03 Apr 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. Centre moves SC for review of ruling
2. Fake news will now cost journalists accreditation: I&B ministry
3. What have you done since Andhra Pradesh division: Supreme Court to Centre
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. RBI probed ICICI Bank’s loan to Videocon Group in 2016
2. SEBI can probe ICICI Bank for disclosure, listing breach
3. Bond loss: RBI eases provisioning norms
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT
1. Why did Bellandur Lake catch fire?
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. From Plate to Plough: The right agri-support
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Federalism and fairness
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Centre moves SC for review of ruling

 

  • The government on Monday urged the Supreme Court to re-examine its March 20 judgment blaming the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes for misusing a law to protect Dalits from caste atrocities as a means of blackmail.
  • The review petition, a rare remedy, was filed even as violence against the verdict swept the country.
  • The judgment affects a substantial portion of the population, members of the SCs/STs, and is contrary to the legislative policy of Parliament.
  • “With great respect, the government differs with the reasoning given in the judgment,virtually redoing the entire Act’s architecture,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

 Court had no business to dilute Act

  • In its review petition, the Centre said the court had no business to dilute the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and make it easier for accused persons to escape arrest.
  • In the given situation of continuing offences of atrocities against members of SCs/STs, it would be more significant and meaningful to affirm the reliance and trust of SCs/STs on the statute and not make it easier for the accused to get away from arrest by imposing a preliminary enquiry.
  • The 89-page verdict by a Bench of Justices A.K. Goel and U.U. Lalit read down Section 18 of the Act to allow accused persons under the Act to apply for anticipatory bail.
  • Section 18 barred persons accused of causing casteist injury and insult to Dalits from seeking anticipatory bail.
  • Secondly, the judgment directed that an FIR should be registered only after a preliminary inquiry was held by a Deputy Superintendent of Police to check if the complaint was frivolous.
  • Any deviation from the directions would automatically lead to the contempt of the Supreme Court, the Bench had warned.
  • In its plea, the Centre said that of the 47,338 cases registered under the Act across the country in 2016, only 24.9% ended in conviction and 89.3% were pending by the year-end. Instead of being misused, the Act is weakly implemented.

Low conviction rate

  • The low rate of conviction owed to delay in lodging the FIR, hostile witnesses and complainants, absence of proper scrutiny of cases by the prosecution before filing charge sheet and lack of proper presentation and appreciation of evidence by the court.
  • Now, a preliminary enquiry would only reduce the rate of registration of cases, conviction, increase pendency and per se serve as a deterrent in filing FIRs, the government said.
  • Objecting to the court’s reasoning that non-availability of anticipatory bail was violative of Article 21- fundamental right to personal liberty, the government reminded that offences under the Act are heinous crimes committed to humiliate and subjugate members of the SCs/STs with a view to keep them in a state of servitude.
  • Section 18 of the Act is its backbone as it enforces an inherent deterrence and instills a sense of protection among members of the SCs/STs.

2. Fake news will now cost journalists accreditation: I&B ministry

 

  • In a bid to stop the dissemination of fake news, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry amended guidelines which seek to suspend the accreditation of a journalist if found guilty. Officials claimed that the initiative had been taken following instances of fake news appearing on media platforms.
  • As per the new guidelines, Once the complaint is registered for determination of fake news, the correspondent or journalist whoever created or photographed the fake news will, if accredited, have the accreditation suspended till such time the determination regarding the fake news is made by the regulating agencies.  
  • They also say that any complaint about fake news would be referred to the Press Council of India if it pertains to the print media, or to the News Broadcasters Association if it relates to the electronic media, to determine whether or not the news is fake.
  • These agencies will complete the determination within 15 days.If the news is found to be fake, the accreditation of the journalists involved in creating or propagating it will be suspended for six months for the first violation.
  • The accreditation will be suspended for one year for a second violation, and cancelled permanently for a third violation.

3. What have you done since Andhra Pradesh division: Supreme Court to Centre

 

  • The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to file its response on a plea seeking direction for proper implementation of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act that had led to the bifurcation of the state.
  • A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked the Central government what it had done in four years since the bifurcation.“Nearly four years have passed and nothing happened. File your response,” the court said and asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh to file a reply in four weeks.
  • The plea was filed by Congress member and MLC Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy. He alleged that several provisions of the Act including the set up of a separate High Court for Telangana was not yet implemented.
  • Legislators from Andhra Pradesh have held up proceedings in Parliament for weeks now, demanding special status for the state. They maintain that the bifurcation of the state affected the state’s financial position.
    • The party had quit the BJP led National Democratic Alliance in protest against the Centre’s reluctance to grant the state the special status.
  • A number of provisions in the Act are not being implemented by the Union of India and various departments/ministries. This has resulted in hardship to lakhs of people in both states and the non-implementation of provisions/assurances made in the Act will reduce the confidence in Parliament among the people.
  • The major provisions which are not/partially implemented are Tenth Schedule – Continuance of Facilities in 107 State Institutions, River Management under Eleventh Schedule, Allotment of Special economic measures and use of infrastructure under the Twelfth Schedule, Establishment of Steel Plants in Khammam and Kadapa districts, 4,000 MW Power facility in Telangana, the Railway coach factory, Tribal University in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Horticulture University in Telangana  and the IIT, NIT, IIM, IISER, Central University, Agriculture University, AIIMS etc.
  • It was also argued that the non-implementation would erode people’s confidence in Parliament. The Act came into force on June 2, 2014.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. RBI probed ICICI Bank’s loan to Videocon Group in 2016

 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had, in 2016, probed ICICI Bank’s loan processes following allegations from whistleblower Arvind Gupta about the potential conflict of interest in the credit facilities extended by the bank to the Videocon Group, according to banking industry sources.
  • The central bank had discontinued the probe — after ICICI Bank submitted a detailed response to its queries — as it was unable to find conclusive evidence of any conflict of interest at that point in time, the industry sources, who did not wished to be named, said.
  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) disclosed that it had started a preliminary inquiry into a Rs. 3,250 crore-loan given by ICICI Bank to Videocon Group and is probing an alleged nexus between Videocon Group chairman Venugopal Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar, the husband of ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar.
  • In March 2016, Mr. Gupta, also an investor in Videocon Industries, wrote a letter to the Prime Minister alleging a quid pro quo that led the ICICI Bank to provide loans to the company.
  • The complaint was also marked to the Finance Minister, the then RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, the then SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.
  • With the allegations resurfacing over the past month, the ICICI Bank’s board reviewed the bank’s internal processes for credit approval and said they were robust. The board also reposed full faith and confidence in Ms. Kochhar.

Board meeting

  • The bank had informed the stock exchanges that its board met to review cases pending before the National Company Law Tribunal under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
  • The bank also clarified that the meeting was pre-scheduled and that the board had been meeting regularly in the first week of April in the previous years too, to review the progress in the resolution of large accounts.
  • ICICI Bank had said last week that its exposure to Videocon Industries was Rs. 3,250 crore, which was less than 10% of the total loans given by a consortium of 20 banks in April 2012.
  • The total loan extended by the lenders’ consortium to the Videocon Group, including Videocon Industries and 12 of its subsidiaries, was about Rs. 40,000 crore.

2. SEBI can probe ICICI Bank for disclosure, listing breach

 

  • While investigative agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation are probing various aspects of the ICICI Bank matter, capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India is said to have a limited scope in terms of its probe.
  • According to securities market experts, the market watchdog can only look into non-compliance with respect to disclosure guidelines and the conduct of the board members, especially the independent directors.
  • SEBI’s role, if any, would be confined to any violation of its regulations and in this particular case, the only relevant regulation is SEBI Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements and if there is any violation then SEBI would be looking into it.
  • The private sector lender has been in the news with allegations that it had sanctioned Rs. 3,250 crore of loans to Videocon Group as its chairman Venugopal Dhoot supposedly had dealings with NuPower Renewables Ltd., founded by ICICI Bank’s MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar.
  • The bank, however, denied the allegations and its board defended Ms. Kochhar. The regulator can seek information on board minutes and the disclosures made by directors and whether there was any conflict of interest.
  • As per SEBI regulations, any such conflict of interest has to be disclosed and the interested entity should recuse himself from the proceedings.

Wide powers

  • Interestingly, a section of experts believe that the capital market regulator has wide powers over listed companies and can take action in cases where a fraud is proved.
  • SEBI has clear jurisdiction over listed companies.Where there appears any kind of fraud or misconduct, SEBI is empowered to investigate and take both remedial and punitive measures as appropriate.

3. Bond loss: RBI eases provisioning norms

 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to ease the provisioning norms for bond losses for third and fourth quarters of 2017-18.It has now allowed banks to spread bond losses, incurred in these two quarters, over four quarters.
  • It has been decided to allow banks the option to spread provisioning for mark-to-market (MTM) losses on investments held in AFS (available-for-sale) and HFT (held-for-trading) for the quarters ended December 31, 2017 and March 31, 2018.
  • The provisioning for each of these quarters may be spread equally over up to four quarters, commencing with the quarter in which the loss is incurred.
  • The RBI, however, has set certain terms. Banks that use the option must make suitable disclosures in their notes to accounts/quarterly results providing details of the provisions for depreciation of the investment portfolio for the quarters ended December 2017 and March 2018 made during the quarter/year and the balance required to be made in the remaining quarters.

Little impact

  • There won’t be much impact for the banks for the fourth quarter due to the relaxation as bond yields had softened during the end of the quarter.
  • Banks, if they choose, can reverse half of the provision made in third quarter as they can now spread it over four quarters.

Category: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

1. Why did Bellandur Lake catch fire?

 

  • Lakes and rivers are known to catch fire when they are heavily polluted. The River Cuyahoga in Cleveland, Ohio in the U.S. was so polluted by the unregulated flow of sewage and industrial waste into it that one magazine described its waters as OOZING rather than FLOWING.
  • In June 1969, sparks from a passing train set fire to oily debris that had been dumped in the river and set off a conflagration that caused extensive damage. Media coverage of the disaster shook the nation and resulted in a slew of environment protection measures including the Clean Water Act.
  • It became mandatory for authorities to ensure that rivers throughout the United States were hygienic enough for fish to thrive and people to swim in.The water of Bellandur Lake which is Bengaluru’s largest, is rich in ammonia and phosphate and low in oxygen because of pollution.
  • Fish have disappeared from it. The untreated industrial waste, sewage and wastewater which includes cooking oil and detergents from households flowing into it have created a cauldron of chemicals that are potentially hazardous to public health and the environment.
  • Detergents for example, contain phosphate and if there is a concentration of phosphate, the lake froths. If flammable chemicals floating in the river or methane gas formed in the oxygen-starved water get into the froth, it becomes combustible and even a stray spark can set it aflame. That’s probably how Bellandur Lake caught fire.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: ECONOMY

1. From Plate to Plough: The right agri-support

  • Ranch costs of a few items fell route beneath their minimum support prices (MSPs) in 2016-17 and 2017-18
  • Despite the fact that the Center routinely reports MSPs for 23 items (counting Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane), its execution remains an inaccessible dream
  • With the exception of paddy, wheat, and sugarcane in major getting states, the declaration of MSPs remains to a great extent demonstrative in nature

Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana (BBY)

  • The Madhya Pradesh government endeavored to help farmers through the Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana (BBY)
  • It is a value lack installment (PDP) conspire, in Kharif 2017
  • In any case, it surrendered unexpectedly in the rabi showcasing season as the plan couldn’t cover even 25 for each penny of the collect, despite the fact that costs of most products were path beneath their MSPs
  • Scaling up BBY/PDP plot requires achieving all agriculturists, enrolling their market landings, and paying them the distinction between the MSP and market costs
  • Cost in addition to evaluating, which disregards request side, will prompt significant contortions in the framework
  • For instance, farmers will discover jowar generally more appealing and increment its generation
  • Higher supply with no adjustment popular will make an excess and subsequently discourage advertise costs, requiring either vast scale acquisition by the legislature at improved MSP or an enormous PDP
  • Higher cotton and paddy MSPs will make India less aggressive in worldwide markets, antagonistically affecting their fares
  • A2+FL is the cost, which incorporates, paid out expenses in addition to the ascribed estimation of family work
  • C2 is far-reaching cost including the attributed rental estimation of claimed arrive and credited enthusiasm on possessed capital
  • The legislature is in a quandary on which approach to decide for MSP changes
  • There is no alternate way too long past due agro-showcase changes
  • Synchronizing exchange and duty approach with the MSP arrangement must be finished.
  • Automatic responses as far as advance waivers or some pay support will just aggravate the condition of agribusiness than bringing change.

Category: Polity and Governance

1. Federalism and fairness

Unless the concerns of States are addressed, the fault lines in the Indian federation could deepen

Context:

  • Federalism is by and by the focal point of political talk in India. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah set the feline among the pigeons when he featured Kannada pride by uncovering an official state hail a month ago. At that point in a Facebook post on “Local Identity and Federalism”, he upheld the requirement for States to have both monetary and social independence.
  • Since moving out of the National Democratic Alliance, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has likewise been vocal in condemning the Central government for exhausting the southern States to spend on the northern States.
  • And likewise in March, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s working president M.K. Stalin wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chief Ministers of 10 non-Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled States communicating worry over the terms of reference for the fifteenth Finance Commission. The Center’s bearing to utilize the 2011 Census rather than the 1971 Census for populace information has provoked the south. As the populace in these States has balanced out, the worry is that their offer of duty designation would diminish.
  • While “federalism” has turned into the catch-all term for these worries, there are essentially three unmistakable yet between related strands to the civil argument — an established claim for self-rule; an interest for more pleasant circulation of duties; and an affirmation of etymological and social rights.

Constitutional context

  • In his Facebook post, Mr. Siddaramaiah affirmed that while India turned into a “union of states with a strong center” in 1947, now “union of states with a strong center” . alliance to advance and react to sub-national goals.
  • While its constituent units have changed, the connection between the Union and the States has continued as before. Subsequently, from a sacred point of view, it would not be precise to state that India is moving from an association to an organization of States.
  • However, after effectively “holding together” as an alliance for more than 70 years, the bigger inquiry is whether there is a need to reevaluate the conveyance of forces between the Union and the States.
  • While the adaptable idea of federalism under the Constitution has served India well, the proceeded with a presence of arrangements, for example, Article 356 (President’s administer) conflicts with the grain of federalism. Any genuine political development around federalism should scrutinize the need of holding such protected arrangements which are remnants of pioneer run the show.

A viable federation

  • Over the most recent few decades there has been a move in political and monetary power from the Center to the States. While some have felt that this pattern would invert after the development of a Central government with a straightforward lion’s share without precedent for a long time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tried to mollify such worries by conjuring the possibility of “cooperative federalism”.
  • The fourteenth Finance Commission, in 2015, suggested raising the offer of States in the detachable pool of Central duties from 32% to 42%. In any case, past this measure, the Center has not roused much certainty in regards to its sense of duty regarding federalism.
  • States, for example, Karnataka have attested their semantic and social rights in the wake of the Center’s mediations, for example, an advancement of Hindi. Presently, the skewed terms of reference for the fifteenth Finance Commission have united the south in putting forth a solid defense for monetary federalism.
  • The Commission has been utilizing the 1971 Census for populace information to guarantee that States that have been fruitful in family arranging are not punished. This came in the wake of the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution which solidified the dissemination of Lok Sabha seats among States for a long time, which was stretched out for an additional 25 years, in 2001. This judicious political bargain is presently being tried.
  • Federalism is at last in light of trust between its different constituent units. In the event that an arrangement of States see that their advance is being punished, the suitability of such an organization comes into question. While the southern States add to the country financially, they don’t possess a focal space politically and are additionally underestimated socially. At last, unless the worries in regards to reasonableness are tended to from established, budgetary and social fronts, the blame lines creating in our alliance could extend further.

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements about Umred Pauni Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary:
  1. It is located near Nagpur in Maharashtra.

  2. It is bounded roughly by the Wainganga river.

Which of the statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 2. Consider the following statements:
  1. The Press Council of India is a statutory body in India that governs the conduct of the print media.
  2. The Press Council is a quasi-judicial body which acts as a watchdog of the press.

Which of the statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements about Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC):
  1. BCCC is an independent self-regulatory body set-up by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation in 2011, in consultation with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  2. The primary role of BCCC is to implement self-regulatory guidelines for non-news channels, including general entertainment channels, kids’ channels and special interest channels.

Which of the statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 4. Consider the following statements about Straddle in investing:
  1. This refers to a strategy employed by traders to profit from any significant increase in the volatility of the price of a stock, or any other financial security.
  2. The strategy is used when a trader expects a significant move in the price of a security but is not too sure about the direction of the move.

Which of the statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

 
  1. The use of 2011 census in 15th FC will reduce funds to the South Indian states and also penalize the south for initiatives in population control. Critically Analyze the North-South Divide in this context and suggest measures.
  2. What are the causes of hospital fires? What are the steps that need to be taken to prevent such issues from reoccurring? 
     
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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