13 Sep 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
HEALTH
1. India’s health report
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Central government announces new procurement policy
2. Centre hikes ethanol prices
ENVIRONMENT
1. Biological Conservation: Man-animal conflict
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. Sage advice: on Raghuram Rajan's suggestions
F. Tidbits
G. Prelims Fact
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: HEALTH

1. India’s health report

 

The India State-level Disease Burden Initiative
  • It was launched in October 2015 to address this crucial knowledge gap with support from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India.
  • This is a collaborative effort between the Indian Council of Medical Research, Public Health Foundation of India, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and experts and stakeholders from about 100 institutions across India.
  • The work of this Initiative is overseen by an Advisory Board consisting of eminent policymakers and involves extensive engagement of 14 domain expert groups with the estimation process.
  • The report describes the distribution and trends of diseases and risk factors for every state of India from 1990 to present day.

Key findings of the Report

  • Indians have registered a 50% increase in the prevalence of ischemic heart disease and stroke over the period from 1990 to 2016, with the number of diabetes cases climbing from 26 million to 65 million.
Ischaemic (or ischemic) heart disease
  • Ischaemic (or ischemic) heart disease is a disease characterized by reduced blood supply to the heart.
  • It is the most common cause of death in most western countries.
  • Ischaemia means a “reduced blood supply”.
  • The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle and no alternative blood supply exists, so a blockage in the coronary arteries reduces the supply of blood to heart muscle.
  • In the same period, the number of people ailing from chronic obstructive lung disease went up from 28 million to 55 million, according to the ‘India State-level Disease Burden Initiative’ report.
  • The proportional contribution of cancers to the total loss of health in India has doubled from 1990 to 2016, but the incidence of different types of cancers varies widely between the States.

Punjab tops list

  • The State-wise disease burden showed that Punjab has been ranked at the top for the burden of ischemic heart disease, followed by Tamil Nadu, and vice-versa for diabetes.
  • West Bengal topped with the largest number of stroke cases followed by Odisha, according to the comprehensive analysis of several major non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
  • A non-communicable disease is a noninfectious health condition that cannot be spread from person to person. It also lasts for a long period of time. This is also known as a chronic disease.
  • A combination of genetic, physiological, lifestyle, and environmental factors can cause these diseases. Some risk factors include:
    1. unhealthy diets
    2. lack of physical activity
    3. smoking and secondhand smoke
    4. excessive use of alcohol
  • Noncommunicable diseases kill around 40 million people each year. This is about 70 percent of all deaths worldwide.
  • Noncommunicable diseases affect people belonging to all age groups, religions, and countries.
  • Noncommunicable diseases are often associated with older people. However, 15 million annual deaths from noncommunicable diseases occur among people aged 30 to 69.
  • More than 85 percent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and in vulnerable communities where access to preventative healthcare is lacking.
  • Some noncommunicable diseases are more common than others. The four main types of noncommunicable diseases include cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes.
  • Kerala was ranked at the top for the burden of cancer, followed by Assam.

Being overweight was found to be a major risk factor for diabetes doubled in every State of India from 1990 to 2016.

  • These papers, through detailed analysis, have elucidated disease and risk factor trends for major NCDs, and suicides, in every State, over 26 years.
  • NCDs have been increasing in India, a major finding of concern is that the highest rate of increase in ischemic heart disease and diabetes is in the less developed States of India.
  • These States already have a high burden of chronic obstructive lung disease, and of a range of infectious and childhood diseases, so the control of NCDs in these States has to be boosted without delay.
  • The papers showed that the proportional contribution of cancers to disease burden in India has doubled since 1990, but the incidence of individual cancers varies widely between the States, the reasons for which need to be understood better to guide prevention and control of cancer.
Ayushman Bharat
  • Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. 
  • Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes – Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
  • Salient Features
    • Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will have a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
    • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.
    • Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database.
    • The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities.
    • To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis.
    • One of the core principles of Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission is to co-operative federalism and flexibility to states.
    • For giving policy directions and fostering coordination between Centre and States, it is proposed to set up Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) at apex level Chaired by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister. 
    • States would need to have State Health Agency (SHA) to implement the scheme.
    • To ensure that the funds reach SHA on time, the transfer of funds from Central Government through Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission to State Health Agencies may be done through an escrow account directly.
    • In partnership with NITI Aayog, a robust, modular, scalable and interoperable IT platform will be made operational which will entail a paperless, cashless transaction.
  • Implementation Strategy
    • At the national level to manage, an Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Agency (AB-NHPMA) would be put in place. States/ UTs would be advised to implement the scheme by a dedicated entity called State Health Agency (SHA). They can either use an existing Trust/ Society/ Not for Profit Company/ State Nodal Agency (SNA) or set up a new entity to implement the scheme.
    • States/ UTs can decide to implement the scheme through an insurance company or directly through the Trust/ Society or use an integrated model.
  • Experts noted that the insights provided by these findings are very timely for the planning of Ayushman Bharat, the National Health Protection Mission announced recently by the Prime Minister.
  • ICMR is also working at creating a standard treatment workflow for Ayushman Bharat.
  • The Council added that they are all set to make public Mahatma Gandhi’s health records — general health, blood pressure data, etc. — as part of the 150th commemorative issue of the Indian Journal of Clinical Research.

Indian Women and suicide

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death in the 15-39 years age group in India. Thirty-seven per cent of such deaths among women globally occur in India, and the suicide rate among the elderly has increased over the past quarter century.
  • The data was released on Wednesday by the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative, a joint study of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and other institutes including the Public Health Foundation of India and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Prevention strategy

  • India’s proportional contribution to global suicide deaths is high and increasing.
  • Suicide Death Rate (SDR) in India is higher than expected for its socio-demographic index level, especially for women, with substantial variations in the magnitude and men-to-women ratio between the states.
  • India must develop a suicide-prevention strategy that takes into account these variations in order to address this major public health problem, it stated.
  • The highest age-specific SDR among women in 2016 was for ages 15-29 years. Suicide was the leading cause of death in India in 2016 for those aged 15-39 years; 71.2% of the suicide deaths among women and 57.7% among men were in this age group.
  • The very high contribution of India — from 1990 to 2016 — to the total suicide deaths in the world, especially among women, is a cause of worry.
  • The ten-fold variation between the States in the SDR for women emphasises the need to better understand the reasons behind these suicides and make concerted efforts to reduce this avoidable loss of predominantly young lives.
  • India’s contribution to global suicide deaths increased from 25.3% in 1990 to 36.6% in 2016 among women, and from 18.7% to 24.3% among men.
  • It further said that if the trends observed up to 2016 continued, the probability of India achieving Sustainable Development Goals for SDR reduction in 2030 was zero.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, which are in the higher-middle and high epidemiological transition level groups, consistently had a higher SDR for both men and women.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Central government announces new procurement policy

Minimum Support Price MSP
  • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices.
  • The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
  • MSP is price fixed by Government of India to protect the producer – farmers – against excessive fall in price during bumper production years.
  • The minimum support prices are a guarantee price for their produce from the Government. The major objectives are to support the farmers from distress sales and to procure food grains for public distribution.
  • In case the market price for the commodity falls below the announced minimum price due to bumper production and glut in the market, government agencies purchase the entire quantity offered by the farmers at the announced minimum price.

PROCUREMENT POLICY

  • Government procurement or public procurement is the procurement of goods, services and construction on behalf of a public authority, such as a government agency. With 10 to 20% of GDP, government procurement accounts for a substantial part of the global economy.
  • To prevent fraud, waste, corruption, or local protectionism, the laws of most countries regulate government procurement to some extent. Laws usually require the procuring authority to issue public tenders if the value of the procurement exceeds a certain threshold.
  • Government procurement is also the subject of the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), a plurilateral international treaty under the auspices of the WTO.

Public procurement in India is about 30% of GDP and most vulnerable to corruption. Characterized by cartelization, rigging, monopoly, corruption, poor quality of procured goods and services etc. Apart from reduction in corruption, ensuring access for government to best product and service at reasonable prices etc., it can bring in the following financial benefits :

  • Fiscal Savings (0.6-1.2% of GDP as per the Bill) and hence added fiscal space
  • Enhanced flexibility for government to channel expenditure into growth enhancing areas
  • Shift towards rule-based institutional procurement

Challenges in Implementation:

  • Enhancing data management capabilities and standardisation which will ensure transparency in public procurements.
  • Need clarity regarding multiple references to ‘rules’ in the Bill which have led to confusion and ambiguity.
  • Need to upgrade infrastructure (For e.g. IT Infrastructure for e-procurement) and the skill sets of the officials involved in procurement exercise in-line with best practices.
  • However, apart from these, certain other reforms like:
    • Changes in the Procurement Bill like simplifying objectivity, including post-tendering steps within the ambit of procurement, designating a nodal agency for procurement etc.
    • Strengthening CCI to check cartelization while procurement
    • Adoption of Global best practices like OECD Guidelines In Public Procurement
    • These all steps along will go a long way in reforming the procurement process in India

In news

Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA)

  • The Cabinet has given approval to the new procurement policy which will ensure that the farmers get the minimum support price (MSP) at a time when the market prices fall below the benchmark prices set by the government.
  • The new mechanism is expected to be crop specific. This will mark a significant departure from the current mechanism, under which the crops are purchased by the government and the MSP price is transferred to farmers’ account through Direct Benefit Transfer.
  • The new mechanism is likely to cost the exchequer nearly Rs 40,000 crore and come into effect for the upcoming harvest of the Kharif season.
  • One scheme will focus on compensating oilseeds farmers if rates fall below the MSP, and another will allow states to rope in private players for procurement.
  • Under the new policy, the state governments will be given an option to choose multiple schemes to protect farmers when prices fall below the MSP.
Price Deficiency Payment Scheme
  • A new scheme ‘Price Deficiency Payment (PDP)’ has been framed on the lines of Madhya Pradesh government’s Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana (BBY) to protect oilseeds farmers only.
  • Under the PDP, the government will pay to farmers the difference between the MSP and monthly average price of oilseeds quoted in wholesale market. This would be implemented for up to 25 per cent of the oilseeds production in a state.
  • Besides this, the states are given option to rope in private players for oilseeds procurement on a pilot basis.
  • Both PDP and private players’ participation will be exclusively for oilseeds because the government wants to bring down the country’s import dependence on cooking oils, the sources said.
  • Under the new policy, the states will also have an option to choose the existing Price Support Scheme (PSS), under which central agencies procure commodities covered under the MSP policy when prices fall below the MSP.
  • The states can choose either PSS or PDP or engage private players in procurement to ensure MSP to farmers.
  • The Food Corporation of India (FCI), the government’s nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, already procures wheat and rice at MSP for supply through ration shops and welfare schemes.
  • The centre also implements Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for procurement of those commodities, which are perishable in nature and are not covered under the MSP policy.
  • Under the MSP policy, the government fixes the rates for 23 notified crops grown in kharif and rabi seasons.
  • The Centre has announced a ₹15,053 crore scheme to ensure that farmers growing oilseeds, pulses and copra actually get the minimum support price (MSP) they are promised for their crops every year.
  • The umbrella policy — Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) — was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
  • It clubs together an existing procurement scheme with newly introduced options — meant for oilseeds only — of additional procurement by private traders or a cash payment scheme.
  • Apart from the ₹15,053 crore to be spent over a two-year period to implement the scheme, the Cabinet approved an additional government credit guarantee of ₹16,550 crore for agencies undertaking procurement.
  • The government is working with a holistic approach. Increasing MSP is not adequate and it is more important that farmers get the full benefit of the announced MSP.
  • The government announces minimum support prices for 23 crops every year. This year, these rates were set at 50% higher than the farmers’ production costs, including that for labour.
  • The rates are meant to give remunerative prices to the farmers and assure them of some profits. About one-third of the harvest of the two major foodgrains, rice and wheat, are procured by the Centre at the MSP for sale in ration shops.
  • However, most of the 21 other crops are sold at market prices, often below the MSP, as the government’s procurement operations are temporary.

Copra, pulses will still get price support

  • Under the umbrella policy — Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) — approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, the existing Price Support Scheme (PSS) will continue for pulses and copra, with Central agencies — including the NAFED and the Food Corporation of India — physically procuring the produce whenever the market rates fall below MSP, up to a maximum limit of 25% of the total harvest.
  • The Centre will bear the costs, as per existing guidelines. However, for oilseeds alone, the States will be allowed to choose between the PSS or two new schemes, an official statement said.
  • The Price Deficiency Payment Scheme is modelled on the Bhavantar experiment in Madhya Pradesh last year, where there is no physical procurement at all.
  • Instead, farmers will sell their produce in the market, and the government will directly pay them the difference between the MSP and the average market rate.
  • The cash payment will be deposited in their bank accounts. When this scheme was proposed by the NITI Aayog to the States in April 2018, a 60:40 split in costs between the Centre and the States was suggested; it is unclear how the burden will now be shared.
  • The other option is a pilot scheme where selected private agencies will procure the commodity at the MSP, instead of the government. Maximum service charges up to 15% of the notified MSP will be payable.

Experts sceptical

  • While Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh called the policy an important step to double farmers’ income by 2022, experts remained sceptical.
  • NAFED has a stock of more than 4 million tonnes[of pulses and oilseeds because of the last two years’ procurement, but their distribution policy is non-existent. When market prices are 30% lower than the MSP, who is going to bear the loss.
  • Food policy expert Devinder Sharma said earlier experiments with private procurement had collapsed once demand fell.

2. Centre hikes ethanol prices

What is Bioethanol?
  • It is an alcohol derived by process of fermentation mostly from carbohydrates of agricultural residue and feedstocks.
  • As a quasi-renewable energy, ethanol can be blended with petrol or diesel making it a sustainable transport fuel.
  • It will help in reducing emissions and dependency on imported fuel.

Benefits of bio-ethanol

  • Help in solving the chronic problem of straw burning of leftover agro-based produce especially from wheat and rice feedstocks. Benefit farmers economically, as they would be paid for their agro-based produce to extract bio-ethanol.
  • It would also help in preventing the loss of fertility of soil and damage to environment by reducing air pollution. 
  • Ethanol blending is the practice of blending petrol with ethanol.
  • Many countries, including India, have adopted ethanol blending in petrol in order to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions and also to reduce the import burden on account of crude petroleum from which petrol is produced.
  • The renewable ethanol content, which is a byproduct of the sugar industry, is expected to result in a net reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC).
  • Ethanol itself burns cleaner and burns more completely than petrol it is blended into.
  • In India, ethanol is mainly derived by sugarcane molasses, which is a by-product in the conversion of sugar cane juice to sugar.
National Policy on Biofuels – 2018
  • The Union Cabinet has approved National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 in order to promote biofuels in the country.
  • Biofuels in India are of strategic importance as it augers well with ongoing initiatives of Government such as Make in India, Skill Development and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
  • It also offers great opportunity to integrate with ambitious targets of doubling of import reduction, farmers’ income, employment generation, waste to wealth Creation.

Salient features of Policy

  • The policy categorises biofuels to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category
    • Basic Biofuels: First Generation (1G) bioethanol and biodiesel.
    • Advanced Biofuels: Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. 
  • Expansion scope of raw material for ethanol production: It allows use of sugarcane juice, sugar containing materials like sweet sorghum, sugar beet, starch containing materials like corn, cassava, damaged food grains like broken rice, wheat, rotten potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
  • Use of surplus food grains: The policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee. This will ensure farmers get appropriate price for their produce during the surplus production phase.
  • Incentives to advanced biofuel: Viability gap funding scheme indicated for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of Rs.5000 crore in 6 years for giving special emphasis to advanced biofuels. It also proposes additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels.
  • Supply chain mechanisms: The policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil, short gestation crops.
  • Synergising efforts: It predefines roles and responsibilities of all the concerned Ministries and Government Departments with respect to biofuels to synergise efforts.

Expected Benefits

  • Reduce Import Dependency: The ethanol supply will help to reduce import dependency on crude oil which will in turn result in savings of forex.
  • Cleaner Environment: The use of ethanol will reduce CO2 emissions. It will also reduce Green House Gas emissions by reducing crop burning and conversion of agricultural residues and wastes into biofuels.
  • Health benefits: Prolonged reuse of cooking oil for preparing food, particularly in deep-frying causes health hazard and can lead to many diseases. By using cooking oil as a potential feedstock for biodiesel will prevent diversion of used cooking oil in the food industry.
  • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Management: Using advance technologies waste and plastic in MSW can be converted in use fuels. One ton of such waste has potential to provide around 20% of drop in fuels.
  • Infrastructural Investment in Rural Areas: Addition of 2G bio refineries across country will spur infrastructural investment in the rural areas.
  • Employment Generation: Setting up one 100klpd 2G bio refinery contributes to 1200 jobs in plant operations, village level entrepreneurs and supply chain management.
  • Additional Income to Farmers: By adopting 2G technologies for producing biofuels, agricultural residues and waste which otherwise are burnt by farmers can be converted to ethanol. Through this process farmers can fetch price for these waste. Moreover, conversion of surplus grains and agricultural biomass can also help in price stabilization for farmers.

IN NEWS

  • The Centre has hiked ethanol prices, with a special incentive for ethanol directly produced from 100% sugarcane juice, in a dual bid to reduce both surplus sugar production and the fuel import bill. The ethanol produced from sugar is blended with petrol.
  • The price of ethanol derived from 100% sugarcane juice is raised from ₹47.13 to ₹59.13. The rate for ethanol produced from B-heavy — or intermediary — molasses has been raised to ₹52.43.
  • The rate of ethanol produced from C-heavy molasses (which has no sugar left) has been marginally reduced to ₹43.46.
  • By increasing the price difference between ethanol with no sugar left and that of fully made up of sugar to almost 35%, the Centre has given sugar mills a clear incentive to increase ethanol production from sugar.
  • In fact, oil marketing companies have been told to prioritise ethanol from 100% sugarcane juice followed by B-heavy molasses, said a statement. The companies will also pay GST and transportation charges.

Category: ENVIRONMENT

1. Biological Conservation: Man-animal conflict

Human–wildlife conflict
  • Human–wildlife conflict refers to the interaction between wild animals and people and the resultant negative impact on people or their resources, or wild animals or their habitat.
  • It occurs when growing human populations overlap with established wildlife territory, creating reduction of resources or life to some people and/or wild animals.
  • The conflict takes many forms ranging from loss of life or injury to humans, and animals both wild and domesticated, to competition for scarce resources to loss and degradation of habitat.
  • Conflict management strategies earlier comprised lethal control, translocation, regulation of population size and preservation of endangered species.
  • Recent management approaches attempt to use scientific research for better management outcomes, such as behaviour modification and reducing interaction.
  • As human-wildlife conflicts inflict direct, indirect and opportunity costs, the mitigation of human-wildlife conflict is an important issue in the management of biodiversity and protected areas.
  • As human populations expand and natural habitats shrink, people and animals are increasingly coming into conflict over living space and food.
  • The impacts are often huge. People lose their crops, livestock, property, and sometimes their lives. The animals, many of which are already threatened or endangered, are often killed in retaliation or to ‘prevent’ future conflicts.

IN NEWS

  • There are several inconsistencies in compensation awarded for human-wildlife conflict — ranging from crop loss to human death — across the country, finds a study published on September 2 in Biological Conservation, an international journal on conservation science.

Five-year study

  • Scientists at Bengaluru’s Centre for Wildlife Studies, analysed cases of compensation for crop raiding, livestock loss and human injury and death reported to the government between 2010 to 2015, find that wildlife that caused losses in 29 States included elephants that raid crop fields, tigers and leopards that preyed on cows and goats, and other species ranging from crocodiles to monkeys that cause injury and property damage. Twenty-two States compensated people for crop loss.
  • While a majority of the States awarded compensation for loss of livestock, human injury and death, only 18 (62%) did so for property damage.
  • The complete data for 18 States in 2012-2013 alone reveals that people reported a total of 78,656 cases, for which payments totalled to about ₹ 38 crore.
  • Yet, even these numbers are an underestimate of the extent of conflict: many people do not report their losses, some States lack compensation policies, and the team did not have access to the five-year compensation details of 11 other States.
  • When the team compared the compensation patterns in detail, they found that despite a significant mandate to address human-wildlife conflict, there exist numerous inconsistencies in eligibility, application, assessment, implementation and payment procedures across States.
  • For instance, although the majority of claims countrywide were related to crop loss, seven States — including Gujarat and Rajasthan — still do not provide crop compensation.
  • The ramifications of losses in arid States where farmers rely on just a single crop for survival would be high.
  • Such discrepancies in eligibility and procedure, by promoting selective tolerance and protection of wildlife, could be detrimental to conservation efforts.
  • Policies must be standardized across State lines in a manner equitable to both citizens and wildlife.
  • Empowering people to cope with their losses is needed if we are to see global conservation icons such as elephants and tigers thrive amidst people.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: ECONOMY

1. Sage advice: on Raghuram Rajan’s suggestions

Context

  • In his note to Parliament’s Estimates Committee on bank non-performing assets (NPAs), Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has flagged three major sources of potential trouble: Mudra credit, which is basically small-ticket loans granted to micro and small enterprises; lending to farmers through Kisan Credit Cards; and contingent liabilities under the Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSMEs, run by the Small Industries Development Bank of India.

What is NPA as per RBI?

  • Non-Performing assets in respect to banks are defined as the loans on which interest or principle is not being paid for 90 days.
  • However, in terms of Agriculture / Farm Loans; the NPA is defined as under:
  • For short duration crop if the loan (instalment / interest) is not paid for 2 crop seasons it would be termed as a NPA.
  • For Long Duration Crops, the above would be 1 Crop season from the due date

MUDRA

  • MUDRA stands for Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency
  • Ministry: Ministry of Finance
  • Objective: The core objective of the bank is to fund the unfunded. It will finance to “Last Mile Financiers” of small/micro businesses. The lending priority will be given to SC/ST enterprises

To address the three segments, MUDRA Bank has launched three loan instruments:

  • Shishu: covers loans upto Rs 50,000/-
  • Kishor: covers loans above Rs 50,000/- and upto Rs. 5 lakh
  • Tarun: covers loans above Rs 5 lakh and upto Rs 10 lakh

Analysis of the issue

  • The loans have been sanctioned under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, which aims to ‘fund the unfunded’.
  • Given that these are small loans up to ₹10 lakh each, with the borrowers mostly from the informal sector, banks have to monitor them very closely.
  • It is debatable whether banks have the resources and manpower to do this when they are chasing the bigger borrowers for business and, increasingly these days, recoveries.
  • The risk is that these small-ticket loans will drop under the radar and build into a large credit issue in course of time. The same logic holds true for crop loans made through Kisan Credit Cards.
  • Recognition is the first step in a clean-up, and unless banks are cleaned of their non-performing loans, they cannot make fresh loans.

Way Forward

  • The Central government should also take note of some forward-looking statements that Mr. Rajan has made on the governance of banks.
  • Some suggestions to avert a recurrence of the current mess are, professionalising bank boards with appointments done by an independent Banks Board Bureau; inducting talent from outside banks to make up for the deficit within; revising compensation structures to attract the best talent; and ensuring that banks are not left without a leader at the top.

F. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!

G. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements:
 
  1. Ischaemia means a “reduced blood supply”.

  2. The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer

 

Question 2. Consider the following statements:
 
  1. A non-communicable disease is a noninfectious health condition that cannot be spread from person to person.
  2. The main types of noncommunicable diseases include cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, malaria and diabetes.

Which of the above statements are incorrect?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements:
 
  1. Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.

  2. Ayushman Bharat provides coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
Question 4. Consider the following statements:
 
  1. Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices.

  2. The minimum support prices are announced by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer

I. Practice Questions for UPSC Mains Exam

  1. Public procurement in India is about 30% of GDP and most vulnerable to corruption. Discuss the challenges faced in Public procurement and suggest some measures to improve the present mechanism of procurement.
  2. There are several inconsistencies in compensation awarded for human-wildlife conflict — ranging from crop loss to human death — across the country. What are the issues involved in resolving the Human-Animal conflict? In what way can these issues  be resolved?

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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