Comprehensive News Analysis - 06 February 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. ‘India has to devise its own strategy on H-1B curbs’

2. Trump to meet NATO leaders in May: White House

C. GS3 Related:

1. Tribe offers clues to hidden wonders of medicinal plant

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

The Hindu

1. Targeting old scourges


1. Sports Minister Vijay Goel lays the Foundation Stone at Gandhinagar, Gujarat for the first ever training center dedicated for Para Athletes

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

B. GS2 Related
1. India has to devise its own strategy on H-1B curbs

Category: India-world

Topic: Indian diaspora

Key Points:

  • Amid growing unease in India and the United States over legislation in the U.S. Congress advocating an increase in salaries of H-1B visa holders to discourage American firms from hiring them, and an anticipated executive order from President Donald Trump, BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao says India should “devise its own strategy” rather than try to put pressure on the U.S. government.
  • Rao, told that India had “limited influence on the Trump or any other U.S. administration”, which would always frame policy looking at its own interests. “The United States is not framing any India-specific laws, and we may be able to influence it to a certain extent but not enough for the U.S. to change a certain course it has decided on,” he said.
  • The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017 introduced by California Congressman Zoe Lofgren is the latest in a series of Bills that aim to restrict the number of H-1B visa holders.
  • The Bill advocates market-based allocation of visas to those companies willing to pay more than double the $60,000 fixed as minimum annual wage for H-1B holders in 1989, which has remained unchanged since.


  • These moves by the U.S. are a reflection of what has been happening in the global economy in the past few years. Globalization has been seeing a downward journey for some time. The economies of the U.S. and European countries are facing a downturn. The growth that we want to register using their markets is not possible now.
  • Trump’s actions could be seen as a “catalyst” in the situation, and not as an “initiator” of protectionist moves.

Concluding Remarks:

  Wherever immigrants fill the American skill gap, they may still be unaffected, but,  wherever there can an American substitute, it will be different, We need to respond to this by devising our own strategy, and orient our industries to create more sustainable profits.


2. Trump to meet NATO leaders in May: White House

Category: International organization

Topic: NATO

Key Points:

  • Donald Trump will meet fellow NATO leaders in May, the White House said after the President’s call with the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Mr. Trump expressed “strong support for NATO” but called on European members to pitch in more, the White House said in a statement on Sunday, adding that Mr. Trump “agreed to join in a meeting of NATO leaders in Europe in late May.”
  • The United States provides significant funding to NATO, and Mr. Trump has previously urged other member nations to step up their contributions.The leaders discussed how to encourage all NATO allies to meet their defense spending commitments.
  • European leaders are concerned about Mr. Trump’s virulent criticism of NATO —— he has dubbed the transatlantic military alliance “obsolete” —— at a time when it stands as the main defense against Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. According to the White House statement the parties also discussed “the potential for a peaceful resolution of the conflict along the Ukrainian border.”
  • Kiev and the West have accused Russia of supporting eastern Ukrainian rebels and deploying troops across the border, claims that Moscow refutes. Mr. Trump’s friendly stance toward Mr. Putin has been under scrutiny since he won the US election in November.
  • Trump took office with US—Russian ties at new lows amid accusations by American intelligence agencies that the Kremlin hacked Democratic Party emails as part of a pro Trump campaign


C. GS3 Related
1. Tribe offers clues to hidden wonders of medicinal plant

Category: Science &technology

Topic: Indigenous technology

Key Points:

A medicinal plant endemic to the southern parts of Western Ghats and Sri Lanka could offer scientists the key to new herbal formulations and modern drugs for the treatment of cancer and wounds and burns. Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) here have confirmed the multiple therapeutic properties ofNeurocalyx calycinus used by the Cholanaickan tribe, one of the particularly vulnerable groups in Kerala, to treat inflammations and wounds.


D. GS4 Related

Nothing Here for today!!!

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
1. Targeting old scourges

Category: Economic development

Topic: Government Policies on health

Key Points:

  • Union Budget’s new elimination targets for some major communicable diseases barely hints at the enormous burden carried by millions in India with tuberculosis, kala-azar (leishmaniasis), filariasis, leprosy and measles.
  • It would appear incongruous that an emerging economy with no universal health coverage and a lack of political will to loosen its purse strings for higher government expenditure has set ambitious deadlines to rid itself of deadly scourges.
  • Last year it was revealed that India has a higher burden ofnew patients with TB than estimated earlier — 2.8 million in 2015 compared to 2.2 million in the previous year, a quarter of the world’s cases
  • Having set goals, the Centre must now demonstrate its seriousness by moving away from the flawed policies of the past. The promise of a well-funded five-year scheme to meet the TB challenge beginning in 2017 is welcome, although steady progress towards the new elimination deadline of 2025 will also depend on improved capabilities in the health system to meet the daily drugs requirement and a feeling of ownership at the State level. 
  • The World Health Organisation has been pointing to the lack of integration of private practitioners with the national mission on tuberculosis for guaranteed access to drugs, and lack of continuous monitoring of such patients.
  • India’s campaign on leprosy is in reality a ‘post-elimination’ struggle resulting from complacency, since it announced at the end of 2005 that it had eliminated it as a public health problem, based on a rate of less than one person in 10,000 having it.
  • Such self-congratulatory moments weakened both policy focus and funding in some pockets in eastern India, where it exceeded the accepted prevalence rate. Health Minister J.P. Nadda’s admission in the Rajya Sabha that there were 1,02,178 leprosy cases on record as of September 2016, and districts of ‘high endemism’, shows the battle was never truly won. 
  • Detecting new cases early and preventing them from progressing to disability-inducing grade two level is crucial, although complete removal by 2018 as envisaged in the Budget may prove difficult.
  • Rehabilitation of patients is also a weak spot. Kala-azar, though underreported and mainly confined to Bihar and Jharkhand, is a promising candidate for elimination in the current year.
  • few thousand cases are caused by a protozoal parasite with no animal reservoir; control of the vector, the sand fly, holds the key. If good medical protocol is pursued, pockets of filariasis in many States can be removed. Rehabilitation programmes for these diseases require more resources and policy support.



1. Sports Minister Vijay Goel lays the Foundation Stone at Gandhinagar, Gujarat for the first ever training center dedicated for Para Athletes

Category: Social justice

Topic: Issues related to differently abled people

Key Points:

  • Para athletes have won 4 medals at RIO Olympics for India in 2016and brought glory for the country in International Sports Arena. Prime Minister after meeting with Para Athlete Shri Devender Jhajharia Gold Medalist of RIO Olympic Games 2016 desired that a World Class Para athletic Center be opened in India. Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs & Sports Shri Vijay Goel took the initiative and approved a Center of Excellence for Differently Abled Sportspersons at SAI Gandhinagar,the first ever training centre dedicated for Para athletes in the country. Today shri Vijay Goel laid the foundation stone of Boundary wall for the Center of Excellence Para Center at Sector – 25 Gandhinagar.
  • Speaking on the occasion, he said that sportspersons can approach him in case they face any professional problem. He said, a Talent Search Portal is being launched soon to spot the budding sports persons in the country. He said the Center of Excellence for Differently Abled Sportspersons for which he laid the foundation today will help Para Athletes to showcase their skills and talent further both at national and international level.
  • The center is proposed for an estimated budget of over Rs. 50 crores. It will have the World Class facilities where Para athletes will be trained for various International Competitions including Asian Games, Common Wealth Games and Olympic Games and will also here Classification center. The center will also hold Seminars, Educational Programmes and Workshops throughout the year with the help of International Paralympic Committee.


  1. DG Shipping has Instituted an inquiry in the Collision of two ships off Kamrajar Harbour

Category: Disaster Management

Topic: Oil Spills

Key Points:

  • Two vessels namely, M.T. BW MAPLE and M.T. DAWN KANCHIPURAM while crossing each other collided at 03.45AM on 28thJanuary, 2017 outside the Kamrajar harbour.  The Oil Tanker, M.T. DAWN KANCHIPURAM, which was carrying 32813 Tonnes of POL, suffered a rupture which led to engine oil spill (and not the POL being carried as cargo).  There was no casualty or injury to the crew members.
  • The situation was closely monitored by top officials of the Port from the time of accident and the required assistance was rendered to both vessels.
  • It is important to note that The National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan provides that while the port is responsible for responding to an oil spill within the port area, the Coast Guard is responsible for acting as the Central Coordinating Agency for combating oil pollution in the maritime zone and the State Governments are responsible for shore line response.  Equipment required to handle Tier-1 Oil Spill Response was available with the Kamarajar Port and was also deployed.
  • The Coast Guard ship and helicopters are carrying out regular sorties for continuous monitoring of oil slick.
  • If oil spillage accumulation is spotted anywhere, manpower and material under the overall supervision of Coast Guard will be deployed.       
  • Directorate General of Shipping has instituted a statutory inquiry under the Merchant Shipping Act to ascertain the causes and contributory factors that led to the accident. Both the ships have been restrained from leaving the Port.
  • G. Shipping is also holding discussions with the owners of the ships and the mechanism of distribution of compensation and payment of claims by the insurers will be shortly in place. 
3. Budget 2017-18 focuses on educational empowerment and skill development of the Minorities: Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the Union Budget (General) 2017-18 will be helpful in socio-economic-educational empowerment of Minorities. 
  • The Central Government’s focus is on educational and skill development of Minorities. Maximum part of the Budget 2017-18 would go for educational empowerment and skill development of the Minorities.
  • The Minister of Minority Affairs further stated that more than Rs 2600 crore have been provided for various scholarships and skill development schemes such as “Seekho aur Kamao”, “Nai Manzil”, “Nai Roushni”, “Usttad”, “Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centre” and “Begum Hazrat Mahal Scholarship for Girls”.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • H1-B visa
  • NATO
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Where is the Para athletes training stadium located?.

a) Gandhi nagar b) Delhi c) Mumbai d) Banglore

Question 2: Consider the following statements about NATO,
  1. NATO is a intergovernmental military organisation
  2. Maximun funding to is done by US.

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 3:  Consider the following statements, 
  1. Neurocalyx calycinus is the medicinal plant found in westernghats
  2. It has been in use to treat Alzheimer’s.

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 4: What is Neurocalyx calycinus   which was recently in news?

a) Tribe in western ghats b) Medicinal plant in western ghats c) Tribe in eastern himalayas d) Medicinal plant in eastern himalayas

Question 5: which of the following disease is not part of  “Targeted elimination of communicable 
Diseases” plan by government?
) AIDS b) Leprosy c) Measles d) Tuberculosis

Check Your Answers

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