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Daily News Analysis 03-06-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

E-visa for Swedish nationals soon: Pranab (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     As he invited the Nordic country to be a part of govts flagship programmes like Make in India initiative, President Pranab said that India will soon extend e-visa facility to Swedish nationals.

2.

War of words breaks out over PoK elections (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     A war of words exchanged between India and Pakistan, with New Delhi accusing Islamabad of conducting elections in Gilgit-Baltistan to disguise its illegal occupation of the regions.

3.

India central to green energy plan: UK climate change envoy (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     India will be a member of a consortium of countries that will implement the Global Apollo Programme - a plan to find ways within the next 10 years to make green energy clean cheaper to produce than energy drawn from coal, gas or oil.

4.

India scores a mixed bag (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     According to a new study that ranks countries on how the rule of law is experienced by citizens, India figures in the top 50 countries in the world for an effective criminal justice system.

5.

Inland waterways Bill to be tabled in winter session of Parliament (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

c)     Geography

a)     Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said a Bill to develop an additional 101 inland waterways will be tabled in the winter session of Parliament.

6.

The water tribunal trap (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Water tribunals were set up as alternatives to long-drawn courtroom litigation. If they are today caused in delay themselves, we have to question the procedure and not just the arrangement.

7.

RBI cuts repo rate, airs worries (Pages 1 and 15)

a)     Economy

a)     As widely expected, the RBI cut the policy rate (repo) by 25 basis points (the third time this year) to 7.25 percent from 7.5 percent.

8.

Climate change is stalling monsoon: Harsh Vardhan (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Union Minister for Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan said that the unusual heat wave in May (followed by the delay in the monsoon by a week) is a definite manifestation of climate change.

9.

Scientists document virgin births of endangered sawfish in Florida (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Scientists have documented in Florida a series of virgin births (reproduction without mating) in a critically endangered sawfish species pushed to the edge of extinction by over-fishing and habitat destruction.

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

E-visa for Swedish nationals soon: Pranab (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Sweden relations

b)     Make in India initiative

c)     Goods and Services Tax (GST)

a)     As he invited the Nordic country to be a part of govts flagship programmes like Make in India initiative, President Pranab said that India will soon extend e-visa facility to Swedish nationals.

b)     He met the CEOs of the Swedish companies where he asked them to invest in India. The CEOs told the President that they were eagerly awaiting the outcome of govts decision on GST. The GST bill was introduced in Parliament and is at present pending before the standing committee.

c)     The CEOs also told the President that they wanted to expand manufacturing base in India and make use of the programmes like Make in India and also export to a third country from India.

2.

War of words breaks out over PoK elections (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Line of Control (LoC)

d)     Gilgit-Baltistan region in J&K

e)     China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

a)     A war of words exchanged between India and Pakistan, with New Delhi accusing Islamabad of conducting elections in Gilgit-Baltistan to disguise its illegal occupation of the regions.

b)     On its part, Pakistan accused India of violating the ceasefire along the LoC and said New Delhi should steer clear of interfering with Islamabads bilateral relations with Beijing and the CPEC.

c)     A spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said that the entire State of J&K which includes the regions of Gilgit and Baltistan is an integral part of India.

d)     Earlier in 2009, India had lodged a protest with Pakistan over its attempts to grant self-rule to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, and grant the regions province-like status without constitutionally becoming part of Pakistan.

3.

India central to green energy plan: UK climate change envoy (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Green energy plan

b)     Global Apollo Programme

c)     GDP

d)     Pollution

a)     India will be a member of a consortium of countries that will implement the Global Apollo Programme - a plan to find ways within next 10 years to make green energy clean cheaper to produce than energy drawn from coal, gas or oil.

b)     Arguing for 15 billion of public spending on research and development by govts toward creating ways of producing and storing green energy cheaply, the architects of the plan expect countries joining programme will commit to spending in their own countries at least 0.02 percent of GDP on this internationally coordinated programme of research each year over a 10 year period.

c)    India and China (both large economies powered primarily by coal-based energy) will be central to the plan. Contrasting India and China, expert said that India has 13 of the top 25 most polluted cities in the world, while China has only one in the top 50. 

4.

India scores a mixed bag (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Rule of Law Index 2015

b)     US-based World Justice Project (WJP)

c)     Open Government Index

d)     Criminal justice system

e)     Civil justice system

a)     According to a new study that ranks countries on how the rule of law is experienced by citizens, India figures in the top 50 countries in the world for an effective criminal justice system. However, the study finds that it is among the worst performing countries when it comes to civil justice.

b)     The Rule of Law Index 2015 (released by the US-based WJP) analyses 102 countries worldwide using a survey of over a 1000 respondents from 3 big cities in each country.

c)     The data (collected in 2013) measures how the rule of law is experienced in practical, everyday situations using 47 indicators across eight categories - constraints on govt powers, absence of corruption, open govt, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

d)     According to the Index, Indias overall rule of law performance places it in the 3rd position out of 6 countries in South Asian region, 10th out of 25 among lower middle income countries, and 59th out of 102 countries worldwide. The top overall performer in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2015 was Denmark while in the South Asia region, the top performer was Nepal.

e)   India ranks high in category of Open Govt, placing it 37th globally and at 3 among lower middle income countries. The open govt index uses four dimensions to measure govt openness - publicised laws and govt data, right to information, civic participation and complaint mechanisms.

f)     Driving down Indias score are perceptions of corruption, of the effectiveness of civil justice system, regulatory enforcement environment and the criminal justice system, all of which reflect that less than half of the respondents showed faith in these systems ability to deliver justice. India did comparatively better in peoples minds in terms of government freedom.

5.

Inland waterways Bill to be tabled in winter session of Parliament (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

c)     Geography

a)     Inland waterways Bill

b)     Inland waterways in India

c)     Parliament

a)   Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said a Bill to develop an additional 101 inland waterways will be tabled in the winter session of Parliament.

b)    He said that India currently has 5 inland waterways while only 3 are operational. This has been a neglected sector due to lack of focus and policy measures. He said that India is in the last position in the world in this sector.

6.

The water tribunal trap (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Water tribunals

b)     National Water Policy 2012

c)     The Interstate Water Disputes Act 1956

d)     Articles 130-134 of the Government of India Act 1935

e)     Article 262(1) and Article 262(2)

a)     At the Joint Conference of CMs of States and CJs of High Courts held in April this year, PM Modi wondered if tribunals have become barriers to delivering justice. There are multiple tribunals in place to resolve interstate water disputes but the National Water Policy 2012 proposed setting up a permanent tribunal to replace them.

b)     The Constitution attaches a special status to interstate water disputes, whereby they neither fall under the Supreme Courts nor any other courts jurisdiction. These disputes can only be adjudicated by temporary and ad hoc interstate water dispute tribunals. This constitutional exception is why water tribunals cannot be bundled with other tribunals and need careful consideration before any reforms.

c)     It is known that the inefficiency in interstate water dispute resolutions extends to factors beyond the functioning of the tribunals. These are linked to legal ambiguities, an institutional vacuum for implementing awards, noncompliant States, politicisation and so on. But the immediate question is that of tribunals arrangement, which cannot be detached from bar.

d)     The permanent tribunal (while complying with this bar on Supreme Courts jurisdiction) will primarily act as an indirect route to address the problem of disputes, as they will recur even after the ad hoc and temporary tribunals are disbanded.

e)     The arrangement of having ad hoc, exclusive, temporary tribunals for interstate water dispute resolution has its roots in similar provisions during the colonial rule (including a bar on Federal Courts jurisdiction). Interstate Water Disputes Act 1956 is essentially a reworked arrangement proposed in the draft Constitution, which in turn derived from Articles 130-134 of the Govt of India Act 1935.

f)     The Constituent Assembly rejected these arrangements, calling for a more permanent arrangement for dispute resolution. It deferred the responsibility of an appropriate legislation to Parliament via Article 262(1), while providing for the jurisdictional bar via Article 262(2). However, the parliamentarians debated over these arrangements and agreed that tribunals suit water disputes best.

g)     They believed that tribunal arrangements would help speedy resolution, with the Supreme Courts jurisdictional bar providing finality to their decisions. They wanted to avoid States litigating amongst themselves, leading to prolonged court proceedings. They believed tribunal arrangements would also enable deliberative and discretionary decision-making for mutually negotiated settlements.

h)     This was the fairly well-intentioned rationale for favouring tribunals over courts, contingent to a particular historical moment. It translated well in the functioning of first generation tribunals of Krishna, Narmada and Godavari. However, these functional arrangements unfortunately degenerated into the present form, with all the trappings that the parliamentarians wanted to avoid.

i)     The degeneration was aided by rather poor records of subsequent parliamentarians in allowing several amendments to the 1956 act. The amendments diluted the spirit and rationale of the tribunal arrangements. The history of the Act is filled with short-sighted and sutured responses to the symptoms of the degeneration and have avoided a comprehensive engagement with the problem of interstate water disputes.

j)     Reforming interstate water dispute tribunals cannot be approached without considering their historical exception and associated risks. The discourse on barriers and the drive for hasty reforms can set us on a wrong path, exceeding the actual barriers that lie beyond tribunal arrangement itself.

k)     After all, the present arrangement was driven by precisely the same concern for sudden and definitive outcomes as the objections are. It is crucial to have a comprehensive review of interstate water dispute resolution and also reconsider the Supreme Courts jurisdictional bar.

7.

RBI cuts repo rate, airs worries (Pages 1 and 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Monetary policy

b)     Repo rate

c)     Inflation

d)     Current Account Deficit (CAD)

e)     GDP

f)     RBI

g)     Monsoons

a)     As widely expected, the RBI cut the policy rate (repo) by 25 basis points (the third time this year) to 7.25 percent from 7.5 percent. The repo rate is the rate at which the RBI lends money to banks.

b)     Articulating the concerns of the RBI over the expected poor monsoon and crude oil prices, RBI Governor Rajan expressed fears that a monsoon shock could push up food prices and challenge its control over inflation.

c)     The RBI cut rates by 25 basis points each in January and March from a peak of 8 percent. But the benefits of these cuts did not reach consumers fully, as banks showed reluctance to pass on the benefits.

d)     The RBI said that the reduction in the CAD resulting from the sharp decline in oil prices had begun to reverse. However, it said that the size of the deficit was expected to be contained to about 1.5 percent of GDP this year.

e)     Rajan said that assuming reasonable food management, inflation was expected to be pulled down by base effects till August but could start rising thereafter to about 6 percent by Jan 2016 – slightly higher than the projections in April.

f)     He also said that the projection for output growth for 2015-16 had been marked down from 7.8 percent in April to 7.6 percent with a downward bias to reflect the uncertainties surrounding these various risks.

8.

Climate change is stalling monsoon: Harsh Vardhan (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)    Climate change

b)     Monsoons

c)     El Nino

d)     India Meteorological Department (IMD)

a)     Union Minister for Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan said that the unusual heat wave in May (followed by the delay in the monsoon by a week) is a definite manifestation of climate change.

b)    Announcing the probability of a deficient southwest monsoon this year, he said the IMD had downgraded its earlier April prediction from 93 to 88 percent this month.

9.

Scientists document virgin births of endangered sawfish in Florida (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Sawfish species

b)     Parthenogenesis

c)     Cytoplasm

d)     US federal endangered species protection

a)    Scientists have documented in Florida a series of virgin births (reproduction without mating) in a critically endangered sawfish species pushed to the edge of extinction by over-fishing and habitat destruction.

b)     They said it marks the first time the phenomenon called parthenogenesis has been seen in a vertebrate in the wild. In parthenogenesis, a females egg cell can develop into a baby without being fertilized by a males sperm cell. In making an egg cell, a parent cell divides into four cells. The one that eventually becomes the egg cell retains key cellular structures and gel-like cytoplasm. Other 3 hold extra genetic material.

c)     Smalltooth sawfish are born and live for about three years in southwest Florida estuaries before moving into ocean coastal habitats. Sawfish have a flattened shark-shaped body and a long, flat face with pairs of teeth on the side used to find, stun and kill prey. They grow up to 18 feet long.

d)     Their population collapse follows habitat loss and over-fishing, being caught in nets targeting other species. They received US federal endangered species protection in 2003.

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