Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs of 23rd August-2020

 

1. Jal Jeevan Mission:

Context: Arunachal Pradesh has again received a very high rainfall in the current monsoon season. State to provide tap water to all rural homes by 2023,

Water issues in Arunachal Pradesh: Many of the drinking water supply installations dependent on the surface sources have faced the fury of natural calamities in terms of flash flood, cloud bursts, landslides and erosions.
Water availability is not an issue Arunachal Pradesh is not an issue, but the challenges faced in implementation are the tough mountainous terrain, sparsely located habitations and the harsh climatic conditions.

Local community comes forward for restoration work of water supply in Ledum Water Supply Project. The Ledum multi village water supply project feeding potable drinking water to Bilat circle, Oyan-Sille Circle and Ruksin headquarter covering 19 villages which was one of the projects damaged badly due to sudden cloud burst at its catchment area.

The result of participation of the people in the restoration effort saw that the resumption of drinking water supply to the entire villages was ensured in 3 days.

The efforts of the officials of Public Health Engineering Department and the determination of the community to come forward for this kind of repair work shows that the community can play a huge role in operation and maintenance of water supply systems in rural areas.

Jal Jeevan Mission: is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India on regular and long term basis.. The programme will also implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, rain water harvesting. The Jal Jeevan Mission will be based on a community approach to water and will include extensive Information, Education and communication as a key component of the mission. JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.

 

 

2. Excess sugarcane for ethanol production to improve viability of sugar industry:

Context: An inter ministerial meet held with the representatives of leading banks and Oil Marketing Companies, Cane Commissioners of major sugar producing States and sugar industry associations, in which ways and means to increase the supply of ethanol to OMCs was discussed to achieve the objective of the Government to increase blending percentage in petrol.

Why the move:
• Diversion of excess sugarcane and sugar is the long term solution for addressing the problem of excess stock and improving viability of sugar industry.
• Move will facilitate mills to avail loans from banks to set up new distilleries or to expand their existing distilleries, thereby enhancing the overall distillation capacity in the country and thus would help in achieving the blending target under Ethanol Blended with Petrol programme.
• It was agreed that as producers of ethanol (sugar mills), buyers of ethanol (OMCs) and the lenders (banks) are willing to enter into a tri-partite agreement (TPA) about producing, buying and paying for the ethanol through an escrow account etc., the banks can consider giving loans to sugar mills even with weak balance sheets.
• Ethanol is a green fuel and its blending with petrol also saves foreign exchange

Government measures: Steps to achieve the targets:
To achieve the objective of the Government, Department of Food & Public Distribution is regularly holding meetings with Department of Financial Services; Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas; Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change; State Governments; representatives from Sugar Industry and Banks.
• With a view to achieving blending targets, Government is encouraging sugar mills and molasses based standalone distilleries to enhance their ethanol distillation capacity.
• Soft loans being extended through banks enhancement and augmentation of ethanol production capacity, for which an interest subvention for five years is being borne by the Government.
• To encourage sugar mills to divert excess sugarcane to produce ethanol for blending with petrol, the Government has allowed production of ethanol from B-Heavy Molasses, sugarcane juice, sugar syrup and sugar; and has also fixed the remunerative ex-mill price of ethanol derived from these feed-stocks.

Ethanol blending targets achieved: 5% in 2018-2019
5.6 % in 2019-20
New targets: The Government has 10% by 2022
20% by 2030
Escrow account: Escrow is the use of a third party capable of holding assets on behalf of two parties who are in the process of completing a transaction.

 

 

3. Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series:

Context: Ministry of Tourism organised its 50th webinar titled Atmanirbhar Bharat – Issues confronting Tourism & Travel under Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series.

The webinar presented the MSME sector and its classification, registration process for MSMEs, credit/Finance Schemes of Ministry of MSME for services sector, Public procurement policy etc.

This webinar was organized with the vision to provide information and guidance to the stakeholders on benefits from the various elements and schemes of MSME.

After 14 years since the MSME Development Act came into existence in 2006, a revision in MSME definition was announced in the Atmanirbhar Bharat package on 13th May 2020.

Entreprise Investment Turnover
Micro Rs. One Crore Rs. 5 Crore
Small Rs. 10 Crore Rs. 50 Crore
Medium Rs. 50 Crore Rs. 250 Crore

MSME registration benefits:

1. Loans without collaterals:
The Government has introduced various initiatives for MSME/SSI that allow them to avail credit without collateral. One of the best MSME registration benefits, the initiative to provide collateral-free loan is undertaken by GOI (Government of India), SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise under the name The Credit Guarantee Trust Fund Scheme. This is by far the best MSME registration benefits for small business owners.

2. Subsidy on Patent Registration & Industrial Promotion:
Business enterprises registered under the MSME Act are given a hefty subsidy of 50 per cent for patent registration. This can be availed by sending an application to the respective ministry. In addition to this, one of the great MSME registration benefits is to get subsidy for industrial promotion suggested by the Government.

3. ‘The initial products and schemes under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana umbrella have already been created and the interventions have been named ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishor’ and ‘Tarun’ to signify the stage of growth / development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit / entrepreneur as also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation / growth for the entrepreneur to aspire for:
1. Shishu : loans upto 50,000
2. Kishore: 50, 000 to 5 lakh
3. Tarun: 5 lakhs to 10 lakhs

 

 

4. Open API Service of Aarogya Setu:

Context: As we move on to the new normal of learning to live with COVID19, Aarogya Setu team has worked on a new innovative feature which is called ‘Open API Service’.

Why:

• Aarogya Setu introduces ‘Open API Service’, a novel feature to address the fear/risk of COVID-19 infections and help the people, businesses and the economy to return to normalcy.
• The Open API Service of Aarogya Setu, can be availed by organizations and business entities, who are registered in India with more than 50 employees, and they can use the Open API Service to query the Aarogya Setu Application in real-time and get the health status of their employees or any other Aarogya Setu User.
• The Open API Service enables organizations to get the health status of their employees and any other Arogya Setu user to addresses risk/fear of COVID-19 infections without violating their data privacy.

What is an OPEN API:

An open API, also called public API, is an application programming interface made publicly available to software developers. Open APIs are published on the internet and shared freely, allowing the owner of a network-accessible service to give a universal access to consumers.

About Aarogya Setu:

launched in April 2020, mobile App for helping augment the efforts of limiting the spread of COVID-19, with an objective of enabling Bluetooth based contact tracing, mapping of likely hotspots and dissemination of relevant information about COVID19.

How does Aarogya Setu work?
Aarogya Setu uses contact tracing to record details of all the people you may have come in contact with, as you go about your normal activities. If any one of them, at a later point in time, tests positive for COVID-19, you are immediately informed and proactive medical intervention is arranged for you.

Why? Aarogya Setu
• Keep You Safe
• Keeps your near and dear ones safe
• Keeps India at large safe

Key pillars of Aarogya Setu have been transparency, privacy and security and in line with India’s policy on Open Source Software, the source code of Aarogya Setu has now been made open source.

Aarogya Setu’s development has been a remarkable example of collaboration between Government, Industry and Academia and citizens.
Towards this objective, Government has also launched a Bug Bounty Programme with a goal to partner with security researchers and Indian developer community to test the security effectiveness of Aargoya Setu and also to improve or enhance its security and build user’s trust.

 

 

5. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana:

MUDRA, which stands for Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd., is a financial institution set up by Government of India for development and refinancing of micro units enterprises. For providing loans up to 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises these loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, MFIs and NBFCs. Under the aegis of PMMY, MUDRA has created three products namely ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ to signify the stage of growth / development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit / entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation / growth.

Vision
To be an integrated financial and support services provider par excellence, bench-marked with global best practices and standards, for the bottom of the pyramid universe for their comprehensive economic and social development.

MUDRA Mission
To create an inclusive, sustainable and value based entrepreneurial culture, in collaboration with our partner institutions in achieving economic success and financial security.

 

 

6.Organic Waste Converter (OWC) Plant:

Context: National Fertilizers Limited (NFL) a PSU under the Department of Fertilizers, Vijaipur (Madhya Pradesh) is setting up an Organic Waste Converter (OWC) Plant.

An initiative towards ‘Swachh Bharat’, the project aims to recycle around 2000 Kg per day of biodegradable waste generated in township including horticulture waste.

The unit plans to utilize this compost as manure thus substituting consumption of fertilisers/ manure used for developments of Parks or Public places. The compost can also be used by the residents in their Lawns and Kitchen Gardens

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