The National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) to create a sustainable model for promoting entrepreneurship at the grassroots level by launching the Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP).
Rural entrepreneurs will be able to use banking systems to obtain financial assistance for starting their businesses, including assistance from MUDRA bank.
To supplement the entrepreneurship ecosystem in India’s villages, integrated ICT techniques and tools will be provided, as well as enterprise advisory services.
The project’s beneficiaries are from the DAY-NRLM Self-Help Group (SHG) ecosystem, and the scheme not only supports existing businesses but also new businesses.
The partnership will assist the rural community by assisting them in establishing their trades and providing complete support until they are stabilised.
This practical intervention will provide the public with information, advice, and financial assistance, as well as aid in the formation of village-level community cadre.
SVEP is a sub-scheme of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development, that has been in place since 2016.
Help the rural poor get out of poverty.
Offering financial assistance and training in business management and soft skills in exchange for self-employment opportunities. Create local community cadres to promote businesses.
It focuses on three major pillars of rural start-ups: finance, incubation, and skill ecosystems.
It encourages both individual and group businesses, primarily in the manufacturing, trading, and service sectors.
It invests in developing entrepreneurs’ capacities to run profitable businesses based on local demand and ecosystem.
Investments are also made in the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to develop standard E-learning modules for minimising transmission loss in technical aspects such as business plans and profit and loss account preparations.
SVEP activities are strategically designed to promote rural enterprises in a few key areas.
One of the key areas is the creation of a pool of Community Resource Persons-Enterprise Promotion (CRP-EP) who are local and assist entrepreneurs in establishing rural businesses.
Another critical area is to promote the Block Resource Center (BRC) in SVEP blocks, to monitor and manage community resource persons, to appraise SVEP loan applications, and to serve as the repository of enterprise-related information in the affected block.
BRCs play an important role in enabling a sustainable revenue model to function effectively and independently.
SVEP established local markets/rural haat, which encouraged entrepreneurs to start demand-based production, advertise their business, and increase their earning potential.
A typical rural haat is a mostly indigenous, flexible, and multi-layered structure that accommodates a variety of economic activities.
Local markets/haats/bazaars are important economic platforms where a variety of products are traded.
Achievements: According to a mid-term review of the SVEP conducted in September 2019 by the Quality Council of India, approximately 82 percent of the sampled entrepreneurs across the blocks reported being from the SC, ST, and OBC categories, indicating social inclusion – one of the pillars of NRLM.
Women owned and managed 75% of the businesses, and their average monthly revenue ranged from Rs.39,000 to Rs.47,800 in manufacturing, Rs.41,700 in services, and Rs.36,000 in trading.
According to the study, SVEP enterprises account for approximately 57 percent of the total household income of the entrepreneurs.
PARAM Ganga, a High-Performance Computational (HPC) facility with a supercomputing capacity of 1.66 Petaflops, has been deployed by the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) at IIT Roorkee.
Previously, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru installed the ‘Param Pravega’ supercomputer.
It was established under the auspices of NSM by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).
The basic idea behind building a Petascale Supercomputer with components made in India is to pave the way for Aatmanirbhar Bharat while also accelerating problem-solving capacity in multidisciplinary domains.
It will help researchers solve complex problems of national and global importance.
Along with theoretical and experimental work, it will serve as an essential computer environment for modern-day research.
The primary goal is to provide computational power to the IIT Roorkee user community and neighbouring academic institutions.
A supercomputer is a computer that operates at or near the highest operational rate currently available for computers.
PETAFLOP is a measure of the processing speed of a Supercomputer and can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second.
FLOPS (floating point operations per second) are commonly used to assess a computer’s processor performance.
Extremely long numbers can be handled relatively easily using floating-point encoding.
Supercomputers are primarily intended for use in businesses and organisations that require a large amount of computing power.
Weather forecasting, scientific research, intelligence gathering and analysis, data mining, and so on.
The National Supercomputing Mission was launched in 2015 to improve the country’s research capacities and capabilities by connecting them to form a Supercomputing grid, with the National Knowledge Network (NKN) serving as the backbone.
The NKN project aims to build a strong and robust Indian network capable of providing secure and reliable connectivity.
The Mission intends to construct and deploy 24 facilities with a total compute power of more than 64 Petaflops.
C-DAC has deployed 11 systems with a total compute power of more than 20 Petaflops at IISc, IITs, IISER Pune, JNCASR, NABI-Mohali, and C-DAC under NSM Phase-1 and Phase-2.
It backs the government’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.
The Mission is co-managed by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEIT) (MeitY).
It is being carried out by the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in Pune and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru.
Phase I will focus on supercomputer assembly, while Phase II will focus on manufacturing specific components in the country. India will design a supercomputer in Phase III.
An indigenously developed server platform called ‘Rudra’ is being tested in a pilot system, along with an interconnect for inter-node communication called Trinetra.
Recently, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in Madras High Court requested that all documents include the mother’s name in addition to the father’s.
Changes to the rules for Passport and Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards have recently occurred, allowing an applicant to provide their mother’s name if she is a single parent.
However, this remains an annoyance when it comes to school certificates and other documents that require the father’s name as the guardian.
PAN is a method of identifying different types of taxpayers in the country.
Passports: The Ministry of External Affairs liberalised its passport issuance rules and took a number of steps in December 2016.
Certain changes were made in response to the recommendations of a three-member committee comprised of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development that investigated various issues concerning passports for children following divorce or adoption.
Following the changes, applicants could provide the name of either parent instead of both the father and mother’s names.
When a couple is divorced, the new passport application form does not require them to provide the name of their ex-spouse. They are also not required to provide the divorce decree.
PAN: In November 2018, the Central Board of Direct Taxes amended the Income Tax Rules, 1962, to remove the requirement for the father’s name when a mother was a single parent.
The new PAN application form asks for the mother’s name in addition to the father’s.
Applicants can also select whether they want their father’s or mother’s name on the PAN card.
Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act: In the case of a minor’s guardianship, Indian laws give precedence to the father (below the age of 18 years).
The natural guardian of a Hindu minor in respect of the minor’s person or property “is the father, and after him, the mother,” according to Hindu religious law, or the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, (HMGA) 1956.
“Provided, however, that custody of a minor under the age of five years is ordinarily with the mother.”
Shariat (Muslim Personal Law) Application Act of 1937:
It states that Shariat, or religious law, will apply in cases of guardianship, with the father being the natural guardian, but custody vesting with the mother until the son reaches the age of seven and the daughter reaches puberty, though the father retains the right to general supervision and control.
In Muslim law, the concept of Hizanat states that the welfare of the child comes first.
This is why, in the case of custody of children in their infancy, Muslim law gives preference to the mother over the father.
Supreme Court Decision: In 1999, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Githa Hariharan v. Reserve Bank of India, which provided some relief.
In this case, the HMGA was accused of violating Article 14 of the Indian Constitution’s guarantee of gender equality.
According to Article 14, no one shall be denied treatment of equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
The court ruled that the term “after” should not be interpreted as “after the father’s lifetime,” but rather “in the absence of the father.”
However, the decision failed to recognise both parents as equal guardians, effectively subordinating a mother’s role to that of the father.
Despite the fact that the decision establishes a precedent for courts, it has not resulted in an amendment to the HMGA.
In its 257th report on “Reforms in Guardianship and Custody Laws in India,” published in May 2015, the Law Commission of India recommended that the “superiority of one parent over the other be removed.”
Both the mother and father should be regarded as the natural guardians of a minor at the same time.”
The HMGA should be amended to “recognise both the father and the mother as natural guardians ‘jointly and severally,’ with equal rights over a minor and his property.”
Though courts may tend to award custody of a child to the mother following a marital dispute, guardianship in the law is primarily with the father, and this contradiction highlights that mothers are perceived as caregivers but not decision makers for children.
Various government departments must proactively amend their rules to ensure compliance with the Githa Hariharan decision, as amending laws can be a difficult process.
Individuals will continue to flood the courts in search of relief until that happens.