September 2019

Daily Current Affairs (06-09-19)

TASK FORCE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SECONDARY  MARKET FOR CORPORATE LOANS

Related Topics: Indian Economy, Committees & Reports

News

The Task Force for the development of a secondary market for corporate loans has submitted its report to the RBI Governor.

About the Task Force

  • The Task Force was constituted by RBI under the Chairmanship of Shri T.N. Manoharan, Chairman, Canara Bank.
  • The Terms of Reference of the Task Force were to review the existing state of market for loan sale/transfer in India as well as the international experience in loan trading and to make recommendations for the development of secondary market for corporate loans in India.

Key Recommendations

  • Setting up of a Self-Regulatory Body of participants which will finalise detailed modalities for the secondary market for corporate loans including standardisation of documentation;
  • Setting up a Central Loan Contract Registry;
  • Setting up an online loan sales platform to conduct auctions/sale process of the secondary market loans;
  • Amending the provisions for securitisation and assignment of loans, asset reconstruction, foreign portfolio investment, and external commercial borrowings.
  • Amending the regulations issued by SEBI, IRDA and PFRDA to enable participation of non-banking entities such as mutual funds, insurance companies and pension funds.

[Source: The Hindu, rbi.org]

 

EAT RIGHT MOVEMENT

Related Topics: Public Health, Government Schemes & Initiatives

News

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has kick-started POSHAN Maah 2019 with a year-long social and mass media campaign on the Eat Right India movement.

What is Eat Right Movement?

  • It is a movement launched by FSSAI to improve public health in India and combat negative nutritional trends to fight lifestyle diseases.
  • The movement which was launched on 10th July, 2018 aims to cut down salt/sugar and oil consumption by 30% in three years.
  • This movement is aligned with the government’s flagship public health programmes such as POSHAN Abhiyaan, Anaemia Mukt Bharat, Ayushman Bharat Yojana and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • FSSAI has prescribed a limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) at 25% in cooking oil to avoid the harmful effects of reused cooking oil.

Holistic Approach

  • The strength of the ‘The Eat Right Movement’ lies in its holistic and collaborative approach, with stakeholders on both the demand and supply-side joining to make a difference through some clearly identified steps.
  • On the demand side, the Eat Right Movement focuses on empowering citizens to make the right food choices.
  • On the supply side, it nudges food businesses to reformulate their products, provide better nutritional information to consumers and make investments in healthy food as responsible food businesses.
  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has also put in place robust regulatory measures under three major pillars: Eat Safe, Eat Health and Eat Sustainably for the programme.

Initiatives

‘The Eat Right Movement’ brings together three ongoing initiatives of FSSAI:

  • Safe and Nutritious Food Initiative – focused on social and behavioural change around food safety and nutrition at home, school, workplace and on-the-go;
  • The Eat Healthy Campaign – focused on reduction of high fat, sugar and salt foods in the diet; and
  • Food Fortification – focused on promoting five staple foods-wheat flour, rice, oil, milk and salt that are added with key vitamins and minerals to improve their nutritional content

Preventive Health

  • There is a need for a movement on preventive health for all in the backdrop of the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases including diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, widespread deficiencies of vitamins and minerals and rampant food-borne illnesses in India.
  • Eat Right India movement is a crucial preventive healthcare measure to trigger social and behavioural change through a judicious mix of regulatory measures, combined with soft interventions for ensuring awareness and capacity building of food businesses and citizens alike.

Significance

  • There has been a shift in the cause of mortality from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer, not only in India, but also across the world.
  • The four main factors to prevent non-communicable diseases are healthy diet, physical exercise, avoidance of tobacco and alcohol.
  • Thus, the message of ‘Eat Right’ is of great significance and should be promoted everywhere.

[Source: The Hindu, FSSAI]

 

INDIA RUSSIA BILATERAL RELATIONS

Related Topics: International Relations, Act Far East Policy

News

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched ‘Act Far East’ policy and asserted that India will walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Russia in its development of the Far East as he announced a $ one billion line of credit for the development of the resource-rich region.
  • PM has made the announcement while speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
  • PM is in Russia to participate in the 20th India-Russia annual summit with President Putin and the fifth meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

What is Act Far East Policy?

  • The policy aims to tap Russia’s Far East region’s resources potential and also find opportunities for skilled workers to find employment in this region.
  • ‘Act Far East’ is said to be an extension to India’s Act East policy.
  • The focus of the Act East policy, which began as a “Look East policy” — that was launched by the former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao in 1991 — was to shift the country’s trading focus from the west and neighbour to the booming South East Asian countries.

Eastern Economic Forum

  • The Forum was established by decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in 2015 to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • In accordance with the Decree, the Eastern Economic Forum takes place each year in Vladivostok.
  • It serves as a platform for the discussion of key issues in the world economy, regional integration, and the development of new industrial and technological sectors.
  • PM Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit the Russian Far East Region and was the Chief Guest at the Eastern Economic Forum.

India’s Investment in Russia

  • Indian firms have invested over $7 billion in taking stake in Russian oil and gas fields.
  • India ventured into Russia when its flagship overseas firm ONGC Videsh in 2001 acquired a 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field in Far East Russia.
  • OVL later bought Imperial Energy, which has fields in Siberia, as also stakes in Vankor oilfield in eastern Siberia.
  • IOC and its partners have picked up 9 per cent stake in a separate Taas-Yuryakh oilfield in East Siberia.

[Source: The Hindu, Economic Times, Firstpost]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

ROTAVIRUS VACCINE (RVV)
Kerala will introduce rotavirus vaccine (RVV), which protects children from infectious diarrhoeal diseases caused by rotavirus, into its Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) as part of a national initiative. The vaccine, introduced as part of the UIP in four States in 2016, is being expanded across the country in phases and 11 States have made it a part of the immunisation schedule. Rotavirus is a contagious virus that can cause gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). According to the Indian Rotavirus Strain Surveillance Network (IRSSN), rotavirus is responsible for nearly 40% of the hospitalisations due to diarrhoea in children under five years of age in the country, with approximately 1.2-1.5 lakh annual deaths.

CHINA’S FIRST CLONED KITTEN
A private company has created the first cloned kitten in China. According to a report by Pet Fair Asia and pet website Goumin.com, pet-related spending in China reached 170.8 bn yuan ($23.7 billion) in 2018. Pet cloning is illegal in many countries but approved in countries including South Korea and the U.S. The first major success in animal cloning was Dolly the sheep, born in Britain in 1996 as the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. In 2005, researchers in South Korea cloned the first dog.

JOINT DEVELOPMENT OF CONVENTIONAL SUBMARINES
Russia has offered India, joint design and development of conventional submarines through an Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) at the delegation-level dialogue between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The proposal includes joint design and development of a conventional submarine with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) as per the Indian Navy requirements with full access to technology and Intellectual Property Rights [IPR]. The procurement is through the Strategic Partnership (SP) model of the defence procurement procedure and valued over Rs. 40,000 crore.

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