Comprehensive News Analysis - 03 September 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. New stamp for Mother Teresa’s canonization

B. GS2 Related:

1. Canada’s British Columbia issues masala bonds

2. Egypt for robust defence and security ties

C. GS3 Related:

1. Goa to host its first bird watching festival

2. India faces Catch-22 on steel capacity at G20’s China meet

3. Jobs elusive even as India clings to fastest-growing economy tag

4. Rajasthan ratifies GST Bill

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

The Business Line:

1. Maternity, paternity or parental leave? Dilemmas and stereotypes

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


  1. New stamp for Mother Teresa’s canonization

Category: Society

Topic:  Role of Women

Key Points:

  • The canonisation of Mother Teresa in the Vatican will be marked by India with the release of a commemorative postage stamp
  • India Post released, in Kolkata, a special postal and numismatic cover on the Roman Catholic nun

 

About Mother Teresa:

  • She was born in 1910 in Skopje
  • She came to India in 1929 (Kolkata)
  • She served as the principal of St. Mary’s school
  • In 1950, she established the missionaries of charity in Kolkata
  • She also formed the ‘Co-workers of Mother Teresa’ and ‘The Sick and Suffering co-workers’
  • Not only confined to India, she opened houses in almost all the communist countries
  • She was awarded the Indian Padmshree Award in 1962 and Nobel Peace Prize in 1979

 

She was not only a religious guru but in more broader sense the messenger of human dignity, which is enshrined in our constitution as well – A right to life with dignity.

 

B. GS2 Related


1. Canada’s British Columbia issues masala bonds

Category: International Relations

Topic:  India – Canada

Key Points:

  • Canada’s British Columbia has become the first foreign government issuer of masala bonds
  • It has raised Rs.5 billion through a rupee-denominated bond on the London Stock Exchange
  • According to the Canada government’ “The masala bond issuance offers British Columbia a means to become well-positioned to profile our confidence in the outlook for India, and to participate in the internationalization of the rupee and India’s economy”

About Masala Bonds

  • Masala bond is a term used to refer to a financial instrument through which Indian entities can raise money from overseas markets in the rupee, not foreign currency.
  • These are Indian rupee denominated bonds issued in offshore capital markets.  The rupee denominated bond is an attempt to shield issuers from currency risk and instead transfer the risk to investors buying these bonds.
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, issued the first masala bonds in October 2013
  • Allowing Indian firms to raise rupee-denominated loan from overseas market is a step towards full convertibility of Indian currency
  • The success of masala bonds would demonstrate overseas investors’ confidence on Indian currency. In other words, successful issue of these bonds by Indian corporate would imply faith on country’s macroeconomic fundamentals and the central bank’s role in currency management.

 

Source: indiafa.org

 

2. Egypt for robust defence and security ties

Category: International Relations

Topic:  India-Egypt

Key Points:

  • Egypt and India will build a “robust defence and security cooperation”, to counter extremism and terrorism
  • Egyptian President, Mr. el-Sisi who is visiting Delhi with a large business and government delegation said that India and Egypt will upgrade economic and trade ties, increase mutual visits, intensify counter terror cooperation, and work on renewable energy.
  • An agreement on maritime transport was signed which was described by Indian Prime Minister as an “important enabler” for increased trade and commerce.
  • On the Cultural front, Egypt will hold an event ‘Egypt by the Ganga’ in response to the Indian initiative ‘India by the Nile’. It will create awareness among the citizens from both sides about each others’ cultures.
  • Egypt’s is also a participant as a special invitee at the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China.


C. GS3 Related


1. Goa to host its first bird watching festival

Category: Environment

Topic:  Conservation (also read in terms of tourism)

Key Points:

Goa represents a unique confluence of two diverse ecosystems — marine and rainforest.

  • Goa will host a three-day birdwatching festival, proposed to be an annual event, for national and international birding enthusiasts
  • Birdwatching tours will be held in south Goa’s Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Mollem National Park on the state’s eastern border with Karnataka, and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in the island of Chorao.
  • Goa’s state bird, the bulbul, is prominent in the logo for the festival.

 

2. India faces Catch-22 on steel capacity at G20’s China meet

Category: Indian economy

Topic:  Changes in  industrial policy

Key Points:

  • The G20 Trade Ministers this year had recognised excess capacity, especially in steel, as a global issue that needs “collective responses.”
  • They had stated that subsidies and other forms of government-related support can lead to market distortions and global excess capacity.

India’s Position

  • India had taken measures such as:
  • anti-dumping duty
  • safeguard duty
  • Minimum Import Price
  • India also banned the manufacture and distribution of stainless steel products that do not comply with the the ‘Bureau of Indian Standards’ mark
  • This is done to counter a surge in cheap imports of steel, which was hurting local steel makers

 

3. Jobs elusive even as India clings to fastest-growing economy tag

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Development and Employment

Key Points:

  • India’s economic growth slowed to 7.1 per cent in the quarter to June, a 15-month low. That is faster than other major economies, but not fast enough to create enough new jobs to absorb all the one million people who join the workforce every month.
  • A government survey found that job creation fell by more than two-thirds lin 2015. Analysts at HDFC Bank estimate that for every percentage point the economy grows, employment now adds just 0.15 of a percentage point — down from 0.39 in 2000.
  • Nearly two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people are under 35 years old. This rising demographic “bulge” will create the largest working-age population in the world. At the same time China, which has long curbed family size, will age as a society.
  • Whether this so-called demographic dividend will translate into the kind of economic gains seen in Japan and Korea, or lead to upheavals, depends on India’s ability to generate jobs.
  • Yet, despite average annual growth of 6.5 per cent between 1991 and 2013, India added less than half the jobs needed to absorb new job seekers.
  • India has opened up further to foreign investment, hoping to generate more manufacturing jobs. A loan scheme for small businesses has been set up.

 

4.  Rajasthan ratifies GST Bill

Category: Government Budgeting

Topic: Taxation

Key Points:

  • Rajasthan became the 17th State to ratify the Constitution Amendment Bill for the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Note: Follow the link to know everything you need to understand GST and the recent developments

https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/goods-services-tax-gst-one-nation-one-tax-2-for-upsc-current-affairs

 

D. GS4 Related


E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

 

The Business Line:

 

1. Maternity, paternity or parental leave? Dilemmas and stereotypes

Category: Society

Topic: Gender Equality/ Women Rights

Key Points:

  • Amending the Maternity Benefit Bill to increase maternity leave may reinforce stereotypes and work against women, caution experts.
  • Employers may get discouraged from hiring women whereas implementation of paternity leave could help bridge this gap.
  • Policy should drive this change taking a cue from Sweden’s gender-neutral paid parental leave policy.

The Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill (2016) – Important Points

  • The Bill amends the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
  • The Act regulates the employment of women during the period of child birth, and provides maternity benefits.
  • The Act applies to factory, mines, plantations, shops and other establishments.  The Bill amends provisions related to the duration and applicability of maternity leave, and other facilities.
  • Duration of maternity leave: The Act states that every woman will be entitled to maternity benefit of 12 weeks.  The Bill increases this to 26 weeks.
  • Under the Act, this maternity benefit should not be availed before six weeks from the date of expected delivery.  The Bill changes this to eight weeks.
  • In case of a woman who has two or more children, the maternity benefit will continue to be 12 weeks, which cannot be availed before six weeks from the date of the expected delivery.
  • Option to work from home: The Bill introduces a provision that states that an employer may permit a woman to work from home, after the maternity leave.
  • Crèche facilities: The Bill introduces a provision which requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide crèche facilities within a prescribed distance
  • Informing women employees of the right to maternity leave: The Bill introduces a provision which requires every establishment to intimate a woman at the time of her appointment of the maternity benefits available to her.  Such communication must be in writing and electronically.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • GST
  • Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill
  • Demographic Dividend
  • Employment Creation
  • Mother Teresa
  • Steel Industry
  • G20


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements regarding GST?
  1. It is a tax levied when a consumer buys a good or service
  2. GST does not tax or get into the specific commodities

Which of the statements is/are correct?

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 2: Consider the following statements regarding the ‘Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill’ 2016?
  1. The Act regulates the employment of women during the period of child birth
  2. It has no option for a work from home facility after the maternity leave is over

Which of the statements is/are correct?

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 not true regarding Mother Teresa?

a) She was born in the city of Kolkata, India

b) She was a citizen of India

c) She was awarded with Padmshree and Nobel Peace Prize

d) She is being elevated to the level of sainthood


Question 4: The Suez Canal connects which of the following seas?
a) Mediterranean and Black sea

b) Black and Red sea

c) Red Sea and the Persian Gulf

d) Mediterranean and the Red sea


Question 5: To obtain full benefits of demographic dividend, what should India do?  (UPSC 2013 prelims)
a) Promoting skill development

b) Introducing more social security schemes

c) Reducing infant mortality rate

d) Privatization of higher education

 

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