Comprehensive News Analysis - 25 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana

2. UN vote censures Israeli settlements

C. GS3 Related:

1. Demonetisation may impact real estate sector in short-term

2. Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon – SAAW

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
I. Archives

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
  1. Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana

Category: Centre programs and policies

Topic: Digital transactions

Key Points:

  • NITI Aayog and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) jointly launched two major schemes – Lucky Grahak Yojana for consumers and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for By providing monetary rewards for undertaking Digital Transactions made with Rupay cards, AEPS, UPI Apps and USSD, these schemes attempt to attract general public and facilitate significant behavioural change among public.

Lucky Grahak Yojana – The first draw of the Lucky Grahak Yojana to provide a cashback of Rs.1000 to 15,000 consumers every day for the next 100 days.

Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana – The draws for these events will be taken out in 100 different cities around the country, in an event at each of these cities, where DigiDhan Mela would also be organised. Presence of various stakeholders of the digital payment ecosystem, like banks, wallets, telecom service providers, other financial service providers, UIDAI at these Digidhan Melas would provide the opportunity to the citizens – both consumers and merchants – to get educated about digital payment options available, the ease of use and also benefit from hand holding provided by the service providers which would encourage wide-scale adoption of digital payments methods.

  • Thus it is expected that large sections of the population would be able to shift from cash based to a digital platform. In the long term such a mass movement is expected to shift large sections of the consumer and producer sections which were hitherto in the informal sector to the formal fold of the economy.

Reasons for the introduction of the 2 schemes:

  • Promoting digital payment options is an integral part of Government’s overall strategy to weed out black money and corruption from public life. NITI Aayog has been tasked to undertake a comprehensive campaign on advocacy, awareness and co-ordinate handholding efforts among general public, micro enterprises and other stakeholders for digital payments.
  • With the goal to ensure that easy and user-friendly methods of digital payments become a mass movement in India, Government also announced a slew of incentives to encourage general public to move from cash to a digital platform.
  • Thus discounts will now be given for payments made on a digital platform at petrol stations, for insurance premium, tolls at national highways and for railway tickets. To reduce transaction costs of digital payments several fees and charges being levied so far by banks and on various government portals have either been reduced or done away with. Scheme has also been launched to improve supply of cards and POS machines in rural areas.
  • Digidhan Melas, where all stakeholders of digital payment ecosystem exhibit and provide actual hand holding to general public in adopting digital payments have also been held to popularise the digital payments amongst the general public.


  1. UN vote censures Israeli settlements

Category: International issues

Topic: Israel-Palestine conflict

Key Points:

  • Israel scrambled to contain the fallout from the UN Security Council vote to halt settlements in Palestinian territory after lashing out at U.S. President Barack Obama over the shameful resolution.
  • The UNSC passed the measure after the United States abstained, enabling the adoption of the first UN resolution since 1979 to condemn Israel over its settlement policy. By deciding not to veto the move, the U.S. took a rare step that deeply angered Israel, which accused Obama of abandoning its closest West Asia ally in the waning days of his administration.

The text was passed with support from all remaining members of the 15-member UN Security Council, with applause. The landmark vote came despite intense lobbying efforts by Israel and calls fromU.S. President-elect Donald Trump to block the text.

  • While the resolution contains no sanctions, Israel is concerned since the UNSC move could widen the possibility of prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC). They are also worried it could encourage some countries to impose sanctions against Israeli settlers and products produced in the settlements.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the resolution and criticised Mr. Obama in especially harsh language.

The U.S. has traditionally served as Israel’s diplomatic shield, protecting it from resolutions it opposes. But the Obama administration has grown increasingly frustrated with settlement-building in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied for nearly 50 years. Settlements are built on land the Palestinians view as part of their future state and seen as illegal under international law.

  • The resolution demands that “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”. It states that Israeli settlements have no legal validity and are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-state solution.


C. GS3 Related
  1. Demonetisation may impact real estate sector in short-term

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Demonetization

Key Points:

  • According to an Edelweiss Securities report, the demonetisation drive is expected to significantly impact the real estate sector in the short-term; in the medium to long term demand will rise.

The report also said the impact would be more pronounced in the unorganised sector and the implementation of the Real Estate Regulatory Act should result in demand shifting to the organised sector. Prices would come down mostly for the luxury sector.

Payment services to be next game changer –

  • The demonetization move of the government has come as a boon for telecom company’s who want more and more customers to get used to digital platforms for availing services and paying for them.

Already, a sizeable numbers of payments for telecom recharges and bills are being paid online and digitally. In the next wave of the digital transition, we will see more and more people getting on the digital bandwagon.

  • Mobile wallet and Payment solutions: The epoch-making revolution unleashed in India by the recent announcement of demonetization and the replacement of high-value notes by the government is being perceived by telecom companies as the next wave of growth. With over 800 million users already being served and over 200 million of them using mobile wallets, the current drive of the government to push the use of digital and cashless payments is turning out to be a very big fillip to new growth.

While this space has seen hyper-competition with over 25 active wallet service providers, the biggest sweet spot for telcos has been cross-selling financial services. The government’s move of demonetisation has pushed the financial services agenda within the telcos’ ambit and top telcos are well-placed to play a significant role in making India a ‘less cash’ society with nearly 100 per cent of adult population in India having a relationship with one of the telcos as a customer.

For telcos, the biggest challenge in recent times has been to control churn and add value to existing relationship with the customer.


  1. Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon – SAAW

Category: S&T

Topic: Defense – DRDO

Key Points:

  • The Defence and Research Development Organization – DRDO successfully flight tested the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon – SAAW, from an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft.

SAAW – It is an indigenously designed and developed 120 kg class smart weapon, developed by DRDO, is capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kms. The light weight high precision guided bomb is one of the world class weapons systems.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here today folks!

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

Nothing here today folks!


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • UNSC
  • Israel-Palestine issue
  • Digital literacy and online payments
  • Mobile wallets
  • NITI Aayog



H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following committees dealt with digital payments?
a) Urjit Patel committee

b) Bimal Jalan committee

c) Ratan Watal committee

d) Nachiket Mor committee

Question 2: Which of the following International Courts/Tribunals work under UN?
a) International Court of Justice – ICJ

b) International Criminal Court

c) Permanent Court of Arbitration

d) Both a and b

Question 3: Which of the following statements are correct regarding the ‘National Payments Corporation of India’?
    (i) It is the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India
    (ii) It is a not-for-profit organisation registered under section 25 of the Companies Act 1956
    (iii) It aims to allow all Indian citizens to have unrestricted access to e-payment services.

a) (i) only

b) (i) and (ii) only

c) (ii) and (iii) only

d) All 3 are correctly matched

Question 4: Which of the following statements are correct regarding the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon – SAAW?
  1. It is capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kms.
  2. It is indigenously developed by DRDO

a) (1) only

b) (2) only

c) Both (1) & (2)

d) Neither (1) nor (2)

Question 5: ‘NITI Aayog’ works on the principle of
a) Cooperative Federalism

b) Administrative decentralization

c) Financial decentralization

d) Top-down approach

Check Your Answers

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