Indian Affairs, August 24th, 2018, Current Affairs Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Government imposed standard environment clearing conditions for 25 sectors; Expert committee has been constituted
On August 24, 2018, to give proper general guidance to companies seeking environment clearance, the government has given standard environment clearing conditions for 25 sectors.

Objective:
This would ensure uniformity on stipulated terms and conditions across the projects and sectors.

Key Points:
i. The 25 sectors include: iron, steel, cement, coal, petroleum refineries industry, paper and pulp industries, hydro-electric projects, industrial estates, among others.
ii. The government has also constituted green panel called Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) that would assess projects.
iii. The EAC can modify, delete and add conditions based on the project specific requirements.
iv. Their recommendations would enable the Environment Ministry to grant the final EC.

5 Thematic Reports on Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region launched by NITI Aayog
On August 24, 2018, NITI Aayog released the 5 Thematic Reports on Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region that had been prepared by the 5 Working Groups (WGs) in June 2017.

Objective:
The reports from the five working groups discuss the significance, the challenges, the ongoing actions and a future roadmap in that region.

Key Points:
i. The 5 themes include:

  • Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security,
  • Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region,
  • Transformative Approach to Shifting Cultivation,
  • Strengthening Skill & Entrepreneurship Landscape in Himalayas and
  • Data/Information for Informed Decision Making.

Challenges faced by the Himalayan Region:
i. 30% of springs crucial to water security of people are drying and 50% have reported reduced discharge.
ii. Due to growth in Himalayan Tourism by 6.8% annually, there are challenges related to solid waste, water, traffic, loss of bio-cultural diversity etc.
iii. Critical issues of waste management and water crisis.
iv. Continuation of practice of slash and burn (shifting cultivation) is having an impact on ecological, food and nutritional security.
v. Migration of youth due to huge unskilled workforce.

Key messages and roadmaps for the challenges:
i. Spring Mapping and Revival using 8 steps protocol be taken up across Himalayan States in phased manner.
ii. Application of carrying capacity concept to all major tourist destinations, implementation  and monitoring to be carried out in tourism sector by all the states and they will be given performance based incentives for that.
iii. Assessment of nature & extent of Shifting Cultivation area, improving policy coherence, & improved access to related programs/schemes are key recommendations to transform shifting cultivation.
iv. Strengthening of skill & entrepreneurship in priority sectors , investment in trainers, assessors and training centers in industry partnership.
v. Having a Central Data Management Agency for Himalayas to provide data for data sharing, access, authenticity and comparability issues.

Important recommendations:
i. Setting up of a Himalayan Authority for coordinated and holistic development of entire Himalayan region .
ii. Launching of “Himalaya Calling”: An Awareness to Action Campaign as people’smovement.
iii. Setting up of

  • Mission on Spring Water Management in Himalayas,
  • National Mission/Program  on Transforming Shifting Cultivation in North Eastern States,
  • Skill and entrepreneurship development Centers in Himalayan States,
  • Institutions of high learning for mountain specific research and technology,
  • Central Data Management Agencyfor Himalayan Database at GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development.

iv. Link with Hindukush Himalaya Monitoring and Assessment program (HIMAP).

Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region:
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Jitendra Singh.
♦ The North-Eastern Region of India comprises of eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

Committee of Secretaries approved setting up National Logistics Portal as a e-marketplace
On August 24, 2018, A committee of secretaries has approved a proposal by department of commerce (DoC) to setup a National Logistics Portal (NLP).

Objective:
To ease transportation of goods across the country  and export.

Key Points:
i. The portal is being planned in three phases-

  • development of a logistics e-marketplace whose test run is being planned by March,
  • single window certification by bringing in 81 authorities on board, and
  • integrating financial services on the platform.

ii. It will have a common online platform to integrate all transactions involved in their production and export.
iii. It will acts as a single window online marketplace, to link all the stakeholders.
iv. It will connect buyers with logistics service providers with all the government agencies such as customs, Port Community Systems, Sea and Air Port terminals, Shipping lines, Railways, among others.
v. Customs department Icegate will also get integrated with the portal.
vi. Global Consultancy KPMG would develop a mobile app for this purpose as well

Background:
♦ Logistics costs in India are pegged at 13-14% of the GDP, and the government aims to reduce it to 10% by 2022.
♦ The major challenges are multiple regulatory policy regimes, no seamless movement of goods and lack of single window clearance and coordination among various stakeholders.

Punjab Cabinet approves bill for price stabilisation fund
On August 24, 2018, he Punjab cabinet approved a bill for creation of a price stabilisation fund. This decision was taken by the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Objective:
This would ensure that state farmers get minimum support price (MSP).

Key Points:
i. It would protect the interests of farmers in the event of a sudden fall in prices of certain agricultural commodities.
ii. Amendments will be made to sections 25 (A), 26 and 28 of the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1961.
iii. It will ensure that a fraction of the commission charged by the arhtiyas (commission agents) are directed towards the agricultural produce price stabilisation fee.
iv. Additionally, the rules of the market development fund and market committee fund would also be amended by insertion of a new clause (XXII) after sections 26 & 28 of the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1961.
v. This will enable these funds to be used in the price stabilisation fund.

Background:
The step was taken in view of the pitiable condition of the farmers in the state, pushing many of them to suicide in the recent past.

Punjab:
♦ Capital: Chandigarh.
♦ Chief Minister: Amarinder Singh.
♦ Governor: V. P. Singh Badnore.
♦ National Parks: Abohar WLS, Bir Bhadson WLS, Jhajjar Bacholi WLS, Nangal WLS, Kathlaur Kushlian WLS, Harike Lake WLS, Bir Motibagh WLS.
♦ Nicknames of cities in Punjab :

Patiala Royal City.
Ludhiana Manchester of Punjab
Amritsar Holy City

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated a few projects and announced the upcoming investor summit in November 2018.
On August 24, 2018, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated several projects through video conferencing.
Odisha government also announced its partnership with Japan for its mega investment summit named Make in Odisha Conclave, scheduled to be held in Odisha on November 11-15, 2018.

Key Points:

Important announcements:
i. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also inaugurated two industrial projects and laid the foundation stone of 13 manufacturing units.
ii. The cumulative cost of these projects are : Rs. 2,901.2 crore.
iii. Of that 15 projects will provide employment to nearly 3,091 people in the State.
iv. The first edition of investment summit ‘Make in Odisha Conclave’ was in 2016. It saw the State receive investment intent of more than Rs.2 lakh crore across 10 diversified sectors.
v. OCL India Ltd, the flagship company of Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd, topped the list of investors with `1,994.98 crore
vi. It is followed by IFFCO, Jyoti Solar Solutions Pvt Ltd, Grasim Industries Ltd, Indo Nissin Foods Pvt Ltd and Hindustan Urban Infrastructure Limited.
v. For better investments the government has collaborated with IT majors like TCS and Infosys and networking giants such as Reliance Jio and Cisco.
vi. The second edition of the flagship investors’ meet will be held from November 11 to 15, 2018.

About 2nd edition of Make in Odisha Conclave 2018:
i. In this summit, Japan will be the ‘partner country’ and State Bank of India will be the banking partner.
ii. It will be the only country partner for Make in Odisha Conclave-2018.
iii. This would include investment opportunities in the state across six focus sectors including: food processing and seafood, chemicals, plastics and petrochemicals, ancillary and downstream industries in the metal sector, electronic manufacturing, textiles, apparel and tourism.
iv. The state has also earmarked 600 acres of land in Bhubaneswar for the Japanese investors.
v. It will be used to develop a multi-product park where companies from Japan can come and set up their units.

Odisha:
♦ Lakes : Chilika Lake, Kanjia Lake, Anshupa Lake, Balimela Reservoir.
♦ Dams: Rengali Dam, Kala dam, Pitamahal Dam, Kansbahal Dam, Tikhali Dam, Deras Dam, Salia Dam, Ghodahada Dam, Kuanria Dam.

India’s Largest Business Incubator “Bhamashah Techno Hub” launched in Jaipur by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje
On August 24, 2018, Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje launched India’s largest Business Incubator “Bhamashah Techno Hub” In Jaipur.

Objective:
It will provide free space, easier funding avenues and mentorship to startups.

Key Points:
i. The Rajasthan government announced setting up of a Rs 500-crore startup fund – Bhamashah Techno Fund. Out of the total amount, Rs 50 crore has been earmarked for green startups and Rs 100 crore for women startups.
ii. The hub has an 1.50 lakh square feet of incubation space and would be able to accommodate over 700 startup ventures.
iii. At the moment 180 startups have already set their base at the Bhamashah Techno Hub.
iv. The incubation centre would offer free space, connectivity, easier funding, mentorship and exposure to budding startups.
v. It also hosts a digital museum and a tinkering lab for development of products, adaptive learning, and computational thinking.

Background:
The startups is a part of the the iStart programme that also includes regular workshops, bootcamps, expert sessions, access to investors, pitching sessions, among others.

Rajasthan:
Lakes: Anandsagar lake, Anasagar Lake, Diablab Lake, Balsamand Lake, Doodh Talai Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake, Gadi sagar Lake, Gaibsagar Lake, Jaisamand Lake.

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