Current Affairs for today- 26th October 2019
GS Paper III
Credit growth gets a festive boost
Insight into the boost of credit
Economic and GDP growth in the country was the topic of discussion in many economic platforms both nationally and internationally. IMF & World Bank opined that India’s Economic growth rate may not touch 5.5% of GDP. While Government sources expected it to be around 6% to 6.5%.
- The lacklustre economic growth for the last several years from 2014 onwards in the opinion of some economists was due to demonetization of the Indian rupee and strict enforcement of economic rules. As there was circulation of money in the market (with the dirty money being transacted), there was no stake in the Indian economy and while containing corruption at all levels, it impeded the growth both in industrial & agricultural sectors.
- This confidence of the ruling Government was boosted with an array of economic measures initiated by NDA-2.0. The recent measures taken by Finance ministry in reducing Corporate Taxes and reducing RBI lending rates (repo) to banks to infuse economy towards positive GDP growth is tangible in the current festive season.
- The credit growth is showing signs of a pickup during the last three fortnights and banks have so far extended loans worth over Rs 1 lakh crores. The RBI data says that bank credit growth rate is moving in a positive trajectory on a year-to-date basis after several disappointing fortnights.
- As on the fortnight ending October 11, 2019- loans from banks grew steadily and as a result, credit growth rate was 0.2% mounted from the negative zone. However year-on-year credit growth still stands at a single-digit meagre at 8.8%.
- The healthy credit takeoff comes on the back of timely boosters & measures taken by Government, which was earnestly implemented by all banks in the right spirit of economic activities.
- The measures like Shamiana meetings for lending loans to NBFCs & retail borrowers like home buyers, farmers and liberal policies to boost loan credits MSMEs through NBFCs has helped Banks to reach out its last-mile customers of various sectors as the lending rates have been reduced by 135bps.
The impact of measures taken by the government can be seen as a result of which Banks could mobilize deposits for the fortnight Oct-11 worth Rs 31,070 crores.
Deposits recorded 9.8% growth on a year-on-year basis and 2.9% in the financial year so far.
There would be no doubt in the boost of credit development if the trend continues- The growth of the economy will touchdown the mark of 6% or 6.5%. This will immunize the economy if the agricultural sector gets further growth credits and not be overfed with unwanted subsidies and incentives while the existing schemes are to be prudently utilized by inclining towards mechanized activities.
GS Paper I, GS Paper II
US seeks road-map to restore normalcy in Kashmir
The US asks India to provide the road map to restore normalcy of the 8 million residents across the valley- both politically and economically and the news of the immediate release of all the political detainees after the recent communication blackout in “Pride of the nation” (Kashmir); while it sought from Pakistan to stand up for “sustained and irreversible” steps against militants and terrorists in its territory.
The removal of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir via Article 370 and Article 35A under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions” that gives a temporary status of special autonomy to J&K has been the dominating news ever since its implementation. This was granted in the backdrop of Maharaja Hari Singh signing the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947 to prevent Pakistani invaders and rather accede Kashmir to India.
The major features of accession are:
- The state surrendered defence, communications and external affairs only.
- State was also provided with autonomy to draft its own constitution through its separate constituent assembly.
- Article 370 was incorporated in Indian constitution temporarily to accommodate above features.
Article 370: The various dimensions of Special Status to J&K are as below:
1. Its name, area or boundary cannot be changed without the consent of state legislature.
2. Part VI of Indian constitution dealing with state government is not applicable.
3. Residuary power belongs to state, except in prevention of activities involving terrorist acts, questioning and disrupting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and causing insult to the national flag, national anthem and the constitution of India.
4. Fundamental right to property is still granted in the state.
5. Special rights are granted to permanent residents of state with regard to public employment, acquisition of immovable property, settlement and government scholarships.
6. Directive Principles of state Policies and Fundamental duties are not applicable.
7. National emergency on the ground of internal disturbance will have no effect except with the concurrence of state government.
8. Financial emergency cannot be imposed.
9. High Court of Jammu and Kashmir cannot issue writs for other than Fundamental rights.
10. The denial of citizenship rights of migrants to Pakistan is not applicable.
11. Fifth schedule and sixth schedule of Indian Constitution are not applicable.
13. An amendment made to the Constitution of India does not apply automatically to the state unless extended by Presidential Order.
14. President rule can be applied only on the ground of failure of constitutional machinery of state constitution and not of Indian constitution.
15. Consent of State legislature is also imperative in case of international treaties or agreements.
Article 35A: It gives powers to the state legislature to define permanent residents of the state and their privileges.
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution, which stemmed out of Article 370, gave powers to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define permanent residents of the state, their special rights and privileges.
- Article 35A is under challenge in the Supreme Court as it was not added through a Constitutional amendment.
- Here it only gives power to define who are the ‘permanent residents’ of the State and confer on them special rights and privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property in the State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare.
It was an unconstitutional insertion done through a Presidential Order in 1954 bypassing the distinctive rights given to the Indian Parliament contained in Article 368.
GS Paper I, Paper III
Cutting risks – Though India has excellent polio immunisation coverage there is no room for complacency.
With the world polio day declared on October 24th, it marked a very important milestone in the global war against polio when Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication officially announced that the wild poliovirus type-3 (WPV3) has been eradicated.
- However, the last case of WPV3 was encountered in Nigeria in 2012. WPV2 strain was declared as eliminated in the year 2015. Currently, two out of the three wild poliovirus strains have been eliminated, restricting the presence of WPVI strain to just two countries – Afghanistan & Pakistan.
- Though India has countrywide polio immunization coverage and measures have been in place to prevent the spread from the polio-endemic countries, there is no room for complacency.
There were 18 registered cases of polio caused by WPV1 in Afghanistan and 76 polio cases reported in Pakistan as on October 23rd 2019.
The immunization challenge now lurches at switching the programme from the currently used bi-valent oral polio vaccine containing strains- WAPV1 and WAPV3 to a monovalent vaccine containing only type 1 strain.
The emphasis here is on the global switch from the usage of trivalent (all the 3 strains of poliovirus) vaccine to bivalent vaccine to reduce the occurrence of vaccine-derived poliovirus(VDVP) cases- as until 2015, we saw the WPV2 strain in the trivalent vaccination regime accounting for 90% cases of VDVP globally.
Risk mitigation for virus contraction
- Hence, we must acknowledge the high risk involved in the transglobal circulation of WAPV1 and move to using monovalent vaccine limited to WAPV1.
VDVP can be easily contracted if the live, weakened virus used in the vaccine turns virulent in the intestine/gut of the vaccinated child or spreads to close contacts who have not been immunized.
- Alternatively, we can also reduce the risk of VDVP by 80-90%, if every child receives a bivalent vaccine and then one dose of inactivated polio vaccine injection.
- Ensure that the global IPV vaccine shortage does not occur and the lack of vaccine synthesis must not risk a life.
- Check on the implementation and the fundamental vaccination regime to be strictly in order.