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Daily News Analysis 22-08-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Wrangling over Hurriyat puts talks in doubt (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     After a day of exchanging strongly worded statements, India and Pakistan all but called off talks between NSAs Ajit Doval and Sartaj Aziz, with India blaming a force in Pakistan for disrupting the talks.

2.

India asked UAE to extradite IM man (Pages 1, 12)

a)     I.R

a)     The agenda of the UAE visit of PM Modi included extradition of 10 persons, several of them wanted in terror cases.

3.

Modi-Obama hotline is now operational (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     The hotlines or secure lines of communication between PM Modi and US President Obama and their NSAs have recently become operational, though they have not been put to use during its short lifespan so far.

4.

The Iran momentum (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Indias decision to remove Iran from the list of countries in the restricted visa category is another indication of New Delhis resolve to reinvigorate its engagement with the Gulf country.

5.

Lets fight climate change unitedly (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Having reached out to the Pacific Island Countries to support its bid for a permanent seat at the UNSC, India also wants to collaborate with them for combating the challenge of climate change, ahead of the UN Climate Summit in Paris later this year.

6.

Kim declares quasi state of war (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     North and South Korea appeared headed towards another clash, as Seoul refused an ultimatum that it halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts by Aug 22 or face military action, and North Korea said its troops were on a war footing.

7.

Ranil sworn in Sri Lanka PM (Pg 14)

a)     International

a)     United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as PM of Sri Lanka for the fourth time.

8.

Syriza rebels in Greece form party (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Rebels from Greeces Syriza party said they will form a new parliamentary group, a day after PM Tsipras resigned and caused snap elections.

9.

Is death penalty a terror deterrent? (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    The criticism that (on merits) justice has not been done to Yakub Memon is absurd. But the question one needs to ponder over is whether the execution of a particular death sentence awarded to a terrorist would be counterproductive.

10.

Some improvements in child malnutrition: data (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     New official data on nutrition in Indias nine poorest States has shown that while most states have successfully reduced the number of underweight children over the last decade, their record in reducing child stunting has been more mixed.

11.

China slowdown triggers global fears (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Worries of a deepening Chinas economic slowdown intensified after a private survey showed the factory sector shrank at its fastest rate in almost 6-1/2-years in August, hammering global stocks and commodity prices.

12.

NCAER predicts 7.5% growth this fiscal (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     National Council of Applied Economic Research has projected the countrys economic growth at 7.5 percent in the current fiscal. 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Wrangling over Hurriyat puts talks in doubt (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     NSA talks

c)     Hurriyat Conference

d)     Kashmir issue

e)     Terrorism

a)     After a day of exchanging strongly worded statements, India and Pakistan called off talks between NSAs Ajit Doval and Sartaj Aziz, with India blaming a force in Pakistan for disrupting talks.

b)     Pakistan accused India of reneging on commitments made by PM Modi during Ufa talks with his counterpart Nawaz Sharif. At the end of the day the deadlock over whether Aziz would meet Hurriyat leaders remained, as Pakistan said it would go ahead with the plans to meet Kashmiri separatists when Aziz comes to Delhi, while India said the meeting was unacceptable.

c)     After a meeting between Nawaz Sharif, Aziz and other senior officials, Pakistan issued its response saying it would not be possible for Pak to accept advice, and it saw no reason for departing from established past practice of meeting separatists during high-profile visits.

d)     India hit back with the strongest language of the day in a public statement issued by the MEA that accused Pakistan of trying to avoid its commitment at Ufa to engage in a substantive discussion on terrorism with the provocative act of inviting the Hurriyat.

e)     The govt also rejected the Pakistani statement that the PMs had agreed at Ufa that all outstanding issues, including Kashmir and other disputes, as well as, terrorism issues and other CBMs will be discussed between the two countries. Instead the govt said all issues of terrorism was the only item on the agreed agenda.

f)     As the proposed talks between the NSAs of India and Pakistan appeared deadlocked, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the two sides to return to dialogue in the interest of their people and exercise maximum restraint.

2.

India asked UAE to extradite IM man (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – UAE relations

b)     Security cooperation

c)     Terrorism

d)     Extradition Treaty

e)     Indian Mujahideen (IM)

 

a)     The agenda of the UAE visit of PM Modi included extradition of 10 persons, several of them wanted in terror cases.

b)     Though officials did not reveal the names on extradition list, one of the most prominent wanted man is Abdul Wahid Siddibapa, an IM operative and cousin of Yasin Bhatkal, who was arrested from Nepal in 2012. Siddibapa was detained in Abu Dhabi on the basis of a red-corner notice issued by India for his alleged role in the serial blasts in various parts of the country from 2006 to 2010. He is said to be the financial brain of the IM.

c)     NSA Ajit Doval (who accompanied Modi on the trip) is learnt to have raised pending extradition requests. The UAE showed its willingness to cooperate in these cases. The extradition treaty signed between India and the UAE in 1999 came into force in 2000.

d)     Terror and cooperation on security and defence was high on the agenda of Modis visit.

3.

Modi-Obama hotline is now operational (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Hotline

a)     The hotlines or secure lines of communication between PM Modi and US President Obama and their NSAs have recently become operational, though they have not been put to use during its short lifespan so far.

b)     The decision to have the hotline was made during Obamas historic visit to India to attend the Republic Day on Jan 26, as its chief guest.

c)     Official said the hotline is a secure line between two very, very close partners so that they can exchange views at the heads of state level and co-ordinate approaches to solving real problems.

4.

The Iran momentum (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Iran relations

b)     Economic ties

c)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

d)     Irans nuclear programme

e)     International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

f)     Chabahar port

a)     Indias decision to remove Iran from the list of countries in the restricted visa category is another indication of New Delhis resolve to reinvigorate its engagement with the Gulf country.

b)     The move will primarily liberalise the visa approval process for Iranian citizens, paving the way for enhanced people-to-people cooperation. But more important, it is part of a series of steps India has taken to deepen partnership with Iran since an interim agreement was reached between Tehran and six world powers in Nov 2013 over its nuclear programme.

c)     Iran used to be Indias second largest supplier of oil. But India (under pressure from western nations) voted against Iran at IAEA over its nuclear programme and subsequently cut energy imports. The interim agreement offered India a window of opportunity to revisit its Tehran policy.

d)     Ties with Iran are vital for Indias economic and strategic interests. India has to seize the momentum provided by the nuclear deal to step up energy trade with Iran.

e)     More important, India and Iran share an interest in stabilising Afghanistan. Both realise that a return of Taliban to Kabul would affect their key interests. Iran and India have signed an agreement to develop the Chabahar port.

f)     The Iranian port (which lies outside the Gulf region and is easily accessed from Indias western coast) will give New Delhi an alternative sea-land access route into Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan and providing a gateway to the resource-rich Central Asian region.

g)     But, for the success of these projects India needs to have a consistent policy towards Iran that is defined by mutual interest and not by global pressures. Now India has to make up for lost time by increasing bilateral diplomacy.

5.

Lets fight climate change unitedly (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Climate change

b)     2015 Paris Climate Summit

c)     UNSC

d)     Forum for India Pacific Island Countries (FIPIC)

e)     Small Island Developing States (SIDSs)

f)     Pacific Island Countries (PIC)

a)     Having reached out to the Pacific Island Countries to support its bid for a permanent seat at the UNSC, India also wants to collaborate with them for combating the challenge of climate change, ahead of the UN Climate Summit in Paris later this year.

b)     Addressing the second summit of the FIPIC, PM Modi said climate change is clearly a pressing concern for all and combating it is Indias national priority. He said India and the Pacific Island Countries can enrich each other through bilateral and regional cooperation, and suggested they work together for UN reforms.

c)     India (which has been trying to match Chinas growing influence in the region) assured the PICs that India stands shoulder to shoulder with them for a dedicated seat for SIDS in an expanded and reformed UNSC in both categories.

d)     Rich in seabed resources, the PIC are keen to partner with India in the area of exploration of minerals. China (which has made staggering investment in the region) is also eyeing to be a part of the venture.

6.

Kim declares quasi state of war (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     North Korea – South Korea relations

b)     Korean War 1950-53

c)     Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)

d)     US-South Korean relations

 

a)     North and South Korea appeared headed towards another clash, as Seoul refused an ultimatum that it halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts by Aug 22 or face military action, and North Korea said its troops were on a war footing.

b)   South Korean Vice-Defence Minister said it was likely the North would fire at some of the 11 sites where the loudspeakers are set up on the Souths side of the Demilitarised Zone separating the countries.

c)     Sources said there were indications the North was preparing to fire short-range missiles. The North often fires rockets into the sea during annual US-South Korean military exercises, which are currently under way.

d)     Since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a ceasefire (not a peace treaty), Pyongyang and Seoul have often exchanged threats, and dozens of soldiers have been killed, yet the two sides have always pulled back from all-out war.

7.

Ranil sworn in Sri Lanka PM (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas internal issues

b)     Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)

c)     United National Party (UNP)

 

a)     United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as PM of Sri Lanka for the fourth time.

b)     General secretaries of the UNP and the SLFP signed an agreement to form a national government.

c)     The UNP general secretary said that social equality, ethnic integration and betterment of country were the three salient features of the agreement, for which the two parties would work together. It has also been decided to have the national govt at least for two years.

d)     Wickremesinghe (who has been a Member of Parliament since 1977) became the PM for the first time in May 1993. In 2001, he was elected the PM for the second time after the United National Front got a majority.

e)     Sirimavo Bandaranaike of SLFP was the only other person to become PM four times since Sri Lankas independence.

8.

Syriza rebels in Greece form party (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

a)     Rebels from Greeces Syriza party said they will form a new parliamentary group, a day after PM Tsipras resigned and caused snap elections.

b)     The move confirmed a rift at the heart of the radical-left party, which soared to power in Jan by vowing to end austerity and erase the bulk of Greeces massive public debt mountain.

c)     Syriza was deeply divided over Athens acceptance of huge €86 billion bailout package finally agreed with international creditors last month, the third for Greece in five years. Syriza rebels had mutinied in three separate parliamentary votes tied to the bailout, effectively leaving Tsipras at the head of a minority government.

9.

Is death penalty a terror deterrent? (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Mercy petition

c)     Mumbai serial blasts case 1993

d)     Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA)

e)     Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002 (POTA)

f)     Indian Penal Code (IPC)

g)     Supreme Court

a)   The city of Mumbai was the target of unprecedented terrorist attacks on March12 1993. After investigations, a prolonged legal process and the judgment after nearly 20 years, Yakub Memon was named a prime accused and awarded the death sentence. He was executed on July 30 2015. Our judiciary and the Supreme Court in particular must be applauded for manner in which the trials and appeals were conducted in the case.

b)     TADA court had awarded the death sentence to 10 other persons but the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence of Yakub alone; it was commuted to life imprisonment for the rest. On July 30 2013, the court rejected the review petitions after denying oral hearings.

c)   On April 9 2015, a Supreme Court bench heard oral arguments in a review petition filed by Yakub after going through the judgment under review as well as the judgment of the trial court. The review was dismissed. A curative petition was then filed and on July 21 2015, a Supreme Court bench rejected the petition, holding that there was no ground made out.

d)     Another writ petition was filed by Yakub. There was a difference of opinion between two judges on the question of whether the curative petition had been decided in accordance with the law and as per the requirement of Supreme Court Rules.

e)     Following this, the CJI immediately constituted a bench of Justices which dismissed the writ petition on July 29 2015 and held that there was no fault in the decision on the curative petition and that the issue of death warrant was in order. Another writ petition was filed and heard on the night of  July 29th morning of July 30, 2015 by the same bench, which dismissed it and observed that a further stay of the execution of the death warrant would be nothing but a travesty of justice.

f)     Yakubs conviction and death sentence was examined by eight judges in the Supreme Court from time to time before his execution on the morning of July 30 2015. Justice according to the law has not only been done but was seen to be done. The criticism that (on merits) justice has not been done to Yakub Memon is absurd.

g)     Under the IPC, there are several offences which may attract a death penalty or life imprisonment. These include murder - Section 302; waging war (including attempt and abetment) - Section 121, and mutiny - Section 132. Under the TADA 1987 (now repealed but in force in 1993) and under the POTA 2002 (now repealed), the death sentence could be awarded for terrorist acts.

h)     Bomb explosions and loss of lives as a result of terrorist attacks are completely different in nature, objective and motivation from a common murder. In this case, objective is not to target someone in particular but to destabilise society and to encourage the disintegration of the sovereignty and security of a nation. Such terrorist attacks are often state-sponsored and are an act of undeclared war.

i)     Awarding someone death penalty for acts of terrorism is qualitatively different from awarding someone the death penalty for having committed other crimes.

j)   A criticism levelled by some against the death sentence having been awarded to Yakub restates the familiar argument that the death penalty as such should be abolished as it is a violation of human rights and is an inhuman and cruel form of punishment.

k)     While abolition of the death penalty for crimes other than terrorist acts or treason may be justified, its retention in the case of punishment for having carried out terrorist acts or treason seems equally justifiable.

l)     The death penalty may be well deserved and a judge has to make a decision according to the law. The power to commute the death sentence ought to be exercised by the Executive selectively.

m)     The question one needs to study over is whether the execution of a particular death sentence awarded to a terrorist would be counterproductive.

10.

Some improvements in child malnutrition: data (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Child malnutrition

b)     Child wasting

c)     Child stunting

d)     Clinical, Anthropometric and Bio-chemical (CAB) Survey

e)     Rapid Survey of Children (RSOC)

f)     National Family Health Survey (NFHS)

g)     Empowered Action Group (EAG)

h)     UNICEF

 

a)     New official data on nutrition in Indias nine poorest States has shown that while most states have successfully reduced number of underweight children over the last decade, their record in reducing child stunting has been more mixed. While Bihar and Uttarkhand improved on all indicators, Uttar Pradesh got worse on all.

b)     The Office of the Registrar General of India released the findings of the CAB Survey this week. It was conducted in 2014 as a sub-component of the Annual Health Survey, which collects health information from a representative sample of every district in Indias 8 EAG States (Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand) and Assam.

c)     A one-time survey, the CAB collected district-level data on key anthropometric indicators including child stunting, child wasting and children underweight.

d)     The last time India collected anthropometric data was in 2005-2006, as part of the NFHS III. While the NFHS III and the CAB were conducted on different samples, both sets of findings are meant to be representative at the State level.

e)     The new data comes in the backdrop of the NDA govts flip-flop over the release of the RSOC, a nation-wide sample survey commissioned by the previous govt and conducted by UNICEF. RSOC had shown substantial improvements in all child health indicators.

f)     RSOCs findings on other child anthropometric indicators like child wasting and child stunting are far more optimistic than CABs.

11.

China slowdown triggers global fears (Page 15)

a)     Economy

b)     Chinese economic growth

b)     Currency devaluation

c)     Currency war

d)     Global depression

a)     Worries of a deepening Chinas economic slowdown intensified after a private survey showed the factory sector shrank at its fastest rate in almost 6-1/2-years in August, hammering global stocks and commodity prices.

b)     The downdraft from China is rattling economies of its trade-reliant Asian neighbours and prompting many Western companies to reduce investments and look for ways to cuts costs.

c)     Following three decades of impressing double-digit economic growth, Chinese authorities have had limited success in shoring up activity this year despite four interest rates cuts since November.

d)     Worse, last weeks shock 2 percent devaluation in the yuan and a near collapse in Chinese shares over the summer that was countered by a massive stock market rescue do not appear to have calmed investor nervousness.

12.

NCAER predicts 7.5% growth this fiscal (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Indias Economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER)

d)     Inflation

a)     NCAER has projected the countrys economic growth at 7.5 percent in the current fiscal. 

b)     It said satisfactory rainfall in the first half of the south-west monsoon season may help revive rural demand. Lower inflation because of lower commodity prices and lower food inflation may encourage demand. 

c)     It said the turbulences in the world economy adds uncertainty to the Indian economy.

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