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Daily News Analysis 03-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

China offers dialogue with India on Lakhvi (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     China has offered to discuss its move with India to block action against the alleged Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, marking a subtle shift in position, which could deepen the counter- terror dialogue between New Delhi and Beijing.

2.

Trade is booming; will diplomacy follow? (Page 9)

a)     I.R

a)     India is today the third largest investor in Britain, after the US and France, but successful trade ties must be supplemented quickly by political engagement as well.

3.

Govt may resign if it loses referendum (Page 12)

a)     International

a)      Greeces radical left govt said it might resign if it fails to win a referendum that could decide the countrys financial future.

4.

A win- win deal (Page 8)

a)     International

a)     The diplomatic development that has been made in US-Cuba relations is a vindication of President Obamas policy of engaging with nations with which Washington has hostile relations.

5.

BP to pay $18.7 B for oil spill (Page 12)

a)     International

a)    BP Plc has reached a comprehensive $18.7 billion settlement with the US govt and five States, a landmark deal that effectively ends years of litigation over environmental damage and human casualties caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

6.

IS destroys famous lion statue in Palmyra (Pg12)

a)     International

a)     Official said that Islamic State group jihadists have destroyed a famous statue of a lion outside the museum in the Syrian city of Palmyra.

7.

Crime and compromise (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     It is a matter of considerable satisfaction that within days of the Madras High Court passing an indefensible order asking the perpetrator and the victim in a rape case to opt for mediation, the Supreme Court has restated strongly that rape is an offence that does not use any compromise.

8.

India is now a $2 trillion economy (Page 1)

a)     Economy

a)     According to data released by the World Bank, Indias GDP crossed the $2 trillion mark in 2014.

9.

Enough buffers to absorb Greek shock (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)    Governor of RBI Raghuram Rajan indicated that Indias growth story would be better than other economies as he sought to reduce concerns over fall-out of Greek crisis on India.

10.

Stolen idol from T.N recovered in US (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     One more stolen idol from India (this time a Chola bronze idol of saint Manikkavachakar), worth at least a million dollars on open market was recovered by US.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

China offers dialogue with India on Lakhvi (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     Counter terrorism cooperation

c)     26/11 Mumbai attacks

a)     China has offered to discuss its move with India to block action against the alleged Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, marking a subtle shift in position, which could deepen the counter- terror dialogue between NewDelhi and Beijing.

b)     Chinese official said we have a mechanism of counter- terrorism consultation between the two ministries in which it can be discussed. The Sino-Indian meeting under the counter- terrorism mechanism is expected later this year.

c)     India had earlier approached the UN Sanctions Committee and had requested a clarification from Pak about Lakhvis release. China (which has special ties with Pakistan) had blocked the move, citing lack of information from the Indian side on this issue.

2.

Trade is booming; will diplomacy follow? (Page 9)

a)     I.R

a)     India – UK economic relations

b)     Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

c)     Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

 

a)     Britain is the only major Western country that Modi has not visited as PM. The last prime ministerial visit to the UK was in 2006 by Manmohan Singh. Such a long gap (during which British PMs have visited India 4 times) is unprecedented, creating a perception that Britain seems to have fallen off Indias foreign office map.

b)     Trade relations between the two countries are flourishing, with India surpassing to become the third largest investor in Britain after the US and France. At a critical juncture of British economy, there are close to 1000 Indian companies operating in Britain today, employing 1,20,000 people and generating hundreds of new jobs.

c)     On July 8, captains of Indian and British industry will meet in London for a high- profile conference on Future of UK-India Economic Relations organised jointly by the CII and the CBI. The conference is being held amid a mood of optimism generated by the unprecedented surge in Indian investment levels last year.

d)     But also hanging over it will be the shadow of a growing row over the British govts new visa regime for non-EU countries. Indian companies say these are arbitrary and will affect their operations in Britain. They are particularly upset over fresh restrictions on intra-company transfers which will prevent them from drawing on their best in-house talent. Britain argues that such transfers mean that native Britons are denied the jobs that should have gone to them.

e)     Trade relations is arguably a big success story, but it needs to be seen in perspective in order not to be carried away by some of the hype around it. First, it is important to remember that Britain is the worlds number one investment destination in Europe, sought after even by the US, offering investors a gateway to Europe.

f)     Second, much of the Indian investment in terms of financial value is accounted for by only a handful of big guns led by the Tatas, owners of Jaguar Land Rover, and the steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal.

g)     Thus the hype gives a slightly skewed image of Indian domination of UK market. Still, it is an impressive effort which PM David Cameron and his ministers rarely lose an opportunity to highlight. Britain desperately needs foreign investment to revive businesses, generate jobs and help with skills development, as it struggles to overcome lasting effects of 2008 financial crash.

h)     India (one of the fastest growing economies in search of foreign markets) is seen as the perfect fit. China may be the bigger beast with deeper pockets, but it is India that evokes a greater sense of natural and cultural affinity. What also makes Britain attractive to so many Indian companies is its investor-friendly environment.

i)     Big-ticket Indian projects in the pipeline include a £100 million investment by pharmaceuticals company Cipla in UK-based research on a range of drugs; and a £20 million injection into the British economy by automobile giant Mahindra in developing its electric car technology.

j)     However, despite the recent surge, India-UK trade has still a lot of catching up to do, with the two countries setting a target in 2010 of doubling bilateral trade to £23 billion in 2015. The current level is well short of it. Meanwhile, no doubt trade ties are important, but they need to be supplemented by political engagement at the highest level. Without that, issues like the visa row cannot be resolved.

3.

Govt may resign if it loses referendum (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union

c)     European Commission

d)     European Central Bank (ECB)

e)     International Monetary Policy (IMF)

f)     Drachma (former currency of Greece)

a)      Greeces radical left govt said it might resign if it fails to win a referendum that could decide the countrys financial future.

b)     The worlds financial markets and Greeces creditors (the European Commission, ECB and IMF) are stepping back after days of confusing drama to watch the outcome. But European chiefs warned the situation was deteriorating and what could emerge after the vote remained unclear.

c)     PM Alexi Tsipras call for a No has split the ruling coalition, with members of partner party Independent Greeks rebelling.

d)     The IMF said that Greece needs at least €50 billion more to stabilise its finances even under existing creditor plans. IMF also cut the countrys economic growth prospects for this year to 0 percent from 2.5 percent previously forecast, in estimates that do not include the impact of this weeks banking shutdown and capital controls.

4.

A win- win deal (Page 8)

a)     International

a)     US – Cuba relations

b)     US ban against Cuba

c)     UN General Assembly

 

a)    Diplomatic development that has been made in US-Cuba relations is a vindication of President Obamas policy of engaging with nations with which Washington has hostile relations.

 

b)     It shows that patience and creative diplomacy can work in solving even complex situations rooted deep in historical and ideological hostility. It took nearly two years of hidden negotiations, aided by Vatican and Canada, before the US and Cuba formally announced their decision to restore diplomatic ties last December.

 

c)     Now, President Obama has formally revealed his administrations plan to open a US embassy in Havana, nearly 54 years after President Dwight Eisenhower broke off diplomatic relations. Successive US govts tried to overthrow and isolate the communist regime through various means, such as a proxy war, attempts to assassinate leaders, and sanctions aimed at its economy.

 

d)     But this approach failed miserably - President Obama frankly admitted the US had been sticking to a policy that was not working. Since 1992, the UN General Assembly has criticised US ban every year. In Latin America, it is the US that stands isolated, while the rise of new progressive forces to power has strengthened Cubas standing in the region.

 

e)     To recover from its economic troubles, Cuba has moved to ease state controls over the economy and allow private capital greater play. Against this backdrop, better cooperation with the US and the eventual removal of the ban would prove benefits for a changing Cuban economy. However, the bigger question relates to the impact of this rapprochement on Cubas domestic politics.

 

f)     While post-revolutionary Cuba has made tremendous achievements in terms of ensuring welfare of its people, its record in respecting their political freedom is relatively poor. The defenders of regimes high-handedness have pointed to the military-political threats from US as one of the primary reasons for such policies. With US and Cuba deciding not to be imprisoned by their past, it is also an opportunity to deepen democracy in the island-nation.

5.

BP to pay $18.7 B for oil spill (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Gulf of Mexico spill 2010

b)     US Clean Water Act

 

a)    BP Plc has reached a comprehensive $18.7 billion settlement with the US govt and five States, a landmark deal that effectively ends years of litigation over environmental damage and human casualties caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

 

b)     The April 20 2010 rig explosion killed 11 workers and emitted millions of barrels of oil for nearly three months onto the shorelines of several States.

 

c)     The agreement covers US Clean Water Act fines and natural resources damages, along with claims by Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and 400 local govt entities.

 

d)     US Attorney General hailed the record $18.7 billion settlement with BP on federal and state civil claims over is 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. He said it would help repair the damage done to the Gulf economy, fisheries, wetlands and wildlife, and it would bring lasting benefits to the Gulf region for generations to come.

6.

IS destroys famous lion statue in Palmyra (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Lion of Al- Lat

c)     Palmyra

d)     UNESCO World Heritage site

a)     Official said that Islamic State group jihadists have destroyed a famous statue of a lion outside the museum in the Syrian city of Palmyra.

b)    Officials said the statue (known as the Lion of Al- Lat) was an irreplaceable piece and was apparently destroyed last week. The limestone statue was discovered in 1977 by a Polish archaeological mission at the temple of Al-Lat (a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess) and dated back to the 1st century BC.

c)     IS captured Palmyra (a renowned UNESCO World Heritage site) from government forces on May 21, prompting international concerns about the fate of the citys antiquities.

7.

Crime and compromise (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Mediation of cases

b)     Section 376 of IPC

c)     Nirbhaya Act

d)     Supreme Court

 

a)     It is a matter of considerable satisfaction that within days of the Madras High Court passing an indefensible order asking the perpetrator and the victim in a rape case to opt for mediation, the Supreme Court has restated strongly that rape is an offence that does not use any compromise.

b)     Latest ruling is a criticism to appellate court judges who casually overturn convictions or reduce the prison terms of those found guilty of rape, often by citing claims that a compromise has been arrived at.

c)     With this ruling, Supreme Court makes it amply clear that offers of marriage or forms of financial compromise cannot be applied in a rape case. It also denies the parents of a minor girl the right to arrive at a compromise with the rapist.

d)     By restating sharply that any thought of mediation in a rape case is completely without legal permissibility, the court has gone a long way towards ensuring that the lower ranks of the judiciary have absolutely no reason to take recourse to such a deception.

e)     The Supreme Court ruling was made in an appeal where the Madhya Pradesh High Court had converted a case of attempted rape on a 7-year-old girl into one of attempt to anger the modesty of a woman, and had reduced the sentence from five years to the period spent by the convict in prison.

f)     A recent judgment from the Madras High Court that had allowed a convicted rapist to be freed on bail to work towards a mediated solution with survivor had shocked civil society and attracted severe criticism.

g)     A matter of concern is the fact that the Supreme Court is so often being required to restate the basic principles of justice. It was only in 2013 that it categorically ruled that there can be no compromise in a rape case. In several cases in the past, the apex court has deprecated the tendency of some judicial officers to take into account purported compromises and award lenient sentences on that basis.

h)     Also, when it comes to sentencing policy, it should be remembered that as part of the amendments to criminal law made in 2013, a proviso in Section 376 of IPC (punishment for rape) that allowed judges to award lesser prison terms than what are set down on special grounds has been omitted.

i)     That despite the Supreme Courts repeated directions not all lower courts see irreparable harm done to rape survivors by subjecting them to mediated solutions is disquieting. It is also an indication of how deeply patriarchy is embedded in our judicial system.

8.

India is now a $2 trillion economy (Page 1)

a)     Economy

a)     Economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     GNI

d)     World Bank

a)     According to data released by the World Bank, Indias GDP crossed the $2 trillion mark in 2014. After taking 60 years to reach the $ 1- trillion mark, India added the next trillion in just seven years.

b)    World Bank data also show that Indias GNI per person rose to $1610 (around Rs.1 lakh) a year during 2014 from $ 1560 the previous year.

c)     Indias growth rate (at 7.4 percent in 2014) makes it the fastest growing major economy along with Chinas, which is a huge $10.4 trillion in size. The Indian economy (at $ 2.06 trillion) has almost doubled in size since the financial crisis hit the country in 2008, and has more than quadrupled from the start of this millennium.

d)     However, China (with a per capita GNI of $7380 and an average annual growth of 15.6 percent) will leave the upper middle income category by 2018 to become a high income country like US, UK, Germany and Japan. It will take India till 2039 to reach that level, at the assumed growth rate.

e)     The World Banks data on GNI per capita (the total value added by all producers within the country, plus income received from citizens working abroad, divided by population of country) show Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Paraguay, Argentina, Hungary, Seychelles and Venezuela have shifted their income categories for the better.

f)     World Bank official said that while we need to measure development progress in different ways, income- based measures (such as GNI) remain central measure for assessing economic performance.

9.

Enough buffers to absorb Greek shock (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     RBI

c)     Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC)

d)     Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)

 

a)     Governor of RBI Rajan indicated that Indias growth story would be better than other economies as he sought to reduce concerns over fall-out of Greek crisis on India.

b)     He said that Greece is an evolving situation. Direct exposure to Greece for India is very limited as indicated by a few studies done by RBI to evaluate the impact on finance and trade. He said the country had enough buffers (including foreign exchange reserves) to protect against any possible adverse impact due to the Greek crisis.

c)     Nevertheless, he admitted that there could be an indirect exposure. He felt that what the Greece crisis would do to the exchange rate, how the Euro would react to any Greece issue, and how any untoward developments in Greece could lead to a risk of sentiments among the global investors – all these could have indirect impact.

d)     He said that the RBI board reviewed the state of economy. The economy was recovering and there were signs of capital investments picking up. The RBI will continue to do spade work for sustainable growth in the coming year.

e)   He also announced that RBI would put in place a regulatory framework to allow a new kind of NBFC, which could act as an account aggregator to enable the common man to see all his accounts across financial institutions in a common format. The idea of such a non-banking financial institution had emerged from the FSDC.

10.

Stolen idol from T.N recovered in US (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     Chola bronze idol of saint Manikkavachakar

b)     Chola dynasty

a)     One more stolen idol from India (this time a 11th or 12th Centurys Chola bronze idol of saint Manikkavachakar), worth at least a million dollars on open market was recovered by US.

b)     The cultural property unit of the federal agency had determined that the item had been looted from Siva temple in Sripuranthan village in Ariyalur district, Tamil Nadu.

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