Current Affairs July 2014

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Ghana’s proposal of land to Punjab farmers accepted by Punjab Government

The Punjab Government has agreed to the Ghana Government’s proposal offering land to Punjab farmers. As per the proposal, the government of Ghana would provide fertile farmland on a long-term lease to Punjab farmers for farm activities. Ghana has made this proposal to promote agriculture as a tool of progress in Ghana and if possible then by Punjab’s expertise in farming.

Punjab Government has assured Ghana that a high-level delegation of officers as well as an expert from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, would be sent to Ghana to study the suitability of the entire project.

Ghana also offered Punjab to export finished goods to Ghana. It has invited Punjabi entrepreneurs to visit Ghana to start manufacturing facilities in the country and take advantage of Ghana’s natural resources like various minerals, timber, oil, cocoa, palm oil fish and cotton.

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Excessive healthcare is a problem on the rise in India: World Bank

The World Bank has warned that excessive healthcare is emerging as a serious problem in India. As per the bank, people with private health insurance are two to three times more likely to be hospitalized than the national average.

The bank is of the view that many of these medical protection policies result in only marginal benefits and can actually harm the patients, leading to unnecessary suffering, especially among the weak and elderly. The situation may aggravate as many more people will be able to afford healthcare as the government steps up medical coverage for the poor. It suggested India to urgently build in checks against this hazard, especially as it sets aside an increasing share of limited public resources for medical insurance.

The warning from the bank comes amid concern expressed by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan over “corruption” in regulatory institution Medical Council of India (MCI) and the “nexus” of doctors and diagnostic centres, resulting in patients being prescribed unnecessary tests.

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S S Mundra assumes office as RBI deputy governor

S S Mundra (60) has taken charge as deputy governor Reserve Bank of India. As a deputy governor of the central bank, he will be responsible for banking supervision, currency management, financial stability and rural credit. The government has notified his appointment for a period of 3 years.

The veteran banker had begun his career as a probationary officer, and served for a short time at Union Bank of India, where he was executive director. In a rare move, he returned as the CMD of his parent bank (Bank of Baroda) and was seen as a surprise choice for the prestigous regulatory job. In fact, Mundra would have never been offered this post had it not been for K C Chakrabarty’s decision to resign before the end of his tenure as RBI deputy governor.

Now, RBI has four deputy governors– H R Khan, Urijit Patel, R Gandhi and S S Mundra.  

RBI is planning to have one more deputy governor, but this will require a change in the rules of RBI. Till the time the changes in rules are made, the RBI has suggested the Government to appoint an Officer on Special Duty or Chief Operating Officer (COO) with the rank of a deputy governor. Government is yet to take a call on any of these proposals put forward by the RBI. Normally, an RBI deputy governor can be appointed for 5 years or till the age of 62, whichever is earlier. To be eligible for the post, a candidate needs to be less than 60 years of age while assuming charge.

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