Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam
CREDIT GUARANTEE FUND (CGF)
Objective: it is to encourage start-up companies and to provide funding facilities. The scheme is yet to be made operational.
About start up India:
- Self-Certification under 6 Labour Laws & 3 Environmental Laws
- Relaxations in Public Procurement Norms.
- Faster exit under the Bankruptcy Code.
- Rebates on Patent & Trademark filing fees, support from facilitators and expedited examination of Patent application.
- Income Tax exemption.
- Exemption from Income Tax on investments received above fair market value.
- Funding support under the Fund of Funds for Startups.
- Guidance and facilitation support from Startup India Hub.
FREIGHT SUBSIDY SCHEME (FSS) 2013
Objective: is to develop industrialization in the remote, hilly and inaccessible areas in 8 States of North Eastern Region, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Andaman & Nicobar Administration, Lakshadweep Administration and Darjeeling District of West Bengal.
Details of the scheme:
- It is applicable to all industrial units (barring Plantations, Fly Ash, Refineries, Power generating units, Coke, including Calcined Petroleum Coke industry and the units producing tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes, pan masala and plastic carry bags of less than 20 microns), both in public and private sectors irrespective of their size.
- Under the scheme, subsidy on the transport cost for transportation of raw material and finished goods to and from the location of the unit and the designated rail-head was reimbursed for a period of 5 years from the date of commencement of commercial production.
Present status: The Freight Subsidy Scheme (FSS), 2013 has been discontinued with effect from 22.11.2016. However, the industrial units registered under these schemes during their currency, are eligible for the benefits of the scheme for the period specified therein.
DISCOVERED SMALL FIELD BID ROUND-II
Gross estimated revenue of Rs.45000 crore is anticipated under Discovered Small Field Bid Round-II from 25 Contract Areas; and Rs.9000 crore under Discovered Small Field Bid Round-I from 30 Contract Areas. The gross estimated revenue is based on estimates of oil and gas hydrocarbon in place reserves, assumption in terms of hydrocarbon recovery factor, hydrocarbon sale price, etc., from 25 Contract Areas considering project life of 15 years.
What is DSF policy?
The new DSF policy is based on the principle of ‘ease of doing businesses’. This policy is an outcome of a long consultation process between the government and the industry.
Some of the key highlights of the DSF policy are as follows:
- Revenue sharing with the government instead of the existing cost-recovery based production sharing
- Freedom of marketing and pricing for both oil as well as gas
- Permission to explore all kinds of hydrocarbons such as shale, tight rock, coalbed methane (CBM), etc.
- International competitive bidding with no mandatory national oil companies (NOC) participation
- Prior technical experience not required for bidders
- No restrictions on exploration activities during the contract period
- Favourable royalty rate and waiver of oil cess
- Customs duty on goods and services imported for petroleum operations not to be imposed
- Royalty on crude oil is 12.5% and 10% for on land and shallow water respectively. Royalty on natural gas is 10% for both on land as well as shallow-water blocks. Royalty on crude oil and natural gas for deep water blocks is 5% for the initial seven years and thereafter the rate will be 10%.
DEFENCE INDIA STARTUP CHALLENGE
An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) was launched in April 2018. iDEX is aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Startups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.
Defence India Start Up Challenge:
Taking the iDEX initiative further, Defence India Startup Challenge “has been launched by Ministry of defence in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission, aimed at supporting Startups/MSMEs/Innovators to create prototypes and/or commercialize products/solutions in the area of National Defence and Security.
The vision of the Challenge is two-fold:
1. Help create functional prototypes of products/technologies relevant for national security (prototyping), and spur fast-moving innovation in the India defence sector;
2. Help new tech products/technologies find a market and early customer (commercialization) in the form of the Indian Defence Establishment.
Who can Apply:
- Start-ups, as defined and recognized by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
- Any Indian Company incorporated under the Companies Act 1956/2013, primarily a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) as defined in the MSME Act, 2006.
- Individual innovators are also encouraged to apply (research & academic institutions can use this category to apply).
GREEN TECHNOLOGY IN PMGSY
In order to encourage locally available materials and use of green technologies for construction of road under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), guidelines were issued by the Ministry, wherein the State Governments are required to propose minimum 15% of total length of annual proposals under New technologies such as Cement stabilization, Lime stabilization, Cold mix, Waste plastics, Cell filled concrete, Paneled cement concrete pavement, Fly ash etc
What is green technology?
The term green technology refers to technology that is considered environmentally friendly based on its production process or supply chain. It also may refer to a means of energy production that is less harmful to the environment than more traditional ways of generating energy, such as burning fossil fuels.
INTEGRATED ROAD ACCIDENT DATABASE PROJECT
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways is in the process of implementing ‘Integrated Road Accident Database Project (IRAD)’ which will be applicable across the country
- IT based system for capturing the spot accident data using mobile app and tablets configured for this purpose.
- This data can then be utilized for various purposes like finding the causes of the accidents and remedial measures to improve the road infrastructure, to record the accidents data for the use of police, health services and other concerned departments.
UGC DECIDES TO SET UP CONSORTIUM FOR ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH ETHICS (CARE)
To maintain the Credibility of Research Publications UGC has decided to establish a Consortium for Academic and Research Ethics (CARE).
- The good quality Research Journals in disciplines under Social Sciences, Humanities, Languages, Arts, Culture, Indian Knowledge Systems etc., will be maintained by CARE and referred to as ‘CARE Reference List of Quality Journals’.
- This will be used for all academic purposes. The ‘CARE Reference List of Quality Journals’ will be regularly updated and published by the UGC and the Members of the Consortium at their respective websites.
EXPORT OF ORGANIC PRODUCTS
The Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), an autonomous organisation under the administrative control of Department of Commerce, has been mandated with the export promotion of organic products. APEDA provides assistance to the exporters of organic products under various components of its export promotion scheme.
NATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR ORGANIC PRODUCTION (NPOP) 2001 OBJECTIVES:
- To provide the means of evaluation of certification programme for organic agriculture and products (including wild harvest, aquaculture, livestock products) as per the approved criteria.
- To accredit certification programmes of Certification Bodies seeking accreditation.
- To facilitate certification of organic products in conformity with the prescribed standards.
- To facilitate certification of organic products in conformity with the importing countries organic standards as per equivalence agreement between the two countries or as per importing country requirements.
- To encourage the development of organic farming and organic processing.
NATIONAL POLICY ON DOMESTIC WORKERS
According to National Sample Survey (NSSO Statistics-2011-2012, 68th round) it is estimated 39 lakh people are employed as domestic workers by private households, of which 26 lakhs are female domestic workers.
The Ministry of Labour & Employment is considering formulating a National Policy on Domestic Workers which is in the draft stage.
- Inclusion of Domestic Workers in the existing legislations
- Domestic workers will have the right to register as unorganized workers. Such registration will facilitate their access to rights & benefits.
- Right to form their own associations/unions
- Right to minimum wages, access to social security
- Right to enhance their skills
- Protection of Domestic Workers from abuse and exploitation
- Domestic Workers to have access to courts, tribunals for grievance redressal
- Establishment of a mechanism for regulation of private placement agencies.
- Establishment of a grievance redressal system for domestic workers
OTHER INITIATIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF DOMESTIC WORKERS:
- Domestic Workers Sector Skills Council has been established under Ministry of Skills Development to enable professionalization of domestic workers and enable their career progression.
To ace UPSC current affairs section, read more PIB articles here.