Economy News-Daily Digest: 2 Key Updates
1. HDFC ERGO sets up remote sensing lab for crop insurance
Private general insurance company HDFC ERGO General Insurance has set up a remote sensing lab for crop insurance. The lab will work on accurately assessing the risks of the insurers and will also be able to give early warnings about the losses. This will be able to prepare the teams in advance and also make assessments in a scientific manner. Further, early warnings about adverse conditions can be given to the government as well the farmers.
The company has hired a specialist in the area of remote sensing to look into the data and assess the information so that predictions can be made. Remote sensing involves setting up scanning an area through the use of satellite to get deeper information about that region. In the earlier crop insurance schemes that were based on weather, there were a few instances of farmers submitting fraudulent claims with respect to crop yield data and crop loss. For this, physical assessments used to be carried in locations to determine the extent of the loss. The agriculture ministry called for use of modern technology like remote satellites and drones for the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) which is a crop insurance scheme subsidised by the government. The government is also encouraging insurers to use smartphones and remote sensing to reduce crop cutting experiments and help cut delay in payments to farmers. HDFC ERGO was one of the first non-life insurers to use drones on a pilot basis to look into estimate losses from any catastrophic events for the crop areas that they covered. With the use of technology, HDFC ERGO can predict any impending risks much earlier and hence also help the farmers prepare better for any anomalies.
2. Govt allows non-transport usage of quadricycles
The government has allowed non-transport usage of quadricycles with a view to providing a safe and cheap mode for the last mile connectivity. A quadricycle is a vehicle which is of the size of a three wheeler but with four tyres and fully covered like a car but its maximum speed limit and engine capacity are lower than that of a small car. Quadricycles were only allowed for transport usage under the Act, but now has been made usable for non-transport also. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified the insertion of the item Quadricycle as a non-transport vehicle under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. This makes it a cheap and safe mode of transport for last mile connectivity.