Comprehensive News Analysis – 26 October 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Suicide bomb assault on Pakistan police academy

2. Tatas gird for legal challenge

3. No-detention policy likely to remain in Karnataka.

4. SC declines to go into Hindutva verdict

5. Indian and Pakistan communities make common cause in U.S. election

C. GS3 Related:

1. Heathrow runway move gives hope to Indian community in London.

2. India up one position in World banks ease of business ranking

3. Doing Business Index: Centre to hold meeting with 17 ‘laggard’ States/UTs.

4. Workplace gender gaps persist: WEF

5. Bird flu detected in Alappuzha,kerala.

6. About 5 lakh TB patients went untreated in government clinics.

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

The Hindu

1. Playing on geopolitical chessboards

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

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. Suicide bomb assault on Pakistan police academy.

Category: international relations

Topic: terrorism

Key Points:

  • Pakistan mourned the killing of at least 61 people in a brutal gun and suicide bomb assault on a Balochistan police academy in quetta, the deadliest attack on a security installation in the country’s history.
  • Islamic State claims responsibility and puts out photo of attackers but Army official blames Pakistan-affiliated Lashkar-e-jhangvu( LeJ).
  • An email from the Pakistani Taliban, which shares close operational ties with the LeJ,claimed that “This was to avenge the killing of those of our Mujahideen [in fake encounters] outside jails in Punjab,”
  • Balochistan officials had received intelligence reports that some terrorists have entered the province but had no indication about possible targets.
  • Pakistan says “this war isn’t over”.

 

  1. Tatas gird for legal challenge

Category: governance in corporate institutions.

Topic: administration.

Key Points:

  • A day after the Tata Sons board sacked Cyrus Mistry and named Ratan Tata as interim chairman, the Tatas filed caveats to pre-empt Mr. Mistry from obtaining any ex-parte relief against his sudden ouster.
  • A caveat is a notice filed by a party, fearing legal action, seeking notice before action.
  • Ratan Tata took charge as an interim chairman of tata sons and addressed the senior leaders of the companies to focus on their market position .however, Ratan Tatas return failed to cheer Tata groups stocks.
  • Is the removal of an Executive Chairman by the board an oppressive act? The answer requires a scrutiny of facts. If the board removes an Executive Chairman from performing his executive duties, it is only the removal of an executive of the company. Hence, it requires no shareholder approval.

Also according to legal experts. “removal as chairman of the board requires solely a majority show of hands at the board meeting. Notice period may be a requirement of a particular employment contract, the contents of which are unknown,”

  • Urgent business-Section 173 of the Companies Act allows urgent business to be transacted at a meeting of the board with a notice period of less than seven days if the meeting is also attended by one independent director”. The Tata Trusts, according to legal circles, seems to have dispensed with the notice requirement while conveying their decision to remove the Chairman.


  1. No-detention policy likely to remain in Karnataka.

Category: governance.

Topic: education.

Key Points:

  • No-detention policy – System of education which ensures that no child is ‘failed’ until they complete elementary education (class 8). 
  • The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), the apex body of the Ministry of the Human Resource Development, gave individual States the authority to decide on the no-detention clause.
  • CABE is the highest advisory body in the country on education and comprises the Centre as well as States. It decisions are, however, recommendatory in nature.
  • Section 30 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act stipulates that no child shall be required to pass any board examination until class VIII.
  • One of the agendas of the CABE meeting held in New Delhi on Tuesday was to review the no-detention policy. It was decided to amend the RTE Act in a manner that it provides flexibility for States to review the provisions. While majority of the States batted for removal of the clause, Karnataka was one of the few that advocated for the clause to remains.
  • Most of the States complained of deteriorating learning outcomes because of the ‘No Detention’ policy and expressed their opinion that exams should be conducted in classes V and VIII.


  1. SC declines to go into Hindutva verdict

Category: Indian constitution

Topic: India – nationalism

Key Points:

  • A seven-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, clarified that the Supreme Court is presently only examining what constitutes corrupt electoral practices under Section 123 (3) of The Representation of the People Act, 1951,and it would not be going into the larger issue of whether ‘Hindutva’ means the Hindu religion.thus bench rejected the plea to check consequences of  1995 judgement.
  • The supreme court in  1995 judgment defined Hindutva or Hinduism as a “way of life” and nothing to do with “narrow fundamentalist Hindu religious bigotry”.  Also , the supreme court stated “no precise meaning can be ascribed to the terms `Hindu’, `Hindutva’ and `Hinduism’; and no meaning in the abstract can confine it to the narrow limits of religion alone, excluding the content of Indian culture and heritage”.


  1. Indian and Pakistan communities make common cause in U.S. election

Category: International relations

Topic: welfare

Key Points:

  • Both Indian and Pakistan communities share a common goal to prevent Trump from becoming the next US president-says democratic party.
  • Also the party stated “People often incorrectly assume that immigrant communities make their political choices in the U.S. based solely on what is happening back home… the tensions back home between India and Pakistan start becoming less relevant for those communities here and it is easier for them to find common ground” .
  • This statement was made referring to an organisation called the Republican Hindu Coalition that hosted Mr. Trump recently in New Jersey.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. Heathrow runway move gives hope to Indian community in London.

Category: International relation

Topic: Diaspora

Key Points:

  • The British government has given the nod to the construction of a third runway at Heathrow, putting to an end a long-running and heated battle since the Second World War. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the “momentous” decision would secure jobs and business opportunities for decades to come
  • Commission led by Sir Howard Davies concluded that, a third runway at Heathrow would add the most to the U.K. economy, giving it an estimated £61 billion boost and adding 77,000 jobs to the local economy by 2030.

 

  1. India up one position in World banks ease of business ranking

Category-Economic development

Topic- Business and corporate governance.

Key Points:

India improved its position to 130 in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2017 report.

Report praised the government for the reforms it undertook last year and noted that India had made a noticeable improvement in the distance to frontier (DTF) score — an absolute measure of progress towards best practices.

“While ranking is relative, DTF score is an absolute figure,”. India was 35th in DTF improvement last yearwith a score of 53.93. India has improved and is at 55.27.(while the perfect score is 100. New Zealand that is ranked first has a DTF score of 87.01).

Note-Word Bank Doing Business reports, introduced in 2004, review business regulations and their enforcement across 190 countries .

World bank said four reform measures undertaken by India during the year helped the country improve its DTF score.They are-

  • Getting electricity.
  • paying taxes.
  • trading across borders and
  • enforcing contracts .

 According to the report-“The overhaul of the Companies Act has brought Indian “companies in line with global standards, particularly regarding accountability and corporate governance practices”.

However, the India expressed disappointment over the lack of improvement in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business report. It said the report did not consider a dozen key reforms brought out by the government.


  1. Doing Business Index: Centre to hold meeting with 17 ‘laggard’ States/UTs.

Category-Economic development

Topic-business reforms

Key Points:

  • The Centre will soon hold a special high-level meeting with the 17 ‘laggard’ States/UTs.This include Kerala among other states and those in the entire North-Eastern region. They have managed to implement only 25 per cent or below of the 340-point ‘Business Reform Action Plan’ that was circulated in late October 2015.
  • The 340 reform areas are broadly under categories including construction permit, environmental and labour registration, obtaining electricity connection, online tax-return filing, inspection reform, access to information and transparency, single window, land availability and commercial dispute resolution.
  • The performance on this ‘action plan’ is being considered for a State-wise ‘ease of doing business’ ranking in the spirit of ‘competitive and cooperative federalism’. This year’s State-wise ranking will be released shortly by the Centre
  • The Centre’s portal on the ‘business reform action plan’ has a ‘real time ranking and tracking of the States/UTs’ on the basis of the implementation of the reform action plan.
  • At present, there are ten States that have an implementation percentage of 90 per cent or more, and these have been categorised as ‘leaders’. The number one rank is currently being held by two States — Andhra Pradesh and Telengana with a score of 99.09 per cent each.
  • The next category is that of ‘aspiring leaders’ — those with an implementation rate between 60-90 per cent. There are currently seven States in that category, of which five have an implementation rate of over 80 per cent.
  • The third category is termed ‘acceleration required’ — those with an implementation percentage of 30-60 per cent. There are two States in this category.
  • The 17 poorly performing States/UTs are those falling in the last category called ‘jump-start needed’ with a 0-30 per cent implementation percentage. They include Kerala (24.92 per cent), Goa (18.82 per cent), Tripura (16.18 per cent), Assam (14.45 per cent), Daman & Diu (14.41 per cent), Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Manipur (1.47 per cent each), Nagaland & Puducherry (1.18 per cent each), Mizoram & Sikkim (0.59 per cent each), Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, Meghalaya, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep (yet to implement any reform).
  • In its report, the Centre will highlight certain good practices under each head, which it will encourage other states to adopt. For instance, under ‘construction permit’ criterion, Telengana’s good practice is that it has replaced the requirement of an official No-Objection Certificate (NOC) with self-certification (provided one has complied with the required replanting activities).


  1. Workplace gender gaps persist: WEF

category-Indian polity

Topic-gender issues

Key Points:

Indias global gender gap ranking is 87 in 2016.(108 last year)

The World Economic Forum (WEF) reckons that the gender gap in India has narrowed down over the past year with the gap closing in primary and secondary education enrolments .

However, India remains one of the worst countries in the world for women in terms of labour force participation, income levels as well as health and survival.

World Economic Forum (WEF) which has been compiling the Global Gender Gap report since 2006 by examining four broad dimensions of gender equality —

  • economic participation,
  • education,
  • health and

India has closed its gender gap by 2 per cent in a year, but much work remains to be done to empower women in the economic sphere, the WEF report noted.

The global workplace gender gap, measured in terms of economic participation and opportunities, is getting worse and stands at the highest level since 2008, according to the WEF. 

Within South Asia, Bangladesh is the top performer (ranked 72nd), recording progress on the political empowerment gender gap, but a wider gap on women’s labour force participation and estimated earned income.

 

5. Bird flu detected in Alappuzha,kerala.

Category-governance

Topic-  Health issues

Key Points:

  • Bird flu (avian influenza), caused by H5N8 virus, has been detected among ducks at five places in Alappuzha district.( Thakazhy, Kainadi, Ramankary, Neelamperoor and Pandi).
  • The H5N8 virus is not as disastrous as H5N1(another variety).There is no harm in consumption of eggs or meat of unaffected birds. Generally ,the virus is not transmitted from bird to human beings. In case people in close contact with the affected birds develop symptoms of fever, they should consult the doctor. Infected ducks would be isolated and culled.

 

  1. About 5 lakh TB patients went untreated in government clinics.

Category: governance

Topic: Health issues

Key Points:

  • In 2013, India had about 2.7 million people with Tuberculosis, which is 23 per cent of the global burden of the disease. India also accounted for 27 per cent (760,000) of the world’s “missing” patients — those may not have received effective TB care or may have received potentially suboptimal TB care in India’s private sector.
  • Currently, smear-negative TB patients are diagnosed using a multi-step diagnostic workup. As a result, at least 60-80 per cent of patients with negative sputum smear never complete the workup. “While the RNTCP is trying to implement a new diagnostic algorithm for smear-negative TB, the best solution for diagnosing more smear-negative patients would probably be use of new but more expensive diagnostic tests such as Xpert MTB/Rif, which diagnoses a substantially greater percentage of patients with smear-negative TB,”says Subbaraman
  • Ironically, 13 per cent (over 200,000) patients who were diagnosed were lost before the start of treatment — about 16 per cent of smear-positive TB patients and about 10.5 per cent of smear-negative patients.
  • “There are many reasons why diagnosed TB patients don’t start treatment. But the bottom line is that better record keeping and aggressive tracking of newly diagnosed patients might help to reduce the number of patients who are diagnosed but not enrolled in TB treatment,” says Dr. Subbaraman.
  • “For patients with MDR-TB, out of the 61,000 who reached government TB clinics, only about 11 per cent completed appropriate treatment and survived for one year after treatment without experiencing disease relapse, ” says Prof. Madhukar Pai, a TB expert from McGill University, Montreal, Canada and one of the authors of the paper.


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


  1. Playing on geopolitical chessboards
  • The BRICS-BIMSTEC meeting in Goa this month, that immediately followed the annual India-Russia Summit (also in Goa), capped months of hectic diplomatic activity, during which India pursued a robust, even aggressive, foreign policy.
  • Changes, if any, to redefine Indian foreign policy must not take place in an episodic manner, or as a series of isolated steps
  • International diplomacy is hardly a ‘zero-sum game’. It has become even more complicated with the passage of time. Hence, giving a new direction to the country’s foreign policy demands careful consideration and assessment of all relevant aspects. Systemic, national and decision-making factors must determine foreign policy choices. Maintaining coherence and balance is also a vital aspect.
  • One indication of this would seem to be India’s current approach towards different multilateral organisations and plurilateral groupings. Many are better known by their acronyms such as NAM, SAARC, BRICS, BIMSTEC, etc. 
  • India’s stakes in SAARC are, if anything, higher. It is the most important country in South Asia, and India was the progenitor of the idea of a primarily economic grouping of countries of South Asia. Admittedly, SAARC has been on ‘life-support’ for much of the period, but had begun to display a new vigour and dynamism of late. India had also shown a willingness to adopt an asymmetrical and non-reciprocal approach towards other SAARC members which had gone down well with these countries.
  • On the sidelines of the March-It is China that will demand India’s wholehearted attention. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent reference to a ‘new Long March’ is not without significance. China’s ‘not so peaceful rise’, alongside its growing economic and military muscle, its growing strategic congruence with Russia, and a further tightening of its links with Pakistan pose a pre-eminent challenge for India in the competition of influence in the region and beyond. It may have other graver implications as well. The One Belt, One Road initiative and the new Maritime Silk Route/Road also have the potential to bottle up India and Indian initiatives in Asia.
  • As India aspires to become a leading power, these are real matters for contemplation and action. It would be a mistake if India were to fritter away its energies by viewing regional and world developments through a very narrow prism, viz., terrorism. There are far bigger and larger issues at stake that demand attention. Most important would be highlighting India’s capabilities to accelerate economic growth during a period which marks the demise of globalisation. India could also bring to the attention of the rest of the world its tremendous ‘human assets’ that can power the country as the world transits to an incredible future, viz., the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Indian Judiciary
  • Tuberculosis
  • Avian Influenza/Bird flu
  • New Education policy
  • Ease of doing business index


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which organization releases the Global gender gap report?

a) World Bank

b) World trade organization

c) World Economic Forum

d) International Monetary Fund


Question 2: The One Belt, One Road initiative and the new Maritime Silk Route/Road is the initiative of -

a) China

b) Bangladesh

c) Russia

d) India


Question 3: Which of the following parts of the Indian Constitution mention about Education?
    (i) Fundamental Rights
    (ii) Fundamental Duties
    (iii) Directive principles of state policy

a) (i) and (ii) only

b) (ii) and (iii) only

c) (i) and (iii) only

d) All 3 are correct


Question 4: The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) works under 

    a) Union Ministry of Environment & Forests

    b) Union Ministry of Science & Technology

    c) Union Ministry of Home affairs

    d) None of these


Question 5: Which organization releases the Ease of doing business report?

a) World Bank

b) World trade organization

c) World Economic Forum

d) International Monetary Fund


Check Your Answers

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