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Daily News Analysis 02-08-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, Pak NSAs to meet (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Even as India and Pakistan are involved in a fresh war of words over the Gurdaspur terror attack, decks are being cleared for a meeting of the National Security Advisers in New Delhi on August 23 and 24.

2.

Diplomacy after Dinanagar? (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     The Gurdaspur incident is a part of a new phase in Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, but with Pakistan once again useful to the great powers in dealing with Afghanistan, India must be careful enough to engage with its troublesome neighbour and not become isolated.

3.

Differences over offset clause delay Rafale deal (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     With India and France negotiating an agreement for direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighters, the government has officially withdrawn the original request for proposal for 126 of the jets, which won the medium multi-role combat aircraft contest.

4.

UN for a broad package for Northern Province (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The United Nations is exploring provision of a broad package of technical and financial assistance to the Sri Lankas Northern Province at the request of the Provinces CM C.V. Wigneswaran.

5.

New Taliban leader calls for unity in public message (Page14)

a)     International

a)    The new Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour appealed for unity in insurgency in his first public message released amid reports his predecessors family members opposed his selection.

6.

Centre to counter terror dogmas (Page 1)

a)     National

a)     The govt will build a counter-narrative to the jihadi ideologies propagated by militant outfits such as IS, to wean youngsters away from the group that has found traction among educated Muslim youths worldwide.

7.

India will be worlds most populous country in 2022: UN(P13)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     New projections from the UN show that in seven years, India will surpass China to become the worlds most populous country and will have 1.7 billion residents by 2050.

8.

SC official quits over Memon hearing (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Saying what happened in the Supreme Court during the hearing of the petitions of Yakub Memon must count amongst the darkest hours for Supreme Court of India, Anup Surendranath (Deputy Registrar (Research) in the Supreme Court) resigned.

9.

Opinion divided on interest rate cut (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)     Market participants appear to be divided on the rate cut issue as RBI is scheduled to come out with its third bi-monthly monetary policy review.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, Pak NSAs to meet (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Terrorism

d)     Gurdaspur terror attack

e)     SCO Summit

a)     Even as India and Pakistan are involved in a fresh war of words over the Gurdaspur terror attack, decks are being cleared for a meeting of the National Security Advisers in New Delhi on August 23 and 24.

b)     At their meeting, the NSA of India and Pak are expected to raise the issue of Punjab terror attack, bail for 26/11 mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and the Samjhauta blasts case, which Pakistan has been raising.

c)     After the meeting of two PMs on the sidelines of SCO Summit at Ufa on July 10, both sides have tried to keep the engagements going, despite problems in relations, including the recent ceasefire violations along the border in J&K.

d)     The release of fishermen was part of the agreement in Ufa. In the past week, India has announced easing of visa norms for pilgrims from Pakistan, and a meeting between the BSF and the Pakistan Rangers (also stipulated at the Ufa agreement) has also been scheduled.

2.

Diplomacy after Dinanagar? (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     LoC

d)     Terrorism

e)     Gurdaspur terror attack

f)     Pir Panjal

a)    The recent terrorist attack in Punjab was unfortunately foreseeable. The mere fact that the PMs of India and Pakistan had agreed to resume high-level exchanges was a signal for vested interests in Pakistan to play the spoiler.

b)     Even a cursory glance at attempts over the past few years to begin talks would have suggested as much. PM Modi actually agreed to travel to Pak for the next SAARC summit raised the stakes for anti-India terrorist groups as well as their state handlers in Pakistan.

c)     The attack in Gurdaspur district points towards a change in the contours of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. It is worth recalling that the pattern of using terror against India has never been fixed. From the late 1980s, Pakistans attention moved to J&K. Initially, insurgency and terrorism were almost exclusively confined to the Valley. From about the mid-1990s, it expanded to areas south of the Pir Panjal.

d)     Following the ceasefire of Nov 2003, there was another shift in the modus operandi of the terrorist outfits. For the next five years, they focused on launching major attacks on Indian cities outside of J&K. This was dictated by two related developments. Pakistan was under international pressure to tone down its support for the insurgency in Kashmir. And the Indian army was steadily getting the better of the militant groups operating on our side of the LoC.

e)     Over past 15 years, India has responded with varying levels of force. The present govts promise of a befitting reply is by no means new. Both before the ceasefire of 2003 and after, India had retaliated strongly to provocations from across the LoC.

f)     Even when India has exercised restraint (as in the aftermath of Mumbai attacks of 2008) it has done so on the calculation that military strikes on terrorist infrastructure in Pak are unlikely to eliminate it and that an escalating conflict would have avoidable economic costs for India. The problem of terrorism had to be dealt with in other ways.

g)    By contrast, our diplomatic approach to Pakistan has swung between the extremes of total engagement and complete disengagement. India has periodically called off talks. Insisting that Pakistan must discard its support for terrorism – only to eventually return to the negotiating table. The fundamental faults has been our assumption that diplomacy should be treated as a reward for good behaviour by Pakistan.

h)     The govt must aim to reduce the symbolic importance of diplomacy by presenting it as a routine activity. This will require both domestic political management and the toning down of unnecessary rhetoric.

i)     As so often in its history, Pakistan is once again useful to the great powers and it will aim to use this opportunity to direct pressure on India. The US, China and Russia are all keen to get Pakistan to forge a settlement between Afghanistan govt and Taliban. Pakistan will naturally seek to shrink Indias presence in Afghanistan as part of price for its own cooperation.

j)     In such a scenario, there is nothing to be gained and much to be lost by refraining from engagement. Indeed, the govt should also aim to revive the Foreign Secretary level talks. The meeting between the NSAs will focus on terrorism – an issue on which little headway is likely to be made. A wider diplomatic agenda will give us more room for movement.

3.

Differences over offset clause delay Rafale deal (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – France relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     Rafale deal

d)     Medium multi-role combat aircraft contest

a)     With India and France negotiating an agreement for direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighters, the govt has officially withdrawn the original request for proposal for 126 of the jets, which won the medium multi-role combat aircraft contest.

b)     During his visit to France, PM Modi had announced the direct purchase as quickly as possible through a deal between the two govts in view of the critical operational necessity of the Air Force.

c)   A team has been constituted to negotiate the terms and conditions of the procurement and recommend a draft agreement. However, official sources said an agreement had been delayed over the issue of offsets. France insists that the offset clause would raise the cost and delay deliveries.

d)     While the offset clause applies for deals estimated at over Rs. 300 crore and companies have to invest 30 percent of value of the contract back in the country, for the MMRCA deal, the government had fixed it at 50 percent.

4.

UN for a broad package for Northern Province (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankan internal issues

b)     Human rights issue

c)     UNHRC

d)     UN Peace-building Fund

a)     UN is exploring provision of a broad package of technical and financial assistance to the Sri Lankas Northern Province at the request of the Provinces CM C.V. Wigneswaran.

b)     UN spokesman was replying to a question on reports in sections of the media about the UN Peace-building Fund considering funding a purely national accountability mechanism in Sri Lanka.

c)   He explained that initiatives aimed at advancing the process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka (by resettlement of internally displaced persons; national reconciliation; strengthening human rights mechanism and ending impunity) were being discussed for support by Fund.

d)     To a question on nature of accountability mechanism (national or international), he replied that UN was awaiting a report and recommendations of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

5.

New Taliban leader calls for unity in public message (Page14)

a)     International

a)     Taliban

b)     Taliban – Afghan government peace talks

c)     Afghanistan situation

a)    The new Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour appealed for unity in insurgency in his first public message released amid reports his predecessors family members opposed his selection.

b)     He was deputy for several years to the elusive Mullah Omar, who served as a unifying figure and a spiritual guide for insurgency despite his absence. This week Taliban confirmed Omar had been dead for some time. Afghan govt said it was more than two years ago.

c)     Mansour blamed divisions in the Taliban on enemy propaganda and swore to continue to fight for rule under sharia (the Islamic legal and moral code) and to follow the vision of Mullah Omar.

d)     Mansour is seen as a pragmatist and a proponent of peace talks, raising hopes that the power transition could pave way for an end to Afghanistans long, bloody war.

6.

Centre to counter terror dogmas (Page 1)

a)     National

a)     Counter terrorism

b)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     Govt will build a counter-narrative to jihadi ideologies propagated by militant outfits such as IS, to wean youngsters away from the group that has found traction among educated Muslim youths worldwide.

b)     For this, the govt will rope in moderate Muslims and learned people from the community and give them a presence in cyberspace. Official said the erudite Muslim leaders would provide a counter to extreme ideologies of Islam and help in giving another perspective to the theory propagated by the IS.

c)  After undermining influence of the IS among the young men in the country, the Home Ministry for the first time called a meeting of 12 States to frame a national coherent strategy.

7.

India will be worlds most populous country in 2022: UN (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Population

b)     UNs World Population Projections

c)     Indias Sample Registration System (SRS)

d)     Total Fertility Rate (TFR)

e)     Census of India 2011

a)     New projections from the UN show that in seven years, India will surpass China to become the worlds most populous country and will have 1.7 billion residents by 2050.  However, experts caution that India might be lowering its fertility at a faster rate than what UNs projections indicate.

b)     The world population reached 7.3 billion as of mid-2015, adding approximately one billion people in the past 12 years. However, the world population is growing slower now; 10 years ago, the growth rate was 1.24 percent a year, while today, it is growing by 1.18 percent, or approximately, an additional 83 million people annually.

c)     It will take 15 years to add the next billion people, taking world population to 8.5 billion in 2030. By 2050, the world will have 9.7 billion people and 11.2 billion by 2100. As a region, Africa will have its population (propelled to a large extent by Nigeria which will be third largest populated country in the world in 2050 overtaking the US) grow the fastest.

d)     Chinas population will start declining by the 2030s, while Indias is projected to decline only after 2069 when its population is around 1.75 billion. However, demographic experts say the UNs projections may not be keeping pace with the speed at which India is reducing its fertility.

e)     As of 2013, Indias SRS (the official source of fertility statistics, which come from the Registrar-Generals office) said the TFR was down to 2.3. However, the UN projects a rate of 2.34 for 2015-20. By the SRS rates, India could reach replacement fertility levels by 2020, but the UN projections would see this happening around a decade later.

f)     As of mid-2015, India had 1.31 billion people. Eleven States have already achieved replacement fertility levels.

8.

SC official quits over Memon hearing (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Mercy petition

c)     Mumbai serial blasts case 1993

d)     Supreme Court

a)     Saying what happened in the Supreme Court during the hearing of the petitions of Yakub Memon must count amongst the darkest hours for Supreme Court of India, Anup Surendranath (Deputy Registrar (Research) in the Supreme Court) resigned.

b)     He was present at the unprecedented pre-dawn hearing and dismissal of Memons final petition for a 14-day interval between Presidents rejection of his mercy petition and his execution.

c)     He says the 24 hours leading to the rejection of his final petition had instances of judicial abdication.

9.

Opinion divided on interest rate cut (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)     Monetary Policy Committee

b)     Indian Financial Code (IFC)

c)     Inflation

d)     Fiscal deficit

e)     Current Account Deficit

f)     RBI

g)     Southwest monsoon

h)     Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)

a)     Market participants appear to be divided on rate cut issue as RBI is scheduled to come out with its third bi-monthly monetary policy review, widely considered to be one of the most unpredictable reviews of the policy in recent times.

b)     RBI had cut rates from a peak of 8 percent to 7.25 percent in three tranches in this calendar year - Jan 15, March 4 and June 2. While the last rate cut was implemented in its second bi-monthly policy review, the earlier two were announced outside the policy.

c)     In the last policy, the RBI Governor had observed that three factors continue to cloud the picture and pose a risk to inflation. Firstly, the prediction of a below-normal south-west monsoon by IMD. Secondly, crude prices have been firming up amidst considerable volatility, and geo-political risks are ever present. Thirdly, volatility in the external environment could impact inflation.

d)     Furthermore, the current review meetings mood is set in the midst of a controversy over the Governors veto power on monetary policy decisions in the newly drafted IFC, where a provision that the RBI Governor could veto the final policy decision (in exceptional circumstances) was removed.

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