Comprehensive News Analysis – 27 April 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B.GS2 Related:

1. India, Pakistan fail to break deadlock on talks

2. China urges India, Pak. to hold talks

3. India, Afghanistan review developments relating to Chabahar

4. Won’t yield to pressure on IPR: Sitharaman

C. GS3 Related:

1. EU had offered India gradual, asymmetric elimination of tariffs

2. Radicalisation a real threat, says intel official

3. Weak growth could increase Govt. debt levels: Moody’s

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

The Hindu:

1. A drought of action

Indian Express:

1. Buck stops at bench

Others:

1. The Economic Times:Fixing India’s drug quality problem

2. The Business line: Decoding India’s jobless growth

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

Nothing here for today folks!

 

B. GS2 Related

1. India, Pakistan fail to break deadlock on talks

Topic: India’s Neighbourhood Category: Indo-Pak Relations Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • talks between the Indian and Pakistani Foreign Secretaries failed to make headway on the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD)
  • India’s priorities: Pathankot terrorist attack investigation as well as the Mumbai case trial in Pakistan
  • Pakistan’s priorities: Kashmir issue, developments in the Samjhauta Express blasts case (the Pakistan delegationalso alleged that Indian intelligence agencies were responsible for the unrest in Balochistan)

Tags: Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue Note: Find out more about CBD. How can CBD help resolve outstanding issues between India and Pakistan?Please post your answers in the comments section

 

2. China urges India, Pak. to hold talks

Topic: India’s Neighbourhood Category: China-India Relations Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • China nudged India and Pakistan to establish direct communication to resolve differences on listing Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) Chief MasoodAzhar on the UN terror roll
  • China stressed that its advocacy of direct talks between New Delhi and Islamabad was anchored in the rules and procedure of the UN 1267 committee, where the Azhar issue had been raised
  • It was pointed out that the “committee encourages countries that ask for the listing and countries where individuals or entities covered in the listing come from or live in”

Tags: UN 1267 Committee Note: Do you think there is wisdom in what china is pointing out? What are the complexities of the trilateral relations between China, India and Pakistan

 

3.India, Afghanistan review developments relating to Chabahar

Topic: India’s Neighbourhood Category: India-Afghanistan Relations Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • India and Afghanistanreviewed developments relating to the strategically important Chabahar port project in Iran where India is eyeing an investment to the tune of around Rs 2 lakh crore(Chabahar port is located in Sistan-Balochistan Province on Iran’s southeastern coast and is of great strategic utility for India as it will get sea-land access route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan)
  • India has invested $2 billion in aid and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan and trained scores of Afghan officers.
  • The Salma dam project is being executed by India at a cost of over Rs 1400 crore across the Harirud river at Chist-e-Shariff in Herat province of Afghanistan. The project envisages generation of 42 MW of power, besides having the potential for irrigating 75,000 ha of land

images (1) images Tags: Chabahar port, Salma dam project Note: Find out about the historical bond between India and Pakistan (existing cultural similarities) Why do we have to work for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan?

 

4. Won’t yield to pressure on IPR: Sitharaman

Topic: Bilateral Relations Category: Indo-US Relations Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • the proposed National IPR Policy — fully compliant with the international Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IPR (TRIPS) — is soon to be taken up by the Cabinet for approval
  • India said it would not yield to pressure on IPR and termed the US’ Special 301 Report as a unilateral measure to create pressure on countries to enhance IPR protection beyond the TRIPS agreement
  • India continues to be placed on the Priority Watch List under the US Special 301 (Report) on account of the US’s assessment of Indian IPR protection being inadequate

  Tags: TRIPS, IPR,US’ Special 301 Report, National IPR policy Note: US assessesIndian IPR protection to be inadequate. Why  

 

C. GS3 Related

1. EU had offered India gradual, asymmetric elimination of tariffs

Topic: Economy Category: India-EU BTIA Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • “EU exporters face Indian import duties of up to 100 per cent on car and car parts.We suggested or agreed on long transitional periods for their elimination or even going as far as accepting an asymmetric elimination of these duties in favour of India.The same goes for wines and spirits”, said an EU spokesperson
  • Indian concerns: access to European markets for Indian service professionals (such as from the IT sector),  ‘data secure’ nation status from the EU, a classification that is crucial for the development of its IT and ITES sectors in Europe

Tags: BTIA Note: Trace the progress in BTIA.

 

2. Radicalisation a real threat, says intel official

Topic: Security Category: Terrorism Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • For the unrest in Kashmir,“radicalisation” was a more real threat than the Pakistan-backed terror outfits that operated in the State, said a senior IB official
  • During a countrywide raid in January-February this year, the National Investigation Agency arrested 25 men for allegedly trying to establish an Islamic State-backed caliphate in India

Tags: IB, NIA, IS Note: What according to you should be the approach to tackle radicalisation? Find out about the agencies involved

 

3. Weak growth could increase Govt. debt levels: Moody’s

Topic: Economy Category: Indo-US Relations Location: The Hindu Key points:

  • India’s government debt to GDP ratio, which we forecast to fall to 65.7 per cent in 2016 from 67.5 per cent in 2015, is well above the median for Baa-rated sovereigns but in a gradual declining trend,” Moody’s said in a report
  • Debt interest payments at over 20 per cent of revenues are more than double the median for similarly rated peers. This reflects the government’s narrow revenue base
  • In the absence of robust growth, India’s debt could start to climb, and ultimately put pressure on the government’s ability to fund itself

Tags: GDP, revenue base, Baa rated countries Note: Suggest methods to improve the government’s revenue base

 

D. GS4 Related

 

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

The Hindu

1. A drought of action

Topic: Governance Category: Drought management Key points:

  • the need for active intervention in a drought situation cannot be overstressed
  • What is required?
  • a large injection of funds to MGNREGS employment in tandem with increase inperson-days of work in 2015-16
  • A well-managed PDS is a major safeguard against hunger and starvation
  • midday meals scheme and social security pension schemes, farm insurance schemes,NFSA and MGNREGS provide the tools to tackle drought
  • they are to be leveraged purposefully

Tags: NFSA, MGNREGS,PDS,midday meals scheme Note : Which are the social security pension schemes and farm insurance schemes rolled out by the government

 

Indian Express:

1. Buck stops at bench

Topic: Polity Category:Judiciary Key Points:

  • The increase in backlog of cases in Indian judiciary over this six-year period (2009-2014) is just 19 lakh, or about 3 lakh per year. This would represent just about a 1.5 per cent increase per year (total number of pending cases as of 2014- 322lakh)
  • In 2014, the Law Commission took the average number of cases decided by each judge and reasoned that if an increase was made in the number of judges, these additional judges would also dispose of cases at the same average rate
  • They came to the conclusion that a very significant increase would have to be made in the number of judges, since they made an assumption that the backlog should be cleared in a maximum of three years
  • the backlog that we have built up over decades can be cleared even at a slower pace
  • The problem is not that the number of sanctioned judicial positions is adequate(if so the govt. is to be blamed), but these are not filled(The average vacancy in the Supreme Court, high courts and lower courts is about 10, 30 and 20 per cent, respectively )
  • This is an issue for which both the judiciary and the government must take responsibility as the judiciary recommends the judges and govt. appoints them

Tags: Law Commission

 

2. Make The Link

Topic: Governance Category: Water resource management Key Points:

  • Many opportunities to harness the highly skewed, seasonal and spatial distribution of monsoon flows, which occur in a four-month period from June to September annually, have been lost
  • Since these few months account for most of the rainfall and consequent fresh water availability, the need for holding rain water in reservoirs, for subsequently releasing it for use over the year, is a necessity nobody can afford to overlook
  • Weather experts have predicted a good monsoon this year. But we are not prepared for that. As of now, only a little more than 10 per cent of the annually available monsoon flows can be stored
  • People will  have to face the ravages of climate change unless authorities take immediate steps  to arrest the deteriorating conditions in  the development and management of  water resources
  • the solution lies in expediting the Indian River Linking (IRL) project that was proposed three decades ago
  • The proposals envisaged linking the rivers to enable inter-basin water transfer from surplus to deficit basins, so as to even out the variations of water availability and for optimum utilisation of the resource
  • The long-term solution to water  scarcity lies in making the IRL project  work by building a network of dams  and canals across the length and breadth  of the country

Tags:Indian River Linking (IRL) project Note: What are the other ways of water development and management?

 

Others:

1. The Economic Times:Fixing India’s drug quality problem

Topic: Governance Category: Health sector Key Points

  • Why is India facing drug quality problem?
  • absence of a legal framework is compounded by inadequate human resources, both in numbers and quality, paucity of accurate information and uneven, uncoordinated enforcement by central and state regulators
  • In India, enforcement of quality takes place at the market place, when the regulators test drugs that are already available. This is not the global practice where the quality control intervention is at the process level
  • Indian consumers are the greatest sufferers
  • It has a negative impact on India’s drug exports. India is the largest supplier of generic drugs, accounting for 20% of the global market
  • Who is the regulator? the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation
  • How to fix it?- it requires building a centralised and effective regulatory mechanism, with the right kind of support. Perhaps the real challenge is to find the political will to take action

Tags:Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation

 

2. The Business line: Decoding India’s jobless growth

Topic: Governance Category: Employment Key Points

  • What is killing jobs in India?
  • Making capital artificially cheaper promotes its sub-optimal use in a labour abundant economy like India. It may induce adoption of labour-saving production technologies especially if labour laws are not business friendly; so does raising minimum wages without commensurate rise in productivity
  • India’s myriad labour laws have created two classes of workers — contractual workers comprising 90 per cent who’re paid low wages and have no job security, and well-paid workers with secure jobs comprising 10 per cent of the total. Roughly half the workers in India’s corporate sector are contractual
  • Investment also depends on demand:Roughly 50 per cent of Indian savings goes into low-risk fixed deposits and small savings instruments.Pruning interest rates on savings either invested in FD or small savings instruments — EPF/PPF — will lead to lower purchasing power(leading to decreasing demand)
  • Domestic businesses, especially SMEs and first-time entrepreneurs, are not able to compete with imported products because of high transaction cost arising out of inefficient logistics and India’s overall poor record on ease of doing business
  • Discussion on ease of doing business has largely escaped any discussion on ease of contract enforcement (India’s rank is 178) that adds to transaction cost affecting profits
  • India’s ill-conceived trade pacts have resulted in inverted duties — higher import duties on raw material/components and lower duties on finished products. That discourages value addition and job creation within India(Apparels can be imported into India duty-free while raw material — manmade fibres — attracts an import duty of 10 per cent that doesn’t make any sense but persists. Similarly, finished products such as laptops or cell phones can be imported more cheaply than all their parts (imported) separately because of duty inversion)
  • India’s trade pacts have failed to extract real market access for its exports as they are not able to address concerns on non-tariff barriers(There is slower or no progress on conclusion of (Mutual Recognition Agreemants)MRAs in FTAs such as India-Japan CEPA that hurts exports. Again, exportables such as textiles and clothing are not included for duty reduction in India-Mercosur PTA)
  • Pushing wages up without a corresponding increase in labour productivity will induce businesses to go for labour-saving production technology that will kill jobs
  • The Government should focus on productivity-enhancing skills upgrade measures rather than fixing minimum wages. Rise in labour productivity will increase labour demand and push wages up automatically
  • Realistic interest rates reflecting the scarcity value of capital along with a prudent macroeconomic policy will bring in more FDI that will aid job creation if major concerns on the demand and supply sides are addressed

Tags:India-Japan CEPA,India-Mercosur PTA, (Ease of contract enforcement reflects the time and resources required to enforce contracts and resolve disputes)

 

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • BTIA
  • CBD
  • Indian River Linking (IRL) project
  • 2014 Law Commission
  • Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation
  • NFSA
  • TRIPS
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1:Which of the following is/are true about the Prime minister’s crop insurance scheme?
  1. The premium to be paid by farmers is 1.5 per cent of sum assured for all rabi crops and 2 per cent for kharif crops
  2. There is an upper limit of Rs. 30000 on the subsidy the government provides under the scheme

a) 1 only b) 2 only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Question 2: Which of the following is/are included in the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue between India and Pakistan?
  1. Jammu & Kashmir
  2. Siachen
  3. Counter terrorism
  4. Religious Tourism

a) 1 and 2 only b) 1,2 and 3 c) 1 and 3 d) All the Above

 

Question 3:Which of the following statements is/are true?
  1. Central Drugs Standard Control Organisationregulates pharmaceutical and medical devices in India
  2. It does pre-licensing and post-licensing inspections, pre-market surveillance, and recalls when needed

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 true?
  1. MERCOSUR is a trading bloc in Latin America comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay
  2. Textiles and clothing are included for duty reduction in India-Mercosur PTA

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 true?
  1. Chabahar port would provide sea-land access route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan
  2. It is located in Iran

a) 1 only b) 2 only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

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