IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th September, 2019


ISRO locates lander Vikram on Moon, hopes to make contact over next 14 days

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has located lander Vikram on the Moon more than 24 hours after losing contact.

-        ISRO is trying to establish communication with Vikram lander.

-        ISRO has developed a thermal image of Vikram using the radiation.

-        Orbiter has not seen the lander neither has established any communication with it.

-        ISRO scientist will continue to revive communication for next 14 days.

-        It is difficult to ascertain the physical damage of the lander based on the thermal image.

-        Locating the lander would provide information on what happened in last two minutes. It would be helpful in future missions.

-        The orbiter is revolving around the Moon at an altitude of 100km above the surface in a polar orbit and carries seven payloads.

-        The orbiter period is around two hours, but as it is revolving in a polar orbit around the Moon, it will come to the same point only during the next few cycles, after that it will visit that place only after a month and again for 2-3 cycles.

Reference:  https://www.livemint.com/science/news/isro-locates-lander-what-it-means-for-chandrayaan-2-mission-1567932718442.html


RCEP members seek to conclude talks on free trade pact by year-end

Trade ministers of the 16 member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) grouping on Sunday resolved to conclude negotiations for a free trade agreement by the year end while recognizing that growing protectionism may impact negotiating positions of some member countries.

About RCEP:

-        The RCEP is a proposed trade pact between the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their six Free Trade Agreements FTA partners, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand.

-        It accounts for 25% of global gross domestic product, 30% of global trade, 26% of foreign direct investment flows, and 45% of the world’s population.

Indian Concern:

-        India is seeking a strong agreement on Service sector and movement of skilled workforce.

-        High trade deficit with China makes India sceptical that further liberalization will be detrimental for domestic industries.

-        India holds a significant place in the global economy and its role in the discussion will provide for stable growth in trade and investments.

-        India is seen as stabilizing factor.

-        Representatives of iron and steel, dairy, textiles, marine products, electronics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and plastic industries have been the most vocal against the trade deal.

-        India demands greater flexibility from member countries in addressing its market access concerns.

Need for RCEP:

-        Continuing uncertainties in trade and investment environment have the dampened growth outlook across the world. It Negatively impacted businesses and job sector.

-        It will expand the value chains in the bloc.

-        The Pacific will act as a centre of economic gravity. RCEP enables countries to maximize the potential out of it.

-        This trade deal will deliver significant new opportunities for farmers & businesses and will further integrate economy of this region.



Govt won’t alter Article 371, Shah assures leaders in N-E states

At a meeting with governors and chief ministers of the eight north-eastern states as part of the North Eastern Council in Guwahati, Union Home Minister upheld the fact that the region was pivotal to India's growth story and that the Centre would not tamper Article 371.

About Article 371:

Special status is not unique to Kashmir. However, the sort of asymmetry seen in J&K’s relationship to the Centre is not seen in other States.

-        The ‘special provisions’ applicable to some other States are mainly in the form of empowering the Governors to discharge some special responsibilities.

-        These States are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

-        The common feature is that wherever Governors have been asked to discharge special responsibilities, their discretionary power overrides the process of consultation with the respective Council of Ministers.

-        Article 371 says the Governor of Maharashtra has a special responsibility to establish separate development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada, and the rest of the State, while the Governor of Gujarat has a similar responsibility towards Saurashtra, Kutch and the rest of Gujarat.

-        The responsibilities cover equitable allocation of funds for development expenditure, and providing facilities for technical education and vocational training.

-        Article 371A confers special status on Nagaland. Under this provision, no law made by Parliament in relation to Naga customary law and procedure, including civil and criminal justice matters, and ownership or transfer of land and resources will apply to Nagaland, unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland decides so.

-        The protection of Naga laws and customs was written into the Constitution following the July 1960 agreement between the Centre and the Naga People’s Convention, under which the State was later created.

-        The Governor of Nagaland has a ‘special responsibility’ regarding law and order in the State.

-        Article 371B contained a special provision for Assam under which a committee of legislators from the tribal areas was formed to look after their interest. The tribal areas later became Meghalaya State.

-        Under Article 371C, the Hill Areas of Manipur ought to have a committee of legislators. The Governor has a special responsibility to make an annual report to the President on the administration of the Hill Areas.

-        The Centre is empowered to give directions to the State as far as these areas were concerned.

-        Article 371D is a detailed provision under which the President can pass an order to provide equitable opportunities and facilities to people belonging to different parts of Andhra Pradesh in public employment and education.

-        In particular, the President can create local cadres in various classes of employment and allot civil posts to specified local cadres only. The President can specify any part of the State as a ‘local area’ for this purpose.

-        To give effect to this arrangement, an Administrative Tribunal has been set up. No court, other than the Supreme Court, has any power of superintendence over this tribunal.

-        Article 371F incorporated special provisions after the addition of Sikkim to India. One major objective was to grant protection to existing laws in Sikkim so that they are not declared unconstitutional after being brought under the Constitution of India.

-        Article 371G contains special provisions to preserve the religious and social practices of Mizos in Mizoram and their customary law and procedure and administration of criminal and civil justice, besides ownership of land.

-        Article 371H vests a special responsibility on the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh with respect to law and order. It makes clear that the Governor shall discharge this function after consulting the Council of Ministers, but exercise his individual judgment as to the action taken.

Reference: https://www.livemint.com/politics/news/amit-shah-reviews-situation-in-northeast-india-1567939289610.html


'Development, trust and big changes': PM Modi on first 100 days of NDA government

Whatever big decisions were taken in past 100 days, inspiration behind them were 130 crore people of country," PM said.

Similarities with the 100 days of 2014:

Propensity for big bangs: In 2014, the Modi government had abolished the Planning Commission, introduced the Jan Dhan scheme and scrapped the GoMs and EGoMs, thereby making the PMO the supreme office for governance.

In 2019, the Modi government abrogated Article 370, passed the triple talaq bill in both houses of Parliament, brought in UAPA as the new anti-terror law and merged 10 nationalised banks into four.

Dull budgets: Both in 2014 and 2019, the first budgets presented by Modi 1.0 and Modi 2.0 were described as lacklustre— for failing to incorporate big and dramatic announcements that would propel economic growth and give relief to the middle class in terms of tax breaks or hike in exemption limits.

No talks with Pak: In 2014, India cancelled Foreign Secretary level talks with Pakistan after its High Commissioner in New Delhi met with Kashmiri separatist leaders — in 2019, India isn’t yet on talking terms with Islamabad on the core issue of Kashmir.


Increased Foreign trips: Compared to 2014’s first 100 days in power, Modi has increased his foreign trips in 2019, in the first 100 days — visiting more than twice the number of countries he did this year vis-a-vis 5 years back.

Economic Unfriendly: Modi 2 is considered as economic unfriendly as growth has plummeted to 5% .

Reference: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pm-modi-first-100-days-of-nda-government-has-been-of-development-trust-and-big-changes/articleshow/71034041.cms?utm_source=nl_landingpage&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=timestop10_daily_newsletter



Study sheds more light on killing of American by the Sentinelese

Almost nine months after American national John Allen Chau was allegedly killed by the Sentinelese on the North Sentinel Island of Andaman and Nicobar islands, a recent publication by the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) throws more light on the incident and also the ways of one of the most isolated tribes in the world.

The Study cites:

-        It is distressing to register a criminal case for murder against the unknown tribesmen.

-        It is not the first time that blood was spilled on North Sentinel Island. In 1896, Sentinelese tribe killed one convict out of three escaping from the Andaman prison. Two fishermen venturing in the Protected area was killed in 2006.

-        Their (Sentinelese) attitude towards the outsiders, that the so-called ‘ civilized’ are no more welcome to their island.

-        Mr. Chau was the only person to have spent an entire day on the island.

-        His diary should be protected and studies deeply to understand about the tribe.

Government Policy

-        The study emphasises on the “Hands off, Eyes on” approach of the administration towards the Sentinelese.

-        He recommends that circumnavigation of the island should be carried out to keep a vigil to ward off and report on any attempt by outsiders to stray into the territory.

-        The policy of non-intervention should continue and at the same time the ‘eyes-on’ policy has to be implemented strictly.

-        Rigorous conscientisation programme among the fishermen of Wandoor, Chidiyatapur and Port Blain areas needs to be carried out.

-        Repealing of the RAP (Restricted Area permit) created some confusion regarding the restrictions for foreign nationals in visiting the islands.

-        Study recorded that misconception like “to open a dialogue with the Sentinelese one had to show that “they were of the same level. Don’t wear anything.” Such a practice, claimed the anthropologist, has never been recorded.

-        Study also dismisses the misconception that the Sentinelese population is declining.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/study-sheds-more-light-on-killing-of-american-by-sentinels/article29369181.ece