PIB News National Science & Technology
Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin: An Excellent Source Of Methane Hydrate
The Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin holds a massive reserve of methane hydrate and a rich source of cleaner natural gas, claims a study by the Pune-based Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) of the Science & Technology Ministry.
What are Methane Hydrates?
- Methane hydrate also called ‘Fire Ice’ is a crystalline solid that consists of a methane molecule surrounded by a cage of interlocking water molecules. Methane hydrate is an "ice" that only occurs naturally in subsurface deposits where temperature and pressure conditions are favourable for its formation.
How Methane Hydratesareformed?
- Methane hydrate is formed when hydrogen-bonded water and methane gas come into contact at high pressures and low temperatures in oceans.
- They are found primarily on the edge of continental shelves where the seabed drops sharply away into the deep ocean floor.
Other areas where Methane Hydrate were found in India
- They are also found near the coast of Andaman and Mahanadi.
KG Basin has Maximum Diversity
- This study using molecular and culturing techniques revealed maximum methanogenic diversity in the KG basin, which is one of the prominent reasons to confirm it to be the extreme source of biogenic methane in comparison to the Andaman and Mahanadi basins.
What are Methanogens?
- Methanogens are microorganisms that produce methane as a metabolic byproduct in hypoxic conditions.
Despite huge potential, why extraction is a challenge?
- Quite apart from reaching them at the bottom of deep ocean shelves, not to mention operating at low temperatures and extremely high pressure, there is the potentially serious issue of destabilising the seabed, which can lead to submarine landslides.
- A greater potential threat is methane escape. Extracting the gas from a localised area of hydrates does not present too many difficulties, but preventing the breakdown of hydrates and subsequent release of methane in surrounding structures is more difficult.
- And escaping methane has serious consequences for global warming - recent studies suggest the gas is 30 times more damaging than CO2.
- These technical challenges are the reason why, as yet, there is no commercial-scale production of methane hydrate anywhere in the world. But a number of countries are getting close.
Current News Indian Economy Survey And Index
Ranking Of States On Support To Startup Ecosystems
- On 11th September, 2020, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry released the second edition of Ranking of States on Support to Startup Ecosystems-2019, conducted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
- A total of 22 states and 3 Union Territories participated in the exercise, including four states from North East India.
- To help bring to fore progress made by the States/ UTs for promoting Startup ecosystem
- To foster competitiveness & propel the States/ UTs to work proactively
- To facilitate States/ UTs to identify, learn and replicate good practices
About States Startup Ranking 2019
- The framework is spread across 7 areas of intervention with a total of 30 action points, as compared to the 38 action points in previous years’ Ranking Framework.
7 Pillar wise Participation of States
- It cover parameters such as Institutional Support, Simplifying Regulations, Ease in Public Procurement, Incubation Support, Seed Funding support, Venture Funding support, and Awareness and Outreach.
- To establish uniformity and ensure standardization in the ranking process, States and UTs have been divided into two groups.
- Category X: All other States and UT of Delhi.
- Category Y: All UTs except Delhi and all States in North East India except Assam.
- For the purposes of Ranking, States are classified into 5 Categories:
- Best Performers
- Top Performers
- Aspiring Leaders
- Emerging Startup Ecosystems
- Best Performer: Gujarat (State), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (UT)
- Top Performers: Karnataka and Kerala
- Leaders: Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Chandigarh
- Aspiring Leaders: Haryana, Jharkhand, Punjab, Telangana, Uttrakhand
- Emerging Startup Ecosystem: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh
- Best Performer: Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Leader: Chandigarh
- Aspiring Leader: Nagaland
- Emerging Startup Ecosystems: Mizoram, Sikkim
- The ranking will not help the states and UTs, but also the entrepreneurs, and will help in expansion of the startups and launching of new ventures.
- Implemented as capacity development exercise, it will help to encourage mutual learning among all states and to provide support in policy formulation and implementation.
A startup venture could be defined as, a new business that is in the initial stages of operation, beginning to grow and is typically financed by an individual or small group of individuals.
An entity will be considered a startup if it fulfils overarching conditions mentioned below:
- Incorporated as a private limited company (as defined in the Companies Act, 2013) or
- Registered as a partnership firm (registered under section 59 of the Partnership Act, 1932) or
- Registered as a limited liability partnership (under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008) in India.
- 10 years from date of incorporation.
- Must not exceed one hundred crore rupees in any fiscal year.
Nature of Activity
Given that the entity is working towards-
- Development or improvement of products or processes or services
- Job Creation
- Wealth Creation
Opportunities for Startups
Indian markets provide numerous opportunities for startups.
- India’s Large Population: The population of India is a huge asset for the country. By 2020, it is expected that the working age population would surpass the non-working population. This unique demographic advantage will offer a great opportunity to any startup. Various infrastructure issues and the bottom- of the- pyramid market would provide huge opportunities for the startups.
- Change of Mind Set of Working Class: Traditional career paths will be giving way to Indian startup space. Challenging assignments, good compensation packages would attract talented people to startups. Also, it is seen that several high-profile executives are quitting their jobs to start or work for startups.
- Huge Investments in Startups: The startup ecosystem is getting substantial support from foreign and Indian investors, who have shown more faith in the industry and have provided funds to help these companies to grow leaps and bounds.
- Government Initiatives: Government and semi-governmental initiatives are currently supporting startups through infrastructure, financial and technical assistance and easier compliance norms.
Startup Landscape in India
Some key outcomes of the India’s startup growth story as on 31st March 2020 are as follows –
Issues and Challenges of Startups
- Dearth of Financial Resources:Availability of finance is critical for the startups and is always a problem to get sufficient amounts.Proper cash management is critical for the success of the startups. A recent report paints a gloomy picture with 85% of new company’s reportedly underfunded indicating potential failure
- Poor Revenue Generation: Several startups fail due to poor revenue generation as the business grows. As the operations increase, expenses grow with reduced revenues forcing startups to concentrate on the funding aspect. Therefore, the challenge is not to generate enough capital but also to expand and sustain the growth.
- Supporting Infrastructure: Various support mechanisms that play asignificant role in the life cycle of startups which include incubators, science and technology parks, business development centers etc. Lack of access to such support mechanisms increases the risk of failure.
- Lack of Awareness in Markets: Startups fail due to lack of attention to limitations in the markets. The environment for a startup is usually more difficult than for an established firm due to uniqueness of the product.
- Complex Regulatory Environment: Starting a business requires a number of permissions from government agencies. Despite the perceptible change in recent years, it is still a challenge to register a company. Further, regulations pertaining to labor laws, intellectual property rights, dispute resolution etc. are rigorous in India.
- Lack of Mentor ship:Lack of proper guidance and mentor ship is one of the biggest problems that exist in the Indian startup ecosystem. Most of startups have brilliant ideas and/or products, but have little or no industry, business and market experience to get the products to the market.
- Lack of an Effective Branding Strategy:Absence of an effective branding strategy is another issue that prevents startups from flourishing. Branding is of paramount importance for startups as it gives an identity and occupies a space in the consumers’ minds.
Recent Regulatory Reforms towards Startups
Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenge (ANIC) Program
- Launched on 9th September, 2020, the Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenge (ANIC) Program, launched by the government, is a national initiative to promote research & innovation and increase competitiveness of Indian startups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
- Launched by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in July, 2020, it is an Incubator Capabilities Enhancement program for a Robust Ecosystem focused on creating high performing Startups.
- It has been designed to act as a growth support for AIM’s Atal and Established Incubators across the country.
National Startup Advisory Council
- In January, 2020, the government created National Startup Advisory Council to advise the Government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
- Announced by the government on 15th August 2015, the initiative aims to build a strong eco-system for nurturing innovation and Startups in the country that will drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
- To achieve the objectives of the Startup India initiative, an Action Plan for Startup India on 16th January 2016. The Action Plan comprises of 19 action items spanning across areas such as “Simplification and handholding”, “Funding support and incentives” and “Industry academia partnership and incubation”.
Make in India
- Launched in 2014, its ultimate aim is to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub. This initiative facilitates investments, skill development, encourages innovation, protect intellectual property rights to achieve this objective.
- Through this scheme, startups get loans from the banks to set up, grow and stabilize their businesses.
SETU (Self-Employment and Talent Utilization) Fund
- Government has allotted Rs 1,000 Cr in order to create opportunities for self-employment and new jobs mainly in technology-driven domains.
- Government launched e-biz portal that integrates 14 regulatory permissions and licenses at one source to enable faster clearances and improve the ease of doing business in India.
- Startups are currently an important asset that needs to be supported through fast-paced infrastructure growth. Additionally, the government must push banks and other financial institutions to give low-interest loans to innovative startups. These startups must be given free training so that they can survive the competitive market.
- India has a huge demographic base. The lack of necessary skills and education are preventing India from realising the human capital’s potential. Reforms in these aspects is a need of the hour.
- As part collective initiative, the Centre and States would need to work together and build required infrastructure, dedicated system, pool of intellect and financial resources for all age groups.
- Reforms must be made to the current restrictive legislative structure and regulatory norms in a way that allows the startups to flourish and develop across the country.