Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 08 February 2017



Insights Daily Current Affairs, 08 February 2017


Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.           


Annual Maritime Power Conference – 2017


Annual Maritime Power Conference – 2017 will be held in Delhi. The National Maritime Foundation (NMF) has organized the conference.


Key facts:

  • The theme of this year’s conference- ‘The Blue Economy: Concept, Constituents and Development’.
  • This conference aims to add to the understanding of the discourse on Blue Economy and intends to discuss its constituents in an attempt to develop a common understanding of the concept.
  • It seeks to identify the opportunities and challenges with the aim of evolving concrete recommendations towards harnessing the Blue Economy, while ensuring efficient utilization of marine resources and sustained development of the oceans.


About NMF:

The NMF was established in 2005 to provide a common platform for discourse between maritime-related institutions, organisations and disciplines, within the country and abroad.

  • The Foundation conducts independent academic research and provides policy-relevant recommendations to advance the nation’s maritime goals.
  • As a part of its charter, NMF endeavours to foster maritime awareness on contemporary issues through academic engagements and towards this end, the Foundation organises an Annual Maritime Power Conference (AMPC).

Sources: pib.


Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


CBDT signs four ‘Advance Pricing Agreements’ today


The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has announced signing of four more unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs).


Key facts:

  • The four APAs signed pertain to the manufacturing, financial and Information Technology sectors of the economy.
  • The international transactions covered in these agreements include contract manufacturing, IT enabled services and software development services.
  • With this, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 130. This includes eight bilateral APAs and 122 Unilateral APAs. In the current financial year, a total of 66 APAs (five bilateral APAs and 61 unilateral APAs) have already been entered into.


About the APA scheme:

The APA scheme was introduced in the Income-tax Act in 2012 and the “rollback” provisions were introduced in 2014. The scheme endeavors to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the prices of international transactions in advance.

  • Since its inception, the APA scheme has evinced a lot of interest from taxpayers and that has resulted in more than 700 applications (both unilateral and bilateral) being filed so far in about five years.
  • The progress of the APA Scheme strengthens the government’s resolve of fostering a non-adversarial tax regime. The Indian APA program has been appreciated nationally and internationally for being able to address complex transfer pricing issues in a fair and transparent manner.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.


India’s Cold Start doctrine can’t ensure easy win against Pak: Chinese media


State-run Chinese media has observed that Indian Army’s “Cold Start” doctrine to seize control of Pakistani territory might be intimidating but will not lead to a “landslide” victory against nuclear-armed Pakistan.


What has been said?

Both India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed countries. Even if the Cold Start strategy sounds intimidating and there is indeed a gap between the two powers’ military might, it does not mean that New Delhi can easily win a landslide victory against Islamabad. The truth is, Pakistan has considerable strength to safeguard its sovereignty and its nuclear weapons should not be ignored.

Given the uncertainties of US’ future policy toward South Asia, the India-Pakistan peace process, which is already frozen, is now in a “critically fragile state”.


What is Cold Start Doctrine?

Cold Start is a military doctrine developed by the Indian Armed Forces to put to use in case of a war with Pakistan.

  • The main objective of the Cold Start Doctrine is to launch a retaliatory conventional strike against Pakistan inflicting significant harm on the Pakistan Army before any international community could intercede, but not in way Pakistan would be provoked to make a nuclear attack.
  • Cold Start Doctrine deviated from India’s defence strategy since 1947 – “a non-aggressive, non-provocative defense policy,” – and will involve limited, rapid armoured thrusts, with infantry and necessary air support.
  • Cold Start Doctrine was developed as the limitations of the arlier doctrine – Sundarji Doctrine – was exposed after the attack on the Indian Parliament.
  • According to the Cold Start Doctrine, battle Groups will be well forward from existing garrisons. India’s elite strike forces will no longer sit idle waiting for the opportune moment, giving Pakistan the luxury of time.

Sources: et.


Paper 2 Topic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.


Lok Sabha passes Motion of Thanks on President Pranab Mukherjee’s address


The Lok Sabha has passed a Motion of Thanks on President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament. The motion was passed by the House by a voice vote.


What is “Motion of Thanks” and what it contains?

The President makes an address to a joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget session, which is prepared by the government and lists its achievements. The President’s speech is a statement of the legislative and policy achievements of the government during the preceding year and gives a broad indication of the agenda for the year ahead. The address is followed by a motion of thanks moved in each House by ruling party MPs. During the session, political parties discuss the motion of thanks also suggesting amendments.


Amendments to the “Motion of Thanks”:

Notices of amendments to Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address can be tabled after the President has delivered his Address. Amendments may refer to matters contained in the Address as well as to matters, in the opinion of the member, the Address has failed to mention. Amendments can be moved to the Motion of Thanks in such form as may be considered appropriate by the Speaker.



The only limitations are that members cannot refer to matters which are not the direct responsibility of the Central Government and that the name of the President cannot be brought in during the debate since the Government and not the President is responsible for the contents of the Address.


Provisions governing them:

President’s Address and Motion of Thanks are governed by Articles 86 (1) and 87 (1) of the Constitution and Rules 16 to 24 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. 

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


India will host the first meeting of national security advisers of BIMSTEC countries


India will host the first meeting of national security advisers of BIMSTEC countries in the coming months to cooordinate action against terrorism, extremism and radicalization.

  • This was decided at a recent BIMSTEC meet in Kathmandu ahead of the fourth Summit of the grouping to be held in Nepal this year.

BIMSTEC countries


The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organization involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia.

  • The BIMSTEC comprises of seven countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
  • The main objective of BIMSTEC is technological and economical cooperation among South Asian and South East Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
  • The headquarters of BIMSTEC is in Dhaka.

Sources: et.


Paper 2 Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.


SC dismisses TN’s review plea on remission power


The Supreme Court has dismissed a review petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government against a 2015 Constitution Bench judgment that a State government has no suo motu power to remit sentences of persons convicted under a Central law and cases investigated by a Central agency like the CBI.

  • The verdict was based on a challenge by the Centre to Tamil Nadu’s move to remit the life sentence of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.



In 2015, the judgment had held that the Centre, and not the State government, would have “primacy” in deciding whether persons convicted in matters of the CBI or a Central agency should be released or not on remission.

Interpreting Section 435 (2) of the Cr.PC, the court had held that the word ‘consultation’ meant ‘concurrence’. This meant that the Tamil Nadu government should have got the prior consent of the Centre before issuing its February 19, 2014 order to remit the life sentence of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi case.

Sources: the hindu.