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Daily News Analysis 02-06-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Bangladesh Cabinet approves three pacts (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     The agreements includes an understanding with Bangladesh Standard Testing Institution and Bureau of Indian Standard on cooperation in the field of standardisation and conformity; protocols for passenger bus services between Kolkata and Agartala via Bangladesh and from Dhaka to Guwahati via Shillong.

2.

India, Sweden to resume strategic talks (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)   India and Sweden agreed to re-start bilateral strategic dialogue after a gap of four years besides finding ways for investment by the Nordic country in Indias defence sector under the ambitious Make in India initiative.

3.

Chinese are looking at Kakinada through the prism of Shenzhen (Page 10)

a)     I.R

b)     National

a)    The China Development Bank (expected to fund the industrial park within the Kakinada Special Economic Zone) is a huge organisation, which is leading the financial heavy lifting for developing Chinas stunningly ambitious New Silk Road projects.

4.

Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service trial run begins (Page 10)

a)     I.R

b)     National

a)     The trial run of Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service started. The service will be regularised once PMs of Bangladesh and India sign the agreement in Dhaka in the coming weekend.

5.

Beijing launches cigarette smoking ban (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Cigarette consumption is still on the rise with about 5.8 trillion cigarettes smoked worldwide in 2014. China and Eastern and Southern Europe consume the most cigarettes per person.

6.

The blight of militarisation (Page 8)

a)     International

a)     Following the triumph against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the military has taken a dominant role in Sri Lankan society, particularly in the north.

7.

Big plans for new capital (Page 9)

a)     National

a)     Amaravathi (the capital for Andhra Pradesh after bifurcation) is to be a fabulous riverfront city modelled on Singapore. But quite a few hurdles loom ahead.

8.

Separate lives (Page 8)

a)     National

a)     Within just a year of the bifurcation of AP and the creation of Telangana, the two States could not have learnt to live without each other. Both States still have to negotiate through the terms of separation, beyond the division of assets and the sharing of resources.

 

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Bangladesh Cabinet approves three pacts (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Bangladesh relations

b)     Trade ties

c)     Bangladesh Standard Testing Institution (BSTI)

d)     Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS)

a)     Bangladesh has taken up massive preparations to welcome PM Modi on his maiden visit to Dhaka on June 6. The Cabinet (chaired by PM Sheikh Hasina) approved drafts of three agreements which will be signed during his visit.

b)     The agreements include an understanding with BSTI and BIS on cooperation in the field of standardisation and conformity. With this, goods made in Bangladesh or India can be certified by either BSTI or BIS and will not require further verification. The other two agreements are protocols for passenger bus services between Kolkata and Agartala via Bangladesh and from Dhaka to Guwahati via Shillong.

c)     Sources told that Dhaka and New Delhi have negotiated a host of deals including agreement, protocol, memorandum on trade, connectivity, people-to-people contact, education and other areas to be signed during the presence of the two PMs.

d)     Significantly an MoU on Passenger Movement in the Inland Water Routes and on the Coastal Shipping Routes will be signed by the two PMs.

2.

India, Sweden to resume strategic talks (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Sweden relations

b)     Swedens investment in Indias defence sector

c)     Make in India initiative

d)     FDI

e)     United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

a)     India and Sweden agreed to re-start bilateral strategic dialogue after a gap of four years besides finding ways for investment by Nordic country in Indias defence sector under the ambitious Make in India initiative.

b)     This was conveyed to President Pranab by Swedish PM Stefen Lofven who called on him along with his Cabinet colleagues.

c)     The official informed that Swedish Defence Minister would be in India for two days beginning June 10 during which he would explore the possibility of engaging with New Delhi in defence sector. With changed FDIs rules and Make in India campaign, it is expected that the Swedish govt would look for India as a manufacturing base.

d)     During the meeting, the PM also shared the view that in a reformed UNSC, Sweden believed that India had credentials to be a part of it.

3.

Chinese are looking at Kakinada through the prism of Shenzhen (Page 10)

a)     I.R

b)     National

a)     India – China relations

b)     Chinese investment in India

c)     China Development Bank (CDB)

d)     Kakinada Special Economic Zone

e)     Krishna-Godavari basin

f)     Big Data

g)     Cloud Computing

h)     Shenzhen

i)     Guangzhou

a)     The CDB (expected to fund the industrial park within the Kakinada Special Economic Zone) is a huge organisation, which is leading the financial heavy lifting for developing Chinas stunningly ambitious New Silk Road projects.

b)     The banks Indian exposure is also expanding. Bharti Airtel signed two MoUs with the lender during PM Modis visit to China. CDB is also partnering Adani Power for development of three phases of the Gujarat-based Mundra power plant.

c)     Officials said the Chinese are looking at Kakinada through the prism of Shenzhen - an industrial hub which they virtually started from scratch following the 1978 reforms. Neighbouring Visakhapatnam is being seen as a future Guangzhou.

d)     Two factors are driving Chinese investments to India. First, China needs an outlet for the tremendous overcapacity that has been created in the manufacturing sector. Sources said that large factories in the countrys industrial heartland are shuttering as labour costs climb, traditional markets in West dry up and strategic economic focus shifts to high-end industry.

e)     Unsurprisingly, Kakinada deal has all the markings of a win-win trade-off. Ahead of the entry of Chinese factories in Kakinada, Indian IT majors were present in strength at a brand new industrial park in Guizhou, which prided itself for its Big Data and Cloud Computing hardware.

f)     Observers say that Chinese seem to have concluded that in the initial phase, PM Modi is focusing on the coastal States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu - a strategy not entirely dissimilar from the Chinese experience that began with coast-based development, before inland investments kicked in.

g)     The abundant availability of natural gas in the Krishna-Godavari basin to fire energy intensive manufacturing that could range from fertilizer plants to wind turbines has also induced the Chinese to invest in Kakinada.

4.

Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service trial run begins (Page 10)

a)     I.R

b)     National

a)     India – Bangladesh relations

b)     Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service

c)     Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati service

d)     Teesta Water Sharing Treaty

e)     Padma river

a)     The trial run of Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service started. The service will be regularised once PMs of Bangladesh and India sign the agreement in Dhaka in the coming weekend.

b)     Along with this service, India and Bangladesh are also going to announce Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati service during PM Modis visit to Bangladesh on June 6 and 7.

c)     According to the officials, the Kolkata-Agartala service will have to pass two international checkpoints at Petrapole between West Bengal and Bangladesh and at Akhuara on Tripura-Bangladesh border. The bus will also have to cross river Padma at Goalanda Ghat on a boat.

d)     The Teesta Water Sharing Treaty will not come up for discussion during West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjees visit to Bangladesh with Modi.

5.

Beijing launches cigarette smoking ban (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Chinese anti-smoking legislation

b)     World No Tobacco Day

a)     Cigarette consumption is still on the rise with about 5.8 trillion cigarettes smoked worldwide in 2014. China and Eastern and Southern Europe consume the most cigarettes per person.

b)     The toughest anti-smoking legislation in Chinas history came into effect in Beijing. The law makes smoking in offices, restaurants, hotels and hospitals illegal, with venues where the ban is ignored subject to fines of up to 10,000 yuan.

c)     The law is not Chinas first such effort. A similar nationwide measure was passed in 2011 (though without financial sanctions) and implementation was dull.

6.

The blight of militarisation (Page 8)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas internal issues

b)     Issue of militarisation

c)     Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

d)     Reconciliation process

e)     Presidential Task Force on Reconciliation

a)     Maithripala Sirisenas victory over Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Sri Lankan presidential elections in January 2015 was enabled by massive support from minorities in the country - Tamils and Muslims.

b)     Following the victory against LTTE, the military has taken a dominant role in Sri Lankan society, particularly in the north. In the Tamil-majority provinces, large-scale presence of the military has been sought to be justified as a security response to the possible rise of post-LTTE insurgent forces.

c)     Rajapaksa regime sought to utilise its triumphalist phase by allowing the military to diversify  into commercial activity, development, education, tourism and even policing, among others. The expectation from the new regime was of a quick reversal of this dangerous trend.

d)     Recent findings from US-based think tank have pointed to hardly any reconciliation between the govt and Tamils. And the occupation by military of the land of those displaced in the civil war is a prime cause of resentment, not to mention the long-pending but ignored task of devolution of powers to the provincial councils.

e)     The promise of a process of reconciliation and investigation of alleged war crimes has remained unmet, adding to resentment. Recent reportage has pointed to steady progress in the release of army-held land to some of the displaced Tamils.

f)     This and the setting up of a new Presidential Task Force on Reconciliation are steps in the right direction. But these are not enough. The extant militarisation holds dangerous warnings; the example of Pakistan is there for all to see.

g)     The need is for a comprehensive demilitarisation plan that includes ways to demobilise recruits to the expanded military, so that Sri Lanka would soon be back to its normal self.

7.

Big plans for new capital (Page 9)

a)     National

a)     Amaravathi

b)     Satavahana dynasty

c)     Hyderabad

d)     Krishna river

e)     National Green Tribunal (NGT)

f)     Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA)

g)     Public-Private Partnership (PPP)

h)     Seismic Zone category-III

a)     The historical region of Amaravathi (chosen to be the capital city of the new Andhra Pradesh) resembles terrain of 1960s Singapore. The attempt is to replicate Amaravati as Singapore in the 21st century, a commercial island city-state on the Krishna riverfront. But this will be a huge task, given the innumerable hurdles that lie in wait for AP CM Chandrababu Naidu.

b)     The bifurcation of united Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and residual Andhra during the Congress-led UPA regime left many scars on AP. The split State has a Rs. 17,000 crore budget deficit, with no capital city to call its own. Though the State machinery has been allowed to function from Hyderabad for 10 years after bifurcation, several departments have had to suffer treatment in the new Telangana regime.

c)     The bifurcation deeply hurt Telugu pride, but political parties across the spectrum have not revealed these hurts. The loss of Hyderabad (in which AP has high stakes) was another blow. It was especially painful for Naidu, whose efforts to conceive of and build Hyderabad into a world-class cyber city are well known.

d)     Naidu apparently wants to turn this adversity into an opportunity by planning a world-class capital on the banks of the river Krishna. About 7068sqkm have been earmarked for the capital region of which 225 sqkm have been dedicated to Amaravathi, the capital city. In the words of Naidu, it will not just be an administrative capital but an economic driver, a peoples capital and an affordable city.

e)     Amaravathi is a small town in Guntur district and was specifically chosen by Naidu to use on its rich 2000-year-old heritage. It was the capital of the Satavahana kings between the 2nd and 3rd century BCE (they ruled most of the country from here) and also an important region for Buddhism.

f)     According to ministers and officials, the peoples response to the govts intended pooling of around 33,000 acres needed for capital has been positive. The govt was able to successfully convince farmers and pool almost half of the land along with ownership rights. The offer of annuity and developed residential and commercial land has been received well by several land owners.

g)     However, there are dissenting voices as well. The opposition is questioning the logic behind using such a huge stretch of agricultural land for building the capital, as this land is one of the green pastures of the State and provides three kinds of crops. Questions have been raised on the fate of landless labourers and tenant farmers in the region.

h)     Adding to the confusion, people from other regions such as coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema (which had capital expectations) are growing impatient with the new govts excessive focus on the capital while ignoring the rest of State. The govts dull approach in demanding special status category to AP from its alliance partner (BJP) has also surprised many observers.

i)     While the govt is busy joining the dots to clear key infrastructure projects scheduled for completion by 2019, an appeal has been filed by Vijayawada-based Pandalaneni Srimannarayana that entire region comes under Seismic Zone category-III and is therefore not fit for a capital.

j)     Not just the seismic activity, the earmarked area is black cotton soil which is not suitable for 70-80 storied skyscrapers. That apart, the area is larger than that of the US capital, New York. His appeal is in the NGT and notices have been issued to Union of India, Govt of AP, Ministry of Forests and Environment, and CRDA.

k)     There is also concern over raising the funds to build the vast city. This could be another falling block for the govt. According to a rough estimate by the CM, the investment needed for the capital is about Rs. 4 lakh crore but there is no concrete plan in place thus far about how this amount is going to be raised. Govt has indicated that most of the projects will be taken up through the PPP mode.

l)     Analysts are commenting about a lack of seriousness and a visible gap between theory and practice in the development of a split Andhra Pradesh. The obsession of the CM and State departments with Hyderabad, and the stiff resistance from employees to shift to Vijayawada even a year after the bifurcation, citing a lack of facilities, are only adding to the troubles of the new State.

8.

Separate lives (Page 8)

a)     National

a)     Bifurcation of AP

b)     Telangana State formation

c)     Amaravathi

d)     Hyderabad

a)     Within just a year of the bifurcation of AP and the creation of Telangana, the two States could not have learnt to live without each other. Both States still have to negotiate through the terms of separation, beyond the division of assets and the sharing of resources.

b)     Telangana saw in the bifurcation new possibilities and opportunities for growth and development. After years of struggle for statehood that entailed much suffering and disruption of normal life, the people of Telangana seem prepared to wait a little longer for the promised transformation to materialise.

c)     But while the demand for a separate State took the form of identity politics, issues of backwardness and uneven development remain at the top of peoples list of grievances. Investments in infrastructure and the using of the strengths of Hyderabad (especially in IT) are good beginnings, but people in Telanganas hinterland would want a more even distribution of growth and development.

d)     With perhaps greater justification, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu concentrated his energies on building a new capital. After the bifurcation, rebuilding AP was the constant theme and the search for a new capital (which ended in Amaravathi) symbolised this more than anything else.

e)     Naidu (who can take credit for giving Hyderabad a head start in IT during his earlier term as CM of the undivided State) is quite understandably putting all his efforts into developing the capital region. However, as in Telangana, unless development is even and benefits of growth are shared by all, resentment is bound to swell in the regions far removed from the capital.

f)     An excessive fascination for IT services and the urban landscape had proved to be Naidus undoing in 2004 and he appears to have learnt his lessons well. Alongside the fascination for IT, there is now concern for the welfare of farmers and landless labourers, and people in remote regions with varying needs.

g)     Just as for Telangana, the bifurcation can present new possibilities for Andhra Pradesh too. But the two States must see the advantages of greater cooperation and put the painful memories of the separation behind them.

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