11 Jun 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

 TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
CULTURE
1. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
B. GS2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
2. G7 vs SCO
GOVERNANCE
1. Government opens doors to lateral entry
C. GS3 Related
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. BAD BANK
F. Prelims Fact
1. Silent Valley National Park
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Category: CULTURE

1. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee

  • He was the composer of Vande Mataram, originally in Sanskrit stotra personifying India as a mother goddess and inspiring the activists during the Indian Independence Movement.
  • When Bipin Chandra Pal decided to start a patriotic journal in August 1906, he named it Vande Mataram, after Chattopadhyay’s song. Lala Lajpat Rai also published a journal of the same name.
  • Anandamath is a political novel which depicts a Sannyasi (Hindu ascetic) army fighting the British soldiers.
    • The book calls for the rise of Indian nationalism. The novel was also the source of the song Vande Mataram (I worship my Motherland for she truly is my mother) which, set to music by Rabindranath Tagore, was taken up by many Indian nationalists, and is now the National Song of India.
    • The plot of the novel is loosely set on the Sannyasi Rebellion. He imagined untrained Sannyasi soldiers fighting and beating the highly experienced British Army; ultimately however, he accepted that the British cannot be defeated.
    • Vande Mataram became prominent during the Swadeshi movement.

B. GS2 Related

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

 

  • Narendra Modi in SCO meet called for respect for sovereignty, economic growth, connectivity and unity among the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
  • Modi coined an acronym ‘SECURE’ which he explained: ‘S’ for security for citizens, ‘E’ for economic development, ‘C’ for connectivity in the region, ‘U’ for unity, ‘R’ for respect of sovereignty and integrity, ‘E’ for environment protection.
  • Talking about the importance of linking the region with transport corridors, Modi said connectivity does not only mean geographical link but it should ensure people-to-people contact.
    • In the past Modi has also commented “Asia and the world will have a better future when India and China work together”.
  • Modi has demonstrated a clear individual style of engagement, and world leaders have responded positively to his initiative. Both Modi and Xi see themselves as strong leaders of their countries and peoples, and their personal engagement is a crucial aspect of the bilateral engagement on all outstanding issues.

One Belt One Road’ (OBOR)

  • India welcomes any project which is inclusive, sustainable and transparent. And which respects member states sovereignty and territorial integrity
  • Asserting India’s continued opposition to China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, Mr. Modi said mega connectivity projects must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries. However, New Delhi, he said, would support initiatives which ensure inclusivity.
  • Referring to the “unfortunate” example of the effects of terrorism in Afghanistan, he hoped that the steps taken by its President Ashraf Ghani would be respected by all the players in the region.

Economy

  • China and India are expected to be the driving force of the global economy in the years to come, along with southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.
  • With a combined population of over 2.6 billion and a rapidly growing middle class, China and India offer enormous potential.
  • the Russian economy is much smaller, and growing slowly, the country remains one of the world’s biggest energy producers with powerful influence over oil and gas markets.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have stepped up to defend globalization in recent months, as the United States appears to turn inward under President Donald Trump.
  • Both countries put their names to a statement issued earlier this week that criticized the “new wave of protectionism” and advocated for an “open and inclusive world economy.”

2. G7 vs SCO

 

  • On the Western Hemisphere, seven of the world’s most industrialised countries met for the 44th Group of Seven (G7) summit in Quebec
    • G7 nations (Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, UK, USA),
  • on the Eastern Hemisphere, the 18th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) happened and for first time, in its expanded form after India and Pakistan joining it as full members
  • The SCO did not comprise the world’s most developed nations but had a bigger quantity – in terms of size and population and also an impressive GDP.
  • The G7 was walking just to the opposite direction with a serious fault line emerging between the United States and the rest of the members over trade tariffs.

Joint communique

  • The joint statement takes on issues such as jobs, climate change, advancing gender equality, building a peaceful world and investing in growth “that works for everyone.”

Optimism Vs Pessimism

  • when it comes to the issue of peace in Korea, China along with fellow SCO partner Russia has many more positive contributions
    • G7 who in the case of the EU and Canada remain remote from the issue.
  • The SCO has reiterated the opinion that the 21stcentury belongs to Asia and the convergence of some of the world’s top economies of Asia and Eurasia raises more hope about the future path of development of the international community.
    • In case of the G7, the exact opposite scene has unfolded with the industrialized countries engaging them more in personality clashes and focusing less on global problems.
  • The SCO is perhaps the most happening international grouping at the moment because its scope of functioning is outgoing and big. Be it in connection with China’s Belt and Road Initiative or India’s pressing problems with Pakistan or laying out a map for reconstruction of Afghanistan, the SCO offers hope for a better world order and the credit primarily goes to its members’ openness to reaching out to each other.
    • This mentality is clearly absent in case of G7 whose members are struggling to deal with Trump and finding no better ways than retaliating against him.
  • The build-up to the SCO’s biggest summit so far has generated much optimism about internationalism – be it cooperation in fields of trade and security, counter drug trafficking and overall regional cooperation.
  • Particularly important has been the growth in interpersonal relations between world leaders like Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin or Narendra Modi who have met on a number of occasions in recent times and come closer to each other – the growing protectionism of the US being one gluing factor.

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Government opens doors to lateral entry

Context

  • NDA government has invited “outstanding individuals” to join the government at the joint secretary level at the Centre to bring in expertise from the private sector individuals and infuse talent into the country’s bureaucracy,

Details

  • As per the notification, the eligibility criteria includes “Individuals working at comparable levels in Private Sector Companies, Consultancy Organisations, International/Multinational Organisations with a minimum of 15 years’ experience” besides those working in central public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies, statutory organisations, research bodies and universities.
  • the recruitment will be on contract basis for three to five years.
  • The intake will be made in 10 departments initially but will expand to other categories in the second phase.
  • The departments for which applicants are sought include Revenue, Financial Services, Economic Affairs, Commerce and Civil Aviation, Agriculture and Cooperation, Highways and Shipping and Environment and Climate Change.
  • The notification specifies a minimum age of 40 years and minimum qualification of graduation from a recognised university or institute while higher qualification will be an added advantage.

C. GS3 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: ECONOMY

1. BAD BANK

Why in news?

  • Union Finance Ministry has announced the formation of a committee to assess the idea of special asset reconstruction companies or asset management companies to take over bad loans from banks.
  • Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian had suggested the creation of a Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency (PARA) to deal with India’s festering twin balance sheet problem.

Bad Banks

  • A bad bank is essentially the government’s financial help to banks. 
  • A bad bank can help PSU banks saddled with huge non-performing assets (NPAs) 
  • The idea of bad bank gained currency when the Economic Survey 2017 suggested creation of a ‘Public Asset Rehabilitation Agency’ (PARA) to help tide over the enormous problem of stressed assets. 

Twin Balance Sheet Problem

  • A balance sheet is a financial statement that summarises a company/institution’s assets, liabilities and shareholder’s equity at a specific point of a time.
  • Twin Balance Sheet Problem (TBS) deals with two balance sheet problems. One with Indian companies and the other with Indian Banks.
  • Over-leveraged corporates unable to service debt or invest afresh, and banks hit by non-performing assets (NPAs) .
  • This hurts new investments and continues to dent India’s medium-term growth and job creation prospects.

How will PARA help?

  • A professionally-run PARA, or the so-called ‘bad bank’, could assume custody of the largest and most difficult-to-resolve NPAs from lenders’ balance sheets.
  • This would allow banks to focus on extending fresh credit and supporting the pick-up in growth. More importantly, a bad bank taking tough decisions on borrowers-gone-bad, could free bankers from the risks entailed in large loan write-downs.

Challenges with Bad Bank/PARA

  • PARA by itself would not be able to deploy dramatically different tools to extract better value from underlying assets and would, at best, amount to window-dressing bank books to attract investors.
  • A government-owned bad bank could still face scrutiny from the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Central Vigilance Commissioner.

Other measures to deal with NPAs

  • The government should focus on other reforms as well.
  • One, amend the Prevention of Corruption Act to shield bankers and officers from investigative witch-hunts.
  • Two, back bankers to take demonstrable action against wilful defaulters.
  • And three, take a hard look at what ails the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

F. Prelims fact

1. Silent Valley National Park

 

  • It is located in the Nilgiri hills, within the palakkad District of Kerala,
  • The Silent Valley region is locally known as “Sairandhrivanam”, which in Malayalam means Sairandhri’s Forest.
  • Silent Valley is home to the largest population of lion-tailed macaques, an endangered species of primate.

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements:
  1. Group of Seven (G7) summit 2018 was held in France.
  2. Australia is a member of G7 nations.

Which of the statements are correct?

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

 

See

Answer
Question 2. Consider the following statements:
  1. Silent Valley is located in Tamil Nadu.
  2. Silent Valley is home to the largest population of lion-tailed macaques.

Which of the statements 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. Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency (PARA) is being setup to deal with India’s twin balance sheet problem.
  2. Twin Balance Sheet Problem (TBS) deals with two balance sheet problems. One with Indian companies and the other with Indian Banks.

Which of the statements are correct?

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

 

See

Answer

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. NPAs are a long-standing problem of Indian Economy. Discuss the need for a separate Asset Management Company.

  2. Compare and contrast the role played by SCO and G7 in the geo-political scenario.

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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