The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued a
show-cause notice to RBI Governor Urjit Patel for “dishonouring” a Supreme
Court judgment on disclosure of wilful defaulters’ list.
The CIC has also asked the Prime Minister’s Office, the
Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make public the letter
of former RBI governor RaghuramRajan on bad loans.
Irked over the denial of information on the disclosure of
the names of wilful defaulters who have taken bank loans of ₹50 crore and above
by the RBI in spite of a Supreme Court order, the CIC has asked Mr. Patel to
explain why a maximum penalty be not imposed on him for “dishonouring” the
verdict which had upheld a decision taken by then Information Commissioner
Shailesh Gandhi, calling for disclosure of names of wilful defaulters.
Mr. Patel, speaking on September 20 at the Central
Vigilance Commission (CVC), had said the guidelines on vigilance, issued by the
CVC, were aimed at achieving greater transparency, promoting a culture of
honesty and probity in public life and improving the overall vigilance
administration in the organisations within its purview, the CIC pointed out.
With 82 crore people who still do not have access to
piped water and 70% of water in the country contaminated by pollutants, the
government is increasingly starting to accept small water enterprises such
as water ATMs and community purification plants as an alternative solution
to the safe drinking water challenge.
A new report by Safe Water Network (SWN) says the
government needs to spend ₹44,000 crore on 2.2 lakh small water enterprises to
provide safe drinking water to about 37 crore people, mostly in urban slums
where piped water infrastructure is difficult to build, and in rural areas with
contaminated water sources.
A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of
India (CAG) pointed out that only 18% of the rural population has access to
potable piped water, failing to meet the 2017 target of 50%.
India is ranked at 120 out of 122 countries on the Water
Quality Index, said NitiAayog, adding that 70% of the country’s water supply is
Community water purification plants have grown from less
than 12,000 in 2014 to almost 50,000 in 2018, according to the SWN, as they have
been incorporated into government planning. To reach the government’s HarGharJal
target of 100% piped water by 2030, almost ₹5 lakh crore of infrastructure
investment will be required, says government data.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated steps to
set up a wide-based digital Public Credit Registry (PCR) to capture details
of all borrowers, including wilful defaulters and also the pending legal
suits in order to check financial delinquencies.
The PCR will also include data from entities like market
regulator SEBI, the Corporate Affairs Ministry, Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN)
and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) to enable the banks and
financial institutions to get 360 degree profile of existing and prospective
borrowers on a real-time basis.
The RBI has invited expression of interest (EOI) for
developing the registry from companies with a turnover of over ₹100 crore in the
last three years.
In June this year, the RBI had announced to set up a PCR
for India with a view to address information asymmetry, foster access to credit
and strengthen the credit culture in the economy.
The PCR would be the single point of mandatory reporting
for all material events for each loan, notwithstanding any threshold in the loan
amount or type of borrower.Currently, there are multiple granular credit
information repositories in India, with each having somewhat distinct objectives
People in New Caledonia are deciding whether the
French territory in the South Pacific should break free from the European
country that claimed it in the mid-19th century.
The polls opened on Sunday morning in a referendum that’s
a milestone in the process of the archipelago’s three-decade-long decolonization
one that will help define New Caledonia’s future as an independent country or as
a continuing part of France.
New Caledonia, a cluster of islands, is home to about
270,000 people. They include the native Kanaks, who represent about 40 % of the
population, people of European descent (about 27 %) and others from Asian
countries and Pacific islands.
It relies on France for defense, law enforcement, foreign
affairs, justice and education, yet has a large degree of autonomy. New
Caledonia receives about 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in French state
subsidies every year, and many fear the economy would suffer if ties are
The referendum is the result of a process that started 30
years ago to end years of violence between supporters and opponents of
separating from France.
The violence, which overall claimed more than 70 lives,
prompted a 1988 deal between rival loyalist and pro-independence factions.
Another agreement a decade later included plans for an independence referendum.
The domestication of rice can be tracked to the loss
of a small RNA molecule (miR397), according to a study carried out at the
National Centre of Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru. This can be used
to improve crops.
Indica rice, a subspecies of Oryzasativa, was domesticated
from two wild species Oryzanivara and Oryzarufipogon. Both the wild species have
weak stems and lie prostrate near edges of water bodies. The process of
domestication selected useful traits from these: stronger stems, absence of seed
shattering, more grains per plant, aroma, colour etc.
For differences seen to manifest in the organism
(phenotype), there should be corresponding changes in the genome. However,
extensive studies found that the genomes did not show variation proportional to
the changes in the phenotype.
Researchers failed to identify genes responsible for the
changes observed in domesticated Indica rice as compared to its wild relatives.
The answer lay in regulatory molecules known as the small RNAs.
After studying the two wild species, the domesticated
high-yielding varieties and several rice lines in between (land races) , they
screened 12 and sequenced 7 ,the team identified a small RNA controlling
laccases; this is named miR397.While miR397 is expressed in high levels in the
wild species, it gradually reduces in intermediate forms.