Daily Mains Newsletter for UPSC 16 Jun 2022

Daily Mains Newsletter For
UPSC | RaghukulCS

16 June 2022 - Thursday


Table of Contents

ODOP: Handicraft Industry

Why in the news?

  • The Ministry of Textiles has opened the ‘Lota Shop’ inside the National Crafts Museum in New Delhi.
  • Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India Limited (CCIC), also known as the Central Cottage Industries Emporium, opened the shop.
  • It exhibits beautiful handcrafted curios, souvenirs, handicrafts, and fabrics based on traditional Indian artisan traditions.
  • The administration also underlined its commitment to ‘One District, One Product,’ which will boost the handicraft and artisan sectors.

What exactly is the One District One Product?

  • The ‘One District, One Product’ (ODOP) initiative was developed by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries to assist districts in reaching their full potential, fostering economic and socio-cultural progress, and creating job possibilities, particularly in rural areas.
  • It was started by the Uttar Pradesh government in January 2018 and, due to its success, was later adopted by the Central Government.
  • This effort is carried out in conjunction with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Department of Commerce’s ‘Districts as Exports Hub’ initiative.
  • The ‘Districts as Exports Hub’ initiative gives financial and technical aid to district level companies so that small-scale industries can be helped and local people can be employed.
  • Its goals are to identify, promote, and brand a product from a certain district.
  • To promote the product in which the district specialises in order to convert every district in India into an export powerhouse.
  • It intends to achieve this via scaling production, supporting local firms, discovering prospective overseas clients, and so on, so contributing to the realisation of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ goal.

What is the state of India’s handicraft industry?

  • Handicrafts are objects that are made by hand with simple tools rather than employing mass manufacturing processes and equipment. While extremely similar to fundamental arts and crafts, there is one important difference with handicrafts.
  • The products created as a consequence of the efforts are attractive in nature as well as developed for a specific function or usage.
  • For decades, the handloom and handicraft industry has been the backbone of India’s rural economy.
  • India manufactures woodware, art metal wares, handprinted fabrics, embroidered products, zari goods, imitation jewellery, sculptures, pottery, glassware, attars, agarbattis, and other items.
  • Trade:

 India is one of the world’s top exporters of handicrafts.

The entire handicraft export from India, excluding handmade carpets, was USD 174.26 million in March 2022, an increase of 8% from February 2022. Total exports of Indian handicrafts were valued at USD 4.35 billion in 2021-22, a 25.7 percent increase over the previous year.

  • The Sector’s Importance:

The largest source of employment:

It is one of the major job creators after agriculture, providing a vital source of income for the country’s rural and urban populations.

Handicraft is one of the most important industries in India, employing around seven million people.

  • Eco-Friendly:
  • The industry operates on a self-sustaining economic model, with craftspeople frequently growing their own raw materials, and is well renowned for being an early adopter of environmentally friendly zero-waste initiatives.
  • Artisans confront problems such as a lack of money, a low penetration of technology, a lack of market knowledge, and a weak institutional foundation for growth.
  • Furthermore, the sector is afflicted by the underlying contradiction of handmade items, which are often at conflict with manufacturing scale.

What Factors Encourage Sector Growth?

Schemes of the Government:
  • The national government is actively working to grow the industry so that it can reach its full potential.
  • Several plans and initiatives are being implemented to assist artisans in overcoming the obstacles they encounter.
  • Rise of Dedicated Trade Platforms: A few platforms, such as Craftezy, have arisen to assist Indian craftsmen in gaining attention in domestic and worldwide markets.
  • These worldwide handicraft trade platforms provide a free supplier induction procedure and strive to give the global market an orderly appearance.
  • Using Technology for Inclusion:
  • Technology that allows people to transcend borders has been a godsend to the handcraft sector.
  • E-commerce has given seamless access to consumer goods, enabling inclusive growth because all manufacturers from any area of the world can present their items through these online platforms.
  • Even social media platforms are assisting in the global marketing of Indian handicrafts.
  • Exports vs. Imports:
  • Over the previous five years, exports of Indian handicrafts have increased by more than 40%, with three-fourths of all handicrafts exported.
  • Indian handicrafts are heavily exported to over a hundred nations, with the United States alone accounting for around one-third of India’s handicraft exports.
  • Changes in Artisan Behavior:
  • In order to increase their income, artists learn new skills and make items that match changing market demands.
  • As a result of the introduction of technology and the comfort it brings to their table, there is a substantial change in the behaviours of handcraft vendors and customers.

What are the Government Initiatives Involved?

Hastshilp for Ambedkar The Vikas Yojana:
  • To assist artisans with infrastructural, technology, and human resource development requirements.
  • The goal of mobilising craftspeople into self-help groups and societies with the goal of facilitating bulk manufacturing and economies in raw material purchase.
Mega Cluster Plan:
  • This scheme’s goals include job creation and raising craftsmen’ living standards.
  • This programme takes a cluster-based strategy to growing infrastructure and production chains at handicraft centres, particularly those in rural areas.
Marketing Support and Services Scheme:
  • This scheme assists craftsmen in organising and participating in domestic marketing events by providing cash help.
  • The Research and Development Scheme was established to generate input on the economic, social, artistic, and promotional elements of crafts and craftsmen in the sector, with the goal of assisting in the implementation of the aforementioned schemes.
  • Surveys, updating design and technology, developing human resources, providing insurance and credit facilities to artisans, R&D, infrastructure development, and marketing support operations are all significant components of the National Handicraft Development Programme.
  • Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme: 
  • This scheme’s approach is to scale up facilities and the production chain at handicraft clusters. This strategy also intends to offer appropriate infrastructure for production, value addition, and quality assurance.
  • The major goal of the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts is to promote, support, protect, sustain, and increase handcraft exports.
  • Other operations of the council include knowledge dissemination, professional guidance and support to members, delegation trips and fairs, contact between exporters and the government, and awareness training.

The Way Forward

  • With the correct backing and business environment, the Indian craft sector has the potential to become a billion-dollar economy.
  • Creating a systematic approach that promotes the intrinsic worth of craft skills while also opening doors to product design and manufacture will enhance access to new markets.
  • In addition, leveraging e-commerce for online visibility and operational efficiencies will be a vital success factor as the sector expands and gains popularity.
  • In this era of globalisation, the handicraft sector offers enormous prospects in both domestic and global markets. While the precarious status of artists necessitates deliberate intervention for their improvement, the government has already made significant progress by enacting policies that will make handmade items competitive globally and enhance the conditions of our artisans.

Railway Innovation Policy in India

Why in the news?

The Indian Railway Innovation Policy, “StartUps for Railways,” was recently unveiled by the Minister of Railways.

What are the Policy’s Main Points?

  • Grants of up to Rs. 1.5 crore are available to innovators on an equal share basis, with payment made in stages.
  • To ensure transparency and objectivity, the entire process is open, from problem statement generation to prototype development.
  • Prototypes will be tested on railways.
  • Following the successful performance of prototypes, increased funds will be granted to scale up deployment.
  • A transparent and fair approach will be used to select the Innovator/s, which will be handled through an online platform opened today by the Minister of Railways.
  • Only innovators will have developed intellectual property rights (IPR).
  • To reduce delays, the entire product development process should be decentralised at the divisional level.
Issues discovered:
  • Out of the more than 100 problem statements received from various divisions, field offices, or zones of Indian Railways, eleven have been selected for this program’s phase one.
Benefits to be Expected:
  • Through the engagement of a big and untapped startup ecosystem, this policy will bring scale and efficiency to operations, maintenance, and infrastructure building.
  • It also intends to use new technologies produced by Indian startups/MSMEs/Innovators/Entrepreneurs to improve the operational efficiency and safety of Indian Railways.
  • It will promote the country’s “Innovation Culture” for co-creation and co-innovation in the railway sector.

What are the Most Important Facts About Indian Railways?

  • The Indian Railways network is one of the world’s longest.
  • It promotes economic growth by facilitating the flow of both freight and passengers.
  • The Indian Railway was established in 1853, when a 34-kilometer-long line was built from Bombay to Thane.
  • Indian Railways is the country’s largest government enterprise.
  • The Indian Railways network was 67,956 kilometres long (Railway yearbook 2019-20).

The Indian railway system is divided into 16 zones.

Missile Prithvi-II

Why in the news?

  • India just completed a successful night test of the Prithvi-II surface-to-surface nuclear-capable short-range ballistic missile.
  • Previously, the Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Agni-IV, which can travel up to 4,000 kilometres, was tested.

What are the Key Features of the Prithivi-II Missile?

  • Prithvi-II is an indigenously produced Surface-to-Surface Missile Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) with a range of 250 km-350 km and a payload capacity of one tonne.
  • The Prithvi II class is a single-stage liquid-fueled missile with a warhead capacity of 500 kg-1000 kg.
  • The missile is a tried-and-true device that can hit targets with pinpoint accuracy.
  • To achieve its target, the cutting-edge missile employs an advanced inertial guidance system with a manoeuvring trajectory.
  • It was designed with the Indian Air Force as its primary customer in mind, but it was later adopted by the Indian Army as well.
  • While the missile was originally incorporated into India’s Strategic Forces Command in 2003, it was also the first missile produced under the IGMDP.
  • India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) developed it as part of its Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

What exactly are the Prithvi Missiles?

  • The Prithvi missile system is made up of several tactical Surface-to-Surface Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM).
  • It was India’s first homegrown ballistic missile, and development began in 1983.
  • It was initially fired from Sriharikota’s SHAR Centre in 1988.
  • It has a range of 150 to 300 kilometres.
  • Dhanush is the naval variant of the Prithvi I and Prithvi III class missiles.
  • The propulsion system was most likely inspired by the Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missile.
  • Soviet SA-2 Surface-to-Air Missile:
  •  The Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missile, developed in the mid-1950s, was the first effective Soviet Union surface-to-air missile.
  • As a tactical nuclear weapon, it was designed as a combat missile that could carry a nuclear warhead.
  • The Indian Army has been using Prithvi I missiles since 1994.
  • Prahar missiles are reportedly being replaced by Prithvi I missiles.
  • Since 1996, Prithvi II missiles have been in service.
  • Prithvi III, with a longer range of 350 kilometres, was successfully tested in 2004.

What exactly is the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme?

  • The IGMDP was an Indian Ministry of Defence programme that researched and developed a wide spectrum of missiles.
  • The project began in 1982–1983 under the direction of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • APJ Abdul Kalam became India’s missile man as a result of this programme.
  • In 2008, the integrated guided missile programme was completed.
The IGMDP produced five missiles:
  • PRITHVI’S (Short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile)
  • AGNI (Medium to intercontinental surface-to-surface missile)
  • TRISHUL’S (Short range low-level surface-to-air missile)
  • AKASH (Surface-to-air missile having a range of up to 25 Km and multi-target handling system)
  • NAG (anti-tank missile of the third generation, “fire and forget,” “top attack”)

Scheme Bharat Gaurav

Why in the news?

  • The first private train in India, under the Bharat Gaurav initiative, has departed from Coimbatore.
  • The train will visit various historical sites along the way, providing passengers with a glimpse into the country’s cultural legacy.

What exactly is the Bharat Gaurav Scheme?

  • About: The programme, which will be launched in November 2021, will add a third segment for tourists to trains. Previously, the railways had passenger and cargo portions.
  • These trains will not be conventional trains that run according to a timetable, but will be more along the lines of the IRCTC’s Ramayana Express.
  • It was announced as part of the tourism circuit trains with a theme. These trains will be operated on theme-based circuits by both private players and the IRCTC.
  • The railways refer to theme-based tourism (circuits) as trains such as Guru Kripa, which visits all areas associated to Guru Nanak, or a Ramayan-themed train, which visits places related to Lord Ram.
  • Anyone, including groups, trusts, consortia, and state governments, can apply to take these trains and run them on themed tourism circuits.
  • Tourists will be offered all-inclusive packages that include rail travel, hotel accommodations, sightseeing arrangements, visits to historical/heritage sites, tour guides, and so on.
  • Benefits of such a Scheme: These trains will help bring India’s rich cultural history and great historical sites to the attention of the people of India and the rest of the globe.
  • They will also aid in the development of India’s tremendous tourism potential.

What are the other schemes that are related?

  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme: 
  • Swadesh Darshan is a Central Sector Scheme that was introduced in 2014-15 to support the coordinated development of theme-based tourist circuits throughout the country.
  • PRASHAD Scheme:
  • The Ministry of Tourism announced the ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive’ (PRASAD) in 2014-15 with the goal of holistic improvement of recognised pilgrimage places.
  • Buddhist Conclave: 
  • The Buddhist Conclave is held every other year with the goal of promoting India as a Buddhist destination and key markets throughout the world.
  • Dekho Apna Desh’ Project:
  •  This is an initiative to encourage individuals to travel widely within the country and see the wonders of India, hence supporting the development of domestic tourism tourist services and infrastructure in tourist destinations throughout the country.

What is the Current Status of Tourism in India?

  • Tourism in India is vital to the country’s economy and is rapidly expanding.
  • According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the travel and tourism industry contributed USD 121.9 billion to GDP in 2020 and is predicted to reach USD 512 billion by 2028.
  • In India, the industry’s direct contribution to GDP is predicted to expand at a 10.35 percent annual pace between 2019 and 2028.
  • Furthermore, India was ranked 34th out of 140 nations in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019, demonstrating India’s attempts to improve in the industry.

2022 Digital News Report

Why in the news?

  • The Reuters Institute just published Digital News Report 2022.
  • The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is committed to investigating the global future of journalism via debate, interaction, and research.
  • This year’s report, the eleventh overall, is based on an online questionnaire survey done by YouGuv, a British market research and data analytics organisation, in January/February 2022.
  • It serves 46 markets across six continents.

What are the report’s main points?

  • People are becoming less trusting in news content.
  • Traditional News Media Consumption is Declining: Traditional news media consumption is declining in nearly all of the countries assessed.
  • Increase in News Avoidance: The share of news consumers that shun news has risen substantially across countries, according to the report, and the practise is referred to as “selective avoidance.”
  • Growth in Digital Subscriptions: Despite slight improvements in the number of people prepared to pay for online news (particularly in richer nations), growth in digital subscriptions for news content appears to be slowing.
Method of Access:
  • The smartphone has become the dominating way for most individuals to get their morning news.
  • While Facebook remained the most popular social network for news, TikTok has emerged as the fastest-growing network, reaching 40% of 18-24-year-olds, with 15% utilising the platform for news.

What exactly is ‘Selective Avoidance of News’?

  • Despite the fact that the majority of people continue to be interested in news, the survey indicates that a growing minority is rationing or limiting their exposure.
  • This is referred to in the report as “selective avoidance.”
  • Since 2017, news avoidance has more than doubled in Brazil (54%) and the United Kingdom (46%).
Avoidance is motivated by the news agenda’s repetition, particularly in the areas of politics and Covid-19 (43 percent )
  • Weary of the news (29 percent )
  • Concerns about trust (29 percent )
  • Negative mood consequences (36 percent )
  • This results in disagreements (17 percent )
  • This resulted in emotions of impotence (6 percent )
  • There is no time for news (14 percent )
  • difficult to comprehend (8 percent )

What about Preferred News Consumption Modes?

  • When it comes to news consumption, text remains king across markets and age groups.
  • Younger audiences, on the other hand, were more likely to claim they watch the news.
  • In India, 58 percent read the news, while 17 percent watch it.
  • Comparable rates for Finland, which has a long history of high newspaper consumption, were 85 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

What about the main news portal?

  • As smartphones became the primary form of access, direct access to apps and websites became less crucial, giving way to social media, which is growing more important as a gateway to news due to its ubiquity and convenience.
  • “At a high level, social media preference (28 percent) has surpassed direct access (23 percent),” according to the report.

What about India’s Trends?

  • India is a highly mobile-centric market.
  • Smartphones were used by 72 percent of survey respondents, while laptops were used by 35 percent.
  • In addition, 84% of Indian respondents got their news via the internet, 63% from social media, 59% from television, and 49% from print.
  • The leading social media sites for sourcing news were YouTube (53%) and WhatsApp (51%).
  • India had a little gain in trust, with 41 percent believing news in general.
  • A minority of respondents (36 percent and 35 percent, respectively) believed that legacy print brands and public broadcasters lacked disproportionate political and business influence.
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