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Daily News Analysis 01-02-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.

Kunming becomes first destination of Sushmas Chins visit (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     Discussions on the border disputes are the major focus of Sushmas visit to China.

2.

Cash Transfers can plug PDS leakages: study (Page 9)

a)     National

a)     Study shows the shifting of support to the poor from the highly subsidised price policy to DBT of cash transfers through the Jan Dhan Yojana linked with Aadhaar.

3.

It will be a competition for funds (Page 9)

a)     National

a)     States have suggested the option of EPC and user fee-based concessions to promote private sector participation.

4.

Canister-firing of Agni-V successful (Page 9)

a)     S&T

a)     Flight-trial of canister-based Agni-V (5000km range) was successful.

5.

Groundwater overuse sinks riverbed (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Groundwater depletion caused sinkholes on the Chitravati river bed in Anantapur district of A.P.

6.

Speck of interstellar dust adds twist to Big Bang Theory (Page 7)

a)     S&T

a)     A team of astronomers detected the evidence of Cosmic inflation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.

Kunming becomes first destination of Sushmas Chins visit (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Maritime Silk Road (MSR) project

d)     Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor  

e)     Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank

f)     US pivot to Asia

a)     External Affairs Minister Sushma arrived in Beijing to cover and advance a growing economic relationship with China, from the headwinds of competing geopolitical interests in the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific.

b)     The Sino-Indian border differences are major focus during the talks.

c)     Significantly she routed her journey to the Chinese capital through Kunming - one of the starting points of the 21st century MSR project.

d)     China has invited India to join the MSR but New Delhi has so far, refrained from making a firm commitment.

e)     Starting from Kolkata, Kunming (the capital of Yunnan province) is also the point of termination of the BCIM economic corridor - a part of the MSR, which the Indian side is negotiating with the Chinese.

f)     However, India has become a strong supporter of the China-initiated Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is also likely to be used for funding MSR projects.

g)     Analysts point out that Swarajs visit is in the insights of two competing trends - Washingtons attract offensive towards New Delhi and the deterioration of ties, following the crisis in Ukraine, of China and Russia with the US.

h)     The Chinese are working feverishly to counter the accumulation of forces in the Pacific under President Obamas Pivot to Asia by sharpening their nuclear and conventional strength.

i)     New Delhi is in a good position to use its relationship with the US to move into strategic areas of cooperation with China and Russia.

2.

Cash Transfers can plug PDS leakages: study (Page 9)

a)     National

a)     Public Distribution System (PDS)

b)     Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT)

c)     National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013

d)     NSSO

e)     Jan Dhan Yojana

f)     Aadhaar

a)      A new study has estimated that 46.7 percent or 25.9 million metric tonnes (MMTs) of the grains released through the PDS, did not reach the intended beneficiaries in 2011-12.

b)      In the study (based on the latest NSSO data), Chhattisgarh was the best performing State with 0 percent diversion. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were among the better performers with 11.1 percent and 12.2 percent leakages respectively.

c)     The worst-performing State was Manipur where 97.8 percent of the grains failed to reach beneficiaries.

d)     The paper makes a case for shifting the support to the poor from the highly subsidised price policy to DBT of cash transfers through the Jan Dhan Yojana linked with Aadhaar.

e)     The researchers estimate that this could result in savings of up to Rs.33,087 crore annually in food subsidy bills.

f)     Examining whether the PDS is tuned to help abolish poverty, the paper says that the major beneficiaries of the PDS are people from States that have a smaller number of poor.

g)      The paper cautioned that the better-than-normal efficiency of some States, could be the result of state-run, food-based welfare schemes supplementing the central PDS.

h)      The PDS operates through a network of roughly 5,00,000 fair price shops (FPS) across the country and is likely the largest public network of its type in the world, currently distributing roughly 50-55 MMT of grains annually.

i)      The NFSA 2013 also depends on this vehicle to deliver food security to 67 percent of population with an estimated distribution of about 61.4 MMT of grains.

3.

It will be a competition for funds (Page 9)

a)     National

a)     Smart City scheme

b)     Swachh Bharat Mission

c)     PPP model

d)     Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC)

 

a)     Cities that have a vision and development strategy, have made progress under the Swachh Bharat Mission,

b)     They make timely salary payment to municipal staff and have a mechanism to redress grievances and an e-newsletter will be eligible to take part in the Smart City Challenge, which will allow them to compete for funds under the Smart City scheme.

c)     The States have suggested two sets of reforms for small and metropolitan cities.

d)     These include land monetisation, increased FAR norms with transparent policies, quick progress towards e-governance and online service delivery, integrated GIS-based Master Plans including for sanitation, mobility, land use, digital connectivity, disaster risk management and climate change.

e)     Policy reforms, fixed tenures for Mayors and municipal officials, improving revenues through 100 percent collection of taxes and user charges, minimum educational qualifications for corporators and their capacity-building, economic master planning for cities before physical master plans, creation of municipal cadre and credit rating have also been identified.

f)     The States have suggested that in addition to the PPP model, they should be given the option of EPC and user fee-based concessions to promote private sector participation.

4.

Canister-firing of Agni-V successful (Page 9)

a)     S&T

a)     Agni-V

b)     Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)

c)     Canister method

d)     DRDO

a)     The flight-trial of the countrys ICBM (Agni-V) from a canister was successful.

b)     It can carry a nuclear warhead weighing 1.1 tonnes. This is the third success in a row for Agni-V but it is the first time that it is being launched from a canister. 

c)     A canister launch means it can lift off from a truck on roads or open spaces anywhere. 

d)     DRDO developed the 50-tonne, 17-metre-long, three-stage missile.

e)      With its range of 5000 km, the missile can reach a vast portion of China and Europe.

5.

Groundwater overuse sinks riverbed (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Sinkholes

b)     Groundwater depletion

c)     Chitravati river

a)     Overexploitation of ground water appears to have caused the geological event known as sinkhole in the perennially drought-prone district (Anantapur) of Andhra Pradesh.

b)     In a first of its kind phenomenon, the sinkhole was noticed on the dried Chitravati riverbed near the Goddumarri village of the district.

c)     Geologists said that sinkholes usually form in soils characterised by rocks of gypsum or dolomite or limestone which melt in water available in the sub surface channels, leading to a sudden collapse.

d)     On Chitravati riverbed case too, the formation of cavity was caused by depletion of ground water.

6.

Speck of interstellar dust adds twist to Big Bang Theory (Page 7)

a)     S&T

a)     Big Bang Theory

b)     Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP)

c)     Cosmic inflation

d)     Gravitational waves

e)     Planck satellite

a)     A team of astronomers of BICEP announced they had detected waves in space-time (gravitational waves) resounding from the first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second of time long-sought evidence that the expansion of the universe had started out with a giant move called inflation.

b)     The discovery was indicated as potentially the greatest of the new century but after months of spirited debate, the group conceded the result could have been caused by interstellar dust, a notion buttressed by subsequent measurements by the ESAs Planck satellite that showed the part of the sky BICEP examined was in fact dusty.

c)      Now a new analysis has confirmed that the BICEP signal was mostly stardust and that there is no convincing evidence of the gravitational waves. No evidence of inflation.

d)     When the galactic dust is correctly subtracted, there was indeed a small excess signal but it was too small to tell whether it was due to gravitational waves or just experimental noise.

e)     Experiments of the cause are underway, studying a thin haze of microwaves (known as cosmic background radiation) left from the Big Bang, when the cosmos was about 380,000 years old.

f)      Inflation theory holds that the universe underwent a violent and brief move of expansion in the earliest moments, driven by a mysterious force field that exerted negative gravity.

g)     It would explain such things as why the universe looks so uniform and where galaxies come from quantum dents in the inflating cosmos.

h)     Such an explosion would have left faint corkscrew swirls (known technically as B-modes) in the pattern of polarisation of the microwaves. So, does interstellar dust.

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