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GS Paper II – Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

Senior IAS officer Ajay Tyagi appointed Sebi chief for five years

What’s Happening-
Senior Finance Ministry official was today appointed as chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
He will succeed Upendra Kumar Sinha,whose extended tenure ends on March 1.

Key Points discussed were:

  • Tyagi, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, is at present Additional Secretary (Investment) in the Department of Economic Affairs and handles capital market, among others.
  • Tyagi has been appointed as chairman of the markets regulator.
  • Sinha’s three-year term began in February 2011, following which he got two extensions, making him one of the longest-serving SEBI chiefs.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet-headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Tyagi’s appointment for a period not exceeding five years or till the age of 65 years.
  • 58-year-old Tyagi hails from Uttar Pradesh.
  • Sinha, a 1976 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, had assumed office as the Sebi chairman on February 18, 2011, when the previous UPA government was in power.
  • Tyagi for a short while was also on the board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Why Statusquo:

  • “Keeping in view the role and importance of Sebi as a regulator, it is desirable that persons with high integrity, eminence and reputation preferably with more than 25 years of professional experience and in the age group of 50-60 years may apply,” the Finance Ministry had said while inviting applications for the post.
  • However, the government had in February last decided to give a one-year extension to Sinha to ensure stability due to volatile market conditions.

Background-
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the  for the  market in India.
It was established in the year 1988 and given statutory powers on 30 January 1992 through the .

Eligibility:
As per the eligibility criteria, a person can hold the position of chairman till the age of 65 years or for a term decided by the government.
SEBI chairman receives consolidated pay package of Rs 4.5 lakh per month.
Besides chairman and whole-time members, the board includes independent members and nominees of Finance Ministry, Corporate Affairs Ministry and the RBI.

GS Paper II – Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

GS Paper III – Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Ansari warns of public despair fuelled by inequality

What’s Happening-

  • Gap between rich and poor is not narrowing, says at Vice-President Hamid Ansari, The Huddle.
  • Mr. Ansari called attention to the increasing economic inequality worldwide, particularly in India with all its social and political consequences, and noted that protest movements globally are being fuelled by public despair.

Key Points Addressed by Mr. Ansari:

  • Delivering the inaugural address, titled ‘Living in Febrile Times’, at The Huddle, a three-day conclave of ideas, he said, “We need to ask ourselves some uncomfortable questions. Can we just accept the growing insularity, intolerance and discrimination?”
  • Noting that the gap between the rich and poor shows no sign of narrowing, Mr. Ansari suggested that the situation demands impatience with business-as-usual development policies. “Perhaps the time has come,” “to move the development discourse beyond the current discussion of outcomes and opportunities.
  • A conceptual framework is provided by Amartya Sen and others who see human capabilities as the capacity and freedom to choose and to act; and calls for opportunities that give individuals the freedom to pursue a life of their own choosing to be equalised.
  • World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report of 2017 to frame the dangers of failing to bridge income inequality: the rise of populism. In India, he pointed out, the richest 1% have claim to 60% of the country’s wealth, and the bottom 50% to 2%.

Problems of Rising Inequality:

  • Rise of authoritarian leaders, often with a divisive agenda fuelled by sectarianism, xenophobia and nationalism.
  • Results in conflict, and threatens the stability of democracies.
  • Surveying protests worldwide such as the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring,
  • Naxalite issue in India: “The growing threat of left extremism, which has been repeatedly acknowledged as the gravest security threat to [the] Indian state, has its roots in economic deprivation and inequality in access to resources.”

Suggestions by Mr. Ansari: Equity in development

  • Calling for equity in development, Mr. Ansari cautioned against writing off inequity as an “inconvenient truth” in the quest for a “shining future”. He counselled a rethink on the trickle down model of growth, and cost-benefit analysis of the environmental impact of “our material progress” – as well as an appraisal of India’s investment in human capital and public goods.
  • He made a passing reference to the age of “post-truths” and “alternate facts”, Mr. Ansari’s was in total a plea to see the complete picture: not just the rising incomes of many, but also the rising inequality in wealth and income; not just the number of people lifted out of abject poverty, but also “the majority of people on the planet today… in countries where economic disparities are bigger than they were a generation ago.”