UPSC 2017: Comprehensive News Analysis - December 04

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. State to introduce cradle system
2. ‘Law needed for those wrongfully imprisoned’
3. App to help counter sexual abuse in schools
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/BILATERAL RELATIONS
1. First phase of Chabahar port opened
2. Pak. has not kept its word to curb terror: U.S.
3. U.S. pulls out of UN’s pact on migration
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Inflation may force RBI to hold rates
2. Can the state spur start-ups?
CYBER SECURITY
1. Watch out for ransomware in 2018: report
D. GS4 Related
E. Prelims Fact
F. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

 

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. State to introduce cradle system

 In news:

  • Andhra Pradesh: Officials of the Women Development and Child Welfare (WD&CW) Department are planning to introduce cradle system at some public places to check abandonment of children.
  • The cradles would allow people to safely deposit babies in them who could be handed over to interested couples.
  • The cradle-bell system had been in vogue for hundreds of years in orphanages and churches.
  • The cradles would be kept at the Government General Hospital, the bus and railway stations. People could keep the babies in them and alert officials by ringing the bell. Cradles will be in cabins in secluded places. Couples who don’t want a child can place the babies in them. Their details will be kept confidential. The infants will be provided with shelter in ‘Sisu Gruha’ being run by the government.

2. ‘Law needed for those wrongfully imprisoned’

 In news:

  • The Delhi High Court has asked the Law Commission of India to see if a new legislation can be brought in to provide relief and rehabilitation to victims of wrongful prosecution and incarceration.
  • There is no statutory or legal scheme at present to compensate those who spend years in jail only to be acquitted later.

NCRB data

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) says of 4,19,623 inmates lodged in various jails across the country in 2015, 67% are undertrials.
  • Prison records show that 3,599 undertrials were detained in jails for five years or more in the country.
  • The highest number of such undertrial prisoners were reported from Uttar Pradesh (1,364) followed by West Bengal (294) and Bihar (278). The same year, 82,585 undertrials were released after being acquitted.
  • The Supreme Court in various judgments over the years has held that compensation can be awarded by constitutional courts for violation of fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Practice in the United States

  • 32 States in the US have enacted laws that provide monetary and non-monetary compensation to people wrongfully incarcerated.

3. App to help counter sexual abuse in schools

 In news:
 
  • The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) is all set to launch a mobile app to teach schoolchildren how to counter the threat of sexual abuse.
  • The app will also create awareness among schoolchildren about the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO).
  • The app will comprise of a quiz regarding what a child should do when faced with the threat of sexual abuse.
  • The app is inspired by the online game of the United National High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called ‘Against All Odds’.
  • The UNHCR game — which is for children of the age group of seven years and above — seeks to create awareness among refugee children on how to face persecution and the process to seek asylum.

Category: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/BILATERAL RELATIONS

1. First phase of Chabahar port opened

Context:

  • Chahbahar port opening ceremony

In news:

  • Chahbahar port is seen as a feeder port to the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to Russia as well as land route to Central Asia.
  • It is also seen as a rival to the Chinese-built Gwadar port off Pakistan, about 80 km away, which is a critical link in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
  • Alongside the ceremony, Indian, Afghan and Iranian officials held a trilateral meeting to discuss implementing the trade and transit agreement announced in May 2016.
  • India has committed $500 million to building two berths at Chabahar to process trade and develop an economic zone around them, as well as $1.6 billion for a 650-km rail link from Chabahar to Zahedan and into Afghanistan.

2. Pak. has not kept its word to curb terror: U.S.

Key Points:

  • The U.S. is not satisfied with Pakistan’s cooperation in the war against terror as it has not done “anything significant” to rein in the Taliban and the Haqqani network and destroy their sanctuary on its territory as part of its promise, a senior White House official has said.
  • He also described the release from prison of the Mumbai-terror attack accused Hafiz Saeed as “a step backward”.

3. U.S. pulls out of UN’s pact on migration

 In news:
 
  • The United States has withdrawn from a United Nations pact- Global Compact on Migration, to improve the handling of migrant and refugee situations, deeming it “inconsistent” with its policies.
  • In September 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a non-binding political declaration, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, pledging to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they have access to education.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Inflation may force RBI to hold rates

Key Points:

  • The Monetary Policy Committee, which will meet this week, is likely to keep repo rates unchanged at 6% on inflation concerns, said a study.
  • The retail inflation or consumer price index based-inflation accelerated to a seven-month high of 3.58% in October from 3.28% in September.

Basic Information:

  • The Monetary Policy Committee of India is a committee of the Reserve Bank of India that is responsible for fixing the benchmark interest rate in India. The meetings of the Monetary Policy Committee are held at least 4 times a year and it publishes its decisions after each such meeting.
  • The committee comprises six members – three officials of the Reserve Bank of India and three external members nominated by the Government of India. They need to observe a “silent period” seven days before and after the rate decision for “utmost confidentiality”. The Governor of Reserve Bank of India is the chairperson ex officio of the committee. Decisions are taken by majority with the Governor having the casting vote in case of a tie. The current mandate of the committee is to maintain 4% annual inflation until March 31, 2021 with an upper tolerance of 6% and a lower tolerance of 2%.
  • The committee was created in 2016 to bring transparency and accountability in fixing India’s Monetary Policy. Minutes are published after every meeting with each member explaining his/her opinions. The committee is answerable to the Government of India if the inflation exceeds the range prescribed for three consecutive months.

2. Can the state spur start-ups?

Context:

  • India’s Start-up ecosystem

Start-up atmosphere in India:

  • Recently held, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit has turned the spotlight once again on India’s booming start-up economy
  • Over the past three years, India has become the third largest start-up ecosystem
  • According to data compiled by Inc42, over $9.4 billion in funding has flowed into Indian start-ups in 2017, up 1.3 times over last year(as of September)
  • There are more than a hundred funds registered with markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India alone

Central Government’s effort to improve the condition:

  • The Centre alone has announced a corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore to fund start-ups, of which 75 have actually received some money so far
  • India’s policy on foreign direct investment was specifically amended to include start-ups,
  • Start-ups are now allowed to accept up to 100% of their funding requirement from foreign venture capital investors

Various schemes:

  • There are many schemes run by various arms of the government, all of which provide tax breaks, incentives, grant money and other forms of assistance to wannabe technopreneurs
  • Technical Assistance: The Department of Electronics and Information Technology offers technical assistance for filing patents.And up to Rs. 15 lakh per invention, or up to 50% of the costs incurred in filing a patent
  • The department has multiplier grants scheme which provide up to Rs. 2 crore for start-ups in the IT services, analytics, artificial intelligence, and Internet of things space
  • Funds for Borrowings: The Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small enterprises underwrites borrowings of up to Rs. 1 crore per unit
  • Encouraging initiative: The Centre’s Atal Innovation Mission funds up to Rs. 10 crore for each Atal Incubation Centre set up under the scheme
  • The Atal Mission also provides funding to schools to set up ‘Atal Tinkering Laboratories’ to spur the spirit of innovation and enterprise amongst the young

State Governments initiatives:

  • As many as 16 State start-up policies are listed on the Startup India hub. States like Tamil Nadu and Kerala had rolled out schemes of their own

Can start-up ecosystem actually be created through state intervention and policy?

  • Israel is the most celebrated success story of state intervention and policy creating and shaping an innovations powerhouse.It set up a technology incubator programme way back in 1991, under the office of its Chief Scientist.Since then, it has gone on to become a major world power in IT innovation, as well as innovation in the pharma sector. Many countries have tried to follow the Israel model, but with far less success
  • This is probably because Israel’s policy was clearly focussed in a few areas of technology where

(1) It enjoyed a human capital advantage,

(2) The ecosystem was small and manageable, and

(3) The policy was administered by science and technology experts rather than administrative generalists

  • On the other hand, the U.S., with the largest start-up ecosystem has no clear start-up policy, though almost every state and several major cities have specific policies

Future and cautious approach:

  • It is too early to tell in India’s case. But given the proliferating schemes, the ever-growing involvement of the government. And the lack of a targeted focus, we may end up repeating the mistakes of others

Category: CYBER SECURITY

1. Watch out for ransomware in 2018: report

 In news:
 
  • Cybersecurity giant McAfee Inc. prediction in its latest report- Threats Predictions: Ransomware attacks in cyberspace are likely to increase and become more sophisticated in 2018, targeting high net worth individuals and corporates.
  • The report also warns individual home users that greater inter-connected home devices will surrender consumer privacy to corporates.

Cyber sabotage

  • The report identified five key trends to watch next year
  • The pivot from the traditional would see ransomware technologies applied beyond the objective of extortion of individuals, to cybersabotage and disruption of organisations.
  • 2017 witnessed a major explosion in ransomware attacks such as the ‘WannaCry’ epidemic in which attackers limit user access to their own systems till a certain ransom is paid to unlock them.
  • The evolution of ransomware in 2017 should remind us of how aggressively a threat can reinvent itself as attackers dramatically innovate and adjust to the successful efforts of defenders.

‘Arms race’

  • There was an ‘arms race’ between attackers and defenders, and “human intelligence amplified by technology will be the winning factor”.
  • As consumers increasingly network their homes, the report warns that connected home device manufacturers and service providers will seek to overcome “thin profit margins by gathering more of our personal data — with or without our agreement —turning the home into a corporate store front”.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

 

E. PRELIMS FACT

Nothing here for Today!!!

 

F. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. ‘Mission Raftaar’ is
  1. The Indian Railways’ Mission Mode activity to increase speeds of freight train and super-fast mail/express trains
  2. A component of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ ‘Avataran’ or seven mission mode activities, under which all national highways will be made pothole-free by 2019
  3. A complementary programme to the Sagarmala initiative in order to provide efficient road and rail connectivity from ports to the hinterland
  4. A blueprint for making optimum use of the massive renewable energy generation capacity that will be created by 2022

See

Answer
Question 2. Which one of the following countries of South-West Asia does not open out to 
the Mediterranean Sea?
  1. Syria
  2. Jordan
  3. Lebanon
  4. Israel

See

Answer
Question 3. Identify the correct statement with reference to the Great Indian Bustard
  1. It has been classified as critically Endangered species under the IUCN’s Red data book.
  2. It has been classified as critically Endangered species under the wildlife Act of 1972.
  3. Recently Great Indian Breeding center was setup in Kota, Rajasthan.
  4. All are correct.

See

Answer
Question 4. The "Preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of 
animal diseases, veterinary training and practice" comes under which list of Constitution 
of India?
  1. State list
  2. Union List
  3. Concurrent List
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 5. The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on 
modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving 
the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught 
cattle is mentioned in which part of the constitution?
  1. Fundamental duties
  2. Union list
  3. Concurrent list
  4. Directive Principles of State Policy

See

Answer

G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper II
 
  • Explain the salient features of the constitution(One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016. Do you think it is efficacious enough ‘to remove cascading effect of taxes and provide for common national market for goods and services’? (2017)
GS Paper IV
  • “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. they are father, the mother and the teacher.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Analyse. (2017 )

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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