PIB News Analysis 17-18/05/20220

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1) Education Initiatives of the Govt. :-

  1. A comprehensive initiative called PM e-VIDYA will be launched which unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education. This will enable multi-mode access to education, and includes: DIKSHA (one nation-one digital platform) which will now become the nation’s digital infrastructure for providing quality e-content in school education for all the states/UTs; TV (one class-one channel) where one dedicated channel per grade for each of the classes 1 to 12 will provide access to quality educational material: SWAYAM online courses in MOOCS format for school and higher education; IITPAL for IITJEE/NEET preparation; Air through Community radio and CBSE Shiksha Vani podcast;  and study material for the differently abled developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/ YouTube. This will benefit nearly 25 crore school going children across the country.
  2. In this time of global pandemic, it is vital that we provide psychosocial support to students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional wellbeing.

    The Manodarpan initiative is being launched to provide such support through a website, a toll-free helpline, national directory of counselors, interactive chat platform, etc. This initiative will benefit all school going children in the country, along with their parents, teachers and the community of stakeholders in school education.
  3. Government is expanding e-learning in higher education – by liberalizing open, distance and online education regulatory framework.
  4. A National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission will be launched, for ensuring that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy in Grade 3 by 202 For this, teacher capacity building, a robust curricular framework, engaging learning material – both online and offline, learning outcomes and their measurement indices, assessment techniques, tracking of learning progress, etc. will be designed to take it forward in a systematic fashion. This mission will cover the learning needs of nearly 4 crore children in the age group of 3 to 11 years.

2) India-World Bank: Social Protection Response Programme :- The World Bank and Government of India have signed agreement of 750 million USD recently. The World Bank has assured 1 billion USD assistance to accelerate India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Programme.

The programme is to be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, India is to implement the programme through Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

During the second phase, additional cash is to be deposited through social protection delivery systems. This focused on local needs.

3) What is Baltic Travel Bubble recently in news? :- The Baltic countries have opened their borders to one another creating “travel bubble”. This is being called the Baltic Travel Bubble.

With the opening of the borders, the citizens and residents of the European Nations can move freely. However, people coming from outside the zone are being quarantined for 14 days. This is the first travel bubble since the lock down.

The countries that border Baltic sea include Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Germany, Poland, Lithuania.

4) Super Earth discovered :- The super earth is one of the handful of planets discovered that are of the same size and orbiting distance as that of the earth. The host star of the planet is 10% the mass of the sun.

The super earth, according to the scientist might possess “Goldilocks Zone” in the future.

The planet is larger than the earth and hence the name “Super Earth”. The planet could be cold according to the scientists as the star is much smaller than the sun.

Due to this reason, water may not exist in its liquid state, but might occur as ice. As the planet is heavier in mass, it might take 617 days to revolve around its star. The super earth, according to the scientist might possess “Goldilocks Zone” in the future.

Goldilocks Zone is the space around a star where temperature aptly sustains water in liquid state.  The space also supports life. The planet is 111 light years away from the earth and hence not very possible for humans to reach the planet.

5) AMPHAN: Cyclonic Storm intensifies into Severe Cyclonic Storm : Name has been given by Thailand.

6) AATMA NIRBHAR BHARAT PACKAGE 5:-

Sector wise details

MGNREGS

  • To provide a fillip to employment, Government will now allocate an additional Rs 40,000 crore under MGNREGS; move will help generate nearly 300 crore person days in total.  This will address the demand for more work, especially for the migrant workers returning home.

Health

Government has committed Rs. 15,000 crore for health related measures so far for containment of Covid -19 which includes Rs 50 lakh insurance per person for health professionals under #PMGKY.  Rs 4,113 crores released to states.  Leveraging technology, eSanjeevani telemedicine service and Aarogya Setu self care and contact tracing App launched. Domestic production of PPE has taken off.  Today there are more than 300 PPE manufacturers in the country.

  • To prepare #India for any future pandemics Government will increase Public Expenditure on Health and invest in grass root health institutions.
  • All districts will have infectious diseases hospital blocks.
  • National Digital Health Mission blue print will be prepared.

Education  

Government ensured that education of students does not suffer during the lockdown period.  Since not all students have access to internet, teaching programmes were broadcast through Swayam Prabha DTH channels.

  • Technology-driven education to be the focus: PM eVIDYA – a programme for multi-mode access to digital/online education to be launched immediately;
  • PM eVidya will include extensive use of community radio and pod-casts.  Special digital content for divyang children.
  • Top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30th May.

Business and Covid-19

  • With an eye on further enhancement of Ease of Doing Business Government has announced suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year;
  • COVID 19 related debt to be excluded from the definition of “default” under IBC
  • For MSMEs a special insolvency framework will be notified under Section 240-A of IBC.
  • Minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings raised to Rs 1 crore from the earlier Rs 1 lakhs.  This will benefit most MSMEs.

Companies Act – decriminalization of certain offences

  • Government moves to decriminalise Companies Act defaults; 7 compoundable offences altogether dropped and 5 to be dealt with under alternative framework.
  • Majority of the compoundable offences sections to be shifted to Internal Adjudication Mechanism.
  • Amendments will declog National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)

Ease of Doing Business

Further key reforms for Ease of Doing Business are in the pipeline:

  • Indian public companies can list their securities directly in permissible foreign jurisdictions.
  • Private companies which list Non-Convertible Debentures on stock exchanges will not be regarded as listed companies.

Public Sector Enterprises

  • A new Public Sector Enterprise Policy will be announced.
  • In strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector but private sector will also be allowed
  • In other sectors, PSEs will be privatized

State finances

  • In view of the unprecedented situation, the Centre has decided to accede to the State’s request to increase the borrowing limit from 3% to 5% of GSDP.  This enhancement will give Rs 4.28 lakh crores of additional resources for states.
  • States have so far borrowed only 14% of their earlier 3% limit which entailed resources of Rs 6.4l lakh crores.

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