Comprehensive News Analysis - 25 February 2017

The Hindu

Economic Times

PIB

I. Archives

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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

A. GS1 Related
Topic: Medieval India

Key Points:

• Maqbul Khan or, as he was known, Khan-i-Jehan Telangi, was the counsellor and minister of Firuz Shah Tughlaq.
• He was born as Nagayya Ganna Vibhudu, and then he changed his name to Maqbul Khan after changing his religion.
• His tomb was built sometime around 1388 by his son Junan Shah, nine years after Maqbul Khan passed away.
• The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) which has restored the Humayun’s Tomb complex as well as the Jamaat Khana Masjid, one of the oldest in Delhi and built during Alauddin Khilji’s time, has been entrusted the task of conserving the tomb of Maqbul Khan.
• Under Firuz Shah Tughlaq, who ruled from 1351, Maqbul Khan became the vazir or prime minister after a brief stint as finance minister. Titled Khan-e-Jahan (lord of the world) he waived off farmers’ loans by having Firuz Shah publicly destroy records of debts during the earlier regime.
B. GS2 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

Nothing here for today!!! D. GS4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

Hindu

1. Shining bright

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: Energy

Key Points:

• The recent clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for a plan to double the capacity of solar power installed in dedicated solar parks to 40 gigawatts by 2020, with partial government fiscal assistance, is in line with the goal of creating a base of 100 gigawatts by 2022.<

How will this expansion help?

• It is important to note that expansion of solar power capacity is among the more efficient means to meet the commitment to keep carbon emissions in check under the Paris Agreement on climate change, and it can provide the multiplier effect of creating additional employment, with overall economic dividends.
• Globally, jobs in solar energy have witnessed the fastest growth since 2011 among various renewable energy sectors.
• Asia has harnessed the potential the most, providing 60% of all renewable energy employment, while China enjoys the bulk of this with a thriving solar photovoltaic and thermal manufacturing industry, besides installations.

What India must do?

• Apart from measures to scale up generating capacity, India should take a close look at competitive manufacturing of the full chain of photovoltaics and open training facilities to produce the human resources the industry will need in the years ahead. Renewables and new energy storage technologies are on course to overshadow traditional fossil fuel-based sources of power as the costs decline.
• Low-cost financing channels hold the key to quick augmentation of solar generating capacity.

• At the Paris UN Climate Change Conference, developed countries pledged to raise \$100 billion a year by 2020 for mitigation, and more in later years, a promise that needs to be vigorously pursued.
• Besides promoting phase two of the solar parks plan, and powering public facilities such as railway stations and stadia using solar power, the Centre should put in place arrangements that make it easier for every citizen and small business to adopt rooftop solar.
• This is crucial to achieving the overall goal of 100 GW from this plentiful source of energy by 2022, and to raise the share of renewables in the total energy mix to 40 per cent in the next decade.

Economic Times

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: : Power Industry

Key Points:

• State power utilities are reportedly jacking up spot market power tariffs by up to 40 per cent for large industrial consumers seeking “open access” to the grid.

A look at the issue

• A highly distorted tariff structure, with the express purpose of deterring cross-country power exchange via open access, is really no reform.
• The Electricity Act, 2003, was intended to bring in independent oversight put paid to politically mandated tariffs and gross populism in power.
• But it has now been shown that state power regulators may not revise tariffs for years, to remain in the good books of the powers that be. And such a mindset needs prompt overhauling. The idea that power can be supplied gratis or dirt cheap with the right political patronage needs to be junked wholescale.
• Yes, there is certainly a case for limited, budgeted subventions for power. But gross open-ended subsidies just make no sense.
• Such policies can bankrupt entire state treasuries and lead to environmental damage like falling water tables. Pacing reforms in the policy-challenged power sector is vital.

• The way ahead is for politicians to stop patronising power theft and bring down runaway revenue leakage in power distribution pan-India so as to have a proper market for power.
• What’s required is regular disclosure of power utility results prior to implementing routine open access. A proper market can wait, pending basic power tariff reform.

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: : Industry- Communications

Key Points:

• Recent examples of mergers and acquisitions in the telecom sector include:
1. 1) Vodafone in India is merging with Idea Cellular.

1. 2) Bharti is acquiring Telenor’s loss-making operations in India.

1. 3) Reliance Infocomm has merged with Aircel and

4) MTS and is in talks to bring Tata Teleservices into its embrace.

A look at Indian Telecom Expansion

• Indian telecom is consolidating at a rapid pace, thanks to the disruptive entry of Reliance Industries’ Jio, which fancies itself as a digital empire in the making rather than as a telecom company, and is, thus, prepared to offer voice services for free and data services at an ultra-low rate to facilitate all kinds of digital commerce.

Impact on consumer

• The consumer’s benefit is hardly obscure.
• Tariffs have fallen sharply: calls are free and data has become cheap, once you become a subscriber for a nominal fee, which is zero for Jio alone till March.
• But this would prove transient, if the service providers did not reorganise their business to make these low tariffs viable.
• The ongoing consolidation in the sector is part of that organisational restructuring.

Impact on Service Providers

• Larger subscriber bases, especially those in underserved areas, would allow margins to grow thinner, without the company turning sick.
• Shared resources of the merging companies would allow cost saving.
• Larger pools of spectrum will allow operators to finally optimise the network.
• Larger distribution networks will come in handy when telcos fully operationalise their payment banks.
• Consolidation will create a leaner, more efficient industry.

• The Competition Commission of India, rather than the telecom regulator Trai, should oversee competition in the industry.
• There is no contradiction between having a sectoral regulator and entities operating in the sector being regulated for a particular purpose by another regulator.
• For example, just because a company offers telecom services and, thus, comes under the regulatory remit of Trai, it will not cease to be regulated by markets regulator Sebi when it comes to a public issue.

PIB

Category: Disaster Management
Topic: : NDMA

Key Points:

• The two-day national workshop on Preparation of Heat Wave Action Plan in Hyderabad ended on a high note with all stakeholders resolving to work towards mitigating the adverse impact of the imminent heat wave this year.
• The workshop was organised by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Government of Telangana.
• Shri R.K. Jain, Member, NDMA said the focus of all our efforts should be on reducing the number of deaths.
• We should work towards translating available data and research into specific actions to reduce the impact of heat waves, he added.
• Dr. D.N. Sharma, Member, NDMA, underlined the need to fine-tune Heat Action Plans right up to the village level so that traditional knowledge and indigenous practices are integrated in their plans to enhance the efficacy of their mitigation measures.
• Heat waves often lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, stress and even a fatal heat stroke.
• With advance planning and preparedness, heat wave induced deaths and illnesses can be brought down.
• In 2016, with NDMA’s ‘Guidelines for Preparation of Action Plan – Prevention and Management of Heat-Wave’ and the pro-active approach of some of the most vulnerable States, the number of deaths in the country came down significantly.

Category: Science and Technology
Topic: : Developments

Key Points:

• INS Betwa, a P-16A Class frigate has been made upright by the unstinted efforts put in by the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai and the salvage firm M/s Resolve Marine, specially contracted for the operation.
• It may be recalled that, the ship which was undergoing major repairs, had keeled on to her side during her undocking on 05 Dec 2016.
• The salvage operations were progressed on a war footing and the initial stabilisation of the ship was achieved by 29 Dec 2016.
• The complete salvage operation involving complex hydrodynamic calculations and rigging up of intricate measuring and monitoring systems was completed in less than two months.
• As the ship was undergoing major refit and mid-life up-gradation since Apr 2016, majority of the equipment/ machinery had already been removed for routine servicing/ replacement with upgraded equipment.
• Indian Navy is confident that with in-house expertise and sustained efforts, the ship will be made fully operational by her scheduled date of refit completion i.e by Apr 2018.

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: : Government Initiatives

Key Points:

• Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER), jointly with the Department of Business Administration, Tezpur University and North Eastern Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi), is coming up with a Business Idea Challenge to encourage entrepreneurship in the North-East Region (NER).
• The annual industry-academia interface event “Sampark”, which will see the DoNER Ministry’s involvement for the first time, brings the spirit of entrepreneurship in the region.
• The event will take place on March 3, 2017 and will be the 17th edition in the series. To encourage the students towards entrepreneurship, a Pioneering Business Idea Challenge 2017 is being organized as a part of the event.
• The contest is open to any student of North Eastern Region, having a business idea.
• Sampark 2017 will have different sessions to motivate the students to be addressed by established entrepreneurs, prominent start-ups.
• A session on Act East Policy (One of India’s foreign policy effort to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with the nations of Southeast Asia) will also feature in the event.
• There will be an exclusive interaction where the funding agencies represented by respective heads of the NER will clarify various queries of the prospective entrepreneurs and start-ups.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
• Sampark 2017
• Act East Policy
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
 BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGANISATIONS IN NEWS Links to Refer Act East Policy http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=133837
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements:

1] The modern city of Jaunpur was founded by Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

2] The fort known as Shahi Qila was built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1360 AD.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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: Consider the following statements:

1] Abul Fazl wrote the ‘Akbarnama’.

2] The Ain-i-Akbari is the third volume of the Akbarnama containing information regarding Akbar’s reign.

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 3: Consider the following statements:

1] Ghiyas-ud din Tughlaq laid the foundation of the Tughlaq dynasty.

2] Akbar built the Tughlaqabad fort near Delhi.

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 4: Consider the following statements:

1] Maqbul Khan or, as he was known, Khan-i-Jehan Telangi, was the counsellor and minister of Firuz Shah Tughlaq.

2] He was born as Nagayya Ganna Vibhudu, and then he changed his name to Maqbul Khan after changing his religion.

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 5: Which of the following organizations bring out the report
known as ‘World Oil Outlook’?

(a) OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)
(b) The United Nations Development Programme
(c) The World Economic Forum
(d) The World Bank

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