Comprehensive News Analysis – 24 January 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. Piece of history arrives in Hyderabad

B. GS2 Related:

1. UAE signals a ‘Look East’ policy

2. Trump moves to pull U.S. out of TPP

3. MPs accuse May of covering up Trident ‘malfunction’

C. GS3 Related:

1. India rejects attempts by EU, Canada for global investment agreement

2. ‘Use Aadhaar e-KYC to verify mobile users’

3. Suryoday, Utkarsh enter banking fray

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

The Hindu

1. Globalisation’s new spokesman

Business Line

1. Letter and spirit

PIB

1. India’s largest bank teams up with the nation’s largest Warship

2. Health Ministry to launch population based prevention, screening and control programme for five non-communicable diseases

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
I. Archives

Need Expert Guidance on how to prepare for Current Affairs

.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related
  1. Piece of history arrives in Hyderabad

Category: History

Topic: Modern Indian History 

Key Points:

  • The ‘Great Theodolite,’ a device that was a part of an exhaustive survey undertaken by British surveyor William Lambton, has come to Hyderabad as an exhibit at a stall in the Survey of India for the Geospatial World Forum conference.
  • This device was used to carry out the mapping of present-day India.
  • It is important to note that this device was taken for surveying even the territories that were not under the direct control of the British empire.
B. GS2 Related
1. UAE signals a ‘Look East’ policy

Category: International Relations

Topic: India and her Neighbourhood- Relations

Key Points:

  • In an important development, the United Arab Emirates is likely to highlight its “Look East” policy with its participation in the Republic Day celebrations in India, a prominent Gulf studies expert has said.
  • It has been suggested that the presence of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade and participation of a marching contingent of the country’s military in the celebrations would indicate the UAE’s willingness to play a more active regional role.
  • It has also been suggested that the UAE will want its troops in the Republic Day parade to be viewed as the indicator of the UAE’s growing power in the Indian Ocean.
  • It is significant to note that there has been a continuous Indian presence in the UAE since at least the 18th century.
  • Today, Indians make up 30% of the country’s population — the single largest expatriate community in the UAE.

 

2. Trump moves to pull U.S. out of TPP

Category: International Relations 

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • In an important development, U.S. President Donald Trump moved on 23rd January, 2017 to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), making good on a pledge to scrap a deal he denounced as a “job killer”.
  • Significantly, Mr. Trump has already moved to curb Barack Obama’s health care reforms and more quick legal tweaks — in the form of executive orders — are expected on immigration and limiting environmental legislation.

 

3. MPs accuse May of covering up Trident ‘malfunction’

Category: International Relations 

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure to come clean in the House of Commons about the failure of a Trident missile test.
  • MPs had earlier accused her of covering up the truth before a crucial parliamentary vote on renewing the nuclear deterrent.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. India rejects attempts by EU, Canada for global investment agreement

Category: Indian Economy  

Topic: International Trade

Key Points:

  • In an important development, India, along with Brazil, Argentina and some other nations, has rejected an informal attempt by the European Union (EU) and Canada to work towards a global investment agreement at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)-level that would incorporate a contentious Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism.

What is the (ISDS) mechanism

  • The ISDS mechanism has become a contentious issue.
  • This is because it permits companies to drag governments to international arbitration without exhausting the local remedies and claim huge amounts as compensation citing losses they suffered due to reasons, including policy changes.
  • It is important to note that the EU and Canada have inked an investment pact that has incorporated the contentious ISDS.

 

  1. ‘Use Aadhaar e-KYC to verify mobile users’

Category: Indian Economy 

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended the use of Aadhaar-based e-KYC for verification of existing mobile subscribers.
  • TRAI has also recommended that the use of Aadhaar-based e-KYC be permitted for outstation customers.
  • Importantly, stating that it had received several cases from state police departments where it had been found that hundreds of SIM cards have been obtained using fake documents, TRAI is of the view that the existence of such SIM cards posed a real security challenge.

 

  1. Suryoday, Utkarsh enter banking fray

Category: Indian Economy 

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • Microlenders Suryoday and Utkarsh, which started small finance banks (SFBs) on 23rd January, are offering interest rates of more than 6% in a bid to compete with commercial lenders for savings bank deposits.
  • Most commercial banks offer 4% on savings accounts, barring a few such as Kotak Mahindra Bank, YES Bank and IndusInd Bank.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Globalisation’s new spokesman

Category: International Relations  

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • In a time of extraordinary global uncertainty, President Xi Jinping’s recent message to the World Economic Forum in Davos was timely and perhaps visionary as well.
  • It is important to note that with the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President, the current world economic order is perceived to be at its most fragile.
  • Xi’s has significantly cautioned against attempts to prevent the free flow of goods, services, capital and people.
  • Significantly, Mr. Xi reiterated the call for a reform of global economic governance structures, to reflect the contribution of the emerging and developing countries.
  • Xi fundamentally rejected the stance that seeks to lay the blame for the current challenges at the doorstep of globalisation. 
  • But, it is important to note that Mr. Xi’s case for globalisation is the most forceful such statement by a Chinese leader yet.

Business Line

  1. Letter and spirit

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • A recent analysis has shown that government agencies and institutions are increasingly finding ways to decline information sought under the Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005.
  • Essentially, the Government and its agencies are finding ways to ensure that the RTI Act becomes an ineffective tool available to the citizens, thus defeating the very purpose for which it was enacted in the first place.
  • Specifically, section 8(1) of the RTI Act together with its clauses have often been misused to deny information requests.
  • This sweeping provision allows the government to deny any information that it perceives to be prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of the country, its security, strategic and economic interests or lead to incitement of an offence and would disproportionately divert resources of the public authority.
  • This in unfortunate, as the RTI Act has helped expose large scams at the central and State level in the past. For example, The Adarsh Housing Society scam, which led to resignation of the then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, the Commonwealth Games scam and even the 2G scam were exposed as the result of RTI applications.
  • But such exposes also had unintended consequences. Decision making in the Government came to a standstill particularly during the UPA government’s second term.
  • Scams exposed by RTI Act queries gave a handle to opposition parties to attack the ruling alliance and precipitate its downfall.

 

PIB

1. India’s largest bank teams up with the nation’s largest Warship

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Developments  

Key Points:

  • INS Vikramaditya, the largest warship and latest aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, has a strength of over 1500 personnel.
  • A versatile national capability and a full-fledged township by herself, the ship has a new acquisition – an ATM machine installed onboard by the nation’s largest bank and banking network, the State Bank of India.
  • The one-of-a-kind ATM machine was inaugurated onboard at a function at the Naval Base Karwar on 21 Jan 17.
  • The Indian Navy has a Memorandum of Understanding with the State Bank of India that operates Defence Salary Packages.
  • This joint venture between India’s largest warship and largest banking network is a significant step towards cementing the partnership between the Navy and the bank further, underlines the mutually supportive relations the two organisations share.
  • The ATM machine is a unique floating banking system, and along with the Point of Sale machine that is also proposed to be installed onboard, would go a long way in supporting cashless transactions on the ship, in line with the government’s policy of digitising the India economy.

 

  1. Health Ministry to launch population based prevention, screening and control programme for five non-communicable diseases

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs) which are Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) such as heart attacks and stroke, Diabetes, Chronic Respiratory Diseases (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and Asthma) and Cancer inter alia account for over 60% of all mortality in India. Of these, nearly 55% are premature mortality. This imposes a financial and social cost on families and the country.  According to the World Economic Forum, India stands to lose $ 4.58 trillion (Rs 311.94 trillion between 2012 and 2030 due to non-communicable diseases.
  • It is important to note that since these conditions do not exhibit symptoms until complications set in, it is essential to detect them early. Early detection of NCDs not only enables onset of treatment but prevents high financial costs and suffering.  For some cancers, survival rates are good when they are detected and treated in the early stages.  Screening for these conditions, which can be undertaken at the level of the sub centre or Primary health Centres helps early detection and also serves to raise health awareness among people to lead healthy lifestyles.  Given that primary health care, including prevention and health promotion can lead to improved health and developmental outcomes at much lower cost, the Ministry is now expanding access to prevention and primary care services,
  • As part of the National Health Mission, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is launching population based prevention, screening and control programme for five common non-communicable diseases, namely Hypertension, Diabetes, and Cancers of oral cavity, breast and cervix. On February 4th coinciding with World Cancer Day, Union Health and Family Welfare Minster is expected to launch the programme.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • INS Vikramaditya
  • e-KYC
  • Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements, regarding the Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism which was recently in the news,
  1. This mechanism permits companies to drag governments to international arbitration without exhausting the local remedies and claim huge amounts as compensation citing losses they suffered due to reasons, including policy changes.
  2. The world’s leading ISDS institution, the International Centre of Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), is a member of the World Bank Group.

Which of the above statements is/are correct? a) 1 Only b) 2 Only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 2: ‘Great Theodolite’ was recently in the news. What is this?

a) This was a device was used to carry out the mapping of present-day India b) This was a mythical creature c) This was a war fought between tribes in Medieval England d) It was an ancient mythical flood

Question 3: ‘Suryoday’ and ‘Utkarsh’ were recently in the news. What are they?

a) They are Microlenders which started small finance banks (SFBs) b) Schemes launched by the Government to promote cashless economy c) New crop insurance schemes launched by the Government d) Solar energy conservation initiatives launched by the Government

Question 4: Consider the following statements,
  1. INS Vikramaditya, is the largest warship and latest aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy.
  2. The ship was named in honour of Vikramaditya, a legendary emperor of Ujjain, India.

Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect? a) 1 only b) 2 only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 5: Consider the following statements,
  1. Section 8(1) of the RTI Act, allows the government to deny any information that it perceives to be prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of the country, its security, strategic and economic interests or lead to incitement of an offence and would disproportionately divert resources of the public authority.
  2. The RTI Act was revolutionary and designed to be more effective than the Freedom of Information Act enacted by the NDA government in 2002.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? a) 1 only b) 2 only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

“Proper Current Affairs preparation is the key to success in the UPSC- Civil Services Examination. We have now launched a comprehensive ‘Online Current Affairs Crash Course’. Limited seats available. Click here to Know More.”

 

I. Archives:

You can check out some more recent News Analysis sections to build even more context

List of all DNA Articles

Practice More: Enroll for India’s Largest All-India Test Series