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Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – January 16


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


Stay on hearing public appeals till polls: The Election Commission has issued an order barring chief ministers, ministers and political appointees in the five poll-bound States from hearing appeals filed by people before statutory bodies till the election process was over as their decisions could influence voters.

Why can’t FM stations broadcast news, asks SC: If the Supreme Court has its way, private FM radio stations will have an essential role to play in the world’s oldest democracy — dissemination of news.


Editorial/OPINION


Julian Assange: Scapegoat or villain?: To blame Donald Trump’s victory on Julian Assange or, for that matter, on Russia, not only amounts to a refusal by the Democrats to take responsibility for Hillary’s defeat but is also an insult to the U.S. electorate.

Smoking e-cigarettes is injurious to health: In the absence of clear evidence on the effect of e-cigarettes on tobacco de-addiction, the sale of these products must be accompanied by accurate health warnings.


ECONOMY


‘Govt., industry must fight abuse of market power together’: The consent of all stakeholders, such as the Centre and businesses, is needed to implement norms, right up to the municipal level, against abuse of market power and other illegal practices restricting free trade and competition among businesses.

Market regulator tightens merger normsSEBI aims to ensure wider public holding, prevent mergers of large unlisted firms with small ones.

It’s time to say ‘Irasshaimase’ to Japan: The spirit of ‘welcome’ should aim to cut red tape, remove infrastructure challenges and avoid project delays in India.

‘We expect budget to boost employment’: While there are hopes and apprehensions on the extent to which the Budget provisions would revive investment and demand, questions abound on how the Budget can be inclusive in its approach and delineate a roadmap for creation of job opportunities.


Science and Technology


Epic Antarctic voyage maps seafloor to predict ocean rise: In East Antarctica, 3,000 km south of the West Australian town of Albany, an ice shelf the size of California is melting from below.

India superbug resistant to available antibiotics?: While CRE are not new, what was new in this case is that the infection was resistant or non-susceptible to all available antimicrobial drugs.


Indian Express


From plate to plough: Growth amidst gloom: Agriculture GDP bucks the trend of decline in other sectors. But can the government help the farmers sustain this growth?

The China bogey: New Delhi’s frustration with Beijing ought not lead it into a too-quick embrace of a US-led military alliance.

Prepare for ‘slow down India’: The only engine that appeared to be running was government expenditure. In this scenario, what can be expected regarding the growth rate in 2016-17?


Live Mint


Demonetisation debates, redux: A sharper temporary liquidity crunch, inflicting higher short-term costs, will likely induce, in the end, greater medium- to long-term gains in the form of digitization and formalization.

Reconsidering the 4% inflation target: In determining the inflation target, there appears to be a trade-off between overcoming the zero lower bound problem and improving welfare.

Water as a force for peace: The growing recognition of water’s strategic relevance reflects global developments.


 

Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – January 11


Archives



The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


SC orders audit of 30 lakh NGOs: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the government to audit nearly 30 lakh NGOs which received public funds but consistently failed to explain how they spent the money.

NGT panel to inspect major waste generators: The NGT expressed concern that public authorities lacked infrastructure and appropriate technical capacity to handle such huge quantity of waste.

Make solar rooftops mandatory: CSE: Solar panels on rooftops should be made mandatory for new residential societies.

Cash for land is just not done: SC: Agreeing to hear the plight of the landless victims of the Sardar Sarovar Project in detail, the Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that giving cash instead of land to farmers who lost their fertile lands to the mega dam project is “tentatively” not acceptable.

Effects of Endosulfan devastating: SC: Describing the effects of Endosulfan as “devastating,” the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Kerala government to release the entire compensation to over 5,000 victims, mostly newborns, and their families in three months.


Editorial/OPINION


Taking ‘Cold Start’ out of the freezer?: General Bipin Rawat’s reference to Cold Start raises vital questions about what he means by the phrase and whether he was authorised to speak on the matter by the government.

Mind the gender gap: Despite the successes, better implementation and planning are needed to ensure that these policies percolate right down to the last woman in the most remote parts of the country.

Reaching out to Africa: That 41 heads of state and government from 54 countries in Africa were present at the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, itself demonstrates the importance both sides attach to mutual ties.


ECONOMY


India opposed to inclusion of ‘new issues’ in WTO: Ahead of a special meeting of trade ministers on the sidelines of the forthcoming World Economic Forum at Davos, India opposed attempts by some developed nations to introduce ‘new issues’ including e-commerce and investment into the formal agenda of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)-level negotiations on liberalisation of global trade.

Benefits of demonetisation uncertain in long run: Short-term pain of the government’s demonetisation exercise could outweigh long-term gains that it said were still ‘uncertain.

H1B visa reform to increase IT firms’ margin pressure: IT firms’ margins will come under more pressure if the US government clears the H1B visa reform Bill — ‘Protect and Grow American Jobs Act’.


Indian Express


Central To The Market: Long-term investments in social sector are essential for growth, political stability.

An autonomy policy: Demonetisation process raises troubling questions over the way government has treated RBI. Central bank needs to assert.


Live Mint


Time to revamp the tax administration: The tax department will now have to mine a vast volume of data to zero in on accounts that have been used to deposit unaccounted cash.

Demonetisation and budgets: all in the mind: Arun Jaitley will soon be presenting the 2017-18 budget and his well-laid plans may have to incorporate demonetisation-induced changes.


 

Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – January 10


Archives



The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


NGT notice to Centre, Delhi govt over plastic ban: The National Green Tribunal has issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi government, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Delhi Cantonment Board while hearing a plea that challenged the ban on manufacture, sale, storage, usage, import and transport of plastic bags in the city.

Sex ratio in Haryana touches 900-mark for first time in 20 yearsSex ratio at birth (SRB) in the State this past year touched the 900-mark for the first time in almost two decades.

Telangana plea against Krishna tribunal award dismissed: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a Telangana government petition against a decision of the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal-II to limit the re-allocation of the river water only to the two successor States of Andhra and Telangana, and not dabble with the share of water enjoyed by the other two riparian States — Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Second Scorpene submarine readyKhanderi, the second Scorpene submarine under Project-75 being built at Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai is all set to be launched into water.

TB institute warns against use of new drug: The NITRD fears use of BDQ may cause bacteria to develop resistance and spread in community.

SC indicates setting up SIT for Panama papers leak probe: The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that it may at a “relevant time” order the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to exclusively look into revelations made in the Panama papers.

50% jump in smuggling of currency, reveals DRI: The recently-released data by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Customs show a 50 per cent jump in smuggling of Indian, foreign and counterfeit currency notes over the previous years.


Editorial/OPINION


Oiling cashless wheels: After the demonetisation exercise began, the government had waived the service tax on the MDR surcharge from December 8 for card-based payments up to Rs. 2,000 and got banks to waive the MDR charges on debit cards till December 31, 2016.

A blow to reformists in Iran: The death of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and powerful cleric who was widely considered a leading “moderate” in Iran’s polity, is a major blow to the reformists in the country.

Respite, not reconciliation: The ceasefire in Syria and the upcoming peace talks in Astana could be the beginning of the long denouement in the war-torn country.

A rights bill gone wrong: The Transgender Persons Bill 2016 is the product of an insincere attempt at lawmaking.

The world at a crossroads: The outlook for 2017 is anything but optimistic, with a sluggish global economy, widening terror footprint, and geopolitical realignments as the U.S., Russia and China jostle for spheres of influence.


ECONOMY


Centre allows PF contribution via private banks: Companies can soon make statutory provident fund contributions to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation via private sector banks.

Start-ups may soon be able to access insurance, pension funds: The Centre will soon hold discussions with insurance and pension regulators on a proposal to enable pension funds and insurance companies such as Life Insurance Corporation to invest in start-ups.


Indian Express


High costs, meagre gains: Far from curbing black money and corruption, demonetisation has disrupted the economy.

The myth of a political bond: India should reconsider its stated position of shared global interests with China in view of Beijing’s repeated rebuffs in international fora.

In the interests of fairness: The Election Commission must insist on the postponement of the Union budget.


Live Mint


Acknowledging the new face of urban India: Census towns are expected to drive India’s urbanization process but effective administration processes have to be put in place.

Sequencing economic disruption: If Modi is determined to disrupt and if incrementalism is deemed inadequate for India’s development tasks, he has to disrupt the banking system and the tax system.


 

Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – January 9


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


Aadhaar must for MGNREGS work: From April 1, workers in rural areas enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), which mandates 100 days of work for a household a year, must have Aadhaar.

Army enthused by new indigenous artillery gun: The Army has given the thumbs-up to a heavy artillery gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), being developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation.

SC wants paper trail in EVMs for fair poll: the Supreme Court has reiterated the necessity to implement the Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in electronic voting machines (EVMs) to ensure 100 per cent transparency in elections.


Editorial/OPINION


Revisiting a passage from India: The challenge before India lies in the way it taps its widespread disapora’s financial and intellectual capital. For this it needs to adopt a wise, pro-active, secular, non-jingoistic tone.

The slowing economy: Advance GDP estimates and gross value added (GVA) for the current fiscal year from the Central Statistics Office clearly reveal the extent of the slowdown.

Time for a political solution: Two years after the national unity government took power on the promise of reform and change, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe combine needs to recover the earlier momentum.

Looking towards a greener future: India’s green bond market has witnessed many milestones, but its full potential remains untapped.


ECONOMY


BHIM app safer than mobile wallets: Tool uses three-factor authentication, making it easier to trace fraud.

‘TReDing’ the path to quick payments: Delays in receivables from big clients hurt SMEs. TReDS, the Trade Receivables Discounting System, may ease the pain.

Minigrids can power rural economic activityMini grids can spur economic activity in rural areas and accelerate the process of expanding mobile phone network across the country due to their large capacities and the ability to connect to the national grid.


Indian Express


Beyond Odd-Even: Car pool lanes can help fight pollution and complement public transport.

How the times are changing: The information revolution is radically altering voters’ expectations. Political parties can ignore this only at their own peril.

Next Door Nepal: Being with the force: Cordial relations with Nepal’s army is crucial to Indian and Chinese diplomacy.

Making GST work: The onus is on the Centre to build a consensus on contentious issues with the states.


Live Mint


The tech giants’ race to a trillion dollars: Their primary battlegrounds are likely to be cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

The RBI’s bounty and its independence: The rush to transfer the bonus from reduced RBI liabilities to the government does not come for free.

Will Aadhaar help the poor become cashless?: An Aadhaar-centred apparatus of digital inclusion is not suited to shield the poor from the effects of demonetisation.


 

Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – January 8


Archives



The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


As EC seeks view, Govt calls Budget session: The government on Saturday convened the Budget session of Parliament from January 31 even as the Election Commission sought a response from the Centre on petitions seeking that the Budget presentation be deferred in view of the upcoming Assembly elections.

Anger raging in Kashmir, says Sinha panel: There is a crisis of acknowledgement of the Kashmir problem with the Indian state. People feel India refuses to recognise that Kashmir is a political problem.


International


India-Myanmar border trade hit: Border trade between India and Myanmar, legalised in 1995, has virtually come to a halt thanks to recurring blockades, general strike and other forms of disturbances.

India, Portugal sign defence agreement: In a bid to boost joint production and development of niche weapons systems, India and Portugal on Saturday entered into a defence agreement. The agreement came following Portugal’s support to India’s multilateral plans in various technology regimes including Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).


Editorial/OPINION


‘India’s refusal to scale up bedaquiline is really the world’s problem’: Delayed roll-out and restrictive criteria are resulting in the unnecessary loss of life. Delay means that little is being done to stop the ongoing spread of MDR-TB (multidrug-resistant tuberculosis).

Health-care data is ailing: Data pertaining to health care in India, evidence shows, is significantly compromised in terms of its quality, its periodicity and coverage.


ECONOMY


‘Indian companies optimistic of economic recovery in 2017’: This is a great time for the policy makers to look at unleashing the next generation of reforms, apart from GST, mostly focussed on ease of doing business and minimum government, maximum governance.


Science and Technology


A novel electrode for lithium batteries: A team of researchers at IIT Madras have been able to enhance the capacity retention of anode material in lithium ion batteries four-fold compared to commercially available lithium batteries.

China setting up highest altitude telescopes close to LAC: China is setting up the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India to detect the faintest of echoes resonating from the universe, which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory.


Indian Express


Across the aisle: Whither RBI’s autonomy?: The RBI’s main objectives in 1934 and now are the same to issue bank notes and to keep the reserves.


Live Mint



Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – January 7


Archives



The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


GDP growth expected to be slower at 7.1% this year: India’s gross domestic output is expected to grow at a slower pace of 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 compared to the 7.6 per cent clocked in the previous year, Chief Statistician TCA Anant said.

Aadhaar now mandatory for EPF pension scheme: The Centre has made obtaining an Aadhaar number mandatory for 2.5 crore members of the Employees’ Pension Scheme of 1995, one of the benefits available to Employees’ Provident Fund subscribers.

Centre-Delhi row upsets HC: The High Court on Friday expressed its disappointment over a tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government over a repatriation of a bureaucrat and wondered why such matters are brought to the court rather than being resolved amicably.

SC declines early hearing of plea to defer budget: The Supreme Court declined to grant urgent hearing of a plea to postpone the tabling of the annual budget until after the Assembly elections in five States, including Uttar Pradesh.

Centre plans to amend Plantation Labour Act: The Centre is planning to amend the Plantation Labour Act (PLA), 1951 in a major way to exclude ‘in –kind’ components being regarded as wages.


Editorial/OPINION


When banks are awash with cash: In an environment characterised by slowing growth, poor investor sentiment and NPA-strapped banks, the government has its task cut out. When private investment is skittish, public investment must step in.

Clamping down on ordinance raj: Both superior courts and constitutional functionaries have routinely deprecated the propensity of governments to take the ordinance route for mere political expediency.


ECONOMY


Railways may get 6% increase in Budget: Finance Ministry pegs budgetary support at Rs. 48,000 cr.

Tighter norms for e-manufacturing sops: The Centre is likely to reduce the time frame for companies to avail sops in a scheme to boost electronic product manufacturing in the country at a time when tech majors such as Apple are seeking additional concessions to Make in India.

SC stays transfer and sale of 2G spectrum by Maxis: The Supreme Court stayed all transfer and sale by Malaysia-based Maxis group of companies of 2G spectrum, originally allocated to Aircel in November 2006.


Science and Technology


Vast iceberg poised to crack off Antarctica: scientists: A rift, slowly developing across the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula in recent years, expanded abruptly last month, growing by about 18 km (11 miles).

India lacks plan for global rescue: Study: The government’s plans for conducting emergency large-scale international evacuation is “ad hoc” and depends on “quick-fix solutions”.

Google’s experiments with virtually real art: Google’s investment in virtual reality pales beside Facebook’s $2 billion purchase of the VR pioneer Oculus.


Indian Express


No proof required: Financing basic income for the bottom 50 per cent: A political and economic masterstroke would be for the Union budget to contain a basic income scheme for the bottom 50 percent — the poor and lower middle class.

Leaping from a strong foundation: In 2017, the economy will see the benefits of the reforms from the previous year.


Live Mint



Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – January 6



Archives


The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


NGT raps Environment Ministry: A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said that the MoEF had not “applied its mind” while amending a notification published on December 9, 2016, exempting construction projects from the process of environment impact assessment (EIA) and prior environmental clearance.

Ban on import of exotic skins: In a landmark decision that will spare the lives of tens of thousands of animals from the exotic leather industry, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade has banned the import of skins of reptiles and fur of minks, foxes and chinchillas.

Be mindful of speedy justice: HC: Delhi High Court observed that “courts, while endeavoring to deliver speedy justice, must not hand out hasty decisions without any concern for justice” and that docket explosion is a problem for the judicial system to contend with but does not concern the individual litigant who comes to court seeking justice.

SC asked to resolve conflict over ‘rape’ definition in two laws: An exception to Section 375 (rape) in the IPC allows a man to go scot-free despite having sex with his 15-year-old ‘wife’.

How will EC decide on the party symbol row: The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 empowers the EC to recognise political parties and allot symbols. Under Paragraph 15 of the Order, it can decide disputes among rival groups or sections of a recognised political party staking claim to its name and symbol.


Editorial/OPINION


Reading between the lines: The Supreme Court verdict on electoral malpractice ensures that future legal challenges to election victories based on identity politics will walk the fine line of text, context and subtext.

Keeping the streets safe: There is the other factor of inadequacies of police leadership that have become glaring over the years.


ECONOMY


Export infrastructure scheme on the anvil: The Centre will tie up with the States to soon roll-out a new scheme called ‘TIES’ — or Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme — to boost export infrastructure.

‘Repayment of micro loans hit by note ban’: A CRISIL study showed that 9 per cent of micro enterprises are facing trouble servicing debt and paying salaries and unorganised players are expected to suffer most due to lower growth expectations.

New norms likely for top PSU bank posts: The Banks’ Board Bureau is working to ensure that leadership roles in state-run banks would only be given to those with at least six years of service left, in order to ensure accountability of their actions.


Science and Technology


Living near heavy traffic increases risks of dementiaWHO estimates the number of people with dementia in 2015 at 47.5 million, a number that is rising as life expectancy increases.


Indian Express


We are all accountable: Blame the nation as a whole for the poor implementation of demonetisation.

Let the budget be: Opposition to advancing the Union budget on account of assembly elections is misplaced.


Live Mint


How to go about chasing black money: The focus of any sustainable reform of the taxation structure must be on reducing flows of tax evasion, not going after existing caches of black money.

Charting our artificial intelligence future: In the great software of the universe, we will remain a beautiful bug, and AI will increasingly become a normal feature.


 

Categories
Mains Marathon

Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 6



Read the following questions and answer them by clicking on the links in not more than 200 words

Time: 30 Minutes

Kindly review each others answers.


1.Discuss the role of women in the freedom struggle especially during the Gandhian phase. (GS 1)
स्वतन्त्रता संग्राम में, विशेष तौर पर गांधीवादी चरण के दौरान महिलाओं कि भूमिका का विवेचन कीजिए|

Link-1 | Link-2 | Link-3

SourceUPSC Mains-2016 GS 1 (Click Here to See the UPSC 2016 GS-1 Question Paper)


2.Discuss the concept of air mass and explain its role in macro-climatic changes. (GS 1)
वायु संहति कि संकल्पना की विवेचना कीजिए तथा विस्तृत क्षेत्रीय जलवायवी परिवर्तनों में उसकी भूमिका को स्पष्ट कीजिए |

Link-1 | Link-2 | Link-3

SourceUPSC Mains-2016 GS 1 (Click Here to See the UPSC 2016 GS-1 Question Paper)


3.“Traditional bureaucratic structure and culture have hampered the process of socio-economic development in India.” Comment. (GS 2)
“पारंपरिक अधिकारीतंत्रीय संरचना और संस्कृति ने भारत में सामाजिक-आर्थिक विकास की प्रक्रिया में बाधा डाली है | ” टिप्पणी कीजिए|

Link-1 | Link-2 | Link-3

SourceUPSC Mains-2016 GS 2 ((Click Here to See the UPSC 2016 GS-2 Question Paper))


Start writing!


 

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Mains Marathon

Answered : Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 4

Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – January 5



Archives


The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


SC schedules day-to-day hearings on Cauvery appeals from Feb 7: The Supreme Court asked Karnataka to continue releasing 2000 cusecs of Cauvery water to neighbouring State of Tamil Nadu while posting appeals filed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala against the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal‘s decision on water-sharing for day-to-day hearing.

Pollution problem: rules tough but implementation weak: Experts say the issue must be tackled in a comprehensive and concerted manner with tailor-made solutions for every source of pollution.

Citizens’ interest best served when public money is not wasted: HC: Public interest is best served when public money is not unnecessarily expended, the High Court said.

Ken-Betwa river-linking project faces new hurdle: Lack of clarity on the funding pattern in the first ever inter-State river linking project. The NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) has recommended that Madhya Pradesh contribute 40 per cent of the project cost, with the Centre contributing 60 per cent.

J.S. Khehar sworn in as Chief JusticeJustice Jagdish Singh Khehar, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, was sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of India by President Pranab Mukherjee.


INTERNATIONAL


China’s stance on terror self-defeating, says India: India on Wednesday said that China is following “double standard” on terrorism and asked Beijing to support its campaign to blacklist Pakistan-based terror mastermind Masood Azhar.


Editorial/OPINION


Running into the Chinese wall: The Masood Azhar case is a piece in the fragmenting jigsaw of global terror consensus.

Arms and the region: It is time to look ahead at the challenges that India’s security planners face in 2017.


ECONOMY


TRAI issues paper on net-neutrality: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Wednesday issued a consultation paper on the issue of net-neutrality as it looked to formulate “final views on policy or regulatory interventions” on the subject.


Indian Express


Despite history, geography: India and Bangladesh have wasted opportunities for shared advantages. The mistake need not be repeated.

An unfortunate legacy: The colonial category of “criminal tribes” may have been “denotified” but many communities remain unclassified.


Live Mint


The deleveraging risk in emerging markets: Corporate leverage has increased in recent years because of easy availability of money.

Transforming the digital payment infrastructure: Implementing a new payment infrastructure will require careful planning, patience and flexibility.