PIB06082018

IMPRINT-2

 

For advancing research in the high education institutions, the government has approved 122 new research projects at a cost of Rs 112 crore under IMPRINT-2 covering Energy, Security, Healthcare, Advanced Materials, ICT and Security/Defence domains.

·       Out of 2145 proposals, 122 best proposals were selected for funding under IMPRINT-II, advancing cutting edge level technology.

 

Key Words: IMPRINT

 

NATIONAL

 

CHANDRAYAN-2

 

Why in News?

India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, may be delayed till January 2019.

 

·       The ambitious mission was supposed to be launched in October,2018.

 

The postponement comes in the wake of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facing quick setbacks

·       Last September, the PSLV- C39 mission, carrying the IRNSS-1H navigation satellite, failed after the heat shield refused to open and release the satellite.

·       Earlier this year, the ISRO had launched GSAT-6A, a military communication satellite, but lost communication with it.

·       ISRO also recalled the launch of GSAT-11 from Kourou, French Guiana, for additional technical checks.

 

Chandrayaan-2 will be ISRO’s first time attempt to land a rover, on the Moon. The rover, costing nearly Rs. 800 crore , will be made to land near the yet-unexplored south pole of the moon.

 

Key Words: Chandrayan-2, ISRO

Pawan Hans

Why in News?

The government will soon invite fresh bids for 100% stake sale in Pawan Hans by issuing an addendum to the disinvestment document as ONGC is ready to sell its entire stake in the company, an official said.

·       Helicopter services provider Pawan Hans is a joint venture between the government, which holds 51% stake, and state-owned ONGC, which owns the remaining 49% shareholding.

·       Pawans Hans has a fleet of 46 choppers.

Background - On April 13, the government had issued the information memorandum for the 51% strategic stake sale in Pawan Hans and had sought Expression of Interest (EoI) from interested bidders by June 18. About half a dozen bidders are believed to have submitted bids.

·       On July 2, ONGC wrote to the government saying its board has resolved that it would prefer to exit Pawan Hans simultaneously with the government.

·       Against this backdrop, an addendum to the existing document would be issued soon, seeking bids for 100% stake in Pawan Hans.

·       The government had first floated an offer to sell its 51% stake in October last year, but in view of subdued response from bidders, the EoI was withdrawn in April.

·       Among others, Pawan Hans provides seven helicopters to ONGC for its offshore helicopter requirements such as change of crew and production tasks, including night ambulance services.

Key WordsPawan Hans, Govt of India, ONGC, stake sale.

U.S.-China trade war

Why in News?

According to the CII, with the U.S. imposing an additional 25% duty on imports worth $34 billion from China, certain Indian products may become more competitive.

·       An analysis by the industry chamber revealed that India should focus on the U.S. market for items in the categories of machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles and transport parts, chemicals, plastics and rubber products.

Tariffs increased

India can focus on several goods for expanding its exports to the U.S. and China after the increase in duties by both countries on imports from each other.

·       Top exports from India to the U.S. which are covered in the list of items for which the tariffs have been raised include pumps, parts of military aircraft, parts for electro-diagnostic apparatus, passenger vehicles of 1500-3000 cc, valve bodies and parts of taps.

·       Exports of these items stood at more than $50 million in 2017, according to CII, and can be increased with concerted efforts.

·       Countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia have increased their exports of these products to the U.S. in recent years, it noted.

·       Based on India’s current exports to the U.S. in these categories, products such as intermediate parts for the defence and aerospace sector, vehicles and auto parts, engineering goods, etc. have higher potential for export.

·       Sectors like apparel and textiles, footwear, toys and games and cell phone manufacturing are becoming competitive industries in India and need to be encouraged, CII said.

·       It suggested that trade talks with the U.S. be strategised taking into account India’s competitive advantage in these products.

Key Words – trade war, USA, China, benefits to India, CII report.

Solar duty

Why in News?

According to industry players and analysts, while the government’s decision to impose a safeguard duty on the import of solar cells from China and Malaysia could benefit domestic manufacturers, it will do a lot of damage to existing solar projects that have already factored in the cheaper imports into their pricing.

Background - The government implemented a 25% safeguard duty on solar cell imports from China and Malaysia for the period between July 30, 2018 and July 29, 2019.

·       Thereafter, the duty is to decrease to 20% for the six months following that period, and further to 15% in the subsequent six months.

·       The import has been placed in order to encourage local solar panel manufacturers in the country in a push to the ‘Make in India’ effort”.

·       However, with the majority of top solar projects using these imported panels especially from China, this will, at least in the short term, create choppy waters.

·       Add to this the confusion surrounding GST, the solar industry has a fight on its hands.

·       More than 10,000 MW capacity of solar panels are imported annually from China and Malaysia and this application of the safeguard duty would adversely impact the commercial viability of some solar power projects.

·       The increased tariffs will be ultimately passed on to the customers, hampering the adoption of clean energy.

·       Further, the manner in which the safeguard duty is implemented is also problematic as the duty does not provide any relief to developers in SEZs.

·       In light of the SEZ issue, the notification defeats the very purpose of a safeguard duty, which is to protect and promote domestic industry.

Government as buyer

One alternative method to promote the domestic industry is for the government to procure at competitive rates solar power generated from units only using domestically manufactured panels.

·       Another criticism of the government’s decision is that the period of two years will not be enough to actually benefit domestic manufacturers.

·       Crisil, in a report, added that despite the increase in tariffs due to the safeguard duty, solar energy’s cost competitiveness compared with most other sources would mean that the sector would not see much of a slowdown in capacity addition.

·       However, it did add that there could be some near-term delays in project implementation.

Key Words – Solar cells, safeguard duty, Make in India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TELANGANA

 

REAL SURGE IN HYDERABAD

 

CREDAI or Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India, the apex body of real estate sector released two joint reports.

 

·       According to the reports Hyderabad real estate scene saw a real surge in the first half of the year with residential sales seeing a 182% growth. Kolkata pipped Hyderabad in clocking the highest growth in comparative figures nationwide with 280% sales growth.

·       The two reports unveiled at the CREDAI NATCON 2018 are a testimony to the unprecedented growth displayed by the real estate industry in India.

·       Mumbai saw the highest sales, followed by Bangalore closely with 13,300 units.

·       But, because Kolkata and Hyderabad markets had seen very limited buying activities last year, the sales volumes of this year stand out significantly, it said.

·        High growth witnessed could be attributed to two large factors, firstly returning buyers’ confidence on account of implementation of RERA in most States and stable capital values that have started to show an upward curve

 

Key Words: CREDAI NATCON 2018, CREDAI, Telangana

 

KANTI VELUGU

 

The State government has estimated distribution of 40 lakh spectacles to the needy free of cost in the Kanti Velugu programme of free checkup of eyes of 3.5 crore population in the State from August 15.

·       The government has also estimated that some 50 lakh people might require Stage I measures of protection of eyes, about 2.6 lakh Stage II and 15,000 Stage III.

·       In its bid to make the State blindness-free, the government has made elaborate arrangements to run the programme with 799 teams whose personnel have already been imparted training in all aspects of checkup.

 

The checkups will be carried out at camps in schools, community halls, gram panchayat buildings and other government premises.

 

·       The public turning up at the centres will be put through primary eye screening and then subjected to comprehensive tests comprising objective and subjective refraction.

·       The needy will be given medicines and spectacles while those requiring surgeries and follow up action will be referred to hospitals.

·       The correction of general refractive ailments will be done on the same day by handing over reading glasses to patients. But, those requiring prescribed spectacles will get them in three to four weeks.

·       Patients requiring subsequent protective measures or surgeries will be referred to State II and Stage III hospitals. The government has identified 114 government, private and charitable hospitals for the purpose.

 

Key Words: Kanti velugu, Telangana

 

Andhra Pradesh

Economic Cities

The State government intends to develop six Economic Cities with a view to promote housing and also generate employment in the State.

·       The six Economic Cities are expected to come up in an extent of 980 acre with a total built up area of 83.6 million sft. The total investment is expected to be around ₹22,000 crore.

·       The private players would develop the Economic Cities on lands owned by them. The developers would have to provide internal infrastructure and has responsibility of operation and maintenance for a period of five years.

·       The government would act as ‘facilitator’ and provides incentives such as exemptions on the fee and charges like building licence fee, NALA (The Andhra Pradesh Non-Agricultural Lands Assessment Act) charges for land use modification.

·       The beauty of the scheme is to leverage the incentives given under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for affordable housing, including Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), Lower Income Group (LIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG).

·       The Economic Cities are expected to generate about 1.20 lakh jobs and about 40,000 construction jobs as the government proposes to encourage non-polluting MSME, startups, light and green industries are encouraged in the Economic Cities.

Key Words – Economic cities,  Andhra Pradwsh.

 

States’ Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index

Why in News?

Andhra Pradesh has emerged the “front-runner” in the field of energy efficiency according to the States’ Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index (SEEPI) released by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and NITI Aayog.

·       The World Bank has already ranked A.P. No. 1 in Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness.

·       In the first edition of SEEPI, Andhra Pradesh is followed by Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra.

·       The BEE’s assessment is based on the State’s adoption of energy efficiency and energy savings measures and other key parameters.

·       Andhra Pradesh is ahead of other States in the race to the top by performing exceedingly well on the energy efficiency front in municipalities and agriculture in demand-side management and domestic/buildings sector.

Key Words - States’ Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index (SEEPI), Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), NITI Aayog, Andhra Pradesh.

 

MCQs

 

1.     Which of the following statements are True with regard to IMPRINT

a.     Developing new engineering education policy

b.     Creating a road map to pursue engineering challenges

A. a only

B. b only

C. Both a and b

D. Neither a nor b

 

Explanation:

 

IMPRINT is the first of its kind MHRD supported Pan-IIT + IISc joint initiative to address the major science and engineering challenges that India must address and champion to enable, empower and embolden the nation for inclusive growth and self-reliance. This novel initiative with twofold mandate is aimed at:

(a) Developing new engineering education policy
(b) Creating a road map to pursue engineering challenges

IMPRINT provides the overarching vision that guides research into areas that are predominantly socially relevant.

 

 

2.     Which of the following statements are True with regard to Chandrayan-1.

a.     It was launched in the year 2008.

b.     The mission carried foreign payloads free of cost.

A.     a only

B.     b only

C.     Both a and b

D.     Neither a nor b

Explanation:

Chandrayaan-1 was India's first lunar probe. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008, and operated until August 2009.

 The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor. India launched the spacecraft using a PSLV-XL rocket, in October 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

 On 14 November 2008, the Moon Impact Probe separated from the Chandrayaan orbiter and struck the South Pole in a controlled manner, making India the fourth country to place its flag on the Moon. The probe hit near the crater Shackleton  ejecting sub-surface soil that could be analysed for the presence of lunar water ice.

The lunar mission carried five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other space agencies including NASA, ESA, and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency, which were carried free of cost

 

3.     Consider the following statements about the States’ Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index (SEEPI)

a)    The index is released by by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)

b)    In the recently released report Andhra Pradesh topped the index along with Telangana

Which of the above statements is/are correct? Choose the correct code.

A)    Only a

B)    Only b

C)    Both a and b

D)   Neither a nor b

Explanation - Andhra Pradesh has emerged the “front-runner” in the field of energy efficiency according to the States’ Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index (SEEPI) released by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and NITI Aayog.

The World Bank has already ranked A.P. No. 1 in Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness.

In the first edition of SEEPI, Andhra Pradesh is followed by Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra.

The BEE’s assessment is based on the State’s adoption of energy efficiency and energy savings measures and other key parameters.

 

4.     Consider the following statements

a)    Pawan Hans Ltd is a helicopter service provider

b)    It is joint venture between the Union Government and ONGC

Which of the above statements is/are correct? Choose the correct code.

A)    Only a

B)    Only b

C)    Both a and b

D)   Neither a nor b

Explanation - Pawan Hans is a helicopter service provider. It is a joint venture between the government, which holds 51% stake, and state-owned ONGC, which owns the remaining 49% shareholding.

Pawans Hans has a fleet of 46 choppers.

5.     Consider the following statements

a)    Confederation of Indian Industry is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization.

b)    CII works with the Government on policy issues. It played a very important role during economic liberalisation in 1991.

c)     CII's Theme for 2018-19 is 'India RISE: Responsible. Inclusive. Sustainable. Entrepreneurial.

 

5.     Which of the above statements is/are correct? Choose the correct code.

A)    Only a

B)    Both a and b

C)    Both a and c

D)   All of the above

Explanation - The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is a business association in India.

CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization. Founded in 1895, it has over 9,000 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs, and an indirect membership of over 300,000 enterprises from around 265 national and regional sectoral industry bodies.

CII works with the Government on policy issues. CII has been a catalyst of change in India’s economic policy reforms. CII played a very important role during economic liberalisation in 1991 which knocked down the high walls of protection between Indian industry and the rest of the world.

CII's Theme for 2018-19 is 'India RISE: Responsible. Inclusive. Sustainable. Entrepreneurial'.