Comprehensive News Analysis – 25 January 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. President for simultaneous Lok Sabha, Assembly polls

2. India a true friend, says Trump On the phone

3. India, UAE sign strategic partnership pact

4. China backs regional trade pacts after U.S. exits TPP

C. GS3 Related:

1. India to fill strategic reserve facility at Mangaluru with oil from UAE

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

The Hindu

1. Donations and disclosures

Business Line

1. A Chinese chakravyuha in South Asia

PIB

1. National Action Plan for Children, 2016 released by WCD Ministry

2. Guidelines Prescribing Modalities for Persons With Disabilities to Show Respect to The National Anthems

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
B. GS2 Related

1. President for simultaneous Lok Sabha, Assembly polls

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Elections

Key Points:

  • President Pranab Mukherjee said on 25th January, 2017 that simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State assemblies could substantially reduce inconvenience in poll management and expenditure.
  • It is important to note that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also been advocating the need for simultaneous elections and had called for a political consensus.
  • Further, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had recently said that holding simultaneous polls would require amendments to the Constitution and additional resources like more electronic voting machines.

 

2. India a true friend, says Trump On the phone

Category: International Relations 

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

Key Points:

  • In a recent development, President Donald Trump told Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a call on Tuesday afternoon that the U.S. considered India “a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world”.
  • According to a statement from the White House, “The two discussed opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and India in broad areas such as the economy and defence,”

 

  1. India, UAE sign strategic partnership pact

Category: International Relations 

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

Key Points:

  • India on 25th January, 2017 sealed 14 agreements, including a comprehensive strategic partnership, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Significantly, soon after his arrival in Delhi on 24th January, 2017, the Crown Prince had described the strategic agreement as a testimony to the age-old ties between the two sides.
  • Further, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the UAE to partner India in stabilising South Asia and fight security challenges.
  • He welcomed greater investment from the country for India’s infrastructure sector. 

 

  1. China backs regional trade pacts after U.S. exits TPP

Category: International Relations 

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

Key Points:

  • On 23rd January, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, withdrawing the U.S. from the 12-nation trade deal.
  • This development is widely seen in China as a Washington-led attempt to contain its rise.
  • China is hoping to galvanise two regional trade proposals — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Free-Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) — following the formal exit of the U.S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
C. GS3 Related

1. India to fill strategic reserve facility at Mangaluru with oil from UAE

Category: Indian Economy    

Topic: International Trade

Key Points:

  • Recently, India signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates that allows the Gulf nation to fill half of an underground crude oil storage facility at Mangaluru that is part of New Delhi’s strategic reserve system.
  • Government of India also announced a series of pacts with the UAE ranging from defence, trade, maritime cooperation to energy after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
  • According to official sources, UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) will store about six million barrels of oil at Mangaluru, taking up about half of the site’s capacity.
  • It is important to note that as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India needs massive investments in some key sectors, particularly infrastructure.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Donations and disclosures

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Elections

Key Points:

  • It is important to note that the known donors and sources of contributions to national and regional parties account for less than a third of their total income.
  • According to a study, 69% of funds and contributions received by political parties from 2004-05 to 2014-05 came from unknown sources.
  • Further, going by income tax returns and statements submitted to the Election Commission, six national and 51 recognised regional parties together had an income of ₹11,367.34 crore during this period, but only ₹1,835.63 crore came from named donors, while other declared sources such as sale of assets, bank interest, membership fee and sale of publications accounted for ₹1,698.73 crore.
  • This means a total income of ₹7,832.98 crore came from unknown sources. 

Concluding Remarks

  • Political parties in the legislature make far-reaching decisions, and their donors could have a bearing on policy.
  • In 2013, the Central Information Commission ruled that political parties were covered under the Right to Information Act.
  • Further, it was pointed out that they got tax exemptions, land allotments and free airtime on state-owned media, in effect benefiting significantly from the exchequer. 
  • The order, however, is yet to be accepted by parties. Bringing them under the ambit of the RTI Act is definitely a step in the right direction.
  • Finally, transparency in funding is essential to ensuring clean, democratic governance.

 

Business Line

  1. A Chinese chakravyuha in South Asia

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

Background of events:

  • Confident of victory in Sri Lanka’s prolonged ethnic conflict, former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided to develop the port of Hambantota and its neighbourhood, along Sri Lanka’s south-western coast.
  • Taking note of Rajapaksa’s aversion to India and the western world, China obliged by offering to undertake a number of projects in and around Hambantota.
  • China’s Exim Bank, which extended credit of over $1.2 billion for the construction of the port, and $1.35 billion for a power plant.
  • From a strategic point of view, given its location, Colombo is the natural port for transit of goods to and from India.
  • But, apart from a few vehicles that India, Japan and South Korea export to Sri Lanka, Hambantota receives virtually nothing else from international trade.
  • Despite widespread local protests, China has now virtually taken over the Hambantota port, its surrounding areas.

Indian Context:

  • It is important to note that what happens in and around Hambantota is of crucial strategic and economic interest to India.
  • We need to make it clear that the use of Hambantota to berth Chinese warships and submarines, and control of the port and surrounding areas in Chinese hands, are unacceptable to India.
  • Gwadar and Hambantota will become staging areas for the Chinese navy to operate across the sea-lanes of the western Indian Ocean, giving the Chinese the ability to interdict vital oil supplies.
  • Further, while Hambantota could become a crucial part of China’s Maritime Silk Route, Gwadar is fast becoming the nerve centre for a China-Pakistan nexus, to exercise maritime control over the sea-lanes used for oil/gas supplies from Iran and the Arab Gulf states.
  • Unlike, in the case of Hambantota, the the Gwadar port project is being financed in a number of areas by zero per cent Chinese loans.
  • The last year saw the first-ever visit by a Chinese nuclear submarine to Karachi. And recently, Pakistan claims to have successfully tested its first submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of 450 km.

PIB

1. National Action Plan for Children, 2016 released by WCD Ministry

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • National Action Plan for Children, 2016 (NPAC) was launched at a special function held to celebrate the National Girl Child Day in New Delhi.
  • The Action Plan has four key priority areas; survival, health and nutrition; education and development; protection and participation.
  • The NPAC  defines objectives, sub-objectives, strategies , action points and indicators for measuring progress under the four key priority areas and also identifies key stakeholders for the implementation of different strategies.
  • The plan also puts focus on new and emerging concerns for children such as online child abuse, children affected by  natural and man-made disasters and climate change, etc.
  • The strategies and action points largely draw upon the existing programmes and schemes of various Ministries/Departments. However, for new and emerging issues related to children; it also suggests formulation of new programmes and strategies, as required.
  • The plan takes into account the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provides a roadmap towards achieving them though co-ordination and convergence with different stakeholders.
  • The National Policy for Children (2013) provides for formation of a National Co-ordination and Action Group(NCAG) under the Ministry of Women and Child Development to coordinate and implement the plan and monitor the progress with other Ministries concerned as its members.  
  1. Guidelines Prescribing Modalities for Persons With Disabilities to Show Respect to The National Anthem

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • Persons with locomotor disabilities with lower limbs affected and wheel chair user who are not capable of standing shall may position himself/herself to the extent of maximum attentiveness and alertness with or without the help of appropriate aids and appliances. If the person with disability is on crutch, he/she should become stable (non-mobile) to the extent of maximum alertness.
  • Persons with hearing disabilities (deaf or hard of hearing) shall stand with attentiveness. However there must be appropriate indication on the screen that the National Anthem is being played or sung as the person with hearing disability is likely to miss the auditory cues. Suitable instructions can be given in the form of captioning as well as in sign language on the screen so that the persons with hearing impairment are well informed that the National Anthem is being played.
  • Persons with blindness and low vision shall stand up in respect of National Anthem.
  • The public is required to be sensitised so as to avoid any unwarranted incident against persons with intellectual disabilities and they are not being harassed. The escorts of the persons with disabilities should stand-up when National Anthem in played.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • National Action Plan for Children, 2016 (NPAC)
  • The National Policy for Children (2013)
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

The National Policy for Children

H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. The National Action Plan for Children, 2016 (NPAC) has four key priority areas; survival, health and nutrition; education and development; protection and participation.
  2. The plan also puts focus on new and emerging concerns for children such as online child abuse, children affected by natural and man-made disasters and climate change, etc.

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: ‘Hambantota’, a place which frequently appears in the news is located in which of the following countries?

a) Myanmar b) Bhutan c) Nepal d) Sri Lanka

Question 3: Which one of the following is associated with the issue of control and phasing out of the use of ozone-depleting substances?

a) Bretton Woods Conference b) Montreal Protocol c) Kyoto Protocol d) Nagoya Protocol

Question 4: With which of the regions is ‘Gulf of Hormuz’ located?

a) Middle East b) Central Asia c) South- East Asia d) Antarctica

Question 5: Consider the following statements,
  1. On 29 August 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a Draft Constitution for India.
  2. The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November, 1949 and the hon’ble members appended their signatures to it on 24 January, 1950.

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

Check Your Answers

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