Comprehensive News Analysis – 03 October 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. OPEC’s roll of the dice

2. Breaking out of election mode

3. N-deal with Japan ‘ready’ to be sealed

C. GS3 Related:

1. India ratifies Paris Climate agreement

2. Prognosis is good for India’s organ transplant programme

3. Firms press accelerator to boost consumption

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

The Indian Express

1. Anatomy of the Urban Flood

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. OPEC’s roll of the dice

Category: International Relations

Topic:  Regional Groupings

Key Points:

  • The agreement reached at the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to trim the cartel’s collective output by about 700,000 barrels a day
  • It is an effort to balance supply and demand in the global oil market
  • The output cut, announced for the first time in eight years, is a tacit admission by the group’s largest producer Saudi Arabia that its ‘pump-at-will’ approach has hurt its economy
  • With demand growth for petroleum slowing far more rapidly than previously predicted, the success of the production curbs in reviving oil prices will significantly hinge on cartel discipline — something that has often been lacking in the past

 

  1. Breaking out of election mode

Category: Governance

Topic:  Federalism

Key Points:

With India on the cusp of achieving rapid economic growth, we must ensure that development on all fronts is not hampered by frequent elections.

In the Past:

  • Holding of simultaneous elections between 1952 and 1967

 

Reasons in favour of Simultaneous elections

  • The cycle of continuous elections was affecting the developmental process and good governance
  • The process of separate elections was forcing the political class to typically think in terms of immediate electoral gains rather than focus on long-term programmes and policies for the overall progress of the nation and its people
  • Holding elections simultaneously would certainly save money, time and energy, and ensure effective governance, according to the Chief Election Commissioner
  • It would help in better coordination between the governments at the Centre and in various States
  • The country will achieve progress and remain strong only when the Centre and States act as equal partners, irrespective of the political differences of those governing at the national and regional levels
  • It would make our democracy stronger and healthier as it would provide a level playing field to all the players across all States
  • It will vastly reduce the burden on the exchequer
  • It will put an end to the practice of frequent deployment of police and other government staff on election duty in different States

 

Regarding Model Code of Conduct (MCC):

  • A Parliamentary Standing Committee has pointed out that the imposition of the Model Code of Conduct puts on hold the entire range of development activities of the Union and State governments
  • Frequent elections lead to imposition of MCC over prolonged periods of time leading to policy paralysis and government deficit

 

Challenge:

  • conducting concurrent elections is a humongous logistical task in terms of deployment of personnel, EVMs and other material

 

Conclusion:

  • The time has come to make a beginning and ensure political and administrative stability both at the Central and State levels for the country to march unhindered on the path to progress
  • Need build a political consensus on the issue, constitutional amendments to be put in place for fixed tenure of the legislative bodies for the process to be kick-started

 

  1. N-deal with Japan ‘ready’ to be sealed

Category: International Relations

Topic:  India-Japan

Key Points:

  • The India-Japan nuclear agreement, under discussion since 2008, is “ready to be signed”
  • According to the sources, the nuclear cooperation agreement which also needs to be cleared by the Japanese parliament or Diet
  • While India has refused to sign the NPT and CTBT treaties, it issued a unilateral moratorium on testing many years ago
  • Japan has been insisting that the nuclear deal include a clause that would cut off nuclear supplies should India test a weapon
  • India has thus far resisted the move, as this would disrupt its nuclear power programme
  • Japanese government sources are quoted as saying the “the pact will include a clause to halt Japanese cooperation with India if New Delhi conducts a nuclear test,” indicating that India has given in on this point
  • Japan has conceded on India’s demand that it be allowed to reprocess nuclear fuel from Japan, as long as India submits to inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA
  • If the deal is signed, it will be a big boost for India’s nuclear power industry as the two major U.S. companies planning plants in India — GE and Westinghouse — are both Japanese owned
  • India is also keen on Japanese funding for its clean energy projects
  • A deal with Japan, the world’s only victim of nuclear weapons as well a country deeply scarred by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, would be a powerful vote of confidence in India’s nuclear programme, in a year it hopes to push its bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group


C. GS3 Related
1. India ratifies Paris Climate agreement

1

Category: Environment

Topic:  Climate Change

Key Points:

  • India ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by depositing the instrument of ratification with the United Nations
  • It was on the occasion of the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
  • A special event was organised to mark the occasion, also observed as the International Day of Nonviolence, at the UN headquarters
  • India is the 62nd country to ratify the agreement
  • India accounts for 4.1 per cent of the emissions, a UN statement said

 

Gandhiji’s Relevance

  • Living through an age of triumphant industrial capitalism, Gandhi had warned of the dangers posed by the unbridled exploitation of natural resources
  • Gandhiji foresaw the pivotal role environment would occupy in development debates decades later
  • He was as an avid and early environmentalist
  • Encapsulating the whole idea of sustainable development more than seven decades ago he had said, “The earth, the air, the land and the water are not an inheritance from our fore fathers but on loan from our children. So we have to handover to them at least as it was handed over to us”

 

  1. Prognosis is good for India’s organ transplant programme

Category: Science and Technology

Topic:  Technology

Key Points:

  • India’s still nascent organ transplant programme is making progress
  • Efforts to increase the knowledge base are taking off and crucial policy decisions are taking shape
  • Officials of the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), National Informatics Centre (NIC) and other stakeholders will meet to draw a road map for documenting patient progress, networking all transplant hospitals of the country and also figure out the official policy to treat out-of-turn requests for organs
  • It’s not enough to have a database of donor pledges
  • The NIC is developing a national registry of organ and tissue donors
  • While the national registry will have robust data of donors that can be viewed by all hospitals, and where they can feed in details of patient progress, there are concerns ranging from maintaining donor confidentiality to ensuring that it is an inclusive exercise

 

  1. Firms press accelerator to boost consumption

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Growth and development

Key Points:

  • The last year has seen a profusion of companies that are looking to give consumers loans of amounts smaller than those doled out by banks
  • Other companies looking to improve the credit ratings of consumers unable to secure loans
  • Still others trying to speed up the process by which electronic payments are made, and thereby incentivising consumption
  • In doing so, these companies are bolstering the one leg of the economy that is emerging as a prime driver of growth — personal consumption
  • The Bharat Microfinance Report 2016 by Sa-Dhan said — 61 per cent — of the non-income generating microfinance loans given in fiscal 2016 went towards financing consumption
  • The second-highest segment was housing, at 18 per cent.
  • Private Final Consumption Expenditure — the measure of how much is spent on food, clothing, footwear, electronics, etc. — worked out to 55 per cent of India’s GDP in the first quarter of this financial year
  • It shows how important private consumption is to the economy
  • In order to facilitate this consumption, a number of micro-lending companies that cater to those people looking for small loans that banks are not typically ready to give have sprung up

 

The Risk:

  • Lending is done at a certain interest cost
  • If it is done for consumption then it could generate a lot of NPAs since the loans are not being put to income generation uses

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Indian Express


  1. Anatomy of the Urban Flood

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Planning

Key Points:

  • A spectre, to misquote Karl Marx, it appears, is haunting India’s new urbanisation — the spectre of agrarian pasts
  • In the last 15 years, it has repeatedly stalked Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Guwahati, Srinagar in the form of urban floods
  • The fault lies in forgetting our agricultural past and ignoring climate change
  • It took us centuries to develop the complex systems of values assigned to lands in the agrarian settlement
  • These values are based on soil conditions, gradient, location relative to other geographic and geological features such as ground water, surface water, drainage patterns etc
  • Lands were strategically exploited for production, left fallow to recover, left unoccupied to provide buffers against the cycles of excesses of nature
  • Urbanisation alters this agrarian imprint with new logics of efficiency and economy of service delivery
  • After land use conversion for urbanisation, the boundaries change into rigid geometric patterns
  • In the 1970s, lands that served ecological functions were occupied by the poor who migrated into the city and found no housing
  • With increasing pressure for land monetisation, governments and public utilities are all vying with each other to capture and convert land parcels to new uses
  • Ridge systems, stream paths, accumulation points in the valleys — all play critical roles in managing precipitation and drainage — have been flattened

 

Conclusion:

  • We must recentre our policy and retrain our engineers into acknowledging our agrarian past
  • We must manage urbanization well by careful observation, data gathering over long periods of time, modelling the behaviour of nature in the altered context
  • We must review and revise revenue laws and rules that govern land categories and shape land use change

How?

  • This requires homegrown multidisciplinary expertise
  • Import modelling tools and sensor technologies
  • Historical data must be generated, captured and curated
  • We can hire international consultants but native intelligence must be affirmed and nurtured in our cities


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • India-Japan
  • Paris Climate deal
  • OPEC
  • Urbanisation
  • Simultaneous elections


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

OPEC: 


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following is true regarding OPEC?
  1. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization
  2. OPEC has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 2: Which of the following is/are true regarding federalism?
  1. Cooperative federalism refers to a concept in which the state governments, local governments, and the federal government share responsibility in the governance of the people
  2. competitive federalism refers to getting states to compete for investments with each other as well as the centre

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 3: Which of the following statement/s is are true?
  1. The famous cities of Nagoya and Osaka are located in the Honshu island of Japan
  2. The islands in order from south to north are Hokkaidu, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 4: Which of the following is true?
a) Durand Line: India-Afghanistan

b) Radcliff Line: India-China

c) Mc Mohan Line: India-Myanmar

d) None of the above


Question 5: Which of the following is not one of the INDC’s of India?
  1. India to reduce the Emissions Intensity of its GDP by 3o to 35 Per Cent by 2030 from 2005 Level
  2. India to create additional Carbon Sink of 2.5 to 3 Billion Tonnes of Co2 Equivalent through Additional Forest and Tree Cover by 2020

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 2 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


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