28 November 2019: PIB Summary & Analysis

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

November 28th, 2019 PIB:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Li-Ion Cell Technology
2. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)
3. Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019
4. Growth of Medium and Small Entrepreneurs
5. Installed Generation Capacity is Sufficient to meet the electricity demand
6. Char Dham Programme
7. Green Highways Policy - 2015
8. Rashtriya Mahila Kosh
9. YuWaah Youth Skilling Initiative
10. Fifth NITI Aayog–DRC Dialogue

Li-Ion Cell Technology

Context:

ISRO has transferred its indigenous technology to produce space-grade Li-Ion cells to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

Details:

  • The agreement for the technology transfer was signed between ISRO and BHEL in March 2019.
  • This production facility is primarily targeting to meet Li-Ion Cell requirements for ISRO and other strategic sectors.
  • BHEL can also produce and sell Li-Ion cells for meeting other national/commercial applications by suitably modifying the space-grade cell which can lead to cost reduction.
  • BHEL is in the process of establishing the Li-Ion production facility near Bangalore in Karnataka.
  • Various equipment (both indigenous and imported) for establishing this facility are procured and being commissioned.
  • ISRO has already provided all technical documentation for establishing the production plant as well as hands-on training in various production activities for BHEL staff at ISRO’s facilities.

For more on this issue, read CNA dated March 31, 2019 under the headline: ISRO’s lithium-ion cells to set all-electric vehicles era rolling

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to three scientists for their pioneering work in developing lithium-ion batteries. For more on this, and how Li-ion batteries work, check CNA dated Oct 10, 2019.

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

Context:

The Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by the Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, approves Capital Procurement for the Services amounting to over Rs 22,800 crore.

Details:

  • To boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the DAC accorded approval for indigenous design, development and manufacturing of ‘Thermal Imaging Night Sights’ for Assault Rifles.
    • These sights will be manufactured by the Indian private industry and used by troops deployed on the frontline.
    • ‘Thermal Imaging Night Sights’ would enable troops to undertake long-range accurate engagements in dark and all weather conditions thereby enhancing the night fighting capabilities.
  • As a follow up of the successful indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) programme, the DAC revalidated the Acceptance of Necessity for the procurement of additional Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) India aircraft.
    • The mission system and sub-systems for these aircraft would be indigenously designed, developed and integrated onto the main platform by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
    • These platforms would provide on-board Command & Control and ‘Early Warning’ which would assist the Indian Air Force (IAF) in achieving effective air space dominance in the least possible time.
    • Induction of these systems would increase the extent of coverage along our borders and greatly enhance both the Air Defence and Offensive capabilities of the IAF.
  • The DAC also approved the procurement of Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) Anti-Submarine Warfare P8I aircraft for the Indian Navy.
    • These aircraft would greatly strengthen the Navy’s capabilities for maritime surveillance, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Vessel (ASV) strike.
  • The DAC approved the procurement of Twin Engine Heavy Helicopters (TEHH) for the Indian Coast Guard
    • These aircraft would enable the Coast Guard to undertake missions to prevent maritime terrorism, infiltration of terrorists by sea routes as well as Search & Rescue operations.

About the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC):

To know more about the DAC, check CNA dated 24 Sep, 2018.

Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019

Context:

The Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019 Introduced in Lok Sabha.

Details:

To know more about the Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019, check:

Growth of Medium and Small Entrepreneurs

Context:

The Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) implements various schemes and programmes for the growth and development of the MSME sector in the country.

These schemes and programmes include:

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP):

For more on the PMEGP, click here.

Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI):

  • This scheme has been under implementation since 2005-06 for making Traditional Industries more productive, market-driven and competitive by organizing the Traditional Industries and artisans into clusters.
  • The Scheme envisages providing need-based assistance for the replacement of production equipment, setting up of Common Facility Centres (CFC), product development, quality improvement, improved marketing, training and capacity building, etc. with the financial assistance extended by the Government.
  • The scheme was modified as the revamped SFURTI scheme during 2016-17.

A Scheme for Promoting Innovation, Rural Industry & Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE):

For more on ASPIRE, check PIB dated Jan 01, 2018.

Interest Subvention Scheme for Incremental Credit to MSMEs:

  • This scheme will be implemented over 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • The scheme aims at encouraging both manufacturing and service enterprises to increase productivity and provides incentives to MSMEs for on boarding on the GST platform which helps in formalization of the economy, while reducing the cost of credit.
  • As part of this, there is 2% interest subvention for all GST registered MSMEs, on fresh or incremental loans.

Credit Guarantee Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE):

  • This scheme was launched by the Government of India to make available collateral-free credit to the micro and small enterprise sector.
  • Both the existing and the new enterprises are eligible to be covered under the scheme.
  • The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, GoI and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), established a Trust named Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) to implement the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises.
  • Under this scheme, fund and non-fund based (Letters of Credit, Bank Guarantee, etc.) credit facilities up to Rs. 200 lakh per eligible borrower are covered under the guarantee scheme provided they are extended on the project viability without collateral security or third party guarantee.

Micro and Small Enterprises Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP):

  • The MSME Ministry has adopted the Cluster Development approach as a key strategy for enhancing the productivity and competitiveness as well as capacity building of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) and their collectives in the country.
  • A cluster is a group of enterprises located within an identifiable and as far as practicable, contiguous area or a value chain that goes beyond a geographical area and producing same/similar products/complementary products/services, which can be linked together by common physical infrastructure facilities that help address their common challenges.
  • The essential characteristics of enterprises in a cluster are:
    • Similarity or complementarity in the methods of production, quality control & testing, energy consumption, pollution control, etc.
    • Similar level of technology & marketing strategies/practices
    • Similar channels for communication among the members of the cluster
    • Common market & skill needs and/or
    • Common challenges & opportunities that the cluster faces
  • Objectives:
    • To support the sustainability and growth of MSEs by addressing common issues such as improvement of technology, skills & quality, market access, etc.
    • To build capacity of MSEs for common supportive action through the formation of self-help groups, consortia, upgradation of associations, etc.
    • To create/upgrade infrastructural facilities in the new/existing Industrial Areas/Clusters of MSEs.
    • To set up Common Facility Centres (for testing, training, raw material depot, effluent treatment, complementing production processes, etc).
    • Promotion of green & sustainable manufacturing technology for the clusters so as to enable units to switch to sustainable and green production processes and products.

Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Upgradation Scheme (CLCS-TUS):

  • The objective of the scheme is to facilitate technology up-gradation in MSEs by providing an upfront capital subsidy of 15 per cent (on institutional finance of up to Rs 1 crore availed by them) for induction of well-established and improved technology in the specified 51 sub-sectors/products approved.
  • The major objective of the scheme is to upgrade their plant & machinery with state-of-the-art technology, with or without expansion and also for new MSEs which have set up their facilities with appropriate eligible and proven technology.

Installed Generation Capacity is Sufficient to meet the electricity demand

Details:

  • As of October 2019, the installed electricity generation capacity in the country is around 3,64,960 Mega Watt (MW), which is sufficient to meet the electricity demand in the country.
  • The gap between demand and supply of power during the current year 2019-20 (up to October, 2019) both in terms of Energy and Peak is less than 1%.
  • This gap is generally on account of factors other than the inadequacy of power availability in the country such as constraints in sub-transmission and distribution network, financial constraints of State Power Utilities to purchase power, etc.
  • Further to meet the shortfall, if any, in the power requirement, distribution companies can also purchase power from power exchanges on a daily basis.
  • The Government is supporting the States/UTs in augmenting and strengthening the intra-state transmission and distribution network through various schemes including Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS).

About the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS):

  • The IPDS was launched in 2014 by the GOI recognising the importance of requirement for continual up-gradation and creation of infrastructure for electricity distribution.
  • The scheme extends financial assistance against capital expenditure to bridge the gap in sub-transmission & distribution network and metering in urban areas to supplement the resources of DISCOMs/Power Department.
  • The components of the scheme are:
    • Strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in the urban areas.
    • Metering of distribution transformers/feeders/consumers in the urban areas.
    • IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network.
    • Schemes for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and IT enablement of balance urban towns are also included under IPDS.
    • Underground cabling to include additional demand of States and smart metering solution for performing UDAY States and Solar panels on Govt. buildings with net-metering are also permissible under the scheme.
  • All Discoms will be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme.
  • Power Finance Corporation is the nodal agency for the implementation of the scheme.

Context:

The above information was provided by the Union Minister of State for Power in the Lok Sabha.

Char Dham Programme

About the Char Dham Programme:

  • The project involves developing and widening 900-km of national highways connecting the holy Hindu pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri at an estimated cost of Rs.12,000 crores.

Read more on the Char Dham (Chardham) Project on CNA dated 12 Jan 2019.

Context:

The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways informed in a written reply in the Lok Sabha that Rs. 1850 crore is likely to be spent on the Char Dham Programme in FY 2019-20. The Project, which was initially set to be completed in March 2020, has been delayed chiefly due to litigation in the National Green Tribunal, and a civil appeal by a petitioner in the Supreme Court.

Green Highways Policy – 2015

About the Green Highways Policy:

  • The Green Highways Policy was launched in 2015.
  • The aim of the policy is to promote greening of highway corridors with the participation of the community, farmers, private sector, NGOs, and government institutions.
  • The policy envisages a strong monitoring mechanism in place by using ISRO’s Bhuvan and GAGAN satellite systems.
  • Every planted tree will be counted and auditing will be done.
  • The project aims to make India pollution-free, curtail the number of road accidents and provide dignified employment to local people and communities.

Key features of Green Highways Policy 2015:

  • Promote greening and development of eco-friendly National Highway corridors across the country with participation of farmers, private sector and government institutions including Forest Department.
  • Objective: To reduce the impact of air pollution and dust by planting trees and shrubs along the National Highways. They will act as a natural sink for air pollutants and arrest soil erosion at the embankment slopes.

Context:

The Union Minister for Road Transport gave information about the Policy in the Lok Sabha.

Rashtriya Mahila Kosh

About the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh:

  • Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK), established in 1993 as a national  level  organization, is an  autonomous  body  under the  aegis of  the  Ministry of  Women and Child Development, for the socio-economic empowerment  of
  • The operating model currently followed by  RMK is that of a  facilitating agency wherein RMK  provides loans to  NGO-MFIs termed as Intermediary Organizations (IMO) which on-lend to Self Help Groups (SHGs)  of women.
  • RMK extends micro-credit to the women in the informal sector through a client-friendly, without collateral and in a hassle-free manner for income generation activities.
  • RMK has taken a number of promotional measures to popularize the concept of micro-financing, enterprise development, thrift and credit, formation and strengthening of Women-SHGs through intermediary organizations.

Context:

The Union Minister of Women and Child Development provided the total disbursement of funds under the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh in the Rajya Sabha.

Also read about the Mahila e-Haat programme here.

YuWaah Youth Skilling Initiative

Context:

UNICEF has informed that they have launched ‘YuWaah’ Generation Unlimited in India in November 2019.

About YuWaah:

  • According to UNICEF, Generation Unlimited, called YuWaah in India, is a multi-stakeholder alliance that aims to facilitate youth to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work.
  • The target age group of YuWaah includes adolescent girls and boys and its key mission is to promote access to foundational, transferable and 21st century skills for youth inside and outside formal education systems, which includes defining foundational skills, life skills and flexible learning and identifying and scaling impactful delivery models.
  • YuWaah intends to create platforms to guide youth to market opportunities (career guidance, mentorship, internships, apprenticeships) and facilitate the integration of career guidance in school education.

Fifth NITI Aayog–DRC Dialogue

Context:

The Fifth Dialogue of NITI Aayog and Development Research Centre (DRC), of the State Council, People’s Republic of China, was held in Wuhan, China.

Details:

  • This is the first ministerial Dialogue between China and India since the informal meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai.
  • Based on the agreement at the Fourth Dialogue in Mumbai 2018, DRC and NITI Aayog had undertaken joint research in the areas of WTO reform and urbanization, whose preliminary findings were presented at the Fifth Dialogue as a key deliverable.
  • The Sixth Dialogue will be convened in India in the second half of November 2020.
  • There were sessions on the global economy, globalisation and macroeconomic policies in China and India, innovation and development, and potential for Sino-India trade and economic cooperation.
  • Both sides affirmed their commitment to build a more inclusive global economic architecture and implement fair and reasonable trade rules, taking into account the need for safeguarding the interests of developing and less-developed nations.
  • To advance high-quality development, the two sides decided to strengthen knowledge sharing and mutual learning in high-tech, digital economy, fiscal policy and jointly address the challenges arising from the environment, income gaps, etc.
  • Emphasis was laid on promoting sustainable urbanization, development of Smart Cities, infrastructure and green transportation.
  • Both sides also agreed to explore synergies in tourism; health sector; culture, language and people-to-people exchanges; and learn from respective best practices and create favourable conditions for facilitating ease-of-doing business by giving impetus to outbound and inbound investments.

November 28th, 2019 PIB:- Download PDF Here

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