Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 1 Apr, 2021

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“India-Pakistan Relations” – Pakistan to Resume Trade with India

News: In a significant development in India- Pakistan relations, Pakistan allows the import of sugar and cotton from India. As per Pakistan Commerce Ministry, the decision is driven by the rising prices of sugar in Pakistan.


  1. Pakistan government cancelled trade with India in Aug 2019, after the introduction of amendments to Article 370 in India.
  2. Initially, India did not ban trade with Pakistan. However, after the Pulwama attack, it suspended cross-LoC trade and withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan.
  3. Most Favoured Nation is a treatment accorded to a trade partner. Although it seems like a special status, it actually means the country will get equal treatment to other trading partners. It ensures non-discriminatory trade between two countries.
  4. India granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996, just a year after the formation of the WTO. On the other hand, Pakistan did not award MFN status to India.

Read MoreIndia revoked MFN status to Pakistan

What are the reasons?

Pakistan ministry cites the following reasons for its decision:

  1. The prices of sugar in India is very less compared to Pakistan and other countries.
  2. In Pakistan, the demand for Indian cotton is high among Pakistani Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It is because of rising exports and decreasing crop in Pakistan.


  • It is one of the positive developments in India-Pakistan relations. Recently India and Pakistan agreed to observe the 2003 Ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC).
  • If bilateral relation normalizes, India would be able to pressurize Pakistan on cross border activities in Kashmir and also 2 front challenge would be manageable.

Read MoreCritically analyse the repercussions of India-Pakistan face-off on bilateral trade between both nations

Union Cabinet approves PLI Scheme for Food Processing Industry

Why in the news?

Union Cabinet approves the PLI(Production Linked Incentive) Scheme for Food Processing Industry (PLISFPI).

About PLI scheme for Food Processing Industry

  • The scheme will be implemented over a six-year period from 2021-22 to 2026-27.
  • Aim: The scheme aims to support the creation of global food manufacturing champions according to the natural resources of India.

Objectives of the Scheme

  1. PLI scheme will support food manufacturing org with stipulated minimum Sales.
  2. Furthermore, It will support Indian brands of food products in the international markets with an outlay of Rs. 10900 crore.
  3. Moreover, it will increase employment opportunities for nearly 2.5 lakh persons by the year 2026-27.
  4. The scheme will ensure good prices for farm produce and higher income to farmers.

Salient features of the PLI scheme for Food Processing Industry

  1. First component of the scheme
    • It will incentivize the manufacturing of four major food product segments:
      1. Marine Products,
      2. Mozzarella Cheese
      3. Processed Fruits & Vegetables
      4. Ready to Cook/ Ready to Eat (RTC/ RTE) foods
    • Selected applicants will require investing in Plant & Machinery in the first two years i.e. in 2021-22 & 2022-23.
    • The amount of Investment during 2020-21 will be counted for meeting investment requirements.
    • The entities selected for making innovative/ organic products will be exempt from the Minimum Sales and mandated investment requirements.
  2. 2nd component of the scheme
    • Under this component, support will be provided for branding and marketing abroad.
    • The entity will receive grants for in-store Branding, shelf space renting, and marketing.

Implementation of the scheme

  • Implemented by: Project Management Agency (PMA)
  • PMA will be responsible for verification of eligibility for support, scrutiny of claims eligible for disbursement of incentive.
  • The scheme is “fund-limited”, i.e. the amount restricts to the approved limit. This amount will not exceed even in case of outstanding performance.

“Nacaduba Sinhala” – the new butterfly species

What is the News?

A group of lepidopterists discovers a new species of butterfly. It was named as “Nacaduba Sinhala Ramaswamii Sadasivan”.

Note: A lepidopterist is a person who specializes in studying butterflies and moths.

About the Nacaduba Sinhala Butterfly Species:

Nacaduba Sinhala

  • Nacaduba Sinhala is a Line Blue Butterfly Species that belongs to the Nacaduba genus group.
    • Line Blues are small butterflies belonging to the subfamily Lycaenidae. Their distribution ranges from India and Sri Lanka to the whole of southeastern Asia, Australia and Samoa.
  • Where was it discovered? This butterfly species was discovered in the Agasthyamalai in the Western Ghats a decade ago. But now it found a place in the Journal of Threatened Taxa.
  • Significance: It is the first time that a butterfly species was discovered by an all-Indian research team from the Western Ghats.

About Journal of Threatened Taxa(JoTT):

  • Journal of Threatened Taxa(JoTT) is an open-access peer-reviewed, monthly international journal on conservation and taxonomy.
  • Published by: The journal is published by the wildlife conservation and research NGO Zoo Outreach Organisation (ZOO).

Source: The Hindu

NITI Aayog Releases “Investment Opportunities in India’s Healthcare Sector” report

What is the News?

NITI Aayog releases a report titled Investment Opportunities in India’s Healthcare Sector.

Purpose of the Investment Opportunities in India’s Healthcare Sector Report:

  • The report outlines the range of investment opportunities in various segments of India’s healthcare sector. This includes hospitals, medical devices and equipment, health insurance, telemedicine, home healthcare, and medical value travel.

India’s Healthcare Industry:

  • Healthcare Sector Growth Rate: India’s healthcare industry is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 22% since 2016. At this rate, it is expected to reach USD 372 Billion in 2022.
  • Employment: In 2015, the healthcare sector became the fifth-largest employer. It employed around 4.7 million people directly.
    • As per estimates of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), healthcare can generate 2.7 Million additional jobs in India between 2017-22.
  • India’s FDI Regime for Healthcare Sector: India’s Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) regime in the Health Sector has been liberalised extensively.
    • Currently, FDI is permitted up to 100% under the automatic route for the hospital sector and manufacture of medical devices.
      Automatic route: The non-resident investor or Indian company does not require prior approval from the Government of India for the investment.
    • In the pharmaceutical sector, FDI is permitted up to 100% in greenfield projects. For the brownfield projects, it is up to 74% under the automatic route.
  • FDI Inflows: India’s FDI in the Healthcare Sector has increased considerably over the last few years. The FDI has increased from USD 94 Million (2011) to USD 1,275 Million (2016), This is a jump of over 13.5 times.

Source: PIB

Center to Retain the “Inflation Targeting” at 4% for MPC

What is the news?

As per the top finance ministry official, the center will retain the inflation targeting of 4% for MPC.


  • The Centre will retain the inflation target of 4%, with a tolerance band of +/- 2 percentage points.
  • This target will be applicable for the period April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2026.
  • Recent high inflation together with low economic growth ignited the debate on the relevance of Inflation targetting.
  • However, as per 14th Finance Commission member M. Govinda Rao, the range of 2%-6% as a flexible inflation target has worked reasonably well.

Inflation Targetting 

Inflation targeting refers to keeping the inflation rate within the permissible band to ensure the certainty for carrying out investment activities.

The agreement between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the central government signed in February 2015. The agreement explicitly made inflation targeting the objective of the MPC while using the repo rate as the instrument for it.

The Reserve Bank’s MPC was given the target of keeping inflation at 4% with a tolerance limit of 2%. This meant that inflation should be between 2% and 6%.

About MPC (Monetary Policy Committee)

  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is a committee of the Central Bank of India (Reserve Bank of India). It is headed by RBI Governor.
  • The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (RBI Act) was amended by the Finance Act, 2016.
  • It provided for a statutory and institutionalized framework for a Monetary Policy Committee. MPC maintains price stability while keeping in mind the objective of growth.
  • The function of MPC is to fix the benchmark policy interest rate (repo rate) to contain inflation within the specified target level i.e. inflation targeting.


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