We have launched our mobile app, get it now. Call : 9354229384, 9354252518, 9999830584.  

Current Affairs

Filter By Article

Filter By Article

The Hindu Editorial Analysis | PDF Download

Date: 24 April 2019

In an oil slick

  • India is testing its traditional ties with Iran by giving in to U.S. bullying
  • Faced with the U.S.’s intransigent demand that all countries put a full stop to oil imports from Iran or face sanctions, the Indian government has indicated it will ‘zero out’ oil imports after the May 2 deadline. Statements from the Petroleum and External Affairs Ministries suggest the government’s focus is now on finding alternative sources of energy, and minimizing the impact on the Indian market. At last count, India was importing about 10% of its oil needs from Iran, although it had considerably reduced its intake over the last few months. The U.S. has made it clear that Indian companies that continue to import oil from Iran would face severe secondary sanctions, including being taken out of the SWIFT international banking system and a freeze on dollar transactions and U.S. assets. In response, Indian importers, including the oil PSUs, have decided that sourcing oil from Iran is unviable at present. As a result, the government is seeking to explain the decision as a pragmatic one, taken in India’s best interests. Officials point to the six-month reprieve, from November 2018 to May 2019, that they received from the U.S. in the form of sanctions waivers to import Iranian oil, and the exemption to continue developing the Chabahar port, as positive outcomes of the negotiations over the past year. Such arguments are, however, not very convincing. India has, in effect, now decided to cave in to U.S. pressure on the issue less than a year after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India would recognise only UN sanctions, not “unilateral” ones. In fact, last February Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s presence in Delhi to increase India’s oil intake from Iran.
  • There are other real costs attached to the U.S. ultimatum that India may have to bear. The price of oil has already shot up above the $70 mark in April. In addition, Iran has threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, a key channel for global oil shipments, which would further lead to inflationary trends, not just for oil but other commodities too. Any direct backlash from Iran for its decision will also jeopardise India’s other interests in the country, including its considerable investment in the Chabahar port, which India is building as an alternative route for trade to Central Asia. In the larger picture, India isn’t just testing its traditional ties with Iran, but also giving in to President Donald Trump’s blatant bullying after his administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. Instead of engaging in what appear to have been fruitless negotiations with the U.S. over the past year, India, China, the EU and other affected entities could have spent their time more productively in building a counter with an alternative financial architecture, immune to the U.S.’s arbitrary moves.
  • The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) provides a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable environment. SWIFT also sells software and services to financial institutions, much of it for use on the SWIFTNet network, and ISO 9362. Business Identifier Codes (BICs, previously Bank Identifier Codes) are popularly known as "SWIFT codes".
  • The majority of international interbank messages use the SWIFT network. As of 2015, SWIFT linked more than 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories, who were exchanging an average of over 32 million messages per day (compared to an average of 2.4 million daily messages in 1995). SWIFT transports financial messages in a highly secure way but does not hold accounts for its members and does not perform any form of clearing or settlement.
  • SWIFT does not facilitate funds transfer: rather, it sends payment orders, which must be settled by correspondent accounts that the institutions have with each other. Each financial institution, to exchange banking transactions, must have a banking relationship by either being a bank or affiliating itself with one (or more) so as to enjoy those particular business features.
  • SWIFT is a cooperative society under Belgian law owned by its member financial institutions with offices around the world. SWIFT headquarters, designed by Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura are in La Hulpe, Belgium, near Brussels.
  • Farm suicides data
  • Employment data
  • Mudra data
  • Unorganised sector for 94% workforce
  • CMIE • Falling farm income
  • Increased NREGA fund
  • Income support
  • Questions on credibility of their own DATA
  • Only estimating organized sector data
  • If NSSO employment data not reliable then how one can trust GDP and budget figures
  • Opening doors for future Govts.
  • Quarterly growth data based on corporate data only
  • World bank & IMF data
  • WPI data not representing Services sector
  • If the government wishes to revamp data collection, it cannot be done arbitrarily.
  •  In brief, the present government is denying the data of its own agencies or modifying data arbitrarily. This is opening the doors for future governments to do the same.
  •  Tomorrow when the inflation rate rises, a government can claim that data on prices are faulty. If so, the bottom falls out of the calculation of dearness allowance to the organized sector and the budget formulation gets impacted.
  • Further, the calculations of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also go wrong since it is supposed to target inflation.
  • If both the data on growth and prices are denied, what would the RBI target?
  •  No one says that data cannot be improved but denying the existing official data only creates problems for policy and its credibility.
  • The Indian leather industry accounts for around 12.93 per cent of the world’s leather production of hides/skins.
  1. 100 metres hurdles
  2. High jump
  3. Shot put
  4. 200 metres
  5. Long jump
  6. Javelin throw
  7. 800 metres
  • Women's heptathlon is the combined event for women contested in the athletics programme of the Olympics and at the IAAF World Championships. The IAAF Combined Events Challenge determines a yearly women's heptathlon champion. The women's outdoor heptathlon consists of the following events, with the first four contested on the first day, and the remaining three on day two