04 Aug 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
GOVERNANCE
1. Centre pushes for quota in promotion for SCs/STs
GOVERNMENT SCHEMES
1. WHO thumbs up for Swachh Bharat’s rural component
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Mattala project with India
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. TRAI calls for zero telecom equipment imports by 2022
2. E-way bill made mandatory for inter-State goods movement
3. ICRISAT to study Mission Kakatiya
4. GST, IBC to shape economic evolution
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. Social media hub plan dropped
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Drones to monitor tiger reserve
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY
1. Supreme Court Guidelines on Dealing with Lynching in India
F. Tidbits
1. New norms against plagiarism
G. Prelims Fact
1. Bonalu
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Centre pushes for quota in promotion for SCs/STs

Context:

Citing historical deprivation the Centre called the Supreme Court to revisit 2006 Nagaraj ruling.

  • The government began its push for providing “accelerated promotion with consequential seniority” for Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) members in public employment.
  • It was said that the Dalits are ‘presumed backward’ and are facing deprivation of sorts till date and that the state needs to take affirmative action by providing them equality of opportunity.

Background:

  • The 2006 Nagaraj judgment was pronounced by a five-judge Constitution Bench.
  • Following a 2006 judgment of the Supreme Court, the government cannot introduce a quota in promotion for its SC/ST employees unless they prove that the particular Dalit community is backward, inadequately represented and such a reservation in promotion would not affect the overall efficiency of public administration. The opinion of the government should also be based on quantifiable data.
  • It was made clear that even if the state has compelling reasons, the state will have to see that its reservation provision does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling limit of 50% or obliterate the creamy layer or extend reservation indefinitely

Issue:

  • Now, the government wants another five-judge Constitution Bench to refer the 2006 verdict to a larger Bench for a re-examination, citing the reason that the 2006 verdict had effectively created an “impossible situation” for providing accelerated promotions with consequential seniority for SC/ST communities in government services.
  • Government said it wanted a total of 22.5% (15% for SC+7.5% for ST) posts reserved for promotion for SC/ST in public employment, stating, only this quantum would satisfy their need for adequate representation.
  • The government objected to a creamy layer concept among the SC/ST.
  • Chief Justice Misra said the three criteria in the Nagaraj judgment — backwardness, inadequacy and administrative efficiency — were “compelling reasons” so that reservation by government was not excessive. The three qualifiers were meant to prevent reservation from making an inroad into the right of equal opportunity in public employment and prevent reverse discrimination.

Category: GOVERNMENT SCHEMES

1. WHO thumbs up for Swachh Bharat’s rural component

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report estimated that the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) will result in preventing more than three lakh deaths due to diarrhoea and protein-energy malnutrition between 2014-October 2019.

Details:

  • The report is titled “The progress report on potential health impact from increased sanitation coverage through the SBM-G”
  • The research was conducted by the WHO for the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • Findings of the report:
    • It said that India’s rural sanitation coverage escalated to 89.07% till August 2, 2018.
    • Under the SBM-G, 19 States and Union Territories were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) and 7.9 crore toilets were built, 421 districts and more than 4.9 lakh villages were declared ODF.
    • The WHO study showed that before the initiation of SBM-G, unsafe sanitation caused 199 million cases of diarrhoea annually and that by 2019, the initiative aims to achieve 100% sanitation coverage.

Read about SBM  – https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/swachch-bharat

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Mattala project with India

 

  • India and Sri Lanka’s governments, after detailed negotiations, have agreed that India, with a 70% stake in the joint venture, will contribute $225 million to revamp and run the airport, while the Sri Lankan side will invest the balance.
  • India will operate the airport on a 40-year lease, as per the draft agreement.

Background:

  1. India has agreed to form a joint venture with Sri Lanka to operate the country’s loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota.
  2. The $210 million facility, 241km south-east of Colombo, is dubbed the “world’s emptiest airport” due to a lack of flights.
  3. The joint venture would see India gain a major stake of the airport.

Strategic importance to India:

  • The Chinese takeover of Hambantota port increased India’s worries that it will become an Indian Ocean hub for the Chinese navy. Though Hambantota has never been feasible as a full blown Chinese naval base, its proximity to India would make it highly vulnerable to air attack in the event of conflict between the two countries.
  • A key element in any overseas naval base, and even a logistics facility, is easy access by air for people and supplies. A naval base also requires maritime air surveillance capabilities. Control over Hambantota airport will give India considerable control over how the port is used.
  • Therefore, India’s strategic interests run in the airport, located near the China-controlled port in Hambantota.
  • This move by India could also be seen as a counter to China’s growing presence in the South Asian region.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. TRAI calls for zero telecom equipment imports by 2022

Context:

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has called for imposition of import duties on telecom products outside the ambit of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA-1) and incentivising their local design and manufacturing with an aim to eliminate India’s dependence on imported telecom gear by 2022. 

 

  • Suggesting that India aim at net zero imports of telecommunications equipment by 2022, the TRAI recommended the setting up of a ₹1,000 crore fund for promoting research and innovation in the sector.
  • The regulator has suggested that the progress of indigenous telecommunication equipment manufacturing be monitored by Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
  • It is planned to have a dedicated unit in DoT to be made responsible for the facilitation and monitoring of telecommunication equipment design, development, and manufacturing in the country.
  • It was proposed to create a Telecom Research and Development Fund (TRDF), with initial corpus of ₹1,000 crore for promoting research, innovation, standardisation, design, testing, certification and manufacturing indigenous telecom equipment.
  • Subsequently, Telecom Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund(TEPF) and Telecom Manufacturing Promotion Fund(TMPF) need to be set up.
  • To address security concerns, TRAI had suggested that the telecom service providers be incentivised for deploying indigenous telecom products beyond the quantities to be mandated under the preferential market access policy.

India as a signatory to the World Trade Organisation’s ITA-1 has a zero-duty commitment on 217-odd electronic items in the list. But it is under no obligation to allow duty-free imports of ICT items outside the ITA-1. 

Benefits:

  • Local manufacturing of network equipment will reduce imports and create self-reliance and job opportunities. 
  • Currently, India imports 90% of its requirements. If the recommendations are to be implemented, it would enable Indian telecom equipment manufacturing sector to transition from an import-dependent sector to a global hub of indigenous manufacturing.

2. E-way bill made mandatory for inter-State goods movement

Context:

Concerned at the loss of revenue, the Kerala State government has decided to tighten the e-way bill norms and make it mandatory for inter-State goods movement. The government is said to be losing over Rs. 400 crore because of tax evasion, mainly because the e-way bill system has not been fully operational.

  • It is touted as an anti-evasion measure that would help boost tax collections by clamping down on trade that currently happens on a cash basis.
  • The State has also had to take a beating because of the recent decision of the GST Council to cut tax rates for a horde of goods, mainly durables, which would affect a consumer State such as Kerala.
  • The State is worried since the projected revenue has not come in from its IGST share.
  • It is in this context that the government has decided to set up 190 inspection squads. The squads would be deployed in specified places along the State borders. Mobile squads would be in operation.

What is an eWay Bill?

eWay Bill is an electronic way bill for movement of goods which can be generated on the eWay Bill Portal. Transport of goods of more than Rs. 50,000 (Single Invoice/bill/delivery challan) in value in a vehicle cannot be made by a registered person without an eway bill. When an eway bill is generated a unique eway bill number (EBN) is allocated and is available to the supplier, recipient, and the transporter.

3. ICRISAT to study Mission Kakatiya

Context:

The Telangana State government has decided to ask International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics ICRISAT to conduct an in-depth study to assess the impact of de-siltation of tanks taken up under the prestigious Mission Kakatiya project.

  • The study to be conducted over two years would cover aspects like impact of de-siltation on water availability for irrigation, changes in cropping pattern and recharge of groundwater.
  • It would incorporate economic valuation in terms of nutrients applied, among others.

Mission Kakatiya:

  • It is a program for restoring all the minor irrigationtanks and lakes in Telangana State.
  • The geotagging and geospatial database is maintained for 45,800 tanks, for analysis and monitoring. Every tank is assigned a unique GEOID, based on its latitude and longitude.  
  • The project has resulted in return of many migratory birdsbecause of water levels and fishes in the tanks.
  • There has also been a significant increase in ground water table, reduction of fertilizer usage, reduced power utilization and increase in crop yield.

ICRISAT:

  • The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics(ICRISAT) is an International organization which conducts agricultural research for rural development, headquartered in Telangana in India with several regional centers in Mali, Kenya.
  • The research stations are located in Mali, Nairobi, Kenya, Ethiopia and Zimbawe.
  • It was founded in 1972 by a consortium of organisations convened by the Ford and the Rockefeller foundations. Its charter was signed by the FAO and the UNDP.
  • Since its inception, the host country India, has granted a special status to ICRISAT as a UN Organization operating in the Indian Territory making it eligible for special immunities and tax privileges.

4. GST, IBC to shape economic evolution

  • Reserve Bank of India Governor described reforms undertaken by the government as ‘transformative’ and said these would help shape India’s economic evolution.
  • The monetary policy framework, the Goods and Services Tax and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code were identified as the three key reforms instituted by the government.

Background:

  • In 2016, the government amended the RBI Act for mandating the central bank to operate the monetary policy framework
  • The objective was to maintain price stability while keeping in mind the objective of growth.
  • It was a fundamental shift in the institutional architecture for the conduct of monetary policy, with the formal transition to a flexible inflation-targeting framework and the relinquishing of the monetary policy decision by the governor to a six member monetary policy committee (MPC).
  • Establishment of the GST Council has created an effective institutional mechanism for cooperative federalism.
  • The enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) is a watershed towards improving the credit culture in the country.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Social media hub plan dropped

Context: A proposal to have hubs to monitor social media traffic and trends has been withdrawn

Issue: Supreme Court had raised the fear that the Social Media Hub may create a surveillance state

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who is a member of the Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had voiced the court’s apprehensions about the government’s plan, saying that this would pose a danger in a country where privacy was a fundamental right.

Social media communication hub

  • The proposed social media communication hub sought to create a technology architecture that merges mass surveillance with a capacity for detecting false information being circulated on Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even email.
  • It also aimed to track real time the way social media receives news on government’s schemes and announcements and also political events.
  • It was also proposed to strengthen the social media division through recruitment of social media managers to be deployed selected districts.
  • The social media manager was to be entrusted with the tasks of keeping a close eye on the regional and local media, collecting data of regional media and of local events, providing content for social media and supporting media units at the regional level for social media publicity, subsequently make a daily analysis report incorporating local sentiments to be sent to region head in the PIB as well as the media hub.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Drones to monitor tiger reserve

Context:

The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) in Uttar Pradesh will soon be under complete drone camera surveillance

E-bird project:

  • The surveillance programme is called e-bird project.
  • A pilot was conducted on International Tiger Day, July 29 2018 where drone cameras were used to monitor rhinos in the rehabilitation area.
  • The e-bird project is a joint initiative of the reserve and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. 
  • They will further help in habitat management, countering man-animal conflicts and checking criminal activities.
  • The e-bird project will help better monitor the area during the monsoon season, when patrolling is severely restricted.
  • The project helps in addressing the major challenge for field staffers over the years. Such as
    • The rough terrain is interspersed by Mohana, Sharda Rivers
    • Numerous small canals and water bodies
    • The presence of carnivorous animals
    • Waterlogged routes
  • It is the beginning of significant technological intervention in wildlife conservation.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: POLITY

1. Supreme Court Guidelines on Dealing with Lynching in India

Lynching a form of violence in which a mob, under the pretext of administering justice without trial, executes a presumed offender, often after inflicting torture and corporal mutilation. The term lynch law refers to a self-constituted court that imposes sentence on a person without due process of law. 

Vigilante justice has been practiced in many countries under unsettled conditions whenever informally organized groups have attempted to supplement or replace legal procedure or to fill the void where institutional justice did not yet exist. Such conditions commonly give rise to acts of genocide.

Tehseen S. Poonawalla v. Union of India

In this case the Supreme Court has given out certain guidelines

The court observed that Any kind of act by a group of people will lead to anarchy disorder and chaos.

What are the specific guidelines

  • Supreme has observed that lynching in India should be dealt by the state governments.
  • Number one the state governments are required toDesignate a senior police officer not below the rank of SP as a nodal officer.
  • This officer will be required to form a special task force to collect information.
  • On the kind of persons who are going to commit such acts of lynching.
  • Nodal officers are also required to make sure that the social media is a free of all kinds of fake news and also to ensure that social media is not used as a platform to organize such acts of vigilantism.
  • And apart from this the government including the Centre and the state will be using public media platforms such as radio television and other to send the message about the consequences of taking law into the hands.

Remedial measures

  • The Supreme Court has observed that in case of an incidence of mob lynching then the jurisdictional police officer will have to first file an F I R.
  • The station house officer will now intimate the nodal officer and the nodal officer has to ensure that the victims family members are not harassed.
  • Further the nodal officers should also ensure that the investigation and prosecution of these cases is carried out strictly and the charge sheet is definitely filed within the prescribed time period and also the trial should be through fast track courts within six months.
  • The court has also directed that upon conviction the maximum sentence is provided for variants of their is open just be avoided and the “hopes that this will act as a deterrent.

United States of America

  • In US at one point of time lynching was very rampant.
  • Statistics of reported lynching in the United States indicate that, between 1882 and 1951, 4,730 persons were lynched, of whom 1,293 were white and 3,437 were black.
  • Lynching continued to be associated with U.S. racial unrest during the 1950s and ’60s, when civil rights workers and advocates were threatened and in some cases killed by mobs.
  • In United States there was no federal law against lynching for almost a period of hundred years and it was only in 2005 that the US Senate apologised for not passing an anti lynching law.

India’s case

  • It is time for the government to implement the directions of the Supreme Court immediately in India we just don’t need laws to deal with such kind of deep-rooted prejudices but also it must be fought politically.

F. Tidbits

1. New norms against plagiarism

  • Human Resource Development Ministry approved new regulations on plagiarism drafted by the UGC that states, Student researchers found guilty of plagiarism may lose their registration and teachers could lose their jobs.
  • The Ministry had notified the UGC (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions) Regulations, 2018.
  • University Grants Commission (UGC) had sought graded punishment for the offence (plagiarism).
  • The new regulations prescribe that if any member of the academic community suspects plagiarism, he or she shall report it to the Departmental Academic Integrity Panel.
  • The Union government has decided to take help of ‘Tunitin’ software to clamp down on the practice of plagiarismin Ph.D theses

Plagiarism:

Plagiarism is using information from journal articles, books, or websites without acknowledging the source. 

What is the punishment?

According to a gazette notification, for students, Plagiarism

  • of up to 10% – would not invite any penalty
  • Between 10 and 40% would mean the students would have to submit a revised research paper within six months.
  • Between 40 and 60% , students will be debarred from submitting a revised paper for one year.
  • Is above 60%, the student’s registration for a programme would be cancelled.

Teachers whose academic and research papers have Plagiarism

  • Ranging from 10 to 40% with other papers will be asked to withdraw the manuscript.
  • Between 40 and 60% will not be allowed to supervise new masters, M.Phil, PhD students for two years and will also be denied the right to one annual increment.

In case of repeat plagiarism of over 60% similarity, the faculty members will be suspended, even dismissed.

G. Prelims Fact

  1. Bonalu
 

  • Bonalu is an annual festival of Telangana celebrated in Twin Cities Hyderabad, Secunderabad and other parts of Telangana.
  • The word “Bonam” is a contraction of the word “Bhojanam”, a Sanskrit loanword which means a meal or a feast in Telugu.
  • The week-long celebration, also called Ashadam Jatara, is a thanksgiving to goddess Mahakali for fulfilling prayers.
  • “Tottelu” is also a part of the festival bonalu,its one the offerings to the goddess it is artifact of telangana people which is made of the bamboo sticks and colorful transparent papers it looks like a temple doom which is called as Tottelu.

H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Bonalu is an annual festival celebrated in
  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Telangana
  3. Karnataka
  4. Tamil Nadu

See

Answer
Question 2. ‘E-bird project’ in news is
  1. The surveillance programme for monitoring the Tigers in the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve through drones.
  2. The project launched to observe the migration patterns of Birds in Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary using CCTV cameras.

The correct option is:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements with respect to Coalbed Methane:
  1. It is a sweet gas.
  2. It is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels.

Which of the above statement/s is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. Both 1 and 2
  3. 2 only
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
Question 4. Consider the following statements with respect to Mission Kakatiya:
  1. It is a programme by the Andhra Pradesh state government.
  2. The project aims at restoring all minor tanks and lakes in the state.
  3. The mission is a tribute to the Kakatiya rulers, who are known to have developed a large number of chain tanks across the region for agriculture.

Which of the statement/s is/ are correct?

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

See

Answer

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Artifical intelligence is a disruptive technology. Elucidate on the future of this technology?

  2. Abolition of NJAC has created vaccum in the judicial appointments and reinforces the judicial supremacy over Executive and Legislature. Critically Comment.

 
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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