Comprehensive News Analysis – 05 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. At Amritsar, Pak. cornered on terror

2. NITI Aayog announces incentives for Collectors

3. Sagarmala could deepen India’s trade and investment ties with China

C. GS3 Related:

1. Environment Ministry postpones forest policy indefinitely

2. Amur falcons pay a surprise visit

3. Idle EPF accounts may still get no interest

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

The Hindu

1. Due diligence, unsafe drugs

2. Unbuilding our cities

The Indian Express

1. The limits of Anger

Business Line

1. Digital payments are big data

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 today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. At Amritsar, Pak. cornered on terror

Category: International Relations     

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

Key Points:

  • Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and PM Narendra Modi, urged Islamabad to end its “selective” approach to fighting terror groups on its soil, and end “terror sanctuaries” for groups that target both Afghanistan and India. These statements were issued at the Heart of Asia summit in Amritsar.
  • President Ashraf Ghani also rejected Pakistan’s proposal of a $500 million fund for development in Afghanistan. He remarked that the fund could very well be used for containing extremism, as in his opinion, without peace, any amount of assistance will not meet the needs of the people of Afghanistan.
  • Ghani’s words were echoed by PM Narendra Modi. PM Modi called for action against terrorists and those who “support, shelter, train and finance them”.

 

  1. NITI Aayog announces incentives for Collectors

Category: Polity and Governance 

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • Chief Executive Officer of The NITI Aayog  Amitabh Kant, has recently said that the NITI Aayog will provide incentives to District Collectors for every individual shifting to digital payment mode.
  • An incentive of Rs. 10 will be provided to District Collectors or DMs or deputy commissioner for every individual who has transited to digital payment mode and has undertaken at least two successful transactions.

Forms of transactions

The transactions should be in either of the following forms:

  1. a) unified payment interface, b) USSD, c) Aadhaar-enabled payments, d) digital wallets, e) debit cards and prepaid cards.
  2. To initiate the activity, the NITI Aayog will be immediately transferring amounts up to Rs. 5 lakh per district based on population figures.
  • Further, the top ten best performing districts of India will be awarded the Digital Payment Champions of India award.
  • The first 50 panchayats which go cashless will be awarded the Digital Payment Award of Honour by the NITI Aayog.

 

  1. Sagarmala could deepen India’s trade and investment ties with China

Category: International Relations   

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

Key Points:

  • Recently, there has been an unintended fusion of the Sagarmala initiative and Beijing’s Maritime Silk Road (MSR).
  • This unintended fusion has largely been caused by India’s decision to rapidly develop ports, especially along the east coast, and China’s renewed focus on an expansion of its harbours.
  • The new hubs of coastal development which have emerged are the ports of Krishnapatnam and Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh as well as the Colachel Port in Tamil Nadu. 
  • These ports are linked with the Sagarmala initiative.

What is the Sagarmala Initiative?

  • The Sagarmala initiative, is PM Modi’s pet project of having a string of world class ports, enmeshed with well-connected industrial clusters in the hinterland.
  • The prime objective of the Sagarmala project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. Environment Ministry postpones forest policy indefinitely

Category: Environment and Ecology    

Topic: Conservation

Key Points:

  • The Environment Ministry has indefinitely postponed the plan to update India’s forest policy.
  • It is important to note that a key promise of the forest policy is to have a third of India’s land under forest or tree cover.
  • Also, it is important to note that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) had tasked the Bhopal-based Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), which is an affiliated organisation, with reviewing and revising the existing forest policy.
  • This was the first time that the policy was being re-looked since 1988
  • The Environment Ministry has also decided to abstain from committing to a timeframe by which it would have a third of India’s land under forest or tree cover.

 

  1. Amur falcons pay a surprise visit

Category: Environment and Ecology   

Topic: Conservation

Key Points:

  • The Amur falcon has recently been spotted in Karnataka in the areas of Ballari, Kodagu, and the urban sprawls of Mysuru
  • The Amur falcon are marathon fliers whose migrations stretch from the icy environs of Siberia to the outcrops of South Africa.
  • The bird was spotted at Daroji Wildlife Sanctuary in Ballari district.  

 

  1. Idle EPF accounts may still get no interest

Category: Indian Economy    

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • There are about 9 crore employees’ provident fund accounts, which are lying inoperative due to lack of contributions for three consecutive years.
  • According to a recent decision by the Centre, these accounts will not get any interest for the last five years.
  • It is important to note that these EPF accounts, hold Rs.44,000 crore worth of savings in them. These accounts will prospectively be credited with interest only if the concerned employee approaches the PF office to transfer or close such accounts.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Due diligence, unsafe drugs

Category: Science and Technology   

Topic: Health

Key Points:

What is a fixed dose combination (FDCs) drug?

  • A fixed dose combination is one that contains two or more drugs combined in a fixed ratio of doses and available in a single dosage form.
  • Unfortunately, in India, millions of unapproved formulations and products of fixed dose combinations (FDCs) are available.
  • They are available in three therapeutic areas — a) analgesia, b) anxiety/depression and c) psychosis.
  • It is important to note that these are unsafe and at times dangerous or even lethal.

Development

  • Recently, the Delhi High Court quashed all notifications banning the manufacture and sale of 344 Fixed Dose Combination (FDC) drugs. 
  • There is little doubt that a number of combination drugs should be taken off the shelf.
  • It is important to note that the government believes, as do many health activists, that some combinations are unsafe and/or promote antibiotic resistance, while others lack particular therapeutic value.
  • Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw concluded that the ban was invalid because the power under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act was exercised without consulting the Drug Testing Advisory Board (DTAB) and Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC).

 

  1. Unbuilding our cities

Category: Disaster Management   

Topic: Disaster Mitigation, Planning

Key Points:

 

  • The 2015 Chennai floods put the spotlight on how unwise land use, made the city vulnerable to the Northeast monsoon. 
  • In the wake of the 2015 Chennai floods, the state government pointed out that it is taking the following initiatives:
  1. building storm water drains, b) removing encroachments, c) de-silting waterbodies, bridges and culverts, and d) sprucing up its early warning and disaster response machinery.
  • Although these initiatives are noteworthy, unfortunately, on the other side we also see agencies building ill-designed bridges and roads, flattening dunes, and filling up salt pans and water bodies.
  • It is important to note that The 11th Five-Year Plan marked a policy shift from rural development to urban renewal. It celebrated urbanisation as “an indicator of economic development… [and] a positive factor for overall development.” 

Urbanisation and its problems

  • It is important to note that urbanisation results in an increased built-up area. This increased built-up area, requires workers, who are usually migrants.
  • But, unfortunately, with affordable housing for the working poor absent, informal settlements come up in vulnerable areas in floodplains and along the margins of seas and waterbodies to accommodate each new wave of migrants.

 

 The Indian Express

  1. The limits of Anger 

Category: International Relations

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

Key Points:

  • The recent remarks made by President Ashraf Ghani in his inaugural address at the Heart of Asia summit in Amritsar illustrate the growing rage over Pakistan’s crisis-inducing policies in the region.
  • President Ashraf Ghani also rejected Pakistan’s proposal of a $500 million fund for development in Afghanistan. He remarked that the fund could very well be used for containing extremism, as in his opinion, without peace, any amount of assistance will not meet the needs of the people of Afghanistan.

 

Indian Policy

  • Some experts believe that it is important for India to revisit its policy of disengagement with Pakistan.
  • In the wake of the cross-LoC raids, which followed the Uri attack, Pakistan has not been deterred from backing jihadist operations in Kashmir.
  • It is suggested by some experts that India could, for example, be far more vigorous in its engagement of Pakistan’s civil society.
  • India could do much more to revive its ties with Russia and the central Asian states, who are important actors in the regional chessboard.
  • India can look for new ways to work with China in the shared objective of stability in Afghanistan and West Asia.

 

Business Line

  1. Digital payments are big data

Category: Indian Economy  

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • It is important to note that in the wake of demonetization, consumers and small businesses have been forced to use their debit and credit cards more often. They have also been forced to try mobile banking and adopt e-wallets.
  • This change in habit reduces the need to carry enough cash on shopping trips and saves vendors and shopkeepers the bother of keeping track of cash collections and keeping the money safe till it is deposited in the bank.
  • It is important to note that every transaction completed with the swipe of a card, or using internet or mobile banking or e-wallets, leaves a digital trail.
  • This digital trail would become a rich source of information that the tax department can use to identify tax evasion.
  • This can be used as an effective tool of governance. In the bid to curb the re-emergence of unaccounted cash as well as to collect more from income taxes, the Government could direct payment gateways and e-wallet companies to share information on individuals and merchants exceeding a certain threshold in payments and receipts.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Sagarmala Initiative
  • NITI Aayog
  • Drug Testing Advisory Board (DTAB)
  • Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC)


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016

H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. The Daroji Sanctuary is located in Ballari district in Karnataka.
  2. The sanctuary was created exclusively for the preservation of the Indian Sloth Bear.

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 2: Consider the following statements,
  1. Chief Executive Officer of The NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant, has recently said that the NITI Aayog will provide incentives to District Collectors for every individual shifting to digital payment mode.
  2. An incentive of Rs. 10 will be provided to District Collectors or DMs or deputy commissioner for every individual who has transited to digital payment mode and has undertaken at least two successful transactions.

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,
  1. The prime objective of the Sagarmala project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.
  2. The ports of Krishnapatnam and Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh as well as the Colachel Port in Tamil Nadu are linked with the Sagarmala initiative.
  3. The Sagarmala initiative would also strive to ensure sustainable development of the population living in the Coastal Economic Zone (CEZ).

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 Only

b) 2 and 3 Only

c) All, 1, 2 and 3

d) 1 and 3 Only


Question 4: Consider the following statements,
  1. A fixed dose combination is one that contains two or more drugs combined in a fixed ratio of doses and available in a single dosage form.
  2. They are available in three therapeutic areas — a) analgesia, b) anxiety/depression and c) psychosis.

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. KONKAN 16, the 2016 edition of the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy, would be held from 05 -16 Dec 16 at Mumbai and Goa.
  2. Exercise KONKAN, named after the Western coastal region of India, was institutionalised in 2004.
  3. The exercise hosted in rotation by both the Navies, has grown in complexity, scale and intensity.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 Only

b) 2 and 3 Only

c) All, 1, 2 and 3

d) 1 and 3 Only


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 *