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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS THE HINDU, INDIAN EXPRESS, LIVEMINT August,2017 By JATIN VERMA Educator Unacademy
4 August 2017 World news: Trump blames Congress as Russia ties hit 'dangerous low'TGSM-2: INTERNATIONAL] U.S. President Donald Trump said that relations with Russia had hit an all-time and "very dangerous" low, putting the blame on Congress after he reluctantly approved sanctions against Moscow . Mr.Trump's outburst came a day after he grudgingly signed off on the sanctions, calling the legislation "significantly flawed" and adding that some of its provisions were unconstitutional. It underlines the lack of trust from lawmakers, even though his own Republican Party controls both houses Background: I. Mr. Trump's presidency has been overshadowed by allegations that his campaign team colluded with Moscow during last year's U.S. presidential campaign in which he defeated Hillary Clinton. 2. After meeting his Russian counterpart at a G20 summit in Germany last month, Mr. Trump said he wanted to work more closely with Moscow on areas such as the conflict in Syria. Effect of Sanction on Russia, Iran & North Korea: The legislation which includes sanctions against North Korea and Iran greatly limits Trump's room for manoeuvre. The sanctions target the Russian energy sector in particular, giving Washington the ability to sanction companies involved in developing Russian pipelines. It also places curbs on some Russian weapons exporters and constrains Trump's ability to waive the penalties. Russia's reaction: I.Russia has asked U.S. to cut its diplomatic staff posted at U.S. Embassy in Russia. 2. Moscow called the sanctions a declaration of "economic war" 3. Russia says, sanctions exposed the U.S. president's weakness, thereby making the angry Trump lashing his own Republican party lawmakers who had overwhelmingly approved the sanctions.
4 August 2017 Benefits of Russia and U.S. coming closer for the rest of the World Mardin 0 41 SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC TURKE Y Ra's al Ayn TairAtab AL H Antakya (Antiocho MR RAOQAH Ar Raqgah CYPRUS Thawrah lLadhigiyah Dayr az Zawr AMA10As Saan MEDITERRANEAN TARTOS SEA Tartus As Sukhnah Himg (Homs) IRAO Tiyas AbO Kama Ba Bayr t (Beirut) O National capital Provincial capital LEBANONAz O Town, village Airport Damascus) DIMASHO At Tant Main road Secondary road As SUWAY Haita JORDAN ISRAELNazaroth 507 100 km a ash al Jufur Mafreg 75 m
4 August 2017 Page-12:World News-Latin America: No GSM-2: INTERNATIONAL] manipulation, says Maduro Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro defiantly dismissed allegations that official turnout figures for the election of a Constituent Assembly were manipulated, accusing the international software firm behind the claim of bowing to U.S. pressure to cast doubt over the vote North Atlantic Ocean . According to the opposition, voter turnout was PERU BRAZIL South Pacific ocean closer to 12 percent, a figure more aligned with the lack of lines that were seen at many polling stations. The new Assembly is made up solely of members of Maduro's ruling Socialist Party as the opposition boycotted the vote South Atlantic
4 August 2017 13 Why did the government hold this vote? The government said it was to bring peace to the conflicted country, but it was widely seen as a move to avoid holding other scheduled elections that the government expected to lose - including elections for governors and mayors in 2017 and for president in 2018. The government's approval rating has hovered around 20 percent because of the weakening economy, shortages of food and medicine, and the Supreme Court's controversial decision to curtail the authority of the legislature. What is a constituent assembly? It was intended to give the people "originary" power. Venezuelan constituent assemblies have the authority not only to change the constitution but also to dismiss existing officials and institutions. The newly elected assembly is expected to dismiss the rebellious attorney general and perhaps even the ted legislature. After the elections, Maduro called on the assembly to lift the immunity of legislators and to hold them accountable via a new Truth and Reparations Commission Theoretically, the Constituent Assembly could assert yet more power and even cancel the presidential election next year.
4 August 2017 Page-1l: Centre mulls changing minimum wages formula. [G.S. Mains-2: Governance: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors] The Central government is mulling a revision in the formula to calculate minimum wages that may increase income levels of workers across the country. The Central Advisory Committee on Minimum Wages, headed by Labour and Employment Minister decided to constitute a committee to deliberate the proposed changes in the calculation of minimum wages for workers. He said the committee would deliberate upon the following factors while recommending a new formula for minimum wages number of units per family, inclusion of dependent parents and treatment of women and children at par with the male family member Norms criteria: The norms to fix the minimum wages are not commensurate for the present day workers. The norms for fixing minimum wages today are based on recommendations of the Indian Labour Conference - Under it, the minimum wage level for industries is fixed based on spending estimates for a working class family on -A standard working class family consists of three consumption units for one earner with earnings of women, in 1957 2,700 calories of food per person, 72 yards clothes, minimum housing rent and education and light and fuel. children and adolescents being disregarded Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh recommended the government to increase the total units for calculating minimum wages for a family from three to six. However, employer representatives, part of the Central Advisory Board, highlighted the inability to pay higher wage levels in case the formula for minimum wages is revised .
4 August 2017 14 13 Business Page:'GPS facility to raise handset costs'-Indian Cellular Association. IGSM- 283: Women safety, Internal Security & Technology] Issue: The government has made it mandatory to install GPS in all mobile phones that will be sold in India, January I,2018 onwards with an aim to locate subscribers in emergency situations Industry's response: Indian Cellular Association said GPS in such phones would increase the production cost to $9-11 per unit, it had said.An industry representative said that the telecom ministry may meet handset makers over the issue as early as Friday. . Government's Response:With the industry raising a red flag over the government's decision to make GPS mandatory in all mobile phones, including features phones, the Telecom Ministry will hold a meeting with handset makers shortly to review the policy's implications Is it really challenging for Mobile companies Mobile phone companies pointed out that adding the GPS or the Global Positioning System, a feature that enables tracking the location of a device - to a feature phone is not only technically challenging, but will also lead to at least a 40%-50% jump in the price of such devices. The representative said that more that 40% of the mobile market still comprises features phones which are sold at an average of about 1,500 To add GPS component to that is not only technically challenging as the device will need more power and memory & it will also increase the cost by 40-50%
4 August 2017 Page 13:'Make In India' yet to spur manufacturing,says panel. [GSM-3: Economy] The Parliament's Standing Committee on Commerce has questioned the country's low manufacturing growth despite initiatives such as Make In India, Startup India and FDI reforms that are now more than two years old. Yet ns re on comerce hasuesro thatare now more an wo year soe Issue: The committee had expressed concerns about manufacturing growth averaging just l .6% in the five years till 2015-16 and a 0.5% contraction in the sector in the first 9 months of FY17, in a report tabled in Parliament this March. Government's Response:In an action taken report tabled in Parliament, the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP)has listed out the several measures taken by the government to promote manufacturing and ease the business environment. [I]Make in India initiative aims to make India a hub for manufacturing, design and innovation; Startup India initiative aims to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities 3]lt further listed out various FDI policy changes to make India a investor-friendly destination, along with the focus on sprucing up physical infrastructure and easing the process of obtaining clearances for businesses. While expressing appreciation for the measures enumerated by the government, the Committee stressed, as most of these initiatives are now more than two years old and the manufacturing growth has not yet gone to the desired level, the committee has said all obstacles to the 'optimal implementation' of such programs must be removed in a time-bound manner. Question:Analyse the performance of "Make in India" since its launch.
4 August 2017 16 Page 13: Centre pings rating agencies on economy in upgrade push. [GSM-3: Economy] Parliaments Standing Committee on Commerce asked Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) as to why India's sovereign rating has not improved? Reasons for Indias poor Soverein Ratin eon attracting foreigni (FDI), its [i] Unfavourable debt: While India has done well on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), its sovereign credit rating has not improved owing to unfavourable debt and deficit indicators [ii] The committee had asked the government to explain the rationale behind rating agencies flagging low private investments' as a constraint towards raising the country's rating and whether high FDI flows are not sufficient to improve the country's business outlook. Points from DIPP's Action Taken Report [ATR] submitted to Parliamentary Standing Committee: [I] The Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs chairs an annual review meeting on India's sovereign rating with agencies,  FDI though relevant is only a small part of the overall broad category of external finances  The general rating of the country as a whole is deeply influenced by the quality and quantity of public debt, improvement in public finance
4 August 2017 17 Various parameters: How do Rating Agencies like Fitch, Moody's assign Ratings? [I] The four major global credit rating agencies assign different weights to indicators, but for sovereigns, they primarily look at: [i] macro-economic environment, lii]public finances external finances and [iv]risk as well as governance factors. (This is how Good Governance impacts Economy)  Even in external finances, there are sub-categories like: [i] foreign exchange reserves, [i]commodity dependence, [iiJexternal interest service, and [iv]current account plus FDI. [Thus FDI has a relatively small weight in the total criteria.] India fares well in the case of FDl but because the debt and deficit indicators are not favourable, ratings are not improved.
4 August 2017 Page-6: Commercially valuable fish in Chilika face threat of depletion. G.S Mains-3:Ecology] The Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Barrackpore, has identified five fish species Khainga, Dangala, Boraga, Sahala and Kundala, which find adverse ecosystems to grow . The CIFRI had carried out biological and ecological survey for measuring the length, frequency, spawning season, spawning ground and fishery resources in the Chilika lagoon. Findings: [I]There has been a marked fall in the length, size and spawning stock biomass (SSB) the total group of the fish in a stock that are old enough to spawn. The fall in SSB is a matter of concern, said a senior official of the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) The sharp decline means the SSB is assessed below 20% in all five fish varieties Reasons:There is rampant use of small and zero mesh size nets in the lake to catch all size groups of fish. This causes serious biodiversity loss besides destruction of larval & juvenile stages of a number of commercial fish species Fishery of the lake depends to a large extent on species migrating into the lagoon through the sea mouth. Dense deployment of destructive nets blocks free movement of larvae, juveniles and adults. Destructive fishing practice especially fish enclosure (ghery) for aquaculture is the biggest obstruction for migration of fish between the sea and the lake. Satellite imageries found 14,590 hectares of Chilika under man-made gheries for illegal prawn cultivation . Remedial Action taken: As of now, more than 2,000 ha of gheries have been removed
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