Comprehensive News Analysis – 26 January 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Indo-France Bilateral Talks: 14 MoUs

2. President’s rule in Arunachal: Improper?

C. GS3 Related:

1. Operation begins to curb money laundering, terror funding

2. Tax Administration Reform Commission

3. Zika Virus

D. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

The Hindu:

1. Clicktivism: TRAI Vs Facebook

Indian Express:

Others:

E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
F. Practice Questions
G. Archives

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related:

— Nothing here today, folks! —

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B. GS2 Related:

1. >Indo-France Bilateral Talks: 14 MoUs

Topic: IR

Category: Diplomacy

Location: IE, Hindu – Headline news

Key points:

– Talking tough on terror co-operation

– Rafale talks stuck on price negotiations….

indo france Mous

india french Mous ias

Related Article: India wants more

– “Contrary to speculation that India is negotiating for a lower price, the fact is that the price is around $9 billion and the government is pressing for more add-ons — serviceability/maintenance, tenure for serviceability of 5/10 years, infrastructure at the airbases, among others,” a Defence Ministry source said.

– The deal to buy 36 jets in a flyaway condition was announced in April 2015 during Modi’s Paris visit, and the negotiations began in May.

– The IGA, once in place, will facilitate the drafting of further contracts between the two sides and bring in private players such as Dassault, the manufacturers of Rafale, as well as the Indian offset partners.

– With 50 per cent offsets — meaning use of Indian component — the deal, when finalised, is set to be the biggest ever offset contract for India once and if finalised.

Related Editorial: Raja-Mandala: A most exceptional friendship
France has emerged, steadily since the 1990s, as India’s most trusted international partner
Written by C. Raja Mohan

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2. President’s rule in Arunachal: Improper?

Topic: Internal Security, Constitution

Category: Border States, Federalism (MUST READ)

Location: Hindu, IE,  Headline news

Key points:

– From calling it “grossly improper” and a “political mischief” to dismissing it as “mere impropriety,” leading Constitutional experts on Monday crossed swords on the Cabinet recommendation to impose President’s rule in Congress-ruled Arunachal Pradesh without waiting for the Supreme Court to show a way out of the political turmoil.

– The State’s ongoing crisis has seen “Assembly sessions” held in a hotel and even a community hall and “impeachment” of the Speaker.

– Referring to the historic S.R. Bommai judgment, Mr. Tulsi said the Supreme Court should now seize the moment to judicially review the relevant material based on which the Cabinet advised President’s rule under Article 356(1).

– The nine-judge Bench verdict in 1994 had held that the validity of a Proclamation for President’s Rule can be subjected to judicial review to find out if there was mala fide exercise of power.

– This view was reiterated in the 2006 Bihar Assembly Dissolution case judgment involving the then State Governor Bhuta Singh.

– However, Constitutional expert and senior advocate Soli Sorabjee said the debate should not ignore the fact that the Cabinet had only made a recommendation, and President Pranab Mukherjee had not accepted it.

– In fact, the President had sought clarifications from the government. “President’s rule has not been imposed as yet. The recommendation is only a ministerial advice to the President. It is pre-mature to file any writ petition or debate the legality of President’s rule at this point.”

Arunachal presidents rule

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C. GS3 Related:

1. Operation begins to curb money laundering, terror funding

Topic: Economy, Black Money

Category: Black Money

Location: Hindu, page 15

Key points:

– Government agencies have launched a massive National Risk Assessment (NRA) exercise to identify the sectors that are susceptible to money laundering and terror funding, and plug the loopholes. This is in line with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.

– While India has met its obligation of mutual evaluation with FATF, it is now required to make a risk assessment and put necessary mechanisms in place.

– FATF is an inter-government body that sets the standards for measures to counter terror financing, money laundering and other threats to international financial system.

– The NRA exercise generally takes about a year. It begins with the collection of data on sectors that are prone to money laundering in high, medium and lower categories at the national level. The country then has to prepare an action plan based on the level of risk.

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2. Shome panel suggestions on tax administration

Topic: Economy, Black Money

Category: Black Money

Location: Hindu, page 15

Key points:

– Among the key proposals of the Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC), headed by Dr. Shome, was a suggestion that Income Tax Return forms should also include wealth tax details.

– The panel had mooted that retrospective amendments to tax laws should be avoided as a principle and that the post of Revenue Secretary be abolished.

– Other recommendations were for the CBDT and the CBEC to be merged and for the use of Permanent Account Number (PAN) to be widened.

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Extras:

zika virus india

D. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

The Hindu:

1. Clicktivism: TRAI Vs Facebook

Topic: Technology, Paper III

Category: Internet Technology, Governance, Communication Infrastructure

Key points:

– The consultation process set in motion by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the issue of differential pricing of cellular data has set off a full-scale and no-holds-barred war of words between the authority and Facebook.

– The spat came into the public domain last week when TRAI released its e-mail exchanges with the social networking giant. The telecom regulator is clearly concerned about the unabashed enthusiasm demonstrated by Facebook to utilise — indeed, exploit — the consultation process to drum up support for its Free Basics product.

– The regulator minced no words, and accused Facebook of converting its consultation process into a “crudely majoritarian and orchestrated opinion poll’’.

– Also, TRAI is convinced that the campaign by Facebook to defend its free Internet platform “is wholly misplaced” as the consultation paper is only on differential pricing for data services and not on any particular product or service. The social networking giant has been collating responses from users of its platform, and forwarding them to TRAI.

– The right to do business does not automatically give them the freedom to misuse their platforms to hijack policy initiatives by swaying public opinion.

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Indian Express:

Others:

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F. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements about FATF:
  1.   FATF is also known by its French Name GAFI
  2.  FATF (Financial Action Task Force) is an an anti-government organization for money
    laundering
  3.   FATF was founded in the year 1989
  4.   The FATF Secretariat is housed at the headquarters of the OECD in Paris

          Which of the above statement is incorrect about FATF?

Question 2: Which of the below statement were included in the Shome panel suggestions on tax administration?

i. Among the key proposals of the Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC), headed by Dr. Shome, there was a suggestion that Income Tax Return forms should also include wealth tax details.

ii. Retrospective amendments to tax laws should be avoided as a principle and that the post of Revenue Secretary be abolished.

iii. Other recommendations were for the CBDT and the CBEC to be merged and for the use of Permanent Account Number (PAN) to be widened.

iv. All of the above.

Answer Choices:

a. i and ii only

b. ii and iii only

c. i and iii only

d. iv

Question 3: Read the following facts on ZIKA Virus and choose the correct one?

i. First was identified in Uganda in 1947

ii. It is transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes aegyptia mosquito

iii. Can be treated with vaccine and antiviral medicine

iv. Virus may affect unborn baby and may result in reduced head size

Answers Choices:

a. i, ii, iv

b. ii. iii, iv

c. i, ii, iii

d. i, iii, iv

Question 4: Following are some of the key takeaways of Indo-France Bilateral Talks:

a. Inter-governmental agreement on purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft.

b. Three agreements on space cooperation between ISRO and CNES on the Mars mission.

c. Joint-venture between Alstom and Indian Railways to produce 800 electric locomotives in Bihar.

d. First joint statement on counter-terror, outlining cooperation in intelligence, investigation and judicial processes. 

e. All of the above.

Which of the above statement is/are correct?

  1. i and ii only 
  2. iii and iv only
  3. ii, iii, and iv only
  4. v
Question 5: Which of the following statements about Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is incorrect?

a) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is the independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India.

b) TRAI was established on February 20, 1997 by an Act of Parliament to regulate telecom services and tariffs in India.

c) TRAI’s mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in India.

d) TRAI does not regularly issues orders and directions on tariffs, Direct To Home (DTH) services and mobile number portability.

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Check Your Answers

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