Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

India, Russia to collaborate on Bangladesh nuclear plant

India is collaborating with Russia to build Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. It will be first initiative under an India-Russia nuclear deal to undertake atomic energy projects in third countries. It will also be India’s first atomic energy venture abroad.

Rooppur Nuclear project (capacity of 2*1200 MWs) is Bangladesh’s first atomic energy project. It is being built with Russia’s help near Dhaka. After commissioning of two units, each with capacity of 1200 MWs, Bangladesh will be third South Asian country after India and Pakistan to harness atomic energy for energy purpose.

Background

In December 2014, India and Russia had signed ‘Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy’ to explore opportunities for sourcing materials, equipment and services from Indian industry for construction of Russian-designed nuclear power plants in third countries. Moreover, India had signed a civil nuclear cooperation deal, along with two more agreements, with Bangladesh in April 2017 under which two sides can supply and manufacture equipment, material for atomic power plant.

Comment

The nuclear deal with Bangladesh allows Indian nuclear establishment to grow, internationally as for years it was not been able to grow due to sanctions imposed on New Delhi post 1974 Pokhran tests. However, it is not clear what kind of nuclear collaboration India is having with Bangladesh since both countries are not members of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an elite grouping of 48 members that prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling  export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.

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RBI to regulate peer-to-peer lending firms as NBFCs: Government

The Union Government has issued gazette notification, notifying that Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) platforms will be treated as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and thus regulated by Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The notification will help P2P lenders to gain official recognition and opens new avenues for fund-raising and business expansion. It also ends the regulatory vacuum in which P2P lending firms were operating.

Background

The RBI had floated a consultation paper in April 2016 on developing regulatory norms for P2P lending. It had proposed 6 key areas to frame regulatory framework encompassing permitted activity, regulations on capital, governance, business continuity plan and customer interface and regulatory reporting of P2P lending.

Peer-To-Peer Lending (P2P)

P2P lending is a form of crowd-funding used to raise loans which are paid back with interest. It enables individuals to borrow and lend money – without use of an official financial institution as an intermediary. It can use an online platform that matches lenders with borrowers in order to provide unsecured loans. P2P lending gives access to credit to borrowers who are unable to get it through traditional financial institution. It boosts returns for individuals who supply capital and reduces interest rates for those who use it.

Need

P2P lending is one of the crowd-funding business model that has gathered momentum globally and is taking root in India. It promotes alternative forms of finance, where formal finance is unable to reach. It has potential to soften lending rates as result of lower operational costs and enhanced competition with traditional lending channels. If properly regulated, P2P lending platforms can do this more effectively. Though it is in nascent stage but it is not significant in value yet, but it promises potential benefits to various stakeholders (borrowers, lenders, agencies etc).

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