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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 5th April 2018

  • IASbaba
  • April 5, 2018
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 5th April 2018

Archives


(PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS)


One candidate, one seat

Part of: Mains GS Paper II- Salient features of ROPA Act.

Key pointers:

  • A petition has been filed in SC challenging Section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act, which allows a candidate to fight from two seats at the same time.
  • As per the law, a person can contest elections for the same office from two constituencies simultaneously.
  • Section 70 of the Act specifies that a person who wins on both seats can hold one seat only.
  • In 2004, the CEC had urged the Centre for amend the Act to provide that a person cannot contest from more than one constituency for the same office simultaneously.

Issues raised by the petitioner:

When a candidate contests from two seats, it is imperative that he has to vacate one of the two seats, if he wins both.

  • The financial burden on the public exchequer, government manpower and other resources for holding a by-election against the resultant vacancy.
  • It is also an injustice to the voters of the constituency which the candidate is quitting from.

Article link: Click here


NIRF rankings 2018

Part of: Mains GS Paper II- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Key pointers:

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has recently announced the National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2018 rankings for higher education institutes.
  • The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, topped the overall rankings and also secured the top position in the best university category. IIT Madras secured the second place followed by IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur.
  • The rankings, according to the report was released under nine categories: Overall, universities, engineering, colleges, management, pharmacy, medical, architecture, and law.
  • The NIRF also added several new criteria such as total budget and its utilisation, combined metric for quality of publications, university examinations and how many graduating students admitted into top institutions.

Article link: Click here


10 GW of wind power by 2022

Part of: Mains GS Paper III- Energy security

Key pointers:

  • The Centre is looking to boost the country’s renewable energy footprint through offshore wind energy projects.
  • The first bid for setting up an offshore wind project in Tuticorin will come this year.
  • The government is expecting to have 10 GW of installed offshore wind power generation by 2022

Article link: Click here


(MAINS FOCUS)


INTERNATIONAL

TOPIC:General Studies 2:

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

China-India-Pakistan-Bangladesh axis: A game changer for South Asia

Background:

At the heart of South Asia’s poor integration is India-Pakistan rivalry, complicated by China-Pakistan proximity and India-China hostility.
A new dimension has been added with souring of Pakistan-Bangladesh relations and the India-China tug of war over Bangladesh.
Time has come to make a paradigm shift in South Asia’s regional integration strategy.

Caught in a tangle:

Today the big three of South Asia (IPB) are caught up in a complex web, both within and beyond the region.
The remaining five — i.e. Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan — are paying the price of regional disintegration caused by unresolved puzzles having roots in the China-IPB (CIPB) axis.
If the big three can have a strategic partnership that also factors in China, the remaining five can effortlessly fit into positive regionalism with a win-win situation for all.

India-Pakistan-Bangladesh:

  • IPB account for approximately 95% of South Asia’s GDP and population.
  • Along with China, they account for 18.5% of global GDP and 41% of global population.

Intra-regional trade:

Far below potential:

  • South Asia’s intra-regional trade, currently 5% of total trade, can grow to $80 billion from the current $28 billion, the lion’s share being within IPB.
  • Pakistan and India have potential trade capacity of $20 billion compared to the current $3 billion.
  • Underdeveloped transport and logistics services and bureaucratic procedures are deterring India-Bangladesh cross border trade, which can grow by 300%.

Accelerating inward investments:

Although the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is being developed as a bilateral initiative, if Indian sensitivities can be addressed, it can be a multilateral project, integrating India as well as other South Asian and Central Asian regions. China has already pledged $38 billion to Bangladesh under the BRI.
Synergetic integration of the economic corridors with other BRI projects can accelerate inward investment into IPB.

Connectivity:

Issue:

  • Due to cross-border barriers and lack of transport facilitation among IPB, freight movement is taking place along expensive routes, escalating investment cost.
  • Movement of trucks across the international frontier is confined by absence of cross-border agreements between India and Bangladesh and India and Pakistan.
  • Rail connectivity is restricted due to technical problems of different gauges, track structures, signalling and so forth. Absence of a multilateral agreement has restricted the realisation of the railway potential.

Way ahead:

  • The deep-pocketed Chinese can invest in land and rail infrastructure to develop both inter-regional connectivity and intra-regional connectivity.
  • Although India and Bangladesh have started exploring opportunities using Ashuganj inland port, regional inland waterways must be explored.
  • China can lead in transport and transit agreements to facilitate smooth movement of freight and passenger vehicles across IPB resulting in integration with China and also South Asia.

Meeting the energy potential:

The supply-demand gap of power in IPB is estimated to be 18,707 MW.

  • To unravel the full potential, energy treaties based on renewable sources have become imperative.
  • With greater electricity generation and utilisation of domestic energy endowments, combined efforts of BCIM, CPEC and the proposed China-Nepal-India (CNI) Economic Corridor under BRI, can capitalise on regional energy potential.

Meeting the water demand:

By 2050, China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will experience water shortages.

Issue:

  • The three largest trans-boundary river basins, Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra, are all within CIPB. This represents a huge potential for water-sharing and hydro power projects across the basins, but political mistrust is an impediment.
  • While there exist bilateral river-water sharing treaties between India and Pakistan as well as India and Bangladesh, China is absent except for a hydrological data-sharing collaboration.
  • China has expressed interest to pursue water- sharing treaties and the other three affected can come together in a collaborative framework. This can boost the livelihoods of millions across the region.

Promoting tourism:

Issues:

  • IPB fail to attract sufficient tourists due to poor civil aviation connectivity, complex regulations and lack of visa liberalisation procedures.
  • Of China’s total outbound tourists, only 1% are to IPB.
  • Inadequate, expensive and mediocre travelling facilities against the backdrop of pickpockets, burglary, and sexual assaults have resulted in tourists lacking interest in the region.

If these issues are resolved, it would enhance mobility of both tourists and students.

Conclusion:

A strategic collaboration between CIPB that rises to the occasion, looking beyond historical animosity and misgivings, can unlock a new era of regionalism whose benefits far outweigh negatives.

Connecting the dots:

  • Today the big three of South Asia (India-Pakistan-Bangladesh) are caught up in a complex web, both within and beyond the region. Time has come to make a paradigm shift in South Asia’s regional integration strategy. Discuss.

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