06 Apr 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
GOVERNANCE
1. Govt. forms committee to regulate news portals
C. GS3 Related
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT
1. Society must take a view on GM mustard
ECONOMY
1. RBI fiat on payment system operators’ data
2. RBI switches back to GDP scale to measure economy
3. Tax on alcohol, tobacco to benefit poor
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. RBI steers clear of policy adventurism
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Govt. forms committee to regulate news portals

 

  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has instituted a committee to regulate online portals, including news websites, entertainment sites and media aggregators.
  • The 10-member committee will include secretaries of the departments of Home, Legal Affairs, Electronics and Information and Technology, and Industrial Policy and Promotion.
  • The CEO of MyGov and a representative each of the Press Council of India and National Broadcasters’ Association will also be part of the committee.
  • In its order, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting noted that both print and electronic media are regulated but online media does not come under any regulatory mechanism.
  • The content telecast on television channels are regulated in terms of the programme and advertisement codes under the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994. Similarly, the autonomous body Press Council of India regulates the print media.
  • The committee, broadly, will look at three things.
  1. One is to bring online information dissemination under regulation.
  2. Second is to propose a policy for foreign direct investment in this media.
  3. Third is to look at international best practices on such existing regulatory mechanism.
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani had announced that her Ministry was working on bringing online news too under regulation mechanism.
  • The Ministry has been consulting both National Broadcasters’ Association and the Press Council of India for over a month on the issue.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

1. Society must take a view on GM mustard

 

  • The commercial release of genetically modified mustard wasn’t merely a scientific issue but a ‘socio-political one’ that required the understanding of a wide section of society,”.
  • While the transgenic plant has been cleared for commercial cultivation by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee — a scientific body — it’s yet to be cleared by the Union Environment and Science Ministry.
  • In the case of GM, it’s important that society take a view. Science can bring evidence but the policy decision is a more complex process.
  • However, India’s science academies needed to speak more and play a greater role especially in its advice to government on matters of science.
  • While the Economic Survey in February said that India didn’t spend enough on science relative to its GDP, resources would increase but the fact that there weren’t significant budgetary cuts to science showed that the Prime Minister was seeing value in science and directly intervening in matters of science.
  • Last month, 150 scientists signed a petition demanding that Indian science establishments take more stringent measures to punish scientists and senior researchers proved guilty of sexual harassment.
  • Government intervention on its own wasn’t enough to address problems of sexual harassment and gender parity in India’s research institutions. Rather, scientists should be talking about addressing them in their institutions and emulate organisations that have better policies and administrative practices in place, he added.
  • Improved battery technology and applying them for increased mobility and power would be transformative to the Indian economy and to this end solar and nuclear energy were critical to India’s fuel mix.

 GM MUSTARD

 What is GM Mustard?

  • DMH-11 is a Genetically Modified (GM) mustard hybrid. Hybrids are normally obtained by crossing 2 genetically diverse plants from the same species.
  • The 1st-generation offspring resulting from it has higher yields than what either of the parents is individually capable of giving. But there is no natural hybridization system in mustard, unlike in, say, cotton, maize or tomato.
  • This is because its flowers contain both the female (pistil) and male (stamen) reproductive organs, making the plant naturally self-pollinating.
  • The GM mustard hybrid, it is claimed, gives 25-30% more yield than the best varieties such as ‘Varuna’ currently grown in the country. 
  • Scientists at the Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP) in Delhi University, however, showed that this problem could be addressed by crossing Indian mustard cultivars with juncea lines of East European origin like ‘Early Heera’ and ‘Donskaja’.

Why do we need Hybrid maize?

  • In 2014-15, India imported 14.5 million tonnes of edible oils valued at $10.5 billion. That included nearly 0.4 million tonnes of imported rapeseed oil, which many processors and traders are blending with indigenous mustard oil.
  • With the country’s own annual edible oil production stuck at below 7.5 million tonnes, of which mustard’s share is roughly a quarter, the need to raise domestic crop yields and cut dependence on imports cannot be doubted.
  • Hybrid technology is a potential technique to boost yields, as has been successfully demonstrated in a host of crops. 

Concerns about GM Mustard

  • GM mustard will require almost double the quantity of fertiliser and water.
  • Other Health concerns of GM Hybrid Mazie include: allergenicity; gene transfer, especially of antibiotic-resistant genes, from GM foods to cells or bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract; and `out crossing’, or the movement of genes from GM plants to conventional crops, posing indirect threats to food safety and security.
  • GM mustard can affect honeybees directly and indirectly through effecting flowering and pollen production. Protease inhibitors have proved detrimental to the longevity and behaviour of bees.

Category: ECONOMY

1. RBI fiat on payment system operators’ data

 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said all payment system operators’ data must be stored only within the country.The central bank gave the operators six months to comply with the directive.
  • The move is intended to give unfettered access to all payment data for supervisory purposes, the RBI added.In recent times, the payment ecosystem in India has expanded considerably with the emergence of new payment systems, players and platforms.
  • Ensuring the safety and security of payment systems data by adoption of the best global standards and their continuous monitoring and surveillance is essential to reduce the risks from data breaches while maintaining a healthy pace of growth in digital payments.

Ind AS norms

  • The RBI also deferred the implementation of Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) for banks by one year. Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs), excluding regional rural banks (RRBs), were required to implement Ind AS from April 1, 2018.
  • However, necessary legislative amendments are under consideration of the government. In view of this, it has been decided to defer implementation of Ind AS by one year.

2. RBI switches back to GDP scale to measure economy

 

  • The Reserve Bank switched back to the gross domestic product (GDP)-based measure to offer its growth estimates from the gross value added (GVA) methodology, citing global best practices.
  • The government had started analysing growth estimates using GVA methodology from January 2015 and had also changed the base year to 2018 from January.
  • While GVA gives a picture of the state of economic activity from the producers’ side or supply side, the GDP model gives the picture from the consumers’ side or demand perspective.
  • The switch to GDP is mainly to conform to international standards. Globally, the performance of most economies is gauged in terms of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • This is also the approach followed by multilateral institutions, international analysts and investors, and primarily they all stick to this norms because it facilitates easy cross-country comparisons.
  • Even the Central Statistical Office had started using GDP as the main measure of economic activities since January 15 this year. So, even though there are good economic reasons to employ GVA as the supply side measure of economic activity, it has been decided to switch to GDP-based model.

3. Tax on alcohol, tobacco to benefit poor

 

  • Levying taxes on unhealthy products can produce major health gains for the poorest in society, especially if tax revenues are used to fund pro-poor programmes, noted a study published in the Lancet . These unhealthy products include soft drinks, alcohol and tobacco.
  • It added that poor and uninsured households are more likely to incur catastrophic healthcare costs from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and are more likely to forgo care for chronic health problems compared to higher income households.
  • The paper does a comprehensive analysis of evidence on expenditure, behaviour and socio-economic status, and brings together data from across the globe.
  • It presents a strong evidence that taxes on unhealthy products have the potential to produce major health gains among the poorest in society, who are disproportionately affected by NCDs.
  • The evidence helps counter fears that such taxes will necessarily disproportionately harm the poor.
  • NCDs — cancer, heart disease and diabetes — cause 38 million deaths each year, 16 million of these are among people aged under 70.
  • NCDs are a major cause and consequence of poverty worldwide. Responding to this challenge means big investments to improve healthcare systems worldwide, but there are immediate and effective tools at our disposal.
  • Taxes on unhealthy products can produce major health gains, and evidence shows these can be implemented fairly, without disproportionately harming the poorest in society.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: ECONOMY

1. RBI steers clear of policy adventurism

Inflation Scenario

  • The RBI expects swelling, in light of purchaser value record, to be in the anger of 4.7-5.1% in the main portion of the monetary and boil down to 4.4% in the second half—including the impact of house lease remittance for Central government representatives under the seventh pay commission
  • Oil costs keep on remaining unpredictable and lifted
  • There isn’t much clearness on how the higher least help value (MSP) and related approaches, reported in the Union spending plan, will be executed
  • In any case, it has been accounted for that an expansion in MSPs, and guaranteeing these for agriculturists, could push up cultivate door costs by around 15%
  • This could significantly affect retail sustenance expansion
  • Further, there is a danger of monetary slippage at both the Central and state levels
  • Likewise, if the storm ends up being insufficient, it will have results for both expansion and government consumption

Growth forecast by the RBI

  • On the development front, the MPC has reconsidered its (GDP) development figure to 7.4% in the current financial from 6.6% in the last monetary
  • A get in bank credit and asset activation from the market should help push venture movement
  • As noted before, a generous increment in MSPs could push swelling and influence inflationary desires, driving the MPC to raise approach rates
  • Conceivable monetary slippage could push the cost of cash in the money related market, influencing speculations and development
  • It will be urgent to watch capital streams as the present record deficiency is relied upon to augment this year
  • While India has adequate stores to viably deal with conceivable instability in the money showcase, policymakers would do well to stay careful on this front.

The way forward

  • With all-around secured inflationary desires, budgetary markets can expect a more steady fiscal approach, which won’t really react to each supply-side stun to feature expansion in the short run.
  • This will give a more steady macroeconomic condition, which will help push up venture and development in the medium to long haul.

Economy

The economics of privacy in the digital world

Context:

  • Information capture sits at the core of essential parts of the advanced economy
  • We deliberately pay in individual information as opposed to money
  • This can be called Digital trade—individual data with the expectation of complimentary access to stages

 Negative usage

  • The potential for individual information to be mishandled—for segregation, control, and oversight—is a colossal reason for concern
  • It can make individuals the casualties of focused control
  • Individual information can be utilized to control individuals in ways they don’t perceive at the season of sharing their information
  • The confining of licensed innovation rights is a decent case of an encumbrance to exchange that works for everybody
  • It gives the vital motivators to the makers and equalizations advance with people in general dispersion of scholarly merchandise
  • Similar advancements that empower conveyed rights administration could empower security assurance that movements with the information

 Way forward

  • As observing and recording abilities are inserted in our environment, there is a need to reclassify private spaces that won’t be encroached
  • The legislature and organizations should begin by embracing protection by-outline standards in their information collection hones
  • Governments and incomparable courts everywhere throughout the world should reexamine their remain keeping in mind the end goal to secure nationals’ protection and control over their information.

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements :
  1. GDP gives a picture of the state of economic activity from the producers’ side or supply side.

  2. GVA provides the rupee value for the amount of goods and services produced in an economy after deducting the cost of inputs and raw materials that have gone into the production of those goods and services.

  3. GVA also gives sector-specific picture like what is the growth in an area, industry or sector of an economy.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All of the above

See

Answer
Question 2. Consider the following statements about GM Mustard:
  1. DMH-11 is a genetically modified variety of mustard developed by IISc Bangalore.

  2. If approved, this will be the first GM food crop to be allowed for cultivation in the country.

  3. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is the regulator for GM crops in India.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All of the above

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements about Blackbuck species of birds:
  1. The blackbuck is a large species of antelope native to the Indian subcontinent.

  2. They are the “state animal” of Rajasthan.

  3. They are considered sacred by the Bishnoi community of Rajasthan.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All of the above

See

Answer

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

General Studies II
 
  1. Was the SC right on the anti-atrocities law? Critically Comment.
     
General Studies III
 
  1. What is IndAS? What was the need for its introduction? Also, explain how is it different from IGAAP.
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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