TABLE OF CONTENT
A. GS1 Related B. GS2 Related Polity 1. Selection of ECs must be transparent, SC tells Centre International Relations 1. India, Israel to set up $40 mn research fund 2. Pak successfully test fires short-range ballistic missile Nasr 3. Signs of a Persian gulf C. GS3 Related Economics 1. UDAY covers 97% of discom debt: Centre ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY 1. Of plant species few and far between E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
UPSC Current Affairs 2017: News Analysis
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- Appointment of ECs.
- Fair, just and transparent process” for selection of ECs.
Supreme Court advice to Centre:
- Election Commissioners should be selected through the “most transparent and just process” formalised in a law enacted by Parliament.
Supreme Court observation:
- There is a “gap” caused by the lack of a parliamentary law which transparently spells out the process of appointment of an election commissioner: “Who should be shortlisted? Who shortlists these names? What is the eligibility?
- Key Fact: selection procedure of the CBI Director is formalised by a written law, but not that of Election Commissioners.
Practice at present:
- The filtering of names of suitable persons for appointment as Election Commissioners is done under the aegis of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, who in turn advise the President.
Article 324. Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission
Clause(2): The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President
Context: Prime Minister Modi visit to Israel.
- India and Israel announced a strategic partnership between the two countries after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu
- Signed seven agreements in the fields of water, agriculture, space, including a $40 million joint fund for research and development in innovation.
- Agreed to cooperate to combat the growing radicalisation and terrorism, including in cyberspace.
- The two sides also agreed to increase air linkages between the two countries, with Air India expected to commence flights to Tel Aviv, as well as a “Cultural Centre” at a location yet to be identified.
- Possibility in the near future of “joint development of defence products, including the transfer of technology from Israel.”
- The two agreements in the field of water deal with the “increasing awareness” of the need for water conservation
Memorandum of understanding signed:
- MoU between the Israeli Water Ministry and the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam Board.
- Three MoUs on space cooperation included one for Electric Propulsion for Small Satellites, and for the development of an optical link as well as cooperation on atomic clocks.
$40 million joint fund for research and development:
- The fund of research and development, called the “I4F” or India Israel Industrial Innovation Fund, will see both governments contribute $20 million to help research scholars manufacture their inventions easily.
- Pakistan successfully test fired short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’.
- ‘Nasr’ is a high-precision weapon system with the ability to be deployed quickly and with enhanced range from 60-70 kilometres and flight maneuverability.
- Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa response after the test fire: the successful test has put “cold water” on Indian military’s “Cold Start” doctrine.
- Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s provocation on Kashmir by equating the Kashmir conflict with those in Yemen and Bahrain
- India has always been worried of Iran’s support for Pakistan in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) regarding Kashmir.
Reason for Iran’s interference in Kashmir issue
- India’s growing closeness to Saudi Arabia and the UAE
- Reminder to India that Iran too has a role in the Islamic world which can’t be ignored.
- Iran getting regionally isolated in the backdrop of Donald Trump administration’s hard line against Tehran
- Saudi Arabia and its allies tries to squeeze Iran out of the regional matrix.
What is happening in Arab world?
- Blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and UAE after cutting off their diplomatic ties
- Arab states issued a 13-point demands to Qatar to curb diplomatic ties with Iran, severing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and shuttering the Al-Jazeera news network
- Saudi Arabia and Iran’s proxy wars across the region — in Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, apart from their growing hostility in Iraq.
- Attack on Iran’s Parliament , for which it blames Saudi Arabia, has further heightened the tensions.
India’s irking economic ties with Iran
- Iran hasn’t taken a decision on contract for gas exploration in its Farzad B offshore field.
- So India has decided to decrease the volume of Iranian crude oil it will be buying this year.
- There are reports that Tehran has signed an agreement for the gas field with Russian giant Gazprom.
- Now Iran stated that Chabahar port project,won’t be exclusive to India.
- Pakistan and China might also be invited to get involved.
How it affects India?
- For India, this undercuts the very strategic utility of the port
- Chabahar port is viewed as India’s answer to the Gwadar port and to circumvent Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan
- About 97% of the total outstanding debt of all state power distribution companies (discoms) has been covered under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY), the government announced
- 86% of the restructurable debt has been revamped under the scheme
What was the debt amount?
- As on September 30, 2015, the total debt of all state-owned discoms was Rs. 3.95 lakh crore
- The total liability opted for restructuring by the states through the issuance of bonds was Rs. 2.69 lakh crore
- The national average of aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses (from all UDAY states) stood at 20.2% in FY17
The difference between the average cost of supply (ACS) and the average revenue realised (ARR) had come down in the last year
- Scientists have recorded a major section of Rare Endemic and Threatened plants and trees in the Western Ghats, some of which have not been assessed by international conservation bodies for nearly two decades.
- The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) project on endemic tree resources in the southern Western Ghats, including Kerala and Tamil Nadu, has now documented about 250 ‘RET’ species.
- The assessment of some of these conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature for the IUCN Red List puts them under vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered categories based on literature from 1998.
- Heavily exploited
- Poorly documented, heavily exploited or habitat-deprived species such as Kingiodendron pinnatum, known in Malayalam as Chukannapayini, Cynometra travancorica, Vateria indica and Hopea parviflora now have better records.
- Evidence on medicinally important plants including Aglaia malabarica (critically endangered in the Red List), Myristica malabarica (vulnerable), Syzigium stocksii and Syzigium dhaneshiana as well as economically important ones like Humboldtia vahliana (unsustainably collection) and Hopea ponga has been gathered.
Nothing here for Today!!!
Nothing here for Today!!!
|Articles in News||About the Articles|
|324. Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission||
Schemes in news
|About the schemes|
Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY)
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1: Consider the following statement with reference to UDAY scheme
- UDAY is the financial turnaround and revival package for electricity distribution companies of India.
- Discoms are expected to issue bonds to the tune of 75 percent of their debt
Choose the incorrect statement
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Question 2: Which state government has launched ‘Elevate 100’ scheme to identify and nurture innovative start-ups?
- Tamil Nadu
Question 3: After returning from South Africa, which among the following was the first successful satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi?
Question 4: What is the current age of retirement of judges from supreme courts and high courts respectively in India?
- 65 & 62
- 65 & 60
- 65 for both
- 65 and 63
Question 5: Which among the following is known as “Sairandhri Vanam”?
- Silent Valley National Park
- Mudumalai National Park
- Periyar National Park
- Guindy National Park
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