Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - December 15, 2018

Commerce & Industry

National Medical Devices Promotion Council to be set up under DIPP


  • To give a fillip to the medical device sector, which is a sunrise sector, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, announced setting up of a National Medical Devices Promotion Council under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.


  • 4th WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices, at Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone, in Vishakhapatnam

Connect to MDI

  • The Medical Devices Industry (MDI) plays a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem and is indispensable to achieve the goal of health for all citizens of the country.
  • The manufacturing and trade in MDI is growing steadily which includes a wide range of products.
  • Although the industry has been growing in double digits but is predominantly import-driven with imports accounting for over 65% of the domestic market.
  • As Indian manufacturing companies and startups move towards creating innovative products, the setting-up of the Council will spur domestic manufacturing in this sector.

Connect to the Council

  • The Council will be headed by Secretary, DIPP. Apart from the concerned departments of Government of India, it will also have representatives from health care industry and quality control institutions. Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone, Visakhapatnam, will provide technical support to the Council.

Round the year developments Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises

MSME Support and Outreach Programme

  • The Prime Minister last month has launched a support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.
  • The 12 key initiatives which will help in the growth, expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country:

1. Loans upto 1 crore within 59 minutes through an online portal.
2. Interest subvention of 2% for all GST registered MSMEs on fresh or incremental loans.
3. All companies with a turnover of more than 500 crores to be mandatorily on TReDS platform to enable entrepreneurs to access credit from banks, based on their upcoming receivables, thus, solving the problems of cash cycle.
4. All PSUs to compulsorily procure 25 percent from MSMEs instead of 20 percent of their total purchases.
5. Out of the 25 percent procurement mandated from MSMEs, 3 percent reserved for women entrepreneurs.
6. All CPSUs to compulsorily procure through GeM portal.
7. 100 Technology Centres to be established at the cost of Rs 6000 crore.
8. Govt. of India to bear 70 percent of the cost for establishing Pharma clusters.
9. Returns under 8 labour laws and 10 Union regulations to be filed once in a year.
10. Establishments to be visited by an Inspector will be decided through a computerised random allotment.
11. Single consent under air and water pollution laws. Returns will be accepted through self-certification and only 10 percent MSME units to be inspected.
12. For minor violations under the Companies Act, entrepreneurs no longer have to approach court but can correct them through simple procedures.

  • There are five key aspects for facilitating the MSME sector:

- access to credit
- access to market
- technology upgradation
- ease of doing business
- sense of security for employees.

Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme –To Continue till 2019-20

Connect to the MoU

  • Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is a major credit-linked subsidy programme being implemented by the Ministry of MSME since 2008-09.
  • The Scheme is aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth in rural as well as urban areas.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 28 FEB 2018 approved the continuation of (PMEGP) beyond 12th Plan for three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with a total outlay of Rs.5,500 crore.
  • Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)Scheme will create sustainable estimated employment opportunities for 15 lakh persons in three financial years.
  • An online portal has been introduced from 1st July 2016 for those who wish to avail benefits under the PMEGP scheme.
  • Entire process is real time and online. The applicant has to apply on the portal and can track the status of the application on the PMEGP-e-portal. There is an online feedback mechanism for providing feedback by the beneficiaries.
  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is the nodal implementation agency at the national level. At the State/district level, State offices of KVIC, Khadi and Village Industries Boards (KVIBs) and District Industry Centres (DIC) are the implementing agencies.
  • Under the PMEGP scheme women entrepreneurs are provided 25% and 35% subsidies for the project set up in urban and rural areas respectively.


  • On the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8th 2018, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME) launched a portal for women entrepreneurs of India: www.udyamsakhi.org.
  • Around 8 million women have set up and are running their own businesses in India and the Ministry of MSME is committed to ensure that women in India continue to play a vital role in the growth of the Indian economy.
  • The portal is a network for nurturing entrepreneurship and creating business models for low cost products and services in order to empower women and make them self-reliant and self-sufficient.
  • The portal provides assistance through its platform for entrepreneurship learning tools, incubation facility,training programs for fund raising, providing mentors, one-on-one investor meet, provide market survey facility and technical assistance.
  • MSME Ministry is creating a vibrant MSME sector by promoting growth and development of this sector including Khadi, Village and Coir industries, in cooperation with the concerned ministries and departments, state governments and other stake holders.


  • The President of India,Ram NathKovind launched the Solar Charkha Mission
  • This Mission cover 50 clusters across the country with a budget of Rs.550 crore for the year 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • The scheme will generate direct employment to nearly one lakh persons in rural areas and will also contribute to the green economy.
  • Solar Charkha Units have been classified as village industries.The scheme of Solar Charkha Mission was proposed in the Union Budget 2018-19 to harness non-conventional solar energy to further employment generation.

KVIC Sets World Record in ‘Sweet Revolution’

  • In order to increase the production of honey KVIC has launched the honey mission. Beekeeping is suited to rural areas and available local resources and KVIC is playing a vital role in utilizing these resources for the benefit of villagers.
  • KVIC established a separate department called the Directorate of Beekeeping in Mumbai and Central Bee Research and Training Institute at Pune and started beekeeping in modern and scientific methods.
  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) distributed 1,000 bee-boxes among 100 Mishing Assamese tribe in the Kaziranga forest area on May 21 this year on the occasion of World Honey Bee Day.
  • KVIC also distributed bee boxes in the Zangalee Army area at Kupwara, Kashmir in June this year. Two thousand three hundred thirty bee-boxes were distributed among 233 beneficiaries in the Zangalee Army area.

MSME CONVENTIONS Udyam Sangam-2018

  • To mark the UN SME Day on 27th June,2018, the M/o MSME organizedthe Convention- Udyam Sangam-2108 for the MSME sector in the country
  • ‘Sampark’ portal of the Ministry of MSME was also unveiled by the President. This portal is a bridge between the talent pool and enterprises seeking trained man power.
  • Nearly three thousand delegates from Ministries and Departments of Central Government, State and Union Territories, Autonomous Bodies, MSME Associations, Non-Banking Financial Corporations, Private Sector and Public Sector Banks, Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs and Self Help Groups participated in the day long convention.
  • “UdyamSangam2018” is a step forward towards consolidating the convergence and synergy of all the government initiatives relating to the MSME sector.
  • The UN General Assembly in its 74th Plenary held on the 6th April, 2017 declared 27thJune as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, recognizing the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in achieving sustainable development goals and in promoting innovation, creativity and sustainable work for all.


  • A two-days’ Conference of Development Institutes, Technology Centres and Tool Rooms titled UdyamSamvad was organized by the Ministry of MSME on 16th-17thApril,2018 in New Delhi.
  • The aim of the conference was to give wide publicity to the successful ventures of the MSME Ministry like clusters and tool rooms so that many more could be set-up in the country.
  • The aim of the conference was greater dissemination of information about schemes for MSMEs in different Ministries and through the conference the Ministry worked to reachthe village level for which Development Institutes were urged to coordinate with district functionaries.

MSME Ministry launched a monthly e-newsletter called MSME Insider

  • The e-newsletter gives information about the activities undertaken by the Ministry and also connects the Ministry with the millions of MSME units spread out across the country.

E- Initiatives

  • A portal of the Ministry of MSME called “Sampark” was unveiled by the President of India, Ram NathKovind on the occasion of UN SME Day, in New Delhi. The portal acts as a bridge between the talent pool and those enterprises seeking trained man power.

Environment Conservation

ECO Niwas Samhita 2018 - an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings launched


  • Giving a further fillip to India’s energy conservation efforts, Ministry of Power has launched the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018,an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings (ECBC-R).
  • TheCode was launched on the occasion of National Energy ConservationDay 2018

Connect to the code

  • The implementation of this Code will give a fillip to energy efficiency in residential sector.
  • It aims to benefit the occupants and the environment by promoting energy efficiency in design and construction of homes, apartments and townships.
  • This Code has been prepared after extensive consultations with all stakeholders, consisting of architects & experts including building material suppliers and developers.
  • The parameters listed in the Code have been developed based on large number of parameters using climate and energy related data.
  • Initially, Part-I of the Code has been launched which prescribes minimum standards for building envelope designs with the purpose of designing energy efficient residential buildings.
  • The Code is expected to assist large number of architects and builders who are involved in design and construction of new residential complexes in different parts of the country.
  • Implementation of this Code will have potential for energy savings to the tune of 125 Billion Units of electricity per year by 2030, which is equivalent to about 100 million ton of Co2 emission.
  • ECBC for commercial buildings was already in place and revised and updated version of ECBC for commercial buildings was launchedin June 2017.
  • It is estimated that energy demand in the building sector will rise from around 350 billion units in 2018 to approximately 1000 billion units by year 2030.

National Energy Conservation Awards:

  • National Energy Conservation Day is celebrated every year on 14th December by Ministry of Power in association with Bureau of Energy Efficiency.
  • On this Day, Ministry of Power organizes National Energy Conservation Awards event every year.
  • On this occasion 26 industrial units from various sectors were given awardsfor their excellent performance in energy efficiency.

Connect to BEE

  • BEE is a statutory body under Ministry of Power which is mandated to implement policy and programmes in the area of energy efficiency and conservation.
  • The objective of such initiatives is to reduce energy intensity in our country by optimizing energy demand and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) which are responsible for global warming and climate change. India has committed to reduction of 33-35% GHG emission by 2030 as part of the document submitted to UNFCCC.