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Economic Capital Framework Committee of RBI

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Mobilization of resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Economic Capital of RBI

Mains level: Debate regarding the independence of RBI and Fiscal Strain on Govt.


News

A new Committee to decide on EC

  1. The Central Board of RBI in consultation with the Govt. of India has constituted an Expert Committee to review the extant Economic Capital Framework of the RBI.
  2. The RBI has named former RBI governor, Bimal Jalan to head the Framework committee.
  3. Expert committee on economic capital framework will have to give its report within 90 days from its first meeting.

Mandate of the Committee

  1. Review status, need and justification of various provisions, reserves and buffers presently provided for by the RBI.
  2. Review global best practices followed by the central banks in making assessment and provisions for risks which central bank balance sheets are subject to.
  3. To suggest an adequate level of risk provisioning that the RBI needs to maintain.
  4. To determine whether the RBI is holding provisions, reserves and buffers in surplus / deficit of the required level of such provisions, reserves and buffers.
  5. To propose a suitable profits distribution policy taking into account all the likely situations of the RBI, including the situations of holding more provisions than required and the RBI holding less provisions than required.
  6. Any other related matter including treatment of surplus reserves, created out of realised gains, if determined to be held.

Past Committees Recommendations

  1. In the past, the issue of the ideal size of RBI’s reserves was examined by three committees — V Subrahmanyam (1997), Usha Thorat (2004) and Y H Malegam (2013).
  2. While the Subrahmanyam committee recommended that contingency reserve should be built up to 12 per cent, the Thorat committee had said the reserve adequacy should be maintained at 18 per cent of the total assets.
  3. The RBI board did not accept the recommendation of the Thorat committee and decided to continue with the recommendation of the Subrahmanyam panel.
  4. The Malegam committee recommended that adequate amount of profits should continue to be transferred each year to contingency reserves.
RBI Notifications

Another olive ridley nesting site soon

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Olive Ridley species

Mains level: Conservations measures


News

  • The Odisha forest department is all set to add another olive ridley mass nesting site to its wildlife.

New Mass Nesting Site

  1. Odisha forest department has started preparing the beach at the Bahuda river mouth in Ganjam district to lure the endangered turtles to come over for mass nesting next year.
  2. Around 3-km stretch of the beach from Sunapur to Anantpur at Bahuda rookery is being developed as a possible olive ridley mass nesting site.
  3. The Bahuda rookery is located around 20 km to the south of Rushikulya rookery coast, a major mass nesting site of olive ridleys on the Indian coastline.

Encouraging signs

  1. This year, a few hundred olive ridleys had nested at Bahuda river mouth in February.
  2. This encouraged the forest department to develop it as a second mass nesting site for the turtles on the Ganjam coast.
  3. It is being hoped that the turtles will find the beach conducive and their mass nesting number at Bahuda will increase in 2019.

Back2basics

Oliver Ridleys 

  1. The olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, is a medium-sized species of sea turtle found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans
  2. They can also be found in warm waters of Atlantic ocean.
  3. Olive ridley turtles are best known for their behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers, termed arribadas.
  4. Interestingly, females return to the very same beach from where they first hatched, to lay their eggs.
  5. They lay their eggs in conical nests about one and a half feet deep which they laboriously dig with their hind flippers.
  6. In the Indian Ocean, the majority of olive ridleys nest in two or three large groups near Gahirmatha in Odisha.
  7. The coast of Odisha in India is the largest mass nesting site for the olive ridley, followed by the coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica.
  8. In 1991, over 600,000 turtles nested along the coast of Odisha in one week. Nesting occurs elsewhere along the Coromandel Coast and Sri Lanka, but in scattered locations.
  9. However, olive ridleys are considered a rarity in most areas of the Indian Ocean.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

River Dolphins go missing in Sunderbans as water salinity rises

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Gangetic Dolphin and its Habitat

Mains level: Conservation of the national aquatic animal


News

  • Rise in salinity in the water system that makes the Indian Sunderbans has resulted in the decrease of population of the Ganges River Dolphins (GRDs) in the region.

Findings of the study

  1. A recent study covering 100 km of rivers and channels around the Sunderbans have revealed that the national aquatic animal is no longer sighted in the central and eastern parts of the archipelago.
  2. Only in the western part of Sunderbans, where the salinity is lower, could researchers find some evidence of the species.
  3. The hyper-saline zone in the central part of the Sunderbans, which includes areas such as Raidighi and Patharpratima has lost connectivity with the upstream freshwater flow.
  4. Though there is some fresh water connectivity and flow in the eastern part, salinity levels were still high and thus there was no evidence of the GRDs.

Implications

  1. The study is indicative of how natural changes including the phenomenon of climate change and human interventions in the Indian Sunderbans are having an adverse impact on the habitat of the species.
  2. Because of its unique body shape, it becomes difficult for the dolphin to remain submerged in waters with high salinity.
  3. Hence freshwater flow to the Sunderbans is crucial for the subsistence of these species.

Impact of Sea-Level Rise

  1. The rise in sea level, triggered by climate change, is one of the reasons for the increase in salinity of waters of rivers and channels.
  2. Hydrological modifications like water diversion and commission of large barrages upstream have had a great impact on the salinity profile of the rivers downstream in the Sunderbans.

Back2Basics

Gangetic Dolphin

  1. Gangetic river dolphins fall under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act.
  2. It has been declared an ‘endangered’ species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  3. The Gangetic river species found in India, Bangladesh and Nepal is almost completely blind.
  4. It finds its way and prey using echoes with sound being everything for them to navigate, feed, escape danger, find mates, breed, nurse babies and play.
  5. The Gangetic river dolphin is one of the four freshwater dolphin species in the world.
  6. The other three are found in the Yangtze river, the Indus river in Pakistan and the Amazon river.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Russia ‘successfully’ tests hypersonic missile

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  INF Treaty, Avangard System

Mains level: Recent trend of USA’s disregard of bilateral and multilateral treaties and its impact on India as well as global geopolitics


News

INF treaty pull-back implications

  1. Russia has a tested new type of strategic weapon, the intercontinental “Avangard” system.
  2. The hypersonic missile could fly at 20 times the speed of sound and manoeuvre up and down, meaning that it could breach defence systems.
  3. The final test comes after U.S. announced plans to pull out of a key Cold War-era nuclear weapons pact, the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

Avangard hyper-sonic boost-glide missile system

  1. Avangard, also known as “Objekt 4202,” is supposed to combine a high-performance ballistic missile with an unmanned glider vehicle for significant improvements in maneuverability and sustained top speed.
  2. It is powered by a scramjet engine that accelerates it up to Mach 27.
  3. When approaching a target, the glider is capable of sharp high speed evasive maneuvers in flight making it “absolutely invulnerable for any missile defence system”.
  4. This technology allows Avangard missiles to travel at up to 20 Mach or approximately 24,700 km per hour.
  5. It is a speed made possible by the use of “new composite materials” to stay within a stable range of 1,600 to 2,000 degrees Celsius.
  6. Its boost-glider system grants it “lateral” and “vertical” evasive maneuvers by “several thousand kms.
Foreign Policy Watch: India-Russia