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Daily News Analysis 29-06-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Non-traditional threats stalk Kolkata-Kunming corridor (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     I.R

a)    Chinese scholars have proposed setting up a security mechanism and accelerating a legal dialogue among Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar, in order to turn the proposed BCIM corridor into an economic reality.

2.

Bridging ties with the New Silk Road (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     There is not enough understanding in India that the Chinese Belt and the Road project is a consequence of an economic imperative in China, which is undergoing structural change and has less to do with geopolitics as is easily assumed.

3.

Big hurdles still remain in Iran n-talks (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     A senior US official said that the six world powers seeking to negotiate an historic agreement with Iran to control its nuclear programme plan to carry on negotiating beyond the June 30 deadline.

4.

Greece to shut banks, markets today to avoid financial panic (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Greek banks and the stock exchange will be shut after creditors refused to extend the countrys bailout and savers queued to withdraw cash, taking Athenss deadlock with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to a dangerous new level.

5.

East should lead next Green Revolution: Modi (Page 10)

a)     National

a)     Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a second Green Revolution, saying it should start immediately from eastern India.

6.

Rajan did not make alarmist remarks: RBI (Page 11)

a)     Economy

a)    RBI clarified that Governor Raghuram Rajan did not say the world was at risk of another Great Depression. Instead, he had meant that some policies followed by central banks around the world were similar to those followed prior to the Great Depression, but that the Great Depression was caused by many more factors as well.

7.

Kabini reservoir to turn a tourist spot (Page 6)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Brindavan Gardens at Krishnaraja Sagar may soon have a strong rival as the government proposes a similar landscaping at Kabini reservoir to promote tourism.

8.

SpaceX rocket with Dragon cargo ship to ISS explodes (Page 7)

a)     S&T

a)     An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded less than three minutes after lift-off from Cape Canaveral (Florida).

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Non-traditional threats stalk Kolkata-Kunming corridor (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     I.R

a)     (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar) BCIM corridor

b)     Kunming

c)     Mandalay

d)     Cox Bazar

e)     Chittagong

a)     Chinese scholars have proposed setting up a security mechanism and accelerating a legal dialogue among Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar, in order to turn the proposed BCIM corridor into an economic reality.

b)     Pointing out that ethnic insurgencies, terrorism, drug trafficking and accompanying spread of HIV infections, antiques smuggling, as well as cross-border human trafficking, threatened to obstruct project, they said that security is a very important aspect of BCIM.

c)     The BCIM corridor is an ambitious undertaking that hopes to connect Kolkata with Kunming, capital of the Yunnan province.

d)     It expects formation of a growing economic belt, focusing on cross-border transport, energy and telecommunication networks.

e)     Of late, the project has acquired a fresh momentum under the theme of sub-regional cooperation. Starting from Kunming, the route passes through nodal points, such as Mandalay and Lashio in Myanmar. It heads towards Kolkata after passing through Manipur and Silchar, before crossing Bangladesh via Sylhet and Dhaka, with branches extending to the ports of Cox Bazar and Chittagong.

f)     Chinese experts in Yunnan say that except for a 200-km stretch between Silchar in Assam and Manipur, and a similar length between Kalewa and Monywah in Myanmar, the central artery of the BCIM route is nearly functional.

g)     Pointed out that institutionalising a four-nation security partnership should become part of recommendation of the Joint Study Group, which is expected to meet later this year in India.

2.

Bridging ties with the New Silk Road (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     New Silk Road Economic Belt

c)     Maritime Silk Road (MSR) project

d)     Indian Act East policy initiative

e)     Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) corridor

f)     Chinas National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)

g)     Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

h)     South China Sea

i)     String of Pearls

j)     Indian Ocean

a)     The Belt and the Road project is an ambitious exercise that was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping-led regime in 2013. It encompasses trade and investment hubs to the north of China by reaching out to Eurasia including a link via Myanmar to India (the New Silk Road Economic Belt).

b)     The other component, the MSR begins from the south of the land mass via South China Sea, then going on towards Indo-China, south-East Asia and then traversing around the Indian Ocean by reaching out to Africa and Europe. 

c)     Officials of the NDRC in China were upbeat about the initiative that it could play an important role in global economic recovery. They asserted that this would happen by allowing for better allocation of resources and investment in Asian region in infrastructure, transport, maritime cooperation, resources and energy.

d)     The seriousness of the Chinese govt in implementing this project was evident in the manner in which border provinces are being made responsible in leading initiatives for it. For example, Guangdong (among the most prosperous provinces in China) has led the way in using its strengths as the premier largest export/import zone in country.

e)     The Guangdong provincial govt believes that engaging in the MSR project to enhance economic and people-to-people relations with nations on the Road will enable it in further following its own structural transformation. India figures high in the list of priorities for Guangdong govt, which is keen to increase Indian tourist foot falls and promote collaboration with Indian private sector with its own advanced firms in the private and state-owned sectors.

f)     The enthusiasm in Guangdong for MSR project is a reflection of an economic imperative that is driving China to promote the Belt and Road. Chinese officials are aware that their economy is undergoing a structural change, from one that was export and investment-led, labour intensive and manufacturing driven to a more diversified, industrially transformed, internal consumption driven, economic one.

g)     Here is where the Belt and the Road strategy is expected to come in handy. While the MSR would be a way to build a route for rerouting/export of Chinese capital and consumer goods, the Silk Road Belt will be a channel for land-based projects that will provide for fixed asset investment in building pipelines and infrastructure such as roads and rail-lines with partnering countries along the routes. 

h)     China has committed $40 billion in initial investments for Silk Road Infrastructure fund, over and above the investments that are to be funded by the newly constituted AIIB.

i)     Chinese officials see a lot of synergy with the Indian Act East policy initiative and the development of BCIM corridor. They also calculate that participation in the Silk Road project and increased Chinese investment in infrastructure projects in India will ease the massive trade deficit that exists between the two countries and which the governments have committed to address as part of joint agreements.

j)     The response from Indian govt to its participation in the Belt and Road projects has been lukewarm, even though India has become a founding member of the AIIB along with China. There is not enough understanding in India that the Belt and Road project is a result of an economic imperative in China and less to do with a geostrategic perspective as is easily assumed.

k)     In sum, there is an official doubt and wariness from the strategic community in India about the project. Some of this  is also consequence of a degree of shift in Indian foreign policy and strategic thinking in recent past that had turned pro-West for certain periods and was even willing to conceive a role for India in the contain China strategy promoted  by the US.

l)     To its credit, the Modi-led govt has thus far followed a horses for courses policy. It has kept up its engagement at various levels with both the US and China on the one hand keep commonality on strategic initiatives with the former, and expanding its economic relations with latter on other.

m)     In line with this, it would be wise for the Indian govt to throw its restraint towards participation in the Silk Road project even as it is engaged with the Chinese govt to cut down its political differences. The boundary negotiations have been tortuous to say the least, but there is a recognition in China that relations between the two countries are at a bright phase because of high degree of legitimacy and popularity enjoyed by the respective regimes and their leadership.

n)     There are avenues that can be explored to use Indias advantages in the tertiary sector and Chinas strengths in capital investment for what could be a win-win deal. Therefore, a more open assessment of Belt and the Road initiative in this regard would be a step in right direction. Chinas NDRC has promised a summit of various countries to take the project forward both bilaterally and multilaterally in 2016. A signal of participation by India could indicate the first step.

3.

Big hurdles still remain in Iran n-talks (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

c)     P5+1 group

a)     A senior US official said that the six world powers seeking to negotiate an historic agreement with Iran to control its nuclear programme plan to carry on negotiating beyond the June 30 deadline.

b)     Iranian Foreign Minister was to leave Vienna and return to Tehran for consultations with the countrys leadership on the state of negotiations. Officials from both sides said big differences still remained. They expected them to spill over into July.

c)     The negotiations aim to limit Tehrans nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of US, EU and UN sanctions on Tehran. The main differences are on the pace and timing of sanctions relief for Iran and on the nature of monitoring mechanisms to ensure Tehran does not cheat on any agreement.

d)     US and European negotiators also want to ensure there is a mechanism for restoring sanctions if Tehran fails to meet its commitments under any future accord. In Nov, the 7 nations involved in talks set a late March deadline for a framework agreement, which they ultimately reached on April 2 and June 30 deadline for a comprehensive deal.

4.

Greece to shut banks, markets today to avoid financial panic (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     International Monetary Policy (IMF)

c)     European Union

d)     European Central Bank (ECB)

a)     Greek banks and the stock exchange will be shut after creditors refused to extend the countrys bailout and savers queued to withdraw cash, taking Athenss deadlock with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to a dangerous new level.

b)     Greeces banks are on the front line as Athens moves towards defaulting on a €1.6 billion payment due to the IMF.

c)     The ECB had made it difficult for the banks to open because it decided to freeze the level of funding support it gives the banking system, rather than increasing it to cover a rise in withdrawals from worried depositors.

d)     Amid drama in Greece, where a clear majority of people want to remain inside the euro, the next few days present a major challenge to the integrity of the 16-year-old Eurozone currency bloc. The consequences for markets and the wider financial system are unclear.

e)     Meanwhile, US President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel agreed that Greece needed to find its way back to a path of reform and avoid an exit from the Eurozone. The Greek Parliament voted in favour of holding referendum on July 5.

5.

East should lead next Green Revolution: Modi (Page 10)

a)     National

a)     Green Revolution

b)     Agriculture

c)     Irrigation

d)     Soils

e)     Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)

a)     PM Modi called for a second Green Revolution, saying it should start immediately from eastern India.

b)     He said the agriculture sector had been lagging in several areas including inputs, irrigation, value addition and market linkages, and his govt was committed to modernising the sector and making it more productive.

c)     While laying foundation stone of the IARI at Barhi, he said we have seen first Green Revolution, but it happened several years ago. Now it is the demand of time that there should be a second Green Revolution without any delay. It is possible in eastern U.P, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, Odhisa.

d)     Modi stressed the need for research in the field of agriculture to determine the health of soil and its needs in terms of seeds, water quantity, amount of fertilizers and so on.

6.

Rajan did not make alarmist remarks: RBI (Page 11)

a)     Economy

a)     Great Depression

b)     Beggar-thy-neighbour policies

c)     Monetary policy

d)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

e)     RBI

a)    RBI clarified that Governor Raghuram Rajan did not say the world was at risk of another Great Depression. Instead, he had meant that some policies followed by central banks around the world were similar to those followed prior to the Great Depression, but that the Great Depression was caused by many more factors as well.

 

b)     Great Depression was a period of great disorder, caused by many factors and not just beggar-thy-neighbour policies.

 

c)     This beggar-thy-neighbour strategy he had referred to in his speech is what he termed competitive monetary policy easing - a likely product of the prolonged use of measures such as central banks holding interest rates at near zero, as well as policies that affect central bank balance sheets such as buying assets in certain markets so as to affect market prices.

 

d)     He made clear that if the strengthening of a currency due to such policies leads to a continuation of unconventional policies as the countrys authorities become unwilling to give back the growth they obtained by undervaluing their currency, this rationale that a deep recession necessitates any means necessary to recover is suspect.

e)     Rajan concluded by saying that it is time for international agencies like the IMF to step in with a greater role. The IMF should analyse each new unconventional monetary policy and based on their effects and the agreed rules of the game, declare them in-or out-of-bounds.

7.

Kabini reservoir to turn a tourist spot (Page 6)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Kabini reservoir

b)     Krishnaraja Sagar

c)     Brindavan Gardens

d)     Kabini river

 

 

a)     Brindavan Gardens at Krishnaraja Sagar may soon have a strong rival as the Karnataka govt proposes a similar landscaping at Kabini reservoir to promote tourism.

b)     While Brindavan Gardens is spread over nearly 60 acres, there is ample scope for landscaping and expansion at Kabini reservoir at Beechanahalli, about 50 km from Mysuru city.

c)     Besides landscaping, there was scope for water sports, including motor boat, creating mini-forests and botanical gardens, apart from encouraging tourists to visit Chikkadevana Betta.

8.

SpaceX rocket with Dragon cargo ship to ISS explodes (Page 7)

a)     S&T

a)     SpaceX

b)     Dragon cargo ship

c)     Falcon 9 rocket

d)     International Space Station (ISS)

e)     Cape Canaveral

a)     An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded less than three minutes after lift-off from Cape Canaveral (Florida).

b)     Skies were sunny and clear for the launch of the white Falcon 9 rocket that was meant to propel the Dragon cargo ship to the ISS on a routine supply mission, the seventh for SpaceX so far.

c)     The Dragon cargo ship was carrying 1800 kg of gear to space station, including a large parking space (known as an international docking adaptor), designed to make it easier for an array of commercial crew spacecraft to dock at the orbiting lab in the future.

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