22.01.19 Odisha (OPSC) Current Affairs


  • 75% of State’s loan is from open markets


  • With grants and loans from the Union Government getting squeezed continuously, the State Government is forced to depend more on open market borrowings. An analysis of the debt profile of the State Government reveals that loans and advances from the Central Government are going down, whereas share of open market borrowings is on the rise. As on March 31, 2018, the market borrowing was highest among other loans and were on the rise, which, have touched Rs 23, 530 crore and it was only Rs 2,380 crore in 1995-96.


  • With slowing down of grants from the Government of India since 2014-15, share of market borrowing in the debt profile of the State has been going up after a gap of nine years. It will further increase in coming years as the State Government is forced to go for more loans from market. At least 75 per cent of loan is raised from open markets by the State Government.


  • Loans from the Centre are hardly less than Rs 8,000 crore, while market borrowing is four times of the debt from the Centre. Reduction in Central borrowing is going down as programme expenditure by the Union Government is coming down except the Externally Aided Project (EAP).


  • Loan from the State Provident Fund (SPF) is now Rs 21,700 crore and with less contribution from the employees, it is also going down. Decline in SPF contribution is because of gradual reduction in number of contributors to General Provident Fund (GPF) as newly-recruited employees are not contributing to GPF. These employees are governed under National Pension Scheme (NPS). So, loan from the SPF is less than market borrowing.


  • The National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) is another source for the State Government to raise loans, but these loans are high cost loans. So, the State Government has opted out of NSSF as high cost borrowing is not good for fiscal health of the State. Now, the NSSF loan is about Rs 10,000 crore; and slowly these loans are repaid. The State Government is also going for negotiated loans as more number of infrastructure projects is taken up through the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund of Nabard.


  • The negotiated loan amount is more than Rs11,000 crore and it is also on the rise as the State is going for more number of roads, bridges and other project for irrigation. In the meantime, the Government of India has passed on Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) as loan to the State, which was a grant altogether.



  • Rio de Janeiro will be World Capital of Architecture for 2020: UNESCO



  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced that the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro will be the World Capital of Architecture for 2020.


  • Having defeated Paris and Melbourne, Rio will be the first city to receive the title under a program launched together by UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) in November last year. The city will host the World Congress of UIA, in July 2020, an event that occurs every three years.



  • World’s oldest man Masazo Nonaka dies at 113


  • The world’s oldest man, Masazo Nonaka of Japan, has died at the age of 113. According to the Kyodo News agency, Nonaka, who was officially recognized as the oldest male in the world by Guinness World Records last April, passed away at his home in the north of Japan’s Hokkaido Island.


  • The record-holder was born in 1905 in the town of Ashoro.


  • The Japanese are traditionally considered to be one of the most long-living people on the planet.





  • India to surpass UK in world’s largest economy rankings in 2019: PwC



  • India is likely to surpass the United Kingdom in the world’s largest economy rankings in 2019, to become world’s fifth largest economy, according to a report by global consultancy firm PwC.


  • PwC’s Global Economy Watch report projects real GDP growth of 1.6 per cent for the UK, 1.7 per cent for France and 7.6 per cent for India in 2019.


  • According to World Bank data, India became the world’s sixth largest economy in 2017 surpassing France and was likely to go past the UK which stood at the fifth position.



  • 15th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas begins at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh


  • The 15th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas begins at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. It is being organized in Varanasi for the first time.


  • The theme this year is, ‘Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India’.


  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated once in two years to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government, reconnect them with their roots and celebrate their achievements and contributions.


  • Railways links locomotives via ISRO satellites to automatically feed train status


  • The Indian Railways has linked its locomotives via ISRO satellites, making it easy to track trains and automatically feed the control charts about the trains arrival and departure.


  • The train movement information is acquired and fed to the control charts using ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) satellite-based real-time train information system (RTIS)


  • The RTIS device installed in the locomotive detects position and speed of the train using GAGAN geo-positioning system, developed by ISRO.


  • Based on this information and application logic, the device sends the train movement updates (arrival/departure/run through/unscheduled stoppages and mid-section updates) to central location server in the CRIS data centre using S-band Mobile Satallite Service (MSS) of ISRO


  • 12 states including TN clock higher GDP growth than nation


  • As many as 12 out of 17 states in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) non-special category including Tamil Nadu (TN) grew faster than the 6.7% pace clocked by the national economy during fiscal 2018 (2017-18), according to ratings agency Crisil’s report ‘States of growth 2.0’. TN recorded 8.2% growth during the year, the seventh highest among states.

    However, this growth hasn’t been equitable. Low-income states have not sustained high growth long enough to meaningfully bridge the per-capita income gap with the high-income states. In fact, the chasm is widening.


  • On the fiscal front, most states veered off the ‘Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act’ (FRBM) line. Due to little fiscal legroom for the centre and increased share of states in central transfers, states are now the new engines of public spending.


  • Although Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar were the biggest spenders overall, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana topped the list of states that spent the most out of their budget on capex, the agency.


  • The debt ratio was over 30% in Punjab, Rajasthan and Kerala, while Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Karnataka managed to keep it relatively low.