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Daily News Analysis 15-10-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Religion cant be the basis of state: Pranab (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     President Pranab Mukherjee (who is on a two-day visit to Israel) told Israels political leadership that religion cant be the basis of state.

2.

EU refugee flow finds echo in India (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)  During her visit to India last week, Chancellor Merkel explicitly expressed her wish to bring skilled workers from India to Germany, but questions remain whether a mounting refugee crisis at home could delay the effort.

3.

Lets talk about nukes openly (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     As Britain, the US and Russia debate the revamping of their nuclear deterrence systems, India needs open and democratic discussion on its arsenal and capability.

4.

Will serve Nepal again if parties want (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Nepals President Ram Baran Yadav told that proper representation has to be ensured to all communities and territorial regions of Nepal if internal order and harmony is to be restored.

5.

Hillary consolidates position as Democratic front runner (Page 14)

a)     International

a)    The first Democratic nomination debate for the 2016 US presidential election saw the front runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton consolidate her lead over her four male rivals in a substantive conversation on domestic and foreign policy issues that also saw India and China labelled as the greatest polluters in the world.

6.

Conflict drives worlds acute hunger problem (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The 2015 Global Hunger Index shows that though progress has been made since the turn of the century, the level of hunger in the world remains unacceptably high, largely because of the spread of armed conflicts.

7.

Fresh challenges in the northeast (Page 10)

a)     National

a)    It is time the government paid the right kind of attention to the northeastern region, that stunning and strategic locale that mainland India often does not understand, and routinely tends to ignore.

8.

Decision on common civil code only after consultation: Naqvi (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Union Minister of State for Minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said consultation and consensus were required for the government to take a call on the issue of common civil code.

9.

The importance of Article 370 (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Article 370 of the Constitution is the current bedrock of the constitutional relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India.

10.

NJAC verdict likely tomorrow (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)  In what may be a historic moment in Indian judiciary, a Constitution Bench of Supreme Court may pronounce its judgment on the validity of NJAC laws on Oct 16.

11.

India now most attractive investment destination: EY (Page 15)

a)    Economy

a)    India emerged the most attractive investment destination in the world for the next three years in a global survey of top decision-makers in multinational corporations.

12.

WPI contraction eases to -4.5 percent (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)    Contraction in the Wholesale Price Index eased marginally in September, coming in at -4.5 percent compared to -4.9 percent in August.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Religion cant be the basis of state: Pranab (Pages 1 and 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Israel relations

b)     Israel-Palestinian conflict

a)     President Pranab Mukherjee (who is on a two-day visit to Israel) told Israels political leadership that religion cannot be the basis of state.

b)     While he remained silent on Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his address at the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), PM Benjamin Netanyahu attacked radicalism and the enemies who want to destroy Israel.

c)     Pranab called for enhanced cooperation between India and Israel in agriculture, defence and technology.

2.

EU refugee flow finds echo in India (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Germany relations

b)     EU refugee crisis

 

 

a)  During her visit to India last week, Chancellor Angel Merkel explicitly expressed her wish to bring skilled workers from India to Germany, but questions remain whether a mounting refugee crisis at home could delay the effort.

b)     Merkel and PM Modi agreed to re-launch an initiative to offer German as an additional foreign language at 1000 Indian state schools. The German govt had already invested €2 million in the programme when it was temporarily shelved in 2014.

c)     Germany is facing a labour market shortfall (especially in the engineering, manufacturing and IT sectors) that could threaten growth in its export-driven economy. As a consequence of one of the worlds lowest birth rates (1.38 births per woman, as compared to Indias 2.4), Germanys population is ageing rapidly.

d)     Meanwhile, India does not have enough jobs to accommodate its growing working-age population. According to the World Bank, 10.5 percent of Indians aged between 15 and 24 were unemployed in 2013. But plans to overhaul Germanys immigration laws to make it easier for non-EU citizens to get work and residency permits were recently put on the back burner.

3.

Lets talk about nukes openly (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     Britains nuclear deterrent  

b)     Trident system

c)     Indias nuclear deterrent

d)     Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

e)     NATO

a)     Jeremy Corbyn (eternal rebel and newly elected leader of Britains Labour Party) declared recently that there were no circumstances in which he could fire a nuclear weapon. As Leader of the Opposition, and theoretically the man who would find himself in control of the nuclear button if he became PM, his renunciation of the nuclear option has prompted considerable national engagement with the future and purpose of Britains nuclear deterrent.

b)     According to the author, this discussion has found focus in the renewal of Trident (the basis for the UKs current nuclear deterrence posture), but inevitably encompasses a wider discussion about Britains global role. However, while this is a domestic debate about Britains future, the larger discussion could resonate beyond Britain. And India could do worse than take note.

c)     What is at stake is the continuous at-sea deterrence provided by the Trident system of four nuclear submarines and their accompanying missiles and warheads. If Britain wishes to continue its reliance on nuclear deterrence, then new warheads will also need to be considered in the coming decade. The bill for all of this is in the region of 20 billion for the boats and another six billion for the warheads (Ministry of Defence figures).

d)     The Tridents future has been discussed for the better part of this century. An independent cross-party inquiry into nuclear defence policy concluded in a July 2014 report that, on balance, despite there being no obvious current and emerging threats that might lend themselves to a nuclear solution, Britain needed to keep its deterrent.

e)  Opposition to Trident ranges from calls for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons globally and for Britain to fulfil its Article VI disarmament obligations under the Nuclear NPT to those calling for a debate on whether Britain needs such an expensive, continuous deterrent with as many subs and missiles at a time of aggressive spending cuts to the conventional defence bill.

f)  Buried in this security debate is some fairly fundamental soul-searching about Britains place in the world. What lies unsaid is the fear that this nuclear armoury may be all that is standing between Britain and relegation to a has-been global power. Those in favour of continuity also point to Britains NATO obligations and the effect that nuclear renunciation may have on the UKs relationship with the US.

g)     In these last two respects, India is at the other end of the spectrum. The exact importance of nuclear weapons in Indias rise is debatable, but few dispute that the countrys nukes play some role in its global ambitions. As for what sort of deterrence India needs, there is a discussion to be had on whether the threats India currently faces - terrorism, insurgency or difficult neighbours are best served by the current (not entirely clear) deterrent setup.

h)     Half a century on, we Indians may not be in a similar position to knowledgeably engage with a middle-aged arsenal. India has now been a declared possessor of nuclear weapons for over 15 years. Yet, beyond assurances that our deterrence rests on possession of a triad of nuclear assets and a doctrine of no first use, we know very little.

i)     Britain is not the only one looking at a hefty bill for the next generation of deterrent - the US is embarking on a $348 billion, decade-long modernisation drive and one-third of Russias military budget is earmarked for nuclear modernisation.

j)     Given the nuclear company we keep in our neighbourhood, and given current international environment where the nuclear contours of relations between Russia and NATO appear to be acquiring a sharper edge, it is imperative that we get familiar with the limits of deterrence. Especially as most of Indias current threats will not admit to a nuclear solution.

k)     Until 1998, it was enough that deterrence rested ultimately on the vague threat of possible nuclear retaliation. After Pokharan II, the possible and the vague have gone; we are left now with assured massive retaliatory destruction.

l)     Seventy years of non-use should not blind us to the nature of this ultimate guarantor. In Britain, this unpalatable fact is highlighted by knowledge of the final delegation of nuclear command. Democratic discussion on Indias nuclear deterrent will not threaten the countrys regional or global position, let alone its survival. It might even build consensus on what sort of country and strategic future we want.

4.

Will serve Nepal again if parties want (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Nepals internal issues

b)     Nepals new Constitution

c)     Madhesis

 

a)     Breaking his silence on the raging turmoil in Nepal, President Ram Baran Yadav told that proper representation has to be ensured to all communities and territorial regions of Nepal if internal order and harmony is to be restored.

b)     Nepals Parliament is going to elect a new President on Oct 27 and political heat is rising as various options and personalities are being examined by the political class. Yadav (who has served for seven years as President) has remained silent on the latest blockade but he feels there is no point in brushing the problems of Madhesis under the carpet.

c)     Nepali political leaders have told that there is a growing understanding that since the post of PM has gone to K.P. Sharma Oli, a Pahari Brahmin, the post of President should go to a Madhesi leader. Therefore, the name of Yadav has returned to the forefront.

d)    Nepals politics is in a fractured state but it remains to be seen if the divides of Nepal can be bridged by the cross party moves of Sharma Oli or by those like Ram Baran Yadav who want Nepal to become more representative. The presidential election will be a test of political acumen of Parliament.

e)     Meanwhile, in a major development which is expected to be a factor in Nepals ties with India, China succeeded in reopening its border post with Nepal at Jilung-Tatopani. It was in response to Nepals request for help with the supplies of essential commodities after the blockade by Madhesi parties on Nepals southern border disrupted movement of trucks.

5.

Hillary consolidates position as Democratic front runner (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Climate change

b)     Carbon emissions

c)     Paris climate summit 2015

a)    The first Democratic nomination debate for the 2016 US presidential election saw the front runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton consolidate her lead over her four male rivals in a substantive conversation on domestic and foreign policy issues that also saw India and China labelled as the greatest polluters in the world.

b)     India and China were placed front and centre by nearly all the candidates when the conversation turned to climate change, and Clintons record in this regard was called into question.

6.

Conflict drives worlds acute hunger problem (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Global Hunger Index 2015

b)     Syria crisis

c)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     The 2015 Global Hunger Index shows that though progress has been made since the turn of the century, the level of hunger in the world remains unacceptably high, largely because of the spread of armed conflicts.

b)   According to the index, 795 m people still go hungry in the world. One in 9 people remain chronically undernourished. 85 countries cut hunger by at least 25 percent. 52 counties still have serious or alarming levels of hunger.

c)     Many countries affected by the violent conflicts (including Syria, South Sudan and Somalia) did not have enough data on hunger to be included in this years index.

7.

Fresh challenges in the northeast (Page 10)

a)     National

a)     Naga Peace Accord

b)     National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah)

c)     NSCN (Khaplang)

 

a)    It is time the government paid the right kind of attention to the northeastern region, that stunning and strategic locale that mainland India often does not understand, and routinely tends to ignore.

b)     It has been more than two months since the Modi govt euphorically announced a peace accord with the NSCN (I-M), the largest among the armed outfits involved in the long-drawn Naga insurgency. What has transpired since the announcement on Aug 3 leaves very little room for optimism.

c)     Now, instead of working towards peace, the NSCN(I-M) is reported to be recruiting cadres and possibly setting up camps in the Manipur hills. Meanwhile, Manipur continues to be tense over tribal protests against the State govts hasty passing of 3 key bills without proper discussion. It has been accused of being insensitive to relations among the settlers in the valley, the hill tribes and the migrants.

d)     New Delhi needs to deal with the region with a broader political response than through a few intelligence officers. To take forward the peace accord with the NSCN(I-M) and to find a meaningful and lasting solution, the government should first acknowledge that what was signed on August 3 was only a basic framework for a possible accord, and broaden the efforts.

e)     The govt should reach out to the opposition parties, regional outfits and civil society movements to form a national secretariat in mission mode in order to tackle the regions many challenges. With empowered secretariat in place, the govt should get down to dealing with the nagging insurgencies of the region and the grievances of its many tribes and residents.

f)   Convincing all the insurgent groups (and not just splinter Naga rebels) in an inclusive manner to come to the table for peace talks, dealing with their demands with a non-condescending approach, and disarming them would all help the region find peace.

g)     The regions significance in security terms cannot be overstated, given its historic geo-strategic role. And here, along a disputed stretch of the border, India and China are currently involved in one of the biggest conventional military build-ups ever.

8.

Decision on common civil code only after consultation: Naqvi (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Uniform Civil Code (UCC)

b)     Article 370 of the Constitution

a)     Union Minister of State for Minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said consultation and consensus were required for the govt to take a call on the issue of common civil code. He added that the govt had not yet come to a view on the matter after the Supreme Court asked it to file a response on the issue.

b)     The BJP has had a long-held position that there should be a common civil code in the country. This was one of the partys three key ideological issues, the other two being the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya and repeal of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution giving special status to J&K.

9.

The importance of Article 370 (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Article 370 of the Constitution

b)     77th Constitutional Amendment

c)     Article 368 of the Constitution

a)     Article 370 of Constitution is the current bedrock of the constitutional relationship between J&K and the rest of India. With its abrogation being an avowed policy of the BJP, the J&K High Courts recent observation that the provision has acquired a state of permanence may cause some disquiet in the party and govt.

b)     However, the High Courts comment should be seen in the limited context in which it was made. Its remark that Article 370 is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation flows from an analysis of the question whether the section had become inoperative after the States Constituent Assembly framed its Constitution, and then the Assembly itself ceased to exist.

c)  In fact, the question whether its temporary provisions had acquired permanence was not before the court; nor was the court hearing a challenge to the validity of the Article per se. It was dealing with the validity of reservation in promotions among govt employees in J&K.

d)     Ultimately, it struck down the provision for quotas in promotions on the ground that clause 4A of Article 16 (introduced by the Constitution 77th Amendment to protect reservation in promotions) was not applicable to J&K. This is because there is no Presidential Order making the new clause applicable to the State.

e)By restating core requirement that even provisions affording constitutional protection require use of Article 370 and orders issued under its imprimatur, the court has reaffirmed that importance of the Article and showed how abrogating it will weaken the legal basis for J&K to be part of India, as the accession was linked to its getting special status.

f)     Some may find observation that Article 370 is beyond repeal or abrogation debatable. Parliaments amending power under Article 368 remains available for such a measure, but it is far wiser for any dispensation to wait for a resolution of the dispute with Pakistan over the entirety of Kashmirs territory before revisiting the States constitutional status.

10.

NJAC verdict likely tomorrow (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)

b)     Collegium system

c)     Supreme Court

a)  In what may be a historic moment in Indian judiciary, a Constitution Bench of Supreme Court may pronounce its judgment on the validity of NJAC laws on Oct 16.

b)     The judgment will decide the fate of powerful Supreme Court collegium and its so-far undisputed authority to appoint judges to the higher judiciary as it did for the past two decades.

c)     After exactly two months since the five-judge Bench completed marathon hearings, Oct 16 may offer the watershed moment if it upholds the constitutionality of the NDA govts NJAC laws which gives politicians and civil society a major say in judicial appointments.

11.

India now most attractive investment destination: EY (Page 15)

a)    Economy

a)     Indias investment growth

b)     Ease of doing business

c)     FDI

d)     Financial inclusion

e)     Make in India programme

f)     Digital India programme

g)     Smart cities project

h)     Goods and Services Tax (GST)

a)    India emerged the most attractive investment destination in the world for the next 3 years in a global survey of top decision-makers in multinational corporations. The 2nd most favoured investment destination is China, followed by Southeast Asia and Brazil.

b)    The global consultancy firm EY said the perception about Indias macroeconomic stability is up to 76 percent in 2015 in comparison to 70 percent in the 2014 survey. Similarly the perception about political and social stability is up from 59 percent in 2014 to 74 percent in 2015.

c)     The same is also true for relaxation in FDI policy (the score improved from 60 percent in 2014 to 68 percent in 2015) and govts efforts to ease doing business (up from 57 per cent in 2014 to 67 percent in 2015).

d)     Among specific reforms expected to drive growth, 89 percent of the investors polled said that investment in infrastructure projects and the 100 Smart Cities project would be significant. Financial inclusion, Digital India and the Govts proposal to reduce the rate of corporate tax from 30 percent to 25 percent, were considered significant by 83 percent of the respondents.

e)     Implementation of GST and legislation on land acquisition were also mentioned by investors as important for attracting FDI.

f)     Within six months of its launch in Sept 2014, the Modi Govts Make in India program resonated with investors, with 55 percent of respondents saying that they are aware of the initiative.

12.

WPI contraction eases to -4.5 percent (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Wholesale Price Index (WPI)

b)     Inflation

c)     Retail inflation

d)     Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

a)    Contraction in the WPI eased marginally in September, coming in at -4.5 percent compared to -4.9 percent in August.  

b)     These numbers follow an uptick in retail inflation in September and a better-than-expected performance of the IIP in August.

c)   Inflation in the food articles component of the WPI moved back into positive territory following two months of it being negative. Inflation in this category was 0.7 percent in September compared to -1.13 in August.

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