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Daily News Analysis 15-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Sanctions to be lifted as Iran reaches historic nuclear deal (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     I.R

a)     Major powers concluded a historic deal aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehrans stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West.

2.

A remarkable achievement (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     The nuclear deal reached on July 14 between Iran and 6 world powers is a historic step forward that solves an over-a-decade-long deadlock between Iran and West.

3.

India welcomes Iran deal, wary of implications (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue, between Iran and the Europe 3+3 (US, Russia and China) and the UN atomic energy agency IAEA.

4.

Ufa and civil-military relations in Pakistan (Pg11)

a)     I.R

a)     A view from Pakistan on the civilian governments rationale for the joint statement with India at Ufa and the militarys response to it.

5.

Trial delayed: Italian marines (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     In a bitter criticism of the way they had been treated in India, two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast have said that they battled long detention, a protracted trial and failing health as the Indian govt reversal and delayed trial court proceedings.

6.

Greece bill on bailout deal goes to Parliament (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Greeces government submitted tough bailout terms demanded by Eurozone creditors to Parliament, as PM Tsipras battled for support for the draconian reforms from his ruling anti-austerity Syriza party.

7.

World headed for a generation free of AIDS (Page14)

a)     International

b)     Health

a)     UNSG Ban Ki-moon said the world was headed for a generation free of AIDS, after UNAIDS reported a 35-percent drop in new HIV infections from 15 years ago.

8.

Where is the caste data? (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     By abdicating its responsibility to conduct the caste census and turning it into a poverty-cum-caste survey, the previous dispensation at the Centre made the exercise casual and perfunctory. This has been proved by the way the survey has turned out even in 2015 no caste data has emerged out of Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011.

9.

Bill soon to give OROP to High Court judges (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The long-pending demand of High Court judges for one-rank-one-pension is set to be met as the govt plans to bring a Bill to rectify an anomaly under which judges selected from the Bar get less pension than those elevated from State judicial services.

10.

Quality of air you breathe in Chennai is worse than in Delhi (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Official air quality data for the first half of this year shows that while Delhi does indeed face high levels of pollution, Kanpur, Varanasi and Chennai are worse off.

11.

Centre to set up trade facilitation council to promote exports (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)    Concerned over declining exports, the government will soon set up a trade facilitation council comprising members of the Centre and states to promote Indias overseas shipments.

12.

Wholesale price continue to fall (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)    Wholesale Price Index inflation dipped marginally in June 2015 to -2.4 percent from -2.36 percent in May, and 5.66 percent in June 2014.

13.

After refit, Vikramaditya ready to join Navy (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)    Official said the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya will sail out of the harbour in Karwar after its first short refit and join the Navy in a week.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Sanctions to be lifted as Iran reaches historic nuclear deal (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     I.R

a)      Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

c)     P5+1 group

d)     UNSC

a)     Major powers concluded a historic deal aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehrans stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West.

b)     The deal is aimed at resolving a 13-year deadlock over Irans nuclear ambitions after repeated diplomatic failures and threats of military action.

c)     The deal puts strict limits on Irans nuclear activities for at least a decade and calls for strict UN oversight, with world powers hoping this will make any dash to make an atomic bomb virtually impossible.

d)     In return, Iran will get sanctions relief although the measures can snap back into place if there are any violations. Moscow said the international arms ban against Iran will remain for 5years but deliveries would be possible with special permission of UNSC.

e)     Tehran will cut by around two-thirds the number of centrifuges from around 19,000 to 6104. Iranian Foreign Minister acknowledged that the agreement was not perfect for anybody but described it as an important achievement.

2.

A remarkable achievement (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)      US and Iran relations

b)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

c)     Irans nuclear programme

d)     West Asia crisis

e)     Islamic State

 

a)     The nuclear deal reached on July 14 between Iran and 6 world powers is a historic step forward that solves an over-a-decade-long deadlock between Iran and West. It sets the stage for a radical realignment of equations in West Asia, and has potential to transform conflict-ridden region in the long term.

b)     The agreement looks like a win-win deal for all sides. Under its terms, sanctions imposed by the US, the EU and UN would be lifted, in return for Iran agreeing to long-term curbs on its nuclear programme. All of Irans nuclear facilities would be allowed to continue operations.

c)     This provision will let the Iranian govt sell the deal to its public, pointing out that its right to generate nuclear energy stays intact. Tehran has also agreed to a snapback mechanism, under which some sanctions could be reinstated after 65 days if it violated the deal. A UN weapons ban would remain for five years and a ban on buying missile technology for eight years.

d)     But the real potential of the deal lies in the fact that it removes the greatest obstacle for a rapprochement between Iran and the US. Though both sides have said the talks were related strictly to the nuclear programme and not other bilateral issues, the diplomatic understanding shown by these erstwhile enemies over the past few years is hardly lost on anyone.

e)     The changing geopolitical dynamics of West Asia have also played a major role in bringing US and Iran together. Both are cooperating in Iraq in the war against Islamic State. Iran (though hit hard by sanctions) is a major power in West Asia whose influence spans from Baghdad and Damascus to southern Lebanon.

f)     If the US-Iran hostility could be transformed into cooperation and Tehran is allowed to claim the economic and diplomatic status it deserves, that could have a positive impact on several conflicts in the region. That should be the obvious next step after the nuclear deal.

3.

India welcomes Iran deal, wary of implications (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Iran relations

b)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

c)     Irans nuclear programme

d)     IAEA

e)     BRICS summit

f)     SCO summit

a)     India welcomed successful conclusion of negotiations on Iranian nuclear issue, between Iran and Europe 3+3 (US, Russia and China) and UN atomic energy agency IAEA. However, India struck a note of caution to say it would wait to see the text of the agreement.

 

b)     India has always maintained that the issue should be resolved peacefully through dialogue by respecting Irans right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy while upholding the international communitys strong interest in the exclusively peaceful nature of Irans nuclear programme.

c)     Experts say India has several reasons to be optimistic of the benefits of Iran deal. To begin with, the announcement of the development comes a day after PM Modi returned from his visit to Central Asia and the BRICS/SCO summit, where he met with Iranian President Rouhani, and discussed furthering connectivity through Iran to Central Asia.

d)     Secondly, India has hopes of strengthening economic engagement with Iran which (despite good intentions and close political ties) had ground to a halt over sanctions laid. India and Iran have an annual bilateral trade of about $14 billion, with an extremely high balance of trade problem, as India has been unable to pay Iran about $8.8 billion for oil due to sanctions.

e)     The govt has also had to bend to US and international pressure on cutting its oil imports from Iran, and in March 2015 halted oil imports altogether for the first time in more than a decade in order to keep its international commitments.

f)     India will also have to balance its support for Iran with its increasing ties with Israel that has taken a very strong position against the deal, with Premier Benjamin Netanyahu calling it a mistake of historic proportions.

g)     Finally, there is concern that once Iran opens up its economy, it may not give India preferential treatment, as Russia and China have been stronger supporters, and Europe and US may offer better technology and opportunities. So we must look not just at obvious economic benefits for India, but also the geostrategic implications of the deal.

4.

Ufa and civil-military relations in Pakistan (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Line of Control (LoC)

d)     Kashmir issue

e)     Sir Creek issue

f)     Siachen issue

g)     Lakhvi issue

h)     SCO summit

a)     There is a certain degree of change in civil-military relations in Pakistan that has brought the two establishments (at least the national govt and the security establishment) on the same page on some issues such as tackling terror. There are differences also in the manner in which the security establishment perceives the joint statement between India and Pakistan in Ufa, Russia.

b)     Pak PM Nawaz Sharif left for Ufa to attend SCO Summit, after several rounds of talks with the military and ISI leadership. What he was looking for was an assurance from the Indian side at Ufa that New Delhi would ensure peace on Paks eastern borders.

c)     After some of the recent attacks along the LoC, it was clear to Rawalpindi that 2003 ceasefire mechanism was not working. The Pakistani Army has been raising the issue with other countries of late. When he visited Russia last month, General Sharif had discussed the issue of recurring attacks across the LoC in his talks with leaders in Moscow. China (with its renewed interest in Afghanistan) also prefers peace along the Indo-Pak border so that the Pakistani military can remain fully focussed on the Pak-Afghan border.

d)   Paks importance in regional politics and connectivity is not lost on New Delhi, especially warming of ties with Moscow. The international community realises that the road to peace in Kabul lies through Islamabad. Besides, Pakistans outreach to Russia and China has changed the regional dynamics in favour of Pakistan.

e)     It is time for India to concentrate on the changing scenario in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Though Pak Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi remains all-powerful, the Army knows that it cannot deliver on its own. Over the past one year, military-civilian relations have improved beyond imagination.

f)     However, it appears that the Joint Statement issued by India and Pakistan has not gone down well with those in Rawalpindi. PM Sharifs team admits that the meeting did not achieve any development, but was a good beginning and should lead to formal talks.

g)     There is a feeling that instead of a joint statement that did not include sensitive issues like Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen, separate statements would have been more palatable. PM Sharifs team insists that instead of creating further tensions, it agreed to include doables in the joint statement and let the respective National Security Advisors revisit other contentious issues.

h)     Islamabad says its decision to discuss sensitive issues like Kashmir, Sir Creek, and Siachin Glacier through backdoor diplomacy gives it more flexibility in dealing with these issues. But sources say its too early to comment on the move.

i)     Pakistan says that it will remain firm on its commitment given to India on Mumbai terror case. It will cooperate fully with India to find ways to speed up the Mumbai case trial, including providing additional information like voice samples. It demanded additional information but this was in recognition of the need that more information is needed to speed up the trial and not to obstruct the progress in trial.

j)    Officials say that the refusal by the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai terrorist attacks (Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi) has also surprised the security establishment because recently they were disappointed on two counts: first, when the Punjab govt reinstated Rana Sanaullah (known to have strong links with jihadists) as the Interior Minister and second, when Lakhvi was set free on bail.

k)     Sources said that there is a course correction in the General Headquarters where the Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has said that after fighting war in Waziristan we have to take the battle to the urban areas and fight all terrorists and militants.

l)     In sum, there is a definite emphasis by the Army to take on jihadists beyond Waziristan even as the civilian government focussed on doables in the joint statement with India, which has to be duly noted.

5.

Trial delayed: Italian marines (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Italy relations

b)     Marines issue

c)     United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982

d)     Suppression of Unlawful Activities Act Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act 2002 (SUA)

a)     In a bitter criticism of the way they had been treated in India, two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast have said that they battled long detention, a protracted trial and failing health as the Indian govt reversal and delayed trial court proceedings.

b)     This is first representation before the court after Italy notified its challenge to Indias territorial jurisdiction to try the two marines in international arbitration proceedings under the UNCLOS 1982 on June 26 2015.

c)     The Supreme Court asked Centre to reply by September to the marines application, even as govt sources said India would raise its jurisdiction to try the marines before the UNCLOS Tribunal.

d)     The application points to how govt reversal on pressing an anti-terror law (SUA 2002) against the two marines.

6.

Greece bill on bailout deal goes to Parliament (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)     Greeces govt submitted tough bailout terms demanded by Eurozone creditors to Parliament, as PM Tsipras battled for support for the draconian reforms from his ruling anti-austerity Syriza party.

b)     In the agreement struck with the Eurozone to prevent Greece crashing out of the euro, Parliament in Athens must pass sweeping changes to labour laws, pensions, VAT and taxes.

c)     Only then will the 18 other Eurozone leaders start negotiations over what Greece is to get in return - a three-year bailout worth up to €86 billion ($95 billion), its third rescue programme in five years.

7.

World headed for a generation free of AIDS (Page 14)

a)     International

b)     Health

a)     UNAIDS report

b)     Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

c)     Anti-retroviral drugs

 

a)     After UNAIDS reported a 35-percent drop in new HIV infections from 15 years ago, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the world was headed for a generation free of AIDS.

b)     The positive news was also coupled with calls for more funding, with the objective of eliminating the virus by 2030. UN also warned that continuing stigmatisation of sex workers, drug users and homosexuals were barriers to progress.

c)     According to the UNAIDS report, there have been remarkable steps since the advent in 1996 of anti-retroviral drugs, which suppress the HIV.

8.

Where is the caste data? (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Caste data

b)     Poverty-cum-caste survey

c)     Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011

d)     Census Act 1948

e)     Census of India 2011

f)     Article 15 of the Constitution

g)     Article 16 of the Constitution

h)     Census Commissioner of India

i)     Office of the Registrar General of India (ORGI)

j)     Planning Commission

k)     Poverty

a)     In August 2010, Finance Minister and head of Group of Ministers (Pranab Mukherjee) made a reassuring statement in Parliament on behalf of the govt of India, that there would be no need for worry about the caste census as there was political consensus on it. Further, the caste census would be carried out during the house-to-house census enumeration phase in Feb 2011, and not at biometric camps as was apprehended.

b)     But a month later, the govt went back on this assurance to conduct the caste census during the census enumeration phase in Feb 2011. Union Cabinet also decided on Sept 9 of same year that a separate caste census would be conducted from June to Sept 2011 and that Census Commissioner of India would conduct the field operations.

c)     The govt went back on this cabinet decision also with the cabinet deciding in May 2011 that it would be a poverty-cum-caste survey though grandiosely christened with the misnomer SECC 2011, to be conducted during June to Dec 2011. It would be done by the State govts (not by the Census Commissioner of India) and the well-equipped, well-organised and well-experienced all-India census machinery under the statutory empowerment of the provisions of Census Act 1948.

d)     The collection of data on poverty was to be undertaken by the 35 different States and UT administrations. The Union Rural Development Ministry was to do this for rural areas, and Union Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry for the urban areas. But these ministries would have no responsibility on caste data collection.

e)     Nor was there any responsibility or involvement for the Registrar General of India in the formulation and implementation of this survey and the overseeing of the part of its caste data collection as it is not under the Census Act. This multiplicity of agencies and diffusion of responsibility would cause damage with the efficiency of operations and the quality of caste data collected.

f)     As Census is a subject under the Union List of the Constitution, it is the exclusive responsibility of Govt of India to conduct the caste census. It cannot seek to abdicate its responsibility by shifting it on to the State governments, which is unconstitutional and contrary to the federal principles of the countrys polity.

g)     It was clear that this would make the entire exercise casual and perfunctory with an extremely high rate of coverage omission. This has been proved right by way this poverty-cum-caste survey has turned out.

h)     Poverty survey itself was soon courting controversies and involved in disputes, with many States not agreeing with Centre on the criteria for drawing up the poverty line, the fixing of an arbitrary cap of 46 percent on poverty in the rural population by Planning Commission, and disapproval of Supreme Court on placing a cap on poverty list.

i)     It was not the appropriate operation to carry out data collection for a complex, sociological phenomenon like caste along with the obligatory socio-economic parameters of each caste to serve as the benchmark database for a decade for various sectors of public policy.

j)     Apart from just caste-wise population numbers, in order to determine the backward classes and castes as per Constitution of India, it is essential to collect data required for determining socially and educationally backward classes (Article 15), and the data relating to the representation of the castes in the services under the State (Article 16).

k)     At the time of launching the SECC, the announcement made by the government of India was that the caste data entered in the schedules would be uploaded to ORGI at Delhi for further processing. This has been proved true subsequently with an announcement by the govt that the caste data would be handled at the respective State census directorates.

l)     Even now (in 2015), no caste data has emerged out of the SECC. The govt of India is silent on progress of collection, collation and tabulation of the caste data from the SECC and the time schedule for the publication of caste data.

9.

Bill soon to give OROP to High Court judges (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     One Rank One Pension (OROP)

b)     High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act 1954

c)     Supreme Court

a)     The long-pending demand of High Court judges for OROP is set to be met as the govt plans to bring a Bill to rectify an anomaly under which judges selected from the Bar get less pension than those elevated from State judicial services.

b)     The proposal to amend the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act 1954, comes more than a year after the Supreme Court ruled that such a discrepancy must be removed. The Law Ministry is planning to bring the Bill in the Monsoon session.

10.

Quality of air you breathe in Chennai is worse than in Delhi (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Pollution

b)    Air Quality Index (AQI)  

c)     Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

a)     Official air quality data for the first half of this year shows that while Delhi does indeed face high levels of pollution, Kanpur, Varanasi and Chennai are worse off.

b)     Averaging across the 10 pollution monitoring stations, a little over a quarter of the days from January to June this year in Delhi had an AQI value of severe (3.2 percent), very poor (8.7 percent) or poor (14.4 percent).

c)     In comparison, nearly half of all days in Kanpur had severe, very poor or poor air quality. Varanasi had no severe days, but nearly half of all days were either of very poor or poor air quality. Averaging across its 3 monitoring stations, Chennai had the highest proportion of severe days (17.7 percent), and a third of all days were either severe, very poor or poor air quality.

d)     CPCB monitoring stations are able to read concentration levels for 1 or more pollutants of following - particulate matter with a diameter less than 10 micrometres (PM10), particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and sulphur dioxide (SO2).

e)     The values for any of these pollutants the station is able to pick up are converted into an AQI value. The pollutant with the highest AQI value at the time for that city is determined to be the prominent pollutant and its AQI value becomes the stations overall AQI value.

f)     In Delhi, high AQI values are driven primarily by PM 2.5, while in Chennai they are driven by sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. In Bengaluru, ozone is additionally often the prominent pollutant.

11.

Centre to set up trade facilitation council to promote exports (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Trade Facilitation Council

b)     Indias exports

c)     State Trade Policy

a)    Concerned over declining exports, the government will soon set up a trade facilitation council comprising members of the Centre and states to promote Indias overseas shipments.

b)     The council will be chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and secretaries of key ministries and state ministers will be the members.

c)     The main objective of the council will be facilitating trade from states in a bid to boost the countrys exports.

d)     The Commerce Ministry will encourage every state to set up a State Trade Policy in order to streamline procedures and increase exports.

12.

Wholesale price continue to fall (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation

b)     Inflation

c)     Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

d)     RBI

a)     WPI inflation dipped marginally in June 2015 to -2.4 percent from -2.36 percent in May, and 5.66 percent in June 2014. This marks the eighth consecutive month of wholesale price inflation being negative.

b)     Official said the decline in wholesale price inflation is attributed to the deceleration in food prices even as there is a marginal rise in fuel and power inflation. Inflation is expected to remain range bound and within RBI indicative trajectory this fiscal year.

13.

After refit, Vikramaditya ready to join Navy (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     INS Vikramaditya

a)    Official said the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya will sail out of the harbour in Karwar after its first short refit and join the Navy in a week.

b)     Vikramaditya (acquired from Russia for $2.3 billion) was commissioned into the Navy in Nov 2013 without the crucial air-defence systems.

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