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Home » FOR UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS 8 SEP 2018

FOR UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS 8 SEP 2018

Note:  The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination

 

News Analysis: 08-09-2018

National News

General Studies-III : Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

 

Post office solutions

Why in news?

  • ●    The new India Post Payments Bank can hasten financial inclusion, but detailing is key
  • ●    Amidst some fanfare, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), a financial service provider that will operate under the country’s age-old postal department
  • ●    The government-owned payments bank will be able to accept deposits of up to ₹1 lakh from customers but without the rights to use these funds to advance risky loans at higher interest rates.
  • ●    It, however, plans to offer a variety of other financial services to people, including the holders of postal savings accounts that are worth over ₹85,000 crore. 

Significance:

  • ●    The primary rationale behind the public payments bank idea is to help in the government’s goal of achieving financial inclusion by providing savings, remittance, and payments services to the rural and unorganised sectors of the economy.
  • ●    It is also hoped that the payments bank idea will help reinvigorate the postal system, which has a wide network of branches across India. 
  • ●    All the 155,000 post offices in the country are expected to be linked to the IPPB system as early as in December this year. 
  • ●    The payments bank will also have a digital platform that is expected to make financial services more accessible even from remote locations.
  • ●    A big challenge facing the new public payments bank is whether it can manage to earn the profits required to survive as a standalone business entity.
  • ●    Given the severe restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank of India on how payments banks in general can employ their funds, the odds seem to be stacked against the IPPB at the moment. 
  • ●    The first wave of new payments banks that commenced business last year — Airtel, Paytm and Fino — have not exactly set the market on fire. (The payments bank model, it should be noted, is still untested even though prominent private companies such as Airtel and Paytm have shown interest in the space.) 
  • ●    Banks have traditionally stayed away from the business of pure deposit banking, unless customers have been willing to pay for these services, for a good reason. 
  • ●    The IPPB promises to pay an interest rate of 4% to its savings account customers.

Way Forward:

  • ●    To generate revenues, it plans to charge fees on money transfers and other financial services while investing idle customer deposits in safe government securities in order to earn interest. 
  • ●    Whether this will be sufficient to cover interest and operational costs remains to be seen. 
  • ●    Meanwhile, the IPPB is also likely to face stiff competition from private companies, which are generally more nimble in adapting to business realities and far more customer-friendly compared to the government-owned behemoths. 
  • ●    And with increasing competition, the IPPB’s revenues and margins are also likely to come under pressure. 
  • ●    Yet, if it succeeds, the new payments bank could usher in a new era of rapid financial inclusion across rural India.

Source: The Hindu

 

General Studies-III : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

 

India and France sign an implementation agreement on “MOBILISE YOUR CITY” (MYC)

Details:

  • ●    European Union agrees to Euro 3.5 million for investments and technical assistance within the Mobilise Your City (MYC) programme in India.
  • ●    MYC aims at supporting three pilot cities viz. Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad for reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions related to urban transport.
  • ●    The three pilot cities selected under the programme as well as MoHUA will benefit from the Technical Assistance activities.

 The main components of the proposed assistance are:

(1) to support planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport projects,

(2) support to strengthening institutional capacity for regulating, steering and planning urban mobility, and

(3) learning and exchange formats with other cities across India for exchanges on best practices.

Source: PIB

 

 

 

General Studies-III : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

 

Can India take SAHI road to urban mobility?

Details:

  • ●    As fuel prices soar, Prime Minister Modi’s push for public transport at global summit gets attention
  • ●    What should the future of mobility be for India? “Safe, Adequate, Holistic Infrastructure or SAHI.” That is the recommendation of a report presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Global Mobility Summit, Move, in New Delhi on Friday.
  • ●    ‘Transforming India’s Mobility: A Perspective’ prepared by the NITI Aayog and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) calls for efficient and convenient public transport to answer the twin problems of pollution and congestion. The report quickly attracted attention amid the rise in fuel prices.
  • ●    Mr. Modi elaborated on his ‘7Cs’ for the future of mobility — common, connected, convenient, congestion-free, charged, clean and cutting-edge.
  • ●    The Prime Minister touched upon the familiar travails that cities face: personal vehicles requiring more roads, parking, and traffic.
  • ●    The number of motor vehicles in India has grown 40-fold in 44 years, from 1981 to 2015, the NITI Aayog-BCG report says.
  • ●    The reason: absence of a public transport system, leading to a rapid rise in private vehicle ownership. 
  • ●    The four big metros in the country lose over $22 billion every year on congestion, it says.

Source: The Hindu

 

 

 

International News:

 

General Studies-II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.

 

2+2 = ?

Why in news?

  • ●    The India-U.S. defence relationship has been given a significant boost with the three agreements signed on Thursday after the inaugural 2+2 Dialogue in Delhi: the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), “hotlines” between the Defence and Foreign Ministers of both countries, and the first tri-services military exercises between the two countries. 
  • ●    COMCASA is the third of four “foundational”, or enabling, agreements signed by India after more than a decade of negotiations, and is perceived as an inevitable consequence of the large amount of U.S. defence hardware it has been purchasing. 
  • ●    This will increase, going forward, given the U.S. decision to include India in the top tier of countries entitled to Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA-1). 

Significance:

  • ●    Apart from the defence agreements, both sides said in a joint statement that they had discussed trade issues, cooperation on fighting terrorism, advancing “a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region” and promoting sustainable “debt-financing” in the region
  • ●    The last two points are clearly aimed at Beijing’s role in the South China Sea and the Belt and Road Initiative projects, respectively.
  • ●    The 2+2 discussions, held after two previous cancellations this year, brought much-needed focus on the India-U.S. relationship after months of drift and occasional discord.
  • ●    However, while trade was addressed, India did not receive a clear-cut assurance of its GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) status being restored, or of waivers on steel and aluminium tariffs imposed by Washington.
  • ●    Instead, U.S. officials said clearly that they expect India to increase imports of American oil and gas as well as aircraft in order to wipe out the trade surplus India enjoys.
  • ●    It is unclear whether the Centre has acquiesced to this blatantly anti-free market demand, but its silence on the matter is disturbing.
  • ●    The U.S.’s other demand, to “zero out” oil imports from Iran by November, is simply unreasonable.
  • ●    It would hurt India dearly not only because of costs at a time when the dollar is strengthening and fuel prices are going up, but also in terms of its substantial engagement with Iran
  • ●    No public statement was made on what the U.S. will do on India’s investment in the Chabahar port once its full sanctions kick in on November 4.
  • ●    American officials also gave no firm commitment in their statements that India will receive a waiver to purchase Russian hardware, beginning with the S-400 missile system. 

Way Forward:

  • ●    While signing agreements the U.S. has pursued for years, India appears to have taken a leap of faith on its own concerns, expecting that the Trump administration will come through on waiving sanctions and being more flexible on trade issues.
  • ●    Delhi must work with Washington in the next few months to ensure that the benefits from the 2+2 dialogue don’t add up only on the other side.

 

Source: The Hindu

 

 

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