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Daily News Analysis 22nd December 2018 Daily News Analysis from - The Hindu " Indian Express - Tol, Livemint Presented by Jatin Verma
Important News Articles (Taking Delhi/Noida edition as the base) Page 1 : Furore in Rajya Sabha over order on data 'interception' Page1:Quantifying Development Page: All 22 accused set free in Sohrabuddin encounter case Page 3 : Odisha's KALIA to attack poverty Page 5: Himachal, Kerala and T.N. top development index Page 5 Hefty fines if States fail to give plans to clean up rivers: NGT Page 5 : Can Arunachal's tallest tree build a road? Page 5 SC comes to the rescue of landlord Page 8: Order challenges SC verdict on privacy: experts Page 8 : LS panel suggests automatic suspension Page 8: Central teams assessing drought damage in 6 States Page 8 New list, old rules Page 9: India reminds China of peace
Important News Articles (Taking Delhi/Noida edition as the base) Page 10 Jim Mattis quits after clashing with Trump Page 10 U.S. to withdraw troops from Afghanistan Page 10 UAE to deposit $3 billion in Pakistan's central bank Page 1 1 : Indices lose nearly 2% on global cues Page High fares slow air traffic growth to 4-year low Page 1 Centre moves NCLT to re-open IL&FS books Page 11 GST rates may be cut on some items Page 18 : Rare albino orangutan released back into the wild
Page 11 : Indices lose nearly 2% on global cues Weak global cues amid concerns of a global slowdown led to the Indian benchmark indices shedding nearly 2% on Friday with heavyweights from the auto, financials and information technology sectors losing heavy ground. The 30-share Sensex lost 689.60 points, or 1.89%, to close at 35,742.07. Stocks such as Wipro, Maruti Suzuki India, Infosys and TCS lost more than 3% each as 28 Sensex constituents ended in the red. The broader market saw more than 1,700 stocks declining as against only 863 gainers. Further, as many as 156 stocks touched their lower circuit on BSE. The broader Nifty settled the day at 10,754, down 197.70 points, or 1.81%. Elsewhere inAsia, Nikkei lost nearly 230 points while the overnight Dow Jones was down more than 460 points or nearly 2%. Market participants are of the view that fears of a potential shutdown of the U.S. government amidst rising tension between the U.S. and China and interest rate hikes in the U.S. are making investors jittery across economies Rupee down after 4 days The weakness in equities slipped over to currency markets as the rupee weakened after four days of strengthening The rupee dropped 48 paisa to end the day at 70.18 a dollar. Month-end dollar demand from importers, mainly from oil companies, also weighed on the domestic currency
Page 11: GST rates may be cut on some items While the GST Council is expected to cut tax rates on some commodities, most notably cement, tax analysts do not expect a large number of rate cuts to take place. However, they expect greater clarity on the GST annual return form, around which there has been a lot of confusion. Only about 34-35 items are in the 28% slab, and most of them are sin or luxury goods. So, it may not be an across-the-board cut, but there could be cuts for specific sectors. The issue of tax rates on cement has been in the works for a while as it is expected to boost the infrastructuresecto 2022-23, demands for a boost to infrastructure through tax relief have regained steam. So, there has been a demand to reduce the GST rate from 28% to 18% or less. The government may look at this favourably since it ties in well into the vision of a $4 trillion economy by 2022. Another area that may see a rate cut could be the financial inclusion sector, according to industry bodies The PMO has told BCFI that they will make the GST nil for all the financial inclusion services across India. We are expecting that to be take up during the upcoming meeting. The rate is currently 18% but the impact is actually 27%. r. Now, with the NITI Aayog vision document planning for a S4 trillion economy by
Page 11 : Centre moves NCLT to re-open IL&FS books The Corporate Affairs Ministry moved NCLT, seeking to reopen the books of IL&FS Group and its subsidiaries for the past five years under Section 130 of the Companies Act, to ascertain financial mismanagement This is the first time that the government has invoked powers under Section 130 of the new Companies Act of 2013 to reopen the ledgers of a company The government wants to check the balance-sheets of crippled group entities and the two listed subsidiaries ITNL and IL&FS Financial Services-for the past years and the move comes after SFIO found shocking details of corruption, personal enrichment and other non-transparent deals The NCLT, however, refused to pass an immediate order saying it had to seek the views of the relevant statutory bodies and regulators such as the Reserve Bank, SEBI and the Income Tax Department, before taking a call on the petition The ministry also submitted a report on the views of the Institute of Chartered Accountants on the IL&FS Group's accounts, which were audited by Deloitte, EY affiliate SRBC and KPMG affiliate BSR. The government plea also wanted NCLT to appoint an independent chartered accountant to restate the accounts and revise the balance-sheets of IL&FS, IL&FS Financial Services and IL&FS Transportation Network and wanted three months to do the job. The group owes over 94,000 crore to lenders, mostly banks. Former bureaucrat Vijay Kumar and senior charteredaccountant N. Srinivasan have been appointed as non-executive directors. With this, there are eight non-executive directors on the IL&FS board, including chairman Uday Kotak.
Background Serious Fraud Investigation Office The SFIO is a fraud investigating agency in India, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The SFIO is involved in major fraud probes and is the co-ordinating agency with the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It is headquartered in New Delhi. It was established in January 2003 based on the recommendation of Naresh Chandra Committee on corporate governance and in backdrop of stock market scams due to failure of non-banking companies resulting in huge financial loss to the public. SFIO is a multi-disciplinary organization having experts from financial sector, accountancy, capital market, taxation, forensic audit, law, information technology, company law, customs and investigation These experts have been taken from various organizations like banks, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and concerned organizations and departments of Government.
Page 11 : High fares slow air traffic growth to 4-year low Higher airfares stalled the growth in domestic aviation traffic in November to a four-year low of 11.03%. according to DGCA data. The domestic aviation market has seen the fastest growth globally and registered double-digit growth in the past 51 months since September 2014. Calendar years 2015, 2016 and 2017 have seen an average growth of20.43%,23% and 17.3% respectively. The growth rates tumbled by more than 2% since October, which witnessed 13.3% growth. Domestic airlines ferried 1.16 crore passengers last month, up from 1.04 crore in November 2017 The import duty of 5% on jet fuel led to an increase in airfares and hit demand from passengers. The government's decision in September has had a catastrophic impact and was il-timed as the industry was already grappling with an increase in oil prices and the tumbling rupee. The cash-strapped airline had cancelled flights to several of its destinations and reduced frequency and capacity on several of the routes it continued to operate. Despite the challenges in the industry, IndiGo cornered 43% of the market share. It was followed by Jet Airways (12.8%), SpiceJet ( 12.5%), Air India (12.2%) and GoAir (8.8%).
Hitting an air 2018 2017 25.13 pocket 25 Despite tumbling by 2% since October, the domestic aviation market has seen the fastest growth globally, registering double digit growth in the past 51 months 20 17.6 15 19.69 11.03 Apr. Aug Dec. Image Credit The Hindu
Page 1 : Furore in Raiya Sabha over order on data 'interception' The Rajya Sabha was adjourned on Friday as the Opposition accused the government of creatinga "police state" by authorising 10 agencies for "interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer The notification means websites and web-based applications visited by a "suspect" on a computer or a mobile handset could be intercepted by the service providers at the request of the authorised agency after it has been cleared by the Home Secretary The service provider will be liable to share the information under Section 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000. A Home Ministry spokesperson said, "No new powers have been conferred on any of the agencies by the notification, and it has been issued to notify the Internet service providers, telecom service providers or intermediaries...to codify the existing orders However, neither the Home Ministry nor Mr. Jaitley clarified when such a notification for"computers" was issued the last time under the IT Act, 2000 A senior official of the Home Ministry explained that earlier such powers were granted under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, that allowed interception of phone calls. But after the IT Act came into force in 2000, and with the advent of technology, the agencies which could intercept data on computers and mobile handsets had not been identified or authorised
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said: "The undeclared emergency has taken its final shape and all Central agencies and federal agencies have been let loose." Responding to the order, the Internet Freedom Foundation said Home Ministry order goes much beyond mere telephone tapping: Content streams are much richer, pervasive and personal... Imagine your search queries on, 'Google' over years being demanded. Mixed with your WhatsApp metadata, who you talk to, when & how much. Added layers of data streams from emails+ Facebook
Page 8 :Order challenges SC verdict on privacy: experts The December 20 order allowing 10 different Central agencies to snoop on people is seen as a challenge to the nine-judge Constitution Bench judgment of the Supreme Court, which directed the government to protect informational privacy of every individual. In its 2017 judgment, the court had asked the government always to balance individual privacy and the legitimate concerns of the state carefully and sensitively, even if national security was at stake The December 20 order allows Central agencies- from the IB to the CBDT to the Cabinet Secretariat (RAW) to the Commissioner of Delhi Police to intercept, monitor and de-crypt "any information" generated, transmitted, received or stored in "any computer resource" The government order is based on Section 69(1) of the In of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009, A wide range of government bodies have been given blanket powers. There is no common thread among these agencies. For example, why should the Central Board of Direct Taxes get access to your encrypted material," said senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, who was one of the leading counsel in the privacy case before the court. n Technology Act, 2000, and Rule 4 He pointed out that the order did not provide the procedure or the object for such an exercise or the quantum of period for which a person's private data could be intercepted
Page 8 : New list, old rules New list, old rules A look at what the fuss over the Home Ministry's order authorising 10 agencies to intercept computer-based information is all about Section 69 was amended in authority may authorise aCommittee' within seven 2008 to enable the Centre government agency to carry days. The authority, before and the State governments out the task to "intercept, monitor or 9 issuing the order, should also consider getting the required decrypt" any information The present order naming .coe transmitted through, received 10 agencies has been issued Information by other means or stored in a computer RULES Rules were framed in 2009 under Rule 4. It does not in- Aninterception order will be troduce any new surveillance in force only for a maximum norm or rule of 60 days. Rules have also been framed outlining the IT PROCEDURE Provision for interception of information setting out the procedure and Provision for interception of information safequards. Rule 3 says the from computer resources exists since intermediary's responsibilities The agencies also must go only by procedure laid down competent authority' (the The Review Committee Technology Act, 2000 allowed this in the Home Secretary in the Centre inthe same 2009 Rules for s interest of the country's sovereignty and 7 2000. Sec69(0) of the Information should meet once in two carrying out these tasks. months. It has the power to and the States) alone can issue an order for set aside interception orders Any direction for intercep-and direct the destruction of integrity, security of the state, friendly interceptionring tion shall contain reasons and records if procedure is not relations with foreign States, or public order or incitement to offence followed Rule 4 says the competent a copy should be to a Review
Report card NITI Aayog has ranked every State based on its performance on 13 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The index score used for measure- ment ranges between O and 100. A score of 100 signifies that the national target set for 2030 has been achieved while O denotes it was the worst performer. A look at what the SDGs mean and where the States stand: PROGRESS METER Table shows India's progress in each goal: Good progress average progress ) & slow progress WHAT THE GOALS MEAN? SD1: End poverty: SD2: End hunger: SD3: Ensure healthy lives & promote well-being: SD4: Ensure quality education: SDS: Achieve gender equality: SD6: Ensure sustainable management of water and sanitation for all: SD7: Ensure ac- cess to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy: SD8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; SD9: Build resilient infrastructure: SDIO: Reduce inequality: SD11: Make cities and settle- ments inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable; SD12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production pat terns: SD13: Combat climate change: SD14: Conserve marine resources: SD15: Protect terrestrial ecosys tems; SD16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies SDGScore SDS SD11 SD9 SD2 SD7 SD3 SD1 SD4 SD6 SD8 SD1O SD16 SD15 36 39 48 51 52 54 58 63 65 71 71 90 TOP THREE AND BOTTOM THREE PERFORMERS Graph shows the state of progress of all the 13 goals in the top 3 and bottom 3 States Kerala Goa Karnataka Odisha Bihar Uttar Pradesh 3 6 9 13
The NGT has the power to hear all civil cases relating to environmental issues including the following: - The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; - The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977; - The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; - The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 198 - The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; Th e Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 * The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 NGT has not been vested with powers to hear any matter relating to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the Indian Forest Act. 1927 and various laws enacted by States relating to forests, tree preservation etc Principal Bench of the NGT has been established in the National Capital - New Delhi, with regional benches in Pune (Western Zone Bench), Bhopal (Central Zone Bench), Chennai (Southern Bench) and Kolkata (Eastern Bench).
Question : How is the National Green Tribunal (NGT) different from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)? (Prelims 2018) 1. The NGT has been established by an Act whereas the CPCB has been created by an executive order of the Government 2. The NGT provides environmental justice and helps reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts whereas the CPCB promotes cleanliness of streams and wells, and aims to improve the quality of air in the country Which of the statements given above is/are correct? A-1 only B- 2 only C- Both 1 and 2 D- Neither 1 nor 2
Background Central Pollution Control Board The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India is a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) as established in 1974 under the It w Water (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act, 1974. CPCB is also entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. It Co-ordinates the activities of the State Pollution Control Boards by providing technical assistance and guidance and also resolves disputes among them
Great Hornbill tmage Credit he Hmdu
Page 3: Odisha's KALIA to attack poverty Instead of announcing farm loan waiver like other States, the Odisha Cabinet approved the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme amounting to 10,000 crore to accelerate agricultural prosperity in the State and to reduce poverty Mr. Patnaik said that under KALIA an amount of 0,180 crore will be spent over a period ofthree years till 2020-21. Crop loans up to 50,000 will henceforth be interest free, and the scheme will be reviewed in 2020-21 for further modifications KALIA scheme covers the cultivators, loanee, as well as non-loanee farmers, share croppers and landless agricultural labourers. There are about 32 lakh cultivators in the State. Of these, about 20 lakh have availed of crop loans. Of the 20 lakh loanee farmers, about 60% have regularly repaid loans. Further, the entire gamut of share croppers and landless labourers will not be covered under a loan waiver scheme, Mr. Patnaik pointed out What wrong have the 60% done in repaying the loans," questioned Mr. Patnaik, while criticising the Opposition Congress and the BJP that have promised loan waiver if voted to power in the State All the small and marginal farmers of the State (92% cultivators) will be covered under the scheme. An amount of 10,000 per family at the rate of 5,000 for Kharif and Rabi shall be provided as financial assistance for taking up cultivation. Further, life insurance cover of lakh and additional personal accident cover of lakh will be provided to both cultivators and agricultural labourers covering about 57 lakh households
Page 8 : Central teams assessing drought damage in 6 States Inter-ministerial teams are visiting six States to assess the impact of drought in the summer monsoon season The State governments have requested drought relief assistance from the Centre to the tune of almost R17,000 crore for two crore hectares of affected land, according to Agriculture Ministry data. Rainfall shortages have hit hard in three States of the Deccan plateau - Maharshtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as well as the western States of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Jharkhand and Odisha have also been affected. However, the Odisha government, which has already declared drought for kharif 2018, has not yet submitted a memorandum for assistance from the Centre. The inter-ministerial teams will assess the damage and submit their reports to a sub-committee headed by the Agriculture Secretary. The sub-committee will send final recommendations for financial assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund to a high-level committee, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh Maharashtra is the worst affected in terms of land area, with more than 85 lakh hectares hit by drought conditions. Out of its 36 districts, 26 districts have been affected, and the State government has requested 7,522 crore in central assistance. In Karnataka, 24 out of 30 districts have been declared drought-hit, with 37 lakh hectares affected. The State has requested assistance of 2,434 crore. In Rajasthan, almost 35 lakh hectares have been affected, and the State has requested nearly 2,820 crore of central assistance.
Page 10: Jim Mattis quits after clashing with Trump U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly said he was quitting after falling out with President Trump over his foreign policies, including surprise decisions to yank troops from Syria and start planning a drawdown in Afghanistan. > U.S. officials said the resignation had not been forced by Mr. Trump The President announced on Wednesday that U.S. troops in Syria would be withdrawn, a decision that upended American policy in the region. On Thursday, an official said the President was planning to withdraw at least 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan Gen. Mattis, a retired Marine general whose embrace of NATO and America's traditional alliances often put him at odds with Mr. Trump, had advised against the Syria withdrawal. The news is certain to shock U.S. military allies, already bewildered by what they see as Mr. Trump's unpredictable, go-it-alone approach to global security Gen. Mattis' letter indicated that he disagreed with Mr. Trump's isolationist policies, writing that it was his belief the U.S. needed to maintain strong alliances and show allies respect. He said U.S. must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. He identified Russia and China as countries that "want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model
Page 10 : U.S. to withdraw troops from Afghanistan U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to pull a significant number of troops from Afghanistan but the Afghan presidency brushed off concerns that the drawdown would affect security. Reports suggested as many as half of the 14,000 troops in the war-torn country could be leaving. The move dismayed diplomats in Kabul who are intensifying a push to end the 17-year conflict with the Taliban. Taliban already controls vast amounts of territory and is causing "unsustainable" Afghan troop casualties. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid did not comment about the troop withdrawal. But a senior Taliban commander welcomed the decision. Frankly speaking we weren't expecting that immediate U.S. response, the official said from an unknown location in northwest Pakistan.
Asia RUSSIA Sea of Okhots k KAZAKHSTAN MONGOLIA GEORGIA KYR Sea of TURKMEN TUR N.KOREA Japan S.KOREAJAPAN MaditerraYPr SYRIA Se SRAE IRAN CHINA RDAN East China Sea BHU EGYPT SAUDI ARABIA INDIA BANG TAIWAN RAMY AR LAOS Arabian Sea Bay of Bengal THAI LAND South China Philippine Sea SUDAN YEMEN Gulf of Aden PH LIPPINES Andaman Sea SOUT ETHIOPIA MALDIVES LANKA SRI UDAN BRUNE ific ALAYSIA ING. North Pacific Ocean UG NY Indian Ocean INDONESI 1200 Klometers 1200 Mles -EAST TIMOR
Middle East BLACK SEA GEORGIA Istanbul AZERB *Ankara TURKEY TURKMENISTAN CASPIAN SEA Ashgabat Tabriz Mashhad SYRIA Tehran IRAO Beirut Herat SEA LEBANO Damascus MEDITERRANEAN Isfahan ISRAEL & PAL TERRITORIES Baghdad AFG. Yazd RAN Amman erusale JORD Cairo KUWAIT Shiraz Kuwait City Zahedan AK EGYPT BAHRAI Manama Doha TAR Abu Dhabi Muscat Duba Medina Riyadh RED SEA UAE SAUDI ARABIA Mecca OMANv SUDAN ERITR Asmara ARABIAN SEA Khartoum YEMEN Sana'a GULF OF ADEN 400 Kilomete Geographical Locations ETHIOPIA Djibouti 400 Miles
Page 10: UAE to deposit $3 billion in Pakistan's central bank UAE said it will soon deposit $3 billion in the central bank of Pakistan to help "enhance liquidity" as the country struggles with a balance of payments crisis. Pakistan is facing a deteriorating balance of payments crisis. The rupee plunged almost 5% to a record low at the end of November, after what appeared to be a sixth devaluation by the central bank in the past year. Pakistani PM Imran Khan thanked the UAE "for supporting Pakistan so generously in our testing times". He said this reflects our commitment and friendship that has remained steadfast over the years Abu Dhabi talks The UAE announcement came days after Pakistan attended talks in Abu Dhabi between the United States and Taliban officials from Afghanistan Islamabad has also received billions of dollars in Chinese loans to finance infrastructure projects
Page 1 : All 22 accused set free in Sohrabuddin encounter case 13 years after the killing of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and his aide Tulsiram Prajapati in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat, a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court acquitted all the 22 accused, saying a conspiracy could not be proven Judge Sharma went on to add, "I feel sorry that a family had lost its son [Sohrabuddin] and daughter-in- law [Kausar Bi], and it is unfortunate that a mother has lost her son [Tulsiram], but I am helpless on the evidence. I am really sorry but the way in which the evidence was brought before me, I could not help." Change of stance 4404 210 92 Witnesses Witnesses examined by the turned hostile prosecution Rubabuddin, Sohrabuddin Shaikh's brother, leaving the court on Friday Three main prosecution witnesses turned hostile. What could the prosecution have done? It couldn't have forced them not to turn hostile -S.J.SHARMA, special judge Image Credit The Hindu