PM Vishwakarma Scheme: Benefits and Eligibility
The Pradhan Mantri Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman Yojana (PM Vishwakarma Scheme) is a new Central Sector Scheme launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, 2023, on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti. The scheme aims to strengthen and nurture the Guru-Shishya parampara or family-based practice of traditional skills by artisans and craftspeople working with their hands and tools.
Benefits of the Vishwakarma Yojana
Training and Skill Enhancement: Under the PM Vishwakarma Scheme, traditional artisans will receive an invaluable opportunity to enhance their skills through a comprehensive 6-day training program. This training is tailored to the specific needs of carpenters, tailors, basket weavers, barbers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, potters, confectioners, cobblers, and others, empowering them with advanced techniques and knowledge.
Financial Support: The PM Vishwakarma scheme goes beyond training by offering substantial financial assistance ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 10 lakh. This monetary aid enables beneficiaries to kickstart their endeavors and expand their businesses, resulting in improved livelihoods.
Employment Opportunities: The PM Vishwakarma Scheme is a catalyst for creating employment avenues. It aims to generate employment for approximately 15,000 individuals annually, fostering economic growth and stability.
Online Application Process: Aspiring beneficiaries can easily access the scheme by applying online. This user-friendly approach simplifies the application process and ensures that deserving candidates can readily avail themselves of the scheme’s benefits.
Full Cost Coverage: The state government takes on the responsibility of covering the entire cost of various training programs under the Vishwakarma Scheme. This ensures that artisans can receive high-quality training without any financial burden.
In addition to the benefits listed above, the PM Vishwakarma Scheme is also expected to have a number of other positive impacts, including
Boosting the incomes of traditional artisans and craftspeople
Creating new jobs and opportunities in the traditional arts and crafts sector
Preserving and promoting India’s rich cultural heritage
Making traditional Indian arts and crafts more competitive in the global market
The Vishwakarma Yojana is a visionary initiative by the Indian government designed to extend financial assistance to individuals engaged in traditional crafts and skills. This scheme seeks to provide a strong support system to artisans, enabling them to flourish in their crafts while also contributing to the preservation of India’s rich cultural heritage.
Financial Assistance for Artisans
Under the umbrella of the Vishwakarma Yojana, a dedicated allocation of Rs 13,000 crore has been earmarked to empower artisans across the country. The scheme offers subsidized loans of up to Rs 2 lakh to craftsmen, aiming to alleviate financial constraints that might impede their artistic pursuits.
Phased Loan Disbursement with Favorable Interest Rates
In its initial phase, the PM Vishwakarma scheme will extend loans of up to Rs 1 lakh to artisans at an incredibly low interest rate of 5%. This interest rate is significantly lower than prevailing market rates, enabling artisans to access credit without the burden of exorbitant interest charges. In the subsequent phase, the scheme will further provide credit support of up to Rs 2 lakh, continuing to maintain the favorable 5% interest rate.
Comprehensive Skill Enhancement
Recognizing the importance of skill development in today’s rapidly evolving world, the Vishwakarma Yojana goes beyond financial aid. It places a strong emphasis on enhancing artisans’ skills through advanced training programs. This initiative aims to ensure that traditional artistry is not only preserved but also updated to meet contemporary standards.
Incentives for Skill Training and Tool Procurement
The scheme incorporates a thoughtful approach by offering stipends for skill training. Artisans will receive a stipend of Rs 500, enabling them to pursue skill enhancement without financial worries. Additionally, a sum of Rs 1500 will be provided to facilitate the purchase of modern tools, empowering artisans to work with greater efficiency and precision.
Holistic Support System
The Vishwakarma Yojana aspires to create a comprehensive ecosystem of support for traditional artisans. It encompasses various components, including:
Liberal Loan Terms: Ensuring easy access to loans for artisans.
Skill Upgradation: Equipping artisans with advanced techniques and knowledge.
Toolkit Incentive: Providing financial assistance for procuring modern tools.
Digital Transaction Incentives: Encouraging artisans to embrace digital transactions.
Marketing Support: Assisting artisans in marketing their crafts effectively.
Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw estimates that approximately 30 lakh families stand to benefit from the Vishwakarma Yojana. This far-reaching scheme is poised to uplift traditional artisans, enhancing their socio-economic status and contributing to the preservation of India’s rich cultural tapestry.
Seamless Registration Process
To facilitate easy enrollment, the government has designated common services centers in villages as registration points for the scheme. This user-friendly approach aims to ensure that artisans from diverse corners of the country can seamlessly become a part of this transformative initiative.
Central Government Funding with State Collaboration
The entire financial backing for the Vishwakarma Yojana comes from the central government. While the scheme’s foundation is built on central support, the collaboration of state governments will be crucial in its effective implementation.
Ministry Of Railways Launches ‘Swachhata Pakhwada-2023’
The Ministry of Railways in India, in its unwavering commitment to cleanliness, has officially launched the Swachhata Pakhwada 2023 campaign. This initiative, aimed at promoting cleanliness and environmental consciousness, commenced on the 15th of September, 2023.
Inauguration of Swachhata Pakhwada 2023 by Smt. Jaya Varma Sinha
Chairperson & CEO of the Railway Board, Smt. Jaya Varma Sinha, kicked off the event at Rail Bhawan by leading the Swachhata Pledge. This pledge encompassed the entire Railway family, comprising committed railway employees and senior officials from various Railway Zones and Divisions, all brought together through video conferencing.
The Swachhata Pledge embraced by the entire Railway family is built upon three fundamental principles: an individual’s dedication to cleanliness, the allocation of a hundred hours each year for cleanliness-related activities, and actively spreading the message of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
A Month-Long Commitment to Cleanliness
The Swachhata Pakhwada 2023 is observed from the 16th of September to the 30th of September. However, in an extraordinary display of dedication, the Ministry of Railways has extended it suo-moto (at their own initiative) until the 2nd of October, culminating with Mahatma Gandhi’s Jayanti, a day that epitomizes the values of cleanliness and sustainable living.
Joining Hands for a Cleaner India: ‘Swachhata hi Sewa’ (SHS) Campaign’
This year, the Ministry of Railways joins forces with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Ministry of Jal Shakti for the ‘Swachhata hi Sewa‘ (SHS) Campaign, which runs from the 15th of September to the 2nd of October. Activities from the SHS Campaign have been seamlessly integrated into the Indian Railways’ Swachhata Pakhwada program, fostering a stronger commitment to cleanliness and sustainability.
Dedicated Days and Extensive Awareness Campaigns
To ensure the effectiveness of Swachhata Pakhwada – 2023, dedicated days have been assigned for specific activities, including Swachh Railgadi, Swachh Station, Swachh Aahar, and Swachh Tracks. Additionally, extensive awareness campaigns are planned, utilizing digital media and public announcements via PA systems to educate people about the use of bio-toilets, the importance of avoiding single-use plastic, and fostering cleanliness habits in daily life.
Recognizing Excellence: Swachhata Pakhwada Awards
To encourage greater participation and ensure more impactful results during the fortnight-long campaign, Swachhata Pakhwada Awards have been established. The Ministry of Jal Shakti, the nodal ministry, provides these awards to recognize field functionaries, attached offices, and subordinate organizations for their exemplary performance during the Pakhwada period.
Last year’s Swachhata Pakhwada – 2022 awards were distributed as follows:
1st Position: South Western Railway 2nd Position: Western Railway 3rd Position: North Eastern Railway
Indian Railways: A Champion for a Clean and Green Environment
Indian Railways, known for its role as an environmentally friendly means of bulk transportation, has consistently taken initiatives to promote a clean and green environment. Notable efforts include the introduction of bio-toilets on coaches, leading to cleaner tracks, the segregation of bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable waste, efficient solid waste management, and active discouragement of single-use plastic.
As the Swachhata Pakhwada 2023 unfolds, the Ministry of Railways, in collaboration with other ministries, continues to lead the way in fostering a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable India, inspired by the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and dedicated to the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Karachi’s Erica Robin becomes first Miss Universe Pakistan 2023
Erica Robin, a model from Karachi has been crowned “Miss Universe Pakistan 2023”, becoming the first-ever woman from the country to win the title. Four other models from different parts of the country participated in the beauty pageant, including Hira Inam from Lahore, Jessical Wilson from Rawalpindi, Pakistani-American Malika Alvi from Pennsylvania, and Sabrina Wasim. Jessica Wilson, a 28-year-old cyber security engineer was named first runner-up while Hira Inam (24), Malyka Alvi (19), and Sabrina Wasim (26) were the rest of the finalists.
Award-winning actress, mental health advocate, and former Miss International Kylie Verzosa from the Philippines was one of the distinguished panel of judges who picked the winner.
Robin will be the official representative of Pakistan at the Miss Universe pageant, scheduled to be held in El Salvador later this year. Pakistan will be sending five models to compete in the prestigious Miss Universe pageant. This landmark moment marks the first time Pakistan has ever been represented in the world’s most esteemed beauty competition.
Srinivasan K. Swamy Elected Chairman of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) for 2023-2024
In a unanimous decision, Srinivasan K. Swamy, the Executive Chairman of R.K. Swamy Hansa Group, has been elected as the Chairman of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) for the term 2023-2024. This significant appointment reflects Mr. Swamy’s extensive experience and leadership in the advertising and media industry. Alongside Mr. Swamy, other prominent figures were also elected to key positions within the Bureau for the upcoming year.
Srinivasan K. Swamy, A Distinguished Leader
Srinivasan K. Swamy is a highly regarded figure in the advertising and media world. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations and has held pivotal leadership roles in numerous prominent organizations. These include the International Advertising Association (IAA), IAA India Chapter, Confederation of Asian Advertising Agency Associations, Advertising Agencies Association of India, Advertising Standards Council of India, All India Management Association, Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and Madras Management Association. Mr. Swamy’s contributions to the industry have been recognized with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI).
Key Appointments in the Bureau
In addition to Mr. Swamy’s election as Chairman, several other distinguished individuals have been appointed to crucial positions within the Audit Bureau of Circulations:
Deputy Chairman: Riyad Mathew, Chief Associate Editor and Director of Malayala Manorama, will serve as the Deputy Chairman representing publisher members on the council.
Secretary: Mohit Jain, Executive Director of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Limited, has been unanimously elected as the Secretary of the Bureau, representing publisher members on the council.
Treasurer: Vikram Sakhuja, Partner & Group CEO Media & OOH of Madison Communications Private Limited, has been unanimously re-elected as the Treasurer of the Bureau, representing advertising agencies members on the council.
Council of Management
The Bureau’s Council of Management for the term 2023-2024 comprises individuals representing various sectors of the advertising and media industry:
Advertising Agencies’ Representatives
Srinivasan K. Swamy, R.K. Swamy Limited (Chairman)
Vikram Sakhuja, Madison Communications (Treasurer)
Prasanth Kumar, Group M Media India Private Limited
Vaishali Verma, Initiative Media (India) Private Limited
Riyad Mathew, Malayala Manorama (Deputy Chairman)
Pratap G. Pawar, Sakal Papers
Shailesh Gupta, Jagran Prakashan
Praveen Someshwar, HT Media
Mohit Jain, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Limited (Secretary)
Dhruba Mukherjee, ABP Private Limited
Karan Darda, Lokmat Media
Girish Agarwal, DB Corp Limited
Karunesh Bajaj, ITC Limited
Aniruddha Haldar, TVS Motor Company Limited
Shashank Srivastava, Maruti Suzuki India Limited
Hormuzd Masani serves as the Secretary General of the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Rahul Navin Takes Charge as Director of Enforcement Directorate
IRS (Indian Revenue Service) officer Rahul Navin assumed the role of In-Charge Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), succeeding the outgoing Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra. This transition marks an important development in the leadership of the ED, a crucial agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and regulations in India. Mr. Navin is currently serving as the Special Director of the Enforcement Directorate.
The official order further stated that the tenure of Sanjay Kumar Mishra as the Director of Enforcement in the Enforcement Directorate concluded on the 15th of September, 2023. This event follows a series of legal developments and extensions that ultimately led to the conclusion of Mr. Mishra’s tenure. Sanjay Kumar Mishra was initially appointed as the Director of the Enforcement Directorate for a two-year term on November 19, 2018. Later, in a significant development, the Central government modified the appointment letter retrospectively through an order dated November 13, 2020. This modification extended his term from two years to three years.
Rahul Navin’s Appointment
According to an official order, Rahul Navin, a distinguished IRS officer from the 1993 batch, has been appointed as the In-Charge Director. He will hold this position until the appointment of a regular Director or until further orders are issued.
What is Enforcement Directorate (ED)?
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is a specialized law enforcement agency in India responsible for enforcing economic laws and regulations in the country. It is primarily tasked with investigating and prosecuting cases related to financial crimes, money laundering, foreign exchange violations, and economic offenses.
Here are some key functions and responsibilities of the Enforcement Directorate:
Prevention of Money Laundering: One of the primary functions of the ED is to investigate and prosecute cases of money laundering. Money laundering involves concealing the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by transferring it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. The ED takes action against individuals and entities involved in money laundering activities.
Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) Violations: The Enforcement Directorate enforces the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, which regulates foreign exchange transactions and transactions involving foreign exchange assets. It investigates cases of foreign exchange violations and ensures compliance with FEMA regulations.
Probing Economic Offenses: The ED investigates various economic offenses, including fraud, financial scams, tax evasion, and corruption cases that have financial implications. It plays a crucial role in ensuring accountability and transparency in economic activities.
Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime: The agency has the authority to attach and confiscate assets and properties acquired through illegal means or derived from the proceeds of crime. This is done to prevent individuals or entities from benefiting from their unlawful activities.
International Cooperation: The ED collaborates with international law enforcement agencies and financial intelligence units to combat transnational economic crimes. It participates in mutual legal assistance treaties (MLATs) and shares information and evidence with foreign counterparts to address cross-border financial crimes.
Prosecution: After conducting investigations, the ED initiates legal proceedings and prosecutions against individuals and entities found guilty of economic offenses. It presents cases before specialized adjudicating authorities and courts.
Preventive Measures: In addition to investigations and prosecutions, the ED also takes preventive measures to curb financial crimes. This includes issuing show-cause notices, conducting inquiries, and attaching properties as a precautionary measure during ongoing investigations.
Adjudication: The agency is responsible for adjudicating cases related to violations of foreign exchange and money laundering laws. It has its own adjudicating authorities to hear such cases.
The Enforcement Directorate operates under the administrative control of the Department of Revenue, which, in turn, is part of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. It plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity of India’s financial and economic systems by ensuring compliance with laws and regulations related to economic activities.
DAC Approves Proposals Worth Rs 45,000 crore, Including Procurement Of 12 Su-30MKIs
On September 15, the Government of India took a significant step towards strengthening the country’s defense capabilities by approving a series of proposals. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, gave the green light to nine acquisition proposals, amounting to a total of Rs 45,000 crore. These proposals encompassed various aspects of defense, from the Indian Air Force’s modernization to improving the Indian Navy’s capabilities and enhancing the overall indigenous content in defense projects.
Enhancing the Indian Air Force
One of the key decisions made by the DAC was the approval of the procurement of 12 Su-30MKI aircraft for the Indian Air Force. These advanced fighter jets will be manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a significant step towards bolstering the nation’s indigenous defense production capabilities. The project involves not only the assembly of aircraft but also the development of related ground systems.
Crucially, these Su-30MKIs will need to incorporate more than 60 percent indigenous content, marking a substantial stride in achieving self-reliance in defense production. These aircraft will be equipped with state-of-the-art Indian weapons and sensors, enhancing the Indian Air Force’s operational capabilities.
A Boost for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’
The Indian Ministry of Defence emphasized that all these procurements will be sourced from Indian vendors under the Buy Indian-Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM)/Buy (Indian) category. This move aligns with the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat,’ or self-reliant India, by promoting indigenous defense manufacturing and reducing reliance on foreign imports.
Indian Air Force Upgrades
In addition to the Su-30MKI procurement, the Indian Air Force is set to receive crucial upgrades. The DAC approved avionic upgrades for Dornier aircraft, enhancing their accuracy and reliability for operations. Furthermore, the Dhruvastra Short Range Air-to-Surface Missile, a potent indigenous precision-guided weapon, will be provided for the indigenously built ALH Mk-IV choppers. These enhancements will significantly improve the Air Force’s capabilities.
Strengthening Mechanized Forces
The DAC also focused on enhancing the protection, mobility, attack capability, and survivability of mechanized forces. It approved proposals to procure Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicles (LAMV) and Integrated Surveillance and Targeting System (ISAT-S). Additionally, High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) Gun Towing Vehicles will be acquired to facilitate swift mobilization and deployment of artillery guns and radars. These acquisitions will bolster India’s mechanized forces and increase their readiness.
Next-Generation Survey Vessels for the Indian Navy
Furthermore, The Indian Navy will receive a substantial upgrade with the approval of the procurement of Next Generation Survey Vessels. These vessels will significantly enhance the Navy’s capabilities in performing hydrographic operations, strengthening its maritime presence and security.
World Patient Safety Day 2023 observed on 17 September
World Patient Safety Day, observed on the 17th of September every year, serves as a global platform to emphasize the importance of patient safety in healthcare systems worldwide. The day aims to create awareness and inspire countries to make patient safety a top priority, ultimately striving to eliminate avoidable errors and negative practices within healthcare settings.
The Evolving Landscape of Patient Safety
As healthcare systems have evolved with the introduction of new technologies, treatments, and medicines, the complexity of patient care has increased. Ensuring patient safety in this dynamic environment has become a critical challenge that requires continuous attention and improvement.
The 2023 Theme: “Engaging Patients for Patient Safety”
The theme for World Patient Safety Day 2023 is “Engaging patients for patient safety.” This theme highlights the vital role that patients, their families, and caregivers play in ensuring safe healthcare practices. It underscores the importance of involving patients in their care and decision-making processes.
Objectives of World Patient Safety Day 2023
1. Raising Global Awareness
The primary objective is to raise global awareness regarding the active engagement of patients, their families, and caregivers at all levels of healthcare. This engagement is seen as a means to enhance patient safety significantly.
2. Engaging Stakeholders
World Patient Safety Day encourages the active involvement of various stakeholders, including policy-makers, healthcare leaders, health and care workers, patients’ organizations, civil society, and more. These efforts are aimed at improving patient safety policies and practices across the healthcare spectrum.
3. Empowering Patients and Families
Empowering patients and their families to take an active role in their healthcare is a key goal. Informed and engaged patients can contribute to the improvement of healthcare safety by actively participating in their own care and decision-making processes.
4. Advocating Urgent Action
Advocacy for immediate action on patient and family engagement is aligned with the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021–2030. The objective is to encourage all partners to take urgent steps towards enhancing patient safety.
The Origins of World Patient Safety Day
World Patient Safety Day was established in May 2019 following the resolution for global action on patient safety adopted by the World Health Assembly. This initiative was the result of the Global Ministerial Summits on Patient Safety conducted annually since 2016. It was driven by strong advocacy and commitment from major international stakeholders.
World Patient Safety Day 2023 is a reminder of the global commitment to safeguarding the well-being of patients within healthcare systems. By emphasizing the engagement of patients, their families, and caregivers, this day underscores the collective responsibility to ensure safe, high-quality healthcare practices. As healthcare continues to evolve, World Patient Safety Day serves as a call to action to prioritize patient safety and work together to eliminate preventable harm in healthcare settings.