31 May 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

 TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
HISTORY
1. School started by Tilak goes co-ed once more
B. GS2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. India, Indonesia elevate ties
POLITY
1. ‘People of Assam will be consulted on Bill’
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Moody’s cuts 2018 growth forecast to 7.3%
2. SEBI says panel ‘must’ for reviewing ratings
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT
1. 34 leopards die each year in Rajasthan, says wildlife report
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Paper chase
F. Prelims Fact
1. Andhra Pradesh new state symbols
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Category: HISTORY

1. School started by Tilak goes co-ed once more

Context

  • New English school has been made co-ed again.
  • The decision to reintroduce co-education was taken to demolish gender barriers in a changing world.

New English School

  • New English School was founded in 1880 by educationists and revolutionaries Vishnu Krushna Chiplunkar, Bal Gangadhar ‘Lokmanya’ Tilak and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar.
  • The school was co-educational until 1936, when the Deccan Education Society (DES) — also founded by Chiplunkar, Tilak, and Agarkar, among others — which had taken over the management by then, moved the girls to its Ahilyadevi High School for Girls.
  • Chiplunkar, who is remembered as the poet of Maharashtra’s nationalist revival for his ornate literary style, quit government service in 1879 and issued a call for the creation of a school run by Indians.
  • Tilak, with Mahadev Ballal Namjoshi, volunteered as charter members of the school faculty; they were joined by Agarkar, another great educationist and Tilak’s close friend.

Significant event

  • The establishment of the school is a significant event in the freedom movement; it was not just a beginning of the effort to break the British hold on education, but one that used the English language to imbue nationalist thought.
  • The founders, all young men at that time (Chiplunkar was in his early 30s when NES started, with Tilak and the others in their mid-20s) founded the DES a few years later, with the goal of making education accessible to students by establishing schools and colleges run by Indians across what was then the Bombay Presidency.
  • NES began lessons on January 2, 1880, with 19 students. Enrolment increased ten-fold within a year.
  • Such was the zeal of the promoters in making the school successful, that they took far lower salaries than they could have got elsewhere.
  • For some years in the beginning, these B.A.’s and M.A.’s who while Fellows of the Deccan College had enjoyed the salaries of Rs.75 or Rs.100 per month and who would have obtained more than Rs.100 anywhere and in any literary branch of the Government Service, remained content with the pittance of Rs.30 or Rs.40 per month.
  • In a few short years, NES became the biggest school in the Bombay Presidency.
  • And the DES expanded too. Among the institutions it founded were Fergusson College, Pune (1885), Willingdon College, Sangli (1919) Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (1943), Chintamanarao College of Commerce (1960).
  • The move is meant to imbue the school with the advantages of a co-educational environment, thereby helping students acquire a more holistic education.

B. GS2 Related

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. India, Indonesia elevate ties

 

  • India and Indonesia elevated their bilateral ties to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with PM Modi’s first-ever official visit to Indonesia.
  • The two countries condemned terrorism in all its forms.
  • The two countries also signed 15 agreements, including one to boost defence cooperation, and called for freedom of navigation in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.
  • The two leaders discussed areas of strategic cooperation and ways to ensure better economic ties and closer cultural relations, besides regional and global issues of mutual interest.
  • Modi said India’s Act East Policy and the vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region) matched Mr. Widodo’s Maritime Fulcrum Vision.
  • He further said that as mutual partners and neighbours, our worries are similar. It is our duty to ensure maritime security and safety. This is also for the safety of our economic interests.

30-day free visa

  • Modi announced a free 30-day visa for Indonesian citizens and invited the diaspora to travel to their country of origin to experience the New India.

SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region)

  • It is a maritime initiative which gives priority to Indian Ocean region.
  • It is to ensure peace, stability and prosperity of India in Indian Ocean region.
  • The goal is to seek a climate of trust and transparency; respect for international maritime rules and norms by all countries; sensitivity to each other`s interests; peaceful resolution of maritime issues; and increase in maritime cooperation.

Watch BYJU’S video on India’s Look East Policy

Category: POLITY

1. ‘People of Assam will be consulted on Bill’

 

  • Amid mounting pressures from various citizen groups in the State regarding the implications of the Bill, Mr. Sonowal met the Home Minister.
  • The Home Minister said that there should be no apprehension in minds of the people of Assam about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
  • The Home Minister has assured that before taking any step, the people of Assam will be taken into confidence.

Background

  • Assam has been witnessing protests against the Centre’s move to enact the Bill that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India due to religious persecution in those countries.
  • Organisations spearheading the protests said that the Bill, if passed, would pave the way for giving citizenship to illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in Assam.

Calls for a committee

  • Sonowal requested Mr. Singh to set up a committee to make recommendations for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord which provides for constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect, preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of Assamese people.
  • The Home Minister assured the Chief Minister that a committee will be set up at the earliest in consultation with the State government.
  • They also discussed various administrative and security arrangements related to the updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) as per the orders of the Supreme Court.

Assam accord

  • The Assam Accord (1985) was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985. 
  • A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in 1979. It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord.
  • The accord brought an end to the Assam Agitation and paved the way for the leaders of the agitation to form a political party and form a government in the state of Assam soon after.
  • Though the accord brought an end to the agitation, some of the key clauses are yet to be implemented, which has kept some of the issues festering.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Moody’s cuts 2018 growth forecast to 7.3%

 

  • Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday cut India’s 2018 growth forecast to 7.3% from the previous estimate of 7.5%.
  • Moody’s, however, maintained its 2019 growth forecast at 7.5%.

Cyclical recovery on

  • The Indian economy is in cyclical recovery led by both investment and consumption. However, higher oil prices and tighter financial conditions will weigh on the pace of acceleration.
  • Moody’s said growth should benefit from an acceleration in rural consumption, supported by higher minimum support prices and a normal monsoon.
  • The private investment cycle will continue to make a gradual recovery, as twin balance-sheet issues — impaired assets at banks and corporates — slowly get addressed through deleveraging and the application of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
  • Also, ongoing transition to the new Goods and Service Tax regime could weigh on growth somewhat over the next few quarters, which poses some downside risk to the forecast.
  • However, these issues are expected to moderate over the course of the year.
  • For the world economy, Moody’s expected 2018 to be a year of robust global growth, similar to 2017.
  • However, global growth will likely moderate by the end of 2018 and in 2019 as a result of a number of advanced economies reaching full employment, and because of rising borrowing costs and tighter credit conditions in both advanced and emerging market countries that will hamper further acceleration.
  • The G-20 countries would grow 3.3% in 2018 and 3.2% in 2019.
  • The advanced economies will grow at a moderate 2.3% in 2018 and 2% in 2019, while G-20 emerging markets will remain the growth drivers, at 5.2% in both 2018 and 2019, down from 5.3% in 2017.

Market turbulence

  • The ongoing financial market turbulence in emerging market countries poses risks of a broader negative spill over effect on growth for a range of countries beyond Argentina and Turkey, while there is a risk that high oil prices will be detrimental to consumption demand.
  • A re-escalation of trade tensions between the U.S. and China is another risk factor to growth. Political concerns add to downside risks in Brazil, Mexico and Italy.

2. SEBI says panel ‘must’ for reviewing ratings

 

  • Credit rating agencies (CRAs) will have to form a review committee of mostly independent members to decide on any request for a rating review and will have to disclose on their website all ratings that are not accepted by an issuer for at least 12 months.
  • As part of its attempts to strengthen the governance, accountability and functioning of CRAs, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has proposed these measures following a consultation paper issued in September 2017.
  • In the interest of transparency and fairness, it has been decided that all cases of requests by an issuer for review of the ratings provided to its instruments by the CRA, shall be reviewed by a Rating Committee of the agency that shall consist of a majority of independent members, stated a SEBI circular.
  • The statement added that ‘independent’ would mean “people not having any pecuniary relationship with the CRA or any of its employees.”
  • Further, the capital market watchdog has said that all non-accepted ratings will have be disclosed on the CRA’s website for a period of 12 months from the date of disclosure of such ratings.

Also read | Credit rating agencies in India

Category: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

1. 34 leopards die each year in Rajasthan, says wildlife report

 

  • With an alarming average of 34 leopard deaths every year in Rajasthan, according to a report, as many as 238 big cats have died in the desert State from January 2012 to May 2018.
  • Out of the total deaths that occurred during the above mentioned period, 84 were found dead – both natural and unnatural – while 52 were killed in road/train accidents and 31 due to infighting.
  • Listed on a par with tigers under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, the population of leopards faces a serious challenge due to various reasons, prominent among those are man-animal conflicts, availability of prey base and road/train accidents.
  • A one-of-its-kind ‘Project Leopard’ has been launched to increase prey base so that animals do not stray out for food and water.
  • As per the wildlife census reports of past two years, the leopard count has increased from 434 in 2015 to 508 in 2016.
  • According to many wildlife activists it is the depletion of natural prey base in forest areas that had led to the shifting of wild animals towards killing of livestock.
  • They said that the forest department has not made appropriate arrangements such as water and prey base. Animal population is increasing so animals have started moving into habitations and agriculture fields in search of food and water.

Also read | The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Paper chase

The Election Commission must review the use of paper trail machines in the polling process

Why in news

  • The high incidence of glitches in the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in Monday’s by-elections should be a major cause of concern for the Election Commission of India.
  • Fresh polling had to be ordered in dozens of booths in Kairana and Bhandara-Gondiya in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, respectively, as a consequence.

Issues

  • Ever since the implementation of the VVPAT system last year, machine malfunction and subsequent delays in polling have been recurring issues.
  • Close to 4.2% of the VVPAT machines deployed in the Karnataka Assembly elections this month developed glitches during the testing as well as polling processes.
  • The overall fault rate was as high as 11.6% in the by-elections held in four parliamentary and nine Assembly constituencies on Monday.
  • The ECI has suggested that these machines were more prone to malfunctioning due to their sensitivity to extreme weather conditions and exposure to light.
  • It also blamed the relative inexperience of polling officers handling them, compared to the ballot and control units for the electronic voting machines (EVMs) that have been in use for much longer.
  • The technical committee of the ECI is now faced with a challenge to ensure that the VVPAT machines hold up, with the general election due next year in the hot summer months.
  • The VVPAT was added to the EVM to audit the voter tallies stored in the machine. Its universal implementation — which began in the Goa Assembly polls in February 2017 — was deemed necessary as many political parties complained about the possible hacking of EVMs.
  • These complaints lacked any basis, but the VVPAT implementation was hastened to bring back trust in the election process.

VVPAT Challenges

  • In all elections where it has been used, the VVPAT tallies have matched with the EVM counts, but for a stray case or two when the VVPAT machine was not reset before polling began.
  • Inadvertently, the use of these machines, which are adjuncts to the ballot and control units of the EVMs, has added to the complexity of an otherwise simple, single programmable-chip based system, and rendered it prone to more glitches.
  • There is enough empirical evidence to show that EVMs have eased polling and helped increase voter turnout since being put to use.
  • But in using VVPAT machines to reassure sceptics about an election’s integrity, the ECI has introduced a new element, and cost, to the process.

Conclusion

  • Considering these challenges, the ECI should consider deploying the VVPAT machines in a limited, statistically significant, randomly chosen set of polling booths.
  • This will reduce the possibility of glitches affecting the polling process as well-tested machines could be deployed (with enough replacements also handy) to such booths.
  • The current verification process, after all, only involves the counting of VVPAT slips by randomly choosing one booth from each constituency (or segment), and this check should not be affected drastically by the new method.

2. A bureaucracy for our times

Why in news

  • Recruitment to the civil service needs to be modernised. But it will require a complete overhaul of the system — not piecemeal initiatives.
  • The proposal is based on sound management principles. It is unfair to the recruiter and the recruited to fix a career on the basis of a single examination.
  • The government’s proposal to revise the present system of recruitment to the country’s elite civil services has set the cat among the pigeons.

Context

  • The Niti Aayog has recommended that the government take recourse to lateral entry at all levels of the administration.
  • It has elicited instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to prepare modalities for the purpose at the level of deputy secretary, director and joint secretary.
  • Today, there are 4,926 IAS officers against a total authorised strength of 6,396. The government has sought to increase intake to 180 per year in the last four years.

Views

  • M G Devasahayam, a 1968 Haryana cadre IAS officer from Tamil Nadu, in a recent article accused the PMO of opting to abandon the constitutional scheme of things and run to the market. And what is this constitutional scheme of things?
  • The then home minister, Vallabbhai Patel, in light of the administrative crisis that beset India in the wake of Partition, wrote to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in April 1948 advocating the formation of an independent civil service in the functioning of which “political considerations, either in its recruitment or in its discipline and control, are reduced to the minimum, if not eliminated altogether”.
  • Though chief ministers and many members of the Constituent Assembly opposed the suggestion, the implacable Patel, in his speech to the Assembly in October 1949, declared.“The Indian Union will go. You will not have a united India if you do not have a good All India Services which has independence to speak out its advice”.
  • Patel prevailed and the IAS was born, supposedly to be the bulwark of governance post Independence.

Need for Restructure

  • Seventy years later, the IAS has hardly proved itself worthy of that aspiration.
  • Today, the nation is changing rapidly. Governance itself finds transition-accelerated, both in concept and form.
  • From a means to perpetuate imperial rule, the objective of governance has changed to seeking and managing equitable economic growth.
  • Yet, the bureaucratic infrastructure has remained more or less the same and grounded in the mistrust of citizens.
  • The reasons for this mistrust can be found in the legacy of governance in India: What the Mughals set up was adapted and extended with an archaic secretariat system by the colonial administration.
  • An elitist structure informed both systems, which continues to subsist. We have been unable to come to grips with this leviathan despite the farsighted 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments, which sought to make the panchayat an institution of self government.
  • The groundwork to restructure the system — its critics in the service call it “privatisation” — has gathered pace under the present government, in line with Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy’s thinking.

Changes

  • Under the previous NDA government, regular in-service training, conceived in the 1980s by the DoPT under then MoS P Chidambaram, fructified into phases of training updates up to the level of joint secretary.
  • These were designed by the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) as a measure of career advancement. Skills were encouraged to be acquired in service instead of relying on outdated expertise.
  • Under the present government, IAS trainees (no longer “probationers”), after completing their initial training at the LBSNAA are seconded to serve as assistant secretaries in the Union government, instead of continuing with the hallowed practice of beginning at the bottom as assistant commissioner/collector, preferably of remote districts, thus upending ground exposure.
  • This amounts to an acknowledgment that the present-day civil service, unlike the Mughal design of the mansabdari, the principal task of which was recovery of land revenue, is essentially meant to assist in policy making and dissemination.
  • The latter, of course, never happened. The number of IAS officers at the joint secretary rank, the decision-making level, has declined; personnel from other services with no “grass roots” exposure have been replacing them.

Way forward

  • Today, over 30 per cent of joint secretaries in GoI are from services other than the IAS, with several IAS joint secretaries opting for repatriation to their assigned states and relatively few empanelled secretaries readily seeking deputation to the Centre.
  • Nearly 35 per cent IAS officers due for empanelment as secretaries have been passed over, with little transparency in the process.
  • Now, we have the PMO proposal seeking replacement of the existing mode of recruitment to the civil service by a system in which after initial recruitment by the UPSC, allotment of service and secondment to a state will be finalised on the combined basis of UPSC results and performance in the 100-day Foundation Course at the LBSNAA.
  • The proposal is based on sound management principles. It is unfair to the recruiter and the recruited to fix a career on the basis of a single examination. Multiple attempts are allowed to qualify for the service.
  • Thereafter, upon exposure to the contents of the proposed career, there is neither an opportunity to the employer nor the aspirant to determine whether this is the right job for her.
  • wherein a person whose calibre has been so tested will have many options before her.

Conclusion

  • This is a positive step towards bringing the services in line with modern management practice. However, it will require a host of collateral reforms to succeed.
  • The LBSNAA, though ably led and staffed with outstanding faculty, is not equipped to make the evaluation necessary for so a large a number of recruits in the short space of a few months.
  • The Foundation Course is designed simply to acquaint the trainees with the service to which they are assigned and with colleagues from different services. It leads to life-long bonding, bringing an esprit de corps.
  • But it is not a testing laboratory, nor can it be in the period assigned for a service of such vital importance.
  • The government ought to reassess the entire structure of the civil service, instead of taking steps in fits and starts, to make public services more management-oriented and relevant to present challenges.
  • The LBSNAA with its superb facilities would be the apposite instrument for formulating such a project.
  • However, it would need to be restructured with training courses redesigned and faculty selected in line with the new demands.

F. Prelims Fact

1. Andhra Pradesh new state symbols

 

  • The state bird of undivided Andhra Pradesh was Indian Roller (coracias benghalensis) or Palapitta.
  • This has been changed to Rama Chiluka (psittacula krameri) or rose ringed parakeet.
  • Palapitta is now the state bird of Telangana, Odisha and Karnataka.
  • Neem, which has medicinal properties besides being considered auspicious, is named after the state tree.
  • Blackbuck (Krishna Jinka) is declared as the state animal
  • Jasmine is the state flower.

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements regarding SEBI:
  1. This autonomous organization works under overall administrative supervision of Union Finance Ministry and is accountable to the Parliament.
  2. It has one chairman and five members.
  3. It has authority to prohibit insider trading.

Which of the above statement/s is/are incorrect?

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

See

Answer
Question 2. Which of the following statements with respect to Enforcement Directorate is correct?
  1. It is responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime.
  2. It is a specialized financial investigation agency under the Ministry of Finance.
  3. It enforces both Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999 (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
  4. All of the above

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements:
  1. Foreign sovereign bodies are immune to Article 14.
  2. There can be no civil proceeding against the President, during office term.

Choose the correct option:

  1. 1 is correct but 2 is incorrect
  2. Both 1 and 2 are correct
  3. Both 1 and 2 are incorrect
  4. 1 is incorrect but 2 is correct

 

See

Answer
Question 4. Consider the following statements regarding the Sultanate administration:
  1. It was based entirely on the Islamic political ideas.
  2. The office of the sovereign was considered subordinate to the Caliph.
  3. During the reign of weak rulers, the nobles were in a dominating position.

Which of the above statement/s is/are incorrect?

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

See

Answer
Question 5. The interpretation of the word ‘Swaraj’ kept on changing during course of the
Indian freedom struggle. But who presided over Calcutta session of the Congress in 1906 
and declared its goal as ‘Swaraj’ for the first time?
  1. B.G. Tilak
  2. Rash Behari Ghosh
  3. G.K. Gokhale
  4. Dadabhai Naoroji

See

Answer

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Hindi played a unifying role during the freedom struggle in India. Discuss.
  2. In India, rapid growth of population, poverty, urbanization, industrialization and several related factors are responsible for the rapid degradation of the environment. Discuss.

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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