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9 PM Daily NEWS Brief

9 PM Daily Brief – 14 April 2016

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

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GS PAPER 2


[1] A firm handshake, not an embrace  + China responds cautiously to Indo-U.S. logistics pact

The Hindu                                                                                  The Hindu

Already discussed, click here

Additional Points:

Why it was not signed earlier?

  • Because, it compromised the India’s stand of Non-Alignment, and this agreement was considered too intrusive.
  • It still, has not been signed. Both the parties have merely agreed to sign it.
  • The pause has been taken so as we can consider the repercussions that such a strategic alliance may have for India’s relations with other countries.
  • But, by agreeing ‘in-principle’, India has sent out a clear signal that it has no inhibitions about being bound in strategic engagements with the U.S.

Response from China

  • China criticised Mr. Carter’s decision to drop Beijing from the itinerary of his Asia visit, which took him to India and the Philippines.
  • China has taken in its stride India’s decision to sign a logistics support agreement with the U.S., saying New Delhi “will make up its diplomatic policies based on its own interests”.

[2]Private providers have a role to play in primary education

Livemint

Context

Liberia has entered into agreement with private companies to provide education in their primary schools

What Liberia government says

  • Forty two percent of children are out of schools who should be in primary schools and those who are receiving any education, the quality is low
  • Ministers are critical about the issue of education because the children enrolled are not learning

Why is there a criticism

  • Education is core function of the state and giving it to private entities for their benefit is a violation of right to education
  • Liberia doesn’t have money to provide primary education but it has money to pay private companies to provide education

Low cost private schools

  • These are schools which are less costly than the private schools
  • The number of them are increasing because gross enrollment figures are rising in countries such as India, Pakistan and Kenya, this is evidence enough to say that private players have role to play
  • Evaluations done in India and Kenya suggest that they provide better education than the public schools at low costs
  • Teacher accountability in private schools are better which accounts for better learning

Partnership schools

  • A partnership between the govt. And the private players to run a school
  • Liberia is partnering with Bridge International Academies (BIA), an American firm that has investors such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Many people are critical because doing such a large experiment with one provider is risky

 


GS PAPER 3


[1] Green shoots? Maybe, but they need watering + Achhe din

The Hindu                                                                                                            Indian Express

Context

Positive economic data appears to augment India’s accelerated economic growth

Factors which suggest growth in the economy

Index of Industrial Production(IIP)

  • After declining for 3 months consecutively it has registered a 2% growth
  • Average of last 10 years in output of the country has been 6% growth

Consumer Price Inflation

  • Decreased from 5% to 4.8%, especially in food component of the index
  • This helps people have more money to spend as disposable income but very low inflation impacts income growth of the country.

RBI will ease interests rats and liquidity for promoting infrastructure which is a sign that India is on a path to achieve a leap in production


Monsoon

  • IMD forecast of above normal rainfall this year will be a boon for agriculture considering there have been drought conditions for the last 2 years
  • Farm economy is 17% of India’s GDP
  • Agriculture growth was 4.2% in 2013-14
  • Agriculture growth was -0.2% in 2014-15
  • Agriculture growth was just 1.1% in 2015-16
  • IMD predicted correctly last year that it would be below normal monsoon, now it supports its forecast that this year will be above normal rainfall

What if monsoon is delayed

  • Farmers can be incentivised
  • By declaring minimum support prices they should produce the crops which are for domestic demands

[2] World output faces risk of 3.9% drop by 2021

The Hindu

IMF released a report Global Financial Stability Report

What is it

The financial stability report assesses the risks faced by the global financial system

What the report says

About India

  • Although the lowering oil prices have eased the effect on Indian economy but also low commodity prices have kept the risks elevated

In general

  • Global output could decline to 3.9% by 2021
  • Less confidence in uncertainty in the China’s economy and decreased confidence in advanced economy has reduced the ability to take risks and the financial conditions are tightened

Solution it provides

  • To attain financial stability a balanced and strong policy measure have to be taken
  • If these measures are taken world output could expand by 1.7% by 2018
  • It names three global challenges which it calls “triad of global challenges” which are 1. The legacy issues in advanced economies 2. Vulnerability in emerging markets 3. Greater systematic market liquidity risks
  • Bank should deal with bad debts and other issues in the advanced economies

The Hindu

What is Ground handling?

  • Ground-handling services are an important part of an airline’s operations.
  • They include aircraft cleaning and servicing, loading and unloading of food and beverages, besides cargo and luggage handling at the airports i.e.  it involves all aspects of management of an aircraft between the time it arrives and takes off. Thus speed, efficiency, security and accuracy is vital part of this.

Changed policy

The draft civil aviation policy, released in October 2015, proposes:-

  • Self-handling at airports  by the airlines themselves— a long- pending demand of all domestic airlines which too have moved the Supreme Court in the past.
  • (Because Airlines prefer self-handling to reduce the cost of operations and for better efficiency).
  • There will be at least three ground-handling agencies at any  airport, with no upper limits, and airlines will be allowed to do self-handling. It also proposes to allow charter operators to self-handle at all airports.
  • The airlines and ground-handlers have been permitted to hire contract labourers.

What is the existing policy

  • It permits only three GHAs per airport of which the one being subsidiary of Air India and other two is selected through global bidding process.
  • Only whole time employee were allowed
  • Only Indian airlines were allowed self handling and not foreign airlines.

Argument against this new policy?

  • Unlimited entry of ground handlers possess security risk.
  • Moreover productivity will also decrease as equipments of more ground handlers would occupy more space.
  • Efficiency would decrease as now contract labourers would be employed who wouldn’t have the requisite skill.
  • Moreover contract labourers will also have security threat.

Argument in favour of this policy?

  • It will reduce cost of operation of airlines and also increases its efficiency.
  • Ground handling being an integral and inseparable part of the business of running an airline, cannot be left to the whims and fancies of a third-party handler who does not empathise with the airline or its passengers.
  • Third party ground-handlers especially with foreign ownership of unknown origin are themselves a serious security risk.

[4] Is Indian media responsible?

Livemint

Issue
Questions raised over the responsibility of the Indian media.

Defects in Indian Media:

Twisted Facts

  • False and defamatory news is created , with the obvious intention of creating a sensation.
  • The doctored tape of the speech of Jawaharlal Nehru University student activist Kanhaiya Kumar is a case in point.

Paid News

  • Issue of paid news that has become prominent of late.
  • A small hint of lead somewhere leads to breaking news!
  • And that breaking news is followed up by paid opinion polls, paid debates and paid news flashes.

Non-issues preferred over real issues

  • Media often portray non-issues as real issues, while the real issues are sidelined.
  • The real issues in India are economic, that is, the terrible economic conditions in which 80 per cent of our people are living, the poverty, unemployment, lack of housing and medical care and so on.
  • Instead of addressing these real issues, the media often try to divert the attention of people to non-issues.

Branding

  • Tendency to brand is detrimental to the integrity of our society.
  • After a bomb blast, there is a tendency is to brand all Muslims as terrorists and bomb-throwers and it  creates the impression that all Muslims are terrorists, and evil — which is totally false.

Profit media

Due to the increasing privatisation of media channels by business houses, the role of media as an unbiased and impartial commentator of the society has ceased to exist and more tailored to suit their interests and increasing their revenues.

How to remove this defects?

  • One is the democratic way, that is, through discussions, consultations and persuasion.
  • The other way is by using harsh measures against the media, for example, by imposing heavy fines on defaulters, stopping government advertisements to them, suspending their licences, and so on.

Conclusion

  • India is passing through a transitional period in its history, from a feudal agricultural society to a modern industrial society.
  • This is a very painful and agonising period. The media must help society in going through this transitional period as quickly as possible, and by reducing the pain involved.
  • This they can do by attacking feudal ideas, for example, casteism and communalism, and promoting modern scientific ideas.
  • Responsible media is one which is committed to the integrity of news, and has checks in place to ensure that the news is not deliberately manufactured or twisted.


1. The lead article of the day is covered under Editorial Today. Click here to read.

2. Science and Technology and Environment articles has been left out, they will be covered in weekly compilation for next week.

BY: ForumIAS Editorial Team 

 

 

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