PIB News: September 8-14, 2020

2nd Kisan Rail

  • The inaugural run of Anantapur – New Delhi Kisan Rail was flagged off on September 9 through video link.
  • The Kisan train will run between Anantapur in Guntakal Division of South Central Railway and Adarsh Nagar in Delhi.
  • On 7th August, the first Kisan Rail was flagged off between Devlali in Maharashtra and Danapur in Bihar as a weekly service, which was later made bi-weekly due to increasing demand. Now the 2nd Kisan Rail will benefit farmers of the states coming en route.
  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said that horticulture is an important activity in the state. AP has 1st rank in the country in the production of tomatoes, coconut, papaya and chillies and is the biggest fruit producing state in South India.
  • Introduction of Kisan Rail is conceptualized to provide priority to the farming sector and facilitate transportation of perishable agricultural products to various market places across the country.

Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin

  • As the world runs out of fossil fuels and looks out for alternate sources of clean energy, there is good news from the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin. The methane hydrate deposit in this basin is a rich source that will ensure adequate supplies of methane, a natural gas.
  • Methane is a clean and economical fuel. It is estimated that one cubic meter of methane hydrate contains 160-180 cubic meters of methane. Even the lowest estimate of methane present in the methane hydrates in KG Basin is twice that of all fossil fuel reserves available worldwide.
  • In a recent study conducted by researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India have found that the methane hydrate deposits are located in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin are of biogenic origin.

Establishment Of Biofuel Stations

  • The Government has notified the National Policy on Biofuels-2018 on 4th June 2018. This policy has laid out indicative targets of achieving 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel in the whole country by 2030.
  • The procurement of ethanol under the ethanol blended petrol (EBP) programme has increased from 38 crore litres to during ethanol supply year (ESY) 2013-14 to almost five times to 188.6 crore litres during ESY 2018-19.
  • This information was given by the Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri  Dharmendra Pradhan in the Lok Sabha on Septemebr 14 in a written reply.

SAROD-Ports

  • Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) Shri Mansukh Mandaviya on September 10 aunched ‘SAROD-Ports’ (Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports) through virtual ceremony today in New Delhi.
  • SAROD-Ports consists members from Indian Ports Association (IPA) and Indian Private Ports and Terminals Association (IPTTA).
  • SAROD-Ports will advise and assist in settlement of disputes through arbitrations in the maritime sector.

Five Star Villages Scheme

  • The Department of Posts on September 10 launched a scheme called Five Star Villages, to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas of the country.
  • The scheme seeks to bridge the gaps in public awareness and reach of postal products and services, especially in interior villages. All postal products and services will be made available and marketed and publicized at village level, under the Five Star Villages scheme.
  • The scheme will be implemented by a team of five Gramin Dak Sevaks who will be assigned a village for marketing of all products, savings and insurance schemes of the Department of Posts.

PM Matsya Sampada Yojana

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, e-Gopala App & several initiatives linked to studies and research in fisheries production, dairy, animal husbandry and agriculture in Bihar through video conferencing on September 10.
  • The scheme provides for new infrastructure, modern equipment and access to new markets to the fish producers, along with increased opportunities for through farming as well as other means.
  • The Central Government has set up a Rs 1 Lakh Crore Agriculture Infrastructure Development Fund for creating special infrastructure and providing support to FPOs, Cooperative Groups to develop storage, cold storage and other facilities.

Doorstep Banking Services

  • Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman on September 9 inaugurated Doorstep Banking Services by PSBs and participated in the awards ceremony to felicitate best performing banks on EASE Banking Reforms Index.
  • As part of the EASE Reforms, Doorstep Banking Services is envisaged to provide convenience of banking services to the customers at their door step through the universal touch points of Call Centre, Web Portal or Mobile App.  Customers canalso track their service request through these channels.
  • The services shall be rendered by the Doorstep Banking Agents deployed by the selected Service Providers at 100 centres across the country.
  • The services can be availed by customers of Public Sector Banks at nominal charges. The services shall benefit all customers, particularly Senior Citizens and Divyangs who would find it at ease to avail these services.
  • A common reform agenda for PSBs, EASE Agenda is aimed at institutionalizing clean and smart banking. It was launched in January 2018, and the subsequent edition of the program ― EASE 2.0 built on the foundation laid in EASE 1.0 and furthered the progress on reforms. Reform Action Points in EASE 2.0 aimed at making the reforms journey irreversible, strengthening processes and systems, and driving outcomes.
  • Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, and erstwhile Oriental Bank of Commerce were felicitated for being the top three (in that order) in the ‘Top Performing Banks’ category according to the EASE 2.0 Index Results. Bank of Maharashtra, Central Bank of India &erstwhile Corporation Bank were awarded in the ‘Top Improvers’ category basis EASE 2.0 Index. Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India, and Canara Bank were also recognized for outstanding performance in select themes.

‘eSanjeevani’ telemedicine service

  • ‘eSanjeevani’ telemedicine service, the platform of the Health Ministry providing tele-consultations, has completed 3 lakh tele-consultations.
  • Ensuring physical distancing, the telemedicine service connects doctors with patients. It has provided essential healthcare at a critical time when conventional medicine is perceived to be risky owing to the nature of the infectious disease.
  • eSanjeevani platform supports two types of telemedicine services viz. Doctor-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani) and Patient-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani OPD) Tele-consultations.

Five Petroleum and Gas sector PSUs will join International Solar Alliance

Five Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry will be joining International Solar Alliance (ISA)’s Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (ISA-CSCA) as Corporate Partners.

In his inaugural Speech at the First World Solar Technology Summit organized by ISA, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on September 8 said that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and GAIL (India) Limited will be contributing to ISA’s Corpus Fund.

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