Comprehensive News Analysis – 18 February 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. There’s no concept of National Song: SC

C. GS3 Related:

1. Helicopter deal takes shape

2. Apple to start India manufacturing in coming months with iPhone SE

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

The Hindu

1. Working on the ISRO principle

Economic Times

1. Missing Pieces in Commodity Markets

PIB

1. Science Express Should Reach Out to more than Six Lakh Villages of The Country’: Anil Madhav Dave

2. India accelerating efforts to eliminate measles and control rubella by 2020, convenes expert group to recommend measures

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
I. Archives

************************************************************************************************************

Need Expert Guidance on how to prepare for Current Affairs

.

************************************************************************************************************

Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

 
B. GS2 Related
1. There’s no concept of National Song: SC

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: Government Interventions, Judiciary

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court has orally noted that “there is no concept of National Song”.
  • The Supreme Court has refused to intervene in a petition seeking a direction to the government to frame a national policy to promote and propagate the ‘National Song’, along with the National Anthem and the National Flag.
  • A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, R. Banumathi and Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, in a short order, said it should be clearly noted that Article 51A (a), citing the citizens’ fundamental duties, does not refer to ‘National Song.’
  • “It only refers to National Flag and National Anthem,” the order observed.

Petition that was filed

  • The petition was filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.
  • The petition had contended that a national policy should be framed “in the spirit of Article 51A to achieve the great golden goals, as set out in the Preamble of the Constitution of India.”
  • The petition also sought the court to “ascertain the feasibility of singing/playing the National Anthem and National Song in the Parliament/Assembly, public offices, courts and schools on every working day.”

A brief note about Article 51(a)

  • Article 51A(a) mandates that citizens should abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.

 

C. GS3 Related
2. Helicopter deal takes shape

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

Key Points:

  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Rosoboronexport and Russian Helicopters of Russia had entered into a joint venture (JV) for manufacturing Kamov-226T light utility helicopters in India.
  • This joint venture (JV) will be registered very soon and the final contract is likely to be signed this year.

Further Developments

  • The HAL is setting up a new helicopter manufacturing facility at Tumakuru outside Bengaluru where the Kamov’s would be built in addition to other helicopters in its portfolio.
  • Russia expects the helicopter to function the same way as the JV for Brahmos cruise missile.
  • The Kamov-226T helicopters are meant to replace the aging and obsolete Cheetah and Chetak fleets of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The number if expected to go beyond 200 given the requirement from the services. India and Russia intend to export the Kamov-226T to third countries after meeting domestic requirement.
2. Apple to start India manufacturing in coming months with iPhone SE

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: Manufacturing, Developing new technology

Key Points:

  • Apple Inc will in the coming months start assembling its lower-priced iPhone SE models at a contract manufacturer’s plant in Bengaluru.
  • Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron Corp is setting up a plant in Bengaluru to focus solely on assembling iPhones.
  • Apple’s move comes as it seeks to boost its share in the world’s fastest growing major mobile market, where handsets far cheaper than Apple’s iPhones dominate.
  • It also comes as smartphone sales growth is slowing in Asia’s other massive market, China.

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
1. Working on the ISRO principle

Category: Science and Technology
Topic: : Space, Developments

Key Points:

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is an agency of the government of India associated with the development of cutting-edge technology and global standards in execution.
  • In fact, by launching 104 satellites from a single rocket, it has now set the global standard in a field.

Reasons why ISRO is successful

  • ISRO reports to the Prime Minister and his office rather than a line ministry.
  • This has been critical to its success. In line ministries, ministers and bureaucrats have a tendency to micromanage their turf, and this includes autonomous bodies, agencies and enterprises.
  • The geographical location of the organisation also matters in terms of creating an appropriate ecosystem to nurture excellence. A number of critical government-run organisations and enterprises are either headquartered in Delhi (because it’s the seat of the Union Government).
  • ISRO, headquartered in Bengaluru, is distant from Delhi and immune from the capital’s drawbacks.
  • More importantly, it is located in the appropriate geography in what is India’s science and technology hub.
  • It has the right ecosystem to attract talent and build its knowledge capabilities more than most government agencies do.
  • Unlike many government agencies which are staffed by generalists, ISRO is staffed by specialists right from its technocratic top management.
  • ISRO is also more agnostic than most government agencies about cooperating with and working with the best in the private sector. The building blocks of many of ISRO’s successes come from outside the government system.

Concluding Remarks

    • Cutting-edge research and development in spheres where there may not be ready profits is one area the government should focus on building ISRO-like institutions. Defence could be one such.
    • Independence from line ministries is important for a high performing organisation.
    • The creation of high performing government bodies requires starting from scratch and focussing on a few basics:
      1. a) Real autonomy from ministries
      2. b) Right geographical location/appropriate ecosystem, a team of specialists
      3. c) Partnership with the private sector and operating only in spheres where there is no alternative to government.

The creation of a handful of such agencies could have a transformative effect.

 

The Economic Times

1. Missing Pieces in Commodity Markets

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • In Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2017 speech, he did mention that the commodities markets require reforms for the benefit of farmers.
  • He also called for an operational and legal framework to integrate spot and derivatives markets for commodity trading, which is unexceptionable.
  • It is important to note that the capital markets regulator, Sebi, faces legal difficulties in allowing options trading in commodities, and has reportedly decided to focus, for now, on attracting more institutional players to the commodity futures market.
  • But such segmented approach in market design will not do.

Framework

  • We lack a firm legal framework for commodity options.
  • The Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1952, does have provisions that give rise to a measure of uncertainty in futures trading.
  • While the FCRA is under the Union List, trades on the underlying commodities fall under the State List for agricultural commodities.
  • There are various other standalone laws, such as the Warehousing Act, 2007, or the Food Safety Act, 2006, or the APMC Act that produce an incoherent ecosystem for commodity derivatives.

Concluding Remarks

  • It is advisable to have a sophisticated and well-developed financial system to better manage myriad risks across currencies, securities and derivative contracts.

 

PIB

1. Science Express Should Reach Out to more than Six Lakh Villages of The Country’: Anil Madhav Dave

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: Government Interventions

Key Points:

  • Three Ministers jointly flagged off the 9th phase of Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) from Safderjung Railway Station.
  • Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Anil Madhav Dave, said that in future, the Science Express should reach out to 6.5 lakh villages of the country.
  • He emphasised that till the train is transformed into a peoples’ movement and a vehicle to motivate people to take individual actions and initiatives to fight climate change, it will not succeed in its endeavours on the ground and will only be reduced to becoming a point of discussions in seminars.

BACKGROUND

  • Science Express is an innovative mobile science exhibition mounted on a 16-coach AC train which has been custom-built for Department of Science & Technology (DST) by Indian Railways.
  • This unique mobile exhibition was first launched in October 2007 by DST. Since then, it has made eight tours of the country, travelling about 1, 42, 000 km and exhibiting at 455 locations.
  • Over its 1602 exhibition days, Science Express received an overwhelming response and 1.56 crore visitors. SECAS has become the largest, the longest running and the most visited mobile science exhibition.
2. India accelerating efforts to eliminate measles and control rubella by 2020, convenes expert group to recommend measures

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • Accelerating efforts to eliminate measles and control rubella, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, convened a meeting of an Expert Advisory Group to recommend strategies to end the scourge of these killer and debilitating diseases by 2020.
  • The expert advisory group on measles and rubella, congratulated India for its efforts so far and, especially for launching the Measles and Rubella campaign earlier this month.
  • It recommended timely roll out of the remaining phases of the MR campaign, besides further stepping up surveillance and strengthening the reach of the measles-rubella vaccination campaign, to maximize the gains made so far, and make progress in the fight against measles and rubella.
  • India has made important gains in recent years. Measles deaths have declined by 51% from an estimated 100,000 in the year 2000 to 49 000 in 2015.
  • This has been possible by significantly increasing the reach of the first dose of measles vaccine, given at the age of nine months under routine immunization programme, from 56% in 2000 to 87% in 2015.
  • In 2010 India introduced the second dose of measles-containing vaccine in routine immunization programme to close the immunity gap and accelerate measles elimination.
  • Nearly 11.8 crore children aged nine months to 10 years were vaccinated during mass measles vaccination campaigns between 2010 and 2013 in select states of the country. During the recent annual Union Budget presentation, the government reiterated its commitment to measles elimination.
 
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
  • Science Express
  • Article 51A
 
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
 
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements regarding the sail boat ‘Tarini’:

1] Measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and it is normally passed through direct contact and through the air.

2] The virus infects the respiratory tract, then spreads throughout the body.

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:

1] Measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and it is normally passed through direct contact and through the air.

2] The virus infects the respiratory tract, then spreads throughout the body.

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 song ‘Vande Mataram’, was composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji.

2] The words ‘Satyameva Jayate’, written in Devnagari Script, which is also the National Motto of India, are from the ‘Mundaka Upanishad’.

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] Science Express is an innovative mobile science exhibition of Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India, mounted on a 16 coach AC train.

2] It has become the largest, the longest running and the most visited mobile science exhibition and has six entries in the Limca Book of Records.

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 Wage Report’? 
    Which of the above statements is/are correct? a) ILO (International Labour Organization) b) The United Nations Development Programme c) The World Economic Forum d) The World Bank

 

Check Your Answers

 

“Proper Current Affairs preparation is the key to success in the UPSC- Civil Services Examination. We have now launched a comprehensive ‘Online Current Affairs Crash Course’. Limited seats available. Click here to Know More.”

 
I. Archives:
You can check out some more recent News Analysis sections to build even more context

List of all DNA Articles

Practice More: Enroll for India’s Largest All-India Test Series

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *