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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | PDF Download

Date: 13 April 2019

MCQ 1

  • Smriti mandhana belongs to
  1. Poetry
  2. Badminton
  3. Cricket
  4. Civil society
  • Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana (born 18 July 1996) is an Indian cricketer who plays for the Indian women's national team. In June 2018, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named her as the Best Women's International Cricketer.
  • In December 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) awarded her with the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the best female cricketer of the year.
  • She was also named the ODI Player of the Year by the ICC at the same time

MCQ 2

  • Hang Seng Index is related to
  1. China
  2. Indonesia
  3. Japan
  4. None

MCQ 3

  1. Fund created by telecom operaters is to provide universal access to telecom services
  2. It is a non-lapsable fund
  • Choose correct

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both

(D) None

  • Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
  • Apart from the higher capital cost of providing telecom services in rural and remote areas, these areas also generate lower revenue due to lower population density, low income and lack of commercial activity. Thus normal market forces alone would not direct the telecom sector to adequately serve backward and rural areas. Keeping in mind the inadequacy of the market mechanism to serve rural and inaccessible areas on one hand and the importance of providing vital telecom connectivity on the other, most countries of the world have put in place policies to provide Universal Access and Universal Service to ICT.
  • The New Telecom Policy - 1999 (NTP'99) provided that the resources for meeting the Universal Service Obligation (USO) would be raised through a 'Universal Access Levy (UAL)', which would be a percentage of the revenue earned by the operators under various licenses. The Universal Service Support Policy came into effect from 01.04.2002.
  • The Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003 giving statutory status to the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) was passed by both Houses of Parliament in December 2003.
  • The Rules for administration of the Fund known as Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules, 2004 were notified on 26.03.2004. As per the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 (as amended in 2003, 2006 and 2008), the Fund is to be utilized exclusively for meeting the Universal Service Obligation.

MCQ 4

  1. RailTel Corporation of India Ltd. is a public sector enterprise of Government of India focusing on providing broadband and VPN services.
  2. It’s a navratna company
  • Choose correct

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both

(D) None

What is RailWire?

  •  RailWire is a retail Broadband initiative of the RailTel. It envisages extending broadband and application services to the public. RailTel is working to establish bringing fast and free Wi-Fi at all stations (except the halt stations) within a year.
  •  The Wi-Fi at 415 A, A1 and C category stations has been provided in association with Google as the technology partner. Wi-Fi connections at 200 stations were provided with support from the Universal Service Obligatory Fund of the Government of India.

About RailTel:

  •  RailTel Corporation a “Mini Ratna(Category-I)” PSU of Ministry of Railways, is the largest neutral telecom services providers in the country owning a PanIndia optic fiber network covering all important towns & cities of the country and several rural areas covering 70% of India’s population.
  •  RailTel is in the forefront in providing nationwide Broadband Telecom & Multimedia Network in all parts of the country in addition to modernization of Train operations and administration network systems for Indian Railways.
  •  With its Pan India high capacity network, RailTel is working towards creating a knowledge society at various fronts and has been selected for implementation of various mission-mode Govt. of India projects in the telecom field.

MCQ 5

  1. National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860,It acts as implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA)
  2. It is established under water act 1974
  • Choose correct

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both

(D) None

Cabinet approves the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016

  • The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approval the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016. The Order lays down a new institutional structure for policy and implementation in fast track manner and empowers National Mission for Clean Ganga to discharge its functions in an independent and accountable manner. It has been decided to grant a Mission status to the Authority with corresponding powers under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to take cognizance of the provision of the said Act and follow up thereon. Similarly, there is adequate delegation of financial and administrative powers which will distinctly establish NMCG as both responsibility and accountability centre and effectively accelerate the process of project implementation for Ganga Rejuvenation.

Salient Features:

  • Briefly, the Order envisages:
  1. Creation of the National Council for River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management), as an Authority under the Chairperson of Hon’ble Prime Minister, in place of the existing NGRBA for overall responsibility for superintendence of pollution prevention and rejuvenation of river Ganga Basin.
  2. Setting up of an Empowered Task Force chaired by Hon’ble Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to ensure that the Ministries, Departments and State Governments concerned have:
  • an action plan with specific activities, milestones, and timeliness for achievement of the objective of rejuvenation and protection of River Ganga,
  • a mechanism for monitoring implementation of its action plans.
  • It will also ensure co-ordination amongst the Ministries and Departments and State Governments concerned for implementation of its action plans in a time bound manner.
  1. Declaration of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) as an Authority with powers to issue directions and also to exercise the powers under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to enable it to carry out efficiently its mandate. The NMCG will have a two-tier management structure with a Governing Council (GC), to be chaired by DG, NMCG. Below the GC, there will be an Executive Committee (EC) constituted out of the GC, to be chaired by the DG, NMCG.
  • NMCG will comply with the decisions and directions of the National Ganga Council and implement the Ganga Basin Management Plan approved by it; coordinate and carry out all activities necessary for rejuvenation and protection of River Ganga and its tributaries.
  1. At the State level, it is proposed to create the State Ganga Committees in each of the defined States as Authority, to function as Authorities in respect of each State and perform the superintendence, direction and control over the District Ganga Protection Committees under their jurisdiction.
  2. Similarly, the District Ganga Committees in each of the Ganga Bank Districts will carry out the assigned tasks as an Authority at the district level, to take cognizance of local threats and needs of river Ganga and conceptualise such measures as necessary to ensure overall quality of water in river Ganga and monitor various projects being implemented.
  • The proposed structure is to be implemented through the subordinate legislation route by issue of an Order invoking the provisions under Section 3 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986) relating to creation of authorities to achieve its objectives.

Message from the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh

  • They beckon all of us to give human freedom respect, human beings dignity, and human rights recognition
  • One hundred years ago, on April 12, a letter dropped into the British Raj’s postal system. The writer of the letter was a world-famous poet. That is not the only reason for the letter having been unusual. It was, by the political sights of the government of the times, seditionist. But luminously so.
  • The Raj’s censors must have been greatly tempted to see its contents; perhaps they did, spurred by the ruling ‘order’ of the day, the Rowlatt Act. Curbing, in the name of war-time discipline, every conceivable civil liberty, the Act enabled stricter control of the press, arrests without warrant, indefinite detention without trial. It empowered the police to search a place and arrest any person they disapproved of without warrant. Naturally, it outraged India, and both the writer and recipient of the letter.
  • Written on April 12, 1919, by Rabindranath Tagore to Mohandas K. Gandhi, it was about what its writer called “the great gift of freedom”. He said: “…India’s opportunity for winning it will come to her when she can prove that she is morally superior to the people who rule her by their right of conquest.”
  • ‘Faith or the life in death’
  • Tagore knew, doubtless, that the phrase “morally superior” would strike a chord in Gandhi. As would the sentence that followed: “She must willingly accept her penance of suffering, the suffering which is the crown of the great. Armed with her utter faith in goodness, she must stand unabashed before the arrogance that scoffs at the power of spirit.” Tagore ended the letter, as a poet would, with a verse: “Give me the faith of the life in death, of the victory in defeat, of the power hidden in the frailness of beauty, of the dignity of pain that accepts hurt but disdains to return it.” Prose is ever the ‘doer’, poetry the ‘artist’. And so this letter and the line just cited cannot hope to compete with Tagore’s much-quoted poem ‘Where the mind is without fear…’. But taken for itself, this sentence has to rank among the greatest expressions in prose of truth’s protest against power. Certain words, poetic word-images, in that line are scorching: death, defeat, dignity, pain, hurt.
  • India had, only a few days earlier, seen all those five word-images at play in Delhi. As the scholar-lawyer Anil Nauriya has recently reminded us, on March 30, 1919, the Raj’s police fired at a gathering in Delhi protesting the Rowlatt Act on a call by Mahatma Gandhi for a nation-wide hartal. Nauriya lists among them Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims.
  • A sample: Abdul Ghani, b. 1894. Killed in bayonet charge by a British Army unit near the Town Hall, Delhi. Atam Prakash: Received bullet wound in firing by the police and died the same day. Chandra Bhan, b. 1889. Received bullet wound in firing by an Army unit and died the same day. Chet Ram: Received bullet wound in firing by the police and died the same day. Gopi Nath, b. 1889: Received bullet wound in firing by an Army unit and died the same day. Hashmatullah Khan: b. 1890: Received bullet wound in firing by an Army unit and died the same day. Mam Raj: Received bullet wound in firing by the police and died the same day. Radha Saran, b. 1897: Received bullet wound in firing by an Army unit and died the same day. Radhey Shyam, b. 1891: Received bullet wound in firing by an Army unit and died the same day. Ram Lal, b. 1886: Received bullet wound in firing by an Army unit and died the same day. Ram Saroop: Received bullet wound in firing by the police and died the same day. Ram Singh: b. 1891: Received bullet wound in firing by an Army unit and died the same day. Chander Mal: Received bullet wound in firing by the police and died the same day. Seva Ram: Received bullet wound in firing by the police and died the same day. Swattin, son of Abdul Karim: Received bullet wound in firing by the police and died the same day.
  • The Delhi firing was, as it were, a macabre rehearsal for what was to follow.
  • And it was doubtless on Tagore’s mind when he wrote the letter to Gandhi. It was still in the post’s pipelines when, the next day, on April 13, 1919, his poetic vision was to find prescient corroboration.
  • Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab not to oppose Rowlatt but for a festival that marks the Sikh new year, Baisakhi. Its intent was totally un-political. But who is to say how arrogance will work?
  • On April 13, 1919
  • What followed is now part of the world’s annals of state-led crime. Troops under the command of Brigadier General (temporary rank) Reginald Dyer entered the garden, blocking the main entrance after them, took up position on a raised bank, and on Dyer’s orders fired on the crowd for some ten minutes, minutes that were an eternity. They stopped only when the ammunition supply was almost exhausted. Official sources themselves gave a figure of 379 identified dead, with approximately 1,100 wounded. In those ten minutes Amritsar became India. It embodied a nation’s death-defying dignity in pain, hurt.
  • Tagore was, at the time of the mowing down ‘Sir’ Rabindranath. And he had been a Nobel Laureate for Literature for six years. On May 30, 1919, Tagore picked up his pen, this time, not that of a Nobel Laureate but of a Knight of the British Empire, to write a letter to the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford. “News of the sufferings,” he wrote, had “trickled through the gagged silence, reaching every corner of India”. He then said: “The time has come when badges of honour make our shame glaring in their incongruous context of humiliation... I for my part wish to stand, shorn of all special distinctions, by the side of my countrymen who, for their so-called insignificance, are liable to suffer a degradation not fit for human beings.” And he asked of the Viceroy, “relieve me of the title of knighthood”.
  • Solidarity with suffering, especially when it is spontaneous, takes many forms. One is sharing by renunciation. Tagore’s self-divestment of the title, then perhaps the most coveted, of ‘Sir’ was an act of spontaneous solidarity with the suffering of Delhi, of Amritsar. And it was a chastisement, in Tagore’s words, of the “arrogance that scoffs at the power of spirit”.
  • The martyrs of Jallianwala beckon this generation, all of us, including India and Indians, Pakistan and Pakistanis, Bangladesh and Bangladeshis, Myanmar and Myanmarese, not just Britain, to give human freedom respect, human beings dignity, human rights recognition. Looking around them at those slain — Hindu with Dalit among them, Sikh and Muslim — the martyrs of Jallianwala would want correction and atonement from those on the Indian subcontinent and beyond its boundaries, who today foment division, discord, disunity.
  • Enduring arrogance
  • They also beckon us to see that “arrogance of power” is not a colonial or imperial patent, nor “the power of spirit” an attribute of liberation struggles alone. Arrogance can occur under post-colonial, post-imperial, ‘independent’ skies and can — must — summon the power of spirit.
  • ‘Rowlatt’ is a temperament that seeks domination, control, hegemony. It has the characteristics of the bully — strength and insecurity. Asia, Africa and Latin America have known that temperament in both the hubris of the external ruler, the hauteur of the one within. And they have seen peoples’ power dismantling both. Bowing to public opinion in India and in the U.K., the Raj repealed the Rowlatt Act, the Press Act, and 22 other laws in March 1922 – a victory of the people. The Rowlatt temperament is not a feature of governments alone. It works in society as well, keeping sections of it in a state of chronic enfeeblement. The Rowlatt temperament is also to be seen in corporate India seeking monopolist domination over its natural resources and public commons.
  • This centenary of India’s rebuffing of the Rowlatt Act’s scowl through what Tagore called “the power of spirit” is one to be cherished, celebrated and be inspired by.
  • The Tea Board of India is a state agency of the Government of India established to promote the cultivation, processing, and domestic trade as well as export of tea from India. It was established by the enactment of the Tea Act in 1953 with its headquarters in Kolkata .