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Current Affairs - 20 April 2018

General Affairs 

"Have Been On Diet Of Gaali (Abuses) For 20 Years," Says PM, On Stamina
  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a surprising response when asked to reveal the secret of his stamina during a Q and A at Britain's Central hall Westminster on Wednesday. In the past, his answer to the commonly asked question has been yoga.

    At the "Bharat Ki Baat, Sab Ke Saath" event, his response had the audience in splits and chanting "Modi, Modi".

    "What is the secret of your energy? If we know, we can also use our energy to the benefit of the country," the questioner said to PM Modi, sitting on a stage with moderator and adman Prasoon Joshi, recently appointed censor board chief.

    The audience cheered and clapped encouragingly.

    pm modi london event
    PM Modi is in the UK for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting or CHOGM

    PM Modi looked amused, and replied that while there could be many answers to the question, he had a fun version.

    "I can say that for two decades...for the past around 20 years, daily, 1 kg, 2 kg...(pause) gaaliaan khaata hoon (I am on a diet of abuses)," the Prime Minister chuckled.

    Cue, a roar of laughter and applause.

    PM Modi is in the UK for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting or CHOGM. On Tuesday, he met Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II.

    The two sides signed multiple agreements. They also announced initiatives, including in the areas of technology, trade and investment.

    During his 130-minute interaction at the Westminster Hall, he spoke about how abuses had been heaped on him by rivals and about his success as an administrator in building roads, train tracks and toilets at a pace three times faster than previous governments.

    Addressing not just the gathering in the iconic hall but also millions back home ahead of elections, the Prime Minister also addressed criticism amid anger over the Kathua rape and murder of a little child and said, "Rape is rape. It should not be politicised."

BJP Sees Rahul Gandhi's "Invisible Hand" In Petitions On Judge Loya Case
  • The BJP today mounted an attack on the opposition Congress after the Supreme Court rejected pleas to probe the death of Judge B H Loya, alleging that the "invisible" hand behind the petitions was that of Rahul Gandhi who tried to use the judiciary for "character assassination" of Amit Shah.

    The Supreme Court today ruled that Judge Loya died of natural causes and that the petitions were a serious attempts to scandalise and obstruct the course of justice.

    Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra described the public interest litigations seeking the probe into the death of Judge Loya as "political interest litigation", and charged that Gandhi and his party were behind it.

    Noting that the Congress had held press conferences and Mr Gandhi had led a delegation of opposition parties to the President for seeking a probe, Patra said he should "apologise" and be "ashamed" for his conspiracy to target Amit Shah, and Indian judiciary and democracy.

    The Congress engages in all sorts of conspiracies after its ruling family loses power, he alleged and added the attempt to use judiciary for political purposes was a "new low" in Indian politics.

    The "invisible hand" behind these petitions in the top court belonged to Mr Gandhi and the Congress, Mr Patra alleged.

    He alleged that they were filed to settle political scores as the opposition party is incapable of taking on Mr Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the electoral field.

    The issue of Loya's death had come under the spotlight in November last year after media reports quoting his sister had fuelled suspicion about circumstances surrounding it and its link to the Sohrabuddin case, which he was hearing before he died.

    Mr Shah was an accused in the case but was later discharged. Several activists and opposition parties had alleged a foul play in his death.

    While dismissing the plea for an independent probe, the top court today said that with these petitions it becomes clear that a real attempt and a frontal attack was made on the independence of the judiciary.

Printing Press Running 24X7 To Offset Cash Crunch: Officialh
  • The government has speeded up currency note printing and is running all its four presses round-the-clock, an officer said today amid ATMs running dry in many parts of the country. This week, the note printing presses have been minting out Rs. 500 and Rs. 200 notes without a break to meet an estimated Rs. 70,000 crore of currency shortfall, he said.

    The four presses of the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited or SPMCIL have been running for 18-19 hours daily, with a three-four hour break, on normal operation days. 

    But since the time ATMs ran dry due to "unusual spurt in demand" for cash, the presses have been operating non-stop, the officer told news agency Press Trust of India.

    A currency printing cycle involves 15 days. The increased number of currencies being printed beginning this week would be available only toward the end of this month.

    The last time currency notes were printed round-the-clock was just after demonetisation in November 2016, when the presses worked to churn out the new Rs. 2,000 notes in order to meet liquidity shortage in the market, said the officer who asked not to be named.

    The Reserve Bank of India or RBI on Tuesday said there was sufficient cash in its vaults and currency chests. "Nevertheless, printing of the notes has been ramped up in all the four note presses."

    Cash crunch may be felt in some areas largely due to logistical issues of replenishing ATMs frequently. ATMs are also being recalibration to dispense smaller sized Rs. 200 notes, the RBI has said.

    There has been unusual spurt in currency note demand in some states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, the finance ministry has said. In the first 13 days of April, currency demand went up by Rs. 45,000 crore.

    Economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the government suspects that Rs. 2,000 notes are being hoarded as they are not returning into circulation fast enough. To deal with currency shortage, printing of Rs. 500 notes have been increased fivefold.

    "The currency printing (will increase) from Rs. 500 crore to Rs. 2,500 crore per day of Rs. 500 notes... So in a month, we will be printing about Rs. 70,000-Rs. 75,000 crore. This should give you assurance that we are geared up to meet the rising demand," he had said.

    The Rs. 2,000 rupee notes account for 35 per cent of the Rs. 18.43 trillion currency in circulation in the country. The printing of this high-denomination note has stopped as it had reached its threshold of Rs. 6.70 trillion in the system.

    The Rs. 18.43 trillion currency notes in circulation compares to nearly Rs. 17.97 trillion currency in circulation before demonetisation of the old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes on November 8, 2016.

In Pathankot, Security Stepped Up After Suspected Terrorist Movement
  • Security has been stepped up and search operations are being carried out around the border localities of Punjab, particularly in Pathankot district, after reports of suspected terrorist movement in the area.

    Acting on a tip off, early on Thursday morning, security forces immediately spread out in large numbers and searched various locations in the region. The ITI building, where the suspects were reportedly spotted, was also thoroughly checked.

    "We are on top of every issue. There is nothing to worry about it," said the chief minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh on reports of suspicious movement in Pathankot.

    Reports suggest group of suspicious men stopped a car and asked for a lift on Sunday night. The car belonged to a local resident, Maskin Ali, who told news agency ANI that, "Some men claimed they were from the army and asked me for a lift. I let them in but soon realised they weren't army men. As we tried to escape they attacked us and during the tussle some of them fled with my car." Mr Ali said he had alerted the police about it on Sunday itself.

    "There were inputs for the past three to four days that some suspicious movement has been spotted. We reacted accordingly but till now nothing substantial has been found. We are collaborating with other agencies too, and the search operations are on," SPS Parmar, Inspector General Border 

    The Punjab Police has provided nine bulletproof tractors to Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts to deal with any threats arising out of the situation, particularly in the backdrop of terror attack on the Air Force base in Pathankot in January 2016.

If PM Modi Wants Simultaneous Elections, This Is What It Will Take
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to end the country's relentless election cycle, where about six states go to the polls each year.

    The Law Commission, which provides advice to the government, backs the initiative and said simultaneous elections for the lower house of parliament and state assemblies could be held in two phases starting in 2019. Its recommendations come months after PM Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind pitched the idea.

    Joint elections would require constitutional amendments as well as ratification by the majority of 29 states, the Commission said in a draft working paper released on Tuesday. Yet given it took more than a decade to build consensus among states for the launch last year of the national sales tax GST, getting state leaders on board for this electoral reform could prove difficult.

    PM Modi argued simultaneous elections will save time and money, while allowing political parties to focus on policy and governance. But critics warned the move was a threat to democracy and would curtail the legislature's power to unseat a government.

    "This will destroy the federal structure of the country and will go against the interests of regional parties," because federal elections would overshadow state polls, said Sanjay Kumar, director of the New Delhi-based Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

    Elections were held concurrently for nearly two decades after 1951. The practice was disrupted in the late 1960s with the premature dissolution of some state assemblies.

    bloomberg election cycle

    In its recommendations, the Law Commission said a second phase of simultaneous polls could take place in 2024, after the synchronisation of state election cycles. The government think tank NITI Aayog suggested in January 2017 that extending and curtailing the duration of some state assemblies would allow half the assembly elections take place along with the general election in 2019, followed by the rest in 2021.

    But states ruled by regional parties could complicate those plans.

    "The way regional parties are reasserting their federal autonomy and political independence, holding simultaneous polls by 2019 looks a bit difficult," said SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner. "Building political consensus has become tougher," he said.

    According to a study published by the IDFC Institute, there was a 77 per cent chance a voter would support the same party at central and state levels if elections were held simultaneously.

    Managing joint elections would cost about Rs. 45 billion, NITI Aayog said, citing the Election Commission of India. India spent about Rs. 38.7 billion on the 2014 general election, while each state assembly election costs as much as Rs. 3 billion, its report said.

    "It's an extremely laudable move by the government," said Ajay Bodke, chief executive at Mumbai-based Prabhudas Lilladher. "Besides saving poll expenditure, it will help the government by shifting focus from continuous electioneering to the delivery of promises made to electorates."

Business Affairs

IMF says global debt hit a record $164 trillion in 2016; India praised for 'right policies'
  • The world is drowning in debt like never before. According to the IMF, global debt, public and private alike, hit a record $164 trillion in 2016 - almost 225 per cent of the world's economic output - up 8 per cent from 2015. Debt-to-GDP ratios in the advanced economies are at levels not seen since World War II, while the same for emerging market and middle-income countries have hit levels last seen during the 1980s debt crisis. To ram home the bad news, "the world is now 12 per cent of GDP deeper in debt than the previous peak in 2009", as the latest Fiscal Monitor report put it.

    According to Vitor Gaspar, Director, IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, which prepared the report, most of the global debt is in advanced economies, at 105 per cent of GDP on average. But in the past decade, emerging market economies have been responsible for most of the increase. Debt-to-GDP ratios for the latter in 2017 reached almost 50 per cent and are expected to continue on an upward trend. "One-fifth of emerging market and middle-income economies had debt above 70 per cent of GDP in 2017, similar to levels in the early 2000s in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. Among low-income developing countries, 20 per cent now boast debt above 60 per cent of GDP, compared with almost none in 2012," said the report.

    "Underpinning debt dynamics for all countries are large primary deficits, which reached record levels in the case of emerging market and developing economies," it added. Here's why high government debt and deficits are cause for concern:

    It can make countries vulnerable to a sudden tightening of global financing conditions, which could disrupt market access and put economic activity in jeopardy.
    Past experience shows that countries can be subject to large unexpected shocks to public debt-to-GDP levels, which would exacerbate rollover risk. Furthermore, IMF has previously established that fiscal risks can be highly correlated with each other, with a distinct bunching of contingent liability realizations during crisis periods.

    It can hinder a government's ability to implement a strong fiscal policy response to support the economy in the event of a downturn. Historical experience shows that a weak fiscal position increases the depth and duration of recession-such as in the aftermath of a financial crisis.
    Arguably, high debt can also result in lower growth because it can crowd out private investment and create uncertainty about higher future distortionary taxation.

    India praised for 'right policies'
    Against this backdrop consider that as per IMF data, India's general government debt (as a percentage of GDP) has been pegged at 70.2 per cent for 2017, up 2 per cent since 2012. In fact, it boasted the second highest debt, after Brazil, in the Emerging Market and Middle-Income Economies category. But the figure is projected to steadily go down here on, from 68.9 per cent this year to 61.4 per cent by 2023. "The debt level is relatively high, but the authorities are planning to bring it down over the medium term with the right policies," said Abdel Senhadji, Deputy Director, IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, at a press conference, adding that India is planning to continue with the consolidation in the current fiscal year and over the medium term. According to the IMF, India's debt ratio projection for 2023, along with a fiscal deficit target of 3 per cent by 2019-20, "are appropriate".

    China slammed

    In contrast, China's government debt to GDP ratio stood much lower at 47.8 per cent in 2017. However, the IMF report holds the country responsible for a whopping 43 per cent of the global debt increase since 2007, calling it "a driving force". The main concern "has to do with the level and pace of accumulation of overall debt, private and public. So, the control over the debt level - in particular, the rhythm of debt accumulation - is a major challenge for the Chinese economy," said Gasper. According to IMF data, China's general government debt (as a percentage of GDP) is expected to balloon from 47.8 per cent in 2017 to 65.5 per cent by 2023.

    Dismal outlook for the US

    The projections for the US are similarly dismal. "In the US, the revised tax code and the two-year budget agreement provide additional fiscal stimulus to the economy. These measures will give rise to overall deficit above $1 trillion over the next three years, and that corresponds to more than 5 per cent of the US GDP," said Gasper, adding, "Debt is projected to increase from 108 per cent in 2017 to 117 per cent of GDP in 2023. If tax cuts with sunset provisions are not allowed to lapse, public debt would climb even higher."

    Thankfully, the outlook for the world at large is a lot more positive - the IMF forecasts indicate that debt-to-GDP ratios would come down over the next three to five years in most countries. This, of course, hinges on them delivering fully on their policy commitments. So the report calls out for immediate decisive action on the part of nations to strengthen fiscal buffers and advance policies/reforms to reduce vulnerabilities, taking full advantage of the recent broad-based pickup in economic activity. "Countries are advised to avoid procyclical fiscal policies that exacerbate economic fluctuations and ratchet up public debt," said Gasper.

    Incidentally, the report also gives a thumbs up to Aadhaar, the constitutional validity of which is currently being debated in the Supreme Court. "Digitalization can improve financial management and ultimately the efficiency of public spending... Biometric technology to identify and authenticate individuals can help reduce leakages and improve coverage of social programs. With more than 1.2 billion registered citizens in India's biometric identification system, Aadhaar, the country stands out as a leader in this area," it said. Significantly, the IMF also underscored that digitization is no panacea, and the report made clear that "governments must address multiple political, social, and institutional weakness and manage digital risks".

TCS Q4 net profit rises 4.4% at Rs 6,904 crore; board recommends 1:1 bonus
  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), country's largest IT services firm, on Thursday posted a 4.48 per cent year-on-year (YoY) rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 6,904 crore for the March quarter. TCS board recommended a 1:1 bonus share issue.

    India's biggest software services exporter reported a revenue growth of 8.2 per cent (YoY). Its FY18 Q4 revenue was at Rs 32,075 crore. The Tata Group company accounts for a lion's share of the group's overall profit.

    Commenting on the Q4 performance, Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO and MD, said: "Strong demand in digital across all industry verticals and large transformational deal wins have made this one of our best fourth quarters In recent years. The strong exit allows us to start the new fiscal on a confident note."

    "The multiple mega-deals that we won this year are evidence that TCS is their preferred partner in such strategically important initiatives," Gopinathan added.

    TCS Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director N Ganapathy Subramaniam said that strong deal wins and a good pipeline positions TCS very well in the new fiscal.

    Digital revenue accounted for 23.8 per cent of the revenue, up 42.8 per cent year-on-year.

    For the entire 2017-18, TCS saw its net profit dipping 1.7 per cent to Rs 25,826 crore, while revenue rose 4.3 per cent to Rs 1.23 lakh crore.

Beware! Here's how Income Tax Dept tracks false info on ITR of salaried class
  • The tax season in underway and advisories from the Income Tax department are coming in thick and fast. First came the carrot: Claiming to "trust" taxpayers, the taxman in February had announced that it would not issue a demand notice in cases of a minor mismatch between one's filed income tax returns (ITR) and the corresponding tax credit data collected from banks and other financial institutions. That was welcome news for the salaried class, often harried by the additional paperwork generated by such demand notices.

    Now comes the stick. The taxman has cautioned salaried class taxpayers against using illegal tricks while filing their returns, like under-reporting income or "inflating" deductions and permitted exemptions.  The "cautionary advisory" issued yesterday by the department's Bangalore-based Central Processing Centre (CPC) - which receives and processes the ITRs - added that such taxpayers should not "fall prey" to unscrupulous tax advisors or planners promising to help prepare false claims to get tax benefits.

    Violators will not only be prosecuted - wrong claims would be treated as cases of tax evasion, which is "punishable under various penal and prosecution provisions of the Income Tax Act" - but their employers will also be intimated. "In the cases of such wrong claims by the government/PSU employees, reference would be made to the concerned vigilance division for action under conduct rules," said the advisory.

    Want to know how the taxman sniffs out such discrepancies? According to the advisory, the income tax department possesses an "extensive risk analysis system", which is automated with no human interface and designed to flag-off persons who are non-compliant. "In all such cases of high risk, the department may examine and verify the details submitted by taxpayers in their ITR subsequent to the processing of returns," it added.

    Senior taxmen told The Times of India that the advisory was issued after surveys threw up evidence of several such malpractices in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Ludhiana. According to them, some salaried employees were claiming tax benefits for house property despite not owning any property. Then there were instances of some people claiming deductions for donations or contributions to certain institutions when none were actually made.

    The biggest such racket was unearthed in Bangalore by tax sleuths in January. The department has alleged that employees of several bellwether companies in connivance with a chartered accountant in the country's IT capital had been filing false ITRs and making fraudulent refund claims for multiple years. The CA, who has since reportedly been disowned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, had filed "nearly 1,000 returns with loss from house property, aggregating to loss claim of Rs 18 crore" according to the department. It had further alleged that employees of several reputed companies, including IBM, Vodafone, Infosys, ICICI Bank, CISCO and Thomson Reuters, had resorted to such fraudulent claim of refunds. The CBI recently registered a criminal case to probe this nexus.

    This goes a long way in explaining why the latest ITR forms released by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) suddenly sharpened scrutiny of taxpayers, especially salaried ones. To remind you, for the first time, salaried taxpayers will have to share their salary breakup - the new forms seek an assessee's details such as allowances not exempt, profit in lieu of salary and value of prerequisites, among others, in separate fields. They also need to give details of properties and income from them.

    "If any person has made a false claim in the I-T returns resulting in lower tax payment/unjustified refund, they are advised to take immediate steps to file revised returns disclosing the correct income and paying due tax," said the advisory.

    It also asked tax planners and advisors to "confine their advice to taxpayers within the four corners of the IT Act" and warned that violators will be prosecuted and enforcement agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will come knocking.

SBI offers free withdrawal of cash from PoS terminals or 'Mini ATMs'

  • Amid a cash crunch that has hit many states, the State Bank of India (SBI) has announced that debit card holders can withdraw money from the bank's Point of Sale (PoS) terminals. The move by India's biggest lender may temporarily help address the currency shortage that has gripped the country.

    SBI will not charge any fees for the withdrawal even if the debit card holder is not an SBI customer. The step is expected to bring relief to people in many different parts of the country hit by the sudden cash crunch.

    "Debit card holders of SBI and all other banks can withdraw cash from PoS machines installed by SBI across various merchant locations...To reach out and facilitate maximum number of people looking for convenient cash withdrawal, State Bank of India, country's largest lender is also providing facilities of cash through 'CashPOS' initiative," SBI said in a statement.

    The SBI has a total of 6.08 lakh PoS machines out of which 4.78 lakh machines are enabled to dispense cash. For the debit card holders of other banks, the respective banks must enable the PoS facility for its customers, for them to be able to withdraw cash.

    SBI's point of sale (POS) terminals are mostly installed at shops and known as 'Chotta ATM', 'Mini ATM' . Apart from SBI, private sector banks HDFC, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and others also provide PoS terminals.

    The RBI guidelines allow withdrawal of Rs 1,000 in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities and Rs 2,000 in Tier 3 to Tier 6 cities per day per card from the PoS terminals.

    There have been reports of ATMs running dry from Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

NCLT directs Essar Steel lenders to consider Numetal, ArcelorMittal bids

  • In a major victory for Numetal and ArcelorMittal, the Ahmedabad bench of the NCLT today lenders and the resolution professional of the bankrupt Essar Steel to reconsider their first bids.

    Pronouncing its order today, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) adjudicating authority Manorama Kumari and Harihar Prakash Chaturvedi noted that certain provisions of the IBC were not followed by the committee of creditors and the RP while disqualifying both the bids earlier.

    The bench asked the consortium of 31 lenders and the RP to reconsider the bids submitted by both Numetal and ArcelorMittal in the first round on February 12.

    While sending the first bids once again to the CoC and the RP, the NCLT said certain provisions as mentioned in the section 29(a)(1) and in the sub-section 4 of section 30 of the IBC were not followed while disqualifying the first bids.

    Both the petitioners, Numetal and ArcelorMittal, welcomed the verdict.

    "We welcome the NCLT order returning the matter back to the creditors for reconsidering our original bid. We have put forth a very compelling resolution plan both industrially and financially. We hope our proposal will be considered by the CoC with a fair and holistic view," a Numetal spokeman said in a statement.

    Similarly, ArcelorMittal said it has always maintained that it was eligible to bid for Essar Steel.

    "ArcelorMittal, in partnership with Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metals, is the most credible bidder for Essar Steel and will bring considerable value to the Indian steel industry. We had made a strong offer backed up by a detailed industrial plan and now hope for a swift resolution," it said in a statement.

    Without elaborating much about the fate of the second round of bids submitted on April 2, which are yet to be opened, the tribunal observed that inviting the second round of bids at this stage is not required.

    At the second round, these two along with JSW Steel and Vedanta had submitted the bids.

    Numetal and ArcelorMittal had moved the NCLT over their disqualification in the first round of bidding claiming that rules had been followed before submitting their bids.

    The case pertains to the lenders disqualifying the bids by ArcelorMittal and Numetal--the only two bidders for the crippled 10-million tonne Essar Steel at Hazira in Gujarat that owes more than Rs 45,000 crore to over 30 banks-citing technical issues on March 23 which primarily means their ownership structure.

    These companies challenged the lenders' decision at the NCLT soon after they were disqualified. Following this, the NCLT allowed rebid till April 2, ArcelorMittal along with Nippon of Japan, Anil Agarwal's Vedanta and Numetal along with JSW Steel have put in bids.

    These two bids were from the beginning questioned by the resolution professional and others as the promoters of both these firms were defaulters in other firms -- the Ruias in Essar Steel and the Mittals in Uttam Galva.

General Awareness

Smart rating of garbage free cities

  • Context: The ministry of urban affairs has launched the first workshop on star rating of garbage-free cities under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The star rating of garbage-free cities would create healthy competition among cities across the country.

    About the star rating initiative:

    What is it? The star-rating initiative, developed by the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban will be rating cities on a 7-star rating system based on multiple cleanliness indicators for solid waste management.

    Indicators: These include Door to Door Collection, bulk generator compliance, source segregation, sweeping, scientific processing of waste, scientific land filling, plastic waste management, construction and demolition management, dump remediation & citizen grievance redressal system etc.

    Vision: Vision statement of the star-rating protocol states that “All cities achieve “Garbage Free” status wherein at any point of time in the day, no garbage or litter is found in any public, commercial or residential locations (including storm drains and water bodies) in the city (except in litter bins or transfer stations); 100% of waste generated is scientifically managed; all legacy waste has been remediated and city is scientifically managing its municipal solid waste, plastic waste and construction & demolition waste. Additionally, there must be a steady reduction in the waste generated by the city and visible beautification of the city to achieve a clean & aesthetically pleasing city”.

    Rating: Cities can be rated as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 star based on their compliance with the protocol conditions specified for each of the rating. Further city should be ODF(Open Defecation Free) before it could be given rating of 3 star or above. While cities may self-declare themselves as 1-star, 2-star or 4-star, MoHUA will carry out an additional verification through an independent third party to certify cities as 3-star, 5-star or 7-star. Cities will need to get recertified themselves every year to retain their star-status.

    Significance of the initiative: The most significant feature of the rating protocol is that it provides stakeholders with a single metric to rate a city’s cleanliness, rather than separately evaluating multiple factors which contribute to a city’s overall cleanliness and garbage free status. The distinctive feature of Star Rating System will be that many cities can have higher stars as compared to only one city can be “Cleanest city” under Swachh Survekshan.


    The Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) focuses on two key objectives- eradication of open defecation and 100 per cent scientific solid waste management across all 4,041 statutory towns and cities.

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