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Daily News Analysis 06-04-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

US does not see India as hyphenated with Pak (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Former senior US official and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace William Burns says that the US no longer sees India as hyphenated with Pakistan, particularly after the India-US civil nuclear deal was agreed to in 2005.

2.

We understand Indias security concerns: US (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     The White House said that the US understood Indias security concerns, and would be concerned about and attuned to the national security concerns that are expressed by close partners like India.

3.

Pak media report a total concoction, says Centre (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Government sources said that a media report in Pakistan about the Joint Investigation Team blaming India for the Pathankot attack was a total concoction.

4.

Tilting towards the Saudis (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India needs a balanced West Asia policy. By skewing it towards the Saudis in pursuit of short-term goals, New Delhi runs the risk of antagonising Tehran.

5.

Expectations high from Ranils China visit (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrives in Beijing on April 6th on an upbeat note after his government cleared the stalled $1.4 billion Colombo Port City, which had become an irritant in the ties between the two countries after a change of guard in Sri Lanka.

6.

Pak to get Viper attack helicopters (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The US is poised to sell nine AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters worth $170 million to Pakistan, weeks after Obama administration decided to provide eight F-16 fighter jets to the country despite the strong opposition from some Congressmen and India.

7.

Thein Sein becomes monk for five days (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The retired junta general who steered Myanmars last five years of reforms has temporarily become a monk, days after he ceded power to a new government led by Aung San Suu Kyis pro-democracy party.

8.

Modi unveils scheme to make Dalits entrepreneurs (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     PM Modi unveiled the Stand-up India scheme to promote entrepreneurship among women, scheduled castes and tribes by enabling them secure easier loans and said this could be an engine of job creation for youth.

9.

Staying accommodative (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     The RBIs reiteration of an accommodative stance after it cut the repo rate by 25 basis points on April 5th is a clear and unequivocal message that the monetary authorities stand ready to spur economic growth.

10.

Black money hunt yet to yield results (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Despite several official efforts to trace and recover black money India has not registered any major success, and investigation agencies are still struggling to estimate how much Indian wealth is parked in tax havens.

11.

Govt. notifies new rules on waste management (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)    The Environment Ministry has notified rules making it incumbent on a wide range of groups to ensure that the solid waste generated in their facilities are treated and recycled.

12.

North Atlantic played key role in last climate change (Page 22)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)     Providing valuable insights into why large continental ice-sheets first grew in North America and Scandinavia some 2.7 million years ago, a study says that the North Atlantic Ocean played a key role in the last climate transition.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

US does not see India as hyphenated with Pak (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     India-US civil nuclear deal

c)     Nuclear Security Summit

d)     Nuclear Suppliers Group

a)     Former senior US official and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace William Burns says that the US no longer sees India as hyphenated with Pakistan, particularly after the India-US civil nuclear deal was agreed to in 2005.

b)     He was responding to a strong statement from Ministry of External Affairs that accused US President Obama of having a lack of understanding of Indias defence posture.

c)     He said that Obama had spoken of concern about rising nuclear stockpiles in India and Pakistan, a comment that was seen in India as a re-hyphenation or coupling of the USs view of both countries.

d)     He said the significance of the US-India civil nuclear deal was not just our bilateral understanding, but the acceptance of Indias emergence as a responsible nuclear power.

2.

We understand Indias security concerns: US (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Nuclear Security Summit

a)     The White House said that the US understood Indias security concerns, and would be concerned about and attuned to the national security concerns that are expressed by close partners like India.

b)     The statement came soon after India interpreted President Obamas call for reduction of nuclear stockpiles in South Asia as a possible lack of understanding of Indias defence posture.

c)     White House spokesperson also underscored a lingering US concern about the region - the possibility of a nuclear flare-up between India and Pakistan, and called upon the countries to de-escalate tension as a priority.

d)     At the Nuclear Security Summit, PM Modi did raise the possibility of nuclear weapons reaching the hands of non-state actors who might collude with state actors, but did not name Pakistan.

3.

Pak media report a total concoction, says Centre (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Terrorism

c)     Pathankot terror attack

d)     Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)

e)     Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM)

f)     Joint Investigation Team (JIT)

g)    National Investigation Agency (NIA)

h)     UN Taliban/Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee

a)     Government sources said that a media report in Pakistan about the JIT blaming India for the Pathankot attack was a total concoction.

b)     According to the report, the JIT was preparing to submit a report that would be critical of India, including complaining of a lack of proper access to the Pathankot airbase, a lack of evidence, and even suggesting that India had staged the attack.

c)     Since the JIT collected evidence in accordance with a Pakistani law which applies to Pakistani citizens committing an offence abroad, the involvement of Pakistanis in the Pathankot attack is self-evident.

d) India has told UN Taliban/Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee that JeM chief Masood Azhar (who allegedly masterminded the attack on Pathankot airbase) has been on the radar of the Indian security establishment since 1993 when he was a 25-year-old member of HuM. Indias draft note was sent to the Committee where China blocked New Delhis effort to declare Azhar a global terrorist.

e)   India also told the UN panel that Azhar was one of handlers of terrorists who attacked the airbase in January this year and that his outfit received arms training from the Taliban.

4.

Tilting towards the Saudis (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Saudi Arabia relations

b)     Counter-terrorism cooperation

c)     Indias West Asia policy

d)     West Asia crisis

e)     Syria crisis

f)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     According to the author, PM Modis visit to Saudi Arabia clearly sets out the priorities of his governments policy for the region. The Riyadh trip came eight months after Modi went to the United Arab Emirates, another Gulf nation and a member of the Saudi camp.

b)     Historically, Indias West Asia policy has been multi-directional. During the Cold War years, India maintained close economic cooperation with both Saudi Arabia and Iran, the rival poles in regional geopolitics.

c)     Even when India warmed up to Israel in the 1990s as part of the countrys efforts to diversify its diplomatic engagement in the post-Soviet world, it was careful not to jeopardise traditional relations with Muslim countries.

d)     The bi-directional approach has been expanded to a tri-directional foreign policy to accommodate the three key pillars of West Asia - Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel.

e)  However, ties with Iran took a beating during the sanctions years when India cut its energy cooperation significantly despite its vitality and huge energy potential. It was during same time that India deepened cooperation with the Saudis. Modis visit to Riyadh should be seen against this background.

f)     His govt appears to be following the regional policy set by its immediate predecessor. This approach is tilted more towards the Saudi camp and Israel. Many see the trip to Riyadh as part of New Delhis balancing act between the Saudis and the Israelis.

g)     On the other side, there appears to be a complete lack of interest on Indias part to reboot ties with Iran even after international sanctions on the country were removed following the nuclear deal.

h) Saudi Arabia is Indias largest supplier of crude oil. That India is dependent on imports to meet around 70 percent of the countrys energy demand itself makes Riyadh a vital player in the countrys quest for energy security. Besides, India is the largest recipient of foreign remittances from the kingdom.

i)     Of the 11 million Indians working in West Asia, nearly three million are in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, stability in the region (and particularly in Saudi Arabia) is high on Indias core agenda. But bilateral relations have gone beyond the economic realm in recent years, acquiring a strategic sense and pushing both countries to beef up their security partnership.

j)     For decades, India was a passive player in West Asia. Despite the growing economic ties, political contacts between Saudi Arabia and India were at minimum till the Manmohan Singh govt took office in 2004. He visited Saudi in 2010 and signed the Riyadh Declaration, which set the framework for enhanced cooperation in the security, defence and economic spheres.

k)     Since then, there has been marked improvement in security cooperation and intelligence sharing between India and Saudi Arabia. Riyadh also extradited several terror suspects to India in a clear departure from its established policy towards New Delhi.

l)     The main focus of his trips to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia was counter-terrorism. Both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh are Pakistans historical allies. The joint statements (issued in August with the UAE and this week with Riyadh) are unsurprisingly similar. And both have indirect references to Pakistans dual policy towards terrorism.

m)     It is clear that Modi is giving a Pakistan spin to the Act West Asia policy of his predecessor. Indias objective appears to be to build a counter-terror narrative in diplomatic engagements with Pakistans close allies which could complicate the latters foreign policy. India would also not prefer to sit on the margins at a time when China is raising its profile in West Asia.

n)     There is believed to be friction between Islamabad and Riyadh over former warming up to Tehran and their growing energy cooperation. Pak also refused to join Saudi Arabias war coalition that has been bombing Yemen for the past one year in the name of fighting the Iran-backed Shia rebels.

o)     By skewing its West Asia policy towards the Saudis, even though it might help meet its short-term goals, India also runs the risk of antagonising Iran at a time when the country is emerging a stronger player in West Asia post the removal of sanctions.

p)     In Syria, the Saudi support for the rebels has played a key role in destabilising the regime, leading to the rise of the IS. In Yemen, the war has unleashed chaos and a humanitarian catastrophe, creating conditions for radicalism to flourish.

q)     So Saudi Arabia is not always a source of stability in West Asia, it is a disruptor too. India will have to factor these developments in its overall West Asia approach. The best way to do it is to restore the balance in its West Asia policy.

5.

Expectations high from Ranils China visit (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lanka – China relations

b)     Colombo Port City project

c)     Chinas One Belt One Road initiative

d)     Maritime Silk Road

e)     Hambantota Port

f)     Gwadar Port

a)     PM Ranil Wickremesinghe arrives in Beijing on April 6th on an upbeat note after his govt cleared the stalled $1.4 billion Colombo Port City, which had become an irritant in the ties between the two countries after a change of guard in Sri Lanka.

b)     Analysts say that the doors are now wide open to deepen Colombo-Beijing ties in all fields, including defence. Ranil arrives soon after Beijing hosted PM K.P. Sharma Oli of Nepal, a visit that has signed a major transit agreement as part of Beijings Belt and Road connectivity initiative.

c)     China also attaches centrality to Sri Lanka to amplify its Maritime Silk Road - an oceanic connectivity initiative that covers the Indian Ocean. In a bid to anchor their presence in the Indian Ocean, the Chinese have also been engaged in developing Pakistans Gwadar Port. China is also establishing Djibouti in the Horn of Africa as a military base to service logistical needs of Chinese warships.

d)     The expansion of the Hambantota Port is expected to cement China-funded infrastructure along a string of Indian Ocean ports, starting from Myanmars port of Kyaukphyu, within the ambit of the Maritime Silk Road.

e)     Observers say that Chinas growing influence in South Asia poses a challenge to India, which could do well to revamp of its neighbourhood policy.

6.

Pak to get Viper attack helicopters (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US – Pakistan relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     Viper attack helicopters

d)     F-16 fighter jets

 

a)     The US is poised to sell nine AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters worth $170 million to Pakistan, weeks after Obama administration decided to provide eight F-16 fighter jets to the country despite the strong opposition from some Congressmen and India.

b)     The Pentagon has awarded Bell Helicopter a contract to manufacture and deliver the choppers to Pakistan under its foreign military sales funds.

c)     The contract (which also includes nine auxiliary fuel kits for Pakistan) is part of the $952 million military hardware sale by the US which was notified to the Congress last April.

7.

Thein Sein becomes monk for five days (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Myanmar politics

b)     Myanmars Constitution

c)      National League for Democracy

d)     China – Myanmar relations

 

a)     The retired junta general who steered Myanmars last five years of reforms has temporarily become a monk, days after he ceded power to a new govt led by Aung San Suu Kyis pro-democracy party.

b)   Myanmars Foreign Minister Suu Kyi met her Chinese counterpart in first diplomatic foray of new pro-democracy govt, underscoring importance of relations with Beijing.

c)     Meanwhile, Myanmars military lawmakers made clear their opposition to a bill to create a powerful new presidential advisory role for Suu Kyi by refusing to take part in a lower house of Parliament vote on it.

d)     The bill (which creates a state counsellor position enabling Suu Kyi to work in both in the executive and legislative branches of govt) passed in lower house but not before raising tension between the military and Suu Kyis party.

8.

Modi unveils scheme to make Dalits entrepreneurs (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Stand-up India scheme

a)     PM Modi unveiled the Stand-up India scheme to promote entrepreneurship among women, scheduled castes and tribes by enabling them secure easier loans and said this could be an engine of job creation for youth.

b)     Under the scheme, SC/ST and women entrepreneurs will be provided loans of between Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 1 crore for setting up new enterprises.

c)     Modi said this will help in creating 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs throughout the country as every bank branch will be required to provide two such loans - to a Dalit or SC/ST person and a woman.

9.

Staying accommodative (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Monetary policy

b)     Repo rate

c)     Inflation

d)     Food inflation

e)     Retail inflation

f)     RBI

 

a)     The RBIs reiteration of an accommodative stance after it cut the repo rate by 25 basis points on April 5th is a clear and unequivocal message that the monetary authorities stand ready to spur economic growth.

b)     Explaining the rationale for his policy action, Governor Rajan said the RBIs aim is to help give a monetary fillip to private investment, which is currently becalmed by low capacity utilisation. The RBIs focus on domestic growth comes not a moment too soon.

c)     IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned that the global economy is losing momentum, with the recovery being too slow, too fragile. Among the headwinds that both Lagarde and Rajan have cited is Chinas current slowdown. For India, this years monsoon will be a critical factor.

d)    If rainfall during the season is broadly normal after two consecutive years of shortfall, it would provide a healthy supply shock: simultaneously bolstering rural demand and boosting the availability of farm produce. That would help temper inflationary trends.

e)     For its part, the RBI has found comfort in a string of data points. These include its Consumer Confidence Survey that shows a marginal improvement in consumer sentiment and the manufacturing purchasing managers index reflecting a continuing expansion.

f)     And survey outcomes (both for industrial and services outlook for the first quarter of the new fiscal year) suggesting that business expectations remain positive have fed into the central banks decision to retain its 7.6 percent forecast for growth in gross value added terms for 2016-17.

g)     On the inflation front, the RBI has drawn reassurance from the fact that food inflation eased in the second half of the last financial year, notably as a result of a decline in prices and not as a result of the base effect. The central bank expects retail inflation to continue to decelerate and remain around 5 percent this year.

h)     Rajan is convinced that improved monetary transmission holds the key to unlocking credit. To that end, the move to a marginal cost of funds based lending rate regime has already helped pare borrowing costs by at least 25 to 50 basis points, according to initial estimates of the RBI.

10.

Black money hunt yet to yield results (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Panama Papers

b)     Black money

c)     Special Investigation Team (SIT)

d)     Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act 2015

a)     Despite several official efforts to trace and recover black money India has not registered any major success, and investigation agencies are still struggling to estimate how much Indian wealth is parked in tax havens.

b)     While the Panama papers bring out yet another list of Indias rich and influential who have parked money in tax havens, officials are grapping to find credible ways to verify a new estimate showing that over $505 billion has left India during the 2004-13 period.

c)     Officials who have worked with SIT on black money say that India is too far away from making any major breakthrough on the hunt for black money.

d)    The former Supreme Court judge said that strict implementation of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act 2015 could lead better results.

e)     Modi govts first major announcement was the setting up of the SIT on black money. It followed it up with a three months compliance window between July and Sept 2015 under the black money Act.

f)     The govt of Panama on April 5th promised India assistance in investigating those who figure on the latest list of the rich and the influential who have parked money in secretive tax havens.

g)     The list (which includes at least 500 Indian citizens) has emerged from Mossack Fonseca, a law firm registered in Panama, which helped its elite transnational clientele to evade taxes for several decades.

11.

Govt. notifies new rules on waste management (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Solid waste management

b)     Swachh Bharat Mission

 

a)     The Environment Ministry has notified rules making it incumbent on a wide range of groups (hotels, residential colonies, bulk producers of consumer goods, ports, railway stations, airports and pilgrimage spots) to ensure that solid waste generated in their facilities are treated and recycled.

12.

North Atlantic played key role in last climate change (Page 22)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)     Climate change

b)     North Atlantic Ocean

a)    Providing valuable insights into why large continental ice-sheets first grew in North America and Scandinavia some 2.7 million years ago, a study says that the North Atlantic Ocean played a key role in the last climate transition.

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