Comprehensive News Analysis – 10 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. SC modifies National Anthem order, exempts differently abled

C. GS3 Related:

1. 1,903 tourists stranded in Andamans rescued

2. Industrial output shrinks 1.9% as manufacturing contracts

3. India reports fishery subsidies; aims to protect ‘poor’ fisherfolk

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

The Hindu

1. Cash need not be king

Indian Express

1. Going digital

PIB

1. Cyclonic Storm, VARDAH over southeast Bay of Bengal:

2. Mr. Ashton Carter, US Secretary of Defence calls on Prime Minister

3. President of the National Assembly of Vietnam calls on PM

4. Indigenous handicrafts are a cherished aspect of the Indian way of life, says President

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. SC modifies National Anthem order, exempts differently abled

Category: Polity and Governance    

Topic: Judiciary

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court has exempted physically challenged or physically handicapped persons from standing up in cinema halls when the national anthem is played before film screenings.
  • It is important to note that on November 30, the Supreme Court had ordered cinema halls to mandatorily play the national anthem and had directed all those present there to stand up to show respect.
  • The court remarked that the practice would instil a feeling of committed patriotism and nationalism.
  • However, the order had not specified any exemption for disabled people unable to stand up.
  • A bench of justices clarifying the November 30 order said that the term “physically-handicapped persons” would specifically mean those coming under Sections 2(i) and 2(t) of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. 1,903 tourists stranded in Andamans rescued

Category: Disaster Management   

Topic: Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Key Points:

  • Around 1,903 stranded tourists were evacuated from Havelock and Neil Islands on 9th Dec, 2016 by the Andaman and Nicobar Administration, and brought back to Port Blair.
  • Fortunately, contrary to the warning issued by the Andaman State Disaster Control Room, the cyclone Vardah did not cause major damage as it moved north-northwestwards.
  • In a day long evacuation operation, 1600 stranded tourists in Havelock and Neil Islands were evacuated by the Directorate of Shipping, four Naval vessels and MI-17, Pawan Hans Helicopters as well as Coast Guard vessels.


  1. Industrial output shrinks 1.9% as manufacturing contracts

Category: Indian Economy    

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • Owing to a fall in output in manufacturing, capital goods and mining, Industrial production shrank 1.9 per cent year-on-year in October.
  • This was a fall from a high base of 9.9 per cent growth in October last year.
  • It is significant to note that the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which represents the general level of industrial activity in the economy, had grown by 0.7 per cent in September after contracting for two consecutive months of July (-2.5%) and August (-0.7%).
  • In the wake of the recent demonetization initiative, industrial output is widely expected to be further impacted with production seen hurt by the effect of withdrawal of high-value currency notes.

 

  1. India reports fishery subsidies; aims to protect ‘poor’ fisherfolk

Category: Indian Economy    

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • A U.S.-led group of nations had been demanding for a ban on subsidies given for illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
  • It is amid these demands that, India has notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the subsidies it pays fisherfolk.
  • This U.S.-led group, named ‘Friends of Fish’, is seeking a ban on subsidies given for IUU fishing, citing the rising global demand for fish and the consequent increase in ‘unsustainable’ fishing. 
  • It is important to note that according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s ‘State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture’, almost a third of commercial fish stocks are now fished at biologically unsustainable levels. These levels are currently triple the level of 1974.

India’s Concerns

  • India, among other countries, has expressed apprehensions that the demand for a ban on subsidies for IUU fishing could lead to a prohibition even on fishing that could be termed non-IUU.
  • This could, in turn, harm the interests of lakhs of subsistence fisherfolk in poor and developing nations.
  • It is also significant to note that currently there is no unanimity among WTO members on what constitutes IUU fishing.


D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Cash need not be king

Category: Indian Economy    

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • There have been recent initiatives taken by the Government, aimed at encouraging cashless payments. These initiatives are significant not just because they can alleviate the cash crunch following the demonetisation of high-value notes. But also, due to the fact that they could spur a change in spending habits in an economy where cash has served as the basis of around 95 per cent of all transactions.

The two initiatives

1] Firstly, the Government has declared an incentive package to encourage non-cash payments for fuel, new insurance policies from public sector firms, train tickets and highway toll, among other things.

2] Secondly, for credit and debit card transactions up to Rs.2,000, the Reserve Bank of India has relaxed its stringent two-factor authentication requirement, and service tax stands waived.

  • It is important to note that the use of cash creates a window to escape the tax net.
  • In contrast to this, cashless payments can be captured electronically through the settlement mechanisms, bringing more revenue to the government and ensuring consumer rights.
  • When we factor in India’s low tax base, this recent initiative towards cashless payments could be a game-changer, with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax.

 

Indian Express

  1. Going digital

Category: Indian Economy     

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • The recent initiatives taken by the government to move towards a digital economy by incentivisation is a move in the right direction. 

The two initiatives:

1] Firstly, the Government has declared an incentive package to encourage non-cash payments for fuel, new insurance policies from public sector firms, train tickets and highway toll, among other things.

2] Secondly, for credit and debit card transactions up to Rs.2,000, the Reserve Bank of India has relaxed its stringent two-factor authentication requirement, and service tax stands waived.

Challenges:

  • The electronic infrastructure space is still under-developed in India.
  • Technology governance is weak and cash will continue to play a significant role just as it does in developed countries.
  • The e-infrastructure today is woefully inadequate to serve the people in semi-urban and rural areas.
  • Internet penetration is low at 30 per cent, and smartphone penetration lower at 17 per cent.
  • Further, in rural India, small establishments do not have Point Of Sale (POS) terminals and even those that have them not only give discounts on cash purchases but also charge extra on a card transaction.
  • The next issue is that of internet blackouts.
  • There have been a large number of Internet blackouts across a dozen states in the last three years.

 

PIB

  1. Cyclonic Storm, VARDAH over southeast Bay of Bengal:

Category: Geography, Disaster Management     

Topic: Cyclones  

Key Points:

  • The cyclonic storm, VARDAH over southeast Bay of Bengal has moved north-northwestwards.
  • The system is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours.
  • The system is very likely to move initially northwestwards, then west-northwestwards and cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Kakinada around afternoon/evening of 12th December 2016. However, there is possibility of slight weakening of the system before landfall.


  1.  Ashton Carter, US Secretary of Defence calls on Prime Minister

Category: International Relations    

Topic: Agreements involving India  

Key Points:

  • Prime Minister Modi appreciated the contribution made by Secretary Carter in strengthening the defence cooperation between India and the United States.
  • PM Modi reaffirmed India’s commitment to a robust and strong bilateral strategic partnership with the US.  
  • PM Modi and Secretary Carter also exchanged views on regional issues and the developments in the Asia Pacific region. 

 

  1. President of the National Assembly of Vietnam calls on PM

Category: International Relations   

Topic: Agreements involving India 

Key Points:

  • Prime Minister Modi welcomed increased Parliamentary interactions between India and Vietnam, and called for instituting an exchange programme for young parliamentarians of the two countries. 
  • The Prime Minister also said that the bilateral Agreement on Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, will further strengthen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and Vietnam.

 

  1. Indigenous handicrafts are a cherished aspect of the Indian way of life, says President

Category: Polity and Governance    

Topic: Government Initiatives   

Key Points:

  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented on December 9, 2016, the National Awards and Shilp Guru Awards to master craftspersons for the year 2015.
  • The President applauded the efforts of the Ministry of Textiles to promote, through these important awards, the creation of master pieces of art and make India a hub of master craft persons.
  • It is important to note that the growth in handicraft exports at 16 percent in 2015-16 is an indication of the importance this sector is assuming in our export basket.
  • Proactive steps are needed to realize the full potential of this sector.
  • Promotion of products in both domestic and international markets would expand its geographic reach, achieve economies of scale and make production more viable.
  • Policy support will be necessary to evolve profitable market linkages and ensure easier access to bank credit.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Point Of Sale (POS) terminals
  • UN Food and Agriculture Organisation
  • State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • IUU fishing


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: The ‘State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture’, is released by which among the following organizations? 

a) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

b) United Nations Industrial Development Organization

c) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

d) United Nations Development Programme

Question 2: Consider the following statements, 
  1. U.S.-led group, named ‘Friends of Fish’, is seeking a ban on subsidies given for IUU fishing, citing the rising global demand for fish and the consequent increase in ‘unsustainable’ fishing.
  2. India, among other countries, has expressed apprehensions that the demand for a ban on subsidies for IUU fishing could lead to a prohibition even on fishing that could be termed non-IUU.

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. The major objective of PMKSY is to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level, expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water, enhance the adoption of precision-irrigation and other water saving technologies (More crop per drop).
  2. It also focuses on enhancing recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices.

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. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (Traditional Farming Improvement Programme) has been launched by Government of India to support and promote organic farming and thereby improving soil health.
  2. This will encourage farmers to adopt eco-friendly concept of cultivation and reduce their dependence on fertilizers and agricultural chemicals to improve yields.

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. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is a crop insurance scheme has been launched to cater the financial needs of the farmers in the events of crops destroyed by heavy rain, other natural calamities, pests or diseases.
  2. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana will be implemented through the multy-agency framework selected by the insurance companies under the overall guidance & control of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India (GOI).

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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