Table of Contents:
A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:
C. GS3 Related:
D. GS4 Related:
Useful News Articles
A. GS1 Related
Topic: Drainage, Rivers
- The cost of the river interlinking project to transfer water from the Ken to the Betwa river has now reached Rs. 18,000 crore.
- This figure is nearly double the estimate used by the National Board for Wildlife to accord clearances to the project last year.
- Since this project disturbs the habitat of resident wildlife and requires the diversion of forest land in Madhya Pradesh, the project required a wildlife, forest and environmental clearance by separate, independent committees.
Features of the project:
- The main feature of the project is a 230-km long canal and a series of barrages and dams connecting the Ken and Betwa rivers.
- This will irrigate 3.5 lakh hectares in Madhya Pradesh and around 14,000 hectares of land in Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand.
- The key projects are the Makodia and Dhaudhan dams, the latter expected to be 77 metres high and responsible for submerging 5,803 hectares of tiger habitat in the Panna Tiger Reserve.
B. GS2 Related
Category: International Relations
Topic: India and its Neighbourhood- Relations
- A prominent Afghan official has been airlifted by India for treatment.
- The Afghan official was seriously injured in a Taliban attack on January 10 that killed 11 persons, including five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates.
- The official concerned is the governor of Kandahar, Dr. Humayun Azizi.
- India had condemned the attack as “dastardly” and “heinous” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pledged support to President Ashraf Ghani to counter terror strikes from Taliban.
- It is important to note that India has provided medical support to a number of terror-attack victims from conflict zones in recent years.
- In fact, soldiers from Iraq, fighting the IS in Mosul, have been receiving treatment in a prominent hospital in Delhi.
C. GS3 Related
Category: Indian Economy
Topic: International Trade
- According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the number of unemployed people in India is expected to rise by 1 lakh in 2017 and another 2 lakh in 2018.
- It is important to note that the ILO had also predicted that the number of jobless will increase from 17.7 million in 2016 to 18 million by 2018 even though the country’s unemployment rate is expected to go down from 3.5 per cent to 3.4 per cent in 2017.
- In its report on World Employment and Social Outlook for 2017 , the ILO reckons that the number of jobless people will increase by 3.4 million in 2017.
D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
Category: Indian Economy
Topic: Money and Banking
- Recently, Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel has emphasized on the vital importance of protecting domestic macroeconomic stability.
- This could not have come at a more crucial juncture.
- Demands across sections have been growing for a sizeable fiscal stimulus. These demands are likely to grow louder as budget day nears.
- Even within the government, the temptation to loosen the purse strings to assuage adverse reaction to the demonetisation decision is likely to be high.
- It is important to note that in India, the general government deficit among the highest in the G-20 economies.
- Significantly, Dr. Patel has reiterated what several of his predecessors including Y.V. Reddy have harped on: high levels of government borrowing tend to crowd out private investment and paper over the urgent need for more abiding reforms.
The Way Forward
- The RBI Governor’s comments are significant as he has suggested that government expenditure be ideally reoriented towards creating more public infrastructure.
- This infrastructure includes, expanded railway networks and urban mass transit systems that would help boost productivity.
- This will also lead to a reduction in the oil import bill and would thus provide the collateral benefit of improved air quality.
Category: Indian Economy
Topic: Government Policy, Inclusive Growth
- It has been suggested that the Budget should focus on revitalising the agri sector which, in spite of a healthy monsoon, has been hit by demonetization.
- It is important to note that demonetisation impacted the agricultural marketing system where payments are largely made in cash by intermediaries, which is then used immediately for purchase of inputs.
Low Productivity: India is the largest producer in the world for produce such as milk, bananas, okra, etc, and the National Horticulture Mission has resulted in crop diversification. A recent positive development is increase in agri exports to over $32 billion.
However, low agricultural productivity remains a challenge, given India’s increasingly fragmented land holdings, low use of technology, inadequate mechanisation and other issues. There is need for a national agriculture strategy with the farmer as entrepreneur.
- It has been suggested that a Model Land Leasing Act is required, along with revival of the cooperative movement that can bring together thousands of farmers on the line of the Amul cooperative model.
- Further, it has also been suggested that the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, be extended rapidly to cover the entire cropped area especially by targeting States where implementation has been slow.
- Further, in an effort to provide timely credit to farmers, there is a suggestion to enable non-banking finance companies to provide loans coupled with availability of inputs, seeds and fertilisers.
- It is important to note that the agriculture sector would gain tremendously from linkages to food processing. Currently, just about 2 per cent of our fruits and vegetables are processed.
- Further, it has been suggested that the Budget must prioritise spread of digital payments in rural areas to enable a smooth transition to less cash use.
- The Budget can also develop infrastructure schemes that would offer short-term employment opportunities to migrant workers who may have returned home temporarily. These projects should be labour- intensive such as roads, minor irrigation and water conservation works, agricultural warehousing, etc.
- In conclusion, it must be noted that the agriculture sector is the base of the economy. Every effort should be made to strengthen this sector and enable it to emerge as the springboard for inclusive growth.
Category: Polity and Governance
- The Supreme Court is the most reliable custodian of citizens’ freedoms.
- Only the Supreme Court has the independence and the stature to guard free speech in the abstract, in its entirety.
- It is important to note that in 1950, the Supreme Court had rubbished the idea of pre-censorship in the Brij Bhushan and Another vs State of Delhi.
- Prashant Bhushan had recently argued for a regulatory body for media content. But, the Supreme Court bench led by the Chief Justice of India has clarified that neither the judiciary, nor the executive could have oversight of media content.
- It is important to note that demands for the regulation of content are logically absurd because self-regulation is the only practical strategy.
- In fact, this position of self-regulation has been supported by the central government and the News Broadcasters Association.
- In conclusion, while the government has claimed the ability to monitor 1,500 news channels in real time by the end of the year, it should limit itself to the observer’s role.
- Intervention in the absence of a complaint would amount to impugning Article 19 of the Constitution.
Category: Science and Technology
- The Pinaka Rocket converted to a Guided Pinaka was successfully test-fired from Launch Complex-III, ITR, Chandipur on 12th January, 2017.
- The Pinaka Rocket Mark-II, which evolved from Pinaka Mark-I is equipped with a navigation, guidance and control kit and has been transformed to a Guided Pinaka. This conversion has considerably enhanced the range and accuracy of Pinaka.
- The test-firing has met all mission objectives. The radars, electro-optical and telemetry systems at Chandipur tracked and monitored the vehicle all through the flight-path. The Guided Pinaka is developed jointly by ARDE Pune, RCI Hyderabad and DRDL Hyderabad. ITR Chandipur provided the range and launch support.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
- Pinaka Rocket Mark-II
- Pinaka Mark-I
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: The ‘World Employment and Social Outlook’ is released by which of the following organizations?
a) International Labour Organisation (ILO)
b) World Bank
c) International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Question 2: Consider the following statements,
- The Pinaka Rocket Mark-II, which evolved from Pinaka Mark-I is equipped with a navigation, guidance and control kit and has been transformed to a Guided Pinaka.
- This conversion has considerably enhanced the range and accuracy of Pinaka.
- The Guided Pinaka is developed jointly by ARDE Pune, RCI Hyderabad and DRDL Hyderabad.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 1 and 2 Only
b) All, 1, 2 and 3
c) 2 and 3 Only
d) 1 and 3 Only
Question 3: Which among the following articles of the Indian Constitution grants us the Right to Freedom?
a) Article 19-22
b) Article 14-18
c) Article 32
d) Article 368
Question 4: ‘Panna Tiger Reserve’, recently in the news is located in which of the following states?
a) Madhya Pradesh
d) West Bengal
Question 5: Which of the following articles of the Indian Constitution grants us the Right to Equality?
b) Article 23-24
c) Article 32
d) None of the above
“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.”
You can check out some more recent News Analysis sections to build even more context
Practice More: Enroll for India’s Largest All-India Test Series