Comprehensive News Analysis – 19 April 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. India-China military hotline likely

2. Sushma raises MasoodAzhar issue with Wang

3. Uttarakhand crisis: Why intervene in State matters, HC asks Centre

C. GS3 Related:

1. Exports shrink 16% to $261 bn

2. Government clears 170 stalled investment projects

3. Services dominate in FDI inflows

4. Sugarcane: how a sweet success story went sour

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

The Hindu:

1. Are negative rates the new normal?

Indian Express:

1. A bitter sugar story

Others:

1. Business Standard:Revving up polytechnics

2. The Business line: Temporary respite

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

Nothing here for today folks!

 

B. GS2 Related

1. India-China military hotline likely

Topic: India’s Neighbourhood

Category: India- China Relations

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • A hotline is to be established between the military headquarters of India and China
  • More local border meeting points are to be activated (5 are already in place)

Tags: military hotline

 

2. Sushma raises MasoodAzhar issue with Wang

Topic: International Relations

Category: India-China Relations

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • India asked China to cooperate with its campaign to declare MaulanaMasoodAzhar, leader of Pakistan-based Jaish E Mohammed, as a global terrorist through the UN Security Council’s 1267 Committee against terrorism
  • China was reminded that India and China are common victims of terror

Tags: UNSC Sanctions Committee

 

3. Uttarakhand crisis: Why intervene in State matters, HC asks Centre

Topic: Polity

Category: Centre- State Relations

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • The Nainital HC asked whether the situation in Uttarakhand was so extra-ordinary so as to impose President’s rule
  • The court also questioned the urgency of the move when a floor test to prove the majority of the ruling party was due on March 28 (President’s rule proclaimed the day before)
  • “You are cutting at the root of democracy” The court observed

 

C. GS3 Related

1. Exports shrink 16% to $261 bn

Topic: Economy

Category: Exports

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • Merchandise exports shrank 15.9 per cent in 2015-16 to $261.13 billion
  • Reflecting a slowdown in the domestic economy, especially in the manufacturing sector, goods imports contracted 15.3 per cent to $379.6 billion
  • Global trade is projected to grow 2.8 percent this year, lower than a previous forecast of 3.9 percent (WTO data)
  • Problem areas: China’s economic slowdown, worsening financial market volatility and exposure of countries with large foreign debts to sharp exchange rate movements

Tags: WTO, exchange rate

 

2. Government clears 170 stalled investment projects

Topic: Economy

Category: investment

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • 170 stalled investment projects worth over Rs 6,00,000 crore cleared since March 2015
  • But 260 more held up projects worth almost Rs 7 lakh crore were added to the waiting list seeking governmental intervention
  • project monitoring group (PMG)in the cabinet secretariat  was set up to facilitate clearances, licences and other policy hurdles holding up large investment projects in Jan 2013
  • the group only facilitates clearances for projects with investments of over Rs 1,000 crore or critical public sector infrastructure projects

Tags: PMG

 

3. Services dominate in FDI inflows

Topic: Economy

Category: Investment

Location: The Hindu

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Key points:

  • Services sector, comprising software, financial services, trading, hospital and tourism, benefited most from surge in FDI in 2015 rather than manufacturing (Data-Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and Citi Research)
  • Gross inflows are up more than 30 per cent to about $40 billion. Breakdown of the official data shows that the inflows into the manufacturing sector are up 6 per cent in 2015
  • Inflows to construction surged 188 per cent from $1527 million to $4,405 million. Insurance received $581 million against $236 million, a 146 per cent jump.

FDI in Railways declined 67 per cent to $71 million from 213 million in the previous year.

Air transport too saw lower inflows — $50 million against 73 million.

For mining the fall was from $666 million to $547 million. The defence sector is yet to receive FDI

 

Tags: FDI

 

4. Sugarcane: how a sweet success story went sour

Topic: Environment

Category: water conservation

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • Why drought in many parts of states like Maharashtra, Telengana, Chattisgarh,Gujarat and MP?
  • 2 successive dry years
  • Pumping of scarce groundwater with subsidized electricity
  • Cultivation of thirsty crops like cotton and sugarcane
  • Ongoing river water disputes (connecting river basins only a distant possibility)

 

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

The Hindu

1. Are negative rates the new normal?

Topic: Economy

Category: Monetary policy

Key points:

  • Problems faced by the global economy:China’s slowest rise in GDP since early 2009, low global commodity prices, and the uncertainty over Britain’s continued membership of the European Union
  • Excessive reliance on Monetary tools(negative interest rates) does not seem to be working
  • Proponents of negative rates see it as a means to induce consumers to spend more and banks to lend more, with the potential to spur growth and raise inflation expectations
  • Implications on savings are adverse: customers would have to save more or hold onto cash till the rates go up (assuming that banks brave themselves to pass on the burden)
  • A more serious objection is the impact on the viability of pensions, life insurance and savings vehicles
  • While emphasising the potential to create additional stimulus in the economy and maintain price stability, the IMF is tentative about how long governments may persist with negative rates.

Tags: IMF, Monetary tools

 

Indian Express:

1. A bitter sugar story

Topic: Governance

Category: Drought Management

Key Points:

  • Why is Maharashtra’s drought condition worse than that of other states’?
  • Negligence in water management is a sure culprit
  • water conservation, drip irrigation or rejuvenating ground water have skipped the government’s attention
  • Sugarcane is a water-guzzler. Maharashtra is the second-largest producer of sugar after Uttar Pradesh.
  • But, unlike the northern state, which has a huge river network, including that of the Ganges, Maharashtra’s sugarcane cultivation is in zones where water is extremely scarce
  • The 4 per cent of land under sugarcane cultivation consumes as much as 71.5 per cent of irrigated water, including that from wells
  • Maharashtra is yet to bring in concepts like water governance
  • drip irrigation has not been mandatory for sugarcane cultivation
  • flood irrigation — where an entire farm is flooded with water is practiced widely
  • Droughts are manageable but only with proper planning and implementation

 

Others:

1. Business Standard: Revving up polytechnics

Topic: Governance

Category: Education sector

Key Points

  • What has to be done to revive our polytechnics providing vocational education to thousands?
  • Getting the curricula right- fine tuning syllabi to the market needs, exposure to industry, creation of jobs, reaching out to industrial units for training and placement
  • To establish more >manufacturing units in India which will create jobs plus add to the country’s GDP, polytechnics – more than engineering colleges – are the pivot point
  • Polytechnics are handy tools to realize the dream of MII

Tags:MII,GDP

 

2. The Business line: Temporary respite

Topic: Economy

Category: State of Indian Economy

Key points:

  • Consumer price inflation is relatively low, wholesale price inflation remains negative and summer monsoon rains are forecast to be plentiful-Are we in for better times?
  • one still needs to exercise caution
  • There are already indications of a reversal of inflation trends in the coming months
  • One, global crude oil prices have risen from the lows of about $30 a barrel to over $40 now, and may rise further if producers cut supplies
  • Two, prices of items such as sugar have been rising over the past month
  • Three, items such as cooking oil and potatoes are also showing signs of firming up. Prices of pulses have come off the highs of last year, but still remain elevated, partly due to a shortfall in domestic production
  • Four, the payout of the Seventh Pay Commission award as well as One Rank One Pension will boost consumption demand for both factory output and services, putting upward pressure on prices.  Good agriculture output will also revive rural demand in the latter half of the calendar year
  • Given the risks, the Centre needs to keep a keen eye on volatility in prices of essentials
  • The Government needs to recognise that as incomes increase, consumption shifts away from carbohydrates to proteins. In a country such as India, that calls for encouraging farmers to grow more pulses and lower acreage devoted to cereals
  • A negative WPI reflects commodity cycles, lack of demand and under-utilisation of installed capacities of factories. For that situation to change, the economy needs not just good rains, but also focused policy intervention

 

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Information Exchange Agreement (IEA),
  • Defence Technology and Trade Initiative
  • Department of Health Research (DHR)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • U.N. Security Council
  • Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1:Which of the following statements are true?
  1. The price of a nation’s currency in terms of another currency is exchange rate
  2. Currency depreciation can help boost exports

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 2: Which of the following can be categorized as methods to replenish groundwater?
  1. rainwater harvesting
  2. Improving riparian vegetation
  3. use of injection wells
  4. use of percolation tank

a) 1 and 2

b) 1 and 3

c) 2,3 and 4

d) All the Above

 

Question 3:Which of the following statements are true?
  1. Sugarcane is a Rabi crop
  2. Sugarcane is a water intensive crop

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 4:What is true about President’s rule?
  1. Both houses of the parliament would have to approve the proclamation of President’s rule within 2 months
  2. Parliament can impose president’s rule for two 6 months periods only by passing resolutions each time

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 5:Which of the following statements are true?
  1. Global Competitiveness Report is a yearly report published by World Economic Forum
  2. The Global Competitiveness Index integrates the macroeconomic and the micro/business aspects of competitiveness into a single index

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

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