Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Daily Current Affairs 26th August

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 26th August-2021

Daily Current Affairs 26th August – Topics

  • National Monetisation Pipeline
  • SAMARTH Udyog Bharat 4.0 Platform
  • Parliamentary Privileges – Arrest of Union Minister
  • Guru Granth Sahib
  • Global Manufacturing Risk Index
  • National Handicraft Award

 

  1. National Monetisation Pipeline

#GS3 #Mobilisation of resources #Fiscal policy #Niti Aayog #Investment models #Gs2 #Government policies and interventions

Context: The Union government has launched a 04-year National Monetisation Pipeline worth an estimated Rs 6 lakh crore.

Background:

  • The pipeline has been developed by NITI Aayog, in consultation with infrastructure line ministries, based on the directive for ‘Asset Monetisation’ under Union Budget 2021-22.
    • Union Budget 2021-22 has identified monetisation of operating public infrastructure assets as a crucial means for sustainable infrastructure financing.
    • Towards this, the Budget provided for preparation of a ‘National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP)’ of potential brownfield infrastructure assets.
  • NMP estimates aggregate monetisation potential of Rs 6.0 lakh crores through core assets of the Union Government, over a 04-year period, from Financial Year (FY) 2022 to FY 2025.

What is NMP:

  • Pipeline aims to unlock value in brownfield projects by engaging the private sector, utilising institutional and long-term patient capital, transferring to them revenue rights and not ownership in the projects, and using the funds so generated for infrastructure creation across the country.
  • NMP is envisioned to serve as a medium-term roadmap for identifying potential monetisation- ready projects, across several infrastructure sectors.

  • The government has emphasised that these are brownfield assets, which have been “de-risked” from execution risks, and therefore should encourage private investment.
  • Roads, railways and power sector assets will include over 66% of the total estimated value of the assets to be monetised, with the remaining upcoming sectors including telecom, mining, aviation, ports, natural gas and petroleum product pipelines, warehouses and stadiums.
    • In terms of annual phasing by value, 15% of assets with an indicative value of Rs 0.88 lakh crore are envisioned for rollout in the current financial year.
  • The NMP will run co-terminus with the Rs 100 lakh crore National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) announced in December 2019.
    • The projected capital to be raised through monetisation is around 14% of the planned outlay for the Centre of Rs 43 lakh crore under NIP.

Monetisation:

  • In a monetisation transaction, the government is fundamentally transferring revenue rights to private parties for a stated transaction period in exchange of upfront money, a revenue share, and commitment of investments in the assets.
  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs), for example, are the significant structures used to monetise assets in the roads and power sectors.
  • These are also listed on stock exchanges, giving investors liquidity through secondary markets as well.
  • While these are a structured financing vehicle, other monetisation models on PPP (Public Private Partnership) basis include:
    • Operate Maintain Transfer (OMT),
    • Toll Operate Transfer (TOT), and
    • Operations, Maintenance & Development (OMD).
    • OMT and TOT have been used in highways sector while OMD is being deployed in case of airports.

Significance:

  • Asset monetisation, based on the philosophy of Creation through Monetisation, is intended at getting private sector investment for new infrastructure creation.
  • This is essential for generating employment opportunities, thereby aiding high economic growth and seamlessly integrating the rural and semi-urban areas for overall public welfare.

Related Challenges:

  • Absence of distinguishable revenue streams in various assets.
  • The sluggish stride of privatisation in government companies including Air India and BPCL.
  • Further, less-than-encouraging bids in the recently launched PPP initiative in trains indicate the challenges in attracting private investors’ interest.

Asset-specific Challenges:

  • Low Level of capacity utilisation in gas and petroleum pipeline networks.
  • Controlled tariffs in power sector assets.
  • Investors have shown very less interest in national highways below 04 lanes.
  • Konkan Railway, for instance, has multiple stakeholders, including state governments, which own stake in the entity.

 

2.SAMARTH Udyog Bharat 4.0 Platform

#GS3 #Employment #Government Initiatives for Generating Employment #GS2 #Issues related to Education and Skill development

Context: Under the SAMARTH Udyog Bharat 4.0 Platform, Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI) Bangalore had organized a webinar on “Expert Talks from Samarth Udyog Centres” to celebrate the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav recently.

About:

  • The aim of the webinar was to listen to the experts of the Samarth Udyog Centres on the indigenous technology developments & the ways for collaborations in the domain of Smart Manufacturing & Industry 4.0.
  • The webinar was targeted for professionals working in Research Labs, Academia, Start-ups, MSME Industries, Private Industries and OEM’s.
  • Expert opinion on present status and future direction of indigenous technology and development activities in domain of Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 and Opportunities for collaboration with SAMARTH Udyog Centres were the key takeaway of the seminar.

SAMARTH- Udyog Bharath 4.0:

  • Smart Advanced Manufacturing and Rapid Transformation Hub (SAMARTH) -Udyog Bharat 4.0 is an Industry 4.0 enterprise of the Department of Heavy Industry, under its scheme on Enhancement of Competitiveness in Indian Capital Goods Sector.
  • The scheme on ‘Enhancement of competitiveness in the Indian Capital Goods Sector’ was notified in 2014 to boost technology growth and infrastructure creation.
  • CMTI has established Smart Manufacturing Demo & Development Cell (SMDDC) as a Common Engineering Facility Centre (CEFC) to propagate and support the process of adoption of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing practices by the rapidly growing Indian manufacturing industry.
    • CMTI is a Research & Development organisation under the aegis of the Ministry of Heavy Industries, focusing on providing ‘Technology Solutions’ to the manufacturing sector and assisting technological growth in the country.
    • CMTI plays a key role in applied research, design and development (RD&D), technology forecasting, assimilation and dissemination of manufacturing technology to Indian industries.

Industry 4.0:

  • It denotes the 04th industrial revolution, which is the cyber-physical transformation of manufacturing.
  • It has been defined as “a name for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, including cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing and creating the smart factory.
  • It will intensify productivity, efficiency and quality in processes, better safety for workers by reducing jobs in unsafe environments, improve decision making with data-based tools, and improve competitiveness by creating customised products.

 

  1. Parliamentary Privileges – Arrest of Union Minister

#GS2 # Various Constitutional Posts- Appointment, Powers, Functions & Responsibilities # Issues & Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure #Fundamental rights

Context: Central Minister and Rajya Sabha member Narayan Rane was arrested recently for his controversial remark against Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray.

  • Three FIRs have been registered against Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Narayan Rane in connection with a speech at Raigad where he spoke against the Chief Minister.

What is the procedure of arresting a union minister?

  • A union minister or a Member of Parliament enjoys certain privileges but most of them are available when Parliament is in session.
  • If Parliament is not in session, a union minister can be detained by a law enforcement agency in case of a criminal case registered against him/her.
  • As per Section 22 A of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of the Rajya Sabha, the Police, Judge or Magistrate would, however, have to inform the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha about the motive for the arrest, the place of detention or imprisonment in an appropriate form.

Is there any protection available to Union ministers or MPs?

  • A union minister or an MP enjoys protection from arrest 40 days before the start of a Parliament session, during its sittings and 40 days after its conclusion.
  • So, under Section 135 of the Code of Civil Procedure, Narayan Rane has the protection from arrest in a civil case as Parliament’s Monsoon Session ended earlier this month.
  • However, his arrest came in a criminal case. And, the protection from arrest does not cover criminal offences or preventive detention.

Can a person be arrested from the precincts of the House?

  • No arrest, whether of a member or of a stranger, can be made within the precincts of the House without the prior permission of the Chairman/Speaker and that too in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Home Ministry in this regard.
  • Similarly, no legal process, civil or criminal, can be served within the precincts of the House without obtaining the prior permission of the Chairman/Speaker whether the House is in Session or not.

Parliamentary privilege:

  • Parliamentary privilege refers to rights and immunities enjoyed by Parliament as an institution and MPs in their individual capacity, without which they cannot discharge their functions as entrusted upon them by the Constitution.

 

4.Guru Granth Sahib

#GS1 # Indian Heritage & Culture # Socio-cultural Reform Movements # Salient Features of Indian Society – Religions of India

Context: Recently, India has brought 03 saroops of Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Holy Book) from Afghanistan, now just 03 more remain in Afghanistan.

  • There were thirteen saroops in Afghanistan, of which 07 were already shifted to India earlier.

Key Details:

  • Saroop is a physical copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, also called Bir in Punjabi.
  • Every Bir has 1,430 pages, which are referred to as Ang. The verses on every page remain the same.
  • The Sikhs consider the saroop of Guru Granth Sahib a living guru and treat it with utmost respect.
  • They believe that all the 10 Gurus were the same spirit in different bodies, and the Guru Granth Sahib is their eternal physical and spiritual form.
  • Guru Arjan Dev compiled the 01st Bir of the Guru Granth Sahib in 1604, and installed it at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
  • Guru Gobind Singh added verses written by his father Guru Tegh Bahadur and compiled the Bir for the 02nd and last time.
  • It was in 1708 that Guru Gobind Singh declared Guru Granth Sahib the living Guru of the Sikhs.
    • Guru Granth Sahib is a compendium of hymns written by six Sikh gurus, 15 saints, including Bhagat Kabir, Bhagat Ravidas, Sheikh Farid and Bhagat Namdev, 11 Bhatts (balladeers) and four Sikhs.
  • The verses are composed in 31 ragas.
  • The installation and transportation of Guru Granth Sahib is governed by a strict code of conduct called Sikh Rahit Maryada.
  • Under ideal circumstances, five baptised Sikhs are required to transfer the Guru Granth Sahib from one place to another. As a mark of respect, the Bir of the Guru Granth Sahib is carried on the head, and the person walks barefoot.
  • Sikh Rahit Maryada: It is the book of guidelines that specifies the duties of Sikhs, names 04 rituals that qualify as rites of passage.
    • The 01st is a birth and naming ceremony, held in a gurdwara.
    • A 02nd rite is the marriage ceremony.
    • The 03rd rite—is the amrit sanskar, the ceremony for initiation into the Khalsa.
    • The 04th rite is the funeral ceremony.

Sikhism:

  • The word ‘Sikh’ in the Punjabi language means ‘disciple’. Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus.
  • Sikhs believe in one God (Monotheism).

A brief overview Sikh religion:

Ten Gurus of Sikh religion:

 

5.Global Manufacturing Risk Index

#GS3 #Mobilisation of Resources #Growth and Development # Changes In Industrial Policy & their Effects on Industrial Growth

Context: Recently, India has passed the United States (US) to become the second-most sought-after manufacturing destination worldwide, driven mainly by cost competitiveness in the Global Manufacturing Risk Index 2021.

  • In last year’s report, the US was at 02nd position while India ranked 03rd.

About the Global Manufacturing Risk Index:

  • It evaluates the most advantageous locations for global manufacturing among 47 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific (APAC).
  • The rankings in the report are determined based on 04 key parameters:
    • Country’s capability to restart manufacturing,
    • Business environment (accessibility of talent/labour, access to markets),
    • Operating costs,
    • Risks (political, economic and environmental).
  • The baseline ranking for top manufacturing destinations is determined on the basis of a country’s operating conditions and cost effectiveness.
  • US-based property consultant Cushman & Wakefield is responsible for this index.
  • The improvement in ranking indicates the mounting interest shown by manufacturers in India as a favoured manufacturing hub over other countries, including the US and those in the APAC region.

Factors Responsible for Improvement in India’s Ranking:

  • The budding focus on India can be credited to India’s operating conditions and cost competitiveness.
  • India has a huge manpower, which means a younger workforce with innovative capabilities that has the potential to fuel the country’s manufacturing sector.
  • The improvement in ranking can be also credited to plant relocations from China to other parts of Asia due to an already established base in pharma, chemicals and engineering sectors, as these factors forms the core of the US-China trade tensions.

Way Forward:

  • In spite of being among the top-03 countries in the baseline and cost scenario rankings, there is a long stretch for India to navigate when it comes to areas like managing the geopolitical risks involved in running business and its capacity to restart its manufacturing business after the second wave of Covid19.

 

  1. National Handicraft Award

#GS1 #Salient features of Indian Society #Social Empowerment #Skill Development Context: 02 women from West Bengal was recently conferred the National Handicraft Award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the development of crafts, ‘Madur floor mats’.

About:

  • National Handicrafts Award is an Indian Government award given to outstanding master craftsperson’s in acknowledgement of their incredible contribution towards development of crafts.
  • The main aim of this award is to give appreciation to the outstanding craftsperson in the Handicraft sector.
  • This is amongst the highest award for the handicraft’s artisans of the India.
  • It was introduced in 1965 and it is presented by the President of India, along with Shilp Guru Awards to Master Craftsperson and Sant Kabir Award to master weavers.
  • National Award is given to a craftsperson in recognition of his/her outstanding contribution towards the development of crafts and who is above the age of thirty years and is having ten years of experience in the field of handicrafts.

Shilpa Guru Award:

  • Shilp Guru Award was established in 2002 on the event of Golden Jubilee year of handicrafts resurrection in India.
  • Shilp Guru is the India’s highest award in the field of handicrafts given to artisans aged above fifty with twenty years of experience.
  • And the National Certificate of Excellence is awarded to Master crafts person in recognition of their body of work, work undertaken to promote the crafts, dissemination of the same and his/her skill level and who is above the age of thirty years and is having ten years’ experience in the field of handicrafts.

Madur Floor Mats:

  • Madur mats or Madhurkathi are made of natural fibres and forms an intrinsic part of Bengali lifestyle.
  • The origin of the craft in West Bengal dates back to the Muslim period, when ‘Masland’ mats of superfine variety with fine cotton as weft were produced under royal patronage.
  • Mats were collected as revenue of the Jaigirdari system.
  • It was awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in April 2018.
  • It is a rhizome-based plant (Cyperus tegetum or Cyperus pangorei) found abundantly in the alluvial tracts of Purba and Paschim Medinipur of West Bengal.

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