Comprehensive News Analysis – 15 March 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

POLITY

1. Service Charges are Discretionary/ Voluntary: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

2. No Aadhaar, no scholarship

3. SC allows Goa swearing-in, orders Thursday floor test

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Major portion of Indo-Bangla border fenced, says Minister

C. GS3 Related:

ECONOMY

1. Krishi Unnati Mela 2017

2. Venture Capital Fund Scheme for SC Entrepreneurs

3. ‘International Vision Zero Conference’ on Occupational, Safety and Health

4. Meity says Apple tax sops proposal not feasible

5. India to take up food security with WTO chief

6. Investment facilitation, e-commerce to top BRICS meet agenda

ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Cruise ship damages coral reef

1. Glow-in-the-dark frog found in Argentina

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. On computing ability, rural India is lost in the woods

D. GS4 Related:
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

************************************************************************************************************

Need Expert Guidance on how to prepare for Current Affairs

.

************************************************************************************************************

Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs


A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Service Charges are Discretionary/ Voluntary: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

  • The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution provided notice to all the State Governments/UTs to make sure those companies, hotels and restaurants in their jurisdiction with respect to the relevant provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 on unfair trade practices.
  • Hotels/restaurants to display information at the appropriate place in the premises that the “service charges” are discretionary/voluntary and a consumer dissatisfied with the service can have it waived off.
  • Consumer Protection Act, 1986, has a 3-tier quasi-judicial mechanism, called Consumer Fora to provide for inexpensive justice to disputes.
  • The unfair trade practice is such act that provides for a practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or the supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or deceptive practice.
2. No Aadhaar, no scholarship

What’s in news?

  • Aadhar made compulsory to receive all kind of scholarship that government provides to encourage middle school students to pursue career in science, collegians to opt for basic science research and women to return to labs after a break in career- DISHA Programme, INSPIRE Award, INSPIRE Scholarship, INSPIRE Internship, INSPIRE Fellowship and INSPIRE Faculty.

Supreme Court verdict regarding linkage of Aadhar

  • Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, led by former Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu – use of the Aadhaar card was purely voluntary and not mandatory.
  • But Supreme Court is yet to rule on whether the Aadhar scheme is an invasion of a citizen’s right to privacy, it has only allowed it to be used for subsidies under the public distribution system and for distributing LPG cylinders.

3. SC allows Goa swearing-in, orders Thursday floor test

What was in news?

  • Recently assembly elections were held in Goa (40 seats)- BJP won 13seats, INC(Indian National Congress)– 17 seats respectively.
  • INC contention: A writ petition was filed in Supreme Court to hear an urgent writ petition filed by the Congress party challenging the “blatantly unconstitutional action” of Goa State Governor Mridula Sinha to invite Goa BJP legislature party leader Manohar Parrikar as Chief Minister of the State.
  • Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar agreed to set up a Special Bench and hear the petition .
  • The petition said that the Supreme Court as the “sentinel” of constitutional norms and values should intervene and strike down the decisions taken by a Governor in her discretionary capacity if they are found to be arbitrary.
  • The Supreme Court informed Governor Mridula Sinha to hold a floor test on March 16th in the Assembly for parties to prove their majority.
Basic Information

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Major portion of Indo-Bangla border fenced, says Minister

What’s in news?

  • Out of the sanctioned 3,326 Km long fence project along India-Bangladesh border, a major portion of about 2,731 Km long fencing has been completed.
  • Multi-pronged approach has been adopted for security arrangements at the Indo-Pakistan border. These includes
  1. Deployment of Border Security Force personnel
  2. Construction of border fence and border roads
  3. Installation of floodlights
  4. Introduction of hi-tech surveillance equipment, providing weapons and specialized vehicles to security forces.

 
C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Krishi Unnati Mela 2017

  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) organizing Krishi Vigyan Mela (Agriculture Science Fair) displays the developments in agricultural research.
  • It is highly very valuable annual event for getting feedback from the farmers.
  • In 2017, Krishi Unnati Mela 2017 will be held from 15-17 March at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi.

Highlights of the Mela

  • Digitization in agriculture
  • Organic farming
  • Agribusiness models
  • Precision farming
  • Skill building and entrepreneurship development
  • Live demonstrations on production technologies of crops, horticulture, Integrated Farming System, Protected cultivation
  • Farmers’ visits to experimental fields of IARI
  • Water use efficient technology: micro irrigation and sensor based irrigation system
  • Recycling of waste water for agriculture
  • Display and sale of various products (farm equipments, quality planting materials, bio-fertilisers, agro-chemicals, innovative farmers’ products) and machinery
  • On-spot Soil and water testing
  • KisanGosthi
  • Recognition of Innovative farmer
  • Farmers book stalls to exhibit agriculture technologies, products and services.

Technical Session:

  • These technical sessions are planned to bring awareness in farmers on various agricultural technologies and Government schemes for agricultural development.
  • A Women empowerment workshop will be organized to sensitize farm women on their rights.
  • Prime Minister launched a Mobile App Kisan Suvidha for providing various farmer friendly services.

2. Venture Capital Fund Scheme for SC Entrepreneurs

  • Government came up with ‘Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Scheduled Castes’
  • This scheme is to support Banks and Financial Institutions who provide financial help to SC entrepreneurs and bring on economic and inclusive development of SC entrepreneurs.
  • “Stand-up India Scheme” also promotes entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women.
  • The SC/ST Hub provides professional support to SC/ST entrepreneurs to initiate participation in public procurement policy.
  • National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) is incharge of various credit based schemes for business ventures of SC beneficiaries.
3. ‘International Vision Zero Conference’ on Occupational, Safety and Health

  • International Conference on VISION ZERO.
  • It is relevant to Occupational Safety and Health.
  • This will be held from 15th to 17th, March 2017 in New Delhi.
  • Directorate General Factory Advice and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI), Government of India, Ministry of Labour and Employment and German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), Germany in collaboration with International Social Security Association – Manufacturing, Construction and Mining this event will be organised.
  • The ‘Vision Zero’ can bring major changes in the steps of the Government of India to bring about the occupational safety and health standards in the country.
  • This in turn improves the occupational safety and situation of general physical condition.
  • Various sectors and participants across variety of industries will be benefitted by the platform given by the conference
  • It is through sharing of best practices both nationally and internationally.
  • On the other hand, the international community will get an exposure to Indian industrial occupational safety and health conditions to the international community.
  • The conference promises safety and health at work that will be exchanging knowledge, practices and experience.
  • The Ministry of Labour and Employment started international collaborations to increase the labour standards in the country.
  • The conference is of much important to bring about sustainable economic progress, in pace with the fast changing needs of safety, health and environment.
4. Meity says Apple tax sops proposal not feasible

Why in news?

  • Apple’s plans to Make in India may get delayed with the Ministry of Electronics and IT stating that it “may not be feasible” to grant the US-based technology major exemptions from certain duties that it has sought.
  • Apple is seeking an exemption from Phased Manufacturing Programme, which means that chargers, batteries and headphones for manufacture of Apple phones be exempted from basic custom duty (BCD)and countervailing duty (CVD), which may not be feasible

Present Scenario

  • Presently, all inputs for manufacture of mobile handsets, except chargers, batteries and headphones, are exempted from BCD and CVD.

Why Apple asked for exemption?

  • Since Apple does not intend to source its components locally, it had asked for removal of all forms of duties pre and post GST on completely knocked down and semi-knocked down units of its iPhones that will be assembled in India.

Countervailing Duty:

  • Tariffs levied on imported goods to offset subsidies made to producers of these goods in the exporting country.
  • Countervailing duties (CVD) are meant to level the playing field between domestic producers of a product and foreign producers of the same product who can afford to sell it at a lower price because of the subsidy they receive from their government.
 Background:

  • India will press for expediting negotiations on grain stockholding to discuss food security and easing cross-border movement of professionals amid rising protectionism. 
  • Agriculture, especially food security, is on the agenda. With the Trade Facilitation Agreement on goods coming into force, some momentum has to be created for food security

Key Issues of Developing World (including India):

  • The developing world’s food security concerns have remained unresolved from the Doha Round and were part of both Bali and Nairobi ministerial meetings. Easing services trade is a relatively recent subject which India is spearheading. 
  • However, developed countries haven’t been forthcoming in finding a permanent solution to the problem. The issue needs a fillip to get placed in the agenda of the General Council, the apex decision making body of the WTO. 
6. Investment facilitation, e-commerce to top BRICS meet agenda

 Why in news?

  • BRICS nations will soon consider a proposal to frame ‘guiding principles’ for investment policymaking to boost investment flows into Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as well as take steps to promote e-commerce among the five leading emerging economies.

China’s proposal

  • China wants to push ‘investment facilitation’ and ‘e-commerce’–related issues.
  • China has also been at the forefront of a proposal for a global pact on ‘investment facilitation and promotion’ at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)-level, and is making efforts to ensure that the proposal on a global investment pact gains traction before the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC) meeting in December 2017 in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

India’s Concern

  • India had recently rejected a proposal by the European Union and Canada at the WTO-level for a global investment pact that incorporates the contentious Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism.

What is Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism?

  • Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) or investment court system (ICS) is a system through which individual companies can sue countries for alleged discriminatory practices.
  • The ISDS mechanism allows firms to drag governments to international arbitration without waiting to exhaust the available local remedies and seek huge compensation citing ‘losses’ they incur due to reasons, including policy changes.


Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Cruise ship damages coral reef

What’s in news?

  • Pristine coral reefs damaged by a British-owned ship in a remote corner of Indonesia
  • Area (Raja Ampat in eastern Indonesia) known for one of the world’s most biodiverse marine habitats
2. Glow-in-the-dark frog found in Argentina

What’s in news?

  • World’s first fluorescent frog found in Argentina – polka dot tree frog.
  • Under normal light- Sports a muted palette of greens, yellows and reds ,in the dark gives off a bright blue and green glow.

ca


What is fluorescence?

  • The ability to absorb light at short wavelengths and re-emit it at longer wavelengths is called fluorescence
  • Fluoroscence phenomenon is rare among terrestrial animals. It was unheard of in amphibians.
  • Many ocean creatures exhibit fluorescence – corals, fish, sharks and one species of sea turtle. On land, fluorescence was previously known in only parrots and some scorpions.
  • Biliverdin pigment is responsible for red fluoroscence in polka frogs.


Category: 
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

2. On computing ability, rural India is lost in the woods

What’s in news?

  • Recent survey conducted by National Sample Survey Office(NSSO) reveals the fact that computing ability remains low in the country in spite of government efforts to boost digitalization.

Statistical Data

     Class     

Computing ability percentage

Rural

8.8%

Urban

30.2%

  • Use of smart gadgets determines the computing ability of masses and in no way computing ability is linked to digital infrastructure or internet penetration.
  • State wise computation reveals the fact that, Kerala with 32.3% computing ability among rural masses, whereas Chhattisgarh with only 2.9% computing ability among rural masses is at the bottom.
  • Among urban masses, Kerala stands at second position, after Delhi. Tamil Nadu and Punjab are in the middle of the table.
  • Computing ability among Tribal population is the least.
  • When it comes to the access to clean cooking fuel (gas, electricity or kerosene) there exist a wide gap between rural and Urban consumption.

Class

Computing ability percentage

Rural

14.9%

Urban

76.4%


D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!


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


F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGANISATIONS IN NEWS About the Article

Article 356. Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in State

(1) If the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the President may be Proclamation
(a) assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or anybody or authority in the State other than the Legislature of the State.
(b) declare that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament;
(c) make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the president to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, including provisions for suspending in whole or in part the operation of any provisions of this constitution relating to anybody or authority in the State Provided that nothing in this clause shall authorize the President to assume to himself any of the powers vested in or exercisable by a High Court, or to suspend in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to High Courts

(2) Any such Proclamation may be revoked or varied by a subsequent Proclamation

(3) Every Proclamation issued under this article except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation, cease to operate at the expiration of two months unless before the expiration of that period it has been approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament Provided that if any such Proclamation (not being a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation) is issued at a time when the House of the People is dissolved or the dissolution of the House of the People takes place during the period of two months referred to in this clause, and if a resolution approving the Proclamation has been passed by the Council of States, but no resolution with respect to such Proclamation has been passed by the House of the People before the expiration of that period, the Proclamation Shall cease to operate at the expiration of thirty days from the date on which the House of the People first sits after its reconstitution unless before the expiration of the said period of thirty days a resolution approving the Proclamation has been also passed by the House of the People

(4) A Proclamation so approved shall, unless revoked, cease to operate on the expiration of a period of six months from the date of issue of the Proclamation: Provided that if and so often as a resolution approving the continuance in force of such a Proclamation is passed by both Houses of Parliament, the Proclamation shall, unless revoked, continue in force for a further period of six months from the date on which under this clause it would otherwise have ceased to operating, but no such Proclamation shall in any case remain in force for more than three years: Provided further that if the dissolution of the House of the People takes place during any such period of six months and a resolution approving the continuance in force of such Proclamation has been passed by the Council of States, but no resolution with respect to the continuance in force of such Proclamation has been passed by the House of the People during the said period, the Proclamation shall cease to operate at the expiration of thirty days from the date on which the House of the People first sits after its reconstitution unless before the expiration of the said period of thirty days a resolution approving the continuance in force of the Proclamation has been also passed by the House of the People

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (4), a resolution with respect to the continuance in force of a Proclamation approved under clause (3) for any period beyond the expiration of one year from the date of issue of such proclamation shall not be passed by either House of Parliament unless
(a) a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, in the whole of India or, as the case may be, in the whole or any part of the State, at the time of the passing of such resolution, and
(b) the Election Commission certifies that the continuance in force of the Proclamation approved under clause (3) during the period specified in such resolution is necessary on account of difficulties in holding general elections to the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned.


G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂

Question 1: Vision Zero Conference is an initiative about ______.
  1. Women safety
  2. Occupational Safety
  3. Animal Rights and safety
  4. Nuclear safety
See
Answer
Question 2: Consider the following statements with respect to Kisansuvidha app 
recently seen in news:
  1. It is an app launched by Tata Services to provide farm related information to the peasants.
  2. App connects directly to Kisan call center for agricultural information.

Identify the correct statements

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 3: Consider the following statement/s:
  1. Raja Ampat is known for one of the world’s most biodiverse marine habitats.
  2. Raja Ampat lies in eastern part of Indonesia group of archipelago.

Choose the correct statement.

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
See
Answer
Question 4: Consider the following statement with reference to Polka dot tree 
frog which was in news recently:
  1. It is native to North American continent
  2. It is known for its fluoroscene phenomenon.

Choose the correct statement

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
See
Answer
Question 5: Consider the following statements about WTO:
  1. The highest decision-making body of the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which usually meets every two years.
  2. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization which regulates international trade.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None
See
Answer
Question 6: Consider the statements:
  1. The 2016 BRICS summit was the eighth annual BRICS summit, held in India.
  2. The next summit will be hosted by China.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None
See
Answer


For previous practice questions solution, click here

 

“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.”

 

H. Archives

You can check out some more recent News Analysis sections to build even more context

List of all DNA Articles

Practice More: Enroll for India’s Largest All-India Test Series