25, October 2017

1.Ministries of Power & Textiles join hands under new initiative SAATHI

Source: PIB

SAATHI (Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to help small Industries)

  • Under this initiative, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a public sector entity under the administrative control of Ministry of Power, would procure energy efficient Powerlooms, motors and Rapier kits in bulk and provide them to the small and medium Powerloom units at no upfront cost.

Key facts:

  • The SAATHI initiative of the Government will be jointly implemented by EESL and the office of the Textile Commissioner on a pan-India basis.
  • The use of these efficient equipment would result in energy savings and cost savings to the unit owner and he would repay in installments to EESL over a 4 to 5 year period. This is the aggregation, bulk procurement and financing model that EESL has successfully deployed in several sectors like LED bulbs, Smart Meters and Electric Vehicles.
  • The unit owner neither has to allocate any upfront capital cost to procure these equipment nor does it have to allocate additional expenditure for repayment as the repayments to EESL are made from the savings that accrue as a result of higher efficiency equipments and cost savings.
  • The aggregation of demand and bulk procurement will also lead to reduction in capital cost, benefits of which will be passed on to the Powerloom units so that their repayment amount and period would reduce.

2.INS Sukanya at Indonesia for Coordinated Patrol of IMBL

Source: PIB

In pursuance with India’s ‘Act East Policy’, Indian Naval Ship Sukanya under the command of Commander SA Deodhar, NM arrived at Belawan Indonesia this morning to participate in the 30th edition of CORPAT (Coordinated Patrol) and 3rd Bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy.

The exercise is aimed to foster closer maritime ties with countries located on the rim of the Indian Ocean.

Key facts:

  • The upcoming bi-lateral exercise CORPAT scheduled from 24 Oct – 05 Nov 17 is a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Indonesia and to the maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • The two navies have been carrying out Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) on respective sides of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year since 2002.
  • The aim of the CORPAT is to enhance mutual understanding and inter-operability between the navies, prosecute vessels involved in unlawful activities, conduct SAR and take measures against Sea Pollution.

India – Indonesia:

  • Defence relations between India and Indonesia have been growing steadily with regular joint activities and interactions between the armed forces of the two countries. These interactions would also provide opportunities for extensive operational and training engagements and contribute substantively to the maintenance of good order at sea.
  • The exercise seeks to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and Indonesia, and underscore India’s partnership and solidarity with friendly countries of the region.
  • As part of the Indian Government’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has also been involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region with EEZ surveillance, Search and Rescue and other capability enhancement activities.

Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation:

  • The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest ocean. It is a lifeline of international trade and transport. The region is woven together by trade routes and commands control of major sea-lanes.
  • The Indian Ocean Rim is a region comprised of the states whose shores are washed by the waters of the Indian Ocean. The region is home to about two billion people. It is a region of much cultural diversity and richness – in languages, religions, traditions, arts and cuisines. The countries of the Indian Ocean Rim vary considerably in terms of their areas, populations and levels of economic development.
  • They may also be divided into a number of sub-regions (Australasia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia and Eastern & Southern Africa), each with their own regional groupings (such as ASEAN, SAARC, GCC and SADC, to name a few).
  • Despite such diversity and differences, these countries are bound together by the Indian Ocean. For many centuries, explorers, pilgrims, fishermen, traders and merchants have traversed the Indian Ocean, establishing networks of communication and developing the economic and cultural interconnectedness of the region.

Blue Economy: http://www.iora.net/blue-economy/blue-economy.aspx

3.Commerce and Industry Minister launches CIPAM’s Website

Source: PIB

The Minister for Commerce and Industry, launched the official website for the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

  • CIPAM has been set up under the aegis of DIPP with a mandate to effectively implement the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy.

Key facts:

  • The website is interactive providing regular updates on all upcoming events including awareness and sensitization programs being conducted, as also information on all Intellectual Property Rights.
  • It would make available resource material on IPRs specially curated for various levels: schools, universities, and industry and enforcement agencies.
  • Simplifying and streamlining of IP processes by formulating and implementing a focused strategy for each policy objective
  • Coordination with State level agencies and Ministries/ Departments of the Government of India, industry bodies as well as international agencies; IP cells to be set up
  • Training and sensitization porgrammes for enforcement agencies and Judiciary; coordination for effective enforcement of IPR rights.
  • Study and facilitate implementation of best practices for promotion and commercialization of IP within the country
  • CIPAM assists in simplifying and streamlining of IP processes, apart from undertaking steps for furthering IPR awareness, commercialization and enforcement.

4.Minister for Commerce and Industry reviews Government’s initiatives on IPR

Source: PIB

The Minister for Commerce and Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu took a review of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) related initiatives taken by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, for strengthening the IPR regime in the country.

  • The Government of India has been working relentlessly to streamline IP processes and modernization of IP offices through steps such as comprehensive e-filing facilities made available for patents and trademarks, auto-allotment of patent applications to ensure uniformity and utilization of the specialized expertise of all examiners and controllers and by auto generation of trademark certificates.

National IPR Policy

  • Formulated after intensive stakeholder consultation with nearly 300 organisations and individuals by an IPR Think Tank, as also 31 departments of the Government of India
  • Approved on 12 th May 2016 by the Government of India
  • A vision document that encompasses and brings to a single platform all IPRs, taking into account all inter-linkages within the Indian IP ecosystem, aimed at creating and exploiting synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies
  • Sets in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review and aims to incorporate and adapt global best practices to the Indian scenario
  • Reiterates India’s commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS agreement
  • Recognizes that India has a well-established TRIPS-compliant legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs
  • To create awareness about IPRs as a marketable financial asset and economic tool; ensure monetization of India’s ‘frugal engineering’ strength
  • Positions India as an economy conducive to innovation and enables channelizing of the strengths of various stakeholders for the same
  • To place before the world a vibrant and predictable IP regime with a stable, transparent and service-oriented IPR administration to stimulate creativity and innovation
  • IPR Policy to be reviewed every five years; Committee under Secretary, DIPP for regular appraisal

Vision Statement

  • An India where creativity and innovation are stimulated by Intellectual Property for the benefit of all;
  • An India where intellectual property promotes advancement in science and technology, arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity resources;
  • An India where knowledge is the main driver of development, and knowledge owned is transformed into knowledge shared.

Mission Statement

To stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced intellectual property rights system in India to:

  • Foster creativity and innovation and thereby, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socio-economic and cultural development, and
  • Focus on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection, among other sectors of vital social, economic and technological importance.

5.CVC to develop Integrity Index of 25 Organizations

Source: PIB

In line with the broader strategy and emphasis on preventive vigilance, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) believes that the next level of systemic change can be through the tool of Integrity Index.

  • The CVC has therefore decided to go in for development of the Integrity Index-based on bench-marking of internal processes and controls within an organisation as well as management of relationships and expectations of outside stakeholders.

The main objectives of Integrity Index:

Define what constitutes Integrity of Public Organizations.

  • Identify the different factors of Integrity and their inter-linkages.
  • Create an objective and reliable tool that can measure the performance of organizations along these above factors.
  • Validate the findings over a period of time to improve upon the robustness of the tool that measures Integrity.
  • Create an internal and external ecosystem that promotes working with Integrity where public organizations lead the way.
  • CVC has adopted a research-based approach for creating an integrity index that various organizations can use to measure themselves

6.Supreme Court bans use of Pet Coke, furnace oil in Delhi-NCR

Source: Economic Times

The Supreme Court banned the use of pet coke and furnace oil by industries in Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in a bid to reduce air pollution in Delhi and National Capital Region.

Highlights:

  • Pet coke and furnace oil, banned in Delhi since 1996, have been blamed for releasing deadly sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide fumes into the air and polluting the air.
  • The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had in its 72nd report identified these two fuels as a major source of pollution in the NCR. Pet coke emissions are estimated at 72,000 ppm and that from furnace oil 23,000 ppm as opposed to only 50 PPM sulphur in BSIV(Bharat Stage-IV) transport fuels according to EPCA.

7.₹2.11 lakh crore for PSU banks to boost lending

Source: The Hindu

The Centre unveiled an ambitious plan to infuse ₹2.11 lakh crore capital over the next two years into public sector banks (PSBs).

What are problem faced by PSU banks?

  • PSBs are burdened with high, non-performing assets (Asset Quality Review , RBI)
  • Twin-Balance Sheet Problem
  • Private investment is cut down

Steps Taken:

  • Govt has taken massive step to capitalise PSBs in a frontloaded manner, to support credit growth and job creation.
  • Govt plans to fund through budgetary provisions of 18,139 crore and the sale of recapitalisation bonds worth 1.35 lakh crore.
  • The balance would be raised by the banks themselves by diluting the government’s equity share.
  • Cabinet also approved 5.35 lakh crore for massive road infrastructure investment under Bharat Mala Programme.

Conclusion:

  • These steps will boost flagging economic growth and create jobs.
  • The effect of recapitalisation on the fiscal deficit would be determined by the type of bonds and as to who the issuing authority would be.

What is Twin-Balance Sheet Problem?

  • The balance sheets of both public sector banks (PSBs) and some corporate houses are in terrible shape and it has been seen as a major obstacle to investment and reviving growth.
  • The problems faced by the Public Sector Banks are linked directly to that of the corporate sector.
  • Companies borrowed a lot of money from banks to invest in infrastructure and commodity- related businesses, such as steel, power, infrastructure etc. But now, due to slump in both these sectors, the corporate profits have hit new lows.
  • With low profits, the corporates are not able to repay their loans and their debts are rising and in turn cut down on investments.

BharatMala project:

  • The BharatMala project will include economic corridors (9,000 km), inter-corridor and feeder route (6,000 km), national corridors efficiency improvement (5,000 km), border roads and international connectivity (2,000 km), coastal roads and port connectivity (2,000 km) and Greenfield expressways (800 km).
  • Further, the remaining road projects of 10,000 km under the National Highways Development Project will form a part of the programme.
  • The government has identified new routes between economically important cities that would be 20% longer in terms of distance but take relatively less travel time.



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