1. Golden Temple gets FCRA registration

The issue in news

The Union Home Ministry has granted the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration to Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, or the Golden Temple, in Amritsar.

  • The FCRA registration enables it to receive foreign donations.
  • Any association, non-government organisation (NGO) or registered society requires FCRA registration to receive foreign donations for specified purposes.
  • In the present case, the foreign contribution can be used by the Sikh shrine for activities such as providing financial assistance to the poor, medical assistance to the needy and organise langars, which serve as free community kitchens.


  1. AMRUT Scheme

The issue in news

The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme was launched in 2015 in 500 cities across India covering about 60% of the urban population.


 Objectives of AMRUT Scheme

  • The AMRUT Scheme focuses on establishing an infrastructure for ensuring adequate sewage networks and water supply in the urban areas through the implementation of the urban revival projects.
  • The first state to submit State Annual Action Plan under the AMRUT scheme was Rajasthan.
  • Various other schemes like Swachh Bharat Mission, Housing for All 2022 and the local state schemes related to water supply, sewerage and infrastructure can also be linked to the AMRUT scheme.
  • The main objectives of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) are mentioned below:
  • To ensure a proper supply of water and a sewage connection in every household.
  • To develop green and well maintained open spaces and parks to increase the amenity value of the cities.
  • To reduce pollution by switching to public transport or through the construction of non-motorized transport facilities such as walking and cycling.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) aims in covering around 500 cities that are having a population of over one lakh with notified municipalities.


What are the major components of the AMRUT Mission?

The AMRUT Mission consists of the following major components:

  • Capacity building , reform implementation, water supply and management of sewerage and seepage , Drainage of stormwater, Improvement in urban transport facilities, Development of green spaces and parks.


Who can apply for Amrut Scheme?

  • The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation aims in covering around 500 cities that are having a population of over one lakh.
  • To be selected under the AMRUT Scheme, the cities/towns falls under the following categories:
  • All the cities and towns that are having a population of one lakh or above as per the census of 2011 with notified municipalities and also including the civilian areas.
  • All the capital cities or towns of States/ UTs that are not falling under the above criteria.
  • The cities or towns that are classified as Heritage Cities by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs under the HRIDAY Scheme.
  • Thirteen cities and towns that fall on the stem of the main rivers and having a population of more than 75,000 but less than 1 lakh.
  • Ten Cities belonging from the hill states, islands and tourist destinations. Only one city from each of these states can be selected under the AMRUT scheme.


  1. National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB)

The issue in news

A report on the journey of the NSTEDB in catalyzing innovation, entrepreneurship, and incubation was launched by the Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST).


  • The NSTEDB was established in 1982 by the Government of India under the aegis of the DST.
  • It is an institutional mechanism to help promote knowledge-driven and technology-intensive enterprises.
  • The Board, having representations from socio-economic and scientific Ministries/Departments, aims to convert “job-seekers” into “job-generators” through Science & Technology (S&T) interventions.
  • Its broad objective is to promote gainful self-employment amongst the Science and Technology (S&T) manpower in the country.


Objectives of NSTEDB:

  • To promote knowledge-based and innovation-driven enterprises.
  • To facilitate the generation of entrepreneurship and self-employment opportunities for S&T persons.
  • To facilitate information dissemination.
  • To network with various Central & State Government agencies for S&T based entrepreneurship development.
  • To act as a policy advisory body to the Government agencies for S&T based entrepreneurship development.
  • To generate employment through technical skill development using S&T infrastructure.


The various institutional mechanisms under the Board include the following:

  • National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI)
  • NewGen Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre ( NewGen IEDC)
  • Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development (STED) Project
  • Innovation – Science and Technology based Entrepreneurship Development (i-STED)
  • Science & Technology Entrepreneurs Park (STEP)
  • Technology Business Incubator (TBI)


  1. SAROD-Ports

The issue in news

Union Minister of State for Shipping launches ‘SAROD-Ports’ (Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports).

About SAROD-Ports:

  • SAROD-Ports is a dispute redressal mechanism to facilitate affordable and timely resolution of disputes for the maritime sector.
  • It has been established under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 for affordable and timely resolution of disputes in a fair manner.
  • SAROD-Ports consists of members from the Indian Ports Association (IPA) and Indian Private Ports and Terminals Association (IPTTA).
  • It will advise and assist in the settlement of disputes through arbitrations in the maritime sector, including ports and shipping sector in Major Port Trusts, Non-major Ports, including private ports, jetties, terminals and harbours.
  • The mechanism is similar to the provision available in the highway sector in the form of SAROD-Roads constituted by the National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI).

 Objectives of SAROD-Ports:

Affordable and timely resolution of disputes in a fair manner.  Enrichment of Dispute Resolution Mechanism with the panel of technical experts as arbitrators.

  1. Five Star Villages Scheme

The issue in news

India Post launches Five Star Villages Scheme to ensure 100% rural coverage of postal schemes.

About Five Star Villages Scheme:

  • The Department of Posts has 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 the village level, under the scheme.
  • Branch offices will function as a one-stop-shop to cater to all post office-related needs of villagers.
  • The schemes covered under the Five Star scheme include: Savings Bank Accounts, Recurrent Deposit Accounts, NSC/KVP certificates, Sukanya Samridhi Accounts/PPF Accounts, Funded Post Office Savings Account linked India Post Payments Bank Accounts
  • Postal Life Insurance Policy/Rural Postal
    • Life Insurance Policy Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana Account/Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana Account.
  • If a village attains universal coverage for the four schemes from the above list, then that village gets a four-star status; if a village completes three schemes, then that village gets a three-star status and so on.


How will the scheme be implemented?

  • The scheme will be implemented by a team of five Gramin Dak Sevaks who will be assigned a village for the marketing of all products, savings and insurance schemes of the Department of Posts.
  • This team will be headed by the Branch Post Master of the concerned Branch Office.
  • The mail overseer will keep personal watch on the progress of the team on a daily basis.
  • The teams will be led and monitored by the concerned Divisional Head, Assistant Superintendents Posts and Inspector Posts.
  • The team of Gramin Dak Sevaks will conduct a door-to-door awareness campaign on all schemes, covering all eligible villagers.
  • Wide publicity will be given by displaying the information on notice boards of Branch Offices.
  • Prominent places of targeted villages like Panchayat Offices, schools, village dispensaries, bus depots, markets will also be used for advertising and pamphlets will be distributed.
  • Small melas will be organized, considering COVID-19 safety guidelines.


  1. India and Japan sign agreement

The issue in news

India and Japan sign agreement on Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between Forces of both countries.

Main points

  • India and Japan signed an Agreement between the two countries concerning the Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Armed Forces of India and the Self-Defense Forces of Japan.
  • This agreement establishes the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Japan in the reciprocal provision of supplies and services while engaged in bilateral training activities, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian International Relief and other mutually agreed activities.
  • The agreement will also enhance the interoperability between the armed forces of India and Japan thereby further increasing the bilateral defence engagements under the Special Strategic & Global Partnership between the two countries.
  • The agreement is mainly aimed at greater maritime cooperation and can dramatically upgrade India- Japan naval exercises as the participants are expected to share maritime facilities for mutual benefit.

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