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Daily News Analysis 23-12-2014








US, UK, India had many leads but failed to stop 26/11 (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Terrorism

b)     Mumbai attacks of 2008

c)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

a)     A stunning new investigation concluded that if British, American and Indian intelligence collected together all the information they had, they could have averted the Mumbai attacks of 2008.

b)     The revelations throw up questions on whether their western intelligence partners could have cooperated more closely to avoid what the New York Times said was among the most devastating near-misses in the history of spycraft.

c)     The report also lays uncover the hollowness of the Pakistani govts claims of not having sufficient evidence against the 26/11 planners now in custody (including Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi) as it lists all the electronic intercepts that connect the ten attackers, the planners and officers of the ISI and Pakistani Army named already by US courts.

d)     A judge in an Islamabad anti-terror court last week granted bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, accused over the siege on Indias commercial capital and was blamed on the banned Pakistani militant group LeT.


A big, bold invite from Modi (Page 9)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     India – Pakistan disputes

c)     Defense Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI)

d)     India – Russia relations

e)     Al-Qaeda

f)     LeT

g)     Haqqani Network

h)     FDI

i)     GST

a)     With his invitation to President Obama to be the chief guest at the 2015 Republic Day parade, Modi is overcoming decades of Indian sensitivity over its foreign policy tradition of non-alignment.

b)     He is demonstrating that he is unafraid of the inevitable charge that he is leaning towards the US.

c)     Obamas visit will also make him the first US President to visit the country twice while in office.

d)     During his first visit to India in Nov 2010, Obama declared the US-India relationship one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century and reached agreement with his counterpart of the time on a wide range of issues.

e)     The fact that Modi and Obama agreed to hold two summits within a six-month period is evidence to their mutual commitment to reviving ties.

f)     Modi wants US investment to pull Indian growth rates back up and create jobs for the rapidly expanding working-age population.

g)     Modi met with several top CEOs in the US and delivered a clear message about his commitment to economic reform and the creation of a private-sector-friendly business environment.

h)     The recent cabinet approval of the GST Bill and a govt promise to increase FDI caps in the insurance sector will further encourage foreign investors.

i)     But there also is likely strategic purpose behind Modis outreach to the US Building diplomatic, military and economic ties with the US along with reinforcing ties to countries such as Japan and Australia, allows New Delhi to strengthen its hand in its dealings with China and helps prevent any potential Chinese border aggression. 

j)     For his part, Obama recognises that building relations with India is smart foreign policy.

k)     India is an emerging economy that provides opportunities for US trade and investment; a strategically important country in maintaining a stable balance of power in the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean.

l)     Improving Indo-US ties is one of the few issues on which there is broad bipartisan consensus, which means President Obama will find support from the new Republican-controlled Congress for his India initiatives. 

m)     With al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiris recent promise to launch a South Asia wing and violence on the rise in J&K, the importance for close US-India counterterrorism cooperation has never been stronger.

n)     The US and India must coordinate their responses to these threats as well as cooperate in preventing the Taliban from staging a comeback in Afghanistan.

o)     A recent increase in violence in J&K including a major attack on an Indian military camp in Uri on Dec 5 is feeding Indian concern that the US and NATO drawdown in Afghanistan will release new waves of terrorism in the region.

p)     The US must join India in criticizing Pakistans handling of the LeT.

q)     India is frustrated by what it views as inconsistent US policies and backsliding in US public statements concerning the Pakistan-based terrorist threat to India. 

r)     In order to gain the full benefits of their counterterrorism cooperation, Washington and New Delhi must overcome their suspicions and deepen their intelligence exchanges.

s)     The Obama-Modi Joint Statements promise for the two sides to work together to disrupt military operations and financing of groups such as al-Qaeda, LeT and the Haqqani Network is a step in the right direction. 

t)     There is a great deal the US can do to help India strengthen its homeland security and make itself less vulnerable to terrorism by sharing best practices and lessons learned since 9/11.

u)     Modi has highlighted the need to modernise Indias armed forces and the US is poised to play a significant role in helping to fill Indian defence requirements. 

v)     Reports that India is now looking to Israel (rather than the US) to fill it anti-tank missile requirements indicates the two sides are still grappling with bureaucratic obstacles to technology transfer.

w)     There is expectation that Ash Carter (who has been tapped to take the helm at the Pentagon and who launched the US-India DTTI two years ago) may be able to find a compromise solution on technology transfer that meets US requirements for safeguarding technology and Indias desire to maintain its strategic autonomy.

x)     Indias continuing warm relations with Russia strengthen those within the US bureaucracy who argue against providing India with sensitive US military technology.

y)     Modis bold invitation to Obama to attend Indias Republic Day celebration shows that the days of Indian trouble with non-alignment are ending.

z)     India will remain scrupulously autonomous in its foreign policy.


Major shift in foreign policy (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Israel relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     Palestinian issue

a)     Former Congress Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar criticized the Centre for the alleged shift in its Palestine policy.

b)     He said I criticize it because it introduces communalism into foreign policy.

c)     It shows the BJP govts justification for a State based on religion.

d)     It is a very narrow stand because it has been taken in view of defence ties with Israel.

e)     He said we are going to lose the friendship and solidarity with the Arab world that was established by Nehru.

f)     West Asia expert said it was not surprising, as Indias relations with Palestine had been declining for over a decade now since the time of Narasimha Rao.

g)     Both the UPA and the NDA have tried to find favour with the US by getting close to Israel.


China stands firm with Russia (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     China – Russia relations

b)     Russias economy

c)     Global oil prices

d)     Inflation

e)     GDP

f)     G20


a)     China has decided to stand firm with Russia, following a strong debate caused by the steep drop in global oil prices and the jump in the value of the ruble.

b)     Facing heightened pressure from the US, China and Russia are very precious strategic partners to each other.

c)     Sources supported the point that western sanctions cannot be the straw that breaks the back of Russia.

d)     This old trick has proven much less effective even in smaller countries like Cuba and Iran.

e)     On the contrary, predicting Russias resilience, the write-up stresses that Putins reign can hardly be overturned simply by currency inflation.

f)     The Chinese Foreign Ministry has also declared that Russia can overcome its current temporary difficulty, given Russias abundant reserve of foreign exchanges and a low ratio of public debt to the GDP among G20 members, not to mention its rich resources and good industrial foundation.

g)     The infusion of Chinese capital, technology and market access will prove insufficient till the time Russia throw its over-reliance on oil exports and manages to impart structural diversity to its economy.


Gujarat to host Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Page 11)

a)     National

a)     Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

a)     The 13th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (an event which celebrates the achievements of Indians living abroad) will be held in Gujarat from Jan 7-9.

b)     External Affairs Minister said that Gujarat has been chosen as the partner State as 2015 happens to be the 100th year of Mahatma Gandhis return to India from South Africa. 


India to reach replacement levels of fertility by 2020 (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Fertility

b)     Sample Registration Survey (SRS)

c)     Total Fertility Rate

d)     Census 2011

a)     New official data shows that fertility is falling faster than expected in India and the country is on track to reach replacement levels of fertility as soon as 2020.

b)     The 2013 data for the SRS (conducted by the Registrar General of India) is the countrys official source of birth and death data.

c)     The SRS shows that the Total Fertility Rate (the average number of children that will be born to a woman during her lifetime) in eight States has fallen below two children per woman.

d)     West Bengal is now has Indias lowest fertility with the southern States, J&K, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.


Fall in IMR not enough (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Infant mortality rate (IMR)  

b)     Millenium Development Goals for 2015

c)     Census 2011

a)     According to the Sample Registration Survey, Indias IMR has fallen to 40 deaths per 1000 live births and 49 deaths under the age of 5 for every 1000 live births but at these rates it is unlikely to meet its Millenium Development Goals for 2015.

b)     IMR has fallen faster in rural areas than in urban areas.

c)     Among metro cities, Chennai has the lowest IMR (16).

d)     Among States, Kerala has by far the best at 12 deaths per 1000 live births; the next best States (Delhi and Maharashtra) have IMRs that are twice that of Kerala.


Reserve Bank modifies definition for non-cooperative borrower (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     Non-cooperative borrower

b)     Financial institution (FI)

c)     Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC)

d)     RBI

a)     The RBI modified the definition of a non-cooperative borrower and also fixed the cut off limit for classifying borrowers as non-cooperative would be those borrowers having aggregate fund-based and non-fund based facilities of 5 crore from the concerned bank/FI.

b)     A non-cooperative borrower is one who does not engage constructively with his lender by defaulting in timely repayment of dues while having ability to pay, preventing lenders efforts for recovery of their dues by not providing necessary information sought, denying access to assets financed/collateral securities, obstructing sale of securities , etc.

c)     RBI asked banks/FIs to report information on these borrowers to the CRILC.

d)     RBI told banks/FIs to put in place a transparent mechanism for classifying borrowers as non-cooperative.


Naval LCA makes first flight from ski-jump (Page 10)

a)     S&T

a)     Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)

b)     INS Hansa

a)     In a defining moment for the first prototype of Naval LCA (the first indigenously designed and developed 4th plus generation combat aircraft designed to operate from the decks of air-craft carriers) had a successful first flight from ski-jump facility of shore-based test facility at INS Hansa in Goa.

b)     LCA (Navy) is designed with stronger landing gears to absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off, to be airborne within 200m as against 1000m required for normal runways.

c)     Its special flight control law mode allows hands-free take-off relieving the pilot workload, as the aircraft leaps from the ramp and automatically puts the aircraft in an ascending trajectory.

d)     With todays copybook flight of LCA-Navy from the land based ski-jump facility, we see our own indigenous combat aircrafts soon flying from the decks of our aircraft carriers.


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