20, January 2018

Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY)

  • The fund of District Mineral Foundation in the mining districts of major mineral rich states across the country. These funds are being utilized for projects under the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) for the social welfare, protection of environment and infrastructure development of mining affected areas and thus help in creating a congenial mining environment in the local communities.

1.12 initiatives to make agriculture viable and remunerative

Source: PIB

The Vice President of India, has said that despite agriculture being the main occupation of most Indians, farmers are finding the profession unattractive because of low and stagnated income and productivity.

Government initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY),  e-NAM and Soil Health Cards are  helping the farmers to improve productivity and get better returns.

Present and Needs:

  • At present, India occupies top position in the production of many crops. It has the highest milk production in the world and has seen many transformative changes as it ushered in green, white, blue and yellow revolutions.
  • An enhanced investment, both public and private is required. We need to formulate a long-term and a medium term action plan detailing how private and public investments will be channelled and the strategic directions we should pursue to revitalize this sector.

Twelve initiatives that might help increase productivity and generate adequate returns to farmers:

  1. Use of good quality seeds which can enhance productivity by 15 to 20%.
  2. A balanced use of fertilizers is essential for raising agricultural productivity.
  3. Timely institutional credit plays a pivotal role for adoption of innovations by marginal and small farmers.
  4. Diversification by supplementing farming with allied activities like dairying, fisheries and poultry can contribute significantly to increasing farmers’ incomes.
  5. Farm mechanization in India must expand.
  6. Intensification of agriculture and combining agriculture with horticulture and mechanization of hill agriculture can increase the farmers’ income.
  7. We must strengthen the ecosystem that encourages agro-based industries.
  8. There has to be a much better understanding of water use.
  9. Farmers need to realize larger share of the consumer price.
  10. We may have to consider substantive reforms in the land policy.
  11. We need to develop climate change resilient farming practices.
  12. Knowledge sharing processes must be streamlined.

2.India: Financial Sector Assessment Program 2017-Detailed Assessment Reports (DARs)

Source: PIB

The two main Reports of the 2017 India Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) – the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) and Financial Sector Assessment (FSA), were released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, respectively on their websites on December 21, 2017.

Key facts:

  • In continuation, the IMF and the World Bank today released two Detailed Assessment Reports (DARs) relating to the 2017 India FSAP.
  • The Report providing ‘Detailed Assessment of Observance—Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision’ has been released by the IMF and the World Bank and the Report providing ‘Detailed Assessment of Observance of Clearing Corporation of India Limited (CCIL) Central Counter Party (CCP) and Trade Repository (TR)’, was released by the World Bank.
  • India welcomes these Assessment Reports by the joint IMF-World Bank team conforming to the highest international standards.

DAR:

  • The DAR on the observance of Basel Core Principles (BCP) commends the Reserve Bank of India for the remarkable progress in strengthening banking supervision since the last FSAP.
  • It notes that the supervision and regulation by the Reserve Bank remain strong and have improved in recent years.
  • Most of the Basel III framework (and related guidance) has been implemented and cooperation arrangements, both domestically and cross-border, are now firmly in place.
  • It states that the system-wide asset quality review (AQR) and the strengthening of prudential regulations in 2015 testify to the authorities’ commitment to transparency and a more accurate recognition of banking ris
  • A special mention is made of the implementation of a risk-based supervisory approach, in particular the Supervisory Program for Assessment of Risk and Capital (SPARC); as also the phasing-in of the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and large exposure limits and states that the recently established Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC), will provide RBI with a robust supervisory enforcement framework.
  • It acknowledges that banking reforms, including the Indradhanush Plan for revitalizing the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and the Bank Board Bureaus (BBBs) have helped usher in an era of transparency and improved discipline and will go a long way in resolving the problem of bad loans in India.
  • The DAR on the BCP was prepared before the announcement of the recapitalization of Rs. 2.11 trillion (about US$32 billion) and the under-capitalization of PSBs mentioned in the Report has since been effectively addressed by this Plan.

Core principles for effective banking supervision

Core Principles has also been reorganised to foster their implementation through a more logical structure, highlighting the difference between what supervisors do and what they expect banks to do:

  1. Principles 1 to 13 address supervisory powers, responsibilities and functions, focusing on effective risk-based supervision, and the need for early intervention and timely supervisory actions.
  2. Principles 14 to 29 cover supervisory expectations of banks, emphasising the importance of good corporate governance and risk management, as well as compliance with supervisory standards.
  • The need for greater supervisory intensity and adequate resources to deal effectively with systemically important banks;
  • The importance of applying a system-wide, macro perspective to the microprudential supervision of banks to assist in identifying, analysing and taking pre-emptive action to address systemic risk; and
  • The increasing focus on effective crisis management, recovery and resolution measures in reducing both the probability and impact of a bank failure.

3.Website Accessibility Project

Source: PIB

  • In a path breaking initiative to empower Persons with Disabilities, 100 Accessible websites of various State Governments/UTs under Accessible India Campaign were launched by the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment on the occasion of ‘National Conference on Improving Accessibility’

Key facts:

  • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) initiated a “Website Accessibility Project” for State Government/Union Territories under Accessible India Campaign through ERNET India, an autonomous scientific society under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), to make total 917 websites accessible and providing funds for the same. Now 100 accessible websites are made accessible under the project.
  • ERNET India (MEITY) is executing the project which is funded by DEPwD under Accessibility India Campaign so far 917 websites across 27 States & UT have been chosen from the list of websites which have been provided by the State Social Welfare Departments through DEPwD.

Significance:

  • The aim of the conference was to sensitize and bring awareness among different stakeholders including the officials of state government on accessibility in the context of recently enacted Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2016.
  • The aim of the campaign is to make a barrier free environment for persons with disabilities all over the country for safe, dignified life of Persons with Disabilities.
  • The Ministry has so far organised around 5800 camps for distribution of assistive device to Divyangjans. The statement said that accessible Website Design Principles include providing appropriate alternative text, Caption video, transcripts for audio, making all documents (e.g., PDFs) to be accessible and make sure content is structured, clearly written and easy to read.

4.Election Commission of India recommends to President disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

Source: The Hindu

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is learnt to have recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind that 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs be disqualified on the office-of-profit charge.

  • The President is bound by the Commission’s recommendation.
  • The Commission, however, refused to comment on the issue, stating that the matter was sub judice.

Issues:

  • As and when the President issues orders for the disqualification of these legislators, the ECI will have to conduct by-polls for their respective seats. Currently, 65 of the 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly are held by Aam Aadmi Party members.
  • Seven MLAs from the AAP have moved Delhi High Court against the EC’s recommendation.
  • Last June, the ECI ruled that the 20 MLAs de facto held the office of parliamentary secretaries. In September 2016, the Delhi High Court set aside the AAP government’s order appointing 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries in March 2015 as it lacked the approval of the Lieutenant Governor.
  • The Commission started a hearing on the issue and sought responses from the MLAs, who refuted the charges, stating that they did not draw any pecuniary benefits from their posts. They also cited the Delhi High Court directive stating that their appointments had been set aside.

5.Warming oceans could damage the marine food system: study

Source: The Hindu

  • Global temperature rises could cause the marine food web to collapse, devastating the livelihoods of tens of millions of people who rely on fisheries for food and income, scientists have warned.
  • Warming oceans restrict vital energy flows between different species in the marine ecosystem, reducing the amount of food available for bigger animals – mostly fish – at the top of the marine food web, according to a study in the journal PLOS Biology.
  • Globally, about 56.5 million people were engaged in fisheries and aquaculture in 2015, according to the latest data from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In addition, almost a fifth of animal protein consumed by 3.2 billion people in 2015 comes from fish, FAO
  • The United Nations, however, has warned the world is heading towards a 3-degree increase by 2100. Recent studies have sounded alarm bells for oceans and its inhabitants as the earth continues to experience record-breaking heat.



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