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Dec 21 st, 2015
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Important News of 21-December-2015

Capture

Environment

Prof Gadgil Reporton Wikipedia

Issue: Many of the state and central governments has dumped his report.
Now: He is going to put main facts of his report on Wikipedia, which will open for contribution from crowd
Why Wikipedia: Because it is out of government control and lack of ads on it
What Type of Data will be there: Data related to illegal sand and stone mining, deforestation etc.; with information from other reliable sources as well
Inspiration: Same kind of things is prevalent in western world as well
Example: Haldi (Parite is the village) village information has been updated where sewage is flown into the rivers leading to gastric diseases.
Gadgil: He has received Tyler Prize which is being awarded to individuals who had played a great role in preserving and enhancing the environment of the world
Report: He assigned three levels of ESA in western ghats i.e. ESZ1, ESZ2 and ESZ3, with no new dams and mining (till 2016) is allowed in ESZ1.

Global Warming and Water Bodies

– It is affecting each land, water and air differently
– Water bodies are warming rapidly at approximately o.3 degC
– Lakes in higher altitudes are warming faster
Examples:
Lake Baikal in Serbia warming so fast that threatening Baikal Seal
Lake Erie in North America’s Great Lakes saw algal bloom this year
– In Africa’s Lake Tanganyika fish population has declined

Paris Talks:

196 member countries have agreed on
China: To contribute both by funds and pact to compensate for rising emission by them
India: Being 4th largest emitter and is in developing face, it is not of the opinion to reduce its dependence on conventional sources of energy, but applauded for constructive role
Private Sector Commitment:
– Businessmen like Bill Gates, Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata etc. formed Energy Coalition to provide investments for early stage green technology innovations
– Will also coordinate with governments that focus on R&D for clean tech innovations

Food and Agriculture

Nairobi Package

Issue: According to experts it has killed the fundamental objective of WTOs Doha round to improve trade prospects
Developing World Stand: They want continuation of Doha round till issues like protection of poor farmers and food sovereignty are resolved
Developed World: Want to end Doha round with new issues which are in their interest like e-commerce, competition laws, global value chains etc.
India’s Issues: Demand for SSM, permanent solution for food security, reaffirmation for DA negotiations etc.

Crop Insurance OR Deficiency Payments

States like Punjab and Maharashtra attempting deficiency payments in some crops with MSP provision
Demerits of Deficiency Payment System:
a. Landlessness: In some states there is as high as 70% landlessness, hence asking for minimum income insurance is lobbying for a dominant group
b. Public Spending: It will increase if landless laborers will also be included in insurance schemes
c. Decreased Productivity: As farmer will be assured of minimum income in cases of below average yield and prices which will be met by State
d. Sharecroppers: They will not get its benefits
APMC: After amendment in APMC Act farmers are selling their crops to buyers and supermarkets, but to avail benefit under deficiency direct payment system they have to submit a copy of APMC receipt as a proof of estimated yield, selling below MSP etc. Now the problem is that some states have shut APMC markets.
State Role: Will be reduced as they don’t have to intervene in markets by undertaking procurement at MSP, hence leaving the market to private players
Allied activities like fisheries, dairying etc. are not included in it
Suggestions:
a. Have multiple risk management
b. MSP backed by procurement
c. Market intervention scheme like in Himachal Pradesh and Karnatka
d. Better crop insurance schemes

Healthcare

Healthcare System in India and Poverty

Issue: Healthcare system in India so expensive that it forces millions of Indians into poverty
Causes: Corruption in admission, nexus of doctors and pharma companies, Commercialization of health care, Cash benefits in cases of referrals
Solution:
– Training of students in such a way so that they will be ready to work in remote villages as well
– Reforms in Medical Council of India

Laws

Four Laws of Our Generation

Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015
To promote education and sanitation by mandating that candidates contesting election for panchayat seats need to have some minimum education (10th for GEN, 8th for dalit and 5th for women) and toilet in their homes.
RTE Act – No Detention Policy
– GER improved, but some think that quality and standard of education has been reduced
– CCE which is a part of NDP has not been implemented properly
Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE): It requires teachers to track student’s progress and tailor lessons according to their capabilities and providing remedial learning opportunities for students who needs help.
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015
– It proposes to lower minimum age for a child to be placed in adult criminal justice system from 18 to 16 years
– According to research transferring children to adult justice and prison system does not reduce crime
– Also human brain is not fully developed till one is in mid-20s
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill
43 lakh children are forced to work in India
– Currently, children < 14 years of age are banned from working in hazardous industries (govt. proposed to reduce it from 83 to 3) and allow them to work in their own family businesses
– Children who work for over three hours has a probability to drop out from school of about 70%

Nirbhaya Case:

Juvenile has been released after a three year term in Special Home
Government Stand: It appealed SC to stay his release
SC: Refused to do so
Reason: With a post-release individual care plan and follow up plans it can be assured that there will be less chances of misconduct

Economy

NPA and Banks:

– If one bank treats a company’s loan as NPA, other banks which has also lent to the same company has to consider the bank same even if it is not defaulting in that other bank
– To act as a cushion against future defaults
– For every NPA a bank has to set aside a certain % of loan from their profits to be called as loan provisioning, so the banks will have to cover the loans of other banks as well and it will affect their profit

Sri Lanka and India’s Make in India Initiative

Sri Lanka want to take advantage of India’s “Make in India” initiative and for that it is pushing for ETCA (Economic and technological Cooperation Agreement) for increasing it’s share in Indian opportunities. Another, major initiative is related to CEPA pushed by PM NaMo to flood Sri Lankan markets with Indian products.
Why: To take advantages of opportunities available in India under Make in India and Digital India Initiative
ETCA: SL pushing for Economic and technological Cooperation Agreement for increasing it’s share in Indian opportunities
CEPA: Pushed by PM NaMo which according to critics is Indian strategy to flood SL market with Indian products
Move Forward: Bridge over Palk Strait to connect Rameswaram in India to Thalaimannar in SL for improved links with SL

FED Interest Rate Hike – 25 Basis Points

FED increased the funds rate by 25 basis points first time since 2008 and likely to further increase it by 25 basis points for three times in 2016.
Event: Fed increased interest rate by 25 basis points, three more 25 basis points increase expected in 2016
Thinking: Can be called as normalization rather than tightening
Other Banks: Other major banks of world are either reducing or remaining neutral on interest rates
Impact:
– Debt in foreign currency especially USD will become more expensive
– Rupee vulnerability will increase
– With increasing rate and appreciation of USD, price of stocks will remain lower due to decrease in risk appetite
– Higher NPAs because of higher cost of servicing external borrowings
– End of an era of easy money in US

Source:
www.pieterjanleusink.nl
The Hindu
Livemint
Indian Express
Economic Times
Financial Express

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