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Daily News Analysis 14-05-2016







Modi, Sirisena discuss fishermen issue (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)    Seeking a permanent solution to the issue of frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, India on May 13th reiterated the need to build a dedicated mechanism. Modi and Sirisena reviewed a number of bilateral issues during their talks but the free trade agreement between the two countries which has been discussed earlier was not taken up.


Parrikar to visit Oman, UAE next week (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will leave for Oman and the United Arab Emirates on May 18 on a five-day tour to deepen security and defence cooperation with a region which has traditionally been viewed only as politically important. Oman is Indias strongest defence partner in the Gulf and both sides have extensive defence and security ties in place. Oman has been hosting Indian warships on anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.


Madhesis on the warpath again (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Madhesi protesters under the leadership of the United Madhesi Democratic Front of Nepal declared on May 13th that they would start a new round of agitation and enforce a blockade on the capital Kathmandu. The protest comes three months after the end of a crippling economic blockade that the UMDF had launched demanding citizenship rights for the Madhesis of Nepal. 


40 years on, Vaddukoddai resolution still elicits fervent, conflicting views (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan will participate together in a public event on May 14th, which marks the 40th anniversary of the Vaddukoddai resolution. The Vaddukoddai resolution (which talked of the sacred fight for freedom in support of a sovereign state that encompassed people of the Northern and Eastern provinces) was adopted against the backdrop of growing restlessness among Tamil youth.


Brexit: IMF warns of economic ruin (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Head of the International Monetary Fund (Christine Lagarde) on May 13th offered a gloomy economic forecast in the event of Britain voting to leave the EU in the in-out referendum to be held on June 23.


SC upholds law oncriminal defamation (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     In a judgment that holds far-reaching implications for political dissent and a free press, the Supreme Court on May 13th upheld a colonial and pre-Constitutional law criminalising defamation.


A disappointing verdict (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    The Supreme Court verdict upholding the provisions of the Indian Penal Code that make defamation a criminal offence is retrograde and out of tune with the times. Many countries (including neighbouring Sri Lanka) have decriminalised defamation, which should be a civil offence alone. The court has sought to create an artificial balance between the fundamental right of free speech under Article 19(1) (a) and the right to reputation as part of ones right to life under Article 21.


Five-year plans passe, 3-level framework soon (Page 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     PM Modi earlier this week approved a three-level planning framework for replacing the five-year plans, the last of which ends in March next year. In the new framework, there will be a 3-year Action Plan for 2017-18 to 2019-20, aligned to the award period of the 14th Finance Commission.


New IPR policy retains access to cheap drugs (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     The NDA government on May 13th announced the long-pending, all-encompassing National Intellectual Property Rights Policy. The Policy aims to push IPRs as a marketable financial asset and, promote innovation, while protecting public interest including ensuring the availability of essential drugs at affordable prices.


Can India grow at 8 to 9 percent? (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     The Indian economy is currently passing through a phase of relatively slow growth. However, this should not cloud the fact that over the nine-year period beginning 2005-06, the average annual growth rate was 7.7 percent. Against this background, the relevant question is whether India has the capability to grow at 8 to 9 percent in a sustained way.


Core inflation higher than desired: Rajan (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said that Indias core inflation remains a bit higher than policymakers would like, but the economys recovery should accelerate with a good monsoon.


Exports shrink 6.7 per cent in April (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     Govt data showed that Indias shipments shrank 6.7 percent in April for the 7th successive month as imports fell 23 percent, narrowing the trade deficit by 20 percent. Exports during April 2016 were valued at $20.6 billion, 6.7 percent lower than the $22 billion during April 2015.


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