Comprehensive News Analysis – 25 June 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Narendra Modi, Putin vow to take forward India-Russia ties

2. Seoul outcome will cool ties with China: Experts

C.GS3 Related:

1. Brexit

2. Black money window: I-T dept. publishes list of asset valuers

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

The Hindu

1. Stepping into the unknown

2. Remains of the day

3. Capital project: The making of Amaravati

4 Nailing the neighbourly dividend

The Indian Express

1. Caste in question

Others

1. PIB

a) We need to identify the gaps in official data and analysis and determine ways on how best we can bridge them:

b) Shri Ananth Kumar calls for doubling the output of Chemicals and Petrochemicals industry in next five years

c) CAG of India Formulates Big Data Management Policy to Meet Future Challenges

d) Ministry of HUPA comes out with Draft Real Estate Rules; seeks suggestions from public in 2 weeks

e) Ministry of HUPA to promote regional planning to meet urban housing demand

f) Six States/UTs signed 24×7 “Power For All” documents during two days states Power Ministers’ Conference in Goa

g) MoU signed between RD Ministry & ISRO for geo-tagging assets

2. The Financial Express:

3. The Business Line:

a) After Brexit

4. The Economic Times:

a) Government package for high-potential textile sector a welcome move

5. Quick Bitsand News from States

a). Caste-based Census data should be made public: Nitish Kumar

b) Centre returns 14 Bills passed by Delhi Assembly

c) Home Minister reviews projects in Naxal-hit areas

d) Govt. not sure of time frame for final Naga accord

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

 

B. GS2 Related

 

  1. Narendra Modi, Putin vow to take forward India-Russia ties

Topic: India and Russia

Category: International Relations

Key points:

  • The Indian Prime Minister and the Russian President, during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Tashkent, discussed a range of bilateral and multilateral issues of mutual concern
  • The two leaders discussed cooperation in civil nuclear energy and partnership in the gas and petrochemicals sector. They also discussed furthering cooperation in the space sector. Matters relating to trade and investment also came up
  • President Putin said India is a special and privileged partner. There is long standing friendship between Russia and India. He welcomed India signing the Memorandum of Obligations of SCO and looked forward to India’s Chairmanship of BRICS, which has grown in influence
  • India will have to sign around 30 other documents in the course of the year to complete the process for membership of the SCO

 

3. Seoul outcome will cool ties with China: Experts

Topic: India, China and Pakistan

Category: International Relations

Keypoints:

  • As the Nuclear Suppliers Group plenary in Seoul concluded without progress on India’s bid for membership, diplomats and experts warned of increased India-China tension and tactical instability in South Asia
  • At the centre of the growing tension, they said, is China’s evident plan to keep India hyphenated to Pakistan
  • “China’s diplomacy at NSG indicates its reliance on Pakistan to deal with issues at home like the rise of extremism and anti-Beijing resistance in Xinxiang provincewhere Pakistan has proved to be helpfulin containing opposition to Beijing. Pakistan also helps China by preventing the Organisation of Islamic Countries from criticising China on its policies in Xinxiang. China wants to keep South Asia hyphenated and that will lead to more tense ties with India,” said a former Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs

 

C. GS3 Related

 

  1. Brexit

Topic: Brexit

Category: Economy

Key points from Related News:

 

i) Shocked EU tells Britain to leave as soon as possible

  • The EU urged Britain to leave as “soon as possible” amid fears the devastating blow to European unity could spark a chain reaction of further referendums
  • The German Chancellor and the French President led calls for the European Union to reform in order to survive a traumatic divorce with Britain
  • The European Parliament will meanwhile pass a motion at an emergency meeting on Tuesday urging the British Prime Minister to trigger the exit process by invoking what is known as Article 50

 

ii. Can Britain opt for the Norway model?

  • Under the Lisbon treaty, a member state wishing to leave the EU should first notify the European Council its decision, triggering Article 50. This would set in motion a process by which the member and the EU leadership will negotiate the terms of the departure and reach and agreement in two years. This means even if the British government invokes the Article 50 now, the earliest exit of Britain will take place after two years
  • Constitutionally, the decision to invoke the article is the Prime Minister’s alone. Prime Minister David Cameron had said during the campaign itself that he would do that if the British people decided to leave. Mr. Cameron is likely to step down in October when the Conservative Party chooses a new leader. So it is up to the new Prime Minister to decide whether Article 50 should be triggered
  • Cameron is likely to step down in October when the Conservative Party chooses a new leader. So it is up to the new Prime Minister to decide whether Article 50 should be triggered
  • Even if the new British Prime Minister triggers the Article 50, Britain need not necessarily leave the EU after two years. If there’s no agreement by the end of the two-year period, the EU could unanimously extend the talks
  • Some economists have already suggested that one of the options Britain could follow in the wake of a Brexit vote is the Norway model.
  • Norway, along with Liechtenstein and Iceland are members of the European Economic Area (EEA). They have access to the single market while staying out of the EU. They also make contributions to the EU budget. There is separate secretariat in Brussels to manage the relationship between the EU and EEA countries.
  • If Britain chooses to leave the EU but join the EEA, it will be a half-in-and-half-out arrangement, and the long-term impact on either side will be minimal. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble had said during the campaign that Britain won’t get access to the single market if it decides to leave. However, once actual talks begin, grounds for compromise could emerge
  • Only if both sides fail to reach an agreement and extend the talks at the end of the second year, the real Brexit will happen. The U.K. will then move towards the WTO rules under which it will have to pay tariffs for the goods it sells to the EU countries

 

iii. Weaker pound to benefit Indian tourists, students

  • The British pound collapsed to a 31-year low against the dollar, crashing about 10 per cent during the day on Friday against the rupee. The British currency ended the day about Rs. 7 lower at Rs. 93.5 per pound
  • Even as its exit from the European Union has gotten most sectors worried, the United Kingdom has become a more attractive destination for Indian travellers and students, thanks to a weaker pound

 

iv)  Rajan gets into a huddle in Basel

  • RBI Governor RaghuramRajan and heads of central banks from across the world got into a huddle on Friday in this Swiss town as Britain’s vote to exit European Union gave an early morning shock to the financial markets globally
  • Rajan, who has been pitching for greater coordination among central banks to deal with such situations, was expected to reiterate this point amid fears that Europe may slip into recession and many more countries may call for similar referendums
  • Heads of central banks get into a huddle every second month here at the headquarters of the Bank for International Settlement

 

v. Free trade talks with EU to be ‘modified’

  • The Centre does not see any immediate impact of Brexit on ties with the U.K. and the EU as trade and investment with the two are currently happening not on the basis of an FTA but on a bilateral basis said the Commerce Secretary
  • There could, however, be “some modifications and moderations” because negotiations on the FTA had begun way back in 2007.Britain’s exit from the EU will affect India’s interests on those tariff lines where concessions were being considered on account of Britain. India will undertake a study of those Britain-related tariff lines that are part of India-EU FTA talks
  • The commerce Minister said that there will be some impact on trade in the short-term due to the currency volatility, adding that the government was closely monitoring the situation to assess the short, medium and long-term impact on India’s trade and investment with the U.K. and the EU
  • The President of Federation of India Export Organisations (FIEO) said much will depend on what kind of negotiation Britain works out with EU within the two years window available to replace the terms of EU membership
  • Similarly, any restriction on movement of persons from EU to Britain will open opportunity for Indian service providers in wide range of services, he said
  • He said in the immediate future, currency volatility may put pressure on India’s exports as both British Pound and Euro will depreciate giving greater competitiveness to their products particularly in third world countries

 

vi. U.K. vote to exit EU will have near-term ramifications for the Indian economy

  • Indian economy could suffer significant knock on effect in the short term with the United Kingdom voting for exiting the European Union (EU), according to market analysts and rating agencies
  • There are predictions that Brexit will mean India’s GDP will now grow at 7.3 per cent this year, down from the 7.6 per cent predicted earlier
  • If at the end of that process, the U.K. exits the single market, EU countries will start imposing tariffs on British products, making it far less attractive for Indian businesses – like Tata Motors – to have a manufacturing base in the U.K

 

vii. India Inc. girds for uncertainty

  • Britain’s decision to exit from the European Union may hit the profitability of Indian firms
  • Among original equipment manufacturers, the key impact of Brexit will be felt on Tata Motors. Negatives include possibility of higher import duties on sales of U.K.-produced vehicles to the EU as well as higher duties on components that JLR imports into the U.K. from the EU. However, this could be partially or wholly offset by JLR’s production ramp up in the EU itself (Slovakia) as well as a pricing advantage in its home market due to tariffs on EU rivals
  • India will stand to benefit as bilateral trade between the two economies would increase, especially in areas of financial services, defence and SME sector
  • The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman said: “Britain is our largest market in the EU accounting for about 30 per cent of our exports to EU. Its exit would significantly dilute the relevance of EU FTA for us. Also, the expected volatility in the markets and currencies will be coming at a time when the industry is trying to revive from a five month decline since January this year”
  • IT industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), said Brexit would usher in a phase of uncertainty in the near-term. Nasscom sees a likely decline in the value of the pound could render many existing contracts losing propositions unless they are renegotiated
  • Engineering exporters, who are already reeling under a sharp drop in exports, are not worried about the Brexit impact.Given that the Indian share in both U.K. as also EU engineering imports is relatively low, it is unlikely that in the medium to long term there will be an impact

 

viii. World stocks routed on Brexit 

  • World stocks saw more than $2 trillion wiped off their value as Britain’s vote to leave the European Union triggered 5-10 per cent falls across Europe’s biggest bourses and a record plunge for sterling
  • Such a body blow to global confidence could prevent the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates as planned this year, and might even provoke a new round of emergency policy easing from all the major central banks
  • Risk assets were scorched as investors fled to the traditional safe-harbors of top-rated government debt, Japanese yen and gold
  • The Bank of England, European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China all said they were ready to provide liquidity if needed to ensure global market stability

 

ix. Central banks move to calm jitters, steady currency markets

  • Some of the world’s biggest central banks offered financial backstops to soothe plunging markets on Friday after Britain voted to leave the EU, and some intervened in currency markets as they worried that the volatility could hit growth
  • With memories of the 2007-09 financial crisis still fresh, central banks are concerned that market liquidity could quickly dry up, depriving the real economy of access to cash and financial instruments

 

2. Black money window: I-T dept. publishes list of asset valuers

Topic: Taxation

Category: Economy

Key points

  • The Income Tax department on Friday published a country-wide list of registered asset valuers for those who wish to declare their untaxed funds and properties under the one-time domestic black money compliance window that opened this month
  • The list is exhaustive and these valuers are present in various parts of the country. The valuation certificate provided by them will be valid for declaration of untaxed assets under the (Income Declaration Scheme) IDS
  • Valuers are registered with the I-T department under the Wealth Tax Rules
  • The IDS opened this month and will be on to take declarations till September 30.

 

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

 

The Hindu

 

  1. Stepping into the unknown

Topic: Brexit

Category: Economy

Key

  • In the coming days, London will have to manage the panic in the financial markets, the anxiety in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the question of the international ramifications of the British isles moving away from the continent
  • Three years ago when Prime Minister David Cameron promised a referendum on the U.K.’s membership in the EU, it was seen as a quick-fix to deal with the far-right bloc in his Conservative Party. Right to the end, few expected that Britons would actually decide to leave the EU. That the vote has come as a surprise shows the distance between London and the rest, as well as the geographical divide in the U.K
  • The chaos emanating from the vote also holds a lesson for democracies elsewhere. It underlines both the recklessness of populist politics — and a referendum is nothing more than an evasive measure in a Westminster-style democracy — as well as the groundswell of support anti-establishment campaigns can today call upon
  • Why did Britons choose the unknown future despite stark warnings from their own government, world leaders and economists that a Brexit would be extremely risky?
  • Euroscepticism has been a strong sentiment among Britons. But over the past few years, nationalist sentiment has grown stronger in the U.K. A number of factors may have contributed to this shift
  • One is the public anger in Britain towards the status quo. Ordinary Britons, hit hard by the economic crisis, feel betrayed by their political leadership. The Conservative government’s austerity policies have further alienated these sections
  • The main opposition Labour Party, organisationally divided and ideologically distraught, has been too weak to tap this resentment. It’s the far-right, ultra-nationalist sections that stepped into this space and gave free play to fear-mongering on immigration
  • The exact implications of the Brexit vote are hard to predict. But the resignation of Prime Minister Cameron, the jubilation of the anti-immigrant ultra-nationalists and the tumbling of the pound to a 30-year low offer a taste of what’s to come
  • The vote puts in doubt the unity of the country as Scotland has overwhelmingly voted Remain. Brexit also poses a challenge to the European project itself. June 23 is a day Britain, Europe and the international community may well struggle to understand for some time to come

 

2. Remains of the day 

Topic:Brexit

Category: International Issues

Key points:

  • Much of the responsibility for Brexit surely has to sit on the shoulders of Prime Minister David Cameron, and the decision to hold the referendum in the first place
  • The very real risk of a Brexit vote should have been clear right from the start, notwithstanding Mr. Cameron’s attempts to wing a “better deal” for Britain in negotiations with the EU. Britain’s relationship with the EU has always been a fraught one from the Thatcher days, fuelled by a hostile media, and an inflated sense of its own importance in the global context
  • There is a genuine and deep-seated belief shared by many in Britain that the island nation, is somehow above the European ‘super-state’, with its bulging bureaucracy, regulations, and enormous budget, and that somehow it will be able to wend its way in the global economy. There was little chance of nuanced, informed debate
  • In seeking an explanation for what went wrong, the larger global trend of increasing discontent with traditional politics and politicians cannot be ignored
  • The success of Donald Trump in the United States and the near-victory of a neo-Nazi presidential candidate in Austria have heralded the increasing separation between the public and mainstream politics in the West. What has happened in Britain must be seen as part of this trend. Anger with the austerity of the Tories, which has accelerated markedly since the general election last year without the moderating impact of the Liberal Democrats, and the failure of a split Labour party fully to make the case to remain in the EU enabled the Leave campaign to take hold particularly in deprived, working-class areas such as the north-east of the country where it had one of its best performances
  • The Remain campaign’s decision to focus on the dangers of leaving, rather than make a positive case for membership and present a grand vision of what a reformed Europe with Britain in it could be, also proved to be a grave political miscalculation. The campaign somehow never managed to shake off the “Project Fear” label it earned in the early days of the campaign, as it brought forth countless economic, industry, and security experts to warn of the dangers of a Brexit. Far from convincing people, this strategy only seemed to alienate many of them further
  • It was as though the mainstream economic perspective had no legs to stand on and therefore patronised ordinary people with a simplistic account of the consequences of a Brexit
  • But the most depressing aspect of all of this cannot be disregarded: the immigration card. There were hopes that the vicious murder of the Member of Parliament, Jo Cox, by a man with links to the far-Right in the U.S., would jolt voters into the realisation that the Brexit campaign had gone too far with its focus on limiting immigration from the EU and the entry of refugees
  • While one can start to put together answers retrospectively, the journey forward for the U.K. is a different matter, as its citizens struggle to make sense of their identity, political and social, and how they can chart a course forward
  • The messy result has left not only two fractured political parties but also a deeply fissured country, as many Remain voters struggled to understand how those with the same nationality could have come to such a radically different conclusion from them
  • The country’s challenges, aside from the messy economic questions, do not of course stop there. The very future of the union could be at stake, with the possibilities of independence referendums in Northern Ireland and Scotland rearing their heads
  • There is a need for “strong, determined, and committed” leadership to lead negotiations with the EU, negotiations that will be fraught with tensions and challenges as other member states grapple with their own domestic consequences from Britain’s move
  • Where will Britain go from here? It has been attempted to portray this as a “glorious opportunity” for a forward-looking country seeking to forge stronger links with nations well beyond Europe’s borders. But after the vicious campaign of the past few months, the victors will struggle to shed the view that many across the world have built of them — that of a nation that had so much but chose to abandon it in favour of a xenophobic, small-island mentality

 

3. Capital project: The making of Amaravati

Topic: Building a capital for Andhra

Category: Governance

Key Points:

  • Woven around the theme of blue of the Krishna river and green of the pastoral landscape, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh is planned to spread over a 217.23-sq.-km area in Guntur district while the metropolitan capital region spans 7,420 sq. km encompassing large parts of Guntur and Krishna districts
  • The State government has pooled 33,000 acres of land from farmers of 29 villages. “We made them partners in the capital project under the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) by returning developed plots of 1,000 sq. yards for residential use and 250 sq. yards and 400 sq. yards for commercial use for farmers of dry and wet lands respectively [for every acre taken away],” says the Chief Minister . The government even threw in an annuity of Rs.40,000 for 10 years for the early birds
  • Naidu’s team scoured Singapore, Japan and China for inspiration and gave the core capital master plan work to a Singapore firm SurbanaJurong Private Limited, and the design to Japanese company Maki and Associates’ for the 16.9-sq.-km core capital
  • Amaravati is being envisaged as “a smart, green, sustainable city”, with zones consisting of a central business district, residential areas, green zones and waterbodies
  • Environmentalists have called Amaravati a disaster in the making, since it is being built on a highly flood-prone and seismic zone. What’s more, the State government has been lobbying with the Centre for de-notification of 19,000 acres of forest area for inclusion in the capital region. But experts say natural disasters can be tackled with proper hydrological engineering plans

 Building a capital for Andhra

 

4. Nailing the neighbourly dividend

Topic: Bangladesh

Category: India’s Neighbourhood

Key Points:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka last year raised hopes for the settlement of old issues between India and Bangladesh. India-Bangladesh relations have become warm through closer economic and strategic ties — 22 agreements were signed, including the historic ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement. One year since, it is time to reflect on the progress
  • One of the worst periods in India-Bangladesh relations was botween 2001 and 2006. Only minor protocols or agreements were signed during that time and there was a surge in insurgency activities in the Northeast with the United Liberation Front of Asom and the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland, among other outfits, crossing the border for training. From 2009 onwards, as cross-border issues were addressed, bilateral relationship improved and progress was made in some key areas
  • Bangladesh imported products worth $5.82 billion from India in the last fiscal year. India also exports goods estimated more than $5 billion through informal channels, making the volume of official and non-official trade approximately the same. Informal trade is mostly due to corruption and inadequate border infrastructure. Bangladesh’s exports to India were only at $527 million with almost 20 per cent being ready-made garments. Other items include jute products, agro processed and non-processed foods, and light engineering products
  • Despite duty-free access, Bangladeshi exporters face high non-tariff barriers in the form of bureaucratic and customs bottlenecks, delays due to manual clearance, visa problems, lack of banking services and warehouse facilities at the border. The cost of cross-border trade is quite high. ‘Border Haats’, or markets across the India-Bangladesh border, were a successful solution to increase legal business on the borders. Recently, Bangladesh and India have agreed to set up six more haats along their borders
  • One bone of contention has been cattle trade. In India, the number of cows is three times more than what is needed to produce the volume of milk consumed nationally, and eating beef is a religious stigma in many places. These surplus cows are mostly donated to temples where they are tied to fences, die from dehydration and the remains sold to leather merchants. Exporting such cows to Bangladesh, which tantamount to making gains from sunk capital, is still prohibited, leading to cattle smuggling
  • Border killing of Bangladeshis by the Indian Border Security Force is a continued concern. From 2010-2015, at least 236 Bangladeshis have been killed by BSF personnel. Compared to that, killings along the U.S.-Mexico border by U.S. Border Patrol since 2010 been only 48 whereas drugs worth billions are smuggled across the border. Cattle, even if smuggled, can’t be worse than drugs, and shooting the offenders is not the right solution when there are options for imprisonment, fines, and confiscation. Similarly, the latest decision by the Indian Home Minister to completely seal off border with Assam by June 2017 is inconsistent with healthy neighbourly relations
  • Government-to-government power trade is 1,300 MW from India to Bangladesh. India’s state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is building the Rampal coal-fired power plant in Bangladesh despite environmental concerns that the Sundarbans is situated only 14 km away from the proposed site
  • In the private sector, Reliance Power has won approval to set up a 750 MW LNG-based power plant and an LNG terminal in Bangladesh, paving the way for $1.3 billion investment, and Adani Group is set to sell 3,000 MW power to Bangladesh. On connectivity, the focus has been on road, rail, rivers, sea, transmission lines, petroleum pipelines, and digital links that would give Delhi access to the Northeast and to Southeast Asia through Bangladesh
  • Bangladesh-India coastal shipping began in March this year, and trains are set to run from Kolkata to Agartala, a project to be completed by 2017. Trucks carrying Indian goods reached Tripura from Ashuganj port on June 19, making the long-cherished idea of transhipment into reality
  • The Teesta water-sharing agreement had been stalled due to the West Bengal elections. It is now time to deliver on the promise
  • India had also undertaken the Tipaimukh project on the Barak river without officially informing Bangladesh. If built, the dam will adversely affect nearly 40,000 people in Bangladesh. With resistance from Bangladesh and Manipur, the project has been temporarily deferred
  • While progress has been made, greater issues are still at bay. The time is ripe to build on the successes and resolve the remaining issues. As the pragmatic new-generation Bangladeshis have shed the anti-India mindset of the 1970s, the challenge for India is to keep up the momentum and not to be perceived as being tied to any particular party or ideology but only to the people of Bangladesh

 

The Indian Express
  1. Caste in question

Topic: Caste and politics

Category: Society

Key Points:

  • The habit of reading UP politics through caste derives from the politics of the early 1990s, when regional parties and the BJP rose through caste-based and religious mobilisations. These parties built for themselves core support bases by mixing identity politics and caste-base favouritism or patronage. These strategies often led them to antagonise entire segments of the electorate for the sake of gaining the support of some. The alignments were clear: Dalits with the BSP, upper castes with the BJP, Yadavs and Muslims with the SP and no one in particular with Congress, which was already on the decline. This narrow version of identity politics led to the fragmentation of the political space and made it virtually impossible for any party to rule the state alone
  • In today’s context, these simplistic caste-party alignments are either gone or are utterly insufficient to explain parties’ performances. There are at least five reasons why we should look beyond caste when we read electoral politics.
  • First, caste politics is a game of few and not of many. Most castes are too small or too geographically dispersed to constitute a core support base to any party or candidate, even locally. Nearly 40 per cent of UP’s castes have never sent a single representative to the assembly. These are essentially non-Jatav SC castes or castes that belong to the Most Backward Class category. They constitute a floating electorate that is generally insensitive to caste appeals
  • Second, only a few groups vote cohesively for specific parties. These are the groups — Jatavs and Yadavs, essentially — that have both numerical strength and a party of their own. Other groups, including the upper castes, have been splitting their votes between parties and local candidates, election after election
  • Third, nurturing a core support base on the basis of caste may be necessary to win elections but surely cannot be enough. According to the 1931 census, the largest single caste — Jatavs — represents 13 per cent of the population. The two other large groups — Brahmins and Yadavs — represent respectively 9.2 and 8.7 per cent of the population. Factor in the fact that not all of them vote and that not all of them vote for the same party, and it becomes clear that campaigning by wooing specific castes to the exclusion of others does not help in winning elections. In fact, in recent times, majorities have been built precisely on the capacity of parties to mobilise voters beyond their core support base, that is to say, across castes
  • In the current assembly, the four main broad social groups — upper castes, OBCs, SCs and Muslims — represent each nearly one-fourth of the SP’s MLAs. The BSP’s success over time was built on its ability to consolidate the Jatav vote and induct other castes within its ranks, including the OBCs, who have always had the largest share of representation within the party
  • Fourth, we have seen recently a growing differentiation of caste voting along class lines, the richer segments of most castes, barring the Dalits, voting more for the BJP. Among the Yadavs — who remain a core support base for the SP — the richer segments tend to vote more for the BJP
  • And fifth, we have seen in the 2014 general election and in more recent times how social and religious polarisation can still be used to fragment the political space, to help build majorities of seats out of minorities of votes
  • This is not to say that caste arithmetic no longer matters or operates but that it is insufficient to win an election. Caste still determines the distribution of tickets, which in turn shapes the representation caste groups have in the assembly. Ticket distribution is not done following pan-state caste combinations strategies but according to local, constituency-level, circumstances
  • The inclusive character that the main parties have acquired in UP derives largely from the localisation of caste politics, which leads them to distribute tickets across the caste spectrum and therefore offer representation to nearly all. The successful parties are those who can, in addition, attract floating voters, by other means than identity politics
  • We have seen in recent elections, in Bihar, West Bengal or Tamil Nadu, that the parties in power who offer tangible benefits to voters across caste divisions — to women in particular — get rewarded
  • This trend supersedes an older trend of incumbency disadvantage. More and more state governments are returned to power precisely because of their ability to effectively distribute public goods while transcending caste divisions. So the question that will animate most voters in the next assembly elections in UP is likely to be: Which party is in a better position to do so?

 

Others:

 

  1. PIB

 

a) We need to identify the gaps in official data and analysis and determine ways on how best we can bridge them: Vice President Inaugurates International Seminar on ‘Social Statistics’ The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that we need to identify the gaps in official data and analysis and determine ways on how best we can bridge them.

The Vice President said that statistics has always been intimately linked to the social dimensions of the State. The relevance and effectiveness of policy judgments depended on the quality of data and the efficacy of analysis and interpretation and it was important therefore that public institutions had access to the best social statistics and statistical analysis, he added.

 

b) Shri Ananth Kumar calls for doubling the output of Chemicals and Petrochemicals industry in next five yearsThe Chemicals & Petrochemicals industry in the country is growing at the rate of 11 – 12 % and producing output worth $200 billion annually. The minister called upon the industry to target a growth rate of 14.7% per annum so as to double its output in next 5 years.He said that there are 22 refineries in the country, and there is a move to set up chemical hubs around them. This will result in savings as cluster approach can reduce costs. The projects need not be confined only to the Greenfield projects but also cover the Brownfield projects i.e. the projects already running at various places.

He said that the Government has opted for Coal Gasification route for Talcher Fertilizer plant and is also laying gas pipelines to make available gas in the Eastern part of the country. On the issue of reverse SEZs, he said that the discussions are on with Iran and Mozambique, and other places can also be explored.The sector contributes 3.8% to Indian GDP and 9.4% to exports, the per capita consumption of the products is low and hence, there is immense potential to grow.It was also informed that the National Chemical Policy covering all aspects of the industry is on the anvil which will help in scaling up investments and realize Economies of Scale.

 

c) CAG of India Formulates Big Data Management Policy to Meet Future Challenges The auditing Institution in India has taken several initiatives towards use of latest data analytical tools for audit planning & analysis and is also fine tuning its methodology for audit of environmental issues for better impact.  This was disclosed by Comptroller and Auditor General of India Shri Shashi Kant Sharma in Beijing today. He was delivering a key note address at the 1st Meeting of the Supreme Audit Institutions of BRICS countries in Beijing.

 

d) Ministry of HUPA comes out with Draft Real Estate Rules; seeks suggestions from public in 2 weeks Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has formulated Draft Real Estate Rules within two months of some sections of the Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Act,2016 coming into force on first of May this year. The Rules provide for payments to be made for registration of projects and real estate agents with the Regulatory Authority, documents and information to be furnished by developers, procedures to be followed for registration, extension and  renewal of registration, procedures for filing and hearing of complaints and appeals, appointment and service conditions of the Chairpersons and Members of Real Estate Regulatory Authorities and Appellate Tribunals and their powers etc.

 

e) Ministry of HUPA to promote regional planning to meet urban housing demand Minister of State for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Urban Development has said that the Government will promote regional planning by moving beyond city-centric planning for construction of houses in satellite townships, peri-urban and peripheral areas to meet the housing demand in urban areas.  The Ministry is close to finalizing a pro-acive, practical and pragmatic Rental Housing Policy keeping in view that 27% of the housing demand is for such rental housing. To move beyond city-centric planning for housing, construction of houses under Pradhan MantriAwasYojana (Urban) is being allowed in planning areas which go beyond city limits

 

f) Six States/UTs signed 24×7 “Power For All” documents during two days states Power Ministers’ Conference in Goa As on date, in partnership with all the States/UTs, 24×7 PFA documents have been finalized except Uttar Pradesh, out of which 28 States have already signed the Documents.

The plans aims to provide each household access to electricity, 24×7 reliable Power supply and adequate supply to Agricultural consumers as per state policy by 2019.

The plans for each State/UT envisions reduction of AT& C losses by increasing the collection efficiency and effective metering so as to achievefinancially viable 24×7 Power Supply.

It also emphasise on the development of transmission and sub transmission network which plays vital role in providing round the clock power supply.

Further, these documents chalks out a plan for increasing generation through renewables and energy efficiency measures which suggests replacement of Incandescent lamps/CFL bulbs with LED bulbs under UJALA programme

 

g) MoU signed between RD Ministry & ISRO for geo-tagging assets A Memorandum of Understanding was signed here between the Rural Development Ministry and ISRO, Department of Space for geo-tagging the assets created under MGNREGA in each gram panchayat. The move comes after the Prime Minister during a review meeting recently had underlined for online recording and monitoring of assets to check leakages and for effective mapping of terrain for future developmental works. Around 30 lakh assets are created annually across the country under the rural job scheme and the Ministry has decided that through convergence with other schemes, the geo-tagging of such assets will be done on a mission mode

 

2. The Financial Express:

 

3. The Business Line:

 

a) After Brexit

Topic: Brexit

Category: Economy

Key points:

  • Britain’s vote to ‘leave’ the EU — which implies opting out of common market and being entirely independent in framing its immigration laws and fiscal policy — is nothing short of a huge political and economic earthquake
  • Though it will take at least two years for an ‘independent UK’ to take effect, Britain’s exit — it’s the world’s fifth largest economy — could once again rock the stability of the EU, perhaps more so than when the debt-ridden PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) turned against the Brussels bureaucracy after being driven to imposing harsh austerity measures. These weaker economies could not ‘leave’ precisely because of their financial precariousness, but Britain’s walk-out could rekindle anti-EU fires
  • If Britain is in for a period of political, economic and financial uncertainty — with the EU likely to erect a tariff wall and investments being affected — so is the EU, and by extension, the rest of the globalised world
  • World markets are struggling to come to grips with the ramifications. They took a pounding on June 24, and India was not spared. However, the Centre is right in asserting that our economy is not in the immediate line of fire, even though some 800 Indian companies have operations in the UK
  • For Indian companies invested in the UK, the loss of easy access to the European market will be a heavy blow. The rupee will also feel the impact of the pound’s freefall. On the trade front, India will have to negotiate pacts with both the EU and the UK. However, Britain is likely to go out of its way to keep Indian investors interested to offset a fall in trade and investment from the EU. Besides, India’s trade with the UK has remained stable over the last decade, even as the share of EU in its imports and exports has dropped over this period. Our historical ties with the UK have kept the economic alliance going — and that may actually improve with Brexit. That said, Brexit calls for a rethink on India’s Europe policy, especially since Britain is no more the gateway to Europe
  • Many see Brexit as an anti-immigration vote against East Europeans — but it goes beyond that. It expresses a general mistrust of transnational arrangements which impose a common set of economic, legal and cultural rules
  • What is truly disturbing is that, like the politics of Donald Trump, Britain’s choice forms part of a rising tide of intolerance against free trade and movement of people. In that sense, Brexit is not just a British or European problem. At stake is the very idea of globalisation itself, and the economic and cultural benefits associated with it

 

4. The Economic Times:

 

a) Government package for high-potential textile sector a welcome move

Topic: Textiles

Category: Economy

Key points

  • It is welcome and significant that the Centre has announced a package of measures to boost investment, employment and exports in the high growth-potential textiles and apparel sector
  • The textiles and garments industry is hugely employmentintensive, and the duty drawback and tax rationalisation, as also the flexibility and incentives for job creation on offer, should have huge multiplier effects economy wide
  • It remains to be seen whether India’s apparel exports can more than double to $43 billion in the next three years, as is being projected. But the fact is that the largest textile exporter, China, is, given its rising wages, opening a window of opportunity for countries like India
  • A new duty drawback scheme has been unveiled, which would refund state levies that hitherto were not refunded. It is expected to cost the exchequer Rs.5500 crore, and improve the competitiveness of Indian textile exports. Next, employment norms in the garments industry, where demand is highly seasonal, would be made more flexible, allowing, for instance, 150-day contracts and more overtime, to meet high demand. In tandem, the technology upgradation fund scheme has been amended, with the subsidy raised from 15% to 25%.
  • The apparel and garments sector has to modernise, and become IT- and internet-enabled, to improve the speed and quality of production, reduce timelines for deliveries, and keep up with the changing fashion trends. With the apparel sector requiring sophisticated machinery at every level of knitting, processing and stitching, the bottom line is the need for quality power, revamped transport and logistics and modern trade facilitation to gainfully deliver the goods. A vision statement for the entire textile sector would be welcome. There is much that India can do with its tradition of textile savvy

 

5. Quick Bits and News from States

 

a) Caste-based Census data should be made public: Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on Friday, reiterated his demand that caste-based data of the Census of India(Socio-Economic Caste Census SECC-2011) be made public “to ensure the empowerment of all those lagging behind in development.”The caste-based Census data will also explode several myths about development of backward and marginalised people, he said

 

b) Centre returns 14 Bills passed by Delhi Assembly

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has returned 14 Bills passed by the Delhi Legislative Assembly over the course of the past one year, including the contentious Jan Lokpal Bill, which sought “overriding powers” to punish Central government employees for graft. A senior government official said the Bills were “unilaterally” passed by the AamAadmi Party-led Delhi government without following the “requisite procedures.”

The Bills which were returned in the last few weeks include the Janlokpal Bill 2015, the Minimum Wages (Delhi Amendment) Bill 2015, the Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee) Bill 2015, the Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill 2015, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill 2015 and a Bill related to working journalists.

The Bills were returned when they came to the MHA for assent through the office of Lieutenant Governor as none of the Bills was passed with “prior assent.” The Delhi government, however, contended that this was not required as per provisions of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act (GNCTD), 1991

“The Bills have not been rejected, they have only been returned. If the Delhi government sends them back after following due procedures, they will be looked into afresh,” said the Home Ministry official.

 

c) Home Minister reviews projects in Naxal-hit areas

A meeting was chaired by the Home Minister which was also attended by the Chief Secretaries of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telengana and Maharashtra. The meeting asked the States and the Ministries concerned to complete the projects sooner.

The Home Minister said the deaths due to Naxal violence had declined by 42 per cent during 2015, compared with 2013

 

d) Govt. not sure of time frame for final Naga accord

Almost a year after the Naga framework agreement was signed by the government with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), the largest Naga insurgent group, the government is still not sure of giving a “time frame” for the final peace pact.On August 3, 2015, the government signed the ‘framework agreement’ with the NSCN-IM for finding a final solution to the vexed Naga issue.The NSCN-IM has been in talks with the Centre’s representative for the last 17 years ever since it had entered into a ceasefire agreement in 1997.

 

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following statements is/are correct about the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana( PMAY)?
  1. Underthe Pradhan MantriAwaasYojana( PMAY), it is proposed to build 2 crore houses for urban poor by the year 2022
  2. In-situ Slum Redevelopment, Affordable Housing through Credit Linked Subsidy, Affordable Housing in Partnership with private and public sector and Beneficiary led house construction/enhancement are the 4 components of the mission

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 2: Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. Bangladesh has agreed to allow India to use its waterways to Ashuganj river port on Meghna
  2. The distance between Kolkata and Agartala via Assam by surface transport is about 1700 km, which is reduced to 350 km if the movement is through the plains of Bangladesh.

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 3: Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. Amaravati was the capital ofSatavahanas who ruled from 3rd century BCE to 3rd century CE
  2. Amaravati is situated on the banks of River Tungabhadra

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 4: Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. SECC-2011 was first caste based census of Independent India
  2. The SECC-2011 was based on deprivation score with respect to seven criteria

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 5: Which of the following statements is /are correct?
  1. The Lisbon treaty of 2007 introduces an exit clause for members wanting to withdraw from the European Union(EU)
  2. Before the Lisbon Treaty came into force, the question of whether a member state had a legal right to leave the union was unclear.

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

 

Check Your Answers

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