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Daily News Analysis 06-03-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Indian envoy takes on Sri Lankan Opposition over economy pact (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     Indias High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha has taken on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Joint Opposition over the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement between the two countries.

2.

Bangladesh seeks Teesta water pact with India (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)    After the resolution of land boundary and maritime issues, Bangladesh is now looking up to India for an immediate signing of the Teesta water-sharing accord, which the two govts had agreed over four years ago.

3.

Karzai for including India in Afghan talks (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said that India, Iran and Russia should be included in the talks with the Taliban.

4.

Taliban reject peace talks with govt (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The Taliban refused to hold direct peace talks with the Afghan government, dealing a blow to international efforts to revive long-stalled negotiations aimed at ending the deadly 14-year insurgency.

5.

US issues notification for F-16 sale to Pak (Page 14)

a)     International

a)    Amidst stiff opposition from India and top American lawmakers, the US govt has formally published federal notification for the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pak.

6.

Syria peace talks from March 10 (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The UN envoy said that Syria peace talks set for March 9 will begin the following day with participants due to arrive in Geneva over several days.

7.

Pranab urges parties to clear Womens Bill (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     President Pranab Mukherjee has appealed to all political parties to clear the Constitution (108th) Amendment Bill to set aside one-third of seats in Assemblies and Parliament for women.

8.

Opposition livid over money Bill on Aadhaar (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The government may have managed to table the Aadhar Bill as a money Bill in the Lok Sabha, but there are misgivings about the move among the Opposition and policy-watchers.

9.

EPF tax proposal likely to be axed as Centre has a rethink (Pgs 1,12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     All options on the controversial budget proposal to tax EPF savings are on PM Modis table and a decision is expected at the highest level in the government soon.

10.

China targets 6.5-7 percent growth to fuel economic transition (Pg 15)

a)     Economy

a)     China is targeting growth of about 6.5-7 percent this year, in tune with an effort to transition from a low-end manufacturing and exports nation to a self-sustaining economy based on innovation and consumption.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Indian envoy takes on Sri Lankan Opposition over economy pact (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Sri Lanka relations

b)     Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA)

c)     Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

a)     Indias High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha has taken on former President Rajapaksa and the Joint Opposition over the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement between the two countries.

b)     It was Rajapaksas govt that held negotiations with India over the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which had included trade in services.

c)     Sinhas response was in the context of criticisms that the ETCA would deprive Sri Lankans of job opportunities in a host of fields, including information technology, and that the FTA (effective since March 2000) had not been beneficial to Sri Lanka.

2.

Bangladesh seeks Teesta water pact with India (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Bangladesh relations

b)     Teesta water sharing accord

c)     Land Boundary agreement

 

a)    After the resolution of land boundary and maritime issues, Bangladesh is now looking up to India for an immediate signing of Teesta water-sharing accord, which the two govts had agreed over four years ago.

b)     The demand for early signing of the pending deal was made by Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam at the India-Bangladesh dialogue.

c)     Meanwhile, Prime Ministers International Affairs Adviser Gowher Rizvi said recently there will be no new negotiation over the signing of the pending Teesta water sharing deal. The issue is now in Indias court.

3.

Karzai for including India in Afghan talks (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Afghan government – Taliban peace talks

b)     Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG)

c)     Taliban

 

a)     Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai (who said that the current talks among the Quadrilateral Coordination Group were Afghanistans only hope for peace despite the fact that the talks were being held in Pakistan) said that India, Iran and Russia should be included in the talks with the Taliban.

b)  His comments came as there was uncertainty in Islamabad over just when the next round of QCG talks that include representatives from the US, China, Pak and Afghanistan, would be scheduled.

c)     The group had met twice, in February, expressing the hope that the direct talks between the Afghan govt and Taliban representatives would be scheduled in early March, after which the QCG had met.

d)     Afghan analysts have been worried that the presence of the US and China in QCG would push President Ghani to accept more and more concessions toward the Taliban, even though they have been unable to bring enough pressure to bear on Pakistan to use those levers.

e)   India has stayed disengaged from the process, saying that it would support any initiative that is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.

4.

Taliban reject peace talks with govt (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Afghan government – Taliban peace talks

b)     Taliban

c)     NATO

a)     The Taliban refused to hold direct peace talks with the Afghan government, dealing a blow to international efforts to revive long-stalled negotiations aimed at ending the deadly 14-year insurgency.

b)     The statement stressed longstanding preconditions for dialogue, including the departure of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

c)     The Talibans seemingly intractable position follows a string of military victories for the insurgent group after NATO formally ended its combat operations more than a year ago.

d)     The announcement marks a setback in efforts by Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and US to restart negotiations aimed at ending the insurgency.

5.

US issues notification for F-16 sale to Pak (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US – Pakistan relations

b)     F-16 fighter jets

 

a)    Amidst stiff opposition from India and top American lawmakers, the US govt has formally published federal notification for the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pak.

b)     This proposed sale contributes to US goals by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner in South Asia.

c)     According to notification, the proposed sale improves Pakistans capability to meet current and future security threats from terrorists. India has opposed the sale of F-16 to Pak.

6.

Syria peace talks from March 10 (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Syria peace talks

b)     Syria crisis

c)     Islamic State

a)     The UN envoy said that Syria peace talks set for March 9 will begin the following day with participants due to arrive in Geneva over several days.

b)     He told that it was his intention for the talks aimed at ending Syrias five-year war to begin in the afternoon of March 9. But he said he expected them to begin in earnest on the following day.

7.

Pranab urges parties to clear Womens Bill (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Womens Reservation Bill

b)     Constitution 108th Amendment Bill

c)     Panchayati Raj Act

a)   President Pranab Mukherjee appealed to all political parties to pass the Constitution 108th Amendment Bill (or Womens Reservation Bill) to reserve one-third of the seats in State legislatures and Parliament for women.

b)     He said this would be the natural fulfilment of the ideals of the Panchayati Raj Act.

8.

Opposition livid over money Bill on Aadhaar (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Aadhaar Bill

b)     Money Bill

c)     Finance Bill

d)     Lok Sabha

e)     Rajya Sabha

 

a)  The govt may have managed to table the Aadhar Bill as a money Bill in the Lok Sabha, but there are misgivings about the move among the Opposition and policy-watchers.

b)     Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad has written to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, raising apprehensions that the govt (which does not enjoy a majority in the Rajya Sabha) is trying to avoid scrutiny of Bills (the Rajya Sabha cannot reject a money Bill) and circumvent questions by the Opposition.

c)     The way the Aadhaar Bill has been positioned is through clause 7 of the Bill that essentially says the Bill will enable the government to mandate the use of Aadhaar to distribute subsidy.

9.

EPF tax proposal likely to be axed as Centre has a rethink (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Union Budget 2016-17

b)     Employees Provident Fund (EPF)

c)     New Pension Scheme (NPS)

a)   All options on controversial budget proposal to tax EPF savings are on PM Modis table and a decision is expected at the highest level in the govt soon.

b)     A senior official of the Finance Ministry conceded that the entire proposal was under review and the Ministrys original intent was to promote the New Pension Scheme that had failed to take off even over 10 years after it was launched, as the EPF offered better tax benefits.

c)     Principal Secretary in the PMO Nripendra Misra has already reviewed the EPF tax plan twice this week, starting from the day after the Union Budget was presented, when its repercussions on the working class became clear.

d)     The Labour Ministry also pointed out that since high-income employees (who invested voluntarily in the EPF beyond the Rs. 1.5 lakh tax deductions offered under Section 80 C of the Income Tax Act) were anyway taxed on their contributions. So taxing their returns or accumulated corpus, at retirement, would amount to double taxation.

e)     Labour Ministry has told the PMO that EPF members already get a pension under the employees pension scheme, so instead of forcing them to buy another pension plan through an annuity product with 60 percent of their EPF account balance at retirement, it would be better to revamp the existing scheme.

f)     The other proposal (floated by the Finance Ministry after the budget) is that the tax would only be levied on the 60 percent of interest income on EPF contributions made after April 1 2016.

10.

China targets 6.5-7 percent growth to fuel economic transition (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Chinas economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     Fiscal deficit

d)     Economic transition

 

a)     China is targeting growth of about 6.5-7 percent this year, in tune with an effort to transition from a low-end manufacturing and exports nation to a self-sustaining economy based on innovation and consumption.

b)     Chinese PM Li Keqiang said Beijing was taking measures to avoid falling into a middle income trap. The term refers to the inability of many countries, starting from a low base, to transition to developed status after experiencing years of high economic growth.

c)     He said that fiscal deficit has been calibrated to 3 percent of the GDP this year, up from last years 2.3 percent of the GDP. That figure, expected to stand at $335 billion is the highest since economic reforms began in 1979.

d)     China is now focusing on electric cars, deep space exploration, aero-engines, robotics and nuclear power, and the services industry, such as healthcare to restructure its economy. But significant amount of capital would also be invested in new roads, especially in the less developed southern provinces, and high speed railways.

e)     The government said in its blueprint for development between 2016 and 2020 that China aims to become a world leader in advanced industries such as semiconductors and in the next generation of chip materials, robotics, aviation equipment and satellites.

f)     In its new draft five-year development plan unveiled on March 5, Beijing also said it aims to use the internet to bolster a slowing economy and make the country a cyber power.

g)     China aims to boost its R&D spending to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product for the five-year period, compared with 2.1 percent of GDP in 2011-to-2015.

h)    The five year plan said that China will implement its cyber power strategy, underscoring the weight Beijing gives to controlling the Internet, both for domestic national security and the aim of becoming a powerful voice in international governance of the web.

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