CURRENT AFFAIRS 28th Dec 2017

1 .  Livestock  Disease  Forewarning –Mobile  Application  launched
  • Livestock Disease Forewarning –Mobile Application (LDF-Mobile App) was recently launched by the government.
  • It is developed by ICAR-National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (ICAR-NIVEDI), Bengaluru.
  • ICAR-NIVEDI has identified 13 priority diseases based on their past incidence patterns and has built a strong database of these diseases and has been providing monthly livestock disease alerts to the state and central animal husbandry departments.
  •  ICAR-NIVEDI  has developed the app to widen its reach.

 

2 . ‘Startup  India’  Scheme – 5350 Startups  have  been  recognized 

As on 1st December, 2017, a total of 5350 Startups have been recognized by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for availing benefits under Startup India initiative.

What is  ‘Startup India’ Scheme ?

  • It was launched on 16 January 2016
  • It is based on an action plan aimed at promoting bank financing for start-up ventures to boost entrepreneurship and encourage start ups with jobs creation.
  • It is focused on to restrict role of States in policy domain and to get rid of “license raj” and hindrances like in land permissions, foreign investment proposal and environmental clearances.
  • The scheme is under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry .
  • It is also aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among SCs/STs, women communities.
  • Rural India’s version of Startup India was named the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Swaniyojan Yojana.
  • To endorse the campaign, the first magazine for start ups in India, The Cofounder, was launched in 2016.

What is a Startup ?

Startup means an entity, incorporated or registered in India :

1 . Not prior to seven years, however for Biotechnology Startups not prior to ten years,
2 . With annual turnover not exceeding INR 25 crore in any preceding financial year, and
3 . Working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or if it is a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation

Provided that such entity is not formed by splitting up, or reconstruction, of a business already in existence.

 

3 . Significant  achievements  witnessed  under  Make  in  India’s three-year  journey

Significant achievements have been made under the Make in India initiative since its launch on 25th September, 2014.

‘Make in India’ initiative was launched  with the objective of facilitating investment, fostering innovation, building best in class manufacturing infrastructure, making it easy to do business and enhancing skill development.

Action Plans for 21 key sectors were identified for specific actions under (i) Policy Initiatives (ii) Fiscal incentives (iii) Infrastructure Creation    (iv) Ease of Doing Business (v) Innovation and R&D (vi) Skill Development areas.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  1. The total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow was USD 160.79 billion between April 2014 and March 2017 – representing 33% of the cumulative FDI in India since April 2000.
  2. As a result of the measures taken to improve the country’s investment climate, India jumped a massive 30 places to 100th in World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings as per World Bank Group’s ‘Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs’ report.
  3. Exports in Aerospace and Defence  increased to INR 2059.18 crore (2015-16) from INR 1153.35 crore (2013-14).
  4. India’s largest blast furnace, Kalyani commissioned at SAIL, Burnpur
  5. First project to generate power through green technology commissioned at Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL)
  6. First indigenously developed and manufactured Rotavirus vaccine, ‘Rotavac’, launched
  7. Asia’s largest MedTech Zone (AMTZ) being set up in Andhra Pradesh to host around 200 independent manufacturing units.
  8. Assam Gas Cracker Project commissioned
  9. Polypropylene Plant commissioned at Mangalore
  10. 7 Mega Food Parks operationalized creating more than 36,000 jobs during 2014-17
  11. The world’s largest diamond bourse – Bharat Diamond Bourse, Mumbai notified as a Special Notified Zone (SNZ)
  12. Mega Leather Clusters approved at Nellore , Andhra Pradesh, to generate 20,000 jobs
  13. National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM) launched at INR 597.41 crore
  14. IOCL refinery with a capacity of 15 Million Metric Tonnes per annum (MMTPA) commissioned at Paradip, Odisha
  15. 726 MW gas based thermal power project of ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) commissioned at Palatana, Tripura
  16. Integrated Textile Office Complex set up at the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (IIHT) in Varanasi.

 

4 . Tough  path  ahead  in  exports – Standard  Chartered 
  • India’s efforts to increase exports could face several external and domestic challenges in the coming year.
  •  Standard Chartered has cautioned in a recent note to clients that in 2018, global trade may not perform as strongly as in 2017 .
  • According to it Asia, the region most open to trade, cannot count on the same degree of external support that it received in 2017.

Causes

Among the many factors, the bank listed multiple political event risks — including in the Middle East and Europe (‘possible polls in Germany and the Brexit negotiation process’) — which could knock the markets, and global growth, off track in 2018.

Moreover, growth in labour-intensive exports (leather products, ready-made garments) remains weak, possibly because of working capital issues due to delayed GST refunds.

Measures taken by Government recently to boost exports

Lower interest rates, incentives for small firms to take part in global exhibitions as well as reducing their tax burden, expediting GST refunds and improvement in logistics are some of  the few steps taken by the government which could  boost exports.

 

5 . India  faces  fiscal  deficit  target miss  after  extra  borrowing

India will borrow an additional 500 billion rupees ($7.79 billion) this fiscal year, a higher-than-expected figure that could lead to it breaching its fiscal deficit target for the first time in four years.

The announcement by the finance ministry on Wednesday comes weeks after Moody’s Investors Service upgraded India’s sovereign credit rating for the first time in nearly 14 years.

But analysts said the additional borrowing was a “negative” that could raise the fiscal deficit to 3.5 percent of gross domestic product, stated target of 3.2 percent.

India is having to raise the extra funds as the federal government has already spent over $200 billion in eight months to October, about 60 percent of the budgeted spending, while revenue collections were just 48 percent of the target.

The government’s tax collection plunged after the launch of the national Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July that complicated tax filings for business and hit the economy.

Stand of the Government

Borrowing was required to “nurture the green shoots of economic recovery”.The health of the economy is more important than meeting any fiscal deficit target.