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Daily News Analysis 03-09-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

We never wanted NSAs to discuss Kashmir: Basit (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit says that Pakistan never demanded the inclusion of Kashmir and other issues on the agenda of talks between the National Security Advisers.

2.

China has established its presence across PoK (Pages 1, 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Foreign countries are rebuilding PoK capital, with China taking the lead in developing road infrastructure and building major power projects, along with the Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan.

3.

India a worthy contender for APEC membership: Rudd (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says that India is a worthy contender for inclusion in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which is throwing open its membership after decades.

4.

Economic cooperation top priority: Australia (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     The visiting Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrew said that concluding a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with India is the Australias top priority. 

5.

1965: resilience in war, deftness in diplomacy (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Fifty years later, a look at how the 1965 war banished the ghosts of 1962, and was a litmus test for Indias capabilities, on and off the battlefront.

6.

Chinas missiles set to challenge US (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China appears set to signal to the US that it is now ready with a credible military deterrent by demonstrating its DF-21D missiles (widely seen as an aircraft carrier killer) at the grand parade at Tiananmen Square, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

7.

Sri Lankan Parliament urged to repeal anti-terror Act (Pg 14)

a)     International

a)    The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections has called upon newly-elected Members of Parliament to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (dubbed by human rights activists as draconian) in two months.

8.

Obama clinches vote to secure Iran N-deal (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Handing President Obama a major foreign policy victory, US Senate Democrats have rallied the 34 votes they need to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive in Congress.

9.

Netanyahu agrees to peace talks (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Israeli PM Netanyahu said he was willing to engage in immediate and direct peace talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, without preconditions.

10.

The case against death penalty (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Law Commission of India has taken a historic step by declaring that the abolition of the death penalty must become a goal for India.

11.

Panagariya for law reform by executive measures (P 1,13)

a)     National

a)     NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya told that reforms to some important laws such as the MGNREGA are feasible through executive action.

12.

Risky portents in Manipur (Page 10)

a)     National

a)    The crisis in Manipur stems from the demand to stop outsiders from buying land in the State, in a context where the local population (predominantly the Meiteis) harbours fears of being marginalised.

13.

An energy hub in the making (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)    Attappady (the bleak tribal hinterland in Palakkad which often hits headlines for everything from malnutrition deaths to marijuana cultivation) is now emerging as a non-conventional energy hub of Kerala.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

We never wanted NSAs to discuss Kashmir: Basit (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     NSA talks

c)     Kashmir issue

 

a)     Pak High Commissioner Abdul Basit says that Pakistan never demanded the inclusion of Kashmir and other issues on the agenda of talks between the National Security Advisers.

b)     He said Pak had requested additional talks between the Foreign Secretaries to discuss outstanding issues like Kashmir and the modalities for taking dialogue forward and suggested sending Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhury along with NSA Sartaj Aziz to Delhi. He said the Indian government rejected the Pakistani request.

c)     He said the fundamental reason for cancellation of talks was that we differed on the interpretation of Ufa agreement.

d)     In the week before NSA meet that had been scheduled for Aug 23-24, both Aziz, and Basit had made statements insisting that Kashmir would be on the agenda of the talks.

2.

China has established its presence across PoK (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     China – Pakistan relations

b)     Chinas projects in Pakistan

c)     PoK

 

a)    From offices to schools and from medical colleges to power projects, foreign countries are rebuilding the PoK capital, with China taking the lead in developing road infrastructure and building major power projects, along with the Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan.

b)     The Rs. 274.88-billion Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project will generate 969 MW, enough to solve the severe power shortage in the PoK and the neighbouring Islamabad.

c)     The biggest is the Kohala project, which is set to generate 1100 MW. By 2020, Pakistan aims to generate around 2569 MW in the PoK. At least 15 smaller power projects are being implemented here.

d)     China has already invested in a big way in constructing the 1300-km Karakoram Highway that runs through Gilgit-Baltistan, part of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir. It is also widening the Jaglot-Skardu road by up to 20 metres to increase the volume of traffic.

3.

India a worthy contender for APEC membership: Rudd (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Australia relations

b)     Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

c)     Asia Pacific Free Trade agreement

a)     Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says that India is a worthy contender for inclusion in the APEC, which is throwing open its membership after decades. He said that India with its $2 trillion economy is a growing market for economies in the region.

b)     Denying there is any opposition to Indias inclusion from members (including China), the he said a decision to consider applications for new memberships would be taken at the APEC Summit coming up in Manila in November, and though there are a number of applicants, there is a great enthusiasm for India coming on board. US and China have both welcomed Indias inclusion.

c)     Indias membership is also being considered important, as on a proposal made by China, there is likely to be a study of a much larger Asia Pacific Free Trade agreement, which will begin soon.

4.

Economic cooperation top priority: Australia (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Australia relations

b)     Economic ties

c)     Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)

a)   Visiting Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrew said that concluding CECA with India is the Australias top priority. The visit comes close on the heels of the first bilateral naval exercise between India and Australia later this month.

b)     Australia is committed to fulfilling the objective of PMs Tony Abbott and Modi to conclude a CECA by the end of 2015. He said that 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.

c)     On its part, India has called on Australia to speed up implementation of the nuclear deal signed in Sept last year. The deal has been delayed pending approval by the Australian Parliament. India is keen to import uranium for its nuclear reactors from Australia, which holds close to 40 percent of the known global reserves.

d)     Stating that Australia recognises Indias critical role in the stability of the Indian Ocean region, Andrew said there was scope for greater cooperation on global issues as India is a strategic partner.

e)    With China clearly in sight, he called for greater cooperation in the Indian Ocean region through various multilateral fora and expressed interest in quadrilateral exercises along with the US and Japan which in the past had generated a strong Chinese reaction.

5.

1965: resilience in war, deftness in diplomacy (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Indo-Pak war 1965

c)     UNSC

d)     Kashmir issue

e)     Operation Gibraltar

 

a)     The India-Pakistan war of 1965 was one which altered the fates of both the countries and began new Great Game in Asia. One of its biggest outcomes was the sealing of the China-Pakistan entente and Indias realisation of a two-front strategic threat, with a heightened risk of collusion between its two neighbours.

b)     The war of 1965 was a test for political leadership of PM Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was still finding his feet post his predecessor Jawaharlal Nehrus death. He was under intense scrutiny from the international community as India was still recovering from the scars of 1962, while also battling an acute food crisis.

c)     The National Conference leader Sheikh Abdullahs mission to find a solution to the Kashmir crisis was aborted after Nehrus death and historians believe Pakistan felt emboldened to strike for the cause of Kashmir, sensing India was at its most vulnerable.

d)     The blueprint was in the form of a four-phase plan: a probing encounter to check the Indian response in the Rann of Kutch; an engineered uprising in Kashmir via infiltrators (Operation Gibraltar); followed by a sophisticated Patton tank assault in Punjab aimed at cutting of J&K; and finally, the capture of Amritsar and many parts of the Indian territory, to be exchanged for Kashmir. 

e)     While surprised at first, India fought back. In this war, fought between August and Sept 1965, India captured 1920 sqkm of Pak territory while Pakistan captured 550 sqkm of Indian territory, as per the govt records. Officially declared inconclusive, the war results ultimately did favour India.

f)     Fifty years on, there is still a lot left to be understood on the intense diplomatic manoeuvring that India undertook to emerge on right side of history. Most prominent among this is how India managed Chinese moves, aimed at pushing Pakistans case both during the war and negotiations in the UNSC, patterns which ironically are followed till date.

g)     Pakistans strengthened relationship with China had caught the attention of world powers at the height of the Cold War. After concluding a border agreement with China in March 1963, through which it handed over disputed territories in J&K to China, Islamabad had openly began to court Beijing.

h)     Both the US and Russia were concerned of Pakistan falling into Chinas lap, which Pakistan used to its advantage.

i)     The Chinese were only too happy to come to Pakistans rescue if one looks at the details that emerge from the records of Gauhar as also from the war diaries of the then Indian Defence Minister Y.B. Chavan. They outline that Chinese Foreign Minister had already met with Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Karachi on Sept 4 1965 and assured Pak support against Indias armed provocation in Kashmir.

j)     According to Chavans war diaries, China had previously (on Aug 27) accused the Indian Army of committing acts of aggression on border of Sikkim and Tibet in July and August, accusations that were rejected by India. By Sept 8, it renewed these accusations claiming, India must bear responsibility of all consequences arriving therefrom, which India again rejected and called for a neutral and independent observer to visit the China border and look at these complaints.

k)     On Sept 17, the Chinese again upped ante, dismissing Indias offer as pretentious and sending a fresh note accusing India of maintaining 56 military installations on the Tibetan side of the Sikkim-Tibet border and demanding their dismantling within two days or face grave consequences.

l)     While Chinese ultimatum was set to expire at midnight on Sept 19, Chavans notes indicate that Chinese had already begun moving their troops towards the Sikkim border on Sept 18. In a new move, they extended their deadline of dismantling of military structures by 72 hours, knowing that a UNSC resolution demanding a ceasefire would be tabled by Sept 20 and that continuing the pressure on India would strengthen Pakistans case.

m)     In retrospect, 1965 was a watershed event for the subcontinent. For India, it banished the ghosts of 1962, and proved to be a litmus test for its capabilities both on the battlefront and the diplomatic chessboard. The war also established that the China-Pak entente was now a reality India will have to live with and battle (both militarily and politically) for years to come.

6.

Chinas missiles set to challenge US (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Chinas military deterrent

b)     DF-21D missile

c)     World War II

a)     China appears set to signal to US that it is now ready with a credible military deterrent by demonstrating its DF-21D missiles (widely seen as an aircraft carrier killer) at grand parade at Tiananmen Square, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

b)     The DF-21D is a unique ballistic missile with an anti-ship role. The weapon first acquires a ballistic trajectory and then reenters the atmosphere, attacking its target at a 10 times the speed-of-sound, defeating most known anti-ship defences.

c)     Analysts say the missile has been specifically designed to counter the US advantage in aircraft carriers, and is therefore a strategic weapon because of its potential role in shifting the balance of military power in the Pacific.

7.

Sri Lankan Parliament urged to repeal anti-terror Act (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas internal issues

b)     Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA)

c)     United National Front for Good Governance

d)     Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

a)    The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has called upon newly-elected Members of Parliament to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (dubbed by human rights activists as draconian) in two months.

b)     CaFFE official termed the PTA as more dangerous than emergency laws and said the United National Front for Good Governance (which has formed the new govt) consists of parties that were victims of the law in the past.

c)     According to the CaFFE, PTA leads to attacks on personal freedom including the freedom of expression and that of association.

d)     The CaFFE functionary pointed out that the law (enacted in 1979) did not prevent the 1983 July riots or put a quick end to the LTTE or stop the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna from taking up arms in the late 1980s.

8.

Obama clinches vote to secure Iran N-deal (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

a)     Handing President Obama a major foreign policy victory, US Senate Democrats have rallied the 34 votes they need to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive in Congress.

b)     Congress is to vote later this month on a resolution disapproving the deal, which is unanimously opposed by Republicans, who call it a dangerous giveaway to Iran.

c)     The deal signed by Iran limits Irans nuclear program in exchange for hundreds of billions of dollars in relief from sanctions.

9.

Netanyahu agrees to peace talks (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Israel – Palestinian relations

b)     Palestinian issue

c)     Gaza crisis

a)     Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he was willing to engage in immediate and direct peace talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, without preconditions.

b)     Restating his longstanding position, he said the solution is two states for two peoples, a demilitarised Palestinian state that recognises the national state of the Jewish people.

c)     US-backed talks collapsed in April 2014 after nine months of meetings.

10.

The case against death penalty (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Deterrence

c)     Criminal justice system

d)     Law Commission

a)     The Law Commission of India has taken a historic step by declaring that the abolition of the death penalty must become a goal for India. It has recommended the scrapping of the death penalty for all crimes except terrorism-related offences and those that amount to waging war against the state.

b)     The Commissions report on the death penalty declares deterrence to be a myth, based on extensive research. It makes a clean break with the rarest of the rare principle that was laid down in Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab (1980): that judgment noted that the application of the death penalty would remain arbitrary and judge-centric and hence would be constitutionally unsustainable.

c)     It notes that retributive justice is important but it must not descend to the level of vengeance, as numerous Supreme Court decisions that refer to the conscience of the people seem to indicate. It has sought a return to the notions of restorative and reformative justice, and urged a change in tenor, in such a manner that victims are not made to think that the death penalty is the only, best or ultimate form of punishment.

d)     Most crucially, it has placed the death penalty in the context of Indias faulty criminal justice system, noting that even safeguards such as the right to appeal and mercy petitions do not provide foolproof protection from miscarriage of justice, given the uneven and error-prone application of relief.

e)     It notes death penalty is no deterrent for even a terrorist. Some of most shocking instances of miscarriage of justice that it cites as an indictment of Indias criminal justice system relate to terrorism-related cases; the 2002 Akshardham temple attack case (for instance), in which the death penalty was imposed by the trial court and confirmed by the High Court, was based on what the Supreme Court later ruled was wholly fabricated evidence.

f)     By holding itself back from recommending a total abolition, the Commission has put the ball in Parliaments court. The govt and principal opposition are unlikely to support such an abolition at this point. It can only be hoped Parliament will complete the good work the Law Commission has begun.

11.

Panagariya for law reform by executive measures (Page 1 and 13)

a)     National

a)     NITI Aayog

b)     Planning Commission

c)     Land Acquisition Act 2013

d)     MGNREGA

a)     NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya told that reforms to some important laws such as the MGNREGA are feasible through executive action.

b)     About the land acquisition Bill, he said the issue is not industry being let down, but setback to job creation and poverty alleviation. One way to make land acquisition less time-consuming is for the States to proceed with their own amendments to 2013 Act under Section 254(2) of Constitution. Tamil Nadu has already done this; its amended law has been in force since Jan 5 2015.

c)     The amendment inserts a State-specific schedule (Fifth Schedule) into the 2013 Act as it applies to Tamil Nadu. State legislation listed in this schedule is exempt from the Act. Other States could follow Tamil Nadu or adopt an alternative amendment along the lines of the Central Ordinance with good prospects for Central approval.

12.

Risky portents in Manipur (Page 10)

a)     National

a)     Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill 2015

b)     Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill 2015

c)     Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill 2015

d)     Inner Line Permit (ILP)

e)     Sixth Schedule

f)     Kukis

g)     Nagas

h)     Meiteis

i)     Mizos

j)     Chins

a)    The crisis in Manipur stems from the demand to stop outsiders from buying land in the State, in a context where the local population (predominantly the Meiteis) harbours fears of being marginalised.

b)     The long-standing demand has been to introduce a system similar to the ILP in other northeastern States, or some similar stipulation, to stop in-migration. But for this to be effective, the State needs to identify the outsiders first. But that is a complex issue anywhere in the northeastern region as the borders are largely porous and the Government of India has not done enough to check the passage of people across them.

c)     But as the demand for an ILP escalated, a cut-off year of 1951 was determined in the new Bills passed in order to identify outsiders. However, one of them (the Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill) and two amendments, have been opposed by tribal organisations, which claim control of the Manipur Hill districts. These are chiefly groups of Kukis, Mizos and Chins.

d)    They feel insecure as many of them who came to Manipur after 1951 or whose lineage may not meet the list of criteria set out in Bills, could now be legally identified as outsiders.

e)     The pro-ILP movement was mostly confined to the Valley districts, while the people in the Hills isolated themselves, assuming and arguing that they were protected from outsiders under existing laws.

f)     The Centre and the State need to come forward quickly to engage the people and figure out a solution to the crisis in order that it wont go out of control.

13.

An energy hub in the making (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Attappady

b)     Green energy

a)    Attappady (the bleak tribal hinterland in Palakkad which often hits headlines for everything from malnutrition deaths to marijuana cultivation) is now emerging as a non-conventional energy hub of Kerala.

b)     After commissioning the Kerala State Electricity Boards first rooftop solar power generation facility at Chalayoor tribal hamlet, steps have been taken to establish a large-scale wind farm in one of the barren hill tracts of the region to generate 600 MW with the cooperation of local community and the grama panchayat.

c)     Expected to be completed in two years, the wind farm will be the largest in the State. At present, wind farms are operating at Ramakalmedu in Idukki and Kanjikode in Palakkad. In the case of Attappady, 32 windmills are already functioning and they generate 19 MW of power.

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