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Daily News Analysis 20-11-2014








Modi announces $80 m for Fiji (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Fiji relations

b)     Pan Pacific Islands Project

c)     Special Adaptation Fund

a)     PM Modi announced lines of credit and development assistance totalling $ 80 million for Fiji and a visa-on-arrival for all the 14 island countries in the region.

b)     He also announced a $1 million Special Adaptation Fund for the Pacific nations and a proposal to develop Pan Pacific Islands Project for tele-medicine and tele-education.

c)     His trip is the first by an Indian PM to Fiji in 33 years after Indira Gandhi in 1981.

d)     India and Fiji also agreed to expand their security and defence cooperation during his visit. 


Fishermen on death row freed (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Sri Lanka disputes

b)     Fishermen issues

a)     The five Indian fishermen on death row in Sri Lanka on drug-trafficking charges, walked free after President Rajapaksa used his executive powers to commute their death penalty.

b)     His decision on the release appears to be a commutation of the fishermens sentence to the term already served.

c)     The five fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in Nov 2011.

d)     In addition to New Delhi taking up the Indian fishermens case through diplomatic channels, an appeal was filed on their behalf in the Colombo High Court on Nov 11.

e)     While the diplomatic negotiations were on, the Presidents office announced that the withdrawal of the appeal by the Indian side was a precondition for any decision on the release.


Delhi, Dhaka exchange lists of fugitives (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Bangladesh disputes

b)     Bardhaman blast case

c)     National Investigating Agency (NIA)

d)     Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)

a)     Intelligence agencies in Bangladesh and India have exchanged lists of suspected refugees believed to be hiding in each others countries to avoid trials.

b)     The visiting team of Indias NIA has handed over a list of 11 top Indian terrorists to Bangladeshs RAB including suspects in the Bardhaman blast case.

c)     The NIA teams visit to Dhaka was aimed at investigating the jihadi networks following the October 2 blast at a house in West Bengals Bardhaman.


China, Russia set up ties to face US Pivot (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     China – Russia relations

b)     US Pivot to Asia

c)     Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

d)     Mediterranean Sea

e)     Counter terrorism

f)     Afghanistan situation

g)     NATO

a)     China and Russia are suddenly strengthening their military ties to counter the Asia Pivot of the US, widely seen as a military doctrine in the Asia-Pacific to contain Beijings growing international position.

b)     Under the framework of its Asia Pivot, Washington is strengthening its military presence along Chinas boundary through fresh deployments chiefly in Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines.

c)     Russia and China will hold joint military exercises in the Pacific Ocean next year, closer to the Chinese mainland and in the Mediterranean Sea.

d)     Analysts say that the exercises in the Mediterranean will strengthen Beijing and Moscows common understanding not to permit US-led regime change in countries such as Syria and Lebanon.

e)     Both countries are concerned about the increasing threat of terrorism radiating from Afghanistan, which is likely to experience a military power vacuum following the bulk troop withdrawal of NATO forces from Kabul.

f)     Beijing and Moscow see counter-terrorism cooperation by the SCO countries (which include Central Asia) as part of the solution.


Govt to amend Lokpal selection process (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Lokpal Act

b)     Delhi Special Police Establishment Act

c)     Central Vigilance Act 2003

d)     Right to Information Act 2005

a)     Law Ministry finalises DoPT proposal to amend Lokpal Act, Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.

b)      New clause to remove need for members in panels selecting Lokpal, CBI chief.

c)     DSPE Act to be brought in line with Central Vigilance Act 2003 and Right to Information Act 2005.

d)     It will ensure the leader of the largest opposition group in the Lok Sabha is a member of the panel. 


CMs asked to ratify Judicial Commission Bill (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Judicial

a)     National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC)

b)     Collegium system

c)     High Courts

a)     Law Ministry said he has written to CMs to sign the NJAC Bill at the earliest.

b)     At least 15 States have to sign the Bill for it to be made law.

c)     Noting that three States have so far signed the Bill, he referred to reports in the media that the Gujarat Assembly has also followed suit.

d)     He said the govt was considering a proposal to increase the retirement age of High Court judges from 62 to 65 and also increase the number of High Court judges from the present strength of 925 to 1112.


Indian economy showing signs of a turnaround: OECD (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     GDP

b)     OECD

c)     Poverty

d)     Absolute poverty

a)     The OECD has upped its 2015-16 growth projection for India to 6.6 percent.

b)     It had fixed it at 5.7 percent in May.

c)     The growth had remained sub-5 percent in the last two financial years.

d)     The OECD projects it to be 5.4 percent this financial year.

e)       The OECD Economic Survey of India has cautioned that without structural reforms, the growth will remain below the 8 percent rate achieved during the previous decade.

f)     It also warns that although absolute poverty has declined, it remains high and income inequality has in fact risen since the early 1990s.


Figuring out spillover of a bat-borne virus (Page 15)

a)     S&T

a)     Bat-borne viruses

b)     Hendra virus

c)     Ebola

a)     Using a bat-borne virus that irregularly infects horses in Australia as an example, a team of scientists has examined conditions under which viruses that bats carry could spread into other species.

b)     Bats are host to a number of viruses that are harmful to humans, Ebola being one of them. 

c)     Scientists from Australia and the US looked at factors involved in spreading from bats, focusing on the Hendra virus.

d)     Hendra virus was discovered in 1994 when 20 horses in a racing stable at Hendra (a suburb of the city of Brisbane in Australia) became infected.

e)     The virus circulates in fruit bat populations in the country and spreads the virus into horses have occurred irregularly.

f)     Since 2006, such spreading has been detected with increasing frequency and over an expanding geographical range.

g)     They listed a hierarchy of at least five enabling conditions that made it possible for the Hendra virus to cross from bat to horse.

h)      Not only must bats be present and carrying the virus but they must also be outbuilding those viruses.

i)      New evidence suggested that virus excretion from bats occurred in pulses that could drive spreading.

j)     Shortage of food and pregnancy might be among the factors that lead to such pulses of virus outbuilding.

k)     Horses could pick up the Hendra virus when feeding near trees with bats. 


India tight-lipped on the issue of hydrofluorocarbons (Page 15)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

b)     Greenhouse gases

c)     Montreal Protocol

d)     Ozone depleting substances

e)     United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

f)     Chloroflurocarbons (CFCs)

g)      Hydrochloroflurocarbons (HCFCs)

a)      India did not clearly spell out its position on the issue of HFCs during a key UN conference as nations debated whether to set up a contact group for discussing the proposed amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the harmful greenhouse gas.

b)     India neither supported nor opposed it and instead only read out a joint-bilateral statement on HFCs signed by PM Modi and US President Obama during their White House summit on Sept 30.

c)     Indias unclear stand has irritated the green groups attending the conference.

d)     On the opening day of the conference on Nov 17, India had not opposed to participate in discussing on the agenda on the issue of harmful greenhouse gas under UN Montreal Protocol on ozone depleting substances.

e)     A breakthrough on the issue of HFCs is highly unlikely as oil producing gulf countries participating in a key UN conference continued their strong opposition to the US-led nations proposal to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase down the harmful greenhouse gas.

f)     Oil producing Gulf nations led by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait opposed to setting up a contact group on the issue, arguing that the Montreal Protocol does not have the mandate to deal with the greenhouse gas.

g)     They said that the issue should be discussed under the UNFCCC.

h)     Montreal Protocol is a UN treaty signed in 1987 to ban ozone-depleting substances like CFCs and HCFCs, which were used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

i)     HFCs were brought into replace the ozone-depleting substances but it was proved later that the ozone friendly gas has a strong warming effect.

j)     During the past six conferences, it was India which had led the Gulf States to block the use of the Montreal Protocol to phase out HFCs.

k)     The change in Indian stand comes in the wake of a joint Indo-US statement on HFCs this year under which both the nations had agreed to discuss the harmful greenhouse gas under the Montreal Protocol.

l)     The Gulf countries argued that there were no alternatives to HFCs.

m)     China said that the Montreal Protocol has a role to play and everyone should work on consensus.



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