Comprehensive News Analysis – 14 August 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. ‘HCs have just a few minutes to hear each case’

2. India re-engages China on NSG entry

3. Ties with India to improve now: U.K. Minister

C. GS3 Related:

1. Superlens, super-resolution

2. What is a Perseid meteor shower?

3. Centre plans to dilute norms for commercial driving licence

4. Off-grid solar can meet India’s power demand

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!

 

B. GS2 Related


  1. ‘HCs have just a few minutes to hear each case’

Category: Polity and Governance 

Topic:  Judiciary

Key Points:

  • The “State of The Indian Judiciary” report is released by a Bangalore-based research organisation DAKSH.
  • This report has pointed out that the average hearing time for listed cases on a particular day in an Indian high court could be as little as two minutes.

How has this data been computed?

  • This data has been computed based on the working hours of judges and number of cases “listed” on a particular day.
  • In the Patna High Court, a hearing lasts for around two minutes on an average, as judges hear around 150 cases every day.
  • In the Tripura High Court, the average time per hearing is 15 minutes with judges hearing around 20 cases a day.

Conclusion

  • Findings of the report are key to judicial reform asthey are indicators of the stress faced by judges.

 

2. India re-engages China on NSG entry

Category: International Relations

Topic:  Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

NSG entry

Key Points:

  • The Government of India expressed concern to the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • The Government of India also sought an end to China’s opposition to blacklisting Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed.
  • China had opposed India’s candidature into the NSG saying that its application for membership lacked merit as India had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • In the recent meeting between the Governments of India and China, a proposed separate track for discussion on the Nuclear Suppliers Group assumes significance as it means that the issue will receive more immediate bilateral attention.
  • So far, it must be notes that, the level of dialogue between India and China was at the level of Special Representatives (SR).
  • Dialogue at the level of Special Representatives (SR), covers comprehensive diplomatic and strategic affairs.

 

3. Ties with India to improve now: U.K. Minister

Category: International Relations

Topic:  Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Key Points:

  • K. Minister Priti Patel believes that India and the U.K. had been unable to grow bilateral trade because of the logjam between India and the European Union over free trade negotiations.
  • Business surveys had predicted a downturn in the U.K. economy, which Ms. Patel rejected.
  • Also, recently in the news, sarod maestro, Amjad Ali Khan’s visa  to the U.K.  was rejected.
  • Patel rejected concerns that the visa denial were connected to tightened regulations in the U.K.  in the wake of the U.K’s decision to leave the European Union.

 

C. GS3 Related


1. Superlens, super-resolution

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Developments in Science and Technology

Key Points:

  • Near-field imaging techniques have received a boost.
  • A new technology has been developed that is made out of a titanium dioxide-based metamaterial.
  • This new technology manipulates light to produce a sharp image with super-resolution and can find application in medicine, photonic and optoelectronic devices.

 

2. What is a Perseid meteor shower?

Category: Science and Technology 

Topic: Awareness

Key Points:

  • The Perseids are so called because the point from which they appear to come lies in the constellation Perseus.
  • Perseid meteor showers happen when the earth passes through the streams of dust and debris left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
  • This comet whips past earth in its orbit around the sun every 133 years.
  • The shower is visible from mid-July each year.
  • Peak activity of this shower is between August 9-14.

 

3. Centre plans to dilute norms for commercial driving licence

Category: Economy

Topic: Infrastructure: Roads, Transport

Key Points: 

  • The Centre has proposed to do away with the criterion of minimum educational qualification for public transport drivers.
  • Presently, it is mandatory for drivers of all commercial vehicles to clear class VIII at the school-level before applying for a driving licence.
  • These commercial vehicles include, buses, trucks and taxis.
  • The Centre plans to introduce this change in the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill of 2016.
  • There is also another significant move being proposed, and that is taxi drivers may no longer need to have a year’s driving experience in a private vehicle before being eligible for a commercial vehicle licence. This is provided that the driver concerned has undergone specialised training from any government accredited driving school.
  • As per the proposals, the Central Government will empower a body to certify schools to impart training to drivers.
  • A ‘structured training programme’ will be formulated by the Centre, with possibly the help from National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) so that transport licenses are issued faster.
  • This training programme would likely be for around 2-3 months, and might focus on core driving skills, latest technology exposure, soft skills, maintenance of vehicles, discipline, hygiene and health of the drivers, etc.

 

4. Off-grid solar can meet India’s power demand

Category: Economy

Topic: Energy

Off grid solar

Key Points:

  • There has been a slow pace of capacity addition in the solar sector.
  • This has created room for a variety of off-grid solar solutions to grow.
  • These off-grid solar solutions provide electricity to those as yet not connected to the power grid.

Why is this development significant?

  • Off-grid solar is being viewed as the way to bring sustainable and cheap lighting to the vast regions of India which are yet to be connected to the electricity grid, especially in difficult terrain.
  • There are over 300 million people in India who don’t have access to the electricity grid.
  • These people are living in complete darkness.
  • These 300 million people live off  kerosene lanterns.
  • These kerosene lanterns are extremely harmful to health and often result in huge losses of life and property due to fires.

Factors supporting solar technology 

  • Solar tariffs have become competitive.
  • The efficiency of solar panels has improved greatly.
  • Battery technology has improved.
  • LED prices have come down.
  • The price of plastic has come down due to the fall in oil prices.

A combination of all these factors have led to a surge in the industry over the last three years.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill
  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)
  • Swift-Tuttle
  • Perseid meteor showers
  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
  • “State of The Indian Judiciary” report

 

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements:
  1. Off-grid solar is being viewed as the way to bring sustainable and cheap lighting to the vast regions of India which are yet to be connected to the electricity grid, especially in difficult terrain.
  2. There are over 300 million people in India who don’t have access to the electricity grid.
  3. Kerosene lanterns are extremely harmful to health and often result in huge losses of life and property due to fires.

a) 1 and 2 Only

b) 2 Only

c) 2 and 3 Only

d) All, 1, 2 and 3


Question 2: Consider the following statements:
  1. Perseid meteor showers happen when the earth passes through the streams of dust and debris left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
  2. The Perseids are so called because the point from which they appear to come lies in the constellation Perseus.

Which of the above statement(s) 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. China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC) will stretch from the Western Chinese city of Kashgar in the Xinxiang province of China to the port of Gwadar.
  2. Gwadar Port is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Straits of Hormuz, near the key shipping routes in and out of the Persian Gulf.

Which of the above statement(s) 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. The “State of The Indian Judiciary” report is released by a Bangalore-based research organisation called ‘DAKSH’.
  2. This report has pointed out that the average hearing time for listed cases on a particular day in an Indian high court could be as little as two minutes.
  3. Findings of the report are key to judicial reform as they are indicators of the stress faced by judges.

Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 Only

(b) 2 and 3 Only

(c) All 1, 2 and 3

(d) Neither 1 nor 2 nor 3


Question 5: Consider the following statements with reference to factors that are conducive for a variety of off-grid solar solutions to grow:
  1. Solar tariffs have become competitive.
  2. The efficiency of solar panels has improved greatly.
  3. Battery technology has improved.
  4. LED prices have come down.
  5. The price of plastic has come down due to the fall in oil prices.

Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?

(a) 1, 2 and 3 Only

(b) 3, 4 and 5 Only

(c) All, 1,2,3,4 and 5

(d) 4 and 5 Only

 

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