Current Affairs National

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil Asia’s largest 750 MW Rewa ultra mega solar plant in Madhya Pradesh via video conference on July 10. The Rewa Ultra Mega Solar is established in the Rewa district of Vindhya region of Madhya Pradesh, with a total solar installed capacity of 750 MW. It is one of the largest single-site solar power plants in Asia.

 The World Bank has signed a loan agreement of $400 million with Government of India to enhance support for the Namami Gange programme. The loan agreement aims to make the Ganga a clean and healthy river. The loan amount of $400 million comprises a loan of $381 million and a proposed Guarantee of up to $19 million. The new project will aim to stem the pollution levels in the iconic river and work towards strengthening the management of the river basin which is home to more than 500 million people. The World Bank has been supporting the efforts of Government of India since 2011 via the currently active National Ganga River Basin Project. This project has helped in establishing the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) as the nodal agency to manage the river.

 India’s First No-Permission No-Takeoff (NPNT) compliant drone flight on the A200 Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) has been completed successfully by Quidich Innovation Labs and Asteria Aerospace. This NPNT drone flight is under the Ministry of Civil Aviation MoCA & DGCA comprehensive policy on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), which came into effect on 1st Dec 2018. Quidich, in collaboration with the Drone Federation of India (DFI), has extended its services to Police Departments across multiple states, providing drones for crowd monitoring and surveillance operations during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

 Vice President of India, M. Venkiah Naidu has launched India’s first social media super application, “Elyments”. Under Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, more than 1,000 IT professionals came together to create the homegrown application.
About “Elyments App”:
  • Elyments is a first Made-in-India social media super-app, developed by Bengaluru-based software company, Sumeru Software Solutions Pvt Ltd, in close competition with similar platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram.
  • India has more than 500 million social media users, but most of these social media platforms are owned by companies outside India, which creates doubt regarding the privacy of data and data ownership.
  • Elyments is available in eight languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and English.
  • The app allows users to stay in touch through a vibrant feed, free audio/video calls, and private/group chats.
  • While the app now combines the features of most social media apps, soon the team plans to launch audio/video conference calls, secure payments, regional voice commands and curated commerce platforms to promote Indian brands.

 Union Minister Jitendra Singh has inaugurated two bridges Devika and Puneja at Udhampur and Doda districts respectively in Jammu and Kashmir. The Bridge on River Devika in Udhampur has been completed by Border Roads Organisation within fifteen months time. The Puneja Bridge was also constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in 36 months. The 10-meter-long Devika Bridge construction resolve the traffic issues of the region and this will also help in smooth passage of army convoys and vehicles. While the 50-meter-long Puneja Bridge is strategically very important from defence point of view. It will also provide a vital alternate link to the Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts beside Kashmir valley from Pathankot (Punjab) without entering Jammu and Udhampur via Lakhanpur. Doda is the only district in the country where not one but three big tunnels are being built.

  The move to leapfrog India’s space activities into the next stage by transforming the Indian Space Sector for the future challenges was made during a meeting of the Union Cabinet on 24th June 2020. Under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, to further advance India’s capabilities in the space sector, the Cabinet approved the participation of the private sector in various space activities. This long-awaited move from the Indian Government is highly significant in order to establish India’s position as one of the important players in the global space economy. The decision will bring new energy and dimension to the entire space sector, which in the long run will also help in building an AtmaNirbhar Bharat by making the space sector self-reliant and technologically advanced.
Role of IN-SPACe and NSIL
  • The Cabinet has approved setting up of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe). Through friendly regulatory and encouraging policies, IN-SPACe will have the responsibility to guide the private sector in various space activities.
  • State-owned enterprise New Space India Limited (NSIL) was founded in March 2019. The NSIL will have the responsibility to change the economic and social policies for encouraging the private sector in space activities by making Indian Space Sector demand-driven from the current supply-driven model.

 “Information about Country of Origin” has been mandated for the sellers by the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The sellers have been advised to mention “Information about Country of Origin” while registering all new products on GeM. While those sellers, who had already registered their products before the launch of this new feature on GeM, would be reminded regularly to update the information about Country of Origin. If they fail to update the same, their products shall be removed from GeM.Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has launched this new feature with prime objective of promoting the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. With this, GeM has also enabled ‘Make in India’ filter on the portal.

 “YUKTI 2.0” platform has been virtually launched by the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’. The platform will help in systematically adopting the technologies having commercial potential and information related to incubated startups in our higher education institutions. The Young India combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation (YUKTI) platform seeks to cover the different dimensions of COVID-19 challenges in a very holistic and comprehensive way. The platform has been developed by the Ministry of HRD. YUKTI 2.0 is logical extension of earlier version of ‘YUKTI’ and has been launched to find out ideas relevant in COVID pandemic. With the help of this platform, MHRD aims to identify innovative solutions from India’s higher and technical institutions. During the launch, HRD minister encouraged students, faculty members, startups including other stakeholders of higher education institutions to get them registered on the YUKTI portal and share their technologies and innovations.

 The Food Processing Edition of the “Exclusive Investment Forum” has been launched by the Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal. It has been designed by the Invest India, the National Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency of the Government of India. Investment Facilitation Cell of Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) was also established during the forum to handhold both domestic and foreign investors for doing business in India. The “Exclusive Investment Forum” is a sectoral series to conduct comprehensive conversations among global industry leaders and key decision makers from the highest levels of the Central and State Governments. The senior most policy makers from Union Government and 6 State Governments namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh participated in the forum.

  This scheme was announced as a part of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package by Finance Minister back on 13th May 2020. On 24th June 2020, the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Sub-ordinate Debt (CGSSD) was launched. The scheme is also called as Distressed Assets Fund- Sub- Ordinate Debt for MSMEs. Union Minister of Medium, Small and Marginal Enterprises (MSMEs) Nitin Gadkari launched the scheme. After consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, SIDBI, and the Ministry of Finance, the scheme was approved by the Committee on Economic Affairs.
  • Background
As a result of nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, most of the economic activities came to a halt across the globe. In India as well, the livelihood of millions of people is dependent on the MSME sector. As per data available to the Government, the biggest challenge that was faced by these MSMEs was in getting capital for restarting their businesses.
  • About the Scheme
The scheme will provide support to about 2 lakh MSMEs across the country. Rs 20,000 crores of guarantee cover have been sanctioned under the scheme. The guarantee cover under the scheme will be provided from banks to the promoters. Only those promoters, who’s MSMEs have either become a Non-Performing Asset (NPA) or are financially stressed as on 30th April 2020 will be eligible for the scheme. Through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Mirco and Small Enterprises (MSEs), the scheme will be implemented.


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