Cabinet approves New Crop Insurance Scheme – Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana – A boost to the farming sector



Cabinet approves New Crop Insurance Scheme – Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana – A boost to the farming sector 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has approved the ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ - a path breaking scheme for farmers’ welfare.


The highlights of this scheme are as under:

i)               There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops. In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%. The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low and balance premium will be paid by the Government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
ii)             There is no upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government.
iii)           Earlier, there was a provision of capping the premium rate which resulted in low claims being paid to farmers. This capping was done to limit Government outgo on the premium subsidy. This capping has now been removed and farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.
iv)           The use of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.

The new Crop Insurance Scheme is in line with One Nation – One Scheme theme.  It incorporates the best features of all previous schemes and at the same time, all previous shortcomings/weaknesses have been removed.



er Crop Insurance Scheme - Comparison
No
Feature
NAIS

[1999]
MNAIS

[2010]
PM Crop Insurance Scheme
1
Premium rate
Low
High
Lower than even NAIS
(Govt to contribute 5 times that of farmer)
2
One Season – One Premium
Yes
No
Yes
3
Insurance Amount cover
Full
Capped
Full
4
On Account Payment
No
Yes
Yes
5
Localised Risk coverage
No
Hail storm
Land slide
Hail storm
Land slide
Inundation
6
Post Harvest Losses coverage
No
Coastal areas - for cyclonic rain
All India – for cyclonic + unseasonal rain
7
Prevented Sowing coverage
No
Yes
Yes
8
Use of Technology
(for quicker settlement of claims)
No
Intended
Mandatory
9
Awareness
No
No
Yes (target to double coverage to 50%)

One Nation – One Scheme: best features of all previous schemes incorporated + all previous shortcomings / weaknesses removed


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Cabinet approves India joining the International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for India becoming a member country of the International Energy Agency - Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES) by signing the Implementing Agreement (IA). The nodal agency for the membership would be Earth System Science Organisation - National Institute of Ocean Technology (ESSO-NIOT) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

By becoming a member of the IEA-OES, India will have access to advanced R&D teams and technologies across the world. India will partner in developing test protocols along with other countries. This will help in testing Indian prototypes as per international requirements and norms. Joint cooperative programs with institutes of member countries could be taken up. India's own research projects with specific targets can be taken up in conjunction with other countries.

Background:

The long coastline of India and severe power deficit in the country, warrant the study of ocean renewable energies. Vagaries of the sea makes harnessing ocean energy a technological challenge. In the Indian context designing of scaled up ocean energy devices (including wave, currents and tidal) and their techno-commercial viability needs to be undertaken. Tropical countries have high sea surface temperatures and hence Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a good option for countries like India. NIOT, an autonomous research institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, is working in the area of ocean energy and desalination.

The IEA is an inter-governmental organization with a broad role of promoting alternate energy sources (including renewable energy), rational energy policies and multinational energy technology co¬operation and acts as energy policy advisor to 29 member countries. The OES, launched in 2001, is an intergovernmental collaboration between countries, which operates under framework established by the International Energy Agency. This initiative is to advance research, development and demonstration of technologies to harness energy from all forms of ocean renewable resources, as well as for other uses, such as desalination etc. through international cooperation and information exchange. 
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Constitution of an Empowered Committee of Secretaries to process the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for setting up an Empowered Committee of Secretaries under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary, in order to process the recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) in an overall perspective.

The Empowered Committee of Secretaries will function as a Screening Committee to process the recommendations with regard to all relevant factors of the 7th CPC in an expeditious detailed and holistic fashion. 
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MoU between India and Maldives for Health 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Maldives which was signed in January, 2014 on cooperation in the field of Health.

The Memorandum of Understanding covers the following areas of cooperation:-

i. Exchange & training of medical doctors, officials, other health professionals and experts;

ii. Assistance in development of human resources and setting up of health care facilities;

iii. Medical and health research development;

iv. Management of healthcare sector and public health services;

v. Procurement of generic and essential drugs and assistance in sourcing of drug supplies;

vi. Health promotion and disease prevention;

vii. Traditional and; complementary Medicine

viii. Telemedicine; and

ix. Any other area of cooperation as may be mutually decided upon.

This MoU will facilitate greater cooperation between the two countries, especially for assisting Maldives for development of human resources and facilities for healthcare. Enhanced cooperation in the field of health will foster great friendship and relations between the two countries. 


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