Comprehensive News Analysis – 07 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Mongolia seeks support against China’s ‘blockade’

2. Bernard Cazeneuve replaces Manuel Valls as French PM

3. No big deals likely on Carter’s trip

C. GS3 Related:

1. Fog, pollution choke Capital; more in store, warns MeT

2. Pradhan moots Asian buyers forum to counter OPEC clout

3. Betwa will be made seaworthy: Navy

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

The Hindu

1. Airing out a decision

2. Working with the right numbers

The Indian Express

1. After the toppling

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

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. Mongolia seeks support against China’s ‘blockade’

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • In an important development, after Mongolia hosted the Dalai Lama in November this year, China has hiked tariffs on Mongolian trucks passing through Chinese territory.
  • The Mongolian ambassador to India, Gonchig Ganbold, has remarked that, “India should come out with clear support against the difficulties that have been imposed on Mongolia by China, which is an overreaction to the religious visit by His Holiness Dalai Lama.”
  • He went on to add that Mongolian vehicles are being arbitrarily charged for over-land transit and China’s province of Inner Mongolia has begun to charge trucks carrying minerals a provincial tariff.
  • He further went on to add that with winter temperature already around minus-20 degrees, this transport obstruction by China is likely to create a humanitarian crisis in Mongolia as these measures will hurt the flow of essential commodities.

 

  1. Bernard Cazeneuve replaces Manuel Valls as French PM

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was named the country’s new Prime Minister on 6th Dec, 2016 after Manuel Valls resigned.
  • Manuel Valls resigned to seek the Socialist nomination in next year’s presidential election.
  • Cazeneuve, will head the Socialist government until the election in May.
  • Cazeneuve was named to the post after President Francois Hollande accepted Mr. Valls’ resignation.
  • An aide to Mr. Hollande mentioned that Mr. Cazeneuve has a good knowledge of the security issues and the fight against terrorism, which are the government’s priorities.

 

  1. No big deals likely on Carter’s trip

Category: International Relations   

Topic: Agreements involving India

Key Points:

  • S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter will be in India this week on 8th Dec, in one of the last visits from a cabinet member of the outgoing Obama administration.
  • This visit will give an opportunity for the two governments to review the progress achieved in deepening defence ties over the last three years before the change of administration in the U.S.

Key Highlight of the Visit

  • It is important to note that, the highlight will likely be the finalisation of the provisions for the ‘Major Defence Partner’ status. The U.S. had designated the ‘Major Defence Partner’ status to India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in June this year.
  • Also, it is important to note that the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA) has not been operationalized. Reasons attributed to this is because each service has their own system in place for accounting and payments. However, efforts are on to put in place a unified system.
  • Also, several rounds of discussions have been held on two other agreements, namely a) Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), and b) Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). But, unfortunately, no progress is expected as of now.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. Fog, pollution choke Capital; more in store, warns MeT

Category: Environment and Ecology   

Topic: Conservation, Air Quality 

Key Points:

  • The MeT department has forecast a fresh spell of fog and smog in New Delhi in the coming days.
  • Doctors in the city have cautioned people against the effects of pollution, including watery eyes caused by the smog. It is important to note that high pollution levels could lead to eye infections and irritation.
  • Further, the most common problems due to the pollution are redness, burning, itching, watering, dry or gritty sensation or allergic reactions, which can cause vision loss, especially in complicated cases.

Fog and its effects:

  • Fog is a visible mass consisting of cloud water droplets suspended in the air or near the Earth’s surface. The presence of heavy and extended period fog in the northern regions of India is one of the major weather hazards, impacting aviation, road transportation, economy and public life in the world’s most densely populated region.
  • Recent studies on fog in India during the past 10-15 years have prompted significant socio-economic concern due to increase in frequency, persistence and intensity of fog occurrence over the northern parts of the country. Land use changes and increasing pollution in the region are responsible for growing Fog occurrence.

A new initiative:

  • The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has taken up a multi-institutional initiative to conduct an intensive ground-based measurement campaign in Delhi over this winter to understand the different physical and chemical features of fog and factors responsible for its genesis, intensity and duration.

Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX):

  • The objectives of the Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX) are to develop better now-casting (next 6 hours) and forecasting of winter fog on various time and spatial scales, and help reduce its adverse impact on aviation, transportation and economy, and loss of human life due to accidents. WIFEX was conducted in a pilot mode at IGIA during last winter, and will be continued during December 2016 till February 2017.
  • The main scientific objective of this project is to study the characteristics and variability of fog events and associated dynamics, thermodynamics and fog microphysics, with the aim to achieve better understanding of fog life cycle and ultimately improve capability in fog prediction.

 

  1. Pradhan moots Asian buyers forum to counter OPEC clout 

Category: Indian Economy     

Topic: International Trade

Key Points:

  • Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has recently mooted the idea of a large Asian LNG buyers forum.
  • This Asian LNG buyers forum would negotiate more equitable trade deals and balance the influence of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
  • This development assumes significance in light of the ongoing increase in oil prices resulting in an adverse impact on the Indian exchequer and the government’s commitment to move towards a gas-based economy.

 

  1. Betwa will be made seaworthy: Navy

Category: Science and Technology    

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • The Indian Navy has said that INS Betwa, the frigate which recently keeled over at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, will be salvaged and made battle-ready.
  • In an official statement, “the Navy shall ‘upright’ the ship and make her operational in the shortest possible time.”

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Airing out a decision

Category: Science and Technology   

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • It is important to note that every defense procurement proposal has three basic constituents:
  1. the first is the Services Qualitative Requirements (SQR) of the item to be bought.
  2. Next is the ‘categorisation’ or the way the item is to be procured,
  3. And last is the grant of ‘acceptance of necessity’ of the competent authority.
  • Thereafter, the request for proposal (RFP) is floated to eligible firms to bid for the equipment. Thus, it is important to note that the SQRs are at the cornerstone of an acquisition proposal.
  • Further, it is important to note that ‘Qualitative Requirements’ are of two types, depending on the categorisation of the case. If the project is under the ‘Make’ (in India)category, since the equipment is being indigenously designed a Preliminary SQR (PSQR) is generated.
  • For all other categorisations an Air SQR, NSQR (for the Navy) or GSQR (Army) is made.

 

  1. Working with the right numbers

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives  

Key Points:

  • Recently, an Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), consisting of representatives from 28 countries including India, met in Geneva.
  • They met to finalise the categorisation of indicators across the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
  • It is important to note that in India, Health and nutrition are two areas where achievements have not been quite up to the mark during the previous era of Millennium Development Goals(MDGs).
  • Significantly, in the Global Hunger Index, India is ranked 97th among a total of 118 countries. This statistic signifies a high level of hunger and undernutrition.

 

The Way Forward

  • Firstly, there is a need to transform civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems in India.
  • Currently, India relies on sample registration and surveys to track mortality-related goals because of inadequate coverage of its Civil Registration System (CRS). This needs to be addressed.
  • It is imperative to ensure universal registration of births and deaths by the year 2020. This was promised in the “Vision 2020” plan announced in 2014.
  • It is suggested that the existing sample surveys that collect data at the national level should be assessed for their comprehensiveness.
  • It is important to conduct a comprehensive assessment of existing surveys with the aim of streamlining a set of health and nutrition indicators to continuously track the national targets.
  • The national Health Management Information System (HMIS), which serves as the backbone for monitoring results of the National Health Mission, needs reform.

 

 The Indian Express

  1. After the toppling

Category: Science and Technology   

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • Recently, two sailors lost their lives when the navy’s missile frigate, INS Betwa, toppled over while undocking at a Mumbai dockyard.
  • Professional salvers, from foreign countries have been called to assess the extent of damage and salvage the Rs 600 crore ship.
  • It is important to note that no professional navy in the world has had to face the ignominy of a ship falling off while docking and Indian shipyards have done this process multiple times with much heavier ships. 
  • Indian Navy sources refuse to blame the accident on poor infrastructure, equipment or processes. 
  • Accountability is an essential feature of any responsive organisation, and it becomes even more critical in the case of the military.
  • Finally, it is important to note that the navy has gone on record that the INS Betwa, which was commissioned into service in 2004, will be salvaged and made battle-ready in the stipulated time-frame of the medium refit.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
  • Health Management Information System
  • Civil Registration System (CRS)


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which among the following institutions publishes the ‘Global Hunger Index’?
a) International Food Policy Research Institute

b) World Trade Organization (WTO)

c) International Monetary Fund (IMF)

d) United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Question 2: Consider the following statements,
  1. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), is a constituent unit of Department of Atomic Energy.
  2. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), is working on the research and development of the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR).

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. Fog is a visible mass consisting of cloud water droplets suspended in the air or near the Earth’s surface.
  2. The objectives of the Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX) are to develop better now-casting (next 6 hours) and forecasting of winter fog on various time and spatial scales, and help reduce its adverse impact on aviation, transportation and economy, and loss of human life due to accidents.

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: Consider the following statements,
  1. One of the objectives of National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) is to encourage the development of organic farming and organic processing.
  2. Organic products are traded only through issuance of Transaction Certificates (TCs) wherein the product identity and traceability is maintained. The TCs are issued only by the accredited Certification Bodies.

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. ‘Labour’ is a subject included in the Concurrent List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.
  2. Under the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, both Central and State Governments are appropriate Governments to fix, review and revise the minimum wages for different categories of workers employed in the scheduled employment under their respective jurisdictions.

Which of the following statements is/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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