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Daily News Analysis 20-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

China rejects Pakistans drone claim (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     China has acknowledged that the drone that had been downed by the Pakistani military was of Chinese origin, effectively refuting claims by Islamabad that it had shot down an Indian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle across the Line of Control.

2.

LoC firing: Pak lodges protest with India (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Pakistan has accused India of another violation of their ceasefire in Kashmir, after reporting the death of four civilians in earlier cross-border shelling.

3.

Israel offers to help clean Ganga (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Israel (one of Indias biggest defence partners) wants to offer its expertise in water management and help the government with its ambitious Ganga cleaning project.

4.

Iran deal sent to Congress (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The US State Department officially transferred to American lawmakers the complex text of an Iran nuclear deal.

5.

Merkel rules out debt relief (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     German Chancellor Angela Merkel again ruled out forgiving some of Greeces crippling debt but said Berlin was open to a flexible repayment plan.

6.

Cameron signals support for air strikes against IS in Syria (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     PM David Cameron declared that Britain needs to take a greater role in destroying Islamic State group in Syria - his most direct signal to date that he will seek to expand his countrys role in supporting US and its allies.

7.

Centre yet to notify crucial FEMA amendments (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Union government has not yet notified the amendments to the Foreign Exchange Management Act that were incorporated into the legislation after President Pranab Mukherjees assent in May.

8.

The question of primacy (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     To a layperson, the question raised by a judge of the Supreme Court last week on the exact constitutional identity of the countrys Chief Justice may appear to be only an academic doubt.

9.

Trial courts too liberal with death sentences (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Just 5 percent of the 1790 death sentences handed down by trial courts in last 15 years have been confirmed by the Supreme Court. Experts say the numbers point to cruel sentencing by the lower courts resulting in decades wasted on death row.

10.

Yes to multi-stakeholderism (Page 11)

a)     National

a)     With the governments decision to call for public comment and response, the recent consultations on net neutrality are a step in the right direction.

11.

Greece: the tragedy continues (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)     The Greek debt crisis has been long in the making and is due to a combination of several factors such as mismanagement of the domestic economy, avoiding of accounts by previous governments, and oppressive conditions imposed by the EU.

12.

An impetus to Make in India (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Erratic power supply and frequent power outages have serious financial implications for Indian industry.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

China rejects Pakistans drone claim (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Line of Control (LoC)

d)     Chinas Belt and Road initiative

e)     Maritime Silk Road (MSR) project

f)     SCO

g)     Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

 

 

a)     China has acknowledged that the drone that had been downed by Pakistan military was of Chinese origin, effectively refuting claims by Islamabad that it had shot down an Indian UAV across the LoC.

b)     The Pakistani allegations had apparently cast their shadow on the widely expected fresh start in India-Pakistan ties following the meeting between PM Modi and his counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa.

c)     However, analysts say that concerned about the success of its Belt and Road initiative, China is nicely injecting itself in easing India-Pakistan tensions within the multilateral framework of the SCO.

d)     In Chinas think tanks, there is a growing awareness that Beijing has to impart greater balance in its ties with India and Pakistan, as India has significant uses to delay President Xis Belt and Road projects. The Chinese are also conscious about seeking Indias support in the Indian Ocean for developing the MSR, which is part of the Eurasia economic integration project under the Belt and Road framework.

2.

LoC firing: Pak lodges protest with India (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Kashmir issue

d)     Line of Control (LoC)

 

a)     Pakistan has accused India of another violation of their ceasefire in Kashmir, after reporting the death of four civilians in earlier cross-border shelling. A Foreign Ministry statement in Islamabad said that Indian troops opened fire in the Poonch sector of the LoC using small arms, rockets, mortars and heavy machine gun fire.

b)     Pakistan lodges protest at the provocative act, which is against spirit of understanding reached at the Ufa meeting, and hopes that Indian govt would observe understanding reached between two sides during 2003.

3.

Israel offers to help clean Ganga (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Israel relations

b)     Ganga cleaning project

c)     Agriculture

d)     Irrigation

a)     Israel (one of Indias biggest defence partners) wants to offer its expertise in water management and help the government with its ambitious Ganga cleaning project.

b)    Israels water management, desalination and recycling techniques (which helped it overcome a water crisis following years of drought) have been followed by several countries. Israel has also set a template for reusing wastewater for irrigation. It treats 80 percent of its domestic wastewater (which is recycled for agricultural use) and nearly 50 percent of the total water used for agriculture.

c)     A delegation of experts from Israel will be in India in August to assess the areas of Ganga cleaning that the country can contribute to.

d)     India and Israel have already signed agreements for agriculture partnership and 28 centres of excellence have been set up in Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. These centres offer training to agriculturists on how to increase their produce and on effective means of irrigation.

4.

Iran deal sent to Congress (Page 14)

a)     International

a)      Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

c)     P5+1 group

a)     The US State Department officially transferred to American lawmakers the complex text of an Iran nuclear deal.

b)     Top US administration officials are encircling for a huge fight with the Republican-controlled Congress, which (while it cannot modify terms of the historic deal) can vote to approve or disapprove accord.

c)     By travelling to Tehran with a delegation of industry group representatives and company officials, German Economy Minister Gabriel sends a strong signal that Germany wants to quickly rebuild economic and political ties with Iran after a 12-year deadlock over Tehrans nuclear programme.

5.

Merkel rules out debt relief (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)    German Chancellor Merkel again ruled out forgiving some of Greeces crippling debt but said Berlin was open to a flexible repayment plan. She said that such steps could only be agreed when initial terms of a new €86-billion bailout package are hammered out.

b)     The IMF (one of Greeces creditors alongside the EU and the ECB) caused a stir this month with a shocking report criticising the latest bailout deal and warning that lenders would have to go far beyond existing estimates for debt relief.

c)     Merkel said any talk of a possible Grexit (Greece exiting the Eurozone) was now off the table.

6.

Cameron signals support for air strikes against IS in Syria (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Syria and Iraq crisis

c)     NATO

a)     PM David Cameron declared that Britain needs to take a greater role in destroying IS group in Syria - his most direct signal to date that he will seek to expand his countrys role in supporting US and its allies.

b)    The remarks (which follow a commitment to meet NATO targets on military spending) make plain that Britain now sees the group as an explicit threat to national security.

7.

Centre yet to notify crucial FEMA amendments (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)

b)     Section 37A of the FEMA

c)     Section 13

d)     Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)

e)     Special Investigation Team (SIT)

 

a)     The Union govt has not yet notified the amendments to FEMA that were incorporated into legislation after President Pranabs assent in May.

b)     The delay may have implications for the pending cases of foreign exchange violations, including those allegedly involving the former IPL chief Lalit Modi.

c)   In March, the govt proposed amendments to the FEMA and the PMLA. The SIT on black money had also come up with similar suggestions. After being passed by Parliament, Finance Act received the Presidents assent on May 14. However, (as provided in the law itself) the amendments to FEMA do not come into force automatically.

d)     The Act states that the provisions shall come into force on such a date as Central govt may (by notification) appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different provisions.

e)     The amendments have been made to Sections 2, 6, 13, 18, 46, and 47 and introduction of Section 37A of FEMA. An important introduction is that of Section 37A, which empowers an authorised officer to seize assets equivalent in value to the foreign exchange, foreign security or immovable property held abroad in violation of law.

f)     The amended Section 13 empowers the investigation agency to levy a penalty of up to three times the sum involved in contravention of the law and confiscate property equivalent to the assets created abroad.

8.

The question of primacy (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) law

b)     Collegium system

c)     CJI

d)     Article 124 of the Constitution

e)     Schedule 3 of the Constitution

f)     Article 141

g)     Supreme Court

a)    To a layperson, the question raised by a judge of the Supreme Court last week on the exact constitutional identity of the countrys Chief Justice may appear to be only an academic doubt.

b)     In the course of hearing in the case relating to the validity of NJAC, the question from Justice Kurian Joseph arose from fact that Article 124 of the Constitution refers to the Chief Justice of India, while the Form of Oaths and Affirmations in the Third Schedule uses the term Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India.

c)     The provisions concerning Supreme Court judges fall under the head Union judiciary in the Constitution, implying that the CJ is indeed the head of the Supreme Court. In judicial matters, the CJ is first among judges enjoying equal status, but in a constitutional sense (especially when playing the role of a consultee in judicial appointments), he is the paterfamilias of entire judiciary. This dual identity presents no confusion when one remembers that the judiciary (unlike the executive or the legislature) is not federal in nature.

d)    While the State and Central govts, or the State legislatures and Parliament (which are sovereign in their respective domains) have an element of co-equality, the judiciary has a single hierarchy in which the Supreme Court is at the apex. This is demonstrated by the fact that under Article 141, the law declared by the Supreme Court is binding on all the courts.

e)     However, the question acquires an entirely different dimension when seen in the context of the current debate on whether the country needs a new mechanism for judicial appointments (the NJAC) or it should retain the collegium system introduced by the second judges case in 1993.

f)     The collegium (originally a three-member body conceived by the court and later expanded to include five members by the third judges case of 1998) was an institution in which the CJs consultative role was enclosed.

g)     If the NJAC (in which the Chief Justice and 2 senior-most judges represent the judiciary, while two eminent persons and Union Law Minister represent executive) is going to replace the collegium, does the CJ lose his constitutional identity as a necessary consultee, and his role diminished to that of an ordinary member in a multi-member commission?

9.

Trial courts too liberal with death sentences (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death sentence

b)     Supreme Court

c)     High Court

a)     Just 5 percent of the 1790 death sentences handed down by trial courts in last 15 years have been confirmed by the Supreme Court. Experts say the numbers point to cruel sentencing by the lower courts resulting in decades wasted on death row.

b)     The Centre on the Death Penalty wrote to all High Courts for details of death sentences handed down by trial courts in their jurisdictions over the last 15 years. All death sentences (except in terrorism cases) must go to the High Courts for confirmation.

c)     Uttar Pradesh alone accounted for a quarter of all death sentences, followed by Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab. However, proportionate to its population, Delhi handed out the most death sentences.

10.

Yes to multi-stakeholderism (Page 11)

a)     National

a)     Net neutrality

b)     Multi-stakeholder governance of Internet

c)     Consultative governance of Internet policy

d)     TRAI

 

 

a)     India declared its support for multi-stakeholder governance of Internet at the ICANN 53 meeting in Buenos Aires and at first Preparatory Meeting for the UN General Assemblys overall review of the implementation of World Summit on Information Society outcomes earlier this month.

b)     In combination with the govts efforts at consultative policy-making in the context of net neutrality, this may signal the beginning of a more discursive approach to communication policy.

c)     Indias statements at both meetings have drawn attention thanks to the countrys place in the decade-old furious debate still raging over global Internet governance. Countries such as the US and Germany have advocated a multi-stakeholder model that consults govts, industry, civil society and technical community while making decisions that affect the Internet.

d)     Favouring multilateral model in which national govts make decisions through an equal vote, India has opposed this point of view in the past, arguing that this is the most equitable model. This has been consistent with Indias domestic command-control communication policy, which has tended to confine citizen participation in governance to the casting of the vote.

e)     The change in Indias stand globally signals potential openness to consultative policy-making. Since multi-stakeholder governance is an ambiguous term, the govts approach to domestic communication policy may be a good indicator of its intentions for the Internet.

f)     Before publishing the net neutrality report this month, the Dept of Telecommunications conducted a series of consultations. Although these consultations were closed and only for invited parties, the committee reached out to a wide range of experts and stakeholders.

g)     Consultative governance of Internet policy will mean significant changes both in the process followed and in our deep-seated attitudes towards governance. If the govt has to develop uncomfortable habit of being more immediately responsive and accountable for decisions, the stakeholders also need to take responsibility for our own communication policy.

h)     The net neutrality consultation was a promising debut in which the govt took the time to listen and respond, and a range of citizens made the effort to contribute and engage.

i)     Indias willingness and efforts to support a consultative model globally is likely to depend on its experience with such a model locally. Therefore the net neutrality consultations and using of multi-stakeholder advisory group are real domestic experiments.

j)     Indias fears about multi-stakeholder governance have always had their roots in its concerns about decision-making being dominated by corporations, especially US-based corporations. This is why our govt has consistently supported the traditional Westphalian governance model based on reasoning that a multilateral conversation between govts is likely to be more equitable than one in which international companies that are larger than most countries can dominate.

k)     It is good to see that the Indian govt is interrogating this standpoint. This is in keeping with this govts overhaul of systems to modern decision-making and accountability systems. India will still need to work out details and build on existing efforts like the net neutrality consultation and the multi stakeholder advisory group.

11.

Greece: the tragedy continues (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)     Greece debt crisis

b)     European Union (EU)

c)     European Commission

d)     European Central Bank (ECB)

e)     International Monetary Fund (IMF)

a)     Greek debt crisis has been long in the making and is due to a combination of several factors such as mismanagement of the domestic economy, avoiding of accounts by previous governments, and oppressive conditions imposed by the EU.

b)     Handling the ongoing debt crisis in Greece is without doubt the most challenging of the several acts of crisis management. The very possibility of Greece exiting the euro sent shivers not only in Europe but across the world.

c)     Even after a historic agreement between Greece and its European creditors was concluded at very last minute, the threat to the global financial system is far from being over. As much as Greece, other European countries will be watching very keenly as to how the agreement and its numerous clauses will pan out.

d)     The spotlight will now be on the Greek PM Tsipras who has had a tough task selling the agreement in Greek Parliament. The political dimensions to the debt crisis are as important as economic ones. Tsipras (who heads elected left-wing govt) very recently won a referendum saying no to austerity. But without any real oppositions he has had to retract from his strong stance.

e)    Among the oppressive and potentially most contentious clauses of the agreement is the one to force Greece to sell off its assets to create a fund estimated at euros 50 billion to cut down its debt. Privatisation of state-owned assets has a strong negative connotation, especially when brought about by creditors. Another highly controversial provision is to let the IMF monitor and have a say in the running of the economy.

f)     Europes fault zone lies in way political and economic powers are shared by member countries. Most important decisions involving sensitive subjects such as migrants or money are made by 28 national govts each one beholden to its voters and taxpayers. The introduction of euro in Jan 1999 binding 19 countries to a single currency overseen by the ECB severed the existing tensions.

12.

An impetus to Make in India (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Make in India initiative

b)     Solar PV

c)     Coal washing

d)     MSMEs

a)     Electricity generation from renewable energy sources (especially from solar PV) is often incorrectly believed to be an uneconomical choice. Its costs considered to be prohibitive to the growth of industry.

b)    However, closer inspection of govts targets both for large deployment of solar power (as well as Make in India) show how the two missions are complementary to each other and not in conflict.

c)     India is troubled by an acute shortage of power. Erratic power supply and frequent power outages have serious financial implications for industry. As a result, large industries rely on expensive and unsustainable diesel-based back up to cover this shortfall.

d)     Since much of the primary energy demand is electricity (as India prepares for a significant surge in its manufacturing sector), it is important to focus on a corresponding increase in electricity supply.

e)     Coal washing has proven itself to be uneconomical for thermal power plant operators around the country, making blending the only viable option. The high cost of imported coal clearly indicates that the price of thermal power will continue to go up and its supply constrained by fuel shortages and geo-political occurrences.

f)     Despite being relatively more expensive than grid based thermal power, decentralised solar power solutions provide electricity at rates lower than diesel based systems that currently power businesses in much of rural India. MSMEs are central to the PMs Make in India initiative.

g)     The adoption of decentralised solar power solutions (especially in rural India) can help this sector develop momentum by overcoming the challenges of intermittent power supply from grid, provided the grid exists, or on diesel based systems that are both expensive and hazardous.

h)    Another primary focus area of Make in India programme is the creation of new jobs. India needs 10 million new jobs every year. In the face of this huge job creation target, 100 GW of solar comes with a promise of more than a million jobs. The 100 GW solar target will result in much of our power supply being Made in India, making us less vulnerable to the geopolitics of fossil fuel trade.

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