The online platform will also provide benefits such as transparency of interest rates offered by multiple banks, scheme details including interest subvention and credit guarantee offered, minimum documentation, faster approval process as also integration with other scheme benefits.
3) Indian Navy Completes “Operation Samudra Setu”
- Operation Samudra Setu, which was launched on 05 May 2020 as part of the national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic has culminated after successfully bringing 3,992 Indian citizens back to their homeland by sea.
- Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa (Landing Platform Dock), and Airavat, Shardul and Magar (Landing Ship Tanks) participated in this operation which lasted over 55 days and involved traversing more then 23,000 kilometers by sea.
- Indian Navy has previously undertaken similar evacuation operations as part of Operation Sukoon in 2006 (Beirut) and Operation Rahat in 2015 (Yemen).
- Op Samudra Setu was undertaken utilising Indian Naval ships best suited for the operation, catering for COVID-19 related social distancing norms vis-à-vis medical arrangements and carrying capacity.
- Ships used for the operation were specially provisioned and the Sick Bay or the clinic onboard was especially equipped with COVID-19 related equipment and facilities.
- Women Officers and military nursing staff were also embarked for the women passengers. Basic amenities and medical facilities were provided to all evacuees during sea passage on these ships.
- One of the expectant mothers who undertook passage on Jalashwa, Mrs Sonia Jacob, also gave birth to a baby boy within a few hours of reaching Kochi on International Mother’s Day.
4) KVIC begins online sale of Khadi Face Masks
The widely popular Khadi Face Masks are now available for online sale. This will benefit people in the remotest parts of the country particularly those who cannot afford to move out of their houses or visit Khadi India outlets due to constraints.
- KVIC is selling both Khadi Cotton and Silk masks. While the Cotton face masks are priced nominally at Rs 30 per piece, the Silk masks are available for Rs 100 per piece.
- The minimum order for online purchase of masks is Rs 500, wherein buyers have the option of choosing from the four types of masks available, i.e. White Cotton masks with Black piping, White Cotton masks with Tri-colour piping, Silk masks in solid colours and Printed Silk masks in multiple colours.
- The KVIC delivers the masks for free within 5 days from the date of purchase. The online sale is currently valid within the country only.
Khadi Cotton mask
Notably, The Khadi Cotton face masks are made of double-twisted 100% cotton fabric. These masks are double-layered with three pleats and available in three sizes – Small, Medium and Large. These masks are available in two patterns – white mask with black piping and white mask with tri-color piping.
The Silk masks, on the other hand, are triple-layered with two inner layers of 100% Khadi Cotton and the top layer of Khadi Silk fabric. The Silk masks are available in a wide range of color options in printed as well as non-printed patterns. Khadi Silk masks are available in a standard size with adjustable ear loops with attractive beads.
Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC):
- The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament (Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956).
- In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.
- It is an apex organization under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India, which seeks to – “plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.”