Comprehensive News Analysis - 23 April 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. SC stays Uttarakhand HC judgement quashing President’s Rule

2. Swamy, Sidhu, Mary Kom among six nominated to Rajya Sabha

3. Govt. casts Aadhaar net wider at banks

4. Modi government sets up panel, kickstarts plan to double farmer income in 6 years

5. Visa to ‘terrorist’ Uighur leader sparks India-China row

C. GS3 Related:

1. Up to 170 states poised to sign Paris Agreement

2. New civil aviation policy by next month

3. Open up services sector, Kant tells U.S.

4. TRAI attacks telecom firms for call drops; accuses them of profiteering at the expense of consumers

5. SIDBI sanctions Rs 1,000 crore to start up funds

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

The Hindu:

1. On going beyond ‘Bommai’

Others:

1. TheEconomic Times: Ports get the boost they deserve, at last

2. The Business Line: Why we don’t ‘feel’ the GDP growth

3. The Hindustan Times: A low-carbon global economy is inevitable

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 for today folks!

B. GS2 Related

1. SC stays Uttarakhand HC judgement quashing President’s Rule

Topic: Polity

Category: Federal System

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • The Supreme Court restored President’s Rule in Uttarakhand till April 27

(Uttarakhand High Court had quashed the Centre’s decision and restored the state government)

  • reason : the judgment dictated by Uttarakhand Chief Justice  in open court not yet available in the public domain
  • “We are only making the judgment of the Uttarakhand High Court not implementable till the copy of the judgment is out,” SC judges explained

Tags: Uttarakhand Crisis, Judicial Review

 

2. Swamy, Sidhu, Mary Kom among six nominated to Rajya Sabha

Topic: Polity

Category: the Executive

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • The RashtrapatiBhavanapproved a list of six nominated members to the Rajya Sabha
  • These nominations to the Upper House are for achievers in various spheres of public life, and total 12 in number

Tags: Rajya Sabha, nominated members

 

3. Govt. casts Aadhaar net wider at banks

Topic: Governance

Category: AADHAR

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • The Supreme Court, in an interim ruling last year, had allowed using Aadhaar, a unique identification number, for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the PMJDY, and pension schemes of states and the Centre
  • So if the government treats all bank accounts receiving government subsidies as Prime Minister Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) accounts it would widen the scope of Aadhaar
  • Bank accounts of all those who didn’t have a previous account was named as a Jan Dhan account when the PMJDY scheme was launched while those existing were not named so

Tags: SC, Aadhar,PMJDY, The Aadhar Act

 

4. Modi government sets up panel, kickstarts plan to double farmer income in 6 years

Topic: Governance

Category: agriculture

Location: The Economic Times

Key points:

  • The eight-member panel will identify potential areas of agriculture where more investment should happen and suggest ways to reduce the risk of farming by diversifying to horticulture and allied activities like livestock and fisheries to boost income
  • The inter-ministerial panel, which is expected to submit the report in two months, will also look at reducing the cost of cultivation and addressing unpredictability of weather and price fluctuations in farm sector
  • The committee will chalk out a plan to shift farm policies from being production-oriented to based on incomes

(The committee will be headed by Ashok Dalwai, Additional Secretary at the Agriculture Ministry )

Tags: inter ministerial panel

 

5. Visa to ‘terrorist’ Uighur leader sparks India-China row

Topic: India’ neighbourhood

 Category: India-China Relations

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • Dolkun Isa, a German national of Uighur ethnicityanda leader of the so-called World Uighur Congress (WUC) has been granted an electronic visa by India to attend a conference in Dharamsala
  • “ Dolkun Isa is a terrorist on red notice of Interpol and the Chinese police. Bringing him to justice is a due obligation of relevant countries”-China says

Tags: Uighur , Interpol, red notice

 

C. GS3 Related

1. Up to 170 states poised to sign Paris Agreement

Topic: Ecology

Category: Climate Change

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • As many as 170 countries are expected to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change ( Agreement to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels)
  • the landmark deal takes a key step toward entering into force years ahead of schedule
  • Never have so many countries signed an agreement on the first available day. States that do not sign on Friday have a year to do so

Tags: Paris Agreement, Climate Change

 

2. New civil aviation policy by next month

Topic: Economy

Category: Aviation

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • The draft policy was unveiled in October -It has suggested tax incentives for airlines, maintenance and repair works of aircraft, increasing FDI limit for foreign airlines, setting up of no-frills airports and providing viability gap funding for carriers to strengthen regional air connectivity
  • The primary reason for delay:differences over including the 5/20 rule for domestic carriers have delayed finalisation of the policy

Note:A no-frills or no frills service or product is one for which the non-essential features have been removed to keep the price low

5/20 rule:Under 5/20 rule, carriers having five years of operational experience and a fleet of at least 20 planes would be allowed to fly overseas

Tags: Civil Aviation Policy, FDI

 

3. Open up services sector, Kant tells U.S.

Topic: Economy

Category: services sector

Location: The Hindu

Key points:

  • America must open its services sector for Indians to go and work there, just as India has liberalised foreign direct investment in many sectors such as railways and defence for the benefit of American firms, NitiAayog CEO Amitabh Kant said
  • Examples cited:GE has the biggest contract to build locomotives for the Railways, Defence trade has touched $14 billion, 1.1 million visas were issued to Indian travellers in 2015(tourism), the biggest FDI into India in recent times was American Tower Corporation’s purchase of a 51 per cent controlling stake in Viom Network(telecom)

(ATC would actually be controlling about 57,000 mobile towers in India)

  • He also spoke about the need of bringing in new technology as part of  FDI

Tags:FDI,Services, NitiAayog

 

4. TRAI attacks telecom firms for call drops; accuses them of profiteering at the expense of consumers 

Topic: Economy

Category: telecom sector

Location: The Economic Times

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Key points:

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India launched a fierce attack on telecom companies in the Supreme Court
  • The telecom companies have said they are not to blame for call drops and cannot be penalised for it, given the difficulty in setting up telecom towers. They have also said the call-drop penalty charge would drive the sector into the ground


Tags:TRAI, call drops

 

5. SIDBI sanctions Rs 1,000 crore to start up funds

Topic: Economy

 Category: investment and employment

Location: The Economic Times

Key points:

  • The Small Industries Development Bank of India has sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore to 30 venture funds through the government-financed India Aspiration Fund, which seeks to support startups in their early stages
  • The government launched the India Aspiration Fund in 2015 with the intention of providing equity investments to startups and micro and small enterprises and boosting employment.
  • In 2016, the govt. had announced an additional Rs 10,000 crore to support startups, which will be funded on an annual basis with Rs 2,500 crore(It also announced a tax holiday, simplification of procedures and faster closures for startups)

Tags: SIDBI, the India Aspiration Fund

 

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

The Hindu

1. On going beyond ‘Bommai’

Topic: Polity

Category: Federal Relations

Key points:

  • The dismissal of an elected government of Uttarakhand on the eve of a confidence vote was a drastic measure that no court could have endorsed
  • The High Court after all was only applying the law laid down in the Bommai case in 1994, which made it clear that the only place to ascertain the majority of a government was the floor of the House (need for governors to be  impartial upheld)
  • High Court concluded that there was no breakdown of the constitutional machinery in the State
  • the controversy in Uttarakhand reveals that a judicial fix going beyond the rules laid down by the Bommai judgment is the need of the hour
  • Problems relating to the application of Article 356 are more complex
  • Chief Ministers cling on to posts even after dissidents have clearly reduced their governments to a minority, and partisan Speakers manipulate floor tests by a selective application of the anti-defection law
  • If earlier the problem was that of partisan Governors, the issues that need to be addressed in today’s political context are that of partisan Speakers and manipulated floor tests
  • what we need today are some restrictions to keep the ruling party and their friendly Speakers from making a mockery of floor tests going beyond Bommai

Tags:Article 356, Bommai case

 

Others:

1. The Economic Times: Ports get the boost they deserve, at last

Topic: Economy

Category: ports

Key Points

  • we have long neglected investment and infrastructure in our so-called major ports, with the result that container traffic needs reshipping to Colombo because we lack the facilities here
  • Now the government has drawn up a multi-year plan to modernise, revamp and overhaul the port sector
  • The recent Maritime India Summit in Mumbai garnered firm investment commitments that reportedly add up to $12 billion, with another $60 billion potentially in the pipeline
  • The game plan is to shore up India’s port capacity from 1,400 million tonnes per annum to 3,000 MTPA by 2025, and to mobiliseRs 1 lakh crore for the purpose
  • In parallel, we need to ramp-up logistics and port connectivity, and line-up rail and highway projects to remove glaring infrastructural deficits
  •  The Sagarmala project of the shipping ministry does envisage port-based or port-proximate industrial and manufacturing enclaves and it has also identified 27 potential coastal clusters to boost value addition.
  • We need to revisit and revise the tariff-setting regime for our major public sector ports. Private ports follow flexible proactive tariff norms, which seem to greatly boost traffic.
  • The norms set by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) appear downright bureaucratic with cost-plus returns on capital employed, various other charges and a complicated formula to determine specific rates at the various major ports as per a ‘scale of rates’. These make little sense.
  • The Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, needs amending without further delay so that the ports are managed under the Companies Act

Tags: Maritime India Summit, TAMP, Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, Companies Act, Sagarmala Project

 

2. The Business Line: Why we don’t ‘feel’ the GDP growth

Topic: Economy

Category: GDP determination

Key Points

  • There has been a lot of doubt about the new GDP series flagged off by India’s central statistical office
  • But a recent data release by the RBI explains why the economy may, in fact, be doing reasonably well, without market commentators or stockbrokers being aware of it. What if it is the thousands of small enterprises that are leading this growth?
  • As opposed to 6000-odd listed companies, there are over a 15 lakh companies registered with the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA). The country is also home to over 45 million MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises)
  • the RBI recently drew on the MCA database to release aggregated financial data for over 2.3 lakh unlisted private companies (this excludes financial companies). From this data, it turns out, India’s large army of unlisted firms have been outpacing the listed firms by a long chalk for the last three years
  • While sales for listed companies may be out of line with the GDP data, RBI’s new data set shows that numbers for unlisted firms are very much in line with the official data
  • While the listed universe features many giant-sized firms in energy, metals, mining and infrastructure, which are heavily linked to the commodity cycle and have a sizeable global leg to their operations, unlisted firms may have fewer representatives from these two segments of business
  • despite earning much lower profit margins than their listed peers, unlisted firms also managed higher profit growth in the last three years
  • Despite much lower levels of profitability, unlisted firms featured almost the same interest cover (their profits were three times the interest outgo) as listed firms
  • Over the last eight years, even as India’s primary market (where public firms raise fresh capital) has been dead in the water, there has been a flash-flood of private equity/venture capital money which has sought out domestic startups and unlisted firms
  • Between 2006 and 2014, PE/VC firms poured capital of over $60 billion into over 3,000 small and medium businesses. This is more than three times the money raised in the primary markets, where just 350 firms were able to float IPOs in six years
  • One of the key changes made by the CSO when it tweaked its GDP computations in 2014 was to broadbase the universe of businesses that are used to measure GDP growth. While it earlier used the data from the Annual Survey of Industries, it now uses the far larger corporate database of the MCA
  • So indeed the GDP growth is real

Tags: CSO, GDP computation, Annual Survey of Industries,corporate database of the MCA

 

3. The Hindustan Times: A low-carbon global economy is inevitable

Topic: Economy

Category: Climate change

Key Points

  • More than 160 world leaders ratified the Paris Agreement in New York, signalling the time to usher our economies to a more sustainable and energy secure future
  • Advances in renewable energy generation, energy storage, smart grids, and improved energy efficiency will help countries meet their climate targets
  • Nations must increase their targets if we are to limit temperature rise to less than 2°C – which is challenging, but possible
  • The Agreement sets out a clear goal of net zero emissions in the second half of the century
  • In the last two years more renewable energy was installed worldwide than fossil fuel energy
  • Falling costs mean clean energy technologies such as wind, solar and LEDs can now compete with traditional technologies
  • The clean energy market is currently worth £4 trillion and is expected to rise to between £7 trillion and £10 trillion a year by 2030
  • Radical technological innovation can reduce the cost of supply, but needs targeted support and an appropriate framework
  • Our aim should be to make the cost of renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels
  • The Mission Innovation initiative promotes publicly funded research, development and demonstration
  • Twenty nations have joined the initiative with an annual spend of approximately US$20 billion
  • India has the chance to boost its renewable energy generating capacity and provide energy access to millions

Tags: Paris agreement, Mission Innovation Initiative, net zero emissions

 

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Paris Agreement
  • Mission Innovation Initiative
  • CSO
  • Article 356
  • Bommai case,1994
  • TRAI
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂

 

Question 1: Which of the following statements are true?
  1. The Paris agreement deals with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020
    2. It aims to  hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 1 °C

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 2:Which of the following statements is true about GDP computation in India?

1)Indirect taxes and subsidies are taken into account

2)2011-12 is the base year used for computations

3)Online data filed with the Ministry of Corporate affairs is now being utilized  for computations

a) 1 only

b)2 only

c) 3 only

d) All the Above

Question 3:Which of the following statements are true about the governor of a state?

1) The governor recommends for the imposition of the President’s Rule in the State

2)The governor can use his discretion in appointing the Chief Minister when no party has acquired clear cut majority in the State Legislative Assembly

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 4: Which of the given below statements is/are true?

1. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) was setup in 1980 under the small industries development bank of India Act

2. NABARD was established in 1981 under the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act 

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 5:Which of the following are possible factors of climate change?
  1. continental drift
    2. volcanoes

3.changing direction of ocean currents

4.changing angle of tilt in earth’s axis

a) 2 and 3

b) 1 ,3 and 4

c)2, 3 and 4

d) All the above

Check Your Answers

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