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The Hindu Newspaper 17/05/2020

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1)Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID), 2020” was published recently by?

  • a.   Amnesty International
  • b.   Institute for Economics & Peace
  • c.   Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
  • d.   International Organization for Migration

Answer : c

  • Nearly five million people were displaced in India in 2019 — the highest in the world so far — according to a recent report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), titled ‘The Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID 2020)’.
  • The centre is a part of the Norwegian Refugee Council. Globally, around 33.4 million people faced new internal displacements because of conflicts and disasters in about 145 countries in 2019.
  • The displacements in India were prompted by increased hazard intensity, high population and social and economic vulnerability, the report stated.

2)Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai”, which was recently granted Geographical Indication (GI) Tag, belongs to which of the following states?

  • a.   Kerala
  • b.   Karnataka
  • c.   Tamil Nadu
  • d.   Andhra Pradesh

Answer : c

  • The famous Kovilpatti kadalai mittai has been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  • Kovilpatti kadalai mittai is manufactured in Kovilpatti and adjacent towns and villages in Thoothukudi district, Tamil Nadu.
  • Kovilpatti kadalai mittai is a candy made of peanuts held together with glistening syrup, and topped with wisps of grated coconut dyed pink, green and yellow.
  • Kovilpatti kadalai mittai is produced by using both groundnuts and jaggery (organic jaggery), in carefully selected quantities from selected specific locations in Tamil Nadu.
  • The groundnuts are grown in the native black soil in and around Kovilpatti.
  • After sourcing, the groundnuts are shelled and roasted, this gives it an unique traditional flavour.
  • In Kovilpatti, it is sold as single rectangular chunks, or rather cuboids, sealed in packets.
  • This product has a long shelf life and has a huge export potential.
  • The tag will now help this brand reach an international audience.

3)Consider the following statements with respect to Chak-Hao

  1. It is a scented glutinous rice variety popularly known as Black Rice, cultivated widely in Manipur.
  2. For the first time in India, the rice variety has been granted Geographical Indication (GI) tag jointly for the seven North-Eastern states of India including Manipur.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  • a.   1 only
  • b.   2 only
  • c.   Both 1 and 2
  • d.   Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : a

Manipur Black rice Chak-Hao gets GI tag

  • Incredible India Chak-Hao, scented glutinous rice popularly known as Black Rice which is cultivated in Manipur since centuries and popular to people apart from the State has got GI (Geographical Indications) registration after almost a yearlong battle for registration competing with other States of India.

GI Tag

  • GI status is an indication that identifies goods as produced from a particular area, which has special quality or reputation attributable to its geographical origin and GI branded goods possess a recall value amongst consumers.
  • Also GIs are covered as an element of IPRs under Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property.
  • Geographical Indications Registry of Ministry of Commerce and Industries will grant the GI tag for a product

News:- Govt. throws open defence production and coal sectors :- 4th Phase of the Govt. economic package has been released. Now the reforms were in various Sectors.

Credit : The Hindu

Let’s analyse it one by one :-

A. COAL SECTOR

  1. Introduction of Commercial Mining in Coal Sector

The Government will introduce competition, transparency and private sector participation in the Coal Sector through:

  1. A revenue sharing mechanism instead of regime of fixed Rupee/tonne. Any party can bid for a coal block and sell in the open market.
  2.             Entry norms will be liberalised. Nearly 50 Blocks will be offered immediately. There will not be any eligibility conditions, only upfront payment with a ceiling will be provided.
  3. There will be exploration-cum-production regime for partially explored blocks against earlier provision of auction of fully explored coal blocks. This will allow private sector participation in exploration.
  4.             Production earlier than scheduled will be incentivized through rebate in revenue-share.

2. Diversified Opportunities in Coal Sector

  1. Coal Gasification / Liquefication will be incentivised through rebate in revenue share. This will result in significantly lower environment impact and also assist India in switching to a gas-based economy.
  1. Infrastructure development of Rs. 50,000 crore will be done for evacuation of enhanced Coal India Limited’s (CIL) target of 1 billion tons coal production by 2023-24 plus coal production from private blocks. This will include Rs 18,000 crore worth of investment in mechanised transfer of coal (conveyor belts) from mines to railway sidings. This measure will also help reduce environmental impact.

3.Liberalised Regime in Coal Sector

    1. Coal Bed Methane (CBM) extraction rights will be auctioned from Coal India Limited’s (CIL) coal mines.
    2. Ease of Doing Business measures, such as Mining Plan simplification, will be taken. This will allow for automatic 40% increase in annual production.
    3. Concessions in commercial terms given to CIL’s consumers (relief worth Rs 5,000 crore offered). Reserve price in auctions for non-power consumers reduced, credit terms eased, and lifting period has been enhanced.
  1. MINERAL SECTOR
      1. Enhancing Private Investments in the Mineral Sector

There will be structural reforms to boost growth, employment and bring state-of-the-art technology especially in exploration through:

  1. Introduction of a seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime.
  2. 500 mining blocks would be offered through an open and transparent auction process.
  3. Joint Auction of Bauxite and Coal mineral blocks to enhance Aluminum  Industry’s competitiveness will be introduced to help Aluminum industry reduce electricity costs.

2. Policy reforms in Mineral Sector

The distinction between captive and non-captive mines to allow transfer of mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals, leading to better efficiency in mining and production shall be removed. Ministry of Mines is in the process of developing a Mineral Index for different minerals. There will be rationalisation of stamp duty payable at the time of award of mining leases.

C. DEFENCE SECTOR

  1. Enhancing Self Reliance in Defence Production
  1. Make in India’ for Self-Reliance in Defence Production will be promoted by notifying a list of weapons/platforms for ban on import with year wise timelines, Indigenisation of imported spares, and separate budget provisioning for domestic capital procurement. This will help reduce huge Defence import bill.
  1. Improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency in Ordnance Supplies by Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board.
  1. Policy Reforms in Defence Production
  1. FDI limit in the Defence manufacturing under automatic route will be raised from 49% to 74%.
  1. There will be time-bound defence procurement process and faster decision making will be ushered in by setting up of a Project Management Unit (PMU) to support contract management; Realistic setting of General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) of weapons/platforms and overhauling Trial and Testing procedures.

D.CIVIL AVIATION SECTOR

  1. Efficient Airspace Management for Civil Aviation

Restrictions on utilisation of the Indian Air Space will be eased so that civilian flying becomes more efficient. This will bring a total benefit of about Rs 1,000 crore per year for the aviation sector. This will lead to optimal utilization of airspace; reduction in fuel use, time and will have positive environmental impact.

  1.  More World-Class Airports through PPP

6 more airports have been identified for 2nd round bidding for Operation and Maintenance on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis. Additional Investment by private players in 12 airports in 1st and 2nd rounds is expected to bring around Rs. 13,000 crore. Another 6 airports will be put out for the third round of bidding.

  1.  India to become a global hub for Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO)

Tax regime for MRO ecosystem has been rationalized. Aircraft component repairs and airframe maintenance to increase from Rs 800 crore to Rs 2,000 crore in three years. It is expected that major engine manufacturers in the world would set up engine repair facilities in India in the coming year.  Convergence between Defence sector and the civil MROs will be established to create economies of scale. This will lead to maintenance cost of airlines to come down.

E.POWER SECTOR

1.   Tariff Policy Reform

Tariff Policy laying out the following reforms will be released:

(i) Consumer Rights

  1. DISCOM inefficiencies not to burden consumers
  2. Standards of Service and associated penalties for DISCOMs
  3. DISCOMs to ensure adequate power; load-shedding to be penalized

(ii) Promote Industry

  1. Progressive reduction in cross subsidies
  2. Time bound grant of open access
  3. Generation and transmission project developers to be selected competitively

(iii) Sustainability of Sector

  1. No Regulatory Assets
  2. Timely payment of Gencos
  3. DBT for subsidy; Smart prepaid meters

2.  Privatization of Distribution in UTs

Power Departments /  Utilities in Union Territories will be privatised. This will lead to better service to consumers and improvement in operational and financial efficiency in Distribution. This will also provide a model for emulation by other Utilities across the country.

F. SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE: BOOSTING PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENT THROUGH REVAMPED VIABILITY GAP FUNDING SCHEME  – Rs 8,100 CRORE

The Government will enhance the quantum of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) upto 30% each of Total Project Cost as VGF by the Centre and State/Statutory Bodies. For other sectors, VGF existing support of 20 % each from Government of India and States/Statutory Bodies shall continue. Total outlay is Rs. 8,100 crore. Projects shall be proposed by Central Ministries/ State Government/ Statutory entities.

G. SPACE SECTOR: BOOSTING PRIVATE PARTICIPATION IN SPACE ACTIVITIES

There shall be level playing field provided to private companies in satellites, launches and space-based services. Predictable policy and regulatory environment to private players will be provided. 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 shall also be open for private sector. There will be liberal geo-spatial data policy for providing remote-sensing data to tech-entrepreneurs.

H. ATOMIC ENERGY RELATED REFORMS

Research reactor in PPP mode for production of medical isotopes shall be established to promote welfare of humanity through affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases. Facilities in PPP mode to use irradiation technology for food preservation – to compliment agricultural reforms and assist farmers shall also be established. India’s robust start-up ecosystem will be linked to nuclear sector and for this, Technology Development-cum-Incubation Centres will be set up for fostering synergy between research facilities and tech-entrepreneurs.

What is the meaning of Revenue Sharing Model :- Revenue sharing is the distribution of the total amount of income generated by the sale of goods or services between the stakeholders or contributors. It should not be confused with profit shares model. As with profit shares only the profit is shared, that is the revenue left over after costs have been removed.

News :- ‘Navy to aid Northern theatre command

The proposed Northern theatre command  along the border with China should also  have  a small Navy element in it as some of the naval  systems are useful there.

What is a Theatre Command Doctrine :- A theatre command will have specific units of personnel from the three services — Army, Navy and Air Force — under a common commander so they fight as a cohesive unit. Both the US and China follow a theatre command doctrine.

News:- Street vendor loans an uncharted turf  for big  banks

what has happened : The recent announcement by the government to offer loans to street  vendors has caught commercial banks of the  country off guard. The reason is simple:  hardly  any such loans were extended by these  banks  in the past. 

In such a scenario, the micro lenders and small  finance banks that focus on lending to the urban  poor could emerge as the key player to make the  scheme a success. SFBs and microfinance  institutions have customers who belong to these community, and have expertise in extending  small ticket loans.

What must be kept in mind while offering loan to Vendors:-

  • There should be an Interest Cap, so that vendorss don’t find it difficult to take loan.
  • It should be Delivered Fast, because it will be of no use if delivered late.
  • Documentation should be simple and should not be tideous.
  • Customer delight is a recipe for success of a scheme.

Issue :- Loans under this scheme are likely to  be under the Mudra scheme. Mudra loans are guaranteed by Credit Guarantee Trust for  Micro And Small Enterprises  (CGTMSE). According to bankers, it is not easy to get  claims for CGTMSE in case there is a default.

News :- IISc develops antimicrobial composite material and testing protocols for PPEs

The mask material consists of three layers.  The outermost layer is made of polyester  fabric  with  polymeric  nano fibre deposited on it to make it water repellent. 

The middle layer is also a polyester fabric on both sides of which polymeric nanofibres  containing antiviral and antibacterial agents  are deposited.This layer inactivates both bacteria and virus when it comes into contact with it. 

The innermost layer is a comfort layer  consisting of cotton fabric.

Rest articles have already been covered in the past days analysis. Nothing new.

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