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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Current Affairs - 21 August 2018

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General Affairs 

Need This To Rebuild Kerala, Not Food And Clothes, Says Union Minister
  • Hundreds have died and several lakhs have been rendered homeless in flood-hit Kerala. Relief teams have been working tirelessly to rescue people and to ensure food, water and medicines reach each and every person in the state. Help has been pouring in from all over the world, but the state "doesn't need food and clothes", according to Union minister KJ Alphons. What the state desperately needs is technical assistance to rebuild and recreate, he said.
    Over 300 people have died in the southern state this monsoon. The losses have been estimated at over Rs. 20,000 crore. Heavy rainfall over the last two weeks has been the worst since the unforgettable flood of 1924 which lasted about three weeks and caused huge damage to life and property.

    "The prime minister visited Kerala and took stock of the situation. He has promised assistance and whatever it takes to rebuild the state. He announced an immediate assistance of Rs. 500 crore. Before that Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Kiren Rijiju had sanctioned Rs. 100 crore and Rs. 80 crore, respectively. So money isn't a problem," the minister said.

    Close to a million people are staying in relief camps. All the supplies are being provided by district collectors. "We don't necessarily need food and clothes. Food is being made available by the government of India in plenty," he said.

    No outbreak of diseases has been reported in the state so far, but the centre has set up around 3,700 medical camps across Kerala, the Health Ministry said.

    "Things are running very well and all central forces are providing amazing services. Fishermen have turned out to be the biggest heroes. We thank the people of India and other countries for sending help and showing compassion, but we need technical help when the water level goes down. There is no electricity or mobile connectivity. The homes are gone so we need thousands of electricians, carpenters and plumbers to rush to Kerala. The biggest challenge right now is to rebuild. We need people with technical skills to put life back on track," Mr Alphons said.

    Kerala has seen over 250 per cent more rain than normal between August 8 and August 15, causing the state authorities to release water from 35 dangerously full dams. 

    Rescue operations are underway in Chengannur on the banks of the Pamba River, where at least a thousand people are still stranded in five villages.

    There is no shortage of food in the state as traders had stocked up ahead of a local festival, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said on Saturday. "The only problem is transporting it. The central government and public have cooperated well in this effort to fight this disaster," he said.

    The weather officials say that heavy rain is likely to subside in the coastal state. Commercial flight operations in Kochi also resumed today after the Navy activated its airstrips to accommodate small passenger aircraft. The first flight -- an Alliance Air ATR plane -- landed early this morning at the INS Garuda naval air station. The Kochi airport will remain closed till August 26.

Houston Based Indian NGO, Raises Over $10,000 For Kerala Flood Victims
  • Sewa International, an Indian non-profit organisation in America, has raised over $10,000 for the flood relief operations in the deluge-hit Kerala.
    Nearly 200 people have lost their lives in Kerala since August 8 due to floods caused by rains and landslides, while over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps.

    Kerala is facing its worst flood in 100 years with 80 dams opened and all rivers in spate. A body blow has been dealt to the scenic state, with its infrastructure, standing crops and tourism facilities severely hit.

    Sewa International, USA, has raised over $10,000 towards the flood relief in Kerala, where nearly 200 people have died in devastating floods and thousands have lost lives and have been rendered homeless, the organisation said in a statement.

    Fresh from the painful memories of hurricane Harvey just a year back in Houston, Sewa International immediately rose to the occasion by setting an immediate goal of raising $100,000 for the relief operations, along with its India partner, Deseeya Seva Bharati Keralam, it said.

    Over 5,000 Sewa volunteers have fanned out distributing food packets and cooking kits, and are opening free kitchens and medical camps to help the flood affected.

    "Given the immediate need for help, we decided to release $10,000 in our first tranche of funds toward flood relief. We are in regular contact with our India partner, and our volunteers are joining hands with other relief agencies to provide as much help as we can in this hour of need," Swadesh Katoch, director, Disaster Relief said.

    On their Facebook page they have appealed Indian-Americans to open their hearts, and wallets and purses, to help us help the people in distress.

    Meanwhile, Keralites in Houston, originally from the flood struck state, who were preparing for Onam have cancelled all festivities.

    "Such festivities hold little appeal when friends and family in Kerala are losing homes and loved ones in catastrophic flooding. Even though the water has started receding, the recent flooding has killed hundreds of people and displaced hundreds of thousands," Biju Pillai, President of the Sri Guruvayurappan Temple in Houston said. 
    Houston, which is home to over 62,000 Keralites, cancelled the celebration and attended the India Culture Centre's Independence Day celebration to raise money for flood victims back home. 

Fisherman's Amazing Gesture In Flood-Hit Kerala Wins Over Social Media
  • A Kerala fisherman who crouched in flood waters, offering his back for women to step on and get onto rescue boats, has emerged as the new hero on social media.

    On Saturday, Jaiswal KP went down on all fours in nearly waist-deep water at a village in Mallapuram, to help rescued women climb onto inflatable boats.

    The 32-year-old fisherman saw two elderly women and a young mother with a baby struggling to get into a boat, and didn't think twice.

    The Nation Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which had organized the boats, praised the efforts of the fisherman from Vengara in Malappuram. 

    A mobile phone video that others in the rescue operation made of that gesture is in wide circulation on social media.

    On Twitter, some have called Jaiswal a "national hero" while others describe his act as one of the "great stories of humanity coming out of this disaster."

    I salute and thank you Jaisal http://KP.You  did great job which cannot be described in words.May God bless you.I bow my head  to you with reverence and gratitude .

    In Kerala, where over 165 have died and lakhs have been displaced after the state's worst flood in a century, hundreds of fishermen have emerged as the unsung heroes, volunteering to take stranded people to safety.

    Many have braved strong currents and waded in neck-deep waters to reach the thousands who are stranded on trees and rooftops.

    On Monday, flood waters started receding in some districts of Kerala. There has been no rain in Thrissur in the last 24 hours. Reports suggest people who had moved to temporary shelters have started going home.

    The centre has set up over 3,700 medical camps across Kerala as diseases are now the main concern. The centre and the state government are actively monitoring the healthcare situation so that there is no outbreak of waterborne and other diseases.

India Successfully Tests Anti Tank Missile And Smart Anti Airfield Weapon
  • Indigenously designed and developed guided bombs Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) and anti-tank guided missile Helina were successfully tested at separate firing ranges in Rajasthan.

    The SAAW, tested on Sunday at Chandan range, was integrated with a live warhead, which was able to destroy the targets with high precision. The telemetry and tracking systems captured the mission events. This weapon is capable of destroying a variety of ground targets using precision navigation. A total of three tests with different release conditions were conducted during August 16-18. All the mission objectives have been achieved.

    The weapon has undergone eight developmental trials till date and performance of the system for different ranges under multiple launch conditions has been demonstrated. Senior officials from Defence Research and Development Organisation or the DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Indian Air Force participated and witnessed the flight tests.

    While Helina missile was successfully flight tested from Army helicopter in the ranges of Pokhran yesterday. The weapon system has been tested for its full range and was released smoothly from the launch platform. It has tracked the target all through its course and hit it with high precision. All the parameters have been monitored by the telemetry stations, tracking systems and the helicopters.

    The missile is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR) operating in the Lock on Before Launch mode. It is one of the most advanced Anti-Tank Weapons in the world. Senior officials from DRDO and Indian Army were present during the mission.

    Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has congratulated the DRDO, the IAF, HAL and the Indian Army on the successful tests and said that it will further strengthen the defence capabilities of the country.

Bring His Mortal Remains To India, Appeals Subhas Chandra Bose's Daughter
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's daughter Anita Bose-Pfaff has renewed her appeal to the governments of India and Japan for bringing her father's mortal remains back home.

    According to her, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose died in an air crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945 and his remains are preserved at Tokyo's Renkoji temple since September 1945.

    "On the 73rd anniversary of my father's passing away, I renew my appeal to the governments of India and Japan to facilitate a transfer of his mortal remains from Japan to India for a final disposal," she said.

    "It was my father's ambition to return to a free India. This was unfortunately not fulfilled. Therefore, it would be appropriate if at least his remains touch the soil of Independent India. My father was a devout Hindu. Thus, it is perhaps befitting as per custom to immerse at least part of his remains in the river Ganga," she added.

    Hiroshi Hirabayashi, president of the 115-year-old Tokyo-based Japan-India Association, also requested the Indian government to facilitate the return of Netaji's mortal remains.

    In a statement, Hirabayashi, a former Japanese ambassador to India, said, "The ashes of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose kept at Renkoji Temple (in Tokyo) have long been waiting for the official confirmation, already overdue, by the government of India as authentic."

    The Renkoji Temple held its annual memorial service yesterday to honour and pay homage to Netaji.

    Some purported documents giving evidence on how Netaji died after a plane crash in Taipei and the transportation of his remains to Tokyo have been published recently in a book by Ashis Ray.

    In her foreword to the book, "Laid to Rest: The Controversy over Subhas Chandra Bose's Death", published by Roli earlier this year, Bose-Pfaff wrote that "the only consistent story about Netaji's demise remains his death in a plane crash on 18 August 1945."

    She had also said that a DNA test of the remains of Netaji would put to rest the doubts of people over his death.

    "For most of those people who continue to doubt Netaji's death in Taihoku in August 1945, one possible option for proof would be a DNA test of the remains of Netaji - provided DNA can be extracted from the bones remaining after his cremation," Ms Bose-Pfaff wrote.

    According to Ms Bose-Pfaff, if the state of general information available in the later 1940s is considered, it is understandable that at the time, an uncertainty prevailed regarding what had happened to Netaji.

    "After all, some documents had not been made public at that time. When Sarat Chandra Bose died in 1950 he could still cling to the hope that his beloved brother had not died. And his belief also upheld Emilie's hope that her husband had survived," she said.

    "However, as evidence became available from the mid-1950s, the only consistent story about Netaji's demise remains his death in a plane crash on 18 August 1945.

    "For me personally, this fact was brought home most strikingly when I had the opportunity to be present during the interview of one of the survivors of the plane crash by Professor Leonard Gordon in Tokyo in 1979," Ms Bose-Pfaff wrote.

Business Affairs

EPFO payroll data says 47 lakh jobs created in 10 months till June
  • Retirement fund body EPFO's payroll data suggests that as many as 47.13 lakh jobs were created during September 2017 to June this year. However, the retirement body lowered earlier estimate of new members enrolment by 12.38 per cent, from 44.74 lakh to 39.20 lakh member for September 2017-May 2018 period.

    According to the payroll data released by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for September-May, as many as 44.74 lakh new member were enrolled for its social security schemes to provide benefits, including provident fund, insurance and pension. According to the latest data uploaded today by the EPFO, the new members enrolment in June is the highest so far in the last 10 month at 7,93,308.

    In June, the maximum number of enrolment of 2,53,466 were recorded in the age bracket of 18 to 21 years followed by 2,05,177 in 22 to 25 age group. The data is provisional as updation of employees records is a continuous process and gets updated in subsequent months, the EPFO said in a statement.

    It also stated that the estimates may include temporary employees, whose contributions may not be continuous for the entire year. For each age-wise band, the estimates are net of the members enrolled and ceased during the month as per the EPFO records, it added.

    The EPFO manages social security funds of workers in the organised/ semi organised sector. It runs three social security scheme Employees' Provident Fund Scheme 1952, Employees' Deposit Linked Scheme 1976 (EDLI) and Employees' Pension Scheme 1995. It manages the accounts of over six crore members and a corpus of over Rs 10 lakh crore. Earlier this year, the EPFO had started the practice of updating payroll data on its official portal. The body had also lowered its payroll data estimates earlier.

Congress has been misled on Rafale deal, says Anil Ambani in a letter to Rahul Gandhi
  • In a point-by-point counter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi's allegations on the controversial Rafale deal, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group's Chairman Anil Ambani said the Congress has been misinformed, misdirected and misled by malicious vested interests and corporate rivals.

    In a letter to Congress President, Anil Ambani expressed his anguish over continued personal attacks and termed all allegations as baseless, ill-informed and unfortunate.

    Ambani also explained the role of Reliance in offset exports/work share arrangement with French aircraft manufacturer Dassault. "Rafale fighter jets are not being manufactured by Reliance or the Dassault Reliance Joint Venture. All 36 planes are to be 100 per cent manufactured in France, and exported from France to India," the letter read.

    Ambani clarified that not a single component worth a single rupee is to be manufactured by Reliance for these 36 Rafale jets. "The allegations relating to 'lack of experience' are, thus, irrelevant," said the letter.

    There is no contract from the MoD to any Reliance Group company related to 36 Rafale aircraft, said Ambani, adding that the allegations of Reliance benefitting by thousands of crores is a figment of imagination, promoted by vested interests. "Simply put, no contract exists with the Government of India."

    "Our role is limited to offset exports and export obligations. More than 100 medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) will participate in this, along with public sector undertakings like BEL and Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO). This role strengthens Indian manufacturing capabilities, and is in pursuance of the Offsets Policy introduced by the Congress-led UPA Government itself from 2005 onwards," added Ambani.

    "The Reliance Group announced its decision to enter the defence manufacturing sector in December 2014-January 2015, months before the intention for purchase of Rafale aircraft. In February 2015, we informed the Indian Stock Exchanges of the companies we have incorporated," wrote Ambani, countering Gandhi's allegation that Reliance Defence was set up 10 days before the announcement of the deal in 2015.

Alibaba's Jack Ma may buy 50% stake in Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Retail to take on Flipkart, Amazon
  • At Reliance Industries' 41st AGM, Mukesh Ambani said that RIL sees its biggest growth opportunity in creating a hybrid, online-to-offline new commerce platform. More than a month after the annual shareholders' meeting, India's richest man may have finally found a new partner who has tremendous expertise in running an e-commerce business in neighbouring China.

    Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma is said to be in talks to acquire a large stake in Ambani-led Reliance Retail with an investment of $5 billion to take on India's largest e-retail giant Flipkart and Jeff Bezos-owned Amazon, Livemint reported.

    Alibaba Group has proposed to acquire a large stake in Reliance Retail to create a behemoth in the digital marketplace and also expand Alibaba's physical retail businesses in India, the report said.

    The joining together of two big companies is likely to rattle existing e-commerce market leaders in the country. The move could spell a bumpy ride for the likes of Flipkart and Amazon in a market where they have pumped in billions of dollars.

    At the shareholders' meeting, Mukesh Ambani gave a peek into his long-term plans to grab a bigger piece of country's fast-growing e-commerce sector which is estimated to grow at a 21 per cent CAGR over the next 10 years to $202 billion. The oil-to-telecom conglomerate wants to synergise the widespread presence of Reliance Retail's physical stores with the strengths of Jio's digital infrastructure.

    According to the report, Alibaba Group's executive chairman, Jack Ma, met RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani in July-end in Mumbai to discuss the proposal. The two reportedly discussed a number of issues, including a plan to create a large omnichannel retail entity through the proposed joint venture.

    "Alibaba is willing to pick up a significant stake in Reliance Retail, preferably 50 per cent, which will require Alibaba to invest $5-6 billion," the report added.

    The joint venture will be the largest investment by Alibaba in an Indian company.

    "The deal is crucial for Alibaba, especially after RBI (Reserve Bank of India) directed Paytm (in which Alibaba holds 49%) to stop on-boarding new customers because of the shareholding pattern of Paytm," the report further said.

    Reliance Retail, with its 7,500 stores in 4,400 cities attracting more than 350 million footfalls, is among the country's largest and fastest-growing retail companies in the country. Its revenues crossed Rs 69,000 crore in FY18, posting a growth of over 100 per cent year-on-year. Its fashion retail arm Reliance Trends and consumer electronics brand Reliance Digital are the largest in their respective categories.

    While the company has separate online websites for every retail vertical, what it currently lacks is a common e-commerce platform. By leveraging the inventory, supply chain, warehouses and nationwide reach of its brick-and-mortar operations, Reliance Retail is likely to have an edge in the e-commerce space.

    Ajio, its first pan-Indian e-commerce venture has already undergone a major marketing blitz in recent months. Reliance Retail's other online initiatives like RelianceSMART.in, RelianceDigital.in and RelianceTrends.com are yet to gain customer traction.

    Reliance Retail had recently launched its Reconnect brand of consumer appliances and electrical goods. It also operates the largest portfolio of 41 international brands like Gas, Steve Madden, DIESEL, etc.

PNB fraud: Nirav Modi is in the UK, CBI moves extradition request
  • The CBI has moved an extradition request to the UK authorities after it was confirmed on Sunday that fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi was in Britain. In a mail, the UK authorities confirmed his presence after the CBI sent a diffusion notice to the Interpol regarding the celebrity jeweller.

    Nirav Modi and his uncle and partner Mehul Choksi are being investigated by the ED and the CBI after it was detected that they allegedly cheated the Punjab National Bank of over Rs 13,700 crore with the purported involvement of a few of its employees. There are chances that the UK might accept India's extradition request as the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had informed India in June that it could initiate extradition proceedings against Nirav Modi even though his exact whereabouts at that time were uncertain.

    This month, Minister of State for External Affairs, told Parliament that India had sent an extradition request to the UK government regarding Nirav Modi. Of total 29 extradition requests sent by India, the UK has accepted 20 such applications in the past 16 years.

    Though India had revoked passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in February, they allegedly kept on travelling to different countries on multiple Indian passports, with his last documented exit from the UK at the end of March by air to Paris. It remains unclear exactly how many passports Modi has been travelling on in the recent months.

    Earlier it was reported that strict data protection laws in the UK had prevented the British government from confirming if he had indefinite leave to remain in the UK or if he had sought to apply for political asylum. On July 26, a PMLA court in Mumbai summoned Modi and Choksi to appear before it on September 25 and 26, respectively, on the Enforcement Directorate's plea seeking action against them under the new fugitive economic offenders' law.

    It was revealed in July that Choksi had got citizenship of Antigua, one of the two major Caribbean islands that make up the sovereign nation of Antigua and Barbuda. Later, the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) of Antigua & Barbuda said Choksi was given citizenship after "extensive vetting". Mehul Choksi, as well as his partner Nirav Modi, fled the country in the first week of January, just two weeks before PNB first reported the biggest banking scam.

Sensex closes at fresh record high, Nifty breaches 11,500 mark for first time
  • The Sensex and Nifty scaled fresh peaks in trade today on gains in large cap stocks such as L&T, Tata Motors, ONGC and Reliance Industries. In global markets too, stocks rose after investors welcomed signs of progress in resolving the trade dispute between US and China.

    While the Sensex touched an all-time high of 38,340 breaching the previous peak of 38,076 reached on August 9, Nifty crossed the 11,500 mark for the first time ever to hit a new high of 11,565 level.  Nifty's previous record high stood at 11,495 points reached on August 9.

    Later, the indices closed at fresh record highs. While the Sensex closed 330 points or (0.87%) higher to 38,278 level, the Nifty ended the day at fresh high of 11,551 level, rising 0.71% or 81 points.

    "The market is exhibiting great resilience in conquering new highs. The Q1 results indicate sharp recovery in earnings to follow. Nifty earnings growth can touch 24 percent for FY19 followed by 20 plus earnings growth for FY20. Market is discounting this aided by the strong tailwind of unprecedented domestic appetite for equity," VK Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit said.

    Top Sensex gainers were L&T (6.74%), Tata Motors (4.74%), ONGC (3.34%), Vedanta (3.16%) and Tata Steel (3.24%).

    Infosys (3.22%) was the top Sensex loser after the firm announced last week its CFO MD Ranganath had resigned from the company.

    Other losers were Maruti (0.79%) and ICICI Bank (0.50%).

    Mustafa Nadeem, CEO at Epic Research said," Nifty marks a fresh all-time high of 11565 as positive cues from global as well as domestic front triggers fresh buying. Nifty closed the day on a strong positive note as it ended a tad below the high at 11551.75. Bank Nifty lagged as it wasn't able to breach its previous swing high at 28380. The day was green on the back of large caps which carried the momentum such as Reliance, L&T, HDFC Twins, Tata motors followed by SBI.  

    Technically we have seen a momentum that is just beginning for next round of bullish rally. The recent consolidation in the range of 11350-11500 has led bulls to put in further smart money as weak money get out. This momentum as we previously mentioned is now seen to be stretched to 11600-11650. Since the earlier base was 11350, it is now shifted to 11500-11480 technically for this upward bounce. Any dips to these levels of support shall be played out in favor of bulls.

    Derivatives data also suggest writing activity at 11400-11500 PE adding short built up while long built up to continue to increase with fresh positions for upsides at 11600-11700.

    We suggest buying on dips and maintain the higher target for Nifty."

    Besides, fresh inflows by foreign funds and persistent buying by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) and rupee recovery also boosted investor sentiment, brokers said.

    The rupee opened strong against the dollar rising 32 paise to 69.83 in trade today from previous close of 70.15. It further rose to 69.69 level in afternoon trade strengthening market sentiment.

    Market breadth was positive with 1475 stocks rising compared to 1267 falling on the BSE. The midcap index led the rise in market with 1.05 percent or 170 points rally to 16,476 level.

    Among 19 sectoral indices, BSE auto (1%), Capital goods  (3.74%), metal (3.32%) and oil and gas indices (1.30 percent) were the top gainers in trade today.

    Global markets

    Global stocks were mostly higher on Monday as investors welcomed signs of progress in resolving the trade dispute between the US and China. The Wall Street Journal reported the countries hope to have a resolution by November.

    France's CAC 40 edged up nearly 0.6 percent in early trading to 5,377.10. Germany's DAX added 0.9 percent to 12,323.52, while Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.6 percent to 7,604.67. US shares were also set to drift higher with Dow futures adding 0.2 percent to 25,734. S&P 500 futures gained 0.2 percent to 2,858.70.

    Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gave up 0.3 percent to 22,199.00. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 percent to 6,345.00. South Korea's Kospi was little changed, edging up less than 0.1 percent to 2,247.88. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.4 percent to 27,598.02, while the Shanghai Composite climbed 1.1 percent to 2,698.47. Shares also rose in Taiwan.

General Awareness

    NABARD study on farm household
    • What to study?

      For Prelims: Highlights of the survey.
      For Mains: Agricultural households- challenges faced by them and efforts by the government to address them.

      Context: NABARD has released its report on All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17.

      Definition of agricultural household:

      The survey covered a sample of 1.88 lakh people from 40,327 rural households. Only 48% of these are defined as agricultural households, which have at least one member self-employed in agriculture and which received more than ₹5,000 as value of produce from agricultural activities over the past year, whether they possessed any land or not.

      Highlights of the survey:

      Outstanding debt:

      More than half the agricultural households in the country have outstanding debt, and their average outstanding debt is almost as high as the average annual income of all agricultural households.
      NABARD found that 52.5% of the agricultural households had an outstanding loan on the date of the survey, and thus were considered indebted. For non-agricultural households in rural India, that figure was 10 percentage points lower, at only 42.8%.
      Agricultural households reporting any outstanding debt also had a higher debt liability compared with non-agricultural ones.
      The average debt of an indebted agricultural household stood at ₹1,04,602 in comparison to ₹76,731 for indebted non-agricultural households.

      Reasons for taking loans:

      The biggest reason for taking loans among agricultural households was capital expenditure for agricultural purposes, with a quarter of all loans taken for this purpose.
      While 19% of loans were taken for meeting running expenses for agricultural purposes, another 19% were taken for sundry domestic needs. Loans for housing and medical expenses stood at 11% and 12%, respectively.

      Distribution:

      While all classes of farmers had debt, the highest incidence of indebtedness came from those owning more than two hectares of land. In that category, 60% of households are in debt.
      Among small and marginal farmers owning less than 0.4 hectares, slightly less than 50% of the households were in debt. Those with more land were more likely to have multiple loans.
      This may be attributed to the fact that these economically better-off households are more eligible for taking loans as they have enough assets to serve as security against the loans taken.

      State- wise variation:

      The southern States of Telangana (79%), Andhra Pradesh (77%), and Karnataka (74%) showed the highest levels of indebtedness among agricultural households, followed by Arunachal Pradesh (69%), Manipur (61%), Tamil Nadu (60%), Kerala (56%), and Odisha (54%).

      Sources:

      Looking at loans taken between July 2015 and June 2016, the survey found that farm households took less than half their loans from commercial banks. While 46% of the loans were taken from commercial banks, and another 10% from self-help groups, almost 40% were taken from non-institutional sources such as relatives, friends, moneylenders and landlords.

      Annual income of households:

      According to the survey, the average annual income of an agricultural household is ₹1.07 lakh. That is barely ₹2,500 more than the average outstanding debt of indebted farm households.

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    Current Affairs - 21 August 2018

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