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Daily News Analysis 19-11-2014

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.

 

Modi calls for broad global strategy to tackle terror (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Australia relations

b)     Bilateral security cooperation

c)     Global terrorism

d)     Economic ties

e)     FTA

f)     Civil nuclear agreement

g)     Framework for Security Cooperation 

a)     Modi called Australia for closer bilateral security cooperation and a comprehensive global strategy to tackle the menace of terrorism.

b)     He addressed Australian Parliament after holding talks with PM following which the two countries singed five pacts.

c)     During talks, the two sides sought an early conclusion a comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

d)     The five pacts include social security, transfer of sentenced prisoners, combating narcotics trade, tourism, Arts and Culture.

e)     He said we also agreed on seeking early closure on the civil nuclear agreement, which will give Australia a chance to participate in one of the most secure and safe nuclear energy programmes in the world.

f)     If all goes well, Australia will export uranium to India under suitable safeguards because cleaner energy is one of the most important contributions that Australia can make to the wider world.

g)     He said by the end of the next year we will have a FTA with what is potentially the worlds largest market.

h)     India and Australia also agreed on a Framework for Security Cooperation.

2.

Countering another string of pearls (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Fiji relations

b)     Asia – Pacific relations

c)     One China policy

a)     The arrival of the leaders of Asia, India and China, who have also invited a dozen South Pacific leaders to meet them there, will be an unprecedented political and protocol challenge to Fiji.

b)     But the political fallout of the visit will extend the tensions in the Asia Pacific to its southern corner.

c)     Fiji was the first among the island states of the region to taste political disruption, first on attaining independence from the British and then when the political compact between the native Fijians and the immigrant Fiji Indians collapsed on account of the first military coup in the region in 1987.

d)     India fought for the rights of the Fiji Indians through economic sanctions and promoted their cause in the Commonwealth and the United Nations.

e)     By standing by Fiji Indians at a time of crisis, India sent a strong signal of solidarity to the Indian communities abroad.

f)     The Fijians were concerned but it emerged on them that it was the Indian position that led to the eventual return of democracy in the elections of 2014.

g)     Although the present PM of Fiji first took power through a military coup, he concentrated on building communal harmony and creating a constitution devoid of the race-based electoral rolls, which was devised by the British.

h)     The abolition of the unelected Council of Chiefs removed the last signs of feudalism in Fiji.

i)     As a nationally elected PM, he has no reason to be prejudiced against Indian influence in Fiji.

k)     India is certainly at an advantage in its offer to retain influence in the region, even as China is making sustained efforts to chased Fiji and the other islands in the South Pacific.

l)     India had no competitors in Fiji, as Pakistan had no presence and China had maintained only a token presence in the island country.

m)     China was focussed on seeking recognition from the islands, many of which had diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

n)     Having won that battle after many of them adopted the One China policy, China has proceeded to befriend them with trade and economic linkages.

o)     Apart from Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Nauru have friendly relations with India, while Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and others have warm feelings for India.

p)     The Indian brand is known in these islands mainly because of the Fiji Indian traders and businessmen.

q)     Nauru depends on India for teachers and administrators and had invested in the Paradeep Phosphates as part of its strategy to invest abroad in the context of its reducing land.

r)     Tonga had a king who had a special relationship with Indian leaders and who had visited India.

s)     Vanuatu felt close to India because of its socialist dreams.

t)     At one time Australia had some apprehensions about the expansion of the Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean but it does not dislike Indian influence in these islands now.

u)     Unlike Japan and Vietnam, Australia has no major problems with China and their commercial and economic relations are significant.

v)     This is a factor which will have an impact on the attitude of the South Pacific towards China.

w)     The visit of the Indian PM to Fiji comes 33 years after Indira Gandhis visit.

x)     But the timing of Modis visit is most appropriate because racial harmony and non-discrimination, both of which India had wished for Fiji have just been accomplished.

y)     But the visit has to be followed up with a strong programme of co-operation in areas in which we have particular strengths.   

3.

China not to block Japan building Indian border roads (Page 1)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     China – Japan disputes

c)     Japan projects in India

a)     China has signalled that it would not object to Japanese involvement in specific border road projects in India

b)    Its position coming within days of a meeting between Chinese President and Japanese PM.

c)      India had signed a contract with the Japan International Corporation Agency to build 2000 km of road along the China-India border

d)     The Japanese side has clarified that its cooperation with India is not in the disputed area.

4.

False promise of nuclear power (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Nuclear power

b)     Civil Nuclear agreement

c)     Fukushima Disaster 2011

d)     Indo – US nuclear agreement

e)     CIRUS research reactor

f)      Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL)

 

a)     New developments highlight the growing efforts of the global nuclear-power industry.

b)     France plans to cut its nuclear-generating capacity by a third by 2025 and focus instead on renewable sources like its neighbours Germany and Spain.

c)     As nuclear power becomes increasingly uneconomical at home because of high costs, the US and France are aggressively pushing exports, not just to India and China but also to nuclear newcomers.

d)     Nuclear power has the energy sectors highest capital and water intensity and longest plant-construction time frame, making it hardly attractive for private investors.

e)     The key fact about nuclear power is that it is the worlds most subsidy-fattened energy industry, even as it generates the most dangerous wastes whose safe disposal harms future generations.

f)     The nuclear share of the worlds total electricity production reached its peak of 17 percent in the late 1980s.

g)     Since then, it has been falling and is currently estimated at about 13 percent, even as new uranium discoveries have increased global reserves.

h)     The worldwide aggregate installed capacity of just three renewables (wind power, solar power and biomass) has surpassed installed nuclear-generating capacity.

i)     In India and China, wind power output alone exceeds nuclear-generated electricity.

j)     Before the 2011 Fukushima disaster, the global nuclear power industry had been declared a global nuclear renaissance.

k)     The triple meltdown at Fukushima has not only reopened old safety concerns but also set in motion the renaissance of nuclear power in reverse.

l)     India should actually be encouraging its industry to export its tested and reliable midsize reactor model, which is better suited for the developing countries, considering their grid limitations.

m)     To compound matters, the Manmohan Singh govt opted for major reactor imports without a competitive bidding process.

n)     It reserved a nuclear park each for four foreign firms (Areva of France, Westinghouse and GE of the US and Atomstroyexport of Russia) to build multiple reactors at a single site.

o)     It then set out to acquire land from farmers and other residents, employing pressure in some cases.

p)     If a Fukushima-type disaster were to strike India, it would seriously damage the Indian economy.

q)     To Singhs discomfort, three factors put a break on his reactor-import plans - the high price of French and US-origin reactors, the accident-liability issue and grass-roots opposition to the planned multi-reactor complexes. 

r)     Indias new nuclear plants are located in coastal regions so that these water-plentiful facilities can largely draw on seawater for their operations and not bring freshwater resources under strain.

s)     The risks that seaside reactors face from global warming-induced natural disasters became evident more than six years before Fukushima, when the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami flooded parts of the Madras Atomic Power Station.

t)     Manmohan Singh invested so such political capital in the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement that much of his first term was spent in negotiating and concluding the deal.

u)     He never explained why he overruled the nuclear establishment and shut down the CIRUS research reactor (the source of much of Indias cumulative historic production of weapons-grade plutonium since the 1960s).

v)     Nevertheless, the nuclear accord has turned out to be a failed deal for India on energy but a success for the US in opening the door to major weapon sales.

w)     Areva, Westinghouse and GE signed MoU with the state-run NPCIL in 2009 but construction has yet to begin at any site.

y)     If India wishes to increase nuclear-generating capacity without paying through its nose, the better choice given its new access to the world uranium market would be an accelerated indigenous programme.

z)     Globally, nuclear power is set to face increasing challenges due to its inability to compete with other energy sources in pricing.     

5.

Iran, West begin historic nuclear talks (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Iran – West Asia relations

b)     Tehrans nuclear programme

c)     UNSC

a)     Iran and the West put the responsibility for reaching a historic deal over Tehrans nuclear programme on each other, as a final round of talks geared up in Vienna despite big gaps remaining ahead of a Nov 24 deadline.

b)     Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that an agreement would only happen if the other side (the five permanent members of the UNSC plus Germany) make no excessive demands.

c)     The agreement being sought by the deadline, is aimed at easing fears that Tehran might develop nuclear weapons under the guise of civilian activities.

d)     It could resolve a 12-year deadlock over Irans atomic programme, silence talk of war and help normalise Irans worried relations with the West. 

6.

India denies caste as factor of gender inequality (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Gender inequality

b)      UN Economic and Social commission for the Asia Pacific (ESCAP)

 

a)     India changed the word caste to social origin in the draft Asian and Pacific ministerial declaration on advancing gender equality and womens empowerment at the conference under way here to review the goals of the Beijing platform for action 20 years later.

b)     India did not object to the word caste in para 12 of the draft text which reads - recognising that gender-based discrimination occurs in and of itself and that it is often linked to other forms of inequality related to such factors as age, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, health, disability, class, caste, sexual orientation and gender identity, occupation, migrant and legal or other status and that the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination can compound experiences of injustice, social marginalisation and oppression.

c)     The large number of civil society organisations present reacted with anger at the change and said it was not the first time that India had refused to acknowledge caste at a UN meeting.

d)     The conference was organised by the UN Women and UN ESCAP.

7.

Kisan Vikas Patra re-launched (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

 

 

 

a)     Kisan Vikas Patra

b)     Investment schemes

c)     Financial inclusion

a)     Finance Minister re-launched the Kisan Vikas Patra investment scheme to tap household savings for funding infrastructure development in the country.

b)     It is also to pull them away from fraud schemes.

c)     The savings instrument will be available in the denomination of Rs. 1000, Rs. 5000, Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 50,000.

8.

Rajan wants focus on sustainable growth (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     GDP

b)     Sustainable growth

c)     Inflation

 

a)     RBI Governor said that India will focus on sustainable economic growth and developed economies should do the same.

b)     RBI is under corporate and govt pressure to bring down interest rates and increase economic growth.

c)     Indias economy has grown at less than 5 percent for the last two years.

d)     It picked up some momentum to grow 5.7 percent in the June quarter but this is still way below the near double-digit growth last seen in 2008.

e)     He highlighted that sustained economic growth requires inflation to fall and stay low.

9.

Western Ghats face major conservation concerns: IUCN (Page 22)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)     World Heritage sites

b)     Western ghats

c)     Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

d)     Kaziranga National Park

e)     Sundarbans

f)     International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

g)     Great Himalayan National Park

h)     Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks

i)     Keoladeo National Park

 

a)      According to an IUCN assessment, World Heritage Sites such as the Western Ghats, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Kaziranga National Park and Sundarbans are facing significant conservation concerns.

b)     The IUCN World Heritage Outlook report had assessed 228 World Heritage sites for natural values.

c)     While none of the seven Indian sites qualified to be included in the good category, the Great Himalayan National Park, Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks and Keoladeo National Parks were assessed as good with some concerns.

d)     There were no Indian sites in the critical category.

e)     The report attempted to recognise well-managed sites for their conservation efforts and encourage the transfer of good management practices between sites and identified conservation issues affecting natural World Heritage sites and the actions needed to remedy those issues.

10.

Philae finds traces of organic molecules on comet (Page 14)

a)     S&T

a)     Philae

b)     Rosetta

c)     Comet 67P

a)     From initial sample data of Philae, Scientists said that it found traces of organic molecules and a surface much harder than imagined.

b)     Philae had uncovered much about the comet in spite of a rough touchdown in a less-than-perfect spot.

c)     Philae landed on Comet 67P last week, 20-km descent from Rosetta, its orbiting mothership which had travelled more than a decade and 6.5 billion km to meet up with the comet in August this year.

d)     Among the most anticipated data from Philae had been chemical analysis of a drill sample which scientists hoped would throw light on the origins of the Solar System 4.6 billion years ago and maybe even life on Earth.

e)     Some astrophysicists theorise that comets seeded our emerging planet with the beginnings of life-giving water and organic molecules and hoped that analysis of 67P would prove this. 

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