9 PM Daily NEWS Brief

9 PM Daily Brief- 4th October 2016


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[1]. Karnataka starts release of water, ends defiance of SC

The Hindu


Karnataka ended defiance of the Supreme Court’s orders and started the release of 6,800 cusecs of water from the KRS dam, majority of which would reach Tamil Nadu.

As per the SC’s order Karnataka started the release of 6,800 cusecs of water for irrigation purposes from the Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS )dam.

A resolution passed by the two Houses “the State government may take an appropriate decision regarding release of water for irrigation in the best interests of the State.”

Earlier both the houses passed a resolution stating that water could be drawn only for drinking purposes


[2]. Reliance inks defence deal with Dassault 

The Hindu


Reliance group signed an agreement with Dassault Aviation of France, the makers of Rafale fighter jets, for a joint venture(JV) in India which would be named as Dassault Reliance Aerospace.

India agreed to buy 36 Rafale jets in a flyaway condition from France for Rs. 59,000 crore.Dassault will have to invest about Rs. 30,000 crore in the Indian defence ecosystem.

The proposed partnership between Dassault and Reliance will also focus on research and development projects under the IDDM programme.

IDDM Programme

The Defence Procurement Policy has given highest preference to a newly incorporated procurement class called ‘Buy Indian-IDDM’, with IDDM denoting Indigenous Designed Developed and Manufactured, which refers to procurement from an Indian vendor, products that are indigenously designed, developed and manufactured with a minimum of 40 per cent local content, or products having 60 per cent indigenous content if not designed and developed within the country.

  • It will promote domestic manufacturing, including government funding R&D and recognition of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in technology development.



[1]. The battle over Bt Cotton

Bt Cotton has spawned the mother of all intellectual property (IP) disputes in India. Editorial has been covered in detail under daily editorial made easy section. click here


[2]. All about means and ends 

The Hindu


The Management Information System of MGNREGA is a way to providing data on implementation. But to achieve complete transparency it has to overcome several shortcomings

The MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme has successfully completed 10 years. Considered one of the biggest social welfare programmes in the world, this programme aims at generating 100 days of work in rural areas. In the last 10 years, the programme has lifted lakhs of people out of poverty, though many lacunas still exist in it.


It was in February 2006, that Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was for the first time notified on an experimental basis in 200 odd districts across the country. The event marked a watershed in the right-based entitlement framework of the country and for the first time provided a legal guarantee for wage employment.

  • The Act, guaranteed a minimum 100 days of employment out of the 365 days in a year to every willing household, within 15 days of making such a requisition. This is the only law in the country that is not budget constrained and is not supply driven.

What is the MIS system?

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is not only a pioneering livelihood security programme but also a great example of proactive disclosure of information through its Management Information System (MIS).

  • It is the first transaction-based real-time system for any public works programme in the country that is available in the public domain.
  • Digitization: There has been a digitisation of all the processes in MGNREGA — right from a worker registering demand for work, to work allotment, to finally getting wages for completed works.
  • Online reports: Another notable feature of the MIS is the availability of information through online reports at various levels of disaggregation. This has enabled any citizen to monitor the implementation of the programme and has consequently charted a new paradigm of transparency since the enactment of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
  • Individual worker details from around 2.5 lakh gram panchayats are available in the MGNREGA MIS.

Objectives of MIS

  • Bring transparency to the entire system
  • Make various registers, muster rolls, documents available to public
  • Provide single window interface for all stakeholders of NREGA
  • Maintain records of 100 days of employment to a family
  • Maintain accounts and generate all registers/documents to be kept at Gram Panchayat in the format specified in guidelines
  • Track transfer of funds to various implementing agencies
  • Decide when and how much funds to replenish in which account
  • Highlight the irregularities, send alerts to various stakeholders


  • Time issues: MIS is accessible only from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Indian Standard Time. This is a huge impediment for collaborative work across time zones.
  • No Data dictionary: It does not provide any data dictionary. A data dictionary is a repository of all the names of variables/columns used in various reports, containing a brief explanation of its meanings. Such a dictionary is crucial so that any citizen accessing the online reports can understand the content in them.
  • Inconsistency in columnnames: The nomenclature of the column names in the online reports is not consistent. The same column name is labelled differently in different reports. For instance, what is referred to as the Payment Date in the report of weekly works (‘Mustroll Report’) is known as the Second Signatory Date in a report titled ‘FTO Second Signatory’. Payment Date is also a misnomer as it does not refer to the date on which a worker gets paid.
  • Missing links: Some obvious worker-centric links in the data structure are missing. For example, every household that does MGNREGA work has a unique job card number. This number is crucial to get work. Upon completion of a work week, a Funds Transfer Order (FTO) is generated containing the details of each job card holder’s earned wages. On the MIS, there is no clear link between these two crucial pieces. As such it becomes difficult to follow the trail of each job card holder from the time of work demanded to getting the wages.

Possible solutions

  • Record maintenance at the Gram Panchayat level requires to be streamlined. This should be monitored closely at all levels and funds should be linked to proper maintenance of records.
  • Original data fed into the system should be checked before updating the MIS
  • There is a need to put in place stricter controls for data modification after authentication and closure of data entry
  • The staff deployed to feed the data should be properly trained and they should be held accountable in case of data fudging. Operational Guidelines are required to be followed.
  • Lessons can be emulated from Andhra Pradesh’s e-Muster, e-Measurement, e-Muster verification and e-check Measurement
  • A governance framework for the MIS needs to be put in place that lays out the minimum standards and accountability of the Ministry managing the system. Such a framework must be built in consultation with all concerned parties and should follow the provisions of the law (both MGNREGA and RTI)
  • The system design choices should reflect the values of the worker-centric programme and hence principles need to be followed for compassionate design


While the automated calculation is a progressive measure, its basis must be correct and transparent. The MIS is a powerful mechanism to have an evidence-based discourse for monitoring basic services.


[3]. Growth of wealth gives way for growth in charity 

Live mint


Kotak releases a top of the pyramid report every year and it studies the philanthropic contributions of UHNIs in detail. It has released it this year also

UHNH: UHN household (UHNH) is one with a minimum net worth of Rs 25 crore over 10 years

Highlights of the report

  • As per Kotak Top of the Pyramid report 2016, the richest of the rich—the ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNIs)—hold a substantial share of the wealth in India
  • The number of UHNI households have more than doubled in the last five years, andnow it appears that the UHNIs are giving back more to society than before
  • Philanthropic activities have been driven by multiple reasons depending on the category of UHNIs as well as the demographic profile.
  • The key motivator that drives philanthropy among UHNIs is a “feel good factor” in being able to create a better society.

 Other factors include

  • status among peers,
  • social pressure
  • taking advantage of tax benefits in some cases.
  • The FY16 report says that the number of UHNIs from all three categories— inheritors, entrepreneurs and professionals—are on the rise
  • UNHIs are increasing investments in the “impact investing model”,where market-based solutions are found for social development issues so that those who put in money get financial returns in addition to making a positive impact on social ills.
  • Philanthropists are moving beyond their communities and are looking at specific social sectors and causes in a holistic manner to be able to have the best impact.”

Most of the philanthropic funds from UHNIs goes towards

  • education,
  • health
  • environment,

These sectors are a priority because they have the potential to have an impact on overall living standards and life at large.

There is also a rise in giving by the new rising industry sectors like e-commerce, other start-ups and IT.

The Kotak report also shows an increase in UHNI investment in impact investing as well, with UNHIs from the entrepreneurial category giving 37%, inheritors about 50% and professional UHNIs topping the list with about 67%.


There is increased awareness among UHNIs about philanthropy. UHNIs increasingly feel that they owe part of their success to the society and the supporting environment at large and now it appears that the UHNIs are giving back more to society than before.




[1]. Manufacturing growth slows in Sept.

The Hindu


The country’s manufacturing growth has lost momentum with the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), falling to 52.1 in September from 52.6 in August.

What is PMI?

  • It is a measure of manufacturing performance
  • An index reading above 50 indicates an expansion, while a reading below 50 shows an overall decrease or contraction.


[2]. India fair to boost intra-BRICS trade 

The Hindu


To boost trade among the BRICS nations, India, for the first time, will organize a trade fair for the bloc that also includes Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa

The first BRICS Trade Fair & Exhibition will be held from October 12-14 in the Delhi.

  • The focus of the Fair is ‘Building BRICS – Innovation for Collaboration’.
  • The Fair is meant to give an impetus to intra-BRICS economic engagement
  • It will showcase about 20 key sectors, including aerospace, agro-processing, auto, chemicals, green energy, healthcare, railways, textiles, infrastructure, IT, engineering goods, tourism, gems &jewellery and skill development.
  • Established companies, start-ups and innovators from BRICS will showcase their offerings to help technology solution providers share knowledge in dealing with challenges in healthcare, education, energy efficiency, waste management and urbanisation management
  • Leaders from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand have been invited for meetings at the Fair.


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