Here is the digest of important newspaper articles and quiz!
Special package for textile industry
The central government has announced a Rs.6000 crore special package, with tax and production incentives, for the textile and apparel sector to enable domestic firms to compete globally.
The package aims to help in creating one crore jobs, mostly for women, in the next three years. The package, approved by the Cabinet , includes several tax and production incentives. The government has also suggested bringing in flexibility in labour laws to increase productivity. These initiatives are expected to lead to an increase in exports by $30 billion and help attract investments worth Rs.74,000 crore in three years.
1) Rs. 5500 crore for an additional five percent duty drawback for garments
2) Rs. 500 crore for additional incentives under the amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme
3) Fixed term employment will be considered at par with permanent workman
4) Government to bear the entire employer’s contribution of 12 percent under the EPF Scheme for new employees of garment industry earning less than Rs.15000 per month for the first three years
5) To ensure increased earnings for workers, the package specifies that overtime hours for workers shall not to exceed eight hours per week — in line with International Labour Organisation norms
The package breaks new ground in moving from input-based to outcome-based incentives; a unique feature of the scheme will be to disburse subsidy only after expected jobs have been created.
What is the status of textile industry of India? – Compared with Bangladesh and Vietnam India was the leader in apparel exports between 1995 and 2000. Bangladesh’s apparel exports exceeded that of India in 2003, while Vietnam surpassed India in 2011, Textile Ministry data showed.
China is gradually relinquishing its leadership position in the garment sector due to its rising wages and production shifting to high technology sectors. This is leading to garment sector firms shifting to countries including Bangladesh and Vietnam. India could capture a share of this shifting of industry base.
Health effects of LED
According to a report recently released by the American Medical Association (AMA) Council excessive blue light emitted by light emitting diodes can adversely impact human health.
Blue light directly affects sleep by suppressing the production of the hormone melatonin, which mediates the sleep-wake cycle in humans. The human eye perceives the blue light as white light.
Compared with conventional street lighting, the blue-rich white LED street lighting is five times more disruptive to sleep cycle. Although more research is needed, evidence available suggests a long-term increase in the risk for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity caused by chronic sleep disruption due to exposure to blue light.
The excessive blue wavelength contributes to glare effects as a result of larger scattering in the human eye.
The correlated colour temperature (CCT) of first-generation LEDs, which are currently used, is 4,000K. Higher CCT values indicate greater blue light emission, and in the case of 4,000K LED lighting, 29 per cent of the spectrum is emitted as blue light.
However, at 3,000K, the blue light emitted is only 21 per cent and appears “slightly warmer in tone”. While discomfort and disability glare is reduced, there is only a 3 per cent drop in energy efficiency compared with 4,000K LED lighting.
More attention should be paid to proper design, shielding and installation so that no light shines above 80 degrees from the horizontal, the report says.
Opening our Skies
The government recently unveiled the civil aviation policy. It also raised the FDI limits in the domestic aviation sector. The FDI limit for airlines has been raised (including regional operators for whom FDI of 49 per cent was only allowed last November) to 100 per cent, with automatic approvals for foreign ownership up to 49 per cent.
But it is more likely to bring relief for domestic carriers looking to raise capital or forge an alliance with a global airline than attract many new players into the fray. This is because global airline players continue to be hemmed in by the 49 per cent ownership limit set by the United Progressive Alliance government in 2012, following which ventures such as AirAsia India and Vistara took off.
But it requires that the airline’s chairman and at least two-thirds of its directors to be Indian citizens, and substantial ownership and effective control to be vested in Indian nationals. These limitation need to be relaxed if the sector has to be aligned according to the National Aviation Policy.
What are the FDI limits in other countries? – While the U.S. originally barred foreign control of airlines in 1926 so that its military could take charge of civilian aircraft in times of strife, most countries adopted a similar stance following World War II, citing security concerns and the need to protect the turf of national airlines. The U.S. now allows around 25 per cent foreign ownership in airlines, South Korea permits 49 per cent and Chile a full 100 per cent, even as it has done away with national control and ownership norms.
Australia has now scrapped limits on airline ownership for aircraft flying within its airspace — a model that could very well serve India’s aviation policy objectives of tripling passenger traffic by 2022 and developing regional connectivity.
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