IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


14th November, 2019


Housing, NBFC loans spur credit growth



Latest data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on deployment of bank credit by major sectors shows that:

-       Banks had extended Rs. 38,417 crores to the housing sector between August 30 and September 27.

-       Overall credit growth on a year-on-year basis was in single digit.

-       It was 19.3% for the housing sector.

-       It was 30.5% for the NBFC sector.

-       The jump in retail credit at Rs. 51,900 crores was nearly doubles that of August.

-       Bank lending to NBFC sector has remained robust and the year-to-date growth of such is highest across all segments at 11.3%.

-       Loans to commercial real estate in September also showed healthy growth of Rs. 2,420 crore.

-       While credit growth to industry continued to contract, at -3.8%, in the financial year so far, first time this fiscal credit to industry has turned positive, jumping by Rs. 9,700 crores, of which Rs. 8,200 crore is attributable to the MSME sector.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/housing-nbfc-loans-spur-credit-growth/article29967716.ece

Economy to be main topic at BRICS meet

As Brasilia gets ready to become the first city to host its second BRICS summit, Brazil, under President Jair Bolsonaro, appears to be the weakest link in the grouping.

Summit Focus areas:

-       Discuss economic, financial and cultural cooperation and participate in the BRICS Business Forum.

-       Talk about the management of the New Development Bank.

-       Meet the BRICS Business Council.

-       Focus on “cooperation on digital economy”.

-       Fight against transnational crime.

-       Economic growth for an innovative future.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/economy-to-be-main-topic-at-brics-meet/article29967793.ece


They save people from cyclones, but who is saving the Sunderbans mangroves?

Importance of Mangroves:

-       Mangroves had saved the Sunderbans from the gusty winds blowing at between 110 kmph to 135 kmph.

-       Due to dense foliage and the close proximity of trees, the roots hold soil and mangrove vegetation becomes shields from cyclones.

Destruction of Mangroves:

-       State had allocated houses under the ‘Banglar Abas’ scheme by clearing acres of mangrove forest on Sagar island.

-       Government has been felling mangrove trees in the name of development.

-       There is a loss of 3.71% mangrove and non-mangrove forest cover along with massive erosion of the archipelago’s landmass.

-       Mangroves have been cut not only for aquaculture, but also for building embankments and for human settlements.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/they-save-people-from-cyclones-but-who-is-saving-the-sunderbans-mangroves/article29967773.ece



SC upholds disqualification of 17 Karnataka MLAs by Speaker

The Supreme Court upheld the disqualification of 17 dissident Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) legislators by then Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar under the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) but held that their ouster was no bar to contesting repolls.



Court Observation:

-       Neither under the Constitution nor under the statutory scheme it is contemplated that disqualification under the Tenth Schedule would operate as a bar for contesting re-elections.

-       The court said Section 36 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, does not contemplate such disqualification.

-       91st constitutional amendment was brought to ensure that a legislator disqualified for defection was not appointed as a government Minister or to any remunerative post from the date of his disqualification either till the expiry of his term of office or till he was re-elected to the legislature.

-       In the light of the existing constitutional mandate, the Speaker is not empowered to disqualify any member until the end of the term.

-       However, a member disqualified under the Tenth Schedule shall be subjected to sanctions provided under Articles 75(1B), 164(1B) and 361B of Constitution, which provides for a bar from being appointed as a Minister or from holding any remunerative political post from the date of disqualification till the date on which the term of his office would expire or if he is re-elected to the legislature, whichever is earlier.

-       It paved the way for the ousted legislators to contest the coming by polls in December.

Court Observation on disqualification:

-       Disqualification relates back to the date when the act of defection takes place.

-       Factum and taint of disqualification does not vapourise by tendering a resignation letter to the Speaker.

-       It would defeat the purpose of the Tenth Schedule, which held that the disqualification proceedings would become infructuous upon tendering resignation.

-       Resignation and disqualification were “distinct mechanisms provided under the law which result in vacancy” but they had very different consequences.

On resignation:

-       A member may choose to resign for a variety of reasons and his reasons may be good or bad but it is his sole prerogative to resign.

-       An elected member cannot be compelled to continue his office if he chooses to resign.

-       Under Article 190(3), a provision under which the Speaker has to ascertain the “voluntary” and “genuine” nature of a resignation before accepting it, the court is clear that it is a limited inquiry, only to see if the letter is authentic and if the intent to quit is based on free will.

-       Once it is demonstrated that a member is willing to resign out of his free will, the Speaker has no option but to accept the resignation.

Analysis of Verdict:

-       Resignation does not take away the effect of a prior act that amounts to disqualification.

-       Speakers are not given a free pass to sit on resignation letters indefinitely.

-       Arguments on resignation has ended convention that Speaker is empowered to consider the motives and circumstances whenever a resignation is submitted.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/sc-upholds-disqualification-of-17-karnataka-mlas-by-speaker/article29967858.ece

Office of Chief Justice of India comes under RTI Act



The office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is a ‘public authority’ under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, a five-judge Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi declared.

Court Observation:

-       Supreme Court is a ‘public authority’ and the office of the CJI is part and parcel of this institution.

-       Transparency and accountability should go hand-in-hand. Increased transparency under RTI was no threat to judicial independence.

-       Judicial independence is not secured by the secrecy of cloistered halls.

-       Only the right dose of transparency should be calibrated with judicial independence.

RTI not an absolute right:

-       Right to know under RTI was not absolute.

-       The right to know should be in harmony with the right to privacy of individual judges.

-       Right to information should not be allowed to be used as a tool of surveillance.

-       Personal information of judges should only be divulged under RTI if such disclosure served the larger public interest.

-       The disclosure of personal information was discretionary under Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act.

Comment on Collegium System:

-       Collegium for appointment of judges was a “victim of its own birth pangs”.

-       The Collegium system does indeed suggests the notion that judges are appointing judges.

-       There was a vital element of public interest in knowing about the norms, which were taken into consideration for making judicial appointments.

-       It was time the “substantive standards” for choosing judges were formulated and placed in the public realm to “promote confidence in the appointments’ process”.

-       It included the performance of the candidate as a lawyer and domain specialisation to income requirements and commitment to the legal field to social orientation.

-       Judicial appointments should reflect the promotion of the judiciary as an inclusive institution, with diversity in terms of gender, representation to minorities and the marginalised.

Impact of decision:

-       Now Political Parties, number of schools, trusts and public-private partnerships will need to come under RTI.

-       Most significant aspect of the judgment was the court’s acknowledgment that “transparency and accountability go hand in hand.

-       In practical terms, this means that citizens can file RTI applications to the SC, and the CPIO of the court cannot deny information saying it is held by the CJI’s office and not the registry.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/office-of-chief-justice-of-india-comes-under-rti-act/article29967861.ece


Maiden India-US disaster relief exercise to begin in Vizag today

In tune with the growing partnership between India and the US, the maiden India US joint tri-services Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise named ‘Tiger Triumph’ is scheduled on the Eastern seaboard from November 13 to 21.

Aim and process of exercise:

-       The exercise is aimed at developing interoperability for conducting HADR operations.

-       Personnel from both navies would also participate in training, visits, subject matter exchange, sports and social interaction.

-       The harbour phase is scheduled at Visakhapatnam from November 13 to 16.

-       On completion of the harbour phase, the ships, with troops embarked, would sail for the sea phase and undertake maritime, amphibious and HADR operations.

-       On reaching the HADR area at Kakinada, the landing of relief forces would be undertaken to the exercise scenario.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/india-us-disaster-relief-exercise-from-today/article29958110.ece


India’s cancer care facilities ‘highly inadequate’

Findings of report by a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science, Technology and Environment.

-       India’s cancer care infrastructure is “highly inadequate” and forces a majority of patients to travel “thousands of kilometres” for treatment.

-       It contributes to a 20% higher mortality among Indian cancer patients than in countries with a “high” Human Development Index.

-       Mortality to incidence ratio of 0.68 in India is higher than that in very high human development index (HDI) countries (0.38) and high HDI countries (0.57).

About the Committee:

The committee was constituted to examine an expanded role for the Department of Atomic Energy, through the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), to address India’s rising cancer burden.

Cancer burden in India:

-       Number of newly diagnosed cases of cancer annually, is about 16 lakh.

-       The disease kills 8 lakh people annually.

-       Among these are 140,000 fresh cases of breast cancer, 100,000 cervical cancer cases, and 45,000 cases of oral cancer among women.

-       Among men, the top three cancers with the highest incidence are those in the oral cavity (1, 38,000 cases), cancer of the pharynx (90,000) and those of the gastro-intestinal tract (2, 00,000).

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/indias-cancer-care-facilities-highly-inadequate/article29958139.ece

Pneumonia, diarrhoea still a big threat

Finding of The 10th pneumonia and diarrhoea progress report card:

-       Health systems are falling short of ensuring the world’s most vulnerable children access to prevention and treatment services in the 23 countries.

-       These 23 countries together account for 75% of global pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths in children under five.

-       Rollout of rotavirus vaccines, beginning in 2016, and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, beginning in 2017, helped India’s scores improve.

-       India’s exclusive breastfeeding rate, at 55%, is among the highest of the 23 countries.

-       Half of the children with diarrhoea receive ORS (oral rehydration solution) and 20% receive zinc supplementation — to prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea.

-       Highest risk factors for child pneumonia death in India were 53% caused by child wasting, 27% by outdoor air pollution, and 22% caused by indoor air pollution from solid fuels.

About the Report:

-       It is released by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/falling-prey-to-pneumonia-diarrhoea/article29958081.ece

Climate change is harming health of children, says Lancet report

Findings of the lancet Report:

-       Already damaging the health of the world’s children.

-       Can also endanger the well-being of an entire generation.

-       Infants will bear the greatest burden of malnutrition and rising food prices due to temperature rise.

-       Average yield potential of maize and rice has declined almost 2% in India since the 1960s.

-       Children will suffer most from the rise in infectious diseases.

-       Diarrhoeal infections, a major cause of child mortality, will spread into new areas.

-       Heat waves will become the norm.

-       Public health gains achieved over the past 50 years could soon be reversed by the changing climate.

About the Lancet Report:

-       Report name is The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change.

-       It is a comprehensive yearly analysis tracking progress across 41 key indicators.

-       The project is a collaboration between 120 experts from 35 institutions.

-       It includes the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, University College London, and the Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/climate-change-is-harming-health-of-children-says-lancet-report/article29967709.ece