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Daily News Analysis 20-06-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, Tanzania vow to fight terror (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India and Tanzania will establish a joint working group to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism. Following his meeting with visiting Tanzanian President, PM Modi said both countries had a common interest in maritime security in the Indian Ocean and a peaceful and prosperous Africa.

2.

India failing to curb terror funds (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     The US State Department has hit out at India for ineffective implementation of anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing laws arguing that even when Washington supplied Modi government officials with intelligence on terrorism-related funds.

3.

Accept deal or head toward default: EU warns Greece (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     EU president Donald Tusk told Greece to accept a debt deal with its international creditors or face defaulting as he prepared an emergency summit on Athenss future in the eurozone.

4.

Govt cannot be out of NJAC, says SC (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Supreme Court dismissed the idea of totally removing govt participation in the appointment process under the NJAC, reasoning that there was no way other than banking on the govt machinery to gather credible intelligence inputs on persons considered for judicial appointments.

5.

Allowing judges to be judged (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Attorney Generals criticism of judges on the grounds of inefficiency is inapplicable when there is no mechanism to assess judicial performance in first place.

6.

Black money law to have compliance window (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Finance Minister Jaitley said that the Union govt would soon come out with a compliance window under the black money law to allow persons having illegal money stored away abroad to pay tax and penalty and come clean.

7.

House panel moots commercial courts (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Parliamentary Standing Committee on public grievances, law and justice, has put forward the need for the setting up of commercial courts in the country as soon as possible.

8.

Excess June rainfall may not make it a good monsoon (Pg11)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     The rainfall is becoming increasingly prone to periodic climate effects such as El Nino, which makes forecasts uncertain.

9.

Brightest early galaxy named after Ronaldo (Page 18)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Scientists have discovered the brightest galaxy in the early universe that contains the first generation of stars and have nicknamed it after popular Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo.

10.

Thats right, kangaroos are lefties (Page 18)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)     Research on wild kangaroos in Australia is challenging the notion that having a strong hand preference is a feature that developed primarily in people and other primates.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, Tanzania vow to fight terror (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Tanzania relations

b)     Cooperation in counter-terrorism

c)     Maritime security

d)     Agreement on hydrography

e)     e-tourist visa

f)     Exim Bank

a)     India and Tanzania will establish a joint working group to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism. Following his meeting with visiting Tanzanian President, PM Modi said both countries had a common interest in maritime security in Indian Ocean and a peaceful and prosperous Africa.

b)     An agreement on hydrography was described by the PM as an important step forward. He said we are pleased to be a partner in development of human resources, health care, agriculture, institutions and infrastructure in Tanzania.

c)     India has announced e-tourist visa for the people of the African nation.

d)     Among the MoUs signed by the two sides are a loan agreement between Exim Bank and the Tanzanian govt on a line of credit for $268.35 million for extension of a pipeline project and cooperation in the field of hydrology, tourism and agriculture.

2.

India failing to curb terror funds (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Terrorism

b)     Anti-money laundering (AML) laws

c)     Counterterrorist financing (CFT) laws

d)     Prevention of Money Laundering Act

e)     US National Consortium for Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism

f)     Islamic State (IS)

g)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

a)     US State Department has hit out at India for ineffective implementation of anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing laws arguing that even when US supplied Modi govt officials with intelligence on terrorism-related funds, basic seizures were not followed up with investigations, thus ceding ground on a more comprehensive approach.

b)   Specifically, the US alleged that Indian govt was restricting its enforcement anti-hawala prosecutions to non-financial businesses only, and more than two years after the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the govt has not taken adequate steps to ensure all relevant industries are complying.

c)     Despite this specific criticism, it underscored the fact that India continued to be a major target for a range of terrorist groups, noting that US National Consortium for Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism found that approximately 400 people were killed as a result of terrorist attacks in India in 2014 overall.

d)     The report also outlined the serious nature of the threat posed to India by IS. Given Indias large Muslim population, potential socio-religious marginalization, and active IS online promotion efforts, there remains a risk of increased IS recruitment of Indian nationals.

e)     During 2014, attacks and fatalities in J&K and against Indian facilities in Afghanistan were attributed to transnational terrorist groups such as LeT, which continued to operate, train, rally, support and fundraise in Pakistan.

f)     US performed a careful balancing act by calling Pak (an ally in its fight against terror) both a target of numerous terrorist attacks and also as a country that had failed to act effectively against groups that threatened India, such as LeT.

g)     The report said that LeT and its alias organisations continued to operate freely in Pakistan and there were no indications that Pakistan took significant enforcement actions against the group.

3.

Accept deal or head toward default: EU warns Greece (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     IMF

c)     EU

a)     EU president Donald Tusk told Greece to accept a debt deal with its international creditors or face defaulting as he prepared an emergency summit on Athenss future in the eurozone.

b)   Eurozone Finance Ministers meeting in Luxembourg failed yet again to reach an accord with Greece on the painful reforms it must accept in return for a last tranche of bailout funding worth €7.2 billion.

c)     Greeces current debt bailout agreed with the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank, also ends June 30.

4.

Govt cannot be out of NJAC, says SC (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)

b)     Collegium system

c)     Judicial independence

d)     Supreme Court

e)     Attorney General

a)     Supreme Court dismissed the idea of totally removing govt participation in the appointment process under the NJAC, reasoning that there was no way other than banking on the govt machinery to gather credible intelligence inputs on persons considered for judicial appointments.

b)     The debate was caused by counsel Anil Divan, who said the NJAC Act was faulty as the commission would be totally dependent on inputs from govt departments.

c)     Meanwhile, the track record of a former Supreme Court judge came up during the hearing for second consecutive day. Attorney-General Rohatgi produced copies of judgments passed by the former judge to prove his point that the latter had a dismal record.

d)     The Bench had challenged his claims about the judge. It had even produced a file to prove that the judge did not have a poor performance graph. Opposed by this, Rohatgi said he would again verify and return to the court.

5.

Allowing judges to be judged (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Judicial independence

b)     Judicial accountability

c)     Judicial performance evaluation

d)     Judges Enquiry Bill

e)     National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)

f)     Collegium system

g)     National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

h)     Supreme Court

a)     To place judicial performance beyond scrutiny would be as short-sighted as liberty without accountability. If accountability of public officials is the very essence of a mature democracy, should it be extended to judges of the superior courts as well?

b)     The debate is highly relevant today due to Attorney Generals attack on the selection of a judge by the collegium on the grounds of his having delivered just seven decisions while a judge of the apex court. It has since been reported that the judge has authored more than seven judgments.

c)   Constitution protects judges against the will of the masses, the will of Parliament, and will of the central govt. But it does not provide for accountability of judges. It only says that a judge can be impeached by Parliament on the grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. No judge has so far been impeached, in spite of serious charges of misconduct or corruption. Thus the lengthy and complex impeachment provision is not an effective tool to ensure judicial accountability.

d)     The Supreme Court in India has held that the word misconduct is a relative term and would imply wrong conduct or improper conduct. Judges Enquiry Bill included wilful and persistent failure to perform duties within definition of misconduct. Though writing of judgments is one of the core duties of judges, it is difficult to argue that writing fewer judgments must be interpreted as misconduct or incapacity.

e)     Short of impeachment, we have not created any mechanism to make judges accountable or evaluate their performance. In the name of judicial independence, the Constitution thought it fit not to devise any scheme of scrutiny for judicial performance.

f)     Judicial accountability is as important as accountability of the executive or legislature. It promotes at least 3 discrete values - the rule of law, public confidence in the judiciary and institutional responsibility. Neither judicial independence nor judicial accountability is an absolute ideal. Both are purposive devices designed to serve greater constitutional objectives.

g)     The apex court hearing the challenge to the NJAC should concede that while judicial independence is the basic structure of the Constitution, it is not an end in itself.

h)     The regular evaluation of judicial performance is a springboard for ensuring greater judicial accountability, but unfortunately we do not have any institutional mechanism yet to do this. Neither the executive nor the earlier collegium system has attached much significance to judicial performance when considering judges elevation to the apex court. Similarly, no performance evaluation is done for Supreme Court judges.

i)     Against this background, the Attorney Generals criticism of a judge as inefficient is shameful, as we have no system of evaluation in place. In any case, an opinion written by a judge is shared with other judges on the bench and the inputs of concurring judges are not made public.

j)     While judgment writing is an important standard to look at the efficiency of a judge, it cannot be the sole standard to measure performance. Criticism on this ground of a former judge of the apex court and the present Chairperson of NHRC is in bad taste. Quality and not numbers should matter in judgment writing. For this, it is important to first put in place some mechanism of judicial performance evaluation.

6.

Black money law to have compliance window (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Black money

b)     Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act 2015

c)     SIT

a)     Finance Minister Jaitley said that the Union govt would soon come out with a compliance window under the black money law to allow persons having illegal money stored away abroad to pay tax and penalty and come clean.

b)     He rejected the contention that Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act 2015, provided immunity to persons holding undisclosed income overseas.

c)     He said that those who did not make use of the compliance window would have to pay a tax of 30 percent and penalty of 90percent and face prosecution.

7.

House panel moots commercial courts (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

c)     Economy

a)     Commercial Courts

b)     Commercial Courts Bill 2015

c)     Parliamentary Standing Committee

d)     Ease of doing business

 

a)     Parliamentary Standing Committee on public grievances, law and justice, has put forward the need for setting up of commercial courts in the country as soon as possible.

b)     Committee Chairperson said constitution of commercial courts was being considered by Committee for quick redressal of commercial disputes. He said it could be a key tool to help ease the conduct of business in India since effective resolution of disputes is an integral part of doing business.

c)     However, Commercial Courts Bill 2015 states that notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, a Commercial Court or a Commercial Division shall not entertain or decide any suit, application or proceedings relating to any commercial dispute in respect of which the jurisdiction of the civil court is either expressly or impliedly barred under any other law for the time being in force.

8.

Excess June rainfall may not make it a good monsoon (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Monsoon

b)     El Nino

c)     Madden-Julian Oscillation

d)     India Meteorological Department (IMD)

 

a)     As of June 18 this year, rainfall has been in excess by 10 percent, raising hopes that the monsoon may not be deficient as forecast by IMD.

b)     While this correlation between rainfall in June and the performance of the overall monsoon suggests that this years rains could be good, an official said the department stood by its forecast of a deficient monsoon with rainfall at 88 percent of the normal.

c)     The rainfall is becoming increasingly prone to periodic climate effects such as El Nino, which makes forecasts uncertain. Official said the correlation between June rainfall and the performance of monsoon does not take into account the El Nino years. El Nino can badly affect the monsoon.

d)     As he pointed out, the previous three El Nino years (1991, 2002 and 2004) have seen normal to above-normal rainfall in June, but the overall monsoon was below-normal to deficient. This year is already a strong El Nino year, and so the monsoon could still be deficient.

e)     However, he does say that forecasting monsoon is filled with uncertainty due to various climatic phenomena. Right now, we are seeing a favourable Madden-Julian Oscillation, which is resulting in good rainfall in June. But it will die out by the month-end, which could again reduce the amount of rainfall seen in the country.

f)     Madden-Julian Oscillation causes great intra-seasonal variation in rainfall, which further complicates forecasting.

9.

Brightest early galaxy named after Ronaldo (Page 18)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Galaxy Cristiano Ronaldo (CR) 7

b)     Population III stars

c)     Big Bang

d)     Very Large Telescope (VLT)

e)     ESO

a)     Scientists have discovered the brightest galaxy in the early universe that contains the first generation of stars and have nicknamed it after popular Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo.

b)     The newly found galaxy (labelled CR7) is three times brighter than the brightest distant galaxy known till now. 

c)     Astronomers have long theorised the existence of a first generation of stars (known as Population III stars) that were born out of the ancient material from the Big Bang. These Population III stars would have been enormous, several hundred or even a thousand times more massive than the Sun, blazing hot, and transient, exploding as supernovae after only about two million years.

d)     The team has now used ESOs VLT to peer back into the ancient Universe (to a period known as reionization), approximately 800 million years after Big Bang.

e)     Instead of conducting a narrow and deep study of a small area of the sky, they broadened their scope to produce widest survey of very distant galaxies ever attempted. They discovered and confirmed a number of surprisingly bright very young galaxies.

10.

Thats right, kangaroos are lefties (Page 18)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)     Biodiversity

b)     Kangaroo

c)     Wallaby

d)     Mammalian evolution

a)   Research on wild kangaroos in Australia is challenging the notion that having a strong hand preference is a feature that developed primarily in people and other primates.

b)     Scientists said that these Australian marsupials displayed a natural preference for using their left hand for feeding, self-grooming and other activities. So while most people are right-handed, most kangaroos are lefties. Beyond providing new insight into kangaroo behaviour, the research throws light on a unique aspect of mammalian evolution.

c)     The researchers said they did not expect to find hand preference in kangaroos or other marsupials (the pouched mammals) because of brain differences from the more common placental mammals, including primates.

d)     Kangaroos use hopping as their primary means of locomotion and their upright stance allows them to use their hands freely.

e)     The researchers observed 2 bipedal species of kangaroos and one bipedal species of wallaby in continental Australia and Tasmania. They found that the eastern gray kangaroo and the red kangaroo exhibited left-handedness in all tasks.

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