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RBI must act as alert inspector, not just off-site surveyor: RBI union

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Mumbai | Reserve Bank union today requested Governor Urjit Patel to monitor banks through a combination of risk-based supervision, off-site surveillance and on-site inspections of operational systems.

In a letter written to the governor, the union suggested that the RBI should undertake random supervision of bank branches in all parts of the country periodically – possibly 10 percent of bank branches comprising all regions on an annual basis.

“We would request you that RBI monitoring of banks should be a triad – a combination of risk-based supervision, off-site surveillance and random on-site inspections of operational systems, which, we feel, will give the best result instead of RBI totally dispensing with on-site inspections,” the union said in the letter.

“We strongly feel that RBI must remain in the scene, not only as an off-site surveyor but an active and alert inspector,” it added.

The letter said that the RBI could train newly recruited computer-savvy assistants in banks for assisting this monitoring exercise, which will stand RBI in good stead without stretching its human resources too much.

Earlier this week, the RBI governor had appeared before a Parliamentary Panel, where he faced tough questions on bad loans, bank frauds and cash crunch, among others.

Patel assured the members of the committee, headed by senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily, that steps were being taken to strengthen the banking system.

“You (Patel) have stressed that it is not possible for RBI to inspect/audit about 1,20,000 branches of banks spread over the whole country. That is unexceptionable,” the union wrote.

It added that this should not mean that RBI totally withdraws itself from on-site supervision and relies on reports sent by the banks taking those as “sacrosanct”.

“If RBI believes that banking authorities are responsible enough to mind their operations and responsibilities, and RBI can safely rely on them then that will be definitely dereliction of duty,” the RBI union said while pointing out the PNB fraud case.

In the letter, the union thanked the governor for bringing to the fore regulatory impediments that the RBI is suffering from with regard to public sector banks.

It also praised him for putting forward that banking regulation and supervision should be “ownership neutral”.

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Muscular security policy will not work in J-K: Mehbooba Mufti says after her resignation

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PDP chief and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti raised the bogey of Article 370 and unilateral ceasefire on Tuesday, saying the muscular security policy will not work in the state and reconciliation is the key.

“I am not shocked as this alliance was never for power. PDP never believes in power politics and we worked for the people,” she told reporters after an hour-long meeting with her ministers and party workers at her residence.

Mehbooba maintained that Jammu and Kashmir was not an enemy territory as being perceived by few. “We had always said muscular security policy will not work in J-K, reconciliation is key,” she said.

She began her press conference by raising Article 370, under which the state enjoys a special status, and said “…we have safeguarded Article 370 and 35-A (of the Constitution) and we will continue to do that”.

“We have been able to withdraw 11,000 cases against the stone pelters,” she said while listing her side of the story after the BJP pulled out of its alliance with the PDP in the state.

She also mentioned about the unilateral ceasefire during Ramazan announced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lahore in 2015.

Mehbooba, who submitted her resignation to the governor this evening , said her party will continue to strive for dialogue and reconciliation in the state.

“I have told the governor we will not go into any other alliance,” she said.

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Pavements shouldn’t be obstructed by encroachments: Delhi High Court

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Observing that pavements should not be obstructed by encroachments as it could lead to traffic hazards as well as imperil life of pedestrians, the Delhi High Court has directed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to remove a temple built illegally on a footpath near C R Park here.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar told the corporation that while bringing the pavement in question to its original condition, the deities in the temple be shifted to another place without damaging them.

It directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) to ensure that adequate police protection is made available to the SDMC for implementing the court’s order in which the bench also asked the corporation to file a status report within eight weeks regarding the steps taken by it.

The direction by the court came while disposing of a PIL against encroachments on the pavement at Govind Puri Extension opposite F-Block of C R Park.

While disposing of the matter, the bench said, “Pavements have to be maintained as pavements and no obstruction thereon can be permitted. The same results not only in traffic hazards but imperils the life of pedestrians who have no place to walk.

“In view of the above, the SDMC shall forthwith take steps to remove the entire unauthorized temple opposite F-Block, C R Park, Govind Puri Extension, Kalkaji and ensure that the pavement is brought to its original condition and maintained as such. Needless to say, the SDMC shall take care to ensure the deities are shifted to any other place and that no damage is caused thereto.”

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8,000 Indian journalists to be trained by Google

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To guard journalists against falling prey to false news stories, Google India on Tuesday said it will provide training to 8,000 journalists in English and six other Indian languages in the next one year.

Google News Initiative India Training Network will select 200 journalists from different parts of India. These journalists will improve their skills during a five-day “train-the-trainer” boot camps organised by Google.

This network of certified instructors will then train more journalists at two-day, one-day and half-day workshops organised by the Network giant. Training workshops will be conducted in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi and Kannada in cities across India, Google India said in a statement.

The aim of the training is to master Indian journalists in fact-checking, verification and maintaining digital hygiene using information built by experts from First Draft, Storyful, AltNews, BoomLive, Factchecker.in and DataLeads.

“Supporting trusted, authoritative media sources is a top priority for Google, which is why we are proud to collaborate with Internews, DataLeads and BoomLive to support journalists in their fight against misinformation in India,” said Irene Jay Liu, Google News Lab Lead, Asia-Pacific.

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