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Prelim Bits 28-09-2021 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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September 28, 2021

Right to Government Aid not a Fundamental Right

The Supreme Court said that the right to receive Government Aid of an institution (whether a majority or minority institution) is not a fundamental right, but only a matter of policy.

Article 30 (2) The state shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.

  • The Supreme Court also said that the grant of aid brings with it conditions which the institution receiving it is bound to comply with.
  • If an institution does not want to accept the conditions, it can decline the grant but cannot say that the grant must be on its own terms.
  • It said if the government made a policy call to withdraw aid, an institution cannot question the decision as a “matter of right”.

Report of Quarterly Employment Survey

The report of first quarter of Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) part (April to June 2021) was released.

  • This quarterly report is a part of the All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey (AQEES) prepared by the Labour Bureau.
  • The AQEES provide frequent (quarterly) updates about the employment and related variables of establishments, in both organised and unorganised segments of 9 selected sectors.
  • 9 selected sectors - Manufacturing, Construction, Trade, Transport, Education, Health, Accommodation and Restaurant, IT/ BPO and Financial Services.
  • These sectors altogether account for a majority of the total employment in the non-farm establishments.
  • Highlights of QES - Of the total employment estimated in the selected 9 sectors, manufacturing accounts for 41%, education 22%, Health 8%, and also Trade and IT/BPO each engaged 7%.
  • The most impressive growth of 152% has been recorded in the IT/BPO sector.
  • Growth rates were seen in Health, Education, Manufacturing, Transport and Construction. But, employment in Trade, Accommodation & Restaurant came down.
  • Nearly 90% of the establishments have been estimated to work with less than 100 workers, the corresponding figure during Economic Census (EC 6) being 95%.
  • Over-all participation of female workers stood at 29%, slightly lower than 31% reported during 6th EC.
  • Regular workers constitute 88% of the estimated workforce in the nine selected sectors, with only 2% being casual workers.
    • But, 18% of workers in the Construction sector are contractual employees and 13% are casual workers.
  • Only 9% of the establishments (with at least 10 workers) were not registered with any authority or under any act.
  • 26% of all the establishments were registered under the Companies Act.
  • Around 18% of the establishments have provision of on-job skill training programmes.

All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey

  • There are two components under AQEES,
    1. Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) and
    2. Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES).
  • QES has been initiated to compile relevant data from about 12,000 establishments selected through a sampling design to represent each of the nine sectors within each state/ Union Territory, as also each size-class (range of number of workers) within each sector-State/ UT.
  • AFES covers the unorganised segment (with less than 10 workers) through a sample survey.
  • AQEES will provide a consolidated picture with both the organised and the unorganised segments of the non-farm economy.

Akash Prime Missile

A new version of the Akash Missile - ‘Akash Prime’ has been successfully flight tested from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Odisha.

  • Akash Prime is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
  • It can be fired from a tank or a wheeled truck to attack an aerial target.
  • It was developed to replace the Russian 2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile.
  • Advantages - Akash Prime is equipped with an indigenous active Radio Frequency seeker for improved accuracy.
  • Other improvements also ensure more reliable performance under low temperature environments at higher altitudes.
  • Modified ground system of the existing Akash weapon system has been used for the current flight test.
  • Akash Prime system will further boost the confidence of the Indian Army and Indian Air Force as the Akash system is already inducted and now getting improved with more lethal missiles.

ICRA’s FY22 Growth Estimate

Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited (ICRA Limited) has bumped up GDP growth forecast for 2021-22 to 9% from 8.5%.

  • ICRA raised the Growth Estimate saying that there are better prospects for the second half of the year due to a ramp-up in COVID-19 vaccination and healthy Kharif estimates.
  • But, it also said that potential third wave, and whether existing vaccines can protect against new variants that might emerge, remains key risks.

Extending the Foreign Trade Policy

The Centre has decided to extend the existing foreign trade policy (FTP) 2015-20 till March 31, 2022.

On March 31, 2020, the government had extended the FTP 2015-20 for one year till March 31, 2021, amid the coronavirus outbreak. It was later extended until September 30, 2021 as the pandemic continued.

  • The FTP 2015-20 was formulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, an arm of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Also known as Exim Policy, the FTP 2015-20 provides guidelines for
    • Enhancing exports of goods and services to push economic growth
    • Generating employment, and
    • Increasing value addition in the country.
  • The focus of the government is to support both the manufacturing and services sectors, with a special emphasis on improving the ease of doing business.
  • Under this policy, the government provides incentives via different schemes such as
    • Duty Free Import Authorisation (DFIA) and
    • Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG).
  • Features of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020
    • Market Linked Focus Product Scheme (MLFPS)
    • Focus Product Scheme (FPS)
    • Agriculture Infrastructure Incentive Scrip (AIIS)
    • Focus Market Scheme (FMS)
    • Vishesh Krishi Gramin Upaj Yojana (VKGUY)


Source: PIB, The Hindu, The Indian Express, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Live Mint  

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