PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- Steel Import Monitoring System
- Electronic Certificate of Origin
- IN-RSN-RTN Trilateral Exercise
- World Ozone Day
- LEAP and ARPIT
- Coal Gasification
- Head on Generation technology
- Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (VRP) and National Safety Awards (NSA)
- Facts for Prelims : Seated Buddha in Bhumisparsha Mudra, International Ramayana Festival,
Context : Ministry of Commerce & Industry throughExport Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) has introduced a new Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS) called NIRVIK to enhance loan availability and ease the lending process.
About the Scheme
- Under the ‘NIRVIK’ scheme, which is also called the Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS), the insurance cover guaranteed will cover up to 90 percent of the principal and interest.
- The insurance cover will include both pre and post-shipment credit.
- The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) currently provides credit guarantee of up to 60 percent loss.
- Gems, jewellery and diamond(GJD) sector borrowers with limit of more than Rs. 80 crore will have a higher premium rate as compared to non-GJD sector borrowers of this category due to the higher loss ratio.
- The ECGC cover provides additional comfort to banks as the credit rating of the borrower is enhanced to AA rated account.
- Enhanced cover will ensure that Foreign and Rupee export credit interest rates will be below 4%and 8% respectively for exporters.
Benefits of the Scheme
- It will enhance accessibility and affordability of credit for exporters and will make Indian exports competitive. It will also ensure timely and adequate working capital to the export sector.
- Insurance cover is expected to bring down the cost of credit due to capital relief, less provision requirement and liquidity due to quick settlement of claims.
- It will make ECGC procedures simple and exporter friendly
2 . Steel Import Monitoring System
Context : Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Hardeep Singh Purilaunched Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS)
About Steel Import Monitoring System
- The system has been developed in consultation with Ministry of Steel on the pattern of US Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system.
- The SIMS will provide advance information about steel imports to Government and stake holders including, steel industry (producers), steel consumers(importers) to have effective policy interventions.
- In this system, the importers of specified steel products will register in advance on the web portal of SIMS providing necessary information. The registration will be online and automatic and no human intervention is required.
- The importer can apply for registration not earlier than 60th day and not later than 15th day before the expected date of arrival of import consignment.
- The automatic Registration Number thus granted shall remain valid for a period of 75 days.
- The information about the steel imports provided by the importers on the SIMS will be monitored by the Steel Ministry.
3 . Electronic Certificate of Origin
Context : Govt launched Common Digital Platform for Issuance of electronic Certificates of Origin (CoO)
What is Certificate of Origin
- A certificate of origin (CO) is a document declaring in which country a commodity or good was manufactured. The certificate of origin contains information regarding the product, its destination, and the country of export.
About the Platform
- Platform will be a single access point for all exporters, for all FTAs/PTAs and for all agencies concerned.
- Certificate of Origin will be issued electronically which can be in paperless format if agreed to by the partner countries.
- Authorities of partner countries will be able to verify the authenticity of certificates from the website. Further, it provides administrative access to Department of Commerce for reporting and monitoring purposes.
- The issuance process is electronic, paperless and transparent
- Real-time tracking of FTA utilization at product level, country level etc.
- Electronic Certificate of Origin issued
- Possible to electronically exchange CoO with the partner countries
- Reduces transaction cost and time for the exporters
4 . IN-RSN-RTN Trilateral Exercise
About the Trilateral Exercise
- IN – RSN – RTN is the trilateral exercise, involving Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), Royal Thailand Navy (RTN) and Indian Navy (IN)
- Exercise is aimed at bolstering the maritime inter-relationships amongst Singapore Thailand and India, and contribute significantly to enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.
- This would also strengthen the mutual confidence amongst three navies in terms of interoperability and development of a common understanding of procedures.
5 . World Ozone Day
About World Ozone Day
- World Ozone Day is celebrated on 16th September
- “32 years and healing” is the theme of 25th World Ozone Day celebrations. The theme signifies over three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and also the climate system under the Montreal Protocol.
- The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.
- The phaseout of controlled uses of ozone depleting substances and the related reductions have not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and future generations, but have also contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change; furthermore, it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth
- The abundance of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) in the atmosphere is declining and a recent study has indicated that the ozone hole is recovering.
India Cooling Action Plan
India is one of the first countries in the world to develop a comprehensive Cooling Action plan which has a long term vision to address the cooling requirement across sectors and lists out actions which can help reduce the cooling demand. Cooling requirement is cross sectoral and an essential part for economic growth and is required across different sectors of the economy such as residential and commercial buildings, cold-chain, refrigeration, transport and industries
- The thrust of the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) is to look for synergies in actions for securing both environmental and socio-economic benefits.
- The overarching goal of ICAP is to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society.
- It will also help in reducing both direct and indirect emissions.
- The India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) provides an integrated vision towards cooling across sectors encompassing inter alia reduction of cooling demand, refrigerant transition, enhancing energy efficiency and better technology options with a 20 year time horizon.
- Reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25% by 2037-38
- Reduce refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by 2037-38
- Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by 2037-38
- Recognize “cooling and related areas” as a thrust area of research under national S&T Programme
- Training and certification of 100,000 servicing sector technicians by 2022-23, synergizing with Skill India Mission. These actions will have significant climate benefits.
- Thermal comfort for all – provision for cooling for EWS and LIG housing
- Sustainable cooling – low GHG emissions related to cooling
- Doubling Farmers Income – better cold chain infrastructure – better value of produce to farmers, less wastage of produce
- Skilled workforce for better livelihoods and environmental protection
- Make in India – domestic manufacturing of air-conditioning and related cooling equipment’s
- Robust R&D on alternative cooling technologies – to provide push to innovation in cooling sector.
6 . LEAP and ARPIT
Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP)
- Leadership for Academicians Programme is a three weeks Flagship leadership development training programme (2 weeks domestic and one week foreign training) for second level academic functionaries in public funded higher education institutions.
- The main objective is to prepare second tier academic heads who are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future.
- The programme would provide senior faculty, with high academic credentials, the required leadership and managerial skills including skills of problem-solving, handling stress, team building work, conflict management, developing communication skills, understanding and coping with the complexity and challenges of governance in HEIs, financial & general administration.
- The implementation of LEAP Programme will be through 15 NIRF top ranked Indian Institutions
Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT)
- Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT), a major and unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty using the MOOCs platform SWAYAM.
- For implementing ARPIT, 75 discipline-specific institutions have been identified and notified as National Resource Centres (NRCs) in the first phase, which are tasked to prepare online training material with focus on latest developments in the discipline, new & emerging trends, pedagogical improvements and methodologies for transacting revised curriculum.
7 . Coal Gasification
Context : Contract for coal gasification plant for urea project at the erstwhile Talcher unit of FCIL in Angul in the State of Odisha was awarded
About Coal Gasification
- Chemically, coal is a complex and highly variable substance that can be converted into a variety of products. The gasification of coal is one method that can produce power, liquid fuels, chemicals, and hydrogen.
- Coal gasification is a thermo-chemical process in which the gasifier’s heat and pressure break down coal into its chemical constituents.
- The resulting “syngas” is comprised primarily of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, and occasionally other gaseous compounds.
- Proponents of coal gasification say that syngas can be used for electricity production, used in energy-efficient fuel cell technology, or as chemical “building blocks” for industrial purposes. The hydrogen can also be extracted for use in fueling a hydrogen economy.
- Coal gas can also be converted into a transportation fuel as a substitute for gasoline in vehicles
- Coal gasification is said to have greater efficiency than conventional coal-burning because it can effectively use the gases twice: the coal gases are first cleansed of impurities and fired in a turbine to generate electricity. Then, the exhaust heat from the gas turbine can be captured and used to generate steam for a steam turbine-generator. This is called a combined cycle, and DOE says a coal gasification plant using this dual process can potentially achieve an efficiency of 50 percent or more, compared with a conventional coal power plant, which is often just above 30 percent.
About the Project
- Currently production of urea in the country is done by using pooled natural gas which comprises of domestic NG and imported LNG. Import of LNG is a costly affair and leads to spending valuable foreign exchange. Hence it is preferred that an indigenous raw material is used for production of urea and other fertilizers in the country. Talcher Fertilizer Project is a step in this direction wherein indigenous coal in a mix of petcoke shall be used for production of urea.
- Talcher Fertilizers Limited (TFL) is implementing this Coal Gasification based Ammonia/Urea Project under Government’s flagship program of revival of closed fertilizer units of Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL). The project shall be the first operational Urea plant in Odisha and shall produce 1.27 MMTPA of Urea at an estimated investment of about Rs. 13000 Crore.
- Coal gasification technology, which shall be deployed at TFL unit, is a state-of-the-art technology of M/s Air Products, USA and has been selected after following due shortlisting procedure.
- The project shall use a blend of coal and petcoke as feedstock for production of Fertilizer. Coal for this project shall be sourced from captive Northern part of North Arkhapal mine in Talcher region allotted to TFL. Petcoke shall be sourced from Paradip refinery for the project. This project shall promote use of abundantly available domestic coal in an environment friendly manner. Also, success of this technology shall also propel usage of coal for production of other products like, syngas, diesel, methanol, petrochemicals etc.
- The project shall improve India’s self-sufficiency in Urea, promote agriculture growth in Odisha and increase reliability of Urea availability to farmers of Odisha in particular and India in general. This initiative would propel India towards self-reliance in the Urea sector through efforts under “Make in India”.
8 . ASTRA Missile
Context : Indian Air Force on Monday successfully flight-tested air-to-air missile Astra off the coast of Odisha.
About ASTRA Missile
- Astra is an indigenous Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Astra missile with a range of over 70 km.
- The missile can fly towards its target at a speed of over 5,555 kilometres per hour. It has a 15-kilogramme high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead.
- The Astra missile has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation along with 50 other public and private organisations, involved at various stages of its development.
- Modifications of the Sukhoi-30 MKI jets to accommodate Astra missiles has been carried out by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
9 . Head on Generation technology
Context : Ministry of Railways decides to adopt HOG system (Head on Generation technology) in all LHB Coaches trains
About HOG System
- Head on Generation system is electrical power supply system where electrical power for catering total load of train, which includes Train Lighting, Air conditioning, Lighting, fannage and other passenger interface requirement working on electrical power supply.
- This scheme is widely used power supply system by Railways world over. The power in this system is received from locomotive.
- With introduction of this scheme heavy underslung power generating equipment gets eliminated. Further it also reduces use of Diesel sets employed in power cars in End on Generation system.
- In the new technology called – Head on Generation technology, the power will be drawn from the Overhead Electric supply.
- The power generator cars which used to make huge noise and emit fumes will no more be there. In place of two such generator cars there will be one standby silent generator car to be used for emergency.
- In place of the other car, there will be LSLRD (LHB Second Luggage, Guard & Divyaang Compartment). This LSLRD will also have capability to convert power from the overhead supply to be utilised in the entire train while providing space for luggage guard room and additional passengers.
- Currently, the cost of power is over Rs. 36 per unit and with HOG it will available at Rs. 6 Per unit.
10 . Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (VRP) and National Safety Awards (NSA)
About the Awards
- The Ministry of Labour and Employment has been operating the “Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (VRP)” (Previously known as ShramVir National Awards) and “National Safety Awards (NSA)” since 1965.
- These Award schemes are operated by the technical wing of the Ministry, namely the Directorate General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes (DGFASLI), Mumbai – an attached office of the Ministry of Labour and Employment
- DGFASLI renders technical advice/service to workers, their representatives & managements in factories and docks to make the industrial activities safe and to promote workers’ health & well-being.
- The VRP and NSA awards work both as an impetus as well as a catalyst to unleash the latent and untapped potentials of the promising workers at the plant level while recognizing the excellent performance of the companies in preventing accidents and promoting safety at work place. These awards bring out hidden talents of workers in our country. The goal is to develop a culture of safety in our industries with simple inventions or modifications.
- The applications thus received for VRP as well as NSA are adjudged by a Tripartite Awards Committee consisting of representation from employers’ organizations, employees’ organizations and Central/State Governments. This Tripartite Committee is constituted by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (VRP)
- VRP is awarded in recognition of outstanding suggestions given by a worker or a group of workers and implemented by the management during the previous calendar year resulting in improvement in quality, productivity, savings to the unit including savings in foreign currency and working conditions such as safety, health and environmental conservation in the industrial undertakings where “Suggestion Schemes” are in operation.
- VRP is awarded in the form of cash prize and a certificate of merit in three categories: Class ‘A’ – Five(05) awards of Rs. 75,000/- each, Class ‘B’ – Eight(08) awards of Rs. 50,000/- each and Class ‘C’- Fifteen(15) awards of Rs. 25,000/- each.
National Safety Awards (NSA)
- The NSA is given in recognition of outstanding safety performance of industrial establishments, construction sites, ports and installations under Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to stimulate and maintain the interests of both the management and the workers in accident prevention programs.
- The awards are given under twelve schemes, out of which ten are meant for Factories /Construction sites /Installations under AERB and two are for Ports.
- Under each award, a Shield and a Certificate of Merit is given to each of the Award Winners and Runners-up. The establishments are classified in different schemes on the basis of working of man-hours.
11 . Facts for Prelims
Seated Buddha in Bhumisparsha Mudra’
- The 12th Century AD Bronze image of Buddha seated in the Bhumipasara mudra was amongst the 19 bronze images/statues stolen from the Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) Nalanda site museum in August 1961. After a gap of nearly 57 years, in early 2018, the image was spotted by Art enthusiasts at an auction organised by a London based dealer.
- Bhumisparsha translates into ‘touching the earth’. It is more commonly known as the ‘earth witness’ mudra.
- This mudra, formed with all five fingers of the right hand extended to touch the ground, symbolizes the Buddha’s enlightenment under the bodhi tree, when he summoned the earth goddess, Sthavara, to bear witness to his attainment of enlightenment.
- The right hand, placed upon the right knee in earth-pressing mudra, and complemented by the left hand-which is held flat in the lap in the dhyana mudra of meditation, symbolizes the union of method and wisdom, samasara and nirvana, and also the realizations of the conventional and ultimate truths. It is in this posture that Shakyamuni overcame the obstructions of Mara while meditating on Truth.
- The second Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya is depicted in this mudra. He is believed to transform the delusion of anger into mirror-like wisdom. It is this metamorphosis that the Bhumisparsha mudra helps in bringing about.
International Ramayana Festival
- International Ramayan Festival is organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
- This is the 5th year in a row. This year 17 countries have participated
- In the Festival artists from various countries renders their versions of Ramayan.