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Daily News Analysis 09-04-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

MEA maintains studied silence (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     The Ministry of External Affairs maintained a studied silence a day after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue was suspended and laid the responsibility for reviving it on India.

2.

India in talks with US to buy Predator drones (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India is in talks with the United States to purchase 40 Predator surveillance drones, a possible first step towards acquiring the armed version of the aircraft and a development likely to annoy Pakistan.

3.

Remains of US WW II troops to be returned during Carters visit (P13)

a)     I.R

a)     India is set to hand over the remains of US combatants and an aircraft shot down over Arunachal Pradesh during World War II to Defence Secretary Ashton Carter during his visit next week.

4.

China, Sri Lanka eye new infra road map to anchor ties (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Looking beyond the current difficulties in reviving a stalled multi-billion dollar project, Sri Lanka and China are now defining a new blueprint (based on rapid infrastructure development) to rail their growing ties for the future.

5.

Not a court of everyday appeals (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     A National Court of Appeal is being advocated as an intermediate forum between the Supreme Court and the various high courts of India. But a better solution to ease the higher judiciarys burden may lie in strengthening that of the lower.

6.

Welcome waste as new wealth (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     After fighting a losing battle with the growing tide of municipal waste, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has notified the new Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 with clear responsibilities assigned to various classes of consumers.

7.

Feds Yellen says rate increases on track (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     In a defence of her decision to tighten policy late last year, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the US economy is on a solid course with some hints of inflation so the Federal Reserve is on track for further interest rate hikes.

 

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

MEA maintains studied silence (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD)

c)     Terrorism

d)     Pathankot terror attack

e)     Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)

f)     Joint Investigation Team (JIT)

g)    National Investigation Agency (NIA)

 

a)     Amid criticism from the Opposition, of the governments Pakistan policy, the Ministry of External Affairs maintained a studied silence a day after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue was suspended and laid the responsibility for reviving it on India.

b)     Analysts said that Basit (who is known for his repeated courting of the Kashmiri separatists) has shown with his latest comments that he is out of line of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad and more in line with the hardline sections of the military establishment of Pakistan.

c)     Basit had specifically mentioned that there was no need to send a NIA team to Pakistan to interrogate people relevant to the Pathankot terror attack.

d)     India will again approach the United Nations to put Jaish chief Masood Azhar on the list of proscribed terrorists, this time after incorporating inputs from the NIA. The NIA, which is probing the Pathankot terror attack has been asked to furnish details gathered by it regarding Azhars role in the entire conspiracy.

e)     India will use this information to renew its bid to include Azhars name on the UN list, which China blocked last week.

f)     The NIA secured non-bailable arrest warrants against Pakistan-based JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf and two others for allegedly conspiring to carry out terror strike on the strategic Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.

2.

India in talks with US to buy Predator drones (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Defence ties

a)     India is in talks with the United States to purchase 40 Predator surveillance drones, a possible first step towards acquiring the armed version of the aircraft and a development likely to annoy Pakistan.

b)     India is trying to equip the military with more unmanned technologies to gather intelligence as well as boost its firepower along the vast land borders with Pakistan and China. It also wants a closer eye on the Indian Ocean.

c)     New Delhi has already acquired surveillance drones from Israel to monitor the mountains of Kashmir, a region disputed by the nuclear-armed South Asian rivals and the cause of two of their three wars.

d)     As defence ties deepen with the US, which sees India as a counterweight to China in the region, India has asked US for the Predator series of unmanned planes built by privately-held General Atomics.

3.

Remains of US WW II troops to be returned during Carters visit (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)    Defence ties

c)     Logistics Support Agreement (LSA)

d)     Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)

e)     World War II

a)     India is set to hand over the remains of US combatants and an aircraft shot down over Arunachal Pradesh during World War II to Defence Secretary Ashton Carter during his visit next week.

b)     The US military lost at least 416 personnel in one of the most treacherous WW II operations, as US Air Force aircraft flew between northeast India and China providing crucial logistics support in the war against Japan.

c)     India is expected to hand over remnants of a US Air Force B-24 bomber, which crashed at Damroh in Siang valley, Arunachal Pradesh on January 25 1944 while flying from Kunming in China to Chabua in Assam.

d)     From 1942 onwards, US troops served in India. Several of them were also involved in building infrastructure to support allied operations including many bases in the Northeast and even partly the Kolkata port.

e)     India and the US will attempt to elevate their strategic cooperation by several notches when US Defence Secretary Ash Carter begins his India visit from Goa.

f)    Both countries are currently negotiating the Logistics Support Agreement which gives militaries of the two countries access to each others facilities for fuelling and berthing. However India has expressed reservations on usage in times of war and has sought clarification from the US.

g)     The burgeoning defence cooperation under the DTTI will be reviewed. The talks will focus on the 17 new projects in the pipeline and attempts will be made to narrow down and finalise them.

h)     With India looking for another fighter aircraft beyond the Rafale, the US has already presented India with offers for producing the F-16 and F-18 fighter jets under Make in India.

4.

China, Sri Lanka eye new infra road map to anchor ties (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China – Sri Lanka relations

b)     Colombo Port City project

c)     Hambantota port

d)     Chinas One Belt One Road initiative

e)     China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

a)    Looking beyond the current difficulties in reviving a stalled multi-billion dollar project, Sri Lanka and China are now defining a new blueprint (based on rapid infrastructure development) to rail their growing ties for the future.

b)     On April 8, Sri Lankan PM Wickremesinghe called on Chinese President Xi Jinping. Following talks with Chinese PM Li, both countries affirmed that the $1.4 billion Colombo Port City project had their support, but technical details needed to be ironed out before construction could resume.

c)     On the Colombo port, both sides agreed to further speed up the overall and comprehensive resumption of work on this project.

d)     Ahead of his visit, Wickremesinghe has pledged that his government would generate one million jobs in five years, mainly based on foreign investments from China, Japan, Singapore, India and European countries.

e)     In tune with Colombos aspirations, the two PMs agreed to prioritise the construction of an industrial park at Sri Lankas Hambantota port.

f)     The two countries will also concentrate on the construction of ports, airports, roads and railways along with fostering a stronger collaboration in the fields of finance, science and technology and culture.

g)     During his stay, Wickremesinghe is slated to meet representatives of China-led AIIB - the 57-member lender which has been geared to develop infrastructure along the Asian leg of the Belt and Road, Chinas giant oceanic and land connectivity project.

h)     Chinese officials said Sri Lanka is very willing to participate in Chinas Belt and Road initiative so as to re-establish Sri Lankas position as trade hub in the Indian Ocean.

5.

Not a court of everyday appeals (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     National Court of Appeal (NCA)

b)     Supreme Court

c)     High Court

d)     Constitutional benches

e)     Article 145(3) of the Constitution

 

a)    According to author, unlike its American counterpart, the Indian Supreme Court is a multifarious institution. It often tasks itself with ruling on run-of-the-mill civil and criminal appeals. The courts docket tends to burst with seemingly mundane disputes.

b)     An oft-repeated suggestion aimed at correcting this perceived imbalance in the apex courts role is the establishment of a NCA that would act as an intermediate forum between the Supreme Court and the various high courts of India. Although there is little scope under our countrys constitutional structure for the creation of such a court, the idea has once again come into vogue.

c)     Recently, on a public interest litigation initiated by a Chennai-based lawyer demanding the establishment of such an NCA, the Supreme Court not only ordered notice to the Union of India but also proposed to refer questions of law concerning establishment of such a court to a constitution bench of five judges.

d)  According to its proponents, the NCA (which would be headquartered in New Delhi, and which would have different regional benches) would relieve the Supreme Court of the weight of hearing regular civil and criminal appeals, allowing the court to concentrate on determining only fundamental questions of constitutional importance.

e)     Additionally, it has been argued that the NCAs regional benches would allow greater access to litigants from remote parts of the country, for whom the distance to New Delhi acts as a grave barrier to justice.

f)     The issues besetting the Supreme Court, and indeed the Indian judiciary as a collective whole, are far too deep-rooted for the NCA to represent the kind of panacea that it has been made out to be.

g)     Quite contrary to what has been suggested, to restore the Supreme Courts grandeur, the focus ought to be not on altering the core structure of the judiciary, but in aiming to make changes that are more pragmatic, that place an emphasis on the strengthening of the base of Indias judicial edifice.

h)     As Nick Robinsons studies have demonstrated, the number of cases decided by constitution benches (benches comprising five or more judges) has steadily declined right from the Supreme Courts inception. Between 1950 and 1954, almost 15 percent of the total cases decided by the Supreme Court were decisions of constitution benches.

i)   By the time the 1970s came around, this figure had dipped below 1 percent. Between 2005 and 2009, benches comprising five judges or more decided only a worryingly paltry 0.12 percent of the courts total decisions.

j)    This has meant that in spite of specific precepts of Article 145(3) of the Constitution - which mandates that a minimum of 5 judges sit for the purpose of deciding any case involving a substantial question of constitutional law - division benches of two judges have increasingly decided important disputes requiring a nuanced interpretation of Constitution.

k)     Broadly, the Constitution prescribes to the Supreme Court two types of jurisdiction: an original jurisdiction where fundamental rights have been violated, or where a State is involved in a dispute with another State or with the Centre; and an appellate jurisdiction, where a case involving a substantial question of law requires adjudication, on appeal.

l)     That the Supreme Court has today used the pliability of its power to grant special leave to often interfere in mundane disputes is not a product of any structural problem, but rather of a deliberate decision by the courts judges.

m)     Viewed thus, it is difficult to understand how the creation of an NCA would somehow ease the burden on the Supreme Court, allowing it to eschew its authority to grant special leave; this power was always meant to be used only in exceptional cases, where a particular interpretation of a law required definite resolution.

n)     Therefore, what the NCA is meant to do can quite easily be achieved by strengthening the lower judiciary, which generally constitutes the courts of first instance. Correspondingly, as was always intended, the high courts can be viewed as regular and (in most cases) final appellate court.

6.

Welcome waste as new wealth (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Solid Waste Management Rules 2016

b)     Swachh Bharat programme

 

a)     After fighting a losing battle with the growing tide of municipal waste, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has notified the new Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 with clear responsibilities assigned to various classes of consumers.

b)     However, for these rules to have any significant impact, the local bodies in charge of implementation should appeal to the rational impulses of communities - a small effort at segregating trash at source would be a good thing for their household budgets.

c)     Policy failure is all too evident when Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar says that the estimated 62 million tonnes of waste a year is not fully collected or treated. Worryingly, it will go up to some 165 million tonnes in 2030.

d)     A productive start to containing the problem could be made if urban governments show the political will to rein in bulk generators of municipal solid waste.

e)     Cess funds collected for the Swachh Bharat programme could be deployed to scale up infrastructure for composting, biomethanation and recycling, which Javadekar admits are grossly inadequate. Evidently, the Centre and the State govts have not so far taken the existing rules seriously.

f)     The central monitoring committee under the Ministry should ensure that local bodies do not continue functioning in business-as-usual mode. They should align their operations, including waste management contracts, with the new rules under the annual operating plan.

7.

Feds Yellen says rate increases on track (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     US economic growth

b)     US Federal Reserve

c)     Monetary policy

d)     Inflation

 

 

a)     In a defence of her decision to tighten policy late last year, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the US economy is on a solid course with some hints of inflation so the Federal Reserve is on track for further interest rate hikes.

b)     She said that, seven years after the brutal financial crisis, the US labour market was now close to full strength, again arguing that inflation would not be held down much longer by strong dollar and low oil prices.

c)     The Fed raised its benchmark policy rate in December, the first increase in nearly a decade, to between 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent.

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