Comprehensive News Analysis - 20 April 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Centre ‘introducing chaos’: HC

2. Insult to God to have unauthorised places of worship: SC

3. Trading bloc to India: Cut tariffs or exit FTA talks

4. Close ties with India needed for regional stability, says China

5. After taxis, look out for online farm machinery aggregators

6. Most of rural India still opts for open defecation: NSS report

7. Kabul suicide blast: Several killed and wounded

C. GS3 Related:

1. RBI Governor says forex intervention to continue

2. Govt. rolls back PF withdrawal norms

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

The Hindu:

1. The splinternet is here

The Indian Express:

1. Cities at Crossroads: Setting cities free


1. Business Standard: Rajan is right, economy is a work in progress

2. The Business Line: What next after financial inclusion?

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



Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today folks!


B. GS2 Related

1.Centre ‘introducing chaos’: HC

Topic: Polity Category: Federal System Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • Uttarakhand Crisis: Nainital HC objected to the Centre’s “haste” and said the Centre was “introducing chaos” by intruding into the State’s affairs
  • the Bench of the HC said, “Failing of Money Bill obliges the Chief Ministers to resign, but if they don’t resign then you either bring a no confidence motion or the Chief Minister is asked to seek confidence through a floor test”
  • The bench also observed even though the state government is under suspended animation only for 2 months before the matter is taken up by the parliament, it amounts to introducing “organized chaos” in the state for that duration (rule without an elected govt. at the state level)

Centre ‘introducing chaos’ Tags: Uttarakhand Crisis


2.Insult to God to have unauthorised places of worship: SC

Topic: Polity Category: Judicial Intervention Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • It is an insult to God to have unauthorised religious structures on roads and pavements, obstructing public space, the SC said
  • The court pulled up States for not curbing encroachment of public space in the name of religion despite several orders since 2006

Tags: SC, unauthorised religious structures


3. Trading bloc to India: Cut tariffs or exit FTA talks

Topic: International Groupings Category: Economic Relations Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • India told to either agree to eliminate tariffs on most products quickly or leave the talks on the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA), being negotiated by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the trading bloc comprising 16 Asia-Pacific countries
  • The bloc says India is “focusing only on the export of manpower” and not on liberalising trade in goods and other services, as well as investment
  • The next round of talks at Perth in Australia could be a “turning point” in the negotiations with India they said



4. Close ties with India needed for regional stability, says China

Topic: International Relations Category: India- China Relations Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • China has described its ties with India as a factor in promoting a multi-polar world, as well as an important component for fostering stability in the region
  • China’s Foreign Minister stressed the reinforcing role that India and China could play in the success of the G-20 summit later this year in Hangzhou and the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) summit that would be held in India in October

Tags: G20, BRICS


5. After taxis, look out for online farm machinery aggregators

Topic: Governance Category: ICT Intervention Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • Under the proposed system, farmers owning machinery will rent them out to others who need them
  • Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission is in consultation with a few startups to put in a system that suits farmers’ needs

Tags: KAPC,Start up


6. Most of rural India still opts for open defecation: NSS report

Topic: Governance Category: NSSO data Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • Swachhta Status Report by the National Sample Survey (NSS) Office
  • The nation-wide rapid survey was conducted during May-June 2015, concurrently with the 72nd round of the NSS

swachh_NDSAM01__TH_2820782e Tags: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, NSSO


7. Kabul suicide blast: Several killed and wounded

Topic: India’s Neighbourhood Category: Afghanistan Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • A Taliban suicide car bomber attacked an office of Afghanistan’s main national security agency in Kabul , killing or wounding several people
  • This is the first assault in the capital since the group declared their new spring offensive a week ago

Tags: Kabul


C. GS3 Related

1. RBI Governor says forex intervention to continue

Topic: Economy Category: FOREX Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • India will intervene in the currency market when there’s a sustainable risk in global markets and the country sees a flood of capital coming in, the RBI governor said
  • India’s foreign exchange reserves mounted to a record high of $360 billion for the week ended April 1, largely on account of the central bank’s dollar purchases to avoidtoo much strengthenining of Rupee as foreign funds poured into Indian financial markets.
  • Rajan confirmed that India’s reserve build-up was a result of the central bank’s intervention

Tags: Currency appreciation


2. Govt. rolls back PF withdrawal norms

Topic: Economy Category: personal finance Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • Under the new norms, employees could withdraw their own share of PF savings along with the interest on them. The balance, comprising the employer’s contribution, was to be withheld by the EPFO till the employee attained 58 years of age
  • The government has now announced a complete and unconditional rollback of the new norms

Tags: EPFO


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

The Hindu

1. The splinternet is here

Topic: S &T Category: Internet Administration Key points:

  • the names and numbers that make up the Web (domain names, read by humans, and IP addresses, read by machines) are managed by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN
  • There are 13 root servers in the world that direct all internet traffic through computers of ICANN (indirectly affiliated to US administration)
  • But a project(named Yeti) to create an “alternative root” for the Internet, driven by technical considerations, may change the rules of this game
  • technical considerations :
  • the problem of connecting the next generation of Internet users, which will mostly come from developing countries.IPv4 addresses, used by the majority of devices connected to the Internet today, are fast running out. In contrast, the IPv6 protocol allows for a lot more addresses, but relatively few devices use it.
  • Adding to the problem, an IPv6 address cannot connect directly with an IPv4 address and vice versa, raising the costs of interoperability
  • Every packet of information in cyberspace contains the IPv4 addresses of all 13 root servers. This is to ensure that at least one root server — should the others be unavailable — points the packet to its correct destination
  • Adding the longer IPv6 addresses of root servers, however, will exceed the packet’s capacity, making it impossible for IPv6 devices to connect directly to these authoritative directories
  • To solve this problem, computer scientists are faced with two alternatives: one, create an inefficient method to first translate IPv6 addresses of devices to IPv4 addresses, which can then connect freely with the root servers; or two, create an alternative root zone that relies exclusively on IPv6 addresses
  • The Yeti project adopts the latter approach
  • A “pure” IPv6 environment will remove the ceiling on the number of root servers
  • If root servers are distributed globally, the formal and sole authority of the U.S. government to approve changes to the root zone would be eroded over time

Tags: ICANN, IP address


Indian Express:

1. Cities at Crossroads: Setting cities free

Topic: Governance Category: financial devolution Key Points:

  • Lack of funding is usually perceived to be the reason for poor infrastructure facilities in urban India
  • even if funds were made available, it would not lead to well-designed and well-managed infrastructure and improvement in public service delivery unless there is fundamental reform in the institutions that govern the planning and management of cities within the Indian federal regime
  • -user chargesfor the delivery of a public service should be set in a way as to cover at least the operation and maintenance cost of the infrastructure asset, including debt servicing
  • –  But city governments are not allowed to raise user charges (while protecting the poorest by cross-subsidising) without approval from the state government
  • -the reform of assigning to urban local governments the function of urban planning, including town planning, would provide them with the opportunity of activating a market for land use
  • -what is required?A unified command under an empowered and accountable mayor, a municipal regulator for bringing a degree of professionalism in the pricing of urban services, and use of e-governance and e-enabled smart technologies for better efficiency
  • -The unwillingness of the system to devolve responsibility and funding to the city level is a major failure
  • – It is now almost 25 years since the 74th constitutional amendment mandated that state governments transfer to the local governments a set of specified functions
  • -While many functions have been devolved, a major omission has been that of urban planning, including town planning
  • – GST bill can be tweaked to bring in the necessary reforms:GST could remain two-tiered but the revenue allocation could be three-tiered. Guaranteed devolution of GST will significantly reduce uncertainty in the finances of urban local governments
  • Tags: GST, 74th CAA



1. Business Standard:Rajan is right, economy is a work in progress

Topic: Economy Category: the role of the central bank Key Points

  • The central bank has been given a lot of credit for this due to his policies and for constantly reminding the government of the need to expedite supply-side bottlenecks and then provide stimulation for the demand side
  • The economy is picking up with investment coming in, the current account deficit is under control as are the fiscal deficit and food inflation
  • India has become the fastest growing economy overtaking China
  • But while India is growing at over 7 per cent, it has to grow at a double-digit rate if there is to be real inclusive growth, especially involving the population at the bottom of the pyramid
  • rates have been cut by 1.50 per cent in the last year
  • Many banks are still to pass on these cuts to the borrowers
  • the situation is still a work in progress and the government needs to move faster, especially on the ease-of-doing-business parameters. It has to get the state governments to fall in line as much of the ease-of-doing-business parameters are dependent on the states and the local bodies

Tags: RBI


2. The Business Line: What next after financial inclusion?

Topic: Governance Category: social sector reforms Key Points

  • 2015 has been hailed as the ‘year for India’s financial inclusion’
  • the PMJDY, the Atal Pension Yojana, Jan Suraksha, or the Mudra Bank to provide credit to small and medium enterprises are the notable initiatives
  • The RBI lowered barriers to entry and increased competition among financial service providers by enabling 23 new licences including two universal bank licences, 11 payment bank licences and 10 small finance bank licences
  • All of these, however, represent a massive supply-side thrust that ensures access
  • But of the total 136.8 million accounts opened under the PMJDY, 85.9 million (63 per cent) continue to have zero balance
  • One problem area is lack of financial literacy
  • Successful financial inclusion requires a deeper understanding of demand-side barriers and translating this into messages that enable an active use of financial products for their own benefit by customers
  • a combination of a teachable moment and learning by doing is a remedy
  • Reaching the customers at the right time is core to usage, where the right time is just when the person is about to make an important decision regarding using the service
  • Practice through simulation further reinforces the message delivered at the critical

Moment -a deep insight of customer lives, behaviour and their fears is a necessity to make this possible -There is also a need to involve a larger set of stakeholders, especially from creative industries, in delivering financial services and interacting with customers Having successfully addressed supply-side constraints, regulators and the Centre would do well to encourage financial capability initiatives as well Tags:the PMJDY, the Atal Pension Yojana, Jan Suraksha, the Mudra Bank


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Payment bank
  • Mudra Bank
  • EPFO
  • IPv6
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following statements are true?
  1. State Finance Commissions deal with devolution of state finances to local bodies 2. They are constituted for a 5 year tenure

a) 1 only b) 2 only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 2:Which of the following statements is true?
1)Afghanistan is a land locked country 2)Afghanistan shares borders with China, Pakistan and Iran a) 1 only b)2 only c)Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 3:Which of the following countries are party to RCEP(Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership)agreement?
1) China 2) Australia 3) Pakistan 4) Japan a)1 ,2 and 3 b)1 and 4 c)1,2 and 4 d)2,3 and 4
Question 4: Which of the given below statements is/are true?

1. The G20 was initialized for economic cooperation 2. The G7 is a political forum 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. IPv6 was introduced to handle the address requirements for the devices being added to the internet 2. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) manages the IP address space allocations

a) 1 only b) 2 only c) both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2  

Check Your Answers

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