Under the Cabinet Secretary’s Global Indices for Reforms and Growth (GIRG) initiative, the country’s performance is being monitored across 29 global indices including Human Development Index (HDI), Global Hunger Index (GHI), Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), Human Capital Index (HCI), Global Innovation Index (GII), among others. This exercise is aimed at leveraging the monitoring mechanism of important social, economic, and other internationally recognised indices, enabling the utilisation of these indices as tools for bringing about reforms to improve outcomes and correspondingly reflect them in India’s performance in these indices globally. Under this initiative, NITI Aayog is the nodal Ministry for the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). According to Global MPI 2021, India’s rank is 66 out of 109 countries. The National MPI Project is aimed at deconstructing the Global MPI and creating a globally aligned and yet customised India MPI for drawing up comprehensive Reform Action Plans with the larger goal of improving India’s position in the Global MPI rankings. As the nodal Ministry for MPI, NITI Aayog is also responsible for engaging with the publishing agencies of the index; ranking States and Union Territories based on their performance and has also constituted an inter-ministerial MPI Coordination Committee (MPICC) to consult twelve Line Ministries mapped to each National MPI indicator.
INS Vela, the fourth submarine in the series of six submarines of Project-75, was recently commissioned. The formal commissioning ceremony took place at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. The Scorpene Class submarines are being built in India by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, under collaboration with M/s Naval Group (earlier DCNS), France. INS Vela would form part of the Western Naval Command’s Submarine fleet and would be another potent part of its arsenal. The Scorpene submarines are extremely potent platforms, they have advanced stealth features and are also equipped with both long range guided torpedoes as well as anti-ship missiles. These submarines have a state of the art SONAR and sensor suite permitting outstanding operational capabilities. They also have an advanced Permanent Magnetic Synchronous motor (PERMASYN) as its propulsion motor.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister gave its approval for continuation of the umbrella scheme "Ocean Services, Modelling, Application, Resources and Technology (O-SMART)" of Ministry of Earth Sciences, for implementation during the period from 2021-26 at an overall cost of Rs. 2177 crore.
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship initiative of Niti Aayog announced a collaboration with Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organization of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India to drive synergies between AIM’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and Vigyan Prasar’s unique interactivity platform, Engage With Science (EWS).
The PM-WANI scheme, launched by the Department of Telecommunications, aims to setup Public Wi-Fi Networks by Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) to provide public Wi-Fi services through Public Data Offices (PDOs) spread across length and breadth of the country to accelerate proliferation of Broadband Internet services. As per the National Digital Communication Plan, the Central government has set a target of setting up of 10 million Wi-Fi hotspots by 2022 and the PM-WANI scheme will facilitate this. There shall be no license required by PDOs from DoT for providing Broadband Internet through these public Wi-Fi networks. The proliferation of public Wi-Fi networks in the country through PM WANI will accelerate the proliferation of public broadband services through Wi-Fi networks and it will enable local entrepreneurs such as chaiwalas, kirana stores and eateries to earn additional revenue.
Recently, the Ministry of Textiles has issued the Notification for setting up of 7 PM MITRA Parks as announced in Union Budget for 2021-22 and approved by the Central Government. The scheme aims to realise the vision of building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat and to position India strongly on the Global textiles map. PM MITRA Parks is envisaged to help India in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9 (“Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”). PM MITRA is inspired by the 5F vision which encompasses - Farm to fibre; fibre to factory; factory to fashion; fashion to foreign. This integrated vision will help furthering the growth of textile sector in the economy. No other competing nation has a complete textile ecosystem like us. India is strong in all five Fs.
Government of India is in the forefront in transforming the fisheries sector and bring about economic revolution through Blue Revolution in the country. The sector envisioned to increase the farmers’ income through enhancement of production and productivity, improving the quality and reduction of waste. Foreseeing the potential of the sector, Prime Minister in May, 2020had launched the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) with a budget of over Rs.20,050 crores for a period of five years. PMMSY aims to achieve fish production of 22 MMT from the current 15.0 MMT by 2024-25and to create an additional employment opportunity to about 55 lakh people through this sector.
To achieve the objective of providing “Housing to All” by the year 2022, the Government of India rolled out the revamped rural housing scheme, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G. The program envisages the completion of 2.95 crore PMAY-G houses with all basic amenities by the year 2022.
The government recently launched the new market segment, Green Day Ahead Market (GDAM). The launch of the green day-ahead market will deepen the green market and will provide competitive price signals, besides offering an opportunity to the market participants to trade in green energy, in the most transparent, flexible, competitive, and efficient manner. The introduction of GDAM is expected to create a domino effect that will lead to a gradual shift from PPA based contract to market-based models which will build and deepen the markets to the next level, paving the way for India to meet its ambitious target of 450 GW green capacity by 2030. The other benefits of participating in the GDAM would be reduction of curtailment of green power, unlocking untapped renewable energy potential, ensuring instant payment to RE generators ie on the day of delivery itself. National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC), POSOCO, as the Nodal Agency, has set up the latest technologies and communication infrastructure for facilitating the Green Day Ahead Market.
An offshore security exercise, code-named ‘Prasthan’ was conducted in the Offshore Development Area (ODA) off Mumbai under the aegis of Headquarters, Western Naval Command. Conducted every six months, this exercise is an important element of ensuring offshore security and aims to integrate the efforts of all maritime stakeholders, including the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Coast Guard, ONGC, the Port Trust, Customs, the state fisheries department and the Marine Police, in refining SOPs and response-actions to a variety of contingencies in the ODAs. Contingencies such as terrorist intrusion, bomb explosion, major fire, oil spill, man overboard, casualty evacuation, loss of control of vessel and mass evacuation were exercised.
India has successfully launched the 41st Scientific Expedition to Antarctica with the arrival of the first batch of its contingent at the southern white continent.