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    Available free Notes of GK & Current Affairs at Daily basis - 27 December 2017

    Current Affairs 26th December 2017

    Important Points


    ·         Putin critic Navalny banned from Russian Presidential Election on - 25th December 2017


    ·         Pakistan allowed mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him at -   Pakistan Foreign Bureau


    ·         Jai Ram Thakur to be sworn in as 14th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on- 27th December 2017




    Putin critic Navalny banned from Russian Presidential Election on - 25th December 2017

    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.


    Pakistan 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.


    Jai Ram Thakur to be sworn in as 14th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on- 27th December 2017

    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

    ·         He 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.

    ·         Even though Dhumal was still in the race for the chief minister's post, he opted to opt out.

    ·         Thakur has been an MLA in Himachal Pradesh Assembly since 1998 and earlier worked as Cabinet Minister in the BJP Government of Himachal Pradesh.

    ·         He worked as the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj from 2007 to 2012.

    ·         He is nominated to the present Himachal Pradesh Assembly from Seraj in Mandi.


    Editorial: Another tool of resolution




    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 law

    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.



    1.       Resolution Corporation:

    §  The Bill establishes a Resolution Corporation to monitor financial firms, anticipate risk of failure, take corrective action, and resolve them in case of such failure.

    §  The Corporation will also provide deposit insurance up to a certain limit, in case of bank failure.


    1.       Classification financial firms

    §  The Resolution Corporation or the appropriate financial sector regulator may classify financial firms under five categories, based on their risk of failure.


    §  These categories in the order of increasing risk are:

    (i) low,

    (ii) moderate,

    (iii) material,

    (iv) imminent,

    (v) critical.


    1.       Taking over the management

    §  The 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.


    1.       Resolution methods

    §  Resolution may be undertaken using methods including:

    (i) merger or acquisition,

    (ii) transferring the assets, liabilities and management to a temporary firm, or

    (iii) liquidation.


    §  If resolution is not completed within a maximum period of two years, the firm will be liquidated.

    §  The 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 bank.



    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.


    §  A 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.

    §  It will provide a comprehensive resolution framework for the economy and inculcate discipline among financial service providers in the event of financial crisis.

    §  It promotes 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 obtaining credit.

    §  It would give increased access to finance enhancing enterprise growth, which in turn leads to preserving employment, growth and the creation of new job opportunities.


    The problems

    The main points of objections to the legislation:

    §  The 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 afloat.

    §  The 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.

    §  People 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.

    §  It may seek to place the entire financial structure of the country at the mercy of the government.

    §  The 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 said.


    What next? 

    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


    Context: Good 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 governance process.


    Role of civil services in a democracy.


    Centre moves SC against fixed term for police chiefs


    The Union 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:

    Transfers are 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.


    Way ahead:

    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


    Context: The 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 time-bound manner.


    Focus: The 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, Odisha.


    E governance.


    electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS)


    Context: The 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.

    Benefits for 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 data.


    Economics of animal-rearing.


    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:

    After Operation 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 litres.



    The dairy 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 Corporation (ARDC).

    §  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 India”.


    Important functions:

    §  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 CWE.

    §  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.


    CPCB may consider using LiDAR devices to monitor air pollution


    The Central 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?

    LIDAR, which 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.


    Applications: 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 (BND-4201):


    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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