Daily Current Affairs : 20/2/2019

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. National Electronic Policy
  2. Panic Button
  3. Hyperloop
  4. New Angel Tax rules
  5. Second Ordinance on Triple Talaq
  6. Women Livelihood Bond

1 . National Electronic Policy

Context : The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the new National Electronics Policy 2019 that aims to achieve a turnover of $400 billion for the electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM) sector by 2025, while generating employment opportunities for one crore people.

Salient Features of National Electronic Policy 2019

  • Create eco-system for globally competitive ESDM sector: Promoting domestic manufacturing and export in the entire value-chain of ESDM.
  • Provide incentives and support for manufacturing of core electronic components.
  • Provide special package of incentives for mega projects which are extremely high-tech and entail huge investments, such as semiconductor facilities display fabrication, etc.
  • Formulate suitable schemes and incentive mechanisms to encourage new units and expansion of existing units.
  • Promote Industry-led R&D and innovation in all sub-sectors of electronics, including grass root level innovations and early stage Start-ups in emerging technology areas such as 5G, loT/ Sensors, Artificial Intelligence (Al), Machine Learning, Virtual Reality (VR), Drones,   Robotics,   Additive   Manufacturing,   Photonics,   Nano-based devices, etc.
  • Provide   incentives   and   support   for   significantly   enhancingavailability of skilled manpower, including re-skilling.
  • Special  thrust  on  Fabless  Chip  Design  Industry,  Medical Electronic Devices Industry, Automotive Electronics Industry andPower Electronics for Mobility and Strategic Electronics Industry.
  • Create Sovereign Patent Fund (SPF) to promote the developmentand acquisition of IPs in ESDM sector.
  • Promote trusted electronics value chain initiatives to improve national cyber security profile.d

Implementation strategy and targets

  • Implementation strategy: The Policy will lead to the formulation of several schemes, initiatives, projects and measures for the development of ESDM sector in the country as per the roadmap envisaged therein.
  • Targets: Promote domestic manufacturing and export in the entire value-chain of ESDM for economic development to achieve a turnover of USD 400 billion (approximately INR 26,00,000 crore) by 2025. This will include targeted production of 1.0 billion (100 crore) mobile handsets by 2025, valued at USD 190 billion (approximately INR 13,00,000 crore), including600 million (60 crore) mobile handsets valued at USD 110 billion (approximately INR 7,00,000 crore) for export.

Major Impact

  • The NPE 2019 when implemented will lead to formulation of several schemes, initiatives, projects, etc., in consultation with the concerned Ministries/ Departments, for the development of ESDM sector in the country. It will enable flow of investment and technology, leading to higher value addition in the domestically manufactured electronic products, increased electronics hardware manufacturing in the country and their export, while generating substantia! employment opportunities.

2 . Panic Button

Context : The government on Tuesday launched the panic button feature on mobile phones for safety of women and other emergency services across 16 States and Mumbai.

About the Initiative

  • The panic button facility, also known as the Emergency Response Support System, is being supported under the Nirbhaya Fund set up for safety of women.
  • The initiative was opened jointly by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi nearly three years after the government first made the safety feature a mandatory requirement in phones through a gazette notification.
  • 112 helpline number provides immediate assistance to services like police (100), fire (101), health (108), women safety (1090) and child protection in India
  • In order to access an emergency service, such as police, medical and other services, a user can dial 112 from any phone. A smartphone user can also press the power button thrice in quick succession and a user of a basic or feature phone can long press 5 or 9 on the key pad. One can also download the 112 mobile application.
  • Once a user presses the panic button, five calls will be made to emergency number 112 as well as call log details and the geo location of the victim will be sent by SMSes and emails to police officials at the State, district and local level.
  • It can be availed in Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, UP, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Jammu & Kashmir as well as Mumbai.
  • The safety feature had earlier been launched in Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh.

3 . Hyperloop

Context : Last month, Maharashtra declared the company’s proposed hyperloop system between Pune and Mumbai as an official infrastructure project. Construction on a 7-mile test track could start this year, said Jay Walder, the company’s chief executive.

How does the Hyperloop work?

  • The speed of conventional trains — and all land based transport — is limited by friction, both against the air ahead and the ground beneath. Hyperloop drastically reduces friction in both of these areas.
  • First, the tunnels through which it operates have most of their air removed. They are not complete vacuums, but much less air means reduced friction and less energy is required to reach a higher speed. Secondly, Musk’s design saw the hyperloop pods, each containing a handful of passengers, held above the ground by a layer of air, similar to how the puck of an air hockey table floats across its surface.
  • Musk suggested that the power required to remove air from the tunnels and propel the pods along would come from solar panels on the roof of the tunnel.

4 . New Angel Tax rule

Context : The Union government has liberalised angel tax rules, exempting registered start-ups of a specified size from the tax.

About the Exemption

  • Investments of up to Rs. 25 crore in an eligible company will be exempt from the angel tax.
  • In addition, investments made by a listed company with a networth of at least Rs. 100 crore or a turnover of at least Rs. 250 crore will also be exempt. Investments made by non-residents will also be exempt.

5 . Second Ordinance on Triple Talaq

Context : Cabinet nod to second ordinance on triple talaq

About the Ordinance

  • The proposed Ordinance will protect the rights of married Muslim women and prevent divorce by the practice of instantaneous and irrevocable ‘talaq-e-biddat’ by their husbands. It will discourage the practice of triple talaq i.e. talaq-e-biddat. Promulgation of the proposed Ordinance will provide the rights of subsistence allowance, custody of minor children to victims of triple talaq i.e. talaq-e-biddat.

6 . Women Livelihood Bonds

Context : World Bank, UN Women, and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) have joined hands to launch a new social impact bonds exclusively for women, called Women’s Livelihood Bonds (WLBs), with an initial corpus of Rs 300 crore.

About Women Livelihood Bond

  • The proposed bond will enable individual women entrepreneurs in sectors like food processing, agriculture, services and small units to borrow around Rs 50,000 to Rs 3 lakh at an annual interest rate of around 13-14 per cent or less.
  • The bonds, which will have a tenure of five years, will be launched by SIDBI with the support of World Bank and UN Women.
  • SIDBI will act as the financial intermediary and channel funds raised to women entrepreneurs through participating financial intermediaries like banks, NBFCs or microfinance institutions.
  • The WLBs will be unsecured, unlisted bonds and offer fixed coupon rate of 3 per cent per annum to bond investors.
  • Some of the top wealth management firms like Centrum, ASK, Ambit and Aditya Birla Capital, among others, have reached out to high net worth individuals and impact investors to raise the funds.

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