Table of Contents:
A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:
D. GS4 Related
Useful News Articles
A. GS1 Related
Nothing here today folks! J
B. GS2 Related
- The NITI Aayog is working on a strategy to put in place a tracking system for monitoring health parameters of target beneficiaries under the National Nutrition Mission on a real-time basis.
- The tracking system is likely to be Aadhaar-linked.
- NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, has said that the Centre is working out policy measures and a strategy to converge the various schemes that impacted malnutrition. He went on to add that, the outcomes at the grass root levels that should be monitored in the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare would also be finalised.
- NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy said the challenge was and the target should be to identify individual households or individuals for the purpose of monitoring the outcomes. At present, nutrition data was available on a sample basis rather than by censuses.
- India’s strained ties with Italy over the marines case, which started in February 2012, prevented consensus in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on New Delhi’s entry to the club.
- Setting the stage for its role in the MTCR, India had joined The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation this summer.
- Vietnam needs 300-km range BrahMos missile and under MTCR membership, India can legally provide such missiles to Vietnam.
- However, it is important to keep in mind that the MTCR is a “control mechanism” which prevents missiles and delivery vehicles from falling into rogue hands. “The MTCR helps in controlling the spread of ballistic missiles and unmanned drones. India, like other 34 members of the regime, will have to abide by the rule book”.
- S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, believes that India’s model BIT text “substantially narrows the scope of investments” that can be covered by the proposed India-U.S. BIT (Bilateral Investment Treaties).
- He said that the model text also “requires that disputes be exhausted in local Indian jurisdictions before alternative investor-state dispute mechanisms can be initiated.”
Objective of BIT’s
- The objective of BITs is protection of the interests of investors but in the process these pacts aim to balance the obligations of the respective governments and the rights of investors.
Inputs from Official Sources
- Official sources said investors from developed countries including the U.S. have been citing ‘judicial delays’ in India to demand that they be granted the flexibility in the BITs to take disputes to international arbitration tribunals without waiting to exhaust remedies available in India.
- The sources said these investors have also demanded that the BITs should ensure protection of even the investment commitments they make on the basis of existing policies in India in case changes in such policies later harm those investment plans.
- The first round negotiations on the India-U.S. BIT was held in August 2009.
- However, the negotiations were initially delayed as India and the U.S. had undertaken a review of their respective model BIT texts.
C. GS3 Related
Category: Science and Technology Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Location: The Hindu Key points:
- Hobbyists are piloting robotic submarines capable of travelling hundreds of feet below the surface of lakes, rivers and oceans.
- OpenROV, is a small start-up based in Berkeley, California, that builds submarine drone kits.
- OpenROV has sold more than 3,000 of a first-generation submarine, which is able to navigate below the surface, connected by a thin cable and controlled by software running on a tablet or smartphone. The goal of the explorers is to have “a lot more eyes in the ocean”.
- A report released by the International Energy Agency says air pollution has become a major public health crisis leading to around 6.5 million deaths each year.
- The International Energy Agency is an energy security group based in Paris.
- The agency, whose 29 members are wealthy, industrialised countries, was founded in response to the Arab oil embargo in 1973 to coordinate international responses to energy issues.
- Economists have argued that pressing concerns about climate change and the emergence of countries like China and India as major energy consumers and polluters mean that the agency needs to shift its strategy.
D. GS4 Related
Nothing here today folks! J
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
- The overwhelming focus on quantity of health care in India has long ignored a massive problem with the quality of health care that is delivered both through public as well as private institutions.
- It is to be noted that the experience of developed countries in the West has proven that regulation, while a prerequisite, does not always ensure high-quality health care.
- The deficiencies in quality of care represent neither the failure of professional compassion nor necessarily a lack of resources.
- In fact, they result from gaps in knowledge, inappropriate applications of available technology or the inability of organisations to change.
- Health-care systems, public or private, have failed to align practitioner incentives and objectives to measure clinical practice, or to link quality improvement to better health outcomes.
- The Prime Minister’s ambitious Skill India Mission is a great initiative which needs to be applied with rigour to the health sector. Without improving skills, expanding access through insurance mechanisms will not yield results.
Making Quality a Priority
- Measuring quality has to move from away from a simple “public versus private” debate and a blame-game mentality so as to be an inclusive strategy.
- Measuring quality and not just outcomes in health care and making those data widely available to the public will help make better judgments.
- It will also hold policymakers accountable to the bottom line: improving the health and well-being of the population.
- The Prime Minister’s clarion call for “zero defect” in “Make in India” shouldn’t be restricted to manufacturing alone; the quality of health-care services which affect citizens on a day-to-day basis is equally important.
- India must pick up the pieces, and move on from South Korea to Switzerland, the country that assumes the NSG chair this year.
- What is clear is that the path is more difficult and nuanced than the government had calculated earlier, and many in the group apart from China have raised questions on both the criteria and the principle of accepting India as a non-NPT state, which must be answered.
- Given that NSG membership is not an event but a consultative process, it is extremely likely that India will need to go into negotiations with every country not completely convinced of its special case and the need for an exception.
- This will entail the use of quiet, persuasive diplomacy. Some of that diplomacy must be done internally as well.
Answering Domestic Questions
- Many have questioned the government’s desire for membership of the NSG, and asked why it has betrayed such unnecessary haste.
- What also worries many is that Pakistan, a known proliferator, may simply walk through the membership door opened for India in a “criteria-based” manner. It is necessary for the government to address this domestic debate and explain the need for its NSG efforts.
The Way Ahead
- Relations between India and China have reached new lows in the past two years over several issues, including tensions at the Line of Actual Control and over the South China Sea, but it is an escalating war that hurts the Asian neighbours themselves the most, given the trade ties and the major border they share.
- In the NSG context, India cannot wish away China’s power, nor can China wish away the support and goodwill India enjoys in the group.
- “The welfare of a state depends on an active foreign policy,” counselled Chanakya in theArthashastra , “If the end can be achieved by not fighting, I would not advocate conflict.” In the same vein, said Sun Tzu, “To fight and win all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” Diplomacy, both wise men would agree, not protracted dispute, is the order of the day.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements regarding the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime),
- The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload at least 300 kilometres, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
- MTCR partners initiated the process that resulted in The Hague Code of Conduct.
- The Hague Code of Conduct is open to voluntary subscription by all countries. It provides subscribing states with a forum for promoting ballistic missile non-proliferation.
(a) All, 1, 2 and 3 (b) 2 and 3 Only (c) 2 Only (d) 3 Only
Question 2: Consider the following statements,
- The objective of the National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015 will be to meet the challenge of skilling at scale with speed and standard (quality). It will aim to provide an umbrella framework to all skilling activities being carried out within the country.
- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is the flagship outcome-based skill training scheme of the new Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
a) 1 only b) 2 only c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2
Question 3: Consider the following statements:
- Udaan is a Special Industry Initiative for Jammu & Kashmir in the nature of partnership between the corporates of India and Ministry of Home Affairs and implemented by National Skill Development Corporation.
- The programme aims to provide skills training and enhance the employability of unemployed youth of J&K.
- The Scheme covers graduates, post graduates and three year engineering diploma holders.
Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct? (a) 1 only (b) 1 and 2 (c) 2 and 3 (d) 1, 2 and 3
Question 4: The 38th Parallel divides which two countries?
Question 5: Consider the following regarding the 'International Energy Agency',
- The IEA is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond.
- The IEA has four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.
Which of the statements is/are correct? (a) 1 only (b) 2 only (c) Both of these (d) None of these
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