Comprehensive News Analysis - 04 January 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Modi chants mantra to ‘connect’

2. Trump adviser promises a fillip in India-U.S. ties

C. GS3 Related:

1. ‘No concessions likely for Apple’s manufacturing unit’

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

The Hindu

1. Secularising the election

Economic Times

1. Scrap the voluntary service charge fiat

Indian Express

1. Listen to Dissent

PIB

1. BHIM will create Equality

2. Major Initiatives and Achievements of Department Of Industrial Policy & Promotion – 2016

3. Group of Secretaries presents ideas on “Transport and Communications” to PM

4. Year End Review: Ministry of AYUSH

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. Modi chants mantra to ‘connect’

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined the need to inculcate the concept of ‘scientific social responsibility,’ akin to corporate social responsibility.
  • This is seen as an effort to connect the leading institutions with all stakeholders, including schools and colleges.
  • The idea behind this initiative is to create an environment for sharing of ideas and resources by providing opportunity to the brightest and best of brains in every corner of India to excel in science.
  • The Prime Minister has sought to address the problems of ease of access, maintenance, redundancy and duplication of expensive equipments.
  • PM Modi has exhorted national laboratories to establish a ‘connect’ with schools and colleges to develop appropriate training programmes.

 

  1. Trump adviser promises a fillip in India-U.S. ties

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • Republican adviser and prominent NRI businessman-politician Shalabh Kumar has recently remarked that India’s relations with the U.S. will not be based on “optics” but on “real action” in the Trump era.
  • It is important to note that in February 2016, the Obama administration had announced its intention to supply eight U.S.-made F-16C fighter jets to Pakistan. This had led to an outcry from India.
  • Kumar, heads the “Republican Hindu Coalition”. This organization reportedly donated more than a million dollars to the Trump campaign, and had been among lobby groups that fought against the F-16 transfer which led to the U.S. government dropping plans to finance the planes.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. ‘No concessions likely for Apple’s manufacturing unit’

Category: Indian Economy 

Topic: Manufacturing

Key Points:

  • According to a senior government official, The Commerce Ministry does not favour granting concessions to U.S. multinational technology major Apple, for establishing a manufacturing unit in India to make its products including iPhones and iPads.
  • The reason attributed to this is because other companies have not sought similar concessions — including the relaxation of labelling and local sourcing norms as well as excise and import duty reductions — for starting manufacturing in the country.

Background:

  • India is among the largest smartphone markets in the world.
  • The California-headquartered Apple is looking to expand its market share in the segment in the country from the current level of about two per cent.
  • Apple only operates in the premium smartphone category, where its share is much higher.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
1. Secularising the election

Category: Polity and Governance 

Topic: Government Policy 

Key Points:

  • In a recent landmark judgement by the Supreme Court, a seven-member Bench ruled in a four-three majority, that it is a general prohibition on the use of religion or any other communal or sectarian value in the electoral arena.
  • It is important to note that given that secularism is a basic feature of the Constitution, it has been interpreted in the light of Parliament’s intention to prohibit any religious or sectarian appeal for votes.
  • In conclusion, the majority verdict will find resonance with all those who swear by the primacy of secularism in the public domain.

 

Economic Times

1. Scrap the voluntary service charge fiat

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Initiatives, Government Policy 

Key Points:

Regarding the recent government order on service charges at restaurants, making their payment a matter of discretion on the part of the consumer- some sections believe that this should be withdrawn. 

Two alternatives have been suggested,

  • To increase menu prices to cover the full cost of employee remuneration.
  • To build in an implicit variable component in restaurant staff compensation

It has been pointed out that if the service charge is banned or made uncertain, as the government now has, then, restaurants have no alternative but to raise menu prices to recover the full employee cost. This does not particularly help customers, particularly those who order takeaways and do not avail of on-premise service.

 

Indian Express

  1. Listen to Dissent

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • Interpreting a provision of the Representation of People Act (RPA), a seven-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court has ruled that “religion, race, caste, community or language would not be allowed to play any role in the electoral process”.
  • The ruling further went on to add that that the election of a candidate would be declared null and void if these considerations are invoked in the campaign.
  • Thus, any mention of the religious, racial, caste, communal or linguistic identity of voters by a candidate could now attract censure under the RPA.
  • It is important to note that intent of the judgement — which is to censure hate and divisive campaigns.
  • In India, caste, religion, language, etc, have been the basis of social discrimination in India.
  • Political groups invoke these categories to mobilise people: In fact, many political parties have been products of mass mobilisations against caste, linguistic, religious and racial discrimination and oppression.

 

PIB

  1. BHIM will create Equality

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Initiatives, Government Schemes

Key Points:

  • The new indigenously developed payment app ‘BHIM’ (Bharat Interface for Money)  has been named after the main architect of Indian constitution,  Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
  • Through this app, Bharat Ratna Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s name will take the  centre-stage in India’s economy.
  • This app will create financial equality in the Country, as envisaged by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
  • BHIM is a biometric payment system app using Aadhar platform, and is based on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) to facilitate e-payments directly through bank.
  • It was launched to stress on the importance of technology and digital transactions.
  • It can be used on all mobile devices, be it a smartphone or a feature phone with or without internet connection.
  • The payments through the new system (BHIM App) can be made by just a thumb impression after the bank account is linked with Aadhaar gateway.
  • The technology through BHIM will empower poorest of the poor, small business and the marginalised section.
  • The new app is expected to minimise the role of plastic cards and point of sale machines.
  • The app will eliminate fee payments for service providers like MasterCard and Visa, which has been a stumbling block in people switching to digital payments.
  • The app can be used to send and receive money through smartphones. Money can also be sent to non UPI supported banks. Bank balance can also be checked through the app. Currently Hindi and English are supported in the app, with more languages coming soon.

 

  1. Major Initiatives and Achievements of Department Of Industrial Policy & Promotion – 2016

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:


Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy:

  • In May, 2016, Government for the first time adopted a comprehensive National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy to lay future roadmap for intellectual property.
  • This aims to improve Indian intellectual property ecosystem, hopes to create an innovation movement in the country and aspires towards “Creative India; Innovative India” “रचनात्मकभारत; अभिनव भारत”.
  • Objective of this policy is to increase IPR awareness; stimulate generation of IPRs; have strong and effective IPR laws; modernize and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration; get value for IPRs through commercialization; strengthen enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements; and to strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs.

Industrial Infrastructure

National Industrial Corridor Development & Implementation Trust (NICDIT):

Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund (DMIC-PITF Trust) is now re-designated with an expanded mandate of integrated development of Industrial Corridors.

  • This would be an Apex body under administrative control of DIPP for coordinated and unified development of all industrial corridors in the country.
  • It will channelize Govt. of India (GoI) funds as well as institutional funds for development of corridors. It will coordinate all central efforts for the development of Industrial Corridor projects and will also monitor their implementation.

Ease of Doing Business:

  • The World Banks’ Doing Business 2017 report shows that for the first time the absolute score of ‘Distance to Frontier’ that measures the gap between India and the global best practice has increased for two consecutive years. It has improved by 2.5% from 55.27 to 53.93 over a period of last one year.

International Cooperation

  • Korea Plus– It is a special initiative to promote and facilitate Korean Investments in India. It was  operationalized  on June 18, 2016 comprises of a representative from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy, Government of the Republic of Korea and representative from Korea Trade Investment and Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and three representatives from Invest India.

 

  1. Group of Secretaries presents ideas on “Transport and Communications” to PM

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Infrastructure- Transport    

Key Points:

  • Groups of Secretaries to the Government of India, on 3rd January 2017 began the second of round of presentations on ideas for transformative change in various areas of governance.
  • The first such set of eight presentations had been made in January 2016. Nine such presentations are envisaged this time.
  • Today, the first group presented their ideas on the “transport and communications” sectors.  
  • Union Ministers, and officials from the NITI Aayog were also present on the occasion.


  1. Year End Review: Ministry of AYUSH

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives 

Key Points:

The Ministry of AYUSH made a number of important strides in the year 2016 to strengthen and popularise the alternative systems of medicine.

Schemes were introduced to boost research and MOUs were signed to enhance cooperation with other countries in the field of Homeopathy, Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine. 

CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA:

Government of India continues to take global leadership in the observation of the International Day of Yoga on 21st June every year, and uses the occasion to propagate this holistic approach to health and well-being across the national boundaries. In India, an estimated 50 lakh people participated in yoga training programmes of up to 1 month duration held as part of the observation of the International Day of Yoga in 2016, making it an unprecedented exercise in promotion of preventive healthcare in India.

NATIONAL AYUSH MISSION:

The Government of India has approved and notified National AYUSH Mission (NAM) on 29.09.2014 which envisages better access to AYUSH Services; strengthening of AYUSH educational institutions, facilitate the enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU &H) drugs and sustainable availability of ASU & H raw-materials in the States/UTs during 12th Plan.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • NATIONAL AYUSH MISSION
  • Korea Plus


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016 : Salient Features 


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. BHIM is a biometric payment system app using Aadhar platform, and is based on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) to facilitate e-payments directly through bank.
  2. The payments through the new system (BHIM App) can be made by just a thumb impression after the bank account is linked with Aadhaar gateway.

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 2: Consider the following statements,
  1. In May, 2016, Government for the first time adopted a comprehensive National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy to lay future roadmap for intellectual property.
  2. This policy aims to improve Indian intellectual property ecosystem, hopes to create an innovation movement in the country and aspires towards “Creative India; Innovative India” “रचनात्मक भारत; अभिनव भारत”.

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: Consider the following statements regarding “NATIONAL AYUSH MISSION (NAM)”
  • The basic objective of NAM is to promote AYUSH medical systems through cost effective AYUSH services, strengthening of educational systems, facilitate the enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU &H) drugs and sustainable availability of ASU & H raw-materials.
  • Although the NAM contemplates establishment of a National Mission, corresponding Missions at the State level is not envisioned.

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 with respect to the concept ‘Distance to Frontier’ as featured in “The World Banks’ Doing Business 2017” report,
  1. The absolute score of ‘Distance to Frontier’ measures the gap between India and the global best practice.
  2. In the 2017 report, this absolute score has increased for two consecutive years.

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. The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund (DMIC-PITF Trust) is now re-designated with an expanded mandate of integrated development of Industrial Corridors.
  2. This would be an Apex body under administrative control of DIPP for coordinated and unified development of all industrial corridors in the country.

Which of the following statements is/are incorrect?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

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