09 July 2019: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam.

July 9th 2019 PIB:-Download PDF Here

Integrated Management of Public Distribution System

Context

  • Department has launched a new Central Sector scheme namely “Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)”

Objectives of the scheme

  • To integrate the existing PDS systems/portals of States/UTs with the Central Systems/portals,
  • Introduction of National Portability of ration card holders to lift foodgrains from any fair price shop (FPS) across the country, and
  • National level de-duplication of ration cards/beneficiary.

Significance of the scheme

  • The new scheme will bring more transparency and efficiency in distribution of food grains as it will improve the mechanism to identify fake/duplicate ration cards.
  • It will provide the option to PDS beneficiaries to lift their entitled foodgrains from the Fair Price Shops of their choice at the national level.
  • Presently, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi has started portability at the State level, whereas, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Telangana have also started portability in the few FPS areas within the State.

Price Rise of Essential Commodities

Context

  • Government has taken various measures from time to time to stabilize prices of essential food

Factors affecting the prices of food

  • mismatch in demand and supply,
  • shortfall in production owing to adverse weather conditions and seasonality,
  • increased transportation costs,
  • supply chain constraints like lack of storage facilities,
  • artificial shortage created by hoarding and black marketing, etc.

Steps taken by Government

  • Appropriately utilizing trade and fiscal policy instruments like import duty and export management through instruments like Minimum Export Price, export restrictions, etc, to regulate domestic availability and moderate prices
  • Imposition of stock limits and advising States for effective action against hoarders & black marketers
  • Promulgation of appropriate Minimum Support Prices to incentivize farmers for increasing production.

Schemes by Government

  • Government is also implementing Schemes which, inter alia, include Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), National Food Security Mission (NFSM), etc. for increasing agricultural production and productivity through appropriate interventions.
  • Besides, Government is also implementing Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) and Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is implementing scheme “Operation Greens”

Price Stabilization Fund (PSF)

  • The Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) was set up in 2014-15 under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Famers Welfare (DAC&FW) to help regulate the price volatility of important agri-horticultural commodities like onion, potatoes and pulses were also added subsequently.
  • The PSF scheme was transferred from DAC&FW to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DOCA)
  • The scheme provides for maintaining a strategic buffer of aforementioned commodities for subsequent calibrated release to moderate price volatility and discourage hoarding and unscrupulous speculation.
  • The PSF is utilized for granting interest free advance of working capital to Central Agencies, State/UT Governments/Agencies to undertake market intervention operations.
  • Apart from domestic procurement from farmers/wholesale mandis, import may also be undertaken with support from the Fund.

Objectives of Operation Greens

  • Enhancing value realisation of TOP farmers by targeted interventions to strengthen TOP production clusters and their FPOs, and linking/connecting them with the market.
  • Price stabilisation for producers and consumers by proper production planning in the TOP clusters and introduction of dual use varieties.
  • Reduction in post-harvest losses by creation of farm gate infrastructure, development of suitable agro-logistics, creation of appropriate storage capacity linking consumption centres.
  • Increase in food processing capacities and value addition in TOP value chain with firm linkages with production clusters.
  • Setting up of a market intelligence network to collect and collate real time data on demand and supply and price of TOP crops.

100th anniversary of massacre of Jallianwala Bagh

Context

  • Various development projects have been sanctioned to mark 100th anniversary of massacre of Jallianwala Bagh

Jallianwala Bagh massacre

  • In Jallianwala Bagh, which is a public garden enclosed from all sides except its narrow entrance, a group of Indians had gathered to protest peacefully against the Rowlatt Act and the arrest of their two leaders. They were unarmed and the crowd consisted of women and children too.
  • On getting wind of the impending meeting, Colonel Reginald Dyer, an officer in the British army, arrived there with his troops at about 4:30 PM.
  • Dyer’s troops closed the main entrance to the garden. Without warning, he ordered his troops to fire at the crowd. Shooting continued for ten minutes until the ammunition was nearly exhausted.
  • The official figure of the death toll is 379. However, the actual figure is much higher – between 1000 and 2000 killed and more than 1000 injured.
  • The act drew widespread condemnation and shock among Indians. However, Dyer was congratulated by some quarters of the British.

Read more:

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre


Increase in Economic Growth Rate

Context

  • Economic growth is high on the agenda of the Government. Various reforms are being undertaken by the government in many spheres to improve GDP growth.

Steps taken by government

  • liberalisation of Foreign Direct Investment policy
  • increasing the annual turnover limit from Rs 250 crore to Rs 400 crore for a lower corporate tax rate of 25 percent
  • additional income tax deduction of Rs.1.5 lakh on the interest paid on loans taken to purchase electric vehicles and moving the GST council for reduction of GST rate on electric vehicles from 12 percent to 5 percent
  • Along with this, government has also increased the scope of voluntary pension scheme for retail traders and shopkeepers to everyone with an annual turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore.
  • The budget provides a push to infrastructure development with the intention to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure over the next five years and by restructuring of National Highway Programme.
  • Scheme of Fund for Upgradation and Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) has been started to facilitate cluster based development to make the traditional industries more productive, profitable and capable for generating sustained employment opportunities.
  • Other growth promoting measures includes reductions of customs duty on certain raw materials and capital goods to further promote domestic manufacturing, allowing one woman in every SHG for a loan up to Rs 1 lakh under the MUDRA Scheme.

Free Life-Saving and Generic Drugs

Context

  • Public Health and hospitals being a state subject, it is for the States/UTs to take necessary actions to boost healthcare services including distribution of life-saving and generic drugs in public health facilities.
  • However, under the National Health Mission (NHM), financial and technical support is provided to the States/UTs for strengthening their healthcare delivery system.

Vaccine Distribution Management System (DVDMS)

  • Availability of the drugs are being monitored through Drug and Vaccine Distribution Management System (DVDMS).
  • DVDMS is a web-based Supply Chain Management System that deals in purchase, supply, distribution and inventory management of various drugs, sutures, surgical and consumable items.
  • It has an in-built provision of monitoring and checking the availability of medicine at all facilities at district and state level.
  • Moreover, it has the functionality for distribution of drugs to patients, thus enabling tracking of consumption till last mile.

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)

  • With an objective of making quality generic medicines available at affordable prices to all, PradhanMantriBhartiya Jan AushadhiPariyojana (PMBJP) was launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India.
  • Under this scheme, dedicated outlets known as PradhanMantriBhartiyaJanaushadhiKendras (PMBJKs) are opened to sell generic medicines at affordable rates.

The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)

  • The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) is one of the key instruments in healthcare delivery system of a country which inter aliaincludes accessible, affordable quality medicine at all the primary, secondary, tertiary levels of healthcare.
  • The primary purpose of NLEM is to promote rational use of medicines considering the three important aspects i.e. cost, safety and efficacy.
  • Furthermore it promotes prescription by generic names. The list serves as a reference document for correct dosage form and strength for prescribing.

FAME India Scheme

Context

  • The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 is a National Mission document providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing in the country.
  • The evaluation of Phase-I of FAME Scheme was done by an independent consultant.

1st Phase of FAME India Scheme consist of

  • Demand Creation
  • Technology Platform,
  • Pilot Project and
  • Charging Infrastructure

Validation of outcome of Phase I

  • During the last 2 years, the agenda of clean mobility has been placed front and center in all discussions. The relatively increased awareness, is in itself a notable achievement
  • Overall outcomes of key parameters of Fuel saving and CO2 reduction are significantly below the target for FAME;
  • Industry players have been cautious about developing capabilities – players have chosen to operate adjacent to their core capabilities
  • Subsidy structure needs to be revised based on the powertrain technology (to incentivize cleaner technologies) and to establish parity across technologies
  • Overall phased implementation plan has taken off but at the very slow pace, demonstrated limited progress in the first phase. The next phase of scheme extension should focus on a clear catch-up plan
  • Benefits from unaccounted segments like e-3W and e-rickshaws can potentially add to the results, however, growth in segments like e-rickshaws was unplanned. Support to these segments to be evaluated.

Related Links:

June 9th 2019 PIB:-Download PDF Here

Read previous ‘Best of PIB’ here.

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