Comprehensive News Analysis – 17 July 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. Nalanda in global limelight after UNESCO listing

B. GS2 Related:
C. GS3 Related:

1. ISRO soon to test-fly scramjet engine model

2. Modi asks States to share intelligence

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

1. Lessons from cash transfers

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related


1. Nalanda in global limelight after UNESCO listing
Category: Art and Culture

Topic: Architecture from ancient to modern times, Heritage

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • Archaeological site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) in Bihar has been included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
  • The inclusion of the new sites was announced at the 40th session of The World Heritage Committee meeting in Istanbul.
  • The site includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.
  • The University engaged in the organised transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions
  • Nalanda University has become the 26th ‘cultural site’ of India to get the prestigious world heritage status.

 

B. GS2 Related

Nothing here today folks!


C. GS3 Related


1. ISRO soon to test-fly scramjet engine model

Category: Science and Technology 

Topic: Science and Technology- developments, Space

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • The Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO) is slated to test fly a small model of what is called a ‘scramjet’ engine.
  • This could one day help to put satellites and other systems to space.
  • This could later grow to power a future dream Indian rocket of two stages (compared to three and four stages at present);
  • Thus it can prove to be a rocket that launches satellites and systems super efficiently at much lower costs than now.

Future Prospects

  • The scramjet bid is a move towards faster, cheaper, better rockets; if it works, an eventual launch vehicle using a scramjet engine can be very reliable compared to conventional rocket systems that use liquid or cryogenic systems.


2. Modi asks States to share intelligence

Category: Internal Security

Topic: Challenges to internal security, Intelligence

Location: The Hindu

Modi asks States to share intelligence

Key points:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the States to focus on intelligence-sharing to help the country stay “alert” to, and “updated” on, internal security challenges.
  • The PM addressed the Inter-State Council meeting, which was convened after 10 years.

Who are the members of the Inter-State Council?

  • The Chief Ministers, Lieutenant-Governors of the Union Territories and 17 Union Ministers are members of the Inter-State Council.

Highlights of the address

  • Panchayats and urban local bodies would receive Rs. 2,87,000 crore during the period of the 14th Finance Commission, substantially higher than last time.
  • Through amendments to the CAMPA Act (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill), the Centre was trying to free up Rs. 40,000 crore lying in banks for disbursal to the States. The Centre also wished to share with the States the amount saved as a result of transparency being introduced in the system.
  • India’s greatest asset is its youth as over 30 crore children are now of school-going age. Hence, the country has the potential to provide the world skilled manpower for many years to come.
  • Referring to the Aadhaar card, he said the Aadhaar Act, 2016, enabled the government to use the Aadhaar for direct cash transfer for subsidy and other services.
  • The PM said the Centre launched a scheme under which, if there is a reduction in kerosene consumption by a State, the Centre would disburse 75 per cent of the resultant savings in subsidy as grant to that State.

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here today folks!


E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance


1. Lessons from cash transfers

Category: Governance

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • It is fair to say that there is quite a buzz in policy circles about the potential for cash transfer schemes to address multiple outcomes while bringing in administrative efficiency.
  • But, the evidence base to support large-scale programme switch-outs from food to cash is quite limited in the Indian context, given the diversity of social, economic and implementation contexts.
  • In India, cash transfers have become popular in recent years — from girl child protection schemes, to maternity benefit schemes, to schemes aimed at improving nutritional outcomes.
  • Cause for concern

    • While the move towards cash transfers as a way to reduce programme leakage in the ICDS and PDS is appealing, there is not a great deal of evidence on the impact of cash transfer schemes on nutrition in India.

    Way Forward
    The following issues are central to the design of cash transfer programmes:

    • Cash transfer amounts need to be sizeable and regular.
    • Second, financial inclusion is not as easy to achieve as one might hope, with bank regulations and requirements placing considerable barriers on participation- ensuring financing inclusion and easy access to cash once bank accounts are opened are absolutely essential preconditions for cash transfers that are intended to support routine spending on nutritious foods.
    • Third, there needs to be a mechanism in place to monitor adherence to conditions, if any
    • Fourth, improving the demand for services by using conditions is only one piece of the story; the other side is in making sure the services exist.
    • Fifth, targeting is a serious concern in India, as errors of wrongful inclusion and exclusion continue to plague several programmes.
    • Last, but perhaps most important, the cash transfer must be accompanied with high-quality information/education campaigns that encourage good nutritional choices.


    F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
    • PDS
    • Cash Transfer Programmes
    • ICDS
    • Inter-State Council
    • Scramjet


    G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
    Question 1: Consider the following statements regarding "Inter-State Council"
    1. The Chief Ministers, Lieutenant-Governors of the Union Territories and 17 Union Ministers are members of the Inter-State Council.
    2. The PM recently addressed the Inter-State Council meeting, which was convened after 10 years.

    Which of the above 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 "CAMPA"
    1. Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) are meant to promote afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest uses.
    2. National CAMPA Advisory Council has the following mandate- a) Lay down broad guidelines for State CAMPA b) Facilitate scientific, technological and other assistance that may be required by State CAMPA c) Make recommendations to State CAMPA based on a review of their plans and programmes d) Provide a mechanism to State CAMPA to resolve issues of an inter-state or Centre-State character.

    a) 1 only

    b) 2 only

    c) Both 1 and 2

    d) Neither 1 nor 2


    Question 3: Consider the following statements regarding ‘Scramjet’ engine
    1. The ‘Scramjet’ engine can help move towards faster, cheaper, better rockets.
    2. An eventual launch vehicle using a scramjet engine can be very reliable compared to conventional rocket systems that use liquid or cryogenic systems.

    Which of the above statement(s) 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. Archaeological site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) in Bihar has been included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
    2. The site includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.
    3. Nalanda University has become the 26th ‘cultural site’ of India to get the prestigious world heritage status.

    Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?

    a) 1 and 2 Only

    b) 2 and 3 Only

    c) All 1, 2 and 3

    d) 2 Only


    Question 5: Consider the following regarding the 'International Energy Agency'
    1. The IEA is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond.
    2. The IEA has four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.

    a) 1 only

    b) 2 only

    c) Both of these

    d) None of these


    Check Your Answers

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