UPSC 2017: Comprehensive News Analysis - Aug 05

TABLE OF CONTENT

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
Polity
1. It’s time to enact an anti-lynching law  
2. Aadhaar will be required for death certificates 
3. Cattle trade ban rules were not placed before Parliament  
4. Ordinance to give quota in promotions for SC/ST staff likely  
5. Restoring Parliament’s primacy
6. SC for centralised system to select judicial officers 
7. New Bill to allow States to drop no-detention policy
8. A half-done reform: On LPG subsidy
Health Issues
1. 8.8 million blind in India in 2015, says study in Lancet  
C. GS3 Related
Science and Technology
1. ISRO to rely on CSIR for keeping satellite clocks accurate 
D. GS4 Related
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related


Nothing here for Today!!!

B. GS2 Related


Category: POLITY

1. It’s time to enact an anti-lynching law

National Campaign Against Mob Lynching (NCAML)

  • It has initiated a campaign for a law against mob lynching.
  • Also known as ‘Masuka’, short for Manav Suraksha Kanoon (law to protect humans)
  • A draft of the proposed legislation is currently up on the Internet, awaiting suggestions from the public.

Why anti-lynching law is necessary?

  • It fills a void in our criminal jurisprudence.
  • At present there is no law that criminalises mob killings. The Indian Penal Code has provisions for unlawful assembly, rioting, and murder but nothing that takes cognisance of a group of people coming together to kill (a lynch mob).
  • Under Section 223 (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), to prosecute together two or more people accused of the same offence committed in the course of the “same transaction”.
  • But the provision falls far short of an adequate legal framework for prosecuting lynch mobs

Apprehensions

  • The potential for abuse
  • the underlying premise that a generic anti-lynching law could address India’s lynching problem.

Reason for the rise in lynchings

  • Major reason for the recent rise in lynchings is impunity.
  • The lynch mobs that murdered several people were confident of getting away with it. So far, the state has done little to shake that confidence.
  • The problem is not mob lynching per se but the mob lynching of minorities, for that is where impunity kicks in.

Communalism

  • Advocates of Masuka appear reluctant to name the problem –targeted communal lynchings.
  • It actually is a minority issue, and that is why the majority needs to take it up.
  • Any political mobilisation for the protection of minorities would be anxious about the bogey of minority appeasement.
  • It could even mean that an anti-lynching Bill stands less chance of making it through Parliament

Protect minorities

  • A truly ‘civil’ society should feel no hesitation in demanding that the state protect its minorities because protection of minorities is one of the biggest responsibilities of any democracy.
  • The UN has a Special Rapporteur for minority issues precisely because it recognises that “minorities in all regions of the world continue to face serious threats”

Ways to combat the impunity enjoyed by anti-minority lynch mobs

  • Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011, or the Anti-Communal Violence Bill
  • Police reforms, which are pending despite the Supreme Court ordering their implementation
  • But the Anti-Communal Violence Bill was buried because it was felt that it threatened the autonomy of States by mooting a parallel structure that undermined federalism.

Anti-Communal Violence Bill

  • It fixes command responsibility for communal incidents
  • It recognises that targeted communal violence disproportionately victimises minorities
  • It creates a mechanism to insulate investigations of communal violence from political interference

Way forward

  • The draft anti-lynching law needs to be revised to incorporate key elements of the Anti-Communal Violence Bill.
  • Demand for an anti-lynching law needs to be buttressed by a parallel campaign for police reforms.

2. Aadhaar will be required for death certificates

In news

  • From October 1 onwards, Aadhaar number will be required to establish identity of a deceased person for registration of his/her death.
  • Why such a move? Registrar General of India (RGI) said it would effectively prevent identity-fraud.
  • Applicant is not aware of the Aadhaar No. or enrolment ID No. of the deceased: he shall have to declare that the latter did not possess Aadhaar number to the best of his knowledge.
  • Any false declaration to this effect will be treated an offence under the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1967.
  • A reading of the Aadhaar Act indicates that the penalty for the said offence may be imprisonment up to one year and/or fine up to Rs 25,000.

3. Cattle trade ban rules were not placed before Parliament

Context:

  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules of 2017-notified on May 23, bans the sale of cattle in livestock markets for the purpose of slaughter or animal sacrifice.
  • The rules mandate that cattle should only be sold in animal markets for farming purposes

In news

  • RTI reply by the Lok Sabha Secretariat:
  • The rules banning cattle slaughter were never placed before Parliament
  • What does the law say?
  • Section 38A of the Prevention of Cruelty Act of 1960 mandates that any rule made by the Centre under it ought to be laid before each House of Parliament “as soon as it is made.”
  • The rules are to be placed before Parliament for a total of 30 days.
  • Any modification agreed upon by both the Houses should be incorporated in the rules or else they would have no effect.

4. Ordinance to give quota in promotions for SC/ST staff likely

In news:

  • The Karnataka State government is likely to promulgate an ordinance to give reservation in promotions for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe employees.
  • This move comes in the backdrop of a Supreme Court order that struck down reservation in promotions for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe employees.

Key Fact: The State has had reservation in promotions for SC/ST employees since 1978 — 15% for SCs and 3% for STs — which has been struck down by the apex court.

5. Restoring Parliament’s primacy

Context

  • Relevance of ‘Parliamentary Budget Office’ in Indian Parliamentary system

What is a Parliamentary Budget Office(PBO)?

  • A PBO is an independent and impartial body linked directly to Parliament
  • A PBO is comprised of independent and specialised staff, such as Budget analysts, economists, public finance experts
  • It provides technical and objective analysis of Budgets and public finance to the House and its committees
  • Its core functions include Budget approval, scrutiny of its implementation
  • The PBO must be non-partisan, independent and mandated to serve all parliamentarians
  • Its output, and the methods by which those outputs are prepared must be transparent, accessible and understandable

Why PBO?

  • Some experts have argued that Parliament does not require a functioning PBO
  • But this argument is flawed because Parliament is a Budget-approving body and its members must be well-informed for a legitimate approving process
  • PBO is an instrument for addressing bias towards spending and deficits
  • It can generate quality public debate on Budget policy and public finance, enabling parliamentarians to engage meaningfully in the Budget process

Functioning PBOs in other countries

  • The functioning PBOs are in countries such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, Austria, South Korea, Italy, and Mexico
  • There are PBOs established in subnational legislatures, such as California, Ontario, Scotland, and New South Wales
  • Also, New York City has a well-functioning Independent Budget Office (IBO)

Core functions of PBOs

  • The majority of PBOs have four core functions:
    1. Independent and objective economic forecasts
    2. Baseline estimate survey
    3. Analysing the executive’s Budget proposal
    4. Providing medium- to long-term analysis

The core functions of the PBO should be codified in law.

The way forward

  • Parliamentary scrutiny of public finance is an important aspect of governmental accountability
  • There is a legitimate democratic need in this country to strengthen the capacity of Parliament and its members
  • Parliamentarians have a role in establishing the PBO
  • As representatives of the people, Parliamentarians can help improve Budget policies by providing inputs on public needs and priorities

6. SC for centralised system to select judicial officers

In news

  • The Supreme Court indicated a favourable attitude towards a centralised selection mechanism for appointment of judicial officers in the subordinate judiciary.

‘No breach’: The Bench tried to assuage the concern of various States and High Courts, saying there would be no breach and interference in the federal structure.

7. New Bill to allow States to drop no-detention policy

In news:

  • Ministry of Human Resource Development is looking to introduce a Bill to amend the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, to enable States to do away with the no-detention policy if they wish.
  • Key Fact: Twenty-five States had recently agreed with the idea of doing away with or tweaking the no-detention policy — wherein a child is not detained till Class 8 — to give a boost to levels of learning.
  • The Bill is expected to permit States to introduce exams in Classes 5 and 8.
  • Students who fail in the exams — to be held in March — will be given remedial training and offered another chance to pass in May. Those who still fail will be detained in the same class.

Why to remove no-detention policy?

  • Falling standards: no-detention policy aimed at retaining students in school and giving a fillip to education — led to learning levels taking a dip.
  • Key Fact: Dropout rates till Class 8 are just 4%, but they rise to above 20% after that. This is because of the no-detention policy.

8. A half-done reform: On LPG subsidy

Context:

  • The government decided to completely do away with the subsidy offered to cooking gas used for household purposes
  • Public sector oil companies were authorised to incrementally hike the “effective price” of LPG cylinders until the entire subsidy is wiped off by March next year.

Burden of government

  • Fall in global crude oil prices, has already eased the burden on the government.
  • In the latest Union budget, the government allocated about ₹25,000 crore towards oil subsidy, which is a fourth of the total oil subsidy bill (of almost ₹1 lakh crore) incurred in fiscal year 2013.
  • The implementation of the direct transfer of cash benefits has already helped in the better targeting of subsidies to the poor, thus substantially reducing wasteful spending.

Subsidy Cut:

  • The cut in subsidy would further strengthen fiscal discipline.

Way forward:

  • Sustainably lower the price of cooking gas once and for all, getting the government out of the business of managing subsidies.
  • Deregulating the market for cooking gas, thus opening it up to more widespread market competition, would also help.

Category: ECONOMICS

1. 8.8 million blind in India in 2015, says study in Lancet

Highlights of a Study by the Lancet Global Health journal

  • According to the study, 8 million people in India were found to be blind in 2015
  • And another 7 million people had moderate and severe vision impairment

Level of Problem around the world

  • According to the study, there are an estimated 36 million people worldwide, who are blind and this is set to increase to almost 115 million people by 2050
  • This increase will be seen in developing countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa

Problem trend:

  • The rates of blindness and vision impairment have decreased in recent years
  • The number of cases has risen as the world population has aged

C. GS3 Related


Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. ISRO to rely on CSIR for keeping satellite clocks accurate

In news

A step towards self-reliance

  • India’s indigenously-developed global positioning system, called NavIC, will synchronise its clocks to time provided by the National Physical Laboratory, a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research body.
  • Until now: the satellites on NavIC — managed by the Indian Space Research Organisation — relied on the United State’s GPS to ensure that the clocks aboard were working at the high-precision required in satellite-based communication.
  • A memorandum was signed between the CSIR and ISRO to initiate this activity that will now require NPL to upgrade its time-keeping infrastructure and ISRO to make changes that will make NPL-provided time the default time source aboard the seven-satellite constellation.

Replacement

  • Atomic clocks aboard NavIC, more formally called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), are foreign-made and ISRO’s forthcoming satellite, IRNSS-1H, will continue using the same clocks.
  • IRNSS-1H satellite is being launched as a replacement for one of the seven satellites, IRNSS-1A, which has had problems with the accuracy of its clocks.

About NavIC

  • NAVIC is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services.
  • NavIC is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area.
  • NAVIC will provide two levels of service, the ‘standard positioning service’ will be open for civilian use, and a ‘restricted service’ (an encrypted one) for authorized users (including military).

National Physical Laboratory (NPL):

  • The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), part of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, is host of the most accurate clocks in the country, and the only agency in India authorised to maintain Indian Standard Time (IST).
  • The NPL maintains accuracy of ±20 nanoseconds through the Primary Time Scale, an ensemble of five caesium clocks and one hydrogen maser.
  • The rest of the world connects to these via tele-clocks, satellite links, and Network Time Protocol services.

D. GS4 Related


Nothing here for Today!!!

E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn


Nothing here for Today!!!

 

F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News


Nothing here for Today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. NAVIC is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system that provides 
accurate _______.
  1. Real-time positioning
  2. Timing services.
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B
See
Answer
Question 2. Shaphee Lanphee, a traditional textile fabric, is a GI product from which of the 
following states?
  1. Assam
  2. Manipur
  3. Jammu & Kashmir
  4. Andhra Pradesh

See

Answer
Question 3. Raut Nacha is folk dance performed mainly by the tribal communities of 
which state?
  1. Rajasthan
  2. Jammu & Kashmir
  3. Assam
  4. Chhattisgarh

See

Answer
Question 4. Which of the following protects the body against infectious disease and foreign 
invaders?
  1. Leukocytes
  2. Red blood cells
  3. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)
  4. Golgi apparatus

See

Answer
Question 5. ‘Project Dantak’ refers to ______.
  1. The construction of road and telecommunications network by India’s Border Roads Organisation, in Bhutan.
  2. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s programme to set up dental clinics through PPP mode in every district.
  3. The Income Tax Department’s initiative to e-verify large cash deposits made during the window provided for depositing high-denomination currency notes with banks.
  4. An India Post virtual museum showcasing all philatelic items associated with India’s Men in Uniform.

See

Answer
Question 6. The first Indian satellite built in our country, was named after a 5th Century 
A.D. astronomer. Which of the following is/are texts authored by this astronomer?
  1. Aryabhatibhashya
  2. Brihatsamhita
  3. Aryasiddhanta

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 3 only
See
Answer

G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions


GS Paper II
  1. Direct cash transfers have the potential to improve the economic lives of the poor by transferring benefits to households quickly and directly. Achieving these benefits requires thoughtful design of schemes, and careful, rigorous analysis of ongoing programmes is an important input to the design process. Discuss
  2. “Advancing rights of women farmers can revolutionise the rural ecosystem.” Discuss the relevance of this statement in the current Indian context.
  3. Explain the need for Anti-lynching law in India, what are the challenges involved?
GS Paper III
  1. “Multiple indicators suggest that executive-led budgetary governance has not been successful in India.” Critically examine.
GS Paper IV
  1. Some people feel that values keep changing with time and situation, while others strongly believe that there are certain universal and eternal human values. Give your perception in this regard with due justification.
  2. You are recently posted as district development officer of a district. Shortly thereafter you found that there is considerable tension in the rural areas of your district on the issue of sending girls to schools.
    The elders of the village feel that many problems have come up because girls are being educated and they are stepping out of the safe environment of the household. They are of the view that the girls should be quickly married off with minimum education. The girls are also competing for jobs after education, which have traditionally remained in boys’ exclusive domain, adding to unemployment amongst male population.
    The younger generation feels that in the present era, girls should have equal opportunities for education and employment, and other means of livelihood. The entire locality is divided between the elders and the younger lot and further sub-divided between sexes in both generations. You come to know that in Panchayat or in other local bodies or even in busy crossroads, the issue is being acrimoniously debated.
    One day you are informed that an unpleasant incident has taken place. Some girls were molested, when they were en route to schools. The incident led to clashes between several groups and a law and order problem has arisen. The elders after heated discussion have taken a joint decision not to allow girls to go to school and to socially boycott all such families, which do not follow their dictate.
  1. What steps would you take to ensure girls’ safety without disrupting their education?
  2. How would you manage and mould matriarchic attitude of the village elders to ensure harmony in the inter-generational relations? (250 words)

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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