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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 24th June to 7th July – 2019

  • IASbaba
  • July 9, 2019
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IASbaba's Press Information Bureau
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 24th June to 7th July – 2019

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GS-2

Encouraging Organ Transplantation

(Topic: Health, Welfare)

To improve access to the transplantation for needy patients by promoting deceased organ donation, the Government has put in place National Organ Transplant Programme (NOTP).

  • An apex level National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) at New Delhi and Five Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organizations (ROTTOs) at Chandigarh, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Guwahati have been set up. 
  • The Government has released funds to establish State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organizations (SOTTOs) in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Haryana, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh to organize an efficient mechanism for organ and tissue procurement/retrieval to promote deceased organ and tissue donation.
  • Further, to improve infrastructure for human organ and tissue retrieval, storage and transplantation in all parts of the country, the Government has:
    • Set up National/ Regional Bio-material Centres;
    • Provided financial support for establishing new Organ Transplant/retrieval facilities and strengthening of existing Organ Transplant/retrieval facilities.
    • Provided training to transplant experts including surgeons, physicians, transplant coordinators, etc.
    • Provided financial support for provision of Transplant Coordinators to medical colleges and trauma centres.

Steps taken to expedite and enable resolution of NPAs of PSBs

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

Over the last four years, Government has taken comprehensive steps under its 4R’s strategy of 

  • Recognising NPAs transparently
  • Resolving and recovering value from stressed accounts
  • Recapitalising PSBs
  • Reforms in banks and financial ecosystem to ensure a responsible and clean system

Steps taken to expedite and enable resolution of NPAs of PSBs, include the following:

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) has been enacted, which has provided for the taking over management of the affairs of the corporate debtor at the outset of the corporate insolvency resolution process. 

  • Coupled with debarment of wilful defaulters and persons associated with NPA accounts from the resolution process, this has effected a fundamental change in the creditor-debtor relationship. 
  • Further, the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 has been amended to provide for authorisation to RBI to issue directions to banks to initiate the insolvency resolution process under IBC. 
  • As per RBI’s directions under the aforesaid amended provision in the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, banks have been filed cases under IBC before the National Company Law Tribunal in respect of RBI-specified borrowers.

Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act has been amended to make it more effective, with provision for three months’ imprisonment in case the borrower does not provide asset details and for the lender to get possession of mortgaged property within 30 days. Also, six new Debts Recovery Tribunals have been established to expedite recovery.

Under the PSB Reforms Agenda, PSBs have created Stressed Asset Management Verticals to focus attention on recovery, segregated monitoring from sanctioning roles in high-value loans, and entrusted monitoring of loan accounts of above Rs. 250 crore to specialised monitoring agencies for clean and effective monitoring, and created online end-to-end One-Time Settlement platforms for timely and better realisation.


Educational Development Schemes for economically backward classes

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

Ministry of Human Resource Development is implementing following schemes for the Economically Backward Class students.

Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship for College and University Students (CSSS): Under this scheme, scholarship is provided to the eligible meritorious students having family income less than Rs. 8.0 lakh per annum, for pursuing higher studies.  The amount of scholarship is Rs. 10,000/- per annum for the first three years and Rs. 20,000/- per annum for the fourth and fifth year.

Special Scholarship Scheme for Jammu & Kashmir (SSS for J&K): Scholarship is provided to the eligible students from the State of Jammu & Kashmir, having family income less than Rs. 8.0 lakh per annum, to pursue higher studies outside the State of J&K. An amount to the tune of Rs. 1.30 lakh to Rs. 4.00 lakh per annum is provided.

Central Sector Interest Subsidy Scheme (CSIS): Under this Scheme, full interest subsidy is provided during the moratorium period (course period plus one year), on the educational loan up to Rs. 7.5 lakh, taken by the students having annual parental income up to Rs.4.5 lakh.

Fees Waiving in IITs: In IITs, from the academic year 2016-17, provisions were made for protecting the interest of the socially and economically backward students while making the payment of tuition fee

Under the Vidyalaxmi Scheme, Interest subvention on the education loans for all students admitted for undergraduate and the five year integrated degree programmes is provided.

For advancement of Economically Weaker Sections of the society, and as per the Constitution 103rdAmendment Act 2019, Government has issued orders providing 10 percent reservation to EWS categories in admission to educational institutions. This reservation for EWS categories would be provided without disturbing the existing entitlements for SC/ST and OBC categories.


Draft National Policy on Domestic Workers under Consideration

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

A draft National Policy on domestic workers is under consideration of the Central Government. The salient features of the draft policy are as under:-

  1. Inclusion of Domestic Workers  in the existing legislations
  2. Domestic workers will have the right to register as workers. Such registration will facilitate their access to rights & benefits accruing to them as workers.
  3. Right to form their own associations , trade unions
  4. Right to have minimum wages, access to social security, protection from abuse, harassment, violence
  5. Right to enhance their professional skills
  6. Protection of Domestic Workers  from abuse and exploitation
  7. Domestic Workers to have access to courts, tribunals, etc.
  8. Establishment of a mechanism for regulation of concerned placement agencies

Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008

The Central Government has enacted the Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 for providing social security to all unorganized workers including domestic workers. 

  • The Act provides formulation of social security schemes viz. life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits & old age protection by the central Government. 
  • The state Government are mandated under the Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 to formulate suitable welfare schemes for unorganized sector workers including domestic workers relating to provident fund, employment injury benefits housing, education schemes for children, skill up gradation of workers, financial assistance & old age homes.

‘Make in India’ Initiative in Defence Sector

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

‘Make in India’ programme is being used by the Government for defence procurements by categorising the capital acquisition proposals under the following categories of Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)-2016:

  • ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’
  • ‘Buy (Indian)’
  • ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’
  • ‘Make’
  • ‘Strategic Partnership Model’ 

DPP -2016 focuses on institutionalising, streamlining and simplifying defence procurement procedure to give a boost to ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India. 

  • FDI is allowed under automatic route upto 49% and beyond 49% through Government route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded.
  • Government has set up the Technology Development Fund (TDF) to encourage participation of public/private industries especially MSMEs, through provision of grants, so as to create an eco–system for enhancing cutting edge technology capability for defence applications.
  • An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has been launched in April 2018. iDEX is aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.
  • The Ministry has instituted a new framework titled ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ which aims to provide boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry.

Cabinet approves

MoU between India and Maldives for Shipping: For the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea; India is a leading development partner of Maldives and has established many of the leading institutions of Maldives. Currently, India has provided US $100 million Stand-by Credit facility (SCF) to Maldives, including long-term loans and revolving credit for trade.

MoU between India and Maldives in Health Sector: 

  • Exchange & Training of medical doctors, officials, other health professionals and experts
  • Medical and health research development
  • Regulation of medicines and medical products, and exchange of information thereon
  • Communicable and Non-Communicable diseases
  • E-Health and Telemedicine

MoU of Cooperation between India and Morocco: The approval will promote cooperation between India and Morocco in judicial and other legal areas and enable exchange of knowledge in infrastructure and information technology.


World Bank approves $147 Million Loan to the Government of Jharkhand for the implementation of Jharkhand Municipal Development Project

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

The Government of India, the Government of Jharkhand and the World Bank, signed a $147 Million Loan Agreement to provide basic urban services to the people of Jharkhand and help improve the management capacity of the urban local bodies (ULBs) in the State.

The Jharkhand Municipal Development Project will focus on improving the municipal sector’s capacity to provide basic urban services. It will invest in urban services such as water supply, sewerage, drainage, and urban roads; and strengthen the capacity of the Jharkhand Urban Infrastructure Development Company (JUIDCO) as well as that of the ULBs to carry out reforms in the areas of urban finance and governance. 

This is in keeping with the needs of a rapidly urbanizing state where about 31 million people reside in urban areas and urban population growth in nine of 24 districts in Jharkhand is above India’s overall urbanization pace of 2.7 percent. 

Interventions such as piped water supply, storm water drains, climate friendly road construction and energy efficient street lighting will not only help improve urban services but also make it environmentally sustainable.  


India signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for USD 31.58 Million for Uttarakhand Public Financial Management Strengthening Project

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

The Government of India, the Government of Uttarakhand and the World Bank signed a Loan Agreement of $31.58 million for the Uttarakhand Public Financial Management Strengthening Project that will help improve the State’s ability to manage its Financial Systems and lead to Better Utilization of Development Resources.

The Uttarakhand Public Financial Management Strengthening Project will support the State Government’s initiative to build and modernize the Technical and Financial Management Capabilities of its Local Bodies and theState-owned Enterprises.

  • Uttarakhand has made substantive progress in reducing poverty over the years. This Project will help the State deploy relevant technologies to further streamline the management of its finances – leading to a more efficient execution of public projects. This, in turn, will help the people of Uttarakhand access more and better quality public services.
  • Project components will improve capacity in the areas of cash and debt management, planning and budgeting, appraisal and monitoring of high value projects and public audit. It will support measures to improve transparency of Budget and Procurement Information. Using GIS mapping technologies, the Project will also strengthen the state’s revenue management systems, including that of urban local bodies.
  • The Project will benefit the citizens of Uttarakhand by creating a more transparent and efficient system of management of public finances, including administration of tax and non-tax revenues.

India signs a Loan Agreement worth US$ 400 Million with the World Bank to help Treat and Eliminate Tuberculosis from India

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

The World Bank and the Government of India  signed here today a Loan Agreement of $400 Million to expand the coverage and the quality of interventions for the control of Tuberculosis (TB), which kills approximately half a million people in India every year. The World Bank supported program will cover nine States of India.    

The World Bank’s Program towards Elimination of Tuberculosis will support the Government of India’s (GoI) National Strategic Plan to end TB in India by 2025.  It will do so by helping improve and strengthen diagnostics and management of drug-resistant tuberculosis and increase the capacity of public institutions engaged in monitoring and treating TB in the country.   

TB predominantly affects the poor and marginalized and kills approximately 480,000 people every year in India. Drug resistant TB is a major public health threat and despite a growing number of TB cases being notified, India has more than a million “missing” cases every year with most of them being either undiagnosed or inadequately diagnosed and treated in the private sector. It is further exacerbated by delayed care-seeking by suspected TB patients, low adherence to treatment, and fragmented health care service providers, including an unregulated private sector which is treating more than half of TB cases in India. Such cases represent the greatest challenge facing TB control in India. 

  • The Program seeks to ensure that these private sector providers adhere to established protocols of timely diagnosis, notification and effective management of TB.  
  • The Program will provide financial incentives to private sector care providers for reporting cases of TB and ensuring that their patients complete the treatment regimen. 
  • It will also provide Direct Benefit Transfers to patients for acquiring the critical nutrition needed during treatment. 
  • The Program will help the GoI strengthen the monitoring and implementation of Nikshay – a web-based TB case monitoring system introduced by the government.   
  • The Program will also strengthen the detection, treatment and monitoring of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis and will track progress in detection of additional drug resistance.  
  • It will also support the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to develop and implement a human resource plan to meet institutional capacity needs at the Centre and State level, for the successful implementation of the NSP.

India signs a Loan Agreement of US$ 250 Million with the World Bank to develop 766 kms of Rajasthan’s Roads and Highways as part of Rajasthan State Highways Development Project Phase-II

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

The World Bank-supported Project will support the construction, upgradation, improvement and maintenance of 766 kms of state highways and major district roads. It will also help build an online project management system and a smartphone application to handle contract management, data reporting, quality control, etc.

The Project will help build the capacity of the Public Works Department (PWD), which is responsible for about 70 percent of the State’s road network, as well as of the Rajasthan State Highways Authority. 

  • The Government of Rajasthan launched the Rajasthan State Highways Development Program in the financial year 2014-15 as a flagship program under its vision of a Resurgent Rajasthan. This ambitious plan aims to develop 20,000 kms of State Highways and major District roads through Public-Private Partnerships. 
  • The World Bank-supported project will help the state improve its competitiveness by increasing access to basic services for the population at large, especially those living in rural areas and smaller centers along the corridors. 
  • Road safety is a major component of the project, with more than 10,000 road traffic-related deaths reported in the state in 2017. A global information system-based database will enable recording and reporting of road accidents as well as the storage, analysis and dissemination of this information.
  • Another important component includes gender audits for road designs and security enhancements for women and girls at bus stops, etc. The project will also help incorporate road designs to support the differently abled. 
  • Additional focus will be on making the roads resilient to climate change, particularly high temperatures and flooding, and also to develop institutional capacity for climate risk management. The project will support resource efficient growth through use of greener materials.  

India signs a Loan Agreement of $328 Million with the World Bank for Improved Health Services in Andhra Pradesh

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

The World Bank Loan will support the Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) as it scales-up its efforts to bring better health care to all its citizens, especially pregnant women and those at risk of non-communicable diseases, like hypertension, diabetes and cervical cancer.   

Public health institutions in the state will be strengthened through generation of quality information and its use in day-to-day management, and resource allocation process. Public feedback will be sought as a performance indicator for the State’s Public Health Institutions.  

  • The Project will support the state in adopting innovative and technologically-driven approaches to improve access and quality of health services. 
  • Will support certification of health centers when they achieve and maintain quality standards; engagement of private service providers for improved quality of care; improved pharmaceutical stock management system; integrated online patient management system; and empanelment of private pharmacies to dispense State-financed drugs to improve their access to the population. 
  • It will also support the rollout of a system for measuring and reporting on patient experience.  

Prelims oriented News:

Healthy States, Progressive India Report: Niti Aayog

National Sports University (NSU): Being set up in Manipur (Imphal)

FDI in Palm oil Plantation: 100%

National Agriculture Market (e-NAM): Launched to create online transparent competitive bidding system to facilitate farmers with remunerative prices for their produce.

India’s nomination of the Jaipur City, Rajasthan got inscribed today on the World Heritage List of UNESCO 

Indian side of Kailash Mansoravar has been included in Tentative List of World Heritage Sites of India: Sacred Mountain Landscape and Heritage Routes’ (Indian side of Kailash Mansoravar) 

  • As per UNESCO’s Operational Guidelines 2017, a site must be on tentative list of UNESCO at least for a period of one year before proposing it for final nomination. 
  • Once the nomination dossier is completed, it is sent to the World Heritage Centre (WHC) by the stipulated deadline of 01 February of a calendar year. 
  • In furtherance an expert of the respective field in cultural & natural fields is deputed for the evaluation of site by WHC. 
  • Accordingly, decision of permanent inclusion of any site in World Heritage list is taken by the members of the World heritage committee.

PENCIL (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) Portal – Online complaints regarding Child labour can be filed by anybody on the PENCIL Portal. The complaint gets assigned to the concerned Nodal Officer automatically by the system for rescual, rehabilitation and mainstreaming of the child labourer.

Shram Suvidha Portal – It operates a transparent risk based Online Labour Inspection Service for effective enforcement of Labour Laws so as to ensure wage security, job security, social security and various other safety, health and welfare measures.

India’s own regional navigation satellite system named as Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC)” is established by ISRO

National Youth Festival is celebrated every year on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

Polavaram multipurpose project: Andhra Pradesh; it will irrigate nearly 3 lakh ha of land, generate hydel power with installed capacity of 960 MW and provide drinking water facilities to 540 enroute villages covering 25 lakh populations, particularly in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and West Godavari and Krishna Districts.

Public Health and Hospital: Being a state subject, the primary responsibility of improving the accessibility of health services for tribal communities is that of respective State/UT government.

Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI)- a sub scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is being implemented since 2010-11 in seven (7) eastern states of the country namely Assam, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Ministry of AYUSH signed MOU between with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology: In pursuance to the National Health Policy 2017 and e-governance initiative of Ministry of AYUSH aims to digitize the entire AYUSH leading to transformation in field of health care delivery at all levels, in addition to greater research, education, delivery of various healthcare programmes and better drug regulations.

Integrated Scheme for School Education i.e. Samagra Shiksha: Self Defence training for girls is an activity under Samagra Shiksha.  Keeping in view, the rising number of crimes against girls and women in the country and to ensure safety and security of girls, Self Defence training is imparted to girls of class VI to XII belonging to Government Schools.

PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme: An initiative by the government of India in which 120 million small and marginal farmers who have less than 2 hectares of landholding will get up to ₹6,000 per year as minimum income support.

National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP):

  • Government implements National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP) to support MSMEs in improving their competitiveness. Schemes to promote Lean Manufacturing, Design improvement, Zero Defect Zero Effect Certification, Support for Incubators, Awareness of Intellectual Property Rights and Digital Empowerment to MSMEs have been put in place to achieve the related objectives.
  • Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) implements Credit Linked Capital Subsidy-Technological Up-gradation Scheme (CLCS-TUS) to support MSMEs in their technology up-gradation endeavors.

National Common Mobility Card: 

  • The National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) has been launched in India with the tagline of ‘One Nation One Card’
  • The NCMC card has 2 instruments on it – a regular debit card which can be used at an ATM, and a local wallet (stored value account), which can be used for contactless payments, without the need to go back to the server or additional authentication. It is envisioned that a single card will be usable for all local travel needs across the country.

Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy (STRIDE): The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved a new scheme – ‘Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy’ (STRIDE). 

  • Broadly, STRIDE will provide support to research projects that are socially relevant, locally need-based, nationally important and globally significant. 
  • STRIDE shall support research capacity building as well as basic, applied and transformational action research that can contribute to national prioritiers with focus on inclusive human development. 
  • STRIDE shall support creation, development andintegration of new ideas, concepts and practices for public good and strengthening civil society.

Earth Observation Satellite RISAT-2B: RISAT-2B is an indigenously developed Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Imaging Satellite operating in the X-band. 

  • The highly agile satellite is capable of operating in different modes including Very High Resolution RADAR imaging modes of 1m x 0.5m resolution and 0.5m x 0.3m resolution.  
  • In order to increase the number of imaging opportunities, the satellite is placed in an inclined orbit. As, RISAT-2B is a Radar Imaging satellite; it can be operated effectively during day / night / all weather conditions.
  • The Satellite will be used for high resolution spot imaging of locations of interest.  Apart from this, data from RISAT-2B will also be utilized for agriculture applications and disaster management support.
  • Applications of X-Band SAR imagery include Hydrology, Crops, Forestry, Geosciences and Cryosphere. During the time of exigencies, very high resolution, day/night/all-weather imaging capabilities of RISAT-2B could be utilized for Disaster Management Support.

First Resilient Kerala Program: 

The Government of India, the Government of Kerala and the World Bank signed a Loan Agreement of USD 250 million for the First Resilient Kerala Program to enhance the State’s resilience against the impacts of natural disasters and climate change. 

The 2018 floods and landslides in Kerala led to severe impact on property, infrastructure, and lives and livelihoods of people. One sixth of the State’s population – about 5.4 million people – were affected while 1.4 million were displaced from their homes, especially the poor and vulnerable segments of the population. 

The Resilient Kerala Program will focus on strengthening the State’s institutional and financial capacity to protect the assets and livelihoods of poor and vulnerable groups through an inclusive and participatory approach.

The Program aims to support the State with:

  • Improved river basin planning and water infrastructure operations management, water supply and sanitation services
  • Resilient and sustainable agriculture, enhanced agriculture risk insurance
  • Improved resilience of the core road network
  • Unified and more up-to-date land records in high risk areas
  • Risk-based urban planning and strengthened expenditure planning by urban local bodies
  • Strengthened fiscal and public financial management capacity of the state

Five-year vision plan ‘Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP)’

The ten Expert Groups drawn from senior academicians, administrators and industrialists, have suggested more than 50 initiatives that would transform the higher education sector completely. The Groups have set the following goals for higher education sector:

  • Double the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education and resolve the geographically and socially skewed access to higher education institutions in India
  • Upgrade the quality of education to global standards
  • Position at least 50 Indian institutions among the top-1000 global universities
  • Introduce governance reforms in higher education for well-administered campuses
  • Accreditation of all institutions as an   assurance of quality
  • Promote Research & Innovation ecosystems for positioning India in the Top-3 countries in the world in matters of knowledge creation
  • Double the employability of the students passing out of higher education
  • Harness education technology for expanding the reach and improving pedagogy
  • Promote India as a global study destination
  • Achieve a quantum increase in investment in higher education

New Policy for Women Empowerment

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has prepared the draft National Policy for Women after considering suggestions/comments received from stakeholders. The Draft envisions a society in which, women attain their full potential and are able to participate as equal partners in all spheres of life. The draft policy addresses the diverse needs of women through identified priority areas : 

  1. Health including food security and nutrition
  2. Education
  3. Economy (including agriculture industry, labour, employment, NRI women, soft power, service sector, science and technology), Violence against women
  4. Governance and decision making
  5. Violence Against Women
  6. Enabling environment (including housing, shelter and infrastructure, drinking water and sanitation, media and culture, sports and social security)
  7. Environment and climate change

Gender Composition of Police Force: As per data on Police Organisation compiled by Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D) out of the actual strength of 19,41,473 of police personnel in States/UTs as on 01.01.2018, the strength of women police personnel is 1,69,550.

  • “Police” is a State subject falling in List-II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. It is primarily the responsibility of the State Governments/UT Administrations to implement police reforms measures, including improvement of gender balance.  
  • The Centre also issues advisories to the States for increasing number of women in the police forces up to 33% in the States.  It has also been advised to strengthen welfare measures such as provision of housing and medical facilities and restroom facilities for women police personnel in Police Stations to attract women to the Police Force and ensure safety.

Police and Public Order: State subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. State Governments are thus responsible for safety and security of the citizens including women and girls.

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has been administering various special laws relating to women such as the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005; Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961; Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986; the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. The said Ministry is also administering the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2015, the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The Criminal Law (Amendments), Act 2013 was enacted for effective legal deterrence against sexual offences.
  • National Database on Sexual Offenders” (NDSO) to facilitate investigation and tracking of sexual offenders across the country by law enforcement agencies. NDSO has data of over 5 lakh sexual offenders.

Fall Army Worm (FAW) infestation: The infestation has been found primarily on maize and to a small extent on Ragi and Sorghum.  

Reservation for Eunuchs

  • The Registrar General of India (RGI), during Enumeration of Census 2011, for the first time provided three codes i.e. Male-1, Female –2 and others -3 for enumeration. This was at the discretion of the respondent.
  • It is important to note that the Census of India does not collect any data specifically on ‘transgender’. Thus, the category of ‘other’ would not only include ‘transgender’ but also any person who desires to record sex under the category of ‘other’. It is also possible that some transgenders would have returned themselves either male or female depending upon their choice. The population of ‘other’ as per Census 2011 is 4,87,803.

As per the report of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) – 4 conducted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2015-16

  • 35.7% children under 5 years of age are underweight
  • 38.4% are stunted
  • 58.5% are anaemic
  • 22.9% women (15-49 years of age) have chronic energy deficiency (BMI less than 18.5)
  • 53% are anaemic

Surjit Bhalla Committee on Trade and Policy: The Committee has made several recommendations for boosting India’s share and importance in global merchandise and services trade. Among other things, the Report identifies tax reforms also to boost export and investment channels for exports.

  • The Committee has recommended “Elephant Bonds” as a specialised security product providing funds towards Long Term Infrastructure.
  • Reforms in Financial Services Framework for making India a Preferred Destination for financial services.

Research on Proton Therapy: A type of Radiation therapy, which is also called proton beam therapy. It uses protons rather than x-rays to treat cancer. At high energy, protons can destroy cancer cells. It can also be combined with x-ray radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, and/or immunotherapy. Like x-ray radiation, proton therapy is a type of external-beam radiation therapy.

National Rubber Policy

  • The Policy covers new planting and replanting of rubber, support for growers, processing and marketing of natural rubber, labour shortage, grower forums, external trade, Centre-State integrated strategies, research, training, rubber product manufacturing and export, climate change concerns and carbon market.
  • The developmental activities include financial and technical assistance for planting, supply of quality planting materials, support for grower forums, training and skill development programme.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)

  • The BIS Act 2016 provides for action when the standard mark is used in relation to an article or process that does not conform to the relevant Indian Standard.
  • BIS draws market sample for independent testing to check quality of ISI marked products in the market. Action is taken against the erring manufacturers whose product does not conform to the Indian Standard.
  • BIS also organizes publicity through mass media. Besides, BIS organizes Consumer Awareness Programmes wherein the consumers are made aware of quality of ISI marked products and also its misuse and colourable imitations.

Combatting Child Labour in the country

  • The Government has amended the Child Labour (Prohibition  & Regulation) Act, 1986 and enacted Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which inter-alia covers complete prohibition on employment or work of children below 14 years of age in all occupations and processes; linking the age of the prohibition of employment with the age for free and compulsory education under Right to Education Act, 2009; prohibition on employment of adolescents ( 14 to 18 years of age) in hazardous occupations or processes and making stricter punishment for the employers contravening the provisions of the Act.
  • Subsequent to the amendment in Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986, Government has framed Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017.
  • The Government is also implementing the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme for rehabilitation of child labour. Under the NCLP Scheme, children in the age group of 9-14 years are rescued/withdrawn from work and enrolled in the NCLP Special Training Centres, where they are provided with bridge education, vocational training, mid-day meal, stipend, health care, etc. before being mainstreamed into formal education system. Children in the age group of 5-8 years are directly linked to the formal education system through a close coordination with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

Total 1,44,783 Child Labourers Rescued & Rehabilitated during last three years.

Under  Reproductive  and  Child  Health  (RCH)  Programme of  National  Health  Mission, various interventions are  implemented  to  improve  the  health of  mother and children which have implication on nutritional status of children. These are: 

  • Promotion  of  appropriate  infant  and  young  child  feeding  practices (IYCF) that  include  early Initiation of  breastfeeding  and exclusive  breastfeeding  till 6  months  of age during Village Health and Nutrition Days and household visits for counseling by ASHAs. 
  • Treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition at special units called the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs).
  • Specific program to prevent and combat micronutrient deficiencies of Vitamin A and Iron & Folic Acid.  Vitamin A supplementation is provided for children till the age of 5 years.  Under the National Iron plus Initiative, bi-weekly Iron & Folic Acid supplementation is provided to children 6 to 60 months.
  • Management of under-nutrition and common neonatal and childhood illnesses at community and Facility level by training service providers in IMNCI (Integrated Management of Neonatal    and Childhood Illnesses) training. 
  • National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme (NIDDCP) for promotion of adequately Iodated salt (> 15 ppm Iodine content) consumption at household level.
  • Nutrition Education to increase the awareness and bring about desired changes in the dietary practices including the promotion of breast feeding and dietary diversification is being encouraged under both Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS) of M/o Women and Child Development and National Health Mission (NHM) under MoHFW.  Monthly Village Health and Nutrition Days are observed in villages for provision of maternal and Child care.   Emphasis is given to intake of green leafy vegetables and other important sources of iron and means to promote iron absorption.

National Policy on Bio-Fuel

  • Allows production of ethanol from damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice etc. which are unfit for human consumption. The policy also allows conversion of surplus quantities of food grains to ethanol, based on the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
  • Envisages an indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030.

Schemes to increase enrolment of girls in higher studies

The Government is committed towards encouraging girl students for taking up higher studies. Various schemes, as detailed below, are being implemented for the same:

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) has two specific schemes for promotion of Women’s Studies in Universities & Colleges namely: (i) Development of Indian Studies in Indian Universities & Colleges and (ii) Capacity Building and Women Managers in Higher Education.
  • For supporting single girl child, special scholarship schemes are there namely: (1) Post-Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship for Single Girl Child and (2) Swami Vivekananda Single Girl Child Scholarship for Research in Social Science.
  • UGC has special schemes for promotion of women hostels in Universities and Colleges and establishment of Day Care Centres therein.
  • UGC has provided support for eight exclusive women universities.
  • The All India Council for Technical Education is implementing the PRAGATI scholarship scheme for assistance of girls pursuing technical education.
  • To improve female enrolment in the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), the Government has decided to increase female enrolment in B. Tech. Programmes of IITs from the current 8% to 14% in 2018-19, 17% in 2019-20 and 20% in 2020-21 by creating supernumerary seats.
  • The Government has also decided to increase female enrolment from existing 14% to 20% over a period of 2-4 years by creating supernumerary seats in undergraduate programmes of National Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur.

Welfare Scheme for Widows

Home for Widows: A Home for Widows has been set up in Vrindavan, UP with a capacity of 1000 inmates to provide widows a safe and secure place of stay, health services, and nutritious food, legal and counseling services.

SwadharGreh Scheme:- The Ministry of Women and Child Development implements SwadharGreh Scheme which envisions a supportive institutional framework for women victims of difficult circumstances so that they could lead their life with dignity and conviction.

The Mahila Shakti Kendra Scheme: – The Mahila Shakti Kendra Scheme of Ministry of Women and Child Development aims to empower rural women through community participation and to create an environment in which they realize their full potential.

Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS):- The Ministry of Rural Development is implementing Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS) under which Pension Scheme for Widows as well as Pension Scheme for the Elderly below poverty line are operated.

National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS):- The Ministry of Rural Development implements National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) under which monetary grant of Rs. 20,000 is given as lump sum assistance to the bereaved household in the event of death of the bread-winner.

Annapurna Scheme :- Under Annapurna Scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development, ten kg of food grain is given to those eligible aged persons who have remained uncovered under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS).

DeendayalAntyodayaYojana:- The DeendayalAntyodayaYojana National Rural Livelihood Mission of the Ministry of Rural Development aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor. 

Prime Minister AwaasYojana (PMAY-G):- The Prime Minister AwaasYojana (PMAY-G) of Ministry of Rural Development and the Prime Minister AwaasYojana (PMAY-U) of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs aims at providing affordable housing for women.

NariArthikSashaktikaranYojan – The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment implements NariArthikSashaktikaranYojana to support Scheduled Castes, Single Women/Widows to take up income generating activities.

Intergrated Programme for Older Persons:- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment implements Intergrated Programme for Older Persons to improve the quality of life of senior citizens.

Assistance for vocational training of widows of ex-servicemen:- The Ministry of Defence provides financial assistance for vocational training of widows of ex-servicemen, treatment of serious diseases of non-pensioner ex-servicemen/widows and daughter’s marriage/widows’ remarriage.

Use of Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture

Digital Technology can play a transformational role in modernizing and organizing how rural India performs its agricultural activities. The technologies include Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Block chain Technology, Internet of Things etc. By use of the modern/advance technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and giving accurate and timely information regarding crops, weather and insects etc. to the farmers may improve the crop productivity, reduce the risk and improve the income of the farmers. 

Major technology interventions include: –

  1. Development of Kisan Suvidha mobile application to facilitate dissemination of information to farmers on the critical parameters viz., Weather; Market Prices; Plant Protection; input Dealers (Seed, Pesticide, Fertilizer) Farm Machinery; extreme weather alerts; Soil Health Card; Cold Storages & Godowns; Veterinary Centres and Diagnostic Labs. With market information, farmers are better informed about markets to sell produce, prevailing market prices and quantity demanded in the market. Thus, they can make informed decisions to sell produce at the right price and right time.
  2. Development of ‘Farm Machinery package for Different Agro-Climatic Zones in India’ mobile application, which gives information on farm machinery package available for state-wise, agro-climatic zone wise, district-wise, cropping pattern wise and power source wise.
  3. Development of ‘My Ciphet’ mobile application to help farmers to get precise information regarding the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) developed post-harvest technologies, products and machineries.
  4. ICAR has also compiled more than 100 mobile apps developed by ICAR, State Agricultural Universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendras and uploaded on its website. These mobile apps developed in the areas of crops, horticulture, veterinary, dairy, poultry, fisheries, natural resources management and integrated subjects,  offer valuable information to the farmers, including package of practices, market prices of various commodities, weather related information, advisory services, etc.
  5. Development of mKisan Portal (www.mkisan.gov.in) for sending advisories on various crop related matter to the registered farmers through SMSs.
  6. Launching of e-National Agriculture Market initiative to provide farmers an electronic online trading platform.
  7. Introduction of Soil Health Card Scheme to assist State Governments in providing Soil Health Cards to all farmers across the country once in a cycle of 2 years. Soil health card provides information to the farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving crop productivity and soil fertility.
  8. Using machine learning process along with different computer algorithm for crop classification and area estimation.

The Government has also set up 713 Krishi Vigyan Kendras and 684 Agricultural Technology Management Agencies at district level for dissemination of technologies among farm community. 

In addition, farmers are provided information through Focused Publicity Campaigns, Kisan Call Centres, Agri-Clinics and Agri-Business Centres  of entrepreneurs, Agri Fairs and exhibitions, Kisan SMS Portal, etc.

Universal Smart Card Driving License

  • The Ministry has prescribed a common standard format and design of the Driving Licence for whole of the country which includes the placement of information, standardization of fonts etc. 
  • This Ministry through its flagship application called SARATHI (for Driving License) developed by NIC (National Informatics Centre) have a common countrywide database of all driving license holders. 
  • Almost 15 crore driving license records are available in its central repository (National Registry). 
  • The SARATHI application has the feature to identify duplicate records in real time online basis and access information about the challans if any, which facilitates the licencing authority that delinquent drivers do not get a duplicate driving licence.

Use of Methanol to reduce Green House Emissions

  • The Government has notified mass emission standards for flex-fuel Methanol M15 or M100 and Methanol MD 95 vehicles. 
  • M-15 is a blend of 15 % methanol and 85 % Gasoline. Use of blended fuel M-15 in BS-IV cars can result in lowering down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 5 to 10 percent thereby improving air quality. 
  • M-15 fuel blending is available as an option and there is no proposal to make such blending mandatory in the near future.

Endangered Tribal Languages

State Language/tribe covered
Tripura Kokborak, halam, Mog, Garo, Kuki, Mizo
Odisha Juang, Kisan, Koya, Oram, Saora
Maharashtra Gondi, Halbi, Kokni, Kolami, Korku, Madiya, Mavchi, Pardhi, Pawari, Thakri
Madhya Pradesh Halbi, Kudhukh, Bhili, Gondi, Korku,
Kerala Kattunaikan, Paniyan
Chhattisgarh Kukudu, Praja, Halbi, Bharia
Jharkhand Kukudu, Khadia, Khorat
Telangana Gondi, Koya, Kolami, Kondh, Banjara
West Bengal Olchiki, Kuduk

Nuclear Wastes

India has adopted “closed fuel cycle”, where spent nuclear fuel is regarded as a material of resource. Closed fuel cycle aims at reprocessing of spent fuel for recovery of Uranium and Plutonium and recycling them back to reactor as fuel. This finally leads to a very small percentage of residual material present in spent nuclear fuel requiring their management as radioactive waste.

Safe management of radioactive waste has been accorded high priority right from the inception of our nuclear energy programme. High level radioactive waste also contains many useful isotopes like Caesium-137, Strontium-90, Ruthenium-106 etc. With the advent of new technologies based on partitioning of waste, emphasis is accorded to separation and recovery of these useful radio-isotopes so as to make use of the waste for various societal applications.

Utmost emphasis is given to waste volume minimization, effective containment and isolation of radio-activity followed by near zero discharge of radioactivity to the environment. As a waste management philosophy, no waste in any physical form is released/disposed to the environment unless the same is cleared, exempted or excluded from regulations. A comprehensive radioactive waste management is established taking into account the operational capability for the management of radioactive waste and an independent regulatory capability for its overview.

Key Highlights of Economic Survey 2018-19

Shifting gears: Private Investment as the Key Driver of Growth, Jobs, Exports and Demand

  • Survey states that pathways for trickle-down opened up during the last five years; and benefits of growth and macroeconomic stability reached the bottom of the pyramid.
  • Sustained real GDP growth rate of 8% needed for a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25.
  • Virtuous Cycle” of savings, investment and exports catalyzed and supported by a favorable demographic phase required for sustainable growth.
  • Private investment– key driver for demand, capacity, labor productivity, new technology, creative destruction and job creation.
  • Survey departs from traditional Anglo-Saxon thinking by viewing the economy as being either in a virtuous or a vicious cycle, and thus never in equilibrium.
  • Key ingredients for a self-sustaining virtuous cycle:
    • Presenting data as a public good.
    • Emphasizing legal reforms.
    • Ensuring policy consistency.
    • Encouraging behavior change using principles of behavioral economics.
    • Nourishing MSMEs to create more jobs and become more productive.
    • Reducing the cost of capital.
    • Rationalizing the risk-return trade-off for investments.

Policy for Real People, Not Robots: Leveraging the Behavioral Economics of “Nudge”

  • Decisions by real people deviate from impractical robots theorized in classical economics.
  • Behavioral economics provides insights to ‘nudge’ people towards desirable behavior.
  • Key principles of behavioral economics:
    • Emphasizing the beneficial social norm.
    • Changing the default option.
    • Repeated reinforcements.
  • Using insights from behavioral economics to create an aspirational agenda for social change:
    • From ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ to ‘BADLAV’ (Beti Aapki Dhan Lakshmi Aur Vijay Lakshmi).
    • From ‘Swachh Bharat’ to ‘Sundar Bharat’.
    • From ‘Give it up” for the LPG subsidy to ‘Think about the Subsidy’.
    • From ‘Tax evasion’ to ‘Tax compliance’.

Nourishing Dwarfs to become Giants: Reorienting policies for MSME Growth

  • Survey focuses on enabling MSMEs to grow for achieving greater profits, job creation and enhanced productivity.
  • Dwarfs (firms with less than 100 workers) despite being more than 10 years old, account for more than 50% of all organized firms in manufacturing by number.
  • Contribution of dwarfs to employment is only 14% and to productivity is a mere 8%.
  • Large firms (more than 100 employees) account for 75% employment and close to 90% of productivity despite accounting for about 15% by number.
  • Unshackling MSMEs and enabling them to grow by way of:
    • Asunset clause of less than 10 years, with necessary grand-fathering, for all size-based incentives.
    • Deregulating labor law restrictions to create significantly more jobs, as evident from Rajasthan.
    • Re-calibrating Priority Sector Lending (PSL) guidelines for direct credit flow to young firms in high employment elastic sectors.
  • Survey also focuses on service sectors such as tourism, with high spillover effects on other sectors such as hotel & catering, transport, real estate, entertainment etc., for job creation.

Data “Of the People, By the People, For the People”

  • Society’s optimal consumption of data is higher than ever given technological advances in gathering and storage of data.
  • As data of societal interest is generated by the people, data can be created as a public good within the legal framework of data privacy.
  • Government must intervene in creating data as a public good, especially of the poor and in social sectors.
  • Merging the distinct datasets held by the Government already would generate multiple benefits.

Ending Matsyanyaya: How to Ramp up Capacity in the Lower Judiciary

  • Delays in contract enforcement and disposal resolution are arguably now the single biggest hurdle to the ease of doing business and higher GDP growth in India.
  • Around 87.5 per cent of pending cases are in the District and Subordinate courts.
  • 100 per cent clearance rate can be achieved by filling out merely 2279 vacancies in the lower courts and 93 in High Courts.
  • States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal need special attention.
  • Productivity improvements of 25 percent in lower courts, 4 percent in High Courts and 18 percent in Supreme Court can clear backlog.

How does Policy Uncertainty affect Investment?

  • Significant reduction in Economic Policy Uncertainty in India over the last one decade, even when economic policy uncertainty increased in major countries, especially the U.S.
  • Uncertainty dampens investment growth in India for about five quarters.
  • Lower economic policy uncertainty can foster a salutary investment climate.
  • Survey proposes reduction in economic policy uncertainty by way of:
    • Consistency of actual policy with forward guidance.
    • Quality assurance certification of processes in Government departments.

India’s Demography at 2040: Planning Public Good Provision for the 21st Century

  • Sharp slowdown in population growth expected in next 2 decades. Most of India to enjoy demographic dividend while some states will transition to ageing societies by 2030s.
  • National Total Fertility Rate expected to be below replacement rate by 2021.
  • Working age population to grow by roughly 9.7mn per year during 2021-31 and 4.2mn per year during 2031-41.
  • Significant decline to be witnessed in elementary school-going children (5-14 age group) over next two decades.
  • States need to consolidate/merge schools to make them viable rather than build new ones.
  • Policy makers need to prepare for ageing by investing in health care and by increasing the retirement age in a phased manner.

From Swachh Bharat to Sundar Bharat via Swasth Bharat: An Analysis of the Swachh Bharat Mission

  • Traceable health benefits brought about by Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).
  • 93.1% of the households have access to toilets.
  • 96.5% of those with access to toilets are using them in rural India.
  • 100% Individual Households Latrine (IHHL) Coverage in 30 states and UTs.
  • Financial savings from a household toilet exceed the financial costs to the household by 1.7 times on average and 2.4 times for poorest households.
  • Environmental and water management issues need to be incorporated in SBM for sustainable improvements in the long-term.

Enabling Inclusive Growth through Affordable, Reliable and Sustainable Energy

  • 2.5 times increase in per capita energy consumption needed for India to increase its real per capita GDP by $5000 at 2010 prices, and enter the upper-middle income group.
  • 4 times increase in per capita energy consumption needed for India to achieve 0.8 Human Development Index score.
  • India now stands at 4th in wind power, 5th in solar power and 5th in renewable power installed capacity.
  • Rs 50,000 crore saved and 108.28 million tonnes of CO2 emissions reduced by energy efficiency programmes in India.
  • Share of renewable (excluding hydro above 25 MW) in total electricity generation increased from 6% in 2014-15 to 10% in 2018-19.
  • Thermal power still plays a dominant role at 60% share.
  • Market share of electric cars only 0.06% in India while it is 2% in China and 39% in Norway.
  • Access to fast battery charging facilities needed to increase the market share of electric vehicles.

Effective Use of Technology for Welfare Schemes – Case of MGNREGS

  • Survey says that efficacy of MGNREGS increased with use of technology in streamlining it.
  • Significant reduction in delays in the payment of wages with adoption of NeFMS and DBT in MGNREGS.
  • Demand and supply of work under MGNREGS increased, especially in distressed districts.
  • Vulnerable sections of the society viz. women, SC and ST workforce increased under MGNREGS during economic distress.

Redesigning a Minimum Wage System in India for Inclusive Growth

  • Survey proposes a well-designed minimum wage system as a potent tool for protecting workers and alleviating poverty.
  • Present minimum wage system in India has 1,915 minimum wages for various scheduled job categories across states.
  • 1 in every 3 wage workers in India not protected by the minimum wage law.
  • Survey supports rationalization of minimum wages as proposed under the Code on Wages Bill.
  • Minimum wages to all employments/workers proposed by the Survey.
  • ‘National Floor Minimum Wage’ should be notified by the Central Government, varying across five geographical regions.
  • Minimum wages by states should be fixed at levels not lower than the ‘floor wage’.
  • Minimum wages can be notified based either on the skills or on geographical region or on both grounds.
  • Survey proposes a simple and enforceable Minimum Wage System using technology.
  • ‘National level dashboard’ under the Ministry of Labour & Employment for regular notifications on minimum wages, proposed by the Survey.
  • Toll-free number to register grievance on non-payment of the statutory minimum wages.
  • Effective minimum wage policy as an inclusive mechanism for more resilient and sustainable economic development.

State of the Economy in 2018-19: A Macro View

  • India still the fastest growing major economy in 2018-19.
  • Growth of GDP moderated to 6.8 per cent in 2018-19 from 7.2 per cent in 2017-18.
  • Inflation contained at 3.4 per cent in 2018-19.
  • Non-Performing Assets as percentage of Gross Advances reduced to 10.1 per cent at end December 2018 from 11.5 per cent at end March 2018.
  • Investment growth recovering since 2017-18:
    • Growth in fixed investment picked up from 8.3 per cent in 2016-17 to 9.3 per cent next year and further to 10.0 per cent in 2018-19.
  • Current account deficit manageable at 2.1 percent of GDP.
  • Fiscal deficit of Central Government declined from 3.5 percent of GDP in 2017-18 to 3.4 percent in 2018-19.
  • Prospects of pickup in growth in 2019-20 on the back of further increase in private investment and acceleration in consumption.

Fiscal Developments

  • FY 2018-19 ended with fiscal deficit at 3.4 per cent of GDP and debt to GDP ratio of 44.5 per cent (Provisional).
  • As per cent of GDP, total Central Government expenditure fell by 0.3 percentage points in 2018-19 PA over 2017-18:
    • 0.4 percentage point reduction in revenue expenditure and 0.1 percentage point increase in capital expenditure.
  • States’ own tax and non-tax revenue displays robust growth in 2017-18 RE and envisaged to be maintained in 2018-19 BE.
  • General Government (Centre plus states) on the path of fiscal consolidation and fiscal discipline.
  • The revised fiscal glide path envisages achieving fiscal deficit of 3 per cent of GDP by FY 2020-21 and Central Government debt to 40 per cent of GDP by 2024-25.

Money Management and Financial Intermediation

  • Banking system improved as NPA ratios declined and credit growth accelerated.
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code led to recovery and resolution of significant amount of distressed assets and improved business culture.
    • Till March 31, 2019, the CIRP yielded a resolution of 94 cases involving claims worthINR1, 73,359 crore.
    • As on 28 Feb 2019, 6079 cases involving INR2.84 lakh crores have been withdrawn.
    • As per RBI reports, INR50,000 crore received by banks from previously non-performing accounts. 
    • Additional INR50,000 crore “upgraded” from non-standard to standard assets.
  • Benchmark policy rate first hiked by 50 bps and later reduced by 75 bps last year.
  • Liquidity conditions remained systematically tight since September 2018 thus impacting the yields on government papers.
  • Financial flows remained constrained because of decline in the equity finance raised from capital markets and stress in the NBFC sector.
    • Capital mobilized through public equity issuance declined by 81 per cent in 2018-19.
    • Credit growth rate y-o-y of the NBFCs declined from 30 per cent in March 2018 to 9 per cent in March 2019.

Prices and Inflation

  • Headline inflation based on CPI-C continuing on its declining trend for fifth straight financial year remained below 4.0 per cent in the last two years.
  • Food inflation based on Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) also continuing on its declining trend for fifth financial year has remained below 2.0 per cent for the last two consecutive years.
  • CPI-C based core inflation (CPI excluding the food and fuel group) has now started declining since March 2019 after increment during FY 2018-19 as compared to FY 2017-18.
  • Miscellaneous, housing and fuel and light groups are the main contributors of headline inflation based on CPI-C during FY 2018-19 and the importance of services in shaping up headline inflation has increased.
  • CPI rural inflation declined during FY 2018-19 over FY 2017-18. However, CPI urban inflation increased marginally during FY 2018-19. Many States witnessed fall in CPI inflation during FY 2018-19.

Sustainable Development and Climate Change

  • India’s SDG Index Score ranges between 42 and 69 for States and between 57 and 68 for UTs:
    • Kerala and Himachal Pradesh are the front runners with a score of 69 amongst states.
    • Chandigarh and Puducherry are the front runners with a score of 68 and 65 respectively among the UTs.
  • Namami   Gange Mission launched as a key policy priority towards achieving the SDG 6, with a budget outlay of INR. 20,000 crore for the period 2015-2020.
  • For mainstreaming Resource Efficiency approach in the development pathway for achieving SDGs, a national policy on Resource Efficiency should be devised.
  • A comprehensive NCAP launched in 2019 as a pan India time bound strategy for:
    • Prevention, control and abatement of air pollution
    • Augmenting the air quality monitoring network across the country.
  • Achievements in CoP 24 in Katowice, Poland in 2018:
    • Recognition of different starting points for developed and developing countries.
    • Flexibilities for developing countries.
    • Consideration of principles including equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities.
  • Paris Agreement also emphasizes the role of climate finance without which the proposed NDCs would not fructify.
  • Though the international community witnessed various claims by developed countries about climate finance flows, the actual amount of flows is far from these claims.
  • Scale and size of investments required to implement India’s NDC requires mobilizing international public finance and private sector resources along with domestic public budgets.

External Sector

  • As per WTO, World trade growth slowed down to 3 per cent in 2018 from 4.6 per cent in 2017. Reasons:
    • Introduction of new and retaliatory tariff measures.
    • Heightened US-China trade tensions.
    • Weaker global economic growth.
    • Volatility in financial markets (WTO).
  • In Indian rupee terms growth rate of exports increased owing to depreciation of the rupee while that of imports declined in 2018-19. 
  • Net capital inflows moderated in April-December of 2018-19 despite robust foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, outweighed by withdrawals under portfolio investment.
  • India’s External Debt was US$ 521.1 billion at end-December 2018, 1.6 per cent lower than its level at end-March 2018.
  • The key external debt indicators reflect that India’s external debt is not unsustainable.
  • The total liabilities-to-GDP ratio, inclusive of both debt and non-debt components, has declined from 43 per cent in 2015 to about 38 per cent at end of 2018.
  • The share of foreign direct investment has risen and that of net portfolio investment fallen in total liabilities, reflecting a transition to more stable sources of funding the current account deficit.
  • The Indian Rupee traded in the range of 65-68 per US$ in 2017-18 but depreciated to a range of 70-74 in 2018-19.
  • The income terms of trade, a metric that measures the purchasing power to import, has been on a rising trend, possibly because the growth of crude prices has still not exceeded the growth of India’s export prices.
  • The exchange rate in 2018-19 has been more volatile than in the previous year, mainly due to volatility in crude prices, but not much due to net portfolio flows.
  • Composition of India’s exports and import basket in 2018-19(P):
    • Exports (including re-exports): INR23, 07,663 Cr.
    • Imports: INR35, 94,373 Cr.
    • Top export items continue to be Petroleum products, precious stones, drug formulations, gold and other precious metals.
    • Top import items continue to be Crude petroleum, pearl, precious, semi-precious stones and gold.
    • India’s main trading partners continue to be the US, China, Hong Kong, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
  • India has signed 28 bilateral / multilateral trade agreements with various country/group of countries. In 2018-19,
    • Exports to these countries stood at US$121.7 billion accounting for 36.9 per cent of India’s total exports.
    • Imports from these countries stood at US$266.9 billion accounting for 52.0 per cent of India’s total imports.

Agriculture and Food Management

  • Agriculture sector in India typically goes through cyclical movement in terms of its growth.
    • Gross Value Added (GVA) in agriculture improved from a negative 0.2 per cent in 2014-15 to 6.3 per cent in 2016-17 but decelerated to 2.9 per cent in 2018-19.
  • Gross Capital Formation (GCF) in agriculture as percentage of GVA marginally declined to 15.2 per cent in 2017-18 as compared to 15.6 per cent in 2016-17.
  • The public sector GCF in agriculture as a percentage of GVA increased to 2.7 per cent in 2016-17 from 2.1 per cent in 2013-14.
  • Women’s participation in agriculture increased to 13.9 per cent in 2015-16 from 11.7 per cent in 2005-06 and their concentration is highest (28 per cent) among small and marginal farmers.
  • A shift is seen in the number of operational land holdings and area operated by operational land holdings towards small and marginal farmers.
  • 89% of groundwater extracted is used for irrigation. Hence, focus should shift from land productivity to ‘irrigation water productivity’. Thrust should be on micro-irrigation to improve water use efficiency.
  • Fertilizer response ratio has been declining over time. Organic and natural farming techniques including Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) can improve both water use efficiency and soil fertility.
  • Adopting appropriate technologies through Custom Hiring Centers and implementation of ICT are critical to improve resource-use efficiency among small and marginal farmers.
  • Diversification of livelihoods is critical for inclusive and sustainable development in agriculture and allied sectors. Policies should focus on
    • Dairying as India is the largest producer of milk.
    • Livestock rearing particularly of small ruminants.
    • Fisheries sector, as India is the second largest producer.

Industry and Infrastructure

  • Overall Index of Eight Core Industries registered a growth rate of 4.3 percent in 2018-19.
  • India’s ranking improved by 23 to 77th position in 2018 among 190 countries assessed by the World Bank Doing Business (DB) Report, 2019.
  • Road construction grew @ 30 km per day in 2018-19 compared to 12 km per day in 2014-15.
  • Rail freight and passenger traffic grew by 5.33 per cent and 0.64 per cent respectively in 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18.
  • Total telephone connections in India touched 118.34 crore in 2018-19
  • The installed capacity of electricity has increased to 3, 56,100 MW in 2019 from 3, 44,002 MW in 2018.
  • Public Private Partnerships are quintessential for addressing infrastructure gaps
  • Building sustainable and resilient infrastructure has been given due importance with sector specific flagship programmes such as SAUBHAGYA scheme, PMAY etc
  • Institutional mechanism is needed to deal with time-bound resolution of disputes in infrastructure sector

Services Sector

  • Services sector (excluding construction) has a share of 54.3 per cent in India’s GVA and contributed more than half of GVA growth in 2018-19.
  • The IT-BPM industry grew by 8.4 per cent in 2017-18 to US$ 167 billion and is estimated to reach US$ 181 billion in 2018-19.
  • The services sector growth declined marginally to 7.5 per cent in 2018-19 from 8.1 per cent in 2017-18.
    • Accelerated sub-sectors: Financial services, real estate and professional services.
    • Decelerated sub-sectors: Hotels, transport, communication and broadcasting services.
  • Services share in employment is 34 per cent in 2017.
  • Tourism:
    • 10.6 million Foreign tourists received in 2018-19 compared to 10.4 million in 2017-18.
    • Forex earnings from tourism stood at US$ 27.7 billion in 2018-19 compared to US$ 28.7 billion in 2017-18.

Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development

  • The public investments in social infrastructure like education, health, housing and connectivity is critical for inclusive development.
  • Government expenditure (Centre plus States) as a percentage of GDP on
    • Health: increased to 1.5 per cent in 2018-19 from 1.2 per cent in 2014-15.
    • Education: increased from 2.8 per cent to 3 per cent during this period.
  • Substantial progress in both quantitative and qualitative indicators of education is reflected in the improvements in Gross Enrolment Ratios, Gender Parity Indices and learning outcomes at primary school levels.
  • Encouraging Skill Development by:
    • Introduction of the skill vouchers as a financing instrument to enable youth obtain training from any accredited training institutes.
    • Involving industry in setting up of training institutes in PPP mode; in curriculum development; provision of equipment; training of trainers etc.
    • Personnel of Railways and para-military could be roped in for imparting training in difficult terrains. 
    • Create a database of Instructors, skill mapping of rural youth by involving local bodies to assess the demand-supply gaps are some of the other initiatives proposed. 
  • Net employment generation in the formal sector was higher at 8.15 lakh in March, 2019 as against 4.87 lakh in February, 2018 as per EPFO.
  • Around 1, 90, 000 km of rural roads constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) since 2014.
  • About 1.54 crore houses completed under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) as against a target of 1 crore pucca houses with basic amenities by 31st March, 2019.
  • Accessible, affordable and quality healthcare being provided through National Health Mission and Ayushman Bharat scheme for a healthy India.
  • Alternative healthcare, National AYUSH Mission launched to provide cost effective and equitable AYUSH healthcare throughout the country to address the issue of affordability, by improving access to these services.
  • Employment generation scheme, MGNREGA is prioritized by increasing actual expenditure over the budgetary allocation and an upward trend in budget allocation in the last four years.

Key Highlights of Union Budget 2019-20

10-point Vision for the decade

  • Building Team India with Jan Bhagidari: Minimum Government Maximum Governance.
  • Achieving green Mother Earth and Blue Skies through a pollution-free India.
  • Making Digital India reach every sector of the economy.
  • Launching GaganyanChandrayan, other Space and Satellite programmes.
  • Building physical and social infrastructure.
  • Water, water management, clean rivers.
  • Blue Economy.
  • Self-sufficiency and export of food-grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables.
  • Achieving a healthy society via Ayushman Bharat, well-nourished women & children, safety of citizens.
  • Emphasis on MSMEs, Start-ups, defence manufacturing, automobiles, electronics, fabs and batteries, and medical devices under Make in India.

 

Towards a 5 Trillion Dollar Economy

  • “People’s hearts filled with Aasha (Hope), Vishwas (Trust), Aakansha (Aspirations)”, says FM.
  • Indian economy to become a 3 trillion dollar economy in the current year.
  • Government aspires to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy.
  •  “India Inc. are India’s job-creators and nation’s wealth-creators”, says FM.
  • Need for investment in:
    • Infrastructure.
    • Digital economy.
    • Job creation in small and medium firms.
  • Initiatives to be proposed for kick-starting the virtuous cycle of investments.
  • Common man’s life changed through MUDRA loans for ease of doing business.

Measures related to MSMEs:

    • Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Maandhan Scheme
  • Pension benefits to about three crore retail traders & small shopkeepers with annual turnover less than Rs. 1.5 crore.
  • Enrolment to be kept simple, requiring only Aadhaar, bank account and a self-declaration.
    • Rs. 350 crore allocated for FY 2019-20 for 2% interest subvention (on fresh or incremental loans) to all GST-registered MSMEs, under the Interest Subvention Scheme for MSMEs.
    • Payment platform for MSMEs to be created to enable filing of bills and payment thereof, to eliminate delays in government payments.
  • India’s first indigenously developed payment ecosystem for transport, based on National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) standards, launched in March 2019.
  • Inter-operable transport card runs on RuPay card and would allow the holders to pay for bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping.
  • Massive push given to all forms of physical connectivity through:
    • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
    • Industrial Corridors, Dedicated Freight Corridors.
    • Bhartamala and Sagarmala projects, Jal Marg Vikas and UDAN Schemes.
  • State road networks to be developed in second phase of Bharatmala project.
  • Navigational capacity of Ganga to be enhanced via multi modal terminals at Sahibganj and Haldia and a navigational lock at Farakka by 2019-20, under Jal Marg Vikas Project.
  • Four times increase in next four years estimated in the cargo volume on Ganga, leading to cheaper freight and passenger movement and reducing the import bill.
  • Rs. 50 lakh crore investment needed in Railway Infrastructure during 2018-2030.
  • Public-Private-Partnership proposed for development and completion of tracks, rolling stock manufacturing and delivery of passenger freight services.
  • 657 kilometers of Metro Rail network has become operational across the country.
  • Policy interventions to be made for the development of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), to achieve self- reliance in aviation segment.
  • Regulatory roadmap for making India a hub for aircraft financing and leasing activities from Indian shores, to be laid by the Government.
  • Outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore for 3 years approved for Phase-II of FAME Scheme.
  •  Upfront incentive proposed on purchase and charging infrastructure, to encourage faster adoption of Electric Vehicles.
  • Only advanced-battery-operated and registered e-vehicles to be incentivized under FAME Scheme.
  • National Highway Programme to be restructured to ensure a National Highway Grid, using a financeable model.
  • Power at affordable rates to states ensured under ‘One Nation, One Grid’.
  • Blueprints to be made available for gas grids, water grids, i-ways, and regional airports.
  • High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) recommendations to be implemented:
    • Retirement of old & inefficient plants.
    • Addressing low utilization of gas plant capacity due to paucity of Natural Gas.
  • Cross subsidy surcharges, undesirable duties on open access sales or captive generation for industrial and other bulk power consumers to be removed under Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY).
  • Package of power sector tariff and structural reforms to be announced soon.
  • Reform measures to be taken up to promote rental housing.
  • Model Tenancy Law to be finalized and circulated to the states.
  • Joint development and concession mechanisms to be used for public infrastructure and affordable housing on land parcels held by the Central Government and CPSEs.
  • Measures to enhance the sources of capital for infrastructure financing:
    • Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation to be set up in 2019-2020.
    • Action plan to be put in place to deepen the market for long term bonds with focus on infrastructure.
    • Proposed transfer/sale of investments by FIIs/FPIs (in debt securities issued by IDF-NBFCs) to any domestic investor within the specified lock-in period.
  • Measures to deepen bond markets:
    • Stock exchanges to be enabled to allow AA rated bonds as collaterals.
    • User-friendliness of trading platforms for corporate bonds to be reviewed.
  • Social stock exchange:
    • Electronic fund raising platform under the regulatory ambit of SEBI.
    • Listing social enterprises and voluntary organizations.
    • To raise capital as equity, debt or as units like a mutual fund.
  • SEBI to consider raising the threshold for minimum public shareholding in the listed companies from 25% to 35%.
  • Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for Foreign Portfolio Investors to be made more investor friendly.
  • Government to supplement efforts by RBI to get retail investors to invest in government treasury bills and securities, with further institutional development using stock exchanges.
  • Measures to make India a more attractive FDI destination:
    • FDI in sectors like aviation, media (animation, AVGC) and insurance sectors can be opened further after multi-stakeholder examination.
    • Insurance Intermediaries to get 100% FDI.
    • Local sourcing norms to be eased for FDI in Single Brand Retail sector.
  • Government to organize an annual Global Investors Meet in India, using National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) as an anchor to get all three sets of global players (pension, insurance and sovereign wealth funds).
  • Statutory limit for FPI investment in a company is proposed to be increased from 24% to sectoral foreign investment limit. Option to be given to the concerned corporate to limit it to a lower threshold.
  •  FPIs to be permitted to subscribe to listed debt securities issued by ReITs and InvITs.
  • NRI-Portfolio Investment Scheme Route is proposed to be merged with the Foreign Portfolio Investment Route.
  • Cumulative resources garnered through new financial instruments like Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) as well as models like Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT) exceed Rs. 24,000 crore.
  • New Space India Limited (NSIL), a PSE, incorporated as a new commercial arm of Department of Space.
  • To tap the benefits of the Research & Development carried out by ISRO like commercialization of products like launch vehicles, transfer to technologies and marketing of space products.

 

Direct Taxes

  • Tax rate reduced to 25% for companies with annual turnover up to Rs. 400 crore
  • Surcharge increased on individuals having taxable income from Rs. 2 crore to Rs. 5 crore and Rs. 5 crore and above.  
  • India’s Ease of Doing Business ranking under the category of ‘paying taxes’ jumped from 172 in 2017 to 121 in the 2019.
  • Direct tax revenue increased by over 78% in past 5 years to Rs. 11.37 lakh crore

Tax Simplification and Ease of living – making compliance easier by leveraging technology:

  • Interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar
    • Those who don’t have PAN can file tax returns using Aadhaar.
    • Aadhaar can be used wherever PAN is required.
  • Pre-filling of Income-tax Returns for faster, more accurate tax returns
    • Pre-filled tax returns with details of several incomes and deductions to be made available.
    • Information to be collected from Banks, Stock exchanges, mutual funds etc.
  • Faceless e-assessment
    • Faceless e-assessment with no human interface to be launched.
    • To be carried out initially in cases requiring verification of certain specified transactions or discrepancies.

Affordable housing

  • Additional deduction up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs for interest paid on loans borrowed up to 31st March, 2020 for purchase of house valued up to Rs. 45 lakh.
    • Overall benefit of around Rs. 7 lakh over loan period of 15 years.

Boost to Electric Vehicles

  • Additional income tax deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakh on interest paid on electric vehicle loans.
  • Customs duty exempted on certain parts of electric vehicles.

Other Direct Tax measures

  • Simplification of tax laws to reduce genuine hardships of taxpayers:
    • Higher tax threshold for launching prosecution for non-filing of returns
    • Appropriate class of persons exempted from the anti-abuse provisions of Section 50CA and Section 56 of the Income Tax Act.

Relief for Start-ups

  • Capital gains exemptions from sale of residential house for investment in start-ups extended till FY21.
  • ‘Angel tax’ issue resolved- start-ups and investors filing requisite declarations and providing information in their returns not to be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuations of share premiums.
  • Funds raised by start-ups to not require scrutiny from Income Tax Department
    • E-verification mechanism for establishing identity of the investor and source of funds.
  • Special administrative arrangements for pending assessments and grievance redressal
    • No inquiry in such cases by the Assessing Officer without obtaining approval of the supervisory officer.
  • No scrutiny of valuation of shares issued to Category-II Alternative Investment Funds.
  • Relaxation of conditions for carry forward and set off of losses.

NBFCs

  • Interest on certain bad or doubtful debts by deposit taking as well as systemically important non-deposit taking NBFCs to be taxed in the year in which interest is actually received.

International Financial Services Centre (IFSC)

  • Direct tax incentives proposed for an IFSC:
    • 100 % profit-linked deduction in any ten-year block within a fifteen-year period.
    • Exemption from dividend distribution tax  from  current and accumulated income to companies and mutual funds.
    • Exemptions on capital gain to Category-III Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs).
    • Exemption to interest payment on loan taken from non-residents.

Securities Transaction Tax (STT)

  • STT restricted only to the difference between settlement and strike price in case of exercise of options.

 

Indirect Taxes

Make In India

  • Basic Customs Duty increased on cashew kernels, PVC, tiles, auto parts, marble slabs, optical fibre cable, CCTV camera etc.
  • Exemptions from Custom Duty on certain electronic items now manufactured in India withdrawn.
  • End use based exemptions on palm stearin, fatty oils withdrawn.
  • Exemptions to various kinds of papers withdrawn.
  • 5% Basic Custom Duty imposed on imported books.
  • Customs duty reduced on certain raw materials such as:
    • Inputs for artificial kidney and disposable sterilised dialyser and fuels for nuclear power plants etc.
    • Capital goods required for manufacture of specified electronic goods.

Defence

  • Defence equipment not manufactured in India exempted from basic customs duty

Other Indirect Tax provisions

  • Export duty rationalised on raw and semi-finished leather
  • Increase in Special Additional Excise Duty and Road and Infrastructure Cess each by Rs. 1 per litre on petrol and diesel
  • Custom duty on gold and other precious metals increased
  • Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme for quick closure of pending litigations in Central Excise and Service tax from pre-GST regime

 

Grameen Bharat / Rural India

  • Ujjwala Yojana and Saubhagya Yojana have transformed the lives of every rural family, dramatically improving ease of their living.
  • Electricity and clean cooking facility to all willing rural families by 2022.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) aims to achieve “Housing for All” by 2022:
    • Eligible beneficiaries to be provided 1.95 crore houses with amenities like toilets, electricity and LPG connections during its second phase (2019-20 to 2021-22).
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)
    • A robust fisheries management framework through PMMSY to be established by the Department of Fisheries.
    • To address critical gaps in the value chain including infrastructure, modernization, traceability, production, productivity, post-harvest management, and quality control.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
    • Target of connecting the eligible and feasible habitations advanced from 2022 to 2019 with 97% of such habitations already being provided with all weather connectivity.
    • 30,000 kilometers of PMGSY roads have been built using Green Technology, Waste Plastic and Cold Mix Technology, thereby reducing carbon footprint.
    • 1,25,000 kilometers of road length to be upgraded over the next five years under PMGSY III with an estimated cost of Rs. 80,250 crore.
  • Scheme of Fund for Upgradation and Regeneration of Traditional Industries’ (SFURTI)
    • Common Facility Centres (CFCs) to be setup to facilitate cluster based development for making traditional industries more productive, profitable and capable for generating sustained employment opportunities.
    • 100 new clusters to be setup during 2019-20 with special focus on Bamboo, Honey and Khadi, enabling 50,000 artisans to join the economic value chain.
  • Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industry and Entrepreneurship’ (ASPIRE) consolidated.
    • 80 Livelihood Business Incubators (LBIs) and 20 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) to be setup in 2019-20.
    • 75,000 entrepreneurs to be skilled in agro-rural industry sectors.
  • Private entrepreneurships to be supported in driving value-addition to farmers’ produce from the field and for those from allied activities.
  • Dairying through cooperatives to be encouraged by creating infrastructure for cattle feed manufacturing, milk procurement, processing & marketing.
  • 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organizations to be formed, to ensure economies of scale for farmers.
  • Government to work with State Governments to allow farmers to benefit from e-NAM.
  • Zero Budget Farming in which few states’ farmers are already being trained to be replicated in other states.
  • India’s water security
    • New Jal Shakti Mantralaya to look at the management of our water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner
    • Jal Jeevan Mission to achieve Har Ghar Jal (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024
    • To focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level.
    • Convergence with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives.
    • 1592 critical and over exploited Blocks spread across 256 District being identified for the Jal Shakti Abhiyan.
    • Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) fund can be used for this purpose.
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
    • 9.6 crore toilets constructed since Oct 2, 2014.
    • More than 5.6 lakh villages have become Open Defecation Free (ODF).
    • Swachh Bharat Mission to be expanded to undertake sustainable solid waste management in every village.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan,
    • Over two crore rural Indians made digitally literate.
    • Internet connectivity in local bodies in every Panchayat under Bharat-Net to bridge rural-urban divide.
    • Universal Obligation Fund under a PPP arrangement to be utilized for speeding up Bharat-Net.

 

Shahree Bharat/Urban India

  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-Urban)-
    • Over 81 lakh houses with an investment of about Rs. 4.83 lakh crore sanctioned of which construction started in about 47 lakh houses.
    • Over 26 lakh houses completed of which nearly 24 lakh houses delivered to the beneficiaries.
    • Over 13 lakh houses so far constructed using new technologies.
  • More than 95% of cities also declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
  • Almost 1 crore citizens have downloaded Swachhata App.
  • Target of achieving Gandhiji’s resolve of Swachh Bharat to make India ODF by 2nd October 2019.
    • To mark this occasion, the Rashtriya Swachhta Kendra to be inaugurated at Gandhi Darshan, Rajghat on 2nd October, 2019.
    • Gandhipedia being developed by National Council for Science Museums to sensitize youth and society about positive Gandhian values.
  • Railways to be encouraged to invest more in suburban railways through SPV structures like Rapid Regional Transport System (RRTS) proposed on the Delhi-Meerut route.
  • Proposal to enhance the metro-railway initiatives by:
    • Encouraging more PPP initiatives.
    • Ensuring completion of sanctioned works.
    • Supporting transit oriented development (TOD) to ensure commercial activity around transit hubs.

 

Youth

  • New National Education Policy to be brought which proposes
    • Major changes in both school and higher education
    • Better Governance systems
    • Greater focus on research and innovation.
  • National Research Foundation (NRF) proposed
    • To fund, coordinate and promote research in the country.
    • To assimilate independent research grants given by various Ministries.
    • To strengthen overall research eco-system in the country  
    • This would be adequately supplemented with additional funds.
  • Rs. 400 crore provided for “World Class Institutions”, for FY 2019-20, more than three times the revised estimates for the previous year.
  • ‘Study in India’ proposed to bring foreign students to study in Indian higher educational institutions.
  • Regulatory systems of higher education to be reformed comprehensively:
    • To promote greater autonomy.
    • To focus on better academic outcomes.
  • Draft legislation to set up Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), to be presented.
  • Khelo India Scheme to be expanded with all necessary financial support.
  • National Sports Education Board for development of sportspersons to be set up under Khelo India, to popularize sports at all levels
  • To prepare youth for overseas jobs, focus to be increased on globally valued skill-sets including language training, AI, IoT, Big Data, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality and Robotics.
  • Set of four labour codes proposed, to streamline multiple labour laws to standardize and streamline registration and filing of returns.
  • A television program proposed exclusively for and by start-ups, within the DD bouquet of channels.
  • Stand-Up India Scheme to be continued for the period of 2020-25. The Banks to provide financial assistance for demand based businesses.

 

Ease of Living

  • About 30 lakh workers joined the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Scheme that provides Rs. 3,000 per month as pension on attaining the age of 60 to workers in unorganized and informal sectors.
  • Approximately 35 crore LED bulbs distributed under UJALA Yojana leading to cost saving of Rs. 18,341 crore annually.
  • Solar stoves and battery chargers to be promoted using the approach of LED bulbs mission.
  • A massive program of railway station modernization to be launched.

 

Naari Tu Narayani/Women

  • Approach shift from women-centric-policy making to women-led initiatives and movements.
  • A Committee proposed with Government and private stakeholders for moving forward on Gender budgeting.
  • SHG:
    • Women SHG interest subvention program proposed to be expanded to all districts.
    • Overdraft of Rs. 5,000 to be allowed for every verified women SHG member having a Jan Dhan Bank Account.
    • One woman per SHG to be eligible for a loan up to Rs. 1 lakh under MUDRA Scheme.

 

India’s Soft Power

  • Proposal to consider issuing Aadhaar Card for NRIs with Indian Passports on their arrival without waiting for 180 days.
  • Mission to integrate traditional artisans with global markets proposed, with necessary patents and geographical indicators.
  • 18 new Indian diplomatic Missions in Africa approved in March, 2018, out of which 5 already opened. Another 4 new Embassies intended in 2019-20.
  • Revamp of Indian Development Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) proposed.
  • 17 iconic Tourism Sites being developed into model world class tourist destinations.
  • Present digital repository aimed at preserving rich tribal cultural heritage, to be strengthened.

 

Banking and Financial Sector

  • NPAs of commercial banks reduced by over Rs. 1 lakh crore over the last year.
  • Record recovery of over Rs. 4 lakh crore effected over the last four years.
  • Provision coverage ratio at its highest in seven years.
  • Domestic credit growth increased to 13.8%.
  • Measures related to PSBs:
    • Rs. 70,000 crore proposed to be provided to PSBs to boost credit.
    • PSBs to leverage technology, offering online personal loans and doorstep banking, and enabling customers of one PSBs to access services across all PSBs.
    • Steps to be initiated to empower accountholders to have control over deposit of cash by others in their accounts.
    • Reforms to be undertaken to strengthen governance in PSBs.
  • Measures related to NBFCs:
    • Proposals for strengthening the regulatory authority of RBI over NBFCs to be placed in the Finance Bill.
    • Requirement of creating a Debenture Redemption Reserve will be done away with to allow NBFCs to raise funds in public issues.
    • Steps to allow all NBFCs to directly participate on the TReDS platform.
  • Return of regulatory authority from NHB to RBI proposed, over the housing finance sector.
  • Rs. 100 lakh crore investment in infrastructure intended over the next five years. Committee proposed to recommend the structure and required flow of funds through development finance institutions.
  • Steps to be taken to separate the NPS Trust from PFRDA.
  • Reduction in Net Owned Fund requirement from Rs. 5,000 crore to Rs. 1,000 crore  proposed:
    • To facilitate on-shoring of international insurance transactions.
    • To enable opening of branches by foreign reinsurers in the International Financial Services Centre.
  • Measures related to CPSEs:
    • Target of Rs. 1, 05,000 crore of disinvestment receipts set for the FY 2019-20.
    • Government to reinitiate the process of strategic disinvestment of Air India, and to offer more CPSEs for strategic participation by the private sector.
    • Government to undertake strategic sale of PSUs and continue to consolidate PSUs in the non-financial space.
    • Government to consider going to an appropriate level below 51% in PSUs where the government control is still to be retained, on case to case basis.
    • Present policy of retaining 51% Government stake to be modified to retaining 51% stake inclusive of the stake of Government controlled institutions.
    • Retail participation in CPSEs to be encouraged.
    • To provide additional investment space:
  • Government to realign its holding in CPSEs
  • Banks to permit greater availability of its shares and to improve depth of its market.
    • Government to offer an investment option in ETFs on the lines of Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS).
    • Government to meet public shareholding norms of 25% for all listed PSUs and raise the foreign shareholding limits to maximum permissible sector limits for all PSU companies which are part of Emerging Market Index.
  • Government to raise a part of its gross borrowing program in external markets in external currencies. This will also have beneficial impact on demand situation for the government securities in domestic market.
  • New series of coins of One Rupee, Two Rupees, Five Rupees, Ten Rupees and Twenty Rupees, easily identifiable to the visually impaired to be made available for public use shortly.

 

Digital Payments

  • TDS of 2% on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs. 1 crore in a year from a bank account
  • Business establishments with annual turnover more than Rs. 50 crore shall offer low cost digital modes of payment to their customers and no charges or Merchant Discount Rate shall be imposed on customers as well as merchants.

Mega Investment in Sunrise and Advanced Technology Areas

  • Scheme to invite global companies to set up mega-manufacturing plants in areas such as Semi-conductor Fabrication  (FAB), Solar Photo Voltaic cells, Lithium storage batteries, Computer Servers, Laptops, etc
    • Investment linked income tax exemptions to be provided along with indirect tax benefits.

 

Achievements during 2014-19

  • 1 trillion dollar added to Indian economy over last 5 years (compared to over 55 years taken to reach the first trillion dollar).
  • India is now the 6th largest economy in the world, compared to 11th largest five years ago.
  • Indian economy is globally the 3rd largest in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms.
  • Strident commitment to fiscal discipline and a rejuvenated Centre-State dynamic provided during 2014-19.
  • Structural reforms in indirect taxation, bankruptcy and real estate carried out.
  • Average amount spent on food security per year almost doubled during 2014-19 compared to 2009-14.
  • Patents issued more than trebled in 2017-18 as against the number in 2014.
  • Ball set rolling for a New India, planned and assisted by the NITI Aayog.

 

Roadmap for future

  • Simplification of procedures
  • Incentivizing performance
  • Red-tape reduction
  • Making the best use of technology
  • Accelerating mega programmes and services initiated and delivered 

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