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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 02-06-2020

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June 02, 2020

Game Farming

  • A game farm is a place where game animals are raised to stock wildlife areas for hunting.
  • The term also includes places where such animals are raised to be sold as food or for photography.
  • Their existence has been exemplified within the South African countryside where they have become prevalent.
  • The wildlife that is hunted is used for consumption as well for ecotourism.
  • Local laws in South Africa during the 20th century have allowed the private ownership of wildlife, which has enabled the expansion and economic feasibility of game farms over typical livestock farming.
  • Government of Botswana, an African nation announced that it would allow farmers in the country to keep small game on their farms to encourage locals’ participation in agro-tourism.
  • The agro-tourism guidelines are also being reviewed to facilitate citizens to make a decent living out of their fields to complement agro-tourism and diversify its products.
  • Game farming guidelines shall soon be issued to enable those Batswana who are interested to keep small game or wildlife in their fields if they meet set criteria.

Tree growth and Climate change

  • Rising temperatures and carbon dioxide have been altering the world’s forests, resulting in shorter and younger trees, according to a new study.
  • The changes in trees happen due to increased stress and carbon dioxide fertilization and because of the increasing frequency and severity of disturbances such as wildfire, drought and wind damage.
  • Trees are growing shorter and younger because of a reduction in their ability to store carbon and potentially large shifts in the mix of species that compose and inhabit these forests, according to the researchers
  • The changes in trees will have major implications on the services that forests provide including mitigating climate change

PM-SVANidhi

  • Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor's Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), for providing affordable loans to street vendors.
  • Earlier, the Scheme was announced as a part of the Economic Stimulus-II under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • The scheme would benefit vendors, hawkers, and people involved in goods and services related to textiles, apparel, artisan products, barbers shops, laundry services etc. in different areas.
  • Highlights of the scheme
  • Loan facility - The vendors can avail a working capital loan of up to Rs. 10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments within a year. The loans would be without collateral.
  • It is for the first time that Microfinance Institutions, Non-Banking Financial Company, Self Help Groups have been allowed in a scheme for the urban poor due to their ground level presence and proximity to the urban poor including the street vendors.
  • There will be no penalty on early repayment of loan. (Many banks and lenders charge penalties for repaying loans early)
  • Those who were vending till 24th March, 2020 can avail the benefits of the scheme.
  • This is for the first time that street vendors from peri- urban/rural areas have become beneficiaries of an urban livelihood programme, The scheme is valid until March 2022.
  • Interest Subsidy - On timely/early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy of 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through direct benefit transfer on a six monthly basis.
  • Escalation of credit limits - The scheme provides for the rise of the credit limit on timely/ early repayment of loans i.e. if a street vendor repays the installments on time or earlier, he or she can develop his or her credit score that makes him/her eligible for a higher amount of term loan such as Rs. 20,000.
  • Encourage digital transactions - The scheme incentivizes digital transactions by the street vendors through monthly cash back.
  • Focus on capacity building - MoHUA in collaboration with State Governments will launch a capacity building and financial literacy programme of all the stakeholders and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities throughout the country during the month of June and loaning will commence in the month of July.
  • Role of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) - ULBs will play a pivotal role in the implementation of the scheme by ensuring to target the beneficiary and reaching to them in an efficient manner.
  • E-governance - In line with the vision of leveraging technology to ensure effective delivery and transparency, a digital platform with web portal/ mobile app is being developed to administer the scheme with end-to-end solution.
  • This platform will integrate the web portal/ mobile app with Udyami Mitra portal of SIDBI for credit management and PAiSA portal of MoHUA to administer interest subsidy automatically.
  • It will help in integrating the vendors into the formal financial system.

Upward Definition of MSME

  • Micro, small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) popularly called as MSMEs are the backbone of Indian economy.
  • Silently operating in different areas across the country, more than 6 crore MSMEs have a crucial role to play in building a stronger and self-reliant India.
  • These small economic engines have a huge impact on the country's GDP-making a contribution of 29 percent.
  • They contribute to almost half of exports from the country. Additionally, more than 11 crore people are employed in the MSME sector.
  • In line with focus on energizing MSMEs in the country, Union government has approved the upward revision of MSME definition.
  • It may be noted that this revision was done after 14 years since the MSME Development Act came into existence in 2006.
  • It has also been decided that the turnover with respect to exports will not be counted in the limits of turnover for any category of MSME units whether micro, small or medium.
  • This is yet another step towards ease of doing business.
  • This will help in attracting investments and creating more jobs in the MSME sector.
  • The following table provides the details of revised limits:

Category

Old Capital

New Capital

Old Turnover

New

Turnover

Micro

25 Lakhs

1 crore

10 Lakhs

5 crores

Small

5 crore

10 crores

2 crores

50 crores

Medium

10 crore

50 crores

5 crores

250 crores

 

CHAMPIONS Platform

  • Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has launched CHAMPIONS portal.
  • The CHAMPIONS stands here for Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength.
  • It is a technology driven Control Room-Cum-Management Information System which utilizes modern information and communication technology (ICT) tools.
  • It is also fully integrated on a real time basis with the Government of India’s main grievances portal Centralized Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) and the Ministry’s other web based mechanisms.
  • The entire ICT architecture is created in house with the help of the National Informatics Centre.
  • A network of control rooms is created in the Hub & Spoke Model.
  • The Hub is situated in New Delhi in the Secretary MSME’s office.
  • The spokes will be in the States in various offices and institutions of the Ministry.
  • Three basic objectives of the platform are
  1. Grievance Redressal - To resolve the problems of MSMEs including those of finance, raw materials, labor, regulatory permissions etc particularly in the Covid created difficult situation;
  2. To help them capture new opportunities - Including manufacturing of medical equipments and accessories like PPEs, masks, etc and supply them in National and International markets;
  3. To identify and encourage the sparks - i.e. the potential MSMEs who are able to withstand the current situation and can become national and international champions.

National Informatics Centre

  • The NIC was established in 1976 under the aegis of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • The NIC provides infrastructure to help support the delivery of government IT services and the delivery of some of the initiatives of Digital India.

Ultra Swachh

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a disinfection unit named Ultra Swachh to disinfect a wide range of materials, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), electronics items, fabrics, etc.
  • The system uses an advanced oxidative process (ozonation).
  • Ozonation is a type of advanced oxidation process, involving the production of very reactive oxygen species able to attack a wide range of organic compounds and all microorganisms.
  • Ozone is more effective than chlorine in destroying viruses and bacteria.
  • The system is double layered with specialized Ozone sealant technology assuring trapping of ozone for the necessary disinfection cycle.
  • It also has a catalytic converter to ensure environment friendly exhaust i.e only oxygen and water.
  • A catalytic converter is a device used in exhaust systems to reduce emissions.
  • The Ultra Swachh comes in two variants namely Ozonated Space and Trinetra Technology.
  • Trinetra technology is the combination of Ozonated space and radical dispenser.

Defence Research and Development Organisation

  • DRDO was established in 1958 after combining the Technical Development Establishment (TDEs) of the Indian Army and the Directorate of Technical Development & Production (DTDP) with the Defence Science Organisation (DSO).
  • DRDO works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
  • It is working to establish a world class science and technology base for India and provides our Defence Services decisive edge by  equipping them with internationally competitive systems and solutions.

Operation Samudra Setu

  • Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa departed Colombo, Sri Lanka after having embarked 685 Indian nationals and set course for the port of Tuticorin in Tamilnadu.
  • The ship, on her third trip as part of Indian Navy's Operation Samudra Setu under the aegis of Mission Vande Bharat launched by the Government of India.
  • Mission Vande Bharat launched has been engaged in bringing Indian nationals home from foreign shores by the sea route.

 

Source: PIB, Down to Earth

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