TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. GS1 Related B. GS2 Related HEALTH ISSUES 1. Girinka POLITY 1. Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018 C. GS3 Related ECONOMY 1. Inter-Creditor Agreement signed by banks D. GS4 Related E. Editorials SOCIO ECONOMIC ISSUES 1. India needs smart Urbanisation F. Tidbits G. Prelims Fact H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
A. GS1 Related
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B. GS2 Related
- It is a flagship programme of the government of Rwanda.
- The Girinka (meaning ‘May you have a cow’) programme started in 2006 to provide one cow to every poor family for their nutritional and financial Security.
- In addition, it serves as a source of soil nutrients via manure to assist in small-scale cropping activity.
- It is helping to transform rural livelihoods and address poverty alleviation.
- The programme was set up with the central aim of reducing child nutrition rates and increasing household incomes of poor farmers.
- The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, donated 200 cows to residents in Rweru model village in Bugesera District, Eastern Province as part of Girinka (one-Cow-per-Poor-Family) programme which he described as the perfect tool for social bonding in communities across the country.
1. Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The bill seeks to punish bribe-givers and bribe-takers
- The Bill provides for jail terms of three to seven years, besides fine, to those convicted of taking or giving bribes to public officials.
- The Bill extends the ambit of public servants who will be protected by the provision of a prior government sanction for prosecution.
- It proposes a ‘shield’ for government staff, including those retired, from prosecution by making it mandatory for investigating agencies like the CBI to take prior approval from competent authority before conducting any enquiry against them.
- This has been provided to ensure that honest officers were not intimidated by false complaints.
- The provision now to get prior permission for starting an investigation and has prompted many to say that the law has been “diluted” from its original draft.
C. GS3 Related
1. Inter-Creditor Agreement signed by banks
- Indian banks trying to sell their troubled assets signed an inter-creditor agreement to push for the speedy resolution of non-performing loans on their balance sheets.
Why is this agreement important?
- The disagreement between joint lenders was the biggest problem in resolving stressed assets. To overcome this issue inter-creditor agreement was introduced.
- So, the government now hopes that the holdout problem, where the objections of a few lenders prevent a settlement between the majority lenders, will be solved through the inter-creditor agreement.
The inter-creditor agreement is aimed at the resolution of loan accounts with a size of ₹50 crore and above that are under the control of a group of lenders.
- As per the terms of the agreement, if 66% of the lenders agree to a resolution plan it would be binding on all lenders.
- A dissenting creditor
- could sell its loan at a discount of 15% of the liquidation value to other lenders
- buy the entire loan at 125% of the resolution plan agreed to by other lenders.
- Another option with a dissenting creditor is to sell their loans to any person at a price mutually arrived between dissenting lender and the buyer.
- However, a dissenting creditor cannot sell it to an asset reconstruction company.
- The agreement also has a standstill clause wherein all lenders are barred from enforcing any legal action against the borrower for recovery of their dues. During the standstill period, lenders are also barred from transferring or assigning their loan to any other person except a bank or finance company.
- This move will process and would provide the resolution to stressed assets issue much earlier than the earlier model which relied solely on the joint lenders’ forum to arrive at a consensus among creditors
- This act would also be logical for joint lenders who want to avoid a deadlock to agree on the ground rules of debt resolution prior to lending to any borrower.
- the obligation on the lead lender to come up with a time-bound resolution plan can have unintended consequences.
- Banks may be compelled to engage in a quick-fire sale of stressed assets due to arbitrary deadlines on the resolution process.
- This will work against the interests of lenders looking to get the best price for their stressed assets.
- It would be in the interest of the majority of creditors to take the time to extract the most out of their assets.
- The biggest obstacle to bad loan resolution is the absence of buyers who can purchase stressed assets from banks
- Bank’s unwillingness to sell their loans at a deep discount to their face value
- The government can solve this problem by getting all its apparatus right, if not the bad loan problem is likely to remain unresolved for some time to come.
D. GS4 Related
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1. India needs smart Urbanisation
- Over 34% of India’s current population lives in urban areas, rising by 3% since 2011. Cities require a renewal that factors in rural-urban migration
A rising number
- While existing large urban agglomerations (those with a population above 50 lakh) have remained mostly constant in number since 2005, smaller clusters have risen significantly (from 34 to 50 clusters with 10-50 lakh population).
- By some estimates, India’s urban population could increase to 814 million by 2050. And yet, cities look and feel downtrodden, riven with poverty and poor infrastructure, with little semblance of urban planning.
- With an increase in urban population will come rising demands for basic services such as clean water, public transportation, sewage treatment and housing.
Smart City front
- while over 90 ‘Smart Cities’ have identified 2,864 projects, India lags on implementation, with about 148 projects completed and over 70% still at various stages of preparation.
- There is still an outstanding shortage of over 10 million affordable houses despite the government taking encouraging steps to incentivise their construction.
Definition of Urban?
- Urban development comes under State governments, with the Governor notifying an area as urban based on parameters such as population, density, revenue generated for the local administration and percentage employed in non-agricultural activities.
- This notification leads to the creation of an urban local government or municipality, classifying the area as a “statutory town”.
- The Central government considers a settlement as urban :
- If it has a urban local government, a minimum population of 5,000;
- Over 75% of its (male) population working in non-agricultural activities; and
- A population density of at least 400 per sq. km.
- However, many States consider such “census towns” as rural, and establish governance through a rural local government or panchayat.
Urban India’s challenges
- Recurring instances of floods in Mumbai,
- Dengue in Delhi.
- Lakes on fire in Bengaluru paint a grim picture.
- While work continues slowly, on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project and the bullet train. etc
- Another issue is the low level of urban infrastructure investment and capacity building. India spends about $17 per capita annually on urban infrastructure projects, against a global benchmark of $100 and China’s $116.
- Announcing a variety of schemes, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission included, but implementation has been mostly inadequate, with exploration of financing options limited as well.
Systemic policy to deal with urban migration
- Internal migration in India is very closely linked to urban transitions, with such migration helping reduce poverty or prevent households from slipping into it. Urban migration is not viewed positively in India, with policies often bluntly seeking to reduce rural to urban migration.
- Preventing such migration can be counterproductive — it would be better to have policies and programmes in place to facilitate the integration of migrants into the local urban fabric, and building city plans with a regular migration forecast assumed.
- Lowering the cost of migration, along with eliminating discrimination against migrants, while protecting their rights will help raise development across the board.
Towards a new model
- Perhaps we need a different model of urbanisation. The announcement of a new urbanisation policy that seeks to rebuild Indian cities around clusters of human capital, instead of considering them simply as an agglomeration of land use, is a welcome transition.
- We need to empower our cities, with a focus on land policy reforms, granting urban local bodies the freedom to raise financing and enforce local land usage norms. For an India to shine, the transformation of its cities is necessary.
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G. Prelims Fact
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H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
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