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Prelim Bits 26-08-2021 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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August 26, 2021

SAMRIDH Scheme

Start-up Accelerators of MeitY for pRoduct Innovation, Development and growth (SAMRIDH) programme was launched by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).

  • SAMRIDH will create a conducive platform to growing Indian Software Product start-ups that are ready for acceleration stage to  enhance  their  products and  secure  investments  for  scaling  their  business.
  • It will provide them with funding support, mentorship and other supports that are required by startups at this stage.
  • The programme is being implemented by MeitY Start-up Hub (MSH).
  • SAMRIDH will accelerate 300 early-stage start-ups that are close to the product development stage over a period of time.
    • This acceleration will be done by providing customer connect, investor connect, and international immersion in the next 3 years.
  • The government has invited existing startup accelerators to partner with and will provide funding of up to Rs.40 lakh to them.
    1. Only accelerators that have been in the incubation business for at least 3 years and supported more than 50 startups, with at least 10 having a non-public business will be able to apply for the scheme.
    2. They must also have operations in India and the necessary space and infrastructure to be eligible.
  • The Scheme will facilitate equal matching investment by the accelerator / investor.

MeitY Startup Hub

MeitY Startup Hub joined hands with India Accelerator under MeitY’s flagship program SOMA, which aims to promote deep tech startups in the country.

  • MeitY Startup Hub is an initiative of the MeitY that aims to promote startups in the country.
  • It was set up as a nodal entity to facilitate MeitY's vision to promote technology innovation, start-ups and creation of Intellectual Properties.
  • MSH will act as a national coordination, facilitation and monitoring centre that will integrate all the incubation centres, start-ups and innovation related activities of MeitY.

Ubharte Sitaare Fund

Finance Minister has launched the 'Ubharte Sitaare Fund' to support the export-oriented Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

  • The 'Ubharte Sitaare Fund' is an Alternative Investment Fund set up by Exim Bank and SIDBI.

Anything alternative to traditional forms of investments are categorized as Alternative Investment Funds - Venture Capital Fund, hedge funds, private equity funds, commodity funds, Debt Funds, infrastructure funds, etc.

In India, AIFs are defined by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012.

  • Ubharte Sitaare Fund will facilitate debt and equity funding to export-oriented MSMEs.
  • Its objective is to identify and invest in small and mid-size ventures in manufacturing and service industries with good export potential, which are underperforming or unable to tap their hidden potential to grow.
    • Accordingly, India Exim Bank identifies these Indian companies.
  • The fund is a mix of structured support (both financial and advisory services) to the Indian companies through,
    1. Investments in equity or equity like instruments, debt (funded and non-funded) and
    2. Technical assistance (advisory services, grants and soft loans).
  • It will also have a Greenshoe Option of Rs 250 crore.

A greenshoe option is an over-allotment option in the context of an initial public offering.

It is a provision in an underwriting agreement that grants the underwriter the right to sell investors more shares than initially planned by the issuer if the demand for a security issue proves higher than expected.

Greenshoe options provide price stability and liquidity.

  • 'Ubharte Sitaare Fund' will be helpful, especially for the entrepreneurs working under the One District, One Product (ODOP) scheme.

Yuktdhara

Ministry of Rural Development launched a new geospatial planning portal called ‘Yuktdhara’ under Bhuvan.

  • Yuktdhara is a culmination of efforts of ISRO and Rural development Ministry made towards realising a Government to government (G2G) service for rural planning in support of decentralized decision making.
  • This portal will facilitate planning of new Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) assets using Remote Sensing and GIS based information.
  • It will serve as a repository of assets (Geotags) created under various national rural development programmes along with field photographs.
  • This portal integrates wide variety of thematic layers, multi-temporal high resolution earth observation data with analysis tools.
  • Planners will analyse previous assets under various schemes and facilitates identification of new works using online tools.
  • Prepared plans will be then evaluated by appropriate authorities under State Departments.

Bhuvan Portal

  • It is the national geoportal developed by ISRO in 2009 comprising geospatial data, services and tools for analysis.
  • It is used to find and access geospatial information and associated geographic services (display, editing, analysis, etc.) via the Internet.
  • It provides visualisation services and Earth observation data to users in public domain.
  • It also services several users for their Remote Sensing application needs.

Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle

It is the world’s most endangered turtle that is fighting a chance to survive.

Freshwater turtles are more threatened than marine ones

  • Also known as giant Yangtze soft shell turtle, it is the largest freshwater turtle in the world.
  • It is known as the Hoan Kiem turtle in Vietnam, as it is believed to have emerged from the Hoan Kiem Lake or Lake of the Returned Sword.
  • They are found in the wetlands and large lakes of China and Vietnam.
  • Ecological role - This species is important to the seafloor biosystem, where they contribute by enriching soil nutrients and facilitating seed dispersion.
  • Threats - Habitat destruction, water pollution, riverbed abrasion, overexploitation for food and illegal trade.
  • Conservation
    1. IUCN Status - Critically Endangered
    2. CITES - Appendix II

In soft shell turtles, the top or back is fleshy.

In hard shell turtles, the top or back is made up of bone and covered by the skin or epidermis.

The world’s largest turtle though, is neither hard shell nor soft, but somewhere in the middle. It is called the Leatherback.

Slender Loris

Some people suggest that the Tamil Nadu government must declare the Kadavur Reserve Forest a sanctuary for the slender loris.

  • Slender loris (Loris tardigradus) is a shy, secretive and reclusive species of primate, and has nocturnal habits.
  • Habit - They are usually solitary but sometimes found in pairs.
  • It usually travels from the canopy of one tree to another. At times, it comes down to the bushes at the ground level to feed.
  • It sleeps by day in the foliage or in a hole or crevice. It comes out at dusk in search of prey.
  • Location - It is native to Southern India and Sri Lanka.
  • It is commonly found in the tropical scrubs, deciduous forests and scrubs as well as the dense hedgerow plantations bordering farmlands.
  • Food - It eats lantana berries, insects, lizards, small birds, tree frogs, tender leaves and buds.
  • It plays a key role in controlling agricultural crop pests in organic farms.
  • Threats - Habitat loss, electrocution of live wires, road accidents and illegal smuggling.
  • Conservation
    1. IUCN - Endangered
    2. CITES - Appendix II
    3. Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 - Schedule I to provide the highest level of legal protection

Kadavur Reserve Forest

  • It is located in Tamil Nadu. It consists of hills and dense dry areas.
  • Indian bison, spotted deer, mouse deer, slender loris, jackal, mongoose, black naped hare, wild boar, porcupine, monitor lizard, pangolin, monkeys, pythons, etc are found in the forests.
  • Many parts of this forest has been afforested under the Tamil Nadu Afforestation Project (TAP) program aided by Japanese government.

 

Source: PIB, Down To Earth, Live Mint, The Hindu

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