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Year: 2016

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[Prelims 2017] Launching Flagship Batch 2


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3 Dec 2016 | Prelims Daily with Previous Year Questions & Tikdams

Q.3) Consider the following statements in regard with ‘Climate Vulnerable Forum’ (CVF)
1. CVF is an international partnership of countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet.
2. The Forum serves as a South-South cooperation platform for participating governments to act together to deal with global climate change.
3. India is a member of the Climate Vulnerable Forum.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 2 only
d) 1,2 and 3


Click this to attempt 4 more questions and 3 Previous Year Questions + Get Solutions at 8 PM

RBI Notifications Finance and Banking

Centre takes steps to drain excess cash

  1. What: The Centre has decided to increase the limit of bonds that can be issued under a market stabilisation scheme (MSS)
  2. Reason: To mop up excess liquidity from the banking system arising out of its demonetisation move

Note4students:

This news is of minor importance, just make sure you understand terms such as bonds and market stabilisation scheme.

Back2basics:

The MSS scheme was launched in April 2004 to strengthen the RBI’s ability to conduct exchange rate and monetary management. The bills/bonds issued under the MSS would have all the attributes of the existing treasury bills and dated securities. However, unlike regular bonds, these are not issued to meet the government’s expenditure and the funds raised are kept in a separate cash account. As a result, their issuance will have a negligible impact on the fiscal deficit of the government.

India eyes manufacturing podium

  1. Source: Girish Shankar, Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Department of Heavy Industries
  2. Views: The govt has set a target for India to emerge as the third-largest manufacturing country in the world from its sixth rank currently
  3. India’s ranking among the world’s 10 largest manufacturing countries has already improved by three places to sixth position in 2015
  4. This sector accounts for around 17% of the country’s GDP
  5. The govt in its New Manufacturing Policy (NMP) aims to increase this share to 25% by 2022

Note4students:

You should be familiar with the share of each sector in India’s GDP. Policies such as NMP are important from a mains perspective.

Back2basics:

The National Manufacturing Policy was released in 2011, with the objective of enhancing the share of GDP in manufacturing to 25% within a decade and creating 100 million jobs. It seeks to create appropriate skill sets among the rural migrant and urban poor to make growth inclusive. Increase domestic value addition and technological depth‘ in manufacturing. It will also ensure sustainability of growth from an environmental perspective.

Aadhaar critical step in enabling fairer access: U.N.

  1. Source: 2016 Report on the World Social Situation, released by the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
  2. Findings: India’s unique identification programme Aadhaar is a “critical” step in enabling fairer access to govt services
  3. It has “tremendous potential” for fostering inclusion by giving all people, including the poorest and most marginalised, an official identity
  4. Fair and robust systems of legal identity and birth registration are recognised in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as an important foundation for promoting inclusive societies
  5. The theme of this year’s report is ‘Leaving No One Behind — The Imperative of Inclusive Development’

Note4students:

Name of the report can be useful from prelims perspective. The 2030 Agenda is also important. The reports findings are supportive of the govt’s thrust on Aadhaar compliance, despite the concerns about privacy.

Back2basics:

The UN DESA is guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 associated targets adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 Sept 2015. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and include goals such as eradicating poverty by 2030.

NGOs vs. GoI: The Conflicts and Scrutinies Indian Polity

U.S. House to hold hearing on Indian curbs on Christian NGO

  1. Event: The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee hearing
  2. Why: On restrictions imposed by the Narendra Modi government on American charity Compassion International (CI)
  3. India had in March 2016 stopped the flow of funds from CI to around 250 organisations it wanted to support in the country this year
  4. Reason: Indian security agencies say the funds were being used for religious conversions
  5. It partially lifted the restrictions in October, allowing ten organisations to receive funds from CI
  6. Reason: Secretary of State John Kerry took up the matter with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
  7. Many members of the U.S. govt want the restrictions to be relaxed further

Note4students:

This news demonstrates how our internal security can be impacted due to pressure from other countries. Even though such religious conversions frequently cause communal violence, but the govt. has to give in to pressure from a superpower and an ally like the U.S. It also shows how a country like the U.S., a self proclaimed defender of ideals like democracy and secularism, openly sides with its religious organisations.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-China Bilateral Relations

New Delhi nod for Karmapa’s Arunachal visit

  1. What: The govt allowed Urgyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, to address a public gathering at Mon in Arunachal Pradesh
  2. The Gyalwang Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism
  3. He escaped from Tibet in 2000
  4. Recently the govt has allowed the U.S Ambassador to India and the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh
  5. 6 months ago the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by PM Modi, allowed the Karmapa to travel abroad

Note4students:

This news item can be important from a culture perspective – terms such as Gyalwang Karmapa, Tibetan Buddhism. The other importance is from point of view of China’s claims on Arunachal Pradesh – the news shows how the govt has recently become more aggressive in countering Chinese claims.

Back2basics:

Tibetan Buddhism combines the essential teachings of Mahayana Buddhism with Tantric and Shamanic, and material from an ancient Tibetan religion called Bon. Although Tibetan Buddhism is often thought to be identical with Vajrayana Buddhism, they are not identical – Vajrayana is taught in Tibetan Buddhism together with the other vehicles.

Buddhism became a major presence in Tibet towards the end of the 8th century CE. It was brought from India at the invitation of the Tibetan king, Trisong Detsen. At present Tibetan Buddhism is a religion in exile, forced from its homeland when Tibet was conquered by the Chinese.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Afghanistan Bilateral Relations

Modi, Ghani to discuss terror, defence

  1. Event: Heart of Asia conference on Sunday
  2. India and Afghanistan, the co-chairs of this year’s conference, will seek to corner Pakistan on their common problem of cross-border terrorism
  3. A major focus for the conference will be developing trade routes to Afghanistan
  4. There is major competition brewing between India’s plans for the Chabahar port in Iran and China and Pakistan’s development of the Gwadar Port
  5. India is part of a trilateral trade agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan which involves the Chabahar port
  6. In time the port will connect to the International North South Transport corridor (INSTC) of railway and roadways to Russia, Central Asia and Europe
  7. India is seeking to attract other countries to the project
  8. However, work on the Chabahar port has yet to take off, and the trilateral agreement has not been ratified yet
  9. On the other hand CPEC has made considerable progress

Note4students:

The Chabahar port project demonstrates a fatal weakness of India’s foreign policy – execution. While we are part of a no. of organisations in our neighborhood from SAARC to BIMSTEC, none of them have achieved their goals due to a lack of execution of projects by India.

All terms mentioned in this article have been in the news for many years. If you have been studying well and revising your notes, there should be nothing new here. Scroll down in the India-Afganisthan story to revise this topic.

Electoral Reforms In India Indian Polity

EC must consider state funding of polls: Nirmala

  1. Source: Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
  2. She said the Election Commission of India (ECI) needs to look into the proposal for state funding of elections
  3. Reason: To combat the influence of cash and black money in them

Note4students:

State funding of elections and other electoral reforms such as one state and national election have been in the news frequently these past few months. They are important for mains.

Back2basics:

State funding essentially means the state shall provide funds to political parties to contest elections, and in return, there are restrictions on their accepting funds from public sources. State funding is a concept designed to reduce corruption. Some govt committees which have looked at state funding of elections in the past are:

1. The Committee on Constitutional Reforms and the Law Commission (2015)

2. Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2008)

3. National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2001)

Kehkashan Basu, UAE-based Indian teen, wins Children’s Peace Prize

  1. What: Kehkashan Basu was awarded the prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize
  2. Why: Ms. Basu is being honoured for the work done by her child-run organisation Green Hope
  3. It has managed several successful environmental projects, including planting 5,000 trees in Colombia, France, Mexico, Nepal, Oman and the United States.
  4. It is based in the UAE, and has more than 1,000 volunteers in 10 countries around the world
  5. Past winners include Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai

Note4students:

Importance is only from prelims perspective, given the Indian connection. Note the name of the organisation and the name of the prize.

Back2basics:

The  International Children’s Peace Prize is awarded annually to an exceptional child, whose courageous or otherwise remarkable actions have made a difference in improving children’s rights, which helps children worldwide. The motivation behind the prize is to provide a platform to children to express their ideas and personal involvement in children’s rights.

The prize was launched by KidsRights during the 2005 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates at the Capitol in Rome, chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev. Since then, the prize has been presented every year by a Nobel Peace Laureate.

Defence Sector – DPP, Missions, Schemes, Security Forces, etc. Security Issues

Navy says no to Tejas variant

  1. Source: Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba
  2. What: The indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas does not meet requirements
  3. Reason: The current weight of the Naval LCA with the underpowered engine does not allow it to fly from a carrier
  4. This effectively means the end of the road for the fighter’s Naval variant as the service is looking at the global market for its needs
  5. The Naval LCA made its maiden flight in April 2012 and two prototypes are currently undergoing flying as part of the development

Note4students:

Tejas has been inducted into the IAF. But the Navy’s rejection shows that India has just begun to get rid of its dependence on other nations for its defence needs. It also impacts Make in India.

Back2basics:

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft of its class. It is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.

In the early eighties, it was realised that no organisation existed which had the total capability to develop such an aircraft all on its own. The last time an indigenous fighter aircraft, the HF 24 flew was in 1961. Since then, the HF 24 assembly line had been shut down and the design team had been wound up. The only way left was to develop an aircraft from scratch.

To better accomplish these goals, the government of India in 1984 decided to establish the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to manage the LCA programme. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, (HAL) was to be the principal partner with participation of various DRDO & CSIR Laboratories, Public & private sector industries and academic institutions.

[op-ed snap] Regulating lightly

  1. Investment and innovation in the digital sector has generated enormous opportunities for the Indian economy
  2. For all the benefits it brings to the economy, consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses, it has flagged a number of new challenges for regulators
  3. Competition Commission of India recognises its critical role in encouraging innovation in this growing area of the economy
  4. Owing to low barriers to entry and high levels of innovation, companies have to work harder than ever to keep customers
  5. Customers can easily switch their allegiance to a better or cheaper competitor
  6. Regulators have to protect competition in their own jurisdiction, focus on domestic consumers rather than competitors
  7. Tech progressive countries like the US and Canada have taken a cautious approach to tech interventions
  8. Longstanding, high-profile tech-related investigations continue in Europe
  9. Indian tech companies such as Flipkart, Zomato, MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Snapdeal, Justdial, Paytm, and others, are growing
  10. Economy is poised on an accelerated growth trajectory mainly due to the country’s technology sector
  11. Indian government is working hard to encourage investment and bring rapid expansion in the technology sector

Back2Basics:

  • CCI: Competition is the best means of ensuring that the ‘Common Man’ or ‘Aam Aadmi’ has access to the broadest range of goods and services at the most competitive prices

With increased competition, producers will have maximum incentive to innovate and specialize. This would result in reduced costs and wider choice to consumers. A fair competition in market is essential to achieve this objective. The goal is to create and sustain fair competition in the economy that will provide a ‘level playing field’ to the producers and make the markets work for the welfare of the consumers.

CCI consists of a Chairperson and 6 Members appointed by the Central Government.

Note4Students:

With increasing focus on digitalization, competition becomes imperative. Therefore, it can be one of the probable questions in UPSC, and hence the op-ed. There was an essay question on competition some years back in UPSC wherein you can introduce multiple angles

Is the growing level of competition good for the youth? -2014

[op-ed snap] Making of a Legislative court

  1. Background: SC’s order to play national anthem before films start at cinema halls all over the country, and those present in these halls are obliged to stand up to show respect
  2. In another case, SC is considering making yoga compulsory in schools
  3. While patriotism, education and health may be desirable goals, what is common here is the court compulsorily prescribing highly specific modes of pursuing these lofty aims
  4. Mode of argument: Pesky Fundamental Rights have to be made subservient to the higher ideals of national integration and/or social revolution
  5. 3 attributes of such judicial decisions:
  6. All such cases are in the PIL; they rely on FD and/or an expanded notion of Directive Principles, with a barely concealed contempt for Fundamental Rights; and, the judges do not feel any need to justify their decisions in legal terms
  7. November 26 was celebrated as ‘Constitution Day’, focus on the UGC being to make students and teachers engage in propagating Fundamental Duties
  8. No such Duties existed in the original Constitution adopted on November 26, 1949
  9. These provisions were incorporated by 42nd amendment to the Constitution during the Emergency
  10. Official aim of 42nd amendment included giving Directive Principles “precedence over those Fundamental Rights that had frustrated the Principles’ implementation”

Back2Basics:

  1. PIL: Public-Interest Litigation is litigation for the protection of the public interest.
  2. In Indian law, Article 32 of the Indian constitution contains a tool which directly joins the public with judiciary.
  3. A PIL may be introduced in a court of law by the court itself (suo motu), rather than the aggrieved party or another third party.
  4. For the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction, it is not necessary for the victim of the violation of his or her rights to personally approach the court.
  5. In a PIL, the right to file suit is given to a member of the courts through judicial activism. The member of the public may be a non-governmental organization (NGO), an institution or an individual.

Note4Students:

Judicial Activism has always been an important topic for Mains as well as Prelims. The National Anthem debate has sparked a dialogue on the Fundamental Rights vs. Fundamental Duties. A day ago, we asked an ethical question around this theme of “symbolism for patriotism” in Target Mains (GS4). Click here if you want to visit Target Mains

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