Comprehensive News Analysis - 13 February 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. Is spirituality the exclusive domain of men, asks SC

2. Act against Devadasi system, SC tells States

B. GS2 Related:

1. Government acts tough, JNU student leader charged with sedition

2. UAE calls for more reforms in India

3. Agreement on ceasefire plans in Syria

4. Colombo ‘committed’ to reconciliation

C. GS3 Related:

1. U.S. India lead Zika vaccine race

2. IIP shrinks 1.3% in December

3. Plastic cards may soon go out of fashion

4. In 5 years, black money detection up 15.5 times

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

1. A new window to the universe opens

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



Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related:

1. Is spirituality the exclusive domain of men, asks SC


Category :gender issues

Location:The Hindu,Page 10

Key Points:

• Women in the menstrual age group are barred from entering the famous Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala

• An association of law students represented by senior advocate Indira Jaiswal has contested this tradition in the SC

• The Kerala Government and Travancore Devaswom Board submitted that men undergo severe austerity and days of celibacy to reach the temple

• The Kerala government also says it’s a centuries old, inviolable tradition

• The SC’s response:

Is spirituality the exclusive domain of men?

Is the tradition bound to stay even when it’s against the fundamental rights of equality?

2. Act against Devadasi system, SC tells States


Category :gender issues

Location:The Hindu,Page 15

Key Points:

• Devadasi system, the illegal practice of “dedicating” young girls as Devadasis is prevalent in many states in India

• State govts of Karnataka, Maharashtra have passed acts banning the practice

• It violates sections 370 and 370A of the IPC.Section 372 of the IPC prohibits selling of minors for prostitution

• The Immoral Traffic(Prevention)Act,1956 also bans it

• The petitioner contended that neither were the police enforcing the law nor are the governments utilizing the funds set aside for the rehabilitation of ‘devadasis’.

B. GS2 Related:

1. Government acts tough, JNU student leader charged with sedition


Category: rights issue,governance

Location:The Hindu, Page 1

Key Points:

• Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU)president Kanhaiya Kumar has been remanded in three-day police custody by a delhi court

• He was arrested in charge of sedition after ‘anti-India slogans were raised in a protest meeting held in memory of Afzal Guru.

• The case was registered under IPC Sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (acts done by several persons with a common intention)

• Civil rights activists and legal experts have asserted that the sedition law is being used to target citizens who express their legitimate opinion

• The charge of sedition is punishable with life imprisonment.

• In the Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case, the SC said that a person can be charged with sedition only if there is incitement of violence involved.

• In the Menaka Gandhi case of 1978 the SC upheld the right to freedom of expression if there is no incitement of violence involved

2. UAE calls for more reforms in India


Category:Bilateral groupings and agreements

Location:The Hindu,Page 14,

• The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and the UAE on Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) failed to materialise

• Concerns such as complex tax policies and “cumbersome” processes for doing business in India was cited as reasons.

• India was eying access to $ 800 billion Sovereign Fund of the UAE for infrastructure investment in India

• The Memoranda of Understanding signed were:

1. Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber Crime

2 Establishing a Framework for Facilitating the Participation of U.A.E institutional investors in Infrastructure Investments

3. General Framework Agreement on Renewable Energy Cooperation

4. MoU between ISRO and the UAE Space Agency on Cooperation in the Exploration and use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.

5. MoU for bilateral cooperation between IRDA and the Insurance Authority of UAE

6. Executive Programme for Cultural Cooperation (EPCC) between India and UAE

7. Cooperation for skill development and recognition of qualification

8. MoU between Dubai Economic Council (DEC) and EXIM bank of India

3. Agreement on ceasefire plans in Syria

plans in Syria

Topic:International Relations

Category: global issues

Location:The Hindu,Page 16

Key Points:

• Diplomats agreed on Friday to work toward a temporary “cessation of hostilities” in Syria’s civil war within a week.

• Humanitarian aid to besieged Syrian communities will be expanded beginning this week.

• But here was no final agreement on ceasefire; the cessation-of-hostilities agreement was not approved by all parties.

• The real test is whether or not all the parties involved in the war would honour the commitments of the cessation-of-hostilities agreement and implement them said Kerry speaking for the international syria support group.

4. Colombo ‘committed’ to reconciliation

Topic: International Relations

Location:The Hindu,Page 16

Category: : Effect of policies of countries on India’s interests.

Key Points:

• A task force, comprising 11 citizens, has been constituted to design a reconciliation mechanism in the post-civil war Sri Lanka

• Mr. Samaraweera launching its website said that the process was being set in place not to “appease international pressure or to keep the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein happy” but being done because “we owe it to the people of our nation to forge a new future where all citizens will be treated with equal dignity and respect.”

C. GS3 Related:

1. U.S., India lead Zika vaccine race

Topic: Topic:Technology

Category:S&T applications in daily life

Location:The Hindu,Page 16

Key Points:

• The WHO said U.S. government scientists and an Indian biotechnology firm were currently frontrunners in the race to develop a vaccine against zika virus.

• For the first time it advised pregnant women to consider delaying travel to Zika-infected areas.

• Zika virus is suspected to cause two neurological disorders, microcephaly in babies and Guillain-Barre syndrome

2. IIP shrinks 1.3% in December

Topic:Economic Development

Category:State of Indian Economy

Location:The Hindu,Page 17

Key Points:

• Industrial activity shrank 1.3 per cent in December 2015 for the second consecutive month.

• Consumer price inflation accelerated to 5.7 per cent in January

• The Index of Industrial Production for December 2015 stood at 183.4, which is 1.3 per cent lower than its level in December 2014.

• The manufacturing sector contracted 2.44 per cent for the second straight month, while mining and electricity sectors grew 2.92 per cent and 3.15 per cent respectively in December.

• The capital goods sector, by usage, contracted by 19.69 per cent in December. Consumer durables, however, registered a strong growth of 16.49 per cent in December

• The IIP shrinkage in many ways demonstrates that the industrial recovery is still uneven and fragile.

• The Chennai floods can be considered one major reason why the IIP is down again. But the contraction is also an indicator of structural weaknesses.

3. Plastic cards may soon go out of fashion


Category:State of Indian Economy

Location:The Hindu,Page 17

Key Points:

• The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and software product think-tank ISpirt are ready for the technical launch of a mobile phone app
that would allow people to people(P2P) transactions from any bank account to another.

• The UPI(Unified Payment Interface) is a new layer on top of the IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) that has been used by banks for electronic fund transfers for about five years.

• This will allow seamless, inter-bank connection using a mobile app that can be used to pay merchants on an offline basis

• Eventually the system would allow mobile to mobile payments (without any bank accounts involved) and payments to an Aadhaar number or a virtual address if people are not comfortable sharing their bank account details

4. In 5 years, black money detection up 15.5 times


Category: money laundering and its prevention

Location: The Hindu,Page 1

Key Points:

• Report of the Director General of Income Tax (Intelligence and Criminal Investigation) shows more and organizations coming under the taxmen’s scanner.

• National undisclosed income jumped from just Rs. 5,894 crore in financial year 2011 to Rs. 90,391 crore in 2014

• The IT officials compiled data containing 38,586 records and found that 19,349 of them pertaining to 3,500 parties were bogus entries on ‘purchases’ made during this period.

• The records of prominent business houses, including diamond traders, steel magnates and the country’s leading pharma were probed.

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

1. A new window to the universe opens

universe opens

Topic:Gravitational waves

Key Points:

Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity says any accelerating mass should produce ripples in the fabric of space and time.

• The effect is very weak, only the biggest masses, moving under the greatest accelerations, are expected to warp their surroundings to any appreciable degree

• These events should radiate gravitational energy at the speed of light.

• Prediction-Discovery-confirmation model of science was followed

• Scientists calculated what they should be able to detect, then decided what the evidence should look like, and then devised the experiment that clinched the matter.

• The instrument: The The Advanced LIGO(Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)laboratories

• LIGO operates two gravitational wave observatories in unison

• Interferometry makes use of the principle of superposition to combine waves in a way that the result of their combination will have some meaningful property that can help diagnose the original state of the waves

• LASER waves were superimposed on the predicted gravitational waves

• In this way gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes was detected by this very sensitive instrument.

• Why is it important?

• It can change the face of astronomy

• Radio waves(part of light waves) told us a lot about the structure of the universe. With gravitational waves we are going to know even more

• We can study about things that does not emit light — dark matter, black holes,”

• Using light waves we cannot see further back than 400,000 years after the big bang.

• The early universe was opaque to light but it is not opaque to gravitational waves.

• By gathering gravitational waves we will be able to see exactly what happened at the big bang.

• The merger of black holes were also proved

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:

i. Devadasi system

ii. Right to Equality

iii. RDA

iv. ISRO

v. EXIM Bank

vi. Guillain-Barre syndrome

vii. IIP


G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following related to Devadasis is true?
  1. According to Paes, devadasis held a highly respectable position in the Vijayanagar society.
  2. The devadasi system came into existence in South India under the Vijayanagar rulers.
a) 1 Only
b) 2 Only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) None of the Above
Question 2: Which of the following Articles contain the Right to Equality?
  1. 14 – 18
  2. 16 – 19
  3. 15 – 20
  4. 16 – 23
a) 1 Only
b) 1 & 2 Both
c) 3 & 4 Only
d) All of the Above
Question 3: Which is the first trisonic aircraft of India?
a) Mikoyan MiG-25
b) Sukhoi Su-30 MKI
c) HF-25 MKI
d) HT-2
Question 4: Export and Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) was established in which year?
a) 1990
b) 1982
c) 1985
d) 1986
Question 5: In which of the following polyneuropathy, Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protien in increased?
a. Cryoglobulinemia
b. Guillain-Barre syndrome
c. Pyridoxine Deficiency Neuropathy
d. SLE related Neuropathy

Check Your Answers


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