Bad Loans

In News

  • Recently, the Parliament has been informed by the Finance Minister that banks had written off bad loans worth ?10,09,511 crore during the last five financial years.

More about the news

  • Out of the total ?10.1 lakh crore, only ?1.32 lakh crore has been recovered.
    • This comes to only about 13% as a percentage of write-offs.


  • 2009: The RBI brought out norms that set out categories of NPAs and what banks must do as these bad loans age.
    • The RBI’s master circular in 2009 started off the journey on NPA recognition.
      • It states that if an asset has been ‘doubtful’ for a certain period, the value of that asset must be provided for in parts, as the asset ages. 
  • 2014-15: India became more stringent in recognising loans as ‘bad’ in the 2014 to 2015 period.
    • The periodic asset quality review was introduced. 
    • RBI stepped in to prevent evergreening of loans.
      • It means lending more to an already stressed asset in the hope that it could be brought back to its feet. 
  • 2021: There was a revision in 2021 which made recognition far more stringent.
    • Even if the asset is standard and there is no problem with it, banks are expected to make provisions depending on the risk element for that sector. 
    • Like home loans with teaser rates are at greater risk than those that are not. Hence provisions have to be made for such loans.
  • A National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd. (NARCL) was announced in the Union Budget for 2021-2022 to resolve stressed loans amounting to about ?2 lakh crore in phases.

What is a Bad loan and NPA?

  • What is a Bad Loan?
    • A bad loan is that which has not been ‘serviced’ for a certain period.
      • Servicing a loan is paying back the interest and a small part of the principal depending on the agreement between bank and borrower.
    • Bad loans are where there is less certainty that the loan would be paid back in full.
  • What is NPA?
    • A non performing asset (NPA) is a loan or advance for which the principal or interest payment remained overdue for a period of 90 days.
    • Types of NPA:
      • Sub Standard:  A sub-standard asset is one that is classified as an NPA for a period not exceeding twelve months.
      • Doubtful: A doubtful asset is one that has remained as an NPA for a period exceeding twelve months.
      • Loss: A loss asset is one where loss has already been identified by the bank or an external institution, but it is not yet completely written off, due to its recovery value, however little it may be.

What is the need to recognise NPAs?

  • Health of the financial system: In the banking system, the government and regulatory authorities need to have a good view of how healthy the financial system is.
    • A weak financial system can eventually ruin lives and livelihoods.

Causes and challenges related to Non-Performing Assets (NPA)

  • Lack of SWOT analysis: The bank lends to the corporations/persons etc. whose creditworthiness is not guaranteed and thus taking a lot of high risks.
  • Lack of understandability: The banks are not able to diminish their losses by a complete understanding of the sufficiency of the bank in terms of the loan or capital loss at a specific time frame. 
  • Redirection of funds: The funds are being redirected elsewhere by the promoters of the companies. 
  • Investing in non viable projects: The banks that try to fund projects that are not viable results in high NPAs.
  • Lack of information: Not enough means to collect as well as distribute credit information in between the commercial banks. 
  • Non-efficient recovery of the debts from the overdue borrowers.
  • Delay in legal procedures: Even if an NPA is fully recognised in a particular year, the fastest of legal processes may not resolve for full repayment. 
  • Delays in post-haircut payments: Not only do banks take significant haircuts when it comes to recovery but the amount to be repaid post-haircut may be delayed. 
  • Provisioning: The bad loans lead to banks having to save a part of their operating revenue to account for bad loans which is called Provisioning. 
  • Downfall in the share markets: Any reduction in the perceived valuation of the banks might lead to loss of share value of the banks, leading to general downfall in the share markets. This could result in wiping out shareholders’ wealth from the financial markets.

Impact of NPAs on Financial Operations 

  • This reduces the profits of the banks.
  • This reduces a bank or financial institution’s capital adequacy. 
  • The banks have become averse to giving loans and taking risks of zero percent. Thus, the creation of fresh credit is debarred. 
  • The banks start concentrating on the management of credit risk instead of the bank becoming profitable. 

Way forward

  • The transparent recognition of NPAs caused a rise in the percentage for gross loans from 4.1% in 2014 to 11.46% in 2018.
  • The government’s strategy of recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reforms has helped NPAs to decline to 5.9% by 2022.
  • Taking a person/corporation’s CIBIL score before lending a loan or finance to the person/corporation. 
  • Usage of mechanisms for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for receiving the settlements faster like the usage of Debt Recovery Tribunals and Lok Adalats. 
  • The defaulters’ information should be actively circulated so that they cannot opt for any other loans/finances from elsewhere. 
  • Using the Asset Reconstruction Company’s services. 
  • Taking strict action against large NPAs. Legal reforms like the implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to be used.
  • Other Steps:
    • Proper implementation of Indradhanush plan. 
    • Strengthening of Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (SARFAESI Act) and Debt Recovery Tribunals
    • Setting up of dedicated Stressed Asset Management Verticals (SAMVs) in banks for large-value NPA accounts etc.

Bhima-Koregaon Battle

In News

  • Recently, it was the 205th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima.

What Was the Bhima Koregaon Battle?

  • The Battle of Koregaon took place on 1 January 1818 in the village of Koregaon, Maharashtra between troops of Maratha ruler Baji Rao Peshwa II and 800 troops of the British East India Company.
  • The soldiers of the East India Company successfully fought the Peshwa troops, preventing them from advancing into Pune.
    • After a 12-hour-long battle, the loss of 600 men, and fearing reinforcements from Pune, Baji Rao II withdrew his troops from Koregaon and gave up his efforts to attack Pune.

Why Did The Battle Take Place?

  • The Peshwas had established themselves as overlords of the Deccan till the end of the 18th century. 
  • By 1802, the British East India Company had entered into treaties with Maratha rulers of the Deccan, which included the Peshwas of Pune, the Scindias of Gwalior, the Holkars of Indore, the Gaekwads of Baroda, and the Bhonsles of Nagpur.
  • Under the treaties, these former rulers ceded a large number of their rights of lordship, revenue, and other privileges.
  • Peshwa leader Baji Rao II who was the last of the reluctant Maratha leaders was defeated by the British in the Battle of Khadki in November 1817 and had escaped to Satara.
  • Baji Rao, cornered after being pursued by British Colonel Smith for two months, turned his focus and his 30,000-strong army to Pune at the end of December 1817.

Who Were the Mahars?

  • Historically, Mahars were considered untouchables. 
    • But the nature of their work, often in administration or military roles, situated them with upper castes quite regularly.
  • Maratha King Shivaji recruited a number of Mahars into the Maratha army in the 17th century.
    • The Mahar men often served as guards or soldiers.
  • The Mahar community even fought alongside Peshwa forces in many battles, including the third battle of Panipat.
  • However, relations between the Mahars and Peshwas turned sour after Baji Rao II reportedly insulted the community by rejecting their offer to join and serve in his army.

Why Is the Battle Significant for Dalit Rights?

  • In the 19th century, Peshwas were considered high-caste Brahmins, while Mahars were considered untouchables.
  • The Peshwas were notorious for their persecution of Mahars. 
    • Mahar Dalits faced several injustices under the Peshwa rule. 
    • This victory was significant for the Dalits who had been marginalised and oppressed for so long.
  • A 60-foot-commemorative obelisk, to honour the fallen soldiers of the Bombay Native Infantry, was erected at the battle site and inscribed with the names of 49 soldiers.
    • Twenty-two of the names mentioned in the list belonged to people from the Mahar community.
  • While it was built by the British in 1818, the obelisk was carried on the Mahar Regiment’s crest till as late as 1947.
  • Dr BR Ambedkar visited the site on 1 January 1927, on the 109th anniversary of the battle.

Why Is There Violence Over Bhima Koregaon Now?

  • The event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the battle had been met with protests even before 1 January, with a number of right-wing groups such as the Akhil Bhartiya Brahman Mahasabha, Hindu Aghadi, and Rashtriya Ekatmata Rashtra Abhiyan – opposing the event as anti-national and casteist.
  • The commemoration is a call to all Indians to rise against forces that are promoting hatred and violence on caste lines. 
  • The British army had people from all castes, including Mahar, Maratha, and even Brahmins. 
    • The Peshwa army too had people from all castes, including Maratha and Mahar. 
    • This was a war between the British and Indian rulers, and not between Mahars and Peshwas.
The Bhima Koregaon caseIt dates back to January 1, 2018.During the celebrations there were violent clashes between Dalit and Maratha groups.

International Year of Millets (IYM)

In News

  • The United Nations has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYM).

Key Points

  • India’s vision:
    • It was an Indian Initiative.
    • It is to make IYM 2023 a ‘People’s Movement’ alongside positioning India as the ‘Global Hub for Millets’.
  • Traditional Crop:
    • Being grown in more than 130 countries at present, Millets are considered traditional food for more than half a billion people across Asia and Africa. 
  • India and millets: 
    • ‘Millets’ were among the first crops to be domesticated in India with several evidence of its consumption during the Indus valley civilization
    • In India, millets are primarily a kharif crop, requiring less water and agricultural inputs than other similar staples. 
    • Millets are important by virtue of its mammoth potential to generate livelihoods, increase farmers’ income and ensure food & nutritional security all over the world.
    • Recognising the enormous potential of Millets, which also aligns with several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Government of India (GoI) has prioritized Millets. 
    • In April 2018, Millets were rebranded as “Nutri Cereals”, followed by the year 2018 being declared as the National Year of Millets, aiming at larger promotion and demand generation. 
    • The global millets market is projected to register a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period between 2021-2026.
  • Production in India: 
    • India accounts for a fifth of the world’s millets production.
    • Between 2003-04 and 2021-22, India’s millet output has actually fallen from 21.32 million tonnes (mt) to 15.92 mt. 
    • Almost 98% of it is just three cereals — bajra (down from 12.11 mt to 9.62 mt), jowar (6.68 mt to 4.23 mt) and ragi (1.97 mt to 1.70 mt) — with small millets accounting for the rest (0.56 mt to 0.37 mt).
  • New invention: 
    • The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has bred Pusa-1201, a hybrid bajra.
    • It gives an average grain yield of over 2.8 tonnes and potential of 4.5 tonnes per hectare. 
    • It matures in 78-80 days and is resistant to downy mildew and blast, both deadly fungal diseases. 
    • The grains have 13-14% protein, 55 mg/ kg iron (normal level is 50 mg/ kg) and 48 mg/ kg zinc (normal: 35 mg/ kg). 

Significance of Millets

  • Minerals, vitamins and dietary fibre: 
    • Millets score over rice and wheat in these contents, as well as in amino acid profile. 
  • Healthier option: 
    • Bajra (pearl millet) has iron, zinc, and protein levels comparable to that of wheat, but it’s gluten-free (unlike wheat, which induces gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders in many people) and has more fibre. 
    • The rotis from bajra makes one feel fuller for longer, as they take more time to digest and do not raise blood sugar levels too fast.
  • Can address nutritional hunger issue: 
    • These nutritionally superior traits can easily address the problem of “hidden hunger” arising from the consumption of energy-dense but micronutrients-deficient foods.
  • Good in fighting climate induced negative effects: 
    • Millets are hardy and drought-resistant crops. 
    • It so happens because of their short duration (70-100 days, against 115-150 days for rice and wheat), lower water requirement (350-500 mm versus 600-1,250 mm) and ability to grow even on poor soils and in hilly terrain.


  • Selling price was low but now decreasing: 
    • For the poor, both in urban and rural areas, rice and wheat were once aspirational foods. 
    • But due to the Green Revolution and the National Food Security Act of 2013, two-thirds of India’s population receives up to 5 kg of wheat or rice per person per month at Rs 2 and Rs 3/kg respectively. 
    • The Modi government has, in fact, made the issue of the two fine cereals free of cost from January 2023. This move further tilted the scales against millets.
  • Work required to make it ready for eating: 
    • Even for the better-off, rolling rotis is easier with wheat than millet flour. 
    • This is because the gluten proteins, for all their drawbacks, make the wheat dough more cohesive and elastic. 
    • The resultant breads come out light and fluffy, which isn’t the case with bajra or jowar.
  • Low per hectare yields: 
    • For farmers, the national average is roughly 1 tonne for jowar, 1.5 tonnes for bajra and 1.7 tonnes for ragi, as against 3.5 tonnes for wheat and 4 tonnes for paddy — are a disincentive. 
    • With access to assured irrigation, they would tend to switch to rice, wheat, sugarcane, or cotton.
  • Absence of Government support:
    • The absence of government procurement at minimum support price (MSP), unlike in paddy and wheat, make farmers hesitant to grow even this high-yielding and naturally bio-fortified bajra (Pusa-1201), suitable for both post-monsoon kharif (June-July sowing time) and summer (after harvesting of potato or mustard in February-March and with 1-2 irrigations) cultivation.
  • Orphan crops: 
    • The millets have been reduced to “orphan crops” over the years, planted largely in marginal areas prone to moisture stress. 


  • Promoting Use of millets: 
    • The nutritional traits, similar to bajra, are present in other millets too: jowar (sorghum), ragi (finger millet), kodo (kodo millet), kutki (little millet), kakun (foxtail millet), sanwa (barnyard millet), cheena (proso millet), kuttu (buckwheat) and chaulai (amaranth). Their use should also be increased.
    • Besides midday meals, millets could be served in the form of ready-to-eat foods such as cookies, laddu, murukku, nutrition bars, and extruded snacks (think healthier versions of Maggi, Kurkure, or Cheetos).
  • Huge market base for millets: 
    • India, according to the latest official data for 2021-22, has 26.52 crore children enrolled in 14.89 lakh schools from the pre-primary to higher secondary levels. 
    • In addition, 7.71 crore children and 1.80 crore pregnant & lactating women are being provided supplementary nutrition in 13.91 lakh anganwadi care centres.
    • Given the dire need to alleviate micronutrient malnutrition — especially iron and zinc deficiency that are major causes of anaemia and stunting respectively, while also contributing to impaired cognitive performance and vulnerability to diarrhoea — millets could be made a staple part of children’s diets.
  • One bajra meal each day in Government Schemes:
    • Every schoolchild and anganwadi beneficiary can be served one daily hot meal based on locally-sourced bajra, jowar, ragi, kodo, or kutki, along with a 150-ml glass of milk and one egg. 
    • It will help combat hidden hunger, besides giving a boost to crop diversification by creating demand for millions of small millet, dairy and poultry farmers.
    • The Centre has two existing schemes — Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman and Saksham Anganwadi & Poshan 2.0 — with a combined budget of Rs 30,496.82 crore in 2022-23. These can be better leveraged by making them more millets-focused.
  • Centre Funding & What States are doing: 
    • The Centre could fund any state willing to procure millets specific to their region exclusively for distribution through schools and anganwadis. 
    • Odisha already has a dedicated millet mission that undertook procurement of 32,302 tonnes worth Rs 109.08 crore, mainly of ragi, in 2021-22. 
    • Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana might want to do the same in bajra, just as Maharashtra may for jowar, Karnataka for ragi and Madhya Pradesh for kodo/ kutki. 
    • They can, of course, add milk and eggs. Some are already doing it: Karnataka and Gujarat in milk and Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha for eggs.
  • Combined funding: 
    • A combination of central funding with decentralised procurement linked to nutrition goals — specifically the eradication of hidden hunger among school-age children — can do for millets what the Food Corporation of India achieved with rice and wheat.

Deep Fakes

In News

  • AI-manipulated digital media can impact the lives of individuals as well as influence the public discourse.

Present Scenario

  • Disinformation and hoaxes are evolving exponentially and growing from mere annoying to warfare tactics.
  • It is capable enough to increase social discord, increase polarisation, and in some cases, even influence the election outcome. 
  • The disinformation threat has a new tool in the form of deep fakes.

Deep Fakes

  • About:
    • They are digital media – video, audio, and images edited and manipulated using Artificial Intelligence
    • It is basically hyper-realistic digital falsification. 
    • They are created to inflict harm on individuals and institutions. 
    • Access to commodity cloud computing, public research AI algorithms, and abundant data and availability of vast media have created a perfect storm to democratise the creation and manipulation of media. 
    • This synthetic media content is referred to as deepfakes
  • Creators of Deep Fakes:
    • Deepfake creators may be political groups, government agencies, social media users, software tech experts, visual effects artists, or the average layman. 
  • Benefits of Deep Fakes:
    • Easy Accessibility, 
    • Education, 
    • Film production, 
    • Criminal forensics, and 
    • Artistic expression. 
  • Risks involved with Deep Fakes:
    • Damages reputation, 
    • Fabricates evidence, 
    • Defrauds the public, and 
    • Undermine trust in democratic institutions. 
    • All this can be achieved with fewer resources, with scale and speed, and even micro-targeted to galvanise support.

Issues / Challenges

  • Pornography: 
    • The first case of malicious use of deepfake was detected in pornography. 
    • 96% of deep fakes are pornographic videos, with over 135 million views on pornographic websites alone. 
    • Deepfake pornography exclusively targets women. Pornographic deep fakes can threaten, intimidate, and inflict psychological harm. 
    • It reduces women to sexual objects causing emotional distress, and in some cases, leads to financial loss and collateral consequences like job loss.
  • Harming social reputation: 
    • Deepfake can depict a person as indulging in antisocial behaviours and saying vile things that they never did. 
    • Even if the victim could debunk the fake via alibi or otherwise, that fix may come too late to remedy the initial harm.
  • Reduced trust in media:
    • Deepfakes can also cause such Long term and short term harm and accelerate the already declining trust in traditional media. Such erosion can contribute to a culture of factual relativism, fraying the increasingly strained civil society fabric.
  • As warfare tactics between countries:
    • Deepfake could act as a powerful tool by a malicious nation-state to undermine public safety and create uncertainty and chaos in the target country. 
    • Deepfakes can undermine trust in institutions and diplomacy.
  • As hate speech:
    • Deepfakes can be used by non-state actors, such as insurgent groups and terrorist organisations, to show their adversaries as making inflammatory speeches or engaging in provocative actions to stir anti-state sentiments among people.
  • Undesirable truth is dismissed as deep fake or fake news:
    • The mere existence of deepfakes gives more credibility to denials. Leaders may weaponise deep fakes and use fake news and alternative-facts narrative to dismiss an actual piece of media and truth.

Way Ahead

  • Media literacy efforts must be enhanced to cultivate a discerning public. Media literacy for consumers is the most effective tool to combat disinformation and deep fakes.
  • meaningful regulation is needed, with a collaborative discussion with the technology industry, civil society, and policymakers to develop legislative solutions to disincentivizing the creation and distribution of malicious deepfakes.
  • Social media platforms should start taking more cognizance of the deepfake issue. 
  • Easy-to-use and accessible technology solutions are required to detect deep fakes, authenticate media, and amplify authoritative sources.
  • Everyone must take the responsibility to be critical consumers of media on the Internet, think and pause before we share on social media, and be part of the solution to this ‘infodemic’.

Croatia’s Entry into Schengen Zone

In News 

  • Recently, Croatia adopted the euro currency and enter Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone after nearly a decade after joining the European Union.
    • Croatia welcomes the Euro – a significant milestone for citizens and businesses alike, contributing to easier trade and investments, reduced transaction costs and increased financial stability overall.

Schengen Zone 

  • The border-free Schengen Area guarantees free movement to more than 400 million EU citizens, along with non-EU nationals living in the EU or visiting the EU as tourists, exchange students, or for business purposes (anyone legally present in the EU). 
  • Free movement of persons enables every EU citizen to travel, work and live in an EU country without special formalities.
    • Schengen underpins this freedom by enabling citizens to move around the Schengen Area without being subject to border checks.
  • Joining by Croatia: It will also be the 27th nation in the passport-free Schengen zone.

India and Austria’s agreement

In News

  • India and Austria will sign a migration and mobility agreement.

Major Highlights

  • India will sign a “Comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement” (MMPA) with Austria.
    • It has similar mobility agreements with France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Finland.
  • Relevance:  India has been keen to finalise these agreements with European countries as a stepping stone to resolving issues over the long-pending India-European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement and facilitating Indian professionals working in these countries, the European countries also see them as a way to curb illegal immigration from India.
    • This is a much-needed agreement, especially in view of the sharp increase in illegal migration Austria was confronted with last year, including over 15,000 illegal migrants from India with practically no chance of asylum.
    • The agreement is now a useful tool to combat illegal migration together, as it enables the swift return of illegal migrants.
    • It will regulate multiple entry visas for professionals and student exchange programmes, and will be reviewed regularly by a Joint Working Group (JWG).

Diplomatic relations between India and Austria

  • They were established in 1949. Traditionally India-Austria relations have been warm and friendly. 
  • There has been a regular exchange of high-level visits between the two countries
  • Austria, a member of the European Union since 1995 is an important link for India in its relationship with Europe, especially with countries of central and Eastern Europe.
  • India?s main exports to Austria are Footwear, Textiles, Articles Of Leather, Articles Of Apparel And Clothing Accessories, Vehicles, Rolling Stock (And Parts And Accessories Thereof), Machinery And Mechanical Appliances (And Parts Thereof), Electrical Machinery And Equipment, Organic Chemicals and Pharmaceutical Products.

Satyendra Nath Bose

In News

  • The 129th birth anniversary of Satyendra Nath Bose was observed.

About Satyendra Nath Bose

  • Early life: Born on January 1, 1894, He grew up and studied in Kolkata, where he solidified his position as an exemplary academician.
    • His father, an accountant in the Executive Engineering Department of the East Indian Railways, gave him an arithmetic problem to solve every day before going to work, encouraging Bose’s interest in mathematics.
  • Educational Career:
    • By the age of 15, he began pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree at the Presidency College and later finished his MSc in Mixed Mathematics in 1915. 
    • At 22, Bose was appointed lecturer at Calcutta University, along with astrophysicist Meghnad Saha.
      • By the end of 1917, Bose began giving lectures on physics. 
      • In 1921, he joined the then-newly created Dacca University as Reader in Physics. 
      • It was here while teaching that he documented his findings in a report called Planck’s Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta.
        • Even though his research was rejected by a journal, he decided to mail his paper to Albert Einstein.
        • Einstein recognised the significance of Bose’s theory and generalised it to a wider range of phenomena, and the theory came to be known as Bose-Einstein statistics.
  • The Breakthrough: Indian mathematician and physicist noted for his collaboration with Albert Einstein in developing a theory regarding the gaslike qualities of electromagnetic radiation.
    • He also joined the laboratory of Maurice de Broglie where he learnt techniques of X-ray spectroscopy and crystallography, the branch of science that deals with the arrangement of atoms in crystalline solids.
  • Return to India: After his stay in Europe, Bose came back to India and was appointed professor of physics and then Head of Department at Dhaka University in 1927.
    • Here, he completely devoted himself to teaching and guiding research.
    • He designed equipment for setting up an X-ray crystallography laboratory at the university, and wrote several papers on a range of subjects, such as ‘D2 Statistics’, and ‘Total Reflection of Electromagnetic Waves in the Ionosphere’.
    •  He retired from the University of Calcutta in 1956 and spent a year as the Vice Chancellor at the Viswa-Bharati University.
  • Awards to honour him
    • His contributions to physics were recognised by the Indian government by awarding him the Padma Vibhushan, one of the highest civilian awards in the country. 
    • He was also appointed as National Professor, the highest honour in India for scholars.
    • In honour of Bose’s legacy, any particle that obeys the Bose-Einstein statistics is called a boson.
      • His theory is a cornerstone of condensed matter physics.
    • He lived the remainder of his life in Kolkata, until his death in 1974.

Confuciusornis shifan

In News

  • Recently, paleontologists have announced the discovery of a fossil beaked bird ancestor in northeastern China.

Key Points

  • About Discovery:
    • The title of paper: “A new confuciusornithid bird with a secondary epiphyseal ossification reveals phylogenetic changes in confuciusornithid flight mode.”
    • The findings in detail in the prestigious journal Nature Communications Biology. 
    • The nearly complete fossil is of a beaked bird that lived in what is now China during the Early Cretaceous epoch, some 119 million years ago.
  • Significance:
    • The preserved specimens will collectively provide rich information on Confucian ornithid morphology, taxonomy, flight ability, growth, diet and ecology.
    • The new find strikingly exemplifies the morphological, developmental and functional diversity of the first beaked birds.
  • About Confuciusornis shifan:
    • Confuciusornis is a genus of extinct raven-billed bird in the family Confuciusornithidae.
      • Confuciusornithidae is a clade of Early Cretaceous pygostylian birds known from the Jehol Biota of East Asia, 
    • It weighed less than 200 grams and was smaller than most other confuciusornithid species.
    • It represents the earliest known toothless, beaked birds.
    • It is different from other Mesozoic birds due to the presence of an additional cushion-like bone in the first digit of the wing.
      • This feature is significant as it may have helped the bird meet the functional demand of flight at a stage when the skeletal growth was still incomplete.
  • Origin of Name:
    • The specific name is derived from the Mandarin “shifan”, meaning a paragon of all teachers, in honor of Confucius. 
    • The name also commemorates the 70th anniversary of Shenyang Normal University (Shenyang Shifan Daxue).


In News

Two wars are raging in 2022, which have undermined the hyperglobalisation.

  • The first war is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the second is an economic war, a geopolitical confrontation between two superpowers (US and China).


  • Features of  a hyperglobalised world:
    • Wars are not the norm and economies broadly follow the principles laid down by the late-18th/early-19th century economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo
    • Smith said in his ‘Wealth of Nations’ that if a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it  from them.
    • Ricardo said that countries could produce even things in which they had no “absolute advantage”. What mattered was “comparative advantage”. 
    • The second golden age of “hyperglobalisation” was propelled by the belief in comparative advantage.
  • Different Phases:
    • The first “golden age” of globalisation was between 1870 and 1914, when world trade in goods surged from 9% to 16% of GDP. 
    • The second golden age of globalisation – The era of “hyper globalisation”: Between 1990 and 2008, global trade in goods soared from 15.3% to 25.2% of world GDP. 
    • Hyperglobalisation’s chief protagonist was China that emerged as the “world’s factory” and a “mega-trader”. China’s share in world merchandise trade has risen from 1.8% in 1990 to 11.1% in 2012.
    • The end of the era of hyperglobalisation: This era formally ended in 2022, which has seen not one, but two wars.
  • Assumption of “doux commerce”:
    • The idea states that trade makes men less prone to violence or irrational behaviour.
    • The French philosopher Montesquieu said that “commerce is a cure for the most destructive prejudices” and “peace is the natural effect of trade”.

Hyperglobalisation’s Impacts on the Indian Society

  • It promoted production based on comparative advantage in India. 
  • India is granting incentives amounting to 30-50% of project cost for semiconductor units manufacturing less-sophisticated 28-65 nm range chips that can be used in mobile phones, home appliances and cars. 
  • Five years ago, it may not have considered this to be worth spending taxpayer money


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