Livelihoods News

The Centre would work towards formulating a national programme on organic farming and millet cultivation, Union Minister Ananth Kumar said today. A round table conference would be held on the issue, involving Union Ministers for Agriculture, Commerce, Food and Civil Supplies, Rural Development and Fertiliser, he said.

New Delhi: India’s rural landscape has transformed with the clear divide that existed between rural and urban areas now blurring and resulting in the creation of a more integrated economy, says a draft action plan for the next three years put out by the federal government’s policy think tank Niti Aayog.

HYDERABAD -- It was India's first university to adopt Urdu as the medium of instruction -- but with English as a compulsory subject. And, as it turns 100 on Wednesday, Osmania University has blended tradition with modernity to emerge as one of the country's oldest and most prestigious institutes of higher learning.

With President Pranab Mukherjee set to launch the centenary celebrations, the spotlight is on the premier seat of learning, known for its chequered history.

Niti Aayog, the government's thinktank, has strongly backed taxing of agricultural income above a certain threshold and removal of exemptions on personal income tax as part of a strategy to expand the tax base and prevent evasion. There is a view within the thinktank that the blanket relief on agricultural income was aimed at protecting farmers, but it was being misused by many non-farmers who declare agriculture as their source of income to evade tax.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today highlighted the importance of panchayats in fulfilling the aspirations of the people in rural India and in transforming the country.

"On National Panchayati Raj Day, I salute all the hardworking individuals (who are) serving the people through Panchayati Raj institutions across India," he tweeted.

"Panchayats are effective ways to fulfill aspirations of people in rural India. They are playing a vital role in India's transformation," he added.

Ministry of Rural Development achieved a milestone today by successfully geo-tagging one crore assets created under flagship rural employment program MGNREGA. The geo-tagged assets have been shared in public domain.

Each year a huge number of rural assets are created under MGNREGA. Since it started in 2006-07, more than 2.8 crore assets have been reportedly created. That makes for an annual average of about 30 lakh new assets.

The government and activists are on a warpath over allegations that more than half of all workers under the rural jobs scheme will be denied employment because the deadline for Aadhaar enrolment has passed.

Activists say any denial of jobs under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) violates orders of the Supreme Court, which has repeatedly said people cannot be denied entitlement

NEW DELHI: The government is redrawing a micro-credit programme to help pull rural households out of poverty. The proposal is to lend up to Rs 1 lakh per family in the next three to five years, with the loans coming collateral-free and with subsidised interest rates.

"We have simplified the process for accessing loans... We are getting into the details of livelihood each house can undertake so that the money can be lent accordingly," said rural development secretary Amarjeet Sinha.

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