16,December,18 Daily newspaper article’s summary

16,December,18 Daily newspaper article’s summary

Summary of newspaper articles from ‘The Hindu’, ‘Economic Times’ and PIB
ARISE IAS: Demystifying UPSC IAS exams

End Sri Lanka’s crisis:
1.Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to resign as Prime Minister, an office to which he was controversially installed by President Maithripala Sirisena, is the first sign that the dragging constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka is heading slowly towards a resolution.
2.He had also played a part in the unfolding of the crisis set off by Mr. Sirisena, who made ill-advised moves by invoking his executive powers repeatedly for political and partisan ends.
3.The court has rejected his claim that he had an unfettered right to dissolve Parliament at any time, notwithstanding provisions in the Constitution that barred such action for the first four and a half years of the legislature’s term.

Negative signals:
1.Retail inflation dropped to a 17-month low of 2.33% in November, as compared to 3.31% in October, primarily due to the fall in the prices of various essential food items.
2.Ahead of the general election next year, State governments across the country are likely to resort to short-term relief measures such as farm loan waivers to temporarily relieve farmers of their deep distress.
3.Further, with the issue of rural distress now expected to significantly affect the general election verdict, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are already engaged in a competitive battle to offer the highest extent of loan waiver to farmers.

Theresa must:
1.The leadership challenge was suddenly triggered by a growing number of Tory rebels who felt emboldened by widespread opposition to the withdrawal agreement that has united Europhiles and Eurosceptics across parties.
2.Following her victory in the party leadership battle, Ms. May hopes to secure more assurances from European leaders that Britain would not be permanently locked into a customs union with the EU.
3.The customs union is the backstop arrangement meant to continue the open border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, a lifeline of the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.

Time after time: on TRS victory:
1.In continuing with its politics of regional identity, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi won a second term in office in India’s newest State, pushing the national party, the Congress, to a distant second.
2.Congress president Rahul Gandhi may have been looking at the bigger picture when he welcomed the TDP as part of a broad Opposition alliance, but Telangana voters took a cynical view of the coming together of the two parties that were principal rivals just five years ago.
3.Although the People’s Front of the Congress and the TDP drafted a common programme, and held a joint campaign, this was not enough to challenge the TRS, which moved to poll mode several months in advance.

Can business behave better?:
1.Over the years, India has taken a number of steps to improve corporate governance and protect the interests of investors, lenders and other stakeholders.
2.From Vijay Mallya to Nirav Modi to Ravi Parthasarathy, “strong” promoters/leaders have managed to pretty much bypass all these checks and balances in pursuit of their own goals, till the point of no return is passed and the whole shebang collapses.
3.Its answer was to create the Novo Mercado – literally, new market — a premium board where companies could voluntarily list, but had to comply with enhanced corporate governance standards.

A wilderness of broken mirrors:
1.These digital obelisks continuously stream information about the city, cultural history of New York, vintage photographs, weather warnings, and an unending cornucopia of quiz and facts (“New Yorkers bite 10 times more people than sharks do worldwide”).
2.The result of this steady transformation of how we recognise what constitutes the world is that fundamental units of social coexistence — ideas such as fact, truth, reality — have been uprooted from the cognitive infrastructure in which they traditionally resided.
3.In These Truths , her excellent new history of the United States, Jill Lepore writes that in the centuries following the Magna Carta in 1215, “a new doctrine of evidence and new method of inquiry eventually led to the idea that an observed or witnessed act or thing — the substance, the matter, of fact — is the basis of truth”.

Lessons in living:
1.And there are any number of productivity hacks and tips for intentional living to guide you in segregating screen-free chunks of time on your daily schedule.
2.To recover mental equilibrium and autonomy (the presumed objective of weaning ourselves off our smartphones), the collection makes a case for clearing space in our lives for literature.
3.It is what perhaps gave him what may be called the authentic Antarctica reckoning: “I’d never had the experience of beholding scenic beauty so dazzling that I couldn’t process it, couldn’t get it to register as something real that I was really in the presence of.” Seeing an Emperor Penguin “seemed reason enough to be born on this planet” — equally, seeing how climate change poses an existential danger to penguins, he had to ask himself, “Was this enough to justify the money and the carbon it [the expedition] had cost?”

The warning signs are loud and clear:
1.After his death in January 2016, daughter Mehbooba Mufti had to be persuaded to continue with the arrangement, but increasing levels of violence after her takeover witnessed the coalition partners viewing the situation from very different angles.
2.Absence of political guidance, belief in the virtues of a ‘muscular policy’ to stamp out militancy, eschewing of all softer options, and an irrevocable breakdown in communications led to a widening chasm between the people of Kashmir and the administration.
3.The Hizbul Mujahideen has become stronger during the past year, and its ‘supreme commander’ based in Pakistan, Syed Salahuddin, appears confident of being able to revive the momentum of the struggle to the level that existed in the late 1980s and 1990s.

The fear of executive courts:
1.Justice Sen, however, thought it fit to further note that in 1947 India “should … have been declared… a Hindu country”, and that “our beloved Prime Minister” ought to legislate to grant automatic citizenship to (non-Muslim) religious minorities “who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan”.
2.Our Constitution is designed to ensure that judges can do their work “independent” of government influence: fixed salaries, security of tenure, and an appointments process that — through the Supreme Court’s judgments — is insulated from executive control.
3.Influential legal scholars — whose views continue to hold sway in law schools today — lauded the destruction of pesky “Anglo-Saxon” procedural rules, which stood in the way of “complete justice”.

GST led to ‘household savings’ as tax rates came down:
1.NEW DELHI: An average Indian household is saving up to Rs 320 every month on purchase of commonly used goods including cereals, edible oil and cosmetics post GST implementation, a finance ministry source said citing an analysis of consumer expenditure data.
2.An analysis of household expenditure pre and post GST rollout shows tax rates have come down on as many as 83 items including on food and beverages as well as daily use goods like hair oil, toothpaste, soap, washing powder and footwear.
3.The source said an array of goods including milk powder, curd, buttermilk, spices, wheat, rice, nutrition drinks like Horlicks/Bournvita, pasta, idli dosa batter and mineral water are taxed at lesser rate under the GST than previously.

Government panel on e-governance services for rural India to submit report in a month:
1.The panel, chaired by Electronics and IT Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney, has deliberated on enabling registration for all central and state government jobs , voter registration, PAN generation, sale of e-stamps, digitisation of government records etc through CSCs that operate in rural areas.
2.”A meeting of the committee was held on November 30 and the road map for getting services of all government departments, both at the Centre and State level, is expected to be submitted with the Cabinet secretariat in a month,” an official source told PTI.
3.CSCs are already providing services like passport application, tele-law, soil health card, railway tickets, Ayushman Bharat, FSSAI registration.

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