Factly articles for November 9, 2020


AIM-Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0

News: Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Sirius, Russia has launched ‘AIM–Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0’.


  • AIM–Sirius programme: It is the first Indo-Russian bilateral youth innovation initiative that seeks to develop technological solutions (both web- and mobile-based) for the two countries through a 14-day virtual programme for Indian and Russian schoolchildren.

Additional Facts:

  • Atal innovation mission(AIM): It was set up by NITI Aayog in 2016 to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship by creating institutions and programs that enhance innovation in schools, colleges, and entrepreneurs in general.

India launches earth observation satellite EOS-01

News: India has successfully launched EOS-01 satellite and nine other customer satellites.


  • EOS-01: It is an earth observation satellite launched by ISRO from Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49).
  • What are its Applications? Agriculture, forestry and disaster management support.

Four more biodiversity heritage sites for Karnataka

News: Karnataka Biodiversity Board has decided to declare four more areas in the State as biodiversity heritage sites.


  • What are the four areas? The four areas declared as biodiversity heritage sites are:
    • Antaragange Betta in Kolar
    • Aadi Narayana Swamy Betta in Chickballapur
    • Mahima Ranga Betta in Nelamangala,Bengaluru and
    • Urumbi area on the Kumaradhara river basin in Dakshina Kannada.

Additional Facts:

  • Biodiversity heritage sites(BHS): These are considered as unique and fragile ecosystems that can be marine ecosystems, coastal and inland waters, or terrestrial areas.
  • Criteria:
    • Richness of wild as well as domesticated species or intra-specific categories.
    • High endemism.
    • Presence of rare and threatened species, keystone species, species of evolutionary significance.
    • Wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or their varieties.
    • Past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds and having significant cultural, ethical or aesthetic values are important for the maintenance of cultural diversity with or without a long history of human association with them.
  • Who notifies BHS? Under Section-37 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 the State Government in consultation with local bodies may notify areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites(BHS).

RBI announces co-lending scheme for banks, NBFCs for priority sector

News: Reserve Bank of India has announced the Co-Lending Model (CLM) scheme which is an improvement over the co-origination of loan scheme announced by the RBI in 2018 which seeks to provide greater flexibility to the lending institutions.


  • CLM Scheme: It aims to improve the flow of credit to the unserved and underserved sector of the economy.
  • Features of the scheme:
    • Under CLM, banks will be able to co-lend with all registered NBFCs (including HFCs) to the priority sector borrowers based on a prior agreement.
    • However, Banks cannot enter into a co-lending arrangement with an NBFC belonging to the promoter group.
    • NBFCs shall also be required to retain a minimum of 20% share of the individual loans on their books.

Additional Facts:

  • Priority Sector lending(PSL): It means those sectors which the Government and RBI consider as important for the development of the basic needs of the country and are to be given priority over other sectors.The banks are mandated to encourage the growth of such sectors with adequate and timely credit.
  • Under this, Commercial banks including foreign banks are required to mandatorily earmark 40% of the adjusted net bank credit for priority sector lending.Regional rural banks and small finance banks will have to allocate 75% of adjusted net bank credit to PSL.
  • Categories: a) Agriculture b) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises c) Export Credit d) Education e) Housing f) Social Infrastructure g) Renewable Energy h) Startups among others.

Explained: What Haryana’s move to reserve 75% private jobs means for companies

News: Haryana Government has passed the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020.


  • Aim of the Bill: The bill says that every employer shall be required to employ 75% local candidates for the posts where the gross monthly salary or wages are not more than Rs. 50,000 or as notified by the government from time to time.
  • Who is a local Candidate? A Person who is domiciled in the State of Haryana is called a local candidate and shall be able to avail the benefit of this reservation while seeking employment in the private sector.
  • Whom will these rules apply to? All the companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms, partnership firms and any person employing 10 or more persons shall come under the Act.
    • However, it shall not include the central government or state government or any organisation owned by the central or state government.
  • Exemption: An employer can claim exemption from this 75% recruitment restriction but only after going through a long procedure and only if the government appointed officers believe that the employer’s request seeking exemption holds merit.
  • Penalty: The employer can be fined with a minimum Rs. 10,000 to a maximum Rs. 2 lakh once it is established that the employer has committed a violation of provisions of the Act.
  • Is this reservation Bill violative of Article 16 of the Constitution of India?
    • Andhra Pradesh’s decision of introducing 75% reservation for local candidates was challenged in the Andhra Pradesh High Court which observed that it may be unconstitutional.
    • However, the Haryana government claims that the bill is not unconstitutional as Article 16 talks about public employment and the Bill only pertains to private sector employment.

26% FDI applies to digital media, news aggregators

News: The Central Government has announced new guidelines for digital news platforms.


  • Who will these guidelines apply to: The guidelines will be applicable to the following categories of entities registered or located in India:
    • Digital media entities which streams/uploads news and current affairs on websites, apps or other platforms.
    • News agency which gathers, writes and distributes/transmits news, directly or indirectly, to digital media entities and/or news aggregators.
    • News aggregator: It is an entity which uses software of web applications to aggregate news content from various sources, such as news websites, blogs, podcasts, video blogs, user submitted links in one location.
  • What are the Guidelines for Digital Media?
    • The government has put emphasis on compliance to the 26% Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) cap under the government approval route in digital media.
      • 26% FDI through the government approval route in the digital media sector was brought in 2019.FDI in print media is capped at 26% and that in TV news is 49%.
    • The majority of the directors on the company’s board and the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the company would have to be an Indian citizen.
    • All foreign employees working for more than 60 days would need security clearance.If the government denies or withdraw security clearance, the digital media company will ensure that the concerned person resigns or his/her services are terminated.