Comprehensive News Analysis – 13 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. No restrictions on foreign interns

2. The Indo-Pacific potential

3 India, Indonesia resolve to fight terror

4. ‘One-China policy is non-negotiable’

C. GS3 Related:

1. Cyclone Vardah brings Chennai to a standstill

2. Include bidis in GST regime

3. AIBEA flags higher cash allocation to private banks

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

The Hindu

1. Beyond the court’s remit

Indian Express

1. The taxman cometh

PIB

1. India-Indonesia Joint Statement during the State visit of President of Indonesia to India

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

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. No restrictions on foreign interns

Category: Polity and Governance, International Relations    

Topic: Government Initiatives  

Key Points:

  • The Union Cabinet has approved A new ‘internship visa’ to help foreigners gain professional experience in India.
  • A senior official of the Home Ministry said that India wanted to open its doors to talent from across the globe and let foreigners gain professional experience in the country.
  • It is important to note that the government removed Iran from the list of countries that were put in the restricted visa category last year.

What does restricted visa category mean?

  • The restricted visa category means applicants would be issued a visa only when the security agencies have given the go-ahead after background checks.

 

  1. The Indo-Pacific potential

Category: International Relations

Topic: Agreements involving India

Key Points:

  • The India-Indonesia relationship has been one of potential rather than realisation. 
  • Both countries should ensure that the recent visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, is not just another diplomatic formality but is utilised to turn the relationship into one of the defining ones in Asia.

Strengths of Indonesia

  • Indonesia is a latent Asian power. 
  • Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, straddling the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
  • President Jokowi sees the country as a “maritime axis” requiring a strong naval force to protect its territorial integrity, fishing waters and energy interests, supported and funded by strong economic growth.

The Way Forward

  • India needs to look for partners who can play a stabilising role in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • India could recognise Indonesia’s centrality in the Indo-Pacific region and help work towards a future where both countries can be partners for security in the region.
  • Third, India and Indonesia can make a conscious attempt to enhance their economic and cultural relationship.

 

  1. India, Indonesia resolve to fight terror

Category: International Relations

Topic: Agreements involving India

Key Points:

  • During the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the two countries, decided to boost trade and investment in the areas of oil and gas, renewable energy, information technology and pharmaceuticals.
  • Both sides said the dispute of South China Sea,  must be resolved through peaceful means.
  • Two memoranda of understanding were signed to provide for cooperation in youth affairs and sports and standardisation.
  • PM Modi remarked that, ”Indonesia stands for democracy, diversity, pluralism, and social harmony. These are also our values. Our nations and societies have nurtured strong bonds of commerce and culture throughout our history.”
  • A joint statement said the two leaders condemned terrorism in all forms, saying there must be “zero tolerance” of acts of terror. 

 

  1. ‘One-China policy is non-negotiable’

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 China’s Foreign Ministry recently warned that any change in the U.S.’s one-China policy will impair ties between Beijing and Washington.
  • China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang mentioned that, “Upholding the ‘one China’ principle is the political basis for developing China-U.S. ties. If this basis is interfered with or damaged, then the healthy development of China-U.S. relations and bilateral cooperation in important areas is out of the question. ” 

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. Cyclone Vardah brings Chennai to a standstill

Category: Disaster Management

Topic: Cyclones, Disaster Mitigation

Key Points:

  • Cyclone Vardah made landfall in Chennai on 12th Sep afternoon between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The cyclone uprooted trees, defaced highrises, disrupted public transport and telecommunication, bringing the metropolitan area to a standstill. By the time it crossed the city near the Chennai Port, cyclone Vardah grew into a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’.
  • According to the Meteorological department, the total rainfall received from early Monday up to 6 p.m. was 16 cm in the Chennai region alone. Vardah is an Urdu word meaning red rose. This cyclone will turn into a deep depression early on 13th September.

 

  1. Include bidis in GST regime

Category: Indian Economy   

Topic: Taxation   

Key Points:

  • The introduction of a national Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India promises to be a major step towards a modern, broad-based tax system.
  • The GST Council has announced that demerit goods like tobacco will be subject to the highest GST rate of 28 per cent plus an additional cess.
  • It is important from India’s development perspective that this means all tobacco products, including bidis and chewing tobacco.
  • It is important to note that GST is a unique opportunity to reform and modernise India’s tax system, which has opportunities for selectivity and discretion.
  • The bidi sector may now be lobbying for a lower rate of GST. 
  • It is important to note that the government should strongly resist any such efforts, and instead levy the highest rate of GST and cess on bidis as a good governance and anti-corruption measure.
  • Bidis should be classed as a demerit good alongside other tobacco products rather than gain any further preferential treatment.

 

  1. AIBEA flags higher cash allocation to private banks

Category: Indian Economy   

Topic: Money and Banking  

Key Points:

  • Since the demonetisation of high-value currency on November 8, a few private sector banks appear to be getting a disproportionate share of the new bank notes being released by the central bank.
  • The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) has said this, citing the example of Tamil Nadu.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Beyond the court’s remit

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Judiciary

Key Points:

  • The Uttarakhand High Court, recently order banning the sale of liquor and consumption in three districts in the State of Uttarakhand.
  • But, by doing so, the court has drifted outside the confines of law and entered the domain of morals and desired behaviour.
  • The court has crossed its legal remit by extending a government policy of prohibiting liquor outlets in the vicinity of places of worship, to cover Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi from April 2017.  
  • It is important to note that the court has cited Article 47 of the Constitution, which says it is the duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and standard of living of the people and improve public health, and to prohibit the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs.
  • Generally, courts refrain from enforcing Directive Principles of State Policy, though some judicial decisions are based on combining their underlying goals with aspects of Fundamental Rights.

 

Indian Express

  1. The taxman cometh

Category: Indian Economy  

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • In the wake of a large portion of the currency returning to the banking system as cash deposits from citizens holding notes of Rs 500 and 1,000 denominations, the government has initiated two big moves.
  • It amended the Income Tax Act to introduce another disclosure scheme. This scheme allowed those with unaccountable money to pay 49.9 per cent tax, besides depositing 25 per cent of the unaccountable money for four years without any return, and thereby, opening a new window for them to come clean.
  • Secondly, the Government incentivized the use of credit and debit cards and online payment mechanisms, to reduce the economy’s dependence on cash.
  • Now, it is important to note that just like banks, which are not used to handling unending queues of customers to deposit or withdraw cash, the I-T department too is not quite geared to checking lakhs of unusual financial transactions. 
  • In this drive, it is significant to note that the tax officers’ job starts after the bank employees’ ends. 


PIB

  1. India-Indonesia Joint Statement during the State visit of President of Indonesia to India

Category: International Relations    

Topic: Agreements involving India

Key Points:

  • Prime Minister Modi and President Widodo noted that India and Indonesia are friendly maritime neighbours with deep civilizational links between the people of the two countries, including the common heritage of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.
  • They underscored the importance of pluralism, democracy, and rule of law as key values to achieve peaceful co-existence.
  • They welcomed the convergence in the political, economic and strategic interests of the two countries that provides an enduring basis for a long-term strategic partnership.
  • The Leaders noted that the relationship had acquired a new momentum following the establishment of a Strategic Partnership in November 2005.
  • The Leaders welcomed the successful launch of the satellites LAPAN A2 in September 2015 and LAPAN A3 in June 2016 by ISRO.
  • The two Leaders welcomed the submission of a Vision Document 2025 by the India-Indonesia Eminent Persons Group (EPG) that had begun their work earlier in the year.
  • Both leaders discussed the threat from global terrorism and other transnational crimes and resolved to significantly enhance bilateral cooperation in combating terrorism, terrorist financing, money laundering, arms smuggling, trafficking in human beings and cyber crime.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Income Tax Act
  • GST Council



H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. Article 47 of the Constitution, says it is the duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and standard of living of the people and improve public health, and to prohibit the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs.
  2. Generally, courts refrain from enforcing Directive Principles of State Policy, though some judicial decisions are based on combining their underlying goals with aspects of Fundamental Rights.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 2: Consider the following statements, 
  1. Vardah is an Urdu word meaning red rose.
  2. Cyclone ‘Vardah’ has been named by Pakistan.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 3: Consider the following statements,
  1. LAPAN-A2 is a microsatellite developed at the Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space.
  2. It is the first indigenously designed satellite of Indonesia.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 4: Consider the following statements,
  1. INDRA NAVY is an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy.
  2. The primary aim of exercise INDRA NAVY-16 is to increase inter-operability amongst the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.

Which of the following 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. Exercise EKUVERIN is a Indo- Maldives joint military exercise.
  2. The Exercise is a 14 day platoon level joint military exercise between the Indian Army & the Maldives National Defence Force conducted on a yearly basis.

Which of the following 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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