The Hindu NOTES – 29th Nov 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)

📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER– DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis 29th Nov 2017

Date:- 29-NOV, 2017


📰 Telecom regulator backs Net neutrality {POLITY}

In news

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday recommended upholding the basic principle of net neutrality by keeping the Internet open and prohibiting any service provider from discriminating on the basis of content by either blocking, throttling, or “fast-laning” any apps, websites or web services.


  • Trai’s recommendation comes days after United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) led by Ajit Pai suggested plans to scrap landmark 2015 rules intended to ensure a free and open internet.
  • The licensing terms should be amplified to provide explicit restrictions on any sort of discrimination in Internet access based on the content being assessed, the protocols being used or the user equipment being deployed. Content would include all content, application, services and any other data, including its end-point information, that can be accessed or transmitted over the internet.
  • Violations of the net neutrality principle will be punishable by penalties that apply to breach of licensing conditions, which will be suitably amended, Sharma said.
  • Net neutrality implies that telecom service providers must treat all internet traffic equally, without any regard to the type, origin or destination of the content or the means of its transmission.
  • Trai’s recommendations will now be vetted by the department of telecommunications (DoT) and after its approval, changes with effect to the licence agreements of telecom firms will be made to accommodate net neutrality.

Read More……

📰 Ivanka exhorts women entrepreneurs to focus on education, technology {SOCIAL ISSUES}

  • Adviser to the U.S. President Ivanka Trump underscored the importance of education and technology for women entrepreneurs to make a mark in their chosen field.
  • Participating in a panel discussion on ‘Be the Change: Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership’ after the inauguration of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit-2017 here on Tuesday, Ms. Ivanka said technology was disrupting every sphere of life.
  • It was important to train women in digital literacy, computer science and give them access to skill training.
  • Citing the U.S. scenario, she said women comprised only 47% of the workforce, but only 21% of them were in the IT field.
  • The U.S. President pumped in funds to bring focus on skill training for women and give opportunity to every American woman to participate in the economy and re-enter the workforce and become well-versed with the digital technology, she said.
  • All the panellists were unanimous in that the entrepreneurs, significant number of them being women, were revolutionising economies, more so in the U.S. and India.
  • Appreciating the diverse representation among the entrepreneurs at the GES-2017 with more than 50 per cent being women, Ms. Ivanka said networking and mentorship was more valuable to entrepreneurs.
  • Each entrepreneur should make it a goal to at least help one more woman in their communities become an entrepreneur.Closing the gender entrepreneurship gap world-wide could raise global GDP by two per cent, she said
  • Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman elaborating the priority being given to encourage start-ups and women entrepreneurs said that push should also come from women themselves.
  • Women’s skills were under-estimated by women themselves. Environment in the country today was conducive to promote women entrepreneurship through access to funding, mentoring and skill training.
  • Nirmala said start-up concept was gaining momentum as it was not possible for government to generate as many jobs as people wanted. Thus focus was to provide skill sets to people and encourage spirit of entrepreneurship.
  • Nirmala said that they had learnt from the experiences of countries and left it to entrepreneurs themselves to come up with solutions rather than imposing from the top.
  • An important decision would be to provide level playing field to start-ups with women entrepreneurs. A meeting would be convened with industry leaders and Chambers of Commerce on December 4 to give an opportunity to start-ups in the defence sector.
  • The Defence Minister said as directed by the Prime Minister, efforts were on to encourage women at every district across the country to establish start-ups. Start- ups should not be confined to metros alone, she said.
  • Women who set up small and micro enterprises would be helped to explore global markets for their products with the help of a UN organisation , she disclosed.

📰 Chabahar port ready, next stage for India {INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS}

In news

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will inaugurate the first phase of the Chabahar port development project on Sunday, with senior Afghan and Iranian media quoted President Rouhani


It will enhance trade in the region. With a final aim to connect not just to Afghanistan via rail but also to the 7,200-km International North-South Transport Corridor to Russia.

Present Scenario

At present, India is using the port’s existing commercial route to transport more than 1.1 million tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan, of which the first consignment of 15,000 tonnes from the Kandla port came to Zaranj, via Chabahar.

Way ahead

  • The inauguration of the port will effectively pave the way for India to carry forward the next phase of construction and development of two berths for its use, particularly for trade with Afghanistan.
  • Next, the government, which has committed $500 million to the port project, will develop a free-trade area around the port, and finally will complete the loop with a $1.6-billion railway line to Zahedan.
    India has already completed the Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan, which would facilitate the trade to Kabul and eventually beyond to Central Asia. Mr. Gadkari said the first part of India’s construction would be finished in 2018.

Chabahar Port

It is a seaport in Chabahar located in southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman. It serves as Iran’s only oceanic port, and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti, each of which have five berths.

📰 Invest in India, PM tells entrepreneurs {ECONOMY}

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government understands that an environment of transparent policies and a rule of law providing a level playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish.
  • Inaugurating the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) here said this calling upon entrepreneurs from across the globe to “come make in India, invest in India, for India and for the world.”
  • The three-day GES, co-hosted by the US and Indian governments is the first in the annual series to be travelling to South Asia, has ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’ as the theme. More than 50% delegates are women.
  • “In Indian mythology, women is an incarnation of Shakti, the goddess of power. We believe women empowerment is vital to our development,” Mr.Modi said, adding Indian women continue to lead in different walks of life.
  • The government, under its Mudra scheme of providing easy finance of up to Rs. 1 million to entrepreneurs, has sanctioned over 90 million loans worth Rs. .4.28 trillion since 2015. More than 70 million of the loans have been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs.
  • The Prime Minister also highlighted how the government was focused on reducing the regulatory burden and providing support to start-ups. “Our 1,200 redundant laws have been scrapped. 87% rules for foreign direct investment have been eased in 21 sectors, and several government procedures have been taken online. The process is yet not complete”.
  • Listing various other programmes of his government, he said “we are working on development of a national gas grid. A comprehensive national energy policy is also in the pipeline,”he added.

📰 No compromise on India’s interests at WTO: Prabhu {ECONOMY}

  • At the December 10-13 (WTO’s) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, India will not compromise on its interests including ensuring food security as well as protecting its resource-poor and low-income farmers and fisher-folk, according to commerce minister Suresh Prabhu.
  • Mr. Prabhu also said India will hold firm on its position against the inclusion of new issues such as ‘e-commerce’ and ‘investment facilitation’ into the ongoing round of multilateral trade negotiations, without first resolving the outstanding ones including food security.
  • Besides, he said India will make sure that the ‘development agenda’ (to improve the developing countries’ trading prospects) of the talks, which began in Doha in 2001, is not subverted.
  • Without a permanent solution, public stockholding programmes in India and other developing countries will be hampered by the present ceiling on domestic support which is pegged at 10% of the value of production, and is wrongly considered as trade-distorting subsidy to farmers under existing WTO rules.
  • “The existence of such a subsidy element is determined by comparing present day administered prices with fixed reference prices of the 1986-88 period which is unrealistic.
  • Currently, an interim mechanism called the ‘Peace Clause’ is available for developing nations including India, according to which they cannot be challenged at the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM) even if they breach the cap of the product-specific domestic support (10% of the value of production).
  • Since a country that wants to invoke the Peace Clause has to comply with several stringent conditions (on notification and transparency and commitment on prohibition of exports from public stockholding), India is keen that a ‘permanent solution’ does not have onerous riders.
  • On talks to eliminate ‘harmful’ fisheries subsidies, the minister said “India will protect its small and subsistence fisherfolk, and we want sustainable fishing. We want subsidies for small fisherfolk to continue.”
  • In addition, at the WTO talks, India will also “very aggressively” push its proposal for Trade Facilitation in Services (which, among other things, aims to ease norms on movement of skilled workers/professionals across borders for short-term work), Mr. Prabhu said.
  • Criticising attempts by certain countries to undermine the WTO’s DSM by blocking the appointment of new judges, the minister said, “the DSM is an important pillar on which the entire multilateral trading system stands. We will not allow it to be be weakened. Efforts must be taken to quickly fill in the vacancies as without judges, the DSM will not be able to function.”

📰 India must integrate with global value chain: ADB {Economy}

The manufacturing sector’s share in India’s GDP has remained stagnant despite the government’s efforts to increase it. India must do more to integrate with the global value chain in which it currently only plays a small part.

Mr. Yokoyama also highlighted problems with the inequality between Indian states, the inadequate investment in the infrastructure sector and the poor planning behind urban development. Next year, we expect it to increase to 7.4%. There is an upturn in the global economy, trade is picking up, and the capital expenditure has been front-loaded.

Even lead indicators such as the index of industrial production, sale of commercial vehicles and indirect tax collections all point to higher GDP growth looking ahead.

📰 India loses billions to air pollution: UN {ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY}

  • India had the highest share of welfare costs (or a loss of income from labour), of about $220 billion (about Rs. 1.4 trillion), in South and South-East Asia — of a combined total of $380 billion from mortality due to air pollution, according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • The global mortality costs from outdoor air pollution are projected to rise to about $25 trillion by 2060 in the absence of more stringent measures.
  • At regional and national scale, China’s welfare costs from mortality were the highest at nearly $1 trillion followed by theOrganisation for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) countries with a combined total of $730 billion, the report added quoting a 2016 projection by the OECD.
  • Although certain forms of pollution have been reduced as “technologies and management strategies have advanced,” approximately 19 million premature deaths are estimated to occur annually as a result of the way societies use natural resources and impact the environment to support production and consumption, it notes.
  • “If consumption and production patterns continue as they are, the linear economic model of ‘take-make-dispose’ will seriously burden an already-polluted planet, affecting current and future generations,” the report’s foreword concludes.
  • To curb pollution in various forms, the UNEP called for strong high-level political commitment and engagement of the local government, civil society and other stakeholders.
  • To achieve high level political commitment in key economic sectors, there is a need to go beyond the environmental ministries and include other relevant ministries such as finance, agriculture, industry, urban, transport, energy and health.
  • There is also a need to engage the local government, civil society organisations, business leaders, industries, trade unions and citizens at large.
  • The report, ‘Towards a pollution-free planet’, was launched during the first Conference of Parties for the Minamata Convention, which addresses mercury issues, and ahead of the annual U.N. Environment Assembly, to be held in early December.

📰 Turning CO2 emissions into fuel {SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY}

In news

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new system that could potentially be used for converting power plant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) into useful fuel for cars, trucks and planes.


Made of lanthanum, calcium, and iron oxide, the membrane is designed to separate out oxygen from carbon dioxide, leaving behind carbon monoxide that can then be turned into a variety of useful fuels.

Carbon monoxide produced during this process can be used as a fuel by itself or combined with hydrogen and/or water to make many other liquid hydrocarbon fuels as well as chemicals including methanol (used as an automotive fuel), syngas, and so on.

Why it was required?

With concentrations of CO2 at their highest in the last 400,000 years, the world needs to remove the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere – as well as cut emissions – if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Although nature has been recycling carbon dioxide for millions of years. Photosynthesis turns sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into sugars which fuel plants, which provide us with food, wood and complex sugars for fuel. But most plants turn less than 1% of the solar energy they receive into useful energy-rich compounds.


The separation is driven by temperatures of up to 990 degrees Celsius, and the key to making the process work is to keep the oxygen that separates from carbon dioxide flowing through the membrane until it reaches the other side.

This could be done by creating a vacuum on side of the membrane opposite the carbon dioxide stream, but that would require a lot of energy to maintain.

In place of a vacuum, the researchers use a stream of fuel such as hydrogen or methane. These materials are so readily oxidized that they will actually draw the oxygen atoms through the membrane without requiring a pressure difference.

📰 Earthworms may grow in Martian soil, says study {SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY}

  • Scientists show that worms crucial to healthy crops can reproduce in Martian soil
  • Scientists have successfully grown earthworms in a Mars soil simulant, an advance that points to the possibility of life and future human colonies on the red planet.
  • The two young worms are the first offspring in a Mars soil experiment at Wageningen University & Research Centre in The Netherlands.
  • The experiments are crucial in the study that aims to determine whether people can keep themselves alive on the red planet by growing their own crops on Mars soils.
  • “To feed future humans on Mars, a sustainable closed agricultural ecosystem is a necessity. Worms will play a crucial role in this system as they break down and recycle dead organic matter,” researchers said.
  • Researchers observed the growth of rucola plants in Mars soil simulant provided by NASA, and added worms and pig slurry.
  • “Clearly the manure stimulated growth, especially in the Mars soil simulant, and we saw that the worms were active,” said Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen University & Research. “However, the best surprise came at the end of the experiment when we found two young worms in the Mars soil simulant,” said Wamelink.
  • Worms are very important for a healthy soil, not only on Earth but also in future indoor gardens on Mars or the Moon.
  • They thrive on dead organic matter such as old plant remains, which they eat, chew and mix with soil. By digging burrows, the worms also aerate and improve the structure of the soil, making watering the plants more effective.
  • The latter proved to be very important in earlier experiments where water would not easily penetrate the soil. The application of worms will solve this problem, Wamelink said.
  • However, further research would be required to understand the growth of such life forms in low gravity conditions.

📰 Infusing technology into education {SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY}

  • With emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data Analytics knocking at India’s doors, the country needs to sow the learning seeds early — in the classroom — and China and Turkey can show the way, top global Intel executives have said.
  • The world has realised what is coming its way in the next 10-20 years and has already begun modernising classrooms at schools to prepare a technology-ready workforce.
  • “The Chinese and Turkish authorities have given kids IoT-enabled devices in millions of schools. Every student has a device connected to an intelligent whiteboard at the front of the classroom. There are teacher-controlled devices too. The curriculum is designed for that kind of environment. This is the future of education,” Joe D. Jensen, Vice President, Internet of Things (IoT) Group, and General Manager, Retail Solutions Division at Intel, told IANS.
  • “Intel has installed 400,000 IoT-enabled connected devices for schools in Turkey, a million-and-a half in Chinese schools and another million to go in China in the next two years,” Jensen informed.
  • Technology can do wonders in providing a great educational experience and create a pool of talent for these disrupting technologies.
  • “In China, the newest innovation is that there are eight video cameras and a series of microphones in a classroom at certain private schools and colleges. The videos of the classroom activities are recorded daily. Parents can later log on and see the student-teacher interaction,” Jensen told IANS.
  • For Lisa Davis, Vice President and General Manager, IT Transformation for Enterprise and Government at Intel, while India is at the cusp of dramatic changes in delivering next-generation education, it is also set to learn new ways to infuse technology in many other sectors.
  • “Not just education, we are looking at the financial services, transportation, retail and healthcare sectors too in India. The next big wave is coming in video surveillance and the security sector, and our teams are engaged with the stakeholders in the country,” Davis told .
  • Intel has also pushed the envelope towards creating a modern workforce in India.
  • In April this year, Intel made a commitment to democratise AI in the country by training 15,000 developers and engage with not just businesses but also the government and academia to enable the adoption of AI.
  • Intel India has trained 9,500 developers, students and professors in the past six months.
  • The chip giant has collaborated with 40 academic institutions that are using the technology for scientific research and 50 public and private organisations across e-commerce, healthcare, technology, defence, and banking and financial services.
  • Intel India has also launched an initiative to strengthen the use of technology in the country’s education ecosystem. It is collaborating with leading device manufacturers, education digital content publishers and education solution providers to build end-to-end solutions that promote the use of technology.
  • The company will then help deploy management solutions for schools, classrooms, content and learning, and also manage student information systems.
  • “India is at the cusp of a technology boom, but needs training and teaching right from the beginning to prepare a future digital workforce,” Davis stressed.


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