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Daily News Analysis 07-08-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Jihadist-military project at work (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     The terror strike in Udhampur by militants from Pakistan was clearly aimed at provoking India. It came after Gurdaspur attacks, again by militants from Pak.

2.

Missing some muscle (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Pakistan is testing Indias response to terror, first in Gurdaspur and now Udhampur. Why is that befitting reply so long in coming?

3.

Beyond Wild West diplomacy (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India must not fall for the Israel model that calls for forced response to every attack. Just the intent to escalate should be established to daunt cross-border terror.

4.

US warns China over sea disputes (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     As Southeast Asian nations debated how hard to pressure Beijing on its island-building, the US warned it would not tolerate efforts to control sea and air routes in the South China Sea.

5.

China and Iran may barter weapons for oil (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China appears set to reap the peace dividend following Irans sanctions-lifting nuclear accord by selling Tehran 24 J-10 fighter jets in exchange for a 20-year access to a major Iranian oil field.

6.

Islamic State seizes central Syrian town (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The Islamic State group seized a key town in central Syria following heavy clashes with President Bashar Assads forces, in the militants biggest advance since capturing the historic town of Palmyra in May.

7.

Assam, Manipur, Arunachal CMs still in the dark on Naga accord (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

a)     On a day when Congress president Sonia Gandhi questioned the Naga peace accord and charged the govt with being arrogant in not consulting Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh in framing the agreement, the CMs of the three States told that they would write to the Centre to know the details of the accord.

8.

GST Bill: Centre wants TN on board (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Modi government wants Tamil Nadu on board for the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill meant to introduce the Goods and Services Tax.

9.

Its time death penalty is abolished: Aiyar (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said his party had forgotten its own stand on abolishing capital punishment which it had taken in the historic Karachi session of 1931.

10.

TN cites Gandhiji case to back stand on remission (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    Noting that judicial interference in States power to remit sentences affects the right to personal liberty, the Tamil Nadu govt drew a parallel between assassinations of Mahatma Gandhi and the former PM Rajiv Gandhi.

11.

Ban on Indian drugs based on scientific reasons: EU (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)    A day after India deferred trade talks with European Union (protesting the ban on 700 generic drugs), the bloc said the ban was based on scientific and not trade considerations.

12.

Local development needs vs. conservation efforts (Page 9)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)    Counted among the worlds top biodiversity hotspots, the Western Ghats is currently at the centre of a political battle pitting local development needs against conservation efforts.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Jihadist-military project at work (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     LoC

d)     Border Security Force (BSF)

e)     Terrorism

f)     Gurdaspur terror attack

g)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

h)     Tehrik-i-Taliban

i)     Taliban

a)     The terror strike in Udhampur by militants from Pakistan was clearly aimed at provoking India. It came after Gurdaspur attacks, again by militants from Pakistan.

b)     This time India captured one of the attackers alive - a Pakistani youth identified as Mohammad Naved. The timing of the attack is also important.  If Gurdaspur followed India-Pakistan joint statement issued from Ufa last month, Naved has been caught just weeks before the scheduled meeting by the NSAs of both nations.

c)     Even if Pakistans position that the govt is not involved in cross-border terror attacks is taken seriously, several questions remain unanswered. The first of these relate to the duality in Pakistans approach to terrorism. Pak establishment often presents itself as a victim of terror. It is true that Tehrik-i-Taliban and other sectarian groups have targeted the people of Pakistan often and that the Pakistan Army has been fighting them in North-West.

d)     Meanwhile on another front, Pakistan establishment is deeply involved with Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani Network and anti-India jihadist groups such as LeT, leading to the rise of a powerful jihadist-military complex.

e)    Using jihadists for strategic gains has been a deliberate strategy of Pakistans military establishment for decades. Its role in the 1980s in helping jihadists to fight communists in Afghanistan is hardly a secret. And that strategy has proven to be counter-productive over the years. It destroyed modern Afghanistan and destabilised the entire North West of Pak.

f)     Pakistan has to realise that it is playing a dangerous game here. Pakistan cannot sit quietly while its citizens cross border and launch attacks on India. On the other hand, India has to be alert to the dangers. India should be prepared for any eventuality, while engaging Pak and bringing international pressure to bear on it.

2.

Missing some muscle (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     LoC

d)     International Border (IB)

e)     Terrorism

f)     Gurdaspur terror attack

g)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

h)     Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)

a)     The capture of fidayeen Mohammad Naved alias Qasim Khan during a terrorist attack in Udhampur is a significant achievement of the security forces and village defence squads. It also shows the determination of handlers in Pakistan to disrupt and derail the 68th Independence Day celebrations and the proposed NSA-level talks and test the new govts tolerance threshold.

b)    In a significant policy shift, the govt has not called off NSA talks. However, the element that has been missing from Indias policy of combating cross-border terrorism for decades is: retribution.

c)     Speaking in Mumbai this week on the use of hard power, NSA Ajit Doval highlighted the need for India to have deterrence against attacks on its soil. This rephrasing of similar comments made earlier suggests that an appropriate but belated response is in making.

d)     However, more than an inventory of defensive measures, what is required is a strategy on how to punish Pakistan. The true pursuit of not losing an inch of land has bred a passive and defensive mindset in the Indian security forces.

e)    Despite putting a hard spin on its Pakistan policy, it is becoming clear that the new govt has hit a dead end. After raising the bar for resuming the dialogue process, it has had to make a dramatic climbdown. As the IB and LoC resonate with artillery, there is no sign of restoration of calm. Terror and talks will go hand-in-hand when the two NSAs meet on Aug 23 and 24 at New Delhi.

f)     What has changed is the language of warnings to Pakistan. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has threatened to give a befitting reply. In Rajya Sabha, he committed an effective and forceful response to the Dinanagar assault by the Pakistani fidayeen whom he referred to as enemies of India.

g)     Over the last several months, signals emanating from NSA Ajit Doval and Defence Minister Parrikar were very encouraging. Parrikar spoke of using terrorists to remove terrorists and re-creating deep assets dismantled by default earlier. Doval has been urging Pakistan to end terrorism.

h)     One must assume that the befitting reply (effective, forceful, disproportionate and unpredictable) is in the making, to be delivered at a time and place of Indias choosing. Translating words into an actionable deterrent is the challenge for policymakers.

i)     Two other aspects require attention: prevention of and a quicker response to fidayeen attacks. Over the years, the Indian security forces have frequently dealt with terrorists holed up in villages and hideouts in the Srinagar valley and elsewhere. All operational experience to end a crisis situation has been assimilated but not institutionalised for reuse. That is why units take inordinately long to finish the operation.

j)     In Dinanagar and Udhampur, Pakistan was testing Indias response to a terror attack, the first outside J&K after Mumbai. Some govt sources are claiming that the civilian govt in Pakistan was unaware of these attacks. However, the likelihood of the Punjab-based terrorist groups like the LeT or JeM acting independently of the ISI is low.

k)     Either way, it ducks two questions: how will India respond to the next big attack sourced in Pakistan? Second, why is the deterrent taking so long to materialise? Is it the lack of political will? The govt must give a befitting reply.

3.

Beyond Wild West diplomacy (Page 11)

a)     I.R

b)     National

a)     India – Pakistan Border disputes

b)     Terrorism

c)     Gurdaspur terror attack

d)     Naga Peace Accord

e)     National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah)

f)     NSCN (Khaplang)

a)    There have been two major terror strikes against India in recent past, the first one being the June 4 attack of a Dogra Regiment convoy and second one in Gurdaspur on 27 July. However, the two have drawn differing responses - the first resulted in a counter through a Special Forces raid into Myanmar while the second has drawn only verbal criticism so far.

b)     One hopes that facts and strategies are being marshalled to nail the masterminds. The lessons from a poor application of escalation dynamics in the Myanmar strikes have clearly been learnt and applied in the case of responses to Gurdaspur.

c)     The Naga Khaplang group (responsible for Army attack) was feeling left out after being sidelined in the peace talks with govt. It will feel more isolated now, as will other (smaller Naga groups) after the signing of the Naga accord this week with the NSCSN (I-M).

d)   In the game of international relations, credibility plays a vital role in building reputations. Israel has a stated policy of inflicting disproportionate punishment on its opponents in case of an attack on its interests. This policy may ultimately never get the permanent peace that Tel Aviv desperately desires. However, it has paid short-term dividends, as witnessed from the reduction in major terror attacks against the country.

e)     Israel banks on the results of its periodic engagements to complement its deterrence plans, buying it lengthened periods of peace. Disproportionate action against a weaker adversary showcases its intent to other opponents to keep off. Hamas in the Gaza Strip has little support and is a politically marginalised organisation in West Asian politics, hence becoming easy fodder for the Israeli policy.

f)     On the other hand, the Hizbollah has strong backing from Iran and Syria. Hence, it cannot be messed about with easily, as it showed Israel in 2006. However, the Hizbollah keeps its peace with Israel partly due the realistic perception of an assured strong response in the case of any misadventure on its part.

g)     For India, What are the options before us? First, let us not fall into trap that compels Israel to respond to every attack solely to maintain credibility of its stated retribution policy. Kashmir is a political red flag as far as India and Pakistan are concerned, hence the Ufa statement issued by two PMs has wisely hinted at realistic interim goals to be attained.

h)     So far, so good, and if this goal stays, we are looking at a policy of non-escalation on the Western frontier (not as a sign of weakness but as an indication of a reasoned approach aimed at longer periods of peace) by preventing both accidental and planned escalations.

i)     With the Naga accord signed and Myanmars govt apparently on the same page, the time is right for a posture of robust response to any insurgency wrongdoing in the Northeast. Let this begin the accumulation of points in Indias deterrence account, even as we improve our intelligence capability to prevent terrorist action elsewhere.

j)     The message of our resolve to answer ceasefire violations on Western border with resolute force has already indicated our intent to brook no adventurism on the border. The intent to cross border to hit terrorist installations should gradually become a point to be considered by the adversary as a possible Indian response - if this is achieved, controlled escalation short of kinetic action would have been attained.

4.

US warns China over sea disputes (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US – China relations

b)     South China Sea

c)     US Pivot to Asia

a)    As Southeast Asian nations debated how hard to pressure Beijing on its island-building, US warned it would not tolerate efforts to control sea and air routes in the South China Sea.

b)     China has sparked alarm by expanding tiny reefs and constructing military posts, steps viewed by some of its neighbours as violating a regional commitment against provocative actions in the area.

5.

China and Iran may barter weapons for oil (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China – Iran relations

b)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

c)     Irans nuclear programme

a)     China appears set to reap the peace dividend following Irans sanctions-lifting nuclear accord by selling Tehran 24 J-10 fighter jets in exchange for a 20-year access to a major Iranian oil field.

b)     China has not confirmed the report, which, analysts say could support the case of Israel (Irans foremost regional rival) against the nuclear deal that Tehran has signed with the six world powers last month.

c)     Observers point out that if the reports about the China-Iran deal are true, it would confirm that despite the nuclear deal in which the Americans played a significant role. Iran is unlikely to loosen ties with its traditional allies in Eurasia, including China.

6.

Islamic State seizes central Syrian town (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Syria and Iraq crisis

c)     Kurdish forces

d)     Syrian Observatory for Human Rights  

a)     The IS group seized a key town in central Syria following heavy clashes with President Bashar Assads forces, in the militants biggest advance since capturing the historic town of Palmyra in May.

b)     Its capture allows the IS group to link up areas under its control in and around Palmyra with areas in the eastern countryside of Qalamoun in Damascus province.

c)     The IS had suffered a string of military setbacks after capturing Palmyra. In June, Kurdish fighters expelled IS from the key northern border town of Tal Abyad.

d)     Late last month, Turkey began carrying out airstrikes against IS targets in Syria. It also agreed to allow US warplanes to use the strategic Incirlik Air Base for operations against IS in Syria.

7.

Assam, Manipur, Arunachal CMs still in the dark on Naga accord (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

a)     Naga Peace Accord

b)     Nationalist Social Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah)

 

a)     On a day when Congress president Sonia Gandhi questioned the Naga peace accord and charged the govt with being arrogant in not consulting Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh in framing the agreement, the CMs of the three States told that they would write to the Centre to know the details of the accord.

b)     The govt is yet to release the terms of the agreement signed with NSCN (I-M), the largest Naga group in talks with the govt for two decades now.

c)     Criticising the secrecy surrounding the Naga peace accord, Arunachal Pradesh CM Nabam Tuki said that the State would oppose any kind of law imposed from outside.

d)     Manipur CM Ikram Ibobi Singh told that if the peace accord tries to compromise the territory of Manipur, we shall never accept it. Assam CM Tarun Gogoi said the entire secrecy around the agreement has put the accord under a cloud of doubt.

8.

GST Bill: Centre wants TN on board (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Goods and Services Tax (GST)

b)     Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill

c)     All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazahgam (AIADMK)

 

a)     Modi govt wants Tamil Nadu on board for Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill meant to introduce the GST. The govt is currently in hectic talks with the AIADMK govt in the State which gave a dissent note to the report of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on the Bill.

b)     Apart from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat (another producer State) is not on board, but the govt is confident that as it is ruled by BJP, it will fall in line.

c)     Govt is pulling out all the stops to ensure that GST Bill goes through in this session. Finance Minister Jaitley said that monsoon session washout does not mean the end of GST. The April 1 2016 deadline is ideal for both States and Centre.

9.

Its time death penalty is abolished: Aiyar (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Mercy petition

c)     Karachi session

a)     Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said his party had forgotten its own stand on abolishing capital punishment which it had taken in the historic Karachi session of 1931.

b)     Aiyar (who was one of several prominent citizens who submitted a mercy plea to President Pranab Mukherjee for commuting Yakub Memons death sentence to life imprisonment) said the only possible justification for taking someones life was if it acted as a deterrent to future crimes.

c)    In its 3-day Karachi session in March 1931, the Congress passed a series of resolutions on Fundamental Rights and Duties, Labour, Taxation and Expenditure, and Economic and Social Programme. One of the clauses of the resolution declared that there shall be no capital punishment.

d)     The resolution was moved soon after the British govt sent Bhagat Singh and his comrades Sukhdev and Rajguru to the gallows. In later years, following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, the party took a harder stand on the death penalty.

e)     He pointed out that clemency had been shown to the killers of Rajiv Gandhi and former Punjab CM Beant Singh, who enjoyed the backing of the Tamil Nadu and Punjab govts respectively.

10.

TN cites Gandhiji case to back stand on remission (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Mercy petition

c)     Rajiv Gandhi assassination case

d)     Article 21

e)     Supreme Court

f)     High Court

a)    Noting that judicial interference in States power to remit sentences affects the right to personal liberty, the Tamil Nadu govt drew a parallel between assassinations of Mahatma Gandhi and the former PM Rajiv Gandhi.

b)     Tamil Nadu govts counsel Rakesh Dwivedi was referring to Gopal Godse (brother of Nathuram Godse) who was held guilty as a co-conspirator of Gandhijis assassination in 1948, but was released in 1964. He said the courts should not take away hope remission offered a life convict who had served 14 years of his life sentence.

c)     He had submitted that if the court asks the executive not to consider suspending or remitting sentences of convicts, then it would amount to denial of right to life under Article 21.

11.

Ban on Indian drugs based on scientific reasons: EU (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     India – EU trade ties

b)     Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

a)    A day after India deferred trade talks with EU (protesting the ban on 700 generic drugs), the bloc said the ban was based on scientific and not trade considerations.

b)     The Commission takes note of the press release issued by the Indian Govt about the deferral of jointly agreed talks between the Chief Negotiators on EU-India FTA. It remains committed to continue working towards conclusion of an agreement between India and the EU that will be acceptable to both sides.

c)     India and EU have been negotiating for proposed FTAs since 2007. The talks have seen set backs due to differences regarding lack of access for Indians to EUs labour market and high taxes imposed on liquor and car imports from Europe. The latest development comes as yet another setback for the talks to progress further.

12.

Local development needs vs. conservation efforts (Page 9)

a)     Environment

b)     Geography

a)     Biodiversity hotspots

b)     Western Ghats

c)     Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA)

a)    Counted among the worlds top biodiversity hotspots, the Western Ghats is currently at the centre of a political battle pitting local development needs against conservation efforts.

b)     Six States (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat), which the forest region encompasses, were supposed to submit recommendations to Centre on demarcating ESA by July 31, but only Kerala and Goa did so.

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