InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically
Table of Contents:
GS Paper 2:
1. Election Expenditure Limit.
2. Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme.
3. ‘One District One Product’ scheme.
GS Paper 3:
1. Green energy corridor.
2. Cheetah Reintroduction Project.
Facts for Prelims:
1. India’s first open rock museum.
2. Article 348 (1).
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Protection of Vulnerable Sections of the society.
The Food Processing Ministry had inked an agreement with NAFED for developing 10 brands as the One District One Product brands under the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme.
- Of this, six brands have been launched recently.
- The six brands include Amrit Phal (developed under the ODOP concept for Gurugram, Haryana), Cori Gold (developed for coriander powder which is the identified ODOP for Kota, Rajasthan), Kashmiri Mantra, Madhu Mantra (developed under the ODOP concept for honey from Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh), Somdana (developed under the ODOP concept of millets from Thane, Maharashtra), and Whole Wheat Cookies of Dilli Bakes (developed under the bakery ODOP concept for Delhi).
All the products will be available at NAFED Bazaars, E-commerce platforms, and prominent retail stores across India.
Launched in 2020, the scheme will be implemented for five years until 2024-25.
It is for the Unorganized Sector on All India basis.
- Increase in access to finance by micro food processing units.
- Increase in revenues of target enterprises.
- Enhanced compliance with food quality and safety standards.
- Strengthening capacities of support systems.
- Transition from the unorganized sector to the formal sector.
- Special focus on women entrepreneurs and Aspirational districts.
- Encourage Waste to Wealth activities.
- Focus on minor forest produce in Tribal Districts.
- Centrally Sponsored Expenditure to be shared by Government of India and States at 60:40.
- 2,00,000 micro-enterprises are to be assisted with credit linked subsidy. Micro enterprises will get credit linked subsidy at 35 per cent of the eligible project cost with ceiling of Rs. 10 lakh.
- Beneficiary contribution will be minimum 10 per cent and balance from loan. Seed capital will be given to SHGs (Rs. four lakh per SHG) for loan to members for working capital and small tools.
- Cluster approach.
- Focus on perishables.
Administrative and Implementation Mechanisms:
- The Scheme would be monitored at Centre by an Inter-Ministerial Empowered Committee (IMEC) under the Chairmanship of Minister, FPI.
- A State/ UT Level Committee (SLC) chaired by the Chief Secretary will monitor and sanction/ recommend proposals for expansion of micro units and setting up of new units by the SHGs/ FPOs/ Cooperatives.
- The States/ UTs will prepare Annual Action Plans covering various activities for implementation of the scheme, which will be approved by Government of India.
- A third party evaluation and mid-term review mechanism would be built in the programme.
- National level portal would be set-up wherein the applicants/ individual enterprise could apply to participate in the Scheme. All the scheme activities would be undertaken on the National portal.
Benefits of the scheme:
- Nearly eight lakh micro- enterprises will benefit through access to information, better exposure and formalization.
- It will enable them to formalize, grow and become competitive.
- The project is likely to generate nine lakh skilled and semi-skilled jobs.
- Scheme envisages increased access to credit by existing micro food processing entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in the Aspirational Districts.
- Better integration with organized markets.
- Increased access to common services like sorting, grading, processing, packaging, storage etc.
Why do we need this scheme?
- There are about 25 lakh unregistered food processing enterprises which constitute 98% of the sector and are unorganized and informal. Nearly 66 % of these units are located in rural areas and about 80% of them are family-based enterprises.
- This sector faces a number of challenges including the inability to access credit, high cost of institutional credit, lack of access to modern technology, inability to integrate with the food supply chain and compliance with the health &safety standards.
Strengthening this segment will lead to reduction in wastage, creation of off-farm job opportunities and aid in achieving the overarching Government objective of doubling farmers’ income.
- Difference between centrally sponsored and central sector scheme.
- Core vs core of core schemes.
- Role of states in this scheme.
- Who monitors this scheme at state levels?
- Focus of the scheme.
Discuss the significance of the Scheme for formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (FME).
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Schemes for the vulnerable sections of the society.
According to the SBI Research report on ECLGS:
- The scheme has saved 13.5 lakh firms from going bankrupt and consequently 1.5 crore jobs.
- In absolute terms, MSME loan accounts worth Rs 1.8 lakh crore were saved.
- Almost 93.7 per cent of such accounts are in the micro and small category.
- Amongst the states, Gujarat has been the biggest beneficiary, followed by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
About the scheme:
The scheme was launched as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package announced in May 2020 to mitigate the distress caused by coronavirus-induced lockdown, by providing credit to different sectors, especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
- 100% guarantee coverage is being provided by the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company, whereas Banks and Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) provide loans.
- The credit will be provided in the form of a Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL) facility.
- No Guarantee Fee shall be charged by NCGTC from the Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) under the Scheme.
- Interest rates under the Scheme shall be capped at 9.25% for banks and FIs, and at 14% for NBFCs.
- In August 2020, the scheme was extended to Mudra borrowers and Individual loans for business purposes.
- On Nov 20, the scheme was extended through ECLGS 2.0 for 26 sectors identified by the Kamath Committee and for the Health Care sector up to Mar 21, for entities with outstanding credit of above Rs.50 crore and not exceeding Rs.500 crore.
Benefits of the scheme:
- The scheme is expected to provide credit to the sector at a low cost, thereby enabling MSMEs to meet their operational liabilities and restart their businesses.
- By supporting MSMEs to continue functioning during the current unprecedented situation, the Scheme is also expected to have a positive impact on the economy and support its revival.
First Ever International SME Convention was held in 2018 in New Delhi. What were its objectives? Reference
- Classification of MSMEs- old vs new.
- Contributions of MSMEs to GDP.
- What are NBFCs?
- What is GECL facility?
- What is NCGTC?
Discuss the significance of the scheme.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act and other related issues.
The Election Commission of India has raised the expenditure limit for candidates contesting elections.
The following changes have been made:
- The expenditure limit for candidates for Lok Sabha constituencies was increased from Rs 54 lakh-Rs 70 lakh (depending on states) to Rs 70 lakh-Rs 95 lakh.
- The spending limit for Assembly constituencies was hiked from Rs 20 lakh-Rs 28 lakh to Rs 28 lakh- Rs 40 lakh (depending on states).
- The enhanced amount of Rs 40 lakh would apply in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab and ₹28 lakh in Goa and Manipur.
Under Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951, every candidate shall keep a separate and correct account of all expenditure incurred between the date on which they have been nominated and the date of declaration of the result.
- All candidates are required to submit their expenditure statement to the ECI within 30 days of the completion of the elections.
- An incorrect account or expenditure beyond the cap can lead to disqualification of the candidate by the ECI for up to three years, under Section 10A of RPA, 1951.
The last major revision in the election expenditure limit for candidates was carried out in 2014, which was further increased by 10 per cent in 2020.
- The same year, ECI also formed to study the cost factors and other related issues, and make suitable recommendations.
Why is there a need for a ceiling on expenditures?
- Limits on campaign expenditure are meant to provide a level-playing field for everyone contesting elections. It ensures that a candidate can’t win only because she is rich.
- The 255th Report of the Law Commission on electoral reforms argued that unregulated or under-regulated election financing could lead to “lobbying and capture, where a sort of quid pro quo transpires between big donors and political parties/candidates”.
Cap on party spends:
The EC has asked the government to amend the R P Act and Rule 90 of The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, to introduce a ceiling on campaign expenditure by political parties in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
- It should be either 50% of or not more than the expenditure ceiling limit provided for the candidate multiplied by the number of candidates of the party contesting the election.
- The limit will ensure level playing field for all political parties and curb the menace of unaccounted money in elections.
- It will also control the money power used by political parties and their allies.
Supreme Court observations:
Supreme Court of India has said that money is bound to play an important part in the successful pursuit of an election campaign in Kanwar Lal Gupta Vs Amarnath Chawla case.
- Voters get influenced by the visibility of a candidate and party and huge election spending thus impacts voter’s choice.
Various Committees and Commissions in this regard:
- Law Commission of India- 170th Report on “Reform of the Electoral Laws” in 1999.
- Election Commission of India- Report in 2004 on “Proposed Electoral Reforms”.
- Goswami Committee on Electoral Reforms in 1990.
- Vohra Committee Report in 1993.
- Indrajeet Gupta Committee on State Funding of Elections in 1998.
- National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution in 2001.
- Second Administrative Reforms Commission in 2008.
Recently, the Law Commission in its 255th Report has also made several recommendations on electoral reforms under 3 categories namely viz:
- Limits on political contribution and party candidate expenditure.
- Disclosure norms and requirements.
- State funding of elections.
These recommendations of the Law Commission are under consideration of the government.
Did you know that there is no cap on a political party’s expenditure? However, all registered political parties have to submit a statement of their election expenditure to the ECI within 90 days of the completion of the elections.
- Overview of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961.
- Revised poll spending limits.
- About election commission.
- Who decides on issues related to poll spending?
- Is there any limit on party spending?
- Various committees and Commissions in this regard.
Money is bound to play an important part in the successful pursuit of an election campaign. Discuss.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Environment and conservation related issues.
The Government is preparing to translocate the first batch of eight from South Africa and Namibia to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh soon after the situation linked to the current third wave of Covid-19 becomes normal, and total 50 in various parks over a period of five years.
In this regard, the Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change has launched the ‘Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India’ under which 50 of these big cats will be introduced in the next five years.
- The action plan was launched at the 19th meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
What is reintroduction and why reintroduce Cheetah now?
- ‘Reintroduction’ of a species means releasing it in an area where it is capable of surviving.
- Reintroductions of large carnivores have increasingly been recognised as a strategy to conserve threatened species and restore ecosystem functions.
- The cheetah is the only large carnivore that has been extirpated, mainly by over-hunting in India in historical times.
- India now has the economic ability to consider restoring its lost natural heritage for ethical as well as ecological reasons.
- The cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, is one of the oldest of the big cat species, with ancestors that can be traced back more than five million years to the Miocene era.
- The cheetah is also the world’s fastest land mammal.
- It is listed as vulnerable in IUCN red listed species.
- The country’s last spotted feline died in Chhattisgarh in 1947. Later, the cheetah — which is the fastest land animal — was declared extinct in India in 1952.
- The Asiatic cheetah is classified as a “critically endangered” species by the IUCN Red List, and is believed to survive only in Iran.
Cheetah reintroduction programme in India:
The Wildlife Institute of India at Dehradun had prepared a ₹260-crore cheetah re-introduction project seven years ago.
- India has plans to reintroduce cheetahs at the Kuno National Park in Sheopur and Morena districts of Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior-Chambal region.
- This could be the world’s first inter-continental cheetah translocation project.
Reasons for extinction:
- The reasons for extinction can all be traced to man’s interference. Problems like human-wildlife conflict, loss of habitat and loss of prey, and illegal trafficking, have decimated their numbers.
- The advent of climate change and growing human populations have only made these problems worse.
- With less available land for wildlife, species that require vast home range like the cheetah are placed in competition with other animals and humans, all fighting over less space.
Do you know about the NTCA?
- The National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. It was constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the scheme on Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II for Intra-State Transmission System (InSTS).
What is the Green Energy Corridor Project for Intra-State Transmission System (InSTS)?
The Green Energy Corridor(GEC) Project aims at synchronizing electricity produced from renewable sources such as solar and wind with conventional power stations in the grid.
Phase I of the Project:
- It is being implemented by eight renewable-rich states of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.
- Under this phase, the target is to install 9700 circuit km of transmission lines and 22,600 MegaVolt-Amperes(MVA) transformation capacity of substations by 2022.
- The funding mechanism consists of a 40% Government of India Grant, 20% state equity and a 40% loan from KfW Bank, Germany.
Phase II of the Project:
- It is being implemented in seven States namely, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
- Under this phase, the target is to install 10,750 circuit km of transmission lines and 27,500 MegaVolt-Amperes(MVA) transformation capacity of substations by 2025-26.
- The Centre will provide assistance at 33% of the cost of the project.
Need for a Green Energy Corridor in India:
- Prime Minister has pledged to increase the country’s non-fossil fuel power generation capacity to 500GW and meet 50% of its energy requirements from renewable sources by the end of this decade. So there is a need for integration.
- The scheme will help in achieving the target of 450 GW installed RE capacity by 2030.
- It will also contribute to long-term energy security of the country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by reducing the carbon footprint.
- It will generate large direct and indirect employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled personnel in power and other related sectors.
- The GEC will help in offsetting the intra-state transmission charges and keep the power costs down. Thus, the government support will ultimately benefit the end users.
- It helps India to increase the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40% by 2030.
- The project is expected to help India meet the climate commitments it made at the COP-26 summit in Glasgow.
Sources: Indian Express.
Facts for Prelims:
India’s first open rock museum:
The Ministry of Science & Technology has inaugurated India’s first open rock museum displaying different types of rocks gathered from different States of ages ranging from 3.3 billion years to around 55 million years.
- These rocks also represent the deepest part of the earth up to 175 kms of distance from the surface of the earth.
Article 348 (1):
Article 348 (1) of the Constitution of India provides that all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High court shall be in English Language until Parliament by law otherwise provides.
- Under Article 348 (2), the Governor of the State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorize the use of the Hindi language or any other language used for any official purpose of the State, in the proceedings of the High Court having its principal seat in that State provided that decrees, judgments or orders passed by such High Courts shall be in English.
Why in News?
A Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court recently asked a journalist facing contempt of court proceedings to speak only in English as that was the language in the higher judiciary.
Articles to be covered tomorrow:
- Extended Producer Responsibility.
- Reciprocal Access Agreement.
- SAAR Program.
- Jagannath temple.
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