Erosion along the Banks of River

In News

  • Massive erosion along the banks of the Ganga river has left hundreds of people homeless in West Bengal.

Major Reasons

  • Flood is the most crucial reason for river bank erosion.
  • Deforestation also causes River Bank Erosion.
  • Humans extract excessive amounts of soil from the bank for their uses or they extract huge amounts of sand and gravel which help to hold back the soil. By doing this they accelerate river bank erosion.
  • Key factors causing the river to be extremely unstable at many reaches are ’aggradation’ (raising of the river bed due to sediment deposition), intense ‘braiding’ and large water discharge.
  • Other than the natural process, like storms and sea level rise, anthropogenic issues like aquaculture, port construction and other developmental activities also lead to erosion.

Implications and Concerns 

  • The recurring incidents of river bank erosion have doubled the safety concerns of people.
  • Apart from the loss of cropped areas, they fear that their residential areas might cave in.
  • People have begun to move out of villages as erosion of the river has affected agricultural lands.
    • All these reasons are a major cause of migration 
  • The erosion of river banks is also having an impact on education and employment in the area.
    • Since locals have to keep shifting their homes, it has become difficult for them to continue their children’s education
  • The locals are mostly farmers and agricultural labourers, and it has become difficult for them to sustain their livelihood as large stretches of farmland have been swallowed up by the river. 
  • Protection of river banks from erosion is a problem in flood-prone areas and involves a huge expenditure.
  • Many local bodies are also reluctant to use their own funds, expecting contributions from other government sources.


  • The grass vetiver, whose scientific name is Chrysopogon Zizanioides, has been planted on the embankment of the Mundeswari River in the Hooghly district experimentally under the MGNREGA programme.
  • The XVth Finance Commission had recommended the creation of a National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) and State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF) comprising a Mitigation Fund at the National and State-levels (NDMF/SDMF), and a Response Fund at the National and State level (NDRF/SDRF) for the award period from 2021-22 to 2022-26.
    • The Commission has also made specific recommendations for ‘Mitigation Measures to Prevent Erosion’ under NDMF and ‘Resettlement of Displaced People Affected by Erosion’ under NDRF.
  • The projects for flood management and control are formulated and implemented by respective state governments/Union Territories from their own resources and as per their priority. 
  • The Central Government provides financial assistance to states/UTs for implementing some projects in critical areas. Central Govt. has been providing financial assistance through a scheme called Flood Management Programme (FMP) since XI Plan. 
    • The scheme since its inception has undergone several changes as per demands of states/UTs and also on account of various directions and policies of Govt. of India. 

Suggestions and Way Forward 

  • There is a need to develop suitable norms for mitigation measures to prevent erosion and for both the Union and the State Governments to develop a policy to deal with the extensive displacement of people caused by coastal and river erosion.
  • The phase-wise solution is required for the mitigation of erosion by including a combination of measures including strategic dredging, and protection of erodible bank materials with anchored bulkhead or tie-back sheet piles, spurs, toe and bank revetments.
  • Improvement of data quality and quantity by extending rain, flow and sediment monitoring networks using state-of-the-art equipment and considering physical modelling to study severe and potential scour sites and their control have also been suggested by the experts.
  • There is a need for adopting the holistic science of river management as well as comprehensive land use plans for vulnerable areas. 
  • There is a need to generate awareness among the people:
    •  People should understand that this is the land of the river and the river needs space to play.

Additional Tier-1 (AT1) bonds

In News

  • Recently, the Bombay High Court Friday quashed the write-off of Additional Tier-1 (AT1) bonds issued by Yes Bank Ltd.

More about the news

  • SEBI investigation:
    • A Sebi probe found that the bank facilitated the selling of AT1 bonds from institutional investors to individual investors. 
    • It found that during the process of selling the AT1 bonds, individual investors were not informed about all the risks involved in the subscription of these bonds
  • Super FD’ and ‘as safe as FD’:
    • The Sebi investigation also found that Yes Bank represented these bonds as a ‘Super FD’ and ‘as safe as FD’ to the investors.
  • Reckless selling of the bonds:
    • SEBI also found that the push from the managing director of Yes Bank to down-sell the AT1 bonds led its private wealth management team to recklessly sell the bonds to individual investors.
More about the Additional Tier-1 AT1 bondsAT1 bonds are unsecured bonds that have perpetual tenor. In other words, these bonds, issued by banks, have no maturity date. They have a call option, which can be used by the banks to buy these bonds back from investors. These bonds are typically used by banks to bolster their core or tier-1 capital.AT1 bonds are subordinate to all other debt and only senior to common equity. Mutual funds (MFs) were among the largest investors in perpetual debt instruments.

More about the Bonds

  • Meaning:
    • A bond is simply a loan taken out by a company. 
    • Instead of going to a bank, the company gets the money from investors who buy its bonds. 
    • Interest coupon:
      • In exchange for the capital, the company pays an interest coupon, which is the annual interest rate paid on a bond expressed as a percentage of the face value. 
    • Interest:
      • The company pays the interest at predetermined intervals (usually annually or semiannually) and returns the principal on the maturity date, ending the loan.
  • Significance:
    • The bond market can help investors diversify beyond stocks.
    • Some of the characteristics of bonds include their maturity, their coupon (interest) rate, their tax status, and their callability.
  • Stock vs. Bonds:
    • Safer:
      • When bonds and stocks are compared, bonds are considered to be a safer investment.
        • It is important to note that bonds are not completely risk-free and only receive preference in case of bankruptcy.
    • Less volatility:
      • Owning a stock offers more potential for returns, but bonds come with much less downside volatility. 
      • Bond investments play a key role in balancing and reducing the short-term volatility associated with stocks.
    • Larger market:
      • The bond market is actually much larger than the stock market, in terms of aggregate market value.
  • Risks:
    • Several types of risks associated with bonds include interest rate risk, credit/default risk, and prepayment risk.
  • Bond Ratings:
    • Most bonds come with a rating that outlines their quality of credit. 
    • That is, how strong the bond is and its ability to pay its principal and interest. Ratings are published and are used by investors and professionals to judge their worthiness.
    • Rating agencies:
      • The most commonly cited bond rating agencies are Standard & Poor’sMoody’s Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings. 
      • They rate a company’s ability to repay its obligations. 
    • Ratings range:
      • Ratings range from AAA to Aaa for high-grade issues very likely to be repaid to for issues that are currently in default.
  • Types of Bonds:
    • Central Government Bonds:
      • As they are issued by the government, central government bonds carry the sovereign guarantee. 
      • This makes them one of the safest types of bonds. However, these bonds are exposed to inflation rate risk due to the long maturity period. 
    • State Government Bonds:
      • State Government bonds are also known as state development loans (SDLs). 
      • They are issued by state governments to fund infrastructural developments in the state or during liquidity crunch etc.
    • Public Sector Bonds:
      • These bonds are mostly issued by top public sector companies or institutions to fund their growth and expansion needs. 
      • They are relatively less risky than corporate bonds.
    • Corporate Bonds:
      • Corporate bonds are issued by private companies. They represent a large portion of the bond market in India. 
      • By issuing corporate bonds, companies can raise capital at a low cost.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)About:SEBI is a statutory body established on April 12, 1992 in accordance with the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.Before SEBI came into existence, Controller of Capital Issues was the regulatory authority; it derived authority from the Capital Issues (Control) Act, 1947.Aim: To protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and regulate the securities market.It is the regulator of the securities and commodity market in India owned by the Government of India.Statute:Initially SEBI was a non statutory body without any statutory power.It became autonomous and given statutory powers by SEBI Act 1992.

RBI’s report on state govt Budgets

In News

Reserve Bank of India has released its report ‘State Finances: A Study of Budgets’ on state government budgets for 2022-23.

About the Report

  • It is an annual report by the Reserve Bank of India which provides data and analysis of the fiscal position of State governments in India.
  • It examines the role and impact of capital outlay of State governments in India and the challenges they have to confront in this regard with the theme ‘Capital Formation in India – The Role of States’.
    • Capital formation refers to the process by which resources are invested in assets like plants, equipment, machinery, transportation assets, electricity and other physical assets as well as in human capital through education, health, skill development, scientific advancement, and research. 
    • These investments increase the economy’s productive capacity, ensure fuller absorption of unutilized labour and other natural resources, and promote efficiency raising innovation. 

The salient findings of the report

  • The fiscal health of the States has improved from a sharp pandemic-induced deterioration in 2020-21 due to economic recovery and resulting high revenue collections.
    • States’ gross fiscal deficit (GFD) is budgeted to decline from 4.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020-21 to 3.4 per cent in 2022-23.
  • Receipts: States’ revenue collections declined in 2020-21 on account of the pandemic-induced slump in own tax revenue, non-tax revenue and tax devolution from the Centre.
    • For 2021-22, States budgeted a sharp rise in revenue receipts led by own tax and non-tax revenues and grants from the Centre. 
    • States have budgeted for higher revenue receipts in 2022-23, driven primarily by SGST, excise duties, and sales tax collections.
  • Expenditure: States’ revenue expenditure had increased sharply in 2020-21, reflecting the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The revenue expenditure of States increased by 20.7 percent  in 2021-22 (RE), mainly on account of increase in developmental spending on medical and public health, water supply and sanitation and social security and welfare. 
    • For 2022-23, States have budgeted an increase in revenue spending, mainly led by non-developmental expenditure such as pension and administrative services.
  • Capital Expenditure: States’ capital outlay recorded a robust growth of 31.7 per cent in 2021-22, partly supported by the Centre’s budgetary allocation for States under the ‘Scheme for Financial Assistance to the States for Capital Investment’, providing the necessary support to the recovering economy.
    • In 2022-23, they have budgeted for an increase in capital outlay by 38.4 per cent.
  • Debt-to-GDP: The state debt-to-GDP ratio remains high. The debt-to-GDP ratio has fallen from 31.1 per cent in 2020-21 – a year when states had struggled to manage the economic fallout of the pandemic — to 29.5 per cent in 2022-23.
    • It is still higher than 20 per cent recommended by FRBM Review Committee, 2018.
    • Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and West Bengal have the highest interest payments to revenue receipts ratio. 
    • This implies that in these states, interest payments account for a sizable portion of the states’ revenues, leaving them with less room to spend on other areas of priority such as health or education.
  • Contingent liabilities: State governments have also seen a significant expansion in their contingent liabilities.
    • Contingent liabilities here refer to the obligations of a state government to repay the principal and interest payments in case a state-owned entity defaults on a loan.
  • Old Pension Scheme: Lastly, new risks have emerged with some states now opting to return to the old pension scheme.
    • In the early 2000s, there was a growing realisation that financing the old pension scheme would prove to be challenging.
    • Shifting back to the old pension scheme will only end up increasing pension liabilities, leaving even less room for more productive spending.


  • State governments can promote investment through both direct and indirect channels. 
    • The direct channel involves spending on physical infrastructure and human capital. 
    • The indirect channels act by crowding in private investment, promoting good governance, and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
  • In 2022-23, States have budgeted higher capital outlay than in 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22. Going forward, increased allocations for sectors like health, education, infrastructure and green energy transition can help expand productive capacities.
  • It is worthwhile to consider creating a capex buffer fund during good times when revenue flows are strong so as to smoothen and maintain expenditure quality and flows through the economic cycle.
  • To crowd in private investment, the State governments may continue to focus on creating a congenial ecosystem for the private sector to thrive.
    • States also need to encourage and facilitate higher inter-state trade and businesses to realise the full benefit of spillover effects of State capex across the country. 

What is a Trademark?

In News

Recently, Delhi High Court ruled and dismissed a case of trademark infringement brought by the global fast food chain against Suberb, a Delhi-based restaurant.

What is a trademark?

  • It is a symbol, design, word or phrase that is identified with a business. When a trademark is registered, its owner can claim “exclusive rights” on its use.
    • A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises. 
  • Legislation In India: The Trademark Act, of 1999, governs the regime on trademarks and their registration.
    •  The Act guarantees protection for a trademark that is registered with the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks, also known as the trademark registry. 
    • A trademark is valid for 10 years, and can be renewed by the owner indefinitely every 10 years.
  • Violation of trademark: Using a registered trademark without authorisation of the entity that owns the trademark is a violation or infringement of the trademark.
    • Using a substantially similar mark for similar goods or services could also amount to infringement. 
    • In such cases, courts have to determine whether this can cause confusion for consumers between the two.
  • Ways in which a trademark can be infringed: 
    • Deceptive Similarity: The law states that a mark is considered deceptively similar to another mark if it nearly resembles that other mark, confusing the consumer in the process.
      • Such deception can be caused phonetically, structurally or visually.
    • Passing off :  a brand logo is misspelt in a way that’s not easy for the consumer to discern.
      • In such cases, the infringing products need not be identical — but similarity in the nature, character, and performance of the goods of the rival traders has to be established. 
      • The Supreme Court has said that passing off is a “species of unfair trade competition or of actionable unfair trading by which one person, through deception, attempts to obtain an economic benefit of the reputation which other has established for himself in a particular trade or business”.
Do you Know ?Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) is  administered by the World Intellectual Property OrganizationThe aim of the Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) is to standardize and streamline national and regional trademark registration procedures. This is achieved through the simplification and harmonization of certain features of those procedures, thus making trademark applications and the administration of trademark registrations in multiple jurisdictions less complex and more predictable.

Hakku Patra

In News

  • The Prime Minister symbolically distributed Hakku Patra (land title deeds) to five families of the Banjara (Lambani) community at an event organised by the state Revenue Department at Malkhed, in the Kalaburagi district of Karnataka.
  • The Banjaras are a key scheduled caste sub-group in Karnataka, although they are considered to be a tribal group in terms of the lives they lead. 

What are hakku patras or title deeds?

  • A title deed is a property ownership document, and the bearer of the document owns the land. 
  • The title deeds enable owners to avail of bank loans with the said document.
  • They will also be eligible to buy or sell land to which the title deed is granted by the government.
the Banjara community  The word ‘banjara’ is derived from vanaj meaning to trade, and jara meaning to travel. Their dialect is Gorboli, with words from many regions. These nomads were the vital supply chain for villages, and they ended up all over Asia and Europe.The Banjaras were among many tribes that resisted the British attempt to seize their lands for plantations and enrol them as labour.With roots in Rajasthan, Banjaras now live in several States, and are known by different names — in Andhra Pradesh, Lambada or Lambadi; in Karnataka, Lambani; in Rajasthan, Gwar or Gwaraiya. They are listed in various States as Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Class and as Vimukta Jati/ denotified tribes.

Chargesheet is not a “Public Document”: SC

In News

  • The SC bench declared chargesheets to be private documents.


  • The Supreme Court said that the state is not obliged to provide the public free access to chargesheets by uploading them on police or government websites.
  • The Court said that putting up chargesheets for public viewing would violate the rights of the accused, victims, and the investing agency.

What is a Chargesheet

  • A charge sheet refers to a formal police record showing the names of each person brought into custody, the nature of the accusations, and the identity of the accusers. The charge sheet contains majorly 4 parts
    • Information about the accused and the witnesses
  • The charges and specifications
  • The preferring of charges and their referral to a summary
  • For the trial record
  • The charge sheet is to be filed within 60 days from the date of arrest of the accused in cases triable by lower courts and 90 days in cases triable by the Court of Sessions.
  • No case for grant of bail will be made under section 167(2) of the CrPC if the charge sheet is filed before the expiry of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, from the date of first remand.
  • The right of default bail is lost, once the charge sheet is filed.
  • A charge sheet is distinct from the FIR, which is the core document that describes a crime that has been committed.
  • Chargesheet usually refers to one or more FIRs and charges on an individual or organization for the crimes specified in those FIR.
  • Once the charge sheet has been submitted to a court of law, prosecution proceedings against the accused begin in the judicial system.

What is the First Information Report?

  • F.I.R. means any information recorded by an on-duty officer given by an aggrieved person or any other person either in writing or made orally about the commission of a Cognizable Offence
  • Based on the information provided F.I.R. can be registered by the Judicial Magistrate by giving direction to the concerned jurisdictional area of the Police Station.
  • Zero F.I.R.: With the help of zero F.I.R., a complaint can be lodged at any police station irrespective of the jurisdiction of the Police Station. It is an amendment that came after Nirbhaya Rape Case.
More InformationDefault Bail: It is a sort of a rap on the knuckles of the police for not completing the investigation and filing the final report within 90 or 60 days of the first remand of the accused.Cognizable offence:  Cognizable offence means an offence for which, a police officer may, in accordance with the First Schedule or under any other law for the time bell in force, arrest without warrant. Cognizable offences are usually serious in nature.

Hybrid Immunity

In News

  • A recent study in the journal the Lancet Infectious Diseases held that “hybrid immunity” provides better protection against severe Covid-19.

What is Immunity?

  • Immunity refers to the body’s ability to prevent the invasion of pathogens. Pathogens are foreign disease-causing substances, such as bacteria and viruses.

Types of Immunity

There are broadly two types of immunity: active and passive.

  • Active Immunity: It develops from the exposure to a disease thereby triggers the immune system to produce antibodies to that disease.
    • Active immunity can be acquired through natural immunity or vaccine-induced immunity.
    • Infection-induced immunity is defined as the immune protection in an unvaccinated individual after one or more infections.
    • Vaccine-induced immunity is acquired through the introduction of a killed or weakened form of the disease organism through vaccination. For Example COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Passive immunity: It is provided when a person is given antibodies to a disease rather than producing them through his or her own immune system. For example, A newborn baby acquired passive immunity from its mother through the placenta.

Hybrid Immunity

  • Hybrid immunity is defined as the immune protection in individuals who have had one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and experienced at least one SARS-CoV-2 infection before or after the initiation of vaccination
Seroprevalence Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through infection or vaccination triggers the production of antibodies that can be readily measured in the blood (referred to as ‘seroconversion’). If the level of antibodies in the blood exceeds a pre-specified threshold, the individual is said to be ‘seropositive’. The percentage of seropositive individuals in a population at a given time point is referred to as the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in that population.


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