Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – January 16


Archives



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 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


Archives



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
9 PM Daily NEWS Brief

9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief -6th January 2017



  • Front Page / NATIONAL [The Hindu]

  1. NGT raps Environment Ministry
  2. Ban on import of exotic skins
  3. Be mindful of speedy justice: HC
  4. SC asked to resolve conflict over ‘rape’ definition in two laws
  5. How will EC decide on the party symbol row
  • Editorial/OPINION [The Hindu]

  1. Reading between the lines
  2. Keeping the streets safe
  • ECONOMY [The Hindu]

  1. Export infrastructure scheme on the anvil
  2. ‘Repayment of micro loans hit by note ban’
  3. New norms likely for top PSU bank posts
  • Indian Express

  1. We are all accountable
  2. Let the budget be
  • Live Mint

  1. How to go about chasing black money
  2. Charting our artificial intelligence future

Click here to Download 9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief PDF (6th Jan. 2017)

Front Page / NATIONAL [The Hindu]


[1] NGT raps Environment Ministry


The Hindu

Context

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.

What had MoEF done?

The MoEF, in a recent notification, had exempted real estate projects from obtaining prior environmental clearance.

  • It had even put in a “self-declaration” clause for smaller projects (less than 20,000 sqmetres). For bigger projects, the environmental clearance (EC) and building permission would be given by urban local bodies as part of an “integrated format”.

Backdrop

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by the Society for Protection of Environment and Biodiversity, which sought directions for the notification to be quashed on the ground that it contravened provisions of the EIA notification, 2006, and the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

  • Allegation: The plea alleged that the notification tried to “circumvent” the EIA Notification, 2006, in the name of “ease of doing business”.

Earlier, the green panel had refused to stay the December 9 notification and issued notices to the Ministries of Environment and Forests and Urban Development, seeking a reply before January 4.

What is Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)?

It is the process by which the anticipated effects on the environment of a proposed development or project are measured. If the likely effects are unacceptable, design measures or other relevant mitigation measures can be taken to reduce or avoid those effects.


[2] Ban on import of exotic skins


The Hindu

Context

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.

Issue: Cruelty to animals

What are animal rights bodies saying about the decision?

Animal rights bodies have hailed the decision by the Centre to ban such imports, saying that the country is now emulating other nations across the world in adopting “cruelty-free” alternatives to exotic skins

Backdrop

The notification issued on January 3 comes in the wake of campaigning for a ban by People for Animals (PFA), Humane Society International/India (HSI/India) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

  • Union Cabinet Minister of Women and Child Development wrote to the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry on banning import of exotic skins
  • The Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change, and the Animal Welfare Board of India had supported the ban proposal

[3] Be mindful of speedy justice: HC


The Hindu

Context

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.

A pretty straightforward article. It elaborates on the concern of Delhi HC that speedy justice doesn’t mean handing out hasty decisions which might lead to aggravation of justice.

Give it a go-through once


[4] SC asked to resolve conflict over ‘rape’ definition in two laws


The Hindu

Context

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’.

Backdrop

In a petition before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, the BachpanBachaoAndolan, an organisation run by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, said an estimated 47 per cent of children in India were married off before they turned 18, according to the United Nations. It further said that,

  • IPC condones rape: The IPC condones the rape of a 15-year-old by her husband despite the fact that the more recent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) of 2012 qualifies those aged below 18 as ‘children’

 Penal provisions in POCSO

POCSO has specific penal provisions against ‘penetrative sexual assault’ and ‘aggressive penetrative sexual assault’ on children below 18.

  • Section 6 of the Act enunciates the punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault as rigorous imprisonment of not less than 10 years to life imprisonment. Mr. Satyarthi wants the apex court to clear the anomaly in law. The IPC terms children as those aged under 15 years while POCSO terms children as those aged under 18.

The Chink

Despite being a child by definition (under the age of 18), provisions of POCSO are not applied. Reason: The benefit of a Special Act (POCSO) is not afforded to children when they are in married relationship but over the age of 15. Therefore, a child’s status as a child till she attains the age of 18 is denied to her once she is forcefully or otherwise wed.

Simple explanation

  • Problem with POCSO: Under POCSO, children under age of 18 years are protected but if a child is wed or forcefully married then provisions of POCSO do not apply.
  • Problem with IPC: Under IPC, anyone of 15 years of age or above 15 years of age is not deemed to be a child.

Why this petition?

Penal provisions for child rape are stricter. Hence, the petitioner wants the provision under IPC to be amended and age be increased to 18 years of age.

Directions by the SC

The apex court directed the government to address the issue within four months. The Bench asked Mr. Satyarthi to approach the court on the same grounds for immediate resolution if he is not satisfied with the government’s response.


[5] How will EC decide on the party symbol row


 The Hindu

Context

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.

Article is a straightforward read presented in a simple question and answer format.

Give it a go-through once 


Editorial/OPINION [The Hindu]


[1] Reading between the lines


The Hindu

Context
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.

Article talks about the recent judgement of SC, specifically the Abhiram Singh v. C.D. Commachen, wherein it was held that an appeal for votes during elections on the basis of religion, caste, race, community or language, even that of the electorate, will amount to a ‘corrupt practice’ and call for disqualification of the candidate

Note: This issue has already been covered in proper detail in the 9pm Brief dated 4th January, 2017. Any new point, if present in the article, has been included here

Minority judgement
• Author states that the minority judgement pointed out that a broad or purposive interpretation might fall afoul of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution
• It further cited that departing from a literal or strict interpretation would mean unsettling the law accepted over several decades and that the Supreme Court had no such strong reason to do so

The rationale behind including the word “his” in RP Act
Author states that the rationale behind the addition of the word “his” in the section 123 (3) of RP Act was to prevent an electoral candidate to create enmity between two communities or vilification of another language.


[2] Keeping the streets safe


 The Hindu

Context

There is the other factor of inadequacies of police leadership that have become glaring over the years

Issue: Recent molestation incident in Bengaluru on New Year’s Eve & consequent apathy displayed by Bengaluru police in tackling the entire situation

What could have been done?

The local police stations could have possibly made an assessment late in the afternoon so that extra policemen could have been directed to localities where the crowds were pouring in. There was therefore an element of failure on the part of city police intelligence

What should be done?

  • Restructuring existing police arrangements: Author states that what is required now is to restructure existing police arrangements for special occasions such as New Year celebrations

 Why police didn’t use force against anti-social elements?

Author states that police were reluctant to use force against anti-social elements. Reasons could be,

  • A long chain of command: Unless specific orders are given from the commissioner itself, cops shy of using strong methods

Reason: The cause for above state of affairs is the host of judicial enquiries and complaints against police. Even if government uses force, the opposition makes an issue out of it, in spite of the fact that the ground situation warranted such an action

Leadership deficit

A weak leadership: Author states that the police looks up to Chief minister or Home minister of a state for even routine field decisions. Even if there is a CM who stays away from field affairs, a weak DGP or Police Commissioner takes no chances. Granting more autonomy to police is futile in the presence of such hesitant DGPs

Author suggests

  • Public pressure: it is only strong public opinion that can bring a sea change to the styles of policing. In the Bengaluru incidents, the citizenry has a significant role to play by bringing enough pressure on the government to identify the accused and bring them to book. If they do not rise to the occasion, not much will happen.
  • Sensitizing the police: Day-to-day interaction on the subject between the higher echelons and policemen at the grass-roots level will help. Senior police officers need to visit stations and talk to the constabulary who actually are at the ground level when unruly incidents happen. 

ECONOMY [The Hindu]


[1] Export infrastructure scheme on the anvil


The Hindu

Context

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

Government’s rationale

Since most States wanted a Central scheme that supports export infrastructure, government is formulating a scheme to provide financial support and supplement the efforts of States to create export infrastructure.

Road quality

Upgrading Indian roads carry nearly 65 per cent cargo against the global trend where railway is the major contributor. Therefore the States should focus on improving the last mile connectivity of major exporting hubs to Inland Container Depot/Ports. Quality of roads including their load bearing capacity should be upgraded for smooth transit of export goods.

Why state should co-operate in setting up of common facilities like testing labs?

Pointing out that about 150 Sanitary &Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures (or norms on food safety and animal & plant health standards) and a similar number of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) notifications (including mandatory and voluntary standards) were being issued by World Trade Organisation-member countries each month. Around 50-60 per cent of these measures have the potential to impact India’s trade

Therefore, the States should cooperate with the Centre for setting up common facilities like testing labs and training institutes as well as to ensure packaging and storage support to the Indian industry.

Present situation

So far only 17 States (of the 29 States and seven Union Territories in the country) have prepared their export strategy

 Need to diversify

There is a need to diversify our services exports. Areas like medical tourism, nursing and healthcare, education, audio-visual media have an excellent potential that can be harnessed. For this, we need to develop the right competencies like language skills for the East and North East Asian markets

Logistics Performance Index

Meanwhile, the Centre has decided to soon bring out a Logistics Performance Index to rank states on steps taken to facilitate trade and improve logistics.

  • North-East Corridor: Measures in the pipeline include expediting the proposal for a north east corridor to improve connectivity with south East Asian countries and exports to that region

[2] ‘Repayment of micro loans hit by note ban’


The Hindu

Context

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.

Give the article a go-through once


[3] New norms likely for top PSU bank posts


 

The Hindu

Context

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.

What is Bank Board Bureau?

Banks Board Bureau is an autonomous body of Union Government of Indiatasked to improve the governance of Public Sector Banks, recommend selection of chiefs of government owned banks and financial institutions and to help banks in developing strategies and capital raising plans.

Article details the proposed steps to increase accountability in the public sector banking system.

Proposed measures

  • Ensuring accountability: An attempt will be made to introduce accountability in the system, to ensure that you appoint a whole time director or a CEO (chief executive officer) at an age where he has got a minimum of six years more to go in the institution so that he can be held accountable for the decision
  • Incentives: From the next financial year, introduction of bonuses, E-sops, and performance linked packages could happen. The idea is to provide monetary and non-monetary incentives to attract professionals. These incentives would apply to positions across all levels, not just to the middle and senior management.
  • Running the banks: People from diverse fields of expertise would be roped in to be the members of the Board Bureaus of Public Sector Banks (PSBs). It would be ensure that these Boards run the banks.

Read More: Major Overhaul of banking system, Bank Board Bureau 


Indian Express


[1] We are all accountable


Indian Express

Context

Blame the nation as a whole for the poor implementation of demonetisation.

Article is pretty straightforward and a light read. Author has stated that if demonetization has failed it is not the sole failure of the government but also our own.

Give it a go-through once


[2] Let the budget be


 Indian Express

Context

Opposition to advancing the Union budget on account of assembly elections is misplaced

What has happened?

A united Opposition has approached the Election Commission (EC) seeking postponement of the presentation of the Union Budget for 2017-18 till the completion of polls to the five state assemblies, for which the schedule has already been announced.

Doling out sops

The primary argument given by these parties is that the government would use the budget, which it wants to present on February 1, to dole out various sops to “allure” voters while these polls are held between February 4 and March 8.This, they say, would give an unfair advantage to the ruling party at the Centre.

No evidence

Author suggests that there is no empirical evidence of such fickle voter behavior so as to be swayed by populist schemes and announcements

 Right to make announcements

Author presents us with a question that,

Can a popularly elected government at the Centre be denied the right to make announcements, populist or otherwise, during its tenure just because of state-level elections?

Policy paralysis

It is known that when Model Code of Conduct is in place, government cannot make any new announcements and governance comes to a standstill. So, author presents us with a thought provoking question,

Should policy paralysis for these months be a prerequisite for the holding of free and fair elections? Surely, this is not what the drafters of our Constitution had in mind. 


Live Mint


[1] How to go about chasing black money


Live Mint

Context

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.

Issue: Tackling the menace of black money

Focus on the flow

In the first paragraph, author states that the flow of tax evasion every year is what should be the focus of any drive targeting black money, rather than the caches accumulated from past tax evasion meaning government should focus on curbing the ongoing tax evasion every year rather than paying attention towards the accumulated wealth from past tax evasion

Reason: Bcz those who had large amounts of unaccounted wealth moved to financial form of assets from physical assets like cash or gold or real estate. Loans were given to large construction companies which could not access the formal financial market.

Problem: Such companies faced problem in accessing formal credit because we have been unable to develop bond markets in the country as we should have. Even borrowers would prefer the bond market as lending rates are quite high through unofficial channels

What should be done?

Author states that Bond markets today call for a whole ecosystem, with credible rating agencies to give lenders the confidence to move into that disintermediated financial space, instead of just being risk averse and placing their savings with banks or other aggregators like the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).

In between the article, author throw light at the problems being faced by mobile wallets. Article on Digital payment systems have been covered in detail in many briefs. You can refer those.

Tackling Black money

  • Utilizing existing databases: Author states that government needs to focus on big fish when tackling with the menace of black money. Utilizing already existing databases like Aadhaar and database of high-end luxury car owners, which is maintained by motor vehicle department of every state (PAN number is mandatory for such transactions) can help tax authorities to reign in the corrupt
  • Presumptive tax: Author states that presumptive tax methods can be employed as has been done by many other countries successfully.

For example: Israel:

  • For a big purchase like a yacht or a luxury car by a moneyed immigrant, there would be a presumptive taxable income estimated at some multiple of the value of the transaction
  • Restaurant owners would be taxed on a presumption of taxability based on capacity.
  • The formula was arrived at through discussions with restaurant associations on what seemed fair, and was not contestable
  • Those that did not meet the presumptive income had to pay the tax anyway, and eventually closed down
  • The presumptive tax worked as an efficiency incentive. Most of all, these methods are survey-based and formulaic, and thus prevent tax terrorism
  • Expenditure on high-end weddings: Author points out that the expenditure on high-end weddings can be tracked via purchase and lease of devices utilized in such weddings and the amount of electricity consumed from the grid.

Solution:A simple administrative requirement for PAN numbers attached to electricity dues or leasing of generators would have led to higher revenue for both the income-tax department and power distribution companies.

Conclusion

Author concludes by saying that unless our taxation system are reformed, there is nothing demonetization can do for tax revenue

Read More: Presumptive tax


[2] Charting our artificial intelligence future


Live Mint

Context

In the great software of the universe, we will remain a beautiful bug, and AI will increasingly become a normal feature.

Give it a go-through once


 

Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – January 4


Archives



Front Page / NATIONAL


SC asks list of firms with debts over 500 cr.: Centre asked to provide data on cases pending in Debt Recovery Tribunals for over 10 years.


Editorial/OPINION


Two takes on democracy: This week, a divided Supreme Court placed before us two visions of the public sphere, pitting the ideal of the universal citizen against citizen-electors situated within their social contexts.

Secularising the election: Supreme Court has grappled with the question whether a provision in electoral law that makes it a corrupt practice to use religion, race, caste or language as a ground for canvassing votes in an election.

The Court reigns Supreme: Effective immediately, any BCCI and State associations’ official must be eligible as per the Lodha Committee’s eligibility criteria.


ECONOMY


RBI tells banks to ensure 40% of cash supply reaches rural areas: The Reserve Bank of India has directed banks to ensure that at least 40 per cent of the supply of bank notes should reach rural areas.

Union Budget to be presented on February 1: Departing from convention, the Union Budget will be presented in Parliament on February 1. The Union Cabinet had earlier decided to end the practice of a separate Railway budget.


Indian Express


Quota demands will only grow with jobless growth: While its demographic dynamism requires the creation of more than eight million jobs a year, India is not doing well on that front.


Live Mint


Rewriting the rules of political engagement: The apex court’s decision against canvassing for votes on grounds of religion, caste, creed, community or language moves into tricky territory.

Reclaiming India’s leverage on Tibet: India’s instinctive chariness and reserve on the issue persist, despite an increasingly muscular China upping the ante against it.


 

 

Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – December 30


Archives



The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


Centre forms panel on arbitration hub: The Centre has constituted a high-level committee, led by the former Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna, to draw a road map to make India a global arbitration hub.

Wage payment through banks ordinance gets President’s nod: Ordinance empowers Centre or State governments to specify industries or establishments where wage payments can be made mandatory through the banking system.


Editorial/OPINION


Peace on track in Colombia: A referendum to ratify a painstakingly negotiated peace deal it had signed with the long-time insurgent organisation, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was narrowly defeated.

Notes to remember: If three-quarters of the population in an advanced economy like the United States appear to either favor cash payments or a mix of both cash and non-cash payments while making purchases, how challenging will it be for a developing country like India to transition to a so-called cashless economy?


ECONOMY


‘Banks likely to remain risk averse’: Lenders’ capital position may remain insufficient to support higher credit growth, says RBI.

Financial data management body mooted: A committee set up under the Department of Economic Affairs has recommended the creation of a statutory body that will standardise data from all financial sector regulators in a single database and provide analytical insights based on the data.

Centre meets PMUY target of 1.5 crore LPG connections: The government on Thursday said that it had met the 1.5-crore target for LPG connections to be added in this financial year under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) and therefore increased LPG coverage across the country to 70 per cent.


Indian Express


History and 50 days: With demonetisation, PM risked political capital, people took leap of faith — shoddy execution does disservice to big idea.

Poor swiped out in choice-less, not cash-less, society: For the poor, with little cash in the first place, digital promises to ‘swipe’ them out, before their marginalisation is even addressed.


Live Mint


A Middle East peace agenda for 2017: Middle East conflicts are affecting the world by exporting terrorism and refugees—products that are contributing to populism and authoritarianism in the West.

Five events in 2016 which will shape 2017: As globalization encompasses more of the world, the norm is the known unknown and surprise the new routine.


Categories
Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – December 27


Archives



The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


India needs lower taxes, higher compliance: India needs lower taxes to compete globally and that voluntary tax compliance by citizens should be encouraged by a friendly administration.

Agni-V test-fired again from mobile-launcher: The test-firing of India’s most formidable ballistic missile, Agni-V was an unalloyed success, signalling that India’s nuclear deterrence capability has come of age.

Rajasthan sets up panel on Gujjar quota issue: The committee was appointed in the light of the December 9 judgment of the Rajasthan High Court striking down a 2015 law which had provided five per cent reservation to Special Backward Classes, including Gujjars.

Remission power lies with State: SC: The judgment is in sync with the review petition on the question of who has the actual authority — the Centre or the State — in granting remission for life convicts.


Editorial/OPINION


Time to repeal the FCRA: The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, is nothing more than a tool to keep ‘errant’ civil society organisations on a tight leash. An autonomous, self-regulatory agency for NGOs is the need of the hour.

Fire in the sky: The successful test-firing of the long-range ballistic missile Agni-V for the fourth time is a significant step towards building a credible nuclear deterrence.

The mother of all disruptions: The tremendous power of the software industry in India may help explain why the disruptive effects of demonetisation are being taken lightly.

Assessed, approved but scant attention to compliance: September 2016 marked a decade of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, a short, ‘subordinate’ legislation whose powers far outweigh its text.

Foreign policy, Act III: The Prime Minister’s entry on the world stage was dramatic and full of surprises.


ECONOMY


India’s cast iron exports under EU scanner: India’s exports of certain iron items to the European Union (EU) and shipments of ferro alloys to South Korea have come under the scanner of local authorities in those jurisdictions.


Indian Express


Anthem: Play, rewind: The order compelling citizens to stand up defies both the letter and the spirit of this invocation to sovereignty.


Live Mint


Addressing India’s water dispute problem: The proposed permanent tribunal is a promising step—but it will face many hurdles.

Karnataka’s dangerous new reservation policy: It is inept on multiple levels, and proven to be economically counterproductive.

What awaits us in 2017?: For 2017, China and Europe may become two big risks to the global economy and global markets, while the US under Donald Trump remains a wild card.


 

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Must Read News Articles – December 26


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


Make justice system sympathetic to sexual abuse victims, says SC: The time has come for criminal justice system to mold a survivor-centric approach in dealing with cases of sexual violence, especially for victims of child abuse for whom the trauma will scar them for life, the Supreme Court observed.

‘Need to link Aadhaar with details of voters’: Noting that “there is an emergent need to link Aadhaar with the electoral details of voters”, the Election Commission of India has given a mixed response to the Supreme Court on providing absentee voting rights, like electronic voting and proxy voting, to over 300 million domestic migrants in the country, saying there is no foolproof mechanism to verify their identity and block duplicity.


INTERNATIONAL


‘Soft border approach can bring India into CPEC’: A focus on establishing “soft borders” between India and Pakistan, rather than a final settlement of boundaries in Kashmir, can lead to New Delhi’s rapid integration into an expanded China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Two U.S. howitzers arriving for tests: In a first, India is buying 145 M-777 artillery guns made by BAE Systems, in a $737-million deal.


Editorial/OPINION


A goods and services tangle: The Centre is determined to introduce the GST from April 1, 2017.

Speak up for the Rohingyas: How India responds to the crisis will give a clue to its aspirations as a South Asian power.


ECONOMY


Lesser cash will help cut deficit, raise defence spending: ‘Fake currency, terrorism results of heavy dependence on cash economy’.

Withdrawal of notes will boost credit flow: The demonetisation move would also enable banks to channel these to productive assets and offer differentiated interest rates to borrowers while lowering the risk of bad loans in the future.


Indian Express


Old faultlines, new crisis: The recent violence in Manipur is a result of years of pent-up anger against the United Naga Council’s divisive politics.

The Parched Nation: Pakistan may be heading towards a water crisis that could be a tipping point.


Live Mint


Privacy without principles: Privacy principles born in the 1970s that still inform the law globally are now on the verge of obsolescence.


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Must Read News Articles – December 25


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


Early summer triggers wildlife migration to Wayanad sanctuary: Drought-like situation in the Nilgiri biosphere has led to early migration.

Land of religious body can be acquired: HC: The Allahabad High Court has ruled that a land belonging to a religious body can be acquired for a “public purpose” while asking the Church of North India Association and NHAI to “work out modality” for “demolition or shifting” of a church for construction of a six-lane road.

Anti-airfield weapon system test-fired: India successfully tested the smart anti-airfield weapon system, capable of engaging ground targets in a range of 100 kms from a fighter aircraft, at the integrated test range here in Chandipur.


Editorial/OPINION


Getting right, the nutrient spike: The FSSAI’s move on food fortification comes in the wake of concerns of ‘over-fortification’.


ECONOMY


‘Demonetisation to infuse savings into financial markets’: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move is altering the nation’s conduct and will infuse more formal savings into the financial markets instead of dead assets.


Indian Express


Across the aisle-Cashless economy: A distracting mirage: Why should the government or its numerous agencies have access to our lives through access to Big Data?


Live Mint


The next big climate change battle starts in India: India is understandably determined to develop, and for development to happen, it will have to skip most of the cheap coal stage and go right to solar power.


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Must Read News Articles – December 24


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


Passport rules changed to help single mothers, orphaned children: In a move to speed up and simplify the passport delivery process, the government on Friday announced a series of steps that would help single mothers, orphaned children, and sadhus obtain passports with ease.

NITI Aayog rolls out health index: The government think tank NITI Aayog on Friday rolled out a ‘Performance on Health Outcomes’ index that will rank various States on the basis of their performance on measurable health indicators.

Pranab against ordinance route to amend Enemy Property Act: The Amendment Bill aims to make changes to the Enemy Property Act to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars.

HC: Property of parents-in-law not matrimonial home: The right to residence is available to a woman against her husband and not against the parents-in-law in a property owned by them, the Delhi High Court has reiterated.

Draft Central, State GST laws approved: The Goods and Services Tax Council has moved a significant step closer to finalising the draft Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST) laws that must be passed in Parliament — along with two other laws — to bring the GST into implementation.


INTERNATIONAL


China open to India joining economic corridor: China on Friday signalled that it was ready to consider India’s participation in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).


Editorial/OPINION


An equal music, a beautiful society: No aspect of life in India from the exalted heavens of the classical arts to the most mundane pits of bodily waste can escape the totalitarian structure of caste.


ECONOMY


Japan drags India to WTO against steps on iron, steel imports: India has imposed minimum import price (MIP) on imports of certain iron and steel products.


ART AND CULTRURE


‘Urban planning kept the peace in Harappa’: Ensuring efficient water supply and sewerage for every city can reduce conflicts, says Indus Valley Civilisation expert Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, who believes the strategy is an important lesson to be learnt from the Harappans.


Indian Express



Live Mint