05 May, 2021 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu
- Govt. gives nod for 5G trial; Chinese tech giants left out â Science and technology - 5G technology
- G7 seeks common front on China - international relations - International organisations
- MFIs flag rural borrower distress to RBI- Indian economy - Micro Finance Institution
- scheme for revision - PM Kisan Sampada scheme
- Question for the Day
UPSC Current Affairs: Govt. gives nod for 5G trial; Chinese tech giants left out| Page 01
UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper III – science and technology
Sub Theme: 5G technology| UPSC
Context: department of telecommunications gave permission to Telecom service Providers to conduct trials for the use and application of 5G technology.
More in the news:
Chinese firms such as Huawei, ZTE have been kept outside from this formal order. As these firms were not selected by the domestic telecom Service Providers.
Rural and Semi-Urban areas will also be taken up for the trials.
What is 5G?
- It is the next generation cellular technology that will provide faster and more reliable communication with ultra-low latency.
- With 5G the peak network data speeds are expected to be in the range of 2-20 Gigabit per second (Gbps).
Who does it benefit?
- With 5G technology, consumers will be able to download data heavy content such as 8K movies and games with better graphics in just a few seconds.
- 5G is expected to form the backbone of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine communications.
- Also, it would be supporting a much larger range of applications and services, including driverless vehicles, tele-surgery and real time data analytics.
- The ultra-low latency offered by 5G makes the technology desirable for such use cases.
What is latency
- Latency is the amount of time data takes to travel between its source and destination.
- The technology will extend the use of wireless technologies — for the first time — across completely new sectors of the economy from industrial to commercial, educational, health care, agricultural, financial and social sectors.
- 5G’s value for India may be even higher than in advanced countries because of the lower levels of investments in physical infrastructure.
- 5G may offer ‘leapfrog’ opportunities by providing ‘smart infrastructure’ that offers lower cost and faster infrastructure delivery.
- One of the primary applications of 5G will be implementation of sensor-embedded network that will allow real time relay of information across fields such as manufacturing, consumer durables and agriculture.
- It can also help make transport infrastructure more efficient by making it smart by enabling vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.
What will be the economic impact?
- 5G is expected to create a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion in India by 2035
- Also, the revenue potential in India will be above $27 billion by 2026.
When will it be launched?
- In April, South Korea and the U.S. became the first countries to commercially launch 5G services.
- The Central government had set a target of 2020 for the commercial launch of 5G services, largely in line with rest of the world.
- The government plans to undertake spectrum auction in the current calendar year.
Are there any apprehensions?
- Two of the three private telcos, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone have expressed concern about auction stating that the reserve price of these airwaves is very high.
- Telecom industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has Telecom industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
- Besides the spectrum, 5G will require a fundamental change to the core architecture of the communication system.
- A report has stated that industry might require an additional investment of $60-70 billion to seamlessly implement 5G networks.
High Level Forum on 5G India 2020
- The economic benefits from the 5G technology are also quite immense. As per the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Committee on Digital Economic Policy, it has been stated that 5G technologies rollout will help in,
a) Increasing GDP
b) Creating Employment
c) Digitizing the economy.
For India, 5G provides an opportunity for industry to reach out to global markets, and consumers to gain with the economies of scale. Worldwide countries have launched similar Forums and thus, India has joined the race in 5G technologies. We are open for collaboration with them.
- Government has constituted High Level 5G India 2020 Forum with three Secretaries of key Ministries/Departments Telecom, Meity and DST, and also comprising of renowned experts.
- The Term of Reference of the High Level Forum for 5G India 2020 shall be: -
a) Vision Mission and Goals for the 5G India 2020, and
b) Evaluate, approve roadmaps & action plans for 5G India 2020.
The primary goals of the forum are to achieve:
- early deployment of 5G in India
- a globally competitive product development and manufacturing ecosystem targeting 50% of India market and 10% of global market over next 5 to 7 years.
- The forum will complement the eco-system by focused actions in the following areas:
- Research Ecosystem – for IPR development, standards development and proof of concepts through research projects, PPP projects, testbeds and pilot roll-outs.
- Regulatory Framework – including spectrum assignments and a start-up friendly regulatory environment to enable leap-frog and embracing of innovative technologies.
- Inclusive Business environment – with special focus on investment incentives favourable to start-ups and innovators and enablement of Venture capitalists
National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) and re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the "Digital Communications Commission”.
- The NDCP-2018 envisions supporting India's transition to a digitally empowered economy and society by fulfilling the information and communications needs of citizens and enterprises by establishment of a ubiquitous, resilient and affordable digital communications infrastructure and services.
- The ‘Customer focused’ and ‘application driven’ NDCP-2018 shall lead to new ideas and innovations, after the launch of advanced technology such as 5G, IOT, M2M, etc. which shall govern the telecom sector of India.
The key objectives of the policy are:
- Broadband for all;
- Creating four million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector;
- Enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India's GDP from ~ 6% in 2017;
- Propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017;
- Enhancing India's contribution to Global Value Chains; and
- Ensuring Digital Sovereignty.
UPSC Current Affairs: G7 seeks common front on China | Page 13
UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper II – International organisation
Sub Theme: Group of 7 | UPSC
Context: Group of 7 nations are trying to form a common front towards rising China
Background: US President Joe Biden has called for deeper alliance of democracies. India, South Korea and Australia would find larger role in this new initiative.
Nations have raised voice against Chinese act on Uighurs in Xinxiang, Chinese clamp down against civil rights in Hong Kong.
These nations are not trying to have a conflict with China but to ensure that China follow the rule-based order. They are finding a constructive way to work with China in a sensible and positive manner.
United Kingdom has invited Indian Prime Minister as a guest to attend the 47th G7 summit that is scheduled to be held in June 2021.
Type: Intergovernmental Organisation
HQ: G-7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters.
Members: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States
However, representatives of the European Union are also part of the discussion.
Objective: to discuss issues of common interest like global economic governance, international security, and energy policy.
G7 and India:
Benefits: help India to gain role in the larger Geo-politics and expand its role in Indo-Pacific on security matters. It could also help India gain a permanent seat in the UN security council.
Concerns: India going towards western powers could create a power disbalance in Asia. This would also lead to deterioration in India’s relation to Russia and China.
UPSC Current Affairs: MFIs flag rural borrower distress to RBI | Page 14
UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper III – Indian economy
Sub Theme: Microfinance institution | UPSC
Context: falling lending from Microfinance institutions in the rural area due to pandemic has impacted the rural household more than the previous year.
MFIs representatives have asked the central bank to grant forbearance for borrowers unable to pay instalments with some inflexibility for MFIs companies.
Lack of Financial Inclusion has been identified as one of the major constraints hindering the development of poor and vulnerable sections as well as MSMEs in India.
Commercial banks have traditionally concentrated their lending mainly to large formal enterprises which have expertise of doing business and possess collateral and not on small enterprises as they are riskier investment.
In this regard, Microfinance is considered as important tool to promote business development. Research shows that in Bangladesh, about 40% of the overall reduction of rural poverty in recent years has been due to microfinance.
Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)
MFIs are those institutions which have microfinance as their main operation. The MFIs are regulated by RBI in India. As per the RBI's guidelines, MFI is defined as a non-deposit taking NBFC that fulfils the following conditions:
- Minimum Net Owned Funds of Rs.5 crore. (For NBFC-MFIs registered in the North Eastern Region of the country, the minimum NOF requirement shall stand at Rs. 2 crore).
- Not less than 85% of its loans are in the nature of “qualifying assets.”
Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in India exist as NGOs (registered as societies or trusts), Section 25 companies and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).
Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus is credited with laying the foundation of the modern MFIs with establishment of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh in 1976.
“Qualifying asset” shall mean a loan which satisfies the following criteria: -
- Loan disbursed by an NBFC-MFI to a borrower with a rural household annual income less than Rs. 1.25 lakh or urban and semi-urban household income less than Rs. 2lakhs.
- Loan amount does not exceed Rs. 1.25 lakh per borrower.
- Loan extended without collateral.
- The aggregate amount of loans, given for income generation should be at least 50 per cent of the total loans given by the MFIs.
- The loan is repayable on weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments as per the choice of the borrower.
In India microfinance operates through two channels:
- SHG – Bank Linkage Programme (SBLP)
- Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs)
SHG – Bank Linkage Programme
This is the bank-led microfinance channel which was initiated by NABARD in 1992. Under the SHG model the members, usually women in villages are encouraged to form groups of around 10-15. The members contribute their savings in the group periodically and from these savings small loans are provided to the members. In the later period these SHGs are provided with bank loans generally for income generation purpose. The group’s members meet periodically when the new savings come in, recovery of past loans are made from the members and also new loans are disbursed
Micro Finance Institutions
Those institutions which have microfinance as their main operation are known as micro finance institutions. A number of organizations with varied size and legal forms offer microfinance service. These institutions lend through the concept of Joint Liability Group (JLG). A JLG is an informal group comprising of 5 to 10 individual members who come together for the purpose of availing bank loans either individually or through the group mechanism against a mutual guarantee.
This committee aimed to address the primary customer complaints that led to the crisis, including coercive collection practices, usurious interest rates, and selling practices that resulted in over-indebtedness. The existing regulations did not address these issues, thus, who should respond to these issues, and how they should respond, was uncertain. This prolonged the general regulatory uncertainty and the resulting repayment and institutional liquidity issues. The Malegam Committee released their recommended regulations in January 2011.
UPSC Current Affairs: Scheme for revision
UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper III – Indian Economy and Health
Sub Theme: Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana and related schemes | UPSC
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana:
It is a Central Sector Scheme that aims to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agriculture waste.
It was previously known as Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters (SAMPADA).
The scheme will be implemented in 2016-20, and the implementation will result in creation of modern infrastructure, growth of food processing sector and providing better prices to the farmers.
The following schemes will be implemented under it 1. Mega Food Parks 2. Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure 3. Creation/ Expansion of Food Processing/ Preservation Capacities (Unit Scheme) 4. Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters 5. Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages 6. Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure 7. Human Resources and Institutions
Mega Food Parks
- The Scheme aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors, and retailers. The food parks aim to ensure maximizing value addition, minimizing wastage, increasing farmers’ income, and creating employment opportunities particularly in rural sector.
- It is based on “Cluster” approach and envisages a well-defined processing zone containing state-of-the art processing facilities with support infrastructure and well-established supply chain.
- Pattern of Assistance –
- In General areas - One-time capital grant of 50% of the project cost subject to a maximum of Rs.50 Crore.
- In Hilly & Difficult terrain - Capital grant of 75% of the project cost subject to a maximum of Rs. 50 Crore.
- It was launched on the lines of Operation Flood to double the income of farmers by end of 2022.
- It aims to promote farmer producers organizations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management.
- It is essentially a price fixation scheme that aims to ensure farmers are given the right price for their produce.
- The main objective of the project is to reduce price volatility in agriculture commodities such as vegetables. Initially, Government has decided to start focusing on three basic vegetables namely tomatoes, onions and potatoes.
- NAFED will be the Nodal Agency to implement price stabilisation measures.
PM- Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises:
- The scheme was launched as a part of ―Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
- The expenditure would to be shared in 60:40 ratio between Central and State Governments, in 90:10 ratio with North Eastern and Himalayan States, 60:40 ratio with UTs with legislature and 100% by Centre for other UTs. It is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25.
- The Scheme adopts One District One Product (ODOP) approach to reap benefit of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products.
- The States would identify food product for a district keeping in view the existing clusters and availability of raw material.