Current Affairs > Daily Current affairs

Back
Daily News Analysis 06-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

PM confirms bilateral meeting with Xi (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     PM Modi confirmed that he would have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi in Ufa (Russia) where both leaders are scheduled to attend the BRICS summit and the regional SCO meet from July 8 to 10.

2.

A question of justice (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     The record settlement of $18.7 billion that the oil company BP has arrived at in the Deepwater Horizon environmental disaster case in the US has naturally revived the debate on the denial of justice to the victims of a far bigger disaster - the Bhopal gas leak.

3.

Greeks defy Europe with an overwhelming NO (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Greeks voted hugely NO in a historic bailout referendum, defying warnings from across Europe that rejecting new austerity terms for fresh financial aid would set their country on a path out of the euro.

4.

Crucial week ahead for Land Bill (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The meetings of the joint parliamentary committee examining controversial Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in LARR (Amendment) Second Bill 2015 are all set to enter a crucial stage this week, with voting starting on govt-sponsored amendments to the 2013 Act.

5.

Dramatic drop in number of underfed children: UNICEF (P 1,11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)  A new data by UNICEF show that despite remarkable improvements in child nutrition over the last decade in India, some States (such as Gujarat) have struggled to reduce the numbers of underweight and stunted children.

6.

SECC not irrelevant just yet (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Although the SECCs objectives are not likely to be met, it is a big step towards providing accurate information on the well-being of the people.

7.

New farm insurance scheme soon (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Centre is working on a new farm insurance and income scheme to help increase earnings of farmers.

8.

Has our mind become conditioned? (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)    In Jan, the CSO released revised estimates for Indias GDP using a new base year, which economists and commentators around world, including CEA and RBI Governor have expressed discomfort about.

9.

Russian cargoship Progress docks with ISS (Page12)

a)     S&T

a)     An unmanned Russian cargo ship successfully docked with the International Space Station following a string of failed attempts to resupply orbital laboratory.

10.

Sahara was once home to worlds largest lake (Pg 7)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)     A new study has found that the Sahara desert contained the worlds largest freshwater lake until it evaporated in just a few hundred years.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

PM confirms bilateral meeting with Xi (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     BRICS summit

c)     SCO summit

a)     PM Modi confirmed that he would have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi in Ufa (Russia) where both leaders are scheduled to attend the BRICS summit of emerging economies and the regional SCO meet from July 8 to 10.

b)     However, he made no comment about the possibility of meeting leaders at the SCO summit, where Pak PM Nawaz Sharif and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will participate along with him as observers.

c)     Modi begins his visit from Uzbekistan, where he said he will sign several agreements after talks with President Islam Karimov aimed at expanding economic ties and enhancing trade and economic linkages.

d)     He will then go to Kazakhstan before reaching Ufa and will continue his Central Asian visit after the BRICS and SCO summits. This will be the first such visit to all the Central Asian republics by an Indian PM since former PM Jawaharlal Nehrus visit in 1955.

2.

A question of justice (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Gulf of Mexico oil spill 2010

c)     Deepwater Horizon environmental disaster case

d)     Bhopal gas disaster 1984

 

a)     The record settlement of $18.7 billion that the oil company BP has arrived at in the Deepwater Horizon environmental disaster case in the US has naturally revived the debate on the denial of justice to the victims of a far bigger disaster - the Bhopal gas leak.

b)     As industrial accidents go, the blowout in BPs well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 was schocking, killing 11 people and devastating an already stressed marine ecosystem with millions of barrels of oil. Five State govts and federal govt of US have been following penalties and compensation claims with the company, resulting in the settlement.

c)     Yet, the impact of the oil spill pales in comparison with magnitude of what happened at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal in 1984. What contrasts the BP settlement with Bhopal case is the role of the state and its readiness to follow justice for citizens and remediation for environment, with apparently offending commercial entities.

d)     The neglect in securing compensation for the victims of Bhopal is evident from the fact that the original settlement of $470 million for tens of thousands of people absolved the Union Carbide Corporation of all future liabilities.

e)    The Centre (which adopted a paternalistic position on issue and assumed responsibility for all victims) now says Rs.1548 crore (about $258 million) has been awarded as original compensation in about half a million cases.

f)     Under the US settlement, individual claims can still be continued.  Regardless of whether it represents the best model to address industrial accidents, Deepwater Horizon outcome has some pointers to advance the cause of Bhopals long-suffering victims. Centre and Supreme Court should ensure that justice is done for the hapless families of Bhopal.

3.

Greeks defy Europe with an overwhelming NO (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     European Commission

d)     European Central Bank (ECB)

e)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)     Greeks voted hugely NO in a historic bailout referendum, defying warnings from across Europe that rejecting new austerity terms for fresh financial aid would set their country on a path out of euro.

 

b)     With nearly a fifth of the votes counted, official figures showed 60.4 percent of Greeks on course to reject a bailout offer from creditors that was the official issue of the ballot. The figures showed the Yes vote drew 40.1 percent.

 

c)     Officials from the Greek govt (which had argued that a No vote would strengthen its hand to secure a better deal from international creditors after months of arguing) immediately said they would try to restart talks with European partners.

 

d)     Many of Athens partners have warned over the past week that a No vote would mean cutting bridges with Europe and driving Greeces damaged financial system into outright bankruptcy, dramatically worsening the countrys 5-year-long depression.

 

e)     However, the ECB may be reluctant to increase emergency lending to Greek banks after voters rejected the spending cuts and economic reforms which creditors consider essential to make Greek public finances viable.

4.

Crucial week ahead for Land Bill (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act 2013

b)     Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency

c)     Social Impact Assessment (SIA)

d)     Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)

a)     The meetings of the JPC examining controversial Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in LARR (Amendment) Second Bill 2015 are all set to enter a crucial stage this week, with voting starting on govt-sponsored amendments to the 2013 Act.

b)     Opposition sources also added that even if BJP succeeds in inducing a majority on joint panel to support amendments, it could still come a cropper in the Rajya Sabha, where numbers still remain stacked against the govt on this Bill.

c)     It is learnt that all nine Congress-ruled States have written to committee, opposing govt-sponsored amendments. These States are Karnataka, Assam, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Mizoram.

5.

Dramatic drop in number of underfed children: UNICEF (Pages 1 and 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Rapid Survey on Children (RSOC)

b)     National Family Health Survey (NFHS)

c)     Child nutrition

d)     Stunted children

e)     Women and Child Development (WCD)

f)     UNICEF

a)     Last Oct and Nov, Sources said the national-level findings of the RSOC, a sample survey of over one lakh households conducted by the UNICEF.

b)     Those numbers showed that both child stunting and number of underweight children had fallen to a historic low - from 48 percent in 2004-05 to 39 percent in 2013-14 in the case of stunting and from 42.5 percent to 30 percent in the case of underweight children.

c)     The Ministry sources told that there were two surveys commissioned on children and nutrition, one by the Health Ministry and the other by the WCD with technical support from UNICEF.

d)     UNICEFs Head of Nutrition Saba Mebrahtu said that though the survey had caused attention for only its immunisation-related findings, there was much in it to celebrate as well. There has been a substantial reduction in child under nutrition by 9 percentage points compared to findings of NFHS 3 in 2005-06.

e)     However, the findings relating to teenage girl child nutrition are worrying. There is very little improvement in nutrition levels of girls in the 15-18 age group since NFHS 3.

f)     Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Tripura are the only States which have reduced the proportion of underweight adolescent girls according to the findings of the RSOC.

g)     State-level numbers reveal that while some States have made remarkable progress in battling child malnourishment, others have made little progress despite a decade of high growth. Among the developed States, Gujarat is the only one to perform worse than the national average in reducing the numbers of child stunting cases and underweight children.

h)     Almost all States have performed poorly in reducing the number of underweight adolescent girls.

i)     Uttar Pradesh still has the highest levels of child stunting, with over 50 percent of the children under the age of five underdeveloped, meaning that their height is more than two standard deviations less than the expected height for their age for that population.

j)     Jharkhand has the highest number of underweight children under age of five, meaning their weight for age is more than two standard deviations less than what would be expected.

k)     Kerala remains the best performing State in the number of child stunting cases, while Manipur and Mizoram have the lowest numbers of underweight children.

l)     The RSOC findings show that at the national level, stunting is higher in rural areas (41.7 percent) than in urban areas (32.1 percent), as is the case for underweight children.

6.

SECC not irrelevant just yet (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC)

b)     Census of India 2011

c)     National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)

d)     National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER)

e)     Poverty

f)     Below Poverty Line

g)     Planning Commission

h)     Tendulkar committee

i)     Rangarajan committee

a)     The release of data for rural households from SECC is only the latest step in Indias tortured history of trying to count its poor. The idea behind the SECC was technocratic.

b)     Commissioned by the UPA in 2011, it was meant to canvass every Indian family (both in rural and urban India) and ask about their economic status so as to allow Central and State authorities to come up with a range of indicators of deprivation, permutations and combinations of which could be used by each authority to define a poor or deprived person.

c)     It was also meant (for the first time since 1931) to ask every person their specific caste name to allow the govt to re-evaluate which caste groups were economically worst off and which were better off. As it happens, neither of those objectives is likely to be served.

d)     The feeling was that the current definition of poverty was missing too much. For one, the numbers seemed absurdly low - set at Rs.816 per person per month in rural areas and Rs. 1000 in urban areas by Planning Commission by updating the Tendulkar methodology, the numbers amounted to a daily expenditure of around Rs.30, which caused public anger.

e)     A new committee was formed which drew a new line, but Rangarajan methodology too wound up at a poverty line not very different from the Tendulkar line.

f)   SECC measures deprivation along 7 criteria - households with only one room with no solid walls and roof, those with no adult member aged 15-59, female-headed households with no adult male aged 15-59, those with differently abled members and no able-bodied member, SC/ST households, those with no literate member above the age of 25, and landless households deriving a major portion of their income from manual casual labour.

g)    The decadal Census (which interviews every Indian) was conducted in the same year and collected data on condition of houses, asset ownership, whether the family belonged to a SC or ST, marital and fertility status and education, among others.

h)     The NSSOs regular nationally representative surveys collect information of land and asset ownership, consumption expenditure and nature of employment. NSSO does not ask direct questions on income as it believes respondents find it difficult to accurately estimate their income, but NCAERs 2011-12 India Human Development Survey asked a nationally representative sample of their incomes.

i)   So the SECC in effect offers little more than a reminder of the grim realities of rural India. The starkness of this reality should not be dismissed - in over 90 percent of rural households, the top earning family member makes less than Rs. 10,000 per month. Just over 3 percent of households have a family member who is a graduate. Over half rely on casual manual labour, and fewer than 10 percent have salaried jobs. Over half have no land, and fewer than 5 percent own agricultural equipment.

j)     What a state decides constitutes poverty or difficulty is a call it must take not by size of its financial reserves alone, but by its moral values. One way of looking at it could be that landless households which rely on casual manual labour are poor - thats nearly 30 percent of households.

k)   The most intensely political part of the SECC is the first C (caste) which the govt has thus far dealt with by putting matter off. The publicly available draft and final lists of SECC contain information on not just the socio-economic level of every family, but also that familys precise caste name. This should have allowed the govt to release information on relative socio-economic status of various caste groups but it chose not to.

l)     A mature society should have accurate information on the well-being of its people, and the SECC is a big step towards that goal. But it should also feel equally comfortable to set aside the data to create a universal safety net and equal opportunity for those whose economic status might not reflect the barriers they face.

7.

New farm insurance scheme soon (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Atal Pension Yojana

b)     Jan Dhan Yojana  

c)     Mudra Bank

 

a)     Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Centre is working on a new farm insurance and income scheme to help increase earnings of farmers.

b)     Noting that unemployment was a major issue in rural areas, he said the Centre had formed Mudra Bank with Rs.20,000 crore to provide initial financial support to all those striving for self-employment opportunities.

c)     He also highlighted the social and economic scheme of Centre such as the Atal Pension Yojana and Jan Dhan Yojana.

8.

Has our mind become conditioned? (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Economic Growth

b)     GDP

c)     Central Statistics Office (CSO)

d)     RBI

a)     In January, the CSO released revised estimates for Indias GDP using a new base year, which economists and commentators around world, including Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan have expressed discomfort about.

b)     According to the revised estimates, growth in 2013-14 was 6.9 percent against 4.7 in the old series. Similarly, growth in 2012-13 was 5.1 percent against 4.5 percent.

c)     RBI said the picture of the state of the economy these revised estimates from the CSO outline is at odds with the other macroeconomic trends for the two years.

9.

Russian cargoship Progress docks with ISS (Page 12)

a)     S&T

a)     International Space Station (ISS)

b)     Russian federal space agency (Roscosmos)  

c)     Baikonur cosmodrome

a)     An unmanned Russian cargo ship successfully docked with the ISS following a string of failed attempts to resupply orbital laboratory.

b)     The Russian crew members oversaw the automatic docking of the Progress, which arrived after circling Earth 34 times following its launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 3.

10.

Sahara was once home to worlds largest lake (Page 7)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)     Sahara desert

b)     Lake Mega-Chad

c)     Climate change

d)     West African Monsoon

a)     A new study has found that the Sahara desert contained the worlds largest freshwater lake until it evaporated in just a few hundred years.

b)     Researchers used satellite images to map abandoned shore lines around Palaeolake Mega-Chad, and analysed sediments to calculate the age of these shore lines, producing a lake level history spanning the last 15,000 years.

c)     At its peak around 6000 years ago, Palaeolake Mega-Chad was the largest freshwater lake on Earth, with an area of 3,60,000 sqkm. Todays Lake Chad is reduced to a fraction of that size, at only 355 sqkm.

d)    Researchers said the drying of Lake Mega-Chad reveals a story of dramatic climate change in the southern Sahara, with a rapid change from a giant lake to desert dunes and dust, due to changes in rainfall from West African Monsoon.

Branches

Ashok Nagar Branch
1-10-223/A, Sub-register office Line
Hyderabad
+91 9052 29 29 29, 9052 19 29 29

Madhapur Branch
Plot No.3, 2nd floor, Raghuma Towers
Hyderabad
+91 9052 492929

Delhi:
Old Rajendra Nagar

Send to mail

Request for call