Daily IAS Current Affairs March 27 and 28, 2020 | PendulumIAS

2020-03-28 | 4 minutes

General Studies-II- Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation

1. 1.7 lakh crore package for COVID-19 warriors


The government has announced a package of Rs. 1.7 Lakh crore under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor, underprivileged people to fight against COVID-19.


The various components of the package are:

  • Insurance scheme for health workers treating and looking after the Covid-19 cases in government hospitals and health care centers. It also includes Safai Karamchars working in such centers. In case of an accident, while dealing with such cases, the affected person would be provided with INR 50 lakhs.
  • PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojna: Under this, the poor section would be provided with double of their current entitlements under the PDS system over a period of 3 months, free of cost. Each family would be provided with 1Kg of pulses.
  • The farmers eligible under PM-KISAN yojna would be provided with the ensured entitlement of INR 2000 before the allotted date.
  • Women account holders under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna would be provided with INR 500 per month over the next 3 months.
  • The government will contribute 24% in the Employment Provident Fund of wage-earners below Rs 15,000 per month in businesses having less than 100 workers.
  • Senior citizens over the age of 60 years, the widows and Divyangs will be provided with INR 1000 over the next 3 months.
  • Women beneficiaries under PM Ujjwala Yojana will be provided LPG cylinders for free for the next three months.
  • The wages of MGNREGA workers has been increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202.
  • People will be allowed to withdraw 75% of the amount of non-refundable advance from their EPF account or 3 months of wages, whichever is lower.


General Studies-II- Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial Bodies.

2. District Mineral Foundation Fund


The Union Finance Minister has asked the state governments should utilize the disaster mineral foundation funds to fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Prelims Facts

District Mineral Foundation Fund:

  • District Mineral Foundations are non-profit trusts that were formed under the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act 2015.
  • The fund is collected at the district level and is under the jurisdiction of the State government.
  • The high priority areas where 60% of the funds must be utilized include Drinking water, women and child welfare, education, welfare of aged and disabled, health, etc.


Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana: The scheme was launched to take measures for the welfare of people affected due to mining-related activities using District mineral foundation funds.


General Studies-II- Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation

3. Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation


Various measures have been taken by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation to certain the supply of oxygen in health care centres for the prevention of coronavirus. PESO has instructed its offices to grant licenses for storing and transporting oxygen immediately.

Prelims Facts

Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO):

  • It is an autonomous body that was formed in 1898.
  • It works under the aegis of the Department of the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Trade. 
  • It is a statutory body that looks after the safety requirements in manufacture, storage, transport and use of explosives and petroleum.
  • It is responsible for the implementation of the related provisions in the Explosives Act, 1884; Petroleum Act, 1934; Inflammable Substances Act, 1952 and Environment (Protection Act), 1986.


General Studies-II- Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.

4. RBI announced relief package


The Reserve Bank of India has announced a relief package for dealing with the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic.


  • The repo rate, the rate at which central bank provides the loan to commercial banks, has been reduced by 75 basis points to 4.4%.
  • The reverse repo rate, the rate at which the central bank accepts deposits from commercial banks, has been reduced by 90 basis points to 4%.
  • Cash reserve Ratio has been reduced to 3% from 4%.
  • The relief has been provided on the monthly payments of all loans up to three months.

Prelims Facts

Cash Reserve Ratio: It is the percentage of the total deposits that a bank has to keep with RBI. By reducing the CRR, RBI increases liquidity, while when RBI wants to reduce the money supply, it increases CRR. 

Open Market Operations: It is one of the instruments of RBI to control the money supply. The RBI sells government securities in the open market when it wants to reduce the money supply. It buys government securities to increase the money supply.

Additional Facts

Reunion Island:

India and France conducted joint patrols from the Reunion Island for the first time. India has conducted coordinated patrols (CORPAT) only with its maritime neighbours while it rejected to conduct a joint patrol with US.

Reunion Island is a French island located in the Indian Ocean.

Mains Question

  1. What are the various quantitative and qualitative measures used by the RBI to control the money supply? (150 words)
  2. What are the problems faced by the people dwelling in mining areas? Mention the schemes and programmes implemented by the government for the welfare of these people. (200 words)