1 . DANX 17
SOURCE – PIB
- Recently Defence of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Exercise (DANX) was conducted under the aegis of Andaman & Nicobar Command.
- The five day exercise started on 20 Nov 2017 and culminated on 24 Nov 2017.
- Main objective of the exercise was to practice & validate procedures and drills of all the Command forces aimed at defending Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
- Accretional forces from the main land including fighters, Special Forces, Naval ships and heavy lift transport aircraft participated in the exercise.
2 . SERIES III OF SOVEREIGN GOLD BONDS FLOATED
SOURCE – PIB
- Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had floated Series III of Sovereign Gold Bonds 2017-18, for the period from October 09, 2017 to December 27, 2017 (with subscription period Monday to Wednesday every week).
- The Bonds will be issued on the succeeding Monday after each subscription period.
- The Government of India in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI),has decided to allow discount of Rs50 (Rupees Fifty) per gram from the issue price to those investors who apply online and the payment is made through digital mode.
What is Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme ?
- In essence, a Sovereign Gold Bond is a government issued security which represents a certain weight of gold.
- Owning a gold bond of a certain weight is akin to owning that quantity of gold, albeit in a different form.
- This scheme aims to reduce the demand for physical gold, thereby keeping a tab on gold imports and utilising resources effectively.
- With the Reserve Bank of India issuing these gold bonds, it brings in transparency and trust, providing an avenue wherein people can own gold without having to worry about its storage or safety.
How does Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme operate?
- Under the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme, the Reserve Bank of India will issue the bonds on behalf of the Government of India.
- The bonds will be sold at post offices and banks and issued in denomination of gram. They will issue these bonds on payment of money.
- Later on, the bonds will be connected to the price of gold.
- Investors have to pay the bond price in cash.
- From one person, the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme would accept a minimum investment of 2 gm gold and a maximum investment of 500 gm in a single fiscal year.
- The bonds will pay a yearly interest of 2.75% to investors.
- Interest would be paid semi-annually based on the initial value of investments issued for the year 2015-16.
Features and Benefits of Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme
Some of the unique features and benefits of this scheme are mentioned below.
- Gold denomination – These bonds will be issued in multiple weight denominations, starting from 1 gram onwards, providing flexibility in terms of purchasing gold which suits the needs of an individual.
- Format – One has an option to hold these bonds either in paper or demat form, whichever is convenient to an individual.
- Flexibility – Investments in this scheme are flexible, with one having an option to choose the amount he/she wishes to invest.
- Interest – Investments in this scheme are eligible to earn interest every year.
- Safety – There is no need for storage or safety of gold under this scheme, as the gold isn’t physically given to an investor immediately.
- Purity – Since it is backed by the government, one is assured of purity of gold when they invest in the scheme.
- Maturity – This scheme has a maturity period of 8 years.
- Gift/transfer – Investors can choose to gift or transfer these bonds to others, provided they meet the necessary eligibility criteria.
- Premature withdrawal – Premature encashment of these bonds is allowed after 5 years of issue.
- Loan collateral – Investors can use these bonds as collateral against loans.
- Application – The application process is simple and fast, with banks and post offices permitted to provide this service.
- Payment modes – One can opt to purchase these bonds through multiple payment modes, with cheques, cash, DDs or electronic transfer accepted.
- Nomination – This scheme has a provision for nomination, adhering to the rules of the land.
- Tradable – Investors can trade these bonds on stock exchanges, subject to notifications of the Reserve Bank of India.
3 . COMMUNAL HARMONY FLAG DAY OBSERVED BY NFCH
SOURCE – PIB
- The National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) is observing the Communal Harmony Campaign and Fund Raising Week from November 19-25, 2017 and the Flag Day was celebrated today (24th Nov) with enthusiasm and fervour.
WHAT IS NFCH ?
- National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) was set up as an autonomous organisation under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, and registered on the 19th February, 1992.
- The main objective of NFCH is providing assistance for the physical and psychological rehabilitation of the child victims of communal, caste, ethnic or terrorist violence, with special reference to their care, education and training besides promoting communal harmony, fraternity and national integration.
- The Home Minister is ex-officio chairman of the Governing Council of the Foundation.
- The Governing Council decides broad policies, suggests measures for achieving its objectives and exercises overall supervision over the Foundation.
- The ex-officio chairman of the Executive Council of the Foundation is the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs.
- The management and administration of the Foundation rests with the Executive Council.
- The Secretary of the Foundation is its principal executive officer.
- It organises the Communal Harmony Campaign coinciding with the Qaumi Ekta Week and also observes the Communal Harmony Flag Day.
- The Foundation promotes Communal Harmony and strengthens National Integration.
- Under its Project ‘Assist’, the NFCH also provides financial assistance for relief and rehabilitation of children rendered orphan or destitute in communal, caste, ethnic or terrorist violence.
4 . 30.76 LAKH HOUSES SANCTIONED SO FAR UNDER PMAY(U)
SOURCE – PIB
- The Government has informed that since launch of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) (U) on 25th June 2015, the Government has sanctioned a total of 30.76 lakhs houses across all verticals.
- Currently, 15.65 lakh houses have been grounded and are at various stages of construction and about 4.13 lakh houses have been constructed since the launch of the mission.
WHAT IS PMAY ?
- PMAY was launched in June 2015.
- The Government envisages building affordable pucca houses with water facility, sanitation and electricity supply round-the-clock.
- The scheme originally was meant to cover people in the EWS (annual income not exceeding ₹3 lakh) and LIG (annual income not exceeding ₹6 lakh) sections, but now covers the mid-income group (MIG) as well.
- PMAY scheme comprises of four key aspects. One, it aims to transform slum areas by building homes for slum dwellers in collaboration with private developers. Two, it plans to give a credit-linked subsidy to weaker and mid income sections on loans taken for new construction or renovation of existing homes.Three, the Government will chip in with financial assistance for affordable housing projects done in partnership with States/ Union Territories for the EWS. Four, it will extend direct financial assistance of ₹1.5 lakh to EWS.