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Daily News Analysis 10-09-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Australian panel gives conditional nod for uranium sale to India (P 1)

a)     I.R

a)     The Australian govt says it is examining a report by a parliamentary committee that has recommended more safeguards Indias nuclear programme before the govt can approve uranium sales to India.  

2.

Pak Rangers-BSF to meet today (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     A 15-member delegation of Pakistan Rangers who crossed over to India via Wagah-Attari border in Punjab on Sept 9, were flown by a special aircraft to Delhi to attend Director General-level talks with BSF on Sept 10.

3.

Tamil question is not just an economic issue: Mano Ganesan (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Mano Ganesan (one of the three Tamil Ministers in the Sri Lankan govt) has said the Tamil question cannot be settled by only regarding it as an economic issue.

4.

No talks with US beyond nuclear issue: Khamenei (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Irans Supreme Leader has said Tehran will not negotiate with the US on any issue after the landmark nuclear deal with world powers in July.

5.

Asylum regime set for revamp (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The EU executive has announced a drive aimed at radically overhauling dysfunctional and fragmented immigration policies in Europe.

6.

They are refugees, not migrants (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     By referring to those reaching Europes shores as migrants, the European Unions leaders are trying to mislead the public about the real nature of the crisis.

7.

Make CAG accountable to Parliament: PAC (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     In a potentially controversial move, the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament could recommend legislative changes (including a Constitutional amendment) to make CAG accountable to Parliament.

8.

The starkness of being nowhere (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)    The National Register of Citizens in Assam (being prepared by the Central govt under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court) will leave more questions than it will have answered, one of them being about the prospective statelessness of lakhs of Bengali settlers.

9.

Investment target met: Jayalalithaa (Pages 1 and 13)

a)     National

a)     Asserting that Tamil Nadu is a sound investrment, CM Jayalalithaa welcomed captains of industry to the first Global Investors Meet 2015 and urged them to use the high quality human resources, good infrastructure and welcoming policy in the State.

10.

Govt no longer certain about April 2016 deadline (Page15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Perhaps for the first time, the govt has taken a less-than-definite stance on whether the GST will meet its April 2016 deadline, citing the actions of the Congress Party in Parliament as a major hindrance.

11.

Call for conservation of Himalayan ecosystems (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     While the study of changes in the Himalayas and conservation of its ecosystems remains confined to research, this year, Himalaya Diwas was a call for the conservation of the Himalayan ecosystems to be taken up as a public campaign.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Australian panel gives conditional nod for uranium sale to India (Page 1)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Australia relations

b)     Indo-Australian nuclear deal

c)     Joint Standing committee on Treaties (JSCOT)

d)     Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

e)     Australia-Obligated Nuclear Material (AONM)

 

a)     The Australian govt says it is examining a report by a parliamentary committee that has recommended more safeguards Indias nuclear programme before the govt can approve uranium sales to India.   The report was released by the JSCOT that has been studying the Indo-Australian nuclear deal that was signed by PMs Tony Abbott and Modi in Sept 2014.

b)     The parliamentary report that has in principle approved the nuclear deal, recommended that India be encouraged to sign the nuclear NPT, to separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities further, and appoint an independent national regulator to oversee the movement of the Uranium, also called AONM.

c)     The recommendations of the treaty committee are not binding on the Abbott govt, but could be used by the opposition Green Party to put further obstacles in the way of uranium sales to India. However, officials are much more hopeful about the prospects on nuclear deal after the report was tabled.  

2.

Pak Rangers-BSF to meet today (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Border Security Force (BSF)

d)     International Border (IB)

e)     NSA talks

 

 

a)     A 15-member delegation of Pak Rangers who crossed over to India via Wagah-Attari border in Punjab on Sept 9, were moved Delhi to attend Director General-level talks with BSF on Sept 10. The two sides would then sign the joint record of discussions, which will be announced on Sept 12.

b)     The talks assume significance in wake of the cancelled NSA level meet last month.

c)     As reported earlier, ceasefire violations, cross-border infiltration, clearance of wild grass near the border and construction of defence infrastructure along the IB will be raised by India.

3.

Tamil question is not just an economic issue: Mano Ganesan (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas internal issues

b)     Tamil National Alliance (TNA)

a)     Mano Ganesan (one of the three Tamil Ministers in the Sri Lankan govt) has said the Tamil question cannot be settled by only regarding it as an economic issue.

b)     He said there are people who even now argue that by providing jobs to the youth, putting up more hospitals and promoting economic development there in the Northern and Eastern provinces, the ethnic problem will be over. But it is not so.

c)   Though he feels that sharing of maximum power is the way out, he is firm that it is up to the TNA and the govt to deliberate on the problem and arrive at a solution acceptable to all.

4.

No talks with US beyond nuclear issue: Khamenei (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

c)     Syrias civil war

a)     Irans Supreme Leader has said Tehran will not negotiate with the US on any issue after the landmark nuclear deal with world powers in July.

b)     The comments appeared to contradict more moderate President Rouhani, who said the Islamic Republic was ready to hold talks with US on ways to resolve Syrias civil war.

c)     Following the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, several high diplomatic delegations from Europe have visited Iran, in a possible sign of a thaw after a decade of isolation brought on by international sanctions.

d)     But long-time rivals Iran and US have yet to normalise ties or open a dialogue on their contending policies in the war-torn region. President Obama secured 42 votes in the US Senate to secure the nuclear deal of which Republicans and pro-Israel lobbies disapprove.

5.

Asylum regime set for revamp (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Europes refugee crisis

a)     The EU executive has announced a drive aimed at radically overhauling dysfunctional and fragmented immigration policies in Europe, urging a common regime of EU border guards, the opening of legal channels to coordinate arrivals to Europe, as well as binding and permanent systems for absorbing the refugee wave fairly across the continent.

b)     Accusing national govts reluctant to take in refugees of historical amnesia, he listed Europes long record of refugee crisis and persecution, from the Huguenots in 17th century France to the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, to highlight that the Geneva conventions established in 1951 to regulate refugee treatment were aimed at helping Europeans crushed in the fallout of the second world war.

6.

They are refugees, not migrants (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     Refugee crisis

b)     Migration

c)     Refugee Convention of the UNHCR 1951

d)     Syria crisis

e)     Second World War

a)     Europe is witnessing the greatest movement of people since the Second World War. Over the last several months, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and Sub-Saharan Africa have been risking their lives each day in a bid to reach Europe.

b)     The harrowing image of the body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed ashore on the Turkish coastline has become the defining image of the humanitarian crisis that is presently unfolding. The increasing public attention being given to the situation in Europe has thrown into sharp focus the policies of several prominent European govts towards such displaced persons.

c)     As the crisis in the Mediterranean has unfolded, a number of European politicians and media houses have chosen to consistently refer it as a migrant crisis.

d)     In law, the distinction between a refugee and a migrant is of great significance. First and foremost, refugees enjoy a distinct and unique standard of protection under international law.

e)    A refugee has been defined under the 1951 Refugee Convention of the UNHCR and its 1967 Protocol as any person who, owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside of the country of his nationality and is unable, or is owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself the protection of that country.

f)     With the evolution of international refugee law, this definition of convention refugees has been expanded to cover persons who have fled their countries due to armed conflicts, internal disorder and situations involving gross and systematic violation of human rights. Such persons are typically referred to as humanitarian refugees.

g)     Refugees enjoy certain special protections under law, such as safety from deportation to the country where they face persecution; protection of basic human rights without racial or religious discrimination, or of national origin; access to fair and efficient asylum procedures; provision of administrative assistance, and so on.

h)   On the other hand, migrants (persons who choose to leave their home state, principally in search of a better life, as opposed to escaping some form of persecution, internal strife or armed conflict) do not enjoy any protection and/or privileges under international law. Therefore, Countries are at liberty to deal with migrants under their own immigration laws and processes.

i)     Outside of the law, the choice of terminology is of critical importance in shaping the perception, attitudes and behaviour of the public at large and can impact lives and safety of displaced persons. Being a migrant implies a choice to seek a better life from that offered in the home country, and not an involuntary act, brought on by the instinct of self-preservation - from the threat of persecution, internal strife or armed conflict in the home country.

j)     The latter is perceived to be a legitimate reason for movement across borders - one in which the world community has a shared collective interest. Therefore, the conflation of refugees with migrants can seriously undermine and prejudice the public support available to such displaced persons, one that is critical to the protection of such displaced persons.

k)     Contrary to what some European leaders and media houses would have us believe, the crisis unfolding in the Mediterranean is mostly about refugees. Nevertheless, by using the expression migrant crisis to broadly refer to entire spectrum of the ongoing crisis in the Mediterranean, European leaders and media houses are trying to desensitise the public at large by misleading them about the real nature of the crisis unfolding therein.

7.

Make CAG accountable to Parliament: PAC (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)

b)     Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

c)     Parliament

 

a)  In a potentially controversial move, PAC of Parliament could recommend legislative changes (including a Constitutional amendment) to make CAG accountable to Parliament.

b)   During the 15th Lok Sabha, a suggestion was made by the then PAC that the Committee should be consulted before the appointment of the CAG and it should be part of the legislature like in the UK and Australia.

c)     The PAC would make its recommendations to the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Prime Minister and the President before the term of the current PAC ends on March 31 2016.

d)     Experts say that the PACs move is likely to spark a debate on the Constitutional guarantees and autonomy provided to the CAG.

8.

The starkness of being nowhere (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     National Register of Citizens (NRC)

b)     Illegal migration

c)     Infiltration

d)     Treaty of Yandabo

e)     Government of India Act 1858

f)     Assam Accord 1985

g)     All Assam Students Union (AASU)

h)     Citizenship Act 1955

a)    Very few in mainland India are aware at the moment that a process of citizens registration on the basis of racial profiling is under way on eastern fringe of the country. The national media has not cared even to report the ongoing preparation of NRC, leave alone analysing the legal nuances involved in the action and the possible plight of the denizens.

b)     This exercise (initiated through a gazette notification dated Dec 5 2013 by Registrar General of India) was initially due to be completed within a time span of 3 years. But the judgment delivered by a Division Bench of honourable Supreme Court, advanced the due date of publication of the final NRC to Jan 1 2016.

c)     The whole exercise (set off in a selective manner only for the State of Assam) is meant for detection, detention and deportation of the illegal migrants who crossed over to Assam from Bangladesh on or after March 25 1971.

d)     The issue of infiltration and expulsion of foreigners in Assam (which has dominated the political theatre of the State for over three decades) has got close links with the very history of the subcontinent. Colonial history of the State dates back to 1826 when, under the Treaty of Yandabo, the then geography of what is now called Assam came under the British rule. And the tract was made a part of the Bengal Presidency, which included the erstwhile East Bengal as well.

e)   In a different turn of events, Cachar (now one of the three districts forming the Barak Valley in southern Assam) was annexed by the Britishers after the fall of the Kachari Kingdom in 1832, and was also made a part of huge Bengal Presidency. Such arrangements were made much before the first Govt of India Act 1858 through which control over Indian territories held by the British East India Company was vested in the British queen.

f)    They effectively meant that people of Bengal and of Assam (transcending ethnicity, language and culture) lived within the same administrative jurisdiction and under the same political dispensation.

g)     In 1874, by a volatile decision of the British govt, two districts of East Bengal (Sylhet (along with Cachar) and Goalpara) were separated from the Bengal Presidency, and were joined with Assam to create a new administrative unit which was placed under a Chief Commissioner. This was technically the first Partition of Bengal, a development that unfortunately escaped attention of the mainstream scholarship.

h)     The colonial power had its own fiscal logic. Sylhet (a revenue-rich district in British India) was tagged with a revenue-deficit Assam to address the administrative purpose of fiscal rationalisation. These two districts thereafter continued to exist inside the administrative boundary of Assam for the remaining length of the colonial rule. In 1947, Sylhet was lost to Pakistan on the basis of the outcome of an allegedly rigged referendum.

i)    The communal carnage that took over subcontinent resulted in biggest displacement of people in the recorded history.  The humanitarian crisis had its ramifications both on eastern and western boundaries of the newly liberated India. The internal political disorder (coupled with communal riots first in East Pakistan and then in Bangladesh) made sure movements across the boundary remained a regular feature even after 1971.

j)     This repeated redrawing of political map of Assam, along with that of the twin valleys of Surma and Barak by colonial rulers, showing utter disregard to the sentiments of Assamese and Bengalis, is causally connected to the emergence of the parochial political patriarchs who assumed power in Assam in the post-Independence India.

k)     In a bid to retaliate, the Assamese elites began to treat Bengali settlers on Assams soil as cultural foreigners. The genesis of the anti-foreigner movement, spearheaded by the AASU during 1979-85, thus, dates back to series of above happenings where politics played disorder with culture.

l)     The six-year-long violent agitation culminated in the signing of the Assam Accord on Aug 14-15 1985. This tripartite memorandum of settlement between the Centre, the Assam govt and the AASU leadership was considered historic in the Brahmaputra Valley. The Citizenship Act 1955 was suitably amended by Parliament to incorporate Section 6(a), bringing in a special provision of citizenship for Assam. 

m)     This time, the Bengali speaking citizens in Assam now face a new kind of terror from the Indian govt. On the strength of an agreement, the State govt is now active in the preparation of the NRC. This is aimed at labelling lakhs of Bengali-speaking citizens as illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators.

n)     Indian govt has decided to upgrade the NRC only for the State of Assam even though, ideally, the exercise should have covered the entire country. The purpose of this official action is not difficult to solve. The strict set of conditions attached to the process requires the Bengalis of Assam to prove their Indian citizenship solely on the basis of their or their ancestors names appearing on the electoral rolls published up to 25 Mar 1971 and the NRC of 1951, failing which they would be thrown out of updated NRC. 

o)     The key question that confronts us now is: what would happen to these hapless Bengali settlers? In the absence of any bilateral arrangement between India and Bangladesh, the latter is not ready to take them back. Going by the existing deportation norms and practices, they will just be evicted to the no mans land on the Indo-Bangla border. It will be a shameful moment for India, a proud signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

9.

Investment target met: Jayalalithaa (Pages 1 and 13)

a)     National

a)     Global Investors Meet (GIM) 2015

b)     Tamil Nadus growth initiatives

a)     Asserting that Tamil Nadu is a sound investrment, CM Jayalalithaa welcomed captains of industry to the first Global Investors Meet 2015 and urged them to use the high quality human resources, good infrastructure and welcoming policy in the State.

b)    She stressed her govts performance record to the global audience, highlighting the number two rank achieved by Tamil Nadu among State economies, the rise of per capita income above national average, rapid infrastructure growth and evolution of an industry ecosystem.

10.

Govt no longer certain about April 2016 deadline (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Goods and Services Tax (GST)

b)     Constitution Amendment Bill

c)     Parliament

a)     Perhaps for the first time, the govt has taken a less-than-definite stance on whether the GST will meet its April 2016 deadline, citing the actions of Congress Party in Parliament as a major hindrance. The govt has so far in all its communications been certain about meeting the deadline.

b)     During a Cabinet briefing, the Finance Minister said that the govt had decided not to hold a special session of Parliament to pass the GST Constitution Amendment Bill and will recommend to the President to prorogue the Monsoon Session.

11.

Call for conservation of Himalayan ecosystems (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Himalayan ecosystem

b)     Himalaya Diwas

a)     While the study of changes in the Himalayas and conservation of its ecosystems remains confined to research, this year, Himalaya Diwas was a call for the conservation of the Himalayan ecosystems to be taken up as a public campaign.

b)     Wildlife Institute of India historian from Uttarakhand said that in this era of rapid transformation, we need to understand and mitigate the loss of the Himalayan ecosystem.

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