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Daily News Analysis 25-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

China asserts right over E. China Sea (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     China said it had every right to drill in the East China Sea close to waters disputed with Japan, adding that it did not recognise a unilateral Japanese median line setting out a boundary between the two in the waters.

2.

Sri Lankan Army says it has only limited role in north (Page 16)

a)     International

a)   Sri Lankan Army has maintained that its involvement in the Northern Province is limited only to demining, construction works and infrastructure development in connection with the resettlement of people.

3.

Turkish warplanes pound IS in Syria (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Turkish warplanes pounded Islamic State targets in Syria and the police detained hundreds of suspected militants across Turkey, a sign that Ankara may have throw its hesitancy in taking a front-line role against jihadist fighters.

4.

SC to hear Yakubs plea on July 27 (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Seeking extra remission, Yakub Memon (the lone death row convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case) sought immediate hearing of his petition challenging the undue haste shown to execute him without following the due process of law.

5.

Give the RBI its independence (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     A new era in monetary policy formulation is set to start with the Union Finance Ministry releasing revised draft of the Indian Financial Code. It provides for the setting up of a Monetary Policy Committee to debate on monetary affairs and decide the policy rate.

6.

A subsidy and some questions (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     The Central governments decision this week to extend the interest subvention scheme on bank loans given to land-owning farmers at 7 percent is essentially a welcome move.

7.

Left stranded on strange shores (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     Indian workers send home the worlds highest amount of remittance income, but there is no migration policy to protect them at any stage of their journey abroad and back.

8.

Megalithic burial site unearthed (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     A small village located at Siddipet mandal in Medak district (Telangana) has become the attention of all eyes after 30 megalithic burials (believed to be dated between 1000 B.C. and 200 A.D.) were discovered.

9.

Earth-like planet discovered (Page 24)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     NASAs Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet (Kepler-452b) in the habitable zone around a Sun-like star.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

China asserts right over E. China Sea (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     China – Japan relations

b)     Maritime disputes

c)    2008 Japan-China Agreement on Cooperation for the Development of East China Sea Resources

d)     East China Sea

a)     China said it had every right to drill in the East China Sea close to waters disputed with Japan, adding that it did not recognise a unilateral Japanese median line setting out a boundary between the two in the waters.

b)     Japan this week called on China to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea close to waters claimed by both nations, concerned that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japanese territory.

c)     In an escalation of the latest dispute, Japan released aerial photographs of Chinas construction in the area, accusing it of unilateral development and a halfhearted attitude towards a 2008 agreement to jointly develop resources there.

2.

Sri Lankan Army says it has only limited role in north (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankan internal issues

b)     Eelam War IV

c)     Sri Lankan Army

d)     LTTE

a)   Sri Lankan Army has maintained that its involvement in Northern Province is limited only to demining, construction works and infrastructure development in connection with the resettlement of people.

b)     A US-based policy think tank had earlier reported the Army has expanded itself into non-military activities and is engaged in large-scale development, construction projects and business ventures.

c)    On a question about Armys plan to close down camps in the North, it said since the end of humanitarian operation (thats how the Eelam War IV is called in the Armys parlance) in May 2009, the deployment of troops had been regularly reviewed based on threat assessment, national security concerns and strategic implications.

3.

Turkish warplanes pound IS in Syria (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Syria and Iraq crisis

c)     Kurdish forces

a)     Turkish warplanes pounded Islamic State targets in Syria and the police detained hundreds of suspected militants across Turkey, a sign that Ankara may have throw its hesitancy in taking a front-line role against jihadist fighters.

b)     Turkey has long been a reluctant partner in the US-led coalition against Islamic State, highlighting the need to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and saying Syrian Kurdish forces also pose a grave security threat.

4.

SC to hear Yakubs plea on July 27 (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Curative petition

c)     TADA court

d)     Article 21 of the Constitution

e)     Mumbai serial blasts case 1993

f)     Supreme Court

a)     Seeking extra remission, Yakub Memon (the lone death row convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case) sought immediate hearing of his petition challenging the undue haste shown to execute him without following the due process of law.

b)     The Supreme Court will hear the appeal of Yakub Memon on July 27. Memon is due to be hanged on July 30. In his petition, he claimed that undue haste was shown in issuing the death warrant on April 29, after his review petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court on April 10.

c)     It said the death warrant was issued by the TADA court in Mumbai when his curative petition was already pending in the Supreme Court, thereby arrogantly pre-determining its negative outcome.

d)     The writ petition is based on the May 27 decision of a Supreme Court bench rejecting the death warrant issued against a couple guilty of murdering 7 members of a family. In its order, the Supreme Court laid down essential safeguards available to a death row convict before a death warrant was issued by a lower court.

e)     The essence of this judgment was that death warrants could not be issued unilaterally by lower courts without following the due process of law under Article 21 of the Constitution. Supreme Court sent a clear message that death row convicts had to be heard first before the courts fixed time of their execution. Not doing so was against the principles of natural justice.

f)     Lower courts were bound to issue prior and sufficient notice to death row convict to enable him or her to consult his advocates and to be represented in the proceedings on the issuance of the warrant. Besides this, a copy of the execution warrant must be immediately supplied to the convict and legal aid provided, if necessary.

5.

Give the RBI its independence (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)

b)     Indian Financial Code (IFC)

c)     RBI Act

d)     Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

e)     Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC)

f)     Public Debt Management Authority (PDMA)

g)     RBI

a)     A new era in monetary policy formulation is set to start with the Union Finance Ministry releasing revised draft of the Indian Financial Code. It provides for the setting up of a Monetary Policy Committee to debate on monetary affairs and decide the policy rate.

b)     This move is in line with practices in many of developing countries where central banks have followed the committee approach to address monetary policy issues. Currently, the RBI (the monetary policy regulator) goes by the views of a TAC on such issues.

c)     TAC comprises officials from RBI besides a few external experts. It advises the central banker on the monetary policy stance based on macro-economic and monetary developments. However, the RBI Governor has the last word, and the right to veto any decision of the TAC.

d)     The draft IFC (submitted by FSLRC headed by former Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna) has suggested that the MPC members be appointed after due consultations between the govt and the RBI. It has also recommended that govt have 3 nominees in 7-member MPC. The FSLRC has recommended veto power for RBI Governor.

e)    However, the revised draft circulated for public discussion by the Finance Ministry seeks to vest in the govt the power to nominate 4 members to MPC. It proposes that no veto power be given to the Governor, and that at best he be allowed a casting vote to use in the event of a tie.

f)    In the context of continuing uneasy relationship between the fiscal and monetary bosses and in light of changing dynamics of the domestic economy due to assorted factors falling outside policy controls, the importance of a cohesive action plan should not be underestimated. Given this, it is not incorrect to allow the government a say in matters of monetary policy.

g)     If the govt is to have majority control in MPC, what is the point of giving the RBI Governor the right to a casting vote? Fiscal bosses have fixed tenures, unlike institutions such as the RBI that are not subject to electoral cycles. Prudence suggests that RBI and like institutions must be allowed to function independently.

6.

A subsidy and some questions (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Interest subvention scheme  

b)     Agriculture

c)     Direct Transfer Benefits

a)     The Central governments decision this week to extend the interest subvention scheme on bank loans given to land-owning farmers at 7 percent is essentially a welcome move. It is especially so in a context where there is no real clarity on how current monsoon will turn out to be, running at a deficit of 7 percent as it does currently.

b)     Basically offering a sort of agricultural subsidy, the scheme has been in place since 2006-07, with subvention component fluctuating between 1.5 and 3 percent. With agricultural yield levels and incomes per acre falling, the need to extend such loans to farmers at low interest levels admittedly exists.

c)     Most farmers do not earn enough to meet their needs, including consumption expenditure, and so these loans serve as an additional source of income. The govt needs to recognise the fact that the system of interest subvention will increasingly finance consumption rather than farming, and take one of two steps.

d)     It could instruct banks to step up scrutiny on the use the loan is being put to. Implementing direct transfers to bank accounts and investing in research and development to strengthen crop yields should serve same purpose that low-interest loans currently serve.

e)     This step will have the added advantage of potentially improving the plight of farmers. The soft loans are a good idea that needs to be managed and supervised well in order to ensure that intended outcomes are ensured, and that they help address actual distress in field.

7.

Left stranded on strange shores (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     Migration policy

b)     Emigration Act of 1983

c)     Emigration Act of 1922

d)     Emigration Management Bill

e)     Passports Act 1967

f)     International Organization of Migration  

g)     Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA)

h)     Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)

i)     Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)

j)     Emigration Check Required (ECR)

k)     Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR)

 

a)     According to the latest World Bank figures, India continues to be the leading country in remittances, drawing in $70 billion to the countrys economy from its global migrant workforce in 2014.

b)     This gives an idea of how much remittances contribute to Indias foreign exchange reserve, to society, and to families in India. And this figure is only expected to grow, with International Organization of Migration predicting that India will also soon emerge as one of the largest migrant-sending countries of the world.

c)     The World Bank report shows that remittances are massive and govt reports indicate that migration is large-scale; yet, sadly, India lacks a good migration policy. A policy is crucial to generate solid data on the number of migrants and their contribution to economy.

d)     As members of Committee set up by the MOIA to draft a migration policy, they submitted a draft about 5 years ago. But the Emigration Management Bill is still waiting to be placed in the public domain for debate.

e)     There are three stages in a migrants life cycle: the time before departure, the time spent in the new country, and the rehabilitation process after return. A look at the governing structure at each stage shows that India is probably the only country in the world where migration is managed by three different Ministries: the passport is issued by the MEA, emigration clearance for ECR passports comes under MOIA, and departures are managed by Bureau of Migration of MHA.

f)     A major drawback of the existing system is application of the Emigration Act of 1983. Till 1983, emigration flows took place without a proper administrative or legal framework, though certain provisions of Emigration Act of 1922, which did not cover the emigration of people with technical qualifications and professional expertise, as a matter of convenience.

g)     Unfortunately, the 1983 Act also brought into force a new system of emigration clearance under which no citizen of India was permitted to emigrate without PGE authorisation. Subsequently, subscribing to the logic of protection by exception, two kinds of passports were created: ECR and ECNR.

h)     Though the Passports Act 1967 talks of only three types of passports (ordinary, official and diplomatic) in practice there are two classes of ordinary passports: ECR and ECNR. This system needs to be abolished at the earliest because ECR passports can be interpreted as Exploitation Compulsorily Recommended.

i)     Another problem is at the destination where workers depend on Indian Embassies. The Indian govt has to deploy far more labour officers at the destination countries, especially in Gulf where half the Indian migrants are concentrated.

j)     Third problem is the lack of a rehabilitation policy when migrants return. An effective rehabilitation policy will help migrants use their enhanced skills when they return home.

k)     It is high time India gave its migrants their share of rights in return for the amount we receive in remittances. A strong migration policy is the only way forward.

8.

Megalithic burial site unearthed (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     Megalithic period

b)     Menhir

a)     A small village located at Siddipet mandal in Medak district (Telangana) has become the attention of all eyes after 30 megalithic burials (believed to be dated between 1000 B.C. and 200 A.D.) were discovered.

b)     The burials have huge boulders arranged around them and at least one of these has a Menhir (a tall, huge standing stone) near it.

c)     Officials have already found the biggest capstone on the site. Also found were an iron dagger, black pottery and a bowl, and a small sharp stone that was used to cut skin, meat and other food items.

9.

Earth-like planet discovered (Page 24)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Kepler mission

b)     Kepler-452b

a)     NASAs Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet (Kepler-452b) in the habitable zone around a Sun-like star.

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