Insights Daily Current Events, 04 February 2016

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Insights Daily Current Events, 04 February 2016


Paper 3 Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

IS threat: Maharashtra rolls out deradicalisation plan

To face the challenges posed by various home-grown extremists and the global Islamic State (IS) terrorists, Maharashtra state government has rolled out a deradicalisation programme for the minority community.

  • The plan, brought out by the State Home Department, is a 50-point socio-economic strategy with the aim of ‘bringing youth of the minority community into the mainstream’ and making coordinated efforts and policies in 13 sectors, including education, sports, urban planning, law and order, skill development, women and child, social justice, and health.

Details of the plan:

  • The proposed responses drawn up against the threat of home-grown extremism include: plans to teach religious texts from all sects in minority schools and teaching merits of democratic States and demerits of dictatorships as a separate chapter in the Urdu textbooks.  
  • The plan aims to create an environment of solidarity and trust among the minority, and envisages different departments undertaking various schemes to reach out to the minority, implement a scheme a year, while setting aside 15% of their funds for the same.
  • The State police has been directed to deal with religious extremism in the strictest possible manner. Individuals and organisations disturbing communal harmony, spreading propaganda on social websites and services, will also be dealt with strongly.
  • The cops have been told to identify and reduce any feeling of communalism within the force and reach out to the minority community and win their hearts at all costs.
  • As per this plan, the State Education Department will launch a mid-day meal scheme in Urdu schools, provide textbooks at subsidised rates, and teach Urdu as optional subject in 300 Marathi shalas (schools).

Way ahead:

  • The state government has approved the proposal and passed a government resolution on it.

However, Muslim scholars have criticised the efforts to label the community as radicalised.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology.

Indian firm develops Zika vaccine candidates

Vaccines manufacturer Bharat Biotech has announced a breakthrough in developing the world’s first Zika vaccine.

  • The company has already filed for global patent of two vaccine candidates – a recombinant vaccine and an inactivated vaccine – for Zika virus.


  • An inactivated vaccine consists of the disease-causing microbe killed with chemicals, heat or radiation.
  • A recombinant vaccine is produced through the recombinant DNA technology. This involves inserting the DNA encoding an antigen that stimulates an immune response.
  • While the recombinant vaccine might take time, the pre-clinical testing of the inactivated vaccine in animals would be completed in five months.

Work on Zika vaccine project was actually started in 2014 and the patent was filed in July 2015.

Way ahead:

The normal process for a vaccine to get commercialised would take seven years, including the clinical trials. But, the company has announced that it could make available the inactivated vaccine in two years if the Indian Government fast-tracked the regulatory approvals once the pre-clinical trials proved to be successful.

The World Health Organisation has declared Zika and its suspected link to birth defects a global health emergency. More than 20 countries in Latin America have reported an outbreak and a rare case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sex has been reported in Texas, USA.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Instructions on OROP implementation issued

The government has released detailed instructions and tables on the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.

  • This is a follow-up to the notification on OROP issued in November 2015.

Financial implications:

  • According to the notification, the annual recurring cost of the scheme would be Rs.7,500 crore, pushing the total Defence budget for pensions from Rs.54,000 crore to around Rs.65,000 crore. And the arrears for 18 months from July 2014 to December 2015 would be Rs.10,900 crore.
  • According to the government, 86% of the total expenditure on account of OROP would benefit jawans and Junior Commissioned Officers.

The government in its order has said that the payment of arrears and revision of pension under OROP will be made by the Pension Disbursing Authorities in four instalments, except for family pensioners and pensioners in receipt of gallantry awards who will be paid arrears in one instalment.

Way ahead:

  • It should however be noted here that the OROP notification has already been rejected by ex-servicemen who say it is in violation of the accepted definition.
  • In December, the government appointed a one-man judicial commission headed by Justice L.Narasimha Reddy, former Chief Justice of Patna High Court, to look into the issues arising out of the implementation and the report to be submitted in six months.

One-rank one-pension scheme:

This is a scheme which will ensure that soldiers of the same rank and the same length of service receive the same pension, irrespective of their retirement date. In simple words, it demands equal pensions for those who have retired in one particular year, as those who retire in another year at the same position, and for the same duration of services rendered. The difference in the pension of present and past pensioners in the same rank occurs on account of the number of increments earned by the defence personnel in that rank.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: infrastructure energy.

Coal linkages to steel, aluminium, cement sectors only via auction

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) recently decided to provide Coal linkages to non-regulated sectors such as steel/sponge iron, cement and aluminium only through auctions.

  • The government has indicated that the auction of coal linkages will be transparent and creates a level-playing field, Coal and Power.


  • The auction ensures all market participants have a fair chance to secure the coal linkage, irrespective of their size.
  • It also attempts to ensure an optimal allocation of coal across user industries and geographies.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: infrastructure railways.

Cabinet approves formation of Joint Venture Companies with State Governments

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for allowing the Ministry of Railways to form Joint Venture Companies with the State Governments to mobilize resources for undertaking various rail infrastructure projects in States.


  • The Joint Venture Companies would be formed with equity participation of Ministry of Railways and concerned State Governments.
  • Each Joint Venture (JV) would have an initial paid up capital of Rs. 100 crores based on the quantum of projects to be undertaken.
  • The Ministry of Railways’ initial paid-up capital will be limited to Rs. 50 crore for each State.
  • Further infusion of fund/equity for the purpose of the projects shall be done after approval of the project and its funding at the level of appropriate competent authority.
  • The JV can form project-specific SPVs with equity holding by other shareholders like Banks, ports, public sector undertakings, mining companies etc.

Why JV?

  • Joint Venture exercise would ensure greater participation of State Governments in implementation of Railway Projects both in terms of financial participation as well as decision making process.
  • This will also facilitate in faster statutory approvals and land acquisition.
  • With this, various cement, steel, power plants etc. would also get the necessary rail link for transportation of their raw material and finished products.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: appointment to various constitutional posts.

New Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court

Shri Justice Ramayyagari Subhash Reddy, Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh has been appointed Chief Justice of the Gujarat high Court.

  • He has become the first judge to be elevated as Chief Justice of a High Court since April 13, 2015 when the government had brought into force the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, which had overturned the collegium system of appointing judges.

sources: the hindu.


Topic: general awareness.

Pandian appointed AIIB Vice-President

Former chief secretary of Gujarat D J Pandian has been appointed vice-president and chief investment officer of the newly-created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).


  • The China-led AIIB was formally set up in Beijing on December 25, 2015.
  • AIIB was set up to boost lending for infrastructure projects.
  • With authorised capital of USD 100 billion and subscribed capital of USD 50 billion, AIIB will invest in sectors such as energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare. 
  • China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders, taking 30.34 per cent, 8.52 per cent, 6.66 per cent stake, respectively, in the newly-formed bank. 
  • Their voting shares are calculated at 26.06 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 5.92 per cent, respectively.

sources: the hindu.