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Daily News Analysis 03-02-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.

Russia, China back Indias inclusion in expanded APEC (Pages 1)

a)     I.R

a)     Joint statement of RIC group recommended Indias inclusion in an expanded APEC and also declared Indias upcoming membership to the SCO.

2.

India sees RIC meeting as gateway to Eurasia (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India declared the launch of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

3.

Kudankulam power cheaper than US proposals: Russia (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Russia is unhappy and feels competitive about the US-India nuclear deal.

4.

Modi to visit Jaffna during Sri Lanka trip (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Discussions on Palk Bay conflict and devolution and implementation of the 13th Amendment are likely to be the focus areas of Modis visit to Sri Lanka.

5.

Spain, India hold talks on tie-ups in railway sector (Page14)

a)     I.R

b)     Economy

a)     Spain is ready to partner with India in the railways sector and also interested to invest in renewable energy and construction of highways.

6.

India toughens stand with increasing trade (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Pakistan stressed that the Kashmir issue is most important and focus on soft issues like trade and culture would not provide results beyond a point.

7.

Sri Lanka can count on US to be a friend (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     A year after warning Sri Lanka about the pace of its post-war reconciliation, the US said it stood with Sri Lanka.

8.

Core sector growth slows to 2.4 percent in Dec (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     Negative growth in crude oil, natural gas, fertilizer and steel has led to the decrease in the overall growth rate of core industries.

9.

An ICBM becomes more versatile (Page 8)

a)     S&T

a)     Although the DRDO had previously carried out canister launches with the BrahMos and Shourya missiles, launching the Agni V was a challenge.

10.

Why some galaxies die young (Page 7)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Galaxies approaching the end of their star formation phase had expelled most of their gas.

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.

Russia, China back Indias inclusion in expanded APEC (Pages 1)

a)     I.R

a)     Russia-India-China (RIC) group

b)     Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

c)     Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

d)     East Asia summit

e)     US pivot to Asia

f)     International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)

g)     Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)

a)     The foreign ministers of the RIC grouping issued a comprehensive joint statement that called for an aspiring reform of an international system that was respectful of the diversity of home-grown political systems.

b)     The statement recommended Indias inclusion in an expanded APEC, a 21-nation grouping of Pacific Rim countries.

c)     They declared Indias upcoming membership to the SCO after elevating the grouping, which is pillared by Russia, China and most of the Central Asian States as one of the key instruments in promoting multilateral political, security, economic and humanitarian interaction in the region.

d)     The SCO has been holding major counter-terrorism exercises, in anticipation of the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan. 

e)     Recognising the threat to stability posed during Afghanistans upcoming transitional phase, the three Ministers called for supporting the ANSF, in tune with the withdrawal of the US-led ISAF.

f)     Without specifying the Pivot to Asia doctrine of the US, a joint statement by the RIC grouping called for advancing talks in the East Asia summit framework on rule-based security architecture in the Asia-Pacific, driven by the UN.

2.

India sees RIC meeting as gateway to Eurasia (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

b)     Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)

c)     Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

d)     Beijing-Tianjin-Hibei industrial belt

a)     As it received Moscow and Beijings support for an entry into APEC, India declared the launch of the FTAAP.

b)     Observers say that the China-led initiative is meant to counter the less inclusive TPP, another free trade agreement championed by Washington but which pointedly excludes Beijing.

c)     The tri-nation statement recommended the development of an open, inclusive, indivisible and transparent security and cooperation architecture in the region on the basis of universally recognised principles of international law.

d)     As they accelerated their move to tap oil and gas in Siberia, the three Ministers discussed potential for cooperation in oil and natural gas production and transportation, as well as in other fields of energy, high tech, environmental protection and connectivity.

e)     China and Russia have already signed a $400 billion long term energy deal that would ensure supply of gas for 30 years to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hibei industrial belt through the Power of Siberia pipeline. 

f)     The statement also called for the immediate reform of the international financial system to increase the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing countries, with a focus on the implementation of the 2010 IMF Quota and Governance Reform by the end of this year.

3.

Kudankulam power cheaper than US proposals: Russia (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Russia relations

b)     India – US Nuclear deal

c)     Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

 

a)     After Obamas visit cleared major problems in the Indo-US nuclear deal, Russian officials say the power generated under the agreements will be much more expensive than the negotiated deals with Russia for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

b)     Added to this is the projected raised costing for insurance after India agreed to set up a $240-million insurance pool to be funded equally by state-owned insurance companies and the government.

c)     Officials said that Moscow is unhappy and feels competitive about the spotlight on the US-India deal, even as Russian President had in December signed a strategic agreement for constructing 12 new nuclear power units.

4.

Modi to visit Jaffna during Sri Lanka trip (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Sri Lanka relations

b)     Human Rights Council (HRC)

c)     Sri Lankas rights issue

d)     Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord 1987

e)     SAARC summit

f)     Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

g)     Palk Bay conflict

h)     13th Amendment

a)     As the first bilateral visit by an Indian PM in over 25 years, PM Modi will travel to Sri Lanka in March.

b)     His visit will coincide with the 28th HRC session in Geneva, where progress on a US-sponsored investigation into Sri Lankas rights record will be reviewed.

c)     The previous bilateral visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian PM was in 1987, when Rajiv Gandhi travelled to Colombo to sign the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord with the then Sri Lankan President Jayewardene.

d)     Former PM Manmohan Singh was in Colombo in 2008 to attend the SAARC summit and hand over its chairmanship to the then President Rajapaksa.

e)     Modi is expected to travel across the island, including to the North where India has infrastructure initiatives including a project to build 50,000 houses for war-displaced people.

f)     The two countries are engaged in discussions on the possible repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees in India.

g)     Over the past decade, New Delhi has been pushing for a CEPA with Sri Lanka, a pact that the Rajapaksa govt considered needless.

h)     The Palk Bay conflict (affecting fishermen of both countries) is likely to be on the agenda.

i)     Devolution and implementation of the 13th Amendment (born out of the Indo-Lanka Accord) are likely themes for discussion.

5.

Spain, India hold talks on tie-ups in railway sector (Page14)

a)     I.R

b)     Economy

a)     India – Spain relations

b)     High speed rail projects

a)     Official said that Spain is ready to partner with India in the railways sector, particularly high-speed rail category.

b)     Spain has the second largest high speed train network in the world after China and the gap is closing fast.

c)     He said the other areas of interest for Spanish companies to invest in India were renewable energy and construction of highways.

6.

India toughens stand with increasing trade (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Trade ties

c)     Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status

d)     Kashmir issue

a)     Pakistan took a hard line position on trade relations with India, saying all bilateral trade was loaded in Indias favour and seeking to draw a link between Indias cancellation of talks and trade ties.

b)     Despite India having granted MFN status to Pakistan long back, Pakistan High Commissioner indicated that granting MFN status to India was not on the cards as there were strong worries about it in Pakistan.

c)     He urged India to take more unilateral initiatives in terms of opening up trade and relaxing norms for import of Pakistani goods to India.

d)      He stressed that solving the Kashmir issue is most important and focus on soft issues like trade and culture would not provide results beyond a point.

7.

Sri Lanka can count on US to be a friend (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lanka – US relations

b)     Human Rights Council (HRC)

c)     Sri Lankas human rights issue

a)      Whether it is on rebuilding the economy, on preventing corruption and advancing good governance or ensuring human rights and democratic participation for all of its citizens, US said that it will be a partner to Sri Lanka.

b)      The visiting US diplomats remarks appear to be a departure from US apparently tough stance on Sri Lanka over the last few years.

c)      During her Feb 2014 visit to Sri Lanka, she had observed that the patience of the international community over Sri Lankas pace of reconciliation was wearing thin and that the deterioration in human rights, transparency and governance was taking a toll on democracy in the country.

d)     US-Sri Lanka ties seemed increasingly strained during President Rajapaksas second term, particularly over Sri Lankas rights record with the US sponsoring a resolution against the island nation at the HRC.

8.

Core sector growth slows to 2.4 percent in Dec (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     Core sector growth

b)     Negative growth

c)     Monetary policy

d)     RBI

a)     Growth in 8 core sector industries (coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizer, steel, cement and electricity) slowed to three-month low of 2.4 percent in Dec last year.

b)     Negative growth in crude oil, natural gas, fertilizer and steel has led to the dip in the overall growth rate of core industries.

c)     The core sector contributes 38 percent to the overall industrial production, a parameter that the RBI takes into account while framing its monetary policy.

9.

An ICBM becomes more versatile (Page 8)

a)     S&T

a)     Agni-V

b)     Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)

c)     Canister method

d)     BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

e)     Shourya missile

 

a)     Indias ICBM (Agni V) has been turned into an even more potent weapon of war.

b)     DRDO demonstrated that this missile (capable of sending a nuclear warhead to targets over 5000 km away) could be launched from a truck-mounted canister.

c)     Placed in canisters, the missiles can be easily transported and launched with great rapidity in all sorts of weather conditions.

d)     The canisters have another advantage as well - they make decoys possible.

e)     Although the DRDO had previously carried out canister launches with the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and the 700km-range Shourya missile, launching the Agni V was a technological challenge.

f)     However, Indias strategic planners will need to bear in mind the fact that Pakistan and China have deployed nuclear weapons on their missiles in a way that goes beyond conventional nuclear strength.

g)     Consequently, enhancement of Indias long-range ballistic missile capabilities must go with proper planning to deal with situations that might lead to such weapons of mass destruction being launched.

10.

Why some galaxies die young (Page 7)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Galaxies

b)     Blue galaxies

c)     Red galaxies

a)     Astrophysicist said there are two main types of galaxies - blue galaxies that are still actively making new stars and red galaxies that have stopped growing.

b)     Most galaxies transition from blue to red and dead slowly after two billion years or more but some transition after less than a billion years - young in cosmic terms.

c)     The findings showed that galaxies approaching the end of their star formation phase had expelled most of their gas.

d)     It is unclear why the gas was being expelled. 

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