Union Cabinet Approves Green Mobility, Artisan Empowerment, and Digital Expansion

Union Cabinet Approves Green Mobility, Artisan Empowerment, and Digital Expansion
Posted on 17-08-2023

Union Cabinet Approves Key Initiatives: PMe-Bus Sewa, PM Vishwakarma Scheme, and More

In recent news, the Union Cabinet has given the green light to a range of significant schemes, with the primary focus on sustainable urban mobility, traditional artisan empowerment, and digital expansion. Here's a breakdown of the major decisions:

1. PMe-Bus Sewa: Enhancing Green Mobility

In an effort to promote eco-friendly transportation, the Union Cabinet has approved the PM e-Bus Sewa initiative, aimed at enhancing city bus operations through the adoption of electric buses (e-buses). These e-buses exclusively rely on zero-emission electricity sources for propulsion and accessory systems. The scheme comprises two main segments:

  • Segment 1: Deployment of 10,000 e-buses in 169 cities through a public-private partnership model. This phase will also involve the development or enhancement of depot infrastructure and power infrastructure like substations.

  • Segment 2: Upgradation of infrastructure in 181 cities under the green urban mobility initiatives. This phase focuses on aspects such as bus priority, multimodal interchange facilities, automated fare collection systems, and charging infrastructure.

Cities with populations exceeding three lakh, including Union Territory capitals, northeastern states, and hill states, are covered by the scheme. The management and financial responsibilities of the bus services lie with the respective states or cities, while the central government will provide subsidies as outlined in the scheme.

2. PM Vishwakarma Scheme: Empowering Artisans and Craftsmen

The Cabinet has given the nod to the PM Vishwakarma Scheme, a ₹13,000 crore initiative designed to offer subsidized loans to traditional artisans and craftsmen, including weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, and barbers. Notable features of the scheme include:

  • Recognition for artisans through the PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card.

  • Subsidized loans of ₹1 lakh in the first tranche and an additional ₹2 lakh in the second tranche, at a concessional interest rate of 5%.

  • Skill upgradation programs, incentive provision for toolkits, digital transaction support, and marketing assistance.

  • Training programs encompassing both basic and advanced skills, with participants receiving a stipend of ₹500 per day during training.

  • Financial assistance of up to ₹15,000 to acquire modern tools.

  • Aiming to enhance product and service quality and global integration of artisans into value chains.

3. Other Cabinet Decisions

Aside from the aforementioned schemes, the Union Cabinet has taken additional key decisions:

  • Digital India Programme Extension: A five-year extension and expansion of the Digital India programme, with an outlay of ₹14,903 crore. The plan includes expanding the Computer Emergency Response Team, India (CERT-in), and upskilling 6.25 lakh IT professionals while training 2.65 lakh individuals in information security.

  • Bhashini: The AI-enabled multi-language translation tool, Bhashini, will be launched in 22 Schedule VIII languages.

  • National Supercomputing Mission: The mission will add nine supercomputers to the existing 18. These supercomputers will be instrumental in areas such as weather forecasting, geology, agriculture, and AI modeling.

  • MSME Document Verification: The online repository DigiLocker, operated by the government, will be extended to facilitate document verification for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), streamlining the process of obtaining business loans.

The Union Cabinet's recent decisions underscore the government's commitment to sustainable mobility, artisanal empowerment, digital expansion, and technological advancement across various sectors.

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