Comprehensive News Analysis - 26 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. ‘6,117 Kuchipudi dancers put A.P. in Guinness book’

B. GS2 Related:

1. ‘Need to link Aadhaar with details of voters’

2. ‘Soft border approach can bring India into CPEC’

3. 2016 saw judiciary-govt. hostility

4. Government celebrates Good Governance Day with Launch of New Initiatives

C. GS3 Related:

1. No intention of govt. to impose long-term capital gains tax: Jaitley

2. Russia offers technology to keep hackers at bay

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

A. GS1 Related
  1. ‘6,117 Kuchipudi dancers put A.P. in Guinness book’

Category: Indian Heritage and Culture

Topic: Dance Forms

Key Points:

  • With a spectacular ‘Mahabrinda Natyam’ show, a dizzying array of 6,117 performers created a new Guinness World Record.

The performance lasted 13 minutes. The Guinness requirement is a minimum of 5 minutes to attempt an entry into the records.


  • Kuchipudi is one of the classical dance forms of the South India. Kuchipudi derives its name from the Kuchipudi village of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Kuchipudi exhibits scenes from the Hindu Epics, legends and mythological tales through a combination of music, dance and acting.
  • Like other classical dances, Kuchipudi also comprises pure dance, mime and histrionics but it is the use of speech that distinguishes Kuchipudi’s presentation as dance drama.
    In its early form, the female roles were played by boys and young men of beautiful looks. The director (called Sutradhar) played the most important role. He combined the role of conductor, dancer, singer, musician, comedian, all in one. In modern times the Kuchipudi dance is considerably different than it originally used to be. Most of the performances are solo, done by female dancers.


B. GS2 Related
  1. ‘Need to link Aadhaar with details of voters’

Category:  Constitutional Bodies

Topic: Election Commission

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court had asked the Election Commission to study the possibility on the basis of an application by an UAE-based doctor for electoral reforms to allow inter-State migrants voting privileges like postal ballot available to government servants.
  • The top poll body had last year set up a committee to study the possibility of amending the electoral law to empower voters who have migrated to other States within the country.
  • The Election Commission of India has given a mixed response to the Supreme Court on providing absentee voting rights

Observations made by the Committee:

  • There is an emergent need to link Aadhaar with the electoral details of voters , saying there is no foolproof mechanism to verify their identity and block duplicity.
  • Any provision of absentee voting rights to the “loosely defined term domestic migrants” would become a logistical nightmare for the Commission
  • Enforcement of Model Code of Conduct would suffer and the concept of level playing field would get defeated with national parties having an advantage over State parties.
  • Multiple vernacular data and “varying patterns of spelling” and difficulty in ascertaining the date of birth of voters had given rise to multiple entries of voters.
  • Several thousands of voters keep on changing their places of ordinary residence frequently making this task even more complex
  • The Commission, however said that it might be extended only to a small subset of migrants who formed an identifiable and countable class of electors not delinked from their present place of registration and only “temporarily absent” from their place of ordinary residence.


  1. ‘Soft border approach can bring India into CPEC’

Category: Bilateral Relations

Topic: India – China

Key Points:

  • A top Chinese academic Prof.Li has opined that a focus on establishing “soft borders” between India and Pakistan, rather than a final settlement of boundaries in Kashmir, can lead to New Delhi’s rapid integration into an expanded China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • The concept of “soft borders” is one that avoids a “hard” settlement of disputed boundaries, offers a way forward for regional cooperation.
  • In 2005, shortly after a bus service from Srinagar and Muzaffarabad had started, Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf had called the opening of cross-border transport routes as “the first step towards converting [the Line of Control] into a soft border”.
  • An endorsement of “soft borders” by New Delhi and Islamabad would address India’s core objection to the CPEC — its passage through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  • If Kashmir has a ‘soft border’, CPEC could unlock Kashmir and make it a part of a much grander regional transportation network, with Srinagar as one of its important nodes.
  • Pakistan and Afghanistan should accept ‘soft borders’ as the touchstone for resolving their differences along the Durand Line.
  • Instead of developing as rival hubs, the Iranian port of Chabahar, and Gwadar could be developed as “sister-ports”.


  1. 2016 saw judiciary-govt. hostility

Category: Judiciary

Topic: Judicial Activism

Key Points:

  • The year 2016 has been marked by the hostile interface between the judiciary and the government like never before over delay in judicial appointments.
  • The interventions made by the court crossed all sections of the society, from banning liquor vends on highways; to ordering people to stand up for the National Anthem at cinema halls to show respect; to whether online jokes about Sikhs was a slur on the community; to questioning the government’s resolve to bring the Kohinoor diamond.
  • The friction between the two constitutional branches of governance in the world’s largest democracy started towards the fag end of 2015 with the Supreme Court striking down the NDA government’s NJAC law and raged on throughout the year 2016 in matters of appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.
  • On Constitution Day recently, the tensions between the two flared up when the government accused the Supreme Court of failing the nation during the Emergency period and blamed the judiciary of indulging in judicial activism.
  • The SC compelled the Centre to conduct a floor test in the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly following the declaration of President’s rule in the State.
  • Constitution Bench decision upholding the independence of the Legislative Speaker by quashing the Arunachal Pradesh Governor’s decision to advance the Assembly hearing.
  • A Constitution Bench, in a majority 7-2 verdict, also upheld the validity of States to tax goods entering their territories, saying State governments are “well within their rights” to design their fiscal legislation.
  • The court stood up for the farmers of West Bengal when it held the State’s acquisitionof land for Tata’s Nano car factory under the emergency clause as unconstitutional.
  • It constituted the Lodha Committee to recommend reforms in cricket administration in India.
  • It upheld the right to clean environment by imposing a blanket ban on the sale and manufacture of firecrackers in the National Capital Region.
  • The Supreme Court stood firm by its resolve to ban Jallikattu
  • The court intervened in the Cauvery river water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu dismissing the Centre’s plea that the apex court has no jurisdiction over the dispute.
  • The court stood up for victims of encounters with the police and the security forces by holding that every death in a disturbed area, be it of a common man or a militant, should be thoroughly enquired into by the CID at the instance of the National Human Rights Commission.


  1. Government celebrates Good Governance Day with Launch of New Initiatives

Category: E-governance

Topic: Applications

Key Points:

  • On the ocassion of Good Governance Day, 2016, Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani launched following initiatives of the Ministry of Textiles in New Delhi today.
  • ‘JUTE-SMART’ an online portal to facilitate purchase of Jute bags from the Jute Industry by the State Procurement Agencies;
  • Dashboard for Integrated Skill Development Scheme hosted on the NIC Cloud with access to public;
  • Bunkar Mitra – a Helpline for handholding of Handloom weavers.
  • Six major initiatives of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions were launched by Dr. Jitendra Singh on the occasion of Good Governance Day.

The initiatives are: Recruitment Rules Formation, Amendment Monitoring System (RRFAMS), Immovable Property Return through Property Related Information System (PRISM), announcement of E-Service Book, Mandatory online filing of APAR by all AIS and Central Group ‘A’ Service Officers, EO App on iPhone Operating System (iOS) and launching of redesigned website of DoPT.


C. GS3 Related
  1. No intention of govt. to impose long-term capital gains tax: Jaitley

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Mobilisation of resources

Key Points:

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday went to great lengths clarifying that there is no intention of the government to impose tax on long-term capital gains from share transactions.
  • Referring to the speech made by Mr. Modi, he said the interpretation being given to the speech is not correct.

A capital gains tax (CGT) is levied on the profit realized on the sale of a capital asset that was purchased at a cost amount that was lower than the amount realized on the sale. The most common capital gains are realized from the sale of stocks, bonds, precious metals and property.


  1. Russia offers technology to keep hackers at bay

Category: S&T

Topic: Applications

Key Points:

  • Russian Quantum Center (RQC) is planning to offer ‘quantum cryptography’ that could propel India to the forefront of hack proof communication in sectors such as banking and national and homeland security.
  • RQC conducts scientific research in developing ‘unbreakable cryptography’ for the banks and the government organisations. It also involves research in areas such as materials with superior properties and new systems for ultrasensitive imaging of the brain.
  • ‘Quantum cryptography’ is relevant at a time when hacking targets are multiplying in India as the country goes digital.
  • Company FireEye recently discovered phishing websites created by cybercriminals that spoof 26 Indian banks in order to steal personal information from customers.
  • In another incident, the security of about 3.2 million debit cards got compromised in the country.
  • Technology company Yahoo too faced a huge data breach
  • As ‘quantum computers’ get sufficiently powerful they would be able to easily decrypt today’s internet communication.


Quantum cryptography:

  • The ‘Quantum cryptography’ depends more on physics, rather than mathematics.
  • It is based on the usage of individual particles or waves of light (photon) and their intrinsic quantum properties to develop an unbreakable cryptosystem.
  • It is impossible to measure the quantum state of any system without disturbing that system.
  • It employs Quantum key distribution (QKD) in which two users can establish QKD session, that allows them to obtain a random private key. QKD is distinct as it encrypts this key on light particles called photons.
  • A hacker trying to clone or read such a key would automatically change its state, due to fundamental principle of quantum mechanics. It would also leave a hacker fingerprint. This means the recipient and the transmitter can easily detect the attempts to read or intercept the information.


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:
  • GST and Karnataka Government’s new reservation policy
  • Sabarimala stampede – Crowd Management.
  • One belt – One Road initiative
  • China Pak Economic Corridor


The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016

H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following is not a classical dance?
a) Kathak

b) Dollukunitha

c) Odissi

d) Sattriya

Question 2: Capital gains tax is not applicable on sale of which of the following?
a) Stocks.

b) Bonds

c) Jewelry

d) Agricultural land

Question 3: A discrete quantity of energy proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents is known as?

a) Photon.

b) Quantum.

c) Ion.

d) Neutrino.

Question 4: The recently launched ‘Bunkar Mitra’ initiative of the textile ministry is-
a) An online portal to facilitate purchase of Jute bags

b) Dashboard for Integrated Skill Development Scheme

c) A Helpline for handholding of Handloom weavers.

d) Grievance redressal mechanism for pensioners

Question 5: Which of the following statements is true with respect to Aadhaar?
    i. Every resident of India shall be entitled to obtain an Aadhaar number.
    ii. Unauthorised use of Aadhaar attracts a penalty with imprisonment.
    iii. Aadhaar number cannot be a proof of citizenship or domicile.

a) Only 1

b) Only 1 and 2

c) Only 1 and 3

d) All of the above

Check Your Answers

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