Daily Current Affairs with Gist of PIB (9th March - 2017)

National

http://www.iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/Aadhaar.jpgNo one to be deprived of benefits for lack of Aadhaar

  • Government has said that no one will be deprived of the benefits for lack of Aadhaar. In a statement issued today, the Government has reiterated that till Aadhaar number is assigned to any individual, the benefit will continue to be given based on alternate means of identification. It also directed the departments to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities to their beneficiaries under Regulation 12 of Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations 2016.
  • Considering the usefulness of Aadhaar in curbing leakages and bringing transparency in delivery system, the Government has recently issued orders to use Aadhaar in several other welfare schemes funded from the Consolidated Fund of India. While these orders require beneficiaries of these programs to give their Aadhaar number, it has also been ensured that no one is deprived of the benefits for want of Aadhaar.
  • In case of Mid Day Meal scheme and under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, the schools and Anganwadis have been asked to collect the Aadhaar number of the children beneficiaries and in case a child does not have Aadhaar, the school or ICDS functionary will be required to provide enrolment facilities to a child and till Aadhaar number is assigned, the benefits will be continue.
  • Aadhaar has been given to more than 112 Crore people. With such wide and extensive coverage, Aadhaar has become an important tool of  transformation, good governance and empowerment of people. It ensures that the benefits reach only the deserving and entitled individuals and are not cornered away by fake persons and middlemen. Various studies and survey had earlier pointed out massive leakages in welfare schemes.
  • During the last two and half years, Aadhaar has helped in direct delivery of benefits to crores of people through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in schemes such as LPG subsidy under Pahal, Scholarships, MNREGA, and Pensions.
  • In the Public Distribution System, Aadhaar is also ensuring that the food grains are received only by the genuine beneficiaries and not diverted by any middle man or unscrupulous elements. It has, thus, saved huge sums of public money which otherwise was being siphoned away by middlemen.
  • The total savings because of plugging of leakages due to Aadhaar during the last two and half years in just a few schemes where Aadhaar has been implemented amount to more than Rs 49,000 Crore.

http://iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/surgical-strike-India.jpgIndo - Oman Joint Army Exercise Al Nagah-Ii 2017

  • Second edition of the joint exercise between the Indian and Oman Armies commenced with the Opening Ceremony at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh.
  • The training contingents comprised of platoon strength from both the Armies, which will be validated over 2-3 days by senior military observers of both the countries. The previous edition of the Exercise was held at Muscat, Oman in 2015.
  • The aim of this exercise is to acquaint both forces with each other’s operating procedures, improve the interoperability in conducting joint operations in the backdrop of counter insurgency/ counter terrorism environment as also to enhance the existing military relationship between the Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman.
International

DGMO speaks to Pak. counterpart, expresses concern at terrorists' movement along LoC

  • Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt held talks with his Pakistan counterpart and expressed concern over the movement of terrorists along the Line of Control (LoC).
  • "The Pakistan DGMO was also informed about the repatriation of two Pakistan nationals, who were apprehended in Uri, Kashmir," a senior Army officer said, adding that they would be repatriated through the Wagah border on March 10.
Economy

Switch from EPF to NPS

  • More than eight crore members of the Employees’ Provident Fund, can now opt to move their retirement savings to the National Pension System overseen by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) –over two years after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had promised such an alternative for employees in the Budget for 2015-16.
  • The PFRDA notified the procedure for EPF members to transfer their investments to the National Pension System or NPS on 07-03- 2017.
  • He had promised to provide employees the option to leave the EPF and opt for the NPS and had also said that employees below a certain level of monthly income could decide if they wanted to stop their own contributions to the EPF. In all, 24% of an employee’s salary is diverted to the EPF as a mandatory retirement saving scheme.
  • The amount transferred from a recognised Provident Fund or superannuation fund to NPS would not be treated as income of the current year and hence, would not be taxable.
  • While the return on EPF savings this year is expected to be 8.65%, the NPS offers multiple asset allocation options and fund managers for its members to choose from, with varying rates of returns.
In the News

Taarak Mehta

  • Gujarati playwright Taarak Mehta, whose writings were adapted in a popular Hindi TV serial Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, died on 08-03- 2017.
  • He was 88. Mr. Mehta was a recipient of the Padma Shri. Mr. Mehta died in a hospital and his family decided to donate the body to science.
  • The popular Hindi serial “Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah” was inspired by Mr. Mehta’s Gujarati columns “Duniya Ne Undha Chashma.” The serial is one of the longest running comedy shows in the television history of India.

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