Monday, December 18, 2017

Ministry of Defence: Year End Review 2017

Ministry of Defence: Year End Review 2017

Enhancing safety and security of the country, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief during natural and man-made disasters, modernisation of the Armed Forces and supporting indigenisation and manufacturing of defence equipment through the 'Make-in-India' initiative have been the main features of the Ministry of Defence during 2017. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the naval submarine INS Kalvari to the nation in December describing it as a prime example of 'Make-in-India'.

Brahmos, the World's fastest supersonic cruise missile created history in November 2017 when it was successfully flight-tested first time from the Indian Air Force's frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI. The surface-to-air missile Akash was successfully launched. The first ever tri-services exercise INDIRA between India and Russia was conducted in October, 2017. The Ministry launched special campaign to celebrate Armed Forces Flag Day to honour the martyrs and the men in uniform.The week long campaign was a special initiative of the Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman to ensure full support to the welfare of the ex-servicemen and their families, a priority she enunciated immediately after taking over the charge of the Ministry.

Another flagship event of the year was the first ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by all-women crew on Indian Navy sailing vessel INSV Tarini.The Tarini was flagged off on 10th September 2017 and is expected to return to Goa in April 2018. The expedition titled 'Navika Sagar Parikarma' is in consensus with the national policy to give women power to attain their full potential. The search and rescue operation 'Op Sahayam' continues to bring succour to the fishing community and seafarers affected by the Ockhi cyclone.

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Assistance for Higher Education

Assistance for Higher Education

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has been implementing a number of schemes like (i) National Fellowship for Other Backward Classes (OBC) Candidates (ii)  National Fellowship for Higher Education of Schedule Tribe (ST) Students (iii) Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for SC Candidates (iv) Post-Doctoral Fellowship for SC/ST Candidates (v) PG Scholarship for Professional Courses for SC/ST Candidates (vi) Fellowships for Women Candidates for the welfare of women, people from weaker sections, differently abled and financially weaker sections for pursuing Higher Education. 

The Women Candidates and Persons with Disability (PWD) (more than 40% disability) are allowed a relaxation of one year for M.Phil and two years for Ph.D in maximum duration of these courses; allowing transfer of research data in case of relocation of an M.Phil/Ph.D woman scholar due to marriage or otherwise; and allowing women candidates maternity leave/child-care leave once in the entire duration of M.Phil./Ph.D for up to 240 days. Further, the UGC is implementing post-doctoral fellowship for women candidates (un-employed); Swami Vivekananda single girl child scholarship for research in social sciences  and PG Indira Gandhi Scholarship for single girl child for postgraduate courses to promote the enrolment of women at post- doctoral, doctoral and its feeder levels.  

Further, the UGC is providing funds for Remedial Coaching for SC/ST/OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) and Minority Community Students with a view to (i) improve academic skills and linguistic proficiency of the students in various subjects (ii) raise their level of comprehension of basic subjects to provide a stronger foundation for further academic work; and (iii) strengthen their knowledge, skills and attitudes in such subjects, where quantitative and qualitative techniques and laboratory activities are involved so that proper guidance and training provided under the programme may enable the students to come up to the level necessary for pursuing higher studies efficiently.

It has also been informed that these are ongoing schemes in which the institution ensures proper implementation of the scheme and all payments are made by using Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) into the bank accounts of beneficiaries. These payments are routed through Public Financial Management Scheme (PFMS), a robust system for ensuring transparency in the system.

Further, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has been operating a Central Sector Interest Subsidy Scheme, 2009 which provides full Interest Subsidy for the period of moratorium (course period + 1 year) on educational loans taken by students from economically weaker sections with annual parental income up to Rs.4.5 lakh, from scheduled banks under the Educational Loan Scheme of the Indian Banks' Association to pursue Technical/Professional courses in India.

This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Dr. Satya Pal Singh today in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.

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