GS PAPER II NEWS
National PM Nutrition Scheme
Why in News
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved five projects from 2021-22 to 2025-26 with a financial outlay of Rs 54,061.73 crore from the Central Government and Rs 31,733.17 crore from the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. Approval has been given to continue the ‘National PM Nutrition Scheme in Schools’ for a period of one year.
- The central government will also bear an additional cost of about Rs 45,000 crore on food grains. Thus the total budget of the scheme will be Rs 1,30,794.90 crore.
- CCEA approved PM Poshan Yojana to provide cooked hot meals in government and government-aided schools from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme, which covers all school children studying in class I to VIII of government, government-aided schools.
- The old name of this scheme was ‘National Scheme for Mid-Day Meal in Schools’, which was also known as Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
- This scheme covers about 11.80 crore children studying in 11.20 lakh schools across the country.
- During 2020-21, the Government of India has invested more than Rs 24,400 crore in this scheme, which includes a cost of about Rs 11,500 crore on food grains.
The salient features of this decision, which will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the scheme, are as under:
- The scheme is proposed to be extended to all the 11.80 crore children of primary classes, besides those studying in pre-primary classes or children’s gardens.
- The concept of date food will be promoted widely. Tithi Bhojan is a community participation program in which people provide special meals to children on special occasions/festivals.
- The government is promoting the development of school nutrition gardens in schools to give the children first-hand experience with nature and gardening. Crops from these gardens are used to provide additional micronutrients in the mid-day meal. School nutrition gardens have already been developed in more than 3 lakh schools.
- Social audit of the scheme has been made mandatory.
- Special provision has been made for providing supplementary nutritional material to children in aspirational districts and high anaemia districts.
- Cooking competitions will be promoted at all levels from village level to national level to promote uniquely cultured cuisines and innovative menus based on locally available ingredients and vegetables.
- Vocal for Local for Self-reliant India: Participation of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and Women Self-Help Groups will be encouraged in the implementation of the mid-day meal scheme. The use of locally grown traditional foods will be encouraged to promote local economic development.
- Field visits will be made to monitor and monitor progress for students of reputed universities/institutions and trainee teachers of Regional Institutes of Education (RIEs) and District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs).
GS PAPER II
National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) Scheme
Why in News
- The Central Government has taken several measures to encourage the export sector. In this sequence, the Government has approved the contribution of Grants-in-aid (Amount) of Rs 1,650 crore to the National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) for a period of five years i.e. from FY 2021-2022 to FY 2025-2026. .
- The NEIA Trust was established in 2006 to promote exports from India, which have strategic and national importance.
- NEIA Trust promotes medium and long-term (MLT)/project exports by providing (partial/full) support to project exports from India by ECGC to MLT/project exports and to sectors connected with Exim Bank for Buyers Credit (BC-NEIA). Help is given.
- Infusion of capital in NEIA Trust will help Indian Project Exporters (IPEs) to tap the huge potential of project exports in the designated market.
- This support towards project exports with material procured from Indian sources from across the country will boost manufacturing in India.
- Contribution of an amount of Rs 1,650 crore will enhance the risk appetite of the Trust and will enable NEIA to support project exports worth Rs 33,000 crore with full capacity utilization.
- This will result in an estimated production of domestically manufactured goods to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore.
- In addition, with the use of Indian materials on an average 75 per cent in projects, in terms of the ‘Employments for Export’ report by the World Bank and the International Labor Organization, it is estimated that the formal sector will generate employment of around 12,000 workers. Will happen. In addition, as per estimates based on the report, the total number of workers (both formal and informal) in the respective sectors will increase by 2.6 lakh.
NEIA- Key Points of Performance
- NEIA Trust was established in 2006 to promote medium and long-term (MLT)/project exports by providing credit and political security.
- NEIA supports projects that are commercially viable and are strategically important.
- Government of India has made a commitment of Rs 4,000 crore for this and sanctioned a maximum liability of 20 times the actual corpus.
- The contribution received from the Government of India over a period of several years stood at Rs 3,091 crore as on March 31, 2021.
- Since inception, NEIA has given 213 covers with a consolidated project value of Rs 53,000 crore up to August 31, 2021.
- Its impact has been most significant in Africa and South Asia in terms of enabling project exports.
Export Related Schemes and Measures
- Due to the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20) has been extended till 30 September 2021.
- Rs 56,027 crore released in September, 2021 to clear the entire pending dues under all script-based schemes to provide liquidity in the era of COVID-19.
- A new scheme – Remission of Duties and Taxes and Export Products (RODTEP) was launched. Rs 12,454 crore has been approved for the scheme in the financial year 2021-22. It is a WTO friendly mechanism for reimbursement of taxes/duties/levies which are not being refunded under any other mechanism at the Centre, State and Local levels.
- Extended support to the textiles sector by exemption from central/state taxes through the ROSCTA scheme, which has now been extended up to March 2024.
- Common Digital Platform for Certificate of Origin launched with an aim to facilitate trade and increase FTA utilization by exporters.
- A comprehensive “Agriculture Export Policy” is being implemented to promote agricultural exports related to agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries and food processing sectors.
- Promotion and diversification of service exports through special action plans for the 12 champion service sectors.
- Promoting districts as export hubs by identifying products with export potential in each district, removing barriers to export of these products and supporting exporters/manufacturers for employment generation in the district.
- Active role of Indian Embassies abroad in promoting India’s trade, tourism, technology and investment goals.
- Package announced through various banking and financial sector relief measures for domestic industry especially MSMEs in view of COVID pandemic. MSMEs have a major share in exports.
- Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES), Market Access Initiative (MAI) scheme and Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) schemes to promote business infrastructure and marketing.
GS PAPER II
Navy to navy talks
Why in News
- Following the signing of the document ‘Joint Guidance for the India Australia Navy to Navy Relationship’ by the Chiefs of the Indian Navy (IN) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on 8 August 2021, ‘Navy to Navy interactions between the Indian and Australian Navies The ‘Terms of Reference’ were also signed on 29 September 2021.
- The signing ceremony was held virtually.
- The ‘Joint Guidance’ document sets out Navy to Navy dialogue as the ‘major’ vehicle for guiding bilateral relations.
- Bilateral Defense Relations between India and Australia
- Bilateral defense ties between India and Australia have strengthened over the years.
- RAN’s participation in the ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’, Mutual Logistics Support Agreement, conduct of the Trilateral Maritime Security Workshop and Exercise Malabar are important milestones underlining the role played by both the navies in strengthening this relationship in recent times. Huh.
- The document will be instrumental in improving the shared commitment to promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The first Navy-to-Navy dialogue with Australia was held in 2005.
- Since then the two countries and navies have continued to grow closer at all levels and with over a decade of bilateral talks, they are more committed than ever to strengthen and deepen the vital Navy-to-Navy relationship.
- The document outlines the overarching objective of deeper mutual understanding, trust and transparency, better goodwill and understanding of each other’s concerns and future directions, and the conduct of Navy-to-Navy dialogue between the Indian Navy-Royal Australian Navy. Provides detailed guidance.
- It also provides flexibility for the implementation of individual agreements based on the specific outcome of the negotiations.
GS PAPER III
India Export Initiative and IndiaExport 2021 Portal
Why in News
- The Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has virtual inaugurated the India Export Initiative and IndiaExports 2021 Portal of India SME Forum in New Delhi.
- Confident to boost export growth with the help of MSMEs and achieve the target of USD 400 billion in the current financial year and the challenging target of USD 1 trillion in exports by 2027.
- To increase exports and ensure localization, it is necessary to improve India’s manufacturing base to make the country a global manufacturing superpower.
- This goal can be achieved by increasing India’s competitive advantage or enhancing the competitiveness of MSMEs and making India a preferred manufacturing destination for the world.
- MSMEs will play an important role in establishing trade balance and reducing dependence on imports and this can be done by enhancing their manufacturing capabilities.
- With more than 63 million MSMEs spread across India’s geographical expanse, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) contribute about 40 percent of India’s total exports, which account for about 6.11 percent of the country’s manufacturing GDP and services sector. Contributes 24.63 percent of GDP.
- IndiaExports aims to promote MSMEs free of cost, with key objectives to focus on untapped export potential in existing tariff lines and support MSMEs by increasing its export numbers and increasing MSME exports to 50 per cent in the year 2022. And contribute in fulfilling the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of 5 trillion economies.
- The initiative has an Info Portal that acts as a knowledge base for exports by Indian MSMEs, including potential markets as well as exports, procedures and other necessary information on all 456 tariff lines. Necessary information regarding export capacity is available for Rs.
- It will also provide a trainer-led platform to MSMEs through a series of sessions for specific sectors highlighting opportunities in specific products in international markets, apart from an export help desk.
- The initiative aims to benefit over 1 lakh micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who are keen to know more about exports, and encourages over 30,000 micro, small and medium enterprises to start exporting. Doubling the number of active exporters.
GS PAPER III
Strong ‘Dispute Redressal Mechanism’
Why in News
- Setting up of a “Dispute Redressal Mechanism” through ‘Independent Engineers’ (IE) has been approved by the Union Ministry of Power, New and Renewable Energy.
- It is mandatory for the CPSEs executing the hydro power projects to have a team headed by a third party ‘Independent Engineers’ in the construction contracts.
- Such independent engineer’s teams are widely used in major infrastructure projects nationally and internationally.
- Independent engineer’s team has expertise about the project. In addition, there is a specialization in the subject of commercial and legal principles.
- The team of independent engineers can regularly monitor the project with direct interaction with all the key stakeholders and play an effective role in ensuring that there is no conflict between the contractor and the employer.
- The independent team prevents the initial disagreement from being treated as a dispute by negotiating the issues of the initial disagreement. At the same time, it endeavors to quickly eliminate the point of disagreement in a fair and impartial manner. This will help prevent wastage of time and money. This will ensure timely completion of projects.
- Hydro CPSE costar has been raising questions about the fact that the present mechanism of dispute resolution in the hydro power sector is not sufficient to resolve the dispute between the employer and the contractor.
- In this area from the inception to now then the dispute between the two parties is taken care of only after it is notified. In view of this, a committee of Board level officers was constituted to study the field level issues and the difficulties faced in arriving at the resolution of these issues.
- The Committee had submitted its report which was discussed in the Ministry. CEA and Board level officers of Hydro CPSEs also participated in the deliberations.
- The Committee observed that disagreements relating to the execution of contracts or delays in addressing claims actually result in significant financial and economic losses in addition to time and project costs.
- Fair and equitable resolution of disagreements related to contracts at the inception stage is the key to the completion of the contract within the stipulated time frame, which can help in effective utilization of budget, avoid wastage of time and money.
- The salient features of the Model Contract Provision for “Dispute Redressal Mechanism” through ‘Independent Engineers’ (IE) are as under:
- Ministry of Power will prepare a panel of domain specific experts with honest and excellent track record by adopting a transparent and fair selection process.
- Further, any change in the panel will be done by the Ministry only and the Ministry will also renew the panel at regular intervals.
- The CPSE and the contractor will jointly select only one member from the above panel of experts for each segment of the works. The specialist will be designated as the IE for each contract.
- Necessary information sought by IE during investigation shall be provided by both the parties within the time limit and non-compliance thereof will attract penalty, which will be elaborated by the CPSEs in their respective annexures on the gravity of the contract.
- IE will examine the issues raised by the parties concerned, including conducting necessary field investigations for further investigation and hearing/arbitration with both the parties.
- Based on the preliminary hearing of the parties, IE will determine the resolution timeline depending on the number and nature of the disagreement, subject to a maximum period of thirty (30) days or in exceptional circumstances within the extended timeline and for reasons to be recorded in writing. would to.
- The initial period of appointment of IE will be for five (5) years or contract period, whichever is less. It can be renewed on year to year basis if mutually agreed between the CPSE and the contractor. However, the final approval by the Ministry will prevail in the appointment of IE.
- It will be mandatory for IE to visit the site once every two months so that it is constantly aware of the ongoing project activities and has an impartial view of any situation on which there may be disagreement between the parties.
- In addition, additional visits may be made as and when called upon to address issues of disagreement.
- The CPSE or the contractor will not be able to replace the IE under any circumstances.
- In case of complaints regarding IE such as non-compliance of duties or complaints of integrity, the same will be removed from the panel by the Ministry itself and a new expert will be selected from the panel jointly by the CPSE and the contractor. Will be done.
- All Hydro CPSEs executing power projects shall adopt IE’s dispute redressal mechanism as per above rule.
- IE shall be applicable in all cases, whether the contractor is a CPSE or a private party. Dispute resolution mechanism through DRB or DAB in existing contracts may be incorporated by mutual consent through above dispute resolution mechanism through IE. For future contracts, provision for dispute resolution mechanism through IE shall be made only in place of Dispute Resolution Board or Dispute Adjudication Board.