Comprehensive News Analysis – 29 December 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Groundswell of ire against Norway move

2. Abe offers condolences at Pearl Harbor

C. GS3 Related:

1. 2017 may ring curtains on many mines

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

The Hindu

1. Statesmanship at Pearl Harbour

Business Line

1. Trouble’s brewing

PIB:

1. PM attends NITI Aayog’s interaction with economists on “Economic Policy – The Road Ahead”

2. Cabinet approves International Solar Alliance (ISA): Signing of the Framework Agreement

3. Fresh guidelines on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 issued by DoPT

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. Groundswell of ire against Norway move

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • Recently, Sushma Swaraj stressed, in a series of tweets that a five-year-old Indian boy who had been taken away from his parents in Norway over suspected abuse must be given back to his family.
  • The boy, Aryan, who is the son of Anil Kumar and Gurvinderjit Kaur, was placed in foster care on December 13 by the Norwegian government.
  • Officials took him away from his kindergarten school in Oslo, saying there had been complaints about the child being beaten up.   
  • Pursuant to these developments, an international movement cutting across ideological lines emerged on 28th Dec, 2016, supporting India’s claim seeking the return of a child to his Indo-Norwegian parents.
  • Activists from Norway, U.S., Australia blamed Norway’s child welfare agency, Barnevernet, of violating human rights and came out in support of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

 

  1. Abe offers condolences at Pearl Harbor

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • Abe is the first sitting PM to pay his respects at the USS Arizona Memorial, which was built in the 1960s.
  • Three Japanese Prime Ministers, including Mr. Abe’s grandfather, visited Hawaii in the 1950s.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. 2017 may ring curtains on many mines

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Industry- Mining, Government Policy  

Key Points:

  • There are two difficult deadlines set for the mining sector in India. These deadlines have been set under laws governing forest conservation, forest dwellers’ rights and the mines and mineral development and regulation (MMDR) law of 2015.
  • Hundreds of existing and proposed mines would need to comply with these deadlines.
  • Recently, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) wrote to the Mines Ministry to request an extension of the December 31, 2016 (for forest clearances in mineral-rich Odisha) and January 11, 2017 (for converting letters of intent issued by states for mining operations before January 12, 2015, when the new MMDR law kicked in) deadlines to provide ‘a lease of life’ to these mines.

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. Statesmanship at Pearl Harbour

Category: World History, International Relations 

Topic: World War 2  

Key Points:

  • Through his visit to Pearl Harbour this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,

and U.S. President Barack Obama, have undertaken a bold and difficult journey on behalf of their peoples more than 70 years after atrocities were committed against each other during World War II. 

In Japan, conservative sections have long regarded any attempt to own up the slaughter of hundreds of U.S. marines at Pearl Harbour in 1941 as nothing but a betrayal of national interest.

While in the U.S., veterans of the war have seen little justification in the claim that the devastation caused by the twin nuclear bombings had to be condoled. They believe that the horror in Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought the war to a close sooner than it might otherwise have been. 

It is important to note that the favourable public opinion in both countries towards each other will possibly prove critical in consolidating upon the current strengths in the economic partnership and weathering the uncertainties of the future.

 

Business Line

  1. Trouble’s brewing

Category: Environment and Ecology

Topic: Climate Change    

Key Points:

  • India’s coffee and tea growers are being impacted by climate change.
  • Long spells of exceptionally warm weather, and rain concentrated over short rather than long periods, and extreme weather events are taking its toll.
  • It is important to note that India registered a record tea output in 2015-16 despite a 7 per cent decline in south India’s gardens.
  • It is believed that this decline could worsen this year, due to the failure of both the southwest and northeast monsoons.
  • Tea quality has been a concern in Assam, which accounts for half of India’s tea output.
  • Harsh temperatures in the middle of the year and a tendency for the southwest monsoon to set in late have robbed Assam tea of some of its flavour. 
  • The absence of well distributed rain, along with the rise in dry spells and temperatures, has led to more pest attacks.
  • This has contributed to higher costs both to contain pests and to keep irrigation going in the drier months, squeezing margins in an increasingly competitive global market where India is losing ground to Sri Lanka and Kenya.
  • To keep Indian teas going both at home and overseas, it is important to adjust cropping practices. Micro-application of nutrients and rainwater harvesting can help beat back vagaries of the weather. However, both State and Central Governments need to play an active role in pushing this change by providing capital and know-how.
  • Creating shade conditions for tea will help, but beyond a point can trigger fungal attacks.
  • Even coffee needs well distributed rain. Unfortunately, this crop too is under stress.

 

The Way Forward

  • Climate change threatens to ramp up costs for agriculture as a whole, for which the Government needs to adopt a well thought-out response.
  • This includes promoting research on drought and flood-resistant varieties, shorter duration crops and crop diversification.
  • Ecology and economics must go hand in hand in the plantation sector and elsewhere.


PIB

  1. PM attends NITI Aayog’s interaction with economists on “Economic Policy – The Road Ahead”

Category: Polity and Governance, Indian Economy  

Topic: Government Initiatives  

Key Points:

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on 27th Dec, 2016 attended an interactive session with economists and other experts, organized by NITI Aayog, on the theme “Economic Policy – The Road Ahead.”
  • During the session, participants shared their views on various economic themes such as agriculture, skill development and job creation, taxation and tariff related matters, education, digital technology, housing, tourism, banking, governance reform, data driven policy, and future steps for growth.

 

  1. Cabinet approves International Solar Alliance (ISA): Signing of the Framework Agreement

Category: Polity and Governance, Environment and Ecology  

Topic: Government Initiatives, Climate Change    

Key Points:

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the proposal of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) for ratification of ISA’s Framework Agreement by India. ISA was launched jointly by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France on 30th November, 2015 at Paris on the side-lines of the 21st CoP meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • The ISA will strive to bring together more than 121 solar resource rich nations for coordinated research, low cost financing and rapid deployment. The foundation stone of the ISA Headquarters was laid at Gwal Pahari, Guragaon in Haryana. India has already committed the required support of operationalization of ISA. ISA will put India globally in a leadership role in climate and renewable energy issues. It will also give a platform to showcase its solar programmes.

 

  1. Fresh guidelines on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 issued by DoPT

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives   

Key Points:

The Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, had held a review meeting on implementation of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 on 26.10.2016. During the meeting, some cases of sexual harassment pending with certain ministries/ departments were also examined. On the basis of the discussions, it was decided that DoPT will issue fresh instructions so that some of the issues can be suitably addressed.

Guidelines issued:

  1. Brief details of the implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act including the number of cases received and disposed shall form a part of the Annual Report of all ministries/ departments and authorities there under.
  2. The enquiry of cases must be completed within 30 days and under any circumstances within 90 days from the date of the complaint.
  3. The ministries/ departments etc. have to keep a watch on the complainant so as to ensure that she is not victimized in any manner because of her having filed the complaint. The aggrieved woman has been given further option to send representation to the Secretary or head of the organization in case she feels that she is being victimized because of her complaint. The concerned authority will be required to dispose of this complaint within 15 days.
  4. All ministries/ departments etc. are now required to submit a monthly progress report to the Ministry of Women and Child Development so that the progress can be monitored.

Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, while appreciating DoPT for having quickly issued the guidelines, stated that the WCD Ministry shall continue to work on issues related to sexual harassment of women at workplace and she will be holding further consultations to see if there are any other areas which need to be looked into. 


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation (MMDR) Law
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act



H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
  1. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016 amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
  2. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 regulates the mining sector in India and specifies the requirement for obtaining and granting leases for mining operations.

Which of the above statements are true?

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None


Question 2: Consider the following statements,
  1. Norway has land borders with Sweden, Finland, Russia.
  2. A fjord is a deep, narrow and elongated sea or lakedrain, with steep land on three sides.

Which of the above statements are incorrect?

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None


Question 3: Consider the following statements,
  1. Assam accounts for half of India’s tea output.
  2. With reference to coffee and tea plantations, it has been suggested that micro-application of nutrients and rainwater harvesting can help beat back vagaries of the weather.

Which of the above statements are correct?

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None


Question 4: Consider the following statements,
  1. The Hawaiian islands consist of 2 active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa.
  2. Measured from its sea floor base to its highest peak, Mauna Kea is the world’s tallest mountain, taller than Mount Everest is, since the base of Mount Everest is above sea level.

Which of the above statements are incorrect?

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None


Question 5: The first statute for the governance of India, under the direct rule of the British Government, was the

a) Government of India Act, 1858

b) Government of India Act, 1861

c) Government of India Act, 1892

d) Government of India Act, 1915

Check Your Answers

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