- DEDICATED FREIGHT CORRIDOR
- ATAL BEEMIT VYAKTI KALYAN YOJANA
- SMART CITY PROJECT
- NATIONAL LIVESTOCK MISSION
- CHAMPION SERVICES SECTOR SCHEME
Focus: GS III- Agriculture
Why in news?
APEDA organizes virtual buyer-seller-meet with Nepal for harnessing and strengthening agri-exports potential.
- In a bid to strengthen the foot-print of India’s agricultural and processed food products export to Nepal, APEDA organized a virtual Buyer Seller Meet (BSM) in association with Indian Embassy, Kathmandu.
- The focus of BSMs have been to engage with all potential countries for providing a platform to connect exporters and importers in the agriculture and allied sectors.
Nodal: Ministry of Commerce and Industry
- The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act, 1985.
- The Authority has its headquarters in New Delhi.
- A Chairman is appointed by the Central Government.
- APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the scheduled products viz. fruits, vegetables and their products; meat and meat products; poultry and poultry products; dairy products; confectionery, biscuits and bakery products; honey, jaggery and sugar products; cocoa and its products, chocolates of all kinds; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; cereal and cereal products; groundnuts, peanuts and walnuts, pickles, papads and chutneys; guar gum; floriculture and floriculture products; herbal and medicinal plants.
- APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor import of sugar.
- Registration of persons as exporters of the scheduled products and fixing of standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports.
- Carrying out inspection of meat and meat products in slaughterhouses, processing plants, storage premises and improving packaging of the scheduled products.
DEDICATED FREIGHT CORRIDOR
Focus: GS III- Infrastructure
Why in news?
Ministry of Railways is executing the work of construction of two dedicated freight corridors namely Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors (EDFC & WDFC) to augment the rail transport capacity.
About Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC):
- It is a high speed and high capacity railway corridor that is exclusively meant for the transportation of goods and commodities.
- It involves integration of better infrastructure and state of the art technology.
DFC consists of two arms:
Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC):
- It starts at Sahnewal (Ludhiana) in Punjab and ends at Dankuni in West Bengal.
- The EDFC route has coal mines, thermal power plants and industrial cities.
- The EDFC route covers Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal
- The World Bank is funding a majority of the EDFC.
Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC):
- The other arm is the around 1,500-km WDFC from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai, touching all major ports along the way.
- The WDFC covers Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
- It is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
- Connecting Link for Eastern and Western Arm: It is under construction between Dadri and Khurja.
- Logistics costs will be reduced.
- Higher energy efficiency.
- Faster movement of goods.
- It is environmentally friendly.
- It will provide ease of doing business.
- Helps in generating more employment.
Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd.
Nodal: Ministry of railways
- It is a special purpose vehicle tasked with planning and completion of 3,306 kms of DFCs.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi and is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).
- It engages in the planning and development, deployment of monetary resources, building, upkeep, and the operation of the DFCs.
Focus: GS III- Environment
Why in news?
The National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 allows the use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC).
Any hydrocarbon fuel that is produced from an organic matter (living or once living material) in a short period of time (days, weeks, or even months) is considered a biofuel.
Biofuels may be solid, liquid or gaseous in nature.
- Solid: Wood, dried plant material, and manure
- Liquid: Bioethanol and Biodiesel
- Gaseous: Biogas
Categories of Biofuels
First generation biofuels:
- These are made from food sources such as sugar, starch, vegetable oil, or animal fats using conventional technology.
- Common first-generation biofuels include Bioalcohols, Biodiesel, Vegetable oil, Bioethers, Biogas.
Second generation biofuels:
- These are produced from non-food crops or portions of food crops that are not edible and considered as wastes, e.g. stems, husks, wood chips, and fruit skins and peeling.
- Thermochemical reactions or biochemical conversion process is used for producing such fuels.
- Examples include cellulose ethanol, biodiesel.
- Also, it is reported that these biofuels emit less greenhouse gases when compared to first generation biofuels.
Third generation biofuels:
- These are produced from micro-organisms like algae.
- Example- Butanol
- Micro-organisms like algae can be grown using land and water unsuitable for food production, therefore reducing the strain on already depleted water sources.
- One disadvantage is that fertilizers used in the production of such crops lead to environment pollution.
Fourth Generation Biofuels:
- In the production of these fuels, crops that are genetically engineered to take in high amounts of carbon are grown and harvested as biomass.
- The crops are then converted into fuel using second generation techniques.
- The fuel is pre-combusted and the carbon is captured. Then the carbon is geo-sequestered, meaning that the carbon is stored in depleted oil or gas fields or in unmineable coal seams.
- Some of these fuels are considered as carbon negative as their production pulls out carbon from environment.
Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP)
- It aims at blending ethanol with petrol, thereby bringing it under the category of biofuels and saving millions of dollars by cutting fuel imports.
- Under EBP program, availability of ethanol will increase due to the higher price for C heavy molasses based ethanol and enabling procurement of ethanol from B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice for the first time.
National Policy on Bio-fuels
- The National Policy on Bio- fuels 2018 has empowered the National Bio-fuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) to allow conversion of surplus quantities of food-grains for production of ethanol during an agriculture crop year when there is projected oversupply of food-grains.
- The objective of the Bio- fuel policy is to achieve 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by the year 2030. The policy also expands the scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for production of advanced bio-fuels.
- Ethanol, an anhydrous ethyl alcohol having chemical formula of C2H5OH, can be produced from sugarcane, maize, wheat, etc which are having high starch content.
- In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process.
- Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends.
- As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution.
- Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as renewable fuel.
ATAL BEEMIT VYAKTI KALYAN YOJANA
Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
The scheme has been extended for the period from 01.07.2020 to 30.06.2021. In order to provide benefit to the Insured Persons who have become unemployed during Covid-19 pandemic, the rate of relief has been enhanced and the eligibility conditions have been relaxed.
- The rate of relief has been doubled from 25 per cent to 50 per cent average per day earning of employee.
- The Insured Person should have been in insurable employment for a minimum period of two years immediately before his/ her unemployment and should have contributed for not less than 78 days in the contribution period immediately preceding the unemployment and minimum 78 days in one of the remaining three contribution periods in two years prior to unemployment. Earlier this condition was a minimum contribution of 78 days in four contribution periods prior to unemployment with minimum two years insurable employment.
- Claim shall become due 30 days after date of unemployment. Earlier this period was 90 days.
- The claim of the IP need not be forwarded by the employer. The claim may be submitted by an IP in the prescribed claim form duly completed online or directly to the branch office.
Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana
- Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana is a welfare measure being implemented by the Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) Corporation.
- It offers cash compensation to insured persons when they are rendered unemployed.
- The scheme provides relief to the extent of 25% of the average per day earning during the previous four contribution periods (total earning during the four-contribution period/730) to be paid up to maximum 90 days of unemployment once in lifetime of the Insured Person.
- Employees covered under Section 2(9) of the ESI Act 1948.
- The Insured Person (IP) should have been rendered unemployed during the period the relief is claimed.
- The Insured Person should have been in insurable employment for a minimum period of two years.
- The Insured Person should have contributed not less than 78 days during each of the preceding four contribution periods.
Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) Corporation
- ESIC is a Statutory Body and Administrative Ministry is Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
- Employees’ State Insurance (abbreviated as ESI) is a self-financing social security and health insurance scheme for Indian workers.
- As it is a legal entity, the corporation can raise loans and take measures for discharging such loans with the prior sanction of the central government and it can acquire both movable and immovable property and all incomes from the property shall vest with the corporation.
- The corporation can set up hospitals either independently or in collaboration with state government or other private entities, but most of the dispensaries and hospitals are run by concerned state governments.
Benefits under ESI Act
- Medical benefit
- Sickness benefit
- Maternity benefit
- Disablement benefit
- Dependants benefit
- Funeral expenses
- Rehabilitation allowance
SMART CITY PROJECT
Focus: Welfare Schemes, Prelims
Nodal: Ministry of Home Affairs
- The project would be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with Centre and State sharing the funding in 60:40 ratio
- As a part of several initiatives for safety of women by the Government, Safe City Projects have been sanctioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Nirbhaya Fund scheme in 8 cities (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow & Mumbai).
- These projects involve identification of hot spots for crimes against women and deployment of various components including infrastructure, technology adoption, and capacity building in community through awareness programmes.
The major components of the Safe City project include, inter-alia:
- Setting up an Integrated Smart Control Room;
- Setting up Pink Out-posts (exclusively administered by Women police) for facilitating ease of filing complaint by women;
- Pink Patrols of Women police;
- Setting up Women Help Desks in all Police Stations with Counsellors;
- Augmentation of existing Asha Jyoti Kendra;
- Implementing Safety measures in buses, including Cameras;
- Improving Street Lighting in identified Hot Spot areas;
- Setting up Pink Toilets;
- Integration of Women power-help line with single Emergency number.
NATIONAL LIVESTOCK MISSION
Focus: GS III- Agriculture
National Livestock Mission is centrally sponsored scheme operating from 2014 onwards in order to ensure quantitative and qualitative improvement in livestock production systems especially in Sheep, Goat, Pig, Poultry, Feed and Fodder sector.
- Sustainable growth and development of the livestock sector, including poultry
- Increasing availability of fodder and feed to substantially reduce the demand-supply gap through measures which include more area coverage under quality fodder seeds, technology promotion, extension, post-harvest management and processing in consonance with diverse agro-climatic condition.
- Accelerating production of quality fodder and fodder seeds through effective seed production chain (Nucleus – Breeder –Foundation – Certified-Truthfully labelled, etc.) with the active involvement of farmers and in collaboration with the dairy/farmers cooperatives, seed corporations, and private sector enterprises.
- Establishing convergence and synergy among ongoing Plan programmes and stakeholders for sustainable livestock development.
- Promoting applied research in prioritized areas of concern in animal nutrition and livestock production.
- Capacity building of state functionaries and livestock owners through strengthened extension machinery to provide quality extension service to farmers.
- Promoting skill-based training and dissemination of technologies for reducing the cost of production, and improving production of livestock sector
- Promoting initiatives for conservation and genetic up-gradation of indigenous breeds of livestock (except bovines which are being covered under another scheme of the Ministry) in collaboration with farmers/farmers’ groups/cooperatives, etc.
- Encouraging the formation of groups of farmers and cooperatives/producers’ companies of small and marginal farmers/livestock owners.
- Promoting innovative pilot projects and mainstreaming of successful pilots relating to livestock sector.
- Providing infrastructure and linkage for marketing, processing and value addition, as forward linkage for the farmer’s enterprises.
- Promoting risk management measures including livestock insurance for farmers.
- Promoting activities to control and prevent animal diseases, environmental pollution, promoting efforts towards food safety and quality, and supply of quality hides and skins through the timely recovery of carcasses.
- Encouraging community participation on sustainable practices related to animal husbandry, involvement of community in breed conservation and creation of resource map for the states.
CHAMPION SERVICES SECTOR SCHEME
Focus: Welfare schemes
- Champion Services Sectors refers to the 12 identified sectors where the Government wants to give focused attention for promoting their development, and realizing their potential.
- It is a Central Sector, umbrella scheme of Department of Commerce for the period 2019-20 to 2023-24.
- Address sectoral and cross cutting issues including regulatory reforms, service standards, data protection etc.
- Promote innovation to enhance competitiveness and productivity
- Boost services exports across broad range of services
- Skill training and employment creation
- These include Information Technology & Information Technology enabled Services (IT& ITeS), Tourism and Hospitality Services, Medical Value Travel, Transport and Logistics Services, Accounting and Finance Services, Audio Visual Services, Legal Services, Communication Services, Construction and Related Engineering Services, Environmental Services, Financial Services and Education Services.
- Ministries/Departments concerned with these sectors have been directed to finalize and implement the Action Plans for the identified Champion Services Sectors which in effect would be their sectoral schemes operating under the umbrella scheme CSSS.
- The respective line Ministries/Departments will also finalize a monitoring mechanism to monitor implementation under the overall guidance of the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) under Cabinet Secretary.
- A dedicated fund of Rs. 5000 crores has been proposed to be established to support initiatives for sectoral Action Plans of the Champion Sectors.