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Daily News Analysis 22-06-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Day proves a real India-China bridge (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India and China carefully choreographed the celebration of Yoga, using the discipline to add another dimension to Chinas cultural renaissance and deepening people-to-people bonds between the two countries.

2.

Nathu La opens for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra today (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Bound for the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage, 40 Indian pilgrims will cross over from the Nathu La pass that links Sikkim and Tibet, inaugurating a new route that expands connectivity between the two countries.

3.

Muscle-flexing that may backfire (Page 8)

a)     I.R

b)     National

a)     Those who preach the virtue of India adopting a new muscular response strategy vis-a-vis its neighbours need to be careful not to overstate their case. Indias current policy is one of strategic restraint and is a well-thought-out one.

4.

Tsipras to meet EU heads ahead of summit (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Greek PM Alexis Tsipras will meet the heads of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund ahead of a summit aimed at reaching a deal over debt talks.

5.

Israel rejects international proposals (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu prefaced talks about a French-led peace initiative by saying foreign powers were trying to dictate terms to Israel.

6.

Landmines laid in Palmyra (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State group militants have laid landmines and explosives at the site of the ancient ruins in Syrias Palmyra.

7.

Decoding the data (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     Coming to the third week of June, we have the usual monthly data releases relating to inflation and industrial output. 

8.

India must look beyond neutrinos (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     Barely 4 percent of Indias total R&D spending took place in the higher education sector which accounts for a large share of science and technology personnel in the country.

9.

Patently ahead: Karnataka edges out T.N. in filings (Page 1)

a)     National

a)     Patent filings from various entities in Karnataka have shot up by 40 percent in a year, pushing the State to the second spot nationally.

 

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Day proves a real India-China bridge (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     Cultural ties

c)     International Day of Yoga

d)     Dujiangyan

e)     Chengdu

a)     India and China carefully choreographed the celebration of Yoga, using discipline to add another dimension to Chinas cultural renaissance and deepening people-to-people bonds between two countries.

b)     The run-up to celebration of International Day of Yoga did not commence in capital Beijing but in Dujiangyan, near Chengdu. In backdrop of lush green mountains of Dujiangyan, thousands of Chinese converged to learn the art.

2.

Nathu La opens for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra today (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor

c)     Nathu La pass

d)     Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage

e)     Qinghai-Tibet railway system

a)     Bound for the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage, 40 Indian pilgrims will cross over from the Nathu La pass that links Sikkim and Tibet, inaugurating a new route that expands connectivity between the two countries.

b)     The establishment of new route is the result of consensus reached between Chinese President Xi and PM Modi during the formers visit to India in Sept 2014.

c)     Chinas Ambassador to India said the border trade between two countries through the Nathu La pass is booming.

d)     He did not rule out the possibility of expanding the Nathu La route as an important economic artery between India and China, supplementing the progressive BCIM economic corridor.

e)    Chinas ambitious Qinghai-Tibet railway (which is part of an elaborate railway system which has been connected to Europe) has already reached Xigatse, not too far from the Indian border. Chinese officials said that this can be extended to Nepal and onwards to Patna, where it can be hooked to the Indian railway system.

3.

Muscle-flexing that may backfire (Page 8)

a)     I.R

b)     National

a)     Manipur attack

b)     Principle of hot pursuit

c)     Doctrine of pre-emption

d)     Counter Terrorism doctrine

e)     United National Liberation Front (UNLF) of WESEA (Western South East Asia)  

f)     National Socialist Council of Nagaland NSCN(K)

g)     United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)

h)     National Democratic Front of Bodoland NDFB(S)

a)     Just three weeks ago, June 4 was a Black Day for the Indian Army. Its convoy was attacked in Chandel district of Manipur, in a well-planned and executed move by elements of the recently formed UNLF of WESEA using improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.

b)     Instructions were given to launch an all-out search and destroy operation against militant hideouts in jungles along India-Myanmar border and the hinterland. All this was in keeping with existing Standard Operating Procedures, except for the scale of the operation and the decision to use para commandos.

c)     The Northeast region still remains troubled by multiple insurgencies with the possible exception of Mizoram. Manipur itself has as many as 33 militant outfits engaged in violent activities.

d)    Two specific developments in recent months in the region should have alerted agencies to the fact that something was infusing. First was the decision of the NSCN(K) to unilaterally repeal its ceasefire with Indian govt, thus signalling a return to path of violence. Second was formation of rainbow coalition of several Northeastern militant outfits, including groups like NSCN(K), the Paresh Baruah faction of the ULFA, NDFB(S) led by Songbijit, and several Meitei outfits such as the KCP, the KYKL and the PULF.

e)     Each of these outfits has an outreach to countries not too well disposed towards India (including Pakistan and China) though actual links have been rather weak. There could not have been a stronger signal than this that a new phase in militancy in the Northeast was about to commence.

f)     The surgical strikes against two militant camps (mainly occupied by NSCN(K) elements) across the border in Myanmar, by para commandos of the 21 Para Regiment. The action was conducted under the principle of hot pursuit though there could be some ambiguity about employing this phrase, since the action had taken place after a gap of almost five days.

g)   Hot pursuit is not unknown to Indias armed forces. It may not have international sanctity or legal justification, but several countries have resorted to it when confronted with similar situations. Indias armed forces, the Special Frontier Force and the border guarding forces have carried out similar special operations citing hot pursuit - much of this is in the public domain by now.

h)     The theory underlying special operations is to retain a degree of credible deniability, to prevent any international criticism. Those attacked would realise in any case where the attack emerged from. In present instance, wide publicity violates this principle which is central to any Special Operation.

i)     No doubt, the govt would have valid answers to possible criticism levelled against it regarding the nature and scale of the operation, including that of intruding into a neighbouring countrys territory. Whether all this signals a change in Indias counter terrorism strategy or not, it certainly creates the impression that a new and aggressive phase in the battle against terrorism has begun.

j)     If indeed an attempt is on by some circles to modify the existing Counter Terrorism doctrine and introduce in it an element of pre-emption, then India must weigh the pros and cons before adopting such a strategy.

k)    The doctrine of pre-emption is openly asserted only by countries like the US and Israel. It is a principle that both countries invoke to disregard constraints of national borders to carry out pre-emptive attacks outside their borders to deal with notional threats to their security and sovereignty.

l)     If India now seeks to sail close to the wind as far as this doctrine is concerned, it must understand inherent dangers in following a US-Israel analogy. Pakistan would seem to be the obvious target given its spate of provocations. Even though there has been no mention of Pakistan by Indian interlocutors on present occasion, Pakistan has already reacted strongly.

m)     Pakistan has been steadily increasing its nuclear and missile capabilities, mainly targeting India. Hence, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Pakistan would see in this so-called new doctrine of pre-emption, an opportunity to deploy its nuclear and missile capabilities against India. Paks nuclear capability is today strengthened by its Shaheen missile family - Shaheen-I, Shaheen-II and Shaheen-III category missiles, which are capable of hitting most parts of India.

n)     Those who preach virtue of adopting a new muscular response strategy vis-a-vis our neighbours (Pakistan included) need to be careful not to overstate their case. Indias current policy incorporates a degree of strategic restraint and it is a well-thought out one.

4.

Tsipras to meet EU heads ahead of summit (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)     Greek PM Alexis Tsipras will meet the heads of European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF ahead of a summit aimed at reaching a deal over debt talks.

b)     The summit of eurozone leaders was called last week to try to break months of deadlock that has left Greece on the edge of defaulting on €1.6 billion of debt repayments to the IMF that fall due at the end of the month.

5.

Israel rejects international proposals (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Palestinian issue

b)     Israeli-Palestinian peace process

c)     United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

a)     Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu prefaced talks about a French-led peace initiative by saying foreign powers were trying to dictate terms to Israel.

b)     On a two-day visit to the region, French Foreign Minister urged Israel not to prejudge his efforts and warned of dangers of continued deadlock. He wants to see Israeli-Palestinian peace process (which collapsed in 2014) re-launched through an international support group comprising Arab states, the EU and UNSC members.

6.

Landmines laid in Palmyra (Page 12)

a)     International

 

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Syria crisis

c)     Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

d)     Palmyra

e)     UNESCO World Heritage

a)     Islamic State group militants have laid landmines and explosives at the site of the ancient ruins in Syrias Palmyra.

b)    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said explosives were laid at the ruins in the town in central Homs province. But it is not known if the purpose is to blow up the ruins or to prevent regime forces from advancing into the town.

c)     IS fighters captured Palmyra (which is famed for its extensive and well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins) on May21. The citys fall caused fears the extremist group would seek to destroy the UNESCO World Heritage listed ruins as they have done with heritage sites elsewhere in Syria and Iraq.

7.

Decoding the data (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     Monetary policy

b)     Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

c)     Consumer Price Index (CPI)

d)     Wholesale Price Index (WPI)

e)     Inflation

f)     Retail inflation (CPI inflation)

g)     Food inflation

h)     Minimum Support Price (MSP)

i)     Trade deficit

 

 

a)     Coming to the third week of June, we have the usual monthly data releases relating to inflation and industrial output.  The latter (measured by index of IIP) relates to month of April. It shows industrial production growing by 4.1 percent on a year-on-year basis.

b)     The impressive performance was pushed by a 5.1 percent growth in manufacturing, which accounts for almost 75 percent of the IIP index. The CPI (which measures retail inflation (CPI inflation)) is for May. The year-on-year rate rose from 4.87 percent in April to 5.01 in May.

c)     The WPI remains relevant for policy even though the RBI has shifted to CPI for monetary policy purposes. In the limited context of growth-inflation dynamics, it is the CPI that is relied upon.

d)     RBI has been concerned over food inflation, a worry wholly justified in the context of the unseasonal rains which disrupted the rabi crop. Yet, the official figures show that food inflation has actually come down in May from its April levels.  

e)     The govt has been quick to reorient its food procurement policy. The MSP for pulses have been raised substantially. In a major departure from the past, the govt has announced only a modest increase in the price of staples. This is a sure signal to farmers to diversify the cropping pattern away from rice and wheat into pulses.

f)     If food inflation is not going to be a threat, should RBI worry about capacity constraints in industry leading to price pressures in the face of an even modest increase in demand? Turning to the April IIP index, the signals are mixed. The positive inference is that the economy is showing signs of revival but there are still lots of ground to be covered before a full-fledged recovery.

g)    Turning to the goods trade data, it is wrong to see merit in narrowing trade deficit caused not only by falling exports but also imports. Besides, a deceleration in imports as much as declining exports suggest an economy beset by low domestic demand compounded but the well-known weakness is external demand.

8.

India must look beyond neutrinos (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     Neutrino research

b)     India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)

c)     Science and Technology (S&T)

d)     Research and Development (R&D)

e)     Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

f)     Department of Space

g)     Department of Atomic Energy

h)     Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

i)     ISRO

j)     NASA

k)     GDP growth

a)     Last week, in their article, missile technologist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and his adviser Srijan Pal Singh have made a strong appeal in favour of the INO. They have focussed on dispelling local peoples fears about the possible effects of neutrino research. Controversy around these fears has covered a larger conversation we need to have about the place and shape of science in India.

b)     A key argument cited them is that the observatory will help India to gain leadership in science. This raises 2 questions: Why must India gain leadership in science? If it must, is project like neutrino observatory the best way forward?

c)     We will be told that scientific research will lead to economic growth; comparisons with the West and China will be drawn. The odd spin-off story about the NASA or the ISRO will be quoted to show how Big Science changes lives and impacts the economy.

d)     They promise applications in non-proliferation and counter terrorism, mineral and oil exploration, as well as in earthquake detection. But the patchy record of Indian Big Science in delivering on core promises make it difficult to accept that INO will deliver any significant real-world utility despite claims.

e)     Even if it delivers useful technology, the argument that research encourages economic growth is highly suspect. There is a negative correlation between national spending on R&D and national GDP growth rates with few exceptions. This correlation does not suggest that research is a drag on the economy; only that rich countries spend more on S&T.

f)     Thus, national investment in S&T is more a result of growing richer as an economy than a cause of it. Investment in research is an inefficient means of economic growth in middle income countries such as India where cheaper options for economic development are huge. Every country gets most of its technology from R&D done by others.

g)     Like many other countries, India has long had a skewed approach to allocating its research budget to disciplines, institutions and individual researchers; given limited resources, this has a larger negative impact in India than in the rich countries. Of the Central govt total research spend in 2009-10, almost a third went to DRDO, 15 percent to the Department of Space, 14 percent to Department of Atomic Energy and 11 percent to the ICAR.

h)     The Department of Science (which covers most other scientific disciplines) accounted for barely 8 percent of the Central govts total R&D spending. Barely 4 percent of Indias total R&D spending took place in the higher education sector which accounts for a large share of S&T personnel in the country.

i)     We need to invest in nurturing research at the still-struggling new IITs as well as increase support to the old IITs. We need to allocate public resources for research more fairly to the specialised bodies and educational institutions, including the universities.

j)    As Indias Second Five Year Plan put it, material welfare is not an end in itself but only a means to a better intellectual life; a society which devotes most of its resources to the bare essentials of life is limited in its pursuit of higher ends.

9.

Patently ahead: Karnataka edges out T.N. in filings (Page 1)

a)     National

a)     Intellectual Property (IP)  

 

a)     Patent filings from various entities in Karnataka have shot up by 40 percent in a year, pushing the State to the second spot nationally.

b)     Karnatakas status in IP has been steadily climbing over the past two years. A latest report says it has moved from the third spot and 1167 filings of 2012-13 and overtaken Tamil Nadu.

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