Comprehensive News Analysis – 22 August 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. AP picks Microsoft’s Kaizala for governance

2. U.P. Police will now take to Twitter to redress grievances

3. Kamal Haasan chosen for prestigious French honour

4. FETO has infiltrated India: Turkey Minister

5. India engages middle east to counter OIC on Kashmir issue

C. GS3 Related:

1. Pellet guns: Govt. weighs alternatives

2. Monetary Policy Committee members to be named this month

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

1. Ending the impasse,The judiciary-government face-off cannot go on indefinitely

Indian Express

1. Fewer, better: India’s e-commerce industry is ripe for consolidation

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 today folks!

 

B. GS2 Related


1. AP picks Microsoft’s Kaizala for governance

Category: Indian Polity

Topic: Good Governance

Key Points:

  • Technology is being used extensively in the ongoing Krishna Pushkarams to effectively manage such a huge event. The tech-savvy Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has asked officials to use the latest technology for effective networking of the huge contingent of government officers and staff for making the 12-day-long festival a success in Krishna, Guntur and Kurnool districts.
  • Kaizala is an Android app developed by Microsoft and it usage in governance has made life easy for the multi-disciplinary teams deployed at the Pushkarghats and PushkarNagars.
  • The app facilitates privacy-based sub-groups which can be coordinated as per requirement. Some of the key features of this app are conducting polls, submission of bills and creation and assignment of jobs.
  • It helps the District administration to keep in touch, to take stock of the situation at the ghats and handle other logistics required to cater to the needs of such a mammoth crowd.
  • The Chief Minister, impressed by the app’s many features, now plans to institutionalize the app by making it mandatory in day-to-day administration across the State.
  • Kaizala helps the user in getting work done by tracking bills, assigning jobs, finding location and much more; it’s as simple as chat.


2 U.P. Police will now take to Twitter to redress grievances

Category: Indian Polity

Topic: Good Governance

Key Points:

  • Social media is truly emerging as a key component of modern policing. UP State police has been asked to increase its presence and activity on social media in a bid to directly connect with the common populace.
  • All senior officers have been instructed to officially take to twitter as an effective redressal mechanism of public grievances.The officers must maintain a log of the activity or action taken in their area on their Twitter handles.
  • Social media is an empowered medium of directly communicating with the people and it has become necessary for police to adopt it.

 

3. Kamal Haasan chosen for prestigious French honour

Category: International Relations

Topic: Culture, Soft Power, Personalities 

Key points:

  • Actor Kamal Haasan will be awarded the prestigious Chevalier de L’Ordre Arts etLettres or The Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government.
  • The order is a part of France’s premier award, the Legion of Honor, and he is only the second Tamil actor after the legendary Sivaji Ganesan to be chosen for the honour.
  • The Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters is a recognition to people who have contributed to furthering arts in France and throughout the world.


4. FETO has infiltrated India: Turkey Minister

Category: International Relations

Topic: India-Turkey

Key Points:

  • FethullahGulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO), blamed for last month’s coup attempt to topple President Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, has “infiltrated” India, according to Turkish Foreign Minister MevlutCavusoglu.
  • Asserting that the FETO is a “secretive transnational criminal network” with presence around the world, Mr. Cavusoglu said, “Unfortunately, the FETO has also infiltrated India through associations and schools.”
  • MEA has said that the Indian side was “sensitive” to Turkish concerns and Indian security agencies were “looking into” Ankara’s demand for closure of associations connected with the FETO which were carrying out illegal activities.
  • Terrorism, in all its forms constitute a threat to India and Turkey and exchange of information regarding these threats and bilateral and multilateral cooperation and solidarity against terrorism is crucial.

 

5. India engages middle east to counter OIC on Kashmir issue

Category: International Relations

Topic: India-OIC, India-Middle East

Key Points:

  • India has launched a counter-diplomacy initiative of its own to counter statements on Kashmir from members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) by reaching out to several West Asian nations to discuss common concerns about terrorism.
  • This is the first visit by an Indian Minister to war-torn Syria since the conflict began in 2011, Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar met Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.
  • President Assad has often been castigated by the OIC for human rights violations and Syria was suspended from the grouping in 2012.
  • Despite once voting against Syria on human rights issues at the U.N., India has consistently held out against foreign intervention for regime change as advocated by the U.S. and European countries.
  • President Assad welcomed India’s objective position on the conflict in Syria and both sides agreed on upgrading security consultations between them.
  • Akbar is on a week-long visit to Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, part of the new push in West Asian diplomacy of the Modi government. While the government has focussed in the past year on the Gulf countries: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran, it is now moving further west.
  • Turkish Foreign Minister MevlutCavusoglu was in Delhi last week to ask for cooperation on prosecuting ‘Gulenist’ supporters of the coup attempt in Turkey; preparations are on for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to visit India next month
  • The outgoing and incoming visits are significant as they come in the wake of a tough position on the situation in Kashmir from the 57-member OIC, which spoke of “human rights violations” and “excessive violence” in Kashmir.
  • By renewing its diplomatic initiatives in more parts of the Islamic world than have been reached out to in the recent past, the government is hoping to counter the statements.


C. GS3 Related


1. Pellet guns: Govt. weighs alternatives

Category: Internal Security

Topic: Kashmir Unrest

Key Points:

  • The unrest in Kashmir has continued unabated and the use of pellet guns by security forces has left over 400 injured.
  • The Home Ministry has constituted a committee to look for alternatives to pellet guns.
  • It is exploring options including enhancing the intensity of tear gas used in shells, using chilli powder and rubber bullets etc.
  • Two major concerns of the committee are—
  • Any alternative should not defeat the “primary purpose” of safeguarding the security forces.
  • Another area of concern was the expected rise in number of civilian deaths if pellet guns were withdrawn altogether.
  • The main objective is that security forces should not be left to fend for themselves. The home ministry is exploring whether to increase the chemical content in tear gas shells to drive away the protestors. The Tekanpur facility of Border Security Force, which manufactures the tear gas shells has been asked to come up with a solution whether the increased chemical content would be useful.
  • The valley has been simmering since Hizbulcommander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter and more than 400 people have been injured due to pellet fire and several political parties have asked the government to withdraw its use in the valley.
  • The use of chilli powder is also being explored and the ministry has asked some foreign vendors to come and give demonstration on the various kinds of crowd-control methods being used worldwide. The protestors in the valley are always armed with big stones and security forces are vulnerable during such demonstrations.
  • The government is trying to factor in both concerns, safety of security forces and humanitarian crowd control methods.

 

2. Monetary Policy Committee members to be named this month

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Monetary Policy

Key Points:

  • Government is expected to finalise the names of three members to the interest rate setting panel MPC in the next few days.The government nominees to the MPC have been shortlisted by a Search-cum-Selection Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary with RBI Governor and Economic Affairs Secretary and three experts in the field of economics or banking or finance or monetary policy as its members.
  • The MPC was set up by amending the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, through the Finance Bill 2016.
  • Under this new system, the RBI Governor is ex-officio Chairperson.
  • Besides, RBI Deputy Governor in-charge of the monetary policy and an office bearer of the Central bank are the other two members in the committee.
  • Under the agreement with the government, RBI is committed to anchoring retail inflation at 4 per cent (plus/minus 2 per cent) and has set itself a target of 5 per cent by next March as part of a ‘glide path’ to achieving the median mark. The Governor will have a casting vote once the country shifts to the panel system.


D. GS4 Related


E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance


1. Ending the impasse,The judiciary-government face-off cannot go on indefinitely

Category: Indian Polity

Topic: Separation of Powers, Executive, And Judiciary

Key points:

  • The tension between the judiciary and the government on the appointment of judges to the High Courts and Supreme Court seems to be intensifying.
  • A staggering and unprecedented number of vacancies in High courts has done great damage to an already overloaded judicial system.

The collegium debate:

  • Supreme Court judgments in 1993 and 1998 gave rise to the collegium of the five senior-most Supreme Court judges, who exercised the supreme power of appointment to the judicial ranks.
  • The judgments provided for a consultative process between the executive and judiciary, and for the government to return for reconsideration a name sent by the collegium.
  • However, the appointment had to be made if the collegium reiterated its view. Essentially, the court had the last word. The methodology for consultation was contained in a Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) formulated in 1999.
  • In April last year, the government brought in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act. This was seen as an attempt to break the judiciary’s monopoly by placing the Law Minister and two “eminent persons” (in whose choice the judiciary had a minority voice) at the deciding table, along with the Chief Justice of India and his two senior-most colleagues.
  • Predictably, the NJAC was challenged. Several appointments were in the pipeline, but the court declined to direct these to be processed for appointment.
  • In October 2015, a five-judge Bench of the court held the NJAC to be unconstitutional, following its judgment, the court, admitting that the existing collegium system had serious flaws, called for suggestions to improve it.
  • The Supreme Court permitted the government to formulate a revised MoP.
  • The government has asserted that if it rejects a candidate on the ground of national security or public interest, then such rejection is binding on the court. In short, the last word would belong to the executive whenever this reason is invoked. This is where the court is unwilling to relent, since it goes against the grain of its judgments establishing the collegium.
  • The government sought a limited role as the draftsman of the MoP, and then utilised this slender opening to prise open the door, seat itself at the table, and exclude the judiciary by invoking the mantra of national security or public interest.
  • This hiatus cannot go on indefinitely. It appears that apart from the court, the other branches do not view the deterioration of the justice system as a pressing issue.
  • The Attorney General could take the lead in meeting both sides, formulating and reformulating proposals. Else, the Law Minister, with necessary authority, could engage with the judges. Another option is for the Prime Minister to take the lead to invite the Chief Justice and senior judges for a discussion and one ultimate possibility of the President being just that bit proactive to bring the heads of the two institutions together. These above methods may serve to end the impasse and get matters resolved.


Indian Express


1. Fewer, better: India’s e-commerce industry is ripe for consolidation

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: e-commerce

Key Points:

  • Ola shutting down TaxiForSure ,Snapdeal doing the same to fashion portal, Exclusively.com, point to a clear trend of consolidation now underway in India’s e-commerce industry.
  • The underlying fact is a drying up of fund flows to a sector where firms are largely start-ups with young promoters having little money to put in themselves and, hence, overwhelmingly reliant on private equity or venture capital investors.
  • Funding has, however, dipped by around a quarter this year, as investors are now hesitant to put money into start-ups who use it for even day-to-day operations. This kind of “cash burn” cannot obviously be sustained too long; businesses at some point have to generate revenues that can at least cover operating expenses, even if not fresh investments.
  • This phase where investors are forcing not just mergers and acquisitions among e-commerce players, but also ensuring that the resultant entities emerge leaner with fewer employees and consolidated portfolios.
  • This isn’t a bad thing. Consolidation is inevitableand may actually be a sign of maturity in the industry.
  • Segments within the e-commerce sector may have reached an inflexion point, wherein continued growth requires fewer players with the capacity for scaling up and making further investments.
  • Consumers also stand to gain from companies having the requisite size and scale, ultimately leading to lower operational costs and improved quality of services.
  • Consolidation in e-commerce is already a reality in many countries. Amazon and eBay, for instance, dominate the online marketplace space in the US. Alibaba enjoys a near-monopoly of China’s e-retail market, while Uber’s recent decision to exit has bestowed a similar status to its rival home-grown taxi-hailing app company DidiChuxing.
  • An overall environment which will allow for “creative destruction” and keep the doors open for potential disruptors (be it new entrants or even new technologies), should be enough to safeguard consumer interest.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Kaizala
  • Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO)
  • Organization of Islamic Cooperation(OIC)
  • Monetary Policy Committee(MPC)
  • Pellet Guns

 

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: The mobile app Kaizala which is gaining popularity in e-governance, has been developed by which MNC?
a) Apple

b) Microsoft

c) Google

d) Facebook


Question 2: Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO) has been recently accused of staging a failed coup in which country?
(a) Iran

(b) Turkey

(c) Syria

(d) Libya


Question 3: Consider the following statements,
  1. The Government recently amended the RBI Act to hand over the job of monetary policy-making in India to a newly constituted Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
  2. Setting up the MPC required a constitutional amendment.

(a) 1 Only

(b) 2 Only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 4: Jack Ma is the founder of which popular e-commerce company?

(a) Uber

(b) Amazon

(c) Zomato

(d) Alibaba


Question 5: Consider the following statements,
  1. In the collegium system of appointment of judges the government could return for reconsideration a name sent by the collegium.
  2. If the collegium reiterated its view, then it is binding on the government.

(a) 1 Only

(b) 2 Only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

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