Comprehensive News Analysis – 18 May 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

POLITY

1. Cabinet gives nod to 10 new atomic reactors for power generation

2. NTRO now under Intelligence Act

3. Impose President’s rule in A.P., says Katju

4. Indigenous gear for Siachen soldiers

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. After Palestine, it’s Israel’s turn

C. GS3 Related:

ECONOMY

1. UN lowers India GDP growth forecast for 2017 to 7.3%, cautions on bad loans 

2. ‘GST to help cut costs of transport, logistics’ 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Rain may have shaped Mars surface 

2. Babies From Skin Cells? Prospect Is Unsettling to Some Experts 

D. GS4 Related:
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

 

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Cabinet gives nod to 10 new atomic reactors for power generation

In news:

  • The Union cabinet cleared a proposal to indigenously build 10 atomic reactors of 700 MW each under its Make in India flagship programme.
  • The largest ever approval granted for such facilities in one go.
  • The Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) to have indigenous but latest technology.
  • The 10 reactors would be built at Mahi Banswara (Rajasthan), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), Kaiga (Karnataka) and Gorakhpur (Haryana).10 new atomic reactors for power generation

Importance of the decision:

  • Prioritise the use of clean power in India’s energy mix as part of low-carbon growth strategy
  • Ensure long-term base load requirement for the nation’s industrialisation.
  • Supports India’s commitment to sustainable development, energy self-sufficiency, and bolsters global efforts to combat climate change

Key fact:

  • India currently has installed nuclear power capacity of 6,780 MW from 22 operational plants.
  • Another 6,700 MW of nuclear power is expected to be added by 2021-22 when currently under-construction projects go onstream in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.
  • The total share of nuclear power in the country currently stands at a measly 3.5 percent.

2. NTRO now under Intelligence Act

In news:

  • The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), which reports to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the National Security Advisor (NSA) will now have the same “norms of conduct” as the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).
  • The Home Ministry issued a notification listing NTRO under The Intelligence Organisations (Restriction of Rights) Act, 1985.
  • The NTRO was created after the 1999 Kargil conflict as a dedicated technical intelligence agency.

Restrictions to be imposed:

  • The Act prevents employees of a notified agency from forming unions/associations
  • Puts restrictions on the employee’s freedom of speech, bars any communication with the press, or publishing a book or other document without the permission of the head of the intelligence organisation.

Opposition:

  • Both IB and R&AW -opposed the inclusion of any other organisation in the list of monitoring agencies under the Act.

Other agencies demand:

  • Agencies like the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) among others have been asking the Home Ministry to include them under the Intelligence Organisations Act.

3. Impose President’s rule in A.P., says Katju

Context:

  • Social media activist I. Ravi Kiran arrested recently for publishing a cartoon against Chandra Babu Naidu (the CM) and his son.

In news:

  • Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju has requested President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Twitter to impose President’s rule in Andhra Pradesh by dismissing the Chandrababu Naidu government and dissolving the Legislative Assembly.
  • Fresh elections to be ordered under Article 356 of the Constitution.

4. Indigenous gear for Siachen soldiers

In News:

  • Indian Army is the only force which operates and fights at heights of over 20,000 feet on the Siachen glacier
  • But imports basic equipment required to sustain troops there
  • Attempt to reverse this: by involving the private sector in addition to the Defence Public Sector Undertakings
  • The Army spends about Rs. 500 crore every year on basic personal items for soldiers(for Siachen)
  • The items include super high altitude clothing

What is Super High Altitude?

  • Super high altitude is the height above 18,000 feet
  • Defence-Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA): 3rd joint seminar and exhibition is scheduled to be held on May 22-23 with the theme “Indigenization and provision of improved products to our soldiers.”

Basic Information:

  • The Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA) is the only association of the technical textile industry in the country.
  • Formation of ITTA was facilitated by office of the textile commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India.
  • ITTA membership represents the entire technical textile value chain from raw material to finished goods producers, machinery manufacturers, converters, centers of excellence and R&D institutes. At present ITTA has over 300 members.
  • The objective of the ITTA is to promote, support, develop and increase production & export of technical textile to make India a power house of technical textiles in the days to come.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. After Palestine, it’s Israel’s turn 

In news:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s to visit Israel in July
  • First ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel
  • Planning for a diaspora event: The diaspora event is important to give all the Indians now in Israel a sense of identity and community.
  • Key Fact:
  • Israel is home to 80,000 people of Indian origin, mainly those who have taken “Aliyah,” as the migration of the Jewish diaspora to Israel is called.
  • Among the groups which migrated in large numbers are the Bene-Israelis from Maharashtra, Cochin Jews, Baghdadi Jews from Kolkata, as well as some from the so-called “lost tribe” of B’nai-Menache from Manipur.

 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. UN lowers India GDP growth forecast for 2017 to 7.3%, cautions on bad loans 

In News:

  • The United Nations (UN) has revised downward India’s GDP growth forecast for 2017 but predicted an increased 7.9% GDP growth next year
  • It cautioned that stressed balance sheets in the banking sector due to bad loans will prevent strong investment rebound in the near term.

Report:

  • The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid- 2017 report, said India is projected to achieve a 7.3% growth in 2017, a downward revision from the 7.7% forecast for the year made when the report was launched in January
  • Despite temporary disruptions from the demonetisation policy, economic conditions in India remain robust, underpinned by sound fiscal and monetary policies and the implementation of key domestic reforms, report said
  • It noted that current accounts deficits have narrowed “visibly” in India, Brazil and South Africa, and some countries have undergone significant corporate deleveraging, particularly Russia
  • The report said world gross product is expected to expand by 2.7% in 2017 and 2.9% in 2018, unchanged from UN forecasts released in January this year
  • The report identifies a tentative recovery in world industrial production, along with reviving global trade, driven primarily by rising import demand from East Asia

Suggested reforms:

  • The report points to a combination of short-term policies to support consumption among the most deprived and longer-term policies such as improving access to healthcare and education and investment in rural infrastructure
  • The report states that inflation dynamics in developed economies have reached a turning point, and risks of prolonged deflation have largely dissipated
  • By contrast, inflationary pressures have eased in many large emerging markets, allowing interest rates to come down
  • Looking ahead, the report advocates for renewed global commitments to deeper international policy coordination in key areas including:
    • Aligning the multilateral trading system with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
    • Expanding official development aid;
    • Supporting climate finance and clean technology transfer; and
    • Addressing the challenges posed by large movements of refugees and migrant

2. ‘GST to help cut costs of transport, logistics’

Context: The Goods and Services Tax, begins from July1st.

In news:

GST advantages as per experts:

  • Reduce the cost of transport and logistics. The cost of logistics is currently very high in India, making up about 14-15% of GDP whereas it is only 7-8% in mature markets.
  • Formalise the sector, and
  • Could help bring supply chain management to the forefront

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Rain may have shaped Mars surface

In news:

New Study findings:

  • Mars has geological features like the Earth and the Moon, such as craters and valleys, many of which were formed through rainfall
  • Heavy rain on Mars may have reshaped the Red planet’s impact craters and carved out river-like channels on its surface billions of years ago
  • Changes in the Martian atmosphere made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet’s surface as seen on Earth.
  • Valley networks on Mars show evidence for surface run-off driven by rainfall.
  • There is a growing body of evidence that there was once water on Mars.

Atmospheric pressure and Rain fall:

  • When Mars first formed 4.5 billion years ago, atmosphere pressure was very high.
  • This pressure influences the size of the raindrops and how hard they fall.
  • During the initial stages, water droplets would have been very small, producing something like fog rather than rain.
    As the atmospheric pressure decreased over millions of years, raindrops got bigger and rainfall became heavy enough to cut into the soil and start to alter the craters. The water could then be channelled and able to cut through the planet’s surface, creating valleys.

2. Babies From Skin Cells? Prospect Is Unsettling to Some Experts 

In news:

  • A new revolution in reproductive technology is on the horizon (far more controversial than in vitro fertilisation ).Babies From Skin Cells
  • In vitro gametogenesis or IVG: New reproductive technology- scientists will likely be able to create a baby from human skin cells that have been coaxed to grow into eggs and sperm and then used to create embryos that can be implanted in a womb.
  • IVG, so far has been used only in mice.
  • With IVG, two men could have a baby that was biologically related to both of them, by using skin cells from one to make an egg that would be fertilized by sperm from the other.
  • Women with fertility problems could have eggs made from their skin cells, rather than go through the lengthy and expensive process of stimulating their ovaries to retrieve their eggs.
  • Designer babies: One man can provide both the eggs and the sperm, almost like cloning himself. Eggs becoming so easily available would lead to designer babies
  • ‘Brad Pitt scenario’– when someone retrieves a celebrity’s skin cells from a hotel bed or bathtub.
  • IVG may raise the spectre of ‘embryo farming’ on a scale currently unimagined, which might exacerbate concerns about the devaluation of human life

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today

 

 

E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

 

F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News

Article in News

About the article

Article 356. Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in State

1) If the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the President may be Proclamation

(a) assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or any body or authority in the State other than the Legislature of the State;

(b) declare that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament;

(c) make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the president to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, including provisions for suspending in whole or in part the operation of any provisions of this constitution relating to any body or authority in the State Provided that nothing in this clause shall authorise the President to assume to himself any of the powers vested in or exercisable by a High Court, or to suspend in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to High Courts

(2) Any such Proclamation may be revoked or varied by a subsequent Proclamation

(3) Every Proclamation issued under this article except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation, cease to operate at the expiration of two months unless before the expiration of that period it has been approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament Provided that if any such Proclamation (not being a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation) is issued at a time when the House of the People is dissolved or the dissolution of the House of the People takes place during the period of two months referred to in this clause, and if a resolution approving the Proclamation has been passed by the Council of States, but no resolution with respect to such Proclamation has been passed by the House of the People before the expiration of that period, the Proclamation Shall cease to operate at the expiration of thirty days from the date on which the House of the People first sits after its reconstitution unless before the expiration of the said period of thirty days a resolution approving the Proclamation has been also passed by the House of the People

(4) A Proclamation so approved shall, unless revoked, cease to operate on the expiration of a period of six months from the date of issue of the Proclamation: Provided that if and so often as a resolution approving the continuance in force of such a Proclamation is passed by both Houses of Parliament, the Proclamation shall, unless revoked, continue in force for a further period of six months from the date on which under this clause it would otherwise have ceased to operating, but no such Proclamation shall in any case remain in force for more than three years: Provided further that if the dissolution of the House of the People takes place during any such period of six months and a resolution approving the continuance in force of such Proclamation has been passed by the Council of States, but no resolution with respect to the continuance in force of such Proclamation has been passed by the House of the People during the said period, the Proclamation shall cease to operate at the expiration of thirty days from the date on which the House of the People first sits after its reconstitution unless before the expiration of the said period of thirty days a resolution approving the continuance in force of the Proclamation has been also passed by the House of the People

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause ( 4 ), a resolution with respect to the continuance in force of a Proclamation approved under clause ( 3 ) for any period beyond the expiration of one year from the date of issue of such proclamation shall not be passed by either House of Parliament unless

(a) a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, in the whole of India or, as the case may be, in the whole or any part of the State, at the time of the passing of such resolution, and

(b) the Election Commission certifies that the continuance in force of the Proclamation approved under clause ( 3 ) during the period specified in such resolution is necessary on account of difficulties in holding general elections to the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned: Provided that in the case of the Proclamation issued under clause ( 1 ) on the 6 th day of October, 1985 with respect to the State of Punjab, the reference in this clause to any period beyond the expiration of two years

 

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1: The total share of nuclear power in the country currently stands at 
  1. 3.5%
  2. 4%
  3. 5%
  4. 2.5%
See
Answer
Question 2: Identify the correct statement
  1. Atmospheric pressure and rain drop size are not at all related.
  2. Atmospheric pressure and rain drop size are inversely related.
  3. Atmospheric pressure and rain drop size are directly related.
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 3: Identify the correct statement
  1. IVG is defined as the generation of eggs and sperm from pluripotent stem cells.
  2. IVG is defined as the generation of eggs and sperm from multipotent stem cells
  3. IVG is defined as the generation of eggs and sperm from totipotent stem cells
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 4: The ‘Doctrine of Lapse’, in Modern Indian history, is associated with
  1. Lord Wellesley
  2. Lord William Bentick
  3. Lord Canning
  4. Lord Dalhousie
See
Answer
Question 5: Coalbed Methane is
  1. A form of natural gas
  2. A sweet gas
  3. Both a and b
  4. Neither a nor b
See
Answer

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