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Sep 15 th, 2015
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GS III – September

Economics

Contents

Effects of Radiations from Cell Phone Tower

  • Ongoing Problem
    We can now see a lot of cellphone towers installed on buildings everywhere, but recently mobile companies have started complaining about decrease on their revenue and bad quality of service because most of the people have de-installed towers from their buildings saying that radiations emitted by them poses health hazard.

  • Company Statement
    But cellphone companies are of the view that the radiations (i.e. transmission of energy in the form of waves) emitted by these towers are in normal range which does not poses any threat to any human being, it leads only to heating effect.

  • Need of Careful Scrutiny and Possible Long term Effects
    Now seeing the current global warming problem due to GHGs and in such case additional heating effect by such towers is an issue no matter how minimal it is. Also, there are surveys that says that radiations emitted by mobiles causes impotency, so there is a need for a careful study of what are its short term and long term effects what is the amount of energy it is releasing and seeing total number of towers what will be its effects in long term. But even though they don’t pose any threat but the generator sets used associated with it causes a lot of environmental pollution and releases a lot of heat.

  • So instead of installing such small towers at various places there must be provision of big towers with long range because that will decrease any kind of radiation and heating problems and even if they must be installed then install it in open spaces like near wastewater canals, on hoardings space etc. that will keep people away from it.

Differences Between GSLV and PSLV

  • Capacity Difference
    The main difference between GSLV and PSLV is that GSLV has capacity to launch satellites heavier than that of the maximum capacity of PSLV.

  • GSLV overview
    Secondly, cryogenic engine of GSLV gives more thrust per unit of fuel used. The topic comes in news with the launch of recent GSAT-6 satellite into the geostationary orbit for S-band communication which is 3rd time the indigenous cryogenic engine has been used.

  • GSLV v/s PSLV
    GSLV is not a competitor to PSLV actually but a modified version which will be used for the launch of heavier satellites while PSLV will be used for launching comparatively lighter satellites. Also, the success of PSLV is so much applauded that its program which was for 35 launch now extended for up to 50 launch. With the success of GSLV NASA has also made it clear that it will launch its NISAR satellite in 2020-21 using GSLV, the reason for choosing Indian GSLV is that it launches vehicle at almost one-third prize than their own launching vehicle.

  • Orbits –
    As the name suggests, GSLV takes a satellite to the Geo-Synchronous orbit of the earth. That is, the satellites also revolve around the earth in 24 hours. Thus, they appear continuously stationary with respect to ground stations, and therefore can be continuously used for communication purposes
    PSLV, in contrast, propels in the polar synchronous orbit. Here, the satellite comes in the range of the ground staion only for a few hours a day, making its use limited to purposes like Remote Sensing.

  • Capacity
    The weights of satellites they can carry- GSLV is more powerful. It can carry satellites upto 3 tonnes, unlike the PSLV’s 1 tonne. Hence, more advanced missions like Chandrayan 2, sending humans require GSLV

  • Technology-
    GSLV is based on advanced technologies like Cryogenics engine. As such, India is relatively new in this tech, and has faced more failures. PSLV is an age old technique, and has allowed India 25 continuous successful launches.

Need of Sector Specific Minimum Wages Policy

  • There must be a law to ensure minimum wages applicable to all employees across the country including sector-specific minimum wages for industrial workers because of the following reasons:
  • For Better Standard of Living
    It will avoid exploitation of existing labors because if they do not get enough wages then how will they meet their daily requirements

  • Different Work Requires Different Hardwork
    Sector specific wages will help labor get good wages according to the type of work they are doing like for e.g. some work like in mining, industry etc. they do a lot of physical and back breaking work so accordingly their wages must be higher

  • For Skill Development
    Also, sector specific and minimum ensured wages will attract labors to some semi-skilled jobs like cab drivers in metro cities who earn very good amount at reasonable labor

  • As Incentive for Hazardous Jobs
    Will provide a sense of security to workers working in hazardous places which has threat to life e.g. last year some workers died in Bhilai steel plant due to gas leakage

  • For Peace
    This long standing demand will also please the trade unions, leading to lesser strikes and shutdown

  • To Promote Consumption
    Greater wage will in turn promote consumption, and could give a fillip to the economy

  • But, the new scheme must be detailed one and must made provision to pay workers on per hour basis then daily or monthly, because that will decrease the number of working hours they are doing daily. Secondly, provision of life insurance must also be there for labors working in hazardous places which poses threat to life.

Goods and Services Tax

  • Goods and Service tax is a long pending issue in the Indian parliament. The main focus of this GST is to overcome the effect of the cascading of current taxes like various indirect of centre viz. excise, counter veiling duty etc. and some of states like VAT. So, once GST will be implemented people don’t have to pay multiple tax at various point instead only one tax will be applicable at final purchase and so tax burden on people will decrease.
  • Issues:
    1. Compensation Required by States
    States argue that they will suffer from a loss of revenue. Hence, Centre has decided to compensate it fully for 5 years.
    2. Loss for Manufacturing States
    This will result in major loss for manufacturing states like Jharkhand, Gujarat etc., because GST is charged at the final stage of consumption not at production.
    3. Some of recent amendment proposed are also contentious.
    – State will be allowed to levy additional 1% tax, this violates the basic fundamental principle behind GST.
    – Maximum cap of GST is 20%, which critics argue is too high.
    4. Infrastructure
    Setting up infrastructure both at Centre and State level will also be a challenge.
    5. Skilled People
    Skilled and trained people will be required to implement GST all over India smoothly

  • Other Issue and Exempted Products
    There will be two types of taxes centre and state with each cannot be used for other. This, will work in the form of credit which once applied will be used to deduct that tax in some intermediate stage. Some products like alcohol, cigarette, petroleum products etc. are kept out of its reach. To decide what will be the share of tax between state and centre a council will be formed with Finance Minister as its chairman.

  • It’s implementation will help people as tax burden on them will decrease and current s situation where same product is priced differently in different states become same in all states. Petroleum products, alcohol, cigarettes etc. must also be remain under its ambit and make exception in rarest of the rare cases. And, as India currently don’t have enough experts in this field so help must be asked from some other foreign countries which have already implemented it for infrastructure development as well as for training people.

Climate Change and its Effects

  • Experts have already said that in this century around 2 degC rise will take place in temperature all around the world and so there will be its after effects as well like
  • Melting of Ice
    Melting rate of ice from polar regions will increase and sea level will rise and hence it will affect people living in coastal areas

  • Diseases
    Increase in temperature will make cold regions prone to communicable diseases as we know that moist areas are more prone to such areas than dry areas like desert

  • Current Scenario
    Increasing heat waves which already took many life in Andhra Pradesh and Pakistan and nothing is done for it then the condition will become worse in coming years and the most affected by it will be people living in slums

  • So it is high time that government start creating awareness among people about it because it’s a huge task and everyone I responsible for it and government alone cannot mitigate it, so that people start using renewable energy sources, using vehicles only when necessary, start planting trees etc. Apart from it government must start taking research in renewable field on priority basis like oil from algae which emits less GHGs and even uses carbon-dioxide for its growth etc.

GSLV Mk-II

  • Overview
    The second successful launch of GSLV-Mk-II using upper cryogenic engine puts India into the elite club as only several countries in the world have that capability. With this launch now India can put satellites of over 2 tonnes into space and that at cost of about one-third than that of other countries. With the launch of this even NASA made clear that it will launch its NISAR satellite using India’s vehicle in 2020-21.

  • Current Problem
    But, saying that it will make India self-reliant space agency is not correct at all as India still don’t have capability to launch its satellite INSAT-4A which was constructed way back in 2005 and even after 10 years India don’t have capability to launch it as it belong to 3 tonne category. For this satellite India still in testing phase of GSLV-Mk-III. And so currently for launching satellites of 3 tonne category India is dependent on foreign countries.

  • In current scenario India can help other nations launching its satellites of upto 2 tonne using its PSLV and GSLV in which it has a good success record. And can take help from other nations to develop its own technology for GSLV-Mk-III, which will speed-up this process and may be so in few years India will be able to become self-sufficient in it too.

Digital India Project

  • Digital India project includes collection of data related to individuals and that is what raising concerns of many academics which are related to privacy and security i.e.
    A. Privacy concern:
    As this project includes very confidential data related to each and every individual then there are chances that it can be used for surveillance purpose by government institutions, so there is a need of strict legislation to avoid it
    B. Security Concern:
    Second important concern is related to security i.e. what if such crucial is leaked or the site is hacked by some agency and we see such kind of hacking news very frequently, so there is a need of expert persons in this field to avoid it

  • Positives
    But, there are positives to this as well, some academics says that it is pushing bureaucratism in the right direction and will decrease red tapism.

  • Now, to make it possible government must attract the best brains of India in this field who can actually contribute positively to this project in software development and must start hiring brains from best college institutions like IITs e.g. ISRO also follows the same procedure and is doing well. Must make computer education mandatory in schools to let students have idea about it from very basic level. Infrastructure must be created to train people in this field so that India don’t face shortage of manpower.

New Method of GDP Estimation

  • Nominal GDP:
    It is calculated considering the prices of current year, hence it is also known are GDP at Current Prices. It is generally used to estimate the current GDP and is not used for calculating growth rate. It is generally higher than Real GDP.

  • Real GDP:
    It is calculated using prices in a particular base year (2004-05/2011-12). In other words, it is Nominal GDP adjusted for inflation, and is known as GDP at Constant Prices. Real GDP is used for calculating growth rate.

  • India’s new GDP method:
    The new methodology seeks to change calculating GDP at production level (Factor Cost) to GDP at consumption level (Market Price)
    1.Shift from Final Goods and Services (GDP at Factor Cost) to GVA at each level.
    2.Earlier, GDP was calculated using factories data collected from ASI (Annual Survey of Industries). Now, it will consider the Companies data from Ministry of Corporate Affairs. This, data will also include marketing and selling cost, along with production costs.
    3.GDP at Basic Prices:
    Addition of Net Production Tax (Indirect Production Tax -Production Subsidies), while GDP at Market Price: Addition of Net Product Tax (Indirect Product Tax – Product Subsidies)
    Also, for calculating GDP at constant Prices, the base year is changed from 2004-05 to 2011-12.

  • Pros:
    This, methodology is successful at international level. And inclusion of various economic activities, that were earlier not considered.

  • Cons:
    Inconsistencies in data collection while calculating GDP numbers. The major issue is not with methodology per se, but the new GDP numbers which shows India as a growing economy. Critics argue that despite the growth, India is not able to create enough employment opportunities. No comparison with GDP before 2011-12.

Development and Associated Problems

    Development is not the answer for all the problems if it must be then why in US we read news like teens killed several people in school using gun, terrorist attacks etc. At any point it will not be possible to fulfill necessities of all the population at all the times there will always be inequality. Conflicts that development itself generates are:

  • Inflation:
    With development higher standard of living the cost of necessary things also goes up

  • Pollution:
    With development the need for energy increase and hence more gases are emitted either through transport vehicles or power plants and create pollution

  • Health Problems:
    With development and spreading MNC culture the lifestyle of people is changing i.e. they rely on junk foods, cold drinks, smoking, alcohol consumption etc. which poses health problems which are quite very costly now a days

  • Crime rate:
    As all sections of society do not get equal benefits from development one who don’t find suitable employment or in the lure of easy moneymaking option people always gets attracted towards unfair activities

  • Old age problems:
    With increasing development the fittest one can easily look after themselves i.e. who have enough money and adequate means for leaving but aged people, women, children etc. always find it difficult to fulfill their needs

  • Slums:
    With increasing development the slums will also increase as people will move urban cities for employment and with their minimal salary they can only afford such places to live in.

SBI, ICICI as D-SIB

    The Basel Committee on banking Supervision in 2011 recommended to classify certain banks worldwide as systematically important banks by learning lessons from 2008 global financial crisis which had its impact on whole world which is still prevalent.
    Due to this reasons RBI recently declared SBI and ICICI as domestic-systematically important banks which will have certain positive implications viz.

  • Stringent Norms:
    More stringent norms will be there with better scrutiny so chances of failure of any such large bank will be difficult

  • Public Interest:
    They will look after the public interest well with no problem of liquidity crunch, safety of deposits of customers etc. required for better growth

  • World Class Practices:
    Taking decisions and making policies according to successful prevalent practices of other banks hence making a change in conventional style of doing business

  • Smooth functioning:
    For smooth functioning of economy and it can in to some extent will help reducing India’s dependence on foreign markets for its capital requirement as well

  • Attract Foreign Investors:
    Will attract foreign investors as well

  • Concentration risks will have to be taken more seriously in doing business
    Also, such banks will have better reputation in international market so their customer base will also increase which will indirectly help our Indian economy.

Direct Subsidy to Farmers

    Recently, seeing the distortion of the credit culture in agriculture, the RBI has urged the government to give subsidy to farmers because of following reasons:

  • Rising Non-Performing Assets:
    As, the NPA level is rising year after year, RBI is of the opinion to give direct subsidy to farmers instead of interest subvention

  • No Distinction By Banks:
    Banks does not make any distinction while providing loans under interest subvention scheme because the 3% subsidy they get from RBI later on at the end of the year which is the another reason for increasing NPAs

  • DBT is Successful:
    Direct benefit transfer policy is a very successful one as can be seen from the example of LPG subsidy so it will decrease leakage and will help in decreasing NPAs as well

  • Interest Subvention:
    Due to this policy RBI has to pay to banks and has to look after rising NPAs as well because it is the central banker of our nation so this policy is unnecessarily increases burden on it
    Hence, because of all this reasons RBI is of the opinion of using DBT instead of interest subvention scheme and even the same has been recommended by Shanta Kumar Committee of giving Rs. 7000 per hectare as subsidy to each and every farmer in its account and let them look after the rest.

Difference between GDP and GVA

  • Definition
    Gross Value Added is the difference of price of final output or product and that of intermediate goods required giving the value addition to any product by interface in between i.e. manpower, industry etc. Whereas, GDP is the total value of all the goods and services produced within the territory of the economy in a given year. GDP is obtained by adding indirect taxes and decreasing subsidy from GVA.

  • Individual Importance
    The importance of GVA and GDP lies in the purpose we are looking for e.g. GDP is good for comparison of different economies and to look after growth of an economy, on the other hand GVA gives an idea about the internal aspects of an economy about its industries and how much value they are adding to the intermediate goods, which depends on technology and other factors of an economy e.g. India currently is not self sufficient in making its own defence equipments like fighter aircrafts while many other nations has that technology so same metal if used by some other nation for making fighter aircraft will increase its value many times then in the case of India which will hardly use it for say making utensils or cars etc. So this is why GVA is important.

  • Also, GVA gives a better idea about what is happening at sectoral level.

Manipur Protest over New Bills

    Recent crisis in Manipur where several people get killed is because of the bills related to land reforms, shop establishment etc. Reasons Manipuri people opposing it are:

  • Migration:
    It will increase migration from other countries and from other states of India as well

  • Buying and Selling Right to Aliens:
    People from other lands and states will get right to buy and sell property in their state which is creating fear among them that they will lose their ancestral indigenous land

  • Threat to Their Culture:
    As, number of migrants will increase it poses threat to their indigenous culture and this is how deterioration of culture starts in the name of development

  • Increasing Stress on Existing Resources:
    As, migrants will increase so do the stress on their resources which will decrease opportunities for their own people
    But there are other advantages as well of it viz.

  • Better connectivity and development opportunities
  • More money flow will help increasing world class infrastructure
  • Better utilization of resources
  • More employment hence will help increasing standard of living
  • Better health care facilities etc.

Benefits of Legalizing Leasing of Land

    There are several benefits of legalizing leasing of land viz.

  • Utilization of Fallow Lands
    Unproductive fallow land will be utilized for productive purpose

  • Benefits for Small Farmers
    Beneficial for small land holding farmers, who can rent it to big land holders and can get monetary benefits

  • Off Season Utilization
    Farmers who don’t have enough resources to grow other crops in off season can rent it to rich farmers and can get its benefits

  • Less Chances of Fraud
    Legalizing it will reduce chances of fraud which affects small farmers

  • Additional Security for Tenants
    Tenants will also have security of tenure plus they will now invest for improvement of field because of security provided by legalizing leasing

  • Loan Benefits to Tenants
    Tenants can avail loan benefits if leasing will be legalized

  • Effective Utilization of Village Land
    People who have moved to urban areas but have lands in villages can also take its benefits
    Apart from it if government can take some step like they themselves take the land of farmers on lease and share the benefits of produce then it will be helpful for farmers as well as for government. Secondly, government can take their land on lease for testing organic crops or integrating it with NREGA scheme where farmers will get benefits of rent as well as benefits of wages then this can help solving problems of farmers.

Monetary Transmission Problem in India

  • Brief Overview
    Monetary transmission refers to the passage through which monetary policy decisions are passed on businesses and other customers through financial market. The point came into picture when even after reducing repo rate by 75 basis points the commercial banks reduced it hardy by 30 basis points. Causes for this poor transmission are:

  • Administered Rate of returns
    Small savings rate still not related to market prices instead decided by government and similarly is the rate on provident funds which is also decided by government

  • High Reserve Ratios
    High SLR and CRR due to which a major part of deposits of bank get locked which they cannot use for investment or for giving loans

  • NPA
    High NPA is one of the major reason
    To address above two reasons RBI has decided to

  • Common Base Rate
    Implement a common formula for all the banks to decide base rate based on marginal cost which is more sensitive to the changes in repo rate

  • Better Recovery Laws
    RBI can contribute in it by making strict recovery laws
    Government must make small savings rate free floating according to the market rate and similarly provident fund and must make a committee including deputy governors or ex-governors of RBI or expert economist who have better know how of economy to make a concerned decision in the favor of economy. Also government must start more attractive bonds with better yield rate as a result bank will don’t think about decreasing SLR.

UN Stand on Black Money Issue

    United Nations has tried to prevent flow of black money with the following measures:

  • United nations convention against corruption (UNCAC):
    It has provision to locate and return the assets of nations from foreign countries, but it is as such not very effective

  • United Nation Convention Against Organized Crime:
    It helps in avoiding crimes like smuggling, money trafficking, human trafficking etc. which helps to tackle black money case to some extent

  • United Nation Convention on Civil Society:
    It helps in supporting the UNCAC and UNCAOC
    Despite these major efforts there remain challenges and shortfalls like

  • Absence of Technical Know-How
    Provision of technical and legal assistance to developing countries

  • Conflict Issue
    Conflict between UNCAC provisions and domestic laws

  • Unnecessary Issues
    Delays and lack of transparency in the review mechanisms

  • Low Recovery
    Low levels of asset recover
    Even after all this provisions it has not made any big success so the need of the hour is the formation of a new organization in line of WTO, International Court of Justice etc. which takes quick decisions and convict people even from other nations as well, so why same cannot be done in the case of black money. With this they can avoid problems like non-transparency in case of enquiry of accounts and unnecessary delays on providing information, plus they can provide technical and legal assistance.
    India must fight first for permanent seat in UN and then against black money as if comes back then it can give a huge boost to Indian economy.

Supreme Court’s SIT on Black Money

    Black money is that amount of money that go unnoticed or on which government does not get tax and so the economic development of country gets affected. So, seeing such scenario SC has appointed a SIT to look after it which recommended several points:

  • Tracking Transactions
    To look after transactions which are above certain limit as these are mostly linked to drugs smuggling which is illegal which is a good initiative and will help bringing such practices down people will find it difficult to mobilize such illegal money

  • Special Powers to Investigate
    On illegal money that goes as donation to religious institutions and invested in education income tax department must be given special powers to investigate them because many educational institutions charges more and give receipt for only minimal amount to avoid taxes

  • Efficient and More Number of Courts
    Additional courts to look after pending cases of IT department is a good move instead they must be used for fast track decisions on new cases as well

  • SEBI and IT
    SEBI with good information technology infrastructure must look after shell companies and long term capital gains tax which is a good step as companies always follow such routes to avoid taxes and in some cases for insider trading which is illegal
    Apart from it revenue intelligence department must be given more powers and other such departments must be well connected with enforcement directorate for speedy disposal of cases as well as to devise pro-active approach so that people will be afraid to indulge in such malpractices.

  • Cricket issue:
    In that case instead a committee mist be formed which will be attached to various cricket councils for better scrutiny time to time

  • Putting a cap on cash transactions
    Benefit- Cash transactions are difficult to trace. The step would provide more information to tax authorities.
    Challenge- Implementation is a big issue especially in the wake of insufficent financial literacy and finanial inclusion.

  • Giving mechanism for SEBI to investigate sudden massive hike in share indices.
    Benefit- It will check against insider trading and will also regulate speculative trading.
    Challenge- Differentiating between legal and illegal trading is a challenge.

Reason for Abolition of Planning Commission

    Planning commission was the apex economic organization of India which got replaced by NITI aayog, the main function of planning commission was

  • GBS
    To look after gross budgetary support to centre and states in consultation with Finance Ministry

  • Fund Allocation
    Allocation of funds to different Centrally Sponsored States
    But critiques are of the opinion that it has several disadvantages which needs improvement viz.

  • Plan and Non-Plan Expenditure Distinction
    Unnecessary distinction between plan and non-plan expenditure which always leads to increase in expenditure and subsequently deficit every year sue to excessive non-plan head

  • More Power for Centre
    In line ministries has less power in deciding about allocation and such decisions are taken by centre along with planning commission

  • Frequent Government Change
    Government changes frequently in states, political bias in allocating funds
    So, that’s why NITI Aayog was established to look after this problems and give more powers to inline ministries and for introducing medium-term fiscal budgeting but it is still not followed by Indian government where the effective power now lies with Finance Minister and its bureaucrat class.
    So there is need to better integrate state governments in their planning process then to take decision on their own and making a mechanism so that each state gets funds according to its topography, population and needs then to allocate it based on political motives and according to government ruling in the state.

Pulses Production in India

    Pulses are a good source of protein and as proteins are building blocks of body so emphasis must be laid on the increase in production of pulses. But because of cash crops and better prices for other crops their production has fell, but it has a lot of benefits over other crops like:

  • Nutrition:
    Good source of protein

  • Nitrogen Fixation:
    Some are leguminous so helps in fixing nitrogen for next cropping season

  • More Tolerance
    Can tolerate semi-arid conditions, hence can be grown in monsoon deficient year as well as in semi-arid areas or in off season

  • Mulching
    Even if they cannot be used for selling then it can be mulched which will improve soil fertility

  • Better Adaptations
    Are better adapted to extreme conditions then other crops like rice, wheat etc.

  • Conserves Soil Moisture
    Use water of top layer of soil so leaves enough moisture for next cropping season
    So to boost its production government must

  • HYV Seeds
    Provides high yielding variety seeds to farmers for better productivity

  • Awareness
    Must aware farmers about it benefits through Kisan TV or various awareness programs.

  • MSP, Research
    Providing MSP and distributing pulses through PDS, more research
    So seeing its benefits it can solve monetary, health, soil fertility, irrigation etc. problems of most of the population of country.

Pay Commission Pros and Cons

    Pay commission is basically looks after the pay revision of government employees of our country every ten years last pay commission i.e. 6th revised the pay in 2006 and 7th pay commission is working for 7th pay revision. But, it pay must be revised yearly then once in a decade because:

  • Inflation:
    In ten years the inflation and the rates of many commodities changes drastically which affects the life of common people and in some cases to pension of retired employees also, so it must be revised every year according to changing inflation and rising prices of living

  • Private Companies:
    In the same time the salaries of private employees increases more than that a government employee
    But, this revision has several disadvantages as well like it will increase burden on our GDP and everybody will gets its benefits same, so critics are of the opinion that it must be made performance based or increase in productivity based and it is a good option as this will increase productivity and will encourage people also to perform better.
    This later suggestion is a good option as it will attract the best talent of India as well which is currently opt for foreign countries in lure of more monetary benefits.
    Also, rationalization is required i.e. whom to recruit as currently we require more scientists, doctors etc. then present scenario of recruiting more than half in police force which needs rationalization. (But I don’t think that has any thing to do with pay commission, we can connect it like it will give better growth and so the financial burden will decrease in that term it is advantageous).

  • No Enough Support
    The annual increment of 3% in basic pay received by govt employees isn’t consistent with economic realities
    Some of the apprehensions are :

  • Extra Economic Burden
    Pay commissions tend to put extra burden on government finances which itself is struggling to match fiscal deficit figures

  • DA for Inflation
    The components of Dearness Allowance automatically accounts for inflation

  • No View on Employee Efficiency
    The pay component is hardly related to the work efficiency of employees.

  • Rationalization of workforce is not done.
    Despite these objections, its rational to form pay commissions because:

  • The impact on finances were visible only in initial years, with markets factoring in the changes within couple of years
  • The yearly hike including DA comes to 8% while, in the private sector salary tend to rise exponentially
  • In the top level, government department competes for the same workforce pool as of private sector. Without attractive remuneration its tough to attract and retain talent.
  • With increasing complexities of administration, there is more requirement of trained and expert work force.

Importance of Strategic Investment for India

    Strategic disinvestment is the transfer of management of any public sector undertaking to a private company because of following reasons viz.

  • Efficiency and Development
    For improvement of productivity and efficiency of company

  • Better Management
    For better management practices of private companies i.e. companies which have successful track record in this field

  • Technology Transfer
    For using improved better technology in production which will help in technology transfer to India

  • Monetary Benefits
    Reducing fiscal deficits and for budgetary requirements
    So, viewing all its benefits we can say that it is profitable for economy but not as such very important for our economy. To disinvest its shares in any PSU government can follow the following recommendation of Rangarajan Committee of 1993 on Divestment viz.

  • Disinvestment Limit
    Disinvesting only a up to certain limit i.e. not privatizing the whole company and is some specific sectors only viz. atomic energy and space exploration is out of it

  • Specific Committee
    Having a specified committee or organization to look after it

  • Transparency
    And it must be transparent enough to avoid unnecessary allegations of in future
    Cons

  • One Time Benefit
    It is likely selling family silver for a onetime benefit.

  • Decrease in Share
    The government no longer receives the annual dividends/ share of profits

  • Bad Trade-Off
    Efficiency increases at the cost of the layoffs of many workers, increasing unemployment

  • Monetary Motive vs Socialism
    Privatisation also leads to concentration of wealth against the govt philosophy of socialism
    Also, step must be taken in such companies which are running under losses or in which the private companies has good track record or in which India does not have state of the art technology because all this three scenarios will bring better growth and economic benefits for India.

Miss-selling and Rationalising Distribution Incentives in Financial Products

    Committee to recommend Measures for Curbing Miss-selling and Rationalising Distribution Incentives in Financial Products to avoid unnecessary harsh conditions that a investor has to face and to make investing in such products more profitable and easy. Its recommendations include:

  • Benchmark:
    Use of benchmark recommended by any good agency to improve investor confidence while investing

  • Best Practices:
    Best practices from existing such organizations needs to be followed for improved returns and increasing confidence of investors

  • % Rate of Return:
    Return on premium or investment must be represented in percentage terms for better comparison by investors

  • Single Expense Charge:
    On final return then charging again and again as it creates cascading effects

  • Cost of Surrender:
    Must be reasonable and remaining money after deduction must be returned to investors

  • Punishment:
    For illegal practice of rebating
    Apart from it use IT infrastructure with better interface between investor and organization must be there so that people don’t have to physically visit branches for information related to their information instead it all must be automated and transparent with online answers for queries etc.

Limited Carbon Budget

    As already a lot of Green Houses Gases have been emitted and more is getting emitted every second so the concept of “limited carbon budget” has come into picture which tells about he limit to which green house gases can be emitted. Various issue related to this concept are:

  • Unequal Emissions:
    Most of the GHGs are emitted by industrialized and developed nations so they must reduce their emission significantly is a point raised by developing countries

  • Development:
    As, developing countries already dealing with a lot of problems like poverty, education, healthcare etc. so they cannot reduce GHGs overnite drastically
    The relevance of “Limited Carbon Budget” is as follows:

  • Better Accountability
    The only way to ensure accountability and responsibility of the actions taken over the past decades

  • Sustainable
    In line with the concept of sustainable development and prevention of exploitation of environmental sources

  • To Tackle Global Warming
    A step in the right direction to meet the dire necessity of controlling global warming in the atmosphere within 2°C

  • Profitable for Emerging Economies
    Gives a free hand & leverage to developing & LDCs, who are neither equipped nor in a position to curtail their emissions in lieu of their developmental agenda

  • Conceptualising the “Polluter pays” Principle of UNFCCC in reality
    In all this debate the poor island nations are getting affected and will be affected badly in future. Instead a combined effort for research on renewable technology and use of existing technologies to improve environment is required, with using green fuel or blended fuel like ethanol blended must be used to decrease emission, using solar cells, wind energy, geothermal energy, wave energy etc. for electricity production can help in short term.
    (Relate point like in 1st point as LCB gives idea about how much more we can pollute so we get an idea bout who are actually responsible for it and so they must take lead and secondly the developing nation must be given more weightage in remaining portion of GHGs and technology from other nations to solve its important problems first and then working accordingly for its reduction.)

India’s Low Ranking in WEF List of Inclusive Growth and Development

    In the World Economic Forum ranking related to inclusive growth and development India has performed well in business and political ethics, as well in better target of investment towards productive growth, but still its overall ranking is very low because of following reasons:

  • Corruption:
    Because of high corruption the development is not at the level it must be and so stop corruption the most step required is use of information technology for various fees payment, online clearances, form filling etc. i.e. reducing man to man interaction and bring a digital interface between the two and making strict scrutiny in case of delay of service

  • Unequal Distribution of Income:
    There is still wide gap in income distribution among people of different strata and so to decrease it emphasis must be laid on “assets creation and on entrepreneurship” as former will help in creating better employment opportunities while later will help in supporting small businesses and hence will help in reducing the income difference
    The main motive of WEF is economic growth as well as its better distribution not just concentration in few hands. So following recommendation for above two problems will improve India’s rank in this index.
    Reasons:

  • Education and skills:
    The access, quality and equity of education have been major challenges in in education sector

  • Employment and labour compensation:
    There is a large section of unorganized employment present in the economy. There is a significant wage gap between formal and informal and men and women workforce.

  • Asset building and business investment:
    The ease of doing business is not investor friendly. The financing through banks too comes with many strings attached.

  • Corruption and rents:
    Corruption is a structural issue in Indian economy.

  • Fiscal transfers:
    Tax disputes and poor social protection implementation are of serious concern.

  • Basic services and infrastructure:
    High private expenditure in health and lack of nationwide basic infrastructure facilities.
    Reforms:

  • Inclusive Growth
    More inclusive growth that caters to all sections with redistributive justice.

  • Better Labor Laws
    Simple, clear and easy to implement labour laws with equal wages.

  • Ease of Doing Business
    Improving ease of doing business by facilitating flexible regulatory tax structure. More financing opportunities with flexible investor friendly rules.

  • Social Security Benfits
    More social security policies with strict implementation.

  • Health and Education
    Universal Health care and universal education must be pillars of future development.

  • Rapid expansion of basic infrastructure through PPP and other regional friendly mechanism

India’s Current IPR Policy

    India’s patent regime is one of the most complex one, the issue came into the new recently due to disapproval of granting IPR to various drug MNCs because of various rules of India’s patent policy

  • Cannot Be Copied Easily
    An invention of new compound must be such that the person of suitable knowledge in that field cannot copy it easily

  • More Efficient New Compound
    A new compound must be more efficient than the similar compound using before it

  • Affordability
    The final drug must be monetarily affordable to citizens

  • Quality Issues
    India’s drugs in some cases don’t meet the international standards it is because of this reasons some of India manufactured drugs were banned in US based on phyto-sanitary measures
    On the other hand several India’s drug companies are banned from foreign market which are of the view that in India they get patents very easily even for slight improvement of structure of any compound. But still India manages to become one of the leading exporter of drugs in the international market.
    So there is need of more genuine policies to attract MNCs in this field which can bring with them investment and technology in this field which can help in improving the health standard of India.

Water Problems in India

    With many peninsular rivers like Godavari, Krishna, kaveri etc. and many rivers in its northern part like Ganga, Indua etc. where every year we see problem of floods it is clear that India is not a water short country, but still we are facing several problems which are causing water stress in several places of India because of:

  • Water Pollution:
    In case of Delhi where even after having Yamuna river people faces scarcity of problem due to excess pollution in it
    Remedy: Strict punishment for pollution causing industries, recycle and reuse is another option

  • Excessive Ground Water Utilization:
    In case of Punjab and Haryana where water table is receding below their mark because of excessive exploitation of it
    Remedy: Rain water harvesting, drip irrigation to avoid wastage of water

  • Unplanned Decision:
    In Marathawada region where water is being used excessively for sugarcane production and so people there are facing water scarcity problem
    Remedy: Drip irrigation and rain water harvesting to maintain water table can help

  • Less Rainfall In Some Areas:
    In Bengaluru case where in the Krishnasagar reservoir the water is less than half it requires for maintaining continuous supply to city
    Remedy: River Linking project can help because a lot of water in various river is already getting wasted by flowing into the sea washing away fertile soil with it
    Apart from it in regions like West Gujarat where there is huge scarcity of water and where monsoon is also not good using afforestation, drip irrigation, rain water harvesting all will be required to make them water sustainable.

Flow of Black Money Due to India’s Restriction on Some Imports

    India already has a black money as one of the important issue of rising India and that is why a special investigation team has been formed to bring back black money to India and in such a scenario making a mal-efficient policy which is enhancing this issue is a setback for India for e.g.

  • Increased Import Price
    India in the case of import of high quality marble form countries like Italy, China etc. has increased minimum import price to almost double w.r.t. its price in India

  • Reason
    The reason for this high price is to save domestic market of marble which can affect employment of a large number of people depending on this business for their daily wages

  • Effects Leading to Black Money
    So, because of high prices the extra money that business persons pays either comes back in the through laundering i.e. hawala or is stashed away in foreign country. But in any case the black money issue is getting further enhanced and must be taken care of
    To avoid this issue government can do the following:

  • Using Tariff Tools
    Instead of MIP government must go for tariff barriers which will bring revenue to government, discourage import to some extent and will bring down this issue of money laundering as well

  • Better Scrutiny and Laws
    Strict scrutiny on account of people related to this business by making strict laws against money laundering and punishing who get caught to set an example

  • 80:20 rule, license system
    So with following methods it can be taken care of to some extent.

India’s Strategy to Tackle Droughts

    With deficient rainfall in this year’s monsoon season several parts of India are under drought like situation and so government have already took proactive approach for some and is taking some other actions for which it didn’t laid its emphasis viz.

  • IMD:
    Indian Meteorological Department already gave the warning for deficient monsoon and so farmers already took the necessary step

  • Foodgrain Stock:
    India already has a large stock of food grains to deal with this situation

  • Import of Oilseeds:
    For, import dependent things like oilseeds India has already made a deal with countries like Kenya to avoid food inflation

  • Best Practices:
    In some cases like Marathawad which is reeling under drought the Maharashtra government made it clear to purchase crops from farmers who are using drip irrigation and no installation of any new sugar factory

  • Help from neighbors:
    Supplying, water from excess to deficient areas like in case of Bengaluru where excess water from Kaveri Jal Board will be delivered to Krishnasagar reservoir

  • R & D:
    More research is going on to invent more drought resistant crops

  • Citizen Centric Initiatives:
    Soil health card scheme, DD kisan, subsidized seed supply etc. to farmers to let them what and how of farming in case of such water deficient conditions

  • Water Linking Projects:
    Water linking project in some regions to use excess water from some perennial ricers
    So, government is already doing a lot and needs further awareness in citizens for not to waste too much water and for farmers changing their mindset to use drip irrigation, installing more water recycle and reuse plant can help in bringing this istuation under control.

Coal Use and New Non-Conventional Sources of Energy

    India is shifting its strategy to move from conventional to renewable and sustainable sources of energy but seeing the huge size and network it is almost impossible to attain it in limited time i.e. completing disposing source of energy from coal is not possible. Reasons for indispensability of coal are:

  • Employment:
    A lot of people depends on coal production based mining jobs and completely or drastically reducing coal production will affect them

  • Thermal Power Plants:
    A major quantity of our electricity comes from coal based TPP and decreasing coal use will directly affects the common people of India as well as economic development of country
    Measures needed to be taken to replace coal are:

  • More nuclear power plants:
    As they have long running time and more reliability for power generation, so to replace coal based TPP totally will going to require more NPP

  • More Renewable Sources of Energy:
    But, they are expensive so help form entrepreneur side will be required like making it compulsory to install solar panels above commercial buildings for power and using money under corporate social responsibility for such purposes

  • More windmills and tide energy:
    In coastal areas can help but they require a considerable investment

  • More Hydro Power Plants:
    But, they will affect common population by submerging their land, affecting irrigation, affecting diversity etc.
    So as discussed above completely discarding coal will not be a option due to employment issue and huge investment requirement of renewable technology plus doing that for a population of 125 crore is a big problem. So more research to make technology economically feasible with a step by step approach needs to be followed, it can’t be done in a month or year but will require a decade or more.
    Ways to decrease pollution from existing coal plants:

  • Improved Technology
    Use of critical and super critical thermal power plants, instead to present sub-critical ones.

  • Phasing out old and inefficient power plants.
  • Reducing Pollution by Using Technology
    Use of new technological aids to control pollution effectively. Such as – electrostatic separators in exhausts, effluent treatment plants, treatment of fly ash, coal washing treatment to enhance carbon percentage and reduce impurities.

  • Ensuring compliance for implementing above provisions through proper regulatory measures.
  • Smoothen the grid connectivity to avoid transmission and distribution losses

Himalayan Ecosystem

    Himalayan ecosystem is one of the richest ecosystem in the world with a lot of types of flora and fauna with good environment which supports it, it has unique features like

  • Glaciers:
    It has a lot of glaciers on its eastern part which are source of water for perennial rivers like Ganga, Indus etc.

  • Diversity:
    Rich flora and fauna diversity maintaining ecosystem well. Home to several indigenous species of flora and fauna, like the Himalayan vulture, Himalayan quail, red panda, etc.

  • Natural barrier:
    It’s a natural barrier which helps India not only from attack from China but shields it from extreme weather conditions as well

  • Rainfall:
    It acts as barrier and bring rainfall in this region

  • Physical Characteristics:
    They are young fold mountains, still undergoing elevation, acting as a climate divide between the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia.

  • Rivers:
    Drained by several major rivers of North India, responsible for making the fertile Northern plains

  • Other Values:
    Hold religious value too for several communities

  • Tourism Industry:
    Being the roof of the world, they are a major source of tourism for the country, which further makes their conservation more important.
    But sue to human activities it is facing several threats viz.

  • Habitat destruction:
    Natural habitat destruction of animals in the name of development and converting of forest to agricultural land

  • Global warming:
    It is leading to melting of glaciers and problems like flood in downward areas leading to washing away of fertile soils with it

  • Poaching:
    Poaching and hunting of animal for private benefits has put several species to face danger of extinction

  • Dam Construction:
    It is disturbing natural environment and leads to submergence of large tracts of land both habitable and forest land affecting ecosystem further
    So although development has its benefits but people must understand that once this natural ecosystem will be disturbed or destructed we cannot manage to bring it to same level and so such activities needs strict attention of conservation authorities.

UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

    With United Nations Millennium Development Goals are going to expire this year and because of its weaknesses, Un is shifting to new 17 point sustainable development goals. The main weaknesses in MDGs are which are going to be corrected in SGDs are:

  • Economic Issue
    No improvement in poverty and reducing economic inequality to a much extent

  • Money Based
    Old goals were dependent on monetary transfer from developed countries to developing and emerging countries to implement them

  • With time policies also need improvement
    New Sustainable development goals has overall 17 points which includes

  • Hunger, poverty, reducing economic inequality,
  • Improving infrastructure to five health benefits to people,
  • Proper sanitation and water facilities to all people of the world,
  • Decreasing industrial pollution to decrease its impact on climate change etc.
    Despite these improvements over the past, various concerns have been raised

  • Vast List:
    The large number of goals have been seen to be difficult to implement

  • Funding Problem:
    Some NGOs have raised concerns about additional funding for these goals

  • Complexity of goals
    So, new SDGs are much more comprehensive than the old, but it will be effective only when member nations will follow it seriously and take effective measures to implement, only then they can improve conditions for living for population and can perform better on HDI.
    Although India has provisions for most of these goals already like Swachch Bharart Abhiyan, NREGA etc. but coupled with UN will bring more meaning to them and more funds and latest technologies from developed countries once they get bound by UN SDGs.

Weak Monsoon and Unscheduled Load Shedding

  • This is because of the multiple reasons contributing to the crisis,
    – Poor hydel storage,
    – Reduction in thermal generation owing to technical snags,
    – Cut in availability of the Central quota of power,
    – Increase in demand for power due to drought, and
    – Shortfall in availability of wind power due to poor wind speed.

  • Hydel and Thermal Power Plants
    Generally, the monsoon season of June to September is considered a pressure-free period when the demand would reduce due to rains and the hydel reservoirs would witness good inflows. Taking advantage of this, thermal generating stations would be shut for annual maintenance.

  • Low Water Level in Reservoirs
    But, weak monsoon that has resulted in poor hydel storage, which is about 5,000 million units lesser against the previous year’s level, has forced the State to depend solely on thermal generation.

  • Tecnhinal SNags in TPP
    But, three thermal generating units are shut owing to technical snag, resulting in a shortfall of about 1,460 MW.

MSMEs potential

  • “The MSME sector in India employs nearly 11 crore people through the operation of 5 crore enterprises producing a heterogeneous basket of about 7,000 different products.
  • Labor Intensive
    As MSMEs are generally labour-intensive, they have the capability to create more jobs to cater to a young demographic country like India.
    Further, in view of the continuing implications of climate change, it is necessary that the MSME sector is prepared to absorb millions who may be rendered unemployed in the agriculture sector.”

  • Need for Skill Development
    If the country has to successfully launch the ‘Make in India’ programme, it needs to train young entrepreneurs, in addition to developing skills at skill development centres.

  • Better Transmission of Funds
    The government and non-governmental organisations seek to finance and allocate resources for MSMEs, but these resources often do not reach the targeted audience. The successful launch of the Jan Dhan Yojana (JDY) could be used to direct financial resources to targeted MSMEs.

  • Therefore, the role of financial education is very important for MSMEs in assessing appropriate start-up finance and in empowering them to use financial products and services to manage risks and other business needs.
  • In addition to financing, there is a need for focussed coordination of activities of different government authorities to encourage MSMEs. This coordinating agency could serve in building a database and repository information on a shareable basis
  • To prepare a vision document and an achievable roadmap that can place the Indian MSMEs to compete with those in China, Japan and Germany, there would be a need to engage researchers, industry groups and stakeholders.

District Mineral Foundation

  • Aim
    The amendments primarily aimed at giving the State the power to auction vast tracts of mineral-rich forests and farmlands to mining corporations, and were not preceded by any inter-ministerial consultation with other relevant departments

  • Contribution by Lease Holders
    The amended law now states that new lease-holders will contribute an amount “not exceeding a third of the royalty” to the DMF; existing lease holders will contribute an amount “not exceeding the royalty”.

  • No Public Contribution
    Similarly, the Odisha government’s August 18 DMF notification was neither preceded by any public consultation exercise, especially in ore-rich districts, nor was a draft version of the rules issued to incorporate public feedback and review.

  • Despite local communities being the hardest hit by mining projects, the institutional framework sidelines public participation, which is crucial to build an effective District Mineral Foundation

Investor’s Meet, subsequent problems and potential

    Investor’s meet are on the rise in India as recently Tamil Nadu have organized it and some months back Madhya Pradesh Has also organized the same, but the actual translation of promises to investment is very low because of the following reasons:

  • Land Acquisition:
    It is a major problem as they cannot get the land in prime locations and in backward areas they face protest by NGOs, local people etc. e.g. POSCO, Vedanta in Odisha

  • Delay in Clearances:
    Companies have to face a lot of delay in environmental clearances and condition become worse due to rampant corruption and non-transparency in process

  • Lack of Supporting infrastructure:
    As companies don’t get clearances, land etc. and apart from it weak connectivity facility to areas that is actually allotted to them de-motivates them further

  • Protest:
    Protest by NGOs, tribal people etc. in later stage when they start their project causes a lot of losses to them as happened in Nano plant case in West Bengal
    But, if such investments materialize then it has huge potential because of following reasons:

  • Employment:
    Employment generation in backward areas and for educated people of country

  • Effective Utilization of Resources:
    Resources utilization which is currently lying in idle state

  • Technology Transfer and Investment:
    Private companies will bring technology as well to India and can solve India’s dependence problem on foreign powers for it

  • Development:
    Areas such as northeast, Chattisgarh, Odisha etc. will get enough investment and opportunities to grow and develop

CSR and it’s possible use for conservation of wildlife and forests

    Corporate Social Responsibility binds private organization to give a certain part of their earning approximately 2% for the social development of society. In can be used to conserve wildlife and forests in many ways viz.

  • Infrastructure Development
    They can help in infrastructure development in various zoos, national parks etc. e.g. Infosys in Bannerghatta Zoological Park

  • IT Infrastructure
    They can help in using IT for effective management of forests and bring a check on poaching e.g. ONGC in Kaziranga National Park

  • R&D
    They can help in R&D in breeding, tackling diseases related to flora and fauna in forests

  • Seed bank
    Also they can help in maintaining a quality seed bank, take afforestation projects etc. to improve conditions of forest e.g. Dr.Reddy’s Lab

  • Helping Existing Organizations
    It can also help by providing funds to existing organizations working for conservation of forests and animal species to improve their resource base and skills like BNHS
    Apart, from it they can bring other major players working in international market to India to train Indian people according to world class standards.

Melanin and It’s Applications

    Melanin is a natural pigment found is organisms especially in eye, hair and skin, which helps in protecting people from harmful UV radiations of sun. It is either produced naturally by melanocytes in human beings or by micro-organisms in Industries for various applications.
    It’s pharmaceutical application includes:

  • It has good anti-oxidant quality, so used as anti-oxidant
  • Used to treat melano (skin cancer), which occurs due to exposure to UV radiation sun’s rays
  • Used in skin protection cosmetics i.e. suns cream to prevent tanning of skin
  • It is also used in formulating anti-aging drugs
    So, melanin which is produced in our body as a response to UV radiation has a lot of other benefits as well. People living in higher latitudes in north or south hemisphere faces more sunlight and so they have more melanin in their skin that’s why their color is dark than the people living around equator which receives oblique rays.

Fungal Disease Phytophthora Ramorum

    Phytophthroa Ramorum is a fungal disease currently widespread in the forests of North America and Europe affecting their plants and bio-diversity. Although, it is not detected in India but there are chances of its spread.
    Causes:
    It spreads primarily because of rain water, splash etc. and is found in woody plants, their leaves etc.
    Consequences:

  • On Plants:
    Leaves turns pale and splitting of bark occurs making the pathogens free which then onfects other plants and so on

  • On Animals:
    part from plants they also affects the animals fed on them and so natural bio-diversity balance got affected in forests
    Prevention Measures:

  • R&D in find drug or antidote against such deadly disease, otherwise it will keep on spreading to other plants
  • Checking consignments from affected countries to avoid its spread in India
  • Training forest officials and other experts to indentify such diseases and inform concerned authorities in time, in this case even tribal must be trained which will be of extreme help.

Problems Faced by Tiger’s in Their Natural Habitat

    Tiger population has reduced a lot in last few decades due to hunting for skin and because people think it’s a good sport, but now-a-days they are facing a new problem of movement in their habitats because of following reasons:

  • Man-Made Barriers:
    like road, railways, fences etc. in natural forests etc. disturb their habitats and their connectivity to other natural forests as well e.g. in Bandhavgarh

  • Natural Barriers:
    Like wide gorges, valleys, cliffs etc. are the other kind of barriers which affects their movement

  • Threat from Human Beings:
    They face threat of human interaction as well who are afraid of tigers and they kill them if they find it in their natural surroundings

  • Illegal cutting and mining:
    These two activities are other reasons which are decreasing their habitats day by day by polluting it and affecting connectivity to other forests
    Measure needed to conserve and enable tigers to move freely in these habitats are:

  • Planning:
    Proper planning while making roads, rail routes so that they don’t disturbs much of the tiger natural habitats and also does not comes in connecting road between different forests

  • Awareness:
    Creating awareness among people to contact forest officials if they find a tiger in their near by areas then to kill it

  • Check on Illegal Activities:
    Use of IT tools, taking help of people living in nearby villages to report any illegal activity going on inside or near to forest to maintain these natural habitats and taking strict action against people involved in it.

Problems of Domestic Steel Indutries

    Recent decision of government to impose 20% safeguard duty on steel products from foreign market to save domestic producer is a good step according to Moody’s. The problems that Indian steel industry facing are:
    Domestic Problems:

  • Technology lag:
    Old and obsolete technology still in use leading to high cost of production

  • Raw Material Import:
    Import of raw material like coking coal from foreign countries like Australia which increase its production cost

  • Delay in Clearances:
    Delay in environmental and land acquisition clearances followed by cancellation of coal blocks some time ago by SC

  • Power Crisis:
    Power crisis especially this year when monsoon is also weak by 15%, so power from hydel power plants also remain at low level
    International Problems:

  • Steel Dumping:
    Low cost of steel dumping in India by countries like China which is reeling under low growth rate and so looking for market to keep its export at same level

  • High Cost of Indian Steel:
    Is affecting India’s steel export as most of the economies are under slow growth and so their demand is decreasing

  • Calamity in Other Countries:
    Like Australia facing flood problems so their coke production decreased and eventually increasing its costs in international market increasing cost of steel production further in India.
    Imposing higher power in import from other countries also called as safeguard duty is allowed and is a good step forward to increase demand of indigenous steel in domestic market and so will give a relief to Indian producers especially in a condition when they don’t have to face competition from foreign imports.

Merits and Demerits of Gold Bond Scheme

    Merits

  • Decrease in CAD, BoP and therefore stable rupee, inflation etc.
  • Money will be available for development instead of remaining stuck in physical gold
  • Bonds can be traded further
  • Chances of theft will decrease
  • Decreasing gold prices will favor industry related to it
  • Black money formation will decrease
    Demerits:

  • Already stocked gold in household will suffer from decreasing gold prices
  • Bond will be linked with fluctuating gold prices, so its increase will cost to exchequer and decrease to people investing in it

Post Office as Payment bank: Pros and Cons

    Pros

  • Wide Coverage:
    With over 1,40,000 branches compared to 40,000 of PSBs

  • Good Connectivity:
    Well connected with each and every remote village hence will provide last mile banking service delivery

  • Successful Long Career:
    Long history of successful operation and faithful

  • Prior Experience:
    Serves more customers than current banks and has experience in banking operations as well.
    Limitations or cons

  • Limitation in Banking Operations:
    Deposit only upto 1 lakh and no loan service

  • Increase in Complexity:
    Number of operations for a single entity will increase

  • Low Wages:
    Low salary of personnel’s working in it

  • Computerization:
    Computerization of all branches is still pending

Natural Crop Protection Techniques

    Reasons for crop failure can be low fertility, pest attack, animal attack etc.
    Solutions:

  • Mulching
  • Using organic manure like cow dung
  • Mixed cropping of two or more crops in the same field like growing wheat and another leguminous crop can help maintaining fertility as well as production of cash crops as well
  • Wood ash sprinkling which can provide potash, phosphate etc. to soil
  • Using snakes, dogs etc. to keep monkeys, birds etc. away from field
  • Thermal methods i.e. utilizing sensitivity of organisms to high or low temperature
  • Flooding of fields to combat soil borne harmful organisms which causes banana wilt
  • Using natural predators like birds, snakes to control insects and rodents

Slow Growth of India’s Manufacturing Sector

    Reasons:

  • Taxation:
    Retrospective taxation affects interest of investors i.e. a lot of cascading effect

  • Delay in environmental clearances and non-transparency on other approvals as well, this discourages investors
  • Dependence on Foreign Technology:
    R&D in India is still at nascent stage and we still depends on foreign licensors for it, so low and medium scale investors cannot afford it

  • College Curriculum Based on Old Technologies:
    In colleges still old technologies is being taught, there is very less collaboration between industries and colleges, so innovation and availability of quality human resource remains a problem

  • Low Spending on R&D:
    Very minimal amount is spent on R&D, hence cost of manufacturing still high and new technology innovation is still a myth for India
    Measure needed to improve the situation are:

  • R&D:
    Increase in funding on R&D to innovate new technologies and decrease cost of production in processes

  • GST:
    A uniform and user friendly tax regime

  • Ease of Doing Business:
    More emphasis on ease of doing business norms to give speedy clearance and increasing transparency

  • Industries-Colleges Collaboration:
    Increase in collaboration between industries and colleges so that research scholars will concentrate on current technologies and research related to it then to focus on old and obsolete one

Solution to India’s Agricultural Problems

    Short term:

  • Best Productivity Problem:
    Efficient use of soil health card to grow only crops best suited for land

  • Loan Problem:
    Priority sector lending must be adhered to strictly

  • Small Land Problem:
    Cooperative farming for small and fragmented land holdings

  • Seed Quality Problem:
    Making available quality seeds at subsidized rate for growing crops

  • Irrigation Problem:
    Drip irrigation for efficient water utilization

  • Crop failure Problem:
    Increasing coverage of insurance schemes to give relief to farmers in case of crop failure

  • Fertility Problem:
    Due to use of excessive fertilizers, but with the help of soil health card they can be informed about best and adequate amount of fertilizers that will be required for their land
    Long Term

  • Irrigation Problem:
    Initiating water harvesting, construction of ponds etc. in villages using MGNREGS, Water linking projects wherever possible to deal with water stress

  • Fertility Problem:
    Making farmer aware of use of organic fertilizers, mulching etc. to retain crop fertility and providing incentive for the same

  • Seed Problem:
    Making seed banks in every district for its easy accessibility

  • Capital Problem:
    For small land holding and loan problem government must make available cheap loan from banks to farmers so that they can purchase tractors jointly and can best utilize their land

  • Land Leasing law:
    As currently done by government to deal with tenancy problems and for cooperative farming

Maximum Retail Price in Diesel and Petrol Sale: Pros and Cons

    After deregulation of petrol and diesel prices now petroleum dealers want to shift to a more profitable MRP regime in petrol and diesel pricing. This means that there will be a maximum limit above which no dealer can sell fuel but below it the dealer can choose any price according to his/her expenses incurred in transportation, storage etc. It has various positive implications viz.

  • More Choice:
    Consumer will have option to choose the best deal out of all fuel suppliers

  • Competition:
    There will be competition among dealers to sell the fuel at best possible price to earn maximum profit and at the same time selling maximum oil as well

  • More Profit:
    Dealers will have more money in their hand for installing better service equipments and taking safety measures
    But, it has many cons as well:

  • All dealers can take decision collectively to make the price high
  • The maximum retail price will obviously be higher than current prices and so it will affect consumers
  • There are chances that even after decrease in price in international market the dealers do not reduce the price and consumers has to suffer in the end
    Chances of adulteration will increase to keep the profit low enough for more profits
    So, it has more negative than benefits and hence government must not approve it, because the dealer has more benefits related to it then consumers.

Pros and Cons of Allowing Forest Related Activities in Degraded Forests

    Advantages

  • Benefits for Related Industries:
    Industries like furniture, paper etc. will be benefitted from this move

  • Tribal growth:
    Tribal people whose rights are curtailed will get rights to explore such areas and hence they can switch back to their old livelihood techniques

  • Reduced Pressure of Virgin Forests:
    Hence they will be saved from degradation

  • Revenue Sharing Model:
    Is a good step which will keep forest activities under control and bring revenue for government as well

  • More Employment:
    For people belonging to forest and related activities, can help a bit in decreasing the migration to urban areas as well
    Disadvantages

  • Encroachment of Virgin Forests:
    As proper demarcation of such lands is still unclear

  • Flora and Fauna:
    Their life will be disturbed due to people movement in forest

  • Monoculture due to Lumbering and Pulp Related Industry:
    But it is environmentally unsafe to switch to monoculture i.e. threat to diversity

  • Animal-Man Conflict:
    It will increase and so do chances of killing of animal in forests

  • Effect on tribal Life:
    Tribal people will be affected who lives in such forests and their land will be acquired by rich people and industries in lure of more profit leaving them with little resources

Measures to counter Online IS agenda

    Measure that government can take

  • Cooperating With International organizations:
    Cooperating with other national governments, internet giants etc. to effectively monitor any online agenda related to IS

  • Peace and harmony:
    Promoting message related to peace and harmony, ill effects of war and it effects of people by letting people know about successful personalities like Malala, Ulema etc.

  • Help from Muslim Organizations:
    Taking help of muslim organizations to send this message so that people from their community does not attract to join IS

  • More Opportunities:
    Increasing employment opportunity in all regions so youth minds remain busy in important works then to get attracted towards such violent and hateful propagandas
    Citizen’s can contribute to it by:

  • Reporting to Police:
    Reporting about such crimes and activities whenever they see one

  • High Values:
    Giving good education to their children against war, spreading message, organizing nukkad nataks with NGOs etc.

  • Respect for Minorities:
    Not treating minority with disrespect, instead promoting unity and brotherhood with them can help

Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission

    Overview and Aim:

  • Shayama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission is basically aimed to improve rural area into socially and economically sustained places. It major aims include improving the basic necessity of rural areas i.e. providing health care facilities, safe drinking water, proper sanitation facilities, connectivity by road and if possible then rail as well, 24 hours electricity, proper water shed management facilities, providing infrastructure and capital for creation of small and medium scale industries etc.
    Challenges

  • For implementing it government is going to require decentralized approach because a common policy for villages with different skills and culture is not going to work. For electricity grid construction will be required only then the development of industries and infrastructure will be possible because each construction activity requires energy.
    Negative

  • But it will be applicable to only selected villages and the basis on which they will be chosen is still not clear, plus a more detailed document about its working plan is not known till date.
    Integrating it with NREGS, CSR etc. will provide necessary planning and funds plus people of village will get employment who will work with more motivation as they are will be working for their own betterment.

      PM2.5 and it’s Harmful Effects

        Particulate Matter 2.5 is a pollutant including both solid and liquid particulates suspended in atmosphere having size less than 2.5 microns. Due to their small size they can easily get inside our respiratory system and causes various health related issues like

      • Asthma
      • Premature death
      • Chronic bronchitis
      • Difficulty in breathing
      • Coughing etc.

        The recent launch of National Air Quality Index by Indian government also has PM2.5 as one of the major pollutant for which the data will be available online for select cities.
        The problem with PM2.5 is that it is a threat to each and every individual no matter what’s their age, sex, health status etc.
        To prevent damage caused by it improved combustion engines, avoiding open burning of fuels, using electrostatic precipitator in smoke chimneys of big plants, ban on vehicles older than a certain period of time etc. must be implemented as soon as possible, because later on it leads to major health hazards whose cure is not possible and their treatment leads to loss of a lot of amount of money to exchequer.

      Small Finance Banks Recommended by Nachiket Mor Committee

        The establishment of small finance banks is the done by the recommendation of Nachiket Mor Committee to deal with the baking facility requirement of people who are currently deprived of it and as India is a big economy with many people still not have banking services they can prove worthy. It has following advantages:

      • Increase institutionalized Loans:
        It will provide loans to people who are currently dependent on private money lenders

      • more Competition:
        They will bring more competition in existing system and so people will have more choices at better affordable rate for loans

      • Innovative Products:
        They will bring more innovative products with respect to people’s demand to attract people

      • Increase in Reach
        They will increase reach of banking services to far cut off locations, hence will help in inclusive development of country

      • Beneficial for SMSEs,Small and Marginal farmers
        Will help in improving conditions of small and marginal farmers, SMEs etc. by providing loan to them at attractive rates
        But it has some negatives as well

      • Competition from Other Banks
        They may face tough competition from existing banks, who may copy their innovative techniques and try to cut them from market

      • Faith of Customers
        In initial stages it will be hard for them to gain faith of customers because they don’t have successful track record

      • Recovery of Loans
        As they are new in this segment they will not have better know-how to recover their loans
        So, the pros are offsetting the cons which can be tackled and so SFB is a good step forward for inclusive development of country. Government must make sure that only such entities will get license which have sound economic base and are large enough so that people’s money remain safe and they don’t have to face problems if it defaults.

      Indradhanush and PJ Nayak Committee Recommendation

        Due to problem of low profitability and high non-performing assets on public sector banks government have devised several steps also called as Indradhanush to revive their system. Following are the seven points included in Indradhabush viz.

      • Recapitalization:
        By infusing Rs. 25,000 crores in debt-laden banks

      • Appointments:
        Separating the post of Chairman and MD, plus another person will be appointed as non Executive Chairman of PSBs

      • Banks Board Bureau(BBB):
        It will replace old appointment system and will appoint chairpersons and directors, besides guiding PSBs on matters of strategy

      • Bad Loans:
        NPAs be addressed by way of developing vibrant debt markets for PSBs and strengthening asset restructuring companies

      • Governance:
        Regular conclave of PSBs and financial institutions to discuss process of governance reforms

      • Empowerment:
        Limiting interference by government in working and hiring

      • Accountability:
        A new Key Performance Index (KPI) to measure performance of PSBs
        Concerns raised

      • Bailout packages must be performance based
      • BBB still has government nominees on board which must be reduced otherwise interference by government can still be seen in such places
      • Recommendation of PJ Nayak committee of a Bank Investment Company containing only professionals was ignored and proposal on parity between public and private banks also being ignored
        So, measures included in Indradhanush are not new but they are being in process since last few years.

      ISRO Astrosat Mission

        ISRO’s Astrosat mission is basically a satellite loaded with wide range of telescopes with multi wavelength capability to study space. It’s main features include:

      • It can study stars, planets, quasars, telescopes etc.
      • It has various types of x-ray and Ultraviolet rays related telescopes
      • It can make study using different wavelengths so will bring better image of any object and chances of ignoring small objects will reduce
      • More wavelength will be helpful as long wavelength will travel long distances without losing energy and so relatively far off heavenly bodies will also be detected
        Significance:

      • It is first of it’s type in space with multi wavelength capacity and will definitely help in discovering new space objects to some extent
      • Following successful launch of Mangalyan, GSLV-MK-II, PSLV-26 etc. and now this will increase reliability of India’s space program in world scenario and will bring chances for India to launch satellites of other nations as well i.e. economic benefits

      Cryogenic Engine Principle and Need for India

        Principle

      • Cryogenic engine has liquid hydrogen and oxygen at low temperature as fuel which is far more efficient than conventional solid fuel. When they react or burned they release enormous amount of energy producing water as side product and giving an exhaust velocity of around 4.4 km/s.
        Why?

      • India needed this technology to place its 2-3 tonne weight satellite into orbit, as cryogenic engine is eco friendly and provides more thrust for per unit amount of fuel burned i.e. it provides more thrust and so it is suitable for launching heavy satellites.
        How?

      • India in 1990s had a contract with Russia to supply the technology for the same, but with US intervention and due to some legal issues Russia agreed to supply cryogenic engine but not the technology and so India decided to design a cryogenic engine of its own followed by which it took almost 2 decades for India to become successful in this technology. And with the recent launch of GSAT-D6 using GSLV MK-II India became successful in its decade old dream.
        Future

      • But, India still don’t have capacity to launch satellites of weight greater than 3 tonnes for which construction of GSLV Mk-III is still under way and India is still dependent on other nations for it. India must start a separate college for space science to train people from very basic stage i.e. students who are interested must get admission in there and that can help in accelerating our research in this field.
        Source:The Hindu, Business Standard, Livemint, EPW, Insightsonindia.com

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