GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.

North Eastern Cultural Centre To Be Set Up In Delhi: Jitendra Singh.

Background-

  • A north eastern cultural and information centre will be set up in Delhi soon, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on 16th August, 2017.
  • He said the centre will be a new gift to the people of the northeast and in line with the priority being given to the region the central government.
  • The Delhi Development Authority had allotted a 1.32 acre land in Dwarka where the centre will be constructed by the North Eastern Council (NEC) at a cost of Rs 50-55 crore within two years.

Highlights And Significance Of The Development–

  • The centre will act as a cultural and convention, information hub of the northeastern region in Delhi.
  • The minister for development of north eastern region (DoNER) said it will be constructed at par with the international standards and will have a library-cum-reading room with material on the region, an art gallery showcasing the northeast.
  • Highlighting the other initiatives, Singh said the Ministry of DoNER has created ‘venture capital fund’ for the young start-ups and entrepreneurs, who decide to initiate an enterprise in the northeast.
  • He said keeping in view the large number of northeast students studying in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the foundation stone was laid in JNU in July, 2017 for the construction of Barak hostel for accommodating NE students.
  • Similarly, the foundation stone was also laid in Bengaluru University in June 2016, for the construction of a hostel exclusively for girl students from the northeast.

Sources- Business-Standard.

GS Paper II- International Relations.

India, China To Join Indian Ocean Exercise Amid Growing Tension.

Background

  • Bangladesh, the current Chair, is scheduling a maiden International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) in November 2017 in the Bay of Bengal to be attended by ships and aircraft of the members and observers of the IONS.
  • Despite growing tensions with China, official sources said the Indian Navy would join the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in a maiden maritime search and rescue exercise to be chaired by Bangladesh at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in November, 2017.
  • The IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states, represented by their Navy chiefs, launched by India in February 2008. It presently has 23 members and nine observers.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The exercise comes at a time of intensifying competition among regional navies for dominance in the Indian Ocean — navies of China and Japan, presently observers, in addition to member states like India, France, Iran and the U.K.
  • In addition, Bangladesh is also scheduling an “extraordinary conclave of Chiefs,” a meeting of chiefs of Navy before it hands over the Chair to Iran next year.
  • Under the charter of business adopted in 2014, the grouping has working groups on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and anti-piracy now renamed as maritime security.
  • India has considerably expanded its engagement with countries to further its own interests as well as to check the rapid expansion of Chinese naval forays in the Indian Ocean. Other countries in the region are also engaged in rapid expansion of their military capabilities.
  • The working group’s conferences are held annually and India had chaired the one on HADR in May this year (2017) and Pakistan had chaired the meeting on IS&I in July, 2017.

Sources- The Hindu.

GS Paper III- Economic Development, Technology.

RBI Makes Aadhaar Linkage Mandatory For Farmers To Avail Short-Term Crop Loans In 2017-18.

Background

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 16th August, 2017 said that farmers need to mandatorily link Aadhaar numbers to their accounts to avail subsidised farm loan.
  • In line with the government’s policy, the RBI on Wednesday, 16th August said that farmers can avail of short-term crop loans of up to Rs 3 lakh at subsidised interest rate of 7% that could go down to 4% on prompt repayment.
  • The RBI has also announced an interest subvention (subsidy by government) of 2% for the first year on loans that have been restructured following natural calamities.

Key Points Of The Development-

  • The advice to all public and private sector scheduled commercial banks was sent through a RBI notification on the “Interest Subvention Scheme for Short Term Crop Loans during the year 2017-18” issued on Wednesday.
  • Banks have been asked to include land details, even after providing gold as a security, for the loan to avoid multiple loaning and to ensure that only genuine farmers avail of concessional crop loans through the mechanism of gold loans.
  • Extension of the interest subvention scheme for farm loans was approved by the government in June, 2017.
  • Under the interest subvention scheme 2% interest subvention will be calculated on the crop loan amount from the date of its disbursement up to the date of actual repayment by the farmer or up to the due date of the loan fixed by the banks, whichever is earlier, subject to a maximum of one year, the RBI said.
  • In addition to the 2% subsidy, an additional interest subvention of 3% will be available to those who pay their dues on time.
  • To discourage distress sale and encourage farmers to store produce in warehouses, it said the benefit of subvention will be available to small and marginal farmers with kisan credit cards for a further period of up to 6 months post-harvest at the same rate as available to crop loans against negotiable warehouse receipts.

Sources- The Times Of India.