Comprehensive News Analysis - 22 April 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Uttarakhand HC quashes President’s Rule

2. E-toll starts from Monday! Now, make cashless payments at 275 toll plazas

3. In Telangana, m-Wallet introduced

4. Scheduled Caste Commission report: ‘SCs don’t get SC funds’

C. GS3 Related:

1. Slowdown hits services sector

2. Asian banks’ bad debt at highest since financial crisis

3. Bird hit: NGT halts Tawang hydro project

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

The Hindu:

1. Reasons and excuses for violence

The Indian Express:

1. Driving Home The Bill

Others:

1. The Business line: Going beyond human capital

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

Nothing here for today folks!

 

B. GS2 Related

1. Uttarakhand HC quashes President’s Rule

Topic: Executive

Category: Federal Relations

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • The Uttarakhand High Court, on Thursday, quashed the order of the Central government that had put the State under President’s Rule
  • the Division Bench of the Court also ordered that a floor test must be held in the Uttarakhand Assembly

Tags: President’s Rule

 

2. E-toll starts from Monday! Now, make cashless payments at 275 toll plazas

Topic: Governance

Category: ICT Intervention

Location: The Economic Times

Key points:

  • National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is making cashless payment mechanism (FASTag) operational at 275 toll plazas
  • It employs RFID technology for making toll payments directly from the pre-paid account linked to it
  • A Transport Corporation of India and IIM Kolkata study said that Rs 60,000 crore was lost on account of various delays at check posts

Tags: NHAI, FASTag, RFID

 

3. In Telangana, m-Wallet introduced

Topic: Governance

Category: ICT Intervention

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • Telangana transport department officials will launch the ‘M-Wallet’ App, a first of its kind in India, which will helps motorists to avoid physically carrying documents like driving licence, registration certification and other vehicle related documents, since digital certificates can be uploaded through the App
  • These digitally downloaded certificates will be accepted by police and RTA authorities. This will put an end to police harassment since motorists are generally victimised by penalisation or demanding bribe for failing to carry the documents physically

 

4. Scheduled Caste Commission report: ‘SCs don’t get SC funds’

Topic: Governance

Category: SC & ST

Location: The Indian Express

Key points:

  • the latest annual report by the Scheduled Caste Commission has found that almost all states have failed to honour their budgetary commitments toward the SC community
  • in its first such audit, the commission examined the 2012-13 budget of 26 states -Of the Rs 80,310 crore the 26 states allotted to SCSP schemes in 2012-13, Rs 61,480 crore was spent. However, of this amount only Rs 9,920 crore, or just 12 per cent of the total allocation, was spent on SC-specific schemes and the rest was diverted to other schemes
  • The Centre’s guidelines, specified in the budget, state that various ministries and departments have to earmark funds under the SCSP, at least in proportion to the community’s population in states. According to Census 2011, the SC community constitutes 16.6 per cent of the country’s population

Tags:Scheduled Caste Commission,Census 2011

 

C. GS3 Related

1. Slowdown hits services sector

Topic: Economy

Category: Services Sector

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • India’s trade surplus in services has been contracting, mainly due to a sharp drop in non-software services exports (services exports declined from 8.2 per cent of GDP in February 2014 to 7.4 per cent in February 2016)
  • India’s trade deficit with China is worsening which is a worrying trend.If the trend continues, the trade deficit with China will equal and even surpass what India runs with the rest of the world
  • China’s ongoing economic slowdown has meant that it requires lower quantities of the raw materials that it imports from India.On the other hand, India’s imports from China have not been affected much. It is showing India’s lower competitiveness with regard to China

Tags: Trade Surplus

 

2. Asian banks’ bad debt at highest since financial crisis

Topic: Economy

Category: Asian Economy

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • Bad debts at Asian banks excluding Indian and Japanese bankshave climbed to their highest since the global financial crisis, a Reuters data analysis shows(Non-performing loans (NPLs) jumped 28 per cent from a year earlier, nearly twice the growth in 2013)
  • In India, where the central bank is forcing a debt clean-up, total distressed debt surged nearly a third between September and December to $120 billion, told Reuters

Tags: Non-performing loans

 

3. Bird hit: NGT halts Tawang hydro project

Topic: Environment

Category: Bio-diversity

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • The NGT has suspended the Union Environment Ministry’s clearance for the 6400 crore hydro power project in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh
  • The clearance did not consider the impact of the project on the habitat of the black-necked crane, a species that breeds on the Tibetan plateau and migrates to Tawang for the winter

Tags: NGT, Tawang hydro power project, black-necked crane

 

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

The Hindu

1. Reasons and excuses for violence

Topic: Governance

Category: Military intervention

Key points:

  • unrest in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara town based on the rumour of the involvement of an Army man in the molestation bid of a young woman points to the widespread distrust of the armed forces in the area
  • assault on the young woman provided a spark to draw attention to what is locally perceived as the larger problem: the repressive force of the Army against civilians
  • However much the Centre may defend the deployment of the Army citing strategic reasons, it remains an inescapable fact that its presence adds to the political alienation of the people as well as sporadic human rights violations and harm to civilians caught in the crossfire
  • That the Army demolished four bunkers instead of asking for reinforcements in Handwara following the violence is partly on account of this reading of the situation
  • Given the persisting militant activity in the Valley, reducing the Army presence (under AFSPA) in any substantive manner is not an immediate possibility. But steps such as reducing the Army deployment in densely populated areas, and ensuring accountability for the actions of the security forces, should help keep the fragile peace in the Valley

Tags:AFSPA

 

Indian Express:

1. Driving Home The Bill

Topic: Polity

Category: Legislation

Key Points:

  • In India, over 1,40,000 people die and more than 5,00,000 suffer serious injuries every year in road crashes(10 per cent of the global deaths in road crashes happen in India)
  • The solution, however, lies with the government. In fact, the Centre had drafted a Road Transport and Safety Bill in 2014 to revamp the system and tackle the issue systematically and comprehensively
  • Between 2012-14, there were 60,000 cases of accidents caused by underage drivers. The legal provision to deal with this is weak. Under the existing Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the fine for allowing an “unauthorised person” (the provision does not mention a minor) to drive a vehicle is Rs 1,000 or three months of imprisonment or both
  • However, the draft bill enhances the fine to Rs 10,000, mentions a “minor” is an unauthorised person, and also provides for impounding the vehicle for two months along with a system of penalty points, which ensures that repeat offenders could lose their licences
  • In India, infrastructure and vehicular factors are not taken into account while determining the reasons for a crash. We are, therefore, left with erroneous government data that proclaims 70 per cent of road crashes are caused by “driver error”
  • on high-speed roads, speed-calming measures could mandatorily be incorporated at vulnerable spots. In India, roads are constructed as per the guidelines of the Indian Roads Congress, which are not mandatory. The lack of accountability of road contractors results in frequent crashes at the same spot
  • Under the proposed bill, there are penalties for failing to comply with standards for road design, construction and maintenance
  • Reduction in road crash deaths can be achieved by improving legislation, enforcement, and making roads and vehicles safer
  • the obsolete Motor Vehicles Act, which fails to protect the most vulnerable users of the road, determine who is allowed to drive, or assign accountability for faulty road design and engineering

Tags: the Motor Vehicles Act, Road Transport and Safety Bill

 

Others:

1. The Business line: Going beyond human capital

Topic: Economy

Category: Concept of knowledge driven economy

Key points:

  • While economic growth may broadly be accounted for as an increase in the levels of productivity and production (cap)abilities of an economy, economic development is understood in terms of a quantifiable, irreversible rise in per-capita income for an economy over a period of time
  • International differences in technological capabilities(exogenous factor) were seen then as one of the main causes for the widening income differentials
  • Endogenous approach-The new approach is towards a more endogenous ‘production’ of technology (driven by internal factors to an economy) by increasing research and development investment to transform a society’s human and knowledge capital
  • Knowledge capital vs human capital:Knowledge capital is potentially a public good, whereas human capital is not. Sample the role of teachers. In a class, teachers impart existing knowledge to students, which increases the human capital of students but isn’t creating any new knowledge for the teachers and society.
  • Whereas, being outside the classroom, the teachers can give more time to research, which helps create new knowledge capital that everyone can share on a non-rival basis
  • So knowledge capital is better shared than human capital
  • For policymakers, it becomes important to not only prioritise on enhancing access to education with healthcare but invest long term in knowledge capital opportunities that go beyond building primary schools, universities, primary health clinics, and so on
  • Institutional arrangements are needed for investing in knowledge capital through technological investments, in encouraging new endogenous mechanisms to promote robust, training

Tags: knowledge capital, human capital

 

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • AFSPA
  • the Scheduled Caste Commission
  • RFID
  • National Green Tribunal
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1:Which of the following statements are true?
  1. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is a constitutional body
  2. The NCSCsubmits reports on the implementation of the legal and constitutional safeguards to SCs

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 2: Which of the following is/are true?
  1. National Green Tribunal is a statutory body established under the Environment (Protection) Act
  2. Award or order of the NGT is not subject to appeal

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 3:Which of the following statements are true?
  1. RFID can use different frequencies of electromagnetic spectrum
  2. RFID doesn’t require line of sight

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 4:What is true about President’s rule?
  1. Both houses of the parliament would have to approve the proclamation of President’s rule within 2 months
  2. Parliament can impose president’s rule for two 6 months periods only by passing resolutions each time

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. AFSPAgrant special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in “disturbed areas”
  2. It was enacted for J & K in 1980

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

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