Daily Prelims Notes 7 July 2020
- July 7, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
1. Emergency Response Programme
The World Bank and the Government of India has signed the $750 million agreement for the MSME Emergency Response Programme.
- The World Bank’s MSME Emergency Response Programme will address theimmediate liquidity and credit needs of some 1.5 million viable MSMEs to help them withstand the impact of the current shock and protect millions of jobs.
- The World Bank Group, including its private sector arm – the International Finance Corporation (IFC), will support the government’s initiatives to protect the MSME sector by:
- Unlocking liquidity: This program will support government’s efforts to channel that liquidity to the MSME sector by de-risking lending from banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) to MSMEs through a range of instruments, including credit guarantees.
- Strengthening NBFCs and SFBs: Improving the funding capacity of key market-oriented channels of credit, such as the NBFCs and Small Finance Bank (SFBs), will help them respond to the urgent and varied needs of the MSMEs. This will include supporting government’s refinance facility for NBFCs. In parallel, the IFC is also providing direct support to SFBs through loans and equity.
- Enabling financial innovations: The program will incentivize and mainstream the use of fintech and digital financial services in MSME lending and payments. Digital platforms will play an important role by enabling lenders, suppliers, and buyers to reach firms faster and at a lower cost, especially small enterprises who currently may not have access to the formal channels.
Almost 1.4 lakh poor rural households have completed their quota of 100 days of work under MGNREGA in the first three months of the year, and will not be eligible for further benefits under the rural employment guarantee scheme for the rest of the year.
With COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown resulting in thousands of unemployed migrant workers returning to their villages and now dependent on MGNREGA wages
- MGNREGA, which is the largest work guarantee programmein the world, was enacted in 2005 with the primary objective of guaranteeing 100 days of wage employmentper year to rural householdswhose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
- The act provides a legal right to employmentfor adult members of rural households. At least one third beneficiaries have to be women.
- Employment must be provided with 15 days of being demanded failing which an ‘unemployment allowance’ must be given.
- The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments.
- Gram sabhas must recommend the works that are to be undertaken and at least 50% of the works must be executed by them. PRIs are primarily responsible for planning, implementation and monitoring of the works that are undertaken.
- All work sites should have facilities such as crèches, drinking water and first aid.
- There are provisions for proactive disclosure through wall writings, citizen information boards, Management Information Systems and social audits. Social audits are conducted by gram sabhas to enable the community to monitor the implementation of the scheme.
- Funding is shared between the centre and the states. There are three major items of expenditure – wages (for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled labour), material and administrative costs. The central government bears 100% of the cost of unskilled labour, 75% of the cost of semi-skilled and skilled labour, 75% of the cost of materials and 6% of the administrative costs.
- The MGNREGA scheme contains a provision for districts affected by drought or other natural disaster to request an expansion of the scheme to allow for 150 days of work.
Subject: Arts and culture
Zardozi workers have been left with joblessness due to lockdown
- Zardozi is form of embroidery that came to India from Persia.
- Its literal translation, “zar” meaning gold and “dozi” meaning embroidery, refers to the process of using metallic-bound threads to sew embellishment on to various fabrics.
- This heavy and intricate style of design is said to have been brought to India with the Mughal conquerors.
- After flourishing seamlessly in the initial Mughal period, the craft declined during the rule of Emperor Aurangzeb when the royal patronage that had been extended to craftsmen was stopped. The onset of industrialization in the 18th and 19th centuries was yet another setback.
- It has been given GI tag in 2013.
- Under the EPC model, government pays private players to lay roads. The private player has no role in the road’s ownership, toll collection or maintenance (it is taken care of by the government).
- Under the BOT model though, private players have an active role — they build, operate and maintain the road for a specified number of years before transferring the asset back to the government. Under BOT, the private player arranged all the finances for the project, while collecting toll revenue or annuity fee from the Government.
- The BOT model ran into roadblocks with private players not quite forthcoming to invest. The private player had to fully arrange for its finances be it through equity contribution or debt. NPA-riddled banks were becoming wary of lending to these projects. Also, if the compensation structure didn’t involve a fixed compensation (such as annuity), developers had to take on the entire risk of low passenger traffic.
- HAM’s a hybrid – a mix of the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) and BOT (build, operate, transfer) models. HAM combines EPC (40 per cent) and BOT-Annuity (60 per cent).
- On behalf of the government, NHAI releases 40 per cent of the total project cost. The balance 60 per cent is arranged by the developer.
- HAM arose out of a need to have a better financial mechanism for road development.
- HAM is a good trade-off, spreading the risk between developers and the Government.
Subject: Science and tech
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) launched a special winter-grade diesel in Ladakh.
- Motorists in high-altitude sectors like Ladakh, Kargil, Kaza and Keylong face the problem of freezing of diesel in their vehicles when winter temperatures drop to as low as -30◦Celsius.
- Indian Oil has come up with an innovative solution to this problem by introducing a special winter-grade diesel with a low pour-point of -33◦ Celsius, which does not lose its fluidity function even in extreme winter conditions
- Regular diesel fuel contains paraffin wax which is added for improving viscosity and lubrication. At low temperatures, the paraffin wax thickens or “gels” and hinders the flow of the fuel in the car engine.
- Special types of diesel are thus used at low temperatures that contain additives enabling the fuel to remain fluid in such conditions.
Subject: Science and tech
Scientists warned that Coronavirus has a great risk for airborne spread and wants WHO to revise guidelines.
- Airborne diseases are illnesses spread by tiny pathogens in the air. These can be bacteria, fungi, or viruses, but they are all transmitted through airborne contact.
- In most cases, an airborne disease is contracted when someone breathes in infected air.
- And a person also spreads the disease through their breath, particularly by sneezing and coughing, and through phlegm.
- Particles that cause airborne diseases are small enough to cling to the air. They hang on dust particles, moisture droplets, or on the breath until they are picked up. They are also acquired by contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus or phlegm.
- Common airborne diseases include:Influenza, common cold , Mumps, Measles, Whooping cough