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Daily News Analysis 18-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, Pak spar over consular issues (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     After a day of heightened tensions on the border in Jammu and Kashmir, India and Pakistan shifted their sparring to consular issues, with each side accusing the other of denying visas to officials.

2.

Talking tough with Pakistan (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)    Over the last 6 months, Indian security establishment has been signalling a new policy of robust response, the kind the country has not witnessed in the recent past.

3.

Irans envoy lauds Indian assistance (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)      Irans Ambassador to India Gholamreza Ansari told that India was very cooperative even during the period of sanctions.

4.

Rights situation better in Sri Lanka (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     According to a report released by UK govts Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the human rights situation in SriLanka has improved and democratic space has opened up since President Sirisena took office in Jan this year.

5.

China slams Japan over security bills (Page 14)

a)     International

a)    China has criticised the passage of two controversial bills by Japan, which would (for first the time after World War-II) allow Tokyo to send troops overseas even without an imminent threat to Japanese territory or citizens.

6.

The Greek let-down (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     The latest phase of the protracted game of chicken between Greece and its creditors ended in a cry for the country as PM Tsipras govt agreed to a continuation of austerity programme in return for debt relief concessions.

7.

SC judge seeks clarity on constitutional role of CJI (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     A Supreme Court judge has asked the govt whether the Chief Justice is actually the Chief Justice of India or the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, causing a debate.

8.

GST: govt firm on extra tax (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Even as long-pending GST Bill is being examined by a parliamentary committee, the govt categorically said that it would not reconsider withdrawing the 1 percent additional tax (over GST) to help manufacturing States, a provision strongly opposed by the Congress and likely to feature in its dissent note to the panel.

9.

State laws to dilute 2013 land Act may not be easy (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Experts have said the Centres proposed move to let the States take the lead in bringing legislation that will circumvent or dilute the provisions of the 2013 Land Acquisition Act may not go through as smoothly as expected.

10.

Stimulated economy, sluggish investments (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     The govt has put in place a comprehensive set of measures to restore investor sentiments. But investors are still facing challenges when it comes to implementing projects.

11.

RBI inks pact with Sri Lankas Central Bank (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     The Reserve Bank of India signed a currency swap agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

12.

Inflation getting under control, says C. Rangarajan (P15)

a)     Economy

a)     According to C. Rangarajan, the country is in a position to grow at 7.5-8 percent this year and inflation is being brought under control.

13.

Kharif sowing of pulses, oilseeds picks up despite sluggish monsoon (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)    Amidst growing concern over the sluggish progress of southwest monsoon in parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and north interior Karnataka, the govt said sowing of kharif crops has improved over last year particularly in cultivation of pulses and oilseeds.

14.

Butterfly species found (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Scientists have discovered a tiny butterfly in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is 15 mm in size and has been named Banded Tit Hypolycaena narada.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, Pak spar over consular issues (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Visa issues

c)     Border disputes

d)     Line of Control (LoC)

e)     Kashmir issue

f)     UN Military Observer Group

 

a)     After a day of heightened tensions on the border in J&K, India and Pakistan shifted their sparring to consular issues, with each side accusing the other of denying visas to officials.

b)     The visa row started off with Pakistan denying visas to yoga instructors from India who were scheduled to participate in the International Day of Yoga celebrations in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. Later, New Delhi turned down the visa request of a Pakistani official who was to join the High Commission here.

c)     Pakistan registered a complaint against India with the UN military observer group for ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

d)     Pak said the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan was asked to use its good offices to investigate Indian ceasefire violations, claiming the Indians were using heavy mortars and machine guns on civil populations living along Working Boundary and the LoC, resulting in casualties.

2.

Talking tough with Pakistan (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Line of Control (LoC)

d)     International Border (IB)

e)     Indo-Pakistan War 1965

f)     Operation Gibraltar

g)     Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)

h)     China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

i)     Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)

 

a)     This weeks India-Pakistan tension climaxed with Pakistan shooting down a Chinese-built drone on the LoC.

b)     Earlier, a great deal of conduct greeted Indian Armys recent raid on  terrorists on India-Myanmar border, and it was accompanied by salutary warnings to  neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, not to mess with India. Pakistan dismissed the operation as an initial attempt by an Army that had to formerly take permission from India to return fire across LoC. 

c)     Over the last six months, the security establishment has been signalling a new policy of strong response, the kind the country has not witnessed in the recent past. The one time it was successfully attempted was in 1965 when PM Lal Bahadur Shastri warned Pakistan during its Rann of Kutch offensive not to test Indias patience.

d)     Army commanders were surprised when he ordered crossing the IB opposite Lahore and the start of the 1965 war, in response to Operation Gibraltar, which was Pakistans second variant of cross-border terrorism. Its first having been made by tribal raiders in 1947 to capture Srinagar valley.

e)     Both Defence Minister Parrikar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval have been sending messages to Pakistan to end cross-border terrorism. The Indian response to shameless attacks was varied. From coercive diplomacy and attempts to induce Pakistan, the response moved to not allowing use of territory under its control to supporting terrorism to virtually no action, barring the traditional politico-diplomatic demarche after Mumbai.

f)     After Mumbai, UPA govt continued to warn Pakistan that there would be consequences to another big attack but it had no punitive response strategy in hand. With the new NDA govt, one thing is clearly emerging: there will be a response. However, it will not be from the time list of surgical strikes on terrorist camps inside PoK, a reverse Kargil to secure real estate, or any Cold Start offensive with integrated battle groups across the IB.

g)     The joint message is that India will be prepared to employ covert means in PoK and Balochistan to deter and punish cross-border terrorism. For long, Pak has accused India of causing unrest in Balochistan through which the $46 billion CPEC will pass, linking Kashgar in Xinjiang with Gwadar and Balochistan. This will be the biggest economic funding from China to Pakistan, making their all-weather relationship even sweeter.

h)     The recent leak of two documents alleging Indias support to Paks MQM are being linked to Parrikars comments. The alleged funding of MQM by RAW has led to Pakistan threatening to take India to UN for interference in its internal affairs. Pak is making much of Parrikars remarks to counter the image that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism, and to reinforce its victimhood status.

i)     Pakistan is of the opinion that cross-border terrorism is working in J&K, where Pak claims that India has been compelled to deploy one-third of its Army as well as State and central armed police forces since the early 1990s. India claims that its counter-insurgency grid and fencing of the LoC has been effective in preventing infiltration as well as reducing terrorists.

j)     The infiltration figure till May-end this year is an incredible zero, inclusive of attempted infiltrators, those killed and those who returned. It would appear that Indias counter-infiltration moves have reduced Paks moves in J&K.

k)     Breaking the 13-month deadlock in dialogue at Ufa in Russia this month, the NSAs of both India and Pakistan agreed to meet to discuss all forms of terrorism. This will lead nowhere, as Islamabad has now moved itself out of the category of terrorism sponsor to victim.

3.

Irans envoy lauds Indian assistance (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Iran relations

b)     Trade ties

c)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

d)     Irans nuclear programme

e)     Chabahar port project

a)     Irans Ambassador to India Gholamreza Ansari told that India was very cooperative even during period of sanctions. He described the n-deal as an exclusive achievement for the developing world as well as a victory for diplomacy in a region where western interventions have earlier failed.

b)     After sanctions are lifted, he said that Iran is willing to give Indian businesses preferential treatment.

c)     While the Indian govt built trade relations of more than $14 billion with Iran, actual trade done and oil imports had begun to flag by 2013-2014 under pressure from US. As a result, progress on other bilateral initiatives (like the development of the Chabahar port project in which an MoU was first signed in 2002) had also slowed, even as China offered bigger investments for the port as well as oil development projects to the tune of $50 billion.

d)     According to him, recent steps by India to sign an MoU on Chabahar was a welcome step for whole region, and PM Modi and President Rouhani discussed several big projects on connectivity when they met at the Ufa summit this month.

4.

Rights situation better in Sri Lanka (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankan Rights issue

b)     UNHRC

a)     According to a report released by UK govts Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the human rights situation in Sri Lanka has improved and democratic space has opened up since President Sirisena took office in Jan this year.

b)     The bi-annual report on human rights and democracy says a number of positive steps were taken to address human rights and democracy concerns, including establishing new institutions and undertaking legal reforms, but points out that several challenges remain, including high levels of militarisation.

c)     As for the challenges, UK report noted that there existed concerns which related to military involvement in civilian life (in Northern and Eastern Provinces), the continued occupation of land by the armed forces and womens security.

5.

China slams Japan over security bills (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China – Japan relations

b)     Japans security bills

c)     Article 9 of the countries pacifist post-war Constitution

d)     US Pivot to Asia

e)     World War-II

a)    China has criticised the passage of two controversial bills by Japan, which would (for first the time after World War-II) allow Tokyo to send troops overseas even without an imminent threat to Japanese territory or citizens.

b)     Opponents say that twin-legislation could draw Tokyo into US-led conflicts around the globe, and could violate Article 9 of the countries pacifist post-war Constitution.

c)     China has been alarmed as tensions between Japan and China have been growing in the Pacific. Japan is also USs top ally in enforcement of President Obamas Asia Pivot – a doctrine that has led the US to deploy nearly 60 percent of its forces under the Pacific Command with China as its focal point.

6.

The Greek let-down (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     European Commission (EC)

d)     European Central Bank (ECB)

e)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)     The latest phase of the protracted game of chicken between Greece and its creditors ended in a cry for the country as PM Tsipras govt agreed to a continuation of austerity programme in return for debt relief concessions.

b)     The govts actions should be termed as a letdown. It sought a referendum on the conditions posed by the Troika (comprising the ECB, EC and IMF) that yielded a huge NO from the Greek people.

c)   Later under new agreement, it accepted conditions over and above what referendum set out to seek. But with eurozone being pushed by its largest economy (Germany) to prepare for Grexit, Greece had barely any moving room: the pain of a Grexit was seen to be more difficult than status quo for economically damaged nation.

d)    There have been rumblings within the ruling Syriza against the latest agreement. But in the Greek Parliament the conditions accepted by Syriza govt have been ratified, and Greece will again try a round of austerity measures and privatisation to pay off its debt in medium term.

e)     What Europe should have done was to write-off a major part of Greeces debt and allow country to lift public spending. This would have helped revive demand and thereby economic growth. But instead, Europes leaders decided to toe the line of big finance by punishing Greece and its people, creating divisions within Europe.

f)     The present action against Greece exposes the fault-lines in the European project, which originally aimed to integrate a continent economically and politically but failed to do so because of the insistence on a faulty and unbalanced monetary union. While the mighty in the eurozone might have won the battle over retaining austerity, the war to sustain the eurozone as it is, will continue.

7.

SC judge seeks clarity on constitutional role of CJI (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) law

b)     Chief Justice of India (CJI)

c)     Schedule 3 of the Constitution  

d)     Article 124 of the Constitution

e)     Article 60 of the Constitution 

f)     Article 69 of the Constitution

g)     Supreme Court

 

 

a)     A Supreme Court judge has asked the govt whether the Chief Justice is actually the Chief Justice of India or Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, causing a debate.

b)     The question came from Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the 5 judges on the Constitution Bench deciding the crucial issue whether the political class, through NJAC, should be given an equal role in the appointment of judges, including the CJI.

c)     In Schedule 3 of the 65-year-old Constitution (which deals with Forms of Oath and Affirmations), the Chief Justice takes oath as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India.

d)     But under Article 124 of the Constitution, the Presidents Warrant of Appointment identifies him as the Chief Justice of India.

e)     Legal experts say the confusion lies in the fact that the Constitution does not provide a separate oath for the Chief Justice as in the case of President under Article 60 and Vice-President in Article 69.

8.

GST: govt firm on extra tax (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill

b)     Parliamentary Committee

c)     Lok Sabha

d)     Rajya Sabha

a)     The govt categorically said that it would not reconsider withdrawing the 1 percent additional tax (over GST) to help manufacturing States, a provision strongly opposed by Congress and likely to feature in its dissent note to the panel.

b)     Parliamentary committee examining the draft GST Bill is expected to submit its final report to Rajya Sabha by July 24, within three days of the commencement of the monsoon session.

c)     The Congress (that had originally sponsored a GST Bill when UPA govt was in power) remains in favour of proposed indirect tax regime. But it has opposed some provisions, particularly giving States the power to levy 1 percent additional tax as it feels the provision will benefit only states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu at the cost of other states.

d)     GST bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha, but was referred to a Select Committee by the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA govt does not enjoy a majority. The Govt aims to roll out GST from April 1 2016.

9.

State laws to dilute 2013 land Act may not be easy (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act 2013

b)     Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency

c)     Concurrent List of Constitution

a)     Experts have said the Centres proposed move to let the States take the lead in bringing legislation that will circumvent or dilute provisions of the 2013 Land Acquisition Act may not go through as smoothly as expected.

b)     Congress view is that the States cannot override Central law enacted by the UPA govt in 2013, while Centre gave out the signal it could take that route.

c)    Former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said that acquisition and requisition of property is a subject in the Concurrent List of Constitution. No State can enact a law that dilutes the 2013 Act.

d)     Experts say neither repeated re-promulgation of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in LARR (Amendment) Ordinance nor dilution of the 2013 Act will easily pass judicial scrutiny.

10.

Stimulated economy, sluggish investments (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)      Economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

d)     Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs)

e)     Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)

f)     Make in India

g)     Smart City mission

h)     Clean Energy intiative

i)     Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

j)     Ease of doing business

k)     NITI Aayog

a)     While there are signs that economic growth is reviving, the concern is that investments are not as forthcoming as expected. During the last year or so, the govt has put in place a comprehensive set of measures to restore investor sentiments, ranging across the tax regime, ease of doing business, FDI limits, and administrative and environmental clearances.

b)     A number of large-scale initiatives have been introduced to act as magnets for investments, including Make in India, Smart City mission, and Clean Energy. Interest rates are on the downtrend with strong expectations of further rate cuts, and the macroeconomic environment has turned good, despite moderation in global growth and trade.

c)     As a measure of global confidence in India, FDI inflows went up from $25.3 billion to $31.9 billion in 2014-15 and FIIs put in $40.9 billion into Indian companies as compared to $5 billion in 2013-14. The investment data is further substantiated by definitive signs of improvement in capital goods production.

d)     On the other hand, it is worrying that industrial investment proposals actually filed with the DIPP have come down from 2387 worth Rs. 5.30 lakh crore to 1843 valued at Rs. 4.05 lakh crore. This indicates that while intentions to invest are strong, investors are still facing challenges while implementing projects.

e)     There are several reasons for slow investment pick-up. Before the global financial crisis, companies had built up high production capacities in anticipation of continued demand. However, demand remains muted in the country following three years of high inflation.

f)     Further, the high interest rates have been a big deterrent to new investments as projects are rendered unviable. Low profitability of corporates also reduces available resources. A still-vulnerable global economic environment has not contributed to the overall investment scenario in India, especially as exports are contracting.

g)     Policy action for reviving investments, growth and employment must be continued at an accelerated pace. To begin with, there is need to drastically reduce interest rates at one go by 1.5 percentage points. This would both incentivise consumers to purchase durables and make project investments more attractive.

h)     Infrastructure projects require continued attention and PM Modis monthly interaction under Pragati would help speed up infrastructure construction. Budget funds allocated for infrastructure need to be speedily implemented, including for programmes such as Smart Cities and Digital India.

i)     On ease of doing business, there is need to shift from a sequential to a simultaneous approval system. NITI Aayog could be designated as the coordination centre for central ministries and States on administrative procedures.

j)    Special attention is required for credit access for SMEs, and we recommend that 15 percent of priority sector lending should be earmarked for SMEs. Ease of doing business needs to be tackled for SMEs through single windows, self-certifications and e-governance.

k)     Regarding manufacturing, certain focus industries in labour-intensive and advanced sectors should be championed, including automotives, defence, and textiles. The Digital India vision requires simplification of procurement process and a joint government-industry task force to address challenges.

l)     The govt has taken many positive steps for a progressive tax policy. Dispute resolution mechanisms, arbitration and conciliation can further help in efficient and time-bound clearance of funds in dispute.

11.

RBI inks pact with Sri Lankas Central Bank (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Currency swap agreement

b)     SAARC framework

c)     RBI

d)     Sri Lankas Central Bank

a)   RBI signed a currency swap agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Currency swap agreements exist to assist countries during periods of tight liquidity or balance of payments and liquidity crises.

b)     Under this agreement, Sri Lanka can draw a maximum of $1.1 billion for a period of up to six months. The agreement is in addition to existing framework on currency swap arrangement for SAARC member countries, an arrangement by which SAARC members can draw currency $100 million-$400 million (with a total limit of $2 billion) from an RBI financing facility set up for this purpose.

c)     India and Sri Lankas central banks signed a currency swap agreement in March 2015 under the SAARC Framework, agreed during PM Modis visit to the island nation.

12.

Inflation getting under control, says C. Rangarajan (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     Inflation

d)     Consumer Price Index (CPI)

a)     According to Rangarajan, the country is in a position to grow at 7.5-8 percent this year and inflation is being brought under control. He was referring to RBIs Jan 2016 target of 6 percent for inflation (measured by the CPI). June 2015 figures had CPI at 5.4-6 percent. 

b)     Arguing that food inflation was the only component responsible for relatively high levels of headline inflation, he said there was every indication that manufacturing inflation would stay low because there was considerable potential for industrial production in addition to low crude oil prices. If the monsoons turned out to be reasonably good, food inflation would also come down.

c)     Responding to a question on how India might best act in a time when global trade was sluggish, he said exports had fallen since last year because of a decline in petroleum, but the figures for non-petroleum exports were better. India can increase its share even if world trade is moving slowly.

13.

Kharif sowing of pulses, oilseeds picks up despite sluggish monsoon (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Kharif crops

b)     Kharif regions

c)     Southwest monsoon

d)     India Meteorological Department (IMD)

a)    Amidst growing concern over the sluggish progress of southwest monsoon in parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and north interior Karnataka, the govt said sowing of kharif crops has improved over last year particularly in cultivation of pulses and oilseeds.

b)    IMD has said monsoon has so far been 6 percent lower than Long Period Average. Rainfall has been lower by 12 percent in south peninsula, by 13 percent in central India and by 6percent in east and northeast India.

c)     While this may not augur well for farmers who suffered rain and hail in the rabi season resulting in lower output of foodgrains, the govt released the statistics for cultivated area under kharif which is 62.6 percent higher than last year.

14.

Butterfly species found (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Biodiveristy

b)     Banded Tit Hypolycaena narada

c)     Namdapha Tiger Reserve

d)     Eastern Himalayas

e)     Evergreen Forests

 

a)     Scientists have discovered a tiny butterfly in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is 15 mm in size and has been named Banded Tit Hypolycaena narada.

b)     A four-member team had visited the Namdapha Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh in 2009 and photographed this species for the first time.

c)     Banded Tit is found in the low-level evergreen forests of Changlang and has an interesting life cycle, in which the adult lives just for 2 weeks.

d)     The discovery has once again spotlighted Eastern Himalayas as a bio-diversity hotspot.

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