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Daily News Analysis 13-10-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India firmly behind Palestine: Pranab (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)    President Pranab Mukherjee held talks with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah where he reiterated Indias economic and political support for the Palestinians, and announced projects for capacity building in Gaza and West Bank.

2.

India, China begin counter-terrorism drills (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)    Indiasattempt to keep China engaged in a military-cooperation cycle whileit bolsters defence ties with the US and Japan is becoming strikingly illustrated this week with the joint counter-terror drills inKunming, as well as the Malabar-2015 naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal.

3.

Nepal Prime Minister forms Cabinet (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Veteran Communist leader K.P. Sharma Oli was sworn in as Nepals 38th PM, a day after he was elected in Parliament with support from smaller parties, even as the country is grappling with political unrest over the new Constitution.

4.

British economist Angus Deaton wins Nobel for studies on income, poverty (Page 12)

a)     International

a)    Professor Angus Deaton (a British economist) was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for improving the accuracy of basic economic gauges, including measures of income, poverty and consumption.

5.

Centre seeks report on HC order on Article 370 (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the J&Kgovt on the State High Courts order that Article 370 (which grants special status to the State) is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation.

6.

The multiple costs of death penalty (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    The cost of prisoners on death row, the complex task of ensuring a painless mode of carrying out the judicial order and the growing international rejection of the death penalty must weigh against the pain of a victims family seeking justice.

7.

Tightened DNA profiling Bill ready (Page 7)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan has said that apprehensions expressed about misuse of the Human DNA Profiling Bill were addressed by the Central government and matters had matured to a stage where the legislation was ready for introduction in the next session of Parliament.

8.

Centre wont ban Sanstha on its own (Page 10)

a)     National

a)    A senior Ministry official said the Ministry of Home Affairs will wait for a proposal from either Maharashtra or Goa to declare right-wing outfit SanatanSanstha a terrorist organisation and not take any suomotu action.

9.

The path to economic recovery (Page 8)

a)     Economy

a)     A dividend payment ofRs. 66,000 crore from the Reserve Bank of India (the highest in its 80-year history) helped tip Indias fiscal balance to surplus in August.

10.

Industrial output up 6.4 percent in Aug. CPI inflation at 4.4 percent in September (Pg13)

a)     Economy

a)    Growth in retail inflation accelerated to 4.4 percent in September following three months of deceleration. Consumer Price index inflation was 3.7 percent in August.Industrial production grew a robust 6.4 percent in August compared to 4.2 percent in July.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India firmly behind Palestine: Pranab (Page 11)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Palestine relations

b)     Palestinian issue

c)     Israel-Palestinian conflict

d)     Gaza conflict

e)     UNSC resolution

a)    President Pranab held talks with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah where he reiterated Indias economic and political support for Palestinians, and announced projects for capacity building in Gaza and West Bank.

b)     The President has handed over a cheque of $5 million to the Palestinian government as a budgetary support.

c)     Both countries have also announced five projects worth $17.79 million aimed at capacity building in Palestinian territories. The projects include a $12-million techno park, a $4.5 million Palestine Institute for Diplomacy and a $1 million India-Palestine Centre for Excellence in Gaza.

d)     During the talks, Pranab reiterated Indias position that it supports a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis based on negotiations and UNSC resolutions. Official said India would continue to support resolution on the formation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 border at the UN.

e)     He said Indias empathy with the Palestinian cause and its support for the Palestinian people has become an integral part of the countrys foreign policy.

2.

India, China begin counter-terrorism drills (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Malabar-2015 naval exercises

b)     India – China counter-terrorism exercises

c)     US Pivot to Asia

d)     South China Sea

 

 

a)    Indiasattempt to keep China engaged in a military-cooperation cycle whileit bolsters defence ties with the US and Japan is becoming strikingly illustrated this week with the joint counter-terror drills inKunming, as well as the Malabar-2015 naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal.

b)     The joint Hand-in-Hand counter-terrorism exercises between India and China started with the aim todevelop joint operating capability, share useful experience in counter-terrorism operations and to promote friendly exchanges between the armies of India and China.

c)     In view of the growing tensions with Japan, the Chinese are focusing on the format of this exercise to gauge whether the joint India-US exercises are morphing into a trilateral framework with Tokyo as a permanent participant. If that happens, it will re-open the question whether Indian foreign policy is now shifting gears towards an active support for the US-led Asia-Pivot.

d)     The Chinese perceive President Obamas Asia Pivot or rebalance doctrine as a thinly veiled attempt aimed at Chinas containment. Japan, South Korea and Australia are firm allies in this enterprise but India has so far carefully avoided in bracketing itself with the coalition, notwithstanding the adoption of a higher amplitude in expressing its concerns in the South China Sea.

e)     Analysts say that Chinas sharper focus on Malabar 2015 can be attributed to the first meeting of Foreign Ministers of India, US, and Japan in New York last month where the exercise was discussed.

3.

Nepal Prime Minister forms Cabinet (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Nepals internal issues

b)     Nepals new Constitution

a)     Veteran Communist leader K.P. Sharma Oli was sworn in as Nepals 38th PM, a day after he was elected in Parliament with support from smaller parties, even as the country is grappling with political unrest over the new Constitution.

b)     Oli was administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram BaranYadav at his official residence. He also has formed a small Cabinet incorporating two Deputy PMs and five ministers as he chaired his first Cabinet meeting.

4.

British economist Angus Deaton wins Nobel for studies on income, poverty (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Nobel Prize in Economic Science

b)     Poverty

c)     Economic reforms in India 1990

a)    Professor Angus Deaton (a British economist) was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for improving the accuracy of basic economic gauges, including measures of income, poverty and consumption.

b)     Deaton is best known for his insight that economic averages such as measures of national income could be misleading, because they concealed important variations among individuals.

c)    He was an early contributor to one of the defining trends in modern economics: the emphasis on building models of broad economic trends from the ground up, using data about individual behaviour rather than relying on averages. He then used this carefully constructed data to address large questions about wealth, health and well-being.

d)   His current research focuses on the determinants of health in rich and poor countries, as well as on measurement of poverty in India and around the world.

e)     Much of his research concerns the trickledown theory and seeks to answer the question: why there has been so much growth in the world, and so little poverty reduction. For instance, he has written the economic reforms of the early 1990s in India were followed by rates of economic growth that were high by historical standards. The effects on poverty remain controversial.

5.

Centre seeks report on HC order on Article 370 (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Article 370 of the Constitution

b)     Article 35A of the Constitution

a)     Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from J&Kgovt on the State High Courts order that Article 370 (which grants special status to the State) is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation.

b)     The HC had ruled that Article 370 has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution and the feature is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation.

c)     The court also said that Article 35A gives protection to existing laws in force in State. Though titled as Temporary Provision and included in Para XXI titled Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions, Article 370has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution.

d)     The Bench ruled that it is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation, in as much as Constituent Assembly of the State before its dissolution did not recommend its Amendment or repeal. The BJP has been demanding for long repeal of Article 370.

6.

The multiple costs of death penalty (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Death penalty

b)     Supreme Court of India

c)     Law Commission

d)     US Supreme Court

a)The curtain has in all probability come down on the NitishKatara case of murder, committed thirteen years ago by the son of a politician and his cousin. They are currently undergoing a jail term of 30 years. In dismissing the plea of the victims mother for imposing maximum penalty, the Supreme Court said the murder was neither an honour killing, nor was it the rarest of rare cases meriting capital punishment.

b)     According to the author, the Supreme Courts dismissal of Kataras plea is liable to be discussed for a long, long time. The fact is each day brings in a new point of view to discussion on adequacy of punishment.

c)    No discussion of the rationale of a death sentence will be meaningful without reference to what is happening just now in the US, a country prone to violent crime. A large number of cities have reported an increase in homicide rates this year. Despite this, more than 1400 convicts have been executed in the country since 1976, the year when capital sentence was restored after a four-year de facto moratorium flowing from Supreme Court decision in Furman v Georgia.

d)     It is the complex history that surrounds the issue of the mode of judicial killing in the country which is of interest. Currently, administering a lethal injection is the accepted procedure to execute a prisoner awarded the death sentence. An option to choose hanging is available to those convicted before this was introduced. It is significant that the constitutionality of lethal injection has been upheld by the US Supreme Court.

e)Hanging was one of the first methods employed by states to execute a condemned prisoner. After a series of blotched hangings in the 19th century, many switched to electrocution, following the recommendation of a Gerry Commission (1886) appointed to suggest an alternative mode. After New York first introduced electrocution, other States followed suit.

f)    This form of execution also came into disrepute, as sequel to a few cases of failure of the electric chair, which necessitated repeated application of high voltage electricity on a prisoner for the successful completion of an order of sentence. Therefore, this practice came to be challenged as a cruel and unusual punishment, prohibited by the US Constitution.

g)     It is against this backdrop that one must follow the proceedings of the US Supreme Court which began a new term on October 5. Though the constitutionality of death sentence is not directly listed to come up before it, any stray observation by any of the nine judges in associated matters could provide a pointer to the future.

h)    There is further sharpening division on the subject within the US Supreme Court, between liberals and conservatives. Four of the nine judges are said to believe that death penalty is constitutional, while two clearly consider it otherwise. It is difficult to speculate what the other three would do when the matter comes up before them in the future.

i) According to expert, the US Supreme Court is now quite sensitive to what is happening internationally. This is why it is reasonable to believe that it will take cognisance of the worldwide trend of nations giving up the death penalty.

j)     Finally, there is also the factor of costs involved here. There are now more than 3000 prisoners on death row in US prisons. Organising sustained legal help for a majority of them adds on to the already huge commitment to look after their food and health needs. While this particular issue is beyond the purview of courts, it could weigh heavily on the administration while reviewing the expediency of retaining the death penalty.

k)    The trends that characterise the US scene are very relevant to India, although in a slightly less acute form. We have had about 1300 death verdicts for the whole country during the period 2004-14. Of these, only four have ended in actual execution. Prisoners in such cases certainly escalate costs of prison management. While this argument may not hold water with those who stand rigidly for the retention of capital punishment, there is the overwhelming international trend in support of abolition that can hardly be ignored.

l) The Law Commissions recent weighty report that favours giving up the death penalty, except in cases of terrorism, should also motivate the govt into swift action. Apart from promoting the cause of a humane jurisprudence, a decision to do away with the death sentence could have a hugely positive impact on our international image.

7.

Tightened DNA profiling Bill ready (Page 7)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    Human DNA Profiling Bill

b)     Parliament

 

a)    Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan has said that worries expressed about misuse of Human DNA Profiling Bill were addressed by the Central government and matters had matured to a stage where the legislation was ready for introduction in the next session of Parliament.

8.

Centre wont ban Sanstha on its own (Page 10)

a)     National

a)    SanatanSanstha

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

a)    A senior Ministry official said the Ministry of Home Affairs will wait for a proposal from either Maharashtra or Goa to declare right-wing outfit SanatanSanstha a terrorist organisation and not take any suomotu action.

b)     The decision assumes significance as in 2009, when the activities of the Sanstha came under the radar for the first time, it was the MHA which had written to the govts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, seeking reports that could aid it in declaring it a terrorist organisation under the UAPA.

c)     The 3 State govts did send a response to the Centre, but the Sanstha could not be banned based on their submissions.

9.

The path to economic recovery (Page 8)

a)     Economy

a)     Indias economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     Fiscal deficit

d)     Fiscal consolidation

e)     Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Bill 2000

f)     RBI

a)     A dividend payment ofRs. 66,000 crore from the RBI(the highest in its 80-year history) helped tip Indias fiscal balance to surplus in August.

b)     A combination of the pick-up in Centres revenue receipts and its declining expenditures (especially on subsidies) helped keep the fiscal deficit during the first five months of the current financial year under Rs. 3.7 lakh crore, lower than the Rs. 3.97 lakh crore during the corresponding period last year.

c)     The Central governments unfailing commitment to fiscal consolidation is conducive to macroeconomic stability. But sticking to the road map for fiscal consolidation isnot easy: expenditure and tax reforms can be tricky politically. In its budget for this year, the Modigovt had shifted Indias fiscal consolidation road map by raising the fiscal deficit target for the year to 3.9 percent from 3.6 percent earlier.

d)     The fiscal deficit reduction targets that were originally a part of the FRBM Bill 2000 were eliminated from the Act that Parliament passed in 2003; the annual numerical targets were left to govt to formulate in the FRBM Rules. Since then, the road map has been halted four times - in 2005-06, 2008-09, 2012-13 and 2015-16.

e)     With inflation now under 4 percent, interest rate cuts adding up to 125 basis points in past 12 months, and the Centre and the States going all out to revive stalled projects and improve ease of doing business, India remains well-poised on the path to economic recovery.

f)    Fiscal credibility (important as it is to macroeconomic management) will make it possible to sustain Indias current growth rate and to convert potential into actual growth. The focus will be on the budget-makers tricks of funding subsidies through non-transparent, off-budget borrowings, or higher taxes on fuel and so on.

10.

Industrial output up 6.4 percent in Aug. CPI inflation at 4.4 percent in September (Page 13)

a)     Economy

a)    Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

b)     CPI inflation

c)     Retail inflation

d)     Food inflation

a)     Growth in retail inflation accelerated to 4.4 percent in September following 3 months of deceleration. CPI inflation was 3.7 percent in August. Industrial production (as measured by the IIP) grew a robust 6.4 percent in August compared to 4.2 percent in July. This is the highest growth in the IIP since October 2012.

b)     Official said the good performance of manufacturing, capital goods and consumer durables sector in particular seems to have resulted in the favourable development.

c)     Food inflation in the CPI grew 4.3 percent in September compared to 2.9 percent in Aug.

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