Comprehensive News Analysis – 06 November 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Delhi’s air quality turns hazardous

2. India, Sri Lanka start Joint Working Group to address fishermen issue

3. Retired judges to wield the gavel again

4. Jal Marg Vikas project

5. India-China border talks slated for 2017

6. Lebanon deal underscores Hezbollah’s clout

7. AERA to hold talks on new airport tariff

C. GS3 Related:

1. Astronomers to gather in Goa for SKA science meet

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:

1. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

2. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. Delhi’s air quality turns hazardous

Category: Air pollution

Topic: Delhi’s air quality

Key Points:

  • In its worst spell of persistent pollution in nearly two decades, New Delhi’s air quality slipped into the hazardous level with low wind speed and high moisture content ensuring that the city remained engulfed in smog and suffered poor visibility throughout the day.

Delhi government said the high level of smog had turned Delhi into a gas chamber and blamed the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana for the problem. It further said the Centre needed to intervene to mitigate the alarming levels of smog in the city.

  • Centre for Science and Environment said the city had registered shockingly high levels of particulate (PM-10 is in the range of 900-1700 microgram per cubic metre: standard level is 100) and benzene (cancer causing agent).

 

  1. India, Sri Lanka start Joint Working Group to address fishermen issue

Category: Bilateral

Topic: India – Sri Lanka Fisherman issue

Key Points:

  • The Union ministry of External affairs said India and Sri Lanka have agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on Fisheries (JWG) and a hotline between their Coast Guards to address the long-standing issue of fishermen from Tamil Nadu being arrested. The decision came 3 days after fishermen of the 2 countries failed to reach an agreement on ending fishing in Sri Lankan waters by Indian fishermen.

 It was decided that JWG would meet every 3 months while the Ministers of Fisheries on both sides would meet every 6 months beginning January 2017 along with Coast Guard and Naval representatives to discuss the protracted issue.

The terms of reference of the JWG includes expediting the transition towards ending the practice of bottom trawling at the earliest, as well as framing procedures for returning fishermen arrested by both sides, and the possibility of joint patrolling.

 However, the issue of their seized boats is unresolved, and has been an emotive issue in Tamil Nadu, with the State government writing to the Centre on several occasions to negotiate for their release. The issue of the release of detained fishing vessels will be discussed at the first JWG meeting.

  • A few days back, the Rural Fishermen Society president offered a deal for Indian boats to be allowed to fish in Sri Lankan waters for 85 days every year for the next 3 years before they are phased out. Rejecting that offer, fishermen from Jaffna said they wanted an immediate end to bottom trawling, a practice that depletes the ocean’s resources, and refused to return more than 100 trawlers seized by Sri Lankan authorities since 2014.

 

  1. Retired judges to wield the gavel again

Category: Judiciary

Topic: Judicial reforms

Key Points:

  • The Union government after a gap of six months has agreed to a resolution passed by the judiciary in the Chief Justices and Chief Ministers Annual Conference in 2016 to use the services of retired High Court judges with proven integrity and track record to tackle pendency of cases. The resolution, forwarded by the Delay and Arrears Committees of the judiciary, had been hanging fire since April – 2016.
  • Article 224-A of the Indian constitution: The provision to use the services of retired judges is open to the Chief Justices of High Courts under Article 224A of the Constitution with the previous consent of the President as an extraordinary measure to tide over case pile-ups.
  • Contents of the resolution: Keeping in view the large pendency of civil and criminal cases, especially criminal appeals, where convicts are in jail and having due regard to the recommendation made by the 17th Law Commission of India in 2003, the Chief Justices will actively have regard to the provision of Article 224A of the Constitution as a source for enhancing the strength of judges to deal with the backlog of cases for a period of two years or the age of 65 years, whichever is later until a 5 plus zero pendency is achieved.
  • Five plus zero initiative It is an initiative by which cases pending over five years are taken up on priority basis and their numbers are brought down to zero. These concerns highlighted in the conference includes: The pendency of cases in the High Court has been stagnant for over 3 years; 43 per cent of the pendency is of cases of over 5 years; concentration of ‘five years plus’ cases in a few High Courts; and stagnant pendency figures of five years plus cases (33.5 per cent in 2015) in district courts.

Accordingly, it was resolved that all High Courts shall assign top-most priority for disposal of cases which are pending for more than five years; In High Courts, where arrears of cases pending for more than five years are concentrated shall facilitate their disposal in a mission mode. The High courts shall progressively thereafter set a target of disposing of cases pending for more than four years. The Conference had resolved that while prioritising the disposal of cases pending in the district courts for more than five years, additional incentives for the judges of the district judiciary be considered.

  • MoP on appointments – The agreement comes at a time when the Executive and the Judiciary are trying to find a common ground on the memorandum of procedure for judicial appointments in High Courts and ths Supreme Court.

Note – As on June 30, 2016 while the total sanctioned strength was 21,303, the subordinate courts were functioning with 16,192 judicial officers – a shortage of 5,111. The 24 High Courts face a shortage of nearly 450 judges. Nearly three crore cases are pending in courts across India.

 

  1. Jal Marg Vikas project

Category: National programs and policies

Topic: National Waterways

Key Points:

  • The Union Shipping Ministry will seek Union Cabinet’s approval for the Jal Marg Vikas project with contracts worth Rs 2,000 crores already awarded, under which National Waterways-1 is being implemented.

 The Ministry is also planning a maiden issue of infrastructure bonds worth Rs.1,000 crore in two tranches to fund this World Bank-aided project. The cost has ballooned from Rs.4,200 crore at conception in 2013 to Rs.5,369 crore now. It involves developing a 1,620-km navigable waterway between Haldia and Varanasi.

  • Plans were also afoot to move LNG-fuelled vessels and tankers on this stretch. The IWAI plans to procure various types of vessels once they are designed to suit the riverine channel that passes through 4 states.

 

  1. India-China border talks slated for 2017

Category: Bilateral

Topic: India – China border talks

Key Points:

  • National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi agreed to hold the next round of border talks in India in 2017 at a meeting held in Hyderabad. The meeting came against the backdrop of a series of dampeners appearing prominently in the bilateral ties, including the recent stand-off between the two Armies at the border. Mr. Doval and China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi discussed a gamut of issues covering bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
  • However, the meet did not carry any reference to the 2 key issues of India’s concern vis-a-vis ChinaIndia’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the N. ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. Both are held up because of China’s tough positioning.

 

  1. Lebanon deal underscores Hezbollah’s clout

Category: International Summits

Topic: International Agro-biodiversity Congress

Key Points:

  • Lebanon’s President asked Sunni Muslim leader Saad al-Hariri to form a new government after he won the support of a majority of MPs and the endorsement of the influential parliament speaker.

 Mr. Hariri’s nomination is part of a political deal that resulted in the election of Christian leader Michel Aoun, a close ally of the Iran-backed group Hezbollah, as head of State, ending a two-and-a-half year long presidential vacuum.

  • A big concession on the part of Mr. Hariri, the deal has underscored Hezbollah’s dominant position in Lebanon and the diminished role of Mr. Hariri’s regional backer, Saudi Arabia, which appears more focused on confronting Iran elsewhere in the region.

The quick formation of a new administration with cross-party support will help revive government in a country where political conflict has paralysed decision-making, economic development and basic services, and raised fears for its stability.

 

  1. AERA to hold talks on new airport tariff

Category: National programs and policies

Topic: Civil Aviation – AERA

Key Points:

  • The Airport Economic Regulatory Authority – AERA has initiated a process to adopt a hybrid-till approach for calculating airport fees and the regulator is slated to hold talks with airlines and airport operators to seek their views. The regulator has called for a meeting of airlines, airports, International Air Transport Association – IATA, Airports Authority of India – AAI, state governments, consumers’ organisation, fuel suppliers, and ground handling companies, among others.

 Currently, AERA has a single-till model in place to determine aeronautical charges at 20 major airports across the country, including Kolkata and Chennai. The airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad follow a shared-till model.

  • The National Civil Aviation Policy has called for adopting a hybrid-till model for all airports under which 30 per cent of airport operator’s non-aeronautical revenue would be used to subsidise airport costs. The move to switch to hybrid-till may revive private developer interest in running the airports as the model increases their revenue.

 IATA had also said that the proposal to switch to hybrid-till ignores the conclusions reached by Finance Ministry which had said that single till is the most appropriate approach for India.

 

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. Astronomers to gather in Goa for SKA science meet

Category: S&T

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • The Square Kilometre ArraySKA will hold its annual science meeting in Goa. The meeting is expected to be attended by almost 200 scientists and astronomers, who will present their latest results and discuss cutting edge science projects that can be achieved when the SKA becomes operational. SKA is an international effort to build the largest and the most sensitive radio telescope in the world.

The SKA will be a collection of thousands of dishes and radio receivers spread across two sites in Africa and Western Australia. Currently, Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and United Kingdom are involved in the project.

  • The NCRA-TIFR in Pune is the nodal institute for overseeing SKA related activities in India.

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here today folks!

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

Nothing here today folks!

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:

 

 

 

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂

	Question 1.	Square Kilometre Array – SKA sometimes appears in news. It is
	
a) A large multi radio telescope project aimed to be built in Australia and South Africa b) Largest Radio telescope built by China c) Indigenously built nuclear powered submarine of India d) Space station of USA

	Question 2.	The Union ministry of shipping’s ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ program is being funded by -
a) Asia development bank b) World Bank c) Japan International cooperation agency d) International monetary fund
Question 3.	International boundary ‘McMahon line’ is located between

a) India and China b) India and Pakistan c) Myanmar and China d) India and Myanmar

	Question 4.	Article 224-A of the Indian constitution is related to 
a) Appointment of the Supreme court and High court judges b) The provision to use the services of retired judges is open to the Chief Justices of High Courts with the previous consent of the President as an extraordinary measure to tide over case pile-ups. c) Removal of the Supreme court and High court judges d) Delhi High Court
Question 5.	5/20 rule appears in news in the context of -
a) Defense procurement policy b) New IPR policy c) New Civil Aviation policy d) Foreign trade policy of India 2015-20

Check Your Answers

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