Current Affairs > Daily Current affairs

Back
Daily News Analysis 01-09-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Indias walkout from UNSC was a turning point: Natwar (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Even as the govt celebrates Indias forgotten war with Pakistan in 1965, Indias former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh says Indias silent diplomatic victory at the end of the war must not be forgotten either.

2.

Time to move from posturing to dialogue (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)    The Pakistani leadership and its establishment need to realise that with the arrival of PM Modi on the scene, they need to revise their foreign policy template towards India.

3.

Indira Gandhi planned strike on Pak nuclear sites (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)   A declassified Central Intelligence Agency document has claimed that returning to power in 1980, the then PM Indira Gandhi had considered a military strike on Pakistans nuclear installations to prevent it from acquiring weapons capabilities,.

4.

Charting a new Asian history (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     Rich dividends in terms of peace and development can be reaped if India and China work together to synergise the proposed regional cooperation projects that interconnect Bangladesh, Pakistan and other neighbouring countries.

5.

Council seat will help Hindi enter UN list: Sushma (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India (which is aspiring for a permanent seat in the expanded UNSC) hopes its inclusion in the elite group will make it easier for it to gather support for the inclusion of Hindi in the list of UN official languages.

6.

India is a key partner in Indo-Pacific region (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India and Australia share an interest in the freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean region.

7.

India should back yuans entry into  SDR basket (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian said that India should encourage the entry of Chinas currency into the Special Drawing Rights basket of the IMF and support the internationalisation of the renminbi.

8.

China takes fresh steps to fine-tune economy (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China is narrowing its focus on the heavily indebted local governments to help fine-tune a transitioning economy, whose fundamentals remain strong.

9.

Supreme Court lifts stay on Santhara ritual of Jains (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Supreme Court restored the Jain religious practice of a ritualistic fast unto death by staying an order of the Rajasthan High Court, which compared it to an act of suicide.

10.

No death except for terror crimes: Law Commission (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Law Commission of India has recommended abolition of the death penalty for all crimes except terrorism-related offences and waging war against the state.

11.

At 7 percent, India remains fastest growing major economy (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)    India remained the fastest growing major economy of the world for a second straight quarter, with the GDP growing at 7 percent during April-June against 6.7 percent during the corresponding quarter in 2014.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Indias walkout from UNSC was a turning point: Natwar (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Indo-Pak war 1965

c)     Simla Agreement of 1972

d)     UNSC

e)     Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

f)     Kashmir issue

 

a)     Even as the govt celebrates Indias forgotten war with Pak in 1965, Indias former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh says Indias silent diplomatic victory at the end of the war must not be forgotten either.

b)     According to him (posted at Indias permanent mission at UN then), 1965 was a turning point for the UN on Kashmir, and a well-planned walkout from the UNSC by the Indian delegation as a protest against Pakistani Foreign Minister (and later PM) Zulfikar Ali Bhuttos speech ensured Kashmir was dropped from UNSC agenda for all practical purposes.

c)   As a result, there was hardly any reference to Kashmir for the next few decades at UNSC, barring one resolution after the 1971 war. He said the Soviet Union helped by vetoing many of the resolutions Pakistan tried to push, and after the Simla Agreement of 1972 (which committed to a bilateral resolution), the UNSC references to Kashmir ended entirely.

d)     According to the records, between 1948 and 1965 the UNSC passed 23 resolutions on Kashmir. After 1965, the UN body passed just one resolution (Resolution 307, Dec 21 1971), calling on India and Pakistan to respect the ceasefire line after the Bangladesh war.

e)     He said it took diplomats several years to reverse PM Jawaharlal Nehrus original sin of taking the issue of Kashmir to the UNSC in 1948. To begin with, PM Nehru should never have taken the issue to UNSC at all, but even when the govt did, it should have been listed under Chapter 7 citing Pakistani aggression, rather than Chapter 6 which deals with the peaceful resolution of disputes.

f)     Recounting his time at the UN (1962-1966), he said it is apparent that Pakistan is aiming to internationalise the Kashmir issue once again by repeatedly taking petitions to the UN. In Aug this year, it raised the issue of firing at the LoC with UN officials more than once, and in a briefing to UNSC, Pakistan Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said multilateral organisations like UN and OIC should play a role in resolving J&K dispute.

g)     He said we should be prepared for Pakistan raising Kashmir issue at the General Assembly. Nothing pleases them more than if our PM uses the UNGA forum to respond to their PM, as our PMs have done in the past two years.

2.

Time to move from posturing to dialogue (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Ufa joint statement

d)     NSA talks

e)     Directors General of Military Operation (DGMOs)

f)     SCO summit

g)     SAARC Summit

h)     Kashmir issue

i)     Siachen issue

j)     Sir Creek issue

 

 

a)     Over the decades, there have been numerous efforts to hold a meaningful dialogue and discuss all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan but with almost zero results. Even during the most recent meeting between the two PMs at Ufa in Russia, emphasis was again on discussing all outstanding issues but the so called dialogue collapsed even before it began.

b)   At Ufa, the broad objectives were jointly agreed to and spelled out in Joint Statement at conclusion of meeting between the two leaders. Unfortunately this latest dialogue process beat all previous records and collapsed even before it was begun, just a day before the scheduled meeting of the NSAs of the two countries.

c)     The main components of the Ufa Joint Statement issued on July 10 are: The PMs of Pakistan and India met on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Ufa. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. They exchanged views on issues of bilateral and regional interest. They agreed that India and Pak have a collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development. To do so, they are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues. Both leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to cooperate with each other to eliminate this menace from South Asia.

d)     They also agreed on the following steps to be taken by the two sides: 1. A meeting in New Delhi between two NSAs to discuss all issues connected to terrorism. 2. Early meetings of Director General BSF and Director General Pakistan Rangers followed by that of DGMOs. 3. Decision for release of fishermen in each others custody, within a period of 15 days. 4. Mechanism for facilitating religious tourism. 5. Both sides agreed to discuss ways and means to speed up the Mumbai case trial, including additional information like providing voice samples.

e)     PM Nawaz Sharif restated his invitation to PM Modi to visit Pakistan for the SAARC Summit in 2016. PM Modi accepted the invitation. There were two principal objectives expressed in the joint statement. The first objective is to ensure peace and promote development, for which both sides are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues. The second objective expressed in the joint statement is to cooperate with each other to eliminate menace of terrorism from South Asia.

f)     The Joint Statement proposed a proper follow-up plan for the elimination of terrorism (NSA meeting, expediting Mumbai trial) but no follow up action was envisioned on how the two countries would proceed on the first objective, which is, discussion of all outstanding issues.

g)     Besides including the NSA meeting, there was a need to include another paragraph in the joint statement, to define some action, for example, like the nomination of either the Foreign Ministers or the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries to explore modalities for discussing all other outstanding issues like Kashmir, Siachen, etc.

h)     The Pakistani leadership and the establishment need to realise that with the arrival of PM Modi on the scene, they need to revise their foreign policy template towards India. Modi is committed to breaking away from the past and placing his personal stamp on Indias foreign policy.

i)     For a dialogue to succeed between two sovereign states, the only formulation which will normally work is a win-win outcome based on compromise in the spirit of give and take. Unfortunately, in the case of India and Pakistan, though the process is called a dialogue, in essence it is posturing and trying to outsmart each other.

j)     A second problem with the dialogue between India and Pakistan is the dominant role of establishment, which is a status quoist entity. This attitude from both sides often results in a stalemate. No wonder not a single major issue like Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek or even on trade has been resolved.

k)     Surprisingly in 1960, India and Pakistan did manage to resolve one major issue to the satisfaction of both parties. This is the famous Indus Water Treaty 1960, which has survived all the years, in spite of the two nations fighting a number of wars. However, the successful conclusion of this treaty was essentially due to the presence of a third party, the World Bank. Unfortunately, today India has virtually ruled out the involvement of a third party to resolve bilateral issues between the two neighbours.

l)     India has the potential to become a great global power but not until it is able to bring peace in its region. It may coerce smaller countries into submission but Pakistan may need another kind of treatment; destabilising Pakistan will be certainly counterproductive.

m)     On other hand, Pakistan needs to accept India as senior partner or a big brother, while India needs to treat Pakistan with respect. The first step towards such a relationship is a sincere effort by both sides to resolve the outstanding issues.

3.

Indira Gandhi planned strike on Pak nuclear sites (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Terrorism

c)     Haqqani network

d)     Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

a)     A declassified CIA document has claimed that returning to power in 1980, the then PM Indira Gandhi had considered a military strike on Pakistans nuclear installations to prevent it from acquiring weapons capabilities. Such a consideration by the then Indian PM was being made when the US was in an advanced stage of providing its fighter jets F-16 to Pakistan.

b)   According to the document, the then Indian govt led by Indira Gandhi in 1981 was concerned about the progress made by Pakistan on its nuclear weapons programme and she believed that Islamabad was steps away from acquiring a nuclear weapon. The US had the same assessment.

c)     In a blunt message, the US has asked Pakistan to intensify efforts to counter terrorist havens and take steps against Haqqani network responsible for attacks on American installations in Afghanistan. The message was conveyed by US NSA Susan Rice.

4.

Charting a new Asian history (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)      South Asia cooperation

b)     Chinas Silk Road Economic Belt

c)     Chinas Maritime Silk Road (MSR) project

d)     Chinas One Belt One Road initiative

e)     Indias Mausam project

f)     Indias Spice Route project

g)     Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) corridor

h)     China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

i)     Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline (IPI)

j)     ASEAN

k)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

a)  All history is geographically located and influenced. Similarly, all geography is shaped, defined and redefined by history. This is evident not only from world history but also from the history of Asia - the glory of old Asia, its decline in colonial times, and its more recent rise again.

b)     Dialectic between history and geography manifests itself through interplay of 3 factors - geopolitical, geo-economic and geo-cultural/civilisational. In the case of Asia, for nearly three centuries, the geopolitical and geo-economic realities were negatively impacted by Europe and the West in general. However, that is largely a thing of the past. Asia has begun to write its own destiny now.

c)     The 20th century was marked by Asias liberation from colonial rule and imperialist subjugation. The history of the 21st century will chiefly be the story of Asias rise, a process that is already underway in some parts of the continent. The other underdeveloped parts of Asia (especially in South Asia and South-East Asia) are craving to become a part of this story.

d)     Until now, the political boundaries carved out on the geography of South Asia and South-East Asia had become barriers for the countries in this vast region to overcome socio-economic underdevelopment caused by history. Now, thanks to advances in trade, transport and technology, the geography of this region can be made an ally to create a new history of shared prosperity, progress and peace, in addition to a revitalisation of age-old, cultural-spiritual-civilisational ties.

e)     This is what has been envisaged (on a broader expanse of Asia-Europe-Africa connectivity) by the super-ambitious Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road plans that have been unveiled by Chinas President Xi. India also has been evolving its own regional cooperation initiatives such as Mausam and Spice Route in Indian Ocean region and beyond, as China is doing in the case of its One Belt One Road vision.

f)     The Mausam project envisages the re-establishment of Indias ancient maritime routes with its traditional trade partners along the Indian Ocean. It was launched in June 2014. The Spice Route of India visualises the India-centered link-up of historic sea routes in Asia, Europe and Africa.

g)     The key to success of this strategy is early implementation of the BCIM corridor, which envisages a network of modern road, railway, port and communication and trade connectivities in a region stretching from Kolkata to Kunming in southern China. Even though BCIM is one of the richest regions in the world, it is also one of the least integrated areas, economically as well as socially.

h)     Before history changed its map in the last century, the people of this region not only shared a geography without rigid borders, but also close racial, linguistic, cultural and spiritual interconnections. Sadly, while the neighbouring ASEAN community has become a zone of prosperity, the BCIM region (barring southern China) is mostly underdeveloped, Indias seven north-eastern States providing a stark example.

i)     BCIM also benefits India and Bangladesh in other ways. With natural gas reserves of about 200 trillion cubic feet, the largest in the Asia-Pacific, Bangladesh could become one of the major energy exporting countries. Yet, today it imports 500 MW of electricity from India and is planning to import an equal amount from Myanmar. Tourism too will get a boost.

j)     PM Modi should prioritise BCIM because it can not only be a game-changer for this region in Asia, but is also pivotal for his Act East Policy.

k)    Besides arguing for BCIMs expeditious implementation, the author said that logic of India-China regional cooperation needs to be extended westwards through India by connecting BCIM with the ambitious CPEC. During Xis visit to Islamabad in April 2015, China pledged to invest $46 billion on CPEC - roughly one-fifth of Pakistans annual GDP.

l)     CPECs main infrastructural corridor (running over 3000km) will connect Kashgar in Chinas Xinjiang province to Gwadar port in Pakistans Balochistan province. India should welcome this initiative. CPEC will no doubt boost Pakistans progress and prosperity. It will also help Pakistan tackle many social and other internal problems, including menace of religious extremism and terrorism.

m)     However, CPEC in its present form, unlike BCIM, does not comprehensively capture the benefits of regional cooperation. It needs to be extended into landlocked Afghanistan, which is in urgent need of national reconstruction after several decades of war. It should also be extended into India through Kashmir and Punjab, the two provinces which are today divided between India and Pakistan.

n)     This will help make the disputed India-Pakistan border in Kashmir largely irrelevant. Simultaneously, extending CPEC into India through Punjab and Sindh will make the remaining stretches of India-Pakistan border porous with modern transport and trade connectivities. In addition, sea transport linking Pakistan (the western coast of India), Sri Lanka (eastern coast of India), Bangladesh and Myanmar should be strengthened.

o)     Interconnecting CPEC (with its extensions into Afghanistan and India) and BCIM is not really a novel idea. It is simply a 21st century version of 16th century road, built by Shershah Suri (the Afghan emperor), connecting what later became the capitals of four countries - Bangladesh, India, Pak and Afghanistan. As a new component of this regional cooperation architecture, the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline (which is already a part of CPEC) should be extended into India.

p)     However, with the likely thaw in relations between Iran and the US after Iran nuclear deal, and with China playing the drivers role in CPEC (and hence in a position to exert pressure on Islamabad), the IPI gas pipeline can indeed become a reality. Thus, the CPEC-BCIM interconnection has the potential to immensely bolster Indias energy security both on the western and eastern flanks.

q)     Hence, the emerging regional cooperation agenda in South Asia (if pursued with sagacity and sincerity) promises to become a win-win game promoting development and security for all.

5.

Council seat will help Hindi enter UN list: Sushma (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     UNSC

a)     India (which is aspiring for a permanent seat in expanded UNSC) hopes its inclusion in the elite group will make it easier for it to gather support for the inclusion of Hindi in the list of UN official languages.

b)     External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India was yet to make a formal proposal as it needed at least 129 votes in the 193-member General Assembly. She also rejected the perception that the proposal was not mooted and accepted because of monetary considerations.

6.

India is a key partner in Indo-Pacific region (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Australia relations

b)     Economic ties

c)     Defence ties

d)     Security cooperation

e)     Maritime cooperation

f)     Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)

g)     Military modernisation

a)     According to the author (Kevin Andrews, Australias Defence Minister), India is the emerging democratic superpower of Asia. Therefore, it is sensible that relationship between India and Australia be developed and strengthened.  India and Australia have a long history of shared security interests, both within and beyond the Indo-Pacific region. This illustrates the potential for further growing and deepening our relations.

b)     India and Australia share a history. In the First World War, Indian and Australian servicemen fought together on the beaches of Gallipoli, in the deserts of Mesopotamia and West Asia, and in the fields of France. In the Second World War, our armed forces served alongside each other in the Mediterranean, West Asian, North African, and Pacific theatres, most notably during the siege of Tobruk, and the Burma campaign to defend India from falling to Japan.

c)     This shared history (coupled with our shared democratic values and a strong interest in a secure Indo-Pacific region) provides us with a firm foundation upon which we can confidently pursue future engagement activities in support of our joint interests.

d)     Our economic relationship is also strong and there is currently work under way between our respective govts to further grow it over time. Indian investment in Australia was AU$10.9 billion in 2014, and Australian investment in India was AU$9.8 billion. And our annual trade is worth nearly AU$16 billion but as we know, trade relies on open trade routes.

e)     To strengthen bilateral trade and investment, our PMs agreed to conclude a CECA by the end of the year. Australia and India are natural economic partners and a mutually beneficial, high quality agreement will help unlock the potential of the already strong Australia-India relationship.

f)     Both countries border the Indian Ocean and have a shared interest in the maintenance of freedom of navigation and trade. In fact, world economy is fast becoming reliant upon Indian Ocean trade as its bulk cargo grows. Australia recognises Indias critical role in supporting the security, stability and prosperity of Indian Ocean region and the stability of a wider, rules-based global order. During PM Modis November 2014 visit to Australia, where he and PM Abbott formalised a Framework for Security Cooperation, which will include work to facilitate greater defence interaction over time.

g)     As two prominent Indian Ocean states, India and Australia are cooperating closely in the region. Building cooperation helps to provide for a more secure maritime environment. Improving security will be crucial to protecting our prosperity. In this setting, it is not surprising that, being Indian Ocean states, defence engagement between Australia and India focuses on joint naval cooperation.

h)     Economic growth is transforming the Indo-Pacific region, which is becoming the global strategic and economic centre of gravity. Reports predict that by 2050, half of the worlds top 20 economies will be in the Indo-Pacific. Some also predict that India, China, Indonesia and Japan will be in the top five economies in the world with the US. Indias own economic growth will be a key driver of energy demand.

i)    The shift of strategic weight to the Indo-Pacific is driving economic, energy and trade interdependence across the region, as states economic wellbeing and prosperity increasingly depend on free and open trade. Greater interdependence between states is encouraging, as it reduces the likelihood of destabilising actions or conflicts. But interdependence will not remove these risks altogether.

j)     Territorial disputes continue to risk regional stability and create uncertainty. Australia has a legitimate interest in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, unimpeded trade and freedom of navigation and overflight, especially in the South China Sea. The imperative to use peaceful means to resolve regional disputes is particularly salient in light of regional military modernisation.

k)     Military modernisation is a natural part of any states development. In fact, it can be seen as a largely positive development, as modernising states are more able to manage security challenges they face. It also represents a great opportunity for Australia to work with more capable partners (as we are with India) in support of shared interests in regional security and stability.

7.

India should back yuans entry into  SDR basket (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)

b)     Currency devaluation

c)     Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

d)     IMF

 

a)     Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian said that India should encourage the entry of Chinas currency into the SDRs basket of the IMF and support the internationalisation of the renminbi.

b)     As the currency becomes more international, the more open it will have to become to the world. At the same time, China will be able to manipulate it less, which is to Indias advantage.

c)     In addition, he said that Indias strategic objective should be to strengthen multilateral institutions and use them to pressure China. In particular, India should try to make the AIIB as universal as possible (especially convincing US to join) to counter Chinas regional interests through the bank.

8.

China takes fresh steps to fine-tune economy (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Chinas economic growth

a)     China is narrowing its focus on the heavily indebted local govts to help fine-tune a transitioning economy, whose fundamentals remain strong.

b)     Chinas top legislature announced that local govt debt in 2015 cannot exceed $2.51 trillion. The ceiling imposes significant restrictions on fresh borrowing, for provincial govts had already accumulated a debt of $2.4 trillion by 2014.

c)     Chinese authorities are focusing on stricter regulation of the financial sector to ensure enough liquidity is available to spur the real economy, which is transitioning from relatively low-end manufacturing to a challenging services-oriented and technology-driven new normal plain.

9.

Supreme Court lifts stay on Santhara ritual of Jains (Page 1)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Santhara

b)     Jain philosophy

c)     Supreme Court

a)     The Supreme Court restored the Jain religious practice of a ritualistic fast unto death by staying an order of the Rajasthan High Court, which compared it to an act of suicide.

b)     A bench complained that the High Court (based on incorrect observations on Jainism) criminalised the philosophy and essential practice of Sallekhana/Santhara, a fundamental component of the Jain principle of ahimsa (non-violence).

c)     The court issued notice to the Centre and Rajasthan on the question whether essential and integral parts of a religion can be restricted by the State. The petitions said the High Court order infringed on secularism. It criminalised Santhara without even consulting scholars or findings.

10.

No death except for terror crimes: Law Commission (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Deterrence

c)     Criminal justice system

d)     Law Commission

a)     The Law Commission of India has recommended abolition of the death penalty for all crimes except terrorism-related offences and waging war against the state.

b)     Noting that the ultimate goal is absolute abolition which could be brought about through a moratorium or law, the commission has suggested that a debate on death for terror be left to Parliament.

c)     The commission said in its report that the administration of the death penalty even within the restrictive environment of rarest of rare doctrine is constitutionally unsustainable.

d)     The commission said the continued administration of the death penalty raised issues of miscarriage of justice, errors as well as the plight of the poor and disenfranchised in the criminal justice system.

e)     It observed that deterrence was a myth and retribution could not be reduced to vengeance, even as restorative and rehabilitative aspects of justice were lost sight of.

f)     Despite building a case for the abolition of death penalty in all cases (including terrorism), the Law Commission in its final recommendations decided to leave out terror-related offences from list of crimes for which death should be abolished.

11.

At 7 percent, India remains fastest growing major economy (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Indias economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     Gross capital formation rate

d)     Gross Value Added (GVA)

e)     Central Statistics Office (CSO)

f)     IMF

a)    India remained the fastest growing major economy of the world for a second straight quarter, with the GDP growing at 7 percent during April-June against 6.7 percent during the corresponding quarter in 2014. Growth during Jan-March 2015 was higher at 7.5 percent.

b)     Data released by the CSO showed a marginal improvement in private consumption expenditure but gross capital formation rate (a barometer for investments) continued to decline. It was down to 27.8 percent from 29.2 percent in April-June 2014.

c)     In terms of GVA, growth was 7.1 against 7.4 percent in April-July 2014. The revised methodology for GDP calculation subtracts subsidy and adds taxes to the GVA to arrive at the GDP.

d)     India had overtaken China as the worlds fastest growing major economy in Jan-March quarter, growing 7.5 percent against neighbouring economys rate of growth of 7 percent. The IMF forecast in July that India will grow 7.5 percent in current year, compared with Chinas 6.8 percent, an average 4.2 percent for emerging markets and 3.3 percent for advanced nations.

Branches

Ashok Nagar Branch
1-10-223/A, Sub-register office Line
Hyderabad
+91 9052 29 29 29, 9052 19 29 29

Madhapur Branch
Plot No.3, 2nd floor, Raghuma Towers
Hyderabad
+91 9052 492929

Delhi:
Old Rajendra Nagar

Send to mail

Request for call