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Daily Current Affairs 18th September -2021

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 18th September -2021

 

Daily Current Affairs 18th September -2021

 

Topics

  • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for auto, auto-components and Drone industries
  • Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India
  • Crime in India Report 2020
  • World Meteorological Organization report on latest climate science information
  • World Bank discontinues Doing Business rankings

 

 

1) Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for auto, auto-components and Drone industries

 #GS2 #Government policies and interventions #GS3 #Changes in Industrial Policy & their Effects on Industrial Growth

 

Context: Recently, the Union Cabinet approved a Rs. 26,058 crore PLI scheme for auto, auto-components and Drone industries to augment India’s manufacturing capabilities.

 

Key Details:

  • The PLI scheme will incentivise the emergence of advanced automotive technologies’ global supply chain in India, with incentives worth around Rs 26,000 crore to be provided to the industry over the next 05 years.
  • The scheme for the sector is part of the overall production-linked incentives announced for 13 sectors in the Union Budget 2021-22 with an outlay of Rs 1.97 lakh crore.
  • This is especially beneficial for existing large players engaged in the automotive business and new entrants, as it will renew the interest of traditional players and motivate them to invest in the sector.
  • It is crucial in realising India’s goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharath.
  • This will strengthen the manufacturing ecosystem and build a self-sustaining framework for the e-mobility industry

 

PLI for Auto Sector:

  • The PLI Scheme for auto sector is open to existing automotive companies as well as new investors who are currently not in automobile or auto component manufacturing business.
  • The scheme has two components namely,
    • The Champion OEM Incentive scheme is a ‘sales value linked’ scheme, applicable on Battery Electric Vehicles and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles of all segments.
    • The Component Champion Incentive scheme is a ‘sales value linked’ scheme, applicable on Advanced Automotive Technology components of vehicles, Completely Knocked Down (CKD)/ Semi Knocked Down (SKD) kits, Vehicle aggregates of 2-Wheelers, 3-Wheelers, passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and tractors etc.
  • It excludes conventional petrol, diesel and CNG segments since it has sufficient capacity in India.
  • It is incentivizing only advanced automotive technologies or auto components whose supply chains are weak, dormant, or non-existing.

Significance of the scheme:

  • The automobile industry contributes to 35% of the manufacturing GDP of the country. It is a leading sector in generating employment.
  • This envisages to overcome the cost disabilities to the industry for manufacture of Advanced Automotive Technology products in India.
  • The incentive structure will encourage industry to make fresh investments for indigenous global supply chain of Advanced Automotive Technology products.
  • This scheme along with the already launched PLI for Advanced Chemistry Cell and Faster Adoption of Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) Scheme will give a big boost to the manufacture of Electric Vehicles.
  • It will contribute towards reducing carbon emissions and oil imports.
  • It will encourage production of auto components using advanced technologies that will boost localisation, domestic manufacturing and also attract foreign investments.
  • It is projected that in 05 years, the PLI scheme for the automobile and auto components industry will lead to a
    • Fresh investment of over Rs 42,500 crore,
    • Incremental production of over Rs 2.3 lakh crore and
    • Creation of additional employment opportunities of over 7.5 lakh jobs.

PLI for Drone Sector:

  • The PLI Scheme for the Drones and Drone components industry addresses the strategic, tactical and operational uses of Drone technology.
  • The PLI for Drones and Drone components industry, will over a period of 03 years, lead to
    • Investments worth ? 5,000 Crore,
    • Increase in eligible sales of ? 1500 crore and
    • Create additional employment of about 10,000 jobs.
  • It covers a wide variety of drone components, including airframe, propulsion systems, power systems, batteries, inertial measurement unit, flight control module, ground control station, communication systems, cameras, sensors, spraying systems, emergency recovery system, and trackers.

Significance:

  • It will encourage entrepreneurs to strive towards building drones, components, and software for the global market.
  • Drones can be significant creators of employment and economic growth as they have great reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas.?
  • A product-specific PLI scheme for drones with clear revenue targets and focus on domestic value addition is key to building capacity and making these key drivers of India’s growth strategy.
  • It will help reduce imports. At present 90 %of the drones in India are imported.

About PLI Scheme:

  • PLI scheme, introduced in March 2020, aims to give companies incentives on incremental sales from products manufactured in domestic units.
  • It encourages domestic companies to set up and expand manufacturing units along with inviting foreign companies to open manufacturing unit in India.
  • It has also been approved for sectors such as automobiles, pharmaceuticals, IT hardware including laptops, mobile phones & telecom equipment, white goods, chemical cells, food processing, Textile Sector etc.

 

 

2) Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India

 #GS2 #Government policies and Intervention #Statutory Bodies – Niti Aayog #GS3 #Infrastructure

 

Context:Recently, NITI Aayog has launched a report titled ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’.

  • The report was formulated by the committee under the chairmanship of Vice Chairman of Niti Aayog Dr. Rajiv Kumar.
  • It underscores urban challenges, including town planning and emphasizes need greater policy attention in our country.

 Need for the reforms:

  • India is the second largest urban system in the world with almost 11% of the total globalurban population living in Indian cities.
    • In absolute numbers, the urban population inIndia is more than highly urbanised countries/regions across the globe.
  • Urban growth is expected to contributeto 73% of the total population increase by 2036.

  • Firstly, cities have burdened by the stressof unplanned urbanizationwhich majorly affects thepoor and the marginalised,the biodiversity and the economy.
  • Secondly, recent pandemic also revealed the dire need for planning and management of our cities, with an emphasis on the health of citizens.
  • Finally, the transfer of the urban planning function from States/UTs to electedurban local governments did not happen as was envisaged through the Constitutional(Seventy-Fourth amendment) Act 1992.
    • Too many agencies are involved in urban planning at the city as well as State levels which makes theexisting framework complex leading to overlapping of functions,lack of accountability and coordination, time delays, resource wastage, etc

Issues faced by Urban centres:

Infrastructural shortcomings and lack of adequate urban planning and governance frameworks results in augmenting the problems like,

  • Lack of availability of serviced land,
  • Traffic congestion,
  • Pressure on basicinfrastructure,
  • Extreme air pollution,
  • Urban flooding,
  • Water scarcity and droughts

Recommendations by the advisory committee to remove bottlenecks in the value chain of urban planning capacity in India:

  1. Programmatic Intervention for Planning of Healthy Cities:It recommends a Central Sector Scheme ‘500 Healthy Cities Programme’, for a period of 5 years, wherein priority cities and towns would be selected jointly by the states and local bodies.
  2. Programmatic Intervention for Optimum Utilization of Urban Land: All the cities and towns under the proposed ‘Healthy Cities Programme’ should strengthen development control regulations based on scientific evidence to maximize the efficiency of urban land.
  3. Ramping Up of Human Resources:It recommends filling up positions of Urban Planners and recruit more personnel to meet he gaps.
  4. Ensuring Qualified Professionals for Undertaking Urban Planning: States may need to undertake requisite amendments in their recruitment rules to ensure the entry of qualified candidates into town-planning positions.
  5. Re-engineering of Urban Governance: The report recommends the constitution of a high-powered committee to re-engineer the present urban-planning governance structure.
  6. Revision of Town and Country Planning Acts:Report recommends formation of an apex committee at the state level to undertake a regular review of planning legislations.
  7. Demystifying Planning and Involving Citizens:The committee recommends a ‘Citizen Outreach Campaign’ for demystifying urban planning.
  8. Steps for Enhancing the Role of Private Sector: The report recommends measures to be taken to strengthen the role of the private sector to improve the overall planning capacity in the country.
    1. These include the adoption of fair processes for procuring technical consultancy services, strengthening project structuring and management skills in the public sector, and empanelment of private sector consultancies.
  9. Report also suggested steps for Strengthening Urban Planning Education System.

  

 

3) Crime in India Report 2020

 #GS2 #Issues related to Vulnerable sections #Issues related to Women #Gender Issues #GS1 #Social Empowerment

 

Context: Recently, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released the Crime in India Report 2020.

  • The report contains statistical information on cognizable crimes as reported in police stations during the reference year.

 

Highlights of the report:

Civil Conflicts:

  1. Communal Conflict
  • While 2020, a year marked by months of a national lockdown due to the pandemic saw fewer traditional crimes such as those committed against women and children, among others, it witnessed a big spike in civil conflicts.
  • Communal riots registered an increase of 96% in 2020 over the previous year.
    • About 857 cases of communal riots was registered across the India as compared to 438 in 2019.
    • Delhi Police registered the highest (520) cases of communal riots in 2020 with Bihar in second spot.
    • Uttar Pradesh did not register a single communal violence case.
    • Most of the 2020 cases are attributed to the Northeast Delhi riots of February last year.

 

  1. Caste Conflict
  • Cases of caste conflict increased from 492 in 2019 to 736 in 2020 i.e., close to 50%.
  • Bihar recorded the highest number in this category at 208, followed by Maharashtra (125), UP (116), Karnataka (95) and Tamil Nadu (69).
  • Agrarian riots increased by 38% and riots during ‘andolan/morcha’ increased by 33%.
    • The highest number of cases have been reported from Bihar (1,286).
    • Punjab reported zero cases of agrarian riots.

Drop in Traditional Crimes:

  • The number of cases registered for crimes against women, children and senior citizens, theft, burglary, robbery and dacoity, among others, dropped by about 2 lakh.
  • Murder registered a marginal increase of 1% even as offences falling under the category of “violent crimes” decreased by 0.5%.
    • Delhi registered about 10,093 cases of crimes against women in 2020.

Offences Against the State:

  • Offences against the State’ include cases related to
    • Sedition
    • Waging war against the nation,
    • Those falling under provisions of the
      • Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) 1967,
      • Official Secrets Act 1923 and
      • Damage to Public Property Act 1954.
    • The highest number of UAPA cases were registered in J&K (287).
    • There is anoteworthy drop in cases related to Offences against the State, with a drop of 27% over 2019.
    • Only Uttar Pradesh saw an increase in this category, mostly due to the large number of ‘Damage to Public Property’ cases, many of them during the anti- CAA (Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019) protests.
    • The year saw the number of attacks on police personnel decrease from 1,054 to 616 in 2020, a drop of almost 40%.

  Environment Related Offences:

  • Cases under the ‘environment-related offences’ category increased by 78.1% in the country in 2020.

Cyber Crime:

  • The rate of cyber-crime (incidents per lakh population) also increased from 3.3% in 2019 to 3.7% in 2020.

State Wise Comaparision:

4) World Meteorological Organization report on latest climate science information

 #GS3 #Biodiversity and conservation #Environmental Pollution & Degradation #International Agreements & Groupings #Legislations and Policies

 

Context: Recently, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a report named United in Science 2021.

About

  • The report is a compilation of the latest climate science information and gives a unified assessment of the state of our Earth system.
  • This is the third edition.
  • The report is coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with input from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Global Carbon Project (GCP) etc

Highlights of the report:

Greenhouse Gas concentrations in the Atmosphere:

  • Concentrations of major greenhouse gases-Co2,CH4 and N2O continued to increase last year and during the first half of 2021.
  • Overall emissions reductions in 2020 likelyreduced the annual increase of theatmospheric concentrations of long-livedgreenhouse gases, but this effect wastoo small to be distinguished fromnatural variability.

 

Fossil Fuel Emissions:

  • Fossil CO2 emissions – coal, oil, gas and cement – peaked at 36.6 GtCO2 in 2019, followed by an extraordinary drop of 1.98 GtCO2 (5.6%) in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Climate Change:

  • The pace of climate change has not been slowed by the global Covid-19 pandemic and the world remains behind in its battle to cut carbon emissions.
    • It has caused only a temporary downturn in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2020.
    • High latitude regions and the Sahel are likely to be wetter over 2021–2025, than the recent past.
  • Reduction targets are not being met and there is a rising likelihood the world will miss its Paris Agreement target of reducing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
    • There is an increasing likelihood that temperatures would temporarily breach the threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era, in the next five years.

 

 

Temperature rise:

  • The global average mean surface temperature for the period from 2017–2021 is among the warmest on record, estimated at 1.06 °C to 1.26 °C above pre-industrial (1850–1900) levels.
  • Rising global temperatures are fuelling devastating extreme weather throughout the world, with spiralling impacts on economies and societies.
    • Rising temperatures are linked to increased heat-related mortality and work impairment, with an excess of 103 billion potential work hours lost globally in 2019 compared with those lost in 2000.
    • COVID-19 infections and climate hazards such as heatwaves, wildfires and poor air quality combine to threaten human health worldwide, putting vulnerable populations at particular risk

Sea Level rise and coastal Impact:

  • Global mean sea levels rose 20 cm from 1900 to 2018.
  • Even if emissions are reduced to limit warming to well below 2°C, global mean sea level would likely rise by 0.3-0.6 m by 2100, and could rise 0.3-3.1 m by 2300.
  • In September 2020, the Arctic sea-ice extent reached its second lowest minimum on record.

Emissions Gap:

  • Five years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the emissions gap is as large as ever.
  • The increasing number of countries committing to net-zero emission goals is encouraging, with about 63% of global emissions now covered by such goals.

 

Suggestions/Way Forward:

  • To remain feasible and credible, 2015 Paris goals urgently need to be reflected in near-term policy and in significantly more ambitious NDCs for the period to 2030.
  • Adaptation strategies should be focused on low-lying coasts, small islands, deltas and coastal cities.
  • Covid-19 recovery efforts should be aligned with national climate change and air quality strategies to reduce risks from compounding and cascading climate hazards, and gain health co-benefits.
  • Countries should pursue an economic recovery that incorporates strong decarbonization to significantly reduce emissions by 2030.

 

5) World Bank discontinues Doing Business rankings

 #GS2 #Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate #GS3 #Industrial Policies

 

Context:World Bank Group has decided to discontinue ‘Doing Business’ reports that used to assess investment climate in countries after data irregularities were found in 2018 and 2020.

 Issue of Irregularities:

  • In August 2020, World Bank paused the publication of Doing Business reports following a number of irregularities were reported regarding changes to the data of which it later confirmed.
  • The irregularities had affected 04 countries: China; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; and Azerbaijan.
    • According to the initial Doing Business 2018 report, China had a score of 65.3 with a global ranking of 78, similar to the previous year’s.
    • After the corrections in data for indicators like Starting a Business, Getting Credit, and Paying Taxes indicators, China’s score fell to 64.5 and global ranking to 85.
  • A probe cited “undue pressure” by top bank officials, including then-Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, to boost China’s ranking in 2017.
  • The investigation also established that changes to Saudi Arabia’s and UAE’s data in Doing Business 2020 was likely the result of efforts by a senior Bank staff member to “achieve a desired outcome and reward Saudi Arabia for the important role it played in the Bank community, including its significant and ongoing RAS projects.”
  • This raised ethical matters involving former bank staff and board officials.

Why the report matters?

  • World Bank’s annual report matters to several nations, especially developing ones, since it greatly influenced investor decisions by releasing a ranking of economies based on how easy it is to open up, and operate, a business.
    • Through improved ranking India sought to attract investments to achieve the targets set for ‘Make in India’.
  • But while the report was hugely popular among investors, it was heavily criticized by many governments for its methodology that, leaders said, inaccurately captured the realities on the ground.

About Doing Business report:

  • The report was introduced in 2003 to provide an assessment of objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies on ten parameters affecting a business through its life cycle.
  • The “distance to frontier metric” in the report is a measure to indicate how far an economy’s policies are from global best practices. This score helps assess the absolute level of regulatory performance over time.
  • A high ranking means the regulatory environment is more contributing to the starting and operation of a firm.

Daily Current Affairs 18th September -2021

 

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