CAO The Hindu NOTES – 20th Feb, 2018 (Daily News Paper Current Affairs Analysis)

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Date:- 20th Feb 2018

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KHALISTAN CASTS SHADOW OVER TRUDEAU VISIT (GS 2 –IR)

State visit of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has met with a low key response from Indian Government.

When Trudeau landed in New Delhi on Saturday night, he was welcomed by a Minister of State, a much junior official, reading it with the persona of PM Modi, who is known to have walked the extra mile to personally receive leaders when they come to India has fuelled the questions.

The reason for the cold reception from India’s part is understood to be in connection with Trudeau’s association with Khalistani elements in Canada.

Context

The Khalistan movement is a Sikh nationalist movement, which seeks to create a separate country called Khalistān in the Punjab region of South Asia.

Canadian Leadership during Stephen Harpers Prime Ministership was careful to not associate with radical Sikhs. But When Justin Trudeau was elected Canada’s Prime Minister in 2015, he inducted khalisthani sympathisers as ministers

Trudeau himself attended a Khalsa Day event in Toronto of Pro-khalistani nature

The Ontario Assembly, dominated by Trudeau’s Liberal Party, passed a resolution last year condemning the “genocide” of Sikhs in India in 1984.


PLEA SEEKS PROTECTION FOR ECS FROM REMOVAL (GS 2 – polity)

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre and the Election Commission of India to file their responses on a plea pointing out the vagueness in the procedure for the removal of two Election Commissioners.

The plea petitions that the vagueness affects autonomy of the ECs. It seeks to give ECs the same protection given to the CEC.

Election commission

The Election Commission independent body established by the Constitution of India directly to ensure free and fair elections in the country

The EC currently consists of Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners and decisions are taken by consensus or majority vote.

The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed only on the same grounds and in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court.

But for the other Election Commissioners this safeguard is not given. And is alleged that it is affecting the independence of these election commissioners and thus putting the institution under governments influence.


VACCINES CAN PREVENT TB INFECTIONS IN ADOLESCENTS (GS –2 HEALTH)

Clinical trial of two vaccine candidates have shown promise in preventing TB infections among adolescents.

In a prevention-of-infection, Phase II trial conducted in South Africa, re-vaccination with the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine significantly reduced sustained TB infections in adolescents. An experimental vaccine candidate, H4:IC31 also reduced sustained infections although not satisfactory

The results of the phase II clinical trial will be presented at the 5th Global Forum on TB Vaccines that starts in Delhi

About TB

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). The disease is spread from person to person through the air. It commonly affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body.

TB kills an estimated 480,000 Indians every year and more than 1,400 every day

The government has committed to achieve a ‘90-90-90 target’ by 2035 (90% reductions in incidence, mortality and catastrophic health expenditures due to TB.


BANK BUREAU STARES AT UNCERTAIN FUTURE (GS – 3 BANKING)

The Banks Board Bureau (BBB), a body set up by the government for holistic makeover of the banks, is likely to shut down in March as the tenure of its members coming to an end on March 31, 2018

Banks Board Bureau

  • The BBB was set up in 2016 under the government’s Indradanush program to reform public sector banks, in the form of an advisory body
  • Headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, BBB consists of representatives of government and RBI apart from independent banking professionals.
  • But the board was bypassed at several occasions by government, rattling the confidence and need of the body
  • The PNB scam that broke out may well write the end note for the much hyped about body.

CALLS FOR PRIVATIZATION OF BANKS (GS 3 – Economy)

With large corruption and scam stories coming out reflecting the overall level of mismanagement and inefficiency in the PSBs calls for privatization of PSB banks are strengthening.

Among several others, Industry bodies like FICCI, Assocham has called for government to surrender its majority control of banks

Earlier Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian had also stressed the need for increasing private sector participation in the banking sector.

Issues/ arguments for privatisation

  • The weak performance of the banks becomes a continuous pressure on the government finances
  • This would drain the exchequer of money to be used for developmental schemes and programmes of the government.
  • Recapitalisation efforts by the government will not be effective unless the inherent issues related to governance, productivity, risk management, talent, customer service, etc. are resolved.
  • Dynamic banking sector is the need of the hour, and PSB with all its bureaucratic style and inefficiency is not quite the answer

The public-sector banks, which constitute almost 70% of the Indian banking system, is clearly not performing up to the mark and is dragging back the growth of the economy.


 

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