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Daily News Analysis 13-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, Kyrgyzstan plan anti-terror pact (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)   Voicing grave concern over rising trend of extremism and terrorism the world over, India and Kyrgyzstan signed four agreements including one to boost defence cooperation and hold annual joint military exercises.

2.

Pakistan sounds tentative on taking Lakhvis voice sample (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Though the India-Pakistan joint statement released in Ufa (Russia) speaks of finding a way to speed up the trial in Mumbai terror attack case, India again faces an uphill task in making Pakistan hand over voice samples of Lakhvi and other accused to confirm evidence.

3.

SCO can help ease India-Pak tensions (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     China and Russia are aspiring to play a major role in resolving differences between India and Pakistan within the framework of the SCO - a move that both see as necessary to integrate the economies of Eurasia along the New Silk Road.

4.

Centre plans victory carnival to commemorate 1965 war (Pg 13)

a)     I.R

b)     National

a)     Days after announcing the resumption of dialogue with Pak, the govt is gearing up to launch a grand victory carnival at Rajpath to celebrate 50 years of the 1965 war.

5.

Integrating Tibet with the world (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     The ambitious Sichuan-Tibet railway project will connect Lhasa with Chengdu, and include Tibet in Chinas transportation corridor to Europe.

6.

Greece must pass reform laws (Page 14)

a)     International

a)    Eurozone leaders told near-bankrupt Greece at an emergency summit that it must restore trust by enacting key reforms before they will open talks on a new financial rescue to keep it in the European currency area.

7.

Greece and its Eurogeddon (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     Despite the European Commissions pronouncement of a Grexit scenario having been in place, this seems unlikely. In all likelihood it will be the euro that will suffer more and possibly fall apart if Greece exits in one way or another.

8.

Iran deal could be finalised on Monday (Page 14)

a)     International

a)   After more than two weeks of marathon negotiations, Iran and six world powers were close to finalising a historic nuclear deal that would bring sanctions relief in exchange for controls on Tehrans atomic programme.

9.

Defamation should remain apenal offence: Home Ministry (Pages 1, 12, 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Denying that criminal defamation had a scaring effect on free speech, the Centre told the Supreme Court that defamation should remain a penal offence in India as the defamer may be too poor to compensate the victim.

10.

Revoke AFSPA in North-East: Amnesty (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     A day after the Union Home Minister talked about a possible scaling down of Central forces deployed in the North-East, Amnesty International said that it must lead to a rethink on the use of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act as well in the States.

11.

Why poverty is developments best friend (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     The development discourse serves the same purpose as the colonial apparatus but without the bad press. After 67 years of failing to eliminate deprivation in India, is it time to look for new ideas?

12.

India can achieve 8 to 10 per cent growth: Jaitley (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     According to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, India is looked upon as a brighter spot and it will be able to achieve 8 to 10 percent growth though the global economy is passing through troubled times.

13.

Unravelling the Ayodhya-Korea link (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     History

a)    India has begun the work of tracing its shared heritage with Korea using the legendary Queen Suriratna (a princess from Ayodhya who travelled to the country to marry King Kim Suro in 48 AD) as a pivot.

14.

Buddha statue links village to Vajrayana tradition (Page 7)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     The Cultural Centre of Vijayawada discovered a granite idol of the Buddha in Bhumisparsa Mudra (also known as Akshobhya) at Vaikunthapuram village in Amaravati. With the discovery of idol, Vaikunthapuram in Guntur district has found a place on map of Vajrayana Buddhist sites of Andhra Pradesh.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, Kyrgyzstan plan anti-terror pact (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Kyrgyzstan relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     Khanjar 2015

d)     Terrorism

e)     UNSC

 

a)     India and Kyrgyzstan signed four agreements including one to boost defence cooperation and hold annual joint military exercises.

b)     The agreements include one on defence cooperation and culture. Two MoUs were also signed for cooperation between Election Commissions of two countries and on cooperation in the sphere of Standards, a move that will help economic relations.

c)     A joint statement released later said both sides expressed grave concern at the rising trend of extremism, radicalism and terrorism in the region and whole world. Two sides agreed to quickly consider signing an agreement on combating international terrorism and other crimes.

d)     Noting that the bilateral defence ties are strong, he said a joint exercise Khanjar 2015 has just been completed. He underlined that new agreement on defence cooperation would provide a framework to broaden bilateral engagement which would also include defence technology.

e)     Thanking Kyrgyzstans strong support to Indias candidature for permanent membership in an expanded UNSC, Modi sought its support for early completion of the reforms in the world body.

2.

Pakistan sounds tentative on taking Lakhvis voice sample (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Lakhvi issue

c)     Investigation for a Fair trial Act 2013

d)     26/11 Mumbai attacks

 

a)     Though the India-Pakistan joint statement released in Ufa (Russia) speaks of finding a way to speed up the trial in Mumbai terror attack case, India again faces an uphill task in making Pakistan hand over voice samples of Lakhvi and other accused to confirm evidence.

b)     Paks High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said the issue of obtaining the voice sample of Lakhvi is over. We filed an application in the trial court in 2011, seeking the voice sample of Lakhvi, but the judge dismissed it on the ground that there is no such law that allows obtaining the voice sample of an accused.

c)     Paks Information Minister Rashid said that Pakistan has included the Mumbai issue in the joint statement because we wanted India to provide us solid evidence against the accused for their prosecution.

d)     Sources say that when the two PMs met, Pak officials assured India that despite the 2011 trial court order, the govt would take the voice sample using Investigation for a Fair trial Act 2013, which gives govt special powers in surveillance and recording of terror suspects, and special powers accorded to state agencies investigating terror attacks under National Action Plan after the Peshawar school massacre last December.

3.

SCO can help ease India-Pak tensions (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     SCO summit

c)     Chinas Belt and Road initiative

d)     Gwadar-Kashgar economic corridor

e)     Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)

f)     Counter terrorism

a)     China and Russia are aspiring to play a major role in resolving differences between India and Pakistan within the framework of the SCO - a move that both see as necessary to integrate the economies of Eurasia along New Silk Road.

b)     Chinese sources said that the inclusion of India and Pak in the SCO will enhance the organisations influence and appeal at international stage. It will help improve bilateral relations by ironing out differences within the SCO framework.

c)  Analysts say any appreciable reduction in India-Pak tensions can boost prospects of realising the China-driven Belt and Road project. The initiative is meant to integrate the economies of Eurasia through establishment of physical and cyber connectivity, energy pipelines, industrial parks and smart cities along a contiguous corridor.

d)     China and Pakistan have decided to establish a Gwadar-Kashgar economic corridor under Belt and Road project, but India objects to it as it passes through PoK. India has rejected the assertion, but Pakistan has accused New Delhi of aiding insurgency and imposing impediments in Baluchistan, through which the proposed corridor would pass.

e)     China is aware that an India-Pak rapprochement can contribute to the stabilisation of Afghanistan, benefiting all the regional stakeholders including New Delhi and Islamabad.

f)     In reference to India and Pakistan, the Chinese sources said that SCO expansion also predicts well for countering terrorism and extremism in the region, a key task for the SCO since its establishment.

4.

Centre plans victory carnival to commemorate 1965 war (Page 13)

a)     I.R

b)     National

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Indo-Pak War 1965

a)     Days after announcing the resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, the govt is gearing up to launch a grand victory carnival at Rajpath to celebrate 50 years of the 1965 war.

b)     Experts and veterans believe it was more of a deadlock than victory as India failed to make any significant strategic gains vis-a-vis Pakistan.

c)     The celebrations are being planned as a tri-service effort but the war itself was largely an Army show, which made significant gains in Kashmir but lost ground in Rajasthan. The Air Force played a limited role but failed to gain quick air superiority and the Navy hardly played any role.

5.

Integrating Tibet with the world (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Tibet Autonomous Republic (TAR)  

b)     Chinas Belt and Road initiative

c)     Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor

d)     Sichuan-Tibet railway project

e)     Malacca straits

f)     Nathu La pass

g)     Chumbi valley

h)     Lhasa river

i)     Mila pass

j)     Chengdu

k)     Kunming

l)     Association of the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

m)     Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) grouping

a)     China is on course to integrate TAR into the global mainstream, with India and Nepal among the spurs that will connect it with South Asia.

b)     In tune with President Xis Belt and Road initiative, China has undertaken the Sichuan-Tibet railway project. Once completed, it will connect Lhasa with Chengdu (the booming capital of Chinas Sichuan province).

c)     Passing through stunning landscape of Tibetan plateau, the high elevation railway will branch out from the existing Lhasa-Shigatse rail line, which terminates at the doorstep of Nepal.

d)     China stresses that its bold enterprise is part of its western development plan to elevate the economies of its relatively backward regions. But looking beyond the developmental perspective, the Indian security establishment is focusing sharply on the project, for the Nyngchi prefecture is in close proximity to the disputed areas of Arunachal Pradesh.

e)     The extension of the railway to Chengdu would be a game changer, for it would integrate Tibet with Chinas transportation corridor to Europe. Chengdu is located on the futuristic Yixinou Railway route, which connects Chinas Pacific coast with Europe.

f)     Plans are also about to connect Nyngchi with Dali in neighbouring Yunnan province. That step would also be path-breaking, for it would establish a link between Tibet with the proposed BCIM economic corridor. Starting from Kunming (capital of Yunnan province), the BCIM passes through Dali, before heading for Kolkata via Myanmar and Bangladesh.

g)     Chinese authorities are also backing this project on geopolitical considerations, for the BCIM corridor provides an alternative channel of trade and investment that bypasses the Malacca straits - an oceanic trade artery that is subject to USs military domination.

h)     The Chinese are proposing another rail link, which could revolutionise contact between TAR and India. Chinese govt is considering extending Lhasa-Shigatse rail link to Yadong. In case that happens, it would establish a Chinese railhead in the Chumbi valley, only 31 kms away from Nathu La pass that connects Tibet with Sikkim.

i)     TAR officials were also upbeat about extending the Lhasa-Shigatse railway to Kathmandu, citing it as a pet project of Chinas founding Chairman Mao Zedong. However, they did not comment on the possible extension of the track to Lumbini (the birthplace of Buddha) and Patna in India.

j)     Flanked by the Lhasa river (a tributary of the Brahmaputra) called the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, the highway first heads towards the Mila pass. Mila mountain is also a watershed, for a steep descent from the pass opens out towards the fast-flowing Niyang river. Niyang merges into Yarlung Tsangpo.

k)     The confluence is not far from the famed Great Bend of river, from where Brahmaputra (taking a U-turn) flows swiftly into India with great force. The steep drop of 3000 metres over approximately 200 km provides an opportunity for massive, but controversial hydro-electric projects, involving China, India and Bangladesh.

l)     Apart from BCIM corridor, Kunming is also the gateway to Vietnam and Laos. Besides, it links TAR with the ASEAN, for Kunming is the gateway to the GMS grouping, whose membership includes Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Chinas Yunnan province.

6.

Greece must pass reform laws (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     European Commission

d)     European Central Bank (ECB)

e)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)     Eurozone leaders told Greece at an emergency summit that it must restore trust by enacting key reforms before they will open talks on a new financial rescue to keep it in the European currency area.

b)   PM Tsipras will be required to push legislation through Parliament to convince his 18 partners in the monetary union to release immediate funds to avert a Greek state bankruptcy and start negotiations on a third bailout programme.

c)   European Council President Donald Tusk cancelled a planned summit of all 28 EU leaders that would have been needed in case of a Greek exit from the single currency, and said Eurozone leaders would keep talking until we conclude talks on Greece.

7.

Greece and its Eurogeddon (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     European Commission

d)     European Central Bank (ECB)

e)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

f)     Maastricht Treaty1992

g)     Global recession 2008

a)     Since the formation of the Greeces radical leftist party (Syriza) government, the world has been watching the developments as it has been in negotiations with the EC, the ECB and the IMF - better known as the Troika. Troika has been in charge of managing the ongoing Eurozone Debt Crisis that started in Greece in May 2010 and represents the international creditors of Greece.

b)     Greek PM Tsipras called for a referendum to be held on July 5 2015 to accept or reject the offer. About 64 percent of eligible Greek voters participated in the referendum. In the end (of the votes that were valid), 61 percent were no and 39 percent were yes.

c)     The problem with the referendum was that not only had the Troikas offer already expired, but also consisted of two lengthy documents that were incomprehensible to most   voters. On this expiry date, Greece became first developed country to default on IMF as it failed to transfer €1.55 billion by the end of the business day - the single largest missed repayment in the IMFs history.

d)     For a country of the EU to enter the eurozone, that country must meet the criterion of the 1992 Maastricht Treaty on debt levels and deficit spending. Greece entered the eurozone in Jan 2001. From 2001 to 2007, the Greek GDP grew at an impressive average rate of 4.3 percent, compared with the eurozone average of 3.1percent.

e)     Incidentally, this period intersected with the 2002-2007 monetary expansion in the advanced capitalist countries of centre. In search of high yields, private capital started to flow from the centre to periphery, creating excessively easy credit conditions. The primary drivers of these impressive growth rates were this easy, credit-fuelled, private consumption and government spending.

f)     Then came the Great Recession in the US, which lasted from Jan 2007 to June 2009. Further, (in June 2007) ongoing Global Financial Crisis hit the US. When Lehman collapsed in Sept 2008, both the financial crisis and Great Recession became global. Under these conditions, private capital flow surge that started in 2002 from centre to periphery suddenly reversed in 2008.

g)   Both these events adversely affected not only the Greek economy, but also its ability to roll over its debts. Unlike non-eurozone peripheral countries with their own domestic currencies, Greece was unable to devalue its currency and raise the interest rates to weather the storm. Soon, Greece found itself in trouble.

h)     Since the onset of crisis, Greece has gone through two bailout programmes that were structured by the Troika - one in May 2010 and the other in March 2012. However, despite these bailouts, Greece has been in depression since beginning of 2009. From its peak in 2008, the Greek GDP is now down by about 27percent, unemployment is above 25 percent, youth unemployment is above 60 percent, and the Greek debt to GDP ratio is about 180 percent.

i)     In return for these programmes, Troika demanded a variety of free-market reforms. What was demanded in the name of fiscal reforms was more and more austerity, that is, less and less spending by the govt and households. The inevitable result of these reforms has been deepening depression, because an economy cannot grow if all of its sectors spend less and less, and instead earns a small sum from the fire sale of its assets.

j)     Although Syriza is a coalition of the radical left, what it has been asking from the creditors has been hardly radical. Leaving the euro in an unfriendly fashion and defaulting on its debt have never been on its cards. From the beginning it had stated that it had no intention to leave either eurozone or the EU. It has claimed that it was for a Europe of the people, rather than of the finance capital.

k)     On July 9, the Syriza made a final counter-offer. Many viewed this as absolute capitulation because it differed from the June 25 Troika offer that Greek voters rejected only in two minor details. Finally, on July 10, the counter-offer was voted in the Greek Parliament.

l)   However, what was attached to the counter-offer that many overlooked was debt relief, which has been off the table since the beginning. After the landslide no to June 25 offer by Troika in the July 5 referendum and with the backing of the US, France and Italy, Syriza is now stronger than ever.

8.

Iran deal could be finalised on Monday (Page 14)

a)     International

a)      Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

c)     P5+1 group

a)   After more than two weeks of marathon negotiations, Iran and 6 world powers were close to finalising a historic nuclear deal that would bring sanctions relief in exchange for controls on Tehrans atomic programme.

b)     US Secretary of State John Kerry cautioned that some difficult issues remained on the 16th day of ministerial negotiations between Iran, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

c)     Iran and the six powers involved in the talks have given themselves until June 13 to reach a deal, as the Iranian delegation accused the West of throwing up new stumbling blocks to an accord. 

9.

Defamation should remain apenal offence: Home Ministry (Pages 1, 12, 13)

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)     Denying that criminal defamation had a scaring effect on free speech, the Centre told the Supreme Court that defamation should remain a penal offence in India as the defamer may be too poor to compensate the victim.

b)     Besides, the Centre said criminalisation of defamation was part of states compelling interest to protect the right to dignity and good reputation of its citizens.

c)     The submission was part of an affidavit filed by Union Ministry of Home Affairs in response to petitions filed by political leaders cutting across party lines urging the court to declare criminal defamation unconstitutional.

d)     To counter the argument by petitioners that defamation was a civil liability in most countries, the Home Ministry cited US to show how different conditions in India were.

e)     The Ministry denied that Sections 499 and 500 (framed in 1860) were outdated in a modern democratic polity. It is important to note that 10 exceptions to Section 499 of the IPC clearly exclude from its ambit any speech that is truthful, made in good faith and/or is for public good.

10.

Revoke AFSPA in North-East: Amnesty (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)

b)     Amnesty International

c)     UN Special Rapporteurs

a)     A day after Union Home Minister talked about a possible scaling down of Central forces deployed in the North-East, Amnesty International said that it must lead to a rethink on use of AFSPA as well in the States.

b)     It claimed that there was no discussion on AFSA 1958, which is in force in several North-Eastern States. The Justice Verma Committee set up to review laws against sexual assault had said the AFSPA legitimises impunity for sexual violence.

c)     It added that several international bodies and experts (including the UN Special Rapporteurs on violence against women and human rights defenders) have also called for the repeal of the law.

11.

Why poverty is developments best friend (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Poverty

b)     Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC)

c)     Developmentalism

d)     Truman Doctrine

e)     Marshall Plan

a)     The SECC 2011 tells us that half the households in rural India are landless, dependent on casual manual labour, and live in deprivation. By suggesting that poverty in India is worse than previously estimated, the Census has again caused the old debate about the right way to count the poor.

b)     But most commentators agree that the SECC numbers merit serious consideration. They are expected to guide evidence-based policy-making. The data shows there are more poor than previously thought (living in greater deprivation than previously realized) is Indias economic policy or development model likely to change in the light of this fresh evidence.

c)   Problematisation of poverty is a recent phenomenon, one that went hand in hand with rise of economy as an autonomous domain, independent of human totality of culture, politics and society. It was only in the post-World War II period that poverty was made visible as a global problem.

d)     As several critics of developmentalism have said, three historical factors were crucial in rise of development apparatus. One, the decline of colonialism, which signified the end of direct political control over Third World populations and geographies; two, the shifting of epicentre of world capitalism from UK to US; and three, the rise of communism in the form of the Soviet bloc.

e)     Together, these factors posed a series of challenges to Western capital - securing new sources of raw materials for industry, securing new sites for investment of surplus capital, securing new markets for goods and commodities and geo-politically securing the capitalist universe from the communist threat.

f)     The answer to all these challenges was what is known as the Truman Doctrine. It was Americas initiative to develop underdeveloped areas of world through capitalism, science and technology. In practice, this doctrine translated into a dual strategy - one for its European allies, another for its non-European ones.

g)     US donated free capital to the former, so that the core nations of global capitalism (the UK, France, West Germany) could rebuild their war-wrecked economies quickly. This was Marshall Plan, a $120 billion handout that defied every law of neoclassical economics.

h)     In place of the dismantled apparatus of colonialism, the Truman Doctrine ushered in the development apparatus, whose main component was Bretton Woods institutions, which had close links with Western capital as well as with governing elites of every nation-state.

i)     With its trans-national army of development experts, this apparatus served the same purpose as colonial apparatus but without the bad press - preserving the economic dominance of the First World over the Third World.

j)     This dominance was secured through programmes of financial assistance that went hand in hand with the creation of knowledge about the nations designated as underdeveloped.

k)     It is an evidence to the sophisticated attract of the development discourse that even today, its hold over the social imagination remains as powerful as ever. Coming back to evidence-based policy-making, the SECC data is enough evidence that 67 years of development have failed to eliminate deprivation in India.

l)     Economic thinking has saturated our common sense to such an extent that it has become almost impossible for us to imagine that there might be an alternative vision of social change that has nothing to do with an economistic agenda of progress.

12.

India can achieve 8 to 10 per cent growth: Jaitley (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     GST

d)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)     Finance Minister Jaitley said that India is looked upon as a brighter spot and it will be able to achieve 8 to 10 percent growth though the global economy is passing through troubled times.

b)    IMF has for this year again lowered global growth rates. They now anticipate a 3.2-3.3 percent global growth rate.

c)     He said that revenue situation might become lot more comfortable with ongoing reform process, through better economic management, rolling out of GST and stepping up investments in smart cities and rural infrastructure sector.

13.

Unravelling the Ayodhya-Korea link (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     Queen Suriratna

b)     Ayodhya-Korea historical links

a)    India has begun the work of tracing its shared heritage with Korea using the legendary Queen Suriratna (a princess from Ayodhya who travelled to the country to marry King Kim Suro in 48 AD) as a pivot.

b)     During PM Modis visit to Seoul in May, it was announced that India and Korea will strengthen their historic connection by enhancing linkages of Korean people with Ayodhya.

14.

Buddha statue links village to Vajrayana tradition (Page 7)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     Bhumispara Mudra (Akshobhya)

b)     Vajrayana Buddhist sites

c)     Amaravati

d)     Satavahana dynasty

a)     The Cultural Centre of Vijayawada discovered a granite idol of the Buddha in Bhumisparsa Mudra (also known as Akshobhya) at Vaikunthapuram village in Amaravati. With discovery of idol, Vaikunthapuram in Guntur district has found a place on map of Vajrayana Buddhist sites of Andhra Pradesh.

b)     The survey brought to light an extensive Buddhist settlement along the right bank of Krishna and on the hills of Vaikunthapuram.

c)     Official said the entire area is made with potshreds of black and red ware and red ware of the Satavahana times (1st and 2nd centuries AD). The Mahayana Buddhist site at Vaikunthapuram continued to be a Vajrayana centre up to 9th century AD, as attested by the presence of Buddha sculpture.

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