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Daily News Analysis 01-04-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India opts not to join global terror database (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     The government has decided not to join a US maintained global terror database in the face of objections from the intelligence agencies.

2.

India-European Union boost strategic partnership as free trade talks flounder (Page16)

a)     I.R

b)     Economy

a)     The 13th India-EU Summit concluded in Brussels without a consensus on a bilateral free trade deal known as the Broadbased Trade and Investment Agreement even as progress was made in bilateral cooperation in other fields - from foreign policy to outer space.

3.

Pakistan team wraps up its probe in India (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Pakistans Joint Investigation Team (which was in India to probe the Pathankot terror strike) wrapped up its investigations on March 31.

4.

Nuclear Security Summit Focus on safeguards framework (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     PM Modi arrived in the US capital to attend the two-day Nuclear Security Summit, an initiative of President Barack Obama to coordinate international efforts to prevent terror organisations from acquiring nuclear weapons or material.

5.

Seizure of arms wont affect demilitarisation: Colombo (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     According to Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi, the recent seizure of a host of arms in Jaffna and Mannar of the Northern Province will not have any adverse bearing on the Sri Lankan governments plan for demilitarising the North.

6.

Core sectors expand 5.7 percent in Feb (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)   According to official estimates, output from the eight core infrastructure industries grew at the fastest pace in 15 months, clocking a 5.7 percent growth in February, driven by a robust growth in cement and fertilisers.

7.

Rare frogs and the circle of life (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     The new insights on the life stages of a species of dancing frog in the Western Ghats serve as a reminder, if any were needed, that key features of the rainforests are vital to the survival of less-known species.

8.

Walk on Mars with Buzz Aldrin (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to create Destination: Mars, a guided tour of Mars using the HoloLens headset technology that helped scientists plan the Curiosity rovers activities on the Red Planet.

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India opts not to join global terror database (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Global terror database

c)     Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-6)

d)     Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW)

e)     Intelligence Bureau (IB)

f)     Terrorist Screening Centre (TCS) of the US

 

a)     The govt has decided not to join a US maintained global terror database in the face of objections from the intelligence agencies.

b)     Unhindered access to the Americans to the database of terror suspects in India (which includes their biometric details) was opposed by both the RAW and the IB. The proposal has been stuck since it was initially proposed by the US in 2012.

c)  A model text of the proposal (HSPD-6) was to be discussed at a bilateral homeland security meet to be held in June this year. The HSPD-6 is an agreement for exchange of terrorist screening information between the TCS of US and a selected Indian security agency. The TCS has the database of 11,000 terror suspects.

d)     There have been several rounds of discussions between India and the US in the past one year on the issue. Both sides narrowed down their differences on several key aspects.

e)  The aim was to sign the pact in the next Homeland Security Dialogue to be attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his US counterpart Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security.

f)     However, the proposed agreement has now been dropped from the agenda reportedly due to the objections from Indian intelligence agencies.

2.

India-European Union boost strategic partnership as free trade talks flounder (Page 16)

a)     I.R

b)     Economy

a)     India – EU Summit

b)     EU-India Agenda for Action-2020

c)     Broadbased Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA)

d)     Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

e)     India-EU Water Partnership and a Clean Energy and Climate Partnership

f)     Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism

g)     Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM)

h)     European Investment Bank (EIB)

a)    The 13th India-EU Summit concluded in Brussels without a consensus on a bilateral free trade deal known as the BTIA even as progress was made in bilateral cooperation in other fields - from foreign policy to outer space.

b)     India has been pushing for opening European markets for its services sector and the movement of people to deliver those services while the EU has been keen on reducing or abolishing tariffs in several sectors, including in the automobile and wine and spirits sectors. The Brussels meetings evidently did not see the closing of gaps between the two sides.

c)     The fields of cooperation are many, and defined by the EU-India Agenda for Action-2020, which PM Modi and the presidents of European Council and European Commission endorsed. The sectors of partnership range from foreign policy, counter terrorism and disarmament to transport and space.

d)     There was some promise of action that would be taken in areas such as water, climate and energy, with adoption of joint declarations on India-EU Water Partnership and a Clean Energy and Climate Partnership.

e)     Govt-to-govt and business-to-business level meetings to exchange best practices in these areas (including deadlines for setting the work programmes in some instances) have been agreed. India is no longer eligible for development assistance from the EU.

f)     However, India will still have access to concessional loans from the EIB. India and the EIB signed the first tranche of a Euro 450-million-loan at the Summit towards the construction of a metro rail line planned in Lucknow.

g)     The joint declarations and Agenda for Action suggest that the EU has specifically courted Modi on several of his pet projects including the Clean India initiative and the Ganga Rejuvenation Initiative, where the EU will help in developing a solution to clean up the river as well as developing legal and governance frameworks for managing the basin.

h)     The two sides agreed to cooperate in countering violent extremism, disrupt recruitment of terrorists and prevent the free passage of foreign fighters in a joint declaration on counter terrorism, which also called for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in UN.

i)     The CAMM (which was also adopted) is designed to control and organize migration - a pressing concern for the EU. Significantly for the EU, the Agenda for Action includes items on facilitating the return of irregular migrants and the possibility of exploring a Readmission Agreement - returning visa over-stayers to their home countries.

j)  One of the ostensible reasons for stalled talks between the EU and India had been the EUs concern over human right violations in India.

k)     A joint statement from India and the EU reiterates the importance that both countries officially accord human rights and the rights of women.

3.

Pakistan team wraps up its probe in India (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)     Pakistans JIT (which was in India to probe the Pathankot terror strike) wrapped up its investigations on March 31.

b)     On March 31, the JIT recorded statements of 13 witnesses, including former Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh, whose vehicle was snatched by the JeM terrorists to reach the Pathankot Airbase.

c)     The JIT recorded the statements of witnesses through the NIA.

4.

Nuclear Security Summit Focus on safeguards framework (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Nuclear Security Summit (NSS)

b)     International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

c)     INTERPOL

d)     Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction

e)     Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

f)     Nuclear Security Contact Group

g)     Islamic State (IS)

h)     Al-Qaeda

a)     PM Modi arrived in the US capital to attend the two-day Nuclear Security Summit, an initiative of President Obama to coordinate international efforts to prevent terror organisations from acquiring nuclear weapons or material.

b)     The summit will have leaders from more than 50 countries and four international organisations - the European Union, the IAEA, the Interpol, and the UN. India will circulate its national progress report on nuclear security measures at the summit.

c)     Since the first NSS in 2010, international measures have reduced the risk of nuclear theft and made the illicit transportation of nuclear material difficult.

d)    But the spectre of terrorism has only grown bigger in the meantime as the Islamic State has more resolve and resources to seek a nuclear weapon than Al-Qaeda ever had.

e)   The IAEA, the INTERPOL, the UN, the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism will coordinate the global cooperation on nuclear security.

f)    After this years summit, the network of sherpas, or the expert officials from different countries, who have been helping their leaders prepare for these summits, will continue to coordinate with each other as a Nuclear Security Contact Group.

g)     India is a source of nuclear material and a potential target of nuclear terrorism. While India takes pride in the security of its nuclear installations, orphan sources i.e devices with radioactive materials outside regulatory and security measures could pose serious risks.

h)     Indian officials have indicated that Modi would have a series of bilateral meetings with other world leaders on the sidelines of the NSS, but only one (with PM John Key of New Zealand) has been announced.

5.

Seizure of arms wont affect demilitarisation: Colombo (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas internal issues

b)    13th constitutional amendment 

 

a)     According to Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi, the recent seizure of a host of arms in Jaffna and Mannar of the Northern Province will not have any adverse bearing on the Sri Lankan governments plan for demilitarising the North.

b)     A study on the status of occupation of land by the authorities revealed that about 12,750 acres in the Northern Province are still under the militarys control. Continued land occupation by the military and police fuels suspicion of plans to use land to effect demographic change and ultimately, impact electoral representation of the area.

c)     It recommended complete implementation of the 13th constitutional amendment.

6.

Core sectors expand 5.7 percent in Feb (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Core sector growth

b)     Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

 

a)     According to official estimates, output from the eight core infrastructure industries grew at the fastest pace in 15 months, clocking a 5.7 percent growth in February, driven by a robust growth in cement and fertilisers.

b)     Analysts said these core sector numbers bode well for overall industrial output to recover from three successive months of contraction, and register a 3 percent to 4 percent growth in February. The core sectors constitute around 38 percent of the IIP.

c)     The core sector growth number for Feb is encouraging at 5.7 percent with a fairly diversified picture across: steel, electricity, refinery products and fertilisers. This high growth should hopefully translate into an IIP growth rate of 3-4 percent for February.

7.

Rare frogs and the circle of life (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Species of dancing fog

b)     Micrixalus herrei

c)     Western Ghats

d)     Scrub forests

e)     Evergreen forests

f)     Environment Impact Assessment

 

a)     The new insights on the life stages of a species of dancing frog in the Western Ghats serve as a reminder that key features of the rainforests are vital to the survival of less-known species.

b)     As a biodiversity-rich mountainous realm of plants and animals, the Western Ghats are an acknowledged hotspot.

c)     What the research on the tadpoles of the dancing frog Micrixalus herrei reveals is that such animals can complete their life cycle only if critical features of the natural landscape are preserved, and human pressure on habitats is consciously reduced.

d)     Specifically in the case of the Indian dancing frog, the availability of shallow streams with sandy depressions enables laying of eggs and development of tadpoles, that then spend some time under the sand.

e)   Such invisible phases of the life cycle of species are often not widely known or discussed, and therefore may not find a place in rapid environment impact assessments when a project is proposed.

f)     It is therefore vital that the habitat of amphibians in the Western Ghats (a unique part of the world that has landscapes ranging from scrub to evergreen forests) be given utmost protection as scientists document its richness.

g)     Of about 7300 known species, a third are threatened and their populations are declining owing  to habitat destruction, chemical pollution, climate change, disease and invasive species, among other factors. In the Western Ghats the threat level is high for an estimated 40 percent of amphibian species, even as more are being discovered.

8.

Walk on Mars with Buzz Aldrin (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Mars missions

b)     Red Planet

c)     Curiosity rover

d)     NASA

a)     NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to create Destination: Mars, a guided tour of Mars using the HoloLens headset technology that helped scientists plan the Curiosity rovers activities on the Red Planet.

b)     Destination: Mars is an adaptation of OnSight, a Mars rover mission operations tool co-developed by Microsoft and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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