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DATE – June 18 2018


THE HINDU NATIONAL PAGE NEWS

PM RENEWS CALL FOR DEBATE ON SIMULTANEOUS POLLS

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications,


models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and
institutional and other measures.

Why this news is important?

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi again called for widespread consultation on simultaneous elections in the
country during the fourth governing council meeting of the NITI Aayog.

Important points to be noted are-

1. The Prime Minister called for widespread debate and consultations on simultaneous elections to the Lok
Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas, keeping in view aspects such as the resulting financial savings and better
utilisation of resources.

SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS


Meaning:

 Simultaneous elections is a proposal by the prime minister to hold the elections of Lok Sabha and the state
legislative elections on the same dates.

What are reasons cited by government for single election?

2. Massive expenditure would be reduced.


3. Diversion of security and civil staff from primary duties is avoided.
4. Impact on governance due to the model code of conduct will be less.
5. Disruption to normal public life will be addressed.

What the concerns with the reasons for single election?

 The cost factor -The Election Commission incurs a total cost of roughly Rs. 8,000 crore to conduct all State
and federal elections in a span of five years, or roughly Rs. 1,500 crore every year.
 To put this in context, all the States and the Centre combined incurred an expenditure of nearly Rs. 30 lakh
crore in FY2014.

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 Which is about 0.05% of India’s total annual expenditure, and it is not a large price to pay for world’s largest
and most vibrant electoral democracy.
 The notion that elections are prohibitively expensive is false and misleading.
 Code of conduct and polls -The model code of conduct for elections was agreed by political parties in 1979,
and prohibits the ruling party from incurring capital expenditure for certain projects after elections are
announced.
 If India is indeed embarking on a path of “cooperative federalism”, then more such projects will be undertaken
by each State and not by the Centre.
 If all political parties still feel the need to reform the code, they are free to do so. The solution is to reform the
code and not the electoral cycle.
 Governance paralysis- Paralysis of the government due to State elections is a mere excuse.
 The real reason is that the two national parties are excessively dependent on their national leaders’ campaigns
in State elections,
 Depending on their national leaders is the problem and the prerogative of the national parties, it is not the fault
of the electoral system.
 Diversion of civil staff and disruption of public life – These were the two other reasons cited, but these sound
more like reasons against holding elections in general.
 These two reasons are very weak when measured against the costs of limiting electoral opportunities for
citizens.

Is single election a viable solution?

 Studies proves that there is clear empirical evidence that most Indian voters tend to choose the same party
when elections are held simultaneously to both Centre and State.
 At the same time when elections became disparate, there was no evidence of the voter choosing the same
party.
 Simultaneous elections impinge on the political autonomy of States.
 If elections are to be held simultaneously, States will have to give up this power and wait for a national election
schedule.
 Under a simultaneous elections regime, the State will be beholden to the Union government for elections to
its State, which goes against the very grain of political autonomy under Indian federal structure.
 Thus “oneness” is not the desired path to efficiency in a diverse polity such as India.

What are the political developments regarding simultaneous elections?

 Advantages - Simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies is said to have the benefits of
saving poll expenditure considerably.
 It would also help the ruling parties to focus on governance instead of being put constantly in electioneering
mode.
 The Developments - The BJP led government at the Centre has been talking about the need for simultaneous
elections for some time now.
 The Union Law Commission has sought the opinion of the public, political parties, academicians and other
stakeholders on the proposal.
 The Commission has also released a document outlining the amendments that may be required in the
Constitution and electoral laws for achieving the same.
 While the final draft will be put out after the views of the public are incorporated, the present outline itself
holds very significant provisions.

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 Envisioned Provisions - Among the possible recommendations mentioned in the outline, there is a proposal
for “constructive vote of no-confidence”.
 I.e. while expressing lack of confidence in one government, members of the legislature will have to repose
trust in an alternative.
 Towards this end, even a temporary waiver of anti-defection law is being considered to help in forming a stable
alternative government.
 However, critics hold that such provisions for stabilising governments could be considered even now without
simultaneous elections.
 Political Motivation - Obverses believe that voters would tend to prefer the same party at the centre and the
state if elections are held simultaneously.
 In this backdrop, it is to be noted that PM Modi has clearly emerged as the primary pole at the centre with no
potent alternative in sight.
 Hence, sceptics believe that BJP’s zeal for simultaneous elections is driven by this situational advantage –
which it seeks to capitalise on across states.

NAIDU RAISES SPECIAL CATEGORY STATUS ISSUE AT THE MEETING

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Why this news is important?

 Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu raised several pending issues, including the Special
Category Status (SCS), at the fourth NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting in Delhi on Sunday with Prime
Minister Narendra Modi in the Chair.

Important points to be noted are-

1. Clarification on the bifurcation-related SCS, construction of a capital city, Polavaram project, Revenue deficit,
Pull back of Rs. 350 crore relating to the backward areas development fund,
2. Railway zone, establishment of greenfield crude oil refinery petrochemical complex, increase of seats in the
Assembly, resolving anomalies in the taxation matters, construction of a steel plant at the YSR Kadapa district,
3. Establishment of the Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor, the Visakhapatnam and the Vijayawada metro rail, the
Dugarajapatnam port, establishment of a Greyhound Training Centre.

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SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS


What is the special category status?

 Rationale - The Constitution does not have any provision for categorisation of any state as a Special
Category Status (SCS) State.
 But the Centre has assisted some states with funds in the past, since 1969.
 This was as allocated by the former Planning Commission body called the National Development Council
(NDC).
 The assistance was in consideration of the historical disadvantages of certain states when compared to
others.
 Criteria - The NDC granted this status based on some features such as:

1. hilly and difficult terrain


2. low population density and/or the presence of sizeable tribal population
3. strategic location along international borders
4. economic and infrastructural backwardness
5. non-viable nature of State finances

 Advantages - The SCS states would receive funding for Centrally Sponsored Schemesin the 90-10 ratio
i.e 90% of the funds would come from the Centre as against 60% for normal category states.
 The remaining would be funded by the state governments.
 States - The NDC first accorded SCS in 1969 to Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Nagaland.
 Over the years, 8 more states were added to the list.
 They are Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and, in 2010,
Uttarakhand.
 These 11 states got the benefits of SCS until 2014-15 when the 14th Finance Commission proposed major
changes.

What are the 14th Finance Commission's recommendations?

 14th Finance Commission headed by YV Reddy submitted its report in 2014.


 It redefined the financial relationship between the Centre and the states for the five-year period ending
2019-20.
 The Commission notably did away with the ‘special category’ status for states, except for the Northeastern
States and 3 hill states (J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand).
 Instead, it suggested that the resource gap of each state be filled through ‘tax devolution’.
 It thus urged the Centre to increase its share of tax revenues to the states from 32% to 42%.
 If devolution alone could not cover the revenue gap for certain states, the Centre could provide a revenue
deficit grant.
 The Commission stated that Andhra Pradesh would end up as a revenue deficit state.
 It thus recommended that the Centre provide a revenue deficit grant for the period of the 14th Finance
Commission.

What does the AP Reorganisation Act provide for?

 The state of Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated in 2014 under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
 The Act does not mention ‘special category’.
 But it does mention that the Centre would help Andhra Pradesh bridge any resource gap.
 Under the ‘Revenue Distribution’ section, the Central Government may make appropriate grants.
 It may ensure that benefits and incentives in the form of special development package are given to the
backward areas of that State.

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 But notably, apart from the legislation, the former PM had in the Rajya Sabha assured that AP would be
granted special category status.
 It was said that Special Category Status would be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh for a
period of 5 years.
 But the successor government (NDA) has been emphasizing that the 14th Finance Commission did not
provide for such treatment.

What is the Centre's stance for AP?

 The Union government is of the view that SCS category did exist when the state was bifurcated in 2014.
 But after the 14th Finance Commission’s award, such treatment was “constitutionally” restricted and so
cannot be accorded.
 The Centre however stated that it was willing to provide the “monetary equivalent” of a special category
state.
 As an additional measure, the Centre has agreed to fund all externally aided projects in Andhra Pradesh in
the 90-10 ratio.

What is AP's stance?

 AP reiterates that Telugu sentiments and emotions had been hurt and only special category status could
assuage them.
 It is also maintained that the CM had only been asking for what was provided for in the AP Reorganisation
Act.

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THE HINDU ECONOMY PAGE NEWS

MCLR, BASE RATE MERGER PROVES ELUSIVE.

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and
employment.

Why this news is important?

 RBI has not yet issued instructions for banks to allow its customers to shift base rate to MCLR, despite
promise.

Important points to be noted are-

 Base rate is the erstwhile loan pricing mechanism which was replaced by MCLR — the Marginal Cost of
funding based Lending Rate — from April 1, 2016.
 With the Introduction of MCLR it was expected that the bank would migrate from existing base rate-linked
credit exposures to MCLR system.
 This would benefits large number of customer as the one-year MCLR of bank is lower than base rate
 For example, SBI’s base rate is 8.7% while its one-year MCLR is 8.25% — a difference of 45 basis points.
 But bank shown reluctance to migrate.
 This led RBI to intervene.
 RBI announce that base rate would be linked to MCLR from April 1, 2018. But RBI has not issued instructions
regarding this till now
 This is because RBI in its internal study found that if public sector banks offer their customers a lower interest
rate, they will incur a loss of 40000cr.

SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS

Marginal Cost of funds based Lending Rate (MCLR)

 It refers to the minimum interest rate of a bank below which it cannot lend, except in some cases allowed by
the RBI.
 It is an internal benchmark or reference rate for the bank. MCLR actually describes the method by which the
minimum interest rate for loans is determined by a bank – on the basis of marginal cost or the additional or
incremental cost of arranging one more rupee to the prospective borrower.
 This new methodology replaces the base rate system introduced in July 2010.

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Reasons for introducing MCLR

 RBI decided to shift from base rate to MCLR because the rates based on marginal cost of funds are more
sensitive to changes in the policy rates.
 This is very essential for the effective implementation of monetary policy. Prior to MCLR system, different
banks were following different methodology for calculation of base rate /minimum rate – that is either on the
basis of average cost of funds or marginal cost of funds or blended cost of funds. Thus, MCLR aims
 To improve the transmission of policy rates into the lending rates of banks.
 To bring transparency in the methodology followed by banks for determining interest rates on advances.
 To ensure availability of bank credit at interest rates which are fair to borrowers as well as banks.
 To enable banks to become more competitive and enhance their long run value and contribution to economic
growth.

MCLR is calculated using different components such as:

a) Marginal cost of funds:

The marginal cost that is the novel element of the MCLR. The marginal cost of funds will comprise of
Marginal cost of borrowings and return on net-worth. According to the Reserve Bank of India, the Marginal
Cost should be charged on the basis of following factors:

• Interest rate given for various types of deposits- savings, current, term deposit, foreign currency
deposit
• Borrowings – Short term interest rate or the Repo rate etc., Long term rupee borrowing rate
• Return on net-worth – in accordance with capital adequacy norms.

b) Negative carry on account of Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR):

It is the cost that the banks have to incur while keeping reserves with the RBI. The RBI is not giving an
interest for CRR held by the banks. The cost of such funds kept idle can be charged from loans given to
the people.

c) Operating Costs:

It is the operating expenses incurred by the banks.

d) Tenor Premium:

It denotes that higher interest can be charged from long term loans.
The MCLR applicable from 1 April, 2016 have to be revised monthly by considering some new factors
including the Repo rate and other borrowing rates.

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‘NEW AUTO POLICY MAY BE FINALISED IN THREE MONTHS’

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Why this news is important?

 The new National Auto Policy, which may seek emission-linked taxation on automobiles and a technology-
agnostic green mobility roadmap, is likely to be finalised in the next three months, according to official
sources.

Important points to be noted are-

 Discussions with various stakeholders have been on for the past six months to frame the new policy, which
envisages having a single nodal regulatory body for the automobile industry, officials in the Heavy Industry
Ministry said.
 A draft cabinet note on the policy is being prepared and will be circulated shortly among departments
concerned, they disclosed.
 In terms of emission, it has been suggested to have a comprehensive long-term plan with definite time-lines
under the new auto policy, the source added.
 The draft of the policy released earlier had recommended rationalisation of the GST structure for automobiles
that is currently based on length, engine displacement, engine type and ground clearance.

SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS


What are the objectives?

 The policy envisages propelling India as an automotive industry amongst the top three nations in the world.
 This is in terms of engineering, manufacturing and export of automotive vehicles and components.
 It aims at making India a globally competitive auto R&D and manufacturing hub.
 It also intends to make the automotive industry a major contributor to the country's manufacturing sector
GDP.
 It is also to aid achieving the targeted objectives of green mobility.

What are the key provisions?

 Import duty - The Policy proposes lowering of import duties.


o This applies to capital goods, equipment and machinery for manufacture of new technology
components.
o Companies will have to declare at the beginning of every financial year the volume of prototypes
planned to be imported.
o The import duty exemption to companies will be given only on this pre-declared volume.
 Green Mobility - The policy emphasizes fast-tracking widespread adoption of green mobility in India.

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o It calls for mandating a minimum share of green vehicles among those purchased by the government
and municipal agencies.
o Accordingly:
o central and state governments - 25% from 2023 and 75% from 2030
o municipal corporations in metros - 50% from 2023 and 100% from 2030
 Emission - The policy eyes adoption of a long-term roadmap for emission standards.
o It proposes to define emission standards that will be applicable after BS-VI.
o The standards will be with a target of harmonizing them with the most stringent global standards by
2028.
o Introduction of new norms will be initiated in 2026 with a 2-year phase-in period.
o It also envisions the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) norms till 2025 and beyond.
o These norms are for improving the average fuel economy of vehicles, and fix incentives or penalties.
 GeM portal - The draft policy suggests utilising the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal.
o This is to aggregate all green vehicle orders with standard specifications and enable bulk
procurement.
 Infrastructure - The policy recommends conducting a detailed study on requirement of public infrastructure
for green vehicles.
o This is to make the necessary infrastructure investments for green mobility.
 Skill development - The policy proposes improving the skill development and training eco-system.
o It advocates increasing the accountability of Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) to
achieve this.
o Performance based funding is suggested as a measure.
o Performance metrics include incremental employment generated, level of employment, curriculum
coverage, etc.
 Employment - The draft policy suggests ASDC to implement a Labour Market Information System (LMIS).
o This is to facilitate aggregated information of certified candidates.
o It also serves as a marketplace to match demand and supply of skilled labour.
o It thereby helps boost employment creation in the sector.
 Investment - The policy entails incentivising Public Private Partnership (PPP) based industry investments.
o This is particularly for research and development of commercially viable technologies through a
Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM).
o The policy also calls for encouraging FDI in the country's Automobile sector.
o This is proposed to be in coordination with Invest India to attract investments in identified areas.
o Initiating trade pacts with countries with attractive markets for Indian automotive exports is also
called for.
 Besides, the draft auto policy also suggests setting up of a 'technology acquisition fund'.
o It proposes creation of a nodal body with a two-tier structure having an Apex Body supported by the
National Automotive Council (NAC).
o The apex body will have government representatives as well as stakeholders nominated from the
industry and academia.

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THE HINDU INTERNATIONAL RELATION PAGE NEWS


NO NEWS RELEVANT FROM THIS SECTION

THE HINDU SCIENCE AND TECH. PAGE NEWS

NEW HEALTH SCHEME FLAWED: IMA

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,


Education, Human Resources.

Why this news is important?

 The Indian Medical Association has sought the review of National Health Protection Scheme- Ayushman
Bharat.

Important points to be noted are-

 The IMA demanded that the costing undertaken be transparent and be in public domain.
 The doctor’s body said the money allotted for the Ayushman Bharat — National Health Protection Scheme
(AB-NHPS) would have better served the country if every district hospital is strengthened with an
infrastructure of ₹2 crores each.
 The same money invested in our public hospitals would have brought secondary and tertiary care closer to
poor in our government hospitals.
 The doctors body said the rates quoted by the government for various procedures are abysmal and impractical
and most of them do not cover even 30% of the cost of the procedure.
 In the garb of cost-cutting, the government is exposing the people to danger in the hospitals.

Suggestions
 The IMA demanded that the costing undertaken should be made transparent and be put in public domain.
 District hospital should be allocated with 2 crore for better infrastructure and healthcare facility.
 IMA has suggested the government that NHPS should be modelled as healthcare purchase directly from the
provider hospitals removing the insurance companies and third party administrators.
 These intermediaries take off 40% of the budgeted money and are breeders of corruption and unethical
practices

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 Currently, Twenty States have signed MoUs with the Union Health Ministry to implement the government
national health protection mission.
 The mission aiming to provide a cover of ₹5 lakh per family annually to ten crore vulnerable families.

BATTLE READY: DHANUSH ARTILLERY GUN CLEARS FINAL TRIALS

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking
sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
 Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

Why this news is important?

 The indigenously upgraded artillery gun Dhanush has successfully completed final user trials and is ready for
induction into the Army.

Important points to be noted are-

 Dhanush is an upgraded version of the Swedish Bofors gun procured by India in the mid- 1980s.

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 During the trials, the guns travelled extensively in towed/ self-propelled mode in desert and high-altitude
terrains with each gun clocking over 1,000 km, demonstrating their mobility.

SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS


Three successful trials

 The first phase of trials was conducted between July and September 2016 at the Pokhran and Babina ranges
and the second phase was conducted between October and December 2016 at the Siachen base camp with
three guns
 This trial was the third and final phase of user exploitation firings in which six Dhanush guns were fired in a
battery formation from May 31 to June 7, 2018, at Pokhran field firing range.
 A total of 301 rounds were fired from the six guns, including burst fire.
 In all the three phases, a total of 1,520 rounds have been fired.
 During the trials, the guns traveled extensively in towed/self-propelled mode in desert and high-altitude terrains
with each gun clocking over 1,000 km demonstrating their mobility.
 The Dhanush project has received support and active cooperation from other ordinance factories and PSUs
such as SAIL, BEL, and many private sector companies.

Key-facts of dhanush

Dhanush, as an artillery system has proved to be one of the best amongst its class. It is capable of targeting at long
ranges incorporating autonomous laying features and having one of the most sophisticated suites of electronic and
computing systems in the world.

 Dhanush is a 155mm x 45mmcalibre artillery gun, with a strike range of 38 km and is also called the ‘desi
Bofors’.
 It is an upgraded version of the Swedish Bofors gun procured by India in the mid-1980s, developed by the
Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata.
 Besides features such as electronic gun-laying and sighting systems, the indigenous gun’s hitting range was 11
km more than the imported Bofors guns.
 Important specification of the Dhanush is given below:

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Length 45 caliber
Elevation 3 to 70 degree
Strike Range 38 kilometers
Indigenous component 80 percent
Crew 6 to 8
Breech Screw type
Recoil Electro-rheological/Magneto-rheological

What’s next ?

 The Ordnance Factory Board under the Department Production of Ministry of Defence has an indent from the
Army for 114 guns and will start supplying the guns on receipt of the Bulk Production Clearance (BPC).
 The OFB has already supplied six guns for battery firing during the user trials and another 12 guns will be issued
within a year on receipt of the BPC.
 The entire order of 114 guns is to be delivered within four years.
 The Board has undertaken capacity augmentation to manufacture over 400 barrels and 250 ordnances for large-
caliber weapons systems to meet the requirement.
 As of now, the gun has over 80% indigenous content, the imported systems include the power pack, parts of the
electronic suite, and some seals and bearings.

Benefits for india

 In Army: The Indian Army needs a huge number of howitzers of different types, and Indian firms, some in
partnership with foreign manufacturers, are in the race to fulfill the demand.
 Leading at world stage: Dhanush gun system has laid the foundations for India catapulting itself straight on to
the world stage, India will soon emerge as a leading Artillery Gun design and manufacturer in the form of
evolution of ATAGS, which would be the highly advanced version of Dhanush.
 Future potential: In future, it will potentially take over guns in this category. Dhanush’s long-range, light-weight
and automation features will help it immensely.

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DATE – June 19 2018


THE HINDU NATIONAL PAGE NEWS

DEBATE CAUVERY AUTHORITY IN PARLIAMENT: KUMARASWAMY

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,


Education, Human Resources.

Why this news is important?

 Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said that he wanted the constitution of the Cauvery Water
Management Authority to be discussed in Parliament to address “a couple of technical lacunae” in the
Supreme Court order.

Important points to be noted are-

 Mr. Kumaraswamy said Karnataka had a problem with some technical issues related to the Supreme Court
order on the terms and references of the management authority.
 “For example the authority will, every 10 days, review the water levels at our reservoirs, and also advise farmers
on cropping patterns. This, in my view, is not practical and also raises questions on the issue of federalism,
as water is a State subject,” he said.

SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS


What is the dispute?

 The Cauvery water dispute is an inter-state water dispute between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.

 Recently, there have been fresh disputes post SC verdict on sharing of Cauvery water between Tamil Nadu and
Karnataka and the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Authority.

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Constitutional Provisions and Legislations:

 The Constitutional Provision for Interstate water dispute has been laid down in Article 262

 The Article 262 provides for a specific law enacted by Parliament to adjudicate water disputes. It also bars
jurisdiction of all courts, including the Supreme Court, on the same.

 It is important to note that the extra-constitutional arrangements only relate to disputes regarding the use,
distribution or control of the waters of any inter-state river or river valley

 Therefore, disputes outside this ambit are not subject to Clause (1) of Article 262. Hence, the SC cannot be subject
to the limitation provided under Clause (2).

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Rationale behind Article 262- Constitution Assembly Debate

 River water is a fugitive resource; it does not belong to any one state. Therefore, effective adjudication on definite
property rights is not possible.

 Since water disputes concerns are not only related to private parties but the benefit of entire State, legal action is
not feasible.

Inter State Water Disputes Act, 1956:

In accordance to the Article 262, the Parliament enacted the Inter State Water Disputes Act in 1956.

Main features of the Act:

1. Any of the disputed parties (i.e. the States) may request the Central Government to refer the dispute to a tribunal
for adjudication.

2. The Central Government, if it is of opinion that the dispute cannot be settled by negotiation, shall refer the dispute
to a Tribunal.

3. Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and other courts in respect of the dispute referred to the Tribunal is barred.
(Section 11)

4. The Central Government may frame a scheme, to give effect to the decision of the Tribunal. The scheme may
provide for establishing an authority for implementing (Section 6A)

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GOVT. TO SET UP FIFTH NATIONAL DATA CENTRE

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications,


models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and
institutional and other measures.

Why this news is important?

 The centre is planning to setup fifth National Data Centres at Bhopal.

Important points to be noted are-

 The National Data Centre at Bhopal will be country’s biggest data centre with a capacity to host five lakh
virtual servers.
 This move will led Centre to expand BPO promotion scheme to 1 lakh seats from the current 48,000 seats.
 Under the initiative of BPO promotion scheme, 91 BPOs had been set up in small towns and rural areas till
now.
 Other four national data center is situated at Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune.
 The National Data Centre will be set up by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of
Electronics and Information Technology.
 The National Data Centre host the government websites, services and applications
 In the recent times the issue of data privacy and its protection has become important as the number of
Aadhaar has increased from 61 to 121 Crore.

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THE HINDU ECONOMY PAGE NEWS


RBI ALTERS ‘RELATIVE’ DEFINITION TO CHECK OUTWARD REMITTANCES

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and
employment.

Why this news is important?

 Concerned over funds sent abroad under the ‘maintenance of close relative’ category of the Liberalised
Remittance Scheme (LRS), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has narrowed the definition of relatives to check
the flow of funds.

Important points to be noted are-

Some of the Concerns

 Outward remittances under maintenance of close relatives shot up to almost $3 billion in 2017-18 from a
mere $174 million in 2013-14.
 In fact, funds sent under this category have more than doubled since 2015-16.
 It is possible that the facility [maintenance of relatives] under the Liberalised Remittances Scheme is used for
commercial purposes which is not its objective.

As per the new system

 RBI has introduced a system for daily reporting of individual transactions under the LRS by banks.
 This enables banks to view remittances already made by an individual during the fiscal, thus improving
monitoring and ensuring compliance.
 Since the system uses the Permanent Account Number of the remitter to aggregate remitter-wise data, the
central bank has made furnishing of PAN mandatory for such transactions.

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SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS


Foreign remittance

 A remittance is a transfer of money by a foreign worker to an individual in his or her home country
 Money sent home by migrants competes with international aid as one of the largest financial inflows to developing
countries
 Workers’ remittances are a significant part of international capital flows, especially with regard to labour-exporting
countries
 In 2014, $436 billion went to developing countries, setting a new record. Overall global remittances totaled $582
billion in 2015
 Some countries, such as India and China, receive tens of billions of US dollars in remittances each year from their
expatriates and diaspora
 In 2014, India received an estimated $70 billion and China an estimated $64 billion

The top recipient of remittances

 According to the world bank, India has retained the top position as a recipient of remittances with its diaspora
sending about $69 billion back home last year
 Remittances to India picked up sharply by 9.9%, reversing the previous year’s dip, but were still short of $70.4
billion received in 2014
 India continued to top in terms of receiving remittance, and was followed by China ($64 billion), the Philippines
($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion) and Egypt ($20 billion)
 Tha data is provided by the world bank in its latest Migration and Development Brief

Global trends

 The World Bank estimated that officially recorded remittances to low-and middle-income countries reached $466
billion in 2017. This was an increase of 8.5% over $429 billion in 2016
 Global remittances(which include flows to high-income countries) grew 7 per cent to USD 613 billion last year,
from USD 573 billion in 2016
 The upsurge is likely to continue into 2018 on the back of stronger economic conditions in advanced economies
(particularly the U.S.)
 and an increase in oil prices that should have a positive impact on the GCC countries
The possible reason behind this growth
 The stronger-than-expected recovery in remittances was driven by growth in Europe, Russia and the U.S
 The rebound in remittances, when valued in U.S. dollars, was helped by higher oil prices and a strengthening of
the Euro and the Ruble

Position of India’s neighbors

 Flows to Pakistan and Bangladesh were both largely flat in 2017, while Sri Lanka saw a small decline (-0.9%)
 In 2018, remittances to the region(South Asian) will likely grow modestly by 2.5%to $120 billion

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THE HINDU INTERNATIONAL RELATION PAGE NEWS

U.S. RENAMES PACIFIC COMMAND

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 India and its neighborhood- relations.


 Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s
interests
 Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian
diaspora.

Why this news is important?

 Indian and U.S. experts began consultation for the upcoming meeting (2+2 dialogue) between the Minister for
External Affairs and Defence with their U.S. counterparts.

Important points to be noted are-

Recent symbolism

 Indications emerging from the U.S. side is that they are keen to stress the importance given to India in its
Indo-Pacific strategy.
 The U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) was recently renamed Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), symbolic
of the significance U.S. attaches to India in the region.

Sale of drones

 The COMCASA will facilitate transfer of encrypted communications systems.


 The agreements are a key requirement by Washington for sharing h-tech military hardware, especially
armed drones which the U.S. is willing to supply to India.
 Sale of armed drones is high on the agenda of the 2+2 dialogue.
 New Delhi has shed its traditional reluctance and has been open to COMCASA, with both sides holding
several rounds of discussions in recent times.
 There have been widespread expectations that a broad understanding could be reached ahead of the 2+2
dialogue.
 However, India had concerns on some of the clauses and the language, which both sides would attempt to
address in the discussions.
 As part of improving high tech cooperation, India and the U.S. announced the ambitious Defence Technology
and Trade Initiative and India was designated a major defence partner. But it has not made any progress.

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THE HINDU SCIENCE AND TECH. PAGE NEWS

WHO RELEASES NEW GLOBAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new
technology.
 Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and
issues relating to intellectual property rights

Why this news is important?

 The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

Important points to be noted are-

 ICD-11 identifies health trends and statistics worldwide, and contains around 55,000 unique codes for injuries,
diseases and causes of death.
 ICD-11, which has been over a decade in the making, provides significant improvements on previous versions.
 Also for the first time, it is completely electronic and has a much more user-friendly format. And there has
been unprecedented involvement of health care workers who have joined collaborative meetings and
submitted proposals.
 The new ICD-11 also reflects progress in medicine and advances in scientific understanding. For example, the
codes relating to antimicrobial resistance are more closely in line with the Global Antimicrobial Resistance
Surveillance System (GLASS).
 ICD-11 is also able to better capture data regarding safety in health care, which means that unnecessary
events that may harm health – such as unsafe workflows in hospitals can be identified and reduced.
 The new ICD also includes new chapters- one on traditional medicine and another new chapter on sexual
health.
 Gaming disorder has been added to the section on addictive disorders.

SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS


What is ICD?

The ICD is the global health information standard for mortality and morbidity statistics.

 ICD is increasingly used in clinical care and research to define diseases and study disease patterns, as well as
manage health care, monitor outcomes and allocate resources. ICD has been translated into 43 languages.
 More than 100 countries use the system to report mortality data, a primary indicator of health status. This
system helps to monitor death and disease rates worldwide and measure progress towards the Millennium
Development Goals.

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 About 70% of the world’s health expenditures (USD $ 3.5 billion) are allocated using ICD for reimbursement and
resource allocation.

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DATE – June 20 2018


THE HINDU NATIONAL PAGE NEWS

GOVERNOR’S RULE: ARMY AND POLICE TO JOIN FORCES NOW

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the
federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein

Why this news is important?

 Kashmir is likely to witness a new wave of violence as target-specific military operations will go up in the
coming days with the State coming under Governor’s rule, said officials within the security establishment.

Important points to be noted are-

 The current trend shows that 2018 is on its way to become the bloodiest year in a decade.
 As many as 95 terrorists have been killed so far this year, and 40 security personnel and 38 civilians have
already died this year in violence.
 Last year, 57 civilians, 83 security force personnel and 218 terrorists lost their lives.
 Violence in the Valley has been climbing since 2014, after it began to recede starting 2008.

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What is Governor’s rule and how it is different for Jammu and Kashmir?

 The imposition of governor’s rule in J&K is slightly different than that in other states.

 In other states, the president’s rule is imposed under the Article 356 of Constitution of India.

 In J&K, governor’s rule is mentioned under Article 370 section 92 – ‘ Provisions in case of failure of constitutional
machinery in the State.’

 Here’s a look at provisions for Governor’s rule and the dispensation of duties under Article 370 section 92:
Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in the State.-

(1) If at any time, the *Governor is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the Government of the
State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the *Governor may by
Proclamation-

(a) assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any
of the powers vested in or exercisable by anybody or authority in the State;

(b) make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the *Governor to be
necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, including provisions
for suspending in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to
anybody or authority in the State:

Provided that nothing in this section shall authorise the *Governor to assume to himself
any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the High Court or to suspend in whole or in
part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to the High Court.

(2) Any such Proclamation may be revoked or varied by a subsequent Proclamation.

(3) Any such Proclamation whether varied under subsection (2) or not, shall except where it is a
Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation, cease to operate on the expiration of six months from
the date on which it was first issued.

(4) If the *Government or by a Proclamation under his section assumes, to himself any, of the powers of
the Legislature to make his laws, any law made by him in the exercise of that power shall, subject to, the
terms there of continue to have effect until two years have elapsed from the date on which the
proclamation ceases to have effect, unless sooner

(5) No Proclamation under this section shall, except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous
Proclamation, be laid before each House of the Legislature as soon as it is convened.

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RAJYA SABHA FAULT LINES CLEAR FOR DEPUTY CHAIRMAN POLL

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various


Constitutional Bodies.

Why this news is important?

 Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu set in motion the process of election of Deputy Chairman of the
Upper House, but the Opposition parties are yet to begin formal discussions on fielding a candidate.

Important points to be noted are-

Election of Deputy Chairman

 The election of a Deputy Chairman shall be held on such date as the Chairman may fix and the Secretary-
General shall send to every member notice of this date.
 At any time before noon on the day- preceding the date so fixed, any member may give notice in writing
addressed to the Secretary-General of a motion that another member be chosen as the Deputy Chairman of
the Council, and the notice shall be seconded by a third member and shall be accompanied by a statement by
the member whose name is proposed in the notice that he is willing to serve as Deputy Chairman if elected:
Provided that a member shall not propose or second more than one motion.
 A member in whose name a motion stands in the list of business may, when called, move the motion or not
move the motion, in which case he shall confine himself to a mere statement to that effect.
 The motions which have been moved and duly seconded shall be put one by one in the order in which they
have been moved and decided if necessary by division.
 If any motion is carried, the person presiding shall, without putting later motions, declare that the member
proposed in the motion which has been carried, has been chosen as the Deputy Chairman of the Council.

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THE HINDU ECONOMY PAGE NEWS

AIR INDIA PRIVATISATION PLAN SHELVED

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and
employment.

Why this news is important?

 After it failed to get any buyers for the debt-ridden national carrier, the government has decided not to
proceed with the privatization plan.
 Last year, Union Cabinet had given its nod for the disinvestment process

Important points to be noted are-

 The central government has decided to privatize Air India by inviting a bid process in March 2018.

 The government had offered to sell:


1. 76% of its stake in Air India
2. 50 % of share of low-cost subsidiary Air India Express in ground-handling arm AISATS as a single
entity.

 The government has delayed the disinvestment process due to:


1. The rising fuel prices
2. The government has not received any bids.

 Huge Debt and liabilities which accounts for approx. 33,000 crore
 The government continuation with ownership.
 Lack of clear road map.
 Obligation and benefits issue related to permanent and contractual employee.

Plan of action to revive of Air India include:

a. Improving Efficiencies by bringing private people to work with the airline


b. Cutting down costs.
c. Monetization of Air India assets.

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SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS


Privatization of Air India

 In 2000–01, attempts were made to re-privatize Air India. In 2007, Air India and Indian Airlines were merged
under Air India Limited
 The combined losses for Air India and Indian Airlines in 2006–07 were 7.7 billion and after the merger, it went
up to 72 billion by March 2009. By March 2011, Air India had accumulated a debt of 426 billion and was seeking
429 billion from the government.
 In 2013, the then-Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh stated privatization was the key to the airline’s survival,
however the call for privatization brought in strong opposition led by BJP and the CPI(M).
 Air India reported an operational loss of Rs. 246.14 crore in the April-June quarter of 2016.

What is the Need for Privatization?

 Everything that could possibly go wrong with a public sector company has gone wrong with Air India. It is
operationally inefficient and unable to compete with private sector operators.
 The airline has been grossly mismanaged over the years and now is being probed by the Central Bureau of
Investigation.
 Considering the financial dimension, the 2012 turnaround plan has not shown the desired results. The
government committed itself to infusing Rs42, 182 crore of equity between financial years 2011-12 and 2031-
32. However, the airline has not been able to achieve the targets set in the turnaround plan.
 As highlighted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, compared with the target of raising
Rs500 crore annually through monetization of assets in the four-year period from 2012-13 to 2015-16, the
company managed to raise only Rs64.06 crore.
 Similarly, it has not been able to meet the operational targets. The company has accumulated debt of about
Rs50, 000 crore out of which and is struggling to repay. The government will have to keep bailing out Air India
with taxpayers’ money if it decides to hold on to it.
 Considering the established norms of market economy, the government should not be in the business of
providing goods and services where the private sector has a vibrant presence. And this applies to all
businesses run by the government.

 Furthermore, the presence of state-owned enterprise distorts the market. A firm with access to government
finances and practically no fear of failing affects price discovery in the market and can hurt private sector
operators in the business.
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 Another point is, disinvesting the loss-making Air India will send a strong signal to investors that India is
serious about reforms and is no longer willing to throw good money after bad.
 This will also set an example and pave the way for disinvestment of other loss-making companies, such as
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL). There is no way that these
companies will be able to compete in India’s hyper-competitive telecom market.

Aspects to Ponder On

 As NITI Aayog Chairman Arvind Panagriya highlighted, the issue that comes with the privatization of the
airlines is the potential buyers. Whether only national buyers or the foreign buyers should also be allowed to
bid, is something that has to be decided on.
 Panagariya noted that another issue is if the government should retain some stake in it, however small,
“because there is the issue that it (Air India) is a national carrier and therefore, we should maintain that”.
 Thirdly, Mr. Panagriya stated that since the amount of debt is humongous, the debt issue has also to be taken
care of. The question largely is whether the government of India writes off the entire debt or some part of it.
 The government has fiscal constraints and needs to spend more in important areas such as health and
education. There is absolutely no rationale in exhausting resources in running a company like Air India
 The government will need to explore all the options as the status quo cannot continue for long.

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INDIA TO DEFEND GSP BENEFITS AT USTR

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and
employment.

Why this news is important?

 India is expected to challenge charges levelled against it by the U.S dairy and medical devices industries at a
hearing before the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office and defend its eligibility for benefits
under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme.

Important points to be noted are-

 The GSP programme provides for the duty-free treatment of designated articles when imported from
beneficiary developing countries to America.
 What is at stake is exports worth about $5 billion annually, of 1,937 products from India.

Concerns

 The USTR is reviewing India’s eligibility under the programme, after complaints from bodies representing the
dairy and medical devices industry.
 The USTR had accused India of implementing a wide array of trade barriers that create serious negative
effects on U.S. commerce.

Issues

 India requires that dairy products be derived from animals which have never consumed any feeds containing
internal organs, blood meal, or tissues of ruminant origin.
 In this regard, India has explained to the U.S that India’s position is based on religious, cultural and moral
grounds. India is committed to respect the religious and cultural beliefs of its people and it will be
inappropriate to impute any other considerations to this decision.
 India imports dairy products from countries such as Australia and Switzerland. India will tell the USTR that
this is not a question of market access but of certifications.

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THE HINDU INTERNATIONAL RELATION PAGE NEWS


‘INDIA STANDS FOR A MULTI-POLAR ORDER’

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Why this news is important?

 President Ram Nath Kovind emphasis upon maintaining multilateral commitments towards non-aligned
attitude against major power blocs in the world.

Important points to be noted are-

 President was speaking at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign policy in Athens.
 He also emphaised on following aspects:
 India is committed to an international order marked by robust, rule-based multilateral institutions, by multi-
polarity in international governance, and by investment and connectivity projects that are viable and
sustainable.
 President urged Europe to join hands with India , which is a “responsible power” to preserve globalization .
 As a responsible power, India seeks to be rule framer and rule custodian.
 The speech also highlighted syncretic connections between the European and Indian traditions of art,
politics and state formation.
 He described Greece and India as “sister civilizations” who have been part of the large family of humanity as
exemplified in the Indian notion of “Vasudhaiva kutumbakam”.

Meaning of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’:

 ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is a Sanskrit phrase found in Hindu texts such as the Maha Upanishad, which means
“the world is one family”.

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About Maha Upanishad:

 The Maha Upanishad is a Sanskrit text and is one of the minor Upanishads of Hinduism.
 The text is classified as a Vaishnava Upanishad.
 The text exists in two versions, one attached to the Atharvaveda in some anthologies, and another attached
to the Samaveda. The Atharvaveda version is shorter, and in prose. The Samaveda version is partly in poetic
verses.

THE HINDU SCIENCE AND TECH. PAGE NEWS

KERALITES FACE HIGHEST RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, FINDS STUDY

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
 Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new
technology.

Why this news is important?

 A study based on two recent national surveys of nearly 8,00,000 adults between 34 and 70 years, has found
that people of Kerala — across sexes — were most at risk of cardiovascular diseases while those in Jharkhand
were least likely to have the condition.

Important points to be noted are-

 Variation in risk of cardiovascular diseases among states


o Kerala has higher risk -19.5% compared to Jharkhand – 13.2%
 Variation in risk of cardiovascular diseases between genders
o Mean risk of men highest in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland – 24.23%
o Among women highest is in goa – 16.73%
 Adults in urban areas tended to have a greater cardiovascular risk.
o People living in urban areas in Kerala (19.90%) had the highest mean risk, followed by West Bengal
(19.12%) and Himachal Pradesh (18.97%).
o Daman and Diu had the lowest mean risk (12.60%), followed by Bihar (13.63%) and Arunachal Pradesh
(14.71%).
o But, goa has higher mean value in rural areas (18.92%) than the urban areas (18.79%).
o In Kerala the difference between highest mean risk in rural (19.23%) and urban areas (19.90%) is
meagre
 People with higher household wealth are at greater risk

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RARE SPECIES OF SPIDER FOUND AGAIN AFTER 150 YEARS

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Why this news is important?

 Scientists rediscovered after 150 years a rare species of spider, which was believed have become extinct, from
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) located in the Western Ghats region of Kerala.

Important points to be noted are-

 World famous Arachnologist Dr. Ferdinand Anton France Karsch of Berlin Zoological Museum, Germany, had
described the inventory of a species of spider from Periyej Lake in Gujarat in 1868.
 But subsequently, it had vanished.

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 The spider belonged to the family of jumping spiders (Salticidae) and scientifically named as Chrysilla
volupes.
 Karsch’s inventory was based only on male specimen.
 But this time they found both male and female spiders.
 This species is found in India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.

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DATE – June 21 2018


THE HINDU NATIONAL PAGE NEWS

‘PATTISEEMA SCHEME WILL HELP REVIVE KRISHNA DELTA’

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions

Why this news is important?

 The Andhra Pradesh government has released water from Pattiseema Lift Irrigation into the Krishna Eastern
Main Canal in Vijayawada.

Important points to be noted are-

2 important Issues

 Delay in releasing water to crops in Krishna Delta due to increasing number of reservoirs and barrages in
Maharashtra and Karnataka
 As a result, crops are often destroyed due to cyclones hitting the state in November

Some of the Benefits of the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme:

 Facilitate revival of Krishna Delta which has dried up and turned saline in recent times
 Facilitate revival of Krishna River into a perennial river
 Address the problem of drought and drinking water shortage in the state.

About Polavarm project:

It was declared as a national project under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 and was being funded
by the Union Government. It is being built on Godavari River.

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INDIA’S FIRST RIVER INTERLINKING PROJECT CAUGHT IN U.P.-M.P. TUSSLE

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications,


models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and
institutional and other measures.

Why this news is important?

 Number of issues has been hindering the Ken-Betwa Project- the first river-interlinking project in India

Important points to be noted are-

Benefits:

 Irrigate drought-prone areas of Bundelkhand Region and adjoining areas


 Meeting drinking water needs

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Major Issues:

 The dispute over water sharing


 The dispute over water sharing between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh during the Rabi season
 Madhya Pradesh declined the assumptions of 2005 agreement between U.P and M.P on water sharing
 Madhya Pradesh has demanded inclusion of local water management projects to meet the water needs. These
projects are included in the 2nd phase and inclusion in the 1st phase would require fresh environmental
appraisals.
 Acquiring non-forest land; environmental concerns
 The project involves deforesting a large portion of the Panna Tiger reserve

SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS


What is interlinking necessary?

 The interlinking of the Ken River in Madhya Pradesh with the Betwa in Uttar Pradesh is finally seeing the light of
the day.
 This multipurpose project is meant to create additional irrigation potential of 600,000 hectares, provide drinking
water to 1.34 million people and produce 60 MW of power.
 The endorsement of this project, more importantly, sets the tone for similar clearances to many other river-
connecting proposals to transfer surplus water from river basins to deficient ones for equitable distribution of
water across the country.
 The idea of a national network of interconnected rivers is over a century old.
 Interlinking all Indian rivers is loaded with potential gains, such as additional 35 million hectares irrigation and
34,000 MW of power generation.
 Other benefits include flood control, navigation, fisheries and domestic water supply.

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What are the other linkage projects?

 Ken-Betwa project will be the first among the 30 linkages proposed by the water resources ministry under its
national water plan.
 The Godavari and Krishna rivers have already been linked with the Pattiseema scheme in Andhra Pradesh in 2015.
 The other inter-basin river linkages executed earlier included Sarda-Sahayak, Beas-Sutlej, Kurnool-Cuddapah,
Periyar-Vaigai and Telugu Ganga.

What are the hurdles involved in these projects?

 Apart from the environmental, financial and feasibility impediments, the implementation of projects on such a
mammoth scale may pose many situation-specific glitches, including population dislocation, which may be hard
to surmount.
 Besides, building a political consensus to take up inter-state water linkages may not be as easy since water is a
state subject.
 Even in the case of the Ken-Betwa project, the government will need to be watchful of its adverse fallout on the
Panna tiger reserve, a part of which is anticipated will be submerged.
 This bodes ill for some critical animal species such as tigers, vultures and gharial.
 Though the project sets apart 5 per cent of its budget exclusively for conservation and rehabilitation of this
sanctuary, the action plan for this purpose will have to be result-oriented.

What is the water quantity condition in India?

 India is not an inherently water-short country.


 Its total annual rainfall of around 120 cm, including 89 cm during the monsoon season, is well above the global
average of around 100 cm.
 If the bulk of this water, especially that falling during the monsoon, can be prevented from running off to the sea,
eroding precious top soil in its wake, and can, instead, be distributed fairly, no part of the country will remain water-
starved.
 However, the geological, ecological and environmental aspects of such a massive redistribution of water cannot
be disregarded.

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SHILLONG BAGS SMART CITY TAG

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications,


models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and
institutional and other measures.

General Studies 2

 Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Why this news is important?

 As the Smart Cities Mission enters its fourth year, the Centre has finally announced the 100th and the last
city which will be part of the project: Shillong.

Important points to be noted are-

 This announcement also sets the end date for the mission as June 2023, as every city gets five years to complete
its projects.
 The first 20 cities were selected in January 2016, and they should now be at the halfway point of their mission.
 The total proposed investment in the 100 cities will be Rs.2.05 lakh crore, according to a statement by the Ministry
of Housing and Urban Affairs.
 Until May 2018, about 2.5% of that amount — Rs.5,225 crore — has been spent on 316 completed projects.
 Another 632 projects are under implementation, at a cost of about Rs.25,000 crore.
 Each selected city is required to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle which will actually carry out the mission, a
process that takes at least six months.

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SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS


What is Smart City?

 There is no universally accepted definition of a smart city.


 The conceptualisation of Smart City varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of
development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of the city residents.
 To provide for the aspirations and needs of the citizens, urban planners ideally aim at developing the entire
urban eco-system, which is represented by the four pillars of comprehensive development-institutional,
physical, social and economic infrastructure.
 This can be a long term goal and cities can work towards developing such comprehensive infrastructure
incrementally, adding on layers of ‘smartness’.

What are the concerns?

 A major share of the Centre’s investment in the Mission will flow to well-developed pockets that account for less
than 3% of the cumulative area of the cities.
 One of the objectives of the Smart City Mission was to act as a corrective to a lopsided developmental pattern.
 The mission intended to create employment and enhance incomes for all, especially the poor and disadvantaged
leading to inclusive cities. This emphasis on inclusive development has been diluted.
 Only 26 of the cities selected have plans to provide affordable housing, education and medical facilities.
 The city development plans have not been aligned with some of the government’s employment-generating
initiatives.
 The government does have plans to promote start-ups and infrastructure projects. But these projects are
concentrated in tiny pockets in the selected cities.
 Smart city plans have also not found a way to deal with recurring problems.
 For instance, Guwahati has no effective plan to deal with floods that ravage it every year

THE HINDU ECONOMY PAGE NEWS

PM REAFFIRMS PROMISE TO RAISE FARM INCOME

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and
employment.
 Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation
systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints;
e-technology in the aid of farmers

Why this news is important?

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 At a time of acute agrarian distress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in glowing terms of his government’s
schemes and programmes in a video interaction with farmers from nine States.

Important points to be noted are-

 Reiterating the government’s promise to double farmers’ income by 2022, Mr. Modi said the budget allocation for
agriculture between 2014 and 2019 was Rs. 2.12 lakh crore, almost double the amount — Rs. 1.21 lakh crore —
allocated in the previous five years by the UPA government.

SOME BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS

Doubling Farmer Income by 2022


What are the flaws?

 No New Ideas - The plan is little more than a mere repackaging of the ongoing agricultural development
schemes.
 Productivity - It is focused more on raising farm productivity than on improving the profitability of farming.
 This disregards the fact that higher farm output does not necessarily lead to higher income.
 Bumper harvests have in fact often caused a slide in prices.
 Marginal Farming - Income from increasing output can at best be only marginal because land holdings of
most farmers are too small.
 Thereby, they can’t produce sizeable marketable surpluses.
 Growth Rate - Doubling of income by 2022, from current levels would require an estimated income growth of
over 10% annually.
 Such acceleration is hard to come by through the productivity route alone.

What are priority areas?

 More emphasis on various lucrative farm and not-farm economic activities that find a passing mention in
the plan is needed.
 These can include, among others, high-value farming involving horticulture, floriculture, herbal farming
and farm forestry.
 Allied activities, including novel ventures such as rabbit and quail rearing can also be promoted.
 Waste reduction and value-addition of farm produce with effective market support could help enhance
incomes.
 Also, the creation of off-farm employment in rural sectors needs to be established.

What are the policy changes required?

 A stable policy regime governing agricultural pricing and trade needs to be established.
 Trading - The current pricing policies seem to have a pro-consumer bias, dictated chiefly by the need to
keep inflation down.
 This spurs uncalled for interventions such as frequent opening and shutting of imports and exports of
farm goods and imposition of stockholding and other curbs on trade.
 This needs to change to ensure a balance of produce and consumer interests.
 Prices - As minimum support price (MSP) mechanism has failed to show results, it needs to be
supplemented with other measures.

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 One such is the price deficit reimbursement scheme of Madhya Pradesh that seeks to compensate
farmers for any shortfall in realising the MSP.

THE HINDU INTERNATIONAL RELATION PAGE NEWS

INDIA, SOUTH KOREA TO ALIGN POLICIES FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 India and its neighborhood- relations.


 Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s
interests
 Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian
diaspora

Why this news is important?

 India and South Korea will align their policies for the region during the visit of South Korean President Moon
Jae-in to India in July 2018, a senior South Korean diplomat said.

Important points to be noted are-

 In November 2017, Mr. Moon unveiled the “New Southern policy” aimed at deepening ties with southeast
Asia as part of efforts to diversify trade.
 This complements the Modi government’s Act East Policy of deepening strategic ties with southeast Asian
nations.

CHINA OFFERS TO BOOST TIES BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 India and its neighborhood- relations.


 Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s
interests
 Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian
diaspora

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Why this news is important?

 Without explicitly proposing a trilateral dialogue among India, Pakistan and China, Beijing offered to
“strengthen” its cooperation with New Delhi and Islamabad to bolster “stability” in the region.

Important points to be noted are-

 The recently concluded SCO summit in Qingdao saw India and Pakistan participate as full members.
 Official sources said that India was exploring the possibility of connectivity to Central Asia through the
Pakistan-Afghan corridor, under the SCO framework.

OLI’S CHINA VISIT TO FOCUS ON CONNECTIVITY

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

 India and its neighborhood- relations.


 Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s
interests
 Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian
diaspora

Why this news is important?

 Nepal’s Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s visit to China will focus on advancing cross-border connectivity,
including through a railway corridor to Kathmandu, which could be extended to India in the future.

Important points to be noted are-

 Nepal has been seeking improved connectivity with China via Tibet, after New Delhi was accused of
blockading essential supplies across the India-Nepal border in 2015.
 Oli has been trying to establish a balance between Nepal’s ties with India and China, which has also included
symbolic gestures such as choosing to visit New Delhi first after becoming Prime Minster for the second
time.
 Oli pointed out that Nepal had recently proposed some infrastructure projects covering roads, railway,
energy, transmission lines with China under the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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THE HINDU SCIENCE AND TECH. PAGE NEWS

TOOTHPASTES CONTRIBUTE TO ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE

TOPIC:

General Studies 3

 Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

Why this news is important?

 A common ingredient found in toothpastes and hand washes could be contributing to the rise of antibiotic
resistant bacteria, a study has found.

Important points to be noted are-

 The study, led by Jianhua Guo from University of Queensland in Australia, focused on triclosan, a compound
used in more than 2,000 personal care products.
 While it was well-known the overuse and misuse of antibiotics could create ‘superbugs’, researchers were
unaware that other chemicals could also induce antibiotic resistance until now.
 Antimicrobial resistance has become a major threat to public health globally with about 700,000 people a year
dying from superbug infections.

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