The Hindu: 9th April 2012, Monday

1. Bill prohibiting Manual scavenging: Pg7

Relevance: The continuance of this inhuman practice of Manual Scavenging even after 60yrs of independence is a matter of national shame.

Clue: Know about the various initiatives being taken by the GOI in curbing this practice like Employment of Manual Scavengers and construction of dry laterines( prohibition) act 1993, National scheme for liberation and rehabilitation of scavengers, Art 42,38 and other DPSPs etc.

Other major hurdles are the continuance of “Open discharge system” of Railways, lack of alternate livelihood opportunities available, lack of holistic urban planning, non implementation of laws ( till 2006 not a single prosecution was done under the 1993 Act), lack of initiatives by states( since sanitation is a state subject) etc.

Safai Karamchari Andolan is the single largest movement launched under the leadership of Bezwada Wilson with the aim of total eradication of manual scavenging, know more about its activities and achievements. But one thing is sure, if we really want to get rid of this inhuman practice and ensure a life of dignity for all, we need to generate the alternate livelihood opportunities through NRLM, MNREGA etc. and focus on their effective implementation, let alone the proposed amendments in the 1993 act.

2. Removing ties: Pg7 (Visit of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khailfa)

Relevance: India Qatar Relations.

–>India enjoys close and friendly relations with Qatar based on historical association, traditional friendship and shared interests.

–>It is home to a large Indian expatriate population, which constantly nurtures and renews the ties of friendship and understanding between the two countries.

–>India and Qatar enjoy close and friendly relations at the political level and share common views and perceptions on matters of bilateral, regional and international interest.

–>From the economic standpoint, there is a growing synergy between India and Qatar in the hydrocarbon and other sectors.

–>In his recent visit, a pact is signed on establishing a cooperative framework to enhance bilateral cooperation in oil and gas.

–>Three agreements were signed in the fields of educational exchanges, cultural contacts and promoting tourism.A memorandum of agreement was also signed between the Reserve Bank of India and Qatar Central Bank.

For more details:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreign-trade/india-qatar-sign-oil-pact-discuss-indians-welfare/articleshow/12597949.cms

Also look for Qatar, Doha, Persian Gulf, South Pars / North Dome Gas-Condensate field etc on the map.

3. India goes down: Pg11

Relevance: Remember India’s ranking(69/142) in the Networked Readiness Index report of INSEAD.

There is yet another important report namely ‘Global Innovation Index’ given by the INSEAD. Know India’s ranking(62th) there, 5 input and 2 output pillars of Innovation taken by INSEAD while calculating index etc.

By the way, who is Dipak Jain?

4. Hauled over the coals: Pg12

Relevance: One might skip the article but do know about the concept of Fuel supply Agreements(FSAs) floated by power and coal ministries to improve coal supply to the power producers. This link will further clarify:

http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report_cil-board-clears-draft-fuel-supply-agreement_1671653

5. Post budget musings: Pg12

Relevance: Nothing new, but it’s free, so read it!

6. Memorial cruise: Pg16

Clue: Look for RMS Titanic, its route from Southampton to Newyork, white star line, Olympic class ocean liners, MS Balmoral, Disaster Tourism etc.

7. Jairam favours: Pg16

Relevance: A good read, focus on the factual details like concept of Flexi funds, PMGSY, Bharat Nirman’s road component, Backward region grant fund- a classic example of untied fund etc.

8. Other potential 2 markers and tidbits: INTACH(Pg8), Billie Jean King(Pg9).

I found only these items useful in Monday’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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