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Daily News Analysis 24-02-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.

Social spend needs Budget boost (Page 1)

a)     National

a)     Social sector spending (expenditure on health, education, water supply, sanitation and housing among others) has doubled over the past 10 years as a proportion of the Union govts total expenditure.

2.

Not a make-or-break budget (Page 9)

a)     National

a)     A sharp balance between pushing for a public investment-driven growth and ensuring that subsidies are relevant and delivered efficiently can be a cornerstone of Arun Jaitleys strategy.

3.

Swachh Bharat, food subsidy need huge funds (Page 10)

a)     National

a)     The govt is considering amending the National Food Security Act and restricting subsidies to targeted groups.

4.

India expresses concern over manhandling of Nasheed (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     PM Modi is expected to visit Maldives in mid-March and the disorder in the country would have an impact on his visit.

5.

TNA slams delay in UN reports release (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas main Tamil party has expressed concern over the UNs decision to delay a report on the human rights situation in the country.

6.

India fastest growing large economy (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Addressing the joint session of Parliament, President Pranab said our GDP is growing at 7.4 percent.

7.

Indian monsoon fluctuated during ice age: study (Page 6)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Scientists used levels of isotopes of thorium and oxygen found in stalagmites in a cave in south-western China to reconstruct how the monsoon fluctuated over the past 2,52,000 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.

Social spend needs Budget boost (Page 1)

a)     National

a)     Budget

b)     Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

c)     Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

a)     Budget data show that social sector spending has remained static over the past few years and huge spending expansions are required to keep PM Modis key promises.

b)     Social sector spending (expenditure on health, education, water supply, sanitation and housing among others) has doubled over the past 10 years as a proportion of the Union govts total expenditure.

c)     In its first Budget in 2014, the NDA govt held allocations for most flagship UPA schemes close to what the outgoing govt made in its last Budget.

d)     However, the release of funds has slowed down sharply for some schemes such as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (earlier known as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan), while delays have grown on the ground for others such as the MGNREGS.

e)     If the govt is to follow through on its promises, the Union Budget to be presented should be a break from the past.

2.

Not a make-or-break budget (Page 9)

a)     National

a)     Budget

b)     GDP

c)     Fiscal deficit

d)     GST

a)     Both Indias executive decision making and policy thought are on a roll.

b)     The key signal from the govt to global business and investor space is a capability for financial discipline and wisdom.

c)     The last Budget followed a fiscal deficit target of 4.1 percent of GDP is a clear challenge and an aspiration to bring this lower. Finance Minister seems to be indicating comfort with a long-term target sub -3 percent.

d)      A sharp balance between pushing for a public investment-driven growth and ensuring that subsidies are relevant and delivered efficiently can be a cornerstone of Finance Ministers strategy.

e)     Expansion of revenue base, particularly through well-organised implementation of GST is another.

f)     Growth beyond the anticipated 6-7 percent is needed to fill underutilised capacities and this could take time. The future levels of 7-8 percent need deep structural reforms which will not happen overnight. 

g)     The Budget can surpass reasonable expectations if it achieves a mix of strengthening consumer sentiment; creating a sound expenditure management and fiscal road map; addressing supply side inflation; proper channelling and timely implementation of public spending; ensuring that life is not further complicated for taxpayers and seriously address industry competitiveness.

3.

Swachh Bharat, food subsidy need huge funds (Page 10)

a)     National

a)     Budget

b)     Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

c)     National Food Security Act 

d)     Public Distribution System (PDS)

e)     Mid-day meal scheme

 

a)     If an allocation of Rs. 40,000 crore is made in the Union Budget for 2015-16 for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan as required, there will be enough money to build toilets for Indias 12.3 crore households without them. 

b)     The food subsidy (including the PDS), the mid-day meal scheme and other nutrition programmes cost the govt Rs. 1.25 lakh crore in its last Budget and would need to rise to Rs 1.5 lakh crore with an additional Rs. 12,000 crore in maternity benefits for the govt to meet its obligations under the National Food Security Act.

c)     However, whether this increase will be made is unclear; the government is considering amending the Act and restricting subsidies to targeted groups.

4.

India expresses concern over manhandling of Nasheed (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     India – Maldives relations

b)     Maldives political situation

a)     Ministry of External Affairs said we are concerned at recent developments in the Maldives, including the arrest and manhandling of former President Nasheed.

b)     The incident occurred when he (arrested on terrorism charges) was brought to a court in Male.

c)     PM Modi is expected to visit Male in mid-March and the disorder in the country would have an impact on his visit. 

5.

TNA slams delay in UN reports release (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankan human rights issue

b)     UNHRC

c)     Tamil National Alliance (TNA)

d)     Civil war with LTTE

e)     Northern Provincial Council (NPC)

a)    Sri Lankas main Tamil party has expressed concern over the UNs decision to delay a report on the human rights situation in the country saying it amounted to denial of justice.

b)     Criticising the decision by the UN to delay its report by six months, TNA Northern Provincial Councillor has written to UNHR Commissioner, saying that the Tamil people sincerely hope the UN system will not delay them full and complete justice.

c)     The NPC recently adopted a resolution urging an investigation into alleged genocide of Tamils during the countrys 30-year civil war with the LTTE that ended in 2009. 

6.

India fastest growing large economy (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Budget

b)     Economic growth

c)     GDP

d)     Land Acquisition Act

e)     Insurance Ordinance  

f)     GST

a)     Addressing the joint session of Parliament, President Pranab said that India is now the fastest growing large economy in the world. According to the latest estimates, our GDP is growing at 7.4 percent.

b)     He underscored the governments commitment to protect farmers interests in the controversial Land Acquisition Act and spoke about the significance of the Insurance Ordinance.

c)     He said that the Insurance Ordinance would increase capital availability and ensure better access to insurance services, especially in rural areas and for economically weaker sections.

d)     He indicated that the upcoming Budget could include corrective measures to reduce wasteful public spending. Wisdom in expenditure management was high on the governments agenda.

e)     He said a Constitutional (Amendment) Bill had been introduced to bring in the GST that would simplify the indirect tax regime and result in better tax compliance.

7.

Indian monsoon fluctuated during ice age: study (Page 6)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Indian monsoon

b)     Ice age

c)     Isotopes of thorium and oxygen

d)     Himalayan foothills

e)     Glaciers

a)     As ice ages on Earth covered and decreased over time spans of thousands of years, there were substantial fluctuations in monsoon intensity over India.

b)     A new study has found that while the rains in north-eastern India declined during the last ice age, the monsoon in East Asia remained remarkably high.

c)     During the ice age, vast sheets of ice and glaciers cover much of the planet.

d)     A team of Scientists used levels of isotopes of thorium and oxygen found in stalagmites in a cave in south-western China to reconstruct how the monsoon over north-eastern India, the Himalayan foothills, Bangladesh and northern Indochina fluctuated over the past 2,52,000 years.

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