UPSC 2017: Comprehensive News Analysis - December 06

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. Government gives green light for single-judge NGT Benches
2. Panchayat certificate no proof of citizenship: Supreme Court
3. SC calls for regulating hefty fees of lawyers
4. Dispose pleas to debar MPs in 3 months, says Venkaiah Naidu
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/BILATERAL RELATIONS
1. Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel capital
2. UAE and Saudi form new group separate from GCC
3. To make issuing visas a breeze, UAE to open new consular offices in India
4. China, India vow to protect globalization
5. Pakistan textbooks glorifying war: UNESCO
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Rs.8,450 crore package to boost exports post GST
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ECOLOGY
1. Arctic sea ice melt to exacerbate California droughts: study
2. 2 kiwi birds are rare bright spot in grim extinction 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. Government gives green light for single-judge NGT Benches

 In news:
 
  • In a bid to address the festering problem of vacancies in the National Green Tribunal, the government has amended rules to allow the court to constitute single member Benches.
  • Current rules require that every Bench of the NGT consist of “two or more” members and made up of at least one judicial and one expert member.
  • The balance of judicial and independent experts was necessary to ensure that technical aspects of disputes were adequately addressed.
  • The NGT specialises in adjudicating on matters relating to environment, forests and harm to people or property due to the neglect of environmental obligations of infrastructure projects.

Basic Information:
  • National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (NGT) is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues. It draws inspiration from the India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.

Members:

  • The tribunal shall consist of a full time chairperson, judicial members and expert members.
  • The minimum number of judicial and expert member prescribed is ten in each category and maximum number is twenty in each category.
  • Another important provision included in the law is that the chairperson, if find necessary, may invite any person or more person having specialized knowledge and experience in a particular case before the tribunal to assist the same in that case.
  • A judge of the Supreme Court of India or Chief Justice of High Court are eligible to be Chairperson or judicial member of the Tribunal. Even existing or retired judge of High Court is qualified to be appointed as a Judicial Member.
  • A person is qualified to be an expert member if he has Master of Science with a Doctorate degree or Master of Engineering or Master of Technology and has an experience of fifteen years in the relevant field including five years practical experiences in the field of environment and forests in a reputed National level institutions. Anyone who has administrative experience of fifteen years including experience of five years in dealing with environment matters in the Central Government or a State Government or in National or State level institution is also eligible to be an expert member.

2. Panchayat certificate no proof of citizenship: Supreme Court

 In news:
 
  • The Supreme Court held that a certificate issued by the Gram Panchayat secretary or the executive magistrate by itself was “no proof of citizenship” unless it established the legacy linkages with a person who was an Indian citizen.
  • The top court said the certificates issued by the Gram Panchayat secretary merely acknowledged shifting of residence of a married woman from one village to another.

3. SC calls for regulating hefty fees of lawyers

 In news:
 

Supreme Court observation:

  • Judgment: The astronomical fees charged by lawyers and the commercialisation of the legal profession is a violation of the fundamental right of the poor to get equal justice.
  • Neither the Bar nor the judiciary have made any move to regularise the hefty fees charged by lawyers from the poor and the needy.
  • The very essence of the legal profession is to provide inexpensive access to justice.
  • The apex court urged for a law to check the violation of professional ethics by lawyers.

Case:

  • B. Sunitha, a woman from Telangana whose husband died in a road accident.
  • She was made to sign a cheque for Rs.Three lakh by a lawyer who represented her accident claims case in the lower court This was over and above the Rs.10 lakh she had already paid to him.

4. Dispose pleas to debar MPs in 3 months, says Venkaiah Naidu

 In news:
 
  • Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu has, in his order disqualifying senior Janata Dal (U) MPs Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar from the Rajya Sabha, said that issues of disqualification of MPs should be decided by the presiding officers within a period of three months.

Voice of majority

  • He also explained, in the order, as to why the disqualification petition had not been referred to the committee of privileges.
  • He said the procedural requirements of the committee often took a longer time frame for conduct of preliminary enquiry and submission of a final report, a delay which was “tantamount to subverting the essence of the anti-defection law, namely to curb the menace of defection, by allowing a member to continue his membership without facing the consequences of defection.”

Basic Information:

Committee of privileges:

  • This Committee consists of 15 members (10 members in case of Rajya Sabha) nominated by the Speaker (Chairman in case of Rajya Sabha). Its function is to examine every question involving breach of privilege of the House or of the members of any Committee thereof referred to it by the House or by the Speaker. It determines with reference to the facts of each case whether a breach of privilege is involved and makes suitable recommendations in its report.
  • It also states the procedure to be followed by the House in giving effect to the recommendations made by it.  When a question of privilege is referred to the Committee by the House,  the report of the Committee is presented to the House by the Chairman or, in  his absence, by any member of the Committee.  Where a question of privilege is referred to the Committee by the Speaker under rule 227, the report of the Committee is presented to the Speaker who may pass final orders thereon or direct that it be laid on the Table of the House.
  • The Speaker/ Chairman may refer to the Committee any petition regarding disqualification of a member on ground of defection for making a preliminary inquiry and submitting a report to him. The procedure to be followed by the Committee in these cases is so far as may be same as in applicable to questions of breach of privilege.

Anti-Defection:

  • The 52nd amendment to the Constitution added the Tenth Schedule which laid down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection.
    • A member of parliament or state legislature was deemed to have defected if he either voluntarily resigned from his party or disobeyed the directives of the party leadership on a vote. That is, they may not vote on any issue in contravention to the party’s whip.
    • Independent members would be disqualified if they joined a political party.
    • Nominated members who were not members of a party could choose to join a party within six months; after that period, they were treated as a party member or independent member.
  • The law also made a few exceptions.
    • Any person elected as speaker or chairman could resign from his party, and rejoin the party if he demitted that post.
    • A party could be merged into another if at least two-thirds of its party legislators voted for the merger. The law initially permitted splitting of parties, but that has now been outlawed.

Category: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/BILATERAL RELATIONS

1. Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel capital

 In news:
 
  • President Donald Trump is all set to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests.
  • Trump will instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, U.S. officials said.
  • The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be an acknowledgement of “historical and current reality” rather than a political statement and said the city’s physical and political borders will not be compromised.
  • Key fact: Jerusalem includes the holiest ground in Judaism. But it’s also home to Islam’s third-holiest shrine and major Christian sites, and forms the combustible center of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Any perceived harm to Muslim claims to the city has triggered volatile protests in the past, both in the Holy Land and across the Muslim world.

2. UAE and Saudi form new group separate from GCC

 In news:
 
  • The UAE announced it has formed a new economic and partnership group with Saudi Arabia, separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a move that could undermine the council amid a diplomatic crisis with Qatar.
  • The new committee is assigned to cooperate and coordinate between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields, as well as others, in the interest of the two countries.

Basic Information:
  • The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , known as the Gulf Cooperation Council is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq.
  • Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates

3. To make issuing visas a breeze, UAE to open new consular offices in India

 In news:
 
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched a new mobile app aimed to help visitors from both nations (India and UAE).
  • UAE also announced opening of three new consular offices in India in an effort to reach out and make visa applications for Indians easy.
  • For Indian nationals, the app provides visa and attestation information to help bridge the information gap and smoothen the overall process.
  • Key Fact: The UAE is home to around 2.8 million expatriate Indians, many of whom are blue collar workers in the infrastructure sector.

4. China, India vow to protect globalization

 In news:
 
  • Top economic planners of India and China met and set the goal of leading a new wave of globalisation by synchronising their emerging economies.
  • NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar and his Chinese counterpart Li Wei, president of the Development Research Council (DRC) — the Chinese Cabinet’s top official think tank — began talks based on a firm common understanding.
  • They agreed that the two countries must work together to rescue globalisation from neoprotectionist tendencies in the U.S., Europe or anywhere else in the world.

Key points:

  • Strengthened cooperation between China and India will jointly safeguard and improve the multilateral system and mechanism and promote a new type of globalization.
  • An open, liberal and rule-based globalisation, wherein India and China could play a defining role, was necessary for prosperity and global political stability.
  • China-India cooperation — routed through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the G-20, the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) — “will further improve the global governance system.
  • India could benefit from Chinese experience gained from innovation-based “fourth industrial revolution” that focussed on advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, electric vehicles and internet-of-things.
  • India could learn from China’s rich experience in developing infrastructure.

5. Pakistan textbooks glorifying war: UNESCO

Highlights of Global Education Monitoring Report 2017-18 :

  • Released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Report expressed concern over school textbooks in many countries glorifying war and military heroes rather than teaching peace, non-violence and reconciliation.
  • It says that that just 10% of the textbooks across the world include explicit statements on the need for conflict prevention and resolution.
  • Textbooks in many countries fail to deal comprehensively with concepts that are crucial for social cohesion and political stability, including peace and non-violence.

Examples:

  • Textbooks in Pakistan that focus on militarism, wars with India and differences between Hindus and Muslims.
  • In Pakistan, textbooks have been criticised for normalising militarism and war and including biases and historical errors and distortions. Prominent Pakistanis other than military heroes and nationalist movement leaders are often excluded.
  • Pakistani textbooks published after a 2006 curriculum reform still emphasised wars with India and largely ignored peace initiatives. They also perpetuated a narrative of conflict and historic grievances between Muslims and Hindus, rather than discussing the potential for conflict resolution and reconciliation.
  • Indian history textbooks from 2002 put the blame on Pakistan and contained clear bias against Muslim elements in the region’s history.
 
 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Rs.8,450 crore package to boost exports post GST

 In news:
 
  • The government announced incentives worth ₹8,450 crore to boost exports of goods and services — mainly from labour-intensive segments and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises — and to increase employment generation and value-addition.
  • The incentives were announced as part of the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP).
  • The move comes at a time when India’s shipments shrank in October — the first after 14 consecutive months of positive growth — due to the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

FTP’s targets:

  • The FTP for the period 2015-2020 had set an ambitious target of $900 billion for India’s exports of goods and services by 2019-20.
  • It also aimed to raise India’s share in world exports from 2% to 3.5%.

Category: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ECOLOGY

1. Arctic sea ice melt to exacerbate California droughts: study

 In news:
 

Highlights of a new study:

  • Melting Arctic sea ice could render sun-soaked California vulnerable to a recurrence of the severe drought suffered in recent years as it is likely to cause high pressure systems that push away rain-bearing storms.
  • As temperatures rise, the Arctic Ocean is expected to become ice-free within two or three decades, resulting in more of the sun’s heat being stored in the Arctic Ocean, leading to atmospheric circulation changes and cloud formations in the tropical Pacific that move north.
  • That will lead to the building of high pressure system known as an atmospheric ridge in the northern Pacific off California’s coast, steering storms north into Alaska and Canada.
  • Modeling by the scientists showed that the loss of sea ice could cause a 10 to 15 percent decrease in California’s rainfall when considering a 20-year mean, with some years becoming much drier and others becoming wetter.

Socio-Economic impact:

  • The recent five-year drought cost California’s farmers billions of dollars in lost production, slashed seasonal agriculture jobs by the thousands, and spiked electricity bills for residents as hydroelectric systems failed.
  • Key Point: California’s temperatures have risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century and the warmer air holds more water, sucking moisture out of soil, rivers and streams.

2. 2 kiwi birds are rare bright spot in grim extinction report

Key Facts:

  • The International Union for the Conservation of Nature upgraded the Okarito kiwi and the Northern Brown kiwi from endangered to vulnerable.
  • Credits to New Zealand’s progress in controlling predators like stoats and cats.
  • Three reptile species are now considered extinct in the wild. The whiptail-skink, the blue-tailed skink and Lister’s gecko from Australia’s Christmas Island all have mysteriously disappeared. The group said a disease or the arrival of an invasive species, the yellow crazy ant, might be to blame.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

 

E. PRELIMS FACT

Nothing here for Today!!!

 

F. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements:
  1. A ridge is an elongated region of relatively high atmospheric pressure.
  2. A ridge is an elongated region of relatively low atmospheric pressure.
  3. In hydrologic terms, a ridge is a line or wall of broken ice forced up by pressure.

Identify the correct statements

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 2 and 3

See

Answer
Question 2. The Global Education Monitoring Report is published by
  1. UNESCO
  2. Education International
  3. World Bank
  4. Institute of International Education

See

Answer
Question 3. Identify the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council
  1. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates
  2. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates
  3. Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates
  4. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates

See

Answer
Question 4. The 52nd amendment to the Constitution added
  1. Tenth schedule
  2. Ninth Schedule
  3. Eighth Schedule
  4. Eleventh Schedule

See

Answer
Question 5. The Tropic of Capricorn passes through which one of the following 
countries in African continent? 
  1. Botswana
  2. Swaziland
  3. Zambia
  4. Zimbabwe

See

Answer

G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper I
 
  • “Textbooks that glorify war and military heroes, exclude pluralistic perspectives or undermine other peoples or ethnicities can make teaching peace, non-violence and reconciliation difficult.” Comment.
GS Paper II
  • “The confidence of the public in the legal profession is integral to the confidence of the public in the legal system.” Discuss.

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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