Comprehensive News Analysis - 03 January 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. SC bowls out top BCCI bosses

2. ‘It is a trilateral partnership of India, U.S. and Israel’

C. GS3 Related:

1. Agni-IV test a ‘grand success’

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

The Hindu

1. The price of defiance

2. The rediscovery of urban India

Business Line

1. Slow stimulus

Indian Express

1. Secularism is just not a judicial fix: The apex court errs in its secular defence

PIB

1. Successful Flight Test of Agni – IV

2. Trash Skimmers to be Introduced In Six New Cities for Surface Cleaning Of Ganga

3. Joint Press Communique- India and Srilanka

4. Restaurants billing ‘service charges’ in addition to taxes is optional: Department of Consumer Affairs

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


B. GS2 Related
  1. SC bowls out top BCCI bosses

Category: Polity and Governance    

Topic: Judiciary

Key Points:

  • A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud declared Mr. Thakur and Mr. Shirke “unfit” to continue at the helm of the BCCI.
  • The bench cited their “obstructionist” attitude and specious pleas in court about their incapacity to make affiliated State associations fall in line with the Justice Lodha reforms.

 

  1. ‘It is a trilateral partnership of India, U.S. and Israel’

Category: International Relations  

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

Key Points:

  • A senior functionary of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which is an influential advocacy group in the U.S. recently remarked that the optics of the U.S.-Israel relations will change for the better under the incoming Donald Trump administration and that this will have a positive impact on India’s relations with both the U.S. and Israel.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. Agni-IV test a ‘grand success’

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • The flight-testing of India’s long-range, strategic ballistic missile, Agni-IV, was a “grand success”.
  • The Agni-IV is a two-stage, surface-to-surface, long-range strategic ballistic missile which can carry a nuclear warhead weighing one tonne over a distance of more than 4,000 km.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. The price of defiance

Category: Polity and Governance   

Topic: Judiciary

Key Points:

Background:

  • The apex court was seeking to reform the manner in which cricket is administered in the country.
  • In the court’s view, the appointment of the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee and adoption of its recommendationswere part of a project to bring transparency and accountability to the BCCI. 
  • In response to these developments, the BCCI responded with obstructionist tactics and defiance.
  • Even when the court made the Lodha panel reforms binding on the BCCI through its July 18 verdict, the BCCI appeared to defy it.

 

  1. The rediscovery of urban India

Category: Polity and Governance, Indian Economy 

Topic: Government Initiatives, Infrastructure

Key Points:

  • There is a demographic transition happening in India- in fact, India is moving away from villages and is set to soon become more urban.
  • The Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was launched in 2005.
  • This scheme was no doubt the first concerted effort to make a difference to the urban chaos.
  • However, by the time it was wound up by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in March 2014, the JNNURM fell much short of intentions.
  • It is important to note that till 2014, every project needed for a city was being appraised and approved in Nirman Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • This was a ‘top-down’ method of planning. This had its own disadvantages.

Disadvantages of ‘top-down’ method of planning:

  • For example, there was no sense of involvement in and ownership of new schemes by city and State governments.
  • Consequently, project and investment approvals were being accorded in the last two quarters of a financial year causing implementation delays.

Present Situation

  • Citizen participation in urban planning and project prioritisation are now made mandatory.
  • About one crore citizens contributed to the making of ‘smart city’ plans.
  • Urban planning is now made ‘bottom up’ and the results are showing.

Note to Students: Aspirants are advised to read about ‘Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)’ and ‘Smart Cities Mission.’

 

Business Line

  1. Slow stimulus

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • The recent decision by leading public sector banks to slash their marginal cost of funds-based lending rate by 65 to 90 basis points at one go is welcome.
  • It is important to note that, with the Reserve Bank of India easing its policy rates by as much as 175 basis points in the last two years and deposit rates falling by a similar margin, banks would have found it difficult to justify not passing on their reduced costs to borrowers.
  • Further, demonetisation proved to be the final blow for lowering of rates.
  • While cheaper money is bound to have a stimulating effect on the economy as a whole, the extent to which different segments benefit may be uneven.

Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate:

  • On retail borrowings, reductions in the MCLR apply only to new loan applicants; existing borrowers will continue to pay earlier card rates unless they switch their lender or choose to reset their rate by paying a fee to the bank.

In conclusion, under normal circumstances, lending rate cuts of this order would have been guaranteed to boost consumer sentiment and retail loan growth, buoy up corporate profits and the Sensex — all of which would add up to a sizeable kicker to the GDP.

But given the continued cash crunch, negative wealth effect, the prospect of job losses in the informal sector and other uncertainties unleashed by the note ban, such a revival cannot be taken for granted this time around. High-frequency data on automobile and durable sales, cement despatches and retail loan growth will need to be watched closely for signs of a turnaround in consumer confidence.

 

Indian Express

  1. Secularism is just not a judicial fix: The apex court errs in its secular defence

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Judiciary

Key Points:

  • In a landmark judgement, a seven-member Constitution bench split 4-3 to deliver the verdict that seeks neat separation of religion and politics.
  • It is important to note that Gandhi, when he projected the goal of Ram Rajya, was not seeking a theocracy but using a religious idiom that people would understand to call for a moral order of popular sovereignty.
  • Further, fixing the problems of democracy cannot be achieved through court rulings.
  • Politics has to fix its own problems, through dialogue if possible, using logical extrapolation of troublesome arguments, and, when argument is not effective, via the hard lessons of the often violent culmination of taking anti-democratic logic forward through social action.
  • The legislature, rather than the courts, should draw the line, if any line can at all be drawn in the abstract, on the interface between religion and politics.

 

PIB

  1. Successful Flight Test of Agni – IV

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Developments  

Key Points:

  • Agni-IV, the Long Range Surface to Surface Ballistic Missile with a range of 4,000 kms was successfully flight tested, once again proving the reliability and efficacy of the weapon system.
  • The Missile was launched from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha at 1200 hrs. on 2nd January, 2017. All the radars, tracking systems and Range Stations have tracked and monitored the flight performance. All the mission objectives have been successfully met.

 

  1. Trash Skimmers to be Introduced In Six New Cities for Surface Cleaning Of Ganga

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Developments  

Key Points:

  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) will introduce trash skimmers for surface cleaning of Ganga in six more cities in the first week of this month.
  • The cities are Rishikesh, Haridwar, Garh Mukhteshwar, Sahibganj, Kolkata and Navdweep. Urban Local Bodies will be the nodal agency to monitor this work. State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) and Collectorate office will be supervising these works under the aegis of NMCG at State and district level respectively.
  • River Surface Cleaning (RSC) work was introduce last year in Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Mathura-Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh and Patna in Bihar.
  • Trash skimmers were deployed at the foregoing locations and tonnes of floating waste was collected and disposed off in a proper manner. This task was performed under the CSR head and proved to be extremely effective. In the coming days, more towns will be identified for carrying out similar activities.
  • Namami Gange programme was launched as a mission to achieve the target of cleaning river Ganga in an effective manner with the unceasing involvement of all stakeholders, especially five major Ganga basin States – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.

 

  1. Joint Press Communique- India and Srilanka

Category: International Relations

Topic: India and the Neighbourhood- Relations

Key Points:

  • India and Sri Lanka held Ministerial level talks on fishermen issues today, 2 January 2017 in Colombo. Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare of India Shri Radha Mohan Singh met with Minister for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development of Sri Lanka Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera.
  • As part of the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) agreed to by both sides, it was decided to intensify cooperation on patrolling and to institute periodic interaction between the Coast Guard of the two countries.
  • An understanding was reached to ensure that there was no physical harm or loss of life while apprehending fishermen by Navy and Coast Guard of the two countries. It was agreed to explore the possibility of introducing effective tracking systems for the fishing vessels and making the use of onboard communication equipment mandatory.

 

  1. Restaurants billing ‘service charges’ in addition to taxes is optional: Department of Consumer Affairs

Category: Indian Economy  

Topic: Taxation  

Key Points:

  • A number of complaints from consumers have been received that hotels and restaurants are following the practice of charging ‘service charge’ in the range of 5-20%, in lieu of tips, which a consumer is forced to pay irrespective of the kind of service provided to him.
  • The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides that a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or the supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or deceptive practice, is to be treated as an unfair trade practice and that a consumer can make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum established under the Act against such unfair trade practices. In this context, the department of Consumer Affairs, Central Government has called for clarification from the Hotel Association of India, which have replied that the service charge is completely discretionary and should a customer be dissatisfied with the dining experience he/she can have it waived off. Therefore, it is deemed to be accepted voluntarily.
  • The Department of Consumer Affairs has asked the State Governments to sensitize the companies, hotels and restaurants in the states regarding aforementioned provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and also to advise the Hotels/Restaurants to disseminate information through display at the appropriate place in the hotels/restaurants that the ‘service charges” are discretionary/ voluntary and a consumer dissatisfied with the services can have it waived off.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
  • Agni-IV
  • Long Range Surface to Surface Ballistic Missile


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. Agni-IV is a two-stage, surface-to-surface, long-range strategic ballistic missile.
  2. This missle can carry a nuclear warhead weighing one tonne over a distance of more than 4,000 km.

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,
  1. A programme called GOMED (Genomics and other omics technologies for Enabling Medical Decision) has been developed by the CSIR which provides a platform of disease genomics to solve clinical problems.
  2. ‘Ksheer Scanner’, which is a new technological invention by CSIR-CEERI, detects the level of milk adulteration and adulterants in 45 seconds at the cost of 10 paise.

Which of the following statements is/are incorrect?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 3: Consider the following statements,
  • The Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA), aims to motivate and engage children of the age group 6-18 years, in Science, Mathematics and Technology by observation, experimentation, inference drawing and model building, through both inside and outside classroom activities.
  • ‘Prashikshak’, is a Teacher Education Portal launched by Ministry of Human Resource Development.

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. The Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY) was launched to promote industry-specific need-based research so as to keep up the competitiveness of the Indian industry in the global market.
  2. e- PATHSHALA is a single point repository of e-resources containing, NCERT textbooks and various other learning resources.

Which of the following statements is/are incorrect?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 5: Consider the following statements,
  1. Lodha committee is the first report with respect to governance of cricket board.
  2. The Committee recommended that one association should represent an entire state and only one vote per state.
  3. It recommends separate governing bodies for the IPL and BCCI.
  4. It made a strong recommendation to lawmakers to legalise betting in cricket for all.

Which of the following statements are wrong?

a) 1,2 and 3

b) 2,3 and 4

c) 4 only

d) 3 and 4 only

Check Your Answers

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