Factly articles for 25th June 2020

13 min read

1.COVID-19 widened educational divide: UNESCO report

News: UNESCO has released a report titled “Global Education Monitoring Report 2020”.

Facts:

  • Theme: “Inclusion and education: All means all”.
  • Aim: To monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education as well as other education-related points in the SDG Agenda.

Additional Facts:

  • SDG 4: It aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.
  • Incheon declaration: It is a declaration on education adopted at the World Education Forum in Incheon, South Korea in 2015.
  • Qingdao Declaration: It provides UN Member States with policy recommendations for using ICT to address educational challenges and to ensure equitable education and lifelong opportunities for all.
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): It is a specialized agency of the United Nations(UN) based in Paris,France.India has been a member of the UNESCO since its inception in 1946.

2.Annual TB Report 2020

News: Union Minister for Health released the annual Tuberculosis(TB) Report 2020.

Facts:

Key Highlights:

  • TB Cases: Over 24 lakh TB patients have been notified in 2019.This amounts to a 14% increase in TB notification as compared to 2018.
  • TB Deaths: The report shows 79,144 deaths due to tuberculosis were reported in 2019 which is much lower than the WHO estimate of 4.4 lakh fatalities.
  • TB cases in Children’s: The proportion of children diagnosed with TB increased to 8% in 2019 compared to 6% in 2018.
  • Missing cases: There has been a reduction in the number of missing cases to 2.9 lakh cases in 2019 as against more than 10 lakhs in 2017.
  • HIV associated TB Deaths: India accounts for 9% of all HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB) deaths in the world, the second-highest number globally.
  • Treatment: Expansion of treatment services has resulted in a 12% improvement in the treatment success rate of notified patients.For 2019, it was 81% compared to 69% in 2018.
  • States: Over half of the total TB cases were notified from five states — Uttar Pradesh(20%), Maharashtra(9%), Madhya Pradesh(8%) Rajasthan(7%) and Bihar(7%).

Ranking of States: The Central TB Division(CTD) has introduced a quarterly ranking on TB elimination efforts by all the states and UTs:

  • Larger states with more than 50 lakh population: Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh were awarded as best performing States.
  • Smaller states with less than 50 lakh population: Tripura and Nagaland were awarded.
  • Union Territories: Dadara and Nagar Haveli, and Daman & Diu were chosen as the best performers.

Additional Facts:

  • Tuberculosis(TB): It is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Nikshay Poshan Yojana: It is a direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme to provide nutritional support to TB patients.
  • National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB Elimination (2017-2025): It is a framework to provide guidance for the activities of various stakeholders to reduce the burden of TB mortality and morbidity.It aims to work towards the elimination of TB in India by 2025.

3.Government opens up space sector and assets to private sector to ‘enhance’ capacity

News: Union Government has approved the setting up of a new body named the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre(IN-SPACE).

Facts:

  • IN-SPACE: It will be a national nodal agency under the Department of Space for providing a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure.
    • It will also have its own chairman and board who will function autonomously and parallel to Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO).

Additional Facts:

  • New Space India Ltd(NSIL): It was set up in 2019 under administrative control of the Department of Space(DOS).
  • Objective: To enable Indian industries to take up high technology space related activities and is also responsible for promotion and commercial exploitation of the products and services emanating from the Indian space programme.

4.Cabinet approves establishment of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund

News: Cabinet has approved the setting up of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund(AHIDF) worth Rs 15,000 crores.

Facts:

  • Aim: To facilitate incentivisation of investments in the establishment of infrastructure in the animal husbandry sector.
  • Beneficiaries: Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), MSMEs, Section 8 Companies, Private Companies and individual entrepreneurs with minimum 10% margin money contribution by them.The balance 90% would be the loan component to be made available by scheduled banks.
  • Interest Subventions: The government will provide 4% interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries from the Aspirational Districts and 3% for beneficiaries from other Districts.
  • Duration: There will be a 2 years moratorium period for repayment of loan with 6 years repayment period thereafter.

5.MSDE-IBM Partnership Unveils “Skills Build Reignite” Platform

News: Directorate General of Training(DGT) under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship(MSDE) in partnership with IBM has launched Skills Build Reignite Platform.

Facts:

  • Skills Build Reignite Platform: It is an online platform that aims to provide job seekers and entrepreneurs with access to free online coursework and mentoring support designed to help them reinvent their careers and businesses.

Additional Facts:

  • SkillsBuild Platform: It is a digital platform developed by IBM in alliance with the DGT, Ministry of Skills Development & Entrepreneurship(MSDE) to enable holistic learning and aligning it with Skills India initiative by Government of India.
    • As part of the programme, a two-year advanced diploma in IT, networking and cloud computing, co-created and designed by IBM is being offered at the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) & National Skill Training Institutes(NSTIs).

6.India retains position as third largest economy in PPP

News: The World Bank has released the new Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) for reference year 2017 under its International Comparison Program (ICP).

Facts:

  • International Comparison Program(ICP): It is the largest worldwide data-collection initiative managed by the World Bank under the guidance of the UN Statistical Commission(UNSC).
  • Objective:
    • To produce purchasing power parities(PPPs) and comparable price level indexes(PLIs) for participating economies.
    • Convert volume and per capita measures of gross domestic product(GDP) and its expenditure components into a common currency using PPPs.
  • India and ICP: India has participated in almost all ICP rounds since its inception in 1970.It has also been a co-Chair of the ICP Governing Board along with Statistics Austria for the ICP 2017 cycle.

Key Takeaways:

  • India has retained its position as the third-largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) behind the US and China.
  • India accounts for 6.7% of the world’s total of $119,547 billion of global Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in terms of PPP compared to 16.4 % in case of China and 16.3 % for the US.
  • The PPPs of Indian Rupee per US$ at Gross Domestic Product(GDP) level is now 20.65 in 2017 from 15.55 in 2011.The Exchange Rate of US Dollar to Indian Rupee is now 65.12 from 46.67 during the same period.
  • In the Asia-Pacific Region, India retained its regional position as the second largest economy accounted for 20.83 % in terms of PPPs where China was first at 50.76% and Indonesia at 7.49% was third.

Additional Facts:

  • PPP: It is the rate at which the currency of one country would have to be converted into that of another country to buy the same amount of goods and services in each country.

7.Government launches another funding scheme to help the distressed MSME sector

News: Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) has launched Credit Guarantee Scheme for Subordinated Debt(CGSSD) which is also called “Distressed Assets Fund–Sub-ordinate Debt for MSMEs”.

Facts:

  • Aim: To extend support to the promoters of the operational MSMEs which are stressed and have become NPA as on 30th April, 2020.
  • Guarantee: It provides a guarantee cover worth Rs. 20,000 crores to the promoters who can take debt from the banks to further invest in their stressed MSMEs as equity.
  • Features of the Scheme:
    • Promoter(s) of the MSMEs will be given credit equal to 15% of their stake (equity plus debt) or Rs. 75 lakh whichever is lower.
    • Promoter(s) in turn will infuse this amount in the MSME unit as equity and thereby enhance the liquidity and maintain debt-equity ratio.
    • 90% guarantee coverage for this sub-debt will be given under the Scheme and 10% would come from the concerned promoters.
  • Duration: There will be a moratorium of 7 years on payment of principal whereas maximum tenure for repayment will be 10 years.
  • Implementation: The scheme will be operationalised through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for MSEs (CGTMSE).