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Daily News Analysis 28-08-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Getting the talk atmospherics right (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Talks between India and Pakistan suffer from certain inbuilt defects. Indias desire to up the ante for talks stems from a combination of international and domestic pressures. In contrast, Pakistan has far fewer stakes in the outcomes.

2.

India should assume a more assertive role (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Formulating a credible INDC is the first and most basic step. Working towards developing a meaningful peaking year is the next.

3.

Centre unveils list of 98 smart cities; U.P. & T.N. strike it rich (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

a)     Urban Development Minister Venkaiah urged local and international investors to put their money on the Smart City Mission, assuring them that it was a safe bet.

4.

Region and religion both matter for better population indicators (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Data from 2011 and 2001 decadal Censuses suggest that region and religion both matter for better population indicators.

5.

We could well achieve MDGs by this year: PM (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to put an end to maternal and child deaths in India on a war footing.

6.

RBI asks Govt to speed up reforms in banking system (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     The Reserve Bank of India warned the Government that any delay in reform of the banking system in the country would lead to greater risk in the economy.

7.

India gets another eye in the sky (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     Staging yet another spectacular launch of the three-stage heavy weight rocket GSLV-D6 wich integrates the indigenous cryogenic upper stage, the ISRO successfully placed a GSAT-6 communication satellite in the intended orbit.

8.

IMD deficit forecast comes true (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     As the season enters its final phase, the forecast of a below-normal monsoon made by India Meteorological Department has come true with the rainfall deficit standing exactly at the 12 percent it has predicted.

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Getting the talk atmospherics right (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     NSA talks

d)     Hurriyat conference

e)     Kashmir issue

f)     Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)

a)     In the meeting in Ufa between Indian and Pakistani PMs Modi and Nawaz Sharif held on the sidelines of SCO conclave in July 2015, the leaders agreed to (among other things) talks being held in New Delhi between the NSA of India and Pakistan, which was billed as the most important takeaway. 

b)     Talks between India and Pakistan suffer from certain inbuilt defects. India (far more than Pakistan) has always been keen to engage in direct talks with the latter. Pakistan prefers instead to talk to the rest of the world, if only to accuse India of deceit, especially when it comes to Kashmir.

c)    Indias desire to periodically up the ante for talks stems from a combination of international and domestic pressures to which India yields from time to time. Much of the international pressure comes from lobbies in the West, including the US. The domestic peace offensive tends to be equally persuasive in pushing the envelope regarding holding talks.

d)     Pakistan has far fewer stakes, or for that matter qualms, about the outcomes where talks are concerned. Hence, it has far greater latitude in this regard, including of sabotaging talks if and when they are held. Pakistans real problem is that it is the ISI and the Army that determine when to talk, and even on how to marshal arguments, often with little regard to the truth.

e)     Of late, there has also been an unfortunate trend of the PMs of India and Pakistan holding bilateral meetings on sidelines of global meets or events - whether they relate to issues that are of economic and strategic importance or on any other aspect. It is accompanied by pressures for significant outcomes, irrespective of whether the times are propitious for such talks or the regional and geo-political situation lends itself to holding such talks.

f)     With the announcement of the NSA-level talks (without due preparations being made), it might have been anticipated that it contained the seeds of its own failure. Furthermore, statements and agreements reached between heads of govt require careful vetting so as to leave no scope for differing interpretations, as has arisen in the present instance. This is especially important when the PMs of India and Pakistan meet since only a very small window of opportunity exists.

g)     As the prime mover of the talks, India should have taken particular care to deny Pakistan an opportunity or excuse to derail the talks. The very fact that Pakistan agreed to talk about terror at the NSA level, which would have given India an opportunity to put on table factual details of Pakistans failure to deal with terrorists on its soil should have alerted India about Pakistans possible deceit.

h)     Again, India must have been extremely naive to believe that there could be an India-Pakistan dialogue without Pakistan making Kashmir its centerpiece, even if it did not form part of the Ufa agreement, as stated by Union Minister of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

i)     India had more to lose by the talks not being held. In the short term, Pak has obtained a fair idea of how much India knew about developments in Pakistan, including the whereabouts of Indias No.1 fugitive Dawood Ibrahim. Indias hope that the talks would pave the way for a conducive climate in which some of the critical aspects of terror could be addressed, has proved to be a non-starter.

j)     There are several other negative fallouts as well from the aborted NSA-level talks. Both factions of Hurriyat have gained a degree of prominence when their fortunes were almost at their nadir. This constitutes a setback to Indias efforts over the years to marginalise them.

k)     Pakistan-based terrorist organisations like the LeT can also be expected to exploit the so-called breakdown in relations, and India should brace itself to confront a fresh wave of terror attacks. As it is, the graph of militancy in J&K has been going up of late, and the latest events should aggravate matters. The LeT (being the recognised sword-arm of the ISI and the Pakistani state) will be the main gainer.

l)   Meanwhile, there are several lessons to be learnt from the latest mishap. Negotiations with Pakistan clearly demand more careful thought and planning. Talks should not be launched on the basis of pressure exerted by those on the periphery, and from those who constantly applaud Indias determination to talk on terror despite Pakistans belligerence.

m)     Detailed planning for the success of any such talks should include measures to minimise the fallout if talks fail. Every opportunity should be provided to revive or restart them at an appropriate time. Most important, talks at this level need to be held when regional and geo-political situation is suitable for negotiations, and Pak shows some inclination to resort to negotiations, rather than engage in provocations.

2.

India should assume a more assertive role (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Climate change

b)     Paris Climate talks 2015

c)     Carbon emissions

d)     INDCs

 

 

a)     The worlds most important climate talks are coming up at the end of this year in Paris. The French presidency is leading an unprecedented climate diplomacy drive - working tirelessly to bring countries together beforehand in the hopes of making progress towards a global deal. The latest such consultations took place last month as informal ministerial consultations that brought together 40 delegations and 30 Ministers.

b)     To limit the global rise in temperature to two degrees Celsius, considered benchmark for dangerous climate change, countries have agreed to submit their intended nationally determined contributions or INDCs. INDCs are bottom-up commitments from nations defining the extent of their emissions reduction contribution towards this global goal.

c)     Nations were requested to submit their INDCs by the end of March 2015, but not later than October 2015. Initial calculations suggest that total submissions account for only 56 per cent of global emissions.

d)     The most significant development in the discussions is the concept of a peaking year. A peaking date is a time in the future until when emissions are expected to grow, and is likely a function of anticipated growth plans and energy use. China (the worlds largest emitter) says its emissions will peak in 2030. The EU is committed to its previously announced target of 20 percent cuts off 1990 levels by 2020. Ethiopia (one of the worlds poorest nations is set to reduce its total emissions starting 2030.

e)     Like others, India committed to INDCs in 2009. They are expected to soon be reviewed and released, in time for Paris summit. India is fourth largest emitter and despite our $2 trillion GDP, over 30 percent of the population does not have access to electricity. Some 21 percent lives below the poverty line. This means India needs a lot of headroom emissions to grow before it we can think of slowing down.

f)     Consider just these initiatives: Indias total green energy commitment is 175GW - over five times the current amount. The Indian Railways has announced several energy conservation measures. Urban metro transport is being contemplated as part of smart cities project. Cars are moving to Bharat-VI emissions norms. All of this could be bundled into an INDC and become the first step in climate diplomacy. A two degree goal means that global emissions must peak by 2020. INDCs should therefore be developed with this target in view.

g)   Peaking years are a function of economic growth, energy use and population increases. The concept of a peaking year is an important step in climate negotiations, not because it sets a particular date per se, but because it begins a conceptual shift away from the current outdated classification of nations under Annex-I (so called developed economies) and Non-Annex-I (so called developing countries). 

h)     GDP per capita would perhaps the most logical way of determining a new benchmark. For a diverse country like India, its leadership quotient could be a sum of all actions currently being undertaken to meet its infrastructure needs; and its additional quotient could seek financing for meeting the incremental costs of greening more basic energy needs to cater to say, the segment of India without basic energy access.

i)     Either way, it is time that India assumed a constructive role in the international arena. It is time it began to move away from traditional alliances such as like minded developing countries and crafted new links that are more in sync with the countrys growth plans. Formulating a credible INDC is the first and most basic step. Working towards developing a meaningful peaking year is the next.

3.

Centre unveils list of 98 smart cities; U.P. & T.N. strike it rich (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

a)     Smart Cities Mission

b)     Swachh Bharat Mission

c)     Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation

a)     Urban Development Minister Venkaiah urged local and international investors to put their money on the Smart City Mission, assuring them that it was a safe bet.

b)     He unveiled a list of 98 cities with Uttar Pradesh taking the largest share of developing 13 smart cities followed by Tamil Nadu, which qualified to develop 12.

c)     With an aim to achieve inclusive growth, the Smart City Mission promotes integrated city planning, where govts policies such as Swachh Bharat Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation complement each other.

d)     Of the 98 cities and towns that five years down will graduate into smart cities, 24 are capital cities, another 24 are business and industrial centres, 18 are culture and tourism influenced areas, five are port cities and three are education and health care hubs.

4.

Region and religion both matter for better population indicators (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Population

b)     Census of India 2011

c)     Sex Ratio

a)     Data from 2011 and 2001 decadal Censuses suggest that region and religion both matter for better population indicators. According to the data, in the more developed southern States all communities do better than in the more backward northern States.

b)     Between 2001 and 2011, Muslims (24.65 percent) remained the group with fastest population growth, followed closely by STs (23.66 percent) and SCs (20.85 percent). All three groups have historically had poor education indicators, especially for women, and restricted access to health care.

c)     However, in States such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu (which are considered advanced in terms of income and development indicators), population growth is low for all communities.

d)     The population growth rate for Muslims in Kerala, for example, while substantially higher than that for Hindus or Christians in the State, is lower than the national average for Hindus, and half that of Hindus in States like Bihar.

e)     Two notable exceptions are Assam and Uttarakhand, where the Muslim growth rate is significantly higher than the national average, while the Hindu growth rate is lower.

f)     When it comes to sex ratio, Sikhs as a community had the worst sex ratio in 2011 at 903 females for every 1000 males, followed by non-SC/ ST Hindus (929), while Christians had the best sex ratio (1023 females for every 1000 males) followed by STs (990). Here again, region matters.

5.

We could well achieve MDGs by this year: PM (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

b)     Sustainable Development Goals

c)     Mission Indradhanush

d)     India Newborn Action Plan (INAP)

e)     Neonatal Mortality Rate

a)     PM Modi vowed to put an end to maternal and child deaths in India on a war footing. He was addressing the inaugural session of two-day Call to Action 2015 summit, being attended by 24 countries that contribute nearly 70 percent of preventable maternal and child deaths globally.

b)     The summit aims to discuss strategies while the world transits from the MDGs to the Sustainable Development Goals this year-end. Based on the fast pace of decline in Under-5 mortality figures, Modi said on this front, India could well reach its MDGs target by the end of 2015.

c)   While taking pride in Indias elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus, ahead of the target date of Dec 2015, he said that to sustain current efforts, govt was seeking to accelerate the pace of full immunisation coverage in the country under the Mission Indradhanush. Focusing on vaccinating the left-outs, the programme seeks to accelerate current increase in the annual rate of immunisation from existing level of 1 percent to more than 5 percent per year.

d)    Modi also drew attention to INAP launched in Sept 2014, which now targeted reduction in Neonatal Mortality Rate and still births to a single digit by 2030.

6.

RBI asks Govt to speed up reforms in banking system (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Banking system

b)     RBI

a)     The RBI warned the Government that any delay in reform of the banking system in the country would lead to greater risk in the economy.

b)    RBI Governor Rajan wrote (in his overview of the central banks annual report 2014-15), the current stress in the banking system suggests that the real economy will not wait for the banking system, and a slow pace of reform could lead to greater, rather than lower risk residing in the banking system.

c)     He also stressed the need for more participation in the countrys financial markets to increase their size, depth, and liquidity.

7.

India gets another eye in the sky (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     GSLV-D6

b)     GSAT-6

c)     NASA ISRO SAR Mission (NISAR)

 

a)     Staging yet another spectacular launch of 3-stage heavy weight rocket GSLV-D6 which integrates the indigenous cryogenic upper stage, the ISRO successfully placed a GSAT-6 communication satellite in the intended orbit.

b)     GSLV-D6 is the second successful consecutive launch of the GSLV series with an indigenous cryogenic upper stage. ISRO had (on Jan5 2014) launched GSLV D-5, after a similar attempt failed in 2010.

c)     The 2117-kg GSAT-6 communication satellite is aimed primarily at benefiting the countrys strategic users and other authorised users. The cuboid-shaped satellite (with a mission life of nine years) also includes a first-of-its-kind S-Band unfurlable antenna with a diameter of six metre. This is the largest antenna the ISRO has ever made for a satellite.

d)     The successful launch of GSAT-6 satellite by GSLV-D6, earning launcher the operational rocket tag, will signal joint collaboration between Indias ISRO and NASA of the US.

e)     ISRO official said NISAR is expected to be launched on board GSLV-D6 in 2020-21, adding NISAR would be optimised for studying hazards and global environment change.

8.

IMD deficit forecast comes true (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Monsoon

b)     Inflation

c)     India Meteorological Department (IMD)

a)     As the season enters its final phase, the forecast of a below-normal monsoon made by IMD has come true with the rainfall deficit standing exactly at 12 percent it has predicted.

b)     Private forecaster Skymet (which had forecast a normal monsoon) concedes that with the season nearly done, the rainfall is not likely to increase.

c)     The IMD says the southern peninsula and central India have been the worst hit, with rainfall 20 and 15 percent below normal, respectively. Northwest India, east and northeast India received 6 percent less.

d)   Only three (West Rajasthan, West Madhya Pradesh and Gangetic West Bengal) of the 36 sub-divisions in the country have received surplus rainfall, and 15 have received normal. Half the sub-divisions received deficient rainfall. The department defines rainfall as deficient if it is 20-59 percent less than normal. But despite the deficient monsoon, food inflation has been falling.

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