Daily Current Affairs, 14 November 2017

GS Paper 2:

India Youth Development Index and Report 2017


india youth development index


  • Issued by The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, an Institute of National Importance.
  • The index tracks the trends in Youth Development across the States.
  • The Index enables recognizing the high and low performing states, identifies the weak domains and informs the policy makers the priority areas of intervention for youth development in the states.

Importance of this Report

  1. Comparisons across geographical areas and categories, as human development index has done in comparing the development situation across regions, nations and localities.
  2. The index also measures the achievements made besides serving as an advocacy tool for youth development and facilitates to identify priority areas for development of Policy and Interventions.
  3. As an effective decision – support tool, the YDI-2017 will enable the policy makers track the national and the regional progress as well setbacks in youth development policies, planning, priority identification and implementation strategies.
  4. Providing insights to suggest alternatives and options, it also aids in judicious allocation of resources
  5. YDI for India adds a new domain, social inclusion, to assess the inclusiveness of societal progress as structural inequalities persist in Indian society. which is different from Global YDI.
The YDI is a composite index of 18 indicators that collectively measure multi-dimensional progress on youth development in 183 countries, including 49 of the 53 Commonwealth countries. 
  • It has five domains measuring levels of education, health and well-being, employment and opportunity, political participation and civic participation for young people.
  • India has been ranked 133rd out of 183 countries in the 2016 Global Youth Development Index (YDI).



World Diabetes Day 2017

women and diabetics


  • World Diabetes Day is observed on November 14 every year.
  • The theme for World Diabetes Day 2017 is Women and Diabetes.
  • The main objective of this year’s campaign is to promote the importance of affordable and equitable access to medical care for all women.


About Diabetes:

  • Chronic disease or condition
  • Caused when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin
  • When the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.

Women and Diabetes:

According to statics, currently there are over 199 million women living with diabetes and this total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040. Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year. Two out of every five women with diabetes are of reproductive age, accounting for over 60 million women worldwide. Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes. Also, one in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes.


Land Bill

land acquisition bill

The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Land Acquisition Bill, 2015, is planning to seek the eighth extension in the upcoming Parliament session. The JPC was set up in May 2015 to examine the Bill after it was opposed by many political parties.

About the Land Acquisition Bill:

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 seeks to Amend the Act of 2013 (LARR Act, 2013).

The Bill creates five special categories of land use: 1. defence, 2. rural infrastructure, 3. affordable housing, 4. industrial corridors, and 5. infrastructure projects including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects where the central government owns the land.

Key provisions:

  • The Bill exempts the five categories from provisions of the LARR Act, 2013 which requires the consent of 80% of land owners to be obtained for private projects and that of 70% of land owners for PPP projects.
  • The Bill allows exemption for projects in these five categories from requiring Social Impact Assessment be done to identify those affected and from the restrictions on the acquisition of irrigated multi-cropped land imposed by LARR Act 2013.
  • The Bill brings provisions for compensation, rehabilitation, and resettlement under other related Acts such as the National Highways Act and the Railways Act in consonance with the LARR Act.
  • The Bill changes acquisition of land for private companies mentioned in LARR Act, 2013 to acquisition for ‘private entities’. A private entity could include companies, corporations and nonprofit organisations.

What is a JPC?

A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is an ad-hoc body. It is set up for a specific object and duration. Joint committees are set up by a motion passed in one house of Parliament and agreed to by the other. The details regarding membership and subjects are also decided by Parliament.


PM at ASEAN Business and Investment Summit:
  • Prime Minister said his government intends to make India a global manufacturing hub.
  • He highlighted India’s growth story to portray it as an attractive investment destination.
  • He wants to make Indian youth job creators instead of job seekers. -Substantiating his claim, the Prime Minister said, over 90 percent of the Indian economy is open for foreign direct investment.
  • The processes to start companies in India and to secure clearances have been simplified.Referring to digitization of Indian economy, he said, cashless transactions have registered 34 percent growth since demonetization brought in about a year back.
  • Pointing out at India climbing 30 places in the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’list this year, he said, it was the biggest jump by any country in a single year.-The ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs launched at this summit.
  • He mentioned that South and South-East Asia would be the growth engine of the world.
  • He further said, India attaches greater importance to boosting economic ties with the ASEAN nations.
Haj travellers : Multiple embarkation points in the country
  • Union Minority Affairs Minister said that Haj travellers can now fly to Saudi Arabia from multiple embarkation points in the country.
  • The facility will come into effect from November the 15th.
  • The facility will prove more economical for pilgrims as charges at the major embarkation points like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata are cheaper than the tier-II cities such as Aurangabad, Indore, and Srinagar among others.
  • People can submit their applications by physically filling in the form as well as through online registration including the payment facility for the same.




Fourth India-Canada Annual Ministerial Dialogue
  • India and Canada have expressed their strong commitment to take forward negotiations for early conclusion of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, CEPA.
  • India also highlighted the importance of services component under the agreement at the 4th India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment.
  • The Indian Delegation was led by Commerce and Industry Minister while the Canadian side was headed by the Minister for International Trade.
  • Both sides also noted the exchange of wish lists on the services front and the Indian side reiterated that the architecture for Services under CEPA is a vital focus area and response from Canada on positive elements has to be mutually beneficial.
2nd and final phase of BHARATNET 
  • To provide high-speed broadband service in all Gram Panchayats by March 2019, government launched its second and final phase of BharatNet project.
  • It will be implemented at an outlay of around 34 thousand crore rupees.
  • India’s Digital story is about digital inclusion aiming to empower people.Electronics and IT Minister urged the IT Ministers from state governments to leverage the Bharat Net for development of states.
  • The Minister said, Centre is striving to make India’s digital economy as 1 Trillion Dollar economy.
Background:- Bharat Net aims to connect all Gram Panchayats. India is moving towards a digital future and through Bharat Net citizen centric services will reach people easily and will bridge the digital divide.
GS Paper 3:

Fish tourism circuitfish tourism


West Bengal government is firming up plans to set up a fish tourism circuit to attract country’s fish-loving communities. The State Fisheries Development Corporation (SFDC) is preparing the blueprint for the tourism circuit.


About the Fish Tourism circuit:

A typical tour will consist of a two days-one night package, with fish as the focal theme – be it food or sightseeing. And fish dishes to be served will comprise the traditional favourites of Bengalis as well as newly-introduced varieties in the state. The circuit will centre around the hotels run by SFDC in places like Digha, Udaypur, Henry Island, Bishnupur, Jamunadighi and Siliguri.




Reservation in private sector


As per the Industry body Assocham, at a time when the Indian economy is seeking positive triggers for growth revival, any political narrative on reservation in the private sector would bring in a big blow and will hit India’s investment climate.

  • Already a dearth of private sector investment with capacity utilisation in several sectors not going beyond 72-75%.
  • Political parties should focus on creating an environment that helps such an economic pace that millions of jobs are created both in the public and private sectors.


Why reservation in private sector is not a good move?

  • Hamper growth and innovation – for which the private sector is known.
  • Brain Drain : Educated and talented youth would prefer moving to other developed nations if they feel their talent isn’t being rewarded enough.
  • Incapable manforce : Social exclusion cannot be the sole criteria to consider merit based performance, hampers countries economic prospect in the long run.
  • Existing gaps : While there is reservation in government jobs, employment by government has fallen from 18.2 million in 2006 to 17.6 million in 2012. In contrast, private sector jobs have increased more than a third, from 8.77 million to 11.9 million over the period. While there has been 27% reservation for OBCs in government jobs since 1992, only around 12% got jobs. Hence, it is first necessary to fill this gap.




Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP)


National Waterway 1



The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has awarded a contract to a reputed consultant for technical support services for the Multi-Modal Terminal at Haldia and new Navigation Lock at Farakka. These projects are part of the JMVP on National Waterway -I (River Ganga), being implemented with technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5,369 crore.

The objective of this is to ensure adherence to timelines and budgeted costs of the project and full compliance with the other stated guidelines.

About Jal Marg Vikas Project:

  • Seeks to facilitate plying of vessels with capacity of 1,500-2,000 tonnes in the Haldia- Varanasi stretch of the River Ganga.
  • The major works being taken up under JMVP are development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals, strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking etc.

NW 1:

Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia was declared as National Waterway No.1. The NW-1 passes through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal and serves major cities and their industrial hinterlands.




Ram Setu



The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to clarify if it wants to remove the Ram Setu – the chain of limestone shoals connecting Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka – or protect it. The court gave the government six weeks’ time to file an affidavit on their stance.

What is Ram Setu?

The Ram Setu bridge – also known as the Adam’s Bridge – is a 50-km stretch from Rameswaram Island in Tamil Nadu to Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. According to Indian mythology, it was built by an army of monkeys for Hindu god Ram and his warriors to cross over to Lanka to rescue Sita.

What’s the controversy now?

The bridge between the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka has been at the centre of controversy since the Sethusamudram shipping canal project was planned, requiring dredging in the area.

The matter reached Supreme Court with petitions challenging the government’s decision to construct the Sethusamudram Canal by dredging a portion of the Ram Setu. The project is being commissioned under the marine technology training programme of ICHR dealing with under-water archeology and research scholars will be given training for this purpose.




How much can India learn to fight pollution from China?



Smog in Delhi shows that India has failed to control the pollution levels in the National Capital. However, China has been more successful than India in fighting pollution. According to a Greenpeace analysis of NASA’s satellite data on particulate matter in India and China, the levels of fine particulate matter rose across India by 13% between 2010 and 2015 while they fell by 17% in China in the same period. Delhi’s average annual PM 2.5 concentrations are more than double than those in Beijing.


What did China do?

China moved early to control pollution, especially after the 2008 Beijing Olympics which put a spotlight on smog.

  • China cracked down on polluting vehicles and factories to improve the air for the games.
  • China revised its laws to impose severe restrictions on polluting factories. The local authorities can even detain owners of factories that fail to comply with the laws. They can also impose heavy fines on such factories.
  • China has also cracked down on coal-fired power plants. The Chinese government shut down nearly 100 such plants a few months ago. It has cut steel production capacity by 50 million tons. New plants have to meet strict emission criteria.
  • China’s huge investment in alternative and renewable energy such as wind and solar is also targeted at decreasing pollution.
  • Not only has China produces automobile fuel that complies with the Euro V standards, it has restricted car ownership too. In Beijing, one person cannot buy the second car in his own name. It is also an early mover in electric mobility while India has just set an ambitious target to have only electric cars by 2030.
  • More awareness of pollution among the masses coupled with extensive monitoring by the government also helps fight pollution in China. China has a network of 1500 air-quality monitoring stations across more than 900 cities. India has only 39 such stations across 23 cities.

Where India has failed?

  • Today, India has yet to provide jobs to millions of its youths and 24×7 electricity to every household. These two aims can discourage a crackdown on coal-based power plants and polluting factories.
  • While India’s aim to have only electric cars by 2030 is laudable, little has been done on restricting ownership and use of polluting vehicles in big cities except for the order by the National Green Tribunal to ban old diesel vehicles.
  • Unlike the authoritarian China, where law-making as well enforcement can be quick, a democratic India is slow on these counts. Composite solutions such as the need for Delhi, Punjab and Haryana to work jointly on smog get mired in raucous politics.

Way ahead:

Air pollution has become a common challenge for both China and India. Beijing has its own way to cope with it. India must find solutions that suit its own circumstances.


Ekal Sansthan

  • It is an autonomous organization, drawing ideological inspiration from the RSS.
  • It sets up one-teacher schools across the country with a focus on rural and tribal areas.
  • It recently announced that such initiative will be extended to border areas.
  • The idea is to connect border areas with national mainstream through education and better organize border villages which are vulnerable.