This portal ( ) is now deprecated and not updated any longer.

Print Friendly

9 PM Daily Brief -16 June 2016

16-june (1)

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

What is 9 PM brief?


[1] India sets sights on gold in ocean

The Hindu


  • India will sign a contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

International Seabed Authority (ISA)

  • It is an United Nations organisation.
  • It is an intergovernmental body based in Kingston, Jamaica, that was established to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, an area underlying most of the world’s oceans.
  • It is an organization established by the Law of the Sea Convention.

This will give rights to India to mine for precious metal that are trapped in the magma on the seabed of the Indian Ocean.

According to officials mining will be of immense strategic and commercial value.

The government gave approval to a proposal by the Earth Sciences Ministry to sign the agreement to mine.

  • Mining is for polymetallic sulphides over 10,000 sq km around parts of central and southwest Indian ridges in the ocean.
  • Deep seabed polymetallic sulphides (PMS) contains iron, copper, zinc, silver, gold and platinum.
  • They are precipitates of hot fluids from upwelling hot magma from the deep interior of the oceanic crust.
  • Actual estimates will vary depending on the results of a detailed survey which National Institute of Ocean Technology and the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research are involved with.

What Challenges it will have?

  • To develop the specialised drills.
  • Extraction-technology.

[2] To be or not to be

The Hindu


  • Implications of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Arguments given by proponents of Brexit

  • EU membership imposes restrictions which does not allowed to make changes in existing laws and take independent economic decisions.
  • Such restrictions have come with a cost and it is partly responsible for high unemployment.

Implications of a Brexit

  • The country will move towards political instability.
  • Economic uncertainty will loom over the Britain, as  Britain will have to negotiate its new relationship with the EU within two years.
  • It will loose a huge market in the form of European Union, as already half of Britain’s products are exported to EU.
  • Brexit would put the idea of a united Europe in danger as it could have a domino effect.

Options after Brexit

  • If after exit, it follows the Norwegian model, that is despite being a member of EU  it has access to EU, it has its own cost.
  • As for this, Britain will have to make huge concessions for this access, including making payments into EU budgets.
  • And if Britain  considers a FTA with EU, after the exit, then it has its own share of problems.
  • First, free trade deals are unlikely to cover financial services.
  • Second, the U.K. will face competition from other economic powerhouses such as the U.S. and India in negotiating a trade agreement with the EU.

[3] Bill seeking special status for India fails in U.S. Senate

The Hindu

What happened?

  • An amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA-17) could not be passed by the US Senate.
  • The amendment was intended to recognise India as a “global strategic and defence partner” of the U.S.


  • The U.S. had recognised India as a “major defence partner” in a joint statement issued after Mr. Modi’s recent visit to US.
  • The joint statement supported defence-related trade and technology transfer to India and it treated India on par with America’s closest allies.

[4] Pranab wants push for U.N. reforms

The Hindu


  • President Pranab Mukherjee has made out a strong case for a “concerted push” to make the United Nations more democratic and representative at the annual session of its general assembly, maintaining that any further delay would rob the process of its grace.

Key points

  • India would like to see the reform at UNSC, so that  it remain effective in addressing the challenges that confront the world today.
  • With power comes responsibility, and India is competent to shoulder greater responsibilities in the specialised organs of the U.N., particularly its Security Council.


[1] Govt. clears civil aviation policy, makes flying cheaper + New aviation policy a pie in the sky, say private airlines

The Hindu                                                  The Hindu


  • Government approved country’s first National civil aviation policy.
  • Motto of new policy is “Connecting the unconnected and serving the unserved”.
  • It allows domestic airlines to fly to international skies of European and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries.
  • New airlines can also start their international operations with at least 20 planes or 20 per cent of their total flying capacity, on domestic routes, whichever is higher.

Reciprocal basis

  • India will have an open-sky policy for European or Saarc countries.
  • Airlines of these countries will have unlimited access, in terms of number of flights and seats.
  • It will increase flight frequencies.
  • India already has a full open-sky arrangement with the U.S.
  • India also has open-sky agreement with the U.K. but with one restriction that is on the frequency of flights to and from Mumbai and Delhi.

What else?

  • Government has grand plans to revive 50 airports within 2 years.
  • However, it is not clear at this point of time that how government will deal with funds for providing the viability gap funding.

But private airlines is not happy with new policy.

They are in view that:

  • Replacement of 5/20 with 0/20 is not going to help to benefit new players because they can not scale up immediately to be eligible to fly international.
  • One can arrange the aircraft, but having the pilots, crew and related infrastructure in place is not easy.

[2] A greater focus on farmer welfare



  • Though, over the last decades agriculture has progressed significantly but most of the Indian farmers have not because lack of profitability in farming.
  • We need to deliver a combination of services to farmers, not just for better agricultural output, but for the overall economic well-being of the farming community.

Objectives of present day farmers

  • To meet living expenses
  • To cover social welfare needs
  • To  build assets for their families.
  • To summarise, they want their production to materialise into some tangible benefits.

Intention and Outcome

  • Most agencies working for farmers focus on increasing farm productivity, but their efforts might not always be aligned with converting increased yield into greater profitability.
  • There is a  lack of coordination between most of the research agencies  work in mutually exclusive areas, and they fail to deliver what the farmers actually needs.
  • This type of compartmentalization can probably end if agricultural universities also adopt a “farming systems” lens that is more aligned with the reality of farming households.
  • What is further required of such platforms and missions is a greater emphasis on an integrated approach and a sustained focus on market development.

Objectively, what can enable agricultural development?

  • Technologies (including appropriate innovations in market systems)
  • Extension and dissemination of technologies to farmers
  • Access to financial services such as loans, savings, remittance and insurance—for achieving higher agricultural productivity, livelihood diversification and improved food security.

Three pillared approach proposed by Prime Minister which includes

  • Crop farming
  • Agro forestry, that is, planting timber trees along farm peripherie
  • Animal husbandry

Thus, it also highlights that Indian agriculture works as an integrated system in which growing crops and rearing livestock coexist.

How to materialise this 3 pillar approach?

  • Greater emphasis is needed  on priority commodities such as livestock and locally relevant legumes and vegetables, while simultaneously exploring the impact potential of new commodities like potatoes.
  • We need to utilise the strengths of both private and public sector so that the delivery process can be streamlined.
  • The newly licensed payments banks can be used to test various digital services such as insurance, direct benefit transfer and savings for smallholders.It will also help in reducing transaction costs and systems’ leakage.
  • For effective policy, we must gather data and analyse evidence on the impact of existing policies, and accordingly modify or revise policies to address constraints.


  • We can achieve the ambitious plan of doubling farmers’ income but for that a thrust to markets and farmer incomes need to  be added to the focus on production.

[3] Cabinet approves merger of associates with State Bank

The Hindu

What happened?

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the merger of State Bank of India (SBI) and its associate banks.

Implications of this merger

  • The network of SBI will  increase and  its reach would also multiply.
  • There are expectations that after this merger, SBI might feature in top 50 banks of the world.So, it will bring the state-owned entity on a par with global lenders.
  • It will lead to a more efficient system as there will be rationalisation of branches, common treasury pooling and proper deployment of a large skilled resource base.

Brief history of SBI mergers

  • SBI merged State Bank of Saurashtra with itself in 2008, in its first merger.
  • State Bank of Indore was merged with SBI in 2010.
  • This year, SBI has merged its  five associate banks – State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad and Bhartiya Mahila Bank with itself.


Print Friendly

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.