Comprehensive News Analysis – 23 October 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Iraq pushes into town near Mosul

C. GS3 Related:

1. One India push for ease of business

2. Full Capital account convertibility unlikely for few years

3. NIIF said Infrastructure needs $150-$300 bn. equity over 5 years

4. Palampur to set the standards for air quality

5. Rajasthan high alert on Bird flu

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

The Hindu

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

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. Iraq pushes into town near Mosul

Category: International

Topic: Iraq

Key Points:

  • Iraqi forces pushed into a town near the Islamic State (IS) held city of Mosul after a wave of militant attacks in and around the northern city of Kirkuk set off more than a day of heavy clashes.

U.S. meanwhile arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit to meet with Iraqi commanders to discuss the offensive to retake Mosul, which the U.S. is supporting with air strikes and advisers on the ground.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. One India push for ease of business

Category: Economy

Topic: Entrepreneurship & Ease of doing Business

Key Points:

  • The Centre is working with States to introduce a One India concept, the most ambitious ‘ease of doing business’ initiative so far. Under the One-form-One-portal model, aimed at attracting huge investments, the processes will be simplified to an extent where investors will need to fill only a single e-form for investing and doing business anywhere in India.

Currently,  firms are mandated to complete multiple forms at the Central and State-levels, and it gets more complicated as each State has different requirements and regulations.

  • The government is working on what could be the world’s best single window clearance mechanism with an in-built information wizard that will help investors with the application processes.
  • The plan aims to help raise India’s global ranking on the World Bank Group’s ‘Doing Business’ index from 130 in 2016 to the top 50 among the 189 economies featured on the list. The proposed concept will also make it easy for investors to even change plans midway and shift projects to different locations in India where it is easier to do business.

 

e-Biz portal: The Centre is already developing an e-Biz project that is basically a government-to-business portal. The services offered under the portal which firms and investors can use 24X7 online are on starting, running and closing down a business. Introduced in January 2014, the portal has an integrated payment gateway and currently offers 17 pan-India services (at the Central government-level).

  • The state-level services on offer include that of Delhi (two services), Andhra Pradesh (13) and Odisha (15). The upcoming services include seven Central government and other services, 13 from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra (10), Delhi (six), and Haryana and Tamil Nadu (eight each). Other States have been asked to link their services to the portal soon, and the aim is to integrate more than 200 services within a few years.

The focus now is on revamping this portal by identifying and removing glitches. The thrust will be on quality by reducing the cost, time and processes involved, and ensuring greater transparency. For instance, States have been asked to do away with the requirement of fees for services, wherever the fee involved is nominal. The portal will also be soon shifted to an ‘open source multi-platform’ system/browser. Also in the pipeline is a Permanent account number (PAN)-based Business Identification Number (BIN) for firms. This unique business ID will integrate about 18 identification numbers including the existing Company Identification Number.

 

  1. Full Capital account convertibility unlikely for few years

Category: Economy

Topic: Capital account convertibility

Key Points:

  • Union ministry of Finance said India is not looking at full capital account convertibility for the next few years. Former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan had said that the central bank was looking at bringing in capital account convertibility in a few years. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that has advocated such convertibility for decades, has become more cautious about its benefits for developing economies in the recent past.

 

India is still an emerging economy and would perhaps not be fully capital convertible in the next few years. The Finance ministry endorsed the need for the same in order to deepen capital markets and help India play a more meaningful role in the global economy.

  • Enumerating the steps taken by the government in the past two years to ease access to foreign capital, be it portfolio flows or foreign direct investment, – the finance ministry pointed out that new instruments have also been made available for foreign investors such as rupee-denominated offshore bonds (Masala bonds) and alternate investment funds.

The external commercial borrowings framework was liberalised significantly in December 2015 with the caps on such borrowings enhanced. Given the fact that we don’t have full capital account convertibility, there would be a certain amount of time when such caps would remain on the ECB framework.

  • Capital controls are used by the state to protect the economy from potential shocks caused by unpredictable capital flows. Capital account convertibility means the freedom to convert a currency for capital transactions and the rupee is not fully convertible on that front yet, though capital flows have been liberalised in recent years.

 

  1. NIIF said Infrastructure needs $150-$300 bn. equity over 5 years

Category: Economy

Topic: Infrastructure

Key Points:

  • National Investment and Infrastructure FundNIIF said India needs $150 billion to $300 billion of equity over the next 5 years to drive infrastructure investments. The NIIF, which will start operations with a first-phase corpus of $6 billion, would focus on equity and quasi-equity investments at a scale never seen before in India as it will be 6 times larger than the biggest infrastructure fund currently.

            Private investmentAs the private or public sectors can’t meet this investment demand    on their own, the NIIF will work on creating smart public private partnerships (PPPs)         to fund projects of unprecedented scale and      will also continuously suggest policy improvements to support infrastructure sector investments.

 

  1. Palampur to set the standards for air quality

Category: Environment

Topic: Air pollution

Key Points:

  • Palampur – a hill station in Himachal Pradesh may soon set the bar for clean air in India. The National Physical Laboratory, an organization of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – CSIR, best known for the being the repository of physical standards such as the kilogram, second and the centimetre, has set up instruments in Palampur that will measure atmospheric levels of a wide range of pollutants including ozone, nitrous oxides, ammonia and particulate matter.

Based on at least a year’s worth of observations on how these gases vary and the influence of local weather, the scientists hope to develop a reference standard for air quality realistic to India’s climate that can be extrapolated to other cities and regions. Delhi’s air is considered among the most noxious in the world though there is wide disagreement on the extent to which Delhi’s vehicles, topography or agricultural practices in neighbouring States are responsible.

 

5. Rajasthan high alert on Bird flu

Category: Biology

Topic: Diseases

Key Points:

  • After deaths of migratory birds due to avian flu were reported in Delhi, an alert was sounded in Rajasthan asking authorities and the public at large to keep a watch on the health of birds and take precautionary measures to check the likely outbreak of bird flu in the State.


D. GS4 Related

Nothing here today folks!

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

Nothing here today folks!

The Hindu
Nothing here today folks!
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF)
  • Bird Flu/ Avian Influenza
  • E-biz project
  • Ease of doing business – Start up India
  • ISIS
  • Capital Account Convertibility



H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Palampur - a hill station in Himachal Pradesh appears in news in the context of -

a) Clean Air initiative

b) Clean Water initiative

c) Urban development

d) Interlinking of rivers


Question 2: National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF) works under -

a) Union Ministry of Trade and Commerce

b) Union Ministry of Finance

c) Union Ministry of Industries

d) Union Ministry of Home affairs


Question 3: Which of the following pollutants are monitored and controlled in the National Air Quality Index?

a) Carbon-monoxide, Ozone, Oxides of Sulphur, Ammonia, Carbon-dioxide

b) Carbon-monoxide, Hydrogen sulphide, Oxides of Nitrogen, Ammonia, Carbon-dioxide

c) Carbon-monoxide, Ozone, Oxides of Sulphur, Ammonia, Oxides of nitrogen

d) Carbon-monoxide, Ozone, Oxides of nitrogen, Ammonia, Carbon-dioxide


Question 4: 'Tarapore committee' is related to -

a) Full convertibility on Capital account

b) Current account convertibility

c) Balance of payments

d) None of these


Question 5: 'H5N1' viral strain is used to refer to?

a) Swine Flu

b) Bird Flu

c) Chinese Bird flu

d) Ebola fever


Check Your Answers

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