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Home » THE HINDU, PIB CURRENT NEWS ANALYSIS 7JUNE 2018

THE HINDU, PIB CURRENT NEWS ANALYSIS 7JUNE 2018

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: 07-06-2018

National News

 

General Studies-II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

Maternal mortality ratio in the country drops to 130 from 167

  • The latest Sample Registration System (SRS) data indicating the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has brought glad tidings.
  • As per the data, the MMR (number of maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births) has dropped from 167 (in 2011-2013, the last SRS period) to 130 for the country.
  • This 28% drop is an achievement arising from painstakingly reducing the MMR in each of the States.
  • Kerala remains at the top with an MMR of 46 (down from 61). Maharashtra retains its second position with 61, but the pace of fall has been much lower, dropping from 68 during 2011-13. Tamil Nadu with 66 (79) is in the third position.

Source: The Hindu

General Studies-II : Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

World Bank nod for ₹6,000 cr. groundwater recharge plan

  • To address concerns about depleting groundwater reserves in India, the government has joined hands with the World Bank to execute a ₹6,000-crore scheme called the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY).
  • The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23, according to a statement from the Union water Ministry. It is yet to be cleared by the Cabinet.
  • The Atal Bhujal Yojana “aims to improve ground water management in priority areas in the country through community participation,” the statement said.
  • The priority areas identified under the scheme fall in Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, which represent about 25% of the total number of over-exploited, critical and semi-critical blocks in terms of groundwater in India.
  • According to a sample assessment in 2011, groundwater in 19 of India’s 71 districts — about 26% — were critical or exploited, meaning that nearly as much or more water was being pulled out than their reservoirs’ natural recharge ability.
  •  In another assessment in 2013, they included groundwater blocks in districts that had gone saline, and this percentage was up to 31%.

Source: The Hindu

General Studies-III : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

President gives nod for IBC amendment

  • The President on Wednesday gave his assent to promulgate the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018.
  • The ordinance provides significant relief to homebuyers by recognising their status as financial creditors
  • It will also enable homebuyers to invoke Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 against errant developers.
  • Another major beneficiary would be micro, small and medium sector enterprises (MSME), which form the backbone of the Indian economy as the biggest employer, next only to the agriculture sector.

Source: The Hindu

 

General Studies-III : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Pre-emptive strike

  • At the end of an unusually long three-day meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India opted for a hike in key interest rates by 25 basis points — the first such increase in four and a half years.
  • This hike, the first during this NDA government’s tenure, was approved unanimously by the six-member committee, citing worries about hardening inflation trends and a firming up of growth recovery at home.
  • Global uncertainties affecting emerging markets in particular have played a role as well — be it rising tensions over trade wars initiated by the Donald Trump administration or the strengthening dollar or further rate hikes by the Federal Reserve that could strengthen the exodus of global capital from emerging markets such as India.
  • Already, between January and May, outflows from foreign portfolio investors have reached their highest level in 10 years, and by June 4, $6.7 billion was pulled out on a net basis from the domestic capital market.
  • The rupee, along with other emerging market currencies, is hurting too, but RBI Governor Urjit Patel dismissed suggestions that the rate hike was a bid to stem outflows.
  • The MPC, he asserted, is driven purely by its inflation management mandate, and there is no contradiction between the rate hike and the committee sticking to its neutral policy stance.
  • To be sure, while retaining its growth projections for 2018-19 at 7.4%, the MPC has revised upwards its inflation projections for the year since its April meeting — from 4.7-5.1% in the first half and 4.4% in the second half to 4.8-4.9% and a significantly higher 4.7%, respectively.
  • This should worry a government gearing for parliamentary elections next year.
  • Though seasonal food inflation spikes are delayed, input cost pressures have hardened owing to a spurt in global commodity prices, led by fuel.
  • Moreover, inflationary expectations among producers as well as consumers have gathered steam.
  • Crude oil prices have been the biggest factor at play, rising 12% from $66 a barrel when the MPC met in April to $74 a barrel.
  • The committee said this rise is “sharper, earlier than expected and seems to be durable”, and termed it a major upside risk to its earlier inflation projections. Industry has expressed concern, but effective borrowing rates and bond yields had been firming up even before this rate hike.
  • The government has, surprisingly, welcomed the RBI’s stance as one that could help steady the markets and dampen uncertainties.
  • The RBI’s neutral stance, as Mr. Patel pointed out, allows it to keep all options open.
  • But a reversal in rates is unlikely till global headwinds clear up and the mandarins in New Delhi work out a viable strategy to minimise the inflation transmission from global oil prices that is exacerbated by their taxation policy for fuels.

Source: The Hindu

 

International News:

 

General Studies-II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.

 

Defend the deal

  • Iran’s notification to the UN that it would launch a plan to increase its uranium enrichment capacity illustrates the risks associated with the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal last month.
  • The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, reached among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, besides Germany, the European Union and Iran, in 2015, curtailed Tehran’s nuclear programme in return for the lifting of international sanctions.
  • But after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement and threatened to impose new sanctions on Iran, its survival is in question.
  • For now, the other signatories say they remain committed to the agreement. But almost a month after Mr. Trump announced his decision, they are yet to come up with a framework to salvage the deal.
  • The latest Iranian announcement is perhaps aimed at turning the heat up on European powers to come up with guarantees that the deal’s benefits will be in place even with U.S. sanctions.
  • According to the deal, Iran can enrich uranium, but under tight restrictions.
  • Iran now says it would open a centre for the production of new centrifuges at its Natanz facility, which could be used for enrichment. Tehran could argue that it is not technically violating the agreement as long as it does not produce centrifuges.
  • But the move to open a production facility, that too soon after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for preparations to speed up uranium enrichment, could be seen as a provocative step by the remaining parties to the agreement.
  • Instead of such posturing, both Iran and Europe would do well to shift their focus to preserving the integrity of the agreement.
  • If Europe remains politically committed to the agreement as it claims, there have to be proper measures to circumvent the impact of U.S. sanctions.
  • It is not yet clear whether European companies will make any significant investments in Iran, or even continue to do business in the country, once U.S. sanctions start targeting them.
  • Earlier, European countries had discussed providing companies that do business with Iran special financing from the European Investment Bank and passing legislation to protect them from U.S. sanctions — but no decision has been taken so far.
  • The EU says it can create conditions for Iran to continue to benefit from the deal but is wary of giving any guarantee.
  • Iran has made it clear that the U.S. withdrawal should not affect its oil exports and access to the SWIFT international bank payments messaging system.
  • The way forward is to continue a dialogue to find an economic and legislative package that would shield European companies and Iranian economic interests from U.S. sanctions.
  • For that, Europe has to assure Iran it will stand up to U.S. pressure, as Iran remains cooperative and compliant with the terms of the 2015 agreement.

Source: The Hindu

 

General Studies-II : Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

India’s rank marginally improves in peace index

  • India’s rank has marginally improved in “global peacefulness”, at a time when there is an overall decline of global peace owing to escalation of violence in West Asia and and North Africa.
  • Pakistan’s rank too has improved marginally, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI), released by Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
  • The IEP, world’s leading think tank that develops metrics to analyse peace and quantify its economic value, released the 12th edition of the GPI, or measure of global peacefulness
  • Syria remained the least peaceful country in the world, a position that it had held for the past five years.
  • Iceland continues to remain the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008.

 

Source: The Hindu

 

 

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IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR UPSC ASPIRANT

1. Which of the following statements are true with respect to the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY)?

 

1.The central scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23

2.It aims to improve ground water management in priority areas in the country

 

a.Only 1

b.Only 2

c.Both 1 and 2

d.None of the above

 

Answer-c

 

 

2.Which of the following statements are true with respect to the Monetary Policy Commitee(MPC)?

 

1. The policy interest rate required to achieve the inflation target is decided by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

2. The MPC is required to meet at least four times in a year.

 

a.Only 1

b.Only 2

c.Both 1 and 2

d.Neither 1 nor 2

 

Answer-c

 

3.Maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is number of maternal deaths measured?

 

a. Per 100 livebirths

b. Per 1000 livebirths

c. Per 100000 livebirths

d. None of the above

 

Answer-c

 

4.Which of the following statements are true with regard to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code?

 

1. The code will apply to  business entities as well as individuals

2.  The National Company Law Tribunal will have the jurisdiction over companies and Limited Liability Partnerships, whereas the Debt Recovery Tribunal will have the jurisdiction over the individuals

 

a.Only 1

b.Only 2

c.Both 1 and 2

d.None of the above

 

Answer-c

 

5.The Global Peace Index (GPI) is released by which of the following organisations?

 

a. Amnesty International

b. Institute for Economics and Peace

c. United Nations Development Programme

d. World Justice Project

 

Answer-b