Current Affairs 26th December 2017
critic Navalny banned from Russian Presidential Election on - 25th December
allowed mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him at -
Pakistan Foreign Bureau
Ram Thakur to be sworn in as 14th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on-
27th December 2017
critic Navalny banned from Russian Presidential Election on - 25th December
Russia's central election commission voted
on Monday 25 th December 2017 to ban opposition politician Alexei Navalny
from going in a Presidential Election coming year, informing that he was
non-eligible due to a previous criminal judgement.
The commission informed the judgement, for which Mr. Navalny got
a suspended order and which he continuously has explained as
politically-stunt, thus he could not undergo for President Elections to be held
in March 2018. 12 representatives of the total 13-representative commission
supported to ban Mr. Navalny. Only 1 associate of the commission formally
declined, mentioned a possible conflict of interest.
allowed mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him at - Pakistan Foreign Bureau
After 22 months, Pakistan claimed to have
arrested Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for spying, a allegation refused by
India, Jadhav finally met his mother Avanti and wife Chetankul with a
glass wall in- between them, at the Pakistan Foreign Bureau.
This was Jadhav's 1st meeting with his
family after he was manifested to be grasped in Pakistan and punished to death
by a secret military court where no outside body could confirm the evidence
against him. Pakistan was banned by the International Court of Justice recently
this year from conveying the death punishment against the Kulbhushan
Jadhav. A day before, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif informed
during a Television talk show, that India had been provided with a
consular entry to Jadhav, explaining it as a compromise.
Where Pakistan insisted that the meeting was as the result of humanitarian
deliberations, it was clear that there was an attentive effort by it to
use the optics and utilize the occasion to show itself as a victim
of terrorism funded by India. It continuously declared 25 th December was
chosen for this meeting on the occasion of the birthday of Qaid-e- Azam
Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
Ram Thakur to be sworn in as 14th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on- 27th
5-time BJP MLA Jai Ram Thakur was nominated
as the fourteenth Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh along with being
nominated as the leader of the BJP legislature party in the state. He will took
oath in at the historic Ridge Ground in Shimla on 27th December 2017.
His oath ceremony will be attended by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and other senior Ministers
of BJP-ruled states. The 52-year- old BJP leader edged previous party veterans
in the race to the leading position and he will be the 1st leader from the
politically-significant Mandi area to escort the hill state. Mandi has 10
Assembly seats, 2nd only to Kangra's 15.
Talking on the occasion, the Chief
Minister-designate Jairam Thakur told that he will do his best to come up
to assumptions of people in the state. Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar
and Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman were designated as central
observers by the BJP.
More about Jai Ram Thakur
was nominated as CM of Himachal Pradesh and BJP legislative party leader on
24th December 2017 after the beating of the party’s prime chief
ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal in the November assembly elections.
though Dhumal was still in the race for the chief minister's post, he opted to
has been an MLA in Himachal Pradesh Assembly since 1998 and earlier worked as
Cabinet Minister in the BJP Government of Himachal Pradesh.
worked as the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj from 2007 to
is nominated to the present Himachal Pradesh Assembly from Seraj in Mandi.
Editorial: Another tool of
The Financial Resolution and
Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 (FRDI Bill), introduced in the Lok Sabha in
August, 2017, is under consideration of the Joint Committee of the Parliament.
have given rise to concerns over protection for bank deposits in the proposed
The FRDI Bill provides for the
setting up of a ‘Resolution Corporation’ which would replace the
currently existing Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation
(DICGC) which is now an arm of the RBI.
Certain misgivings have been
expressed in the media regarding “bail-in” provisions of the FRDI Bill. Finance
Ministry stated that The FRDI Bill do not take away from the government’s
implicit guarantee to depositors. They provide additional protections to the
depositors in a more transparent manner.
The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017
The Government has said, FRDI
Bill is far more depositor friendly than many other jurisdictions, which
provide for statutory bail-in, where consent of creditors or depositors is not
required for bail-in. Ministry of Finance said, Government’s implicit guarantee
for Public Sector Banks remains unaffected.
Bill establishes a Resolution Corporation to monitor financial
firms, anticipate risk of failure, take corrective action, and resolve
them in case of such failure.
will also provide deposit insurance up to a certain limit, in case of bank
Classification financial firms
Resolution Corporation or the appropriate financial sector regulator may
classify financial firms under five categories, based on their risk of failure.
categories in the order of increasing risk are:
Taking over the management
Resolution Corporation will take over the management of a financial firm once
it is classified as ‘critical’. It will resolve the firm within one year.
may be undertaken using methods including:
(i) merger or acquisition,
(ii) transferring the assets, liabilities and
management to a temporary firm, or
resolution is not completed within a maximum period of two years, the firm will
Bill also specifies the order of distributing liquidation proceeds.
How does it work?
In case of a bank failure, the
proposed corporation will provide deposit insurance up to a certain limit,
which has not been specified. Currently, bank deposits of up to Rs 1 lakh are
insured but there are few banks that have failed in India in recent years as
the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stepped in to work out a resolution plan
without creating any risk for depositors.
The bill has suggested that the
use of the ‘bail-in’ provision may result in cancellation of a liability, which
could extend to bank deposits or could lead to modification of the terms or
changing the form of the asset class. This provision would be last in the line
for payments in case of liquidation.
The deposit insurance scheme
currently covers all banks, commercial, regional rural and co-operative banks.
So far in 2017, more than Rs 28 crore was sanctioned from the insurance scheme
to all co-operative banks according to information on the DICGC website.
The bill proposes to
establish a resolution corporation to monitor financial firms and oversee
the liquidation, which was not the case in so far. The RBI which has been in
charge of bank liquidations or resolutions will also no longer be in charge.
Once a financial services
company, including a bank, slips into critical category, the resolution
corporation will take over the firm and prepare a resolution plan during a
year, which can be extended by another 12 months.
The controversial provision of
‘bail in’ to resolve the stressed financial services companies. The other
options include mergers, transfer of assets and liabilities to another entity,
a bridge financial firm (where a new company is set up to take over the assets,
liabilities and management as was the case with UTI), or liquidation via the
National Company Law Tribunal.
The Parliamentary panel is
expected to submit its report, which will be considered by the Union Cabinet
before the Bill is tabled in Parliament again.
But the plan has generated a
lot of heat with bank unions as well as political parties criticising the move
that has the potential to use deposits, beyond the insured amount, for reviving
The government believes that
the bill seeks to protect customers of financial service providers in times of
financial distress and also help encourage discipline among the financial
service providers by putting a limit on the use of public money to bail out
distressed entities. It also seeks to decrease the time and costs involved in
resolving distressed financial entities.
large number of retail depositors can benefit as the FRDI Bill seeks to
decrease the time and costs involved in resolving distressed financial
entities and help in maintaining financial stability in the economy by
ensuring adequate preventive measures as well as provide necessary instruments
in an event of crisis.
will provide a comprehensive resolution framework for the economy and
inculcate discipline among financial service providers in the event of
ease of doing business in the country, improves financial inclusion and
increase access to credit, which may lead to the reduction of the cost for
would give increased access to finance enhancing enterprise growth, which
in turn leads to preserving employment, growth and the creation of new job
The main points of objections
to the legislation:
bill’s biggest problem is its controversial provisions of a “bail-in”clause which suggests that
depositors’ money could be used by failing financial institutions to stay
Resolution Corporation (rescue body), which is proposed under the bill, can use
public money in case the bank starts to sink. The bill empowers the rescue body
to decide the amount insured for each depositor. The rescue body can cancel
even the Rs 1 lakh insurance that depositors get under the current law and a
bank can even declare that they don’t owe them any money at all.
are worried that if this bill is passed in Parliament, the depositors’ rights
may go down the drain, but that is ONLY if the bank is going down the drain,
and that is a rare scenario.
may seek to place the entire financial structure of the country at the mercy of
legislation proposes to amend the SBI Act in order to insert a clause for its
liquidation which gives rise to apprehensions that in due course the government
might even take recourse to privatisation of the SBI.
What has been the government’s response?
The government has said that
India’s FRDI Bill is more depositor-friendly than that of many other
jurisdictions that provide for statutory bail-ins, where the consent of
creditors or depositors is not required for bail-ins.
It has also said that it does
not propose in any way to limit the scope of powers to extend financing and
resolution support to banks, including public sector banks.
The government’s implicit
guarantee for public sector banks remains unaffected, the Finance Ministry has
The government of the day is
well within its powers to bring in whatever legislations it deems fit. But
eventually, all such measures have to have a nod from the biggest and the
highest court: the people’s court.
The ultimate test of a
government lies in the people’s acceptance of its policies.
There are concerns that the
Bill may not clearly lay down the quantum of protection for deposits, or
classify deposits separately.
The proposed FRDI bill may be a
fiscal policy and not a tax as such but the government must remember it should
not cross the threshold of the general public’s acceptance levels.
Role of civil services
in a democracy.
Good Governance Day 2017
Governance Day is observed annually on December 25th, the birth anniversary of
former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Good Governance Day was established
in 2014 to honor Mr Vajpayee by fostering awareness among the people of
accountability in government. In keeping with this principle, the Good
Governance Day has been declared to be a working day for the government.
Objectives of Good Governance Day:
§ To make people
aware about the government commitment for providing a transparent and
accountable administration in the country.
§ To enhance the
welfare and betterment of the people.
§ To standardise the
government functioning and to make it a highly effective and accountable governance
for the citizens of the country.
§ To implement the
good and effective policies to complete a mission of good governance in India.
§ To enhance the
growth and development in the country through good governance.
§ To bring citizens
closer to the government to make them active participants in the good
Role of civil services
in a democracy.
Centre moves SC against fixed term for police chiefs
government has filed an interlocutory application in the Supreme Court to amend
a 2006 order of the court that is being used by the States to appoint
“favourites” as Directors-General of Police.
What’s the issue?
A 2006 court order
ensured a two-year fixed term for the DGPs. The court issued the order for a
fixed two-year term for the DGPs after Prakash Singh, former DGP of Uttar
Pradesh, filed a petition on police reforms. However, some States are misusing
the order and appointing officers about to retire, giving them a fixed term of
two years, irrespective of the superannuation date. Most of the time these
appointments are done for political gains as the officer will be obliged to
return favours. The implementation of the order is not monitored effectively.
The All India
Services Act, 1951, bars any officer from remaining in office after retirement,
unless cleared by the Centre. The Home Ministry is the cadre-controlling
authority for IPS officers, and the Supreme Court order is being increasingly
misused by the States to appoint officers close to the regime.
Need for fixed tenure:
often used as instruments of reward and punishment, with officials being
frequently transferred on the whims and caprices as well as the personal needs
of local politicians and other vested interests. Officers, especially those in
the All India Services, serving in state governments, have no stability or
security of tenure.
Therefore, it is
felt that guaranteeing a ‘minimum assured tenure’ in postings would effectively
deter politicians from using transfers as a threatening weapon against the
babus (read bureaucrats). Fixing tenure of bureaucrats will also promote
professionalism, efficiency and good governance.
The Ministry is
planning to lay down guidelines to ensure that only those who had a minimum of
one-and-a-half to two years to retire were included in the panel.
Development processes and the development industry the
role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities,
institutional and other stakeholders.
Action plan for the backward districts
government has drawn up tailor-made action plans for 115 identified
“most-backward” districts in the country to improve their socio-economic profiles
by making available basic services like healthcare, sanitation and education as
well as basic physical infrastructure like roads and drinking water supply in a
government’s focus is to work with states to bring a transformative change in
these backward areas through rapid government-anchored programmes and
interventions by 2022, the 75th year of India’s independence.
Selection of backward districts:
The 115 districts,
including 35 affected by left-wing extremism, were selected on parameters like
deprivation (extent of landless households), health & nutrition
(institutional delivery, stunting of children and wasting in children),
education (elementary dropout rate and adverse pupil-teacher ratio) and
infrastructure (un-electrified homes, lack of toilets, villages not connected
by road and lack of drinking water).
Need for tailor made action plans:
In 2016, India
ranked 131 among 188 nations in the UN Development Programme’s human
development index (HDI) with major inter-state and inter-district variations.
Nearly 40% of children born in India are stunted and/or underweight while
almost 50% of women are anemic. On nutrition, India even lags behind its
neighbours such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and China.
Among states, in
Jharkhand nearly 50% children are underweight, 64% of class 5 students can’t
read standard 2 English, density of population to doctor/hospital beds are the
lowest in the country and 40% households are not electrified. While at least
one district has been included from each state under the backward district
programme, Jharkhand has the highest number of districts with 19, followed by
Bihar (13) Chattisgarh (10) and 8 each in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,
Resource Management System (e-HRMS)
government has launched electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS)
for central government employees.
About e- HRMS:
What is it? It is
an online platform for central government employees to apply for leave and
access their service-related information.
employees: With launch of e-HRMS, employees will be able to not only see all
their details with respect to service book, leave, GPF, salary, etc. but also
apply for different kind of claims/reimbursements, loan/advances, leave, leave
encashment, LTC advances, tour etc. on a single platform. They will also be
able to track status and match details instantly.
Benefits for the
government: Availability of centralized data will enable Government for policy
research and planning as such educational qualifications and other competencies
and deficiencies may be easily obtained. It will enable Government to take
transfer and posting decisions more pragmatically based on reliable first hand
Fund to help milk co-ops expand capacity
Context: The National Bank
for Agriculture and Rural Development will soon get going on a Rs 8,000-crore
fund that the finance minister announced in this year’s budget to support the
dairy sector. Under the Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund, Nabard
is the nodal agency to finance projects over a period of three years.
Benefits of this fund:
Flood which ended in 1990, this is the biggest dairy development programme. It
will surely help small dairy cooperatives in states like Punjab, Haryana and
Bihar where there is huge scope of expansion. The fund would help dairy
cooperative in setting up modern milkprocessing infrastructure, expanding
product portfolio and ensuring optimum value for their products.
Significance of this move:
NABARD targets to
sanction proposals to create new milk processing capacity of 27 million litres
per day in the cooperative sector this year. With this investment, the milk
processing capacity (in the cooperative sector) would increase from the current
66 million litres per day to 92.6 million litres per day. Further, the bulk
milk-chilling capacity would go up from 48 million litres per day to 63 million
processing infrastructure of cooperatives needs modernisation and capacity
enhancement, and with most cooperatives sharing their profits with milk
producers, they need support.
It is an apex
development and specialized bank established on 12 July 1982 by an act by the
parliament of India. Its main focus is to uplift rural India by increasing the
credit flow for elevation of agriculture & rural non farm sector.
§ It was established
based on the recommendations of the Committee set up by the Reserve Bank
of India (RBI) under the chairmanship of Shri B. shivaraman.
§ It replaced the
Agricultural Credit Department (ACD) and Rural Planning and Credit Cell (RPCC)
of Reserve Bank of India, and Agricultural Refinance and Development
§ It has been
accredited with “matters concerning policy, planning and operations in the
field of credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas in
§ It Serves as an
apex financing agency for the institutions providing investment and production
credit for promoting the various developmental activities in rural areas.
§ It takes measures
towards institution building for improving absorptive capacity of the credit
delivery system, including monitoring, formulation of rehabilitation schemes,
restructuring of credit institutions, training of personnel, etc.
§ It regulates the
cooperative banks and the RRB’s, and manages talent acquisition through IBPS
§ NABARD is also
known for its ‘SHG Bank Linkage Programme’ which encourages India’s banks to
lend to SHGs.
Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation,
environmental impact assessment.
consider using LiDAR devices to monitor air pollution
Pollution Control Board is planning to use advanced LiDAR (Light Detection and
Ranging) devices to vertically monitor the air quality of Delhi-NCR. The agency
is currently focusing on strengthening its surface-level monitoring network,
however, in ‘later stages’, vertical monitoring will also be taken up.
What is LIDAR?
stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses
light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to
the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne
system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the
Earth and its surface characteristics.
Types: Two types
of LIDAR are topographic and bathymetric. Topographic LIDAR typically uses a
near-infrared laser to map the land, while bathymetric lidar uses
water-penetrating green light to also measure seafloor and riverbed elevations.
LIDAR systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both
natural and manmade environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility.
Scientists are using LIDAR also to produce more accurate shoreline maps, make
digital elevation models for use in geographic information systems, to assist
in emergency response operations, and in many other applications.
Facts for Prelims:
Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya
What is it?
It is India’s
first home-grown high purity gold reference standard. It was launched recently.
It is the reference material for gold of ‘9999’ fineness (gold that is 99.99%
pure). It will be beneficial to the consumers and public at large to ensure
purity of gold.
Benefits of the
new standard: Once the BND’s of other purity gold are made available in the
market, jewellers will move towards more instrumental methods rather than the
conventional fire assay methods for testing, which are not only time consuming
but also not environment friendly as poisonous gases are released. Gold
reference standard is indispensable in gold and jewellery hall marking. This
will also be useful for Collection and Purity Testing Centres to certify the
purity of gold deposits under the gold monetisation scheme.
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