Current Affairs > Daily Current affairs

Back
Daily News Analysis 20-04-2016

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Close ties with India needed for regional stability, says China (Pg14)

a)     I.R

a)    Amid a string of diplomatic exchanges, China has described its ties with India as a factor in promoting a multi-polar world, as well as an important component for fostering stability in the region.

2.

Most hitches in Rafale deal addressed: Govt (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Most of the hitches in the negotiations with France for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets have been addressed, and the remaining issues will be taken up at the next meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council.

3.

Trading bloc to India: Cut tariffs or exit FTA talks (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     International

a)     India has been told to either agree to eliminate tariffs on most products quickly or leave the talks on the proposed Free Trade Agreement, being negotiated by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the trading bloc comprising 16 Asia-Pacific countries.

4.

Trading charges (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     India should be concerned about the pressure that is bound to follow with the passage of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.

5.

Russia, Ukraine agree on prisoner swap (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he and Russian counterpart Putin had agreed a framework for a deal to secure the release of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko from a 22-year jail sentence in Russia.

6.

Centre rejects TN proposal to free Rajiv Gandhi killers (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Centre has rejected the proposal of the Tamil Nadu government to release seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

7.

Centre introducing chaos: HC (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Hearing the case on the imposition of Presidents Rule in Uttarakhand, a Division Bench of the High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital objected to the Centres haste and said the Centre was introducing chaos by intruding into the States affairs.

8.

Govt rolls back PF withdrawal norms (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     The govt announced a complete and unconditional rollback of new norms that barred employees from withdrawing their provident fund corpus before retirement, over a month after it scrapped the Union budget proposal to tax EPF savings at retirement.

9.

RBI Governor says forex intervention to continue (Page15)

a)     Economy

a)     RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said that the RBI will continue to use currency intervention to reduce volatility in the countrys exchange rates.

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Close ties with India needed for regional stability, says China (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     India-China Boundary Question

c)     Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers meeting

d)     BRICS

e)     G-20 summit

 

 

a)    On the eve of the arrival in Beijing of NSA Ajit Doval, Chinas Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that China and India are two largest developing countries and major emerging economies as well as two significant forces that drive forward world multi-polarisation.

b)   Separately, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on April 18, on the sidelines of Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers meeting in Moscow.

c)     The flurry of exchanges will be capped by Dovals talks on April 20 with his counterpart Yang Jiechi for the 19th Special Representatives Meeting on the India-China Boundary Question.

d)     Wang said that India and China could play in the success of the G-20 summit later this year in Hangzhou and the BRICS summit that would be held in India in October.

2.

Most hitches in Rafale deal addressed: Govt (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – France relations

b)     Rafale deal

c)     Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

a)     Most of the hitches in the negotiations with France for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets have been addressed, and the remaining issues will be taken up at the next meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council.

b)     India and France have been holding talks for a year to conclude a govt-to-govt deal.

c)     In January this year, both sides signed a MoU during the visit of French President Francois Hollande to India. But the final agreement did not materialise owing to the differences over pricing.

3.

Trading bloc to India: Cut tariffs or exit FTA talks (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     International

a)     Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

b)     Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

c)     Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

d)     Trans-atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

a)    India has been told to either agree to eliminate tariffs on most products quickly or leave the talks on the proposed FTA, being negotiated by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the trading bloc comprising 16 Asia-Pacific countries.

b)     Sources said the apprehensions were voiced at the last round of negotiations in February in Brunei, adding that the 12th round of RCEP talks slated for April 23-29 at Perth in Australia could be a turning point in negotiations with India.

c)  Trade negotiators from other RCEP members, comprising the 10-member ASEAN bloc, and China, Japan, Australia, South Korea and New Zealand were upset over Indias protectionist stance, focusing only on the export of manpower and not on liberalising trade in goods and other services, as well as investment.

d)     The RCEP is among the proposed three mega FTAs in the world so far - the other two being the TPP (led by the US) and the TTIP (between the US and the EU).

e)     The sources said that the root of India’s ambivalence on RCEP and other negotiations is internal differences on how to go forward on free trade issues.

f)     One group wants India to aggressively push for easier movement of professionals between the RCEP members in return for some concessions that India can offer including reduction (and not elimination) of duties in goods on a lower threshold over a period lasting beyond 15-20 years.

g)     This so-called defensive group is also opposed to the RCEP being used as an indirect FTA with China and have cited the industrys sensitivities in doing so.

4.

Trading charges (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015

b)     Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

c)     United States Trade Representative (USTR)

d)     World Trade Organisation (WTO)

 

 

a)     On February 24 2016, US President Barack Obama signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, which introduces important measures relating to IPR issues. The focus of the law is to enhance enforcement of IPR over the USs trading partners.

b)   The US already scrutinises developments of IP law in its trading partners; this Act will only heighten it. Consequently, the Trade Facilitation Act is bound to impact Indias ability to develop an IP policy suited to its own developmental needs

c)     Traditionally, the USTR (which is an agency that is part of the executive office of the President) has the twin task of negotiating trade agreements and overseeing enforcement of US trade policy, including IP policy. As part of its duties, the USTR creates an annual list of countries, known as the Special 301 list.

d)     Countries featured on this list are those that the USTR believes have either national laws or regulations that detrimentally affect US trade or the rights of IP holders.

e)     Essentially, if a trading partner is on this list, the USTR report indicates to it that the US believes that the country is providing inadequate IPR protection, enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property.

f)   The USTR also groups these countries in three categories. The most egregious violators are designated as Priority Foreign Countries (PFC), serious offenders are listed on the Priority Watch List (PWL), and less serious offenders in the Watch List (WL).

g)     Any country falling within the PFC or PWL is subject to USTR scrutiny in the form of investigations and possible sanctions under the procedures set out under the Trade Act 1974. Over the years, the USTR has increased the number of countries that are put on the PWL, but reduced countries designated as PFCs.

h)     The Special 301 list has consistently featured India, most often as a PWL country, since its institution in 1989. This has caused some consternation within India, which has been disappointed that its proactive steps to improve domestic IP protection and engage with US have been unsuccessful in placating US.

i) Given these conditions, Trade Facilitation Act will increase the level of pressure to comply with the USTRs requirement for countries like India that feature on the PWL for more than a year. First, the Act specifically requires the USTR to develop action plans with benchmarks for such countries.

j)    The USTR has traditionally developed action plans in consultation with the country in question. However, under Trade Facilitation Act, the USTR is not required to consult with the listed country.

k)    Under WTO jurisprudence, legality of unilateral actions over sovereign countries remains questionable. Given this, the US tends to stay away from imposing unilateral sanctions, but tries to bring about change in a countrys domestic IP law through mechanisms like the Special 301 list.

l)     Second, the Act creates a new position within the office of the USTR titled Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator (IP negotiator). The IP negotiators role is to serve as a vigorous advocate on behalf of US innovation and IP interests.

m)     The IP negotiator is required to take appropriate actions to address acts, policies, and practices of foreign govts that have a significant adverse impact on the value of US innovation. Thus, the Trade Facilitation Act clarifies that IP negotiators role is to enforce US priorities in IP more vigorously and to ratchet up the pressure towards this cause.

n)   Indias position is seemingly in compliance with the Trade-Related Aspects of IPR agreement, scrutiny from US is difficult to justify. Under US laws though, compliance with WTO obligations is immaterial. Thus, a country that is compliant with WTO rules can be the subject of investigations if the USTR believes that US trade is detrimentally affected by that countrys IP laws.

o)     Thus, Indias traditional defence that it is in compliance with WTO obligations has limited reach. India should be concerned about the heightened pressure that is bound to follow with the passage of the Trade Facilitation Act, especially on issues where its compliance with its TRIPS obligations is not disputed.

5.

Russia, Ukraine agree on prisoner swap (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Russia – Ukraine relations

 

a)     Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he and Russian counterpart Putin had agreed a framework for a deal to secure the release of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko from a 22-year jail sentence in Russia.

6.

Centre rejects TN proposal to free Rajiv Gandhi killers (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Rajiv Gandhi assassination case  

b)     Death penalty

c)     Supreme Court

d)     High Court

 

a)     The Centre has rejected the proposal of the Tamil Nadu govt to release seven convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. This is the second time in two years that the State had written to the Centre seeking its views on its decision to remit their sentence. The first letter was sent during the UPA govts tenure in February 2014.

b)     Ministry of Home Affairs has told the State that since the matter is sub judice in Supreme Court, it has no authority to release the prisoners.

c)     In 1999, the Supreme Court found the seven guilty of conspiring to assassinate former PM Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991.

d)     The death sentences of Sriharan, Perarivalan and Suthendraraja were commuted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court in 2014 due to delay in disposal of their mercy petitions. Nalinis death sentence was commuted to life by the State Cabinet in 2000. The remaining three are serving life sentence.

7.

Centre introducing chaos: HC (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Uttarakhand political crisis

b)     Presidents Rule

c)     Article 356 of the Constitution

a)     Hearing the case on the imposition of Presidents Rule in Uttarakhand, a Division Bench of High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital objected to the Centres haste and said the Centre was introducing chaos by intruding into the States affairs.

b)     It said all hasty decisions are not necessarily absurd but the timing of the decision to impose Presidents Rule shows that they had already made up their mind on what would unfold in the Uttarakhand Assembly on March 27 and March 28.

c)     The Bench observed that on many occasions govts dont resign. They have developed a thick skin. If they dont resign then thats not a matter to be seen by the President. The Centre argued that Presidens Rule (under which the Assembly has been placed in suspended animation) would last only for two months.

8.

Govt rolls back PF withdrawal norms (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Employees Provident Fund (EPF)

b)     Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)

 

a)     The govt announced a complete and unconditional rollback of new norms that barred employees from withdrawing their provident fund corpus before retirement, over a month after it scrapped the Union budget proposal to tax EPF savings at retirement.

b)     Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said the decision would soon be ratified by the trustees of the EPFO.

c)     Under the rules notified in February, employees were not allowed to withdraw their entire PF amount if they had quit or lost their present jobs, making it mandatory for them to wait till 58 years of age for a final settlement.

d) The objective was to provide a minimum social security to the workers at the time of retirement. It was noticed that over 80 percent of the claims settled by EPFO belonged to pre-mature withdrawal of funds, treating EPF accounts as savings accounts, and not a social security instrument.

9.

RBI Governor says forex intervention to continue (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Monetary policy

b)     Inflation

c)     Indias foreign exchange reserves

d)     RBI

a)     RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said that the RBI will continue to use currency intervention to reduce volatility in the countrys exchange rates.

b)     Indias foreign exchange reserves swelled to a record high of $360 billion for the week ended April 1, largely on account of the central banks dollar purchases to rein in the rupees strength as foreign funds poured into Indian financial markets.

c)     Rajan said he was closely watching inflation developments as well as monsoon rain forecasts in terms of impact on monetary policy.

Branches

Ashok Nagar Branch
1-10-223/A, Sub-register office Line
Hyderabad
+91 9052 29 29 29, 9052 19 29 29

Madhapur Branch
Plot No.3, 2nd floor, Raghuma Towers
Hyderabad
+91 9052 492929

Delhi:
Old Rajendra Nagar

Send to mail

Request for call