12th January Current Affairs

1.Exercise SEA VIGIL

News: The second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ will be conducted on 12-13 January 2021.

Details:

  • The exercise, inaugural  edition of which was conducted in January 2019; will be undertaken along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and will involve all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with other maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.
  • The exercise is being coordinated by the Indian Navy. The entire coastal security set up was reorganized after the 26/11 Terror attack at Mumbai which was launched via the sea route.
  • The scale and conceptual expanse of the exercise is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of units participating and in terms of the objectives to be met.
  • The exercise is a build up towards the major Theatre level exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise] which Indian Navy conducts every two years. SEA VIGIL and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges, including transition from peace to conflict.
  • Assets of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Customs and other maritime agencies will participate in SEA VIGIL, the conduct of which is also being facilitated by the Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries, Customs, State Governments and other agencies of Centre/ State.

Significance:

  • While smaller scale exercises are conducted in coastal states regularly, including combined exercises amongst adjoining states, the conduct of a security exercise at national-level is aimed to serve a larger purpose. It provides opportunity, at the apex level, to assess our preparedness in the domain of maritime security and coastal defence.  Exercise ‘SEA VIGIL 21’ will provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and thus will help in further strengthening maritime and national security.

2.North-East Venture Fund

News: The North East Venture Fund (NEVF), which is the first and the only dedicated Venture Fund for the North Eastern Region and was introduced by the Modi government, is gaining popularity among Start-Ups and young entrepreneurs. The Venture Fund Scheme launched by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) intended to promote growth of business ventures and skill development in the region.

About North East Venture Fund (NEVF):

  • Launched in September 2017 it was set up by North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi)in association with Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (M-DoNER).
  • It is a close ended fundwith capital commitment of Rs 100 crore. It is the first dedicated venture capital fund for the North Eastern Region.
  • It aims to contribute to the entrepreneurship development of the NER and achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns through long term capital appreciation by way of investments in privately negotiated equity/ equity related investments.
  • The investment under this schemer ranges from Rs. 25 lakh to Rs.10 crore per venture, which is long term in nature with investment horizon of 4-5 years.

3.National Energy Conservation Awards

News: Relentless and continuous efforts to provide clean and green transportation to all its stakeholders  and commuters has resulted in Indian Railway bagging 13 awards in three prestigious categories of National Energy Conservation Awards (NECA) for the year 2020, organized by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power.

Details:

  • Western Railway has been awarded the First Prize, Eastern Railway has been awarded the Second prize, North Eastern Railway & South Central Railway has been awarded Certificate of Merit in the Transport Category.
  • In Building Category, Divisional Railway Manager’s offices at Bhavnagar and Rajkot have won the first and second prize respectively. Electrical Department, DRM Office, North Eastern Railway has been awarded Certificate of Merit.
  • In Railway workshops subcategory, Diesel Loco Shed, South Central Railway, Vijayawada has bagged the First prize, Kanchrapara Workshop, Eastern Railway, North 24 Parganas has won the second prize. The certificate of Merit has been awarded to Mechanical Workshop, North Eastern Railway, Izzatnagar, Central Railway Workshop, Mysore, Mechanical Workshop, Dibrugarh, North East Frontier Railway and Central Workshop, Ponmalai, Southern Railway, Tiruchchirapalli.
  • These awards have been given to Indian Railways’ zones and workshops for significant improvements in energy conservation by adopting various measures to promote energy efficiency. Indian Railways is committed to improve performance towards energy efficiency and clean environment in the coming years.

National Energy Conservation Awards Programme:

  • The Ministry of Powerhad launched a scheme in 1991, to give national recognition through awards to industries and establishments that have taken special efforts to reduce energy consumption while maintaining their production.
  • The awards were given away for thefirst time on 14th December, 1991, which was declared as the ‘The National Energy Conservation Day’.
  • It recognizes the energy efficiency achievements in56 sub-sectors across industry, establishments and institutions.
  • During the award ceremony, it was specifically mentioned that the impact of PAT Cycle IIachieved emission reduction of 61 million ton of CO2.

4.K-Shaped Economic Recovery

News: The prospects of a K-shaped economic recovery from COVID are increasing both in India and across the world.

What is K-Shaped Recovery?

  • A K-shaped recovery occurs when, following a recession, different parts of the economy recover at different rates, times, or magnitudes.
  • This is in contrast to an even, uniform recovery across sectors, industries, or groups of people.
  • A K-shaped recovery leads to changes in the structure of the economy or the broader society as economic outcomes and relations are fundamentally changed before and after the recession.
  • This type of recovery is called K-shaped because the path of different parts of the economy when charted together may diverge, resembling the two arms of the Roman letter “K.”

What are the macro implications of a K-shaped recovery?

  • Upper-income households have benefitted from higher savings for two quarters.
  • Households at the bottom have experienced a permanent loss of income in the forms of jobs and wage cuts; this will be a recurring drag on demand, if the labour market does not heal faster.
  • To the extent that COVID has triggered an effective income transfer from the poor to the rich, this will be demand-impeding because the poor have a higher marginal propensity to consume (i.e. they tend to spend (instead of saving) a much higher proportion of their income.
  • If COVID-19 reduces competition or increases the inequality of incomes and opportunities, it could impinge on trend growth in developing economies by hurting productivity and tightening political economy constraints.