Comprehensive News Analysis – 31 January 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Panel headed by VinodRai to oversee BCCI’s affairs

C. GS3 Related:

1. Postmen to deliver banking services

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

The Hindu

1. As bigotry becomes policy

2. Can Trump reset ties with Russia?

Economic Times

1. RBI and EC working in tandem to eradicate cash woes to candidates

PIB

1. India Post Payments Bank will be a game changer for financial inclusion-Manoj Sinha

2. Meghalaya’s first ever Apparel and Garment Centre inaugurated at Ampati

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. Panel headed by VinodRai to oversee BCCI’s affairs

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Judiciary

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court on 30th January, 2017 appointed a four-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India VinodRai to oversee the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
  • The other members include former woman Test cricketer Diana Edulji, historian RamachandraGuha and IDFC Ltd MD and CEO VikramLimaye.
  • The four will function as the interim bosses of the BCCI and run the day-to-day administration of the cricket body till the Lodha reforms are fully implemented and elections held.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. Postmen to deliver banking services

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • Finance Minister ArunJaitley said, the USP of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) will be its ability to offer door-to-door banking service through postmen and GrameenDaksevaks.
  • He went on to add that “Once all branches are operational by September this year…that will have a multiplier impact as far as banking in India is concerned. Banking at the doorstep will no longer remain a mere slogan but will become a reality due to huge postal network in the country,”

 

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. As bigotry becomes policy

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • American President Donald Trump recently announced that his administration had banned, for 90 days via executive order, travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan,Syria and Yemen.
  • It is important to note that Mr. Trump has placed on hold indefinitely the U.S.’s asylum programme for refugees from Syria, and suspended entry of all refugees to the U.S. for 120 days.
  • His order sent shock waves at home and abroad, and sparked fears that it could create a recruitment bonanza for terrorists.
  • Trump’s shock therapy for controlling immigration begs the question whether the order is constitutional.
  • In 1965, Congress had deliberately circumscribed presidential power in this regard by stating that no one could be “discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth…”
  • In conclusion, Mr. Trump’s order has done irreparable damage to America’s reputation as a melting pot of immigrants, a beacon for bright minds and a humane force against authoritarian excess abroad.
  • No major attack has taken place on U.S. soil in the past eight years. Ultimately, Mr. Trump’s insistence on preferential treatment for Christian refugees makes a bogeyman of Muslims, a retrograde action that will exacerbate anti-Americanism worldwide.

 

2. Can Trump reset ties with Russia?

Category: International Relations

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

Key Points:

  • Throughout his campaign, Mr. Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his leadership.
  • Putin was one of the first leaders he reached out to after taking office.
  • It is interesting to note that Mr. Trump’s offer to rescript ties with the former Cold War rival comes at a time when bilateral relations are at the lowest level since the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

Background:

  • The Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia for its military intervention in Crimea and alleged interference in the U.S. election.
  • The U.S. intelligence community has repeatedly slammed Moscow over a number of issues, from “spreading instability” in the world to killing civilians in Syria.

It is important to note that the Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Russia interfered in the U.S. election to help Mr. Trump win. 

Importantly, Mr. Trump believes Russia is no longer the U.S.’s principal global rival.
In his world view, China is rising to that stature. To be sure, Russia, with its enormous land and natural resources and strategically important geography and military might, remains a key geopolitical power. But its economy is inherently weak, a shadow of the Soviet economic power.

On the other side, China is an economic powerhouse that wields enormous influence around the world. But China’s force-projection capabilities are limited as its seafront remains vulnerable. The U.S. has massive military presence in the Chinese sphere of influence. 

It is suggested that if Russia and China come together, that would pose a potential threat to long-term American interests. Mr. Trump would like to use his overtures to Russia to drive a wedge between Moscow and Beijing. 

The Three Hurdles:

There are three key problems: political, geopolitical and strategic.  Mr. Obama has created enough hurdles for Mr. Trump in dealing with the Russians. Mr. Trump already suffers from a credibility problem after all the allegations of his campaign’s links with Russia.Two, Russian foreign policy is historically shaped by its deep insecurity. 

Third, today’s Russia is not the Russia of 2009 when Mr. Obama became the President and promised a “reset”. Russia then was largely confined to its backyard — Eastern Europe, Caucuses and Central Asia. But now Russia has already spread its influence to other regions. It’s the dominant player in Syria, a strong ally of Iran (one of the countries targeted by Mr. Trump’s Muslim ban order), and a shadow force in Afghanistan where the Americans are fighting an unwinnable war for over 15 years.

 

Economic Times

1. RBI and EC working in tandem to eradicate cash woes to candidates

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Money and Banking

Key Points:

  • It is welcome that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has averted a showdown with the Election Commission (EC).
  • The EC’s request to the central bank last week to raise the weekly cash withdrawal limit for candidates in five states that are going to polls from Rs 24,000 to Rs 2 lakh met with an indifferent response.
  • The EC followed this up with a sterner demand to raise the limit. The central bank has complied, albeit obliquely. It has removed all restrictions on cash withdrawals from current accounts. It only remains for the RBI to instruct banks to make sure that no candidate in any poll-bound state faces any procedural hassle in opening a current account for the purpose of routing election expenses.
  • It is important to note that had the RBI continued to drag its feet, it would have been accused of complicity in a gamble to disrupt free and fair conduct of democratic elections, in a nation that prides itself as the largest democracy.

 

PIB

1. India Post Payments Bank will be a game changer for financial inclusion-Manoj Sinha

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Money and Banking, Government Policy

Key Points:

  • Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley and Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha launched the operations of the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). Shri Jaitley said that about 650 IPPB branches will be opened by September this year and that will have a multiplier impact as far as banking in India is concerned.
  • He said with IPPB, banking at the doorstep will no longer remain a mere slogan, but will become a reality due to huge postal network in the country. He said that financial Inclusion is critical for the socio-economic development of the country, but there are significant gaps in this area and a large proportion of country’s population remain unbanked or underbanked.
  • IPPB will effectively leverage the ubiquitous post office network with its pan-India physical presence, long experience in cash handling and savings mobilization, backed by the ongoing project of IT-enablement, to bridge this gap in Financial Inclusion.

 

  1. Meghalaya’s first ever Apparel and Garment Centre inaugurated at Ampati

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives, Government Schemes

Key Points:

  • The Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, along with Chief Minister of Meghalaya Dr. Mukul Sangma, inaugurated the first ever Apparel and Garment Making Centre in Meghalaya, near Ampati in South West Garo Hills today, in the presence of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju.
  • Irani said that the project was testimony to the true convergence of efforts of Central and State Governments. She said that the Apparel Centre will create employment opportunities for both men and women of the region, thereby empowering them economically.   
  • Irani informed that the Union Ministry of Textiles is implementing projects worth Rs. 70 crore in sericulture and weaving sectors for Meghalaya alone.
  • The Textiles Minister said that around Rs. 32 crore has already been sanctioned for the state of Meghalaya, for promotion of handlooms.
  • She appealed to the youngsters, particularly women, to leverage their handloom legacy and become enterprising entrepreneurs. As the region is well-known for regional dyes, Smt. Irani urged upon the weavers of the state to register with India Handloom Brand, which she said can directly connect the weavers with big multinational companies.
  • The Union Minister said that once the centre starts functioning to its full potential, it will give an indication to investors across the country that the youth of the region are ready for economic engagement and expansion.


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB)
  • Comptroller and Auditor General


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

The National Policy for Children


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which Article in the Constitution on India provides for the post of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)?

a) Article 148

b) Article 343

c) Article 266

d) Article 248

Question 2: Who appoints the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)?

a) Prime Minister

b) Chief Justice of India

c) Vice-President

d) President

Question 3: The ‘Kamchatka Peninsula’ is located in which of the following countries?

a) Mongolia

b) Ukraine

c) China

d) Russia

Question 4: Consider the following students,
  1. Syria is bordered by Turkey on the north, Lebanon and Israel on the west, Iraq on the east, and Jordan on the south.
  2. There are 21 countries which border the Mediterranean Sea. They are Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

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 5: Consider the following statements, 
  1. Setting-up of the IPPB to further financial inclusion was one of the budgetary announcements during 2015-16.
  2. IPPB is widely expected to be a game changer for financial inclusion in the country as the USP of this initiative is doorstep banking, particularly in the rural 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


Check Your Answers

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