Comprehensive News Analysis - 12 April 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. Maha Kumbh Mela – Ujjain

B. GS2 Related:

1. Health cover: Too little, too scarce

2. Maldives thanks India for support; India, Maldives sign pacts on taxation, defence

3. Yemen ceasefire takes hold

C. GS3 Related:

1. NITI Aayog plans new planning framework

2. Bharti’s payments bank unit gets final RBI nod

3. NIA seeks Interpol red-corner notice against Masood

4. Link between Paris and Mumbai attacks?

5. Three cars with explosives seized near Kerala temple

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

The Hindu:

1. Clearing the smoke on LPG reform

The Indian Express:

1. Is India a secular nation?

Others:

1. The Economic Times:Welcome hydrocarbon initiative in Iran

2. Business Standard:Coping with water wars

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

1. Maha Kumbh Mela – Ujjain

Topic: Culture

Category: Festivals

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

                                 A gathering of devout

kumbh mela

Tags: Kumbh Mela

 

B. GS2 Related

1. Health cover: Too little, too scarce

Topic: Governance

Category: Statistical Data

Location: The Hindu

Nsso data

Key points:

NSSO Release

  • The survey found that 72 per cent of the treatment provided in rural areas and 79 per cent in urban areas was availed in the private sector
  • In the previous round of this survey, the corresponding figures were 78 per cent in rural areas and 81 per cent in urban areas, which shows that the overall share of public sector saw a slight increase
  • The rural population spent, on an average, Rs.5,636 for hospitalised treatment in a public sector hospital and Rs.21,726 at a private sector hospital

Tags:NSSO

 

2. Maldives thanks India for support; India, Maldives sign pacts on taxation, defence

Topic: India’s Neighbours

Category: Indo- Maldives relations

Location: The Hindu, The BusinessLine

Key points:

  • Visiting Maldivian thanked India for “protecting” his country from possible punitive actions from the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG)
  • CMAG had been asking Maldives to move towards genuine democracy
  • The govt. of Maldives drew international criticism in November, 2015 after a national emergency was declared ahead of a big wave of protests against the president
  • Both sides signed two pacts on taxation. One pact is for avoiding double taxation of income derived from international air transport and the other is for exchange of information with respect to taxes.
  • Both sides also signed an action plan for defence cooperation
  • Tags: Maldives, CMAG

 

3. Yemen ceasefire takes hold

Topic : World Affairs

Category: Yemen unrest

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • A UN-brokered ceasefire was taking hold in Yemen despite sporadic clashes
  • Forces loyal to President of Yemen, the Shia Houthi rebels who drove his government out of the capital, and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that intervened in Yemen last year all pledged to honour the truce
  • The conflict has ruined large parts of the country and raised tensions in West Asia, with Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies backing the government and Shia powerhouse Iran supporting the rebels
  • Jihadists including from alQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the powerful Yemeni branch of the extremist network, have taken advantage of the conflict to seize territory and gain influence

Tags:AQAP, Yemen, UN

 

C. GS3 Related

1. NITI Aayog plans new planning framework

Topic: Economy

Category: planning

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

 

  • NITI Aayog, the government’s policy think tank, is working on a sector-based medium-term planning framework
  • The new planning framework could replace five-year plans, the last of which is set to end in 2016—17
  • It is possible to synchronise with the finance commission cycle, the financial approval of schemes and projects of both the central and state governments according to finance ministry officials
  • The government had constituted a committee for proposing a new format of budget statements and account as a measure to revamp the budgeting system

Tags: NITI Aayog

 

2. Bharti’s payments bank unit gets final RBI nod

Topic: Economy

Category: Banking

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd (subsidiary of Bharti Airtel) has become the first entity to receive final approval from the RBI to start a payments bank
  • the banking regulator granted in-principle licences to 11 entities to start payments banks
  • The ‘in-principle’ approval was valid for 18 months, during which time the applicants were asked by RBI to comply with the licensing norms

Tags: payment bank, RBI

 

3. NIA seeks Interpol red-corner notice against Masood

Topic: Security

Category: Intelligence sharing

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

 

  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has approached the Interpol for a red-corner notice against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf and two others for their alleged role in the attack on Pathankot airbase
  • A red corner notice already exists against Azhar for orchestrating the 2001 Parliament attack

Tags: NIA, Interpol, red corner notice

 

 

5. Three cars with explosives seized near Kerala temple

Topic: Disaster Management

Category: Explosives

Location: The Hindu

paravur tragedy

Tags:IPC, NHRC

 

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

The Hindu

1. Clearing the smoke on LPG reform

Topic: Governance

Category: Governmental Interference

Key points:

  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)-the Rs.8,000-crore scheme aims to provide subsidised LPG connections to about 60 per cent of BPL households

(five crore households in three years)

  • 75 crore Indians, especially women and girls, are exposed to severe household air pollution (HAP) from the use of solid fuels such as biomass, dung cakes and coal for cooking
  • HAP is the second leading risk factor contributing to India’s disease burden
  • In this background, the real test of the PMUY and its successor programmes will be in how they translate the provision of connections to sustained use of LPG
  • First the cost factor- BPL household would have to spend up to Rs.5,000 each year on LPG even at current subsidized prices — in addition to a one-time cost of Rs.1,800 for the connection — which may be unaffordable to many
  • The PMUY has proposed payment in installments for stoves and cylinders to address this challenge, which is welcome
  • increasing LPG subsidies for the first few cylinders bought in a year by BPL households would be helpful
  • Second, the distribution system needs to be strengthened
  • It requires a large extension of distribution networks, especially in rural areas, since each rural distribution agency typically caters to fewer customers than urban agencies.
  • DBT can be effectively used for transfer of subsidy
  • Ensuring reliable supply is also likely to require strengthening the refining, bottling and pipeline infrastructure
  • The scheme should be accompanied by a focused public relations campaign, to build awareness and create a “demand pull”, not only for clean cooking but also for good service
  • Finally, while the PMUY targets only BPL households, there is a need to widen the net for two reasons: one, because of known inclusion and exclusion errors in BPL lists, and two, because BPL may be a narrow definition of deprivation and many non-BPL households may also not be able to afford LPG connections

Tags: PMUY, BPL, DBT

 

The Indian Express

1. Is India a secular nation?

Topic:Polity

Category: Secularism

Key points:

The Supreme Court observations

  1. “..if religion is not separated from politics, the religion of the ruling party tends to become the state religion.”
  1. “India till now is a secular country… we do not know for how long it will remain a secular country.”

Why we need secularism?

India’s survival as a multi-religious, multilingual, multiracial, multicultural society will depend on how successful it is in working its secularism. No society can prosper or be at peace with itself if one-fourths of its population feels neglected, deprived and unwanted. Need of the hour.

  1. Define the word “secular”. Since secularism has been declared as a part of the basic  structure of the Constitution, governments must be made accountable for implementing it.
  1. Define the word “minority”. The concept of secularism is based on recognition and protection of minorities. The two cannot be separated.
  1. Set up a commission on secularism for ensuring adherence to the constitutional mandate on secularism by an amendment of the constitution and presided over by a former chief justice of India.
  1. Separation of religion from politics.

The Constituent Assembly (Legislative) had passed an explicit resolution on the subject as far back as April 3, 1948.

Other Measures

 Right to propagation of religion is not a right to conversion. This has been stressed by Courts in recent times. A possible solution can be amendment of Article 25 to delete the word “propagation”. –

  Do away with much contested protection to minority educational institutions.

 Deletion of the provision for prohibition of cow slaughter. Article 48, though a part of the directive principles, has now been elevated in public discourse to the level of a fundamental right. This has created stress in drought hit areas of rural India.

  Two basic electoral reforms

  1. Making voting compulsory.
  1. Making 50 per cent plus one vote necessary to win an election

 

Others:

1. The Economic Times: Welcome hydrocarbon initiative in Iran

Topic: Governance

Category: Governmental Interference

Key points:

  • India has offered to invest up to $20 billion in new petrochemicals complexes, fertiliser plants and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in hydrocarbons-rich Iran
  • adequate land is also being sought in the Chabahar Special Economic Zone, and is also seeking long-term natural gas supplies on mutually attractive terms
  • Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel by far and Iran, which has the world’s second-largest gas reserves, is geographically close to western Indian ports
  • It is also a fact that natural gas accounts for a lowly share — barely 9% — in our commercial energy mix
  • There is also  the pressing need to firm up joint-venture fertiliser plants in Iran using cheap feedstock.
  • It would meet our domestic deficit for nitrogenous fertiliser and also provide for exports
  • It is also welcome that New Delhi and Tehran have reportedly decided to finalise how best to develop the Farzad-B gasfield in Iran, which was discovered by ONGC Videsh (OVL)

 

2. Business Standard:Coping with water wars

Topic: Environment

Category: Water crisis

Key points:

  • monsoons will be increasingly variable due to global warming. So the water crisis is going to become worse in the coming years
  • What can be done?
  • The first is to set a priority for water use, according to states, regions and cities
  • The highest priority use would attract the lowest tariff and suffer the least cut.  The lowest priorities, such as watering the cricket stadia, would pay a tariff several times higher and would receive water up to a prescribed limit
  • A concept of water-wheeling, along the lines of power-wheeling needs consideration.  Low priority users could be provided water on the condition that they augment the region’s resources elsewhere by twice the amount they are provided by setting up facilities for desalination
  • The need for crop diversification cannot be overemphasised.  Shift away from flood-irrigated paddy and water-intensive sugarcane are both possible and desirable
  • growing a kg of rice uses up 5,000 litres or more of water and a kg of sugar some 2,000 litres
  • Use basins wisely- small bunds can be created at various locations in almost all river basins.  Creating an inventory of these must be of the highest priority
  • Linking river basins are also a potential that should not be overlooked
  • A comprehensive water policy is the need of the hour
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • NIA
  • PMUY
  • Payment Bank
  • NHRC
  • NITI Aayog
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following are true?
  1. The NITI Aayog has replaced the Planning Commission in India
    2. The five year based planning is to be abandoned

3. A bottom up approach of planning is to be followed

a) 1 only

b) 1 and 2

c) 2 and 3

d) All the above

Question 2:Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a social sector scheme to provide:

a)electricity  to all Indian habitations

b)LPG connections to BPL households

c)vocational training to rural youth

d)self employment to rural women

Question 3:Which of the following are true about DPSPs?
  1. They are directives to state and central governments
  2. They are enforceable in a court of law

a. 1 only

b. 2only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 4: Which of the following are true about Kumbh Mela?

1. It is held in Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain in rotation

2. The major event of the festival is ritual bathing

a. 1 only

b. 2only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 5:Which of the following are Caspian sea facing countries?

1.Iran
2.Azerbaijan

3Uzbekistan

4Turkmenistan

a. 1 and 2

b. 1 , 2 and 4

c. 1, 2 and 3

d. 2, 3 and 4

Check Your Answers

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