PRELIM SNIPPETS – January 29th 2022
1. Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS)
Why in News?
- The officials of Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) has recently estimated that RRTS will reduce CO2 Emissions by taking around 1.5 Lakh Private Vehicles off the Road.
- The corridor will start from Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi, pass through Ghaziabad, and reach Modipuram in Meerut (Uttar Pradesh).
- The RRTS, the first of its kind in the national capital, will run at a speed of 100 km per hour and commuters will reach Meerut in 50-60 minutes.
- RRTS is a new, dedicated, high speed, high capacity, comfortable commuter service connecting regional nodes in NCR.
- RRTS is different from conventional Railway as it will provide reliable, high frequency, point to point regional travel at high speed along dedicated path way.
- RRTS is different from metro as it caters to passengers looking to travel a relatively longer distance with fewer stops and at higher speed.
- Environment Friendly: The corridor is estimated to reduce 2.5 lakh CO2 tonnes/year of total annual greenhouse gas emissions, making the city a cleaner and a much better place to live.
- Economic Development: It is estimated to increase the share of public transportation usage along the corridor from 37% to 63%.
- High-speed connectivity will result in balanced economic development across the region, leading to economic benefits to all strata of society and many nodes of development rather than all economic activity happening at one place.
- Sustainable Urbanization: The project will serve as a demonstration for developing high-capacity rapid urban transit corridors in other urban areas of India.
- It will help in reducing traffic congestion and total emissions from the transport sector in NCR.
2. Tipu Sultan
Why in News?
- Naming a playground on Tipu Sultan in Mumbai has recently sparked a controversy.
- Brief Profile:
- Born in November 1750, Tipu Sultan was Haidar Ali’s son and a great warrior, also known as the Tiger of Mysore.
- He was a well-educated man fluent in Arabic, Persian, Kanarese and Urdu.
- Mysore had grown in strength under the leadership of powerful rulers like Haidar Ali (ruled from 1761 to 1782) and his famous son Tipu Sultan (ruled from 1782 to 1799).
- Tipu introduced a number of administrative innovations during his rule, including his coinage, a new Mauludi lunisolar calendar, and a new land revenue system which initiated the growth of Mysore silk industry.
- Embracing western military methods like artillery and rockets alongside traditional Indian weapons including war elephants, he ensured his forces could overwhelm his Indian rivals and match the British armies sent against him.
Maintenance of Armed Forces:
- He organised his army on the European model with Persian words of command.
- Though he took the help of the French officers to train his soldiers, he never allowed them (French) to develop into a Pressure Group.
- He was well aware of the importance of a Naval Force.
- In 1796, he set up a Board of Admiralty and planned for a fleet of 22 battleships and 20 large frigates.
- He established three dockyards at Mangalore, Wajedabad and Molidabad. However, his plans did not fructify.
- Fought Against Marathas:
- In 1767, Tipu commanded a corps of cavalry against the Marathas in the Carnatic (Karnataka) region of western India, and he fought against the Marathas on several occasions between 1775 and 1779.
Role in Anglo-Mysore Wars:
- The British saw Haidar and Tipu as ambitious, arrogant and dangerous – rulers who had to be controlled and crushed.
- Four wars were fought with Mysore, 1767-69: Treaty of Madras, 1780-84: Treaty of Mangalore, 1790-92: Treaty of Seringapatam and 1799: Subsidiary Alliance.
- Only in the last – the Battle of Seringapatam – did the Company ultimately win a victory. Tipu Sultan was killed defending his capital Seringapatam.
- Mysore was placed under the former ruling dynasty of the Wodeyars and a subsidiary alliance was imposed on the state.
3. ‘Bad Bank’
Why in News?
- The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) approval for the implementation of the proposal for setting up a ‘Bad Bank’ is still pending.
- The National Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (NARCL) has been set up and issued a license by the RBI to conduct business as an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC).
- NARCL will acquire stressed assets worth about Rs 2 lakh crore from various commercial banks in different phases.
- Public Sector Banks (PSBs) will maintain 51% ownership in NARCL.
- Simultaneously, a separate company has been set up to function as an Asset Management Company, named India Debt Resolution Company Limited (IDRCL), which will provide management and resolution of assets and also help in the operational aspects, relating to price discovery and aim at evolving the best possible recovery and the resolution process.
- PSBs and Public Financial Institutes (FIs) will hold a maximum of 49% stake in IDRCL. The remaining 51% stake will be with private-sector lenders.
- The NARCL is majorly owned by public sector banks with 51% ownership but in the case of the IDRCL, 51% shares are in private hands.
- The NARCL will first purchase bad loans from banks.
- It will pay 15% of the agreed price in cash and the remaining 85% will be in the form of “Security Receipts”.
- When the assets are sold, with the help of IDRCL, the commercial banks will be paid back the rest.
- If the bad bank is unable to sell the bad loan, or has to sell it at a loss, then the government guarantee will be invoked.
- The difference between what the commercial bank was supposed to get and what the bad bank was able to raise will be paid from the Rs 30,600 crore that has been provided by the government.
- This guarantee is extended for a period of five years.
Demand of Indian Banks:
- Normally, a single entity to be held accountable as owner, and for recovery of the assets, is the practice followed across geographies.
- Possibly a ‘Principal and Agent mechanism’ or similar arrangement may evolve to resolve this Issue.
- The Indian Banks’ Association is learnt to have wanted a dual structure, with the AMC as a privately held entity, to be out of the purview of the regulatory entities.
- About Bad Bank
- The bad bank is an ARC or an Asset Management Company (AMC) that takes over the bad loans of commercial banks, manages them and finally recovers the money over a period of time.
- The bad bank is not involved in lending and taking deposits, but helps commercial banks clean up their balance sheets and resolve bad loans.
- The takeover of bad loans is normally below the book value of the loan and the bad bank tries to recover as much as possible subsequently.
- Commercial Banks’ Perspective: Commercial banks are saddled with high NPA (Non-Performing Assets/loans) levels, setting up of the Bad bank will help.
- That’s because such a bank will get rid of all its toxic assets, which were reducing its profits, in one quick move.
- When the recovery money is paid back, it will further improve the bank’s position. Meanwhile, it can start lending again.
4. Unlock India’s Food Processing Potential
Why in News?
- One of the largest producers of fruits and vegetables in the world to boost processed food in large quantities, India has formulated a unique Production-Linked Incentive Scheme (PLIS) which aims to incentivise incremental sales.
Progress made so far:
- A sum of ₹10,900 crore has been earmarked for the scheme.
- Beneficiaries have been obliged to commit a minimum investment while applying for the scheme.
- Under Category 1, firms are incentivised for incremental sales and branding/marketing initiatives taken abroad.
- Assuming the committed investment as a fixed ratio of their sales and undertaking execution of at least 75% of the projects, the sector is likely to witness at least ₹6,500 crore worth of investment over the next two years.
- New alternatives are being explored which have immense potential in replacing the staples of rice and wheat in the form of Nutri-cereals, plant-based proteins, fermented foods, health bars and even fresh fortified foods for pets.
- By welcoming the new brands in the category, PLIS aims to create an Enabling Ecosystem for innovation in both food Products and Processes.
- Improve Infrastructure:
- A study in the United States concluded that a 1% increase in public infrastructure increased the food manufacturing output by 0.06% in the longer run.
- This correlation holds good for India too as a higher investment is being concentrated in States such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
- These States as reported by the Good Governance Index 2020-21, ranked among the highest in the ‘Public Infrastructure and Utilities’ parameter with ‘Connectivity to Rural Habitations’ showing the highest improvement.
- Improve profitability in export:
- For the exports market, it is now established that sales promotion is positively related to increased sales volume, but inversely related to profitability.
- To bridge this gap, of the 13 key sectors announced under the PLIS, the ‘Food Processing PLIS’ earmarks a dedicated Category 3 for supporting branding and marketing activities in foreign markets.
- This ensures that India’s share of value-added products in the exports basket is improved, and it may leverage on its unique geographical proximity to the untapped markets of Europe, the Middle East/West Asia, Africa, Oceania and Japan.
Access to Credit:
- The access of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to finance is a perennial problem in the country, predominating due to a lack of proper credit history mechanism for MSMEs.
- Smart financing alternatives such as peer-to-peer (P2P) lending hold potential for micro-food processors.
- Access to working capital has in theory been addressed by the Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS), a platform for facilitating the financing/discounting of trade receivables of MSMEs through multiple financiers.
- With growing populations, changing food habits and unrestricted use of natural resources, nations must come together and lay out a road map for a common efficient food value chain.
5. Pollution-Under-Control (PUC) Certificate
Why in News?
- Delhi govt will soon make PUC certificate mandatory for fuel at filling stations.
What is PUC Certificate?
- The PUC certificate is a document that any person driving a motor vehicle can be asked to produce by a police officer in uniform authorized by the state government.
- These issue certificates if a vehicle is found complying with the prescribed emission norms.
- Since the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 came into force, PUC certificate has been made mandatory.
- A PUC certificate contains information such as the vehicle’s license plate number, PUC test reading, date on which the PUC test was conducted and the expiry date.
How is a Pollution Control Check Carried Out?
- The computerized model for pollution check was developed by the Society of Indian Automobile manufacturers.
- A gas Analyser is connected to a computer, to which a camera and a printer are attached.
- The gas analyzer records the emission value and sends it to the computer directly, while the camera captures the license plate of the vehicle.
- Subsequently, a certificate may be issued if the emission values are within the limits.
Fines for Non-Compliance:
- The test costs between Rs 60 and Rs 100.
- The validity of the test is one year for BS IV vehicles and three months for others.
- The fine for PUC violations has now gone up to Rs 10,000; it used to be Rs 1,000 for the first offence and Rs 2,000 for subsequent violations before the Amendments came into force.
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