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Daily News Analysis 27-06-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Pak seeks UK help to probe RAW-MQM link (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Pakistan govt has requested Britain for assistance in establishing whether India has funded and trained cadre of the Pakistan opposition party, the Muttahida Quami Movement.

2.

Marines row: Italy files arbitration case (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     With unending delay in concluding judicial process involving two Italian marines in India, Italy launched an international arbitration case against India within the framework of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

3.

India ranked best for investment (Page 1)

a)     International

a)     A ranking of destinations for attractiveness to foreign investors has placed India at the top among 110 countries.

4.

US Supreme Court lifts bar on gay unions (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     International

a)     The US Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples had a right to marry anywhere in the country, in a culmination of two decades of litigation over marriage and gay rights.

5.

Sirisena dissolves Sri Lankan Parliament, polling on August 17 (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Official said the seventh Parliament of Sri Lanka (which lasted a little more than five years) has been dissolved with immediate effect. The country will go to the polls on August 17.

6.

Iran warns of unresolved problems in nuclear talks (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Iran warned that some major problems need to be resolved before a historic nuclear deal can be agreed, as US Secretary of State John Kerry prepared to fly to Vienna for crunch weekend talks.

7.

Putin, Obama discuss Ukraine, IS (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Russian President Putin called his US counterpart Obama to discuss the conflict in Ukraine, the IS groups advances and a deal on Irans nuclear program.

8.

EU reform talks wont be over by 2017, says Cameron (Pg 12)

a)     International

a)     PM David Cameron said the UKs demand for reform and renegotiation of its membership of European Union is properly under way.

9.

Israel irked by Vaticans recognition of Palestine (Pg 12)

a)     International

a)     The Vatican signed a treaty with the state of Palestine, a development that the church hopes will lead to improved relations between Israel and the Palestinians.

10.

Needed, a new urban vision (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     PM Modi launched his flagship Smart Cities Mission proclaiming that governmental intervention in planning the cities would be minimal.

11.

Governor discusses Section 8 with Rajnath (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Amid a raging row between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on various issues, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Secretary L.C. Goyal.

12.

Lets not miss the wood (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     PM Modi has asked for land rights to be granted quickly to tribals but for that to happen, the forest bureaucracys control on power must first go.

13.

Rainwater harvesting can boost family income: study (Page 20)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     A new study by scientists looking at NASA satellite data says that collecting rainwater for irrigating a vegetable patch could reduce water bills, increase caloric intake and even provide a second source of income for people in India.

14.

MOM has enough fuel to last a few more years (Pg 6)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     After outliving its six-month lifespan, the Mars Orbiter Mission has crossed another hurdle – the solar conjunction.

15.

NASA to beam ISS astronauts view (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     NASA is sending Microsofts virtual reality headset to the International Space Station to beam back to the Earth what astronauts see in space.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Pak seeks UK help to probe RAW-MQM link (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM)

a)     Pakistan govt has requested Britain for assistance in establishing whether India has funded and trained cadre of Pak opposition party MQM.

b)   A recent BBC report quoted a Pakistani source as saying that the Indian intelligence agency RAW had financed the MQM and also trained its cadres at a camp in Indias northeast. India has denied the allegations.

c)     British High Commissioner to Pakistan is reported to have stressed that it is responsibility of Britain to cooperate with Pakistan in this matter.

2.

Marines row: Italy files arbitration case (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Italy relations

b)     Marines dispute

c)     UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982

a)     With unending delay in concluding judicial process involving two Italian marines in India, Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Italy launched an international arbitration case against India within framework of UNCLOS.

b)     The decision was taken at the conclusion of the necessary negotiating phase directly with India and facing impossibility of reaching a solution to the dispute.

c)     In Feb 2012, the two marines (on board an Italian commercial vessel) shot and killed two Indian fishermen, mistaking them for pirates. While India insists that the vessel was in Indian territorial waters and therefore should be tried by Indian jurisdiction, Italy claims the incident took place in international waters and that the marines should therefore be tried in Italy or in an international court.

3.

India ranked best for investment (Page 1)

a)     International

a)     Baseline Profitability Index (BPI)

b)     Index of investor protection by World Bank

c)     FDI

a)     A ranking of destinations for attractiveness to foreign investors has placed India at the top among 110 countries. China has secured 65th position and US is at 50th. In 2014 index, India was at 6th position and Hong Kong was number one.

b)     The ranking is based on an index for baseline profitability that assumes that three factors affect the ultimate success of a foreign investment - how much the value of an asset grows; the preservation of that value while the asset is owned; and the ease of repatriation of proceeds from selling the asset. The index combines measures for each of these factors into a summary statistic that conveys a countrys basic attractiveness for investment.

c)     The big story in the BPI in 2015 is India coming out on top, with growth forecasts up, perceptions of corruption down, and investors better protected following the election of a govt led by PM Modi.

d)     A high ranking indicates high returns and improving economic institutions. Thus, the index compares how local policies and conditions affect the same investment in different countries. Or how the value of the principal and the return will change depending only on where the investment is made.

e)     BPI calculation also uses an index of investor protection compiled by the World Bank. In 2014, the average BPI score across all countries was 0.99; this year it is 1.03 - meaning the expected returns over next five years are about three-quarters of a percent higher a year.

4.

US Supreme Court lifts bar on gay unions (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     International

a)     Same-sex marriage law

b)     Supreme Court of US

a)   US Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples had a right to marry anywhere in the country, in a culmination of two decades of litigation over marriage and gay rights.

b)     Writing majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that no union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.

c)     The ruling will not take effect immediately because the Supreme Court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration.

5.

Sirisena dissolves Sri Lankan Parliament, polling on August 17 (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankan internal issues

b)     Dissolution of Parliament

c)     20th Amendment

d)     Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)

a)     Official said the seventh Parliament of Sri Lanka (which lasted a little more than five years) has been dissolved with immediate effect. The country will go to the polls on Aug 17.

 

b)     The dissolution took place 10 months ahead of completion of the present Houses term. It also happened at a time when attempts are on to bring together two factions of SLFP (one headed by Sirisena and the other by former President Rajapaksa) to face the election.

c)     The dissolution has provided redundant a gazette notification of the proposed 20th Amendment, expecting electoral reforms.

 

d)     According to 2014 data, Sri Lanka has about 1.5 crore electors. The revision of electoral roll (in progress at the moment) would come to a halt once the dissolution of Parliament is notified

6.

Iran warns of unresolved problems in nuclear talks (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

c)     P5+1 group

a)     Iran warned that some major problems need to be resolved before a historic nuclear deal can be agreed, as US Secretary of State John Kerry prepared to fly to Vienna for crunch weekend talks.

 

b)    The US had said that tough political decisions still have to be made and that some of the difficult issues remain under discussion.

c)     Meanwhile, Israels PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said world powers can still insist on a better deal with Iran.

7.

Putin, Obama discuss Ukraine, IS (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     US – Russia relations

b)     Ukraine issue

c)     Islamic State (IS)

d)     NATO

e)     Cold War

f)     Irans nuclear program

 

a)     Russian President Putin called his US counterpart Obama to discuss the conflict in Ukraine, the IS groups advances and a deal on Irans nuclear program.

b)     The crisis in Ukraine has caused the worst deadlock between Russia and the West since the Cold War, and the US said earlier this week it would deploy heavy weapons in central and eastern Europe for the first time.

c)     The US announcement followed promises by NATO to step up its military presence in eastern Europe, against the backdrop of conflict in Ukraine.

8.

EU reform talks wont be over by 2017, says Cameron (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     EU reform talks

b)     EU immigration

a)     PM David Cameron said the UKs demand for reform and renegotiation of its membership of EU is properly under way. The UK is seeking greater autonomy for itself as a condition for staying in the EU.

b)     He had given end-2017 as the outer deadline for holding the in-out referendum that his party promised. Even assuming that he gets the backing of 27 other countries on his demand (UK itself is far from certain), the legally binding and irreversible treaty changes that he wants renegotiated is a very lengthy process.

c)     His core demands are - an exemption for the UK on the central EU principle of ever closer union; the sovereign right of Parliament to block EU legislation, and controlling EU immigration.

9.

Israel irked by Vaticans recognition of Palestine (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Israel and Palestinian relations

b)     Palestinian issue

a)     The Vatican signed a treaty with the state of Palestine, a development that the church hopes will lead to improved relations between Israel and the Palestinians.

b)     Vatican said in a statement that the accord (the result of 15 years of negotiations) covers essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in the State of Palestine.

c)     Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed its disappointment, calling the signing of a treaty a hasty step that hurt prospects of peace. This hasty step damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement and harms the international effort to convince the PA to return to direct negotiations with Israel.

d)     He added that Israel cannot accept the unilateral determinations in the agreement which do not take into account Israels essential interests and the special historic status of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.

10.

Needed, a new urban vision (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Smart Cities Mission

b)     Urbanisation

c)     Migration

d)    Social discrimination

 

a)     PM Modi launched his flagship Smart Cities Mission proclaiming that governmental intervention in planning the cities would be minimal.

b)     He referred to a bottom-up approach, but did not highlight who exactly would benefit from the cities. The approach suggests that India is breaking away from its Anglo-European architectural tradition, promoted by Jawaharlal Nehru in the 1960s with the projection of Chandigarh as a template for urban planners.

c)     Nehrus aim was to create mixed-income cities with easy access to community infrastructure and to institutions such as the judiciary, the legislature and the executive. But Modis urban-planning approach contradicts that view and largely resonates with American-style urbanism.

d)     The govt is putting the spotlight on smart cities and allowing the business community to lead the development. PM Modi must step back and re-think whether his govt should invest in smart cities, or rather empower the existing urban centres by means of policies that cater to poor and middle class Indians.

e)     For instance, at present almost every Indian city faces sanitation issues due to absence or inadequacy of drainage networks. Migration of people from rural areas to the urban peripheries continues at a rapid pace, resulting in the increasing of slums and unauthorised colonies. According to Census 2011, some 65 million people live in slums.

f)     The govts response to the issue in terms of planning to build affordable housing for them is short-sighted. Smart cities would simply institutionalise the disparity within the cities instead of filling the gap.

g)     Modi must take a forward-looking stance when it comes to developing urban India. Otherwise, the vision of building smart cities could end up causing a process of social discrimination.

11.

Governor discusses Section 8 with Rajnath (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act  

b)     Section 8 of the Act

c)     Governor

d)     Attorney General

a)   Amid a raging row between Telangana and A.P on various issues, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Secretary L.C. Goyal.

b)    Narasimhan was reportedly summoned by the Central govt to discuss his taking a pro-active role in defusing tension between the two States. He also discussed Section 8 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act over which the two States are locked in a bitter struggle.

c)     The Governors visit to Delhi assumes significance in view of the Attorney General of Indias reported advice to him to exercise powers under Section 8 and monitor the probe into the cash-for-vote scam. Attorney General had reportedly told the Governor that he could summon police chiefs of two States and ask them to report to him in case citing Section 8 of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, which created the separate State of Telangana.

d)     Under the Act, Hyderabad would remain common capital of A.P and Telangana for a period of ten years (from June 2 2014) after which it would become part of Telangana.

12.

Lets not miss the wood (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Tribal rights

b)     Forest Rights Act (FRA)

c)     Community Forest Resource (CFR) rights

d)     State of Forest Report 1999

e)     Forest Survey of India

f)     Census 1991

g)     Gram Sabha

h)     Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA)

a)     On June 23, PM Modi directed the MoTA to ensure that all States implement the FRA and grant land rights to tribals over the next 2 months. His announcement is welcome, but nevertheless surprising, as his government has come under severe criticism for removing community consent clauses for land acquisition in the ill-conceived land ordinance bill.

b)     Nearly 250 million people live in and around forests in India, of which the estimated indigenous Adivasi or tribal population stands at about 100 million. For this population, there cannot be any better news than the govts willingness to recognise their customary rights and undo the historical injustice they have faced, as outlined in the FRA.

c)     However, the directive to achieve this historical transformation in the next two months shows a lack of understanding of what the process entails, and the factors that have prevented the proper implementation of the FRA since its passage in 2006.

d)     One, the process of documenting communities claims under FRA is intensive - rough maps of community and individual claims are prepared democratically by Gram Sabhas. These are then verified on the ground with evidence, before being submitted to relevant authorities.

e)     Gram Sabha is treated as a public authority under the FRA, and if the higher authorities under the law reject its claims, substantive reasons have to be provided for doing so. This exhaustive process is why the official order to implement the FRA so quickly lacks any understanding about the extent of the task and labour involved.

f)     Second, the main factor inhibiting the FRAs full implementation is reluctance of forest bureaucracy to give up control. The forest bureaucracy has misinterpreted the FRA as an instrument to regularize encroachment. This is seen in its emphasis on recognising individual claims while ignoring collective claims (CFR rights as promised under FRA) by tribal communities.

g)     This deliberately narrow interpretation of FRA is against the letter and spirit of the law, which seeks to undo historical injustices and return the forests to community jurisdiction. It also contradicts the estimates for forest area collectively used by tribal and other forest communities that are provided by govt agencies themselves.

h)     The most important of these estimates is from the State of Forest Report 1999, in which Forest Survey of India (using data from the 1991 Census) identified 32.198 million hectares of forest land inside revenue village boundaries. The inclusion of forest lands within revenue village boundaries reflects and legitimises the use, interaction and dependence of village community on such forests.

i)    Thus, all forest lands within revenue village boundaries would be eligible for recognition as CFR under the FRA, and brought under the jurisdiction of Gram Sabhas. It should be noted that these numbers are highly conservative, as the data leaves out the States of J&K, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Sikkim, and ignores the forests collectively used by communities outside the revenue boundaries of their villages.

j)     The government can start by recognising the role played in FRAs poor implementation by the forest bureaucracys resistance as well as the acute lack of awareness of FRAs community rights provisions in State administrations and forest communities. In almost all States, the Forest Department has either appropriated or been given effective control over the FRA rights recognition process.

k)     There is a clear need to strengthen the nodal tribal departments, provide clear instructions to the State and district administrations, and encourage civil society actors. Without a strong political will, this historical transformation is unlikely to take place.

13.

Rainwater harvesting can boost family income: study (Page 20)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Rainwater harvesting

b)     Irrigation

c)     Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)

d)     NASA

e)     Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

a)     A new study by scientists looking at NASA satellite data says that collecting rainwater for irrigating a vegetable patch could reduce water bills, increase caloric intake and even provide a second source of income for people in India.

b)     The study is based on precipitation data from the TRMM (a joint mission of NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), which provided observations of rainfall over the tropics and subtropics from 1997 to 2015.

c)     It said that India has severe problems getting potable water to all of its residents. The team used data sets from 1997 to 2011 to determine how much precipitation (on average) was available for collection and supplementation in each of the test cities - Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Srinagar.

d)    It provided TRMM data into algorithms that developed to determine the benefit to each of two scenarios - indoor use and outdoor vegetable irrigation. The team found rainwater harvesting provided for nearly 20 percent of average indoor demand overall. It also provided sufficient water to raise vegetables in a 215-square-foot garden.

14.

MOM has enough fuel to last a few more years (Page 6)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

b)     Solar conjunction

c)     Red Planet

d)     SAARC satellite

e)     ISRO

a)     After outliving its six-month lifespan, the MOM has crossed another hurdle – the solar conjunction.  It now has enough fuel to last a few more years. The sun had blocked Mars from the earth (snapping communication with the satellite) from June 8 to 22.

b)     Having completed 100 orbits and sent 400 frames of images already, MOM can now also explore the different seasons of Mars. Official said its survival of the solar eclipse shows the autonomy of satellite.

c)     He also said the ambitious satellite by the SAARC could see a Dec 2016 launch and would take about 18 months, subject to a final approval. Among the areas the satellite is expected to cover are telecommunication and disaster management.

15.

NASA to beam ISS astronauts view (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     International Space Station (ISS)  

b)     SpaceX

c)     NASA

a)     NASA is sending Microsofts virtual reality headset to International Space Station to beam back to Earth what astronauts see in space.

b)    NASA and Microsoft are teaming up to develop Sidekick, a new project using commercial technology to empower astronauts aboard the ISS.  A pair of the tech giants devices called HoloLens is scheduled to launch on SpaceXs seventh commercial resupply mission to the station on June 28.

c)     The goal of Sidekick is to enable station crews with assistance when and where they need it. This new capability could reduce crew training requirements and increase work efficiency in space. 

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