10Th July 2018 : Daily Current Affairs - UPSC CSE/IAS and State PSC

10th July 2018 : Daily Current Affairs - UPSC CSE/IAS, State PSC, SSC, CDS This page contains "10th July 2018" current affairs analysis from different newspapers and magazines like The hindu, Indian express, PIB and Yojna.

Quality and relevance are two key features considered while writing the content, all the topics are based on the pattern of previously asked questions in exams like UPSC CSE, IAS, State PCS, SSC, Banks PO and likewise competitive exams.

What is Minimum Support Price (MSP) ?

Minimum Support Price (MSP), an important part of India's agricultural price policy is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural farmers against any sharp fall in crop prices.

The minimum support prices (MSP) for certain crops are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). MSP indirectly affects farmer's decision, regarding land allocation to crops, quantity of the crops to be produced etc.

MSP ensures adequate food grains production in the country by incentivising and insuring the framers.

At present the government issues MSP for 24 crops including seven cereals (paddy, wheat, barley, jowar, bajra, maize and ragi), five pulses (gram, arhar/tur, moong, urad and lentil), eight oilseeds (groundnut, rapeseed/mustard, toria, soyabean, sunflower seed, sesamum, safflower seed and nigerseed), copra, raw cotton, raw jute and virginia flu cured (VFC) tobacco.

These crops covers around 84% of total area under cultivation in all the seasons of a year.

MSP is implemented by either of the tow ways:

1) Procuring farmer's produce directly on notified minimum support price.
2) Incentivise farmers through cash equal to the difference between MSP and the actual price the farmer got from open market.

While central government is responsible to procure Rice and Wheat on MSP, some states also procure other MSP crops in order to help farmers in their respective states. Private sector can also be involved in procurement process of MSP crops.

MSP is determined by "The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)" on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices (CACP).

For some type of crops(rice and wheat), vital for food security a much liberal procurement policy is adopted by the government called Open Ended MSP. Government does not set any procurement target for such crops and allows procurement agencies like FCI (Food Corporation of India), state agencies and cooperatives to buy whatever is offered by the farmers for sale at MSP.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), Government of India, determines the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) of various agricultural commodities in India based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices (CACP).

Note: In Market Intervention Scheme (MIS), the state government procures perishable commodities like vegetables.
Discuss: What is Minimum Support Price (MSP) ?

Bad Bank or Asset Management Company (AMC) for NPA Resolution

Why do we need a bad bank ?

Current NPA resolution frameworks has shown limited success, in order to tackle current NPA crisis a new institute should be formed. A Bad Bank is essentially important in NPA resolution process because of following two reasons:

1) A Bad Bank will help in separation of Good and Bad assets, this will make banks to focus on their business expansion with good assets.
2) Separated Bad Assets can be focused to maximum recovery so that burden or cost on the banks or the government can be minimised.

International experience shows that, using the above vital principles, a Bad Bank can address the NPA resolution challenge more effectively.

Possibilities of a bad bank in India ?

The concept of bad banks has been tries by a number of countries to deal with their banking crisis, the results are of varying nature. Based on these experiences one thing is clear that the new institution should be independent and transparent in it's operation with high emphasis on professionalism.

Base on the experience in other countries, it is found that "Accountability to the government or its agencies" and "Managerial efficiency" are two vital points while implementing the approach.

The Bad Bank so created cab be financed using any of the four possible sources:

1) Equity injection by the government
2) Special loans from the central bank
3) AMC bonds
4) Public offering of shares

Out of the four sources, issuance of AMC bonds has been the major source of finance in a majority of the countries. Moreover, as results from other countries suggests the success of a "Bad Bank" depends on a number of factors as shown below:

1) There should be a clear distinction between the bad and good assets.
2) The economy should bounce back to high growth trajectory.
3) Preventive measures must be in place, to prevent new loan from becoming an NPA too soon.

The fulfilment of the above conditions will determine the degree of success of the "bad bank" or the "asset management company".
Discuss: Bad Bank or Asset Management Company (AMC) for NPA Resolution

Turning asteroids into spaceships - RAMA by NASA

A California-based 3D printing company is going to get a funding of "100,000" Dollars from NASA through it's "Innovative Advanced Concepts programme" for project RAMA (Reconstituting Asteroids into Mechanical Automata). RAMA will find ways to turn asteroids into giant, autonomous spacecraft, which could fly to outposts in space, the media reported.

RAMA (Reconstituting Asteroids into Mechanical Automata) is a Made In Space's project that will help in making efficient and economically viable, off-Earth manufacturing.

The plan is to use 3D printing to turn the asteroids into self-flying vehicles by 2030. As part of this long term project, an advanced robotic "Seed Craft" is also planned to be send out to rendezvous with a succession of near-Earth asteroids in space. Harvested materials by the "Seed Craft" from space rocks will be used to construct propulsion, navigation, energy-storage and other key systems onsite with the aid of 3D printing and other technologies.
Discuss: Turning asteroids into spaceships - RAMA by NASA

Formalin found in Fish samples

Formalin, a cancer-inducing chemical has been found in a 11 out of 30 samples of fish species from a chennai market, tests were undertaken by officials of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

According to Fish industry expert, formalin or formaldehyde is sprayed on the fish or injected into the fish or the fish is dipped into the solution. This helps keep the fish fresh for a longer time.

Formalin is a colourless strong-smelling chemical substance usually used in industry of textiles, plastics, papers, paint, construction, and well known to preserve human corpse. It is derived from formaldehyde gas dissolved in water.

The widespread use of formalin, in preservation of fish, fruit and other food items is posing a threat to public health. Apart from being cancer inducing agent, Formalin also causes irritation in the eyes, throat, skin and stomach and harm to the kidneys, liver.
Discuss: Formalin found in Fish samples

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