18 AUGUST 2019 || THE HINDU DAILY NEWS & CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS FOR UPSC, SSC, CAPF, CDS etc.

The Hindu Daily News Analysis

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Fact Based News/Highlights for Objective Exams

Front Page

  • India, Bhutan ink 10 MoUs, vow to strengthen ties.
  • Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said on Saturday that restrictions were relaxed in one third of the Kashmir Valley, and people were cooperating with the authorities.
  • Parsis in India celebrated New Year or Navroz on Saturday. Members of the community visited the Kappawala Agiary, or the fire temple, in Mumbai. In Iran, Zoroastrians celebrated the New Year on the Spring Equinox, March 21

National

North

  • Punjab names five sportspersons as members of Punjab Institute of Sports(PIS) governing council. Arjuna Awardee Brig. Harcharan Singh, eminent athlete and Arjuna Awardee Gurmeet Kaur, noted Kabaddi player and Arjuna Awardee Hardeep Singh, cricketer and Arjuna Awardee Harbhajan Singh and internationally acclaimed shooter and Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardee Abhinav Bindra are the members of of PIS.

    Business & Economy

    • Growth in consumer loans slowed down to 16.6% this year till June 21, from 17.9% a year earlier. Housing loans, however, grow 18.9% year­-on-­year, marking an exception.

    Sports

    • Para Athlete Deepa Malik also recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna

      Science & Tech

      • IIT Palakkad researchers have found a way to improve the functioning of the brain-computer interface when used by stroke patients.
      • Gravity stretches light - General relativity, unlike Newtonian theory of gravity, predicts that when light passes close to a strong gravitational field it will undergo a shift towards longer wavelengths. This gravitational red­shift was observed when the star SO­2 passed close to Sagittarius A*, the massive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. This is a reinforcement of the general theory of relativity.

      In-depth analysis, Editorials and Opinions for Descriptive Papers/Essays

      1. India and Bhutan sign 10 MoUs

      Context

      • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering held wide­ ranging talks on Saturday and discussed steps to further expand the bilateral partnership across several sectors.
      • The two countries signed 10 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in the fields of space research, aviation, IT, power and education.
      • The leaders also discussed steps to further expand the bilateral partnership across several sectors.

      Mangdechhu Project

      • In his second visit to Bhutan, the Indian Prime Minister inaugurated the Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant.
      • He also launched stamps to commemorate five decades of India-Bhutan hydropower cooperation.

      RuPay Card

      • The RuPay Card was launched in Bhutan by making a transaction at Simtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by Shabdrung Namgyal, which functions as a monastic and administrative centre.
      • This will further enhance our relationship in digital payments, and trade and tourism.

      SATCOM Network

      • This is the most important among all.
      • The two leaders jointly inaugurated the Ground Earth Station and SATCOM network, developed with assistance from ISRO for utilization of South Asia Satellite in Bhutan.
      • The network includes remote VSAT terminals put up at 110 locations across Bhutan and receiver terminals at 50 locations besides five portable terminals.
      • In a major gesture of regional diplomacy, the Indian government in 2014 offered the services of a dedicated communications satellite to its smaller neighbors Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
      • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched the multi-use communications satellite in May 2017.
      • The earth station that will help drive various social services of the South Asia Satellite (SAS or GSAT9) has been built and set up by the Bengaluru based Alpha Design Technologies Ltd.

      2. New Species of Freshwater Fish Found in India

      Context

      Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India have discovered two new species of freshwater fish from the north-eastern and northern parts of the country.
      The two new species discovered are Glyptothorax gopii and Garra simbalbaraensis

      Glyptothorax gopii

      • This new species of catfish was found in Mizoram’s Kaladan river.
      • Glyptothorax gopii (measuring 63 mm standard length without caudal fin) is dark brown on its dorsal surface, and yellowish-light brown on its ventral surface.
      • It has been named after taxonomist K.C. Gopi.
      • The body structure of this fish helps it cling to rocks.

      Garra simbalbaraensis

      • It was found in Himachal Pradesh’s Simbalbara river.
      • Garra simbalbaraensis (measuring 69 mm standard length without caudal fin) has a yellowish-grey color fading ventrally.
      • It is named after the Simbalbara river.

      3. Supreme Court Forms Panel to Study Environment Impact of Char Dham Highway

      Background

      • The Supreme Court has cleared the decks for the Char Dham highway project by modifying an NGT order to constitute a fresh committee to look into environmental concerns.
      • NGO Citizen for Green Doon had petitioned the apex court, after the National Green Tribunal gave its conditional approval to the connectivity project in view of larger public interest. 
      • The NGT had constituted a committee headed by a former Uttarakhand High Court Judge to monitor the project.

      Working Procedure of the Committee

      • The Supreme Court ordered the Ministry of Environment and Forest to form the high-powered committee (HPC).
      • In addition to this, the court added representatives from Physical Research Laboratory under the government's Department of Space, Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India, MoEF (from Dehradun regional office) and Defence Ministry to the HPC.
      • SC asked the committee to submit its recommendations within four months.
      • The HPC will now hold meetings after every 3 months to ensure to check how the work is going and to make new recommendations.
      • The HPC will give directions to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

      Functions of the Committee

      • The HPC should consider whether revision of the full Char Dham project should at all take place with a view to minimise the adverse impact on the environment and social life.
      • It will identify the sites where quarrying has started recommend measures required to stabilise the area and for safe disposal of muck.
      • It will also assess the environmental degradation loss of forest lands, trees, green cover, water  resources etc. on the wildlife and will direct mitigation measures.
      • In Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone (Gangotri to Uttarkashi), the HPC will make special provisions in its report keeping in mind the guidelines given under the notification of the Bhagirathi ESZ to avoid violations and any environmental damage.
      • The HPC will also suggest the areas in which afforestation should be taken and the kind of saplings to be planted.

      Char Dham Highway

      • Char Dham Highway is a proposed two-lane express National Highway in the state of Uttarakhand.
      • The project will connect four holy places, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, which are called Char Dham in the hills of Uttarakhand through 900-km all-weather roads.

      4. Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-Dhan scheme

      • A pension scheme for small traders is likely to have a soft launch on August 19 evening.
      • According to the Union Labour and Employment Ministry’s 100-day plan, the Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-Dhan scheme would target enrolling 25 lakh subscribers in 2019-2020 and 2 crore by 2023-2024.  
      • Apart from an online portal that would be launched, people would be able to apply for the scheme through the common service centres already in place for other schemes.
      • It has been modelled on the pension scheme for unorganised sector workers.
      • Traders aged between 18 and 40 who have an annual turnover of less than ₹1.5 crore are eligible.
      • The subscribers will have to contribute a monthly amount, which will vary depending on the age at which they enter the scheme that will be matched by the government.
      • Upon turning 60, the subscribers will get ₹3,000 as monthly pension.

      5. Trouble in the Auto Industry

      Background

      • In July, the sale of vehicles across categories in the country slumped 18.71% to about 18.25 lakh units, down from about 22.45 lakh units, a year ago in the same month.
      • This data, by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), gives out wholesale figures, i.e. the number of vehicles dispatched to dealers by vehicle manufacturers.
      • This has been the biggest fall in this industry nearly 19 years.
      • The industry has failed to tackle the downturn, despite deep discounts and new model launches.

      Auto Industry in India

      The industry’s turnover is close to half of the manufacturing GDP.
      It accounts for about 11% of the entire GST revenues of the country.
      It is one of the largest employers in the country, employing about 37 million people, directly and indirectly.

      The Glorious Past

      The industry started off 2018-19 on a good note with vehicles sales across categories growing 18%
      to nearly 70 lakh units in the first quarter (April-June 2018).
      In July 2017, vehicle sales spiked due to the benefits extended by the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

      Reasons for the Slow Down

      • Demand failed to pick up in August and September, after the floods in Kerala and heavy rainfall in several other States.
      • In the ensuing months, consumer was not interested to buy automobiles as the total cost of vehicle ownership went up largely due to an increase in fuel prices, higher interest rates and a hike in vehicle insurance costs.
      • Even the festive season failed to boost demand, leading to a huge inventory pile-up with dealers.
      • Too much focus on electric vehicles (EVs) by the government may also be encouraging buyers to postpone the purchase of petrol and diesel vehicles.
      • Over FY19-21, vehicle prices are estimated to jump 13-30% due to safety, insurance and emission related costs.
      • Growing competition from the pre-owned cars market is also pulling down sales of new vehicles.

      Consequences

      • The industry has been forced to undertake production cuts.
      • Many people employed in his sector have lost their jobs.
      • According to the latest figures that are available, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have removed about 15,000 temporary workers in the past two to three months.
      • A lack of working capital and very little demand has led to closure of nearly 300 dealerships across the country. This has led to over two lakh people losing their jobs, according to the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA).
      • Separately, the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) warned in July that 10 lakh jobs were at risk and urgent action was needed to bring the industry back on track.

      Way Ahead

      • The government should come out with a revival package ahead of the festive season to yield benefits.
      • The industry’s demands include a reduction in GST to 18% from the current rate of 28%, which will help in an immediate price reduction.

      6. A Crisis of Legitimacy

      Background 

      • The Supreme Court is hearing a writ petition challenging the appointment of S. Golay alias Prem Singh Tamang as Chief Minister of Sikkim.
      • The present Chief Minister did not contest the Assembly election held this year, as he is barred from electoral contests after being convicted for corruption in 2016.
      • He completed his prison term only in August 2018.
      • He could not have been appointed to the office, as he is under an existing disqualification.

      A Corrupt History?

      • During his tenure as Minister for Animal Husbandry in 1996, he was held guilty under the Prevention of Corruption Act of misappropriating ₹9.50 lakh, in the purchase of milch cows for distribution.
      • After his conviction was upheld by the Sikkim High Court, he served a one-year sentence in prison.

      Consequences of the Conviction

      • A person convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act is not eligible to contest an election for six years from the date of release. 
      • This is under Section 8(1) (m) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
      • As Mr. Golay’s sentence came to an end in August 2018, he is barred from contesting polls until 2024.

      Conclusion

      Corruption among politicians is a very common thing. As you can see, a person convicted for corruption can still contest elections after 6 years, it is very hard for the common citizens to trust them. More strict laws should be made and there should be harsher punishments.

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        theRADICAL news: 18 AUGUST 2019 || THE HINDU DAILY NEWS & CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS FOR UPSC, SSC, CAPF, CDS etc.
        18 AUGUST 2019 || THE HINDU DAILY NEWS & CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS FOR UPSC, SSC, CAPF, CDS etc.
        Get Daily News Analysis, Editorial Analysis and Current Affairs from The Hindu newspaper for free. The Hindu newspaper is one of the most important source for preparing GS/Gk for any competitive exam in India. This free Daily News Analysis, Editorial Analysis and Current Affairs from The Hindu newspaper will help you make notes for various competitive exams like SSC, CDS, UPSC Civil Services, UPSC CAPF, Banking, Railways RRBs, Insurance, UPSC IES, UPSC IFS, etc. This complete analysis contains both fact based news highlights for objective exams and in depth analysis of editorials and opinions for descriptive papers and essays in very easy and simplified language.
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