1) Highlights of Finance Minister’s Stimulus Package – IV:-
FM said 8 Sectors have been identified where structural reforms will be brought in. They are coal, minerals, defence production, airports and airspace management, MRO, power distribution of companies in UTs, space and atomic energy.
- Commercial mining of coal on a revenue sharing basis is being introduced. Government will introduce competition, transparency and private sector participation through revenue sharing mechanism instead of the current fixed rupee per tonne.
- Coal Bed Methane will also be auctioned.
- To enhance private investments in the mineral sector, a seamless composite exploration -cum-mining – cum production regime will be introduced.
- Joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks will be introduced to enhance aluminium industry’s competitiveness.
- 500 mining blocks will be offered through an open and transparent auction process immediately.
Make in India for Defence Production :
- To promote self reliance in Defence production, Government will notify list of weapons and platforms which shall not be allowed to be imported.
- Time bound defence procurement process will be introduced.
- Foreign Direct Investment limit in defence manufacturing under automatic route is being raised from 49% to 74% to boost indigenous defence production.
- Ordnance Factory Board will be corporatized to improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency.
Airports and airspace
- Restrictions on utilisation of the Indian Air Space will be eased so that civilian flying becomes more efficient.
- Another 6 airports will be put up for bidding by the Airports Authority of India for operation and maintenance on PPP mode.
- India has the capacity – manpower and skills, to become the Maintenance- Repairs and Operations (MRO) hub.
- Tax regime for MRO ecosystem has been rationalised.
- Convergence between defence sector and the civil MROs will be established to create economies of scale
- Self reliance in MRO field will bring down maintenance costs for airlines.
- Power distribution companies in Union Territories will be privatised.
- A tariff policy with reforms focused on consumer rights, promotion of industry and sustainability of sector will be introduced.
Social Infrastructure Projects
- Boosting private sector investment in social infrastructure projects through revamped viability gap funding scheme of Rs 8,100 crore.
- The govt will enhance the quantum of viability gap funding up to 30 per cent each of total project cost as VGF by Centre and state
Space & Atomic Energy
- Private sector will be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities
- Future projects for planetary exploration, outer space travel, etc. to be open for the private sector
- India to establish a research reactor in PPP mode for production of medical isotopes. This will promote welfare of humanity through affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases.
2)ARCI scientists develop next-generation biodegradable metal implants
Scientists at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) and Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram both autonomous institutes under the Department of Science & Technology (DST) have jointly developed new generation Iron-Manganese based alloys for biodegradable metal implants for use in humans.
Biodegradable materials (Fe, Mg, Zn, and polymer), which can participate in the healing process and then degrade gradually by maintaining the mechanical integrity without leaving any implant residues in the human body are better alternatives to currently used metallic implants which remain permanently in the human body and can cause long-term side effects like systemic toxicity, chronic inflammation, and thrombosis.
The ARCI team employed both conventional melting and powder metallurgy techniques in manufacturing of the new Fe-Mn based biodegradable alloys and stent having dimensions as Diameter: 2 mm, Length: 12 mm and Wall thickness: 175 µm.
Iron-Manganese based alloy Fe-Mn (having Mn composition of more than 29% by weight) is a promising biodegradable metallic implant which exhibits single austenitic phase (non-magnetic form of iron) with MRI compatibility.
The Fe-Mn alloy produced at ARCI exhibited 99% density with impressive mechanical properties and behaved as a nonmagnetic material even under a strong magnetic field of 20 Tesla. These properties are comparable to presently used permanent Titanium (Ti) and stainless-steel metallic implants.
3) AYUSH Entrepreneurship Development Program:-
- Recently, AYUSH Entrepreneurship Development programme was jointly organized by the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
- It aims to promote the AYUSH sector in the country under different Schemes of the Ministry of MSME.
- The two Ministries have drawn up an action plan for promoting AYUSH Sector.
- The Roadmap ahead for promotion include: need assessment & Identify AYUSH Clusters by field offices and roping them in Schemes of Ministry of MSME such as:
- Zero Defect Zero Effect / Lean – Good Manufacturing Practice.
- Procurement & Marketing Support Scheme – National/International Trade fair, Exhibition, GeM, Packaging, E-Marketing, Export.
- ATI – Capacity Building & Skill Development.
- ESDP, Incubation – Start-Up / Enterprise Development.
- Cluster Development (SFURTI / CDP) – Technology Upgradation.
- CLCS, PMEGP – Financial support
- CART (Centre for Agro Rural Technology) Division – AYUSH in rural areas.
- Technology Centres (Hub & Spoke) – AYUSH focused Technology support.
- Testing Centres – Quality Improvement / Standardization.
- Major AYUSH clusters include: Ahmedabad, Hubli, Thrissur, Solan, Indore, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kannur, Karnal, Kolkata and Nagpur.
4) Minister of Finance informed that the Ministry of Mines is in the process to develop ‘Mineral Index’ for different minerals.