Comprehensive News Analysis – 04 March 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. UN body slams Sri Lanka

C. GS3 Related:

1. For Olive Ridleys, it’s paradise lost

2. Centre dithers on Western Ghats issue

3. U.S. nixed India’s plea on reforms in medicine

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

The Hindu

1. Crossing a bridge

Economic Times

1. Neither collegium nor a commission: Judges’ appointment must involve Parliament

PIB

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 for UPSC Current Affairs

 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!


B. GS2 Related
1. UN body slams Sri Lanka

Category: International Relations
Topic: Bilateral Relations

Key Points:

  • The UN has recently said that reports of abuses including torture remain widespread in Sri Lanka eight years after the end of a decades-long civil war.
  • The UN criticized the government’s slow progress in addressing wartime crimes.
  • At least 1,00,000 people died in the conflict between Tamil separatists and government forces that ended in 2009.
  • The UN has been pushing for a special court to investigate allegations that government forces killed up to 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final months of fighting.
  • Mr. Sirisena had agreed to a UN Human Rights Council resolution in October 2015 which called for special tribunals and reparations for victims and gave Sri Lanka 18 months to establish credible investigations.
  • But the deadline lapsed without those commitments being met.

C. GS3 Related
1. For Olive Ridleys, it’s paradise lost

Category: Environment and Ecology
Topic: Conservation

Key Points:

  • In a recent development, tens of thousands of eggs laid by Olive Ridley sea turtles this year in Gahirmatha Sanctuary in Odisha, one of the world’s largest nesting grounds, are getting destroyed due to shrinking coastal space.
  • Gahirmatha once had 32 km of beach and nesting area of 1,80,000 square metres.
2. Centre dithers on Western Ghats issue

Category: Environment and Ecology
Topic: Conservation

Key Points:

  • The National Green Tribunal recently prohibited all camping activity from Shivpuri to Rishikesh on beaches along the Ganga which fall within 100 meters of the river.

What about Eco-tourism?

  • The Environment Ministry has dithered, for the second time in three years, from bringing into force a law that will make about 56,825 sqkm of the ecologically-rich Western Ghats out of bounds for industrial development.
  • Ever since a committee headed by ecologist Madhav Gadgil recommended in 2011 that all of the Western Ghats be declared as the Ecological Sensitive Area (ESA) — with only limited development allowed in graded zones— States have forced the Centre to consistently delay imposing the ESA restrictions.
  • A committee headed by K. Kasturirangan, former ISRO chairman, recommended that only about 60,000 sq km — or about 37% of the WG and a significant reduction from that of the Gadgil committee — be declared as ESA.
3. U.S. nixed India’s plea on reforms in medicine

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: International Trade

Key Points:

  • A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) response has revealed that the United States government had opposed including agenda items proposed by India, which aimed at reforming medical innovation that currently pump up drug prices to unaffordable levels.
  • This development come a month after the 140th World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Executive Board meeting.

What did India propose?

  • The Indian government — along with 11 South East Asian countries — had proposed a discussion on an ‘Access to Medicines’ report by the United Nations High Level Panel that had recommended reforms in the funding of biomedical research and development.
  • However, the set of documents released by Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a not for profit organisation that gives technical advice to governments, reveals that both the United States and the WHO opposed including the proposal by India.
 
D. GS4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
 
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

Hindu

1. Crossing a bridge

Category: International Relations
Topic: India and its Neighbourhood

Key Points:

A note on the Permanent Indus Commission:

  • It is important to note that the Permanent Indus Commission mandated to implement the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) has met like clockwork, 112 times in 56 years, annually in each country.
  • The commission has experts who look into issues and disputes on the ground over the utilisation of the waters of six rivers of the Indus system.
  • Under the treaty, India has full use of the three “eastern” rivers (Beas, Ravi, Sutlej), while Pakistan has control over the three “western” rivers (Indus, Chenab, Jhelum), although India is given rights to use these partially as well for certain purposes.

Recent Development

  • The recent development of India accepting Pakistan’s invitation to the next round of talks is welcome, as it denotes India’s commitment to the treaty that has stood the test of time and war, and also displays New Delhi’s sincerity on the issue of water-sharing, given that the IWT is seen to be a model in dispute management.

Background before the development

  • In September last year, doubts had been raised over India’s commitment after the terrorist attack on an army camp in Uri, killing 19 soldiers.
  • In the days that followed, senior officials announced the suspension of talks until there was an “atmosphere free of terror” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting on the treaty to consider retaliatory measures against Pakistan for the attack, saying, “blood and water cannot go together”
  • The atmosphere was also charged after the government announced “surgical strikes” had been carried out along the Line of Control and subsequently pulled out from the SAARC summit in Pakistan, leading to fears of a freeze in bilateral ties.

Concluding Remarks

  • The decision follows several other moves between India and Pakistan in the past few weeks indicating a softening of positions on some other issues as well: from a marked reduction in LoC firing, the regular annual exchange of nuclear lists, the release of prisoners by both countries, and India being part of the consensus to elect the Pakistani nominee as the SAARC Secretary-General this week.
  • It would be premature to expect that any of these events, some of which are routine, consolidate a thaw in relations between the two countries.
  • However, they reaffirm the high stakes that are woven into India-Pakistan relations, and the need to keep certain issues such as water-sharing above the politics of the moment.

 

Economic Times

1. Neither collegium nor a commission: Judges’ appointment must involve Parliament

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: : Judiciary

Key Points:

  • In a recent development, Justice J Chelameswar, one of the three senior-most judges of the Supreme Court after the chief justice and, thus, a member of the collegium that nominates additions to the higher judiciary, has penned a note of dissent on the exclusion of Justice Manjula Chellur from the list of high court judges submitted by the collegium to the government for elevation to the Supreme Court.

Brief Background of the issue:

  • Ever since the Supreme Court ruled the Judicial Appointments Commission proposed by the government to be unfit, there have been strained relations between the executive and the judiciary.
  • The government has delayed appointments, refused transfers and refused to relent.

Current Situation:

  • It has been argued that the ongoing system of appointing judges of the Supreme Court is neither transparent nor accountable.

Concluding Remarks

  • When a vacancy opens up for a judge in a high court or in the Supreme Court, eligible members of the judicial fraternity, including lawyers, should be able to formally register their interest.
  • The chief law officer of the government and the chief justice should be able to nominate judges for consideration.
  • But their appointment as judges must be conditional on confirmation by a committee of the Rajya Sabha with representatives from all the major political parties.

 

PIB

Nothing here for today!!!

 
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
  • SAARC
  • Indus Waters Treaty (IWT)
  • UN Human Rights Council
 
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
 
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements:

1] The Permanent Indus Commission is mandated to implement the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).
2] The commission has experts who look into issues and disputes on the ground over the utilisation of the waters of six rivers of the Indus system.
3] Under the treaty, India has full use of the three “eastern” rivers (Beas, Ravi, Sutlej), while Pakistan has control over the three “western” rivers (Indus, Chenab, Jhelum), although India is given rights to use these partially as well for certain purposes.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 3 Only
  2. 2 and 3 Only
  3. 1 and 2 Only
  4. All, 1, 2 and 3
Question 2: ‘Gahirmatha Sanctuary’ was recently in the news. Where is it 
located?
  1. Odisha
  2. Tamil Nadu
  3. Madhya Pradesh
  4. Kerala 
Question 3: “Gadgil Commission” is often mentioned in the news. What is 
it in relation to?
  1. Western Ghats Ecology
  2. Eastern Ghats Ecology
  3. Himalayan Ecology
  4. Underground Hydrology
Question 4: ‘Abhijnanasakuntalam’ was composed by?
  1. Kalidasa
  2. Tulsidas
  3. Aryabhatta
  4. Harshavardhana 
Question 5: Which of the following organizations bring out the report 
known as ‘Asian Development Outlook’?
  1. ADB (Asian Development bank)
  2. The United Nations Development Programme
  3. The World Economic Forum
  4. The World Bank

 

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