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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | PDF Download

Date: 21 April 2019

The olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, are the second smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world; this species of sea turtle is found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They can also be found in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean

In the Indian Ocean, the majority of olive ridleys nest in two or three large groups near Gahirmatha in Odisha. The coast of Odisha in India is the largest mass nesting site for the olive ridley, followed by the coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica

MCQ 1

Antares rocket & Cygnus cargo are related with

  1. Experimentations of speed of satellites
  2. Experimentations of clearing space debris
  3. Experimentations of impact on health of astronauts
  4. None
  • Antares Rocket Launches Cygnus Cargo Ship on Marathon Mission for NASA • It's carrying 40 live mice!

124th Constitutional Amendment bill/103rd (Amendment) Act

  •  The proposed amendment Bill will define Economically Weaker Section (EWS) as one having:
  • Annual household income below Rs 8 lakh.
  • Agriculture land below 5 acres.
  • Residential house below 1000 sqft.
  • Residential plot below 100 yards in notified municipality.
  • Residential plot below 200 yards in non-notified municipality area.
  • It will need an amendment of Articles 15 (prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) and 16 (equality of opportunity in matters of public employment) of the Constitution.
  •   The amendment will have to be ratified in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, by at least two thirds of members present and voting, and by the legislatures of not less than half the states.
  • Article 46 in The Constitution Of India 1949 Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation
  •  It provides reservation of jobs in central government jobs as well as government educational institutions. It is also applicable on admissions to private higher educational institutions
  •  Article 15(4) allows State to make special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for SCs and STs
  • In the Indira Sawhney case (1992), the Supreme Court held that the reservation policy cannot be extended to promotions.
  • However, 77th Constitutional Amendment (CA), inserted Clause 4A in Article 16 and restored provision of reservations in promotions.
  • The court in 1990s restored their seniority once promoted at par with the SC/ST candidates who got quick promotions ahead of their batch mates.
  • However, 85th Constitutional Amend. Act, 2001 gave back “consequential seniority” to SC/ST promotees.
  •  Article 15 in The Constitution Of India 1949 15. Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to

(a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and palaces of public entertainment; or

(b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public

(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children

(4) Nothing in this article or in clause

( 2 ) of Article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes

 

 

AMENDED ARTICLES

  • Article 15 (6) is added to provide reservations to economically weaker sections for admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of Article 30.
  • The amendment aims to provide reservation to those who do not fall in 15 (5) and 15(4) (effectively, SCs, STs and OBCs).
  • Article 16 (6) is added to provide reservations to people from economically weaker sections in government posts.
  • An explanation states that "economic weakness" shall be decided on the basis of "family income" and other "indicators of economic disadvantage."
  • These stipulations first arose in M.R Balaji v. State of Mysore1 when court stated that reservation above 50% would imply dominance over section 16(1). The government notification providing 10% reservation to weaker economic sections of society was struck down in Indra Sawhney v. UOI2 . â–ª it has become an established principle that reservation shall have a cap of 50%
  • however, the existing articles 15(4), 15(5) and 16(4) do not mention that reservation shall be 50% explicitly, by way of legislation.

MCQ 1

  1. The Indian Ocean Rim Association is a 22-member organization consisting of countries bordering the Indian Ocean.
  2. India and Pakistan proposed the concept of IORA
  3. South Africa is the permanent chair of IORA

Choose correct

(A) 1 & 2

(B) 2 & 3

 (C)1 only

(D) All

  • The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), is an international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.
  •  The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
  •  It is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.
  •  The Coordinating Secretariat of IORA is located at Ebene, Mauritius. South Africa is the chair of the IORA for two years and in 2020 the chair will pass to UAE.
  • The organisation was first established as Indian Ocean Rim Initiative in Mauritius on March 1995 and formally launched on 6–7 March 1997 by the conclusion of a multilateral treaty known as the Charter of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation.
  • The idea is said to have taken root during a visit of former South African Foreign Minister, Pik Botha, to India in November 1993.
  • It was cemented during the subsequent presidential visit of Nelson Mandela to India in January 1995.
  • Consequently, an Indian Ocean Rim Initiative was formed by South Africa and India.
  • Mauritius and Australia were subsequently brought in.
  • In March 1997, the IOR-ARC was formally launched, with seven additional countries as members: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Yemen, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique
  •  All countries who share their shores with the Indian ocean can be part of the grouping, which means 25 countries can be part of the group.
  •  Half of the world's container ships, one-third of the world's bulk cargo traffic and two-thirds of the world's oil shipments cross its waters annually.
  •  Maldives and Myanmar had applied for membership of the group with the former getting the membership last year but latter failing due to human rights concerns by South Africa

 

 Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) has identified six priority areas, namely:

  1. maritime security,
  2. trade and investment facilitation,
  3. fisheries management, 4. disaster risk reduction,
  4. academic and scientific cooperation and
  5. tourism promotion and cultural exchanges.
  •  In addition to these, two focus areas are also identified by IORA, namely Blue Economy and Women's Economic Empowerment
  • The new Asia-Pacific division of the Ministry of External Affairs will comprise the three earlier divisions of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), ASEAN and the Quad sections.
  • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD, also known as the Quad) is an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India that is maintained by talks between member countries.
  • The dialogue was initiated in 2007 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, with the support of Vice President Dick Cheney of the US, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.
  • The dialogue was paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, titled Exercise Malabar.
  • The diplomatic and military arrangement was widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power, and the Chinese government responded to the Quadrilateral dialogue by issuing formal diplomatic protests to its members
  •  India's relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of our foreign policy and the foundation of our Act East Policy. The up-gradation of the relationship into a Strategic Partnership in 2012 was a natural progression to the ground covered since India became a Sectoral Partner of the ASEAN in 1992, Dialogue Partner in 1996 and Summit Level Partner in 2002. There are, in total, 30 Dialogue Mechanisms between India and ASEAN, cutting across various sectors. India-

ASEAN Relations

The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises of Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. India’s focus on a strengthened and multi-faceted relationship with ASEAN is an outcome of the significant changes in the world’s political and economic scenario since the early 1990s and India’s own march towards economic liberalisation. India’s search for economic space resulted in the ‘Look East Policy’.

  •   The Look East Policy has today matured into a dynamic and action oriented ‘Act East Policy. PM at the 12th ASEAN India Summit and the 9th East Asia Summit held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, in November, 2014, formally enunciated the Act East Policy. The ASEAN-India partnership is being implemented through the "Plan of Action (2016-20) to implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for peace, progress and shared prosperity". The 3rd POA (2016-20) was adopted by the ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers Meeting held in August 2015.
  •  India is also an active participant in several regional forums like the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting + (ADMM+) and Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF).
  • â–ª Mission to ASEAN: India has set up a separate Mission to ASEAN and the EAS in Jakarta in April 2015 with a dedicated Ambassador to strengthen engagement with ASEAN and ASEAN-centric processes.
  • The main forum for ASEAN security dialogue is the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
  •   India has been attending annual meetings of this forum since 1996 and has actively participated in its various activities. The ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) is the highest defence consultative and cooperative mechanism in ASEAN.
  • The ADMM+ brings together Defence Ministers from the 10 ASEAN nations plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States on a biannual basis.

 

Economic Cooperation

  •  India-ASEAN trade and investment relations have been growing steadily, with ASEAN being India's fourth largest trading partner. India's trade with ASEAN stands at US$ 81.33 billion, which is approx. 10.6% of India's overall trade.
  •  India's export to ASEAN stand at 11.28% of our total exports. Investment flows are also substantial both ways, with ASEAN accounting for approximately 18.28% of investment flows into India since 2000.
  •   The ASEAN-India Free Trade Area has been completed with the entering into force of the ASEAN-India Agreements on Trade in Service and Investments on 1 July 2015. The 2nd edition of the ASEANIndia Workshop on Blue Economy, jointly hosted with the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, was held on 18 July 2018 in New Delhi.
  • In Agriculture, we are cooperating with ASEAN by way of projects such as Exchange of Farmers, ASEAN-India Fellowships for Higher Agricultural Education in India and ASEAN, Exchange of Agriculture Scientists, Empowerment of Women through Cooperatives, Training Course on Organic Certification for Fruits and Vegetables etc. These were further strengthened at the 4th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture held in January 2018 in New Delhi, with the endorsement of the Medium Term Plan of Action for ASEAN-India Cooperation in Agriculture and Forestry for 2016–2020.

Delhi Dialogue:

  • India has an annual Track 1.5 event Delhi Dialogue, for discussing politico-security and economic issues between ASEAN and India.
  • Since 2009, India has hosted ten editions of this flagship Conference.
  • The 10th edition of Delhi Dialogue was hosted by the MEA on 19-20 July 2018 in New Delhi, with the theme, "Strengthening India-ASEAN Maritime Advantage".

MCQ 2

  1. The ninth Mekong -Ganga Cooperation Meeting was held in India on August 2, 2018.
  2. It comprises six member countries

Choose correct

(A)Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both

(D)None

  •  The Mekong–Ganga Cooperation (MGC) was established on November 10, 2000, at Vientiane, Laos at the First MGC Ministerial Meeting. It comprises six member countries, namely India (Look-East connectivity projects), Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
  •  The four areas of cooperation are tourism, culture, education, and transportation.
  • The organization takes its name from the Ganga and the Mekong, two large rivers in the region.
  • The ninth Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Meeting was held in Singapore on August 2, 2018. The conference was preceded by the 10th MGC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on August 1.
  •  The working mechanism for MGC consists of the Annual Ministerial Meeting (back to back with ASEAN Ministerial Meeting), the Senior Official’s Meeting, and the five Working Groups namely;
  1. Working Group on Tourism (Thailand is the lead country)
  2. Working Group on Education (HRD) (India is the lead country)
  3. Working Group on Culture (Cambodia is the lead country)
  4. Working Group on Communication & Transportation (Laos PDR is the lead country)
  5. Working Group on Plan of Actions (Vietnam is the lead country)
  • China is also planning to import gas from Russia through the Altai gas pipeline. If India joins this project, then the price and project could become viable for both China and India
  • India and China could work on this new economic corridor that will integrate India, China and the whole South Asia region by connecting India to China-Indochina Peninsula Economic corridor of Greater Mekong region
  • China’s President Xi Jinping had announced the One Belt One Road (OBOR) in 2013, inspired from the two millennia old concept of the Silk Road during the Han Dynasty. In 2016, it was renamed as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the objective of increasing trade and commerce and enhancing connectivity of Eurasian countries. This is aimed to be achieved by infrastructure-driven economic growth through the development of infrastructure facilities, including railways, roadways, airways, optical fibre lines, oil and natural gas pipelines, ports etc. The funding in the form of loans is to be provided by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and expertise for infrastructure projects by Chinese companies. This vast project will result in new trade and manufacturing hubs, along with new and large unified markets and an increase in cultural exchange and integration.

MCQ 3

  1. Satluj is called Yalu Zangbu river in china
  2. China and India signed no MOU on sharing the Hydrological Information on the Brahmaputra/Yalu Zangbu river till now .

Choose correct

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) All

(D) None

  •  The Trans-border rivers flowing from China to India fall into two main groups i.e. The Brahmaputra river system on the Eastern side, which consist of river Siang (main stream of river Brahmaputra) and its tributaries, namely Subansiri and Lohit and the Indus river system on the Western side consists of river Indus and the river Sutlej. Both countries have signed-
  • Memorandum of Understanding upon provision of Hydrological Information of the River Brahmaputra / Yaluzangbu in 2002
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Hydrological Data Sharing on River Sutlej / Langqen Zangbo in 2010 and renewed in 2015.
  • Expert Level Mechanism (ELM) to discuss interaction and cooperation on provision of flood season hydrological data, emergency management and other issues regarding trans-border Rivers in 2006
  • Another trend likely to influence India’s geopolitical position is China’s shift in preference from bilateral to multilateral water cooperation — leaving India in an uncomfortable position. In line with its periphery policy (neighbourhood policy), in 2016, China established the Lancang Mekong Commission (LMC) with the six Mekong countries as an alternative to the ADB⎯led Mekong River Commission, which China denounced all along. Beijing is pushing for a similar China⎯controlled multilateral set up in the Brahmaputra basin.
  • Since 2010, China has been advancing its engagement with Bangladesh on water management, hydrological data sharing (on the Brahmaputra), flood control, and disaster reduction.
  • China is also set to finance a series of hydropower projects in Pakistan under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including one in contested territory between India and Pakistan.

MCQ 3

  1. Aspirational Districts programme was started by NITI aayog with its inception
  2. The programme envisages rapid development of selected districts on basis of composite index based on five parameters
  3. 1 st delta rankings for all the districts of india is out

Choose correct

(A) Only 1

(B)Only 2

(C) All

(D)None

 

  • Launched in January 2018 last year, the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme aims to quickly and effectively transform some of the most underdeveloped districts of the country.
  • The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts driven by a Mass Movement or a Jan Andolan.
  • With States as the main drivers, this program will focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.
  • The districts have been ranked in a transparent basis on parameters across various performance indicators like: Health and Nutrition, Education, Skill Development and Basic Infrastructure among others.
  • The rankings are based on the data that is publicly available through the Champions of Change Dashboard, which includes data entered on a realtime basis at the district level.

MCQ 4

A NBFC

  1. do not form part of the payment and settlement system
  2. deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available to depositors of NBFCs, like in case of banks.
  3. All NBFCs are regulated by RBI

(A) 1 & 2

(B) 2 & 3

(C) 3 only

(D)None

  • Housing Finance Companies, Merchant Banking Companies, Stock Exchanges, Companies engaged in the business of stock-broking/sub-broking, Venture Capital Fund Companies, Nidhi Companies, Insurance companies and Chit Fund Companies are NBFCs but they have been exempted from the requirement of registration under Section 45-IA of the RBI Act, 1934 subject to certain conditions.
  •  Housing Finance Companies are regulated by National Housing Bank,
  •  Merchant Banker/Venture Capital Fund Company/stock-exchanges/stock brokers/sub-brokers are regulated by Securities and Exchange Board of India, and
  •   Insurance companies are regulated by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.
  •  Similarly, Chit Fund Companies are regulated by the respective State Governments and Nidhi Companies are regulated by Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India.
  •  Companies that do financial business but are regulated by other regulators are given specific exemption by the Reserve Bank from its regulatory requirements for avoiding duality of regulation. NBFCs lend and make investments and hence their activities are akin to that of banks; however there are a few differences as given below:
  • NBFC cannot accept demand deposits;
  • NBFCs do not form part of the payment and settlement system and cannot issue cheques drawn on itself;
  •  deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available to depositors of NBFCs, unlike in case of banks

What is a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC)?

  •  A Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares/stocks/bonds/debentures/securities issued by Government or local authority or other marketable securities of a like nature, leasing, hire-purchase, insurance business, chit business but does not include any institution whose principal business is that of agriculture activity, industrial activity, purchase or sale of any goods (other than securities) or providing any services and sale/purchase/construction of immovable property. A non-banking institution which is a company and has principal business of receiving deposits under any scheme or arrangement in one lump sum or in installments by way of contributions or in any other manner, is also a non-banking financial company (Residuary non-banking company).
  • What does conducting financial activity as “principal business” mean?
  • Financial activity as principal business is when a company’s financial assets constitute more than 50 per cent of the total assets and income from financial assets constitute more than 50 per cent of the gross income. A company which fulfils both these criteria will be registered as NBFC by RBI.
  • The term 'principal business' is not defined by the Reserve Bank of India Act. The Reserve Bank has defined it so as to ensure that only companies predominantly engaged in financial activity get registered with it and are regulated and supervised by it. Hence if there are companies engaged in agricultural operations, industrial activity, purchase and sale of goods, providing services or purchase, sale or construction of immovable property as their principal business and are doing some financial business in a small way, they will not be regulated by the Reserve Bank. Interestingly, this test is popularly known as 50-50 test and is applied to determine whether or not a company is into financial business.