Daily Analysis: 12th September 2020

The Hindu, PIB, IE and Others

Index

A) Polity/Bills/Acts/Judgments

1. Election Commission proposes 10% hike in poll campaign expenditure cap (TH, pg 1)

B) Economy

2. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) Vs Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) (PIB)

3. Finance Commission Grants & Other Transfers (TH, pg 15)

4. Gold exchange-traded funds (ETF) (TH, pg 15)

5. Index of Industrial Production (IIP) (TH, pg 15)

6. Expert committee to assist govt for assessment of relief to bank borrowers (PIB)

7. Govt puts national security clause in defence FDI (TH)

C) International Relations

8. Intra-Afghan peace talks (TH, pg14)

9. Unprecedented wildfires up and down the U.S. West Coast (TH, pg 15)

10. Bahrain to normalise ties with Israel (TH, pg 15)

D) Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

11. Net Present Value (NPV) and the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) (TH, pg 1)

12. National Forest Martyrs Day (PIB)

E) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

13. States’ Startup Ranking Exercise 2019 (TH, pg 15)

14. The concept of the No-Fly List (TH, pg 1)

15. Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF 2.0) and Streets for People Challenge (PIB)

F) Miscellaneous

16. What is Corona Kavach? (PIB)

17. Project P17A (IE)

A) Polity/Bills/Acts/Judgments

1. Election Commission proposes 10% hike in poll campaign expenditure cap (TH, pg 1)

Context: The Election Commission (EC) has proposed a 10 per cent increase in the campaign expenditure limit for all future elections, by amending the Conduct of Election Rules 1961, given the constraints posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Analysis

  • The idea is to help candidates keep up with the increased expense warranted by safety measures announced for election campaigns in light of the Covid pandemic.

Background

  • The current expenditure limit for State and Parliament elections differs from State to State.
  • While Indian law stipulates no limit on election expenditure by political parties, there is a threshold for how much a candidate can spend on an election campaign. 
  • As of now, the expenditure limit for each candidate is Rs 50 lakh-70 lakh for Lok Sabha elections and Rs 20 lakh-28 lakh for assembly polls.
  • For the first time, the ECI suspended the recognition of a political party (National People’s Party) for failing to submit its Lok Sabha expenditure statement incurred in 2014 which prompted the party to duly file its statement.

B) Economy

2. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) Vs Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) (PIB)

  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs) and infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) are innovative vehicles that allow developers to monetise revenue-generating real estate and infrastructure assets, while enabling investors or unit holders to invest in these assets without actually owning them.
  • Such monetisation benefits developers by allowing them to release capital for funding new infrastructure/real estate projects, and provides liquidity to investors or unit holders as the units of the trust are listed on exchanges.
  • Apart from these, REITs and InvITs enjoy favourable tax treatment, including exemption from dividend distribution tax and relaxation of capital gains tax.
  • Both REITs and InvITs are regulated by the SEBI.
  • The government has also permitted banks and mutual funds to invest in these instruments, subject to specific predefined elements.
  • Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved monetisation of assets of POWERGRID, a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under Ministry of Power, through Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) model.
  • This is the first time any PSU in Power Sector (Powergrid) will undertake asset recycling by monetising its assets through the InvITs model and using the proceeds to fund the new and under-construction capital projects.

3. Finance Commission Grants & Other Transfers (TH, pg 15)

Context: The Centre released the seventh equated monthly instalment of the Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant to the States as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission. 

Analysis

  • The Finance Commission is a constitutional body set up by the President of India under Article 280 of the Constitution, every five years or earlier to decide the share of the Union government and state governments in the divisible pool of tax revenue.
  • The Finance Commission also decides the share of each state from the share of states in the divisible pool.
  • The Commission further recommends the share of funds and grants to be transferred to local bodies.
  • In the Union Budget, these transfers are called ‘Finance Commission Grants’ and ‘Other Transfers’.

Finance Commission Grants

  • The 73rd Constitutional Amendment requires both the Centre and states to help Panchayati Raj institutions to evolve as a unit of self-governance by assigning them funds, functions and functionaries. The Finance Commission Grants, in the Union Budget, provides funds to local bodies, state disaster relief funds and compensates any revenue loss to states after devolution of taxes.

The Finance Commission Grants are primarily divided into four sub-heads.

  1. Grants for rural local bodies:  In fact, nearly half of the Finance Commission Grants in Union Budget goes to village local bodies.
  2. Grants for urban local bodies: In addition to units of self-governance at the village level, the Constitution also envisages cities as units of self-governance.
  • Urban local bodies like municipal councils receive the largest chunk of Finance Commission Grants after Rural Local Bodies and Post Devolution Deficit Grants to states.

    3. Assistance to SDRF: The assistance to state government’s disaster relief authorities by the central government is provided as per the recommendations of the Finance Commission.

    4. Post devolution revenue deficit grants: About a third of the total revenue collected by the Centre is directly transferred to states as their share in the divisible pool.
  • However, the Finance Commission also provides a mechanism for compensation of any loss incurred by states, which is called post-devolution revenue deficit grants.
  • This Finance Commission Grant forms the second largest chunk of Finance Commission transfers after the assistance to local rural bodies.

Other Transfers to States

  • In addition to the four main transfers under the Finance Commission Grants, the Centre also transfers a considerable sum to states and vulnerable groups from its own resources.

    This includes:
  1. Assistance to states from NDRF (separate from the grants given to state SDRF under Finance Commission Grants)
  2. Central pool of resources for north-eastern region and Sikkim
  3. Externally aided project grants
  4. Externally aided project loans
  5. Schemes for north-east council
  6. Schemes under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution
  7. Special assistance under the demand: Transfers to states, special central assistance to scheduled castes and special central assistance to tribal area.

4. Gold exchange-traded funds (ETF) (TH, pg 15)

Context: Gold ETFs witnessed an inflow in August, for the fifth month in a row, amid major economies staring at a recession due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • With all major economies staring at a recession due to the spread of the pandemic, gold, with its safe-haven appeal, has emerged as one of the best-performing asset classes and a preferred investment destination among investors

Analysis

  • One way of investing in gold is through exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which allow investment in gold in electronic form.
  • Gold ETF is almost similar to mutual fund schemes where the underlying asset is the gold unlike stocks in equity mutual funds.
  • They are investment products that combine the flexibility of stock investment and the simplicity of gold investments.
  • The best part is that the gold ETF represents paper-gold as the investment is held in your Demat account.
  • Gold ETFs are listed on the exchanges and can be bought and sold directly using a Demat account. When you sell your gold ETFs on the exchange, you receive its cash equivalent.
  • The cost of investment in gold ETFs is generally cheaper than that of investing in gold in physical form.
  • Gold ETFs back their assets by buying actual physical gold of 99.5% purity.
  • This physical gold is stored in vaults with the custodian bank and valued periodically, according to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) guidelines.
  • In fact, mutual funds also allow investors who hold minimum prescribed quantities to redeem their investment in the form of physical gold.
  • Gold ETFs are a good way of investing in gold as investors don’t have to worry about the security and purity of the precious metal.

Gold ETFs Vs Sovereign Gold Bonds

  • Total returns on investment through gold ETFs is lower than actual return on gold (*Actual return (per gram) is assumed as = Price of gold per gram on trading exchange on date of sale – Cost of purchase of that gram of gold) whereas it is higher than actual return on gold in case of Sovereign Gold Bonds (due to the interest paid on the bond during holding period).
  • Unlike Sovereign Gold Bonds, gold ETFs can’t be used as collateral for loan.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are mutual funds listed and traded on stock exchanges like shares.
  • Like mutual funds, they pool together investors’ money to buy a diversified portfolio of stocks or bonds.
  • The only difference is that instead of buying an ETF directly from a fund company, you buy a share of it through a brokerage, just like you would a stock.

5. Index of Industrial Production (IIP) (TH, pg 15)

Context: The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted by 10.4% in July 2020.

Analysis

Index of Industrial Production (IIP) 

  • It measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period.
  • It is computed and published by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, on monthly basis (with a time-lag of 6 weeks as per the norms of IMF).
  • It is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under, 
  1. Broad sectors, namely, Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity;
  2. Use-based sectors, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods and Intermediate Goods. 
  • Currently IIP figures are calculated considering 2011-12 as base year with around 407 items. 
  • The monthly figure of production value is first deflated by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) of the corresponding categories, released by the Office of the Economic Adviser, Ministry of Industry.
  • The scope of the IIP as recommended by the United Nations Statistical Office (UNSO) includes mining, manufacturing, construction, electricity, gas and water supply. But due to constraints of data availability, the IIP compiled in India has excluded construction, gas and water supply sectors.

Following are the three sectors of the IIP as per the revision based on 2011-12 series.

  1. Mining (1 item, about 14.3% weight),
  2. Manufacturing (405 items, about 77.6% weight), and
  3. Electricity (1 item, about 7.9% weight).
  • Electricity generation from renewable energy sources has been included under the ‘Electricity’ sector.
  • Weights are rationalised to appropriately to reflect the actual value addition of each sector incorporating effects of subsidies.
  • The all-India IIP data is used for estimation of Gross Value Added of Manufacturing sector on quarterly basis.

The industries are divided into six use-based sectors, in descending order of their weights:

  1. Primary goods (weight 34%),
  2. Intermediate goods (weight 17%),
  3. Consumer non-durables (weight 15%),
  4. Consumer durables (weight 13%),
  5. Infrastructure/ construction goods (weight 12%),
  6. Capital goods (weight 8%).

IIP is compiled using data received from 14 source agencies viz.

  1. Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP); it alone supplies data for 322 out of 407 item groups with a weight of 47.54% in overall IIP;
  2. Indian Bureau of Mines;
  3. Central Electricity Authority;
  4. Joint Plant Committee, Ministry of Steel;
  5. Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas;
  6. Office of Textile Commissioner;
  7. Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals;
  8. Directorate of Sugar & Vegetable Oils;
  9. Department of Fertilizers;
  10. Tea Board;
  11. Office of Jute Commissioner;
  12. Office of Coal Controller;
  13. Railway Board; and
  14. Coffee Board.

6. Expert committee to assist govt for assessment of relief to bank borrowers (PIB)

Context: The Finance Ministry on has constituted a three-member expert committee to assess the impact of a waiver of interest and interest on interest accrued during the six-month moratorium period announced in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Analysis

  • The committee will be chaired by Rajiv Mehrishi, former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. Ravindra H Dholakia, former member of the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee, and B Sriram, former managing director of the State Bank of India and IDBI Bank, are the other two members.
  • Committee’s terms of reference include assessment of the impact of the interest waiver on the Indian economy and financial stability.
  • It will also table suggestions to mitigate financial constraints of various sections and measures to be adopted for the same.
  • Various concerns have been raised during the proceedings of the ongoing hearing in the Supreme Court of India, in the matter of Gajendra Sharma versus Union of India and others, of the matter regarding the relief sought in terms of waiver of interest and waiver of interest on interest and other related issues.
  • This comes at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions seeking interest waiver during the loan moratorium period.
  • A three-judge bench on September 10 adjourned the hearing to September 28, adding that no further adjournment would be allowed in the matter.
  • In the meantime, the apex court ordered an interim extension of the loan moratorium period, while reiterating that its September 3 order directing banks not to declare accounts as non-performing assets (NPAs) will remain in effect until further orders.
  • In March, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had granted a three-month moratorium on repayment of term deposits, which was later extended until August 31.
  • The move, aimed at providing borrowers relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, covered both interest and principal repayment.

7. Govt puts national security clause in defence FDI (TH)

  • The new policy raising the cap of foreign direct investment through automatic approval in the defence sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent now has a ‘National Security’ clause as a condition.
  • According to sources, the new condition has been proposed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Foreign investment in the Defence Sector shall be subject to scrutiny on ground of National Security.
  • The raising of the FDI cap in the defence sector through the automatic route to 74% was announced by the Finance Minister in May 2020.
  • The Finance Minister had mentioned it along with a slew of other measures for the sector, including a negative imports list and a dedicated budget for capital acquisition from the domestic industry.

C) International Relations

8. Intra-Afghan peace talks (TH, pg14)

Context: Intra-Afghan peace talks to begin on September 12

Analysis

  • The talks follow the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement on the withdrawal of US troops.
  • Afghan government is excluded from negotiations between the US and the Taliban.
  • Afghan high council for national reconciliation will represent the govt position.
  • The talks were to begin on March 10. But were held back due to disagreement over release 5,000 Taliban prisoners by Afghan govt.

Afghan talks: What will the discussions be on?

  • Two main goals are a power-sharing settlement between the Afghan polity and the Taliban, and a ceasefire, the immediate question is which should come first.
  • The Afghan government has said it wants a ceasefire first.
  • It is doubtful the Taliban would agree to a truce first before getting what they want out of a political settlement. While in talks with the US, the Taliban continued violent attacks, leveraging these to underline their demands.
  • What the Taliban want out of a political settlement is unclear. In the past, they have denounced democracy as a western imposition on their vision of Afghanistan. They have dropped several hints of a return to the Taliban-run Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan of 1996-2001. But they have signalled they may accept some of the democratic gains Afghanistan has made in the last two decades.
  • The expectation is that the two sides should agree on an “inclusive” interim government that will be entrusted with hammering out the way forward.
  • The Afghan government, a former Indian diplomat observed, “is entering the negotiations knowing that they are a death sentence on itself”. And while the US would like it done and dusted before President Donald Trump’s re-election bid in November, Ghani, who won a second term this year, would prefer to stretch it out until the US elections, hoping to get from a possible Biden White House the support that has not been forthcoming from Trump.

Who are representing the two sides?

  • Both sides have 21 persons each in their negotiating teams. The Taliban’s lead negotiator is Sheikh Abdul Hakim, a scholar-cleric from the non-military side who was the “chief justice” of the Taliban judicial system, and is seen as more acceptable to all factions within the Taliban, as well as to Pakistan. He is also said to be close to the Supreme Leader Hibataullah Akhundzada. Though Hakim’s name carries the Haqqani appellation in some mentions, he does not belong to the Haqqani Network. His unifying role will be crucial.
  • The dynamics between Pakistan and some of the key Taliban members are also important. The Pakistan Army and ISI played key roles in facilitating the US-Taliban agreement.

What is India’s stake in all this?

  • New Delhi has not been involved in the process since it began two years ago, and while it has backed the Afghan government for an “Afghan owned and Afghan led peace process”, it has been marginal to even regional discussions. Partly, this is due to India’s diffidence about engaging in a process in which it sees Pakistan playing to install the Taliban as its proxy in Kabul, as the Taliban have links with terrorist groups that target India and Indian interests in Afghanistan. While India sees itself on shared ground with Iran on these concerns, Tehran had opened contacts with the Taliban.
  • India’s other big worry is that the vacuum created by the exit of the US may be filled by China.
  • Wary of the Taliban’s links with Uighur radicals in the Afghan-bordering Xinjiang Autonomous Region, India is concerned that Beijing may use its proximity to Pakistan to insulate this vulnerable territory from these links. It has also begun building ties with the Taliban.
  • At this moment in India-China relations, the possibility of an enhanced Chinese presence in Afghanistan, in combination with Pakistan and the Taliban, is worrying Afghan watchers in India.
  • In April 2020, the United Nations Secretariat held a meeting of what it calls the “6+2+1” group on regional efforts to support peace in Afghanistan, a group that includes six neighbouring countries: China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; global players the United States and Russia, and Afghanistan itself.
  • India was conspicuous by its absence from the meeting, given its historical and strategic ties with Afghanistan.
  • In 2011, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Afghanistan President Karzai signed the historic Strategic Partnership Agreement, which was Afghanistan’s first such agreement with any country.
  • Three major projects, the Afghan Parliament, the Zaranj-Delaram Highway, and the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam (Salma dam), along with hundreds of small development projects (of schools, hospitals and water projects) have cemented India’s position in Afghan hearts nationwide.

9. Unprecedented wildfires up and down the U.S. West Coast (TH, pg 15)

  • Firefighters were battling unprecedented wildfires up and down the U.S. West Coast, fuelled by record heatwaves and intense, dry winds.
  • The August Complex Fire became the biggest recorded blaze in Californian history.
  • Huge wildfires are becoming more common, with the World Meteorological Organization saying the five years to 2019 was “unprecedented” for fires, especially in Europe and North America.
  • Climate change amplifies droughts which dry out regions, creating ideal conditions for wildfires to spread out-of-control and inflict unprecedented material and environmental damage.

10. Bahrain to normalise ties with Israel (TH, pg 15)

  • Bahrain is set to normalise relations with Israel by joining its neighbour, the United Arab Emirates, in formally establishing ties with Israel.
  • Bahrain, a small island state off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf, is a close ally of Saudi Arabia and the site of the U.S. Navy’s regional headquarters.

D) Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

11. Net Present Value (NPV) and the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) (TH, pg 1)

Context: The Ministry of Mines has requested an expert advisory committee of the Environment Ministry to exempt it from the Supreme Court-mandated fees that prospectors pay when they dig exploratory boreholes in forests.

Analysis

  • The Ministry of Mines argued that “… all areas of exploration are not converted into mining. Only about 1% cases are converted to mining. Considering these, payment of NPV is regarded as an avoidable expenditure. Even payment of NPV at a rate of 2% or 5% is one of the major challenges which leads to delay in the exploration activities.”
  • The Forest Advisory Committee, the Environment Ministry constituted panel, however recommended that the Ministry “may consider charging NPV on borehole basis instead of the present practice of charging 2 or 5% NPV of the total forest area in the lease area.”

Background

Net Present Value (NPV)

  • The Net Present Value (NPV), as it is called, is a monetary approximation of the value that is lost when a piece of forest land has been razed.
  • This is on the basis of the services and ecological value and there are prescribed formulae for calculating this amount which depends on the location and nature of the forest and the type of industrial enterprise that will replace a particular parcel of forest.
  • The SC mandates this must be paid by those who use forest land for non-forestry purposes.
  • The pooled funds — managed by a central body called the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (campa) — are then used for afforestation and reforestation.
  • The Hon’ble Supreme Court in July 2009 issued orders that there will be a Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) as National Advisory Council under the chairmanship of the Union Minister of Environment & Forests for monitoring, technical assistance and evaluation of compensatory afforestation activities.

Forest Advisory Committee (FAC)

  • Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has been constituted under the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.
  • It has both official as well as unofficial members, the Director General of Forests as the Chairman.
  • The FAC is an apex body tasked with adjudicating requests by the industry to raze forest land for commercial use.

12. National Forest Martyrs Day (PIB)

  • It was in the recognition of exemplary valour and sacrifices made by the forest personnel, in various parts of the country for the protection of our environment, forest and wildlife, that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India had declared 11th September, as National Forest Martyrs Day.
  • The date September 11 was chosen as on this day, in 1730, over 360 people of the Bishnoi tribe led by Amrita Devi, objected to the felling of trees and due to their protest to save the trees were killed in Khejarli, Rajasthan on the orders of the king.

E) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

13. States’ Startup Ranking Exercise 2019 (TH, pg 15)

Context: The Results of the second edition of Ranking of States on Support to Startup Ecosystems were released by Minister of Commerce & Industry.

Analysis

  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, conducted the second edition of the States’ Startup Ranking Exercise.
  • Its key objective is to foster competitiveness and propel States and Union Territories to work proactively towards uplifting the startup ecosystem. 

The States’ Startup Ranking Framework 2019 has 7 broad reform area, consisting of 30 action points ranging from:

  1. Institutional Support,
  2. Easing Compliances,
  3. Relaxation in Public Procurement norms,
  4. Incubation support,
  5. Seed Funding Support,
  6. Venture Funding Support, and
  7. Awareness & Outreach.
  • To establish uniformity and ensure standardization in the ranking process, States and UTs have been divided into two different groups.
  • For the purposes of Ranking, States are classified into 5 Categories: Best Performers, Top Performers, Leaders, Aspiring Leaders and Emerging Startup Ecosystems.
  • Gujarat has again emerged as the best performer in developing start-up ecosystem for budding entrepreneurs.

14. The concept of the No-Fly List (TH, pg 1)

Context: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) flagged violations of flight safety norms and COVID-19 protocol by television news crews on board an IndiGo flight carrying Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut.

  • As per the DGCA rules, an airline can put an “unruly passenger” on its “no-fly list” for a certain period of time after an internal inquiry.

Analysis

  • The concept of the No-Fly List is based on the concern for safety of passengers, crew and the aircraft, and not just on security threat.
  • The Director General of Civil Aviation has revised the relevant sections of the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) in accordance with the provisions of Tokyo Convention 1963.
  • The Tokyo Convention of 1963 was the international community’s first attempt to provide a uniform code in respect of offences and certain other acts committed on board civil aircraft.
  • The revised CAR deals with unruly behaviour of passenger on-board aircrafts.
  • Unruly behaviour of passengers at airport premises will be dealt with by relevant security agencies under applicable penal provisions.
  • The revised CAR will be applicable for all Indian operators engaged in scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, both domestic and international carriage of passengers.
  • The CAR would also be applicable to foreign carriers subject to compliance of Tokyo Convention 1963.

The revised CAR defines three categories of unruly behaviour –

  • Level 1 refers to behaviour that is verbally unruly, and calls for debarment upto 3 months;
  • Level 2 indicates physical unruliness and can lead to the passenger being debarred from flying for upto 6 months and
  • Level 3 indicates life-threatening behaviour where the debarment would be for a minimum of 2 years.

The complaint of unruly behaviour would need to be filed by the pilot-in-command.

  • These complaints will be probed by an internal committee to be set up by the airline.
  • The internal committee will have to decide the matter within 30 days, and also specify the duration of ban on the unruly passenger.
  • During the period of pendency of the enquiry the concerned airline may impose a ban on the said passenger.
  • For every subsequent offence, the ban will be twice the period of previous ban
  • The airlines will be required to share the No-Fly list, and the same will be available on DGCA website.
  • The other airlines will not be bound by the No-Fly list of an airline.
The No Fly Lists will have Two Components:
  1. Unruly passengers banned for a certain period based on examination of the case by the internal committee; and
  2. Those persons perceived to be national security risk by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The latter component will, however, not be displayed on the DGCA website.

The revised CAR also contains appeal provisions against the ban.

  • Aggrieved persons (other than those identified as security threat by MHA) may appeal within 60 days from the date of issue of order to the Appellate Committee constituted by MoCA.

15. Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF 2.0) and Streets for People Challenge (PIB)

  • Launched by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, CSCAF initiative intends to inculcate a climate-sensitive approach to urban planning and development in India.

The Framework has 28 Indicators across Five Categories Namely:

  1. Energy and Green Buildings,
  2. Urban Planning, Green Cover & Biodiversity,
  3. Mobility and Air Quality,
  4. Water Management and
  5. Waste Management.
  • The Climate Centre for Cities under National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is supporting MoHUA in implementation of CSCAF.

?Streets for People Challenge 

  • ?Launched by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, it aims to inspire cities to create more walkable and pedestrian friendly streets through quick, innovative, and low-cost measures.
  • Fit India Mission, under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, along with the India program of the Institute for Transport Development and Policy (ITDP) have partnered with the Smart Cities Mission to support the challenge.

F) Miscellaneous

16. What is Corona Kavach? (PIB)

  • Corona Kavach is an indemnity health insurance policy for COVID-19 treatment that covers the hospitalisation & medical expenses arising out of coronavirus treatment.
  • This policy covers pre-post hospitalisation expenses, as well as domiciliary expenses, home care treatment expenses and AYUSH treatment incurred by the policyholder in case of an outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19).

17. Project P17A (IE)

Context: Construction begins on Indian Navy’s third P17A warship.

Analysis

  • The P17A frigates, part of India Navy’s most advanced stealth frigate project till date, would be known as Nilgiri class of warships.
  • The Nilgiri-class frigate or Project 17A is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy.
  • A total of seven ships with advanced stealth capability will be Indigenously built by Mazagon Dock limited and GRSE.

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