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Daily News Analysis 26-06-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

China, India fast-track BCIM economic corridor project (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     I.R

a)     China and India are adding fresh momentum to the establishment of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor, which is expected to develop gradually before more ambitious goals are achieved.

2.

Sushma raises Lakhvi issue with China (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     External Affairs Minister Sushma met her Chinese counterpart in Kathmandu and raised the issue of Beijing blocking Indias bid at UN to seek action against Pak for releasing 26/11 mastermind Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

3.

Blocking justice (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     Indias long-running search for justice for victims of 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai has been spoiled by lack of cooperation from Pak in bringing the accused to book.

4.

Obamacare subsidies get Supreme Courts nod (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     International

a)     The US Supreme Court sealed President Obamas legacy for achieving the farthest-reaching healthcare reform in the countrys history when it ruled that federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act could be made available to individuals in States, even if those States did not set up their own insurance exchanges.

5.

The narrowing Persian gulf (Page 8)

a)     International

a)    Sealing the Iranian nuclear deal will mark victory of diplomacy over a military solution, with wider global implications in the form of a more normal relationship between the US and Iran. India will also be a beneficiary.

6.

Myanmar votes to keep military veto (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     A move to amend Myanmars constitution to remove the militarys legislative veto on key decisions fell short of required 75 percent support in Parliament, preserving armed forces powerful political role in the Asian nation.

7.

IS launches surprise attack on Kobane (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     The Islamic State group launched a two-pronged offensive in northern Syria after several setbacks, re-entering the symbolic battleground town of Kobane and seizing parts of the city of Hasakeh.

8.

Housing, urban schemes give primacy to peoples vision (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Launching flagship programmes for urban development and housing, PM Modi not only sought to give more powers to the States but also called for giving residents the mandate to decide how urban areas should emerge.

9.

A carriage of injustice (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Madras High Court order advocating mediation raises serious concerns about how the crime of rape is perceived by the judiciary.

10.

BRICS bank to start by April (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     New Development Bank (also known as the BRICS Bank) is expected commence operations and start financing projects by April 2016. The bank would introduce capital market products and would be open for equity infusion.

11.

Beached blue whale dies in Maharashtra (Page 7)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)    A 42-foot-long blue whale died after being washed ashore on the Revdanda coast in Alibaug, around 80 km from Mumbai.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

China, India fast-track BCIM economic corridor project (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

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

c)     Tamu-Kalewa friendship road

d)     Kunming

e)     Cox Bazar port

f)     Mandalay

g)     Sittwe

h)     Kaladan River

a)     China and India are adding fresh impetus to establishment of BCIM economic corridor, which is expected to develop gradually before more ambitious goals are achieved.

b)     The project will link Kolkata with Kunming (capital of Chinas Yunnan province), passing through Myanmar and Bangladesh, with Mandalay and Dhaka among the focal points.

c)     From the West Bengal capital, the corridor will head towards Benapole, a border crossing town in Bangladesh. After passing through Dhaka and Sylhet, it will re-enter the Indian territory near Silchar in Assam. The rest of the passage will be connected with Imphal and then pass through the India-built Tamu-Kalewa friendship road in Myanmar.

d)     Mandalay will be the next focal point of corridor before the road enters Yunnan, after crossing Lashio and Muse in Myanmar. The Chinese stretch extends from Ruili before reaching Kunming through Longling and Dali.

e)     The central corridor can be connected with two additional passages to the north and the south. Starting from Kunming, northern passage heads towards Myitkyina (capital of Kachin state in Myanmar) before extending to Ledo in Assam. After crossing Dibrugarh and Guwahati, this road enters northern Bangladesh and joins central corridor inside country, before reaching Kolkata.

f)     At present, this route is problematic because it enters a small portion of Arunachal Pradesh over which India and China have a territorial dispute.

g)     Starting from Kunming, the southern corridor enters Bangladesh through Myanmar, with one branch heading towards the Cox Bazar port, while the other rejoins the central corridor in Dhaka.

h)     Chinese official pointed out that BCIM corridor would be incomplete without drawing Mizoram into the framework through Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project. Under this plan, Mizoram would be connected with Myanmars port of Sittwe through the Kaladan River, and the passage will provide all landlocked north-eastern States access to the sea.

2.

Sushma raises Lakhvi issue with China (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Terrorism

b)     26/11 Mumbai attacks

c)     UN Resolution 1267 committee

a)     External Affairs Minister Sushma met her Chinese counterpart in Kathmandu and raised the issue of Beijing blocking Indias bid at UN to seek action against Pak for releasing 26/11 mastermind Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

b)     She pointed out that China too had faced terror strikes and its decision to veto Indias bid at 1267 committee was at variance with progress in ties between the two countries. The Chinese Foreign Minister assured India that China would look into the matter and that there was no reason China and India could not cooperate on anti-terrorism efforts.

c)     He restated that China was opposed to all forms of terrorism. After China blocked Indias attempt to seek action against Pakistan on the grounds that there was not enough evidence, PM Modi had raised the issue with China.

3.

Blocking justice (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     Terrorism

c)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

d)     Al-Qaeda

e)     26/11 Mumbai attacks

f)     UNSC Sanctions Committee

g)     UN Resolution 1267

a)     Indias long-running search for justice for victims of 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai has been spoiled by lack of cooperation from Pak in bringing the accused to book.

b)     This time it comes from the Chinese decision to block Indias request in the UNSC Sanctions Committee seeking a clarification from Pakistan on the release of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

c)    India has rightly contended that freeing of LeT commander violates UN Resolution 1267 that deals with designated entities and individuals with links to al-Qaeda and that has listed Lakhvi since Dec10 2008.

d)     The Chinese action is in contrast to broad support from countries such as US in asking Pakistan to rearrest Lakhvi. US State Department has released a report indicting Pakistan for not acting against the LeT.

e)     The Chinese decision is unfortunate and belies its own stated commitment to fight terror, as restated in its joint statement with India following PM Modis state visit to China in May. This is also in line with earlier Chinese actions blocking or delaying Indias attempts at UN to file separate proposals on Pakistan-based terrorists. 

f)     China (which has itself faced terror attacks in Xinjiang province) should exert pressure on its all-weather friend to take action against sources of terror rather than buying Pakistans inconsistent reasoning that it is also a victim of terrorism.

g)     India has done the right thing in raising the Lakhvi issue in a multilateral forum, as it has done thus far in seeking justice for 26/11. A thorough case was built up against arrested gunman Ajmal Kasab, leading to his conviction. India sought cooperation from US and Pak while compiling proof of involvement of conspirators, including links in Pakistans security establishment.

h)     With US supporting Indias position and with the well-established global aversion for terrorism, the use of multilateral institutions to raise concerns is warranted - although India in the past has generally avoided seeking the support of UN to resolve bilateral issues.

i)     It is to be hoped that the External Affairs Ministrys response to the Chinese action would bear fruit. After all, terrorism is well-recognised by the US and China as a global challenge.

4.

Obamacare subsidies get Supreme Courts nod (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     International

a)     Obamacare

b)     Affordable Care Act (ACT)

a)     US Supreme Court sealed President Obamas legacy for achieving the farthest-reaching healthcare reform in countrys history when it ruled that federal subsidies under the ACT could be made available to individuals in States, even if those States did not set up their own insurance exchanges.

b)     Obama welcomed the US Supreme Courts decision to uphold nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to implementation of Presidents signature healthcare law.

c)     The ACTs authors said the words cited by plaintiffs were likely to be a drafting error and that Obamacare was meant to help people buy insurance regardless of whether they were using a State exchange or the federal site.

d)     Referencing legal implications of Congress 2010 passage of landmark law, the majority opinion of court read that Congress made guaranteed issue and community rating requirements application in every State in the Nation. But those requirements only work when combined with coverage requirement and tax credits. So it stands to reason that Congress meant for those provisions to apply in every State as well.

5.

The narrowing Persian gulf (Page 8)

a)     International

a)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

c)     Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

d)     2015 Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference

e)     P5+1 group

a)     Just days before a final nuclear deal deadline on June 30, Iranian officials in Tehran were excited that their moral stance renouncing nuclear weapons capability would now be appreciated.

b)     The Defence Minister insisted that the nuclear deal would not be signed at any price but with dignity and power. Deputy Chief of Staff of Iranian Armed Forces said that Iran would not provide access to military sites and that nuclear fuel would be produced in Iran.

c)     It is clear that assurances are being given by Iranian leaders to the country that the contents of the final deal would not be a sell out but have the best national interests in mind. While hardliners have been asked to keep quiet, an official order has been issued not to publicly discuss the pros and cons of the nuclear deal.

d)     The Iranian Ambassador to India recently said in New Delhi that Iran had not gone for negotiations due to sanctions. He said we have always been ready for talks in 2003 and 2010 and are committed to the NPT.

e)     Earlier this month in New York at the 2015 Nuclear NPT Review Conference, the US Secretary of State John Kerry had said that US and our P5+1 partners have come together with Iran around the series of parameters that if finalised and implemented will close off all of Irans possible pathways to nuclear material required for a nuclear weapon and give the international community the confidence that it needs to know that Irans nuclear programme is indeed exclusively peaceful.

f)     According to Iranians, the three sticking points are still (timings of sanction relief; access and verification of compliance and a mechanism for restoring sanctions) in the event of a violation.

g)     There are also differences within P5+1 and between Russia and China and other P5 members. The P5+1 has been engaged in serious and substantive negotiations with Iran with the goal of reaching a verifiable diplomatic resolution that would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

h)     The US does not want and will not let Iran have nuclear bomb while Israel insists that it should not even have capability to make one. But for present, Israels stand does not count. What the eventual nuclear deal will achieve if all conditions are met is that Irans capability to make a bomb will be extended from the current 2-3 months to 12 months. The deal is in arresting Irans enrichment capability so as to fix Irans breakout time to 12 months.

i)     It is reasonable to predict that other members of P5+1 may simply use US Congress attempt to block the nuclear deal with Iran as a pretext to enter into independent agreements with Iran to lift sanctions. It may even prevent the US Congress from doing so.

j)     The US Congress has consistently resisted at a rapprochement with Iran. In 2003, Tehran was close to a deal with Europeans but the US Congress spiked it. In 2010, the Brazil-Turkey plan of taking away Irans uranium for enrichment in France or Germany was also obstructed by the US Congress.

k)     If the deal breaks up and Iran returns to its nuclear weapons programme, it will have a cascading effect on Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey. The spread of enrichment plans without safeguards in West Asia will spell doom for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. 

l)     In 2003, US President George Bush had a super majority of 771 votes in both Houses for the invasion of Iraq. Obama does not want to forward the nuclear deal in the works in Geneva to the US Congress. He wants to use his presidential powers to ratify it; 59 percent of Americans are for the deal.

m)    It will not just be a nuclear deal but will have wider implications for the world in the form of a more normal relationship between US and Iran after nearly four and a half decades of hostility. India will also be a beneficiary. Rumour in Tehran was that the nuclear deal may miss June 30 deadline but will be stitched up in an extra week or two after settling the outstanding sticking points.

6.

Myanmar votes to keep military veto (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Myanmars internal issues

b)     Myanmars constitution amendment

c)     National League for Democracy (NLD)

a)     A move to amend Myanmars constitution to remove the militarys legislative veto on key decisions fell short of required 75 percent support in Parliament, preserving armed forces powerful political role in the Asian nation.

b)     The result was no surprise given that a quarter of the seats in the house are (by law) held by the military, which ruled Myanmar for half a century until 2011. The proposal aimed to trim the share of house votes needed to amend the constitution to 70 percent.

c)     Another vote on a clause that effectively bars Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming President also failed. However, the motion voted on would have only partially amended that article meaning 70year-old democracy icon would still have been ineligible had it been passed.

d)   The NLD says the militarys ability to shoot down changes to the constitution puts a limit on democratic reforms in Myanmar, where a general election is expected in November.

7.

IS launches surprise attack on Kobane (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Syria and Iraq crisis

c)     Kurdish forces

d)     Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front

e)     Kobane

f)     Hasakeh

 

a)     IS group launched a two-pronged offensive in northern Syria after several setbacks, re-entering symbolic battleground town of Kobane and seizing parts of the city of Hasakeh.

b)     In southern Syria, an alliance of rebel groups (including al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front) also attacked govt-held areas of the city of Daraa.

c)     Analysts said the surprise IS assaults were aimed at diverting Kurdish forces after they scored a series of victories and advanced on the jihadists Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

d)     Kurdish forces backed by US-led air strikes waged a four-month battle to repel IS that had laid a siege on Kobane, securing the town in January.

e)     The assault on Kobane caused angry Kurdish accusations that Turkey had allowed the jihadists to enter Syria from its territory, a claim Turkish officials dismissed as baseless.

8.

Housing, urban schemes give primacy to peoples vision (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Housing for All by 2022 scheme (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana)

b)     Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)

c)     Smart cities scheme

d)     Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)

e)     Urbanisation

f)     Women empowerment

a)     At the launch of Housing for All, AMRUT and Smart Cities schemes, PM Modi not only sought to give more powers to the States but also called for giving residents the mandate to decide how urban areas should emerge.

b)     Under AMRUT, 500 cities are targeted for development. Smart Cities scheme will target development of 100 cities over 5 years and Housing for All expects construction of 2 crore houses in urban areas in 7years.

c)     AMRUT (which replaces JNNURM) will give States and UTs the liberty and flexibility in formulation, approval and execution of projects.

d)     Under the Smart City scheme, each selected city will be provided Central assistance of Rs.100 crore a year. Under AMRUT, allocation of funds will be as per urban population and number of cities and towns in each State or UT. Under the PMAY in urban areas, the allocation will be based on the number of urban poor and slum dwellers.

e)     Womens empowerment has been made a component of the Housing for All scheme that expects houses for all by 2022. Ownership of houses will be in the name of women or jointly with the husband. The average Rs.1 lakh grant for a house to be provided by the Centre can be used by the States for slum redevelopment projects to make them viable.

9.

A carriage of injustice (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

c)     Social issue

a)     Gender justice

b)     Mediation of cases

c)     Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

d)     Code of Criminal Procedure (CPC)

e)     Justice J.S. Verma Committee report

f)     Delhi rape case

g)     Nirbhaya Act

a)     The Justice J.S. Verma Committee report that came out in light of the Delhi rape case in late 2012 took us a few steps ahead in the conversation on rape. It gave us the tools to locate the crime of rape in the context of gender justice.

b)     However, the recent judgment of Madras High Court raises serious concerns on how the crime of rape is considered by the judiciary. A single judge Bench of the High Court has granted interim bail to a person convicted by the lower court for rape of a minor and has referred the case to mediation.

c)     Mediation is a form of ADR where a neutral mediator assists the parties concerned in arriving at a mutually agreeable settlement. It is a mechanism that seeks to reduce the burden on the courts. It also provides for an alternative where parties can have an active role in the final outcome as opposed to a decision handed down from the judiciary.

d)     Though mediation has been used with some degree of success in civil and matrimonial disputes concerning adjudication between private parties, its applicability to criminal law is questionable.

e)     A civil dispute or disputes with a predominantly civil flavour are those cases where private rights of parties are in dispute. Contrary to civil disputes which affect individuals, criminal offences are looked at as impacting society at large. Thus, a criminal offence is considered to be not just against the rights of the victim but also against society.

f)     This is because it is understood that the whole of society has an interest in preventing crimes. A direct result of this conception is that in a criminal case, the state (through appointed public prosecutors) steps in to prosecute, convict and punish the accused. The individual victim does not have any major role in this process.

g)     Though minor criminal cases or criminal cases with a huge civil flavour have been referred to mediation in past, heinous offences like rape cannot be referred to mediation. Further, the consent of all parties is vital to refer a case to mediation. In the current order of High Court, the opinion of survivor has been completely neglected and her consent has been disregarded.

h)     An increasing dependence on ADR dilutes the authority of court and also provides scope for abdication by the state of its duty to prosecute the accused. It is unlikely that the intention of the court to refer the case for mediation was to ensure that the survivor has a say in the process. However, even if this were so, sending the case for mediation is not the way to go.

i)     Amendments to the CPC and judgments of the higher courts, including the judgment in Sathyavani Ponrani v Samuel Raj by the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, have ensured that survivors of rape have an opportunity to be heard and have more participation in the process, otherwise primarily between the state and accused.

j)     Thus, judicial time and energy should be concentrated in ensuring that there is active participation of the survivor in dispensing criminal justice. This can be done by ensuring that a special public prosecutor is appointed if the case warrants so; by allowing applications to assist the prosecution; to ensure that the survivor is represented through a counsel at all stages of the process and to ensure that there is witness protection.

10.

BRICS bank to start by April (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     New Development Bank (NDB)

b)     World Bank

c)     Asian Development Bank (ADB)

d)     BRICS

a)     Official said the NDB (also known as BRICS Bank) is expected commence operations and start financing projects by April 2016. The bank would introduce capital market products and would be open for equity infusion.

b)     NDB (founded by BRICS nations) has now decided to expand its scope of operations to other member nations as well. The word BRICS was not included in the name to allow new partner countries to join the club of emerging economies going forward.

c)     He said the bank would be different from other institutions such as World Bank and ADB.

11.

Beached blue whale dies in Maharashtra (Page 7)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Biodiversity

b)     Blue whales

c)     Marine mammals

d)     Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins

a)    A 42-foot-long blue whale died after being washed ashore on Revdanda coast in Alibaug, around 80 km from Mumbai.

b)     Blue whales are marine mammals that can reach an average length of 75-88 feet, with largest known specimen being of 108 feet. These animals tend to be open-ocean species, but they do come close to the shore to feed.

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