The Hindu NOTES – 21st Dec, 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)

📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER– DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis 21st Dec 2017


Date:- 21-Dec, 2017

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  Tripura to upgrade Dambur power plant {Energy}

In news

The Tripura government has prepared an estimated Rs. 100-crore project to upgrade the State’s lone hydroelectric project at Dambur in south Tripura.

Gumti Hydroelectric Power Project is located at Thirthmukh, Tripura, India The Gumti hydel project was commissioned in 1974.

Consequences

Despite fierce protests by nearly 40,000 indigenous tribes people whose fertile lands went under water. Not even one-fifth of the people who were forced to give up their land were compensated because most tribesmen had no land records to prove ownership

During 1970’s rehabilitation policy was not in place, nor land records by the original land holders available. As a result many land less youths become insurgents and perhaps the problems of militancy of Tripura has gained ground.

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Potential: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherTribal who lost their lands due to the project become landless and unemployed. It has fulled violent insurgency with young men and women from landless families joining the state’s two major rebel groups


 No-frills airport to come up at Donakonda {Infrastructure & Development}

Donakonda, a sleepy village in Prakasam district (Andhra Pradesh) had been active during the British era till World War II in view of its strategic location to fuel aircraft. But, in the Independent India, it fell into disuse over a period.

Proposal

Plans of the Airports Authority of India(AAI) are now afoot to revive the airfield into a no-frills airport coinciding with the State government’s proposal to promote a ₹5000 crore Donakonda Industrial city.

No-frills airlines are airlines that offer low fares but eliminate all non-essential services, such as complimentary food, in-flight entertainment systems, and business-class seating.

 A no-frills airline will typically cut overhead by flying from more remote airports (with lower access charges) and by using a single type of aircraft.


 Platform created to connect Chinese hardware with Indian software {Science & Tech}

In news

NASSCOM and the local government in Dalian have set up the Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza (SIDCOP) — a “match-making” platform that will connect small and medium-sized Indian software developers, with Chinese companies specialising in hardware.

A new wave of Indian software developers will soon be able to plug into China’s next wave of industrialisation, based on Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (IOT).

NASSCOM

It is a not-for-profit industry association, is the apex body for the 154 billion dollar IT BPM industry in India, an industry that had made a phenomenal contribution to India’s GDP, exports, employment, infrastructure and global visibility.

IOT

The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to inter-operate within the existing Internet infrastructure.


 RBI imposes restrictions on BoI; fresh curbs for UBI {Banking & Economy}

In news

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed certain restrictions under its prompt corrective action framework (PCA) on state-run lender Bank of India.

Why?

It reported negative return on asset for two consecutive years and insufficient common equity tier-I capital after non-performing assets zoomed in the last three years.

More than half a dozen public sector banks face similar sanctions due to their poor health.

The actions focused on profit retention, capital augmentation, provision coverage, diversification of credit portfolio, rationalisation of expansion and cost control, along with the steps already initiated earlier by the bank.


 No plan to take away J&K’s special status, says Centre {POLITY}

In news:

  • The government informed Parliament that there was no proposal as of now for abolition of Articles 35A and 370 which give special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Article 35A and the PIL:

  • Article 35A was added to the Constitution by a presidential order in 1954 and it empowers the State legislature to define the State’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges.
  • Article 35A was challenged by an NGO before the Supreme Court by seeking its abrogation.
  • The PIL said the Jammu and Kashmir government, under the guise of Articles 35A and 370, was discriminating against non-residents who are debarred from buying properties, getting a government job or voting in the local elections.
  • Petitioners contention: Article 35 A is against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it creates a “class within a class of Indian citizens”. Restricting citizens from other States from getting employment or buying property within Jammu and Kashmir is a violation of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
Basic Information:

Article 35A: “Saving of laws with respect to permanent residents and their rights. — Not with standing anything contained in this Constitution, no existing law in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and no law hereafter enacted by the Legislature of the State:

(a) defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; or

(b) conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects—

(i) employment under the State Government;

(ii) acquisition of immovable property in the State;

(iii) settlement in the State; or

(iv) right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government may provide,

shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of this part.”


 UPCOCA tabled, Opposition fumes {Polity}

 In news:

  • Uttar Pradesh Control of Organized Crime Act, 2017 (UPCOCA)
  • Opposition claim: UPCOCA could potentially be used as a tool to suppress rivals, settle political vendetta and target specific communities.
  • Government’s claim: the proposed law is a remedy against organised crime.

Features of the UPCOCA:

  • The UPCOCA law would give special powers to the police to arrest offenders and members of the crime syndicates.
  • The State would be empowered to seize the property of such people after taking the consent of a special court constituted to hear the cases.
  • Properties acquired through illegal activities and organised crime would also be seized.
  • Some of the crimes defined under the UPCOCA are: land grab [government and non-state property], illegal mining, manufacture and sale of illegal medicines and illicit liquor, money laundering, wildlife smuggling, extortion, abduction syndicate, hafta collection, murder and conspiracy to murder and white-collar offences.
  • If found guilty, offenders would face a minimum jail term of three years and a maximum of life imprisonment or even death sentence.
  • The accused will not be granted bail for six months after the arrest.

 Raise social security budget, Jaitley told {Economy}

Context

The Central Government’s contribution to old-age pensions under the National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) scheme has remained at a measly ₹200 per month since 2006

What is the demand?

Central Government’s contribution should be immediately raised to at least ₹500, which would require an additional allocation of about ₹8,640 crore, based on the current NOAPS coverage of 2.4 crore pensioners.

“Similarly, widow pensions should be raised from ₹300 per month to ₹500 at the very least,” they said. “This would cost just another ₹1,680 crore.”

“Maternity benefits of ₹6,000 per child are a legal entitlement of all Indian women (except those already covered in the formal sector) under the National Food Security Act 2013

National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS)

Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) or National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) is a social sector scheme and forms part of the National Social Assistance Programme. 

Salient Features

overage and entitlement under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) : Upto 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population will be covered under TPDS, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month. However, since Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households constitute poorest of the poor, and are presently entitled to 35 kg per household per month, entitlement of existing AAY households will be protected at 35 kg per household per month.

State-wise coverage : Corresponding to the all India coverage of 75% and 50% in the rural and urban areas, State-wise coverage will be determined by the Central Government. The then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog) has determined the State-wise coverage by using the NSS Household Consumption Survey data for 2011-12.

Maternity Benefit : Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.

Women Empowerment : Eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism : Grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels. States will have the flexibility to use the existing machinery or set up separate mechanism.

Penalty : Provision for penalty on public servant or authority, to be imposed by the State Food Commission, in case of failure to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer.


 Tiny scorpion packs a punch {Biodiversity}

In news

Their stings are what they’re most notorious for but India’s scorpions are in the limelight now thanks to the addition of a new species — the Schaller’s wood scorpion from Tripura’s Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary.

Highlights

It’s also called dwarf scorpions, wood scorpions are unlike the large scorpions we commonly see. Wood scorpions are only about three cm long and live in small burrows on the ground, making them very difficult to spot.

A detailed examination of the arachnids showed they were distinctly different from other recorded wood scorpions — the mid-portion of their pincers was differently-shaped as was the placement of their eyes, and they were far darker (a glossy black).

Schaller’s wood scorpions are found in low elevations in parts of Tripura, including Trishna and Bison National Park, and is likely to be found in Bangladesh too, which is three km away. India is home to more than 125 species of scorpions. Nine of India’s 11 wood scorpions are endemic to the country.


 ‘2017 may be among top 3 hottest years’ {Environment}

In news

The year 2017 will likely be among the three warmest years on global record, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Reason

2017 may also be the warmest year without a warming El Nino — a climate phenomenon that causes global temperatures to shoot up.


 Lobbying intensifies for India’s UNGA vote on Jerusalem {International Affairs}

Context:

  • The draft resolution on the status of Jerusalem will be presented before the UNGA.
  • The resolution calls for “the final status of Jerusalem to be resolved through negotiations”.
  • It expresses deep “regret” on the US’ stated position on Jerusalem.

In news:

  • International lobbying has intensified to get India on board for the session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
  • UN is likely to adopt a resolution in opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

India’s stance:

  • India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country.

Expert’s opinion: India should stay away from the voting to show its opposition to the “exclusivist” approach by both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides.



 

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