UPSC 2017 IAS Exam: Important PIB Articles - April 26

First UDAN Flight under RCS Tomorrow 
  • To make air travel accessible to citizens in regionally important cities, the Ministry launched ‘Ude Deshka Aam Naagrik’ (UDAN) Regional Connectivity Scheme in October, 2016
  • The UDAN Scheme is a key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) which was released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on 15th June, 2016
  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency, have issued Letter of Awards for 27 proposals received under RCS-UDAN
  • Key features of the proposals awarded by AAI include
    • 27 currently served airports, 12 currently underserved airports and 31 currently unserved airports (for a total of 70 airports) will be connected through these 27 proposals
    • VGF Outflow: 27 proposals will required a VGF of around ₹ 200 Cr
    • The airfare for a one hour journey of approx 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at ₹ 2,500, with proportionate pricing for routes of different stage lengths and flight duration
    • The selected airline operator would have to provide 50% of the flight capacity (subject to a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 40) as RCS Seats for operations through fixed wing aircraft and a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 13 RCS Seats on the RCS Flights for operations through helicopters
    • To reduce the cost of operations of airlines on flying such routes, a financial stimulus in the form of concessions from Central and State government, airport operators and the Viability Gap Funding to the interested airlines would be provided to kick-off operations from such airports, so that the passenger fares are kept affordable. State Government will provide a certain share of VGF (20% for States other than North-East States where the ratio will be 10% of VGF determined)
    • In this regard, till now 19 States and 3 UTs have signed MoU whereas 5 more States have given consent to sign MoU.


NITI Aayog – Draft Three Year Action Agenda
  • The Aayog was advised by the PMO to prepare a Fifteen Year Vision, Seven Year Strategy and Three Year Action Agenda
  • The Fifteen Year Vision and Seven Year Strategy document spanning 2017-18 to 2031-32 is in progress
  • The Action Agenda covers the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20, the last years of the Fourteenth Finance Commission
  • Selected Key Action Agenda Items
    • Three Year Revenue and Expenditure Framework
      • A tentative medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) for the Centre is proposed. Based on forecasts of revenue, it proposes sector-wise expenditure allocation for three years
      • Proposes reduction of the fiscal deficit to 3% of the GDP by 2018-19, and the revenue deficit to 0.9% of the GDP by 2019-20
      • The roadmap consisting of shifting additional revenues towards high priority sectors: health, education, agriculture, rural development, defence, railways, roads and other categories of capital expenditure
    • Agriculture: Doubling Farmers’ Incomes by 2022
      • Reform the Agricultural Produce Marketing to ensure that farmers receive remunerative prices
      • Raise productivity through enhanced irrigation, faster seed replacement and precision agriculture
      • Shift to high value commodities: horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries
    • Industry and Services
      • Create Coastal Employment Zones to boost exports and generate high-productivity jobs
      • Enhance labour-market flexibility through reforming key laws
      • Address the high and rising share of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in India’s banks through supporting the auction of larger assets to private asset reconstruction companies (ARCs), and strengthening the State Bank of India-led ARC
      • Action points for specific sectors – Apparel, Leather and footwear, Electronics, food processing, gems and jewellery, finance etc
    • Transport and Digital Connectivity
      • Strengthen infrastructure in roadways, railways, shipping & ports, inland waterways and civil aviation
      • Ensure last-mile digital connectivity, particularly for e-governance and financial inclusion, through developing infrastructure, simplifying the payments structure and improving literacy
      • Facilitate Public-Private reorienting the role of the India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd. (IIFCL), introducing low cost debt instruments and operationalizing the National Investment Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
    • Energy
      • Adopt consumer friendly measures such as provision of electricity to all households by 2022, LPG connection to all BPL households, elimination of black carbon by 2022, and extension of the city gas distribution programme to 100 smart cities
      • Reduce the cross-subsidy in the power sector to ensure competitive supply of electricity to industry
      • Reform the coal sector by setting up a regulator, encouraging commercial mining and improving labour productivity
    • Governance
      • Re-calibrate the role of the government by shrinking its involvement in activities that do not serve a public purpose and expanding its role in areas that necessarily require public provision
      • Implement the roadmap on closing select loss-making PSEs and strategic disinvestment of 20 identified CPSEs
      • Expand the government’s role in public health and quality education
      • Strengthen the civil services through better human resource management, e-governance, addressing anomalies in tenures of secretaries and increasing specialization and lateral entry
    • Taxation and Regulation
      • Tackle tax evasion, expand the tax base and simplify the tax system through reforms. For example, consolidate existing custom duty rates to a unified rate
      • Create an institutional mechanism for promoting competition through comprehensive review and reform of government regulations across all sectors
      • Strengthen public procurement
    • Health
      • Focus on public health through significantly increasing government expenditure on it, establishing a focal point and creating a dedicated cadre
      • Generate and disseminate periodic, district-level data as per uniform protocols
      • Formulate a model policy on human resources for health, implement a bridge course for nurses/AYUSH practitioners in primary care
      • Reform IMC Act and the acts governing homeopathy and Indian systems of medicine
      • Launch the National Nutrition Mission; develop a comprehensive Nutrition Information System.


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