Comprehensive News Analysis – 11 March 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Rajya Sabha passes long-awaited Bill to protect homebuyers

2. Suu Kyi ruled out as President, close aide nominated instead

C. GS3 Related:

1. India’s sixth navigation satellite, IRNSS-1F, placed in orbit

2. Finally, a bacterium that degrades polluting plastics identified

3. Cabinet approves new pricing policy for hard-to-reach, deep sea gas fields

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

The Hindu:

1. Azaadi from a colonial rule book

2. Action plan to fix public sector banks

Indian Express:

1. Thumbs His Nose I

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
G. Practice Questions
H. Archive

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

— Nothing here today, folks! —

 

B. GS2 Related

1. Rajya Sabha passes long-awaited Bill to protect homebuyers

Topic: Governance

Category: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

Location: The Hindu, Page 01

RealEstate-RS_2770104f

Key Points:

  • The Rajya Sabha passed a landmark Real Estate Bill with a promise to secure the interests of homebuyers and developers in equal measure and remove corruption and inefficiency from the sector.
  • Real estate contributes nine per cent to the national GDP and the Bill’s passage was seen as crucial to ensuring better regulatory oversight and orderly growth in the industry.

Highlights:

 

  • Previously, in the absence of a regulatory authority, real estate deals were largely done on faith or based on the experience of friends and family.
  • One of the significant aspects of the Bill is the definition of “carpet area”.
  • Buyers will now be paying only for the carpet area and not the super built-up area which was fraught with confusion earlier.
  • Developers will now have to take consent of 66 per cent of the homebuyers in case they have to increase the number of floors or change the building plans. This will protect the buyers from any ad-hoc changes that are a norm presently.
  • The builders would also be responsible for fixing structural defects for five years after transferring the property to a buyer. In case consumers fail to make payments to developers, the appellate tribunal can fine them, too.
  • The Real Estate Bill will renew investors’ confidence and ensure timely completion of projects and create more opportunities. In this way, it will help in achieving the target of ‘Housing For All’.

 

2. Suu Kyi ruled out as President, close aide nominated instead

Topic: International Relations

Category: India and its neighborhood- relations

Location: The Hindu, Page 18

htin_kyaw_2769325f

Key Points:

  • Htin Kyaw,is the favoured presidential candidate of Myanmar’s ruling party.
  • He is among Nobel peace prize laureate Suu Kyi closest friends, and Suu Kyi trusts him to run the country as her proxy.
  • Suu Kyi cannot become the president of Myanmar as the constitution inherited from the military junta bans her from the top office because her children are British citizens, as was her late husband.

 

C. GS3 Related

1. India’s sixth navigation satellite, IRNSS-1F, placed in orbit

Topic: Science and Technology

Category: Awareness in the fields of Space, indigenization of technology

Location: The Hindu, Page 12

IRNSS_2769358g

Key Points:

  • ISRO put into orbit India’s sixth dedicated navigation satellite, the IRNSS-1F
  • The satellite was launched on-board India’s workhorse launch vehicle, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
  • The Independent Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India and the region extending up to 1,500 km from the border.
  • With this launch, India inches closer to having its own navigation system (like a GPS).
  • The navigation payload of IRNSS-1F will transmit navigation service signals and will operate in the L5 band and S band. The ranging payload consists of a C-band transponder that facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellites.

 

2. Finally, a bacterium that degrades polluting plastics identified

Topic: Science and Technology

Category: Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

Location: The Hindu, Page 17

Key Points:

  • A bacterium species called polyethylene terephthalate (PET) — has been identified by a team of Japanese researchers.
  • This has the capability of breaking down plastic.
  • The bacterium uses two enzymes in sequence to break down the highly biodegradation-resistant polymer PET.
  • A unique bacterium — Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, degrades PET using two enzymes that act on it in sequence. First, the bacterium adheres to PET and produces an intermediate substance through hydrolysis. The second enzyme then works with water and acts on this intermediate substance to produce the two monomers — ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid — used for making PET through polymerisation.

 

3. Cabinet approves new pricing policy for hard-to-reach, deep sea gas fields

Topic: Indian Economy

Category:  Changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth

Location: The Hindu, Page 19

Key Points:

  • The Union Cabinet approved a new pricing formula for gas discoveries made in difficult-to-access areas.
  • The formula will be based on a weighted one-year average of prices of fuel oil, naptha and imported coal.
  • A proposal is under consideration for new discoveries and areas which are yet to commence production, first, to provide calibrated marketing freedom and second, to do so at a pre-determined ceiling price to be discovered on the principle of landed price of alternative fuels.
  • The Cabinet also approved the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP). The highlights of the new policy involve granting explorers a uniform license for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbons. The previous policy required a separate license for each type of hydrocarbon.
  • The new policy also incorporates an open acreage policy wherein exploration and production companies will be allowed to choose the blocks they want to use from the designated area.
  • In addition, the policy moves towards an easier revenue-sharing mechanism from the current profit-sharing mechanism.

 

D. GS4 Related

— Nothing here today, folks! —

 

E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

The Hindu:

1. Azaadi from a colonial rule book

Topic: Indian Polity

Category: Indian Penal Code

Location: The Hindu, Page 14

Key Points:

  • Most major Indian laws are legacies of the British.
  • Apart from the Indian Penal Code or IPC (1860), there is the Indian Evidence Act (1872), the Indian Contract Act (1872), the Transfer of Property Act (1882), the General Clauses Act (1897), the Code of Civil Procedure (1908). Even the Code of Criminal Procedure (1898), which was overhauled in 1973, has a British legacy.
  • In recent times, two provisions of the IPC have been in the news- Section 377 and Section 124A. While Section 377 embodies a form of colonial morality, drawn from Victorian England, Section 124A was enacted to preserve the reputation of the colonial government in the eyes of its subjects.
  • While upholding the constitutionality of sedition, the Supreme Court restricted its operation to incidents inciting towards, or leading to, public disorder.This is directly at odds with the language of Section 124A, and has failed entirely to prevent abuse at the level of the police and lower judiciary.

A need for a relook

  • The problems with the IPC cannot be solved in a piecemeal manner by taking isolated sections of the code and attempting to modernise them.
  • It is for the legislature to take a comprehensive relook at the IPC and introduce reforms that do not merely tinker at the edges but transform the very philosophy of the penal law in a manner that is consistent with our constitutional principles.  

 

2. Action plan to fix public sector banks

Topic: Indian Economy

Category: Government Budgeting, Banking Sector

Location: The Hindu, Page 14

Key Points:

The bloated levels of stressed assets in India’s state-owned banks have been a big cause for concern for quite some time now.

The RBI is convinced that banks should clean up their books so that legacy issues are dealt with once and for all

This would enable them to move forward with a clean slate.

Capital need is just a subset, or consequence, of the larger malaise of inefficiency that has been hurting these public sector banks for a long while now.

The Way Forward

  • The decision to set up a Banks Board Bureau, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, is a significant move forward.
  • The board could yet be an effective mechanism to end political interference in business procedures and decision-making in banks.
  • An empowered independent bureau such as this could help reset the concept of an arm’s-length relationship in public sector banking.
  • Once ownership is delinked from management, fixing accountability becomes that much easier.
  • This can foster a decision-making framework that privileges business sense.
  • It is, however, important to ensure that systems are in place to make the autonomous functioning of this bureau sustainable.

Need for a bankruptcy code

  • A bankruptcy code is long overdue, and it would help banks pursue recovery action purposefully.
  • A tough regulator and a stingy government appear to have combined forces tacitly to lay the groundwork for possible M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activity in the Indian banking space.
  • It is commendable that there is a concerted effort to clean up the ecosystem to ensure fair play in the banking field.

 

Others:

Indian Express:

3. ‘Thumbs His Nose I’

Topic: Indian Polity, Governance

Category: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

Location: The Indian Express, Page 14

Key Points:

  • As the Art of Living (AOL) Foundation’s World Culture Festival gets underway amid controversy, the spotlight will be on the regulatory system, which has been shown up to be lax and compromised.

Issues of Concern

  • The venue did not have fire safety and security clearances.
  • The quality of construction, especially the stage, was suspect. No traffic plan was in place to manage the crowd expected on the roads connecting Delhi to trans-Yamuna colonies and Noida.
  • The Delhi Pollution Control Committee was clueless about the construction debris and waste likely to be left behind by the congregation.
  • Though the Yamuna is the primary source of drinking water for people living in Delhi, the city has seldom cared for the river’s life.
  • Administrators eye the river’s floodplains as real estate to be exploited.
  • If untreated sewage from the city killed the river, mega constructions like the Akshardham temple complex and the Commonwealth Games Village have irrevocably tampered with its course and aquifers.

 

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:

I. Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP)

II. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

III. Banks Board Bureau

IV. Independent Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)

V. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following statements regarding the ‘National Green Tribunal’ is incorrect?

a. The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts.

b. The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 1 year of filing of the same.

c. The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.

d. Both a) and c) are incorrect.

 

Question 2: Which of the following statements regarding the ‘IRNSS’ is correct?

a. IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by India.

b. It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area.

c. Some of the applications of the IRNSS are, Aerial and Marine Navigation, Disaster Management, Mapping and Geodetic data capture, etc.

d. All of the above

 

Question 3: 3] Consider the following statements regarding the process of ‘hydrolysis’:
  1. It is a chemical process in which a molecule is cleaved into two parts by the addition molecule of water.2. A common kind of hydrolysis occurs when a salt of a weak acid or weak base (or both) is dissolved in water.

Which among the above statements is/are correct?

a)1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None of the above

Question 4: Consider the following statements regarding the ‘Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’ (PSLV):

 

  1. Due to its unmatched reliability, PSLV has also been used to launch various satellites into Geosynchronous and Geostationary orbits, like satellites from the IRNSS constellation.

2. PSLV earned its title ‘the Workhorse of ISRO’ through consistently delivering various satellites to Low Earth Orbits, particularly the IRS series of satellites.

3.PSLV uses an Earth storable liquid rocket engine for its second stage, known as the Vikas engine.

Which among the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 Only

b) 2 and 3 Only

c) All of the above

d) 1 and 3 Only

Question 5: Consider the following statements regarding ‘Fractional Distillation’:

a. It is a process by which components in a chemical mixture are separated their different boiling points.

b. The primary process for separating the hydrocarbon components of crude oil is fractional

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

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