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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 06 September 2016



Insights Daily Current Affairs, 06 September 2016


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


First cargo truck under BBIN pact reaches Delhi


The first cargo truck under the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement for cross border movement reached Delhi recently.


Key facts:

  • The cargo truck was dispatched from Dhaka on August 27 as part of a trial run and arrived at the Inland Customs Depot (ICD).
  • According to the Ministry for Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the trial was organised to develop the protocols for implementing the agreement.
  • In India the truck travelled for more than 1,850 km through the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to reach the customs depot at Patparganj.


Significance of this test run:

The trial run has demonstrated that time and cost can be saved through facilitation of seamless transport through the sub-region. Cargo trucks often had to be off-loaded at the border and also go through customs clearance. This led to delays and often also caused damage to the goods. The steps being taken to facilitate seamless movement of cargo vehicles will give a major boost to trade and business in the sub-region.



The BBIN agreement was signed on June 15 last year in Thimphu, Bhutan to facilitate cross border movement of both passengers and cargo vehicles. Protocols to implement the agreement are being negotiated by the four countries for passengers and cargo vehicles separately.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.


Sedition charges can’t be slapped for criticising government, clarifies Supreme Court


The Supreme Court has clarified that sedition charges cannot be brought against a person merely for raising a voice against the government or its policies. The clarification became necessary in view of the controversy generated after sedition charges were recently slapped in a number of cases, sparking demands for the law to be scrapped.


Important observations made by the court:

  • The authorities, while dealing with offences under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, shall be guided by the principles laid down by the Constitution Bench in Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar.
  • The guidelines framed by the Constitution Bench then are good enough in the present circumstances.



The court had clarified in its 1962 verdict that a “citizen has a right to say or write whatever he likes about the government, or its measures, by way of criticism or comment, so long as he does not incite people to violence against the government established by law or with the intention of creating public disorder”.

The court had clarified that comments, however strongly worded, expressing disapproval of government actions, without exciting those feelings which generate the inclination to cause public disorder by acts of violence was not sedition.

The court had pointed out two essential ingredients required to establish the crime of sedition:

  • The acts must be intended to have the “effect of subverting the government” by violent means.
  • The acts must be intended to create disorder or disturbance of public peace and order by resort to violence and must incite violence.


Petitioner’s arguments:

Seeking the court’s intervention to stop misuse of IPC Section 124A, petitioner contended that it was high time the court examined the issue as the law was misused despite the apex court’s order.

  • Also, the law has not been amended after the Kedar Nath Singh judgment by the apex court and many police personnel are not aware of this judgment.
  • Referring to an NCRB report, the plea said 47 cases of sedition were filed in 2014 alone and 58 people arrested in connection with these cases.

The bench, however, was not convinced and refused to pass any direction.

Sources: toi.


Paper 3 Topic: Infrastructure.


Railway Ministry working on $5 billion fund to finance infrastructure projects


The government is working on a proposal to create a $ 5-billion fund to finance various infrastructure projects of Railways. The proposed Railways of India Development Fund (RIDF) will be placed before the Cabinet for its nod after sorting out some hurdles.


Key facts:

  • The proposed fund, which will be anchored by the World Bank, will be of seven years.
  • Nearly 20% of the fund will come from the finance ministry and the balance from pension funds and sovereign funds. The finance ministry’s share will come in the form of equity.
  • It is being planned that the World Bank will route the funds through the finance ministry, which will be invested in RIDF as equity.
  • The proposed fund will mainly invest in major infrastructure projects of the transport behemoth.

Sources: et.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


European Union and neighbouring states join global aviation emissions pact


The European Union and 16 surrounding countries including Turkey, Ukraine and Georgia, are planning to join the first phase of a UN-brokered deal- GMBM (global market-based measure) scheme. It aims to limit carbon emissions from international flights.

  • The United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will shortly meet to finalise the deal.



Aviation was excluded from last December’s climate accord in Paris when countries agreed to limit the global average rise in in temperatures to ‘well below’ 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.



  • The proposed new deal on aviation will be voluntary between 2021 and 2026 and then mandatory from 2027 for the world’s largest emitters.
  • The deal aims to cap the carbon pollution of all international flights at 2020 levels.
  • Airlines in participating countries would need to limit their emissions or offset them by buying carbon credits from designated environmental projects around the world.

Sources: ie.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


G20 nations for global forum to address excess steel capacity


Major steel producers China, India and Japan along with other G20 nations have called for increased sharing of information as well as more cooperation by forming a global forum to address the issue of excess steel capacity.


Significance of this move:

The development assumes significance in the backdrop of the problem caused in international markets due to excess steel capacity amidst softening of prices, which eroded sales and profits of firms across countries, especially at a time when the global economy recovery is weak. The forum facilitates increased information sharing and cooperation.

This move also assumes significance as it comes in the backdrop of nations such as the U.S. imposing heavy duties on imports of cheap steel from countries such as China.



The decision was announced by G20 leaders recently. G20 leaders recognised the “structural problems, including excess capacity” in some industries, exacerbated by a weak global economic recovery and depressed market demand that have caused a negative impact on trade and workers.

The leaders also recognised that “subsidies and other types of support from government or government-sponsored institutions” can cause market distortions and contribute to global excess capacity and therefore require attention.


Why is it important for India?

India, the world’s third largest steel producer, too is facing a spate of cheap imports from China, Japan and Korea.

  • This has hit the sales and profits of domestic steel producers and also impacted their liquidity, which in turn has affected their capacity to repay loans and meet interest payment deadlines having a cascading effect on the number of non performing assets (NPAs) with the banks.
  • Steel sector in India accounts for the highest number of NPAs with the banks.

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:


  • TIHAYU: It is a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC). It was built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata. It was handed over to the Indian Navy recently. The craft has an endurance of around 2000 nautical miles at 12-14 knots speed and also boasts of modern habitability conditions with accommodation for 29 personnel. It is named after an island in the Andaman, “Tihayu”.


  • QS World University Rankings 2016-17: According to this, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in US is the world’s best university. MIT has occupied first place for the fifth consecutive year. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, remained India’s highest-ranked institution with 152nd rank overall.


  • New RBI governor: Urjit Patel has assumed charge as the as the new Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for three years. He is 24th Governor of RBI. He was previously Deputy Governor of RBI.