Civil Aviation Current Affairs - 2020

SWADES Initiative: Skill Mapping programme for Indians returning from Abroad

The Government of India is to conduct SWADES initiative to map the skills of Indians returning from abroad. SWADES is Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support.

Highlights

The SWADES initiative has been begun under Vande Bharat Mission. The initiative aims to generate database of Indians returning from abroad based on their skill sets and experience. The database will then be used to fulfil need of foreign companies and Indian companies.

The maximum number of Indians returning are mainly from UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. These persons returning were primarily employed in automotive, oil and gas, tourism, aviation, IT, hospitality and IT.

SWADES initiative

The initiative is to be conducted by Ministries of Civil Aviation, External Affairs, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. The returning citizens will need to fill up forms under the programme. The form consists of details of job title, work sector, years of experience, etc. A toll free facility has also been set up to support citizens for their queries in filling the forms.

The main aim of the initiative is to provide employment for the Indians returning from abroad.

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the closing of companies all over the world. This made 1000s unemployed. Thus, they are returning to India.

Vande Bharat Mission

The Mission aims at bringing Indians from all over the world. Under the mission, the non-scheduled commercial flights will carry people from Singapore, USA and London. Currently, the mission is working in bringing around 80,000 Indians from Gulf countries.

Fourth Tranche of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan announced

On May 16, 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced the fourth tranche of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The scheme allocated Rs 20 lakh crores to help people during Lock Down 4.0.

Highlights

The Government of India is to bring upon policy reforms in eight sectors. This includes coal, minerals, defence production, civil aviation (air space managements, air ports, MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul)), power distribution companies in the union territories, space, atomic energy.

Coal Sector

Commercial mining is to brought in coal sector. The mining is to be done on revenue sharing basis and make coal available at market prices. Incentives are to be provided to companies that are interested in coal gasification. This is done to reduce the coal-based pollution.

The Coal bed methane is also to be auctioned.

Rs 50,000 crore is to be spent by GoI to create evacuation infrastructure.

India being the third largest bearer of coal reserves is still importing coal. Commercialization of coal will help reduce imports.

Minerals

A new regime is to be introduced where a seamless exploration-cum-mining-cum-production will take place. This is currently being undertaken by different stakeholders. Integrating the entire chain under a single collective stakeholder will certainly help improve the efficiency.

A joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks is to be introduced. This will enhance aluminum industries and also will reduce aluminum electricity cost. This is because, currently the availability of coal and bauxite at the same time is challenging .

The distinction between captive and non-captive mines is being removed. This will help in transferring mining leases and also allow sale of surplus unused minerals. Hence, efficiency of mining sector shall be enhanced.

The Ministry of Minerals will come up with Mineral Index.

Defence Production

The Defence production is to focus on Make in India initiative. The GoI is to notify a list of weapons and platforms on which an import ban is to be imposed. This will improve indigenous production of the country. Every year, the list is to be updated. A separate budget provisioning is to be brought in for domestic capital procurement in the defence sector.

The GoI is to corporatize the Ordnance Factory Boards. This will help in better management of the boards.

The FDI limits in the defence sector is being increased from 49% to 74%.

A mechanism will be established to make sure a time bound procurement process happens in the defence sector. This will help in faster decision making. A project management unit is to be set up.

Civil aviation

Air Space Management

Only 60% of air space is freely available. This is mainly due to defence restrictions. Due to this, India has been using longer routes rather than optimized routes. This is being eased and this will help save flying cost till Rs 1000 crores. This will help in reducing fuel, travel time.

Airports

Six more airports are to be auctioned under PPP model.

MRO

GoI intends to make India a MRO hub. Most of the aircrafts in India go abroad to get their maintenance and repair works done. Therefore, GoI has allocated Rs 2000 crores to establish these MRO zones within the country. It is to be noted that the Union Budget 2020-21 had allocated Rs 800 crores for the same and now it has been increased.

The convergence of defence sector and civil MROs are to be done. This will help in bringing down the cost of the airlines.

Power Distribution Companies in Union Territories

The Power Distribution Companies in Union Territories are to be privatized. A Tariff Policy is to be announced soon to achieve this.

Space

Private Sectors are to be allowed as co-traveller in space journey of India. The private sectors will be allowed to use ISRO facilities. Also, the future projects such as outer space travel, planetary exploration are to be opened to private sector.

Atomic Energy

GoI will establish research reactor in PPP mode to produce medical isotopes. This will make the treatment to certain diseases such as cancer affordable. Also, facilities are to be established to make use of the irradiation technology for food preservation.

Technology-cum-Incubation Centres are to be setup that will foster synergy between research facilities and tech entrepreneurs.

Social Infrastructure Projects

The Government of India has allocated Rs 8,100 crores to boost private sector investments in the social infrastructure projects. The GoI is to enhance quantum of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) up to 30%. Usually the VGF given is 30%.

Significance

The Government of India is to focus on fast tracking investment efforts in Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Project Development Cell is to be formed in every ministry. Ranking of states is to be done to bring upon competitive federalism that will help in faster development. Incentive schemes are to be brought upon to support Make in India.

Portal

So far, 3,376 industrial parks have been set up in India in around 5 lakh hectares of land. These lands are to be mapped under the Industrial Information System. Also, the industrial parks are to be ranked in 2020-21

The information about these parks and lands are to be updated in a portal. The portal will help the investors learn about the availability of land in a particular area and will thus help to fast track development of industries.