November 2019

Daily Current Affairs (20-11-19)

ECONOMY

WHAT IS DEPOSIT INSURANCE?

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Economy and Planning [Paper-II]: Recent fiscal and monetary policy issues and their impact, Structure of Indian Banking and Non Banking Financial Institutions and reforms

Context

  • The failure of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank reignited the debate on the low level of insurance for deposits held by customers in banks in India.
  • Reserve Bank employees unions recently urged the government to hike the insurance cover on bank deposits from the present Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

What is deposit insurance?

  • As per the RBI guidelines, all the commercial banks and cooperative banks are mandatorily required to insure the deposit under the Deposit Insurance and Credit guarantee corporation (DICGC).
  • Each depositor of a bank is covered for maximum up to Rs 1 lakh. This amount is termed as ‘deposit insurance’.
  • Every insured bank pays premium amounting to 0.001% of its deposits to DICGC every year.
  • Deposit insurance scheme is mandatory for all banks and no bank can voluntarily withdraw from it.
  • DICGC has the power and right to cancel the registration of an insured bank if it fails to pay the premium for three consecutive half-year periods

What happens to depositors’ money when a bank fails?

  • When a bank is liquidated, depositors are entitled to receive an insurance amount of ₹1 lakh per individual from the DICGC.
  • The ₹1 lakh insurance limit includes both principal and interest dues across savings bank accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits and recurring deposits held with the bank.
  • DICGC does not deal directly with depositors.
  • The RBI (or the Registrar), on directing that a bank be liquidated, appoints an official liquidator to oversee the winding up process.

Who are insured by the DICGC?

  • The corporation covers all commercial and co-operative banks, except in Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
  • Only primary cooperative societies are not insured by the DICGC.
  • All bank deposits–savings, fixed, current and recurring—payable in India are covered.

Exemptions

DICGC does not include the following types of deposits:

  • Deposits of foreign governments
  • Deposits of central/state governments
  • Inter-bank deposits
  • Deposits of the state land development banks with the state co-operative bank
  • Any amount due on account of any deposit received outside India
  • Any amount specifically exempted by the DICGC with previous approval of RBI

Way Forward

  • According to a recent report by SBI Research, the deposit insurance limit in India at Rs 1 lakh, is one of the lowest.
  • As against this, in Brazil and Russia, the same stands at Rs 42 lakh and Rs 12 lakh respectively.
  • India is among the countries that offer the lowest protection to depositors in cases of bank failure.
  • India’s deposit insurance scheme covers as many as 70 per cent of bank depositors.
  • But the accounts that have less than Rs 1 lakh together make up only about 8 per cent of total bank accounts.
  • It denotes that an overwhelming number of accounts hold more than the ‘safe’ amount.
  • It essentially means that a bank failure would be nothing short of an unprecedented catastrophe, because a depositor would be left with just one lakh of entire life’s savings, which — for most people — usually amount to several lakhs.
  • Thus, the current limit of deposit insurance Rs 1 lakh was set in May 1993 and needs to be revisited.
  • Reducing the time delay in settling claims is also the need of the hour.

[Source: The Hindu, Indian Express, Livemint, Economic Times]

 

HISTORY

JALLIANWALA BAGH NATIONAL MEMORIAL (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2019

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

History [Paper-I]: Modern Indian History (from the 18th century upto the present) significant events, personalities and issues, Struggle for Independence

News

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Parliament after it was passed in Rajya Sabha. The Bill was earlier passed in Lok Sabha.

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • It amends the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951.
  • It seeks to make the trust that runs Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial apolitical by removing the clause pertaining to the President of Indian National Congress as a permanent member of the trust.
  • The Bill also amends to include the Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the House of the People (Lok Sabha) or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in that house as a member of the trust.
  • The Bill also allows the Central government to terminate the term of a nominated trustee before the expiry of the period of his term, without assigning any reason.

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust

It was established in 1951 by the Government of India, to commemorate the massacre by British occupying forces of peaceful celebrators including unarmed women and children, on the occasion of the Punjabi New Year on April 13, 1919.

Jallianwala Bagh Incident

  • The people gathered at Jallianwala Bagh were fired from all sides by the troops of General Dyer and massacred more than 400 people.
  • The massacre was the result of the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919, famously known as the Rowlatt Act.

  • Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood and Mahatma Gandhi returned the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold medal given to him for his work during Boer war as a sign of condemnation.
[Source: PIB, All India Radio]

 

INTERNAL SECURITY

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE GRID (NATGRID)

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Information and Communications Technology [Paper-II]: Nature and Scope of ICT, ICT and Governance, Cyber Security concerns – National Cyber Crime Policy

News

The National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) project will be operational by December 31, 2020.

What is NATGRID?

  • It is an ambitious counter terrorism programme and a post Mumbai 26/11 attack measure.
  • The project was initially started in 2009 with a budget of 2,800 crore.
  • It is an online database for collating scattered pieces of information and putting them together on one platform.
  • The data recovery centre of the NATGRID has been constructed in Bengaluru and its headquarters is nearing completion in Delhi.

Need for NATGRID

  • The necessity for the NATGRID came after India’s worst terror attack in Mumbai in 2009.
  • Lack of real time information was one of the major hurdles in detecting US terror suspect David Headley’s movement across the country during his multiple visits between 2006 and 2009.
  • The danger from not having a sophisticated tool like the NATGRID is that it forces the police to rely on harsh and coercive means to extract information in a crude and degrading fashion.

Features

  • It will enable multiple security and intelligence agencies to access a database related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details, among others, from a common platform.
  • NATGRID links intelligence and investigation agencies.

Who can access the NATGRID data?

  • The 10 user agencies will be linked independently with certain databases which will be procured from 21 providing organisations including telecom, tax records, bank, immigration etc. to generate intelligence inputs.
  • Initially, no state agencies will be given direct access to the NATGRID data.
  • However, whenever any relevant information is required, they can approach the NATGRID through any of the 10 user agencies.

Critical Aspects

  • NATGRID is facing opposition mainly because of the possible violations of privacy and leakage of confidential personal information.
  • Its efficacy in preventing terror has also been questioned given that no state agency or police force has access to its database thus reducing chances of immediate, effective action.
  • The risk of manipulation comes both from within and outside the security agencies. It is criticised that individual data can be misused for political purposes by different agencies that have access to the data base.
  • It is alleged that the idea also infringes upon the right to privacy. But the supporters of NATGRID argue that the cost of the right to privacy should be measured against the cost of lives lost.
[Source: The Hindu, India Today, Livemint]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

SOUTH ASIA SAFETY SUMMIT
  • The second edition of South Asia Safety Summit was organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) and Facebook in New Delhi.
  • The Summit is being organized to highlight the issue of safety while individuals and communities are connected on the digital platform.
  • The summit was attended by participants who have expertise in running digital literacy programmes and creating tools for social-emotional development of young people.
  • The Participants were from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.
  • During the Summit, Union Minister of Women and Child Development launched “We Think Digital” website.
  • The website is an online education portal with interactive tutorials aimed at helping people think critically and share thoughtfully online.
  • It outlines the digital citizen’s rights and responsibilities, encourages them to think critically about their digital behaviour and interactions, communicate respectfully and be responsible digital citizens in the online world.
INDIRA GANDHI PEACE PRIZE 2019
  • Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2019 will be conferred on renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.
  • His name was selected for the prize by an international jury chaired by former president Pranab Mukherjee.
  • In a lifetime of communicating effectively about the natural world, Sir Attenborough has become a powerful and persuasive voice on the need to pay attention to the warnings of looming ecological disaster, to maintain the earth’s delicate ecological balance, and to cherish and preserve the natural world.
  • Indira Gandhi Peaxe Prize is the prestigious award accorded annually by Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust to individuals or organisations in recognition of creative efforts toward promoting international peace, development and a new international economic order; ensuring that scientific discoveries are used for the larger good of humanity, and enlarging the scope of freedom.
‘THIRD UMPIRE’ RT-PCR MACHINES
  • Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has installed first of its kind high-end Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machines in India for quick detection of diseases like dengue, tuberculosis and swine flu.
  • These machines will serve as a ‘third umpire’ in situations when medical reports and blood tests reveal contradictory results.
  • Through these machines, KMC aims to identify the root causes of diseases like dengue as the city continues to record a sharp rise in cases of mosquito-borne diseases.

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