Comprehensive News Analysis – 22 March 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

POLITY

1. Budget 2017: Aadhaar number to be a must for filing I-T return

2. HIV patients unhappy with Bill

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. New Delhi gets ready to welcome Turkish President

C. GS3 Related:

ECONOMY

1. ‘GST an opportunity to remove anomalies in tobacco taxation’

2. Unlisted companies investing through PEs, angel funds ‘Twin balance sheet’ issue still curbs funds from large firms

3. Centre eyes ways to open multibrand retail

4. India slips in human development index

INTERNAL SECURITY

1. ‘88 youth took to militancy in 2016’

MISCELLANEOUS

1. Railways must take food safety seriously

D. GS4 Related:
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

1. Hinterland

F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

A. GS1 Related
Nothing here for today!!!


B. GS2 Related 

Category: POLITY

1. Budget 2017: Aadhaar number to be a must for filing I-T return

What’s in news?

  • Government has made Adhaar compulsory for individuals applying for PAN(Permanent Account Number) and for those who are filing income tax returns from July 1, 2017.
  • Adhaar is now mandatory to obtain benefits under the following programs
        a. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikaas Yojana
        b. Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers
        c. National Food Security Act to get subsidized food grains
        d. Mahathma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act
        e. Mid-Day meals Scheme
        f. Pension benefits under the Employees Pension Scheme.

2. HIV patients unhappy with Bill 

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus And Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention And Control) Bill, 2014: The Bill seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS, provides for informed consent and confidentiality with regard to their treatment, places obligations on establishments to safeguard their rights, and creates mechanisms for redressing their complaints. 

Prohibition of discrimination against HIV positive persons: The Bill lists the various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.  These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to: (i) employment, (ii) educational establishments, (iii) health care services, (iv) residing or renting property, (v) standing for public or private office, and (vi) provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies).  The requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education is also prohibited. 

Every HIV infected or affected person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy the facilities of the household.  The Bill also prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive persons and those living with them.

Informed consent and disclosure of HIV status: The Bill requires that no HIV test, medical treatment, or research will be conducted on a person without his informed consent.  No person shall be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order.

Informed consent for an HIV test will not be required in case of screening by any licensed blood bank, a court order, medical research, and epidemiological purposes where the HIV test is anonymous and not meant to determine the HIV status of a person.  Establishments keeping records of information of HIV positive persons shall adopt data protection measures.

Role of the central and state governments: The central and state governments shall take measures to: (i) prevent the spread of HIV or AIDS, (ii) provide anti-retroviral therapy and infection management for persons with HIV or AIDS, (iii) facilitate their access to welfare schemes especially for women and children, (iv) formulate HIV or AIDS education communication programmes that are age appropriate, gender sensitive, and non stigmatizing, and (v) lay guidelines for the care and treatment of children with HIV or AIDS.  Every person in the care and custody of the state shall have right to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and counselling services.

Role of the Ombudsman: An ombudsman shall be appointed by each state government to inquire into complaints related to the violation of the Act and the provision of health care services.  The Ombudsman shall submit a report to the state government every six months stating the number and nature of complaints received, the actions taken and orders passed.

Guardianship: A person between the age of 12 to 18 years who has sufficient maturity in understanding and managing the affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family shall be competent to act as a guardian of another sibling below 18 years of age.  The guardianship will be apply in matters relating to admission to educational establishments, operating bank accounts, managing property, care and treatment, amongst others.

Court proceedings: Cases relating to HIV positive persons shall be disposed off by the court on a priority basis.  In any legal proceeding, if an HIV infected or affected person is a party, the court may pass orders that the proceedings be conducted (a) by suppressing the identity of the person, (b) in camera, and (c) to restrain any person from publishing information that discloses the identity of the applicant.  When passing any order with regard to a maintenance application filed by an HIV infected or affected person, the court shall take into account the medical expenses incurred by the applicant.

          What’s in news?

  • Rajyasabha passed The Human Immunodeficiency Virus And Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention And Control) Bill, 2014.
  • Civil society organizations raised concerns against the “as far as possible” clause and said this will “dilute” the provision and allow state governments to deny treatment to many patients.

Key Facts
Global Burden of Diseases (GBD)-2015

  • 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India
  • 82% percentage of patients receives anti-retroviral therapy (ART) treatment as against global percentage of 41% 

Problems in India

  • HIV programme has weakened due to budget cuts
  • Nationwide stock-outs of diagnostic kits and pediatric formulations of anti-retrovirals (ARTs).


Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. New Delhi, Kabul talks soon to boost trade

Friction areas

  • Turkey is having strategic partnership with Pakistan.
  • India’s membership to Nuclear Suppliers Group- Turkey has backed a “Process-based” approach for inducting members. It supports both Pakistan as well as India to be considered for membership.
  • Kashmir Issue: Turkey fully supports Pakistan’s position on Jammu and Kashmir
  • Turkey is also a member of the Uniting for Consensus group of countries that oppose U.N. Security Council Memberships to be increased.
 
C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1.‘GST an opportunity to remove anomalies in tobacco taxation’

     What’s in news?

  • Tobacco farmers and farm workers of commercial crops have asked the Centre to protect their interests while formulating the Goods and Services Tax (GST) laws.
  • Government should look into the existing anomalies that exist in Tobacco taxation system, urges tobacco farmers. Prevailing taxation system has affected the livelihoods of majority tobacco farmers and has promoted smuggling of cigarettes (The steep increase in excise duty in the past has led to increased smuggling,).
  • The GST is an opportunity to remove tax arbitrage in tobacco taxation and disincentives illegal products.

2. Unlisted companies investing through PEs, angel funds ‘Twin balance sheet’ issue still curbs funds from large firms

‘Twin balance sheet’ issue still curbs funds from large firms

What’s in news ?

  • Unlisted companies have been investing large amounts through the private equity fund route, angel funds and start-ups, even as investments from large Indian corporates remain constrained by the ‘twin balance sheet’ problem.
  • Foreign direct investment has become all the more important in this situation of subdued investment by large companies in India, and the government has taken several steps to make India one of the most favoured investment destinations in the world.

Moving towards Open Economy 

  • FDI has become important because the perception is that domestic investment was subdued.
  • India has become one of the most open economies in the world. India has even allowed 100% FDI in sectors like civil aviation. And apart from opening up, India has allowed most of the investment through the automatic route, which doesn’t require government approvals.

3. Centre eyes ways to open multibrand retail

Why in news?

  • In a bid to ease Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms related to Multi-brand Retail Trading (MBRT), the Centre is looking at ways to get around the BJP’s 2014 Election Manifesto that categorically ruled out FDI in the ‘politically sensitive’ sector.
  • While the Centre is considering various options including allowing FDI in MBRT of certain non-food items such as health and wellness products, with a rider that they should be locally manufactured.

Condition of Local sourcing to benefit our farmers

  • The policy stipulates many conditions including on a specified level of minimum investment and local sourcing. This is not being implemented because several states through their respective Shops & Establishment Act, do not currently allow foreign-owned and controlled firms to open multi-brand retail outlets in their territory.
  • In order to generate employment in food processing and to attract the latest technologies in the sector, the NDA government, allowed 100% FDI under the government approval route for trading, including e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured and/or produced in India.

4. India slips in human development index

What’s in news?

Human Development Report 2016 – United Nations Development Programme

  • World’s top three countries -Norway (0.949), Australia (0.939) and Switzerland (0.939).
  • India’s current Ranking-131 (previous year ranking 130).
  • India’s HDI value increased from 0.428 in 1990 to 0.624 in 2015- lowest rank among BRIC nations. However, its average annual growth in HDI (1990-2015) was higher than that of other medium HD countries.
  • HDI value-0.624; Category- Medium Human Development.
  • India’s Ranking Among SAARC countries
  • 3rd
  • Sri Lanka (73 rank), Maldives (105 rank) – both of them fall under –High Human Development Category.

HDI report praised India’s reservation policy and National Rural Employment Programme :

  • Substantial positive effect
  • In 1965, for example, Dalits held fewer than 2% of senior civil service positions, but the share had grown to 11% by 2001
  • The national rural employment guarantee programme prime example of “combining social protection with appropriate employment strategies”.

South Asian region:

  • 5 million people worldwide still live in multidimensional poverty, 54% of them concentrated in South Asia
  • Over a period of 1990-2015, Inequality sharpened in this region .
  • Highest levels of malnutrition at 38%
  • Lowest Public Health Expenditure as a percentage of GDP -1.6%
  • Improved life expectancy by 10.4 years (1990-2015)
  • Child malnutrition declined by 10 percentage points from 2015

Gender disparity

  • Women, on an average, have lower HDI than men across the world.
  • South Asia- Largest gender disparity, where the female HDI value is 20% lower than the male value.


Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. ‘88 youth took to militancy in 2016’

Key Facts

  • 2014, the number of Kashmiri youth joining militancy was somewhere around 53ca and in 2015, it reached 66 before touching the highest mark in six years (88) in 2016.
  • 119 incidents of infiltration across the border in 2016

Reasons

Internal factors

  1. Unemployment gives rise to discontent. Unemployed youth are lured into terrorism by giving hopes of support to family and self.
  2. Communalism develops a sense of insecurity in the minorities and govt’s mishandling of the situation or politicsation of the issue further pushes youth to radicalization.
  3. Lack of development is seen by the locals as govt apathy and leads to alienation of youth which makes the man easy target for the fundamentalist groups
  4. Police and armed force excesses like AFSPA act in disturbed areas of J n K and NE has lead to further alienation of youth
  5. Lack of intelligence, police coordination and action to check and nip in the bud the tendencies of youth towards radicalization adds to the number of radical youth influencing others to join in. 

External factors

  1. Infiltration of terrorist across borders, which in turn disturb peace in the region and misguide youth in the name of religion
  2. Instigation in public forum like the statements made by Pakistani officials, clergy
  3. Use of social media by terrorist organizations to recruit, garner support.
  4. State sponsoring of terrorism from across the border. 

Measures

  1. Employment and development measures in these areas
  2. Action against communal elements
  3. Improving border security measures-intelligence, logistics
  4. Educating the people of the region about the harms terrorism would cause to themselves and society
  5. Limiting the use of AFSPA and/or improving it in terms of powers and responsibility of armed forces

 

Category: MISCELLANEOUS

1. Railways must take food safety seriously

What’s in news?

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) raised concerns on food hygiene on trains and asked the Indian Railways to redesign coaches so that food served on trains are not stacked next to the lavatories.
  • If one looks at our catering services function on board, first thing that happens is that the food items are stacked next to the toilets.
  • When people carry their own food, there is no place for disposal. So hygiene and sanitation is something that has to be looked at seriously.

Solution and Way Forward:

  • Re-engineering of coaches has to be done on the longer run as passengers are “hesitant to approach the wash basins” on trains due to poor hygiene conditions.
  • Providing safe drinking water on trains is another major issue and water dispensing machines may be installed on board.
  • FSSAI has formulated a ‘Safe Food on Track’ programme for training supervisors of catering units at railway stations, food vendors and on board catering units on food safety.
  • The FSSAI further suggested a host of steps to create awareness related to food safety at railway stations and on trains. These include printing of food safety tips on food tray covers to onboard passengers, display of food safety tips in railway coaches and the use of food safety display boards at various food establishments at the railway stations.
 
D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 

E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
Hinterland
  • It is an area behind a coast or the shoreline of a river. Specifically, by the doctrine of the hinterland, the word is applied to the inland region lying behind a port and is claimed by the state that owns the coast.
 

F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
 
BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGANISATIONS IN NEWS Link to Refer
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus And Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention And Control) Bill, 2014 http://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/the-human-immunodeficiency-virus-and-acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome-prevention-and-control-bill-2014-3126/
 
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam:)
Question 1: Miyar hydroelectric project is on the tributary of  ________.
  1. Ravi
  2. Beas
  3. Chenab
  4. Sutlej
See
Answer
Question 2: Choose the correct statement with reference to Uniting for 
Consensus Group.
  1. Uniting for Consensus (UfC) is a movement opposing the possible expansion of permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council.
  2. Uniting for Consensus (UfC) is a movement supporting the possible expansion of permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council.
  3. Uniting for Consensus (UfC) is a movement to support the inclusion of new members into NSG group.
  4. None of the Above
See
Answer
Question 3: Consider the statements about Food Safety and Standards Authority 
of India (FSSAI):
  1. It is a constitutional body.
  2. FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.

Which of the above statements is/are correct ?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None
See
Answer

 

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