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Daily News Analysis 09-06-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Chinas actions cause for concern: Australia (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India, Japan and Australia discussed concerns over Chinese reclamation in the South China Sea and hoped a code of conduct would be agreed to between China and the ASEAN countries to calm tensions in the region.

2.

G7 leaders discuss Greece; agree to phase out fossil fuels (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Group of Seven leaders agreed to wean their economies off carbon fuels and supported a global goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but they stopped short of agreeing their own immediate binding targets.

3.

NJAC is the will of people: Centre in SC (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Terming that the National Judicial Appointments Commission as the will of the people, the Centre referred to how the perception among  lawmakers is that Supreme Court Collegium followed a procedure of you scratch my back, I scratch yours while recommending judges names for appointment.

4.

Indias deceptive Constitution (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The written Constitution diverges to such an extent from Indian constitutional law that it is not just an incomplete statement but can be positively misleading.

5.

NSCN(K) move at behest of elements in China? (Page 10)

a)     National

a)     Indian agencies have a strong suspicion that NSCN(K) unilaterally pulled out of a ceasefire agreement with the Indian govt in March at the instance of some elements in China. Since then, the insurgent group has carried out several acts of violence.

6.

Will the veena gently weep? (Page 8)

a)     National

a)     A Geographical Indication is Indias strength. This right has to be strengthened and protected. The GI status of a product is not utilised to its potential, stakeholders are unaware of the value of their GI and its benefits, and the quality of these products is not standardised.

7.

Ancient royal ring found in Karur riverbed (Page 7)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     A silver ring with an inscription in the ancient Tamil Brahmi script has been found reportedly from the Amaravathi riverbed at Karur in Tamil Nadu. The highly stylised script depicts the punctuated Pandya fish emblem.

 

 

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Chinas actions cause for concern: Australia (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Australia relations

b)     India-Japan-Australia high-level trilateral talks 

c)     India-Australia nuclear deal

d)     IAEA

e)     Australian-origin nuclear material (AONM)

f)     Chinese reclamation in the South China Sea

g)     ASEAN

h)     DIPP

a)     India, Japan and Australia discussed concerns over Chinese reclamation in the South China Sea and hoped a code of conduct would be agreed to between China and the ASEAN countries to calm tensions in the region.

b)     Australias top diplomat (who is in Delhi for the first India-Japan-Australia high-level trilateral talks) confirmed the discussion on regional security had included concerns over the South China Sea.

c)     While India has made no comment so far on reclamation, the govt has voiced concerns several times on what it sees as Chinas restrictions on freedom of movement.

d)     India and Australia also kicked off discussions on their first bilateral naval exercises in Perth.

e)     He will meet NSA Doval in Delhi and as Australias key trade and economic negotiator is expected to hold several meetings in Delhi at Commerce Ministry and DIPP.

f)     He sounded more hopeful on clearing the deadlock over the India-Australia nuclear deal, where administrative arrangements have been held up over differences on fuel-tracking that was announced by PMs Modi and Abbott in Aug 2014. While India insists on IAEA-inspections only, the Australian govt is legally required to track all AONM.

2.

G7 leaders discuss Greece; agree to phase out fossil fuels (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     G7 summit

b)     Greenhouse gas emissions

c)     IPCC

d)     Ukraine crisis

e)     Greek crisis

a)     G7 leaders agreed to wean their economies off carbon fuels and supported a global goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but they stopped short of agreeing their own immediate binding targets.

b)   G7 leaders said they backed reducing global greenhouse gas emissions at the upper end of a range of 40 to 70 percent by 2050, using 2010 as a basis. The range was recommended by the IPCC, the UN climate-change panel. They also backed a global target for limiting rise in average global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels.

c)   They also took a firm stance on Russia and its involvement in the Ukraine conflict. German Chancellor Merkel said they were ready to strengthen sanctions against Russia.

d)     They discussed the Greek debt crisis as a group and also in bilateral meetings during the summit.

3.

NJAC is the will of people: Centre in SC (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)  

b)     Collegium system

c)     Judicial review

d)     Supreme Court

e)     Attorney General

a)     Terming that NJAC as the will of the people, the Centre referred to how the perception among lawmakers is that the Supreme Court Collegium followed a procedure of you scratch my back, I scratch yours while recommending judges names for appointment.

b)     The court had resumed the hearing after a break of hardly a month, following its decision to not refer petitions challenging the validity of the NJAC law to a higher Bench for time being.

c)     Attorney-General led detailed arguments to convince the five-judge Constitution Bench led by Justice Khehar that the wisdom of Parliament in choosing one model of judicial appointments over the other is not open to judicial review. Parliament decides on a particular model which meets constitutional requirements.

d)     He said 20 States had by now ratified the Constitution Amendment incorporating the NJAC into the Constitution and the law had become the will of the people.

4.

Indias deceptive Constitution (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Indian Constitution

b)     Articles 368(4) and (5) of Constitution

c)     Article 31B

d)     9th Schedule

e)     National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)  

f)     Collegium system

g)     Supreme Court

h)     High Court

a)     Every written constitution is supplemented by important unwritten principles: the constitutional law of all nations consists of some combination of written and unwritten. Judges interpret the abstract language of written constitutions and speak where text remains silent.

b)     As a codified constitution grows older, it forms less and less of the constitutional law of a nation, having been supplemented by judicial decisions and political practice over time.

c)     The Indian Constitution is transforming into a deceptive one - several constitutional provisions misrepresent what existing constitutional position is. Most conspicuous among these are Articles 368(4) and (5), which categorically provide that there is no limitation whatever on the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution.

d)     In the most famous case in the Supreme Courts history (Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala), the Court assumed the power to strike down constitutional amendments that altered, destroyed, or abrogated the basic structure of the Constitution. Articles 368(4) and (5) thus have no effect and Parliaments power to amend the Constitution is unquestionably constrained.

e)     Similarly, Article 31B (a clause intended to protect legislation inserted into the 9th Schedule of the Constitution notwithstanding the judgment of any court) does not, by virtue of a succession of Supreme Court judgments, fully insulate legislation from judicial scrutiny. Instead, courts can test legislation inserted into the 9th Schedule on the basis that it abrogates fundamental rights that form part of the basic structure of the Constitution.

f)     The deception adopted by provisions of the Indian Constitution is fairly unique. In most other nations with written constitutions, the divergence between the text and practice arises on account of the difficult of formally amending a constitution, coupled with the need to modernise a constitutions functioning.

g)     The deception in India has arisen on account of the fact that even though the Indian Supreme Court has the power to strike down or set aside constitutional amendments, it has no power to repeal them, which means that many ineffective provisions of the Constitution remain on books. Parliament is only institution that can change the Constitution to more accurately reflect the true constitutional position.

h)     This discussion has an interesting bearing on one of the most important cases currently being heard by the Supreme Court - the challenge to the constitutional amendment that sought to change the way in which judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts are appointed. Under the system, as it existed before amendment, the power to appoint judges effectively belonged to a collegium of the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.

i)     Parliament attempted to transform the appointments process by amending the Constitution to establish a six-member NJAC. Naturally, the constitutional text contains provisions explaining the modalities of how Commission is to perform its task. In the event that this constitutional amendment is struck down, we will be left with a situation in which the Constitution refers to an appointments process by a body that neither had an inaugural meeting, nor appointed a single judge.

j)   The NDA govt has promised to repeal hundreds of outdated statutes, as part of a legislative clean-up exercise. It is more dangerous to expect the same being done for the Constitution - the concern always being that any government in power will silently remove an inconvenient provision of Constitution too, appropriately sandwiched between groups of outdated provisions.

5.

NSCN(K) move at behest of elements in China? (Page 10)

a)     National

a)     National Socialist Council of Nagaland –Khaplang (NSCN-K)

b)     ULFA (I)

c)     United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia

d)     NDFB (Songbijit)

 

a)     Indian agencies have a strong suspicion that NSCN(K) unilaterally pulled out of a ceasefire agreement with the Indian govt in March at the instance of some elements in China. Since then, the insurgent group has carried out several acts of violence.

b)   According to sources, Paresh Baruah of ULFA (I) was instrumental in bringing together several insurgent groups operating in North-East States. Accordingly, the United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia comprising ULFA (I), NDFB (Songbijit) and other outfits was floated in April, under the chairmanship of NSCN (K) chief Khaplang.

c)     It is suspected that the insurgent groups (which have set up camps in thickly forested areas of Myanmar) have been getting weapon supplies from a factory of assault rifles being run at Pangwa in the Kachin province of Myanmar, close to the Chinese border.

6.

Will the veena gently weep? (Page 8)

a)     National

a)     Geographical Indications (GI)

b)     Intellectual Property (IP) policy  

c)     Geographical Indications Registry (GIR)

d)     Tezpur University Intellectual Property Rights (TUIPR) Cell

e)     North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi)

f)     Muga Silk

g)     GIs of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999

h)     Thanjavur Veena

i)     Kancheepuram Silk

j)     Banarasi Silk

k)     Swamimalai bronze

l)     Nachiarkoil kuthuvilakku

m)     Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTTAD) scheme

a)     When the govt announced last year that it intended to frame an IP policy, it evoked responses which were polar opposites. It is not worth examining headlines such as IP is not patents alone and patents are not about medicines alone, for noise is too overpowering. But it must be understood that IP is also located in unforgettable trademarks - in the creativity of writers, singers and others, in GI and in traditional knowledge.

b)     Among all this noise, there was a moment of calm, in the form of a pentatonic tune that was played out in Northeast India and as a workshop organised by GIR (Chennai) in collaboration with TUIPR Cell and NEDFi (Guwahati). Its focus was to enhance business and to protect the regions arts and crafts. This was followed by a GI camp, a grass-root level initiative for benefit of famed Muga silk makers of Assam.

c)     Muga Silk is a GI. GI is a genre of IP that is Indias strength. Practically everything that we grow, make or produce is linked to a particular region. GIs of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999 provides for the registration, protection against infringement, and also protection for authorised users.

d)     Our people have always been closely linked with soil, the vegetation, in short the local environment to make or grow our products. So, the promotion of GI has other socio-economic and environmental benefits besides just the protection of IP. Northeast region has a rich and ancient tradition and culture. It is also rich in bio-diversity. A stunning variety of forms of art and craft continues to be preserved by ethno-cultural groups who belong there.

e)     The golden yellow Muga Silk was registered as a GI in 2007. The focus of the GI camp at Lakhimpur was to examine this single GI and the reason behind such low awareness. It was found that the GI status of the product is not utilised to its potential, the stakeholders are unaware of the value of their GI and its benefits, quality of these products is not standardised. This would apply to other GIs across the country.

f)     The veena is made from the wood of the jackfruit tree; the Thanjavur Veena is a GI. But it may soon become a distant memory because the raw material is becoming scarce and expensive and craftpersons are turning to other sources of income. It is not enough granting a product a GI; the State should nourish the craft.

g)     Although the Act gives the creators/producers statutory and proprietary rights, it is insufficient.  The Act must be translated into reality by state and private initiatives. GI owners also have a role to play in promoting their GI. The weavers of Kancheepuram Silk (a GI) are abandoning their craft to earn their livelihood elsewhere, perhaps in one of the global corporations nearby.

h)     Govt has also announced USTTAD scheme in Varanasi, which is expected to enhance traditional skills of craftsmen and artisans there. Banarasi Silk is a GI too. If the scheme is worked as conceived, it will benefit silk-weaving families and their 40,000 looms, and ensure that the exquisite art lives on.

i)    A scheme called the Kanchi Mahaswami Kalvi Kalachara Kaitozhil Maiyam has been framed by private initiative in Kalavai to nurture skills of the five groups of Vishwakarmas, who are creators who work with wood, iron, panchaloha, gold and black stone. Swamimalai bronze and the Nachiarkoil kuthuvilakku are GIs too.

j)     The point is that language should not be a barrier. The craftspeople who come from the east, the northeast or south may not know either Hindi or English, but that cannot make their rights less valuable. In fact, the GI camp in Lakhimpur was conducted in Assamese, as it is the language of the Muga silk weavers. We must take the cue from Northeast initiative which is a very important one and must be replicated across the country.

7.

Ancient royal ring found in Karur riverbed (Page 7)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     Tamil Brahmi script

b)     Amaravathi river

c)     Pandyas

a)     A silver ring with an inscription in the ancient Tamil Brahmi script has been found reportedly from the Amaravathi riverbed at Karur in Tamil Nadu. The highly stylised script depicts the punctuated Pandya fish emblem.

b)     An expert suggested that the script reads peruvazhuthi. It is the name of a Pandya king who (according to the Tamil sangam tradition) has performed several vedic yagas and rituals. The letters are engraved in bold and legible characters.

c)     He observed that the characters representing the peculiar Dravidian sound Zha show the earliest form of the letter found in the cave labels of Arittappatti- Mangulam group of inscriptions of the 3rd or 2nd century BCE.

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