Comprehensive News Analysis – 01 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Afghanistan, India hope to corner Pakistan

2. Ash Carter may help move defence pacts

3. Modi-Mamata spat may cast a shadow on Hasina visit

4. National anthem must be played before screening of films: Supreme Court

C. GS3 Related:

1. Route all wages via bank accounts: Govt.

2. Trade costs of India remain high: UN body

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

The Hindu

1. Provocation at Nagrota

2. Finally, India’s missing girl children

The Indian Express

1. Jana gana mana

Business Line

1. Demonetisation — just the right medicine

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

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. Afghanistan, India hope to corner Pakistan

Category: International Relations  

Topic: India and the Neighbourhood    

Key Points:

  • The Heart of Asia conference is scheduled to take place in Amritsar this weekend.
  • India is hoping to corner Pakistan on the issue of “cross-border terrorism” at the Heart of Asia conference.
  • Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India Shaida Abdali remarked that: “Terrorism is the greatest threat to this region, and we expect the Heart of Asia conference to approve the draft framework on counter terrorism.”

 

  1. Ash Carter may help move defence pacts

Category: International Relations   

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • It is important to note a comment made by Heidi Grant, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, that despite the transition in the White House, enthusiasm for the India-U.S. defence logistics agreements is not waning from the U.S. side.
  • It is important to note that India and the United States signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in August earlier this year.

What does LEMOA provide?

  • The LEMOA provides a framework for closer logistics and infrastructure cooperation, such as aircraft repair and fuelling.
  • However, the agreement is yet to be operationalized.

 

  1. Modi-Mamata spat may cast a shadow on Hasina visit 

Category: International Relations 

Topic: India and the Neighbourhood

Key Points:

  • In the wake of the recent demonetization initiative by the Government, there has been friction between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • This has casted a shadow on the upcoming visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India.
  • Bangladesh official sources have mentioned that the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was unlikely to witness any progress on the Teesta water-sharing issue because of the political differences between Ms. Banerjee and Mr. Modi.
  • Hasina has made it clear that her government remains focussed on ensuring water security for Bangladesh.
  • Further, Ms. Hasina has mentioned that Bangladesh remained vulnerable as 92 per cent of its surface water originated from outside its borders.

 

  1. National anthem must be played before screening of films: Supreme Court

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Interventions, Judiciary

Key Points:

Developments:

  • The Supreme Court on 30th November, 2016, ordered all cinema halls across the country to play the national anthem before the screening of films.  
  • The court observed that all present must “stand up in respect” till the anthem ended. It said that the practice would “instill a feeling within one a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism.”
  • The court further maintained that Cinema halls should also display the national flag on screen when the anthem is played.

Specific Observations

  • The Supreme Court bench observed that it is the duty of every person to show respect when the national anthem is played or recited or sung under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1951.
  • It further remarked that all the doors of cinema halls must be closed when the national anthem is being played to prevent people from entering or exiting.
  • The Bench said the protocol of showing respect and honour to the anthem and flag is rooted in “our national identity, integrity and constitutional patriotism.”
  • Theatre owners have 10 days to implement the order.

Current Precedents

  • It must be noted that the national anthem is already played before movies in some states – such as Maharashtra. But the measure is often controversial. There have been instances of people being beaten up for not standing up for the anthem.
  • In October this year, a couple assaulted a man at a cinema in Goa for not rising during the national anthem. Only later on, it was discovered that he was paralytic and on a wheelchair.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. Route all wages via bank accounts: Govt.

Category: Indian Economy   

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • Recently, the Centre has asked all employers and contractors to ensure that wages are paid to all employees, including casual and contract workers, through cheques or electronic transfers into a bank account.
  • The Centre has also asked firms to get bank accounts opened for all those workers who do not have a bank account open already, and report on the compliance status with the details of the new bank accounts opened by December 2, 2016.

Concerns Raised

  • Industry representatives have expressed concern over the directive.
  • They have stressed that it is not against the law to pay wages in cash.
  • They also believe that this could lead to possible harassment of businesses by labour inspectors.
  • Among the concerns expressed, it is also believed that mid-size and smaller firms, however, will face an issue, particularly with regard to contract and casual workers. It is important to note that the dues contract and casual workers of mid-size firms are linked to the frequency of their employment during a month.

 

2. Trade costs of India remain high: UN body

Category: Indian Economy  

Topic: International Trade 

Key Points:

  • The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has made an important observation.
  • The Commission has observed that international and intra-regional trade costs of India remained higher when compared with the trade costs of the best-performing economies in Asia and the Pacific, although a declining trend has been observed since 2009.
  • The Commission observed certain factors that may contribute to the FDI attractiveness of India. 
  • These factors include a)  India’s robust economic growth b) large domestic market c) “Make in India” initiative and d) easing of FDI regulations for about 15 sectors including aviation, defence and pharmaceuticals.
D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Provocation at Nagrota

Category: Internal Security

Topic: Challenges to Internal Security, Terrorism

Key Points:

Background:

  • The recent death of seven soldiers in the terrorist attack on an Army base in Nagrota, provides graphic evidence of the high cost being borne by the armed forces amidst escalating violence in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It is important to note that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of casualties among security force personnel in Kashmir. This is a deeply worrying thought in the security establishment.
  • This recent attack on an Army mess in Nagrota, came on the day when the Pakistan Army got its new chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who replaced General Raheel Sharif. 
  • Also, this militant strike on the Nagrota mess in Jammu came exactly two months after the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC). With this latest incident, 89 security personnel have been ‘killed in action’ in Jammu and Kashmir this year. Of these, 27 were lost post the surgical strikes carried out on September 29.
  • What is significant to observe is that decades of experience in fighting insurgencies and the diverse tactics adopted to reduce security force casualties have in recent months been challenged by the terrorists’ focus on security installations, aimed at causing maximum casualties among the forces. 

 

  1. Finally, India’s missing girl children

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Social Justice, Women Empowerment, Gender Equality   

Key Points:

  • Unfortunately, in India, there are fewer and fewer girls as a ratio of total births.
  • This exists as a result of complex factors that include parental preference.
  • There has been a fall in sex ratio at birth from 898 girls to 1,000 boys in 2013, to 887 a year later.
  • It is also important to note that states such as Tamil Nadu, with a strong social development foundation have slipped on sex ratio at birth (834), going by the CRS (Civil Registration System of the Registrar General of India) data for 2014.
  • In Tamil Nadu, the cradle baby scheme was started in 1992 in Tamil Nadu to raise the survival chances of girl children by encouraging mothers to give them anonymously for adoption.
  • But, when we factor the latest numbers, together with the persistence of the cradle baby scheme after 24 years, and 260 babies being abandoned in just one centre over a six-year period, it becomes clear that national policy has achieved little in real terms.

The Way Forward

  • It is important to note that there is a need to go beyond slogans and institute tangible schemes.
  • Enforcement of the law that prohibits determination of the sex of the foetus must go hand in hand with massive social investments to protect both immediate and long-term prospects of girls — these can be in the form of:
  1. cash incentives through registration of births,
  2. A continuum of health care, early educational opportunities and social protection. 

 

The Indian Express

  1. Jana gana mana

Category: Polity and Governance  

Topic: Judiciary

Key Points:

  • India’s Constitution, after all, speaks of respect to the national flag and anthem as a fundamental duty in Part IV A — a non-justiciable part of the document.
  • Article 51(A) says that “it shall be the duty of every citizen of India — (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect the ideals of the national flag and the national anthem”. 
  • By making it non-justiciable, the message of the founding fathers was clear: Respect to the nation and its symbols would not be enforced by state diktat or extracted through legal compulsion. 

 

Business Line

  1. Demonetisation — just the right medicine 

Category: Indian Economy  

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • Corruption has always existed, and will exist anywhere in the world.
  • But there is a difference between that which is seen across all economic activities we now see in India and the big-time deal making like, say, Bofors scams of the past.
  • Some sections have remarked that corruption contributed to consumption-led growth.

This is true, but it did so at the cost of choking future growth.

  • As a consequence of high-margin corruption, we observe disturbed business viability. Banks get saddled with bad assets. And, courts became shadow governments, impacting policy stability.
  • The real purpose of Demonetisation is to give formal economy a chance to grow and establish the long arm of law.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Article 51(A)
  • LEMOA
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme

H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. Directive Principles of state policy are non-justiciable in nature.
  2. Article 51(A) says that “it shall be the duty of every citizen of India — (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect the ideals of the national flag and the national anthem”.

Which of the following statements is/are correct? a) 1 Only b) 2 Only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 2: Consider the following statements, regarding ‘LEMOA’,
  1. The LEMOA provides a framework for closer logistics and infrastructure cooperation between India and the U.S, such as aircraft repair and fuelling.
  2. The agreement is yet to be operationalized.

Which of the following statements is/are correct? a) 1 Only b) 2 Only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 3: The Heart of Asia conference is scheduled to be held in which of the following Indian cities?

a) Amritsar b) Delhi c) Bangalore d) Goa

Question 4: Consider the following statements, regarding the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme’,
  1. Government of India has introduced the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme for survival, protection & education of the girl child.
  2. It aims to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) through a mass campaign across the country targeted at changing societal mindsets & creating awareness about the criticality of the issue.
  3. It is a joint initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Which of the following statements is/are correct? a) 1 and 2 Only b) 2 and 3 Only c) All 1, 2 and 3 d) 3 Only

Question 5: Economic growth is usually coupled with
a) Deflation b) Inflation c) Stagflation d) Hyperinflation

Check Your Answers

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