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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 JANUARY 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 JANUARY 2018


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


Topic: Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues; Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

1) What is the intensity and level of domestic tourism in rural and urban India? What are the key reasons for households’ domestic tourism trips? What can we understand from domestic tourism patterns in India?  Examine. (250 Words)

EPW

 

Intensity and level of domestic tourism:-

  • Domestic tourism is one of the major engines of economic growth and development for many regions and states of India.
  • It contributes to income generation and is the source of large-scale employment in both formal and informal activities 
  • There is an increase in the incidence of tourism among both rural and urban households.
  • The share of holiday and leisure activity and social trips has slightly increased .
  • The share of health trips and religious and pilgrimage trips has gone down compared to earlier
  • Muslim households in urban areas have a lower level of domestic tourism.
  • In rural areas, the incidence of tourism is higher among households with major source of income from non-agricultural activities, whereas lowest among casual labour and other households.
  • In urban areas, household with self-employment and other activities have significantly higher incidence of tourism than wage/salary and casual labour households.
  • Households with members employed in high skilled occupation have higher incidence of domestic trips being made than households with low-skilled workers.
  • The main destination for these trips was same district or other districts of same state.
  • Outside the state visit only accounted for 9% of trips.
  • A statewise distribution reveals Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka account for half of such trips. Given that these are populous states, it is not surprising that they account for a large share of health-related trips.
  • North-eastern states account for only 2.5% of all overnight trips as well as health-related trips.

Key reasons  for domestic tourism:-

  • The purpose of the trip can be holidaying, leisure and recreation, health and medical, shopping or business, social, pilgrimage and religious activities, education and training, and others .

Analysis of domestic tourism patterns:-

  • The average Indian household took four trips overnight trips a year, higher in rural than in urban areas
  • There is not much of a pattern to inter-state differences.
  • Summer is the holiday peak for rural India, but for urban India, there’s one peak in August, and then a few similar highs in May, September and October, possibly reflecting regional festivals.
  • Holidays also tend to be slightly longer over summer and September/ October in urban India while they vary little in duration in rural India.
  • From the frequency and average expenditure point of view, health- and medical-related trips dominate the mobility of households, followed by holiday- and recreation-related trips.
  • While health-related trips raise concern about health delivery in India and its impact on households out of pocket expenditure as well as regional disparities in health service availability
  • Holiday trips highlight the positive impact tourism can have on regional economies in terms of employment and livelihood opportunities.
  • Another key difference between health and holiday trips is that major part of expenditure in health trips is directed towards medical and medicine bills whereas holiday trips contribute to local economy through expenditure on food, transport and shopping activities.
  • Further, one-third of holiday trips are interstate trips providing a larger spatial spillover effect.
  • Indians are social creatures, who travel largely to see family and friends.
  • Package tours are a relative rarity in India.
  • Not just do few travel out of the country, very few even leave their state.
  • The bus is the most popular mode of travel for Indian tourists.
  • When Indians holiday they rarely take a hotel and rather stay with a friend or relative.

General Studies – 2


Topic:   Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests 

2) Why should developing countries persist for a permanent solution to the problem of whether to allow public stockholding of food stocks for food security purposes in the World Trade Organization? Also discuss the current provisions on public stockholding and their limitations. (250 Words)

EPW

 

Reasons why developing countries persist for a permanent solution :-

  • The need for a permanent solution arises out of a lack of policy space for many developing and least developed countries (LDCs) under the existing rules of the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) to implement agricultural and food security policies.
  • Peace Clause only covers the support provided for traditional staple food crops in pursuance of public stockholding programmes existing as of 2013. Future or new food security programmes are not covered by the Peace Clause.
    • Due to this, the G33 demanded that existing and future programmes with respect to public stockholding for food security programmes of the developing country and LDC members should be covered by a decision on the permanent solution.
  • The peace clause which protects countries against action from other members in case the cap is breached, comes with a number of onerous conditions that India wants removed as part of the permanent solution.
  • With erratic climate conditions the need to protect farmers isimperative for food security especially in developing countries so finding a permanent solution will secure the welfare of both farmers and consumer of the developing countries.

 

Current provisions on public stockholding in WTO :-

  • The WTO rules classified the expenditure on stockholding and distribution under Green Box support, which is deemed to be a minimal trade-distorting support. All the WTO members are eligible to provide unlimited support under this box.
  • Procurement of foodgrains at the administered price is classified as Amber Box support, which is a trade-distorting support under the provisions of the AoA.
  • Special and differential treatment for developing countries as well as non-trade concerns, including food security and rural development, shall be an integral part of the negotiations.
  • Under the WTO rules, developing countries such as India need to limit their public procurement of foodgrains such as wheat and rice to within 10% of the value of the crop.
    • After India enacted the National Food Security Act, 2013, which aimed to provide subsidized foodgrains to approximately two-thirds of its 1.3 billion population, the demand for public procurement increased significantly.
  • At the Bali ministerial conference in 2013, India secured a so-called “peace clause”. Under it, if India breaches the 10% limit, other member countries will not take legal action under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism. However, there was confusion over whether the temporary reprieve would continue after four years.
  • In 2014, WTO decided that if a permanent solution on the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes is not agreed and adopted by the 11th Ministerial Conference, the Peace Clause shall continue to be in place until a permanent solution is agreed upon and adopted. 

Limitations :-

  • The strong opposition of the United States (US) extinguished all chances of a permanent solution.
  • Developed country members are not constrained by the de minimis limit due to AMS entitlement.
    • Developed countries provide huge support to the farmers but provisions of the WTO come in the way of developing countries to provide food security to their poor who are vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition.
    • For instance, product-specific support for the procurement of rice at the MSP by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is capped at 10% of the value of production of rice during the relevant year.
  • Developing countries:-
    • Existing rules of the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) to implement agricultural and food security policies threaten the food security for millions of poor people and hinder the achievement of Goal 2 of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nation
    • Developing countries are facing difficulties in procuring foodgrains at the administered prices without breaching their commitments under the AoA. Without the procurement at the administered price, providing food security to the poor will be a daunting task.
      • The US–China dispute (in 2016) on the domestic support policy of China is a prime example of the limited policy space for developing countries (WTO 2016).
    • What tilts the AoA further against the developing countries is the requirement that the subsidy for procurement of food stocks should be calculated on the basis of world prices prevailing during 1986–88.
    • Some members of the WTO objects to developing countries implementing food security programmes tailored to meet their needs when US is implementing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Peace clause:-
    • Divergent views of member countries on peace clause as reflected in various proposals submitted to the WTO.
    • Many developing country and LDC members would not be able to comply with the conditions of the Peace Clause, and their programmes could be subject to dispute.
      • For instance, the price support programme for rice in Nepal will not be covered by the Peace Clause as it came after the Bali Ministerial Decision. 
    • Public procurement for any new food programme of the government for food security purposes will not benefit from the indefinite peace clause as the concession is limited to the programmes running in 2013.
      • The concession also comes with onerous notification obligations about farm subsidies provided in the previous year.
      • So far only eight countries out of 184 WTO members have notified their farm subsidies till the last year.
    • The onerous notification conditions make the peace clause unimplementable for India.

 

Suggestions:-

  • India along with China is also seeking a work programme for elimination of trade distorting agriculture subsidies provided by developed countries known as aggregate measurement of support which is not available to developing countries.
  • India also sought more transparency in negotiations and has opposed attempts to take decisions in small groups at the MC11 drawing from its sour experience from the Nairobi ministerial in 2015.

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,

3) The proposal of a National Exit Test (NEXT) as an exit examination for MBBS graduates to ensure a minimum quality standard is desirable in a country with large gaps in healthcare. Do you think in its current form NEXT serves as a panacea to the lack of standardised medical graduate output in the country? Critically examine. (250 Words)

EPW

 

Background:-

  • NEXT is the first-ever four-in-one test that will be conducted for MBBS graduates, foreign medical graduates, PG aspirants, the UPSC-CMS (combined medical services) aspirants so as to become eligible to practise medicine in India.

 NEXT is a necessity:-

  • The NEXT is primarily aimed at ensuring a minimum quality standard for the 61,000 odd graduating MBBS doctors that the approximately 479 medical colleges in India produce
  • It intends to bring uniformity in the quality of the MBBS graduates across the country

Advantages in the current form :-

  • With the idea of the NEXT, a window of opportunity has opened to rectify a few ills in medical education. The concepts of competence-based learning, inter-professional education, etc, can be incorporated to achieve the aim of producing an MBBS graduate with the intended skills and training. 
  • It will standardise the medical education in India.
  • Once introduced, the exam will also reduce the burden of multiple exams for medical aspirants.
  • Outcome of NEXT can be a tangible parameter to determine the quality of that college.

Criticism:-

  • Inherent design flaws can reduce it to just another examination that does not deliver on what it aims to do.
  • Already understaffed healthcare sector would be further left inadequate of the large number of graduates who might fail to qualify in the NEXT and would not be allowed to practise till they are able to do so.
  • NEXT is similar to  FMGE(foreign medical graduate screening exam) which was introduced through the MCI Screening Test Regulations, 2002 
    • Unfortunately, the FMGE does not test any higher order of learning or clinical skills, and is thus not an ideal template on which to design an exit examination.
  • Confusion that it will replace the MBBS final year examination and  the degree awarded by the university would  lose its meaning
  • An MCQ-only NEXT will not serve this required purpose  as it could lead to mushrooming  of coaching centers

 

Suggestions:-

  • Medical regulators should take the time to plan, design and implement an exit examination model which serves the purpose of assessing whether an MBBS graduate has been trained adequately to be able to serve as an independent skilled practitioner.
  • The testing model should integrate well with the internal mechanisms throughout the MBBS course for medical student assessment, so that there is also attention paid to ongoing comprehensive training throughout the course.
  • It should have both written and clinical components.
    • NEXT needs to test all three domains of education: cognitive, psychomotor, affective. That will further strengthen the students’ need to take existing MBBS examinations seriously.
  • Develop infrastructure:
    • First  establish simulation labs, acquire advanced and adequate mannequins and training staff then it will be meaningful to execute the NEXT
  • Phased implementation:-
    • In the past, sudden examination model changes have hurt the interests of students immensely, and hence it is prudent to take the designing of the NEXT slowly and with caution. India can learn from the phased implementation of the UKMLA. 

Conclusion:-

  • A truly meaningful and well-carved NEXT should be a gold standard test for the production of a stand-alone skilled physician, irrespective of wherever they studied undergraduate medicine in India and not serve as just another gateway to medical postgraduate seats/courses.

Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. 

4) Recently, Russia has positioned itself as a key player in the Middle East’s affairs. What implications will it have on the region? Also examine how will it affect India’s interests in the region. (250 Words)

EPW

 

How Russia is a key player in Middle East:-

  • Over the past two years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has received the leaders of Middle Eastern states 25 times.
  • Balancing nature of Russia:-
    • The limited nature of Russia’s footprint and refrain from interfering in long-standing intramural disputes, such as those between Iran and Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia, especially in the Yemen conflict, Iraq and Turkey vis-à-vis the Kurdish question, and Israel and Syria, especially on the Golan Heights and Hezbollah.
    • Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia has acquired even more flexibility in engaging with regional actors because it is no longer constrained by the dilemma of picking sides between nationalist and communist groups.
  • Syria:-
    • Syrian war offered Russia an opportunity to make sure Russia would become one of the primary power brokers in the Middle East.  
    • Russia has altered the course of the Syrian civil war and taken control of the peace process
      • Russia ordered a squadron of Russian jets to deploy to the Hmeymim airbase near Latakia, a stronghold of Assad loyalists.
      • It was Russia’s first military deployment outside the former borders of the Soviet Union since Moscow’s disastrous 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.
      • Within days, some 30 Russian warplanes had already begun to turn the war in Assad’s favor.
    • Though the deployment was tiny, it was a pivotal moment for Moscow’s foreign policy. Suddenly, Russian planes were flying in the same airspace as those of America and its allies, who were battling ISIS. 
    • Russian role in Syria has helped deplete U.S.-backed rebel forces and allowed Assad to regain control of the strategically vital city of Aleppo.
  • ISIS:-
    • As ISIS grew more influential in Syria Russia grew doubtful of Western efforts to combat the militant group and Russia fought against it
    • Russian and Turkish warplanes participated in joint airstrikes against ISIS.
  • Declining American role:-
    • America’s steady disengagement from the Middle East militarily and oil under Obama helped Russia.
  • Egypt:-
    • Russia saw an opportunity in Egypt because the U.S. has pushed for a reform environment since the Arab Spring.
    • The Russia was also ready to sell cheap arms to regional powers. Moscow has sold $4 billion worth of weapons to Egypt since 2012
    • Egypt has also acknowledged Moscow’s new-found status by hosting an air drill which is Russia’s first such exercise in Africa.
    • Egypt also signaled its support for Russia by becoming one of only four countries to support Russia’s resolution on Syria in the United Nations. 
  • Iran:-
    • Iran has joined Moscow in taking control of the Syrian peace process, becoming joint arbiters of talks in Astana that outlined a roadmap to peace and a new constitution for Syria that will inevitably reflect Assad’s military victories on the ground.
    • Russian arms supplies including an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system have helped Iran keep up with massive military spending by its regional rivals Israel and Saudi Arabia.
    • In exchange, Iran gave Russia temporary access to its Hamadan air base for raids on Syria and allowed Moscow to fire cruise missiles from warships in the Caspian Sea .
    • By keeping Assad in power, Russia helped Iran maintain an axis of resistance against Israel and the United States.
  • Israel:-
    • Putin has even achieved new levels of friendship with Israel.Russian jets now operate within reach of the Golan Heights, 
    • With US making demands like restricting settlements which was not the case with Russia Israel started good relations with Russia. 
  • Iraq:-
    • Russia provides advanced weapons, including attack Sukhoi aircraft, to the Iraqi government and smaller weapons to the Kurdish forces  fighting the terror group known as ISIS.

Implications:-

  • Russia’s return to the Middle East has proved a stunning, sudden success and a setback to American power and prestige.
  • As a result of Russian intervention, the Asad regime  appears now largely immune from U.S. military action.
  • A much broader strategic rationale for enhanced Russian-Iranian partnership is taking shape.
  • Expanded Russian military role in Iran would give it the capability to project power in ways never before seen in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Indian Ocean- critical lines of communication where U.S. military dominance has gone largely unchallenged for decades
  • Potentially profound implications for vital Saudi interests in the Gulf where Saudi countries can try to accommodate Russian interests rather than confrontation.

Affects India:-

  • Indian foreign policy :-
    • Opposition to foreign intervention and support for state sovereignty (regardless of regime type) are long-held principles that by default make India’s position neutral in the position in middle east. 
  • Stability provided in Middle east by Russia can help
    • India protect its interests given its increased dependency on oil and gas imports
    • India’s 7 million migrant workers.
    • Reducing the spread of terrorism

Topic:  Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;

5) In the light of their promises and pitfalls, critically evaluate performance of the  Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (during kharif 2016) and Weather-based Crop Insurance Scheme (kharif 2007–kharif 2014). Also suggest way forward for these schemes. (250 Words)

EPW

 

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

  • It is aimed at shielding farmers from crop failures and yield losses due to vagaries of climate through insurance.
  • It compensates farmers for any losses in crop yield.
  • In the event of a crop loss, the farmer will be paid based on the difference between the threshold yield and actual yield.
  • The scheme is compulsory for farmers who have availed of institutional loans.
  • The scheme insures farmers against a wide range of external risks like droughts, dry spells, floods, inundation, pests and diseases, landslides, natural fire and lightning, hailstorms, cyclones, typhoons, tempests, hurricanes and tornadoes.
  • The scheme also covers post-harvest losses up to a period of 14 days.

Positives:-

  • The PMFBY is an attempt to plug the holes in the older crop insurance schemes especially being
    • Their limited risk coverage 
    • For crops where the premiums were steeper insurance companies proportionally reduced the sum insured.
    • Compensation fell way short of even the farmer’s cost of production.
  • The Fasal Bima Yojana has done away with this cap on premium. The sum insured per hectare for a farmer is now decided by the District Level Technical Committee and is pre-declared and notified by the State Level Coordination Committee on Crop Insurance.
  • The farmer also pays less
    • The premium is 2 per cent of the sum insured for all kharif crops and 1.5 per cent of it for all rabi crops.
    • For horticulture and commercial crops, the premium is 5 per cent of sum covered.
    • The remaining premium is paid by the government.
  • The scheme also envisages using technology
    • To capture and upload data of crop cutting
    • To reduce delays in claim payment to farmers
    • Remote sensing to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
  • Subsidised premiums and prompt claims settlement enabled by remote sensing and GPS technology should help substantially expand coverage.
  • An increase in the area insured should also bring down premium rates, through spreading of risks across more farmers. That would also help contain the government’s subsidy burden.

Concerns:-

  • Not all key crops are included in the list of notified crops eligible for insurance.
  • Premium setting has been a contentious issue.
  • Making the insurance business sustainable with actuarial premium rates is not going to help raise farmers’ incomes.
  • Unit of insurance is going to continue to be ‘area-based’ -village/village panchayat for major crops and the area above that level for other crops. Individual farmers suffering losses are not going to benefit unless the entire area gets affected.
  • Insufficient reach and the issue of penetration.
  • If states delay notifications, or payment of premiums, or crop cutting data, companies cannot pay compensation to the farmers in time.
  • Most states failed to provide smartphones to revenue staff to capture and upload data of crop cutting, which continues to come with enormous delay.
  • There is hardly any use of modern technology in assessing crop damages.

Weather based crop insurance scheme and its positives:-

  • Weather based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) provides insurance protection against losses in crop yield resulting from adverse weather incidences.
  • Weather based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) provides protection to the insured cultivators in the event of loss in crops yields resulting from the adverse weather incidences, like un-seasonal/excess rainfall, heat (temperature), frost, relative humidity etc
  • It is not Yield guarantee insurance.
  • The “Area Approach” is as opposed to “Individual Approach”, where claim assessment is made for every individual insured farmer who has suffered a loss.
  • It is different from crop insurance as it is based on the fact that weather conditions affect crop production even when a cultivator has taken all the care to ensure good harvest.

Concerns with weather insurance scheme:-

  • Awareness and farmers’ willingness to pay premium for insurance
  • The farmers have to pay higher premium which keeps them away from the WBCIP.
  • Lack of infrastructure
    • To ensure that farmers get maximum benefit during weather changes, infrastructure like weather station is required. Currently there are only few weather stations and that too very far from the villages.The government has failed to promote or provide any support on this. 

 Way forward:-

  • There is an urgent need to link the insurance database with Core Banking Solution (CBS) so that when premium is deducted from a farmer’s bank account, the bank sends him a message informing about the premium, sum insured and name of insurance company.
  • There is a need for a total insurance package like seed insurance through replanting guarantee programme, crop cycle insurance, prepaid insurance card etc
  • There is a need to re-examine this insurance scheme and all other farm policies and revise them in such a way as to cut the costs of farmers’ inputs, raise their revenue and thereby increase their income.

General Studies – 3


Topic:  Infrastructure

6) It is said that among the four verticals in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Housing for All (Urban) (PMAY-HFA[U])scheme, the credit linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) has some important features that make it stand out. In the light of recent modifications made to this vertical, discuss critically. (250 Words)

EPW

 

Background:

  • In pursuit of the government’s intention of providing every family a pucca house with water connection, toilet facilities, 24 × 7 electri­city supply and access the union government has launched a comprehensive mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Housing for All (Urban) (PMAY-HFA[U])
  • Credit linked subsidy scheme is one of the four verticals of the above scheme

How Credit linked subsidy scheme stands out  :-

  • The CLSS is a central sector scheme implemented through primary lending institutions (PLIs). Credit-linked subsidy is credited upfront by PLIs to the loan account of the beneficiary.
  • The central assistance provided per household is the highest under the CLSS (₹2.2 lakh) as compared with other verticals (₹1 lakh for “in situ” slum redevelopment and ₹1.5 lakh for the remaining two).
  • The scheme is demand driven with maximum scope for the household to choose the design and structure of the house. A beneficiary can apply for a housing loan directly or through the ULBs or local agencies identified by the state/ULBs, for facilitating the applications from intended beneficiaries.
  • The role of the state governments/ULBs is limited to being a facilitator, verifying sanctioning of land and other documents.
  • The CLSS is designed to expand and augment institutional credit through interest rate subvention to back up the demand of the economically weaker section (EWS) and low-income group (LIG) for acquisition and construction of a new house or incremental housing, including extension, expansion, and repair.
  • While the CLSS stipulates loan amounts up to ₹6 lakh, it does not constrain the beneficiary from taking loans above ₹6 lakh, as long as the person pays the market rate for the additional amount

Recent modifications:-

  • The government has raised the income limits for eligibility of loans
  • There is an increase in the amount of subsidised loans
  • Norms are relaxed with regard to built-up area
  • middle-income group have also been included diluting its core agenda of being “pro-poor.” 
  • The maximum tenure of loans under the CLSS for the EWS/LIG (renamed and recategorised) and for the MIG have now been placed at 20 year

Success:-

  • The new measures will be effective in
    • spurring housing and construction activities
    • providing relief to real estate developers
    • bringing gains to the urban middle class.
  • Would attract private and foreign investments in the housing sector, which will have a positive multiplier effect on gross domestic product and the labour market. 
  • In the CLSS, for administrative ease and effective monitoring of the scheme, the subsidy is paid into the account of beneficiary. Since there are no intermediaries involved, the entire benefits are expected to reach needy households.
  • The scheme is expected to help millions of urban poor own a house, and help the governments in reducing housing shortage in the country.
  • CLSS indirectly catalyses the construction sector.

Problems :-

  • While this would boost the housing sector, there is risk that subsidies will be cornered by real estate developers, private builders, and the urban middle class. The planners must view this development with concern.
  • A matter of serious concern is that this will pivot away from the core pro-poor character of the PMAY-HFA(U). The allocated funds under the mission may thus be spent without the benefits reaching the targeted population.

Way forward:

  • The government must strictly adhere to tighter restrictions with regard to income ceiling and, , the permitted built-up area for self-targeting.

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

7) The proposed Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill may introduce instability into the existing financial regime.  Analyse. (250 Words)

EPW

 

FRDI bill:-

  • The FRDI Bill proposes to set up a financial resolution authority namely “Resolution Corporation” to resolve failures of service providers across the financial spectrum. 

How it may introduce Instability:-

  • The FRDI Bill seeks to dilute government guarantees with respect to the debt resolution of public sector banks (PSBs) and public sector financial institutions in India that act as the cornerstone of financial stability.
  • It proposes to divest the government and the RBI of the powers to plan and execute recovery and resolution processes for stressed PSBs and financial institutions, and create a Resolution Corporation.
  • Bail-in provision
    • could convert uninsured bank deposits and other debt liabilities into equity-like instruments in order to recapitalise banks.
    • changes the nature of relationship between the customer and the bank. It would mean that money is no longer safe in a bank.
    • The possibility of a bank run cannot be ruled out has already caused disquiet among bank depositors
  • There is potential for regulatory conflicts between the resolution authority and the central bank on the risk assessments of stressed financial firms as well as the methods and instruments of their resolution.
  • The absence of any amount specifying the deposit insurance threshold in the FRDI Bill, even as it proposes to repeal the existing deposit insurance legislation added to the uncertainty surrounding the resolution regime
  • The dilution of the explicit and implicit government guarantees for PSBs and financial institutions can only enhance the fragility of the PSBs at a time when the massive accumulation of bad loans has severely affected their balance sheets.
  • The FRDI Bill further empowers the Resolution Corporation to decide the amount insured for each depositor. Thus, it is possible that the insured amounts will not only vary for customers in different banks, but may also be different for different customers of the same bank.
  • It is just an imported idea and does not suit Indian conditions
  • In its current form, the FRDI Bill disallows the proposed corporation’s resolution process from being challenged in courts.
  • The overwhelming presence of government representatives on the corporation’s board (including regulators’ representatives) can convert the corporation into a blunt tool of vengeful political action leading to further conflict with the public interest.

Why the bill is needed?

  • It helps resolve the bad loans problem
  • The proposed financial resolution regime attempts to pre-empt any outbreak of a banking or financial crisis by putting in place a new regulatory framework that will ensure the orderly exit of failing financial firms and insulate the larger financial system from possible contagion
  • It sets in motion a separate mechanism for depositors resolution when a contingency arises. What was part of the commercial model of banks is now being institutionalised and formally regulated.
  • Creditors/depositors will need to consent in advance to have their liabilities bailed-in. Even when liabilities are being bailed in, the Bill makes it incumbent upon the Resolution Corporation to follow the prescribed route.
    • Uninsured depositors are placed higher over unsecured creditors and amounts due to the Central and State governments.
  • The Bill gives aggrieved persons a right to be compensated by the Resolution Corporation if any of the safeguards have not been followed during a bail-in or in the conduct of any other resolution action.

Conclusion:-

  • With its thrust on initiatives such as the Jan Dhan Yojana and demonetisation, the government has nudged more people towards the formal banking system. To ensure that those gains are not lost, the government must communicate more clearly the rationale behind the bail-in provision, and the circumstances in which it may ultimately be used, if at all.
  • Government must enhance the amount of bank deposits that will remain safe under the new dispensation.

General Studies – 4


Topic:   Ethics in human actions

 

Background:

  • Despite Women being respected since ancient Indian culture ,governments taking measures for women empowerment women abuse and women safety are a distant dream in India.
  • The statistical data showing Indiahas the highest number of acid attacks in the world and 300 acid attacks in 2016 highlights the dismal state of affair.

These attacks highlight the moral bankruptcy because:-

  • The victim faces social stigma in the society and is often blamed for the incident and doesn’t let an acid survivor lead a normal life after the attack. Her social life is cut down as she cannot face people.
  • Patriarchal authority gives boys freedom to do anything and get over with anything
    • In the old order, women were docile and obedient. In the burgeoning order, women are independent. If they wish to end a relationship, they just do. These are things people accustomed to a sense of male entitlement cannot take. In their world view, a woman should be grateful for any interest a man shows in her.
    • As per the Avon Global Centre for Women and Justice, 35% acid attacks are because of a rejection of a proposal. Especially in rural areas there is lack of communication among the opposite sex.
    • It is often seen as a male thing to chase a woman. And sadly, that is what Bollywood too portrays most of the time. Eve teasing, stalking a love object is an accepted behaviour in Indian society, and jilted love is a major reason for many acid attacks in our country.
    • Men resort to violent attacks as women assert themselves by challenging men’s authority and expectations.
    • When a man throws acid on a woman, his intention is to subjugate her and show her who is in charge.
    • Societal preference for son over daughter – Geeta Mohar’s husband poured acid on her for giving him a daughter and not a son. 
  • Acid is easily available in any town or village or a city. Supreme court passed an order regarding acid sale but governments have not taken enough action.
  • West Bengal has the highest attacks in India yet the conviction rate is very low which perpetuates this crime further.

What needs to be done?

  • Bangladesh example:
    • The laws not only instituted a complete ban on over-the-counter sale of acid but also mandated the setting up of tribunals to deal with acid attacks, and the creation of a National Acid Control Council.
    • Bangladesh has made it mandatory that investigation in these cases should be completed within 30 days.
  • Tough penalties need to be imposed on state governments that fail to curb the sale of acid by a certain date.
  • Family plays a very important role in balancing the attitudes of children and the children need to be taught about respecting each other irrespective of the gender.

Conclusion:-

  • While the supreme court’s effort to stop acid attacks is commendable, society also needs to be more compassionate.