12 Mar 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. SC seeks details from States on claims to forest lands
GOVERNANCE
1. Centre finalising Cauvery scheme
C. GS3 Related
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT
1. India commits $1.4 billion for solar energy worldwide
ECONOMY
1. PNB fraud: RBI starts special audit of public sector banks
SECURITY
1. India set to get its first coastal policing academy
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. Special Status to Andhra Pradesh
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. SC seeks details from States on claims to forest lands

In News

  • The Supreme Court has ordered State governments to provide details of the number of claims for the grant of land under the provisions of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006.
  • A Bench of Justices on a batch of petitions including that of Wildlife First, said it wanted updated information on claims to forest lands, encroachments and evictions.
  • The court said the claims for grant of land should be those made by the Scheduled Tribes and separately by other traditional forest dwellers, along with the number of claims rejected by States in respect of each category.
  •  It called for information on the extent of land over which such claims were made, number of rejections in respect of each of the two categories and the action taken against those claimants whose claims were rejected.
  • The court, in its March 7 order, asked for the status of eviction of those claimants whose claims were rejected and the total extent of area from which they were evicted. The States have to provide the extent of the area in respect of which eviction has not yet taken place in respect of rejected claims.

Legislative competence

The Bench said it wanted information to be provided in four weeks and listed the matter for hearing on April 18.

  • The court recorded that the petitioners had challenged the constitutional validity of the Act as well as legislative competence of Parliament to enact the statute.
  • Noting that the forests and wildlife are in a critical state, the petitioners have indicated that they would want a performance audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India or by any other appropriate authority.

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Centre finalising Cauvery scheme

In news

  • The Central government is working for finalising a scheme on the Cauvery issue within six weeks, as stipulated by the Supreme Court.
  • On the controversy over the term ‘scheme’ and the constitution of an implementation mechanism, the Union Secretary said Section 6A of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act itself had prescribed a scheme.

Bachawat Award

  • While implementation mechanisms had been set up to carry out the orders of some tribunals constituted under the Act, there was also a precedent of the decision of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal–I being implemented without any mechanism, he said. The order of this Tribunal, popularly called Bachawat Award, was published in the gazette in May 1976.

Two models 

  • There are two models — the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) and the Narmada Control Authority (NCA). Under the BBMB, assets including dams were being operated and maintained by the Board.
  • In the case of the NCA, operation and maintenance of the assets were with States concerned —Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat — and the Authority’s role was limited to regulatory work and control over the release of water so that everybody gets his share of water.

Two bodies — the Cauvery River Authority, headed by Prime Minister and comprising Chief Ministers of the basin States and a Monitoring Committee, comprising officials of the Centre and States — were in place between 1998 and 2013 for implementing the 1991 interim order of the Tribunal.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

1. India commits $1.4 billion for solar energy worldwide

In news

  • India on Sunday announced one of the world’s largest investment plans in solar energy at the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The $1.4 billion line of credit will cover 27 projects in 15 countries and boost the much-required financial power to the solar sector.
  • India will start a solar technology mission with international focus, which will cover all government technical and educational institutions.

10-point plan

  • The Founding Conference was co-chaired by Mr. Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron. Mr. Modi presented a 10-point action plan aimed at making solar power more affordable while raising the share of power generated.
Background Information

International Solar Alliance

What is this alliance?

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris on November 30, 2015.
  • The idea was to form a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps in their energy requirements through a common approach.
  • Towards this, the ISA has set a target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030, which current French President Emmanuel Macron said would require $1 trillion to achieve.

Who are the member countries?

  • The ISA is open to 121 prospective member countries, most of them located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn as this is the region worldwide with a surplus of bright sunlight for most of the year.
  • So far, however, only 56 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement. These include Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican, Republic, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, India, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Yemen.

What is India’s role?

  • Apart from being a founding-member, India plays a significant role in the alliance in terms of being a host as well as a major contributor to the achievement of the target.
  • The ISA is the first international body that will have a secretariat in India.
  • India, with a target to produce 100 GW of solar energy by 2022, would account for a tenth of ISA’s goal.
  • India will produce 175 GW electricity from renewable sources by 2022 and 100 GW will be from solar energy.

Category: ECONOMY

1. PNB fraud: RBI starts special audit of public sector banks

 

  • Rattled by a spate of banking frauds, RBI has initiated special audit of State-owned lenders with focus on trade financing activities, especially relating to issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) by them, banking sources said.
  • In addition, the RBI has asked all banks for details of the LoUs they had issued, including the amounts outstanding, and whether the banks had pre-approved credit limits or kept enough cash on margin before issuing the guarantees.
  • Most of the big banking frauds, which were unearthed in the recent past, including the one perpetuated by diamantaire Nirav Modi and his associates, pertain to trade finance. Also, many of the wilful default cases have their roots in trade finance, the sources told PTI.
  • In view of the recent Rs. 12,646-crore PNB scam, perpetuated through fraudulent issuance of LoUs with the connivance of the bank’s staff, it was pertinent for the regulator RBI to examine the issue of trade finance which also included issuance of letters of credit (LC) and LoUs, sources said.

NPA scrutiny

  • The government recently asked the State-owned banks to scrutinise all cases of non-performing assets (NPAs) exceeding Rs. 50 crore for possible fraud and report the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
  • Banks have also been asked by Finance Ministry to come up with a “pre-emptive” action plan in a fortnight to combat rising operational and technical risks, and assign clear accountability to senior functionaries.

Category: SECURITY

1. India set to get its first coastal policing academy

 

  • The country’s first national academy to train police forces in effectively safeguarding the Indian shoreline will start functioning in Devbhumi Dwarka district of Gujarat from next month.
  • The Union Home Ministry recently sanctioned the launch of the National Academy of Coastal Policing (NACP) from a campus of Gujarat’s Fisheries Research Centre located in coastal Okha.
  • To be run by a team of paramilitary and defence forces, the academy will sharpen the skills of marine forces of coastal States.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: ECONOMY

1. Special Status to Andhra Pradesh

In news

  • The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has left a troubled legacy. The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement of six paragraphs in Parliament on February 20, 2014 contained the promise of according special category status to the successor State of Andhra Pradesh.
  • This has stirred up a hornets’ nest, with both the ruling party and the Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly upping their ante and demanding that the Union government honour the commitment.
  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has pleaded inability and has instead agreed to give a generous package.
  • He has placed the blame at the door of the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC). This is not the first time that the Commission has been blamed for special category status not being given.
  • There were newspaper reports about Venkaiah Naidu, when he was Union Minister for Urban Development, also blaming the FFC for the Union government’s inability to accord special category status.
  • To be sure, the terms of reference of the FFC did not require it to deal with the categorisation of States into the special category and non-special category. Therefore, it was not required to make any recommendation on the issue.
  • Nor is the classification of States into general and special categories the creation of the Constitution and therefore, the Finance Commission, which was formed under Article 280 of the Constitution, has no business to make any recommendations on the issue.

Did FFC really make such a recommendation ?

  • A careful reading of the report shows that it came nowhere near making any recommendation relating to special categorisation.
  • The principal task of the Finance Commission is to assess the revenue and cost disabilities of the States and make recommendations to offset these disabilities through tax devolution and grants so that all the States are enabled to provide comparable levels of services at comparable revenue effort.
  • The only reference to categorisation was where the report stated that it did not make a distinction between special and general category states in determining our norms and recommendations. It also stated that there are certain common factors that impact cost disability and fiscal capacity of States, there exist circumstances that are unique to individual States.
  • The point is that the FFC did not make any recommendation to the President on whether or not it should accord special category status.
  • The terms of reference of the Commission did not require it to address this issue and therefore the Commission was not concerned about it.
  • Indeed, there were demands from special category States that different norms should be used for assessing their revenue capacity and expenditure needs since they do not have a broad enough tax base and have severe cost disabilities.
  • It is in regard to this that the Commission clarified that it would use a uniform yardstick and assess the revenue capacity and expenditure needs, and in doing so, take into account State-specific problems.
  • With regard to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the Commission simply stated,The Commission shall also take into account the resources available to the successor or reorganised States on reorganisation of the State of Andhra Pradesh in accordance with the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 (6 of 2014) and the Ministry of Home Affairs notification number S.O. 655 (E) dated 4th March, 2014 and make recommendations, for successor or reorganised States, on matters under reference in this notification . Thus, the additional terms of reference too did not require the FFC to dwell on the issue, nor did the FFC do so.
  • In fact, the Constitution or the Finance Commissions have had nothing to do with asymmetric arrangements created under the so-called special category status.
  • The status was accorded to some States by the National Development Council on the recommendation of the erstwhile Planning Commission on the basis of five important criteria, namely, hilly and difficult terrain; low population density and/or sizeable share of tribal population; strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries; economic and infrastructural backwardness; and non-viable nature of State finances.
  • The Finance Commissions have had no role in either specifying the criteria or making recommendations for admission to special category status.

An executive decision

  • Thus, nowhere has the FFC referred to the issue of desirability or of according special category status in its report. Therefore, attributing blame to the FFC for the inability to accord special category status is clearly misleading.
  • The decision to give and not accord special category status in the past was taken by the erstwhile National Development Council on the recommendation of the Planning Commission based on aforementioned factors and this was entirely an executive decision. Neither the Constitution nor the FFC have had anything to do with this.

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements about Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest 
Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006:
  1. It seeks to recognise forest rights of forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes (FDSTs) who have been occupying the land.
  2. The land may be allocated in all forests except the core areas of National Parks and Sanctuaries.

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 about Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest 
Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006:
  1. The Gram Panchayat is empowered to initiate the process of determining the extent of forest rights that may be given to each eligible individual or family.
  2. Communities who depend on the forest for survival and livelihood reasons, but are not forest dwellers or Scheduled Tribes, are also included from the purview of the Bill.

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 Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA):
  1. As per the membership criteria, only littoral states can be part of IORA.
  2. France is a dialogue partner of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

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 Indian Ocean Commission:
  1. It is an intergovernmental organization to strengthen the ties of friendship for the entire population of the African Indian Ocean region.
  2. The COI is composed of five African Indian Ocean nations: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (an overseas region of France), and Seychelles.

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

General Studies II 

  1. Is France India’s new Russia? Critically comment.

General Studies III

  1. Forest fires are not only destructive in nature but rejuvenating and revitalizing. Also comment on various laws in India and steps to be taken to overcome this issue.
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

“Proper Current Affairs preparation is the key to success in the UPSC- Civil Services Examination. We have now launched a comprehensive ‘Current Affairs Webinar’. Limited seats available. Click here to Know More.”

 

Enroll for India’s Largest All-India Test Series

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *