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PIB 31st March 2021

CONTENTS

  1. UDAN
  2. EXERCISE VAJRA PRAHAR 2021
  3. NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK
  4. ELECTORAL BONDS

UDAN

Focus: GS III- Infrastructure

Why in news?

In a constant endeavour to connect the unconnected regions, 22 new routes have been operationalised in the last 3 days under the UDAN scheme out of which 6 new routes have been operationalised in North-East India.

About Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN):

Nodal:  Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA)

  •  It is an innovative scheme to develop the regional aviation market.
  • The objective of scheme is to create affordable yet economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes so that flying becomes affordable to the common man even in small towns.
  • The scheme envisages providing connectivity to un-served and underserved airports of the country through the revival of existing air-strips and airports. The scheme is operational for a period of 10 years.

UDAN 1.0

Under this phase, 5 airlines companies were awarded 128 flight routes to 70 airports (including 36 newly made operational airports)

UDAN 2.0

In 2018, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced 73 underserved and unserved airports.

For the first time, helipads were also connected under phase 2 of UDAN scheme.

UDAN 3.0

Key Features of UDAN 3 included:

  • Inclusion of Tourism Routes under UDAN 3 in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism.
  • Inclusion of Seaplanes for connecting Water Aerodromes.
  • Bringing in a number of routes in the North-East Region under the ambit of UDAN.

UDAN 4.0:

  • The 4th round of UDAN was launched in December 2019 with a special focus on North-Eastern Regions, Hilly States, and Islands.
    • The airports that had already been developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) are given higher priority for the award of VGF (Viability Gap Funding) under the Scheme.
    • Under UDAN 4, the operation of helicopter and seaplanes is also been incorporated.

EXERCISE VAJRA PRAHAR 2021

Focus: GS III- Defence

Why in news?

The 11th edition of Indo-US Joint Special Forces Exercise VAJRA PRAHAR 2021 was conducted at Special Forces Training School located at Bakloh, HP in March 2021.

About VAJRA PRAHAR 2021

  • The joint exercise by the Special Forces of both the countries is conducted alternatively between India and the United States to share the best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics as also to improve interoperability between the Special Forces of both nations.
  • Bilateral military exercises and defence exchanges are an important facet of deepening bilateral defence cooperation between friendly countries.
  • During such events, the armies of participating nations jointly train, plan and execute a series of operations for neutralisation of threats of varied nature with a common aim of countering threats of international terrorism through mutual training and jointness.

NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK

Focus: GS II- International Relations

Why in news?

Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs and India’s Governor in New Development Bank (NDB),  attended the 6th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of New Development Bank through video-conference in New Delhi.

Key points:
  • Due to the current pandemic, this Annual Meeting of NDB was organized in virtual mode. 
  • This year’s Annual Meeting theme was “New Development Paradigms: The Evolution of Infrastructure” which is well aligned with its mandate.
  • The meeting was also attended by Governors/Alternate Governors of Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa.

About New development bank:

  • It is a multilateral development bank jointly founded by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) at the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil in 2014.
  • It was formed to support infrastructure and sustainable development efforts in BRICS and other underserved, emerging economies for faster development through innovation and cutting-edge technology.
  • It is headquartered at Shanghai, China.
  • In 2018, the NDB received observer status in the United Nations General Assembly, establishing a firm basis for active and fruitful cooperation with the UN.
Objectives:
  • Fostering development of member countries.
  • Supporting economic growth.
  • Promoting competitiveness and facilitating job creation.
  • Building a knowledge sharing platform among developing countries.

ELECTORAL BONDS

Focus: GS II- Election

About Electoral Bonds:

An electoral bond is like a promissory note that can be bought by any Indian citizen or company incorporated in India from select branches of State Bank of India.

  • The citizen or corporate can then donate the same to any eligible political party of his/her choice.
  • The bonds are similar to bank notes that are payable to the bearer on demand and are free of interest.
  • An individual or party will be allowed to purchase these bonds digitally or through cheque.
All about Electoral Bonds
  • As per provisions of the Scheme, Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person , who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.
  • A person being an individual can buy Electoral Bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
  • Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.
  • The Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank.
  • The bonds are issued in multiples of Rs. 1,000, Rs. 10,000, Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 1 crore without any maximum limit.
  • State Bank of India is authorised to issue and encash these bonds, which are valid for 15 days from the date of issuance.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN INDIA’S HEALTHCARE SECTOR

Focus: GS II- Health

Why in news?

NITI Aayog  released a report outlining the range of investment opportunities in various segments of India’s healthcare sector, including hospitals, medical devices and equipment, health insurance, telemedicine, home healthcare and medical value travel.

Key highlights:

  • India’s healthcare industry has been growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of around 22% since 2016.
  • At this rate, it is expected to reach USD 372 billion in 2022. Healthcare has become one of the largest sectors of the Indian economy, in terms of both revenue and employment.
  • In the first section, this report provides an overview of India’s healthcare sector, including insights about its employment generation potential, the prevailing business and investment climate as well as the overarching policy landscape.
  • The second section highlights the key drivers of growth for the sector and the third elaborates upon the enabling policies and investment opportunities in seven key segments—hospitals and infrastructure, health insurance, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, medical devices, medical tourism, home healthcare as well as telemedicine and other technology-related health services.

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