January 2020

Daily Current Affairs (02-01-20)

ECONOMY

NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE PIPELINE (NIP)

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Economy [Paper-II]: Infrastructure in Indian Economy

News

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled a Rs. 102 lakh crore National Infrastructure Pipeline, in accordance with the Central government’s vision to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25.

Background

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech -2019 talked about investing Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure.
  • To achieve this objective, Finance Ministry had set up a task force headed by Economic Affairs Secretary to prepare a road map for the “national infrastructure pipeline” from 2019-20 to 2024-25 under the 100 lakh crore infrastructure plan.

Task Force on National Infrastructure Pipeline

  • The Task Force on National Infrastructure Pipeline that chaired by Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance (MoF) submitted a detailed report on the infrastructure plan.
  • Main function of the task force was to identify technically feasible and financially/ economically viable infrastructure projects that can be initiated in fiscals 2020 to 2025.
  • The task force observed that by 2030, around 42% of India’s population would be urbanised from the current 31%. Hence, urban infrastructure is also to be modernised.

What is NIP?

National Infrastructure Pipeline is the investment plan unveiled by the Central Government for enhancing infrastructure in identified sectors for a period of five years from 2020-25.

Funding of the Scheme

  • According to Finance Minister, the central government and state governments would have an equal share of 39% each in the NIP.
  • The private sector, on the other hand, would have 22% share which the government expects to increase to 30% by 2025.

Key Highlights

  • Energy sector make up the lion’s share of 24%, followed by Roads (19%), Urban Development (16%) and Railways (13%).
  • The shares of rural and social infrastructure projects, which include health, education and drinking water, are 8% and 3%, respectively.
  • Out of the total expected capital expenditure of Rs 102 lakh crore, projects worth Rs 42.7 lakh crore (42%) are under implementation, projects worth Rs 32.7 lakh crore (32%) are in the conceptualisation stage and the rest are under development.

  • Irrigation and rural infrastructure projects would account for 7.7 lakh crore each. Rs. 3.07 lakh crore would be spent on industrial infrastructure. Agriculture and social infrastructure would account for the rest.

  • Road projects will account for 19.63 lakh crore while another Rs. 13.68 lakh crore would be for railway projects.
  • Port projects would see spending of Rs. 1 lakh crore and airports another Rs. 1.43 lakh crore. Rs. 16.29 lakh crore would be spent on urban infrastructure and Rs. 3.2 lakh crore in telecom projects.
  • According to the sector-wise break-up of projects made available by the Finance Ministry, 24.54 lakh crore investment will flow in the energy sector, and of that Rs. 11.7 lakh crore would be in just the power sector.
  • 42 lakh crore NIP projects which are in the implementation stage now include expressways, national gas grid and PMAY-G.

Benefits

Why National Infrastructure Pipeline is needed?

  • Availability of quality infrastructure is a pre-requisite to achieve broad-based and inclusive growth on a sustainable basis.
  • Investment in infrastructure is also necessary for sustaining the high growth rate of India.
  • To achieve the GDP of $5 trillion by 2024-25, India needs to spend about $1.4 trillion (Rs. 100 lakh crore) over these years on infrastructure.
  • In the past decade (FY 2008-17), India invested about $1.1 trillion on infrastructure. The challenge is to step-up annual infrastructure investment so that lack of infrastructure does not become a binding constraint on the growth of the Indian economy.
  • To implement an infrastructure program of this scale, it is important that projects are adequately prepared and launched. Thus, NIP assumes great significance.
[Source: PIB, Hindustan Times, Livemint, indianeconomy.net]

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

MOBILE AIDED NOTE IDENTIFIER – MANI

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Science and Technology [Paper-II]:

News

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a mobile application called Mobile Aided Note Identifier orMANI’.

About MANI App

  • The ‘MANI’ app would help visually challenged persons to identify the denomination of currency notes, and thereby facilitating their day to day transactions.
  • Users can freely download the app, called ‘MANI’ (Mobile Aided Note Identifier), from Android Playstore or iOS App Store.

Features

  • The mobile application can identify the denominations of currency notes ‘of Mahatma Gandhi Series and Mahatma Gandhi (New) series banknote by checking front or opposite side including half folded notes at various holding angles and a broad range of light conditions.’
  • The MANI app can also identify the denomination of currency notes through an audio notification in Hindi/English.
  • For accessing the application features, one can easily navigate the ‘MANI’ app via voice controls.
  • The ‘MANI’ app cannot authenticate a currency note as being genuine or counterfeit.
  • After installation, the mobile application does not require internet and works in offline mode.
[Source: Financial Express, rbi.org]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

SHIV BHOJAN
  • Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra has decided to provide meals — Shiv Bhojan — in every district of the state at the nominal rate of Rs 10.
  • The scheme is expected to start at around 100 eateries across the state from Republic Day.
  • The Rs 10 thali will consist of two chappatis, one cup each of rice, gravy and vegetable.
HARIVARASANAM AWARD FOR 2020
  • Renowned musician and composer Ilaiyaraja has been selected for Harivarasanam award for 2020.
  • The Award was jointly instituted by the Kerala state government and the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB).
  • Singers K J Yesudas, M Jayachandran, S P Balasubramanyam, M G Sreekumar, Gangai Amaran, K S Chitra and P Susheela are among earlier winners of the award instituted in 2012.
  • Harivarasanam (also known as Hariharasuthaashtakam) is a devotional song composed in the astakam metre, recited at Sabarimala (the principal Ayyappan pilgrimage site), before closing the temple door every night.
WISDEN CRICKETERS OF THE DECADE LIST
  • Team India captain Virat Kohli is the only Indian to have been included in the list of five cricketers of the decade which has been announced by Wisden.
  • Along with Kohli, the other four cricketers are – Steve Smith, Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers and Ellyse Perry.
KARIMPUZHA-NEW AMARAMBALAM WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
  • The Karimpuzha-New Amarambalam Wildlife Sanctuary in Malappuram is a reality with the Kerala State Government notifying the 227.97 sq kms as the 18th wildlife sanctuary in Kerala.
  • The Karimpuzha-New Amarambalam sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in the Western Ghats.
  • It extends till Silent Valley National Park of the Palakkad District to the south and to Nadugani in the Nilgiri District of Tamil Nadu to the North.
  • The Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN) has identified 212 species of birds from the Nilambur and Amarambalam forests.
  • Amarambalam also comprises almost all mammals found in the Western Ghats: 25 mammals, including the endemic and threatened Lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) and Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius).
ISRO SECOND LAUNCH PORT IN THOOTHUKUDI
  • Indian Space Research Organisation will establish a second launch port in Thoothukudi district in Tamilnadu exclusively to launch small satellite launch vehicles.
  • It will be around 2,300 acres in size, smaller than the first port in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The new location is ideal for launching smaller satelites of less than 500kg in the sun-synchronous orbit.
  • The second spaceport after Sriharikota was announced considering the increase in the number of launches that the space agency is planning in the coming years.
DHANU JATRA
  • The famous 11-day long ‘Dhanu Jatra’, considered as the largest open-air theatre of the world has begun at Bargarh in western Odisha.
  • The Jatra is based on the mythological story of Lord Krishna and his demon uncle King Kansa. It is about the episode of Krishna and Balaram’s visit to Mathura to witness the Dhanu ceremony organized by their (maternal) uncle King Kansa.
  • It is considered to be the world’s largest open-air theatrical festival that finds a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • The play starts with the dethroning of the emperor Ugrasena by the angry prince Kansa, over the marriage of his sister Devaki with Basudeba, and ends with the death of Kansa, and Ugrasen restoring back to become the king.
  • During Dhanu Jatra, King Kansa moves around the city and slaps fine on offenders on the streets. He also enters government offices and pulls up officials for lapses. People become his obedient subjects.
  • The rule of Kansa symbolizes an oppressive rule and the coronation of Ugrasen marks the beginning of democracy.
  • The annual festival came into being in 1947-48 to celebrate Indian’s Independence and to symbolize the victory of good over evil.
  • The Department of Culture of the Government of India has accorded National Festival status to Dhanu Jatra in November 2014.

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