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Daily News Analysis 16-04-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

NIA probes Lashkar link to Samjhauta blasts, seeks US help (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a) Years after the National Investigation Agency arrested leaders of extremist Hindu groups in connection with the Samjhauta train blasts of 2007, its Director-General Sharad Kumar says the agency has requested the US for information on a key financier of the LeT in the case.

2.

Hidden vetoes must go, India tells UN (Page 1)

a)     International

a)     India has sought transparency in the UN procedures to designate a group or an individual terrorist. The demand comes days after China blocked its bid to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar a terrorist.

3.

US wants Pakistan to act against all militant groups (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     The US has asked Pakistan to target all militant groups, including the LeT, after the release of a State Department cable which suggested strong links between the spy agency ISI and the Haqqani network.

4.

All about the Obama Doctrine (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     While President Obamas strategic rebalancing of US interests through the Pivot to Asia entails a stronger embrace of India as a counterweight to China, New Delhi must be careful not to conduct its foreign policy through the American prism.

5.

Ethnic minorities may oppose Brexit (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Ethnic minorities in the UK (including those from India) are likely to vote for the country to stay in the European Union in the June 23 referendum in which roughly 43 million people are eligible to cast their vote.

6.

China growth slows, but green shoots visible (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China recorded a growth rate of 6.7 percent for the first quarter, slightly lower than the previous quarters figure but well within this years planned range, riding mainly on a fresh acceleration in the real estate and services sectors.

7.

Oceanic opportunities (Page 10)

a)     International

b)     National

a)     In the Maritime India Summit in Mumbai, PM Modi said that the maritime agenda will complement the ambitious infrastructure plan for the hinterland which is going on in parallel.

8.

Room to cut rates on lower inflation, good monsoon: Rajan (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a) Governor Raghuram Rajan told that the RBI may have room to further cut policy rates if inflation continues to ease and monsoon rainfall is in line with the forecast.

9.

ISRO to launch 21 satellites in one shot (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)    While the seventh and last of the regional navigation spacecraft is due to be launched on April 28, ISRO will put in orbit 21 small and mostly foreign commercial satellites along with a larger Indian spacecraft in May.

10.

Supernova iron found on the moon (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Scientists have used samples from the moon to confirm a supernova explosion that happened in the neighbourhood of our solar system about two million years ago.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

NIA probes Lashkar link to Samjhauta blasts, seeks US help (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)    Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)

c)     Terrorism

d)     Samjhauta train blasts 2007

e)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

f)     UN 1267 Sanctions Committee

g)    National Investigation Agency (NIA)

a) Years after the NIA arrested leaders of extremist Hindu groups in connection with the Samjhauta train blasts of 2007, its Director-General Sharad Kumar says the agency has requested the US for information on a key financier of the LeT in the case.

b)     He said he had gone to the US to pursue pending requests under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. The case of LeT financier Arif Qasmani was one of them, and we have asked them to send further details of Qasmanis role in the Samjhauta blasts.

c)     However, officials spoke to denied any move to soften the case against RSS leader Aseemanand in Samjhauta case by making enquiries about Arif Qasmani, who was designated a global terrorist by the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee.

2.

Hidden vetoes must go, India tells UN (Page 1)

a)     International

a)     Terrorism

b)     Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)

c)     Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD)

d)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

e)     Al-Qaeda

f)     Taliban

g)     Islamic State (IS)

h)     United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 

a)     India has sought transparency in the UN procedures to designate a group or an individual terrorist. The demand comes days after China blocked its bid to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar a terrorist.

b)     The existing rules allow Security Council members to oppose any move in the sanctions committees in a clandestine manner and without offering any explanation.

c)     The sanctions committees can take decisions only unanimously, and this means any of the 15 members can veto a move. For instance, China put a technical hold on action against Azhar, and India came to know only informally from members of the council.

d)     The Security Council has Al-Qaeda, Taliban and Islamic State Sanctions Committees that can mandate international sanctions, which will require countries to freeze the targeted groups or individuals assets, ban designated individuals from travelling and prevent the supply of weapons, technology and other aid.

e)     Earlier too, China delayed moves against the Pakistan-based terror groups such as the JuD and the LeT.

3.

US wants Pakistan to act against all militant groups (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Terrorism

b)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

c)     ISI

d)     Haqqani network

e)     Al-Qaeda

a)     The US has asked Pakistan to target all militant groups, including the LeT, after the release of a State Department cable which suggested strong links between the spy agency ISI and the Haqqani network.

b)     It was responding to a question on a series of US cables released by the National Security Archive which suggest strong links between the Pakistans ISI and the Haqqani network.

c)     The US has maintained that the attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan was the handiwork of Al-Qaeda and not the Haqqani network.

d)     Pakistan said it had briefed envoys of the Arab and ASEAN countries on the arrest of an alleged Indian spy.

4.

All about the Obama Doctrine (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     India – US relations

b)     India-US Civil Nuclear Deal

c)     India-US Defence Relationship

d)     US Pivot to Asia

e)     Indias Cold Start doctrine

f)     South China Sea dispute

 

 

a)     According to the author, the first decade and a half of the 21st century has witnessed a fundamental change in India-US relations unparalleled in the history of the two democracies.

b)     President Bill Clinton demonstrated a tilt towards India during his second term, and subsequently the George Bush presidency brought about a transformational shift in the relationship. Relations have been on an upswing ever since, with the Obama presidency proceeding on the same course.

c)     Early in his second term, President Bush dispelled any notions that the decision to reach out to India had a hidden subtext, viz. strengthening India to function as a counterweight to China. President Obama has been more circumspect, as his world view includes a more accommodative attitude towards China.

d)     According to strategic analysts, the difference lies in their approach. Bush acted more on basis of his instincts - an outstanding example being the manner in which he went out of his way to ensure the successful conclusion of India-US Civil Nuclear Deal without seeking any quid pro quo.

e)     Analysts argue that Obama is more a practitioner of realpolitik and tends to see most issues through this prism. In the light of this, recent references to an Obama Doctrine should be of vital interest to Indian policymakers.

f)     In his interviews, Obama makes it amply clear that he has little regard for the Washington-based tribe of US foreign policy experts, and even less for their enduring belief that military force is the answer to every problem. He evinces little interest in West Asian affairs and in the politics of oil unlike his predecessors.

g)     On the other hand, he shows somewhat greater interest in the Pivot to Asia and the consequences of the rise of China and India in the region. All this signifies a radical shift in US foreign policy priorities. It is uncertain whether policy circles in the US have come to terms with the change.

h)     US Presidents normally provide direction (or changes in direction) to US foreign policy. The black hole and the Achilles heel of the pronouncements that coalesce into the Obama Doctrine is the near-total distrust or disdain that he displays for long-established relationships and allies. Added to this is a reluctance to accept his foreign policy mistakes, preferring to put the blame on allies and friends.

i)   Among other leaders Obama is contemptuous of is Russias Putin - perhaps understandable because of events in Ukraine and the Wests debacle in Crimea. What is more surprising are his views on the leaders of France and the UK - especially the latter.

j)     Obamas version of the Syrian chemical weapon crisis is disarming to say the least. Most of the world saw the US retreat after having drawn a redline against use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as exposing the weakness of the US.

k)     The impression conveyed is of realpolitik carried to an extreme with the core logic of the Obama Doctrine being: that the US no longer needed to engage in geopolitical competition with powers like Russia and China; the collapse of countries like Egypt was of little consequence to the US.

l)     The primary concern was to avoid risking the lives of US citizens unless the vital interests of the US were directly involved; and to get others to do the hard work of fighting on issues relating to ensuring a rule-based international order and defeating terrorism.

m)     From Indias standpoint, there are several aspects of concern relating to the Obama Doctrine. India may need to deep dive into what exactly the doctrine signifies, at a time when US is anxious to firmly establish a strategic hand clasp, to counter Chinas assertiveness in South and East China Seas.

n)     India has no conflict of interest as far as the South and East China Seas are concerned. It risks provoking China if it gets more deeply engaged on US insistence. Under the Obama Doctrine, the US cannot be expected to come to Indias aid in event of an India-China conflict along the disputed land border or anywhere else.

o)     The US has been willing to sell F-16 fighters and attack helicopters to Pakistan, so that Pakistan can fight its battles in Afghanistan and the region - despite Indias concerns about this move. The US has also been willing to placate Pakistan on the nuclear issue, even implying that Pakistans tactical nuclear weapons programme was possibly a response to Indias Cold Start doctrine.

p)     During his recent visit, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter spoke of the strategic confluence between India and the US as one of the defining moments of the 21st century. He also referred to the new Framework for the India-US Defence Relationship (signed in June 2015) as intended to increase strategic cooperation to help safeguard security and stability across the region and around the world.

q)     Hence, in the light of the Obama Doctrine, it might be worthwhile to take a closer look at such entanglement with the US. India must be careful that its approach to China is not conducted through the prism of US strategic interests. We need an independent policy in keeping with our national interests in the region and beyond.

5.

Ethnic minorities may oppose Brexit (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     EU referendum

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     Brexit

 

a)    Ethnic minorities in the UK (including those from India) are likely to vote for the country to stay in the EU in the June 23 referendum in which roughly 43 million people are eligible to cast their vote.

b)     One reason is that the ethnic minorities are still pro-Labour. While one should not fall into the trap of assuming that all immigrants are pro-immigration, there is something on the edge of racism of people in the Leave campaign.

c)   In the political realignments that the referendum debate has effected, prominent Indian-origin Conservative cabinet minister Priti Patel (whom PM David Cameron had appointed UK India Diaspora Champion) joined group of Conservative members of Parliament, led by Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, who support Brexit.

6.

China growth slows, but green shoots visible (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Chinas economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     IMF

 

a)     China recorded a growth rate of 6.7 percent for the first quarter, slightly lower than the previous quarters figure but well within this years planned range, riding mainly on a fresh acceleration in the real estate and services sectors.

b)     Growth in the last quarter of 2015 was 6.8 percent, but the marginal decline in Jan-March quarter is in tune with annual target of 6.5 to 7 percent GDP growth, previously declared by the govt, as it tries to transition from a low-end manufacturing and export-led model to a supply-side economy that focuses on consumption, services and manufacturing of hi-end products.

c)     Some analysts say after a slowdown since the second half of last year, the Chinese economy is now showing signs of rebounding. From 6.3 percent growth rate anticipated previously, the IMF has revised its figures, now estimating that China will grow by 6.5 percent this year.

7.

Oceanic opportunities (Page 10)

a)     International

b)     National

a)     Maritime India Summit  

b)     Sagarmala programme

c)     India Ocean

d)     South China Sea

a)     In the Maritime India Summit in Mumbai, PM Modi said that the maritime agenda will complement the ambitious infrastructure plan for the hinterland which is going on in parallel.

b)  India has for long been slow in developing infrastructure to reap the economic opportunity its seaboards naturally provide. As he said in Mumbai, apart from the length of the coastline (7500 km), Indias maritime potential also lies in its strategic location on all major shipping highways.

c)     The ambitious Sagarmala programme intends to promote port-led development, improve the coastal economy, modernise ports and integrate them with special economic zones, and create port-based smart cities, industrial parks, warehouses, logistics parks and transport corridors.

d)     India has also begun to collaborate with neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar in building waterways and port infrastructure. This is essential as ultimately its economics that provides necessary push to take forward strategic overtures.

e)     Indian strategic interests in the larger Indian Ocean are converging with the US, reflected in the joint statement at the end of American Defence Secretary Ashton Carters visit. It reaffirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight throughout the region, including in South China Sea.

8.

Room to cut rates on lower inflation, good monsoon: Rajan (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Monetary policy

b)     Inflation

c)     RBI

d)     Monsoon

e)     El Nino

f)     La Nina

a)     Governor Raghuram Rajan told that the RBI may have room to further cut policy rates if inflation continues to ease and monsoon rainfall is in line with the forecast.

b)     So this year, the forecasts are El Nino is going to weaken, La Nina is going to strengthen. Thats good for the monsoon.

c)     Latest forecasts predict above-average rainfall in India this year. A good monsoon season is important for farm output in India, the worlds second-biggest producer of rice, wheat, sugar and cotton.

9.

ISRO to launch 21 satellites in one shot (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     PSLV-C33

b)     Cartosat-2C

c)     ISRO

d)     NASA

a)     While the seventh and last of the regional navigation spacecraft is due to be launched on April 28, ISRO will put in orbit 21 small and mostly foreign commercial satellites along with a larger Indian spacecraft in May.

b)     The primary passenger on the PSLV-C33 launcher will be the Earth observing, high-resolution Cartosat-2C, weighing around 700 kg.

c)     Offering a resolution of about 60 cm, Cartosat-2C is touted to be the best Indian eye yet in the sky. It will cater to the countrys military requirements.

d)    As far as multiple launches go, the PSLV has launched 10 spacecrafts including eight small foreign ones in April 2008. Last December, a PSLV took up six small Singapore satellites into orbit in one go.

e)     NASA holds the 2013 record for placing the highest number (29) of mostly small customer satellites in orbit on a Minotaur launcher.

f)     According to sources, the small satellites are of masses ranging from one kg to 130 kg. Three are from Indian universities - the 12-kg NIUSAT from the Noorul Islam University in Kanyakumari; the 2-kg SathyabamaSat; and the 1-kg Swayam from Punes College of Engineering.

10.

Supernova iron found on the moon (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Supernova

b)     Solar system

c)     Apollo lunar mission 12, 15 and 16

a)  Scientists have used samples from the moon to confirm a supernova explosion that happened in the neighbourhood of our solar system about two million years ago.

b)     A star exploded in a supernova close to our solar system and its traces can still be found today in the form of an iron isotope on the ocean floor.

c)     Now scientists have found increased concentrations of this supernova iron in lunar samples as well. They believe both discoveries to originate from the same stellar explosion.

d)     The samples from the moon were gathered between 1969 and 1972 during Apollo lunar missions 12, 15 and 16.

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