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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

RBI Cuts REPO Rate

5th October 2019

Why in news?

The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India has recently slashed the short-term lending rate, repo rate, by 25 basis points in its fourth bimonthly policy review.

Why Repo Rate Cut at this time?

  • The rate cut came much in line with expectations, as benign inflation expectations offered policymakers room to try and revive a slowing economy.
  • The RBI cut its GDP growth estimate for FY20 to 1 per cent compared with 6.9 per cent earlier.
  • Retail inflation for August stood at 21 per cent, and the government’s recent measure to ban onion exports helped ease some concerns any imminent spike in food inflation.
  • A volatile global trade scenario and uncertain geopolitical environment, which led to the weakening of demand globally, are some of the other reasons favoured a rate cut .

What is Repo Rate?

  1. REPO denotes Re Purchase Option – the rate by which RBI gives loans to other banks. In other words, it is the rate at which banks buy back the securities they keep with the RBI at a later period.
  2. Bank gives loan to the public at a higher rate, often 1% higher than REPO rate, at a rate known as Bank Rate.
  3. RBI at times borrows from banks at a rate lower than REPO rate, and that rate is known as Reverse REPO rate

Implications for Consumers:

  • For retail consumers, a cut in rates could have a two-pronged impact. For depositors, new deposits will earn a lower rate and thereby lower returns.

For borrowers, though, a downward movement of interest rate would bring down the interest outgo in the near future.

 

India’s first e-waste clinic

Why in news?

The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have joined hands to set up the country’s first e-waste clinic in Bhopal.

More Facts :

  • It would enable segregation, processing and disposal of waste from both household and commercial units.
  • Electronic waste will be collected door-to-door or could be deposited directly at the clinic in exchange for a fee.
  • Door-to-door collection will happen in two ways. Either separate carts for the collection of e-waste will be designed, or separate bins will be attached to existing ones meant for solid and wet waste.

What is e –waste?

Electronic waste, abbreviated as ‘e-waste’ is a term used to describe old, end-of-life electronic appliances such as computers, laptops, TV’s, radios, refrigerators etc., which have been discarded by users.

E-waste comprises of numerous valuable but harmful substances that can cause an adverse effect on human health.

E-waste –Statistics

  • Global volume of e-waste is expected to reach 52.2 million tonnes (MT) or 6.8 kg per inhabitant by 2021. Among Indian states, Maharashtra contributes the largest e-waste of 20% but recycles only about 47,810 tonnes per annum.
  • In India, e waste accounts for 4% of global e-waste and 2.5% of global GDP (2014 figures) – so it has a higher share of e-waste than its share of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • For China, the two ratios are about the same. The US, on the other hand, accounts for a lower share of global e-waste than its share of GDP.

The efficient waste management:

  • Ensuring proper segregation of waste at source and to ensure that the waste goes through different streams of recycling and resource recovery. Then reduced final residue is then deposited scientifically in sanitary landfills.
  • Sanitary landfills are the ultimate means of disposal for unutilised municipal solid waste from waste processing facilities and other types of inorganic waste that cannot be reused or recycled. Major limitation of this method is the costly transportation of MSW to far away landfill sites.

Energy-from-waste is a crucial element of SWM because it reduces the volume of waste from disposal also helps in converting the waste into renewable energy and organic manure.

Ideally, it falls in the flow chart after segregation, collection, recycling and before getting to the land fill. But many waste to energy plants in India are not operating to their full potential.

Installation of waste-to-compost and bio-methanation plants would reduce the load of landfill sites. The biodegradable component of India’s solid waste is currently estimated at a little over 50 per cent.

The way forward:

  • Application of advanced technology for proper recycling
  • The civic bodies should reinvent garbage management in cities so that we can process waste and not landfill it (with adequate provisioning in processing and recycling).
  • To do this, households and institutions must segregate their waste at source so that it could be managed as a resource. 
  • Compost pits should be constructed in every locality to process organic waste. Community participation has a direct bearing on efficient waste management.
  • Recovery of e-waste is abysmally low, we need to encourage recycling of e-waste on a very large scale level so that problem of e-waste disposal is contained.
  • Strict regulations & their compliance

Individual/family level initiatives (e.g. donating old used items)

Article 371 G

Why in news?

The Mizoram government hasrecenty rejected the Centre’s proposal to amend the “anti-indigenous people” Indian Forest Act, 1927, as its provisions are in “conflict with the special provisions the State enjoys under Article 371G of the Constitution”.

Why it was rejected?

  • Forest rights activists and tribal welfare organisations are against the bill that seeks to give higher management powers beyond what is provided in the Forest Rights Act of 2006, threatens to evict forest dwellers and promotes forest produce through private firms.
  • A reframed Indian Forest Act can challenge Mizo customary laws and practices, ownership and transfer of land as well as the powers conferred upon the autonomous district councils.

 About the Indian Forest Act, 1927:

This Act recognizes forest dwellers’ rights and makes conservation more accountable.

The law recognises three types of rights:

  1. Land Rights: Land rights are given to people, who have been cultivating land prior to December, 13, 2005.
  2. Use Rights: The law provides for rights to use and/or collect the minor forest produce things like tendu patta, herbs, medicinal plants etc “that has been traditionally collected, use of grazing grounds and water bodies and use of traditional areas by nomadic or pastoralist communities i.e. communities that move with their herds, as opposed to practicing settled agriculture.
  3. Right to Protect and Conserve: The law gives rights to protect and manage the forests to people of village communities.

About the Article 371(G) of the Constitution :

It states that the Parliament cannot decide on the matters of the religious and social practices of the Mizos, civil and criminal law of the land, land ownership transfer, and customary law procedure without the consent of the Assembly.

 

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