Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 6

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 6

CURRENT AFFAIRS RELATED TO INDUSTRY

1) DEPARTMENT FOR PROMOTION OF INDUSTRY AND INTERNAL TRADE (DPIIT)

  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been renamed as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) with a mandate to deal with matters related to start-ups, facilitating ease of doing business among others.

2) DRAFT NATIONAL LOGISTICS POLICY

  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry released Draft National Logistics Policy.
  • Policy Vision: To drive economic growth and trade competitiveness through a truly integrated, reliable and cost-effective logistics network, leveraging best in class technology, processes and skilled manpower.

What is Logistics?

  • It refers to overall process of how resources are handled and moved along the supply chain.
  • It encompasses an array of activities beyond transportation, including warehousing, brokerage, express delivery, critical infrastructure services etc.

Government Initiatives for Logistic Sector

  • Creating a National Logistics e-marketplace as a one stop marketplace. Setting up a logistics data and analytics center (LDAC) to serve as a single source of data for relevant performance metrics across the logistics value chain and enable data driven decision-making.
  • Develop certain key corridors as ‘Model Logistics’ corridors connecting major clusters.
  • Driving development of Multi Modal Logistics Parks (MMLP) to enable seamless and world- class multimodal freight transfer.
  • An integrated policy and a Multi Modal Logistics Park Authority should be established for the development of MMLP in the country.
  • Modal shift from road to rail, coastal shipping, inland waterways etc. to drive down costs.
  • Promoting cross regional trade on e-commerce platforms by enabling a seamless flow of goods.
  • Adoption of Warehouse Management System (WMS) and other IT-driven solutions are becoming effective in increasing the competitiveness of the warehousing industry. An efficient warehouse can bring a 15-20% cost reduction in the entire logistics operations.
  • The Logistics Wing should work with standard setting bodies for logistics in India such as the Bureau of India Standards, Indian Institute of Packaging to facilitate the development of relevant standards for India.
  • Technology-based interventions such as e-tolling, electronic document flow, rationalization of checkpoints are proposed steps in reducing the dwell time in cargo movement.
  • Encouraging adoption of green logistics in the country by reduction in supply chain carbon foot print through duty rationalization on alternative fuels, improved vehicle design etc. and also focus will be placed on the 3R – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in packaging
  • Creating an Integrated National Logistics Action Plan which will serve as a master plan for all logistics related development and aligning it with respective state development plans.
  • Encouraging industry, academia and government to come together to create a logistics Center of Excellence, and drive innovation Doubling employment in the logistics sector by generating additional 10-15 million jobs and focus on enhancing skills in the sector and encouraging gender diversity.

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 5

3) NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE:

  • The Ministry of Labour and Employment had constituted an expert committee in January 2017, under the Chairmanship Dr. Anoop Satpathy to review and recommend methodology for fixation of National Minimum Wage (NMW).
  • Using the nutritional requirement norms as recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for Indian population, the report has recommended a balanced diet approach which is culturally palatable for fixation of national minimum wage.
  • Accordingly, it has proposed that food items amounting to the level of ± 10 per cent of 2,400 calories, along with proteins ≥ 50 gm and fats ≥ 30 gm per day per person to constitute a national level balanced food basket.
  • It also proposes minimum wage should include reasonable expenditure on ‘essential non-food items’, such as clothing, fuel and light, house rent, education, medical expenses, footwear and transport, which must be equal to the median class and expenditure on any ‘other non-food items’ be equivalent to the sixth fractile (25-30 per cent) of the household expenditure distribution as per the NSSO-CES 2011/12 survey data.
  • On the basis of the details mentioned above, the report has recommended to fix the need based national minimum wage for India at INR 375 per day (or INR 9,750 per month) as of July 2018, irrespective of sectors, skills, occupations and rural-urban locations for a family comprising of 3.6 consumption unit.
  • It has also recommended to introduce an additional house rent allowance (city compensatory allowance), averaging up to INR 55 per day i.e., INR 1,430 per month for urban workers over and above the NMW.

4) NATIONAL INVESTMENT AND

MANUFACTURING ZONES

  • Recently, the Government of India has granted the final approval to three National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ), namely Prakasam (Andhra Pradesh), Sangareddy (Telangana) and Kalinganagar (Odisha).

Background

  • The Government of India had notified the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) in 2011 with the objective of enhancing the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25% and creating 100 million jobs by 2022. National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) are one of the important instruments of the policy to achieve these objectives.
  • So far, the Government of India has granted ‘in- principle’ approval to the sixteen NIMZs (outside the DMIC region) and eight Investment Regions along the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project.
  • More about National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ)
  • The NIMZs are envisaged as integrated industrial townships with state of the art infrastructure, land use on the basis of zoning, clean and energy efficient technology, necessary social infrastructure, skill development facilities etc. to promote world-class manufacturing activities.
  • At least 30% of the total land area proposed for the NIMZ will be utilized for location of manufacturing units.
  • The land for these zones will preferably be waste infertile land not suitable for cultivation, not in the vicinity of any ecologically fragile area and with reasonable access to basic resources.
  • Central government provides external physical infrastructure linkages to the NIMZs including rail, road, ports, airports and telecom, in a time- bound manner and also provides viability gap funding wherever required.
  • The State Government will constitute a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to discharge the functions specified in the policy.
  • The SPV will prepare a strategy for the development of the zone and an action-plan for self-regulation to serve the purpose of the policy.
  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (former DIPP) is the nodal agency for NIMZ.

5) SOLAR MANUFACTURING IN INDIA

  • Recently, there has been a view among experts, that India needs a Solar Manufacturing Strategy, if it wants to achieve its ambitious Solar Program.
  • India has made significant progress in creating capacity for solar energy generation in the last few years. India expanded its solar generation capacity eight times from 2,650 MW in 2014 to 28.18 GW on March 31, 2019.
  • The government had an initial target of 20 GW of solar capacity by 2022, which was achieved four years ahead of schedule. In 2015, the target was raised to 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.
  • Despite the new policy focus on solar plant installation, India is still not a solar panel manufacturer.

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 4

6) GOVERNMENT E-MARKETPLACE

  • Recently, the first Central Public Secter Enterprise to enter into MoU with the Government e-Marketplace (GeM).
  • Government e Marketplace (GeM), launched in.2016, is an online market platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government.
  • The GeM leverages technology to make government procurement contact-less, paperless and cashless.
  • Based on its stellar performance, it was awarded the South Asia Procurement Innovation Award in 2016.
  • Recently, it also launched a service for the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) of the goods that are procured through the portal to help them track the movement of their products.

7) KABIL – Khanij Bidesh India Ltd.

  • Union Ministry of Mines has set up joint venture company namely Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL) to ensure a consistent supply of critical and strategic minerals to Indian domestic market.
  • This new company is mandated to ensure mineral security of the country and help in realizing the overall objective of import substitution.
  • It is JV of National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco), Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Company Ltd (MECL). The equity participation between NALCO, HCL and MECL is in ratio of 40:30:30.
  • It will carry out identification, acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of strategic minerals overseas for commercial use and meeting country’s requirement of these minerals.
  • Strategic minerals play substantial role to play in development and security of the nation and play critical role in the development of the national economy. In India, there are twelve minerals identified as strategic minerals including Lithium, Cobalt, Tungsten, Vanadium, Nickel etc.
  • India is having very low domestic resource bases of these strategic minerals and is highly dependent on imports to meet is supply demand.

8) Circular Economy

  • Recently at Circular Economy Symposium 2019, NITI Aayog CEO said that Circular Economy has the potential to generate 1.4 crore jobs in next 5-7 years.

What is Circular Economy?

  • The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves ‘5R’ Principles
  • Reduce: The emphasis is on achieving resource efficiency by prioritizing use of regenerative and restorative resources.
  • Reuse: This encompasses two aspects – first is to reuse the useful parts / components of a product, wherever possible and second is to promote.greater use of product-as-a-service through sharing platforms.
  • Recycle: Focus is on creating a closed loop system to utilize discarded material as a source of secondary resource, through extensive recycling.
  • Re-manufacture: To create new products by utilizing waste streams through cooperation and collaboration between multi-sector industry actors.
  • Repair/refurbish: The aim is to preserve and extend the life of a product that is already made by designing for the future.
  • High resource demand: Increased domestic resource extraction due to urbanisation exerts increasing pressure on natural resources such as land, forest, air and water. Therefore, an urgent need for decoupling economic growth from resources, can be achieved through a circular economy approach.
  • Import dependence: India’s dependence on the international market for accessing critical resources like rare earth minerals etc. due to shrinking reserves, technical constraints etc.
  • Waste creation: The traditional linear economy approach results in massive waste generation at all stages of a product life cycle right from resource extraction, processing, value addition, consumption to end of life stage.

Way Ahead

  • Need for Legislation to promote the circular economy in the country. Several countries have recognised the centrality of the circularity as the new paradigm for sustainable development.
  • Policies like Zero Effect, Zero Defect in manufacturing stage, National Electricity Mobility Mission Plan in consumption stage, and the various Waste Management Rules in disposal stage, if tweaked properly, can be the ideal for integrating circular economy into the fabric of the

Indian economy.

  • Ensuring the transition to circular economy call for extensive collaborative efforts between key stakeholders, including regulators, policy makers, corporates, and financial institutions would need to work to adopt circular business models.
  • Adequate financing needed for realization of these newer opportunities through innovative financing instruments, such as Green bonds, municipal bonds, SDG-aligned bonds.

9) CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

(CSR)

  • Recently, President’s assent was given to the Companies Amendment Act, 2019 to provide specific penal provision in case of non- compliance of Corporate Social Responsibilities Rules.
  • It mandates that every company, private limited or public limited, which either has a net worth of Rs 500 crore or a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or net profit of Rs 5 crore, needs to spend at least 2% of its average net profit for the immediately preceding three financial years on CSR activities.

Major Highlights of the Amendment Act 2019

  • The Act mandates that companies transfer unspent CSR money in a financial year to an escrow account meant for CSR for three years, after which any unspent amount must be transferred to a fund specified by the government.
  • Strengthening enforcement provisions that enable the SFIO (Serious Fraud Investigation Office) to ensure speedy and more effective enforcement, including actions of disgorgement.
  • Act also highlights the importance of companies having verifiable registered physical addresses and makes it mandatory that companies have a physical address.
  • The Act aims for de-clogging the National Company Law Tribunals (NCLTs) through the shifting of routine matters, from the NCLT to the central government.
  • The Act also re-categorizes 16 compoundable offences, such as failure to file returns and issuance of shares at a discount, as civil defaults where adjudicating officers of the central government may levy penalties.

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 3