Comprehensive News Analysis – 29 August 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. U.S. to help with NSG entry

2. MHA oversight for all NGOs?

3. Silk Road’ train to reach Afghanistan on Sept.9

C. GS3 Related:

1. ISRO successfully test-fires scramjet engine

2. Amid growing protectionism, global trade ministers to meet

3. GST: A high standard rate would impact prices and hamper acceptance

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

The Hindu

1. Reinventing the wheel in Kashmir

2. Uncertain times in London

3. Securing the Scorpene

4. Surrogates are workers, not wombs

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
I. Archives

.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!

 

B. GS2 Related


  1. U.S. to help with NSG entry

Category: International Relations   

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

Key Points:

  • The U.S. will push for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group when the issue is taken up later this year.
  • In 2008, former President George Bush’s phone call to former Chinese President Hu Jintao swung a waiver from the NSG in India’s favour.
  • It is believed that at the upcoming meeting at G-20 nextweek, President Obama would take up the issue with President Xi of China.

 

  1. MHA oversight for all NGOs?

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic:   Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • The Home Ministry of the Government of India (GOI) wants the Finance Ministry of the GOI to surrender its powers to monitor non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
  • This idea is believed to bring all NGOs that receive foreign contributions under a single umbrella- which can in turn provide for better monitoring and regulation.
  • There are certain NGOs which are registered under FEMA. These NGOs continue to disburse foreign funds to various associations. Since FEMA is regulated by the Finance Ministry, there are many occasions when the Home Ministry is not able to monitor the flow of funds effectively. Thus it is believed that since there is a separate law — the FCRA — to deal with such transactions, it will be better if they are brought under a common head
  • The Home Ministry monitors foreign funds donated to NGOs and organisations through the FCRA.
  • The total number of NGOs registered under the FCRA is 33,000, and last year alone, FCRA registration for nearly 10,000 NGOs was cancelled for not following norms.

 

  1. Silk Road’ train to reach Afghanistan on Sept. 9

Category: International Relations 

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

Key Points:

  • The first cargo train from China is set to reach Afghanistan on September 9.
  • This landmark moment, signals Beijing’s effort to consolidate ties with Kabul- as part of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative along the ancient Silk Road.
  • Experts say that the departure of the train signals China’s intent to consolidate ties with Afghanistan.
  • It is important to note that NATO forces are being scaled down in Afghanistan.
  • China is looking at playing a leading role in imparting political stability to Afghanistan.
  • Political stability in Afghanistan is important for the following reasons- a) securing the OBOR, b) protecting the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), and c) plugging support for separatists operating in China’s Xinjiang province.

 

C. GS3 Related


1. ISRO successfully test-fires scramjet engine

Category: Science and Technology 

Topic:  Space

1

Key Points:

  • Indian Space Research Organisation launched an experimental mission.
  • This experimental mission is aimed at realizing an Air Breathing Propulsion System that uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere air as the oxidiser.
  • An Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), a research rocket with a solid booster carrying advanced scramjet engines was successfully flight-tested at Sriharikota.

Significance

  • This success story makes India the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of scramjet engines. This mission is also a milestone for ISRO’s future space transportation system.

Other important points to know

  • ‘Scramjet’ engine is used only during the atmospheric phase of the rocket’s flight.
  • These ‘Scramjet engines’ will help bring down the launch cost by reducing the amount of oxidiser to be carried along with the fuel.
  • The Scramjet engines are designed by ISRO.
  • The Scramjet engines use hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidiser.


2. Amid growing protectionism, global trade ministers to meet

Category: Economy 

Topic:  International Trade

Key Points:

  • Amid growing protectionism, the trade ministers from various World Trade Organisation (WTO) member nations are slated to gather at Oslo to discuss the need for further liberalization.
  • WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo has said that “(world) trade growth is likely to remain below 3 per cent in 2016, making it the fifth consecutive year of sub 3 per cent expansion.”
  • India is preparing to take the lead in WTO-level talks to open up global services trade. Opening up global services trade is important to ensure easier movement of skilled professionals for short-term projects overseas.
  • India is also working on a formal proposal to be submitted soon before the WTO on a ‘Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Services’.


3. GST: A high standard rate would impact prices and hamper acceptance

Category: Economy 

Topic:  Taxation

Key Points:

  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is widely believed to be the most important tax reform since 1991.
  • The GST will transform India into a unitary market, lower transaction and logistics costs, spread the tax net wider and propel investments and growth.

Journey Ahead

  • A number of steps are required from different stakeholders- thus the journey ahead will not be easy.
  • Even for industry, conforming to the newly established administrative process within a compressed time-frame will be challenging.
  • One among the first tasks for the GST Council would be to decide on the tax rate applicable.
  • This tax rate would impact macroeconomic indicators- GDP growth rate, inflation, fiscal condition of Central and State Governments, etc.
  • A Committee headed by Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, after a detailed study, recommended a reasonable RNR (revenue-neutral rate) of 15-15.5%
  • A revenue neutral rate of 15-15.5% would determine the standard rate of 17-18 per cent.
  • It is important to note that, a standard rate of 18 per cent ensures that the tax revenues of the Centre and States would not be adversely impacted by the introduction of GST.


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

 

The Hindu


1.  Reinventing the wheel in Kashmir

Category: Internal Security

Topic:  Challenges to Internal Security, Role of external state and non-state actors 

Key Points:

  • An all-party delegation is expected to visit Srinagar in an attempt to reach out to people and initiate a political dialogue.
  • Although PM Modi has underlined the gravity of the situation and has reached out by saying that each person who dies in the valley is “one of our people”, there is urgent need for an actionable checklist.
  • The deeper problem of alienation in Kashmir largely remains.
  • To chart a new course, PM Modi and Ms. Mufti must work on a sustained plan for dialogue in the State.


2. Uncertain times in London

Category: International Relations

Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries

Key Points:

  • There are more questions than answers about the shape of Britain’s future in Europe.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May insists that “Brexit means Brexit”.
  • She has also emphasized that London would not, until 2017, trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty on leaving the bloc.
  • However, it is unlikely that the exit procedure would be initiated before the French presidential elections next summer and the general elections in Germany a few months later.
  • Earlier this year, in the June vote,  a majority of the Scots had decided to stay in the EU.
  • But, the mood currently in Scotland clearly favours a second referendum on Scottish independence.
  • Also, Brexit will raise the economic burden of an independent Scotland- this is true, as a bulk of Scotland’s export revenues accrue from the rest of Britain.


3. Securing the Scorpene

Category: International Relations 

Topic:  Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

2

Key Points:

  • The Australiannewspaper had placed in the public domain, certain documents which could possible compromise the Indian Scorpene submarine currently being built in collaboration with the French company DCNS.
  • Some of India’s veteran submariners have described the leak as a ‘storm in a teacup’- and others have expressed fear that the credibility of the platform may have been compromised
  • India and France will need to work together to investigate and redress the contractual breach of security.
  • At the very heart of a submarine, is its opacity, and what makes it vulnerable to detection is its unique acoustic signature- which is the fingerprint of each boat.

 

4. Surrogates are workers, not wombs
Category: Polity and Governance, Social Justice 

Topic:  Government Initiatives

3

Key Points:

  • The Union Cabinet approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016,
  • The bill bans commercial surrogacy in India.
  • The bill limits the practice of surrogacy to heterosexual Indian couples who have been married for five years, have no children, and are able to persuade a relative to become a surrogate altruistically for them.

 

Reservations raised against the bill

  • One should not dismiss the industry of commercial surrogacy as inherently oppressive and the women involved as mere subjects- instead, it makes sense to recognise that while some women are coerced into surrogacy by their families and brokers, others evaluate their options and negotiate with their families in order to participate in this industry.
  • It is important that we view the surrogates as workers, and not as wombs, or voiceless victims.
  • It is the surrogates who should participate in dialogues, and not just be discussed about.
  • An outright ban on surrogacy would push the industry underground- increasing the vulnerability of women even more.
  • Another provision of the bill that has come under criticism is that Commissioning parents, will only be allowed to meet medical expenses of their “altruistic” surrogate mothers, and that no other payments can be made. Some critics believe that this provision resign women to being (reproductive) gift-givers, with no compensation for their loss of livelihood and the huge emotional and bodily labour of gestation involved in surrogacy.

 

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • ‘Scramjet’ engine
  • CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor)
  • Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)
  • FCRA
  • One Belt One Road (OBOR)
  • Altruistic Surrogacy
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
1. Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=149186
2. The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014 http://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/the-constitution-122nd-amendment-gst-bill-2014-3505/
3. ISRO http://isro.gov.in/update/28-aug-2016/successful-flight-testing-of-isros-scramjet-engine-technology-demonstrator


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements regarding 'Scramjet engines'?
  1. These ‘Scramjet engines’ will help bring down the launch cost by reducing the amount of oxidiser to be carried along with the fuel.
  2. The Scramjet engines are designed by ISRO.
  3. The Scramjet engines use hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidiser.

a) 1 Only

b) 2 and 3 Only

c) All 1, 2 and 3

d) 3 Only


Question 2: The ' Alataw pass', recently in the news, is on the border of which two countries?

a) China- Kazakhstan

b) India-China

c) Pakistan-Afghanistan

d) Iran-Afghanistan


Question 3: Consider the following statements, regarding the GST Bill, 2014,
  1. Parliament and state legislatures will have concurrent powers to make laws on GST. Only the centre may levy an integrated GST (IGST) on the interstate supply of goods and services, and imports.
  2. Alcohol for human consumption has been exempted from the purview of GST. GST will apply to five petroleum products at a later date.

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 4: Consider the following statements, regarding, 'Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016',
  1. The Bill will regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the State and Union Territories.
  2. The legislation will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Question 5: Consider the following statements, regarding the 'Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)',
  1. The TFA was the first Agreement concluded at the WTO by all of its Members.
  2. The TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.
  3. India is also working on a formal proposal to be submitted soon before the WTO on a ‘Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Services’.

a) 1 and 2 Only

b) 2 Only

c) All, 1, 2 and 3

d) 2 and 3 Only

 

Check Your Answers

“Proper Current Affairs preparation is the key to success in the UPSC- Civil Services Examination. We have now launched a comprehensive ‘Online Current Affairs Crash Course’.
Limited seats available. Click here to Know More.”

 

I. Archives:

You can check out some more recent News Analysis sections to build even more context

28th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

27th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

26th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

25th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

24th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

23rd August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

22nd August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

21st August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

20th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

19th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

18th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

17th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

16th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

15th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

14th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

13th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

12th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

11th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

10th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

9th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

8th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

7th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

6th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

5th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

4th August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

3rd August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

2nd August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

1st August 2016: Daily News & Current Affairs Analysis

List of all DNA Articles

Practice More: Enroll for India’s Largest All-India Test Series

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *