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Here is our 9pm current affairs brief for you today
About 9 PM Brief- With the 9 PM Daily Current affairs for UPSC brief we intend to simplify the newspaper reading experience. In 9PM briefs, we provide our reader with a summary of all the important articles and editorials from three important newspapers namely The Hindu, Indian Express, and Livemint. This will provide you with analysis, broad coverage, and factual information from a Mains examination point of view.
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List of 9 PM Current Affairs Articles
- Proposal to establish Bad bank and Development Finance Institution [DFI]
- A need to enhance intelligence system in combating the Maoists
- Budget 2021 paid less attention to Hunger and Malnutrition
- Coup in Myanmar: Derailment of Democracy
- Need of introspection among Media professionals
Proposal to establish Bad bank and Development Finance Institution [DFI]
Source- The Indian Express
Syllabus- GS 3 – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development, and employment
Synopsis- Budget 2021 proposed the formation of bad banks to manage NPAs and DFI for raising funds.
- In Union Budget 2021 -22, Finance Minister has proposed to set up an ARC (Asset Reconstruction Company)/AMC (Asset Management Company) for non-performing asset (NPA) management.
- Additionally, the government proposed a development financial institution (DFI). It will enable long-term funding worth Rs. 5 lakh crore in the next 3 years for infrastructure projects.
What is the purpose of setting an ARC/AMC?
The COVID-19 disruption has already created a lot of stress in the banking system. The banks already have a gross NPA of around 7.5 percent, which is expected to rise to 13.5 percent by September 2021.
Thus, setting up ARC/AMC has been proposed, which aims to buy bad assets of commercial banks. It will sell these assets at a discounted price in the market. This institution is commonly known as a bad bank. Experts at bad banks attempt a resolution through a professional approach.
It will enable banks to focus on fresh loans and investments. This will help clean up the balance sheets of commercial banks and thereby make available more funds for lending.
- First, Moral Hazard – According to some experts, the formation of ARC/AMC can enable banks to continue reckless lending practices.
- Second, Mobilizing capital – Finding buyers for bad loans in a pandemic hit economy will be hard.
What is the purpose of setting up DFI during Union Budget 2021-22?
Development Finance Institution [DFI] –The DFIs are organizations owned by the government or charitable institutions. They provide funds for infrastructure projects that are of national importance but may or may not conform to commercial return standards.
In Budget 2021-22, Development Finance Institution (DFI) has been announced with the following specifications.
- Capital base = Rs 20,000 crore
- Lending target = Rs 5 lakh crore in three years.
- Aim– The proposed DFI will be used to finance social and economic infrastructure projects identified under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP).
The earlier generation of DFIs ran into the problem of financing. The retail deposit access was cornered by commercial banks and the availability of long-term financing without government guarantees was limited.
- The formation of ARC/AMC works as a relief for banks hit by soaring bad assets and a sluggish loan off-take amid the pandemic.
- The economy needs infrastructure investments more than ever to help it overcome the damage induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A need to enhance intelligence system in combating the Maoists
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: GS 3- Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
Synopsis: Casualties in left-wing extremism (LWE)-affected States have not stopped. There is an urgent need to enhance the intelligence system in these areas.
After the 2008 attack on CRPF, the massive deployment of security forces was witnessed in the left-wing extremism (LWE)-affected States.
With the improvement in the law and order situation in J&K, more security personnel have been deployed in the region.
The newly deployed personnel are undergoing intensive training and firing practices with the following objectives:
- To make them familiar with the terrain.
- To understand the modus operandi of the Maoists.
- To take precautionary measures.
Thus, the security forces have reduced the incidents of violence in LWE- affected States. The Maoists are either on the run or surrender.
However, casualties among security forces have not stopped.
What more needs to be done?
The government must take the following measures to stop attacks on the security forces:
- Setting up and upgrading the Intelligence systems in the region.
- Inclusion of Belgian Malinois Dogs to timely detect IEDs.
- Drones are useful in accessing difficult areas.
- Security Personnel should stay in pucca buildings instead of huts. As temporary huts are more prone to attacks and destruction due to change in weather.
- Increase in the allocation of funds- For the construction of accommodation, an amount of Rs 114 crore was demanded against a project. However, only Rs 33 crore was allotted.
The LWE- affected States needs their own Commandos to control the LWE regions effectively. As for now, many districts have been declared free from LWE activities. But still, for some years Central Armed Police Forces will have to be stationed there until State relies completely on their own Commandos Such as Greyhounds and the Jharkhand Jaguars.
Budget 2021 paid less attention to Hunger and Malnutrition
Source: Click here
Syllabus: GS 3- Government Budgeting
Synopsis: Global pandemic and economic slowdown led to the health and economic crisis. But, the Union Budget 2021-22 did not pay attention to hunger and malnutrition.
Need of Food Security
- High rate of child malnutrition- National Family Health Survey-5 showed that child malnutrition levels in 2019 were higher than in 2016 in most of the states.
- COVID-19 effect- A field survey conducted by Hunger Watch and the Azim Premji University. It found that food intake between Oct. 2020 and Dec. 2020, was low as compared to the Pre-lockdown levels.
Budget 2021-22 allocation
|Policy/ Scheme||Budget Allocation||Required Allocation|
|1. Anganwadi Services||Rs 17,252.3 crore||Rs 24,810 crore|
|2. National Nutrition Mission ( Poshan)||Rs 600 crore||Rs 3,700 crore|
|3. Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (Maternity Benefits)||Rs 1,300 crore||Rs 2,500 crore|
|4. Mid-day meal||Rs 11,500 crore||Rs 12,900 crore|
Thus, this shows that there is not much allocation done towards nutrition schemes, even after the increase of prevalence of malnutrition.
What are the challenges faced by nutrition initiatives?
India’s nutrition initiatives such as Anganwadi programme and school mid-day meals are crucial for the nutrition of children and pregnant and lactating women. However, these initiatives faced disruption during COVID pandemic. Moreover, they are suffering from the following shortcomings:
- Real-time data are not available about stunted and wasted children in India.
- The initiatives also suffer from under-utilization of allocated funds.
- Many ministries and departments related to healthcare often operate in isolation.
- Lack of capacity building of Asha and Anganwadi working in ICDS centre.
Sustainable Development Goal to end poverty in all its forms everywhere & to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition requires not only coordinated efforts but also funds to deliver services to the vulnerable sections of India.
Coup in Myanmar: Derailment of Democracy
Source: The Hindu, Indian Express
Syllabus: Gs 2-India and its Neighborhood- Relations.
Synopsis: Coup in Myanmar is an outcome of many unresolved differences between the democratically elected government and the army. It has many consequences.
- Myanmar is a partially democratic country. The democratic government led by Aung San Suu Kyi shared half of its power with Myanmar’s Military.
- On February 1, the Myanmar army captured power by declaring an emergency.
- The military justified its action by citing the reason that there was “terrible fraud in the voter list” in the recently held Parliamentary election. Since the Election Commission failed to settle the matter, the army declared an emergency.
- Similar incidents of overtaking the democratic government by forcing military rule has taken place in 1962, 1988 and 1990.
Is it a military coup or an Emergency?
The following arguments prove that the incident that took place on Feb 1 is a military coup and not an emergency.
- First, electoral issues needed to be addressed and resolved by relevant authorities, not by the military leadership.
- Second, Myanmar Constitution empowers the President to proclaim an emergency, in consultation with the National Defence and Security Council. However, neither the Council met nor the Presidential consent was obtained.
What were the reasons behind this Coup?
Many unresolved differences between the democratic government and Myanmar’s army, led to this coup.
- First, Ideological differences:
- The army feels that it’s power should not be undermined. As it is the one that secured independence, defended the country against secession, and ensured stability and development.
- Whereas the government has been a strong supporter of democracy. In this system, the army should be completely apolitical.
- Second, Differences over different socio-politico- economic issues. For example, differences over ethnic reconciliation, constitutional reform, the Rohingya issue, and the China policy.
- Third, Fight for power:
- Senior General Min Aung Hlaing was willing to become Myanmar’s President. He was also about to retire in July.
- However, Ms. Suu Kyi was opposed to it, and she did not want to extend his tenure. Presumably, the coup guarantees an indefinite extension of tenure. It will also help him to retain the Power in his hands.
- Fourth, Role of China: The Chinese Communist Party shares a very close association with the Myanmar army for decades. The increasing popularity of the Democratic government over Myanmar army would have been detrimental to Chinese interest in Myanmar.
What are the Consequences?
Impact on Rohingya’s:
- Rohingya’s are a Predominantly Muslim population who are facing Ethnic violence in Myanmar.
- Currently, a million of them are living in Bangladesh as refugees due to persecution in Myanmar, and are waiting to be repatriated.
- Though the Myanmar army was against repatriation, recently the democratic government of Myanmar and Bangladesh held talks for repatriation. These efforts, will definitely be impacted by the current coup.
Impact on Democracy:
- With great efforts the Suu Kyi’s administration has nurtured the growth of democracy even in the deeper roots of Myanmar. Now the coup is a step back for Myanmar’s democracy.
Way forward for India
Though India is a torch-bearer of democracy, the government is also committed to the policy of non-interference in another state’s internal affairs. Therefore, India should cautiously balance its principles, values, interests while dealing with Myanmar based on geopolitical realities and national interest.
Need of introspection among Media professionals
Source: Click here
Syllabus: GS 3- Role of media in internal security challenges
Synopsis: Media professionals need to introspect. Action against someone spreading fake news cannot be portrayed as a threat to freedom of the press.
Fake news causes social disturbance not only in India but globally. One false news item can spark panic and even violence in society. Media is the fourth pillar of democracy, and it is their duty to be the upholders of free speech, honesty, and civil discourse.
The peaceful farmers’ protest turned violent on January 26. Protestors changed the specified route for tractor march and went to Red fort. They hoisted a flag that was not tricolor.
- One of the protestor died due to overturning of the tractor. However, some media and political representatives claimed that he died due to police shooting.
- This fake news was broadcasted which incited violence. Half- hearted apologies were made later.
- Several FIRs have been filed against media personalities for spreading fake news. Now, it is being claimed as an attack on free speech and liberty.
Why should the media introspect?
It is the fundamental rule of journalism to verify the news before sharing it but no such verification was done.
- First, there are many adverse consequences of spreading fake news. For example, it helps the nations who want to show India in poor light.
- Second, fake news undermines the credibility of the beneficiary. For example, fake news in support of farmer’s protests will only undermine their struggle.
- Third, these professionals speak about media freedom, but only they choose to speak for themselves. They have alienated the common citizens and vernacular media.
- Fourth, Using freedom of speech to cover every mistake makes the freedom redundant. Making mistakes once in a while is human but making errors daily and deleting them makes the intent suspicious.
- Fifth, journalists also have a duty towards the nation which comes along with the right to free speech.
What should be done?
Media needs to introspect about the fake news within their space. Any action against an individual fake news spreader cannot be showcased as freedom of press is under threat.
- First, Institutions must introspect and have the ability to self-correct. Many healthy institutions display this characteristic.
- Second, a proper investigation would be a learning for celebrity journalists that they too are subject to the law of the land.