Industry fora moots separate ministry for microenterprises
Relevance in UPSC: General Studies paper -3: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.
- The Consortium of Indian Associations (CIA) has suggested the formation of an independent ministry for the self-employed and microenterprises to address specific issues concerning the sector.
- The consortium also proposed that the government amend the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006, to strengthen the state facilitation councils.
Current Challenges Related to MSME Sector in India
- Most of the unregistered MSMEs would predominantly comprise micro-enterprises, particularly confined to rural India, operating with obsolete technology, limited access to institutional finance etc. And there is a need to transform the huge number of unregistered MSME into registered MSME.
- Need to improve the competitiveness of the overall MSME sector.
- Access to technology.
- IPR related issues.
- Design as a market driver.
- Wasteful usage of resources/manpower.
- Energy inefficiency and associated high cost.
- Low ICT usage.
- Low market penetration.
- Quality assurance/certification.
- Standardization of products and proper marketing channels to penetrate new markets.
- The definition for MSMEs must be updated – considering inflation and availability of better technologies since the last change in 2006.
Recent Government Initiatives Related to MSMEs
- Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP) Scheme
- Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro & Small Enterprises (CGTMSE)
- Interest Subsidy Eligibility Certificate (ISEC)
- A Scheme for Promoting Innovation, Rural Industry & Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE)
- Credit Linked Capital Subsidy for Technology Upgradation (CLCSS)
Key announcements of Atma-nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan
- Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free automatic loans for MSMEs
- Rs 50,000 crore equity infusion through MSME Fund of Funds
- Rs 20 crore subordinate debt for MSMEs
HAL to provide MRO for MQ-9B drone engines in India
Relevance in UPSC: General Studies paper -3: Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology.
- As India looks to purchase armed Predator Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) from the U.S., Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and General Atomics announced at Aero India that the turbo-propeller engines that power the MQ-9B Guardian High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) RPAS will be supported by HAL engine division for the Indian market.
- The companies are looking to formulate a comprehensive engine Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) programme for upcoming HALE RPAS projects.
Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)
- RPAS is considered one of the subsets of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
- It consists of a remotely piloted aircraft, its associated remote pilot station(s), the required command and control links, and any other components as specified in the type design.
· VIHANGAM is an Internet-based system integrated with a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
· The system consists of a Ground Control Station (GCS), an RPAS, an internet lease line of 40 Mbps and VIHANGAM portal.
· The system enables real-time transmission of aerial video of mining activities from mines to internet platforms, which can be accessed through VIHANGAM portal by authorized personnel only having ID and password.
India-US Defence Cooperation
- Defence relationship has emerged as a major pillarof India-U.S. strategic partnership with intensification in defence trade, joint exercises, personnel exchanges, and cooperation in maritime security and counter-piracy
- The India-U.S. Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)is aimed at promoting co-development and coproduction efforts
- In 2016, the U.S. recognised India as a “Major Defence Partner“, which commits the U.S. to facilitate technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners
- The announcement of India’s elevation to Tier I of the Strategic Trade Authorization (STA)license exception IN 2018, will further contribute towards facilitating interaction in advanced and sensitive technologies
- The two countries now have four agreementsthat cover areas of Military Information, Logistics exchange, compatibility, and security between them
- A military information agreement, was the first of the foundational agreements to be signed in 2002
- It essentially guaranteed that the two countries would protect any classified information or technology that they shared
- It was aimed at promoting interoperability and laid the foundation for future US arms sales to the country
LEMOA (logistics exchange agreement)
- signed in 2016
- It provides the framework for sharing military logistics, for example for refuelling and replenishment of stores for ships or aircraft transiting through an Indian/US facility
COMCASA (communications security agreement)
- signed in 2018
- This enables the US to supply India with its proprietary encrypted communications equipment and systems, allowing secure peacetime and wartime communications between high-level military leaders on both sides
Basic Exchange Cooperation Agreement (BECA)
- signed in 2020
- BECA will help India get real-time access to American geospatial intelligence that will enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones.
Governor should not enter political arena: CJI
Relevance in UPSC: General Studies paper -2: Appointment to various Constitutional Posts, Powers, Functions and Responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
- The Supreme Court said Governors are not supposed to venture into the political arena of alliance-making among parties.
Constitutional Provisions Related to the Governor
- Article 153 saysthat there shall be a Governor for each State. One person can be appointed as Governor for two or more States.
- A Governor is appointed by the Presidentand is a nominee of the Central Government.
- It is stated that the Governor has a dual role.
- He is the constitutional head of the state, bound by the advice of his Council of Ministers (CoM).
- He functions as a vital link between the Union Government and the State Government.
- Articles 157 and 158specify eligibility requirements for the post of governor. A governor must:
- Be a citizen of India.
- Be at least 35 years of age.
- Not be a member of the either house of the parliament or house of the state legislature.
- Not hold any office of profit.
- Governor has the power to grant pardons,reprieves, etc. (Article 161).
- There is a CoM with the CM at the head to aid and advise the Governorin the exercise of his functions, except some conditions for discretion. (Article 163).
- The Governor appoints the Chief Minister and other Ministers(Article 164).
- Governor assents, withholds assent, or reserves the bill for the consideration of the President passed by the Legislative Assembly (Article 200).
- Governors may promulgate the Ordinances under certain circumstances (Article 213).
Major recommendations to improve the Governor’s office
- SR Bommai vs. Union of India, 1994: The case was about the limits to the Governor’s powers in dismissing a state government under Article 356 of the Constitution. The floor of the Assembly is the only forum that should test the majority of the government of the day, and not the subjective opinion of the Governor.
- Rameshwar Prasad Case, 2006: Supreme Court was called upon to pronounce its verdict on the validity of the proclamation of President’s Rule and the dissolution of the Assembly in Bihar in 2005. The SC held that the Governor could not decide based on his subjective assessments.
- On removal of governor: BP Singhal vs Union of India: The Supreme Court ruled that even though the President could dismiss a Governor without having to provide reasons for doing so, this power could not be exercised in an “arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable manner”
- Sarkaria Commission Report (1988): Important recommendations- Governor should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in recent past, Governors must not be removed before completion of their five-year tenure, except in rare and compelling circumstances
- Venkatachaliah Commission (2002): Important recommendations: Governor’s appointment should be entrusted to a committee comprising the prime minister, the home minister, the speaker of the Lok Sabha and the chief minister of the concerned state, if governor to be removed before completion of term, the central government should do so only after consultation with the Chief Minister.
- Punchhi Commission (2010): The phrase “during the pleasure of the President” should be deleted from the Constitution; Governor should be removed only by a resolution of the state legislature.
Understanding India’s mental healthcare act 2017
Relevance in UPSC: General Studies paper -2: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
- The government-run facilities are “illegally” keeping patients long after their recovery, in what is an “infringement of the human rights of mentally ill patients”, according to a recent report by NHRC
Determinants of Mental Health
- Individual psychological and biological factors such as emotional skills, substance use and genetics can make people more vulnerable to mental health problems.
- Exposure to unfavourable social, economic, geopolitical and environmental circumstances – including poverty, violence, inequality and environmental deprivation – also increases people’s risk of experiencing mental health conditions.
- Risks can manifest themselves at all stages of life, but those that occur during developmentally sensitive periods, especially early childhood, are particularly detrimental.
|Mental Health Care Act 2017
Right to Make an Advance Directive
· Patient can state on how to be treated or not to be treated for the illness during a mental health situation.
Right to Appoint a Nominated Representative
· A person shall have the right to appoint a nominated representative to take on his/her behalf, all health-related decisions
1. Right to access mental health care
2. Right to free & quality services
3. Right to get free medicines
4. Right to community living
5. Right to protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
6. Right to live in an environment, safe and hygienic, having basic amenities
7. Right to legal aid
8. No Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) without anaesthesia
Attempt to Commit Suicide not an Offence
· This act brought changes in Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (which criminalized attempted suicide).
· Now, a person who attempts to commit suicide will be presumed to be “suffering from severe stress’’ and shall not be subjected to any investigation or prosecution.
· The act envisages the establishment of Central Mental Health Authority and State Mental Health Authority.
Challenges in Promoting Mental Health
- An estimated 150 million people across India are in need of mental health care interventions, according to India’s latest National Mental Health Survey 2015-16.
- Low proportion of mental health workforce in India (per 100,000 population) include psychiatrists (0.3), nurses (0.12), psychologists (0.07) and social workers (0.07).
- According to WHO, the burden of mental disorders is maximal in young adults. As most of the population is young (India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25) so it requires a special focus in mental health of youth by the government to reap the benefits arising out of the demographic dividend in India.
- Poor awareness about the symptoms of mental illness, social stigma and abandonment of mentally ill especially old and destitute leads to social isolation.
National Mental Health Program (NMHP)
- To address the huge burden of mental disorders and shortage of qualified professionals in the field of mental health, the government has been implementing the National Mental Health Program (NMHP) since 1982.
- The Program was re-strategize in 2003 to include two schemes, viz. Modernization of State Mental Hospitals and Up-gradation of Psychiatric Wings of Medical Colleges/General Hospitals.
- District Mental Health Programme (DMHP), 1996 was also launched to provide community mental health services at the primary health care level.
Indigenous carrier INS Vikrant will be fully operational by year-end: Navy Chief
Relevance in UPSC: General Studies paper -3: Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology.
- The country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, which is currently undergoing aviation trials, will be fully operational by year-end.
- The name ‘INS Vikrant’ originally belonged to India’s first aircraft carrier which was acquired from the UK, and played a vital role in the 1971 War with Pakistan before it was decommissioned in 1997.
Design & Development
- By the Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways.
- It has been built with state-of-the-art automation features and is the largest ship ever built-in the maritime history of India.
- The ship is capable of operating an air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy).
- The ship can accommodate an assortment of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.
- The warship will also offer an “incomparable military instrument with its ability to project Air Power over long distances, including offensive, Air Interdiction, Anti-Surface Warfare, defensive Counter-Air, Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare and Airborne Early Warning.
Need & Significance
- India has joined the elite group of nations (US, Russia, France, the UK and China) having capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier.
- It is a shining example in the nation’s quest for ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India Initiative,’ with more than 76 per cent indigenous content.”
- It is especially important amid India’s bid to be a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region & upholder of Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) where it faces China.
- The two aircraft carriers can be deployed, one in East Coast (BOB & Malacca Strait) & 2nd one for west Coast (Arabian Sea, Pak Coast & West Asia).
- Naval forces can use this for dispensing humanitarian relief & disaster relief (in peacetime)
With an eye on China, Union Cabinet clears 7 ITBP battalions
Relevance in UPSC: General Studies paper -2: India and its Neighborhood- Relations. General Studies paper -3: Challenges to Internal Security through Communication Networks, Role of Media and Social Networking Sites in Internal Security Challenges, Basics of Cyber Security; Money-Laundering and its prevention.
- The Union Cabinet approved two decisions — raising of seven new ITBP battalions and allocated ₹4,800 crore under the Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) to stop migration and boost tourism in villages bordering China — to bolster social and security framework along the China border.
India China Border dispute
- India and China share a total boundary of approximately 3,488 kilometres (second largest after Bangladesh).
- The Sino-Indian border is generally divided into three sectors: the western, middle, and eastern sectors.
- Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh all share a border with China.
Vibrant Village Programme
- Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) has been announced in the Finance Minister’s Budget Speech 2022.
- VVP is aiming at enhancing infrastructure in villages along India’s border with China, in states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Activities under the VVP include building infrastructure such as housing, tourist centres, road connectivity, providing decentralised renewable energy, direct-to-home access for Doordarshan and educational channels, and support for livelihood generation.
- The programme envisages coverage of border villages on Northern border having sparse population, limited connectivity and infrastructure, which often get left out from the development gains.
- Convergence of existing schemes is proposed under VVP. The villages on the Northern border to be covered under VVP are being finalised.
|Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
· The ITBP is one of five Central Armed Police Forces of India.
· It was raised on 24 October 1962, under CRPF Act, in wake of 1962 Sino-Indian War.
· It was provided full autonomy after Parliament enacted the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force Act, 1992.
· It works under command of Union Home Ministry.
· Its motto is Shaurya – Dridhata – Karm Nishtha (English: Valour – Steadfastness and Commitment).
· At present, ITBP is strong Central Armed Police Force of 90000 personnel.
· It primarily guards the 3,488 km long Indo-China border along Tibet Autonomous Region from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh.
· ITBP force is also engaged in a variety of internal security tasks including disaster management, civil Medical Camp, nuclear, biological and chemical disasters and UN peacekeeping missions around the world.