Comprehensive News Analysis – 05 January 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. China’s stance on terror self-defeating: India

2. J.S. Khehar sworn in as Chief Justice

3. State media cautions China over India’s labour cost

4. ‘Indian-American members of Congress will have crucial role’

C. GS3 Related:

1. Ministry seeks duty cut for leased planes

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

The Hindu

1. Bengaluru’s night of horror

Economic Times

1. Make corporate tax rates ASEANesque

Business Line

1. More pain ahead

PIB

1. Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India and Portugal in the field of agriculture and allied sectors

2. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Kenya on bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors

3. Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Uruguay regarding Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters

4. Launch of IPR Enforcement Toolkit for Police and IPR Awareness Campaign for Children

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. China’s stance on terror self-defeating: India

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • India on 4th January 2017 said that China is following “double standard” on terrorism.
  • India has asked Beijing to support its campaign to blacklist Pakistan-based terror mastermind Masood Azhar.
  • Reiterating the government’s position on terror, Minister of State for External Affairs Mr. Akbar said India had zero tolerance for terrorism.

 

  1. J.S. Khehar sworn in as Chief Justice

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Judiciary

Key Points:

  • Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, was sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of India by President Pranab Mukherjee on 4th January 2017.
  • It is important to note that Justice Khehar is known for his firm and decisive approach to cases.
  • His appointment comes at a time when the relationship between the government and the judiciary remains tense over an unprecedented number of judicial vacancies (400) in the HCs and eight in the SC.

 

3. State media cautions China over India’s labour cost

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • In anticipation of India’s rise as the next workshop-of-the world, a leading Chinese daily affiliated with the Communist Party of China (CPC) is strongly advocating that Beijing should rapidly shift to high-end manufacturing, and take advantage of the low labour costs that are still available in its less developed zones.

 

4. ‘Indian-American members of Congress will have crucial role’

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • Newly-elected Indian-American members of the U.S Congress have exhorted the community to encourage more people to run for office.
  • In fact, with five members, the current Congressional cycle has the largest representation of the community in history. 
  • It is important to note that with one percent of the U.S population, Indian-Americans constitute one per cent of members in the new U.S Congress.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. Ministry seeks duty cut for leased planes

Category: Indian Economy 

Topic: Industry- Civil Aviation  

Key Points:

  • Recently, the Union civil aviation ministry has proposed the lowering of customs duty for aircraft imported by leasing companies set up in India.
  • The Union civil aviation ministry, has asked the finance ministry to consider reducing customs duty for lessors from 21 per cent to the prevalent rates of zero per cent for scheduled and 2.5 per cent for non-scheduled operations.
  • It has been suggested that India needs to set up special purpose vehicles (SPVs) in order to give a boost to the leasing business.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
1. Bengaluru’s night of horror

Category: Polity and Governance 

Topic: Social Justice  

Key Points:

  • According to reports, at New Year’s-eve in downtown Bengaluru, a large number of women were sexually assaulted around midnight. There have been unfortunate remarks made by the state Home Minister, who blamed the violence on “western culture”. The larger issue which needs to be addressed is the reluctance of women to register offences. It is important to note that The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, passed after national outrage over the Delhi gang rape of December 16, 2012, had sought to bring clarity to the continuum of sexual offences and to simplify procedures for women to bring them to the attention of the police.
  • Note to Aspirants: In the year 2015, there were a number of initiatives taken by the Government in order to promote women safety. The Ministry of Women and Child Development had taken up many initiatives. Aspirants are advised to go through these initiatives by referring the below link:

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=133957

  • Also, in 2016, a number of initiatives aimed at women empowerment were taken up by the ministry. Aspirants are advised to go through the below link:

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155963


Economic Times

1. Make corporate tax rates ASEANesque

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy, Taxation   

Key Points:

  • Foreign investors, direct, portfolio and private equity, are reportedly looking at new routes to invest in India to save on taxes. 
  • This development is not unexpected, after India amended its tax treaty with Mauritius and Singapore to tax capital gains on investments coming through these countries from April 1, 2017.
  • The government will also enforce new General Anti-Avoidance Rules (Gaar), meant to prevent sharp tax practices and determine if a transaction has tax avoidance as its primary purpose.
  • Both the treaty revisions and Gaar are in sync with the global move towards cross-border tax transparency and ending base erosion and profit shifting.
  • It has been suggested that India needs to slash its corporate tax rate to Asean levels.
  • It has also been suggested that India must lower tax rates and simultaneously phase out exemptions that are a drag on the exchequer. 
  • Further, the need is to swiftly adopt the goods and services tax, and use its multiple audit trails to broaden tax base of both direct and indirect taxes.
  • The way forward is to limit tax avoidance while retaining India’s investment appeal.

 

Business Line

  1. More pain ahead

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • The latest Financial Stability Report from the Reserve Bank of India has again brought to light the festering issue of asset quality of Indian banks.
  • There has been a huge addition to the stockpile of bad loans.

Important Statistics:

  • Between March and September 2016, gross NPAs went up from 7.8 per cent to 9.1 per cent of total advances.
  • Between September 2015 and September 2016, gross non-performing assets shot up from 5.1 per cent to 9.1 per cent of total advances.


PIB

  1. Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India and Portugal in the field of agriculture and allied sectors

Category: International Relations

Topic: Bilateral Agreements

Key Points:

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of an Agreement for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors between India and Portugal.
  • The Agreement covers various activities in these fields which include exchange of scientific and technical information, trade in plants and plant products, exchange of information in phytosanitary issues, training programmes, seminars and visits of experts and consultants.
  • The Agreement provides constitution of a Joint Working Group comprising of representatives from both countries, the task of which would be to monitor the implementation of the present MoU and making concrete proposals for agriculture cooperation and develop guidelines and priorities for future cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
  • The Agreement shall enter into force on the date of its signing and shall remain in force for a period of five years and shall be automatically extended for a subsequent period of five years unless either Party gives written notice through diplomatic channels to the other Party of its intention to terminate the Agreement at least six months before its expiration.

 

  1. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Kenya on bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors

Category: International Relations

Topic: Bilateral Agreements

Key Points:

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Kenya on bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
  • The MoU covers various activities in these fields which include agricultural research, animal husbandry and dairy, livestock and fisheries horticulture, natural resource management, post-harvest management and marketing, soil and conservation, water management, irrigation farming systems development and integrated watershed development integrated pest management, agricultural plant, machinery and implements, sanitary and phytosanitary issues.
  • The MoU provides for constitution of a Joint Working Group comprising of representatives from both countries, the task of which would be to develop detailed cooperation programmes and monitor implementation of the MoU.
  • The MoU shall enter into force on the day of signing and shall remain valid for a period of five years and shall automatically be renewed for a subsequent period of five years unless either Party notifies the other in writing, six months before the expiry of the validity period of the intention to terminate it. 

 

  1. Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Uruguay regarding Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters

Category: International Relations

Topic: Bilateral Agreements

Key Points:

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing and ratifying an Agreement between India and Uruguay regarding Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters.

 The Agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. The Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.

The draft Agreement takes care of Indian Customs’ concerns and requirements, particularly in the area of exchange of information on the correctness of the Customs value declared, the authenticity of certificates of origin of goods and the description of the goods traded between the two countries.

Background:

Uruguay is an important trading partner of India among members of the MERCOSUR, a trading block in Latin America. India signed a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with the MERCOSUR which came into effect from 1st June, 2009. Trade between India and the Uruguay has been expanding gradually. The Agreement would provide a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries and help in the proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and the facilitation of legitimate trade. The draft text of the proposed Agreement has been finalized with the concurrence of the two Customs Administrations.

 

  1. Launch of IPR Enforcement Toolkit for Police and IPR Awareness Campaign for Children

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

The Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched an IPR Enforcement Toolkit for Police on 4th January, 2017.

  • The toolkit has been jointly prepared by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). 
  • This toolkit will be a ready reckoner for police officials across the country in dealing with IP crimes, specifically Trade Marks counterfeiting and Copyrights piracy.
  • In addition to details of offences under various laws, it provides for checklists for registering a complaint and conducting search and seizures. It also lays down general guidelines for search and seizure in case of IP crimes.
  • This toolkit will be provided to all state police departments across the nation and will assist them in dealing with the cases relating to Trademarks and Copyrights infringements.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM)
  • MERCOSUR


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. MERCOSUR, is a trading block in Latin America.
  2. Uruguay is an important trading partner of India among members of the MERCOSUR.

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, regarding the recently launched, “IPR Enforcement Toolkit for Police”
  1. The toolkit has been jointly prepared by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
  2. This toolkit will be a ready reckoner for police officials across the country in dealing with IP crimes, specifically Trade Marks counterfeiting and Copyrights piracy.

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 “Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) ”
  • The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) is working to ensure effective implementation of the National IPR Policy 2016.
  • CIPAM is collaborating with the International Trademark Association (INTA) to launch an IPR Awareness campaign for schoolchildren, which would spread the message on IPRs in a creative and engaging manner.

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: Which among the following statements is correct?

a) The Nehru Report (1928) had advocated the inclusion of Fundamental Rights in the Constitution of India

b) The Government of India Act, 1935 referred to Fundamental Rights

c) The August offer, 1940 included the Fundamental Rights

c) The Cripps Mission, 1942 referred to Fundamental Rights

Question 5: The Cabinet Mission Plan for India envisaged

a) Federation

b) Confederation

c) Unitary form of Government

d) Union of States

Check Your Answers

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