CAO The Hindu NOTES – 5th Mar, 2018 (Daily News Paper Current Affairs Analysis)

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Date:- 5th Mar 2018

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MYANMAR PUTS OFF BORDER PACT (GS 2 IR)

Myanmar put on hold signing an agreement with India to streamline the free trans-border movement of people within 16 km along the border.

Myanmar cited “domestic compulsions” as reason and has asked more time before the agreement is sealed.

Both the countries intend to put a system in place after India raised the issue of movement of extremists and smugglers freely across the border.

Context

India and Myanmar share a 1,643 km unfenced border along Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km) and permit a ‘free movement’ regime up to 16 km beyond the border.

Though there are several important aspects of the India-Myanmar relationship, one of these is the management of this shared 1,643 kilometer border.

Border management between the two sides has been framed around a range of concerns, from the security threat India perceives from insurgent groups in India’s northeast to the regulation of local economic activity between people on both sides of the border, which is of interest from both sides to unlock the opportunities of cross-border connectivity while managing the challenges it poses

On this line the Union Cabinet had approved the agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing in January.


TIGHTER PSL NORMS FOR MNC BANKS (GS 3 ECONOMY)

The Reserve Bank has tightened the priority sector lending (PSL) norms for foreign banks

RBI asked MNC banks to mandatorily create sub-targets so that they lend a portion of their loans to small and marginal farmers as well as micro enterprises from April.

The move is directed at foreign banks of Standard Chartered, Citi and HSBC, which much higher branch presence, and will come into force from the next financial year.

The PSL norms mandate foreign banks to eventually lend 40% of their total loan book to the priority sector

Foreign banks have been citing their lack of knowledge of the rural markets to lend all these years, while RBI has been linking rural expansion as a pre-condition for more urban presence.

Priority sector lending

Priority sectors are those sectors which substantially contribute to National Income but get less credit from banking sector

The overall objective of priority sector lending programme is to ensure that adequate institutional credit flows into these vulnerable sectors of the economy, which may not be attractive for the banks from the point of view of profitability.

According to RBI there are eight broad categories of the Priority Sector Lending viz. (1) Agriculture (2) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (3) Export Credit (4) Education (5) Housing (6) Social Infrastructure (7) Renewable Energy (8) Others.


SOLAR GOAL FOR 2022 TOO HOT  TO HANDLE (GS 2 GOVT POLICIES)

According to industry players momentum solar energy expansion in India has been severely eroded in the last few months.

Previously India had been on track to meet its target of 100 Gigawatt (GW) of solar energy capacity by 2022.But recently doubts is arising as to whether we are still on that trajectory or not, or whether we can expect volumes to grow at the same speed or not,

Issues such as uncertainty around import duties and future tax rates on existing power purchase agreements have dampened investor sentiment. Industry players are waiting for more certainty before they bid for more projects or expand their existing projects.

There has been a demand for 70% safeguard duty on imported solar cells, panels and modules for a minimum period of 200 days. But industry feels that such a move will inflate project costs by 25% and crank up the viable tariff to Rs. 3.75 per unit from Rs. 3 estimated earlier, making solar power less attractive to discoms.

 

The Government has set a target of 1,00,000 MW (100GW) solar energy to be achieved by 2022. There are two separate targets to be achieved viz. 40 GW Rooftop and 60 GW through Large and Medium Scale Grid Connected Solar Power Projects. If this target is achieved, India would be one of the largest Green Energy producers in the world and would be surpassing several developed countries.


POST NFRA FORMATION, WHAT IS ICAI’S ROLE (GS 3 ECONOMY)

The Centre last week approved the proposal to set up the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), intended to serve as an independent regulator for the auditing profession.

The decision comes against the backdrop of various auditing lapses in the banking sector, including the Rs 12,700 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank.

After the establishment of NFRA ICAI will continue to have its monopoly on training and qualifying chartered accountants, giving them license to practice and regulating them including scrutinizing audit quality. It can exercise these powers over small companies. NFRA is not meant to replace the disciplinary jurisdiction of the ICAI

But In a way establishment of NFRA indicates a certain lack of trust in ICAI to effectively address malpractices indulged in by recalcitrant members.

About NFRA

NFRA would be an oversight body for auditors and its jurisdiction would extend to all listed companies as well as large unlisted public companies. It was proposed in Companies Act 2013 for the establishment and enforcement of accounting and auditing standards and oversight of the work of auditors.

What is ICAI

ICAI is a statutory body for the regulation of the profession of Chartered Accountants in India. It has been established under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.


ROYAL BENGAL TIGER SPOTTED AT LALGARH REMAINS ELUSIVE (PRELIMS ENVIRONMENT)

The Forest Department’s effort to capture and relocate the Royal Bengal Tiger spotted at Lalgarh in Jhargram district, an area with no previous record of tiger sightings, is yet to see any success

The Royal Bengal Tiger

The Bengal tiger, also known as the Royal Bengal Tiger or the Indian tiger, is the subspecies with the largest population. It is the national animal of India

Bengal tiger habitats usually are tropical rainforests, marshes, and tall grasses. The largest populations of Bengal tigers are in India, but there are some smaller groups in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan

In India they are easily found in the jungles of West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They are also spotted in some of the major National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of India such as Corbett, Manas, Bandipur, Sariska, Kanha, Ranthambore and Sundarbans National Park.

It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is threatened by poaching, loss and fragmentation of habitat. The latest census of 2016 indicates that there are 106 tigers in Bangladesh, 103 in Bhutan, 198 in Nepal and 2,226 in India.


 

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