Comprehensive News Analysis - 20 August 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. SC asks for norms to inform family of critically ill patients

2. Latest MoP draft awaits green light from judges

C. GS3 Related:

1. Industry asks Centre for clarity on GST

2. Centre to pay outstanding dues to realty firms soon

3. Intel unveils ‘merged reality’ with Project Alloy device

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

The Hindu

1. Read: Keep a watch on food inflation

2. Moscow’s long shadow

The Indian Express


1. MoU signed between Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences and University of Latvia

2. Meeting between Mr. Francis Gurry, the Director General, World Intellectual Property organisation and Commerce & Industry Minister Smt.NirmalaSitharaman

3. Pasighat advanced Landing Ground gets Operational

4. Nepal Deputy PM Shri Bimalendra Nidhi visits NDMA

The Business Line:

1. Read: Content is king

2. No getting away from water scarcity

Quick Bits and News from States

1. Sindhu lends silver lining to Olympic campaign

2. Karzai backs Modi’s Balochistan remarks

3. BSF, Pak. Rangers to open more lines for contact

4. Army destroys insurgent posts in Myanmar

5. IDPs in Jaffna to be resettled by year-end

6. Panel to review India’s innovation landscape: Nirmala Sitharaman

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



Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!


B. GS2 Related

1. SC asks for norms to inform family of critically ill patients

Topic: Medical Negligence

Category: Right to life

Key points:

  • The Supreme Court has asked the government to respond to a plea seeking guidelines for private hospitals to provide families regular health bulletins and information about the treatment of patients in intensive care or coronary care units (ICU/CCU)
  • The SC sought this information from the Centre, the states and the Medical Council of India (MCI) following a petition by a man who lost his daughter-in-law due to alleged negligence on the part of the doctors treating her at a private hospital in West Bengal


2. Latest MoP draft awaits green light from judges

Topic: Appointments and Transfers

Category: Judiciary

Key points:

  • The latest draft MoP for judges’ appointment is currently with the Chief Justice of India and awaiting the judges’ approval
  • The latest MoP draft wants all Supreme Court and High Court judges to be able to recommend names to their respective collegiums. Chief Ministers should also have the right to recommend names to the respective High Court collegiums. Similarly, the Attorney General should be allowed to recommend the names of judges to the Supreme Court at the Centre and Advocate-General of States to their respective State High Courts.
  • The draft details a mechanism for an elaborate vetting process of names recommended for High Court judgeship through appraisal committees to be set up in High Courts. The government wants these appraisal committees to be made up of sitting or retired judges, jurists and academicians. The appointments to these appraisal committees would be made by the Chief Justice of the High Court
  • These High Court committees would screen the names of the candidates, their backgrounds, the number of cases they have argued as lawyers, etc, before forwarding them to the High Court collegium
  • Once the High Court collegium clears certain names, they would be sent to a similar appraisal committee at the Supreme Court. This apex-level committee would again sift through the names before they are finally referred to the SC collegium
  • The government reasons that the two-fold vetting process – one by the respective High Court appraisal committee and then by the Supreme Court committee – would ensure transparency in judicial appointments

C. GS3 Related

  1. Industry asks Centre for clarity on GST

Topic: Indirect Taxes

Category: Economy

Key points:

Apprehensions of Industries

  • Rajya Sabha Select Committee on GST indicates that inclusion of electricity is not envisaged in GST. Non-inclusion of electricity will lead to significant economic distortions
  • GST law included dual administrative control vested with both Centre and State, wide discretionary powers given to the tax authorities, provisions relating to mandatory pre-deposit for filing appeals, restrictions imposed on availing input tax credit, potential of probable disputes due to separate valuation mechanism prescribed for related party transactions, etc
  • Similarly, industry is concerned about the shoring up of costs that would occur in the petroleum industry due to their inability to claim GST credit as petro-products are temporarily not included in that system.(Solution:zero-rating or concessional taxation under existing law on the inputs for these industries is warranted)

Note:zero-rated supply refers to items that are taxable, but the rate of tax is nil on their input supplies

  • The draft GST legislation provides that transaction value would include all taxes other than CGST, SGST and IGST. This would lead to a tax on tax scenario(To avoid tax cascading, transaction value should be valued net of any taxes)

2. Centre to pay outstanding dues to realty firms soon

Topic: Construction sector

Category: Economy

Key points:


  • a special package of measures is being readied by the NitiAayog to alleviate the cash crunch faced by the construction sector that is now the largest employer in the country after agriculture, but has little or no capacity to take up new infrastructure projects
  • One such measure, particularly for those suffering from huge debt burden and where arbitration awards (over disputes with government agencies) have gone in their favour is to expeditiously pay out a large chunk of the estimated Rs.1 lakh crore of outstanding dues owed to them by the govt. This policy is at an advanced stage now and would enable government departments to pay financial institutions lending to such developers directly


3. Intel unveils ‘merged reality’ with Project Alloy device

Topic: Computing

Category: S &T

Key points:

  • Intel unveiled ‘merged reality’, a new way of experiencing virtual reality and real world together, using cutting-edge technology in its developer forum
  • While virtual reality has gone mainstream, merged reality needs the right software and hardware; and Intel is collaborating with technology companies to make that possible. One of the companies Intel is working with is Microsoft, which will release an update to Windows 10 next year that will bring Holographic shell to PCs. It brings 2D and 3D together and makes multi-tasking with merged reality possible

D. GS4 Related

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance


The Hindu


2. Moscow’s long shadow

Topic: Russia. US and India

Category: International Relation

Key points:

  • Today, NATO allies of the U.S. are facing two distinct threats — on the east from an aggressive Russia, and on the south and southeast from Islamist groups and the social and political churn triggered by Islamism in Asia and Africa
  • Russian influence in Iran, Iraq and Syria make it an indispensable partner in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and Islamism
  • In cultural terms many opine that to win the war on terrorism, the U.S., Russia and India must work together
  • Given India’s close links with Russia and given the fact India is also threatened by terrorism, cooperation between the U.S, India and Russia on fighting Islamism is a desirable direction to take

The Indian Express


1. MoU signed between Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences and University of Latvia 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and University of Latvia on establishment of an academic chair in Ayurveda was signed today at AYUSH Bhawan, New Delhi.

2. Meeting between Mr. Francis Gurry, the Director General, World Intellectual Property organisation and Commerce & Industry Minister Smt.NirmalaSitharaman 

The Commerce and Industry Minister has impressed upon the DG, WIPO that it would be in the interest of WIPO as also global IP regime to have an External Office of WIPO in India. She informed that India has already submitted a formal proposal in this regard, and is ready to offer free of cost premises for opening of an External Office.WIPO and the Indian IP Office are co-operating with each other in training of various IP Examiners and other stakeholders.


3. Pasighat advanced Landing Ground gets Operational 

The upgraded Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh was inaugurated.


4. Nepal Deputy PM Shri Bimalendra Nidhi visits NDMA 

The Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal Shri Bimalendra Nidhi visited the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) office here today. Shri Nidhi’s visit to NDMA acquires significance as Nepal is on its way to reconstruct itself after the massive earthquake that shook the country last year.

The Business Line:

  1. No getting away from water scarcity

Topic: Water Resources

Category: Governance

Key points:

  • The World Resources Institute (2015) estimates that about 54 per cent of India is water stressed with scarcity affecting every part of the country
  • The World Bank estimates that by 2030 India’s per capita water availability may shrink to half from the 2010 level of 1,588 cubic metres per year, which will push the country from the ‘water scarce’ category to the ‘water stress’ category
  • The World Bank in its latest report (2016), High and Dry: Climate Change, Water and the Economy, has cautioned that countries that lack a sufficient amount of water could see their GDPs decline by as much as six per cent by 2050. Shouldn’t we take these warnings seriously?
  • A recent scientific study (2015) came to the alarming conclusion that the water level in the Indus Basin is falling by 4-6 mm/year, while the Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin is falling by 15-20 mm/year
  • Given the fact that the country’s agriculture sector withdraws a considerable amount of water from these two giant groundwater aquifers, their rapid depletion is worrying
  • The Standing Committee on Water Resources (2012-13) — “Repair, Renovation and Restoration of Water Bodies” — underlined in its 16th report that small water bodies that help to capture, conserve and store whatever little rainfall the region receives, have been encroached upon mainly by municipalities and panchayats
  • The storage position in existing dams is shrinking due to accumulation of silt for several years
  • Water needs to be looked at from the perspective of a shared resource; all the stakeholders must play their respective role that entails individual and collective responsibility
  • Stockholm Water Prize winner Rajendra Singh’s initiative of reviving the natural flow of both surface and underground water in Rajasthan which in turn made the villagers create their own ‘river parliaments’ to sustain water commons is remarkable and worthy of emulation
  • There is an immediate need to secure the water supplies and improve the efficiency of water usage through reviving and renovating small water bodies, propagating rainwater harvesting and watershed management, and popularising more effective irrigation techniques. These should be propagated and practised even during the monsoon season
  • Engineers and policymakers must get out of conventional ways of thinking to design and build dams with large storage capacity so as to combat climate change too. While it is not possible to totally avoid or stop siltation, one way is to carry out catchment area treatment (CAT) involving various techniques such as plantation and check dams in the degraded portions of the catchments so as to reduce the silt coming into the reservoirs. Immediate initiatives are also required to reduce leakage from poorly maintained canal systems and prohibit water-scarce States from growing water guzzling crops such as sugarcane

Quick Bits and News from States

  1. Sindhu lends silver lining to Olympic campaign

P.V Sindhu did us mighty proud by clinching the silver medal in Women’s badminton singles at Rio. She is the first Indian woman to win Olympic silver. She is both a Padma and an Arjuna awardee. Kudos to P Gopi Chand too.


2. Karzai backs Modi’s Balochistan remarks

Former Afghan President, Mr. Karzai said that India must now take “bold steps” to enhance Afghan defence capabilities. “India knows the state of the Afghan forces. India is very capable of helping Afghanistan and has the means to supply Afghanistans needs: equipment hardware and training.”“It is welcome that the US wishes to allow and encourage India to help Afghanistan militarily, although India should never have waited for anyone’s permission,” Mr. Karzai said.


3. BSF, Pak. Rangers to open more lines for contact

India’s Border Security Force and their counterparts, the Pakistan Rangers, posted along the international border, have decided to add four additional telephone lines for enhanced communication, up from the 12 now.Since the two forces have started talking, no incidents of sniping has been reported and even the number of ceasefire violations has dropped.


4. Army destroys insurgent posts in Myanmar

The Army has hit insurgent camps inside Myanmar and destroyed their observation posts in an operation on the early hours of on Friday morning.

Sources with knowledge of the matter said that the operations were undertaken to destroy observation posts set up by National Socialist Council of Nagaland Khaplang faction few kilometres across Manipur in Boga basti inside Myanmar. No casualties reported.


5. IDPs in Jaffna to be resettled by year-end

The Sri Lanka government will complete the resettlement of landless internally-displaced persons (IDP) in the Jaffna district by year-end. According to an earlier plan, the process was to be completed this month.


6. Panel to review India’s innovation landscape: Nirmala Sitharaman

The Commerce and Industry Ministry has decided to set up a committee to examine the country’s innovation landscape and recommend new government interventions and specific domains where the Centre should refrain from meddling in the innovation process altogether.The group could include senior officials as well as outside experts and the idea would be to outline how government can help innovation better and also to define areas where the government should stay away.

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • WIPO
  • GST Bill
  • APMC
  • Global Innovation Index


G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following is/are correct?
  1. WIPO is a UN specialized agency to encourages creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world
  2. TRIPS agreement is administered by WTO

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 2: Which is currently the 2nd largest employer among various sectors in India?

a) Textiles

b) Construction

c) Mining

d) Services

Question 3: Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. Minimum Support price is fixed by the government on the basis of the recommendations of theCommission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP)
  2. Minimum support prices are offered only for cereals

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 4: The Global Innovation Index is published by which of the following multilateral body?


b) WTO

c) World Economic Forum


Question 5: Which of the following is/are correct about the latest MoP of the government for appointment of judges?
  1. It says that recommendation of names to the posts of judges of HCs can be made by chief ministers
  2. It provides for an appraisal committee which passes on the vetted names to the respective collegiums

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) 1 and 2 only

d) All the above


Check Your Answers

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