Daily Current Affairs for 101th June 2022

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RBI doubles home loan limits of co-op banks

Why in News?

The Reserve Bank of India doubled the limit on housing loans from cooperative banks and also permitted rural cooperative banks (RCB) to finance residential real estate projects to support affordable housing and inclusive growth.

What has been done?

• The limit on housing loans from cooperative banks has been doubled and rural cooperative banks (RCB) have ben permitted to finance residential real estate projects to support affordable housing and inclusive growth.
• The urban cooperative banks (UCBs) have been allowed to provide doorstep banking services to meet the needs of customers, especially senior citizens and differently abled persons.
• The limits for tier-I and tier-II UCBs have been revised from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 60 lakh and Rs 70 lakh to Rs 1.40 crore, respectively.
• For rural co-operative banks, the limits have been revised from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for RCBs with assessed net worth less than Rs 100 crore.
• For other RCBs, the limits would increase from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 75 lakh.

What do the experts say?

• UCB growth has lagged commercial banks growth over recent years which is reflected in the low credit to deposit ratio, The enhancement in lending limits for housing loans extended by UCBs and RCBs as well as permitting RCBs to lend to the commercial real estate segment (residential housing) will support book growth and profitability for these entities as they will be able to cater to a wider set of customers.
• This may increase competitive intensity in micro-markets where UCBs operate alongside other banks and NBFCs.

How cheetahs went extinct in India

Why in News:

The Union Environment Ministry on Tuesday said that India is set to bring cheetahs from South Africa to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur National Park by August this year.

About Cheetah:

• Cheetah which derives from the Sanskrit ‘chitra’ (speckled) is the only mammal hunted to extinction in modern India.”, primarily due to hunting and habitat loss.
• Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Korea, Madhya Pradesh, is widely believed to have killed the last three recorded cheetahs in India in 1947.
• In 1952, the Indian government officially declared the Cheetah extinct in the country.
• The cheetah was frequently used by Indian nobility for sport-hunting.
o The earliest available record for cheetahs being used for hunts in India, comes from the 12th century Sanskrit text Manasollasa, which was produced by the Kalyani Chalukya ruler, Someshvara III (reigned from 1127-1138 CE).
• The cheetah is also the world’s fastest land mammal that lives in Africa and Asia.


Today, the cheetah is found oly in the arid regionins of eastern Iran in Asia, and in Africa, it is found in isolated populations in grasslands, scrublands and open forests across the continent, especially in the countries of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa


• Just as the tiger is the flagship species of the forest, the cheetah is the flagship species of the grasslands, scrublands and open forests.
• With the reintroduction of the cheetah, the dryland ecosystems of India will have a chance to return to their natural state.
• Being a top carnivore, the cheetah is a major evolutionary force that shapes ecosystem functions and enhances species diversity.
• The cheetah is part of our heritage.
• It is the only large mammal that has been declared extinct in India in recent history.
• It is extensively mentioned in Indian literature, with the word ‘cheetah itself originating from the Sanskrit word ‘chitraka’ which means ‘speckled one’
• Indian rulers, especially the Mughals, kept cheetahs as pets and used them for hunting. Emperor Akbar, for example, maintained a stable of over one thousand cheetahs.


• Currently, wildlife experts have identified three regions which have the potential to support cheetah populations
• The Nauradehi and Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh and the Shahgarh Landscape in Rajasthan have been declared potentially suitable for the reintroduction of the cheetah
• The ‘Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India’ under which 50 of these big cats will be introduced was launched by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA):

• The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006.
• The authority consists of the Minister in charge of the Ministry of Environment and Forests ( as Chairperson), the Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests (as Vice-Chairperson), three members of Parliament, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests and other members.
Fast radio burst

Why in News:

Astronomers have reported a fast radio burst (FRB) whose characteristics are different from almost all other FRBs previously detected, except one.

What are Fast Radio Bursts?

• FRBs are bright flashes of light that appear for a few milliseconds and then vanish.
• First FRB was discovered in 2007 and 140 more were discovered until June 2021.
• Their origins are unknown, and their appearance is unpredictable.

What has the new study found?

• The new study in describes FRB 20190520B, first discovered in 2019. What makes it different is that unlike many other FRBs, it emits frequent, repeating bursts of radio waves.
• Between bursts, it constantly emits weaker radio waves.
• Only one FRB has been previously observed to behave this way. Called FRB 121102, that was discovered in 2012.
o Now we have two like this.

What have the astronomers suggested?

The astronomers have suggested that there may be two different mechanisms producing FRBs, or that the objects producing them may act differently at different stages.

What are the sources of FRBs?

Among the candidates for the sources of FRBs are the superdense neutron stars left over after a supernova, or magnetars (neutron stars with ultra-strong magnetic fields).

Biotech Sector

Why in news

Recently the PM inaugurated the Biotech Startup Expo – 2022. In the inauguration speech he said that India’s bio-economy has grown 8 times in the last 8 years. We have grown from $10 billion to $80 billion. India is not too far from reaching the league of top-10 countries in Biotech’s global ecosystem.

About Biotech

Biotechnology is “the integration of natural sciences and engineering sciences in order to achieve the application of organisms, cells, parts thereof and molecular analogues for products and services”. The term biotechnology was first used by Károly Ereky in 1919, meaning the production of products from raw materials with the aid of living organisms.

Biotech sector in india

• India’s Biotech sector is categorised into Biopharmaceuticals, BioIndustrial, Bioagriculture, BioIT & BioServices. Within the biopharmaceuticals segment, India has developed into a prominent vaccine manufacturer globally, occupying a leading position in the supply of DPT, BCG and measles vaccines among others.
• India also leads in biosimilars, with one of the most biosimilars approved in the domestic market. It is estimated that the biosimilars industry in India will grow at a CAGR of 22% to become $ 12 Bn by 2025.
• Within bio-services, India offers a strong capability in contract manufacturing, research and clinical trials, and is home to the most US FDA approved plants globally outside of the US.
• India has more than 70 thousand start-ups in about 60 different industries registered today. More than 5 thousand startups are associated with biotech.
• 1100 biotech startups emerged in the last year itself.
• Currently, the Indian biotech industry holds 3% of the global market share and is 3rd largest in Asia-Pacific region in terms of number of companies, about 40% of these are in Biopharma segment and the rest are in Agri Biotech, Bioinformatics, industrial Biotechnology and Bioservices.

Expectation from Biotech sector

• Forecast to reach $150 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 16.4%
• Over 5075+ biotech startups, expected to reach 10,000 by 2025.
• 760+ core biotech companies, 200+ Biotech products.
• 38.1% CAGR for Biotech startup growth over the last seven Years.
• More than 1 million skilled biotech workforce.

Steps taken by Government to help biotech sector

• 100% FDI is allowed under the automatic route for greenfield pharma.
• 100% FDI is allowed under the government route for brownfield pharma in upto 74% FDI is under automatic route and beyond 74% is under the government approval route.
• FDI up to 100% is allowed under the automatic route for the manufacturing of medical devices.


Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
BIRAC is an industry-academia interface and implements its mandate through a wide range of impact initiatives, be it providing access to risk capital through targeted funding, technology transfer, IP management and handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to the biotech firms and make them globally competitive.

Key Strategies

• Foster innovation and entrepreneurship
• Promote affordable innovation in key social sectors
• Empowerment of start-ups & small and medium enterprises
• Contribute through partners for capability enhancement and diffusion of innovation
• Enable commercialization of discovery
• Ensure global competitiveness of Indian enterprises

Challenges faced by Biotechnology sector in India

• The absence of standardized biotechnology policies and investment routes with multiple authorities overseeing different requirements is an element of concern. However, recently announced government policies and regulatory reforms are aligned with the interest of the investors in the Indian biotechnology sector.
• Another major concern is the absence of proper enforcement of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliance. Very few laboratories and research facilities follow the guidelines strictly. India still faces the crunch of venture capital funding, which is a major issue in the local industry.
• The small size of most Indian companies and the absence of a defined exit route limits the enthusiasm of venture capital providers in this sector. This can be taken care of by proper exit route planning by the policy-makers in India.

Offshore Wind Energy in India

Why in news

The Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy held a meeting on transmission planning for offshore wind energy projects in India. In the meeting transmission and evacuation infrastructure required for offshore wind projects of total capacity 10 GW off the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, was discussed.

Recent changes for offshore wind energy bidding
Government has decided to bid out offshore wind energy blocks as per the following trajectory:
• Bids equivalent to a project capacity of 4.0 GW per year for a period of three years starting with the current FY 22-23 for development off the coast of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat for sale of power through open access / captive / bi-lateral third party sale / merchant sale
• Subsequently a project capacity of 5 GW will be bid out every year for a period of five years i.e. up till FY 29-30.
• The project capacity of 8 GW bid out in the first two years beginning FY 22-23 will also be able to avail of the benefits of green attributes like carbon credits.
• The bidding for the first 12 GW will be conducted on a single stage two envelope model wherein the bidders will be evaluated based on their techno-commercial capabilities and only the technically qualified bidders will proceed to financial evaluation. The financial evaluation will be based on quoted lease fee per sq km of sea bed area. The bidder offering the highest lease fee per sq km of sea bed area would be declared as the winner for allocation of the project.
• Evacuation and transmission of power from offshore pooling Substation (PSS) to onshore transmission will be provided free of cost for all offshore wind capacities that will be bid out up to FY 29-30.
• The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy through its implementing agency will issue the first bid in sep-oct 2022 for leasing out offshore wind energy blocks equivalent to 4.0 GW capacity off the coast of Tamil Nadu.

National Offshore wind energy policy, 2015
India is blessed with a coastline of about 7600 km surrounded by water on three sides and has good prospects of harnessing offshore wind energy. Considering this, the Government had notified the “National offshore wind energy policy” in October 2015. As per the policy,
• Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will act as the nodal Ministry for development of Offshore Wind Energy in India and work in close coordination with other government entities for Development and Use of Maritime Space within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the country and shall be responsible for overall monitoring of offshore wind energy development in the country.
• National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), Chennai will be the nodal agency to carryout resource assessment, surveys and studies in EEZ, demarcate blocks and facilitate developers for setting up offshore wind energy farms.
• The Ministry set a target of 5.0 GW of offshore wind installations by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030 which has been issued to give confidence to the project developers in India market.

Wind energy possibility in India

• The wind resources assessment carried out by the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) gives total wind energy potential at 302 GW at 100 meter and 695.50 GW at 120 meter hub height.
• Out of the total estimated potential more than 95% of commercially exploitable wind resources are concentrated in seven states (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu).
• The precious land resources required for onshore wind projects are gradually becoming a major constraint. With exhaustion of the best windy sites, we expect upward movements of market determined tariffs for onshore wind energy in future.
• Offshore wind power offers a plausible alternative in such a scenario. Absence of any obstruction in the sea offers much better quality of wind and its conversion to electrical energy. Offshore wind turbines are much larger in size (in range of 5 to 10 MW per turbine) as against 2-3 MW of an onshore wind turbine. While the cost per MW for offshore turbines are higher because of stronger structures and foundations needed in marine environments, the desirable tariffs can be achieved on account of higher efficiencies of these turbines after development of the ecosystem.

Overview of current scenario of wind energy in India
India’s wind energy sector is led by indigenous wind power industry and has shown consistent progress. The expansion of the wind industry has resulted in a strong ecosystem, project operation capabilities and manufacturing base of about 10,000 MW per annum. The country currently has the fourth highest wind installed capacity in the world with total installed capacity of 39.25 GW (as on 31st March 2021) and has generated around 60.149 Billion Units during 2020-21.

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