Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 17th September 2019


Indian Economy – development and recent steps

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Image result for Indian Economy – development and recent steps

Context

  • The Finance Minister in a press conference recently highlighted the current state of Indian Economy, and announced a slew of measures to revive economic growth.
  • Consumer price inflation is staying on predicted trajectory. 

Background

  • According to IIP data published by CSO, Industrial production is showing signs of revival, but core industries are still under strain.
  • Current Account Deficit to GDP ratio although showing signs of moderation is still on increasing trajectory, highlighting needs to increase exports.
  • The reforms announced in previous two conferences are being implemented at a steady pace. 

New Announcements

  • Scheme for “Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) replacing current “Merchandise Export from India Scheme” for offsetting the amount of export duties, making Indian exports more competitive. 
  • The revenue forgone/Tax expenditure for this scheme would be about Rs. 50000 crore.
  • External Commercial Borrowing guidelines will be relaxed to facilitate financing for homebuyers who are eligible under PMAY.
  • The interest rate on House Building Advance to be lowered, creating more demand.
  • Setting up a Special fund of Rs 20000 crore [ Rs 10000 crore contribution by GOI and roughly the same from private investors] to provide last mile funding for housing projects which are non- NPA and non-NCLT, affordable and middle income category projects.

Source: The Hindu.


New Delhi Declaration (UNCCD)

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact Assessment.

Image result for New Delhi Declaration [UNCCD]

Context

  • Delhi Declaration was signed by UNCCD member countries post the conclusion of COP14 in India.
  • Recognition that desertification/land degradation and drought undermines health, development and prosperity in all regions and acknowledging that dryland ecosystems are areas of special focus.

Background

  • Special emphasis on the impacts of desertification/land degradation and drought are felt most keenly by vulnerable people.
  • Reiteration that those practices which conserve and restore land and soil affected by desertification/land degradation, drought and floods, contribute towards achieving land degradation neutrality and can also have long-term multiple benefits for the health, well-being and socioeconomic development of the entire society, especially for the livelihoods of the rural poor, that Strengthening of the adoption of voluntary “land degradation neutrality” targets that include restoration of degraded land by 2030.

Highlights

  • Participation from civil society organizations, local governments and the private sector would be crucial to achieving the objectives of UNCCD special emphasis on community-driven transformative projects that are gender- sensitive at local, national and regional levels to drive implementation.
  • In the context of projects aimed at combating desertification/land degradation and drought and achieving land degradation neutrality and resilience-building, it brought the transition and increased access to energy in rural and urban communities, within the scope of the UNCCD.
  • Welcomed the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030), commit to adopting an integrated, best-practice approach to land restoration based on scientific evidence and traditional knowledge.

Source: The Hindu.


Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres (VCBCs)

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation.

Image result for Vulture Conservation and Breeding Center (VCBC)

Context

  • Starting with just a few vultures, the total number of vultures in the VCBCs has increased to more than 700.
  • The VCBC were started in 2004 when the vulture population had already crashed significantly, almost by 99 %.
  • At present there are nine (VCBC) in India, of which three are directly administered by Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

Highlights

  • The three species of vultures bred in the VCBC are the White-backed, Long-billed and the Slender-billed vulture.
  • The objective of the VCBCs was not only to look after the vultures and breed them in captivity, but also to release them into the wild.
  • The first objective of the VCBC was to produce a few hundred pairs of each of the three species of the endangered vultures.
  • The major reason behind the vulture population getting nearly wiped out was the drug Diclofenac found in the carcass of cattle the vultures fed on.
  • The drug, whose veterinary use was banned in 2008, was commonly administered to cattle to treat inflammation.

Source: The Hindu. 


RBI report on Loan Waivers impact

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy.

Image result for RBI report on Loan Waivers impact

Why in News?

  • Recently the RBI shared the report of an Internal Working Group (IWG), which was set up in February to look at, among other things, the impact of farm loan waivers on state finances.
  • Since 2014-15, many state governments have announced farm loan waivers. 

Background

  • The report has shown how farm loan waivers dented state finances and urged governments — both central and state — to avoid resorting to farm loan waivers.
  • This was done for a variety of reasons including relieving distressed farmers struggling with lower incomes in the wake of repeated droughts and demonetization.
  • Also crucial in this regard was the timing of elections and several observers of the economy including the RBI warned against the use of farm loan waivers. 

Impacts

  • In essence, a farm loan waiver by the government implies that the government settles the private debt that a farmer owes to a bank.
  • But doing so eats into the government’s resources, which, in turn, leads to one of following two things: either the concerned government’s fiscal deficit goes up or it has to cut down its expenditure.
  • A higher fiscal deficit, even if it is at the state level, implies that the amount of money available for lending to private businesses — both big and small — will be lower.
  • It also means the cost at which this money would be lent (or the interest rate) would be higher. 
  • If fresh credit is costly, there will be fewer new companies, and less job creation.
  • If the state government doesn’t want to borrow the money from the market and wants to stick to its fiscal deficit target, it will be forced to accommodate by cutting expenditure.
  • More often than not, states choose to cut capital expenditure — that is the kind of expenditure which would have led to the creation of productive assets such as more roads, buildings, schools etc — instead of the revenue expenditure.
  • But cutting capital expenditure also undermines the ability to produce and grow in the future.

Source: The Hindu.


Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy

Focus: GS2.

Topic: NGO, SHG & Civil Society.

Image result for Scientific Social Responsibility

Context

  • A draft of the new Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy has been made available by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on its website for public comments.
  • India is going to be possibly the first country in the world to implement a SSR Policy on the lines of CSR. 

About SSR

  • The draft defines SSR as “the ethical obligation of knowledge workers in all fields of science and technology to voluntarily contribute their knowledge and resources to the widest spectrum of stakeholders in society, in a spirit of service and conscious reciprocity”.
  • The policy aims to harness latent potential of the scientific community for strengthening linkages between science and society, and for making S&T ecosystem vibrant.
  • This is in a move to encourage S&T institutions and individual scientists in the country to proactively engage in science outreach activities to connect science with the society.
  • It is aimed at developing a mechanism for ensuring access to scientific knowledge, transferring benefits of science to meet societal needs, promoting collaborations to identify problems and develop solutions.

Background

  • When most research is being done by using taxpayers’ money, the scientific establishment has an ethical obligation of “giving back” to the society.
  • SSR is not only about scientific impact upon society but also about the social impact upon science.
  • SSR would therefore strengthen the knowledge ecosystem and bring efficiencies in harnessing science for the benefit of society,” says the draft policy.
  • This draft policy builds upon traditions of earlier policies (Scientific Policy Resolution 1958, Technology Policy Statement 1983, S&T Policy 2003 and Sci-Tech and Innovation Policy 2013).
  • The new policy is proposing more pragmatic provisions to make institutions and individual scientists socially responsible. 

Highlights

  • Under the proposed policy, individual scientists or knowledge workers will be required to devote at least 10 person-days of SSR per year for exchanging scientific knowledge to society.
  • It also recognizes the need to provide incentives for outreach activities with necessary budgetary support.
  • It has also been proposed to give credit to knowledge workers/scientists for individual SSR activities in their annual performance appraisal and evaluation.
  • No institution would be allowed to outsource or sub-contract their SSR activities and projects.
  • For implementation of the policy, a national portal will be developed up to capture societal needs requiring scientific interventions and as a platform for implementers and for reporting SSR activities.
  • A central agency will be established at DST to implement the SSR.
  • Other ministries would also be encouraged to make their own plans to implement SSR as per their mandate.

Source: The Hindu. 


National crisis Management Committee (NCMC)

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Disaster Management.

Context

  • NCMC meeting to review the prevailing flood situation in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) is the country’s apex body to handle emergency situations, and meets as and when required. 

About NCMC

  • Cabinet Secretary, which is the highest executive officer, heads the NCMC.
  • Secretaries of all the concerned Ministries /Departments as well as organizations are the members of the Committee.
  • The NCMC gives direction to the Crisis Management Group as deemed necessary.

Source: The Hindu.


Map of the Day–Portugal


Image result for portugal map


Quote for the Day


“Being born in a stable does not make one a horse” – Arthur Wellesley Wellington

Mains Answer Writing


1.Comment on the recently announced slew of measures by the Ministry of Finance to revive economic growth.
2.What are Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres? What are its significance in conserving these species?
3.Critically analyse the scientific social responsibility policy.


Test your Knowledge


1. Consider the following statements 

1.The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transportation, food, and medical care. 
2.A current account deficit occurs when a country spends more on its exports than what it receives for its imports.
3.External commercial borrowing (ECBs) is loans in India made by non-resident lenders in foreign currency to Indian borrowers.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above


2. Consider the following statements:

1.Diclofenac was banned in 2008.
2.It was commonly administered to cattle to treat inflammation.
3.Only White-backed Vulture will be bred in Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres (VCBCs).

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 


3. Consider the following statements:

1.A higher fiscal deficit means the cost at which this money would be lent (or the interest rate) would be higher. 
2.Capital expenditure is the money spent by a business or organization on acquiring or maintaining fixed assets, such as land, buildings, and equipment.
3.Net Social Expenditure includes only public expenditure.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 


4.Gulf of Cadiz is between Spain and

a.France
b.Spain
c.Germany
d.Algeria 


5.Who will be heading National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC)?

a.Ministry of Home Affairs
b.Ministry of Defence
c.Prime Minister
d.Cabinet Secretary

 

Answers

  1. C 2.A 3.A 4.B 5.D