Current Affairs > Daily Current affairs

Back
Daily News Analysis 15-09-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.

Bridging the trust deficit (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     The new dispensation in Sri Lanka is seen as a strong votary of closer India-Sri Lanka ties, but there are many contentious issues on which the two countries have to walk the tightrope.

2.

China denies face-off in Ladakh (Page 15)

a)     I.R

a)     China denied a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops along the LAC in Ladakh, pointing out that Beijing was committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity along the frontiers.

3.

UN motion raises Indias hope for permanent Security Council seat (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     In the first concrete step towards negotiations for Indias hopes of an expanded UNSC, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to use a text as the basis for discussions on the issue over the next year.

4.

Sri Lanka plans new statute to redress Tamils grievances (Pages 1, 14 and 16)

a)     International

a)     A few days ahead of the release of a report on the alleged war crimes during the final stages of the Eelam War, Sri Lanka unveiled a set of proposals to redress the grievances of the Tamil people, including the adoption of a new Constitution and setting up of a truth commission.

5.

Federalism: Nepals final frontier (Page 12)

a)     International

a)    Nepals transition to a pluralist democracy faces a final challenge - failure of the three major parties to accommodate the legitimate demands of Janajati and Madhesi groups for true federalism.

6.

Turnbull topples Abbott, to become Australian PM (Pages 1 and 16)

a)     International

a)     Australian conservative PM Tony Abbott was dramatically ousted in a snap party vote forced by challenger Malcolm Turnbull, the countrys fourth leadership change in five years.

7.

Award minimum sentence, 12 convicts urge court (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    The 12 convicts (of the July 11 2006 Mumbai train bombings) pleaded for minimum sentence, citing a range of grounds.

8.

India yet to achieve UN Millennium Development Goals (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Health

a)     India is not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals, the deadline for which expires this year.

9.

Panel formed to restructure water agencies (Page 14)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     The Ministry for Water Resources has constituted a seven-member committee led by former Planning Commission member Mihir Shah to restructure the Central Water Commission and the Central Ground Water Board to encourage optimal development of water resources in the country.

10.

World Bank ranks Gujarat as most investor-friendly State (Pages 1,14)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Gujarat has come out on top in the World Banks first ever ranking of States on the ease of doing business in India.

11.

WPI contraction spurs deflation fears (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     Inflation based on wholesale price index decelerated for the tenth consecutive month, and was -4.95 percent in August compared with -4.05 perent in July.

12.

Indo-US trade can grow to $500 b soon: Jaitley (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     Finance Minister Jaitley said that the Indian govt was making every effort to put in place a predictable and fair tax regime, and invited US businesses to help raise bilateral trade between India and the US to $500 billion.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.

Bridging the trust deficit (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Sri Lanka relations

b)     United National Party (UNP)

c)     Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)

d)     Tamil National Alliance (TNA)

e)     Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)

f)     Fishermen issue

g)     13th Amendment

h)     Sri Lankas human rights issue

i)     UNHRC

 

 

a)     Sri Lankan PM Ranil arrived in India on Sept14 on a three-day bilateral visit, his first international visit after taking over as PM last month. His UNP together with its allies secured a near-majority in the parliamentary election last month. Sri Lankan President Sirisena engineered a division in the ranks of the SLFP, thus effectively isolating former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

b)  The result was the formation of a national govt under prime ministership of Ranil with both UNP and SLFP as partners. With the two main parties coming together to form the govt, the opposition space has been left to the third largest group in Parliament, the TNA.

c)     The new dispensation is considered to be a strong votary of closer India-Sri Lanka relations. The President, the PM as well as Leader of Opposition are all seen as friends by India. The last few years have seen a trust deficit between the two countries. Many in India suspected Sri Lankan leadership of encouraging forces inimical to its interests in its vicinity.

d)     The new govt in Sri Lanka has many challenges to face: the countrys economy is sagging; the UNHRC is going to take up a resolution on war crimes in Sri Lanka for discussion later this month - a very sensitive issue for both the Tamil and Sinhala population in the country. The govt has to walk a tightrope on the issue.

e)     It is in these circumstances that Ranil is visiting India. A CEPA will be one of important issues that India would like to clinch during this visit. However, there is considerable concern about (if not vocal opposition to) agreement in Sri Lankan business circles. India needs to correct perception that CEPA will only benefit Indian side and the non-tariff barriers in India will be an obstacle to Sri Lankan businessmen.

f)     The other perception problem that India needs to address is that it does not walk the talk on big-ticket projects. The Sampur coal-fired power plant is one such project which has lingered for more than a decade. The delay in its implementation has led to several new problems. Its revival is mired in land and environment-related controversies.

g)     Another issue which is more than a decade old, on which India has not made much progress, is that of oil tank farms on the east coast. These British vintage storage farms give India enormous scope for oil trade in the whole of South East Asia. India should quickly operationalise these oil tank farms. It should start negotiations for setting up a refinery in Trinco area to treat crude oil.

h)     Indias strategic and economic priority should be to develop east coast of Sri Lanka, especially the Trincomalee-Batticaloa belt. The Trinco belt has an enormous potential for trade, tourism, industry and commerce. The Trinco port can be developed into a major port. A new airport can be developed in the area and can be connected directly with Tamil Nadu for the benefit of Tamils in north and east of Sri Lanka. Most importantly, by entering Trinco coast, India will be making a big presence in trade routes of the Indian Ocean.

i)     There are a couple of contentious issues on which India and Sri Lanka might have to be cautious. The Tamils of the north and east must be complimented for their overwhelming support to the TNA in parliamentary elections that has helped the party secure 16 seats. TNA fought the elections on principle of greater constitutional rights to Tamils for just and honourable place in the Sri Lanka constitutional mechanism. The radical elements have been rejected by the Tamil voters there.

j)    The Sri Lankan govt should gratefully acknowledge this huge contribution of the TNA and move forward with specific steps to address the Tamil issue. Granting more constitutional powers to the provinces is the first important step.

k)     The UNHRC resolution on war crimes is another important issue on which both countries have to reach an understanding. Sri Lanka can gain from the expertise available in countries like the US, India, and so on, to facilitate a credible investigation by its agencies. It is important for justice to be seen by the Tamils and the international community to be delivered.

l)     Another contentious issue that defies any immediate answers is that of fishermen. The historic waters between India and Sri Lanka have become a battleground between Tamil fishermen on both sides, leading to frequent clashes, incarcerations, and even deaths. A negotiated solution needs to be found on this issue. Pending the dispute over fishing, the adverse ecological impact of bottom trawling must also be addressed.

m)  PM Modis visit to Colombo early this year raised the hopes in that country of a stable and reliable friendship. Centuries-old cultural and religious ties make relationship irreversible. But the challenge is to make it excellent. It is too important a relationship to be left to the officials alone. Sri Lanka requires political handling.

2.

China denies face-off in Ladakh (Page 15)

a)     I.R

a)     India – China relations

b)     Border disputes

c)     Line of Actual Control (LAC)

d)     Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO)

a)     China denied a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops along the LAC in Ladakh, pointing out that Beijing was committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity along the frontiers.

b)   Asked to clarify specifically on the construction of a watch tower by Chinese soldiers in the area, Chinese official said that Chinese troops are engaged in relevant activities on the Chinese side.

c)   Sources had earlier reported that a strategic road, which India plans to build to Daulat Beg Oldie in the Ladakh sector, passes through Burtse.

d)    Analysts say that divergent perceptions of the LAC is the root cause of sporadic border incidents, which are resolved through the implementation of an elaborate set of protocols that have been implanted, under a string of confidence building agreements, since 1993.

3.

UN motion raises Indias hope for permanent Security Council seat (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

b)     United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

 

a)     In the first concrete step towards negotiations for Indias hopes of an expanded UNSC, the UNGA adopted a resolution to use a text as the basis for discussions on the issue over the next year.

b)     Officials say the passing of the resolution on equitable representation on and increase in the membership of Security Council does not mean that Indias dreams of a seat at the high table of the UN are going to be realised immediately, but it is a significant step forward from years of ambiguity.

c)     It is clear that UNGA President Kutesa has faced opposition to his efforts to discuss UN reform from P-5 countries like China, USA and Russia, as well as from countries opposed to India, Japan, Germany and Brazil being contendors for a seat at the security council.

d)   A 13-member group known as Uniting for Consensus, led by Italy, Pakistan and South Korea had openly campaigned against the text-based negotiation. However none of those objections were aired in the UNGA, and the resolution India has been pushing hard for was passed by consensus.

4.

Sri Lanka plans new statute to redress Tamils grievances (Pages 1, 14 and 16)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lanks human rights issue

b)     National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

c)     UNHRC

d)     Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)

e)     Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

f)     Eelam War

 

a)     A few days ahead of the release of a report on the alleged war crimes during the final stages of the Eelam War, Sri Lanka unveiled a set of proposals to redress the grievances of the Tamil people, including the adoption of a new Constitution and setting up of a truth commission.

b)  Addressing the 30th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Samaraweera said that the best guarantee for non-recurrence of violence is a political settlement that addresses the grievances of the Tamil people.

c)     He said a Commission for Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Non-recurrence would be set up in consultation with countries like South Africa which have been advising us. It would take into account the right of victims to a fair remedy and address the problem of impunity for human rights violations suffered by all communities.

d)    He outlined other measures such as strengthening NHRC in line with the Paris Principles and signing and ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. The government would also issue instructions to all branches of the security establishment that torture, sexual violence and other human rights violations were prohibited and those responsible would be punished.

e)     He said the Prevention of Terrorism Act would be replaced with one on anti-terrorism in tune with contemporary international best practices. The moratorium on death penalty would be maintained with a view to abolishing it ultimately.

f)     The much-awaited report of the UN on the alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka will be made public on Aug 16.

g)    The report (prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka) is a result of resolution adopted in March 2014 in the UNHRC, calling upon the Commissioner to undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the LLRC.

h)     The LLRC dealt with the period between Feb 21 2002 and May 19 2009, signifying 2 events – the commencement of a ceasefire agreement between the Sri Lankan govt and LTTE and the end of the Eelam War.

5.

Federalism: Nepals final frontier (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     New Constitution process

b)     Federalism

c)     Constituent Assembly (CA)

d)     United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

e)     Nepali Congress (NC)

f)     Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist)

g)     Interim Government of Nepal Act of 1951

h)     Jana Andolan-I

i)     Jana Andolan-II

j)     Madhesi movement

a)     The promulgation of a new Constitution within next few days in Nepal was expected to be culmination of its transition to a pluralist democracy. The institutionalisation of the gains of Nepals remarkable peace process should have been a time for celebration, heralding an era of harmony and progress.

b)     The Constitution is meant to reaffirm both the social purpose and the political commitments embedded in the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the 2007 interim Constitution, establishing Nepal as a federal democratic republic.

c)   Instead, a revolt is gathering momentum across Nepal. The Terai has been on fire. Protests have shut it down for over the past three weeks. It is because of a disregard for the interests of Janajati and Madhesi peoples of Nepal, consisting of several disadvantaged and subaltern social groups, including Tharus, who are amongst its most marginalised communities.

d)     These groups believe the promise of a democratic restructuring of the state stands subverted. The six-State federation model initially put on the table in early August by the ruling coalition, and supported by the UCPN-M, as also the later version that added a Province, reflect political parsimony and gerrymandering that would effectively disenfranchise the Janajati and Madhesi communities.

e)     Repression cannot be the right response to political disaffection. This can only increase alienation and cause irreparable long-term damage to Nepals national cohesion. The plan to ride out the protests by a display of force might, instead, lead to a bigger movement, as happened at the time of the Jana Andolan of 2006 and the Madhesi agitation of 2007.

f)     The Madhesi agitation persuaded the late Girijababu (Girija Prasad Koirala, the then PM) to guarantee a federation in Nepal, and delimit the CA seats in Terai and the mid-hills, proportionate to the population. In early 2008, he enabled an eight-point agreement accepting the Madhesi peoples call for an autonomous Madhes and other peoples desire for a federal structure with autonomous regions.

g)     The social and political contracts he helped create must not be cast away. PM Sushil Koirala must respect the legacy of Girijababu and embrace an inclusive discourse. If not, Nepal might again face troubled times, and the half-hearted republicans and closet monarchists, together with other regressive elements, might drag Nepali politics irrevocably backwards.

h)     In pushing ahead with voting on a contested Constitution, the ruling coalition in Nepal might be on the verge of squandering the gains of their electoral victory of Nov 2013. Excluding the 26 nominated seats in the 601 seat Assembly, the NC won 196 seats, followed by CPN (UML) which won 175, together constituting a comfortable majority. They won not because the Janajati and Madhesi voters rejected their own empowerment, but because the Maoist and Madhesi leaders did not deliver on their promises.

i)     Democracy in Nepal has had fitful progress. The overthrow of Rana oligarchy in 1951, following King Tribhuvans dramatic evacuation to Delhi and triumphal return, did not immediately result in popular rule. The Interim Govt of Nepal Act of 1951 limited the Cabinets authority. First King Tribhuvan, and from 1955 his son and successor King Mahendra, continued to control key levers of govt, making the countrys politics palace-centric.

j)     Monarchy played musical chairs with the Cabinet, with 10 of them constituted and sacked in eight years, until a new Constitution was adopted in 1959. NCs impressive victory was rewarded with a dismissal the following year, with the PM jailed, political parties outlawed, and multiparty democracy replaced by a party-less Panchayat regime that lasted 30 years.

k)   The first large-scale peoples democratic movement in Nepal (known as Jana Andolan-I) brought down this regime. King Birendra quickly adjusted to the new contingency. A new Constitution was promulgated following year; parliamentary elections held in 1991, 1994, and 1999; and local-level elections in 1992 and 1997. Democratic consolidation was prevented by palace-inspired intrigues, and from 1996, by the added challenge of the Maoist insurgency.

l)   The demand for an inclusive democracy was not simply superimposed on Nepals emerging democratic edifice as a distemper that could be dusted off - the inheritance of Jana Andolan-II and the Madhesi movement of 2006-07 embedded this idea in the very foundations of new republic.

m)     Differences on the nature and form of federalism cut to the heart of Nepals political predicament. The triumvirate with a combined majority in CA that can ramrod the draft Constitution through the NC, CPN (UML), and UCPN-M must eschew the temptation to promulgate a Constitution that is widely unacceptable.

n)     The differences affect just five of the 75 districts of Nepal, which is already assured of a federation. The effort now should be to reduce the remaining differences on the number and boundaries of the States to the barest minimum and remit the remaining issues to a commission.

o)     Nepalis have a proven capacity for eschewing brinkmanship and showing flexibility. They have faced situations more difficult than the one that confronts Nepal today. They helped their country move from a state of insurgency and civil war to the quest for an inclusive democratic order. Visionary leadership can again overcome clash of interests between the ruling Bahun-Chhetri elite and Janajatis, Dalits and Madhesis.

6.

Turnbull topples Abbott, to become Australian PM (Pages 1 and 16)

a)     International

a)     Australias internal issues

b)     Liberal Party

c)     Conservative Party

 

a)   Australian conservative PM Tony Abbott was dramatically ousted in a snap party vote forced by challenger Malcolm Turnbull, the countrys fourth leadership change in five years.

b)   Abbott (who came to power in a decisive general election victory in 2013) was forced into a leadership ballot among his Liberal Party colleagues after Turnbull said the coalition government faced defeat without change at the top.

c)     After his 54-44 victory, Turnbull pledged to bring economic vision to the nation but ruled out a snap national election.

7.

Award minimum sentence, 12 convicts urge court (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     MCOCA court

c)     Mumbai train bombings case 2006

a)    The 12 convicts (of July 11 2006 Mumbai train bombings) pleaded for minimum sentence, citing a range of grounds from ill health, poor condition of family members, reformation through educational courses undertaken during incarceration and even being falsely implicated in the case.

b)     Each of them presented his case for leniency in person before a special MCOCA court, which convicted them of murder, criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation. The court has to hear the final arguments for sentencing.

c)     Arguing against the death penalty, defence advocate Prakash Shetty said while the crime was of a serious nature, the evidence on record was of a weak nature and therefore not sufficient to sentence them to death.

8.

India yet to achieve UN Millennium Development Goals (Page 15)

a)     National

b)     Health

a)     Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

b)     UN Economic and Social Commission

a)     India is not on track to meet the MDGs, the deadline for which expires this year. The Statistical Year Book shows that only six of the 18 targets adopted as part of the 8 goals in 2000 have been fully met. Another report brought out by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific shows that India has met only four of the eight MDGs.

b)     The key targets for the MDGs were halving poverty, ensuring universal primary school enrolment, attaining gender parity, cutting maternal mortality rates by three-fourths, cutting child mortality by two-thirds and reducing incidence of HIV/AIDS, among others.

c)     As per the official figures, India has managed to halve poverty rates from 1990 levels, ensure gender parity in primary school enrolment, reversed incidence of HIV/AIDS, and reduced malaria and TB deaths.

d)     However, India continues to lag behind in checking maternal mortality and child mortality to expected levels. It has failed to address prevalence of hunger as well. The failure to improve access to sanitation, with half of the countrys households lacking a latrine, remains a major concern.

e)     Another target was to achieve a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020. But, report says that it is not statistically discernible if the target was met.

f)     As for the other two targets of environmental sustainability and partnerships for development with other countries, official reports say India is on track.

9.

Panel formed to restructure water agencies (Page 14)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Central Water Commission (CWC)

b)     Central Ground Water Board (CGWB)  

c)     Water resources in India

a)     Ministry for Water Resources has constituted a 7-member committee led by former Planning Commission member Mihir Shah to restructure CWC and CGWB to encourage optimal development of water resources in country.

b)     With most Indian rivers found to be polluted as per a Central Pollution Control Board assessment, the move holds the potential to help revive rivers in a big way.

c)     According to a govt order, the new committee will work on water resource planning, augmenting and budgeting in an integrated manner.

10.

World Bank ranks Gujarat as most investor-friendly State (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     Ease of doing business

b)     Make in India initiative

c)     World Bank

a)     Gujarat has come out on top in the World Banks first ever ranking of States on the ease of doing business in India. States were assessed on the implementation, over a six-month period from Jan to June, of a 98-point reforms agenda.

b)     According to assessment, Gujarat implemented 71.14 percent of the reforms. Andhra Pradesh came second with a score of 70.12 percent, Jharkhand third at 63.09 percent, Chhattisgarh fourth with 62.45 percent and Madhya Pradesh fifth with 62 percent.

c)     Official said the rankings reflect the ease of doing business in these States by the small and medium enterprises rather than foreign investors.

11.

WPI contraction spurs deflation fears (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     Inflation

b)     Wholesale Price Index (WPI)

c)     Consumer Price Inflation (CPI)

d)     GDP

e)     RBI

a)     Inflation based on WPI decelerated for the tenth consecutive month, and was -4.95 percent in Aug compared with -4.05 percent in July. At the same time, CPI for August slowed down marginally to 3.66 from 3.69 percent in July.

b)     The data comes two weeks before the RBIs scheduled policy review meeting on Sept 29, where it will decide on whether to cut interest rates.

c)     The decelerating inflation and slower-than-expected GDP growth in the first quarter of the financial year has increased the pressure on the RBI from industry to cut interest rates.

12.

Indo-US trade can grow to $500 b soon: Jaitley (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     Indo-US trade ties

b)     Indo-US Economic Summit

c)     Ease of doing business

a)     Finance Minister Jaitley said that the Indian govt was making every effort to put in place a predictable and fair tax regime, and invited US businesses to help raise bilateral trade between India and the US to $500 billion.

b)    At the 11th Indo-US Economic Summit, he said there is need for us to have several internal changes, including quick decision-making, stable policies, predictable tax regime and improve ease of doing business.

c)     He added that the ongoing global financial turmoil would not affect India as much since savings on account of declining oil and other commodity prices have helped govt allocate more funds for infrastructure sector and social sector schemes.

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