Comprehensive News Analysis – 28 January 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Soldiers can now WhatsApp Army Chief

2. Trade war looms as U.S. President mulls tariffs to fund Mexico wall

C. GS3 Related:

1. Navy rejects Tejas, begins global search

2. WTO pact set to lift world trade by $1 tn. in Trump era

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

The Hindu

1. Getting ties with UAE on track

Economic Times

1. Getting India’s civil servants to perform

PIB

1. Urgent need for collective efforts against forces of extremism, terrorism and intolerance, says President

2. Rural Roads Target well within reach- Ministry of Rural Development

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
B. GS2 Related
1. Soldiers can now WhatsApp Army Chief

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: eGovernance

Key Points:

  • The Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, has recently announced,  a WhatsApp number through which soldiers can complain to him directly, in the wake of several soldiers publicly airing their grievances on social media.
  • It is important to note that Gen. Rawat then warned the personnel that they could be “punished” for airing their grievances in public as it affects the morale of the Army.

 

2. Trade war looms as U.S. President mulls tariffs to fund Mexico wall

Category: International Relations 

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • In an important development, as President Donald Trump appears determined to implement his protectionist campaign promises, the U.S. could be headed for a trade war with partners. 
  • Significantly, the White House said on Thursday that a 20% tariff on imports from southern neighbour Mexico is among the ideas under consideration to fund a border wall between the two countries.
  • As a matter of fact, the wall and the tariff proposal have outraged Mexico, many U.S. leaders, including Republicans, but Mr. Trump is unfazed.


C. GS3 Related

 

  1. WTO pact set to lift world trade by $1 tn. in Trump era

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: International Trade

Key Points:

  • The head of the World Trade Organization has recently said that a trade accord that will boost global exports by $1 trillion should come into force within two weeks.
  • The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will have a major impact on poorer countries, because it standardises and simplifies customs procedures, slashing the time, cost and complexity of taking goods over borders.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Getting ties with UAE on track

Category: International Relations

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • The United Arab Emirates Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have met three times in the last 18 months, each meeting more full of warmth than the previous one.
  • The fact that the UAE Crown Prince, who is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Emirati armed forces, was invited as Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade, even though he is not a head of government or state, indicates the importance India invests in him and in ties with the Gulf country. 

India’s Interest:

  • It is important to note that India’s interest in the UAE rests on several pillars: trade ties of about $50 billion, energy and oil supplies from the world’s fifth largest exporter, the welfare of 2.6 million Indians who remit billions of dollars home annually, and defence and security. 
  • The contours of this partnership are now being set: joint military exercises, joint manufacturing and purchase of equipment and spare parts from India, as well as cooperation on fighting terror.
  • The joint statement also contained strong words on “state-sponsored terror”, that the government believes is an indication that the UAE shares India’s frustration on cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.
  • It has been suggested by experts that the strategic partnership that India envisions with the UAE must be based on clarity and concrete measures.
  • India’s hopes of investment from the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest at $500 billion.
  • In conclusion, it is important to note that personalised leader-to-leader bilateral diplomacy is a great conversation-starter, but not sufficient to energise ties.

 

Economic Times

  1. Getting India’s civil servants to perform

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Administrative Reforms

Key Points:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently asked bureaucrats to experiment with new ideas and take risks in decision-making.
  • It is suggested that he must follow through, and overhaul the incentive structure to reward initiative without penalising honest errors while weeding out non-performers from the service.
  • At present, a civil servant has a peculiar reward structure: penalty in case of a mistake, and uniform reward in case of no mistakes, regardless of whether that record of making no mistakes was secured while actively pursuing policy goals and achieving them or through sheer inertia that achieves little.
  • It has been suggested that the bureaucracy should be skilled to come up with policy choices to help an elected government chase objectives the people have entrusted to them.
  • It has also been suggested that India must take a page from successful democracies that insulate bureaucrats from arbitrary whims of the political class.
  • In conclusion, senior-level appointments should be based on selection, with aspirants drawn from the pool of civil servants and professionals looking for lateral entry. Those who don’t make the cut must exit just as in the army.

 

PIB

1. Urgent need for collective efforts against forces of extremism, terrorism and intolerance, says President

Category: Internal Security

Topic: Challenges to Internal Security  

Key Points:

  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on January 25, 2017 received His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also hosted a banquet in his honour. 
  • Welcoming the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the President said this State visit is a reflection of the warm relations and intensifying co-operation between India and the UAE.
  • With our shared vision, we are committed to take our partnership to the highest strategic level as we realise its true potential. This State visit provides an opportunity to further enhance co-operation between India and UAE. 
  • The President said the well-balanced bilateral trade turnover between India and UAE has been impressive. The bilateral trade during 2015-16 was US $ 49.729 billion. UAE is amongst India’s largest trade partners. To realise the potential for further growth, we have agreed to increase the bilateral trade by 60 % in 2020. 
  • Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Pranab Mukherjee said with India’s plans for rapid growth in the infrastructure sector, our Government’s liberalisation of foreign direct investment and as one of the fast growing economies in the world, India holds immense possibilities for investments.
  • The President reiterated India’s invitation to business houses of the United Arab Emirates to participate in our flagship projects like “Make in India”, “Digital India” and “Smart Cities” programmes. India looks forward to a robust partnership with UAE in our National Infrastructure Investment Fund. 
  • The President reiterated the urgent need for responsible nations to continue collective efforts against the forces of extremism, terrorism and intolerance which attempt to weaken the very fabric of our societies.
  • He said it is in the shared interest of both countries to work for peace and stability in both West Asia as well as South Asia. 

 

  1. Rural Roads Target well within reach- Ministry of Rural Development

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development will achieve the annual targeted length of 48,812 kilometers of rural roads by 31st March, 2017, as the construction work picks up from January to May every year.
  • As on 27.01.2017, a total of 32,963kms. has been completed which is 67.53% of the annual target.  
  • This translates to 111 kms. of roads getting constructed every day.  According to the annual target (48,812 kms.), the average per day construction should be 133kms per day. 
  • It is important to realize that September to December are lean months for road construction, whereas the construction picks up from January to May every year.  It is also important to underline that from April to August, 2016 PMGSY had achieved an average per day construction of 139 kms. per day and therefore by 31st March, 2017 it will achieve the annual targeted length of 48,812 kms. 


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
  • Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

The National Policy for Children


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), was launched by the Govt. of India to provide connectivity to unconnected Habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy.
  2. The primary objective of the PMGSY is to provide Connectivity, by way of an All-weather Road (with necessary culverts and cross-drainage structures, which is operable throughout the year), to the eligible unconnected Habitations in the rural areas with a population of 500 persons and above in Plain areas.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 2: Consider the following statements,
  1. Tejas is a 4th generation fighter aircraft indigenously developed in the country.
  2. Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, has been indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 3: Consider the following statements, 
  1. Yemen is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea to the south, and Oman to the east and northeast.
  2. The UAE is bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia, and has maritime borders with Iran.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 4: With which of the regions is ‘Gulf of Hormuz’ located?
    a) Middle East

    b) Central Asia

    c) South- East Asia

    d) Antarctica

    Question 5: With which of the following is Article 44 related to?

    a) Uniform civil code for citizens.

    b) Provision of early childhood care and education to children below the age of 6 years.

    c) Duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition.

    d) Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry.


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