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Daily News Analysis 11-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Modi to visit Pakistan next year (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     I.R

a)     PM Modis meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Ufa (Russia) ended with an announcement that he would visit Islamabad in 2016 for the SAARC summit, but made no commitment on restarting dialogue.

2.

India to become full member by 2016 (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India was accepted as a full member of the SCO (a six-member regional grouping) to which PM Modi offered to work in combating terror and boosting trade by easing barriers.

3.

The Ufa takeaways and reason for hope (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     The Ufa engagement proves the strength of the fundamentals of the India-Pakistan relationship, and that despite all that happens to derail the ties, the two countries have always returned to the table.

4.

Fighter deal likely during Modis November visit (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Sources said the final agreement for the joint development and production of a fifth generation fighter aircraft could be signed during PM Modis visit to Russia in November.

5.

Going after crooked deals (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     The agreement signed this week by the governments of India and the US to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is yet another weapon in Indias war against tax evasion and black money.

6.

Athens accepts harsh austerity (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     The Greek govt sent a package of reform proposals to its Eurozone creditors in a race to win new funds to prevent bankruptcy and was to seek a parliamentary vote to endorse immediate actions.

7.

Iran deal: Monday the new deadline (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     As Tehran accused the West of throwing up new stumbling blocks to a deal, Iran and major powers gave themselves until July 13 to reach a nuclear agreement.

8.

SC admits plea against criminal defamation (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Supreme Court sought the governments response on an appeal filed by a media professionals organisation challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions including penal laws on defamation.

9.

2.5 lakh millionaires in India in 2014, says report (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     According to a recent report, the number of dollar millionaires in India in 2014 rose to 2.5 lakh from 1.96 lakh in 2013, an increase of 27 percent.

10.

Gujarat and Tamil Nadu lead in project clearance in coastal areas (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     State Coastal Zone Management Authorities of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have topped in granting clearances to proposed projects in last two decades.

11.

Exim Bank in pact with NDB, BRICS members (Page 13)

a)    Economy

a)     Export-Import Bank of India said it has signed a multilateral agreement to cooperate with New Development Bank along with other member development banks of BRICS nations.

12.

Industrial growth slows in May (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     With provisional figures for May 2015 showing the index of industrial productions growth at 2.7 percent (down from 3.4 percent in April), Industrial production seems to be growing slower than earlier thought.

13.

PSLV C-28 launches five UK satellites (Page 11)

a)     S&T

a)     In the heaviest commercial launch since its inception, the ISROs Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle launched five satellites, weighing 1440 kg for a United Kingdom-based company.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Modi to visit Pakistan next year (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     SCO summit

c)     SAARC summit

d)     UNGA

e)     Terrorism

f)     Lakhvi issue

g)     26/11 Mumbai attacks

a)     PM Modis meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Ufa (Russia) ended with an announcement that he would visit Islamabad in 2016 for the SAARC summit, but made no commitment on restarting dialogue.

b)     In a joint statement, the PMs tasked Foreign Secretaries with announcing a five-pronged statement of progress in their discussions, including meetings between National Security Advisers Doval and Aziz and between military and border security force chiefs of the two nations, and discussing ways and means to speed up Mumbai 26/11 trial and providing voice samples as evidence.

c)     They also discussed humanitarian gestures of releasing more than 300 fishermen held on each side, and promoting a mechanism for religious tourism that will help Hindu, Muslim and Sikh pilgrims on the two sides.

d)     The NSAs will meet in New Delhi in August, ahead of next possible meeting between the PMs on the sidelines of the UNGA in September. Sources said the discussions between Doval and Aziz would be the most important as it would discuss the outstanding issue for India on cross-border terror groups and action against Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi and other Mumbai attack accused.

2.

India to become full member by 2016 (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

b)     Trade ties

c)     Counter terrorism

 

a)    India was accepted as a full member of SCO (a six-member regional grouping) to which PM Modi offered to work in combating terror and boosting trade by easing barriers.

b)     India (which has had an observer status for the past 10 years) will technically become a member by next year after completion of certain procedures.

c)     The Beijing-based SCO currently has China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as members. Along with India, the process to include Pakistan as a member was initiated.

3.

The Ufa takeaways and reason for hope (Page 8)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border issues

c)     Line of Control (LoC)

d)     Border Security Force (BSF)

e)     Directors General Military Operations (DGMO)

f)     Lakhvi issue

g)     26/11 Mumbai attacks

h)     SCO summit

i)     SAARC summit

 

a)     The meeting between PM Modi and his Pak counterpart Nawaz Sharif (who met in Ufa in Russia on the sidelines of the SCO Summit to discuss an entire gamut of issues between the two countries) has kicked off a new season of engagement between India and Pakistan. There is now a clear road map of events in the next few months to take the dialogue process forward.

b)     The Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan read out a joint statement on the outcome of the meeting and listed out 5 points. These are - a meeting in New Delhi between two NSA to discuss all issues linked to terrorism; early meetings of Directors General of BSF and Pakistan Rangers followed by that of DGMO; the decision to release fishermen in each others custody; a mechanism for facilitating religious tourism and both sides agreeing to discuss ways and means to speed up the Mumbai case trial, including additional information like providing voice samples.

c)     The sixth point is that all actions would lead up to Modis visit to Pakistan, to attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad in 2016. As a result, the process would most closely mirror PM Vajpayees reach-out to Pakistan on April 18 2003, when NDA government announced a hand of friendship to Pakistan after years of bitterness over Kargil war, the Parliament attack and the Agra summit.

d)     History has proven that it is not delivering an agreement or a declaration between the two countries that is the biggest challenge, but delivering on its promises after that, given that the process can be firebombed by violence at the LoC, a terror attack, or even an outbreak of words. In that sense, it is important to look closer at each of the promises made in joint statement at Ufa to see how firmly they will hold in the face of those risks.

e)     To begin with, the NSAs meeting to discuss all issues connected with terrorism is important, given that both Doval and Aziz have full confidence of their respective PMs, which is crucial to make out any peace deal. However, this is not first time that such an engagement has been proposed.

f)     In 2006, the Joint Terror Mechanism announced in Havana by PM Manmohan Singh and Gen. Musharraf also expected a dialogue away from the Foreign Ministries with NSAs and intelligence chiefs meetings. But that came a cropper over inherent distrust between both sides.

g)     The meetings between military commanders at LoC are already a part of an ongoing process, and even before PMs met in Ufa, one such meeting had been scheduled for Sept 2015 between DGs of BSF and the Pakistani Rangers. There is an annual mechanism for high-level talks between Pakistani Rangers and BSF chiefs that last took place in March 2015 at the Wagah-Attari border.

h)     Similarly, the reference to the release of fishermen is also a regular occurrence. Another batch was released after Modi spoke to Sharif last month. The tragedy is that navies of both countries detain these fishermen who stray over sea boundaries quicker than they can be released. The mechanism for religious tourism will be welcomed in all parts.

i)     Finally, there is the very significant reference to the provision of voice samples and to speed up the Mumbai trial. Despite the BJPs claims that these have been given for the first time, both assurances were given by Pakistan in May 2010 after Thimphu SAARC summit meeting between PM Yousuf Raza Gilani and Manmohan Singh.

j)     It would be interesting to find out how Pakistan Muslim League govt has now given India a similar assurance, and whether it has a new law up its sleeve or has secured a court order in favour of handing over the voice samples. An added hurdle will be that Lakhvi is out on bail, and was recently exempted from court appearances in the 26/11 trial, which will make it extremely difficult to track him down for the process.

k)     Another question that arises is where India will take its search at the UN to make Pakistan accountable for the Mumbai attacks. For the past few months, India has stepped up efforts to have Pakistan named or criticised by the UN, the 1267 Taliban sanctions committee and the Financial Action Task Force.

l)     Ufa engagement proves the strength of the fundamentals of the India-Pakistan relationship, that despite all that happens to derail the relationship, the two have always returned to the  table, and that every PM and President has tried to make  a contribution to that process.

4.

Fighter deal likely during Modis November visit (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Russia relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     Fifth generation fighter aircraft

d)     Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)

a)     Sources said the final agreement for the joint development and production of a 5th generation fighter aircraft could be signed during PM Modis visit to Russia in Nov.

b)     The agreement on fighter aircraft has been stuck because of differences in the work share between Sukhoi and HAL. As the project is to have equal investment from each side, India has been insisting on parity in the work share. So far, both sides have invested $295 million for preliminary design.

c)     India has requested Russia to let its pilots fly the T-50 prototypes currently under testing. A decision by Russia on this is expected shortly. India plans to induct 144 fighters and the entire project is expected to cost over $30 billion.

5.

Going after crooked deals (Page 8)

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 Act of 2015

e)     SIT

a)     The agreement signed this week by the governments of India and the US to implement the FATCA is yet another weapon in Indias war against tax evasion and black money.

b)     It requires both govts to exchange financial information on offshore accounts of each others citizens in their respective territories. It may not be of any great use to India in immediate context (since the proportion of Indian tax-evaders hiding funds in US is negligible compared to those doing so in tax havens such as the Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Luxembourg) but signing it was still essential since the US imposes strict punitive measures on companies that are not registered under FATCA.

c)     The USs motivation to get India to agree to FATCA is clear - the more signatories there are to it, fewer will be the number of places where tax-evaders can hide. There are 110 jurisdictions that have signed in, including several of the tax havens.

d)     From Indias point of view, it is a simple bilateral deal, but it must be looked at in context of its concerted ongoing efforts to deal with black money. By means of legislation in India and multilateral agreements signed with other countries, India has been closing the net around tax-evaders as never before.

e)     The Black Money Act of 2015 makes failing to declare foreign assets or income a costly proposition - apart from the flat 30 percent tax levied on foreign income, individuals who fail to declare it will have to pay a penalty three times the tax amount. They could also face a possible jail term.

f)     Internationally, India last month joined the MCAA on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, which has 59 other members. This ensures multilateral sharing of financial information on an automatic and systematic basis, unlike in the previous system in which only information relating to specific individuals would be shared.

g)     Taken together, the Black Money Act, the MCAA, and now the FATCA agreement comprise a formidable system aimed at curbing black money. Indeed, it is the most systematic and concerted effort made by India to date.

6.

Athens accepts harsh austerity (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     European Commission

d)     European Central Bank (ECB)

e)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)     The Greek govt sent a package of reform proposals to its Eurozone creditors in a race to win new funds to prevent bankruptcy and was to seek a parliamentary vote to endorse immediate actions.

b)     A further vote would be needed to turn them into law next week if Eurozone leaders agree at a summit that the proposals are a basis for starting negotiations on a three-year loan and releasing some bridging funds to keep Greece out of debt.

c)     The country has had two bailouts worth €240 billion from the Eurozone and the IMF since 2010, but its economy has shrunk by a quarter, unemployment is more than 25 percent and one in two young people is out of work.

7.

Iran deal: Monday the new deadline (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

c)     P5+1 group

a)     As Tehran accused the West of throwing up new stumbling blocks to a deal, Iran and major powers gave themselves until July 13 to reach a nuclear agreement.

b)     The US and EU officials said they were extending sanctions relief for Iran under an interim deal to provide more time for talks on a final deal. Iran and six powers are trying to end a more than 12-year dispute over Irans atomic program by negotiating limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. 

8.

SC admits plea against criminal defamation (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Criminal defamation law

b)     Sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the IPC

c)     Sections 199(1) and 199(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)

d)     Supreme Court

a)     The Supreme Court sought the govts response on an appeal filed by a media professionals organisation challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions including penal laws on defamation.

b)     They have challenged the validity of Sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the IPC on the ground that these provisions violate freedom of speech and expressions.

c)     Besides the penal laws on defamation, the foundation has sought repealing of Sections 199(1) and 199(2) of the CrPC which deal with the procedures of prosecution in criminal defamation cases.

9.

2.5 lakh millionaires in India in 2014, says report (Pages 1 and 10)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Wealth X report

b)     GDP

c)     Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC)

d)     Inequality

e)     Poverty

a)     According to a recent report, the number of dollar millionaires in India in 2014 rose to 2.5 lakh from 1.96 lakh in 2013, an increase of 27 percent. It also predicted that India will have 4.37 lakh millionaires by 2018, and potentially double that number by 2023.

b)     Terming the next 10 years as Indias decade, the report by Wealth X said that the nation also has a young, well-educated population with high levels of entrepreneurship and business ownership, underpinned by a well-developed legal system that in turn would help in wealth creation.

c)     India had the 14th largest millionaire population in the world in 2013-14, with the US, Japan, China and UK leading the pack.

d)     An analysis of the number of billionaires per country shows that the number of billionaires in India is not equivalent with its relatively smaller GDP compared to countries like US and China. In 2014, India had 53.3billionaires per trillion dollars of GDP.

e)    Apart from highlighting the growing wealth of the ultra-rich in India, these numbers (when combined with data on per capita income and findings of the recently-released SECC in India) underscore the stark inequality prevalent in India.

10.

Gujarat and Tamil Nadu lead in project clearance in coastal areas (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     State Coastal Zone Management Authorities (SCZMA)  

b)     Centre for Policy Research (CPR)

c)     Coastal Zone Management Authorities (CZMAs)

a)     A recent report by the CPR and CZMAs and Costal Environments - Two decades of regulating land use change on Indias coastline shows that Gujarat topped the list with 93 percent rate of project clearance.

b)     Tamil Nadu has second highest rate of project clearance with 86 percent. It is followed by Andhra Pradesh (85 percent) and Karnataka (85 percent), while Odisha featured at bottom in this list with 70 percent rate.

c)     The SCZMAs (which were constituted to take crucial decisions regarding the use of coastal lands and management of coastal environments) conducted site visits to only 8 percent of the total number of projects seen.

11.

Exim Bank in pact with NDB, BRICS members (Page 13)

a)    Economy

a)     Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank)

b)     New Development Bank (NDB)

c)     BRICS

a)     Exim Bank of India said it has signed a multilateral agreement to cooperate with NDB along with other member development banks of BRICS nations.

b)     It was signed between Exim Bank Chairman and MD and Chairpersons or Presidents of other member development banks of BRICS in Ufa (Russia) during BRICS Summit 2015.

12.

Industrial growth slows in May (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)     Industrial growth

b)     Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

a)     With provisional figures for May 2015 showing the IIP growth at 2.7 percent (down from 3.4 percent in April), Industrial production seems to be growing slower than earlier thought.

b)     The IIP for April too has been revised downwards to 3.4 percent from earlier estimate of 4.1 percent, with core industries such as manufacturing and mining growing slower than earlier thought. The capital goods industry saw the biggest fall in May with usage growth at 1.8 percent compared to a robust 6.8 percent in April.

13.

PSLV C-28 launches five UK satellites (Page 11)

a)     S&T

a)     Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-28

b)     Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC)

c)     CBNT-1

d)     De-OrbitSail

e)     Surrey Space Technology Limited (SSTL)

f)     ISRO

a)     In the heaviest commercial launch since its inception, the ISROs PSLV launched five satellites, weighing 1440 kg for a UK-based company. PSLV C-28 launched three identical mini satellites of the DMC, besides two technology demonstrators (CBNT-1 and De-OrbitSail) for SSTL into the intended orbits.

b)     They have been designed for providing simultaneous spatial resolution and high temporal resolution for earth observation. Also expected to help in surveying resources, environment and urban infrastructure, besides its primary aim of monitoring disasters.

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