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Daily News Analysis 02-12-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India wants funding, tech in Paris text (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     As talks on the text of the Paris agreement began, Indian negotiators said they were introducing provisions in it for a technology and financial mechanism that will make it possible to raise low-cost capital and widely deploy renewable technologies.

2.

Towards an ambitious and fair deal (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     Why India must resist the attempt by developed countries to dilute the concept of differentiated responsibilities.

3.

Terror, climate among BRICS focus areas (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China proposed a string of thematic lines (including a focus on counter-terrorism) for the development of media, in tune with the growing clout of the BRICS grouping on the international stage.

4.

13th Amendment to be basis of constitutional reforms: Chandrika (Pg 14)

a)     International

a)     According to Chandrika Kumaratunga (former Sri Lankan President), the 13th Constitutional Amendment would certainly form part of the basis of constitutional reforms to address the countrys ethnic question.

5.

No diplomacy by stealth (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     The Paris handshake between PM Nawaz Sharif and PM Modi is indeed a welcome, and unexpected, moment that could change the climate of the relationship.

6.

Gujarats controversial Labour Laws Bill gets Presidential assent (Pgs 1, 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     President Pranab has given assent to the contentious Labour Laws Bill of Gujarat, which has provisions to ban strikes in public utility services for up to one year.

7.

Time to abolish criminal defamation (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The observation by the Supreme Court that political leaders should not take criticism as a personal insult highlights a particular kind of intolerance that is rarely referred to in the ongoing debate on the subject: the inability of public figures to tolerate criticism and their repeated resort to criminal defamation proceedings to stifle adverse comment.

8.

SC verdict today on remission of Rajiv killers sentences (Pg 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on the Tamil Nadu govts decision to remit the life sentences of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

9.

Rajan keeps repo rate unchanged (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan left the benchmark interest rate (the repo rate) unchanged at 6.75 percent as expected, and stressed the central banks policy stance remained accommodative.

10.

India showing early signs of recovery: Moodys (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     According to a report by Moodys Investors Service, an increase in public sector expenditure and an upturn in capital replacement cycle are driving investment in India, and it will take a while for private investment to show a sustainable revival.

11.

IMF gives Chinas currency yuan prized reserve asset status (P 15)

a)     Economy

a)     The IMF admitted Chinas yuan into its benchmark currency basket in a victory for Beijings campaign for recognition as a global economic power.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India wants funding, tech in Paris text (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Paris Climate Summit 2015

b)     Climate change

c)     Greenhouse gases (GHGs)

d)     Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)

e)     UNFCCC

 

a)     As talks on the text of the Paris agreement began, Indian negotiators said they were introducing provisions in it for a technology and financial mechanism that will make it possible to raise low-cost capital and widely deploy renewable technologies.

b)     The agreement to be reached in Paris would be in the form of a framework that gives recognition to the voluntary pledges made by countries (described as INDCs). It has to contain provisions on finance and technology, which are central to goals to reduce carbon emissions for developing countries as they grow.

c)     Pursuing the question of responsibility for historical emissions, India has said it favours the stocktaking of carbon on a global scale. As countries cut the GHGs over the years, and a review is done every five or 10 years, nations would get more ambitious with future targets. Even with all voluntary actions, the rise in temperature over pre-industrial era would not be able to meet the targeted 2 degrees C.

2.

Towards an ambitious and fair deal (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     Paris Climate Summit 2015

b)     Climate change

c)     Greenhouse gases (GHGs)

d)     Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR)

e)     Global Climate Fund (GCF)

f)     UNFCCC

g)    Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

 

 

a)     Just as the Conference of the Parties of UNFCCC gets under way in Paris, a growing campaign by policy influencers and opinion-makers in parts of Europe and the US is putting pressure on India to dilute or abandon Article 3 of the Convention, which refers to CBDR.

b)     Along with other developing countries, India has historically given voice to the philosophy of CBDR, which states that Parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their CBDR and respective capabilities. Accordingly, the developed country Parties should take lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof.

c)     By asking all countries to develop bottom-up commitments to reduce their emissions, any differentiation among countries, whether rich or poor, has been diminished significantly. This is because current global climate regime operates as if all countries are uniformly responsible for accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere and that every effort is equally significant.

d)     Thus, the US (which is accountable for roughly one quarter of the rise in average temperature of atmosphere since pre-industrial times, and continues as the worlds second largest annual emitter after China) has made the smallest commitments of any industrialised country.

e)  In contrast, Brazil and South Africa have more ambitious targets than the US, even though they are responsible for less than 2 percent of global anthropogenic CO2 in atmosphere. Similarly, Indias renewable energy and energy efficiency goals represent some of the most challenging system-wide changes any country has ever yet undertaken.

f)     At the Climate Change COP-16 meeting in Cancun, Mexico, a financial mechanism was set up whose aim was to support developing countries on projects related to climate change, primarily for mitigation and adaptation. The GCF (which is supposed to amount to $100 billion annually by 2020) is widely understood as an obligation of rich countries and part of the process through which they would pay for and support developing countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change.

g)     GCF secretariats functions and activities are guided by and remain accountable to the UNFCCC. GCF (if it works well) could become largest fund dedicated to climate change, but there are also others that are part of the overall climate finance architecture such as the Global Investment Fund and the Global Environment Facility for specific climate-related projects.

h)  The GCFs exact role, source of funds, and the windows through which it would operate post-2020 are still getting clarified and should ideally be sharper after COP-21. Some countries (including India) have made funding a requirement for actions within their nationally determined contributions. India has asked for a funding window for technology transfer in the GCF for loans and financing.

i)     Finance is needed for making new upfront capital investments in expensive renewable technologies that are necessary to make a transition to a low-carbon path. Finance is also needed for adaptation, which is especially crucial for developing countries.

j)     The OECD recently published a report stating that $62 billion had been mobilised in 2014 from private and public sources, up from the $52 billion in 2013. India and other countries expressed their annoyance with these estimates, arguing that funding meant for development aid to various countries has also been included in these numbers.

k)    Climate funds are expected to be new and additional to development aid because they relate to historical obligations of rich countries for having captured ecological space. India has maintained that funds for climate finance should be new, predictable, scalable, and recognised as the obligations of developed countries. These considerations would disappear without differentiation.

l)     The climate justice principles of the UNFCCC need to be maintained to build trust and work together as a global community addressing a shared challenge. While the Paris-COP may not satisfy everyone, it should be a worthy step forward in building such a global community.

3.

Terror, climate among BRICS focus areas (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     BRICS media summit

b)     Terrorism

c)     Climate change

a)     China proposed a string of thematic lines (including a focus on counter-terrorism) for the development of media, in tune with the growing clout of the BRICS grouping on the international stage.

b)    Official said this is the first BRICS media summit for better media coordination among the five countries on counter-terrorism, elimination of poverty and hunger as well as climate change.

c)     It focused on two additional themes - integration of traditional and new media, as well as establishing an institutional architecture for the development of journalism in the BRICS countries.

d)     The Beijing Declaration issued at the end of conference noted the profound changes that were brought about the rapid development of the Internet and digital technology on the global media environment.

4.

13th Amendment to be basis of constitutional reforms: Chandrika (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas internal issues

b)     13th Constitutional Amendment

c)     Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission

 

a)     According to Chandrika Kumaratunga (former Sri Lankan President), the 13th Constitutional Amendment would certainly form part of the basis of constitutional reforms to address the countrys ethnic question.

b)     A draft Constitutional Bill formulated in 2000 during her presidency and recommendations of All Party Representatives Committee (2006-2010); Panel of Experts on Accountability (constituted by the UN Secretary General in June 2010) and the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission were the documents she mentioned.

c)     She also pointed out that the draft Constitutional Bill was not contradictory to the 13th Amendment but much more extensive than that. The amendment created Provincial Councils in Sri Lanka.

5.

No diplomacy by stealth (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Line of Control (LoC)

c)     SAARC summit

a)     The Paris handshake between PM Nawaz Sharif and PM Modi is indeed a welcome, and unexpected, moment that could change the climate of the relationship. They had last spoken in Ufa in July - though they shared the same stage at the UN in September, they only managed a wave across the room.

b)     The stop-start nature of the PMs meetings have had an impact on talks at every level of engagement, and even the meeting of Directors General of Military Operations they agreed to five months ago has not yet materialised. Other issues on which a resolution is required remain, and which have now been pending for three years.

c)     These include the implementation of a liberalised visa regime, upgradation of trade checkpoint infrastructure at the international border and the Line of Control, and other measures such as bank facilities to further trade that PM and PM Sharif have spoken of.

d)     Indias concerns about Pak giving free rein to terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and establishment support to terror groups, too, remain. While Delhi has stuck to its principle of not taking substantive talks ahead until it sees action from Pakistan on terrorism, it is heartening to note that basic trade between two countries, business visits and civil society conferences have not been barred.

e)     All these steps will be particularly important in creating an atmosphere for a productive visit by Modi to Pak in 2016, when he has accepted an invitation to attend SAARC summit. However, none of it will be possible without a sustained and transparent process of engagement.

6.

Gujarats controversial Labour Laws Bill gets Presidential assent (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Labour Laws (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2015

b)     Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill 2015

c)     Sikkim Promotion of Local Employment Bill 2008

a)     President Pranab has given assent to the contentious Labour Laws Bill of Gujarat, which has provisions to ban strikes in public utility services for up to one year. The Bill was sent for the Presidents approval along with the controversial GCTOC Bill 2015, which is yet to be given the green light.

b)     The President has also refused to give assent to the Sikkim Promotion of Local Employment Bill 2008, which proposed 80 percent employment in the private sector for people carrying the Sikkim Subject Certificate.

c)     The Gujarat government passed the Bill to relax labour laws to give an impetus to industrialisation in the State.

7.

Time to abolish criminal defamation (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Criminal defamation laws

b)     Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

a)  The observation by Supreme Court that political leaders should not take criticism as a personal insult highlights a particular kind of intolerance that is rarely referred to in the ongoing debate on the subject: the inability of public figures to tolerate criticism and their repeated resort to criminal defamation proceedings to stifle adverse comment.

b)    Nothing exemplifies this as much as 100-odd prosecutions launched by the govt of Tamil Nadu against politicians and the media. The courts remark came in context of several of cases of defamation reaching its portals in recent years. Under CM Jayalalithaa, the law of criminal defamation is routinely set in motion within days of the publication of reports that are even remotely critical of her governance.

c)     It is needless to emphasise that criminal defamation has a chilling effect on free speech and undermines public interest by coercing the media to observe self-censorship and self-restraint. Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC (which criminalise defamation in India) have been challenged in the Supreme Court, but so far there is little hope that the State will give up the use of this weapon against adverse coverage.

d)     The Union government has contended (much to the disappointment of proponents of the freedom of expression) that these sections do not have any chilling effect on free speech.

e)     In 2011, the Human Rights Committee of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights called upon states to abolish criminal defamation, noting that it intimidates citizens and makes them shy away from exposing wrongdoing. Its misuse as an instrument of harassment is pervasive in India.

f)     It is internationally recognised that there ought to be some proportionality between the status and influence of public officials and how far they could be defamed. It is time Indias lawmakers scrapped criminal defamation from the statute book.

8.

SC verdict today on remission of Rajiv killers sentences (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Rajiv Gandhi assassination case  

b)     Death penalty

c)     Supreme Court

a)     The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on the Tamil Nadu govts decision to remit the life sentences of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

b)     The judgment will also settle the law on the power of State governments to remit sentences, especially of prisoners condemned to death whose sentences have been commuted to life.

c)     The Bench will also decide whether life imprisonment meant jail term for the rest of life or a convict has a right to claim remission.

9.

Rajan keeps repo rate unchanged (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Monetary policy

b)     Repo rate

c)     Base rate

d)     Inflation

e)     Consumer price inflation

a)     RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan left the benchmark interest rate (the repo rate) unchanged at 6.75 percent as expected, and stressed the central banks policy stance remained accommodative.

b)     The central bank has reduced the repo rate by 125 bps in 2015 in order to boost growth amid softening inflation.

c)     Consumer price inflation, (RBIs main gauge for measuring price gains) quickened to a four-month-high of 5 percent in October though the central bank appears on course to meet its January inflation target of 6 percent.

d)     While the central bank had kept the rate unchanged, Rajan said he was focussed on ensuring monetary transmission improved as less than half its cumulative 125 basis points reduction in the policy rate had been transmitted by banks. Banks have reduced the base rate (which is the benchmark rate for loans) by 50-70 bps.

e)     On growth, the central bank said the economy is in the early stages of recovery and retained its growth forecast for this fiscal at 7.4 percent with a mild downside bias.

10.

India showing early signs of recovery: Moodys (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Indias economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     Make in India programme

d)     Moodys

a)     According to a report by Moodys Investors Service, an increase in public sector expenditure and an upturn in capital replacement cycle are driving investment in India, and it will take a while for private investment to show a sustainable revival.

b)     According to the report, Indias economy was forecast to grow forecast at 7 percent for 2015 and 7.5 percent for 2016 which take into account a slower investment recovery.

11.

IMF gives Chinas currency yuan prized reserve asset status (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)      Global reserve currencies

b)     Chinas yuan

c)     Special Drawing Rights (SDR)

d)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)     The IMF admitted Chinas yuan into its benchmark currency basket in a victory for Beijings campaign for recognition as a global economic power.

b)    The IMF executive boards decision to add the yuan (also known as the renminbi) to the SDR basket alongside the dollar, euro, pound sterling and yen, is an important milestone in Chinas integration into the global financial system and a nod to the progress it has made with reforms.

c)     To meet the IMFs criteria, Beijing has undertaken a flurry of reforms in recent months, including better access for foreigners to Chinese currency markets, more frequent debt issuance and expanded yuan trading hours.

d)     To be included in the SDR basket, the yuan had to meet the criteria to be freely usable, or widely used to make international payments and widely traded in foreign exchange markets - a yardstick it missed at the last review in 2010.

e)     The addition is likely to fuel demand for Chinas currency and for renminbi-denominated assets as central banks and foreign fund managers adjust their portfolios to reflect the yuans new status.

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