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Daily News Analysis 09-01-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.

 

India, South Africa discuss UNSC reforms (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – South Africa reforms

b)     Economic ties

c)     UNSC

d)     Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

e)     Electronic Travel Authorization (e-Visa) 

f)     India – Mauritius relations

a)     Engaging in diplomacy on the sidelines of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event, PM Modi had substantive meetings with the officials of South Africa.

b)     External Affairs Minister is set to visit South Africa in the first quarter of this year to continue opportunities for economic ties particularly in infrastructure and mining.

c)     India and South Africa discussed the need for UN SC reforms especially when 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the international body.

d)     In his discussion, Modi assured a line of credit worth $ 60 million to Guyana for two road and ocean ship projects in the Caribbean country.

e)     The Centre also decided to include Guyana in the list of countries whose citizens will get a visa-on-arrival facility.

f)     The facility of e-Visa has also been introduced to save time.

g)     A deeper engagement with Mauritius is also on the cards with the country inviting Modi to pay a visit on March 12.

2.

Must counter terror with cooperation: French envoy (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     Terrorism

b)     India – France relations

c)     Attacks on Charlie Hebdo

d)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     Frances Ambassador to India says that France will share information with India on the terror attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, as it is important to counter terrorism with cooperation.

b)     We have already shared information on this attack, although our security agencies are still trying to track the perpetrators. 

c)     He said we will definitely share the methods (which the terrorists used and the way the attack was carried out) with Indian authorities because all this information is useful for our allies around the world.

d)     He said the French govt had been tracking the Charlie Hebdo attackers for some time and believed they were part of a radical group, but not members of IS.

e)     Last week, the EUs counterterrorism chief had said an estimated 3000 Europeans were now fighting in the IS and a video released by the terror group targeting France specifically had raised concerns.

f)     Sources told that Indian and French security officials had discussed sharing lists of those suspected to have joined the IS, although the numbers in India were estimated to be much fewer.

g)     He said this could have happened anywhere, in India, in Europe, in the US, so it is clearly a message of unity to cooperate together against terrorism.

3.

The attack on Chalie Hebdo (Page 8)

a)     International

a)     Terrorism

b)     Paris attacks

c)     Islamic State (IS)

d)     Al-Qaeda

a)     The horrific terrorist attack in Paris at the office of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo is a direct assault on the freedom of speech, thought and expression, the fundamentals on which all open, democratic societies are built.

b)     Since 2006 (when it first published the Danish cartoons of Prophet Mohammed), Charlie Hebdo had been under threat of violent attacks by Islamist groups.

c)     Refusing to be intimidated, the publication continued to cartoon Islam even after a firebombing in Nov 2011, just as it also harshly criticized Christianity and Judaism.

d)     Self-censorship in order not to hurt religious sensibilities is now the norm in most parts of the world, so too in India, where media and expressions of popular culture including cinema, art and writing.

e)     In truly democratic societies, this should not be the case and that is what Charlie Hebdo believed and practised.

f)     Attacking democratic freedoms is part of a larger agenda.

g)     Whether it is al-Qaeda, IS or any other group, extremist ideology succeeded best in a polarised society.

h)     If the sizeable numbers of people believing to the Muslim faith have been able to resist Islamism, it is because French republicanism has been able to overcome even the most divisive controversies, such as the ban on wearing the hijab and niqab in public and the Islamophobic discourse by the French right-wing parties that surrounded it.

i)     While the unavoidable security measures will have to be taken, it would be most unfortunate if the attack on Charlie Hebdo were to give rise to a counteraction against French Muslims.

j)     That would result in precisely what Islamist groups want - an alienated Muslim population that would become a recruiting ground for their violent cause.

k)     Maintaining freedoms and equality before the law in the face of a severe challenge to security is the most difficult test for any democratic polity and society.

4.

Not anti-Islam, but anti-religion (Page 9)

a)     International

a)     Attacks on Charlie Hebdo

b)     Islamic State (IS)

c)     Religious Extremism

 

a)     The French satirical publication (Charlie Hebdo) is an equal opportunity offender.

b)     In keeping with Frances secular intellectual tradition, no particular individual, ideology or religion was safe from being criticized by Charlie Hebdo.

c)     The importance of Charlie Hebdo lies in what the publication represents - a strong dislike to giving in to illogical extremism of any kind and holding the right to offend people on sensitive matters like religion.

d)     The underpinning logic assumes that interrogation of self-sanctified institutions like religion needs to be done through the systematic practice of irreverence.

e)     In essence, the publication asserted the right to equally offend anyone and everyone as a part of the practice of French secularism.

f)     What Charbonniers editorial line represented can be considered a strong desire to avoid self-censorship.

g)     When the special issue of Charlie Hebdo (which was guest edited by the Prophet Mohammad) hit the stands in 2011, the controversy it raised was very strong.

h)     Politicians and clerics in France alike and even representatives of the US govt cautioned the publication.

i)     For Charbonnier, a committed left-wing intellectual, self-censoring to avoid offending one or two particular groups was not an option.

j)     Charlie Hebdos manner of channelling offence was to turn it into humour.

k)     They believed that the only way to deal with religious extremism was to laugh at the extremists and describe them as being illogical.

l)     This the publication found to be less violent than the standard political response of sending out soldiers after extremists.

m)     Some of the cartoons published can also be seen as deeply sensitive to the current politics of Islam.

n)     In another cartoon, the IS is beheading the Prophet - Charlie Hebdo may have been trying to rescue Islam from the extremists. 

o)     May be this is precisely why extremist anger surrounded the publication.

p)     However, its satire was itself a protest of identity politics in France.

q)     The French public sphere has sworn by secularism, only very recently being challenged by the rise of the French right wing. 

r)     The French govt banned headscarves in public schools in 2004 and in 2014 it became mandatory to reveal ones face at a place of work.

s)     Charlie Hebdos work falls within this context of stresses on national identity and secular culture.

t)     However, we need to understand Charlie Hebdo not as an anti-Islamic publication but as an anti-religion, anti-institutional, anti-extremist publication.

u)     Charlie Hebdo is a courageous magazine that took on one of the most powerful organised institutions of all time - religion.

v)     Over many years, the publication interrogated the political, personal and ritual logic of religion and the micro foundations of religions relationship to individuals and the state. 

5.

President urged to reject ordinance on Land Act (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Polity

 

a)     Land Acquisition Act 2013

b)     Parliament

c)     President assent

d)     Veto power

a)     A group of concerned citizens has written to President Pranab to rethink and reject the ordinance which seeks to amend the Land Acquisition Act 2013.

b)     In a letter to the President, the group urged him to advise the govt to table the proposed amendments in the upcoming session of Parliament, so that these can be democratically discussed.

c)     The group (which includes former bureaucrats and judges, economists and activists) said the LAA-2013 was enacted after much effort by various peoples movements and political parties to resolve the conflict due to forcible land acquisition, give farmers their due and also meet the needs of industrial development but now the ordinance seeks to dilute the people-friendly provisions.

6.

NRIs can energise India, Modi tells Pravasi meet (Page 1)

a)     National

a)     Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

b)     Person of Indian Origin (PIO)

c)     Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)

a)     PM Modi said the phase when Indians travelled abroad in search of opportunity is over and now India calls its overseas citizens as a land of opportunity.

b)     An Indian in any corner of the world has become a symbol of strength.

c)     He said that the world is ready to welcome us and we must be ready for the world.

d)     Reminding the diaspora that he had delivered on his promises made to them before coming to power, he said the govt worked to merge PIO and OCI schemes, making way for a one-time visa.

e)     He said these measures were not only a matter of ease of administration but of self-respect as well.

7.

Collapse of oil economies may affect India (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     Collapse of oil economies

b)     Brent crude prices

c)     Stock market

d)     Balance of Payments

e)     Inflation

f)     Current account deficit

g)     FDI

h)     FII

a)     The continued slide in Brent crude prices augurs well for the Indian economy despite the temporary setback for stock markets and oil related stocks.

b)     However, analysts believe that the collapse of some oil economies could be a matter of concern for India.

c)     The fall in the stock markets was due to a combination of fall in crude oil prices below the $50-mark as well as the possibility of Greece being taken out of the eurozone.

d)     Officials said falling crude oil prices is indicative not just of excess supply but also falling demand.

e)     The fall in oil price is good for all users including major importers like India, as it lowers their trade deficit and hence strengthens their currencies.

f)     However, this is bad news for the oil exporters as it lowers their export earnings and given that most countries are dependent on oil exports, their growth would suffer.

g)     They said with low oil price, our production cost will go down and we will be competitive internationally.

h)     With this, our exports will increase. Our imports will be down and this will improve our balance of payment situation. Overall it is good for our economy.

i)     Today the global economy is just about in a recovery mode and the collapse of any economy, be it Greece or any oil producing country would change the policy actions of central banks which will influence the flow of funds thus impacting our external balances.

j)      The steep fall in crude prices is in fact fiscal stimulus for India as oil accounts for 37 percent of its imports.

k)     Lower oil prices will cut inflation and will bring down our current account deficit.

l)     It will boost our growth prospects and overall it is good for India.

m)     However, there should not be any geopolitical imbalances that could affect FDI or FII fund flow into India due to low crude prices. 

8.

Carnivores in the neighbourhood (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Conservation

b)     Carnivores

c)     Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

d)     Wildlife laws

e)     Project Tiger

a)     A tigress walks boldly across open farmlands and crossed railway tracks and highways at night.

b)     During the day, she settled down in forest patches, reed beds or plantations out of sight of people.

c)     Contrary to popular belief that tigers need to live in vast forests, this tigress was 45 kilometres away from the nearest one, Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve.

d)     When wild carnivores are found far outside forests, managers and conservationists often seize for excuses.

e)      Lack of habitat, disturbance within forests, and lack of food are oft-cited reasons.

f)     After visiting the farmlands of Akole (Maharashtra), where leopards live among people without causing alarm, one forester exclaimed to the biologist studying them, these leopards are not normal.

g)     Animals disregard not only our boundaries but also our assumptions.

h)     They go where there is food (whether domestic, feral or wild) and they live in what little cover is available.

i)     Even in an extreme situation like in the Sunderbans (where more people are killed by tigers than anywhere else), no one demands that all tigers be killed.

j)     Its because of this tolerance that India still has the largest population of wild tigers in the world despite our high human population.

k)     In comparison, European folk tales traditionally threaten predators and fear of them runs deep.

l)     Even though human densities are relatively low, Europeans almost eradicated their carnivores.

m)     A new assessment (Recovery of large carnivores in Europes modern human-dominated landscapes) shows that like the tigress outside Tadoba, carnivores are recolonising Europe, ranging far outside protected forests and staking territories among human-owned farms and plantations.

n)     This turnaround was achieved after decades of coordinated legislation, good law enforcement and public support for conservation. 

o)     Indias primary conservation model (borrowed from the US) is to create exclusive zones, separating people from predators.

p)     Few parks in India are devoid of settlements and not many are large enough to maintain good breeding populations.

q)     People living in forests have to relocate to make space for predators.

r)     Our laws and policies guide management of animals inside forests but theres no state policy to deal with predators living amongst people.

s)     Wildlife symbolises the state and its cruel policies.

t)     If the species has to regain at least some lost ground, we need to do more than focus on protected areas.

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