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10 February 2024 : PIB Summary for UPSC

PIB Summary for UPSC

10-February -2024

1. DEDICATED FREIGHT CORRIDOR PROJECTS

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Infrastructure – Railway

UPSC candidates must comprehend railway infrastructure development, logistics improvement, and economic impact through Dedicated Freight Corridors for governance awareness.
Context
  • The Ministry of Railways announces the completion of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) and 1220 km of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC).
  • DFCs aim to reduce logistic costs, facilitate faster transport, and boost industrial development.

 Additional information on this news:

  • Ministry of Railways completes the construction of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) from Ludhiana to Sonnagar (1337 km).
  • Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) from JNPT to Dadri (1506 km) is 1220 km complete; train operations underway.
  • DFCs aim to reduce logistic costs, facilitate higher axle load trains, Double Stack Container trains, and faster access to Northern hinterland via Western Ports.
  • Completed corridors expected to enhance industrial development and establish Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals.
  • Timely provision of funds and close coordination with State Governments ensures Dedicated Freight Corridors’ timely completion.
  • Government’s monitoring includes activities through Project Monitoring Group (PMG) to expedite land acquisition and overall project progress.
Infrastructure Woes and Solutions in India
Major issues:

  • Inadequate funding: Budgetary constraints, slow public-private partnerships (PPP) adoption.
  • Inefficient planning: Delays due to land acquisition, clearances, approvals.
  • Poor maintenance: Neglect leads to faster deterioration, higher reconstruction costs.
  • Skill gap: Shortage of trained workforce hinders project quality and speed.
  • Corruption: Mismanagement and leakages drain resources, impede development.

Potential Solutions:

  • Increased investment: Explore innovative financing models like infrastructure bonds, pension funds.
  • Streamlined processes: Single-window clearance systems, faster environmental approvals.
  • Focus on PPPs: Attract private investment with clear contract terms, risk mitigation strategies.
  • Skill development: Training programs for construction workers, technology adoption.
  • Transparency and accountability: Stricter anti-corruption measures, public audits.
  • Prioritization and planning: Focus on key areas impacting economic growth and social welfare.
  • Sustainable infrastructure: Green projects, renewable energy integration, climate-resilient design.

Overall:

  • Addressing infrastructure woes is crucial for India’s economic development and social progress.
  • A multi-pronged approach involving targeted investments, efficient processes, and robust governance is essential.
  • Embracing innovation, technology, and sustainable practices can pave the way for a resilient and future-proof infrastructure ecosystem.
PYQ: Investment in infrastructure is essential for a more rapid and inclusive economic growth. Discuss in the light of India’s experience. (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2021)
Practice Question:  Analyze the critical infrastructure challenges impeding India’s growth, and suggest comprehensive solutions emphasizing innovative financing, efficient project management, and sustainable practices.
(150 words/10 m)

2. FDI IN DEFENCE SECTOR

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Effects of liberalization on the economy

GS2 – Governance – Government Policies
UPSC candidates must comprehend evolving policies in the defence sector, FDI impact, and indigenous manufacturing for national security awareness.
Context
  • India opens defence sector to private participation since May 2001, enhances FDI limit, and reports Rs 5,077 crore in FDI.

 Additional information on this news:

  • Defence Industry sector opened for private participation in May 2001.
  • FDI limit increased to 74% in 2020 through Automatic Route; up to 100% through Government Route for technology access.
  • Reported FDI in the defence sector amounts to Rs 5,077 crore.
  • Government encourages co-development and co-production of defence technologies with Foreign OEMs.
  • Aim is to boost FDI, enhance technological capabilities, and promote indigenous defence manufacturing.
  • Initiatives align with broader goals of self-reliance and modernization in the Indian defence sector.
FDI in Defence Sector
Need:

  • Reduce dependence on imports: India imports 60% of its defence equipment, leaving it vulnerable.
  • Modernize armed forces: FDI brings access to advanced technology and expertise.
  • Boost domestic production: Create jobs, increase self-reliance, and generate exports.

Challenges:

  • National security concerns: Balancing openness with protecting sensitive technologies.
  • Complex regulatory environment: Streamlining approvals and clearances.
  • Limited domestic capabilities: Partnering with foreign players to build capacity.
  • Technology transfer concerns: Ensuring India benefits from advanced technologies.

Way forward:

  • Targeted liberalization: Open specific segments (e.g., drones, submarines) while safeguarding sensitive areas.
  • Boost domestic ecosystem: Support R&D, create supplier base, attract talent.
  • Transparent & efficient approvals: Single-window system, faster decision-making.
  • Focus on technology transfer: Joint ventures, mandatory clauses for knowledge sharing.
  • Strategic partnerships: Collaborate with trusted allies for mutual benefit.

Conclusion:

  • Carefully calibrated FDI can address India’s defence needs while mitigating security concerns.
  • Building a robust domestic ecosystem alongside responsible engagement with foreign players is key.
PYQ: Foreign direct investment in the defence sector is now said to be liberalised. What influence this is expected to have on Indian defence and economy in the short and long run?
(200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2014)
Practice Question:  Critically examine the need for FDI in India’s defence sector, analyzing the associated challenges and suggesting a comprehensive strategy that balances national security concerns with technological advancement and self-reliance. (150 words/10 m)

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