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Daily News Analysis 29-08-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, US set to ink pact on terror database (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)  During the Homeland Security dialogue in December, India could soon get access to a US database of 11,000 terror suspects if the countries sign a pact to exchange information on terrorists.

2.

India rebuffs Afghanistan on strategic meet (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Stung by Afghanistans security and strategic shift towards Pakistan in the past year, India has rebuffed another invitation from Kabul to revive the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed in 2011 to hold a meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council.

3.

Secure haven for a terrorist (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     In an ideal world where the rule of law mattered and geopolitics did not dominate the conduct of international relations, Pakistan would have cooperated in the capture and extradition of Dawood Ibrahim and the criminal and mass murderer would have faced justice in the country of his origin.

4.

US asks Pak to curb nuke arsenal (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US has asked Pakistan and all other nuclear-armed countries to exercise restraint in expanding their nuclear capabilities after two American think-tanks said Pakistan could have the third largest stockpile of atomic weapons in about a decade.

5.

US security adviser in China ahead of Xis trip (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The US national security adviser met with President Xi Jinping amid final preparations for the Chinese leaders visit to Washington next month, with both sides expressing optimism despite their differences.

6.

Land ordinance allowed to lapse (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Land Acquisition ordinance of NDA govt was allowed to lapse with the government issuing executive orders to extend the provisions of compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement as mentioned in the 2013 version of the Act to 13 Central Acts like the National Highways Act and the Railways Act.

7.

Sign accords but talk peace (Page 11)

a)     National

a)  With the tenor changing from negotiation to dialogue, there is renewed hope that all stakeholders in the Naga peace process will be involved in finding a solution.

8.

Traders urge Opposition to ensure passage of GST Bill (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Concerned over the stalemate regarding GST Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the Confederation of All India Traders wrote to the leaders of major opposition parties, including Sonia Gandhi, in order to convince them to cooperate and ensure the passing of Bill in Parliament.

9.

Panel for early childcare as a legal entitlement (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     At a time when elementary education is facing budgetary cuts, the Law Commission of India has recommended that early childcare be made a legal entitlement.

10.

Researchers one step closer to cracking Alzheimers puzzle (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Health

a)    Research groups working together, may have gotten the closest yet to figuring out how the toxic form of the Alzheimers molecule looks. This brings with it implications of development of better drugs to treat patients.

11.

Another confident launch (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)    The ISROs second consecutive successful launch of the GSLV (with an indigenous cryogenic upper stage) proves that its earlier success in January 2014 (which came after a failed launch in 2010) was no fluke.

12.

13th century Ramanathapuram temples, choultry in ruins (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     History

a)    A team of archaeologists (which explored the archaeological remains on both the banks of the Vaigai) has discovered two Siva temples of late Pandya period and a choultry of the Nayak period in Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga districts and recommended that the 13th century structures be declared as protected monuments.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, US set to ink pact on terror database (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)

c)     Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

d)     Intelligence Bureau (IB)

e)     Terrorism

a)  During the Homeland Security dialogue in December, India could soon get access to a US database of 11,000 terror suspects if the countries sign a pact to exchange information on terrorists. The information would be shared through the FBIs legal attache at the US embassy in New Delhi.

b)    The HSPD -6 is a model text agreement proposed by the US for exchange of terrorist screening information between the Terrorist Screening Centre of the US and an Indian agency.

c)     India has proposed that the IB should be made the nodal agency for sharing such information.

d)     US has already finalised such agreements with 30 countries. TSC is a multi-agency organisation administered by the FBI, which consolidates several terrorist watch lists maintained by different US govt agencies into a single terrorist database on terror suspects.

2.

India rebuffs Afghanistan on strategic meet (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Afghanistan relations

b)     Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA)

c)     Strategic Partnership Council (SPC)

d)     Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA)

 

a)     Stung by Afghanistans security and strategic shift towards Pakistan in the past year, India has rebuffed another invitation from Kabul to revive the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed in 2011 to hold a meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council.

b)     India has also conveyed that External Affairs Minister Sushma will not attend the upcoming RECCA in Kabul on Sept 3 and 4, and instead Sujata Mehta, Secretary, Multilateral and Economic Relations, will represent India at the conference.

c)     While Indias decision to not attend the RECCA conference (which is essentially a development and donor conference) may not affect relations given Indias $2.3-billion strong commitment to Afghanistan, Afghan officials said the delay in the SPC meeting is more significant.

d)     India and Afghanistan have held only one meeting of the SPC (in 2012) since former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and former India PM Manmohan Singh signed the historic agreement in 2011.

e)     India was the first country Afghanistan chose to sign a strategic partnership agreement with, despite US and Pakistan keen on doing so. Since then, India has significantly withdrawn from its strategic promises to Afghanistan for a number of reasons.

f)     Indias development commitment remains robust, and Modis visit is expected to take place once the Afghan Parliament is completed by the Indian Public Works Department by January 2016.

3.

Secure haven for a terrorist (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Terrorism

b)     India – Pakistan relations

a)     In an ideal world where the rule of law mattered and geopolitics did not dominate the conduct of international relations, Pakistan would have cooperated in the capture and extradition of Dawood Ibrahim and criminal and mass murderer would have faced justice in the country of his origin.

b)     Instead, in this real world Pakistan persists with its long-pursued policy of plausible deniability, refusing to acknowledge the presence of the underworld kingpin, let alone responding to accusations that he has been sheltered by the agencies of the state.

c)     While he has been absconding from Indian justice after being identified as a key conspirator in the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed hundreds of people, it has been widely reported that he lives a secured life of comfort in Karachi, among other places.

d)     Today, Pakistan suffers festering wounds inflicted by its own strategy of terror. There is some degree of realisation among its civilian establishment that the nexus between security establishment and the jihadi complex has hurt its fledgling democratic institutions.

e)     But there has been little reorientation in Pakistans overall foreign policy towards India, beyond tokenism and a grudging acceptance of a changed world at large that has little tolerance for terrorists and their sponsors.

f)   Over the years, Indian govts have patiently built a case for his extradition through dossiers submitted to Pakistan. But these have been of no avail, and unsurprisingly so. It is to be hoped that the Pakistan govt will revisit the lessons learnt and cooperate on the issue of Ibrahims extradition. Among other things, such a step will aid in mending the fraught relations between India and Pakistan.

4.

US asks Pak to curb nuke arsenal (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US – Pakistan relations

b)     India – Afghanistan relations

a)     US has asked Pakistan and all other nuclear-armed countries to exercise restraint in expanding their nuclear capabilities after two American think-tanks said Pakistan could have the third largest stockpile of atomic weapons in about a decade.

b)     The report said that Pakistan will retain its capabilities for the foreseeable future as a necessary deterrent against perceived existential threats from India.

c)   Lauding Indias constructive role in Afghanistan, the US has asked China to follow the Indian model of engagement and developmental efforts in the war-torn country.

d)     India has so far given financial assistance worth over $2 billion to Afghanistan and has been involved in massive developmental efforts in this war-torn country.

5.

US security adviser in China ahead of Xis trip (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US – China relations

b)     Currency devaluation

c)     Global economic slowdown

a)     The US national security adviser met with President Xi Jinping amid final preparations for the Chinese leaders visit to Washington next month, with both sides expressing optimism despite their differences.

b)     His visit to Beijing comes as China is dealing with fallout from a sharply sliding stock market and slowing economic growth that have rattled global markets. A move to devalue its currency and make Chinese exports more competitive has brought criticism from some US politicians, in a throwback to past years when Beijing was accused of manipulating its currency.

c)     The economic setbacks are seen as weakening Xis clout as he prepares to meet with President Obama at the White House in late September.

6.

Land ordinance allowed to lapse (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 (LARR)

b)     Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency

c)     National Highways Act

d)     Railways Act

a)   Land Acquisition ordinance of NDA govt was allowed to lapse with the govt issuing executive orders to extend the provisions of compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement as mentioned in 2013 version of the Act to 13 Central Acts like the National Highways Act and the Railways Act.

b)     The order was issued by the govt under the removal of difficulties clause (section 113) of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in LARR 2013.

c)     This will allow govt the alternative of not promulgating the land ordinance for fourth time, allowing land acquisition under 13 Acts not mentioned in the UPA version of the Land Act and also give a free hand to State governments to acquire land under their own laws.

7.

Sign accords but talk peace (Page 11)

a)     National

a)     Naga Peace Accord

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

c)     NSCN (Khaplang)

d)     Naga Hoho

e)     Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR)

f)     Joint Forum for Gaonburahs and Doibashis (JFGBDB)

 

a)     In the weeks following the signing of the August 3 Naga Framework Agreement, the discourse has focused on the belief that the process has now reached the stage of a dialogue from the earlier stage of negotiations. This is reflected in statements of both R.N. Ravi (the govts peace interlocutor) and NSCN(I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah.

b)     Naga internal consultative process has tried to be inclusive of civil society bodies, academia, student bodies, social organisations and armed groups since the 1950s. The three Naga Peoples Conventions (NPCs) from 1957 to 1959 resulted in the formation of the State of Nagaland, established in 1963.

c)     The latest agreement was signed with NSCN (I-M), and other Naga armed groups such as NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) and NSCN (Reformation) have either resisted or welcomed the agreement. NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) pointed out on Aug 22 at Dimapur that while they welcomed any initiative that recognises Naga history, ethnicity and culture, they do not rejoice at the framework agreement, as it was limited to just the NSCN (I-M).

d)     On Aug 25, at a Peoples Consultative Meeting on the   accord, Muivah spoke about the criticality of getting the other Naga armed actors on board. While explaining the idea of a pan-Naga Hoho (a proposed statutory body as part of the framework agreement) that will enjoy independent executive and budgetary powers to look after the welfare of Naga inhabited areas outside Nagaland, Muivah again called for mutual understanding and dialogue among the Nagas.

e)     While negotiation aims at finding a concrete agreement, dialogue aims at a changed relationship. Naga peace negotiations have been stalled for decades due to the rigid postures of the main parties - like govts position that Indias territorial integrity and sovereignty are non-negotiable and the NSCN (I-M)s insistence that any resolution has to be outside the framework of the Indian Constitution and must include integration of all Naga inhabited areas.

f)     According to Hal Sanders, from the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue and the Kettering Foundation, there are certain key components of a successful dialogue - inclusiveness; joint ownership; listening, learning, and adapting; empathy and humanity; notions of self and the other; understanding of context; transparency; and a vision for the future.

g)     Dialogue aims to bridge the gap between the notions of self and the other and the constructed realities based on that distinction. The participants in the dialogue must have an understanding of the historical context leading to the conflict, and be sensitive to the changing political and social context.

h)     Cultural knowledge and understanding of the way of the land is critical. Any dialogue must have a long-term vision for the future propelled by the recognition that changed relationships hold the key to conflict resolution.

i)     Besides the govt, the primary participants in Naga dialogue processes are listed in the table alongside. Besides this, ordinary citizens like businessmen, intellectuals, and church leaders must be involved. The dialogues have been mostly facilitated by the Naga Hoho, the FNR and the JFGBDB. These civil society actors see the conflict as a response to the inadequate fulfilment of basic human needs in Naga society.

j)     The test for the current consultative process is to absorb principles of dialogue identified above, especially pertaining to inclusiveness, joint ownership, transparency, and a vision for the future. Resistance from the Khole-Kitovi, and Khaplang factions to the August 3 agreement has to be addressed within the framework of dialogue.

k)     Moreover, the Naga intra-community dialogue participants must evolve an inter-dialogue mechanism with conflicting ethnic groups like the Meiteis, and give a genuine hearing to their concerns of possible subjugation by Nagas. An inter-ethnic dialogue on the Naga framework agreement across affected States in the North-east will be a good start to making it more inclusive.

8.

Traders urge Opposition to ensure passage of GST Bill (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     GST Bill

b)     Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT)

c)     Parliament

d)     Lok Sabha

e)     Rajya Sabha

a)     Concerned over deadlock regarding GST Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the CAIT wrote to the leaders of major opposition parties (including Sonia Gandhi) in order to convince them to cooperate and ensure passing of Bill in Parliament.

b)     The letter said roadblocks are giving a dismal picture of such an important tax reform in the country. The GST has much value to the trading community since the trading community is deeply webbed into an excess of tax laws and regulations of multiple tax authorities.

c)     GST Bill went through several significant steps before it could be placed before the Rajya Sabha in the recently-concluded Monsoon session of Parliament. Having been passed by Lok Sabha last year, it was sent to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee, which deliberated on the provisions in the Bill.

d)     In its report submitted to the House, the Committee (headed by Bhupender Yadav of the BJP) said that most of the Bills provisions were cleared. It suggested only minor changes and stipulations. To start with, it recommended that the GST rate should not go beyond 20 percent as standard rate and 14 percent as reduced rate.

e)  Significantly, the Committee acceded to the request of the States that the Centre fully compensate them for any loss of revenue due to the implementation of GST for a period of five years. Earlier, the Centre had agreed to full compensation for three years, 75 percent in the fourth year and 50 percent in the fifth year.

f)     On July 29, the Cabinet cleared recommendations made by Select Committee, allowing the Bill to be placed before the Rajya Sabha in the Monsoon session. However, agitation over political controversies meant that the Bill failed to pass Parliament in that session. Now, unless there is a special session of Parliament, the Bill will be introduced in the Winter Session.

9.

Panel for early childcare as a legal entitlement (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Right to Education (RTE) Act

b)     Directive Principles of State Policy

c)     Maternity Benefit Act

 

a)     At a time when elementary education is facing budgetary cuts, the Law Commission of India has recommended that early childcare be made a legal entitlement. Currently, only elementary education (for children in the 6-to-14 age-group) is a legal entitlement under the Right to Education.

b)     In its report on Early Childhood Development and Legal Entitlements submitted to the govt, the Law Commission said that despite several recommendations, the welfare of under-six children (which constitutes 16 percent of the population) remains locked in Part IV of the Constitution under the Directive Principles of State Policy.

c)     Apart from amending the RTE Act to provide early childhood care and education for three-to-six year-olds, the Commission has also called for a new Article 24A to be inserted into Part III of the Constitution to make a childs right to basic care and assistance an enforceable right.

d)     Also, the Commission has called for amending Maternity Benefit Act to double it from 3 months and make it mandatory for every State to ensure that it covers all women including those working in unorganised sector.

10.

Researchers one step closer to cracking Alzheimers puzzle (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Health

a)     Alzheimers disease

b)     Amyloid beta molecule

a)    Research groups working together, may have gotten the closest yet to figuring out how the toxic form of the Alzheimers molecule looks. This brings with it implications of development of better drugs to treat patients.

b)     Alzheimers disease is a progressive form of dementia that is characterised by loss of short-term memory, deterioration in behaviour and intellectual performance, besides slowness of thought. It may occur in middle age or in old age, and while a lot of research is on for drug treatments, none has been successful.

c)     Experts say while it is widely accepted that a specific form of Amyloid beta molecule is a major player in causing Alzheimers, the shape and form of this remained elusive. Scientists have caught a glimpse of the molecule during its attempt to enter a cell membrane, using a new method involving laser light and fat-coated silver nanoparticles.

11.

Another confident launch (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     GSLV

b)     GSAT-6

c)     GSLV-Mk-II

d)     GSLV-Mk-III

e)     INSAT-4A

f)     Cryogenic Upper State (CUS)

g)     ISRO

a)    ISROs second consecutive successful launch of the GSLV (with an indigenous cryogenic upper stage) proves that its earlier success in January 2014 (which came after a failed launch in 2010) was no fluke.

b)     Also, this is the first time a GSLV rocket with an indigenous CUS has crossed the two-tonne payload mark: the GSAT-6 that it lifted weighed all of 2117 kg. Gaining mastery in managing the CUS, which involves a complex process of using propellants at extremely low temperatures in flight, requires higher-order skills in space technology.

c)     However, earning the operational rocket tag for the GSLV-Mk-II following the two consecutive successful launches will not immediately mean much, as most of the communication satellites ISRO currently makes are  beyond the GSLV-Mk-IIs two-tonne capability. Indias dependence on foreign space agencies to launch those heavier satellites will continue till the GSLV-Mk-III is tested and declared operational.

d)     ISRO will require more faultless Mk-II launches to understand GSLV behaviour adequately and develop the requisite confidence and expertise. Even as ISRO expands its capabilities, how soon it would achieve true self-reliance will be a crucial factor.

12.

13th century Ramanathapuram temples, choultry in ruins (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     Pandya period

b)     Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act 2010

c)     Vaigai river

a)    A team of archaeologists (which explored archaeological remains on both the banks of the Vaigai) has discovered two Siva temples of late Pandya period and a choultry of Nayak period in Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga districts and recommended that the 13th century structures be declared as protected monuments.

b)     They had recommended that Siva temple and choultry at Kallikottai near Paramakudi in Ramanathapuram district and another Siva temple at Karungalakudi in Thirupuvanam taluk of Sivaganga district be declared protected monuments under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act 2010.

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