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PIB 3rd February 2021

Contents

  1. Steps taken to promote entrepreneurship in North-Eastern Region
  2. State Reform Action Plan (SRAP) rankings released
  3. Lithium deposits in Mandya, Karnataka
  4. Workshop to control Orobanche in mustard

STEPS TAKEN TO PROMOTE ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN NORTH-EASTERN REGION

Context:

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) said that the Government has initiated and implemented several initiatives to promote entrepreneurship in North-Eastern Region.

Relevance:

GS-III: Indian Economy (Economic Development and steps taken) GS-II: Social Justice (Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Institutes in the Northeast to promote Entrepreneurship
  2. Schemes to promote Employability
  3. Credit related schemes
  4. Connectivity Improvements in the Northeast
  5. Tapping the potential of Bamboo and National Bamboo Mission (NBM)

Institutes in the Northeast to promote Entrepreneurship

  • The institutional framework for promotion of entrepreneurship is provided by several institutes in NER like Indian Institute of Entrpreneurship (IIE), Guwahati; three Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) in NER, Institutes of Hotel Management at Guwahati and Shillong, Film and Television Institute at Jollang-Rakap (Jote), Arunachal Pradesh, and National Institute of Design (NID), Jorhat, Assam.
  • These institutes provide opportunity for skilling and nurturing young creative talent and design aspirants from North East Region and boost entrepreneurship.

Schemes to promote Employability

Krishi Udaan Scheme

  • ‘Krishi Udan Scheme’ is implemented by the Aviation Ministry for transporting agricultural products of farmers.
  • The scheme is launched on both international and national routes, which will improve the value realisation on the agricultural products of the farmers.
  • The scheme will assist the farmers with more focus on north-east and tribal districts.
  • This is along the lines of the UDAAN Scheme launched in 2016, to boost regional connectivity at affordable air-fares.

Van Dhan Vikas Kendras

  • The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED launched in 2018 seeking to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.
  • At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at grassroot level.
  • Locally, the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKS) shall constitute of 15 tribal SHGs, each comprising of up to 20 tribal Non-timber forest products (NTFP) gatherers or artisans (i.e., about 300 beneficiaries per Kendra) for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility.
  • TRIFED will support the VDVKs through providing them with model business plans, processing plans & tentative list of equipment for carrying out the value addition work of MFPs.

PMYUVA Pilot

Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana (PM-YUVA) is the initiative of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) on entrepreneurship education and training, advocacy and easy access to entrepreneurship support network to over 7 lakh youth to initiate maximum start-ups over five years.

The two prime objectives of the scheme are:

  1. Educate and equip potential and early-stage entrepreneurs
  2. Connect entrepreneurs in enabling networks of peers, mentors, incubators, funding and business services

In Assam and Meghalaya, the PMYUVA Pilot is being implemented in selected Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Polytechnics, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKKs) centres and Jan Sikshan Sansthan (JSS). 

Under PMYUVA, 25 project institutes have been selected for the pilot project on Entrepreneurship Development in Assam and Meghalaya.

Credit related schemes

Entrepreneurs in the Northeast region (NER) have also been benefitted under various credit related schemes.

Stand-Up India

  • Stand-Up India was launched by Government of India in 2016 to support entrepreneurship among women and SC & ST communities.
  • It is similar to but distinct from Startup India. Both are enablers and are the beneficiaries of other key Government of India schemes, such as Make in India, Digital India etc.

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)

  • The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) was launched in 2015 to enable Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), Non-Banking financial institutions/Companies (NBFCs), Small Finance Banks, RBRs, Commercial Banks, Cooperative Banks, etc. to provide Low-Rate Loans to eligible entities.
  • The loans are basically for people having a business plan in a Non-Farming Sector with Income generating activities like manufacturing, processing, trade, service-sector etc.
  • The Indian Citizen seeking MUDRA Loans under the PMMY Scheme will have to approach either an MFI, Bank or NBFC to avail it.

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)

  • The Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is implemented by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) functioning as the nodal agency at the national level.
  • The objective of PMEGP is to generate employment opportunities in rural as well as urban areas through setting up of self-employment ventures.
  • The scheme aims to provide continuous and sustainable employment to a large segment of traditional and prospective artisans and unemployed youth, so as to help arrest migration of rural youth to urban areas.
  • The scheme is applicable to all viable (technically as well as economically) projects in rural as well as urban areas, under Micro enterprises sector.

North East Venture Fund (NEVF)

  • The NEVF (North East Venture Fund) was launched in 2017 to contribute to the entrepreneurship development of the NER and achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns through long term capital appreciation by way of investments in privately negotiated equity/ equity related investments.
  • NEVF is the first, and only dedicated Venture Fund for the Northeastern region.

Connectivity Improvements in the Northeast

  • Development of Inland Waterways- National Waterways 2 and National Waterways 16 will provide connectivity to Haldia through Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route and greatly benefit the eco-system by reducing cost.
  • Tripura recently opened its first-ever inland waterway with Bangladesh from Sonamura (about 60 km from Agartala) in the Indian side, and Daudkandi of Chittagong in Bangladesh.
  • The forthcoming Agartala-Akhaura rail project, Indo-Bangla bridge over River Feni and a second Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Sabroom are also aimed at taking up the quantum of trade between India and Bangladesh.
  • Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory body in charge of the waterways in India, constituted under IWAI Act-1985 for the development and regulation of Inland waterways for shipping and navigation.

Tapping the potential of Bamboo and National Bamboo Mission (NBM)

  • The National Bamboo Mission (NBM) was launched in 2018 as a sub scheme under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) to increase area under bamboo cultivation and also adopting region-based strategies to promote bamboo products.
  • NBM specially covers North Eastern States and also the other states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Karnataka etc.
  • They are found in almost all the states of the country, from the tropical to the temperate regions and the alluvial plains to the high mountains, the only exception where they do not occur naturally is Kashmir.
  • Bamboo can be processed into multiple products, including bio-diesel and green fuel, wooden lumbers and plywood, which can change the entire face of the economy and create employment opportunities in multiple sectors.
  • Bamboo which has the potential to change the NE economy has got a boost with setting up of bio-refinery at Numaligarh, Assam and Bamboo Industrial Park at Dima Hasao, Assam.
  • Increase of import duty to 25% on bamboo sticks for Agarbattis and amendment in Indian Forest Act, 1927 – are also aimed at increasing the importance given to bamboo production within the country.

-Source: PIB


STATE REFORM ACTION PLAN (SRAP) RANKINGS RELEASED

Context:

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has released the rankings of States and Union Territories (UTs) under State Reform Action Plan (SRAP).

Relevance:

GS-III: Indian Economy (Economic Development)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About State Reform Action Plan (SRAP), 2019

About State Reform Action Plan (SRAP), 2019

  • The State Reform Action Plan (SRAP), 2019 included 187 reform points covering 12 business regulatory areas for the purpose of improving ease of doing business and enabling business environment.
  • The 12 business regulatory areas are: Access to Information & Transparency Enablers, Labour Regulation-Enablers, Construction Permit Enablers, Single Window System, Sector Specific, Inspection Enablers, Paying Taxes, Environment Registration Enablers, Obtaining Utility Permits, Land Administration/Transfer of Property, Contract Enforcement and Land Availability and Allotment.
  • It is noted that some States/UTs have improved their ranking while others have slipped down in the SRAP, 2019 as compared to their previous year’s rankings.
  • The assessment under SRAP, 2019 indicates the area-wise performance of States/UTs based on feedback received from user/professionals.
  • States/UTs have been encouraged to implement the remaining reforms and to work on generating more awareness among general public.
  • Further, DPIIT has prepared a 301-point State Reforms Action Plan, 2020 spread across 15 reform areas and seeks to promote sector-specific approach so as to create an enabling business environment across various sectors in the country.

-Source: PIB


LITHIUM DEPOSITS IN MANDYA, KARNATAKA

Context:

Preliminary surveys on surface and limited subsurface have shown presence of Lithium resources of 1,600 tonnes in the pegmatites of Marlagalla – Allapatna area, Mandya district, Karnataka.

Relevance:

GS-I: Geography (Minerals and industries – mineral distribution), GS-III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Lithium and its significance
  2. Global producers of lithium
  3. Benefits of Domestic Exploration of Lithium in India
  4. Potential sites for Lithium source in India apart from Karnataka
  5. India and Bolivia agreement for Lithium sources

About Lithium and its significance

  • Lithium is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal (element with atomic number 3) which is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element under standard conditions.
  • Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in mineral oil.
  • It never occurs freely in nature, but only in (usually ionic) compounds, such as pegmatitic minerals, which were once the main source of lithium.
  • So far, in the absence of local mines for lithium, India has set up Khanij Bidesh India to source and acquire mines in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
  • India currently imports all its lithium needs.

Uses of Lithium

  • Late in the 20th century, lithium became an important component of battery electrolytes and electrodes, because of its high electrode potential.
  • Because of its low atomic mass, it has a high charge- and power-to-weight ratio.
  • Lithium oxide is widely used as a flux for processing silica and this is one of the largest uses for lithium compounds.
  • The third most common use of lithium is in greases as Lithium soap has the ability to thicken oils.
  • Lithium compounds are used as pyrotechnic colorants and oxidizers in red fireworks and flares.
  • Lithium-6 is valued as a source material for tritium production and as a neutron absorber in nuclear fusion. Lithium deuteride was the fusion fuel of choice in early versions of the hydrogen bomb.

Global producers of lithium

Rank        Country/RegionLithium production (tonnes)
1Australia51,000
2Chile        16,000
3China8,000
4 Argentina6,200

Benefits of Domestic Exploration of Lithium in India

  • India currently imports all its lithium needs, with an estimated import bill of upwards of USD 3.3 billion.
  • China is a major source of lithium-ion energy storage products being imported into the country, therefore domestic exploration with reduce the import bills as well as the dependency on China.

Issues Associated with Domestic Exploration of Lithium sources in India

  • The lithium find in India is comparatively small, considering the size of the proven reserves in Bolivia, Argentina, Australia, and China respectively.
  • India is seen as a late mover in attempts to enter the lithium value chain, coming at a time when Electric Vehicles are predicted to be a sector ripe for disruption.

Potential sites for Lithium source in India apart from Karnataka

  1. The major mica belts in Rajasthan, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh.
  2. Pegmatite (igneous rocks) belts in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
  3. Brines of Sambhar and Pachpadra in Rajasthan, and Rann of Kachchh in Gujarat.

India and Bolivia agreement for Lithium sources

  • India and Bolivia signed a mutually beneficial partnership in 2019 to facilitate Bolivian supplies of lithium Carbonate to India and foster joint ventures for lithium battery/cell production plants in India.
  • Bolivia is estimated to hold over 60% of the world’s reserves for lithium but has not yet started producing it commercially.
  • India is the second largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world and has the ambitious goal of 30 per cent electric vehicles by 2030. But India imports all its lithium-ion batteries since India has no known sources of lithium, and zero lithium-ion battery manufacturing capabilities currently.
  • With this agreement, number of Indian companies setting up production capabilities in Bolivia goes up, as well as the import of lithium to India.

-Source: PIB


WORKSHOP TO CONTROL OROBANCHE IN MUSTARD

Context:

A field workshop on “Techno-management options to control Orobanche in mustard-a pilot study” was organized in Rajasthan.

Relevance:

Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Orobanche?

What is Orobanche?

  • Orobanche is a genus of over 200 species of parasitic herbaceous plants in the family Orobanchaceae.
  • As they have no chlorophyll, they are totally dependent on other plants for nutrients – therefore they are PARASITIC in nature.
  • Orobanche a serious hidden parasitic weed in mustard cause severe yield loss to the extent of up to 50% and there is no absolute control measures developed so far.
  • On this occasion a technical bulletin and a leaflet on Orobanche management was released. In the scientist-farmer interaction, famers expressed their misery due to menace caused by Orobanche in the mustard which is a main cash crop in this region and asked for any immediate control measure.

-Source: PIB

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