- Gramodyog Vikas Yojana
- Smart India Hackathon 2020
- 15th FC’s HLEG on Agricultural Exports
- ARHCs Knowledge Pack released
Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) approved a programme for the benefit of artisans involved in manufacturing of Agarbatti and to develop village industry under ‘Gramodyog Vikas Yojana’.
Agarbatti and Gramodyog Vikas Yojana
- The programme aims to enhance the production of ‘Agarbatti’ in the country and create sustainable employment for the traditional Artisans, by providing them regular employment and increase in their wages.
- As per the programme, initially four Pilot Projects will be started, including one in North Eastern part of the country.
- Each targeted cluster of artisans will be supported with about 50 Automatic Agarbatti making machines and 10 Mixing machines.
- Accordingly, a total of 200 Automatic Agarbatti making machines and 40 Mixing machines will be provided to the artisans.
- Automatic Agarbatti making machines and Mixing machines will be provided to the artisans.
- ‘Gramodyog Vikas Yojana’ will give a boost to the domestic Agarbatti Industry in the country and will reduce imports of Agarbatti.
Role of KVIC
- Under this Mission, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), one of the statutory organizations, working under the M/o MSME,will provide training.
- KVIC will assist artisans working in this area, with Agarbatti manufacturing machines.
- KVIC will tie up with Khadi institutions / Agarbatti manufacturers in the country, having good track record, to provide work and raw material to ‘Agarbatti making artisans’.
Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
Indian Prime Minister will address the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2020.
Smart India Hackathon 2020
- Smart India Hackathon is a nationwide initiative to provide students with a platform to solve some of the pressing problems we face in our daily lives, and thus inculcate a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem-solving.
- It has proved to be extremely successful in promoting out-of-the-box thinking in young minds.
- In SIH 2020, the students would have the opportunity to work on challenges faced within various Ministries, Departments, Industries, PSUs and NGOs to create world class solutions for some of the top organizations including industries in the world, thus helping the Private sector hire the best minds from across the nation.
- The first three editions SIH2017, SIH2018 and SIH2019 proved to be extremely successful in promoting innovation, out-of-the-box thinking in young minds, especially engineering students from across India.
Focus: GS-III Indian Economy
Why in news?
The High-Level Group (HLEG) on Agricultural Exports set up by the Fifteenth Finance Commission to recommend measurable performance incentives for States to encourage agricultural exports and to promote crops to enable high import substitution, has submitted its report to the Commission.
Highlights of the recommendations
After intensive research and consultations and taking inputs from stakeholders and the private sector through intensive consultations, the HLEG has made its recommendations, major among which are:
- Focus on 22 crop value chains – demand driven approach.
- Solve Value Chain Clusters (VCC) holistically with focus on value addition.
- Create State led export plan with participation from stakeholders.
- Private Sector should play an anchor role.
- Centre should be an enabler.
- Robust institutional mechanism to fund and support implementation.
The Group in its report has recommended a State-led Export Plan – a business plan for a crop value chain cluster, that will lay out the opportunity, initiatives and investment required to meet the desired value chain export aspiration.
The Group has also said that for the success of the State led Export Plan, the following factors needed to be considered: –
- Plans should be collaboratively prepared with private sector players and Commodity Boards.
- Leveraging of state plan guide and value chain deep dives.
- Private sector should play an anchor role in driving outcomes and execution.
- Centre should enable state-led plans.
- Institutional governance should be promoted across state and centre.
- Funding through convergence of existing schemes, Finance Commission allocation and private sector investment.
Views of HELG
- India’s agricultural export has the potential to grow from USD 40 billion to USD 70 billion in a few years.
- The estimated investment in agricultural export could be in the tune to USD 8-10 billion across inputs, infrastructure, processing and demand enablers.
- Additional exports are likely to create an estimated 7-10 million jobs.
- It will lead to higher farm productivity and farmer income.
Focus: GS-III Indian Economy
Why in news?
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) released a ARHCs Knowledge Pack (AKP).
- Recently the Union Cabinet approved Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) as a sub scheme under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) to provide ease of living to urban migrants/poor.
- A mobile application of CREDAI – Awaas App and an e-Commerce Portal of NAREDCO – Housing for All was released which will leverage technology and provide benefits to home buyers in changing market practices by providing effective solutions.
ARHCs will be implemented through two Models:
Model-1: Utilizing existing Government funded vacant houses to convert into ARHCs through Public Private Partnership or by public agencies for a period of 25 years.
- The scheme provides an opportunity for all States/UTs to convert their existing vacant houses constructed under various Central/ State Government schemes into ARHCs.
- A model RFP has been shared with all States for customisation and issuance by them to select a concessionaire.
Model-2: Construction, Operation and Maintenance of ARHCs by Public/ Private Entities on their own available vacant land for a period of 25 years.
- A large portion of available vacant land is lying unutilized with various Industries, Trade Associations, Manufacturing Companies, Educational/ Health Institutions, Development Authorities, Housing Boards, Central/ State Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and other such Entities. By providing with appropriate policy support, enabling suitable provisions and incentives, these available vacant lands can be utilised effectively for developing affordable housing facilities to migrants/ poor.
- Further, MoHUA will issue Expression of Interest (EoI) for shortlisting of Entities by ULBs to Construct, Operate and Maintain ARHCs on their own available vacant land.
Incentives/Benefits proposed for Private/Public Entities
To make this a lucrative and viable business opportunity for Entities, Central Govt. will provide Concessional Project finance under Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) & Priority Sector Lending (PSL), Exemption in Income Tax and GST and Technology Innovation Grant for promotion of innovative technologies in ARHCs.