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Daily News Analysis 24-01-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.

Domestic politics may stall key Modi-Obama deals (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)      Renewal of the Defence strategic framework, cyber-security cooperation, climate funds, among others are the important agreements, which will be discussed in the coming Obamas visit.

2.

Intagiables and deliverables (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     US will be Indias preferred partner for Make in India efforts.

3.

Seeking a bilateral breakthrough (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     In the coming Obamas visit, bilateral development of Defence, Trade & Investment, IPR are the important areas of cooperation.

4.

Carbon tax to meet climate concerns (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Carbon tax is much simpler to design and administer since it does not involve fixing emission quotas for each emitting industry.

5.

No way forward on climate fund, H1B visas, IPR issues (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     An announcement on the Bilateral Totalisation agreement and the liberalisation of H1B visas will be expecting from Obama.

6.

Jud not banned, only assets seized: Pakistan envoy (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     International

a)     Pak has not banned JuD but just kept in the watch list.

7.

Myanmar becomes battleground of growing China-US rivalry (Page 15)

a)     International

a)     Chinas focus on deepening ties with Latin American countries has impacted US-Myanmar engagement.

8.

Another Ebola battle won (Page 10)

a)     International

b)     Health

a)     Myanmar is the third country after Nigeria and Senegal to become free of the Ebola virus disease.

9.

Rosetta hints at key to life on comets core (Page 20)

a)     S&T

a)     Europes Rosetta space probe collected important data on Comet 67P.

 

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.

Domestic politics may stall key Modi-Obama deals (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US ties

b)     Civil nuclear deal

c)     Defence deal

d)     UN Climate Change Green fund

e)     Totalisation agreement

f)     FDI

 

a)     Obamas visit is likely to see the announcement of many important agreements, including the renewal of the ten-year Defence strategic framework, cyber-security cooperation, an enhanced partnership on counter-terrorism, among others.

b)      Sources said that the developments on several key agreements are being held back because of domestic politics in both New Delhi and Washington.

c)      As a result, while Modi has been unable to clear economic commitments and the nuclear deadlock, Obama is having trouble committing on climate change funding, H1B visas and the Totalisation agreement.

d)     Sources said that a multi-billion dollar renewable energy fund due to be announced during the visit has run into rough weather over Obamas inability to clear a 3 billion dollar commitment announced for the UN Climate Change Green fund.

e)      Senators urging him to encourage Modi and his administration to liberalise FDI restrictions in the e-commerce sector in particular.

f)      Currently, India prohibits foreign businesses from selling items directly to Indian consumers over the Internet.

2.

Intagiables and deliverables (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Bilateral Investment Treaty

c)     Defence Framework Agreement  

d)     Defence Technology and Trade Initiative

e)     Trans-Pacific Partnership

f)     Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)

g)     Make in India initiative

a)     Indias invitation to the US President came at a time when both the IMF and the World Bank predicted that India is on its way to overtake Chinas growth.

b)     Modis meetings in New York and Washington convinced American businesses about a potential exponential growth in India-US commercial exchanges and investments.

c)     Obama looks at India-US ties as one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.

d)     India and the US need each other because better ties will help create more jobs, growth and development.

e)     Within the wide spectrum of the India-US engagement, the areas of defence, energy and technology hold the greatest promise. 

f)      The employment-generating Make in India effort (focussed on power, communications, electronics, and high-technology engineering) is not for providing cheap goods for the home market but to make India globally competitive.

g)     With the worlds best technology, the US will be Indias preferred partner in this effort.

h)     On defence cooperation, the challenge is to utilise the Defence Framework Agreement and the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative to push co-development and joint production of defence equipment and platforms.

i)     Indias military modernisation cannot be done without proactive cooperation with the US.

j)     India needs greater deterrence capacity, including a bigger naval presence in the Indo-Pacific. 

k)      The US govt appears anxious about Indias regulatory environment, IPR protection standards, local content provisions and the absence of a bilateral investment treaty.

l)     There is a fear of compulsory licensing for pharmaceuticals. Indias exclusion from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations is held as an example of India being a trade outlier.

m)     The US helped resolve Indias concerns about agricultural subsidy, thereby giving the way for the WTO agreement on trade facilitation.

n)     India has counter-concerns about protectionism and the new US immigration law and has mildly protested in WTO discussions against the US.

o)     The US refusal to negotiate a Totalization Agreement with India really irritates, when countries like Finland and Sweden have concluded such an agreement with India.

p)     On climate change, the Sino-US agreement is being held out as an example for India to follow. 

q)      Given the wide gap between the emissions of India and China, as also the different levels of economic development, the question of India capping its emissions is early.

r)     Indias focus instead will be on practical cooperative measures on energy efficiency and non-conventional sources of energy, again a key area of India-US partnership.

s)     Both India and the US seek comprehensive engagement with China, are reinforcing ties with countries on Chinas periphery, strengthening their own military preparedness and seeking to revitalise their economies.

t)     There is clearly room for a fuller India-US dialogue on security in West Asia and Central Asia, the management of the Indian Ocean and what US rebalancing in Asia really means in material terms for India and the Indo-Pacific.

3.

Seeking a bilateral breakthrough (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Defence Trade and Technology Initiative

c)     Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

d)     IPR

a)     There is optimism that in the coming Obamas visit, a development may occur in one area of cooperation above all others is defence trade.

b)     In this context, the 2014 Defence Trade and Technology Initiative may be the key to reaching a big deal.

c)     Trade and investment is a second contender for development potential.

d)     Although getting the TFA back on track was an important step, there are a host of issues, including trade protectionism, IPR and immigration, and the biggest thing Obama is seeking is credible reassurance on the economic reform front.

4.

Carbon tax to meet climate concerns (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Carbon tax

b)     Cap-and-trade system

c)     Tobin tax

d)     OPEC

e)     Climate change

f)     Carbon emissions

g)     National Clean Energy Fund

a)     Oil prices have decreased rapidly since June 2014 by almost 60 percent. 

b)     The fall has been unexpected and what has added to the mystery is the behaviour of Saudi Arabia, the traditional swing producer in OPEC which has chosen not to cut production in order to boost prices.

c)      The main reason now being evidenced for the oil price decline is the re-emergence of the US as a major hydrocarbon producer because of exploitation of its substantial shale deposits. 

d)     The current oil price scenario offers the right moment for the international community as well as for major carbon emitter nations to revisit an old idea that has been around for quite some time as a way of dealing with the challenge of climate change and this is a carbon tax. 

e)     Economists mostly agree that such a carbon tax is the way to go but it has faced tremendous political resistance, especially in the US.

f)     It is the political resistance to any form of taxation that has led to systems of cap-and-trade being adopted to deal with the emissions problem. 

g)     A cap-and-trade system puts a cap on the quantity of emissions and the rights to emit are then traded for a price among classes of consumers.

h)     The cap-and-trade system does provide incentives for emission levels to decline.

i)     On the other hand, a carbon tax is much simpler and straightforward to design and administer since it does not involve fixing emission quotas for each emitting industry, which is technically very difficult.

j)     Actually, India has a carbon tax of types.

k)     It is not called as such but the UPA govts budget of 2010-11 introduced a cess of Rs. 50 per tonne of both domestically produced and imported coal.

l)     However, the idea of this cess was less to check carbon emissions but more to raise revenues for the National Clean Energy Fund.

m)     The Fund itself could well support carbon mitigation initiatives but its take-off has been slow so far since Finance Ministers see it as a source of mitigating not carbon but the fiscal deficit. 

n)     Economists want the US to impose a carbon tax on its own as well as a tax on the carbon tax on its imports, in order to move other countries to adopt the carbon tax route.

o)      Some years ago, the Nobel Laureate James Tobin proposed a tax on short-term currency transactions.

p)     This was later expanded to cover all short-term financial transactions and is widely known as the Tobin Tax. 

q)      A carbon tax imposed on all fossil fuels in proportion to carbon dioxide emissions would signal that transformed thinking.

r)     It would generate the needed resources for low-carbon investments in a manner that does not add to the fiscal deficit and provide the boost to a meaningful global agreement in Paris later this year in December. 

5.

No way forward on climate fund, H1B visas, IPR issues (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Climate agreements

c)     Bilateral Totalisation agreement 

d)     H1B visas

e)     GST

f)     FDI

a)     US official said we are looking to increase our cooperation in pursuit of developing clean energy but also following a successful and ambitious round of climate negotiations this year leading into Paris.

b)      Similiarly, Indian officials doubt that President Obama will be able to announce the Bilateral Totalisation agreement and the liberalisation of H1B visas, as India has been demanding during this visit.

c)      Signing the Totalisation agreement, that would free up about $ 3 billion Indian money that is tied up in US.

d)      Acknowledging that the ordinance route for insurance FDI, GST and other issues could only be temporary, Indian official said the govt was exploring several alternatives to clear the ordinances.

6.

Jud not banned, only assets seized: Pakistan envoy (Pages 1 and 12)

a)    International

a)     Terrorism

b)     UN resolution

c)     JuD

d)     Al-Qaeda

e)     Indo – Pak disputes

f)     J&K issue

a)     Pakistan High Commissioner to India said that the JuD had not been banned but its accounts had been frozen and movement of its members restricted following a UN resolution.

b)     He said the Pakistan govt had taken over JuDs facilities.

c)     Paks Foreign Ministry spokesperson rejected that action was being taken under US pressure after Secretary of State John Kerrys visit to Pakistan.

d)     Claiming that Pakistan was ready to hold talks with India, the envoy said that for Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir remained the core issue that needs to be resolved.

7.

Myanmar becomes battleground of growing China-US rivalry (Page 15)

a)     International

a)     China – Myanmar relations

b)    Maritime Silk Road (MSR) project

c)     Silk Road Economic Belt

d)     Yunnan Province

e)     Malacca strait

a)     China is feeling the heat in Myanmar following Washingtons push to establish itself in Nay Pyi Daw.

b)     Sources said that Chinas focus on deepening ties with Latin American countries (in Washingtons backyard) has impacted on the decision by the US to energise its engagement with Myanmar.

c)     Analysts say Yunnan (Chinas strategic province) could be the ultimate target of American inroads in Myanmar.

d)     Yunnan is Chinas gateway to Southeast Asia, sharing common borders with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

e)      Observers say that any deterioration of the situation following an intensification of fighting between the Myanmars govt forces and the Kachin Independence Army should worry China, as it could cause a flood of refugees towards Yunnan, which is not far from that zone.

f)      For China, a loss of force in Myanmar can remove one of the joints of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the MSR - both essential to integrate the economies of Asia and Europe, with China as the hub.

g)     China has signed an agreement to build a railroad from Myanmars port of Kyaukpyu on the Bay of Bengal to its Yunnan province.

h)      But the implementation of the project, which would help China to evade the Malacca straits is encountering serious difficulties.

8.

Another Ebola battle won (Page 10)

a)     International

b)     Health

a)     Ebola virus

b)     ZMapp

c)     WHO

a)      On Jan 18, the WHO and declared Mali free of the Ebola virus disease. It is the third country after Nigeria and Senegal to become free of the deadly disease.

b)     A country should have had no new cases of Ebola for a continuous period of 42 days (which is a cycle of two incubation periods of 21 days) for it to be declared free of the virus. 

c)      India has a lesson to learn from the way Nigeria and Mali have handled the Ebola outbreaks.

d)      Though some vital precautionary steps were taken, the small number of centres that are capable of testing for the virus and the lack of quarantine facilities at major airports indicate a low level of preparedness to counter the virus.

9.

Rosetta hints at key to life on comets core (Page 20)

a)     S&T

a)     Rosetta

b)     Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

a)     Scientists have found further evidence that comets harbor the building blocks of life and have collected the first close-up data that will help them understand how these celestial bodies evolve as they move toward the sun.

b)     The discoveries are the result of months of observation by instruments aboard Europes Rosetta space probe, which has been flying alongside comet 67P since August.

c)     One of the most exciting findings is the discovery of a surface covered by complex mixtures of organic materials possibly containing carboxylic acids, which also occur in amino acids essential components for life.

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