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Daily News Analysis 03-04-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, Pakistan should reduce their arsenal, says Obama (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     US President Barack Obama said that India and Pakistan need to make progress in reducing their nuclear arsenal and ensure they do not continually move in the wrong direction while developing military doctrines.

2.

Modi arrives in Riyadh for talks (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     PM Modi arrived in Riyadh on April 2 on his maiden visit to the oil-rich Saudi kingdom. Both countries are set to firm up agreements to bolster their strategic partnership and explore ways to enhance security and counter-terror cooperation.

3.

India to ratify Paris pact on April 22 (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Union Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar said that India will join 100 nations in ratifying the Paris agreement on climate change on April 22.

4.

Wigneswaran slams Centres hegemonic attitude (Page 14)

a)     International

a)   Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran blamed the Sri Lankan government for adopting a dominating, domineering and hegemonic attitude towards the Northern Province.

5.

Centre plans model law on groundwater (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    The Central govt is likely to begin consultations with the States to frame a Bill to prevent the misuse of groundwater, a rapidly diminishing resource in India.

6.

NHRC notice on go-slow promise (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Health

a)    The National Human Rights Commission has served a notice on the Union Commerce Ministry over private assurances that were reported to have been given by it to a business advocacy group representing US interests that India would go slow in granting Compulsory Licences allowing domestic pharma companies to override patents held by Western drug-makers and make corresponding generic drugs that would be sold at cheaper prices.

7.

FCRA tweaked to boost CSR spend (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     A discreet move to amend the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010 through the Finance Bill that has gone unnoticed appears to have a twin purpose - unlock an estimated Rs. 10,000 crore that corporates want to spend on CSR activities in India and clear the legal path for political parties to receive donations from what were hitherto classified as foreign companies.

8.

Bangladesh to move more goods via coastal route (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)     Bangladeshi traders have started shopping for more commodities from India, as moving goods through the coastal route would lead to cost and time savings.

9.

Is the mighty Ganga drying up? (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Ganga that has nourished Indian civilisation for centuries has recorded a historically low inflow in its lower reaches this year, going by the evidence on the ground.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, Pakistan should reduce their arsenal, says Obama (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Nuclear Security Summit (NSS)

b)    Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

c)     International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

d)     INTERPOL

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

f)     Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

g)     Nuclear Security Contact Group

h)     Islamic State (IS)

i)     Al-Qaeda

a)     US President Obama said that India and Pakistan need to make progress in reducing their nuclear arsenal and ensure they do not continually move in the wrong direction while developing military doctrines.

b)     At the end of the Nuclear Security Summit, world leaders were shown a classified video that Obama said focussed attention on possible scenarios that might emerge with respect to terrorist networks laying their hands on a nuclear device.

c)     Obama told the gathering that the IS obtaining a nuclear weapon was one of the greatest threats to global security.

d)     The fourth NSS (the last in its current format) ended with leaders from over 50 countries and four international organisations stating in a communique that more work remains to be done to prevent non-state actors from obtaining nuclear and other radioactive materials, which could be used for malicious purposes.

e)     According to a progress report circulated at the NSS in Washington India has taken multiple measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons.

f)   India has set up a permanent team of technical and security experts from multiple ministries and agencies that conducts tabletop exercises simulating nuclear smuggling, phased out the use of highly enriched uranium and built a database of all radioactive sources in the country.

g)     While nuclear security is a serious domestic concern, India also used the platform to push its desire for membership in the NSG, the exclusive club that controls global nuclear trade.

h)     Indias export controls list and guidelines have been harmonised with those of the NSG, and India looks forward to strengthening its contribution to shared non-proliferation objectives through membership of the export controls regimes.

i)     Political-level coordination between countries on nuclear security will continue in the IAEA biennial ministerial conference (the next one is in December) but the possibility of another summit is very much open. Senior officials involved in the last four summits will continue their collaboration in the format of a Contact Group, and they would decide whether and when a summit is required.

j)     Besides the IAEA, global coordination to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear material will continue in four other forums - Interpol, the UN, the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

2.

Modi arrives in Riyadh for talks (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Saudi Arabia relations

b)     Counter-terror cooperation

c)     Islamic State (IS)

a)    PM Modi arrived in Riyadh on April 2 on his maiden two-day visit to Saudi Arabia as both countries are set to firm up a raft of pacts to bolster their strategic partnership, besides exploring ways to enhance security and counter-terror cooperation.

b)     Combating threat of terrorism and radicalisation is expected to figure high on the agenda of the talks between Modi and the leadership of Saudi Arabia.

c)    Riyadh has recently formed a major coalition of 34 Muslim nations to fight terror, particularly of the IS type.

d)     Indias ties with Saudi Arabia have been on an upswing over the past two decades based on burgeoning energy ties and both countries may look to move beyond a buyer-seller relationship in the sector and go for joint ventures and investment in refineries and oil fields.

e)     Modi may seek deeper involvement of Indian companies in upstream and downstream oil and gas sector projects in Gulf nation whose economy has been hit due to falling prices of crude oil, cut in oil exports and slowing down of domestic consumption.

3.

India to ratify Paris pact on April 22 (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Paris Climate Agreement

b)     Climate change

c)     Global warming

d)     Greenhouse gas emission

e)     Compensatory Afforestation Funds Bill 2015

a)     Union Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar said that India will join 100 nations in ratifying the Paris agreement on climate change on April 22.

b)     The United Nations agreement (negotiated in Paris in Dec 2015) sets out a global action plan to put the world on track by limiting global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and attempt to shield the world from the catastrophic effects of climate change.

c)     The global 1 degree rise in temperature was due to 150 years of uncontrolled carbon emission by the developed world. He said while 30 percent of cumulative contribution was that of the United States, 50 percent by Europe, Canada and other developed world and 10 percent by China, India was responsible for only 3 percent.

d)     Among Indias proactive measures to combat the pernicious effects of global warming was Rs. 400 per tonne green cess on coal and a proposed Compensatory Afforestation Funds Bill 2015, which would unlock Rs. 40,000 crore of funds made available to States to take up afforestation programmes.

4.

Wigneswaran slams Centres hegemonic attitude (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas housing project

b)     Sri Lankas Constitutional reforms

a)   Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran blamed the Sri Lankan govt for adopting a dominating, domineering and hegemonic attitude towards the Northern Province.

b)     He said the Central government did not discuss the details of its housing project for the Northern and Eastern Provinces with the provincial administration and peoples representatives in the North.

c)     The project envisages to build 65,000 houses in Northern and Eastern provinces.

d)     Asked about the plan for economic development of the province, he said a multilateral needs-based assessment study was being carried out and a 10-year-action plan would be prepared. The UN, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank were among those which would be involved.

e) On the issue of constitutional reforms, he reiterated the need for a federal Constitution. He cited the example of India and other countries where the idea of federalism was being followed without actually using the term federal.

5.

Centre plans model law on groundwater (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Law on groundwater

b)     Groundwater depletion

 

 

a)    The Central govt is likely to begin consultations with the States to frame a Bill to prevent the misuse of groundwater, a rapidly diminishing resource in India.

b)     All groundwater is considered freshwater, which can also include water from ponds, lakes and other sources of surface water.

c)     The management of water is a State subject in India and that has complicated efforts to manage water resources.

d)     A recent study by the Central Ground Water Board found that groundwater exploitation and contamination has affected nearly 60 percent of Indian districts.

6.

NHRC notice on go-slow promise (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Health

a)     National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

b)     United States-India Business Council (USIBC)

c)     US Trade Representative (USTR)

d)     Indian Patents Act

 

a)     The NHRC has served a notice on the Union Commerce Ministry over private assurances that were reported to have been given by it to a business advocacy group representing US interests that India would go slow in granting Compulsory Licences allowing domestic pharma companies to override patents held by Western drug-makers and make corresponding generic drugs that would be sold at cheaper prices.

b)     The NHRC notice comes after reports that came in March that the USIBC had been verbally assured that Indias patent offices would take a restrained approach in handing out licences to produce cheaper, generic versions of drugs patented by American companies.

c) The comments were revealed in a submission earlier this year by USIBC to the USTR, which was in the process of reviewing global intellectual property laws for an annual report identifying trade barriers to US companies. The USTR has placed India on its priority watch list for two years now, saying its patent laws favour the local drug industry in an unfair manner.

d)  The Commission has sought reports within two weeks from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as well as of Health. In the notice, the NHRC states that the reported verbal assurances raise questions on issues that impinge on the right to health of citizens in India.

e)     The notice points out that if the govt, by invoking the provisions of the Indian Patents Act, grants CLs to manufacture particular drugs that would increase access to affordable generic versions of same drugs, bringing solace to thousands.

7.

FCRA tweaked to boost CSR spend (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) 2010

b)     Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  

c)     Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

 

a)     A discreet move to amend FCRA 2010 through Finance Bill that has gone unnoticed appears to have a twin purpose - unlock an estimated Rs.10,000 crore that corporates want to spend on CSR activities in India and clear legal path for political parties to receive donations from what were hitherto classified as foreign companies.

b)     Pre-amendment, any company with a FDI of above 50 percent was deemed as a foreign source.

c)     The companies argued that while govt policy mandated them to spend 2 percent of the companys profit on CSR projects, the FCRAs provisions which classified such funds as coming from a foreign source came in the way of this.

8.

Bangladesh to move more goods via coastal route (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)     India – Bangladesh trade ties

b)     Indias imports and exports

 

a)     Bangladeshi traders have started shopping for more commodities from India, as moving goods through the coastal route would lead to cost and time savings.

b)     Currently, the Bangladeshi traders wish list includes tyres from Chennai, cotton, chillies and tobacco (from Guntur) and textile machineries (from Coimbatore). Besides, Bangladesh imports from India iron and steel, sugar and cereals, glass and glassware, vehicles, equipment, aluminium, plastics, copper and utensils made of base metal.

c)     Due to increased volume, rail and road traffic is facing congestion on Indo-Bangladesh border leading to payment of surcharge. Traders from both nations have been searching for an alternative source to save on time and additional cost.

9.

Is the mighty Ganga drying up? (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Ganga river

b)     Ganga Cleaning Plan

c)     Glaciers melt

a)     Ganga that has nourished Indian civilisation for centuries has recorded a historically low inflow in its lower reaches this year, going by the evidence on the ground.

b)     The inflow at the Farakka barrage in West Bengal nearly halved, compared with the quantum of water available in the last two years.

c)     Glaciologists studying the Himalayan sources of the river allay concerns that reduced snowmelt from the retreating glaciers might further affect the water levels, though they are divided over the extent of the impact.

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