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Daily News Analysis 06-10-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

German to be taught again in Central schools (Pages 1 and 13)

a)     I.R

a)     After signing a joint declaration of intent with Germany, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development announced that students in KendriyaVidyalaya schools will be able to opt for German as an additional foreign language, in conformity with the National Education Policy.

2.

A tie-up for clean energy (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Three days after India declared its pledge to expand the share of non-fossil fuel energy to 40 percent by 2030, India and Germany formed the Climate and Renewable Energy Alliance, with the arrival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in India.

3.

India, Pakistan will inevitably return to talks, says Kasuri (P 12)

a)     I.R

a)   Calling India and Pakistans recent spat at UN a tit for tat, former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri said both sides would inevitably return to talks.

4.

First UK cybersecurity delegation to visit India (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     Ahead of PMModis visit to the UK next month, the British government will send the countrys first cybersecurity delegation to India later this week.

5.

India expanding nuclear arsenal: US (Page 14)

a)     International

a)  A senior US administration official this week clubbed India along with Pakistan, North Korea and Iran in a reference to nations that were expanding their nuclear weapons capabilities amidst global proliferation concerns.

6.

US, 11 nations reach historic deal (Page 14)

a)     International

a)    The US and 11 other Pacific Rim nations agreed to the largest regional trade accord in history, a potentially precedent-setting model for global commerce and worker standards that would tie together 40 percent of the worlds economy, from Canada and Chile to Japan and Australia.

7.

World Bank estimates show fall in Indias poverty rate (P12)

a)     National

a)     The World Bank has revised the global poverty line, previously pegged at $1.25 a day to $1.90 a day. This has been arrived at based on an average of the national poverty lines of 15 poorest economies of the world.

8.

The grand delusion of Digital India(P11)

a)     National

a)     The idea of attacking poverty by increasing mobile connectivity in a country that ranks 55 in the Global Hunger Index is just fantasy.

9.

Subsidies slide to 1.6 percent of GDP (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)    The ModiGovt said that the Finance Ministry has achieved (over the past one year) restructuring of the expenditure side of the budget: Outgo towards major subsidies is down to 1.6 percent of GDP in 2015-16 from 2.5 percent of GDP in 2012-13.

10.

Drones to help gauge crop damage (Page 13)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     The Centre has decided to use satellite and drones (UAVs) over farmers fields to collect crop yield data and to assess damage from natural calamities.

11.

3 win Nobel Prize in Medicine for parasite-fighting therapies (Pg 14)

a)     S&T

a)    The Nobel committee announced that three scientists were awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering therapies that have revolutionised the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

German to be taught again in Central schools (Pages 1 and 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Germany relations

b)     National Education Policy

c)     Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN)

d)     Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)

e)     Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)

a)     After signing a joint declaration of intent with Germany, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development announced that students in KendriyaVidyalaya schools will be able to opt for German as an additional foreign language, in conformity with the National Education Policy.

b)     SmritiIrani(Minister for Human Resource Development) held bilateral discussions with Johanna Wanka(German Minister of Education and Research) and agreed to enhance and deepen traditional ties. The two sides agreed to extend cooperation to the areas of science and technology, skills development, and GIAN.

c)     Germany welcomed Indias decision to set up a fast-track system for German companies in the DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

d)     Germany has expressed its inability to sign the MLAT with India, citing its provision for death penalty for heinous crimes and terror activities. India has signed MLAT with 39 countries, including the US. This is perhaps the first time a country has refused to sign the treaty on grounds of the death penalty provision.

e)     An MLAT is an agreement between two or more countries for gathering and exchanging information to enforce public or criminal laws.

2.

A tie-up for clean energy (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     India Germany Climate and Renewable Energy Alliance

 

a)     Three days after India declared its pledge to expand the share of non-fossil fuel energy to 40 percent by 2030, India and Germany formed the Climate and Renewable Energy Alliance, with the arrival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in India.

b)     The two countries agreed on India Germany Climate and Renewable Energy Alliance - a comprehensive partnership to harness technology, innovation and finance in order to make affordable, clean and renewable energy accessible to all and to foster climate change mitigation efforts in both countries with a long-term vision and a comprehensive agenda of combating climate change.

c)     Germany has committed to providing an assistance of over 1 billion Euros for Indias Green Energy Corridor and a new assistance package of over 1 billion Euros for solar projects in India. The partner country also intends to deepen research cooperation in clean and renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

3.

India, Pakistan will inevitably return to talks, says Kasuri (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Kashmir issue

c)     Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)

d)     UNGA

a)   Calling India and Pakistans recent spat at UN a tit for tat, former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri said both sides would inevitably return to talks.

b)     He said the recent attempts at UNGA by Pakistan to raise Kashmir issue internationally, as well as the Indian govts push to highlight human rights abuses in PoK were irrelevant, and the final settlement of Kashmir would mirror the current ground position.

c)     Kasuri(who has recounted what he calls the only insiders account of negotiations between the Indian and Pakistani govts between 2004 and 2007) says they led to a near-breakthrough on Kashmir.

d)     For the first time (in his book), he has not only given details of the 8-points agreed to between two sides on Kashmir, but said they were to have paved the way for a Peace, Security and Friendship treaty between India and Pakistan.

e)     The agreements include the Kashmir 4-step, proposed by President Musharraf to PMManmohan Singh of a ceasefire at the LoC, demilitarisation of Kashmiri cities, conduct of elections and self-governance, and building joint mechanisms between PoK and J&K.

f)     In addition, Kasuri said there would be agreements on sharing water and promoting development, while Foreign Ministers of both countries would meet annually, and the agreement would be reviewed after 15 years. However, none of it came to fruition because of missed opportunities between PM Manmohan Singh and President Musharraf at the time.

4.

First UK cybersecurity delegation to visit India (Page 14)

a)     I.R

a)     India – UK relations

b)     Cybersecurity

c)     Digital India programme

a)     Ahead of PMModis visit to UK next month, the British govt will send the countrys first cybersecurity delegation to India later this week. The mission is a sign of Britains increasing focus on developing and exporting its high-end cybersecurity expertise, which coincides with Modis current push of digitising India.

b) The delegationwill comprise heads of 8 private companies which include large firms like BAE Systems as well as small enterprises.

5.

India expanding nuclear arsenal: US (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     India – US civil nuclear deal

b)     Indias nuclear liability law

a)  A senior US administration official this week clubbed India along with Pakistan, North Korea and Iran in a reference to nations that were expanding their nuclear weapons capabilities amidst global proliferation concerns.

b)    He said that given these nations nuclear ambitions, along with the fact that Russia and China were modernising their nuclear forces, it would take more than simply banning nuclear weapons to prevent their proliferation and effectively deter multiple adversaries with varying capabilities.

c)     As it stands the agreement for declared nuclear powers to supply India with uranium fuel and reactor capabilities has ground to a halt pending talks between US nuclear corporations and the Indian govt, negotiations that have foundered on at least two clauses of Indias nuclear liability law.

6.

US, 11 nations reach historic deal (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Pacific trade accord

b)     US pivot to Asia

 

a)   The US and 11 other Pacific Rim nations agreed to largest regional trade accord in history, a potentially precedent-setting model for global commerce and worker standards that would tie together 40 percent of worlds economy, from Canada and Chile to Japan and Australia.

b)     But the accord (a product of nearly 8years of negotiations, including five days of round-the-clock sessions in Atlanta) is a potentially legacy-making achievement for President Obama, and the capstone for his foreign policy pivot toward closer relations with fast-growing eastern Asia, after years of US preoccupation with West Asia and North Africa.

c)     The Pacific accord would phase out thousands of import tariffs as well as other barriers to international trade. It also would establish uniform rules on corporations intellectual property, open Internet even in communist Vietnam and crack down on wildlife trafficking and environmental abuses.

7.

World Bank estimates show fall in Indias poverty rate (Page 12)

a)     National

a)     Global poverty line

b)     Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

c)     Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

d)     Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

e)     Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

f)     Uniform Reference Period consumption

g)     Modified Mixed Reference Period (MMRP)

 

 

a)     The World Bank has revised the global poverty line, previously pegged at $1.25 a day to $1.90 a day. This has been arrived at based on an average of the national poverty lines of 15 poorest economies of the world.  The poverty lines were converted from local currency into US dollars using the new 2011 PPP data.

b)   The latest headline estimate for 2012 based on the new data suggests that close to 900 million people (12.8 percent of the global population) lived in extreme poverty.

c)     Compared with 2011, this number represents continued poverty reduction, as the headcount estimate then (using 2011 PPP data) was 987 million people (14.2 percent of global population). Further, tentative projections for global poverty in 2015 suggest that the global headcount may have reached 700 million, leading to a poverty rate of 9.6 percent.

d)     With the SDGs adopted in September, seeking to end all forms of poverty world over, the World Bank Group has set itself the target of bringing down the number of people living in extreme poverty to less than 3 percent of the world population by 2030.

e)   The 2015 MPI counts 1.6 billion people as multi-dimensionally poor, with the largest global share in South Asia and the highest intensity in Sub-Saharan Africa.

f)    A latest World Bank report notes that though home to the largest number of poor in 2012, Indias poverty rate is one of the lowest among those countries with the largest number of poor. Also in the case of India, with large numbers of people clustered close to the poverty line, poverty estimates are significantly different, depending on the recall period in the survey.

g)  Since 2015 is the target year for the MDGs, the assessment of changes in poverty over time is best based on the Uniform Reference Period consumption method, which uses a 30-day recall period for calculating consumption expenditures. This method (used to set the baseline poverty rates for India in 1990) shows Indias poverty rate for 2011/12 to be 21.2 percent.

h)   By comparison, the MMRP (which contains a shorter, 7-day recall period for some food items) leads to higher estimates of consumption and, therefore, lower poverty estimates. A World Bank spokesperson said we expect that MMRP-based estimate (currently at 12.4% for India) will set baseline for India and global poverty estimates.

8.

The grand delusion of Digital India(Page 11)

a)     National

a)     Digital India

b)     Make in India

c)     Poverty

d)     Global Hunger Index

a)    According to the author, a glib modernity has perpetrated the belief that technology can bring about the liberation of human beings. Therefore, it is not surprising that the post-colonial history of colonised nations is also largely a history of this unrealisable fantasy.

b)     Digital India is the latest enchantment. The irony is that what goes missing in the search of a technological fix is human beings themselves. What should worry us is not digital divide, but the fundamental divide between a rapidly growing technological capability and a snail-like growth in eliminating human deprivation.

c)     Modis Digital India speech at Silicon Valley showed his remarkable continuity with the policies of post-independence governments, which grievously ignored the fundamental bases of development, health and education, leading to colossal failures in eliminating deprivation.

d)     All this is the result of an impoverished understanding of development as only economic growth and progress in science and technology, rather than ensuring basic human capacities and dignity. Hence, we are in a conjuncture in which 71 percent of rural India owns mobile phones while 75 percent of it lives on Rs. 33 per day.

e)     But Modis Digital India adds a crucial distinction: even the fig leaf of palliative attempts made by previous regimes in dealing with the great rural dislocation has been dispensed with. Socialism, which is still formally a part of the Indian Constitution, becomes a dirty word where a market-led vision of society has supposedly triumphed. Thus the substantial reduction of the already abysmal social sector spending, especially in health and education, is not just a policy decision but part of a larger philosophy.

f)     In the technocratic vision, democracy is a result of technology. That is why for Modi, technology is advancing citizen empowerment and democracy that once drew their strength from Constitutions. This is a remarkable statement - no democratic revolution in the world has been brought about by technology, but by human beings willing to sacrifice themselves for equality and liberty.

g)     Modi also claims that we have attacked poverty by using the power of networks and mobile phones to launch a new era of empowerment and inclusion. The idea of attacking poverty in a country where 50 percent of the people are still dependent on agriculture and where agriculture grew at 1.1 percent last year simply by increasing mobile connectivity sounds phantasmic.

h)     Indias economy finally grew faster than Chinas in 2014. But on a variety of social indicators, it is decades behind China because the latter (as AmartyaSen has repeatedly emphasized) invested heavily in health and education under communism before it turned to market-led growth.

i)  The hollowness of Digital India, Start-up India and Make in India cannot ring louder for those who will access Internet, start business ventures and produce goods, but do not have basic facilities as human beings. India ranked 55 out of 76 countries in the Global Hunger Index last year, behind Nepal.

j)     Thus it is time to realise that the future of India is not in the fundamental debate about the choice between Android, iOS or Windows, as Modi thinks. It lies in the building of a radically democratic society, which will not sacrifice human beings for technological utopias and which will ensure that the benefits of technology are harnessed in the most socially and ecologically just manner. 

9.

Subsidies slide to 1.6 percent of GDP (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Indias economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     Tax devolution

a)    The ModiGovt said that Finance Ministry has achieved (over past 1 year) restructuring of the expenditure side of the budget: Outgo towards major subsidies is down to 1.6 percent of GDP in 2015-16 from 2.5 percent of GDP in 2012-13.

b)     Official said that while many commentators expressed doubt, we have simultaneously achieved 10 percent increase in tax devolution to the States, achieved over 30 percent increase in the Plan capital expenditure, and yet, adhered to the fiscal deficit roadmap in the Budget.

c)     He also said that the tax collections figure can be taken as a positive index of growth in demand in the economy.

10.

Drones to help gauge crop damage (Page 13)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Drones

b)    Kisan

a)     The Centre has decided to use satellite and drones (UAVs) over farmers fields to collect crop yield data and to assess damage from natural calamities.

b)  The high resolution imagery of crop assessment from drones will be collated with satellite imaging and other geospatial technology to get accurate data to enable crop insurance companies to give proper compensation to affected farmers. The experiment will help develop index-based data for insurance companies.

c)    Launching new programme called Kisan (Crop Insurance using Space Technology and Geoinformatics), Minister of State for Agriculture SanjeevBalyan told that the scientific data collected by drones and collated with satellites imagery will be matched with traditional crop cutting experiments to arrive at a foolproof data.

11.

3 win Nobel Prize in Medicine for parasite-fighting therapies (Page 14)

a)     S&T

b)     Health

a)     Parasitic diseases

b)     Malaria

c)    Artemisinin

a)  Nobel committee announced that 3 scientists were awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering therapies that have revolutionised the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases.

b)     William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won for developing a new drug, Avermectin. A derivative of that drug (Ivermectin) has nearly eradicated river blindness and radically reduced incidence of filariasis, which causes disfiguring swelling of lymph system in legs and lower body known as elephantiasis.

c)     They shared the $900,000 award with YouyouTu, who discovered Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced death rates from malaria.

d)     Parasitic worms afflict a third of the worlds population, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America.

e)     Malaria (a mosquito-borne disease caused by single-cell parasites that invade red blood cells) kills more than 450,000 people a year, most of them children.

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