Comprehensive News Analysis – 22 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Hong Kong revokes visa-free entry to Indians

2. Nepal to hold military exercise with China

C. GS3 Related:
D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

The Hindu

1. Ending the Manipur blockade

2. A chance for peace in Syria

The Economic Times

1. Low rates and few exemptions welcome

Business Line

1. Leadership crisis in public sector banks

PIB

1. Cabinet approves creation of ‘Indian Enterprise Development Service (IEDS)’ in the Office of Development Commissioner (MSME) under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

2. India and Kyrgyzstan share common concerns on the threat of terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, says President

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

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • Hong Kong, which is a China-administered territory has altered its visa agreement with India.
  • Hong Kong, which used to be part of a block of countries that gave Indians unconditional visa-free entry, has introduced “pre-registration” for Indian nationals to prevent illegal immigration.

 

2. Nepal to hold military exercise with China

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • Nepal will hold its first ever joint military exercise with China on February 10, 2017.
  • This development indicates  a new level of bilateral military engagement between the two countries.
  • The military exercise, will be named Pratikar-1.
  • The focus of the military exercise, will be on training Nepali forces in dealing with hostage scenarios involving international terror groups.
  • Analysts believe that though the military drill with China does not violate the 1950 India-Nepal treaty of peace and friendship, it does appear unconventional.

 

C. GS3 Related
D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Ending the Manipur blockade

Category: Polity and Governance   

Topic: Center-State Relations  

Key Points:

  • The blockade leading to the Manipur valley, called by the United Naga Council (UNC), has been in place since November 1.
  • Unfortunately, this blockade has severely affected life in the State.
  • There are shortages of essential supplies such as fuel and food.
  • In 2011, Kuki-led groups, enforced a hundred-day-plus blockade in the State. This time the blockade is in place to oppose the creation of new districts by the Okram Ibobi Singh government. 
  • On December 9, the State government issued a gazette notification for the creation of seven new districts by bifurcating seven (of a total of nine) districts. 
  • While residents and groups in the new districts have welcomed the decision, the UNC has protested.
  • The UNC has alleged that areas with a Naga population have been divided and that the lack of consultation is a violation of commitments made by both the Centre and the State in various memoranda of understanding.

 

  1. A chance for peace in Syria

Category: International Relations 

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

Key Points:

  • Recently, Russia, Turkey and Iran have come together to discuss a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis.
  • This is a welcome development.
  • In fact, they decided to go ahead with the Moscow summit (held on 20th Dec, 2016) despite the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, the previous day.
  • It is important to note that the summit also marks a shift in Russia’s approach, which initially involved negotiations with the United States about possible diplomatic options for Syria.

Geopolitics

  • Russia and Iran have direct leverage over the regime in Syria, while Turkey still helps several militant groups.
  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to have realised that his anti-regime Syria policy has backfired.
  • Turkey today faces severe security challenges, from both Islamic State jihadists and Kurdish militants.
  • If Syria remains at war and the instability spawns more radical militia groups, it could worsen Turkey’s security problems.

 

The Economic Times

1. Low rates and few exemptions welcome

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • A recent memorandum submitted to government by industry lobby Confederation of Indian Industry asks for the corporate tax rate to be cut from 30% to 18%, while scrapping all tax breaks.
  • It is important to note that according to the government’s own calculations, India’s largest companies with a turnover of more than Rs 5,000 crore per year, pay tax at an effective rate significantly lower than what smaller ones pay.
  • There are two reasons for this anomaly: 1) bigger companies can afford expensive tax planners, out of reach for smaller ones. 2) bigger entities can house profit centres across the globe, including in tax havens, so as to move revenues around to minimise tax outgo.
  • It is believed that the goods and services tax will widen the tax base for corporate tax, as more and more companies come into the indirect tax net and declare their true extent of production.

 

Business Line

  1. Leadership crisis in public sector banks

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy, Money and Banking   

Key Points:

  • It is alarming to note that all the current CEOs of public sector banks will retire in the next two years.
  • All the executive directors too will retire in the next three years.
  • The number of general managers and deputy general managers leaving the industry during the same period is very high.
  • As not many senior executives with adequate experience and exposure are available to fill these slots, the absence of any serious efforts to put in place a succession plan is noticeable.
  • Thanks to various exigencies, the practice of preparing new recruits through a well-planned and rigorous training schedule- which was in vogue till the 1990s- has not been given importance subsequently.
  • The absence of commensurate recruitment to keep pace with branch expansion has caused enormous mismatch in requirements and resources. As a result, recruits fresh from college with hardly any exposure or experience, and without going through the grind are made to discharge duties they are not familiar with.

 

The Way Forward

  • There are competent business leaders with appropriate knowledge, skills and experience in financial institutions or those guiding the finance functions in corporates, looking for opportunities to grow, which may be limited in their own organisations.
  • It is believed that one of the reasons for the failure of some senior executives, who find themselves to be square pegs in round holes, is the tendency on the part of their bosses to perpetuate the existing persons in key positions for their comfort.
  • It should be made mandatory for all banks to have a clear succession plan in place for all senior positions and specialist assignments.
  • The RBI has been following a policy of granting banks more autonomy and reorienting the approach to oversight of banks with the aid of technology and remote monitoring of various aspects of bank functioning.
  • To ensure that good human resources (HR) practices prevail, the RBI inspection teams visiting the banks should assess the HR policies and practices and advise the banks suitably.

 

PIB

  1. Cabinet approves creation of ‘Indian Enterprise Development Service (IEDS)’ in the Office of Development Commissioner (MSME) under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Category: Polity and Governance, Indian Economy  

Topic: Government Initiatives  

Key Points:

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the Cadre review and formation of a new service in the name of Índian Enterprise Development Service (IEDS)’ in the Office of Development Commissioner (MSME), Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME).
  • The creation of the new cadre and change in structure will not only strengthen the organization but will also help to achieve the vision of “Startup India”, “Stand-up India” and “Make in India”. 

    The measure will enhance the capacity and efficiency of the organization and also help in achieving growth in MSME sector through a focussed and dedicated cadre of technical officers. 

 

  1. India and Kyrgyzstan share common concerns on the threat of terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, says President

Category: International Relations  

Topic: Agreements involving India

Key Points:

  • India has had civilizational ties with Central Asia, especially countries which were part of the ancient Silk Route, including Kyrgyzstan. 
  • Political ties with the Kyrgyzstan have been traditionally warm and friendly.  Next year India and Kyrgyzstan will celebrate the 25thanniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations.
  • The President said India and Kyrgyzstan share common concerns on the threat of terrorism, extremism and drug-trafficking.
  • He expressed confidence that the Kyrgyz President’s visit would give a fillip to the efforts to enhance the multi-faceted relations between the two countries. 


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Indian Enterprise Development Service (IEDS)
  • Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME)


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

The Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Recently, an agreement signed regarding on a joint military exercise, called ‘Pratikar-1’ was signed between which two countries?
a) Nepal- China

b) India- China

c) India- Nepal

d) India- Bhutan


Question 2: Consider the following statements, regarding the recently launched, “‘Google Maps Toilet Locator App”,
  1. ‘Google Maps Toilet Locator App’ will enable people locate the nearest public toilet for use in five cities in National Capital Region and Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
  2. This facility would help in addressing open urination and open defecation.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 3: Consider the following statements,
  1. Cities and towns that have become ‘Open Defecation Free’ (ODF) recently are Visakhapatnam, Guntur and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, Thanesar and Sirsa in Haryana, NDMC, Suchindram and Mailadi in Tamil Nadu and Khopoli, Kolhapur and Nandurbar in Maharashtra.
  2. The Quality Council of India verifies independently the claims of cities and towns before they are granted ODF certification.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 4: Consider the following statements Bio-fortification:
  1. It is the idea of breeding crops to increase their nutritional value.
  2. It is seen as an upcoming strategy for dealing with deficiencies of micronutrients in the developing world.

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 5: The main application of ISRO’s Geo-stationary satellites are -
a) Communication

b) Inter-planetary exploration

c) Remote sensing

d) Weather forecasting

Check Your Answers

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