Comprehensive News Analysis – 12 October 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. An effort to revive Harikatha

2. UNICEF initiative to tackle malnutrition in children

B. GS2 Related:
C. GS3 Related:

1. A prized contract

2. How’s the economy really doing?

3. Who will regulate pension products?

4. Centre eyes sops to spur internal trade

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

The Indian Express:

1. HIV Bill offers steps to end discrimination and ensure equality for affected groups

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
  1. An effort to revive Harikatha

Category: Art and Culture

Topic:  Visual Arts 

Key Points:

  • Harikatha, a form of Hindu religious discourse
  • Harikatha, which originated from Ajjada village of Srikakulam, has become popular in other languages too
  • Harikatha is an art form composed of storytelling, poetry, music, drama, dance, and philosophy
  • Any Hindu religious theme can be the subject for it
  • At its peak, Harikatha was a popular medium of entertainment, which helped transmit cultural, educational and religious values to the masses
  • The main aim of Harikatha is to instil truth and righteousness in the minds of people and sow the seeds of devotion in them


  1. UNICEF initiative to tackle malnutrition in children

Category: Society

Topic: Poverty/Developmental issues

Key Points:

  • The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) is planning to launch a pilot project of supplying nutritious food for children in the State of Andhra Pradesh
  • It will be a Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) and supply Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) in the State
  • RUTF contains therapeutic milk, sugar, oil and peanuts, which contain high vitamins, minerals and nutritious supplements, and the product saved some thousands of children suffering from severe malnutrition
  • Acute malnutrition is one of the reasons for child deaths in the world, and some lakhs of children are dying due to malnutrition every year across the globe
  • In India, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) among every one lakh children is 126 (i.e. infants aged below six months), and the reason is malnourishment, according to the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) records.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, IMR is 39, and the reasons for the deaths are poor diet, child marriages, and premature births

 

B. GS2 Related

Nothing here today folks!


C. GS3 Related
1. A prized contract

Category: Economy

Topic:  Employment

Key Points:

  • The work in microeconomic theory for which Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström have receivedthis year’s Economics Nobel Prize goes back to the 1970s and 1980s when the foundations of contract theory were being firmed up
  • Range of fields:

– design of performance incentives in firms and schools

–  corporate governance

–  privatization

–  constitutional law

–  entrepreneur-investor relationship

–  real-life contracts and institutions

–  pitfalls when designing new contracts

–  informativeness principle: understanding of risk and incentives in employer-employee relationships

–  notion of incomplete contracts: not all information is available ex ante; how does a contract allow principals (such as employers) and agents (such as employees) to negotiate unforeseen situations? 

Concerns Raised

  • Economics Nobel raises larger questions given the high-profile nature of the subject and the fact that it is the only social science for which a prize is awarded
  • Only one person has been awarded a prize for ‘social democracy’
  • Why this has happened is perhaps less important than pointing out that it has happened, so there is an awareness of what the economics prize is, and what it is not

 

  1. How’s the economy really doing?

Category: Indian Economy

Topic:  Issues related to planning

Key Points:

1

Problems in understanding the position of economy:

  • Different metrics give different results
  • Periodicity of the data releases
  • Data collection

 

  1. Who will regulate pension products?

Category: Indian Economy

Topic:  Issues related to planning

Key Points:

  • The Finance Ministry has set up a high-level committee to consolidate the regulation of pension products that is currently being done by three different watchdogs including the insurance and stock market regulators
  • Pension products floated by insurance companies come under the purview of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) while those sold by mutual funds are overseen by the SEBI – creates confusion
  • The committee to be formed by the Department of Financial Services, would have representatives from all financial sector regulators — SEBI, IRDA, RBI and PFRDA
  • The regulator has to see that nobody is fiddling with the money, that they are following the guidelines, are not expensive, and that the money is managed well

 

  1. Centre eyes sops to spur internal trade

Category: Indian Economy

Topic:  Issues related to planning

Key Points:

  • The Centre may soon consider a three-pronged approach to revitalise India’s retail and wholesale trade
  • This includes establishing a regulatory body for national internal trade (retail and wholesale), a comprehensive domestic trade policy and a Board for Internal Trade
  • The meetings are also expected to take up allegations against leading e-commerce firms of violation of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms by offering huge discounts on their online platforms
  • As per the FDI policy, ‘e-commerce entities providing marketplace shall not directly or indirectly influence the sale prices of goods or services and shall maintain level playing field’
  • According to Confederation of All India Traders, the discounts being offered by e-commerce firms amount to influencing sale prices, thereby flouting the FDI policy
  • Currently there is no single regulatory body or ministry for domestic trade — comprising mainly non-corporate small businesses providing employment to an estimated 460 million people
  • The proposed policy, aiming to generate employment, improve financial inclusion of small traders and ensure ease of doing business by eliminating multiplicity of approvals, will also be linked to the flagship initiatives such as Digital India, Skill India and Make In India
  • According to a proposal recently submitted by CAIT to the commerce & industry ministry, “the need of the hour is creation of a Trade Policy with a separate Ministry of Internal Trade both at (the) Centre and State Government level which is able to device (a) policy for traders
  • With the current approach and policy regime, the environment is only conducive for foreign retail giants and their Indian partners or counterparts
  • As an immediate measure, a panel by NITI Aayog will soon take up these issues as well and will look into issues related to taxation and online pharmacies.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Indian Express


1. HIV Bill offers steps to end discrimination and ensure equality for affected groups

Category: Social Justice

Topic: Health

Key Points:

  • HIV Bill has been approved by the cabinet
  • The Bill provides that treatment would be provided to all People Living with HIV(PLHIV) as needed
  • Indian generic companies supply ARVs to all PLHIV in developing countries
  • There are about 21 lakh PLHIV in India
  • Despite the fact that new infections are going down, the total number of PLHIV will not decrease significantly for the next few decades
  • Further, despite all the sensitisation on the issue, PLHIV are routinely discriminated against
  • So, the HIV Bill is much needed, premised on a rights-based approach and on the assumption that to ensure the rights of all members of society, the rights of PLHVI have to be protected

Significance of the Bill

  • Provides for measures relating to discrimination against PLHIV, it is the first time that the law will address discrimination in the private sector as the Constitution provides for addressing discrimination in the “state” sector
  • The Bill also recognises the autonomy of PLHIV in terms of testing and treatment and provides for consent for the same as also for confidentiality on testing
  • measure for redressal in case of denial of treatment to a PLHIV person, both at the institutional level and at the local district level


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • HIV
  • WPI
  • CPI
  • GVA
  • Pension Funds
  • Malnutrition



H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following is true?
  1. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) is the price of a representative basket of wholesale goods
  2. A consumer price index (CPI) measures changes in the price level of a market basket of consumer goods and services purchased by households

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 2: Which of the following is/are true regarding HIV?
  1. National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) operates under the ministry of social justice
  2. HIV is found only in body fluids

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 3: Which of the following statement/s is are true?
  1. Harikatha, which originated from Ajjada village of Srikakulam, has become popular in other languages too
  2. Harikatha is an art form composed of storytelling, poetry, music, drama, dance, and philosophy

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 4: Which of the following is true?
  1. informativeness principle refers to the understanding of risk and incentives in employer-employee relationships
  2. Contract theory includes range of fields such as corporate governance, privatization and constitutional law

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 5: Which of the following is true regarding Foreign Direct Investment?
  1. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment made by a company or individual in one country in business interests in another country, in the form of either establishing business operations or acquiring business assets in the other country, such as ownership or controlling interest in a foreign company
  2. Direct investment provides capital funding in exchange for an equity interest without the purchase of regular shares of a company’s stock.

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Check Your Answers

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