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02 Jul, 2021

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9 European countries gave recognition to Covishield for Green pass

GS-II : International treaties and conventions European union

9 European countries gave recognition to Covishield for the Green pass

  • Nine European countries have given recognition to the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
  • European Union (EU) started the “Green Pass” facility, which will allow people vaccinated with an authorised set of vaccines to travel within its zone, covering 27 countries.
  • The nine countries’ move is a “national” move by them and not by the EU, headquartered in Brussels.
  • The EU member-states that have recognised Covishield include Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland and Spain.
  • Estonia has confirmed that it would recognise all the vaccines authorised by the Government of India for the travel of Indians.
  • As a Schengen state, Switzerland, though not an EU member, allows Covishield.
  • Germany, however, has a travel ban in place for Indians as India has been recognised as a “virus variant country.”

Issue of Green Pass with European Union

  • India took issue with the European Union’s plans to institute a “green pass” from July 1, with government sources warning that India will introduce a “reciprocal policy” only allowing ease of travel for those European countries that recognise Indian vaccines Covishield and Covaxin.
  • The African Union had also issued a letter of protest over the EU proposal saying that it promoted “inequality” for those from India and “lower-income” countries for whom the Covishield vaccine was the “backbone” of the international COVAX alliance programme.
  • Those vaccinated with Covishield, the version of the AstraZeneca vaccine being manufactured in India by SII, are not eligible for the EU Digital Covid certificate or “green pass”.
  • It is an immunity document to ease travel within and to the 27-member bloc. It will be in place by July 1.
  • Comirnaty of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca’s Vaxzervria and Janssen by Johnson & Johnson are the only four Covid-19 vaccines approved by EMA, which have received EU-wide marketing authorisation.
  • Covishield is also a version of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine and is being manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India.

What is the EU Digital Covid Certificate?

  • An EU Digital Covid Certificate is digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, received a negative test result or recovered from Covid-19.
  • The certificate is both in digital and paper format, comes with a QR code is free of charge, is in the national language and English, is safe and secure and valid in all EU countries.

How can one get the certificate?

  • National authorities are in charge of issuing the certificate, for example, it could be issued by test centres or health authorities or directly via an eHealth portal.
  • The digital version can be stored on a mobile device and at the same people can also request a paper version.
  • Both versions will have a QR code with essential information and a digital signature to make sure the certificate is authentic.
  • The EU Digital Covid Certificate holder should in principle be exempted from free movement restrictions when travelling and member states should refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on them.

Can unvaccinated people travel to another EU country?

  • Yes. The EU Digital Covid Certificate should facilitate free movement inside the EU. It will not be a pre-condition to free movement, which is a fundamental right in the EU.
  • The EU Digital Covid Certificate will also prove the results of testing, which is often required under applicable public health restrictions. The certificate is an opportunity for member states to adjust the existing restrictions on public health grounds.
  • The currently applicable recommendation on coordinating free movement restrictions in the EU will also be amended by mid-June with a view to the holiday season.

Source: TH

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

GS-II : International Relations Indian Ocean diplomacy

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

  • The 7th edition of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a biennial event, was hosted by the French Navy at La Réunion from 28 June to 01 July 2021.
  • IONS, conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008, seeks to enhance maritime cooperation among Navies of the littoral states of the IOR by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues that would lead to a common understanding of the way ahead.
  • The chairmanship of IONS has been held by India (2008-10), UAE (2010-12), South Africa (2012-14), Australia (2014-16), Bangladesh (2016-18) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (2018-21).
  • France assumed the Chairmanship on 29 Jun 21 for a two-year tenure.
  • IONS Conclave of Chiefs (CoC) is the decision-making body at the level of Chiefs of Navies, which meets biennially. 6th IONS and CoC was conducted by Iran Navy in April 2018 in Tehran. Owing to the pandemic, the CoC 2021, will be hosted by French Navy later this year.

Source: PIB

Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for IT Hardware

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government policies and interventions

Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for IT Hardware

  • Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and his visionary initiatives like the “Digital India” and “Make in India” programmes, India has witnessed unprecedented growth in electronics manufacturing in the last five years.
  • The National Policy on Electronics 2019 envisions positioning India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) by focusing on size and scale, promoting exports and enhancing domestic value addition by creating an enabling environment for the industry to compete globally.

National Policy on Electronics, 2019

Mission and Objective

  • The Policy envisions positioning India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing - (ESDM) by promoting domestic manufacturing, skill development, start-up, export eco-system and improving ease of doing business for the ESDM industry.
  • It aims to achieve a turnover of $400 billion and generate 1 crore jobs in the ESDM sector by 2025.


  • Creating eco-system for globally competitive ESDM sector- by encouraging domestic manufacturing through consistent tax incentives, establishing Electronic
  • Manufacturing Clusters, promoting Defence Offsets and sub-sectors like semi-conductor facilities, display fabrication units etc.
  • Developing and Mandating Standards in the sector- which would include an institutional mechanism for the participation of all stakeholders (Govt, Industry, Academia, Experts) and mandatory compliance in the field of electronics goods, including cyber security.
  • Promoting Ease-of-doing Business- by facilitating a single window mechanism for global investors using existing mechanisms like Invest India, National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency.
  • Encourage Industry-led R&D and Innovation- in all sub-sectors of electronics. This would encompass support to various initiatives in areas like 5G, IoT/ Sensors, Artificial Intelligence etc.
  • Human Resource Development- by generating a research base at PhD level, opportunities for joint IPRs to Indian candidates at foreign institutions, and work closely with all agencies (Centre and State).
  • Export Promotion- by providing an attractive package of incentives so that exporters can compete in global markets.
  • Promote Trusted Electronics Value Chain- to improve national cyber security profile and control its supply chain across national defence and critical national infra like energy grids, digital economy etc.
  • Promote Cyber Security- by enhanced understanding of cyber security issues, and risks; development of testing facilities, photonics, nano-based devices etc by the start-ups.
  • Developing Core Competencies in the sub-sectors of Electronics- such as the Indian Fabless Chip Design Industry, Medical Electronic Devices Industry, Automotive Electronics Industry, Power Electronics for Mobility and Strategic Electronics Industry.
  • Promotion of Electronic Components Manufacturing Ecosystem- by providing incentives for lithium-ion cells, chip components, fuel cells, optical fibre, solar cells etc.
  • Promotion of Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) Industry- including Engineering & Design of PCBs, Functional testing, Maintenance services like warranty and repair services etc.
  • Mega Projects- by providing a special package which would invite extremely high-tech and huge investments in areas like semiconductor facilities, display fabrication etc.

Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for IT Hardware

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology (MeitY) has approved 14 eligible applicants under the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for IT Hardware.
  • PLI Scheme for IT Hardware notified on 3rd March 2021, extends an incentive of 4% to 2%/1% on net incremental sales (over base year of FY 2019-20) of goods under target segments that are manufactured in India to eligible companies, for a period of four years (FY2021-22 to FY 2024-25).
  • The target segments under the PLI Scheme for IT Hardware include Laptops, Tablets, All-in-One Personal Computers (PCs) and Servers.
  • The scheme proposes production-linked incentives to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the value chain of these IT Hardware products.
  • Four companies have been selected under the category IT Hardware Companies which include Dell, ICT (Wistron), Flextronics and Rising Stars Hi-Tech (Foxconn).
  • Under the category of Domestic Companies, 10 companies namely Lava International Limited, Dixon Technologies (India) Limited, Info power Technologies (JV of Sahasra and MiTAC), Bhagwati (Micromax) Neolync, Optiemus, Netweb, Smile Electronics, VVDN and Panache Digilife have been approved.

Advantages of PLI Scheme on IT Hardware

  • The scheme will generate additional direct employment opportunities of more than 36,000 in the next 4 years along with the creation of additional indirect employment of nearly 3 times the direct employment.
  • Domestic Value Addition is expected to grow from the current 10-15% to 25-30%.
  • PLI Schemes will help in making India a globally competitive destination for electronics manufacturing and create domestic champions to further our mission of achieving an AtmaNirbhar Bharat.

National Software Products Policy

Missions of the Policy

  • To promote the creation of a sustainable Indian software product industry, driven by intellectual property (IP), leading to a ten-fold increase in the share of the Global Software product market by 2025.
  • To nurture 10,000 technology startups in the software product industry, including 1000 such startups in Tier-II and Tier-III towns & cities and generate direct and indirect employment for 3.5 million people by 2025.
  • To create a talent pool for the software product industry through
    1. Up-skilling of 10 lakh IT professionals
    2. Motivating 1 lakh school and college students
    3. Specialise 10,000 professionals that can provide leadership.
    4. To build a cluster-based innovation driven ecosystem by developing 20 sectoral and strategically located software product development clusters.
    5. For the implementation of this policy, National Software Products Mission will be set up with participation from Government, Academia and Industry.
  • Promoting Software Products Business Ecosystem by
  1. Creation of an Indian Software Product Registry will act as a common pool of Indian Software Products thereby providing a trusted trade environment.
  2. Facilitating active participation of software companies in Capital Market.
  3. Creation of a Single Window Platform.
  4. Evolving a Classification System for Indian Software Products.
  • Promoting Entrepreneurship & Innovation for Employment by
  1. Initiating a programme of incubation- to provide all kinds of support so as to nurture at least 10,000 software product startups.
  2. Initiating a Programme to support Research and Innovation on Software Products in Institutes of Higher Learning and Research to bridge the existing gaps in Industry-Academia research.
  3. Creating a dedicated Software Product Development Fund (SPDF)- it will have a corpus of Rs. 1000 crore in the form of Fund of Funds and participate in venture fund
  • Skilling and Human Resource Development by
  1. Using a FutureSkills Programme- for upskilling/re-skilling of 3 million IT Professionals in emerging technologies.
  2. Initiating a national “Talent Accelerator” programme- to motivate school and college students.
  3. Creating a talent pool of 10,000 committed software product leaders
  • Improving Access to Domestic Market and Cross Border Trade Promotion by
  1. Integrating the registry of Indian software products with the Government e-market (GeM)
  2. Encouraging Indian Product Startups/ MSMEs through hackathons.
  • Implementation Mechanism such as
  1. Establish a “National Software Product Mission (NSPM)”- design appropriate strategy, recommend specific policy measures, recommend specific initiatives, and monitor and collate various initiatives.
  2. Include various MEITy’s organizations in the implementation- such as Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), National Informatics Centre (NIC) etc.

Source: PIB

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