CAO The Hindu NOTES – 15th May, 2018 (Daily News Paper Current Affairs Analysis)

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Date:- 15th May 2018

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GENDER BIAS CAUSED ‘EXCESS’ DEATHS OF GIRLS UNDER 5: LANCET STUDY (GS 1 SOCIETY)

Almost 2,40,000 girls under five die in India every year due to neglect resulting from society’s preference for sons, a gender discrimination study has found.

29 out of 35 States and Union Territories in the country has ‘contributed ‘ to this excess deaths per year of girls under the age of five in India, , according to a study in the online, open access, peer-reviewed journal Lancet Global Health . That works out to about 2.4 million deaths in a decade.

Excess mortality is the difference between observed and expected mortality rates in both genders. And this figure does not include those aborted simply for being female. And round 22% of the overall mortality burden of females under five (in India) is therefore due to gender bias.

Regional variation

The problem was most pronounced in northern India, with states Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, accounting for two-thirds of the excess deaths.

Hardest hit were poor, rural, farming regions with low education levels, high population densities, and high birth rates.

Many deaths of females under five were partly due to unwanted child bearing and subsequent neglect

 What needs to be done?

As the variation in the neglect to women observed between north India (excess death) and western India (sex selective abortions), a one-dimensional approach focusing on preventing sex selective abortions won’t be effective across the country.

So as the regional estimates of excess deaths of girls demonstrate, any intervention to reduce the discrimination against girls in food and healthcare allocation should therefore target in priority regions where poverty, low social development, and patriarchal institutions persist and investments [in] girls are limited

What was the method used by the study?

The team used population data from 46 countries to calculate how many infant girls would have died in a society where there was no discrimination impact, and how many died in reality.

The difference, about 19 deaths out of every 1,000 girls born between 2000 and 2005, was ascribed to the effects of gender bias. This amounted to about 239,000 deaths a year.


APRIL RETAIL INFLATION QUICKENS TO 4.58% (GS 3 ECONOMY)

Annual consumer price inflation (CPI) accelerated to 4.58 per cent in April, after easing for three months in a row until March when it had eased to 4.28 per cent, driven by lower food prices.

The hike was largely driven by an upswing in core inflation (Inflation of items excluding food and fuels), especially with a broad-based increase in services segment while marginal upside movements were seen in clothing and housing segments as well.

There is hanging threat in the form of global rise in crude oil prices, which can affect the inflation trajectory drastically.

Coming back to the April data, annual wholesale price inflation (WPI) last month also rose to 3.18 per cent from a year earlier, higher than a 2.47 per cent rise in March, as revealed by the government data released on Monday.

Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures changes in the price level of market basket of consumer goods and services purchased by households.

Presently the consumer price indices compiled in India are CPI for Industrial workers CPI (IW), CPI for Agricultural Labourers CPI (AL) and; Rural Labourers CPI (RL) and (Urban) and CPI (Rural).

The CPI(IW) and CPI(AL& RL) are compiled by Labour Bureau, the other indices are compiled by Central Statistical Office (CSO) under Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation with 2010 as the base year.

The components of CPI includes food, beverages, tobacco; Housing; Fuel and light; Clothing, bedding, footwear.


MORE TESTS REQUIRED FOR GM MUSTARD: REGULATOR (GS 3 AGRICULTURE)

The central biotech regulator – Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) – has asked the developer of GM Mustard to undertake “field demonstration” to generate additional data to check, a year after clearing the crop for “commercial cultivation.”

Though the regulator had last year given its nod to this indigenously developed transgenic oilseed and recommended it to the environment ministry for final clearance, the government later asked it to re-examine the entire issue after receiving several representations both in support and against GM mustard. Environmentalists had asked to study whether the transgenic oilseed affects honey bees and other pollinators and also whether it negatively impacts soil health.

The crop under discussion is Dhara Mustard Hybrid (DMH -11), the transgenic mustard had been developed by a team of scientists at Delhi University, under a government-funded project.

The developer – Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants of the Delhi University – will now have to undertake field demonstrations on GM mustard in an area of five acres at two or three different locations to generate relevant data before approaching the regulator again for its consideration of commercial release.

About Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) established under MoEFCC is the apex body to accord notified under Rules 1989. For approval of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recom­binants in research and industrial production from the environ­mental angle.

The GEAC is also responsible for ap­proval of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered organisms and products into the environment including experimen­tal field trials (Biosafety Research Level trial-I and II known as BRL-I and BRL-II).

 


RBI BARS ALLAHABAD BANK FROM GIVING FRESH LOANS (GS 3 BANKING)

State-run Allahabad Bank today said the Reserve Bank has imposed restrictions on its lending to risky assets and raising high-cost deposits in view of deteriorating financial health.

The decision was taken under RBI’s prompt corrective action (PCA) framework, after the lender fell below the mandatory 9% capital adequacy ratio (CAR) requirement at the end of March.

The bank reported a net loss of Rs. 3,510 crore in the January-March quarter and Rs. 4,674 crore loss for the financial year 2017-18.

Among the measures imposed RBI had also asked the Kolkata-based lender to reduce its exposure to unrated and high risk advances, restricted the lender’s access to raise high cost deposits and creation of non-banking assets.

The directive has come within days of the RBI imposing similar restrictions on another state-run lender Dena Bank, which is under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) of the central bank.

What is the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework?

PCA is process or mechanism to ensure that banks don’t go bust. Under it, RBI has put in place some trigger points to assess, monitor, control and take corrective actions on banks which are weak and troubled.

According to latest PCA framework, banks to be placed under it are assessed on three parameters viz. Capital ratios, Asset Quality and Profitability. Indicators to be tracked for these three parameters are CRAR (Capital to Risk weighted Assets Ratio)/Common Equity Tier I ratio, Net NPA (non-performing assets) ratio and Return on Assets (Road) respectively. If banks breach of any risk threshold mentioned above, it results in invocation of PCA against them.

RBI enforces these guidelines to ensure banks do not go bust and follow prompt measures to put their house in order. It had tightened its PCA framework in April 2017 to turn around lenders with weak operational and financial metrics,

Depending on the risk thresholds set in PCA rules, banks placed under it are restricted from expanding number of branches, staff recruitment and increasing size of their loan book. Other restrictions include higher provisions for bad loans and disbursal only to those companies whose borrowing is above investment grades.


 

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