current-affairs-based-mains-drill-13-june-2020

 

Q.1) There is a need to examine the current guidelines on ownership especially large shareholding of private sector banks. Comment on above statement in the light of the recently constituted internal working group by RBI.

Why this question?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a five-member internal working group headed by RBI executive director P.K. Mohanty.

Intro:

Mention  P.K. Mohanty group.

Body:

  • Cases related to large shareholders of private sector banks seeking RBI’s permission to raise their stakes.
  • Need of bringing all banks to a uniform regulation
    • Mention current cap of 15%
    • Rationale for the creation of the group
  • Tasks allocated to the group an how it will help better guidelines 

Conclusion:

Mention that the review will help harmonize norms applicable to banks set up at different time periods, irrespective of the date of commencement of business.

 

Q.2) The frequent occurrences of floods in coastal urban cities has induced the government authorities to come up with robust early warning systems. Commnet 10 marks (150 words)

Why this question:

IFLOWS-Mumbai is developed as a state of art Integrated Flood Warning system for Mumbai.  

Intro:

Start with the current context only - Mumbai coming up with IFLOWS.

Need of such system:  

  • Extreme precipitation events are on the rise in India driven by warming temperatures and changes in the monsoon due to climate change. 
  • The capital of the state of Maharashtra, Mumbai, a megapolis and the financial capital of India has been experiencing floods with increased periodicity.
    • Cyclone Nisarga missed the city narrowly on June 3 , 2020.
    • The recent flood on 29 August 2017, brought the city to a standstill.  
    • The flood during 26th July 2005, is probably etched in the memory of every Mumbai citizen, when the city received a rainfall of 94cm, a 100 year high in a span of 24 hours paralyzing the city completely.  

Benefits of system:

  • It will give timely warning about the occurrence and magnitude of floods
  • It will help in timely evacuation of people - Preservation of Human and Animal life
  • It will save the critical infrastructure like power and communication lines from flooding by creating robust barrier based on the data generated
  • It will help in making adequate number of shelter homes so that day to day activities of evacuated people are not affected 
  • It will help in avoiding misery, anxiety and inconvenience.
  • It will allows better coordination of emergency planning and post flood recovery.
  • It will assist with operational activities to improve conveyance/avoid culvert blockage prior to flooding.

Conclude:

Connect with Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.

 

Q.3) NHAI became the first construction sector organisation to go ‘Fully Digital’ in India. What was the intention behind such a move. Comment . 10 marks (150 words)    

Why this question: 

NHAI became the first construction sector organisation to go ‘Fully Digital’ .

Intro:

Tell NHAI launched Data Lake and a Project management software which is a cloud based and artificial intelligence powered Big Data Analytics platform .

Body:

Intention behind the move: 

  • 21st century is a digital century
  • Parity with private organisations who already are becoming digital
  • Boost the digital india initiative
  • Reap the benefits of artificial intelligence and cloud computing

Benefits:

  • Flexibility in Storage and Restoration: The complete project documents and correspondences will be stored in Digital format in the cloud-based ‘Data Lake’ linked with GIS tagging and Unique Project ID.
    • This will ensure that the project data can be easily retrieved as and when required from any location
  • Augment Transparency: As all officers and stakeholders connected with the project can see what is going on a real time basis which will amount to concurrent performance audit by the seniors and ensure transparency.
  • Controlling Delays:With advanced analytics, the Data Lake software will forecast the delays which would help in taking expeditious decisions.
  • Reducing Disputes: Majority of the disputes are generic in nature like delay in handing over of encumbrance free site, shifting of utilities, idling charges of plant, machinery, equipment, manpower and delay in decisions etc. 
    • These disputes can be minimized as the Data Lake software has provisions to keep track and check on all these constraints so as to ensure work is carried out within the deadlines in a transparent manner. 
    • This will eventually diminish chances of litigation in future.
  • Better Coordination: NHAI’s e-Office module is also integrated in the system so that all correspondences can flow digitally in a secured manner from field units to HQ seamlessly.

Conclude:

It will drastically help in improving the functioning of NHAI , thereby clearing numerous hurdles in front of attaining 100% road connectivity in the country.

 

Q.4) The Supreme Court ruling in the AGR case has shaken the telecom sector. But the deeper problems in the telecom sector are issues with regulatory governance and designs. Critically analyse. (15M, 250 Words)

Why this question?

  • The Supreme Court’s order has asked telecom operators to provide details on staggered payment of Adjusted Gross Revenue dues, as proposed by the Department of Telecommunication.

Introduction to the answer:

  • AGR issue
  • Supreme Court decision and its possible impact
    • Insolvency: if forced to pay AGR immediately, the companies could face insolvency which would have a severe ripple effect on the overall economy, as well as the overall service quality of all telcos.

Body:

  • Govt. initiatives
  • Challenges facing Indian telecom sector:
  • Regulatory issues: 
    • Delays in the RollOut of Innovative Products and Services:  Substantial delays in roll out of data based products and services due to government policies and regulations, are hampering the progress of telecom sectors. 
    • License fee: The license fee of eight per cent of the Adjusted Gross Revenue including five per cent as Universal Service Levy (USL) is one of the highest in the world.
  • Design issues:
    • High competition and tariff war: Competition heating up post entry of Reliance Jio. Other telecom players have to drop in tariff rates both for voice and data
    • Lack of Telecom Infrastructure in Semi-rural and Rural areas: Service providers have to incur huge initial fixed cost to enter semi-rural and rural areas due to lack of basic infrastructure like power and roads, resulting in delays in rolling out the infrastructure.
    • Poor fixed line penetration: India has very little penetration of fixed line in its network whereas, most of the developed countries have a very high penetration of fixed lines
  • Way forward:
    • Need for smart villages: Penetration of rural markets (72% of population staying in rural areas) will be the key growth driver.
    • Smart cities: The Indian Government is planning to develop 100 smart city projects, where IoT would play a vital role in development of those cities.
    • 5G: 5G, which will allow operators to move beyond connectivity and explore opportunities related to IoT, M2M, and augmented and virtual reality (AR-VR).

To conclude, we believe that being the only stakeholder, with an obvious path to full connectivity for the consumer, makes telcos a necessary part of any future consumer proposition, regardless of who owns the platform. The path forward is leveraging this strength while navigating the potholes of regulation, changing technology and consumer dynamics.