Comprehensive News Analysis – 15 September 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Letting Nepal be

2. Sapping India’s vitality

3. End sterilization camps, says SC

C.GS3 Related:

1. No Hyderabad Blues

2. Goyal calls for global ‘polluter pays’ principle

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

Business Line:

1. We need a robust cyber security policy

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
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. Letting Nepal be

Category: International Relations

Topic:  India-Nepal

Key Points:

  • It is time for New Delhi to decide to what extent it is in the interest of India to deepen its intervention in the political affairs of Nepal
  • The open border creates such an interconnected sociocultural web that a stable and prosperous Nepal will be a catalyst for this region
  • An understanding of the geography, demography, economy, the democratic urge of the citizenry, as well as the history of the oldest and non-colonised nation-state of South Asia makes a different kind of country within South Asia
  • For now, India’s focus seems exclusively geo-strategic, to do with ‘controlling’ Nepal and its natural resources and countenancing China across the Himalayan range

 

Geophysical Sensitivity

  • The transforming economy, terrain and geopolitics of the central Himalaya demand an evolved doctrine of engagement with Nepal, even for India’s own self-interest
  • Environmental stresses have increased right along the Himalayan chain over the past half century
  • Human intervention is drastic, as seen in the violence done to the Teesta’s flow in Sikkim or the madness in the construction of hill roads in Nepal
  • Thus, the entire Himalaya and the plains of the Ganga make up one ecosystem, requiring geophysical even more than geopolitical sensitivity
  • At a time when the railway has arrived on the Tibetan plateau, there is no need to deny Nepal’s need to ease its landlocked-ness by extending highway connectivity northwards — especially when the Indian economy itself stands to benefit

 

Terai-Madhesi Fixation

  • The main focus of the India has narrowed down to amendments to the new Constitution
  • The final formula must perforce benefit the Terai-Madhes plains, where there is both density of population and concentration of poverty
  • The Madhesi people, citizens suffering historical discrimination at the hands of the Kathmandu state, should not be penalised by geopolitics and the all-too-evident weaknesses of the Nepali national leadership

 

Other Issues

  • There is the need to plan cross-border linkages and projects related to natural resources — whether and what kind of dams and reservoirs are to be built
  • Evaluating embankments along the main rivers for the silt they trap
  • The environmental dangers to both sides from excavation of the Chure (Shivalik) hills to feed India’s need for rocks and boulders or the meaning of receding glaciers for the entire downstream region
  • Regulating the open bilateral border without compromising its status as the most ‘naturally evolved’ frontier of the region
  • Social security of the uncounted but more than three million Nepali citizens working in India
  • Addressing the vulnerabilities of Indian citizens of Nepali origin, as well as Indians working north of the border

 

Conclusion

  • There has to be a rebuilding of empathy and trust between the two governments
  • Nepal must move on, starting with local government elections in the spring (they have not happened for 18 years), which will also indicate the start of the Constitution’s actual implementation.
  • It should be in India’s interest to leave Nepal free to sort out its own challenges
  • India should consider the need for economic growth in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar when it sits down to strategise on Nepal.


  1. Sapping India’s vitality

Category: Social Justice

Topic:  Health

Key Points:

  • The death of several people in Delhi linked to an outbreak of dengue, chikungunya and malaria has once again exposed the inadequacy of national public health programmes that aim to eliminate vector-borne diseases
  • The dengue map for 2015 shows that Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal and Gujarat were the worst-affected. On chikungunya, Karnataka needs special help, as it has a disproportionately higher incidence compared to other States
  • There is some evidence of under-reporting of malaria, leading to the criticism that the full impact of the disease is not captured by government data
  • The irony is that India, with its focus on rapid economic growth and prosperity, is nowhere near victory in the battle against productivity-sapping infections spread by mosquitoes and other insects, while a nimble neighbour like Sri Lanka could declare itself malaria-free

 

The Sri Lankan Experience

  • Integration of different approaches:
  • This includes focussing on mosquito control in irrigation and agriculture
  • Introducing new classes of insecticides for residual spraying within houses
  • Scaling up distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets even in areas caught up in conflict Mobile centres for access to diagnostics and treatment also helped halt disease transmission

Conclusion

  • For India to achieve its goal of eliminating malaria by 2030, and curb other vector-borne diseases, there has to be sustained effort and political will
  • Active surveillance and close collaboration with local governments to eliminate the hotspots
  • Mobilising the community to participate in sanitation campaigns
  • Provide Families that live in deprived neighbourhoods with generous municipal assistance, improved civic facilities and access to free health care

 

  1. End sterilization camps, says SC

Category: Social Justice

Topic:  Health

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court directed the Centre to finalise the National Health Policy by December 31, 2016
  • It stressed on the following points:
  • End mass sterilisation camps
  • Poor and tribal men and women cannot be reduced to mere statistics in the country’s population control campaigns
  • Centre has failed in its duty to effectively monitor sterilisation – a programme of national importance
  • Mass sterilisation camps were perverse products of the Centre’s population control campaigns driven by informal targets and incentives
  • They infringe on the “reproductive freedoms of the most vulnerable groups of society whose economic and social conditions make them easy targets to coercion”


C. GS3 Related


1. No Hyderabad Blues

Category: Economic Development

Topic:  Growth and Development

Key Points:

  • The classification of States into general and special categories was done by the Planning Commission based on five considerations, namely:

 

(i)     hilly and difficult terrain

(ii)   low population density and /or sizeable share of tribal population

(iii) strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries

(iv)  economic and infrastructure backwardness

(v) non-viable State finances

 

 

  • It is difficult for the Union government to accede to the demand for special category status on objective grounds
  • It could open a Pandora’s box as the economically backward States of Bihar and Odisha too have been demanding the status for long

 

Why the states’ demand for special category status?

  • The major benefit from the special category status was the generous Central assistance for plan purposes under the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula where 30 per cent of the assistance was earmarked to these States, 90 per cent of which was given as grants and 10 per cent as loans
  • After the recommendation of the Twelfth Finance Commission that the Central government should discontinue lending to the States and the latter should borrow from the market, funds earmarked for special category States were substantially reduced
  • With the Fourteenth Finance Commission assessing the total requirements of the States without making a distinction between plan and non-plan, the grants given under the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula for State Plan Schemes got subsumed in the formula for tax devolution and grants
  • Therefore, the benefit of higher Central assistance due to specialcategory status simply does not exist anymore
  • Thus, the State gains immensely from the special package in addition to the transfers recommended by the Finance Commission

 

2. Goyal calls for global ‘polluter pays’ principle

Category: Environment

Topic:  Environmental pollution and degradation

Key Points:

  • Power Minister Piyush Goyal reiterated India’s stand for the implementation of ‘Polluter Pays’ principle on international carbon emissions
  • The ‘polluter pays’ principle basically works on the premise that those responsible for higher pollution—whether it is an individual factory or a country—should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to health or the environment
  • Electricity is the fastest enabler in removing poverty.
  • As far as good health and well being is concerned, hospitals will need electricity, and the way we use fossil fuels will also determine this parameter
  • Electricity is key to the government’s Make in India programme as well since “nobody will invest in India if electricity is not affordable and available 24/7.”
  • India’s renewable energy capacity could touch 225 GW by 2022 if hydroelectricity was added to the renewable category as is being done the world over
  • It is only in India where hydro-projects below 25 MW are considered renewable and those above are considered non-renewable

 

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

 

Business Line:


1. We need a robust cyber security policy

Category: Internal Security

Topic: Cyber Security

Key Points:

  • Cyber security and defence against cyber warfare assume greater significance due to rapidly increasing risks, vulnerabilities, threats, cyber crimes and fraud
  • Recently, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency organised a cyber grand challenge competition to assess its defence readiness

Cyber Terrorism

  • Critical infrastructure in many countries will soon be susceptible to cyber terrorism
  • Cross-networking of personal data devices, electronic health records, medical devices and hospital networks will create new opportunities for data theft, source code manipulation, and undetected access to target networks
  • The Internet of Things is adding a new dimension to the security landscape
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, ‘Narrow AI’ systems, and ‘General AI’ systems also pose increased vulnerability to autonomous decision-making
  • Dependence on AI systems for civilian industries and national security can damage critical infrastructure

India’s requirements

  • India’s existing cyber security policy of 2013 must be reviewed in the light of emerging cyber threats propagated by state sponsored international cyber terrorism, military espionage, corporate espionage and financial frauds by individual hackers and groups
  • The nation needs a robust and credible cyber security policy and action plan
  • India’s cyber security strategy must be able to protect multiple digital intrusions at all levels: military and corporate espionage, electronic attacks disrupting critical infrastructure, ICT and IoT systems and data privacy, integrity and security of its citizens. India needs to set up a national cyber security agency to develop appropriate policy, strategy and action plan, linking key ministries
  • Dissemination of best security practices, intelligence sharing, intrusion reporting and effective coordination and partnership between private, corporate, government and international level organisations like the UN, the European Union and India’s allies as the situation demands will become indispensable
  • There must be effective computer incident response capability, malware information sharing, and periodical mock drills and exercises
  • Signing of MoUs on cyber defence with allies and international organisations may become unavoidable as cyber threats defy state borders and organisational boundaries

At the same time, National cyber security policy must be able to protect citizens’ data confidentiality, integrity and privacy, public safety, business and economic development and national security


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Cyber Security
  • Public health
  • Renewable Energy
  • Air Pollution
  • India-Nepal



H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following is/are caused by protozoa?
a) Malaria

b) African Sleeping Sickness

c) Dengue

d) Both a and b


Question 2: Which of the following were the criteria by the planning commission for the determination of special category states?
a) hilly and difficult terrain

b) low population density and /or sizeable share of tribal population

c) strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries

d) All of the above


Question 3: Which of the following statement/s is are true?
  1. Wind energy accounts for nearly 70% (23.44 GW) of installed capacity in India
  2. India is the world’s fifth largest wind energy producerM

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 4: Which of the following Indian state does not share a border with Nepal?
a) Himachal Pradesh

b) West Bengal

c) Uttarakhand

d) Bihar


Question 5: The ‘National Cyber Security Policy’ comes under which of the following ministries?
a) Ministry of Home Affairs

b) Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

c) Ministry of Defence

d) Ministry of External Affairs

 

Check Your Answers

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