‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Infrastructure & Banking – New terms for PSBs: Measures & Committees

Banks should commit to improving balance sheet position

   Brief:

  • Public sector banks (PSBs) seeking fresh capital from the Centre would have to commit to reform their own operations and take immediate steps to improve their balance sheet position.
  • Government said on Friday. The lenders will also have to close unprofitable branches and put in place stronger systems for credit appraisals and management of non-performing assets (NPAs).

   Measures:

  • Apart from empowering the Reserve Bank of India to tackle the problem of nonperforming assets in public sector banks more effectively through new provisions under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the government is working on some more measures to resolve bad loans that will be announced shortly.
  • One of the other conditions would relate to immediate cash relief initiatives such as sale of assets, closure of unprofitable branches, reduction of overheads, business turnaround initiatives such as the strengthening of the credit appraisal process, active NPA management, among others.
  • Where resolutions at the joint lenders forum ( JLF) used to take time, and many times the process was delayed as all bankers were not on the same page, directives have been issued to empower the RBI.

   Committees:

  • As per the new provisions incorporated in the banking regulation law allow the government to authorize the RBI to initiate insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings in relation to any stressed assets under Section 35 AA. A separate clause 35B allows the RBI to issue specific directions, including the formation of oversight committees (OCs) to resolve bad loans.
  • Currently, the OC mechanism functions only in relation to the scheme for sustainable structuring of stressed assets (S4A) for banks.
  • The new provision will allow the RBI to form OCs in relation to resolution of specific accounts either under the insolvency and bankruptcy framework or any other JLF framework as well.

   Source: PIB

 

‘’Paper 2-GS-I, Topic: Role of Women & associated issues: SC upholds death in Nirbhaya case

Fight not over yet, say her parents ‘Will end when they are hanged

 

   Brief:

  • Justice Banumathi, the woman judge on the Bench, said “there is not even a hint of hesitation in my mind” in sending the men to their deaths. “If at all there is a case warranting award of death sentence, it is the present case,” Justice Banumathi wrote in her separate concurring judgment.
  • The pronouncement on Friday culminated the marathon hearings held in the apex court for about a year after the four accused — Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Kumar Singh and Vinay Sharma — appealed against their death penalty. The three-judge bench subjected the evidence of the case to the minutest scrutiny.
  • At one point, its own amicus curiae and senior advocate, Sanjay Hegde, had, after a dispassionate consideration of the case, suggested that death penalty would be “extremely harsh.” The defence lawyers had pressed for life imprisonment. They said the accused were first-time offenders, young, had small children and aged parents whose lives would be rendered “calamitous” if they were put to death.
  • The accused had reformed, repented and never misbehaved in jail. But the court threw out this plea for mercy and instead listed out the “brutal, barbaric nature of the crime” which made it rarest of the rare. For one, Justice Banumathi pointed out how the accused had used a public transport bus to lure the passengers.

   Convicts’ lawyer will file a review petition:

  • Advocate A.P. Singh, who represented three of the four convicts in the December 2012 gang-rape, has said he wasn’t satisfied with the verdict and would file a review petition.
  • The advocate also alleged that the evidence in the case was fabricated and that the SC’s order had come under the influence of the media and public sentiment. “The Crime Branch did the forensic investigation, and they work under the influence of the government that was under pressure.

Source: Hindu

 

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Salient Features of Services relating to Health -Novel molecule to treat cancer

It binds to a protein and curbs the growth of tumours while sparing normal cells

   Explanation:

  • A novel small molecule, designed and synthesized by Indian researchers, has shown promise in targeted killing of cancer cells.
  • The molecule (Disarib) works by binding itself to a protein called BCL2, which suppresses the death of cancerous cells. While BCL2 protein is produced in excess in cancer cells, its expression is almost undetectable in normal cells. Hence, Disarib targets and kills only cancer cells while sparing normal cells.
  • Inside a cell there is always a balance between proteins that promote cell death (apoptosis) and those that suppress cell death. When the proteins BAX and BAK that promote cell death get bound to BCL2, cell death is suppressed and cancer cells are able to live longer.

   Years of Research:

  • Disarib is the culmination of eight years of research involving 24 researchers from eight groups across various labs. Unlike the FDA-approved BCL2 inhibitor ABT199, the small molecule synthesized by Prof. Raghavan’s team binds predominantly to a different domain (BH1) of BCL2 and showed better efficiency in killing cancer cells.
  • The next step will be to test the toxicity and efficacy of the molecule in cancer cells taken from patients, and also test it in combination with known cancer drugs.

Source: Hindu