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bharat ias - Reining in the sharks

Reining in the sharks

Reining in the sharks Context The Real Estate Act largely addresses consumer interests, but some creases are still to be ironed out What has happened? Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act is now in effect The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation recently notified 69 out of the 92 sections in total, which set the ball rolling for States to formulate, within six months, rules and regulations as statutorily mandated States will have to set up the Real Estate Regulatory Authority’s (RERA) and the Real Estate Appellate Tribunals and have only a maximum of a year from the coming into effect of the Act to do so Key points Register with RERA: Requirement for developers to now register projects with RERA prior to any advertisement and sale Approval and Sanctions: Developers are also expected to have all sanction plans approved and regulatory clearances in place prior to commencement of sale Updates on the Website: The Act stipulates an electronic system, maintained on the website of RERA, where developers are expected to update on a quarterly basis the status of their projects, and submit regular audits and architectural reports Action for non-compliance: If there is non-compliance, RERA has the power to order up to three years imprisonment of the promoters of a project Separate Escrow Accounts: It requires developers to maintain separate escrow accounts in relation to each project and deposit 70% of the collections in such an account to ensure that funds collected are utilised only for the specific project Agents & brokers to register: The Act also requires real estate brokers and agents to register themselves with the regulator Builder grievances Grant Industry Status: The builder lobby has been demanding “industry” status for the real estate sector as it would help in the availability of bank loans Failure of the Authorities: Real estate companies say that most delays are because of the failure of authorities to grant approvals/sanctions on time Act silent on Force Majeure While the Act addresses some of this, it does not deal with the concerns of developers regarding force majeure (acts of god outside their control) which result in a shortage of labour or issues on account of there not being a central repository of land titles/deeds Implementation is the key The onus is now on States to formulate rules and establish the regulatory authorities on time. Conclusion Finally, the new legislation is a welcome enactment. It will go a long way in assisting upstanding developers. More importantly, it will ease the burden on innocent home buyers who put their life’s savings into a real estate investment in the hope of having a roof over their head but often find their dreams come tumbling down    ...

Publishes on : 08-May-2017 11:42 AM
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bharat ias - Farmer suicides get attention of apex court

Farmer suicides get attention of apex court

Farmer suicides get attention of apex court Context SC widened the scope of a petition to cover entire nation and asked Centre to provide an action plan What has happened? A study conducted across 13 States by the Union Agriculture Ministry throws up the all-too-familiar reasons that drive farmers to suicide The Ministry’s agricultural economic research unit, Agricultural and Rural Transformation Centre (ADRTC) of the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bengaluru, investigated farmers’ suicides in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal Causes found Frequent crop failure, vagaries of the monsoon, absence of assured water resources, attacks of pests and diseases, debts, farming and social causes. NCRB data Nothing has changed on the ground for the farmer in the past two years, as is clear from the Union Home Ministry’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which disseminates and compiles information on “suicides of self-employed in farming/agriculture” in its publication Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India Affidavit in court In an affidavit filed by the Agriculture Ministry in the Supreme Court last week, the Centre agrees with the court that the deaths of farmers are an “unfortunate issue”, but it can only formulate a line of action to resolve the issue, the actual implementation at the ground level is the responsibility of the individual States. Rescheduling of loans The Reserve Bank of India has allowed State and district level banks to take a lenient view on rescheduling of loans if crop loss is 33% or more Relief measures The government affidavit, however, points to relief measures such as the PradhanMantriFasalBimaYojana , Kisan Credit Card scheme and the e-National Agricultural Market Scheme launched on April 14, 2016 to “create a single unified market for the State and ultimately for the nation for agricultural commodities.”    ...

Publishes on : 08-May-2017 11:38 AM
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bharat ias - Kashmir’s unending tragedy

Kashmir’s unending tragedy

Kashmir’s unending tragedy Context Talks and de-escalation must go together — it is not wise to make them sequential What has happened? The dreadful violence and low turnout in a by-election in Kashmir has again raised intense debate in New Delhi Unfortunately this debate has been mainly abusive rather than productive, and as a result it has masked the real issues Cause of Alarm in the Valley Lack of a peace and reconciliation process promised by the ruling state govt. Lack of an honest and accountable administration Too Much reliance on armed forces or the police; Civil govt nowhere to be seen to de-escalate the situation  Measures for Peace Talks are the only solution for peace Multitrack process: Combining humanitarian and political dialogue Security reforms Economic problem solving Tightening infiltration grid to distinguishing between first-time offenders and ring-leaders Implementation of Agenda for Alliance  Conclusion If the government wants to restore peace to the Valley, it cannot do it by force — talks with dissidents is the only option The demonisation of Kashmiris by ruling party spokespersons — all stone-pelters are traitors, does not give much hope Perhaps the Supreme Court will help    ...

Publishes on : 08-May-2017 11:36 AM
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bharat ias - A solution in search of a problem

A solution in search of a problem

A solution in search of a problem  Context The proposed new avatar of the National Commission for Backward Classes is unlikely to providea credible and effective social justice architecture  The New NCBC It not only is illogical and lacks historical justification, but is fraught with several challenges to the way India runs its welfare system  The Issues Opportunity Wasted The government pushed this amendment on a war footing. All that it took was five days — from introduction to passage — which included the weekend An opportunity has been wasted to reimagine the whole social justice architecture that is appropriate for 21st century India  No Power to Identify Backward Classes (BCs) Parliament will determine who is a BC for the ‘Central’ List Since it has no responsibility to define backwardness, it cannot address the current challenge of well-off castes’ demands to be included as BCs  Delinking Article 340 The 123rd amendment delinks the whole folio of backward classes from Article 340 and brings it closer to provisions related to SC/STs The government initially proposed to set up the “National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes” which is — in nomenclature, at least — closer to Article 340 Once the 123rd amendment becomes law, Article 340 will be dead without being accorded the dignity of a repeal  New untouchables? BCs do face discrimination and exclusion and they deserve state support But Is there any justification to suppose, however, that their conditions are as bad as those faced by the SC/STs? The whole business of inquiries into complaints, safeguards, recording evidence, etc will result in the need to enact laws similar to the ones in existence for the protection of SC/STs Have there been instances of BCs (Shudras) suffering violence/intimidation due to their caste? Are such instances, if they were taking place, widespread enough warranting special legislation and watchdog bodies?   BC vs SC Once an incident flares up two ‘constitutional’ national commissions will clash, each defending its wards  Conclusion It will create more problems than provide any solution.    ...

Publishes on : 08-May-2017 11:33 AM
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bharat ias - A strategic encirclement

A strategic encirclement

A strategic encirclement  Context India’s political and security establishment needs a strategy in light of China’s naval expansion.  China’s Expansion People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN’s) second aircraft carrier, referred to as “Type 001A” is nearing completion and that another carrier, dubbed “Type 002”, is also under construction The Type 002 represents not only a much bigger class of ship but will incorporate modern design and operational features, including a catapult and early-warning aircraft  Fortified SCS Built runways and fortified seven artificial islands created in the Spratly group in the South China Sea (SCS)  Nepal The Xining-Lhasa rail link is progressing towards Nepal, where China has made significant political inroads  CPEC A parallel endeavour on India’s western flank, dubbed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), will create access to the Arabian Sea from Xinjiang to the Pakistani port of Gwadar via Gilgit-Baltistan  Overseas military base First overseas military base at Djibouti on the Bab el-Mandeb Sale of Diesel Submarines The recent Chinese sale of eight diesel submarines to Pakistan and two to Bangladesh provides conclusive evidence of India’s “strategic encirclement”  Issues Now These bases can be used to forward-deploy ships, aircraft and missiles to threaten US or other naval forces, and such deployments could extend the operational range of PLAN surface and air forces by as much as 600-900 miles  Chinese Proximity to Andaman & Nicobar Islands While Port Blair is 900 miles from Chennai, it happens to be 1,900 miles from the Fiery Cross reef, via the Malacca Strait In the near future, when PLAN is the world’s second most powerful navy, it may feel confident enough to contemplate a re-enactment of 1962 in the Bay of Bengal to cut India down to size again  India needs to be Vigilant How prepared would our political leadership and the armed forces be to react against a PLAN amphibious assault, on the Andamans, supported by one or more aircraft carriers?  Conclusion   We too will soon have a robust and modern navy at sea, but without a national security doctrine or strategy, will we know how to use it as an instrument of state policy?...

Publishes on : 08-May-2017 11:30 AM
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