GS III Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal  security.

1. Why is the Indian government not accepting the Naga Demand of a separate flag and  separate constitution? Also explain the present grievances of NSCN-IM.

The possibility of a resumption of talks received a boost last week when the NSCN(IM)  and other Naga groups represented in the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) pledged  in a joint statement to “overcome the cynicism” and that they are “committed to a dialogue  in order to move forward” the talks for an accord.

Reasons for not accepting Naga Demand of Separate Flag & Separate Constitution ● Yezhabo is far less liberal than what the Indian Constitution presently offers for Naga  people. It is regressive and some of its provisions are against modern Constitutional  values of liberty, equality & rule of law

● Yezhabo also proposes Naga leader Muivah as the overarching figure of Naga politics,  development and destiny which will not be acceptable to Naga Citizenry which are  spread in adjoining states of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam

● Acceding to the demand of Separate Flag will set a dangerous precedent whereby other  states also demand similar provisions.

● Accepting these demands is akin to giving racial and ethnic identity an equal footing  with National Identity which will act as catalyst to Identity Politics in the rest of India. ● The overall National Consciousness and National integration process will be weakened. ● Working of Article 370 which had provided for separate Flag and Constitution has  shown that such type of measures has not yielded results but has instead widened the  gap between regional society and Indian mainstream.

Present grievances of NSCN-IM

● The NSCN-IM claims that the word ‘new’ is politically sensitive as it goes to define  the meaning of peaceful co-existence of the two entities (two sovereign powers) and it  strongly indicates outside the purview of the Constitution

● The position of NSCN(IM) has been “with India, not within India”.

● Any agreement would have to be careful about not changing the boundaries of the  existing States in the country as doing so could spark conflagrations in other North-east  States where inter-ethnic relations remain volatile.

● While the machinations by the Centre in getting a deal done, especially the secretive  nature of the talks, have played a part in the deadlock in talks, it is clear that the obdurate  and intransigent demand for a separate flag and a Naga constitution by the NSCN(IM)  has been a stumbling block as well.

Way forward:

1. Any moves to alter boundaries will intensify ethnic conflicts and insurgencies beyond  Nagaland.

2. The Central government needs to reiterate its commitment to finalising the Naga accord  while seeking to re-engage with the NSCN (I-M) without giving in to its arbitrary  demands.

~Source The Hindu breakthrough-the-hindu-editorial-on-nscn-ims-decision-to-resume-naga-peace talks/article65915048.ece

 GS III Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation, of resources,  growth, development and employment.

2. Fintech needs to protect customers from usurious interest rates, unethical recovery  practices. In this context, discuss the recent online loan scams unearthed in India and also  elucidate the recent guidelines by the RBI.

Officials of the Mumbai Crime Branch’s Cyber police have busted an “international loan app  fraud” as part of which a gang of at least 14 persons, arrested in June and July, duped several  Indians to the tune of Rs 300 to Rs 350 crore

Loan Apps issue:

● Digital apps make intensive use of popular social media platforms like Facebook,  Instagram and (now banned) TikTok to aggressively advertise their services, while also  engaging in wide-scale email and SMS marketing campaigns.

● These platforms charge excessive rates of interest and additional hidden charges, adopt  unacceptable and high-handed recovery methods and misuse agreements to access data  on mobile phones of borrowers.

● They offer small loans between Rs 10,000 and Rs 60,000 at exorbitant rates of interests  between 60 and 100 per cent without much documentation.

● Apart from levying hefty penalties for failure or delay in repayment of loans, the agents  use a combination of coercion, blackmail, and threats.

● Immediately after the due date, a customer will be harassed with dozens of calls. ● Abusive calls will be made to family members.

● They access the contacts of relatives and friends of the customers and send them  WhatsApp messages defaming the defaulter.

Recent guidelines by RBI:

● All loan disbursals and repayments will be required to be executed only between the  bank accounts of the borrower and the Regulated Entities (RE) without any pass through or pool account of the Lending Service Providers (LSP) or any third party. ● Regulated Entities include a bank or a non-banking financial company.

● The new rules mandate that fees or charges payable to LSPs in the credit intermediation  process will be paid directly by the bank or Non-Banking Financial Companies  (NBFCs) and not by the borrower.

● All-inclusive cost of digital loans in the form of Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is  required to be disclosed to the borrowers.

● The new norm prohibits any automatic increase in credit limit without the explicit  consent of the borrower.

● To protect data privacy, the data collected by digital lending apps has to be need-based,  with the customer’s prior consent, and can be audited, if required.

● Banks will have to ensure that they, and the LSPs engaged by them, must have a suitable  nodal grievance redressal officer to deal with fintech- or digital lending-related  complaints.

● This officer will also deal with complaints against their respective Digital Lending  Apps (DLAs).

Way Forward

1. India is on the verge of a digital lending revolution and making sure that this lending is  done responsibly can ensure the fruits of this revolution are realised.

2. Digital lenders should proactively develop and commit to a code of conduct that  outlines the principles of integrity, transparency and consumer protection, with clear  standards of disclosure and grievance redressal.

~Source The Hindu lending-including-usurious-rates-data-privacy-issues/article65914787.ece