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Daily News Analysis 17-04-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Rafale deal inches along with tough talk on pricing (Page 1)

a)     I.R

a)     Contrary to speculation that India and France have reached an agreement for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets, official sources said talks on pricing had reached a critical phase and were expected to be completed in a few months.

2.

India, US to conclude pact on aircraft carrier cooperation (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India and the US may not have signed the Logistics Support Agreement as planned during Defence Secretary Ashton Carters visit early this week but both sides are close to finalising an Information Exchange Agreement on aircraft carrier technologies, as well as cooperation on air wing operations for carrier Vikrant under construction at Kochi.

3.

India for better ties with Pakistan (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Asserting that India has been consistently trying to improve its ties with Pakistan, Union Home Minister Rajanth Singh said if anyone raised questions over Indias sovereignty and self-respect, it would not be tolerated.

4.

Rudd discounts Indias chances of making it to Security Council (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd says that Indias chances of a UNSC membership are not looking too bright at present and India should pursue the membership of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group instead.

5.

Saudi warns of retaliation if US passes 9/11 bill (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in US courts for any role in the September 11 2001 attacks.

6.

Rein in judicial activism: Pranab (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     President Pranab Mukherjee cautioned the Supreme Court judges against pushing the boundaries of judicial activism too far, and said it should not take over the powers of the Executive and the Legislature.

7.

Transforming India is the new mantra: Jaitley (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the IMF that with the mantra of Reform to Transform India, the Indian govt has embarked on a path of far-reaching structural reforms to foster strong and sustainable growth.

8.

G20 worried by modest global growth (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)     Financial leaders from the Group of 20 nations said they were heartened by a recent recovery in financial markets, but warned that global growth was modest and uneven and threatened by weakness in commodities-based economies.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Rafale deal inches along with tough talk on pricing (Page 1)

a)     I.R

a)     India – France relations

b)     Rafale deal

 

a)    Contrary to speculation that India and France have reached an agreement for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets, official sources said talks on pricing had reached a critical phase and were expected to be completed in a few months.

b)   Sources said the differences over pricing had narrowed down considerably, and the talks were in the final phase. The conclusion of the inter-governmental agreement will pave the way for signing of the final contract.

c)     In January this year, both sides signed a MoU for the purchase during the visit of French President Francois Hollande to India.

d)     The development comes one year after the surprise announcement by PM Modi in Paris on the direct purchase of 36 fighter jets under a govt-to-govt agreement.

2.

India, US to conclude pact on aircraft carrier cooperation (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Logistics Support Agreement

c)     Information Exchange Agreement (IEA)

d)     Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) technology

e)     Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)

 

a)     India and the US may not have signed the Logistics Support Agreement as planned during Defence Secretary Ashton Carters visit early this week but both sides are close to finalising an Information Exchange Agreement on aircraft carrier technologies, as well as cooperation on air wing operations for carrier Vikrant under construction at Kochi.

b)     The IEA will formalise the exact technology that the US will share and at what classification level, design side, operations among other things.

c)     Both sides had already signed the Terms of Reference on June 17 2015 during the first meeting of the India-US Joint Working Group on carrier technology cooperation.

d)     Once the IEA is in place a case will be put under Foreign Military Sales programme of the US govt under which the EMALS technology will be sold to India, if the Navy decides to buy it.

e)     India and the US agreed to cooperate on aircraft carrier technologies as part of six path-finder projects under the DTTI  during President Obamas visit to India in January last year.

3.

India for better ties with Pakistan (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)

c)     Kashmir issue

a)     Asserting that India has been consistently trying to improve its ties with Pakistan, Union Home Minister Rajanth Singh said if anyone raised questions over Indias sovereignty and self-respect, it would not be tolerated.

b)     He was replying to a question pertaining to a video, in which people in large numbers in PoK are seen protesting against the Pakistani establishment and demanding freedom.

4.

Rudd discounts Indias chances of making it to Security Council (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

b)     Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

c)     Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

d)     RCEP

e)     G-4

 

a) Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd says that Indias chances of a UNSC membership are not looking too bright at present and India should pursue the membership of the APEC group instead. He said there was no agreement on UNSC reform at all, that India could build on.

b)     He has been overseeing a full review of the UN processes as Chairman of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism and is the President of the Asia Society Policy Institute.

c)     He said that Indias chances might have been hampered because of the countrys decision to pursue the UNSC seat as part of the G-4 grouping that includes Japan, Germany and Brazil as the group called uniting for consensus had built an opposition to the UNSC reforms process.

d)     Significantly, Rudd (who has often advocated closer ties between India and China) called for a strong push from India to apply for membership to the 21-member APEC group instead, calling the proposal doable this year when the APEC meets in November.

e)  At a conference he attended, Finance Minister Jaitley had announced that India was open to joining APEC forum, calling economic grouping of Pacific rim countries an important way station for India, which had been kept out of regional economic trade groupings like APEC, TPP, RCEP and others.

f)     According to Rudd, the chief opposition to India being accepted in the trade groupings was from US, which demanded more reforms from India and free trade commitments, and urged India to seize this opportunity this year by actively pursuing APEC membership at the summit in Peru in November 2016.

5.

Saudi warns of retaliation if US passes 9/11 bill (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Saudi Arabia – US relations

b)     9/11 bill

c)     Sept 11 2001 attacks

 

a)     Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in US courts for any role in the Sept 11 2001 attacks.

b)     The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bills passage and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon.

c)     Several outside economists are sceptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling kingdoms economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the US.

d)     Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the Sept 11 plot, and the 9/11 Commission found no evidence that the Saudi govt as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organisation.

6.

Rein in judicial activism: Pranab (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Judicial activism

b)     Supreme Court

c)     Parliament

d)     Indian Constitution

e)     Public Interest Litigation (PIL)

 

 

a)   President Pranab Mukherjee cautioned the Supreme Court judges against pushing the boundaries of judicial activism too far, and said it should not take over the powers of the Executive and the Legislature.

b)     He acknowledged that though the PIL mechanism evolved by the Supreme Court has cured many a social evil, the same should not be used by the apex court judges to dilute the separate powers and authority of the government and the Parliament.

c)     Highlighting the common mans faith in the judiciarys equanimity and impartial deliverance of justice to achieve the ultimate goal of good governance, the President said the balance of power between the three organs of the state is enshrined in our Constitution. The Constitution is supreme.

d)     He termed the Indian Constitution a Magna Carta of socio-economic transformation, a living document and not a relic cast in stone.

7.

Transforming India is the new mantra: Jaitley (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Make in India initiative

b)     Start-up India initiative

c)     Stand-up India initiative

d)     Skill India initiative

e)     Mudra bank

f)     Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST)

g)     IMF

 

a)     Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the IMF that with the mantra of Reform to Transform India, the Indian govt has embarked on a path of far-reaching structural reforms to foster strong and sustainable growth.

b)     Measures to enhance infrastructure investment, incorporation of bankruptcy law, improving business climate and significant tax reforms such as GST were being pushed forward.

c)     Jaitley (who is on a week-long visit to the United States) said that the Indian government was taking measures to reform institutions, simplify procedures and repeal obsolete legislation.

d)     Initiatives such as Make in India, Start-up India, Stand-up India, Mudra bank and Skill India were focussed at encouraging innovations, entrepreneurship and job creation.

8.

G20 worried by modest global growth (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)     G20

b)     IMF

c)     World Bank

d)     European Union (EU)

e)     Brexit

a)     Financial leaders from the Group of 20 nations said they were heartened by a recent recovery in financial markets, but warned that global growth was modest and uneven and threatened by weakness in commodities-based economies.

b)     In a communique issued after their meeting in Washington, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors repeated their pledge to refrain from competitive currency devaluations, but offered no new initiatives to keep growth from stalling.

c)     The communique also pointed to Britains possible exit from the EU, geopolitical conflicts, terrorism and refugee flows as complications for the global economic landscape.

d)     The G20 nations also maintained their previous pledges to consult closely on exchange rates.

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