Comprehensive News Analysis - 08 January 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Turf tussle sets L-G against CM in Puducherry

2. India-Myanmar border trade hit by blockades

3. India, Portugal sign defence agreement

4. India can emerge a superpower: Suriname

5. Verma to quit as envoy to India before Jan. 20

C. GS3 Related:

1. ‘Gujarat will be defence services hub’

2. ATM, credit cards will become irrelevant by 2020, says Kant

3. Tea exports may dip on Kenya’s bumper crop

4. What is 3D Graphene?

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

The Hindu

1. Health-care data is ailing

PIB

1. Shri Vijay Goel delivers key note address at Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Bengaluru, Karnataka

2. Dr. Jitendra Singh release 2017 Calendar of North Eastern Council

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
B. GS2 Related
1. Turf tussle sets L-G against CM in Puducherry

Category: Polity and Governance  

Topic: Center-State Relations   

Key Points:

  • In Puducherry, there appears to be a simmering discord between Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy.

Background of events

  • The Lt. Governor of Puducherry had initiated WhatsApp groups earlier to pass on instructions to officials.
  • A Pondicherry Civil Services cadre official reportedly posted a lewd video on one of the WhatsApp groups.
  • The Lt. Governor then suspended the Pondicherry Civil Services cadre official.
  • The official was detained by police and later summoned to Raj Nivas for an explanation.
  • The Lt. Governor then subsequently suspended the official and also directed police to book a case under Section 67-A of the IT Act.
  • The bureaucracy then decided to exit the Lt. Governor’s WhatsApp groups after a delegation of officials failed to convince Ms. Bedi to withdraw the suspension.
  • The state government then came out with a circular dated January 2, 2017, prohibiting officials from using social media for “interaction with seniors bypassing the administrative hierarchy and routine official channel”.
  • Though the circular cited security risks, it was a virtual no-brainer that the move was intended as a rebuff to the Lt. Governor.
  • Further, the Election Commission of India stayed the Lt. Governor’s suspension order as the official happened to be serving as an Electoral Registration Officer.
  • The ECI categorically stated that the official, in his capacity as an electoral officer, is subject to “control, superintendence and discipline of the Commission under Section 13CC of the Representation of People Act, 1950”.
  • It went on to add that the Lt. Governor should have taken the Commission into confidence before placing the official under suspension, particularly when the publication of the final electoral rolls was imminent.
  • In response to this, the Lt. Governor cancelled the government circular prohibiting the use of social media as it “has been issued in contravention of guidelines, rules, and policies, etc., in force”.


  1. India-Myanmar border trade hit by blockades

Category: International Relations

Topic: India and her Neighbourhood- Relations

Key Points:

  • Border trade between India and Myanmar, was legalised in 1995.
  • Unfortunately, this border trade has virtually come to a halt thanks to recurring blockades, general strike and other forms of disturbances.
  • Apart from highway robberies and rampant extortion by militant outfits, trade has fallen victim to unlawful activities. 
  • In fact, traders and officials have said that if the situation does not improve, they may have to shift the trading centre elsewhere.
  • The most likely destination appears to be Mizoram as there is no law and order problem there.

 

3. India, Portugal sign defence agreement

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • In an effort to boost joint production and development of niche weapons systems, India and Portugal on 7th January, 2017 entered into a defence agreement.
  • This defence agreement is one among seven agreements sealed during the Delhi visit of Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa. It is important to note that Portugal has supported India’s multilateral plans in various technology regimes including Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
  • In fact, this agreement that has been signed follows Portugal’s support to India’s multilateral plans in various technology regimes including Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) where India secured membership in 2016. Prime Minister Modi has invited Portuguese companies to ‘Make in India’ and set up joint ventures and commercial partnerships based on joint production and technology transfer.
  • Costa had earlier announced that his family shared personal ties with India. “It is a great honour for me to be back in India, my father’s country, as the Prime Minister of Portugal,” he said on Twitter. Reciprocating his comments, Mr. Modi said, “You are neither a stranger to India, nor is India unfamiliar to you.”
  • Modi presented Mr. Costa with a copy of a novel by the late Goan novelist Orlando Costa, father of the visiting Prime Minister.

 

  1. India can emerge a superpower: Suriname

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • In a recent development, Suriname Vice-President Michael Ashwin Adhin has said that India should transfer nature-friendly technology to Suriname to enable it to compete in the global market.
  • Adhin went on to add that, “Transformation of India implies an influential India at the global-level and there has to be a greater economic and technological cooperation. Any contribution by the Indian diaspora to India should be mutually beneficial,”
  • The 36-year-old Vice-President recited verses in Sanskrit during his nearly 15-minute address- he quoted from the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads.
  • It is important to note that Indians account for 30 per cent of Suriname’s population and hold key positions in the society of Suriname.

 

  1. Verma to quit as envoy to India before Jan. 20

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • S. Ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma, who is a political appointee of the Obama administration, and also the first Indian-American to hold the post, is set to demit office before January 20 when Donald Trump takes over as President.
  • It is important to note that Mr. Verma played a key role in the congressional passage of the civil nuclear deal.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. ‘Gujarat will be defence services hub’

Category: Indian Economy   

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • The Vibrant Gujarat Summit, which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 10 will have defence equipment manufacturing and international finance services as the main focus areas. 
  • Aiming to attract investment in aerospace and defence design, development and manufacturing, the government has announced Aerospace and Defence Policy-2016, offering a slew of benefits and incentives. 
  • It is important to note that after 2008, Gujarat emerged as a preferred hub for car-makers, with Ford, Honda and Suzuki opening factories in the State. 
  • Under the policy, tax incentives like reimbursement of stamp duty and exemption from the Value Added Tax and interest subsidy on borrowings are available to those seeking to set up R&D centres or manufacturing units in the State.

 

  1. ATM, credit cards will become irrelevant by 2020, says Kant

Category: Indian Economy   

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • NITI Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant recently stated that with the adoption of technology and the kind of disruption happening in the digital payments space, ATM cards and POS would become redundant by 2020.
  • Kant was talking at a session organised as part of the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
  • He also said that the country can use technology to leapfrog various issues in areas such as education, health, among others. 
  • He believes that India is in the midst of huge disruption in the world of both financial technology and in terms of social innovation.

 

  1. Tea exports may dip on Kenya’s bumper crop

Category: Polity and Governance, Science and Technology  

Topic: Government Initiatives, Healthcare

Key Points:

  • It is reported that tea exports, after showing a healthy rise by volume and value in 2015-16, may decline this fiscal year due to a bumper crop in Kenya and lower prospects in some key markets.

Some important statistics

  • Between April and October 2016, exports stood at 119 million kg against 127 million kg of the same period in 2015.
  • India exported 232.9 million kg in 2015-16, rising by 17 million kg over the previous year and breaching the 230-million-mark for the first time since 1980-81.
  • According to Sujit Patro, secretary, Indian Tea Association, lower exports to Russia (annual purchases of about 45 million kg), the U.K., the U.S., Bangladesh and Pakistan may cause the decline.

 

  1. What is 3D Graphene?

Category: Science and Technology  

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • Graphene is one of the strongest materials known to man.
  • But, due to the fact that it is extremely thin, Graphene hasn’t lent itself to practical use.
  • However, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said they had designed a 3D version of the material by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon. 
  • One of the variants of the lightweight material is only 5 per cent as dense as steel, but 10 times stronger.

 

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
1. Health-care data is ailing

Category: Polity and Governance, Science and Technology   

Topic: Government Initiatives, Healthcare

Key Points:

  • Evidence suggests that data pertaining to health care in India is significantly compromised in terms of its quality, its periodicity and coverage.
  • In addition to this, “there is a visible discrepancy between the type of information available and what is required by health planners, medical scientists and researchers,” says a recent paper by the Health Team of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), New Delhi.
  • It has been well recognised and acknowledged by government officials that the data collection system in India needs to be completely revamped.
  • This is because different data sources lead to different conclusions.
  • Thus, as an example, if you want to know the proportion of births that were delivered by caesarian section in a private health facility of Andhra Pradesh, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 will say it is 57 per cent but the Health Information System of the National Rural Health Mission 2015-16 pegs it at around 42 per cent.

The Way Forward:

  • It has been suggested that in order to ensure that we get credible and reliable data, systemic concerns must be taken into consideration.
  • Figuring out why the data was collected often hints towards how it was collected. 
  • To strengthen data quality, the NIPFP paper makes four suggestions. These changes are as follows:
    a) the definitions for various indicators need to be standardised across surveys, even if conducted by different organisations.
    b) Second, the best way to data is to ensure routine capturing of disaggregated data, without duplication of forms and formats to reduce the efforts of data producers.
    c) Third, stakeholders and decision- makers will have to place a positive value on data in order to use it in decision-making. This can be generated by building a positive experience using information to support a decision and through proper training.
    d) Fourth, the capacity building of staff needs to be a focus area, providing them with necessary skills.

PIB

  1. Shri Vijay Goel delivers key note address at Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Bengaluru, Karnataka

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • Minister of state (I/C) for youth affairs and Sports Shri vijay Goel has said that the Government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi  has embarked on the mission of building a united, strong and modern India – “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat”, following the principle of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”. 
  • He said  ‘Make in India’ campaign has been launched to develop India as a global manufacturing hub. ‘Digital India’ initiative seeks to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
  • ‘Skill India’ has being launched to impart necessary skills to prepare Indians for the opportunities in Indian Economy as also the opportunities abroad.
  • A number of initiatives, including Smart Cities Project, have been launched for developing infrastructure. ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ and ‘Clean Ganga’ Mission have been launched for building a clean and green India.
  • Shri Goel said the youth are indeed the most dynamic and vibrant segment of the population in any country.
  • India is one of the youngest nations in the world, with about 65% population under 35 years of age.
  • It is expected that by the year 2020, the population of India would have a median age of 28 years only as against 38 years for US, 42 years for China and 48 years for Japan.
  • Shri Goel said his Ministry is engaged in the noble task of developing the personality and leadership qualities of the youth by involving them in community service and various nation-building activities.
  • This is being done, inter-alia, through two youth volunteering organisations, namely, National Service Scheme (NSS) and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS).

 

  1. Jitendra Singh release 2017 Calendar of North Eastern Council

Category: Polity and Governance   

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • Dr Jitendra Singh released the 2017 Calendar of the North Eastern Council on 6th January, 2017.
  • The North-East Council Calendar for 2017 carries the theme of “seasonal fruits” in different parts of the year. 
  • Jitendra Singh announced the formation of exclusive “North-Eastern Tourism Development Council” (NETDC) on a public-private partnership (PPP) mode under the auspices of Union Ministry of DoNER.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Graphene
  • Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016 : Salient Features


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following countries are located in the Iberian Peninsula?

A) Portugal

B) Spain

C) France

D) All the above

Question 2: Indian Army recently finalized the procurement of M777 Howitzer artillery guns. It is manufactured by which country?

A) Sweden

B) USA

C) Israel

D) Russia

Question 3: Rohingya refugees frequently in news belong to which state of Myanmar?

A) Rakhine

B) Shan

C) Kachin

D) Mandalay

Question 4: Consider the following statements,
  1. MTCR was created in order to curb the spread of unmanned delivery systems for nuclear weapons.
  2. It specifically targets delivery systems that could carry a payload of above 500 kg or for a distance of more than 300 km.
  3. India is yet to become a member of MTCR

A) 1 only

B) 2 only

C) 1 & 2 only

D) 2 & 3 only

Question 5: Consider the following statements,
  1. Graphene is one of the strongest materials known to man.
  2. Recently a 3D version of Graphene was designed by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon.

    Which of the following statements is/are correct?

    A) 1 only

    B) 2 only

    C) Both 1 & 2

    D) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

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