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10 Sep, 2021

73 Min Read

Revenue Deficit grants for states

GS-III : Economic Issues Fiscal Policy

Revenue Deficit grants for states


  • The Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant is provided to the States under Article 275 of the Constitution.
  • The grants are being released as per the recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission in monthly instalments to meet the gap in the Revenue Accounts of the States post-devolution.
  • The Commission has recommended these grants to 17 States during 2021-22.
  • The eligibility of States to receive this grant and the quantum of the grant was decided by the Commission based on the gap between the assessment of revenue and expenditure of the State after taking into account the assessed devolution for the financial year 2021-22.
  • The Fifteenth Finance Commission has recommended a total Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant of Rs. 1,18,452 crore to 17 States in the financial year 2021-22. Out of this, an amount of Rs. 59,226.00 crores (50%) has been released so far.
  • The States recommended for PDRD Grant by the Fifteenth Finance Commission are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.

Recommendations made by the Fifteenth Finance Commission

Revenue deficit grants

  • As per FFC estimates, 25 of the 28 states face a total pre-tax devolution revenue deficit of Rs.6.43 trillion in 2020-21.
  • After accounting for the projected tax devolution to the states of Rs.8.55 trillion, 14 states garner a post-tax devolution revenue surplus of Rs.3.08 trillion, while the remaining 14 face a combined post-tax devolution revenue deficit of Rs.74,340 crore. These states have been compensated by the FFC.
  • The largest beneficiaries of the recommendation are Kerala ( Rs.15,323 crore), Himachal Pradesh ( Rs.11,431 crore), Punjab ( Rs.7,659 crore), Assam ( Rs.7,579 crore), Andhra Pradesh ( Rs.5,897 crore), Uttarakhand ( Rs.5,076 crore) and West Bengal ( Rs.5,013 crore).

Weightage of population and demographic performance

  • Since the FFC used 2011 Census data, the tax share of most southern states with low population growth rates, such as Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka, has come down, while the share of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra and Gujarat has gone up.
  • The FFC assigned 15% weight to the population of a state, down from the 17.5% allocated by the 14th Finance Commission while raising the weight under demographic performance from 10% to 12.5%.

Special grants & nutrition grants

  • The finance ministry has also asked the FFC to review its recommendations on special grants and nutrition grants to the states.
  • The commission had recommended special grants of Rs.6,764 crore for 2020-21 to ensure that no state receives less than what it received in FY20 on account of tax devolution and revenue deficit grants.
  • However, the Union finance ministry has requested the FFC to reconsider the recommendation, holding that “it introduces a new principle". The beneficiaries of the proposal were Karnataka, Mizoram and Telangana.

Source: PIB

PM SVANidhi Scheme for Street Vendors


PM SVANidhi Scheme for Street Vendors

  • PM SVANidhi is a Central Sector Scheme.
  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is implementing Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors’ Atma Nirbhar Nidhi Scheme (PM SVANidhi) since June 01, 2020, to facilitate the working capital loan of up? 10,000 of 1-year tenure to Street Vendors, vending in urban areas, to resume their businesses, adversely impacted by the pandemic.

  • On prepayment or repayment, they are eligible for an enhanced working capital loan of upto ?20,000 and ?50,000 in the second and third tranches respectively.
  • In addition, ‘SVANidhi se Samriddhi’ initiative, designed to build safety net for the beneficiaries’ families by linking them to existing socio-economic welfare schemes of Government of India. It was launched in January 2021 for 125 select cities.
  • As on July 26, 2021, 43.1 lakh loan applications have been received, out of these 25.2 lakh loans have been sanctioned and 22.7 lakh loans amounting to ?2,243 crore have been disbursed.
  • In addition, Socio-economic profiling of 5.1 lakh beneficiaries along with their family members has been completed and 1.5 lakh scheme benefits have been extended.
  • This scheme targets to benefit over 50 lakh Street Vendors.
  • On timely/ early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy @ 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer on quarterly basis.
  • There will be no penalty on early repayment of loan.
  • The scheme promotes digital transactions through cash back incentives up to an amount of Rs. 100 per month.
  • Street Vendors engaged in vending in urban areas as on or before March 24, 2020 are eligible for benefit under PM SVANidhi Scheme.
  • The eligible vendors are identified as per following criteria:
  1. Street vendors in possession of Certificate of Vending / Identity Card issued by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs);
  2. The vendors, who have been identified in the survey but have not been issued Certificate of Vending / Identity Card;
  3. Street Vendors, left out of the ULB led identification survey or who have started vending after completion of the survey and have been issued Letter of Recommendation (LoR) to that effect by the ULB / Town Vending Committee (TVC); and
  4. The vendors of surrounding development/ peri-urban / rural areas vending in the geographical limits of the ULBs and have been issued Letter of Recommendation (LoR) to that effect by the ULB / TVC.


  • A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), in order to engage SIDBI as the Implementation Agency for PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) - a Special Micro-Credit Facility for Street Vendors.
  • SIDBI will implement the PM SVANidhi Scheme under the guidance of MoHUA.
  • It will also manage the credit guarantee to the lending institutions through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE).
  • It will develop and maintain a customized and integrated IT Platform providing end-to-end solutions, including documentation of all the processes and workflows for an end-to-end solution, through a Portal and a Mobile App, to ensure engagement and information flow between Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), Lending Institutions, Digital Payment Aggregators and other stakeholders.
  • It will leverage the network of lending Institutions like Scheduled Commercials Banks (SCBs), Non-Bank Finance Companies (NBFCs), Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), Co-operative Banks, Small Finance Banks (SFBs), Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), etc. for the Scheme implementation.
  • With a view to ensure effective implementation, SIDBI shall also provide a Project Management Unit (PMU), comprising of domain experts in training/ capacity building, project and platform management, Information Education and Communication (IEC), banking, NBFC and MFI sectors etc., for the period of PM SVANidhi i.e. upto March 2022.

Special drive for Digital onboarding of street vendors

  • Pilot run of the ‘special drive for Digital onboarding of street vendors under PM SVANidhischeme’was launched today.
  • The drive launched today is in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”.
  • The special drive aims to accelerate on-boarding of street vendors on the UPI QR code and handhold them to start accepting/making digital payment transactions.
  • Five major aggregators including Paytm, Phone Pe, Bharat Pe, Mswipe and Aceware have agreed to participate in 45 days special drive for digitally onboarding the street vendors with BHIM-UPI QR code on pro-bono basis.
  • The drive will cover 223 cities across the country with around 8,68,184 street vendors to be onboarded under various urban local bodies.
  • Digital Payment Aggregators will educate the street vendors about the benefits of digital payments such as convenience, increased operational efficiency, seamless transfer of funds, cost saving, transparency and security.
  • They will also hand hold the street vendors by performing penny drop transaction and any further support that is required to accept/ pay digitally.
  • Digital footprints including digital payment transactions and loan repayment data under the scheme would help in credit profiling of street vendors.
  • This will enable inclusion of street vendors in the formal credit ecosystem, and help in driving financial inclusion of unorganized sector.
  • This will enable inclusion of Street Vendors in the formal credit ecosystem, and help in driving financial inclusion of the unorganized sector.
  • In recent years, a significant rise in use of digital payments has been observed.
  • Contactless digital payment modes including BHIM UPI, Rupay contactless etc, has significant role to facilitate social distancing, for prevention of Covid-19.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has catazalyzed behavioural changes in citizens for adoption of digital payments, as reflected in the tremendous growth in BHIM UPI transactions from 99.95 crore in April 2020 to 355.55 crore in August-2021.
  • During the coronavirus crisis, digital payments, particularly BHIM UPI has played a significant role in keeping economy running by supporting commerce and business.

Source: PIB

Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) System

GS-III : Economic Issues Defense industry

Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) System

  • In a significant boost to India’s defence capabilities, the first deliverable Firing Unit (FU) of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) System was handed over to Indian Air Force (IAF).

  • The MRSAM (IAF) is an advanced network-centric combat Air Defence System developed jointly by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with the Indian industry comprising private and public sectors including MSMEs.
  • The MRSAM system provides point and area air defence for ground assets against a wide range of threats including fighter aircraft, UAVs, helicopters, guided and unguided munitions, sub-sonic & supersonic cruise missiles etc.
  • It is capable of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 km in severe saturation scenarios.
  • The State of the art missile system is powered by an indigenously developed rocket motor and control system for achieving high manoeuvrability during the terminal phase.

  • The Raksha Mantri described the development of the MRSAM system as a shining example of the close partnership between India and Israel, adding that handing over of the system to IAF has taken this decades-old friendship to greater heights.
  • The Raksha Mantri reiterated the Government’s resolve to strengthen the security infrastructure of the country to deal with any challenges arising out of the rapidly changing global strategic scenario.
  • He stated that the modernisation of the Armed Forces and building a self-reliant defence industry are being accorded top priority.
  • Stressing on the need for a strong military, he said Government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the security and overall development of the country.
  • He listed out the measures taken by the Government, including
  1. Setting up of Defence Industrials Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu;
  2. The corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board;
  3. Notification of two positive indigenisation lists of over 200 items to increase exports and Transfer of Technology (ToT) by DRDO to the private sector.

Source: PIB

13th BRICS Summit 2021

GS-II : International organisation BRICS

13th BRICS Summit 2021

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will chair the 13th BRICS Summit on 9 September 2021 in virtual format.
  • The theme for the Summit is ‘BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus’.

  • India had outlined four priority areas for its Chairship. These are
    • Reform of the Multilateral System,
    • Counter Terrorism,
    • Using Digital and Technological Tools for achieving SDGs and
    • Enhancing People to People exchanges.
  • In addition to these areas, the leaders will also exchange views on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other current global and regional issues.
  • This is the second time Prime Minister Modi will be chairing the BRICS Summit. Earlier he had chaired the Goa Summit in 2016.
  • The Indian Chairship of BRICS this year coincides with the fifteenth anniversary of BRICS, as reflected in the theme for the Summit.
  • The priority under this pillar are:
    • BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy 2020-25 – Implementation of this strategy will be discussed.
    • BRICS Agriculture Research Platform – The platform’s operations will be discussed.
    • Cooperation on Disaster Resilience
    • Innovation Cooperation
    • Digital Health and Traditional Medicine
  • Cultural and People to People – The cultural and personal exchanges always enhance intra-group bonding and the BRICS 13th Summit is set to discuss the same.

Salient Features of 13th BRICS Summit

  • The 13th BRICS summit held virtually called for an “inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue” for stability in Afghanistan.
  • The virtual summit, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was dominated by the developments in Afghanistan, and adopted the BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan.
  • With the agreement on Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation between our space agencies, a new chapter of cooperation has begun.
  • The discussion on Afghanistan at the event attended by the leaders of India, Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa was held against the backdrop of the Taliban announcing an interim government in Kabul.
  • The BRICS leaders called for “settling the situation by peaceful means”, and condemned the terrorist attacks at the Hamid Karzai International Airport which killed at least 100 persons, including several U.S. military personnel.
  • “We stress the need to contribute to fostering an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue so as to ensure stability, civil peace, law and order in the country. We underscore the priority of fighting terrorism, including preventing attempts by terrorist organisations to use Afghan territory as terrorist sanctuary and to carry out attacks against other countries,” declared a joint statement issued at the end of the summit.
  • The document, titled the New Delhi Declaration, also called for addressing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, and urged the need to uphold rights of women, children and minorities.
  • The meeting gave an opportunity to the BRICS countries to discuss the situation in Afghanistan especially as two of the five members — Russia and China — continue to have a diplomatic presence in Kabul where an interim Taliban government is expected to take formal charge in few days.
  • BRICS countries are evidently divided on engagement with the Taliban with Russia and China adopting a proactive policy on the issue. A Russian media report said the Taliban has invited Turkey, Qatar, China and Iran for the swearing-in ceremony.

Source: PIB

India Rankings 2021 NIRF

GS-III : Economic Issues Education

India Rankings 2021 NIRF

  • India Rankings 2021 is instituted by National Institutional Ranking Framework.
  • This is the sixth consecutive edition of India Rankings of HEIs in India.''

  • During its maiden year in 2016, rankings were announced for the University category as well as for three domain-specific rankings, namely Engineering, Management and Pharmacy institutions.
  • Over the period of six years, three new categories and five new subject domains were added.
  • Now the total tally is four categories, namely Overall, University, College and Research Institutions and 7 subjects, namely Engineering, Management, Pharmacy, Architecture, Medical, Law and Dental in 2021.
  • Research institutions have been ranked for the first time in India Rankings 2021.
  • The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), launched in November 2015 by the Ministry of Education, was used for this edition as well as for the past five editions of India Rankings released for the years 2016 to 2021.

Parameters for NIRF India Rankings 2021

  • Teaching, Learning & Resources
  • Research and Professional Practice
  • Graduation Outcomes
  • Outreach and Inclusivity
  • Perception

Five Broad Categories of Parameters and Weightage

  • Each of these five parameters has 2 to 5 sub-parameters.
  • A total number of 16 – 18 sub-parameters are used for ranking of HEIs in different categories and subject domains.
  • Ranks are assigned based on the total sum of marks assigned for each of these five broad groups of parameters.
  • In addition to parameters used for the Overall category, the following two additional sub-parameters were included in the methodology developed afresh for ranking institutions under “Research Institutions”:
  1. Research Papers published in journals covered in the First Quartile of Journal Citation Report (JCRQ1); and
  2. H Index.
  • Besides, sourcing data on various parameters from applicant institutions, third-party sources of data have also been used, wherever possible. Scopus (Elsevier Science) and Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) were used for retrieving publications and citation data. Derwent Innovation was used for retrieving data on patents. Data retrieved from these sources was shared with the institutions for transparency with a provision to give their inputs.

Key Highlights of India Rankings 2021:

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras retains 1st Position in Overall Category as well as in Engineering for the third consecutive year.
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru tops the University as well as Research Institution category introduced for the first time in India Rankings 2021.
  • IIM Ahmedabad tops in Management subject and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi occupies the top slot in Medical for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Jamia Hamdard tops the list in Pharmacy subject for the third consecutive year.
  • Miranda College retains 1st position amongst colleges for the fifth consecutive year.
  • IIT Roorkee takes the top slot for the first time in Architecture subject displacing IIT Kharagpur.
  • National Law School of India University, Bangalore retains its first position for in Law for the fourth consecutive years.
  • Colleges in Delhi dominate the ranking of colleges with five colleges out of first 10 colleges from Delhi.
  • Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal, secure 1st position in “Dental” category.

Source: PIB

India’s 1st indigenous Coal gasification to Methanol plant at Hyderabad

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Renewable Energy

India’s 1st indigenous Coal gasification to Methanol plant at Hyderabad

  • Methanol is utilized as a motor fuel, to power ship engines, and to generate clean power all over the world.
  • Methanol is also used to generate di-methyl ether (DME), a liquid fuel that is very similar to diesel — existing diesel engines simply need to be minimally changed to use DME instead of diesel.

  • The majority of worldwide methanol production is derived from Natural Gas, which is a relatively easy process.
  • Since India doesn’t have much of the natural gas reserves, producing methanol from imported natural gas lead to outflow of foreign exchange and sometimes uneconomical due to excessive prices of natural gas.
  • The next best option is to utilise India's abundant coal. However, due to the high ash percentage of Indian coal, most internationally accessible technology will not be adequate for our demands.
  • To address this issue, the BHEL R&D centre at Hydrabad began working on Indian high ash coal gasification in 2016 with support from the NITI Aayog to produce 0.25 tons per day of methanol.
  • The project was supported by the Department of Science and Technology with a Rs 10 crore grant.
  • With four years of hard work BHEL successfully demonstrated a facility to create 0.25 TPD Methanol from high ash Indian coal using a 1.2 TPD Fluidized bed gasifier. The methanol purity of the crude methanol produced is between 98 and 99.5 per cent.
  • During this inaugural run which took place yesterday the Hon’ble Member of NITI Aayog Dr V K Saraswat, Chairman BHEL Sh. Nalin Shinghal along with BHEL’s Coal Gasification team were present to witness India's first demonstration plant of its kind, designed entirely in-house to work on high-ash Indian coal.
  • This in-house capability will assist India's Coal Gasification Mission and Coal to Hydrogen Production for Hydrogen Mission.”

Source: PIB

Deficit: Fiscal Deficit, Revenue Deficit and Primary Deficit

Types of deficits & how they are calculated Fiscal Deficit: The excess of total expenditure over total receipts excluding borrowings is called Fiscal Deficit. In other words, the Fiscal Deficit gives the amount needed by the government to meet its expenses. Thus a large Fiscal Deficit means a large number… Read More

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