The Hindu: 1st April 2012, Sunday

1. Myanmar votes today: Frontpage

Clue: Prepare your general literature on ‘Myanmar’s quest for democracy’ from the time of enactment of 1947 constitution to the present election which includes the 1962 military coup by Ne Win(a misadventure to explore the ‘Burmese way of Socialism’), NLD’s 1990 victory and thereafter military takeover, Junta’s 7 step road map for democracy released in 2003, Saffron Revolution in 2007, new constitution given by Military Junta in 2008, Nov 2010 elections won by USDP and boycotted by NLD etc.

I have prepared this topic from an article published in World Focus last year, you guyz can refer the same or look on net to collect the relevant information.

By the way, what does SPDC stands for?

2. NCERT starts: Pg4

Relevance: Indeed a good initiative by Gyanvani-NCERT to bridge the ‘information gap’ widely prevalent in our school education system.

3. Country’s first solar: Pg5

Relevance: Mark the plant site Dudhsar in the map. Also read about the targets and strategies of the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission, role of NVVN, PV cells, Solar heaters, solar panels, challenges, focused regions, strategies adopted by Germany in promoting Solar power etc.

Also know about the SEGS- world’s largest solar plant(354MW) situated in Mojave Desert, California.

4. Turtles wriggle: Pg6

Relevance: Nothing much in the article but you see Olive Ridley Turtles carry a cult following these days among the environmentalists and UPSC aspirants. 🙂

Focus only on the factual information like Gahirmatha, Rushikulya, Arribada, Ramsar sites etc.

5. ‘March 22-World Water Day’ coverage:

Precious, but not: Pg6 and Water, the looming problem: Pg13

Some of the key points discussed in these two articles are:

–> Draft Water policy suggested a 3 tier system for the integrated water management. It also treats water as an economic commodity to ensure its optimum utilization.

–> India possesses an estimated 1123bcm of utilizable water per year with 433bcm of replenishable ground water. As much as 80% rural and 50% urban needs are met through the ground water, this is one of the main reason of lowering ground water table in India.

–> The problem in India is that water is a state subject. India’s water woes will continue to haunt its policy makers until a permanent mechanism to solve the inter state disputes is sorted out. Last year Ashok Chawla committee recommended that it should be moved to the concurrent list which was fiercely opposed by the MM Punchi commission seconded by the Ministry of water resources.

–> MNREGS must include projects for restoration of water bodies.

–> Theme of this year’s water day was ‘Water and food security’.

–> There is need to focus on both supply side and the demand side to meet the future challenges. The later involves progressive use of technology like Sprinkler, Drip irrigation, Precision farming etc. to change the agriculture usage pattern in a country with about 67% net sown area falling under Rainfed Agriculture.

–> There is also a constant Climate Change threat on our present water resources which requires a holistic approach with involvement form both developed and developing countries. Gather some facts over this topic like IPCC reports etc.

–> Know about the terms like New Water concept, Water footprints, Virtual Water, Virtual water trade etc.

6. Chidambaram flags: Pg8

Relevance: Know about the three amendments being floated by the Min of Home Affairs namely making arrest warrants mandatory, reducing the Army’s power to open fire and the set up of grievance redressal mechanism.

Take out a moment and read about the special provisions kept in the constitution for J&K, Art 370, AFSPA 1958, Jeevan Reddy committee, Hamid Ansari Task Group, Irom Sharmila etc.

7. Goa, Karnataka: Pg8

Relevance: A good read on the issue of problems faced by the states in implementing RTE.

8. PM c0nvenes meeting: Pg10

Relevance: The High level expert group’s (headed by Srinath Reddy) report is a nodal document on which our approach for the 12th FYP is primarily based. It has given a detailed road map for ensuring Universal Health Coverage(UHC) by creating a National Health Package, National Urban Health Mission, limited private sector role, health insurance for the poor provided by the govt etc.

The post budget analysys on this front is nicely summarised by Srinath Reddy himself in this article:

9. Are our parliamentarians: Pg12

Clue: Know some important facts about the working of parliament like:

–>  Per minute expenditure on parliament is Rs 26,000

–> Frequent disruptions are the main reason for decreasing performance of parliament eg during the winter session in 2012, only 20% time of question hour was utilized by the MPs because of the frequent house disruptions over the JPC issue.

–> According to PRS research, in the14th Lok Sabha only 30% MPs took part in debate with 40% of debates lasting for less than an hour.

–> In 15th Lok Sabha there are 150 MPs with criminal background, 22 more than the corresponding figure of 14th LS.

–> On the brighter side 80% of MPs are graduates with the attendance rate of around 80%.

These crude facts will help you in writing any answer especially in Public Administration.

10. Air India’s financial: Pg14

Relevance: Though there is hardly any hopes of revival for the Air India but do note down these last attempts made by the GOI for saving its national carrier, it will help you while writing the obituary. 🙂

11. Maharashtra opposes: Pg18

Relevance: Know about the Madhav Gadgil committee on Western Ghat, ESZ-1, No development zone, Coastal Regulation Zones notification for 2011 etc.

12. Other potential 2 markers and tidbits: Earth Hour(Frontpage), Concept of Blood Money(Pg2), Differences between Natural Gas, LNG, CNG and LPG(Pg6), VK Saraswat(Pg8), Ravikant Ruia and Ruia family(Pg10), OPERA project and neutrino speed controversy(Pg11), Algorithmic Trading(Pg14).

I found only these items useful in Sunday’s paper. If you could spot some thing more which is relevant to CSE please feel free to post in comments section.

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