Mains Test Series


Download the compilation of all summaries of all the news articles here


GS: 2

Consult UPSC for selecting police chiefs, SC tells States

News:

  1. The Supreme Court has issued directives to be followed by States while appointing the Director General of Police (DGP).

 

Important facts:

2. The apex court restrained state governments from appointing director general of police without first consulting UPSC.

3. The State concerned has to send to UPSC the names of officers fit to be DGP three months before the incumbent DGP is to retire.

4. Accordingly, the Commission will prepare list of three officers fit to be DGP and send it back.

5. The appointment will give priority to merit and seniority.

6. The tenure should be of two years.

7. The court passed the directions on a 2006 Judgment on a petition filed by former DGP for reform in police forms.

8. Only five states- Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, and Rajasthan have implemented the Supreme Court direction of 2006 to consult the UPSC on the appointment of DGPs.

9. In 2006, the court passed seven directions, to “ensure that state governments do not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the police”.

10. Some states appointed their ‘favourite’ officers as DGP on the date of retirement so that they would continue to serve for another two years till the age of 62 years.

11. On the practice of appointing practice DGPs, court ruled that States shall not “ever conceive of the idea” of such appointments. There is no concept of acting DGPs, court ruled.

 

Take action to stop spread of fake news, govt. tells WhatsApp

News:

  1. Recently, the cases of lynchings across the country over fake messages on WhatsAPP have been reported.

Important facts:

2. Instances of lynchings have been reported from States like Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura, and West Bengal.

3. Instances have been reported by mobs provoked by “irresponsible and explosive messages” on Whatsapp.

4. The government has taken the following measures in this regard:

  • Asked the service provider to take immediate measures to ensure that its platform was not misused.
  • Directed that the spread of such messages be immediately contained through the application of appropriate technology.
  • The government has asked service providers to take necessary remedial measures to prevent proliferation of these fake and sensational messages.

5. Mob lynching:

  • Mob Lynching means killing of someone by a mob for an alleged offence without following any principles of jurisprudence or due process of law.
  • A lynching is a majority way of telling a minority population that the law cannot protect it.
  • Lynching served the broad social purpose of maintaining superiority in economic, social, cultural and political sphere.

 

EC launches app to report electoral malpractice

News:

  1. Recently, the Election Commission of India has launched an Android- based mobile application named ‘cVigil’.

Important facts:

2. The application was launched for citizens to share cases of malpractices of political parties when the Model code of conduct is in force.

3. The application, whose Beta version has now been released, will be made available for use during the four State Assembly elections scheduled for later this year.

4. For using this application, EC officials will be trained.

5. The application will be advantageous in the following manner:

  • It will facilitate sharing of geo-tagged photographic and video evidence without disclosing the identity of the sender.
  • The uploaded information will be transmitted to the control room, and from there the field units or flying squads, mapped on a Geographical Information System will be alerted for further action.
  • In case the complaint does not opt for anonymity, the person will also receive an action-taken report within about 100 minutes.

6. Apart from the above application, EC also launched a voter education and electoral participation portal, dedicated to Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).

7. The mobile application was launched on the sideline of national consultation programme on “Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in the Electoral Process.”

Important terminology related to this article:

8. Model Code of Conduct(MOC):

  • MOC is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for conduct of political parties and candidates during elections.
  • It is mainly with respect to speeches, polling day, polling booths, election manifestos, processions and general conduct.
  • The Model Code of Conduct comes into force immediately on announcement of the election schedule by the commission to ensure free and fair election

 

A good beginning

News:

  1. Recently, the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) directed Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu and other states.

Important facts:

2. The decision was taken during first meeting of the CWMA held in New Delhi, with representatives from Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

3. The CWMA was formed to implement the water sharing award of the Cauvery water dispute tribunal as modified by apex court this year.

4. The meeting was held because Karnataka decided to appeal in the Supreme Court against the formation of Cauvery Water Management Authority.

5. Karnataka has been asked to release 31 tmcft water to Tamil Nadu in July.

6. Karnataka had released an extra of 3 tmcft of water from Cauvery in June owing to the heavy rainfall in the river’s catchment areas.

7. According to the apex court order in February, Karnataka needs to release 177.25 TMC to Tamil Nadu. The Court had reduced the latter’s share of 192 TMC as ordained by the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal.

8. In case of Ponducherry, the authority directed that the existing arrangement for the supply of water to Ponducherry by Tamil Nadu will continue.

9. The authority is expected to meet once every 10 days during the monsoon months.

10. The CWMA may not face any problem in releasing water to Tamil Nadu because of good south-west monsoon this year.

11. It is only in a distress year that authority will face challenges.

12. According to Inter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956, it is centre’s duty to notify a scheme to implement the award of a tribunal.

13. The Parliament has the power to modify the scheme, but Karnataka’s claim that the scheme requires parliamentary approval before it is implemented is questionable.

14. The apex court approved the draft scheme only after finding it to be “inconsonance with the dictum and directions in the Award as modified by court and also in conformity with Section 6A of the 1956 Act.

15. The next meeting of the CWMA is expected to be held in very soon to review the implementation of the orders passed by the authority in its first meeting.

16. For the successful functioning of  CWMA it needs:

  • Cooperation of states in gathering data on rainfall.
  • Cropping patterns
  • Periodic withdraws from reservoirs
  • Inflows and outflows

17. Way ahead:

  • All parties concerned should leave behind the era of litigation and focus on non-political mechanism to make sound professional decisions on water sharing and distress.
  • All states concerned should approach the issue of sharing of water of Inter-state River in a spirit of cooperation.
  • Parties concerned should help authority in implementing verdict.

Some value addition points:

18. Constitutional Provisions and Legislations:

  • The Constitutional Provision for Interstate water dispute has been laid down in Article 262
  • The Article 262 provides for a specific law enacted by Parliament to adjudicate water disputes. It also bars jurisdiction of all courts, including the Supreme Court, on the same.

19.The River:

  • The Cauvery River originates in Karnataka’s Kodagu district, flows into Tamil Nadu, and reaches the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar.
  • Parts of three Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka – and the Union Territory of Pondicherry lie in the Cauvery basin.
  • The river’s upper hilly catchment lies in Karnataka and Kerala. Its lower part lies in the plains of Tamil Nadu.
  • Karnataka is the upper riparian state where the river originates; Tamil Nadu is a lower riparian state.

 

Supreme Court verdict on Centre-Delhi tussle today

News:

  1. The Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict on the ongoing tussle between the Centre and Delhi government.

Important facts:

2.A five-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India will deliver its verdict on the Delhi government’s appeal challenging the High Court 2016 judgment holing the Lieutenant-Governor as the administrative head of the Capital.

3.It will provide more clarity on the role of Lieutenant Governor and government in national capital.

4.Delhi government’s arguments:

  •  The AAP government had challenged the Delhi High Court ruling which stated that Delhi is a Union Territory and the Lieutenant Governor its administrative head
  • The Delhi government has repeatedly highlighted that its government has no say over important departments like law and order and agencies such as the Delhi Development Authority.
  • After its victory in 2015 in Assembly elections, the AAP government has clashed with the L-G over appointments, file clearances and control of the police department, which reports to the Centre.
  • The Delhi government had argued that the legislative powers of the L-G, as a delegate of the President, is limited compared with those possessed by the Delhi Assembly.

5.Centre’s arguments:

  • The centre argued that the Delhi government was at best meant to take care of the “daily utilities” of the Capital and the “real power to administrate the national capital” was vested with the President and the Union of India.

6.High Court Judgment:

  • The High Court had ruled that all decisions taken by the Delhi government Ministers must be communicated to the L-G.

 

GS: 3

‘Centre open to discuss RBI’s power over regulating PSBs’

News:

  1. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had raised issues over the lack of powers in regulating state-run lenders.

Important facts:

2. Finance minister Piyush Goyal, said that government is open to discuss these issues.

3. The minister also ruled out government paring its stake in public sector banks (PSBs), saying there is no proposal with the government to lower its ownership in state-run banks to under 51% in 20 of them.

4. Strong opposition came from banking and LIC unions to the government plans to sell its majority stake in the crippled IDBI Bank to LIC.

5. The RBI Governor Urjit Patil blamed that there is lack of power in regulating oversight over government-owned banks.

6. The RBI is facing criticism  over failure in regulating government- owned banks.

7. The RBI governor Urjit Patel said that failure was due to lack of power   for regulating government owned banks.

8. The Sunil Mehta panel recommended to set up an asset management company to resolve smaller loan default of upto Rs 500 crore.

9. Minister further said liquidation can’t be the panacea for all NPAs as there are genuine business failures which need to be resolved.

 

 MCX plans currency derivatives foray

News:

  1. The Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) plans to enter the currency derivatives segment.

Important facts:

2. The MCX is the county’s largest commodity bourse in terms of market share.

3. The unified license regime will allow equity and commodity exchanges to expand their offerings by starting new segments.

4. The BSE is the largest player in the currency segment followed by the NSE with the Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) having small share.

5. The BSE and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) have announced plans for commodity trading under the new regulations framework.

6. Currency derivatives see average daily volumes in excess of Rs. 60,000 crore.

Turnover:

7. In June, it reported an average daily turnover of Rs. 33,961 crore on its currency derivatives platform while the NSE clocked Rs. 29,161 crore.

8. MSEI reported a daily average turnover of only Rs. 239 crore in June.

9. The average daily turnover of the currency segment of NSE was Rs. 12,705 crore in 2014-15, which rose to Rs. 18,603 crore in 2015-16 and thereafter to Rs. 20,779 crore in 2017-18.

10. This fiscal till date, the average daily turnover is pegged at Rs. 29,008 crore

11. Advantages:

  • MCX adding currency derivatives alongside commodity markets may facilitate hedging by import- / export-focused commodity merchants
  • The market participants are likely to enjoy lower fees through competition.

 

E-vehicles pose threat to forging industry, says AIFI

News:

  1. The Centre’s focus on electric vehicles (EVs) likely to impact the future of Indian forging industry.

Important facts:

2. EVs were going to be the biggest threat to the industry because:

  • Around 60% of forging units are involved in the manufacture of auto components and majority are engaged in application related to engine transmission.
  • As a result, 40-50% of demand for forged auto components would decline, resulting in job losses and a shutting down of units.

3. Suggestions:

  • The President, Association of Indian Forging Industry (AIFI), said the industry needs “a clear road map to provide a level playing field”.
  • Industry should have basic infrastructure such as charging stations and availability of lithum batteries as well as guidelines for disposal of batteries.

4. India is the third largest manufacturer of forging globally, after China and EU.

5. Presently, India is facing challenges arising out of rising steel and oil prices, a demand- supply gap and technology upgradation.

6. Electric vehicles:

  • All electric vehicles run on electricity only. An electric vehicle uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion.
  • An electric vehicles may be powered through a collector system by electricity from off-vehicle sources, or may be self-contained with a battery, solar panels or an electric generator to convert fuel to electricity.
  • EVs include road and rail vehicles, surface and underwater vessels, and electric spacecraft.

 

Tariffs cut on Asian imports under APTA

News:

  1. The Centre has implemented the tariff concessions under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement.

Important facts:

2. India has agreed to provide tariff concessions on 3,142 products to Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) members, including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, from July 1

3. However, these duty concessions will be more for least developed countries (LDCs) and less for developing nations.

4. The results of the fourth round of negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), have been implemented with effect from July 1.

5. With the implementation of this decision, the coverage of preferences of total tariff lines for each member would come of 10,677 products, up from 4,270 items at the conclusion of the third round.

6. The average Margin of Preference (MoP) being provided under the agreement is 31.52 per cent. But LDC members are entitled to greater concessions on 1,249 items with an average MoP of 81 per cent.

7. APTA:

  • APTA is an initiative under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) for trade expansion through exchange of tariff concessions among developing country members of the Asia Pacific Region.
  • It is in place since 1975.
  • It is a preferential trade agreement (PTA), under which the basket of items as well as extent of tariff concessions are enlarged during the trade negotiating rounds which are launched from time to time.
  • Under a free trade agreement, countries cut or eliminate duties on most number of goods traded between them besides liberalising norms to promote services trade and investments. But under a PTA, duties are eliminated on a certain number of identified items.
  • It is previously known as Bangkok Agreement,
  • It consists six countries namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka.
  • APTA is a preferential trade agreement, under which the basket of items as well as the extent of tariff concessions are enlarged during the trade negotiating rounds that are conducted periodically.
  • The fourth round of trade negotiations under the agreement was conducted on January 13, 2017.
  • India is a founding member of APTA.
  • APTA is the oldest preferential trade agreement between countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
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