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Daily News Analysis 24-03-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, France sign MoU for 6 Jaitapur nuclear reactors (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)   India and France have signed a MoU for construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, two months after the two countries decided to conclude the techno-commercial negotiations for the project by the year end.

2.

India to play JeM mans audio clip for Pak team (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)    India will play a 15-minute audio message posted by Abdul Rauf Asghar (the brother of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar) in front of the Joint Investigation Team from Pakistan, which arrives here on March 27 to probe the Pathankot attack.

3.

In Javadekars presence, Basit lauds controversial China corridor (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     There was an unexpected moment during the celebration of National Day of Pakistan on March 23 when Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit praised China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as a sign of regional cooperation.

4.

India-UAE agreement for $75 billion investment in NIIF gets clearance (Pg 15)

a)     I.R

b)     Economy

a)    The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval for a MoU between India and the United Arab Emirates to mobilise up to $75 billion long-term investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.

5.

Building new alliances with BRICS (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     The grouping creates space for India to move the contemporary international order towards alternative models of development and governance.

6.

US agency asked me to visit Pakistan (Page 12)

a)     International

a)    Pakistani-American terrorist and LeT operator David Coleman Headley told a court conducting the 26/11 case trial against one of the alleged plotters Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal that after the US Drug Enforcement Agency arrested him in 1997, it instructed him to visit Pakistan and sponsored the trip too.

7.

In Maldives, amendment to target terror groups ratified (Page 14)

a)     International

a)      Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has ratified an amendment to the Act on Prohibition of Terrorism, empowering the authorities to prepare a list of suspected terrorist organisations.

8.

China to give Nepal access to ports (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China will allow landlocked Nepal to use its ports for trading goods with third countries, potentially ending Indias decades-long monopoly over the countrys trading routes.

9.

From Cuba, Obama heads to Argentina (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Fresh from his landmark trip to Cuba, US President Barack Obama travelled on March 23 on to Argentina, where four decades later resentment still simmers over Washingtons backing for its former dictatorship.

10.

The message in the Brussels attack (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     The bomb attacks in Brussels demonstrate that jihadists remain a serious security threat to European societies despite a massive security crackdown since the November 2015 Paris attacks.

11.

Govt aid to build rural houses (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)    The Union Cabinet approved the construction of 2.95 crore houses in rural areas under Housing for All scheme wherein financial assistance of up to Rs.1.30 lakh will be provided for construction of pucca houses to homeless families.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, France sign MoU for 6 Jaitapur nuclear reactors (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – France relations

b)     Jaitapur nuclear reactors

c)     Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL)

a)   India and France have signed a MoU for construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, two months after the two countries decided to conclude the techno-commercial negotiations for the project by the year end.

b)     The pact was inked at the end of the two-day visit of a high-level delegation of Electricite de France (French public utility) to Mumbai for holding discussions with the NPCIL on the construction of the plants.

2.

India to play JeM mans audio clip for Pak team (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Terrorism

c)     Pathankot terror attack

d)     Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)

e)     Joint Investigation Team (JIT)

f)     National Investigation Agency (NIA)

a)    India will play a 15-minute audio message posted by Abdul Rauf Asghar (brother of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar) in front of Joint Investigation Team from Pakistan, which arrives here on March 27 to probe the Pathankot attack.

b)     Asghar (who is one of the handlers of the Pathankot terrorists) is heard praising the attackers and also talks about the successful operation.

c)     The NIA is in possession of phone intercepts between Asghar and four of the six terrorists, which have been sent to a forensic laboratory to match the voice samples with that available on the website.

d)   India has decided to provide access to the JIT to Pathankot airbase on March 29. The witnesses include Defence Security Corps personnel who were injured in an encounter with the terrorists.

3.

In Javadekars presence, Basit lauds controversial China corridor (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     China – Pakistan relations

c)     China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)  

d)     Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)

a)     There was an unexpected moment during the celebration of National Day of Pakistan on March 23 when Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit praised China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as a sign of regional cooperation. Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar represented the govt at the event as the chief guest.

b)     The economic corridor is controversial in India since it passes through PoK.

c)     The presence of Javadekar at the event was viewed as a mood-builder for the expected summit-level meeting between PM Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Washington DC on sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.

4.

India-UAE agreement for $75 billion investment in NIIF gets clearance (Page 15)

a)     I.R

b)     Economy

a)     India – UAE relations

b)     National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)

a)    The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval for a MoU between India and the UAE to mobilise up to $75 billion long-term investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.

b)     The MoU was signed in February during PM Modis visit to UAE.

c)     The joint statement during the visit of PM to the UAE in August 2015, mentioned the establishment of UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund, with the aim of reaching a target of USD 75 billion to support investment in Indias plans for rapid expansion of next generation infrastructure, especially in railways, ports, roads, airports and industrial corridors and parks.

5.

Building new alliances with BRICS (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     BRICS summit

b)     Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

c)     New Development Bank (NDB)

d)     World Bank

e)     IMF

 

a)     According to the author, Indias assumption of presidency of BRICS last month comes at a time when many are questioning the groups raison detre. The economic health of the group is patchy and the contemporary political trajectories of its members are pulling in different directions.

b)     The decision to form BRICS was based neither on the attractiveness of economies of these countries nor on a cozy ideological confluence. To understand the need for this group to exist is to understand the need for flexibility mechanisms to achieve larger geo-economic goals.

c)     There is a need for New Delhi to take a long view on the purpose of BRICS and the space it creates for India within the contemporary international order.

d)     This order is the result of three expansive post-World War II experiments. One was Pax Americana.

e)     It was built around the Washington Consensus, the simultaneous expansion of US military might and of military alliances like NATO; the creation of institutions like the World Bank and IMF, serving an Atlantic economic order; and finally the consequent expansion and consolidation of markets and market-led globalisation that undermined and crushed the alternatives.

f)    The second experiment was the creation of the European Union. With a collective desire to avoid the war and destruction witnessed in the first half of the 20th century, Europes leaders quickly realised that deeper economic integration and mutual interdependence was the best guarantor of regional stability.

g)     The third and most recent experiment is the emergence of the Chinese global play and the efforts to put together a new world order defined by state control and underwritten by state capitalism. China is also expanding its military might as it seeks to be a Pacific and Asian power.

h)    Through initiatives like the One Belt, One Road, it is vastly expanding its market access and selectively drawing in countries that would simultaneously serve Chinas strategic as well as economic interests. China is also creating new institutions like the AIIB and NDB, where India has significant stakes.

i)     However, the Chinese creation of new institutions is offset by its seemingly unyielding belief that the current rules-based global order is neither fair nor sacrosanct, and a new rule-framing moment is upon the world.

j)     One may argue that Indias strategic interest must be in the continued existence of an open economic order and, as a rising power, liberal internationalism serves its interests best.

k)     But for this, it needs space within the old order to respond to its unique development and specific needs. It also needs to acquire weight within these institutions that would allow it to reshape the old establishment to work for new stakeholders and respond to contemporary realities.

l)  India cannot do this by itself. Given its fiscal and geopolitical constraints, it must engage with all stakeholders who could aid in this endeavour. Indias involvement with BRICS and the NDB should be read in this context.

m)     Brazil, India and South Africa broadly orient themselves towards the liberal end of political spectrum, China pursues a trajectory that will put it on a collision course with US, even as it leverages the Atlantic economies in the medium term for its economic growth. And finally, Russia has once again begun to be perceived by NATO as an all-out threat, and not just a frenemy.

n)   From an Indian perspective, BRICS is a strategic geo-economic alliance that seeks to move the narrative emerging from the Bretton Woods institutions towards alternative models of development and governance - through the sheer weight of the incongruent collective.

o)     BRICS helps create new instruments for global relevance and influence for each of its members, and is itself one. Viewed through this prism, the development of BRICS institutions and effectiveness of the NDB is what will define the success of the coalition in the coming years.

p)     For India, the success of the NDB and the AIIB may also ironically allow it a greater role in the institutions established in the middle of the last century.

q)     As with the AIIB, India should not hesitate to join or create other BRICS initiatives that may have strategic implications for global trade, finance, cyberspace, and larger economic system. Indeed, the US and other European powers should encourage it.

6.

US agency asked me to visit Pakistan (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Terrorism

b)     26/11 Mumbai attacks

c)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

a)    Pakistani-American terrorist and LeT operator David Coleman Headley told a court conducting the 26/11 case trial against one of the alleged plotters Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal that after the US Drug Enforcement Agency arrested him in 1997, it instructed him to visit Pakistan and sponsored the trip too.

b)     He surprised many when he said he had not received any money from the LeT and that he had donated 60-70 lakh Pakistani rupees to the terror outfit. Headley made the claim when defence advocate Abdul Wahab Khan asked him whether he had bought a few shops in UAE with the money he had received from the LeT.

c)     Headley said the money he donated was not used for the November 2008 attacks as the last time he had donated was in 2006.

d)     Headley said he had told Tahawwur Hussain Rana that he was acting as a spy for the Mumbai 26/11 attacks just before the conspiracy was to end and Rana did not object to his association and participation in the attacks.

7.

In Maldives, amendment to target terror groups ratified (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Maldives Prohibition of Terrorism Act

b)     National Security Council 

a)     Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has ratified an amendment to the Act on Prohibition of Terrorism, empowering the authorities to prepare a list of suspected terrorist organisations.

b)     The Maldives National Defence Force would monitor such organisations as per instructions from the National Security Council. As per the law that was enacted in October 2015, the list of organisations would be kept secret.

8.

China to give Nepal access to ports (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China – Nepal relations

 

 

a)     China will allow landlocked Nepal to use its ports for trading goods with third countries, potentially ending Indias decades-long monopoly over the countrys trading routes.

b)     A prolonged blockade of its border crossings with India last year left Nepal desperately short of fuel and goods.

c)     Nepals PM Oli signed an agreement with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang during a visit to Beijing this week to give Nepalese traders access to land routes and ports in China.

9.

From Cuba, Obama heads to Argentina (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US – Cuba relations

b)     US – Argentina relations

a)     Fresh from his landmark trip to Cuba, US President Barack Obama travelled on March 23 on to Argentina, where four decades later resentment still simmers over Washingtons backing for its former dictatorship.

b)      After calling for freedom and democracy as he stood alongside Cubas communist leaders on the first leg of his regional visit, Obama touched down in another Latin American nation with a history of delicate relations with US.

c)   Obama met Argentinas new President Mauricio Macri at the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires March 23.

10.

The message in the Brussels attack (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     Brussels terror attacks

b)     Paris terror attacks 2015

c)     Islamic State (IS)

d)     Al-Qaeda

a)     The bomb attacks in Brussels demonstrate that jihadists remain a serious security threat to European societies despite a massive security crackdown since the November 2015 Paris attacks.

b)     Brussels (which hosts key European Union institutions) is the de facto capital of Europe. By striking in the city four days after Salah Abdeslam (thought to be lone remaining perpetrator of the Paris attacks) was caught, the terrorists have sent a strong message not just to the Belgian government but to the entire European establishment.

c)     The Brussels attacks also come in a broader context of global jihadists stepping up attacks on civilians around the world. The Islamic State in particular (which has claimed responsibility for the Brussels strike) has carried out a number of attacks across the world (from Paris to Ankara) in recent months.

d)   One of the reasons for these attacks in faraway locations is that the group is facing military setbacks in and around the so-called caliphate, the seat of its influence. Attacking public places and killing innocent people may appear to be sheer madness. But for groups such as the IS, there is a rationale.

e)     First, not being able to expand the territories of the caliphate, the IS wants to export terrorism to other countries so as to stay relevant and find more recruits.

f)     Second, the IS is fighting a war against the civilisational values of the modern world. By attacking the public, it wants to create panic in free and open societies, break their social cohesion and then reap the dividends.

g)     And it is certain by now that Europe is high on the hit list of the IS because it knows that when it hits Western societies, which are generally known for democratic, secular and pluralistic values, it sets off the real panic button. For the same reasons, the challenges before Europe are also greater.

h)     It has to raise security operations to a higher standard and strengthen cooperation among other countries in fighting terrorist groups such as the IS and al-Qaeda. But Europe should do it cautiously, without compromising on its moral values and imperilling civil liberties.

11.

Govt aid to build rural houses (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Housing for All scheme

b)     Indira Awaas Yojana

c)     National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)

d)     MGNREGA

e)     Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC)

a)     The Union Cabinet approved the construction of 2.95 crore houses in rural areas under Housing for All scheme wherein financial assistance of up to Rs.1.30 lakh will be provided for construction of pucca houses to homeless families. The target will be achieved by 2022 - the 75th year of Indias Independence.

b)     The additional financial requirement of Rs. 21,975 crore will be met by borrowing through NABARD to be amortised through budgetary allocations after 2022.

c)     An eligible family living in plains will get Rs. 1.20 lakh and those living in hilly and difficult areas will receive an assistance of Rs. 1.30 lakh under the scheme.

d)     The identification and prioritisation of beneficiaries will be done using information from Socio Economic and Caste Census.

e)     The beneficiary will be entitled to 90 days of unskilled labour from MGNREGA.

f)     The scheme would be implemented in rural areas throughout India except Delhi and Chandigarh. Under the existing rural housing scheme (Indira Awaas Yojana), financial assistance of Rs. 70,000 in plains areas and Rs. 75,000 in hilly/difficult areas is provided.

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