The Union Cabinet has permitted the implementation of ‘Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF)’ scheme for a period of seven years beginning 2018-19. The scheme was announced on Wednesday in the Union Budget for 2018-19 at a total cost of Rs. 1650 crore.
For this scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of innovation and technology that is a must for the progress and growth of the nation. According to the scheme, the best students who are in the final year of technical streams like B.Tech, M.Tech or M.Sc. from any of the Indian institutes such as Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), National Institutes of Technology (NIT), Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) or IIIT (Indian Institutes of Information Technology) can access direct admission in PhD programme in the IITs or Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
Under the scheme fellows are required to teach at industrial training institutes (ITIs) at least once a week.
“In essence, it is a good move. But if they want to promote knowledge transfer it would be better if they teach at engineering colleges or science colleges depending on the background of the students. Teaching in a difficult set up for which you are not used to, would require greater training for these fellows who would be selected,” told Dheeraj Sanghi, a professor of computer science at IIT Kanpur to Hindustan Times.
Benefits Given To Students Under PMRF Scheme
Further, students who fulfill the eligibility criteria given under the PMRF guidelines will be shortlisted through a selection process that may include an interview. The selected candidates will be offered a fellowship of Rs. 70,000/month for the first two years, Rs. 75,000/ month for the 3rd year and Rs. 80,000/month in the consecutive year i.e. fourth and fifth. Not only this, in order to cover expenses like travel for presenting a research paper in international conferences and seminar a research grant kit of Rs. 2 lakh will also be provided to each of the fellows for a period of five years. Around 3000 fellows will be selected in a three year period beginning 2018-19.
Improvements In Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
The beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) would now be increased from 5 crores to 8 crores with an additional allocation of 4,800 crore rupees as the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its nod for such development. If implemented in the right manner, this plan would definitely be of great help for rural population especially women.
Therefore, households without LPG connection will be covered under the revised target of PMUY by 2020. In the parliament, the Government has also pinpointed the obscurity faced in the implementation of PMUY that many times poor households are left out of Socio-Economic Caste Survey (SECC) list. Also, the number of households of backward classes including SCs and STs, forest dwellers, most backward classes, tea and former tea garden tribes, people residing in islands and rivers are expanded under various schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) and Antyoday Anna Yojana.
Hike In The MSP
With the recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices which takes into account the cost of production, overall demand and supply of copra and coconut oil, cost of processing of copra into coconut oil trends in the domestic and international prices of edible oils, CCEA also gave its nod to hike the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of Milling Copra to Rs. 7,500 per quintal for 2018 season which was kept Rs. 6,500 in 2017.
It is expected that such step would step up India’s coconut cultivation and production, and it would also ensure suitable minimum prices to the farmers. The MSP for FAQ of Ball Copra has been improved from last year as it was Rs. 6,785 and now it would be Rs. 7,750 per quintal for 2018.
Changes In MSMED (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Keeping the interest of micro industries in mind, the Cabinet has approved proposal for Amendment to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 to modify the criteria of classification and to withdraw the MSMED (Amendment) Bill, 2015 that was pending in the Lok Sabha.
It also approved some changes in the basis of classifying MSMEs from investment in plant and machinery and equipment to annual turnover. It is believed that these changes will boost the subsequent growth and will increase employment opportunities for people in the MSME sector of the country. By making the norms of classification growth-oriented and by aligning them with GST, this will surely encourage the ease of doing business.