Cabinet approves recapitalization of Regional Rural Banks to improve their Capital to Risk Weighted Assets Ratio 

#GS3 #Economy 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for continuation of the process of recapitalization of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) by providing minimum regulatory capital to RRBs for another year beyond 2019-20, that is, up to 2020-21 for those RRBs which are unable to maintain minimum Capital to Risk weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) of 9%, as per the regulatory norms prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India. 


  • A financially stronger and robust Regional Rural Banks with improved CRAR will enable them to meet the credit requirement in the rural areas.  
  • As per RBI guidelines, the RRBs have to provide 75% of their total credit under PSL (Priority Sector Lending).  
  • RRBs are primarily catering to the credit and banking requirements of agriculture sector and rural areas with focus on small and marginal farmers, micro & small enterprises, rural artisans and weaker sections of the society.  
  • In addition, RRBs also provide lending to micro/small enterprises and small entrepreneurs in rural areas.  

With the recapitalization support to augment CRAR, RRBs would be able to continue their lending to these categories of borrowers under their PSL target, and thus, continue to support rural livelihoods. 

Source : PIB 

MoS Home introduces Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020 

#GS2 #Polity #Governance #Education 

  • Minister of State for Home introduced the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020 and The National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 in the Lok Sabha.  
  • The Minister said that the National Forensic Sciences University will be an institution of national importance to facilitate and promote studies and research and to achieve excellence in the field of forensic science in conjunction with applied behavioural science studies, law, criminology and other allied areas and technology and other related fields. 

Source : AIR 


#GS3 #Economy 

Amid the all-round disruption caused to the economy by the novel coronavirus outbreak, various governments have unveiled various measures to address such concerns, and one of the most talked about is Germany’s Kurzarbeit scheme. 


  • Kurzarbeit is German for “short-work”. The policy provides for a short-time work allowance, called kurzarbeitgeld, which partially compensates for lost earnings during uncertain economic situations. 
  • The policy was rolled out during the 2008 economic crisis while its origins date back as far as the early 20th century, before and after World War I.  
  • When companies face a loss of earnings due to unforeseen economic situations, they often need to cut back on their working hours or send some of their employees home. 
  • The Kurzarbeit scheme aims to address workers who are impacted by loss of income due to shortened work hours during such times. They can apply for short-term work benefits under the scheme, with the government stepping in to pay employees a part of their lost income. 
  • This helps the companies retain their employees instead of laying them off, and allows the latter to sustain themselves for a period of up to 12 months.  

Source : Indian Express 

COVID-19: Govt asks states to use cess fund to support construction workers 

#GS2 #Governance 

Ministry of Labour has issued advisory to all the States to use cess fund for Welfare of Construction Workers in the wake of COVID-19.  

  • In the advisory, Labour Minister has asked the States to transfer funds in the account of construction workers through DBT mode from the Cess fund collected by the Labour Welfare Boards under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996. 
  • About 52000 crore rupees are available as cess fund and about 3.5 crore construction workers are registered with these Construction welfare Boards. 

Source : Indian Express 


#GS1 #Culture 

Yugadi (also known as Samvatsaradi or ugadi): It is the New Year's Day for the people of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states in India. It is observed in these regions on the first day of month of Chaitra (the first month of lunar calendar).  

Gudi Padwa: Maharashtrians term celebrate the festival as Gudi Padwa. 

Cheti Chand: Sindhis celebrate the same day as Cheti Chand. 

Sajibu Nongma Panba (also called Meetei Cheiraoba or Sajibu Cheiraoba): Manipuris also celebrate the same day as Sajibu Nongma Panba. 

Traditionally, these festivals mark the onset of New Year and the warmer months and they reflect values of prosperity and well being. 

Source : AIR 


Pressing Reset 

A remarkable thing happened on Facebook: Marc Rebillet, a French-American DJ and producer, had been playing live shows on the platform for the past two days, when in the middle of his set, he blanked out.  

Viewers, about 5,000 of them spread around the world, watched him panic, stumble, unravel, till a friend called him on the phone and talked to him, calming him down. He resumed playing as messages of support flooded in — almost each one said they knew exactly how he’d been feeling.  

It was strange to watch this play out on social media, seen to be a cesspool of mediocre exchanges, where harmful rumours often masquerade as information, where cancel culture reigns supreme. But right now, if you’re not online, where are you? If you’re not online, how are you? 

  • This past week or so, ever since the global lockdown to impede the spread of COVID-19 was initiated, a possibility has been making itself felt: Of a return to various platforms for solace and a sense of community.  
  • Even as some people let their anxieties sharpen their prejudices, the uncertainty of the corona crisis, the prospect of staying indoors for days on end, may also be triggering empathy and compassion on social media.  
  • The virus has completely dismantled normalcy.  
  • And for some, that includes their prejudices, their inherent mistrust of the other, their need to use differences to identify who they are as a people.  
  • COVID-19 is forcing people to hit reset in the way they perceive each other, and, in some important ways, they must let it. 
  • You are not alone in this as long as you have social media.  
  • Of course, there will be reason to continue to be suspicious of it — because the nature of the beast will not change no matter how many lives are disrupted.  
  • Perhaps it’s only a matter of time till everyone returns to the old ways.  
  • But till then, there is a tantalising possibility of using the space for its original purpose: To tell people that they have more in common with each other than they know. 

Source : Indian Express 

Home & Nation  

A 21-day lockdown is extraordinary. Government, people must come together — supply chains and social trust must not break. 

The way we conduct ourselves in these 21 days will be critical in our fight against the Corona Virus. 

Never have the people of the country been asked to stay within the confines of their homes for this long a period, not even when the country has fought wars. 

  • A reworked social compact — more compassionate — will be necessary to confront the challenges posed by the lockdown.  
  • It is now up to civil society, government agencies, the healthcare and corporate sectors to take their cues from the PM’s speech and ensure that the burden of fighting the pandemic does not fall too heavily on those at the margins, the migrant and daily wage labourers, the rickshaw pullers and others for whom these 21 days could prove to be the toughest.  
  • The Centre and state governments will need to work together, setting aside their political differences, to ensure that there is no shortage of essential commodities and the supply chains are not broken. 
  • Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a slew of measures that could soften the blow of a 21-day lockdown.  
  • The deadline for filing of income taxes for the financial year 2018-19 has been extended, as has the last date for filing GST returns.  
  • Sitharaman also announced that the threshold for taking companies through the insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore.  
  • This will prevent creditors from taking small and medium-sized companies, who may be facing temporary cash flow management issues due to the lockdown, and hence are unable to meet their obligations, through the IBC process.  
  • The Centre has also advised state governments to transfer funds to construction workers from the cess fund collected by the labour welfare boards. 

Source : Indian Express 

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