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THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 25 September 2018 (Long road ahead: on Ayushman Bharat scheme)

Long road ahead: on Ayushman Bharat scheme 

Long road ahead: on Ayushman Bharat scheme 
Mains Paper: 2 | Health 
Prelims level: Ayushman Bharat scheme 
Mains level: Budgetary support must be strengthened to make Ayushman Bharat a success 


  • Ayushman Bharat has been rolled out as a health protection scheme that will provide guaranteed access to treatment that is free at the point of delivery to about 40% of the population selected on the basis of censused socio-economic indicators. 
  • It is the essential first step on the road to universal health coverage, although it has been launched by the NDA government quite late in its term, possibly with an eye on the 2019 general election.
  • Since the Centre has announced that 10.74 crore families identified through Socio-Economic Caste Census data will be given an annual ₹5 lakh cover under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (the insurance component of the scheme).

To what extent it is  possible to implement

  • The allocation of just ₹2,000 crore during the current year to the PMJAY cannot provide the promised cover to the large population sought to be included. 
  • Not all States and Union Territories are in a position to raise their own share, and a few have not even joined the scheme. 
  • The challenge of funding, therefore, remains and without adequate budgetary commitments, the implications of pooling the financial risk for such a large segment of the population through insurers or state-run trusts or societies make the outcomes uncertain.

The Prime objectives of PMJAY

  • Guaranteeing health-care access using private or public facilities presumes tight cost control. In the case of the PMJAY, this is to be achieved using defined treatment packages for which rates are prescribed.
  • Costs are a contested area between the care-providers and the Centre, and many for-profit hospitals see the government’s proposals as unviable. 
  • The Ayushman Bharat administration is talking of a rate review.
  • More importantly, a lot of time has been lost in the NDA government’s tenure, when State governments should have been persuaded to regulate the hospital sector under the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, which dates back to 2010. 
  • The law broadly provides for standardisation of facilities and reasonable rates for procedures. 
  • The apprehensions of fraud have prompted Ayushman Bharat administrators to announce that some key treatments should be availed through public sector institutions.
  • It is essential to reduce the pressure on secondary and tertiary hospitals for expensive treatments by investing in preventive and primary care facilities. 
  • The 150,000 health and wellness centres of the National Health Protection Mission can play a valuable role. 
  • The first-order priority should be to draw up a road map for universal health coverage, through continuous upgradation of the public sector infrastructure.

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UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  Ayushman Bharat Programme is related to which of the following?
(a) Child Nutrition
(b) Healthcare and Insurance
(c) Women empowerment
(d) Environment safety
Answer:  B

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  There is a need budgetary support must be strengthened to make Ayushman Bharat a success. Critically examine the statement. 

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 25 September 2018 (Raja Mandala: The world beyond Pakistan)

Raja Mandala: The world beyond Pakistan

Mains Paper: 2 | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements
involving India and/or affecting India's interests
Prelims level: Brexit
Mains level: At UN, India must look to engage with structural changes unfolding in the international system.


  • Will Sushma Swaraj attend the customary meeting of the South Asian foreign ministers, and if she does, will she shake hands with Qureshi?
  • Might they chat for a couple of moments?

Important highlights of the conflict

  • One unfortunate casualty of this war of words has been the deepening inability of the two countries to engage with the larger global issues.
  • There was a time when the voices of both Pakistan and India mattered on the world stage.
  • Islamabad rightly saw itself as a pragmatic Islamic nation capable of exercising influence in the Middle East and acting as a bridge between America and China, which did not have diplomatic relations
  • with each other.
  • Today, despite its growing economic salience and expanding global footprint, India seems obsessed with a few issues rather than engage with the unfolding structural changes in the international system.

From India’s angle 

  • Delhi persists with the futile quest for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, when all indications are that it is unlikely to happen.
  • Delhi has also devoted far too much energy in the pursuit of the international convention against terrorism.
  • The essence of Trump’s “America First” has been the promise to liberate US from the “globalist trap” that it had been boxed in for decades.

Decision are taken by President Trump

  • Since he took charge, Trump has walked out of the Paris agreement on climate change, withdrew from the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the UN Human Rights Council, and
  • threatened the International Criminal Court with punitive actions.
  • A second important theme is global trade.
  • Trump is threatening to pull out of the World Trading Organisation and choking its dispute-settlement mechanism, again in the name of sovereignty.
  • He has junked the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran negotiated by the Obama administration.
  • Trying to construct a new Middle East Security Alliance of Arab nation.


  • What should matter for India is the fact that the geopolitics of the Gulf region — where India has massive economic and political stakes — is undergoing unprecedented change.
  • So is the world trading system and the nature of multilateralism. 
  • India’s diplomatic engagements at the UN this year should be about crafting a new strategy to address these challenges.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  Consider the following international conventions related to Wild Life conservations:
1. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES)
2. International Whaling Commission (IWC)
3. Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)
India is party to which of the above conventions?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer:  D

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  Will Sushma Swaraj attend the customary meeting of the South Asian foreign ministers, and if she does, will she shake hands with Qureshi?

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THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 25 September 2018 (After Salzburg: on rejection of post-Brexit blueprint )

After Salzburg: on rejection of post-Brexit blueprint 

Mains Paper: 3 | Economy 
Prelims level: Brexit
Mains level: The significance of Brexit to the European union.


  • The rejection of Prime Minister Theresa May’s post-Brexit blueprint at the Salzburg summit rules out nothing as yet in Britain’s rocky negotiations on withdrawing from the European Union. 
  • Her proposal, adopted by the Cabinet in July, has deepened divisions among the Tories.
  • A controversial idea in the July white paper is for a hybrid arrangement, with Britain staying in the common market only for trade in goods and agriculture, and without the obligations of free movement of people. 

Post Brexit situation 

  • This is at odds with the EU stance of not allowing cherry-picking when it comes to its four basic freedoms — of movement of capital, goods, services, and labour.
  • The other dispute is over the post-Brexit status of the soft border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. 
  • Maintaining the status quo is critical to keeping the peace under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday agreement.
  • Brussels seems flexible on its original proposal for full regulatory convergence and jurisdiction of EU courts over Belfast. 
  • This is meant to assuage London’s concerns about two separate jurisdictions operating within the U.K. Britain’s alternative proposal to avoid the return of checkpoints on the Irish border and to get around the difficulties of erecting invisible borders is to bring all of the U.K. under a common customs arrangement. 
  • Eurosceptics see this as aligning the country too close to the EU and curbing its freedom to negotiate trade deals outside the bloc. 
  • For Brussels, it would still amount to an unacceptable division of the EU’s four freedoms.
  • European Council President Donald Tusk’s remarks in Salzburg that the July proposals were not workable amplified these concerns. 
  • They drew angry reactions from Ms. May, who harked back to the mantra that a no-deal was better than a bad deal. 

Way forward

  • The discrepancies in the opposing positions go back to the 2016 referendum outcome. Brussels had said then that while it regretted the verdict, it respected London’s decision to leave.
  • It stuck firm on established procedure and stressed that withdrawal negotiations could not commence until Article 50 of the EU treaty was triggered.
  • It emphasised that exit from the bloc would involve costs for Britain, just as the benefits of membership entailed obligations. 
  • This accent on process could harden in the wake of the populist threat across the region to the European project. 
  • With elections to the European Parliament due next May, the leaders are keen that the anti-EU parties see the economic and political perils of quitting the bloc.
  • Brexit uncertainty will linger, meanwhile.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  Which of the following are the member countries of Group of 20 (G-20)?
1. India
2. China
3. Brazil
4. South Africa
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 4 only
(c) 2, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer:  D

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  What are the imnpacts of Brexit to the European union?

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(VIDEO) Naxalites Economy (नक्सलियों का अर्थतंत्र )- Lok Sabha TV Insight Discussion

(VIDEO) Naxalites Economy (नक्सलियों का अर्थतंत्र )- Lok Sabha TV Insight Discussion

Topic of Discussion: Naxalites Economy (नक्सलियों का अर्थतंत्र )- Lok Sabha TV Insight Discussion

(VIDEO) National Database of Sexual Offenders : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) National Database of Sexual Offenders : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: National Database of Sexual Offenders : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 24 September 2018 (The plane truth: on Rafale deal row)

The plane truth: on Rafale deal row 

Mains Paper: 2 | International Relation 
Prelims level: Rafale deal
Mains level: Not so important   


  • The Rafale deal has been the subject of heated claims and counter-claims on two broad issues  that the contract to purchase 36 French multi-role fighter aircraft was grossly overvalued and that it was tainted by crony capitalism. 
  • Ammunition for the second charge came from an unexpected quarter with former French President François Hollande stating in an interview that it was India that suggested the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Defence Ltd. as the offset partner for the deal.

The political power tussle on this issue  

  • The Centre has insisted that the choice of offset partners is entirely that of the manufacturer, or of Dassault Aviation.
  • Mr. Hollande’s remarks were widely perceived as bolstering the Congress allegation that the Rafale deal was structured to favour one industrialist.
  • In the storm that ensued, the clarificatory statements issued — by the Centre, the French Foreign Ministry and Dassault — did little to clearly address what Mr. Hollande had said. 
  • The Defence Ministry’s statement merely reiterated that governments have no role in offset contracts, which are purely commercial. 
  • The French government said pretty much the same thing, and Dassault’s statement reaffirmed that it had chosen to tie up with Reliance Defence. 
  • But all this merely begs the question: did the Centre suggest a partnership with Reliance Defence as Mr. Hollande said? 
  • It remains to be seen whether Mr. Hollande will now choose to complete his half-finished remarks to the French investigative website.
  • No questions have been raised about the capabilities of the Rafale  jet, and the corruption allegations have persisted in the absence.
  • But a fair part of the reason for the concerns about the deal relate to process. 

Way forward

  • It is true that the deal was signed only in September 2016, after clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security, but Mr. Modi’s 2015 declaration of a new deal clearly caught even many of his senior officials unawares.
  • The purchase of 126 Rafale aircraft, initiated by the UPA government, andwere still on. 
  • The greater transparency is the only way to clear the air. Private briefings to Opposition leaders and the disclosure of all information that doesn’t jeopardise national security or impact the aircrafts’ operational capability are good starting points. 
  • The decision to reject the formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to examine the deal should be reconsidered. 
  • If the political war over Rafale continues, it is defence modernisation that will become the real victim.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  Consider the following statements regarding the Rafale fighter jets:
1.    The Rafale is a twin-engine fighter, multi-role fighter aircraft manufactured by French aviation company Dassault. 
2.    These aircrafts is capable of carrying out all combat missions such as interception, air defence, in-depth strikes, ground support, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
3.    India, France ink deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) All the above
Answer: D

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  What are the key facts behind Rafale deal between India and France?

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THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 24 September 2018 (Bungling diplomacy)

Bungling diplomacy

Mains Paper: 2 | International Relation 
Prelims level: Not so important 
Mains level: India and its neighborhood relations

Context :

  • In 48 hours, what was a promising start ended in abject failure.
  • In his letter to Prime Minister Modi, Khan had suggested the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly session in New York as a first step to build on the “mutual desire for peace between our two countries”.
  • Pakistan had issued postage stamps honouring Hizbul Mujahideen’s Burhan Wani and Kashmir pellet victims in July this year; the mutilated body of the Border Security Force jawan was found on September 19.
  • The abduction and killing of three policemen in Jammu & Kashmir on September 21 was of a pattern with similar incidents earlier.
  • Presenting this as a new disclosure, and a reason for not engaging with him, is pointless and self-defeating.
  • When Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister, it was fashionable to ask what the point was of talking.
  • Still, adults on both sides know that talk the two sides must, and they will need to, if not now, at some point, irrespective of who is in office on this side or that.
  • Given this, it is best that both India and Pakistan now take a step back, and desist from statement-mongering that makes it more and more difficult.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  Consider the following statements regarding the Financial Intelligence Unit of India:
1. It is an attached office set up under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
2. It was set to provide quality financial intelligence to protect against abuses of money laundering, terrorism financing and other economic offences.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: B

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  India’s about turn on meeting with Pakistan’s foreign minister and PM Imran Khan’s response are both self-defeating. How the recent consequences can be improved?

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THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 24 September 2018 (On edge: on the volatility in Indian markets)

On edge: on the volatility in Indian markets

Mains Paper: 3 | Economy 
Prelims level: Non-banking financial companies
Mains level: The panic sell-off raises the alarm about risks that face the Indian markets


Volatility is back in the Indian markets. 

  • Stock indices witnessed an extraordinary swing on Friday, with the Sensex moving 1,500 points between its high and low during the day and the Nifty almost by 370 points. 
  • The Sensex and the Nifty were down 279 and 91 points, respectively, at the end of trading on Friday after a significant recovery, but the day-end figures failed to capture the panic that struck investors during the day. 

Crisis faced by NBFCs in India

  • Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) were the major force behind Friday’s extreme volatility. Shares of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL) had lost 42% of their value by the end of trading, after having fallen 60% during the day. 
  • Other financials such as Indiabulls Housing Finance, LIC Housing Finance, and Repco Home Finance also witnessed similar steep falls.
  • The market panic was attributed to DSP Mutual Fund’s sale of bonds worth ₹300 crore issued by DHFL at yields higher than normal.
  • Its leading to fears that it could be a precursor to higher borrowing costs that adversely affect the profitability of NBFCs.
  • The Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd.’s continuing default on its various liabilities also shook investors. 
  • The 29% fall in shares of Yes Bank, after the RBI refused to extend the term of its chief executive officer beyond January, further added to the panic. 
  • But Friday’s fall was not simply limited to financials, as scrips across the board witnessed panic-selling.

Why it’s called alarming?

  • The market’s impressive recovery from the day’s lows, which was fuelled by strong institutional buying.
  • It has offered some reason for optimism to investors, who believe the fall was simply a temporary correction in a bull market. 
  • Such optimism may be warranted, at least partially, after looking at how both the Sensex and the Nifty have recovered since their previous deep sell-off in February.

Way foward

  • The market breadth continues to remain a major concern since the last sell-off. 
  • Midcap and smallcap indices have failed to replicate the recovery that has been witnessed in the Sensex and the Nifty since February.
  • The panic sell-off also raises the alarm about stretched valuations and other risks faced by the Indian markets.
  • The depreciating rupee and the likely increase in the fiscal deficit in the run-up to the general election are the most immediate concerns.
  • The need for corporate earnings to catch up with current valuations is another. The systemic risks posed by rising interest rates to corporate debt and various lenders also cannot be ignored.
  • Investors, as well as financial market regulators, will do well to understand and act against these risks.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  With respect to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), consider the following statements:
1. RBI regulates all the Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) in India.
2. National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development is jointly held by RBI and the Government of India.
Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer:  C

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  The recently panic sell-off raises the alarm about risks that face the Indian markets. Why is it so? Critically examine. 

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THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 22 September 2018 (New health paradigm)

New health paradigm

Mains Paper: 2 | Governance 
Prelims level: Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana 
Mains level:  Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections


  • Ayushman Bharat is a far-reaching initiative aimed at ensuring holistic healthcare services.
  • Health and wellness centres was launched on April 14 from Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district.
  • Since then, 2,287 health and wellness centres have come up around the country.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana

  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) will be unveiled on September 23.
  • It will provide a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for inpatient care to 10.74 crore families at the bottom of the pyramid.
  • This translates into more than 50 crore people, around 40 per cent of India’s population.
  • The health conditions and surgical procedures, covered free, are encompassed in over 1,350 packages that include practically all secondary and tertiary conditions requiring hospitalisation, barring a

few such as organ transplantation.

  • The services will be provided by empanelled public and private hospitals.
  • Unlike private insurance schemes, PMJAY does not exclude a person on account of pre-existing illnesses.

Important highlights of this scheme

  • There is also no need for formal enrolment; families that are listed with defined deprivation criteria on the Socio Economic and Caste
  • Census database are automatically enrolled.
  • All that is required is a proof of identity, which could be Aadhaar or any other government-issued identity card.
  • All but a few states have agreed to be a part of the PMJAY.
  • A strong fraud control mechanism has been conceived also an audit system has been put in place.
  • Thousands of Ayushman Mitras are being trained. At each facility, one of them will receive the beneficiary, check her eligibility and facilitate in-patient care.
  • A system for patient feedback and grievance redressal is also in place.
  • The system will be cashless and largely paperless. A robust IT system has been put in place.
  • An efficient claims management system is functional with payments to be made within two weeks.
  • The Yojana will be implemented in concord with state-level schemes, if they exist.
  • One unique feature of the PMJAY is its national portability once fully operational.

How PMJAY is important for India?

  • PMJAY will herald a new era in healthcare for four reasons.
  • It will dramatically improve provision of healthcare for the poor.
  • It is now possible for a construction worker with an injured knee to have an implant for free, a rickshaw-puller with a heart attack to undergo a stent procedure and a farmer’s wife to receive full treatment for breast cancer.
  • The PMAJAY will be a catalyst for transformation.
  • The earnings of public hospitals under PMJAY will be available for their upgradation and also for incentivising the provider teams as these funds will be deposited with the Rogi Kalyan Samitis.
  • The PMJAY is a poverty-reducing measure. Each year, six to seven crore people, above the poverty line, fall below it because of health-related expenses.
  • Fourth, the scheme will create lakhs of jobs for professionals and non-professionals — especially women.

Way forward 

  • It will give a boost to the health technology industry.
  • The implementation of a mission of this size, ambition and complexity is hugely challenging.
  • High uptake, quality care, beneficiary satisfaction, efficient operations and fraud-controlled systems are the key metrices of its success.
  • There is also willingness to learn, improve and reform.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  Consider the following statements about Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
1.    The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) will be unveiled on September 23.
2.    It will provide a cover of Rs 2 lakh per family per year for inpatient care to 10.74 crore families at the bottom of the pyramid.
3.    This translates into more than 50 crore people, around 40 per cent of India’s population.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) 2 and 3 only
Answer: B

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  How PMJAY scheme is significant for India’s healthcare system?

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THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 22 September 2018 (Pro-women, pro-poor)

Pro-women, pro-poor

Mains Paper: 1 | Society 
Prelims level: Socio-economic data
Mains level:  Role of women and women's organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.


  • India’s performance in poverty reduction since the early 1990s has been remarkable.
  • A constant criticism poverty -- social indicators like education and mortality has not been as commendable.
  • Absolute poverty declined from 46 per cent in 1993/94 to only 13 per cent in 2011/12 (World Bank international poverty line of $1.90 PPP dollars per person per day).
  • Socio-economic data has shown that improvement in indicators for women was not as good as that for men.
  • The major component of SBA was to make India OD (open defecation) free by October 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • It depends not only on income but also on access to services.”
  • Unfortunately, our reformers forgot his message as they proceeded to make India modern and prosperous but attempted to do so without improvements in sanitation.
  • Simultaneously, PM Modi announced the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (save the daughter, educate the daughter) initiative (aka reform).

Important highlights of the Open Defecation initiatives

  • Let us first recognise the boldness of the OD initiative.
  • A taboo conversation word — defecation — was openly discussed.
  • That close to 50 per cent of rural India was indulging in this practice came as a shock to most.
  • Newspaper stories have emerged about the “fact” that : the building of toilets has been exaggerated,

do not have enough water, unused bathrooms being used for storage of grain.

  • Academic analysts warned of a quick-fix; attitudinal change was required, and this was painfully slow.
  • A few days ago, the UN released data for under-five mortality rates for 180 countries for the period 1990 to 2017.
  • Apart from safety and dignity for women, open defecation has major implications for mortality, and especially mortality rates for children.

Why did the programme succeed beyond all calculations?

  • Because it was a pro-poor, pro-female, campaign.
  • Because it improved the safety and dignity of women.
  • Because it was (shockingly!) very well administered.
  • And because it was a high-profile PM campaign.

Way forward 

  • It is not a stringent test because mortality decline is affected by at least four other important factors — income growth, technological advances (medicine and vaccination), improvement in water supply and education of women.
  • The largest annual pace of decline for female under-five mortality (as well as for males) was observed during the 10-year period 1990 to 2000.
  • The under-five female mortality rate has shown virtually no improvement for Sweden between 2010 and 2017 — a decline from the rate of 2.8 (per 100,000) in 2010 to 2.6 in 2017.
  • This is only a decline of (log) 7.4 per cent, compared to over a 40 per cent decline for India.
  • India achieves the rank of seven for female under-five mortality, a large improvement over the 15 rank just two years earlier!
  • Yet another performance indicator is the pace of improvement in female mortality relative to that of males.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  Consider the following statements regarding Darwaza Band campaign:
1. Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation is the nodal ministry of the campaign.
2. Its main focus is to provide clean water to rural households.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: A

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  Why did the Open Defecation program succeed beyond all calculations?

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(VIDEO) No talks with Pakistan : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) No talks with Pakistan : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: No talks with Pakistan : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 22 September 2018 (Seeking a managed exit)

Seeking a managed exit

Mains Paper: 2 | International Relations
Prelims level: Not so important
Mains level:  U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his new Afghanistan policy


  • Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani was in New Delhi on September 19 for a day-long working visit.
  • The reason is simply because of the growing sense of uncertainty that prevails.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi took up the issue of seven engineers working for KEC International who remain missing after being kidnapped this May.
  • Mr. Ghani would have assured him about Kabul’s sincere efforts to rescue them.
  • Pro forma references to the Strategic Partnership and the New Development Partnership were made but there were no new announcements.
  • India reiterated its support for ‘an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace and reconciliation process’ with the Taliban though it is clear that the strings are being manipulated from other capitals.

Afghanistan Ambassador to India quits

  • The U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his new Afghanistan policy, the stalemate continues.
  •  Incidents of violence and civilian casualties keep going up.
  • There have been high profile attacks in recent months in Farah, Baghlan and Ghazni in addition to suicide attacks in Kabul claimed by the Islamic State (IS).
  • The Taliban leadership and the Haqqani network retain their sanctuaries in Pakistan and enjoy the support of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
  • The Kabul government is now limited to 56%.
  • Repeated offers of talks by Mr. Ghani have been rebuffed by the Taliban, except for a three-day ceasefire during Eid in June.
  • Parliamentary elections due since 2015 are unlikely to be held in October as announced. Presidential elections are due in April 2019.
  • The National Unity Government has not worked and the prospects of the 2019 election yielding an outcome that is seen as legitimate appear remote.
  • All key players, including the U.S., have now opened their own communication lines with the Taliban.

Pakistan dependency

  • The objectives of the U.S. policy announced last year were to break the military stalemate on the ground by expanding both the presence and the role of the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
  • Operational constraints in terms of calling for surveillance and air support were eased.
  • The Obama approach of announcing timelines for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan was replaced by a conditions-based approach.
  • Pakistan was put on notice with Mr. Trump tweeting about Pakistan’s duplicity in being “a non-NATO ally” and providing safe haven to insurgent groups.
  • The U.S. also announced that it was cancelling $300 million in military aid to Pakistan.
  • However, it is clear that U.S.’s Pakistan policy, which has oscillated for 17 years between cajoling using pay-offs and punishing by withholding or cancelling pay-offs, has once again failed to change Pakistan’s behaviour.

Present relation between Pakistan and U.S.

  • The U.S. is realising the uncomfortable truth that it is unable to change Pakistan’s policy because Pakistan’s security establishment does not find such a shift in its interest.
  • The Pakistani military and the ISI do not support the idea of a territorially united, peaceful and stable Afghanistan, never mind the public statements at international conferences.
  • At the same time, the ISI is unlikely to support the idea of a complete Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.
  • The ISI prefers a controlled instability in Afghanistan where the Taliban enjoys some power but wants more as this keeps the group dependent on the ISI.
  • The U.S. is unable to get out of this bind as long as it maintains a significant military presence in Afghanistan and therefore remains dependent on communication and supply routes through Pakistan.
  • It is unable to take stronger measures such as directly targeting the insurgent safe havens in Pakistan, terminating its status as “a non-NATO ally”, sanctioning specific military officers or considering placing Pakistan on the list of ‘state sponsors of terrorism’. The U.S.’s dependence provides the security establishment in Pakistan a degree of influence in the corridors of power in Washington that has enabled it to receive over $33 billion over the last 17 years, despite the ups and downs in what can only be described as an unhappy marriage that neither side is able to terminate.

End game in Afghanistan

  • Mr. Trump’s earlier objective of “winning” in Afghanistan has been quietly put aside.
  • The U.S. appears to be seeking a managed exit, leaving after a successfully conducted election so that the blood (2,400 U.S. lives) and treasure (nearly $1 trillion) can be justified as having delivered an honourable outcome.
  • The U.S. opened direct talks with the Taliban two months ago.
  • Though the U.S. had refrained from doing so, maintaining that this would undermine the legitimacy of the Kabul government.
  • It had therefore prodded Pakistan to deliver the Taliban to an ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’ reconciliation process which did not happen.

Way forward

  • The end game is approaching, the Taliban too has changed tack.
  • In the areas under its control, instead of destroying the schools, clinics and courts, it is running them by co-opting or replacing local officials who remain on the government’s payroll.
  • It realises that it needs to emerge from being a shadowy underground insurgency and demonstrate governance skills.
  • Mr. Ghani would like to stand again in 2019, this time as a candidate who brought peace to Afghanistan, though with so many different players pulling in different directions, peace will remain illusory.
  • What is likely is that after the 2019 election, the U.S. will get its managed exit, which Mr. Trump will trumpet as his singular achievement.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  )  With reference to International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), consider the following statements:

1. It is a knowledge sharing centre for eight regional countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas.
2. It aims to assist people in adapting to the influence of climate change.
3. India is a founding member of ICIMOD.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1, 2 and 3
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1 and 3 only
Ans: B

UPSC Mains Questions:

Q.1): How Donald Trump’s new Afghanistan policy is significant for India? 

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THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 20 September 2018 (The RCEP is a must for India)

The RCEP is a must for India

Mains Paper: 2 | International Relations 
Prelims level: RCEP
Mains level:  The ongoing trade war and the way in which it will affect the nature and direction of global trade flows


  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a group of 16 nations negotiating a trade agreement.
  • Indian industry is wary of the potentially adverse impact of preferential Chinese imports. But this is the only chance of securing a rules-based framework with China.

About the multilateral trading system 

  • The multilateral trading system is the most conducive to the interests of a developing country.
  • This is compelling trading nations to resort to regional trade agreements to expand their markets.
  • The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will become effective, sans the US, after the requisite ratifications.
  • In between these two agreements, 26 trading nations would have implemented preferential arrangements, potentially at the cost of India. 
  • India’s exports have been stagnating for some years now. It has not concluded a significant trade agreement in a decade. 

What are the effects of  trade war? 

  • The ongoing trade war has already created turbulence and uncertainty in global markets. 
  • Modern production networks stretch across manufacturing economies and trade agreements are important institutional mechanisms to facilitate countries’ access to such value chains. India must look for opportunities to hook into them.
  • The India-China economic relationship should be seasoned with realism in these turbulent times, when geopolitics is transitioning. 
  • India must, therefore, establish a more in-depth understanding with its neighbour on economic issues as they unfold over the next decade or so. 
  • China’s average industrial tariff is 8.5%—by no means low. 
  • The preferential tariff framework can give India better access to the Chinese market. 
  • The opaque and discriminatory regulatory framework in China needs to be addressed for which a plurilateral framework, where several others have similar concerns, is better than a bilateral framework.

India’s angle 

  • India’s reform agenda pervades all spheres of the economy. Positive developments have been reported in trade facilitation.
  • In ease of doing business it helped along by systemic reforms such as the goods and services tax, strengthening and expansion of infrastructure and greater focus on technology facilitation. 
  • Reliance on government largesse is neither possible nor desirable from a sustainability perspective. 
  • India’s exclusion from RCEP will cost others heavily. The stage for negotiations at the diplomatic level seems to have passed.
  • Some critical parts of such deals can only be concluded at the highest political levels. Some straight-talking with the major proponents is overdue. 
  • India can ask for a long-term tiered approach to tariff reduction/elimination. It can seek front-loading of concessions from a trading partner like China.
  • It can specifically pick those tariff lines where it has greater interest to integrate into regional value chains in the list of front-loaded items. 
  • India should negotiate annexes to the main agreement on sectoral regulatory frameworks and processes/protocols. 
  • The idea is to not only agree on concession schedules but to also freeze processes and regulatory rules for assured transparency. 

Way forward 

  • This discussion will be incomplete if the value of services-related market access is not acknowledged, but we need to underplay our excessive focus on disciplines for movement of natural persons.
  • Regional demography and continued focus on domestic services reforms will position us to take advantage of regional demands. 
  • Therefore, we should build an evolutionary architecture to be reviewed periodically. 
  • An industry must create a B-team of sectoral experts to support government negotiators. If negotiated well, the RCEP has the potential to be a game-changer for India.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  The term ‘Aggregate Measurement of Support’, sometimes seen in news, is used in the context of the affairs of:
(a) Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
(b) World Trade Organisation (WTO)
(d) Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

Ans: B

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) How the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is important for India’s trade sector?

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THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 20 September 2018 (What ails the Indian banking sector?)

What ails the Indian banking sector?

Mains Paper: 3 | Economy 
Prelims level: NPA
Mains level:  The government’s focus on infrastructure during 2002-09, especially with the efforts made to promote public-private partnerships.


  • There have seen rapidly increasing stress in the Indian banking sector, with non-performing assets (NPAs) steadily climbing from under 3% to over 13% of total assets. 
  • Loan-loss provisioning for NPAs has seriously eroded the capital base of several banks, limiting their ability to make further loans.
  • The state of Indian banking is among the biggest challenges facing the country in accelerating investments and growth.

What are the cause?

  • The problems currently being faced by the banking sector arise from a fundamental change that occurred after 2002. 
  • Before that Indian banks mainly had two types of loans.
  • (a) working capital loans to production entities, firms, and farmers (76% of banking portfolio); and
  • (b) retail term loans to households for housing, and durable goods (less than 24%). 
  • Since then, banks have been aggressively making term loans to companies for fixed capital investments, like land, building, and machinery. 
  • This now accounts for 38% of the portfolio, with working capital at 42% and retail at 20%. The bulk of NPAs by value are long-term loans to corporates.
  • This shift from short-term working capital loans to long-term loans has not gone entirely unnoticed. 
  • The average tenor of assets (loan portfolio) has been rapidly going up relative to that of liabilities (deposits). While this is worrying, it is not the cause of the NPA problem. 
  • There is a significant difference between de jure (contractual) and de facto (behavioural) tenors of bank deposits. 
  • The average de jure tenor is usually computed by taking the weighted average of contractual tenors of demand and term deposits, which works out to about two years. 


  • It’s diagnosing the cause(s) and putting correctives in place is perhaps even more important. 
  • The entire discourse appears to have boiled down to the governance practices in public sector banks (PSBs), particularly political interference and crony capitalism. 
  • The solutions have more or less polarized around two ideologically coloured views
  • (a) privatization of PSBs; or 
  • (b) strengthening independence and capacity of PSBs. 
  • This is a perfectly legitimate debate and may lead to a part of the solution.
  • It should not forestall the search for other causes, which may be just as important. 

The rise of NPA problem 

  • The NPA problem has arisen from four features that characterised bank loans for fixed capital formation: 
  • (a)Banks do not have the capacity to assess long-term credit-worthiness of borrowers. They rely almost exclusively on credit-rating agencies that provide ratings only when the concerned company intends to raise debt capital directly from the market.
  • (b) Banks have no capacity to monitor the use of long-term loans by borrowers. This is particularly egregious for project loans, especially when it is without recourse (lender has claim only on assets of the project, not of the parent company). Consequently, the parent company can use the funds for purposes other than for which they were borrowed without the banks being any the wiser. 
  • (c) Such loans create an existential problem for borrowers since attaching such assets essentially means “winding up” the companies. It is only natural that company promoters would fight such an eventuality. 
  • It is no wonder that bank managements have allowed potential NPAs to accumulate over the years through myriad forms of “ever-greening”. Reserve Bank of India’s forced recognition of NPAs has now brought the problem to light.
  • (d) There was gross mispricing of loans by banks. In practically all banks, the yield curve is almost parallel to, and sometimes even flatter than, that of government securities. 
  • Even if banks were unable to assess the appropriate risk premium at different tenors due to (a) above, there is no reason why a premium was not attached to the illiquid nature of the underlying collateral, which is also related to (c) above.

The origins

  • This high exposure to companies in fixed assets, especially in project finance, did not happen by itself, but at the behest of successive governments. 
  • It begins with a decision taken by the government in 1997 to stop issuance of tax-free bonds by development finance institutions.
  • In which were the main source of term finance for corporates. 
  • This closed the only source of relatively low-cost funds for these institutions, and was instrumental in some of them converting to commercial banks and others shutting down.
  • Consequently, Indian commercial banks were forced to fill the vacuum and effectively converting to “universal banks” (performing roles of both commercial and investment banks). 

The possible solutions

  • The most important solution to the NPA problem is to provide for rapid resolution of defaults. Something similar used to happen earlier with working capital loans and was taken care of by the promulgation of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002, which resulted in gross NPAs falling from 19% in 2002 to 6% by 2006. 
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was passed in 2016, which has made it easier for banks to effect recovery through liquidation of fixed assets.
  • The other critical solution is fundamental to the change that has taken place in Indian banking. Indian banking laws follow the “Anglo-Saxon” model in which there is a firewall between commercial and investment banks. The shift to universal banking was ‘reform by stealth’ and not accompanied by amendments to laws. 
  • The Banking Act should be amended to permit issuance of bonds by banks for on-lending. Ideally, banks should be required to ensure that a minimum percentage of their term loans are financed by long-term market borrowings. 

Way forward

  • Such a measure would have several positive effects.
  • If banks are required to issue bonds to finance a part of their term loans, it would lead to a much more rational (steeper) yield curve on bank loans since the interest rate on bonds would be significantly higher than that on deposits. 
  • It is a more rational yield curve may drive some corporates to borrow directly in the bond market, reducing the pressure on banks. The Securities and Exchange Board of India has made it mandatory for listed companies to raise a part of their long-term debt from the market, but this can potentially distort credit allocation in the economy.
  • This would automatically correct the growing asset-liability mismatch problem, and improve the credibility of the banking sector.
  • Since banks would have to get themselves periodically rated, the yield curve of individual banks would reflect the strength of their loan portfolios. Banks with weaker balance sheets will have to offer higher interest rates on their bonds, which will get reflected in higher rates that they will have to charge to the same potential client.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  With reference to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), consider the following statements:
1. They are mutual fund like institutions that enable investments into the real estate sector.
2. They are regulated by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: C

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) What are the ails of the Indian banking sector?

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THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 20 September 2018 (Impatient move: On the ordinance on triple talaq )

Impatient move: On the ordinance on triple talaq 

Mains Paper: 2 | Polity 
Prelims level: Ordinance on triple talaq
Mains level:  Lack of consensus in the Rajya Sabha is no reason to issue an ordinance on triple talaq 


  • The Union Cabinet’s decision to take the ordinance route to enact of its law making instant triple talaq a criminal offence is a sign of undue impatience.
  • This is a matter that required deliberation, especially after serious objections were raised to some provisions of the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha.
  • There is an ongoing debate on the desirability of criminalising instant triple talaq. 
  • The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, as approved by the Lok Sabha, sought to give statutory form to the Supreme Court ruling of 2017 that declared talaq-e-biddat as illegal. 
  • The Bill made this form of divorce punishable by a three-year prison term and a fine. 
  • The government proposed significant changes to water down the provisions relating to the treatment of talaq-e-biddat as a criminal offence. 
  • Despite a notice for these amendments being given, the matter was not taken up in the Rajya Sabha in the last session due to a lack of consensus. 
  • When the Bill has been deferred to the next session of Parliament, it is not clear what exigency impelled the government to take recourse to the extraordinary power of promulgating an ordinance. 
  • The Centre wants to demonstrate that it is espousing the cause of Muslim women.
  • But the mere lack of consensus in the House is not a good enough reason to promulgate an ordinance.
  • The amount to subversion of the parliamentary process, as the Bill has been passed in one House and the other is likely to consider it in an amended form.

Important highlights of the instant triple talaq Bill 

  • The changes to be introduced through the ordinance do address some of the reservations about the original Bill. 
  • The first makes the offence cognisable only if the woman, or one related to her by blood or marriage, against whom triple talaq has been pronounced, files a police complaint.
  • The offence has been made compoundable, that is, the parties can settle the matter between themselves. 
  • It provides that a magistrate may grant bail to the husband after hearing the wife. 
  • These amendments will not only restrict the scope for misuse by preventing third parties from setting the criminal law in motion against a man pronouncing instant triple talaq against his wife.

Way forward  

  • They will also leave open the possibility of the marriage continuing by allowing bail and settlement. 
  • But the core issue that arises from the proposed law remains; whether a marital wrong, essentially a civil matter, should lead to prosecutions and jail terms. 
  • Also, when the law declares instant triple talaq to be invalid, it only means the marriage continues to subsist.
  • It is somewhat self-contradictory for a law to both allow a marriage to continue and propose a jail term for the offending husband.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  Which of the following provisions of the Constitution reveal the secular character of the Indian State?
1. All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience.
2. All minorities shall have right to establish and administer educational institute of their choice.
3. The state shall endeavor to secure for all the citizen Uniform Civil Code.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer: D

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1): The ordinance that recently adopted by Union government on triple talaq is an impatient move. Critically examine the statement.

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Model Agricultural land leasing Act, 2016 : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Model Agricultural land leasing Act, 2016

  • The Model act was prepared by an expert panel under Dr. T Haque. The act seeks to permit and facilitate leasing of agricultural land to improve access to land by the landless and marginal farmers. It also provides for recognition of  farmers cultivating on leased land to enable them to access loans through institutional credit. 
  • Lease is defined as a contract between the land owner and cultivator, who uses the land owner's land for agriculture and allied activities for a mutually agreed specified period. The laws related to the Leasing of land is different in different states as land is a state subject in seventh schedule of the constitution. 


Why a model land leasing law :

  • There is an absence of a sound institutional framework that deals with the land leasing laws in the country. 
  • Many states have very restrictive land leasing laws which affects the efficiency and profitability in agriculture.
  • Due to the lack of any legal backing, in most of the states the tenant farmers are not able to connect with the agricultural credit facilities in the states.  

Salient features of Model Act :

  • Model act propose to legalize land leasing to promote agricultural efficiency, equity which ultimately help in poverty reduction.
  • This provision secure complete security of land ownership right for land owners and security of tenure for tenants for agreed period. 
  • The act proposes to remove the clause of adverse possession of land in land laws of various states as it interferes with free functioning of the land lease market. 
  • The model act allow automatic resumption of land after the agreed lease period without requiring any minimum area of land to be left with the tenant with the termination of the tenancy.
  • The model act facilitate all tenants including share croppers to access insurance bank credit and bank credit against pledging of expected output. 
  • The act is also a step in the direction of motivating the tenants to make investments in land improvement. 

Uniqueness of the Act :

  • The model act is meant to provide security in relation to the leasing agreement. 
  • The model act is a balanced approach that provide assurance to both owners and tenants.
  • The act, however, befits more to the tenants as it would enable them to financial services, which was not adequately dealt with in any prior leasing acts.

Drawbacks and Limitations :

  • A section believe that, the model act, if implemented in original form, would endorse diversion of agricultural land from crop cultivation to commercial usages. 
  • There are certain questions that the model act is not answering convincingly; like the status of contract farming. It is not clear whether contract farming comes under this model act.
  • A section believe that the act is somewhat biased in favor of tenants. As they question that soil damage done by tenants is not defined in the model act. 
  • The act is being opposed by the farmer groups in the country. They have strongly advocated against giving land to corporates in their names. 
  • Activists also opposed providing grazing land of animals to the corporates in the name of fallow land. 

Way forward :

The model act is a good step in providing benefit both to the landlord and tenant. There are certain things like diversion of cultivable land for non-agricultural purposes, that need to be resolved. Other issues like biased attitude towards tenants need to be dealt with. The changes need to be made by involving all the stakeholders. Ultimately, the provisions of the act can be applied only by convincing the states and for that states also need to be listened. 

There are chances that a question asked in GS paper 2 or 3. The format may be-
Q. The model tenancy act is trying to resolve the issues of land leasing that are historically exist in India. Explain the extent this act is successful in this direction. Explain.
Hint- Do some research in historical background of land leasing in India like in permanent settlement and other forms in India. The extent means we have to talk both about positive and negative aspects of the model act. You can easily pick points from the article. 

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(VIDEO) The way to Delhi will be from UP (यू पी से निकलेगा दिल्ली का रास्ता)- Lok Sabha TV Insight Discussion

(VIDEO) The way to Delhi will be from UP (यू पी  से निकलेगा दिल्ली का रास्ता)- Lok Sabha TV Insight Discussion

Topic of Discussion: The way to Delhi will be from UP (यू पी  से निकलेगा दिल्ली का रास्ता)- Lok Sabha TV Insight Discussion

(VIDEO) Pending Cases: Way Forward : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) Pending Cases: Way Forward : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: Pending Cases: Way Forward: Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 19 September 2018 (Banking on mergers)

Banking on mergers 

Mains Paper: 3 | Economic Development 
Prelims level: Merger of Banks 
Mains level:  The move to merge banks is understandable, but shareholders should have been consulted 


  • The Union government proposed the merger of three public sector banks  Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank  to create an amalgamated entity that will become the country’s third largest lender.
  • The healthy banks to take over weak banks appears to be the strategy to handle the bad loans crisis. 
  • The merger is part of the government’s efforts to consolidate the banking industry with an eye on overcoming the bad loan crisis.
  • After the announcement of the merger, shares of Bank of Baroda and Vijaya Bank shed a significant part of their value, while Dena Bank gained sharply to hit upper circuit.
  • Dena Bank is the bank in the worst financial situation among the three entities and is currently under the Reserve Bank of India’s prompt corrective action framework. 
  • Unlike the other two banks, its shareholders are set to gain from being part of a new bank with greater financial strength.

Challenges will faced by the Banking system

  • Forced mergers such as the current one make little business sense for the stronger banks as the weaker banks tend to be a drag on their operations. 
  • It is important to ensure that such mergers do not end up creating an entity that is weaker than the original pre-merger strong bank. 
  • The bad loan crisis that has gripped the banking system as a whole. 
  • The fact is that mergers are one way of managing the problem and therefore cannot be discounted totally. 
  • The trick lies in ensuring that the merger fallout is managed prudently; identifying synergies and exploiting scale efficiencies will be crucial here. 
  • There is no denying the fact that there are too many public sector banks in India.
  • The mergers ought to be between strong banks but these are not normal times and with many banks in a precarious situation.


  • The immediate compulsions for merging the weak Dena Bank with the stronger Bank of Baroda and Vijaya Bank are clear.
  • From a corporate governance perspective the merger sends out rather poor signals. 
  • Here is a dominant shareholder in the form of the government that is dictating critical moves that impact the minority shareholders, who are left with no say in the matter. 
  • A merger as significant as this one ought to have been first discussed and approved in the board rooms of the banks concerned. 
  • If the shareholders of Bank of Baroda, whose share fell by 16% on Tuesday, feel unhappy, that is perfectly understandable.

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  With reference to the Systemically Important Financial Institutions, consider the following

1. These are institutions whose failure will cause disruption in the wider financial system and economy.
2. These institutions enjoy an implicit sovereign guarantee against failure.
3. In India, RBI has declared ICICI and SBI banks as domestic systemically important banks.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: D

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) The move to merge banks is understandable, but shareholders should have been consulted. Analyze the statement.


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