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Daily News Analysis 29-02-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mahmood arrives tomorrow (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Marking the first high-level visit of the year from Bangladesh, Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood is expected to arrive in India for a 3-day visit on March 1, in the backdrop of the ongoing crackdown by PM Sheikh Hasinas government on the radical groups in the country.

2.

Maldives turmoil stalls Prime Ministers visit (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Continuing political turmoil in the Maldives is the reason PM Modis visit to Male has had to be put off repeatedly.

3.

Three arrested in Pak for Pathankot attack (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Three suspects have reportedly been arrested in Pakistan in connection with the Jan 2 attack on an IAF base in Pathankot and have been sent to six-day police remand by an anti-terrorism court.

4.

Hassan Rouhanis allies make stunning gains in Tehran (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Reformist allies of Hassan Rouhani won all 30 parliamentary seats in the Iranian capital, handing the moderate president a major boost on Feb 28 in elections seen as vital to his government.

5.

After G20 stalemate, focus turns to signs of growth (Page 15)

a)     International

b)     Economy

a)     Investors worried about the risk of a new global recession are hoping that data over the coming week will show that some momentum remains in the world economy, eight years into its slow recovery from the financial crisis.

6.

Will double farm income by 2022: PM (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     PM Modi urged the State governments to give priority to agriculture even as he pledged to double the income of farmers by 2022, to mark Indias 75 years of independence.

7.

Ahead of polls, citizenship plan for migrants hits hurdle (Pgs 1, 12)

a)     National

a)     NDA govt may have allowed Hindus and other religious minorities from Bangladesh to stay in India, but its plan to grant them Indian citizenship has hit a hurdle.

8.

Reworking the Supreme Courts role (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     By admitting a Special Leave Petition that seeks the setting up of a National Court of Appeal to hear routine appeals in civil and criminal matters from the High Courts, the Supreme Court has signalled its willingness to grapple with a question that has been raised unsuccessfully in the past.

9.

Ensure minimum standards of relief to disaster victims: Supreme Court (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)   Eleven years after the National Disaster Management Act became law in 2005, havoc and humanitarian crisis caused by natural disasters like the recent Chennai floods have opened the eyes of the Centre that much is to be done in States across the country to ensure that disaster victims access even minimum standards of relief.

10.

Centre drafts Bill to decriminalise beggary (Page 13)

a)      National

b)     Social issue

a)   The govt has drafted a Bill that seeks to decriminalise beggary and offer a life of dignity to beggars, homeless and others who live in poverty or abandonment.

11.

For a green economy that is also just (Page 10)

a)     Economy

b)     Environment

a)    Indias solar power programme has come under intense scrutiny by global political and business leaders, especially given its aggressive intent and extensive trade opportunities.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mahmood arrives tomorrow (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Bangladesh relations

b)     SAARC ministerial meeting

c)     Jammatul Mujahideen Bangladesh

d)     Bangladesh war crime trial

a)     Marking the first high-level visit of the year from Bangladesh, Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood is expected to arrive in India for a 3-day visit on March 1, in the backdrop of the ongoing crackdown by PM Sheikh Hasinas government on the radical groups in the country.

b)     The visit of Mahmood is being watched with interest as it comes during the countrywide counter-terror operation by the Bangladesh govt which led to the arrest of 3 activists of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, who are suspected of murdering a prominent Hindu priest on February 21.

c)     India and Bangladesh are expected to hold bilateral talks in Kathmandu during the SAARC ministerial meeting in mid-March.

d)   Apart from the recent terror attacks, Mahmoods visit will give India and Bangladesh an opportunity to assess the fallout of the war crimes trial which has taken a crucial turn with the scheduled hearing of an appeal on March 8 by Mir Quasem Ali (prominent Jamaat leader), who was given the death penalty in 2015 for his role in the war crimes of 1971.

2.

Maldives turmoil stalls Prime Ministers visit (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Maldives relations

b)     Maldives political crisis

c)     Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG)

 

a)     Continuing political turmoil in the Maldives is the reason PM Modis visit to Male has had to be put off repeatedly.

b)   The visit that was cancelled at last moment in March 2015 owing to protests over former President Nasheeds trial has been due since early Jan this year, but actions by the Yameen govt spark off a new crisis that makes it difficult for Modi to travel to the Islands.

c)   While the trial of the former President Mohammad Nasheed (his 13-year imprisonment sentence and subsequent release on medical grounds has been highlighted the most), President Yameens government has been embroiled in cases with a series of other leaders as well.

d)    India has stayed away from direct criticism of the Yameen govt over the past few months as it tried to rebuild ties with the Maldives. However, it is a member of CMAG that passed a resolution on Feb 24 giving the Maldives govt one months time to resurrect a political dialogue with Opposition and halt the use of anti-terror laws against political opponents.

3.

Three arrested in Pak for Pathankot attack (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Terrorism

c)     Pathankot terror attack

d)     Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)

e)     Pakistan Penal Code

f)     Anti-Terrorism Act

g)   National Investigation Agency (NIA)

a)     Three suspects have reportedly been arrested in Pakistan in connection with the Jan 2 attack on an IAF base in Pathankot and have been sent to six-day police remand by an anti-terrorism court.

b)     India has said the JeM (a Pakistan-based terror outfit) was behind the attack.

c)     The NIA (which is probing the case) said that it had not received any communication from Pak so far on the arrest.

4.

Hassan Rouhanis allies make stunning gains in Tehran (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Irans elections

b)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

c)     Irans nuclear programme

a)     Reformist allies of Hassan Rouhani won all 30 parliamentary seats in the Iranian capital, handing the moderate president a major boost on Feb 28 in elections seen as vital to his government.

b)     The List of Hope (a pro-Rouhani coalition of moderates and reformists) was on course to wipe out its conservative rivals in Tehran with 90 percent of ballots counted from vote.

c)     The clean sweep was a major fillip for the President, signalling overwhelming public backing in the capital for his landmark nuclear deal with world powers last year that ended a 13-year standoff.

d)     The landslide in Tehran came after mixed results for the Presidents supporters in the provinces in first elections since sanctions were lifted last month under the nuclear agreement.

5.

After G20 stalemate, focus turns to signs of growth (Page 15)

a)     International

b)     Economy

a)     G20

b)     Global recession

c)     Financial crisis

 

 

a)    Investors worried about the risk of a new global recession are hoping that data over the coming week will show that some momentum remains in the world economy, eight years into its slow recovery from the financial crisis.

b)   The Group of 20 economies were unable to agree on a joint push for new stimulus measures at a meeting which ended on Feb 27, turning attention instead to upcoming business surveys from China, Japan, Europe the United States.

c)   Central banks in Europe and Japan may inject a little more stimulus into their economies later in March. But the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England look likely to sit tight for now, meaning hopes for a period of calm in the worlds volatile financial markets lie largely with the indicators.

6.

Will double farm income by 2022: PM (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Agriculture in India

b)     Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

a)     PM Modi urged the State governments to give priority to agriculture even as he pledged to double the income of farmers by 2022, to mark Indias 75 years of independence.

b)     To attain that goal, he said the Centre had adopted a scientific approach to farming and urged farmers to utilise the various agricultural initiatives introduced by his government.

c)     Fleshing out a formula for productive agriculture, he stressed the need to divide farming practices into three sectors - traditional farming, tree or timber plantation (along the periphery and borders of fields) and livestock rearing.

d)     Listing the Centres steps to get better prices for farmers, he hit out at the State govts for misusing funds allocated for the MGNREGS. He appealed to the States to use MGNREGS funds to support agriculture.

7.

Ahead of polls, citizenship plan for migrants hits hurdle (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

a)     Indias citizenship plan for migrants

b)     Passport (Entry into India) Act 1920

c)     Foreigners Act 1946

a)     NDA govt may have allowed Hindus and other religious minorities from Bangladesh to stay in India, but its plan to grant them Indian citizenship has hit a hurdle.

b)     Assembly elections are due in Assam and West Bengal in next couple of months and the govt had hoped to complete the process before that. Hindu refugees from Bangladesh mostly live in West Bengal and the north-eastern States.

c)     In Sept 2015, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification allowing persecuted minorities from Bangladesh and Pakistan to stay in India even after the expiry of their visas.

d)  Central govt has decided (on humanitarian considerations) to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to the minority communities who have entered India on or before Dec 31 2014, in respect of their entry and stay in India without proper documents or after the expiry of relevant documents. The decision was taken under Passport (Entry into India) Act 1920, and Foreigners Act 1946.

e)     Since the NDA came to power in May 2014, several steps have been taken to welcome religious minorities (Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians) from Bangladesh and Pakistan into India.

8.

Reworking the Supreme Courts role (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Supreme Court

b)     High Court

c)     National Court of Appeal

d)     Constitution Bench

e)     Regional Benches

f)     Cassation Benches

g)     Article 136

 

a)     By admitting a Special Leave Petition that seeks the setting up of a National Court of Appeal to hear routine appeals in civil and criminal matters from High Courts, the Supreme Court has signalled its willingness to grapple with a question that has been raised unsuccessfully in the past.

b)    The question is whether the apex court should be burdened with the responsibilty of examining the correctness of every case decided by the High Courts, and whether it should not be allowed to devote its time entirely to settling questions of constitutional importance.

c)     The underlying issues may include the accumulating backlog of cases in the Supreme Court, and the need to separate pending cases into those that touch upon constitutional questions and other routine matters.

d)     Constitutional questions may refer to the validity of a statute or a rule, or to issues that require interpretation of the Constitution. A third concern relates the oft-cited difficulties of litigants from different parts of the country for whom New Delhi may be too far.

e)     The solutions put forward include dividing the Supreme Court into a Constitutional Division and a Legal Division; having principal Constitution Bench in Delhi and creating four regional Benches to hear appeals on High Court orders; and, third, creating a National Court of Appeal that will have four Cassation Benches for the adjudication of non-constitutional matters.

f)     Courts of Cassation are courts of last resort to reverse decisions of lower courts. A key issue to be settled is whether it will be advisable for the highest court to share with a possibly inferior court of appeal its power under Article 136 to grant special leave to appeal on High Court orders.

g)   In recent times the Supreme Court has been conscious of its role as the interpreter of the Constitution, and holds a sitting of a Constitution Bench virtually every day. Even within the present structure, regional Benches may help address the problem of access to justice but not that of accumulation of cases.

h)     The idea of a National Court of Appeal requires consideration, but in a manner that would not undermine the undoubted authority of the Supreme Court of India.

9.

Ensure minimum standards of relief to disaster victims: Supreme Court (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     National Disaster Management Act (NDMA)

a)   Eleven years after the National Disaster Management Act became law in 2005, havoc and humanitarian crisis caused by natural disasters like recent Chennai floods have opened the eyes of the Centre that much is to be done in States across the country to ensure that disaster victims access even minimum standards of relief.

b)     A Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra ordered the Chief Secretaries to complete the framing of guidelines while remarking that providing minimum standards of relief under the NDMA is a fundamental duty of the State.

10.

Centre drafts Bill to decriminalise beggary (Page 13)

a)      National

b)     Social issue

a)     The persons in destitution (protection, care and rehabilitation) Bill 2015

b)     Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959

a)   The govt has drafted a Bill that seeks to decriminalise beggary and offer a life of dignity to beggars, homeless and others who live in poverty or abandonment.

b)  Begging is currently a crime under the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959. Under the Act, a person found begging can be sent to a shelter home or even jail without trial. The draft The persons in destitution (protection, care and rehabilitation) Bill 2015 looks at the issue as a social menace.

c)     In the Bill, destitution refers to a state of poverty or abandonment, arising from economic or social deprivation and persons in destitution include the homeless, beggars, people with physical and mental disabilities, the old and infirm.

11.

For a green economy that is also just (Page 10)

a)     Economy

b)     Environment

a)     Indias solar power programme

b)     National Solar Mission

c)     WTO

d)     General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

e)     Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS)

f)     Green economy

g)     Climate change

h)     Paris Climate Change Agreement

a)     Indias solar power programme has come under intense scrutiny by global political and business leaders, especially given its aggressive intent and extensive trade opportunities.

b)     The programme (a part of the National Solar Mission) envisages an addition of 100,000 megawatts of solar power capacity by 2022. This initiative is also seen as a critical sub-component of the global effort to limit the extent of climate change.

c)     The recent ruling by the WTO against India must be read against this background. The WTO has ruled that the domestic content requirement (DCR) imposed by New Delhi on the production of solar cells and modules under the National Solar Mission violates global trade rules.

d)     According to the dispute settlement panel of the WTO, these are inconsistent with both Article III:4 of the GATT 1994 and Article 2.1 of the TRIMS. It has gone on to say that the DCR measures do accord less favourable treatment within the meaning of the provision under Article III:4 of the GATT 1994.

e)     The WTO ruling comes three years after the US raised a dispute against India, and following the inability of the two countries to agree on the changes suggested by New Delhi to its solar programme.

f)     India is convinced that the DCR is a mechanism to facilitate sustainable development. It has even indicated that it is willing to apply the DCR only for buying solar panels used for govt sector consumption, and has assured US that power generated from such subsidised panels will not be sold for commercial use.

g)     Given the potential for positive social and economic outcomes from the ambitious solar power programme, India will be compelled (as some other countries have done) to contest the WTO ruling before the appellate body.

h)  The WTO ruling also comes soon after Paris climate change agreement, and is bound to open up a wider debate across nations over whether initiatives such as the solar mission, with its social relevance and significant implications for a green economy, must be viewed only from the prism of a pure business opportunity.

i)     The fight against climate change is not an exclusive cause; it has to move in tandem with the provision of jobs and creation of an environment that facilitates a green economy. The onus for this lies not just on the developing countries. It is time the big economies realised their responsibility in building a greener world.

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