UPSC 2017: Comprehensive News Analysis – Sept 27

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
Polity
1. UP primary teachers’ appointment: Yogi govt makes written test compulsory
2. Power problem — On Saubhagya scheme
International Affairs/Bilateral Relations
1. All help, but no troops to Afghanistan
2. U.S. nudges India-Afghanistan trade
C. GS3 Related
Economy
1. PM Modi sets up advisory council under Bibek Debroy to monitor economic growth
2. ADB lowers India growth outlook to 7% for 2017-18
3. Sebi may allow mutual funds to trade in commodity derivatives
Internal security and Defense related
1. Centre backs local cybersecurity tech
2. Government forms committee for 5G rollout by 2020
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. UP primary teachers’ appointment: Yogi govt makes written test compulsory

In news:

  • The Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved changes in the appointment process of primary school teachers making written examination compulsory for aspirants.
  • A written examination of 60 marks has been made compulsory while 40 marks will be for educational qualifications.
  • Only those candidates who have cleared TET (Teacher’s Eligibility Test) exam will be eligible for the written exam.

2. Power problem — On Saubhagya scheme

Context:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or the ‘Saubhagya’ scheme, aims to make electricity accessible to every household by the end of 2018
  • It is expected to cost a little over ₹16,000 crore, poor households that have no access to electricity will be provided electricity connections free of cost
  • Apart from budgetary fund allocation; its success will depend largely on addressing structural issues that plague the power sector

Issues: The Saubhagya scheme does very little to address the problem of affordability.

  • Even though it provides electricity connections free of cost, but it will not address the recurring burden of power bills
  • Improving affordability require that supply be increased drastically to lower the price paid by retail consumers.
  • Amidst the government’s claims that India is a power-surplus nation, the power generation utilities remain vastly under-utilised
  • The plant load factor (PLF) of coal and lignite-based plants, an indicator of capacity utilisation of power generation units, has dropped from 77.5% in 2009-10 to 59.88% in 2016-17, according to Central Electricity Authority
  • This is due to demand for electricity from State distribution companies dropping in tandem with their deteriorating financial status.
  • The Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY), introduced to restructure the debt of State distribution agencies, has failed to make enough difference to this state of affairs.
  • In the absence of the freedom to sell at a profitable price, they have very little incentive to demand more electricity from power generators, as evident in the constantly falling PLF.

Category: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/BILATERAL RELATIONS

1. All help, but no troops to Afghanistan

Context:

  • The U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis, visit to Inida.
  • First Cabinet-level visit from the Trump administration.

In news:

  • India on Tuesday ruled out deploying troops in Afghanistan even as it pledged to expand development and medical assistance for the strife-torn nation.
  • Key fact: India has already extended $3 billion aid to Afghanistan, provides security assistance in the form of training and has also supplied some utility and attack helicopters.

Key areas of focus:

  • Resolved to eradicate terrorist safe havens across the globe.
  • Maritime engagements:
  1. Increasing Chinese presence in the region, Mr. Mattis said expanding “maritime engagements” was one of his top priorities.
  2. Both India and U.S. reiterated their support for “freedom of navigation, over-flight and unimpeded lawful commerce” in the Indian Ocean and broader Asia-Pacific Region.

2. U.S. nudges India-Afghanistan trade

In news:

  • India-Afghanistan trade fair
  1. Venue: New Delhi
  2. Sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development.

Key Points:

  • India-Afghan trade is far lower than its potential
  • Reasons:
  1. Security situation in Afghanistan with civilian deaths peaking in 2016.
  2. The other obstacles to trade include Pakistan’s refusal to allow Indian exports to Afghanistan through the road route at Wagah, and delays for goods routed through Karachi port. Since June, India and Afghanistan have operationalised an “air corridor”, with the Afghan government chartering cargo planes to get around the logjam with Pakistan, and about 20 flights have already carried fruits, dry fruits and spices from Kabul and Kandahar, and medical and technical equipment back from India.

 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. PM Modi sets up advisory council under Bibek Debroy to monitor economic growth

Context:

  • PM Modi announced the constitution of a five-member Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) under the chairmanship of Bibek Debroy, member Niti Aayog

Reasons:

  • To keep a closer eye on economic developments and seek advisory on addressing macroeconomic and other important issues
  • The constitution of the EAC-PM, comes amidst growing concerns over the pace of growth in the economy and the slow pace of job creation.
  • In the quarter April to June 2017, the GDP growth fell to 5.7 per cent from 7.9 per cent in the corresponding period last year.
  • Government data shows that the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), has been struggling to achieve end-results.

Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM)

  • It is an independent body to give advice on economic and related issues to the Government of India, specifically to the prime minister.
  • The terms of reference of EAC includes
  • To analyse any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the prime minister and advising him thereon;
  • To address issues of macroeconomic importance and presenting views thereon to the prime minister.

2. ADB lowers India growth outlook to 7% for 2017-18

In news:

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has slashed India’s GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7 per cent from 7.4 per cent.
  • Reasons: Weakness in private consumption, manufacturing output, and business investment has resulted in lowering the short-term growth outlook for the country
  • India’s growth fell to a 3-year low of 5.7 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2017-18 “due to lingering effects from demonetization and transitory challenges related to the new goods and services tax (GST) regime
  • Manufacturing is also likely to bounce back as the sector adjusts to the new tax regime.

3. Sebi may allow mutual funds to trade in commodity derivatives

In news:

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is planning to allow mutual funds to trade in commodity derivatives.
  • Portfolio management services and foreign trading houses that export or import from India could also be allowed to participate in commodity futures.
  • Such a move will help deepen the market and provide hedging opportunities to large companies.
  • The regulator also plans to let even foreign institutional investors after a regulatory framework is put in place.
  • In June 2017, the markets regulator had allowed category III Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) to invest in commodity derivatives.
Basic Information:

Mutual Funds: A mutual fund is a professionally-managed investment scheme, usually run by an asset management company that brings together a group of people and invests their money in stocks, bonds and other securities.

Derivatives

  • Derivatives are products whose value is derived from the value of one or more basic variables, which are called Underlying Assets.
  • The underlying asset can be equity, index, foreign exchange (Forex), commodity or any other asset. This means that any instrument that derives its value on its underlying equity, index, foreign exchange (Forex), commodity or any other asset, is a Derivative Instrument.

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE RELATED

1. Centre backs local cybersecurity tech

In news:

  • With a view to promoting domestic technology and preventing data theft by foreign entities, the government will soon announce a policy that accords preference in official procurement to ‘Made in India’ antivirus and cybersecurity solutions.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued a draft notification which states “preference shall be provided by all procuring entities to domestically manufactured/ produced cybersecurity products.”
  • The notification will cover all products and software used for “maintaining confidentiality, availability and integrity of information by protecting computing devices, infrastructure, programs, data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access,” as per the notification.
  • Currently, almost 70 categories of cybersecurity products have been identified. These include products used for data loss prevention, security analytics, big data analytics, web security, antivirus, mobile payments, mobile data protection, cloud security, spam free email solutions, among others.
  • Preference for domestic products would also be given for cybersecurity products used by intelligence agencies.
  • The draft notification has defined ‘local supplier’ as a company incorporated and registered in India, adding that revenue from the product and revenue from Intellectual Property licensing should accrue to the company.

2. Government forms committee for 5G rollout by 2020

In news:

  • The government has formed a high-level panel to evaluate and approve road maps and action plan to achieve the target of rolling out 5G technology in India by 2020.
  • The Centre has created a support fund of about ₹500 crore to facilitate research and development for 5G.
  • As per the OECD Committee on Digital Economic Policy, it has been stated that 5G technologies rollout will help in increasing GDP, creating employment and digitising the economy.
  • Under 5G technology, the government aims to deliver about 10,000 megabits per second (10 Gbps) in urban areas and 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) in rural areas, the Minister said.

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 statement with reference to Comptroller 
and Auditor general of India.
  1. Comptroller and Auditor General of India shall be appointed by the President.
  2. CAG is directly removed by President based on the recommendation of Council of ministers.
  3. CAG expenditure is not a charged upon consolidated fund of India.
  4. CAG has to subscribe to an oath administered by President before entering his office.

Choose the correct answer

  1. 1 and 4
  2. 1 and 2
  3. 1 and 3
  4. All are correct
See
Answer
Question 2. Consider the following statement with reference to Enemy Property
Bill, which was in news recently.
  1. The Bill declares transfer of enemy property by the enemy to be void.
  2. Retrospective transfers that have occurred before or after 1968 are to be nullified.
  3. The Bill allows civil courts and other authorities to deal with the disputes related to enemy property.

Choose the correct answer

  1. Only 1
  2. 1 and 2
  3. 1 and 3
  4. All are incorrect
See
Answer
Question 3. Border road organization is under
  1. Ministry of Home affairs
  2. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
  3. Ministry of Defense
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 4. Identify the correct statements.
  1. Both African male and female elephants possess tusk.
  2. Only male elephants in India possess tusk.

Choose the correct answer

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both are correct
  4. Neither a nor b
See
Answer
Question 5. Consider the following statement with reference to Maternity 
Benefits Bill, which was in news recently.
  1. The Bill covers both the organized as well as unorganized women employees.
  2. The Bill enhanced paid maternity leave for women in the unorganized sector to 26 weeks from 12.

Choose the correct answer

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both are correct
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
See
Answer
Question 6. Identify the correct statements.
  1. Coral and zooxanthellae are symbiotically linked.
  2. It is the zooxanthellae which gives color to the coral.

Choose the correct answer

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both are correct
  4. Neither a nor b
See
Answer
Question 7. Identify the correct statements.
  1. Warm water temperature results in Coral bleaching.
  2. Corals can survive a bleaching event.
  3. Usage of Sunscreen lotion by those who take sun bath, results in coral bleaching.

Choose the correct answer

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None of the above
See
Answer

G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper III
          1. Subsidies are politicians delight and economists nightmare- discuss the subsidy regime of India in the context of the statement.

          2. What do you mean by In Vitro gametogenesis technique (IVG)? How is it different from In vitro fertilization technique and critically analyze various issues associated with IVG technique?

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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