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Daily News Analysis 25-09-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Modi begins Make in India pitch Promises to quickly resolve concerns raised by investors (Pages 1 and 13)

a)     I.R

a)     PM Modis campaign in the US to attract capital to the country and boost his Make in India initiative kicked off with a meeting with eight influential figures in the key financial hub of the world.

2.

Great power, greater responsibility (Page 10)

a)     International

a)    To merit UN permanent membership, India needs to demonstrate that it has the gravitas to play a bigger role. Countering IS through its vast Islamic scholarship, and offering Europe help in dealing with the refugee crisis are two areas where the country can display global leadership.

3.

Syria uses Russian jets to strike IS (Page14)

a)     International

a)     Syrian govt forces used newly arrived Russian warplanes to bombard Islamic State insurgents in Aleppo , in an attempt to break a siege on a nearby air base.

4.

Pope asks US to embrace immigrants (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Directly addressing a thorny subject that is dividing the country and stirring debate in the 2016 presidential campaign, Pope Francis told Congress that the US should reject hostility to immigrants and treat them humanely.

5.

Govt plans green road corridors (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

a)     Union govt will unveil its Green Highways policy on Sept 29. The purpose of this policy is to promote the greening of highway corridors with the participation of the local community, including local contractors and the local Forest Department.

6.

Centre clears controversial anti-terror bill of Gujarat (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Home Ministry has sent the controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill 2015 to the President for his assent.

7.

Union Secretary visits Manipur to take stock of law and order (Pg 13)

a)     National

a)     More than a month since life was disrupted in Manipur over the passing of three Bills by the Assembly, the Union Home Ministry sent a senior official earlier this week to take stock of the situation.

8.

Unravelling the mystery of Sanatan Sanstha (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     Sanatan Sanstha (allegedly associated with the murder of rationalist Govind Pansare) is not new to controversies. The fringe right-wing group has been accused of carrying out bomb blasts, committing murder and issuing threats.

9.

Centre to exempt foreign firms covered by double taxation treaty (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)    In a big relief to foreign firms, govt said Income Tax Act will be amended with retrospective effect to exempt from minimum alternate tax the overseas companies that covered under double taxation avoidance agreements.

10.

Centre plans to liberalise Tea Act (Page 16)

a)     Economy

b)     Geography

a)     The Centre is planning to liberalise the Tea Act, so as to increase tea production and productivity by bringing additional areas under cultivation.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Modi begins Make in India pitch Promises to quickly resolve concerns raised by investors (Pages 1 and 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Make in India initiative

 

a)     PM Modis campaign in the US to attract capital to the country and boost his Make in India initiative kicked off with a meeting with eight influential figures in the key financial hub of the world.

b)     He told the investment community that the massive scale of Indias development ambitions held forth the best opportunity for them in world.

c)     Financial sector leaders flagged red tape, slow pace of deregulation, and unpredictable tax regimes, as their main concerns.

2.

Great power, greater responsibility (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     UNSC

b)     UNGA

c)     Intergovernmental Negotiations Group (ING)

d)     United Nations Sustainable Development Summit  

e)     G-4

f)     G-20

g)     International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

h)     Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

i)     Islamic State (IS)

j)     Europes refugee crisis

 

a)     According to the author, PM Modi embarked on his two-nation visit (to Ireland and the US) on Sept 22. It is the US visit that is clearly the more critical of the two. On this occasion, the PM is to address UN Sustainable Development Summit and attend the Summit on UN Peacekeeping hosted by President Obama, apart from a bilateral meeting with the US President.

b)     It is interesting that PM Modi will be in the US at the same time as Chinese President Xi Jinping. US dexterity in simultaneously dealing with leaders of two Asian giants is certain to be carefully analysed. India-US relations are today on an upswing. US-China relations are not in the best of health.

c)     PM Modi is coming to the US laden with gifts like the $3.1 billion deal for attack and heavy lift helicopters. On the other hand, Chinese President will need to battle US doubts about its cyber-snooping, and dispel increasing US concerns about its aggressive intentions, the symbolism of the recent massive parade in Tiananmen Square, the display of state-of-the-art military hardware, as also Chinas reiteration that it would not brook interference in its zone of strategic concern.

d)     PM Modis visit coincides with a propitious moment in Indias diplomatic history, namely, the adoption of a negotiating text for UNSC reforms by UNGA. The resolution was adopted despite protests from China, Pakistan and Russia, and will now form the basis for further discussions at the ING.

e)     PM Modi will be hosting a summit of G-4 leaders (India, Brazil, Japan and Germany) in New York in this connection and also raise the issue in his address to the Special Summit of UNGA. All this has given rise to hopes of an early entry for India into Security Council.

f)     There are many obstacles to be overcome. Significant among these is a patent unwillingness on the part of the current Permanent Members P5 (US, UK, France, Russia and China) to share or dilute their privileges for any newcomer. The 5 possess the right of veto, which gives them an exalted status. Objections derive from ongoing conflicts between certain states and differences of principle as to which country has the right to represent a region or a continent.

g)     It has taken more than a decade for the G-4 to reach this stage. The G-4 idea dates back to 2004, and has witnessed some changes during this period. In the initial period, Germany displayed considerable enthusiasm but, under Chancellor Angela Merkel, it has proven less enthusiastic. Japan under PMs Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzo Abe was very keen, but after Abe stepped down as PM (in 2007), his successors showed less interest.

h)     President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil was a strong votary, but Brazils economic problems in recent years have taken a toll. Buoyed by its economic resurgence, India did believe that the moment had arrived for reshaping the Security Council so as to better reflect current economic and geopolitical realities.

i)     Apart from unwillingness of the existing Security Council members to admit new entrants, each of the new claimants face opposition, individually and severally, from other claimants. Italy is hostile to the idea of Germanys inclusion. China is opposed to Japans entry. Pakistan is against Indias elevation, as also is China, but the latter tries to mask its opposition. Brazil faces opposition from other Latin American nations like Argentina. Africa demands a seat, but South Africas claims are contested by countries like Nigeria.

j)     Notwithstanding last weeks UNGA resolution, most of these parameters have not altered. The US, France and the UK even today remain less than enthusiastic about change. Russias attitude seems to be changing. President Putin and his aide Sergei Ivanov had previously pledged their support to Indias candidature but now the support appears to be wavering. Chinas current enigmatic attitude hardly conceals its hostility to Indias claim.

k)     Hence, instead of waiting interminably for final outcome, it might be advantageous for India to demonstrate to the world that it has the necessary credentials to occupy a seat on the Council. India needs to carry and express the conviction to the world that (apart from its recent economic resurgence) it is capable and willing to shoulder additional responsibilities regarding geopolitical and related matters.

l)     Some modest beginnings are already evident. In the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, India had been invited, and agreed, to be a member of the G-20 to help the world tide over a difficult situation. Around the same time, the IAEA and NSG invested India with the halo of a state with advanced nuclear technology and sanctified India as a responsible member of the nuclear community.

m)     However, a great deal more needs to be done. Unfortunately, there is an impression that India feels comfortable in its role as a recessed power - more intent on treading path of least activism. This has to be dispelled. Towards this end, India must engage along many fronts. This should reduce resistance to its entry into the Security Council.

n)     Two issues immediately come to mind. One is the expanding writ of the jihadist group IS, across a wide swathe of territory that is of crucial importance to India - parts of West Asia, Yemen and areas around Caspian Sea, pockets in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. India has possibly the worlds largest population of moderate Sunni Muslims, and a long history of Islamic scholarship. It is thus uniquely placed to deal with challenge posed by the IS, which has baffled much of the world.

o)     The current refugee crisis in Europe also provides an occasion for India to showcase its inherent strengths, derived from ancient civilisational traditions. The avalanche of refugees is fast approaching what we witnessed during East Bengal crisis in the early 1970s. India had then shown both capability and remarkable resilience, and Indias experience would prove useful for countries in Europe, and the EU itself, which has, so far, proved to be totally inept.

p)     If India succeeds in enlarging the ambit of its role, the world will begin to view it through an entirely new prism. Apart from the relevance of size, ancient wisdom, culture and current economic strength, Indias role as a vital 21st century problem solver cannot but add weight to its claims to membership of the Security Council.

3.

Syria uses Russian jets to strike IS (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Syria crisis

b)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     Syrian govt forces used newly arrived Russian warplanes to bombard Islamic State insurgents in Aleppo, in an attempt to break a siege on a nearby air base.

b)     Russia is strengthening its ally Damascus against rebels with military aid that US officials say has included fighter jets, helicopter gunships, artillery and ground forces.

c)     Many Western countries have reacted with alarm to Moscows increased military support for President Bashar al-Assad, whom they oppose. But the rise of a common enemy (Islamic State) has rendered divisions less clear.

d)     The US is waging its own aerial campaign against the militants in Syria and Iraq. Stronger Russian involvement in Syria means that forces of the former Cold War foes could encounter each other as they battle the same enemy. The US-led coalition that is operating out of neighbouring Turkey has also hit IS targets in Raqqa. The US has warned Syria not to interfere in its air campaign.

4.

Pope asks US to embrace immigrants (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US internal issues

b)     Immigration issue

a)     Directly addressing a thorny subject that is dividing the country and stirring debate in the 2016 presidential campaign, Pope Francis told Congress that the US should reject hostility to immigrants and treat them humanely.

b)     Aversion to illegal immigrants has featured heavily in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

5.

Govt plans green road corridors (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     National

a)     Green road corridors

b)     Green Highways policy

a)     Union govt will unveil its Green Highways policy on Sept 29. The purpose of this policy is to promote greening of highway corridors with the participation of the local community, including local contractors and the local Forest Department.

b)     If Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkaris plan for Rs. 5,00,000 crore of investment in highways in the next 4 years comes off, Rs. 5,000 crore of this will go to the Green Highways policy.

6.

Centre clears controversial anti-terror bill of Gujarat (Page 12)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill 2015  

a)     The Home Ministry has sent the controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill 2015 to the President for his assent.

b)    The anti-terror Bill (passed by the Gujarat Assembly and twice rejected by the previous UPA govt) has been cleared by the Modi govt and sent to the President for his assent.

c)     The Bill provides for admissibility of evidence collected through interception of mobile calls of an accused or through confessions made before an investigating officer, in a court of law.

d)     The Gujarat Assembly in March had passed the stringent Bill retaining controversial provisions that had twice earlier led to a previous such Bill being rejected by the President.

e)     The Bill was first rejected by then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2004, demanding that the clause relating to interception of communication be removed. It was again rejected when Pratibha Patil was the President.

7.

Union Secretary visits Manipur to take stock of law and order (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     Protection of Manipur People Bill

b)     Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill

c)     Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reform (Seventh Amendment) Bill

 

a)     More than a month since life was disrupted in Manipur over the passing of three Bills by the Assembly, the Union Home Ministry sent a senior official earlier this week to take stock of the situation.

b)  Based on the report, the govt will decide whether Presidents Rule should be imposed in the State in the wake of the ongoing violence there.

c)     Violence erupted after the Assembly passed the Protection of Manipur People Bill, the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill and Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reform (Seventh Amendment) Bill, which were seen as driving a wedge between the tribal and the valley population.

8.

Unravelling the mystery of Sanatan Sanstha (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     Sanatan Sanstha

b)    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act (UAPA)

c)     Section 153 (b) IPC

a)     Sanatan Sanstha (allegedly associated with the murder of rationalist Govind Pansare) is not new to controversies. The fringe right-wing group has been accused of carrying out bomb blasts, committing murder and issuing threats.

b)     The organisation (apparently dedicated to the reinstatement of the divine kingdom) has been shrouded in mystery till now.

c)     In 2011, not only Maharashtra govt but Goa and Karnataka had also sent reports to declare the Sanstha a terrorist organisation. The then Home Minister Chidambaram turned down the suggestions by the State governments and termed the request as cryptic.

d)     Chidambaram opposed the demands to ban organisation under section 35 (3) (c) of the UAPA citing lack of specific incidents, activities which could have justified the ban. He wrote none of the 3 State govts have addressed the real issue and they may be asked to indicate whether the organisation be banned or members of the organisation be prohibited from undertaking any activity under section 153 (b) IPC.

e)     In 2014, the plea of Maharashtra govt was junked by the Home Ministry as no credible proof was found against the organisation.

10.

Centre to exempt foreign firms covered by double taxation treaty (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)      Income Tax Act

b)     Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs)

c)     Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT)

a)    In a big relief to foreign firms, govt said Income Tax Act will be amended with retrospective effect to exempt from minimum alternate tax the overseas companies that covered under DTAAs.

b)     Official statement said the foreign companies that do not have a permanent establishment in India will be exempt from paying MAT on profits from April 2001. The provisions of Section 115JB of Income Tax will not apply to foreign companies with effect from April 1 2001, if they are resident of a country with which India has DTAA and they do not have a permanent establishment in India.

c)     In case the companies belong to countries with which India does not have a DTAA, the MAT exemption will apply if they are exempted from registration under Section 592 of the Companies Act 1956, or Section 380 of the Companies Act 2013. An appropriate amendment to the Income-Tax Act in this regard will be carried out.

11.

Centre plans to liberalise Tea Act (Page 16)

a)     Economy

b)     Geography

a)     Tea Act

b)     Tea cultivation in India

a)     The Centre is planning to liberalise the Tea Act, so as to increase tea production and productivity by bringing additional areas under cultivation.

b)     Official said that while it is proposing to amend the Tea Act to waive the present stipulation of obtaining permits for bringing additional areas under tea cultivation, the state governments would also need to match the initiative by easing its process of granting permissions.

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