16th May 2017, Editorial – The Hindu

GS III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and employment.

When being clever is not enough.

Allocation of resources does not determine economic fate.

  • Experts say many countries lagging behind in prosperity and technological advancement are mostly lacking entrepreneurial spirit.
  • However economist William J. Baumol in his paper ‘Entrepreneurship: Productive,Unproductive and Destructive’ argued that just because a country maybe advanced does not mean it will lead to prosperity.

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What are sanitary & phyto-sanitary barriers? Trade curbs faced by India from U.S.; Only rehab centre in the country for smuggled Star Tortoises setup at Kerala and more…

GS II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Centre to raise with U.S. Non-Tariff barriers.

Curbs affecting exports of goods made in India

  • What are sanitary & phyto-sanitary trade barriers?
    • All countries maintain measures to ensure that food is safe for consumers, and to prevent the spread of pests or diseases among animals and plants.
    • These sanitary and phytosanitary measures can take many forms, such as
      • requiring products to come from a disease-free area,
      • inspection of products,
      • specific treatment or processing of products,
      • setting of allowable maximum levels of pesticide residues or
      • permitted use of only certain additives in food.
    • Sanitary (human and animal health) and phytosanitary (plant health) measures apply to domestically produced food or local animal and plant diseases, as well as to products coming from other countries. 

Continue reading “What are sanitary & phyto-sanitary barriers? Trade curbs faced by India from U.S.; Only rehab centre in the country for smuggled Star Tortoises setup at Kerala and more…”

Provisions of Mental Healthcare Bill 2016, its application in prisons and the prescribed Nelson Mandela Rules for Prison inmates.

GS IV: Public/Civil service values and ethics in public administration: Status and problems.

Caring for our prisoners’ minds

Prisoners cannot become a default facility for those with mental illness.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics in 2015 identified a total of 5,203 inmates (1.2% of total inmates) as those having mental illness.

Issues:

  • Prisons receive little or negligible attention.
  • There is social apathy towards the institution and its inmates.
  • Prison officials command less recognition than their peers which leads to a plunge in morale.
  • As a result, prisoners with mental illnesses are grossly ignored which further enhances their disabilities.

Continue reading “Provisions of Mental Healthcare Bill 2016, its application in prisons and the prescribed Nelson Mandela Rules for Prison inmates.”

Is the Swachh Sarvekshan Survey effective?; IMF: Increasing Coal tax will reduce deaths and inrease GDP; Pollution of Nilgiris and more…

GS III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Higher Coal Tax May benefit economy: IMF

It will boost GDP, cut mortality.

  • India has introduced the Clean Environment Cess on coal i.e. on production and imports, amounting to INR 400 ($6.00) per ton of coal in 2016.
  • As per an IMF paper “Reforming Energy Policy in India: Assessing the Options”, an annual ₹150 per tonne increase in tax on coal from 2017 to 2030 could:
    • prevent over 2.7 lakh deaths from air pollution;
    • raise GDP by 1% by 2030;
    • reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12% and
    • generate net economic benefits of about 1% of GDP.

Continue reading “Is the Swachh Sarvekshan Survey effective?; IMF: Increasing Coal tax will reduce deaths and inrease GDP; Pollution of Nilgiris and more…”

Need to establish Uniform Civil Code; Launch of BrahMos missile; List of National Film Awardees & more…

GS II: India and its neighborhood relations.

Exim Bank to provide $15 bn credit to Asian countries

  • Exim Bank (Export – Import Bank) of India will be providing Lines of Credit worth
    more than $15 billion to Asian countries over the next three to four years.
  • Bangladesh: $9.5 billion
    • $1.6 billion for setting up a super-critical ultra thermal power plant.
    • $ 2 billion for supply of buses and railway wagons.
  • Sri Lanka: $3 billion
    • Develop railways and water projects.
  • Nepal: $1.5 billion
    • Develop its transportation system.
  • Myanmar: $1.5 billion
  • Also plans to extend finance to Cambodia and Vietnam.

Continue reading “Need to establish Uniform Civil Code; Launch of BrahMos missile; List of National Film Awardees & more…”

05th May 2017, Editorial – The Hindu

GS II: Development Processes and the development industry – the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

The scale of progress so far

Is the process of a voluntary national review of Agenda 2030 helpful?

What is Agenda 2030?

  • Also called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Adopted by Member States on September 2015. Came into force on Jan 2016.
  • Successor of the Millennium Development Goals (2000 – 2015).
  • Not legally binding on countries.

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04th May 2017, Editorial – Hindu

GS III: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

GS II: Welfare schemes for the vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre & States and the performance of these schemes.

Flight of the Common Man

  • UDAN – Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik
  • Objective is to ensure affordability, connectivity, growth and development.
  • Who stands to benefit?
    • Citizens would get the benefit of affordability, connectivity and more jobs. The Centre would be able to expand the regional air connectivity and market.
    • The state governments would reap the benefit of development of remote areas, enhance trade and commerce and more tourism expansion.
    • For incumbent airlines there was the promise of new routes and more passengers.
    • For start-up airlines there is the opportunity of new, scalable business.
    • Airport operators will also see their business expanding as would original equipment manufacturers.

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