Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 12 February 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. National Coal Index
  2. National Bee Keeping and Honey Mission.
  3. SAMARTH scheme.

1. National Coal Index

News Summary

Information about National Coal Index was given in Lok Sabha.

(Note: This index seems to be different and important. In 2019, a question related to the Coal sector and in 2020, a question related to Coal surfaced in the exam. In this context, National Coal Index seems to be important as it was given in a written reply in Lok Sabha.)

Prelims GS – Economic Development

National Coal Index:
  • Ministry of Coal has started Commercial Auction of coal mines on a revenue share basis.
  • In order to arrive at the revenue share based on market prices of coal, one National Coal Index (NCI) was conceptualized.
  • The NCI is a price index that reflects the change of price level of coal on a particular month relative to the fixed base year.
  • The base year for the NCI is FY 2017-18.
  • Prices of coal from all the sales channels of coal, including import, as existing today are taken into account for compiling the NCI.
  • The amount of revenue share per tonne of coal produced from auctioned blocks would be arrived at using the NCI by means of a defined formula.
  • NCI has already been rolled out on 4th June 2020 and the same is placed on the website of the Ministry of Coal.
  • NCI is composed of a set of five sub-indices: three for Non-Coking Coal and two for Coking Coal.
  • The three sub-indices for Non-Coking Coal are combined to arrive at the Index for Non-Coking Coal and the two sub-indices for Coking Coal are combined to arrive at the Index for Coking Coal.
  • Thus, indices are separate for Non-coking and Coking Coal.
  • As per the grade of coal pertaining to a mine, the appropriate sub-index is used to arrive at the revenue share.

Courtesy: PIB Lok Sabha reply.

2. National Bee Keeping and Honey Mission

News Summary

Keeping in view the importance of beekeeping as part of the Integrated Farming System in the country, the government approved the allocation of Rs. 500 crores for National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) for three years (2020-21 to 2022-23).

Prelims GS – Governance/Agriculture

  • The Government of India has approved a new Central Sector Scheme entitled “National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM)” for 2 years for overall promotion and development of scientific beekeeping in mission mode to achieve the goal of “Sweet Revolution” in the country.
  • National Bee Keeping and mission was announced as part of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat scheme.
  • NBHM aims for the overall promotion & development of scientific beekeeping in the country to achieve the goal of ‘Sweet Revolution’ which is being implemented through the National Bee Board (NBB) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • The main objective of NBHM is to promote holistic growth of beekeeping industry for income & employment generation for farm and non-farm households, to enhance agriculture/ horticulture production, developing infrastructural facilities, including setting up of Integrated Beekeeping Development Centre (IBDC)s/CoE, honey testing labs, bee disease diagnostic labs, custom hiring centers, Api-therapy centers, nucleus stock, bee breeders, etc. and empowerment of women through beekeeping.
  • The scheme also aims to create awareness about
    • scientific beekeeping under Mini Mission-I,
    • post-harvest management of beekeeping, beehive products, including collection, processing, storage, marketing, value addition, etc. under Mini Mission-II and
    • Research & Technology generation in beekeeping under Mini Mission-III. Rs 150.00 Crores has been allotted to NBHM for 2020-21.

Click here to view the official website.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Agriculture

Significance of Bee Keeping:
  • Beekeeping is an agro-based activity that is being undertaken by farmers/ landless laborers in the rural area as a part of the Integrated Farming System (IFS).
  • Beekeeping has been useful in the pollination of crops, thereby, increasing the income of the farmers/beekeepers by way of increasing crop yield and providing honey and other high-value beehive products, viz.; beeswax, bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, etc.
  • The diversified agro-climatic conditions of India provide great potential and opportunities for beekeeping/ honey production and export of Honey.
  • India’s recent efforts to improve the state of beekeeping have helped increase the volume of honey exports from 29.6 to 51.5 thousand tonnes between 2014-15 and 2017-18 (as per data from the National Bee Board and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare)

Click here to know more about the achievements of NBHM.

3. SAMARTH Scheme

News Summary

Information about the SAMARTH scheme was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Textiles, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani in Rajya Sabha on 11.2.2021.

Prelims GS – Governance

  • SAMARTH scheme is related to the Ministry of Textiles.
  • The ‘Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (SCBTS)’ shall be known by the name “Samarth”, signifying the broad objective of the scheme to skill the youth for gainful and sustainable employment in the textile sector.
  • SAMARTH helps in addressing the skill gap in the textile sector and also helps in supplementing the efforts of the textile industry in providing gainful and sustainable employment to the youth.
  • Objectives are:
    • To provide demand-driven, placement oriented National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) compliant skilling programs to incentivize and supplement the efforts of the industry in creating jobs in the organized textile and related sectors, covering the entire value chain of textile, excluding Spinning and Weaving.
    • To promote skilling and skill up-gradation in the traditional sectors of handlooms, handicrafts, sericulture, and jute.
    • To enable the provision of sustainable livelihood either by wage or self-employment to all sections of the society across the country.
  • The skilling program under Samarth is implemented through Implementing Partners (IPs) comprising Textile Industry/ Industry Associations, State Government Agencies, and Sectoral Organizations of Ministry of Textiles.

Click here to know more about the SAMARTH scheme.



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