Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs of 6th September-2020

 

1) Business Reform Action Plan for the year 2019:

Context: Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, today announced the 4th edition of Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) ranking of states.

What is Business Reforms Action Plan?
The plan was released by DPIIT-World Bank. It comprises of 80 reforms (187 reform action points) to be implemented by 19 state departments. Among them, Andhra Pradesh achieved 100% compliance to 187 reform action points.

  • Ranking of States based on the implementation of Business Reform Action Plan started in the year 2015.
  • Till date, State Rankings have been released for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017-18.
  • The Business Reform Action Plan 2018-19 includes 180 reform points covering 12 business regulatory areas such as Access to Information, Single Window System, Labour, Environment, etc.
  • The larger objective of attracting investments and increasing Ease of Doing Business in each State was sought to be achieved by introducing an element of healthy competition through a system of ranking states based on their performance in the implementation of Business Reform Action Plan.
  • The ranking this time gives full weightage to the feedback from over thirty thousand respondents at the ground level, who gave their opinion about the effectiveness of the reforms.
  • State rankings will help attract investments, foster healthy competition and increase Ease of Doing Business in each State.
  • “India is seen taking the reform process seriously which showed when foreign direct investment in the country increased even during the Covid-19 pandemic, amid what was called world’s strictest lockdown.
  • Some states have shown extraordinary energy in putting together action plans and making sure that reforms happen.
  • States have embraced the true spirit behind the State Business Reforms Action Plan,”

“The Ease of Doing Business rankings being released are a reflection of the efforts made by states, the rankings are competitive

India is among the very few nations which has state-specific rankings, which will in turn help the nation improve its ranking

States should undertake steps to minimize the regulatory burden by removing renewal of licenses or extending their periodicity, simplifying application forms, introducing risk-based inspections or introduction of third-party inspections, digitizing approvals and undertaking measures to rationalize the regulatory regime,”

The top ten states under State Reform Action Plan 2019 are:

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. Telangana
  4. Madhya Pradesh
  5. Jharkhand
  6. Chhattisgarh
  7. Himachal Pradesh
  8. Rajasthan
  9. West Bengal
  10. Gujarat

Andhra Pradesh:
The state was the first to come up with “restart” package for the business continuity of micro-small-and medium enterprises.

2. Main findings for Doing Business 2020:

  • Doing Business captures 294 regulatory reforms implemented between May 2018 and May 2019. Worldwide, 115 economies made it easier to do business.
  • The economies with the most notable improvement in Doing Business 2020 are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India and Nigeria.
  • In 2018/19, these countries implemented one-fifth of all the reforms recorded worldwide.
  • Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean continue to lag in terms of reforms.
  • Only two Sub-Saharan African economies rank in the top 50 on the ease of doing business; no Latin American economies rank in this group.
  • Doing Business 2020 continues to show a steady convergence between developing and developed economies, especially in the area of business incorporation.
  • Since 2003/04, 178 economies have implemented 722 reforms captured by the starting a business indicator set, either reducing or eliminating barriers to entry.
  • Those economies that score well on Doing Business tend to benefit from higher levels of entrepreneurial activity and lower levels of corruption.
  • While economic reasons are the main drivers of reform, the advancement of neighboring economies provides an additional impetus for regulatory change.
  • Twenty-six economies became less business-friendly, introducing 31 regulatory changes that stifle efficiency and quality of regulation.

 

2) Analysis of National Education Policy 2020:

Context: Union Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar has termed the National Education Policy 2020 as a revolutionary reform of the 21st Century.

Analysis:

Early childhood Education:

  • Early Childhood Education is one of the main characteristic of NEP. He said, 3 -8 years of Age Group is to build Cognitive skills, curiosity and mental capacity.
  • Education with subject understanding is important rather than rote learning.
  • Early childhood education, enquiry-based education, teacher training, foundational and numeric literacy, have all been laid emphasis on.

Youth Education:

  • NEP 2020 will empower our youth, which will take the nation forward in the 21st century.
  • While activity based learning is emphasized at the early states, 9th to 12th educatìon would focus on detailed, relevant and new knowledge, which will induce scientific temper among children.
  • The policy is such that it will make the teaching – learning experience enjoyable for both students and teachers” .

Gross Enrolment Ratio:

  • India would double the Gross Enrolment Ratio within the next 10 years from the current level of about 25%.
  • Students across the country have become aspirational and economic growth has pushed parental earnestness to provide good education for their children.
  • Wider geographical spread of higher education institutions, especially covering rural areas and increased demand would be the critical factors that will improve GER in India.

The new policy lays emphasis on foundational and numerical literacy and institutes like National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) would give access to education to all.

Research and Innovation:

  • Research and innovation are key to enabling our education mould globally competitive citizens. 3,000 ‘Atal Tinkering Labs’ are running successfully to encourage research based innovation, which is essential for building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Teacher education:

  • Speaking about the role of teachers in the society, a teacher does not simply teach through books or black boards. Ideal teacher is the one who instills values in students through his/her conduct”.
  • Four year integrated B.Ed degree is being introduced to provide holistic training programme for teachers, which will include practical teaching skills.
  • It will encourage teachers to become teachers by choice and not as a last resort

The National Education Policy has been formulated after extensive consultations 13-14 subject experts had worked with great sincerity and zeal under the leadership of Dr. K Kasturirangan.

About Parle tilakvidyalay Association

  • Parle Tilak Vidyalaya Association is an educational organization operating mainly in Mumbai suburbs.
  • In 2020, the organization entered its centenary year.
  • Inspired by the great personality of Lokmanya Tilak, some patriotic citizens of Vile Parle founded the Parle Tilak Vidyalaya Association (PTVA).
  • The first Marathi school, Parle Tilak Vidyalaya, was started in 1921. There were only 4 students in the school initially. Today, the institute has 5 schools, 3 colleges and a Management Institute, with a total enrollment of over 20,000 students.
  • Among the alumni of Parle Tilak Vidyalay Association are veterans like Maharashtra’s beloved writer Pu. La. Deshpande, Shetkari Sanghatana founder Sharad Joshi, former Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal pradipnaik (R) .
  • The institution has also produced many politicians, social activists, entrepreneurs and actors.

Evolution:

  • ‘Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ under the Chairmanship of Shri T.S.R. Subramanian submitted its report in May 2016, based on which Ministry prepared ‘Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016’.
  • ‘Committee for the Draft National Education Policy’ was constituted under Dr. K. Kasturirangan in June 2017, which submitted the Draft National Education Policy, 2019.
  • NEP 2020 has been formulated after the process of consultation with different stakeholders at different levels

Objectives and Proposed changes

School Education

  • Ensuring Universal Access at all levels of school education- preschool to secondary.
  • Open learning for class 3,5 and 8 through NIOS and State Open Schools

New Curricular

  • The 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure.
  • This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under the school curriculum,
  • The new system will also have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre-schooling.
  • NCERT will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8.
  • The planning and implementation of ECCE will be carried out jointly by the Ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs.
  • The policy calls for the setting up of a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.
  • States will prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools by 2025.
  • Greater focus on experiential learning.
  • There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extracurricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.
  • Vocational education will also start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships.
  • A new and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE 2020-21, will be developed by the NCERT.
  • All students will take school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the appropriate authority.
  • Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued, but redesigned with holistic development as the aim.
  • A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), will be set up as a standard- setting body.

Equitable and Inclusive Education

  • Special emphasis on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups(sedgs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities.
  • Setting up of a Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
  • Children with disabilities will be enabled to fully participate in the regular schooling process.
  • Every state/district will be encouraged to establish “Bal Bhavans” as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play- related activities.
  • Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras.

B. Higher Education

  • NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035.
  • The policy envisages holistic under- graduate education with flexible curriculum, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education, and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification.
  • Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (merus), at par with iits, iims, to be set up as models of the best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.
  • The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.

Teacher’s Education Qualification

  • A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE, 2021 will be formed by NCERT.
  • Also, by 2030 the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4- year integrated B.Ed degree.
  • An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for free exchange of ideas on the use of technology.
  • The central government and state governments will work together to increase the public investment in the education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest

Significance of the NEP

  • This is the first education policy of the 21st century replacing the 34-year-old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986.
  • The policy is based on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability.
  • It is also aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development..

Flexibility

  • The final policy document makes it clear that no language will be imposed on any State.
  • The three languages learned by children will be the choices of States, regions, and of also the students themselves, so long as at least two of the three languages are native to India.
  • According to the new policy, this will be followed by both public and private schools.
  • Students will begin classes on coding as well as vocational activities from Class 6 onwards.
  • Indian knowledge systems, including tribal and indigenous knowledge, will also be incorporated into the curriculum in an accurate and scientific manner.

Challenges

  • Since education is a concurrent subject most states have their own school boards. Therefore, state governments would have to be brought on board for actual implementation of this decision.

 

3) Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP):

  • SVEP addresses three major pillars of rural start-ups namely – finances, incubation and skill ecosystems.
  • Activities under SVEP are strategically designed to promote rural enterprises, one of the key areas is to develop pool of community resource persons – enterprise promotion (CRP-EP) who are local and support entrepreneurs setting-up rural enterprises.
  • Another key area is to promote the Block Resource Centre (BRC) in SVEP blocks, to monitor and manage the community resource persons, appraise SVEP loan application and acts as the repository of enterprise related information in the concern block. Brcs play the role to support sustainable revenue model to operate effectively and independently.

Objective:

  • To support the rural poor come out of poverty, supporting them setup enterprises and provide support till the enterprises stabilize, SVEP focuses on providing self-employment opportunities with financial assistance and training in business management and soft skills while creating local community cadres for promotion of enterprises.
  • SVEP promotes individual and group enterprises, set-up and promote enterprises majorly on manufacturing, trading and service sectors.
  • The program invested largely on building the capacities of the entrepreneurs to run the businesses profitably based on the local demand and eco-system.
  • The CRP-eps are certified and provides business support services to the entrepreneurs.
  • Investments are also made under SVEP on use of ICT to create standard E-learning modules for minimizing the transmission loss in technical aspects like business plan and profit and loss account preparations.

During the initial years of implementation, the SVEP focused on mobilizing rural communities to setup and strengthen the institution structures, invest on training and capacity building on business management aspects for the BRC members, created pool of CRP-eps and provided them intensive training, supported the entrepreneurs to scale up their existing enterprises as well as establish and support the new enterprises.

Evaluation:

  • Over the years the SVEP has made an impressive progress and has extended business support services and capital infusion to 153 blocks of 23 states as of August 2020.
  • Around, 2,000 trained cadre of Community Resource Person-Enterprise Promotion (CRP-EP) are providing services to rural entrepreneurs and as on August 2020, around 100,000 enterprises are supported by them.
  • Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad is the technical support partner of SVEP.
    Mid-term review
  • A mid-term review of SVEP which was conducted in September 2019 by Quality Council of India shows about 82% of the sampled entrepreneurs across the blocks reported being from SC, ST and OBC categories which signifies social inclusion – one of the pillars of NRLM.
  • 75% of the enterprises were owned and managed by women.
  • The study also shows that about 57% of the total household income of the entrepreneurs is through SVEP enterprises.
    Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) is implemented by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana –National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development, as a sub-scheme since 2016.

 

4) Tripura-Bangladesh water route:

  • Water route trial run boat from Bangladesh reaches Tripura
  • Gumti river is way to water way in Tripura
  • Operations on India Bangladesh inland waterway route officially began on 5th September with a Bangladeshi vessel transporting a cargo of cement from the neighbouring countries munshiganj port to sonamura port in Tripura
  • As part of the riverine trade route, vessels will travel on river Gomati, Tripura’s longest river which criss-crosses through several districts before merging with river Meghna in Bangladesh

 

5) Auto parts makers urged to cut imports:

Context: Many companies in China were relocating or adding plants in other countries to cover the political risks automobile sector covid-19

  • In auto sector had the potential to be the top Global manufacturing hub
  • Four categories of components where imports should be converted to local are electronics, some grades of Steel, tooling and Electric Vehicle components.
  • The auto industry appeared to be reviving faster than expected likely due to demand and people now preferring personal mobility over public transportation
  • Production Linked Incentive scheme for auto and component makers and the Scrappage Policy are an advantage.

Production Linked Incentive scheme:

  • Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing notified 2020 offers a production linked incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in mobile phone manufacturing and specified electronic components, including Assembly, Testing, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) units.
  • The Scheme would tremendously boost the electronics manufacturing landscape and establish India at the global level in electronics sector.
  • The scheme shall extend an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales (over base year) of goods manufactured in India and covered under target segments, to eligible companies, for a period of five (5) years subsequent to the base year.
  • The PLI scheme will be active for five years with financial year (FY) 2019-20 considered as the base year for calculation of incentives.
  • The Scheme will be implemented through a Nodal Agency which shall act as a Project Management Agency (PMA) and be responsible for providing secretarial, managerial and implementation support and carrying out other responsibilities as assigned by meity from time to time.

Vehicle scrappage policy:

  • Scrappage policy is expected to entail scrapping of old vehicles in exchange for some incentives for consumers while setting up vehicle recycling classes to boost use of recycled materials there by cutting cost of raw materials
  • Policy is seen as growth driver in boosting demand for new vehicles at the time when the economy is hit by weak consumer sentiment amid covid-19 led s lowdown
  • This will also focus on eliminating the fleet of old polluting commercial vehicle’s
  • The country is also having potential to become a hub for automotive and manufacturing globally in next 5 years

 

6) Priority Sector Lending (PSL):

Context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) brought financing of start-ups under the priority sector lending (PSL) category of the banking sector

What is priority sector lending?

  • Priority Sector refers to those sectors of the economy which may not get timely and adequate credit.
  • Priority Sector Lending is an important role given by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to the banks for providing a specified portion of the bank lending to few specific sectors.
  • The sectors may be agriculture and allied activities, micro and small enterprises, poor people for housing, students for education and other low income groups and weaker sections.
  • This is essentially meant for an all round development of the economy as opposed to focusing only on the financial sector.
  • As per the RBI circular released in 2016, there are eight broad categories of the Priority Sector Lending.
  • They are: (1) Agriculture (2) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (3) Export Credit (4) Education (5) Housing (6) Social Infrastructure (7) Renewable Energy (8) Start-ups and others
  • The others category includes personal loans to weaker section, loans to distressed persons, loans to state sponsored organisations for SC/ST.
  • PSL first identified by National Credit Council in 1972
  • Initially the target was 33.33.% now it is raised to 40 % based on recommendations of Krishnaswamy committee

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