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Daily News Analysis 21-09-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India, Japan, US plan to push ties to next level (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)    India, the US and Japan are set to raise their trilateral engagement to the ministerial level, with a meeting of External Affairs Minister Sushma, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and US Secretary of State John Kerry planned on the sidelines of the UNGA.

2.

50 top CEOs to dine with Modi (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Around 50 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have confirmed participation at a dinner hosted by PM Modi in New York on Sept 24.

3.

Rekindling the disarmament momentum (P 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Indias resistance to CTBT has lost relevance as it does not intend to conduct any more tests; signing Treaty can be a bargaining chip in the new global nuclear order.

4.

Nepal adopts first democratic Constitution (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Nepal adopted its first democratic Constitution, a historic step for a nation that has seen war, a palace massacre and devastating earthquakes since a campaign to create a modern state began more than 65 years ago.

5.

Greek voters return Tsipras to power (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Greek voters returned Alexis Tsipras to power with a strong election victory, ensuring the charismatic leftist remains Greeces dominant political figure despite caving in to European demands for a bailout he once opposed.

6.

Pope meets Fidel Castro after Mass in Havana (Pg 14)

a)     International

a)     Pope Francis (Latin Americas first pope) met Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, discussing religion and world affairs.

7.

Land Bill embers still simmer (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     As the Congress sought to foreground its triumph in compelling the Modi govt to retreat on the changes it had wished to make to the Land Acquisition Act (passed by the UPA govt in 2013) at rallies in West Champaran, the BJP struck back.

8.

The enigma remains (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjees decision to declassify 64 files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has resurrected a seven-decades-old controversy.

9.

Amber light for the RBI (Page 10)

a)     Economy

a)     The US Federal Reserves decision last week to leave interest rates unchanged offers an amber signal for RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan as he prepares to make the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for the fiscal year on September 29.

10.

The sinking ship of the desert (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Despite legal strictures on the slaughter of camels for meat, police turn a blind eye as several animals are killed during the festival of Bakrid.

11.

Blackbuck conservation reserve proposed in Chamarajanagar (Page 9)

a)     Geography

b)     Environment

a)     There is a proposal for a blackbuck conservation reserve at Ummathur and Bagli villages in Chamarajanagar district (Karnataka) to sustain their numbers in the wild.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India, Japan, US plan to push ties to next level (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India, US and Japan trilateral relations

b)     UNGA

c)     Indias Act East policy

d)     USs rebalance to Asia

 

a)    India, the US and Japan are set to raise their trilateral engagement to the ministerial level, with a meeting of External Affairs Minister Sushma, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and US Secretary of State John Kerry planned on sidelines of UNGA.

b)     Officials of three countries meet twice a year, but the elevation of engagement to the political level will mark a new beginning in the cooperation, with potential implications for the Indian Ocean region.

c)   The ministerial meeting will fulfil a promise made in India-US joint statement of Sept 30 2014, after a meeting between PM Modi and President Obama. Noting Indias Act East policy and the USs rebalance to Asia, the leaders committed to work more closely with other Asia Pacific countries through consultations, dialogues and joint exercises.

d)     While India under Modi has taken bolder steps towards multilateralism in strategic ties, compared with the previous regimes, India still remains guarded in its approach. This is apparent in Indias cold response to a recent US proposal that Australia too take part in the Malabar naval exercise that will have Indian, Japanese and US fleets in joint action in mid-Oct.

e)     Though this exercise has been taking place regularly, it is the first time after 2007 that the Malabar comes to Indian waters. In 2007, the joint exercise had stirred up a political controversy in India and provoked sharp reactions from China, prompting the then PM Manmohan Singh to clarify that it was not aimed at China in anyway. Japan and the US also have been categorical that their cooperation has nothing to do with China.

f)     While defence ties are on rise between countries, India is still doubtful about desirability of Australias participation in the joint exercise. However, a diplomatic source downplayed the possibility of the decision being influenced by Chinese concerns.

2.

50 top CEOs to dine with Modi (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Silicon Valley

c)     UNSC

d)     UNGA

e)     UN Sustainable Development Summit

f)     G-4 summit

 

 

a)     Around 50 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have confirmed participation at a dinner hosted by PM Modi in New York on Sept 24. will also host another dinner for CEOs of digital companies in the Silicon Valley when he visits the West Coast of US on Sept 26 and 27.

b)    Modi and Obama will meet in New York on Sept 28. Modi will also visit Ireland on his way to the US. Modi said he and Facebook Chief Zuckerberg would discuss some global issues and issues relating to India, particularly on the economy and society.

c)     At the UN, Modi would address the UN Sustainable Development Summit for formal adoption of post-2015 new sustainable development agenda and attend the summit on UN peacekeeping hosted by Obama.

d)     Modi said India attached great importance to the UN, and reiterated Indias vision for UN reforms. He said India would host a summit of G-4 leaders (of India, Brazil, Japan and Germany that support the expansion of the UNSC and demand permanent positions for themselves) in New York where the main agenda would be the UNSC reforms.

3.

Rekindling the disarmament momentum (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)

b)     Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (PTBT)

c)     Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT)

d)     Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

e)     Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

f)     Nuclear-weapon states (NWS)

g)     Non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS)

h)     Conference on Disarmament (CD)

i)     Fissile Material Cut off Treaty (FMCT)

j)     International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

a)     According to author, India today has a unique opportunity to rekindle the global nuclear disarmament momentum, and to kick-start this ambitious but useful project, New Delhi should offer to sign the CTBT.

b)    There are at least 3 reasons why India should accede to the CTBT, besides being able to tap into a wealth of data generated by the CTBTOs International Monitoring Stations: First, to respond to global developments in nuclear disarmament and arms control as a responsible stakeholder in the non-proliferation regime; Second, to negotiate Indias entry into the global nuclear order and third, to revive Indias long-forgotten tradition of campaigning for global nuclear disarmament.

c)     Seventy years since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945, and 45 years since the NPT entered into force in 1970, the global non-proliferation regime is under unprecedented stress. The recently concluded 2015 NPT Review Conference was a failure of historic proportions and the international nuclear order will now find it hard to get back on its feet, both normatively and functionally.

d)     Post the 2015 RevCon, both the nuclear-weapon states (the US, UK, France, Russia, and China) of the NPT and the disarmament enthusiasts among the non-nuclear-weapon states seem to have run out of ideas on how to revive the global nuclear order.

e)     While the NPT is staring at an uncertain future, the Conference on Disarmament has not even been able to begin negotiations on a fissile material cut off treaty thanks to Pakistans unhelpful decision to block the commencement of negotiations, and the CTBT seems to be losing steam due to the lack of enthusiasm shown by its one-time forceful supporter, the US.

f)     Moreover, there is an unhealthy shift in contemporary non-proliferation agenda. From the traditional concerns of non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the focus today has shifted to counter-proliferation and nuclear security, primarily due to concerns about nuclear terrorism and physical security of nuclear material. It is likely that future state-sponsored non-proliferation initiatives would eschew disarmament but deal with counter-proliferation, with an emphasis on the potential use of force.

g)     Finally, the newly minted disarmament initiative called the Humanitarian Initiative, dealing with the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and spearheaded by NNWS and European Non-proliferation enthusiasts, has further complicated the traditional non-proliferation agenda, especially for India.

h)     Many of the promoters of Humanitarian Initiative view Indias exceptional treatment by contemporary nuclear order as setting an unhealthy precedent and damaging to the normative framework of the nuclear order. New Delhi has been seeking the membership of various strategic export control cartels such as NSG and the MTCR. But it will now be harder for it to convince the European non-proliferation supporters to continue to treat India as an exception, without making a substantive normative offer in return.

i)     To do that India should put forward two proposals: First, propose and push (with like-minded countries) for adoption of a global No first use agreement on nuclear weapons, and; second, sign the CTBT, if not immediately ratify the same. This will clearly reinstate the lost global enthusiasm for nuclear disarmament and clarify Indias benign nuclear intentions to the international community.

j)     Indias inability to reach an accord with Japan has been yet another roadblock in its pursuit of producing more nuclear energy as this deal is key to further operationlising its deals with France and even US. The current dispensation in Japan is not averse to a deal but has been insistent on a guarantee from India that the latter would not conduct any more nuclear tests. While doing so in writing would infringe on Indias sovereignty, offering to sign the CTBT could assuage Japanese anti-nuclear sensibilities.

k)     Let us not forget Indias remarkable history of anti-nuclear activism, from proposing an end to nuclear testing in 1954 after the US nuclear testing in Bikini Atoll to signing the PTBT in 1963 to Rajiv Gandhis impassioned plea to the UNGA in 1988 for phased nuclear disarmament.

l)     India played a key role in the negotiations to establish the IAEA and actively participated in the negotiations on the NPT, but decided not to sign when it became clear that it would become an unequal treaty. India had also for long advocated for a CTBT, although the eventual treaty was not accepted.

m)     Once India signs CTBT, some of the other hold-out states are likely to follow, such as Pakistan. Others like the US (whose Senate is blocking the ratification though the US govt has signed it) and China would also come under pressure to accede to it. Thus India will be able to reverse the current non-proliferation pressure which makes sense not only from a strategic point of view but also from a normative perspective.

4.

Nepal adopts first democratic Constitution (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Nepals new Constitution

a)     Nepal adopted its first democratic Constitution, a historic step for a nation that has seen war, a palace massacre and devastating earthquakes since a campaign to create a modern state began more than 65 years ago.

b)     President Ram Baran Yadav promulgated the charter intended to unite the country, but it has already exacerbated divisions in some places with 40 people killed in protests against it in recent weeks.

c)     It creates seven states in a secular, federal system, but is opposed by some groups who wanted to re-establish Nepal as a Hindu nation, and others who feel it is unfavourable to people in the plains, near India.

d)     Nepals 239-year old monarchy was abolished in 2008, seven years after an unhinged crown prince killed the king and eight members of his family at the height of a Maoist uprising.

e)     Prime Minister Sushil Koirala is expected to stand down to allow a new govt under the charter. He may be replaced by KP Oli, from a moderate Communist party.

f)     As celebrations broke out in Nepal over the adoption of the new democratic secular Constitution, India responded with an angry statement, pointing to the protests in the Terai against the Constitution.

g)     India also referred to the new document as a Constitution as opposed to the Constitution, leading to speculation that India still hopes for amendments which would correct what it sees as a marginalisation of the people in the Terai region.

h)     According to govt, there are three major problems with the Constitution which prevents India from warmly welcoming the document. To begin with federal-provincial demarcation is perceived to be unfair to the people of the Terai region; secondly, the constituency delimitation is skewed against the Madhes population as half the population, that is the Pahadi (Hill) community gets 100 seats but the other half consisting of the Madhesi and the Janjatis get only 65 seats.

i)     Finally the proportional inclusion clause, for reservation includes many forward castes of Pahadi region, which negates the principle of affirmative action. India also feels let down that many of the commitments given by Nepal during framing of the 2007 interim Constitution have been forgotten.

j)     Officials said the interim Constitution was based on an understanding that the Maoists and Seven Party Alliance which would ensure inclusiveness and just representation of the traditional elite of Kathmandu valley and their martial military class of the mountains as well as the large Madhesi and Janjati population of the Terai region. However Indias anger and continuing incidents of violence indicate Madhesi parties are far from convinced this Constitution is inclusive.

5.

Greek voters return Tsipras to power (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Greece debt crisis

a)     Greek voters returned Alexis Tsipras to power with a strong election victory, ensuring the charismatic leftist remains Greeces dominant political figure despite caving in to European demands for a bailout he once opposed.

b)     Sources said the party would turn once again to the small right-wing Independent Greeks party to form a coalition, restoring the alliance that first brought Tsipras to power nine months ago.

c)     He called the election last month when his party split over his reversal on the 86 billion euro bailout, which he had accepted despite having won a referendum mandate to reject similar terms.

6.

Pope meets Fidel Castro after Mass in Havana (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Cubas internal issues

b)     US – Cuba relations

a)     Pope Francis (Latin Americas first pope) met Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, discussing religion and world affairs.

b)     Fidel Castro (the older brother of President Raul Castro) led the Cuban govt from 1959 until he resigned for health reasons, at first provisionally in 2006 and then definitively in 2008.

c)     Earlier, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Havanas Revolution Square and warned Cubans against the dangers of ideology as their country enters a new era of closer ties with the US.

d)     Francis appeared to appeal to Cubans to look after each other as the country faces social changes and economic openings.

7.

Land Bill embers still simmer (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Land Acquisition Act 2013

 

a)     As the Congress sought to foreground its triumph in compelling Modi govt to retreat on the changes it had wished to make to Land Acquisition Act (passed by UPA govt in 2013) at rallies in West Champaran, the BJP struck back.

b)     Even as the BJP leaders stressed that land acquisition would be left to the States, the Congress said at its rally that it would take its message on the Modi govts efforts to change the 2013 Land Act (that it had been intended to promote the interests of wealthy industrialists) to the States.

8.

The enigma remains (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     History

a)     Subash Chandra Boses issue

b)     Indian National Army (INA)

c)     Freedom struggle

a)     West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjees decision to declassify 64 files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has resurrected a seven-decades-old controversy.

b)   The files have little in terms of definitive evidence on Boses death or disappearance post-1945, but have documented unconfirmed reports that he may have survived the plane crash of 1945 in Taiwan in which he was supposed to have been killed.

c)     The release of the files in Kolkata has stepped up pressure on the Modi govt to declassify those in Central govts custody so that the truth about whether Netaji indeed died in the crash comes out.

d)     The Bose story has been the stuff of legends, and many anecdotes have been heard over time. Some said he was sighted in Russia, others that he returned to India as a sadhu. There is little in terms of compelling evidence any which way. However, rumours kept the issue simmering.

e)    There has been a belief that Bose was wronged by Mahatma Gandhi and his supporters in 1939, when Gandhi refused to work with Bose as Congress president, citing ideological differences; the latter had to resign. Many feel Nehru did not back Bose enough, though evidence suggests that Nehru did try to broker peace between Gandhi and Bose. The issue has a strong emotive appeal in West Bengal.

f)   CM Banerjees master stroke has put pressure on the BJP, which was expecting to ride the Bose legacy in a State where it has had hardly any presence. Pressure will now mount on the Centre to declassify the files in its own custody, before the State goes to the polls in 2016.

9.

Amber light for the RBI (Page 10)

a)     Economy

a)     Monetary policy

b)     Inflation

c)     GDP

d)     RBI

e)     US Federal Reserve

a)     The US Federal Reserves decision last week to leave interest rates unchanged offers an amber signal for RBI Governor Rajan as he prepares to make the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for the fiscal year on September 29.

b)     The reasons cited by Fed Chair Janet Yellen for decision to postpone the initial increase were mainly heightened uncertainties in the global economy including in China and the emerging markets, and a slightly softer expected path for inflation in the US.

c)     While Rajans decision will predominantly flow from RBIs reading of domestic conditions (including food price trends, banks lending rates and how far they reflect earlier interest rate reductions, removal of supply-side bottlenecks and assessments of the targeting of public spending and credit flows), one factor predicating the retention of the RBIs accommodative stance as spelt out in August was the sign from the US.

d)     To that extent, the Fed decision opens a window of opportunity for Indian central bank to further lower domestic borrowing costs if in its reckoning the balance between spurring growth momentum and taming inflation expectations has tilted favourably away from price gains.

e)   Rajan and Deputy Governor Urjit Patel have both underlined that the central bank believes inflation expectations need to be anchored from a longer-term perspective rather than reading much into the latest data points, makes one less sanguine that the RBI may be ready to switch the green light for further policy accommodation.

10.

The sinking ship of the desert (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Indian camel

b)     International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)

c)     Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

d)     Rajasthan Camel (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Bill 2015

a)    The Indian camel (the single humped or Dromedary) is the pride of Rajasthan and thousands of poor families are dependant on it for their travel across the desert. They are low maintenance animals, subsisting on dry grass and shrubs.

b)   However, this iconic animal is disappearing before our eyes. In Rajasthan the camel has become expensive and rare with less than 50,000 animals and has been declared an endangered species by IUCN.

c)    In some of the more remote villages, camels are still used by the post offices to deliver mail. Camels carts are used to deliver goods, in banking and to draw water out of deep water wells.

d)     The camel is smuggled in large numbers to the States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and through Bihar to Bangladesh as camel meat is considered a delicacy. Over last few years, the festival demand has become more widespread with an illegal market for camel meat now in Hyderabad to which the Municipality turns a blind eye.

e)     Though Karnataka has forbidden the entry of camels, the smugglers bring them in on the pretext of offering children joyrides. Kerala High Court has ruled that camels are not meat animals and hence cannot be killed and eaten. The FSSAI has also banned killing of camels and the consumption of camel meat. But the police turn a blind eye to groups of camels being taken across India.

f)     Apart from all the legal reasons the camel cannot be killed for Bakr-Id because: 1) Camels belong in the deserts of Rajasthan. They are marched 2000 kms in a cruel way and can never be called healthy and killing them is thus against Islamic teachings. 2) The Koran allows killing of animals as a justification only for food. 3) One is supposed to befriend an animal before offering it for sacrifice - this is never done for a camel. 4) The killing of a terrified animal is something the Prophet would never allow. 5) Bakrid refers to the killing of a ram by Ibrahim when God replaced the son with a goat. Why kill camels which cannot even be legally eaten?

g)    The Rajasthan govt in July 2014 passed an Act declaring the camel a State animal. This was followed in March 2015 with the Rajasthan Camel (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Bill 2015, which banned the slaughter, trading and unauthorised transportation of camels.

h)     The slaughter of this iconic animal, full of temperament and pride must stop before it is too late. The camel has become another victim to our inability to enforce laws in India.

11.

Blackbuck conservation reserve proposed in Chamarajanagar (Page 9)

a)     Geography

b)     Environment

a)     Blackbuck conservation reserve

b)     Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972

c)     Bandipur Tiger Reserve

a)     There is a proposal for a blackbuck conservation reserve at Ummathur and Bagli villages in Chamarajanagar district (Karnataka) to sustain their numbers in the wild.

b)     The proposed reserve is slated to come up on 1,504.39 acres of govt land in the two villages. The concept was mooted by Chief Conservator of Forests of Chamarajanagar Circle under section 36-A of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

c)     Official said that there was no need for fresh introduction of blackbuck in Chamarajanagar as quite a few of them had been found in Kundagere range of Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

d)     He said they share habitat with spotted deer and live in open grasslands in the drier part of Bandipur. And since the area is protected these antelopes will continue to thrive there.

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