Comprehensive News Analysis – 03 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Furore in Parliament over Army presence in Kolkata

2. EC must consider state funding of polls: Nirmala

3. Modi, Ghani to discuss terror, defence

4. Mercosur suspends Venezuela

5. U.S. to hold hearing on India’s curbs on NGO

C. GS3 Related:

1. Funds tracking system will trim Centre’s costs

2. Budget boost for global event promoting ‘swadeshi science’

3. Navy says no to Tejas variant

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

The Hindu

1. Staring at a slowdown

The Indian Express

1. Cracks on show

Business Line

1. Banks need better internal watchdogs

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. Furore in Parliament over Army presence in Kolkata

Category: Polity and Governance    

Topic: Center-State Relations  

Key Points:

  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee objected to the presence of Army soldiers at toll booths on national highways running through the state of West Bengal.

Position of the Indian Army:

  • The Army has maintained that it conducts the data collection exercise at toll booths across the country bi-annually. The Army has assured that, “There is nothing alarming about this and it is carried out as per government orders.”

Furore in Parliament:

  • In Parliament, the opposition, while underlining their respect for the Army, sought to know whether this was not a violation of the federal structure.
  • Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that the army was India’s pride as it has upheld its unity and integrity by protecting borders and also rescued people during natural calamities.
  • But in Bengal, he said, the chief secretary, administration and DG Police had no information of the Army taking over toll plazas.
  • However, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, in a statement in the Lok Sabha, termed the exercises as “routine”. The Defence Minister observed that similar operations had last month been conducted in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to collect information on heavy vehicle movement that could be used during national emergencies.

 

  1. EC must consider state funding of polls: Nirmala

Category: Polity and Governance 

Topic: Electoral Reforms, Elections

Key Points:

  • Recently, Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman remarked that the Election Commission of India (ECI) needs to look into the proposal for state funding of elections to combat the influence of cash and black money in them.

Note to Students:

The issue of electoral reforms is very important for the Civil Services examination. Students are advised to read this issue in detail.

A detailed analysis of this issue is available under the below link:

https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/electoral-reforms-in-india

 

  1. Modi, Ghani to discuss terror, defence

Category: International Relations   

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

Key Points:

  • When Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani at Amritsar, it is believed that Terrorism, trade and defence assistance will be on the top of the agenda.
  • This meeting will also see a fresh focus on India’s plans to develop the Chabahar port in Iran for trade to Afghanistan.
  • PM Modi is likely to build on India’s commitment on military aid to Afghanistan.
  • Work is also moving forward on a trilateral framework with Russia.
  • In the text of the Amritsar declaration, India and Afghanistan may seek to corner Pakistan. Officials believe that a major focus for the conference will be on developing trade routes to Afghanistan.


  1. Mercosur suspends Venezuela 

Category: International Relations  

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

Key Points:

  • South American nations have suspended Venezuela from the Mercosur trade group over its failure to comply with its commitments when it joined the group in 2012.

What is Mercosur?

  • Mercosur is an economic and political bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
  • Many experts say Mercosur has failed to live up to its ambitions.
  • Venezuela joined the group in 2012.
  • Members of Mercosur had threatened to suspend Venezuela for failing to comply with the group’s rules on trade and democracy.

 

  1. U.S. to hold hearing on India’s curbs on NGO

Category: International Relations  

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

Key Points:

Background:

  • In March 2016, India had stopped the flow of funds from an American charity, named Compassion International (CI) to around 250 organisations which it wanted to support in the country.
  • After Secretary of State John Kerry took up the matter with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Government of India partially lifted the restrictions in October, allowing 10 organisations to receive funds.
  • Next week, The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on restrictions imposed by the Indian government on Compassion International (CI).
  • Indian security agencies say the funds were being used for religious conversions.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. Funds tracking system will trim Centre’s costs

Category: Indian Economy   

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • It is believed that when the Public Financial Management System is implemented, the Centre would stand to save a significant amount on interest costs.
  • It is believed that the electronic fund tracking mechanism will allow the government to monitor and access the more than Rs.1 lakh crore of idle funds lying with it under various heads.
  • It is believed that there are about Rs.1-1.5 lakh crore of idle funds lying with the government.
  • The PFMS platform compiles, collates and makes available in real-time, information regarding all government schemes, and, importantly, provides the government real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes.
  • Further, the platform will allow government expenditure to adopt a Just-in- Time (JIT) approach, with payments made only when they are needed.

 

  1. Budget boost for global event promoting ‘swadeshi science’

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • The India International Science Festival (IISF), is organised by Vijnana Bharti, which is a social organisation committed to promoting ‘swadeshi science.
  • The India International Science Festival (IISF) has received a 200% increase in its budget this year from the Union Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • The festival would be a four-day event beginning on December 7.
  • It is important to note that, nearly 5,000 scientists, technology demonstrators and students, including at least 1,000 specially-selected children from villages, spanning 200 Lok Sabha constituencies, are expected to attend the festival.
  • The IISF will also attempt to break a ‘Guinness World Book Record,’ of having the largest number of people dressed up as physicist, Albert Einstein.

 

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Staring at a slowdown

Category: Indian Economy  

Topic: Government Policy     

Key Points:

  • There has been a predictable side effect of the recent demonetization initiative by the Government- that of a dampening of economic activity.
  • It is important to note that high-value banknotes constituted more than 86 per cent of the currency in circulation as of March 31, 2016. With the sudden withdrawal of these notes, cash availability has been significantly impaired.
  • A quick look at manufacturing from the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index released on December 1 has revealed that demonetisation had slowed buying activity and production across the board, and led to the weakest expansion in orders in four months. 
  • Further, the survey indicated that producers of consumer goods are among the worst hit.
  • This is a signal that a key engine of India’s economic growth — that of private consumption demand — appears to be sputtering on account of the cash shortage.
  • This impact is likely to extend beyond the current quarter.

 

The Indian Express

  1. Cracks on show

Category: International Relations

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

Key Points:

  • It is important to note that  the Nepalese PM, Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s proposed amendment to the 2015 constitution, which is aimed at addressing the demands of the Madhesi population, has led to protests from the opposition Communist Party of Nepal Unified-Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UMN).
  • Protests from this opposition party, led by his predecessor K.P. Oli.

Who are the Madhesis?

  • The Madhesis are Nepalis of Indian origin, who inhabit the Terai region. The Terai region occupy less than 20 per cent of Nepal’s landmass but form nearly 50 per cent of its population.
  • The Madhesis had hoped that a federal polity under a new constitution would have allowed them greater political representation and parity with the hill population.
  • Unfortunately, when the constitution was finally passed in 2015, their demands for a separate province and equal citizenship rights were not met.  

Roots of the Problem

  • Nepal’s top-down approach to federalism has been at the root of its problems. This is reflected in constant delays and tussles over the constitution.
  • It is important to note that issues of boundaries and ethnicity are deeply emotional.
  • Nepal’s political class and successive governments have been unable to build a consensus among their people or even among themselves.

 

Business Line

  1. Banks need better internal watchdogs

Category: Indian Economy  

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • Indian banks are faced with the challenge to tighten internal controls and risk management measures.
  • The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), based in Basel of which India is a prominent member, has been setting standards of governance for banks in order to realise its objective of global monetary and financial stability.
  • The BIS has been consistent in its emphasis on the need for strong internal audit functions, as part of risk mitigation measures.

Major Ills plaguing public sector banks:

  • Weak internal controls
  • Relatively lower importance given to audit and inspection
  • The failure of the triad of a) Inspection, b) risk management and c) compliance in playing its role effectively and mediating in policies, procedures and decision-making has been one of the main reasons for the current banking crisis in India.
  • The NPA issue is a symptom or a manifestation (among other factors) of this deep-rooted malaise and not the disease itself.

As a rule, the inspection department is seen mostly as a “dump yard” for personnel who would not otherwise fit into other fashionable areas like treasury, credit or operations.

The Way Forward

  • What is now required is the realisation among bankers that if they put compliance first, business is likely to last.
  • It is important to note that the sustainability of business is based on robust compliance and risk management practices.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Mercosur
  • Bank for International Settlements (BIS)


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. “Rashtriya Goukul Mission”, a new initiative under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development has been launched for the first time in the country, with a view to conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds.
  2. The mission also envisages establishment of integrated cattle development centres.

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 the ‘Public Financial Management System’,
  1. It is believed that the PFMS will allow the government to monitor and access the more than Rs.1 lakh crore of idle funds lying with it under various heads.
  2. The PFMS platform compiles, collates and makes available in real-time, information regarding all government schemes, and, importantly, provides the government real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes.

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 new liberalized visa policy of the Government of India is expected to?
  1. Mercosur is an economic and political bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
  2. South American nations have suspended Venezuela from the Mercosur trade group over its failure to comply with its commitments when it joined the group in 2012.

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 4: Consider the following statements,
  1. Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is operating a scheme titled “Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development (TREAD)” to promote women entrepreneurs.
  2. The scheme envisages economic empowerment of women through trade related training, information and counseling activities related to trades, products, services, etc.

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 5: Consider the following statements,
  1. INS Shardul, is an amphibious ship of the Indian Navy.
  2. Since 2009, the Indian Navy has been deploying ships to Mauritius bi-annually to assist in patrolling the vast EEZ of the country based on request by the Government of Mauritius.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Check Your Answers

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