Insights Daily Current Affairs, 26 August 2016

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 26 August 2016


Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.    


Provide loans to women SHGs at 7 per cent: RBI to banks


The Reserve Bank has asked banks to provide loans to women self-help groups (SHGs) at 7% per annum, as per the government’s revised guidelines for 2016-17. All women SHGs are eligible for interest subvention on credit up to Rs 3 lakh at 7% per annum under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission.


  • As per the RBI notification, the banks will lend to all the women SHGs in rural areas at 7% in 250 districts.
  • However, SHGs availing capital subsidy under SGSY in their existing credit outstanding will not be eligible for benefit under this scheme.
  • All banks will be subvented to the extent of difference between the weighted average interest charged and 7%, subject to the maximum limit of 5.5% for 2016-17.
  • This subvention will be available to all the banks on the condition that they make SHG credit available at 7% annually in the 250 districts.
  • Further, the SHGs will be provided with an additional 3% subvention on the prompt repayment of loans.

Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – NRLM:

Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in June 2011. Aided in part through investment support by the World Bank, the Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor, enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.

  • Under the scheme, the poor would be facilitated to achieve increased access to rights, entitlements and public services, diversified risk and better social indicators of empowerment.
  • In November 2015, the program was renamed Deen Dayal Antayodaya Yojana (DAY-NRLM).

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States.


Sakshi Malik announced brand ambassador of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign


India’s Olympic Bronze medalist Sakshi Malik was announced as the new brand ambassador of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign recently.current affairs

  • Sakshi became the first Indian woman wrestler to clinch a medal at the recently concluded Olympics. She won bronze medal in wrestling in the 58 kg category.

About BBBP:

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Andolan is a programme aimed at generating awareness and improving the efficiency of delivery of welfare services meant for women. It is set up with an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore.

Aim: The adverse and declining child sex ratio (CSR) across the States is a major cause of concern as it has fallen from 927 in 2001 to 918 in 2011. The BBBP seeks to arrest the trend and over time to reverse it.


  • A 100 critical low CSR districts in all States and UTs have been identified for focused and convergent action by the Ministries.
  • The Ministry of WCD is the nodal Ministry for this initiative and will carry out training to stakeholders, community mobilization and sensitization. It will also embark upon a range of advocacy measures and activities, not limited to the 100 low CSR districts but all across the country.
  • All forms of media and social media platforms would be used for this.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States.


South India’s first Children’s Court in Hyderabad


South India’s first Children’s Court was recently inaugurated in Hyderabad. After Goa and Delhi, Telangana has become the third state to have a child friendly court and sixth in the country with features like separate waiting rooms for children and a video camera trial for the accused, mandated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act-2012.


POCSO stipulates child-friendly court rooms be put in place across all states at the earliest in the interest of children in need of care. However, such courts are currently functional only in two states – Delhi and Goa.

Features of Children’s court:

  • The child (witness/victim) will be allowed direct interaction with the judge, while the accused (who will be at a different location) will be able to view and hear the proceedings via two-way video conferencing in the courtroom.
  • A two-way video communication system, allows the child witness to identify the accused on camera. This also enables the judge to ask questions to the child and the accused without any physical interface.
  • The judge and the police personnel will be in plain clothes in the children’s court and unlike a normal court set-up, the child will not be allowed to come face to face with the alleged offenders to make sure he/she is not intimidated while the court proceedings are on. Thus, providing a non-threatening atmosphere.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.


‘Cybercrimes have risen 4-fold in 3 years’


According to a joint study by PwC and Assocham, the number of cyber crime cases registered in India has risen by 350% in the three-year period from 2011 to 2014. The study is titled- ‘Protecting Interconnected Systems in the Cyber Era.’


  • The study notes that with the growing adoption of the Internet and smart-phones, India has emerged “as one of the favourite countries among cyber criminals.” But, in the past, attacks have been mostly initiated from countries such as the U.S., Turkey, China, Brazil, Pakistan, Algeria, Turkey, Europe, and the UAE.
  • According to the study, a new breed of cyber criminals has now emerged, whose main aim is not just financial gains but also causing disruption and chaos to businesses in particular and the nation at large.
  • In the U.S. alone, there has been an increase of nearly 50% in reported cyber incidents against its critical infrastructure from 2012 to 2015. Attackers can gain control of vital systems such as nuclear plants, railways, transportation or hospitals that can subsequently lead to dire consequences.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Banks to issue Masala bonds, RBI opens currency markets


The Reserve Bank of India has announced a slew of debt market reforms to simplify participation and enhance liquidity, besides allowing the use of newly-introduced instruments such as Masala Bonds. The measures accept many of the recommendations made by HR Khan Committee.

Measures announced:

  • RBI will allow commercial banks to issue rupee bonds in overseas markets — known as Masala bonds, both for their capital requirement and for financing infrastructure and affordable housing.
  • The aggregate limit of partial credit enhancement (PCE) provided by banks will be enhanced. The aggregate PCE that will be provided by the financial system for a given bond issue will be increased from the present level of 20% to 50% of the bond issue size, subject to the PCE provided by any single bank not exceeding 20% of the bond issue size and the extant exposure limits.
  • Brokers in corporate bond repos will be permitted and the platform for repo in corporate bonds will be authorized.
  • It has also been decided to seek suitable legal amendments to enable it to accept corporate bonds under the Liquidity adjustment Facility (LAF).
  • In order to ease access to the foreign exchange market for hedging in over the counter (OTC) and exchange-traded currency derivatives, the RBI has allowed entities exposed to exchange rate risk, both resident and non-resident, to undertake hedge transactions with simplified procedures, up to a limit of $30 million at any given time.
  • Banks can also allow the customer an open position limit of up to $5 million. This is intended to improve liquidity and depth in the foreign exchange market and the limit will be revised from time to time.
  • A working group will be formed to review the guidelines for hedging of price risk by residents in the overseas markets.
  • To enhance participation in the corporate bond market, the RBI has decided that brokers authorised as market makers will be allowed to participate in the corporate bond repo market. This measure is expected to meet their funding and securities requirement arising out of market making activities. Currently, banks, primary dealers, mutual funds, insurance companies are only allowed. In addition, foreign portfolio investors have been allowed to transact in corporate bonds directly without involving brokers.
  • With an aim to reduce risk in banking sector, RBI has also proposed to limit exposure of a bank to a business group to up to 25% of its capital, down from the existing 55%.

Masala Bond:

Masala bond is a term used to refer to a financial instrument through which Indian entities can raise money from overseas markets in the rupee, not foreign currency. These are Indian rupee denominated bonds issued in offshore capital markets.

It’s significance:

The rupee denominated bond is an attempt to shield issuers from currency risk and instead transfer the risk to investors buying these bonds. Currency risk is borne by the investor and hence, during repayment of bond coupon and maturity amount, if rupee depreciates, RBI will realize marginal saving.

Main features:

  • Though raised in Indian currency, these bonds will be considered as part of foreign borrowing by Indian corporate and hence would have to follow the RBI norms in this regard.
  • Under the automatic route, companies can raise as much as $750 million per annum through Masala bonds.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.


NHRC registering more cases, says there is more awareness


NHRC data have revealed that cases registered by the National Human Rights Commission have gone up over the past three years, but those where monetary relief was recommended have in fact declined.

Highlights of the data:

  • The cases where relief was recommended fell 26% from 2013-2014 to 2015-2016. For the same time period, the number of cases registered by the Commission rose 20%.
  • In 2013-2014, 98,136 cases were registered and monetary relief was recommended in 443. While the number of cases lodged in 2014-2015 rose to 1.14 lakh, the cases where relief was granted decreased to 378. The trend continued in 2015-2016, with 1.17 lakh cases being registered and relief being recommended in 326 cases.
  • However, according to NHRC officials, there are several reasons behind fewer cases ending with monetary relief. Some cases had been taken up by the courts or State human rights commissions, others were closed or disposed off for lack of a clear offence being established.
  • Complaints where someone lost their life or was hurt were clearer cases for compensation. Four types of complaints – custodial death (judicial and police), death in police encounter and alleged fake encounters – accounted for almost 2% of cases lodged in 2015-2016, but 35% of cases were relief was granted.
  • Over the three years, cases related to the police remained the top contributor to the NHRC’s load, accounting for 30% of total cases registered in 2015-2016.

About NHRC:

It is a statutory body established in 1993.


  • It consists of a Chairman and 4 members. Chairman should be a retired Chief Justice of India. Members should be either sitting or retired judges of the Supreme Court or a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court and 2 persons having practical knowledge in this field.
  • Ex officio members are the chairmen of National Commission for Scheduled Caste, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Minorities and National Commission for Women.


  • The chairman and members are appointed on the recommendation of a 6 member committee consisting of Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, leaders of opposition in both the houses of parliament and Union Home Minister.
  • Term: Term of the chairman and members is 5 years or 70 years whichever is earlier. After retirement they are not eligible for further reappointment.
  • Removal: President has to refer the matter to Supreme Court and if after enquiry Supreme Court holds it right then they can be removed by the President.

Other facts:

  • Its recommendations are just advisory and not binding in nature.
  • It submits Annual report to the Central government and to the concerned state governments.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


No role in Lokpal nominations: Centre to SC


The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that application by sitting judges for appointment as Lokpal will not compromise judiciary’s independence since the government does not have a role in the selection process anymore.

  • Submitting its affidavit, in response to a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, the government said the role of the executive was circumscribed to merely facilitating the selection process, and hence there was no question of conflict of interest.
  • The Lokpal rules underwent a course correction in 2014 in which the Centre was stripped of its powers to shortlist and recommend names to the Lokpal Search Committee.


The government had notified amendments to the rules, giving autonomy to the Lokpal search committee to shortlist and recommend names independently for selection of Chairman and members of the anti-corruption body. Under the amended provisions of the Rule 10, it is for the Search Committee to decide how to make selections, and the role of the Central Government, under the amended sub-rule (2) of Rule 10 is now limited to providing ‘such assistance as may be required by the Search Committee. The Central government will not have any role in inviting applications or nominations from any quarter.

What will the search committee do now?

The search committee will shortlist and recommend names to the selection committee, which is to be headed by the PM, and will include Speaker of Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition or Leader of the single largest opposition party in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by him, and a jurist nominated by the President on the basis of recommendations of the first four members.

Sources: the hindu.