PIB Analysis : 24th June

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund
  2. PM Mudra Yojana
  3. Annual TB Report 2020
  4. Credit Guarantee Scheme for Sub-ordinate Debt (CGSSD)
  5. Innovative Student Projects Award 2020
  6. Kala Azar
  7. Kushinagar

1 . Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund


Context : In pursuance of recently announced Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package, Cabinet today approved setting up of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) amounting to Rs. 15000 crore.

Background

  • Government had earlier approved the Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) worth Rs. 10,000 crores for incentivizing investment by cooperative sector for development of dairy infrastructure. However, the MSMEs and Private companies also need to be promoted and incentivized for their participation in processing and value addition infrastructure in the animal husbandry sector.
  • The AHIDF approved today would incentive infrastructure investments in dairy, meat processing and animal feed plants.

About the scheme

  • The eligible beneficiaries under the Scheme would be Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), MSMEs, Section 8 Companies, Private Companies and individual entrepreneur with only 10% margin money contribution by them. The balance 90% would be the loan component to be made available to them by scheduled banks.
  • Government of India will provide 3% interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries.
  • There will be 2 years moratorium period for repayment of loan with 6 years repayment period thereafter.
  • Government of India would also set up a Credit Guarantee Fund of Rs. 750 crore to be managed by NABARD which would provide credit guarantee to the projects which are covered under the MSME defined ceilings. Guarantee Coverage would be upto 25% of the Credit facility of borrower.

Benefits :

  • There is huge potential waiting to be unlocked through private sector investment in animal husbandry sector.
  • The AHIDF with the interest subvention scheme for private investors will ensure availability of capital to meet upfront investment required for these projects and also help enhance overall returns/ pay back for investors.
  • Such investments in processing and value addition infrastructure by eligible beneficiaries would also promote exports.
  • Since almost 50-60% of the final value of dairy output in India flows back to farmers, the growth in this sector can have significant direct impact on farmer’s income. Size of dairy market and farmers’ realization from milk sales is closely linked with development of organized off-take by cooperative and private dairies.
  • Thus, investment of Rs. 15,000 crores through AHIDF would not only leverage several times more private investment but would also motivate farmers to invest more on inputs thereby driving higher productivity leading to increase in farmers income. The measures approved today through AHIDF would also help in direct and indirect livelihood creation for about 35 lakh persons.

2 . PM Mudra Yojana


Context : Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved a scheme for interest subvention of 2% for a period of 12 months, to all Shishu loan accounts under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) to eligible borrowers.

About the Release

  • The scheme will be extended to loans which meet the following criteria – outstanding as on 31st March, 2020; and not in Non-Performing Asset (NPA) category, as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines, on 31st March 2020 and during the period of operation of the Scheme.
  • The interest subvention would be payable for the months in which the accounts are not in NPA category including for the months that the account becomes a performing asset again, after turning NPA. The scheme will incentivize people who will make regular repayments of loans.
  • The estimated cost of the Scheme would be approximately Rs. 1,542 crore which would be provided by the Government of India.

Background

  • This Scheme is for implementation of one of the measures relating to MSMEs, announced under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. 
  • Under PMMY, loans for income generating activities up to Rs. 50,000 are termed as Shishu loans. PMMY loans are extended by Member Lending Institutions viz. Scheduled Commercial Banks, Non Banking Finance Companies and Micro Financial Institutions, registered with Mudra Ltd.
  • The ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the consequent lockdown has led to severe disruption of business for micro and small enterprises which are funded through Shishu Mudra loans. Small businesses typically function on thin operating margins, and the current lockdown has had a severe impact on their cash flows, jeopardizing their ability to service their loans. This could lead to default in repayment and have a resultant impact on access to institutional credit in future.
  • As on 31st March 2020, about 9.37 crore loan accounts under the Shishu category of PMMY with a total loan amount of about Rs 1.62 Lakh crore, were outstanding.

Implementation strategy

  • The Scheme will be implemented through the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and will be in operation for 12 months.
  • For borrowers, who have been allowed a moratorium by their respective lenders, as permitted by RBI under the ‘COVID 19 Regulatory Package’, the Scheme would commence post completion of the moratorium period till a period of 12 months i.e. from September 01, 2020 till August 31, 2021. For other borrowers, the scheme would commence w.e.f. June 01, 2020 till May 31, 2021.

Major Impact

  • The Scheme has been formulated as a specific response to an unprecedented situation and aims to alleviate financial stress for borrowers at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ by reducing their cost of credit. The Scheme is expected to provide much needed relief to the sector, thereby enabling small businesses to continue functioning without laying off employees due to lack of funds.
  • By supporting small businesses to continue functioning during these times of crisis, the Scheme is also expected to have a positive impact on the economy and support its revival, which is necessary for employment generation in future.

3 . Annual TB Report 2020


Context : Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare released the annual TB Report 2020. They also released a Joint Monitoring Mission (JMM) report, a manual on Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to TB patients under NIKSHAY system, a Training Module, and the quarterly newsletter NIKSHAY Patrika.

The key achievements listed in the Report include:

  • Around 24.04 Lakh TB patients have been notified in 2019. This amounts to a 14% increase in TB notification as compared to the year 2018.
  • Achieving near-complete on-line notification of TB patients through the NIKSHAY system.
  • Reduction in the number of missing cases to 2.9 lakh cases as against more than 10 lakhs in 2017.
  • Private sector notifications increased by 35% with 6.78 lakh TB patients notified.
  • Due to easy availability of molecular diagnostics, the proportion of children diagnosed with TB increased to 8% in 2019 compared to 6% in 2018.
  • Provision of HIV testing for all notified TB patients increased from 67% in 2018 to 81% in 2019.
  • Expansion of treatment services has resulted in a 12% improvement in the treatment success rate of notified patients.  For 2019 it is 81% compared to 69% in 2018.
  • More than 4.5 lakh DOT Centers provide treatment covering almost every village across the country.
  • NIKSHAY also expanded the provision of four Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) schemes of the programme –
    • Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY) to TB patients
    • The incentive to Treatment Supporters
    • Incentive to Private Providers and
    • Transport incentive to TB patients in the notified tribal areas

4 . Credit Guarantee Scheme for Sub-ordinate Debt (CGSSD)


Context : Minister of MSME, Shri Nitin Gadkari today launched the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Sub-ordinate Debt (CGSSD) which is also called “Distressed Assets Fund–Sub-ordinate Debt for MSMEs”.

About the Scheme

  • As per the Scheme, the guarantee cover worth Rs. 20,000 crores will be provided to the promoters who can take debt from the banks to further invest in their stressed MSMEs as equity.
  • This Scheme seeks to extend support to the promoter(s) of the operational MSMEs which are stressed and have become NPA as on 30th April, 2020;
  • Promoter(s) of the MSMEs will be given credit equal to 15% of their stake (equity plus debt) or Rs. 75 lakh whichever is lower;
  • Promoter(s) in turn will infuse this amount in the MSME unit as equity and thereby enhance the liquidity and maintain debt-equity ratio;
  • 90% guarantee coverage for this sub-debt will be given under the Scheme and 10% would come from the concerned promoters;
  • There will be a moratorium of 7 years on payment of principal whereas maximum tenor for repayment will be 10 years. 
  • The scheme will be operationalised through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for MSEs (CGTMSE).

Benefits

  • It is expected that this scheme would provide much required support to around 2 lakh MSMEs and will help in reviving the economic activity in and through this sector.
  • It will also help in protecting the livelihoods and jobs of millions of people who depend on them. Promoter(s) of MSMEs meeting the eligibility criteria may approach any scheduled commercial banks to avail benefit under the scheme.

5 . Kala Azar


Context : New biomolecules to fight drug resistance in Kala- azar

About Kala Azar

  • Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease affecting almost 100 countries including India. It is caused by a parasite called Leishmania, which is transmitted through the bite of sand flies.
  • There are three main forms of leishmaniasis – visceral, which affects multiple organs and is the most serious form of the disease, cutaneous, which causes skin sores and is the most common form); and mucocutaneous, which causes skin and mucosal lesion).
  • Visceral leishmaniasis, which is commonly known as Kala-azar in India, is fatal in over 95% of the cases, if left untreated.

Issue

  • The only drug available against leishmaniasis, miltefosine, is rapidly losing its effectiveness because of emerging resistance to this drug due to a decrease in its accumulation inside the parasite, which is necessary for the drug to kill the parasite.
  • Specific types of protein molecules, called transporter proteins, play a major role in carrying miltefosine into and out of the parasite’s body, which comprises a single cell. A protein called ‘P4ATPase-CDC50’, is responsible for intake of the drug by the parasite, and another protein, called ‘P-glycoprotein’, is responsible for throwing this drug out from within the parasite’s body.
  • A decrease in the activity of the former protein, and an increase in the activity of the latter results in less amounts of miltefosine being accumulated inside the parasite’s body, thus causing it to become resistant to the drug.

About the Research

  • A team of researchers at the Department of Biotechnology’s National Centre for Cell Science (DBT-NCCS) in Pune led by Dr. Shailza Singh has been exploring ways to tackle miltefosine resistance. 
  • The researchers worked with one of the species of Leishmania that causes infection, called Leishmania major. 
  • They tried to manipulate these transporter proteins in the species in a manner that would result in increased uptake of the drug and decrease in its being thrown out of the parasite’s body.
  • Scientists need to be extremely careful while seeking to manipulate the transport proteins.  They exist across a diverse range of organisms from bacteria to mammals, including humans and any mishandling could cause more harm than be of use. Consequently, though various researchers have been working over the past two decades to combat drug resistance, their activities were limited to laboratory studies.
  • Research group used computational methods to design small molecules, called peptides, that could very specifically interact with the transporter proteins of L. major alone, and not interfere with human proteins in any way. The peptides were designed to modulate the transporter proteins “allosterically”, i.e. by interacting with the protein molecule at a location other than the specific location where miltefosine binds to it.
  • This group is the first to have shown allosteric modulation of transporter proteins of Leishmania using computationally-designed synthetic peptides, and their findings were reported in the ‘Biochemical Journal’. These promising research outcomes indicate that this approach could prove useful in the long run to develop novel therapeutics against drug-resistant Leishmania parasites.

6 . Innovative Student Project Award


Context : Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, has invited nominations for the Innovative Student Projects Award 2020.

About the Award

  • INAE instituted the Innovative Student Projects award in 1998 to identify innovative and creative research projects undertaken by the students at any of the three stages of tertiary engineering education, namely undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral levels in engineering institutions.
  • The award particularly encourages joint projects among industry, research laboratories, and academic institutions.
  • The endeavour is meant to encourage young talent and accord recognition and incentives to them. Though the response to the award during the last twenty-two years has been quite encouraging, the Academy earnestly wishes to reach out to a wider cross-section of the community and profession.
  • The nominations are invited for the Innovative Student Projects Award 2020. Projects of students from three categories are eligible for participation — Final Year (4th year) B.E, B.Tech or B.Sc. (Engg) projects completed up to July 31, 2020, for the academic year 2019-2020, M.E. or M.Tech, M.Sc. (Engg) thesis examined from July 1, 2019, up to July 31, 2020, during the academic year 2019-2020 and Ph.D. thesis examined and accepted/recommended for Award from June 1, 2019, up to May 31, 2020.

7 . Facts for Prelims


Skills Build Reignite

  • MSDE-IBM Partnership Unveils Free Digital Learning Platform “Skills Build Reignite” to Reach More Job Seekers & Provide New Resources to Business Owners in India
  • The SkillsBuild Reignite tends to provide job seekers and entrepreneurs, with access to free online coursework and mentoring support designed to help them reinvent their careers and businesses.
  • Job seekers, individual business owners, entrepreneurs and any individual with learning aspirations can now tap into host of industry relevant content on topics including Artificial intelligence, Cloud, Data analytics and security to reskill and upskill themselves, at no cost.
  • Its special feature is the personalized coaching for entrepreneurs, seeking advice to help establish or restart their small businesses as they begin to focus on recovery to emerge out of the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • Courses for small business owners include, for example, financial management, business strategy, digital strategy, legal support and more. Plus, IBM volunteers will serve as mentors to some of the 30,000 SkillsBuild users in 100 communities in at least five major regions worldwide to help reinvigorate local communities.
  • Directorate General of Training (DGT), under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), is responsible for implementing long term institutional training to the nation’s youth through its network of training institutes and infrastructure. It plays a key role in the execution of vocational training schemes and in making ‘Digital India’ dream become a reality.

Kushinagar

  • Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Gautama Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana.
  • It is regarded as a very sacred Buddhist pilgrimage centre where Buddhists pilgrims from all over the world come for pilgrimage.
  • Kushinagar is dotted with several  other Buddhist sites in the nearby surroundings like Sravasti (238 km), Kapilvastu (190 km) and Lumbini (195 km) that makes it an attraction for both followers and visitors alike.
  • Kushinagar already serves as the presenting site for Buddhist circuit pilgrimage spanning across India and Nepal.
  • Recently Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to declare Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh as an International Airport.