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Daily News Analysis 15-02-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

            

War of words over F-16 deal (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     War of words continued for the second day running as Pakistan said it was surprised by Indias response to the American decision to supply eight F-16 fighter jets to the Pakistan Air Force.

2.

NIA to hand over photos of Pathankot attackers to Pak (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     The National Investigation Agency has decided to preserve the bodies of the four terrorists killed in an encounter at the Pathankot airbase for an indefinite period as it makes preparations to hand over their photographs to Pakistan.

3.

Russia to continue targeting rebels (Page 14)

a)     International

a)   The Turkish army shelled Kurdish militia in northern Syria for a second day, while Russia made clear it would continue bombing Syrian rebel targets, raising doubts that a planned ceasefire would bring much relief.

4.

War and possible peace in Syria (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     The agreement reached in Munich by major world powers (including the United States and Russia) to work towards a cessation of hostilities in Syria within a week is the most constructive step yet to find a political solution to the countrys civil war.

5.

Iran exports first oil shipment to Europe after sanctions lifting (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Irans official news agency says the country has exported its crude shipment to Europe for the first time since it reached a landmark nuclear deal with world powers last month.

6.

EU talks likely to go to the wire, says Hammond (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warned that the European Union will lurch very much in wrong direction if Britain votes to leave in an in/out referendum.

7.

Jaitley hints at cutting equity in banks, series of reforms (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is set to announce a series of reforms in the banking sector, including reducing the governments holding in these banks to 51 percent.

8.

Indian gravity wave detector 8 years away (Page 13)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     With the discovery of gravitational waves by the US-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, Scientists said that PM Modi may have tweeted his support for a similar detector in India but such a project is at least eight years away.

                                                                                

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

            

War of words over F-16 deal (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US defence ties

b)     US – Pakistan relations

c)     F-16 fighting Falcon

a)     War of words continued for the second day running as Pakistan said it was surprised by Indias response to the American decision to supply eight F-16 fighter jets to the Pakistan Air Force.

b)     A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan said that as regards F-16 sale, Pakistan and the US closely cooperate in countering terrorism. A US spokesperson clearly announced that the sale is to enhance precision strike capability.

2.

NIA to hand over photos of Pathankot attackers to Pak (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Terrorism

c)     Pathankot terror attack

d)     National Investigation Agency (NIA)

e)     UNSC

a)     The National Investigation Agency has decided to preserve the bodies of the four terrorists killed in an encounter at the Pathankot airbase for an indefinite period as it makes preparations to hand over their photographs to Pakistan.

b)     Official said Pakistan was bound to cooperate with India under the UNSC resolution 1373 on counter-terrorism.

3.

Russia to continue targeting rebels (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Syria crisis

b)     Islamic State (IS)

c)     Kurdish forces

 

a)   The Turkish army shelled Kurdish militia in northern Syria for a second day, while Russia made clear it would continue bombing Syrian rebel targets, raising doubts that a planned ceasefire would bring much relief.

b)     Major powers agreed to a limited cessation of hostilities in Syria but the deal does not take effect until the end of this week and was not signed by any warring parties - the Damascus govt and numerous rebel factions fighting it.

c)     Russian bombing raids directed at rebel groups are meanwhile helping the Syrian army to achieve what could be its biggest victory of the war in battle for Aleppo, the countrys largest city and commercial hub before the conflict.

d)     The situation has been complicated by the involvement of Kurdish-backed combatants in the area north of Aleppo near the Turkish border, which has drawn a swift military response from artillery in Turkey.

4.

War and possible peace in Syria (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     Syria crisis

b)     Munich agreement

c)     Islamic State (IS)

d)     Kurdish forces

a)     The agreement reached in Munich by major world powers (including the US and Russia) to work towards a cessation of hostilities in Syria within a week is most constructive step yet to find a political solution to the countrys civil war.

b)     For years, the world looked away when Syria was transformed into a geopolitical battlefield where several countries were involved (either directly or through their proxies) to maximise their interests.

c)     The war has nearly destroyed the country, triggering an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

d)     The positive development in the Munich agreement is that both Russia and the US have strongly come out for a cessation of hostilities. Russia is directly backing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, while the US and its allies (Saudi Arabia and Turkey) support the anti-regime rebels.

e)    To be sure, both blocs have different solutions to offer for the crisis. While the Russians want the regime to be sustained, with or without Assad, the Americans and their allies want Assad to go. Still, there is some common ground. Both Washington and Moscow are fighting the Islamic State.

f)     Despite its military intervention in favour of Assad regime, Russia is consistently pushing for an eventual political solution. The US has over the years mellowed its hardline stand. Though it still calls for Assads ouster, it does not say when he should go.

g)     This common ground opens the possibilities for a ceasefire, which (if it is put in place successfully) could set the stage for serious negotiations. But even the implementation of a ceasefire faces serious challenges.

h)     Since the Russian intervention, the regime forces have made substantial advances on the ground. The weakening of rebel positions has upset their regional backers.

i)     Saudi Arabia and Turkey have announced they are considering sending ground troops to Syria. If they do that, Russia would be forced to expand their involvement, which would dangerously escalate the crisis.

j)     If the US and Russia are committed to the Munich agreement, they should put serious pressure on their allies and bring them to the table. Thats the only way forward for Syria.

5.

Iran exports first oil shipment to Europe after sanctions lifting (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Iran – Europe relations

b)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

c)     Irans nuclear programme

 

a)     Irans official news agency says the country has exported its crude shipment to Europe for the first time since it reached a landmark nuclear deal with world powers last month.

b)     Iran plans to add 1 million barrels to its oil production following implementation of the nuclear deal, which lifted international sanctions in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear activities.

c)     Iran expects an economic bonanza after the lifting of sanctions, which will allow it to access overseas assets and sell crude oil more freely.

6.

EU talks likely to go to the wire, says Hammond (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     European Union (EU)

b)     European Council summit

a)     Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warned that the European Union will lurch very much in wrong direction if Britain votes to leave in an in/out referendum.

b)     The British Minister predicted that negotiations with other European leaders to secure a reform deal for the bloc would go to the wire at a European Council summit.

c)    British PM David Cameron is trying to force changes in four main areas, the most contentious being limiting access to welfare benefits for EU migrants for their first four years in the country.

d)     Hammond accepted that Britain might get slightly less than we expect in some areas, but stressed that European leaders understand we have to have a robust deal if the British people are to vote to remain within the European Union.

7.

Jaitley hints at cutting equity in banks, series of reforms (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Banking sector reforms

 

a)     When most of the public sector banks are bleeding, and their combined market capitalisation has fallen below private sector peer HDFC Bank, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is set to announce a series of reforms in the banking sector, including reducing the governments holding in these banks to 51 percent.

b)     He said the government is committed to zero interference and letting the institutions run professionally and the boards of the banks have to be professionalised. The banks have to work on banking considerations, and this govt is particular about the fact that banks must be allowed to do so, and we may need various reforms, including reducing the government equity.

8.

Indian gravity wave detector 8 years away (Page 13)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Gravitational waves

b)     Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO)

c)     India-LIGO project

d)     Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) project

a)     With the discovery of gravitational waves by the US-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, Scientists said that PM Modi may have tweeted his support for a similar detector in India but such a project is at least eight years away.

b)     This is not counting the time it will take the Central govt to clear the proposal, estimated to cost around Rs. 1200 crore, and is further premised on the project not running into environmental or State-level hurdles.

c)     Another ambitious mega-science project, the Indian Neutrino Observatory project (a proposed, underground observatory in Tamil Nadu to detect ephemeral particles called neutrinos) had been cleared by the Union govt in 2015, after several years of deliberations, but has been stalled for over a year due to protests by activist groups, concerned over its environmental impact.

d)     INDIGO will be a replica of the two LIGO detectors and many of its components have already been built and are ready to be shipped from the US.

e)     The project was initially to be located in Australia but, since 2011, scheduled to be located in India. At least 25 sites were considered for the detector that will have two L-shaped 4-kilometre-long arms.

f)     Other than the benefit of having a third detector (which will likely improve the chances of spotting gravitational waves), an India detector would improve the chances of novel, exciting discoveries being made out of India and being made by Indians.

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