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Daily current affairs for IAS upsc

RBI cuts repo rate by 25 bps to 6% {economy}

  • As some of the upside risks to inflation have not materialized, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to cut the key policy rate or repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 6%, taking it to its lowest in six-and-a-half years.
  • The action was in line with expectations, even as the RBI continued its neutral stance, saying future action would depend on incoming data.

What next?

  1. Monetary Policy Committee is an executive body of 6 members.
  2.  Three members are from RBI while three other members are nominated by the Central Government.
  3. Each member has one vote. In case of a tie, the RBI governor has casting vote to break the tie

Seven species of grasshoppers found [Not much important]

  • A small-granulated dark black and brown colored pygmy grasshopper measuring about 9.07 mm revealed itself to the world in the forests of Chhattisgarh last month.
  • Collected from moist deciduous forests in Korba district, the species was named Coptotettix korbensis.
  • Coptotettix korbensis and Epistaurus tinsensis are two new discoveries in 2017, but what is interesting is that seven species of grasshoppers have been discovered in the forests of Chhattisgarh in a span of just 20 months.
  • Heteropternis raipurensis, a species of short-horned grasshopper, was discovered from Raipur district.

Coasting towards trouble

News: The regional media in Karnataka has resorted to highly suggestive terms to describe the recurrent pattern of communal outburst in coastal Karnataka, particularly in the outlying areas of Mangaluru city, in recent months.

What next?

  •  ‘Republic of coastal Karnataka’- where communal bands rule the roost and the state enjoys little clout as sovereign,
  • ‘Republic of Bellary’ – similar one where, a few years ago, the writ of the mining barons ran.

It is important to distinguish between ideological and social communalism mounted in coastal Karnataka on the one hand and political communalism elsewhere in the State, largely occasioned by the electoral calculations at work, on the other.

What is political communalism?

  • Political communalism employs an event, a monument, a syncretic space or a social cleavage to pit a large group of people against the other.
  • It does not sever all ties of people forged around social division of labour, linguistic affinities, folklore.

What is Social & ideological communalism?

  • Social and ideological communalism as in coastal Karnataka attempts to sever communities from all social ties and employs every possible resource to subserve this end. At the same time, such communalism operates in a context of growing sociality.
  • It marks off a people from the rest when their adherents are akin to one another by invoking religious divide as its justification.

Clearing the confusion over NEET

  • The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test is a common entrance test for aspiring students, based on which they will be allotted seats in undergraduate medical and dental colleges in India, both in the government and private sector.

What next?

  • The test is conducted by the CBSE and is now available in many regional languages.
  • It is also conducted to regulate entry in postgraduate medical courses.
  • NEET was conceived by the Medical Council of India in 2010 as a means of raising the quality of students being admitted to medical and dental colleges and thereby graduates.
  • Several States including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat objected to the proposal on various grounds, including the fact that CBSE students would have an unfair advantage as the test would be based on that board’s syllabus.

Beyond these:

  • The test was conducted in 2013 before it ran into rough weather.
  • The Supreme Court, hearing a batch of over 170 petitions contesting various aspects of the test, struck it down, declaring it illegal and unconstitutional.
  • However, in 2016, a five-judge Bench recalled the judgment, and gave the go-ahead to conduct a single common medical entrance test.
  • NEET was conducted in 2016, but a one-time exemption was given for undergraduate admissions.
  • In 2017, NEET was conducted with no exceptions.

Banks should reduce rates for existing borrowers too: RBI

  • With commercial banks having a tendency to reduce interest rates only for prospective customers in order to push new business, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel said he expected lenders to pass on lower loan costs to borrowers who had not received the full benefit of the reductions in the policy rate.
  • RBI cut the policy repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 6%. A percentage point comprises 100 bps.
  • The banking regulator noted that banks mainly reduced rates for segments where competition was high as in the case of home loans and personal loans.

[Opinion Ed]How to curb ‘invisible money’

News:

  • The statement by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently that the Election Commission has failed to curb ‘invisible money’ in polls is remarkable.

What next?

  • It is unusual for a senior Minister to make adverse remarks against a constitutional body in public. However, there are factual problems with his statement.
  • The Election Commission (EC) works in accordance with Article 324 of the Constitution of India, the Representation of the People Act (RP Act), 1951 and the rules framed by the government there under, and various judgments of the Supreme Court and High Courts.
  • The power to frame rules under the RP Act has not been given to the EC by successive governments, which includes the current one.

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