- Dec 06, 2017 – Fifth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2017-18
- RBI Monetary Policy: MPC maintains status quo; repo rate unchanged at 6%
- RBI Act was amended in May 2016 was that
- Price stability is a necessary precondition to sustainable growth
- Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)
- Maldives‟ FTA with China signals a drift in Delhi- Male ties
- Development of Hulhule island
- $1 billion, Chinese companies are exploring tourism prospects
- said this week that it is not satisfied with the working of the FTA with India.
- Beijing‟s success in outreach South Asia
- Belt and Road Initiative, China seems to be ready to ramp up business
ties across South Asia
- China already has an FTA with Pakistan, and is exploring or negotiating F
TAs with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal
- PLA-Navy might be looking for a military base in the islands linked to projects in Djibouti, Gwadar and Hambantota.
Let us be realistic about the UNSC
- International Court of Justice seems to have lifted our spirits as a nation.
- It would be prudent, however, not to interpret this in a way as to raise hopes of a
permanent seat in the Security Council.
- The UNSC election
- Two most prestigious organs of the United Nations are
• 1)-Security Council and
• 2)-International Court of Justice.
- While the Security Council has 15 member states, the ICJ has 15 judges.
- Election to the UNSC is conducted only in GA and requires 2/3 majority to get elected.
- Election to the ICJ is held concurrently in the UNGA and UNSC and requires absolute
majority of the total membership in each organ
- UNSC is by far more important from the national interest point of view.
- It deals with questions of
• 1)-Peace and
• 2)-Security as well as
- Since it is in permanent session, we have to try to be its member as often as possible.
• 1)- Hafeez Saeed
• 2)- Kashmir issue, which Pakistan
- ICJ is required to represent the principal civilisations and legal systems of the world.
- The judges sitting on ICJ are expected to act impartially, not as representatives of the
countries of their origin
- ACABQ (Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions) and the
Committee on Contributions
- Serving on both these committees, G. Parthasarathy, S.K Singh, as well as our current
permanent representative, ambassador Syed Akbaruddin.
- Human Rights Council; we have had almost continuous representation on it- The U.S. lost the election to it a few years ago
- The veto question
- Primarily at our initiative, the question of Security Council reform, euphemism for expansion, has been under consideration since 1970s.
- There is near unanimous support for increasing the number of non-permanent seats.
- The controversial question is about the increase in the category of permanent seats
- India, along with Brazil, Germany and Japan, has proposed an increase of six additional
permanent seats, the other two being for Africa.
- G4’s initial position was for the same rights as the present permanent members, essentially
the veto right- Over the years, they have become more realistic
- P-5 will never agree to give up their veto right, nor will they agree to accord this right to
any other country.
- (France supports veto for additional permanent members.)
- General membership of the UN wants to eliminate the existing veto;
- P-5 are not willing to dilute their self-acquired right
- We should be realistic.
- If a permanent seat is not available, there are other proposals on the table.
- One proposal is for the creation of „semi-permanent’ seats, according to which members
would be elected for six-eight years and would be eligible for immediate reelection.
- Given India’s growing prestige and respect, it should not be difficult for us to successfully
bid for one of these seats;
- It might be a better alternative than to unrealistically hope for a permanent seat
Universal health coverage
- UHC provides the framework in which the issues of access, quality and cost can be integrated Recent incidents- High-profile corporate hospitals.
- Two cases involved children with dengue who died soon after leaving these hospitals in a
serious condition after their families were presented huge hospitalisation and treatment bills.
- The third case involved a live premature baby being “declared dead” and handed over
to the parents wrapped(लपेटा हुआ) in plastic
- Lack of professional standards- Medical bills, running into huge •- figures,
- Three major issues are involved when we assess health care:
• 2)-Quality and
- Each of these needs to be addressed with clarity, and not in isolation.
- Major challenge before poorly served rural areas and overcrowded urban areas
- Government institutions suffer from low budgets and a lack of managerial talent
- Universal Health Coverage (UHC), now enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals
- Steps to improving access
- Higher levels of public •financing, investment in training and incentivised placements of
more health personnel and improved management through the creation of a public health
- National Health Policy, 2017 and need urgent implementation.
- Clinical Establishments Act is a good beginning, in moving healthcare facilities towards registration, ensuring compliance with essential standards of equipment and performance,
adopting standard management guidelines, grievance redress mechanisms, and respecting
encoded patient rights.
- Managing cost
- High out-of-pocket spending on health care leads to unacceptable levels of impoverishment.
- Schemes can only provide limited cost coverage to subscribers.
- Solution lies in doubling the level of public •financing to at least 2.5% of GDP by 2019,
rather than 2025, as proposed in the National Health Policy,
- Success of UHC depends on effective regulation
Recognise the technology constraints
- India‟s reliance on imported digital technologies cannot be levelled overnight to make way
for a uniform data law
- Can law •fix what technology has cast in stone? This is the question that the committee of
experts led by Justice B.N. Srikrishna- Craft a data protection law for India.
- White Paper- Rights and principles
- What is missing from the paper, however, is an understanding of the many technologies that come together currently to protect data in India.
- Cannot be levelled overnight to make way for a uniform data protection law.
- For instance, more than 80% of Indian smartphone users today rely on Google‟s Android
- But the majority of those mobile devices are sold by Samsung, Xiaomi or Oppo.
- Does the committee believe an operating system designed in Silicon Valley and a mobile
phone manufactured in China‟s Guangdong Province have similar rules to protect data?
- Data of every citizen were to be held inside the country, the state could probably enforce rules for its storage and sharing.
- But to demand “data localisation” would be unwise (the Srikrishna Committee too acknowledges this).
- Many of the world’s giant data centres are located in northern climes near water bodies,
- Since they require mild temperatures and enormous quantities of water to cool thousands
- U.S. Department of Energy in 2015 estimated that data centres in the country took about 2%
of its overall power supply.
- Can India, with its round-the-year warm climate and scarce natural resources
, really afford to divert electricity and water to maintain data centres?
- Need to spend substantial amounts on physically securing these installations.
India‟s inability to localise data means its digital economy is governed by hundreds of
- “private” data protection policies, some of which even contradict each other
- Modest solution could be to allow companies to pursue independent data protection policies (guided by baseline norms), but monitor their enforcement through a national,
- United States Federal Trade Commission performs such a role
- When the Indian digital ecosystem is mature enough, there could be more comprehensive
guidelines on the storing, sharing and collection of data
Prelims Focus Facts-News Analysis
- Page-1– capital: U.S
- Embassy to be moved out of Tel Aviv
- U.S. President Donald Trump reversed decades of policy on Wednesday and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite warnings from around the world.
- Page-1- Quake in Uttarakhand, tremors in Delhi
- An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter Scale hit Uttarakhand around 8.45 p.m. on Wednesday, causing tremors in Delhi-NCR.
- Epicentre of the earthquake was in Rudraprayag, at a depth of 30 kilometres.
- Page-7– Guinness memory record for Keralite
- Santhi Sathyan has been undergoing memory training for seven years
- There is a misconception that memory is an innate skill whereas it is a result of
years of training and perseverance, says Santhi Sathyan, who holds a Guinness world record for the longest sequence of objects memorised in a minute.
- Page-8– „8% drop in environmental crimes‟
- Data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently have shown
a decline of over 8% in environmental crimes across the country.
- Environmental crimes include offences related to
- 1)-Indian Forest Act, 1927,
- 2)-Wildlife Protection Act, 1972,
- 3)-Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986,
- 4)-Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, and
- 5)-Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
- Like in 2015, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh remained the highest contributor
- Sikkim set to become fully literate in 2018: CM
- Centre to promote tourism in Northeast
- Jaitley asks industry to invest in infra
- Scale up tea exports, says Prabhu