1 . Asia’s largest drip irrigation project in Karnataka
Asia’s largest drip irrigation project, involving 2,150 kilometres of pipeline, at Ramthal Marola area of Bhagalkot district in Karnataka, will take off shortly. The project, executed by one of India’s largest infrastructure firms Megha Engineering & Infrastructures (MEIL).
The project, envisioned by Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam and built with technical assistance from the Israel firm Netafim, the first project in India with Israeli drip irrigation technology, will be maintained by MEIL for five years.
What is drip irrigation?
Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or micro irrigation or localized irrigation, is an irrigation method which allows water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. It is done through narrow tubes that deliver water directly to the base of the plant.
Crops suitable for Drip Irrigation System
1. Orchard Crops – Grapes, Banana, Pomegranate, Orange, Citrus, Mango, Lemon, Custard Apple, Sapota, Guava, Pineapple, Coconut, Cashewnut,
Papaya, Aonla, Litchi, Watermelon,Muskmelon etc.
2. Vegetables – Tomato, Chilly, Capsicum, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Onion, Okra, Brinjal, Bitter Gourd, Ridge Gourd, Cucumber, Peas, Spinach,
3. Cash Crops – Sugarcane, Cotton. Arecanut, Strawberry etc.
4. Flowers – Rose, Carnation, Gerbera, Anthurium, Orchids, Jasmine, Dahilia, Marigold etc.
5. Plantation – Tea, Rubber, Coffee, Coconut etc.
6. Spices – Turmeric, Cloves, Mint etc,
7. Oil Seed – Sunflower, Oil palm, Groundnut etc.
8. Forest Crops – Teakwood, Bamboo etc.
2 . Forex kitty continues to scale new peaks , touches $414.78 billion
The rally in the foreign exchange reserves continued for the fourth week in a row, and scaled a new peak at USD 414.784 billion in the week to January 19, helped by rise in foreign currency assets, according to the Reserve Bank data.
The reserves had crossed the USD 400-billion mark for the first time in the week to September 8, 2017 but has since been fluctuating. But for the past four weeks it have been on a continuous rally.
Know About Foreign Exchange Reserves
The Foreign exchange reserves of India are India’s holdings of cash, bank deposits, bonds, and other financial assets denominated in currencies other than India’s national currency, the Indian rupee. The reserves are managed by the Reserve Bank of India for the Indian government and the main component is foreign currency assets.
Components of India’s Foreign Exchange Reserves
The components of India’s Foreign Exchange Reserves include Foreign currency assets (FCAs), Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), Gold and RBI’s Reserve position with International Monetary Fund (IMF).
3 . Govt. relaxes Atal pension plan norms
The Centre would now allow small finance banks and payment banks to offer the Atal Pension Yojana (APY), which is expected to significantly increase the coverage of the scheme.
So far, 11 payment banks and 10 small finance banks have received licences from the Reserve Bank of India to start banking operations in India.
As of January 23, 2018, there were more than 84 lakh subscribers registered under the APY with an asset base of more than Rs. 3,194 crore.
About Atal Pension Yojana (APY)
Atal Pension Yojana (APY), a pension scheme for unorganised sector workers such as personal maids, drivers, gardeners etc, was launched in June 2015 by the government. This social security scheme was introduced as a replacement to previous government’s Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite, which wasn’t well accepted by people.
Eligibility for the Atal Pension Yojana
1. An Indian citizen
2. Have a valid bank account
3. Are between 18 and 40 years of age.
APY is a periodic contribution based pension plan and promises a fixed pension of Rs 1000/ Rs 2000/ Rs 3000/ Rs 4000 or Rs 5000. Your monthly contribution depends upon the fixed amount of monthly pension you want and the age when you start Contributions end and pension starts at 60 years of age. Therefore, even if you join APY at 40 years of age you need to pay premium for a minimum of 20 years to avail the pension.
Benefits under APY
It provides guaranteed pension of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 (as explained above) to the subscribers. In case of death of subscriber, the spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled for the same amount of pension till his or her death. And after the demise of both spouse and subscriber, the nominee will be entitled to receive the pension money that the subscriber had accumulated till 60 years of age