Comprehensive News Analysis - 01 April 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related

POLITY

1. SC: Ban on liquor sale covers hotels, bars too

2. Gujarat to tighten cow slaughter law

3. Contractors to pay for bad roads

4. CAG raps Meghalaya govt for failure to implement RTE

5. Notify HIV-hit children as disadvantaged group: SC

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. New visa regime kicks off today

2. Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit will spoil ties: China

3. India may be hit by U.S. trade review

C. GS3 Related

ECONOMY

1. RBI need not remonetise fully: report

2. Infra deficit to take two decades to bridge

3. Policy change to push stalled power projects

4. India to support ‘resistance’ to protectionism at G20 meet

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. New way to fight drug resistant superbugs

2. SpaceX rocket makes history

ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECOLOGY

1. Industries grossly pollute Ganga

D. GS4 Related
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn 
F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 

B. GS2 Related
Category: POLITY

1. SC: Ban on liquor sale covers hotels, bars too

What’s in news?

  • Supreme court upheld its earlier decision of prohibiting sale of liquor within a distance of 500 meters from the outer edge of National and State highways.
  • Supreme Court also ordered banning the sale of liquor at other establishments- includes bar-attached hotels, wine and beer parlors dotting highways.
  • Exemptions given :

    Liquor-free zone: New demarcation of 220m from the earlier 500m limit in areas with a population of 20,000 or less .
    The court reiterated that liquor vends should neither be accessible nor visible from the highways. So in areas in Himachal Pradesh, liquor can be sold beyond outside 220m from the highways.
    Extended deadline for phasing out the licenses to September 30,2017 for states (which have granted excise licenses which extends beyond April 1,2017)
    Full exemption for North-eastern States of Sikkim and Meghalaya from the 500-m no-liquor zone ban.
    Reason- hilly terrain and also the fact that 82 percent of its area was forest land and over 90 percent of its liquor shops would be closed if the ban was imposed strictly in its original form.

4. Reasons for no-liquor zone – The court said its duty to protect public health and safety clearly overrides the interests of liquor traders.

2. Gujarat to tighten cow slaughter law

What’s in news?

  • First of its kind in the country, Gujarat government to amend its law (The Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill )to make cow slaughter an offence punishable with life term.
  • Amendment provisions –
  • Punishment of maximum imprisonment up to life, but not less than 10 years, cato those found involved in slaughter of cows, calves, bulls and bullocks.
  • Cow slaughter, transportation of cow or beef and beef products a cognisable and non-bailable offence.
  • The Bill also bans transportation of animals from one place to another at night while providing for permanent forfeiture of vehicles involved in the transportation of progeny of cows, beef and beef products.
  • Fine ranges between 1 to 5 lakh rupees for those found guilty of cow slaughter.

3. Contractors to pay for bad roads

What’s in news?

  • Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill– Road contractors to pay out up to 1 lakh per accidental death caused due to faulty road design and poor maintenance of the roads.
  • Speedy settlement of insurance claims- The Bill also proposes settlement of insurance claims to family of a road accident victim within four months of the accident. It now takes at least four to five years for the claim settlement.
  • Insurance claim amount has been reduced to 5 lakh.
  • Aadhaar based verification for grant of online services, including learner’s licence

Key fact:

  • 10,000 people die in road accidents due to potholes, every year.
    In 2015, 1.46 lakh people were killed in road accidents in India which translates into 400 road deaths per day — an increase by 4.6% from 2014.

4. CAG raps Meghalaya govt for failure to implement RTE

What’s in news?

  • The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the Meghalaya government for its inability to execute the Right To Education Act, 2009, bringing about underutilisation of assets of over Rs 900 crore, shortage of nearly 1700 teachers and appointment of over 70 per cent untrained staff.
  • Report highlights: Identifying the lack of basic infrastructure as one of the factors hindering universalization of elementary education
  • Key Facts: (No need to mug it up, just for understanding the core issue):
  • Shortage of 1,748 teachers in primary schools
  • 224 primary schools having only one teacher for 7,769 children enrolled.
  • Untrained appointed teachers – 77 per cent of primary school teachers and 85 per cent of upper primary school.
  • 68 schools – no science and maths teacher.
  • Shortages of uniform grant and non-availability of free textbooks
  • Annual plans were made without adopting participatory approach at the village/habitation level.
  • Provision of reserving 25 per cent for children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups was not being implemented.
  • Children with special needs and dropouts did not receive special care and attention
  • Government has failed to contain the existing dropout rate of six per cent.

Way forwards:

  • Enrolment of children and universalization of elementary education by covering all the eligible children should be ensured and the dropout rates be contained.
  • Focus should be laid on training the untrained teachers and reducing the shortage of teachers in primary schools besides, providing infrastructure and basic facilities to schools and effective utilization of funds.

 5. Notify HIV-hit children as disadvantaged group: SC

What’s in news?

  • Supreme Court requested State governments to consider issuing a notification under the Right to Education law, proclaiming children living with/influenced by HIV as disadvantaged group.
  • HIV affected children to gain free and compulsory education under RTE if notified as disadvantage group.
  • Under Section 2 (d) of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009, which mandates the State governments concerned to issue a notification that a child belongs to a disadvantaged group based on reasons ranging from caste, social, cultural, linguistic, geographical, gender, etc.

Present scenario:

  • HIV-hit children face denial of admission, outright expulsion, segregation, breach of confidentiality to being given chores like cleaning toilets.
  • According to NACO estimates in 2012-2013, around 20.9 lakh people were living with HIV in 2011. Children less than 15 years of age account for seven percent (1.45 lakh) of all infections.
  • India has a substantial number of HIV-positive children who are of school-going age and need to be in school.
  • In schools, instead of kindness from the authorities, these children face ridicule.


Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. New visa regime kicks off today

 
  • Features of India’s new liberalized visa structure:
  • E-visas-classified into new classes viz., e-tourist visa, e- business visa and e-medical visa.
  • The e-visa facility extended to the nationals of 161 countries for entry through 24 airports — earlier being done through 16 airports and three sea ports, Kochi, Goa and Mangalore — to tap the potential of cruise tourism from different countries.
  • Window for application under the e-visa scheme has been increased from 30 to 120 days.
  • Duration of stay on e-visa has been increased from 30 to 60 days.
  • Dual entry on e-tourist and e-business visa and triple entry on e-medical visa.
  • New categories of visas – intern visa and film visa have been introduced.

2. Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit will spoil ties: China 

What’s in news?

  • Dalai Lama plans to visit Arunachal Pradesh has annoyed China. It has warned that the proposed visit would amount to deep damage to Sino-Indian ties.
  • Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh is a “sensitive issue,” and referred to its linkage with the boundary issue.
  • Chinese claims- Tawang is a part of Tibet and Tibet is a part of China. So Tawang is a part of China
  • Reason: China has been particularly strong about its claims over Tawang, which houses the famous Tawang Monastery — India’s largest monastery. It is also the second largest monastery in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa.

Basic Information

  • Tawang Monastery
  • Located in Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh
  • It is the largest monastery in India and second largest in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
  • It is situated in the valley of the Tawang River, Arunachal Pradesh, in close proximity to the Tibetan and Bhutanese border.
  • Tawang Monastery is known in Tibetan as Galden Namgey Lhatse, which translates to “celestial paradise in a clear night.
  • Of all the festivals celebrated in the monastery, Torgya is the most elaborate and colorful.

 3. India may be hit by U.S. trade review 

What’s in news?

  • US to review its trade ties with its trading partner, in the backdrop of country’s surmounting trade deficit.
  • A “country-by-country, product-by-product” report will be prepared in 90 days that would form the basis of further measures that the administration would take to reduce the country’s trade deficit.
  • The report to identify every form of trade abuse and every non-reciprocal practice.
  • The review will be to assess whether a deficit is being caused by cheating, specific trade agreements, lax enforcement or World Trade Organization rules.

U.S. issues of concern with India:-

  • Inadequate protection of intellectual property,
  • State subsidies and tariff and non-tariff barriers.
  • Ban on animal-tested cosmetics and restrictions on dairy products and alcohol
  • Opaqueness in its non-tariff regulations
  • Export subsidy programmes in several sectors .

Future focus:

  • Trade in energy
  • Trade in generic pharmacy and defense.
  • Movement of service professionals in and out of U.S.
  • Key Fact: India is the ninth biggest trading partner of the U.S. and had a trade surplus of around $26 billion with the U.S in goods trade alone last year.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. RBI need not remonetise fully: report 

Highlights of report published by the State Bank of India’s Group Chief Economic Adviser Soumya Kanti Ghosh

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) need not print the entire amount of high-value currency notes extinguished by the Centre’s demonetisation move last year.

Reasons:

  • There was excess cash floating in the system prior to November 8.
  • Increase in Digital payments usage.

RBI should only print 1.15 trillion [lakh crore] more from March 24 levels

2. Infra deficit to take two decades to bridge 

Key Points:

  • Funds needed for transport, water management.
  • India has an infrastructure deficit that could take almost two decades to bridge.
  • Contrary to all the global noises we see in various parts of the world, there are no noises of protectionism in India and therefore, we are amongst the most open economies in the world.
  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced commitment of €450 million for supporting sustainable transport and renewable energy projects.
  • Investment will be required in sectors such as public transport, water management, rural infrastructure among others.

Key Points:

  • Move frees up 1.5 lakh cr. Investments.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved amendments in the Mega Power Policy to push 31 GW stranded projects entailing an investment of Rs. 1.5 lakh crore.
  • The initiative is mainly aimed at bringing down power tariff for making electricity more affordable and achieving the ambitious goal of 24X7 power for all.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the time period for the provisional mega projects (25 projects), for furnishing the final mega certificates to the tax authorities be extended to 120 months instead of 60 months from the date of import.

Key Points :

  • Country’s interests include ensuring ease of mobility for skilled professionals.
  • Despite a formal statement by the world’s largest economies being silent on concerns over protectionist measures, India — which was a part of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting on March 17-18 — said Friday that it strongly supported ‘resistance’ to all forms of protectionism.
  • India strongly supports resistance to all forms of protectionism, and is fully with Germany (which is holding the G20 Presidency) on measures to open up trade in goods and services.
  • India is keen on free movement of labour, especially high-skilled labour, and is ready to work with other G20 members on that.
  • India is also keen on ensuring energy access.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. New way to fight drug resistant superbugs

Novel approach like kidney dialysis:

  • Removing antibodies from the blood stream could reduce chronic infections- this approach help humans in the fight against drug resistant superbugs.
  • Two patients with bronchiectasis who suffered with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections that were resistant to many antibiotics were treated with this novel approach successfully.

Bronchiectasis is a disease that leads to permanent enlargement of the airways in the lung.
Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections commonly occur in patients suffering from bronchiectasis.
Symptoms – chronic cough, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and chest pain.

  • Process plasmapheresis similar lines of kidney dialysis:

It involves removal, treatment, and return of blood plasma from circulation.
Replacing antibodies with those from blood donations.
This treatment restored the ability for the patients’ blood to kill their infecting Pseudomonas.

2. SpaceX rocket makes history

What’s in news?

  • SpaceX successfully launched and then retrieved its first recycled rocket – a historic feat and huge revolution in spaceflight
  • Novel idea to drive down costs and speed up flights.

Basic information:

  • SpaceX : Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. 


Category: ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECOLOGY

1. Industries grossly pollute Ganga

 

What’s in news?

  • A Recent report released by Central Pollution Control Board highlights:
    • 30% of the so-called Grossly Polluting Industries (GPI), along the Ganga, is not complying with norms.
    • The CPCB has identified a total of 764 major polluting industries along Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Bihar.
    • Tanneries comprise the bulk of polluting industries and 80% of the polluting industries are located in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand
  • What are Grossly Polluting Industries?
    GPIs are defined as industries that discharge more than 1,00,000 liters of waste water and/or hazardous chemicals.


UPSC 2017: Best of PIB UPSC 2017: Editorial Articles

 


D. GS4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!

 

E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

 
F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGANISATIONS IN NEWS About the Article

Comptroller and Auditor general of India Article 148. Comptroller and Auditor General of India

(1) There shall be a Comptroller and Auditor General of India who shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal and shall only be removed from office in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court

(2) Every person appointed to be the Comptroller and Auditor General of India shall, before he enters upon his office, make and subscribe before the President, or some person appointed in that behalf by him, an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule

(3) The salary and other conditions of service of the Comptroller and Auditor General shall be such as may be determined by Parliament by law and, until they are so determined, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule: Provided that neither the salary of a Comptroller and Auditor General nor his rights in respect of leave of absence, pension or age of retirement shall be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment

(4) The Comptroller and Auditor General shall not be eligible for further office either under the Government of India or under the Government of any State after he has ceased to hold his office

(5) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service of persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and the administrative powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General shall be such as may be prescribed by rules made by the President after consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General

(6) The Administrative expenses of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, including all salaries, allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of pensions serving in that office, shall be charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India

Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act,2009
  • Right of children to free and compulsory education till completion of elementary education in a neighborhood school.
  • ‘compulsory education’ means obligation of the appropriate government to provide free elementary education and ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education to every child in the six to fourteen age group.
  • ‘Free’ means that no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education.
  • It makes provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age appropriate class.
  • It specifies the duties and responsibilities of appropriate Governments, local authority and parents in providing free and compulsory education, and sharing of financial and other responsibilities between the Central and State Governments.
  • It lays down the norms and standards relating inter alia to Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTRs), buildings and infrastructure, school-working days, teacher-working hours.
  • It provides for rational deployment of teachers by ensuring that the specified pupil teacher ratio is maintained for each school, rather than just as an average for the State or District or Block, thus ensuring that there is no urban-rural imbalance in teacher postings.
  • It also provides for prohibition of deployment of teachers for non-educational work, other than decennial census, elections to local authority, state legislatures and parliament, and disaster relief.
  • It provides for appointment of appropriately trained teachers, i.e. teachers with the requisite entry and academic qualifications.
  • It prohibits (a) physical punishment and mental harassment; (b) screening procedures for admission of children; (c) capitation fee; (d) private tuition by teachers and (e) running of schools without recognition.
  • It provides for development of curriculum in consonance with the values enshrined in the Constitution, and which would ensure the all-round development of the child, building on the child’s knowledge, potentiality and talent and making the child free of fear, trauma and anxiety through a system of child friendly and child centered learning.

Important provisions:

  • The Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools.
  • It requires all private schools(except the minority institutions) to reserve 25% of seats for the poor and other categories of children (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan).
  • Children are admitted in to private schools based on caste-based reservations.
  • It also prohibits all unrecognised schools from practice, and makes provisions for no donation or capitation fees and no interview of the child or parent for admission
  • The Act also provides that no child shall be held back, expelled, or required to pass a board examination until the completion of elementary education.
  • There is also a provision for special training of school drop-outs to bring them up to par with students of the same age.

Implementation and funding

  • Education in the Indian constitution is a concurrent issue and both centre and states can legislate on the issue.
  •  The Act lays down specific responsibilities for the centre, state and local bodies for its implementation.
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam:)
Question 1: Who chairs the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs?
  1. Finance Minister
  2. Prime Minister
  3. RBI Governor
  4. Chief Economic Adviser to Government of India
See
Answer
Question 2: Currently who is holding the presidency of G20 grouping of nations?
  1. France
  2. Japan
  3. India
  4. Germany
See
Answer
Question 3: Consider the following Statement with reference to Right to Education 
Act:
  1. The Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools.
  2. It requires all private schools(except the minority institutions) to reserve 30% of seats for the poor and other categories of children

Choose the correct answer

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 4: Consider the following Statement with reference to Tawang Monastery:
  1. It is located in Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh.
  2. It is the largest monastery in India and second largest in the world.
  3. It is also known as celestial paradise in a clear night

Choose the correct answer

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2
  3. 1and 3
  4. 1,2 and 3
See
Answer

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