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Daily News Analysis 13-02-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

            

UAE calls for more reforms in India (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     Hopes of a big-ticket announcement of investment from the UAEs massive wealth fund during the visit of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi were dashed as the Gulf nation has demanded more reforms from India.

2.

Palestinian leader likely to visit India (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     A senior leader who is seen as the frontrunner to succeed President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine is likely to visit India next week.

3.

India and US deny plans for joint patrols (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     In a first indicator that India is reconsidering its reluctance to joint military policing with other countries, a senior US naval officer says Indian and US officials have discussed joint naval patrols, though concrete steps are yet to be finalised.

4.

Al-Qaeda operative paid for reconnaissance, says Headley (Pages 1 and 15)

a)     I.R

a)     After naming Pakistans ISI and terror outfit LeT in his deposition before a Mumbai court through video conferencing, American-Pakistani terrorist David Coleman Headley on Feb 12 named Al-Qaeda.

5.

Colombo committed to reconciliation (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Aimed at designing a reconciliation mechanism in the post-civil war Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera appealed to the victims on both sides of the divide to participate in a consultation process.

6.

US, Russia agree on Syria ceasefire plan (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Diplomats agreed to work toward a temporary cessation of hostilities in Syrias civil war within a week, although efforts to secure a lasting ceasefire fell short.

7.

The presidential prerogative (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     With rare exceptions, the recommendation for Presidents rule arises not from the Governors independent assessment of the situation but from Delhi. That is where the President has room to impress upon the govt of the day the need for the greatest circumspection.

8.

Re-examine colonial laws, says Amartya (Page 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has said that the colonial laws that still govern us must not remain unchallenged.

9.

Act against Devadasi system, SC tells States (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Condemning the prevalence of the illegal practice of dedicating young girls as Devadasis, the Supreme Court described the practice as an evil done to women, who were later even subjected to sexual exploitation and pushed into prostitution.

10.

US, India lead Zika vaccine race (Page 16)

a)     Health

a)     The WHO said the suspected links between the Zika virus and two neurological disorders (microcephaly in babies and Guillain-Barre syndrome) should be confirmed within weeks.

11.

A wave of awe and opportunity (Page 12)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     The detection of ripples in space-time, known as gravitational waves, here on Earth marks a watershed moment for astronomy and for science as a whole.

12.

Himalayan griffon spotted in Goa (Page 22)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Birdwatchers in south Goa have reported spotting the rare Himalayan griffon, also known as Himalayan vulture.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

            

UAE calls for more reforms in India (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – UAE relations

b)     Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF)

 

a)     Officials say the much-touted MoU between India and the UAE on Sovereign Wealth Funds failed to materialise over concerns such as complex tax policies and cumbersome processes for doing business in India.

b)     The SWFs wanted the Indian government to be a strategic partner for safety of their investments, besides an assurance of a conducive business environment.

c)     The External Affairs Ministry said among the eight agreements/MoUs exchanged during the official visit of the Crown Prince is an MoU on establishing a framework for facilitating the participation of UAE institutional investors in infrastructure investments in India.

2.

Palestinian leader likely to visit India (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Palestine relations

b)     Make in India initiative

a)     A senior leader who is seen as the frontrunner to succeed President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine is likely to visit India next week.

b)    Mohammad Mustafa (CEO of the Palestine Investment Fund) will prepare the ground for a mid-year visit by Abbas, besides increasing his own familiarity with the leading figures in politics and business.

c)     The main reason for the visit is the Make in India week in Mumbai.

d)     Officials said his visit showed early signs of a race for succession to the post of President of the Palestinian Authority.

3.

India and US deny plans for joint patrols (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     South China Sea dispute

 

a)   In a first indicator that India is reconsidering its reluctance to joint military policing with other countries, a senior US naval officer says Indian and US officials have discussed joint naval patrols, though concrete steps are yet to be finalised.

b)     He refused to elaborate if the discussions covered joint patrol of the South China Sea.

c)     The disclosure comes a year after the two countries signed a joint vision statement which called for safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over-flight throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

d)     He said that India and the US continue to explore ways to deepen their bilateral defence cooperation, including in the area of maritime security within the Framework for the US-India Defence Relationship, signed by Defence Minister Parrikar and US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter during the formers visit to US last June.

4.

Al-Qaeda operative paid for reconnaissance, says Headley (Pages 1 and 15)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Terrorism

c)     Mumbai terror attacks 2008

d)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

e)     Al-Qaeda

f)     Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)

 

a)     After naming Pakistans ISI and terror outfit LeT in his deposition before a Mumbai court through video conferencing, American-Pakistani terrorist David Coleman Headley on Feb 12 named Al-Qaeda.

b)     After successfully conducting the 26/11 attacks in 2008, Headley came back to India in March 2009 as directed by senior Al-Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri.

c)     Headley said he did not disclose his working with Al-Qaeda to the LeT because the terror outfit would not allow him to go back to India as it felt insecure after the attacks because of the Indian media, and it apprehended that he would be caught.

5.

Colombo committed to reconciliation (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas internal issues

b)     Reconciliation process

 

a)     Aimed at designing a reconciliation mechanism in the post-civil war Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera appealed to the victims on both sides of the divide to participate in a consultation process.

b)     He added that the process of reconciliation was being undertaken not to appease international pressure or to keep the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein happy. It is being done because we owe it to the people of our nation to forge a new future where all citizens will be treated with equal dignity and respect.

6.

US, Russia agree on Syria ceasefire plan (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Syria crisis

b)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     Diplomats agreed to work toward a temporary cessation of hostilities in Syrias civil war within a week, although efforts to secure a lasting ceasefire fell short.

b)    The deal appeared to be the result of a compromise between the US, which had wanted an immediate ceasefire, and Russia, which had proposed one to start on March 1.

c)     Although foreign ministers from the International Syria Support Group managed to seal an agreement to accelerate and expand deliveries of humanitarian aid to besieged Syrian communities beginning this week, their failure to agree on a ceasefire leaves the most critical step to resuming peace talks unresolved.

d)     Dramatising the high-stakes nature of the Munich talks, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev argued that a full-scale ground operation in Syria could widen the conflict.

7.

The presidential prerogative (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Presidents Rule

b)     Article 356 of the Constitution

c)     Governor

d)     Arunachal Pradesh political crisis

a)     According to the author, Governors are not exactly the most popular of public servants in India today. Nor are they spectacularly unpopular. The astringent truth is that Governors do not figure in peoples thoughts. They are a presence that is absent in the public imagination.

b)     Over the years, Governors have recommended Presidents rule under the provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution several times, for the ostensible reason that the constitutional machinery of the State has broken down. Most often this breakdown has come from CM losing his majority in the House or a coalition coming apart.

c)     And, with rare exceptions, the recommendation has arisen not from the Governors independent assessment of the situation but from Delhi where, informally, the PM and Home Minister have decided that this is the recommendation needed and the Governor but signs it.

d)     Once the President approves the recommendation, democracy (effectively) comes to a standstill though when that happens, it must be said, very often a chaotic administration gets regulated and orderly as well.

e)     Reference to the Sarkaria Commission Report on Centre-State relations 1988, which recommended that Article 356 must be used very sparingly, in extreme cases, as a measure of last resort, when all the other alternatives fail to prevent or rectify a breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state.

f)     And to the relatively obscure Karnataka politician S.R. Bommai who catalysed the landmark 1994 judgment in S.R. Bommai v. Union of India in which the Supreme Court laid down tight guidelines for imposing Presidents rule.

g)   To return now to the crucial role of the President of India in these transactions. While the President is obliged to act under the aid and advice of Council of Ministers, it is a patent fact that the office of the Head of State is one of great influence, as distinct from power.

h)     Governors are meant to be dead to bias, not to facts. They are meant to weigh situations and make their views known to the State govt and, where necessary, to the Centre. And in so doing, exercise a salutary influence on behalf of the Constitution and the laws. This is where realpolitik comes in.

i)  President Pranab Mukherjees advice to Governors at recently concluded conference of Governors to go by sacred text of Constitution was wholesome. But it would have rung truer to his listeners had he succeeded in persuading PM Modi to appoint non-party persons to that constitutional office.

8.

Re-examine colonial laws, says Amartya (Page 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

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

b)     Section 295 A of the IPC

 

a)     Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has said that the colonial laws that still govern us must not remain unchallenged.

b)     He called for a re-examination of those such as Section 377 (which criminalises homosexuality) and Section 295 A of the IPC (which he said imposed unfreedom on people).

c)     Under Section 295 A, a person could be sentenced for hurting religious sentiments, however personal and however bizarrely delicate that outraged sentiment might be.

9.

Act against Devadasi system, SC tells States (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Devadasi system

b)     Section 372 of the IPC

c)     Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956

a)   Condemning the prevalence of illegal practice of dedicating young girls as Devadasis, the Supreme Court described the practice as an evil done to women, who were later even subjected to sexual exploitation and pushed into prostitution.

b)     A Bench of Justices directed all States and UTs (especially Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh) to strictly enforce the Centres to check undesired and unhealthy practice of forcing young girls to serve as Devadasis.

c)     Besides, Section 372 of the IPC (which prohibits selling minors for purposes of prostitution) and the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956 also makes prostitution an offence in or in the vicinity of public places.

10.

US, India lead Zika vaccine race (Page 16)

a)     Health

a)     Zika virus

b)     Microcephaly

c)     Guillain-Barre syndrome

d)     WHO

a)     The WHO said the suspected links between the Zika virus and two neurological disorders (microcephaly in babies and Guillain-Barre syndrome) should be confirmed within weeks.

b)     The WHO said US govt scientists and an Indian biotechnology firm were currently frontrunners in race to develop a vaccine and for the first time it advised pregnant women to consider delaying travel to Zika-infected areas.

11.

A wave of awe and opportunity (Page 12)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Gravitational waves (space-time ripples)

b)    Galaxies

c)     Black holes

d)    Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)

a)     The detection of ripples in space-time (known as gravitational waves) here on Earth marks a watershed moment for astronomy and for science as a whole.

b)     The detection at once improves our understanding of the workings of the universe and, more important, throws open a big opportunity to study it from completely new angles. It opens the way to get information about the evolution of galaxies and black holes.

c)     There is also a symmetry to the timing of the discovery: it comes a century after Albert Einsteins general theory of relativity held that acceleration of massive bodies should produce gravitational waves, which travel through the universe at the speed of light.

d)     The gravitational waves detected, and announced to the world on Feb 11, were produced more than a billion years ago by a cataclysmic collision of two black holes, one of them with a mass 36 times that of the Sun and the other slightly smaller at 29 times, into one black hole.

e)     The successful capture of gravitational waves by LIGO is a testimony to humankinds scientific and engineering expertise to build extraordinarily sensitive instrumentation capable of detecting variations of the order of a thousandth of the diameter of a proton.

12.

Himalayan griffon spotted in Goa (Page 22)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Himalayan griffon

a)     Birdwatchers in south Goa have reported spotting the rare Himalayan griffon, also known as Himalayan vulture.

b)    The Himalayan griffon was previously believed to belong to the upper Himalayas and was presumed to stray till the Gangetic plains at the most. However, in 2013, an exhausted juvenile was rescued in Thrissur district of Kerala.

c)     In the same year, multiple sightings of the species were also reported from Bangalore in Karnataka and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. Earlier this year, the same species was reportedly spotted in Kaiga in Karnataka.

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