07 Aug 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
GEOGRAPHY
1. Earthquake in Indonesia
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. Bill for death in rape cases cleared
2. SC notifies norms for ‘senior advocate’ status
3. Amendment in LS to make adoption easier
HEALTH
1. Three northeastern States emerge as new HIV hotspots
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. RBI must resume issuing LoUs, LoCs
2. One-third of PSBs remain headless
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. Economics of Tax Havens
EDUCATION
1. Status of Industrial Training Institutes in India
F. Tidbits
1. NGT forms panel to monitor rejuvenation project of Ganga
G. Prelims Fact
1. Jatayu Earth Center
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Category: GEOGRAPHY

1. Earthquake in Indonesia

Context:

Indonesia was hit by a 6.9 magnitude Earthquake on the 5th of August 2018

  • The epicenter of the quake was in northern Lombok, a more residential, less developed part of the island. 
  • Indonesia is one of the world’s most disaster-prone nations, it straddles the so-called Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’.

Ring of Fire:

  • Pacific Ring of Fire is a geologically and volcanically active region that stretches from one side of the Pacific to the other.
  • In a 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements.
  • It has 452 volcanoes (more than 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes). 
  • The Ring of Fire is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt.
  • About 90%of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.
  • The next most seismically active region (5–6% of earthquakes and 17% of the world’s largest earthquakes) is the Alpide belt, which extends from Java to the northern Atlantic Ocean via the Himalayas and southern Europe.

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Bill for death in rape cases cleared

Context:

A Bill awarding a maximum sentence of death to those convicted for raping girls below 12 years of age was passed by both the houses of the Parliament.

Details:

  • It replaces the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance that was promulgated on April 21, following a public outrage over the rape and murder of a minor girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and the rape of a minor from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The amendments have been made to the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Provisions in the bill:

  • The minimum sentence in cases of rape of women has been increased from seven to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.
  • In cases involving girls below 16 years, the minimum punishment has gone up from 10 to 20 years, which is extendable to life imprisonment.
  • The law also for speedy investigations and trial. The probe has to be completed within two months.
  • The deadline for completion of trial in all rape cases will also be two months, while a six-month limit has been set for disposal of appeals.
  • There will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang-rape of an under-16 girl.
  • It has provision for maintaining national database and profile of sexual offenders by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). This data will be regularly shared with States/UTs for monitoring, tracking and investigation including verification of antecedents by police.

Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Arunachal Pradesh have already passed Laws for Capital Punishment to those raping girls below 12 years of age.

2. SC notifies norms for ‘senior advocate’ status

Context:

The Supreme Court has notified guidelines for according ‘senior advocate’ designation to lawyers.

  • It is a major effort to streamline and bring in transparency into the process of designating advocates as “seniors”.
  • The finalised guidelines are titled “Supreme Court Guidelines to regulate Conferment of Designation of Senior Advocates, 2018.”
  • A five-member permanent committee headed by the Chief Justice of India has been constituted to shortlist candidates.
  • The secretariat would invite applications annually.
  • The names will then be sent to the Full Court, comprising all apex court judges, for a decision, where the voting will be conducted following the secret ballot system.
  • The candidates can apply or the committee can suo motu recommend a candidate to the Full Court.

The five member Committee:

  • This committee shall comprise of the Chief Justice of India as its Chairperson, two senior-most Supreme Court judges, Attorney general for India, and a member of the Bar as nominated by the Chairperson.
  • The committee would meet twice a year in January and July.
  • It would have a permanent secretariat to facilitate the collating of details of the probable candidates. The composition of which would be decided by the CJI in consultation with other members of the Committee.

Who are eligible for ‘Senior Advocate’ status?

  • An Advocate shall be eligible for designation as Senior Advocate only if he has 10 years combined standing as an advocate or a District Judge, or as a Judicial Member of any Tribunal whose qualification for eligibility isn’t less than that prescribed for a District judge.
  • Retired Chief Justices or judges of the High Courts are also eligible for the distinction.

3. Amendment in LS to make adoption easier

Context:

  • The government introduced an amendment to the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, in the Lok Sabha to empower District Magistrates with the authority to grant adoption orders.

Details:

  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2018, revises the provisions governing adoptions in the JJ Act by making changes to Section 56,58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64 and 65, where the word “court” has been replaced by “District Magistrate.”
  • The changes are applicable for both domestic and international applications.
  • The bill also proposes the transfer of all adoption cases in various courts to the District Magistrates concerned.

Why was the amendment proposed?

  • The heavy workload of the courts had been resulting in “inordinate delay” in issuing adoption orders. as many as 629 cases relating to the passing of orders for adoption were pending in various courts across the country as on July 20, 2018
  • The amendment was proposed with the objective of avoiding pendency of cases.
  • The bill seeks to empower the district magistrates to issue orders for adoption in order to avert inordinate delay by the courts in doing the same.
  • It will make the adoption procedure faster for prospective parents, by avoiding delays in courts.

Juvenile Justice Act 2015:

The Act came into effect from January 15, 2016, with comprehensive provisions for the children allegedly found to be in conflict with law as well as those in need of care and protection.

Know more: Juvenile Justice Act https://youtu.be/ORgG2M6f3dI

Category: HEALTH

1. Three northeastern States emerge as new HIV hotspots

Context:

Three North Eastern States, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura emerge as new HIV hotspots.

  • The Health Ministry attributed the rise of incidence to: injecting drug users and unsafe sexual practices
  • The good news is that there has been a steady decline in the number of HIV cases in India.
  • In four sites in Mizoram and one in Tripura, HIV prevalence was higher among IDUs, which for the rest of the country is 6.3%. At least in three places at Aizwal, Champhai and Kolasib, the prevalence of HIV in IDUs was 37.44%, 33.06% and 38.14% respectively.
  • In the case of pregnant women visiting ante-natal clinics (ANC), six centres in Mizoram, two in Meghalaya and one in Tripura recorded HIV prevalence of more than 1%, compared with HIV prevalence of 0.28% among pregnant women visiting ANCs in other places in India surveyed in December 2017.
  • HIV prevalence among female sex workers was higher at four sites — two in Tripura and one each in Mizoram and Meghlaya. At one site of Mizoram’s Aizwal district, the prevalence of HIV was as high as 24.68%, compared with 1.6% for other sites in the country.

HIV Sentinel Surveillance:

  • The HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS), a biennial study conducted by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), is one of the largest regular studies in the world dealing with HIV in high risk groups of the population.
  • The HSS had referred that HIV prevalence in the context of ANCs in the North Eastern States of Mizoram (1.19%), Nagaland (0.82%), Meghalaya (0.73%), Tripura (0.56%) and Manipur (0.47%) were among the highest.

ART’s efficacy

  • Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) leads to effectively suppressing the virus and reducing the transmission of HIV from the infected person, Dr. Panda said.
  • In terms of PLHIV who are on ART, Maharashtra has the highest number (with 2.03 lakh persons) followed by A.P.(1.78 lakh ) and Karnataka (1.58 lakh persons).

 Way Forward:

  • The discussion on HIV prevalence has to be taken to the districts.
  • Prevention and intervention strategies for the most-at-risk population in the pockets in the districts with good coverage are necessary.
  • Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART), must be made easily accessible.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. RBI must resume issuing LoUs, LoCs

 

  • Discontinuation of the facility has resulted in 2-2.5% increase in cost of credit: Parliamentary panel

Issue:

The Reserve Bank of India decided to discontinue the issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LoU) and Letters of Credit (LoC) for trade credit as a reaction to the Punjab National Bank fraud case. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has now tabled a report stating that the facility should be restored at the earliest.

Why should RBI resume issuing LoUs and LoCs?

  • It was noted by the Committee that all the stakeholders it consulted, representing trade and industry, unanimously said that the discontinuation of the LoU and LoC facility had resulted in a 2-2.5% increase in the cost of credit.
  • The committee believes that the decision of RBI was a Knee Jerk Reaction and that the RBI got unnerved with the PNB fraud and it hastened the decision to ban LoU/LoC without much thought and consideration. And that RBI should have engaged in more consultations with stakeholders on the matter
  • The panel noted that all the stakeholders, including banks, were of the opinion that LoUs and LoCs were accepted globally and their efficacy as a source of cost-effective short term credit of foreign currency for importers was “unmatched”.
  • The ban had affected the cost competiveness of the country’s trade and industry, having a cascading effect on jobs. The loss of jobs is something that India can ill-afford.
  • The ban as a response to the fraud had set off a knock-on effect of conservatism in the banking sector.
  • Post the discontinuation, the banks had become very stringent in their operation and credit exposures. And the caution has inadvertently made banks becoming inaccessible to the MSME sector. The Committee was concerned that such an approach has the dangers of making banking services elitist and subservient to a few large corporates leaving out the vast majority of MSME units.

The Committee is of the considered opinion that LoU/LoC should be restored at the earliest albeit with proper safeguards. Its restoration assumes more significance in the face of the fact that the content of imports is over 20% of India’s total exports.

2. One-third of PSBs remain headless

Question 2. Consider the following statements:
  1. All natural Earthquakes take place in the lithosphere
  2. Tectonic Earthquakes occur due to the sliding of the rocks along the fault line.

Which of the statement/s is/are correct?

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

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements:
  1. S-Waves are the first waves to arrive at the surface at the time of an Earthquake.
  2. P-Waves arrive after some time after the happening of Earthquake.

Which of the statement/s is/are correct?

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

See

Answer
Question 4. Consider the following statements:
  1. Richter scale is used to measure the intensity of earthquake
  2. The energy released during a quake is expressed in absolute numbers of 0-10

Which of the statement/s is/are correct?

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

See

Answer

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. “It is not the severity of the punishment but the certainty and uniformity of it which will reduce crime”. Critically analyze this statement in the context of recent Criminal Law Amendment Bill.

  2. The good news is that there has been a steady decline in the number of HIV cases in India. The bad news is that Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura have emerged as the new hotspots for HIV. In this context evaluate our country’s efforts in dealing with HIV AIDS.

     

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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