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Here are the topics covered for 25 September 2023: RODTEP scheme, Heat-tolerant wheat seeds, Anti-drone system, Green hydrogen-powered fuel cell, Phalke award, Balsams flowers
Table of contents:
- RODTEP scheme
- Heat-tolerant wheat seeds
- Anti-drone system
- Green hydrogen-powered fuel cell
Facts for Prelims
- Phalke award
- Balsams flowers
- Exporters seek higher support under RODTEP scheme
- With goods exports declining for seven months in a row till August, the government has extended support to outbound shipments by stretching the applicability of the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RODTEP) scheme for nine more months.
Review of scheme
- The extension comes even as the Revenue Department recently began a review of the export incentive scheme which provides a mechanism to reimburse taxes, duties and levies (at the central, State and local levels) that are incurred by exporters in the production and distribution process and are not refunded under any other mechanism.
- At the first review meeting, exporters’ bodies sought higher remission rates for all export items to secure more market access overseas along with Budget allocations for the scheme.
- This will help our exporting community to negotiate export contracts in the present international environment on better terms.
- The Scheme is WTO-compatible and is being implemented in an end-to-end IT environment.
Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP)
- The RoDTEP Scheme was Introduced by the Government of India, on January 1, 2021.
- Objective: The scheme aims to facilitate duty remission on exports. It provides a mechanism for the reimbursement of taxes, duties, and levies that are not covered by any other existing refund mechanism. These expenses are incurred during the manufacturing and distribution of exported products.
- Scope of Reimbursement: RoDTEP covers taxes, duties, and levies at the central, state, and local levels, which are not currently eligible for refund through other mechanisms.
- Budgetary Allocation: A total support of Rs. 27,018 crores has been allocated for the RoDTEP scheme over a period of 27 months, until March 31, 2023.
- Support for FY 23-24: For the financial year 2023-24, a budget of Rs. 15,070 crores has been earmarked to support 10,610 HS (Harmonized System) lines at the 8-digit level.
- Operational Framework: The RoDTEP scheme functions within a budgetary framework, ensuring that the allocated funds are utilized for their intended purpose of facilitating duty remission on exports.
Heat-tolerant wheat seeds
- Centre asks States to promote heat-tolerant wheat seeds in the rabi season.
- The Union government recently held an interaction with the States on the preparedness for the upcoming rabi crop season in the background of a 5% decrease in monsoon this year.
- The Centre has asked States to promote heat-resilient and high-yielding varieties of wheat among farmers.
- Centre is targeting an increase in the coverage of areas under heat-tolerant wheat varieties to 60% this season.
- The Government aims to promote the use of heat-resistant varieties amongst the farmers through public and private partnerships and providing seed directly to the farmers.
Why need for heat-resilient seeds?
- If the pattern of rainfall and variations in temperature kept changing, it would affect agriculture.
- Rainfall was deficit in June, a surplus in July, it was dry in August, and again excess rainfall in September. Overall there is a 5% rainfall deficit in the country
- There is also a severe deficit in the reservoirs in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala, and Karnataka compared with the 10-year average.
India has made commendable progress in improving per unit yield of various food grains by deploying the high yielding climate resilient varieties through enhanced seed and varietal replacement rates, which has resulted in increasing the overall productivity level of food grains by 4.57 times (2386 kg/ha) during 2020-21 as compared to 522 kg/ha during 1950-51.
Since 2014, average productivity in most of the crops has increased significantly as a result of which total production of food grains has increased to 6.4 times from 50.8 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 323.6 million tonnes during 2022-23.
- Anti-drone system will be deployed along the international border to strengthen security.
Why there is a need for an anti-drone system
- Smuggling of arms, ammunition and narcotics from across the international border to Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir has been a major problem confronting the border guarding forces.
- Unauthorized drones can pose a significant security risk. They can be used for espionage, smuggling, or even carrying out acts of terrorism.
- Critical infrastructure such as power plants, government buildings, and military installations need to be protected from potential drone threats.
- Drones equipped with cameras can invade privacy by capturing images or videos of individuals without their consent. This is a concern in both public and private spaces.
- An anti-drone system, also known as a counter-drone system or counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS), is a technology or set of technologies designed to detect, track, identify, and/or mitigate the presence of unauthorized drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a given area.
- These systems are developed to address concerns related to security, privacy, and safety, as drones have become more accessible and their applications have expanded.
Green hydrogen-powered fuel cell
- Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas flags off 1st Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus from Kartavya Path, New Delhi.
- Recently Prime Minister announced self-reliance in energy production through a mix of electric mobility, a gas-based economy and taking Green Hydrogen on Mission mode.
- The fuel cell utilizes Hydrogen and air to generate electricity to power the bus and the only by-product from the bus is water therefore making it possibly the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation as compared to conventional buses that run on diesel and petrol.
- Hydrogen is the lightest element that exists as a gas of a diatomic molecule. It is the most abundant chemical substance found in the universe.
- Its combustion with oxygen releases a lot of energy and produces water as a by-product that can be used as a most environment-friendly product as it doesn’t release carbon emissions.
- With three times the energy density and the absence of harmful emissions, hydrogen shines as a cleaner, more efficient choice to meet the energy requirements.
- Buses powered with hydrogen cells take a few minutes to fully charge itself.
- Emerging fuels like hydrogen and bio-fuels shall account for 25% of global incremental energy demand growth over the next two decades.
- With one of the largest synchronous grids in the world, India has achieved ‘One Nation-One Grid-One Frequency’, and will soon be a global champion in the production and exports of Hydrogen and is set to emerge as the Hub for green hydrogen.
- The success of this project can catapult India from being a net importer of fossil energy to becoming a net exporter of clean hydrogen energy
- The Green Hydrogen Mission which aims to establish a Green Hydrogen ecosystem in India is on a developmental and progressive path.
- Hydrogen will be a key player in the transition to a carbon-free economy and will help mitigate climate change.
- This launch will certainly revolutionize India’s firm commitment to being a cleaner and greener nation
- Hydrogen is poised to be a game changer in India’s ambitious quest to achieve Net-Zero emissions by the year 2070.
- With the active support from Govt. of India and the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, this milestone marks a pivotal stride in the nation’s journey towards zero-emission mobility.
Facts for Prelims
- Called Kasithumba and Onappovu locally, its small, pink flowers are a major attraction along the Devikulam stretch of the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway
- Balsams are also known as ‘touch-me-not’ because of the bursting of mature seeds and seed distribution.
- Balsams are a group of flowering plants known for the production of aromatic resinous substances. These plants often have fragrant oils or resins in their leaves, stems, or fruits.
- Balsam plants are known for their medicinal and aromatic properties and have been used in traditional medicine and perfumery.
- Botanists say the large-scale flowering of balsams indicates that micro-climate is still active in the Munnar hill station.
- Of the 220 balsam species in India, 135 are found in the southern Western Ghats.
- Anamudi, the highest mountain in the Western Ghats, and the surrounding high ranges are known for the diversity of wild balsams.
- The normal lifecycle of balsams is from June to December.
- The plant mainly grows inside pockets of forest areas. With the loss of specific habitats, many species have become rare, threatened, or even extinct.
- Balsams are a major indicator species of climate change. If climate change occurs in any area, it will reflect in the plant population,
- The Forest Department ensures the protection of balsams in the forest areas.
- The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is the highest honour in Indian cinema, presented annually by the Government of India for outstanding contributions to the growth and development of Indian cinema.
- It is named after Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, who is often regarded as the father of Indian cinema for his groundbreaking work in the field.
- The award was established in 1969 by the GoI.
- It is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the Indian film fraternity.
- The award is usually presented by the President of India.
- Recipients of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award are chosen by a committee constituted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.