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Oct 18 th, 2015
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GS III – October

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Contents

Side-Effects of Soft Drink Consumption

    Soft drinks which are a very common part of beverage industry now-a-days has become a necessary component of a large section of people’s diet especially of young generation, who consumes them without knowing it side effects like
    a. Uncertain Water Used: There are many instances in which it has been proved that contaminated water has been used in its preparation
    b. Fructose: Has high percentage of fructose which is not good for health and leads to diabetes problem and tooth decay problem
    c. Change of Lifestyle: People moved from other important nutritious drinks like milk, butter milk etc. which can actually help build body, instead they waste money on this products
    d. Obesity: They have become the necessary part of diet especially of people living in urban areas who consumes it mostly with junk foods leading to obesity, cardiovascular problems etc.
    Apart from it our body naturally ejects carbon-dioxide and in such a condition consuming it with drinks doesn’t seems to be a promising option.
    Advertisement of its health effects must be delayed on their bottles like had been done on cigarette packets and people must be inform about its bad health effects through mass media, public shows, by taking help of NGOs etc.

India and Climate Change

    Common but differentiated responsibility is the agenda of developing economies who while taking stand on climate control wants developed countries to take the lead as they are the ones actually responsible for the rising problem of pollution and global warming especially China and US. But India is also its best to mitigate these problems by:
    a. Renewable Sources: By taking mission mode strategy for construction of solar plants in India, windmills etc.
    b. Nuclear Deal: India has already made deal with many countries for reactors, in the process of developing it’s own reactors and taking help of other countries like Australia, Kazakhastan etc. for supply Uranium for it
    c. NGOs: Many organizations are working to find other options of energy like an NGO by Bindeshwar Pathak which have installed many biogas plants in India
    d. Green Fuel: India is working to increase the use of ethanol in diesel, fuels etc. and research is going on in companies like IOCL to look for production of oil from other sources like Jatropha etc.
    e. Organisations: Apart from it making e-rickshwas working, work of NGT to ban old diesel vehicles, burning of solid waste etc. are other steps taken
    Need of the hour is generation of oil from other non-conventional resources like algae, jatropha, karonjis etc. making electrostatic precipitators compulsory in chimneys of power plants to reduce pollution, investing in R&D to innovate to utilize waves and tides energy, geothermal energy etc. will help a lot in future.

MUDRA Bank and it’s Importance

    The micro units development and refinance agency bank or MUDRA bank started in April this year is a refinance institution for microfinance institutions and other non-banking finance institutions so that they can lend to MSMEs, with the objective of
    a. Inclusive development: Taking the advantage of platform created by PMJDY and making loan available to people easily
    b. Institutionalized Loan: So that people don’t have to remain dependent on other sources like moneylenders
    c. Development and Growth: If people will get easy loans, then their future prospects will be good and so do of this finance institutions, India and for their local economy as well
    d. Encourage entrepreneurs and small business units to expand their capabilities and operations
    e. Reduce indebtedness of MSEs
    Uptil now according to data released they have shown good capabilities by increasing their reach to as many as 3 million people and is not limited to any particular region but has a wide reach.
    It is highly significant as it is providing wide banking base, good infrastructure, wide reach, more tax to government, more jobs by opening branches in rural areas, holistic development, relieving people from previous problem of indebtedness because of private moneylenders etc.

Role ISRO can play in India’s Development

    Indian Space Research Organization the main arm actually responsible for holistic development and success of India’s space program uptil now has already helped a lot and will help in future as well for socio-economic development of the country by
    a. Navigation System: It has already launched 4 satellites in its ambitious IRNSS project and with the launch of three more India will be self sufficient in its own navigation system like Beidou of China, GPS of US
    b. Defense: India will be able to look after its porous borders efficiently
    c. Foreign Trade: A lot of nations seeing the success of India’s launching vehicles have already declared to use it in future for launching their satellites like NISAR of NASA
    d. Weather Forecasting: India is already taking it benefits and it is because of such satellites only that India predicts cyclones in advance and take necessary steps to evacuate people
    e. Railway: recently they have also declared that are going to help railway as well using GAGAN to effectively monitor railway lines to avoid accidents, crossings etc.
    Apart from mineral exploration, oil and gas exploration, predicting infiltration from borders, helping in smart city project by locating places which are more under water stress and where free land is available etc. by providing such information it can help in future as well.

India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCs)

    India released its targets to control pollution and to help improve the problems causing due to climate change under so called Untended Nationally Determined Contribution or INDC, which are as follows:
    a. Reducing the pollution by 30-35% of its 2005 level by 2030
    Seeing the rapid increasing population, energy requirement etc. it is going to require support of people, better technology to reduce pollution from existing sources, more public transport so that each people reduces the intensity of use of his/her own vehicle.
    b. For achieving point a, India has to increase production of energy from non-fossil fuel based resource by 33% i.e. 40% of it’s overall requirement
    Technology required in this sector is very costly whether it is nuclear energy, solar, wind etc. so to achieve it more funding in R&D sector will be required to make it happen.
    c. Increase in its forest and tree cover to increase its carbon capture capacity to 2.5-3 billion tones
    Seeing the increasing water stress condition, decreasing land etc. better techniques like drip irrigation, water harvesting etc. will be required and it will be better if help of corporate will be used under their CSR which many a times doesn’t get utilized effectively
    d. Taking help of developed countries for best practices, technology, funds etc. as it is going to require approximately $ 2-5 trillion
    More MoUs, better relationship, taking help of Indian diaspora can help a lot in this field.

NITI Aayog Focus on various Areas Like Leasing, Titling and RTE

    The National Institution for Transforming India or NITI aayog which replaced decades old planning commission and Chief Ministers of all states in its committee identified some crucial areas that requires reform for better functioning viz.
    a. Land Leasing:
    – Making land leasing legal will be of much help as people will be secure enough while leasing their land that they will not be caught in any judiciary process in case of any faults,
    – Government will get tax for it,
    – Tenants will get easy loan and will have more security who will now invest in the improvement of soil as well.
    b. Land Titling
    It includes providing ownership rights to tenants who work hard for many years on the same field and hardly gets security of tenure or other economic benefits and so they hardly invest in the betterment of the soil, helping such people will help in improving condition of a wide section of deprived section and they will then invest in the improvement of soil as well which will help nation.
    **** Through titling of land it will reduce the cases of fake transfer and will immensely cut “benami” transactions.
    c. RTE
    Private institution have certain problems in implementing RTE policy, so they are going to reform the process to implement the law i.e. they are not going to reform the law. It will help children from weak backgrounds a chance to have best education which will in future help a lot of people related to him as well to our country as well.

X-Ray Astronomy and India’s Contribution to it

    X-ray astronomy includes using x-ray based telescopes for the study of different celestial bodies of universe as was done by NASA last month. It has wide significance viz.
    a. Space Study: It helps in study of universe by giving a better visual picture of different celestial bodies and hence we can see the actual process going on in there
    b. Detection of Black Hole: It helps in identifying the black hole as happened last month when star debries after exploding went around it and due to high temperature burned and showed beautiful glaring circles around it
    So, it can help in solving the unsolved mystery of the origin of universe.
    India recently launched its first astronomy study related satellite Astrosat with multiple x-ray based telescopes having different wavelengths which is 1st and one of its kind. India already has a good success story when it comes to speace launching technology and satellites like this improves India’s image on world stage.

Sagarmala Initiative of India

    Sagarmala initiative of union government is said as a counter to China’s maritime silk route, but is not that much effective as China’ scheme because of the amount of money they are going to invest their project. India plans to develop it’s chain of islands under this initiative like Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar I (A&NI) etc.
    For implementing this policy India is of the opinion of using ‘Swiss challenge method’ in which various tenders are invited from various worthy individuals who have knowledge and successful track record in this field and then are put online, where each other person criticizes it and suggest solution or the same, hence in the process gives a most competent person for the project.
    The importance of this initiative are:
    a. Security and Development: The initiative is important from security as well as development point of view of people living in such islands as they are under threat of various degradation processes
    b. Habitation: There are many islands which are inhabitated, developing them will help in utilizing them effectively for various resources
    c. State of the Art Infrastructure: Including private companies in developing infrastructure will ensure that the infrastructure developed will be world class and so it can help in developing tourism sector as well e.g. like in Maldives

OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting(BEPS) and it’s Importance for India

    Seeing the wide scale problem of tax evasion by big multinational companies (MNCs) by finding loopholes in the system, organization for economic and cooperation development or OECD came with a list of measures called a sBase Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) to tackle this, some of it’s measures include:
    a. Against transfer pricing: i.e. against such techniques which are being used by MNCs by forming shell companies in other countries and transferring shares to it at less prices and then they sell it to third shell company at higher prices
    b. Data and Transparency: I.e. efficient method to collect data and being transparent in it for its efficient utilization
    c. Friendly resolution settlement and bilateral settlement: So that it doesn’t delays the process and hence not affects the investors interest
    d. Less incentives: For companies making such practices less profitable hence they will not divert funds to countries with low taxes
    It seems to be a good initiative and to implement same in India, it is going to require a team of experts and educated professionals so India must make provision for training in such direction, plus even small transactions must be taken care of to avoid it completely.

Money Laundering and Role of Stock Exchange in India

    Money laundering i.e. the money which goes out from the radar of tax department or is used for illegal activities so that it just be reported directly in bank. So to use such money now-a-days people use stock market option where with the help of stock brokers, registering money in the name of Foreign institutional investors or long term capital gains etc. helps in avoiding tax plus it can be used without any problem i.e. becomes 100% white money. Problems in the system are:
    a. Brokers: Brokers help in doing so in their own profit interest as well as of their client
    b. Finance Institutions: Sometimes money comes from big finance institutions, so decrease chances of its credibility
    c. FIIs or Capital Gains: They are registered as money via FIIs or angel investors or long term capital gain which has tax benefits as well
    d. SEZs: Money coming from or getting invested in special economic zones is another problem which has tax benefits
    e. Small investments are not even questioned which gets passed very easily
    So SEBI must look after the assets of brokers, must notice every investment no matter what its amount is, capital gains and FII investment must be tallied with the government of other nations well from where it is coming etc. plus efficient use of IT instruments can help in tackling this problem to some extent.

Need of Ending Fisheries Subsidies by 2020

    World trade organization members at its 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi are going to discuss that subsidies that is leading to enhanced unregulated fishing must be eliminated because of various reasons viz.
    a. Huge Funds: Almost $ 30 billion is being used in subsidy form which leads to unregulated, enhanced overfishing which is not good for water ecosystem, this can be utilized for other purpose
    b. Disturbing Water Ecosystem: Overfishing disturbs the natural ecosystem and hence in turn disturbs the bio-diversity of ocean which will in turn will affect our food cycle
    c. Pollution: Giving subsidy gives incentive to people for more fishing i.e. more number of boats will be used, with other techniques like bottom trawling, cyanide fishing etc. which pollutes water plus disturbs settled water making condition unfavorable for coral reefs
    d. Illegal Activities: Such unregulated activities sometimes leads to illegal activities as well like killing of sharks for fins as happened in Japan even after several warning
    So, to achieve the sustainable developmental goals as well as to keep the ecosystem healthy, keep our food cycle intact etc. this subsidy if not eliminated completely then at least must be reduced considerably and must be allocated to only needy ones. Plus strict scrutiny must be there using satellites monitoring and use of other IT tools.
    The recent MEENA KUMARI COMMITTEE REPORT on “deep sea fishing”in India has also
    allowed for JV with foreign firms and entry of more private players in the fishing industry which has led to
    protest by traditional fishermen .

Importance of Port Led Development for India

    Port led development is the development with the full usability of ports i.e. utilizing it for trade, focusing major economic activities towards ports or areas near to it so that it remain connected to outer world as transport via ships is much less costly then road, air or rail.
    Potential: It has huge potential because of following reasons
    a. Low cost, less traffic, eco friendly etc.
    b. Successful and well developed as still a lot of amount of goods already transport via this route only
    Successful Models:
    a. Gujarat Model: India’s Gujarat model where it has various important ports like in Surat, Jamnagar where the world’s largest refinery and petrochemical plant of Reliance is located and is very near to sea which helps in easy export of final products and import of crude oil
    b. Maritime Silk Route Model: In which China is building ports not only for its country but for other nations as well like Sri Lanka, Pakistan to enhance its trade
    Measures taken by Government to enhance this model are:
    a. Sagarmala Initiative: Enhanced funding to develop ports for holistic development of various ports, islands and implementation of this initiative
    b. Project Mausam: Called as a counter to China’s silk route and a renewal strategy of India’s old spice route
    c. Construction: Construction of new ships in various shipyards like of vizag, Chennai etc.
    Challenges:
    1)Ensuring multi-modal connectivity for fast development
    2)Lack of skilled human resources
    3)Availability of funds
    4)Climate change because of increased intensities of cyclones can pose damage to ports

Reasons for Youth Joining Militant Activities in North-East and J&K

    The ongoing tension of Islamic State, Houthi rebels, Boko Haram etc. have put a very important question in front of every human being i.e. why youth leaving everything behind is joining such militant related organizations when they can do something good for their country. Reason for this sorry state of affairs especially w.r.t to northeast and J&K are:
    a. History: Unfortunate history of such people whose loved ones got killed during military strikes like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir etc.
    b. Drone Strikes: Recent strategy of government of using drones to kill militants where recently a marriage function got targeted, in such strikes many innocent people also get killed which encourages their family to take such routes
    c. False Propaganda: By militant leaders that they are fighting to save their race or establishing caliphate etc.
    d. AFSPA: Armed forces special powers act which leads sometimes leads to heinous crimes against soft targets like women, children which are considered as soft targets
    e. Exploitation: Long history of exploitation by people of upper castes or money lenders leading them to extreme poverty and hunger, followed by no support from government i.e. no opportunity to find a suitable job or profession etc.
    All this reasons lead to youth to get attracted towards such militant groups and to save them
    – government must take strict actions against people involved in misusing AFSPA,
    – must provide enough opportunities to grow,
    – must stop contesting elections on reservation and caste based propaganda,
    – must take help of muslim organizations to spread message that their religion does not support such malpractices in any form etc.

Wind and Solar v/s Nuclear Power in India

    Nuclear energy is now-a-days seen as a very promising option for energy security among politicians of India ignoring the ill effects it has caused in Chernoboyl, Fukushima etc. and is keen on signing the N-deal with every other nation, but they must understand the negatives related to it
    a. Unsustainable: It is costly, risky and this technology is not available in India
    b. Ill-Effects: Any Catastrophe can lead to loss in terms of human resource as well as huge amount of money have to be given in compensation as happened in Bhopal Gas Tragedy
    But it has positive Effects as well:
    a. Energy Security: For rising population of India it seems a viable option
    b. Less Pollution: Less polluting then other sources of energy and much more efficient, only problem lies in disposal of it waste
    Positive of using solar and wind energy:
    a. User Friendly: Can be installed anywhere
    b. No Pollution: Is pollution free and environment friendly
    c. Sustainable: Is sustainable in long term, can be installed anywhere and this technology is even available in India
    But, only problem lies is that they are very costly and everyone cannot afford it, so for that government has to take initiative to give subsidy or providing such instruments in rural areas at low cost and in the meantime investing in R&D so that its total cost can be reduced.

India’s recently launched “Kisan” (Crop Insurance using Space Technology and Geoinformatics) program

    Recently, a new program has been launched by Government of India for the welfare of farmers of our country viz. Kisan “Crop Insurance using Space Technology and Geo-informatics” which is several good points like
    a. Use of Technology: Use of drones for taking the real time picture of fields of affected regions in time of calamity for effective evaluation for compensation to farmers
    b. No Delay: With such technology in place the insurance funds can be issued with no delay to farmers
    c. Mobile App: A mobile will be launched using which a farmer can take the photograph of his field and can apply for insurance easily
    In past this was done manually by insurance agents which used to take a lot of time for survey and absurdity in final payment amount which will now be taken care of. It will be better if some formulated software be made which can reduce the scrutiny part by human being and so the process can be fast tracked further.

Indian Army Objection to Embankment in Jammu District

    India-Pakistan border is a very important area for India seeing its previous attempts of attacks and current attempts to infiltrate every now and then. Seeing such ceasefire violation UPA government in 2013 decided to build an embankment along the 179-km stretch of the international border in Jammu district, but army is objecting it because
    a. Already an Embankment: There is already a n embankment few kilometers back to this international border
    b. Hurdle: Army is of the view that during times of emergency or war times it will affect their forward movement and hence in tackling such situations
    So, according to army view it is putting countries security in danger and so this matter must be dealt in according to the view of army as well.
    Army management along India-pakistan border is difficult because
    a. Difficult Terrain: A lot of mountains and high elevation makes working in this place a difficult task
    b. No Cooperation: Local population afraid of militants prosecution doesn’t help Indian army
    c. Supported by Army: Such infiltration are helped by Pakistan’s army i.e. they are trained for such things
    It is contentious issue because:
    a. Terrorism: Terrorists enter India from such border causes various violent activities leading to terror, loss of infrastructure, people etc.
    b. Capture of Land: Same type of conditions previously lead to capture of some of Indian territories in the past and so it becomes important for India to deal with it.

Should India Move from Conventional to Renewable Sources of Energy

    Human development Index or HDI is an index developed by UN to see and compare different nations in terms of development they achieved which has three basic indicators viz.
    a. Per capita income
    b. Literacy
    c. Life Expectancy
    Now as everything starting from mobility, cooking food, production in factories, working of various instruments in hospitals, to economic activities to earn money etc. require power, so there is positive correlation between enery access and HDI.
    The effects of completely moving away from coal based to renewable sources are:
    Pros:
    a. Environment: Less pollution, is sustainable, ecology conservation
    b. Land: Can be installed anywhere i.e. no specific land requirement and people living in coal mining areas will also be affected less
    Cons:
    a. Cost: Technology related to renewable energy is costly and India is not self-sufficient in it currently
    b. Increasing Population: Seeing the increasing population it will take time to completely switch on to renewable energy
    c. Existing Plants: Existing and other UMPPs which are in tunnel have not even started working and completely shutting them is not an option not unless their payback period is achieved
    So completely relying on renewable energy will take time it is not going to a quick but will take decades and for improving it first we need manufacturing base such technology with skilled population, hence government must think on it currently.

Nobel Prize in Medicine

    Nobel prize every year is available in six categories viz. physics, chemistry, literature, economic, peace and medicine. This year the nobel prize in medicine is shared by scientist from US and China who developed different drugs viz.
    a. Ivermectin: This drug is invented by US scientists which is effective against diseases lymphatic filariasis and river blindness
    River blindness is caused by black flies which are found in flowing rivers and causes permanent blindness if not taken care of.
    Lymphatic filariasis on the other hand is caused by worms which causes in long term causes permanent disability.
    b. Artemisinin: This drug is invented by a Chinese scientist which is effective against malaria, seeing the rising number of cases in India and other tropical countries and especially when the existing drugs are not effective, the discovery of this new drug will help in reducing such diseases and so governments expenditure in dealing with it.
    So, seeing the affect such diseases causes and in case of malaria where people get it in large number i.e. lakhs of people every year suffer from it, both are really an important invention and hence must be appreciated globally, especially in developing countries which are mostly prone to it because of their weak or inadequate healthcare system.

Threats to Himalayan Bio-Diversity

    Himalaya which protects India starting from north to north east is very important for India from security, a barrier against extreme weather conditions, flora and fauna diversity; but its natural habitat is facing many threats affecting it biodiversity because of following reasons:
    a. Rising Population: Increase in population leading their migration to this areas in search of land to live
    b. Deforestation: By people for livelihood
    c. Mining: For precious minerals found here for economic benefits
    d. Hydropower Development: To provide electricity to such areas, but construction degrades the natural environment and biodiversity in low lying areas
    e. Poaching: Of animal as a sport, or for their skin or other purposes
    f. Overgrazing: By the domesticated animal of people making such lands infertile
    It is important because
    a. Rare Species: Source of Some very rare Species and disturbing their number will affect our food-chain
    b. Natural Catastrophe: Affecting their natural habitat can cause calamities like Ganga floods in 2013
    c. Important Plants: Some of the important plants of medicinal values only occur here
    Measures that must be taken by government are:
    a. Building infrastructure for people judiciously so take more people can be accommodated in less area
    b. Mining and other economic activities related to forest must be administered, so that they don’t degrade environment
    c. Strict laws against poaching in fast track courts for quick decision etc.

Waste Management in India

    Seeing the ongoing developmental activities going on in India the amount of waste i.e. organic, bio-degradable as well as non-biodegradable, medical or hospital related waste etc. is increasing exponentially day by day. Now the various challenges and issues related to it are
    a. Increasing Rate: the amount of waste generation increasing day by day
    Issue: Number of people working for its disposal is decreasing and those working die before retirement age because of health effects
    b. Dumping Openly on land: Issue in this problem is that land becomes unavailable for any other activity
    c. Open Burning: Causes generation of various poisonous that gets released in our environment causing green house effect
    d. Dumping in Water Bodies: It affects the already existing bio-diversity in water bodies and people who bathe in it or other people who use it for irrigation purpose or washing vegetables before selling etc. affects a large number of people
    So, challenge lies in front of government if finding viable options to tackle these problems. It can be done in following ways:
    a. Separation: Separation of waste and then only disposing degradable one in landfills not in open land
    b. Recycling: Recycling of non-biodegradable waste using proper channels can help in employment generation as well, and such recycling plant must be made compulsory for every waste producing avenue
    c. Safety Equipments: For people working for tackling such wastes and insurance facilities in case they die because of health related activities due to their occupation
    d. Complete ban on disposing waste in water bodies.

Effect of Ban on Killing Cattle

    Recent lynching of a man of Dadri on news that he possessed cow meat brings this matter to forefront where a lot of leaders are now using this propaganda in the name of religion. But, whether politicians are affected from it or not is not known but farmer will be affected by it in following ways:
    a. Number of Cattle:
    Will increase to the same rate or hardly will slow down as farming is no longer dependent on bullocks and secondly because foreign breeds now-a-days are preferred because of its better production rate
    b. Farmer’s Income:
    As farmer hardly indulge in selling the meat of cow, so his economic condition is not dependent on whether is being put on it or not, on the otherhand to some extent his economic condition will deteriorate because he will now not be able to sell older cattle and has to invest in their maintenance as well
    c. Economics of Cattle Rearing:
    People who might be rearing cattle for meat purpose will now be afraid to sell seeing the ban on it export as well and so their rearing will be affected as for milk production point of view people now prefer foreign breeds.

Economic Growth through Slow or fast Paced Reforms

    Economic growth and development needs changes from time to time i.e. they are dynamic and so for achieving it any universal, quick and big bang kind of policy is not going to bring any major effect. For e.g.
    – Subsidy: For deregulating petrol and diesel prices to avoid subsidies government took many few steps one by one by increasing prices 50 paise at a time
    – Bank Nationalization: Nationalization of banks also took place step by step not in a one go and licenses for new banks also given with changing needs of economy
    – Education reforms: Here with changing needs government started different policies like Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan. Mid-Day Meal Scheme etc., which helped slowly in increasing literacy rate then enrollment ratio etc.
    Similarly, is the case with GST, as every policy needs time to show some changes in actual economy, so small gradual reforms are the preferred path for growth and development.

Treaty Shopping, OECD’s BEPS and it’s importance for India

    Treaty shopping is one of the loophole used by people to take benefits of tax treaty between two nations which works in following way e.g. a person from source country A has made money or capital gain in country B and take benefit of tax treaty that B country has with C, whereas country A don’t have any such treaty with C, this whole process is termed as treaty shopping.
    The base Erosion and Profit Sharing initiative of OECD for avoiding malpractices in tax related cases, for grievance redressal etc. has made several points to deal with treaty shopping viz.
    a. Limit of Benefits: The benefit is limited to person of only that country which have such treaties in between them not to citizen of other countries
    b. Properly stating that such tax treaty are not give benefits under treaty shopping
    c. More institutions to enquire into such cases i.e. principle purpose of such transactions so to allow only genuine cases
    It has several benefits for India viz.
    a. Avoid tax Evasion: It will avoid tax evasion by individuals
    b. FDI: Ease of doing business for genuine business houses hence will attract FDI etc.
    c. Indian Diaspora: Benefits for Indian diaspora living abroad as well for foreign nationals leaving India
    Hence, this proposal brings a win-win situation for India in terms of more monetary benefits by genuine taxation and avoiding problem of black money.

Balance of Payment Crisis and India’s Current Situation

    Balance of Payment crisis is the situation where country don’t have enough foreign currency exchange reserves to pay for its imports, leading to depreciation of currency and can end in hyper inflation and drastic effects on economy. India’s condition deteriorates in 2013 when current account deficit (CAD) went around 4.8% of GDP, dollar rate went up to 70 rupees per dollar, but since then the condition has improved but still there are certain points which is making economists to think that India can face BoP crisis in future viz.
    a. Export : GDP ratio: The export to GDP ratio is decreasing which is matter of concern as from where will India get FOREX
    b. Invisibles : GDP ratio: This ratio is also decreasing and as invisibles include software export, remittances etc. and oil prices will depreciated further in future so the remittances will decrease
    c. CAD: It has reduced due to decrease in import especially gold which is not a long term strategy because sooner or later India will need something to import and then condition will change
    Apart, from this slow down in China’s economy, Russian economy, EU etc. is a matter of concern with China depreciating it’s currency to keep its export to the same level creating competition for India’s export, followed by rise in interest rate in USFED which will lead to investment destination change from India to US etc. are a matter of concern for India.
    India needs stringent reforms so that it can start its delayed or suspended projects which are facing clearance problems, ease of doing business reforms, involvement in TPP, RCEP etc., proper planning and holistic development in its look east policy etc.

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System

    a. 4 out of 7 satellites in orbit
    b. Independence: It will reduce our dependence for navigational technology on other country i.e. GPS of USA,
    c. More security and reduced vulnerability: Strengthening security system and less vulnerable to external manipulation
    Applications:
    a) traffic management, forest management, land & water management
    b) Aviation Sector – for more accurate landing and take off of aircrafts
    c) Its will be used by armed forces for security purpose, effective border management etc.
    d) In railways for efficient monitoring of tracks and crossings thereby avoiding accidents

PPP model for water supply

    Privatization:
    a. Positives: More competition to get contracts, better services, development of state-of-the-art infrastructure etc.
    b. Negatives: Corrution to get contracts and if same firm will get contract again and again then service standard will decrease, monopoly of private player etc.

    PPP Model:
    a. Positives:
    – Scrutiny by government will be there to keep a check on quality and for grievance redressal,
    – funds will be made available by government,
    – government expertise from administration can be used here,
    – public will feel safe,
    – Private companies will bring their efficient working environment which will help in better services and government intervention will ensure equality in service delivery”

Benefits of research and technologies for India’s farm sector

    a. Soil health card: Can help in best use of fertilizer which will help in maintaining quality of soil
    b. Kisan TV: For spreading awareness about best practices
    c. Space Technologies: Can help in advance weather forecasting and
    d. Drones: New option of using drones for field survey for for giving insurance benefits without delay
    e. Irrigation: Using drip irrigation to save water, sowing pulses in between to conserve water etc.”

Biological Invasion Threat to Biodiversity

    They are getting migrated new places due to reasons like
    1. Migration of humans: For example, animals brought in by humans to Mauritius have destroyed bird species of Dodo.
    2. Illegal trading of animals and plants: the Red-bellied piranha, were imported into India illegally in the 1990s from different parts of the world, have become a serious threat to the smaller indigenous fish species and invertebrates.
    3. Experimental basis: The Himalayan Tahr introduced for sport in New Zealand, has grown out of control due to favorable conditions led it spread across the Southern Alps.
    4. For other benefits: Fast-growing eucalyptus was introduced into India in the 1970s for social forestry schemes and to provide pulpwood for the paper industry, is considered hazardous to nature for its thirst for water and damaging soil fertility.

Tax Issues in India

    Issues faced by citizens
    1. tax exemptions
    2. Vertical equity in place of horizontal one
    3. Complex,opaque and distorted tax system and
    4. Cumbersome return filing process

    Issues faced by industries
    1. Retrospective (looking back) taxes
    2. lack of administrative support, efficiency etc.
    3. No proper grievance redressal mechanism and slow dispute resolution mechanism
    4. Tax on intangibles such as intellectual property, advertising and branding exercises;
    5. transfer pricing, concern regarding indirect transfers;
    6. Tax on subsidies
    7. Different taxation system of different state governments (solution GST);

Problem of Discoms of India

    Causes of their dismal state:
    – Heavy AT&C losses
    – Due to leakages and theft of electricity
    – Inappropriate billings at households i.e. meters sometimes by-passed to avoid bill
    – Incompetent management capabilities

    Measures taken to by union and state governments to revive discoms are as follows:
    – Transferring arrears of discoms to state concerned
    – Lower interest rate loans from banks for borrowing
    – Setting up of a regulatory commission for tariff setting and proper management of resources
    – Increasing participation of private sector through PPP models to infuse efficiency and professional skills
    – State governments will take over the power loans to enable discoms to enter into PPAs (Power purchase agreements).”

Important of SEBI like Institutions created after Independence

    Failed Many a Times because of:
    a. Huge size of population leading to huge database
    b. lack of skilled population to implement their policies
    c. Lack of technology
    d. Independent audits that can easily be manipulated
    e. IN case of discrepancy slow judgement by courts
    Positive work has also been done by them like:
    a. Establishment of RTI
    b. Various initiatives in e-governance and so on”

Carbon Sink and how India will can achieve it for INDC

    Carbon sink refers to the creation of green cover i.e. trees which can absorb carbon-dioxide from atmosphere and hence can help in reducing it’s percentage in atmosphere and so reducing overall bad affects that can happen due to global warming.
    India can implement it by:
    a. Social foresty and urban foresty i.e. by planting trees on roof top
    b. Use of schemes like MGNREGA for afforestation
    c. Strict ban on deforestation and punishment in case of its violation
    d. Use of water harvesting techniques, drip irrigation in water stressed areas for making water available for irrigation
    e. Using treen that can survive even in low water conditions etc.

Shift of Micro Finance Institutions from Rural to Urban Centres

    Reason for such trend:
    a. Migration of people from rural to urban areas
    b. Better chances of recovery in urban areas and rising NPAs of rural areas
    c. Higher growth rate if money is invested in urban area projects
    d. Lack of expertise in rural areas for effective utilization of loans
    Impacts:
    a. Low institutionalized loan will be available for poor people and hence they have to depend on private moneylenders which always leads to slavery and indebtedness
    b. Migration in search of better opportunities will be increased, where they will have to live in slums at bare minimum resources leading to their health degradation
    c. Wealth and income inequality will increase eventually

Do public money be invested in private start ups

    Seeing the oncreasing number of start-ups now a days amd with Prime Minister of our country gave an agenda of stand up and start up India it is high time that start-ups be given enough support both policy wise and monetarily as well.
    Merits of investing public money in private start ups are:
    a. Better growth chances
    b. More employment generation and decrease in pressure on government for employment generation
    c. Will help in innovation and creation of new products which can even help in bringing more FOREX to our country
    Demerits:
    a. Money under risk if invested without proper scrutiny
    Incentives and checks needed from government side:
    a. Tax exemptions
    b. Better scrutiny to provide funding to only profit making start-ups after some months of successful working
    c. A department of government officers to assist in case some start-up needs expert advice in any crucial field

Will replacing PDS with cash transfer system be beneficial

    “Merits:
    a. Less chances of corruption and leakages in between
    b. No middlemen hence delay in procedure will decrease
    c. Indirect benefit of financial inclusion as every beneficiary have to go open an account to get its benefits
    d. No chances for duplicacy i.e. same family cannot take the benefit twice
    e. Data will be easily available online for future scrutiny and policy making
    De-mertis
    a. Persons involving in PDS employment have to face the heat
    b. Chances that money will be misuued for any other purpose instead of the things it is being transferred for
    c. In case of inflation frequent changes in money alloted needs to be taken care of, otherwise from where will the citizens will get the extra money
    d. Government is pushing market from regulated and administered one to private economy which can prove fatal”

Regulators emphasis on sharing services such as taxi

    “Sharing service means people will share the service used by them in daily life which can have various good advantages like
    a. Less Pollution: In case of taxi where same taxi will be used by multiple people
    b. Low Cost: Low cost has to be incurred by customers for the same service
    c. Protection: Seeing the increasing cases of harassment and crime against women by taxi drivers this can help in giving somewhat relief
    d. Endured Profit for All: Regulated service can help in the development all service providers i.e. monopoly can be better taken care of
    Punishment: Punishment and compliance with the laws in case rules are not followed and regulating rules time to time according to the need of the market
    So, regulating of share services is a good point and need of the hour is the creation of new start-ups in this field which can implement some new busness models like share my dabba option by Mumbai Dabbawalas. Or taking the help of NGOs to work in association with restaurants and if they can make available extra food from their restaurant to poor peopl etc. will of immense help.”

Bio-medical waste Management

    “Bio-medical waste i.e. waste from hospitals which is used for treatment and includes material like used syringes, cotton etc. are extremely dangerous and can cause spread of various deadly diseases if not disposed seriously e.g.
    a. AIDS: It can be easily transmitted if used syringes used for another normal person and has been a serious issue since a long time
    b. Blood Tranfusion: To other people cna be fatal if unhealthy blood is transmitted to other person
    Seeing the cases like recent spread of dengue which is caused by mosquitoes shows the sorry state of healthcare system in India and in such a scenario the ill-effects that this can lead to are:
    a. Loss of human resource
    b. Loss of capital of government in dealing with such issues etc.
    c. Disposing them in water bodies or directly in air can prove to be very fatal as chances of its spread will increase many times
    d. Main risk is to scavengers, manual handlers etc. who hardly gets safety equipements and die before retirement age
    So, to avoid this it must be disposed of after proper sterilization and appropriate route must be followed to dispose it off then to dispose it openly. Already, several start-ups are dealing in waste management and so government must give some incentives to increase their reach to this area.”

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