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Daily News Analysis 17-09-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, Cambodia sign two MoUs (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Vice-President Hamid Ansari signed two MoUs (on tourism and on Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Initiative) with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen following a session of delegation-level talks.

2.

Sri Lankan war crimes horrific: UN report (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     International

a)     A long-awaited UN report has urged Sri Lanka to establish a special court to try the horrific abuses committed by the authorities and the rebels in the last phase of the countrys civil war.

3.

Reform eludes UN Security Council (Page 10)

a)     International

a)    The framework document adopted at the General Assembly did not break the impasse on reforms, but brought some clarity as to who was on which side. It also became clear that any plan to introduce a substantial draft resolution in the next session would be futile.

4.

Nepal passes new charter (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Nepals Parliament passed a new national Constitution, weeks after political leaders reached a historic agreement to create a federal state following an earthquake that killed nearly 9000 people.

5.

Obamas Pivot to Asia shaping Xi Jinpings upcoming US visit (Page 14)

a)     International

a)    President Obamas Pivot to Asia doctrine, and Chinas activism in the South China Sea are looming over President Xi Jinpings visit to the US next week.

6.

Mixed results on reaching Millennium Development Goals (Page 14)

a)     International

b)     Social issue

a)     More than a billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty since the goals were adopted in 2000, but the UN admits that progress has been uneven with wide disparities between different world regions.

7.

NSCN(K) banned for five years (Page 12)

a)     National

a)     The Naga insurgent group-National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (which abrogated the ceasefire agreement with govt and perpetrated a string of attacks) has been banned for five years.

8.

Kerala police register case against IS suspect (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     Kerala police have registered a case against Riyab-ul-Rehman, a youth from Payyanakkal in Kozhikode on charge of joining the Islamic State and trying to recruit people to the banned militia operating in Syria and Iraq.

9.

50 days more of MGNREGS work for the drought-hit (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     The Union Cabinet gave ex post facto approval to provide an additional 50 days of work to MGNREGS beneficiaries during the current financial year wherever drought or natural calamities have been notified. The scheme guarantees 100 days of work.

10.

Outdoor air pollution killed 0.65 million Indians in 2010: study (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)    Of the 3.3 million premature mortality worldwide in 2010 caused by outdoor air pollution, about 0.65 million deaths took place in India.

11.

RBI allows 10 companies to set up small finance banks (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     The RBI has granted in-principle approval for 10 companies to set up small finance banks. The approval will be valid for 18 months to enable the applicants to comply with the requirements.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, Cambodia sign two MoUs (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Cambodia relations

b)     Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Initiative

 

 

a)     Vice-President Hamid Ansari signed two MoUs (on tourism and on Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Initiative) with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen following a session of delegation-level talks.

b)     Mekong-Ganga MoU related to five quick impact projects, one of which was a $50,000-grant to Cambodia for the upgradation of an Entrepreneurship Development Centre. The other four projects included two in healthcare, especially to do with malaria, one on agriculture and one on womens empowerment. The tourism MoU was aimed at boosting tourist movement between the two countries.

c)     Ansari also mentioned a Special Purpose Vehicle with regard to CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries, a decision initially announced by Finance Minister Jaitley in his Budget. As part of our initiatives, govt has recently set up a Special Purpose Vehicle to attract Indian investments to Cambodia and other CLMV countries.

2.

Sri Lankan war crimes horrific: UN report (Pages 1 and 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas human rights issues

b)     UNHRC

c)     Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL)

d)     LTTE

e)     Eelam war

 

a)     A long-awaited UN report has urged Sri Lanka to establish a special court to try the horrific abuses committed by the authorities and the rebels in the last phase of countrys civil war.

b)     The Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (which released report in Geneva) called upon Colombo to create the proposed court through specific legislation by integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators. For an accountability mechanism to succeed in Sri Lanka, it will require more than a domestic mechanism.

c)     This would be essential to give confidence to all Sri Lankans, in particular the victims, in the independence and impartiality of the process, particularly given politicisation and highly polarised environment in Sri Lanka.

d)    Sri Lankan govt has vowed to pay due attention to content and recommendations of a report released by UN on the alleged war crimes in country.

e)     The govt felt pleased and encouraged by the recognition of UN High Commissioner of its efforts after the Presidential election in Jan in various issues such as human rights, rule of law, governance and justice. It also appreciated the due recognition given by UN body to its constructive engagement with High Commissioner and OHCHR, aimed at addressing post-conflict issues that impact on achieving reconciliation.

f)     The report found fault both with the authorities and LTTE in respect of unlawful killing, it pulled up the former on several counts, including sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, and torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

3.

Reform eludes UN Security Council (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     UNSC

b)     UNGA

c)     Intergovernmental Negotiations Group (ING)

d)     G-4

e)     Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

f)     Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

g)     Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

a)     The adoption by UNGA of a consensus resolution for beginning discussions at ING on the basis of a framework document has been hailed as historic and path-breaking, but UN has not moved anywhere closer to an agreement on reform. The proposal should have been routinely adopted, coming as it did from the president of General Assembly.

b)     Sam Kutesa (the outgoing President of General Assembly) had circulated the framework document at end of July 2015 after extensive consultations, to serve as a sound basis for the next stage of consultations at the next session. He claimed that it was developed through an inclusive and transparent process, which included written submissions.

c)     The document revealed that the positions of member states remained as wide apart as before and that there was not an iota of hope that a meeting point could be found during the 70th anniversary and beyond.

d)  Many countries (particularly small and middle powers) submitted detailed opinions on each of the specific points on which ideas were sought, such as categories of membership, veto, regional representation, size of the enlarged Council and its working methods and the relationship between Security Council and General Assembly. France and the UK made their submissions and their views were reflected in the document.

e)     The setback to the whole exercise came from China, Russia, US and some others, including the Uniting for Consensus Group (opponents of expansion) when they expressed their opinions in vague, but negative terms and kept out of the framework document. This meant that they would prefer the negotiations to continue in the ING without a text at a snails pace.

f)     The substance of positions of China, Russia and US came as a shock to India and others, who had believed that they had the support of these countries in one form or another. China declared that time had not come for any serious negotiations, but it would support necessary and reasonable reform, with greater representation for developing countries. Russia was equally vague and supported any reasonable option of expanding the Council, but without any change in the veto.

g)     The US favoured a modest expansion, without supporting any formula under consideration and no alteration or expansion of the veto. Unlike France and UK, these countries made no mention of their support to India as a permanent member. Although the US and Russia later said that there was no change in their position of support to India, their written submissions revealed that their support had no practical value.

h)     Among the permanent members, France was the closest to the Indian position, favouring the inclusion of India, Brazil, Japan and Germany (G-4) and an African representative as permanent members and expansion of the non-permanent category of members. France even expressed no objection to the veto power being extended to the new permanent members. The UK supported G-4 as the new permanent members, but without veto.

i)     The positions of China, Russia and US cast a gloom on the G-4, which proposed a draft resolution to remit framework document to the ING, under its new chairman, Ambassador Courtenay Rattray of Jamaica. China spread a rumour that it would seek amendments to the draft and even press for a vote. But in the end, China decided to join consensus to commence text-based discussions, even though it had made clear that the time was not ripe for specific formulations.

j)     The latest decision of 69th session of General Assembly did not amount to any change in the deadlock on reform of the Security Council, but brought some clarity as to who was on which side. It also became clear that any plan to introduce a substantial draft resolution in 70th session would be futile. The G-4 or any other group does not have the votes to get a resolution adopted by the General Assembly even to pressurise the Security Council to consider a concrete proposal.

k)     India and the G-4 have exhausted all the arguments in favour of expansion and they have to be more and more inventive in promoting their proposals. They have already made a compromise on the veto, the claim to which would be suspended for 15 years or so. The next step will be to accept anything less than permanent membership, such as extended non-permanent terms, subject to re-election every 5 years or more. The only achievement that they can boast of is the support of France and UK, but it can melt away as part of a P-5 consensus at very short notice.

l)    India has upgraded its claim to right and remained the leader of G-4. But there is a section of opinion that Indias position on the NPT and its border disputes with Pakistan and China might be impediments to its permanent membership. The India-US nuclear deal was expected to give de facto recognition to Indias nuclear status, but its non-NPT status came in the way of its entering the NSG and the MTCR.

m)     No amount of extra effort by India can resolve the NPT, Pakistan and China issues in a hurry. But the expansion of the Security Council is not contingent on any action of omission or commission on the part of India and so there is no particular pressure on India to relent on these issues.

n)     As for the UN itself, reform of the Security Council is an existential requirement for the organisation. If it resists all proposals for change in years to come, there is a real risk of the UN being sidelined or rival organisations taking over its agenda.

4.

Nepal passes new charter (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Nepals new Constitution process

a)     Nepals Parliament passed a new national Constitution, weeks after political leaders reached a historic agreement to create a federal state following an earthquake that killed nearly 9000 people.

b)  The new charter will replace an interim constitution in place since the end of a decade-long civil war that led to abolition of the Hindu monarchy, and is due to come into force on Sept 20 after a ceremony at Constituent Assembly, or parliament.

c)     It will divide the nation of 28 million people into seven federal provinces.

5.

Obamas Pivot to Asia shaping Xi Jinpings upcoming US visit (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China – US relations

b)     US Pivot to Asia

c)     South China Sea

a)    President Obamas Pivot to Asia doctrine, and Chinas activism in the South China Sea are looming over President Xi Jinpings visit to US next week.

b)     Chinese foreign ministry announced that the four-day visit (also high on economic content) will start on Sept 22.

c)     Analysts say that the Chinese have been alarmed at the accumulation of the US forces in the Pacific, under President Obamas Pivot to Asia or Rebalance doctrine.

6.

Mixed results on reaching Millennium Development Goals (Page 14)

a)     International

b)     Social issue

a)     Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

a)     More than a billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty since the goals were adopted in 2000, but the UN admits that progress has been uneven with wide disparities between different world regions. The MDGs include eight and 21 targets.

b)     Key to targets: Reduce extreme poverty; Reduce hunger; Achieve universal primary education; Achieve gender parity in primary education; Reduce child mortality rate; Reduce maternal mortality rate; Halt and begin to reverse spread of HIV/AIDS; Improve access to safe drinking water; Improve access to basic sanitation; Increase internet availability.

7.

NSCN(K) banned for five years (Page 12)

a)     National

a)     National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K)

b)     Naga Peace Accord

 

a)     The Naga insurgent group-NSCN-K (which abrogated the ceasefire agreement with the govt and perpetrated a string of attacks) has been banned for five years.

b)     The decision to outlaw the outfit was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi.

c)     The NSCN(K) responsible for explosions, ambushes and bombings has been declared an unlawful organisation for a period of five years.

8.

Kerala police register case against IS suspect (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Syria and Iraq crisis

c)     Section 125 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

d)     Section 18 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)

a)     Kerala police have registered a case against Riyab-ul-Rehman, a youth from Payyanakkal in Kozhikode on charge of joining the Islamic State and trying to recruit people to the banned militia operating in Syria and Iraq.

b)     Official told that the case was registered under Section 125 (waging war against an Asiatic Power that is in alliance with the government of India) of the IPC and Section 18 (punishment for recruiting any person or persons for terrorist act) of the UAPA.

9.

50 days more of MGNREGS work for the drought-hit (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

b)     Syama Prasad Mookerjee Rurban Mission

a)     The Union Cabinet gave ex post facto approval to provide an additional 50 days of work to MGNREGS beneficiaries during the current financial year wherever drought or natural calamities have been notified. The scheme guarantees 100 days of work.

b)     The decision will enable the States to provide additional wage employment to the rural poor in drought-affected areas. The poorest rural households will benefit from this, as it will help in immediate absorption of rural seasonal unemployment and reduce rural distress.

c)     The Cabinet approved the Rs. 5,142.08-crore Syama Prasad Mookerjee Rurban Mission, which is aimed at transforming rural areas to economically, socially and physically sustainable spaces.

d)     The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Rurban Mission aims at development of rural clusters which have latent potential for growth in all States, which would cause overall development in the region. Thus the Rurban Mission will develop a cluster of smart villages.

10.

Outdoor air pollution killed 0.65 million Indians in 2010: study (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Air pollution

b)     Carbon emissions

c)     Global warming

a)     A study published in the journal Nature has for the first time taken into account the data from highly polluted regions like Asia for estimating the global mortality caused by air pollution.

b)     Of the 3.3 million premature mortality worldwide in 2010 caused by outdoor air pollution, about 0.65 million deaths took place in India. These deaths were in adults older than 30 years and in children younger than 5 years.

c)     India has second highest premature deaths caused by outdoor air pollution. With 1.35 million deaths annually, China ranks number one in the world.

d)     At 0.32 million, more than half of premature mortality due to outdoor air pollution in India was from residential energy used for heating and cooking.

e)     Of the seven sources of outdoor air pollution, residential energy use is the most important category that causes the most premature deaths worldwide.

f)     Emissions from residential energy use, together with waste disposal and diesel generators, contributes to 32 percent deaths in China but 50-60 percent in the case of India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam.

g)     The estimate of 1 million premature deaths globally due to emissions from solid fuel and also waste disposal and diesel generators is in addition to the 3.54 million deaths per year due to indoor air pollution from the same sources.

11.

RBI allows 10 companies to set up small finance banks (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Small finance banks

b)     RBI

a)     The RBI has granted in-principle approval for 10 companies to set up small finance banks. The approval will be valid for 18 months to enable the applicants to comply with the requirements.

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