India Drone Festival 2022
Why in News
• The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today inaugurated India’s biggest drone festival – India Drone Festival 2022.
• The Prime Minister also interacted with farmer drone pilots, witnessed open drone demonstrations and interacted with start-ups at the Drone Exhibition Centre. The Prime Minister also gave away 150 Drone Pilot Certificates.
• Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister conveyed his fascination and interest in the drone sector and said that he was deeply impressed by the drone exhibition and the spirit of entrepreneurs and innovation in the field. The Prime Minister also spoke about his interactions with farmers and young engineers.
• He said that the enthusiasm that is being seen in India regarding drone technology is amazing. This energy is visible, it is a reflection of the quantum jump in the drone service and drone based industry in India. “It shows the potential of an emerging large sector of employment generation in India,” he said.
• Recalling the new beginning exactly 8 years ago, the Prime Minister said, “Eight years ago this was the time when we started implementing new mantras of good governance in India.
• Following the path of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance, we have made Ease of Living, Ease of Doing Business our priority.
• The Prime Minister said that during the earlier governments, technology was considered part of the problem; efforts were made to prove it as anti-poor.
• Due to this, there was an atmosphere of indifference regarding the use of technology in governance before 2014. Technology did not become a part of the mood of the government. The poorest suffered, the disadvantaged, the middle class suffered the most. He also recalled the complicated procedures for availing basic facilities which created a sense of deprivation and fear.
• He said that progress is possible only when we change with the times. He said that technology has helped a lot in furthering the vision of Saturation, in ensuring last mile delivery.
• He said, and I know that we can achieve the goal of Antyodaya by moving forward at this pace. The Prime Minister said that the experience of the last 8 years further strengthens my faith. Shri Modi emphasized, “We have made technology an important tool to give new strength, speed and height to the country.
• The Prime Minister said that with the help of the strong, UPI framework developed by the country today, lakhs of crores of rupees are being transferred directly into the bank accounts of the poor. Women, farmers, students are now getting help directly from the government.
• PM said that an example of how drone technology is becoming the basis of a big revolution is PM Swamitva Yojana. Under this scheme, for the first time, digital mapping of every property in the villages of the country is being done, digital property cards are being given to the people.
• He said, “Promoting drone technology is another way to further our commitment to good governance and making life easier. We have a smart tool in the form of drones to become a part of common people’s lives,” he said.
• The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of drone technology in the fields of defence, disaster management, agriculture, tourism, film and entertainment.
• He said that the use of this technology is set to increase in the coming days. The Prime Minister also spoke about the use of drones in his official decision making through reviews of progress and examples from Kedarnath projects.
Role of drone technology in the lives of farmers
• The Prime Minister said that drone technology is going to play a major role in empowering farmers and modernizing their lives, as roads, electricity, optical fiber and digital technology arrive in villages.
• Despite this, agriculture is being carried out in the old fashioned way, leading to problems, low productivity and wastage. He also talked about the continuing dependence on the revenue department with respect to activities ranging from land records to flood and drought relief.
• He said that drones have emerged as an effective tool to deal with all these issues. The Prime Minister also said that the measures taken to help the agriculture sector have ensured that technology is no longer intimidating for farmers.
Micro and Small Enterprises Cluster Development Program
Why in News
• The government has approved new guidelines for the Micro and Small Enterprises Cluster Development Program (MSE-CDP), which will be implemented during the 15th Finance Commission cycle (2021-22 to 2025-26).
• The objective of the scheme is to enhance the competitiveness and productivity of micro and small enterprises through such interventions as:
Common Facility Center (CFC):
• Central Government grant will be limited to 70% for projects costing Rs.5.00 crores to Rs.10.00 crores and up to 60% for projects costing Rs.10.00 crores to Rs.30.00 crores.
• As far as North East and Hill States, Island Regions, Aspirational Districts are concerned, Government grant up to 80% for projects costing Rs.5.00 crores to Rs.10.00 crores and 70 for projects costing Rs.10.00 crores to Rs.30.00 crores. will be limited to %.
• Project of CFC will also be considered for project costing more than Rs.30 crore but the Government assistance will be calculated keeping in view the maximum eligible project cost of Rs.30 crore.
Infrastructure Development (ID):
• Government grant for the project costing from Rs.5.00 crore to Rs.15.00 crore for setting up of new industrial estate/flatted factory complex will be limited to 60% of the cost. Whereas, for the upgradation of existing industrial estate/flatted factory premises, the Government grant will be limited to 50% of the cost for projects ranging from Rs.5.00 crores to Rs.10.00 crores.
• Government grant will be limited to 70% of the cost for projects ranging from Rs.5.00 crores to Rs.15.00 crores for setting up of new industrial estates/flatted factory complexes in respect of North Eastern and Hilly States, Island Regions, Aspirational Districts and existing industrial estates. For projects ranging from Rs.5.00 crores to Rs.10.00 crores for upgradation of estates/flatted factory premises, the Government grant would be limited to 60% of the cost.
• Projects costing more than Rs.10.00 crores/15.00 crores can also be considered for infrastructure development project but the Government assistance will be calculated taking into account the maximum eligible project cost of Rs.10.00 crores/15.00 crores.
• The new guidelines for MSE-CDP are available on the website of the office of DC (MSME).
Pakistan economic crisis
Why in News
• Former Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Hafeez recently wrote on Twitter that there is neither oil in petrol pumps nor money in ATMs in Lahore. With this a new discussion has started regarding the economic crisis of Pakistan. It is believed that Pakistan is facing a major economic crisis. In the midst of this crisis, the Shahbaz Sharif government of Pakistan has increased the price of diesel-petrol by 30 rupees per liter.
• Rising inflation, record breaking oil price, and unstable political climate. Pakistan, which has been handling its decaying economy for the last several months, does not seem to be successful in this.
• This has deepened the fear of one of the most populous countries of the world and India’s neigh boring country getting trapped in the quagmire of economic crisis like Sri Lanka.
• With this increase, the price of one liter of petrol in Pakistan has gone up to Rs 180, the price of diesel to Rs 174 per liter and the price of kerosene to Rs 156 per litre.
• Despite the recent hike, the Pakistani government still bears Rs 56.71 per liter on diesel, Rs 21.83 on petrol and Rs 17.02 on kerosene.
• Trying to get help from IMF
• This means that there is still a lot of room for reduction in subsidies. If Pakistan wants to take loan from IMF, then it may have to completely eliminate fuel subsidy. Its burden will fall on the common people.
• Actually, to save its economy, Pakistan is trying to get relief package from International Monetary Fund ie IMF.
• In the meeting held between Pakistan and IMF on 26 May, a loan of $ 900 million has been agreed, but for this, the IMF has put a condition in front of Pakistan to end the subsidy on fuel and electricity.
• Pakistan had signed an agreement with the IMF to get 6 billion dollars in aid in 2019. Of this aid, $3 billion has still not been released and Pakistan is trying to persuade the IMF to release a tranche of $900 million.
• The Government of Pakistan is now putting the burden of inflation on the general public to get loans from IMF. Due to the increase in the price of petroleum products, there is a possibility of further inflation in Pakistan.
Position of foreign exchange reserves
• Cash-strapped Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen to $ 10.1 billion this month. Such low foreign exchange reserves mean that Pakistan has only two months’ money left for importing essential items including petrol and diesel.
• Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are continuously decreasing. It stood at $16.4 billion in the week ended May 6, which are its lowest foreign exchange reserves since December 2019.
• Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves were the highest at $19.9 billion in October 2016 and the lowest at $96 million in January 1972.
• To save Pakistan from the big economic crisis, the Shahbaz Sharif government has implemented an emergency economic plan. Under this, the import of 38 non-essential and luxury items has been banned.
• The Shahbaz government has taken this step in the midst of a record fall in the value of the Pakistani rupee against the dollar.
Like Sri Lanka, Pakistan trapped in the debt trap of China
• Pakistan is also trapped in the debt trap of billions of dollars from China in the name of economic aid, following the path of Sri Lanka.
• According to a recent World Bank report, Pakistan has joined the world’s 10 largest borrowers. Alam is that China has become the largest loan giving country to Pakistan.
• According to the Pakistan Finance Ministry, in 2013, Pakistan’s external debt was $ 44.35 billion, i.e. about 8.87 lakh crore Pakistani rupees, of which 9.3% was China’s share.
• According to the IMF, by April 2021, this external loan increased to $ 90.12 billion, i.e. 18 lakh crore Pakistani rupees, of which China’s share increased to 27.4% and $ 24.7 billion i.e. about 4.94 lakh crore Pakistani rupees.
• It is believed that China has implicated many countries including Pakistan in its debt trap diplomacy.
• According to reports, through this diplomacy, China’s eyes are on establishing access to Pakistan’s strategically important assets.
• Many big infrastructure projects in Pakistan have been financed by Chinese banks. Sri Lanka has recently been trapped in the quagmire of starvation due to China’s debt.
• It is believed that if Pakistan does not recover from the current economic crisis soon, then it will become the second country to be in debt in recent times by taking loans from China.
America and gun firing incidents
Why in News
• 21 people, including 19 school children, were killed in an indiscriminate firing by an 18-year-old boy at an elementary school in Texas, USA. After this incident, President Joe Biden lashed out at the gun lobby and said that the time has come to stand against this lobby. Gun firing incidents in America have increased rapidly in recent years. The reason for this is believed to be the gun culture there.
• The history of gun culture in America is about 230 years old. Under the Second Amendment to the Constitution in 1791, American citizens were given the right to keep and buy arms.
• This culture started in America when the British ruled there. At that time there was no permanent security force, that’s why people were given the right to keep weapons for the safety of themselves and family, but this law of America continues even today.
• Gun culture in America is one of the most notorious in the world. It is believed that buying a gun here is like buying vegetables and fruits.
• There are hundreds of stores, shopping outlets and small shops in the US that sell guns. Gun exhibitions are held every weekend across America.
• There guns are sold from the stores of big companies like Walmart to small shops.
• Any common man in America can easily buy a gun. There is no investigation in this open transaction of arms. The investigation is done only when the gun is bought from the shop.
• While purchasing a gun, the buyer has to provide name, address, date of birth and citizenship in a form. The US intelligence agency shares the information of the buyer with the US intelligence agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which conducts background checks on the gun buyer.
America’s Gun Control Act
• According to The Gun Control Act (GCA) of America, the minimum age to purchase a rifle or any small weapon should be 18 years and the minimum age to buy other weapons such as handguns is 21 years.
• Not only to buy weapons there, but the seller should also be above 21 years of age.
• Only those who are dangerous to society, fugitive, intoxicated, mentally ill and sentenced to more than 1 year in prison and more than 2 years in America are not allowed to buy guns.
• America leads the world in terms of civilian possession of guns. According to the report of Small Arms Survey (SAS) of Switzerland, out of 857 million civilian guns in the world, there are 393 million civilian guns in America alone. The US accounts for 5% of the world’s population, but 46% of the world’s civilian guns are in the US alone.
• According to a Gallup survey in October 2020, 44% of American adults live in a home with guns, of which a third of adults have guns.
• There are only three countries in the world where having a gun is a constitutional right. America, Guatemala and Mexico. However, people in Guatemala and Mexico have significantly fewer guns than in the US. Also, there is only one gun store in the whole of Mexico, which is controlled by the Army.
More civilian guns than the population there in America
• According to the SAS report, more civilians have guns, ie civilian guns, than the population of America. The population of America is about 33 million and there are about 400 million civilian guns.
• There are 120 guns available for every 100 people in the US. In 2011, this number was 88 guns per 100 people. Yemen is second in this matter after America, where 53 guns are available for every 100 people.
• According to reports, from January 2019 to April 2021, 7.5 million adults in the US bought a gun for the first time. With this, guns reached the homes of 11 million people in America for the first time, including 5 million children. During this period, half of first-time gun buyers were women, while about 40% of guns were bought by blacks.
Gun culture becoming deadly in America
• According to reports, more than 1.5 million people have died in the past 50 years due to gun violence in America. This number is more than the total number of soldiers killed in all wars of America in the last nearly 250 years since America’s independence in 1776.
• According to the report of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average 53 people die every day in America due to gun. According to this report, 79% of murders in America are caused by guns.