CAO The Hindu NOTES – 27th Jan, 2018 (Daily News Paper Current Affairs Analysis)

📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis

Date:- 27th-Jan, 2018


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 Govt. relaxes Atal pension plan norms {Economy}

The Centre would now allow small finance banks and payment banks to offer the Atal Pension Yojana (APY), which is expected to significantly increase the coverage of the scheme.

Pensioned society

“Participation in APY not only builds a pensioned society but also adds sustainable fee income to banks by way of attractive incentive for mobilising APY at the rate of Rs. 120-150 for each account.”

So far, 11 payment banks and 10 small finance banks have received licences from the Reserve Bank of India to start banking operations in India.

 One question set for all NEET aspirants: CBSE {Education Policy}

In news

The CBSE has informed the Supreme Court that only one set of question paper would be set for students taking the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS and BDS courses from this year.


  • The apex court had earlier turned as “illogical” the practice of setting different sets of question papers in different languages and said that it would be “very difficult” to evaluate the competence of students when their questions are different.
  • The court had not accepted the board’s contention that if the level of difficulty of all papers was the same, then it served the purpose of uniformity in the examination and there was nothing wrong in having multiple sets of question papers.
  • The CBSE agreed to the suggestions of the apex court and said that from the present academic session, there would be only one question paper which would be translated into different languages.

 India should be pro-active: ASEAN {INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS}

In news:

  • All leaders at the just concluded ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit have urged India to play a proactive role in the Asia-Pacific region
  • ASEAN is touted to become the fourth largest economic bloc in the world by 2030. As the region increasingly witnesses Chinese adventures in and around the Indian Ocean, it has become important for India to strengthen its relationship with other Asian economies.


  • ASEAN today is one of the most thriving business and commerce centres globally.
  • The region constitutes around 8 percent of the global exports, and receives 15 percent of world investments, while having almost 26 percent in outward investments.
  • It is also home to economies such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which are often touted as the last frontier economies in the world having exhibited more than 7 percent growth consistently over the past few years.

What was discussed at the summit?

  • During the summit, India announced 1,000 PhD fellowships in the IITs for students from the ASEAN countries.
  • New Delhi also announced a dedicated training course in highway engineering, setting up of a virtual network of universities, and pilot projects to set up digital infrastructure at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit. Further, an ASEAN-India Startup festival will be held later this year.
  • The participating countries also agreed to celebrate 2019 as the year of tourism for ASEAN nations
  • Apart from countering ‘traditional and non-traditional’ threats to freedom of navigation, India plans to work closely with Malaysia and Indonesia on handling radicalisation. A conference on de-radicalisation will be held soon.

Advantages of close engagement with ASEAN

  • Indian businesses could benefit by setting up production units in Asean, which could then act as a platform for them to enter China with whom Asean has an FTA. India could also benefit from Asean’s trade agreements with other economies in the region.
  • Further, the ambition to have an Asean Economic Community would catapult the ten economies of $2.6 trillion into a single market and production base, providing Indian business unparalleled access to over 622 million people, almost double the populaton of the US.

Chinese presence

  • There exists the continuous dominance and interference by China in some of the economies in the region as it gets desperate to win control in and around the subcontinent
  • The entire Asean region is flooded with Chinese products. For example, in Cambodia, many government vehicles sport the tag, “Gifted by friends from China”.
    • India was instrumental in Cambodia securing freedom, but today finds it difficult to have a significant commercial presence in that country.
  • Investments, soft loans, grants and assistance have been offered to most of the new frontier economies, making it difficult for countries such as India to do genuine business there.
    • Philippines expressed its allegiance to China over its age-old partner the US, which could have far-reaching strategic and defence spillovers.

Issue Area

  • It is true that India’s mythology and culture find great resonance across the entire ASEAN region. However, repeated mention of the historical linkages appear rhetorical, and unable to add any real value as these economies anticipate a proactive and constructive commercial engagement with India.
  • India’s commitment to trade and investment in ASEAN remains far from impressive. While around 10 per cent of India’s exports goes to ASEAN, we contribute only 2 per cent to ASEAN’s total import from across the globe. In fact, the balance of trade has always been in favour of ASEAN.

What should India do?

  • The 3Cs, namely commerce, connectivity and culture, should ideally become the pivot of cooperation between ASEAN and India.
  • Asean’s strength today lies in plantations, electronics and heavy machinery, while for India it is largely in computer services, light engineering and pharmaceuticals. Both sides needs to create appropriate frameworks to reduce both tariff and non-tariff barriers to widen the scope of trade, while looking at participation in the value chain.
  • India in 2015 announced a ₹500-crore Project Development Fund, which was meant to encourage Indian businesses to set up ventures in CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos Myanmar and Vietnam). The region offers a lot of opportunities for Indian entities in project exports, supply contracts, and creating utility infrastructure, apart from having manufacturing set-ups. It is important for India that such initiatives are realised soon, especially when it faces competition from an aggressive Chinese.
  • India must strive to penetrate in select Asean economies where China is well entrenched, while increasing its influence in others where China is gaining a foothold. India must shrug off its traditional inertia and replicate the Chinese approach of offering the entire bouquet of its services to engage with the Asean economies. This would essentially mean avoiding procrastination and inordinate delay

Way forward

  • However, India needs to be cautious while negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with China being the big elephant in the room. Trade facilitation is another key area. It is important for Indian banks to set up operations in the region which would help Indian businesses.
  • Aspects such as Mutual Recognition Agreement in the context of services should be ratified at the earliest keeping aside any apprehension on the impact that this could have on Asean’s services sectors which are largely confined to Singapore. India may also explore opportunity to be a part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC, and to the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) — a mechanism created in 2010 to help manage regional financial crisis.
  • Both India and Asean would require to chisel their existing policies to facilitate trade and investment and, more importantly, maintain a sustainable environment for peace in the region.
  • In this context, a benign and non-hegemonic engagement between India and Asean would yield sound economic results and would be a shot in arm as far as strategy is concerned.

 Visa lottery system to come to an end {INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS}

In news:

  • US President Donald Trump has proposed to end the visa lottery system in favor of reducing backlogs of highly-skilled workers. If passed by the Congress and signed into law, such a move is expected to significantly reduce the green card backlogs for highly skilled immigrants from India.
  • The Diversity Immigrant Visa Programme, which the Trump administration wants to terminate, awards up to 50,000 individuals per year a visa for a green card, which allows permanent residency and is a path to US citizenship.

Why is Trump against this program?

  • Trump is against this Program as this does not attract best of the brains to USA
  • In recent past, several of the home grown terrorists including prime accused of New York terrorist attacks came either on diversity visa or chain migration.


  • It will benefit Indian IT professionals who are currently having several decades of waiting period to get their Green Cards.

 Fossil shows modern humans left Africa earlier than thought {Indian History} {Indian Society}

Scientists have announced the discovery of a fossilised human jawbone in a collapsed cave in Israel that they said is between 1,77,000 and 1,94,000 years old.

What does it mean?

This finding may rewrite the early migration story of our species, pushing back by about 50,000 years the time that Homo sapiens first ventured out of Africa.

Previous finding

Israel had convinced some anthropologists that modern humans began leaving Africa between 90,000 and 120,000 years ago.

The recently dated jawbone is unravelling that narrative.

“This would be the earliest modern human anyone has found outside of Africa, ever.


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