*What are off-budget borrowings?*
• Off-budget borrowings are loans that are taken not by the Centre directly, but by another public institution that borrows on the directions of the central government.
• Such borrowings are used to fulfill the government’s expenditure needs.
• Such borrowings are a way for the Centre to finance its expenditures while keeping the debt off the books — so that it is not counted in the calculation of fiscal deficit.
• But since the liability of the loan is not formally on the Centre, the loan is not included in the national fiscal deficit. This helps keep the country’s fiscal deficit within acceptable limits.
• As a result, a CAG report of 2019 pointed out that this route of financing puts major sources of funds outside the control of Parliament.
*Repo Rate: *
It is the rate at which the central bank of a country (Reserve Bank of India in case of India) lends money to commercial banks in the event of any shortfall of funds.
Reverse Repo Rate: It is the rate at which the central bank of a country (Reserve Bank of India in case of India) borrows money from commercial banks within the country.
*MRO hub plan*
The reforms pertain to three broad categories including rationalisation of airspace, auctioning of new airports and making India an MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) hub for aeroplanes.
• The government aims to increase the aircraft component repairs and airframe maintenance from Rs 800 crore to Rs 2000 crore in the next three years and the aircraft maintenance will come down, increasing revenue for air carriers.
• The plans to make India a global MRO hub will ensure savings of precious foreign exchange and enable Indian airlines to get their aircraft serviced locally,
• Major engine manufacturers in the world would set up engine repair facilities in India in the coming year.
• The biggest upside will be its ability to create new jobs and a strong global value chain with the civil-defence business interface, which remains constrained and under-leveraged.
• The move to invite PPP in six more airports will provide AAI with the resources to develop smaller airports across the country.
• Not just civilians, but also defence aircraft will benefit from this move.
Info Crop Simulation Model
*InfoCrop Simulation Model*
Recently, scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Delhi conducted a first- of-its-kind experiment to quantify the impact of the hot weather on crop yield in Punjab and Haryana by using InfoCrop version 2.1.
*About the ‘InfoCrop Simulation Model’ -*
• In 2004, InfoCrop version 1 was launched by the IARI which is being updated regularly.
• It is a dynamic simulation model for the assessment of crop yields, losses due to pests, and the environmental impact of agro-ecosystems in tropical environments.
• It has the life cycle data for almost all the local varieties of 11 crops: paddy, wheat, maize,
sorghum, pearl millet, pigeon pea, chickpea, soybean, groundnut, potato and cotton.
• It provides daily and summary outputs on various growth and yield parameters, nitrogen uptake, greenhouse gas emissions, soil water and nitrogen balance.