Comprehensive News Analysis – 14 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. Heritage at stake

B. GS2 Related:

1. HC: child born out of rape entitled to compensation

2. Empowering the Right to Education

3 Venezuela warns about cybercrime

4. We continue to welcome students from India: U.K.

C. GS3 Related:

1. Centre to finance digital discounts

2. IBSA meet may see pact to boost trade

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

The Hindu

1. Through a storm, safely

2. Free flow of wheat

PIB

1. India and Indonesia provide Bulwark against Radicalism and Intolerance, says President

2. Indo – Russian Bilateral Naval Exercise ( Indra Navy – 2016)

3. Seventh Indo- Maldives joint military exercise to commence from 15 dec

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
  1. Heritage at stake

Category: Ancient India

Topic: Mauryan Empire  

Key Points:

  • In Delhi, a stone pillar dating to the Mauryan empire at the Feroz Shah Kotla Fort has shown signs of corrosion. A part of the inscription flaking away. 
  • It is not clear as to when the corrosion started. But, heritage enthusiasts and historians feel that a part of Mauryan heritage has been lost.
  • It must be noted that the pillar was set up by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka at Topra, near Ambala.
  • This pillar was later installed at the Feroz Shah Kotla Fort on the orders of Feroz Shah Tughlaq.
  • Historians are of the opinion that what sets the pillar apart is that it has text inscribed in the Nagari script.

 

B. GS2 Related
  1. HC: child born out of rape entitled to compensation

Category: Polity and Governance   

Topic: Judiciary, Government Initiatives  

Key Points:

  • The Delhi High Court has recently held that a child born out of rape is clearly a victim of the offence and is entitled to compensation.
  • In its 72-page judgment, a Bench of Justices R.K. Gauba and Gita Mittal held that, “Such a child is clearly a victim of the act of the offender and entitled to compensation independent of the amount of compensation paid to his/her mother. Such award would require to include amount towards his/her maintenance and support.”

 

  1. Empowering the Right to Education

Category: Polity and Governance  

Topic: Government Initiatives  

Key Points:

  • It is important to note that in 2009, India enacted a landmark legislation promising universal inclusion in primary education.
  • This legislation, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, paved the way for more learning opportunities at secondary and higher levels.
  • Further, this legislation effectively made education a fundamental right of every child in the age group of 6 to 14.
  • Over the past decade, a massive investment push into education infrastructure, has seen about 3.5 lakh new schools opened under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan so that 99 per cent of India’s rural population has a primary school within a one kilometre radius.
  • Unfortunately, even with the increasing enrolment numbers, India has the largest number of out-of-school children in the world, which is a staggering 6.064 million.
  • Further, out of the 6.064 million out of school children, 76 per cent, belonged to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the religious minorities.

 

  1. Venezuela warns about cybercrime

Category: International Relations   

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • Like India, even Venezuela, has withdrawn its highest currency note from the market.
  • Venezuela has cautioned India about cyber crimes that target digital economy.
  • Venezuelan ambassador Augusto Montiel has recently remarked that, Venezuela has the highest per head web connectivity in Latin America and that it could have gone for a digital economy. But several cyber attacks have shown the people of Venezuela that the digital economy is in fact far more vulnerable to cyber attacks than real currency transactions.
  • It is important to note that Venezuela’s telecom and banking sectors suffered a series of cyber attacks in 2016, which has prompted the government to stick to currency-based economy.

 

  1. We continue to welcome students from India: U.K.

Category: International Relations 

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • K.’s Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Alok Sharma, has said that Britain is committed to strengthening its bilateral relationship with India.
  • Sharma also defended  Britain’s visa regime.
  • It is important to note that critics had suggested that Britain’s visa regime could hamper bilateral ties in the future.
  • Sharma remarked that bilateral trade between the two countries is at £16 billion and that there is huge potential to do even more. 
  • Sharma also pointed to the fact that India was the only country where people could get a same-day visa.
  • It is important to note that though Indian student numbers in the U.K. has dropped, this has been accompanied by sharp rises in other countries, including the U.S., Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. Centre to finance digital discounts

Category: Indian Economy   

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • The Centre has recently decided to bear the burden imposed on public sector firms on account of the many discounts and incentives offered to promote digital payments.
  • Going forward, the plan is to create a new expenditure head in the exchequer’s accounts that will absorb the costs of such measures.
  • Thus, Public sector insurers, oil-marketing firms and others will not take a hit on their books for the Centre’s cashless push.
  • It is important to note that the government had offered many discounts on transaction charges and merchant discount rates that accompany payments using cards or online last week.

 

  1. IBSA meet may see pact to boost trade

Category: Indian Economy   

Topic: International Trade    

Key Points:

  • At the forthcoming IBSA Summit, the government of India would likely accord the proposal for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and the two separate customs unions involving Brazil and South Africa – MERCOSUR and SACU respectively – to boost trade and investment ties.
  • It is important to note that on trade, India has a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with MERCOSUR.
  • India is also negotiating a PTA with Southern African Customs Union (SACU) that includes South Africa.
  • A PTA between MERCOSUR and SACU had become operational from April this year.

 

What is MERCOSUR?

MERCOSUR  is a trading bloc and customs union of Latin American nations, including Brazil.  

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Through a storm, safely

Category: Disaster Management

Topic: Cyclones, Disaster Mitigation

Key Points:

  • Equipped with survival lessons from the December 2015 floods and helped by an efficient flow of disaster warning messages, Chennai and the neighbouring districts were better prepared to face the cyclonic storm, Vardah.
  • To the credit of the State Government of Tamil Nadu, basic mobility was restored overnight, and fallen trees were removed to allow some traffic to ply. 
  • The cyclonic storm, Vardah, also demonstrated that in the time of social media and the Internet, speedy official and community messages can influence the outcome of a catastrophe. 
  • It was encouraging to note that cautionary advice was put out on social platforms urging people to stay safe helped reduce the number of casualties.

The Way Forward

  • It is important to note that tropical storms are an annual affair, with the eastern coast of India being more vulnerable.
  • Thus, it is vital, therefore, that the learnings from each event are shared nationally, and the capacity of officials and communities to manage disasters built continuously.

 

  1. Free flow of wheat

Category: Indian Economy

  Topic: Agriculture 

Key Points:

  • Recently, the Centre decided to waive import duty on wheat. This decision by the Centre, has attracted flak.
  • Opposition parties have questioned this move.
  • Farmer unions have warned of dumping of wheat stock in India at a time when the minimum support price (Rs.1,625 a quintal) is higher than international prices.
  • This, the farmer unions have argued, could lead to distress sales when the current crop is harvested over March-April. 
  • It is important to note that a record global harvest has lowered wheat prices internationally. 
  • With a higher MSP, and speculation about a less-than-adequate harvest domestically, the union government is obviously keen on avoiding a surge in inflation following the demonetisation process.

 

PIB

  1. India and Indonesia provide Bulwark against Radicalism and Intolerance, says President

Category: International Relations    

Topic: Agreements involving India

Key Points:

  • Welcoming the President of Indonesia, Mr. Joko Widodo to India, the President of India said that India and Indonesia have has age-old bilateral ties and that the two countries share a common experience of struggle for freedom from colonial rule.
  • He went on to add that the two countries provide a bulwark against radicalism and intolerance.

India-Indonesia Context

  • Indonesia is the largest economy in ASEAN.
  • Indonesia is India’s number one trade partner in the region. 
  • India’s bilateral trade with Indonesia was about US$16 billion last year. The two countries can try to realize the actual potential of trade by diversifying their trade basket.
  • It is important to note that Indonesia and India helped to write the closing chapters of colonialism and started the Non-Aligned Movement.

 

  1. Indo – Russian Bilateral Naval Exercise ( Indra Navy – 2016) 

Category: International Relations   

Topic: Agreements involving India

Key Points:

  • The 9th edition of exercise INDRA NAVY will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 14 to 21 December 2016.
  • INDRA NAVY is an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy.
  • 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.
  • Initiated in 2003, the exercise has matured over the years with increase in scope, complexity of operations and level of participation.
  • During INDRA NAVY-16, the Indian Navy will be represented by INS Ranvir a guided missile destroyer, INS Satpura an indigenous frigate and INS Kamorta an indigenous Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) corvette.
  • Exercise INDRA NAVY-16 will help to further strengthen mutual confidence and inter-operability, and also enable sharing of best practices between both navies.
  • The exercise will be another milestone in strengthening maritime security cooperation between the two navies and will also serve to reinforce the long standing bond of friendship between the two countries.

 

  1. Seventh Indo- Maldives joint military exercise to commence from 15 dec

Category: International Relations   

Topic: Agreements involving India

Key Points:

  • Exercise EKUVERIN will be held from 15 to 28 Dec 2016 at Kadhdhoo, Laamu Atoll, Maldives. 
  • This exercise is a 14 day platoon level joint military exercise between the Indian Army & the Maldives National Defence Force. This exercise is conducted on a yearly basis.

Aim of the exercise:

  • The aim of the exercise is to conduct military training with emphasis on amphibious & counter insurgency/ counter terrorism operations with a view to enhance interoperability between the two armies.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • MERCOSUR
  • SACU
  • Sarva Siksha Abhiyan



H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. Chandragupta Maurya founded the Mauryan dynasty.
  2. In his rise to power, he was aided and counselled by his chief minister Kautilya (also known as Chanakya), who wrote the Arthashastra.

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. INS Ranvir a guided missile destroyer, INS Satpura an indigenous frigate and INS Kamorta is a submarine.
  2. INDRA NAVY is an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy.

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. Mercosur is an economic and political bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
  2. Paraguay was recently suspended from Mercosur.

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. Indonesia is the largest economy in ASEAN.
  2. India’s bilateral trade with Indonesia was about US$16 billion last year.

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. Yoga, has been inscribed as an element in the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity.
  2. Sankirtana –the ritual singing, drumming, and dancing of Manipur had been inscribed in the list in 2013.

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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