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Day: January 13, 2018

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[13 Jan 2018 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority News Items of the Day:

CBI books AIIMS official, others for corruption

The Central Bureau of Investigation registered a corruption case against an All-India Institute of Medical Sciences official, a supplier and others for alleged allocation of 17 tenders using forged documents.

Corruption is a serious issue. But no need to go after individual corruption cases, because the UPSC don’t ask questions on them.

 

The ghosts of Adichanallur

Her features weren’t well defined but her body conveyed a symbolism. Her large hips were emphasised by what appeared to be a skirt or perhaps an oddiyanam — a belt-like jewellery. The long, dangling earrings she wore seemed typical of the Tirunelveli region of Tamil Nadu.

The Op-Ed talks about research of some ancient historical site. These kind of articles are not important from the UPSC exam.


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[ATAD] A Tikdam A Day: On ISRO

Tikdams = तिकड़म = Smart Hacks for IAS Prelims

Tikdams are smart hacks which help you arrive at the right answer with just the basic knowledge. With Dr. Vipin Garg (IAS) closely monitoring the quality of our Flagship Prelims 2018 TS, we thought it would be good to have our users get a first-hand idea of how you can develop this habit daily!


Here’s the question of the day: 

Consider the following statements about the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC):
1. It is the leading centre of ISRO for design, development, fabrication and testing of all Indian made satellites
2. It is situated in Bangalore, Karnataka
3. The centre has produced more than 90 satellites including the INSAT series, the IRS series, as well as the GSAT communication satellites
Which of the statement/s above is/are correct? Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 2 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Inspired by: ISRO mulls launching 65 satellites for a slew of uses

Tikdam:

Just looking at the name of the organisation, you can easily gauge that option 1 and 3 should be correct. Option 2 is suspicious if you don’t know about it. But just look for a combination of probable correct options. That’s only available in (d).

So, even with limited knowledge on the topic, you could have arrived at the exact answer.


Liked the way we solved it?

With Prelims on June 3, you would benefit a lot from joining our Flagship 2018 TS: 3200 ques with 600+ tikdams!

Judiciary Institutional Issues Constitution

Four SC judges air differences with CJI Misra

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: It is first-of-its-kind incident in the history of Indian Judiciary.


News

Allegations by the four judges

  1. The revelation at the press conference came a couple of hours after a Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra heard the Loya petition
  2. Without naming any, Justice Chelameswar(one of the four judges) said that several other important cases like this had been assigned to preferred Benches over the past months

What is the issue of contention?

  1. The convention of the court demands that important cases of public interest or sensitive matters should be first heard by the CJI
  2. If the CJI is not willing for some reason to hear the case, it should be assigned to the next senior-most judge in the Supreme Court
  3. Instead of that, such cases were assigned to certain Benches and eventually given a quiet burial
Foreign Policy Watch: India-Middle East

Ties with India intact, says Israeli Ambassador

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The statement from the Israeli official is important, as India has recently voted against Israel at the UNGA.


News

Israel statement on India

  1. Israeli officials has said that India’s vote at the United Nations General Assembly against the American recognition of Jerusalem as its capital would not affect its ties with India
  2. Background: Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: India votes against US at United Nations

Why is this important?

  1. Israeli PM will soon visit India and will be accompanied by a 130-member business delegation and Baby Moshe, an Israeli survivor of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai

[op-ed snap] A perfect storm of uncertainty

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Government Budgeting

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Issue(related to the GST) of revenue estimation before the annual financial statement.


News

What is one of the important issues before upcoming Union Budget?

  1. As with several of the problems plaguing the economy currently, the biggest issue is the goods and services tax (GST)
  2. The immediate aftermath of the complexity of complying with the fledgling GST meant that the government had to very early on extend the various return-filing deadlines
  3. And even do away with the need to file some key forms, which skewed its ability to get a proper handle on the expected revenue from the GST
  4. The final set of deadlines for GST filing are such that, come Budget time, the government will only have preliminary data to estimate its revenue position

Issues with deadlines

  1. Not only is this deadline uncomfortably close to the Budget presentation date for the revenue figures to be properly incorporated, but the data period itself is too small to estimate the trend for the year

Reason behind the uncertainty(related to the GST)

  1. In order to ease the compliance burden, the government removed the need to file two key forms — GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 — while filing returns
  2. The way these forms work is that a company files GSTR-1 for outward supplies to other companies, and GSTR-2 for inward supplies
  3. It is only after matching the data in the two forms that the quantum of input tax credits to be refunded to the companies can be computed accurately
  4. Doing away with the GSTR-2 form indefinitely means that there is substantial uncertainty surrounding the quantum of input tax credits to be paid, which again puts the government’s revenue estimates on a shaky footing
  5. So, not only does the government have data for only the first three or four months of the GST regime, but even that data are unreliable
    Why: because input tax credits can’t be matched, rates were drastically changed following that period, and the data are unlikely to reflect all the business activity since many likely missed their filing deadline
  6. All of this makes estimating GST revenue for the next financial year that much tougher

This uncertainty will affect other parts of the budget

  1. The Budget has to do with more than simply estimating revenue
  2. It also has to do with planning expenditure. It stands to reason that if a government is having trouble estimating its revenue for the coming year, then its expenditure projections are going to be shaky too

[op-ed snap] The 6.5% warning

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Growth

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The newscard discusses the issue of investment with some examples of the past.


News

Effect of the GST on Indian Growth

  1. The GDP forecast for FY 2018 of 6.5 per cent does not come as a surprise
  2. The introduction of a Goods and Services Tax, even in its cleanest and simplest form, would have inevitably led to disruption in any economy

What is the main issue?

  1. The central problem is the decline in investment
  2. The bigger challenges for the economy are the problems that have just begun to be solved

What can we learn from the past?

  1. Investment did not start declining immediately after the global financial crisis in 2008, but with a lag
  2. For a couple of years, the economy was held up by expansionary fiscal and monetary policy, and the momentum of the previous year
  3. But since 2012, the demand shock seems to have caught up with us
  4. Investment in the Indian economy has declined from 34.3 per cent of the GDP in 2011-12 to 27 per cent of the GDP in 2016-17
    Solutions tried at that time
  5. First, a large and increasing number of stalled projects was seen to be the reason for the slowdown in investment
  6. There was consequently an attempt to address this issue by reviving stalled projects
  7. But the problem didn’t go away
  8. Next, it was felt that private investment could be increased by raising public investment
  9. This strategy had limited effect. Public investment increased but at a much slower pace than expected
  10. The government’s ability to write good contracts and give out projects was limited by bureaucratic hurdles, government contracting systems and procurement rules
  11. Meanwhile, bank financing had also run into trouble

Issues with the financing system

  1. It was very hard to identify the bad guys who had run away with the money(of the banks)
  2. The good guys who were given time to return the money kept pushing repayment dates further
  3. Banks failed to recognise poorly performing assets as non-performing and the regulator was negligent
    Efforts done to counter this situation
  4. The Bankruptcy Code and the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill are a strategy for addressing this problem
  5. They are critical elements of trying to untangle the mess we are in and to address the huge problems being faced today in the banking and corporate sector that have brought investment to a sharp decline
  6. These are not popular measures
  7. Nor are they quick-fixes
  8. The 12 cases that the RBI has sent to the the bankruptcy process could lead to haircuts and losses that cause a number of banks to become unable to meet their capital adequacy requirements in the coming quarter
  9. To prevent this from happening, Rs 2.11 lakh crore is being put into bank recapitalisation

What should be done?

  1. A critical requirement for investment growth is the availability of non-bank finance
  2. There has been discussion about a corporate bond market that could provide funds to industry, particularly big industry
  3. The creation of a well-functioning government bond market with a public debt management agency and integration with equity markets was proposed in the March 2015 Budget
  4. This proposal was rolled back to give the RBI time to work with the Ministry of Finance on a transition plan
  5. As a critical element of facilitating finance for investment, this work needs to be prioritised
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