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Daily News Analysis 03-02-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

            

French envoy promises a cheaper Rafale (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)   A week after the visit of President Francois Hollande, which failed to produce a breakthrough in pricing for the Rafale aircraft deal, French Ambassador Francois Richier says the price and the terms of delivery will be better than those negotiated by the previous UPA govt, and the terms should take no more than four weeks.

2.

India, Brunei discuss South China Sea dispute (Page 16)

a)     I.R

a)     Brunei held discussion with an Indian delegation led by Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea which has the potential to affect free maritime traffic in Southeast Asia.

3.

Joint task force to discuss Indias access to Chittagong port (Page 15)

a)     I.R

a)     Visiting Bangladesh Foreign Secretary M.Shahidul Haque said that India and Bangladesh are expected to discuss Indias access to the Chittagong port as part of their discussions under the joint task force set up to deepen maritime cooperation.

4.

Cruz beats Trump in Iowa; Clinton wins by a whisker (Pages 1 and 16)

a)     International

a)     National front-runner Donald Trump lost the first polling state of Iowa to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas in the run for Republican presidential nomination, an outcome that will keep the race open and make in nastier.

5.

China revamps military command structure (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     China has revamped its military command structure, tailoring it for joint operations of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy - a move that may have acquired fresh urgency on account of the Pivot to Asia doctrine of the US and recent political changes in Taiwan.

6.

North Korea to launch a satellite (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     North Korea notified UN agencies that it plans to launch a satellite later this month, which could advance the isolated countrys development of long-range missile technology.

7.

Five-judge Constitution Bench to take a call on Section 377 (Pages 1, 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    The Supreme Court referred a batch of curative petitions against Section 377 of the IPC, a colonial-era provision criminalising consensual sexual acts of LGBT adults in private, to a five-judge Constitution Bench for a possible back-to-roots, in-depth hearing.

8.

Govt stifling scheme, charges Cong (Page 15)

a)     National

b)    Social issue

a)     Separate functions organised by the govt and the Congress party on Feb 2 to mark the 10th anniversary of the MGNREGA saw them clashing over fund allocations to the MGNREGS programme launched under the Act, now that the NDA coalition is in power.

9.

With an eye on budget, Rajan holds interest rates (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     The RBI left the key policy rate unchanged at 6.75 percent ahead of the union budget as the central bank will wait for the fiscal road map from the government.

10.

After WHO alert, India readies to take on Zika (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     Health

a)     The Union Health Ministry has sounded an alert for Zika and appointed the National Centre for Disease Control as the nodal agency for investigation of any outbreak of the viral infection in India.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

            

French envoy promises a cheaper Rafale (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – France relations

b)     Rafale deal

c)     Maitri missile partnership

d)     Make in India initiative

e)     Jaitapur nuclear plant

 

a)     A week after the visit of President Francois Hollande, which failed to produce a breakthrough in pricing for the Rafale aircraft deal, French Ambassador Francois Richier says the price and the terms of delivery will be better than those negotiated by previous UPA govt, and the terms should take no more than four weeks.

b)     He rejected criticism over delays, given that nine months have passed since PM Modi announced (during a visit to Paris) that India would buy 36 planes in a flyaway condition.

c)     His comments come after questions whether the deal would go the way of the Indo-French Make in India Maitri missile partnership to build a surface-to-air missile that had made little movement on the ground since its announcement in 2009.

d)     He said that during Hollandes visit, several steps had been taken to expedite the nuclear partnership, and France was now committed to providing India nuclear fuel for the entire lifetime of Jaitapur plant comprising six reactors of 1650 MW each.

2.

India, Brunei discuss South China Sea dispute (Page 16)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Brunei relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     South China Sea dispute

d)     Muara port

a)     Brunei held discussion with an Indian delegation led by Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea which has potential to affect free maritime traffic in Southeast Asia.

b)     Following the conclusion of a bilateral defence agreement between India and Brunei, official said that Brunei briefed us on the negotiation under way for the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea. India supports a negotiated settlement of Bruneis maritime dispute with China. The pact is aimed at ensuring uninterrupted energy lanes between India and Southeast Asia.

c)     An Indian military source in Brunei said the defence cooperation will provide both sides institutional foundation for more collaborative work on maritime security and secure Indias energy lanes to Brunei.

d)     Bruneis main port Muara (one of main ports in Southeast Asia through which the bulk of the countrys oil and gas exports to India take place) is in the South China Sea region and will become a major component of Indias growing maritime partnership with Brunei.

3.

Joint task force to discuss Indias access to Chittagong port (Page 15)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Bangladesh relations

b)     Maritime cooperation

c)     Chittagong port

 

a)     Visiting Bangladesh Foreign Secretary M. Shahidul Haque said that India and Bangladesh are expected to discuss Indias access to the Chittagong port as part of their discussions under the joint task force set up to deepen maritime cooperation.

b)     During PM Modis visit to Dhaka in June last year, the two countries had signed two MoU on blue economy and maritime cooperation in Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean and on use of Chittagong and Mongla ports.

c)     Following this, the two countries signed a Standard Operating Procedure in November to operationalise the agreement on coastal shipping. China had earlier offered to develop the Chittagong port, raising concerns in India which sees it as an encirclement move by Beijing under its string of pearls strategy.

4.

Cruz beats Trump in Iowa; Clinton wins by a whisker (Pages 1 and 16)

a)     International

a)     US Presidential elections

b)     Republican Party

c)     Democratic Party

a)     National front-runner Donald Trump lost the first polling state of Iowa to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas in the run for Republican presidential nomination, an outcome that will keep the race open and make in nastier.

b)     In the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton won a razor-thin victory over Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton took 49.8 percent, against 49.6 percent for the Vermont Senator, her sole remaining challenger for the Democratic nomination.

5.

China revamps military command structure (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Chinas military command structure

b)     Central Military Commission (CMC)

c)     US Pivot to Asia

 

a)     China has revamped its military command structure, tailoring it for joint operations of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy - a move that may have acquired fresh urgency on account of the Pivot to Asia doctrine of the US and recent political changes in Taiwan.

b)     On Feb 1, President Xi Jinping (who is also the head of the apex CMC) inaugurated the formation of five-theatre commands, which will be geared to seamlessly deploy military assets on land, air and sea to win wars.

c)     The Eastern, Western, Northern, Southern and Central theatre commands will focus on joint combat. The CMC will exercise overall political, supervisory and administrative control over the armed forces.

d)     Analysts say that acquisition of hard power (economic, military, scientific, political and diplomatic) are necessary elements to achieve this goal, though achieving economic equity and clean air are also part of the mix.

6.

North Korea to launch a satellite (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     North Koreas nuclear arsenal

a)     North Korea notified UN agencies that it plans to launch a satellite later this month, which could advance isolated countrys development of long-range missile technology.

b)     Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan 6 in defiance of UN sanctions, and last launched a long-range rocket in Dec 2012, sending an object it described as a communications satellite into orbit.

c)     North Korea is under UN sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes, and countries including the US and South Korea are seeking fresh sanctions after its nuclear test last month.

7.

Five-judge Constitution Bench to take a call on Section 377 (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights

b)     Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

c)     Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution

d)     Supreme Court

e)     High Court

a)   The Supreme Court referred a batch of curative petitions against Section 377 of the IPC, a colonial-era provision criminalising consensual sexual acts of LGBT adults in private, to a five-judge Constitution Bench for a possible back-to-roots, in-depth hearing.

b)     A three-judge Bench gave credence to arguments that the threat imposed by the provision amounts to denial of the rights to privacy and dignity and results in gross miscarriage of justice.

c)     Rebelling against its own procedural conventions in dealing with curative pleas, the Supreme Court indicated its openness to re-consider the constitutionality of Section 377 with new eyes.

d)     The open court hearing was the fruit of two years of waiting since the batch of eight curative petitions was filed in March 2014 by parents, civil society, scientific and LGBT rights organisations against a Jan 28 2014 apex court verdict dismissing their review petitions on the ground that Section 377 is Constitutional and applies to sexual acts irrespective of age or consent of the parties.

e)     The Review Bench in Jan 2014 had agreed with its original appeal judgment on Dec 11 2013, setting aside the historic and globally accepted verdict of the Delhi High Court. The High Court had declared Section 377 unconstitutional, and said it was in violation of the fundamental rights enshrined in Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.

f)     The High Court had read down Section 377 to apply only to non-consensual, penile, non-vaginal sex, and sexual acts by adults with minors.

8.

Govt stifling scheme, charges Cong (Page 15)

a)     National

b)    Social issue

a)     Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)

a)  Separate functions organised by the govt and the Congress party on Feb 2 to mark the 10th anniversary of the MGNREGA saw them clashing over fund allocations to the MGNREGS programme launched under the Act, now that the NDA coalition is in power.

b)     Ten years ago the MGNREGA ushered in a paradigm shift in development of the nation and there have been several significant achievements over the past decade, yet, certain issues in implementation remain.

c)     Social activists expecting the Finance Minister to announce the release of at least Rs. 3000 crore - the balance of the amount promised in his budget speech. However, this announcement was not made, and today the MGNREGA faces a negative balance of funds in 14 States.

9.

With an eye on budget, Rajan holds interest rates (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     Monetary policy

b)     Current Account Deficit

c)     Fiscal deficit

d)     Retail inflation

e)     Disinflation

a)    The RBI left the key policy rate unchanged at 6.75 percent ahead of the union budget as the central bank will wait for the fiscal road map from the government.

b)     RBI Governor Rajan said that the Indian economy is currently being viewed as a beacon of stability because of the steady disinflation, a modest current account deficit and commitment to fiscal rectitude. This needs to be maintained so that the foundations of stable and sustainable growth are strengthened.

c)     The government is targeting a fiscal deficit of 3.9 percent for the current financial year and 3.5 percent for FY17.

d)     The central bank has reduced interest rates by 125 bps since January 2015.

e)     The RBI also highlighted that retail inflation could face the risk of upward momentum due to factors like 24 percent salary hike proposed by the seventh pay commission. RBI has projected five percent retail inflation by the end of the financial year 2016-17.

f)     Going ahead in 2016-17, RBI said growth is expected to strengthen gradually, notwithstanding significant headwinds and projected the gross value added growth for the next fiscal at 7.6 percent.

10.

After WHO alert, India readies to take on Zika (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     Health

a)     Zika virus

b)     Microcephaly

c)     Aedes aegypti mosquito

d)     WHO

e)     National Centre for Disease Control

a)     The Union Health Ministry has sounded an alert for Zika and appointed the National Centre for Disease Control as the nodal agency for investigation of any outbreak of the viral infection in India.

b)    This comes in the backdrop of the WHO designating the virus and its suspected complications in newborns as a public health emergency of international concern.

c)     The virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, which is also known to transmit infections such as dengue and chikungunya.

d)     The WHO has named 22 countries as among those affected. The virus causes microcephaly (little head) in the newborn.

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