Comprehensive News Analysis – 14 October 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Putin says India ‘privileged strategic partner’, to ink weapon deal

2. Smaller parties, Independents in Rajya Sabha unite for more talk time

3. Opposition, NGOs slam move to amend Citizenship Act

4. India, Russia to set up agro irradiation centres

5. Maldives quits Commonwealth, against ‘unfair treatment’ after Nasheed ouster

6. Xi Jinping to begin milestone Bangladesh visit

C. GS3 Related:

1. ISRO has plans to go small with lighter satellites

2. India to ban release of potent greenhouse gas

3. India under-reported TB for 15 years: WHO

4. More intra-BRICS currency trade mooted

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

The Hindu

1. ‘Bangladesh is no longer an exporter of terrorism’

2. Is this the final innings?

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

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. Putin says India ‘privileged strategic partner’, to ink weapon deal

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has maintained that Russia remains one of India’s leading suppliers of advanced weapons and defence technology. This is because “India is Russia’s especially privileged strategic partner”.
  • At the BRICS Summit in Goa, Mr. Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to sign an agreement on the delivery of S-400 ‘Triumph’ anti-missile defence systems.
  • The Russian President went on to remark that both India and Russia actively collaborate in the military and technical field and that Russia remains in the lead in terms of both direct supplies of most advanced weapons and military equipment and conducting joint researches with India, as well as producing goods for military purposes.
  • It is important to note that the construction of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and the development of a new, fifth generation fighter aircraft are among the successful joint projects between India and Russia.

 

  1. Smaller parties, Independents in Rajya Sabha unite for more talk time

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Parliament

Key Points:

  • The Rajya Sabha will see changes during this winter session of Parliament.
  • This is because Vice-President Hamid Ansari has formally recognised a group of 22 MPs belonging to parties with less than four MPs and certain independents as a consolidated block — the United Group.
  • It is important to note that this is only the third time in the history of the Indian Parliament that this is happening, the first was in 1983, and the second in 1990.
  • This consolidated block, hails from ideologically diverse backgrounds and includes nominated MPs like cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and boxer Mary Kom. This group of MPs have united to secure more time to speak in House debates, where their solitary or numerically lean status afforded them as little as three minutes of speech time.

 

3. Opposition, NGOs slam move to amend Citizenship Act

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Role of NGOs

Key Points:

  • The NDA government’s proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955, which plans to provide citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, is facing stiff opposition from civil society groups in Assam, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • This Bill has been criticised by the opposition, which has accused the government of granting citizenship to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries on “religious lines” and wooing the majority Hindu community.
  • With this amendment, the government plans to change the definition of “illegal migrants”. The changed definition will enable the government to grant citizenship to minorities, mostly Hindus from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who fled their countries fearing religious persecution.
  • The Bill creates an exception for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and plans to reduce the requirement of 11 years of continuous stay to six years to obtain citizenship by naturalisation.

 

4. India, Russia to set up agro irradiation centres

Category: International Relations 

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

Key Points:

  • A bilateral agreement for cooperation in the development of a network of integrated infrastructure irradiation centres was signed between the Indian Agricultural Association, Hindustan Agro Co-Op Ltd (HACL) and the United Innovation Corporation (UIC).
  • This agreement was signed on the sidelines of the BRICS Business Forum in the national capital.
  • The United Innovation Corporation (UIC) is a subsidiary of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia.
  • The agreement is to be implemented through a Joint Venture and aims to set up 25 integrated irradiation centres.

 

What is Irradiation?

  • In irradiation, food products are subjected to a low dosage of radiation to treat them for germs and insects, increasing their longevity and shelf life.
  • In India, according to estimates, post-harvest losses in food and food grains are around 40-50 per cent, primarily due to insect infestation, microbiological contamination, physiological changes due to sprouting and ripening, and poor shelf life.

 

5. Maldives quits Commonwealth, against ‘unfair treatment’ after Nasheed ouster

Category: International Relations 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

Key Points:

  • The Maldives has pulled out of the Commonwealth calling the grouping’s decision to penalise the island nation over the circumstances that led to then President Mohamed Nasheed’s ouster in 2012 as “unjust”.
  • The lack of subsequent progress in resolving the political unrest is also a factor in them pulling out of the Commonwealth.

 

6. Xi Jinping to begin milestone Bangladesh visit

Category: International Relations 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

Key Points:

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Bangladesh to kick off a “milestone” visit.
  • This visit is the first by a Chinese head of state to Bangladesh in three decades since President Li Xiannian’s visit in March 1986.
  • During Mr. Xi’s visit, Bangladesh and China will sign a number of cooperative agreements to implement the Beijing-proposed ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, which focuses on improving infrastructure and boosting interconnection.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. ISRO has plans to go small with lighter satellites

Category: Science & Technology

Topic: Space

Key Points:

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has a strategy in place to a make increasingly smaller satellites for earth observation and scientific, experimental and other missions.
  • The plan for small satellites is two-pronged. One part of the plan is to make satellites that can range from 10 kg ‘micros’ to 300 kg-500 kg ‘minis’. The other part is to build 10 kg or smaller nano and micro satellites.
  • These nano and micro satellites will offer ready and reliable micro and nano satellite ‘shells’ on which universities, the Indian Institutes of Technology, and start-ups can put their experimental payloads or devices.


  1. India to ban release of potent greenhouse gas

Category: Environment

Topic: Climate Change

Key Points:

  • Environment Minister Anil Dave has said that India will no longer permit the release of HFC-23.
  • HFC-23 is a family of potent greenhouse gases, released when local companies produce the refrigerant HCFC-22.
  • Dave is at Kigali, Rwanda, and is making efforts to arrive at a deal with developed countries to amend the Montreal Protocol.
  • The Montreal Protocol is a 1987 agreement whereby countries have agreed to limit the emission of gases that destroy the ozone layer.
  • The talks at Kigali will also discuss the years by which the developing and developed countries will cap HFC emissions and switch to a new suite of gases. These new suite of gases are aimed at causing less global warming and would be projected to become the mainstay of home and car air-conditioners and industrial cooling solutions.

 

  1. India under-reported TB for 15 years: WHO

Category: Science and Technology 

Topic: Health

Key Points:

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has seriously underestimated the global TB epidemic.
  • This is due to inaccurate estimates of the tuberculosis burden in India between 2000-2015.
  • The most crucial finding of the latest Global TB Report 2016 is that India had reported only 56 per cent of its TB burden in 2014 and 59 per cent in 2015.
  • This massive underestimating will result in health authorities revising the global TB data.

 

  1. More intra-BRICS currency trade mooted

Category: Economy  

Topic: International Trade  

Key Points:

  • India has urged for greater intra-BRICS trade in each other’s currency.
  • Greater intra-BRICS trade is aimed towards protection from fluctuations causing losses.
  • The BRICS nations have agreed to set up a joint ‘single window clearance mechanism’ for ease of doing business and to usher cooperation in areas including e-commerce and Intellectual Property Rights.
  • BRICS countries account for 43 per cent of the world’s population, 15 per cent of global trade and 20 per cent of the world’s investment flows.
  • However, intra-BRICS trade in 2014 was just $297 billion — less than five per cent of the $6.5 trillion worth trade that the five countries had with the world that year.
  • Besides creation of a business-friendly environment for investors and entrepreneurs, BRICS nations should support value-added trade to transform from being raw material providers into key players in the global economy.

 

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


  1. ‘Bangladesh is no longer an exporter of terrorism’
  • Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, shared her thoughts on Bangladesh’s troubled ties with Pakistan, and recently pulling out from the SAARC summit.
  • Sheikh Hasina believes that the environment prevailing in the SAARC region at this particular time is not conducive to hold the SAARC summit, and thus felt the need to pull out from the summit.
  • Specifically in response to a question on whether or not she is confusing the war crimes trials with her own political rivalries, she remarked that “The BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) has patronised the war criminals. The cases against BNP leaders are different, and relate to corruption or crimes committed by them.”
  • She went on to add that the BNP not only boycotted the 2014 elections, but they also tried to sabotage them.
  • She observed the increase in bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India as largely due to India granting duty free quota free access (2007-08) to Bangladesh. She further remarked that Bangladesh receives a lot of capital goods, machinery, cotton coming from India.
  • She observed that the BBIN network, has helped Bangladesh forge good relations with Bhutan, India and Nepal, while the BCIM economic corridor with China, India and Myanmar can further improve trade volumes in the region- the biggest beneficiary of which being India.

 

  1. Is this the final innings?
  • The Supreme Court of India on October 17 will likely opine on the binding nature of the Justice R.M. Lodha committee’s directives on the BCCI.
  • The origins of this dispute trace back to 2013. This was a year when spot-fixing, illegal betting, and eventually conflict of interest events were unearthed in the Indian Premier League, which led to a systematic investigation, inquiry, and eventually an order by the Supreme court.
  • The Justice Lodha committee recommendations, altering the BCCI’s fundamental structure along with a cleansing of the State cricket associations, were resisted by the Board and State associations.
  • In its landmark verdict on July 18, 2016, The Supreme Court accepted a majority of the committee’s recommendations.
  • The court appointed the Justice Lodha committee to enforce the directives. Thus, marking a transition of  the committee from an advisory and investigative capacity to an enforcement and implementation role.
  • While the court appears to have the intent to enforce the committee’s recommendations, the BCCI might seek other options, including perhaps the support of a sports legislation that could address overlapping issues and be less restrictive.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Lodha-Panel
  • BBIN network
  • BCIM economic corridor
  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • BRICS Summit


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements:
  1. WHO is a specialized agency of the UN
  2. WHO is headquartered at Washington, USA

Which of the following statements is/are not correct?

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None of the above


Question 2: Consider the following statements
  1. Commonwealth is an intergovernmental organization of 52 member countries
  2. Maldives and Pakistan are not a part of commonwealth

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None


Question 3: Which among the following are landlocked countries in SAARC?

a) Afghanistan

b) Pakistan

c) Myanmar

d) Bangladesh


Question 4: Which of the following statements regarding Rajya Sabha is/are correct?
  1. A money bill with the prior recommendation of the president can be introduced in Rajya Sabha
  2. Rajya Sabha has the power to introduce a bill to create All India Service under Article 311 of the Constitution of India

a) only 1

b) only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None


Question 5: Which among the following are major GHG(Green house gases)?
  1. Carbon dioxide
  2. Water Vapour
  3. HFC-23

a) 1 2 3

b) 2, 3

c) 1, 3

d) 1, 2


Check Your Answers

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