UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Aug 23 for IAS Exam Preparation.
Vice President Pays Tributes to Tanguturi Prakasam
- Prakasam had played the stellar role in the freedom struggle, and he was an embodiment integrity and honesty.
- Like many leaders of his time, T. Prakasham left lucrative practice as a lawyer and plunged into freedom struggle.
- Tanguturi Prakasam earned the sobriquet ‘Andhra Kesari’ after he bared his chest and dared the British to open fire upon him during the visit of Simon Commission to Madras.
Cabinet gives in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate
through an Alternative Mechanism (AM)
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism (AM).
- The decision would facilitate consolidation among the Nationalised Banks to create strong and competitive banks.
- In 1991, it was suggested that India should have fewer but stronger Public Sector Banks. However, it was only in May 2016 that effective action to consolidate public sector banks began to be taken by announcing amalgamation of six banks into the State bank of India. The merger was completed in record time, unlike earlier mergers of State Banks of Indore and Saurashtra.
- SBI is now a single bank with about 24000 branches, over 59000 ATMs, 6 lakh POS machines and over 50,000 business correspondents, which serve all parts of the country, including far flung areas.
- Indeed 70% of SBI’s network lies in rural and semi urban areas. In that sense, the bank serves to unite India through a uniform banking culture.
- It also has a significant international presence, and is one of the largest global banks. Its size, financial strength and outreach have made it possible for customers to access a worldwide network of branches across all time zones, as well as to a very wide variety of banking products and superior technology.
- Loans to the small business man or woman and to the Krishak have become cheaper as SBI offers the lowest lending rates. More than 8.6 lakh merchants have been on board on BHIM Aadhaar, Bharat QR and POS, increasing the digital banking footprint. SBI has successfully raised Rs.15,000 crore QIP.
- There are now 20 PSBs other than SBI. The banking scenario has changed since 1970/80 when banks were nationalised, with an increased banking presence from Private Sector Banks, non-banking Financial Companies, Regional Rural Banks, Payment Banks and Small Finance Banks. The decision is expected to facilitate the creation of strong and competitive banks in public sector space to meet the credit needs of a growing economy, absorb shocks and have the capacity to raise resources without depending unduly on the state exchequer.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Nepal on Drug Demand Reduction and
Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
and precursor chemicals and related matters
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Nepal on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and precursor chemicals and related matters.
- Cooperation on drug matters is expected to curb the illicit traffic of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals in the two countries.
- India has always supported global efforts to counter drug trafficking and is party to several multilateral and bilateral initiatives in this regard as also United Nations (UN) led initiatives.
- In accordance with the spirit of UN Conventions on Narcotic Drugs, effort is made to enter into Bilateral Agreements/MoUs with neighbouring countries and the countries which have a direct bearing on the drug situation prevailing in our country.
- Such Bilateral Agreements/ MoUs have already been executed with various countries. The proposed MoU with Nepal is another such MoU which shall be entered for the purpose of bilateral cooperation on drug matters.
Cabinet approves setting up of a Commission to examine the Sub-Categorization
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved a proposal for setting up of a Commission under article 340 of the Constitution to examine the issue of sub-categorization of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
- The Supreme Court in its order dated 16.11.1992 in WP(C) No. 930/1990 (Indra Sawhney and others vs. Union of India) observed that there is no Constitutional or legal bar to a State categorizing backward classes as backward or more backward and had further observed that if a State chooses to do it (sub-categorization), it is not impermissible in law.
- Nine States of the country viz., Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already carried out sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes.
Cabinet approves New Central Sector Scheme - "Pradhan Mantri Kisan
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the renaming of the new Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) as “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)” for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle.
- Earlier, CCEA in its meeting held in May, 2017 approved the new Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) with same allocation and period.
- The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste.
- The implementation of PMKSY will result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet.
- It will provide a big boost to the growth of food processing sector in the country.
- It will help in providing better prices to farmers and is a big step towards doubling of farmers’ income.
- It will create huge employment opportunities especially in the rural areas.
- It will also help in reducing wastage of agricultural produce, increasing the processing level, availability of safe and convenient processed foods at affordable price to consumers and enhancing the export of the processed foods.
Measures to give a boost to Food Processing Sector
Food Processing Sector has emerged as an important segment of the Indian economy in terms of its contribution to GDP, employment and investment. During 2015-16, the sector constituted as much as 9.1 and 8.6 per cent of GVA in Manufacturing and Agriculture sector respectively.
The manifesto of NDA Government stresses upon incentivizing the setting up of food processing industry for providing better income for the farmers and creating jobs.
Government has taken various other measures to boost food processing sector as follows:
- To provide impetus to investment in food processing and retail sector, govt. has allowed 100% FDI in trading including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured and / or produced in India. This will benefit farmers immensely and will create back – end infrastructure and significant employment opportunities.
- The govt. has also set up a Special Fund of Rs. 2000 crore in NABARD to make available affordable credit at concessional rate of interest to designated food parks and agro processing units in the designated food parks.
- Food and agro-based processing units and cold chain infrastructure have been brought under the ambit of Priority Sector Lending (PSL) to provide additional credit for food processing activities and infrastructure thereby, boosting food processing, reducing wastage, create employment and increasing farmers’ income.
PMKSY is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes of the Ministry like Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, etc. and also new schemes like Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Creation / Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities.
Union Home Minister to visit the Kyrgyz Republic
- During the visit, the Home Minister is likely to have bilateral meetings with the Ministers of some of the SCO Member States.
- India got the full membership of SCO this year and the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s annual Summit meeting held in Astana, Kazakhstan in June, 2017.
- The participation of India as SCO Member will open the additional opportunities for giving new impetus to the development of international cooperation in the field of protecting the population and territories from emergency situations within the framework of the SCO and will bring it qualitatively new positions in regional and global formats.
National Sports Museum to be established in New Delhi
- The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is going to establish National Sports Museum, first of its kind, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
- The Museum will showcase the India’s achievements in sports and also focus on the traditional sports within the country.
- The aim of the Museum is to popularise the sports as a way of life within the country. Accordingly, the proposed Museum would go beyond the classical approach of a collection of memorabilia to become an interactive venue of interest for all age groups.
- In addition, it will display achievements of the Indian greats in sports and also act as an educational hub and offer opportunity for the young to delve into some sporting activity.
NITI Aayog calls for applications for ‘Mentor India’
- NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), Government of India’s flagship program to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, is inviting applications for ‘Mentor India’.
- Mentor India is as a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor schools students in 900+ Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) established by AIM in schools across India.
- Through Mentor India, AIM is looking to engage leaders who can dedicate 1 – 2 hours every week in one or more such labs and enable school students to experience, learn and practice future skills such as design and computational thinking.
- Envisaged to be the largest formal volunteer mentor network, it is aimed at maximizing the impact of ATLs. AIM is looking for corporates / professionals / academicians / students etc. who are keen to contribute to this strategic nation building initiative.
UPSC Mains Practice Questions
GS Paper 3
- Food Processing Sector has emerged as an important segment of the Indian economy in terms of its contribution to GDP, employment and investment. Critically discuss the statement in light of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana.
- What are the impediments in marketing and supply chain management in developing the food processing industry in India? Can e-commerce help in overcoming this bottleneck?(UPSC Mains 2015)
- The merger decision of SBI and its associate banks is expected to facilitate the creation of strong and competitive banks in public sector space to meet the credit needs of a growing economy, absorb shocks and have the capacity to raise resources without depending unduly on the state exchequer. Comment.