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Daily News Analysis 11-04-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Maldivian President to hold talks with Modi today (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)  Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom arrived here on April 10th on a two-day visit during which he will hold talks with PM Modi on ways to expand cooperation between two countries, particularly in areas of trade, investment and maritime security.

2.

We need to work together to make world safe: US Defence Secretary (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     I.R

a)     US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on April 10th said India and the US must work together to make the world safer for generations to come.

3.

India-EU free trade impasse may end: CII (Page 15)

a)     I.R

b)     Economy

a)  Indian industry is ready to grant greater market access to EU firms in areas such as automobiles, wines and spirits in return for gains in garments, automobiles, automobile components and services sector in a bid to end a deadlock on proposed EU Free Trade Agreement.

4.

India offers to invest $20 billion in Iran (Page 15)

a)     I.R

b)     Economy

a)     India has offered to invest $20 billion in Irans petrochemical, fertilizer and liquefied natural gas facilities and in return sought cheap natural gas and land to set up the units.

5.

Refugee-returnees ask for land and housing (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Refugees (who have returned to Sri Lankas North from their camps in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India) say that land and housing are the two major issues that need to be addressed satisfactorily.

6.

Centre plans anti-terror cyber-push (Page 12)

a)     National

a)     Alarmed that an increasing number of young people are being radicalised by the IS through online videos and social media groups, the Union govt will come up with a national social media policy to counter the cyber-threat.

7.

Inflation tests ahead, stimulus in question (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     With the world economy entering a more uncertain phase and the top central banks sounding ever more cautious, attention may turn in the coming week to signs of whether years of aggressive stimulus have yielded any significant rise in inflation.

8.

SpaceX cargo arrives at crowded ISS (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)    SpaceXs unmanned Dragon cargo ship arrived on April 10 at a crowded International Space Station where six spacecraft are now docked.

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Maldivian President to hold talks with Modi today (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Maldives relations

b)     Counter-terrorism cooperation

c)     Islamic State (IS)

 

 

a)  Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom arrived here on April 10th on a two-day visit during which he will hold talks with PM Modi on ways to expand cooperation between two countries, particularly in areas of trade, investment and maritime security.

b)     The two sides would also ink a number of agreements to bolster bilateral engagement.

c)     Amid concerns over militant groups like IS attempting to radicalise the citizens of the archipelago nation, Maldives is in talks with India for setting up a bilateral counter-terrorism mechanism.

d)     India and the Maldives commemorated 50 years of diplomatic relations last year.

2.

We need to work together to make world safe: US Defence Secretary (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     Make in India initiative

d)     Afghanistan situation

e)     Taliban

f)     Afghan government – Taliban peace process

g)     NATO

 

a)     US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on April 10th said India and US must work together to make the world safer for generations to come.

b)     He said his talks with PM Modi and Defence Minister Parrikar would focus on co-production and cooperation in defence equipment manufacture and technology transfer, taking into consideration the Make in India initiative.

c)     Carter will head on April 11 for the naval base in Karwar, where he will visit the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

d)     The US is now more open to a larger role for India in Afghanistan, partly due to its frustration over Pakistans failure or unwillingness to deliver on the promises it has been making with regard to the peace process.

e)     Carters visit to India emphasises the partnership between the countries, but a less-discussed visit last week to India (of US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson) indicates fresh US thinking on Indias role in Afghanistan, according to diplomatic sources.

f)     Olsons visit was an opportunity for U.S. officials to express appreciation for Indias support for the people and Govt of Afghanistan, including trade ties, security and development assistance, as well as Indias key role in promoting a more stable and prosperous region.

g)     While the US has never opposed or actively discouraged India from playing a significant role in Afghanistan, it has been very sensitive to Pakistans objections, particularly on security-related issues.

h)     The US has welcomed Indias efforts in reconstruction, development and institution-building in Afghanistan that take place under US security umbrella, but maintained ambiguity on its security role. At the same time, at Pakistans insistence, it has kept India out of the Afghanistan peace negotiations, which are now a four-nation initiative of the US, China, Pak and Afghanistan.

i)     The US is grappling with the increasing complexity of the situation in Afghanistan, even as it is planning to pull its troops out of the country by next year.

j)    Meanwhile, India under PM Modi appears less constrained by Pakistans views and more willing to enhance cooperation with Afghanistan on security issues. India and Afghanistan had signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement in 2011, but security cooperation slowed as both sides sought not to antagonise Pakistan.

k)     However, Modis recent visit to Afghanistan and Indias transferring of three Mi-25 attack helicopters to the Afghan Air Force recently indicate fresh thinking on Indian side.

l)     Kerrys mission in Afghanistan was to demonstrate USs support for the unity govt. Dismissing the notion that the current arrangement will be replaced by a new one, Kerry said the Ashraf Ghani-led govt would continue for five years.

3.

India-EU free trade impasse may end: CII (Page 15)

a)     I.R

b)     Economy

a)     India – EU Summit

b)     Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

c)     Broadbased Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA)

d)     FDI

 

a)  Indian industry is ready to grant greater market access to EU firms in areas such as automobiles, wines and spirits in return for gains in garments, automobiles, automobile components and services sector in a bid to end a deadlock on proposed EU FTA.

b)     During last months 13th India-EU Summit (which was attended by PM Modi and EU leaders), both the side failed to reach an agreement on free trade and a specific date to restart talks. The leaders welcomed the re-engagement of discussions for furthering the proposed pact.

c)     The talks on the FTA (officially known as the broad-based BTIA) had commenced in 2007 and both the sides had held 16 rounds of negotiations till 2013. Though India and the EU had held one stock-taking meeting each in the last three months on the FTA, formal negotiations are yet to re-start.

d)     The talks have been stalled as the negotiators have so far been unable to come up with a compromise solution to address the key demands of the EU - that India lower or eliminate duties on automobiles and wines & spirits, and Indias main demands on data security status, easier temporary movement of skilled professionals and seamless intra-corporate movement.

e)     While India looks into reducing or eliminating tariffs in sectors such as auto and liquor, the EU should do away with their non-tariff barriers that seem to have been erected mainly to protect some of their local firms but not as much for better safety or quality.

f)     India has also sought agricultural market access in the EU as well as disciplining of Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary (norms related with plants and animals) and Technical Barriers to Trade to ensure that the concessions in the FTA that would be given by the EU result in effective market access. India is keen that the FTA outcome is balanced.

g)     Since 2013, when the FTA talks were stalled, India has unilaterally undertaken several reforms (including those demanded by the EU) such as allowing 49 percent foreign investment in insurance and pension, easing of foreign investments norms in banking, defence and railways sectors.

h)     It has also allowed 100 percent FDI in telecom, single-brand retail and in the market-place model of e-commerce. These reforms were cited during the stock-taking meeting and the EU was asked about their internal reforms that would similarly benefit India.

4.

India offers to invest $20 billion in Iran (Page 15)

a)     I.R

b)     Economy

a)     India – Iran relations

b)     Energy cooperation

c)     Chabahar Special Economic Zone (SEZ)

d)     Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project

 

a)     Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan (who is in Iran with a delegation of industry executives for two days) discussed with his counterpart several outstanding issues related to the energy sector.

b)     He conveyed to the Iranian side that Indian companies could invest up to $20 billion and were interested in setting up petrochemical and fertilizer plants (including in Chabahar SEZ) either through joint ventures between Indian and Iranian public sector companies or with private sector partners.

c)     He also urged Iran for a favourable treatment in the pricing of gas for India. The minister also wanted supply of gas at a competitive price and on a long-term basis for the life of the joint venture projects that Indian companies were interested in setting up.

d)     India was also keen to set up a gas cracker unit and a liquefied petroleum gas extraction unit in Chabahar and ways of transporting gas to India from Iran including through a planned IPI pipeline were discussed.

5.

Refugee-returnees ask for land and housing (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas Refugee crisis

b)     Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation

 

 

a) Refugees (who have returned to Sri Lankas North from their camps in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India) say that land and housing are the two major issues that need to be addressed satisfactorily. Only then there can be a large scale voluntary repatriation of refugees.

b)     They also call for a special programme for the landless. An official in Colombo says the Indian government should come forward to build at least 5000 houses for refugee-returnees.

c)     Considering these and many other issues, the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation has prepared a proposal, covering seven stages such as travel from refugee camps in Tamil Nadu to native villages in the North, subsistence and livelihood.

d)     A policymaker wants the Indian and Sri Lankan govts to form a joint task force at the earliest. Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran says that apart from the Central govts in the two countries, the Tamil Nadu government and the administration of the Northern Province should be involved.

6.

Centre plans anti-terror cyber-push (Page 12)

a)     National

a)     Counter-terrorism

b)     National social media policy

c)     Islamic State (IS)

 

a)     Alarmed that an increasing number of young people are being radicalised by the IS through online videos and social media groups, the Union govt will come up with a national social media policy to counter the cyber-threat.

b)     The policy (which follows a blueprint circulated by Home Ministry to State agencies that deal with de-radicalisation) will focus on countering social media propaganda that follows any communally polarising incident in the country.

c)     A govt official explained that IS recruiters begin by identifying possible candidates who share or like pro-IS literature, and then encourage them to share more content before trying to inveigle them into travelling to IS-controlled areas in Iraq and Syria.

7.

Inflation tests ahead, stimulus in question (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Global economic situation

b)     Inflation

c)     Deflation

d)     US Federal Reserve

a)     With the world economy entering a more uncertain phase and the top central banks sounding ever more cautious, attention may turn in the coming week to signs of whether years of aggressive stimulus have yielded any significant rise in inflation.

b)     The Bank of Japan (which has been trying to ward off deflation going on two decades) has now been hit with a counterproductive surge in the yen after a contested decision last month to adopt a tiny negative interest rate.

c)     Even in China, where it is difficult to fathom the sheer magnitude of fiscal and monetary stimulus Beijing has piled on since the financial crisis, consumer price inflation is remarkably tame and likely to remain so.

d)     For developed economies, the worry is whether a slowdown in growth over the past several months will get in the way of what many central banks are hoping for: pressure on inflation through wages as labour increasingly becomes more scarce.

8.

SpaceX cargo arrives at crowded ISS (Page 20)

a)     S&T

a)     SpaceX Draggon cargo ship

b)     International Space Station (ISS)

c)     NASA

 

a)   SpaceXs unmanned Dragon cargo ship arrived on April 10 at a crowded International Space Station where six spacecraft are now docked.

b)     Four Russian spaceships (two Progress cargo carriers and two Soyuz capsules which ferry astronauts) are docked at the space station, along with Orbital ATKs Cygnus cargo ship and SpaceXs Dragon.

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