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Monthly DNA

20 Sep, 2022

34 Min Read


GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government Schemes & Programmes


The INSPIRE Awards - MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) 9th National Level Exhibition and Project Competition (NLEPC) recently began.

The INSPIRE Award is for innovation in science pursuit of inspired research.


  • It is being carried out by DST (Department of Science and Technology) in conjunction with National Innovation Foundation - India (NIF), an independent DST agency, and is in line with the "Start-up India" initiative.
  • In accordance with this, pupils are invited from all public and private schools nationwide, regardless of the educational boards (national and state).
  • They would receive financial assistance of Rs 10,000 each so they could create prototypes of the ideas they submitted for the program.
  • They then participated in the corresponding District Level Exhibition and Project Competition (DLEPC), State Level Exhibition and Project Competition (SLEPC), and eventually the National Level Exhibition and Project Competition (NLEPC).
  • To inspire kids to think critically and innovate in the future.


  • To encourage a culture of creativity and inventive thinking among schoolchildren, we want to target one million unique ideas/innovations with scientific and societal implications.
  • To use science and technology to address societal challenges while fostering the development of tomorrow's sensitive, accountable, and innovative leaders.

How well do we understand the INSPIRE Scheme?

  • One of the Ministry of Science and Technology's premier initiatives is the INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) program.
  • Its goal is to inspire young people in the nation to pursue science in a creative way, to draw talent to the subject at a young age, and to create the crucial human resource pool needed to strengthen and grow the country's scientific and technology system and research and development foundation.
  • Since 2010, the INSPIRE program has been effectively implemented by the Indian government. The program has five components and is available to students between the ages of 10 and 32.
  • One of its elements is the MANAK category of the INSPIRE Awards.

What other initiatives are related to this?

Draft National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, 2020

  • In order to spur socio-economic development in the nation and increase the competitiveness of the Indian STI ecosystem on a global scale, it aims to identify and solve the strengths and weaknesses of the Indian Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) ecosystem.


  • It is a program created specifically for female scientists to reduce gender disparity in science and engineering research in various S&T (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs at Indian academic institutions and Research and Development (R&D) laboratories.

Swarna Jayanti Fellowship:

  • This program offers specific help and support to a small group of promising young researchers so they can pursue fundamental studies in cutting-edge fields of science and technology.

Source: pib

National Technical Textiles Mission

GS-III : Economic Issues Industry

National Technical Textiles Mission

Under the National Technical Textiles Mission, the Ministry of Textiles recently approved 23 key research projects costing roughly Rs 60 crores in Specialty Fibers, Sustainable Textiles, Geotextiles, Mobiltech, and Sports Textiles.

Details about the news

  • The research initiatives cost about 60 crores of rupees.
  • 12 Specialty Fibers Projects with Applications in Agriculture, Smart Textiles, Healthcare, Strategic Application, and Protective Gears were Approved from Among These 23 Research Projects.
  • Four sustainable textile projects with applications in the agricultural and healthcare sectors were approved.
  • One project from Mobiltech, one from Sportech, and five projects from Geotextile were approved.

The National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM): What do we know?

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved it in 2020 with a total outlay of Rs. 1480 crore.
  • The four-year implementation term runs from the fiscal years 2020–21 to 2023–24.
  • Goal: By increasing the local market's size from USD 40 billion to USD 50 billion by 2024, the mission's goal is to establish India as a global leader in technical textiles.
  • Additionally, it backs the "Make in India" initiative, which encourages domestic production of relevant machinery and equipment.


  • First element: With a budget of Rs. 1,000 crores, it will concentrate on research, development, and innovation.
  • The study will focus on the creation of biodegradable technical textiles as well as geo, agro, medicinal, sports, and mobile textiles at the fibre level.
  • Additionally, the development of domestic machinery and process equipment will be the main focus of research operations.
  • The market for technical textiles will be promoted and developed as the second component.
  • In contrast to wealthy nations, where the penetration of technical textiles is between 30 and 70%, India has a low level, between 5 and 10%.
  • By 2024, the Mission intends to have an average annual growth of 15% to 20%.
  • The third component will concentrate on export promotion in order to increase technical textile exports from the nation from Rs 14,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore by 2021–2022, and to guarantee an annual average growth rate of 10% until the Mission is completed.
  • There will be established an export promotion council for technological textiles.
  • It will emphasise education, training, and skill development as its fourth component.
  • The Mission will support technical education pertaining to technical textiles and their application fields at higher engineering and technology levels.

Situation in the Textile Industry:

  • In India, the growth of technological textiles has accelerated over the previous five years and is currently rising at a pace of 8% annually.
  • It aspires to accelerate this growth over the course of the following five years to a range of 15-20%.

  • According to estimates, the Indian technical textiles market is about USD 16 billion, or roughly 6% of the USD 250 billion worldwide technical textiles market.
  • The USA, western Europe, China, and Japan (20–40% share) are the major players.

Issues in the Textile Industry:

  • Raw material shortage: The closure of several factories in China and Europe owing to pollution problems has led to an unprecedented increase in the price of essential raw materials in global markets.
  • Cost of raw materials is rising as a result of the shutdown of numerous facilities in China owing to pollution regulations.
  • Strict labour laws: India's system of labour laws is quite intricate. Over 200 labour laws exist, comprising 25% of Central Acts. Several labour laws, like the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, place restrictions on business size and prevent manufacturing companies from expanding.
  • Demand to adhere to strict social and environmental standards: As pressure grows for the apparel sector to step up environmental compliance efforts, failure to do so can jeopardise the supply chain.
  • Infrastructure bottlenecks: India's subpar infrastructure has been a significant barrier. As a result of the practise of physical labour, there is inefficiency.
  • Highly fragmented: The unorganised sector and small and medium-sized businesses dominate India's textile industry, which is highly fragmented.
  • Regional disparities: The textile industry of the nation is mainly concentrated in a few areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the south and Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west. These units mostly hire people from West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh as their source of labour.

Implementation & Governance:

A three-tier institutional system, consisting of the following, will be used to carry out the mission:

  • Mission Steering Committee: The group will be given the authority to approve all financial standards with regard to the mission's plans, components, and programme.
  • All technological and scientific research projects related to the mission will need to be approved by the group.
  • Empowered Programme Committee: The committee will be tasked with approving any initiatives (apart from research projects) that fall within the scope of various programmes and their allotted budgets, as determined by the Mission Steering Group.
  • The committee will also be tasked with overseeing how the mission's various components are being carried out.
  • Technical Textiles Committee on Research, Development, and Innovation: This committee will be in charge of selecting research projects and recommending them to the Mission Steering Group for approval.
  • These initiatives will be focused on important fields including atomic energy, space exploration, security, and defence.

Additional government programmes for the textile industry

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Textile Sector:

  • The government approved the PLI Scheme for textile products, including MMF Apparel, MMF Fabrics, and Products of Technical Textiles, with an approved financial outlay of Rs 10,683 crore over a five-year period in order to improve India's manufacturing capabilities and enhance exports.
  • The incentive will be provided for 5 years after the first year of post-investment operation during the investment period of 2 years.


  • The purpose of the PLI programme for textiles is to encourage the manufacture of high-quality Man-Made Fibre (MMF) fabrics, apparel, and technological textiles.

PM MITRA Park Scheme

  • The seven Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (PM MITRA) parks will be built on greenfield or brownfield properties spread across various states.
  • It is consistent with the "Atma Nirbhar Bharat" concept and positions India prominently on the world textiles map.
  • It will be created by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will be a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the State Government of India and the Government of India.
  • It draws inspiration from the Indian Prime Minister's 5F vision. The "5F" Formula includes:
  • farm to fibre;
  • fibre to factory;
  • factory to fashion;
  • fashion to foreign.


  • The Ministry of Textiles published The New Textiles Policy 2020 for the sector's overall development.
  • The government has approved 100% FDI through the automatic route in the industry.
  • The "Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (SCBTS)" is a new skill-development programe that was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

Way Forward

  • In the area of technical textiles, the nation needs to close its technological gap.
  • The key focus areas should be the identification of the technical textiles research area in conjunction with industry interaction and promotional activities like conferences, exhibitions, and buyer-seller meetings in order to promote the use of technical textiles in the nation and to increase exports.

Source: The Economic Times

National Logistics Policy 2022

GS-III : Economic Issues Infrastructure

National Logistics Policy 2022

The National Logistics Policy 2022 was just unveiled by the Prime Minister.

Prime Directives

  • Goal: To facilitate seamless cross-country flow of products and services while reducing high logistical costs, which are frequently cited as India's major structural trade bottlenecks.

The logistics industry:

  • Planning, coordinating, storing, and transferring resources—people, inventories, equipment, raw materials, etc.—from one place to another, from production points to consumption, distribution, or other production locations, are all included in logistics.
  • Policy objectives: To measure the policy's success, it has straightforward but transformative objectives.
  • By 2030, cut the cost of logistics from 14–18% of GDP to 8%, the level recommended by international standards.
  • The logistics cost-to-GDP ratio is very low in countries like the US, South Korea, Singapore, and several European countries.
  • By 2030, raise the nation's Logistics Performance Index (LPI) rating to one of the top 25.
  • To enable a productive logistics environment, develop data-driven decision support systems (DSS).
  • The goal of the programme is to ensure that logistical problems are kept to a minimum, exports increase greatly, and small businesses and the people who work in them significantly profit.

Four essential elements make up the New Logistics Policy:

  • Digital system integration (IDS): The IDS integrates 30 separate systems from seven agencies, including data from the departments of road transportation, railroads, customs, aviation, and commerce.
  • The Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP) will consolidate all digital services associated with the transportation industry into a single site, relieving exporters of a number of extremely time-consuming and onerous procedures.
  • Ease of Logistics (ELOG): A new digital platform called E-Logs, which stands for "Ease of Logistics Services," has also been introduced.
  • This will enable businesses to raise operational issues with government organisations directly for a quick resolution.
  • System Improvement Group (SIG): Regularly track and address all logistics-related projects' challenges.


  • It is the first comprehensive framework of its sort for the $150 billion logistics industry in the nation.
  • The government's efforts to establish a favourable ecology in the logistics industry span eight years and the new logistics policy marks its conclusion.
  • Construction of new infrastructure and increased jobs are anticipated benefits of the policy.
  • Not only will corporate operations become simpler as the logistics industry is strengthened, but it will also result in a significant increase in employment, better earnings, and better working conditions.
  • When used in conjunction with other initiatives, such as the Gati Shakti Programme, the Sagarmala and Bharatmala (road and canal) schemes, the Dedicated Freight Corridors, etc., the NLP has the potential to be transformative.
  • Both the ease of doing business and the ease of living will be significantly improved.
  • Helps India Become a Developed Nation: Everything should be competitive since India is determined to become an established nation and must now compete more with developed nations.


  • Rail industry: If the logistics cost is to be cut in half to international standards, the rail sector must quickly address its numerous structural flaws.
  • Speed: The typical freight train speed has been 25 kph for decades; it urgently has to be boosted to 50 kph.
  • Railways must have a goods operation that is based on a timetable.
  • To get access to the high-value small-load market, it must transform into an aggregator of freight at the source and a disaggregation at the destination (as against rake-load goods)
  • Waterways: The capacity of Indian ports has greatly grown in recent years, and the average turnaround time for container ships has decreased from 44 to 26 hours.
  • We can convey people and goods efficiently and environmentally through rivers.
  • The Chinese river ports can teach us important lessons.
  • Roads: The road logistics industry is utterly fragmented, and the majority of truck owners have relatively tiny fleets.
  • State logistics policies have previously been developed in certain states, including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • 13 states' logistics plans are still in the draught stage.

Rank of the Logistics Performance Index (LPI):

  • India's economy is the fifth-largest in the world.
  • It must strive to rank among the top 10 in the LPI by 2030 if it is to make the rapid progress necessary to become one of the top three economies and join the group of developed countries.

Way Forward

  • The logistics industry has grown stronger as a result of technological use.
  • E-sanchit: It has been implementing faceless customs assessment and facilitating paperless export-import trading processes.
  • One of the important milestones on India's path to becoming a manufacturing powerhouse is casting the policy.
  • Efficiency in logistics can promote a nation's exports, domestic manufacturing, and the attract foreign investors.
  • India's goal to have a $5 trillion GDP will depend significantly on the development of its infrastructure.

Source: The Economic Times


GS-III : Economic Issues Government policies and interventions

PM Promotion of Alternate Nutrients for Agriculture Management (PRANAM) Yojana

The Union government plans to implement a program called PM PRANAM to encourage states to use less chemical fertiliser.

Important Points:

  • The goal is to reduce the cost of subsidies for chemical fertilisers, which is projected to increase by 39% to Rs 2.25 lakh crore by 2022–23 from Rs 1.62 lakh crore in 2017.
  • Vision: The action is consistent with the government's recent efforts to promote the balanced use of fertilisers or alternative fertilisers.
  • Budget: The program won't have a separate budget; instead, it will be funded by savings from fertiliser subsidies received in the past through a program managed by the Department of Fertilizers.
  • The state that saves the money will receive a grant of 50% of the subsidy savings.
  • Alternative fertilizer production facilities at the village, block, and district levels are eligible to receive up to 70% of the grant money offered under the program.
  • The remaining 30% of the grant money can be used for: Recognizing and supporting farmers, panchayats, farmer producer organizations, and self-help groups who are engaged in reducing fertilizer use and raising awareness.

The Scheme's Need

  • Increased Spending Needed: The government has budgeted Rs. 1.05 lakh crore for the current fiscal year (2022-23). This year, the amount of fertilizer subsidies may exceed Rs 2.25 lakh crore.
  • Demand Rises: The total amount of four fertilizers—urea, DAP (di-ammonium phosphate), MOP (muriate of potash), and NPKS (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium)—that the country will need in 2021–22 will rise by 21% to 640.27 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) from 528.86 lakh metric tonnes in 2017–18.
  • Difficulties in the fertiliser industry Lower Production to be addressed.
  • Global fertiliser production, import, and transportation have all been influenced by the pandemic.
  • Reduction in Imports: Due to a drop in production, major fertiliser exporters like China have steadily cut back on shipments.
  • This has had an effect on nations like India, which imports 40–45 percent of its phosphate from China.
  • Mismanagement of the supply: In areas like Europe, America, Brazil, and Southeast Asia, demand has increased significantly.
  • Demand has grown, but the supply side has run into problems.
  • India is experiencing a shortage of fertilisers, particularly those containing phosphatic and potassic minerals.
  • Price increases for raw materials have been consistent, as have increases in logistics and shipping expenses.
  • The average freight prices for ships have increased up to four times as a result of the COVID logistics chain disruption.
  • In addition, the cost of fertilisers like DAP and urea as well as raw ingredients like ammonia and phosphatic acid has increased by 250–300%.
  • No Denial Policy: The Centre currently adheres to a "no denial" policy. Through the PoS machines, anyone—including non-farmers—can purchase any quantity of fertiliser.
  • Although there is a cap of 100 bags that one person can buy at once, this does not prevent anyone from buying more than once.
  • It certainly permits unintended beneficiaries—farmers who are not sincere or deserving—to purchase in bulk.

Governmental Initiative: Closing the Leaks

  • With effect from October 2016, a direct benefit transfer method is used in fertilisers to address subsidy leaks.
  • According to this scheme, fertiliser firms receive a 100% subsidy on a variety of fertiliser grades based on the actual sales that the merchants make to the recipients.
  • New nutrients including Nano urea and bio-stimulants were incorporated into the Fertilizer Control Order of 1985. (FCO).
  • Other government initiatives include neem-coated urea and the soil health card.

Recommendations from ICAR

  • Using both inorganic and organic sources of plant nutrients in conjunction, soil test-based balanced and integrated nutrient management.
  • Utilization of nitrification inhibitors and slow-releasing N-fertilizers (Neem Coated Urea).
  • cultivating leguminous plants.
  • Using technologies for resource conservation (RCTs).

Way Forward

  • It's time to seriously consider providing farmers with a flat cash subsidy per acre that they can use to buy any fertiliser.
  • In addition to biofertilizers and organic fertilisers, the government needs to promote the balanced use of fertilisers.

Source: The Indian Express

Asiatic Caracal

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Animals

Asiatic Caracal

  • The Caracal is struggling to survive, although both species (Cheetahs and Caracal) had a similar distribution in the past.
  • The caracal is on the verge of extinction in India and it is essential to find suitable areas to conserve it.

About Asiatic caracal:

  • Scientific Name: Caracall caracal schmitzi
  • It is an elusive medium-sized and locally threatened felid (cat) species, which has been widely reported to be on the brink of extinction in India.
  • The reasons are large-scale hunting, illegal trading and loss of natural habitats are considered significant threats to the species.

Habitat :

  • Rajasthan,Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana , Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra .

Historical Linkages:

  • The caracal was the only other feline that was used for hunting in India.
  • It is known that Firoz Shah Tughlaq had many of them in his hunting establishment.
  • It was well established in the Mughal Court for Abul Fazl records that Akbar was very fond of using this plucky little animal for hunting purposes.
  • The animal had no Hindi or Urdu name but was known in India by its Persian name of Siyahgosh or ‘black ears’.

Protection Status:

  • The caracal is currently included in Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and the Near Threatened category by the Conservation Assessment and Management Plan and International Union for Conservation of Nature Red list assessment in India.

Source: Down To Earth

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