Comprehensive News Analysis – 16 February 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Bill seeks to curb extravagant weddings

C. GS3 Related:

2. Can’t advance Rafale deliveries: Dassault

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

The Hindu

1. ISRO sets the bar high

2. The foul air we breathe

Economic Times

1. EC should scrap the ban on exit polls

PIB

1. Agreement between India and Croatia on Economic Cooperation

2. PSLV-C37 Successfully Launches 104 Satellites in a Single Flight

3. Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi urges schools to strictly observe Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment

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 for UPSC Current Affairs

 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

 
B. GS2 Related
1. Bill seeks to curb extravagant weddings

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: Government Initiatives and Interventions

Key Points:

  • A recent bill in the Lok Sabha seeks to put a limit on the number of guests to be invited and dishes to be served in weddings to check “show of wealth”.
  • The concerned bill is the “The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016”.
  • This bill may be taken up as a private member’s Bill in the coming session.

About the Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016

  • The Bill also wants those spending above Rs. 5 lakh to contribute towards marriages of poor girls.
  • Further, according to this bill, if a family spends above Rs. 5 lakh on a wedding, it has to contribute 10% of the amount on marriages of girls from poor families.
  • Specifically, The bill seeks that “if any family intends to spend more than Rs. 5 lakh towards expenditure on marriage, such family shall declare the amount proposed to be spent in advance to the appropriate government and contribute 10% of such amount in a welfare fund which shall be established by the appropriate government to assist the poor and Below Poverty Line families for the marriage of their daughters.”
  • The purpose of this Bill is to prohibit extravagant and wasteful expenditure on marriages and to enforce simpler solemnization.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. Can’t advance Rafale deliveries: Dassault

Category: Science and Technology
Topic: Developments, Defence

Key Points:

  • India had requested to advance the delivery schedule of Rafale fighter jets.
  • In response to this demand by India, Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of these jets have stated that it was not possible as the jets have to be customised.
  • India ordered 36 jets last year from France and deliveries are scheduled between 2019 and 2022.
  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier said that they would request France to speed up deliveries further if possible.
  • Under the terms of the contract, Dassault will begin training Indian pilots and technicians in operating the jets next year.
  • Dassault will also bid for the Navy’s tender for at least 57 carrier based aircraft.

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
1. ISRO sets the bar high

Category: Science and Technology
Topic: : Developments

Key Points:

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) boosted its reputation further when it successfully launched a record 104 satellites in a single mission, by relying on its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket.

A brief account of the satellites launched

  • An earth observation Cartosat-2 series satellite and two other nano satellites were the only Indian satellites launched: the remaining was from the United States, Israel, the UAE, the Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Switzerland.
  • Of the 101 foreign satellites launched, 96 were from the U.S. and one each from the other five countries.

International Context

  • Until now, Russia held the record of launching 37 satellites in a single mission, in 2014, while the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the U.S. launched 29 satellites in one go in 2013.
  • Last June, ISRO had come close to NASA’s record by launching 20 satellites in one mission.
  • But ISRO views the launch not as a mission to set a world record but as an opportunity to make full use of the capacity of the launch vehicle.

Significance of the Launch

  • The launch is particularly significant as ISRO now cements its position as a key player in the lucrative commercial space launch market by providing a cheaper yet highly reliable alternative.

The Way Ahead

  • ISRO plans to launch more Cartosat-2 series satellites and even an improved version. Besides setting the record for the most number of satellites launched in a single mission, the Indian space agency has launched two nano satellites weighing less than 10 kg. It is a technology demonstrator for a new class of satellites called ISRO nano satellites (INS).

Objective of ISRO nano satellites (INS)

  • The main objective of the INS, which will be launched together with bigger satellites, is to provide a platform on which payloads up to 5 kg from universities and R&D laboratories, and ISRO itself can be easily integrated for carrying out scientific research activities.
  • With many Indian universities already building and launching nano satellites, the availability of a dedicated nano satellites platform is sure to boost space research in India.
2. The foul air we breathe

Category: Environment and Ecology
Topic: Pollution, Air Quality

Key Points:

  • A new international report has drawn attention to the deadly pollutants that pervade the air that people breathe in India, causing terrible illness and premature death.
  • This report is “The State of Global Air 2017”, conducted jointly by the Health Effects Institute and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation.
  • This report quantifies further what has been reported for some time now: that the concentration of the most significant inhalable pollutant, fine particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less (PM2.5), has been growing in India.
  • It is important to note that several studies show long-term evidence of a steady deterioration in air quality in many countries.
  • Burning of crop residues has a central role in causing pollution.
  • The Indian Agricultural Research Institute proposed steps to convert the waste into useful products such as enriched fodder, biogas, biofuel, compost and so on, little progress has been made.

The Way Ahead

  • In a country producing about 500 million tonnes of crop residues annually, the issue needs to be addressed in mission mode.
  • Easy access to cheap solar cookers and biogas plants will also cut open burning, and help the rural economy.
  • In conclusion, India’s clean-up priorities need to shift gear urgently, covering both farm and city.

 

The Economic Times

1. EC should scrap the ban on exit polls

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: Elections

Key Points:

Development

  • On January 29, the Election Commission (EC) had banned the conduct and publication of exit polls between February 4 and March 8, when five states were scheduled to vote.
  • The editor of the online edition of Hindi daily Dainik Jagran had published an exit poll for the first phase of Uttar Pradesh elections.
  • He was subsequently arrested.

Reaction to this development

  • It has been suggested that it is condemnable to arrest a journalist for doing his job of disseminating information received from another agency, a pollster called RDI.
  • Further, it has been expressed that the arrest will tend to strengthen state intolerance of media and could create a climate of suppression of facts that citizens need to know in order to take informed decisions and form opinions.

A critical look into exit polls

  • The EC is of the opinion that the results of such polls influence voting behaviour during an election that plays out in multiple phases.
  • For example, in the case of UP, India’s largest state, voting would be conducted in seven phases spread over February 11 to March 8.
  • Whether exit polls would outweigh the complex calculations voters have is debatable.
  • But even if it is conceded that exit polls influence voting behaviour, why is that a bad thing? Leaders’ speeches and rallies influence voting behaviour. So does advertising. Should these be banned?

 

PIB

1. Agreement between India and Croatia on Economic Cooperation

Category: International Relations
Topic: Bilateral Agreements

Key Points:

  • An agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Croatia on Economic Cooperation was signed by Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Government of India and Ms. Martina Dalic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Government of the Republic of Croatia on 14th February, 2017 in Zagreb, Croatia.

Prior Agreement Signed

    • India and Croatia had earlier signed an Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation in September, 1994 with an aim to promote and develop bilateral trade and economic relations.
    • The present Agreement between India and Croatia would be a step in continuity as the last one expired in November, 2009.

Bilateral Trade

    • India’s bilateral trade with the Republic of Croatia during 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 were US$ 148.86 million, US$ 205.04 million and US$ 148.44 million respectively.
    • The bilateral trade during the last three years has remained stable despite global slowdown.
2. PSLV-C37 Successfully Launches 104 Satellites in a Single Flight

Category: Science and Technology
Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • In its thirty ninth flight (PSLV-C37), ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites.
  • The imagery from the Cartosat-2 series satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.
  • The data sets could be used for urban planning of 500 cities under the Amrut Planning Scheme.
  • The government initiative of 100 smart city programme in which these data sets could be used for master plan preparation and detailed geospatial data preparation for rural roads and infrastructure development.
  • The remaining 101 co-passenger satellites carried were international customer satellites from USA (96), The Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1), Israel (1), Kazakhstan (1) and UAE (1).
  • This mission involved many technical challenges like realising the launch of a large number of satellites during a single mission within the time frame sought by the customers from abroad. Besides, ensuring adequate separation between all the 104 satellites during their orbital injection as well as during their subsequent orbital life was yet another challenge associated with this complex mission.
  • With the successful launch, the total number of customer satellites from abroad launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV has reached 180.
3. Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi urges schools to strictly observe Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: Social Justice

Key Points:

  • The Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has urged schools to strictly observe Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment, issued by the National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) of WCD Ministry.
  • The WCD Ministry has asked the Ministry of Human Resource Development for wide spread circulation and implementation of the Guidelines for Elimination of Corporal Punishment in schools.
  • This was done in the light of the recent disturbing incident of girl students who were meted out tormenting corporal punishment in the school for not completing their homework. The incident was widely reported in the media, thereby bringing to public attention the issue of corporal punishment used in schools.
  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) under the authority of Ministry of Women & Child Development has developed and issued Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in schools.

What do the guidelines entail?

  • The Guidelines state constitution of Special Monitoring Cells to take prompt action in cases of physical punishment or harassment of children.
  • They also suggest that Corporal Punishment Monitoring Cells (CPMCs) should hear grievances related to corporal punishment within 48 hours of the occurrence.
  • The guidelines suggest that school teachers should provide a written undertaking that they would not engage in any action that could be construed as amounting to physical punishment, mental harassment or discrimination.
  • It also says that schools should have annual social audits of physical punishment, harassment and discrimination.
 
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
  • Corporal Punishment Monitoring Cells (CPMCs)
  • Cartosat-2
  • The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016
 
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
 
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements regarding “The  Marriages 
(Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 
2016”:

1] According to this bill, if a family spends above Rs. 5 lakh on a wedding, it has to contribute 10% of such amount towards a welfare fund which shall be established by the appropriate government to assist the poor and Below Poverty Line families for the marriage of their daughters

2] The purpose of this Bill is to prohibit extravagant and wasteful expenditure on marriages and to enforce simpler solemnization.

Which of the above 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 regarding ‘ISRO nano 
satellites (INS)’:

1] The INS system is developed as a co-passenger satellite to accompany bigger satellites on PSLV.

2] The main objective of the INS is to provide a platform on which payloads up to 5 kg from universities and R&D laboratories, and ISRO itself can be easily integrated for carrying out scientific research activities.

Which of the above 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] The neighbouring countries of Croatia are Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Slovenia.

2] The ‘Horn of Africa’, includes the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Which of the above 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] PSLV is ISRO’s versatile launch vehicle for launching multiple satellites in polar SSOs, Low Earth Orbits (LEO) as well as Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and sub GTO.

2] The PSLV has been in service for over twenty years and has launched various satellites for historic missions like Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission, Space Capsule Recovery Experiment, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) etc.

Which of the above statements is/are correct? a) 1 Only b) 2 Only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 5: Which of the following organizations bring out the report 
known as ‘Global Environment Outlook’?

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) United Nations Environment Programme – UNEP   b) Sustainable Development Solutions Network – SDSN  c) The World Economic Forum  d) The World Bank

 

Check Your Answers

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