Comprehensive News Analysis – 01 March 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. Copper axes point to an ancient culture story

B. GS2 Related:

1. India pushes for Mallya’s extradition

2. India, Oman to hold counter-terror exercises

C. GS3 Related:

1. Spectrum auctions to be held annually: Deepak

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

The Hindu

1. Back on track?

2. Game of tones

3. The IS challenge

Economic Times

1. The right and wrong of free speech

PIB

1. India and ADB sign $375 million in loans and grants for first phase of 2,500–kilometer long East Coast Economic Corridor

2. India signs Financing Agreement with World Bank for US$ 63 Million for Tejaswini: Socio-Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women Project

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 for UPSC Current Affairs

 

A. GS1 Related
1. Copper axes point to an ancient culture story

Category: Indian History
Topic: Ancient India

Key Points:

  • Recently, six copper axes and some pieces of pottery discovered in Sakatpur of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh.
  • This development could point to a separate culture that straddled the Ganga and Yamuna, coinciding with the Indus Valley Civilisation, say archaeologists.

Important Points to Note

  • When the Indus Valley civilisation flourished in what is today Punjab, Haryana and parts of Pakistan, a parallel culture is thought to have co-existed in the fertile plains between the Ganga and the Yamuna in western Uttar Pradesh.
  • The copper axes and pottery sherds found last week may be related to the Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP) culture in the doab (plains) of the two rivers in the late Harappan period, around 2000 BC.

B. GS2 Related
1. India pushes for Mallya’s extradition

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

Key Points:

  • Over the past two days, the issue of the overstaying of “certain individuals” wanted by India was raised including with British Prime Minister Theresa May, during meetings held between Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior Cabinet members in the U.K.
  • While discussions did not name individuals, it was a clear reference to India’s bid to push for the extradition of Vijay Mallya.
  • Mr. Jaitley has been on a five-day visit to the U.K. which has combined the launch of the India-U.K. year of culture — and a grand reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth.
2. India, Oman to hold counter-terror exercises

Category: International Relations
Topic: Bilateral Relations

Key Points:

  • The armies of India and Oman are scheduled to conduct their second bilateral exercise, Al Nagah-II 2017, in March with a focus on counter-terrorism.
  • India has, of late, been deepening its defence cooperation with the region.
  • The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, is on a tour of Oman and the UAE to “explore new avenues for naval cooperation”.
  • The Army said in a statement that the exercise would be held in the Dhauladhar Ranges at Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh from March 6 to 19.

Aim of the exercise

  • “The aim of the exercise is to build and promote bilateral Army-to-Army relations and enhance interoperability while exchanging skills and experiences between the Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman.”
  • India and Oman already have extensive cooperation in the maritime domain.
  • The navies of the two countries have been holding the bilateral maritime exercises called ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ since 1993.

B. GS3 Related
2. Spectrum auctions to be held annually: Deepak

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: Industry, Communications

Key Points:

  • Recently, the government has decided to hold fresh spectrum auctions between July and December this year and the exercise will be an annual affair from now, Telecom Secretary JS Deepak.
  • The Centre is also working to ensure that India embraces 5G telecom networks in tandem with the rest of the world, unlike 3G and 4G technologies whose rollout was far slower.
 

D. GS4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
 
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

Hindu

1. Back on track?

Category: International Relations
Topic: Bilateral Relations

Key Points:

  • The recent discussions between Indian and Chinese officials on the way forward in Afghanistan are a welcome sign that both countries are attempting to put a very bad year in bilateral ties behind them, and seek common ground where possible.

Points of Convergence

  • In Afghanistan, both China and India see potential for investment and share concerns over the rise of radicalism and terrorism. There are many avenues for cooperation in Afghanistan.
  • In fact Beijing had initiated the special talks by inviting Indian officials who deal with Afghanistan and proposed a “joint development project”.
  • This encourages the conclusion that China is unwilling to have its options cramped by Pakistan’s reservations about India’s role in Afghanistan.

The Way Forward

  • It has been suggested that India must prepare for the larger challenge this year that will inevitably come from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (B&RI, or One Belt, One Road).
  • Through the mega infrastructure and trade project, China has plans in place to reach out to each one of India’s land and maritime neighbours, most of whom have signed up for it.
  • India has decided to not join the B&RI and will not attend even as an observer as the $51-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, now an integral part of the B&RI initiative, runs through areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • This concerns India’s territorial integrity, and New Delhi needs to find ways to make China more sensitive to its concerns.

2. Game of tones

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: : Industry, Communications

Key Points:

  • It is interesting to note the current wave of mergers and acquisitions in India’s telecommunications industry.
  • This wave started in November 2015 with Reliance Communications’ agreement to acquire Sistema’s Indian wireless business.
  • The wave of mergers and acquisitions have gained considerable momentum over the last 15 months with several more announcements — of deals struck or confirmation of ongoing merger negotiations — having been made.

Changed Dynamics

  • A little more than five years ago, as many as 12 private players jostled with the two state-run telephone operators, BSNL and MTNL.
  • These two state-run operators vied for a share of the country’s 893.8 million wireless subscribers as of December 2011.
  • And while the market had expanded to almost 1.13 billion subscribers as of December 2016, the number of non-state mobile services providers had shrunk to 10, inclusive of Reliance Jio.
  • The industry is now finally poised to coalesce into four large private sector entities, a welcome development both from the industry and government perspective.

 

Economic Times

1. The right and wrong of free speech

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: : Basic Provisions

Key Points:

Causes for Concern

  • It has been suggested that the recent events at Ramjas College in Delhi University truncate the right to freedom of speech.
  • It is true that the Constitution places reasonable restrictions on this freedom, on grounds of sovereignty and national integrity, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency, defamation and incitement to an offence.
  • It is important to note that free speech is not meant only for those who agree with a dominant view; it matters most when it comes to unpopular, minority views.

Concluding Remarks

  • In conclusion, it is important to note that the country’s courts are the final arbiters of when a restriction on free speech is warranted, but in a technical sense.
  • It is the lived practice of democracy — with citizens actively defending free speech, even of the kind they disagree with — that will give substance to this and other fundamental rights.

 

PIB

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed here $375 million in loans and grants to develop 800-kilometer Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor, which is the First Phase of a planned 2,500–kilometer long East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC).
  • The Corridor is expected to spur development on India’s eastern coast in line with the Government of India’s Make in India policy to stimulate manufacturing, and Act East policy to integrate the Indian economy with Asia’s dynamic global production networks.
  • The signing event was held on 23.02.2017 followed the ADB approval of $631 million in loans and grants in September 2016 to develop the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor.
  • ADB’s approved loans comprise a $500 million multi-tranche facility to build key infrastructure in the four main centers along the corridor – Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Amaravati, and Yerpedu-Srikalahasti in the State of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The First Tranche of $245 million was signed today that will finance sub-projects to develop high-quality internal infrastructure in 2 of the 4 nodes of the corridor–Visakhapatnam and Yerpedu-Srikalahasti.
  • Another component of the approved ADB funds signed on 23.02.2017 was a $125 million policy-based loan that will be used for capacity development of institutions engaged in corridor management, provide support to enhance ease of doing business and for supporting industrial and sector policies to stimulate industrial development.
  • A Financing Agreement for IDA credit of US$ 63 million (equivalent) for the “Tejaswini” Socio-Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women Project” was signed here with the World Bank on 23rd February, 2017.
  • The Financing Agreement was signed by Mr. Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. .
  • A Project Agreement was also signed by Mr. Mukhmeet Singh Bhatia, Principal Secretary, Department of Women, Child Development, Government of Jharkhand and Mr. Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank.
  • The project seeks to empower the adolescent girls with basic life skills and thereafter provide further opportunities to acquire market driven skill training or completion of secondary education, depending on the inclination of the beneficiary.
  • The project will be delivered in 17 Districts of Jharkhand. The project has three main components, (i) Expanding social, educational and economic opportunities (ii) Intensive service delivery (iii) State capacity-building and implementation support. About 680,000 adolescent girls and young women in the project Districts are expected to benefit from the program.
 
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative
 
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
 
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: The statue of Gomateshwara at Sravanabelagola was built by 
which of the following rulers __________.

a) Chandragupta Maurya
b) Kharvela
c) Amoghavarsha
d) Chamundaraya

 
Question 2: The first Indian ruler who joined the subsidiary Alliance was 
___________.

a) The Nawab of Oudh
b) The Nizam of Hyderabad
c) Peshwa Baji Rao II
d) The King of Travancore

 
Question 3: “Naseem Al Bahr” was recently in the news. What is it?

a) A bilateral maritime exercise between India and Oman
b) A bilateral maritime exercise between India and Iran
c) A bilateral maritime exercise between India and Indonesia
d) A bilateral maritime exercise between India and U.A.E

 
Question 4: Which among the following is the largest site in the Indus 
Valley Civilization?

a) Rakhigarhi
b) Harappa
c) Mohenjodaro
d) Kalibangan

 
Question 5: Which of the following organizations bring out the report 
known as ‘Global Information Technology Report’?

(a) Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
(b) The United Nations Development Programme
(c) The World Economic Forum
(d) The World Bank

 

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