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Daily News Analysis 10-10-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

BRICS to establish liberal visa regime (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that the BRICS nations will soon allow free movement of skilled professionals among members by setting up a liberalised visa regime.

2.

Smart Cities Mission gets a French boost (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     In what may be seen as a good omen for PM Modis Smart Cities Mission, the French govt has shown great interest in the flagship urban development programme with AFD (French Development Agency) rolling out a whopping loan of 2 billion Euros for three cities: Puducherry, Nagpur and Chandigarh.

3.

A return to belligerence (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)    Pakistans recent display of verbal aggression (PM Sharifs attack on India at the UN) can be attributed to a new-found overconfidence. India must not be provoked into any kind of knee-jerk response but should look for method behind the madness.

4.

No decision at MTCR meeting (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     The Missile Technology Control Regime concluded its meeting in the Netherlands on Oct 9, without taking a decision on Indias membership, even as New Delhi said its inclusion would further strengthen global non- proliferation objectives.

5.

Two sides of an ambitious deal (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     The Trans-Pacific Partnership pact reached this week between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations including Canada and Japan, has raised both hopes and concerns.

6.

US ends the Pentagons $500m programme to train Syrian rebels (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Officials said the Obama administration has ended the Pentagons $500 million programme to train and equip Syrian rebels, in an acknowledgement that the beleaguered programme had failed to produce any kind of ground combat forces capable of taking on the Islamic State in Syria.

7.

Tunisian mediators win Nobel Peace Prize (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     A coalition of labour unions, businesses, lawyers and human rights activists won the Nobel Peace Prize for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.

 

 

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

BRICS to establish liberal visa regime (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     BRICS

b)     Liberalised visa regime

a)     Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that the BRICS nations will soon allow free movement of skilled professionals among members by setting up a liberalised visa regime.

b)     He (who attended the first-ever ministerial meeting on migration held in Sochi, Russia) said the liberalised visa regime would further improve ties with China. It was in May this year (during PM Modis visit) that Chinese tourists were extended the facility of electronic visa on arrival, against the concerns of intelligence agencies.

c)     The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have joined hands to combat and prevent organised human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

2.

Smart Cities Mission gets a French boost (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – France relations

b)     Smart Cities Mission

 

a)     In what may be seen as a good omen for PM Modis Smart Cities Mission, the French govt has shown great interest in the flagship urban development programme with AFD (French Development Agency) rolling out a whopping loan of 2 billion Euros for three cities: Puducherry, Nagpur and Chandigarh.

b)    The Ambassador of France explained that the country has a soft corner for our former trading port. In 1962, India and France signed a deal under which France granted India full sovereignty over Puducherry.

c)   He established similar bind with Chandigrah invoking the memory of French architect Le Corbusier, who designed the city in the early 1960s. He said we want to contribute to the next step in developing Chandigrah further.

d)     As far Nagpur goes, its because the city has a potential to transform into a smart city with robust transportation networks. AFD is already financing Nagpurs metro project.

e)     The French will release money according the nature of the Smart City projects and they are more interested in financing solid waste management, sanitation, transportation and water management plans.

3.

A return to belligerence (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Kashmir issue

c)     Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)

d)     Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)

e)     Operation Zarb-e-Azb

f)     Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

g)     Sipah-e-Sahaba

h)     Lashkar-e-Jhangvi

i)     Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan

j)     UNGA

a)     PM Modis visit to the US ended on a high note, despite Pakistan introducing a sour note towards the end. Addressing the UNGA at about the same time as the PM was in New York, Pakistans PM Nawaz Sharif used the opportunity to make an all-out attack on India over the Kashmir issue.

b)   Not since 1971 has Pakistan launched such a frontal attack and on this scale in the UN. In recent years, references to Kashmir by Pakistani interlocutors have tended to be more ritualistic in character - intended mainly to ensure that the world did not forget the existence of the dispute. However, this time there was no mistaking the viciousness of the attack.

c)     At their meeting in Ufa (Russia) in July, the two PMs had agreed to hold talks on a broad spectrum of issues. Hence, the about-turn within two months appears all more surprising and inexplicable. While Pakistani leaders (both civilian and military) are not always guided by cognitive reasoning, the present onslaught should not be viewed as only an act of defiance, but needs to be seen in the nature of a threat.

d)     In the past, Pakistan has been quite willing to risk a conflict with India (even on specious grounds) ignoring its costs. Kargil 1999 was one example. Pakistan resorted to aggression in the Kargil sector notwithstanding the fact that both countries had (by then) become acknowledged nuclear powers.

e)    There was every likelihood of Kargil adventure escalating into a much bigger conflict. Indias restraint alone prevented it from turning into a full-scale war. Nawaz Sharif (in his second stint as PM at that time) faced humiliation. However, in his subsequent stint, he has not demonstrated any greater sagacity or reason.

f)     Kashmir has always been a ready issue for Pakistani elite (and specially its military) to indulge in jingoism of the worst kind. A reference to Kashmir by Nawaz Sharif on the global stage was possibly aimed at whipping up patriotic frenzy at one level, but there could also be other reasons behind Pakistans current posture.

g)     This is important (for Pakistan has been needlessly provocative at the UN) with Sharif charging India with keeping Kashmir under foreign occupation and Pakistani Representative Lodhi accusing India of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and of supporting and sponsoring Terrorism in Pakistan.

h)     Evidently, the speeches at UN were aimed at provoking India, and getting it to react in a manner that would afford an opportunity to Pakistan to try and internationalise the Kashmir issue, thus reverting to the situation that existed during 1950s and 1960s. India must not be provoked into any kind of knee-jerk response; on the other hand, it should try and see whether there is some method behind Pakistans madness.

i)     The circumstances that currently prevail in Pakistan and in the region, add another important dimension. Pakistan already faces a host of problems, including violence in regions of Sindh, Balochistan, Southern Punjab and PoK; increasing sectarian violence; rise of religious extremism, including formation of newer bodies such as the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat - which have subsumed organisations such as the Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi; and continuing depredations by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

j)     All modern states have an army. However, Pakistans Army has a state. The Army is the real arbiter of Pakistans destiny. The Pakistani Deep State comprises the Army, the ISI and nuclear establishment, who call all the shots. Most influential in Pakistan is the Chief of the Army Staff, who far eclipses the Prime Minister in power and influence.

k)    The Pakistani Army (which had been under a cloud during 2011-2013) has recovered its former elan. This follows the success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in north Waziristan and that other steps aimed at dealing with terrorism inside country. The rising profile of the Army perhaps explains Pakistans recent sabre-rattling and its accusations that India was acting as a superpower and that Pakistan as a nuclear power, knew how to defend itself.

l)     These are signs that Pakistan is possibly becoming overconfident. One reason for such overconfidence could be the deepening of Pakistans economic and military relations with China. Promises by China of new additions to its Air Force; the range of battlefield weapons that Pakistan currently possesses, and hopes of securing more consequent to additional US assistance; and an availability of short-range, medium-range and long-range missiles, have all induced  greater confidence in Pakistan when it comes to its ability to take on India.

m)     Even more threatening in this context is that only very recently Pakistan announced an upgrading of its declared nuclear position. It has reiterated its resolve to maintain full spectrum deterrence capability to respond to any perceived threat from India, and seems to be of the view that it has overtaken India on several nuclear weapon-related metrics.

n)    India must not ignore in this backdrop, two other important developments: one, heading the Pak Army today is a highly ambitious individual (Army Chief General Raheel Sharif), who has possibly accumulated more powers than any of his recent predecessors. He holds an undisputed sway because of the Armys success in dealing with terrorism in Waziristan and Sindh. Countries having large armies led by ambitious generals are only looking for a cause.

o)     Two, LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (identified as an international terrorist) has had his cult status further enlarged. His following in Pakistan is growing, and his battle cry for capturing Kashmir is gaining wider resonance. The Lashkars terrorist infrastructure is simultaneously expanding at an alarming rate.

p)     The rest of the world may also not mind a diversion of attention to Kashmir, to take the pressure off the current migrants crisis that threatens to undermine the fragile unity that underpins the EU. A Kashmir crisis at this juncture (which has the potential to spark a nuclear conflict) is just kind of remedy that many European strategists could be looking for, to divert attention from a collapse of the Schengen system and dreams of a borderless Europe.

q)     All these aspects need to be carefully weighed by India while deciding on the right kind of strategy. It must not afford an opportunity to warmongers in Pakistan to call the shots, and create a fresh set of problems for India. India must never forget that the peculiar combination of state weakness and propensity for perilous risk-taking, makes Pakistan inherently dangerous.

4.

No decision at MTCR meeting (Page 13)

a)     International

a)     Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

a)     The Missile Technology Control Regime concluded its meeting in the Netherlands on Oct 9, without taking a decision on Indias membership, even as New Delhi said its inclusion would further strengthen global non- proliferation objectives.

b)     India wants to gain entry into the voluntary association of 34 countries favouring non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

c)     Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson said that India has an application under submission since June 2015 to be a member of the MTCR. It has been received well and it remains under consideration. Indias membership of the MTCR and other export control regimes would further strengthen global non-proliferation objectives.

d)     While countries like the United States and Sweden have been backing Indias bid, other nations like Italy and China are not too enthusiastic about granting it membership.

5.

Two sides of an ambitious deal (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)pact

b)     Free Trade Agreement

c)     Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

a)     The Trans-Pacific Partnership pact reached this week between the US and 11 Pacific Rim nations including Canada and Japan, has raised both hopes and concerns. The commercial value of deal (when it is approved) is immense, tying together as it does almost 40 percent of the worlds GDP

b)     Its supporters (including President Obama and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe) say the pact would boost growth in the US as well as the Asian economies. But it faces opposition inside and outside the US.

c)     Obama has made the TPP the centrepiece of his trade and foreign policies, and seems determined to push it in Congress and persuade other govts to accept it. The strategic potential of the deal is clear. The US started pushing for a Pacific free trade agreement at a time China was emerging as an economic super power in the region.

d)     China is now the worlds second largest economy, which has invested trillions of dollars in US treasury bonds; isolating such an economy is next to impossible. Though the US reversed its hostile China policy in 1972 in order to exploit internal rivalries in communist bloc, China never became a US ally. And the chasm only widened after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

e)     Now, with China emerging as an economic powerhouse with new institutions such as AIIB in place, the US is trying to form a grand alliance that would shore up its influence in Asia. But will this strategic push be at the expense of its own workers, and the poor in the developing world? If it is, the TPP would hardly meet either its declared commercial goals or its undeclared strategic ambitions, and could turn counterproductive.

6.

US ends the Pentagons $500m programme to train Syrian rebels (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Syria crisis

b)     Islamic State (IS)

c)     Pentagons programme

a)     Officials said the Obama administration has ended the Pentagons $500 million programme to train and equip Syrian rebels, in an acknowledgement that the beleaguered programme had failed to produce any kind of ground combat forces capable of taking on the IS in Syria.

b)     Official said that there would no longer be any more recruiting of so-called moderate Syrian rebels to go through training programmes in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or UAE. Instead, a much smaller training centre would be set up in Turkey, where a small group of enablers would be taught operational manoeuvres like how to call in air strikes.

c)     He said the training was to be suspended, with the option to restart if conditions dictate, opportunities arise. He also said support to Sunni Arab fighters in eastern Syria was an example of focusing on groups already fighting the Islamic State.

7.

Tunisian mediators win Nobel Peace Prize (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Nobel Peace Prize

b)     Arab Spring

c)     Jasmine Revolution of 2011

d)     Syria crisis

e)     Islamic State (IS)

 

a)  A coalition of labour unions, businesses, lawyers and human rights activists won the Nobel Peace Prize for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.

b)     The prize to the coalition (known as the National Dialogue Quartet) comes nearly five years after an unemployed street vendor set himself on fire, touching off a political earthquake that toppled Tunisias long-time authoritarian president and proceeded to reverberate throughout West Asia and North Africa.

c)   Among the disappointments of what has become known as the Arab Spring (collapsed states in Libya, Syria and Yemen; the return of rule by a military strongman in Egypt; and the rise of IS in sectarian cauldron of Syria and Iraq), the relative success of Tunisias transition to democracy has been a wisp of hope.

d)    The Arab Spring originated in Tunisia in 2010 and 2011, but it quickly spread to other countries in North African and the Middle East. In many of these countries, the struggle for democracy and human rights has come to a standstill or suffered setbacks. However, Tunisia has seen a democratic transition based on vibrant civil society, with demands for respect of basic human rights.

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