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Daily News Analysis 30-07-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India under pressure to declare emission targets (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Ahead of UN climate summit in Paris in December this year, India is under growing pressure to announce its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, containing emission reductions targets, at earliest date.

2.

A coherent response (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)    The terrorist attack in Gurdaspur (Punjab) underlines the theory that the rogue elements in Pakistan would go to any extent to disrupt any deveopment in Indo-Pak ties.

3.

Kalyani group ties up with Rafael to make Spike missiles (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     In a move that will further deepen India-Israel strategic cooperation, Rafael of Israel and Indias Kalyani Group are forming a manufacturing joint venture to produce Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles in India and Bharat Dynamics Limited will be the system integrator.

4.

All form, little substance (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)    The real test of a foreign policy is coherence of design, consistency in execution and efficacy in outcomes. A comparison of the outcomes secured by this government with those achieved since the late 1990s shows that the current foreign policy looks ordinary.

5.

Kabul confirms Mullah Omar died in 2013 (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     International

a)     The govt of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar (leader of the Taliban) died in April 2013 in Pakistan.

6.

Turkey nod for use of air base by US against IS (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The Turkish govt has given its formal approval for the US to use the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey for raids against Islamic State militants in Syria.

7.

IS readying for attack on India: US report (Page 12)

a)     International

b)     National

a)     According to an alleged IS document obtained via the Pakistani Taliban, Islamic State are planning to cause a war in India to provoke an Armageddon-like end of the world scenario and to this end, preparations for an attack on Indian soil are under way.

8.

Cabinet clears changes to GST Bill (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Union Cabinet cleared the changes suggested by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee last week to the proposed GST Constitutional Amendment Bill.

9.

President rejects mercy petition (Pages 1 and 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     With just a few hours left for Yakub Memons execution, President Pranab rejected the mercy petition of the lone condemned man in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case in quick succession on a day when the Maharashtra Governor and Supreme Court refused to give him relief.

10.

Inhuman and unconscionable (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Judicial finality need not necessarily mean that India should hang Yakub Memon. Is the irreversible and inhuman sentence of death the only recourse for a democratic government?

11.

Plea in Rajiv case rejected (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Supreme Court dismissed a curative petition of the Centre against the commutation of the death penalty of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

12.

In search of freedom (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     With 2.5 million people a year falling victim to it, human trafficking forms a profitable illegal economy that must be attacked from every angle.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India under pressure to declare emission targets (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Paris Climate conference 2015

b)     Climate change

c)     Global warming

d)     Carbon emissions

e)     Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)

f)     United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

a)     Ahead of the UN climate summit in Paris in December this year, India is under growing pressure to announce its INDCs, containing emission reductions targets, at the earliest date.

b)     Sources say both the US and French negotiators are keen that India makes some sort of announcement when PM Modi travels to UNGA in New York in September. The negotiators said they are hopeful that most of the climate agreement text would be ready by October.

c)     French official said while France cannot impose the domestic commitment of various countries - each country will have to commit to its own set of goals for reducing global warming, so as to maintain the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees celcius.

d)     In March this year, the EU announced its INDCs of at least a 40 percent domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2030. India is yet to make its contributions clear.

2.

A coherent response (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disptutes

c)     Line of Control (LoC)

d)     Terrorism

e)     LeT

 

a)    The terrorist attack in Gurdaspur (Punjab) underlines the theory that the rogue elements in Pakistan would go to any extent to disrupt any deveopment in Indo-Pak ties.

b)     Ever since the joint statement by India and Pakistan in Ufa earlier this month, the border region has been restive. The PMs meeting was immediately followed by firing across the LoC.

c)     Regarding Gurdaspur, initial reports suggest that terrorists based in Pakistan crossed the border into Punjab to carry out the attacks. This marked the first major terror attack in Punjab in the last two decades, setting alarm bells ringing in New Delhi for a number of reasons.

d)    First, it shows the terrorists based in Pakistan have now started targeting border towns outside J&K. Second, there were recent reports that Sikh extremists were finding support in Pakistan (among other countries), causing fears about dormant Sikh militancy. Third, such attacks obviously pose challenges to the normalisation of ties between two countries.

e)    India should take a positive view of its recent policy of engagement with Pakistan, in place since the 2003 ceasefire. Apart from the irregular cross-border firing, the border areas have been largely peaceful compared to the far more turbulent 1990s. India should take this policy of engagement forward, addressing both its internal security and peace-building with the neighbour through a multi-pronged Pakistan policy.

f)     India should prepare itself to prevent future terror attacks by strengthening its counter-terror and intelligence capacities further. Bilaterally, India should continue dialogue with Pak and improve upon mechanisms that address border incidents. Internationally, India should not hesitate to raise Pakistans duel policy towards terrorism with Pakistani armys close allies such as the US and China in bilateral and multinational forums.

3.

Kalyani group ties up with Rafael to make Spike missiles (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Israel relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM)

d)     Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)

e)     Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

a)     In a move that will further deepen India-Israel strategic cooperation, Rafael of Israel and Indias Kalyani Group are forming a manufacturing joint venture to produce Spike ATGM in India and BDL will be the system integrator.

b)     Spike is a third generation, fire-and-forget, man-portable, anti-tank missile.

c)     In October last year the DAC chaired by then Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had cleared the Spike ATGM deal worth Rs. 3200 crore deal for 8000 plus missiles, 300 plus launchers and requisite transfer of technology to an Indian firm.

4.

All form, little substance (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Indias foreign policy

b)     India and its neighbourhood relations

a)     In two recent speeches, the Foreign Secretary Jaishankar has expressed the strategic underpinnings of Indias foreign policy under PM Modi. The speeches are characteristically incisive, thoughtful and provide useful insights into Indias evolving approach to international relations.

b)     He rightly held that Modis decision to invite South Asian leaders for his swearing-in (May 2014) indicated a big shift in Indias policy towards its neighbours. By engaging with the neighbourhood, Modi has indeed managed to project Indias leadership without disordering sensitivities in the region. In particular, his engagements with Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan have given a boost to plans for subregional connectivity and integration.

c)     It is not surprising that the Foreign Secretary slurred over Pakistan in his speeches. Here, the govt has struggled to reap dividends of the big shift - largely because it shifted away from its original position. By calling off talks last year and by taking initiative to resume them now, the govt has showcased its inability to craft a sustainable approach to Pakistan.

d)     The position with Afghanistan is worse still. Repeating remarks about Afghan-led reconciliation process and internationally accepted red-lines is unlikely to get us very far. In reality, there is an ongoing Pak-facilitated process to arrive at a settlement with Taliban. The limitations of our policy towards Afghanistan over past year are amply clear.

e)     Looking beyond the subcontinent, Foreign Secretary underlined the govts pattern of engagement with various other regions. The PMs integrated tours to countries in East Asia, the Indian Ocean and Central Asia are evidently indicative of a different approach - one that also seeks to exploit the openings that may be offered by local balances of power.

f)     In the case of Indian Ocean region, the Foreign Secretary stated that there is a new, integrated approach in place - with emphasis on exchange of information and coastal surveillance, building of infrastructure and strengthening of capabilities.

g)     Compare the outcomes secured by this govt with those of NDA govt under PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and first UPA govt under PM Manmohan Singh. Over a similar period in office, Vajpayee tested nuclear weapons, travelled to Lahore, repelled Pakistani aggression in Kargil and opened new avenues in our relationship with US and China. In the same time frame, Singh concluded agreement on parameters to settle boundary with China, announced the nuclear deal with the US, and made headway with Pakistan in backchannel talks.

h)     By this standard, the present govts foreign policy looks ordinary. To be sure, the govt has a long way to go and there is no reason to judge it by the performance so far. Still, the govt might wish to refrain from talking up its own policies.

i)    The Foreign Secretary said the personal chemistry has apparently emerged as a powerful tool in our diplomatic kit.  The PM Modi does seem to have a personal affinity for leaders such as Japanese PM Abe and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. In other cases, as with the American and Chinese leaders, there was more of orchestrated bonhomie. In any event, the role of personalities in diplomacy can hardly be denied.

j)     The Foreign Secretarys claim that Modis visit to China (in May 2015) resulted in the worlds most powerful selfie may be true; but it can scarcely disguise the fact that Chinese refused to accede to Indian wishes on such key issues as clarification of the LAC or increased market access.

k)     The Foreign Secretary has coined his own neologism in these speeches - India as a leading power. He argued that India had remained content to be a balancing power. It is perhaps time to take the lead on global issues and demonstrate our willingness to shoulder global responsibilities. This seems unexceptionable, though his suggestion that in the past India had been neutral or risk averse is a gross misreading of our diplomatic history.

5.

Kabul confirms Mullah Omar died in 2013 (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     International

a)     Taliban

b)     Afghanistan situation

c)     Sharia law

d)     Al-Qaeda

e)     Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ)

a)     Govt of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar (leader of the Taliban) died in April 2013 in Pakistan.

b)     Taliban chief Mullah Omar has cast a long shadow over Afghanistan ever since he led a young band of extremists to power almost two decades ago, imposing brutal Islamist rule over country. He shocked the international community with his fundamentalist regimes treatment of women, its enforcement of Sharia law and strict bans.

c)     Omar incurred the anger of the US by giving shelter to al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, prompting a US-led invasion of Afghanistan after the Sept 11 attacks in 2001.

d)     Meanwhile, the Pakistani police said they shot dead Malik Ishaq, leader of the banned LeJ, which is behind some most violent attacks on Shia Muslims.

6.

Turkey nod for use of air base by US against IS (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Syria and Iraq crisis

c)     NATO

d)     Incirlik air base

a)     Turkish govt has given its formal approval for the US to use the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey for raids against IS militants in Syria.

b)  The order came after months of tough negotiations between two NATO allies that saw US grow increasingly frustrated over Turkeys reluctance to play a robust role in the international coalition against jihadists.

c)     It signed by the Cabinet authorises the implementation of an agreement between Turkey and US on the base that was thrashed out during a visit to Ankara by US presidential envoy earlier this month. The US has long pushed for the use of the base in the campaign against IS jihadists in Syria due its location relatively close to Syria just outside the Turkish city of Adana. 

7.

IS readying for attack on India: US report (Page 12)

a)     International

b)     National

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Syria and Iraq crisis

c)     Khorasan group

 

a)     According to an alleged IS document obtained via the Pak Taliban, IS are planning to cause a war in India to provoke an Armageddon-like end of the world scenario and to this end, preparations for an attack on Indian soil are under way.

b)     On the plan to target India, the document reportedly said such a strike would provoke an apocalyptic confrontation with America, and even if US tries to attack with all its allies, the ummah (worldwide Muslim community) will be united, resulting in the final battle.

c)     The document was said to reference the IS chapter in South Asia (the Khorasan group) and the suggestion appeared to be that this unit was already fully operational.

8.

Cabinet clears changes to GST Bill (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     GST Constitutional Amendment Bill

b)     Consumer Protection Bill 2015

c)     Anti-Hijacking Bill 2014

d)     National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF)

e)     Union Budget for 2015-16

a)     The Union Cabinet cleared the changes suggested by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee last week to the proposed GST Constitutional Amendment Bill, which included giving States full five-year compensation for any revenue loss due to the introduction of the GST and exempting stock transfers within group companies from the 1 percent additional tax on inter-State supplies.

b)     Apart from the decision on GST Bill, the Cabinet approved the setting up of a Rs. 20,000 crore NIIF proposed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget for 2015-16.

c)     In addition, the Cabinet approved Consumer Protection Bill 2015, which expects a regulatory authority to control unfair trade practices, along the lines of those in place in US and Europe for the fast-tracking of consumer grievances.

d)     Finally, the Union Cabinet approved amendments to Anti-Hijacking Bill 2014, which looks to give govt more teeth in dealing with hijacking incidents involving Indian aircraft.

9.

President rejects mercy petition (Pages 1 and 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Mercy petition

c)     Mumbai serial blasts case 1993

d)     TADA court

e)     Supreme Court

a)     With just a few hours left for Yakub Memons execution, President Pranab rejected mercy petition of the lone condemned man in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case in quick succession on a day when the Maharashtra Governor and Supreme Court refused to give him relief.

b)     Sources said the petition argued that the Presidents consideration of mercy petition was in too close proximity to the scheduled hour of execution, giving an impression that the President would not get sufficient time to apply his mind to a matter concerning the life and death of a person. It said a minimum 14-day gap should be there between the rejection of mercy petition and the execution.

c)    Closing its doors on Yakub Memon, the Supreme Court refused to cancel his death warrant. Its rejection coincided with the Maharashtra Governor finding no merit in his clemency plea.

d)     In a unanimous judgment, the three-judge Supreme Court Bench finally agreed with the govt that there was no undue haste shown to execute Yakub Memon. It held there was no legal fallacy in the issuance of the warrant by a TADA court in Mumbai on April 30.

e)     The court pointed out that the warrant was served on Yakub on July 13 2015, giving him sufficient time under the law to consult advocates, family and chalk out legal or constitutional remedies.

10.

Inhuman and unconscionable (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Mercy petition

c)     Mumbai serial blasts case 1993

d)     Article 72

e)     Supreme Court

 

a)     Judicial finality need not necessarily mean that India should hang Yakub Memon. Is the irreversible and inhuman sentence of death the only recourse for a democratic govt?

b)     Carrying out the sentence will only have the appearance of a justice that is retributive and revengeful, not substantial or morally different from the very offence that gave rise to the proceedings.

c)     In the Mumbai blasts case, the 10 men sentenced to death by the trial court for planting the explosives were given only life terms by the Supreme Court on appeal, while Yakub Memon alone was awarded the death penalty. Such distinctions may seem arbitrary to the layman.

d)    The debate on the need and desirability of retaining death penalty has been overshadowed by much intellectual effort on the nature of crime involved, its gravity, its heinousness and the fatalities it caused. The time has come to end this debate once and for all by ascending to a moral position that there shall be no death penalty on the statute book, regardless of the heinousness of the offence, the circumstances or the number of fatalities involved.

e)     Anyone following closely the evolution of law on death sentences and the clemency jurisdiction in India will understand that the Supreme Court is making it more and more difficult for the executive to carry out death sentences. It has evolved a jurisprudence that limits capital punishment to the rarest of rare cases, allowed a post-appeal review as well as a curative petition, and made decisions on appeals for mercy justiciable.

f)     It has laid down a cast-iron rule against undue delay in disposing of such mercy pleas, and it has humanised process by repeatedly intervening in favour of condemned prisoners, often at the very last minute. A truly lasting solution to the moral dilemma that each instance of capital punishment poses will be to abolish it altogether and replace it with a sentence of imprisonment for the rest of the convicts life.

11.

Plea in Rajiv case rejected (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Curative petition

b)     Rajiv Gandhi assassination case

c)     Supreme Court

a)     Supreme Court dismissed a curative petition of the Centre against the commutation of the death penalty of three convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The decision came on curative plea against dismissal of review petitions in Feb 2014.

b)     The decision of the bench came on the curative pleas filed by the then UPA govt against dismissal of review petitions. The review pleas were dismissed by the court in Feb last year on the ground of 11-year delay in deciding on their mercy petitions.

c)     Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.

12.

In search of freedom (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Human trafficking

b)     Untouchability

c)     Palermo Protocol

a)     The UN has designated July 30 as World Day against Trafficking in Persons. It is a good day to remind ourselves of the plight of an estimated 2.5 million people and 1.2 million children who are victims of trafficking every year all over the world.

b)     According to the author (Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate), human trafficking  results in and fuels all forms of slavery such as sexual exploitation, forced labour, other forms of labour exploitation, forced marriages, and the abuse of children in armed conflicts. Controlling human trafficking becomes imperative in tackling slavery.

c)     The world over, human trafficking is labelled as third most profitable illegal trade, after drugs and arms. But it is the single largest illegal trade in the world. Prevalent in almost all countries of the world, slavery amounts to US $32 billion according to official sources and a definitive US $150 billion according to non-governmental sources.

d)     It is this nexus of black money exchange that needs to be dismantled. The profitable illegal economy that has been built up around trafficking in persons must be attacked from every angle.

e)     Despite its frightening repercussions, there are major legal gaps in the definition, tracking and punishment of trafficking. A global concerted effort has come up only in the last few decades, after the passing of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol) in 2000.

f)     In Indian context, traffic in human beings has been prohibited as a fundamental right granted in Constitution. Untouchability and trafficking are two crimes that are prescribed as punishable in the Constitution itself.

g)    The delayed action by govt agencies against trafficking has resulted in its widespread incidence across the country, which spans from trafficking into forced labour in hazardous work and factories to the innocuous trafficking into domestic labour. Hence, the problem needs not just organisational solutions but societal involvement too.

h)     Filling policy gaps to counter trafficking (especially in the area of rehabilitation) is the foremost need. Next in line is an efficient legal response to all reported cases of trafficking. The enforcement of law and the subsequent enforcement of justice must be immediate and become a deterrent.

i)     The victims of trafficking (especially children) need safe social and economic rehabilitation. Besides making arrangements for their vocational training, housing and repatriation, higher budgetary allocations are needed for their immediate help and counselling. The reintroduction to education is also a must. Schools and parents must make children aware of the dangers of trafficking and prepare them to recognise and tackle it.

j)     All these efforts will only see results through dedicated public participation. All together can eliminate human trafficking across the world. Irrespective of our economic and social status, freedom is a non-negotiable right and each one of us deserves to have it.

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