16, October 2016

1.BRICS Summit: India, Russia stress common stand on terror: India and Russia — together to a bright future.

Source: Indian Express

The Prime Minister not only announced a slew of high-value defence deals with Russia, but he also appreciated Russia’s understanding and support for India’s actions to fight cross-border terrorism.

This was a clear reference to the surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir conducted by India on September 29, which New Delhi has described as “counter-terrorist operations”.

Russia’s understanding and support:

The statement said that the leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and emphasised the necessity of comprehensive international collaboration in order to ensure its eradication.

India and Russia recognise the threat posed by terrorism, and believe that the full implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy without application of any double standards or selectivity will be instrumental in countering this challenge alluding to the UNSCR 1267 sanctions committee, which proscribes Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

The importance of countering the spread of terrorist ideology as well as radicalisation leading to terrorism, stopping recruitment, preventing travel of terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters, strengthening border management and having effective legal assistance and extradition arrangements.

Furthermore, stressing the need to have a strong international legal regime built on the principle of ‘zero tolerance for direct or indirect support of terrorism’, both sides called upon the international community to make sincere efforts towards the earliest conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).

The two sides moved on a range of areas, and signed 16 agreements:

  • Defence deals including the purchase of missile systems and frigates, and joint production of helicopters.
  • India will buy S-400 Triumf air defence systems at a cost of over $ 5 billion, and the two countries will collaborate in making four state-of-the-art frigates, besides setting up a joint production facility for Kamov helicopters.
  • The other important deal is for four Admiral Grigorovich-class (Project 11356) guided-missile stealth frigates.
  • The two leaders also dedicated Unit 2 of the Kudankulum nuclear power plant, and witnessed the foundation-laying of its Units 3 and 4.
  • The remaining deals covered trade and investment, hydrocarbons, space and smart cities.

2.NPA not an issue, rate cuts to fetch Rs 2.5 trillion gains: KV Kamath

Source: Indian Express

International rating agency Fitch had pegged the capital requirement of lenders at $90 billion till 2019, when the Basel-III framework will have to be fully adopted.

Trouble over capital growth: Interest rate cut

Seeking to allay fears arising from dud loans pile-up, interest rate cuts will give troubled lenders Rs 2.5 trillion boost through treasury gains that will help the system tide over troubles and also ease pressure on growth capital.

Non performing assets:

A one-time asset quality review undertaken by the Reserve Bank to have a true picture of bank balancesheets led to manifold spike in their non-performing assets, which required provisioning and historically high losses being reported by lenders. This, in turn, put pressures on the capital buffers of the banks.

This has resulted in banks away from lending to corporates in general and to large over-leveraged groups in particular, who collectively owe close to Rs 9 trillion in dud loans to the system.

As a result credit to the industrial sector has come to less which hit the negative territory with a degrowth of around 0.3 per cent.

Capital adequency ratio:

The dent in investor confidence due to the loan losses, coupled with market volatilities, has made the avenue of raising capital difficult.

Moreover, coming at a time when the system is migrating to the capital-intensive Basel-III framework, it has led to more concerns on capital adequacy.

International rating agency Fitch had pegged the capital requirement of lenders at USD 90 billion till 2019, when the Basel-III framework will have to be fully adopted.

What is CAR?

Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), also known as Capital to Risk (Weighted) Assets Ratio (CRAR), is the ratio of a bank’s capital to its risk. National regulators track a bank’s CAR to ensure that it can absorb a reasonable amount of loss and complies with statutory Capital requirements.

Financial Stability Report

According to the Reserve Bank, the gross NPAs of the banks had stood at 8.7 per cent at the end of the June quarter. In the Financial Stability Report, the RBI had said it expects the ratios to deteriorate further under a baseline scenario.

However, the fight on the NPA front has come simultaneously with a cool-down in inflation, which has led to the Reserve Bank cutting rates by 1.75 per cent since January 2015. This, coupled with expectations of the rates going down further, has resulted in treasury gains for banks.

National Development Bank:

On the progress at NDB, the Shanghai-headquartered lender’s book stands at USD 900 million (including USD 250 million in India) and it expects to close 2016 with a book of around USD 1 billion.

For 2017, the bank expects to more than double its book to USD 2.5 billion.

Masala bond:

It is planning a masala bonds issue — where it will raise rupee-denominated debt from international investors –to support Indian lending operations, the issue shall take place in the first quarter of 2017.

 

3.Report on Palaeo Channel of North West India- Ministry of Water Resources

Source: PIB

The Channels and Tributaries of a Big River Once Flowing From Adibadri to Kutch Gujrat was Saraswati

Committee:

An expert committee of geologists, archaeologists and hydrologists found evidence of the course of the river Saraswati, a river mentioned in the Rigveda and Hindu mythology .

K.S. Valdiya committee commissioned by   the Water Resources Ministry concluded that from palaeochannels.

River passes:

The River Saraswati originated from Adibadri in Himalaya to culminate in the Arabian Sea through the Runn of Kutch.

  • The Himalayan-born Satluj “of the PAST”, which flowed through the channels of present-day Ghaggar-Patialiwali rivulets, represents the western branch of the ancient river.
  • The Sarsuti-Markanda rivulets in Haryana were the water courses of the “eastern branch of a Himalayan river” branch of river, known as Tons-Yamuna.

Saraswati passed through Pakistan before meeting Western Sea through Rann of Kutch and was approximately 4,000 km in length.

One-third of the river stretch fell in present-day Pakistan. The longer, two-third stretch measuring nearly 3000 km in length fell in India. This report is based on the study of the land texture of states of North-West India including– Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, Gujarat.

Conclusion:

Its six-month research, came across “an unique” palaeochannel (a path abandoned by river when it changes its course) relating to present Ghaggar, Sarsuti, Hakra and Nara rivers.

The committee studied piles of sediments, their shapes and features which appeared to have been brought by a “big river” and are reminiscent to ones found in present-day Ghaggar, Ganga and Yamuna.

4.MSS will Put a Leash On Illegal Mining Through Public Participation: – Ministry of Mines

Mining Surveillance System: MSS

Source: PIB

MSS is a satellite-based monitoring system which aims to establish a regime of responsive mineral administration, through public participation, by curbing instances of illegal mining activity through automatic remote sensing detection technology through working and non-working mine areas.

Satellite based functions:

Developed under the Digital India Programme,

  • MSS is one of the first such surveillance systems developed in the world using space technology.
  • The current system of monitoring of illegal mining activity is based on local complaints and unconfirmed information. There is no robust mechanism to monitor the action taken on such complaint.
  • MSS the Khasra maps of the mining leases have been geo-referenced. The geo-referenced mining leases are superimposed on the latest satellite remote sensing scenes obtained from CARTOSAT & USGS.

 The system checks a region of 500 meters around the existing mining lease boundary to search for any unusual activity which is likely to be illegal mining. Any discrepancy if found is flagged-off as a trigger which is controlled by Remote Sensing Control Centre of IBM and then transmitted to the district level mining officials for field verification.

The advantages of remote sensing technology based monitoring system

  • Transparent (Public will be provided an access to the system)
  • Bias-free and Independent (The system has no human interference)
  • Deterrence Effect (‘Eyes watching from the sky’)
  • Quicker Response and Action (The mining areas will be monitored regularly. Sensitive areas will be monitored more frequently)
  • Effective Follow-up (action taken on triggers will be followed-up at various levels like DMG, State Mining Secretary, State Office and Headquarters Office of IBM and Ministry of Mines, GoI).

5.India and Hungary set to sign two agreements

Source: The Hindu

Recalling “old ties” between the two nations on the cultural and academic fronts.  Deep cultural relations are embedded” in the bilateral relationship.

India’s intervention during the 1956 “revolution” in the country, that has since been repeatedly acknowledged by Hungarian leaders.

Two agreements here,

  1. The city of the majestic Danube, one of them relating to water management.
  2. There is a business dimension to the visit, with India looking to leverage Hungary’s positive position while exploring opportunities in fields including information technology in the larger Central European region.

 

 

  1. Kigali makes history with hydrofluorocarbons freeze

Source: The Hindu

One hundred and seven countries came to an agreement in Kigali, Rwanda, to substantially phase out a potent greenhouse gas by 2045 and move to prevent a potential 0.5 C rise in global temperature by 2050.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are a family of gases that are largely used in refrigerants in home and car airconditioners. They, however, substantially worsen global warming.

 India, China, the United States and Europe agreed on a timeline to reduce the use of HFC by 85% by 2045.

Countries baseline:

  1. Countries have to decide on a baseline year, against which their future reductions would be measured.
  2. It is proposed that the developed world consider the average production and consumption in the years 2011-2013 as their baseline and reduce their HFC use by at least 10 per cent by the year 2019 from that value.
  3. India has been proposing 2024-2026 as the baseline years for developing countries like itself, but there are others who want this to be 2020-2022. The base year is 2035 i.e India will be reducing HFC levels to about 15 percent of the levels in 2025 by the year 2047 (i.e 85 % reduction).
  4. China, and many other developing countries, agree to the 2020-2022 baseline, leading to fears that India might be completely isolated.

Binding agreement:

  • Paris agreement will come into force by 2020 and doesn’t legally bind countries to their promises to cut emissions. But the amended Montreal Protocol will bind countries to their HFC reduction schedules from 2019.
  • There are penalties for non-compliance in the Montreal Protocol.
  • There are also clear directives that developed countries provide enhanced funding support estimated at billions of dollars globally.
  • The exact amount of additional funding will be agreed at the next Meeting of the Parties in Montreal, in 2017. Grants for research and development of affordable alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons will be the most immediate priority.

India’s move:

Taking the lead on tackling climate change, India has announced that it will eliminate the use of HFC-23, a greenhouse gas that harms the ozone layer, by 2030.

The announcement came at a meeting of parties to the Montreal Protocol at Kigali in Rwanda where final negotiations are taking place to substantially reduce the use of HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) by 2030.

 



Leave a Reply