September 2019

Daily Current Affairs (29-09-19)


Related Topics: Culture, Indian Polity


Meghalaya’s bid to exclude “unrepresented tribes” from the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution has left minor tribes in the state in a worrisome situation.

Major Communities

Meghalaya is divided into autonomous councils in the names of the three major matrilineal communities — Garo, Khasi and Jaintia.

Minority Tribes

The minority tribes in Meghalaya include the Hajong, Koch, Rabha, Boro and Mann.

Sixth Schedule of Indian Constitution

  • Parts or the whole of the four northeastern States — Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura — fall under the Sixth Schedule.
  • As per Article 244 and 6th Schedule, these areas are called “Tribal Areas“, which are technically different from the Scheduled Areas under fifth schedule.
  • The Governors of these four states are empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts.
  • If there are different tribes in an autonomous district, the governor can divide the district into several autonomous regions.

Concerns of Minority Tribes

  • Recently, a sub-committee constituted by the State government had decided to recommend to the Standing Committee of Parliament, the removal of the word “unrepresented tribes” from the amended Sixth Schedule.
  • Currently, members of such tribes are nominated to the autonomous district councils.

[Source: The Hindu]



Related Topics: Environment & Biodiversity, Global Tiger Forum


  • Studies which was conducted earlier this year, had reported the presence of tigers in high altitude regions in India.
  • Next year, Experts from India, Nepal and Bhutan — under the aegis of their governments — will begin a detailed assessment on how entrenched tigers are, in these regions.

Key Findings

  • A study jointly conducted by three countries had established that there were 52,671 of tiger habitat in high altitudes or Himalayan habitats of India, Nepal and Bhutan.
  • 38,915 square kilometres of this habitat lay in India.
  • Potential high altitude tiger landscapes include the Valmiki-Chitwan-Annapurna (India-Nepal), Manas-Royal Manas-Jigme Dorji (India-Bhutan); Neora Valley-Torsa-Buxa-Phibsu (India-Bhutan); Askot-Pithoragarh-Nandhaur-Suklaphanta (India-Nepal); and Arunachal-Sikkim-bordering Bhutan (India-Bhutan).

Tiger Distribution in India

  • While India is home to the most number of tigers in the world, most of them are focussed in Central India and the Western Ghats.
  • The latest tiger survey estimated 2,967 tigers all over India.
  • Camera traps laid in select districts of Uttarakhand, Sikkim, North Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh to detect the presence of tigers in higher altitudes found only three — two in Sikkim and one in Uttarakhand.
  • In previous years, tigers have been reported in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal at elevations of 1765m, 3274 m and 2400 m respectively.
  • Bhutan had recorded the presence of a tiger at 4,210 m.


  • Recording the presence of tigers in high altitudes is important to judge the health of the species as poaching and fragmented habitat are serious challenges to their population growth.
  • As part of a “high altitude tiger master plan”, gathering background information on land attributes, ascertaining status of protection and engaging local communities in tiger conservation is critical.

[Source: The Hindu,]



Related Topics: Banking Sector, Non Performing Asset (NPA)


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has placed Lakshmi Vilas Bank under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework due to high bad loans and insufficient capital.
  • RBI has also advised the bank on the restrictions put in place and the actions to be taken, which the bank has taken note of for necessary compliance, with progress to be reported every month to RBI.

What is Prompt Corrective Action (PCA)?

  • RBI PCA framework was introduced in December 2002 as a structured early-intervention mechanism along the lines of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s PCA framework.
  • The framework was reviewed based on the recommendations of the working group of the Financial Stability and Development Council on Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions in India and the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission in 2017.
  • It is a framework under which banks with weak financial metrics are put under watch by the RBI.
  • Under PCA, banks are mandated to cut lending to corporates and focus on reducing concentration of loans to certain sectors.
  • They are also restricted from opening new branches and paying dividends.

Trigger Points

The PCA framework specifies the trigger points or the level after which the RBI will intervene with corrective action. The trigger points are set by considering three financial indicators of that bank:

  • Capital to Risk weighted Asset Ratio (CRAR)
  • Net Non-Performing Assets (NPA) and
  • Return on Assets (RoA)

Threshold Levels

  • The PCA framework deems banks as risky if they slip below certain norms on three parameters — capital ratios, asset quality and profitability.
  • It has three risk threshold levels (1 being the lowest and 3 the highest) based on where a bank stands on these ratios.
  • Banks with a capital to risk-weighted assets ratio (CRAR) less than 10.25 per cent but more than 7.75 per cent fall under threshold 1.
  • Those with CRAR of more than 6.25 per cent but less than 7.75 per cent fall in the threshold 2.
  • In case a bank’s common equity Tier 1 (the bare minimum capital under CRAR) falls below 3.625 per cent; it gets categorized under threshold 3.
  • Banks that have a net NPA of 6 per cent or more but less than 9 per cent fall under threshold 1, and those with 12 per cent or more fall under the third threshold level.
  • On profitability, banks with negative return on assets for two, three and four consecutive years fall under threshold 1, threshold 2 and threshold 3, respectively.

Why PCA is important?

  • As most bank activities are funded by deposits which need to be repaid, it is imperative that a bank carries a sufficient amount of capital to continue its activities.
  • PCA is intended to help alert the regulator as well as investors and depositors if a bank is heading for trouble.
  • The idea is to head off problems before they attain crisis proportions.
  • PCA helps RBI monitor key performance indicators of banks, and taking corrective measures, to restore the financial health of a bank.
  • On breach of any of the risk thresholds mentioned above, the RBI can invoke a corrective action plan.
  • Depending on the threshold levels, the RBI can place restrictions on dividend distribution, branch expansion, and management compensation.
  • Only in an extreme situation, breach of the third threshold, would identify a bank as a likely candidate for resolution through amalgamation, reconstruction or winding up.

[Source: The Hindu, Livemint]




Writer V.J. James has been selected for the 43rd Vayalar Ramavarma Memorial Literary Award for his novel Nireeshwaran (atheist). The prestigious award, instituted by the Vayalar Ramavarma Memorial Trust in memory of the revered poet, carries a purse of ₹1 lakh, a citation and a silver statuette designed by noted sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman. Vayalar Ramavarma (March 25, 1928 – October 27, 1975) was a poet and lyricist of Malayalam language.


Saudi Arabia has announced that it will offer tourist visas for the first time, opening up the kingdom to holidaymakers as part of a push to diversify its economy away from oil. The kingdom will also ease its strict dress code for foreign women, allowing them to go without the body-shrouding abaya robe that is still mandatory public wear for Saudi women. Kickstarting tourism is one of the centrepieces of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform programme to prepare the biggest Arab economy for a post-oil era.


The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has unveiled the first Indigenous High Temperature Fuel Cell System developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with Indian industries under India’s flagship program named “New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI)” on the occasion of CSIR Foundation Day at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The 5.0 kW fuel cell system generates power in a green manner using methanol / bio-methane, with heat and water as bi-products for further use; amounting to greater than 70% efficiency, which otherwise may not be possible by other energy sources. The Fuel Cells developed are based on High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (HTPEM) Technology.

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