Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Feb 5, 2021

Read Previous Factly articles

Article wise list of factly articles

List of Today’s Factly Articles

What is “Make in India Initiative 2.0”?

What is the News?

The Minister of Commerce and Industry has informed Lok Sabha about the Make in India Initiative 2.0.

Make in India Initiative:

  • Launched Year: It was launched in 2014 by the Government of India.
  • Aim: To make India a global hub for the manufacturing, research and innovation. Also, the integrations of India in the global supply chain.
  • Objectives:
    • To increase the manufacturing sector’s growth rate to 12-14% per annum in order to increase the sector’s share in the economy;
    • To create 100 million additional manufacturing jobs in the economy by 2022; and
    • To ensure that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP is increased to 25% by 2022 (revised to 2025) from the current 16%.

Make in India 2.0:

  • It presently focuses on 27 sectors with a special focus on ten champion sectors including; 1. capital goods, 2. auto, 3. defence, 4. pharma, 5. renewable energy, 6. biotechnology, 7. chemicals, 8. leather, 9. textiles, 10. food processing.
  • These sectors have the potential to become global champions and drive double-digit growth in manufacturing.
  • In manufacturing, the action plans are coordinated by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). In services,  action plans are coordinated by the Department of Commerce.

Achievements so far:

  • Foreign Direct Investment(FDI): India has registered its highest-ever annual FDI Inflow of US $74.39 billion during the last financial year 2019-20 as compared to US $ 45.15 billion in 2014-2015.
    • Further, in the last six years (2014-20), India has received FDI inflow which is 53% of the FDI reported in the last 20 years.
  • Ease of Doing Business Ranking: India has jumped to 63rd place in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking. This is due to reforms in the areas of Starting a Business, Paying Taxes, Trading Across Borders, and Resolving Insolvency.

Source: PIB

Tenure of “Commission for Sub-categorisation of OBCs” extended

What is the News?
The tenure of the Commission to examine the Sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes(OBCs) is extended. The commission now has until July 31 to submit its report. The commission is headed by Justice G Rohini.

What is Sub-Categorisation of OBCs?

  • Reservation among OBCs: OBCs are granted 27% reservation in jobs and education under the central government. However, only a few affluent communities of OBCs secure a major part of quota.
  • Sub-categorisation of the OBCs means the creation of categories within OBCs for reservation. This will ensure equitable distribution of representation among all OBC communities.

Commission to examine Sub-Categorisation:

The Commission to Examine Sub-categorisation of OBCs was appointed in 2017. It is headed by Justice G Rohini. The terms of reference of the commission include:

  • To examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities of OBCs.
  • To frame the criteria and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorization within such OBCs;
  • To audit the various entries in the Central List of OBCs and recommend corrections.

What are the commission’s findings so far?

  • In 2018, the Commission analyzed the data of 1.3 lakh central jobs given under OBC quota over the preceding five years.
  • Findings: The key findings were:
    • 97% of all jobs and educational seats have gone to just 25% of all sub-castes classified as OBCs;
    • 95% of jobs and seats have gone to just 10 OBC communities;
    • 983 OBC communities — 37% of the total — have zero representation in jobs and educational institutions;
    • 994 OBC sub-castes have a total representation of only 2.68% in recruitment and admissions.

Source: Indian Express

“ICMR Serological Survey” -One in five Indians have been exposed to coronavirus,

What is the News?

Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) has released the third round of the Serological Survey.


  • Serological Survey: It is conducted to assess the prevalence of a disease in a population. It is done by detecting the presence of specific antibodies that are produced against the virus.
  • How was the survey conducted? The survey used an antibody test. The test was designed specifically to check for antibodies produced against the spike protein.
    • Spike Protein: Coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2 get their name from the “corona” or crown shape, created by the protein “spikes” on their surface. These spike proteins bind with human proteins to initiate the process of infection.

Key Findings:

  • Nearly one in five Indians which is around 21.5% had been infected by the coronavirus until December 2020.
  • Urban Slums: The urban slums have reported the highest seroprevalence with 31.7% and was followed by urban non-slums(26.2%). The lowest was in rural areas at 19.1%.
  • Children: The seroprevalence among children aged 10-17 years was around 25.3%.
  • Health Care Workers: Nearly 26% of doctors and nurses and 25.4% of paramedical staff have coronavirus antibodies. It underlines their higher risk of being exposed to coronavirus infections than the general population.
  • Women vs Men: There were more women (22.7%) as compared to men (20.3%) who were found to have antibodies against the Covid-19 virus.

Source: The Hindu

World Economic Forum launches “EDISON Alliance”

What is the News?
The World Economic Forum has announced the launch of an Essential Digital Infrastructure and Services Network(EDISON) Alliance.

About Essential Digital Infrastructure and Services Network(EDISON) Alliance:

  • Aim: To work towards ensuring global and equitable access to the digital economy.
  • How will it ensure equitable access to the digital economy? The alliance will work with governments and industries. It will accelerate digital inclusion and will ensure cross-sectoral collaboration between the technology industry and other critical sectors of the economy.
  • Advisory Board: An expert group of Champions Leaders board will advise and support the Alliance. The board will be chaired by Verizon’s Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg.
  • Secretariat: The World Economic Forum (WEF) will serve as the secretariat and platform for the Alliance.

What was the need of the alliance?

  • Access to digital technologies has enabled many to work, learn and live during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • However, the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing digital gaps and inequalities in the global population.
  • Some 3.6 billion people remain offline and broadband services are too expensive for 50% of the population in developed countries. This hampers access to health, education, and economic inclusion.

Source: The Hindu

Budget proposes tax on EPF interest

What is the News?

The government has proposed to make the interest earned on EPF contributions beyond ₹2.5 lakh Taxable.

Why has this proposal been made?

  • The government has found instances where High Net Worth Individuals(HNIs) are contributing huge amounts to EPF. They are getting the benefit of tax exemption at all stages — contribution, interest accumulation, and withdrawal.
    • Example: In 2018-19, ₹62,500 crores were deposited into EPF accounts by HNIs. The largest EPF account has a ₹103 crore balance.
  • Hence, this proposal is aimed to exclude high net-worth individuals(HNIs) from the benefit of high tax-free interest income on their large contributions.

Employee Provident Fund(EPF) Scheme:

  • EPF is a social security scheme under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act,1952
  • Managed by: The scheme is managed under the aegis of Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
  • Coverage: EPF accounts are mandatory for employees earning up to ₹15,000 a month in firms with over 20 workers.
  • Contribution: Under the scheme, an employee has to pay a 12% contribution towards the scheme. An equal contribution is paid by the employer. The employee gets a lump sum amount including self and employer’s contribution with interest on both on retirement.
  • Limit on Employer’s Contribution: In Budget 2020, the government had capped the contributions by employers into funds EPF or the National Pension Scheme at ₹7.5 lakh a year.
    • However, government, as well as private-sector employees, are allowed to make voluntary contributions over and above the statutory deductions into the general provident fund(GPF) or EPF respectively.

Source: The Hindu

Prime Minister lauds efforts of Kerala man for “Vembanad lake” clean-up

What is the News?
During Mann ki Baat address, Prime Minister has praised the efforts of a Kerala man. He engages in cleaning the Vembanad Lake despite his physical challenges.


  • Vembanad Lake: It is the longest lake in India and the largest lake in the state of Kerala. The lake is situated at sea level and is separated from the Laccadive Sea by a narrow barrier island.
  • Other Names: The lake is also known as Punnamada Lake (in Kuttanad) and Kochi Lake (in Kochi).
  • Significance: Vallam Kali (a.k.a Nehru Trophy Boat Race) is a Snake Boat Race held every year in the month of August in Vembanad Lake.
  • Ramsar Site: In 2002, the lake was included in the list of wetlands of international importance, as defined by the Ramsar Convention. It is the second-largest Ramsar site in India, only after the Sunderbans in West Bengal.
  • Bird Sanctuary: The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located on the east coast of the lake.
  • Unique Characteristic: The unique characteristic of the lake is the Thanneermukkom saltwater barrier. It was constructed as a part of the Kuttanad Development Scheme to prevent tidal action and intrusion of saltwater into the Kuttanad low-lands.

Source: The Hindu

9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – February 5, 2021

Print Friendly and PDF