IASbaba PIB Weekly: Press Information Bureau – 6th Aug to 12th Aug , 2017

IASbaba PIB Weekly: Press Information Bureau – 6th Aug to 12th Aug , 2017

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GS-2

Measles-Rubella (MR) Campaign

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

What: India, along with ten other WHO South East Asia Region member countries, have resolved to eliminate measles and control rubella/congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) by 2020.

Aim:

  • To reduce illness and deaths due to measles and rubella/CRS in the country
  • To rapidly build up immunity for both measles and rubella diseases in the community so as to knock out the disease

Details:

  • All children from 9 months to less than 15 years of age will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination
  • MR vaccine will become a part of routine immunization and will replace measles vaccine, currently given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age of child.
  • Measles immunization directly contributes to the reduction of under-five child mortality, and in combination with rubella vaccine, it will control rubella and prevent CRS.

Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

  • The Quality Council of India (QCI) surveyed 1.4 lakh rural households across 4626 villages, and found the overall toilet coverage to be 62.45%.
  • 29% of the people having access to a toilet, use it
  • Over 4.54 crore household toilets have been constructed since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin. 2,20,104 villages, 160 districts and 5 States declared ODF.Sanitation Coverage has increased from 39% in October 2016 to 66% in August 2017.

To encourage States and districts to improve their Sanitation coverage and Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM), the MDWS will also begin ranking all districts in India based on the data available on the SBM-G IMIS quarterly

Total score (100) = Performance (50) + Sustainability (25) + Transparency (25)

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

  • The vehicle for implementing the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009
  • Aimed at the universalisation of elementary education “in a time bound manner”, as mandated by the 86th Amendment to the Constitution of India making free and compulsory education to children between the ages of 6 to 14 (estimated to be 205 million children in 2001) a fundamental right.
  • The programme was pioneered by former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Objectives:

  • All 6-14 age children in school/EGS (Education Guarantee scheme) Centre/bridge course by 2005.
  • Bridge all gender and social category gaps at primary stage by 2007 and at elementary level by 2010.
  • Universal retention 2010.
  • Focus on elementary education of satisfactory quality with emphasis on education for life.

‘ShaGun’ aims to capture and showcase innovations and progress in Elementary Education sector of India by continuous monitoring of the flagship scheme – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

National AYUSH Mission (NAM)

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

To develop and encourage the AYUSH system of medicine in the country

  • Better access to AYUSH services
  • Strengthening of AYUSH educational institutions
  • Enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU &H) drugs
  • Promotion of medicinal plants for sustainable availability of raw-materials for ASU & H drugs in the States/UTs

Implementation by: State/UT Governments

AYUSH:

  • The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, abbreviated as AYUSH, is a governmental body in India purposed with developing education and research in Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha, and homoeopathy, and other alternative medicine systems.
  • It was under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare till 2014. A separate Ministry of AYUSH has been established in November 2014
  • The AYUSH sector has an estimated annual turnover of around Rs. 120 billion and more than 8,000 licensed manufacturing units involved in the country.
  • India, with a wealth of 6,600 medicinal plants, is the second largest exporter of AYUSH and herbal products in the world, estimated at Rs. 22.7 billion in 2013-14.

Promotion of AYUSH as an alternate system of treatment

  • Integration and mainstreaming of the Indian systems of medicine and Homeopathy into the existing public healthcare system and the national health programmes
  • Encouragement and establishment of Indian systems of medicine specialty centres
  • Facilitation and strengthening of quality control laboratories for the AYUSH system
  • Strengthening drug standardisation research
  • Advocacy for AYUSH
  • Establishing sectoral linkages for AYUSH

Financial assistance as subsidy to farmers to encourage cultivation of herbs/medicinal plants-

Under NAM scheme, there is a component on ‘Medicinal Plants’ which is primarily aimed at supporting cultivation of herbs/medicinal plants on farmer’s land with backward linkages through establishment of nurseries for supply of quality planting material, and forward linkages for post-harvest management.

Presently, 140 medicinal plants species have been prioritized for supporting cultivation throughout the country for which the subsidy is provided to farmers in following pattern:

  • 75% subsidy for cultivation of medicinal plants which are highly endangered
  • 50% subsidy for cultivation of medicinal plants where sources of supply are critically declining
  • 30% subsidy for cultivation of other medicinal plants species which need support

Solve: Question

Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

Aim: To provide social security during old age and to protect elderly persons aged 60 and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.

  • The scheme enables old age income security for senior citizens through provision of assured pension/return linked to the subscription amount based on government guarantee to Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
  • The scheme provides an assured return of 8% per annum payable monthly for 10 years.
  • The differential return, i.e. the difference between return generated by LIC and the assured return of 8% per annum would be borne by Government of India as subsidy on an annual basis.

Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) initiative of NITI Aayog

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

Aim: To identify and build three future ‘role model’ states for health systems

NITI will work in close collaboration with their state machinery to design a robust roadmap of intervention, develop a program governance structure, set up monitoring and tracking mechanisms, hand-hold state institutions through the execution stage and provide support on a range of institutional measures to achieve the end objectives.

Selection of the three model states

  • Expression of interest
  • Presentations by the states
  • Assessment of commitment to health sector reforms

Several health metrics such as MMR, IMR, the incidence of malaria and others have been considered for determining potential impact. The density of doctors and nurses, compliance to IPHS norms are some of the metrics used to determine the likelihood of success.

NITI Aayog –

  • The National Institute of transforming India is also known as NITI Aayog – the premier think tank of the Government of India
  • It was formed on January 1, in the year 2015 to provide directional and policy inputs, and replaced the Planning Commission.
  • The ex-Prime Minster serves as the ex-officio Chairperson of NITI Ayog.

Legislative Reforms for Generating Jobs

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) – Merged Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojana (PMRY) and Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) for generation of employment opportunities through establishment of micro enterprises in rural as well as urban areas.

Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana – To “fund the unfunded” by bringing such enterprises to the formal financial system and extending affordable credit to them. It enables a small borrower to borrow from all Public Sector Banks such as PSU Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks, Private Sector Banks, Foreign Banks, Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC) for loans upto Rs 10 lakhs for non-farm income generating activities.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) – aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.

National Urban Livelihood Mission (DAY-NULM) – To reduce poverty and vulnerability of the urban poor households, by enabling them to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in an appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis through building strong grassroots level institutions of the poor. The mission would aim at providing shelter equipped with essential services to the urban homeless in a phased manner. In addition, the Mission would also address livelihood concerns of the urban street vendors by facilitating access to suitable spaces, institutional credit, social security and skills to the urban street vendors for accessing emerging market opportunities.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) – Transform rural poor youth into an economically independent and globally relevant workforce. DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana – for skill training of youth

Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana – Aims at creating an enabling ecosystem for Entrepreneurship development through Entrepreneurship education and training; Advocacy and easy access to entrepreneurship support network and Promoting social enterprises for inclusive growth.

National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) – To promote apprenticeship training and incentivize employers who wish to engage apprentices.

Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) incentivizes industry to promote employment generation wherein Government reimburses employer’s contribution of 8.33% EPS made to new employees

Model Land Leasing Act – To facilitate States for enactment of own land leasing laws to enhance agricultural productivity.

  • Will encourage the land owners to lease out land without any fear of losing land rights and enable the tenant farmers to access bank credit, insurance, disaster relief and other support services.
  • The land owners may also lease out land for agricultural purpose and thus help occupational mobility of the rural poor and help in rural poverty reduction.
  • This shall provide opportunity for occupational diversification to land owners to opt for non-farm employment.

Must Read –

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

 

Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY)

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

What: It is a part of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)

The Self Help Groups under DAY-NRLM will operate road transport service in backward areas – Will help to provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services to connect remote villages with key services and amenities (such as access to markets, education and health) for the overall economic development of backward rural areas. This will also provide an additional avenue of livelihood for SHGs.

e-Shakti initiative of NABARD

(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections)

What: Pilot project of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for digitisation of Self Help Groups (SHGs)

USP of EShakti software: ‘one-click’ availability of social and financial information of all the members of the Self Help Groups.

The project aims at digitisation of all the SHG accounts to bring SHG members under the fold of Financial Inclusion thereby helping them access wider range of financial services together with increasing the bankers’ comfort in credit appraisal and linkage by way of:

  • Integrating SHG members with the national Financial Inclusion agenda;
  • Improving the quality of interface between SHG members and Banks for efficient and hassle free delivery of banking services by using the available technology;
  • Facilitate convergence of delivery system with SHGs using Aadhaar linked identity

Attributes of the project:

  • e-book keeping for the SHGs
  • Regular updates of transactional data
  • Reports generated in the formats as required by stakeholders like bankers
  • Inbuilt automatic grading of SHGs based on NABARD/IBA(for NRLM) norms
  • Auto generation of Loan application for the bankers on input of resolution to borrow by SHG

The project will also help in:

  • A comprehensive information base and robust MIS can be developed about poor community covered, which may facilitate suitable interventions and convergence of other programme for social and financial empowerment;
  • It will help in identifying suitable interventions and support for proper nurturing and strengthening of SHGs.
  • Ease of transfer of social benefits and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) through Aadhaar linked accounts and convergence with other Government benefits;

Government sets up Institutional Mechanism to help realize full potential of Textiles Sector

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

Building on the overwhelming success of Textiles India 2017, Ministry of Textiles has set up institutional mechanisms to synergize efforts of the Ministry of Textiles, related Ministries and state governments to enable the textile industry achieve its full potential of production, exports and employment.

Knowledge Network Management System on Product Diversification

  • A Steering Committee has been set up to oversee implementation of a Knowledge Network Management System (KNMS) to facilitate exchange of knowledge amongst academia, farming community and the industry on the productivity of natural fibres and diversification of their bye-products.
  • The KNMS on Product Diversification would cover jute, silk, wool and cotton

Inter-Ministerial Synergy Group on Man-Made Fibre (MMF)

An Inter-Ministerial Synergy Group on Man-Made Fibre (MMF) has been set up to formulate policy interventions to enhance growth and competitiveness of MMF industry in India.

Task Force on Textiles India

A Task Force on Textiles India has been set up to steer follow-up action on various outcomes of Textiles India 2017 for growth of the textiles sector.

GS-3

Bharatmala Pariyojana

(Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.)

The ambitious highways development project subsuming all road projects in the first phase will see the construction of 20,000 km of highways.

  • Under the Phase–I of Bharatmala Pariyojana, it is proposed to develop 9,000 km of Economic Corridors.
  • The economic corridor project is aimed at faster movement of cargo and will be developing not only economic corridors with a length of about 21,000 km but 14,000 km of feeder routes.

Read more here

Evergreen Revolution

(Topic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers)

Aim:

  • To enable the country to meet the challenge faced by the agriculture sector –move from the concept of ’food security’ to ‘nutrition security’
  • Ensure that the farmers’ income doubles by 2022, when the country celebrates its 75th Independence day

Evergreen Revolution implies:

  • Productivity improvement in perpetuity without ecological and social harm
  • The evergreen revolution involves the integration of ecological principles in technology development and dissemination

Why the need for Evergreen Revolution?

  • Indian agriculture has become cereal-centric and regionally biased
  • The input-intensive method has increased the demand for land, water, and fertilizer.
  • There has been a sharp decline in cultivable land per person.
  • Land-holding is sliding downwards, with progressively greater concentration in the marginal and small-holding groups (small and marginal farmers may account for more than 91 per cent of farm holdings by 2030)
  • There are worse impacts of industrialization and climate change.

Strategy chalked out for increase in production of pulses, use of wasteland, seed village programme and model contract farming –

  1. Increase in production of Pulses

National Food Security Mission (NFSM-Pulses) is being implemented in 638 districts of 29 States in the country –

  • Cluster demonstrations on improved package of practices
  • Demonstrations on cropping system
  • Distribution of High Yielding Varieties (HYVs)
  • Resource conservation technologies/tools
  • Efficient water application tools
  • Cropping system based training for increasing production and productivity of pulses

2016-17: Creation of seed hubs, breeder seed production, minikit distribution, cluster frontline demonstrations etc.

  1. Use of wasteland

PMKSY is principally for development of rainfed portions of net cultivated & culturable wastelands.

  1. Seed Village programme

To upgrade the quality of farmer’s saved seeds, the financial assistance for distribution of foundation/certified seeds at 50% cost of the seeds for cereal crops and 60% for pulses, oilseeds, and fodder and green manure crops for production of quality seeds is now available for one acre per farmer.

  1. Certified Seed Production of Pulses, oilseeds, Fodder & Green Manure crops through Seed Village

In order to enhance certified seed production of Pulses, oilseeds, Fodder & Green manure crops in the country, the financial assistance for distribution of foundation seeds at 75% cost of the seeds for pulses, oilseeds, fodder and green manure crops for production of Certified Seeds is available for the farmers.

  1. Model Contract Farming Act

A Model Contract Farming Act is being adopted for adoption by the States to address the constraints in promoting contract farming in a holistic manner by the States.

Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC)

(Topic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers)

Aim: To facilitate agri-business ventures by catalyzing private investment through Venture Capital Assistance (VCA) Scheme in close association with financial institutions

Role of State SFACs: To aggressively promote agribusiness project development in their respective States

Functions of SFAC:

  • Promotion of development of small agribusiness through VCA scheme;
  • Helping formation and growth of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) / Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs);
  • Improving availability of working capital and development of business activities of FPOs/FPCs through Equity Grant and Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme;
  • Implementation of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Electronic Trading platform.

SFAC has emerged as a developmental Institution with its core aim and objective focused on increased production and productivity, value addition, provision of efficient linkages between producers and consumers. This has resulted in enhancing the yields and incomes of farmers/producers groups as well as created jobs in the rural areas.

 

Implementation of Two Major Afforestation Schemes in the Country

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)

What: To achieve the targets mentioned in the National Forest Policy to maintain 33% forest and tree cover in the country, the MoEF&CC is implementing two major afforestation/tree plantation schemes –

  1. National Afforestation Programme (NAP) scheme
  2. National Mission for a Green India (GIM)

National Afforestation Programme (NAP) scheme: For afforestation of degraded forest lands

  • To develop the forest resources with people’s participation, with focus on improvement in livelihoods of the forest-fringe communities, especially the poor.
  • To support and accelerate the ongoing process of devolving forest protection, management and development functions to decentralized institutions of Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) at the village level, and Forest Development Agency (FDA) at the forest division level.

National Mission for a Green India (GIM)

  • Increased forest/tree cover on 5 million hectares (ha) of forest/non-forest lands and improved quality of forest cover on another 5 million ha of non-forest/forest lands (a total of 10 million ha)
  • Improved ecosystem services including biodiversity, hydrological services, and carbon sequestration from the 10 million ha of forest/ non-forest lands mentioned above
  • Increased forest-based livelihood income of about 3 million households, living in and around the forests
  • Enhanced annual CO2 sequestration by 50 to 60 million tons in the year 2020.

Note: The fund under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), interalia, is also used in plantation activity including compensatory afforestation to give a massive thrust to afforestation activity in the country.

National goal of 300 million ton milk production by 2023-24

(Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing)

India: Ranks first in milk production, achieving an annual output of 155.48 million tons during 2015-16 accounting for 19 % of world production.

State wise target has been set for 100 million Artificial Insemination for 2017-18 – A.I plays a vital role in improving the productivity of Bovines by upgrading their genetic potential thereby enhancing the milk production and productivity in the country.

Indigenization and self-reliance in defence

(Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology)

In News: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is manufacturing Sukhoi-30 MKI, Hawk, and Dornier 228 (DO 228) aircraft under License from foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for which Technologies have been fully absorbed to the extent of Transfer of Technology (ToT) contracts.

  • Light Combat Aircraft “TEJAS” and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv are indigenously designed & developed.
  • Indigenization of components is a continuous process involving development and qualification.
  • New technologies especially, advanced avionics, advanced mechanical  systems, structured  design  capabilities; several world class high value ground test rigs have been established and HAL has also involved private industries to supply airborne items, aircraft/helicopter sub-assemblies and assemblies which can directly fit on aircraft/helicopter.

Government has taken various steps to encourage indigenization and self-reliance in defence. Under ‘Make in India’ initiative, Government has taken following initiatives:-

New Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), 2016 has been promulgated –

  • A new category of procurement ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ which has been accorded top–most priority for procurement of Capital equipment.
  • Preference has been accorded to ‘Buy (Indian) and ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ categories of capital acquisition over ‘Buy (Global)’ and ‘Buy & Make (Global)’ categories.
  • The ‘Make’ Procedure has been simplified with provisions for funding of 90% of development cost by the Government to Indian industry and reserving projects not exceeding development cost of Rs. 10 Crore (Government funded) and Rs. 3 Crore (Industry funded) for MSMEs.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy has been revised – FDI up to 49% is allowed through automatic route and beyond 49% under Government approval route

Indian licensing regime for Indian manufacturers has been liberalized

  • Most of the components/ parts/ sub-systems have been taken out from the list of Defence products requiring industrial license.
  • This has resulted in reduction in the entry barriers for new entrants in this sector particularly SMEs.
  • The initial validity of industrial license has been increased from 3 years to 15 years with a provision to further extend it by 3 years on a case to case basis.

Exchange Rate Variation (ERV) protection for Indian vendors – Issues related to level playing field between Indian and foreign manufacturers and between Public sector & Private sector have also been addressed.

Flexible offset guidelines

  • Allowed change of Indian Offset Partners (IOPs) and Offset components even in signed contracts.
  • Foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are now not required to indicate the details of IOPs and products at the time of signing of contracts.
  • ‘Services’ as an avenue of offset have been re-instated.

R&D Activities: In HAL, an R&D Corpus of 10% of the operational profit after tax is earmarked for R&D activities both in-house and with private vendors.

Formulation of Strategic partnership model –

  • To focus on substitution of imported spares
  • Ensure greater self-reliance and dependability of supplies
  • Essential to meet national security objectives

Biosphere Reserves in the Country

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)

Biosphere Reserve (BR) is an international designation by UNESCO for representative parts of natural and cultural landscapes extending over large area of terrestrial or coastal/ marine ecosystems or a combination thereof. BRs are designated to deal with one of the most important questions of reconciling the conservation of biodiversity, the quest for economic and social development and maintenance of associated cultural values. BRs are thus special environments for both people and the nature and are living examples of how human beings and nature can co-exist while respecting each other’s needs.

Guided by: UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme (India is a signatory to the landscape approach supported by MAB programme)

LIST OF BIOSPHERE RESERVES: (Locate them on the Map)

1) Cold Desert, Himachal Pradesh

2) Nanda Devi, Uttrakhand

3) Khangchendzonga, Sikkim

4) Dehang-Debang, Arunachal Pradesh

5) Manas, Assam

6) Dibru-Saikhowa, Assam

7) Nokrek, Meghalaya

8) Panna, Madhya Pradesh

9) Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh

10) Achanakmar-Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh-Chattisgarh

11) Kachchh, Gujarat

12) Similipal, Odisha

13) Sundarban, West Bengal

14) Seshachalam, Andhra Pradesh

15) Agasthyamala, Karnataka-Tamil Nadu-Kerala

16) Nilgiri, Tamil Nadu-Kerala

17) Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu

18) Great Nicobar, Andaman & Nicobar Island

Highlights of the Economic Survey 2016-17 Volume-2 

Fiscal Developments

  • The fiscal outcome of the Central Government in 2016-17 was marked by –
  • Strong growth in tax revenue
  • Sustenance of the pace of capital spending
  • Consolidation of non-salary/pension revenue expenditure

This combination allowed the Government to contain the fiscal deficit to 3.5 per cent of GDP in 2016-17.

  • The Union Budget for 2017-18 opted for a gradual fiscal consolidation path: the fiscal deficit is expected to decline to 3.2 percent of GDP in 2017-2018. The fiscal deficit target of 3 per cent of GDP under the FRBM framework is projected to be achieved in 2018-19.
  • The Budget for 2017-18 introduced a number of procedural reforms, including:
  • The integration of the Railway Budget with the Union Budget
  • Advancing of the date of the Union Budget to February 1, almost by a month
  • Elimination of the classification of expenditure into ‘plan’ and ‘non-plan’
  • Restructuring of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework Statement with projected expenditures (revenue and capital) for each demand for the next two financial years.
  • Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax with effect from the 1stday of July 2017, encompassing a plethora of the Central and State level indirect taxes, paving the way for a dramatic transformation of the Indian markets and the economy.

Monetary Management and Financial Intermediation

  • The Reserve Bank of India cut the policy rate by 50 basis points during 2016-17. However, it shifted its monetary policy stance from accommodative to neutral in February 2017.  As of August 2017 Repo rate stood at 6.00 per cent and reverse repo rate at 5.75 per cent.
  • Monetary aggregates decelerated significantly following the withdrawal of legal tender status of specified bank notes on November 9, 2016. As of 31stMarch 2017, currency in circulation contracted by 19.7 per cent whereas reserve money contracted by 12.9 per cent.
  • Credit off-take from banks continued to decelerate further. During 2016-17, gross bank credit outstanding grew at around 7 per cent on an average. The average gross bank credit to industry contracted by 0.2 per cent in the FY 2016-17.
  • Sluggish growth and increasing indebtedness in some sectors of the economy have impacted the asset quality of banks and this is a cause for concern. The gross non-performing advances (GNPAs) ratio of SCBs rose from 9.2 per cent in September 2016 to 9.5 per cent in March 2017.
  • Financial inclusion is proceeding apace under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. Zero balance accounts under PMJDY has declined consistently from nearly 58 per cent in March 2015 to around 24 per cent as of December 2016.

Prices and Inflation

  • Significant moderation in CPI headline inflation during the last three years. CPI inflation fell to a series low of 1.5 percent in June 2017.
  • Broad based decline in all commodity groups during 2016-17, the most significant being decline in food.
  • Food inflation, which was the main driver of inflation in the past, declined significantly during the year because of improvements in supply of pulses and vegetables on the back of a normal monsoon. Core inflation-indicative of underlying trends — too declined in the last few months.
  • Convergence between CPI and WPI inflation in the last few months; Most States/UTs witnessed sharp decline in CPI inflation in 2016-17 as compared to the previous year.
  • Both rural and urban inflation have declined in 2016-17 and the gap between rural and urban inflation has narrowed down in recent months.

Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Energy

  • India ratified the Paris Agreement on 2ndOctober, 2016. India’s actions for the post-2020 period are based on its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
  • India’s NDC targets
    • To lower the emissions intensity of GDP by 33 – 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels
    • To increase the share of non-fossil based power generation capacity to 40 per cent of installed electric power capacity(cumulative) by 2030
    • To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 Gt CO2e through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • At the multilateral level, the international community is engaged in writing the “Paris rule book” which includes guidelines and modalities for the implementation of the Paris Agreement for the transparency framework for action and support, features and accounting of NDCs etc. At the national level, the roadmap for implementation of India’s NDC is being prepared, by constituting an Implementation Committee and six Sub-Committees. The Committees are working to elaborate their respective NDC goals and identify specific policies and actions aimed at achieving them.
  • India has set itself ambitious targets in the area of renewable energy. Moving ahead in this direction, India is implementing the largest renewable energy expansion programme in the world. It envisages a 5-fold increase in the overall renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022. This includes 100 GW of solar, 60 GW of wind, 10 GW of biomass, and 5 GW of small hydro power capacity.
  • There is an urgent need to further increase the access of the poor to more efficient energy resources. Many schemes have been implemented by the government to tackle this like
    • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
    • PAHAL scheme
    • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.

A large number of focused initiatives have been taken in various sectors of the economy to ensure a pathway of lower emission and climate resilient development.

  • India is at a stage of development that requires it to grow at a fast rate and lift the large number of their citizens from below the poverty line. Energy deprivation levels for a sizeable portion of population remain at high levels. The SDG 7 is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
  • Social cost analysis of coal and renewables based power indicate higher social costs for renewables. Storage costs and stranding of assets based on coal based power are major costs associated with the renewables based power. Given that the first goal for India is to provide 100 per cent energy access to its population and bridge the development deficit gap, all energy sources need to be tapped.
  • A number of initiatives have been taken in the Indian financial sector also-
    • In the renewable energy segment, as per the notification of the RBI in May 2016, bank loans of up to Rs.15 crore for solar-based power generators, biomass-based power generators, wind mills, micro-hydel plants, etc. will be considered part of Priority Sector Lending.
    • The External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) norms have been further liberalized so that green projects can tap this window for raising finance across the borders.
    • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has, in May 2017, put in place the framework for issuance of green bonds.

External Sector

  • India’s balance of payments situation which was benign and comfortable during 2013-14 to 2015-16, further improved in 2016-17, as a result of low and falling trade and current account deficits and moderate and rising capital inflows, resulting in further accretion of foreign exchange reserves.
  • Reflecting the slowly improving world economic situation, India’s exports turned positive at 12.3 per cent in 2016-17 after an interregnum of two years. This along with a marginal decline in imports by 1.0 per cent resulted in narrowing down of trade deficit to US$ 112.4 billion (5 per cent of GDP) in 2016-17 as compared to US$ 130.1 billion (6.2 per cent of GDP) in 2015-16.
  • The current account deficit (CAD) narrowed down progressively to 0.7 per cent of GDP in 2016-17 from 1.1 per cent of GDP in 2015-16 led by sharp contraction in trade deficit which more than outweighed a decline in net invisibles earnings.
  • Net capital inflows were slightly lower at US$ 36.8 billion (1.6 per cent of GDP) in 2016-17 as compared to US$ 40.1 billion (1.9 per cent of GDP) in the previous year, mainly due to fall in NRI deposits.
  • Gross FDI inflows to India increased significantly to US$ 60.2 billion in 2016-17 from US$ 55.6 billion in 2015-16. Net FDI inflows (i.e. net of outward FDI) at US$ 35.6 billion, however, moderated marginally by 1.1 per cent from US$ 36.0 billion in 2015-16.
  • In 2017-18 (April-June) there was double digit export growth at 10.6 per cent with export growth continuing to be in positive territory continuously for the last eleven months.
  • Among the major economies running current account deficit, India is the second largest foreign exchange reserve holder after Brazil with reserves at US$ 386.4 billion as on 7thJuly, 2017.
  • The average monthly exchange rate of the rupee against the US dollar after depreciating continuously from November 2016 to January 2017, has appreciated continuously from February to June 2017, while in the case of the Pound sterling, Euro and Japanese yen there have been monthly variations. The rupee performed better than many other EME-currencies in 2016-17.
  • During 2016-17, while on an average (on a y-o-y basis), the Indian rupee depreciated by 2.4 per cent against the US dollar, in terms of the nominal effective exchange rate (NEER) against a basket of 6 and 36 currencies, the rupee depreciated by 0.5 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively. However, in terms of the real effective exchange rate (REER) against a basket of 6 and 36 currencies, it appreciated by 2.7 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively in 2016-17.
  • Most of the external debt indicators of India improved at end-March 2017 compared end-March, 2016. India’s aggregate external debt stock at end-March 2017 stood at US$ 471.9 billion registering a decline of US$ 13.1 billion (2.7 per cent) over end-March 2016. The ratio of external debt to GDP fell to 20.2 per cent from 23.5 per cent, while foreign exchange reserves provided a cover of 78.4 per cent to external debt compared to 74.3 per cent in the previous year. Debt service ratio fell to 8.3 per cent from 8.8 per cent and ratio of concessional debt to total external debt increased to 9.3 per cent from 9.0 per cent. Short term debt (residual maturity) to total external debt fell to 41.5 per cent from 42.7 per cent. Short term debt (residual maturity) to forex reserves also fell to 52.9 per cent from 57.4 per cent. Cross country comparison of external debt indicates that India continues to be among the less vulnerable countries.
  • Some green shoots have started to appear in the trade horizon as well with world trade growth projected at 3.8 per cent and 3.9 per cent in 2017 and 2018 and India’s trade growth also picking up.

Agriculture and Food Management

  • The average farm size in India is small, and declining since 1970-71. The predominance of small operational holdings is a major limitation to reap the benefits of economies of scale in agriculture operations.
  • The progress in agriculture needs to be evaluated in terms of outcomes such as catching up with global yields of various crops as a means to increase incomes of farmers.
  • Credit is an important mediating input for agriculture to improve productivity. The predominance of informal sources of credit for farmers is a concern. There is regional disparity in the distribution of agricultural credit which also needs to be addressed.
  • The key challenge that the horticulture sector faces in India are post-harvest losses, availability of quality planting material and lack of market access for horticultural produce of small farmers.

Industry and Infrastructure

  • Industrial performance has shown moderation from 8.8 percent during 2015-16 to 5.6 percent in 2016-17.
  • Industrial growth as per Index of Industrial Production (IIP) new series of 2011-12 shows overall IIP growth at 5 percent in 2016-17 as compared to 3.4 percent last year.
  • The Index of Eight Core Industries growth during 2016-17 was 4.8 percent as compared to 3.0 percent in 2015-16.
  • The Government in 2016 introduced imposition of Minimum Import Price (MIP) to counter dumping of Steel into Indian markets. Steps taken by the government have borne fruit since imports of Steel by India have declined by 36.2 percent while exports have risen by 102 percent in 2016-17.
  • The apparel sector is a highly employment intensive industry especially for women. The Government on 22ndJune 2016 approved Rs.6,000 crore special package for textile & apparel sector. Post the release of funds in November 2016, there has been a marked rise in clothing exports.
  • The measures taken by the Government has resulted in FDI equity inflow of 43.4 Billion USD in Financial Year 2016-17, which is the highest ever FDI Equity inflows.
  • India is far ahead than many emerging economies in terms of providing qualitative transportation related infrastructure.
  • During 2016-17, Indian Railways registered freight earnings at Rs.104339 crore (P), registered a negative growth of 4.5 per cent over 2015-16 due to carrying larger volume of low fare freight in the year. Passenger earnings at Rs.46280 crore (P) registered an increase of 4.5 per cent during 2016-17.
  • Indian domestic airlines have a very lower share in international traffic to and from India. Factors like foreign airlines utilising the 6thfreedom of the air, expansion of capacity entitlements under bilateral air service agreements with foreign countries, lower utilisation of India’s own capacity entitlements, the 0/20 rule and fleet constraints are responsible for the same.
  • The Government formulated and launched the UDAY scheme for financial turnaround of power distribution companies on November 20, 2015. The 26 states and 1 UT which have joined the UDAY scheme account for total outstanding debt of Rs. 3.82 lakh Cr. So far, fifteen states have issued UDAY bonds totaling Rs.2.09 lakh Cr. and DISCOMs have issued Bonds worth Rs. 0.23 lakh Cr.
  • After the introduction of UDAY, National average (all UDAY states) of AT&C loss has come down to 20.2 per cent in FY 2017 from 21.1 per cent in FY 2016; billing efficiency has been increased by 2 per cent from 81 per cent in 2015-16 to 83 per cent in 2016-17 at all India level and 15 states have issued tariff-revisions for FY 2017-18.
  • Under Smart Cities Mission, 57 projects worth Rs.941 crore have already been completed as of April 2017. An estimated additional 462 projects worth Rs.15307 crore are likely to be completed through 2018 provided all the projects that have commenced implementation and those that have been tendered stick to their timelines.

 

Services Sector

  • The services sector remains the key driver of India’s economic growth, contributing almost 62 per cent of its gross value added growth in 2016-17. However, the growth of this sector has moderated to 7.7 per cent in 2016-17 compared to 9.7 per cent achieved in the previous year, though it continues to be higher than the other two sectors and nearly at the top among the 15 major economies.
  • The services growth moderation is mainly due to deceleration in growth in two services categories- trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting (7.8 per cent), and financial, real estate & professional services (5.7 per cent). The share of services sector in total gross capital formation (GCF), at current prices has increased consistently over the last four years from 53.3 per cent in 2011-12 to 60.3 per cent in 2015-16.
  • There has been a significant growth in FDI equity inflows in 2014-15 and 2015-16 in general (27.3 per cent and 29.3 per cent) and to the services sector in particular (67.3 per cent and 64.3 per cent for top 15 services). However, in 2016-17, the growth rate of total FDI equity inflows moderated and FDI equity inflows to the services sector (top 15 services) declined.
  • India’s and world’s services export trend growth were almost flat in the pre-crisis period, while in the post-crisis period, the deceleration in trend growth of India’s services was sharper than world services export growth. In 2016-17, services exports recorded a positive growth of 5.7 per cent with pick up in some major sectors like transportation, business services and financial services; and good growth in travel. However, Software services exports, accounting for around 45.2 per cent of total services, declined though marginally by 0.7 per cent.
  • The performance of India’s Services Sector has been subdued in 2016-17 in line with the global trend. However, some services continue to be key drivers of India’s economic growth. There was reasonably good performance in telecom with increase in telecom connections reflecting the Jio effect, aviation particularly domestic travel, tourism related services particularly in terms of foreign exchange earnings, and even information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) despite fall in growth in computer software. 
  • As per the Ministry of Tourism data, ForeignTourist Arrivals (FTAs) during 2016 grew by 9.7 per cent and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through Tourism, in US$ terms, grew by 8.8 per cent. Various initiatives have been taken by the Government to promote tourism sector of the country that include e-Visa for the citizens of 161 countries, promotion of India as a 365 days destination, launching of Multilingual Tourist Infoline, and Swachh Paryatan Mobile App.
  • As per NASSCOM, in 2016-17 India’s total revenue (exports plus domestic) of the IT-BPM sector including and excluding hardware is expected to touch US$154 billion and US $140 billion, with growths of 7.8 per cent and 8.1 per cent respectively. IT-BPM exports are expected to reach USD 117 billion, with a growth of 7.6 per cent. Meanwhile, the Government of India’s rapid adoption of technologies as a platform to delivery of government-to-government and government-to-citizen services is a tremendous push factor for the domestic IT-BPM market.
  • Real estate sector including ownership and dwellings accounted for 7.6 per cent share in India’s overall GVA in 2015-16. The growth of this sector decelerated in the last three years from 7.5 per cent in 2013-14 to 6.7 per cent in 2014-15 and further to 4.5 per cent in 2015-16. Despite the subdued demand, residential prices did not fall with the NHB RESIDEX, showing increase in prices in 33 cities out of 50 cities in 2016-17 Q4 over 2015-16 Q4.
  • Satellite mapping and launching services are two areas in which India is making a mark and has huge potential for the future. The foreign exchange earned by India from satellite mapping in the last five years was more than Rs 100 crores. Foreign exchange earnings of India from export of satellite launch services has increased noticeably in 2015-16 and 2016-17 and consequently India’s share in global satellite launch services revenue has also increased.
  • India’s services sector growth, which was highly resilient even during the global financial crisis, has been showing moderation in recent times.  However, pick up is seen in recent months with some segments of the sector showing better performance.

Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development

  • The deterioration in quality learning in primary education sector and achievement of targeted enrolment level in the middle education is a challenge
  • Employment in India poses a great challenge in terms of its structure which is dominated by informal, unorganized and seasonal workers, and is characterized by high levels of under employment, skill shortages, with the labour markets impacted by rigid labour laws, and the emergence of contract labour.
  • The health sector in India faces many challenges in the form of declining role of public delivery of health services, high Out of Pocket (OoP) expenses on health and issues of accessibility and affordability of health services for many.
  • The Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission has had remarkable progress since its inception. With its focus on cleanliness and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India, there has been a significant decline in the number of people who defecate in the open, which is estimated at less than 35 crores.

Please Note:

  1. Shri Prasoon Joshi appointed Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification.
  1. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides a consumer the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services.
  1. Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), an R&D wing of Ministry of Defence (MoD), is mandate to design and develop strategic, complex and security sensitive systems in the fields of missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, radars, electronic warfare systems, sonars combat vehicles, combat aircraft, sensors, etc. for the Armed Forces as per their specific Qualitative Requirements for enhancing the national security of the country.

 

  1. Vidya Lakshmi Portal – Students can apply online and track education loans.
  1. India and US will be co-hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at Hyderabad from 28-30 November, 2017 – for bringing together entrepreneurs and startups with global leaders.
  1. Vande Mataram first came to be known in the form of a poem composed by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1870’s which was later included in the author’s 1881 novel “Anandamath”
  1. 1000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras to be opened in Uttar Pradesh – Making quality medicines available at affordable prices for all, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, through exclusive outlets “Jan Aushadhi Medical Store”, so as to reduce out of pocket expenses in healthcare.
  1. World Biofuel Day 2017 was celebrated on 10th
  1. The University Grants Commission (UGC) was established in 1956 under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
  1. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was established in 1987 under the All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987.
  1. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) provides the farmers maximum financial protection against non-preventable natural risks.
  1. World Bank has sanctioned a loan of US $ 1 billion for funding Institutional Development and for construction of priority infrastructure projects for municipal waste water treatment and solid waste treatment on the main stem of Ganga in the five Ganga basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal
  • SushilkumaR

    @iasbaba you have missed the TRIMBAKESHWAR , MAHARASHTRA in biosphere reserve list, thanks

  • diksha

    thankyou baba ji

  • bhawana

    http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169758
    Baba ji, here it is given that three states for health under SATH initiative have been selected- Assam, Karnataka and UP.

    And ex-officio chairman of NITI Aayog has been written as ex-PM but should be PM only. Please clarify baba 🙂

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