Comprehensive News Analysis – 04 February 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Can’t compare U.S. vetting order with Indian Bill: Satyapal Singh

2. US imposes new sanctions on Iran

C. GS3 Related:
D. GS4 Related:
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

The Hindu

1. Tarred by the oil spill

Economic Times

1. Budget 2017: Don’t legitimise opaque poll funds

Business Line

1. Digitising India

PIB

1. The Transport sector moves towards Innovative Planning

2. Visit of Trade Delegation to Iran

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
I. Archives

Need Expert Guidance on how to prepare for Current Affairs

.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

B. GS2 Related
1. Can’t compare U.S. vetting order with Indian Bill: Satyapal Singh

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Interventions- Legislations

Key Points:

  • Recently,  U.S. President Donald Trump passed a controversial executive order on “extreme vetting” of visitors from seven countries to the United States.
  • Post this, there has been a debate comparing the executive order issued by Trump and  India’s own Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.
  • Satyapal Singh has denied that an equivalence can be drawn between the two.
  • Satyapal Singh said that the U.S. President’s order had different connotions than the Amendment Bill.

In what way is it different?

  • The U.S. order is to prevent people who the administration feels will possibly indulge in radical terror activities to enter the country, and has more to do with public order and security.
  • India’s bill aims to give succour to those persecuted on religious grounds.
  • There are many cases of religious persecution and people fleeing to India and it has to be taken into account.

Important Points to Note

  • Under the Citizenship Act of 1955, an applicant for citizenship requires to have resided in India for the last 12 months and for 11 years.
  • The Amendment Bill relaxes this 11-year requirement to six years for persons who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • The moment the Bill was introduced, there was an uproar that it violated Article 14 of the Constitution, that guaranteed equal treatment under the law to all citizens.
  • The exclusion of people following Islam from this list of relaxed terms is considered a direct violation of that Fundamental Right.

 

2. US imposes new sanctions on Iran

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • S. President Donald Trump slapped fresh sanctions on Iran’s weapons procurement network on 3rd February, 2017, provoking an angry response from Iran in what is an increasingly tense stand-off.

What caused these measures?

  • Officials said the new measures were in response to Iran’s recent ballistic missile test and its support for the Huthi rebels in Yemen, who recently targeted a Saudi warship.
  • Officials have also said that the new sanctions do not yet mean that the U.S. has abandoned commitments it made under the deal to lift measures aimed at Iran’s nuclear programme,

 

C. GS3 Related

Nothing Here for today!!!

D. GS4 Related

Nothing Here for today!!!

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
1. Tarred by the oil spill

Category: Environment and Ecology

Topic: Conservation

Key Points:

  • Recently two ships collided off the coast of Chennai.
  • As a consequence, there was destruction caused to a significant part of the Chennai coastline from the oil spill that followed a. This development is both tragic and ironic.
  • A large quantity of oil was released into the sea, affecting marine life and livelihoods of coastal communities. What makes the collision ironic is that it comes at a time when there is steadily declining pollution due to such incidents.
  • It is important to note that ship collisions are less common today because GPS-based navigation systems have made their operation much safer.

Impact

  • large number of dead turtles and fish were washed ashore
  • Vast amounts of  coastal sludge was washed ashore.
  • It could erode the confidence of the international community in India’s ability to fulfil its commitments within the UN system to protect marine life and biodiversity.
  • For example, failure to safeguard marine turtle and bird habitats, is a clear violation of the provisions of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, and its specific memorandum on the Indian Ocean-Southeast Asian region to which India is a signatory. 

The Way Forward

  • It has been suggested that an independent inquiry is vital to determine whether the training and acquisition of equipment to handle such accidents for all agencies passed muster. 
  • This disaster also  underscores the importance of timely advice from agencies such as the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, which is mandated to forecast the course of an oil spill.

 

Economic Times

1. Budget 2017: Don’t legitimise opaque poll funds

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • That the government has taken up the important subject of reforming political funding is a welcome step.
  • However, it has been suggested that the proposal set out in the Budget, to let donors buy so-called electoral bonds that can be redeemed only in the account of a political party from banks and donate them to the party of their choice, serves little purpose.
  • Under the present norm, parties must maintain a list of all donors who contribute any sum larger than Rs 20,000.
  • It has been pointed out that instead of advancing transparency, the bond gives legitimacy to opaque contributions to political parties, thereby, trashing the present norm.

 Concluding Remarks

  • It has been pointed out that parties show only a fraction of their actual spending in the accounts they file.
  • Thus, identifying the source of income for this sliver of their spending is neither here nor there.
  • The starting point of the reform we need is to get a handle on realistic spending by any party.
  • It has been suggested that things might work better if the Election Commission scrapped its impractical spending limit and, instead, made it compulsory for each party and candidate to reveal spending at each level, starting from the polling booth.
  • These numbers should be open to challenge by rivals, the media and watchdog bodies.
  • Finally, the EC can finalise actual spending, and ask parties to reveal from whom all they received this money.
  • This might still leave some political funding unaccounted, but would still mark a huge improvement over the current state of affairs.

 

Business Line

1. Digitising India

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • The Union Budget for 2017-18 clearly highlights the Centre’s resolve to promote the digital economy by reducing cash transactions, bringing more economic activity into the formal sector and curbing corruption.
  • But for Digital India to become a reality, it is necessary to first focus on the basics: access to reliable, stable and high-speed internet services all over India.
  • The stepped up funding for expansion of BharatNet — a project to connect all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats to a high-speed fibre optic network — is welcome.
  • With the Centre planning its ‘DigiGaon’ village initiative to provide tele-medicine, education and skills through digital technology to most of the villages, funding for BharatNet could have been stepped up further, especially since there is a proven link between increase in broadband connectivity and higher GDP.

Measures taken to popularize digital payment

  • Measures have also been announced to popularise digital payment modes launched over the past few months.
  • These include a promotional scheme to increase usage of BHIM, an app developed by the National Payments Corporation of India.
  • The two schemes — a referral bonus scheme for individuals and a cashback scheme for merchants — may help bring new users on to the payment platform.
  • Aadhaar Pay, a merchant version of Aadhaar Enabled Payment System proposed to be launched soon, may benefit those who do not have debit cards, mobile wallets and mobile phones.
  • Banks have been told to install 10 lakh point-of-sale (PoS) machines by March 2017 as well as 20 lakh Aadhaar-based PoS machines by September 2017.
  • It is important to note that while this will encourage more digital transactions, the Government targets for increasing the number of digital transactions in 2017-18 to 2,500 crore through UPI, USSD, Aadhaar Pay, IMPS and debit cards appears ambitious, given infrastructure constraints and insufficient behavioural change among users.

Concluding Remarks

  • Nonetheless, the Centre’s willingness to consider changes in the regulatory framework for digital payments — among the measures proposed are strengthening of the payment infrastructure and grievance handling mechanisms, and amendments to the Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007, and Negotiable Instruments Act — is welcome.

 

PIB

1. The Transport sector moves towards Innovative Planning

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Transport

Key Points:

  • The Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari has lauded the fact that the Union Budget 2017-18 has recognized the need for multi-modal transport planning in the country and has accorded it very high priority. Shri Gadkari said that in order to reduce traffic congestion, bring down pollution and make the overall movement of passengers and goods more efficient and cost effective, the country needs to adopt a holistic and integrated transport planning for the sector as a whole, including roads, railways, waterways and airways.
  • The Minister pointed out that in most cities, bus stations, airports, railway stations are situated far apart from each other. If all stations are properly integrated with each other, a lot traffic congestion and pollution can be reduced. Shri Gadkari said that his Ministry is examining the feasibility of setting up multi modal hubs where all modes of transport – air, road, rail and waterways wherever possible – are within close proximity to each other. Besides this, latest technology for electricity based Mass Rapid Transport like the metrino and hyperloop are being studied and tested.
  • Talking about the road map for the future Shri Gadkari said that the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways hopes to award 15000 km of highways work by the end of March 2017. Per day construction of highways will go up to 30 km by end of March 2017 and the Ministry will strive to achieve its target of building 40 km road per day very soon. Shri Gadkari welcomed the 15 percent rise in budget allocation for the Road Transport & Highways Ministry. He said this will allow the Ministry to take up a lot of new work
  • Talking about the Shipping sector Shri Gadkari said that Sagarmala is all set to be a game changer with its stress on port led development. The programme will create one crore jobs, including 40 lakh direct and 60 lakh indirect ones. Ports are being mechanized and modernized. The draught at ports are being deepened so that bigger ships can come in. In addition to the above, waterways are being developed in a big way. This includes  111 rivers that are to be developed  as National Waterways, and coastal shipping along the country’s  7500 km of coastline. Ro-Ro services are being launched to cut down travel time and distance and cruise services are being brought in to carry both goods and passengers. The agenda of the Ministry is to harness the full potential of the maritime sector through its Sagarmala programme.

 

  1. Visit of Trade Delegation to Iran

Category: International Relations

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

Key Points:

  • A 20 member trade delegation led by Chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) visited Iran from January 28-30, 2017. 
  • The main purpose of the visit related to promotion of export of rice since Iran is one of the largest importers of Basmati rice from India.
  • The delegation met various departments in the government of Iran including Food and Drug Organisation, Governmental Trading Corporation and Trade Promotion Organisation. Meetings were also held with Iran Chamber of Commerce and Rice Importers Association.
  • The deliberations helped to dispel the negative publicity which appeared in some part of Iran media causing doubts about the health and safety of rice from India. Government of Iran may soon issue the notification about resumption of issuance of permits for import of rice.
  • To supplement domestic production of about 2 million MT, Iran imports about 1 million MT of rice every year out of which about 7 lakh MT is exported from India.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)
  • BHIM
  • BharatNet
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
India Innovation Index: A joint initiative of NITI Aayog, DIPP and CII Links to Refer
India Innovation Index: A joint initiative of NITI Aayog, DIPP and CII http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157941
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements, 
  1. Under the Citizenship Act of 1955, an applicant for citizenship requires to have resided in India for the last 12 months and for 11 years.
  2. The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 relaxes this 11-year requirement to six years for persons who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Which of the above 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. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals is the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes.
  2. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals is an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Which of the above 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,
  1. The neighboring countries of Saudi Arabia are Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman,Yemen, and Bahrain.
  2. Saudi Arabia is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect? a) 1 Only b) 2 Only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 4: The “Gulf of Aqaba” is located in which of the following regions?
  1. The Government e-market place is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.
  2. The Government e-market place which is now functional for procurement of goods and services, has been selected as one of the winners of the South Asia Procurement Innovation Awards of the World Bank.

Which of the above statements is/are correct? a) Middle East b) South East Asia c) Latin America d) Scandinavia

Question 5: Consider the following statements,
  1. Iran is one of the largest importers of Basmati rice from India.
  2. Confectionery, Biscuits and Bakery Products are among the scheduled products for which APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only b) 2 Only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

“Proper Current Affairs preparation is the key to success in the UPSC- Civil Services Examination. We have now launched a comprehensive ‘Online Current Affairs Crash Course’. Limited seats available. Click here to Know More.”

 

I. Archives:

You can check out some more recent News Analysis sections to build even more context

List of all DNA Articles

Practice More: Enroll for India’s Largest All-India Test Series

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *