The Hindu NOTES – 20th Dec, 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)

📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER– DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis 20th Dec 2017

Date:- 20-Dec, 2017


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 China a threat, India an ally: Trump {International Relation}

In news

President Donald Trump’s new national security strategy announced, promised support for India’s emergence as a “leading global power,” while identifying China, Russia and Islamism as main threats.


US will increase quadrilateral cooperation with Japan, Australia, and India. They will expand their defence and security cooperation with India, a major defence partner of the United States, and support India’s growing relationships throughout the region.

India finds a mention as a partner in Mr. Trump’s plans for South and Central Asia and Indo-Pacific, while China is named as a threat in both sections.

 ‘Clearance for defence projects to be eased’ {Internal Security}

In news

Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Tuesday lauded the Border Roads Organisation personnel for achieving their targets in construction of strategic roads in border areas, especially the completion of the Rohtang tunnel in Himachal Pradesh.

Policy relaxations

These policy relaxations will bring greater responsibility upon the BRO to be more concerned about the preservation of ecology and environment. At the same time, the organisation faces challenges in the form of rugged terrains and inhospitable climates as well as paucity of funds.


Completion of the 8.8-km-long, all-weather Rohtang tunnel (expected to be opened by 2019); the 578-m-long Theng tunnel in Sikkim and the construction of the world’s highest motorable road over Umling La (in Ladakh) at a height of over 19,300 ft.

The Rohtang and the Theng tunnels are a part of the BRO’s project to construct 17 highway tunnels totalling 100 km in length along the Line of Actual Control.

  Ensure level-playing field for the disabled in higher educational institutions: SC {POLITY}

Supreme Courts observation:

  • Higher educational institutions, both government ones and those who take government aid, should ensure a level-playing field for disabled persons or face action for discrimination.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act:

  • Act provides for not less than 5% reservation in seats during admissions
  • This law has not so far been complied with observed the Supreme Court and it cautioned that appropriate legal action would be initiated against defaulting educational institutions.

Constitution of committee:

  • The apex court directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to constitute a committee to consider the feasibility of having guidelines for accessibility of students with disabilities in universities and colleges.
  • The expert committee may also consider the feasibility of constituting an in-house body in each educational institution (of teachers, staff, students and parents) for taking care of day-to-day needs of differently abled persons as well as for implementation of the schemes that would be devised by the expert committee

Supreme Court raised three key issues:

  • Three key issues – the non-implementation of reservation of seats in educational institutions as provided in the Disabilities Act, the lack of proper access for orthopaedically disabled persons in educational institutions and the absence of provisions and facilities for teaching disabled persons.
  • The Court noted that a provision under the 2016 Act provided that persons with benchmark disabilities shall be given an upper age relaxation of five years for admission in institutions of higher education.
  • The court said the educational institutions concerned should submit a list of the number of disabled persons admitted in each course every year to the Chief Commissioner or State Commissioner under the Disabilities Act.

 Round-up of Bills to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament {POLITY}

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016

  • It seeks to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 by incorporating clauses to introduce third-party insurance, enhance road safety, and develop a framework for regulating taxi aggregators like Ola, Uber, and Meru
  • The Bill proposes to set a ceiling for third party insurance in case of an accident
  • The Bill caps liability at Rs.10 lakh in the case of fatalities, and Rs.5 lakh for grievous injuries
  • A solatium fund is to be instituted to compensate victims of hit-and-run accidents

The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill

  • The FRDI Bill is aimed at insuring the money of a bank’s depositors in case the bank would have to be liquidated
  • The FRDI Bill proposes the setting up of a Resolution Corporation, “whose direction and management vests with the Board, subject to the terms and conditions of the Act”
  • A ‘Corporation Insurance Fund’ is the financial vehicle which will be used to garner insurance inflows
  • The bail-in clause has emerged as the major bone of contention with depositors
  • This gives banks the authority to issue securities in lieu of the money deposited

The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017

  • This Bill seeks to assimilate the Indian diaspora into the democratic process by allowing them to cast their votes through postal or e-ballots
  • If the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017 is passed by Parliament, it has the potential to make a tangible difference in electoral politics
  • This is because parties would also have to accommodate the interests of NRIs, which may be far removed from those of their compatriots

The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017

  • It is being re-introduced after factoring in the changes recommended by the Upper House
  • The basic objective of the law is to institute the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)
  • Its functioning would be analogous to that of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
  • The Constitution grants NCSC the jurisdiction to investigate complaints regarding discrimination against backward castes and Anglo-Indians
  • The Bill will create a constitutionally mandated body to look into the complaints of educationally and economically backward classes
  • The body will have the power of a civil court in dealing with complaints brought before it

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017

  • This law would make the practice of triple talaq a criminal offense
  • Triple talaq is a practice by which a Muslim man can arbitrarily divorce his wife by repeating the word talaq (divorce) three times
  • The Supreme Court had termed triple ‘un-Islamic’ in August

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

  • The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 and grant citizenship to illegal migrants, especially those from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, and are of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian extraction
  • The law defines an illegal migrant as a foreigner who enters the country without valid travel documents or one who overstays his visit
  • A foreigner who has been residing in the country for the past six years or has been in government service for that duration of time will qualify for citizenship, as opposed to the old law which required 11 years of domicile to prove naturalization
  • This clause is waived for individuals of the aforementioned religions who are persecuted in their countries

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016

  • The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014, was introduced as a Private Member’s Bill in 2014
  • The 2016 version of the legislation identifies transgenders as being “partly female or male, or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male”
  • This definition which draws a clinical caricature is a departure from the intention of the original Bill to cleanse society of the stigma it placed on transgenders
  • The anti-discriminatory clauses of the Bill are extended to education, healthcare, and social security
  • Transgenders will also be provided rescue, protection, and rehabilitation
  • Educational institutions have been directed to adopt an inclusive approach that is gender-neutral

 LS passes Bill repealing 245 old laws {Governance}

In news

The Lok Sabha passed two Bills on Tuesday repealing 245 obsolete and archaic laws including the 1911 Prevention of Seditious Meeting Act.


  • The old and many irrelevant pre-independence laws were the “unfortunate part of the colonial legacy” and repealing them was a progressive move that reflects the “pro-reform” approach of the government.
  • Some of the old acts that have been repealed are the Hackney Carriage Act 1879 which was legislated for the regulation and control of hackney-carriages, Dramatic Performance Act 1876 when theatre was being used a medium of protest against the British rule.
  • Another such old act which was repealed by the Lok Sabha was The Ganges Tolls Act, 1867 which provided for collecting toll “not exceeding 12 annas” on certain boats and steamers plying on the Ganga to improve navigation of the river between Allahabad (UP) and Dinapore (Bihar).
  • Some 1824 acts were repealed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over the reins of the government

 No stagnation in the economy: Finance Ministry {Indian Economy}

In news

The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said it was difficult to “pinpoint” the impact of demonetisation on the economy, and affirmed that there was no economic stagnation in the country

What is ‘Stagnation’

Stagnation is a prolonged period of little or no growth in an economy. Economic growth of less than 2 to 3% annually is considered stagnation, and it is highlighted by periods of high unemploymentand involuntary part-time employment. Stagnation can also occur on a smaller scale in specific industries or companies or with wages.

Situations Where Stagnation Arises

  • Stagnation can happen within the normal course of the business environment. This type of stagnation, much like the business cycle it mimics, is cyclical and temporary. All economies face natural periods of stagnation and should not be alarmed if the gross domestic product (GDP) is flat in the short term.
  • It can happen in an advanced economy with mature economic growth. When stagnation occurs in a stable economy it can be much more permanent than when it is felt during the normal business cycle. Classical economists refer to this type of stagnation as a stationary state, and Keynesian economists think of it as the secular stagnation of an advanced economy.

 Amendments to Companies Act passed; to ease compliance {Economic Policy}

In news

A bill to amend the companies law to strengthen corporate governance standards, initiate strict action against defaulting companies, and help improve the ease of doing business in the country, was passed by Parliament on 19 december.


  • The Bill provides for more than 40 amendments to the Companies Act, 2013, which was passed during the previous UPA regime.
  • The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in March 2016 and then referred to the Standing Committee on Finance. After taking into consideration the recommendations of the panel, the Cabinet had cleared a revised Bill in March this year.

The Companies Act, 2013 has already been amended once under the present government.

The latest legislation would help in simplifying procedures, make compliance easy, and take stringent action against defaulting companies.

 Scientists find over 100 new species in Mekong region {Biodiversity}

Discovery includes the crocodile lizard and a bat with a horseshoe-shaped face.

A Vietnamese ‘crocodile lizard’ and a Thai turtle found on sale in a local market are among more than 100 new species discovered in the ecologically diverse but threatened Mekong region last year.

In total, scientists confirmed 115 new species in 2016 after a lengthy vetting process, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). They include 11 amphibians, two fish, 11 reptiles, 88 plants and three mammals.

Mekong region


 Centre examining health effects of e-cigarettes: Nadda {POLITY}

In news:

  • The government is examining the legal implications and health effects of e-cigarettes
  • The Health Ministry had constituted three groups to study the various aspects of e-cigarettes

Three groups formed:

  • Group one studied the legal implications of this e-nicotine drug induce system
  • The second group studied the health effects
  • The third group studied advocacy
  • All three sub-groups have given their reports and the Ministry is working on them.

 Parliament gives nod to IIM Bill {POLITY}

 In news:

  • Parliament has unanimously passed a Bill to grant the Indian Institutes of Management the power to grant degrees instead of post-graduate diplomas
  • The Bill also allows students to acquire doctoral degrees from the IIMs

Doctoral degrees

  • Earlier, fellowships of the IIMs were not regarded as Ph.D.s, which led students to complete their diplomas and go abroad if they wanted to earn a doctoral degree
  • The passage of this Bill will pave the way for more research at these prestigious institutions

Administrative changes

  • The Bill also confers on the 20 IIMs the status of institutions of national importance, granting them greater functional autonomy by restricting the role of the government in them
  • As per the IIM Bill, 2017, a Board of Governors will appoint the Director of each IIM
  • A search-cum-selection-committee will recommend the names and the director will be eligible for variable pay as determined by the Board.

  U.S. partnership vital in Asia-Pacific: India {INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS}

 In news:Statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry:

  • The Indo-U.S. partnership helps maintain stability in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Statement was issued hours after President Donald Trump announced the new National Security Strategy of the U.S. and described India as a “leading global player”.
  • A close partnership between India and the U.S. contributes to peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region as well as to the economic progress of the two countries

India-U.S. Designations Dialogue:

  • Both the sides (India and the U.S.) held the inaugural of India-U.S. Designations Dialogue focussing on specific groups and individuals responsible for cross-border terrorism against India.
  • Both sides exchanged information about the strategy to be followed to isolate and ban terrorism-related individuals and organisations.

Key Fact: India has been campaigning for banning Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Masood Azhar at the UN but has failed in its goal due to China’s opposition.

 CAG pulls up food regulator {ECONOMY}

In news:

  • The CAG has pulled up food regulator The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for issuing licences to business operators without complete documents.
  • 65 of the 72 State food laboratories, to which the FSSAI and the State authorities had sent samples, did not possess the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories accreditation.

CAG highlights:

  • The FSSAI had failed in ensuring that the customs authorities followed up the ‘Non-Conformance Reports’ issued by the regulator and take appropriate action to ensure that unsafe foods did not enter the country.
  • There were systemic inefficiencies, delays and deficiencies in the framing of various regulations and standards, amendments to regulations in violation of the Act and the specific direction of the Supreme Court.
  • Shortage of qualified manpower and functional food testing equipment in State laboratories and referral laboratories resulted in deficient testing of samples.
  • Neither the FSSAI nor the State authorities documented policies and procedures on risk-based inspections
  • The regulator did not have any database on food business.


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1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Vikash Singh
    December 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Why USA is not providing technology to india of F-16 nd F-18 .nd high fixcel of cam tech to india.
    What is importance of wassanaar.there r many who r exporting arm’s without any restrictions

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