Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF)
The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is a medium - long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee.
The duration of the scheme is from FY 2020 to FY 2029 (10 years). Under the scheme, Rs. 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans with interest subvention (subsidy) of 3% per annum and credit guarantee coverage under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) for loans up to Rs. 2 Crores.
Eligible beneficiaries include farmers, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Start-ups, and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public-Private Partnership Projects.
Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE)
CGTMSE is an initiative of the Government of India in collaboration with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) launched on 30th August 2000.
The basic aim of CGTMSE is to encourage first-time entrepreneurs to establish SME and MSME by availing of collateral free loans from the eligible financial institutions.
The guarantee covers default by the borrower to repay the advance.
Thus, the CGTMSE scheme primarily envisages the provision of loans to first generation entrepreneurs so that they can flourish in the competitive environment without the burden of security or third-party guarantees.
In turn the financial institutions are provided cover for the absence of security to fund SMEs and MSMEs promoted by small Indian businessmen up to a certain limit.
Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS)
A Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) is a basic unit and smallest co-operative credit institutions in India. It works on the grassroots level (gram panchayat and village level).
The Primary Agricultural Credit Societies are the association of persons, unlike in the case of the Joint Stock Companies, where there is just accumulation of capital.
Primary Agricultural Credit Societies confers equal rights to all its members without considering their holding of share and their social standing.
The first Primary agricultural Credit Society (PACS) was formed in the year 1904. Since then these societies have been playing a significant role in providing short-term and medium term credit to the farmers.
Functions of PACS includes to provide short and medium-term purpose loans to its members and borrowing an adequate amount of funds from central financial agencies.
Aditya-L1 Support Cell
A community service centre (Aditya-L1 Support Cell) has been set up to bring all data on board India's first dedicated solar space mission to a single web-based interface.
It is a joint effort of Indian Space Research Organisation and Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (Uttarakhand).
It will allow every interested individual to perform scientific analysis of the data.
Read More: Aditya-L1
Science & Tech
Python-5 air-to-air missile
Indigenously-developed light combat aircraft Tejas has been cleared to carry fifth generation Python-5 air-to-air missile as part of its weapons package that would significantly enhance the combat prowess of the jet.
The Python is a family of air-to-air missiles (AAMs) built by the Israeli weapons manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
As a beyond-visual-range missile, it is capable of lock-on after launch (LOAL), and has full-sphere/all-direction (including rearward) attack ability.
Read More: Tejas LCA