Comprehensive News Analysis – 12 January 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Kenya for enhanced ties with India

2. Sushma fumes as Amazon sells Tricolour mats

3. Rajapaksa opposes terms of China-funded projects

C. GS3 Related:

1. Hope Island becomes graveyard for Olive Ridleys

2. Air India to hold seats for women

3. NITI Aayog projects 8% growth rate

4. ‘April 1 still the target for GST’

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

The Hindu

1. Farewell with a message

2. The Champaran example

3. Missing the Asian tail wind?

Indian Express

1. Rain shadow south

PIB

1. India and Israel committed to strengthen bilateral relations in the field of Agriculture

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. Kenya for enhanced ties with India

Category: International Relations    

Topic: Bilateral Relations

Key Points:

  • Kenya on 11th January, 2017 staked claim for Africa to a seat at the proposed expanded UN Security Council, even as it supported India’s campaign for U.N. reform.
  • Kenyan President President Uhuru Kenyatta urged India to intensify multilateral cooperation and sought investment in the agriculture, security and health sectors of Kenya. 
  • It is important to note that Kenya in recent months has highlighted that Africa, despite its enormous size and complexity, has not secured a permanent seat in the Security Council.
  • Strengthening India-Kenya ties on the multilateral front, Mr. Kenyatta has invited India to engage more intensely at COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa). Reciprocating, India invited Kenya to participate in theInternational Solar Alliance.
  • Both India and Kenya have sealed an agreement on a Line of Credit of $100 million for agricultural mechanisation.

 

  1. Sushma fumes as Amazon sells Tricolour mats

Category: International Relations   

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

Key Points:

  • India on 11th January, 2017 threatened visa boycott against global e-tail giant Amazon for selling doormats bearing the image of the national flag.
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced on social media that the company officials would be denied visas if these doormats were not withdrawn.
  • Sushma Swaraj went on to add that Amazon must tender an unconditional apology.

 

  1. Rajapaksa opposes terms of China-funded projects

Category: International Relations   

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

Key Points:

  • Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 11th January, 2017 opposed the Sri Lankan government’s terms for a controversial Chinese-funded port and investment zone in the southern district of Hambantota, by saying that the projects displaced people and harmed the environment.
  • It is important to note that Mr. Rajapaksa’s comments come less than a week after 21 people were injured in violent clashes in Hambantota, between government supporters and locals who oppose the project citing “takeover of private land” for the industrial zone, in which China will have a major stake. 

 

C. GS3 Related
1. Hope Island becomes graveyard for Olive Ridleys

Category: Environment and Ecology  

Topic: Conservation

Key Points:

  • In an unfortunate development, carcasses of Olive Ridley turtles are washing ashore on beaches.
  • This indicates that the breeding cycle of the endangered species has been dealt a severe blow this year by mechanised fishing boats.
  • Though the egg laying has not yet begun, personnel from the wildlife wing of the Forest department have spotted 54 carcasses on the shores of Hope Island in just one month.
  • The turtles, which are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, commence their journey from the Indian Ocean during their mating season in October and November.
  • When they reach the Bay of Bengal, the females lay eggs on the beaches. Even as the destination for a majority is Gahirmatha in Odisha, the sandy stretches of Hope Island of the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary have turned into a breeding area for a few hundred turtles every year.

 

  1. Air India to hold seats for women

Category: Indian Economy   

Topic: Industry

Key Points:

  • It has been reported that national carrier, Air India, will soon reserve six seats in the front rows of its aeroplane fleet for women passengers for their safety — without any extra charges.
  • This is perhaps the first time in the world that seats will be reserved only for women passengers on planes in such a manner.

 

3. NITI Aayog projects 8% growth rate

Category: Indian Economy 

Topic: Planning

Key Points:

  • NITI Aayog has estimated a growth rate of 8% for 2016-17
  • The Aayog had stated that a large number of reforms by the present government over the past two years created a ‘strong foundation’ for such a growth trajectory.
  • The NITI Aayog then went on to state that much needed to be done to spell out tax laws clearly so that future investors can assess their liabilities with reasonable certainty.

 

  1. ‘April 1 still the target for GST’

Category: Indian Economy 

Topic: Taxation

Key Points:

  • Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley recently said that the government was committed to implementing the Goods and Service Tax (GST) from April 1 this year.
  • He also stressed that all contentious issues over which the Centre and the states are on disagreement will be resolved in the next few weeks.
  • Significantly, he went on to add that, “One Nation One Tax regime will lead to a seamless and hassle-free transfer of goods and services in country. Implementation of GST will improve and expand India’s economy,”

 

C. GS3 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
1. Farewell with a message

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • S. President Barack Obama addressed the American people one last time before demitting office.
  • Obama, who is also the 44th President of the U.S. used his final address to urge Americans to rebuild trust in democratic institutions by reducing the corrosive influence of money in politics 
  • Obama was aware that over his policy agenda, the polarisation of the electorate turned even more bitter.
  • It is important to note that Mr. Obama inherited an economy that was buckling under a severe economic recession.


Important developments under Obama

  • Iran nuclear agreement
  • Reestablishing diplomatic ties with Cuba, the death of Osama bin Laden
  • Passage into law of the Affordable Care Act

In conclusion, the U.S.’s first African-American president will be remembered as a thoughtful Commander-in-Chief-  a leader who strived to provide a progressive template for being, and a man of the 21st century who was as comfortable with social media and popular culture as he was sensitive to searing pain of victims of gun crime or racial hate. 

 

2. The Champaran example

Category: Modern History  

Topic: Indian National Movement

Key Points:

  • It may be instructive to revisit Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran movement of a hundred years ago.
  • This movement was a political campaign operating in an environment that was much more hostile than today’s.
  • But, yet it not only brought lasting reform but also managed to do so without alienating the opposition.
  • It is important to note that in Champaran, Gandhi used the subtle art of political persuasion to bring about lasting change that was acceptable to all sides.

Background:

  • In Champaran, relations between the government, British planters and the peasants had been problematic for many decades, primarily due to the oppressive system of forced indigo production and unfair rents.
  • In April 1917, Gandhi arrived at the scene not to lead an agitation but with the stated purpose of merely studying the problem.
  • Gandhiji adopted a strategy of not only remaining on the right side of the law throughout his stay, but he also took pains to maintain respectful relations with the local officials and the planters. 
  • At one point Gandhiji even wrote to the District Magistrate suggesting that the policemen who had been following him might as well come forward and assist him in his tasks was announced which included Gandhi as the representative of the peasants..
  • The provincial government, reluctant at first, had to eventually give in.
  • In June, a commission was announced which included Gandhi as the representative of the peasants.
  • In October, the commission recommended abolishment of the forced indigo cultivation, a major victory for the peasants.
  • But it had also allowed planters some face-saving relief.
  • Resultantly, instead of opposing the recommendation in unison, planters were divided and their political party, Bihar Planters Association, left in disarray.
  • Eventually two planters took each other to court over these reforms.
  • It was a momentous achievement, one that rightly catapulted Gandhi to the helm of national politics. 

 

3. Missing the Asian tail wind?

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • It is important to note that there has been a tectonic shift in the global geopolitical economy, to which powers such as the U.S., China and Russia have responded.
  • Till 1757, India was the richest country with its wealth based on textile export: India clothed the world. The choices we made enabled the British to secure the “Diwani” of Bengal.
  • In 1950, India was richer than China; now it is a fifth the size of the Chinese economy. 
  • China will soon surpass the U.S. as the largest economy, and a young and digital India can overtake China by 2050. How do we achieve our potential?
  • In the west, India’s investment of $500 million in the Chabahar port, mooted some years ago, is minuscule compared to China’s investment of $46 billion in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)ending in Gwadar, a port just 100 miles away.  
  • In South Asia, only Bhutan can still be considered to be in our “sphere of influence”.
  • An important question that policy makers in India need to ask themselves in “with two-thirds of global wealth soon going to be in Asia, can we achieve our potential without being deeply integrated into the Asian market?” 
  • It is important to note that in the global economy, digital flows are now adding more wealth than goods and services.

Significance of OBOR

  • OBOR spans more than 65 countries, three-quarters of known energy resources, envisages an investment of $4 trillion and is estimated to cover two-thirds of the global population and GDP.
  • India alone in continental Asia does not support the OBOR.
  • China’s national goal is to double its 2010 GDP and per capita income by 2020 for which the OBOR is considered essential. China is keen that India join that initiative, providing the opportunity to reset relations.
  • It has been suggested that we should become a partner in the OBOR adding a “Digital Sustainable Asia” component.


Indian Express

1. Rain shadow south

Category: Geography

Topic: Monsoon  

Key Points:

  • On 11th January, 2017, the state of Tamil Nadu declared a drought.
  • The state government also announced that more than 140 farmers took their lives between October and December 2016 because of crop failure. 
  • It is important to note that the northeast monsoon — critical to the southern peninsula, particularly Tamil Nadu — has been a failure.
  • The situation has serious implications for crops like paddy and coconut and will impact milk and sugar production, especially in Karnataka.
  • In fact, the poor northeast monsoon, this year, is a double blow for the southern states. 

Implications:

  • The deficit in the northeast monsoon is likely to have implications for the economy. 
  • It may also accentuate inter-state river disputes, especially the sharing of Cauvery waters.
  • So far, less than a third of the drought hit areas in Karnataka have been covered by the Pradhan Mantri Gram Fasal Bima Yojana.
  • The northeast monsoon is considered a fringe player in the agro-climate story.
  • But imperatives of the economy and the needs to secure people’s livelihoods require a rethinking on that front.

 

PIB

  1. India and Israel committed to strengthen bilateral relations in the field of Agriculture

Category: International Relations  

Topic: Bilateral Relations

Key Points:

  • Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh met Israeli delegation led by the Agriculture and Rural Development Minister of Israel, Shri Uri Ariel to discuss issues relating to bilateral cooperation in agriculture between India and Israel. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the progress made in cooperation in the agriculture and allied sectors between the two countries.
  • Both sides expressed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations in the field of Agriculture which is manifested by the fact that the third phase of Action Plan for 2015-18 in the field of Horticulture has recently been finalized by the two countries. Under this program, as many as 27 Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in the cultivation of various fruits and vegetables, in 21 states, are being set up, out of which 15 CoEs are complete.
  • Further, both sides expressed the hope that while continuing the two countries could embark upon newer areas of cooperation at the Government to Government and Business to Business levels between the two countries so as to further enhance the relationship.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Fasal Bima Yojana
  • China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)



H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: ‘Hope Island’, recently in the news, is located where?

A) Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary

B) Bandipur National Park

C) Nagarhole National Park

D) Sariska National Park

Question 2: What is the correct chronological sequence of the following stages in the political life of Mahatma Gandhi ?
  1. Champaran
  2. Ahmedabad Mill Strike
  3. Kheda
  4. Non-Cooperation Movement

a) 4, 3, 2, 1

b) 3, 4, 2, 1

c) 1, 3, 2, 4

d) 2, 4, 3, 1

Question 3: Gandhiji started Satyagraha in 1919 to protest against the

a) Salt Law

b) Rowlatt Act

c) Act of 1909

d) Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

Question 4: Consider the following statements,
  1. Kenya is bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda.
  2. The Great Rift Valley is part of an intra-continental ridge system that runs through Kenya from north to south.

Which of the above 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. The Olive ridley turtles are found in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  2. The species is recognized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.

Which of the above 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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