Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Feb 2, 2021

List of Today’s Factly Articles

“Vehicle Scrappage Policy” to phase out old and unfit vehicles

What is the news?
The Finance Minister has announced the voluntary vehicle scrappage policy. It aims at phasing out old and unfit vehicles.

About vehicle scrappage policy

  • Aim of the Policy: Scrappage policy will encourage fuel-efficient, environment-friendly vehicles on the road. Thereby It will reduce vehicular pollution and the oil import bill.
  • Key Features :
    1. Under the policy, vehicles would undergo fitness tests after a certain period of time. In the case of personal vehicles,  the duration is 20 years. In the case of commercial vehicles, this duration is 15 years.
    2. Each fitness test will cost approximately Rs 40,000. Other than that, old vehicles will have to pay green tax and road tax.
    3. If a vehicle fails a fitness test, it will not get a renewal certificate and won’t be able to run on the road.
    4. However, if it passes a fitness test, the vehicle will have to undergo a fitness test, after every 5 years.
    5. The aim of all these costs is to discourage consumers from keeping the older vehicle.
  • The incentives for vehicle scrappage not announced yet. It is expected that the Government may announce some incentives and monetary benefits for the consumers scrapping their old vehicles.

Source: The Hindu

What are the benefits of “Seaweed Farming”?

What is the news?

In Budget 2021, the Finance Minister has proposed to set up a multi-purpose seaweed park in Tamil Nadu. It will be a part of the Seaweed Farming promotion in India.

  • What is Seaweed? It is the name given to the many species of marine algae and plants.  These species grow in water bodies such as rivers, seas and oceans. The practice of cultivating and harvesting seaweed is known as Seaweed Farming.
  • Seaweed Species in India: The commercially exploited seaweed species in India mainly include Kappaphycus alvarezii, Gracilaria edulis, Gelidiella acerosa, Sargassum spp. and Turbinaria spp.
  • Uses of Seaweed Farming:
    1. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and are consumed as food in various parts of the world
    2. They are used for the production of phytochemicals namely agar, carrageenan, and alginate. These phytochemicals are widely used as gelling, stabilizing, and thickening agents in several industries of food, confectionery, pharmaceutical, etc.
    3. Furthermore, they are used for the production of polysaccharides, fertilizer. They are also used in high-value products such as nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals for use against various lifestyle diseases.

Read about Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

Modernisation of the fishing harbour 

The Finance Minister has announced modernisation of five fishing harbours.

  1. Which are those five fishing harbours? Kochi (Kerala), Chennai (Tamil Nadu) Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Paradip (Odisha) and Petuaghat (West Bengal).
  2. These fishing harbours will be developed as hubs of economic activity by developing inland fishing and fish-landing centres along the banks of rivers and waterways.

 Source: The Hindu

Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 and Jal Jeevan Mission

What is the News?

The Finance Minister launched Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 along with Jal Jeevan Mission(urban).

Swachh Bharat Mission Urban

  • Launched in: It was launched in 2014 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 1.0: The focus of the mission was to make urban India open defecation free (ODF). As well as, 100% scientific solid waste management.

Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0:

  • The mission would be implemented over five years — from 2021 to 2026
  • Focus: Following are focus areas of Mission:
    • Faecal sludge management and waste water treatment,
    • Source segregation of garbage,
    • Reduction in single-use plastic,
    • Reduction in air pollution by effectively managing waste from construction and demolition activities and
    • Bioremediation of all legacy dump sites.

Jal Jeevan Mission(urban)

  • Aim: It aims at universal water supply in all urban local bodies. It will facilitate 2.86 crore household tap connections as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities.
  • Duration: The scheme will be implemented over the next 5 years.

Jal Jeevan Mission(Rural): It launched in 2019. It aims to provide every rural household with a tap water connection by 2024. Nearly 30 million tap water connections have been provided under this so far.

Source: The Hindu

Finance Minister allocates funds for “National Research Foundation”

What is the News?
The Finance Minister allocated funds for the creation of a National Research Foundation(NRF).

About National Research Foundation(NRF)

  1. The NRF found mention in the 2019 Budget speech first. New Education Policy(NEP),2020 also proposed its formation.
  2. The foundation would be an autonomous body. It will fund researches across four major disciplines –Sciences; Technology; Social Sciences; and Arts and Humanities.
  3. Moreover, It will develop and build research capacity at universities and colleges through a formal mechanism of mentoring.  Experts researchers from premier institutions of the country will assist in that.
  4. Thus, It will also catalyze research at universities and colleges that have until now not been big players in research.
  5. The funding would be cross-disciplinary. The foundation will ensure that research already being funded by Science Ministries for instance — wouldn’t be duplicated.

Source: The Hindu

Government announced “Single Security Market Code”

What is the news?

Government has announced the setting up of a Single Security Market Code.

  1. Coverage: It will consolidate the provisions of SEBI Act,1992, Depositories Act, 1996, Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act,1956, and Government Securities Act,2007.
  2. Impact: This move will improve the ease of doing business in the country’s financial markets. Moreover, it will cut down compliances cost and do away with friction between various stakeholders.

Institutional body for bond market:

  1. News: Government has proposed the establishment of a permanent institutional body. It will purchase investment-grade debt securities both in stressed and normal times. Thus, It will help in the development of the bond market.
  2. Impact: This would bring confidence among participants in the corporate bond market during times of stress and will improve the secondary market liquidity.

Source: The Hindu

Government launches “Portal to collect data on gig workers”

What is the News?

The Finance Minister has announced the launch of a portal to collect data on gig, building, and construction workers.

About the Portal:

  • The portal aims to collect relevant information on gig and platform workers along with building, construction, and other such workers.
  • The information collected will help in formulating health, housing, skill, insurance, credit, and food schemes for them.

What are Gig and Platform Workers?

  1. These are those workers who are employed by various e-commerce businesses like Uber, Ola, Swiggy and Zomato. These workers are deprived of social security benefits like provident fund, group insurance and pension.
  2. During Budget 2021-22, the Finance Minister announced that for the first time, social security benefits will extend to gig and platform workers. Minimum wages will also apply to all categories of workers, and they will all be covered by the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).

Click Here to Read on One Nation One Ration Card Scheme

 Source: The Hindu

“Reform-based and result-linked scheme” to revive discoms

What is the news?
The Finance Minister proposed a plan to revive discoms. It will include a reform-based and result-linked scheme for electricity distribution companies(discoms).

The Minister also announced a framework to provide electricity consumers, an option to choose from among more than one distribution company. This will end the monopoly of discoms and promote competition in the power sector.

About the Scheme:

  • Duration: Five Years
  • At present, discoms are facing a fund’s crunch. Thus, they are not able to purchase power from production companies. Their total outstanding amount is over ₹1.35 lakh crore as of December.
  • Purpose: The scheme will assist discoms in infrastructure creation and financial improvements. It will include providing prepaid smart metering, feeder separation, and upgrading systems.

UDAY (Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) scheme

  • It was launched in 2015 with the aim of revival of the debt-laden discoms.
  • Under the scheme, discoms were envisaged to turn around financially within three years from signing agreements.

Source: The Hindu

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

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