Comprehensive News Analysis – 21 January 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Ordinance to clear path for holding jallikattu

2. India steps up submarine induction as Chinese presence grows in region

C. GS3 Related:

1. Draft steel policy to enable ₹10 lakh crore investments

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

The Hindu

1. Living in a hotter world

Business Line

1. Time to act

Economic Times

1. Good news must move to better on schools

PIB

1. Corporate push to Namami Gange

2. Negotiation Committee Constituted on Mahanadi and its Tributaries

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
I. Archives

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
1. Ordinance to clear path for holding jallikattu

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Judiciary, Union Executive  

Key Points:

  • The Centre on 20th January, 2017 cleared the Tamil Nadu government’s proposal to promulgate an ordinance to hold jallikattu. Since the subject falls in the Concurrent list of the Constitution, it was mandatory to get a nod from the Centre.
  • The Home Ministry sent the draft submitted by the State to the Environment and Law Ministries for their response. On 20th January, 2017, the Environment Ministry sent its reply, and the Home Ministry gave its clearance.
  • The ordinance has been cleared by the Home Ministry and the State government can promulgate it by introducing it either as a Bill in the Assembly or the State Cabinet can clear it. It doesn’t have to go to the President of India for his assent since his powers are vested with the Home Ministry.

 

2. India steps up submarine induction as Chinese presence grows in region

Category: International Relations 

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • The Indian Navy expects to induct two Scorpene diesel-electric submarines into service this year.
  • Officials have also acknowledged the growing Chinese maritime presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • The first of the Scorpenes, Kalvari,is expected to finish sea trials by May and is on track to be inducted before the monsoon. The second submarine Khanderiwas launched into sea in Mumbai last week.
  • The third Scorpene submarine ‘Vela’ will be launched into water this year after the monsoons.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. Draft steel policy to enable ₹10 lakh crore investments

Category: Indian Economy  

Topic: Manufacturing  

Key Points:

  • The Steel Ministry has proposed setting up greenfield steel plants along India’s coastline to tap cheap imported raw materials such as coking coal and export the output in a more cost-effective manner, as part of the new draft National Steel Policy of 2017.
  • It is important to note that National Steel Policy of 2017 envisages to more than double India’s domestic steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.
  • This policy anticipates a requirement of ₹10 lakh crore of fresh investments to meet that goal and expects at least 11 lakh new jobs being created in the process.
  • Significantly, in an effort to cut down reliance on expensive imports of coking coal, the policy has mooted gas-based steel plants and technologies such as electric furnaces to bring down the use of coking coal in blast furnaces.

Importance of the steel sector:

The steel sector presently employs about 25 lakh people and has a capacity of little over 120 million tonnes.

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Living in a hotter world

Category: Environment and Ecology

Topic: Climate Change

Key Points:

  • It is important to note that the year 2016 was the warmest year on the instrumental record since the late 19th century, and the hottest of three record-breaking years in a row.
  • This trend is a warning to all countries that they cannot afford to rely on carbon-intensive growth any longer.
  • Further, it is important to note that the rise in global average surface temperature by about 1.1º C last year over the pre-industrial era was aggravated by the El Nino phenomenon of 2015-16.
  • NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies has pointed to the rise in temperature as being driven “largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.”
  • This warming pattern must be seen in the context of declining sea ice cover in the Arctic, compounding the loss of ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic.

Indian Context

  • It is important to note that a warming globe with changes to the climate in the form of altered rainfall, drought, floods, lost biodiversity and reduced crop yields would particularly affect millions in China and India.
  • Further,  Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal has promised a steady increase in solar power capacity, going beyond the target of 100 gigawatts by 2022.
  • But, it is important to note that such goals become more credible when there is action in individual States to make the average citizen a partner in the effort. 

 

Business Line

1. Time to act

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • Suggestions to push the deadline for the General Anti Avoidance Rules (that is set to come into force this April) are getting louder.
  • It is suggested that the Centre, should go ahead with the enforcement of these rules that will give tax authorities the right to question all arrangements made specifically with the intent to avoid tax.
  • It is important to note that when GAAR was first proposed in 2013, there had been a sell-off in equity markets, forcing the Centre to push the implementation date by two years.
  • While there are concerns from some quarters regarding the hardship that companies and individuals could face once GAAR is implemented — as tax authorities begin investigating and questioning all tax saving arrangements — these fears appear overdone.

 

Economic Times

1. Good news must move to better on schools

Category: Polity and Governance  

Topic: Government Initiatives  

Key Points:

  • There is cause for cautious optimism on the state of school education. There have been improvements, surveys show, especially in the elementary grades in learning outcomes, powered by progress in government schools.
  • But large numbers of students still do not learn enough at age-appropriate levels. It is also too early to suggest that the improvements are a trend; and change is not even, with some states slipping.

Important Statistics:

  • It is important to note that the broad findings of the 2016 edition of the Annual Status of Education Report, facilitated by Pratham, an education sector NGO, are in tune with NCERT’s National Achievement Survey for class III, V and X (2014, 2015), and the 2015-16 elementary education survey by District Information System for Education (DISE).
  • There appears to be renewed trust in government schools, India’s largest network: private school enrolment is stable in all but three states.
  • The other significant finding is the improved enrolment for 15-16 year olds, suggesting a stemming of the dropout rate at the end of class VIII.
  • School amenities have improved, but not libraries and computer availability.


PIB

1. Corporate push to Namami Gange 

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • In its efforts to give corporate push to Namami Gange, National Mission on Clean Ganga (NMCG), under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation organised a workshop in New Delhi on 19th January, 2017.
  • Representatives from several public sector enterprises, banks and corporates participated diligently in the workshop on CSR activities for Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • Not only did participants showed keen interest in activities being undertaken under Namami Gangeprogramme, major areas of possible co-operation between NMCG and public and corporate sectors were also extensively deliberated upon in the workshop.
  • The workshop was attended by representatives from Maharatna, Navratna and other PSUs – ONGC, Coal India limited, BHEL, GAIL India ltd., SAIL, NTPC Ltd., Oil India Ltd., Petronet LNG ltd., etc.
  • Stimulating response was witnessed during interactions with representatives of public and private sector banks like SBI, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, HDFC, ICICI, Yes Bank, OBC, UCO Bank etc., who eagerly shared their enlightening ideas to further the cause of clean Ganga.
  • Over 20 banks took part in the workshop.
  • Corporate companies like Aditya Birla Group JSW and Tata Sons also got fruitfully involved in the event and presented their views.

 

2. Negotiation Committee Constituted on Mahanadi and its Tributaries

Category: Geography  

Topic: Drainage, Rivers   

Key Points:

  • Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has constituted a negotiations committee to assess availability and utilisation of waters of Mahanadi and its tributaries.
  • The committee will also examine existing water sharing agreements on river Mahanadi and will consider claims of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand regarding availability and utilisation of waters of these rivers. 
  • The committee has been set up with reference to complaint of State of Odisha under section 3 of the ISRWD Act, 1956 regarding utilisation of waters of Mahandi Basin.
  • The committee will be chaired by Member (WP&P), Central Water Commission and will have 11 other members comprising representatives from the States of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand, Union Ministries of Agriculture, Environment Forest and Climate Change, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, India Meteorological Department and Central Water Commission. The committee has been asked to submit its report within three months.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Namami Gange
  • National Steel Policy of 2017



H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Rajya Sabha is inferior to Lok Sabha in many aspects and thus has unequal status with respect to it in many cases. These include
  1. Approval of ordinances
  2. Approval of national emergency
  3. Voting on demand for grants

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

a) 1 and 3 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 3 only

d) 2 and 3 only

Question 2: Consider the following statements,
  1. Bhagirathi is the source stream of Ganga.
  2. At Devprayag, where Alaknanda joins Bhagirathi, the river acquires the name Ganga.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) Both 1 and 2

c) 2 Only

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 3: Consider the following statements,
  1. While soils of the high Himalayas in the north are subject to continuous erosion, the Gangetic plain provides a huge receptacle into which thousands of meters of thick layers of sediments have been deposited to form a wide valley plain.
  2. The Deccan plateau on the south has a mantle of residual soils of varying thickness arising out of weathering of ancient rocks of the peninsular shield.

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

a) 1 Only

b) Both 1 and 2

c) 2 Only

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 4: Consider the following statements,
  1. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is the implementation wing of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA).
  2. Among the aims and objectives of the NMCG is to maintain minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga with the aim of ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) Both 1 and 2

c) 2 Only

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 5: Consider the following statements,
  1. El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific.
  2. El Niño is an oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific having important consequences for weather around the globe.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) Both 1 and 2

c) 2 Only

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

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