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Daily News Analysis 12-09-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

BSF, Pak Rangers on the same page (Page 15)

a)     I.R

a)     Major-General Umar Farooq Burki (who is leading a 16-member delegation of Pakistan Rangers here for talks with the BSF) has an Indian connection.

2.

India, Germany to teach each others language (Page 15)

a)     I.R

a)     German Chancellor Angela Merkels visit to New Delhi in October will see the announcement of a joint declaration on teaching of Hindi and Sanskrit in Germany and German in India.

3.

Bodies of six Indians killed in Saudi bombing found (Page 1,14)

a)     International

a)    Ministry of External Affairs said the bodies of six of the seven Indians missing after their boats were bombed by Saudi Arabian forces off the coast of Yemen have been found.

4.

The perils for Yemen (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     The bombing of two boats carrying also Indians off Yemens coast by Saudi warplanes this week shows that Riyadh is indiscriminately using air power to pound Yemen in the name of fighting Houthi rebels

5.

Historic Senate vote thwarts attempt to scupper Iran deal (Page16)

a)     International

a)     Senate Democrats handed US President Obama a major political victory for his administrations nuclear deal with Iran, as they voted 58-42 to block a Republican resolution rejecting agreement.

6.

Hamid Karzai calls al-Qaeda a myth (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Hamid Karzai (the former President of Afghanistan) has questioned the existence of al-Qaeda, and denied that the 9/11 terror attacks which killed nearly 3000 people were planned in Afghanistan.

7.

Singapore ruling party stages crushing poll win (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Singapores ruling Peoples Action Party won a sweeping victory in a snap parliamentary election, extending its 56 years in power as official results showed it had taken 83 of 89 seats.

8.

A new Tahrir moment (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Protests for civic services in Baghdad and Beirut bring hope, even as sectarianism rages in West Asia.

9.

12 convicted in 7/11 blasts case (Pages 1 and 15)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     After an eight-year-long trial, a Special MCOCA Court convicted 12 persons of hatching a criminal conspiracy and executing a series of blasts on Mumbais local trains on July 11 2006.

10.

Ayodhya case: SC judge recuses from hearing plea (Page 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Supreme Court judge Justice A.K. Goel recused himself from hearing a plea to improve facilities for visitors thronging the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya even as the Uttar Pradesh govt denied any unreasonable, oppressive and arbitrary restrictions or lapse in security at the site.

11.

4.2 percent growth in July (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     The provisional figures of the Index of Industrial Production for July show a growth of 4.2 percent in industrial activity, down from 4.4 percent seen in June.

12.

RBI likely to cut rate on falling inflation: Moodys Analytics (Pg 17)

a)     Economy

a)     Moodys Analytics said that the RBI is likely to cut interest rate as the wholesale price-based inflation is expected to decline further to 4.3 percent in August.

13.

How the seeds of weed were sown (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)    Agricultural facilities like drip irrigation have been adopted in ganja-growing villages.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

BSF, Pak Rangers on the same page (Page 15)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Border Security Force (BSF)

d)     Pakistan Rangers

e)     NSA talks

a)  Major-General Umar Farooq Burki (who is leading a 16-member delegation of Pakistan Rangers here for talks with the BSF) has an Indian connection.

b) Notwithstanding the tensions between the two neighbouring countries, which spiralled after the cancellation of NSA-level talks last month, the BSF authorities made sure that their counterparts felt at home here.

c)     Both sides had a common refrain - there was no animosity during meeting and they agreed on most of the issues. Though talks were to conclude on Aug 10, the two forces decided to sit together even on Aug 11 to put together joint declaration report to be announced on Aug 12.

2.

India, Germany to teach each others language (Page 15)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Germany relations

b)     Educational and Cultural ties

c)     Make in India campaign

d)     Skill India campaign

a)     German Chancellor Angela Merkels visit to India in October will see announcement of joint declaration on teaching of Hindi and Sanskrit in Germany and German in India. The move comes less than a year after the HRD Ministry decided to discontinue the teaching of German in Kendriya Vidyalaya schools.

b)     According to officials in the govt, the HRD Ministrys decision had put a strain on Indo-German ties, especially at a time when India was reaching out to Germany to partner with it in its various flagship programmes including the Make in India and Skill India campaigns.

c)     Plans to popularise Hindi and Sanskrit in Germany and German in India have been in the works for the past several months and External Affairs Minister Sushmas recent visit to Germany gave a fillip to them.

d)     Merkels visit will also see announcements about collaborations in setting up of educational and cultural centres, including a Centre for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences in India.

3.

Bodies of six Indians killed in Saudi bombing found (Page 1 and 14)

a)     International

a)     Houthi rebels

b)     Hodeidah port

c)     Horn of Africa

a)   Ministry of External Affairs said the bodies of six of seven Indians missing after their boats were bombed by Saudi Arabian forces off the coast of Yemen have been found. The killings just off Hodeidah port, where the Indian men were allegedly smuggling fuel into Yemen, has brought to fore the smuggling network in Indian Ocean that is flourishing in recent times.

b)     Sources said that not just fuel, but weapons and illegal migrants from Africa were being smuggled into Yemen in large numbers. Weapons are pouring in for Houthi rebels, while people are smuggled from the Horn of Africa, where again political instability has long been a part of its history. These illegal immigrants ultimately find their way into Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

c)     Indian agencies also have evidence to believe that the Indian Ocean is home to flourishing drug smuggling rackets that source heroin and other drugs from Afghanistan, move them along land route into Pakistan, and ship them out from Karachi and nearby areas.

4.

The perils for Yemen (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Yemen crisis

b)     Houthi rebels

c)     Saudi-Iran rivalry

a)     The bombing of two boats carrying also Indians off Yemens coast by Saudi warplanes this week shows that Riyadh is indiscriminately using air power to pound Yemen in the name of fighting Houthi rebels. Its still not clear why Saudis targeted the boats, which were moving across the Red Sea from the Somalian port of Berbera to Mokha in Yemen.

b)     But such questions are of little concern for Saudi Arabia, whose months-long air campaign in Yemen has caused a humanitarian crisis. The Saudi version is that it intervened to defend Yemens internationally recognised regime of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi against Houthi rebels. But the ground reality is different.

c)    The Houthis are Shias, who make up between 30 and 45 percent of Yemens population, and are reportedly close to Iran. They were instrumental in 2011 public protests in Yemen that led to the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. But the Saudi-managed post-Saleh transition kept Houthis out of political power, leading them to break peace with Sanaa and resume their armed rebellion.

d)    When President Hadi failed to consolidate power, Houthis marched towards the capital, eventually forcing him to flee the country. What made this crisis worse were its sectarian underpinnings. Saudi Arabias main concern is over Iran gaining a foothold in its backyard through the Houthis. It must have calculated that a military intervention in Yemen and a possible defeat of the Houthis would weaken Iran and strengthen its regional standing.

e)     But the operation has been largely counter-productive, as in case of several other external interventions in West Asia. Seven months after Riyadh started bombing Yemen, the rebels are still in Sanaa. Meanwhile, the disorder and human tragedy caused by the war are helping terror groups such as al-Qaeda. Its unfortunate that the people of Yemen are being forced to bear the brunt of Saudi-Iran rivalry.

f)     The international community has to put pressure on Riyadh to end the bombing, and try to facilitate talks between the rival camps in Yemen. It wont be easy to bring both the pro-Hadi factions and Houthis to the table. But failing to do so could further devastate Yemen. The human costs of such a development will be catastrophic.

5.

Historic Senate vote thwarts attempt to scupper Iran deal (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

b)     Irans nuclear programme

a)     Senate Democrats handed US President Obama a major political victory for his administrations nuclear deal with Iran, as they voted 58-42 to block a Republican resolution rejecting agreement.

b)     Obama described the vote as a historic step forward that prevented an attempt to scupper the six-nation accord aimed at limiting Irans nuclear development activities in exchange for a gradual reduction in economic sanctions against Tehran.

c)     Under legislation passed by the US Congress in May this year, the deal will automatically take effect unless both House and Senate vote for a resolution of disapproval by Sept 17.

6.

Hamid Karzai calls al-Qaeda a myth (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Terrorism

b)     Al-Qaeda

c)     Islamic State (IS)

d)     9/11 terror attacks

a)     Hamid Karzai (the former President of Afghanistan) has questioned the existence of al-Qaeda, and denied that the 9/11 terror attacks which killed nearly 3000 people were planned in Afghanistan.

b)     On the 14th anniversary of the terror attacks in the US, he expressed his doubt that the terrorist group led by the late Osama bin Laden was responsible for the operation which prompted the invasion of Afghanistan.

c)     Karzai also claimed that IS fighters in Afghanistan are definitely members of Pakistani militias.

7.

Singapore ruling party stages crushing poll win (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Singapores internal issues

b)     Peoples Action Party

 

a)     Singapores ruling Peoples Action Party won a sweeping victory in a snap parliamentary election, extending its 56 years in power as official results showed it had taken 83 of 89 seats. The results strengthened the mandate of the party and of PM Lee Hsien Loong amid an economic slowdown.

b)     The win came six months after the death of his father (independence leader Lee Kuan Yew), plunged Singapore into mourning and generated a wave of patriotism which analysts said benefitted the party.

8.

A new Tahrir moment (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Sectarianism

b)     West Asia crisis

c)     Islamic State (IS)

d)     Syria crisis

a)     Just as the wild furies of sectarianism threaten to tear apart West Asia, massive protests on a civic basis took place in Baghdad and Beirut. In both cities, the populations rose up out of frustration over a lack of basic services and corruption.

b)     In both Iraq and Lebanon, leaders of various sectarian groups lived comfortable lives in their gated zones. The gap between their lavish existence and the privations suffered by ordinary people sent millions of Iraqis and Lebanese onto the streets.

c)     The lack of civic services is a serious problem across West Asia. Extremist organisations know this well. When IS took Raqqa in 2013, one of the first things it did was to secure garbage removal. Ideology is central, but it is meaningless if basic municipal services are absent. Lebanons 1989 ceasefire after its civil war was built on principle of mutual co-existence of various sects, whose leaders then divided the spoils of the country.

d)     Embers of a post-sectarian world are not hard to find across West Asia. They are also found in Syrian refugee camps. Given the nature of the war in Syria, one would expect that the rancid wires of sectarianism would tear apart the fragile sense of Syrian nationality. But this is not the case, as survival is the main objective.

e)     Nonetheless, sectarianism (the cord that divides Sunni from Shia and from other minorities) remains. Arab nationalism of 1950s and 1960s worked to overcome social divides and unite people around the idea of the Arab. It was a powerful device that held sway for at least a generation. But Arab nationalism threatened Saudi ideas of Islamic royalty, which was itself endangered by Islamic republicanism of Iran.

f)     These geopolitical tangles gave vitality to sectarian anxieties, which had been otherwise dented by Arab nationalism. Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia are mirrored in rise of IS, whose hatred is much sharper against the Shia than against the West. No wonder then that Saudi Arabias current war against Yemen continues undaunted, fully loaded with sectarian venom and US-supplied weaponry. There is no talk of a ceasefire there, despite the UNs plea that the country is already a humanitarian catastrophe.

g)     Last week, an ill-fated meeting in Doha hoped to find a way out of the volatility in Iraq. The US occupation had banned the Baath Party and prevented its people from entry into the state bureaucracy. This was a gift to Irans proxy in Iraq, the largely Shia Islamic Dawa Party. Honed in their Iranian and Syrian exile, the leadership of the Dawa Party saw the world through the lens of sect and revenge.

h)    The banned Baath allowed Dawa and its allies to dominate Iraqi politics, now marked by sectarianism thanks to the US-foisted constitution of 2005. Remnants of the Baath (which had helped IS come to power in Mosul last year) have now broken with their improbable allies. The Qatari government invited the Muslim Brotherhood member of the Iraqi Parliament, Salim al-Jabbouri, to sit down with illegal Baath leadership and discuss the formation of a new anti-IS Sunni bloc.

i)     The best outcome of Doha meeting would nonetheless be far from the civic protests in Baghdad. It would only be along the lines of sectarianism - a new Sunni bloc to ally with the Dawa Party against IS. The protestors in Baghdad are too suspicious of their government to allow Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to throw the Dawa behind them. If he is to reclaim a kind of Iraqi nationalism, he will have to do it through the logic of sectarianism.

j)     The failure of the Doha conference says a great deal about the decline of authority of Qatar in the region. Its foreign policy has floundered as that of Saudi Arabia has come to ascendency once more. Saudi Arabias proxy in Syria is not as audacious as IS but it is as ruthlessly sectarian.

k)    It is at quite a distance from the mass demonstrations of Baghdad and Beirut, themselves a replica of Cairos emblematic uprisings of 2011. That more radical slogan of Tahrir Square came back to life in Baghdad and Beirut, but it meant less. It registered hope against sectarianism and war. Today, in West Asia, this is a radical idea.

9.

12 convicted in 7/11 blasts case (Pages 1 and 15)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)

c)     Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA)  

d)     Sections 121A and 122 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

a)     After an eight-year-long trial, a Special MCOCA Court convicted 12 persons of hatching a criminal conspiracy and executing a series of blasts on Mumbais local trains on July 11 2006.

b)     The 12 convicts (including key conspirators Faisal Shaikh and Asif Khan Bashir Khan alias Junaid) were chiefly found guilty of being members of a terrorist organisation under Section 20 of the UAPA and of being part of an organised crime syndicate under the strict MCOCA, among other sections.

c)     They were also found guilty of criminal conspiracy (Section 120B) to commit offences related to waging war against Govt of India (Sections 121A, 122) under the IPC.

d)     The serious offences against the 12 convicted in the case attract the maximum punishment of death.

10.

Ayodhya case: SC judge recuses from hearing plea (Page 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Ayodhya case

b)     Supreme Court

a)     Supreme Court judge Justice A.K. Goel recused himself from hearing a plea to improve facilities for visitors thronging the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya even as the U.P govt denied any unreasonable, oppressive and arbitrary restrictions or lapse in security at the site.

b)     The State govt said the Supreme Court on May 9 2011, had ordered status quo concerning the disputed site after civil appeals were filed against the Allahabad High Court judgment of Sept 30 2010 confirming that Lord Ram was born at the site and the idols cannot be removed.

11.

4.2 percent growth in July (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     Indias economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

d)     Core industries

a)     The provisional figures of the IIP for July show a growth of 4.2 percent in industrial activity, down from 4.4 percent seen in June. Except for June, the July figures are the highest they have been since February.

b)     The manufacturing component of the IIP saw a strong growth of 4.7 percent in July, although this was lower than the 13-month high of 5.4 percent seen in June.

c)     The 4.7 percent growth in manufacturing in July belies the govt data for the index of eight core industries. These eight core industries (including coal, oil, natural gas, electricity, steel, refinery products, fertilisers, and cement) grew only 1.1 percent in July as compared to 3 percent in June.

d)     Govt said improvement in IIP data for July to 4.2 percent against 0.9 percent in the year-ago period is in line with steady improvement in the economic growth. The GDP grew at 7 percent in the April-June quarter, up from 6.7 percent recorded in the year-ago period.

12.

RBI likely to cut rate on falling inflation: Moodys Analytics (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     Wholesale price-based inflation

b)     Retail inflation

c)     Inflation

d)     Moodys

e)     RBI

a)     Moodys Analytics said that the RBI is likely to cut interest rate as the wholesale price-based inflation is expected to decline further to 4.3 percent in August.

b)     It said Indias wholesale prices likely fell 4.3 percent on year-on-year in Aug, a further decrease from last months surprise 4.1 percent decline. Energy and manufactured-good costs are expected to continue their decline, while food prices will likely fall steeply as a result of base effects. At the same time, retail inflation also slipped to a record low of 3.78 percent in July.

c)     It further said the RBI paused its monetary easing cycle, but we expect there will be further cuts in 2015 as inflation continues to fall.

13.

How the seeds of weed were sown (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Ganja cultivation

b)     Podu cultivation

c)     Drip irrigation

d)     Lambada tribals

e)     Darakonda

 

a)    Until 20 years ago, ganja cultivation was not heard of in the Agency villages of Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh. With a heritage of podu cultivation, tribal farmers in the some of the more remote villages scratched about on the hill slopes to raise millets and coarse cereals and teetered on the edge of food security.

b)     Ganja cultivation as an alternative to conventional cropping was practised in the Lambada tandas of Warangal and Nalgonda districts in the then undivided Andhra Pradesh.

c)     As with Lambada tribals of Telangana, the traders from Tamil Nadu found the tribals of the Agency hills easy to persuade to switch to ganja, a plant that needs little tending.

d)     Without the support of logistics and a supply chain, the tribals might have found marijuana a useless crop to grow. But the shadow figures from down south offered not only a market but also support in the form of fertilisers, drip irrigation and diesel-powered generator sets.

e)     Agricultural facilities like drip irrigation have been adopted in ganja-growing villages like Darakonda but other hamlets continue as before, practising marginal sow-and-reap agriculture.

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