Comprehensive News Analysis - 13 May 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

SOCIAL ISSUES

1. No mutual consent in triple talaq, observes CJI Justice JS Khehar

B. GS2 Related:

POLITY

1. Issue fresh licences for meat traders: HC

2. Rajnath Singh to States: Ensure comfortable environment for Kashmiris

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. India-Pakistan ties may slide further: U.S. intelligence

C. GS3 Related:

ECONOMY

1. India to learn from London transport

2. GST to herald a new era in federalism: RBI

3. Revised data shows IIP growing faster, WPI easing

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGYY

1. India’s first uterus transplants soon

INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Cyberattacks using leaked NSA hacking tool affect 12 nations

D. GS4 Related:
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

1. In vitro fertilisation

F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

A. GS1 Related

Category: SOCIAL ISSUES

1. No mutual consent in triple talaq, observes CJI Justice JS Khehar

Context: constitutional validity of the system of instant divorce in Muslim community (Issue of triple talaq and polygamy). 

Observations:

  • The Chief Justice of India, Justice JS Khehar – there is no mutual consent in the system of triple talaq.
  • Ram Jethmalani abhorred the practice and said the system is in contravention of the Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to equality
  • Forum for Awareness of National Security- the triple talaq is a method of terminating marriage contract which lies only with men but not with women
  • Salman Khurshid – judicial review of the matter was not required.
  • Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta put forward government’s stand on the issue – the Centre was against triple talaq.

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Issue fresh licences for meat traders: HC

Context:

  • The Yogi Adityanath government, soon after coming into power had directed administrative and police authorities to shut down or seal slaughterhouses in the State which according to it were running unlawfully or were unregistered.
  • The State also shut down meat shops.
  • Issue of livelihood.

Reasons given by the government:

  • The State has no obligation to construct slaughter houses or make provisions for them and was merely acting against illegal setups in accordance with the norms of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

In news:

  • The Allahabad High Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government
  • To start issuing fresh licences and no-objection certificates (NOCs) to meat traders in the State.
  • Renew existing licences.

Verdict:

  • The responsibility for constructing slaughterhouses lay with the local municipal corporations
  • The State could not prevent people from eating meat.

2. Rajnath Singh to States: Ensure comfortable environment for Kashmiris

In news:

  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh advised all the Chief Ministers to ensure “comfortable environment” for Kashmiri students and workers in their states as there have been incidents of their harassment at some places.
  • Singh’s advice came at a meeting of Northern Zonal Council of the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan, National Capital territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh here.

Zonal Council:

The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1956 when during the course of debate on the report of the States Re-organisation Commission, he suggested that the States proposed to be reorganised may be grouped into four or five zones having an Advisory Council ‘to develop the habit of cooperative working” among these States.  This suggestion was made by Pandit Nehru at a time when linguistic hostilities and bitterness as a result of re-organisation of the States on linguistic pattern were threatening the very fabric of our nation. As an antidote to this situation, it was suggested that a high level advisory forum should be set up to minimise the impact of these hostilities and to create healthy inter-State and Centre-State environment with a view to solving inter-State problems and fostering balanced socio economic development of the respective zones.

COMPOSITION OF ZONAL COUNCILS

In the light of the vision of Pandit Nehru, five Zonal Councils were set up vide Part-III of the States Re-organisation Act, 1956. The present composition of each of these Zonal Councils is as under:

  1. The Northern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh;
  2. The Central Zonal Council, comprising the States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh;
  3. The Eastern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim and West Bengal;
  4. The Western Zonal Council, comprising the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli; and
  5. The Southern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The North Eastern States i.e. (i) Assam (ii) Arunachal Pradesh (iii) Manipur (iv) Tripura (v) Mizoram (vi) Meghalaya and (vii) Nagaland are not included in the Zonal Councils and their special problems are looked after by the North Eastern Council, set up under the North Eastern Council Act, 1972. The State of Sikkim has also been included in the North Eastern Council vide North Eastern Council (Amendment) Act, 2002 notified on 23rd December, 2002.

COMMITTIEES OF ZONAL COUNCILS

Each Zonal Council has set up a Standing Committee consisting of Chief Secretaries of the member States of their respective Zonal Councils.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE OF ZONAL COUNCILS

  • Chairman – The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
  • Vice Chairman – The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
  • Members- Chief Minister and two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and two members from Union Territories included in the zone.
  • Advisers- One person nominated by the Planning Commission for each of the Zonal Councils, Chief Secretaries and another officer/Development Commissioner nominated by each of the States included in the Zone
  • Union Ministers are also invited to participate in the meetings of Zonal Councils depending upon necessity.

ROLE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE ZONAL COUNCILS

The main objectives of setting up of Zonal Councils are as under:

  • Bringing out national integration;
  • Arresting the growth of acute State consciousness, regionalism, linguism and particularistic tendencies;
  • Enabling the Centre and the States to co-operate and exchange ideas and experiences; and
  • Establishing a climate of co-operation amongst the States for successful and speedy execution of development projects.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. India-Pakistan ties may slide further: U.S. intelligence

 In news:

U.S. intelligence assessment of the security situation in the Indo-Pak.

  • The relations between India and Pakistan is likely to deteriorate further in 2017
  • The easing of tension will depend on a sharp and sustained reduction of cross-border attacks by terrorist groups based in Pakistan and progress in the Pathankot investigation.
  • Two major terrorist attacks in 2016 by militants crossing into India from Pakistan led to the slide in ties, and the “perceived lack of progress in Pakistan’s investigations into the January 2016 Pathankot cross-border attack” compounded it.
  • Increasing numbers of fire-fights along the Line of Control, including the use of artillery and mortars, might exacerbate the risk of unintended escalation between these nuclear-armed neighbours
  • India’s military doctrine of cold start that aims to launch low intensity operation into Pakistan, and Pakistan’s declared willingness to respond with tactical nuclear weapons have been under scrutiny of American security strategists for a while.
  • Pakistan-based terrorist groups will present a sustained threat to U.S. interests in the region and continue to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan.
  • The United States continues to aggressively target extremists in Pakistan and the surrounding region, including charities and other front groups used as vehicles to facilitate illicit terrorist activities.

Basic Information:

Cold Start is a military doctrine developed by the Indian Armed Forces for use in a possible war with Pakistan. It involves the various branches of India’s military conducting offensive operations as part of unified battle groups. The Cold Start doctrine is intended to allow India’s conventional forces to perform holding attacks in order to prevent a nuclear retaliation from Pakistan in case of a conflict.

 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. India to learn from London transport

  • MoU between Transport for London (TfL) and India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways was signed.
  • It involve sharing expertise on the mobility and efficiency of India’s transportation systems, as well as around logistical issues such as planning and delivery.
  • India is set to learn on the lessons from the strong public transport system in place in London — where over 1.3 billion journeys take place every year

Areas of focus:

  • Ticketing, providing information, financing and infrastructure maintenance work, as well as promotion of the use of public transport.
  • Other areas of cooperation in the future were likely to include innovation around buses, including electric buses, and the use of water transport in urban centres.

2. GST to herald a new era in federalism: RBI

In news:

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report on State finances.
  • GST is likely to set a new course for cooperative federalism in India by strengthening Centre-State partnership.
  • The successful implementation of GST would help boost revenue through easier tax administration, supported by user-friendly IT systems.
  • GST is expected to reduce administrative costs for collection of tax revenue and improve revenue efficiency. Moreover, uniformity in tax rates and procedures across the country will economise on compliance cost.

3. Revised data shows IIP growing faster, WPI easing

In news:

  • The main change made to the two indices is that the base year has been shifted from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in order to make the data more contemporary and reflective of ground realities.
  • The international recommendation is for a revision of these indices every five years
  • The purpose of these changes is to align WPI with GDP and IIP, and hence the 2011-12 base year has been taken.
  • The other change is that the WPI will no longer incorporate indirect taxes, which means they will be insulated from policy changes. Previously, the WPI was calculated on the basis of the base price plus excise duty minus any trade discount. The new formula removes the excise duty aspect.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. India’s first uterus transplants soon

In news:

  • Two medical centres in Pune and Bengaluru are gearing up to perform the country’s first uterus transplants.
  • A uterus transplant is an extremely complex procedure that will enable women with absent or diseased uteruses to carry a pregnancy to term after a donor uterus is transplanted into them.
  • While there is no debate that womb transplant will be a medical leap for Indian doctors, the question remains about the viability of the procedure.

Fact: One in every 4,000 women in India is born without a uterus. There are about 4 lakh women with congenital absence of uterus all over the world.

Procedure:

  • At first, a donor undergoes a surgery for the removal of her uterus.
  • Unlike other hysterectomies, blood vessels and vascular pedicels around the uterus have to be carefully preserved and then re-attached to the recipient.
  • After the transplant, the recipient is put on immunosuppressants so that her body does not reject the donor’s organ.
  • She waits at least for a year before attempting a pregnancy as an In Vitro Fertility (IVF)
  • The woman’s eggs are extracted much before the transplant and the embryos formed with her husband’s sperms are frozen.
  • If the IVF cycles are successful, the woman conceives.
  • However, the delivery is carried out through a C-section and the transplanted uterus is removed after the delivery so that she does not have be on immunosuppressants continuously.
  • The woman also faces a high risk of miscarriage and the babies have to be delivered pre-term.

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Cyberattacks using leaked NSA hacking tool affect 12 nations

 In news:

  • An extensive cyberattack struck computers across a wide swath of Europe and Asia and strained the public health system in Britain, where doctors were blocked from patient files and emergency rooms were forced to divert patients.
  • The attack involved ransomware, a kind of malware that encrypts data and locks out the user.
  • According to security experts, it exploited a vulnerability that was discovered and developed by the National Security Agency.
  • Hackers involved: The hacking tool was leaked by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which has been dumping stolen NSA hacking tools online beginning last year.
  • Among the many other institutions that were affected were hospitals and telecommunications companies across Europe, Russia, Asia and beyond.

Ransomware – simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, and display a message requesting payment to unlock it. More advanced malware encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them.

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today

 

   PIB Articles                  Editorials Roundup

 

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

 

In vitro fertilisation
In vitro fertilisation (or fertilization; IVF) is a In vitro fertilisationprocess of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro (“in glass”). The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a liquid in a laboratory. The fertilised egg (zygote) is cultured for 2–6 days in a growth medium and is then transferred to the same or another woman’s uterus, with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.

 

F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News
Article in News About the article
Article 13. Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights

(1) All laws in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void

(2) The State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void

(3) In this article, unless the context otherwise requires law includes any Ordinance, order, bye law, rule, regulation, notification, custom or usages having in the territory of India the force of law; laws in force includes laws passed or made by Legislature or other competent authority in the territory of India before the commencement of this Constitution and not previously repealed, notwithstanding that any such law or any part thereof may not be then in operation either at all or in particular areas

(4) Nothing in this article shall apply to any amendment of this Constitution made under Article 368

Article 14 Equality before law

The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

Article 15 Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth (1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to

(a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and palaces of public entertainment; or

(b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public

(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children

(4) Nothing in this article or in clause ( 2 ) of Article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes

 

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1: Zonal council is
  1. A Constitutional Body
  2. A Statutory body
  3. Constituted by an executive order
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 2: Interstate council is 
  1. A Constitutional Body
  2. A Statutory body
  3. Constituted by an executive order
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 3: Consider the following statements:
  1. The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of Zonal Councils.
  2. The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of two year at a time.

Choose the correct statement.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
See
Answer
Question 4: Which Ministry releases WPI?
  1. Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  2. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
  3. Ministry of Finance
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 5: Which among the following has the highest weightage in the Whole 
sale price index?
  1. Manufactured products
  2. Primary Articles
  3. Fuel and power
  4. Mineral products
See
Answer

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