GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

Singapore Passport Is World’s ‘Most Powerful’.


  • Singapore has the world’s “most powerful” passport, according to a global ranking topped for the first time by an Asian country with India figuring at 75th position, three notches better than its previous ranking.
  • According to the ‘Global Passport Power Rank 2017’ by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital, Germany is ranked second, followed by Sweden and South Korea in third place.
  • Paraguay removed visa requirements for Singaporeans, propelling Singapore’s passport to the top of Passport Index’ most powerful ranking with a visa-free score of 159, the company statement said.


Highlights Of The Development–

  • Historically, the top 10 most powerful passports in the world were mostly European, with Germany having the lead for the past two years. Since early 2017, the number one position was shared with Singapore, which was steadily going up, it said.
  • For the first time ever an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world. It is a testament of Singapore’s inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy, said Philippe May, managing director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office.
  • India, which was listed 78th last year, has improved its ranking, figuring at 75th position with a visa-free score of 51.
  • Coming in at last place on the list is Afghanistan, ranked 94 with a score of 22, followed by Pakistan and Iraq at 93 with a score of 26, Syria at 92, having a score of 29 and Somalia at 91 with a score 34.
  • Visa-free global mobility has become an important factor in today’s world, said founder and president of Arton Capital Armand Arton at the recently held Global Citizen Forum in Montenegro.
  • More and more people every year invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a second passport to offer better opportunity and security for their families, Mr Arton added.
  • While Singapore quietly climbed the ranks, the US passport has fallen down since President Donald Trump took office. Most recently Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked their visa-free status to US passport holders, the statement said.
  • Passport Index has become the most popular interactive online tool to display, sort and rank the world’s passports.
  • The index ranks national passports by the cross-border access they bring, assigning a “visa-free score” according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

Sources- NDTV.


GS Paper II- Governance.

RBI To Make LEI Must For Cos With Over Rs 5 Crore Exposure.


  • After making Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) mandatory for transactions in interest rate, forex and credit derivative market, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is set to make LEI compulsory for companies having aggregate fund-based and non-fund based exposure over Rs 5 crore.
  • LEI is a unique 20 digit alphanumeric code that will be assigned to corporate borrowers. Banks will be required to capture this number in the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) database that captures details of loan above Rs 5 crore.
  • The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a global reference number that uniquely identifies every legal entity or structure that is party to a financial transaction, in any jurisdiction.


Highlights Of The Development-

  • The LEI number will help banks in monitoring the aggregate exposure of corporate borrowers. It would also enable banks in preventing multiple loans to companies against the same collateral. While the requirement for obtaining LEI will be rolled out in phases, the RBI will issue detailed instructions by the month-end detailing time lines for different set of companies depending upon their size.
  • Firms can obtain their LEI code from Legal Entity Identifier India Ltd.(LEIL), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Clearing Corporation India Ltd. LEIL is accredited by the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) and recognised by RBI as issuer of LEI under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
  • Apart from the LEIL, any local operating unit accredited by GLEIF can issue LEI numbers. LEI mechanism will enable banks to effectively monitor debt exposure of companies having businesses in multiple sectors and dealing with large number of banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs). It will make it easier for banks to detect frauds and willful defaulters and prevent ever-greening of loans. The need for such a system was felt after the 2008 global financial crisis and global body, the Financial Stability Board, worked on the global structure of the LEI system.
  • In June, 2017, the central bank has made mandatory all participants in the Over-the-Counter (OTC) markets for Rupee Interest Rate derivatives, foreign currency derivatives and credit derivatives in India, to obtain LEI in a phased manner starting from August 1 till March 31, 2018.
  • The LEI initiative comes in the backdrop of the RBI planning to set up a Public Credit Registry which will capture the entire database of credit information that is accessible to all stakeholders. While CRILC maintains database of loans of over Rs 5 crore, PCR is expected to be more broad-based in its scope and capture credit data on all kinds of loans. A PCR would complement the private credit bureaus — four such already exist in India — by certifying details of collateral.

Sources- The Indian Express.


GS Paper III- Economic Development.

RBI Fines Yes Bank Rs 6 Crore, IDFC Bank Rs 2 Crore For Non-Compliance.


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 24th October, 2017 announced it has imposed a penalty of Rs 6 crore on Yes Bank and fined IDFC Bank Rs 2 crore for not complying with the directions of the central bank.
  • While Yes Bank delayed reporting an information security incident involving its ATMs and failed to comply with the RBI’s direction on Income Recognition Asset Classification (IRAC norms), IDFC Bank was penalised for breaching regulatory restrictions related to loans and advances, the apex bank said.


Highlights Of The Development-

  • An RBI release said that RBI has imposed on October 23, 2017; a monetary penalty of Rs 60 million on Yes Bank for non-compliance with the directions issued by RBI on Income Recognition Asset Classification (IRAC) norms and delayed reporting of information security incident involving ATMs of the bank.
  • The release added that this action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.
  • According to the RBI, a statutory inspection of the bank’s financial position revealed violations of various regulations issued by the RBI in the assessment of non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans.
  • A cyber-security incident involving ATMs of the bank was also not reported by the bank within the prescribed timeframe.
  • In a separate release on IDFC Bank, the RBI said it has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 20 million on IDFC Bank for contravention of regulatory restrictions pertaining to loans and advances.
  • Based on the status report, a notice was issued to the bank dated August 07, 2017 advising it to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed on it for non-compliance with directions issued by RBI.

Sources- Hindustantimes.