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Note:  The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination


News Analysis: 14-04-2018


National News

General Studies-II : Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.


Divided we fall

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi thinks vested interests are behind the “baseless” allegation that the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission are biased against certain States or a region.
  • He did not name the region, but he was clearly responding to growing clamour from the southern States for a rethink on the parameters for the Commission to determine revenue-sharing between the Centre and the States.
  • The southern States are concerned that the Commission is switching from the 1971 Census to the 2011 Census.
  • This means States that have done relatively better to control population growth could see their allocations, as a fraction of the total resources, reduced.
  • However, speaking in Chennai Mr. Modi said a State like Tamil Nadu would actually benefit from the Commission’s mandate as the Centre has mooted incentives for those who have done well on population control.
  • That the Prime Minister has had to wade in to try and manage a controversy, days after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had termed it as ‘needless’, signals the Centre’s concerns about the narrative turning against the BJP ahead of the Karnataka election.
  • One will have to wait till October 2019, when the Finance Commission’s final recommendations come in, to assess the actual impact on States’ cash flows, but framing the issue as a southern vs northern States debate is not constructive.
  • The 14th Finance Commission had also given a 10% weightage for the 2011 Census in its calculations and there was no discernible impact on allocations to the more populous States such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  • Also, there are other States whose share of India’s total population has declined between 1971 and 2011, including West Bengal, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
  • Finally, it is misleading for State governments to assume that all positive changes in demographics are a result of their own actions or policies — there are a variety of factors at play when individuals make decisions about procreation.
  • For the Commission, it is more critical to ensure that resources reach those who need them the most and that the genuinely needy are not deprived, wherever they may be.
  • States may spend their energies better by seeking more clarity on the Commission’s other terms of reference, especially the incentives proposed for shunning populism and the move to give the Centre a larger share of the resources to build the New India it envisions by 2022.
  • Whether mid-day meals for children or employment schemes for the rural poor amount to populist pandering is an extremely subjective call.
  • And the Centre’s attempt to increase its share from the divisible pool of resources from the present 58% is something that should concern all States, whether populous or not.

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

SC to examine plea on ‘master of roster’ issue

  • The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine a petition filed by former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan to declare that the authority of the Chief Justice of India as “master of roster” should not be reduced to an absolute, singular and arbitrary power.
  • The Bench will hear the petition despite two separate judgments by the Supreme Court in November 2017 and on April 11, 2018, upholding the Chief Justice’s complete administrative authority to allocate cases and constitute Benches.
  • Both judgments were pronounced by Benches led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
  • Four Supreme Court judges had highlighted the issue of selective allocation of cases to preferred Benches in a press conference on January 12.

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-III : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Preventing accidents

Image result for road accident in india statistics

  • Bald data on Indians killed or injured in road accidents put out annually by the Centre obscure the human impact of the carnage on national and State highways, as well as urban and rural roads.
  • Given the level of official indifference, it would be unsurprising if the deaths this week of at least 23 children and many others in a school bus crash in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, or of the 18 labourers in a lorry accident in Maharashtra, or of nine people in a truck mishap in Uttar Pradesh are mere blips on the radar of administrators.
  • Bringing sanity to the roads of a fast-motorising country seems to be nobody’s responsibility.
  • India as a whole is inured to the ghastly toll every year, although the Supreme Court has been trying to shake governments out of their apathy through the Committee on Road Safety it constituted in 2014 and several specific and time-bound directions.
  • The response of the Centre and the States has been far from responsible.
  • Take the issue of safety black spots on roads that were identified on the basis of fatal accidents between 2011 and 2014.
  • The Union Road Transport Ministry stated in March this year that only 189 out of 789 such spots had been rectified, while funds had been sanctioned for another 256, and the rest were either under State jurisdiction or awaiting sanction.
  • Incremental approaches such as this result in the shameful national record of about 150,000 dead and several hundred thousand injured annually.
  • The Kangra accident needs to be probed by qualified transport safety experts to determine the factors that caused it.
  • There needs to be a report on the crash, to identify lapses, if any, and to take up remedial road engineering measures.
  • The apex court has directed that the performance of district committees should be reviewed periodically.
  • This should ideally follow mandatory public hearings every month for citizens to record road risk complaints.
  • Forming the much-delayed National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board, with a provision for State governments to participate, has to be a top priority.
  • Without expert help, executive agencies such as the Police and Public Works Departments are unable to conduct a technical investigation into an accident. Only a scientific system can stop the routine criminalising of all accidents
  • . The present investigative machinery does not have the capability to determine faults, enabling officials responsible for bad road design and construction and lax traffic managers to escape liability.
  • For accident victims, there is also the heavy burden of out-of-pocket expenditure on medical treatment.
  • The government had promised to address this issue through a cashless facility, but it has not been able to do so as the requisite amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act have not yet been passed.
  • Ultimately, road safety depends on enforcement of rules with zero tolerance to violations, and making officials accountable for safety. That can be ensured even today.

Source-The Hindu,The Indian Express

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Thank You




1.Which of the following statements are correct?


1. Sector specific grants are continued from the Thirteenth Finance Commission to the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC).

2. The FFC has recommended reductions in Grant-in Aids and Central Assistance to States (CAS).


a. Only 1

b.Only 2

c.Both 1 and 2

d.Neither 1 nor 2




2.Which of the following statement  are correct regarding Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC)?


1. The Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) has enhanced the share of the states from the current 32 percent to 40 per cent.

2. All special category states are gainers while only few general category states will benefit in absolute terms.


a. Only 2

b. Only 1

c. Both 1 and 2

d. None of the above




3.Which of the following is the most populous state in India as per census 2011?

a. Bihar

b. Uttar Pradesh

c. Maharashtra

d. None of the above





4.The NATIONAL JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT COMMISSION(NJAC) was to be constituted by which of the following members?


1.The Chief Justice of India

2.Two seniormost Supreme Court judges

3.Two eminent persons


a. Only 1 and 2

b. Only 1 and 3

c. Only 1

d. All of the above





5. The Finance Commission makes recommendations to the president with regard to which of the following?


  1. The distribution of the proceeds of taxes between the union and the states.
  2. The principles which should govern the grants-in-aid to be given to the states.
  3. Any other matter referred to the Commission by the President in the interest of sound finance.


a. Only 1 and 2

b. Only 1 and 3

c. Only 1

d. All of the above