Comprehensive News Analysis – 17 February 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Talaq case may go to Constitution Bench

2. India, Afghanistan take a hard line on Taliban at Moscow conference

3. Two-state solution remains ‘only way’ for Israel-Palestine peace, insists UN

C. GS3 Related:

1. Dassault, Reliance form JV for Rafale

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

The Hindu

1. The bumps ahead

Economic Times

1. Let’s Not Rush Into More Bank Mergers

PIB

1. Tarini to be Inducted into Indian Navy on 18 February 17

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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A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

 
B. GS2 Related
1. Talaq case may go to Constitution Bench

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: Government Interventions, Judiciary

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court on 16th February, 2017 said it had to examine if personal law practices like triple talaq and polygamy were the “fundamental traits” of Islam.
  • The Centre asked the Supreme Court to determine whether personal laws can be brought under the ambit of Article 13 (laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights) of the Constitution.

Background:

  • The AIMPLB had submitted that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to strike down any provisions of personal law, but organisations and Muslim women from various walks of life across the country urged the court to strike down triple talaq and polygamy as “un-Islamic.”

A Look into Specifics

  • In this context, the Centre’s question as to “whether personal law is ‘law’ under Article 13” is significant.
  • Article 13, for one, is so inclusive in its ambit that the term ‘law’ in the constitutional provision includes anything from an “ordinance, order, by-law, rule, regulation, notification and even customs and usages” passed or made by the Legislature or any other “competent authority.”
  • The Article mandates that any law in force in India before or after the commencement of the Constitution should not violate the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in Part III of the Constitution.
  • A judicial declaration from a Constitution Bench under Article 13 that personal laws are liable to comply with the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution would bring religious law, even uncodified practices, under judicial review.

Precedents

  • The courts have made discordant notes about the immunity enjoyed by personal laws.
  • The Bombay High Court in State of Bombay versus Narasu Appa Mali had held that personal law is not ‘law’ under Article 13.
2. India, Afghanistan take a hard line on Taliban at Moscow conference

Category: International Relations
Topic: India and her Neighbourhood- Relations

Key Points:

  • India and Afghanistan took a hard line at the six-nation talks in Moscow on 15th February, 2017, opposing the dominant view from Russia, China and Pakistan to involve the Taliban in reconciliation efforts.

Important Statements Made:

  • External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that denying “safe havens or sanctuaries to any terrorist group or individual in countries of our region,” was essential to stabilising the situation in Afghanistan.
  • Reconciliation efforts must be driven by the Afghanistan government and could only be facilitated by “friends and well wishers of Afghanistan,” he said, indicating that the previous round of QCG (Quadrilateral Cooperation Group) hosted by Pakistan was not acceptable.
  • Another point of contention that emerged was over the composition of the talks hosted by Russia.
  • Afghanistan made a strong pitch for the United States to be included as one of its most important partners.
  • It said it was a necessary part of all processes to “end war and usher in sustainable peace in Afghanistan”.

Concluding Remarks

  • With U.S. troop levels down to their lowest of about 8,400 at the end of President Obama’s tenure, Afghanistan’s government has been hoping President Trump will increase assistance to the country.
3. Two-state solution remains ‘only way’ for Israel-Palestine peace, insists UN

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

Key Points:

  • In a recent development, the UN envoy for the West Asia peace process told the Security Council that the two-state solution remains “the only way” to meet the aspirations of the Palestinians and Israelis.
  • The envoy urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to “carefully contemplate the future”, which he warned could be one “built on perpetual conflict, rising extremism and occupation”.

Trump’s Comments:

  • Mr. Trump had earlier announced that the U.S. would not insist on a two-state solution to the conflict.
  • This comment was a break from Washington’s decades-old policy and from the international consensus on the peace process.

Reaction to the Comments:

  • Mr. Trump’s comments have triggered sharp responses from Muslim countries and organisations.
  • Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit said on 16th February, 2017 resolving the conflict would require a two-state solution.
  • Mr. Gheit affirmed that the conflict “requires a comprehensive and just peace based on a two-state solution with an independent Palestinian state”, a statement said after he met UN chief Antonio Guterres in Cairo.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. Dassault, Reliance form JV for Rafale

Category: Indian Economy, Science and Technology
Topic: Manufacturing, Developing new technology

Key Points:

  • Reliance Aerostructure Limited has incorporated a 51:49 joint venture with Dassault Aviation.
  • This effort has been made to capture a major share of the offset business arising from the €7.87 billion deal for Rafale fighter jets.
  • 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.
  • The facility will come up at Dhirubhai Aerospace Park at Mihan, Nagpur and the construction work on the greenfield facility will start in May 2017, according to a company statement.

Background

  • India and France signed a purchase agreement for the supply of 36 Rafale fighter jets for €7.87 billion in September last year.
  • The contract includes a 50% offset obligation or about Rs. 30,000 crore, the largest-ever offset contract in India.
  • DRAL will aim to grab a major share of this business, including components and parts.

Role of DRAL

  • DRAL will support the Centre’s “Make in India” and “Skill India” policies and develop major Indian programmes with high levels of technology transfer to benefit the entire aerospace sector.
  • The proposed strategic partnership between Dassault and Reliance will also focus on promoting research and development projects under the IDDM programme (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured), an initiative of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
1. The bumps ahead

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: : Inflation, Government Policy

Key Points:

  • Indian is an economy that relies on public investment and private consumption to revive private investment and growth.

Important Statistics

  • The last round of official statistics on prices and industrial activity signal testing times ahead.
  • Industrial output plummeted by 0.4% in December 2016, led by a 2% decline in manufacturing (just five of 22 industries registered positive growth) and a 6.8% decline in consumer goods.
  • Wholesale prices have risen at the fastest pace in two and a half years this January, at 5.25%.
  • The fact that wholesale prices have risen at a fast pace, is particularly noteworthy since the pace of price rise at the consumer level slowed to 3.2% in the same month.
  • In contrast, consumer prices had risen fractionally faster (3.4%) than wholesale prices (3.39%) in December.
  • It is believed that this divergence in wholesale prices and the prices consumers pay is unlikely to last long.

Potential Concerns

  • A rise in oil prices beyond $65 a barrel would be a cause for concern, as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said in his recent Budget.
  • It is important to note that higher oil price-led inflation will bring back into focus the high excise duties on petroleum products that have boosted the Centre’s tax kitty over the past couple of years.
  • The RBI has cited ‘transitory effects of demonetisation on inflation and output’ as the rationale to hold interest rates and shift from an accommodative monetary stance to ‘neutral’.

Concluding Remarks

  • If inflation spikes in the coming months, it could further compress consumer spending, with obvious consequences for the investment cycle and job creation.

 

The Economic Times

1. Let’s Not Rush Into More Bank Mergers

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: Money and Banking

Key Points:

  • In a recent development, the Union Cabinet gave a nod to the State Bank of India’s (SBI) merger with its own five associate banks.
  • It has been suggested that this is a welcome move.

Impact of the decision

  • This decision will place the country’s largest lender among the top 50 global lenders. This will bring efficiency in its treasury operations and lower operating costs.
  • Bigger size would allow SBI to finance large infrastructure projects and takeover deals with greater ease.

Challenges and Prospects

  • Already, the SBI carries the tag, along with ICICI, of a domestic systemically important bank and, therefore, needs to set aside more capital than its peers to cover risks. The combined entity should be well capitalised.
  • The problem of bad loans must be resolved so that capital infusion does not end up as provisioning against bad loans.
  • Employee integration could be tricky, apart from other reported challenges such as provisions for pension liability due to differing employment benefit structures and synchronising accounting policies for recognition of bad loans.

Concluding Remarks

    • India needs more payment banks and small banks to achieve financial inclusion, not gigantism.

 

PIB

1. Tarini to be Inducted into Indian Navy on 18 February 17

Category: Defence, Science and Technology
Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • The Indian Navy’s second ocean going sailboat Tarini will be inducted at a ceremony scheduled to be held at the INS Mandovi Boat Pool on evening of 18 February 2017.
  • In order to promote ocean sailing activities and to encourage women empowerment, the Indian Navy conceptualized the idea of the First Indian All Women Circumnavigation of the Globe.

A brief note about Tarini

  • The sail boat Tarini is being inducted into the Navy and is slated to be the platform for First Indian All Women Circumnavigation of the Globe expedition of the Indian Navy.
  • INSV Tarini is almost identical to her illustrious predecessor, the iconic Mhadei which has sailed over 115000 nautical miles in the past eight years.
  • The boat draws her origin from the famous Tara-Tarini temple of Orissa’s Ganjam district. The word Tarini means a Boat and is also a Sanskrit word for Saviour.
  • Tara-Tarini is a patron deity for sailors and merchants and is worshipped for safety and success at sea.
  • Tara-Tarini of Orissa is known to have historical linkages with the river Goddess Mhadei- the exclusive boat deity of the Mhadei river of Goa.
  • Both the deities Tariniand Mhadei have sculptural similarities.
 
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
  • Quadrilateral Cooperation Group
  • Article 13
  • INS Mandovi
 
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
 
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements regarding the sail boat ‘Tarini’:

1] The sail boat Tarini is being inducted into the Navy and is slated to be the platform for First Indian All Women Circumnavigation of the Globe expedition of the Indian Navy.

2] The boat draws her origin from the famous Tara-Tarini temple of Orissa’s Ganjam district. The word Tarini means a Boat and is also a Sanskrit word for Saviour.

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: The constitution is the supreme law of the land. The guardian 
of the constitution is_____________.

a) The Supreme Court  b) The Constituent Assembly  c) The Parliament  d) The President 2

 
Question 3: Consider the following statements:

1] The primary duty of the Supreme Court is to ascertain whether the laws are executed and obeyed properly and to see to it that no person is deprived of justice in any court of law.

2] Article 131 of the Indian Constitution vests the Supreme Court with original and exclusive jurisdiction to determine the justiciable disputes between the Union and the States or between the States.

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] Under Article 32 of the constitution of Supreme Court can issue writs for the enforcement of fundamental rights.

2] These writs are in the nature of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Certiorari, and Quo Warranto.

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: Consider the following statements:

1] It is bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China.

2] The Durand Line is a frontier boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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

 

Check Your Answers

 

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