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29th August 2023

Committee to review Real estate issues


As per the information, the Amitabh Kant committee, which was tasked by the Government with suggesting ways to revive stalled real estate projects, acknowledged the financial stress of real estate developers but recommended no direct support.

  • The government has formed a committee on March 31, to look into stalled real estate projects and suggest ways to complete them.
  • The decision to form a committee had been taken by the Central Advisory Council (CAC) formed under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) on April 12 last year.

Union Minister for Urban Affairs heads the CAC.

About the Committee:

  • It was a 14-member committee, and chaired by former NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
  • Objective: According to the order, the panel is supposed to deliberate on the issues of legacy of the stalled projects and recommend ways to complete their hand over to homebuyers in a time-bound manner.
  • It submitted its report to Housing and Urban Affairs Minister.

Key observations of the committee:

  • It cited the IBA’s estimation that;
  • 12 lakh dwelling units of Rs.4.08 lakh crore were stressed
  • About 40 lakh (44%) of these were in the National Capital Region
  • Another 21% of the units were in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region
  • The report has essentially suggested that all stakeholders — developers, financiers and land authorities have to make the stalled projects financially viable.
  • The report provides a generalised framework.

What are the recommendations of the committee?

  • Mandatory registration- All projects with the following criteria must be registered with State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).
    • Where the land is over 500 square metres or
    • The number of apartments to be constructed are more than 8
  • De-link registration- The committee advocated to de-link the grant of registration or sub-lease by the land authorities to the homebuyers from the recovery of dues from developers.
    • This would benefit about 1 lakh homebuyers for the immediate registration and execution of subleases in favour of homebuyers.
  • Granting certificates- RERAs should identify projects where no-objection and completion certificates have not been issued.
    • It should accelerate the process to grant certificates, irrespective of the developers paying their dues to the authorities.
  • Rehabilitation package- It is the role of the State governments to set up a rehabilitation package to get the stalled projects run again.
  • Conditions;
    • The developers should commit to complete the projects in 3 years.
    • It includes Zero Period for 2 years starting with the onset of COVID pandemic.
    • Developers would be allowed to get a co-developer on board to complete the work.
  • Partial surrender policy- The developers can give back some of the unused lands to the authority in exchange for a waiver on the dues for that land.
  • Outstanding payments- The RERA can directly collect these outstanding payments from homebuyers, bypassing the builders.
  • Occupancy- It suggests that occupancy or possession of substantially completed projects should be granted within the next 30 days.
  • Financial support-
    • Bring stalled projects under the purview of priority sector financing.
    • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs should formulate a scheme.
    • The government should consider offering subsidized interest rates or a guarantee scheme similar to those available in the MSME sector.
    • Improve the Internal Rate of Return of the projects in order to attract funding.
    • Last resort- Judicial interventions, like the use of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, should be the last resort.
    • Project viability- All the stakeholders (developers, financiers, land authorities etc.,) would have to take a haircut or accept less than what is due to them.

Real Estate Regulatory Authority Act, 2016:

  • Aim- To protect the interests of homebuyers & boost investment in the real estate sector.
  • To bring transparency & efficiency in sale/purchase of real estate by establishing RERA in each state to regulate real estate sector.
    • Establishment of bodies
    • Regulatory Authorities
    • Adjudicating Officers and Appellate Tribunals
  • Registration of Real Estate Agents- All agents dealing in real estate projects need to register with respective State RERAs.
  • Separate Bank Account for each project- 70% of the amount collected from homebuyers for a project must be maintained in a separate bank account.
    • It should be used only for construction of that project and land cost.
  • Online Information - Through the online portal, the homebuyers are empowered to take the informed decision to buy their dream homes as well.
  • Penal Provisions- It provides strict penal provisions of imprisonment in addition to provisions for refund, interest and penalty in case of non-compliance by developers, allottees and agent.

MSP hikes and Issues


Recently, as on meeting WTO obligations and suggestions to address labour shortages and rising wages, key Central government ministries and departments had conveyed apprehensions to the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare on its proposal to hike the minimum support price (MSP) for kharif crops in the 2023-24 season.

  • In June 2023, Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister approved the increase in MSP ranging from 6 per cent to 10 per cent.
  • The recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Cost & Prices (CACP), the Department of Expenditure in the Ministry of Finance, the Niti Aayog, and the Department of Commerce has opposed this move saying an increase in MSP would make it difficult to keep inflation in check.

What is Minimum Support price (MSP)?

  • The MSP is the rate at which the government purchases crops from farmers, and is based on a calculation of at least one-and-a-half times the cost of production incurred by the farmers.
  • MSP is a “minimum price” for any crop that the government considers as remunerative for farmers and hence deserving of “support”.

Objectives of MSP:

  • Agricultural Price Stabilization: MSP acts as a floor price, preventing extreme price fluctuations and providing stability to farmers' income.
  • Crop Diversity: It encourages farmers to cultivate a diverse range of crops by assuring fair prices for various produce.

Crops under MSP:

  • The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) recommends MSPs for 22 mandated crops and fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane.
  • CACP is an attached office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • The mandated crops include 14 crops of the kharif season, 6 Rabi crops and 2 other commercial crops.
  • In addition, the MSPs of toria and de-husked coconut are fixed on the basis of the MSPs of rapeseed/mustard and copra, respectively.

MSP and effects on Economy:

  • Farmers' Income and Livelihood: MSP provides a safety net for farmers, ensuring a reasonable income even during market downturns.
  • Income Redistribution: Increased income for farmers can lead to improved rural purchasing power and reduced income inequality.
  • Food Security: MSP ensures a steady supply of essential commodities, contributing to food security and stability in prices for consumers.
  • Inflationary Pressure: Higher MSP can contribute to inflation, as increased procurement costs may lead to higher consumer prices.
  • Fiscal Burden: Government procurement at MSP requires substantial financial resources, affecting fiscal deficit targets.
  • Trade Balance and Exports: Higher MSP might increase domestic prices, affecting export competitiveness and trade balances.
  • Distorted Crop Choice: Farmers might prioritize crops with MSP, leading to overproduction of certain crops and neglecting others.
  • Supply Chain Efficiency: MSP-led procurement can strain storage and distribution systems, leading to wastage and inefficiencies.
  • Market Distortions: High reliance on MSP could discourage private investment in agriculture due to market uncertainties.
  • Policies and Regulations: MSP necessitates government intervention, potentially impacting free market dynamics.
  • Rural-Urban Linkages: MSP's impact on rural income affects rural-urban migration patterns and urban development.

Commission for Agricultural Cost & Prices (CACP):

  • It is a statutory panel under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India.
  • The CACP is an expert body that recommends the MSPs of the notified Kharif and Rabi crops to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
  • The objective of the Commission: The Commission was established to recommend Minimum Support Prices (MSPs), to motivate cultivators and farmers to adopt the latest technology in order to optimize the use of resources and increase productivity.
  • However, its suggestions are not binding on the Government.

Kampala Declaration on climate change


A total of 48 African countries have now agreed to adopt the Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment and Climate Change (KDMECC) to address the nexus of human mobility and climate change in the continent.

About the Declaration:
  • Background: KDMECC was originally signed and agreed upon by 15 African states in Kampala, Uganda in July 2022.
  • The Declaration is the first comprehensive, action-oriented framework led by Member States to address climate-induced mobility in a practical and effective manner.
  • The KDMECC-AFRICA is expected to be signed by Member States during the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi on September 4, 2023.
  • Need:
    • Africa is one of the world's most vulnerable continents to the impacts of climate change.
    • Climate change, which leads to an increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, has a direct impact on migration.
  • Significance:
    • The Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment and Climate Change gives us the unprecedented opportunity to support Member State priorities in addressing the challenges while also leveraging migration for sustainable development.
    • It will ensure that all voices, including those of youth, women and persons in vulnerable situations are the priority of the expanded declaration.

Linkage between Climate change and Human Rights:

  • Climate change has indisputable long-term consequences on the environment, which, in turn, seriously undermine the enjoyment of human rights.
  • The African continent is projected to be one of the hardest hit by the negative effects of climate change.
  • The consequences of climate change are not only disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable and poorest populations; there are also disparities along gender lines.
  • The connections between climate change, gender equality, and women’s rights are complicated and multidimensional.
  • In contrast, most existing studies on gender and climate change action offer a narrow conception of what gender equality and women’s rights mean in the context of climate change action.

Other similar declarations:

  • The Maputo Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources: This Convention shall apply;
    • To all areas which are within the limits of national jurisdiction of any Party; and
    • To the activities carried out under the jurisdiction or control of any Party within the area of its national jurisdiction or beyond the limits of its national jurisdiction.
  • The Parties shall adopt and implement all measures necessary to achieve the objectives of this Convention, in particular through preventive measures and the application of the precautionary principle, and with due regard to ethical and traditional values as well as scientific knowledge in the interest of present and future generations.

News media versus OpenAI’s ChatGPT


Recently, prominent media outlets like New York Times, Reuters, CNN, and ABC blocked OpenAI due to copyright concerns and potential legal actions.

What does OpenAI do?

  • The company is best known for creating ‘ChatGPT’, which is an AI conversational chatbot.
  • Users can ask questions on just about anything, and ChatGPT will respond pretty accurately with answers, stories and essays.
  • It can even help programmers write software code.

What started the face-off between news outlets and OpenAI?

The reason given by media against OpenAI was;

  • Basis of LLMs: Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT require extensive training data to comprehend human language patterns effectively.
  • Data Collection: Tech giants such as Google, Meta, and OpenAI rely on web-crawlers to gather data from online sources like social media, news articles, and e-books.
  • Privacy and Usage Concerns: News outlets, including The New York Times, reacted against OpenAI's data collection via web-crawlers, blocking access to their content.
  • Training Material: News organizations objected to their published content being used to train AI chat bots without consent.
  • Ethical Implications: The standoff highlights debates on data scraping, copyright, and ethical considerations in AI model training.

Reason for opposing OpenAI by media:

  • No monetary benefits: Search engines like Google or Bing use web crawlers to index websites and present relevant results when users search for topics.
  • The only difference is that search engines represent a mutually beneficial relationship. OpenAI, on the other hand, provides no benefit, monetary or otherwise, to news companies.
  • It simply collects publicly available data and uses it for the company’s own purposes.

What are concerns associated with ‘OpenAI’?

  • Data Usage Rights: The use of data to train AI models raises questions about whether unauthorized usage constitutes a violation of data owner's rights.
  • Financial Feasibility: The financial sustainability of AI endeavors, like OpenAI, hinges on the compensation required for data usage, with a balance to avoid becoming financially unviable.
  • Value of Online Content: The argument arises that while AI models can function without specific sources, an aggregate of diverse content enhances quality.
  • Quality Impact: Widespread denial of data access from media sources could potentially lower the quality of AI-generated content like ChatGPT.
  • Licensing Arrangements: OpenAI's licensing deal with The Associated Press exemplifies the willingness to compensate for data usage, while legal battles with other content creators underscore complexities.
  • Legal Implications: Legal battles over copyright infringement will influence journalism, intellectual property rights, and shape the future of AI development.


Old ties


India and Greece are finding new ways to revive an age-old relationship.

India-Greece Relations

  • Recent Leap: Modi-Mitsotakis meeting deepens ties, establishing Strategic Partnership, trade plans, and maritime security discussions.
  • Geopolitical Nexus: Shared interests in countering regional challenges, fostering Indo-Pacific links, and artifact restoration cooperation.
  • Historical Affinity: Maritime legacies converge as both nations embrace potential for economic synergy, bolstered by cultural restoration efforts.

Agendas highlighted

  • Strengthening Bilateral Ties: Leaders from both countries emphasized on India-Greece ties through a Strategic Partnership, focusing on security, trade, and mobility.
  • Diverse Collaborative Agenda: Discussions encompass skilled migration, India-EU trade, economic synergy, and restoration of historical artifacts, enhancing bilateral collaboration.
  • Economic Growth and Cultural Restoration: Joint pursuit of global manufacturing hub status for India and economic gateway role for Greece, with potential UNESCO-backed artifact restoration efforts.

Driving Forces

  • Geopolitical Motivation: Indian PM’s, Greece visit aligns with Greece's diversification efforts amid ties with Israel and Cyprus against Turkey.
  • Strategic Alignment: India-Greece share interests amidst Delhi-Ankara tensions, maritime security concerns, favoring cooperation over prolonged delays.
  • Symbolic Affirmation: Chandrayaan-3 success signifies potential for enhanced collaboration between ancient maritime powers India and Greece.
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    Let’s Debate Basic Structure


    For a democratic country, the political system should be able to adapt the Constitution to challenging times. Also a sovereign nation must shape its future independently, free from external 'universal' values, as debates resurface around concepts like 'Basic Structure Doctrine'.

    What is Basic structure doctrine?

    • Basic Structure Doctrine (Kesavananda Bharati) limits altering Constitution's core via amendments, expanding restricted executive domain, impacting democracy's efficacy.
    • Doctrine's undefined basic features accumulate through case-by-case judgments, binding executive action, fostering "cheap talk" political culture, undermining action.
    • Nehru's First Amendment example underscores constitutional adaptability; Article 368 outlines parliamentary constituent power within stipulated procedures.

    The Debate around Basic structure doctrine

    • The Rajya Sabha debate on Delhi Government's authority over services raises federal balance concerns, impacting 'Basic Structure Doctrine'.
    • Implications on fundamental rights, amendability, and judicial authority arise, notably for Article 370 hearings on Jammu and Kashmir.
    • Revisiting 1951's First Amendment debates, relevance of Article 21, Article 368, and reevaluation of the politicized Basic Structure Doctrine urged.

    India’s Constitutional balance

    • India's political system balances an active judiciary and empowered legislature, maintaining democracy's resilience through separation of powers.
    • "Cancel culture" stifles debate, hindering justice and democratic progress; Nehru's vision emphasizes the importance of an autonomous Parliament.
    • The Basic Structure Doctrine, likened to a "Pole Star" by Chief Justice Chandrachud, guides navigation in turbulent times for effective governance.
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    India needs comprehensive sexuality education


    According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 51,863 cases were reported under The Protection of Children from Sexual O?ences Act in 2021; of them, 33,348 or 64% were of sexual assault. There is a need to educate people related to sexual offences.

    Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)

    • Curriculum­ based process of teaching- It is a curriculum­ based process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of sexuality.
    • Fundamental human rights- As the UN Population Fund says, “the right of access to comprehensive sexuality education is grounded in fundamental human rights and it empowers young people to protect their health, well­being and dignity”
    • Starting Age- The UN global guidance recommends starting comprehensive sexuality education from the age of five along with formal education.

     Impact of CSE

    • Better informed- As per World Health Organization, with comprehensive sexuality education, young people will be better informed of their rights and sexuality, and will be more likely to engage in sexual activity later.
    • Necessary for both students and teachers- NCRB data show that it is necessary for schools to impart comprehensive sexuality education not only to children, but also to parents and caregivers.
    • Important to maintain healthy relationships- CSE is important not only to learn about violation and abuse, but also to maintain healthy relationships

    Way Forward

    • Sound Monitoring- Ensure that the CSE programmes include sound monitoring and evaluation components, with due consideration to inequality, gender norms, power in intimate relationships.
    • Curriculum is holistic- With the relationship between sexual health and human rights being complex, non­linear and interrelated, it is hoped that the curriculum is holistic and not simply related to legalities.
    • Teacher training is crucial- The UNESCO 2021 Global Status Report says that capacity­ building of teachers is critical as the curriculum requires non-­intuitive participatory pedagogies.
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    Deflation, troubling exports add to China’s economic malaise


    Market observers had predicted that the global economy would experience a slowdown in 2023. Also the forecasts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January 2023 showed that global growth would be 2.9% against 3.4% in 2022.

    Economic outlook for 2023

    • The growth Projections: For advanced economies was 1%, slowing down from 2.7% during the previous year, and 1.4% for the USA against 2% in 2022.
    • China’s growth after COVID: China has decided to discontinue its zero-COVID policy earlier in the year, was expected to grow at 5.5% and was to benefit from releasing “pent-up” demands.
    • Shift in Forecasts: Recent IMF projections show advanced economies growing faster, US at 2%, while China faces deflationary pressures for sub-5% growth.

    China’s Economy

    • China's Economic Strategy: Under Deng Xiaoping, China effectively used global markets and trade to boost its economy, becoming a leader in leveraging international demand.
    • Shift in Crisis: After the 2008 global recession, China shifted focus to its domestic economy, launching a stimulus package to reduce reliance on global markets.
    • Debt Concerns: China's local governments used financing vehicles to fund infrastructure projects, but post-pandemic, debt surged due to revenue drops and tax cuts.

    Concerns for global Economy

    • China's Export Decline: China's exports have dropped, notably to key markets like the US, EU, and ASEAN, amid global trade sluggishness.
    • Global Economic Struggles: Major economies, including the US and EU, face trade challenges, dimming China's prospects for external solutions.
    • Contrasting Predictions: While some forecast improved global growth, China's economic challenges suggest a less optimistic outlook.
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    Short News Article

    International Relations (GS-II)
    China releases new official map

    China’s government has released the “2023 edition of the standard map of China”, which continues to show the entire State of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region within China’s borders.

    About the new map:

    • The 2023 map was released by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
    • The territorial claims on China’s western borders, as also the nine-dash line covering the entire South China Sea, are shown on the map as in previous editions.
    • Also as in previous maps, a “tenth dash” is placed east of Taiwan, underlining Beijing’s claims over the island.
    • It would “standardise” the names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh, including a town close to the Arunachal Pradesh capital of Itanagar.

    This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the Law of Surveying and Mapping of the People’s Republic of China.

    This was the third such list “renaming” places in Arunachal Pradesh by China.

    Neeraj Chopra wins historic World Athletics Championships gold

    Neeraj Chopra achieved another historic feat by becoming the first Indian athlete to win World Athletics Championships ‘gold medal’ during the men's javelin throw final event in Budapest.


    • From India till now the other two Indian javelin throwers were in contention – Kishore Jena and DP Manu – who also produced impressive performances even as they couldn't secure podium spots.
    • Both throwers qualified for the top-8 positions and finished fifth and sixth respectively.
    • While Jena had the highest registered throw of 84.77m – also his personal best – Manu threw 84.14m.

    World Athletics Championships:

    • The World Athletics Championships 2023 took place in Budapest, Hungary, from 19–27 August 2023.
    • The World Athletics Championships are a biennial athletics competition organized by World Athletics.
    • Alongside the Olympic Games, they represent the highest level championships of senior international outdoor athletics competition for track and field athletics globally, including marathon running and race walking etc.

    Species in News
    Echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

    According to a recent update, Scientists believe echidnas began as platypuses who left the water and evolved spines.

    About the species:

    • The Short-beaked Echidna is the only species of echidna in Australia.
    • They are nocturnal species.
    • The Short-beaked Echidna is easily recognised by its sharp spines, short legs and long snout.
    • They live in forests and woodlands, heath, grasslands and arid environments.
    • They are found throughout Australia, including Tasmania.
    • The Short-beaked Echidna breaks into ant and termite nests and catches its prey by flicking its long sticky tongue in and out.

    Concept in News
    Goldilocks economy

    'Goldilocks position' for Indian equities is getting questioned with crude rallying whereas China gaining some traction, rising consumer inflation and yields move up.


    • A Goldilocks economy describes an ideal state for an economy whereby the economy is not expanding or contracting by too much.
    • A Goldilocks economy has steady economic growth, preventing a recession, but not so much growth that inflation rises by too much.
    • In this state of the economy, there are certain features attached. For one, the unemployment rate in the economy is really low.
    • There is steady growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers and companies report better earnings.
    • The retail inflation and the interest rates are relatively low.
    • The Goldilock scenario is good for investors as companies perform well and stocks rally.


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