Greenfield hopes | TH
- Improvement in several economic indicators + investment revival
- Projects Today: investment commitments and indicators of actual capital expenditure on the ground recorded a more than robust sequential growth in the July-September quarter after an insipid Q1.
- Enhanced central government infrastructure spending
- The first half of 2021-22 has now seen fresh investments higher than the pre-COVID year of 2019-20, with private capital outlays up nearly 49% to ₹4.87-lakh crore.
- “PLI” scheme to promote manufacturing investments in India – textiles, pharma, electronics
- The world is looking to reduce its China dependence
- PLIs have been announced for 13 sectors, nine have been notified so far, and the others must be spelt out quickly.
- The handing over of Air India to the Tata group.
- Government has no business to be in business.
- The long-bleeding telecom sector
- Retrospective tax cases
- India needs to also invest some of this energy into improving its image on key socio-economic parameters.
- The adherence to the ‘rule of law’
- In a world where capital is increasingly influenced by environmental, social and governance standards, these factors merit more policy attention as well.
Slippery slopes | TH
- Even as the Southwest monsoon retreats along parts of northern Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, Bengal and the northeastern States in October, it is leaving a trail of destruction in several districts.
- Significant loss of life has occurred in Kerala.
- While the heaviest recent downpour has been reported from west Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, east Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, with as much as 31 cm in Sheopur on Monday, there has been very heavy rain in Kerala and Gangetic West Bengal.
- The Indian monsoon is an invaluable resource that sustains hundreds of millions of people, but variations in its patterns and intensity pose a rising challenge.
- Kerala, which hosts a vast stretch of the Western Ghats, is having to contend with these changes with almost no respite between severe spells.
- The IMD has issued an alert for more heavy rainfall in Kerala from October 20.
- The precarity of living conditions in much of the country make the annual monsoon a persistent threat for millions, and governments should do more to reduce the risk to life and property.
- Nurturing the health of rivers and keeping them free of encroachments, protecting the integrity of mountain slopes by ending mining, deforestation and incompatible construction hold the key.
- One estimate by researchers in 2017 put quarrying area in Kerala at over 7,157 hectares, much of it in central districts that were hit later by mudslides.
- It should be evident to governments that it is unconscionable to allow the pursuit of short-term profits at the cost of helpless communities.
- Accurately mapped hazard zones should inform all decisions.
- Several States face climate change impacts and extreme weather, and the response must be to strengthen natural defences.
Improving livestock breeding | TH
- Livestock breeding in India has been largely unorganised because of which there have been gaps in forward and backward integration across the value chain.
- Such a scenario impacts the quality of livestock that is produced and in turn negatively impacts the return on investment for livestock farmers.
- Approximately 200 million Indians are involved in livestock farming, including around 100 million dairy farmers.
- Roughly 80% bovines in the country are low on productivity and are reared by small and marginal farmers.
- To enhance the productivity of cattle, the Rashtriya Gokul Mission was initiated in 2014 with a focus on the genetic upgradation of the bovine population through widespread initiatives on artificial insemination, sex-sorted semen, and in vitro fertilization.
- The revised version of the Rashtriya Gokul Mission and National Livestock Mission (NLM) proposes to bring focus on entrepreneurship development and breed improvement in cattle, buffalo, poultry, sheep, goat, and piggery by providing incentives to individual entrepreneurs, farmer producer organisations, farmer cooperatives, joint liability groups, self-help groups, Section 8 companies for entrepreneurship development and State governments for breed improvement infrastructure.
- The breed multiplication farm component of the Rashtriya Gokul Mission is going to provide for capital subsidy up to ₹200 lakh for setting up breeding farm with at least 200 milch cows/ buffalo using latest breeding technology.
- The entrepreneur will be responsible for the arrangement of and would be able to sell at least 116 elite female calves every year out of this farm from the third year.
- The entrepreneur will also start generating income out of the sale of 15 kg of milk per animal per day for around 180 animals from the first year.
- The grassroots initiatives in this sphere will be further amplified by web applications like e-Gopala that provide real-time information to livestock farmers on the availability of disease-free germplasm in relevant centres, veterinary care, etc.
- The poultry entrepreneurship programme of the NLM will provide for capital subsidy up to ₹25 lakh for setting up of a parent farm with a capacity to rear 1,000 chicks.
- Under this model, the hatchery is expected to produce at least 500 eggs daily, followed by the birth of chicks that are in turn reared for four weeks.
- In the context of sheep and goat entrepreneurship, there is a provision of capital subsidy of 50% up to 50 lakh.
- An entrepreneur under this model shall set up a breeder farm, develop the whole chain will eventually sell the animals to the farmers or in the open market.
- For piggery, the NLM will provide 50% capital subsidy of up to ₹30 lakh.
- Each entrepreneur will be aided with establishment of breeder farms with 100 sows and 10 boars, expected to produce 2,400 piglets in a year.
The nuclear proliferator who was never indicted | TH
- One key question is unlikely to go away despite the passing of A.Q. Khan, the world’s biggest nuclear proliferator, who developed COVID-19 complications.
- Why did the United States never indict this Dutch-trained Pakistani metallurgist for stealing western nuclear secrets and operating an illicit international nuclear-smuggling network for more than a quarter of a century?
- Khan began his nuclear smuggling in the mid-1970s while working in the Netherlands as an engineer at Urenco, a European consortium, where he furtively accessed blueprints of centrifuges for enriching uranium.
- With the help of the designs he stole and the nuclear components and materials he procured illicitly from Europe and North America, Khan played a central role in Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons development, although China’s covert assistance was critical to its ultimate success.
- Until Pakistan’s 1998 nuclear tests, Khan focused on smuggling western nuclear goods to his country.
- Former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers revealed in 2005 that the Netherlands sought to arrest Khan in 1975 and then again in 1986 but that on each occasion, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) advised his country to back off.
- With Dutch authorities deferring to U.S. intelligence, Khan was allowed to return to the Netherlands repeatedly, with his last visit being in 1992.
- In fact, after Khan was tried in absentia and sentenced to four years in prison in 1983 for stealing secret blueprints, the Amsterdam court lost his legal files, with the main judge suspecting the CIA’s hand in the disappearance.
- In 1985, Khan’s sentence was overturned on a technicality — he had not been served the summons.
- So, why did the U.S. protect Khan?
- In the 1980s, while Khan’s network was smuggling western nuclear items to Pakistan, the CIA was smuggling billions of dollars of weapons to anti-Soviet guerrillas in Afghanistan via Pakistan.
- New Delhi’s warm ties with Moscow and the 1974 nuclear test induced the U.S. to turn a blind eye to Pakistani proliferation to help balance India.
- After Iran and Libya later admitted receiving nuclear items from Pakistan-linked black marketeers, U.S. pressure compelled Pakistan to open investigations into Khan’s activities.
- Khan lived the rest of his life in his comfortable Islamabad villa, with state-provided security.
- In exchange for supplying centrifuges to Pyongyang, Pakistan received North Korean ballistic missile technology, helping it to build its first intermediate-range, nuclear-capable missile, Ghauri.
- Today, the U.S. maintains contingency plans to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons if they risk falling into terrorist hands.
- Relief and rescue operations in full swing in heavy rain affected Kerala; Centre assures all help
- Defence Minister says, as a responsible maritime stakeholder India supports consensus-based principles and a peaceful, open, rule-based and stable world order
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate Kushinagar International Airport on Oct 20
- Civil Aviation Minister virtually flags off 6 routes expanding aerial connectivity in North East region
- India, Israel agree to resume negotiations on Free Trade Agreement next month
- Over 56.62 lakh metric tonnes of paddy procured in current Kharif Marketing Season so far
- Over 98 crore 60 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far; Recovery rate stands at 98.12 pct
- NITI Aayog today launches Geospatial Energy Map of India
- No official notification regarding term exams issued yet, clarifies CBSE
Q.) India relies on coal to meet over ____% of its power needs, and Coal India Limited (CIL) supplies over 80% of the total coal.
- 40 %
- 50 %
- 60 %
- 70 %
Q.) According to the Henley Passport Index for 2021, passport holders of which two countries ae allowed visa-free travel to 192 countries?
- Japan and Australia
- France and Sweden
- Germany and South Korea
- Japan and Singapore