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The 10 PM Daily Quiz – 26 July, 2016

26-july (1)

Hi Friends,

The purpose of these questions is to enable practice on a daily level for you to prepare Current Affairs for Civil Services Prelims Examination. This questions will be moderate level and it is expected of you solve these questions with decent overview of 9 PM Brief.

Please type your answers in the comments below .

Note : Answers to the quiz will be posted one day later.

Q.1 Post liberlization period has witnessed which of the following:

a) Decline in poverty

b) Decline in inequality

c) Both (a) and (b)

d) None of these

 

Q.2 Identify the correct statement :

1. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 mandates against abortion after pregnancy crosses the 20-week without any exception.

2. India considers socio-economic factors as one of the reasons for termination of pregnancy

Select the answer from the codes given below:

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Q.3 Abolition of untouchability is defined in the constitution under:

a) Article 15

b) Article 17

c) Article 18

d) Article 21

 

Q.4 The status of Manatees under IUCN is:

a) Critically Endangered

b) Vulnerable

c) Endangered

d) Near Threatened

 

Q.5 Which of the following measures inequality?

a) Philips Curve

b) Laspeyres Index

c) Gini Coefficient

d) None of these

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9 PM Daily NEWS Brief

9 PM Daily Brief – 26 July 2016

Brief of newspaper articles for the day bearing
relevance to Civil Services preparation

What is 9 PM brief?


GS PAPER 1


[1] Oppression’s new face

Indian Express

Context

Atrocities against the dalits have become a big problem in the recent time. The problem does not seem to halt.

Analysis

There are 3 new dimensions now added to the existing atrocity against the dalits through an incident happened in Gujarat.

 

  1. The dalits from tanner groups has been accused of slaughtering cows and also beaten up by gaurakshaks brutally. The cow watchman’s have also forced a Muslim to beat the Dalits in order to prove that Muslims are also in favor of anti-beef.
  2. Unlike in the past, where the atrocities was mainly related to economic issues related to land, wages, water, housing and/or untouchability, this time, the main issue was a refusal of the Dalits to follow the neo-Brahminical practices created by Hindutva leaders. The Hindutva leaders tell people what to eat, drink, dress and monitor their behaviour. Gaurakshaks are demanding that the cow should be declared rashtramata, a complete ban should put on the sale of beef across the country and have been asking tanners to give up their jobs.
  3. Third, the protest against the incident and demand for justice by the Dalits have not seen done before. In Gujarat, Dalits have attempted suicide to show their anger and get the right justice. This is pointing at their helplessness. Also, for the first time in recent times, along with the Dalit castes, many OBCs, Muslims, and human right groups have joined the protest.

Some facts and incidents

The state government has only been  ignoring Dalit problems, or for that matter, the problems of the underprivileged communities.

  • The existence and nature of untouchability in different spheres in rural Gujarat has not reduced significantly since the formation of the state. In fact, the practice has been spreaded over Primary schools, drinking water facilities and public transports now.
  • On an average, more than a 1000 cases are incidents reported on atrocities against scheduled castes in a year.
  • The terror against Dalits, and the government’s indifference to it, has resulted into the mass exit of people from such communities.
  • The implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 is poor in the state.
  • Even the justice is not available to dalits, Public prosecutors — both at the higher and lower courts — are purposely hostile to the Dalits.  
  • The government’s casual attitude is evident from the fact that it has not followed the rules of the act which require that cases under its purview be investigated by an officer, not above the rank of deputy superintendent of police.

Conclusion

This is not only a shame for the state of Gujarat but also puts India as a whole in poor light. Time has come to change the outlook towards dalits and other such communities. Laws for their betterment must be compulsorily imposed and constant monitoring of their well being should be put in place.


GS PAPER 2


[1] SC allows rape victim to abort 24-week-old foetus

The Hindu

Context:

The Supreme Court on Monday has allowed a petitioner rape victim (after she challenged Section 3 (2) (b) of the 1971 Act), to medically terminate her 24 week pregnancy due to the abnormalities in her foetus has been found and confirmed by the Medical Board.

The Centre has clarified that a 20-week cap on termination of pregnancy will not be applicable in case the life of the woman is found to be in danger. Hence there will not be any time limit for conducting an abortion in case the woman is in danger.

Analysis:

  1. Section 3 (2) (b) of the 1971 Act, allows abortion within the limit of 20 weeks old pregnancy with the advice of at least two registered medical practitioners, who should confirm that the pregnant woman is in danger or there was a danger of the child being born with severe mental or physical handicap.
  2. In 2009, 97% of the countries has permitted abortion to save woman’s life including few specific restrictions. Majority of the developed countries have allowed abortion due to economic or social reasons, whereas only few of the developing countries(19%) have done the same.
  3. India and Japan are among 13 countries which considers widers exceptions as reason including socioeconomic factors like woman’s age or income.
  4. Among all countries, US, Canada, China, Singapore and Netherlands have the lengthiest time of gestation period.

GS PAPER 3


Poverty and inequality after reforms {Economy – Paper III}

Livemint

Context

Economic reforms which began in 1991, have not only lead to an increase in GDP but there are also many other parameters which saw improvement due to these reforms. Poverty and inequality are two such measures which need to be considered to see how reforms have turned out for India.

Decline in poverty

There are two trends in declining of poverty :

  1. Poverty declined by 1.36% per annum after 1991 reforms, before 1991 this figure of decline was just 0.44% per annum. This rapid decline is attributed more to urban growth than rural growth.

 

  1. Even during the post reform period, poverty declined more in 2000s than in 1990s. Tendulkar committee estimates on poverty show that from 1993-94 to 2004-05, poverty declined by just 0.74% per annum, whereas in the period from 2004-05 to 2011-12, it declined by 2.2% per annum.In 2000s there was a rapid decline in poverty also amongst the SC/STs.
  • Higher economic growth, agriculture growth, rural non-farm employment, increase in real wages for rural labourers, employment in construction and programmes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) contributed to higher poverty reduction in the 2000s.

Inequality during reform period

  • During the post reform period, inequality has actually increased in India.
  • The Gini coefficient on consumption as well as income shows increase in inequality during the post reform period.
  • Even in the non-income indicators like health and education, inequalities between the rich and poor are glaring.

So considering poverty and inequality, it is clear that while poverty reduced, inequality has increased. But still after decline poverty is much higher in India. So steps must be taken to address both poverty and inequality.

Way ahead

  1. To reduce poverty, agriculture must be diversified as growth in agriculture leads to twice the decline in poverty than other sectors. Also, employment must be created in manufacturing and service. Steps like MUDRA, Make in India are a right step in this direction.
  2. For reducing inequality, instead of imposing higher taxes on rich, tax base should be widened. Fiscal instruments like public investment in physical and social infrastructure can be used to reduce inequality.

 

Conclusion

All in all economic reforms should focus more on efficient delivery systems of public services. Poor governance is the biggest constraint in reduction in poverty and inequality. A major institutional challenge is the accountability of service providers, particularly the public sector, which should also be addressed simultaneously.

[2] U.S. asks India to remove duties, ‘barriers’ on ICT items

The Hindu

Context

The U.S has urged India to remove custom duties on Information and Communication Technology products.

Analysis

  • More customs duties by India on ICT products means the import of such products becomes costly, hence the exports which the U.S makes to India are affected.
  • Apart from removing custom duties, U.S has also asked India to do away with the requirement wherein even the imported ICT products have to be tested at Bureau of International Standards (BIS) approved labs before selling them. This process is referred to as compulsory registration (CR)
  • U.S also impinged upon better collaboration between India and U.S on WTO’s Trade facilitation agreement (TFA) on goods to ensure free flow of ICT products.
  • These demands by the U.S come ahead of the bilateral Strategic and Commercial Dialogue scheduled for next month.

[3] Flawed premise, misplaced prescription

The Hindu

Context

India is planning to implement the monetary policy framework very soon. The very same policy has been adopted by many developing countries, would it have the same effect for India too?

Introduction

In the advanced capitalist countries, the professional consensus has moved towards inflation targeting as the objective of monetary policy.

Targeting inflation comes from a belief that policy should be simple and transparent, so that the private sector can factor this into their decision-making.

How we are different to developed countries?

There are difference between India and these developing countries, like  there is no restriction on the movement of (financial) capital and no  issue of balance of payments in the developed countries.

Macroeconomic distinction between a developed and a developing economy is that the latter needs to settle its debt in an internationally accepted currency.

As foreign lenders do not accept Rupee, developing economy like India also needs to have some notion of external balance.

We always have to worry about BoP unlike western countries, we had two major balance of payments crises.

Sterilised intervention

When capital inflows occur, the RBI could do nothing and let the rupee appreciate. If it chooses to intervene, it could buy foreign exchange. This would increase the supply of money, and possibly cause inflation. So it may buy back the rupees by offering government bonds. This is “sterilised intervention” — sterilised because the policy leaves money supply unchanged.

This all process needs attention to the details of the external sector.

Nature of external constraint is not limited to sterilised intervention, If a country is able to control budget deficit and inflation both, there is no guarantee that it is going to perform well.  This is what happened to Latin America after Russia defaulted in 1998.

More problems

In India it is not the only example of adopting foreign concepts without giving it any thinking.

In an economy like India’s, monetary policy have nothing to say directly on supply shocks, for example, a failure of the monsoon or a rise in oil prices.

After a failed monsoon, and high food prices that have led people to expect high prices, policy would increase interest rates and have a prolonged period of demand compression from a one-off monsoon failure.

Exchange rate interventions

East Asia has grown out of poverty by using the exchange rate as a tool to generate demand for domestic goods.

As  India’s trade balance has been in deficit (around 8 per cent of GDP till recently), a depreciated exchange rate could surely claw back some of this demand by making Indian products slightly more competitive in world markets.

Similarly, if oil prices were to rise, one way of minimising the inflationary impact of that is to let the exchange rate appreciate.

 

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Daily Editorials for UPSC IAS Exam Preparation

Editorial Today – All you need to know about GST

editorial-87GST bill

Introduction

GST

Development of GST (Pre-VAT to model GST)

Pre-VAT

  • Prior to VAT, excise duty was levied on both inputs used and the output produced. This was applicable to each intermediate good in the manufacturing process.
  • This “tax on tax‟ led to cascading of taxes.

VAT

  • The concept of Value Added Tax (VAT) was introduced for central excise duty in 1986 (first as MODVAT and then as CENVAT).
  • The issue of cascading taxation was partly addressed through the VAT regime.
  • However, certain problems remained. For example, several central and state taxes were excluded from VAT.
  • Sectors such as real estate, oil and gas production etc. were exempt from VAT.
  • Further, goods and services were taxed differently, thereby making the taxation of products complex.

Post VAT

  • Some of these challenges are sought to be overcome with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • GST regime intends to subsume most indirect taxes under a single taxation regime.
  • GST is expected to help:-
  • Broaden the tax base
  • Increase tax compliance
  • Reduce economic distortions caused by inter-state variations in taxes

GST bill, 2014

(Explained on the top)

Draft model GST bill, 2016

Following are the salient features of draft GST bill:-

  1. All forms of “supply” of goods and services will attract CGST (central levy) and SGST (state levy).
  2. The liability to pay CGST or SGST will arise at the time of supply.
  3. Erstwhile taxable heads such as “manufacture”, “sale” and “provision of services”, among others, will lose relevance.
  4. States will draft their own State GST based on the draft model law with minor variations
  5. GST would be payable on “transaction value”, being the price actually paid or payable.
  6. As the threshold limit, the draft GST Bill proposes Rs 10 lakh, and for Northeast states and Sikkim, an amount of Rs 5 lakh.

Benefits

  • GST will reduce the complexity of taxes.
  • It can facilitate seamless movement of goods across states.
  • It will reduce the transaction costs of businesses.
  • The procedure of GST registration would also be made simple, thereby improving the ease of starting a business in India.
  • There are expectations among experts that with GST, we may see 2% jump in GDP growth.
  • GST will plug the leakage of tax. This, in turn, gives more money in the government exchequer.
  • Companies which are under unorganized sector will come under the tax regime.
  • Number of tax departments will reduce which in turn may lead to less corruption.
  • In the long run, the lower tax burden can decrease the prices of goods and services.

Challenges

  • The main road block is the coordination among states and center and states.
  • Another major hurdle is getting the constitution amended by agreement of both the houses.
  • Consensus on uniform GST rates
  • Inter-state transaction of goods and services
  • Administrative efficiency
  • Infrastructural preparedness to implement the new tax reform

Criticisms

  • Some has argued that, whatever federal powers were bestowed upon States by virtue of their powers to tax, will be lost once the GST Bill becomes law.
  • As per the current arrangements, dispute settlement would be subjected to lengthy court procedures, if the Council is opposed, as GST Dispute Settlement Authority in the proposed Bill will only comply with the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
  • India is adopting a dual GST, wherein the Central GST will be called CGST and state SGST.
  • Some critics consider GST to be a regressive tax, meaning the poor pay more, as a percentage of their income, than the rich.
  • Opposition wants a provision capping the GST rate at 18 per cent to be added to the Bill itself.
  • Deferring the levy of GST on five petroleum products could lead to cascading of taxes.
  • Additional 1% tax levied on goods that are transported across states dilutes the objective of creating a harmonized national market for goods and services.
  • Inter-state trade of a good would be more expensive than intra-state trade, with the burden being borne by retail consumers.

 

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Uncategorized

[Solutions] – Tuesday Economy Quiz #18

tuesday-solution (1)

[Solutions]

Q.1 The terms SMA0, SMA1 and SMA2 are related to ?

a) Inflation targeting

b) Narrow, Broad and Reserved money

c) Non-Performing Assets of banks

d) Small scale industries

Ans: c) These terms are related to deal with and avoid the Non-Performing assets of the banks.

SMA-0, where principal or interest payment was not overdue for more than 30 days but the account showed signs of incipient stress; SMA-1, where principal or interest payment was overdue for 31-60 days; and SMA-2, where principal or interest payment was overdue for 61-180 days.

As soon as the account becomes SMA -2, a Joint lenders forum must be formed compulsorily for loans above Rs. 1000 million so as to take appropriate action.

 

Q.2 The twin balance sheet problem as mentioned in Economic Survey relates to:

a) Banks and Corporate sector

b) Fiscal Deficit and Current Account Deficit

c) Stressed sectors

d) None of these

Ans: a) Due to bad balance sheet (NPAs) banks are unable to give new credit at the same time due to bad balance sheet and low profits, corporates are not willing to invest (take loans), this is twin balance sheet problem.

 

Q.3 Which of the following is not a component of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana?

a) Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India

b) National Mission for Protein Supplements

c) Saffron Mission

d) Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize

Ans: d) A,B and C are a part of RKVY.

 

Q.4 Which among the following fall under the ‘One Product One Price’ category?

a) Urea

b) LPG

c) Both (a) and (b)

d) None of these

Ans :d)

This term ‘One Product One Price’ is also from economic survey. This means that a product should have one price and not different prices for different users. Difference in prices leads to subversion of products to unintended users.

LPG is sold at higher prices to corporates than to households. This leads to diversions, whereby household cylinders are diverted to corporate at a lesser cost than what corporates would have actually paid.

Urea too is having different prices for agriculture sector as well as for industries which leads to diversion of urea from agriculture to industries.

 

Q.5 Consider the following statements regarding the Financial Action Task Force (FATF):

1. It gives recommendation on preventing money laundering as well as terrorism financing.

2. India is a full time member of FATF

3. It has no authority to place sanctions on countries violating laws related to money laundering and terrorism financing

Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect:

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1, 2 and 3 only

d) None of the above

Ans: d) All the statements are true.

 

Q.6 Consider the following statements regarding International Monetary Fund (IMF)

1. USA has a veto power in IMF

2. According to the current reform both the quota as well as voting power of India has increased

3. SDR currently is a basket of 4 currencies

Identify the correct statement?

a) 1 only

b) 1 and 2 only

c) 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: d) USA holds 16.5 % in IMF and major decision taken by IMF require 85% of total votes, so USA has veto.

India’s quota as well as voting share has increased in IMF.

IMF has accepted to include Yuan but it will be included only from October so right now SDR is a basket of just 4 currencies : US Dollar, Pound Sterling, Yen and Euro.

 

Q.7  Special 301 report which was recently in the news is related to:

a) Drug Pricing Policy

b) Ranking of higher education institutions

c) List of countries with weak Intellectual Property Rights

d) Measures taken by G-33 countries in WTO

Ans: c) Self explanatory.

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Atul Vats, Rank 60 shares what sustained his motivation in IAS Preparation

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Atul Vats, Rank 60 shares what sustained his motivation in IAS Preparation

 

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[Solutions] – The 10 PM Daily Quiz – 25 July, 2016

solution1

[Solutions]

Q.1 Which of the following state falls outside the purview of red corridor?

a) Maharashtra

b) West Bengal

c) Telangana

d) Karnataka

Ans: d) At present there are 106 districts in 10 states – Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – which are considered red corridor districts.

 

Q.2 Which of the following state falls under the Special Category State category?

a) Chattisgarh

b) Jharkhand

c) Goa

d) Jammu and Kashmir

Ans: d) 8 north-eastern states along with Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand fall under Special category states.

 

Q.3 Consider the following statements:

1. Service tax is imposed in all the states of India

2. It is a tax levied by centre but collected and appropriated by the centre and states

Which of the statements given above is/are true?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None of these

Ans: b) Statement 1 is false as Service tax is not applicable to J&K. Statement 2 is correct.

 

Q.4 Consider the following statements:

1. Over the past years, more jobs have been created in the informal sector as compared to the formal sector

2. Organisations on which Industrial Disputes Act is applicable,  prefer to employ contractual workers

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None of these

Ans: c) More jobs have been created in informal sector in the past years. Stmt 1 is correct.

IDA, 1947 puts many disabilities on the organizations e.g organisations employing more than 100 workers have to seek approval from state govt. before lay offs and entrenchment. Thus, they employ contractual workers to avoid these strict laws.

 

Q.5 Consider the following statements regarding Inter-State Council

1. It is a constitutional body under Article 263

2. Its recommendations are binding on the government

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) None of these

Ans: a) The recommendations of ISC are not binding on the government , it is only an advisory body.

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Newspaper

Newspaper Must Read Articles of the Day – 26 July, 2016

26-july

Newspaper articles bearing relevance to Civil Services preparation 

The Hindu 


National

SC allows rape victim to abort 24-week-old foetus {Law and Policy – Paper II}

Manatees to be repopulated in the Carribbean {Environment – Paper III}

Solar plane nears end of trip {Science Tech – Paper III}



Opinions & Editorials 

Flawed premise, misplaced prescription {Economy – Paper III}

Adding injury to insult {Polity – Paper II}



International

 



Business & Economy

‘GST Bill to be moved only after finance ministers meet’ {Economy – Paper III}

U.S. asks India to remove duties, ‘barriers’ on ICT items {Economy – Paper III}


Indian Express – Opinion & Editorial

Oppression’s new face {Society – Paper I}


 Livemint

Poverty and inequality after reforms {Economy – Paper III}

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Uncategorized

Tuesday Economy Quiz #18

tuesday

Hello Everyone,

We are sure that your revision must be going on good. Solve these 7 questions on Economy, a mix of static and current affairs to gauge your preparation. Solutions to be uploaded at 5:00pm

[Questions]

 

Q.1 The terms SMA0, SMA1 and SMA2 are related to ?

a) Inflation targeting

b) Narrow, Broad and Reserved money

c) Non-Performing Assets of banks

d) Small scale industries

 

Q.2 The twin balance sheet problem as mentioned in Economic Survey relates to:

a) Banks and Corporate sector

b) Fiscal Deficit and Current Account Deficit

c) Stressed sectors

d) None of these

 

Q.3 Which of the following is not a component of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana?

a) Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India

b) National Mission for Protein Supplements

c) Saffron Mission

d) Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize

 

Q.4 Which among the following fall under the ‘One Product One Price’ category?

a) Urea

b) LPG

c) Both (a) and (b)

d) None of these

 

Q.5 Consider the following statements regarding the Financial Action Task Force (FATF):

1. It gives recommendation on preventing money laundering as well as terrorism financing.

2. India is a full time member of FATF

3. It has no authority to place sanctions on countries violating laws related to money laundering and terrorism financing

Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect:

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1, 2 and 3 only

d) None of the above

 

Q.6 Consider the following statements regarding International Monetary Fund (IMF)

1. USA has a veto power in IMF

2. According to the current reform both the quota as well as voting power of India has increased

3. SDR currently is a basket of 4 currencies

Identify the correct statement?

a) 1 only

b) 1 and 2 only

c) 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Q.7  Special 301 report which was recently in the news is related to:

a) Drug Pricing Policy

b) Ranking of higher education institutions

c) List of countries with weak Intellectual Property Rights

d) Measures taken by G-33 countries in WTO