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12 initiatives for Support and Outreach Initiative for MSME sector launched by PM Modi; Rs 1 crore loan in 59 minutes for MSMEs
On November 2, 2018, at the launching ceremony of Government’s Support and Outreach Initiative for MSME at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, PM Narendra Modi announced 12 key initiatives for the growth and support of the MSME sector.
i. The 12 initiatives would help address 5 aspects of growth for the sector, including access to credit, access to market, technology upgradation, ease of doing business, and a sense of security for employees.
ii. The 12 initiatives are as follows:
- Launch of the 59 minute loan portal to enable easy access to credit for MSMEs and grant of loans upto Rs. 1 crore through this portal,
- 2 percent interest subvention for all GST registered MSMEs, on fresh or incremental loans. This would include increase in interest rebate from 3 percent to 5 percent for exporters,
- Companies with a turnover more than Rs. 500 crore, to be brought on the Trade Receivables e-Discounting System (TReDS).
- Public sector companies to compulsorily procure 25 percent, instead of 20 percent of their total purchases, from MSMEs,
- 25 percent procurement mandated from MSMEs, 3 percent must now be reserved for women entrepreneurs,
- All public sector undertakings of the Union Government must now compulsorily be a part of Government E-marketplace (GeM),
- 20 technology hubs will be formed across the country, and 100 spokes in the form of tool rooms will be established.
- 70 percent cost of establishing pharma company clusters will be borne by the Union Government,
- Return under 8 labour laws and 10 Union regulations must now be filed only once a year,
- Establishments to be visited by an Inspector will be decided through a computerised random allotment.
- Under air pollution and water pollution laws, an entrepreneur would now receive a merged environmental clearance and consent. Hewill himself review the work of MSMEs in 100 districts.
- For minor violations under the Companies Act, the entrepreneur will no longer have to approach the Courts, but can correct them through simple procedures.
iii. The implementation of this outreach programme will be intensively monitored over the next 100 days.
iv. He also proposed a social security for the MSME sector employees to ensure that they have Jan Dhan Accounts, provident fund and insurance.
Ministry of MSME:
Union Minister of State (I/C) for MSME: Shri Giriraj Singh.
India and Japan signed a Loan Agreement worth Rs. 1817 crore for the ‘Project for the Construction of Turga Pumped Storage (I)’ in the State of West Bengal
On November 2, 2018, Ministry of Finance announced loan agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the Construction of Turga Pumped Storage (I) to be done in West Bengal.
i. The Agreement was signed between:
- Shri C.S. Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India and
- Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA, New Delhi on Japanese Official Development Assistance.
ii. The agreement was for a Japanese Official Development Assistance loan that amounted to Yen 29.442 Billion or Rs. 1817 crore approximately.
iii. The Project would:
- Strengthen the capability to respond to fluctuation in supply and demand of power,
- Improve stability of the power supply by constructing the pumped storage facilities,
iv. These would contributing to the Industrial Development and Living Standard Improvement in the State of West Bengal.
♦ Capital: Tokyo.
♦ Currency: Japanese yen.
Indo-French Conclave held in Nagpur, Maharashtra; Indian & French firms sign 12 pacts worth 200 million euros
On 2nd November 2018, Indo-French Conclave was held in Nagpur, Maharashtra, in which French and Indian firms signed 12 agreements worth 200 million euro.
i. The Indo-French Conclave was organized by Indo French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IFCCI) and the Embassy of France in India.
ii. The 12 agreements signed include:
- French multinational Thales Group signed agreements with 7 Indian firms: Godrej Precision Engineering, Bharat Forge, Amphenol Interconnect India, Larsen & Toubro, Solar Explosives, Mahindra Defence Systems and Coriolis.
- Agreement between energy firm Technique Solaire and the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency
- Agreement between aeronautical firm Turgis & Gaillard and the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC).
- French ropeway firm Poma gave letters of intent for 2 projects in Nagpur and Tadoba, in Vidarbha region.
- French hospitality major Accor Hotels exchanged a letter of intent with Gurugram-headquartered Interglobe Hotels Limited.
iii. These agreemnents will help to create 3,000 jobs in Maharashtra. Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler also participated in the conclave.
About Indo French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IFCCI):
♦ Secretary General – Payal Kanwar
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
Preparatory Meeting of the “Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue -2019” held in New Delhi
On November 2, 2018, the two-day long preparatory meeting of the “Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue- 2019” concluded in New Delhi.
i. It was the first phase of the main exercise scheduled for 21-24 February, 2019 in Delhi which will be organized by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on behalf of Government of India.
ii. The key note address was delivered by Shri R. K. Jain, Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
iii. The meeting focused on chalking out the plan, discuss requirements, details and modalities of main exercise, which is scheduled for February, 2019.
iv. It also highlighted on sensitization about the dimensions of disaster and responsibility of SCO.
iv. Furthermore, India has also hosted the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx), Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) and Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Corporation (BIMSTEC).
The preparatory meeting was organized to conduct the “Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue- 2019 for the region, which was proposed by India during the 9th meeting of the Heads of Departments of disaster prevention of SCO countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states, led by Union Home Minister, Shri. Rajnath Singh, held at Kyrgyzstan in August, 2017.
♦ Full Form: Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
♦ India and Pakistan has joined the organization as full time members from 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
♦ Number of Member Countries are: 8 (present), 4 (Observer states).
♦ Headquarters: Beijing, China
♦ The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
♦ Secretary General: Rashid Alimov.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF):
♦ Director General: Mr. Sanjay Kumar.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
Delhi government, Indian Railways partnered for Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana
On November 1, 2018, the Delhi government along with the Indian Railways launched a scheme to give free tourism package for senior citizens travelling to 5 religious circuits.
The name of the scheme is: Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana.
i. The MOU was signed by:
- The Delhi Tourism & Transportation Development Corporation Ltd., Delhi government and
- The Indian Railways and Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia at the Delhi Secretariat in New Delhi.
ii. Under the scheme,
- 1100 senior citizens from all Delhi constituencies will be able to avail the offer,
- The AAP government will bear expenses of 77,000 pilgrims every year,
- The destinations will include Vaishno Devi, Haridwar, Amritsar, Ajmer, Agra, and would commence on December 2018,
- Non-AC coach with 15 coaches and paramedics and a government doctor will be provided for them.
iii. The journey will start from Delhi’s Safdarjung railway station.
♦ Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal.
♦ Lt. Governor: Shri. Anil Baijal.
♦ National Parks: National Zoological Park, National Bonsai Park (Lodhi Garden), Satpura National Park.
President Kovind inaugurated 2-day Gyan Kumbh in Haridwar
On November 3, 2018, a two-day Gyan Kumbh was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind at Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar.
To inculcate good manners and character building in the students.
i. He also addressed the first convocation of the AIIMS at Rishikesh.
ii. Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat, Higher Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat and Swami Ramdev were also present on the occasion.
♦ Chief Minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat
♦ Governor: Smt. Baby Rani Maurya.
♦ National Parks: Corbett National Park, Gangotri National Park, Govind National Park, Nanda Devi National Park, Rajaji National Park, Valley of Flowers National Park.
Odisha Aerospace & Defence Manufacturing Policy rolled out by the state government
On November 3, 2018, Odisha Aerospace & Defence Manufacturing Policy, 2018 was approved by the state cabinet and rolled out by Odisha government.
i. This was done ahead of the second edition of ‘Make In Odisha Conclave’ to be held here from November 11 to November 15.
ii. Under this:
- The process of industrialisation will be accelerated through promotion of aerospace and defence manufacturing,
- Generation of employment opportunities and promotion of value addition will be achieved.
- Capital grants of 50 per cent of the infrastructure cost limited to Rs 10 crore for subsequent aerospace and defence parks.
iii. For establishing manufacturing facilities in the state, extension of capital subsidy of Rs 100 crore for the first three OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) will be provided with investment of at least Rs 1000 crore and generating 1000 domiciled employment.
iv. Establishment will be with private participation of the centres, the ceiling will be:
- Rs 50 crore for common facility centre,
- Rs 30 crore for technology innovation centre and
- Rs 25 crore for testing centre.
v. In addition, for the first three OEMs the interest subsidy will be allowed, based on investment in plant and machinery, up to a limit of:
- Rs 10 crore per annum for an amount of more than Rs 500 crore and
- Rs 5 crore per annum for an amount between Rs 100 crore to Rs 500 crore.
vi. Other units, will be entitled to 10 per cent capital subsidy upto Rs 50 crore, as per the policy.
vii. Additionally, interest subsidy for timely payment at the rate of 5 per cent per annum on term loan of 5 years subject to a total limit of:
Rs 10 lakh for micro enterprises, Rs 20 lakh for small enterprises, Rs 40 lakh for medium enterprises and Rs 1 crore for non MSME units.
viii. These steps will help in setting up first state-of-the-art Aerospace and Defence Park in the state.
The enterprises will come up in the industrially backward districts of Kandhamal, Gajapati, Mayurbhanj along with the KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) districts will be extended additional incentives.
♦ Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik.
♦ Governor: Prof. Ganeshi Lal.
♦ Lakes : Chilika Lake, Kanjia Lake, Anshupa Lake, Balimela Reservoir.
♦ Dams: Rengali Dam, Kala dam, Pitamahal Dam, Kansbahal Dam, Tikhali Dam, Deras Dam, Salia Dam, Ghodahada Dam, Kuanria Dam.
♦ Festivals: Kalinga Mahotsav, Chandan Yatra, Durga Puja, Konark Dance Festival, Rath Yatra, Deepabali, Kumar Purnima.
Arunachal Pradesh Tourist Police & Arunachal Suraksha App launched to help visitors
On 2nd November 2018, Arunachal Pradesh Police launched the Arunachal Pradesh Tourist Police and the Arunachal Suraksha App to help the citizens during emergencies.
i. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu launched the Arunachal Pradesh Tourist Police and the Arunachal Suraksha App at a function held at Dorjee Khandu Convention Centre in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.
ii. The launch was part of the 46th Raising Day celebration of Arunachal Pradesh Police, which started on 2nd November and will conclude on 8th November 2018.
iii. Through Arunachal Suraksha App, users can find the nearest police station and contact details and make direct call to police by pressing a button.
iv. This mobile app is first of its kind for Arunachal Pradesh police. It also has the capacity to send SOS message to emergency contacts.
v. By pressing the ‘Save Me’ button, user can send message to the nearest police station.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Arunachal Pradesh:
♦ Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
4-member committee to examine waste dumping near Polavaram project: NGT
On November 3, 2018, the National Green Tribunal ordered a four-member committee to conduct an inspection and submit report about the waste dumping issue at the Polavaram dam in Andhra Pradesh.
i. The decision of the committee was taken by a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.
ii. The committee would comprise of representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board, additional principal chief conservator of forests, theState Pollution Control Board and the district magistrate.
iii. The nodal agency for execution of this order would be Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board.
iv. The report for this would be submitted to the NGT tribunal by 2 months.
The NGT’s order came on a plea filed by an Andhra Pradesh native, Pentapati Pulla Rao, alleging that illegal dumping of muck was taking place during construction of Indira Sagar Polavaram Multipurpose Project which was damaging the environment.
♦ Chief Minister: N Chandrababu Naidu.
♦ Governor: E.S.L Narasimhan.
♦ Capital: Amravati.
♦ National Parks: Sri Venkateswara National Park, Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Papikonda National Park.
India-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) 2018 held in Dubai on October 30 & 31, 2018
On 30th and 31st October 2018, India-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) 2018 was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
i. The summit aimed to promote investments from UAE to India and India to UAE.
ii. It aimed to identify the investment areas, projects, funding needs and helped to raise investments to funds vital infrastructure projects.
iii. The focus sectors for IUPS 2018 were: investments in Education and SME’s, Skill Development and Placements.
iv. Focus Indian States were: Delhi, Assam, Punjab and West Bengal.
v. Focus UAE Emirate: Sharjah
vi. IUPS was hosted by Business Leaders Forum (a unit of India Trade & Exhibition Centre m.e.) in association with Indian Embassy-Abu Dhabi & Consulate General of India-Dubai and UAE Ministry of Economy.
About United Arab Emirates:
♦ Capital – Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency – UAE dirham
♦ Official language – Arabic
♦ President – Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
♦ Prime Minister – Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
IORA member states establish ‘Be the Legacy’ internship programme to honour Nelson Mandela
On 2nd November 2018, the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) ‘Be the Legacy’ internship programme was announced at the end of the 18th IORA meeting in Durban, South Africa.
i. The internship programme will be launched on July 18, 2019, the 101st birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela.
ii. The programme has been established by IORA members, including India, to honour former South African president Nelson Mandela.
iii. The programme aims to empower people under the age of 30 from IORA member states with work experience in their interested fields of study.
iv. IORA was established in March 1997 through the vision of Nelson Mandela.
BANKING & FINANCE
Chola MS & IndusInd Bank renewed decade long Bancassurance partnership for 5 years
On November 3, 2018, Chola MS General Insurance and IndusInd Bank Ltd renewed their corporate agency arrangement for a period of five years.
i. This is a part of a decade-long partnership has garnered around Rs 37 billion and serviced close to half a million customers during 2017-18.
ii. They will roll out more innovative digital insurance solutions, especially in claims servicing, targeting to double its premium over the next five years.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
IPO timeline to be cut to 3 days from 6 days: SEBI
On November 1, 2018, the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) cut listing time for an IPO to 3 days from 6 at present.
i. This will be done in a phased manner with the 1st phase starting from January 1, 2019.
ii. For the implementation, Unified Payments Interface was launched as an alternative payment option for retail investors, buying shares in a public issue.
iii. After 3 months i.e., from April 1, 2019, in the 2nd phase the physical submission mechanism of bid forms would be discontinued.
iv. For the implementation of this procedure, it introduced the use of UPI as a payment mechanism with Application Supported by Block Amount (ASBA) for applications in public issues by retail investors through intermediaries.
v. The 2nd phase having T+6 days will continue for another 3 months or floating of 5 main board public issues whichever is later.
vi. This means in Phase II, such entities shall aim to expeditiously complete the process of listing of shares and commencement of trading, in any case, not later than T+6.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
♦ Chairman: Ajay Tyagi.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
Initial public offering (IPO) or stock market launch is a type of public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investors and usually also retail (individual) investors.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Malayalam writer Mukundan selected for Ezhuthachan award 2018
On November 3, 2018, 76-year old noted Malayalam writer M Mukundan has been selected for 2018 Ezhuthachan Puraskaram award, the highest literacy prize of the Kerala government.
i. He will be conferred for his overall contributions to the language and literature.
ii. The award carries a cash prize of Rs five lakh and citation.
iii. Mukundan is popularly known as the writer of Mayyazhi and has been a recipient of the Chevalier of Arts and Literature by the French Government in 1998.
iv. He also won many noted literary awards including the Kendra Sahitya Akademy award, Kerala Sahitya Akademy award, Vayalar award, MP Paul award, Muttathu Varkey award and NV Puraskaram.
v. A famous novel written by him is, ‘Mayyazhipuzhayude Theerangalil’ (On the banks of river Mayyazhi). Others are “Daivathinte Vikrithikal”, “Kesavante Vilapangal” and “Delhi Gadhakal”.
Ezhuthachan Puraskaram award:
2017 recipient of this award was poet K Satchidanandan.
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram.
♦ Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan.
♦ Governor: Palanisamy Sathasivam.
♦ National Parks: Periyar National Park, Silent Valley National Park, Pampadum Shola National Park, Mathikettan National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park.
Pather Panchali on BBC’s list of 100 best foreign language films
The film Pather Panchali has been listed in BBC’s list of 100 best foreign language films.
i. It is the only film from India to feature in the list. It was directed by Satyajit Ray and released in 1955.
ii. Pather Panchali is at number 15 in the list. The list is topped by Akira Kurosawa’s film Seven Samurai.
iii. The list features 100 films from 67 different directors, from 24 countries, and in 19 languages.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
RBL Bank appointed Vikas Muttoo as CEO of its subsidiary Swadhaar Finserve
On November 1, 2018, RBL Bank announced appointment of Vikas Muttoo as CEO of Swadhaar Finserve.
i. Prior to this, Muttoo was the chief business officer of microlender Bharat Financial.
ii. Swadhaar Finserve Private Limited, wholly-owned subsidiary of the RBL Bank.
Ratnakar Bank Limiter (RBL Bank):
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ MD & CEO: Vishwavir Ahuja.
♦ Founded : August 1943.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
AI bot ‘ClaRAN’ can spot radio galaxies
Researchers have taught an Artificial Intelligence (AI) bot named “ClaRAN” to identify galaxies in deep space.
i. The AI bot named “ClaRAN” used to recognise faces on Facebook. It has been trained to scan images taken by radio telescopes.
ii. It can spot radio galaxies – galaxies that emit powerful radio jets from supermassive black holes at their centres.
iii. ClaRAN is the brainchild of big data specialist Dr Chen Wu and astronomer Dr Ivy Wong from The University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).
iv. ClaRAN was developed from an open source version of Microsoft and Facebook’s object detection software.
v. ClaRAN is an open source software and is publicly available on Microsoft-owned GitHub.
Vietnam will host the Formula 1 race in April 2020 in Hanoi
Vietnam will host Formula 1 race in its capital city Hanoi for the first time in April 2020.
i. The Vietnamese government has given its support for the race. But Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Formula 1’s governing body, has not given the approval yet.
ii. The circuit for the Formula 1 race will be unveiled soon. Funding for the race will be provided by the private sector, and not by the government.
iii. It will be the third Formula 1 race to be hosted in south-east Asia following Singapore and Malaysia.
About Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA):
♦ Founded – 1904
♦ President – Jean Todt
2018 SAFF U-15 Championship in Nepal
From 25th October to 3rd November 2018, the 5th SAFF U-15 Championship 2018 was held at the ANFA Complex, Kathmandu, Nepal.
i. Bangladesh beat Pakistan 3-2 on penalties in the final, and won its 2nd SAFF U-15 Championship title. Earlier, Bangladesh had won the title in 2016.
ii. Pakistan finished as the runner-up. India beat Nepal 1-0 and finish in the third position.
About South Asian Football Federation (SAFF):
♦ President – Mr. Kazi Md. Salahuddin
♦ Secretariat – Dhaka, Bangladesh