Comprehensive News Analysis - 19 June 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. U.S. bills seeking funding cut to Pak. defeated

2. Rajan not to seek second term at RBI

3. Difficult to avoid black money disclosure under new scheme: SIT chief

C.GS3 Related:

1. Good monsoon to push GDP growth to 8 p.c.: Das

2. PSLV-C34 with 20 satellites all set for new experiments

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

The Hindu

1. Merger makes waves, again

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

 

B. GS2 Related

 

1. U.S. bills seeking funding cut to Pak. defeated.Topic: International Relations

Category: India-world

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • Two legislative amendments seeking a cut in the U.S. aid to Pakistan have been defeated in the House of Representatives with most lawmakers arguing that it is essential to maintain ties with a nuclear armed country despite it not doing enough in the war against terrorism.
  • The first amendment moved by Congressman Ted Poe that sought to cut funding to Pakistan from $900 million to $700 million in coalition support fund (CSF) was defeated on the House floor by a recorded vote of 191 to 230.
  • Another amendment moved by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher seeking to prohibit funds from being used to provide aid to Pakistan has been defeated by a recorded vote of 84 to 236.
  • Opposing Mr. Poe’s amendment, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said the U.S. must be mindful that Pakistan have nuclear capacity.
  • Lawmakers debated both the amendments to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017 on the House floor on Wednesday and voted on it on Thursday, according to Congressional Records

 

2. Rajan not to seek second term at RBI
Topic: polityCategory: governanceLocation:HinduKey points:

  • In a surprise move that sent ripples across the financial sector, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India RaghuramRajan announced on Saturday that he would not continue to head the central bank after his term expires in september.
  • Rajan announced his decision to RBI employees via an email which was published on the central bank’s website for ‘wider dissemination’. This is the first time during DrRajan’s tenure that his communication to staffers has been made public
  • According to RBI insiders, the government’s decision to form a search panel, headed by a cabinet secretary to select financial sector regulators has not gone down well with the RBI governor as the governor’s post is also cabinet secretary rank. It is not clear if the search panel had started to look for candidates. This is the first time a formal search panel has been formed to select the RBI governor. In the past, the prime minister and the finance minister have held consultations to select the governor of the central bank.

 

3. Difficult to avoid black money disclosure under new scheme: SIT chief
Topic: GovernanceCategory: Black moneyLocation: The HinduKey points

  • The chief of SIT on black money feels it will be “difficult” for those holding untaxed assets to avoid disclosure under the on-going one-time compliance window opened by the government after the limited success of asimilar scheme launched in 2015 for those with tainted money overseas.
  • SIT chairman Justice (retd.) M.B. Shah said the Income Tax department has “tightened each and every angle” under the current scheme, and hence evading disclosure under this scheme will be “hundred per cent” difficult.
  • “The last such scheme was not successful… rather it was successful to some extent in the sense that attention was drawn prominently that if something is found (at a later stage) they will be subsequently prosecuted… to some extent it had a deterrent effect.
  • He said the issue of P-notes (participatory notes) has also been “controlled” to a large extent and hence it will not be easy for tax evaders to hide their assets and funds from agencies like the Income Tax department and they will now have to disclose it to them.
  • Talking about the probe in the Panama Papers issue, the SIT Chairman said investigating agencies are facing “difficulties” in reaching to the bottom of the matter as they are not getting specific account numbers and people named in the list are also “not disclosing” the details to the taxman.
  • On the issue of bank loan frauds, Justice Shah said it was the domain of the RBI which can act and comment upon them.
  • Talking about the probe in the Panama Papers issue, the SIT Chairman said investigating agencies are facing “difficulties” in reaching to the bottom of the matter as they are not getting specific account numbers and people named in the list are also “not disclosing” the details to the taxman.
  • On the issue of bank loan frauds, Justice Shah said it was the domain of the RBI which can act and comment upon them.
C. GS3 Related

 

1. Good monsoon to push GDP growth to 8 p.c.: DasTopic: Economy development

Category: development and inclusive growth

 

Key points

  • The Finance Ministry expects the country’s growth rate to climb to 8 per cent in the current financial year on the back of above normal monsoon.Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das expressed hope that the likely passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in Parliament would further add to the business sentiment, fuelling growth.
  • “We will certainly exceed 7.6 per cent growth. If the monsoon is good which we expect it will be because of the forecast and once the GST is passed, we can expect our GDP to touch 8 per cent in the current fiscal,” .
  • In 2015-16, the country’s economy grew 7.6 per cent and the Economic Survey in February had projected a growth rate of 7-7.75 per cent for the current fiscal while RBI had forecast 7.6 per cent for the current fiscal. He further said although the GST is likely to be rolled out from April 2017, its passage would significantly help in boosting sentiment and generating economic activity.
  • So, the sentiment will turn strongly positive and then industry and business will also start the process of re-orienting their business for GST purpose.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had stated that there is no possibility of a “deficient” monsoon this year and 96 per cent chances are that the rainfall would be “normal to excess”.Butlater, the IMD said the slow progress of the south-west monsoon has led to overall deficiency of rains by 22 per cent from June 1-15.
  • The government is hoping to get the Constitution Amendment Bill passed by Parliament in the upcoming Monsoon Session. It plans to roll-out GST from April 1 that will subsume excise, service tax and all local levies.

 

2. PSLV-C34 with 20 satellites all set for new experiments.Topic: Space technology

Category:Science & Technology

Location: The Hindu

Key points

 

  • The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C34), which will lift off at 9.25 a.m. on June 22 from Sriharikota, is an important mission for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • The vehicle will not only put 20 satellites into the same orbit — the highest number of satellites to be put into orbit by a PSLV — but it will perform two tricky experiments of the same nature. Fifty minutes after the satellites are injected into the orbit from the fourth stage of the vehicle, its engine will be re-ignited for five seconds. Then it will be shut down for 50 minutes and re-ignited for another five seconds, according to K. Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. 

 

Complex manoeuvre

  • The ISRO wants to master this complex manoeuvre so that it can put multiple satellites into different orbits using the same rocket. A forthcoming PSLV launch will put the ISRO’s SCATSAT-1, meant for forecasting weather and cyclone detection, and a foreign satellite in two different orbits.

 

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

 

The Hindu

 

1. Merger makes waves, againTopic: LIGO Observatory

Category: Science & Technology

Key points

  • A little more than three months after detecting gravitational waves from the merger of two massive black holes, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors recorded on December 26, 2015, gravitational waves from the merger of two smaller black holes nearly 1.4 billion years ago.
  • This has confirmed that the merger of binary black holes recorded on September 14, 2015 was not a chance discovery, and opened a new category of objects to be observed in the universe. While the September event was from the merger of black holes 36 and 29 times the mass of the Sun, the December event was from the merger of smaller black holes that had 14 and eight times its mass.
  • As a result of their lighter masses, the signal from the last 27 orbits of the black holes before they merged lasted more than one second in LIGO’s frequency band. Unlike the September event, when three times the mass of the Sun was radiated as gravitational waves, such waves from the December event came from one mass of the Sun. Hence, the signals from the December event were a lot weaker compared with the first one (which was like a short-duration burst), and distributed over a longer stretch of time, thus getting buried in noise. Yet, scientists were able to tease out the signal thanks to the seminal work of Indian scientists in adapting a special technique for gravitational wave data analysis and theoretical modeling of the expected signals.
  • The two observations were made by two LIGO detectors located in the U.S. — Livingston in Louisiana and Hanford in Washington — during a four-month run from September 2015. The next observation run beginning September 2016 will have an improved sensitivity of 25 to 75 per cent. As a result, the volume of the universe that can be studied will increase by 1.5 to two times, and the detectors will be in operation for a longer duration of six months. Hence, three times the number of events will be witnessed.
  • The Virgo detector, a third interferometer located near Pisa, Italy, which has a design that is close to LIGO but is not quite identical, is expected to become operational during the latter half of LIGO’s upcoming observation run. Simultaneous operation of the three detectors and the 26 millisecond difference in the arrival time of incoming gravitational wave signals between LIGO and VIRGO will improve the ability to locate the source of each new event.
  • The precision of source location will further improve when the arrival time difference increases to 39 milliseconds as LIGO-India, the fourth detector, begins operations by January 2023. It’s a promising time ahead for science.

 

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂

 

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