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Daily News Analysis 26-08-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Kashmir not a third party, it is integral to dialogue: Sharif (Page 1)

a)     I.R

a)    Asserting that Kashmiri separatist leaders are not a third party, Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif said that any dialogue process with India which does not include the Kashmir issue will be futile.

2.

LeT may benefit from Indo-Pak tensions (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Sounding a warning over the LeTs plans to indigenise its operations in J&K, a US expert on the LeT says the group responsible for the Mumbai 26/11 attacks could benefit from tensions between India and Pakistan.

3.

India caught unawares by Male developments (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India was again caught unawares by developments in Male, following the dramatic re-arrest of former President Mohammed Nasheed.

4.

Nepal violence: Modi promises Koirala help (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     PM Modi called up his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala to express his concern over the violence that has broken out in the Himalayan kingdom and assured him of all possible help for restoration of peace.

5.

JuD, Haqqani network not banned in Pakistan (Page14)

a)     International

a)     According to an official list of 60 proscribed outfits, Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Afghanistan-based dreaded Haqqani network are not banned in Pakistan.

6.

IAEA seeks more money for Iran nuclear work (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The UN nuclear watchdog said it will run out of money next month to monitor implementation of nuclear accords with Tehran and asked countries to increase funding the costs of its Iran work, which will rise to $10 million a year.

7.

Hollow promise of special status (Page 11)

a)     National

a)   Given that economic benefits under Special Category status are minimal and have been diluted over the years, States would be better off seeking a special package.

8.

Muslim population growth slows (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     New Census data show that Indias Muslim population is growing slower than it had in the previous decades, and its growth rate has slowed more sharply than that of the Hindu population.

9.

Markets rebound, China cuts lending rate (Pages 1 and 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Stock indices and the rupee regained some lost ground as China cut rates to rejuvenate its economy and markets.

10.

GSLV set to launch GSAT-6 tomorrow (Page9)

a)     S&T

a)    The GSLV-D6 satellite launcher powered by the indigenously developed upper cryogenic stage will be flown on Aug 27 from Sriharikota.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Kashmir not a third party, it is integral to dialogue: Sharif (Page 1)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     NSA talks

c)     Kashmir issue

a)    Asserting that Kashmiri separatist leaders are not a third party, Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif said that any dialogue process with India which does not include the Kashmir issue will be futile.

b)     His comments at a Cabinet meeting came just days after Pakistan called off the talks scheduled between NSAs of the two nations after India asked it to give a commitment not to meet Kashmiri separatist leaders.

2.

LeT may benefit from Indo-Pak tensions (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     LeT

c)     Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

d)     Haqqani network

 

a)     Sounding a warning over the LeTs plans to indigenise its operations in J&K, a US expert on the LeT says the group responsible for the Mumbai 26/11 attacks could benefit from tensions between India and Pakistan.

b)     Significantly, he says he has seen no evidence of a strategic shift in the Pakistani establishments support for the LeT and its leader Hafiz Saeed after the Peshawar massacre in December.

c)     LeT does not support attacks on Pakistan, it provides intelligence about the other militant groups, it has been used to attack other groups such as TTP. It has internal utility as a result.

d)     He rejects the idea held by many in India that the US has focussed more on Pakistani action against the Haqqani network that attacks its troops in Afghanistan than it does the LeT that targets India.

e)     Based on his study of the group in Pakistan and operatives in Europe and other countries, he says there are growing divisions within LeT, including on the succession plan for Hafiz Saeed. Any plan of Indian operatives targeting Hafiz Saeed would have a very destabilising effect on region.

3.

India caught unawares by Male developments (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Maldives relations

b)     Maldives internal issues

a)     India was again caught unawares by developments in Male, following the dramatic re-arrest of former President Mohammed Nasheed.

b)     While the Maldivian Democratic Party says the re-arrest is unconstitutional, the govt says it had never commuted his sentence to house arrest. India is yet to articulate its response, but sources in Male said India was not kept in the loop on the re-arrest, despite a recent thaw in political ties.

c)     The action came close on the heels of visits by Maldivian Foreign Secretary Ali Naseer Mohamed to New Delhi and Foreign Secretary Jaishankar to Male as part of his SAARC Yatra. These visits were perceived as indication of the two governments moving towards more amicable ties.

d)     India has been worried about Chinas growing influence in the region and has conveyed its concerns to Male.

4.

Nepal violence: Modi promises Koirala help (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Nepal relations

b)     Nepals internal issues

c)     New Constitution process

a)     PM Modi called up his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala to express his concern over violence that has broken out in the Himalayan kingdom and assured him of all possible help for restoration of peace.

b)     Pointing out that political and social instability would seriously compound the tragedy caused by recent earthquake, Modi conveyed that India would do all it could for security in Nepal.

c)     In his conversation with Koirala, Modi appreciated the historic progress that Nepal had made in drafting its Constitution, but restated the message that the political leadership should resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue among all political parties and through the process of consultation.

5.

JuD, Haqqani network not banned in Pakistan (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD)

b)     Haqqani network

c)     Al-Qaeda

a)     According to an official list of 60 proscribed outfits, Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Afghanistan-based dreaded Haqqani network are not banned in Pakistan.

b)     However, the govt has put the JuD on the list of groups being closely watched by the officials, which means that it can be banned if found guilty of promoting militancy.

c)     JuD is listed as a terror outfit by the UN and its chief Hafiz Saeed has a $10 million US govt bounty against him, but he moves freely across Pakistan.

d)     The al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network (blamed for several deadly attacks against Western and Indian interests in Afghanistan including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul) is also not on the list.

6.

IAEA seeks more money for Iran nuclear work (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Irans nuclear programme

b)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

c)     IAEA

a)     The UN nuclear watchdog said it will run out of money next month to monitor implementation of nuclear accords with Tehran and asked countries to increase funding the costs of its Iran work, which will rise to $10 million a year.

b)     Under the agreement reached between Tehran and six world powers on July 14, sanctions relief for Iran hinges on IAEA reports on its past and present nuclear programme. So far, costs for IAEAs activities on Iran have been met through extra-budgetary contributions from member states.

c)     The IAEA will need an additional €160,000 a month in the run-up to implementation of the agreement which could happen in the first half of next year. Once it is implemented, the agency will need an annual €9.2 million ($10.6 million) to ensure verification of the deal.

7.

Hollow promise of special status (Page 11)

a)     National

a)     Special Category status

b)     Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC)

c)     National Development Council (NDC)

d)     Fourth Five Year Plan

e)     Fifth Five Year Plan

f)     Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP)

g)     Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS)

 

a)     A number of States have staked their claim for Special Category status in recent years. The issue has again taken centre stage following Union Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singhs reply to a pointer in the Lok Sabha on July 31 2015 that the question of granting such status to any State does not arise.

b)     The reason given by the Minister was that the FFC had increased the tax devolution to States from 32 percent to 42 percent of the divisible pool of central taxes obviating the need for specific categorising. Given the emotive discourse around the demand, understanding the issues involved in it will facilitate a dispassionate stand on the subject both by the Union govt and the States.

c)     Under the D.R. Gadgil formula for the distribution of central plan assistance, which became operational during the fourth Five Year Plan, the requirements of Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland were to be met first and the balance of central assistance distributed to the remaining States based on certain criteria.

d)     At the time of formulation of the fifth Five Year Plan, it was decided to include Himachal Pradesh, other Northeastern States and Sikkim in the above category. For the first time, these 10 States were categorised as Special Category States to distinguish them from others. Later on, Uttarakhand was accorded Special Category.

e)     Special Category status had been granted in the past by the Union govt to States having certain characteristics based on recommendations of the NDC. These included i) hilly terrain; ii) low population density and/or sizeable share of tribal population; iii) strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries; iv) economic and infrastructure backwardness; and v) non-viable nature of State finances.

f)     Under the revised Gadgil-Mukherjee formula (which was in operation till 2014-15), 30 percent of the normal central assistance was earmarked for Special Category States and the remaining 70 percent to General Category States. Special Category States were entitled to get such assistance in the grant-loan ratio of 90:10 as compared with 30:70 ratio for other States.

g)     Under the AIBP, Special Category States get 90 percent of the project cost as grant as compared with 25 percent grant for others. The matching contribution in respect of CSS is usually lower for Special Category States, more particularly, for those in the Northeastern region.

h)     Though all the Special Category States are provided with central incentives for the promotion of industries, there is no explicit linkage between the incentives and the special status. The package of incentives is different for the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and the States located in the Northeastern region. These packages have more to do with their backwardness than status.

i)     Several changes over the years (more particularly those introduced in the Union Budget 2015-16) have resulted in considerable dilution of benefits to the Special Category States. The loan component of normal plan assistance was dispensed with in 2005-06 and since then such assistance is being given only in the form of grants to all States, including those in the general category.

j)     Following this, the share of Special Category States in total normal central assistance has been around 56 percent from 2005-06 onwards. Following the increase in tax devolution to States from 32 to 42 per cent of divisible pool of central taxes, the Centre has dispensed with normal plan assistance, special central assistance and special plan assistance from 2015-16 onwards.

k)     The Special Category status is not so special anymore following the above changes. The only attraction that remains is the benefit of assistance for externally aided projects (90 per cent grant). But even this will be of limited benefit if any new state is accorded special category for a limited period of five years or so as disbursal of external assistance cannot be substantial in such a limited period.

l)     Following the demand for Special Status by Bihar, a committee was appointed under Raghuram Rajan in 2013. This committee suggested that States classified as Special Category States and those seeking inclusion in that category, would find that their need for funds and special attention more than adequately met by a basic allocation to each State and the categorisation of some as least developed.

m)     Furthermore, it is not politically feasible to consider special status to any new State as any such decision will result in demands from other States and dilute the benefits further. It is also not economically beneficial for States to seek special status as the benefits under the current dispensation are minimal. States facing special problems will be better off seeking a special package.

8.

Muslim population growth slows (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Population

b)     India Census 2011

c)     Sex Ratio

 

a)     New Census data show that Indias Muslim population is growing slower than it had in the previous decades, and its growth rate has slowed more sharply than that of the Hindu population. The decadal Muslim rate of growth is the lowest it has ever been in India’s history, as it is for all religions.

b)     The Muslim population still grows at a faster rate than the Hindu population, but the gap between the two growth rates is narrowing fast.

c)     India now has 966.3 million Hindus, who make up 79.8 percent of its population, and 172.2 million Muslims, who make up 14.23 percent. Among the other minorities, Christians make up 2.3 percent of the population and Sikhs 2.16 per cent.

d)     The Registrar-General and Census Commissioner released data on Population by Religious Communities of Census 2011.

e)     The sex ratio among Muslims now stands at 951 females for every 1000 males (substantially better than 936 in 2001), while among Hindus, it is 939 females for every 1000 males, a slight improvement over the 2001 value of 931. Assam remains the State with the largest Muslim population as a proportion (34.22 percent) and saw the largest increase in the Muslim proportion between 2001 and 2011, followed by Uttarakhand and Kerala.

f)     As has been the case since Independence, the rate of increase of the Muslim population is higher than that of the Hindu population as a result of higher Muslim fertility, higher child mortality among Hindus and a greater life expectancy among Muslims.

9.

Markets rebound, China cuts lending rate (Pages 1 and 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Chinese currency devaluation

b)     Currency war

c)     Sensitive Index (Sensex)

a)    Stock indices and the rupee regained some lost ground as China cut rates to rejuvenate its economy and markets. China has cut interest rates for a fifth time in nine months in a fresh effort to boost growth in the real economy following the stock market rout.

b)   Though China stocks closed down by 7.63 percent, other Asian and European markets recovered as the Peoples Bank of China cut its one-year benchmark bank lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.6 percent.

c)     The rupee closed at 66.10 a dollar against its close of 66.65. It hit an intra-day high of 65.89 and low of 66.76 in a highly volatile trade. The benchmark BSE 30-share Sensex regained 290.82 points or 1.13 percent.

10.

GSLV set to launch GSAT-6 tomorrow (Page 9)

a)     S&T

a)     GSLV-D6

b)     GSAT-6

c)     ISRO

a)    The GSLV-D6 satellite launcher powered by the indigenously developed upper cryogenic stage will be flown on Aug 27 from Sriharikota.

b)     The ISRO is using the vehicle to send the 2117-kg GSAT-6 communication satellite into space.

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