Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - June 13, 2018

Science & Technology

Indian Space Research Organisation offering its production technology(battery technology) to Indian industry Transfer of lithium ion know-how to help electric vehicle start-ups

  • The drive for indigenously made lithium ion batteries on a large scale has got a push with the Indian Space Research Organisation offering its production technology to Indian industry.
  • An RFQ (request for quotation) issued invites multiple qualified companies or start-ups to use its power storage technology to produce a range of Li ion cells for many purposes, mainly EVs or electric vehicles.
  • ISRO’s rocket sciences node Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre will transfer its in-house technology non-exclusively to each qualified production agency for a one-time fee of 1 crore

Enlighten about the Li ion cell

  • The Li ion cell production initiative is part of the government’s plan to achieve 100% EVs in the country by 2030.
  • Li ion battery is much in demand for use in handy consumer electronics goods too.
  • Currently the batteries are imported mostly from China, South Korea and Taiwan.
  • To drive the Indian EV dream of the coming decades, national think tank NITI Aayog has also earlier called for setting up local production.

National

Kashmir Super 50 An initiative by Indian Army

  • Project Kashmir Super 50, a joint initiative by Indian Army, Center for Social Responsibility and Leadership (CSRL) and PETRONET LNG Limited (PLL) was launched on 22 March 2013
  • Objective - to transform the educational status of children from economically weaker sections in the Kashmir region.

Enlighten about it

  • As part of the 11-month program, selected students are provided with complete free residential coaching for IIT-JEE, JKCET and other premier Engineering Institutes.
  • The outgoing batch is the fifth batch of Kashmir Super 50 which had 45 boys based in Srinagar and five girl students based in Noida.
  • Out of which this year, 32 students (30 boys and 02 girls) have cleared IIT-JEE Mains and seven students have cleared IIT-JEE Advance.

Enlighten about Kashmir Super 50

  • It has been one of the most successful projects undertaken by the Indian Army in the valley and has directly impacted the lives of number of youths in J&K by providing them the right guidance and opportunity to make a career for themselves.
  • On similar lines of Kashmir Super 50 for engineering aspirants, Indian Army has recently signed a MoU for medical aspirants with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) & National Integrity Educational Development Organisation (NIEDO), under which selected students will be provided with complete free residential coaching for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

Atal Tinkering Labs ATLs under NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission to reach every district of the country soon

What’s the NEWS

  • NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has selected 3,000 additional schools for the establishment of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs), bringing the total number of ATL schools to 5,441.
  • The selected schools shall receive a grant of Rs 20 lakh spread over the next five years to establish Atal Tinkering Labs for nurturing innovation and entrepreneurial spirit among secondary school children across India.
  • ATLs will soon be established in every district of India, seeking to enable an innovation ecosystem, which will facilitate transformational change in technological innovation and pedagogy.
  • ATLs will function as innovation hubs for these student innovators to explore solutions to unique local problems which they come across in their everyday lives.
  • ATL initiative, where students, teachers, mentors and industry partners work to facilitate innovation, foster scientific temper and an entrepreneurial spirit in the children

Enlighten About Atal Innovation Mission of NITI Aayog

  • The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
  • AIM is mandated to create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country and revolutionizing the innovation eco-system - touching upon the entire innovation life cycle through various programs.
  • The Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) create innovators, Atal Incubation Centres and support to Established Incubation Centreensure that innovations are taken to the market and help create enterprises around these innovations.

International organisations

First BIMSTEC Exercise to be hosted by India

Enlighten about the exercise

  • The main aim of this military exercise is to promote strategic alignment among the member-states and to share best practices in the area of counterterrorism.

Enlighten about BIMSTEC

  • BIMSTEC is the sub-regional group of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia lying in littoral and adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal constituting contiguous regional unity.
  • It was established on 6 June 1997 through Bangkok Declaration.
  • It is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Member countries: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka from South Asia and Myanmar, Thailand from South East Asia
  • BIMESTC’s prime objectives: Technological and economic cooperation among south Asian and south East Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
  • BIMSTEC is sector-driven cooperative organization, starting with six sector including trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries. In 2008, it was expanded to embrace eight more sectors including agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism,

Ministry of Railways

Menu on Rails – a new App Launched

  • Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal launched a new App ‘Menu on Rails’,
  • a Mobile Application developed by IRCTC for creating awareness to the Railway Passengers for the items served to them on their Rail Journey.

Delivery of Railway tickets through Common Service Centres (CSCs)

  • The Common Service Centres (CSCs) Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for delivery of railway services through CSC centres.
  • CSCs to work as IRCTC agents for train ticket bookings.

Enlighten about the MoU

  • CSCs will now be able to book general tickets.
  • Under the agreement, all 2.9 lakh CSCs spread across the country will be able to book both reserved and unreserved train tickets.
  • All CSCs will be connected with technology for railway ticket booking.
  • Government is also planning to empower CSCs to act as banking correspondents and to sell insurance too in the future.
  • It is also pushing private sector participation in providing digital services through these platforms.
  • These centres apart from providing digital literacy will provide services like Aadhaar payments, pension, banking, and insurance.

Enlighten about Common Service Centres (CSC)

  • CSC is an initiative of Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY).
  • It is pan-India network catering to regional, geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity of country, thus enabling Government’s mandate of a socially, financially and digitally inclusive society.
  • There are as many as 2.91 lakh CSCs operate in the country today.
  • They are mostly ICT enabled front end service delivery points at village level for delivery of government and private services.
  • These CSCs serve as access points for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, financial, healthcare, education and agriculture services, apart from host of B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country. They also serve as change agents by promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihood

Women Empowerment

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) PM’s maternity scheme benefits 23.6 lakh

  • After initial hiccups in implementing the maternity benefit programme Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), the government has finally made some headway and provided cash incentives to nearly 23.6 lakh beneficiaries out of an estimated 51.6 lakh a year.

Enlighten about the scheme

  • The scheme was approved by the Union Cabinet in May 2017 and was expected to be rolled out in September that year.
  • Under the scheme, pregnant women and lactating mothers are offered a cash incentive of 6,000 on the birth of their first child as partial compensation for wage loss, to reduce maternal mortality and malnutrition levels among children.
  • The scheme is being implemented on a 60:40 cost-sharing basis with the State governments.
  • Many States like Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha and West Bengal have not yet come on board to implement the scheme.
  • An amount of 673 crore has been transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries out of the total budget of ₹2,594 crore set aside for the scheme last year, and another ₹2,400 crore allocated for the current fiscal.
  • While States like Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha and West Bengal have their own maternity benefit schemes and have been reluctant to implement the PMMVY but the states were bound to comply because the scheme was a by-product of the National Food Security Act.

Economy/ Business

Tighten norms for working capital loan by RBI
Proposes at least 40% loan component in credit of 150 cr. and above from Oct. 1
The RBI’s new guidelines will ensure that there is a repayment schedule for working capital loans

What

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed a minimum 40% loan component for working capital funding of ₹150 crore and above to bring in greater credit discipline and improve monetary transmission.

Enlighten about the guidelines

  • The RBI has proposed that the loan component of 40% will come into effect from October 1 and will be increased to 60% from April 1, 2019.
  • The loan’s tenure will be minimum seven days.
  • Effective from April 1, 2019, the undrawn portion of cash credit/overdraft limits sanctioned to the large borrowers, irrespective of whether unconditionally cancellable or not, shall attract a credit conversion factor of 20%,”
  • This means banks have to set aside capital for undrawn portion of cash credit limits.

Repayment schedule

  • Currently, working capital is mostly in the form of cash credit for which interest rate is reset once a year. Also, cash credit does not have a tight repayment schedule.

The proposed new norm will address the following issues.

  • First, if there is a loan component then there will be a repayment schedule which will put pressure on borrowers to manage their liquidity.
  • Secondly, since the loan component will have a fixed tenure, the reset clause can be invoked at the end of each tenure period.

What are the challenges

  • While cash credit has its benefits, it also poses several regulatory challenges such as perpetual roll-overs, transmission of liquidity management from the borrowers to banks/RBI, hampering of smooth transmission of monetary policy, etc.

Enlighten about Working Capital Loan

  • Working Capital Loan can be defined as a loan availed by the rms for covering their daily operational expenses.
  • These loans are the excellent way for the businesses to become more focused on their growth and generate capital.
  • The working capital loans in India have become popular among the business owners for tackling with their financial needs.
  • These loans are not used for buying long-term assets and generally used for covering wages, accounts payable and other similar operations.
  • This loan is applicable for the small & medium enterprises for augmenting their working capital needs and meeting the daily operational expenditure.
  • The majority of the working capital loans is unsecured, however the loans with high risks need some guarantee.

Sources – PIB, LiveMint, The Hindu