Comprehensive News Analysis – 07 September 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. LED lamps to boost rural economy

2. Centre’s mega fund to support irrigation

3. 2016 G-20 Summit

4. Enrica Lexie case

5. WHO declares Sri Lanka Malaria-free

C. GS3 Related:
D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

The Hindu

1. The Grumbling face of G-20

2. Cauvery crisis

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 for Today!!!!

 

B. GS2 Related

 

1.LED lamps to boost rural economy Category: Polity and Governance Topic:Government Initiatives Key Points:

  • The Union government plans to enable assembly and manufacturing of LED lights at rural areas by tapping the 2.29 lakh Common Service Centers (CSCs) in the country to boost rural economy. The Union Telecom and IT minister said CSCs can be a great system for generating revenues and employment in rural India. The government plans to bring all the LEDs by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL).
  • The government, through CSCs will also provide in rural regions, Tele-consultation services for animal healthcare as well as legal issues. Kits for testing of diseases such as malaria and dengue will also be made available at these centers.
  • The minister also launched a scheme under which IIT courses will be taught to students in village using CSCs. CSCs have also tied up with IT companies like TCS and Siemens for skill development courses.
  • The government plans to create 2.50 lakh. If one CSC employs 10 people, these centers can generate employment for 25 lakh people. Pointing out the importance of CSCs, the minister said these centers provide digital access and services in those areas where digital connectivity is not available.

Overview:

  • Common Service Centers (CSCs) – CSCs are multiple services single-point model for providing facilities for multiple transactions at a single geographical location. The main purpose of these centres is to provide a physical facility for delivery of e-Services of the Government of India to the rural and remote locations where availability of computers and Internet is currently negligible or mostly absent.
  • The introduction of e-Governance on a massive scale is part of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the Union government of India. It is a strategic component of the National e-Governance Plan and is implemented as an Integrated Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan. CSC is a low cost vehicle for Government institutions to deliver e-Governance services to the rural population of India in ‘Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent’ (SMART) and most cost-effective manner.
  • An LED lamp is a light-emitting diode (LED) product which works on the principle of Electro-luminescence. LED lamps have a lifespan and electrical efficiency which are several times longer than incandescent lamps, and significantly more efficient than most fluorescent lamps.
  • UJALA – Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for all is implemented by the Union Ministry of Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy for the LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP) and is being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
  • It aims to replace the existing 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs and is currently implemented in 12 States. The LED bulbs results in energy savings of more than 2.66 crore kWh every day and has helped avoid peak demand of over 1944 MW. This has helped in reduction of over 21,550 tonnes of CO2 per day which is estimated to have a cost savings of Rs 10.64 crore per day.
  • Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is a joint venture of state-run power companies; it is responsible for implementation of Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP). It has reduced the prices of LED bulbs by 75%.

 

2. Centre’s mega fund to support irrigation Category: Polity and Governance Topic: Government Initiatives Key Points:

  • India’s apex rural-development bank – NABARD will manage a Rs. 77,000-crore corpus as part of a Central government plan to complete 99 unfinished irrigation projects across the country by 2019, and bring water to 76.03 lakh hectares. The origin of the scheme can be traced to the 2016-17 Budget speech of the Union Finance minister; it involves completing 149 projects overdue since 1997.
  • The plan covers the drought and suicide-prone districts first and also, incentivizes States who complete their projects before time.
  • The key hindrance for the completion of the Irrigation projects was the States lacked funds to complete projects but now rules have been amended to allow them to get loans from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for their projects. Through NABARD, the government will provide 15-year loans at 6% interest and ensure that a project is sanctioned only if panchayats and local water-use associations are closely involved.
  • 99 project scheme – It is projected to be completed by December 2019, it is part of an over-arching Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) launched to help farmers have efficient access to water and introduce sustainable water-conservation projects. An irrigation potential of 24.39 lakh hectares was created through these projects and benefited 25 States.

Overview:

  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) – It aims to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level with an outlay of Rs.50,000 crores for a period of 5 years (2015-16 to 2019-20).
  • PMKSY has been formulated by integrating the ongoing schemes – Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation; Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) of Department of Land Resources; and On Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. It is implemented in an Area development approach, adopting decentralized state level planning and projectised execution. PMKSY allows the states to draw their irrigation development plans based on district/blocks plans with a horizon of 5 to 7 years. States can take up projects based on the District/State Irrigation Plan.
  • Coverage: All the States and Union Territories including North Eastern States

 

3. 2016 G-20 Summit Category: International Relations Topic: International Institutions Key Points:

  • The 11th meeting of the G-20 was held at Hangzhou, province of Zhejiang in China. It is the first ever G20 summit to be held in China. The final communiqué of the summit had the following themes: A global fight against tax evasion with the assistance of OECD which has a black list of tax havens, Encouraging international trade and investments and opposition to protectionism, Innovation and Fiscal stimulus to boost economic growth, Support for refugees and combating populist attack against globalization.

G20 leaders commit to early ratification of UNFCCC-Paris climate deal –

  • The G20 members reiterated commitment to sustainable development, strong and effective support and actions to address climate change and decided to complete their domestic legal formalities for the ratification of Paris climate deal as soon as their national procedures allow. This would provide more time to India to work out its own strategy keeping up with its developmental goals.
  • India came under pressure to ratify the deal after China and the US responsible for around 40 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions ratified the agreement ahead of the G20 summit and handed over their countries’ instruments of joining the agreement to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. India is still in the process of developing its industry amid its over 7 per cent growth rate, the highest in the world at present, and wants to expand its manufacturing in a big way. The NITI Aayog’s chief Aravind Panagariya, India’s Sherpa at the Summit said India and several other countries believe they cannot ratify the deal due to various legal impediments. He further said that India was not ready in terms of domestic actions to ratify before 2016 end, but will do so at the earliest.
  • The Paris Agreement has charted the course for post-2020 global cooperation against climate change, and it indicates that a cooperative, win-win, equitable and fair climate governance mechanism is being shaped. The G-20 countries affirm the importance of fulfilling the UNFCCC commitment by developed countries in providing means of implementation including financial resources to assist developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation actions in line with Paris outcomes. It further recognized the importance of the support provided by the Green Climate Fund and welcomed the G20 Climate Finance Study Group Report on promoting efficient and transparent provision and mobilization of climate finance to enhance ambition of mitigation and adaptation actions.

Indo-French bilateral: Scorpene data breach echoes on the sidelines of G20 –

  • Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi took up the issue related to the breach of sensitive data regarding the French Scorpene submarines being built in India during the meeting with French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the G20 summit. The sensitive information seepage was reported by the Australian newspaper. PM of Australia, Mr. Turnbull has received assurances from Mr. Hollande regarding the submarines that Australia is set to acquire from France in the aftermath of the data leakage of the Scorpene.
  • Mumbai based ship builder Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) is building six Scorpene submarines with technology transfer from France.
  • Modi on counter-terrorism at G 20 – Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi lauded the G20 initiative on countering terror financing, pointing out that that all countries should meet the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards. Without naming Pakistan directly, he used the G-20 forum to assert that one single nation in South Asia is spreading agents of terror, amid calls for the imposition of sanctions against those who sponsor the menace.

Overview:

  • G-20 is a forum of countries and central bank governors from 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union. Collectively, the G-20 economies account for around 85% of the gross world product (GWP), 80% of world trade (or if excluding EU intra-trade: 75%), and two-thirds of the world population.
  • Paris pact: The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP 21 was held in Paris, France. The conference negotiated a global agreement on the reduction of climate change – the Paris Pact. It will enter into force when joined by at least 55 countries which together represent at least 55 percent of global greenhouse emissions. The UNFCCC members agreed to reduce their carbon output as soon as possible and to do their best to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees C which helps in combating climate change.

 

4. Enrica Lexie case Category: International Relations Topic: Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Key Points:

  • At the first ministerial meeting held between India and Italy after four and half years on September 4 in Rome, Italy urged India to allow the two marines, accused in the Enrica Lexie oil tanker case to remain at home. During the meeting both sides appreciated the mature behaviour displayed during the negotiation for the return of the marines, accused of killing two fishermen in 2012, off the coast of Kerala. The Italian side conveyed that the presence of the two marines in Italy was conducive to restarting high level exchanges in all fields. The 2 countries reviewed the state of bilateral relations and discussed the future roadmap of cooperation in trade and investment, science and technology, counter terrorism, cultural exchange and other areas of mutual interest. They also agreed to expand cooperation between Italy and India in multilateral fora.
  • The Italian request reduces the possibility of the return of Massimiliano Latorre, one of the marines, to meet a Supreme Court deadline of September 30. Mr Latorre was allowed to return to Italy on medical grounds after he suffered a stroke in 2014. He was given an extension in April by the Supreme Court. Following this, Salvatore Girone, the other accused marine, also returned in May, 2016 even as the case was taken up by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
  • The Italian government has faced considerable pressure previously from the opposition parties who have highlighted the marines issue for the autumn referendum for the future of the Italian Senate. However, the Italian government is seeking a political solution so that the issue is prevented from erupting before the referendum.

Note – Following the return of the marines, Italy has supported India on membership to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). However, Italy’s position on India’s demand for a permanent membership at the UN Security Council remains unresolved.

 

5. WHO declares Sri Lanka Malaria-free Category: International Relations Topic: International Institutions Key Points:

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Sri Lanka Malaria-free, after certifying that the life-threatening disease had been completely eliminated in the island. WHO said the achievement is truly remarkable amidst the fact that in the mid-20th century Sri Lanka was among the most malaria-affected countries. Sri Lanka has, despite the protracted civil war that ravaged the country, set high standards in public health and sanitation in South Asia, though the island has been witnessing considerable privatisation in the last decade.
  • In regard to Malaria, India is in the control phase, but is working to reach pre-elimination by 2017 and to complete elimination thereafter, according to a 2015 WHO report.

Overview: Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease affecting humans and other animals caused by Plasmodium type parasitic protozoans. It is spread by mosquitoes, most commonly transmitted by an infected female Anopheles mosquito.

 

C. GS3 Related

Nothing Here for Today!!!!

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing Here for Today!!!!

 

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

 

The Hindu

 

  1. The Grumbling face of G-20

Category: International Relations Topic: International Institutions Key Points:

  • A noble mission of far-sighted global cooperation to avoid a looming economic crisis brought together a doughty group of nations, representing 85 per cent of the world’s GDP and two-thirds of its population, under the banner of the G20. However, after the dark days of the 2008 crisis inspired then-freshly-elected U.S. President Barack Obama to take over the reins of financial regulatory reform, the annual gathering of the group has, it would appear, degenerated into a publicity opportunity for divergent national concerns. As Hangzhou played host to the G20 meeting, there were reports that the Chinese government had emptied the city of its original inhabitants for the duration of the summit – an act that seemed symbolic of the final communiqué of the G20 itself, pretty on the outside but lacking in substance. Among the major issues that found mention in the summit was the question of excess steel capacity in China resulting in a flood of cheap imports into India, the U.K. and other economies. Despite reports of resistance from China to any mention of steel policy coordination in the 7,000-word communiqué, the document had a “call for increased information sharing and cooperation through the formation of a Global Forum on steel excess capacity”.
  • Climate change was the other major agenda point. Notwithstanding Mr. Obama’s disappearing dream of securing full global support for the Paris Agreement before his second term ends, a symbolic show of solidarity towards this goal in the form of the U.S. and China ratifying the Agreement last week failed to produce any dramatic commitments in Hangzhou. Contrarily in India, media reports struck a note of relief that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s negotiators had fobbed off any attempts to insist that the deal be done before a December 2016 deadline. Numerous low-key objectives shared by multiple G20 members, such as strengthening enforcement against international tax avoidance and advancing cooperation on OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, certainly got a shot in the arm from this G20 gathering. Yet, there is no comparison to the patchy and vague nature of progress in these smaller goals to the collaboratively evolved financial regulation architecture that emerged from the ashes of the 2008 meltdown and put the brakes on excessive risk-taking by banks. This only begs the question: has the G20 lost its way, outlived its usefulness? Would it be more institutionally efficient to revert to other regional groupings that have overlapping conversations on these very subjects? It may well be time to re-examine the G20’s purpose and, if necessary, recast its vision and mission entirely.

 

  1. Cauvery crisis

Category: Polity and Governance    Topic: Judiciary, Tribunals Key Points:

  • With the Southwest monsoon falling short in 2016-17, the story of any other monsoon-deficient year is being repeated: Tamil Nadu rushing to the Supreme Court citing the crisis faced by its farmers, the court ordering release of some water, and protests erupting in Karnataka. The reason for this endless cycle of sporadic litigation and ad hoc adjudication is that the two States continue to avoid any mutual engagement to share the shortfall during distress years. And there is no permanent, independent mechanism to ensure this. The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, which gave its award in 2007, has asked the parties to share the deficiency on a pro rata basis. However, a major problem in implementing this aspect is the absence of a ‘Cauvery Management Board’ and a Regulatory Authority, which the Tribunal had wanted created to oversee implementation. Instead, after notifying the final award in 2013, the Union government set up a Supervisory Committee comprising officials from the Union government and the Central Water Commission and representatives of both States. The court has now asked Tamil Nadu to approach the committee, which will decide on further releases.
  • The Supreme Court’s direction, when implemented, will ensure about 13 thousand million cubic (tmc) feet of water to Tamil Nadu over 10 days. This will not be adequate to save the entire samba crop, Tamil Nadu leaders argue, while their Karnataka counterparts contend that this itself is a huge burden, given the State’s own storage deficit. It is understandable that the political leadership of any State would not want to be seen as betraying the interests of its farmers. Yet, the desire to protect one’s own interests should not shut out empathy for one’s neighbour. Ideally, any distress-sharing formula should come from a technical body. It would have helped if the Centre, which dilly-dallied for six years before notifying the final award under a judicial direction, had set up the Cauvery Management Board and Regulatory Authority. In the longer term, experts will have to devise a sustainable agricultural solution for the Cauvery basin, as the river does not seem to have the potential to meet the farming requirements of both sides. In a world of depleting water resources, fewer crop seasons and lower acreages, a resort to less water-intensive crops and better water management hold the key. Non-political initiatives, such as the ‘Cauvery Family’, a body formed a few years ago covering farmers of both States, could help disperse the clouds of hostility that gather over the border whenever the Cauvery crisis erupts. Politics and passion should not be allowed to hold sway.

 

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Cauvery Management Board
  • Enrica Lexie oil tanker case
  • G20 summit
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
  • National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)

 

G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS Links to Refer
World Health Organisation (WHO) http://www.who.int/en/

 

H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following statements regarding ‘Green Climate Fund’ is/are correct?
  1. It is intended to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
  2. It is founded under the aegis of UNEP, OECD, Asian Development Bank and World Bank

a) Only 1 b) Only 2 c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 2: The Paris agreement adopted in the Conference of Parties (COP) in 2015 will come into force provided it is signed by?
a) 51 UNFCCC parties accounting for atleast 51% of the Green House Gas emissions b) 51 UNFCCC parties accounting for atleast 55% of the Green House Gas emissions c) 55 UNFCCC parties accounting for atleast 55% of the Green House Gas emissions d) 71 UNFCCC parties accounting for atleast 77% of the Green House Gas emissions

 

Question 3: Inter-state water dispute tribunals are formed according to -

  a) Article 262 of the Indian constitution b) States re-organization act, 1956 c) Article 263 of the Indian constitution d) None of these

 

Question 4: Which of the following is/are the advantage/advantages of practicing drip irrigation?
  1. Reduction in weed
  2. Reduction in soil salinity
  3. Reduction in soil erosion

Select the correct answer using the code given below. a) 1 and 2 only b) 3 only c) 1 and 3 only d) None of the above is an advantage of practising drip irrigation

 

Question 5: On which of the following can you find the Bureau of Energy Efficiency Star Label? 
  1. Ceiling fans
  2. Electric geysers
  3. Tubular fluorescent lamps

Select the correct answer using the code given below. a) 1 and 2 only b) 3 only c) 2 and 3 only d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Check Your Answers

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