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Daily News Analysis 02-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India finds itself in a bind on Maldives (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     For the past few months, Indias relations with the Maldives have been under considerable strain over the Maldivian governments actions against former President Mohamed Nasheed.

2.

Raking up the MQM-RAW link for brownie points (Page 9)

a)     I.R

a)     Pakistan seems to be raising a calculated outcry at a time when the MQMs leaders are being investigated in UK for possessing weapons and for money-laundering.

3.

Trade with IS, other terror groups banned (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Joining worldwide efforts to squeeze terror finances, India has announced a ban on trade with the Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front and other groups and individuals associated with the Al-Qaeda.

4.

Greek crisis and an imperfect EU (Page 8)

a)     International

a)     The IMF and Germanys response to Greeces social crisis has set in motion political responses that could have long lasting impact on big power eqations within Europe and beyond.

5.

IS attacks rock Egypt (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State group jihadists launched an unprecedented wave of attacks on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula that killed at least 70 people, in a major challenge to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

6.

A new multilateral institution (Page8)

a)     International

a)     The launch of the $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank signals the arrival of a new multilateral institution on the world stage.

7.

Top corporates back Digital India (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     National

a)     Top corporates committed investments of Rs. 4.5 lakh crore for initiatives to support PM Modis pet project Digital India, while also promising to create about 18 lakh jobs in the country.

8.

With AFSPA, India has failed statute: Amnesty (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     National

a)     Asserting that the Union govt has often refused to prosecute the Army or paramilitary personal accused of human rights abuses, Amnesty International released a detailed report on the implications of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Jammu & Kashmir.

9.

Womens dignity sacrosanct, no mediation in rape cases: SC (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Holding that the dignity of a woman is part of her non-perishable and immortal self, the Supreme Court ruled that courts should not fall for deception of a rape convict to corner his injured victim into a compromise or even worse, make her enter into wedlock with him.

10.

Cabinet nod for National Agriculture Market (Page 11)

a)     National

a)     The Cabinet gave its nod for the setting up of a National Agriculture Market which would require a single licence for market operations, single point of levy of market fee and electronic auction as a mode of price discovery.

11.

World Bank approves $650 m loan for eastern freight corridor (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)    The World Bank has approved an additional loan of $650 million for the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, which is aimed at the faster delivery of goods between the northern and eastern parts of the country.

12.

ISRO readying  new space road map, says chairman (Pg 11)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     ISRO chairman has said that a new road map is being written out for the countrys space programme and it will address short-term urgencies as well as a vision for the long run.

13.

Insight into how the brain forms memories (Pg 14)

a)      S&T

a)    Researchers have finally found a specific region in the brain (medial temporal lobe) that plays a key role in rapidly forming memories about everyday events.

14.

Saving the sharks before it is too late (Page 14)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Sharks (the giants of oceans) are at risk in Indian waters encouraging the marine scientists to draw up an action plan to save them.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India finds itself in a bind on Maldives (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Maldives relations

b)     UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

c)     SAARC

a)     For the past few months, Indias relations with Maldives have been under considerable strain over the Maldivian govts actions against former President Mohamed Nasheed.

b)     PM Modi cancelled his visit to the island neighbour in March 2015 at the last minute. And in June, he extended Ramzan greetings to leaders of all Muslim countries in SAARC region, but ignored Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen.

c)     Even so, with possibility of a UNHRC Presidential statement censuring Maldives, India is caught in a familiar bind, between its own disapproval of Maldivian govts undemocratic moves and its resistance to action against a sovereign neighbour - much like it was some years ago over the situation in Sri Lanka.

d)     The latest deadlock has been sparked by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights statement against the Maldives Supreme Court for passing strictures and threatening imprisonment of members of Maldives HRC for submitting a report to UNHRC.

e)     UNHRC President also raised the matter at the councils meeting on June 26, leading to doubt that the next step would be a presidential statement at end of current session on July 3.

2.

Raking up the MQM-RAW link for brownie points (Page 9)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relation

b)     Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party

c)     Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)

d)     North-West Frontier Province

e)     ULFA

f)     Kachin Independence Army (KIA)

 

a)     The BBCs so-called expos on Indias external intelligence agency RAW funding MQM party in Sindh has caused an outcry.  BBC learnt from an authoritative Pakistani source that officials in Pakistans MQM party have told UK authorities they received Indian govt funds.

b)     In the last few months, top Pakistani ministers and military officials have blamed RAW for all smoke and fire in Pakistan, accusing it of fuelling unrest in Balochistan, NWFP, Sindh - even for the Taliban attack on the Army school in Peshawar in which more than 100 school children were killed.

c)     In the absence of concrete UK sourcing, the BBC story looks as much like any story in Pakistani media, which blame the RAW for all the unrest in Pakistan now.

d)     The RAWs MQM connections and with other assets in Pakistan in the past are well-known. So, is Pakistan raising a calculated outcry over MQMs India links at a time when their leaders are being investigated in the UK for possessing weapons and for money-laundering? That clearly seems to be the case.

e)     While elaborating on state-sponsored insurgencies in South Asia between 1947 and 1990s earlier, the author (former BBC correspondent) had argued that nation states in post-colonial South Asia have reciprocally backed insurgencies and militancy against each other.

f)     The documentation covered how Pakistan, India and even Bangladesh used cross-border insurgents as part of national policy. This indeed is the unique feature of hostile neighbourhood relations in South Asia after the departure of the colonial power.

g)     The late Benazir Bhutto had told Indian editor that President Zia-ul-Haq is making a mistake by fuelling Khalistani militancy in Punjab. She had said if he plays the Punjab card, India will surely play the Sindh card. India did play the Sindh card for quite a while in much the same way she had anticipated, but that is history.

h)     After Gujral started his parantha diplomacy, the Indian state went into a defensive condition. Repeated requests by a RAW station chief to mount an assassination attempt on ULFA military wing chief Paresh Baruah in Bangkok using Thai police assets were refused. From the KIA to the Shanti Bahini in Bangladeshs Chittagong Hill Tracts, to the MQM and other Mohajhir hit-groups in Sindh, RAW pulled back on all these offensive trans-border operations.

i)     From 2000 onwards, India started strong regional diplomacy to hit militants across the border. It worked in Bhutan and Bangladesh because friendly govts there decided to go after Indian rebels based in their territory with some seriousness. It did not work in Myanmar and surely not in Pakistan. But there is little evidence to show India is as yet trying something different. 

3.

Trade with IS, other terror groups banned (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Indias trade with IS and other groups

b)     Islamic State (IS)

c)     Al-Nusra Front

d)     Al-Qaeda

e)     UNSC resolution

a)     Joining worldwide efforts to squeeze terror finances, India has announced a ban on trade with the IS and the al-Nusra Front and other groups and individuals associated with the Al-Qaeda.

b)     The move comes in compliance with a UNSC resolution in February.

c)     Commerce Ministry said that trade with IS and related terrorist organisations in oil and oil products (hydrocarbons) and items of scientific, cultural and religious importance is prohibited.

4.

Greek crisis and an imperfect EU (Page 8)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     European Central Bank (ECB)

d)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)     The EU was never a union. Greece has called the deception. At the heart of economic crisis in the EU is a political failure. The inability of member nations of the Union to move beyond a single market and a monetary union to create a political entity. The economic crisis in Greece is a manifestation of that political failure across the EU. National politics have worsted regional economics.

 

b)     The success of the Indian Union rests on the fact that the developed regions of country and the Union govt have taken upon themselves responsibility of offering a safety net to the less developed regions. All federal systems and continental nations are built on this foundation of regional interdependence and mutual support facilitated by federal political systems.

 

c)     The failure of EUs more developed nations (especially Germany) to provide such a safety net to a less developed one like Greece has brought the EU to the edge of unravelling. This situation has been long in making.

 

d)     Germany has behaved much in the same way that developed States in India like to when it comes to the question of transferring funds to less developed States. The former usually declare the latter on the virtues of industriousness and hard work and blame them for their backwardness. The latter demand all manner of special assistance. The Indian union has political instruments to deal with such issues. EU does not.

 

e)    The reason why India stuck together and EU is now facing the prospect of Grexit and Brexit (the exit of Greece and Britain) is because the Indian Union became not just an economic and political union but adopted the principle of federal financing administered by a democratically elected Union govt. The absence of such a principle of internal safety net for a collapsing economy and the weakness of EUs political institutions has brought the EU to this edge.

 

f)     Two exogenous factors have come to shape the Western response to an unfolding Greek tragedy. First, the rise of Germany as a geoeconomic power and second, the return of Russia as a geopolitical player. Over the years, a more economically successful and prosperous Germany has asserted itself, projecting its post-war geoeconomic power to acquire political influence. The eastward expansion of the EU has further facilitated this.

 

g)     Germanys ascendance within Europe was shaped by two additional factors. First, the relative decline of other European economies, especially the economies of southern Europe. Second, the induction into the EU of several east and north European economies worried about the resurgence of Russia as a geopolitical player.

 

h)     While southern Europe (including Italy) worries more about growing German assertiveness within Europe, northern and eastern Europe worry about a re-assertive Russia. It is against this background that Greeces nationalist and Leftwing leadership reached out to Russia for help and Putin was quite happy to step into Europes troubled waters.

 

i)     Indeed, the fact that Greek voters opted for a Leftwing leadership has added a new dimension to the resolution of the crisis, given concerns in Germany and US about rising left-wing and right-wing forces in Europe and the decline in the influence of centrist political parties. Therefore, the stakes are high. The crisis in Greece is not just about sovereign default. It is about the future of Europe.

 

j)     There is an interesting parallel between the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s and the European crisis today. In 1997-98, when Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand faced a payments and debt crisis, it was the political fallout of that crisis and the failure of the IMF to help the economies in trouble that altered Asian geopolitics.

 

k)     The crisis in Greece does not in itself pose an economic risk for Indian investors and traders, but a Europe-wide crisis would. Even as the Indian economy begins to recover from consequences of Indias own bad policies it may face the risk of dealing with those of Europe. There may be some business opportunities for Indian investors arising out of the decline in asset valuations in Europe, but caution would be the better part of courage.

 

l)     Greeces weakness is that few in the world worry about its economy overturning. India was in that spot in 1990-91 and is no longer in that worrisome place. But the debate on extent of global interdependency that India should create and maintain continues. The lesson from Greece is not that a country should isolate itself from the global economy but that it should carefully manage its relations with the regional and world economy.

5.

IS attacks rock Egypt (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Syria and Iraq crisis

c)     Kurdish forces

d)     Sinai Peninsula

e)     Tel Abyad

f)     Kobane

g)     Hasaka

a)     IS group jihadists launched an unprecedented wave of attacks on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula that killed at least 70 people, in a major challenge to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

b)     The Sinai attacks (in which car bombs were used) were most bold in their scope since jihadists launched an insurgency in 2013 following the armys overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

c)     A Syrian Kurdish militia said it had recovered full control of border town of Tel Abyad after IS fighters raided its outskirts the day before in preparation for a larger assault.

d)     Backed by the US-led air strikes, the Kurdish YPG militia and smaller Syrian rebel groups captured Tel Abyad from IS on June 15, severing an important supply route for the militants between the Turkish border and its de facto capital of Raqqa city to the south.

e)     IS went back on the offensive in Syria last week, raiding Kurdish-controlled Kobane while simultaneously launching an attack on govt-held areas of the northeastern city of Hasaka.

6.

A new multilateral institution (Page 8)

a)     International

a)     Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

b)     IMF

c)     World Bank

d)     Chinas Belt and Road project

e)     South China Sea

a)     The launch of the $100 billion AIIB signals the arrival of a new multilateral institution on the world stage. It also represents a challenge to the older such institutions. 

b)     Proposed by Chinese President Xi in Oct 2013, the AIIB took shape with 50 members, including Australia, India, Russia and the UK.

c)     China will be the largest shareholder, followed by India and Russia. Though one among Asian giants, Japan has chosen to stay out of China-initiated AIIB. The Philippines (which has territorial issues with China in South China Sea) has held itself back from signing, for now. And Indonesia has sought to have bank housed in Jakarta.

d)     These spell geopolitical roadblocks to the success of the China-led initiative, which in a way is meant to counter the claimed bias among existing multilateral institutions (IMF and World Bank) that are perceived to be driven largely by diktats of US and Europe.

e)     It is also essential to see the AIIB and Chinas ambitious plans for Belt and Road project as being complementary. The AIIB as expected by China is clearly meant to use its financial resources and surplus to invest in projects in the Asian neighbourhood, which is suffering from a massive infrastructure funding gap.

f)     Indias participation in the AIIB also indicates that New Delhi is keen on a balancing act to suit its interests to engage with the West and the dominant international finance order, at the same time exploring options with new financial institutions. This is a careful strategy.

7.

Top corporates back Digital India (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     National

a)     Digital India programme

b)     Digital Locker

c)     e-education

d)     e-health

e)     Smart cities

 

a)     Top corporates committed investments of Rs4.5 lakh crore for initiatives to support PM Modis pet project Digital India, while also promising to create about 18 lakh jobs in country.

b)     The RIL is committed to making the necessary investments and strongly partner with central and state governments in the area of e-governance, digital education, digital healthcare, smart cities and rural digital services.

c)     Aditya Birla Group would invest $ 2 billion in projects falling within the ambit of the Digital India initiative such as electronic manufacturing and development of smart cities.

d)     Of three foreign companies who addressed the audience, Taiwans Delta Electronics announced $ 500 million investment over the next 10 years to start electronic manufacturing with an aim to increase its presence in country.

8.

With AFSPA, India has failed statute: Amnesty (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     National

a)     Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)

b)     Section 7 of the Act

c)     Kashmir conflict  

d)     Amnesty International  

 

a)     Asserting that Union govt has often refused to prosecute the Army or paramilitary personal accused of human rights abuses, Amnesty International released a detailed report on the implications of the AFSPA in Jammu & Kashmir.

b)     By not addressing human rights violations committed by security force personnel in the name of national security, Official said that India has not only failed to uphold its international obligations but has also failed its own Constitution. Impunity only breeds further violence and alienation, making it more difficult to combat abuses by armed groups.

c)   Report says that Union govt has neutralised all allegations with respect to Section 7 of the AFSPA, which allows Indian armed forces to kill anyone in the State on just suspicion. The Amnesty researchers interviewed 58 family members who hold Indian armed forces responsible for the deaths of the 25-year Kashmir conflict.

d)      As per Amnesty report, J&K State Home Department wrote a letter to the Defence Ministry in July 2007, seeking the prosecution of nine Army personnel of Assam Regiment. The report said the Army had dubbed more than 96 percent of all allegations of human rights violations against its personnel in J&K false or baseless.

9.

Womens dignity sacrosanct, no mediation in rape cases: SC (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Mediation of cases

b)     Delhi rape case

c)     Nirbhaya Act

d)     Supreme Court

a)     Holding that the dignity of a woman is part of her non-perishable and immortal self, the Supreme Court ruled that courts should not fall for deception of a rape convict to corner his injured victim into a compromise or even worse, make her enter into wedlock with him.

b)     The judgment serves to lay bare the recent order by a Madras High Court judge, asking a young woman (who was raped at the age of 15) to mediate with her rapist for the sake of the child born out of the crime.

c)     The court said an offer of wedlock by rapist was nothing but putting pressure in a clever manner. The Bench highlighted that courts should not fall into this trap and adopt a soft approach. Any such kind of a liberal approach in a case of rape was nothing short of a spectacular error and reflected a lack of sensibility towards the dignity of a woman.

d)     The court held that any kind of liberal approach or thought of mediation in this regard is thoroughly and completely without legal permissibility.

10.

Cabinet nod for National Agriculture Market (Page 11)

a)     National

a)     National Agriculture Market

b)     Agriculture

c)     Irrigation

a)     The Cabinet gave its nod for the setting up of a National Agriculture Market which would require a single licence for market operations, single point of levy of market fee and electronic auction as a mode of price discovery. The single licence will be valid for all farm markets across each State.

b)     The meeting chaired by PM Modi also approved a central programme for creating sources of assured irrigation for the agriculture sector by converging several ongoing inter-Ministerial schemes.

11.

World Bank approves $650 m loan for eastern freight corridor (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project

b)     World Bank

c)     Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL)

a)    World Bank has approved an additional loan of $650 million for Eastern DFC, which is aimed at the faster delivery of goods between the northern and eastern parts of the country.

b)     This round of loans to the Eastern DFC follows two other loans by the World Bank. The Cabinet last week approved the revised cost estimate of Rs. 81,459 crore for the Eastern and Western DFC Project.

c)     The third round of World Bank funding will build the 401 km Ludhiana-Khurja section in U.P, Haryana and Punjab. It will help develop institutional capacity of the DFCCIL to build and maintain the DFC infrastructure network.

12.

ISRO readying  new space road map, says chairman (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     S&T

b)     Space Law

b)     GSLV

c)     GSLV MkIII

c)     ISRO

a)     ISRO chairman has said that a new road map is being written out for countrys space programme and it will address short-term urgencies as well as a vision for the long run.

b)     He said a comprehensive Space Law had also been drafted. It would enable greater role for private sector, without being overly commercial; encourage legitimate use of space infrastructure that ISRO has built over the last 46 years; ensure socio-economic interests and at the same time keep up security interests of the nation.

c)     He admitted that the long delay in realising indigenous GSLV launcher and its cryogenic engine had somewhat upset other project schedules. The focus is now on clearing any backlogs.

d)     ISRO had started building the next-generation launchers with double and triple the current GSLV capacity for putting satellites in space, such as the GSLV MkIII and those powered by the futuristic semicryogenic engine.

13.

Insight into how the brain forms memories (Page 14)

a)      S&T

a)     Medial temporal lobe

b)     Brain mapping

c)     Alzheimers

d)     Epilepsy

a)    Researchers have finally found a specific region in the brain (medial temporal lobe) that plays a key role in rapidly forming memories about everyday events.

b)     The medial temporal lobe is associated with episodic memory - the brains ability to recall situations like meeting a friend in a mall. Episodic memory logs such happenings and very rapidly forms new associations in the brain.

c)     People suffering from Alzheimers and other neurological disorders have this type of memory affected.

d)     The study also found that firing of a single neuron led to new memories being formed in the human brain. To study the single-neuron underpinnings of episodic memory formation, researchers studied the activity of more than 600 neurons in the medial temporal lobe of 14 epileptic patients who had electrodes implanted in the brain region of interest.

14.

Saving the sharks before it is too late (Page 14)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Sharks

b)     Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act

c)     Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI)

d)     National Plan of Action (NPOA) for Sharks

e)     International Plan of Action for conservation and management of sharks

f)     Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

a)     Sharks (the giants of oceans) are at risk in Indian waters encouraging the marine scientists to draw up an action plan to save them.

b)     The CMFRI (Kochi) has drawn up an action plan (Guidance on NPOA for Sharks in India) in line with the International Plan of Action for conservation and management of sharks, developed by FAO.

c)     The Action plan pointed out that it is estimated that 160 species of sharks are known to occur in Indias commercial fishing zone. Requiem sharks, Hammer-heads, Threshers, Mackerel sharks, Bamboo sharks and Hound sharks are the major contributors to the commercial fishery. The low biological productivity makes them vulnerable to fishing, with limited chance for recovery.

d)     As a conservation measure 10 shark species have been included in the Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act. While the trade of shark fins and plate is regulated, a ban has been imposed on shark finning and export/import of shark fins in the country.

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