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

Bengaluru To Host 7th International Coffee Fest.

Background-

  • The seventh edition of the India International Coffee Festival (IICF) will be held in Bengaluru from January 16-19, 2018.
  • The four-day IICF 2018, being organised by the India Coffee Trust and State-run Coffee Board to promote the Indian coffees globally, is expected to attract over 100 companies, 600 delegates and some 10,000 visitors.
  • Karnataka Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge said IICF will help promote Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Sakleshpura not just as the coffee growing estates but also as tourist destinations in view of their great landscape, and unique culture and cuisines.
  • Srivatsa Krishna, Secretary, Coffee Board, said IICF 2018 would be a precursor to the International Coffee Organisation’s World Coffee Conference being hosted by India in Bengaluru in 2020.

Highlights Of The Development–

  • The Board, Krishna said, was working towards enhancing the growers’ share in the consumer spend. Citing data from an UK daily, Krishna said big brands globally sell a cup of coffee at an average of $4, whereas the growers’ share in that is only five cents. All the efforts of the Coffee Board is to see how they can help the growers move from five cents upwards. Krishna said that even if they increase by two or three times, it will be a significant achievement. Most of their endeavours are in that direction.
  • Further, the Board is expected to finalise a branding campaign for the promotion of Indian coffees. Referring to the problems posed by the white stem borer to the arabica variety, Krishna said the Board was working with artificial intelligence and biotech firms to find a solution to the pest menace.
  • Anil Bhandari, President, India Coffee Trust, said IICF 2018 will continue to be the premier platform for the coffee and allied industries to express and explore new and game changing ideas and solutions.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.

 

GS Paper II- International Relations.

India Inks Pact With Germany For Pare Hydroelectric Plant Project;
Japanese Grant Aid Signed For Bengaluru Project For Advanced Traffic Information And Management.

Background

  • A loan agreement for providing additional funding of euro 20 million was signed on 20th December, 2017 for the project ‘Pare Hydroelectric Plant’ under Indo-German Bilateral Development Cooperation.
  • The broad objective of the project is generation of hydroelectric power for socio-economic development of the North Eastern region, the statement said, adding, that the purpose of the project is efficient and ecological friendly generation of electric power.
  • The project will contribute to the economic efficient generation of power and growth in the North East region and protection of global climate.

 

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • In 2008 Germany had signed a loan agreement with North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) for providing Euro 80 million with government of India’s Guarantee for the project ‘Pare Hydroelectric Plant’ under Indo-German Bilateral Development Cooperation.
  • In a separate statement, the finance ministry said that Japanese Grant Aid signed for Bengaluru Project for Advanced Traffic Information and Management.
  • The government of Japan has committed Grant Aid of an amount of JPY 1.276 billion (around Rs 72.86 crore) for the project.
  • The project will install an Advanced Traffic Information and Management System, including signaling system and traffic congestion length measurement sensor in Bengaluru.
  • It is expected that this project will contribute to strengthening connectivity and industrial competitiveness of local economy by improving traffic congestion and urban environment.

Sources- TOI.

 

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

RBI Puts Bank Of India Under Prompt Corrective Action.

Background

  • Bank of India (BoI) on 20th December, 2017 became the eighth lender to come under the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) prompt corrective action (PCA), as bad loans soared and return on assets turned negative at the state-owned lender. The regulator also placed additional restrictions on United Bank of India, which was the first to go under PCA three years ago.
  • Gross non-performing assets at Bank of India more than doubled in the past two years, touching Rs52,045 crore on March. As a percentage of total bad loans, gross NPA stood at 12.62% and return on assets at -0.24% at the end of March, 2017. The bank had reported a net loss of Rs1,558 crore for the year ended March against a loss of Rs6,089 crore a year ago.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The RBI action comes at a time when the bank was looking to raise Rs3,000 crore through a qualified institutional placement (QIP). The bank is also expecting capital from the government through recapitalization bonds.
  • Under RBI’s new PCA framework, breaching a net NPA ratio of 6% invites action. Under the old rules, net NPA ratio had to breach 10% for taking action. BoI’s net NPA ratio breached 6% in the March 2016 quarter and stood at 6.90% at the end of March 2017.
  • RBI hasn’t put any strict restrictions on lending by the bank. However, the regulator has asked the bank not to lend below an entry level threshold limit.
  • Meanwhile, RBI has allowed Bank of India to continue with normal banking, including acceptance of deposit, credit disbursement and treasury functions. However, additional curbs have been imposed due to its high net NPA, low leverage ratio and capital requirements.
  • The Kolkata-based lender had reported a net loss of Rs1,238 crore for three months ended December 2013, and its gross NPA exceeded 10%. By March 2015, PCA was partially lifted as it posted consecutive profits in several quarters. The only remaining restriction pertained to branch expansion.
  • For the year ended March 2017, the bank reported net profit of Rs 219 crore compared to loss of Rs 281 crore a year ago. Net NPA as a percentage of total advances stood at 10.02% and capital adequacy ratio at 11.14% at the end of March 2017.

Sources- Livemint.