October 21, 2021

Lukmaan IAS

A Blog for IAS Examination

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS (SEPTEMBER 10, 2021)

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INDIAN POLITY, GOVERNANCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INDIA RANKINGS 2021

 

THE CONTEXT: Union Education Minister released the India Rankings 2021 instituted by the National Institutional Ranking Framework.

ANALYSIS:

  • This is the sixth consecutive edition of India Rankings of HEIs in India. During its maiden year in 2016, rankings were announced for University category as well as for three domain-specific rankings, namely Engineering, Management and Pharmacy institutions.
  • Over the period of six years, three new categories and five new subject domains were added to bring the total tally to 4 four categories, namely Overall, University, College and Research Institutions and 7 subjects, namely Engineering, Management, Pharmacy, Architecture, Medical, Law and Dental in 2021.
  • Research institutions have been ranked for the first time in India Rankings 2021.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF INDIA RANKINGS 2021

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras retains 1st Position in Overall Category as well as in Engineering for the third consecutive year.
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru tops the University as well as Research Institution category introduced for the first time in India Rankings 2021.
  • IIM Ahmedabad tops in Management subject and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi occupies the top slot in Medical for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Jamia Hamdard tops the list in Pharmacy subject for the third consecutive year.
  • Miranda College retains 1st position amongst colleges for the fifth consecutive year.
  • IIT Roorkee takes the top slot for the first time in Architecture subject displacing IIT Kharagpur.
  • National Law School of India University, Bangalore retains its first position for in Law for the fourth consecutive years.
  • Colleges in Delhi dominate ranking of colleges with five colleges out of first 10 colleges from Delhi.
  • Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal, secure 1st position in “Dental” category.

SOURCE:  PIB

ENVIRONMENT, GEOGRAPHY AND AGRICULTURE

A NEW STUDY SAYS ABOUT FOSSIL FUEL EXTRACTION AND GLOBAL WARMING

 

THE CONTEXT: A new study conducted by researchers from University College London says that the global oil and gas production should decline by three per cent per year until 2050 to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is the target set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. The study has been published in the journal Nature.

ANALYSIS:

  • A Greenpeace report published in early 2020 estimated that the global cost of air pollution from fossil fuels was around $2.9 trillion per year, or $8 billion per day, which was 3.3 per cent of the world’s GDP at the time. As per this report, India is estimated to bear a cost of $150 billion from air pollution caused by fossil fuels.
  • Keeping this goal set out by the climate agreement, the study says that as of now, both planned and operational fossil fuel extraction projects are not conducive to meeting the targets set out by the climate agreement signed in 2015.
  • Significantly, the study says that a substantial number of regions in the world have already reached their peak fossil fuel production and that any increase in fossil fuel production will have to be offset by a decline elsewhere, if the goal wants to be achieved.
  • Further, the required unextracted reserves need to be 58 percent for oil, 59 percent for fossil methane gas and 89 percent for coal by 2050.  Which is to say that these percentages of fossil fuels need to remain unextractable if global warming targets are kept in mind.
  • Specifically for coal, the unextractable estimates show less variation across regions, the report notes.

SOURCE:  IE

INDIAN ECONOMY

GOVERNMENT PROVIDES BIG BOOST TO EXPORTERS

 

THE CONTEXT: Government of India has decided to budget Rs 56,027 crore in this Financial Year FY 21-22 itself in order to disburse all pending export incentives due to exporters.

ANALYSIS:

  • Benefits would be disbursed to more than 45,000 exporters, out of which about 98% are small exporters in the MSME category.
  • Centre has provided a massive relief to the exporters.
  • This amount is over and above duty remission of Rs 12,454 crore for the RoDTEP scheme and Rs 6,946 crore for RoSCTL scheme already announced.
  • Benefits would help sectors to maintain cash flows and meet export demand in international market
  • This support would have a multiplier effect and spur employment generation
  • Robust export growth is being witnessed in recent months and this decision will lead to an even more rapid export growth in coming months

SOURCE : PIB

MAIN BHI DIGITAL 3.0

 

THE CONTEXT: Ministry of Housing and urban Affairs( MoHUA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) launched the pilot drive ‘Main Bhi Digital 3.0’ – A special Campaign for Digital Onboarding and Training for street vendors under PM SVANidhi scheme across 223 cities in the country .

ANALYSIS:

  • The special drive aims to accelerate on-boarding of street vendors on the UPI QR code and handhold them to start accepting/making digital payment transactions.
  • Five major aggregators including Paytm, Phone Pe, Bharat Pe, Mswipe and Aceware have agreed to participate in 45 days special drive for digitally onboarding the street vendors with BHIM-UPI QR code on pro-bono basis.
  • The drive will cover 223 cities across the country with around 8,68,184 street vendors to be onboarded under various urban local bodies.
  • Digital Payment Aggregators will educate the street vendors about the benefits of digital payments such as convenience, increased operational efficiency, seamless transfer of funds, cost saving, transparency and security.
  • They will also hand hold the street vendors by performing penny drop transaction and any further support that is required to accept/ pay digitally.
  • Digital footprints including  digital payment transactions and loan repayment data under the scheme would help in credit profiling  of street vendors. This will enable inclusion of street vendors in the formal credit ecosystem, and help in driving financial inclusion of unorganized sector.
  • This will enable inclusion of Street Vendors in the formal credit ecosystem, and help in driving financial inclusion of the unorganized sector.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has catazalyzed behavioural changes in citizens for adoption of digital payments, as reflected in the tremendous growth in BHIM UPI transactions from  99.95 crore in April 2020 to  355.55 crore in August-2021.  During the coronavirus crisis, digital payments, particularly BHIM UPI has played a significant role in keeping economy running by supporting commerce and business.

PM SVANIDHI

  • PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) was launched on June 1, 2020 as a Central Sector Scheme.
  • The scheme facilitates affordable working capital loan of up to ₹10,000 with an interest subsidy @7% on regular repayment.
  • The street vendors are not required to pay any collateral for the loan. The scheme provides Graded Guarantee Cover, to Lending Institutions, on a portfolio basis. The scheme targets to cover 50 lakh street vendors, who had been vending on or before March 24, 2020.
  • The street vendors also stand a chance to avail a loan of ₹20,000 and ₹50,000 in the second and third tranches respectively on timely repayment of the loan.
  • To encourage digital transaction a cash back up to ₹1,200 on digital transactions at ₹100 per month is provided to the street vendors under the scheme.
  • An Integrated IT Platform has been developed to provide end-to-end solution for the paper less loan processing.
  • SIDBI has been appointed as the implementation agency for scheme administration.

SOURCE :  PIB

INTERNAL SECURITY

MRSAM

 

THE CONTEXT:  The first deliverable Firing Unit (FU) of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) System was handed over to Indian Air Force (IAF) in the presence of Raksha Mantri.

ABOUT MRSAM

  • MRSAM provides air defence against aerial threats like fighter aircraft, UAVs, guided and unguided munitions & cruise missiles
  • Capable of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 kilometres
  • Indigenously developed rocket motor & control system for achieving high manoeuvrability
  • State-of-the-art missile system

SOURCE: PIB

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

HIGH ASH COAL GASIFICATION BASED METHANOL PRODUCTION PLANT

 

THE CONTEXT:  India’s first Indigenously Designed High Ash Coal Gasification Based Methanol Production Plant at BHEL R&D Centre, Hyderabad

ANALYSIS:

  • Methanol is utilized as a motor fuel, to power ship engines, and to generate clean power all over the world.
  • Methanol is also used to generate di-methyl ether (DME), a liquid fuel that is very similar to diesel — existing diesel engines simply need to be minimally changed to use DME instead of diesel.
  • The majority of worldwide methanol production is derived from natural gas, which is a relatively easy process. Since India doesn’t have much of the natural gas reserves, producing methanol from imported natural gas lead to outflow of foreign exchange and sometimes uneconomical due to excessive prices of natural gas.
  • The next best option is to utilise India’s abundant coal. However, due to the high ash percentage of Indian coal, most internationally accessible technology will not be adequate for our demands.
  • To address this issue, BHEL R&D centre at Hydrabad began working on Indian high ash coal gasification in 2016 with support from the NITI Aayog to produce 0.25 ton per day methanol.
  • The project was supported by the Department of Science and Technology with a Rs 10 crore grant. With four years of hard work BHEL successfully demonstrated a facility to create 0.25 TPD Methanol from high ash Indian coal using a 1.2 TPD Fluidized bed gasifier. The methanol purity of the crude methanol produced is between 98 and 99.5 percent.

SOURCE : PIB

 

Q1. Consider the following statements about PM SVANIDHI:

  1. The street vendors are not required to pay any collateral for the loan.
  2. SIDBI has been appointed as the implementation agency for scheme administration.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER FOR SEPTEMBER 09, 2021 PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS (REFER RELEVANT ARTICLE)

Answer: a)

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: MSP is the minimum price at which government purchases crops from farmers. It is based on a calculation of at least one-and-a-half times the cost of production incurred by the farmers.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) decides the minimum support price and recommend it to government.
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