Comprehensive News Analysis - 13 April 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. India set for an ‘above normal’ monsoon

B. GS2 Related:

1. Bill against caste panchayat introduced in Maharashtra

2. Govt. links Ambedkar to rural governance drive

3. How to be free of caste

C. GS3 Related:

1. Onus is on States to declare drought, Centre tells SC

2. India’s trade policy ambivalent, says chief economic advisor

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

1. Keeping tigers in the green zone.

2. P(l)ay it safe

3. Keep talking

4. Court should let faith reform itself; intervene only when basic rights are abused

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



Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

1. India set for an ‘above normal’ monsoon

Topic: Geography

Category: Climate

Location: The Hindu, Page 1

Key points:


  1. More rain — “The monsoon is likely to be “above normal” and likely to be 106 per cent of the average of 89 cm. It will be fairly well distributed but south- east India will get slightly less rain,”
  2. Less chances of drought — defined as a deficit of 10 per cent or more — were only one percent this year. In any given year, the chances of such a drought is 16 per cent.

Causative Factors

  1. Waning El Nino — a global, meteorological phenomenon that’s associated with a warming of the waters of Central Pacific and correlated with droughts in India Historical observation that 7 out of 10 years, in the last century, that followed an El Nino saw normal or above normal monsoon rains in India.
  1. Positive Indian Ocean Dipole — where the western portions of the Indian Ocean are warmer than the east and thereby push rain-bearing clouds over India — is also likely to form during the middle of the monsoon season.
  1. La Nina — or an anti-El Nino —Associated with heavy rains in India was expected to set in and its onset is generally considered enabling for the rains.


The IMD’s Methodology of assessment

Presently: Model based on statistical dataset of temperature and monsoon trends that goes back over a century to forecast the performance of the summer monsoon.

Upcoming Method:  Dynamical model — the preferred contemporary approach by meteorological agencies internationally that relies on supercomputers. They work by simulating the weather at any given day and extrapolating the weather into the future


B. GS2 Related

1. Bill against caste panchayat introduced in Maharashtra

Topic: Social Justice, Governance

Category: Protection of rights of depressed classes

Location: The Hindu, Page 10

Key points:

12 April 2016: Maharashtra government(first such state in India) presented the much-awaited bill against caste panchayats in the State,

What is the Law about?

  1. The law tries to “prevent the evil practices of imposition of social boycott, social discrimination and social disabilities at various levels by caste panchayats, community panchayats or gavki or by its members or by social or economically influential persons or group of persons and punishment for such social boycott,”
  2. If convicted person under this law can face imprisonment of up to three years or fine which may extend to rupees one lakh is proposed.
  3. The offence registered under the act will be congnizable and bailable.


Maharashtra, in recent has witnessed an increasing number of incidents of social boycott and violence at the orders of caste panchayats. Rationalist NarendraDabholkar too had picked up the issue before his murder in Pune.


2. Govt. links Ambedkar to rural governance drive

Topic: Social Justice, Governance

Category: Government schemes.

Location: The Hindu, Page 10

Key points:

  1. social harmony programme’ will be conducted in gram panchayats, through which villagers will honour Dr. Ambedkar,”
  1. The ‘Gram Uday Se Bharat UdayAbhiyan’ : a 11-day, nation-wide village self governance campaign.
  • Aimed at improving rural livelihoods and streng- thening the Panchayati Raj across the country,
  • To be implemented by the Centre, in collaboration with States and panchayats,
  • To be launched on April 14 from Mhow in Madhya Pradesh,
  1. village farmer assemblies’ will be held in gram panchayats, focussing on agri- culture and farmers disseminating information regarding agriculture schemes and taking suggestions.


3. How to be free of caste

Topic: Governance

Category: Implementation of laws

Location: The Hindu, Page 13

Key points:

India marks the 125th birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar this week.

India has sponsored the observation of the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar at the United Nations for the first time.


UN Criticism on India.

  1. Recent report on caste-based discrimination by the United Nations Human Right Council characterized caste-based discrimination as that based on “descent”, labour stratification, untouchability practices and forced endogamy and said that this was a “global phenomena”.
  1. The report cited India’s National Crime Records Bureau data to highlight that there were increasing atrocities against Scheduled Castes — an increase in reported crimes of 19 per cent in 2014 compared to the previous year.
  1. It mentions that despite legislative prohibition of manual scavenging, the state has institutionalised the practice with “local governments and municipalities employing manual scavengers”.


Mega pan-India survey conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and University of Maryland, U.S reported that one in four Indians belonging to virtually every religious and caste group admits to practicing caste untouchability in some form in their homes.

New social movements like the following ones among others have fundamentally broadened the Dalit political vision.

SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) in Gujarat

NBA (Narmada BachaoAndolan) in Madhya Pradesh

MKSS (MazdoorKisan Shakti Sangathan) in Rajasthan

Integrating social and cultural transformation with an economic alternative is critical in doing away with discriminatory practices


C. GS3 Related

1. Onus is on States to declare drought, Centre tells SC

Topic: Disaster Management

Category: Roles of government agencies in mitigation

Location:The Hindu,  Page 11

Key points:

According to Centre the roles vested with Centre and State during a drought emergency are,

State governments : declaring drought rests

Central Government: providing funds and putting in place a monitoring system.

Rationale – In a federal structure of governance, a democratically elected State government should take on the responsibility of analysing the ground situation in its drought-hit areas.

Court’s Criticism

Centre should take initiative if the drought situation is grave.

There’s a serious lack of updated data on rainfall and water scarcity.


2. India’s trade policy ambivalent, says chief economic advisor

Topic: Indian Economy

Category: Indian Trade policy

Location: The Hindu, Page 17

Key points:

Ambivalence in India’s trade policy is due to

  1. Disruption and dislocation that trade is causing across the world.
  2. Lack of clarity regarding how rapidly India needs to open up domestically and to engage internationally whether it is the WTO or the TPP.

Three Epochs Of Indian Foreign policy

First: India survived the U.S-Soviet cold war hostility through non-alignment, which was “essentially defensive;”

Second : Starting from 1991, India pursued strategic partnerships with more than 30 countries and emerged as a ‘balancing power’ that can influence outcomes in international debates.

Third: Possible transformation of India from being merely an influential entity into one whose weight and preferences are defining for international politics.


D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today folks!

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

1. Keeping tigers in the green zone.

Topic: Environment

Category: Conservation

Location: The Hindu, Editorial Page 12

Key points:

Matter for Cheer

  • According to the latest count released by the World Wildlife Fund and the Glob- al Tiger Forum, over 600 tigers have been added to the global number of some 3,200 in 2010.
  • This indicates that a good conservation policy has been at work.


Steps Ahead

  1. Inviolate core habitats for breeding populations should be maintained.
  2. Ensuring habitat connectivity for genetic exchange.
  3. Crack down on poaching of both tigers and prey.
  4. Commitment to scientific methods including intensive scientific censusing of tigers across the country.
  5. Treating independent scientific organisations as partners and removing bureaucratic hurdles to research in protected areas.
  6. Greater political will for conservation.


2. P(l)ay it safe

Topic: Economy

Category: Digitalisation of Transactions

Location: Business Line

Key points:

The Unified Payment Interface (UPI), powered by the National Payments Corporation of India, is an attempt by the RBI to try and migrate citizens to the electronic mode.


  1. users no longer need to share personal credentials (which can be misused) .
  2. As customer details are pre-verified by the bank, the authentication process is quick and seamless, with a single click enough to ensure two-factor authentication for any transaction.


1.users of banking services still lack clarity both on the extent of liability and legal recourse available to them in the event of losses due to cyber-fraud.

2.Lack a fair and speedy dispute resolution mechanism.


3. Keep talking

Topic: International Relation

Category: Strategic Treaties

Location: Indian Express

Key points:

  • Recently Ashton Carter,US Secretary of Defence who is the chief architect of the bilateral Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) visited India.
  • The agenda seeks to elevate the defence relationship to co-development and co-production.
  • India’s plan to procure $100 billion worth of arms over the next decade is driven by its growing conventional gap with China and the need to rapidly modernise its military.
  • The joint vision is in line with the Make in India initiative.


4. Court should let faith reform itself; intervene only when basic rights are abused

Topic: Constitution

Category: Fundamental Rights,Constitutional Reforms.

Location: Indian Express

Key points:

The courts are deciding at least three cases in which the constitutional guarantee of gender equality is at odds with the claims of faith.

  1. The practice of triple talaq, by which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by the simple expedient of pronouncing talaq three times.
  2. The entry of women to Haji Ali in Mumbai
  3. The entry of women to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

Except when basic temporal rights are violated, the courts should leave religious reform to evolve from within.There is space for social reform outside the state’s ambit and the courts should leave that well enough alone.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Dr B R Ambedkar
  • DTTI
  • WTO
  • Judicial Intervention
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂

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