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27 September, 2019

12 Min Read

GS-I :
National Population Register 2020

GS-I: National Population Register 2020.

News

Government has revived National Population Register (NPR) project at a time when National Register of Citizens has been published in Assam.

National Population Register (NPR):

  • The NPR is a list of “usual residents of the country”. The exercise is conducted at the local, sub-district, district, state and national levels.
  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, a “usual resident of the country” is one who has been residing in a local area for at least the last six months, or intends to stay in a particular location for the next six months.
  • The NPR is being prepared under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • It is mandatory for every “usual resident of India” to register in the NPR.
  • The data for the NPR were first collected in 2010 along with the houselisting phase of Census 2011. In 2015, this data was further updated by conducting a door-to-door survey.
  • It will be conducted in conjunction with the houselisting phase, the first phase of the Census, by the Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) under the MHA for Census 2021.

How is NPR different from NRC?

  • Unlike the NRC, the NPR is not a citizenship enumeration drive, as it would record even a foreigner staying in a locality for more than six months.
  • Only Assam will not be included, given the recently completed NRC.

Controversy around it

  • It comes in the backdrop of the NRC excluding 19 lakh people in Assam.
  • With the government insisting that the NRC would be implemented across the country, the NPR has raised anxieties around the idea of citizenship in the country.
  • Even as a debate continues on Aadhaar and privacy, the NPR intends to collect a much larger amount of personal data on residents of India.
  • The idea of conducting a nationwide NRC would only happen on the basis of the upcoming NPR.
  • After a list of residents is created, a nationwide NRC could go about verifying the citizens from that list.

Is the NPR a new idea?

  • The idea actually dates back to the UPA regime and was put in motion in 2009.
  • In fact, at that time it had clashed with Aadhaar (UIDAI) over which project would be best suited for transferring government benefits to citizens.
  • The MHA had then pushed the idea of the NPR being a better vehicle because it connected every NPR-recorded resident to a household through the Census.
  • Back then, the Home Ministry push had even put the UIDAI project on the backburner.
  • The exercise to update the 2015 NPR with additional data has begun and will be completed in 2020.

What kind of data will NPR collect?

  • The NPR will collect both demographic data and biometric data.
  • There are 15 different categories of demographic data, ranging from name and place of birth to education and occupation, that the RGI is supposed collect in the NPR.
  • For biometric data it will depend on Aadhaar, for which it will seek Aadhaar details of the residents.
  • Apart from this, in a test run going on across the country, the RGI is seeking details of mobile number, Aadhaar, PAN card, Driving Licence, Voter ID card and passport (in case the resident is Indian).

Why does the government want so much data?

Identifying own citizens:

  • The first is the assertion that every country must have a comprehensive identity database of its residents with relevant demographic details.
  • It says it will help the government formulate its policies better and also aid national security.

Streamlining data:

  • The second, largely to justify the collection of data such as driving licence, voter ID and PAN numbers, is that it will only ease the life of those residing in India by cutting red tape.
  • Not only will it help target government beneficiaries in a better way, but also further cut down paperwork and red tape in a similar manner that Aadhaar has done.

 Preventing duplication of data:

  • It is common to find different date of birth of a person on different government documents. NPR will help eliminate that.
  • With NPR data, residents will not have to furnish various proofs of age, address and other details in official work. It would also eliminate duplication in voter lists, government insists.

Source: Indian Express

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GS-III : Economic Issues Terminology
Institutions weakened, economy crippled

GS-III: Institutions weakened, economy crippled.

News

The credibility of the RBI, the CSO and the NITI AAYOG has taken a beating in recent times due to political interference. Why are the ambitions of economic development practitioners and reformers so often disappointed?

Institutions weakened:

The slowdown in GDP growth rate has been dissected digressed and disowned by analysts, commentators and policymakers. However the diagnosis is far from complete and the growth engine is running out of fuel.

Both the demand  and supply side factors have been central in all the analyses but the crucial role of institutions in shaping the outcomes of both the factors in this episode of slowdown has been neglected.

A market centred economic model necessitates creating and sustaining credible institutions that further the efficiency of market mechanism.

The credibility of three such important institutions – the RBI, the Central Statistical Organisation and NITI AAYOG has taken a beating in recent times.

Major Factors Affecting India’s Growth:

Consumption:

Private consumption, which contributes nearly 55-60% to India’s GDP, has been slowing down.

While the reduced income growth of households has reduced urban consumption, drought/near-drought conditions in three of the past five years coupled with the collapse of food prices have taken a heavy toll on rural consumption.

Savings:

 Savings by household sector – which are used to extend loans for investment -- have gone down from 35% (FY12) to 17.2% (FY18).

Households, including MSMEs, make 23.6% of the total savings in the GDP.

Investment:

Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF), a metric to gauge investment in the economy, too has declined from 34.3 per cent in 2011 to 28.8 per cent in 2018, government data show. Similarly, in the private sector, it has declined from 26.9% in 2011 to 21.4% in 2018.

NBFC crisis triggered by IL&FS default led to a liquidity crunch in the economy.

RBI’s Annual report highlighted that there are still structural issues in land, labour, agricultural marketing and the like that need to be addressed.

Erosion in RBI’s autonomy:

The RBI which was clamouring for more autonomy, has been systematically brought under the ambit of the central government .A three pronged strategy resulted in this first the RBI was bypassed on matters relating to currency, secondly its role as regulator of the banking sector was questioned when banks flattered and finally its reserve were siphoned. The net result has been that the RBI has been reduced into an institutions which presides over a limited space of monetary policy that is inflation targeting.

Way Forward:

It is useful to focus on understanding and reforming the forces that keep bad institutions in place, especially political institutions and the distribution of political power. This requires the understanding the complex relationship between political institutions and the political equilibrium. The use of high quality academic information which the present establishment lacks, is valuable both to think about these issues and generate better policy advice.

 

 

Source: THE HINDU

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GS-III :
A climate emergency

GS-III: A climate emergency.

News

The Indian government must take corrective measures immediately to combat climate change. A few generations from now our descendants may not see the animals and plants. Nearly 500 species have become extinct in just last century. We are depleting 25% more natural resources than the planet can sustain right now.  

What is Climate Emergency?

There is no single definition of what that means but many local areas say they want to be carbon-neutral by 2030. It’s a much more ambitious target than the UK governments, which is to reduce carbon emissions by 80% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050.

Climate Change is real:

Al Gore’s 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth, awakened the world to the dire causes and consequences of global warming. It made an impact on millions and initiated global debates on climate change. However, many of us were sceptical of the warnings. Some of us did not believe that our planet would ever run out of resources. We thought that discussions would take place among scientists and environmentalists, but that the impact of climate change would never really be felt by us. And that if it were to be felt, it would take a long time, perhaps a couple of centuries.

In just 13 years, Al Gore’s predictions have become real and haunting. Now the effects of climate change are at our doorsteps. Cyclones such as Thane, Vardah, Ockhi and Gaja have affected Tamil Nadu in recent times; Chennai saw terrible floods in 2015. Floods wreaked havoc in Assam, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar this year, and Mumbai received record monsoon rains. Kerala witnessed floods for the second consecutive year. Cyclone Fani devastated Odisha, Cyclone Vayu ravaged Gujarat this year. All these are because of climate change. Meanwhile, Europe saw the highest temperatures ever in recorded history. This July, Paris recorded its highest temperature of 42.6°C.

Global warming will drastically affect agriculture  the production of rice, wheat, maize and soya will decrease significantly. Apart from malnutrition, climate change will give birth to newer infections and illness. This imbalance will in turn affect the economy which will lead to conflict, war and global unrest. Global warming is already melting the polar ice caps. If this continues, sea levels will rise and submerge coastal cities. These natural disasters will make millions of people climate refugees.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report states that averting a climate crisis will require reinvention of the global economy. By 2040,there could be global food shortages, inundation of coastal cities and a huge refugee crisis,

Steps to be taken:

  • UN and climate experts have called for the declaration of a global climate emergency. Countries like the U.K., Canada, France and Ireland have already declared climate emergencies. So have local bodies and NGOs worldwide.
  • Unfortunately India and U.S. are still slow to act. Which countries are responsible for historical emissions is now past the stage of debate. Global warming will affect every individual in every country.
  • It is the duty of every human and government to take steps to stop the climate crisis. The Indian government should declare a climate emergency immediately.
  • Immediate policy changes should include reducing the usage of fossil fuels by half by 2030, encouraging the use of public transport, increasing forest area, promoting non-conventional energy, devising good water management policies, implementing the plastic ban stringently, banning the burning of waste, promoting innovative urban planning policies and reducing mass rearing of cattle for human consumption.
  • Let us all join together to save the only planet we have.

 

 

 

Source: THE HINDU

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GS-III : Economic Issues Money Market
Call money rates should be close to policy rate , says liquidity panel.

GS-III: Call money rates should be close to policy rate , says liquidity panel.

News

An internal working group formed by the RBI to review the current liquidity management framework has suggested that the framework should be guided by the objective of maintaining the target rate.

What is Call Money?

The call money market is an essential part of the Indian Money Market, where the day-to-day surplus funds (mostly of banks) are traded. The money market is a market for short-term financial assets that are close substitutes of money. The most important feature of a money market instrument is that it is liquid and can be turned into money quickly at low cost and provides an avenue for equilibrating the short-term surplus funds of lenders and the requirements of borrowers.

The loans are of short-term duration varying from 1 to 14 days, are traded in call money market. The money that is lent for one day in this market is known as "Call Money", and if it exceeds one day (but less than 15 days) it is referred to as "Notice Money". Term Money refers to Money lent for 15 days or more in the Inter Bank Market.

Way Forward:

The current provision of assured liquidity upto 1% of NDTL is no longer necessary since the proposed liquidity framework would entirely meet the system’s liquidity. In case build up of a large liquidity deficit or surplus is expected to persist it should be offset through appropriate durable liquidity operations.

 

Source: THE HINDU

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