UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 03-June-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. India unveils Rs 50,000 crore schemes to attract electronics makers

  2. Lessons from Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu

  3. Sixth Mass Extinction

  4. Scientists identify second most common coronavirus type in India


INDIA UNVEILS RS 50,000 CRORE SCHEMES TO ATTRACT ELECTRONICS MAKERS

Why in news?

  • Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, on Tuesday, unveiled the guidelines for electronics manufacturing schemes with an aim to strengthen domestic manufacturing of five global and five Indian mobile phone makers. 


Highlights:


The three Schemes are :


The Production-Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI),

  • The PLI Scheme shall extend an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales (over base year) of goods manufactured in India and covered under the target segments, to eligible companies, for a period of five years subsequent to the base year. 

Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS)

  • The SPECS shall provide financial incentive of 25% on capital expenditure for the identified list of electronic goods, i.e., electronic components, semiconductor/ display fabrication units, Assembly, Test, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) units, specialized sub-assemblies and capital goods for manufacture of aforesaid goods.

Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme

  • The EMC 2.0 shall provide support for creation of world class infrastructure along with common facilities and amenities, including Ready Built Factory (RBF) sheds / Plug and Play facilities for attracting major global electronics manufacturers, along with their supply chains. 

  • The schemes are expected to increase production of mobile phones and their parts to around Rs.10,00,000 crore by 2025 and generate around 5 lakh direct and 15 lakh indirect jobs, the government said.


Source : Economic Times ( https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/govt-starts-inviting-application-for-rs-50000-cr-electronic-incentive-schemes/articleshow/76153644.cms )


LESSONS FROM TELANGANA’S RYTHU BANDHU

Why in news?

  • As government thinks of direct benefit transfers to low-income groups, it is instructive to look at how similar experiments in states like Telangana have played out.


Highlights:

  • There is an increasing clamour for enhancing the amount distributed through the PM-KISAN scheme, which provides an annual sum of Rs 6,000 to farmer families who own cultivable land.

About Rythu Bandhu Scheme :

  • It is a DBT scheme implemented by the Telangana government that relies on land records for the identification of beneficiaries. The scheme offers an annual income support of Rs 10,000 per acre to every farmer who owns agricultural land.

Positives about the scheme :

  • Simplicity : RBS is a relatively simple scheme to administer because it is unconditional and relies on pre-existing land records infrastructure.

  • Beneficiaries are not required to pro-actively register themselves for availing the benefit nor do they have to show any proof — such as whether they actually cultivated the land or utilised the amount for purchasing agricultural inputs — for claiming the benefit. 

  • This significantly reduced the costs and resources required for the administration of the RBS.

  • This has led to relatively higher satisfaction levels with the RBS, as compared to the PM-Kisan scheme, which has a series of exclusions. 

  • Exclusions under PM Kisan : These exclusions are linked to the size of the land parcel owned, the profession of the land owner, whether or not the land owner is in receipt of pensions or has paid income tax in the previous assessment year. This increases the costs of administering the scheme and reduces the overall satisfaction of the beneficiaries from it.

Background work done under Rythu Bandhu scheme :

  • A state wide land records updation drive ( LRUP) was conducted by the state government before rolling out the scheme. All the records were digitalised.

  • State government cleared 95% of the land disputes by using the LRUP.

Problems under Rythu Bandhu scheme :

  • LRUP was not scrutinised by on ground surveys leading to around 0.5 acres being extra recorded in each farmer which accumulates to 460 acres across just two villages.

  • Tenant farmers were excluded from the scheme.

  • While the DBT mechanism has reduced the touchpoints between the beneficiary and the administration, a systematic grievance redressal mechanism is missing.

Key takeaways :

  • DBT schemes should be simple in design.

  • Background engineering and digitalisation should precede such schemes.

  • A grievance redressal mechanism should be created.

  • It should be inclusive in characteristic.


Source : Indian Express ( https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/lessons-from-telanganas-rythu-bandhu-scheme-covid-19-pandemic-6439229/ )


SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION

Why in news?

  • The ongoing sixth mass extinction may be one of the most serious environmental threats to the persistence of civilisation, according to new research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).


Highlights:

  • Mass extinction refers to a substantial increase in the degree of extinction or when the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short period of time.

  • So far, during the entire history of the Earth, there have been five mass extinctions. The sixth, which is ongoing, is referred to as the Anthropocene extinction.

  • The five mass extinctions that took place in the last 450 million years have led to the destruction of 70-95 per cent of the species of plants, animals and microorganisms that existed earlier.

  • These extinctions were caused by “catastrophic alterations” to the environment, such as massive volcanic eruptions, depletion of oceanic oxygen or collision with an asteroid. After each of these extinctions, it took millions of years to regain species comparable to those that existed before the event.

  • According to the Center for Biological Diversity, when species go extinct, the impact can be tangible such as in the form of a loss in crop pollination and water purification. Further, if a species has a specific function in an ecosystem, the loss can lead to consequences for other species by impacting the food chain.

  • The study warns that the effects of extinction will worsen in the coming decades as the resulting genetic and cultural variability will change entire ecosystems.


Source : Indian Express ( https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-is-the-ongoing-sixth-mass-extinction-6439257/ )


SCIENTISTS IDENTIFY SECOND MOST COMMON CORONAVIRUS TYPE IN INDIA

Why in news?

  • Scientists at multiple CSIR laboratories have identified a type of coronavirus that may be the second most prevalent in India, and may comprise 3.5% of the genomes globally.


Highlights:

  • The most dominant coronavirus clade in India is the A2a, and of 213 genomes analysed by the group, 62% of them were A2a.

  • The newly identified type, that the scientists have christened A3i, comprised 41% of those analysed.

  • With this, there are 11 SARS-CoV-2 types identified globally, with at least six of them identified in India.

  • The coronavirus type, or clade, is a cluster of SARS-CoV-2 viruses that share evolutionary similarities. 

  • Such classifications are useful in establishing whether certain strains are particularly virulent, spread more easily, how they are likely to evolve over time and whether some could be less vulnerable to certain kinds of vaccines.

  • Previous studies indicate that while type O was the first ancestral family of the virus identified from China, it’s the A2a type that has emerged dominant the world over because of a mutation in its genes that allows that coronavirus’ spike to more efficiently infiltrate the lungs. 

  • So far, there is no evidence that A3i is more virulent — that is, it’s linked to more deaths. 


Source : Hindu ( https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/scientists-find-second-most-common-coronavirus-type-in-india/article31734371.ece )

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