Here is the digest of important newspaper articles and quiz!
RBI revises its debt norms
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has revised the norms for banks to undertake debt restructuring if they feel the project is viable in the long run.
The scheme titled â€˜Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A),â€™ stipulates that at least 50 per cent of the debt should be serviced in the same period as that of the existing loan. The balance can be converted into equity or quasi-equity instruments.
The scheme is applicable to projects that have commenced commercial operation and where the banksâ€™ exposure is over Rs.500 crore.
According to the norms, an advisory body called Overseeing Committee (OC) will be constituted by the Indian Banks Association (IBA) in consultation with the RBI.
Banks have to submit the resolution plan to the OC. The OC will review the processes involved in preparation of the plan, etc. for reasonableness and adherence to the guidelines and give an opinion.
What are Stressed Assets? – Stressed assets is a sum of all the Non-Performing Assets(NPAs), restructured loans and written off debts.
An NPA is a loan whose interest and/or installment of principal have remained ‘overdue ‘ (not paid) for a period of 90 days.
Restructured asset or loan are that assets which got an extended repayment period, reduced interest rate, converting a part of the loan into equity, providing additional financing, or some combination of these measures. Corporate Debt Restructuring Mechanism (CDM) allows restructuring of loans.
India Ghana sign agreements
President Pranab Mukherjee has signed three bilateral agreements with Ghana to strengthen co-operation in varied fields during his trip to Africa. Ghana is the first country visited by the President during the six-day African tour.
The three agreements signed with Ghana included one for visa waivers for holders of diplomatic and official passports and one for setting up a Joint Commission. The commission will periodically review various aspects of the multi-dimensional relationship between the two countries. A mutually convenient date for its first meeting will be decided later.
Ghana has sought Indiaâ€™s civil nuclear cooperation to explore the possibilities of reducing its dependence on traditional energy sources to cut costs and focus on cleaner environment.
India is the largest foreign investor in Ghana, with more than 700 projects. More than 222 of these projects are in the manufacturing sector.
Bilateral trade between India and Ghana has increased to $1.2 billion from $538 million in 2010.
Film censorship in India
The Bombay High court directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to issue an â€˜Aâ€™ certificate to the movie Udta Punjab (Punjab on a High) with the deletion of one scene and a modified disclaimer. The bench said that it did not find anything in the script that affects the sovereignty and integrity of the Nation.
Who governs film censorship in India? – The Central Board of Film Certification is a statutory body under the Cinematograph Act 1952. The Cinematograph Act creates a regime of pre-censorship or, in technical terms, a regime of â€œprior restraintâ€. Before a film can be released for public viewing, it must be cleared by the censor board.
Why is there a need of censorship? – The board is tasked with ensuring that the content of the film does not fall into any of the categories of â€œreasonable restrictions upon free speechâ€ that are set out under Article 19(2) of the Constitution.
Film maker KA Abbas challenged the constitutionality of the pre censorship regime terming it as draconian. This was especially so because other media of communication, such as print, were not subjected to pre-censorship. However the Supreme Court upheld the Act and the Guidelines, but also embarked upon a psychological analysis of how the medium of cinema, with its â€œversatility, realism (often surrealism), and its coordination of the visual and aural sensesâ€ was able to â€œstirâ€ people much more deeply than written words could, and, therefore, had to be subjected to a more stringent regulatory regime.
A little over a decade-and-a-half later, in S. Rangarajan vs P. Jagjivan Ram , the Supreme Court observed that pre-censorship of films was necessary because cinema audiences were not as â€œdiscerningâ€ as newspaper readers.
What are the reforms required? – A committee under the chairmanship of Shyam Benegal has made suggestions regarding regarding reforming Central Board of Film Certification.
1) CBFC should only be a film certification body whose scope should be restricted to categorizing the suitability of the film to audience groups on the basis of age and maturity except in the Â following instances Â to refuse certification:
a) When a film contains anything that contravenes the provisions of Section 5B (1) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.
b) When content in a film crosses the ceiling laid down in the highest category of certification.
2) Regarding the categorisation of films, the committee recommends that it should be more specific and apart from U category, the UA Category can be broken up into further sub-categories â€“ UA12+ & UA15+. The A category should also be sub-divided into A and AC (Adult with Caution) categories.
3) The Certification of films shall be carried out in accordance with the Guidelines proposed for certification that have been split into three sections, with each section required to be read with the other two â€“ General Guidelines, Issue Related Guidelines and Category Specific Guidelines.
4) The committee has also made certain recommendations regarding the functioning of the board and has stated that the Board, including Chairman, should only play the role of a guiding mechanism for the CBFC, and not be involved in the day-to-day affairs of certification of films.
5) Regarding the Regional Advisory Panel the committee has laid down the criteria for appointment. All nine regions will have advisory panels comprising persons who are acquainted with the languages being certified by that regional office.
6) Restructuring staffing pattern of Central & Regional censor advisory panels and Recertification of films for purposes of telecast on television and measures to preserve the identity of Indian Cinema.
7) In order to preserve Indian Cinema, the committee recommends that every applicant be asked to deposit the Directorâ€™s Cut in the NFAI for preservation of Indian Cinema, instead of the certified version, in order to truly reflect the cinematic history of Indian cinema.
8) Out-of-turn certification may be permitted for which the applicant would have to pay five times the fee that would have to be paid if the certification were done in the normal course.
Source: TheHindu, PIB
China launches 23rd satellite for BeiDou
China has successfully launched 23rd satellite in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). Â BeiDou is its global navigation and positioning network which is being developed to rival the US Global Positioning System(GPS).
The satellite, after entering its designed work orbit and finishing in-orbit testing, will join 22 others already in orbit and improve the stability of the system, preparing for BDS to offer global coverage.
What is the Indian equivalent of BeiDou?
The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS with an operational name of NAVIC (Sailor or Navigator in Hindi) which stands for NAVigation with Indian Constellation is an Indian developed Navigation Satellite System that is used to provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and region extending to 1500 km around India.
The fully deployed NAVIC system consists of 3 satellites in geostationary orbit and 4 satellites in geosynchronous orbit, approximately 36,000 km altitude above earth surface. However, the full system comprises nine satellites, including two on the ground as stand-by.
The NAVIC would provide two services, with the Standard Positioning Service open for civilian use, and the Restricted Service (an encrypted one) for authorized users (including the military).
The NAVIC constellation of seven satellites are in orbit and is expected to operate from June 2016 onwards.
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