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Daily News Analysis 07-04-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

US for stronger ties with India (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Days ahead of his three-day visit to India that starts on April 10, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said the US is looking for stronger and closer relations with India but not for anything exclusive.

2.

Why we must keep talking to Pakistan (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Playing games has become a part of the Pakistani psyche, but India must stay engaged with the civilian and military establishments to help democracy strike deeper roots in the country.

3.

India, China argue over Masood Azhar (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said that India has conveyed its disappointment to China after its move to add Maulana Masood Azhar (head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed) to an international blacklist of terrorists faced Chinese opposition at the UN.

4.

China-funded Colombo Port City project continues to face protests (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Even as the Sri Lankan government is inching towards an agreement to revive the Colombo Port City Project, its critics have renewed their campaign against the project, funded by a Chinese company.

5.

Millions drinking poisoned water in Bangladesh: HRW (Page 14)

a)     International

a)    Human Rights Watch said that some 20 million poor Bangladeshis are still drinking water contaminated with arsenic, two decades after the potentially deadly toxin was discovered in the supply.

6.

The Panama paper trail (Page 10)

a)     International

b)     National

a)     As the ramifications of the leak of about 11 million secret documents from the Panama-based law firm (Mossack Fonseca) play themselves out, a clear articulation of what the Panama Papers hold for the state of global finance today came from US President Obama.

7.

3 get life term for Mumbai blasts (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     A special Prevention of Terrorism Act court in Mumbai on April 6th awarded life imprisonment to three of the ten convicted in the triple blasts of 2002-2003.

8.

Why low outgo for drought relief: SC (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     As soaring mercury levels leave drought-prone States in a parched condition, the Supreme Court turned the heat on the Centre for not releasing sufficient funds to these States for employment generation under the MGNREGS.

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

US for stronger ties with India (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Defence cooperation

c)     Logistics Supply Agreement (LSA)

d)     Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)

e)     Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)

f)     Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)

g)     US Pivot to Asia

h)     Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA)

a)     Days ahead of his three-day visit to India that starts on April 10, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said the US is looking for stronger and closer relations with India but not for anything exclusive.

b)     Carter (a strong proponent of deeper cooperation between India and the US) said he spent a lot of time on it and reiterated that the US Pivot to Asia and Indias Act East policy implied convergence of concerns and interests.

c)     He will also be visiting the Philippines, where he will witness a joint military exercise and visit a US navy ship in the South China Sea.

d)     Carters emphasis on allowing space for Indias autonomy even as strategic ties deepen between two countries comes against the backdrop of renewed efforts to conclude three defence agreements - the LSA, the CISMOA and BECA.

e)    He said there were two key elements to US-India strategic cooperation. First, the Pivot to Asia-Act East convergence, which, he said was like two hands grasping one another. He named the DTTI as the second defining component.

f)   He said the new rebalancing of Asia would have to account for the rise of China and India.

g)     China has raised concerns about the new EDCA between the US and the Philippines, and the joint exercise that is currently under way.

2.

Why we must keep talking to Pakistan (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     NSA talks

c)     Terrorism

d)     Pathankot terror attack

e)     Joint Investigation Team (JIT)

f)     Kashmir issue

a)     According to the author, Pakistan may not be an army with a country but still remains a country with the army in control. As a Pakistani friend acknowledged, the army has been the final arbiter and guardian of the country since its inception.

b)   It truly believes (because of its India-centric obsession) that like the suicide bombers it has nurtured, it is doing what it is doing in Pakistans interest. The Pakistani military establishment is firmly entrenched and calls the shots on diplomacy which it equates with national security, a concept too dangerously contrived for our comfort.

c)     Politicians in Pakistan do themselves no favours by their conduct; reckoned weak, corrupt, opportunistic, cashing in on every political opportunity. The reason politicians have appeared wishy-washy in Pak is that they have all been creations of army, its proxies or fallback options.

d)     The PM in Pakistan only theoretically retains the veto on key matters including the appointment of the army chief. His fate rather often depends on how he balances the big guns with carrots to match their sticks, from which emerges the school of thought in Pak that politicians were nincompoops and the army alone was capable of running the country.

e)  In this context the retirement of current Pakistan Army chief due in November is already a matter of excitement and speculation in the country. It is said that General Raheel Sharif is a gentleman soldier and would like to retire when due.

f)     The Pakistan Army chief is not just any chief and General Sharif has endeared himself in the public perception by taking on terrorists threatening the very identity of Pakistan. He is said to be the most popular chief since Field Marshal Ayub Khan. So, if no one else, the people of Pakistan may demand an extension for General Sharif.

g)     Anything and everything can be contrived in Pakistan. Playing games has become a part of the Pakistani psyche.

h)  In the past what happened in Pakistan could be conveniently ignored. But with his visit to Lahore and the change in Indias Pakistan policy, PM Modi has invested political capital in Pakistans democracy and more particularly his friendship with his Pakistani counterpart.

i)     In Pakistan, too, Modis Lahore visit was regarded as a Christmas gift from India and businessmen in Punjab province were said to be ecstatic at the prospect of better trade ties between the two countries. Civil society in Pakistan favours peace with India, knowing that democracy there is in a sense dependent on the India-Pakistan detente.

j)     All the more reason for us to be magnanimous and market ourselves better in Pakistan to prop up democracy there. Modi understands better than anyone else that democracy in Pakistan could be closely linked to Sharifs own fate.

k)     At the same time, on the business end, nothing can happen without the army in Pakistan. Therefore the need to reach out to it. On positive side, the respective NSAs already appeared to have worked out a reasonable relationship. The visit by the Pakistani JIT to probe into the Pathankot attack is also a positive development.

l)  In the India-Pak relationship, we should appear to take two steps whenever Pakistan takes a step forward rather than giving impression that when Pakistan takes a step forward, we take two steps back.

m)     Pakistan still maintains that Kashmir is its core issue but Kashmiris have understood what that core has been. There is a strong sentiment in Pakistan that it had unnecessarily mortgaged itself to Kashmir. From our point of view, Kashmir could be much easier dealt directly with Srinagar than via Islamabad.

3.

India, China argue over Masood Azhar (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Terrorism

b)     Pathankot terror attack

c)     Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)

d)     Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM)

e)     Islamic State (IS)

f)     Al-Qaeda

g)     UNSC

a)  Foreign Secretary Jaishankar said that India has conveyed its disappointment to China after its move to add Maulana Masood Azhar (head of Pakistan-based militant group JeM) to an international blacklist of terrorists faced Chinese opposition at the UN.

b)     India accuses JeM of masterminding the January attack on Pathankot air base, and had requested that Azhar be added to the UNSC blacklist of groups linked to al-Qaeda or IS, but China objected it.

c)     However, Jaishankar added that the issue will remain limited between India and China at the UN and will not overflow into other areas.

d)     Maulana Masood Azhar was allowed to preach extremist ideology at several British mosques during a month-long visit to UK in Aug 1993 on the invitation of Islamist scholars when young Muslims were asked to seek weapons training at terrorist camps in Pakistan.

e)     Azhar was chief organiser of the Pakistani jihadist group HuM in early 90s.

4.

China-funded Colombo Port City project continues to face protests (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lanka – China relations

b)     Colombo Port City Project

a)     Even as the Sri Lankan government is inching towards an agreement to revive the Colombo Port City Project, its critics have renewed their campaign against the project, funded by a Chinese company.

b)     The issue has again come to the fore in the wake of PM Ranil Wickremesinghes current visit to China. The project promoter (CHEC Port City Colombo Pvt Ltd) is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company, an entity listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

c)     Critics said the Sri Lankan government was going ahead without considering various factors such as adverse impact that would be caused to marine ecology, environment and fishermens livelihood.

5.

Millions drinking poisoned water in Bangladesh: HRW (Page 14)

a)     International

a)      Bangladesh drinking water crisis

b)     Human Rights Watch (HRW)

 

a)    Human Rights Watch said that some 20 million poor Bangladeshis are still drinking water contaminated with arsenic, two decades after the potentially deadly toxin was discovered in the supply.

b)     A new report said that Bangladesh had failed to take the basic steps needed to tackle the problem which kills an estimated 43,000 Bangladeshis every year. The problem dates back to the 1970s, when the Bangladesh government drilled millions of shallow tube wells to provide villagers with clean water - not realising that the soil was heavily laced with naturally occurring arsenic.

c)     Bangladesh has been building deep tube wells to source water from beneath the arsenic-tainted soil.

6.

The Panama paper trail (Page 10)

a)     International

b)     National

a)     Panama Papers

b)     Mossack Fonseca

c)     Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

d)     Black Money

e)     Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Act 2015

f)     Special Investigation Team (SIT)

g)     Liberalised Remittance Scheme

h)     RBI

 

 

a)     As the ramifications of the leak of about 11 million secret documents from the Panama-based law firm (Mossack Fonseca) play themselves out, a clear articulation of what the Panama Papers hold for the state of global finance today came from US President Obama.

b)     Obama described global tax avoidance as a huge problem. Today, it is perfectly legal in many countries to park money in various kinds of shadowy companies in tax havens. This holds true in India as well, where a lack of clarity persists about the legality of buying offshore companies, a service that is expressly provided by Mossack Fonseca.

c)     The lack of clarity exists despite the RBIs evolving guidelines on offshore remittances and investments since 2004.

d)     While the guidelines (such as those of the Liberalised Remittance Scheme) are specific to remittances utilised by residents to service various overseas requirements such as medical treatment and education, they have been modified over time to permit the setting up of 100 percent subsidiaries and joint ventures within limit of $250,000 a year.

e)     One of the few stipulations is that money cannot be sent to countries identified as non-cooperative by the global Financial Action Task Force. The FATF identified Panama as having taken significant steps to comply with standards related to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, in February 2016.

f)     The RBI guidelines have largely been a reactive measure to address flows to tax havens. The investigation into the Panama Papers and the scrutiny of the accounts of Indians named in them should pave the way for yet another tightening of the norms.

g)     A global tax avoidance problem requires a coordinated response, and the papers point to urgent need for much more transparency in the movement of global finance capital.

h)     The NDA govt has passed the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Act 2015 and provided a one-time compliance window to declare foreign assets and income. So far, these steps have yielded little by way of repatriation of transferred assets.

i)  The problem of black money stashed overseas has to be dealt with both at the multilateral level, through tightened capital flow norms, and domestically, through a zero tolerance approach to illegal transfers.

7.

3 get life term for Mumbai blasts (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA)

b)     Mumbai blasts 2002-2003 case

c)     Indian Penal Code

d)     Indian Railways Act

e)     Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act

f)     Arms Act

g)    Explosive Substances Act

 

a)     A special Prevention of Terrorism Act court in Mumbai on April 6th awarded life imprisonment to three of the ten convicted in the triple blasts of 2002-2003. Additional Judge sentenced Muzammil Ansari, Dr. Wahid Ansari and Farhaan Khot to life term.

b)     On Dec 6 2002, a bomb had exploded at the Mumbai Central railway station, next to McDonalds, injuring 27 persons.

c)  On Jan 27 2003, one woman died and 32 persons were injured when a bomb planted on a bicycle exploded in market area of Vile Parle station.

d)     On March 13 that year, a bomb exploded in the first class ladies compartment of a Karjat-bound train that had just reached Mulund. The blast claimed the lives of 11 commuters and injured 82.

e)  All 13 accused were charged with murder, attempt to murder, causing grievous injuries, waging a war against the nation and criminal conspiracy and arms possession.

f)     They were booked under the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Railways Act, the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, the Arms Act, the Explosive Substances Act and the POTA.

8.

Why low outgo for drought relief: SC (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

b)     National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013

a)     As soaring mercury levels leave drought-prone States in a parched condition, the Supreme Court turned the heat on the Centre for not releasing sufficient funds to these States for employment generation under the MGNREGS.

b)     A Bench said there was no point anymore in denying that areas such as Bundelkhand and Marathwada were not drought-affected. It asked the Centre to pull its socks up as the need for relief was now and immediate.

c)     The Bench was hearing a PIL plea filed by Swaraj Abhiyan to treat the situation as a calamity and provide guidelines for the effective implementation of the National Food Security Act, the MGNREGS and basic water supply to drought-hit States.

d)     The petition listed Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chhattisgarh as drought-hit.

e)     The plea had sought the court to examine the rainfall data in these States for purpose of declaring drought-affected areas, districts and taluks.

f)     The petition asked the court to intervene to find out about the implementation of the NFSA of 2013 and the availability of food grains, rice, dal, edible oil, eggs and milk for children, etc, in these areas.

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