Comprehensive News Analysis - 06 October 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Nobel prize – 2016

2. Singapore PM says India needs to remove bottlenecks for more investment

3. ICJ rejects disarmament case against India

4. U.S. poll offers Kremlin a window of opportunity in Syria

C. GS3 Related:

1. Union cabinet apporoves bill to protect HIV community from bias

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

The Hindu

1. Disquiet over Cauvery’s flows

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



Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. Nobel prize – 2016

Category: International awards

Topic: Nobel Prize

Key Points:

  • Nobel Prize in Medicine – The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi, professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy – a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components.

Nobel laureate in Medicine, Christian de Duve coined the term autophagy (meaning self eating) in 1963.

  • Nobel Prize in Physics – British-born scientists David J. Thouless, F. Duncan Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz won the Nobel Physics Prize for deep new ideas in quantum theory of matter, using topology.

The discovery opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. They have used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films.

  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry – It has been awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa for developing molecular machines.

2. Singapore PM says India needs to remove bottlenecks for more investment

Category: Bilateral

Topic: Indo-Singapore

Key Points:

  • Citing land acquisition, over-regulation and legal hassles among the biggest bottlenecks, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong said India is not as open for business as investors hope. He further said “For trade to grow, India must make a strategic decision that you want to encourage interdependence and more openness and more trade-based economy”. The Singapore Prime Minister’s words are significant as the city state is the biggest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India. In the last financial year, it overtook Mauritius on FDI inflows, accounting for US$13.7 Bn, which was more than one third of all FDI coming into India.
  • While India and Singapore have stepped up contacts as a part of the centre’s Look east and Act east policy, bilateral trade between India and Singapore has declined year on year, down 11.2% in 2015-2016 to US $15 billion compared to 2014-2015, with Indian exports dropping 21.2% in a year.


  1. ICJ rejects disarmament case against India

Category: International issues

Topic: UN – ICJ

Key Points:

  • International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected nuclear disarmament cases filed by the Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands against Britain, India and Pakistan, saying it did not have jurisdiction. The United Nations’ highest court – ICJ ruled that the Marshall Islands had failed to prove that a legal dispute over disarmament existed between it and the three nuclear powers before the case was filed in 2014.
  • The Marshall Islands originally filed cases against all nine nations that have declared or are believed to possess nuclear weapons: the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. But only the cases against Britain, India and Pakistan got to the preliminary stage of proceedings.

Note – In a landmark 1996 advisory opinion, the court said that using or threatening to use nuclear arms would “generally be contrary to” the laws of war and humanitarian law. But it added that it could not definitively rule on whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be legal “in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a state would be at stake.” The judges in 1996 also unanimously stated that there is a legal obligation “to pursue in good faith” nuclear disarmament talks.

  1. U.S. poll offers Kremlin a window of opportunity in Syria

Category: International issues
Topic: Syria

Key Points:

  • According to analysts in Russia and U.S. – Russia is using the waning days of the Obama administration to strengthen President Bashar Al-Assad’s hold on power, expand the territory he controls in Syria and constrain the options of the next U.S. President in responding to the civil war.

According to them, the current strategy of President Vladimir Putin of Russia is to move aggressively in what he sees as a prime window of opportunity – the four months between now and the 2017 presidential inauguration.

  • Russia’s intervention in the war represents the Kremin’s most important military foothold in West Asia in decades and has enabled Moscow to showcase the military’s ability to project power.


C. GS3 Related
  1. Union cabinet apporoves bill to protect HIV community from bias

Category: Science & Technology

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • The Union Cabinet approved the long-awaited amendments to the HIV Bill, to provide stronger protection to the country’s HIV community. The Bill prohibits discrimination against people living with HIV (PLHIV) in accessing healthcare, acquiring jobs, renting houses or in education institutions in the public and private sectors.

According to the 2015 Global Burden of Diseases (GBD), there are approximately 21 lakh  estimated to be living with HIV in India and the percentage of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment currently stands at a mere 25.82% as against the global percentage of 41%.

  • The Union ministry of Health affairs said HIV and AIDS Bill, 2014 will bring legal accountability and establish a formal mechanism to probe discrimination complaints against those who discriminate against such people. It seeks to prevent stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

These amendments will allow families that have faced discrimination to go to court against institutions or persons being unfair. It also requires that no person shall be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order.

It lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV-positive persons and those living with them is prohibited. These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to employment, educational establishments, health care services, residing or renting property, standing for public or private office, and provision of insurance.


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

  1. Disquiet over Cauvery’s flows
  • When the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) proposed the setting up of a Cauvery Management Board, it did so for very good reasons. During monsoon deficit years, the pattern of flows in the different sub-basins will not match the schedule of water deliveries worked out on the basis of normal year readings. The CMB was conceived as a body that would monitor the storage position in the Cauvery basin and the trend of rainfall, and assess the likely inflows for distribution among the States.
  • The tribunal was emphatic in its final award: the CMB is integral to the resolution of disputes, between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and also Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and Tamil Nadu and Kerala, over the schedule of releases for irrigation downstream. For the Central government to now oppose the setting up of the CMB, taking cover under Article 262 of the Constitution and the provisions of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 that forbid the Supreme Court from intervening in inter-State water disputes is little more than a streak of twisted logic. Indeed, the Section of the 1956 Act that gives the orders of tribunals set up by the government under it the same force as an order of the Supreme Court is being invoked not to strengthen the orders of the Cauvery tribunal but to subvert one of its crucial recommendations.
  • The Supreme Court’s direction to the Centre to constitute the CMB was in keeping with the tribunal order, and not in contravention of it, as the government was trying to make it appear.
  • The fact that the Centre did such a hasty U-turn on the CMB while making its submission in the Supreme Court suggests that political factors may have been at play. The Assembly election in Karnataka, where the BJP has high stakes, is less than two years away. In contrast, Tamil Nadu, where the BJP has no real base, has recently concluded its election. If there is a good legal argument against the setting up of the CMB, it is that a larger, three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court is already seized of the matter. Tamil Nadu’s plea to constitute the CMB had been clubbed along with the main appeal filed challenging the 2007 final award of the CWDT.
  • In the short term, the Supreme Court’s acceptance of the suggestion that a technical team visit the Cauvery basin and report back on the ground realities seems to be the only certain way of depoliticising the dispute. But any long-term solution will necessarily have to be on the basis of the well-thought-out recommendations of the CWDT, and the mechanism provided for the sharing of waters in a year of distress.

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Nobel Prize
  • International court of justice (ICJ)
  • Water management board
  • Inter-State river water disputes act, 1956
  • River boards act, 1956 – Cauvery water management board
  • Arab spring – Syrian crisis


International Court of Justice (ICJ)

H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following islands have experienced highest coral bleaching so far due to climate change?
a) Kirbatti islands

b) Marshall islands

c) Cook islands

d) Palau islands

Question 2: Which of the following islands is/are a part of Cauvery river basin?
  1. Srirangapatnam
  2. Srirangam
  3. Shivanasamudram

a) (1) & (2) only

b) (1) & (3) only

c) (2) & (3) only

d) All 3 are correct

Question 3: In 2015-16, which country overtook Mauritius on FDI inflows, accounting for US$13.7 Bn, which was more than one third of all FDI coming into India?

a) Singapore

b) U.K.

c) Netherlands

d) Maldives

Question 4: Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) is related to
a) Human papiloma virus (HPV)

b) Hepatitis

c) Human Immuno deficiency virus (HIV)

d) None of these

Question 5: Consider the following statements regarding International Court of Justice (ICJ) :
  1. It is the primary judicial branch of the UN
  2. It settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by UN General Assembly.

Which are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

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