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Daily News Analysis 19-09-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

1965: a war with no winners (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)    Fifty years since the War of 1965, India needs to introspect in a clear-headed manner on the lessons learnt. Unlike Wars in 1962 and 1971, 1965 was an indecisive one. It changed neither the status of Kashmir dispute nor that of relationship between the estranged neighbours.

2.

Change in govt. prevented UN strictures, says Sirisena (Page 14)

a)     International

a)    In his first public response to a UN report on alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka, President Sirisena said the change of govt in January rescued the country from facing strictures from the international community.

3.

The fine balance of hybrid courts (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The UN report underlines that the Sri Lankan judicial system is incapable of handling a comprehensive criminal inquiry into human rights violations requiring international expertise.

4.

Japan allows its military to fight abroad for first time since WW-II (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Japans Parliament passed contentious security bills into law, in a move that could see Japanese troops fight abroad for the first time in 70 years.

5.

US, Russia begin talks over Syria (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter and Russias Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke by telephone to discuss their roles in the conflict in Syria.

6.

No more refugees, says Croatian PM (Page 14)

a)     International

a)   Croatias PM has said that Croatia can no longer carry the burden of thousands of refugees who have entered in recent days, as he announced a new policy of moving people on, instead of registering and accommodating them in accordance with EU rules.

7.

Evidence Act likely to be amended (Pg 12)

a)     National

a)     NDA govt is considering changes to the Evidence Act to make it easier to deal with cases of cyber crime.

8.

Electricity for all houses by 2022: Modi (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)    PM Modi said that his govt would ensure availability of electricity at every home in the country by 2022.

9.

Is physical relationship with minor wife not rape, asks Supreme Court (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Supreme Court made the National Commission for Women a party to a public interest litigation petition questioning the constitutionality of a provision permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife even if she is aged between 15 and 18.

10.

Rajan still worried about inflation (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     As the clamour for a rate cut by the RBI grew with the US Fed leaving ultra-low rates intact, Governor Raghuram Rajan kept all guessing about his next monetary policy move saying the key task is to keep inflation low.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

1965: a war with no winners (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Indo-Pak War 1965

c)     Indo-Pak War 1971

d)     Indo-China War 1962

e)      Arab-Israeli War 1967

a)     Fifty years after the event, the Indian govt has decided to celebrate the India-Pakistan War of 1965. Celebrating a war (which is never less than tragic, and is at best a last alternative when a state finds other avenues of peaceful existence impossible) is a paradoxical choice of phrase for marking history.

b)     The 1965 War is better viewed as a milestone in Indias strategic journey in search of lasting peace. The 1965 War neither brought victory to Pakistan (which initiated the War in the Rann of Kutch and later in J&K) nor peace to India (which fought back tenaciously after being surprised).

c)     A commemoration of war (a far-better word than celebration) is a moment for reflection. It offers an opportunity to be grateful for the sacrifices of those who died fighting for the nations values of secularism and democracy. It is also a moment to take stock of where India was then and is now on the global stage. There are meaningful lessons in such introspection which requires neither vainglorious jingoism nor a reiteration of Pakistan as the enemy.

d)     Paks military govt of the time could not think beyond a military solution. Its leadership assessed that it was a moment of Indian weakness after its military defeat by China in 1962 and the demise of iconic PM Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964. It assessed that its US-lent weapons systems were enough to defeat Indian armed forces.

e)     Worse still, the misplaced assumptions of the capacity of the Indian armed forces to fight back ferociously hastened the Pakistani military decision to take to war. It was a military choice made without reckoning with the likely international political response.

f)     Indias military debacle against China was a reality. It did not fight a war in 1962. A war involves an overall plan, a strategy and employment of forces to work that strategy. India threw troops pell-mell into operations, and fought a series of unconnected battalion-level battles.

g)     The Chinese fought as brigades and divisions which bypassed most Indian defences to reach deep into our territory. These were uncoordinated battalion-sized battles in which the ill-equipped and ill-supplied Indian troops were worsted.

h)     Pakistan wrongly saw opportunities in the political uncertainties of the period, with a new leadership under Lal Bahadur Shastri having recently taken charge. The armed forces had begun a command restructuring, force expansion and doctrinal shift process which had given its rank and file new confidence. Thus, Indian commanders far had experience as battalion commanders in 1948 in J&K and in 1962.

i)     The 1965 War welded the Indian defence forces into a cohesive military machine. It threw up a new military leadership from the crucible of war which (six years later) led the Army in the 1971 War. It also made the Indian political leadership more mature in understanding the reality of the new world, in which major powers would intervene to end a war inconvenient to them.

j)     The time dimension and strategic policy preferences of future wars became apparent in 1965. The Arab-Israeli War of 1967 and the management of its outcome by the Soviet-US leadership was not lost on the Indian leadership. The role of technology and modern armament systems in the outcome of wars was carefully observed and built into military doctrines.

k)     Above all, the imperative of joint warfare in which the Army, Navy and the Air Force operated to a cohesive plan towards common objectives became a key ingredient of war plans. In an ironic way, China in 1962 and Pakistan in 1965 both contributed to the coming of age of Indias politico-military thinking.

l)     The seductive attraction of a military solution to political problems continued to beguile the Pakistani military elite. Six years after 1965 War, despite massive political developments in the country, a new military leader in Pakistan preferred to exercise military option in 1971 in what was then East Pakistan.

m)     The Indian response was based on its 1965 experience. India quickly ensured strategic imperative by a Treaty with the Soviet Union and prepared for a military conflict to create conditions in East Bengal for return of ten million refugees who had poured into India. Pakistan predictably initiated the War in western theatre.

n)     The 1971 War became a game changer in strategic and geopolitical terms and reconfigured the power balance in South Asia. It is sad that the attraction of a military option still prevails in Rawalpindi, as was seen in recently Siachen and Kargil. It acts as a continuing backdrop to relations between the two countries. The backdrop is made more complex by the presence of nuclear weapons and the continued use of terrorism in Pakistan.

o)     The three wars of 1962 with China and 1965 and 1971 with Pakistan are better viewed through the perspective of a strategic continuum. Each of these wars had its share of valour but also of tragic loss of lives of its men and officers. Wars are more than the sum of the battles, valour and sacrifice.

p)     The 1971 War was a decisive one. It led to the creation of a new nation, for a people who wanted to constitute one. The War of 1962 has left the legacy of an unsettled and disputed border, which is prone to frequent military confrontation. There is little prospect in the foreseeable future of a final settlement.

q)     The War of 1965 has had no decisive outcome either in J&K or in the overall relations between the two countries. In fact, there has been no decisive war after 1971, despite massive military power used by major powers in different parts of the world. The after-effects of human migrations and the rise of armed groups threatening global security have been the legacy of indecisive wars.

2.

Change in govt. prevented UN strictures, says Sirisena (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas human rights issue

b)     19th Constitutional Amendment

c)     UNHRC

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

e)     Amnesty International

 

 

 

a)    In his first public response to a UN report on alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka, President Sirisena said the change of govt in January rescued the country from facing strictures from the international community.

b)     He also said the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka would have named some people as perpetrators of human rights violations and barred them.

c)     Citing the adoption of the 19th Constitutional Amendment as one of the steps, he said the international community is satisfied with the actions taken by the govt towards restoration of rights, media freedom, good governance and other positive steps. The amendment envisages the dilution of many powers of Executive Presidency.

d)     PM Wickremesinghe said his government would inform the international community of its intention of setting up a domestic mechanism to look into the alleged violations during the civil war.

e)  Amnesty International South Asia research director asked the HRC to adopt a resolution supporting implementation of the OISLs recommendations on accountability and reform and ensuring monitoring of the implementation.

3.

The fine balance of hybrid courts (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas human rights issue

b)     19th Constitutional Amendment

c)     UNHRC

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

e)     Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

f)     Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission

g)     Hybrid courts

a)     The report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka provides substantial confirmation that grave and horrific crimes were perpetrated in the course of the protracted civil war which ended in 2009.

b)     However, its authors take precaution of calling it a human rights investigation rather than a criminal investigation, setting a boundary for its legal consequences: it requires a regular judicial process to fix criminal liability and findings broadly indicate that Sri Lankan security forces, along with the paramilitary groups aligned to them, and the LTTE violated the norms of war, showed scant regard for civilian lives and resorted to unlawful killings.

c)    The report (released by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) is due to be discussed at the fag-end of the ongoing 30th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva, and may be the subject of a consensus resolution.

d)     According to the author, it is tempting to dismiss the report as containing nothing new, as it only confirms earlier reports that the war came to an Armageddon-type end in May 2009, with an estimated 40,000 people dying in the last days. It admittedly used only reasonable grounds to believe as standard of proof, and did not record oral testimony from anyone inside Sri Lanka to avoid the risk of reprisal against witnesses and their families.

e)     However, it has reviewed many documents, interviewed many witnesses abroad, and considered complaints in writing, including some against named perpetrators of specific offences. It had access to documents of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, which was present on the ground between 2002 and 2007 to oversee the working of the February 2002 ceasefire agreement.

f)     The reports merit is that it identifies a clear pattern in the crimes and collates considerable material and places it in context. The sheer number of allegations, their gravity, recurrence and the similarities in their modus operandi, as well as the consistent pattern of conduct they indicate, all point towards system crimes.

g)     In its implications for Sri Lanka, the report is open to different interpretations. It can be seen as soft in that it does not name perpetrators, refrains from giving ballpark casualty figures and using the term genocide. It stops short of calling for an international investigation, preferring instead to advocate a hybrid court - a mechanism utilised in aid of transitional justice after conflicts ended in Kosovo, East Timor and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

h)     In Tamil Nadu, there is already a body of opinion that the recommendation is aimed at bailing out the island nation and avoiding an international probe. The US and India are seen to be close to the present national unity govt, jointly run by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe, and the predictable suspicion is that the two will come together to stall an independent, international inquiry.

i)     On the other hand, the hybrid court proposal is bound to be seen by sections in Sri Lanka as an infringement on Sri Lankas sovereignty, and an attack on the integrity of its judicial system.

j)     In substance, the report says the Sri Lankan judicial system is incapable of handling a comprehensive criminal inquiry into pervasive human rights violations and that it requires international expertise, commitment and resources to accomplish the task. Rather than fault this conclusion, it will be useful to recall why such a situation came about.

k)     It is apparent that Mahinda Rajapaksa regimes sustained hostility towards the international community has impacted adversely on overseas perception about the country. In normal circumstances, a nation state may have a legitimate grievance against international community and multilateral institutions, but in the Sri Lankan context, it was ill-suited to the countrys interests, as it had benefited greatly from global goodwill while pursuing its objective of wiping out what it believed was terrorism.

l)     No country in history has been showered with as much international goodwill (besides moral, material and diplomatic support) as Sri Lanka enjoyed in the course of its often brutal war. Both its peace process and war were underwritten by a cast-iron guarantee by global powers of its territorial unity. The breadth of the international support for its peace process with LTTE from 2002 onwards was such that the militant group suspected a global gang-up against its separatist goal.

m)     The current situation (in which many countries believe that Sri Lanka failed to deliver either a political settlement to the ethnic question or render justice to the victims of war) is direct consequence of hostility with which Sinhala nationalists responded to the call from the international community for peace and justice and ignored genuine external concern over the post-war situation.

n)     Therefore, some international presence in a human rights probe against senior political and military leaders responsible for possible war crimes is inevitable in the Sri Lankan context. However, one also needs to examine the desirability of such hybrid courts in a wider context: not all countries recovering from conflict suffer from the total absence of rule of law and complete collapse of institutions.

o)     A 2008 UN document on rule-of-law tools for post-conflict societies defines hybrid courts as courts of mixed composition and jurisdiction, encompassing both national and international aspects, usually operating within the jurisdiction where the crimes occurred.

p)     Given that Sri Lankas judiciary and its processes were only undermined, and not completely dismantled by war, the idea of a hybrid court there requires careful handling. Nothing in the proposed mechanism should seek to discredit the entire institution. Rather, its processes and resources should be co-opted in such a way that international presence is no more than a guarantee for the courts independent functioning.

q)     It should focus on creating an atmosphere conducive to the rule of law - something that Sri Lankan institutions failed to uphold in recent years. The idea of transitional justice is crucial to the political process to find a solution to the ethnic question. The demonstrator effect that the hybrid courts may have on domestic judicial processes is as important as the justice they dispense with to the long-suffering victims.

r)     As for India, it should support the initiative to bring justice and reparations to the victims instead of looking askance at the process from the standpoint of national sovereignty. The stand of political parties in Tamil Nadu strongly in favour of an independent, international investigation is in line with the expectation of humanists and activists across the world.

s)     As of now, a purely international court may not be possible, while a purely domestic mechanism is undesirable. In the Sri Lankan context, it will be a big step forward if the hybrid courts come into being.

4.

Japan allows its military to fight abroad for first time since WW-II (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Japans security bills

b)     World War II

a)     Japans Parliament passed contentious security bills into law, in a move that could see Japanese troops fight abroad for the first time in 70 years. The approval at the Upper House loosens post-World War II constraints on use of force by the military to its own self-defence only.

b)     The legislation (passed by the more powerful lower house in July) sparked debate about whether the nation should shift away from its pacifist ways to face growing security challenges.

c)    The law will allow military to defend Japans allies even when the country is not under attack, work more closely with US and others. They will also be able participate more fully in international peacekeeping. 

5.

US, Russia begin talks over Syria (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US – Russia relations

b)     Syria crisis

c)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     US Secretary of Defence Carter and Russias Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke by telephone to discuss their roles in the conflict in Syria.

b)     The Secretary highlighted the importance of pursuing such consultations in parallel with diplomatic talks that would ensure a political transition in Syria.

c)     Meanwhile, Russias First Deputy Director of Federal Security Sergei Smirnov was reported as saying that about 2400 Russian nationals are fighting with IS militants.  

6.

No more refugees, says Croatian PM (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Europes refugee crisis

a)   Croatias PM has said that Croatia can no longer carry the burden of thousands of refugees who have entered in recent days, as he announced a new policy of moving people on, instead of registering and accommodating them in accordance with EU rules.

7.

Evidence Act likely to be amended (Page 12)

a)     National

a)     Indian Evidence Act

a)     NDA govt is considering changes to the Evidence Act to make it easier to deal with cases of cyber crime.

b)    Official said the main contention is that when law enforcement agencies have started accepting online complaints then a provision should exist for online submission of evidence also.

c)   Indian Evidence Act framed in 1872 has been amended only once in 2000. An expert group constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs has made a number of recommendations, the foremost being an overhaul of the Act to make it dynamic.

d)     According to Section 65 B (2) of the Act, any electronic evidence to be permissible in court has to be certified by the signature of the person concerned, to whom the computer belonged.

8.

Electricity for all houses by 2022: Modi (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Social issue

a)     Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS)

a)    PM Modi said that his govt would ensure availability of electricity at every home in the country by 2022.

b)     He also launched several power and road projects worth Rs. 50,000 crore, including the IPDS, BHU Trauma Centre, Varanasi ring road project connecting his constituency to the airport and nearby districts, and several power sub-stations.

9.

Is physical relationship with minor wife not rape, asks Supreme Court (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) 2012

b)     National Commission for Women

c)     Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

d)     Criminal Procedural Code (CrPC)

e)     Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution

a)     The Supreme Court made the National Commission for Women a party to a public interest litigation petition questioning the constitutionality of a provision permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife even if she is aged between 15 and 18.

b)     The Social Justice Bench roped in the commission in the petition filed by the NGO Independent Thought to explain how the offence of rape in the IPC afforded an exception to a man to have physical relationship with his minor wife and still not qualify it as crime.

c)     The NGO wants Supreme Court to declare that exception to Section 375 of the IPC is violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that it permits intrusive sexual intercourse with a girl child aged between 15 and 18 years, only on the ground that she has been married.

d)     It also referred to the provisions of the POCSO 2012, and said these provisions were contrary to the IPC provision. The POCSO provision provides that physical relationship with a minor constitutes the offence of rape and it does not exclude such relationship between a man and his minor wife.

e)     The plea has highlighted the anomalies among various laws and also cited one of the provisions of CrPC that says: No court shall take cognizance of an offence under Section 376 of the IPC (45 of 1860), where such offence consists of sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife being under 18 years of age, if more than one year has elapsed from the date of the commencement of the offence.

10.

Rajan still worried about inflation (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Monetary policy

b)     Inflation

c)     Retail inflation

d)     US Federal Reserve

e)     RBI

a)     As the clamour for a rate cut by the RBI grew with the US Fed leaving ultra-low rates intact, Governor Raghuram Rajan kept all guessing about his next monetary policy move saying the key task is to keep inflation low.

b)     He further said the excessively low level of retail inflation at 3.6 percent last month was due to base effects, excluding which it should be around mid-5 percent.

c)     Rajan has been under pressure to cut the rates further, with govt and industry leaders repeatedly stressing on the need to lower the cost of capital to give a boost to the economy, especially in the wake of retail inflation hitting record low levels and wholesale inflation actually being in the negative zone for 10 months in a row.

d)     With the declining of inflation concerns, the RBI shifted its policy stance in Jan to being more accommodative of the concerns on growth front. It has cut the key rate thrice by a cumulative 0.75 percent.

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