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Daily News Analysis 14-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, Tajikistan to intensify anti-terror cooperation (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     With PM Modi noting that the two countries are located in proximity of the main source of the menace (an apparent reference to Pakistan and Afghanistan), India and Tajikistan committed to intensify cooperation against terrorism.

2.

Back in Pak, Aziz insists that Kashmir tops list of issues (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Under criticism from Pakistani Opposition parties over the absence of any reference to the Kashmir dispute in the Ufa joint statement following talks between PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif, Islamabad launched what appeared to be an exercise in damage control, saying Kashmir continues to top the list of issues with India.

3.

Liability law still clouds  nuclear deal (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Led by US Vice-President Joe Biden, senior Indian and US officials sent out a strong signal of their commitment to moving the bilateral civil nuclear deal forward despite obstacles.

4.

Built on hype, deflated by reality (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)    The Indo-USnuclear deal and its much-advertised energy, technological and strategic benefits for India still seem elusive. Given the heavy political investment in it, the returns seem to be little and one-sided.

5.

Athens to open talks on third bailout worth €86 billion (Pages 1, 14 and 15)

a)     International

a)     Greece reached a desperately needed bailout deal with the Eurozone after marathon overnight talks, in a historic agreement to prevent the country crashing out of the European single currency.

6.

Why exclusivity over CEC and EC appointments, asks SC (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Supreme Court asked the Centre to respond to an appeal to end the exclusive role of govt in appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners and introduce a transparent system.

7.

At Akodara, Indias first digital village (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     An hour outside Ahmedabad is a village where anganwadis have CCTVs and schools have audio-visual teaching aids. Can this working model of a Digital India really be replicated?

8.

Retail inflation up 5.4 per cent in June (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Consumer price index inflation rose in June 2015 to 5.4 percent from 5.01 percent in May. This marks the third consecutive month of CPI inflation accelerating.

9.

Satellite-based navigation system launched (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)    Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju launched the GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system, which will offer seamless navigation to the aviation industry.

10.

Pluto starts revealing her secrets (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     NASAs New Horizons spacecraft is closing fast on an unexpectedly spotted Pluto, the most distant planetary body ever explored.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, Tajikistan to intensify anti-terror cooperation (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Tajikistan relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     Joint Working Group (JWG) on Counter Terrorism

a)     With PM Modi noting that the two countries are located in proximity of the main source of menace (an apparent reference to Pakistan and Afghanistan), India and Tajikistan committed to intensify cooperation against terrorism.

b)     Modi and Tajik President Rahamon agreed to step up defence cooperation as the former restated the countrys commitment to supporting the development of Tajikistans defence capacities to enhance stability and security. They also signed 2 agreements in fields of culture and skill development.

c)     A joint statement issued later said the two leaders noted the rising trend of extremism and terrorism in many parts of world and in their immediate neighbourhood, posing a threat to India and Tajikistan as well as the region. They decided to energize official interactions in framework of JWG on Counter Terrorism and instructed that the JWG meet at an early date.

2.

Back in Pak, Aziz insists that Kashmir tops list of issues (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Kashmir issue

c)     Lakhvi issue

d)     Terrorism

e)     LeT

f)     26/11 Mumbai attacks

 

a)     Under criticism from Pakistani Opposition parties over absence of any reference to the Kashmir dispute in the Ufa joint statement following talks between PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif, Islamabad launched what appeared to be an exercise in damage control, saying Kashmir continues to top the list of issues with India.

b)     Pakistan asserted that it would continue to extend political, moral, and diplomatic support to the legitimate struggle of the people of Kashmir for self-determination.

c)     The Adviser to PM Sharif on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said the additional information including voice samples on the Mumbai attacks referred to more evidence required by Pakistan to take trial in Lahore forward, not to facilitate the handing over of voice samples of LeT commander on bail Lakhvi to India.

d)     He also said that Sharif had brought up issues of concern with Modi, including alleged Indian involvement in Balochistan and the ongoing Samjhauta Express trial in India. Pakistan has been deeply concerned not only about hostile statements from Indian Ministers but also about Indian interference in Pakistan, including continuing support for insurgency in Balochistan.

3.

Liability law still clouds  nuclear deal (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     India – US civil nuclear deal

c)     Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act 2010

d)     Sections 17(b) of the Act

e)     Section 46 of the Act

a)     Led by US Vice-President Joe Biden, senior Indian and US officials sent out a strong signal of their commitment to moving bilateral civil nuclear deal forward despite obstacles.

b)     Officials on both sides had then spoken of achieving a development understanding on Indias 2010 nuclear liability law, which was seen as a major stumbling block facing US nuclear corporations that could supply reactor components and technology.

c)  However, those representing US corporations worried that the Indian govts assurances on the controversial Sections 17(b) and 46 of the law could not replace the statute itself, and this still left the companies at risk in the event of an accident.

4.

Built on hype, deflated by reality (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     India – US civil nuclear deal

c)     Indias Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act 2010

d)     USs Price-Anderson Act 1957

e)     International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

f)     Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

g)     Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

h)     Australia Group

i)     Wassenaar Arrangement

j)     Light Water Reactor (LWR)

k)     Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)

 

a)     Unveiled on July 18 2005, the Indo-US nuclear deal was praised as a major transformative initiative. But on its 10th anniversary this week, its much-advertised energy, technological and strategic benefits for India still seem elusive.

b)     However, given the heavy political investment in it, the deal will eventually be operationalised belatedly. It will take a minimum of 10 years thereafter for first nuclear power reactor under the deal to come online.

c)     It is a debatable question whether the deal will ever yield substantive energy benefits, given the high price of foreign-origin reactors, the associated need to heavily subsidise electricity generated by such plants, and grass-roots safety concerns over the Fukushima-type multi-plant nuclear parks that India has earmarked for Westinghouse, GE-Hitachi and Areva, each of which is to sell prototype LWR models presently not in operation anywhere in the world.

d)    Adding to Indias risks from proposed import of prototype models is its plan to induct a multiplicity of different LWR technologies from US, France and Russia. Given the several different reactor technologies already in operation or under development in India, such imports will likely worsen the countrys maintenance and safety challenges.

e)     The Indo-US deal has dominated public attention at virtually every bilateral summit. The deal took centre-stage even during US President Obamas Jan 2015 visit to India. In its difficult journey toward implementation, the deal has produced multiple subsidiary agreements.

f)     Consider the latest development announced during Obamas visit - India agreed to reinterpret its own law so as to effectively transfer the nuclear-accident liability of reactor vendors to Indian taxpayers. India is also reinterpreting a provision of domestic law in order to bar victims of a nuclear accident in India from suing for damages in America.

g)     Supplier liability is a well-established legal concept, applied in many business sectors around the world to deter suppliers from taking undue risks. In fact, US law allows suppliers, designers and builders of nuclear plants to be held legally liable in the event of accidents, although the 1957 Price-Anderson Act channels economic liability (but not legal liability) to operators.

h)     Internationally, America has pushed an opposite norm - that importing countries channel all liability to their plant operators and limit all claims to the jurisdiction of their own courts so as to free suppliers of any downside risks.

i)     Surprisingly, PM Modi has placed the nuclear deal at the hub of the relationship with America. US has long satisfied to Indian weakness for the deals completion, with its decade-long negotiations characterised by shifting goalposts. It made Modi govt yield some ground even on its demand that India accept nuclear-material tracking and accounting arrangements that go beyond safeguards system that the IAEA has approved and applied to Indias civilian nuclear programme.

j)     Instead of meeting its commitment to adjust domestic laws and guidelines of US-led multilateral regimes to enable full civil nuclear energy cooperation and trade with India, the US actually worked with its Congress and with the NSG to bar exports of what India really needs - civilian enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technology, even though such transfers would be under international safeguards.

k)     Consider another issue: years after the US committed to bring India into four American-led technology-control cartels (NSG, MTCR, Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement), India is still pleading for its admission, with Obama in New Delhi only restating Americas support for Indias phased entry into these groups.

l)     Despite the vaunted US-India DTTI, the US side refused early this year to accept any of the six joint high-technology projects proposed by India, insisting that New Delhi first sign foundational agreements on military logistics and communication interoperability that America has designed for its allies in a patron-client framework. The four joint projects announced during the Obama visit were for relatively modest defence products.

m)     It is past time for India to reduce the salience of the deal in its relations with America. Without being weighed down by the nuclear-deal millstone, India would be better placed to forge a closer, more balanced partnership with Washington. The warming relationship has gained momentum independent of the deals future.

5.

Athens to open talks on third bailout worth €86 billion (Pages 1, 14 and 15)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     European Commission

d)     European Central Bank (ECB)

e)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)     Greece reached a desperately needed bailout deal with the Eurozone after marathon overnight talks, in a historic agreement to prevent the country crashing out of the European single currency.

b)     Leftist PM Tsipras agreed to tough reforms after talks in return for a three-year bailout worth up to €86 billion ($96 billion), Greeces third rescue programme in five years.

c)     The new rescue is the countrys third since 2010 and came after a bitter six-month struggle following Tsiprass election in January that put Greeces membership of the Eurozone in the balance.

d)     Greece has to introduce harsh conditions on labour reform and pensions, VAT and taxes, and measures on privatisation.

e)     Equity markets in Europe and Asia supported EUs decision to bail out Greece from debt crisis as the BSE 30-share Sensex surged above the 28000-mark in the intra-day.

6.

Why exclusivity over CEC and EC appointments, asks SC (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Chief Election Commissioner (CEC)

b)     Election Commissioner

c)     Central Vigilance Commissioner

d)     Vigilance Commissioner

e)     National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) law

f)     Collegium system

g)     CJI

h)     Supreme Court    

a)     Supreme Court asked the Centre to respond to an appeal to end the exclusive role of govt in appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners and introduce a transparent system.

b)     The court wanted to know from the government whether a high-level selection committee comprising the CJI, the PM and the Leader of the Opposition should be formed as in the case of selection of the Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioners.

c)     The petition comes in the backdrop of the govt justifying the NJAC law by declaring in the Supreme Court that the collegiums exclusive right to appoint judges without any broad-based participation in the selection process was illegal.

7.

At Akodara, Indias first digital village (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Digital India initiative

b)     Akodara village

c)     Digital aid

a)     Akodara village (located a little over an hour away from Ahmedabad in Sabarkantha district in Gujarat) is a fully digital village. The village of 1200 people has been adopted by ICICI Bank, helped by the local administration, so that it can be showcased as an example of the banks vision of the digital future that awaits Indias hinterland.

b)     From the only cosmetic to the very practical improvement of providing access to modern banking to the villagers, the bankers at ICICI have gone all out to showcase their vision in Akodara. If some of the interventions (such as installing CCTV cameras in the village anganwadi and in schools) seem a bit gimmicky, many others are useful and potentially revolutionary when imagined across whole districts and regions in the country.

c)     The first of such useful interventions is financial inclusion and access to modern banking. Almost every adult in Akodara now has a savings bank account with ICICI, which he or she can access through the local bank branch or the village ATM or through mobile phones via SMS. Their most important transactions have been digitised and made cashless. It has made them less susceptible to corruption and fraud.

d)     The second advantage is in the area of education. Earlier, teaching used to be between just the teacher and the student. Now it has a digital aid. The digital aid is an audio-visual device that integrates a projector and a computer. This brings to life lessons in science, chiefly through animation.

e)     In primary school, children use electronic tablets gifted by ICICI to learn Gujarati. Also, across all schools, a digital attendance system is being implemented that will inform parents (via SMS) whether their children have shown up at school or not. Apart from its practicality, this is also an important safety initiative.

f)     Akodara is only a model village - an artificial model of rural India crossing the digital frontier rather than being an organic part of a real, larger digital ecology. But to understand its significance, one has to imagine it as a grand vision, replicated in thousands of villages across the country. 

g)     But it is important to remember why ICICI chose Akodara. Before the village got digital connectivity, it already had physical connectivity. The village had a high literacy rate long before it got digital, and its habitat and livelihood opportunities predate the computers. Thus, a digital future is possible only if other socio-economic indicators are good and the basic needs of the village are already met. 

8.

Retail inflation up 5.4 per cent in June (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Retail inflation

b)     Inflation

c)     Food inflation

d)     Consumer price index (CPI)

e)     Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

a)     CPI inflation rose in June 2015 to 5.4 percent from 5.01 percent in May. This marks the third consecutive month of CPI inflation accelerating.

b)    Food inflation accelerated to 5.5 percent in June from 4.8 percent in May 2015.

c)     The acceleration in CPI comes at a time when industrial production is slowing. The latest data for May shows the IIP grew at 2.7 percent, down from 3.4 percent in April.

d)     Slowing industrial production and poor consumer demand has led to expectation that the RBI will cut rates soon, provided inflation remains in check.

9.

Satellite-based navigation system launched (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system  

b)     European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS)

c)     Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS)

d)     SAARC satellite

e)     GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle)

f)     Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)

g)     ISRO

h)     Airports Authority of India (AAI)

a)    The ISRO and the AAI developed the GAGAN system (at a cost of Rs.774 crore) over 15 years. India is the fourth country to offer space-based satellite navigation services to aviation sector. The system also bridges the gap in the coverage areas of the EUs EGNOS and Japans MSAS.

b)     GAGAN will provide augmentation service for the GPS over the country, the Bay of Bengal, South East Asia and Middle East and up to Africa.

c)     Some of its benefits are improved efficiency, direct routes, increased fuel savings, approach with vertical guidance at runways, significant cost savings because of the withdrawal of ground aids and reduced workload of flight crew and air traffic controllers.

d)     Official said the system would be available for the member states of the SAARC.

e)     The SAARC satellite raised by India to provide communication and meteorological services to SAARC member-countries is likely to be launched by the ISRO in December 2016.

f)     ISRO was preparing to scale up its operations to achieve a target of 10 launches per year from Sriharikota from 2016. As many as 10 of the 30 launches to be taken up over the next three years would use the Mark 2 version of the GSLV.

g)     The first developmental flight of the GSLV Mark 3 carrying an indigenous cryogenic engine for the upper stage was scheduled for December 2016. All the seven satellites in the IRNSS would be in orbit by March 2016.

10.

Pluto starts revealing her secrets (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     New Horizons spacecraft

b)     Pluto

c)     Dwarf planet

d)     Solar System

e)     NASA

a)     NASAs New Horizons spacecraft is closing fast on an unexpectedly spotted Pluto, the most distant planetary body ever explored.

b)     From New Horizons position more than 4.88 billion km from Earth, radio signals that travel at the speed of light take nearly four and a half hours to reach the ground.

c)     New Horizons spacecraft was launched in 2006 with the aim of making the closest flyby ever of dwarf planet Pluto.

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