Government Schemes Current Affairs - 2019

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CICMT: MoA signed between Ministry of Shipping and IIT Kharagpur

A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed between the Union Ministry of Shipping and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur for setting up Centre for Inland and Coastal Maritime Technology (CICMT). The MoA will focus on indigenisation of ship designing, building and testing.

About Centre for Inland and Coastal Maritime Technology

It is a state-of-the-art centre which will be set up under the flagship Sagarmala Programme, a government initiative to enhance the performance of India’s logistics sector.

Project Cost: It will be Rs.69.20 crore, is being funded under Sagarmala programme. The funding for project is for 5 years after which revenues generated from end users will make it sustainable.

CICMT Project (IIT Kharagpur): It will provide technological support, testing, research and experimentation facility to agencies involved in inland water transport, shipbuilding, ports etc.

Function: CICMT will focus on ship design for coastal as well as inland waterways, shipbuilding technology & structural design, cryogenic cargo handling, transport systems & logistics, renewable energy harvesting from coastal and inland waters and artificial intelligence (AI) and automation for maritime operations.

Reduced Dependence: It will be 1st of its kind facility and will be a hub for latest technology tools for maritime sector and will reduce India’s dependence on foreign institutions. It will also drastically reduce cost of research and will result in cost and time savings for work in port and maritime sector.

Strategic Interest: CICMT is of strategic long-term interest for India’s port and maritime sector as it will provide tremendous impetus to Inland water transportation and coastal shipping.

Need:  At present there is no experimentation and testing facility available in India for inland and coastal vessels thus for when required shipbuilders have to approach many European countries where these facilities are available. Thus, CICMT is being setup to address this long felt need and to provide impetus to development of inland waterways and country’s coastal shipping.

Significance: Since indigenous technology is the need of the hour for maritime sector, thus MoA will further the dream of governments’ Make in India initiative and reduce the recurring cost incurred in import of technology.

Government launches DBT Tribal web portal

Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched DBT Tribal web portal to streamline and expedite the process of releasing scholarship grants directly into bank accounts of beneficiary students. 

DBT Tribal web portal

The portal provide single common platform to states to upload data related to beneficiaries, raise queries and give feedback. It has uniform 29-column data sharing format, related to personal and location details of beneficiaries. It is linked with Aadhaar and the Public Financial Management System, thus help to reduce the chances of duplication of beneficiary and manipulation. 

Significance: It is binding on all states and Union territories to upload data on this portal in prescribed format. It will enable central government to monitor who are receiving scholarship benefits in which state, district, block or school and how many grievances have been received and addressed. It will provide beneficiary data for monitoring purposes as the entire system has been digitized in uniform format. 


The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs is currently running various schemes to bridge the gap between Scheduled Tribe (ST) and general category students. There are total five scholarship schemes funded by Central Government and implemented by State Governments. 

Two main scholarship schemes: They are for pre-matric and post-matric education. They are being implemented through states.

For higher education: It runs “Top Class Education For ST Students” scheme in which 246 prestigious institutions, such as IITs and IIMs, participate. Around 1,000 students avail benefits under the scheme every year.

For Mphil and PhD programmes: It is running national fellowship scheme for 750 beneficiaries.

Overseas education: It is running scholarship scheme for tribal students willing to pursue higher studies overseas. Under it, 30 students can avail benefit every year.

Total Beneficiaries: Under these five schemes, so far 1.58 crore beneficiaries have received scholarships worth Rs 7,900 crore across 31 states/UTs in the past five years.

Responsibility of states: They are responsible for identification and verification of beneficiaries and timely disbursement of scholarships. Currently some states are doing it manually, while others have their own direct benefit transfer portals.