Current Affairs – November 2016

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Sex Ratio at Birth at decline in India: CRS data

According new  data from Civil  Registration System ( CRS) released by the Office of the Registrar General of India, Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) continues to worsen in India.

The SRB has declined to 887 in 2014 from 898 in 2013. The  ratio  has  been  declining  since  2011  when  the  figure  was 909. Thus, Sex ratio at birth is still on the decline.

Key facts

  • The SRB based on CRS figures indicate the gap between registered male and female births, calculated as the number of females per thousand males.
  • Highest SRB has been reported in Lakshadweep (1043), followed by Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1031) and Arunachal Pradesh (993).
  • Lowest SRB has been reported in Manipur (684), Rajasthan (799) and Tamil Nadu (834). These states have worst SRB.
  • The level of registration of births with CRS has been improving. In 2014, it is estimated that 88.8% births were registered, up from 85.6 % in 2013.
  • 16 States/UTs recorded all births. 14 out of 20 major States crossed the 90% level of registration of births in 2014.
  • The new date show that the majority of births in 2014 occurred in an institution i.e. government or private hospital. Institutional delivery accounted for 72% of all births.
  • Another 14.1% births were attended by physicians/nurse/midwife. However, around 3.8% of the cases were still attended by an untrained midwife.
  • While 38.7% of the total registered deaths had occurred in institution, 23.3% did not receive any medical attention at the time of death.
  • Only about 8.0% of the deceased received medical attention from qualified allopathic professional.

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Asia’s first cycle highway inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh

Asia’s first and longest cycle highway was inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh. It is also India’s first cycle highway.

The 207-km-long cycle highway runs between Etawah and Agra. It was inaugurated by state Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Key facts

  • The cycle highway has been constructed by the UP public works department. It runs parallel to the main highway.
  • It is about 7-feet-wide and is separated by a divider from main highway which ensures the safety of cyclists.
  • The track begins from the lion safari in Etawah. Along its path it dots 92 villages across the two districts. It criss-crosses the natural beauty of the Chambal and Yamuna rivers
  • On its way it has tourist destinations like Naugava ka Quila, Raja Bhoj ki Haveli, and Bateshwarnath Temple.

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Gross NPAs of PSBs touch over 6 lakh crores in July-September 2016

The Union Government has announced that the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of the Public sector banks (PSBs) have touched around 66 lakh 40 thousand in the three months period from July to September 2016.

As on September 30, 2016 gross NPAs of the PSBs in the country rose to  Rs. 6,30,323 crore as against Rs. 5,50,346 crore by end of June 2016. It shows increase of Rs. 79,977 crore NPAs on quarter on quarter basis during this period.

Steps taken by Government

The incidence of NPAs is high in sectors like infrastructure, power, road textiles, steel etc. So, the Union Government has taken sector specific measures to tackle the menace of NPAs. These measures aim at improving resolution or recovery of bank loans.  They are enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy code, 2016 followed by amendment of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (SARFAESI) and Recovery of Debt due to Banks and Financial Institutions (RDDBFI), Act. In addition, six new Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) have been established.

What are Non-Performing Assets (NPA’s)?

  • NPAs are loans made by a bank or finance company on which repayments or interest payments are not being made on time.
  • Thus, NPAs are any asset of a bank which is not producing any income and are also called non-performing loans.
  • The loan is considered to be a NPA once the borrower fails to make interest or principal payments for 90 days.
  • In case of Agriculture/Farm Loans, the NPA varies for of Short duration crop loan (interest not paid for 2 crop seasons), Long Duration Crops (interest not paid for 1 Crop season).

What are negative effects of NPAs?

Large number of NPAs affects the profitability & liquidity of the banks. It adversely affects the value of bank in terms of market credit and widens assets and liability mismatch. It results in inflating the cost of capital for economic activities and banks may charge higher interest rates on some products to compensate NPAs.

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