9 PM Daily NEWS Brief

9 PM Daily Brief – 4 March 2016

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

What is 9 PM brief?

Note: Article Union Budget 2016 – 17 – Excerpts and Analysis, will be available on ForumIAS on Sunday night. 


[1]. Aadhar bill introduced in Lok Sabha

The Hindu

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday introduced the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha.

Government plan

To target delivery of subsidy benefits and services

Source for expenditure for the nationwide Aadhaar exercise

Consolidated Fund of India

Authority shall ensure the security, confidentiality and protection of identity information and authentication records of individuals in its possession or control, including the information stored in the repository.

These include biometric information collected, created and stored in electronic form.

[2]. India’s housing scheme a source for inspiration

The Hindu

The owner-driven housing model, is a source of inspiration and a case study of good practices

Elhadj As-Sy, secretary-general (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies)

Whether the model could be replicated in other post-conflict regions?

“Replication is always difficult. Contexts are very different. You may not be able to replicate things 100 per cent. But you can always use it [the owner-driven model] as a source of inspiration, as a good practice.” Elhadj As-Sy

Model was used in the second phase of the housing programme, covering 45,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri lanka.

Whether any beneficiary complaining you (the secretary-general) about falling into debt trap?

“I am not saying it is not possible. But what I have come across is only extremely positive message.”

What would be International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies suggestion to the Sri Lanka government, which planned the construction of 65,000 houses?

Mr. Sy replied that the experience of the Red Cross in building houses “speaks for itself. It has produced results. Lessons can be learnt”.

[3]. Four-nation counter-terror mechanism to guard Silk Road

The Hindu

A top General of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has visited Afghanistan


A Regional counter-terrorism mechanism with an eye on safeguarding the ‘One Belt One Road’ connectivity initiative in Eurasia.

General Fang Fenghui, PLA’s Chief of General Staff and member of the Central Military Commission (CMC) Proposed:

Formation of a regional counter-terrorism mechanism that will also include Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan as members.

Mr. Ghani also acknowledged the “great significance” of the initiative to the entire region.

Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser, Hanif Atmar also requested delivery of transport and logistical aircraft as well as mobile radars for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), which are in critical need of aviation assets.


China is threatened by terror strikes from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), especially in its Xinjiang province.

The rise of the Khorasan Province (ISIL-K) — a branch of the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

[4]. No freedom without dissent

The Hindu

Context – Arrest of students in JNU for expressing dissent

Example of famous dissenters:

  • In Abrams vs United states the case challenged the convictions of 5 Russian born men under the Espionage Act, 1917 amended by the Sedition Act, 1918 for provoking and encouraging resistance to the govt.’s war efforts. The court sustained the conviction but Judge Holmes dissented. His dissent was acclaimed as a monument to liberty.
  • Kautilya dissented against the Nandas of Magadh and created the Mauryan Empire.
  • Buddha dissented against orthodoxy and gave the world the eightfold path.
  • Shankara dissented against the fading of sanatan dharma and resurrected it.
  • Shivaji dissented against Deccan kingdoms and Mughal empire to lay foundation of Maratha empire.
  • The dissent of soldiers at Barrackpore and Meerut led to First War of Independence in 1857.
  • Dissenters like Tilak, Bose , Nehru and Gandhi gave us our path to independent india
  • Ambedkar who dissented from Gandhi gave us our Constitution.

View of Author: Dissent is not anti-national. This nation has been built on dissents expressed at crucial times in its history. A democracy without a dissenter in it is impossible. Only totalitarian regimes

suppress dissent and dissidents.

Quote: “India is more heterogeneous than Pakistan but India has been kept in one piece by the noise and chaos of her democracy.” – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto


  • Justice Rohinton Nariman of the SC struck down Section 66A of the IT Act in the Shreya Singhal case – it freed online speech in India from the threat of arrests and prosecution.
  • Justice H.R.Khanna in the ADM Jabalpur case held that the right to life was inherent in humans and not a gift of the Constitution.

[5]. Reviving the politics of remission

The Hindu

Context – Decision of the AIADMK govt in Tamil Nadu to release the 7 life convicts in the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and seek the Union govt’s view on the move.

Background –

  • On feb 18, 2014, the SC commuted the death sentence of 3 conspirators in the Rajiv Gandhi case to life terms on the grounds that there was an unreasonable delay in the disposal of their mercy petition.
  • The very next day the AIADMK govt declared that it would release all seven life convicts in the case and gave a 3 day deadline to the centre to give its views.
  • The SC intervened to stay their release after the Congress led govt of the day challenged the decision.
  • A constitution bench on Dec 2, 2015 held that the centre had primacy in according remission to life convicts in a case that involves consultation between the centre and the state.
  • It observed that the remission law should not be used for the rescue of hardened and heartless offenders.

Author’s View:

  • Commuting death sentence tolife imprisonment is an act of compassion. Releasing the beneficiaries of such commutation, on the other hand, requires careful consideration on a case by case basis.
  • Any decision on releasing such convicts will have to be made after evaluating the gravity of the crime, the probable effect of their release on society and the essential inhumanity of prolonged incarceration without even a sliver of hope of freedom.
  • This move is a politically partisan attempt to corner the political rivals of CM Jayalalithaa and place the national parties in a spot ahead of the Assembly elections to be held this summer.


[1]. Indian firm to partner Israel for anti tank missiles

The Hindu


Rafael of Israel

Kalyani group

It’s a joint venture (JV), Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems.


To build weapon systems in India.

First Production

Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

Indian Army is in the process of procurement.

However the final deal for Spike is yet to be cleared and contract negotiations are currently underway.


Under a tripartite agreement the JV is expected to manufacture sub-assemblies and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will do electro optics and do hot integration at its Hyderabad facility which currently manufactures French Milan ATGMs.

Unit will be set up in the hardware technology park in Hyderabad

According to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms in defence the Kalyani group will hold 51 percent stake with Rafael holding the rest.

Make in India

“The initiative is in line with the government’s ‘Make in India’ policy and will enable the development and production of high end technology systems within the country,” Rafael

[2]. ASEAN Plus military drill begins in Pune

The Hindu

Multinational military Exercise ‘Force 18’ conducted by Indian Army Begins in Pune.

Participating countries

9 members of ASEAN

8 observer states India, Japan, Korea, China, Russia, USA, Australia and New Zealand

Broad objectives of ‘Force 18’

To build common understanding and achieve inter-operability among the 18 ASEAN-Plus countries.

Drill also aims at reaffirming India’s expertise as the lead agency in Southeast Asia for Peacekeeping Operations and Humanitarian Mine Action

It is an outcome of 2015 ADMM Plus (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting).

Indian Army contingent of 40 soldiers is being led by Lt .Colonel Sofia Qureshi. She is the first women officer to lead Indian contingent in such exercise.

[3]. Central bank issues draft norms for NBFC–AA

The Hindu

Reserve Bank of India issued norms

For the creation of a new entity in the non-banking financial sector, namely NBFC – Account Aggregator (AA)

Minimum capital to start such NBFC

Rs. Two crore.


To enable the common man to see all his accounts across financial institutions in a common format.

A person may able to see a consolidated file of financial asset holdings like savings bank deposits, fixed deposits, mutual funds, insurance policies.

Idea originated by

Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)

[4]. Value of PSU on sale to include market price of land, says Das

The Hindu

The government will include the market value of the land in the reserve price when a public sector enterprise (PSU) is divested

It has been decided that asset valuation will be more appropriate than the equity share valuation for arriving at the reserve prices of PSUs.

Three layers of committees had concluded that the discounted cash flow method was the best for valuing running businesses

Mr. Jaitley has budgeted Rs.56,500 crore from disinvestment for 2016-17. 

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