12 May 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. Justice K.M. Joseph's elevation
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. India supports 'united, prosperous and strong' Nepal
2. India to help settle Rohingya back in Rakhin
3. Supreme Court appoints nodal officers for Rohingya children
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Ministry moots special tourism package for NE
2. India to counter U.S. complaint on farm subsidies in WTO
SECURITY & DEFENCE
1. Navy to opt for Big Data, AI in operational functioning
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
1. Carbon Monitoring System (CMS)
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
SECURITY
1. Pokhran II
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. Justice K.M. Joseph’s elevation

In news

  • The Supreme Court collegium led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra agreed “in principle” to reiterate its recommendation to the government to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K.M. Joseph as a judge of the Supreme Court.

Center’s Stand

  • The government had objected to his appointment, saying he was too junior to become a Supreme Court judge.
  • The Centre had said Justice Joseph’s “comparatively small” parent High Court of Kerala was already “adequately represented” in the apex court and among High Court Chief Justices.

Future Course

  • When the collegium sends the file back, the government will have to accept the recommendation.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. India supports ‘united, prosperous and strong’ Nepal

In news

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India supports a “united, prosperous and strong” Nepal as he strongly backed his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli’s vision to transform the land-locked Himalayan nation into a land- and water-linked country.

Investment in electricity

  • Modi jointly with Oli laid the foundation stone of the 900-megawatt Arun III Hydroelectric Power Plant in Tumlingtar area in eastern Nepal through a remote system said it was one of the biggest projects in Nepal and generate jobs.
  • Nepal is currently facing a shortage of power and the production of hydropower from the project will mainly serve its domestic demands.
  • He said India would invest Rs 6,000 crores in the project.

Culture as bridge

  • Modi and Oli jointly inaugurated a direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya, the birthplaces of Sita and Ram, as part of the ‘Ramayana Circuit’ to promote religious tourism in Nepal and India.
  • Janakpur is known as the birthplace of Sita, the wife of Lord Rama. Janaki temple was built in memory of Sita in 1910. The three-storey structure made entirely of stone and marble is 50-metre high and spread over 4,860 sq feet.
  • The government has identified 15 destinations in India for development under the Ramayana Circuit theme — Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Nashik and Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu).

Other agreements in Pipeline

  • Modi said India would build a railway link between Raxaul in Bihar and Kathmandu to facilitate people-to-people contact and movement of goods.
  • The Prime Minister said the agricultural ministers of the two sides will soon meet and start work on a roadmap for agricultural development.

2. India to help settle Rohingya back in Rakhin

In news

  • India urged Myanmar to ensure the safe return of Rohingya citizens now staying in refugee camps in Bangladesh. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took up the issue and promised India’s help
  • The Minister underlined the need for safe, speedy and sustainable return of displaced persons to the Rakhine state

Details

  • The Minister informed Myanmar that India was on track to complete a project to set up prefabricated housing for the Rohingya population returning from their present camps in Bangladesh.
  • India was in the process of implementing several projects to help various sections of the population in Rakhine state.
  • Bangladesh has repeatedly urged India to intervene and pressure Myanmar to take back its citizens who are living in difficult circumstances on Bangladeshi territory.

Myanmar’s Commitment

  • Swaraj welcomed the Myanmar government’s commitment to implementing the Rakhine Advisory Commission’s recommendations.

Agreements and engagements

  • India and Myanmar concluded the Agreement on Land Border Crossing, which will allow people from both sides to cross the border with passport and visa for health and educational needs and tourism.
  • An agreement on training of Myanmar Foreign Service officers and another on assistance to the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee were signed.
  • The committee monitors the ceasefire implementation between the government of Myanmar and ethnic militant organisations that was announced in 2015.
  • Reflecting cultural ties between the two sides, Ms. Swaraj sealed a memorandum of understanding on restoration of earthquake-damaged pagodas in the famed Buddhist tourism centre of Bagan.

3. Supreme Court appoints nodal officers for Rohingya children

 

  • The Supreme Court designated the sub-divisional magistrates of Mewat district in Haryana and areas in Delhi where Rohingya camps are located to act as nodal officers for the welfare of refugee children.
  • Rohingya parents or relatives could approach the nodal officers with grievances about the lack of access to health and education of their children.

Background

  • Basic amenities were denied to Rohingya living in the camps as they did not have any identification.
  • The court said it would examine if amenities such as drinking water were proportional to the population in these camps and whether they were adequate.

Govt report

  • The government countered that Rohingya in the camps were getting the same treatment and facilities as Indian citizens living nearby.
  • The government produced a field report.

Court’s concern

  • The fundamental right to basic amenities and a dignified life cannot be confined to Rohingyas alone but has to extend to their Indian neighbours living in the same slum.
  • The Supreme Court cannot shine the spotlight solely on Rohingya refugee camps without doing anything for the poor living conditions of Indian citizens in slums.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Ministry moots special tourism package for NE

In news

  • The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region has recommended to the Finance Ministry higher allocation of funds and special package for development of tourism in the region

Details

  • Under the North East Special Infrastructure Scheme (NESIDS), the DoNER Ministry is providing financial assistance for infrastructure projects relating to water supply, power and connectivity for promoting tourism in the region
North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS)
  • It will provide 100% funding from the Central Government to fill up the gaps in creation of infrastructure in specified sectors till March, 2020.

The new scheme will broadly cover creation of infrastructure under following sectors:-

  • Physical infrastructure relating to water supply, power, connectivity and especially the projects promoting tourism;
  • Infrastructure of social sectors of education and health.

Benefits of NESIDS:

  • The assets to be created under the new scheme of NESIDS will not only strengthen health care and education facilities in the region but will also encourage tourism thereby the employment opportunities for local youth.
  • The scheme will act as a catalyst in overall development of the region in the years to come.

2. India to counter U.S. complaint on farm subsidies in WTO

Background

  • The U.S. had filed a counter-notification at the WTO Committee on Agriculture, alleging that “based on U.S. calculations, it appears that India has substantially under-reported its Market Price Support (MPS) for wheat and rice”
  • the U.S. laid out its calculations of the value of India’s MPS programme for the four years between 2010-11 and 2013-14 using publicly available data.
  • India’s apparent MPS for wheat appears to have been over 60% of the value of production in each of the last four years for which India has notified data
  • MPS for rice appears to have been over 70% of the value of production in each of the years.

India’s Response

  • India notified the WTO that its MPS for rice in 2013-14 was just over ₹12,001 crore.
  • That amounts to 5.45% of the total value of production, and well within the WTO’s permitted cut-off of 10%.

Conflict in terms

  • The WTO Agreement on Agriculture defines subsidies on the total value of agriculture production while the US has challenged India on the basis of support given to individual products, namely wheat and rice.
  • Similarly, the agreement doesn’t state the currency in which countries have to report their subsidy dole-out.
  • The US wants India to report in rupee terms while India submits dollar-denominated numbers to the WTO.
  • The US has identified several areas of potential concern with India’s notification.

Category: SECURITY & DEFENCE

1. Navy to opt for Big Data, AI in operational functioning

Category: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

1. Carbon Monitoring System (CMS)

In news

  • Donald Trump has cancelled NASA’s greenhouse gas monitoring system, prompting concern it will hinder efforts to bring down global emissions.

Details

  • The space agency’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) has used satellite and aircraft instruments to monitor carbon dioxide and methane levels remotely – spending $10m (£7.35m) each year.
  • Existing grants would be allowed to finish but no new research would be supported.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: SECURITY

1. Pokhran II

  • It was series of five nuclear bomb test explosions conducted at the Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range in May 1998
  • Pokhran-II consisted of five detonations, of which the first was a fusion bomb and the remaining four were fission bombs

Trigger

  • In the 90’s came the (negotiations for) CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty). It was a tricky situation. If India signed on to CTBT, it would mean closing our nuclear option forever.
  • If it refused to sign, it would have to explicitly state why we do not want to sign.
  • And since the deadline was approaching in May India had to decide.

What was the necessity?

  • The global nuclear governance set-up after the second world war had the NPT (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty) as its basis and it had divided the world into the P-5 and others. India, though fully embedded to the peaceful uses of atomic energy, was not very happy with this discriminatory world.
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee said “I have been deeply concerned at the deteriorating security environment, especially the nuclear environment, faced by India for some years past. We have an overt nuclear weapon state on our borders, a state which committed armed aggression against India in 1962. Although our relations with that country have improved in the last decade or so, an atmosphere of distrust persists mainly due to the unresolved border question.”
  • Turning to Pakistan, Vajpayee’s letter noted that China had helped Pakistan to become a “covert nuclear weapons state,” and that “this bitter neighbour” has committed “three aggressions in the last 50 years.” Moreover, Pakistan had inflicted “unremitting terrorism and militancy” in several parts of India.

Advantages

  • Nuclear weaponisation has a security connotation. The country becomes stronger, there is a deterrence, and one can stabilise the security situation.
  • Indian diplomacy triumphed in turning a grave crisis into an opportunity by securing legitimacy for its nuclear arsenal and removing obstacles in generating nuclear power.
  • India to the nuclear mainstream and opened up the global nuclear market for development of nuclear power without signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) or the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
  • there were also many countries, who were hammering us publicly but passed on congratulatory messages through unofficial channels.

Sanctions

The immediate challenge was to mitigate international opposition and eventually bridge the trust gap with the US.

  • The tests shocked the world, particularly because they were done with utmost secrecy and the India-U.S. ties hit rock bottom. For nearly two months, the U.S. refused to have any dialogue with India and implemented the Glenn Amendment for the first time. Newer sanctions were imposed, and at one point it looked that relations would never recover.
  • Immediately after the tests, the US suspended foreign secretary-level talks; over the following two years, it put more than 200 Indian entities under the sanctions list.
  • The list included not only the facilities of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and entities of Department of Space, but also a clutch of private sector firms that had worked for them.

USA’s non-proliferation goals to normalise relations:

  • signing the CTBT,
  • halting production of fissile material,
  • strategic restraint,
  • strengthening export control regimes,
  • normalization of relations with Pakistan.

Steps taken by India

These were strongly rejected by India, but the talks proceeded on the assumption that India’s security concerns should be fully understood and that India would take certain measures to suit its new status

  • India met the U.S. demands more than halfway, leading to an understanding, which led to President Bill Clinton’s visit to India and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit to the U.S. in 2000.
  • India refused to sign the CTBT, but declared a moratorium on testing;
  • agreed to join the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty negotiations without halting fissile material production;
  • reaffirmed minimum deterrent without giving any number of warheads; and
  • agreed to strengthen export controls.
  • Additionally, India declared no-first-use and commitment to disarmament.

Though no deal could be struck, the foundation was laid for what became the nuclear deal in 2008. India’s sovereign right to test a nuclear device in the future has remained intact.

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements about North East Special Infrastructure 
Development Scheme (NESIDS):
  1. It will provide 100% funding from the Central Government to fill up the gaps in creation of infrastructure in specified sectors till 2020.
  2. The new scheme will broadly cover creation of infrastructure.

Which of the above are 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 Ease of Doing Business Index:
  1. Ease of Doing Business is an index of World Bank which inter alia refers to the dispute resolution environment in a country which facilitates the investors in deciding for setting up of and operation of a business.
  2. India reached 100th ranked country in terms of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ amongst 190 countries.

Which of the above are 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 Malabar Exercise:
  1. The annual Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral event between the navies of India and the United States.
  2. India is holding the exercise in the Bay of Bengal and alternatively in the Sea of Japan.

Which of the above are statements are incorrect?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 4. Consider the following statements:
  1. The pyrogen test is carried out to check impurity or substance that can cause adverse side-effects.
  2. The abnormal toxicity test is carried out to check potential hazardous biological contamination in vaccine formulations.

Which of the above are 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

 
  1. What is Hague Convention and why is India not willing to join? Comment in reference to Rajesh Bindal Committee report.

  2. India has the responsibility in terms of regional stability and should play a major role in settling the unrest. Explain how can India bring multiple stakeholders to provide a safe habitat for Rohingyas.
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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