Comprehensive News Analysis - 19 October 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Personal laws and the constitution

2. Reinventing old links

C. GS3 Related:

1. Changing the course of the planet

2. In Germany, communities reap wind power rewards

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

The Indian Express:

1. NDMC to introduce e-Health system in hospitals, dispensaries

Live Mint:

1. Why India should be worried about China’s Lalho dam


1. Shri Nitin Gadkari says Inland Waterways A Game Changer in National Connectivity

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
I. Archives



Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. Personal laws and the constitution

Category: Governance

Topic:  Secularism/ Uniform Civil Code

Key Points:

  • The Centre’s categorical stand that personal laws should be in conformity with the Constitution will be of immense assistance to the Supreme Court in determining the validity of practices such as triple talaq and polygamy
  • From the point of view of the fundamental rights of those affected, mostly women, there is a strong case for these practices to be invalidated
  • On triple talaq, courts have adopted the view that Islam does not sanction divorce without reason or any attempt at reconciliation, and that talaq would not be valid unless some conditions are fulfilled
  • The present petition before the Supreme Court seeks a categorical ruling that talaq-e-bidat — an irrevocable form of triple talaq that is permitted but considered undesirable in Islam — is unconstitutional



C. GS3 Related
1. Changing the course of the planetCategory: Environment

Topic:  Climate change

Key Points:

  • After seven years of negotiations, on October 15, 197 countries reached a historic agreement in Kigali, Rwanda, to amend the Montreal Protocol and phase down hydrofluorocarbons
  • HFCs are refrigerant gases used for commercial, residential and automotive purposes (and in other applications) but are hundreds to thousands of times more potent that carbon dioxide
  • They were meant to replace HCFCs in order to protect the ozone layer but their global warming potential (GWP) has increasingly become a matter of concern in climate negotiations
  • The Kigali Amendment is one that could avoid global warming by up to 0.5° C
  • Developed countries agreed to an earlier baseline (2011-13) and freeze year (2019)
  • But India and a few other developing countries got a later baseline (2024-26) with HFCs freezing only in 2028

Why latitude for India

  • India and China are the only developing countries that manufacture HFCs
  • But China’s output is much bigger given its significantly larger share of the global air conditioner market
  • India’s A/C market and HFC consumption picks up only after 2025. So, differentiation with China, which will witness rapid emissions during 2015-2030 (and has to act sooner), was warranted
  • India and China are the only developing countries that manufacture HFCs
  • Action prior to 2028 would have imposed additional costs of currently much more expensive alternative refrigerants
  • The cost burden is not merely of alternative refrigerants but includes the one-time cost of product redesign, servicing equipment, training of servicing personnel, and per unit equipment costs
  • The agreed decision requires the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund to cover incremental costs related to production, consumption, servicing and patents. But it is unclear how much of the total costs will get covered until the guidance document on calculating costs is prepared
  • Another concern for India was access to technology. Many alternative gases are not manufactured in India currently, although firms are moving in that direction

Gains from Kigali

  • The deal allows India’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) sector to grow while giving time to refrigerant manufacturers to shift to alternatives
  • A review of technological options is also envisaged so that India is not left stranded in 2028
  • Despite the three baselines, the bulk of global HFC emissions starts getting phased down earlier, delivering a massive gain for the fight against climate change
  • The deal is legally binding, and failure to act could invite non-compliance proceedings, making it a more effective deal than the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

It is important to recognise how research, analytics and consultations can help to move the needle and change the course of the planet. The international result is welcome; attention now shifts to domestic action.


  1. In Germany, communities reap wind power rewards

Category: Environment

Topic:  Renewable Energy

Key Points:

  • Germany is expanding its renewable energy capacity through wind parks owned by the community, a model that has made the small investor a partner in its transition away from coal and nuclear plants
  • The political project was to get rid of nuclear and coal power plants, and produce all energy through renewable sources
  • Germany was clear that it would shut down its last nuclear power plant by 2021-22 and was discussing ways to get rid of coal-based power plants

Balancing act

  • Moreover, although Europe, especially northern Europe and the U.S., had a responsibility to curb carbon emissions, the CO2 thus removed should not be produced by China and India
  • Both Germany and India had missing distribution cable grids. In Germany renewable power was produced in the north while the south lacked it. In India most wind mills were in the south, while big consumption centres were in the north


D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Indian Express
1. NDMC to introduce e-Health system in hospitals, dispensariesCategory: Social Justice

Topic: Health

Key Points:

  • The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is set to introduce e-Health system in its hospitals and dispensaries by the end of this month to provide smart healthcare services
  • NDMC had introduced cloud based e-hospital management information system in collaboration with NIC, the first of its kind in the country in a government setup


Live Mint:
1. Why India should be worried about China’s Lalho damCategory: International Relations

Topic: India-China

Key Points:

  • On 30 September, China announced that it has blocked the Xiabuqu river as part of a major hydroelectric project, the Lalho hydroelectric project at Shigatse
  • Xiabuqu is a major tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo, the upper stream of the Brahmaputra river flowing from Tibet
  • The strategic value of the Lalho project lies also in the fact that Shigatse is only a few hours driving distance from the junction of Bhutan and Sikkim, and the city from which the Chinese plan to extend their railroads to Nepal
  • The project has raised concerns in the lower riparian states of the Brahmaputra—India and Nepal
  • In the absence of a comprehensive water treaty between China and India, the construction of this dam has raised new concerns.
  • Since 2013, China and India have been sharing water details through an expert level mechanism which coordinates on trans-border rivers

The concerns of India are in essence threefold:

  1. The first is the traditional question of water itself. When rivers are trans-boundary in nature, lower riparian states are always at a disadvantage
  2. In the last 250 years, the Brahmaputra has changed its course a number of times. Any move to control or shift the Brahmaputra course might accentuate the political problems in the north-east
  3. A number of tribes have built a livelihood around the course of the river. The influence of these rivers in the lives of the people is immense
  • Both India and China have set up aggressive goals for themselves in combating climate change
  • Shifting from non renewable energy sources to renewable ones like hydroelectricity is an important step in this direction
  • However, as global evidence has shown us, large dams are not the solution to energy sources. Constructing continuous run of the river dams will damage the ecology of the river too
  • A river is not only the water body but a complete ecosystem including flora and fauna
  • Dams in large numbers damage this ecology
  • All stakeholders have to realise this. China has to take India into confidence because rivers shouldn’t be used to further political or geostrategic agendas
  • There is the ecological and environmental question which should be approached through consensus
  • Rivers are a common heritage to be nurtured by all


  1. Shri Nitin Gadkari says Inland Waterways A Game Changer in National Connectivity

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Infrastructure

Key Points:

  • At present the country has 12 Major ports and there are plans to add 6 more
  • Sagarmala Project whose port-led economic growth intends to give a boost to the coastal economy, as it would develop manufacturing hubs as well as promote fishing
  • At present there are only 5 inland waterways and the government has identified 106 more, and now these 111 waterways are being developed as National Waterways
  • The waterways will prove to be a game changer as this would reduce the cost of transportation for goods and passengers, reduce road congestion as well as play a vital role in reducing pollution
  • This will also give a boost to tourism as well


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • India-Russia
  • India-China
  • Renewable Energy
  • Kigali Amendment
  • National Waterways



Report summary on ‘Repair, Renovation and Restoration of Water Bodies


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following is true regarding NIIF?
  1. It stands for National Investment and Infrastructure Fund
  2. The objective of NIIF would be to maximize economic impact mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects

a) Only 2

b) Only 1

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 2: Which of the following is stressed by Article 25 of the constitution?

a) All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion

b) Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion

c) Freedom to manage religious affairs

d) Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain education institutions


Question 3: Which of the following national waterways (NW) is correctly matched?

a) NW1 – Sadiya Dhubri stretch

b) NW2 – Allahabad Haldia stretch

c) NW3 – Kollam Kozhikode stretch

d) None of the above


Question 4: Which of the following is true regarding the river Brahmaputra?
  1. Dibang, Dihang and Padma rivers are tributaries of the river Brahmaputra
  2. The Indus and Brahmaputra originate from the same land and follow same directions

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 5: Which of the following is true?
  1. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone depleting
  2. In 2009, the Vienna Convention became the first Convention of any kind to achieve universal ratification to promote research and information exchange on the effects of human activities on the ozone layer and to adopt legislative or administrative measures against activities likely to have adverse effects on the ozone layer

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Check Your Answers

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