Comprehensive News Analysis – 17 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Pentagon asks China to ‘immediately’ release its naval vessel

2. BRICS roots for affordable medicines

3. China slams India over invite to Dalai Lama at Rashtrapati Bhavan

C. GS3 Related:

1. RBI opposes proposal to set up separate payments regulator

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

The Hindu

1. Diminishing options before BCCI

The Economic Times

1. Complete oil retail reform as prices soar

The Indian Express

1. Limits of Outrage

PIB

1. ‘Swasthya Raksha Programme’ launched by the AYUSH Ministry to promote health and health education in villages

2. Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016 Passed by Parliament

3. Cantonments Should Make Efforts to Make Their Areas Open Defecation Free Under Swachh Bharat – Dr Bhamre

4. Centre Announces Notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016

5. Announcement of US-India Clean Energy Finance Facility Initiative

6. Minister of Railways launch the Campaign “Innovation Challenges for Indian Railways”

7. Minister of Railways Flags Off Country’s First Humsafar Train

8. ESIC introduces a new Scheme to promote Registration of Employers/Employees

9. Measures to Provide Relief to Powerloom Industry

10. Dr Jitendra Singh for promoting PPP model in healthcare services

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. Pentagon asks China to ‘immediately’ release its naval vessel

Category: International Relations 

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

Key Points:

  • S. officials said that a Chinese warship seized an underwater drone deployed by a U.S. oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea.
  • This development triggered a formal diplomatic protest and a demand for its return. The drone was taken on 15th Dec, 2016. This also happens to be the first seizure of its kind in recent memory, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay off the Philippines.
  • The Pentagon viewed China’s seizure seriously since it had effectively taken U.S. military property.
  • It must be noted that the seizure adds to concerns about China’s increased military presence and aggressive posture in the disputed South China Sea, including its militarization of maritime outposts. U.S. officials assert that the drone was part of an unclassified program to collect oceanographic data including salinity, temperature and clarity of the water.

 

  1. BRICS roots for affordable medicines

Category: International Relations 

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

Key Points:

  • At the two-day meeting of the Health Ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda has pressed for public health targets to be placed above trade deals.
  • He observed that, “Trade regimes are important, but must be seen as being subservient to the shared international public health goals,”
  • It is important to note that the World Health Organisation had recently decided to drop the term “counterfeit” and use “falsified” instead to describe medicines of inferior quality.
  • On this development, Mr. Nadda said he was “happy” that the WHO member-states arrived at a consensus on doing so as the word “counterfeit” usually referred to intellectual property rights violations.

 

3. China slams India over invite to Dalai Lama at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Category: International Relations 

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

Key Points:

  • Recently, China has slammed India for inviting the Dalai Lama, at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, and urged India to respect Beijing’s “core interest” in order to avoid “any disturbance” in bilateral ties.
  • Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang stressed that the “Dalai Lama is in political exile and has long been engaged in anti-China separatist activities with the attempt of separating Tibet away from China under the cloak of religion.”

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. RBI opposes proposal to set up separate payments regulator

Category: Indian Economy 

Topic: Government Policy    

Key Points:

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has opposed a move to establish a separate entity to regulate payments and settlements.
  • This function to regulate payments and settlements is currently under the central bank’s purview.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Diminishing options before BCCI

Category: Polity and Governance   

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • It is important to note that recently, the Chief Justice of India found Anurag Thakur, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, prima facie guilty of contempt of court and perjury.
  • Based on a suggestion by the Lodha Committee, a Bench headed by the Chief Justice is already in a mood to appoint some observers, to oversee the BCCI’s affairs.
  • It is important to note that the BCCI’s reputation as a responsible sports administrator is under strain. It is under strain not because of any shortcoming in its management of the cricketing aspects of the game, but its seeming intransigence in embracing reforms aimed at bringing about transparency in its functioning.
  • It is significant to note that any order convicting the BCCI president for perjury or holding its top functionaries guilty of contempt of court would severely damage the institution.
  • An apology from Mr. Thakur, and the BCCI’s wholehearted acceptance of the Lodha Committee reforms, seem the only way out. 

 

The Economic Times

1. Complete oil retail reform as prices soar

Category: Indian Economy, International Relations    

Topic: International Trade, Government Policy

Key Points:

  • The doubling of global oil prices this year, albeit from a low base, is a matter of macroeconomic concern in the face of weakening growth momentum, a strengthening dollar and rising global interest rates.
  • India imports an overwhelming share of our petroleum crude requirement, and it is vital that the global rates promptly show up as dearer retail prices so as to reflect scarcity value and deter domestic demand.
  • It is true that retail prices of the main petro-products, diesel and petrol, have — at long last — been decontrolled in the last couple of years, and the subsidy on cooking gas is now rightly capped.
  • The subsidy on kerosene is also to be better targeted using Aadhaar cards, so as to avoid artificial, grossly subsidised rates that merely encourage adulteration of automotive fuel.
  • However, there are clear risks ahead in the ongoing demonetisation drive and with key state elections around the corner, the Centre may well deem it politically prudent to court populism, go slow and decide not to pass on the global price rise on to domestic oil prices.

 

The Indian Express

  1. Limits of Outrage

Category: Polity and Governance   

Topic: Women Empowerment 

Key Points:

  • Ever since the 2012 gang-rape in Delhi, more women are reporting sexual assault to police forces across the country.
  • Police forces, in turn, are proving more willing to record those complaints.
  • Yet, despite a law that gives great weight to the testimony of victims, and promises rapid trials, conviction rates are showing no significant improvement.
  • This could be because police forces across the country remain incapable of gathering prosecutable evidence.
  • Police training for investigation remains grossly inadequate. In many states, curricula have not been revised significantly since Independence, and training time for the constabulary — the first responders in a crisis — remains minimal. Human resource deficits, which successive governments have promised to address, remain alarming. Forensic laboratories are severely backlogged; at the level of the district, they are simply unknown. Few police stations have trained evidence collection units.
  • The memory of what happened to one young woman four years ago, and what happens to many more women, should evoke not just outrage, but a commitment to hold governments to account.

 

PIB

  1. ‘Swasthya Raksha Programme’ launched by the AYUSH Ministry to promote health and health education in villages

Category: Polity and Governance  

Topic: Government Initiatives 

Key Points:

Swasthya Rakshan Program has been initiated through Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) and Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) in selected districts/ villages with the following aims and objectives:-

  1. To organize Swasthya Rakshan OPDs, Swasthya Parikshan Camps and Health/Hygiene awareness programme
  2. Awareness about cleanliness of domestic surroundings and environment.
  3. Provide medical aid/incidental support in the adopted Colonies/villages.
  4. Documentation of demographic information, food habits, hygiene conditions, seasons, lifestyle etc., incidence/prevalence of disease and their relation to the incidence of disease.
  1. Assessment of health status and propagation of Ayurvedic concept of pathya-apathya and extension of health care services.

 

  1. Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016 Passed by Parliament

Category: Polity and Governance   

Topic: Government Initiatives   

Key Points:

  • The salient features of the Bill are:

1] Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.

2]  The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities. The 21 disabilities are given below:-

  • Blindness
  • Low-vision
  • Leprosy Cured persons
  • Hearing Impairment (deaf and hard of hearing)
  • Locomotor Disability
  • Dwarfism
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Mental Illness
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Chronic Neurological conditions
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Speech and Language disability
  • Thalassemia
  • Hemophilia
  • Sickle Cell disease
  • Multiple Disabilities including deafblindness
  • Acid Attack victim
  • Parkinson’s disease

3] Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time. Acid Attack Victims have been included. Dwarfism, muscular dystrophy have has been indicated as separate class of specified disability. The New categories of disabilities also included three blood disorders, Thalassemia, Hemophilia and Sickle Cell disease.

4] In addition, the Government has been authorized to notify any other category of specified disability.

 5] Responsibility has been cast upon the appropriate governments to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.

 6] Additional benefits such as reservation in higher education, government jobs, reservation in allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes etc. have been provided for persons with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs.

7] Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.

 8]  Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities.

 

  1. Cantonments Should Make Efforts to Make Their Areas Open Defecation Free Under Swachh Bharat – Dr Bhamre 

Category: Polity and Governance   

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • Underlining Swachh Bharat as a top priority of the government, the Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre said full efforts must be given to make all Cantonments open defecation free in a short timeline. 
  • The Minister said every cantonment needs to implement the latest technology in waste management and water recycling with a targeted timeframe.
  • Highlighting that sanitation, education and medical services are the three critical areas in cantonment administration, Dr. Bhamre said full attention should be given for overall development of cantonment schools where generally children from disadvantaged sections of society study, so as to make them role models for other municipal schools.
  • He stressed on the need for cantonment dispensaries and hospitals to give full attention to make them at par with the best facilities available in that particular area.

 

  1. Centre Announces Notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016

Category: Polity and Governance  

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • The Government has issued the notification for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016

Objective:   The objective of these rules is to make pet shops accountable and to prevent cruelty inflicted on animals kept in such pet shops. 

 

  • The proposed Rules provide as under:

(i) It will be mandatory for all pet shop owners to register themselves with the State Animal Welfare Board of the respective State Governments/Union Territories.

(ii) Such shops will be registered only after inspection by the representatives of State Board, a veterinary practitioner and a representative of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

(iii) The rules define space requirement for birds, cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pig, hamster, rats and mice in the pet shops.

(iv) It defines the basic amenities, power back-up, general care, veterinary care and other operational requirement for animals kept in pet shops.

(v) It is mandatory to maintain proper records of sale, purchase, death of animals in pet shop, sick animals etc.

(vi) Every pet shop owner is required to submit yearly report to the State Board regarding animals, sold, traded, bartered, brokered, given away, boarded or exhibited during previous year, or any other information asked for by the State Board.

  • Violation of Rules: Non-compliance of the proposed rules will lead to cancellation of registration of pet shop and pet animals so confiscated, shall be handed over to an Animal Welfare Organisation, or a rescue centre recognised by the Board.

 

  1. Announcement of US-India Clean Energy Finance Facility Initiative

Category: International Relations

Topic: Agreements involving India

Key Points:

  • Shri Piyush Goyal Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy and Mines and US Ambassador Mr Richard Verma in India launched new joint initiative of US-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) Initiative which would help in unlocking OPIC financing and mobilize public and private capital to expand access to distributed clean energy projects.
  • TheS.-India Clean Energy Finance facility (“USICEF”) would support project preparation activities for distributed solar projects in order to unlock OPIC financing and mobilize public and private capital to expand access to distributed clean energy solutions that will benefit disadvantaged communities in India and contribute to India’s ambitious renewable energy and energy access goals.
  • USICEF builds on the success of other project preparation facilities to support renewable energy in emerging markets. Through this initiative, project developers pursuing mini-grid, distributed rooftop and off-grid solar projects, as well as smaller-scale grid connected solar projects would be benefitted.

 

  1. Minister of Railways launch the Campaign “Innovation Challenges for Indian Railways”

Category: Polity and Governance  

Topic: Government Initiatives 

Key Points:

  • In order to call for innovative ideas from all citizens/ sections of the country, the Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu in a programme held on 14.12.2016 at Rail Bhawan, launched a campaign innovation challenges for Indian Railways in line with his Budget Announcement 2016-17.
  • Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that an idea is a perquisite for change and innovative ideas can be borne in mind by anyone whether a stakeholder, a rail user or any other individual.
  • He said that today’s generation is very innovative and technology savvy and the coming time will be completely digitalize.
  • Thus, Railways can be benefitted a lot if innovative ideas are called for from all citizens and implement the chosen for benefit the Railways.
  • He further said that in recently held Rail Vikas Shivir ideas were called for from railway employees only but this Campaign is not only limited to any particular section but from all citizens of the country. He hoped that the public will participate in this Campaign enthusiastically.

 

  1. Minister of Railways Flags Off Country’s First Humsafar Train

Category: Polity and Governance 

Topic: Government Initiatives 

Key Points:

  • Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu flagged off/inaugurated the first Humsafar clan of trains
  • It is important to note that the Ministry of Railways had announced in Rail Budget 2016-17, introduction of new type of trains called Humsafar Express.
  • Humsafar train is a fully Air Conditioned 3 AC service having facility GPS based Passenger Information System, Passenger announcement System, fire and smoke detection and suppression system, CCTVs, comfortable seats, mobile and laptop charging points, integrated Braille display, LCD display above compartment doors in the aisle, Fire retardant curtains, etc.

 

  1. ESIC introduces a new Scheme to promote Registration of Employers/Employees 

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Initiatives, Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • The ESI Corporation has taken some very important decisions towards extending the Social Security cover of ESI Scheme to whole of India and for medical care for serving the workers. 
  • ESIC introduces a new scheme to promote Registration of Employers/Employees.
  • To extend the coverage to the entire workforce, a new Employer Friendly Scheme has also been approved as one-time opportunity to (a.) Encourage the employers to register themselves; (b) Encourage the employer to register employees, if any, who have been left out of coverage including contractual, casual, temporary etc.  The proposed Scheme will remain open for a period of three months from 1st January, 2017 to 31st March, 2017.

 

  1. Measures to Provide Relief to Powerloom Industry 

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Initiatives, Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • Immediately after the demonetisation initiative, a quick survey of Powerloom units was undertaken in major Powerloom clusters to assess the impact on the decentralised Powerloom Sector.
  • To address the issues of shortage of new currency, Government has initiated immediate action to enable cashless transactions for payment of wages in the textile sector.
  • A mission-mode campaign has been launched to promote digital payments and opening of bank accounts for workers by organising a large number of camps in various textile clusters.
  • Senior Officers were deputed to clusters to oversee the holding of camps in association with the banking sector.
  • Industry Associations and Councils have also been advised to promote digital payments for enabling cashless transactions.

 

  1. Dr Jitendra Singh for promoting PPP model in healthcare services

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Investment Models, Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh has made a strong plea for promoting PPP (Public-Private Partnership) model for healthcare services.
  • Dr Jitendra Singh said that in a country as heterogeneous as India, optimization of healthcare services is only possible through a healthy mix of both public and private sectors. He said, however much privatization mushrooms in the country, it will not be able to replace public sector in toto simply because vast areas in remote and rural parts still continue to be catered only by the public sector. Similarly, on the other hand, he said, the private sector also cannot sustain for long if it confines its services only to urban or semi-urban regions.
  • Dr Jitendra Singh said, with information technology having taken over in a big way and services like telemedicine, etc., becoming the order of the day, India today has the advantage of having same expertise and facility available for healthcare as in the most developed countries of the world. The only issue now is how best to make use of it for all sections of population from every nook and corner.
  • As we move ahead to promote healthcare services and medical education, Dr Jitendra Singh said, on the one hand we will have to do the course-correction for conscious or inadvertent lapses of the past, and on the other hand we will have to plan for a more constructive outcomes for the future. He said, the policy planners cannot overlook the fact that 1/3rd of the population of India still does not enjoy access to adequate hospital bed-care, while the patient-doctor ratio is far below the global standards in spite of ever increasing number of medical colleges and mushrooming of medical institutions.
  • A mechanism will have to be devised, said Dr Jitendra Singh, wherein the private and public sectors can supplement each other’s efforts to make their presence available in a more uniform manner and the concentration of healthcare facility in cities also gets diverted to the peripheral areas. For this, he said, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare can be proposed to evolve a mechanism of single window clearance involving different Ministries dealing with clearing and other issues relating to the setting up of healthcare services.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • The Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014
  • Humsafar train
  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

The Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. In the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016 Passed by Parliament, disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
  2. Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time. Acid Attack Victims have been included. Dwarfism, muscular dystrophy have has been indicated as separate class of specified disability.

Which of the following 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, 
  1. The Ministry of Railways had announced in Rail Budget 2015-16, introduction of new type of trains called Humsafar Express.
  2. Humsafar train is a fully Air Conditioned 3 AC service having facility GPS based Passenger Information System, Passenger announcement System, fire and smoke detection and suppression system, CCTVs, comfortable seats, mobile and laptop charging points, integrated Braille display, LCD display above compartment doors in the aisle, Fire retardant curtains, etc.

Which of the following 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, with respect to the notification issued by the Government for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016,
  1. The objective of these rules is to make pet shops accountable and to prevent cruelty inflicted on animals kept in such pet shops.
  2. It is not mandatory for all pet shop owners to register themselves with the State Animal Welfare Board of the respective State Governments/Union Territories.

Which of the following 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. The U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance facility (“USICEF”) would support project preparation activities for distributed solar projects.
  2. USICEF builds on the success of other project preparation facilities to support renewable energy in emerging markets.
  3. Through this initiative, project developers pursuing mini-grid, distributed rooftop and off-grid solar projects, as well as smaller-scale grid connected solar projects would be benefitted.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 Only

b) 2 and 3 Only

c) All, 1, 2 and 3

d) 1 and 3 Only


Question 5: With which of the following regions would you associate the ‘Nine-Dash Line’?
a) South China Sea

b) Arabian Sea

c) Bay of Bengal

d) Yellow Sea

Check Your Answers

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