Comprehensive News Analysis - 22 March 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. A slice of Parsi culture: Event showcasing Parsi heritage is supported by Ministry of Minority Affairs

B. GS2 Related:

1. Rajasthan celebrates first IT Day, launches connectivity network

2. Nepal seals transit treaty with China, to build new rail link

3. Navy’s aircraft on mission in Seychelles

C. GS3 Related:

1. India Looks to Widen Ambit of `Google Tax’ on Tech MNCs

2. WHEN SIZE MATTERS – Regional Factors may Drive Mergers of State-Run Banks

3. CAD narrows to 1.3 per cent of GDP in December quarter: RBI

4. National TB programme: New medicine to help drug-resistant patients

5. For ISIS, virtual is the real as it scouts for India recruits

6. RBI governor Raghuram Rajan for new global pact to deal with monetary policy issues

D. GS4 Related:
E.Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Indian Express:

1. The opening

The Hindu:

1. Adding gloss to ties with Saudi Arabia

Others

1. The Business Line: We’re fast running out of water

2. The Economic Times: Rising debt levels of China poses worrisome risk

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

1. A slice of Parsi culture: Event showcasing Parsi heritage is supported by Ministry of Minority Affairs

Topic: Culture

Category: Parsi culture

Location: The Hindu, Page 2

Key Points:

  • Delhi is hosting a number of cultural events and exhibitions in a three-month long programme titled “The Everlasting Flame International Programme
  • The show will encompass all the elements of the contribution of Zoroastrianism and Parsis to world culture, philosophy and art

 

B. GS2 Related

1. Rajasthan celebrates first IT Day, launches connectivity network

Topic: Polity

Category: Governance

Location: The Hindu,page 8

Key Points:

  • the Rajasthan State government launched RajNET — a wide area network connecting the State capital with all 9,894 gram panchayats and 183 municipal areas to strengthen connectivity and allow the inclusion of remote areas through Information Technology

2. Nepal seals transit treaty with China, to build new rail link

Topic: International Relations

Category: India’s Neighbourhood

Location: The Hindu, Page 12

Key Points:

  • Nepal on Monday secured transit rights through China following an agreement in Beijing between PM K.P. Sharma Oli and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang
  • Mr. Oli would also conclude agreements on building of multiple train routes connecting Nepal with China’s key production centres
  • India at present has two rail lines under construction and three more are being planned to increase Nepal’s trade ties

 

C. GS3 Related

1. India Looks to Widen Ambit of `Google Tax’ on Tech MNCs

Topic: Economy

Category:Taxation

Location: The Economic Times

Key Points:

  • An eight-member `Committee on taxation of ecommerce’ proposed that services ranging from online advertising and cloud computing to software downloads and web hosting be subject to an `equalisation levy’ of 6% to 8% of gross payment if the provider of the service is a foreign entity without a `permanent establishment’
  • The “equalization“ happens because the government is supposedly levelling the playing field and making multinational tech companies pay for the money they make in India

2 .WHEN SIZE MATTERS – Regional Factors may Drive Mergers of State-Run Banks

Topic: Economy

Category: banking sector

Location: The Economic Times
Key Points:

  • The government is keen on consolidation of state-run banks
  • One of the themes guiding this could be the regional strengths and weaknesses of the lenders

3 .CAD narrows to 1.3 per cent of GDP in December quarter: RBI

Topic: Economy

Category: CAD

Location: The Financial Express
Key Points:

  • India’s current account deficit (CAD) narrowed to 1.3 per cent of GDP in third quarter of the fiscal as against 1.5 per cent in the same period last year, mainly on account of lower trade deficit
  • India’s CAD at $ 7.1 billion (1.3 per cent of GDP) in Q3 of 2015-16 was lower than $ 7.7 billion (1.5 per cent of GDP) in Q3 of 2014-15 and $ 8.7 billion (1.7 per cent of GDP) in the preceding quarter
  • net services receipts moderated on a year-on-year basis largely due to fall in export receipts (bill on exports received by India) in transport and financial services
  • Private transfer receipts, mainly representing remittances by Indians employed overseas saw a decline
  • net foreign direct investment picked up even though there has been a marginal net outflow of $ 0.2 billion in portfolio investment

4 .National TB programme: New medicine to help drug-resistant patients

Topic: S&T

Category: Drugs

Location: The Indian Express

Key Points:

  • The Union Health Ministry has introduced Bedaquiline into the national tuberculosis (TB) programme
  • Bedaquiline is a drug for Multi-Drug Resistant TB
  • It is being introduced at six identified tertiary care centres across India.
  • More than 500 Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CBNAAT) machines were inducted into the Revised National TB Control Programme
  • This is a fully automated rapid molecular test which detects mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin drug resistance simultaneously

5 .For ISIS, virtual is the real as it scouts for India recruits

Topic: Security

Category: terrorism

Location: The Indian Express

Key Points:

  • the NIA alleges that Indian youth are being radicalized online by Islamic fundamentalists with Indian roots
  • Intelligence Bureau officials estimate the Islamic State’s Indian cell, led by one-time Indian Mujahideen operative Muhammad Shafi Armar, has engaged more than 700 people in conversation and raised more than 20 identified volunteers

5 .RBI governor Raghuram Rajan for new global pact to deal with monetary policy issues

Topic: Economy

Category: monetary policy

Location: The Financial Express
Key Points:

  • RBI Governor today said the world is facing “increasingly dangerous situation” and a new international agreement on the lines of Bretton Woods is needed to prevent central banks from adopting policies that could hurt other economies
  • We can pretend all is well with the global monetary non-system and hope that nothing goes spectacularly wrong. Or we can start building a system fit for the integrated world of the twenty-first century,” he added
D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today folks!

E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

The Indian Express:

1 .The opening

Topic: World Affairs

Category: US-Cuba Relations
Key points:

  • The US president’s historic visit to Cuba is the first in 88 years by an occupant of the White House, the first since the revolution of 1959 and the freezing of ties from the early 1960s
  • US investment and a boost to private sector in Cuba may be on the way
  • Cuba is currently starved of funds by the US embargo and the fall of the Soviet Union and paralysed by central planning and the prohibition of commercial enterprise
  • The topmost hurdle is the embargo, which the US Congress will not lift till Cuba improves its human rights record, especially with regard to jailed dissidents, while Havana insists on the return of Guantanamo Bay

The Hindu:

1 .Adding gloss to ties with Saudi Arabia

Topic: International Relations
Category: India-Saudi relations
Key points:

  • Modi’s upcoming Riyadh visit has numerous possibilities
  • This involves upgrading three key agreements — the energy security partnership of 2008, the strategic partnership of 2010 (which has included robust anti-terror cooperation), and the defense partnership of 2014
  • The second possibility is improving the trade and investment relationship. Bilateral trade at about $40 billion (lower this year because of falling oil prices) must be built beyond its current oil dependence
  • Saudi Arabia wants India to see it as it’s gateway into Africa
  • Given that nearly half of India’s seven million-strong Gulf diaspora works in Saudi Arabia, with families back in India dependent on them, India is keen to see new jobs created for them
  • Scientific and mathematical collaborations between Indian and Saudi Arabian researchers have seen the sharpest increase in the past few years

Others:

1 .The Business Line: We’re fast running out of water

Topic: Economy
Category: Agriculture (UN Water Day-Mar 22)
Key points:

The UN has selected “water and jobs” as the central theme for this year’s World Water Day, which is being celebrated annually throughout the world on March 22

  • As per the United Nations World Water Development Report about 22 out of 32 Indian cities face daily water shortages
  • In order to secure the future of India’s water resources, it is very important that certain steps be taken immediately especially in agricultural sector which consumes about 85 percent of the available water today
  • Introduction of more efficient water management is the need of the hour
  • In States such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu the drip irrigation method is found to be working very well
  • Crop distribution needs a drastic change wherein the water-stressed states can shift from cultivating water-intensive crops like paddy and sugarcane to pulses and oilseeds which would require less water, but generate more profit
  • Climate experts have predicted that there will be fewer rainy days but in those days it would rain more, increasing the chances of flooding.
  • Therefore it is imperative for India to develop capacity to store and even transport water.
  • In this regard, a mix of storage options, including aquifer recharge, restoring natural wetlands, enhancing soil moisture and small ponds and tanks would complement reservoir storage to increase water availability
  • Rainwater harvesting is one of the cheapest and easiest ways of augmenting water stock

2 ..The Economic Times: Rising debt levels of China poses worrisome risk

Topic: Economy
Category: world economy
Key points:

  • Fuelled by real estate and shadow banking, China’s total debt has nearly quadrupled, rising to $28 trillion by mid-2014, from $7 trillion in 2007
  • At 282% of GDP, China’s debt as a share of GDP is larger than that of the US or Germany
  • Three developments are potentially worrisome: half of all loans are linked, directly or indirectly, to China’s overheated real-estate market; unregulated shadow banking accounts for nearly half of new lending; and the debt of many local governments is probably unsustainable
  • Economies need ever-larger amounts of debt to grow
  • they may need to learn to live more safely with high debt
  • That will require new approaches to manage and monitor it, to reduce the risk of crises, and to resolve private-sector defaults efficiently
  • Policymakers will need to consider more ways to reduce government debt
  • It may be time to re-evaluate how incentives in the tax system encourage the amassing of debt (eg. home loans bring tax benefits to borrowers)
  • When there are signs of credit bubbles, regulators can seek to cool markets with countercyclical measures, like tighter loan-to-value rules and higher capital requirements for banks.

2 .Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:

i. monetary policy

ii. Zoroastrianism

iii. CAD

iv. NIA

v. IB

vi. FDI

G .Fun with Practice Questions 🙂

Question 1: Question 1:Which of the following are true?
  1. CAD occurs when country’s trade in value of goods and services it imports exceeds the value of goods and services it exports
  2. CAD does not include net income from interest and dividends, as well as transfers, such as foreign aid

a)Both 1 and 2

b) 1 only

c) 2 only

d) Neither

Question 2:Which of the following are true?

  1. Monetary policy is the macroeconomic policy laid down by the central banks of countries
  2. It is aimed at managing the quantity of money in order to meet the requirements of different sectors of the economy and to increase the pace of economic growth

a) 1only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 or 2

Question 3:Which of the following statements are correct? 
  1. Nepal is bounded by India in the north and China in the south
  2. Nepal is bounded by Bangladesh and Bhutan in the east

a)Both 1&2

b)1 only

c)2 only

d)Neither 1 nor 2

Question 4:Which of the statements below are true about Zoroastrianism?
  1. Zoroastrianism is the religion of the Parsis that originated in Persia
  2. Zend Avesta is the god they worship while Ahura Mazda is their holy book
  3. The sun temple and tower of silence is associated with the religion

a) 1 Only

b) 1 & 2

c) 2 & 3

d) 1,2 & 3

Question 5:Which of the statements below are true:
  1. Seychelles is an African state located in the Indian Ocean
  2. Indian navy ships have visited Seychelles as part of their anti-piracy deployment and protection of Seychelles EEZ

a) 1only

b) 2only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

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