The Gist of Press Information Bureau (PIB): November + December 2015

The Gist of Press Information Bureau: November + December 2015

Web-Based Portal VIZ. Vidya Lakshmi

A web-based portal viz. Vidya Lakshmi ( was launched on the occasion of Independence Day i.e. 15th August, 2015 for the benefit of students seeking Educational Loans. The Portal has been developed and maintained by NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-Gov) under the guidance of Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

Earlier the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget for 2015-16 inter-alia had proposed to set-up a fully IT based Student Financial Aid Authority to administer and monitor Scholarship as well as Educational Loan Schemes, through the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram (PMVLK) to ensure that no student misses out on higher education for lack of funds. The launch of the aforesaid Portal is a first step towards achieving this objective, Vidya Lakshmi Portal is a first of its kind portal providing single window for Students to access information and make application for Educational Loans provided by Banks as also Government Scholarships. The Portal has the following features:

  • Information about Educational Loan Schemes of Banks;
  • Common Educational Loan Application Form for Students;
  • Facility to apply to multiple Banks for Educational Loans;
  • Facility for Banks to download Students’ Loan Applications;
  • Facility for Banks to upload loan processing status;
  • Facility for Students to email grievances/queries relating to Educational
  • Loans to Banks;
  • Dashboard facility for Students to view status of their loan application and
  • Linkage to National Scholarship Portal for information and application for
  • Government Scholarships.

So far, 13 Banks have registered 22 Educational Loan Schemes on the Vidya Lakshmi Portal and 5 Banks viz; SBI, IDBI Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank & Union Bank of India have integrated their system with the Portal for providing loan processing status to students. This initiative aims to bring on board all Banks providing Educational Loans. It is expected that students throughout the country will be benefited by this initiative of the Government by making available a single window for access to various Educational Loan Schemes of all Banks.

Government formulates policy to promote e-marketing of handloom products

The Government of India has launched a policy framework to promote e-marketing of handloom products, in order to promote marketing of handlooms in general and to reach the younger customers in particular. The policy framework has been developed by the Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms) under the Ministry of Textiles, with the key objectives of promoting the interests of both producers and consumers of handloom products. Under the policy framework, the Office of DC (Handlooms) would collaborate with approved e-commerce entities in promoting e-marketing of handloom products, in a transparent, competitive and effective manner. Any e-commerce entity willing to work for promotion of online marketing of handloom products in collaboration with the Office may apply for the same. The application will be scrutinized by a specially constituted Committee. After satisfying itself about the track record and turnover of the applicant, the committee would give its recommendations, keeping in view the handloom fabric producing areas proposed to be covered through e-marketing and the proposed rollout plan. Decision on the application will be taken after duly considering the recommendations of the committee. Processing of applications will be completed within three weeks.

An e-commerce entity approved by the Office would be required to make priority display of handloom products on its home page, leading to an exclusive section for certified/branded handloom products carrying either ‘India Handloom’ brand or Handloom mark. The framework specifies a ceiling for the service charges that can be levied by the entity. The entity would also be required to comply with any other guidelines/conditions notified by the Office of DC (Handlooms) in the interest of handloom producers/weavers.

Office of DC (Handlooms) will promote marketing of handloom products in collaboration with approved e-commerce entities through the following interventions:

  • The name and other details of approved e-commerce entities will be displayed on the web site of DC (Handlooms) and will also be disseminated through its Weavers Service Centres and State Governments.
  • Need based awareness generation activities will be undertaken through Weavers Service Centres and prominent handloom clusters for dissemination of e-commerce facilities available for the handloom weavers/producers.
  • Brief details of premium traditional handloom products would be posted on the web site of DC (Handlooms) which can be referred by approved e-commerce entities in their product catalogues for disseminating the information to customers.
  • Subject to availability, office space and IT infrastructure would be made available to approved e-commerce entities in Weavers Service Centres, Common Facility Centres and handloom clusters for handholding and supporting the weavers and weaver entrepreneurs in availing e-commerce facilities.

The policy frame work would be reviewed from time to time as per field requirements and the experience gained, for safeguarding the interest of the primary producers of handloom products and consumers. The policy would provide a fillip to the handloom sector, complementing recent initiatives of the Government to promote handlooms of India, such as the observance of National Handloom Day and launch of ‘India Handloom’ brand.

Dronacharya Awards, Dhyan Chand Awards and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2015

The Dronacharya Award, instituted in 1985, are given to honour eminent Coaches who have successfully trained sportspersons or teams and enabled them to achieve outstanding results in international competitions. Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievements in Sports and Games, instituted in the year 2002, is given to honour those sportspersons who have contributed to sports by their performance and continue to contribute to the promotion of sports even after their retirement from active sporting career.

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar, introduced in 2009, are given to entities, both in public sector and private sector and non-governmental organizations, with a view to recognizing the contribution made to sports development. Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar has four categories, namely, Identification and nurturing of budding/young talent, Encouragement to sports through Corporate Social Responsibility, Employment of sports persons and sports welfare measures and Sports for Development. Based on the recommendations of the Committee and after due scrutiny, the Government has approved to confer Dronacharya Awards, Dhyan Chand Awards and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar for 2015 upon the following coaches, persons and entities.

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