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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS from THE HINDU 18th September 2017 By Jatin Verma Educator Unacademy
News Articles I. Narmada dam built despite attempts to stop it. What is Concrete Gravity Dam? 2. India under U.S.pressure to scale down ties with North Korea. 3. High Courts don't have regular Chief Justices 4. PDS digitisation moving at snail's pace. 5. Russia denies bombing U.S.-backed forces 6. International: U.S. could stay in Paris act:Tillerson. 7. Gold imports increase threefold to $15 billion. 8. Tweaks to pact with S. Korea mooted. 9. GST Composition Scheme registration open till Sept. 30
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Page-l:Narmada dam built despite attempts to stop it, says PM. GSM-3: DevelopmentVs. Displacement: Second biggest:The Narmada is the second biggest concrete gravity dam by volume after the Grand Coulee Dam in the U.S. e Benefits:- [i] Drinking water to 131 urban centres in Gujarat [ii] The Narmada canal would irrigate 2,46,000 hectares of desert districts of Barmer and Jalore in Rajasthan [ii] The dam would help irrigate 800,000 hectares of land in the state and will provide drinking water to 131 urban centres and 9,633 villages (53 per cent of a total of 18,144 villages of Gujarat) [iv] Environmental Benefits: In addition to generating electricity, the dam is said to have a large positive impact on the environment, increasing tree plantation rate by 100 times, and gains due to carbon dioxide fixation will be up to 70 times. Recently, the height of the dam was raised from 121 metres to 138 metres by erecting 30 radial sluice gates, a task that had been held up for several years . This has helped the storage capacity to be increased 3.75 times to 4.73 million acre-feet.
Problems on the way: In 1985, Medha Patkar, along with other civil society activists came together and conducted a study of the problems the projects would lead to post-completion. They inferred that the govt had overlooked the severe environmental impact of the projects as certain agricultural tracts would be submerged. Moreover, millions would be displaced by the dams and there was concrete rehabilitation programme to take care of the people affected. Slowly, several movements were launched protesting against the SSP. In time, these movements came under the umbrella of the Narmada Bachao Andolan. According to the SSP website, for one tribal displaced by the dam, seven will benefit. Historical Background: First PM Jawaharlal Nehru, inaugurated the project on April 5, 1961. However, the project was halted several times due to an interstate river water sharing dispute and protests against the human and environmental implications it would have. In 1964, A.N. Khosla panel was appointed to resolve the dispute but in vain.
What is Concrete Gravity Dam? Used to hold back water by self weight alone to resist the horizontal pressure of water pushing against it These are designed so that each section of Dam is stable independent of any other dam section Their main advantage is that these dams can tolerate minor over-toppings as concrete is resistant to scourging Lift joint
Page-l: India under U.S. pressure to scale down ties with North Korea. . American pressure on the issue has been rising over the last few months even as India joined Japan in describing North Korea as a common threat. . The American message was communicated shortly before Mr.Abe's visit. . It was the second time in two months that the U.S. conveyed such a message. Analysis: [i] The American insistence that India reduce ties with North Korea is an important move as it aims to draw New Delhi more strongly into the East Asian crisis. [ii] The message also reflects recent Indian arguments about North Korea as stated by a high- level diplomat who recounted Pakistan's role in arming it with nuclear knowhow as a reason for India's continued concern with the country. The India Japa Joint Statement stated that those countries that supported the North Korean nuclear programme should be held "accountable." Mr.Abe also discussed the role of Pakistan's A.Q. Khan network in supporting the clandestine nuclear programme of North Korea. India has repeatedly deplored the recent missile and nuclear tests by Pyongyang though bilateral ties with the government of Kim Jong-un have remained more or less undisturbed.
Historically, India played a key role in the resolution of the Korean war during the early 1950s and has maintained diplomatic ties with Pyongyang . However, a report in 2016 had revealed that the Dehradun-based Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) was one of the institutes that trained North Korean scientists, in violation of U.N. sanctions In April this year, India supported the U.N. in banning trade with North Korea though the Ministry of External Affairs has maintained that Indian trade has consisted of humanitarian ingredients like food items and medicines. The past collaboration is likely to be discontinued indicating that ties with North Korea is part of the vestiges of the NAM era diplomacy. . India would like to play a proactive role in the Far East if need arises.
Page-l: 6 High Courts don't have regular Chief Justices JudicialBacklogVs Judicial Vacancies Six High Courts in the country are without regular Chief Justices for the past several months, and at least four Chief Justices of various High Courts will be retiring in 2017 Temporary arrangement: Acting Chief Justices take over the responsibilities of the top judge of the State judiciary as a temporary arrangement. They are meant to fill the vacuum for a short time till the formalities for the appointment of a regular Chief Justice are completed. Analysis: Last week, we saw that CJl made a proposal for HCs to work on Saturdays. Better would be to clear the Vacancies' backlog at all the levels of Judiciary. For that to happen, radical steps like All India Judicial Service type institutional rreeforms are required.
Page-11: PDS digitisation moving at snail's pace. . The Govt's claim to ensure end-to-end digitisation of the Public Distribution System (PDS) is coming to naught even after three years of being in mission mode The project was launched in 201 2 at a cost of 84 crore to ensure that at every step from field to fork, the government would be able to track the movement of foodgrains so that they reached the right beneficiaries . Components of Digitisation project [i] Automation of the supply chainonline monitoring of stock positions in godowns, [i] Digitisation of food procurement system (FPS) data, Tiij Tracking the movement of the food grains from the godowns to the fair price shops, [iv] open transparency portals [v] SMS alerts to beneficiaries. [v] Digitisation of Ration cards and [vii]seed Aadhaar card data. Progress so far: [i] Out of 5.26 lakh ration shops, only 51% have been digitised in three years. Thirteen States are yet to take the first step in this direction [i] At least II States have not taken the elementary step of digitising fair price shops and nine other States, including Uttar Pradesh, have hardly made any progress. In Bihar, less than 1% of ration shops are digitised;
Page-12: Russia denies bombing U.S.- backed forces Maono 4 SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC al Bid TURKEY kbc . U.S.-backed militias in Syria came under attack on Saturday from Russian jets and Syrian government forces in Deir al-Zor province, a flashpoint in an increasingly complex battlefield. RIS AR RAQQAH Ac Raman . Russia's Defence Ministry rejected allegations it k to n DAYRAZZA Dayr az Zam had bombed U.S.-backed militias in Syria, saying its planes only targeted Islamic State militants and that it had warned the United States well in advance of its operational plans. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias fighting with the U.S.-led coalition, said six of its fighters Sm had been wounded in the strike MEDITERRANEAN TARTUSY Ash IRAQ Tmam), Jubay National cal Provincial cap LEBANON Arpon aDIMAS Expresay Main road Secondary road AS SUWAYDA JORDAN ISRAEL
. Page-13 Business:Gold imports increase threefold to $15 billion. The country's gold imports recorded a three-fold jump to $15.24 billion during the April-August period of the current fiscal. . Gold imports, which has a bearing on the country's current account deficit (CAD), stood at Rs. 5.08 billion in April-August 2016-17 Increase in gold imports last month contributed to the widening of trade deficit to $11.64 billion as against $7.7 billion in August 2016. . The imports are expected to increase on account of the forthcoming festival season, which will start from the end of this month. . Increase in inbound shipments of gold is also one of the reasons for higher CAD. CAD rose sharply to $14.3 billion-or 2.4% of GDP-at the end of first quarter of 2017-18. In general terms, CAD refers to the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign exchange that has an impact on exchange rate. Worried over surge in gold imports from South Korea, with which India has a free trade agreement, the government has restricted inbound shipments of the precious metal.
[ii]Only those furnishing the required certificate, stating the criteria have been met, will be allowed FTA benefits. [iii]Else, such imports from South Korea will attract 10% duty. Since gold is a sensitive item for India, the other plan is to shift gold and articles to the negative list in the FTA Work is also on to impose safeguard duty (12.5%) on gold imports from South Korea. Dubai. South Korea[FTA] Pendant
Business: GST Composition Scheme registration open till Sept. 30 The Goods and Services Tax Network announced the opening of the registration window for the Composition Scheme again till September 30. . Under the Scheme, small taxpayers with a turnover of 75 lakh can file quarterly returns instead of the normal monthly returns Many taxpayers who migrated after August 16 could not avail this facility as it was open till August 16, 2017 only. To make this facility available to all those who could not opt for Composition, the facility has been opened again by the GST Council.This is also open to those who registered afresh under GST but did not avail the facility at the time of registration. Advantages: i] For Business: Businesses opting for the composition scheme will see a lesser compliance burden as they will have to file returns only once in a quarter. [ii] For Govt: Govt, in anyway, effectively gets 2-3% tax revenue from these small traders.