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Daily News Analysis 07-12-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

NSAs meet in Bangkok (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     In a surprise development kept secret until their meeting was over, Indian and Pakistani National Security Advisers led delegations for talks in Bangkok on Dev 6.

2.

Madhesi leaders wont climb down (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Nepals agitating leaders from the United Madhesi Democratic Front received a warm welcome in Delhi even as they were advised to be more flexible while negotiating with the government in Kathmandu.

3.

India may ratify WTO trade facilitation pact (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     India is likely to ratify the WTOs Trade Facilitation Agreement (aimed at easing customs rules to expedite trade flows) during the Nairobi meeting of the global trade body from December 15 to 18.

4.

Progressive Paris pact will unlock green funds (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     A global coalition of business organisations working on low carbon economic growth has said that India stands to gain from massive renewable energy investments and achieve energy efficiency in key sectors under a climate agreement.

5.

Dhaka reviewing ties with Islamabad: Minister (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali said his govt is assessing its ties with Pakistan after Islamabad lodged protest against the countrys war crimes trial and denied that atrocities were committed during the 1971 Liberation War.

6.

Secular in spirit and in letter (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Secularism is inherent in the basic structure of the Constitution. The Home Minister cannot presume to forget constitutional history, and assume that constitutional values such as secularism are just meaningless words to be redacted from a document.

7.

SC will ensure rule of law, says CJI Thakur (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Noting that there is a political angle to the whole religious intolerance debate, Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur sent a strong message against divisive forces, saying that India is an inclusive society where people of all faiths and religions flourish and Supreme Court will ensure that the rule of law reigns supreme.

8.

Government aims to move five more reforms to labour laws (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The govt is striving to introduce five more labour reform legislations in the winter session of Parliament, including the bills to introduce a new wage and industrial relations code and amend laws governing child labour and bonus payments.

9.

Freak weather whipped up a perfect storm (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     The highest daily rainfall in a century. Freak weather conditions on one day. The hottest-ever Indian Ocean. The strongest-ever El Nino. The hottest year on record.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

NSAs meet in Bangkok (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Terrorism

c)     Jammu and Kashmir issue

d)     LoC

e)     Heart of Asia conference

 

a)     In a surprise development kept secret until their meeting was over, Indian and Pakistani National Security Advisers led delegations for talks in Bangkok on Dev 6.

b)   Official said the discussions covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and other issues, including tranquillity along the LoC.

c)     Officials have confirmed that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Islamabad this week, leading the Indian delegation to the Heart of Asia donor conference on Afghanistan.

d)     While the govt agreed to include J&K in the talks along with terrorism, which it had earlier refused to, the venue of a third country obviated Pakistans requirement of meeting with the Hurriyat conference.

2.

Madhesi leaders wont climb down (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Nepal relations

b)     Nepal crisis

c)     Nepals new Constitution

d)     Madhesis concerns

e)     United Madhesi Democratic Front (UMDF)

 

a)     Nepals agitating leaders from the UMDF received a warm welcome in Delhi even as they were advised to be more flexible while negotiating with govt in Kathmandu. However, brushing aside Indias advice, Madhesi leaders indicated that they are not in a mood to call off the economic blockade immediately.

b)     A day before the arrival of the UMDF delegation, a few other Madhesi leaders landed in Delhi claiming to be the real representatives of the region, thereby indicating the rising stakes in the Nepal crisis.

c)     Indicating the inflexible position of UMDF, official told that the Front would not soften its attitude toward the govt of PM K.P. Sharma Oli despite the framework agreement that the Nepal government has prepared after consultation with it.

d)     Sources told that India sympathises with demand for rights of Madhesi people from Kathmandu, but also wishes that reconciliation should be given a chance. But Madhesi sentiment on ground apparently is anti-reconciliation.

3.

India may ratify WTO trade facilitation pact (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Nairobi Ministerial meeting of WTO

b)     Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

c)     Ease of doing business

 

a)     India is likely to ratify the WTOs Trade Facilitation Agreement (aimed at easing customs rules to expedite trade flows) during the Nairobi meeting of the global trade body from December 15 to 18.

b)     However, a matter of concern is that India might not take advantage of the entire range of flexibilities in the TFA available for similar developing countries to determine which commitment they will implement at what time.

c)   Sources said the flexibilities available in TFA for developing countries, but which India may not use to full extent, include the one allowing them to take sufficient time in implementing certain commitments and the provision to seek assistance or support from donor countries for capacity building.

d)     In Nov last year, WTO member countries had adopted a protocol of amendment to make the TFA a part of the overall WTO Agreement. However, the TFA will become operational only after two-thirds of the members ratify it. So far, only 53 of the 162 member countries have done so.

e)     New Delhi is planning to ratify the TFA as part of the govts initiatives to attract more investment by improving Indias ranking in the World Banks ease of doing business report. The government wants India to leapfrog its position from 130th this year (out of 189 countries) to the top 100 next year and then in the top 50 soon.

f)  The items being championed by India on behalf of the developing and the poor world, but still unresolved, include finding a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes as well as measures to protect poor farmers from sudden import surges of farm products.

4.

Progressive Paris pact will unlock green funds (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Paris Climate Summit 2015

b)     Climate change

c)     Carbon emissions

d)     UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

a)     A global coalition of business organisations working on low carbon economic growth has said that India stands to gain from massive renewable energy investments and achieve energy efficiency in key sectors under a climate agreement.

b)     The top industries and services that could reap the benefits are energy companies, financial services attracting investment from around the world, and the IT sector that would find new opportunities in big data analytics, measuring and monitoring systems to meet national climate obligations.

c)     Global business has welcomed the announcement by PM Modi on boosting growth of solar and other renewables by 2022, and cutting the energy intensity of growth.

d)     The coalition is very sympathetic to Indian position, because we must reduce emissions as a global community, otherwise, we will breach temperature thresholds that threaten natural resources, threaten food security, undermine development and human rights.

e)     Businesses are looking to the forthcoming UNFCCC agreement to provide policy certainty, as the type of investments we need are not 6-month or 5-year investments, they stretch across multiple decades. The important market signal that is sought is the long-term goal towards decarbonisation before the end of the century.

5.

Dhaka reviewing ties with Islamabad: Minister (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Bangladesh – Pakistan relations

b)     Bangladesh Liberation War 1971

 

a)     Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali said his govt is assessing its ties with Pakistan after Islamabad lodged protest against the countrys war crimes trial and denied that atrocities were committed during the 1971 Liberation War.

b)     Pakistans foreign ministry on Nov 22 made a statement, voicing deep concern and anguish over the death sentence of key Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, both convicted over crimes against humanity.

c)     Paks reaction prompted Dhaka to summon the Pakistan envoy. In turn, Pakistan summoned Bangladeshs envoy in Islamabad and denied committing any war crimes or atrocities during the 1971 Liberation War.

d)     Talking about the countrys relationship with India, he said it was in a very good state after 1975 and that the problems were psychological which needed to be resolved with everyones participation. 

6.

Secular in spirit and in letter (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Secularism

b)     Socialism

c)     Constitution of India

d)     Uniform civil code

a)     On Nov 26 (Constitution Day), Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh bemoaned in Parliament that secularism was the most misused term in the country. He said the framers of the Constitution did not include the words secular and socialist because these values were (already) part of Indian civilisation.

b)     According to the author, Singh was essentially voicing a belief that secularism was alien to the Constitution, and that it was only during the Emergency that secularism stealthily crept into the Constitution. That belief is not quite right.

c)     The framers of the Constitution worked against the backdrop of two great instances of human carnage - World War II and Partition of India. Both were the result of an insistence on distinctiveness of group identities and their consequent territorial demarcations, which excluded those who did not fall within the dominant group.

d)     Simultaneously, the process of integration of princely states meant that people not exposed to even limited democracy became voters of a republic that promised justice, liberty, equality and fraternity for all.

e)   Secularism is implicit in the entire constitutional framework. It is a constitutional value that seeks to manage Indias diverse and plural society, in an atmosphere of cohesiveness of national purpose.

f)     The guarantee of equality in Article 14; the promise of non-discrimination in Articles 15 and 16; protection from religious taxes and religious instruction in state-funded institutions set in Articles 27 and 28; the permission of educational institutions of choice to linguistic and religious minorities in Articles 29 and 30; the promise of equal ballots devoid of sectional preferences in Article 325 - all make for a constitutional architecture which is devoid of any religious preference whatsoever.

g)     However, there are provisions which seek to enforce equality within the Hindu religion in Articles 17 and 25(2)(b). Deference to Hindu sentiments on cow slaughter is also provided for in Article 48, as is the pious hope for a uniform civil code in Article 44.

h)     Taken as a whole package, the constitutional vision of secularism is one of principled equidistance from all religious matters, while at the same time regulating its practice in a manner consistent with the demands of a modern society. Crucially, in Article 25(2)(a), we can find constitutional permission for the state to regulate or restrict any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice.

i)  Thus, it is fallacious to argue that the original Constitution as adopted, enacted and given to ourselves on Nov 26 1949, was not a secular document. The inclusion in the Preamble of the words socialist and secular by the 42nd Amendment on Jan 3 1977, only headlined what was already present in original text of the Constitution.

j)     Despite the Constitutions secular nature being held to be part of its basic structure, matters did not rest. During the Emergency came the 42nd Amendment on Jan 3 1977. Apart from many significant changes otherwise, it resurrected Prof. Shahs cosmetic suggestion and inserted the word secular in the Preamble.

k)     After the Emergency, the 44th Amendment by the Janata govt undid most of the substantial damage achieved by the 42nd Amendment. But it, too, chose to preserve the addition of the words socialist and secular to the Preamble.

l)  Secularism is inherent in the basic structure of the national book, and is beyond the power of any transient parliamentary majority to efface or abridge.

7.

SC will ensure rule of law, says CJI Thakur (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Rule of Law

b)     NJAC

c)     Collegium system

d)     Death penalty

e)     CJI

f)     Supreme Court

a)     Noting that there is a political angle to the whole religious intolerance debate, Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur sent a strong message against divisive forces, saying that India is an inclusive society where people of all faiths and religions flourish and Supreme Court will ensure that the rule of law reigns supreme.

b)     He said when the Constitution guarantees Rule of Law to those who are not our citizens, there is no question that citizens of India, no matter of what religion or faith should feel unprotected. Supreme Court has no reluctance to protect the beliefs of our fellow citizens. As long as Rule of Law prevails no one has to be afraid.

c)     On the issue of rising judicial vacancies in the High Courts and the Supreme Court, he said he would prefer to wait till the five-judge Constitution Bench led by Justice J.S. Khehar pronounces the guidelines for the Collegium.

d) Asked whether he considered death penalty to be a civilised method of punishment of crime, he agreed that there is a strong feeling against courts awarding death penalty even in the rarest of rare cases. The Parliament has to change the law. He said that there are certain offences, terrorism and heinous crimes, for which, if a court finds the accused guilty, the only punishment is death.

8.

Government aims to move five more reforms to labour laws (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Labour laws

b)     Factories Act of 1948

c)     Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2015

d)     Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill 2015

e)     Child Labour (Protection and Regulation) Amendment Bill 2012

 

a)     The govt is striving to introduce 5 more labour reform legislations in winter session of Parliament, including the bills to introduce a new wage and industrial relations code and amend laws governing child labour and bonus payments.

b)    These are in addition to the amendments to the Factories Act of 1948 that the govt had listed for introduction in the Lok Sabha last week, but eventually was not tabled.

c)     The only new bill to be introduced in Parliaments lower house so far in this session is the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2015.

d)     The govt has officially listed the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill 2015 for consideration and passing in the Lok Sabha this week, which would be the penultimate week of the winter session.

e)   The law is being changed to make more employees eligible for bonus and double such payments. It proposes to raise the salary ceiling for statutory bonus payments to Rs 21,000 per month from Rs 10,000 specified under the 1965 law.

f)     The govt has also proposed to introduce the Child Labour (Protection and Regulation) Amendment Bill 2012 in the Rajya Sabha this week. The Bill proposes that children below fourteen years of age may only be allowed to work in their own family enterprises. It also bars employment of children in hazardous occupations till the age of 18 years.

9.

Freak weather whipped up a perfect storm (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     North-east monsoon

b)     South-west monsoon

c)     El Nino

d)     Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)

e)     World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

f)     India Meteorological Department (IMD)

g)     Skymet

a)     El Nino is a weather phenomenon resulting in warmer than expected ocean temperatures in the central and eastern parts of the tropical belt of the Pacific Ocean.

b)     Parts of this oceanic zone have already hit record temperatures this year, setting the 2015-16 El Nino well on its way to a record intensity, with potential impacts across the world encompassing the range of events, including searingly high temperatures, droughts and intense rainfall.

c)     On Dec 1, freak weather conditions all came together on one single day to swamp Chennai with heaviest rainfall in a century. The WMO has been producing regular updates on the scale of this years El Nino, and its expected impact was a significant contributor to the IMDs forecast of a deficient south-west monsoon, a forecast that was spot on.

d) Expert said the same weather system was also expected to have an opposite impact on the north-east monsoon (the one that southern India experiences in its winter months) but the impact on southern monsoon is much less clearly established.

e)     Skymet Weather assessed that a positive IOD (warmer sea temperatures in the western Indian Ocean and a cooler eastern Indian Ocean) kept ocean temperatures high in the south Bay of Bengal resulting in strong weather systems in the South Andaman Sea.

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