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bharat ias - Govt. orders to favour local suppliers

Govt. orders to favour local suppliers

Govt. orders to favour local suppliers Context Aims to boost domestic manufacturing thus creating jobs and increasing income What has happened? The Union Cabinet has approved a policy that provides preference to local suppliers in Government procurement. The policy, approved by the cabinet will be implemented through an order pursuant to the General Financial Rules, 2017 to provide purchase preference (linked with local content) in Government procurement The order also covers autonomous bodies, government companies/entities under the government’s control Aim of the policy The new policy is aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing and services, thereby creating employment and enhancing income It will also stimulate the flow of capital and technology into domestic manufacturing and services t will also provide a further thrust towards the manufacture of parts, components and sub-components of these items Defining local supplier Under the new policy, local suppliers are those whose goods or services meet prescribed minimum thresholds (ordinarily 50%) for local content Local content Local content is essentially domestic value-addition Who will oversee? A Standing Committee in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will oversee the implementation of this order and issues arising out of them, and make recommendations to nodal ministries and procuring entities...

Publishes on : 04-Jul-2017 01:30 PM
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bharat ias - A flawed rescue act

A flawed rescue act

A flawed rescue act Context The banking regulation ordinance puts its seal of approval on corporate subsidy at the cost of public banks New Licenses The RBI recently granted bank licences to 23 applicants which included Aditya Birla Nuvo, Reliance Industries, Tech Mahindra and Vodafone M-pesa and Airtel These corporates need to invest Rs. 100 crore each to gain entry into the banking sector Source of NPAs In India, corporates rely on banks as the main source for funds. IMF Report: The February 2017 International Monetary Fund (IMF) report states that 65.7% of Indian corporate debt as of March 31, 2016 is funded by banks The 2017 IMF report also states that about half of the over all debt is owed by firms who are already highly indebted (debt-equity ratio more than 150%). These borrowers are simply not earning enough to meet their interest commitments Financial Stability Report: The December 2016 Financial Stability Report states that large borrowers account for 56% of bank debt and 88% of their NPAs Credit Suisse Report: A recent Credit Suisse report highlights the inability of top Indian corporates to make timely interest payments by stating that about 40% of debt lies with companies with an interest coverage ratio of less than 1 contention Grant of loans to even corporates that lacked expertise was made at the behest of RBI and government as some of these major corporate groups are key drivers of growth of the Indian economy. Now, RBI cannot thrust resolution of stressed assets on banks via haircut (a waiver of of a part of the loan without inviting criticism of poor financial discipline) Conclusion Passing of corporate losses into the banking system for the benefit of elite corporate borrowers is not the right way to go about this whole NPA resolution process...

Publishes on : 04-Jul-2017 01:29 PM
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bharat ias - Access denied

Access denied

Access denied Context The government needs to engage with Internet companies directly for encrypted data What has happened? An iPhone used by Abu Dujana, said to be among the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s commanders in Kashmir, which fell into the hands of security forces, could be a valuable source of information for the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The odds that the agency is able to break into the device are, however, slim. For now, the government has sent the iPhone to the U.S., seeking assistance from its federal agencies Increasing encryption                                                                                                  Entire article stresses on the increasing trend of encryption by global companies. example the Apple, the encryption technology of whose phones has become virtually out of reach of the law making agencies making such device vulnerable to being used by terrorists and criminals. Challenge for policymakers The distinct trend towards greater adoption of encryption poses a dilemma for Indian policymakers. Strong encryption protocols increase consumer confidence in the digital economy, but the Indian government fears a scenario where criminals or terrorists can easily “go dark” behind secure channels. MLAT Treaty The current process of information-sharing through the India-U.S. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty suffers from almost irreparable hurdles, ranging from bureaucratic delays on both sides to inconsistencies in domestic legal standards What is MLAT? A mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) is an agreement between two or more countries for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information in an effort to enforce public laws or criminal laws. Modern states have developed mechanisms for requesting and obtaining evidence for criminal investigations and prosecutions Solution Perhaps the solution lies in a bilateral data-sharing agreement to help the Indian government engage with Internet companies directly, rather than routing requests through the U.S. government....

Publishes on : 04-Jul-2017 01:27 PM
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bharat ias - Building a robust and resilient cyber system

Building a robust and resilient cyber system

Building a robust and resilient cyber system Context Article is in connection with the WannaCry malware attack Not a new thing There have already been such attacks and security breaches, going back to the 2007 intrusions in Estonia that shut down the national government The 2009 attack on US government websites The 2010 Stuxnet attack that crippled Iran’s nuclear programme The 2013 attack on banks and a TV station in South Korea amid tensions with North Korea The 2014 attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment The cyber heist last year at Bangladesh’s central bank Increasing danger More things are connected to the Internet than people now, according to Cisco A 2014 study by Hewlett Packard found that 70% of Internet of Things devices contain “serious vulnerabilities” FBI has issued a cautionary note on over-the-Internet attacks on self-driven vehicles Internet of Things The Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data Way forward A good starting point is the three-layered Israeli strategy that goes beyond security to build a cyber-system that is robust, resilient and has strong defence capabilities. Think of the country’s IT infrastructure as a human body 1st Level: At the first level, the body needs a robust immune system to protect it from everyday attacks without disrupting the flow of work. Here, individuals are responsible for their personal hygiene and vaccinations—which in cyber terms means updating security systems and changing passwords 2nd Level: Still, no matter how robust the immune system, individuals will fall sick at some point and will have to be taken to hospitals. This is the second level—that of building resilience. Think of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team as the cyber equivalent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US 3rd Level: The third level is that of national defence, wherein there is a direct threat to the state and its citizens. The government takes the lead role here but, importantly, its success depends on the robustness and resilience of the system as a whole  ...

Publishes on : 04-Jul-2017 01:26 PM
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bharat ias - NGO evolves blueprint to end female genital mutilation

NGO evolves blueprint to end female genital mutilation

NGO evolves blueprint to end female genital mutilation Context A report on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) released looks at the psychological trauma and physical scars faced by the victims, and the legal aspects that could be weaved in to stop the practice completely DawoodiBohras A Shiite branch of Islam based in Gujarat, India, with an estimated 1.2 million followers around the world What has happened? Speak Out on FGM, a group of DawoodiBohra women, who are victims of khatna themselves, have come out with a report on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The report looks at the psychological trauma and physical scars faced by the victims, and the legal aspects that could be weaved in to stop the practice completely What is Khatna? Khatna involves cutting part of the clitoral hood or the prepuce of girls as young as seven years Report on FGM The 57-page report drafted over a span of six months takes a detailed look at the existing laws in India pertaining to gender and minors and international laws against FGM in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France and Africa Report explores aspects like protection for the informer, who to give the information to, and punitive action that can be initiated Report also looks in detail at the whole argument about freedom of religion and whether it holds for FGM Defining FGM Some anti-khatna activists are of the view that the practice should be termed as Female Genital Cutting as it involves cutting of the part of genital tissue and not mutilation as practised in some African communities However, Ms. Ranalvi said FGM is a universal term under which the World Health Organisation has explained various degrees of cutting Belittling DawoodiBohras? Some members of the Bohra community have alleged that Speak Out is deliberately trying to belittle the community by excessively and disproportionately highlighting the issue of female circumcision which is far less invasive than male circumcision  ...

Publishes on : 04-Jul-2017 01:24 PM
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