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PIB Summary for UPSC

9-February -2024

1. Top polluted cities in the country

Topic: GS3 – Environment and Ecology –  Environmental Pollution and Degradation
Crucial for UPSC: Air pollution management, policy frameworks, and agricultural solutions, reflecting government actions and environmental concerns in India.
  • India addresses air pollution through rankings, policies, and penalties. Efforts include the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR, Graded Response Action Plan, and measures against crop residue burning, backed by the Ministry of Agriculture’s mechanization scheme.
 Additional information on this news:
  • The Ministry conducts “Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan” to rank cities based on measures to abate pollution, covering areas like solid waste, road dust, construction waste, vehicular and industrial emissions, and PM10 concentrations.
  • Ambient Air Quality monitoring is done in 518 cities, with details of the top 5 cities with the highest PM10 levels in 2022 provided.
  • The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) has formulated a policy in 2022, outlining sector-specific actions and targets to control air pollution in Delhi/NCR.
  • CAQM has issued 78 directions and 11 advisories, contributing to improvements in the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the NCR region.
  • The ‘Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)’ is implemented based on AQI levels, with emergent actions to combat adverse air quality conditions, especially during winter months.
  • The Central Government has taken Special steps for air quality management in Delhi/NCR.
  • Measures against crop residue burning include the imposition of environmental compensation, with Rs. 2.51 crore imposed in Punjab and Rs. 0.46 crore in Haryana.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare launched a scheme in 2018 for promoting agricultural mechanization to manage crop residue, providing financial assistance and releasing Rs. 2440.07 crores until 2022.
  • Over 2 lakh crop residue machineries have been delivered, and over 39,000 custom hiring centers (CHCs) In 2022, the scheme merged with Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM), which, in turn, merged with Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
Air Quality Data – PM10 Levels (2022):
  • Cities with highest PM10 levels in 2022 include Jharia, Brynihat, Saharsa, Katihar, and Samastipur.
  • Jharia, Jharkhand recorded the highest PM10 concentration at 281 µg/m3.
Measures for Air Quality Management in India & Delhi-NCR:
  • Environment Compensation Charges for commercial vehicles entering Delhi.
  • Operationalization of Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways to divert non-destined traffic.
  • Migration of public transport services to cleaner modes.
  • Ban on 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles.
  • Installation of VRS system at petrol pumps.
  • Online Continuous Emission Monitoring System in red category industries.
  • Shift to cleaner fuels in industrial units and conversion of brick kilns to zig-zag technology.
  • Ban on pet coke and furnace oil in NCR states.
  • Stringent PM emission norms for biomass boilers.
  • Measures for C&D waste management and dust control at construction sites.
Technical Interventions:
  • Trial studies on new technologies, including dust suppressants for emissions control.
  • Incognito inspections of air-polluting sources in Delhi-NCR by 40 teams.
  • Closure orders issued based on inspections.
Stakeholder Consultation and Outreach:
  • SAMEER mobile app for real-time air quality data and public complaints.
  • Social media platforms for daily AQI updates and public awareness campaigns.
Regulatory Actions:
  • Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for sudden rise in air pollution levels.
  • Directions under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for strict implementation of GRAP stages.
Measures for Stubble Burning Control:
  • Subsidies for agricultural machines promoting in-situ crop residue management.
  • Co-firing biomass with coal in thermal power plants.
  • Guidelines and financial assistance for setting up pelletization and briquetting plants.
  • Flying squads deployed for monitoring and enforcement actions against stubble burning.
Overall, a comprehensive set of measures and regulatory actions are being implemented to address air quality challenges in India and Delhi-NCR, covering vehicular emissions, industrial pollution, construction activities, and stubble burning.
PYQ: Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata are the three mega Cities of the country but the air pollution is much more serious problem in Delhi as compared to the other two. Why is this so?(200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-1 2015)
Practice Question:  Examine the measures taken by authorities to combat air pollution in Delhi-NCR and assess their impact on improving air quality. (150 words/10 m)

2. Contribution of MSME Sector in GDP

Topic: GS3 – Indian economy – Inclusive growth
UPSC candidates need to understand MSME sector dynamics for economic development and governance, reflecting in policy, finance, and growth.
  • The article provides data on the share of MSME Gross Value Added and Manufacturing Output in India’s GDP.
  • It also provides details on government initiatives, schemes, and statistics, highlighting efforts to support and promote the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.
 Share of MSME Gross Value Added (GVA) and Manufacturing Output in All India GDP:
  • 2019-20:
    • MSME GVA in All India GDP: 30.5%
    • MSME Manufacturing Output in All India Manufacturing Output: 36.6%
  • 2020-21:
    • MSME GVA in All India GDP: 27.2%
    • MSME Manufacturing Output in All India Manufacturing Output: 36.9%
  • 2021-22:
    • MSME GVA in All India GDP: 29.1%
    • MSME Manufacturing Output in All India Manufacturing Output: 36.2%
Government Initiatives and Schemes:
  • Credit Support:
    • Collateral-free loan up to Rs. 500 lakh for MSEs with 85% guarantee coverage through CGTMSE.
  • Equity Infusion:
    • 50,000 crore equity infusion through the Self-Reliant India Fund with a provision for a Rs. 10,000 crore corpus from the Government of India.
  • Procurement:
    • No global tenders for procurement up to Rs. 200 crore.
  • Programs and Schemes:
    • RAMP program rollout with an outlay of Rs. 6,000 crore over 5 years.
    • Integration of Udyam Portal and National Career Service for job searches.
    • Relief under Vivad se Vishwas – I for MSMEs regarding performance security, bid security, and liquidated damages.
  • New Schemes:
    • Launch of ‘PM Vishwakarma’ Scheme to benefit traditional artisans and craftspeople.
  • Portals:
    • Udyam Registration Portal for MSMEs’ ease of registration.
    • Samadhaan Portal for monitoring outstanding dues to MSEs from buyers (30.10.2017).
  • Statistics:
    • As of 05.02.2024, more than 3.64 crore MSMEs with over 16.86 crore employment have registered on the Udyam Portal.
  • Non-tax Benefits:
    • Non-tax benefits extended for 3 years in case of an upward change in the status of MSMEs from 18.10.2022.
PYQ: Faster economic growth requires increased share of the manufacturing sector in GDP, Particularly of MSMEs. Comment on the present policies of the Government in this regard. (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2023)

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