CAO The Hindu NOTES – 23rd Jan, 2018 (Daily News Paper Current Affairs Analysis)

📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis


Date:- 23rd-Jan, 2018

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 EC pulled up for backing simultaneous polls {Polity}

In news:

  • The Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice discussed electoral reforms
  • Lawmakers questioned the Election Commission about its recent statements endorsing simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies, saying it does not have the mandate to decide the issue

Constitutional Amendment required for the simultaneous election process:

  • Constitution needs to be amended in order to facilitate simultaneous elections
  • A constitutional amendment would have to be cleared by both Houses of Parliament
  • It would have to be ratified by the Assemblies of half of the States
  • The other way was for all Assemblies and the Union government to agree to the plan voluntarily

Basic Information:

Standing Committee:

  • In the Indian Parliament, a Standing committee is a committee consisting of Members of Parliament
  • It is a permanent and regular committee which is constituted from time to time according to the provisions of an Act of Parliament or Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business
  • Both Houses of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, and Lok Sabha have similar Committee structures with a few exceptions
  • These standing committees are elected or appointed every year, or periodically by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, or as a result of consultation between them
  • Important committees are the Committee on Estimates, the Committee on Public Accounts, the Committee on Public Undertakings and DRSCs
  • These committees play an important role in exercising a check over governmental expenditure and Policy formulation

 Don’t judge a snake by its colour {Biodiversity}

  • The tropical snake Calliophis bibroni is a venomous species endemic to the Western Ghats.
  • In its infant stage, the snake develops a bright red colouration with black stripes, similar to another venomous snake, Sinomicrurus macclellandi .
  • Other snakes, too, exhibit this type of mimicry, with two or more species sharing the same danger signals.

Why snake mimics?

Once the predator has learnt that red and black snakes are venomous, it will never touch any other species with the same colour pattern.


 Now, an app to report roadkill in wildlife habitats {Environment} {Ecology}

A mobile-based application, ‘Roadkills’, launched on January 21 by the Wildlife Conservation Trust, will help citizens report such wildlife deaths by uploading geotagged photographs to a public forum.

The data generated can be used to identify crucial road or rail stretches that urgently require mitigation measures.

Reason behind launching this app

Tigers or toads, roads that cut through their habitats can be deathtraps for wild animals.

About the app

With the resulting geotagged photographs, users can also include what taxon the animal belongs to (bird, mammal, reptile or amphibian), the species’ name (if known) and the area where the roadkill was seen.

How can it help?

The information generated from the application can help identify crucial sections of roads or railway lines where animal deaths are high to pinpoint regions that require urgent mitigation measures.

The data can also help determine what species are more at risk on specific road or rail stretches and plan the ideal mitigation measures suited for the location – from underpasses or overpasses for large mammals to canopy bridges for arboreal ones, such as monkeys.


 Less nationalism, more connectivity: ASEAN leader  {International Relations}

ASEAN-India summit

Connectivity projects can grow in the region only if there is a “political atmosphere”, and “nationalist rhetoric” is reduced.

Issue

Unless India and ASEAN work out their reservations on free trade, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, they would not benefit from the infrastructure.

Looking at the long term

“Building of roads, that just needs engineering and money. But the other part, convincing all the parties that there will be more costs is the difficult one. In the end, regional integration and liberalisation can be good for your country, and make the leadership more popular, but people need to have patience to see the long-term benefits,” he said.

India’s worry

Over the past few years, the RCEP negotiations have floundered largely over Indian concerns on unfettered Chinese entry into Indian markets through free trade with the ASEAN countries.

Maritime security, terrorism and cybersecurity will be highlighted in the joint statement, along with the “3Cs” of commerce, connectivity and culture.


 Modi arrives in Davos for annual WEF {INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS}

In news:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to attend World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meet where he would share his vision for India’s future engagements with the international community.
  • Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the summit in two decades, would deliver the opening plenary address at the summit.

Basic Information:

World Economic Forum:

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, Switzerland. Recognized by the Swiss authorities as an international body
  • Its mission is cited as “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas”.
  • The Forum is best known for its annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland.
  • The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, economists, and journalists for up to four days to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.

The organization also convenes some six to eight regional meetings each year in locations across Africa, East Asia, and Latin America, and holds two further annual meetings in China and the United Arab Emirates. Beside meetings, the foundation produces a series of research reports and engages its members in sector-specific initiatives.


IMF raises global growth forecast, sees U.S. tax boost {Economy}

The International Monetary Fund on 22nd January, 2018 revised up its forecast for world economic growth in 2018 and 2019, saying sweeping U.S. tax cuts were likely to boost investment in the world’s largest economy and help its main trading partners.

Strengthen the dollar

The tax cuts would likely widen the U.S. current account deficit, strengthen the U.S. dollar and affect international investment flows.

Euro area, Japan

The IMF also revised up its growth forecasts for the euro area, especially for Germany, Italy and the Netherlands “reflecting the stronger momentum in domestic demand and higher external demand”.

However, it cut its forecast for Spain’s growth for 2018 by 0.1 percentage point, saying political uncertainty linked to the Catalonia region’s independence push was expected to impact business confidence and demand.

The IMF revised up its growth forecast for Japan to 1.2% this year and 0.9% in 2019. It maintained its projection for Britain’s growth at 1.5% this year.


 World Gold Council mulls standard for gold kilobars {ECONOMY}

In news:

  • TheWorld Gold Council (WGC) is studying the creation of a global standard for gold kilobars so they can be deployed as collateral in futures markets and potentially encourages demand.
  • Reason:Kilobars —1 kg gold bars — dominate Asian trade but a lack of transparency about their origin and the absence of a global standard hinders their use on exchanges elsewhere.
  • Clearing houses, some of which allow bullion to be used as collateral on futures markets, might accept such bars if they all met a set of internationally recognised criteria.

Basic Information:

World Gold Council:

  • The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry. It works across all parts of the industry, from gold mining to investment, and their aim is to stimulate and sustain demand for gold.
  • They frequently publish research that demonstrates gold’s strength as a preserver of wealth – both for investors and countries.
  • They also provide analysis of the industry, offering insights into the drivers of gold demand.

The World Gold Council is an association whose members comprise the world’s leading gold mining companies. It helps to support its members to mine in a responsible way and developed the Conflict-Free Gold Standard.


 

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