Ojaank IAS Academy




01 July 2022 – Current Affairs

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States’ Start-up Ranking 2021

Why Should You Know?
  • The results of the 3rd edition of Ranking of States’ on Support to Start-up Ecosystems will be released by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles on 4th July, 2022 in a felicitation ceremony in New Delhi.
  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) conducted the 3rd edition of the States’ Start-up Ranking Exercise with the key objective to promote India’s vision of competitive and cooperative federalism.
  • The exercise was launched in 2018 to encourage states and union territories to work towards easing regulations for the growth of start-ups and strengthening the support to the start-up ecosystem. 
  • A total of 24 States and 7 Union Territories participated in the exercise this year, an increase from 25 last year and the highest till date.
  • As India becomes one of the leading start-up nation globally, the growth of the entrepreneurship in Tier-II and Tier – III cities in the country has become necessary.
  • There were 4 states/UTs with start-up policies in 2016. Today, there are over 30 states/UTs who have start-up policies, and 27 states/UTs have their own state start-up portal. 
  • This edition had 7 broad Reform Areas consisting of 26 action points which are essential in providing regulatory, policy and economic support to startups and stakeholders of the ecosystem.
  • The reform areas included Institutional Support, Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Access to Market, Incubation support, Funding Support, Mentorship Support and Capacity Building of Enablers. 
  • The third edition of the exercise evaluated the support provided by states and union territories over a period from 1st October 2019 to 31st July 2021. Their submissions were evaluated over a 6-month period and feedback was gathered from more than 7,200 beneficiaries in 13 different languages.
  • This edition is unique as it highlights the extensive support provided by states and union territories to the start-up ecosystem amid a global pandemic. 

Repayment of ‘8.08% GS 2022’

Why Should You Know?
  • The outstanding balance of ‘8.08% GS 2022’ is repayable at par on August 02, 2022.
  • In the event of a holiday being declared on repayment day by any State Government under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, the Loan/s will be repaid by the paying offices in that State on the previous working day.
  • As per sub-regulations 24(2) and 24(3) of Government Securities Regulations, 2007 payment of maturity, proceeds to the registered holder of Government Security held in the form of Subsidiary General Ledger or Constituent Subsidiary General Ledger account or Stock Certificate, shall be made by a pay order incorporating the relevant particulars of his bank account or by credit to the account of the holder in any bank having facility of receipt of funds through electronic means.
  • For the purpose of making payment in respect of the securities, the original subscriber or the subsequent holders of such Government Securities, shall submit the relevant particulars of their bank account well in advance.
  • However, in the absence of relevant particulars of bank account/mandate for receipt of funds through electronic means, to facilitate repayment of the Loan on the due date, holders may tender the securities, duly discharged, at the Public Debt Offices, Treasuries/Sub-Treasuries and branches of State Bank of India (at which they are enfaced / registered for payment of interest) 20 days in advance of the due date for repayment.

Maiden flight of Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator

Why Should You Know? 
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) today successfully carried out the Maiden flight of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator from the Aeronautical Test Range at Chitradurga in Karnataka. 
  • With this success, India’s secretive unmanned combat aerial vehicle UCAV programme under which a technology demonstrator called stealth wing flying test bed (SWift) is being developed reached a milestone.
Major Points
  • The programme is linked to the development of India’s fifth-generation stealth fighter advanced medium combat aircraft or AMCA. 
  • The flight operated in a fully autonomous mode. The aircraft exhibited a perfect flight, including take-off, waypoint navigation and a smooth touchdown. This aircraft is powered by a small turbofan engine. 
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO. He said, it is a major achievement toward autonomous aircraft and will pave the way for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in terms of critical military systems.
  •  The Defence Ministry highlighted that the aircraft marks a major milestone in terms of proving critical technologies for the development of future unmanned aircraft. It said, this aircraft is a significant step toward self-reliance in such strategic defence technologies. 
  • The Ministry said that Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment in Bengaluru, which is a premier research laboratory of DRDO.
  • It added the airframe, undercarriage and entire flight control and avionics systems used for the aircraft were developed indigenously.

Ban Single Use Plastic from 1st July 2022

Why Should You Know? 
  • Carrying forward the spirit of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava’, a defining step to curb pollution caused by littered and unmanaged plastic waste is being taken by the country. 
  • India will ban manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential, all across the country from July 1, 2022.
Major Points
  • The adverse impacts of littered single use plastic items plastic on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including in marine environment are globally recognized. 
  • Addressing pollution due to single use plastic items has become an important environmental challenge confronting all countries.
  •  In the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly held in 2019, India had piloted a resolution on addressing single-use plastic products pollution, recognizing the urgent need for the global community to focus on this very important issue.
  •  The adoption of this resolution at UNEA 4 was a significant step. In the recently concluded 5th session of United Nations Environment Assembly in March 2022, India engaged constructively with all member states to develop consensus on the resolution for driving global action on plastic pollution. 
  • The Government of India has taken resolute steps for mitigation of pollution caused by littered Single Use Plastics. 
  • The list of banned items includes -ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice- cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers.
The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021
  • The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, also prohibit manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having thickness less than seventy five microns with effect from 30th September, 2021, and having thickness less than thickness of one hundred and twenty microns with effect from the 31st December, 2022.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has also notified the Guidelines on Extended Producers Responsibility on plastic packaging as Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2022 on 16th February, 2022.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is responsibility of a producer for the environmentally sound management of the product until the end of its life.
  • The Guidelines will provide framework to strengthen circular economy of plastic packaging waste, promote development of new alternatives to plastic packaging and provide next steps for moving towards sustainable plastic packaging by businesses.
Others Major Points
  • Capacity building workshops are being organized for MSME units to provide them technical assistance for manufacturing of alternatives to banned single use plastic items with the involvement of CPCB/SPCBs/PCCs along with Ministry of Small Micro and Medium Enterprises and Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering (CIPET) and their state centres.
  • Provisions have also been made to support such enterprises in transitioning away from banned single use plastics.
  • The Government of India has also taken steps to promote innovation and provide an ecosystem for accelerated penetration and availability of alternatives all across the country.
  • For effective enforcement of ban on identified SUP items from 1 July 2022, national and state level control rooms will be set up and special enforcement teams will be formed for checking illegal manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of banned single use plastic items.
  • States and Union Territories have been asked to set up border check points to stop inter-state movement of any banned single use plastic items.
  • CPCB Grievance Redressal App has been launched to empower citizens to help curb plastic menace.  For wider public outreach, PRAKRITI – mascot was also launched on 5th April.
  • The Government has been taking measures for awareness generation towards elimination of single use plastics The awareness campaign has brought together entrepreneurs and startups, industry, Central, State and Local Governments, regulatory bodies, experts, citizens organizations, R& D and academic institutions.
  • The success of the ban will only be possible through effective engagement and concerted actions by all stakeholders and enthusiastic public participation, believes the Ministry.

Polio begin in 11 States and UTs

Paper 2 HEALTH
Why Should You Know? 
  • The Polio Immunisation 2022 will begin today in 11 States and Union Territories.
  • The Health Ministry said, first Sub-National Immunisation Day of the year will start its campaign for administering Polio vaccine drops to around three crore nine lakh children below five years of age.
Major Points
  • The campaign will start in Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.
  • During this campaign, targeted children will be given polio drops through booths, house-to-house, mobile and transit teams.
  • The Government has also introduced the injectable Inactivated Polio virus Vaccine to provide additional protection to children in its routine Immunisation programme.
  • The Ministry said, India was certified polio-free in March 2014 but the risk of wild polio virus importation or the emergence of vaccine-derived polio viruses persists until global eradication.
  • It said, this is why, there is need for maintaining high population immunity and sensitive surveillance in the country.
  • The Ministry said that India is making efforts to protect its children from more and more Vaccine-Preventable Diseases by introducing additional vaccines under the Universal Immunization Program. It urged All parents to get their children, less than 5 years of age, vaccinated against Polio.

India, Pakistan exchange lists of civilian prisoners & fishermen in their custody

Why Should You Know? 
  • India and Pakistan today exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in their custody.
  • India handed over lists of 309 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 95 fishermen in its custody to Pakistan while Pakistan has shared lists of 49 civilian prisoners and 633 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or are believed to be Indians.
  • The lists were exchanged through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad.
  • Under the provisions of the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access, such lists are exchanged every year on 1st January and 1st of July.
Major Points
  • New Delhi has called for early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats, from Islamabad’s custody.
  •  Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 536 Indian fishermen and three Indian civilian prisoners to India who have completed their sentence and whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan.
  • In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to the remaining 105 fishermen and 20 civilian prisoners who are in custody and are believed to be Indian.
  • The External Affairs Ministry said, India remains committed to addressing on priority all humanitarian matters including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country.
  •  In this context, India has also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 57 Pakistani prisoners including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation.
  • In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan has also been requested to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indian and believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen.

Tax Deducted at Source

Why Should You Know? 
  • Certain changes in taxation and the stock market will come into effect from today.
  • In Union Budget 2022, the government had made provision for one per cent Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on cryptocurrencies which will be applicable from today.
  • From April this year,  30 per cent  income tax on crypto currencies has also been imposed.
  • The fee for PAN-Aadhaar linking will also be doubled from today. The fee for linking PAN with Aadhaar after 31st March to 30th June 2022 was 500 rupees.
Major Points
  • Now, if a person fails to link PAN with Aadhaar during that period, they will have to pay a double fee of one thousand for PAN-Aadhaar seeding. 
  • The Income Tax Rule will also be changed from today for doctors and influencers and 10 per cent TDS on benefits received via sales promotion on doctors and social media influencers will be effective.
  • However, it will be applicable only when the cost of the benefit is over 20 thousand rupees in a single financial year. 
  • Last month, the Securities and Exchange Board of India had announced that all demat accounts need to be tagged by 30th of June this year.
  •  From today onwards, the Credit of securities will not be allowed in any demat account left untagged.

India’s largest floating Solar Power Project

Why Should You Know? 
  • India’s largest floating Solar Power Project is now fully operational. NTPC declared Commercial Operation of the final part capacity of 20 MW out of 100 MW Ramagundam Floating Solar PV Project at Ramagundam, Telangana with effect from 00:00 hours of July 01, 2022.
  • With the operationalisation of 100-MW Solar PV Project at Ramagundam, total commercial operation of Floating Solar Capacity in Southern Region rose to 217 MW.
  • Earlier, NTPC declared Commercial operation of 92 MW Floating Solar at Kayamkulam (Kerala) and 25 MW Floating Solar at Simhadri (Andhra Pradesh), Shri Anand added.
Floating Solar project
  • The 100-MW Floating Solar project at Ramagundam is endowed with advanced technology as well as environment friendly features.
  •  Constructed with financial implication of Rs. 423 crores through M/s BHEL as EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contract, the project spreads over 500 acres of its reservoir. Divided into 40 blocks, each having 2.5 MW. 
  •  Each block consists of one floating platform and an array of 11,200 solar modules. The floating platform consists of one Inverter, Transformer, and a HT breaker.
  • The solar modules are placed on floaters manufactured with HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) material.
  • The entire floating system is being anchored through special HMPE rope to the dead weights placed in the balancing reservoir bed. The power is being evacuated up to the existing switch yard through 33KV underground cables.
Others Major Points 
  • This project is unique in the sense that all the electrical equipment including inverter, transformer, HT panel and SCADA are also on floating ferro cement platforms. The anchoring of this system is bottom anchoring through dead weight concrete blocks.
  • From environment point of view, the most obvious advantage is minimum land requirement mostly for associated evacuation arrangements.
  • Further, with the presence of floating solar panels, the evaporation rate from water bodies is reduced, thus helping in water conservation.
  • Approximately 32.5 lakh cubic meters per year water evaporation can be avoided.
  • The water body underneath the solar modules helps in maintaining their ambient temperature, thereby improving their efficiency and generation.
  • Similarly, while coal consumption of 1,65,000 Tons can be avoided per year; Co2 emission of 2,10,000 tons per year can be avoided.

Olympiad Torch Relay in India

Paper 2 international relation and sports
Why Should You Know? 
  • The relay will cover a total of 75 cities, commemorating the occasion of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav – 75 years of India’s independence.
  • FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich handed over the torch to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, who handed it over to Indian Chess legend Viswanathan Anand.
  • Following the historic launch, the torch travelled to iconic locations including Red Fort in the national capital, the HPCA in Dharamshala, the Attari Border in Amritsar, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow, among others.
Major Points
  • From June 30, the torch relay enters Gujarat and then travels to the Western part of India, the Eastern part of India, North-east India and ultimately culminating at South India.
  • The North India leg covered Delhi – Jammu and Kashmir – Himachal – Punjab – Uttarakhand – Uttar Pradesh – Rajasthan in the last 10 days.
  • The torch relay events across the cities saw major participation. While the Attari Border torch relay ceremony saw an audience of 8000 people, the number of people present at the Vidhan Sabha event in Lucknow was 3000.
  • Besides some of the prominent Chess Grandmasters like Viswanathan Anand, Dibyendu Barua, Deep Sengupta, Tejas Bakre and Vantika Agarwal, among others, the events saw the presence of prominent dignitaries.
  • The torch relay events start with simul chess, where Grandmasters and dignitaries play the game with local athletes.
  • Following the events, the torch travels to the various locations via a jeep. Besides, various cultural events take place including an interactive bus tour travelling from one city to another, a cultural parade varying from region to region which features young chess players’ community.
  • For the first time in the history of the prestigious competition, India not only hosts the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad but is also the first country that starts off a torch relay that has been instituted by FIDE for the first time in the history of the competition which started in 1927.
  • From now on, every two years when the Chess Olympiad happens, the torch will go out from India to the host country. 
  • Being the host, India is set to field 20 players – their biggest ever contingent – at the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad. India is entitled to field 2 teams each in the Open and Women’s category.
  • Over 2000 participants will be representing at the event from 188 countries, highest in the history of the Chess Olympiad. The 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad will be held in Chennai from July 28 to August 10, 2022.

Beijing Silent on Reports of Islamabad

Paper 2 international relation
Why Should You Know? 
  • According to media reports Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has objected to the request of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, which in June sought to allow a Chinese security company to operate in Pakistan, saying instead that Pakistan security forces are able to protect Chinese nationals and assets in Pakistan.
  • At the regular media briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian sidestepped a question on this and said Beijing and Islamabad are in close communication and coordination to protect the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor
  • A Japanese media outlet has reported that China wants its own security company to guard its citizens and assets in Pakistan following a spate of recent attacks against its nationals in that country, but Islamabad has been resisting the pressure from Beijing.
  • Pakistan in recent months has been witnessing a series of attacks against Chinese workers employed in scores of projects under the USD 60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • The latest attack was in April when a woman suicide bomber from the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) blew herself near a van carrying Chinese teachers at the Confucius Institute at Karachi University.
  • Three Chinese were killed in the incident and rets of the Chinese teachers left Pakistan after that. Baloch insurgent groups have previously carried out several attacks targeting the CPEC projects.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan
  • Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a Pakistan based militant outfit too has been blamed for some of the attacks on Chinese nationals.
  • Pakistan has raised a separate military force to protect the Chinese workers, but Beijing is increasingly getting nervous over the recurring attacks resulting in heavy casualties.
  • In July last year, motorcycle borne masked men opened fire on a vehicle carrying two Chinese nationals in Karachi in which one of them was critically wounded. In the same month, nearly a dozen Chinese engineers were killed when a bus carrying construction workers was “attacked” in northwest Pakistan. In November 2018, Baloch militants had attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi.
  • Meanwhile, a consortium of Chinese state banks has lent $2.3bn to Pakistan to help the country stave off a foreign payments crisis.
  • The same day Islamabad announced a one-off 10 per cent ‘super tax’ on important industries like cement, beverages, steel, tobacco and chemicals, that is intended to lead to a stalled $6bn IMF loan package being resumed.
  • In recent months, Pakistan’s battered economy has prompted concerns it might follow Sri Lanka in defaulting on international debt.

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