Gist of Editorials: The Saudi-India-Pakistan triangle| GS – II


Relevance : GS Paper II ( International Relations )


It is expected that the visit by Saudi Crown Prince Salman will lead to further strengthening of Saudi Arabia-Indian ties.

Basis of such an exultation

  • Saudi interest in
    • expanding trade and investment in India
    • collaboration in the energy sector
    • developing an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex
  • Riyadh’s declaration that Saudi wants to intensify its strategic partnership with India.

The Pakistan angle

  • Pakistan is far too important to Saudi Arabia for internal security reasons.
  • Afghanistan has been a point of strategic convergence for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
  • Riyadh perceives Pakistan as a major asset it can use to check the spread of Iranian influence.
  • Saudi economic largesse matters greatly to Pakistan.

Way forward for India

  • It will be unwise for India to believe that it can wean Saudi away from Pakistan.
  • India should take advantage of its economic relations with Saudi Arabia.
  • India should not pin much hope on Riyadh in the political-strategic sphere.

 

Gist of Editorials: Clean Power| GS – III


Relevance : GS Paper III( Energy)


The effort to clean up India’s thermal power plants running on coal has never really taken off.

What the govt should do?

  • viable financial plan to help plants acquire pollution control technologies
  • For the smaller and older plants, scaling down generation during the winter
  • A viable financial mechanism must be evolved to remove pollutants
  • burden of incorporating pollution control should fall on the beneficiary-user
  • reducing coal use in the present energy mix which is over 54% now

Conclusion

The benefits of clean air to public health would make the investment well worth the effort.


 

Essential Facts (Prelims): 3 March, 2019


RCEP

Category: International

  • The 16 members of the RCEP group, including India and China agreed to intensify ongoing negotiations for a proposed mega trade agreement to resolve all issues and conclude the talks this year.
  • Members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership want India to eliminate or reduce customs duties on maximum number of goods it trades with them.
  • But, lower level of ambitions in services and investments, a key area of interest for India, does not augur well for the pact that seeks to be comprehensive.

Ripley

Category: Sc & Tech

  • SpaceX celebrated the successful launch of a new astronaut capsule on a week-long round trip to the International Space Station.
  • This time around, the only occupant on board SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule was a dummy named Ripley.
  • The mission aims to test the vessel’s reliability and safety in real-life conditions.
  • Ripley is fitted with monitors to test the forces that future astronauts will be subjected to on takeoff and when they return to the Earth’s atmosphere and then land in the Atlantic, braked by giant parachutes.

Reciprocal tax

Category: Economy

  • A reciprocal tax is charged on an import from another country that charges the U.S. a similar amount to export an American product into its market.
  • It acts essentially as a tariff.

Dhangars

Category: Society

  • The Maharashtra government has decided to extend all the social welfare schemes availed by the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community to the Dhangar community as well.
  • The Dhangar is a shepherd community in Maharashtra.

Bamboo fossil

Category: Geography

  • Northeast India, a bamboo hotspot, has thrown up several bamboo fossils.
  • One of them at around 28 million years old, is the oldest Asian bamboo fossil ever unearthed.
  • The earliest bamboos in Asia probably originated in eastern Gondwana, which comprises India too.
  • Ancient bamboos probably evolved during a warm and humid period, he adds. However, they seem to have adapted over the years and modern bamboos are found in both warm and cold climates now.

Gist of Editorials: Legitimacy of the basic structure| GS – II


Relevance : GS Paper II ( Polity & Governance)


Supreme Court had ruled in Kesavananda Bharati case that the Constitution’s basic structure was infrangible.

Criticism of basic structure doctrine

  • It finds no mention anywhere in the Constitution.
  • It accords the judiciary a power to impose its philosophy over a democratically formed government.

Significance  of the  basic structure

  • It is deeply rooted in the Constitution’s text and history.
  • It strengthens democracy by limiting the power of government.
  • It’s dangerous to grant untrammelled power to the legislature.

Conclusion

The basic structure performs an important democratic role in ensuring that governments do not destroy the Constitution’s essential character