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Daily News Analysis 01-08-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Russia, China to counter US-led Asia Pivot (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Signalling Moscow and Beijings push towards countering the Japan backed Asia Pivot of the US, Russia has released a new naval doctrine that singles out China as its core partner in the Pacific.

2.

Borders vulnerable beyond J&K (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Punjab is the camphor needed to reignite the jihad in Jammu and Kashmir, as also to enlarge the arc of terrorist violence within the country.

3.

Jalaluddin Haqqani is dead, say sources (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sources said that Jalaluddin Haqqani (head of the dreaded Haqqani network behind some of the deadliest attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan) has been dead for over a year.

4.

Taliban transition (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     Taliban is today far from being a united force: one section is talking with the Afghan govt while the political office (established in Qatar) has publicly disowned that process. On the other hand, its military wing has launched a deadly offensive against the Afghan troops.

5.

Four Indians abducted in Libya, 2 freed (Page 1)

a)     International

b)     National

a)     In a dramatic turn of events, two of the four Indians feared to have been abducted by the dreaded Islamic State terror group in the Libyan city of Sirte were released by their captors.

6.

Centre to pump Rs. 70,000 cr into PSU banks (Pages 1 and 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Union Finance Minister Jaitley told Parliament that the Centre will over next 4 years infuse Rs.70,000 crore out of budgetary allocations into state-owned banks.

7.

Two-thirds of rural households still use firewood for cooking (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     New data from the National Sample Survey Office show that two-thirds of households in rural India still depend on firewood for cooking.

8.

Growth slows to three percent in June (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)    Growth in the index of eight core industries slowed to 3 percent in June compared to 4.4 percent in May, underscoring the poor growth in economy as shown by the Index of Industrial Production data for May.

9.

Vaccine developed to fight Ebola (Page 12)

a)     S&T

a)     The Ebola virus is likely to be eradicated once for all as a new vaccine developed against the disease by Public Health Agency of Canada has shown 100 percent efficiency in a trial that was carried out in Guinea.

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Russia, China to counter US-led Asia Pivot (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Russia – China relations

b)     US pivot to Asia

c)     South China Sea

d)     East China Sea

a)     Signalling Moscow and Beijings push towards countering the Japan backed Asia Pivot of the US, Russia has released a new naval doctrine that singles out China as its core partner in the Pacific.

b)     Russians unveiled their new doctrine last week on board the frigate Admiral Gorshkov. Regarding the Pacific, the amended naval doctrine (which will be valid till 2020) underscored that friendly ties with China in the Pacific were one of the cornerstones of Moscows new policy.

c)     Russias maritime strategy stressed that cooperating with China and other countries in the region is a crucial part of carrying out nations maritime policy. Moscow and Beijing appear to have responded strongly to Japans budding post-war doctrinal shift, which will allow Tokyo to deploy its armed forces overseas even without an imminent threat to Japanese territory or citizens.

d)     Opponents say that the two security bills being debated in Parliament could draw Tokyo into US-led conflicts around the globe. Specifically, the legislation can cement USs Asia Pivot doctrine which expects that 60 percent of the total US armed forces would be deployed under the Pacific Command, with China as its focal point.

e)     Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman reinforced the attack by criticising Japans demand that China halt construction of oil drilling platforms in the East China Sea. Japans recent and frequent finger-pointing is to create and play up the China Threat, so as to find excuses for passing controversial security bills.

f)     He observed that China is extremely concerned at the US pushing of the militarisation of South China Sea region. China has added punch to its rhetoric with the deployment last week of more than 100 Chinese naval vessels and dozens of military aircraft during military exercises in South China Sea.

2.

Borders vulnerable beyond J&K (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     LoC

d)     Khalistan movement

e)     Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)

f)     Terrorism

g)     Gurdaspur terror attack

h)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

i)     Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)

j)     Global Positioning System (GPS)

 

a)     The terror attack (on July 27) by a cross-border fidayeen unit on the Dinanagar police station in Gurdaspur district (Punjab) has reignited concerns about the revival of terrorism in the Punjab region, after the Khalistan movement had been effectively put down in 1990s.

b)     As Jammu and Kashmir is again witnessing a spike in militancy, there are heightened concerns after years of declining levels of violence. This has raised the threat of a possible linkage between Khalistani terrorists and jihadi outfits, previously attempted but without success. Instead, as militancy in J&K intensified in the 1990s, levels of violence in Punjab began to decline.

c)     The concerns are genuine as both militant groups pay respect to a common master viz., Pakistans ISI. The latter (notwithstanding the occasional shifts and changes seen when a civilian govt is in power in Islamabad) remains undeterred in its policy of weakening India through a thousand cuts.

d)     Hence, this attack outside J&K is a wake-up call for India. Several months of relative peace from terrorist attacks appear to have lulled both the govt and the security apparatus into a sense of complacency, subsumed in the belief that the rhetoric and aggressive face of the new govt would act as a deterrent to provocations from Pakistan.

e)     The ISI holds the key to any change in Pakistans attitude towards the conduct of relations with India. However, there is no evidence whatsoever of a change in ISIs thought process. Rather, it seems to be further hardening its approach that Kashmir is the unfinished business of Partition, and the LeT chief Hafiz Sayeeds call for an all out war against India.

f)     Consequently, speculation that the ISI is working behind the scenes to actively encourage close links and cooperation between jihadi militants and Khalistani elements cannot be disregarded. As it is, there is confirmed intelligence of increasing cooperation and coordination among Sikh radical groups abroad, specially in Europe and US. There is also intelligence about their growing tilt towards joining hands with other anti-India elements, especially Kashmiri militants.

g)     The ISI is also known to have undertaken the training of some of the Khalistani foot soldiers, in addition to training and equipping LeT and JeM cadres and those belonging to other pro-Pakistani terrorist outfits. The ISI seems intent on exploiting what it perceives as an element of strategic confusion that prevails in India on what is the right approach to be taken towards Pakistan.

h)     Punjab is the camphor needed to reignite the jihad in J&K, as also to enlarge the arc of terrorist violence within the country. The modus operandi - terrorists dressed in military fatigues, exploiting chinks in international border in J&K and now in Punjab, the use of GPS and modern gadgets to attack preselected targets including police stations, security installations and high profile targets, all carry the hallmark of planned and properly calibrated actions drawn up by counter intelligence specialists belonging to the ISI.

i)     The new twist lies is exploiting vulnerabilities such as the poor state of Punjabs defences and the opportunities perceived to exist of exploiting polarising communal issues. The situation has become more complex and diverse. It involves far more than a just nexus between terrorists and the ISI, and the significant influence of the Taliban in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

j)     Hence, dealing with this will need a great deal of heart-searching, on what can and needs to be done. It would entail a drastic repair of the existing security system. It would be important for more vulnerable States (specially the border States) to establish a counter terrorism grid to deal with a range of threats.

k)     Better knowledge of technology is important to enable counter-terrorist agencies to deal with growing complexity of communication methodologies being exploited by terrorist groups. The digital world has been both a positive and a negative factor and it is important that counter-terrorist agencies remain ahead of the curve, to deal with the current crop of terrorists. This will include interception and monitoring of communications and analysis of metadata.

l)    Border security has become critically important. The system that exists on the J&K border needs to be extended to the other border States like Punjab and Rajasthan. Instead of being relegated to only dealing with infiltration, border guarding forces also need to be involved to a greater degree in the effort to gather ground level intelligence. This will provide greater defence in depth.

3.

Jalaluddin Haqqani is dead, say sources (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Haqqani network

b)     Taliban

a)    Sources said that Jalaluddin Haqqani (head of the dreaded Haqqani network behind some of the deadliest attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan) has been dead for over a year.

b)     The contradictory reports come a day after the Taliban confirmed that its founder Mullah Mohammed Omar had died some time ago, signifying a major shift in Afghanistan militant leadership. The Afghan govt said he died in 2013.

4.

Taliban transition (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     Taliban

b)     Taliban – Afghan government peace talks

c)     Afghanistan situation

a)     The Taliban is today far from being a united force: one section is talking with Afghan govt while the political office (established in Qatar) has publicly disowned that process. On the other hand, its military wing has launched a deadly offensive against the Afghan troops, whose position weakened after most of the multinational troops withdrew from the country early this year.

b)     One possible explanation is that the divisions have run deeper after Mullah Omars death. It remains to be seen whether Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour (who has been named Omars successor) would indeed be able to hold the group together. Besides, the Taliban is facing heat from the Islamic State, which is trying to poach from its ranks.

c)     But the key question that Afghan authorities face today is whether they could turn Omars death to their advantage in the civil war with Taliban. There is little evidence to suggest that such a turnaround is in offing. If Afghan intelligence reports that Omar died two years ago are indeed true, then it should be clear that the Taliban has been carrying out its recent attacks without its most infamous leader around.

d)     This should suggest that its operational efficiency remains intact. Also, though the Talibans internal problems remain, the govt has still not developed a viable strategy to exploit the divisions. Above all, Afghanistan should become more proactive in getting the international powers to pressure Pakistan over its alleged links with the Taliban.

e)     With help from his govts international backers, President Ashraf Ghani should evolve a strategy, which addresses the faults in its approach to the Taliban. Omars death provides an opportunity. The Afghan government should seize it to decisive effect.

5.

Four Indians abducted in Libya, 2 freed (Page 1)

a)     International

b)     National

a)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     In a dramatic turn of events, two of the four Indians feared to have been abducted by the dreaded Islamic State terror group in the Libyan city of Sirte were released by their captors.

b)     They had been trying to leave the city, which was taken over by the IS earlier this year, when they went missing. 

6.

Centre to pump Rs. 70,000 cr into PSU banks (Pages 1 and 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)

b)     Public Sector Banks

c)     Non-Performing Assets (NPA)

a)     Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told Parliament that the Centre will over next 4 years infuse Rs.70,000 crore out of budgetary allocations into state-owned banks.

b)     Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told that the proposed NIIF that the Union Cabinet had approved will make equity investments of Rs. 20,000 crore every year in commercially viable long gestation projects which will help to kick-start the economy.

c)     Of the Rs. 70,000 crore planned to be infused out of budgetary allocations into state-owned banks over the next four years, as much as Rs. 25,000 crore will be provided to public sector banks this year itself.

d)     It is expected that the banks will be able to raise the additional funds from market as their valuations will improve significantly on the back of governance reforms; NPA management and risk controls; improvements in operations; and, of course, the capital allocation from the government.

7.

Two-thirds of rural households still use firewood for cooking (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)

b)     Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

 

a)   New data from NSSO show that two-thirds of households in rural India still depend on firewood for cooking. In contrast, a similar proportion of households use LPG for cooking in urban areas, but 14 percent of urban households still depend on firewood.

b)     The use of firewood for cooking has declined only very slowly over the years in rural India, going from 78.2 percent of all rural households in 1993-94 to 67.3 percent in 2011-12. LPG use in rural households has grown relatively fast, from fewer than 2 percent of rural households two decades ago to 15 percent in 2011-12.

c)     Tamil Nadu had the highest use of LPG among rural households (with over a third using it for cooking), followed by Kerala and Punjab. It was least in Chhattisgarh (1.5 percent of households) followed by Jharkhand (2.9 percent) and Odisha (3.9 percent).

d)    The majority of households in the country uses electricity as its primary source of lighting, but over a fourth of rural households still depend on kerosene. The use of electricity was highest in rural AP, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where nearly all rural households used electricity to light their homes. In contrast, just 40 percent of rural U.P households had electricity.

8.

Growth slows to three percent in June (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Core sector growth

b)     Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

c)     Economic growth

d)     GDP

a)     Growth in the index of eight core industries slowed to 3 percent in June compared to 4.4 percent in May, underscoring the poor growth in economy as shown by the IIP data for May. The IIP in May had slowed to 2.7 percent from 3.4 percent in April.

b)     The eight core industries (coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement, and electricity) comprise nearly 38 percent of the weight of items included in the IIP.

9.

Vaccine developed to fight Ebola (Page 12)

a)     S&T

a)     Ebola

b)     Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV)

a)     The Ebola virus is likely to be eradicated once for all as a new vaccine developed against the disease by Public Health Agency of Canada has shown 100 percent efficiency in a trial that was carried out in Guinea.

b)     A dummy virus (VSV) was designed with diluted elements of Ebola. As the risk-free virus enters a human body, it alarms the immune system, which launches a scathing attack on the intruder, killing it along with deadly Ebola virus.

c)     Scientists have deployed ring vaccination methodology in the vaccine trial, which means, 4000 people who had had a minimum or a maximum contact with 100 diseased persons were vaccinated with VSV. The scientists observed that the vaccinated community blocked the virus.

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