Comprehensive News Analysis – 13 May 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Fuel loading begins at Unit II of Kudankulam nuclear plant

2. Bill seeks to give mercy killing a new lease of life

3. India’s help sought to tackle drugs problem in Jaffna

4. Bangladesh, India to ‘fight terror together’

5. Mallya can’t be deported, try extradition, UK tells India

C. GS3 Related:

1. Reserve Bank of India allows foreign banks to invest up to 10% in local private lenders

2. Retail inflation shoots up to 5.39% in April on rising prices of pulses, sugar

3. Government probes dumping of chemical amoxicillin used in pharma companies from China

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

The Hindu

1. The road map after Dehradun

2. Drought relief on order

The Indian Express

1. To Read: Ken-Betwariver linking project: Recalling an old idea whose time may have come

Others:

1. Business Standard: Children can move the needle on sanitation

2. Business Standard: The right to die

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

.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today folks!

B. GS2 Related

1. Fuel loading begins at Unit II of Kudankulam nuclear plant

Topic: Governance

Category: Nuclear power

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • Power generation in the second reactor of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is likely to commence soon as loading of enriched uranium fuel in the reactor began on Wednesday night
  • After preparing the second 1,000-MWE VVER reactor, being built with Russian assistance, for the ‘hot run’, the KKNPP started the exercise(hot run) last year
  • The reactor pressure vessel, the main coolant pipelines and every part of the reactor were tested during the ‘hot run’ by sophisticated robotic systems to ascertain whether these could withstand extreme factors as per the design specifications

 

2. Bill seeks to give mercy killing a new lease of life

Topic: governance

Category: legislation

1). Union Health Ministry has drafted and put up ‘The Medical Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Bill’ in the public domain for consultation with stakeholders

2). The Bill intends to provide protection to patients and medical practitioners from liability in the context of withholding or withdrawing medical treatment, including life support systems, from those who are terminally ill

3). According to the Bill, every “competent” person, including minors aged over 16, has a right to decide on withholding or withdrawing medical treatment and to allow nature to take its own course or for starting medical treatment in case of terminal illness.  Such a decision will be binding on the medical practitioner. He or she has to inform the spouse, parents or any other close relative of the patient and desist from carrying out the decision for a period of three days after informing them

Note:

1). The debate on euthanasia caught the public attention in ArunaShanbaug’s case. Aruna died in 2015 after being in a Permanent Vegetative State for over 40 years. While rejecting the plea for her mercy killing, SC laid out the first set of guidelines for euthanasia. The Supreme Court had laid down comprehensive guidelines in the ArunaShanbaug case to process passive euthanasia.

2). Active Euthanasia – Involves injecting the patient with a lethal substance causing death in a painless manner. It is not legal in India.

3). Passive Euthanasia – Withholding or withdrawing medical treatment, including life support systems, from those who are terminally ill. It is legal in India as well as countries like Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Columbia etc.

 

3. India’s help sought to tackle drugs problem in Jaffna

Topic: India’s Neighbourhood

Category: Sri Lanka

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • In a recent meeting with a former Indian diplomat, leaders of fishermen from Jaffna raised the issue of the easy availability of drugs in the region, and sought India’s help to tackle the problem.
  • Drug trafficking, especially the smuggling of “Kerala ganja”, a prohibited substance, had gone up in recent times and the banned substances comes from India according to locals
  • They sought the cooperation of the Indian government to solve  problem

 

4. Bangladesh, India to ‘fight terror together’

Topic: India’s Neighbourhood

Category: Bangladesh

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • Foreign Secretary of India said on Thursday that India and Bangladesh will “work together” to combat terrorism after a meeting his Bangladesh counterpart in Dhaka
  • In a separate development, India came out with open support for Bangladesh’s ongoing war crimes trial, which has sentenced several Islamist leaders to death(the Ministry of External Affairs – official statement)

 

5. Mallya can’t be deported, try extradition, UK tells India

Topic: International Relations

Category: Extradition

Location: The Indian Express

Key points:

1). UK has made it clear that Vijay Mallya (who is wanted by India on Money laundering charges and who is in UK now)  could not be deported as per existing laws and asked India to seek his extradition instead

2).Cancellation of passport by India would not allow automatic deportation by the U.K. Under the 1971 Immigration Act, the UK does not require an individual to hold a valid passport in order to remain in the UK if they have extant leave to remain as long as their passport was valid when leave to remain or enter the UK was conferred

3) India needs his presence to conduct investigations against him under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002

Note: Deportation – It is basically a done at the government level through executive order after verifying the evidence produced by a country where the fugitive is required for any offence he or she may have committed there.

Extradition – It is a formal process wherein evidence against a fugitive is produced before the court for vetting. In extradition, a judicial decision is taken for sending back a fugitive to the country where he or she is required to face law. It is normally a longer process than deportation

 

C. GS3 Related

1. Reserve Bank of India allows foreign banks to invest up to 10% in local private lenders

Topic: Economy

Category: Banking

Location: The Economic Times

untitled-1

Key points:

  • The Reserve Bank India (RBI) has allowed foreign banks to invest up to 10% in local private lenders
  • Supranational institutions such as Life Insurance Corporation of India has been allowed to invest as much as 40% as part of a sweeping set of measures expected to help them shore up capital and possibly encourage consolidation in the banking sector

 

2. Retail inflation shoots up to 5.39% in April on rising prices of pulses, sugar

Topic: Economy

Category: Inflation

Location: The Hindu

BL12_FACTORY_OUTPU_2850391f

Key points:

  • Retail inflation for April jumped up to 5.39 per cent, against 4.83 per cent in March 2016. Consumer food price inflation shot up to 6.32 per cent from April, 2016 as prices of pulses and sugar rose
  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) grew negligibly at 0.1 per cent in March, pulled down by contraction in the mining and manufacturing sectors as well as a sharp decline in output of capital goods
  • “The cumulative growth for the period April to March 2015-16 over the corresponding period of the previous year stands at 2.4 per cent,” said an official release on Thursday. Worryingly, this is lower than the 2.8 per cent growth clocked in 2014-15.

(More worryingly, indicating a decline in investments, the production of capital goods contracted further by 15.4 per cent in March)

 

3. Government probes dumping of chemical amoxicillin used in pharma companies from China

Topic: Economy

Category: Trade

Location: The Indian Express

Key points:

1). The Centre has initiated a probe into dumping of amoxicillin, used in pharmaceutical industry, from China to protect domestic industry from cheap imports.

2). Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) will conduct the investigation. It will determine the existence, degree and effect of the alleged dumping and will recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty. The Finance Ministry will impose the duty.

3). Countries start anti-dumping probes to determine whether their domestic industries have been hurt because of a surge in below-cost imports. As a counter measure, they impose duties under the multilateral regime of WTO.

4). The duty is aimed at ensuring fair trading practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers vis-a-vis foreign producers and exporter

 

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

The Hindu

1. The road map after Dehradun

Topic: Polity

Category: Federal Relations

Key points:

Looking at the President’s role in the imposition of President’s rule

  • The Supreme Court asked for an immediate floor test in Dehradun and during the floor test Presidential Proclamation which was struck down by the High Court was “suspended” for a few hours
  • the Attorney General was permitted to “withdraw” the proclamation, and advise the President to revoke the proclamation
  • All this has opened the President’s use of his prerogative to reflection
  • Our republican constitution gives a certain ‘play’ to politics, and a certain responsibility to the President
  • Without prejudice to the constitutional voltage of cabinet advice, if the President receives a vulnerable or politically coloured recommendation, he must return it to the cabinet for reconsideration
  • And, during the interregnum, the President can consult the Attorney General and also senior counsel
  • What the President can do if the cabinet reiterates the advice depends on the weakness of the recommendation and the strength of his conviction and, above all, on the President’s stature
  • The chances are that the cabinet will not treat a presidential misgiving lightly
  • Meanwhile we can and must say, ‘Jai Bhim, Jai Bommai’ (‘Bhim’ standing for Ambedkar and ‘Bommai’ for the important ruling)

 

2. Drought relief on order

Topic: Governance

Category: Drought Relief

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court condemned the reluctance of some States to declare a drought while simultaneously decrying the Centre’s recourse to “federalism” as an excuse to avoid taking up the matter with these States
  • In the judgment, delivered on a writ petition filed by the non-governmental organisationSwarajAbhiyan, the Supreme Court concluded that Bihar and Haryana had been remiss in not officially declaring a drought despite clear indications of water scarcity; also that Gujarat was late in its declaration made in April 2016
  • The court also said that steps taken by State governments for irrigation and foodgrain production, or the presence of perennial rivers (which the Bihar government has submitted as a factor), alone cannot determine whether there is a drought-like situation or not
  • It has directed the Centre to take proactive steps in drought mitigation as well as in assessment, planning and relief as mandated by the Disaster Management Act, 2005
  • Drought is attributed to rainfall deficit in several States, suggesting that meteorological and natural factors are primarily responsible for the phenomenon. This, however, is an incomplete explanation
  • Water scarcity — in both surface and ground water — is also the result of failure to regulate water extraction, storage, wastage and patterns of use. The excessive use of deep borewells to extract groundwater has eroded the capacity of aquifers to replenish. Poor reservoir management has led to silt accumulation, among other issues limiting water storage
  • Lack of water harvesting and over-irrigation owing to cropping choices and patterns have depleted water tables
  • Preparation for drought and ipso facto for a deficit in annual rainfall must go beyond mitigation and include steps to address this man-made scarcity. This cannot be done without a coordinated effort at all levels of government
  • The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to constitute a National Disaster Response Force, establish a National Disaster Mitigation Fund, formulate a National Plan on mitigation and crisis management, and standardize the methodology for declaring a drought
  • If one sets aside the question of whether this is another case of judicial overreach, it is difficult to deny that this is a truly landmark judgment

 

Indian Express:

Others:

2. Business Standard: Children can move the needle on sanitation

Topic: Governance

Category: sanitation

Key Points:

  • theSwachh Bharat Abhiyan has galvanised strong support from all stakeholders. In a country where more than 600 million people still resort to open defecation, the construction of 10 million new toilets, with toilet facilities in 90 per cent of schools in one year, is no small feat
  •  However, reports suggest that four out of every 10 of these school toilets are non-usable or dysfunctional due to lack of regular maintenance. In rural India, one out of every two toilets in schools is unusable, leading to continued open defecation
  •  India reports the highest number of diarrhoea deaths among children under five, open defecation being the main reason. Further research suggests that 23 per cent of girls drop out of school on reaching puberty, but access to safe and hygienic toilets can increase their attendance by up to 11 per cent
  • While government schools have an annual maintenance grant for the upkeep of their facilities, they may not have the necessary resources to channel these funds into repairs and maintenance of toilets. There is also enough evidence that inculcating toilet habits in children translates into toilet habits for the entire family, thus helping reduce the incidence of open defecation in communities.
  • In India the best approach would be to fix what has been built and focus on school toilets.
  • Identifying specific issues school by school, engaging key influencers and school authorities, deploying resources for specific repairs or renovation and setting up hygiene clubs to inculcate good toilet habits among children can certainly help
  • In addition to this direct intervention in schools, it is equally important to develop commercially viable and scalable solutions for sanitation in India- a market-driven sanitation model
  • Beyond the financial support, it is important to build capabilities in areas of marketing, sales, finance, research and engineering to form a sustainable sanitation model.
  • In sum, industry needs to complement the government’s focus on building new toilets with sustainable interventions in areas of repair, maintenance, education and change of behavior
  •  Only if we tackle both the hardware and software issues, can we move the needle on sanitation and create a lasting impact.

 

3. Business Standard: The right to dieTopic: Governance

Category: Legislation

Key Points:

  • The health ministry’s draft Bill permitting passive euthanasia, or withholding medical treatment or a life support system required to keep a terminally ill patient alive, should be broadly welcomed
  • It has been framed on guidelines set out by the Supreme Court in 2011, drawn up following the case involving an appeal by a human rights activist to withdraw food and treatment to ArunaShanbaug – a nurse who had been in a vegetative state for three decades after being assaulted by a hospital assistant in 1973
  • Though the Supreme Court turned down that appeal, it allowed passive euthanasia in a landmark judgment. The apex court argued that stopping treatment did not amount to a “positive step to terminate life”, as is the case with active euthanasia involving, say, the administration of a lethal injection or poison
  • In recent decades, arguments for the right to life have been increasingly leavened by the case for the right of a human being to die
  • The possibility of the misuse of the guidelines remains high, especially in the context of rising medical costs or the nefarious intent of relatives. The Supreme Court’s guidelines andthe Bill, however, have been cognisant of the ramifications of the issue by building in safeguards
  • They stipulate that the doctor and the patient will be protected from criminal liability and have set out distinct procedures for “competent” (conscious) and “incompetent” (comatose) patients, for whom the decision rests with relatives. The latter involves reference to a high court panel in each state which will refer to a committee of three reputed doctors who will examine the patient and submit its report. The wishes of the patients’ close relatives – spouse, child, parents – will also be considered
  • The Bill stipulates a month for the high court to give a verdict, a time-frame that may be excessive in the context of a patient’s suffering
  • The process for “competent” patients may also need to be made more robust to ensure that they are not being subjected to coercion from relatives or hospital staff
  • In its broad intent, however, the Bill not only provides a reasonably rigorous due process but is also in alignment with a humane reality often followed by doctors and hospitals in terminal cases
  • To be sure, the issue will remain controversial but as a move towards affording Indians some measure of dignity the Bill is an important step forward

 

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Fuel, Coolant in Nuclear reactors
  • CPI and IIP
  • Euthanasia
  • Ken and Betwa
  • Anti-dumping
  • Extradition
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the parts of a nuclear reactor?
  1. The moderator is a light material that allows the neutrons to slow down without being captured
  2. A coolant is a fluid circulating through the reactor core that is used to absorb and transfer the heat produced by nuclear fission

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 2: Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
  • River Betwa is a tributary of River Chambal
  • The Ken River passes through Panna National Park

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 3: Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
  1. CPI (Urban), CPI (Rural) and Consolidated CPI for Urban + Rural are published by the CSO
  2. State-wise CPI data is published
  3. Base year used for CPI calculation is 2010
  4. Services are also included in CPI

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 4 only

c) 1,2 and 3

d) all the above

 

Question 4: Which of the following is/are incorrect?
  1. Enforcement Directorate is the designated statutory authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
  2. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)- India is an independent body under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
  3. FIU – India is responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.

a) 2 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c) 1, 2 and 3

d) None of the Above

Question 5: Which of the above statements is/are correct:
  1. The Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties(DGAD) administers the Anti-dumping and anti-subsidies & Countervailing measures in India
  2. Department of Revenue imposes the Anti-dumping duties

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

“Proper Current Affairs preparation is the key to success in the UPSC- Civil Services Examination. We have now launched a comprehensive ‘Online Current Affairs Crash Course’.
Limited seats available. Click here to Know More.”

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *