The Hindu News Analysis – September 24, 2018

/The Hindu News Analysis – September 24, 2018
The Hindu News Analysis – September 24, 2018 2018-09-24T21:08:07+00:00

News Analysis from THE HINDU (September 24, 2018)
Current Affairs for NDA/CDS/AFCAT/Airforce X&Y Groups

 

1. Maldives strongman faces defeat

Maldives Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was set for a victory in Sunday’s high-stakes presidential polls, unseating strongman President Abdulla Yameen in a major upset.

With a near-60% lead around midnight, after almost 70% of the votes were counted, senior lawmaker Solih, backed by a coalition of Opposition parties, emerged winner.

 

2. PM launches Ayushman Bharat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the mega healthcare scheme Ayushman Bharat, also known as the Pradhan Mantri-Jan Aarogya Yojana (PM-JAY), from Ranchi in Jharkhand on Sunday.

He declared that the scheme would be a “game changer” globally in health insurance.

 

3. Woman tests positive for Zika virus

An elderly woman from has tested positive for Zika virus infection, officials of a medical college here said, adding it is a first such case in the State.

The woman was admitted to Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital on September 11 with joint pain, redness in eyes, and weakness. She was tested negative for dengue and swine flu.

On suspicion, samples were sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune, to test for Zika virus and the report was positive, Dr. U.S. Agrawal, Principal of the SMS medical college, said on Sunday. “I believe this is the first case of Zika virus in the State,” he said.

 

4. PM to inaugurate Sikkim’s first airport

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he would inaugurate the first airport in Sikkim at Paykong on Monday and that it will improve connectivity, benefitting the people of the State.

 

5. Rescue efforts on to get back Navy Commander who was part of the Golden Globe Race

Cdr. Tomy, an experienced sailor, is the only invitee from Asia in the prestigious GGR that commenced from Les Sables d’Olonne harbour in France in July. Before the incident, he was in 3rd position out of 18 international participants, and has sailed over 10,500 nautical miles in the last 84 days.

The Navy had stated that, in the GGR, participants are required to sail around the world, single-handed and non-stop.

The uniqueness of the race is that boat designs and technology newer than 1968 are not permitted, hence the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS), satellite communication and navigational aids are forbidden.

Participants have to reply over traditional means of navigation, looking at stars and using physical maps, as they sail through rough seas in the 30,000 mile journey. The sailors have a satellite phone to be used for medical emergencies only.

The Golden Globe Race is being conducted by Sir Robin Knox Johnston of the U.K. to commemorate 50 years of the world’s first solo non-stop circumnavigation undertaken by him in 1968 on-board the Indian-built boat, Suhaili.

The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre (ARRC) at Canberra is coordinating the rescue mission in conjunction with many agencies, including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy.

The Indian Naval Defence Attaché in Australia is camping at the regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC).

 

6. Special kits to aid rape case probe

Police stations in the country will soon have special kits to collect blood and semen samples, besides other evidence, to carry out immediate investigation into sexual assault cases, officials said on Sunday.

Help at hand

The Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits (SAECK) or ‘rape investigation kits’ are designed to carry out immediate medico-legal investigation and aid in furnishing evidence in sexual assault and rape cases.

The Home Ministry, as part of a pilot project, will initially procure 3,960 rape investigation kits at a cost of ₹79.20 lakh, and 100 such kits will be given to each State and U.T.

 

7. App for children to check cybercrimes: NCPCR

The government has launched the ‘cyber trivia’ app for children to counter incidents of cybercrimes against children due to dangerous games like ‘Blue Whale’ and ‘Momo Challenge’. The app will have multiple choice questions and children will be rewarded points based on their answers, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said. “It is an attempt to teach these children in a fun way what should be done if they are contacted by a stranger on the Internet,” said Yashwant Jain, a member of the NCPCR.

 

8. The primary anchor of a health-care road map

Universal health coverage is getting prioritised as a part of political reform with the launch of two pillars of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY): Ayushman Bharat (AB), where 1.5 lakh health sub-centres are being converted into health and wellness centres; and the National Health Protection Mission (NHPM), which aims to provide health cover of ₹5 lakh per family, per annum, reaching out to 500 million people.

Align entitlement to income

In the matter of inclusion, over 15 years ago, the Vajpayee government commissioned the Institute of Health Systems (IHS), Hyderabad to develop a ‘family welfare linked health insurance policy’. In 2003, the Director of the IHS Hyderabad delivered a broad-based Family Health Protection Plan (FHPP), open to all individuals. The fact is that any discourse on universal health care in India gets stymied by the sheer size and ambivalence of the numbers involved. This 2003 solution of the Vajpayee-era recommended, inter alia, that good governance lies in aligning the income lines for health and housing. In other words, de-link entitlement to health care from the poverty line. In that event, the income lines for housing (updated from time to time), could be simultaneously applicable for health entitlement. The government could then proceed, as per capacity, to scale the health premium subsidy in line with housing categories — economically weaker sections (entitled to 75-90%), lower income (entitled to 50%), and middle income groups (entitled to 20%).

 

9. Article 161

Article 161 of the Constitution of India deals with the power of governor to give pardons,reprieve, respite, remit, suspend or commute the punishment or sentence of any person convicted of any offence against state law. … But he can still suspend, remit or commute a death sentence.

Why in News?

The discretionary powers of the Governor are once again at the centre of a fresh controversy to decide on the remission of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. A Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, while disposing a writ petition, recorded that the petitioner, A.G. Perarivalan (in picture), had filed an application before the Tamil Nadu Governor and that the “authority concerned will be at liberty to decide the said application as deemed fit”. Following this, the Tamil Nadu Cabinet adopted a resolution recommending that the Governor release the seven convicts under Article 161 of the Constitution.

 

10. Lemon law

Economics

Also known as lemon socialism, this refers to any form of government intervention in the market economy in order to help in the survival of struggling firms. These businesses, which would normally not be able to survive in a free market without any government intervention in their favour, thus turn out to be the beneficiaries of government policy. Such government intervention in favour of inefficient firms in the marketplace can be brought about in various ways — through the use of subsidies, bailouts, or discriminatory regulations that favour select firms in the market. Lemon laws are considered to be harmful to economic growth as they breed inefficiency.

 

11. J&K’s special status challenged

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the continued existence of Article 370, which gives a temporary autonomous status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir and restricts the power of Parliament to make laws for the State.

The petition especially challenges a particular proviso in Article 370 which mandates that the President should first get the permission of the ‘Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu and Kashmir’ before declaring the Article null and void.

The PIL plea, filed by Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, contends that the restriction on the President continues to survive despite the fact that the Constituent Assembly of J&K dissolved on January 26, 1957. The petition contends that the proviso of Article 370(3) has lapsed with the dissolution of the J&K Constituent Assembly.

 

12. India looks to buy Israeli missiles

A deal to procure the Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel through the government-to-government route has been brought before the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) for approval. However, some validation trials have to be held before the deal is signed.

“Validation trials of the infrared seeker (IR) are to be held. Once the DAC accords approval, the trials will be performed during the summer,” a defence source said.

The deal will feature on the agenda of the DAC which is scheduled to meet early this week. The deal is for 170 launchers, 4,500 missiles and 15 simulators.

However, as the Army is faced with a huge shortage of anti-tank guided missiles and the indigenous system missed development deadlines, it was decided that a smaller number will be procured off the shelf through the government-to-government route.

The earlier $500-million deal for Spike missiles was accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) by the DAC in 2009 and was approved in October 2014, but contract negotiations dragged on over cost and technology transfer. The deal was for 8,000-plus missiles and 300-plus launchers, along with technology transfer to build them in India.

Spike is a third-generation, fire-and-forget, man-portable missile manufactured by Israel’s Rafael.

In all, nearly 40,000 missiles are required to equip the Army’s 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised regiments.

The indigenous low-weight missile was successfully flight-tested twice by the DRDO from the Ahmednagar test range last week.

 

13. WhatsApp appoints grievance officer

Under pressure to clamp down on fake messages, WhatsApp has appointed a grievance officer for India and has detailed out the process for users to flag concerns and complaints, including those around fake news.

Meeting one of the key demands that India had put forward to WhatsApp to curb fake messages that triggered mob killings, the Facebook-owned company has updated its website to reflect the appointment of a grievance officer for India. The update mentions that users can seek help through the mobile app, send an e-mail or write to Komal Lahiri, who is based in the U.S.

According to Ms. Lahiri’s LinkedIn profile, she is the senior director, global customer operations and localisation, WhatsApp.

 

14. Ex-Minister Shantaram Potdukhe passes away

Former Union Minister and Congress leader Shantaram Potdukhe died at a hospital here on Sunday following brief illness, his family said. He was 86 and is survived by his wife, son and a daughter. His last rites will be performed in Chandrapur on Monday. The four-time MP was being treated at a private hospital here since September 13, the family said.

 

15. Interceptor missile night test successful

India successfully conducted an interceptor missile test from Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha on Sunday night, achieving a major milestone in developing a two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system. The Prithvi Defence Vehicle mission is for engaging targets at an altitude of above 50 km of the earth’s atmosphere, a DRDO scientist said.

 

16. Decoding total expense ratio

What is total expense ratio and why is it important for investing in mutual funds?

Mutual funds are investments where an investor entrusts his/her money with an investment manager (of an asset management company) to manage the money smartly and efficiently. This money management comes at a cost, which is usually charged as a percentage of the investment. The official regulator of mutual funds has laid down rules on how much an asset management company can charge an investor to manage their funds. For an investor this is important because it is a charge (called total expense ratio or TER in short) levied on their investment, and the money they get back from their investment is reduced by this figure. For example, if a fund charges 2% as the TER, and the fund produces a gross profit (return) of 15% in a given year, the investor would get 13% – which is the gross profit minus the TER – in their hands.

So, for an investor, TER is an important number to focus on since it has a direct impact on their returns. However, it is not the only number to look at and investors should evaluate funds based on various parameters such as consistency of performance and risk levels.

What are the changes made by SEBI now to TER?

SEBI has, across the board, lowered the TER that a fund house can charge its investors. The reduction is higher for larger funds and lower for smaller funds — larger and smaller being a measure of how much money a fund manages. The reduction has been anywhere between 0.01% to 0.44%. For very small funds, SEBI has actually increased the allowable expense ratio a little. However, in general, mutual fund investors should see a marginal reduction in the fee they were paying, which would mean they would see an increase in the returns they were getting. Also, SEBI has specified the expense ratio for funds larger than the largest funds today, in anticipation of market growth.

 

17. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan’s 210-run opening partnership

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan’s 210-run opening partnership in Unimoni ASIA Cup, UAE 2018 is India’s highest opening-wicket partnership against Pakistan, surpassing Ganguly and Tendulkar’s 159 (Dhaka,1998).

 

18. Anderson stuns Djokovic again

Kevin Anderson took down Novak Djokovic for a second straight night as Team World rallied to win the final two matches and reel Team Europe’s lead back to 7-5 after the second day of the Laver Cup tennis here on Saturday.

 

19. Joshua retains titles

Britain’s Anthony Joshua retained his world heavyweight titles by inflicting the first stoppage defeat of Alexander Povetkin’s professional career with a ruthless seventh-round finish at Wembley Stadium.

 

20. Pliskova shocks Osaka, takes the honours

Former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova stunned Japanese tennis sensation Naomi Osaka in straights sets to capture the Pan Pacific Open on Sunday. The fourth seed took just 63 minutes to complete a clinical 6-4, 6-4 victory over the newly crowned US Open champion here, bringing Osaka’s 10-match winning streak to a shuddering halt.

 

21. Pliskova shocks Osaka, takes the honours

Former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova stunned Japanese tennis sensation Naomi Osaka in straights sets to capture the Pan Pacific Open on Sunday. The fourth seed took just 63 minutes to complete a clinical 6-4, 6-4 victory over the newly crowned US Open champion here, bringing Osaka’s 10-match winning streak to a shuddering halt.

 

22. Kalpana Lajmi, who carved a niche for herself, dies

Right from her first feature film, Ek Pal (1986), Kalpana Lajmi carved out a distinct space for herself in Indian cinema. Based on a short story by Maitreyi Devi, the love triangle, with Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Farooque Sheikh in the lead, wasn’t just seen through the perspective of the woman but also gave her agency in the relationship(s).

The film to bring the spotlight on her was her second, and perhaps the most persuasive feature film, Rudaali (1993).

The intersectionality of gender and sexuality, much discussed as a growing, compelling theme in contemporary cinema found an early exploration at the hands of Lajmi in the pathbreaking Darmiyaan (1997).

 

23. Porsche set to abandon diesel engines

Sports car maker Porsche said on Sunday it would become the first German auto giant to abandon the diesel engine, reacting to parent company Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal and urban driving bans. The company said it would concentrate on its core strength, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles”.

 

24. Abbreviatios:

Australian Rescue Coordination Centre (ARRC)
Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC)
Golden Globe Race (GGR)
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)

 

25. Things to Remember:

Governor of Andhra Pradesh – Shri E.S Lakshmi Narasimhan
Governor of Arunachal Pradesh – Brig. (Dr.) B. D. Mishra (Retd.)
Governor of Assam – Prof. Jagdish Mukhi
Governor of Bihar – Shri Lal Ji Tandon
Governor of Chhattisgarh – Smt. Anandiben Patel

 

26. Improve your Vocabulary:

excerpt

Meaning – A short extract from a film, broadcast, or piece of music or writing.

Example – ‘she read out excerpts from an article in the Times’
Synonyms: extract, part, section, piece, portion, fragment, snippet, clip, bit, selection, reading

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