Current Affairs > Daily Current affairs

Back
Daily News Analysis 29-03-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Pak probe team to visit Pathankot today (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)    The National Investigation Agency has told the Joint Investigation Team from Pakistan that it should refrain from asking questions about the operations against terrorists who stormed the Pathankot airbase on Jan 2.

2.

IS nuclear threat to be focus of summit (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Ahead of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit that will bring together leaders from 51 nations on March 31 and April 1, a senior official said the US cannot ignore the threat of IS terrorists laying their hands on nuclear material.

3.

Come clean on nuclear security (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     If India is more open about discussing its nuclear weapons programme with a view to ultimately denuclearising the neighbourhood, it would be one of its most courageous contributions.

4.

Myanmars slow, incomplete transition to democracy (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     When a government led by the National League for Democracy is sworn in, it will mark only progress and not complete change.

5.

Defence policy to give a push to Make in India (Page 14)

a)     National

a)     The Defence Ministry unveiled the new Defence Procurement Policy, intended primarily to improve indigenous procurement, but left out the most significant reform it had been promising.

6.

Providing transparency in rural electrification (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     The GARV app puts pressure on State governments for timely and quality delivery.

7.

ISRO to launch 22 satellites on one rocket (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     When the PSLV C34 rocket blasts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Srikarikota in May this year, it will signal another giant leap for Indias space mission. The trusted launch vehicle will inject 22 satellites into the orbit, a first in the history of the ISRO.

 

 

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Pak probe team to visit Pathankot today (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Terrorism

c)     Pathankot terror attack

d)     Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)

e)     National Investigation Agency (NIA)

f)     Joint Investigation Team (JIT)

a)    The NIA has told the JIT from Pakistan that it should refrain from asking questions about the operations against terrorists who stormed the Pathankot airbase on Jan 2.

b)     Instead, the team should focus on NIAs investigations into the attack, allegedly by Pakistan-based JeM, and evidence gathered until now.

c)     The Pakistan team and the NIA team are interacting under extant legal procedures of India and Pakistan. The JIT will be taken to different locations associated with the Pathankot case on March 29

d)     NIA also handed over DNA samples and other key evidence related to the involvement of Pakistan based terror outfit JeM in the attack.

e)     The NIA shared evidence like phone numbers to which calls were made by terrorists, made in Pakistan labels on food and medicine packets found on the terrorists and telephone intercepts of calls exchanged between JeM handlers and the terrorists present at the airbase.

2.

IS nuclear threat to be focus of summit (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Nuclear Security Summit (NSS)

b)     Terrorism

c)     Islamic State (IS)

a)   Ahead of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit that will bring together leaders from 51 nations on March 31 and April 1, a senior official said the US cannot ignore the threat of IS terrorists laying their hands on nuclear material. PM Modi will be attending the summit.

b)     Initiated by President Obama in 2010 to raise the discussions on securing nuclear material to the highest level in the wake of the increasing threat of terrorism, the summit takes place in the shadow of the Brussels attacks.

c)     Official said the focus of the NSS would be specifically on securing nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists and other general non-proliferation efforts would continue in separate tracks.

3.

Come clean on nuclear security (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Nuclear Security Summit (NSS)

b)     India-US civil nuclear agreement

c)     Indias Nuclear Liability Law

d)     Indias nuclear submarine fleet

e)     Indias Special Material Enrichment Facility

 

a)      This week, PM Modi will touch down in Washington, DC for the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, a biennial conference series initiated in 2010 by Obama administration.

b)     Modi will no doubt seek to showcase Indias nuclear regime as one that adheres to the highest standards of transparency and safety through rigorous regulation of nuclear products and institutions.

c)     Although that would be welcome, what Modis interlocutors in the US may be hoping for is that he will break with Indias tradition of maintaining a masterful silence on two questions surrounding its nuclear policy.

d)     First, how can India address disquieting signals that have emerged in recent times, which point to growing concerns over the security of its nuclear materials?

e)     Second, at a time when Indias macro strategy of rapid economic development is premised on a climate of neighbourly peace and stability in the region, is it not appropriate that Modi call for an end to the nuclear arms race in Asia, and address environmental risks of Indias covert weapons plants?

f)  First, the need for heightened nuclear security has now become urgent, especially with the emergence of global jihadi threats such as the IS. In this context, three potential nuclear terrorist threats relate to extremists making or acquiring and exploding a nuclear bomb; the danger of radioactive material being fashioned into a dirty bomb; and the risk of nuclear reactor sabotage.

g)     The first and second scenarios are vectors of imminent concern in Pakistan, with analysts citing as examples a series of terrorist attacks in 2007 on nuclear weapons facilities in that country, including a nuclear missile storage facility at Sargodha and a nuclear airbase at Kamra.

h)     Set within the broader context of nuclear deterrence vis-a-vis Pakistan and China, it has quietly steamed forward since the 1998 Pokhran-II tests.

i)     Recent evidence that this shadowy realm of govt activity has been proceeding apace beyond the scrutiny of the media and public surfaced in June 2014 when IHS Janes (a US-based military intelligence think tank) discovered satellite imagery showing efforts underway to extend a Mysore nuclear centrifuge plant constructed in 1992 at the Rare Metals Plant at that location.

j)     According to Janes, the purpose behind this extension may have been the covert production of uranium hexafluoride, which could be channelled towards the manufacture of hydrogen bombs or naval reactors to power Indias nuclear submarine fleet.

k)     One month later, another US think tank (the Institute for Science and International Security) revealed additional satellite imagery suggesting that India was building a Special Material Enrichment Facility, including constructing an industrial-scale centrifuge complex in Chitradurga district in Karnataka.

l)     A few years later, in Dec 2015, a study by the Centre for Public Integrity confirmed that Indias under-radar ambition to acquire thermonuclear weapons at the Chitradurga site had advanced much further than many had suspected.

m)     There are likely to be a number of other such walled-off weapons development zones across breadth of the country, and this begs two critical questions. First, what are the broader implications of Indias covert nuclear programme for the triangular standoff vis-a-vis Pakistan and China?

n)     Second, while the Nuclear Liability Law protects its citizenry from the potentially catastrophic fallout of a nuclear accident in the civilian nuclear sector, what guarantees do we have that Indias nuclear black sites do not endanger the health of the people and environment?

o)     On the first question, Indias search for thermonuclear weapons certainly exacerbates the nuclear arms race with its neighbours, specifically by sparking dangerous games of tit-for-tat weaponisation, loose talk about tactical superiority and theatre nukes, and growing doubts about deterrence stability.

p)     When he meets Obama at the end of this month, Modi may come laden with a house gift as a sign of Indias sustained commitment to nuclear security.

q)     If this could be an indication that India is willing be more open about discussing its nuclear weapons programme with a view to ultimately denuclearising neighbourhood, it would by far be one of the most courageous contribution that India could make towards a lasting subcontinental security.

4.

Myanmars slow, incomplete transition to democracy (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Myanmar politics

b)     Myanmars Constitution

c)     National League for Democracy (NLD)

d)     United Solidarity and Development Party (USDP)

 

a)     Myanmars Senior General Min Aung Hlaings remarks confirmed that when a NLD-led govt is sworn in, it would only mark progress towards a predominantly civilian govt, not an establishment of full democracy.

b)    He specified that the armed forces would cooperate to bring about prosperity if obstacles like failure to abide by the rule of law and regulations and armed insurgencies are overcome. Then only will there be advancement on the path of democracy.

c)     In the style of one of his Pakistani counterparts, the general claimed that during the transition to civilian rule, the military was Myanmars sole unifying force and protector of the Constitution.

d)   The statement seemed to fly in the face of the NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyis remarks to BBC after her landslide election victory in November, wherein she said any attempt to throw a spanner in the works would sabotage the will of the people.

e)     After decades of junta regimes since 1962, Myanmar has undergone a steady transformation since 2011, thereby emerging from isolation to a budding acceptance by the international community.

f)     The military refused to recognise the NLDs triumph in the 1990 elections; instead it placed the Nobel Prize winning Suu Kyi (daughter of the assassinated icon of Myanmars freedom movement against Britain, General Aung San) under house arrest.

g)     In 2010, General Thein Sein formed a political party USDP to set up an armed forces-approved, reformist government a year later. In 2012, he granted Suu Kyi and some of her colleagues entry into Parliament in carefully calibrated by-elections.

h)     The NLD was required to win a minimum of 67 percent of seats in the union legislature to earn the right to form a govt. It captured 75 percent of seats. And this time, the military permitted Suu Kyi to take over the reins of power in the realms of economic development and external affairs.

i)     India pursued a principled and hard-line approach towards the junta under PM Rajiv Gandhi, but without benefit. In fact, that approach consolidated cooperation between China and Myanmar to aid and abet separatists in Indias Northeast.

j)     Therefore, the tough line was reversed by Premier P.V. Narasimha Rao as a component of his Look East policy. Manmohan Singh visited Myanmar in 2012. Narendra Modi followed suit in 2014.

k)  Myanmars engagement with China expanded explosively during the Cold War following economic sanctions by the West. Consequently, New Delhi is far behind Beijing vis-a-vis investment and trade.

l)     However, New Delhi has been fighting back under the Rao doctrine, with extension of aid and soft credit to the tune $2 billion and trade rising to $2.5 billion in current financial year.

m)     Pertinently, Suu Kyi is on record as stating: Myanmar can play an important role in improving ties between India and China. Time will tell whether this comes true.

5.

Defence policy to give a push to Make in India (Page 14)

a)     National

a)     Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2016

b)     Make in India initiative

c)     FDI

a)     The Defence Ministry unveiled the new Defence Procurement Policy, intended primarily to improve indigenous procurement, but left out the most significant reform it had been promising.

b)     The DPP-2016 (made public to coincide with the latest edition of DefExpo in Goa) was expected to herald a new era in the way Indias private sector participates in defence procurement, but that is not to be.

c)     Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the new policy would give top priority to speedy procurement, focus on indigenous design and development and lay emphasis on Make in India.

d)     The Minister said the policy had taken care of some of the issues raised by foreign companies and in another two or three months, the Ministry would take care of a few more issues that were pending.

e)   While the FDI limit remains 49 percent through automatic route, a higher percentage can be considered on special cases. The DPP recognises the role of small and medium enterprises in the sector, and a further boost will be given to it.

6.

Providing transparency in rural electrification (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Rural electrification

b)     Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY)

c)     GARV (Grameen Vidyutikaran) app

d)     Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVAs or rural electrification engineers)

a)     Rural electrification has been an enduring challenge for successive governments. Given Indias federal structure, States provide last-mile connectivity which includes providing access to and distributing electricity, and maintaining infrastructure, while the Central government provides policy and financial support.

b)     However, un-electrified villages present an enormous challenge as they are often located in inaccessible or left-wing extremism-affected areas. Over the last three years, there has been a rapid decline in the pace of rural electrification to only 5189 villages.

c)     Several States (particularly in eastern India) have seen even lower levels of electrification. For instance, in these three years, Uttar Pradesh electrified just 64 villages against the 1518 that were sanctioned while Bihar electrified only 1248 villages against the 9246 that were sanctioned.

d)     Due to such tardy performance in the States, the NDA govt launched the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana to ensure rapid electrification, feeder separation, and strengthening of rural distribution infrastructure. It is necessary to monitor progress intensively for smooth and fast implementation of electrification.

e)     On Aug 15 2015, PM Modi announced that all the remaining villages would be electrified within 1000 days. Based on Census 2011, States had provided a list of 18,452 un-electrified villages as on April 1 2015.

f)     To transparently monitor the process, the Central govt (in Nov2015) appointed 309 young and passionate Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas from the same areas. Reports by these GVAs are shared through the GARV app with officials as well as the public. It puts pressure on State governments for timely and quality delivery.

g)     Prior to GVAs, only data provided by the States was available, which in many cases does not represent ground reality. GVAs provide a verification mechanism in a bold, transparent, and reliable manner.

h)     Thus GVAs have the huge task of verifying all the old data generated by the State govts since April 1 2015, and public and media participation was solicited for scrutiny. This will ensure highest degree of probity and accountability in system.

i)     State govts have been requested to reconfirm the basis of their data and take corrective action. The underlying focus remains transparency. If the purpose was to hide the status of the villages, even the not electrified as per GVA status will not show on the app.

j)     The app itself highlights that 3604 villages were found electrified during the survey by GVAs. Instead of the data first coming from States, GVAs directly captured electrification data on the app with subsequent State government confirmation. These villages were electrified before deployment of GVAs.

k)     With enhanced funds, pro-people guidelines, constant monitoring and speedy delivery, Central government has embarked on a time-bound mission not only to electrify 18,452 villages much before the scheduled time but also to take it to the next level to provide connectivity to all the households in these villages and meet the ultimate goal of 24X7 power for all.

7.

ISRO to launch 22 satellites on one rocket (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     PSLV C34

b)     PSLV C9

c)     Cartosat 2C

d)     Satish Dhawan Space Centre

e)     ISRO

a)   When the PSLV C34 rocket blasts off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Srikarikota in May this year, it will signal another giant leap for Indias space mission. The trusted launch vehicle will inject 22 satellites into the orbit, a first in the history of the ISRO.

b)     Apart from the Indian remote sensing satellite Cartosat 2C (which constitutes the primary payload), the rocket will carry on board four micro-satellites weighing 85 to 130 kg each and 17 nano-satellites weighing 4 to 30 kg.

c)     As many as 18 satellites are being launched for foreign agencies, including those from the US, Canada, Germany, and Indonesia.

d)     Two of the nano-satellites have been developed by the Pune Engineering College and Sathyabhama University.

e)     In April 2008, ISRO launched 10 satellites into the orbit using the PSLV C9 rocket.

Branches

Ashok Nagar Branch
1-10-223/A, Sub-register office Line
Hyderabad
+91 9052 29 29 29, 9052 19 29 29

Madhapur Branch
Plot No.3, 2nd floor, Raghuma Towers
Hyderabad
+91 9052 492929

Delhi:
Old Rajendra Nagar

Send to mail

Request for call