- SWADES: Skill Mapping Exercise for Returning Citizens
- EGoS and PDCs for attracting investments in India
- Implementing New Norms of classification of MSMEs
- Establishment of PCIM&H
Focus: GS-II Social Justice, Prelims
Why in news?
With the aim of making the best of our skilled workforce returning to the country due to the ongoing pandemic, the Government of India has launched a new initiative SWADES.
- SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) is implemented to conduct a skill mapping exercise of the returning citizens under the Vande Bharat Mission.
- SWADES is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of External Affairs.
- SWADES aims to create a database of qualified citizens based on their skillsets and experience to tap into and fulfil demand of Indian and foreign companies.
- The collected information will be shared with the companies for suitable placement opportunities in the country.
- MSDE’s (Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) implementation arm National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is supporting the implementation of the project.
SWADES Skills Card
- The returning citizens are required to fill up an online SWADES Skills Card.
- SWADES Skills Card will facilitate a strategic framework to provide the returning citizens with suitable employment opportunities through discussions with key stakeholders including State Governments, Industry Associations and Employers.
- The data collected through SWADES Skill Card will help the citizens with job prospects and bridge the demand-supply gap.
Why is the SWADES initiative necessary?
- A lot of our overseas workers returning to India due to job losses, possess international skill sets and experience which can be of great value for domestic and international markets.
- The initiative will help in deployment of returning Indian workforce matching their skill sets.
Focus: GS-III Indian Economy
Why in news?
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for setting up of an “Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS) and Project Development Cells (PDCs) in Ministries/Departments of Government of Indiafor attracting investments in India”.
- Government is determined to put in place an investment friendly ecosystem that strongly supports the domestic investor as well as FDI and will boost the economy manifold.
- Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) proposes strategic implementation of an integrated approach that will eventually bring about synergies between Ministries/Departments and among the Central and State Governments in our investment and related incentive policies.
Opportunities that the proposal targets
- In the midst of current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, India is presented with an opportunity to attract FDI inflows into the country especially from large companies which seek to diversify their investments into new geographies and mitigate risks.
- Also, ramping up production across product lines will help to serve big markets in the US, EU, China and elsewhere.
- The proposal aims to take advantage of these opportunities from the global economic situation to make India among the largest players in the global value chain.
Objectives of Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS):
- To bring synergies and ensure timely clearances from different departments and Ministries.
- To attract increased investments into India and provide investment support and facilitation to global investors.
- To facilitate investments of top investors in a targeted manner and to usher policy stability & consistency in the overall investment environment.
- To evaluate investments put forward by the departments on the basis of their project creation and actual investments that come.
- Further, these departments would be given targets for completion of various stages by the Empowered Group.
Project Development Cell (PDC) for boosting investment and projects
- A ‘Project Development Cell’ (PDC) is also approved for the development of investible projects in coordination between the Central Government and State Governments and thereby grow the pipeline of investible projects in India and in turn increase FDI inflows. Under the guidance of the Secretary, an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary of each relevant central line Ministry, who will be in-charge of the PDC will be tasked to conceptualize, strategize, implement, and disseminate details with respect to investable projects.
PDC will have the following objectives:
- To create projects with all approvals, land available for allocation and with the complete Detailed Project Reports for adoption/investment by investors.
- To identify issues that need to be resolved in order to attract and finalise the investments and put forth these before the Empowered Group.
Focus: GS-III Indian Economy
Why in news?
Implementation of the revised definition and criteria of MSMEs in the country will come into effect from 1st July, 2020.
Background to the Revision of Definition
- The existing criterion of definition of MSMEs is based on the MSMED Act, 2006.
- It was different for manufacturing and services units.
- It was also very low in terms of financial limits.
- Since then, the economy has undergone significant changes.
- After 14 years since the MSME Development Act came into existence in 2006, a revision in MSME definition was announced in the Atmnirbhar Bharat package on 13th May, 2020.
Revised Definition (Latest, as of 3rd June 2020)
- As per the revised definition, any firm with investment up to Rs 1 crore and turnover under Rs 5 crore will be classified as “micro”.
- A company with investment up to Rs 10 crore and turnover up to Rs 50 crore will be classified as “small”.
- A firm with investment up to Rs 50 crore and turnover under Rs 250 crore will be classified as “medium”.
Why was the change necessary?
- There are around 6.3 crore MSME units in the country, with over 99% categorised as small units.
- The current definition is linked to investment in plant and machinery.
- The government has been pushing for turnover-based classification.
- The Citicisms against the move to define MSMEs based on Turnover is that, it will not be in the interest of manufacturers but will benefit assemblers.
- The Government wants to make this move because MSMEs may get hobbled by the definition that was put in place in 2006, when they try to scale up to take on competition from larger and foreign players.
Benefit of the Revised definition
- Ministry officials said that the new definition will pave way for strengthening and growth of the MSMEs.
- Particularly, the provision of excluding the exports from counting of turnover will encourage the MSMEs to export more and more without fearing to lose the benefits of a MSME unit.
- This is expected to exponentially add to exports from the country leading to more growth and economic activity and creation of jobs.
ESTABLISHMENT OF PCIM&H
Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to re-establish Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) as Subordinate Office under Ministry of AYUSH.
Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) will be re-established by merging into it Pharmacopoeia Laboratory for Indian Medicine (PLIM) and Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory (HPL).
Benefits of the merger
- The merger is aimed at optimizing the use of infrastructural facilities, technical manpower and financial resources of the three organizations for enhancing the standardization outcomes of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs towards their effective regulation and quality control.
- This merger will facilitate focused and cohesive development of standards of AYUSH drugs and publication of pharmacopoeias and formularies.
- It is also intended to accord legal status to the merged structure of PCIM&H and its laboratory by virtue of making necessary amendment and enabling provisions in the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H)
- Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) is an autonomous organization under Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India since 2010.
- The PCIM&H has a primary mandate of publishing Pharmacopoeias and Formularies for drugs/formulations used in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani (ASU) and Homoeopathy (ASU&H) systems of Medicine.
- The Commission serves as an umbrella organization for Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Committee (APC), Siddha Pharmacopoeia Committee (SPC), Unani Pharmacopoeia Committee (UPC) and Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia Committee (HPC).
Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
- The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 is an Act of the Parliament of India which regulates the import, manufacture and distribution of drugs in India.
- The primary objective of the act is to ensure that the drugs and cosmetics sold in India are safe, effective and conform to state quality standards.
- The Act lacks specific penalties for violating provisions relating to clinical trials.
Recently in news:
- The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has formally recognised the Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP), and has become the first country to do so.
- The Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) book is a reputable book of standards for drugs and it will be used in Afghanistan to ensure quality of health products.
- Indian Pharmacopoeia is an officially recognized book of standards as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules 1945 thereunder.
- As per the Second Schedule of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, IP is designated as the official book of standards for drugs imported and/or manufactured for sale, stock or exhibition for sale or distribution in India.
- It specifies the standards of drugs manufactured and marketed in India in terms of their identity, purity and strength.