February current affairs 2021 In Details
1. ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-2021
- Economic Survey is an annual document prepared by the Department of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance under the guidance of the Chief Economic Advisor.
- It is regarded as the official report card of the union government which gives a roadmap for the country’s economy and spells the way forward.
- It provides a summary of the annual economic development across the country during the financial year.
- This year’s Survey is a tribute to the frontline COVID-19 warriors.
- While the lockdown resulted in a 23.9% contraction in GDP in Q1, the recovery has been a V-shaped one as seen in the 7.5% decline in Q2 and the recovery across all key economic indicators.
- The strategy was motivated by the Nobel-Prize winning research by Hansen & Sargent (2001): a policy focused on minimizing losses in a worst-case scenario when uncertainty is very high.
- COVID pandemic affected both demand and supply: India announced structural reforms to expand supply in the medium-long term and avoid long-term damage to productive capacities.
- COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the importance of the healthcare sector and its inter-linkages with other sectors – showcased how a health crisis transformed into an economic and social crisis.
- National Health Mission (NHM) played a critical role in mitigating inequity as the access of the poorest to pre-natal/post-natal care and institutional deliveries increased significantly.
Key suggestions for Healthcare amid COVID 19:
- Emphasis on NHM in conjunction with Ayushman Bharat should continue Increase in public healthcare spending: From 1% to 2.5-3% of GDP which will also decrease the out-of-pocket expenditure from 65% to 35% of overall healthcare spending.
- Telemedicine needs to be harnessed to the fullest.
- Headline CPI inflation: Averaged 6.6% during April-December, 2020 and stood at 4.6% in December 2020, mainly driven by rising in food.
Important points to remember:
- 1)Government has given the incentive to boost employment under the scheme Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana.
- 2)Existing Central labour laws have been rationalized and simplified into four Labour Codes viz.: Code on Wages 2019, Industrial Relations Code 2020, Occupational Safety Health and Working Conditions Code 2020, Code on Social Security 2020.
- 3)Under PMGKP, cash transfers of up to Rs. 1000 in two instalments of Rs. 500 each were paid to existing old aged, widowed and disabled beneficiaries under the National Social Assistance Programme.
- 4)Under PM Jan Dhan Yojana, an amount of Rs. 500 each was transferred for three months digitally into bank accounts of the women beneficiaries.
- 5)Free distribution of gas cylinders under the Ujjwala Scheme which has benefited 8 crore households will be extended to cover 1 crore more beneficiaries.
- 6)Limit of collateral-free lending for women SHGs was increased from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 20 lakhs.
- 7)Wages under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA were increased by Rs. 20 from Rs. 182 to Rs. 202, providing an additional amount of Rs. 2000 annually to a worker.
2. UNION BUDGET 2021-22
- Budget 2021-22 is the first budget of the new decade 2021-30 and is also the first-ever digital union budget.
- As per Article 112 of the constitution, a union budget is basically the statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the government.
- Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance is the nodal body responsible for preparing the Budget.
Budget proposals for 2021-2022 rest on 6 pillars:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Physical & Financial Capital, and Infrastructure
- Inclusive Development for Aspirational India
- Reinvigorating Human Capital
- Innovation and R&D
- Minimum Government and Maximum Governance
1.Health and Wellbeing:
- There is a substantial increase in investment in Health Infrastructure and the Budget outlay for Health and Wellbeing is Rs 2,23,846 crore in BE 2021-22 as against this year’s BE of Rs 94,452 crore, an increase of 137 percentage.
- a)The Finance Minister announced that a new centrally sponsored scheme, PM AatmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, will be launched with an outlay of about Rs 64, 180 crores over 6 years. This will develop capacities of primary, secondary, and tertiary care Health Systems, strengthen existing national institutions and create new institutions, to cater to the detection and cure of new and emerging diseases. This will be in addition to the National Health Mission.
- b)Provision of Rs 35,000 crore made for Covid-19 vaccine in BE 2021-22.
- c)To strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcome, Government will merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the PoshanAbhiyan and launch the Mission Poshan 2.0. The government will adopt an intensified strategy to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 Aspirational Districts.
- d) Universal Coverage of Water Supply and Swachch Bharat Mission: The Finance Minister announced that the JalJeevan Mission (Urban), will be launched for universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crore household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities.
- AMRUT(Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation): Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation was launched by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in June 2015 with the focus to establish an infrastructure that could ensure adequate robust sewage networks and water supply for urban transformation by implementing urban revival projects.
- A voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles was also announced. Fitness tests have been proposed in automated fitness centres after 20 years in case of personal vehicles, and after 15 years in case of commercial vehicles.
2.Physical and Financial Capital and Infrastructure:
- a)AatmaNirbhar Bharat-Production Linked Incentive Scheme : Finance Minister said that for a USD 5 trillion economy, our manufacturing sector has to grow in double digits on a sustained basis. Our manufacturing companies need to become an integral part of global supply chains, possess core competence and cutting-edge technology. To achieve all of the above, PLI schemes to create manufacturing global champions for an AatmaNirbhar Bharat have been announced for 13 sectors.
- b) To enable the textile industry to become globally competitive, attract large investments and boost employment generation, a scheme of Mega Investment Textiles Parks (MITRA) will be launched in addition to the PLI scheme. This will create world class infrastructure with plug and play facilities to enable create global champions in exports. 7 Textile Parks will be established over 3 years.
- c)The National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) which the Finance Minister announced in December 2019 is the first-of-its-kind, whole-of-government exercise ever undertaken. The NIP was launched with 6835 projects; the project pipeline has now expanded to 7,400 projects. Around 217 projects worth Rs 1.10 lakh crore under some key infrastructure Ministries have been completed.
- d) Infrastructure financing – Development Financial Institution (DFI): Smt Sitharaman said that infrastructure needs long term debt financing. A professionally managed Development Financial Institution is necessary to act as a provider, enabler and catalyst for infrastructure financing.
- e) Asset Monetisation: Monetizing operating public infrastructure assets is a very important financing option for new infrastructure construction. A “National Monetization Pipeline” of potential Brownfield infrastructure assets will be launched. An Asset Monetization dashboard will also be created for tracking the progress and to provide visibility to investors.
- (National Highways Authority of India and PGCIL each have sponsored one InvIT that will attract international and domestic institutional investors. Five operational roads with an estimated enterprise value of Rs 5,000 crore are being transferred to the NHAIInvIT. Similarily, transmission assets of a value of Rs 7,000 crore will be transferred to the PGCIL InvIT.)
- An Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvITs) is Collective Investment Scheme similar to a mutual fund, which enables direct investment of money from individual and institutional investors in infrastructure projects to earn a small portion of the income as return.
- f)Roads and Highways Infrastructure :Finance Minister announced that more than 13,000 km length of roads, at a cost of Rs 3.3 lakh crore, has already been awarded under the Rs. 5.35 lakh crore Bharatmala Pariyojana project of which 3,800 kms have been constructed.
- g) Railway Infrastructure : Indian Railways have prepared a National Rail Plan for India – 2030. The Plan is to create a ‘future ready’ Railway system by 2030. Bringing down the logistic costs for our industry is at the core of our strategy to enable ‘Make in India’. It is expected that Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and Eastern DFC will be commissioned by June 2022.
- h)Increasing FDI in Insurance Sector: proposed to amend the Insurance Act, 1938 to increase the permissible FDI limit from 49% to 74% and allow foreign ownership and control with safeguards.
- i) Disinvestment and Strategic Sale: The Finance Minister said a number of transactions namely BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, IDBI Bank, BEML, Pawan Hans, NeelachalIspat Nigam limited among others would be completed in 2021-22. Other than IDBI Bank, Government propose to take up the privatization of two Public Sector Banks and one General Insurance company in the year 2021-22.
- j) In 2021-22, Government would also bring the IPO of LIC for which the requisite amendments will be made in this Session itself.
3. Inclusive Development for Aspirational India:
- Under the pillar of Inclusive Development for Aspirational India, the Finance Minister announced to cover Agriculture and Allied sectors, farmers’ welfare and rural India, migrant workers and labour, and financial inclusion.
- a) Agriculture: The government is committed to the welfare of farmers. The MSP regime has undergone a sea change to assure price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities.
- b) Honourable Prime Minister had launched SWAMITVA Scheme: Under this, a record of rights is being given to property owners in villages. Up till now, about 1.80 lakh propertyowners in 1,241 villages have been provided cards and the Finance Minister proposed during FY21-22 to extend this to cover all states/UTs.
- c) Keeping in view the transparency and competitiveness that e-NAM has brought into the agricultural market, 1,000 more mandis will be integrated with e-NAM.
- d)Fisheries: Finance Minister proposed substantial investments in the development of modern fishing harbours and fish landing centres. To start with, 5 major fishing harbours – Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip, and Petuaghat – will be developed as hubs of economic activity.
- e) Migrant Workers and Labourers: Government has launched the One Nation One Ration Card scheme through which beneficiaries can claim their rations anywhere in the country. One Nation One Ration Card plan is under implementation by 32 states and UTs, reaching about 69 crore beneficiaries – that’s a total of 86% beneficiaries covered. The remaining 4 states and UTs will be integrated in the next few months.
4.Reinvigorating Human Capital:
- The Finance Minister said that the National Education Policy (NEP) announced recently has had good reception, while adding that more than 15,000 schools will be qualitatively strengthened to include all components of the National Education Policy.
- a) Govt also announced that 100 new Sainik Schools will be set up in partnership with NGOs/private schools/states.
- b) Skilling: An initiative is underway, in partnership with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to benchmark skill qualifications, assessment, and certification, accompanied by the deployment of certified workforce. The Government also has a collaborative Training Inter Training Programme (TITP) between India and Japan to facilitate transfer of Japanese industrial and vocational skills, techniques, and knowledge and the same would be taken forward with many more countries.
5. Innovation and R&D:
- The Finance Minister said that in her Budget Speech of July 2019, She had announced the National Research Foundation and added that the NRF outlay will be of Rs. 50,000 crore, over 5 years.
- It will ensure that the overall research ecosystem of the country is strengthened with a focus on identified national-priority thrust areas.
- a)Government will undertake a new initiative – National Language Translation Mission (NTLM). This will enable the wealth of governance-and-policy related knowledge on the Internet to be made available in major Indian languages.
- b)The New Space India Limited (NSIL), a PSU under the Department of Space will execute the PSLV-CS51 launch, carrying the Amazonia Satellite from Brazil, along with a few smaller Indian satellites.
- c)As part of the Gaganyaan mission activities, four Indian astronauts are being trained on Generic Space Flight aspects, in Russia. The first unmanned launch is slated for December 2021.
6. Minimum Government, Maximum Governance:
- a)Finance Minister proposed to take a number of steps to bring reforms in Tribunals in the last few years for the speedy delivery of justice and proposes to take further measures to rationalise the functioning of Tribunals.
- b)Government has introduced the National Commission for Allied Healthcare Professionals Bill in Parliament, with a view to ensuring transparent and efficient regulation of the 56 allied healthcare professions.
- c)She also announced that the forthcoming Census could be the first digital census in the history of India and for this monumental and milestone-marking task, Rs. 3,768 crore allocated in the year 2021-2022.
- The Budget seeks to reduce the compliance burden on senior citizens who are of 75 years of age and above. Such senior citizens having an only pension and interest income will be exempted from filing their income tax return. The paying Bank will deduct the necessary tax on their income.
3.World Sustainable Development Summit 2021
- World Sustainable Development Summit, the annual flagship event of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) was held.
- The theme of the 2021 Summit was ‘Redefining our common future: Safe and secure environment for all.
- It has been conceptualized as a single platform to accelerate action towards sustainable development and climate change.
- It aims to bring together global leaders and thinkers in the fields of sustainable development, energy and environment sectors on a common platform.
- TERI is a non-profit research institute, established in 1974. It conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development for India and the Global South.
4. Glaciar burst in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand
- Recently, a glacier break in the TapovanReni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand led to a massive Flash Flood in Dhauli Ganga and Alaknanda Rivers, damaging houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.
Cause of Flash Flood in Uttarakhand:
- It occurred in the river Rishi Ganga due to the falling of a portion of Nanda Devi glacier in the river which exponentially increased the volume of water. Rishiganga meets Dhauli Ganga near Raini. So Dhauli Ganga also got flooded.
5. The India Toy Fair 2021: India’s First Virtual Toy Fair
- The Indian government has organized the India Toy Fair 2021 to boost the toy manufacturing industry in India. The India Toy Fair began on 27th February 2021 and it will end on 2nd March 2021.
- On 27th February, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi inaugurated The India Toy Fair 2021 to boost the toy manufacturing industry in India. This improvement will encourage Aatmarnirbhar Bharat and vocal for local camping.
What is the objective or aim of the fair?
- To bring the industry and the government together to find out a way to make the country the next global hub for the production and sourcing of toys. The Fair would also help in attracting investments and promoting exports. Sustainable linkages shall be created which will encourage dialogue for the overall development of the industry
6. Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0 Scheme
- Recently, the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0 scheme has been rolled out to cover children and pregnant women who missed routine immunisation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
About the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0 Scheme:
- To reach the unreached population with all the available vaccines under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) and thereby accelerate the full immunization and complete immunization coverage of children and pregnant women.
- It will have two rounds this year which will be conducted in 250 pre-identified districts/ urban areas across 29 States/UTs.
- Universal Immunization Programme: The Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In 1985, the Programme was modified as ‘Universal Immunization Programme (UIP)’.
- Mission Indradhanush: To fully immunize more than 89 lakh children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated under UIP. Targets children under 2 years of age and pregnant women for immunization.
Important One Line February Current Affairs 2021
The slogan for Aero India 2021, the biennial air show held in Bengaluru from 03 to 05 February 2021
Answer: The Runway to a Billion Opportunities
The city in which India’s first wetland centre named Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management has been established on World Wetlands Day
The Nigerian-American economist who has been chosen to be the next and first woman and first African Director-General of WTO
Answer: Ngozi OkonjoIweala
The instant messaging system (similar to Whatsapp) launched by the National Informatics Centre, Govt of India is named
The Indian city which has become the only city in India to be recognised as Tree City of the World along with 119 cities from 63 countries by Arbor Day Foundation and FAO(Food and Agriculture Organization):
The country which has rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement two years after it had withdrawn from it in 2019
The stadium in Sardar Patel Sports Complex, Motera, Ahmedabad also the largest cricket stadium in the world has been named after
Answer: Shri Narendra Modi
The city in Madhya Pradesh which has been renamed Narmadapuram as announced by its CM Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan
The place in Jammu and Kashmir where the 2nd Khelo India Winter Games were inaugurated by the PM Shri Narendra Modi
The Indian cricketer who has announced retirement from all forms of the game
Answer: Yusuf Pathan
The theme of National Science Day observed on 28 February 2021 to mark the birth anniversary of Sir CV Raman
Answer: Future of STI(science technology and innovation): Impacts on Education, Skills, and Work