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Insights Daily Current Events, 07 January 2016

Insights Daily Current Events, 07 January 2016


Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States.

Cabinet approves Stand Up India Scheme

The Union Cabinet recently gave its approval to the “Stand Up India Scheme”.

  • The scheme aims to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and Women entrepreneurs.
  • The Scheme seeks to facilitate at least two such projects per bank branch, on an average one for each category of entrepreneur.
  • It is expected to benefit atleast 2.5 lakh borrowers. The expected date of reaching the target of at least 2.5 lakh approvals is 36 months from the launch of the Scheme.

Important features of the scheme:

  • The scheme focuses on handholding support for both SC/ST and Women borrowers.
  • The overall intent of the approval is to leverage the institutional credit structure to reach out to these under-served sectors of the population by facilitating bank loans repayable up to 7 years and between Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 100 lakh for greenfield enterprises in the non farm sector set up by such SC, ST and Women borrowers.
  • Margin money of the composite loan would be up to 25%. Convergence with state schemes is expected to reduce the actual requirement of margin money for a number of borrowers.
  • The loan under the scheme would be appropriately secured and backed by a credit guarantee through a credit guarantee scheme for which Department of Financial Services would be the settler and National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd. (NCGTC) would be the operating agency.

The Scheme provides for:

  • Refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with an initial amount of Rs. 10,000 crore.
  • Creation of a credit guarantee mechanism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC).
  • Handholding support for borrowers both at the pre loan stage and during operations. This would include increasing their familiarity with factoring services, registration with online platforms and e-market places as well as sessions on best practices and problem solving.


The “Start up India Stand up India” initiative was announced by the PrimeMinister in his address to the nation on 15th August, 2015. The Stand up India component is anchored by Department of Financial Services (DFS) to encourage greenfield enterprises by SC/ST and Women entrepreneurs.

sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States.

Cabinet approves creation of a Credit Guarantee Fund for MUDRA loans

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the creation of a Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) loans.

  • The Fund is expected to guarantee more than Rs 1,00,000 crore worth of loans to micro and small units in the first instance.

The salient features of the Fund:

  • The Fund will guarantee loans sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana with the objective to reduce the credit risk to Banks and other financial intermediaries, who are Member Lending Institutions (MLIs).
  • The National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd. (NCGTC Ltd.), a wholly-owned company of Government of India, constituted under the Companies Act, 1956 (2013) to manage and operate various credit guarantee funds, shall be the Trustee of the Fund.
  • The guarantee under the scheme would be provided on portfolio basis to a maximum extent of 50% of Amount in Default in the portfolio.


MUDRA Bank and a Credit Guarantee Fund was proposed to be set up with a refinance corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore and a corpus of Rs.3,000 crore respectively as per the Budget Speech for 2015-16.

sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Signing of MoU between India and Singapore in the field of Civil Aviation

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Singapore in the field of Civil Aviation.

  • The MoU was signed in November, 2015 between Airports Authority of India (On behalf of Government of India) and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (On behalf of Government of Singapore) in Civil Aviation during Prime Minister’s visit to Singapore.

Objective: The objective of this MoU is to establish mutual cooperation in the field of civil aviation, which will cover, to begin with, the airports of Jaipur and Ahmedabad. This cooperation will be extended to other airports with mutual consent.

The MoU includes, among others, collaboration in Civil Aviation Sector in the areas of:

  • Master-planning and design
  • Traffic development
  • Commercial development
  • Service quality improvement
  • Training and development
  • Cargo handling and Management

sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

Border Haats

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh for Mode of Operation of Border Haats on India-Bangladesh Border. The MoU was signed in October 2010.

What are ‘Border Haats’?

These are common marketplaces which aim at promoting the well-being of the people dwelling in remote areas across the borders of two countries, by establishing traditional system of marketing the local produce through local markets in local currency and/or barter basis.

  • Though not significant as a percentage of bilateral trade, these measures help to improve economic well-being of marginalised sections of society.


  • During the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister to India in 2010, it was agreed that Border Haats shall be established on a pilot basis at selected areas, including on the Meghalaya border, to allow trade in specified products and in accordance with the regulations agreed and notified by both Governments.
  • Presently there are four Border Haats which are operational. In addition, both the Governments have agreed to further establish two Border Haats in Tripura and four Border Haats in Meghalaya on the Bangladesh border.

sources: pib.


Topic: general awareness.

‘Anubhav’ – showcasing outstanding work done during service

The Department of Pension & Pensioner’s Welfare has launched an online software, ‘Anubhav’ for showcasing outstanding work by retiring employee and sharing experience of working with the Government.

  • The software has been launched on the directions of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
  • It is envisaged that over a period of time, this will create a wealth of institutional memory with replicable ideas and suggestions.
  • This tool in addition, gives opportunity to the retiring employee to invest his experience, skill and time for growth of social capital of the country.

sources: pib.


Paper 3 Topic: Infrastructure-waterways.

First River Information System of India

Country’s first River Information System (RIS) System was recently inaugurated by Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari.

  • The first of its kind in India, the new system will facilitate safe and accurate navigation on National Waterway – 1 on the Ganges River.
  • RIS is being implemented under the overall responsibility of Inland Waterway Authority of India, a statutory body administered by the Ministry of Shipping.

About RIS:

River Information Services (RIS) are combination of modern tracking equipment related hardware and software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation.

  • The system enhances swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (Base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information.

This would facilitate:-

  • Enhancement of inland navigation safety in ports and rivers.
  • Better use of the inland waterways
  • Environmental protection

RIS enables achievement of safe and efficient inland water transport by avoiding the following risks:-

  • Ship- to – Ship collisions
  • Ship – Bridge collisions
  • Groundings

The RIS system is subsequently being extended upto Varanasi in two more phases.

sources: pib.


Paper 3 Topic: pollution.

India To Implement Stricter Emission Norms, Leapfrog To BS-VI From 2020

In a bid to curb vehicular pollution, the government has decided to implement stricter emission norms of Bharat Stage (BS) VI from April 1, 2020 by skipping BS-V altogether.

  • This decision was taken recently at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
  • At present, BS-IV auto fuels are being supplied in whole of northern India covering J&K, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, parts of Rajasthan and western UP. The rest of the country has BS-III grade fuel.

What are BS norms?

Bharat Stage emission standards, introduced in 2000, are emission standards that have been set up the Central government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.

  • The different norms are brought into force in accordance with the timeline and standards set up by the Central Pollution Control Board which comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change.
  • The Bharat Stage norms are based on European regulations. In 13 major cities, Bharat Stage IV emission standards were put in place in April 2010. BS-IV norms were supposed to come into effect nationwide from April 2017.

sources: the hindu, pib, wiki.