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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | PDF Download

Date: 01 May 2019

MCQ 1

  • According to muslim culture the headgears worn by females are
  1. Burqa
  2. Niqab
  3. Hijab
  4. Chador

(A) 1 & 3

(B) 1,2,3

(C) 1 only

(D) All

MCQ 2

  • Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju are related to
  1. Judiciary
  2. Sports
  3. Politics
  4. Movies

MCQ 3

  1. Bharat Script is a unified script for nine Indian languages which is being proposed as a common script for India.
  2. A team of researcher at IIT-Madras headed by Professor V. Srinivasa Chakravarthy, developed a method for reading documents using a multi-lingual optical character recognition (OCR) scheme.
  • Choose correct

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both

(D) None

MCQ 4

  1. India is the largest producer of wheat in the world.
  2. Punjab is the leading producer state
  3. It’s the most important kharif crop
  • Choose correct

(A) 1 & 2

(B) 1 & 3

(C) 2 & 3

(D) None

MCQ 5

  1. It is the only tripartite U.N. agency, established in 1919 as under United Nations secretariat.
  2. Headquarter is in New York

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both

(D) None

MCQ 6

  • Cities present between ganga and Yamuna are
  1. Meerut
  2. Karnal
  3. Roorkee
  4. Aligarh

A). 1 & 2

B). 1 & 4

C). 1,3 & 4

D). 2 & 3

  • The macroeconomic policy pursued in the past five years needs overhauling. The government has continued with fiscal consolidation, or shrinking the deficit, while mandating the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to exclusively target inflation leaving aside all other considerations.
  • This has contracted demand. That high fiscal deficits and high inflation per se can never be good for an economy does not justify a permanently tight macroeconomic stance.
  • The rationale given for one is that it is conducive to private investment, said to be shy of fiscal deficits and held back by inflation. Both the deficit and inflation have trended downward in the past five years, yet investment as a share of national income has remained frozen.
  • Arguably though, India has seen a virtual inflation targeting since 2013 when the policies of the RBI became more closely aligned to the practices of central banks in western economies. Thus in 2013-14 the real policy rate saw a positive swing of over four percentage points, and it has more or less remained there.
  • The high interest rate regime in place since 2013 could not but have had a negative impact on growth by raising the cost of capital to industry
  • The entire gamut of macroeconomic policy in India needs re-thinking. In the heated public debate on job creation that we have seen recently, the link between macroeconomic policy and unemployment has not been flagged.
  • When policy holds back investment, and we have seen above that it can, the prospect for employment growth is weak
  • for too long, macroeconomic policy in India has been contractionary across the board, impacting employment adversely.
  • Job creation
  • Even as we shift towards macroeconomic policies that maintain the level of aggregate demand, we can assist the unemployed by strengthening the employment programme we already have, namely the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
  • Three actions may be taken towards this end. First, there have been reports that though the budgetary allocation for the scheme may have increased, workers face delay in payment. This is unacceptable, especially in this digital era when beneficiary identification and money transfer are cheap and reliable. Second, as has been suggested, there is a case for extending the MGNREGS to urban India for there is unemployment there. Of course, some rationalization of existing public expenditure would be needed to generate the fiscal space needed, but we may yet expect a positive sum outcome when this is done imaginatively.
  • However, as with macroeconomic policies, a thorough review of how the MGNREGS works on the ground is necessary. In the context, we often find a reference to “asset creation”. This is an important criterion but we need not rule out the provision of public services under the scheme. The point is to ensure that we have desirable outcomes beyond just the job statistics. There is reason to believe that this matter is given no importance in the implementation of the scheme at present. An example would make this clear.
  • The MGNREGS should target the waste dotting our countryside, and when extended to urban India should aid municipal waste-management efforts.
  • We would then have a cleaner environment and have at the same time created jobs. That would a fitting tribute to the man after whom the programme is named, one who had worked for a clean India much of his life.
  • Mr. Pompeo declared that the objective was to bring Iranian oil exports to “zero”. India, China and Turkey, the principal remaining oil importers from Iran, will feel the greatest impact of this policy, which will take effect on May 2.
  • Beijing is firmly opposed to unilateral sanctions, as it fears that one day it may be subjected to similar treatment.
  • Turkey and Iran have overlapping strategic interests regarding Kurdish secessionism, the territorial integrity of Iraq, and shared antipathy towards Saudi Arabia.
  • Iran is the second largest supplier of energy to Turkey and a leading trading partner as well. Furthermore, Turkey’s relations with the U.S. are currently rocky over U.S. support to the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, that Ankara considers a terrorist organisation because of its close relations with the secessionist PKK.
  • The threat of American sanctions on Turkey following the latter’s decision to buy S-400 missile defence systems from Russia has also contributed greatly to tensions between the two countries.
  • Therefore, it is unlikely that Turkey will bend completely to American will although it may do so partially to placate its NATO ally.
  •  The American decision could not have come at a worse time for India with the country in the midst of a bitterly fought election campaign and policy makers focused on the domestic scene. Nevertheless, the Indian response is expected to be the most weak-kneed of the three.
  •  New Delhi is likely to comply with American demands, as India’s relations with the U.S. in the economic sphere are very important to it. The U.S. is India’s largest trading partner and a leading source of foreign investment. It has become increasingly important in the strategic arena as well because of the convergence of American and Indian interests regarding containing China in the Indo-Pacific region.
  •  Moreover, the civil nuclear relationship with the U.S. is very important for India, as is American support for India’s bid to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group
  • However, compliance with the American diktat will not come without costs. India is heavily involved in building the Chabahar port in southern Iran. This port is expected to become a major access route for India not only to Iran but also to Afghanistan and Central Asia bypassing hostile Pakistani territory.
  • Tehran is also important for New Delhi in the context of Afghanistan as both are unequivocally opposed to the Pakistan-supported Taliban returning to power even in a power-sharing arrangement. Furthermore, Iran shares India’s antipathy toward Pakistan, which it considers Washington’s proxy and Saudi Arabia’s ally. India’s decision to stop importing oil from Iran at America’s behest could drive a wedge between New Delhi and Tehran that will be very difficult to repair and cost India strategically.
  • The most important question is whether Iran will capitulate to the American threat of cutting oil imports down to zero and accept Washington’s demand to revise its position on issues the U.S. considers important. These include Tehran totally giving up its right to enrich uranium and closing down all nuclear facilities including those engaged in research for peaceful purposes. Additionally, it would entail Iran drastically curtailing if not completely eradicating its ballistic missile programme, and radically changing its West Asia policy to fall in line with American preferences in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
  • However, this appears to be a Washington pipe dream. Iran has stood up to unprecedented sanctions for four decades and remained unbowed. The current American policy of forcing Tehran to cut its oil exports to zero will only aid Iranian hardliners and end up with Tehran adopting an even more virulent anti-American posture, further impeding the realisation of American strategic objectives in the region.
  • While this confrontationist policy may please Israel and Saudi Arabia, it can well become a prelude to another major war in West Asia.
  • Pushed to the wall by its inability to export oil in sufficient quantities, Iran is likely to retaliate by withdrawing from the nuclear accord and resuming full-scale nuclear enrichment close to weapon grade-level.
  • This could lead to either an American and/or Israeli air and missile strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Such attacks are bound to invite Iranian retaliation against American targets in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan and around the Gulf, either through proxies or directly. Iranian retribution is likely to include air strikes against Saudi and Emirati targets as well and concerted efforts to block the Straits of Hormuz.
  • The mayhem that this action-reaction phenomenon will cause in the region can be disastrous for West Asia and could seriously disrupt the flow of energy supplies from the Gulf through the narrow Straits of Hormuz. It is ironic that some of the authors of America’s disastrous invasion of Iraq, such as National Security Adviser John Bolton, are also the masterminds behind the current American confrontationist policy towards Iran. If not reversed, such a strategy could well lead to another American misadventure in West Asia before which the tragic consequences of the Iraqi invasion, such as state failure and the boost to international terrorism, are likely to pale into insignificance.
  • The National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) was India’s first electronic commodity spot exchange that was established in view of the then Prime Minister’s vision to create a “single market” across the country for both manufactured and agricultural produce.
  • The Economic Survey of 2002-03 of the Government of India also recommended setting up a national-level, integrated market for agricultural products, as did the Planning Commission. This was followed by the Rangarajan Committee, which too sought a national spot market.
  • The Government of India granted permission to NSEL along with two other spot exchanges to start operations. The Government of India issued a Gazette Notification dated June 5, 2007 granted general exemption under Section 27 of the Forward Contracts Regulation Act (FCRA.)
  • NSEL commenced operations providing an electronic trading platform in October 2008 and simultaneously, as many as six state governments issued licenses under the model Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) Act to NSEL. In August 2011, the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) was appointed as the ‘designated agency’ to regulate these spot exchanges
  • Growth in the core sectors of the economy surged in March to a five-month high of 4.7%, driven by a broad-based recovery in sectors such as cement, refinery products, steel, and coal.
  • The March edition of the Index of Eight Core Industries also provides a full year (April-March) performance review, which shows that the core industries maintained their growth rate of 4.3% in 2018-19, the same as in the previous year.
  • The cement sector saw the strongest rebound in March 2019, growing 15.7% compared with 8% in February 2019. The steel sector saw growth accelerating to 6.7% from 4.9% over the same period. The cement sector grew 13.3% over the full year 2018-19, up from the 6.3% growth it recorded in the previous year.
  • The steel sector, on the other hand, saw growth for the full year come in at a slower 4.7% in 2018-19 compared with 5.6% in 2017-18.
  • Growth in the coal sector also accelerated in March, to 9.1% from 7.4% in February. Over the full year, the sector grew 7.3% in 2018-19 compared to 2.6% in the previous year. The crude oil sector continued its contraction in March, contracting 6.2% compared with a contraction of 6.1% in the previous month. Over 2018-19, the sector contracted 4.1% compared with a contraction of 0.9% in the previous year.
  • Refinery products, however, saw growth picking up in March to 4.3% compared with a contraction of 0.8% in February. The sector’s full-year growth nevertheless came in lower, at 3.1%, than the previous year’s 4.6%.
  • The natural gas sector saw growth slowing in March to 1.4% from 3.8% in February. The sector saw growth for the full year slipping to 0.8% in 2018-19 from 2.9% in 2017-18.
  • Fertilizer growth quickened in March to 4.3% from 2.5% in the previous month. The sector saw the full year’s performance grow 0.3% in 2018-19, compared with the nearly flat 0.03% registered in the previous year. The electricity sector posted a growth of 1.4% compared with 1.2% in February. The sector’s growth over FY19 however, was a slower 5.1% compared with 5.3% in the previous year.
  • The GSTN software is developed by Infosys Technologies and the Information Technology network that provides the computing resources is maintained by the NIC. "Goods and Services Tax" Network (GSTN) is a nonprofit organisation formed for creating a sophisticated network, accessible to stakeholders, government and taxpayers to access information from a single source (portal). The portal is accessible to the Tax authorities for tracking down every transaction, while taxpayers have the ability of connect for their tax returns.
  • The Society of the Muslim Brothers better known as the Muslim Brotherhood المسلمو إلخوانis a transnational Sunni Islamistorganization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna in 1928.
  • The organization gained supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups such as Hamaswith its "model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work", and in 2012 sponsored the elected political party in Egypt after the January Revolution in 2011.
  • However, it faced periodic government crackdowns for alleged terrorist activities, and as of 2015 is considered a terrorist organization by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabiaand the United Arab Emirates.
  • The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Quran and the Sunnah as the "sole reference point for ... ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community ... and state".
  • For many years the movement was supported by Saudi Arabia, with which it shared some enemies and some points of doctrine.
  • Today, the primary state backers of the Muslim Brotherhood are Qatar and Turkey.
  • In the folklore of Nepal, the Yeti or Abominable Snowman is an ape-like creature taller than an average human, that is said to inhabit the Himalayas, Siberia, C entral and East Asia. The names Yeti and MehTeh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology. Stories of the Yeti first emerged as a facet of Western popular culture in the 19th century.