Ease of Doing Business 1) Film Facilitation Office (FFO) · Single window clearance to facilitate film shootings by foreign film makers in India.
· FFO units set up under NFDC premises in November 2015 at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
· Shooting Permissions for 41 foreign films/projects given in 2016. 35% increase to film permissions in 2016 over 2015
2) E-Cinepramaan · The Online Film Certification System of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was launched on 27th March, 2017.
· To facilitate the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Ease of Doing Business and Digital India.
· The complete automation of the Film Certification Process would enable Good Governance making the entire process transparent and efficient.
3) Most Film Friendly State Award to promote India as a Filming destination. · A cash component of Rs. 1 Crore to the winning state.
4) Visa for Foreign Filmmakers · A new category of visa for foreign filmmakers was created to ease issues related to their entry into the country.
· Both ‘Film Visa’ and the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) have been aimed to promote India as an attractive filming destination to the world.
5) Simplification of Annual Renewal process for existing TV channels · Online payment through Bharat Kosh Portal of Ministry of Finance from 1 st January, 2017
· Permitted Broadcasters can continue their operations by paying annual fee upto 60 days before the due date for continuation of the channel for a further period of 1year.
FM Phase III Auctions · Batch 1 successfully completed in 2015 after a gap of 9 years Ø 96 new FM channels in 55 cities were started
Ø Government received Rs. 1103 Cr as auction proceeded and Rs.1600 Cr as migration fee from FM Channel owners
· 2nd batch of Phase III Auctions concluded in 2017 Ø 66 FM channels for 48 cities allotted Ø Government realized Rs 200.24 cr through auction
Context: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a notification for bringing the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 in force from 10th September, 2018.
The Act, safeguards the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. The provisions of the Act address HIV-related discrimination, strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability, and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.
Highlights of the Act: Provisions related to the role of governments: As per the Act, central and state governments are obliged to provide for anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and management of opportunistic infections (infections that take advantage of weakness in the immune system and occur frequently). It also prohibits specific acts of discrimination by the state, or any other person, against HIV-positive people, or those living with such people.
Provisions related to discrimination: It lays down penal provisions for any discrimination practised against a person with HIV/AIDS and breach of confidentiality. The protection mandated extends to the fields of employment, healthcare services, educational services, public facilities, property rights, holding public office, and insurance. It also provides for confidentiality of HIV-related information and makes it necessary to get informed consent for undertaking HIV tests, medical treatment and research.
Provisions related to ombudsman: It also provides for an ombudsman. An ombudsman shall be appointed by each state government to inquire into complaints related to the violation of the Act and the provision of health care services. The ombudsman shall submit a report to the state government every six months stating the number and nature of complaints received, the actions taken.
Provisions related to guardianship: Provisions related to guardianship are also specified. A person between the age of 12 to 18 years who has sufficient maturity in understanding and managing the affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family shall be competent to act as a guardian of another sibling below 18 years of age. The guardianship will apply in matters relating to admission to educational establishments, operating bank accounts, managing property, care and treatment, amongst others.
Role of courts: Cases relating to HIV positive persons shall be disposed off by the court on a priority basis. In any legal proceeding, if an HIV infected or affected person is a party, the court may pass orders that the proceedings be conducted (a) by suppressing the identity of the person, (b) in camera, and (c) to restrain any person from publishing information that discloses the identity of the applicant. When passing any order with regard to a maintenance application filed by an HIV infected or affected person, the court shall take into account the medical expenses incurred by the applicant.
Background: There are approximately 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India and the percentage of patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) treatment currently stands at a mere 25.82% as against the global percentage of 41%, according to the 2015 Global Burden of Diseases (GBD).
About e- VBAB Network project: E-VBAB Network Project is primarily a technological upgrade and extension of the Pan-African e-Network Project (Phase 1) which was implemented in 48 partner countries across Africa from 2009 till 2017. The Phase 1 of the Project successfully imparted tele-education and tele-medicine by linking educational institutions and hospitals in India with those from the participating African countries.
Over the 5 years project duration, e-VBAB Network Project will provide free tele-education courses in various academic disciplines to 4000 students every year from African countries. The Project will also be utilized for providing free Continuing Medical Education (1000 every year) to African doctors/nurses/para-medical staff. Further, Indian doctors, through this project will provide free medical consultancy to those African doctors who seek such consultancy.
In order to operationalise the e-VBAB Network Project, a Data Centre and Disaster Recovery Centre will be established in India along with Learning Centres in various African countries which decide to be part of the Project.
There will be two separate platforms for e-VidyaBharati (tele-education) and e-AarogyaBharati (tele-medicine) which will link, through a web-based technology, various educational institutions and hospitals in India and the participating African countries.
The e-VBAB Network Project will be completely funded by the Government of India for its entire duration and will be open for participation to all our partner countries in Africa. The Project will be another important milestone in our development partnership with Africa.
He has also cautioned the government to refrain from setting ambitious credit targets or waiving loans. He also flagged the Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSMEs, run by the Small Industries Development Bank of India, calling it “a growing contingent liability” that needs to be examined with urgency.
Background: A total of ₹6.37 lakh crore has been disbursed under the MUDRA scheme by public and private sector banks, regional rural banks and micro-finance institutions till date, as per data from the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) website.
Concerns: His warnings come at a time the Indian banking is reeling under an unprecedented bad loans problem. The NPAs of the 38 listed banks collectively crossed Rs 10.17 lakh crore in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal, with the 21 public sector banks (PSBs) accounting for the bulk of it.
Besides, PSBs have collectively written-off over Rs 1,154 crore in NPAs in the last fiscal till December 31, which was a 103% jump from the amount written off in 2016-17.
About the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) scheme: The PMMY Scheme was launched in April, 2015. The scheme’s objective is to refinance collateral-free loans given by the lenders to small borrowers. The scheme, which has a corpus of Rs 20,000 crore, can lend betweenRs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh to small entrepreneurs.
Banks and MFIs can draw refinance under the MUDRA Scheme after becoming member-lending institutions of MUDRA.
Mudra Loans are available for non-agricultural activities upto Rs. 10 lakh and activities allied to agriculture such as Dairy, Poultry, Bee Keeping etc, are also covered. Mudra’s unique features include a Mudra Card which permits access to Working Capital through ATMs and Card Machines.
There are three types of loans under PMMY: Shishu (up to Rs.50,000). Kishore (from Rs.50,001 to Rs.5 lakh). Tarun (from Rs.500,001 to Rs.10,00,000).
Objectives of the scheme: Fund the unfunded: Those who have a business plan to generate income from a non-farm activity like manufacturing, processing, trading or service sector but don’t have enough capital to invest can take loans up to Rs 10 lakh.
Micro finance institutions (MFI) monitoring and regulation: With the help of MUDRA bank, the network of microfinance institutions will be monitored. New registration will also be done.
Promote financial inclusion: With the aim to reach Last mile credit delivery to micro businesses taking help of technology solutions, it further adds to the vision of financial inclusion.
Reduce jobless economic growth: Providing micro enterprises with credit facility will help generate employment sources and an overall increase in GDP.
Integration of Informal economy into Formal sector: It will help India also grow its tax base as incomes from the informal sector are non-taxed.
About Apsara Nuclear reactor: Apsara is the oldest of India’s research reactors. The reactor was designed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) and built with assistance from the United Kingdom (which also provided the initial fuel supply consisting of 80% enriched uranium).
Apsara first went critical on 4 August 1956. Apsara is a light water swimming pool-type reactor with a maximum power output of one megawatt thermal (MWt).
The reactor burns enriched uranium in the form of aluminum alloyed curved plates. Fuel for the reactor is supplied under contract from the United Kingdom, provided that the fuel is safeguarded.
The Apsara reactor is utilized for various experiments including neutron activation analysis, radiation damage studies, forensic research, neutron radiography, and shielding experiments. The reactor is also used for research and the production of radioisotopes.
Apsara- Upgraded: “Apsara-upgraded”, made indigenously, uses plate type dispersion fuel elements made of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU). By virtue of higher neutron flux, this reactor will increase indigenous production or radio-isotopes for medical application by about fifty percent and would also be extensively used for research in nuclear physics, material science and radiation shielding.
This development has re-emphasised the capability of Indian scientists and Engineers to build, complex facilities for health care, science education and research.