Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 4, 2018

Ministry of Tourism

Paryatan Parv

WHAT

  • The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in collaboration with other Central Ministries, State Governments and Stakeholders is organizing a “Paryatan Parv” across the country from the 16th to 27thSeptember 2018.

OBJECTIVE

  • The Parv is being organized with the objective of drawing focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing the cultural diversity of the country and reinforcing the principle of “Tourism for All”.

Enlighten about the Parv

  • Paryatan Parv will have three main components as like last year, viz. Dekho Apna Desh, Tourism for All and Tourism & Governance.
  • While stressing that this year also Paryatan Parv shall focus on domestic tourists especially to sensitize youth, the Secretary said that India has a huge variety of destinations many of which are yet to be promoted.
  • The Paryatan Parv shall conclude with the World Tourism Day celebrations on 27th September 2018.

Commerce & Industry

Startup India Madhya Pradesh Yatra

What

  • The Madhya Pradesh leg of the Government of India’s Startup India Yatra, held in collaboration with Startup Madhya Pradesh, was launched on 17th of July 2018.
  • The Yatra witnessed the presence of more than 5,000 participants with 427 startups pitching their ideas, of which 136 startups were selected for the Grand Finale
  • The candidates selected for the Grand Finale had been a part of an accelerator programme to train them for finale pitches, and at today’s event, 7 incubators made 110 incubation offers to 71 startups.
  • Cash prizes of Rs. 10 Lakh were awarded to 16 aspiring entrepreneurs ranging between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 75,000.

Enlighten about the yatra

  • A Startup India Yatra van, equipped with facilities, for individuals and startups to pitch their ideas, travelled to 13 cities of Madhya Pradesh starting from Bhopal, to spread awareness about Startup India and Madhya Pradesh Startup Policy.
  • “Startup India Yatra” aims to scout grass root level entrepreneurs in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns of India, providing a platform for budding entrepreneurs to realize their startup dream, by getting incubated at top grade institutions and taking their idea to the next level.

Economy

Anti-dumping Duty on the import of Specified Stainless Steel

What

  • The Government has imposed Anti- Dumping Duties on imports of specified Stainless-Steel Products vide
  • Government has imposed anti- dumping duties on imports of specified Cold Rolled Stainless-Steel Products from various countries inter-alia as under:

Enlighten about Anti - dumping

  • Anti-dumping duty is imposed on dumped articles, which causes injury to domestic industry and rate of anti-dumping duty is determine based on dumping margin. The dumping margin may vary from country to country and accordingly rate of anti-dumping duty also varies.

Government Schemes

Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) A World Health Organisation Report

What

  • It is estimated that the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) will result in preventing more than three lakh deaths due to diarrhoea and protein-energy malnutrition between 2014-October 2019, notes a World Health Organisation (WHO) report released on Friday.
  • The progress report on potential health impact from increased sanitation coverage through the SBM-G, conducted by the WHO for the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said India’s rural sanitation coverage escalated to 89.07% till August 2.

Enlighten about the report

  • The report notes that under the SBM-G, 19 States and Union Territories were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) and 7.9 crore toilets were built, while 421 districts were declared ODF. Also, more than 4.9 lakh villages in the country were declared ODF.
  • The WHO study showed that before the initiation of SBM-G, unsafe sanitation caused 199 million cases of diarrhoea annually and that by 2019, the initiative aims to achieve 100% sanitation coverage.
  • The report further estimated that 14 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) can be avoided between 2014 and 2019.
  • WHO estimation of health impacts is based on comparative risk assessment (CRA) methods.

Science & Tech

Rotary drone co-developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and IIT-Kanpur

What

  • A 10 kg rotary drone co-developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and IIT-Kanpur was recently flown for the first time

Enlighten about the Rotary Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

  • The 10-minute flight of the helicopter-like RUAV or the Rotary Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was powered by a 2-stroke petrol engine.
  • The RUAV can carry a 2.5-kg payload or instrument including a live-streaming video camera.
  • It can operate for an hour and travel 8-10 km, a statement said.
  • Apart from military and civil helicopters, the centre is designing and developing rotary UAVs for defence, paramilitary forces and homeland security.
  • The RUAV is the first outcome of HAL’s R&D tie-ups with academic institutions such as IITs of Madras, Roorkee, Kharagpur, Bombay, Kanpur and the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

Bilateral Relations

Mattala project

  • Proposal for the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to acquire a controlling stake in Sri Lanka’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport
  • Talks on the project are “progressing” with India.
  • A joint venture between the AAI and the Airport & Aviation Services in Sri Lanka, to run the loss-making Mattala airport, located in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province.
  • The two governments, after detailed negotiations, have agreed that India, with a 70% stake in the joint venture, will contribute $225 million to revamp and run the airport, while the Sri Lankan side will invest the balance.
  • India will operate the airport on a 40-year lease, as per the draft agreement

Enlighten about Mattala airport

  • Mattala airport, named after former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, was one of the major infrastructure projects of Rajapaksa’s nearly a decade-long rule.
  • The project was funded through high interest Chinese commercial loans. The airport was officially opened in March 2013.
  • The only international flight operating from there was halted in May due to recurrent losses and flight safety issues.
  • It is the first greenfield airport and the second international airport in the country, after Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.
  • The airport has the capacity to handle one million passengers a year and is expected to handle five million passengers, 50,000 tonnes of cargo and 6,250 air traffic operations per annum by 2028.

Economic Growth

Services sector grows fastest since Oct. 2016: PMI survey

  • India’s services sector activity remained in the growth territory for the second consecutive month in July, as business activity witnessed the strongest growth since October 2016, amid improved demand conditions, said a monthly survey.
  • The seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index rose from 52.6 in June to 54.2 in July, as new business rose at the fastest pace since June 2017.
  • The Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index, that maps both the manufacturing and services sectors, rose from 53.3 in June to 54.1 in July.
  • Marked expansions in both the manufacturing and service sector, with stronger growth in the latter, powered the fastest improvement in overall operating conditions in the economy since October 2016
  • There are some warning signs reflected by PMI price data. Although overall input cost inflation softened from June’s near four-year high, service companies faced the fastest rise in input costs since March amid reports of high oil price
  • An uncertain global climate, currency weakness and strong inflation may continue to place pressure on the central bank to hike interest rates over the coming months

Telecommunication

TRAI calls for zero telecom equipment imports by 2022

  • India aim at net zero imports of telecommunications equipment by 2022, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended the setting up of a ₹1,000 crore fund for promoting research and innovation in the sector.
  • It aimed at enabling Indian telecom equipment manufacturing sector to transition from an import-dependent sector to a global hub of indigenous manufacturing.
  • India should aim to achieve the objective of ‘net zero imports of telecommunication equipment by 2022. For this purpose, Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Council (TEMC), should identify and recommend specific areas of priorities
  • The import of telecom instruments was far greater than the export of such items
  • As per available data, the export of telecom instruments stood at $1,201.7 million in 2017-18 while imports totalled $21,847.92 million.
  • The regulator has suggested that the progress of indigenous telecommunication equipment manufacturing be monitored by Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Security concerns

  • To address security concerns, TRAI had suggested that the telecom service providers be incentivised for deploying indigenous telecom products “beyond the quantities to be mandated” under the preferential market access policy.

Telecom Research and Development Fund (TRDF)

  • On setting up the fund, TRAI said, For promoting research, innovation, standardisation, design, testing, certification and manufacturing indigenous telecom equipment, Telecom Research and Development Fund (TRDF), with initial corpus of ₹1,000 crore, should be created.

Sources – The Hindu , PIB , Indian express