Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

China, Myanmar inkoil pipeline deal

Important details:

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Myanmar President U. HtinKyaw.
  • China and Myanmar agreed a deal on a crude oil pipeline between the neighbouring countries.
  • The countries signed an agreement on a partially-completed crude oil pipeline between western Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu port and southern China’s Kunming city.
  • The two leaders also discussed the development of the controversial Myitsone dam, a $3.6 billion Beijing-backed project on hold since protests in 2011.

Why Myitsone dam project hanging?

  • Myitsone originally designed to supply most of its electricity to China, was seen as emblematic of Beijing’s economic dominance over its southern neighbour.
  • China has been pressing for its resumption ever since, despite speculation that the project might be scrapped altogether.
  • Other than dam and pipeline:
  • The two countries signed nine cooperative agreements on areas spanning public health, sports and transportation.
  • China also expressed its support for Myanmar’s efforts to maintain stability in northern part of the country, where deadly clashes have broken out near the border between Myanmar’s army and ethnic insurgents.

Source: Hindustan Times

Paper 2-GS-I, Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential

Parties want EVMs recalled

Why not EVMs:

  • 17 Opposition parties tells Election Commission that people’s faith in the machines has been eroded.
  • Representatives of these parties met top EC officials to demand reintroduction of the ballot paper system.

Stand of Election Commission about EVM:

  • The EC which has thus far defended the EVMs as tamper-proof, following complaints by several parties in the wake of the recent Assembly elections, has now said it will convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.

Demand of opposition parties:

  • Initially, the opposition parties had proposed that the demand should be for using EVMs in half the constituencies (along with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines) and using old fashioned ballot papers in the other half, so that the two could be compared.
  • But one senior leader had strong reservations about EVMs, and finally there was an agreement on demanding a total return to the ballot paper system.

Final suggestion to EC:

  • The EC had been told that the voting system needed to be technically addressed, globally endorsed and accepted by all political parties here.
  • It was pointed out that many western nations had reverted from the EVMs to the ballot paper system.
  • The collective response by the Opposition parties to the EVM question is to be followed by these parties meeting President Pranab Mukherjee with a 15-point memorandum.

Source: Indian Express


Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Government policies and interventions for development

Aadhaar must for accessto Survey of India maps

You need Aadhaar:

  • The Survey of India, the country’s official maker of maps, has set up a web portal called Nakshethat allows 3,000 of its 7,000 maps to be downloaded for free, one would require an Aadhaar number for access.
  • Over the last year, the government has moved to making several services available through Aadhaar…this too is a major step forward.
  • The Aadhaar is to ensure that only Indians are able to access this portal.
  • In the last years, the government has passed orders to route a variety of citizen services to possessing an Aadhaar or Aadhaar enrolment number.
  • The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 specifically says that the number can’t be used as proof of citizenship or domicile.

Usefulness of these maps:

  • The SoI maps —prepared for defence and civilian purposes — are considered a standard reference for the shape, extent and geographic features of the country.
  • The maps to be made available through the portal will make it easier for residents of villagers and panchayats to readily access information.
  • Currently, organisations and people who want specific maps need to fill forms and sometimes visit the SoI. Several times, Ministries themselves had to pay to get certain maps.
  • Survey of India decided that all Indians should be able to get these maps for free because the government has already paid to get them made.

Source: The Hindu