Daily Current Affairs and GK | 2 February 2022

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 02 Feb 2022 16:58 PM IST

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

1. Government proposed to extend the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) till next fiscal.

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to extend the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) till the end of March 2023.
  • Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) will be expanded with a guarantee cover of Rs 5 lakh crore.
  • ECLGS has provided credit to more than 130 lakh MSMEs (micro, small and medium scale enterprises).
  • An additional Rs 50000 crore will be allocated exclusively for hospitality and related enterprises.
  • The Government will roll out Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP) programme with an outlay of Rs 6,000 crore. It will help MSME sector in becoming more resilient, competitive, and efficient.
  • Earlier, the government had extended the ECLGS till 31 March 2022, or till guarantees for an amount of Rs 4.5 lakh crore are issued under the scheme, whichever is earlier.
  • Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS):
    • It was announced as part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package in 2020.
    • It covers 26 stressed sectors identified by the KV Kamath Committee.
    • It was launched to provide financial assistance to industries severely affected by Covid-19 and the lockdown.

Topic: Defence

2. Defence Ministry converts the Experimental Scheme for Induction of Women Fighter Pilots in the Indian Air Force into a permanent scheme.

  • Defence Ministry has converted the Experimental Scheme for Induction of Women Fighter Pilots in the Indian Air Force into a permanent scheme.
  • Total 16 women have been commissioned as fighter pilots after the experimental scheme for induction of Women Fighter Pilots in the Indian Air Force.
  • In 2018, flying officer Avani Chaturvedi of Air Force became first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo.
  • India's first woman Rafale fighter jet pilot Shivangi Singh took part in the Republic Day parade this year (2022).
  • Shivangi Singh was the second-ever woman fighter pilot to be part of the Republic Day parade.
  • Flight Lieutenant Bhawna Kanth was first one. She was a part of Air Force’s tableau in 2021.

Induction of Women Fighter Pilots in the Indian Air Force into a permanent scheme

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy

3. Government establishes National Land Monetisation Corporation.

  • Government has established National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC).
  • NLMC has been set up to fast track monetization of land and non-core assets of public sector entities. 
  • As per Economic Survey 2021-22, NLMC has been incorporated as 100% Government of India owned entity with an initial authorized share capital of 5000 crores rupees and subscribed share capital of 150 crores rupees.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in 2021-22 Budget had announced setting up of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to carry out the monetization of the land and other non-core assets.
  • Aggregate monetisation potential through core assets of the central government over a four-year period from 2021-22 to 2024-25 stands at Rs 6 lakh crore.

Topic: Summit / Conference / Meeting

4. India and the European Union held their second virtual maritime security dialogue.

  • A second virtual maritime security dialogue between India and the European Union has been held on February 1.
  • Ms Joanneke Balfoort, Director for Security and Defense Policy and Sandeep Arya, Joint Secretary for Disarmament and International Security Affairs, co-chaired the meeting.
  • Both sides also discussed India’s Indo-Pacific Strategy Initiative, maritime cooperation and regional initiatives to address international maritime security issues.
  • India and the EU discussed collaboration in maritime domain awareness, capacity building, and joint naval activities.

India and the EU discussed collaboration in maritime domain awareness

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Summit / Conference / Meeting

5. Oman's Secretary-General of Defense meets with Rajnath Singh to discuss ways to improve defense cooperation.

  • On 1 February, Dr. Mohammed Bin Nasser Bin Ali Al-Zaabi, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defense of Oman, made a visit to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.
  • They discussed how they can improve defense cooperation between the two countries.
  • Shri Rajnath Singh was also briefed by Mr Al-Zaabi on the 11th India–Oman Joint Military Cooperation Committee Meeting (JMCC) on bilateral defence cooperation.
  • JMCC was conducted in New Delhi on January 31, 2022.
  • Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar and Mr. Al-Zaabi co-chaired the JMCC meeting.
  • The two sides discussed the progress made in military-to-military engagements, including joint exercises, industry collaboration, and various ongoing infrastructure projects, during the meeting.
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercises involving the three services were also considered as well as expanding the scope and difficulties of existing joint exercises.
  • The JMCC is the apex body between India's and Oman's defence ministries, tasked with reviewing and guiding all aspects of bilateral defence cooperation.

Topic: National News

6. NPCI declared UPI Safety and Awareness Week and Month.

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the UPI ecosystem have announced the UPI Safety and Awareness initiative in order to raise consumer awareness.
  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and its ecosystem of leading banks and fintech companies will observe UPI Safety and Awareness Week from February 1 to 7.
  • Entire month of February 2022 will be observed as 'UPI Safety and Awareness Month'.
  • Under this initiative, NPCI encourages all consumers to adopt the UPI Safety Shield concept, which was developed by the company to educate customers about UPI payments.
  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
    • It was formed in 2008 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
    • It is a “Not for Profit” Company headquartered in Mumbai.
    • Its MD & CEO is Dilip Asbe.
 
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Topic: Indian Economy

7. Union Budget for 2022-23 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

  • Union Budget for 2022-23 has been presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 01 February 2022.
  • Union Budget for 2022-23 was her second successive paperless budget.
  • Capital expenditure has been increased by 35.4% over the Budgetary Estimate of 2021-22.
  • Finance Minister said that India’s nominal GDP is expected to grow by 11.1% in the financial year 2022-23 over 2021-22.
  • In the Railway sector, the government will popularize One Station-One Product concept to help local businesses and supply chains.
  • Under Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem will be launched.
  • National Tele Mental Health Programme will be launched for quality mental health counselling. Two lakh Anganwadis will be upgraded to Saksham Anganwadi.
  • In 2022, the entire network of 1.5 lakh post offices will be brought under core banking system.
  • Scheduled Commercial Banks will set up 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) in 75 districts across the country to mark 75 years of independence.
  • ‘One-Nation One-Registration Software’ will be promoted under National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS).
  • Special Economic Zones Act will be replaced with new legislation.

Topic: Indian Economy

8. Government earmarks 68% of capital procurement budget for domestic defence industry in Budget 2022-23.

  • In Union Budget 2022-23, the government has earmarked 68% of capital procurement budget for the domestic defence industry.
  • It will reduce imports and promote AtmaNirbharta in equipment for the Armed Forces.
  • Defence R&D will be opened up for industry, startups and academia. 
  • Government has allocated additional 19,500 crore rupees under Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.
  • This allocation has been done to facilitate the domestic manufacturing industry for achieving the goal of 280 Gigawatt of installed solar capacity by 2030.    
  • In the Budget Estimates 2021-22, total expenditure was projected at 34.83 lakh crore rupees. Revised Estimate of total expenditure is 37.70 lakh crore rupees.
  • The Revised Estimate of capital expenditure is 6.03 lakh crore rupees.
  • In the Budget Estimates, total expenditure in 2022-23 is estimated at 39.45 lakh crore rupees.
  • The total receipts other than borrowings are estimated at 22.84 lakh crore rupees.
  • Alternate Minimum Tax has been reduced from 18.5% to 15%.
  • Edible oil, wearable electronics, imitation jewellery, polished diamond will be cheaper.
  • Tax relief has been announced to persons with disabilities. There is no change in personal income tax rates.

Topic: Indian Economy

9. Government set fiscal deficit target of 6.4% for FY 2022-23.

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Fiscal deficit is estimated to be 6.4% of GDP in 2022-23.
  • The government has set a target to reach a fiscal deficit level below 4.5% by 2025-26.
  • The Revised Fiscal Deficit in the current year is estimated at 6.9 % of GDP.
  • The Fiscal Deficit of the Government for 2022-23 is estimated to be Rs. 16, 61,196 crores. 
  • The capital expenditure will increase by 35.4% from Rs 5.54 lakh crore in the current year to Rs 7.50 lakh crore in 2022-23. It will be around 2.9% of GDP.
  • The ‘Effective Capital Expenditure’ of the Government will remain Rs. 10.68 lakh crore while total expenditure is estimated to be Rs 39.45 lakh crore.
  • The government borrowing for 2022-23 is estimated to be Rs 11,58,719 crores.
  • Note:
    • The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is called fiscal deficit.
    • Capital expenditure is the part of the government spending that goes into the creation of capital assets like schools, colleges, hospitals, railway lines, airports and seaports.

Fiscal deficit is estimated to be 6.4% of GDP in 2022-23

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

10. Government will issue e-passports with embedded chips.

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that government will issue e-passports with embedded chips and futuristic technology in 2022-23.
  • The e-passports will have an embedded chip that will contain all personal information of an individual. It will have 64 kilobytes of memory.
  • It will also have a digital signature that can be verified very easily.
  • e-passports will store information up to 30 visits. At present, passports are issued to the public in printed booklets.
  • This is the first time e-passports will be issued for common citizens.
  • e-passports were first announced in 2019 and the government has so far issued 20,000 official and diplomatic e-passports.
  • The e-passports will be produced at India Security Press in Nashik.

Topic: Indian Economy

11. Government proposed to reduce MAT for cooperative societies.

  • The government proposed to reduce the minimum alternative tax (MAT) for cooperative societies from the current 18.5 % to 15 %.
  • The government also proposed to reduce the surcharge from 12 % to 7 % on cooperative societies having total income of more than Rs 1 crore and up to Rs 10 crores.
  • At present, the cooperative societies pay MAT at the rate of 18.5 %, while the companies pay at the rate of 15 %.
  • Minimum Alternate Tax:
    • It was created to bring zero-tax paying companies within the ambit of income tax and make them pay a minimum amount in tax to the government.
    • The government of India introduced the concept of MAT in 1988.
    • Companies have to pay a certain % of their book profit as taxable income.

Topic: Banking System

12. RBI to issue digital currency based on blockchain technology in FY 2022-23.

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue Digital rupee backed by blockchain technology in FY 2022-23.
  • The central bank digital currency (CBDC) transaction will be done through wallets backed by the blockchain. It will be regulated by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • CBDC is different from decentralized virtual currencies and crypto currency.
  • It will enable a user to do both domestic and cross-border transactions.
  • Digital currency will give a boost to the digital economy and help in creating a more efficient and cheaper currency management system.
  • Digital currency will reduce printing costs, and decrease settlement risks.
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is planning to introduce CBDC in two variants- a wholesale account-based one and a retail account-based.
  • The government has also announced that any income from the transfer of digital assets will be taxed at a 30% rate.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

13. Government announced ‘PM-DevINE’ scheme for North East.

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East (PM-DevINE) scheme while presenting the Union Budget 2022-23.
  • The PM-DevINE scheme will be implemented through the North-Eastern Council.
  • The government has allocated Rs 1,500 crores for this new scheme.
  • The PM-DevINE scheme will fund infrastructure and social development projects in the North East.
  • The main objective of this scheme is to enable livelihood activities for youth and women and to fill the gaps in various sectors.
  • NECTAR Livelihood Improvement Project (Multi-State), Construction of Aizawl By-pas, Pilot Project for Construction of Bamboo Link Road, etc. will receive the funds under this scheme.

North-East (PM-DevINE) scheme

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Important Days

14. World Wetlands Day: 2 February

  • Every year 2 February is observed as World Wetlands Day to raise awareness about wetlands. It was first celebrated in 1997.
  • This day also marks the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands adopted in 1971.
  • ‘Wetlands Action for People and Nature’ is the theme of this year’s World Wetlands Day.
  • This theme has been chosen to highlight the importance of actions to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
  • The World Wetlands Day awareness campaign is organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands.
  • Wetland is an area of land that is either covered with water or saturated with water. It includes mangroves, deltas, floodplains, rice fields, coral reefs, etc.
  • Currently, 47 wetlands of India are under the Ramsar list.
 

 

 

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