Comprehensive News Analysis – 17 November 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Apex court refuses to lift ban on jallikattu

C. GS3 Related:

1. ISRO adopts drought-hit Brahmasandra to help farmers

2. ATM recalibration starts, more pain ahead

3. E-commerce firms see 30% decline in cash on delivery orders post demonetisation

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

The Hindu

1. Against the odds

2. A challenge and an opportunity

3. White is the new black

4. A pivot to China?

5. Violence that’s not gender-neutral

The Indian Express

1. Russia withdraws backing for International Criminal Court treaty

2. Use by date

Business Line

1. Demonetisation is worth all the trouble

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. Apex court refuses to lift ban on jallikattu

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Judiciary

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court rejecting the submissions made by the state government of Tamil Nadu to review a 2014 apex court judgment banningjallikattu.
  • The court further held that jallikattu had nothing to do with the exercise of the fundamental right of religious freedom.
  • The court maintained that it runs counter to the concept of welfare of the animal, which is the basic foundation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. ISRO adopts drought-hit Brahmasandra to help farmers

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Space

Key Points:

  • Antrix Corporation Limited, which is the marketing arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has adopted the Brahmasandra village in the Sira taluk of Tumakuru district.
  • This initiative is an effort to improve the quality of life of farmers and prevent suicides caused by acute financial distress.
  • It is important to note that since the highest number of farmers had committed suicide in the (Tumakura) district’s Sira taluk over the past two years, a village in the Sira taluk was selected for the project to prevent farmers from committing suicides.
  • The project seeks to improve agricultural productivity in the village with modern methods.
  • The main objective of the programme is to create a sustainable model village.
  • This model village will have hi-tech skills, infrastructure, assets, support services and market linkages to make agriculture a profitable occupation.
  • Among the goals is the intention to promote a vibrant village development committee for post-project sustainability.

 

2. ATM recalibration starts, more pain ahead

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Govt. Policies

Key Points:

  • It is an uphill task to physically recalibrate each and every one of the almost 2.5 lakh automated teller machines (ATM) in the country to enable them to dispense the new Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 denomination currency notes.
  • This might mean that customers may have to contend with a longer wait to withdraw cash as banks shut many of the ATMs to complete the recalibration.
  • The recalibration will happen in two phases.
  • First, at the central switch of a particular bank and second, at the ATM which has to be done physically.
  • ATM maintenance companies would have to insert cassettes which are configured according to the thickness of the new series notes.

 

3. E-commerce firms see 30% decline in cash on delivery orders post demonetisation

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Govt. Policies

Key Points:

  • In the wake of the recent demonetization initiative by the Government, E-commerce companies, including Snapdeal and Shopclues, have seen up to 30 per cent decline in cash on delivery (CoD) orders.
  • But, they believe that demonetisation and the push for digital payments will boost the sector in the long run.
  • This is because CoD orders being returned is one of their biggest “pain-points.”

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Against the odds

Category: Governance, Internal Security

Topic: Challenges to internal security

Key Points:

a signal that normalcy could be returning to Jammu and Kashmir but also as it is important to secure the school year for students.

  • More than 30 schools have been attacked in recent months — in fact, recently, teachers managed to prevent serious damage when a school in Baramulla district was set ablaze.
  • Going forward, it is critical that, the State government rallies teachers and parents sufficiently to build a constituency to insulate the school calendar from disruptions imposed on the Valley.

 

  1. A challenge and an opportunity

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • China and Pakistan operationalised the trade route this week of the CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), which would connect Kashgar and Gwadar.
  • It is important to note that many of the infrastructure and energy projects that are part of CPEC, worth an estimated $46 billion, are already under way.
  • Of this $46 billion, $35-38 billion is committed in the energy sector, in gas, coal and solar energy across Pakistan, with the combined expected capacity crossing 10,000 MW.

 

Challenges that Pakistan Faces

  • Domestically, critics have questioned the project’s viability, and some have even accused China of launching a second “East India Company”.
  • There are the security challenges in the western areas near the Gwadar port, where militants ranging from Baloch nationalists to the Taliban and the Islamic State have carried out attacks.
  • Systemic challenges include project delays in the CPEC’s first year. The World Bank has warned that this could prove to be an impediment to Pakistan’s overall growth.
  • Also, unless the Pakistan-India tensions are contained, sectors of the project could be endangered- where Pakistani troops are engaged in providing security.
  • Further, the economic slowdown in China and the political instability in Pakistan could impact the project’s future.

 

China now sees CPEC as a physical link between its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project and the Maritime Silk Route (MSR). It is important to note that India has refused to be a part of either the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project, or the Maritime Silk Route (MSR).

India would need to take a closer look at the security implications of the China-Pakistan clinch that is fast drawing in Russia in the north, all the way to the Arabian Sea, while China is also planning a floating naval base off Gwadar. 


  1. White is the new black

Category: Indian Economy 

Topic: Govt. Policies

Key Points:

  • On November 8 itself when the Government had come out with its recent demonetization initiative, there was frenzied late-night shopping till midnight especially in the upmarket malls. This is indicative that some sections of the populace had money hoarded from unaccounted activity and wanted to get rid of it while it was still legal tender.
  • From the next day onwards, there has been a rush to the banks to exchange currency notes and to deposit money into savings accounts.
  • The other development is the reported spurt in deposits in Jan Dhan accounts. As these accounts mostly belong to persons with low incomes, and often showed a near-zero balance, it suggests that these deposits may be black income being distributed among many agents.
  • It is important to note that demonetization can also affect the flow of income in the future even when it is to be earned legally, in which case, it also punishes the innocent.
  • Views on the transition are likely to be influenced by how one is placed in relation to the income generation process.  
  • For example, in Kerala, where many live directly or indirectly on monthly remittances from West Asia and where undeclared income is rife, a relatively aware local population is likely to see the demonetisation as justified and hurting the rich.
  • However, in small-town northern India where households are dependent upon daily earnings from the local economy, the populace is likely to be energised less at the discomfiture of the rich as much as the loss of their own livelihood.

 

  1. A pivot to China?

Category: International Relations 

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

Key Points:

Background:

  • Till 1750, the Asian giants produced half of global economic output before gunboats and colonisation reshaped trade, and subsequently production and consumption.
  • There is now a consensus that the locus of global wealth is again going to be in Asia.
  • Western analysts focus on the relative decline of the U.S. rather than on Asia’s re-emergence.
  • Containment, relevant during the Cold War, is not proving effective in Asia with China emerging as the largest global economy.
  • Alliances are also losing relevance in Asia as countries are gaining influence more because of the strength of their economy than the might of the military.
  • Globalisation, driven by the ‘Washington Consensus’, dominated global policymaking, with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation as the institutional centres of gravity.

 

India and China- Opportunities:

  • China and India have much in common- both are civilisational states whose contours were shaped by major snow-fed rivers. 
  • It is important to note that the Chinese civilisation has had a more secular orientation than any other civilisation.
  • In Indian political thought, authority was based on the interests of all. In both civilisations, the king was regarded as guardian and not creator of the law.
  • China took advantage of global value chains shaping long-term economic calculations, redefining global power and securing a head start over India.
  • It is also important to note that China will remain the world’s largest producer of goods and India can be the largest producer of services.
  • Also, from an Asian perspective, it is important to note that the services sector will be the real driver of future growth in Asia.

 

Points in India’s Favour:  

  • India has the capacity for global leadership.
  • India can be the hub of the new knowledge-based order, including new pharmaceuticals and crop varieties, as it is the only country with both extensive endemic biodiversity and world-class endogenous biotechnology industry.
  • India can exhibit global leadership in software-led innovation
  • India is developing low-cost solutions for urbanisation, governance, health and education problems.

 

  1. Violence that’s not gender-neutral

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Judiciary

Key Points:

  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDVA) is a gender-specific law enacted to protect women against domestic violence at the hands of men. 
  • The core provision in this law is that complainants can only be women.

 

What does the law say?

  • The law restricts under Section 2(q) that complaints can only be filed against adult males, or their relatives, who could be women. But it cannot be filed solely against the relatives of the husband. 
  • In the recent judgment of the Supreme Court inHarsora v. Harsora , the constitutionality of Section 2(q) was challenged.
  • The court, while referring to domestic violence, held that “it is clear that such violence is gender neutral. It is also clear that physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse and economic abuse can all be by women against other women.

 

The Indian Express

  1. Russia withdraws backing for International Criminal Court treaty

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order on Wednesday removing Russia’s signature from the International Criminal Court’s founding treaty.
  • This move has piled pressure on the International Criminal Court, which is already reeling from withdrawals by some African countries.
  • However, it is important to note that Russia never ratified the treaty, which it signed in 2000, meaning it never became a member subject to its jurisdiction. 
  • The ICC had earlier angered Moscow by referring to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea as an armed conflict.
  • Currently, the ICC is examining allegations of war crimes committed by Russian and Georgian forces during a brief 2008 war.
  • It is important to note that Russia is under international pressure over its campaign of air strikes in Syria, with some human rights activists and U.S. officials accusing it of bombing civilians and civilian targets. 

Some important facts about the ICC

  • The ICC, is based in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • It was founded when 120 countries adopted its founding treaty in 1998.
  • The International Criminal Court (ICC) investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 

  1. Use by date

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Govt. Initiatives, Food Security

Key Points:

  • Recently, the Food and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) announced that it is working on fortification standards for packaged food products such as cereals and biscuits.

 

  • What is fortification?

Fortification means bolstering the nutritional content of a food product by increasing essential micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins.

  • The FSSAI has also issued draft guidelines for five fortified products — rice, wheat, salt, flour, milk and edible oil.
  • From an Indian context, it is important to note that India has been long beset by the lack of food safety standards. The new guidelines are a significant first step.
  • But, there are certain issues which need to be addressed. On one hand, the FSSAI, is contemplating operationalising the guidelines for rice, wheat, salt, milk and edible oil, even before issuing a final notification. On the other hand, the agency has not specified a deadline for setting standards for packaged foods.


Business Line

  1. Demonetisation is worth all the trouble

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Govt. Policies

Key Points:

  • In the wake of the recent demonetization initiative, there have been different narratives brought both in favour, and against the initiative in the public domain.
  • Those who have been facing hardships have arguedthat most of our population does not have bank accounts or ATM cards.
  • The second point cited by them is that people were stranded without cash for a day or two.
  • But given the element of surprise so necessary for demonetisation, this sort of hardship for a week or fortnight could not have been completely avoided.
  • The third point being raised is whether it is a sin to earn and spend in cash rather than go for cashless transactions.
  • The fourth objection is subjecting the entire population to this dose of heavy ‘chemotherapy’.
  • It is incorrect to believe that only few rich people hoard all the black money. It is important to note that it is not just the rich, but also the upper middle class and middle class evade tax wherever there is scope to do so.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Demonetisation
  • FSSAI
  • Fortification


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. Recently, the Food and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) announced that it is working on fortification standards for packaged food products such as cereals and biscuits.
  2. ‘Fortification’ means bolstering the nutritional content of a food product by increasing essential micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins.

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 ICC, is based in The Hague, Netherlands.
  2. It was founded when 120 countries adopted its founding treaty in 1998.
  3. The International Criminal Court (ICC) investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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 Only


Question 3: Consider the following statements,
  1. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDVA) is a gender-specific law enacted to protect women against domestic violence at the hands of men.
  2. The core provision in this law is that complainants can only be women.

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. India has refused to be a part of either the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project, or the Maritime Silk Route (MSR).
  2. China sees CPEC as a physical link between its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project and the Maritime Silk Route (MSR).

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 5: The port of Gwadar is in which of the following countries?

a) Pakistan

b) China

c) India

d) Sri Lanka


Check Your Answers

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