Comprehensive News Analysis - 22 February 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. Govt. blinks: Jats to get OBC status

2. Unemployment down in urban centers, but persists in rural areas, says survey

B. GS2 Related:

1. SC to hear contempt plea against Kanhaiya, Gilani on Monday

2. Rurban Mission launched

3. Provisional deal reached on Syria ceasefire

C. GS3 Related:

1. India studying impact of market economy status for China

2. Army men dead in J&K gunfight

3. 10 Indians from hijacked ship rescued: Sushma

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

1. Unreasonable Demands

2. No Proof Required: Believe it, GDP data is right

3. Taxation reform has to be holistic

4. Why Apple refuses to oblige the FBI

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
G. Practice Questions
H. Archive



Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

1. Blinks: Jats to get OBC status

Topic: Society

Category: Reservation based on caste

Location: The Hindu, Page 1

Key Points:

  • 9 days of agitation in Haryana demanding OBC status for Jats ends
  • Death toll in the agitations-11
  • Bill granting reservation in govt. jobs for the community to be brought in the next Assembly session


2. Unemployment down in urban centers, but persists in rural areas, says survey

more degrees no jobs

Topic: Geography

Category: demographics

Location: The Hindu, Page 9

Key Points:

  • the National Sample Survey Organization -68th round data released
  •  unemployment rate in urban areas reduced from 4.5 per cent in 2004-05 to 3.4 per cent in 2011-12
  • In rural areas, the rate has been stable at around 1.7 per cent during this period
  • The unemployment rate across all the religious groups in rural areas was lower than those in urban areas for both males and females.
  •  unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed as the percentage of workforce(15-59 age group)
  • Self-employment is the major source of income for almost half the households, across all religious groups, in rural areas, followed by casual labour.
  • In urban areas, the proportion of households deriving major income from regular wage or salary earnings is the highest.


B. GS2 Related

1. SC to hear contempt plea against Kanhaiya, Gilani on Monday

Topic: Polity

Category: judiciary

Location: The Hindu, Page 12

Key points:

  • the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea to initiate contempt of court proceedings against jailed JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar
  • The contempt of court case is being initiated for allegedly terming the execution of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru a “judicial killing.”
  • It is contended that the term “judicial killing” was in contempt of the apex court verdict pronounced on August 4, 2005


2.  Rurban Mission launched

Topic: Polity

Category: governance

Location: The Hindu, Page 9;


  • To create facilities such as power, shelter, roads, drinking water connections and drainage in rural areas
  • To create community assets such as schools, colleges and health centers
  • To create village clusters with a population count of 25,000-60,000

(Around 300 such clusters will be created across the nation under this project)

  • To minimize rural migration to cities through skill development programmes and local economic activities.


3. Provisional deal reached on Syria ceasefire

Topic: International Relations

Category: global issues

Location: The Hindu, Page 14

Key Points

  • After secretary level discussions, provisional agreement on terms of cessation of hostilities in Syria reached
  • Presidential level talks are expected in the coming days in order to complete the provisional agreement in principle


C. GS3 Related

1. India studying impact of market economy status for China

Topic: Economy

Category: international organizations and India

Location: The Hindu, Page 15

Key Points

  • India is assessing the implications of the likelihood of China being granted “Market Economy Status” (MES) from December by the WTO
  • India’s manufacturers in steel, chemicals, electrical and electronics sectors are “severely hurt” by “unfairly low-priced” imports from China
  • Of the 535 cases where anti-dumping duties were imposed by India from 1994-2014, a maximum of 134 were on goods from China.
  • Once China is granted MES, India will have to accept the production costs and selling price in China as the benchmark.
  • unlike in ‘market economies’ where prices are mainly determined by market forces, there is significant government influence in China that in turn causes distortions in international trade
  • So China should be denied MES status according to Indian officials


2. Army men dead in J&K gunfight

Topic: Security

Category: border security

Location: The Hindu, Page 1

Key Points:

  • Militants holed up in Entrepreneurs Development Institute (EDI) in south Kashmir.
  • In the ongoing operation,3 CRPF jawans,  a civilian and  2 captains of elite 9 PARA(Parachute regiment) were killed
  • Militants thought to be 3 in number are well equipped with grenades and other ammunition


3. 10 Indians from hijacked ship rescued: Sushma

Topic: Security

Category: security challenges

Location: The Hindu, Page 13

Key Points:

  • Indian bulk carrier, Genco Maximus with 11 Indian crew members was hijacked by pirates off the Ivory Coast
  • Ten Indian crew members of the ship have been rescued with the help of the Nigerian Navy
  • 11th Indian and a Pakistani crew member are being held captive.


D. GS4 Related

E.Important Editorials

1. Unreasonable Demands

The Hindu, Page 10

  • The Jats are a relatively prosperous land-owning community
  • they wield considerable influence in rural areas and in the leadership of the dominant political parties in the State
  • The National Commission for Backward Classes had in the past had come out with specific reasons against the inclusion of the Jats in Haryana in the OBCs list
  • SC in March 2015  quashed the decision of the erstwhile UPA govt. to include Jats in nine States among OBCs
  • There is a need to review the list of castes counted as OBCs and  deepen the definition of creamy layer
  • the Socio-Economic and Caste Census data would be useful for the review


2. No Proof Required: Believe it, GDP data is right

Location: The Indian Express, Page 15

  • Why upward revision of GDP?
  • setting up of a GDP review exercise in India (under the “guidance” of the UN and the IMF) is a pre-planned exercise and conducted every decade or so
  • The world has been gripped by deflation, or at least declining inflation. India’s GDP deflator also has to fall (lower prices can lead to discounting of  higher production)
  • bank credit has been creeping up in FY16 and so is the growth prospect
  • Quantity of oil imports is up a healthy 8.3 per cent.
  • Since last year, the CSO is using the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) balance sheet database for an aggregate of over 5,00,000 companies (versus a few hundred contained in the IIP data).
  • Manufacture data has more coverage now
  • So the author argues that CSO data should not be doubted


3. Taxation reform has to be holistic

Location: The economic times, Page 16

  • to qualify for capital gains tax(CGT) exemption, the holding period for investments in listed shares is proposed to be extended to 3 years
  • It exempts all those investing through Mauritius and Singapore, whose capital gains attract no tax under India’s double-taxation avoidance agreement with these countries. So it is unfair
  • There is a need to eliminate the distinction between long-term and short-term capital gains
  • saving asset has to be spared  from tax and income from the asset should be charged
  • the exempt-exempt-tax system wherein all savings will be exempt from taxation at the time of contribution and accumulation, and taxed only at maturity seems most just
  • there is also a strong case for reduction in the rate of personal income tax and raising the income threshold that attracts the peak rate of tax
  • The GST would widen the base of direct taxes.
  • Widening the base and lowering the rate should go hand in hand with rationalizing the CGT regime.
  • taxation reform has to be holistic


4. Why Apple refuses to oblige the FBI


  • FBI wants access to the iphone of the San Bernardino shootout convict.
  • FBI wants Apple to construct a programme that would skip the existing security architecture of iphones and help retrieve data in toto
  • Apple has conceded that it is technically feasible to write such a programme — a kind of malware — that could help satisfy the FBI’s needs.
  • But it is firmly of the view that it would affect Apple’s brand value as a producer of unbreachable products
  • There are two points for consideration: the FBI is not seeking to search the phone of any law-abiding citizen, search of the phone is not reckless or unlawful as it is court-permitted
  • Apprehensions: It may lead to a mindless never-ending series of requests to a service provider, Where is the guarantee that the judge permitting the search of a phone will exercise his powers without a bias?
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:

i.  Market Economy Status

ii.  NSSO

iii. National Commission for Backward Classes

iv. Reservation

v.  CSO

vi. IIP

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
To be Updated

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