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Prelims Booster

30th June – Prelims Booster

PM FME Scheme

Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries has launched the PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM FME) scheme on 29th June 2020 as a part of “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”.

The Scheme would generate total investment of Rs 35,000 crore and generate 9 lakh skilled and semi-skilled employment and benefit 8 lakh units through access to information, training, better exposure and formalisation.

Details –

  • It is an all India “Centrally Sponsored PM Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PM FME) scheme” to be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore.
  • The expenditure under the scheme would to be shared in 60:40 ratio between Central and State Governments, in 90:10 ratio with North Eastern and Himalayan States, 60:40 ratio with UTs with legislature and 100% by Centre for other UTs.

How will it work?

  • The Scheme adopts One District One Product (ODODP) approach to reap benefit of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products.
  • The States would identify food product for a district keeping in view the existing clusters and availability of raw material. The ODOP product could be a perishable produce based product or cereal based products or a food product widely produced in a district and their allied sectors. Illustrative list of such products includes mango, potato, litchi, tomato, tapioca, kinnu, bhujia, petha, papad, pickle, millet based products, fisheries, poultry, meat as well as animal feed among others.
  • Preference would be given to those producing ODOP products. However, units producing other products would also be supported. Support for common infrastructure and branding & marketing would be for ODOP products. The Scheme also place focus on waste to wealth products, minor forest products and Aspirational Districts.

What will be the support?

  • Existing Individual micro food processing units desirous of upgradation of their unit can avail credit-linked capital subsidy @35% of the eligible project cost with a maximum ceiling of Rs.10 lakh per unit.
  • Seed capital @ Rs. 40,000/- per SHG member would be provided for working capital and purchase of small tools.  FPOs/ SHGs/ producer cooperatives would be provided credit linked grant of 35% for capital investment along the value chain.
  • Support would be provided through credit linked grant @ 35% for development of common infrastructure including common processing facility, lab, warehouse, cold storage, packaging and incubation centre through FPOs/SHGs/cooperatives or state owned agencies or private enterprise to use by micro units in the cluster.
  • Support for marketing & branding would be provided to develop brands for micro units and groups with 50% grant at State or regional level which could benefit large number of micro units in clusters.

Implementation –

  • The Scheme places special focus on capacity building and research.
  • NIFTEM and IIFPT, two academic and research institutions under MOFPI along with State Level Technical Institutions selected by the States would be provided support for training of units, product development, appropriate packaging and machinery for micro units.
  • All the processes of the Scheme would take place on an MIS including applications by entrepreneurs, their processing, approval of various projects by the States and MoFPI, release of grant and other funds and monitoring of the project.
  • Individual entrepreneurs and other stake holders desirous of availing assistance under the scheme may contact the State Nodal Agencies of their respective states/UTs regarding the roll out of scheme and contact points at the district level.

Operation Greens

Operation Greens Scheme, being implemented by MoFPI has been extended from tomato, onion and potato (TOP) crops to other notified horticulture crops for providing subsidy for their transportation and storage from surplus production area to major consumption centres.

Eligible Crops –

  • Fruits– Mango, Banana, Guava, Kiwi, Lichi, Papaya, Citrus, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Jackfruit; Vegetables: – French beans, Bitter Gourd, Brinjal, Capsicum, Carrot, Cauliflower, Chillies (Green), Okra, Onion, Potato and Tomato. Any other fruit/vegetable can be added in future on the basis of recommendation by Ministry of Agriculture or State Government
  • Duration of Scheme: for the period of six months from the date of notification i.e., 11/06/2020.
  • Eligible entities: – Food Processors, FPO/FPC, Co-operative Societies, Individual farmers, Licensed Commission Agent, Exporters, State Marketing/Co-operative Federation, Retailers etc. engaged in processing/ marketing of fruits and vegetables.
  • Pattern of Assistance:Ministry will provide subsidy @50 % of the cost of the following two components, subject to the cost norms -:
    • Transportation of eligible crops from surplus production cluster to consumption centre; and/or
    • Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for eligible crops (for maximum period of 3 months);

About Operation Greens –

  • Launched on the lines of Operation Flood.
  • To double the income of farmers by end of 2022.
  • To promote farmer producers organisations, agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management.
  • It is a price fixation scheme.
  • Initially it was aimed to reduce price volatility in agriculture commodities such as tomatoes, onions and potatoes only, but now its scope has been widened.

Sanskritik Sadbhav Mandap

Union Minister of Minority Affairs has recently inaugurated “Sanskritik Sadbhav Mandap” at Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.

Details –

It is constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karykram (PMJVK).

This community centre will be utilised for various socio-economic-cultural activities, skill development training, coaching, relief activities during disaster such as Corona and different sports activities.

What is Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram?

  • The erstwhile Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP), a centrally sponsored scheme has been restructured and renamed as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram.
  • MsDP, a centrally sponsored scheme, launched to address the development deficits in 90 minority concentration districts in the country to address the development deficits.
  • It has been identified as one of the Core of the Core Schemes under National Development Agenda.
  • It aims at improving the socio-economic parameters of basic amenities for improving the quality of life of the people and reducing imbalances in the Minority Concentration Areas.
  • Minority Concentration Areas have been identified based on both population data (25% of the total population belongs to minority communities) and backwardness parameters of Census 2001 of these areas.
  • The backwardness parameters are:-
    • Religion-specific socio-economic indicators at the district level –
      • Literacy rate;
      • Female literacy rate ;
      • Work participation rate; and
      • Female work participation rate; and
    • Basic amenities indicators at the district level –
      • Percentage of households with pucca walls‘
      • Percentage of households with safe drinking water &
      • Percentage of households with electricity
  • The projects considered are additional class rooms, laboratories, school buildings, hostels, toilets, buildings for Polytechnics, ITIs, Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres / Sub-centres, Anganwadi Centres, Rural Housing etc.
  • Education, Health and Skill are the priority under MsDP.
  • The projects are funded in the ratio of 60:40 and for NE and Hilly States at 90:10 between the Centre and States.

Ban on mobile apps

The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009, has decided to block 59 apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.

Enforcement of the ban –

The ban has been enforced under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which states: “Where the Central Government or any of its officer specially authorised by it in this behalf is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, in *the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State*, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above, it may subject to the provisions of sub-section.”

Impact –

  • Some of the banned apps are very popular among Indian users, especially TikTok which has over 100 millions active users in the country, especially in heartland India. New social media platforms like Help and Likee, as well as video chat app Bigo Live are also immensely popular among Indians who are not comfortable in English. So these users will now have to look for new avenues.
  • There is also the fact that most of these platforms have Indian creators, for many of whom this is the sole income source. These people will now be hard pressed to find an alternative.
  • There will also be a few thousands jobs at stake as a lot of these apps have India office and employees.

Statistics Day 2020

The Government has been celebrating the Statistics Day, to popularise the use of Statistics in everyday life and sensitise public on how Statistics helps shaping and framing policies for the welfare of people.

Details –

  • It is celebrated every year on the birth anniversary of Prof. P C Mahalanobis, on 29th June, in recognition of his invaluable contribution in establishing the National Statistical System.
  • Prof. P. C. Mahalanobis National Award in Official Statistics 2020 was conferred upon Dr. Chakravarthi Rangarajan, Former Governor, Reserve Bank of India in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the National Statistical System in India.

Who was Prof PC Mahalanobis?

  • Prof. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis is also known as the father of Indian Statistics.
  • He was a physicist by training, a statistician by instinct and a planner by conviction.
  • His contributions were massive on the academic side as the builder of the Indian Statistical Institute, organiser of the Indian statistical systems, pioneer in the applications of statistical techniques to practical problems, architect of the Indian Second Five Year Plan, and much more.
  • In 1931, Mahalanobis established the famous Indian Statistical Institute—a specialised institute to facilitate research and learning of statistics within the premises of Presidency College. Two years later, he set up Sankhya, the Indian Journal of Statistics.
  • He Came up with the famous “Mahalanobis Distance”, a measurement often used in studies of population distribution.
  • Mahalanobis was instrumental in orchestrating different aspects of planning in the newly-independent India. His extensive experience in carrying out surveys helped in establishing the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
  • Under the direction of Mahalanobis, Import Substitution Industrialisation truly became a world-class institution attracting the best minds in India.

Exotic Wildlife Species

The Environment Ministry’s wildlife division has introduced new rules to regulate the import and export of ‘exotic wildlife species’.

Changes introduced –

  • Currently, it is the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, that oversees such trade. Under the new rules, owners and possessors of such animals and birds must also register their stock with the Chief Wildlife Warden of their States.
  • Officials of the Wildlife Department will also prepare an inventory of such species and have the right to inspect the facilities of such traders to check if these plants and animals are being housed in salubrious conditions.
  • Additionally, stockists will have six months to declare their stock.
  • The advisory, issued earlier this month, also says ‘exotic live species’ will mean animals named under Appendices I, II and III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora.
  • It will not include species from the Schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

What is CITES?

  • The CITES is part of a multilateral treaty that includes plant, animals and birds under varying categories of threat of extinction and which will be jointly protected by members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. India is a signatory to this.
  • CITES was conceptualised in 1963 at a meeting of the (IUCN) International Union For Conservation Of Nature. It came into force in 1975 and consists of 183 member-countries till date that abide by CITES regulations by implementing legislation within their own borders to enforce those regulations.
  • Located in Geneva, Switzerland, the CITES is administered by the United Nations under the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme).
  • Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties, it does not take the place of national laws. Rather, it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.

Background –

  • According to World Wildlife Crime Report 2016 of the UN, criminals are illegally trading products derived from over 7,000 species of wild animals and plants across the world.
  • In its first global report on the illegal wildlife trade, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) described wildlife trafficking as a “global threat”, which also has links with other organised crimes such as modern slavery, drug trafficking and arms trade.
  • The illegal trade is estimated to generate revenues of up to $23 billion a year.
  • India continues to battle wildlife crime, with reports suggesting that many times such species are available for trade on online market places.
  • The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is an organisation that is tasked with monitoring illegal trade.

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