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Daily News Analysis 10-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, US sign pact to pass on info on account holders (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     In a step towards controlling overseas tax evasion and black money, India and the US signed an inter-governmental agreement to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

2.

Modi raises Lakhvi issue with Xi (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Chinas President Xi has offered to join Beijings Belt and Road initiative with Indias own connectivity plans following talks with PM Modi, who raised Indias concerns regarding released Pakistani terror suspect Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

3.

Trade, terror and JuD will figure in meet (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     PM Modi will meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SCO summit at Ufa in Russia. Broad areas of cooperation would be set out to take the talks process forward.

4.

Modi proposes 10-point initiative for BRICS nations (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Voicing for closer cooperation and coordination among BRICS nations, PM Modi proposed a 10-point initiative that includes India hosting the first trade fair for the grouping and establishing research centres for railways and agriculture.

5.

Modi meets Iranian President (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     PM Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met on the sidelines of the BRICS and SCO summits and discussed issues of bilateral and mutual interests.

6.

Iran, P5+1 close to historic nuclear deal (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Iran and six world powers were close to an historic nuclear agreement that could resolve a more than 12-year dispute over Tehrans nuclear ambitions, but they remained deadlocked on the issue of Iranian arms and missile trade.

7.

Greece needs debt relief: Tusk (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     As Athens faces a midnight deadline to submit reform plans for an international bailout, EU President Donald Tusk said that Greeces creditors must make a realistic proposal for managing the countrys huge debt.

8.

Four million refugees have fled Syria (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The UN said more than 4 million Syrians have fled the civil war damaging their country to become refugees in the surrounding region.

9.

Private players still rob ICDS scheme of its wholesomeness (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     The Supreme Court has banned private players in the Integrated Child Development Scheme aimed at tackling malnutrition among infants and improving the health standards of pregnant women.

10.

Solutions can come from the slums (Page 11)

a)     National

a)     An IIT-M study finds that urban planning that involves the people and alternative service providers gives far better results than top-down efforts from govt.

11.

IMF cuts global growth forecasts (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     The International Monetary Fund trimmed its forecast for global economic growth for this year to take into account the impact of recent weakness in the US.

12.

Uttarakhand gets early warning system for quakes (Page 12)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     For the first time in India, a system to detect earthquakes and spread warnings has been installed in Uttarakhand, where researchers have predicted an earthquake of magnitude 8 or greater.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, US sign pact to pass on info on account holders (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

c)     Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information

d)     Black money

e)     Special Investigation Team (SIT)

a)  In a step towards controlling overseas tax evasion and black money, India and US signed an inter-governmental agreement to implement the FATCA.

b)    The agreement makes it obligatory on the part of two nations to exchange information on offshore accounts of each others citizens in their respective territories.

c)     The govt in December got the go-ahead of SIT on black money to sign international treaties that included confidentiality clauses, an issue that had until then prevented India from agreeing to FATCA.

d)     Last month, India joined 59 countries in the MCAA on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information. This agreement binds signatories to exchange a wide range of financial information among themselves periodically and automatically.

e)     US govt enacted FATCA in 2010 to obtain information on accounts held by US taxpayers in other countries. As of now, the US has such agreements with more than 110 jurisdictions and is engaged in related discussions with many other jurisdictions.

2.

Modi raises Lakhvi issue with Xi (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Line of Actual Control (LAC)

d)     Lakhvi issue

e)     Chinas Belt and Road initiative

f)     China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

g)     Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)

h)     UNSC

i)     Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

j)     Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

k)     New Development Bank (NDB)

l)     Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor project

 

a)     Chinas President Xi has offered to join Beijings Belt and Road initiative with Indias own connectivity plans following talks with PM Modi, who raised Indias concerns regarding released Pakistani terror suspect Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

b)     China had blocked action against Pakistan at a meeting of the UN Sanctions Committee last month, citing lack of sufficient information. India said the Chinese move was at variance with the ongoing progress in Sino-Indian ties.

c)     Following the talks, Foreign Secretary Jaishankar said the talks included the boundary question, confidence-building measures, issues of maintaining peace and calm along the border and more meeting points at the border.

d)     Diplomatic sources said the clarification of the LAC and the passage of CPEC through disputed territory in PoK have emerged as two obstacles hampering the full development of China-India ties.

e)     He said Indias bid for a permanent seat in a reformed UNSC and NSG membership also came up for discussion.

f)     President Xi proposed Sino-Indian cooperation within a new strategic framework, which has the emerging markets and developing countries at their focal points. He stressed that China and India should make joint efforts to push a new institutional framework of global relevance, which includes AIIB, BRICS NDB, along with firming up their partnership within the emerging market framework.

g)     Regarding harmonisation of Chinas connectivity initiative with the Indian one, Chinese diplomats have already advocated fusion of Chinas Belt and Road project with Indias Act East policy. In Ufa, President XI singled out BCIM project (also called the Kolkata to Kunming economic corridor) as a priority undertaking between the two countries.

h)     Virtually defending its move to block Indias demand in the UN to take action against Pakistan for the release of Mumbai attack mastermind Lakhvi, China said its stand was based on facts and in spirit of objectiveness and fairness.

3.

Trade, terror and JuD will figure in meet (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Trade ties

c)     Border disputes

d)     Line of Control (LoC)

e)     Terrorism

f)     JuD

g)     LeT

a)     PM Modi will meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SCO summit at Ufa in Russia. Broad areas of cooperation would be set out to take the talks process forward.

b)     These would include relaxing regulations for Indian and Pakistani banks, promoting more exchanges between businesspersons and business chambers, and extending long-term visas to Kashmiris wishing to cross over on the LoC bus.

c)    The two PMs (who last met but did not sit down to a bilateral meeting in Kathmandu during SAARC summit in Nov 2014) are expected to discuss a gamut of issues including trade, terror and the issue of action against the JuD and the LeT, and their alleged involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

4.

Modi proposes 10-point initiative for BRICS nations (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     BRICS

b)     National Development Bank (NDB)

a)     Voicing for closer cooperation and coordination among BRICS nations, PM Modi proposed a 10-point initiative that includes India hosting the first trade fair for the grouping and establishing research centres for railways and agriculture.

b)     The proposed initiatives for the BRICS include a trade fair, a Railway Research Centre, cooperation among supreme audit institutions, a Digital Initiative and an Agricultural Research Centre.

c)     They also include State/Local Govts Forum, cooperation amongst cities in field of urbanisation, BRICS Sports Council and Annual Sports Meet, a film festival and the first major project of NDB to be in field of Clean Energy. Also, every country should obey international rules and norms.

5.

Modi meets Iranian President (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Iran relations

b)     BRICS summit

c)     SCO summit

a)     PM Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met on sidelines of BRICS and SCO summits and discussed issues of bilateral and mutual interests.

b)     This is the first highest level interaction between the two countries after NDA govt came to power in May last year.

6.

Iran, P5+1 close to historic nuclear deal (Page 14)

a)     International

a)      Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

c)     P5+1 group

a)     Iran and six world powers were close to an historic nuclear agreement that could resolve a more than 12-year dispute over Tehrans nuclear ambitions, but they remained deadlocked on the issue of Iranian arms and missile trade.

b)     Over the past two weeks, Iran, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have twice extended a deadline for completing a long-term deal under which Tehran would curb sensitive nuclear activities for more than a decade in exchange for sanctions relief.

c)     The latest extension of the talks left open the possibility an agreement would not arrive in time to secure a 30-day review period by the Republican-dominated US Congress. If a deal is sent to Congress, review period would be doubled to 60 days, increasing the chance that the deal could resolve. 

7.

Greece needs debt relief: Tusk (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     European Commission (EC)

d)     European Central Bank (ECB)

e)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)    As Athens faces a midnight deadline to submit reform plans for an international bailout, EU President Donald Tusk said that Greeces creditors must make a realistic proposal for managing the countrys huge debt.

b)     Greeces calls for its debt to be tackled have been backed by the IMF and US Treasury Secretary, but Germany leads a strict group of Eurozone nations that are strongly opposed.

c)     If Greece submits its proposals on time, they will then be examined by the troika of creditor institutions (the EC, the ECB and IMF) before going on to political leaders. Tusk has set a special summit of all 28 EU members as final deadline for a deal to bail out Greece.

d)     Tsipras has called for a reduction of Greeces massive €320-billion ($350-billion) debt mountain to be part of any deal for its third international bailout since 2010. But Germany and many other Eurozone nations reject any move to write off Greek debts, especially after Greeks in a referendum last weekend backed Tsiprass decision to reject the creditors demands for further austerity.

8.

Four million refugees have fled Syria (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Syria crisis

b)     Refugee convention

c)     UNHCR

d)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     UN refugee agency said a surge in new refugee arrivals in Turkey had pushed the total number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries to over 4,013,000 people.

b)     The current number of refugees is already by far the highest handled by UNHCR for a single conflict in nearly a quarter century, since agency was assisting some 4.6 million Afghan refugees in 1992.

c)     More than 230,000 people have been killed in Syria since anti-governmental protests erupted in March 2011, causing a civil war pitting pro-regime forces, rebels and jihadist groups against each other.

9.

Private players still rob ICDS scheme of its wholesomeness (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)

b)     Self Help Groups

c)     Anganwadis

d)     Malnutrition

a)    The Women and Child Development Ministry (headed by Maneka Gandhi) of Modi govt keep the doors open for private food manufacturers in participating in Supplementary Nutrition Programme as the previous UPA dispensation used to do.

b)     Womens self-help groups, village panchayats and Mahila Mandals are supposed to be the agents of change in tackling malnutrition. To this end, the Supreme Court has banned private players in ICDS aimed at tackling malnutrition among infants and improving health standards of pregnant women.

c)     As much as 75 percent of the budget of the supplementary programme (under the ICDS) goes to providing home rations to vulnerable infants in the age group of 6months to 3years and pregnant and nursing mothers. Children in anganwadis are to be served hot meals.

10.

Solutions can come from the slums (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Slum development programmes

b)     Urbanisation

c)     Census of India 2011

d)     Swachh Bharat

e)     Rajiv Awas Yojana

f)     Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)

g)     Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)

h)     Community-based organisations (CBOs)

i)     Self-Help Groups (SHGs)

j)     Millennium Development Goals (MDG)

 

 

a)     In Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu), the responsibility of managing and maintaining a set of more than 160 community toilets was handed over by the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation to a federation of women self-help groups.

b)     A post-programme field survey of 803 households revealed that  the community participation had resulted in the public toilets being far better maintained, with improved community hygiene, reduced open defecation and an increased number of toilet users than has been the case with similar public toilets elsewhere.

c)     Clearly, wherever slum development programmes have involved the community at various levels, it has generated a sense of ownership over the project, and has helped ensure its success.

d)   As the govt tries to promote the concept of Swachh Bharat, the road ahead might be to use less govt interventions and more community participation. And one of the places where the work has to begin is in rapidly increasing number of slums. With increasing urbanisation, city slums are growing at an alarming rate. According to Census 2011, slum population in India makes up 18.3 percent of total urban population.

e)     One of the characteristic features of a slum is the lack of access to basic services as compared to non-slum areas. The glaring inequality between slums and other city settlements can have serious effects on the societal fabric. Unfortunately, providing access to basic services in slums is becoming a political agenda rather than a social one.

f)     The MDG demand fresh approaches that can ensure universal access to basic services. A recent study conducted by IIT-M has used 248 instances collected from various slum development initiatives to analyse just what works in urban planning and what does not. 

g)     Traditionally, all urban planning has adopted a top-down approach, attempting to solve the problem of access to basic services by simply providing the services and the connections to them. But access is not just about providing connections, but also about the services being affordable, adequate and durable.

h)     The IIT-M study showed that involvement of alternative service providers such as NGOs and CBOs in service delivery showed far better results than traditional route. It shows that wherever there has been greater community participation, the results havebeen positive. Some projects have simultaneously trained community members in planning, design and maintenance of infrastructure, so that they may take over the running of projects over time.

i)     Without security of tenure and legal status, slum residents cannot demand the provision of basic services from govt. And, according to the 2011 Census, 36 percent of all slums are unrecognised, denying their occupants the most basic government infrastructure.

j)   Govt has an ambitious target of making India slum-free by 2020. Under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (which comes under the JNNURM) and some other programmes, more than $20 billion dollars was planned as investment to realise this goal.

k)     While the top-down approach to urban planning may be necessary, it is not sufficient in itself. It needs to additionally take advantage of the complementary strengths of NGOs and wider community to get better results.

11.

IMF cuts global growth forecasts (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Global economic growth

b)     World Economic Outlook (WEO) report

c)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

d)     Greece debt crisis

a)     IMF trimmed its forecast for global economic growth for this year to take into account the impact of recent weakness in the US. But the global financial institution said growth prospects for next year remain undimmed, despite Greeces debt crisis and recent volatility in Chinese financial markets.

b)     In an update to its WEO report, the IMF said the global economy should expand 3.3 percent this year, 0.2 percentage point below what it predicted in April. Growth should speed up to 3.8 percent next year, unchanged from earlier forecasts.

c)     IMF also maintained its forecasts for a pickup in growth in the euro zone, despite Greece moving ever closer to the edge of default and an exit from the currency bloc as it races to find a last-minute third bailout.

d)     In developing economies, the IMF said growth had been decreased by lower commodity prices, tighter financial conditions tied to the economic rebalancing in China and geo-political factors.

12.

Uttarakhand gets early warning system for quakes (Page 12)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Earthquakes early warning system

b)     Earthquakes

c)     P waves

d)     S waves

a)     For the first time in India, a system to detect earthquakes and spread warnings has been installed in Uttarakhand, where researchers have predicted an earthquake of magnitude 8 or greater. It will issue warnings 1-40seconds before earthquakes of magnitude 5 occur.

b)     They said all sensors that warn of earthquakes are based on detection of P and S waves generated during an earthquake. The P wave (which is harmless and travels faster than S wave) is detected by the sensors for advance warning.

c)     Made by Space Dynamics (an Italian firm), the system has already been installed in Japan, Italy and US. First system has been installed in Dehradun, and the second will be established at Pithoragarh in Kumaon region.

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