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Daily News Analysis 06-06-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

In Dhaka, PM to loosen purse strings (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India plans to make commitments for a comprehensive money flow at multiple levels to Bangladesh during PM Modis visit. Besides an expected credit line of $2 billion, two private-sector power-purchase agreements are on the table.

2.

India, Netherlands to fight terrorism (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India and the Netherlands will cooperate on fighting terror and cyber crime and have decided to set up a joint working group on counter terrorism.

3.

Warm contact, lukewarm outcomes (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     While the Modi visit to China has helped further people-to-people contacts a great deal, it has not appeared to measure up to govts claims on substantive economic, diplomatic and strategic issues. A significant outcome is the State-to-State economic partnerships, with Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in particular, which Chinese companies are eyeing as manufacturing bases.

4.

India to take up rebels issue with Myanmar (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Even as the security agencies are on the hot act of those behind the sudden attack by insurgents in Manipur, the Defence Ministry has initiated an internal enquiry into procedural and intelligence failure.

5.

Who rules cyberspace? (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     A new architecture of social power and control is getting built with its core in the US. India should work through the BRICS group to develop an alternative to this Internet dominance.

6.

Re-promulgation of ordinances a tool for weaker coalitions (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     PM Modi and his Cabinet colleagues never tire of saying that theirs is the first single-party parliamentary majority in 30 years, but this has not stopped the current dispensation from deploying an instrumentality till now used only by weaker coalitions (re-promulgation of ordinances) to serve its agenda.

7.

Poor rain may not hit grain output (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

c)     Geography

a)     Indias foodgrain production is not necessarily severely impacted in years of deficient monsoons. Since 1976, nine years recorded a more than 10 percent drop in rainfall over the previous year.

8.

Soil, source of lead in Maggi (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     The heavy presence of the lead in Maggi noodles has precious lessons to offer us this World Environment Day. Food safety officials investigating the matter say the source of lead contamination in the product is soil.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

In Dhaka, PM to loosen purse strings (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Bangladesh relations

b)     Trade ties

c)     Bangladesh Standard Testing Institution (BSTI)

d)     Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS)

e)     Land boundary agreement

f)     Teesta water sharing deal

a)     India plans to make commitments for a comprehensive money flow at multiple levels to Bangladesh during PM Modis visit. Besides an expected credit line of $2 billion, two private-sector power-purchase agreements are on the table.

b)     The Bangladeshi side has strongly pushed a detailed plan for a soft loan for the IT sector. It has also proposed to supply 10 gigabyte per second of bandwidth to India, for which an agreement is expected between the public sector telecommunication companies of the two nations.

c)     Many bilateral agreements are planned, of which two on power exports are expected from the Adani and Reliance groups.

d)     Agreements on transit-transshipment and railway communication and one between the Bureaux of Standards of two countries are expected. To facilitate transit and transshipment through Bangladeshi territory, India is expected to provide financial packages for infrastructure development. The two sides may also sign a visa facilitation agreement.

e)     Sources said the visit is likely see a boost in trade, connectivity and anti-terrorism measures.

f)     The visit is being seen as historic as it comes follows the resolution of a 41-year-old land boundary problem between the two countries. But the much-awaited Teesta water-sharing deal would remain pending even this time, Modi has failed to convince West Bengal CM Mamata to endorse agreement.

g)     The Foreign Secretary said that connectivity would be the theme of negotiations as two sides will announce initiatives on bus services, movement of goods, waterway trade, and a sub-regional motor vehicles agreement between Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

2.

India, Netherlands to fight terrorism (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Netherlands relations

b)     Bilateral trade

c)     Cooperation on fighting terror and cyber crime

d)     Maritime cooperation

e)     Islamic State (IS) group

a)     India and the Netherlands will cooperate on fighting terror and cyber crime and have decided to set up a joint working group on counter terrorism, which will hold its first meeting on June 19. It was announced by PM Modi, after his meeting with PM of the Netherlands who is in India on a two-day visit.

b)     The two nations are also looking to increase bilateral trade and will sign as many as 18 agreements for water management, infrastructure development, defence and maritime cooperation.

c)     The Netherlands is part of the group of countries led by US that is helping to break the fighting power of IS  terrorist organisation; it has deployed military trainers to help Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces, personnel and F-16s for air strikes.

3.

Warm contact, lukewarm outcomes (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Line of Actual Control (LAC)

d)     Land Boundary Agreement (LBA)

e)     1993 Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along LAC in India-China Border Areas

f)     2003 Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation Between the Republic of India and the Peoples Republic of China

g)     China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

h)     Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK)

i)     China Development Bank (CDB)

j)     Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)

k)     South China Sea

 

a)     PM Modis visit to China was primarily to repair India-China relationship, because regardless of the optics, the past year has been a particularly bad one for equation between the two neighbours along all the fault lines - on the LAC, across the subcontinent, and in the South China Sea.

b)     On LAC, a 3-month long deadlock at Chumar in Ladakh cast its shadow on Chinese President Xis visit to India in Sept 2014. Next came another deadlock over the subcontinent (most visible in Sri Lanka) over the issue of Chinese submarines in Indias ocean.

c)     Other Indian initiatives such as relief efforts undertaken by both countries (among others) in Nepal after the earthquake there in April; Modi visit in March 2015 to the Indian Ocean island nations (Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka); or the extension of credit lines to Bangladesh and Afghanistan were played up in the public narrative as Indias way of countering China.

d)     On the subject of the neighbourhood, Sushma made it clear that India is upset with the $46 billion CPEC through India. That Xi made the announcement of projects in POK (an 870MW hydropower project and Havelian-Thakot highway) just weeks before Modis China visit was in itself both confusing and worrying.

e)     Finally, there was the fault line that upsets China the most that of the South China Sea and Indias perceived shift towards the US and Japan on the issue.

f)     At her press conference, Sushma listed these substantive issues as being - Economic issues, i.e. the trade deficit, and political issues, i.e. LAC clarification, stapled visas, LBA (settlement) and the sharing of hydrological data. While one may discount her casual dismissal of all boundary talks so far as the expression of a govt on its first anniversary, the fact is that this visit saw no new proposal on the boundary issue.

g)     On at least two occasions, Modis suggestion to China of a clarification of LAC has been met with silence, and has received no mention in the joint statement. Sushma also said the issue of stapled visas for residents of Arunachal Pradesh remains unresolved, as it is linked to the boundary issue.

h)     On sharing of hydrological data, the India-China joint statement records no progress either, and the paragraph on the issue mirrors the appreciation to China for providing flood-season hydrological data and the assistance in emergency management of trans-boundary rivers that the Singh-Li joint statement.

i)     Although Sushma did not list it as a key issue, Indias concerns on cross-border terrorism were mentioned for first time in the joint statement with a clear phrase on agreeing to disrupt terror networks and their financing and stop cross-border movement of terrorists in accordance with UN and international laws. This would be an important step, except that Chinas actions have belied those strong words.

j)   Finally, the economic issues of bilateral trade and growing deficit. Much has been made of the $22 billion in MoU signed during Modis visit. To begin with, such big figures can be misleading as only a fraction comes to realisation.

k)     Of the 26 MoUs signed in Modis presence, a chunk is between private entities (which includes the Adani group and Bharti Airtel) and for financing and credit facilities from the Chinese development banks, ICBC and CDB. Few other MoUs signed on renewable energy are unlikely to have any impact on massive $48 billion trade deficit between the two countries.

l)     A more significant development that should have been highlighted is this - State-to-State economic partnerships with Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in particular, and which Chinese companies are eyeing as manufacturing bases.

m)     As a consequence, Modis visit may not have been a game changer on substantive issues outlined by Sushma but should be seen as a restart point for those ties, with fresh commitments from leadership on both sides to address issues whose resolution has evaded them for decades.

4.

India to take up rebels issue with Myanmar (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Myanmar relations

b)     National Socialist Council of the Nagaland (NSCN)

c)     Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)

d)     United National Liberation Front (UNLF)

e)     United National Liberation Front (UNLF)

a)     Even as security agencies are on the hot act of those behind the sudden attack by insurgents in Manipur, Defence Ministry has initiated an internal enquiry into procedural and intelligence failure that led to the killing of 18 soldiers.

b)     While Khaplang faction of Naga insurgent outfit NSCN has claimed responsibility for the attack, security agencies believe that members of Meitei groups the KYKL, the UNLF were also involved.

c)     As the insurgents are suspected to have crossed over to Myanmar, India will soon share fresh information with the Myanmar govt seeking a cause crackdown. The Indian Army is gearing up for a coordinated action with their counterparts in the neighbouring country.

5.

Who rules cyberspace? (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     Internet

b)     Big Data

c)     Governance

d)     Policy making

e)     BRICS group

f)     USs digital dominance

g)     Monsanto

a)     The Internet evokes a deep dilemma of whether to govern or not. It is difficult not to be troubled by how the Internet is everywhere, but without any clear means of accountability and political reaction to how much it is changing around us. But without sufficient clarity regarding nature of problems and the required solutions, just general political doubt cannot hold a candle to the populist governmental-hands-off-the-Internet sentiment.

b)     This state of affairs is quite harm to society as Internet is becoming closely associated with social power and control in almost all areas. It has become like a global neural system running through and transforming all social sectors. Whoever has control over this neural network begins to wield unparallel power - economic, political, social and cultural.

c)     Two elements of this emerging system are the connectivity architecture and continuous bits of information generated by each and every micro activity of our increasingly digitised existence - what is generally known as Big Data.

d)     Take the agriculture sector for example. Monsanto is now increasingly a Big Data company, as it holds almost field-wise micro information on climate, soil type, neighbourhood agri-patterns, and so on. Such data will form backbone of even its traditional agri-offerings. It is easy to understand how data control-based lock-ins are going to be even more powerful and monopolistic than traditional dependencies in this sector.

e)     Similar developments are occurring in every other sector. Policymaking and governance are becoming dangerously dependent on Big Data, even as public sector is all but giving up its traditional responsibilities for public statistics. The state is increasingly dependent on data collected and controlled by a few global corporations. Such is the power of the network, vis-a-vis its peripheral users

f)     All this should set us thinking about who really controls the digital connectivity patterns and Big Data. In this regard, one can speak of a global unipolar networked-digital complex, with its elements of political and commercial power, both strongly concentrated in US.

g)     Therefore we are witness to a phenomenon which is of extreme social importance, spanning all sectors of society. And the powerful bars of control of this phenomenon almost entirely lie in an eco-political domain over which the Indian society or state has no control, and very limited influence. This should be a public policy dream.

h)     However, they might socially important, Govts are traditionally slow on take with regard to such rapidly moving phenomena. Civil society engagement in this area is dominated by middle class interests, whereby markets tend to be considered as essentially gentle. Their major struggle is against the excesses of the state, the Internet no doubt being a significant new arena for such excesses.

i)     This has resulted in serious blind-spots regarding the larger architectural issues about the global Internet, with far-reaching economic, social and cultural implications. It is urgently required to undertake a systematic examination of these issues, situating them in the geo-political and geo-economic logics that strongly drive them. Appropriate domestic and foreign policies have to be developed within such a larger understanding.

j)     Even for a country of Indias stature, it is not easy to play the geo-political game on its own, and certainly not in an area viewed by dominant actors as among the most crucial for establishing global political and economic domination. So, it requires strong real politik approaches.

k)     The only option left for India is to go with the strong nations that are similarly placed with respect to USs digital dominance. Although this is one area where EU countries are almost as much the victims as other countries, it is unlikely that they will break their geo-political alliance with the US any time soon.

l)     India should work through the BRICS group to develop an alternative to US-based global unipolar networked-digital complex. It could be difficult for BRICS to work together on issues involving civil and political rights, for which reason the cooperation could focus on economic issues. The global architecture of Internet today is mostly determined by its geo-economic basis.

m)     Going beyond the typical one-off treatment of Internet and big data issues, BRICS must begun to see them in a larger geo-systemic framework. That would be the biggest game changer with respect to what is now a complete deadlock over global governance of Internet.

6.

Re-promulgation of ordinances a tool for weaker coalitions (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Re-promulgation of ordinances

b)     Essential Commodities (Special Provisions) Amendment Ordinance

c)     Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance

d)     Dentists (Amendment) Ordinance

e)     Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Ordinance

f)     Re-adjustment of Representation of SCs and STs in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Ordinance

g)     Securities Laws (Amendment) Ordinance

a)     PM Modi and his Cabinet colleagues never tire of saying that theirs is the first single-party parliamentary majority in 30 years, but this has not stopped the current dispensation from deploying an instrumentality till now used only by weaker coalitions (re-promulgation of ordinances) to serve its agenda.

b)     It was the minority govt of the former PM Narasimha Rao, which took recourse to re-promulgating an ordinance for first time in 1993. On Jan 2 1993, Rao govt re-promulgated Essential Commodities (Special Provisions) Amendment Ordinance, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, and the Dentists (Amendment) Ordinance.

c)     While Congress was quick to term re-promulgation of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in LARR Ordinance a breach of faith and travesty of justice with Indias farming community, the grand old party appears to have developed selective amnesia about its own past record; including as recent as 2013 and 2014.

d)  UPA govt under Manmohan Singh re-promulgated two ordinances for the second time - The Re-adjustment of Representation of SCs and STs in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Ordinance and Securities Laws (Amendment) Ordinance.

e)     Ironically, the practice of re-promulgating ordinances began after the Supreme Court in 1986 observed that re-promulgation of ordinances is unconstitutional in the D.C. Wadhwa case against the Bihar govts tendency for repeatedly re-promulgating ordinances.

7.

Poor rain may not hit grain output (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

c)     Geography

a)     Southwest monsoons

b)     Food production

c)     Food management

d)     Wholesale price inflation

a)     Indias foodgrain production is not necessarily severely impacted in years of deficient monsoons. Since 1976, nine years recorded a more than 10 percent drop in rainfall over the previous year.

b)     The analysis shows that the problem India is likely to face is of food management rather than production.

c)     In half of the nine years analysed above, the rise in wholesale price inflation during the subsequent year was more than normal. Rainfall and wholesale price inflation usually move in opposite directions.

8.

Soil, source of lead in Maggi (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     Maggi issue

b)     Soils

c)     Lead

d)     Monosodium glutamate

e)     World Environment Day

 

 

 

a)     The heavy presence of the lead in Maggi noodles has precious lessons to offer us this World Environment Day. Food safety officials investigating the matter say the source of lead contamination in the product is the soil.

b)     Higher lead content was found in the tastemaker of the product than in the rest of the product, which led to inference that the presence of heavy metal in the soil in which these were grown must have led to its presence in the food item.

c)     Official said the lack of efficient environmental regulation to stop the release of toxic industrial effluents into waterbodies was one of the primary reasons heavy metals such as lead had found their way into the food chain.

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