Economy: December 2020 Current Affairs Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly

Current Affairs : Economy: December 2020 Current Affairs Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


	
28	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
3.	ECONOMY	
3.1.	DEDICATED	FREIGHT	CORRIDORS		
Why in news? 
The Prime Minister recently inaugurated the 
New Bhaupur- New Khurja section and the 
Operation Control Centre of Eastern Dedicated 
Freight Corridor. 
More on news 
New Bhaupur- New Khurja section is a 351-km 
section between Khurja and Bhaupur in Uttar 
Pradesh and state-of-the-art Operation Control 
Centre is located in Prayagraj, UP. 
Background: Emergence of Dedicated Freight 
Corridors  
• Freight contributes the revenue share of 67 
percent. But, the saturation of existing railway 
lines has led to congestion and loss in the freight 
market share for Indian Railways (from 90 
percent in 1950 to <40 percent in 2017).  
o The existing trunk routes of Howrah-Delhi on 
the Eastern Corridor and Mumbai-Delhi on 
the Western Corridor were highly saturated, 
with line capacity utilization varying between 
115% to 150%.  
• This along with growth of Indian economy has 
created the need for highly efficient, and amplified design features to enable railways overcome with the 
burden on existing rail lines and ensure faster, timely and cost-effective freight transportation. 
• This led to the conception of the dedicated freight corridors along the Eastern and Western Routes in 2006 
to be implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle named "Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India 
Limited (DFCCIL).  
About Dedicated Freight Corridors  
• It is a high-speed and high-capacity railway corridor dedicated exclusively for freight movement and built to 
affirm a higher throughput per train and a more significant share in the freight market.  
• The DFC consists of two arms- Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor. 
o Additionally, four more corridors namely, East Coast (Kharagpur-Vijaywada), East-West (Kolkata-
Mumbai), and North-South (Delhi-Chennai) and Southern (Chennai-Goa) Sub-Corridor are also in the 
pipeline.  
• Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC):  
o It will be the 1,856 km long from Sahnewal in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal having double electrified 
tracts. It will run across six States. 
o The Corridor is projected to cater to a number of traffic streams-  
§ coal for the power plants in the northern region of U.P., Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and parts of Rajasthan 
from the Eastern coal fields,  
§ finished steel, food grains, cement, fertilizers, lime stone from Rajasthan to steel plants in the east 
and  
§ general goods.   
o It is also proposed to set up Logistics Park at Kanpur in U.P. and Ludhiana in Punjab to be developed on 
Public Private Partnership mode by creating a sub-SPV for the same.  
Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited 
(DFCCIL) 
• It was incorporated as a company under the Companies 
Act 1956 in 2006 to undertake planning & development, 
mobilization of financial resources and construction, 
maintenance and operation of the dedicated freight 
corridors. 
• As the dedicated agency to make the vision into reality, 
DFCCIL's mission is: 
o To build a corridor with appropriate technology that 
enables Indian railways to regain its market share of 
freight transport. 
o To set up Multimodal logistic parks along the DFC. 
o To support the government's initiatives toward 
ecological sustainability. 
Page 2


	
28	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
3.	ECONOMY	
3.1.	DEDICATED	FREIGHT	CORRIDORS		
Why in news? 
The Prime Minister recently inaugurated the 
New Bhaupur- New Khurja section and the 
Operation Control Centre of Eastern Dedicated 
Freight Corridor. 
More on news 
New Bhaupur- New Khurja section is a 351-km 
section between Khurja and Bhaupur in Uttar 
Pradesh and state-of-the-art Operation Control 
Centre is located in Prayagraj, UP. 
Background: Emergence of Dedicated Freight 
Corridors  
• Freight contributes the revenue share of 67 
percent. But, the saturation of existing railway 
lines has led to congestion and loss in the freight 
market share for Indian Railways (from 90 
percent in 1950 to <40 percent in 2017).  
o The existing trunk routes of Howrah-Delhi on 
the Eastern Corridor and Mumbai-Delhi on 
the Western Corridor were highly saturated, 
with line capacity utilization varying between 
115% to 150%.  
• This along with growth of Indian economy has 
created the need for highly efficient, and amplified design features to enable railways overcome with the 
burden on existing rail lines and ensure faster, timely and cost-effective freight transportation. 
• This led to the conception of the dedicated freight corridors along the Eastern and Western Routes in 2006 
to be implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle named "Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India 
Limited (DFCCIL).  
About Dedicated Freight Corridors  
• It is a high-speed and high-capacity railway corridor dedicated exclusively for freight movement and built to 
affirm a higher throughput per train and a more significant share in the freight market.  
• The DFC consists of two arms- Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor. 
o Additionally, four more corridors namely, East Coast (Kharagpur-Vijaywada), East-West (Kolkata-
Mumbai), and North-South (Delhi-Chennai) and Southern (Chennai-Goa) Sub-Corridor are also in the 
pipeline.  
• Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC):  
o It will be the 1,856 km long from Sahnewal in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal having double electrified 
tracts. It will run across six States. 
o The Corridor is projected to cater to a number of traffic streams-  
§ coal for the power plants in the northern region of U.P., Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and parts of Rajasthan 
from the Eastern coal fields,  
§ finished steel, food grains, cement, fertilizers, lime stone from Rajasthan to steel plants in the east 
and  
§ general goods.   
o It is also proposed to set up Logistics Park at Kanpur in U.P. and Ludhiana in Punjab to be developed on 
Public Private Partnership mode by creating a sub-SPV for the same.  
Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited 
(DFCCIL) 
• It was incorporated as a company under the Companies 
Act 1956 in 2006 to undertake planning & development, 
mobilization of financial resources and construction, 
maintenance and operation of the dedicated freight 
corridors. 
• As the dedicated agency to make the vision into reality, 
DFCCIL's mission is: 
o To build a corridor with appropriate technology that 
enables Indian railways to regain its market share of 
freight transport. 
o To set up Multimodal logistic parks along the DFC. 
o To support the government's initiatives toward 
ecological sustainability. 
	
29	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
• Western Dedicated Freight 
Corridor (WDFC) 
o It will be 1,504 km long will 
stretch linking Dadri in 
National Capital Region 
(NCR) to Jawaharlal Nehru 
Port (JNPT) in Mumbai. It 
will run across six States and 
is proposed to join Eastern 
Corridor at Dadri. 
o It is proposed to set up 
Logistics Parks at Mumbai 
area, Gujarat, Jaipur, & NCR. 
Significance of DFCs  
• Reduction in Logistics costs: An 
Assocham study in 2016 put 
India’s logistics costs at 14 per 
cent of GDP, compared to 9.5 
per cent for the US and 8 per 
cent for Germany. Through 
DFCs, the speed of the freight 
train would increase by 3 times 
and would be able to carry 
double the volume of goods. This will help reduce the cost and allow faster transportation of goods.  
o Reduced logistics cost would make India’s products competitive that would give a boost to India’s 
exports.  
• Modal shift in transportation: India still largely depends on the more expensive road transport to carry goods, 
moving 57 per cent of its freight by road and 36 per cent by rail. This will also help in decongesting roads in 
the longer run and reducing the cost of transportation. 
• Benefits for existing Railway lines: Freight trains plying on DFCs will help decongest the existing lines of Indian 
Railways (IR), more passenger trains can be pumped in and better train  punctuality can be achieved.  
o IR is already planning to privatise certain busy 
passenger routes along with creation of high-speed 
railway network, for which there is an urgent need 
to separate freight traffic from passenger traffic. 
• Enhanced investment opportunities due to improved 
Ease of doing business environment as a result of Faster 
transportation and reduced cost.  
• Connecting India’s hinterland: A large part of our 
population that is residing is in the land-locked 
hinterland, especially in the northern states such as 
Rajasthan, MP will be served by the routes under the 
DFCs.  
o Agriculture sector would also be a beneficiary as 
Farmers can send their produce through Kisan rail 
to any big markets across the country, safely and at 
a low price. 
• Economic gains: The project will immensely benefit 
ports, exporters, and importers, shipping lines and container operators and other consumers of Rail transport 
and will act as a catalyst for the development of industry and areas along the corridor.  
• Employment generation: The DFC will generate large number of employment opportunities  during its 
construction and due to industrialisation facilitated by it such as Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor(DMIC). 
Related Challenges 
• Delays in project completion: DFC Project has 
already missed several deadlines after its launch 
in 2006 and as of July, 2020, only 56% of WDFC 
and 60% of EDFC was completed. Delays are 
mainly due to Sluggish work by contractors, the 
law and order situation at some places, slow 
progress in land acquisition, by almost all states.  
o Recent COVID pandemic induced disruption 
of work is expected to further delay the 
project deadline from December 2021 to 
June 2022.  
• Renewable resources v/s coal: With an inclination 
towards using renewable resources in future, 
viability of the EDFC could be a concern since the 
majority of the traffic was expected to be coal for 
power plants in northern India from the coal fields 
in the east. 
Page 3


	
28	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
3.	ECONOMY	
3.1.	DEDICATED	FREIGHT	CORRIDORS		
Why in news? 
The Prime Minister recently inaugurated the 
New Bhaupur- New Khurja section and the 
Operation Control Centre of Eastern Dedicated 
Freight Corridor. 
More on news 
New Bhaupur- New Khurja section is a 351-km 
section between Khurja and Bhaupur in Uttar 
Pradesh and state-of-the-art Operation Control 
Centre is located in Prayagraj, UP. 
Background: Emergence of Dedicated Freight 
Corridors  
• Freight contributes the revenue share of 67 
percent. But, the saturation of existing railway 
lines has led to congestion and loss in the freight 
market share for Indian Railways (from 90 
percent in 1950 to <40 percent in 2017).  
o The existing trunk routes of Howrah-Delhi on 
the Eastern Corridor and Mumbai-Delhi on 
the Western Corridor were highly saturated, 
with line capacity utilization varying between 
115% to 150%.  
• This along with growth of Indian economy has 
created the need for highly efficient, and amplified design features to enable railways overcome with the 
burden on existing rail lines and ensure faster, timely and cost-effective freight transportation. 
• This led to the conception of the dedicated freight corridors along the Eastern and Western Routes in 2006 
to be implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle named "Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India 
Limited (DFCCIL).  
About Dedicated Freight Corridors  
• It is a high-speed and high-capacity railway corridor dedicated exclusively for freight movement and built to 
affirm a higher throughput per train and a more significant share in the freight market.  
• The DFC consists of two arms- Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor. 
o Additionally, four more corridors namely, East Coast (Kharagpur-Vijaywada), East-West (Kolkata-
Mumbai), and North-South (Delhi-Chennai) and Southern (Chennai-Goa) Sub-Corridor are also in the 
pipeline.  
• Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC):  
o It will be the 1,856 km long from Sahnewal in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal having double electrified 
tracts. It will run across six States. 
o The Corridor is projected to cater to a number of traffic streams-  
§ coal for the power plants in the northern region of U.P., Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and parts of Rajasthan 
from the Eastern coal fields,  
§ finished steel, food grains, cement, fertilizers, lime stone from Rajasthan to steel plants in the east 
and  
§ general goods.   
o It is also proposed to set up Logistics Park at Kanpur in U.P. and Ludhiana in Punjab to be developed on 
Public Private Partnership mode by creating a sub-SPV for the same.  
Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited 
(DFCCIL) 
• It was incorporated as a company under the Companies 
Act 1956 in 2006 to undertake planning & development, 
mobilization of financial resources and construction, 
maintenance and operation of the dedicated freight 
corridors. 
• As the dedicated agency to make the vision into reality, 
DFCCIL's mission is: 
o To build a corridor with appropriate technology that 
enables Indian railways to regain its market share of 
freight transport. 
o To set up Multimodal logistic parks along the DFC. 
o To support the government's initiatives toward 
ecological sustainability. 
	
29	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
• Western Dedicated Freight 
Corridor (WDFC) 
o It will be 1,504 km long will 
stretch linking Dadri in 
National Capital Region 
(NCR) to Jawaharlal Nehru 
Port (JNPT) in Mumbai. It 
will run across six States and 
is proposed to join Eastern 
Corridor at Dadri. 
o It is proposed to set up 
Logistics Parks at Mumbai 
area, Gujarat, Jaipur, & NCR. 
Significance of DFCs  
• Reduction in Logistics costs: An 
Assocham study in 2016 put 
India’s logistics costs at 14 per 
cent of GDP, compared to 9.5 
per cent for the US and 8 per 
cent for Germany. Through 
DFCs, the speed of the freight 
train would increase by 3 times 
and would be able to carry 
double the volume of goods. This will help reduce the cost and allow faster transportation of goods.  
o Reduced logistics cost would make India’s products competitive that would give a boost to India’s 
exports.  
• Modal shift in transportation: India still largely depends on the more expensive road transport to carry goods, 
moving 57 per cent of its freight by road and 36 per cent by rail. This will also help in decongesting roads in 
the longer run and reducing the cost of transportation. 
• Benefits for existing Railway lines: Freight trains plying on DFCs will help decongest the existing lines of Indian 
Railways (IR), more passenger trains can be pumped in and better train  punctuality can be achieved.  
o IR is already planning to privatise certain busy 
passenger routes along with creation of high-speed 
railway network, for which there is an urgent need 
to separate freight traffic from passenger traffic. 
• Enhanced investment opportunities due to improved 
Ease of doing business environment as a result of Faster 
transportation and reduced cost.  
• Connecting India’s hinterland: A large part of our 
population that is residing is in the land-locked 
hinterland, especially in the northern states such as 
Rajasthan, MP will be served by the routes under the 
DFCs.  
o Agriculture sector would also be a beneficiary as 
Farmers can send their produce through Kisan rail 
to any big markets across the country, safely and at 
a low price. 
• Economic gains: The project will immensely benefit 
ports, exporters, and importers, shipping lines and container operators and other consumers of Rail transport 
and will act as a catalyst for the development of industry and areas along the corridor.  
• Employment generation: The DFC will generate large number of employment opportunities  during its 
construction and due to industrialisation facilitated by it such as Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor(DMIC). 
Related Challenges 
• Delays in project completion: DFC Project has 
already missed several deadlines after its launch 
in 2006 and as of July, 2020, only 56% of WDFC 
and 60% of EDFC was completed. Delays are 
mainly due to Sluggish work by contractors, the 
law and order situation at some places, slow 
progress in land acquisition, by almost all states.  
o Recent COVID pandemic induced disruption 
of work is expected to further delay the 
project deadline from December 2021 to 
June 2022.  
• Renewable resources v/s coal: With an inclination 
towards using renewable resources in future, 
viability of the EDFC could be a concern since the 
majority of the traffic was expected to be coal for 
power plants in northern India from the coal fields 
in the east. 
	
30	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
Apart from this, it will help in Skill Up-gradation by providing Training for Enhancing employability of people 
under its CSR initiatives. 
• Environmental benefits:  The operation of trains on DFC will help reduce CO2 emissions by saving of fuel 
through modal shift, regenerative braking and other operational efficiencies. This will help India achieve its 
targets for reducing carbon emissions.  
o Carbon footprint analysis conducted by the Indian Railways finds that the DFC will generate 2.25 times 
less greenhouse gas emissions over a 30-year period compared to business as usual. 
3.2.	DRAFT	INDIAN	PORTS	BILL	2020		
Why in News? 
Recently, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and 
Waterways circulated draft Indian Ports Bill 2020 
for public consultation. 
About the Draft bill 
• It will repeal and replace Indian Ports Act, 
1908 to create an enabling environment for the 
growth and sustained development of the 
ports sector in India. 
• Key Features in the bill: 
o Constitution of Maritime Port Regulatory 
Authority with following functions: 
ü To advise the Central Government on 
matters relating to the National Port 
Policy and Plan. 
ü Formulate short-term and perspective 
plans for development of the Port 
Sector. 
ü Co-ordinate the activities of the 
planning agencies for optimal 
utilization of the Coastline of India to 
sub serve the interest of the national 
economy. 
o Formulation of the National Port policy 
and National Port plan in consultation 
with Coastal State Governments, State 
Maritime Boards and other stakeholders. 
o Formulation of specialised Adjudicatory 
Tribunals namely Maritime Ports Tribunal 
and Maritime Ports Appellate Tribunal to 
curb any anti-competitive practices and 
act as a speedy and affordable grievance 
redressal mechanism. 
India’s potential in port sector 
• India is strategically located on the world’s 
shipping routes with a coastline of 
approximately 7,517 km and 14,500 km of 
potentially navigable waterways.  
• Maritime transport handles around 70% of 
India’s trading in value terms.  
• India has 204 ports, out of which 12 are major ones and handle 55% of the cargo traffic. 
o Major ports together had handled around 700 million tonnes (MT) of cargo during 2018-19.  
Significance of draft Bill 
• Better port Conservation: It will provide measures to 
facilitate conservation of ports, taking into account the 
prevalent situation with respect to the high number of non-
operational ports. 
• Bring investment: It shall further ensure greater investment 
in the Indian maritime and ports sector through the creation 
of improved, comprehensive regulatory frameworks for the 
creation of new ports and management of existing ports. 
• Simplified regulations: It seeks to provide increased 
opportunities for public and private investments in the 
Indian maritime and ports sector by way of removing 
barriers to entry, simplifying processes and establishment of 
agencies and bodies to plan and enable growth of the ports 
sector. 
• Sustainable development: Provisions of the Bill would 
ensure safety, security, pollution control, performance 
standards and sustainability of Ports and also incorporate all 
conventions /protocols to which India is a party. 
• Impetus to self reliance: Enhancing ‘Ease of Doing Business’, 
it will provide greater impetus to a self-reliant domestic 
investment climate in the maritime sector, towards 
Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiatives of the government. 
Page 4


	
28	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
3.	ECONOMY	
3.1.	DEDICATED	FREIGHT	CORRIDORS		
Why in news? 
The Prime Minister recently inaugurated the 
New Bhaupur- New Khurja section and the 
Operation Control Centre of Eastern Dedicated 
Freight Corridor. 
More on news 
New Bhaupur- New Khurja section is a 351-km 
section between Khurja and Bhaupur in Uttar 
Pradesh and state-of-the-art Operation Control 
Centre is located in Prayagraj, UP. 
Background: Emergence of Dedicated Freight 
Corridors  
• Freight contributes the revenue share of 67 
percent. But, the saturation of existing railway 
lines has led to congestion and loss in the freight 
market share for Indian Railways (from 90 
percent in 1950 to <40 percent in 2017).  
o The existing trunk routes of Howrah-Delhi on 
the Eastern Corridor and Mumbai-Delhi on 
the Western Corridor were highly saturated, 
with line capacity utilization varying between 
115% to 150%.  
• This along with growth of Indian economy has 
created the need for highly efficient, and amplified design features to enable railways overcome with the 
burden on existing rail lines and ensure faster, timely and cost-effective freight transportation. 
• This led to the conception of the dedicated freight corridors along the Eastern and Western Routes in 2006 
to be implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle named "Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India 
Limited (DFCCIL).  
About Dedicated Freight Corridors  
• It is a high-speed and high-capacity railway corridor dedicated exclusively for freight movement and built to 
affirm a higher throughput per train and a more significant share in the freight market.  
• The DFC consists of two arms- Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor. 
o Additionally, four more corridors namely, East Coast (Kharagpur-Vijaywada), East-West (Kolkata-
Mumbai), and North-South (Delhi-Chennai) and Southern (Chennai-Goa) Sub-Corridor are also in the 
pipeline.  
• Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC):  
o It will be the 1,856 km long from Sahnewal in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal having double electrified 
tracts. It will run across six States. 
o The Corridor is projected to cater to a number of traffic streams-  
§ coal for the power plants in the northern region of U.P., Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and parts of Rajasthan 
from the Eastern coal fields,  
§ finished steel, food grains, cement, fertilizers, lime stone from Rajasthan to steel plants in the east 
and  
§ general goods.   
o It is also proposed to set up Logistics Park at Kanpur in U.P. and Ludhiana in Punjab to be developed on 
Public Private Partnership mode by creating a sub-SPV for the same.  
Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited 
(DFCCIL) 
• It was incorporated as a company under the Companies 
Act 1956 in 2006 to undertake planning & development, 
mobilization of financial resources and construction, 
maintenance and operation of the dedicated freight 
corridors. 
• As the dedicated agency to make the vision into reality, 
DFCCIL's mission is: 
o To build a corridor with appropriate technology that 
enables Indian railways to regain its market share of 
freight transport. 
o To set up Multimodal logistic parks along the DFC. 
o To support the government's initiatives toward 
ecological sustainability. 
	
29	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
• Western Dedicated Freight 
Corridor (WDFC) 
o It will be 1,504 km long will 
stretch linking Dadri in 
National Capital Region 
(NCR) to Jawaharlal Nehru 
Port (JNPT) in Mumbai. It 
will run across six States and 
is proposed to join Eastern 
Corridor at Dadri. 
o It is proposed to set up 
Logistics Parks at Mumbai 
area, Gujarat, Jaipur, & NCR. 
Significance of DFCs  
• Reduction in Logistics costs: An 
Assocham study in 2016 put 
India’s logistics costs at 14 per 
cent of GDP, compared to 9.5 
per cent for the US and 8 per 
cent for Germany. Through 
DFCs, the speed of the freight 
train would increase by 3 times 
and would be able to carry 
double the volume of goods. This will help reduce the cost and allow faster transportation of goods.  
o Reduced logistics cost would make India’s products competitive that would give a boost to India’s 
exports.  
• Modal shift in transportation: India still largely depends on the more expensive road transport to carry goods, 
moving 57 per cent of its freight by road and 36 per cent by rail. This will also help in decongesting roads in 
the longer run and reducing the cost of transportation. 
• Benefits for existing Railway lines: Freight trains plying on DFCs will help decongest the existing lines of Indian 
Railways (IR), more passenger trains can be pumped in and better train  punctuality can be achieved.  
o IR is already planning to privatise certain busy 
passenger routes along with creation of high-speed 
railway network, for which there is an urgent need 
to separate freight traffic from passenger traffic. 
• Enhanced investment opportunities due to improved 
Ease of doing business environment as a result of Faster 
transportation and reduced cost.  
• Connecting India’s hinterland: A large part of our 
population that is residing is in the land-locked 
hinterland, especially in the northern states such as 
Rajasthan, MP will be served by the routes under the 
DFCs.  
o Agriculture sector would also be a beneficiary as 
Farmers can send their produce through Kisan rail 
to any big markets across the country, safely and at 
a low price. 
• Economic gains: The project will immensely benefit 
ports, exporters, and importers, shipping lines and container operators and other consumers of Rail transport 
and will act as a catalyst for the development of industry and areas along the corridor.  
• Employment generation: The DFC will generate large number of employment opportunities  during its 
construction and due to industrialisation facilitated by it such as Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor(DMIC). 
Related Challenges 
• Delays in project completion: DFC Project has 
already missed several deadlines after its launch 
in 2006 and as of July, 2020, only 56% of WDFC 
and 60% of EDFC was completed. Delays are 
mainly due to Sluggish work by contractors, the 
law and order situation at some places, slow 
progress in land acquisition, by almost all states.  
o Recent COVID pandemic induced disruption 
of work is expected to further delay the 
project deadline from December 2021 to 
June 2022.  
• Renewable resources v/s coal: With an inclination 
towards using renewable resources in future, 
viability of the EDFC could be a concern since the 
majority of the traffic was expected to be coal for 
power plants in northern India from the coal fields 
in the east. 
	
30	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
Apart from this, it will help in Skill Up-gradation by providing Training for Enhancing employability of people 
under its CSR initiatives. 
• Environmental benefits:  The operation of trains on DFC will help reduce CO2 emissions by saving of fuel 
through modal shift, regenerative braking and other operational efficiencies. This will help India achieve its 
targets for reducing carbon emissions.  
o Carbon footprint analysis conducted by the Indian Railways finds that the DFC will generate 2.25 times 
less greenhouse gas emissions over a 30-year period compared to business as usual. 
3.2.	DRAFT	INDIAN	PORTS	BILL	2020		
Why in News? 
Recently, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and 
Waterways circulated draft Indian Ports Bill 2020 
for public consultation. 
About the Draft bill 
• It will repeal and replace Indian Ports Act, 
1908 to create an enabling environment for the 
growth and sustained development of the 
ports sector in India. 
• Key Features in the bill: 
o Constitution of Maritime Port Regulatory 
Authority with following functions: 
ü To advise the Central Government on 
matters relating to the National Port 
Policy and Plan. 
ü Formulate short-term and perspective 
plans for development of the Port 
Sector. 
ü Co-ordinate the activities of the 
planning agencies for optimal 
utilization of the Coastline of India to 
sub serve the interest of the national 
economy. 
o Formulation of the National Port policy 
and National Port plan in consultation 
with Coastal State Governments, State 
Maritime Boards and other stakeholders. 
o Formulation of specialised Adjudicatory 
Tribunals namely Maritime Ports Tribunal 
and Maritime Ports Appellate Tribunal to 
curb any anti-competitive practices and 
act as a speedy and affordable grievance 
redressal mechanism. 
India’s potential in port sector 
• India is strategically located on the world’s 
shipping routes with a coastline of 
approximately 7,517 km and 14,500 km of 
potentially navigable waterways.  
• Maritime transport handles around 70% of 
India’s trading in value terms.  
• India has 204 ports, out of which 12 are major ones and handle 55% of the cargo traffic. 
o Major ports together had handled around 700 million tonnes (MT) of cargo during 2018-19.  
Significance of draft Bill 
• Better port Conservation: It will provide measures to 
facilitate conservation of ports, taking into account the 
prevalent situation with respect to the high number of non-
operational ports. 
• Bring investment: It shall further ensure greater investment 
in the Indian maritime and ports sector through the creation 
of improved, comprehensive regulatory frameworks for the 
creation of new ports and management of existing ports. 
• Simplified regulations: It seeks to provide increased 
opportunities for public and private investments in the 
Indian maritime and ports sector by way of removing 
barriers to entry, simplifying processes and establishment of 
agencies and bodies to plan and enable growth of the ports 
sector. 
• Sustainable development: Provisions of the Bill would 
ensure safety, security, pollution control, performance 
standards and sustainability of Ports and also incorporate all 
conventions /protocols to which India is a party. 
• Impetus to self reliance: Enhancing ‘Ease of Doing Business’, 
it will provide greater impetus to a self-reliant domestic 
investment climate in the maritime sector, towards 
Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiatives of the government. 
	
31	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
o Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust is the largest major port in India. 
• Port development in India is a concurrent subject.  
o Presently, Major ports are regulated by central government under Major Ports Act, 1963 and non-major 
ports governed by state governments under the Indian Ports Act 1908.  
o Gujarat accounts for ~70% of non-major port cargo, while Andhra Pradesh accounts for ~16%, 
Maharashtra, ~7% and Odisha, ~4% 
• Cargo traffic in the country is expected to rise 
to 2,500 MT by 2024-25.  
o The government has also introduced 
various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for 
enterprises that develop, maintain and 
operate ports, inland waterways and 
shipbuilding in India. 
Challenges faced by Port sector in India 
• Port congestion, customs clearance, shipping 
line issues & charges, documentation & 
paperwork, and regulatory clearance. 
• Lack of standardized operations: Costs and 
time for key processes are unpredictable and 
there is an unacceptable level of variation 
across ports as well as within the port. 
• Lack of private participation: Financial viability of port projects is a major deterrent for private developers as 
well as financiers.  
• Red-tapism: Because of delays in obtaining government approvals, environmental clearances, as well as 
compliance with coastal regulations.  
• High Turnaround time: Because of issues like inadequate road networks within the port area, inadequate 
cargo-handling etc.  
• Lack of infrastructure: Equipment incapable of handling large volumes, deficient dredging capabilities, 
outdated navigational aids and IT systems, lack of proper logistics companies, lack of proper equipment 
handling training etc.  
• Poor connectivity: Poor hinterland connectivity, road, and railway problems make it challenging to export 
goods in a timely manner in India.  
Other steps that can be taken to enhance port sector in India 
• Complete relaxation of cabotage:  To enhance shipping capacity for coastal movement and facilitate 
availability of adequate vessels at lower cost. 
o Cabotage is the restriction of the operation of sea, air, or other transport services within or into a particular 
country to that country's own transport services. 
• Increasing investments and cargo traffic point towards a healthy outlook for the Indian ports sector: 
Providers of services such as operation and maintenance (O&M), pilotage and harbouring and marine assets 
such as barges and dredgers are benefiting from these investments. 
• Digital transformation in shipping: Through technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Machine 
Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Analytics, and Augmented & Virtual Reality shipping process can be made 
faster and hassle-free. 
• Certain policy reforms: It should be aimed at upgrading infrastructure at Indian ports, implementing new 
land policy for major ports, establishing a port regulator at all ports to monitor and regulate services and 
technical and performance standards, simplifying the environmental clearance process for port projects, 
establishing a special purpose vehicle for making investments in ports, developing major new ports, and so 
on. 
 
Other major steps taken for port sector 
• Major Port Authorities Bill 2020: Lok Sabha recently 
passed this bill which seeks to provide autonomy to India’s 
major ports and improve their efficiency and 
competitiveness. 
• Sagarmala project: Launched in 2015 to strengthen port 
infrastructure and enhance capacity, improve operational 
efficiencies etc. 
• Central Port Authority (CPA) Act: This law was passed in 
2016 to grant more autonomy to the major ports.  
• National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP): It 
is an initiative to develop the maritime sector, with an 
outlay of USD 11.8 billion.  
• Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): It has allowed FDI of up 
to 100% under the automatic route for port and harbour 
construction and maintenance projects. 
Page 5


	
28	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
3.	ECONOMY	
3.1.	DEDICATED	FREIGHT	CORRIDORS		
Why in news? 
The Prime Minister recently inaugurated the 
New Bhaupur- New Khurja section and the 
Operation Control Centre of Eastern Dedicated 
Freight Corridor. 
More on news 
New Bhaupur- New Khurja section is a 351-km 
section between Khurja and Bhaupur in Uttar 
Pradesh and state-of-the-art Operation Control 
Centre is located in Prayagraj, UP. 
Background: Emergence of Dedicated Freight 
Corridors  
• Freight contributes the revenue share of 67 
percent. But, the saturation of existing railway 
lines has led to congestion and loss in the freight 
market share for Indian Railways (from 90 
percent in 1950 to <40 percent in 2017).  
o The existing trunk routes of Howrah-Delhi on 
the Eastern Corridor and Mumbai-Delhi on 
the Western Corridor were highly saturated, 
with line capacity utilization varying between 
115% to 150%.  
• This along with growth of Indian economy has 
created the need for highly efficient, and amplified design features to enable railways overcome with the 
burden on existing rail lines and ensure faster, timely and cost-effective freight transportation. 
• This led to the conception of the dedicated freight corridors along the Eastern and Western Routes in 2006 
to be implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle named "Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India 
Limited (DFCCIL).  
About Dedicated Freight Corridors  
• It is a high-speed and high-capacity railway corridor dedicated exclusively for freight movement and built to 
affirm a higher throughput per train and a more significant share in the freight market.  
• The DFC consists of two arms- Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor. 
o Additionally, four more corridors namely, East Coast (Kharagpur-Vijaywada), East-West (Kolkata-
Mumbai), and North-South (Delhi-Chennai) and Southern (Chennai-Goa) Sub-Corridor are also in the 
pipeline.  
• Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC):  
o It will be the 1,856 km long from Sahnewal in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal having double electrified 
tracts. It will run across six States. 
o The Corridor is projected to cater to a number of traffic streams-  
§ coal for the power plants in the northern region of U.P., Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and parts of Rajasthan 
from the Eastern coal fields,  
§ finished steel, food grains, cement, fertilizers, lime stone from Rajasthan to steel plants in the east 
and  
§ general goods.   
o It is also proposed to set up Logistics Park at Kanpur in U.P. and Ludhiana in Punjab to be developed on 
Public Private Partnership mode by creating a sub-SPV for the same.  
Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited 
(DFCCIL) 
• It was incorporated as a company under the Companies 
Act 1956 in 2006 to undertake planning & development, 
mobilization of financial resources and construction, 
maintenance and operation of the dedicated freight 
corridors. 
• As the dedicated agency to make the vision into reality, 
DFCCIL's mission is: 
o To build a corridor with appropriate technology that 
enables Indian railways to regain its market share of 
freight transport. 
o To set up Multimodal logistic parks along the DFC. 
o To support the government's initiatives toward 
ecological sustainability. 
	
29	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
• Western Dedicated Freight 
Corridor (WDFC) 
o It will be 1,504 km long will 
stretch linking Dadri in 
National Capital Region 
(NCR) to Jawaharlal Nehru 
Port (JNPT) in Mumbai. It 
will run across six States and 
is proposed to join Eastern 
Corridor at Dadri. 
o It is proposed to set up 
Logistics Parks at Mumbai 
area, Gujarat, Jaipur, & NCR. 
Significance of DFCs  
• Reduction in Logistics costs: An 
Assocham study in 2016 put 
India’s logistics costs at 14 per 
cent of GDP, compared to 9.5 
per cent for the US and 8 per 
cent for Germany. Through 
DFCs, the speed of the freight 
train would increase by 3 times 
and would be able to carry 
double the volume of goods. This will help reduce the cost and allow faster transportation of goods.  
o Reduced logistics cost would make India’s products competitive that would give a boost to India’s 
exports.  
• Modal shift in transportation: India still largely depends on the more expensive road transport to carry goods, 
moving 57 per cent of its freight by road and 36 per cent by rail. This will also help in decongesting roads in 
the longer run and reducing the cost of transportation. 
• Benefits for existing Railway lines: Freight trains plying on DFCs will help decongest the existing lines of Indian 
Railways (IR), more passenger trains can be pumped in and better train  punctuality can be achieved.  
o IR is already planning to privatise certain busy 
passenger routes along with creation of high-speed 
railway network, for which there is an urgent need 
to separate freight traffic from passenger traffic. 
• Enhanced investment opportunities due to improved 
Ease of doing business environment as a result of Faster 
transportation and reduced cost.  
• Connecting India’s hinterland: A large part of our 
population that is residing is in the land-locked 
hinterland, especially in the northern states such as 
Rajasthan, MP will be served by the routes under the 
DFCs.  
o Agriculture sector would also be a beneficiary as 
Farmers can send their produce through Kisan rail 
to any big markets across the country, safely and at 
a low price. 
• Economic gains: The project will immensely benefit 
ports, exporters, and importers, shipping lines and container operators and other consumers of Rail transport 
and will act as a catalyst for the development of industry and areas along the corridor.  
• Employment generation: The DFC will generate large number of employment opportunities  during its 
construction and due to industrialisation facilitated by it such as Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor(DMIC). 
Related Challenges 
• Delays in project completion: DFC Project has 
already missed several deadlines after its launch 
in 2006 and as of July, 2020, only 56% of WDFC 
and 60% of EDFC was completed. Delays are 
mainly due to Sluggish work by contractors, the 
law and order situation at some places, slow 
progress in land acquisition, by almost all states.  
o Recent COVID pandemic induced disruption 
of work is expected to further delay the 
project deadline from December 2021 to 
June 2022.  
• Renewable resources v/s coal: With an inclination 
towards using renewable resources in future, 
viability of the EDFC could be a concern since the 
majority of the traffic was expected to be coal for 
power plants in northern India from the coal fields 
in the east. 
	
30	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
Apart from this, it will help in Skill Up-gradation by providing Training for Enhancing employability of people 
under its CSR initiatives. 
• Environmental benefits:  The operation of trains on DFC will help reduce CO2 emissions by saving of fuel 
through modal shift, regenerative braking and other operational efficiencies. This will help India achieve its 
targets for reducing carbon emissions.  
o Carbon footprint analysis conducted by the Indian Railways finds that the DFC will generate 2.25 times 
less greenhouse gas emissions over a 30-year period compared to business as usual. 
3.2.	DRAFT	INDIAN	PORTS	BILL	2020		
Why in News? 
Recently, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and 
Waterways circulated draft Indian Ports Bill 2020 
for public consultation. 
About the Draft bill 
• It will repeal and replace Indian Ports Act, 
1908 to create an enabling environment for the 
growth and sustained development of the 
ports sector in India. 
• Key Features in the bill: 
o Constitution of Maritime Port Regulatory 
Authority with following functions: 
ü To advise the Central Government on 
matters relating to the National Port 
Policy and Plan. 
ü Formulate short-term and perspective 
plans for development of the Port 
Sector. 
ü Co-ordinate the activities of the 
planning agencies for optimal 
utilization of the Coastline of India to 
sub serve the interest of the national 
economy. 
o Formulation of the National Port policy 
and National Port plan in consultation 
with Coastal State Governments, State 
Maritime Boards and other stakeholders. 
o Formulation of specialised Adjudicatory 
Tribunals namely Maritime Ports Tribunal 
and Maritime Ports Appellate Tribunal to 
curb any anti-competitive practices and 
act as a speedy and affordable grievance 
redressal mechanism. 
India’s potential in port sector 
• India is strategically located on the world’s 
shipping routes with a coastline of 
approximately 7,517 km and 14,500 km of 
potentially navigable waterways.  
• Maritime transport handles around 70% of 
India’s trading in value terms.  
• India has 204 ports, out of which 12 are major ones and handle 55% of the cargo traffic. 
o Major ports together had handled around 700 million tonnes (MT) of cargo during 2018-19.  
Significance of draft Bill 
• Better port Conservation: It will provide measures to 
facilitate conservation of ports, taking into account the 
prevalent situation with respect to the high number of non-
operational ports. 
• Bring investment: It shall further ensure greater investment 
in the Indian maritime and ports sector through the creation 
of improved, comprehensive regulatory frameworks for the 
creation of new ports and management of existing ports. 
• Simplified regulations: It seeks to provide increased 
opportunities for public and private investments in the 
Indian maritime and ports sector by way of removing 
barriers to entry, simplifying processes and establishment of 
agencies and bodies to plan and enable growth of the ports 
sector. 
• Sustainable development: Provisions of the Bill would 
ensure safety, security, pollution control, performance 
standards and sustainability of Ports and also incorporate all 
conventions /protocols to which India is a party. 
• Impetus to self reliance: Enhancing ‘Ease of Doing Business’, 
it will provide greater impetus to a self-reliant domestic 
investment climate in the maritime sector, towards 
Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiatives of the government. 
	
31	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
o Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust is the largest major port in India. 
• Port development in India is a concurrent subject.  
o Presently, Major ports are regulated by central government under Major Ports Act, 1963 and non-major 
ports governed by state governments under the Indian Ports Act 1908.  
o Gujarat accounts for ~70% of non-major port cargo, while Andhra Pradesh accounts for ~16%, 
Maharashtra, ~7% and Odisha, ~4% 
• Cargo traffic in the country is expected to rise 
to 2,500 MT by 2024-25.  
o The government has also introduced 
various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for 
enterprises that develop, maintain and 
operate ports, inland waterways and 
shipbuilding in India. 
Challenges faced by Port sector in India 
• Port congestion, customs clearance, shipping 
line issues & charges, documentation & 
paperwork, and regulatory clearance. 
• Lack of standardized operations: Costs and 
time for key processes are unpredictable and 
there is an unacceptable level of variation 
across ports as well as within the port. 
• Lack of private participation: Financial viability of port projects is a major deterrent for private developers as 
well as financiers.  
• Red-tapism: Because of delays in obtaining government approvals, environmental clearances, as well as 
compliance with coastal regulations.  
• High Turnaround time: Because of issues like inadequate road networks within the port area, inadequate 
cargo-handling etc.  
• Lack of infrastructure: Equipment incapable of handling large volumes, deficient dredging capabilities, 
outdated navigational aids and IT systems, lack of proper logistics companies, lack of proper equipment 
handling training etc.  
• Poor connectivity: Poor hinterland connectivity, road, and railway problems make it challenging to export 
goods in a timely manner in India.  
Other steps that can be taken to enhance port sector in India 
• Complete relaxation of cabotage:  To enhance shipping capacity for coastal movement and facilitate 
availability of adequate vessels at lower cost. 
o Cabotage is the restriction of the operation of sea, air, or other transport services within or into a particular 
country to that country's own transport services. 
• Increasing investments and cargo traffic point towards a healthy outlook for the Indian ports sector: 
Providers of services such as operation and maintenance (O&M), pilotage and harbouring and marine assets 
such as barges and dredgers are benefiting from these investments. 
• Digital transformation in shipping: Through technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Machine 
Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Analytics, and Augmented & Virtual Reality shipping process can be made 
faster and hassle-free. 
• Certain policy reforms: It should be aimed at upgrading infrastructure at Indian ports, implementing new 
land policy for major ports, establishing a port regulator at all ports to monitor and regulate services and 
technical and performance standards, simplifying the environmental clearance process for port projects, 
establishing a special purpose vehicle for making investments in ports, developing major new ports, and so 
on. 
 
Other major steps taken for port sector 
• Major Port Authorities Bill 2020: Lok Sabha recently 
passed this bill which seeks to provide autonomy to India’s 
major ports and improve their efficiency and 
competitiveness. 
• Sagarmala project: Launched in 2015 to strengthen port 
infrastructure and enhance capacity, improve operational 
efficiencies etc. 
• Central Port Authority (CPA) Act: This law was passed in 
2016 to grant more autonomy to the major ports.  
• National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP): It 
is an initiative to develop the maritime sector, with an 
outlay of USD 11.8 billion.  
• Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): It has allowed FDI of up 
to 100% under the automatic route for port and harbour 
construction and maintenance projects. 
	
32	 																																																																														www.visionias.in																																																																								©Vision	IAS		
3.3.	FARM	MECHANISATION	
Why in news? 
The government is focusing on farm mechanisation 
with a target to double farm mechanization per 
hectare in next 10 years. 
About Farm Mechanisation  
• It refers to the development and use of 
machines that can take the place of human and 
animal power in agricultural processes with the 
end objective to enhance the overall 
productivity and production with the lowest 
cost of production. 
• Farm mechanisation in India stands at about 40-
45% with states such as UP, Haryana and Punjab 
having very high mechanisation levels but north 
eastern states having negligible mechanisation.  
o However, it has been lower in India 
compared to other countries such as USA 
(95 per cent), Brazil (75 per cent) and China 
(57 per cent). 
• Farm mechanization market in India has been 
growing at a CAGR of 7.53 per cent during 2016-
2018 due to thrust given by various government 
policies. This is also reflected by increasing sale 
of tractors in India. 
o Indian tractor industries have emerged as 
the largest in the world and account for about one- third of total global tractor production.  
• Factors emphasizing the need for Farm Mechanization includes:  
o Increased migration of rural workers to urban areas increases the cost of farm labour. According to the 
World Bank estimates, percentage of agricultural workers in total work force would drop to 25.7% by 2050 
from 58.2% in 2001. 
o Due to intensive involvement of labour in different farm operations, there is a need for high cost 
machinery for better turnout in shorter time.   
o Sustainable agricultural productivity.  
o Over dependence on monsoons.  
o The use of tractors enhanced agricultural productivity due to better seed-bed preparation, timeliness of 
operations and precision in distribution and placement of seed and fertilizer.  
Benefits of Farm mechanisation 
• Input savings: Studies have shown a direct relationship between farm mechanization (farm power availability) 
and farm yield. Farm mechanization is said to provide a number of input savings:  
o Seeds (approximately 15-20 percent)  
o Fertilizers (approximately 15-20 percent)  
• Increase in efficiency: It is estimated that farm mechanization can help reduce time by approximately 15-20 
percent thus increasing the efficiency of farm labour and reducing drudgery and workloads. Additionally, it 
helps in improving the harvest and reducing the post-harvest losses and improving the quality of cultivation.  
• Social benefits: There are various social benefits of farm mechanization:  
o It helps in conversion of uncultivable land to agricultural land through advanced tilling techniques and 
also in shifting land used for feed and fodder cultivation by draught animals towards food production.  
o Decrease in workload on women as a direct consequence of the improved efficiency of labour.  
o Improvement in the safety of farm practices.  
Initiatives taken by the government 
• Sub mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) was 
launched in 2014- 15 to increase the reach of farm 
mechanization to small and marginal farmers and to the 
regions where availability of farm power is low.  
o Under the scheme, assistance is provided to State 
governments to impart training and demonstration 
of agricultural machinery, provides assistance to 
farmers for procurement of various agricultural 
machineries and equipment and for setting up of 
Custom Hiring Centre. 
• Multilingual Mobile App, 'CHC-Farm Machinery' also 
known as “FARMS-app” developed by Ministry of 
Agriculture, connects farmers with Custom Hiring Service 
Centres situated in their locality to take machines on 
rental basis for agriculture practices. 
• Government has given massive thrust to promoting 
latest agricultural machineries, like laser leveller, happy 
seeder technology, combine harvesters and small 
equipment like power weeders. 
• Crop Residue Management (CRM) scheme by Ministry of 
Agriculture & Farmers Welfare was initiated in 2018 with 
an objective of moving away farmers of northern region 
from the practice of crop residue burning causing 
pollution.  
o Under the scheme farmers are provided machinery 
for in-situ management of crop residue through 
establishment of CHCs (Custom Hiring Centres). 
Read More
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