DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS SEPTEMBER'18 (IN HINDI & ENGLISH)
7 out of 10 seats sold on flights to smaller cities (GS-2) (Page-1,) For every 10 seats available under the government's low-cost flying scheme, as many as seven were grabbed by passengers since its launch last year, according to data accessed under the RTI (Right to Information) Act. * Seat occupancy, also known as passenger load factor, is an indicator of demand on a particular route. * Extrapolation of data sought by The Hindu through a RTI application shows that as many 7.5 lakh seats were made available for sale by eight airline operators, of which 5.24 lakh seats were sold. These figures are for a period of 16 months between the first flight under the scheme in April last year and until August 1, 2018.
8 airlines, 96 routes * So far, two rounds of bidding have taken place for routes under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) or UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), which aims to take flying to the masses and enhance air connectivity to Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. A total of 428 routes were awarded to 17 airline and helicopter operators. Of these, eight airlines have started flights on 96 routes, while helicopter services are yet to commence. Airlines have to set aside 50% of the total aircraft capacity for cheaper fares to be offered at the rate of 2,500 per hour of flight, in return for which airlines are given a subsidy by the Centre and the State government concerned. The government data show that the three airlines with the highest seat occupancy rate are low-cost carrier (81.4%), regional airline Truejet (70.7%) and Air India's regional arm Alliance Air (64.9%).
Seat belts fastened Seat occupancy, also known as passenger load factor (PLF), is an indicator of demand on a particular route WORST-PERFORMING SECTORS Shillong-Dimapur (Air Odisha) 1% Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar (Air Odisha) 11% Ahmedabad-Jamnagar PLF FOR AIRLINES SpiceJet 81.4% Tru Jet 70.7% Alliance Air 64.9% Jet Airways 59.2% Zoom Air 56.4% Air Deccan 53.4% IndiGo 45.6% Air Odisha 24% Air Odisha) 14% Delhi-Adampur (SpiceJet) 89% BEST-PERFORMING SECTORS Mumbai-Porbandar (SpiceJet) 93% Delhi-Kanpur (SpiceJet) 91.5% Kandla-Mumbai (SpiceJet) 91% Shimla-Delhi (Alliance Air) 89.5%
'Democracy under threat from black money, fae news' (GS-2) (Page- 2) Use of black money, data harvesting and fake news were among the potential threats to democracy, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) O. . Rawat said on Saturday. Speaking at a symposium on "Challenges to Indian Electoral Democracy" organised here by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi, Mr. Rawat said, "With the rise of fake news, with the rise of make believe things, with the rise of all kind of machinations like data theft, data harvesting, profiling, targeted communication...That is the potent threat every democracy in the world is facing." Explaining why "state funding" was not an option at present, he said the current law was inadequate to counter black money used in elections He said, "It [state funding] will not serve the purpose effectively because so long as you have torrents of money from such sources flowing into the election arena, state funding is just like a fig leaf trying to control that torrent."
Reason for duplicity Earlier, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa emphasised the need to update technology to harmonise the electoral roll and avoid duplicity. He said, "We need an automated technology that can simultaneously update the electoral roll as births and deaths take place." To this, the CEC added that duplicity was largely happening as most people who register at a new place of residence, forget to get their name deleted at the old place. Talking about the fake news problem, the CEC said the media should adopt some international practices, including regular columns that highlight the fake news stories of the week. Same issues highlighted Later, former CEC S.Y. Quraishi spoke about the reasons for India being categorised as a "flawed democracy He said that the Democracy Index, which is produced by the United Kingdom-based Economic Intelligence Unit, had highlighted the same issues that the Election Commission had been highlighting criminalisation of politics and money power.
Call for policy, action in diabetes prevention, management (GS-2) (Page-9) The recently-released Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 has shown that the prevalence of diabetes has increased more rapidly in the less-developed States of the country. The report has also highlighted the need for policy and health system action commensurate with the disease burden in each State to ensure more effective prevention and management of diabetes. The study, authored by Nikhil Tandon et al, goes on to warn: "If uncontrolled, diabetes and its complications are likely to take a heavy toll on India's healthcare system in the coming decades." The total number of people with diabetes grew from 26 million in 1990 to 65 million in 2016. The prevalence of diabetes in India was 5.5 % in 1990, but it has increased to 7.7 % in 2016. Potentially explosive Terming the increase "a potentially-explosive public health situation", it calls for effective policy implementation. When combined with appropriate allocation of financial and human resources, and a robust disease monitoring system, this would help in prevention, treatment and reduction of diabetes deaths and, in turn, curb the growing disease burden. The highest prevalence is in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, followed by Delhi, Punjab, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Tripura.
The increase in loss of health from diabetes since 1990 is the highest among all major non communicable diseases, says V. Mohan, one of the collaborators for the report. "This is enough to compel us to take immediate action in terms of awareness and prevention," he adds. Diabetes contributed to 3% of all deaths in India, with an increase in death rates due to diabetes from 1990 to 2016. * This highlights the low likelihood of meeting national and global targets for reducing deaths due to diabetes by 2025 and 2030, respectively, the report states. Among the risk factors contributing to diabetes in India in 2016, high BMI had the highest impact, while the other factors were dietary risks, tobacco use, occupational exposure to second hand smoke, low physical activity, and alcohol use.
The prevalence of being overweight in persons aged 20 years or older had increased from 9% in 1990 to 20.4% in 2016, Interventions to prevent obesity, providing public facilities to increase physical activity, and taxing sin foods, would go a long way in reducing the numbers, epidemiologists say. "The way forward would be providing awareness about diabetes," says R.M. Anjana, another contributor to the report. "Once the community decides to do something, then it just takes off. If there is one thing everyone can do, and start from childhood, it is to make sure physical activity is a component of our life, so we can keep diabetes at bay."
PSLV to launch 2 U.K. satellites tonight (Page-9) (GS-3) * A PSLV launch on Sunday night will put two earth observation satellites from the U.K. to space. * There is no Indian satellite on this flight. PSLV-C42 will be the first fully commercial trip of the year, breaking a five-month-long lull for the Indian Space Research Organisation. * ISRO did not make any launch post-April 12, after it put replacement navigation satellite, IRNSS-11 to space on the PSLV-C41 rocket. * A few days after that, it recalled its GSAT-11 from the South American launch port of Kourou and weeks before it was due for a launch ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said the interval was not connected with the satellite recall but for the sake of readiness of the two customer satellites.
The countdown to the launch began at 1.08 p.m. on Saturday. The PSLV is being flown in its core-alone format, minus the external boosters. The two satellites together weigh nearly 889 kg; this is the optimum payload that a core-alone PSLV can launch, Dr. Sivan said PSLV-C42 is scheduled for launch at 10.08 p.m. from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. It will lift NovaSAR and S1-4 to a sun-synchronous ('pole-to-pole') orbit 583 km from Earth. The entire flight up to the release of the satellites is designed to happen within 17.5 minutes. The satellites are owned by Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd., which signed a commercial launch contract with Antrix Corporation, an ISRO release said.
PM launches cleanliness campaign (GS-2) Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the "Swachhata Hi Seva" ("cleanliness is service") campaign on Saturday, and took up a broom to clean a school named after Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar. Union Ministers and BJP leaders and workers participated in similar exercises across the country. In a nearly two-hour video interaction with people from across the country, including religious leaders, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and noted personalities such as Amitabh Bachchan and Ratan Tata, Mr. Modi said the sanitation coverage in India had increased from 40% to over 90% in the four years of the "Swachh Bharat" (Clean India) project. He said few would have thought that nine crore toilets would be built and 4.5 lakh villages declared free of open defecation in four years. He launched the "cleanliness is service" exercise to push for greater public participation in one of his government's centrepiece programmes launched on October 2, 2015. It will continue till Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary next month.
Prices touch dizzy heights (GS-3) The prices of petrol and diesel on Saturday touched a new high, with Mumbai witnessing the maximum among the four metros. While petrol costs 89.01 a litre in Mumbai , diesel is priced at 78.07, according to the daily price notification issued by State-ownwed oil marketing companies (OMCs). In Delhi, petrol is sold for 181.63 and diesel at 73.54, which is also a record high but lowest among the four metros. In Kolkata, the petrol price is 83.49 and diesel dispensed for 75.39. In the case of Chennai, petrol is sold for784, 85 and diesel at?77.74. The petrol prices have gone up about 6% since August 1, while diesel prices were up by 8% in the same period.
Four foreign OEMs have responded to the Navy's Request for Information issued last year. However, further progress got held up as clarity was required on some aspects of the SP model. The contenders are Naval Group of France, Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau of Russia, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany and Saab group of Sweden. From the Indian private sector only two companies, Larsen and Toubro and Reliance Defence, have shipyards and hence eligible to participate in the tender. Mazagon Dock Ltd, a defence public sector undertaking and the only Indian shipyard with experience of manufacturing submarines, is also expected to be considered. The SP model, which is the last chapter of the defence procurement procedure, has four segments- submarines, single engine fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured carriers/main battle tanks - which would be specifically opened up for the private sector. Under this policy an Indian private company would be selected in each segment which would tie up with shortlisted global OEM to manufacture the platforms in India under technology transfer. The ambitious policy came into effect in May last year but progress was slow due to lack of clarity. End of July, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the general as well as project specific implementation guidelines for Naval utility helicopters.
What happened? President Donald Trump came to power partly on the promise that he will create more jobs and that other countries would not thrive at the expense of the U.S. In his dealings with the rest of the world, he has made it amply clear that if the U.S. buys more from another country than what that country buys from the U.S., America loses; something he does not want. That spirit has spurred his move to impose higher duties on imports to spur local manufacture and increase jobs in the U.S. The same spirit is also behind the move to pressure India to import at least $10 billion a year more from the U.S. over the next three years.
How much do we buy? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, India imported $25.7 billion from the U.S. in 2017 while it exported $48.6 billion to the largest economy in the world. The U.S.'s latest demand means it wants India to cut its trade deficit with the American nation by close to half, through increased purchases of civilian aircraft and natural gas. Between 2014 and 2017, India's trade deficit with the U.S. has hovered over $23- 24 billion annually. In 2017, it dropped by $1.5 billion compared with 2016, due to higher imports from the U.S. Till July this year, India's deficit ran to $13.2 billion, not significantly different from the $13.6 billion for the same period a year earlier.
Where does China stand? Juxtapose those figures against China's trade deficit with the U.S. - it was $375.6 billion for 2017. Mr. Trump is targeting imports from China (which, in his opinion, are taking jobs away from Americans) and has imposed duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports to the U.S. China has reacted with similar duties on imports from the U.S. With duties impending on another $200 billion worth of trade, he has most recently said his administration has lined up action on a third lot of $267 billion worth of Chinese imports into the U.S. This has roiled markets globally as trade wars benefit none. In the U.S.'s own case, for example, duties on solar panels, being sourced from China, have led to the sector forecasting a slower growth and flagging a loss of 23,000 jobs - the exact opposite of what Mr. Trump wanted.
Is it helping the U.S.? The tough stance of the U.S. is significant. Reports suggest that the administration has wrought a miracle of sorts. The U.S. economy has returned to life: the GDP is growing at a 3%-plus rate; unemployment rate is near a 50-year low; the stock market has jumped 27% amid a surge in corporate profits. Many critics, including some from his Republican Party, have said this is not sustainable and that government spending, which is driving a part of the revival, will peter out in 2019. Some predict that the U.S. could even see a recession in 2020.
Graduate in Economics. Gold medal in Dissertation, Prepared various documents on Demonetisation and GST, Share-trading and many more