Comprehensive News Analysis – 28 March 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Political parties must maintain properly audited accounts, says High Court

2. A mortal blow to the IS, says Syria

3. Railway Catering Towards Ending License Raj

4. A day before confidence vote, President’s Rule imposed

5. Lahore park suicide blast: Taliban faction claims responsibility, kills over 72

C. GS3 Related:

1. Airlines question fuel price hike, cite drop in crude rates

2. Focus on local demand to win WTO solar dispute, says Timothy Meyer

3. Government kicks off data collection for National Business Register

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

1. Pay consumers to take back e-waste

2. Updating Aadhaar for better privacy

The Indian Express:

1. From Plate to Plough: Raising farmers’ income by 2022

Others:

1. The Financial Express: GST: Where are we after the Budget?

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

NO RELATED NEWS TODAY!!

 

B. GS2 Related

1. Political parties must maintain properly audited accounts, says High Court

Topic: Polity-governance

Category: Accountability

Location: The Hindu
Key points:

  • Under Section 13-A, income by way of voluntary contributions to a political party is not taxed
  • This exemption can only be availed if the party in question maintains a book of accounts with respect to these contributions
  • In contributions of Rs.10,000 or more, the donor’s name and address will have to be recorded.
  • Disposing of an appeal filed by the Indian National Congress for exemption from income tax for the assessment year 1994-95, a Division Bench of the High Court said a party cannot claim exemption from paying income tax on voluntary contributions if records are not duly maintained.
  • The court observed that most of the public funds spent by political parties to fight elections were unaccounted and called legislative measures to check the influence of such money on the electoral process.

2. A mortal blow to the IS, says Syria

Topic: World Affairs

Category: IS and Syria

Location: The Hindu
Key points:

  • Syrian government forces backed by heavy Russian air support drove Islamic State out of Palmyra which is a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Palmyra would become “a launch pad to expand military operations” against the militant group in the provinces of Raqqa (ISIS’ Syrian capital) and Deir al-Zor
  • “This achievement represents a mortal blow to the terrorist organisation and lays the foundation for a great collapse in the morale of its mercenaries and the beginning of its defeat,” the Army command statement said

3. Railway Catering Towards Ending License Raj

Topic: Polity-governance

Category: Accountability

Location: The Hindu

4. A day before confidence vote, President’s Rule imposed

Topic: Polity

Category: Federal Relations

Location: The Hindu
Key points:

  • President’s Rule was imposed on Uttarakhand a day before the state government was to face a test of strength in the Assembly, which has been placed under suspended animation
  • The move was questioned citing the Bommai case judgment of 1994, which states that the legitimacy of a government has to be established in the Assembly

5. Lahore park suicide blast: Taliban faction claims responsibility, kills over 72

Topic: India’ Neighbourhood

Category: Terrorism in Pakistan

Location: The Indian Express
Key points:

  • A suicide bomber killed at least 72 people, mostly women and children, at a park in Lahore
  • The Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack and said it had targeted Christians

 

C. GS3 Related

1. Airlines question fuel price hike, cite drop in crude rates

Topic: Economy

Category: transport sector

Location: The Hindu
Key Points:

  • the 12 per cent increase in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices effected this month has evoked protests from airlines
  • The airlines have urged oil marketing companies to disclose the price discovery mechanism they used for setting ATF prices
  • They argued that air fares have remained high as oil companies had not passed on the benefits of the continuous fall in global crude oil prices since 2014

2. Focus on local demand to win WTO solar dispute, says Timothy Meyer

Topic: Economy

Category: Energy sector

Location: The Hindu
Key Points:

  • WTO Dispute Settlement Panel ruled India’s requirement for companies that sell solar power to the government use only locally-made parts and components in its national solar power program discriminated U.S. manufacturers
  • India argued that solar manufacturing capacity is in short supply relative to the demand for solar panels in India and hence it is claims exception under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
  • The WTO panel ruled that the exception only applies when supply, both domestic and international, exceeds demand
  • If India focuses its arguments on the goal of developing a manufacturing capacity that serves a domestic demand not adequately served by international markets, India might have greater success

Note:Read the DNA on the topic for more insight

3. Government kicks off data collection for National Business Register

Topic: Economy

Category: Governance

Location: The Economic Times
Key Points:

  • At present, the ministry of statistics and programme implementation conducts the Annual Survey of Industries ( ASI), which serves as the principal source of industrial statistics.
  • The government has launched a new enumeration exercise to collect data on all the business enterprises for the National Business Register,
  • It is aimed at strengthening assessment of economic activity

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today folks!

E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance
The Hindu:

1 .Pay consumers to take back e-waste

Topic: Pollution
Category: E-waste management
Key points:

  • India generates about eight lakh tonnes of e-waste annually, while 151 registered recycling facilities can handle only half of that quantum
  • Producers and consumers of electronic goods have a responsibility under the E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011 to ensure proper disposal
  • Consumers are naturally keen on recovering economic value from waste, creating a thriving informal recycling sector. These units use crude methods such as open burning to extract copper, lead, aluminium and iron
  • Hazardous materials, including heavy metals, are dumped in garbage yards, polluting soil and water
  • Now the E-waste (Management) Rules 2016 provide several options to manufacturers — such as collection of a refundable deposit and paying for the return of goods
  • The success of the new rules will depend on incentivising consumers to enter the formal recycling channel using the producer-operated buy-back scheme
  • Consumers will come on board when the repurchase offer is better than that of the unorganised sector and a collection mechanism is available

2 .Updating Aadhaar for better privacy

Topic: Governance
Category: E-Governance
Key points:

  • UID is only as secure as its weakest link
  • It must be ensured that the UID database is not used in a manner that can hurt the citizens either accidentally or by purposeful hacking
  • the use of not a single UID, but a base UID (like we have today) plus modifications per user (if not per use) can help solve the problem
  • The UID+ System- Instead of, say, MNREGA using the 12-digit number like today, each authorised user of the system (such as MNREGA, a bank, and so on) would get a modified (longer) number that is cryptographically generated to be unique but based on the base UID number in such a way that it could be proven to be functionally the same
  • Benefits
    1. A corporation or other user cannot create a linked database for profiling (they cannot generate a database of profiles of persons using the AADHAR number as each time a different number is being used)
    2. the cryptographic process to get the UID+ could be restricted to authorised users
      • UID must not become a casual identifier
      • The proposed update of UID to a UID+ system can address many of the concerns
      • One has to get the technology right for any programme, but its long-term success depends on people wanting it
      • The proposed update of UID to a UID+ system can address many of the concerns of people
The Indian Express:

1 .From Plate to Plough: Raising farmers’ income by 2022

Topic: Economy
Category: agriculture
Key points:

  • the paths to double farmer incomes include raising productivity and diversification into high-value agriculture as well as diversification of farm employment into non-farm activities
  • Raising productivity requires massive investments in R&D, irrigation and fertilisers
  • Diversification into high-value agriculture requires a value-chain approach (our processing levels are very low)
  • Encouraging processing and building value-chains would help create non-farm jobs in rural areas
  • If food price inflation can be kept below 5-6 per cent and farmers’ nominal incomes are raised by 12 per cent per annum, it will be commendable. Otherwise, it is just old wine in a new bottle
Others:

1 .The Financial Express: GST: Where are we after the Budget?

Topic: Economy
Category: GST
Key points:

  • the Finance Bill 2016 proposed articles of jewellery, excluding articles of silver jewellery are to be brought under the tax net by levying central excise duty at the rate of 1% (with CENVAT credit only on inputs services) and 12.5% (with CENVAT credit).
  • One must remember central excise duty will be subsumed by GST
  • ready-made garments which enjoyed certain exemption have also been brought to tax
  • central excise duty is proposed on apparel and clothing accessories with retail sale price of R1,000 or above and bearing a brand-name
  • the levy of Krishi Kalyan Cess on all taxable services at the rate of 0.5% on the value of taxable service increases the effective service tax rate to 15%
  • All these seem to be directed at moving towards the GST regime
  • a body under co-convener ship of the Additional Secretary (Revenue), Government of India, and the Member Secretary, Empowered Committee had been constituted to look into business processes of GST
  • It seems that the watershed reform of the Indian indirect taxation system is edging into realisation
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  1. GATT
  2. President’s Rule
  3. UID
  4. Palmyra
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1:Which of the following are true?
  1. Aadhar is a 12 digit unique identification number which is provided only to Indian citizens
  2. Aadhar is a voluntary service

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 2:Which of the following are true?
  1. Palmyra is an ancient Semitic city in Iraq
  2. Palmyra has Aramaic, Arabic and Greco-Roman remains

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 3:Choose the correct answer w.r.t following
  1. WTO settles trade disputes between countries through it’s Dispute Resolution Body
  2. Anti dumping and countervailing disputes come under it’s ambit

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 4:Which of the statements below are true:
  1. SC judges have to declare their assets under RTI
  2. Political parties have to declare their assets under RTI

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) 1 and 2

d) None of these

Question 5:Which of the statements below are true:
  1. The Goods and Services Tax would replace many taxes imposed by state and central governments
  2. states may levy and collect GST on supplies in the course of inter-state trade or commerce

a) 1only

b) 2only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

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