Must Read News Articles – June 1st

GS 2

Where’s the ban, asks Kerala HC:

  • Dismisses writ plea against Centre’s order restricting sale of cattle at markets.
  • Counsel pointed out that Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution was affected by the rules.
  • The petitioner had contended that as the preservation, protection of animals, prevention of animal diseases, and veterinary training and practice came under the State list.

Russia a natural ally:

  • Multilateral issues will dominate talks with Vladmir Putin.
  • The BRICS meeting came against the backdrop of the Uri attacks, as well as Russia’s decision to go ahead with military exercises with Pakistan despite the Modi government’s publicly stated policy of “isolating” Pakistan.

‘Preventive detention no quick fix’:

  • If the power is misused or abused, it will stand vitiated, says Supreme Court.
  • The judgment held that detention of a person was a serious matter affecting the liberty of the citizen.
  • Preventive detention cannot be resorted to when sufficient remedies are available under the general laws of the land for any omission or commission under such laws.
  • The order of preventive detention, though based on the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority, is nonetheless a serious matter, affecting the life and liberty of the citizen under Articles 14, 19, 21 and 22 of the Constitution.
  • The power being statutory in nature, its exercise has to be within the limitations of the statute, and must be exercised for the purpose the power is conferred.

Strategic Partnership model takes effect:

  • To enable participation of private Indian firms in ‘Make in India’ in defence manufacturing.
  • The Strategic Partnership (SP) policy is intended to promote Indian private sector participation in defence manufacturing.
  • The Defence Ministry notified the policy as the final chapter under the Defence Procurement Procedure.
  • The policy acknowledges that the Indian private sector currently has “limited experience in defence manufacturing and even lesser in respect of final integration” of complex defence systems and sub-systems.

India, Spain call for ‘zero tolerance’ to terrorism:

  • ‘States backing terror should be subjected to global laws’. Modi, the first Indian PM to visit Spain since 1992, met the European country’s top leaders and they stressed that states and entities which encourage, support, finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and glorify terrorism should be subjected to international laws, including restrictive measures.
  • Note: Spain is the 12th largest investor in India and the seventh largest trading partner in the EU.

Cow slaughter and the Constitution:

  • The government’s new set of rules on cattle sale is unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny.
  • Central government’s new Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules effectively prohibit the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter at animal markets, and are therefore perceived as imposing an indirect beef ban.

This time for Africa:

  • Sustained India-Japan cooperation in Africa can match China’s substantial outreach. African Development Bank’s (AfDB) decision to hold its meeting here in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, demonstrated its confidence in recent achievements and future prospects of the Indian economy.
  • It also confirmed Africa’s growing interest in connecting more extensively with India.

Mentoring young India:

  • Tinkering Laboratories — Niti Aayog-promoted open-innovation workspaces in high schools — has the potential to ignite entrepreneurship from below.
  • AIM committee report’s recommendation for a National Action Brigade is relevant. AIM will soon launch a Mentor India movement. The AIM report emphasised the bedrock foundations of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

GS 3

India is no longer the fastest-growing economy:

  • India lost its fastest-growing major economy tag in the fourth quarter of 2016-17, with GDP growth coming in at 6.1% compared with China’s 6.9% in the same period.
  • The GDP growth rate is slightly higher (than GVA growth) because of a more than proportionate increase in indirect tax net of subsidies.

Plan for Indian SEZs in Bangladesh hits bump:

  • The plan to step up India’s investments in Bangladesh by setting up three mega Special Economic Zones (SEZ) exclusively for Indian companies in the latter’s territory, has hit a major hurdle.
  • For better connectivity and business prospects, they sought alternative sites close to the Chittagong Port and the capital city of Dhaka — similar to those been allocated by Bangladesh for Chinese SEZs. India and Bangladesh had inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in June 2015 — during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh — for cooperation on establishing Indian SEZs in Bangladesh.

Assessing the new rules to solve the NPA problem:

  • The government has empowered the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to help resolve the issue of non-performing assets (NPAs).
  • As per the RBI directive, banks will now have to agree to a common approach for restructuring or recovery of each non-performing loan (NPL). Banks will be under pressure to close the transactions soon and this could at times lead to under-pricing of the loans, to the advantage of the buyers.
  • In the short term, an increased flow of capital into the stressed assets transactions should be encouraged with specific policy and tax incentives for a limited time period. This will help in a more competitive market and better price discovery.

India’s low carbon transition:

  • India has made a push towards a low carbon economic transition by expanding its renewable energy capacity by 350% over the past 13 years.
  • Both China and India have taken positive steps to curb national carbon emissions, and are well ahead of the goals set under the Paris Agreement.
  • India must continue to take a holistic approach towards climate change. In addition to investing in solar and wind projects, it should also look at investing in clean coal plants, developing alternative energy sources, and managing its upcoming urban transition in order to curtail carbon emissions while achieving its economic goals.
  • The nuclear energy sector also has some barriers for entry in India.
  •  In order to curb its reliance on coal and fulfil its obligations under the Paris accord, India must look into further developing alternative energy sources. Investments in its natural gas infrastructure and its domestic nuclear energy manufacturing capacity could hold the key for a carbon-free future.

Prelims Related News

INS Kalvari to join Navy by July:

  • It is the first of the six French Scorpene submarines being built in India.
  • The second Scorpene submarine Khanderi — named after an island fort of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji — was launched in the sea in January and will begin sea trials on June 1.

Genetic secrets of ancient Egypt unwrapped:

  • Scientists on Tuesday said they examined genome data from 90 mummies from the Abusir el-Malek archaeological site.
  • The genomes showed that, unlike modern Egyptians, ancient Egyptians had little to no genetic kinship with sub-Saharan populations.

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