“Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.” – Grandma Moses
Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 14th Dec 2020
Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) Fund
Slowdown in loans sanctioned to struggling firms
WHY IN NEWS:
The ECLGS scheme is a key stimulus for businesses battered by lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Schemes
EMERGENCY CREDIT LINE GUARANTEE SCHEME (ECLGS) FUND
- In its first three months, the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) Fund had led to sanction of soft term loans of ₹1.86 lakh crore.
- Out of which ₹1.32 lakh crore had been disbursed to ₹27.09 lakh borrowers by September 29.
- Between September 29 and December 4, loans sanctioned under the scheme rose by just ₹19,094 crore to a little over ₹2.05 lakh crore.
- These sanctions pertain to 80.93 lakh accounts.
- The total borrowers receiving funds under the scheme now stand at 40.49 lakh.
- The ECLGS is a key element of the government’s stimulus and support measures for firms battered by the lockdown restrictions put in place in March to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The financing is in the form of a term loan at a concessional rate of interest.
- Firms with outstanding loans of ₹50 crore to ₹500 crore from sectors such as construction, real estate, textiles, power, cement, hotels and tourism, are eligible for support.
AID TO NBFCS
- Similarly, the ₹45,000-crore Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 to enable non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), housing finance companies and micro-finance institutions to undertake fresh lending to MSMEs.
- Banks had approved purchase of loan portfolios of such entities worth ₹25,505 crore and purchased portfolios worth ₹16,401 crore by September 25.
- Transactions being negotiated or awaiting approval at the time were around ₹3,171 crore at the time.
- As on December 4, the portfolios approved for purchase stood at ₹27,794 crore, rising by just ₹2,289 crore.
- The portfolios at the negotiation/approval stage had also declined to ₹1,400 crore.
SOURCES: PIB | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 14th Dec 2020
India-Bangladesh Summit 2020
Connectivity, infrastructure key points in Modi-Hasina summit
WHY IN NEWS:
The two leaders will hold a virtual meeting on December 17
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR
KEY POINTS : INDIA BANGLADESH SUMMIT
- Connectivity projects, including the resurrection of the 12-km Chilahati-Haldibari rail link after 55 years.
- The Chilahati-Haldibari rail link, a British-era line, was abandoned after the India-Pakistan war in 1965 (when Bangladesh was East Pakistan).
- This will be the fifth rail route connecting Bangladesh with Bengal.
- The two countries have also had talks on water sharing for other peninsular rivers, including the Monu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gomti, Dharla and Dudhkumar.
- The deliberations will also include killings of its nationals at the border, would also be raised by Bangladesh.
- The meeting will also seek to restore the ‘momentum’ in ties after political differences over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
SOURCES: THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 14th Dec 2020
Rare Myristica swamp treefrog
Rare Myristica swamp treefrog found in Thrissur
WHY IN NEWS:
The exploration study lasted two years and the recording has been published in the December issue of Reptiles & Amphibians, an international journal dedicated to the studies of amphibians and reptiles.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Conservation of Biodiversity
MYRISTICA SWAMP TREEFROG
- Myristica swamp treefrog, a rare arboreal species endemic to the Western Ghats that bears the scientific name Mercurana myristicapalustris.
- The frog was first spotted in 2013 in the Myristica swamps of Arippa, near the Kulathupuzha Reserve Forest, in the western foothills of Agasthyamalai, in Kollam district.
- These frogs are rare and elusive for the reason that they are arboreal and active only for a few weeks during their breeding season.
- During this season, there is a large aggregation of males that descend from the high canopy of the trees.
- The males vocalise in groups from the low perches in the swamps.
- They exhibit unique breeding behaviour.
- Before the end of the breeding season, the female frogs along with their male counterparts descend on the forest floor.
- The female digs the mud and lays eggs in shallow burrows in mud.
- After breeding and egg-laying, they retreat back to the high canopies of the tree and remain elusive till next breeding season.