A domestic manufacturing programme for critical power and renewable energy equipment will be launched by the ministry of Power in the Financial Year 2021. The programme has at an outlay of Rs 1,500 crore.
Manufacturing Zones under Atmanirbhar Bharat Package
This scheme was announced in the Union Budget.
It would set up the three manufacturing zones per year.
The three zones are divided into three categories:
The scheme would also call for the offers from the states to submit the applications in order to set up these zones.
All of the three selected zones would get Rs 500 crore each in order to development the manufacturing hubs.
The zone will also be given the open access to power supply in the selected states which are unable to supply cheaper electricity.
The states will also set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). SPV would be transferred to the private companies when they set up the manufacturing facilities.
How the states will be selected?
A committee would be select to decide which state offers the best facilities for these zones.
The selection criteria would be based on land and cheap infrastructure.
It would also look after the facilities such as electricity, sewage treatment, water etc.
Centre would also provide common infrastructure and testing facilities at these zones.
Equipment testing facility
The equipment testing facility for the power equipment will be set up by Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) .
While for the renewable equipment, testing facility will be set up by the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) and National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE).
Why it is being launched?
In September 2020, the Union power ministry had released a list 80 items which are imported despite having sufficient domestic capacity. Thus, these facilities are being set up with the aim of setting up the manufacturing of new-age equipment which are not available in Indian market. Further, after the border clashes with China in Galwan valley of Ladakh, the Ministry of Power has also announced the import restrictions on equipment that are used for ‘power supply systems and network’ because of security threat and cyber-attacks. Thus, the setting of such facilities becomes significant.
The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has amended definition of the small companies by amending the Companies Rules. The new amendment allows the non-resident Indians (NRIs) to incorporate one person companies (OPCs) in India.
The changes were announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the presentation of Union budget.
These changes will come into effect from April 1.
The notification also highlights that the epaid-up capital and the turnover of the small company shall not exceed respectively rupees two crores and rupees twenty crores.
Earlier, the definition was based on the thresholds defined by the Companies Act.
The companies act had mentioned a maximum paid up capital of Rs 50 lakh and turnover of Rs 2 crores.
Amendment of 2018
In the year 2018, amendments were made to the companies act. It contained provisions of increasing the paid up capital and turnover thresholds for small companies respectively up to Rs 10 crore and Rs 100 crore.
Significance of the changes
The Finance Minister highlights that, the change in the threshold will lighten the compliance burden of about 200,000 companies.
Amendments regarding the OPCs
The notification contains several amendments regarding the OPCs. It has substituted the words “whether resident in India or otherwise” in the clause. The rule earlier had the provision that only an Indian resident can incorporate an OPC. Further, the latest notification also reduces the number of days a person has to stay in India so as to qualify as a resident as opposed to the earlier provision of 120 days. Apart from that, the ministry has also allowed the voluntary conversion of OPCs to a private or public company. However, it is subject to the minimum requirements of board members and paid-up capital in accordance with the Companies Act.
The commerce ministry is organising the Udyog Manthan. Under the Udyog Manthan, a series of webinars are being conducted.
The Webinar is focusing on about 45 sectors including the pharma sector and electronics sector.
The webinar under the Udyog Manthan is being organised with the focus on quality and productivity in all the major manufacturing sectors and services sector.
The Udyog Manthan in upcoming webinar will cover various sectors such as pharma, closed circuit camera, medical devices, electronics system design & manufacturing.
It will also focus on new & renewable energy, aerospace, robotics and defence.
It will further focus on the quality in the government processes that will be a guiding light in realizing the vision of Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat.
The webinar was started on January 4, 2021 and in the span of four weeks, 18 webinars on various sectors such as toys, leather, furniture, and drones have been organized.
Such webinar delves deep into the issues related to quality of products and productivity in specific sector.
It is a marathon that are focused on the sector-specific webinars. The webinars are focused on promoting the Quality and Productivity in Indian Industry. The webinar was started on January 4, 2021 and it will conclude on March 2, 2021. It comprised of 45 sessions that covers the various major sectors of manufacturing and services. Udyog Manthan will help in identifying the challenges, opportunities and bring about the solutions and best practices. The Udyog Manthan involves the participants and representatives from the testing, industry and standardization bodies.
It is a term used by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in order to boost the economic development in country. The first mention of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ came on May 12, 2020 during the announcement of India’s COVID–19 pandemic related economic package. In the line, two more Atmanirbhar Bharat packages were announced on 12 October 12 and November 12, 2020. A total of Rupees 29.87 lakh packages were announced in order to boost the economy of India.
The Future Group has challenged the Delhi high court order that banned the sale of its assets to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). The Delhi HC had banned the sale on objections retail giant Amazon.
The high court put a hold on Future Group’s the ₹24,713-crore retail deal with the Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries
The court has ordered the Future Retail Ltd to maintain the status quo on the assets till the reverse order is pronounced.
Competition Commission of India (CCI) had approved the Future-Reliance deal in November 2020.
The Securities Exchange Board of India also gave its conditional nodto the deal in January 2021.
Why amazon filed the petition?
The global retail giant Amazon had filed the petition recently in the Delhi HC.
Amazon thorough the petition was seeking the detention of Future Group founders including the promoter Kishore Biyani.
It has also asked for the seizure of their assets alleging that it was violating the tribunal order.
Amazon maintains that the Future Group’s deal with Reliance Industries violates its investment agreement with Kishore Biyani’s firm. The agreement had barred the company from selling its assets to any specified entities including the reliance.
What does the court say?
The Singapore tribunal passed an interim order and favoured the Amazon in October 2020. The court order barred the Future Retail from taking any steps to sell or encumber its assets. The Delhi HC also said, the Singapore tribunal order of asking the Future Retail to not proceed with the deal is enforceable in India.
Delhi HC on the Issue
A single member bench of the Delhi high court had rejected Future Group’s plea in December 2021 that asked to restrain the Amazon from writing to regulatory authorities about the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) arbitral order.
Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
It is a not-for-profit international arbitration organisation which is based in Singapore. The organisation administers the arbitrations under its own rules of arbitration. The organisation was established on July 1, 1991. It is located at Maxwell Chambers. SIAC arbitration awards is enforceable in China, Australia, India, Hong Kong SAR, UK, Thailand, Indonesia, Jordan, USA and Vietnam.
The Central government has announced that, it will soon set up a new Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM) in Chennai.
Why it will be set up?
This Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management will be set in a bid to address the knowledge gaps and specific research needs for the conservation and management of wetlands.
Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management
The Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM) will be set up by the central government in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
This conservation centre would be a part of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management. This national centre is an institution under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
The CWCM will play a significant role to design and implement the regulatory frameworks and policies. It will also help in monitoring, management planning and targeted research in a bid to conserve the wetlands.
The conservation centre will also act as a knowledge hub.
It will enable the exchange between the wetland authorities in States or Union Territories, managers, wetland researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and users.
The centre will further help in building the networks and partnerships with the relevant international and national agencies.
What are wetlands?
Wetland are a distinct ecosystem that are flooded by water. They are flooded either permanently or seasonally. In such ecosystems, oxygen-free processes prevail. Wetlands helps in water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and the stabilization of shorelines. It also provides support to the plants and animals. They are the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems. They occur naturally on every continent and the water in the can be either freshwater, brackish, or saltwater.
Wetlands in India
India has 42 Ramsar sites that have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance. They cover around 4.6% of Indian landmass.
World Wetlands Day
In a bid to conserve the wetlands, February 2 is observed as World Wetlands Day. In the year 2021, the day marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. This convention was signed at Ramsar in Iran in the year 1971.
The chief minister of Maharashtra has launched a scheme to boost the start-up ecosystem in Maharashtra.
Apart from that, the government has also proposed to set up an international standard Center for the Skill Development in Mumbai.
Further, to boost the skill development courses in ITIs are also being updated in a timely manner.
Recently, the state was ranked second in the India Innovation Index released by the NITI AYOG.
About the Scheme
The scheme has been launched with the aim of providing the financial assistance to the innovative start-ups in a bid to file for IT patents.
Under the first phase of the scheme, around 125-150 start-ups will be supported with the financial help of ₹2 lakh to ₹10 lakh.
The start-ups will also be provided with the financial assistance up to ₹2 lakh for the quality testing and certification for the start-up’s ideas.
The scheme will help in making the state number one in skill development and start-ups.
India Innovation Index 2020
The think-tank of government, NITI Aayog, recently released the second edition of India Innovation Index 2020. Its first edition was launched in 2019. The index demonstrates the continued commitment of the government in transforming the country into the innovation-driven economy. The index seeks to create an extensive framework for evaluation of the innovation environment across the 29 states and seven UTs in India. Karnataka topped with a score of 42.5 for the second year running. In the index, four southern states namely Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala have occupied the top positions on the index while the state of Maharashtra have been ranked second.
Significance of the Index
The index helps in studying the innovation ecosystem of Indian states and union territories. The index is prepared with the aim of creating a holistic tool that can be used by policymakers in a bid to identify the challenges that are required to be addressed.
The Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh, has inaugurated a new plant for the production of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The plant was inaugurated at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bengaluru. This plant will double the production of India’s indigenous fighter jet – LCA Tejas.
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has got an order of Rs 48,000-cr from the armed forces.
This is going to be the biggest indigenous defence procurement that will give a boost to the Indian aerospace sector.
The minister also highlighted that India will reach its target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in the defence manufacturing soon.
This is the first time that Indian private players have joined hands to produce the aircraft wings and fuselage.
About LAC Tejas production Plant
The newly inaugurated LCA Tejas production plant is spread in an area of 35 acres.
The plant will help in doubling the production of LCA Tejas to 16 aircraft per year in order to complete the Air Force order of 83 jets.
The project of completing the order of 83 jets will include many public and private sector players.
It is expected that the project will create 5,000 primary jobs in the private sector.
The production unit of the HAL will also generate employment for 500-600 people.
About HAL Tejas
It is an Indian single-engine, fourth-generation and multirole light fighter. The fighter is designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and the Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It has been designed for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. The LCA was officially named as “Tejas” in 2003.
Features of Tejas
It has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration comprising of a single vertical stabilizer. The fighter integrates the technologies like relaxed static stability, multi-mode radar, fly-by-wire flight control system and integrated digital avionics system. It is the smallest and lightest in its class. Tejas is better than its foreign equivalent. It is indigenous and cheaper as compared to its foreign variants.
The Aero India 2021 show will start from February 3, 2021 in Bengaluru. The show will conclude on February 5, 2021.
During the Aero show, a deal will be Signed worth Rs 48,000 crore to manufacture the 83 indigenous Teja Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-73.
Another key highlight of the Aero India Show will be India’s defence diplomacy.
The order for 83 LCA’s will be completed by 2030.
A deal will be signed with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to manufacture the Teja Light Combat Aircraft.
Following that, the first aircraft will be handed over in the next three years. In total, nine years will be required to hand over the crafts to the Indian Air Force.
Further, the Aero India Show will include the defence ministers’ conclave of countries of the Indian Ocean Region.
The defence minister conclave will be participated by the Twenty-eight countries. Among them, 19 ministers and representatives will be present at the event while nine will attend it virtually.
Aero India exhibition
The exhibition is organized every alternate year.
It is one of the major exhibitions for the aerospace and defence industries with the public air show.
The exhibition will also enable the industry professional to gain the market insights, announce new developments and gain the media coverage.
Aero India 2021
This is the 13th edition of Aero India which is being organised at Bengaluru, Karnataka. Aero India 2021 will provide opportunity to demonstrate the products to the potential customer and investors. In the conclave, exhibitors will showcase their products using the latest technologies to the potential customers. It will be joined by 600 exhibitors, including 80 foreign companies that would showcase the defence manufacturing prowess.
Significance of the exhibition
This event will bring together the defence ministers of various countries, service chiefs, foreign companies, policymakers, industry, entrepreneurs and academia.
This conclave will also showcase the India’s defence cooperation with other countries who are working as the diplomatic instrument.
It will also provide an opportunity for building the bridges of friendship, mutual trust and capacities on a global basis.
It will further showcase “India’s accomplishments in defence manufacturing”.
Logo for Aero India
The logo for aero India 2021 is inspired by the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The core motif of the logo is the tri-coloured silhouette of the Tejas LCA with the Ashok Chakra in the centre.
It is the smallest and lightest Multi-Role Supersonic Fighter Aircraft of its class. It is single engine, Compound-Delta-Wing and Tailless Aircraft. It is designed and developed to meet the diverse needs of the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
The PGIMER, Chandigarh has launched its ‘PGI Amputee Clinic’ which is also the first such clinic in India.
The launch of the clinic is a collective effort of various experts and departments of the institute who seeks to provide social, mental and physical support to the patients.
The clinic was inaugurated by the PGIMER Director Prof. Jagat Ram.
The clinic was set up to improve the amputation patient care by providing them a host of services under one roof and with significant coordination.
Under this initiative, the amputee will be sent as a near normal functional human being to society.
The Amputee Clinic would also attempt to unify all the diverse sections in PGIMER, with some upgradations where needed.
It will provide appropriate management to the amputees so as to guide them in their path of rehabilitation in society.
What was the need of such clinic?
There is a need of such clinics in order to assess the recovery and co-morbidities of patients who undergo amputation. This is done with a team of occupational therapists and a psychologist who gets involved in patient care immediately. With this clinic, the patient will not be forced to fall out of the rehabilitation process because of stress and anxiety.
Significance of the clinic
The clinic involves the development of a comprehensive database. This would provide a platform for future research and give the essential information about the burden, long-term complications and rehabilitation issues of the amputees. These clinics would also offer a forum for these patients where they can bring their problems and discuss with the team.
What is Amputation?
It is the removal of a limb by trauma, medical illness, or surgery. It is used to control the pain or a disease process in the affected limb. Sometimes, it is carried out on individuals as a preventive surgery. In countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran amputation is currently used to punish people who committed crime.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has recently extended the last date for submission of nomination for Nari Shakti Puraskar-2020. The last date has been extended till February 6, 2021.
About Nari Shakti Puraskar
Nari Shakti Puraskar are conferred every year on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The award is conferred by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
It is conferred for recognizing the exceptional work done by individuals in the area of empowering the women.
The Nari Shakti Puruskar is awarded to individuals or groups or NGOs or institutions.
The award encourages the women to participate in decision making roles, skill development in traditional and non-traditional sectors among the women.
It also facilitates the basic amenities for rural women and promote the women in non-traditional sectors such as science and technology, sports, culture, art and for other significant work towards safety & security, education, life skills, health & wellness, respect & dignity of women.
The award comprises of a citation and a cash reward of Rs. 2 Lakh.
Who are eligible for the award?
As per the Guidelines of ministry, any individual of at least 25 years of age and institutions that have worked in the relevant field for at least 5 years are eligible to apply.
Why this award is given?
This award is given to acknowledge the achievers who have not allowed age, geographical barriers or inaccessibility to resources to hinder their dreams. Their spirit inspires society at large specially the young Indian minds. The award further encourages the society to stand up against gender inequality and discrimination. These awards also recognized the women as equal partners in the advancement of society.
International Women’s Day
The day is celebrated on the March 8, every year across the world. The day signifies the movement for women’s rights. United Nations started celebrating the day in the year 1977. The UN theme for International Women’s Day for the year 2021 is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. The theme highlights the impact that girls and women worldwide had amid the COVID-19 Pandemic as health care workers, caregivers, innovators and community organizers. The hashtag for the day will be #IWD2021 and #InternationalWomensDay.
The NITI Aayog has recently released its plan for Little Andaman. The plan is named as “Sustainable Development of Little Andaman Island Vision Document”. It has been planned for the sustainable and holistic development of the island in Andaman and Nicobar.
The Little Andaman is a 680 sq km fragile Island in the Andaman and Nicobar island group. The fragile environment of the island has raised alarm among conservationists. The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, also declared in the year 2020 that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands will be developed as a “maritime and start-up hub”. The document by NITI Aayog has been formulated in that context only.
Objectives of the document
The NITI Aayog has prepared the Sustainable Development of Little Andaman Island Vision Document with following objectives:
To invest in the strategic location and natural features of the island because this island is critical for India’s security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
To provide a better infrastructure and connectivity to the island that will, in turn, help India to enhance its military and naval strength in the islands.
What is the plan?
NITI Aayog has planned to:
Build a new greenfield coastal city. It has planned to develop the city as a free trade zone. It will also compete with Singapore and Hong Kong.
The developmental plan has been divided into three zones:
Zone 1: It is being developed as the monetary district and is spread over 102 sq km in the east coast of Little Andaman. It would also comprise of medi metropolis and can embody an aerocity, tourism and hospital district.
Zone 2: It is a leisure zone that is spread over 85 sq km of pristine forest. It would comprise of movie metropolis, a residential district and a tourism Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Zone 3: It would be a nature zone and spread over 52 sq km of pristine forest.
About Little Andaman
The little Andaman is the part of the Little Andaman Group. This is the fourth largest island in Andamans. It is famous for its main village and the largest settlement on the island called Hut Bay also known as the Kwate-tu-kwage. The island is at about a distance of 120 Kilometers by sea from the Port Blair. The island is home to Onge Tribes apart from other multilingual settlers of Bengali, Telugu, Tamil and Ranchi communities.
Recently, a team of researchers led by David Baker, who is the professor of biochemistry and director of the Institute for Protein Design at UW Medicine, have created a new protein-based biosensor that will detect the Coronavirus.
The protein-based biosensors will detect the proteins that make up the pandemic coronavirus.
It would also help in detecting the antibodies against it.
The biosensor will glow when mixed with components of the virus or specific COVID-19
Thus, it will enable the faster and more widespread testing.
How this technique is different than the RT-PCR?
The RT-PCR technique to detect the virus is used by most of the medical laboratories today. This technique amplifies the genetic material from the virus in order to make them visible.
But the RT-PCR technique requires specialized staff and equipment.
Further, the technique consumes the lab supplies that are now in high demand across the world.
These supply-chain shortfalls have also slowed the COVID-19 test results.
This, in order to directly detect the coronavirus in patient samples without any genetic amplification used the computers to design new biosensors.
These protein-based biosensors will recognize the specific molecules on the surface of the virus. The protein will bind to them and then emit the light through a biochemical reaction.
How this test is different then the antibody testing?
Antibody testing reveals whether a person had COVID-19 in the past. This test is used to track the spread of the pandemic. But this technique also requires complex laboratory supplies and equipment. But, the newly developed sensors glow when mixed with COVID-19 antibodies. These sensors do not react to other antibodies present in the blood.
It is a laboratory technique comprising of the reverse transcription of RNA into DNA and the amplification of specific DNA targets through a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This technique is used to measure the amount of a specific RNA.
Kerala is going to open its first Human Milk Bank (HMB) on February 5, 2021.
This is a state-of-art facility that will be opened at the Ernakulam general hospital by the Health Minister of Kerala, KK Shailaja.
The milk bank is being set up with the support of the Rotary Club of Cochin Global.
The milk bank will ensure the availability of the breast milk for new-born babies who are not breastfed by their own mothers who are sick or deceased or due to insufficient production of breast milk.
What was the need of the bank?
Approximately 3600 babies are born in the general hospital a year.
Among them, 600 to 1,000 sick babies are admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
But mothers are unable to feed them sufficiently because of low birth-weight of premature babies or babies separated from mothers.
Thus, the pasteurized breast milk from the milk bank will reduce the risk of infections and help in boosting their immunity.
This concept of milk bank had come to India 32 years back but Kerala did not have a milk bank until now.
How this bank will collect the milk?
The milk will be collected by following all the safety protocols and procedures and it will be preserved and provide it to needy children as per government guidelines. The collected milk will be stored for 6 months safely in the bank. The milk will be provided free of cost initially to those babies who are admitted in the neonatal intensive care unit. At the later stage, a network of hospitals will be planned for multiple collections and safe distribution points.
Who will donate the milk?
The milk will be donated by the mothers from the hospital who have delivered babies. These mothers will have all their health statistics available at the hospital.
About Human Milk Bank
This human milk bank comprises of a pasteurization unit, deep freezers, refrigerators, sterilizing equipment, RO plant, and computers. It has been set up at a cost of ₹35 lakh following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed between the state health department and Rotary Club of Cochin Global in the year 2020. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) together and the Indian Association of Pediatricians (IAP) will be providing trained nursing staff to operate the milk bank.