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Daily News Analysis 02-04-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Govt mum on role of Azhar in Pathankot (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     In its first official briefing after the Pakistani probe team concluded its India visit regarding the attack at the Pathankot airbase, the govt refrained from mentioning the name of JeM chief Masood Azhar for the attacks.

2.

China ducks question on sanctions against Masood Azhar (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China sidestepped a direct response to queries about its alleged role in blocking sanctions at the UN against the JeM chief Masood Azhar, who is accused by India of plotting the January attack on Pathankot air force base.

3.

Modi outlines nuclear security steps (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     India pledged a contribution of $1 million to the IAEA nuclear security fund. PM Modi made this commitment in his speech at the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit.

4.

Modi govt undermining democracy, HRW tells EU (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     The Human Rights Watch has written in a letter to the European Union that the Indian govt seeks foreign investments abroad citing Indian democracy and diversity, but uses harsh laws to undermine the same.

5.

Visa, labour mobility curbs to figure during GES April meet (Pg16)

a)     International

b)     Economy

a)    The govt will utilise the upcoming Global Exhibition on Services to garner support for Indias proposal for a Trade Facilitation Agreement on Services that it wants to be taken up for negotiations at the WTO-level.

6.

Obama, Xi vow to sign Paris accord (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China said that they would sign the Paris Agreement on climate change on April 22, the first day the UN accord will be open for government signatures.

7.

US, Saudi Arabia announce anti-terror drive (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     A day ahead of PM Modis arrival in Saudi Arabia for his first visit, the Gulf kingdom and the US announced joint action against two groups and four individuals for promoting terrorism.

8.

End gender discrimination at temples, HC tells Maharashtra (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Bombay High Court said the State was duty-bound to prevent gender discrimin-ation on entry to temples.

9.

NITI Aayog members push for GM pulses draws flak (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Even as a NITI Aayog member has backed cultivation of GM pulses to ensure food security in the country, farmer groups and agriculture experts have asked the government to first focus on establishing an assured market mechanism for pulses to aid farmers and lower the countrys dependence on imports.

10.

Chinese infrastructure bank eyes loans to India (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)    India hopes to receive one of the first loans issued by the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank later this year, as it looks to raise $500 million for solar power projects from the newly created lender.

11.

More heatwaves likely this summer (Page 13)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)     Meteorologists have said that an average rise of 1 degree Celsius in summer temperatures (as predicted by the IMD) over most of India would mean more days of extreme heat as well as a higher likelihood of heat waves compared to last year.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Govt mum on role of Azhar in Pathankot (Page 13)

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)     In its first official briefing after the Pakistani probe team concluded its India visit regarding the attack at the Pathankot airbase, the govt refrained from mentioning the name of JeM chief Masood Azhar for the attacks.

b)     NIA D-G Sharad Kumar did not name either Azhar or his brother Abdul Rauf Asghar, one of the main handlers of the attacks, and referred them as office bearers instead. India has always blamed Azhar for the attacks.

c)     NIA D-G also announced that India was eager to send a probe team to Pakistan. The Pakistan JIT has been informed that a team of NIA officials would like to visit Pakistan to carry forward the investigation in the Pathankot attack case.

2.

China ducks question on sanctions against Masood Azhar (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Terrorism

b)     Pathankot terror attack

c)     Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)

d)     Joint Investigation Team (JIT)

e)    National Investigation Agency (NIA)

f)     UN 1267 Sanctions Committee

a)     China sidestepped a direct response to queries about its alleged role in blocking sanctions at the UN against the JeM chief Masood Azhar, who is accused by India of plotting the January attack on Pathankot air force base.

b)     China had apparently taken the decision in consultation with Pakistan.

c)     China deals with the listing matter of the 1267 Committee on the basis of facts and in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and relevant rules of procedure.

d)     The 1267 Committee (also known as the al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee) is one of three Security Council committees dealing with counter-terrorism.

e)   Sources had earlier reported that Pakistans JIT probing the Pathankot terror attack told Indias NIA that it had not found any evidence against Azhar linking him to the Jan 2 attack.

f)     India has accused Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Asghar Rauf of being directly linked to the attack, planned at the JeMs Bahawalpur headquarters. It has sought the voice samples of the brothers from Pakistan.

3.

Modi outlines nuclear security steps (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)   India pledged a contribution of $1 million to the IAEA nuclear security fund. PM Modi made this commitment in his speech at the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit. India has already made a contribution of $ 1 million.

b)     Modi also outlined Indias plans to enhance engagement with the IAEA, the Interpol and other international forums on the issue of nuclear security.

c)     The question of Pakistans continuing deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in battlefields has not been raised by India as it was more a question of disarmament and arms control.

d)     The PM identified three contemporary features of terrorism: First, todays terrorism uses extreme violence as theatre. Second, we are no longer looking for a man in a cave, but we are hunting for a terrorist in a city with a computer or a smart phone. Third, state actors working with nuclear traffickers and terrorists present the greatest risk.

e)     The PM said without prevention and prosecution of acts of terrorism there could be no deterrence against nuclear terrorism. He told world leaders that nuclear security must remain the abiding national priority for all countries and all states must completely abide by their international obligations.

4.

Modi govt undermining democracy, HRW tells EU (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Human Rights Watch (HRW)

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     Digital India project

d)     Smart City project

a)     The Human Rights Watch has written in a letter to the European Union that the Indian govt seeks foreign investments abroad citing Indian democracy and diversity, but uses harsh laws to undermine the same.

b)     The letter urged that the Modi govt be persuaded to defend the countrys marginalised communities from increased harassment, and to issue public condemnation of anti-minority attacks.

c)     The nine-page document reminded EU members that have committed to support programmes such as Digital India and Smart City Project that they should ensure that the flagship programmes are not used to deny citizens fundamental rights.

d)     The HRW reserved its strongest comments for the inflammatory remarks against minorities by the ruling BJP.

5.

Visa, labour mobility curbs to figure during GES April meet (Page 16)

a)     International

b)     Economy

a)     Global Exhibition on Services (GES)

b)     Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

c)     Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

d)     World Trade Organisation (WTO)

a)    The govt will utilise the upcoming Global Exhibition on Services to garner support for Indias proposal for a Trade Facilitation Agreement on Services that it wants to be taken up for negotiations at the WTO-level.

b)     The second (annual) edition of GES is slated for April 21-23 to boost trade and FDI in the services sector and will be held at Greater Noida in the national capital region.

c)     The GES will also see discussions on another important area of Indias interest - regarding elimination of curbs on temporary movement of professionals and relaxation of labour mobility norms across the world.

d)     The TFA on Services was proposed by India along the lines of WTOs TFA on Goods (aimed at easing customs rules to expedite global trade flows in merchandise sector). However, so far Indias proposal for a TFA in Services has found few takers at the multilateral level.

e)     India had recently dragged the US to the WTO over the Obama administrations move to hike fees for H1B and L1 visas - temporary work visas for skilled professionals. Being the largest user of these visas, India feels Americas decision is discriminatory because it will mainly impact Indian tech firms.

f)     India is also taking up with the UK its concerns over the recent restrictions in the British immigration law that is likely to hurt professionals including from India. Even in the proposed FTA with the EU, India is pushing for greater market access in services.

g) Pointing out that the services sector accounts for over half of the total global employment growth, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said a recent study has estimated an additional gain of $39 trillion in global GDP over 25 years, if border barriers are removed for trade in services.

h)     She said the removal of restriction on temporary movement of professionals and easing labour mobility could constitute major step towards facilitation of international trade in services leading to global growth, employment and prosperity.

i)     Among others, the GES focus sectors include banking and financial services, education and environmental services.

6.

Obama, Xi vow to sign Paris accord (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Paris Climate Agreement

b)     Climate change

c)     Greenhouse gas emissions

d)     Global warming

 

a)     US President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China said that they would sign the Paris Agreement on climate change on April 22, the first day the UN accord will be open for government signatures.

b)     Officials cast the announcement as a statement of joint resolve by the worlds two largest greenhouse gas polluters, even though there are doubts about whether the US can meet its obligations under the agreement.

c)     In February, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked an Obama administration regulation to curb greenhouse gas pollution from power plants, the centrepiece of Obamas climate change policy and the major way for the administration to meet its targets under the Paris accord.

d)     The Paris Agreement (reached in December) is the first global accord to commit nearly every nation to take domestic actions to tackle climate change.

e)     The Paris Agreement will enter into legal force only when enough countries have signed on: together they have to be responsible for causing 55 percent of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions.

f)     Because of the Supreme Court stay, the regulation curbing GHG emissions will not be put in place until legal challenges by 29 states and several business organisations have been resolved, which is unlikely to happen before next year. The regulation would help the US cut GHG emissions between 26 and 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

g)     Chinese energy experts said Chinas pledge to sign the accord was independent of the status of American climate policy.

h)     Xis administration has endorsed an aggressive expansion of renewable energy sources in China. The countrys latest five-year economic plan calls for the country to generate 15 percent of its energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2020.

i)     Combined, the US and China account for about 40 percent of global emissions.

7.

US, Saudi Arabia announce anti-terror drive (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US – Saudi Arabia relations

b)     Anti-terror drive

c)     Al-Qaeda

d)     Taliban

e)     Lashar-e-Taiba (LeT)

 

a)     A day ahead of PM Modis arrival in Saudi Arabia for his first visit, the Gulf kingdom and the US announced joint action against two groups and four individuals for promoting terrorism.

b) These groups and individuals are suspected of supporting the al-Qaeda and the Taliban in their operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Lashar-e-Taiba that targets India have been put under sanctions. 

8.

End gender discrimination at temples, HC tells Maharashtra (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Gender discrimination

b)     Fundamental Rights

c)     Maharashtra Hindu Places of Public Worship (Entry Authorisation) Act 1956

a)     The Bombay High Court said the State was duty-bound to prevent gender discrimin-ation on entry to temples.

b)     A Division Bench told the State that it was its fundamental duty to ensure the fundamental right of women was protected.

c)    The court ordered the State, the Home Minister and the Secretary, Home, to implement the provisions of Maharashtra Hindu Places of Public Worship (Entry Authorisation) Act 1956, and direct the Superintendents of Police and the Collectors to ensure compliance.

9.

NITI Aayog members push for GM pulses draws flak (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Genetically modified (GM) pulses

b)     NITI Aayog

a)     Even as a NITI Aayog member has backed cultivation of GM pulses to ensure food security in the country, farmer groups and agriculture experts have asked the govt to first focus on establishing an assured market mechanism for pulses to aid farmers and lower countrys dependence on imports.

10.

Chinese infrastructure bank eyes loans to India (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

b)     World Bank

c)     Asian Development Bank (ADB)

d)     New Development Bank (NDB)

a)    India hopes to receive one of the first loans issued by the China-led AIIB later this year, as it looks to raise $500 million for solar power projects from the newly created lender.

b)     Funding for clean energy projects would allay fears of environmental lobbyists that the banks relaxed lending criteria could promote dirty fuels like coal in developing economies (like India) that are in a hurry to ramp up energy output.

c)    The multilateral investment bank plans to join global clean-energy initiatives, and could fund eco-friendly investment projects to avoid allegations of promoting pollution. India is looking to borrow from the AIIB to back PM Modis plan of expanding installed solar capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2022.

d)     India is in talks with the World Bank, the ADB, Germanys KfW and the New Development Bank (set up by big emerging economies that form the BRICS bloc) to raise more than $3 billion in the financial year that starts April1.

11.

More heatwaves likely this summer (Page 13)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)     Heat waves

b)     Greenhouse gases

c)     Global warming

d)     El Nino

e)     La Nina

f)     India Meteorological Department (IMD)

a)     Meteorologists have said that an average rise of 1 degree Celsius in summer temperatures (as predicted by the IMD) over most of India would mean more days of extreme heat as well as a higher likelihood of heat waves compared to last year.

b) The IMD defines a heatwave as an excess of 5 to 6 degrees C over the maximum daily temperature (over a 30-year period) of less than 40 degree C or an excess of 4 to 5 degree C over a normal historical maximum temperature of over 40 degree C. The IMD declares a heat wave when the actual maximum temperature is above 45 degree C.

c)     The IMD stated that the summer months of 2016 would be warmer than normal across all meteorological sub-divisions of the country and above-normal, heat wave conditions are very likely over central and northwest India during the period.

d)     India experienced significantly above normal temperatures during Jan and Feb of this year with monthly anomalies of 1.5 deg. C and 2 deg. C, when compared to the thirty-year average of 1961-90. Moreover, 2015 was the third warmest year ever recorded since 1901.

e)     The IMD concurs that the frequency and duration of heat waves over the country are increasing and attributes it to increasing greenhouse gases due to anthropogenic activity and the El Nino (characterised by the warming of sea surface temperatures over the Pacific Ocean and correlated with droughts in India) that is also linked to more heat waves.

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