03 Mar 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Russia breaching Cold War-era treaties, says U.S.
2. Gwadar, Chabahar not comparable
3. India to help build nuclear plant in Bangladesh
C. GS3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Search for first stars uncovers dark matter
2. AI system may help check TB spread in India
ECONOMY
1. EU industry raises alarm bells over U.S. tariff move
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Russia breaching Cold War-era treaties, says U.S.

The U.S. has accused Moscow of openly breaching Cold War-era treaties by developing what Russian President Vladimir Putin called a new generation of invincible hypersonic weapons and submarines.

Mr. Putin unveiled the new arsenal on Thursday in a State of the Nation address, challenging Washington to a new arms race ahead of a March 18 presidential election that will all but certainly confirm his grip on power.

Putin’s confirmation

Moscow had proven itself in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), through its development of ground-launched cruise missiles.

2. Gwadar, Chabahar not comparable

 

  • The development of the Chabahar port in Iran is a commercial enterprise, whereas that of the Gwadar port in Pakistan by China is a strategic venture with long-term implications on the region.
  • The Gwadar Port in the Balochistan province is being built by China under a multi-billion economic corridor.
  • The Chabahar port in Iran is being considered by India, Iran and Afghanistan as a gateway to major opportunities for trade with central Asian countries.
  • Chabahar port is a commercial enterprise and Gwadar port is a strategic military enterprise. There is a distinction between as to why two projects have been conceived.
  • Similarly, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is not a connectivity project. It was a strategic project by which China seeks access to the Arabian Sea and surmount the Straits of Malacca.

3. India to help build nuclear plant in Bangladesh

 

  • India, Bangladesh and Russia have signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the construction of the Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh.
  • The MoU was signed in Moscow by the Department of Atomic Energy of India, the Ministry of Science and Technology of Bangladesh and Rosatom.
  • Russia is building the nuclear power plant in Bangladesh on a turnkey basis.
  • Indian companies can be involved in construction and installation works and in the supply of equipment of a non-critical category.

C. GS3 Related

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Search for first stars uncovers dark matter

2. AI system may help check TB spread in India

 

  • Scientists have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) system that can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis in India more effectively than public outreach campaigns.
  • The algorithm is also optimised to make the most of limited resources, such as advertising budgets.
  • Researchers used behavioural, demographic and epidemic disease data, to create a model of disease spread that captures underlying population dynamics and contact patterns between people.
  • Using computer simulations, they tested the algorithm on two real-world cases: tuberculosis (TB) in India and gonorrhea in the US.
  • In both cases, they found the algorithm did a better job at reducing disease cases than current health outreach policies by sharing information about these diseases with individuals who might be most at risk.
  • Our study shows that a sophisticated algorithm can substantially reduce disease spread overall.
  • The algorithm also appeared to make more strategic use of resources. The team found it concentrated heavily on particular groups and did not simply allocate more budget to groups with a high prevalence of the disease.
  • This seems to indicate that the algorithm is leveraging non-obvious patterns and taking advantage of sometimes-subtle interactions between variables that humans may not be able to pinpoint.
  • The model also takes into account that people move, age, and die, reflecting more realistic population dynamics than many existing algorithms for disease control.
  • For instance, people may not be cured instantly, so reducing prevalence at age 30 could mean creating targeted public health communications for people at age 27.
  • While there are many methods to identify patient populations for health outreach campaigns, not many consider the interaction between changing population patterns and disease dynamics over time.
  • Fewer still consider how to use an algorithmic approach to optimize these policies given the uncertainty of our estimates of these disease dynamics. We take both of these effects into account in our approach.
  • Since transmission patterns for infection vary with age, the research team used age-stratified data to determine the optimal targeted audience demographic for public health communications.
  • However, the algorithm could also segment populations using other variables, including gender and location.
  • In the future, the study’s insights could also shed light on health outcomes for other infectious disease interventions, such as HIV or the flu.

Category: ECONOMY

1. EU industry raises alarm bells over U.S. tariff move

 

  • Politicians, industry, and unions in Europe have reacted with alarm to the U.S. government’s announcement of restrictions in the form of a surcharge on imports of steel and aluminium, with the European Commission warning of proposals for WTO-compatible countermeasures to rebalance the situation.
  • Protectionism cannot be the answer to common problem in the steel sector. Instead of providing a solution, this move can only aggravate matters following the announcement of import duties of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium.
  • These U.S. measures will have a negative impact on transatlantic relations and on global markets. In 2017, the EU exported 5 million tonnes of steel to the U.S. out of a total export volume of 40 mt .
  • In the current context of massive global excess steel capacity, markets will be forced to take preventative contingency actions to avoid domestic market disruption from traded deflection.
  • Tata Steel Europe, for which the U.S. represents 10% of its sales, welcomed the EU’s pledge of swift action.
  • The EU must not allow the moderate recovery in our industry over the last year to be destroyed by the EUs most important ally.
  • The concerns were echoed in individual European markets, including in Britain, which exports some £360 million of high value steel products to the U.S., or around 15% of the sector’s exports, according to industry body U.K. Steel.
  • In addition to hitting U.S. exports, U.K. Steel warned the U.S. move could have a knock on effect on markets such as the U.K., with steel diverted away from the U.S. to other markets.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: ECONOMY

1. Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018

 

The Bill would help in laying down measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.

A scheduled offence refers to a list of economic offences contained in the Schedule to this Bill.

Further, in order to ensure that Courts are not over-burdened with such cases, only those cases where the total value involved in such offences is 100 crore rupees or more, is within the purview of this Bill.

Why was it required?

The existing civil and criminal provisions in law are not entirely adequate to deal with the severity of the problem.

It is, therefore, felt necessary to provide an effective, expeditious and constitutionally permissible deterrent to ensure that such actions are curbed.

It may be mentioned that the non-conviction-based asset confiscation for corruption-related cases is enabled under provisions of United Nations Convention against Corruption (ratified by India in 2011). The Bill adopts this principle.

Salient features of the Bill:

Application before the Special Court for a declaration that an individual is a fugitive economic offender;

Attachment of the property of a fugitive economic offender;

Issue of a notice by the Special Court to the individual alleged to be a fugitive economic offender;

Confiscation of the property of an individual declared as a fugitive economic offender resulting from the proceeds of crime;

Confiscation of other  property belonging to such offender in India and abroad, including benami property;

Disentitlement of the fugitive economic offender from defending any civil claim;

An Administrator will be appointed to manage and dispose of the confiscated property under the Act.

If at any point of time in the course of the proceeding prior to the declaration, however, the alleged Fugitive Economic Offender returns to India and submits to the appropriate jurisdictional Court, proceedings under the proposed Act would cease by law. All necessary constitutional safeguards in terms of providing hearing to the person through counsel, allowing him time to file a reply, serving notice of summons to him, whether in India or abroad and appeal to the High Court have been provided for.

Impact:

The Bill is expected to re-establish the rule of law with respect to the fugitive economic offenders as they would be forced to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences.

This would also help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions.

It is expected that the special forum to be created for expeditious confiscation of the proceeds of crime, in India or abroad, would coerce the fugitive to return to India to submit to the jurisdiction of Courts in India to face the law in respect of scheduled offences.

Issue Area

From the provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure for attachment of the property of ‘proclaimed offenders’, to sections in Acts targeting smugglers, foreign exchange offenders and traffickers in narcotics, proceedings for forfeiture of property have been marked by shortcomings and procedural delays.

Laws deemed draconian, such as the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976, have not exactly been a success.

Experience has shown that disposal of confiscated assets is not easy, especially at a price sufficient to recoup losses or pay off all creditors.

Under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, confiscation is not limited to the proceeds of crime, and extends to any asset owned by an offender, including benami property. Such clauses are liable for legal challenge, especially if there are third party interests and doubts about real ownership. Care must be taken to draft a law that is free from legal infirmities from the point of view of fundamental rights and due process.

Way Forward

While the utility and effectiveness of laws are best assessed in the implementation, it is important to ensure they are fair and reasonable. The shortcomings in previous laws must be avoided, and the new legal regime impartially enforced.

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements:
  1. Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is a nuclear-arms-control accord reached by the United States and the Soviet Union.
  2. Those two nations agreed to eliminate their stocks of intermediate-range and shorter-range or medium-range missiles.

Which of the above 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 Gwadar port is being considered by India, Iran and Afghanistan as a gateway for trade with central Asian countries.
  2. The Chabahar Port in the Balochistan province is being built by China.

Which of the above 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:
  1. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.
  2. The Convention defines a child as any human being under the age of eighteen, unless the age of majority is attained earlier under national legislation.
  3. India ratified UNCRC in 1992, agreeing in principles all articles except with certain reservations on issues relating to child labor.

Which of the above statements are correct?

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

See

Answer

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

 

General Studies II

  1. The Kabul Process is a Futile Exercise. Critically Analyze.

General Studies III

  1. Is contract farming a panacea to farming community? Justify your View. If not what should be done to address these issues?
     
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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