Current Affairs > Daily Current affairs

Back
Daily News Analysis 22-10-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Modi may attend US nuclear security summit next year (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)    PMModi is likely to travel to the US for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit on March 31-April 1 2016, an initiative of President Obama who considers nuclear terrorism the most immediate and extreme threat to global security.

2.

Sushma sets the stage for Defence Ministers visit to Russia (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     Setting the stage for the next India-Russia summitmeeting, the just-concluded Moscow visit by External Affairs Minister Sushma began much awaited talkson defence procurement and sensitive strategic cooperation.

3.

Pakistan shows US dossier on Indias role in Balochistan (P13)

a)     I.R

a)     Pakistan said it has handed over to the US three dossiers, which it claims to contain evidence about Indias role in subverive activities in that country.

4.

Nuclear tango in Afghan shadow (Page 10)

a)     International

a)    The discussions over a possible US-Pak nuclear deal reminds us of the 1980s, when the Reagan administration deliberately overlooked Pakistans clandestine nuclear activities. Notwithstanding its current troubles in Afghanistan, Washington should steer clear of repeating past mistakes.

5.

Sri Lankan Army committed war crimes: govt probe panel (Page 14)

a)     International

a)    Agovt probe panel has said allegations that the Sri Lankan Army committed war crimes during the civil war with Tamil rebels are credible and backed UN Human Rights Councils recommendation that foreign judges be part of a role in domestic inquiry.

6.

Cameron hails historic nuclear deal with China (Page 14)

a)     International

a)    Prime Minister David Cameron has said Chinas agreement to partly finance a UK nuclear power plant is a historic deal that will create thousands of British jobs.

7.

Thank you, Assad tells Putin in Moscow (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     President Putin of Russia called his counterpart Bashar Assad of Syria to Moscow for an unannounced visit to discuss their joint military campaign and a future political transition in Syria.

8.

Consumption injurious to the planets health (Page 11)

a)     International

b)     National

a)     There has been a lot of buzz over past several weeks about the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, the climate goals set by each country for 2030.

9.

An industrial hub waiting to be born (Page 9)

a)     National

a)    Krishna and Guntur districts (which constitute the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region) are poised for a significant industrial growth in the coming years.

10.

Measures for judicial reform(Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    Individuals come and go but institutions have to survive and gain the confidence of the people. The common man looks to efficacious resolution of disputes.

11.

RBI Governor went with majority view for rate cut (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     The RBI Governor Rajan went with the majority view of external members on the Technical Advisory Committee on the policy rate to announce the rate cut.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Modi may attend US nuclear security summit next year (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – US relations

b)     Nuclear Security Summit

 

a)    PMModi is likely to travel to the US for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit on March 31-April 1 2016, an initiative of President Obama who considers nuclear terrorism the most immediate and extreme threat to global security.

b)     Former PMManmohan Singh had participated in first two Nuclear Security Summits in 2010 in Washington and in 2012 in Seoul, but gave the third in The Hague in 2014 a miss. The External Affairs Minister represented India at The Hague, where 58 world leaders participated.The fourth and final summit will take place amid Obamas renewed push for the nuclear security agenda in the last lap of his presidency.

c)     It was in 2009 that Obama announced an international effort to secure vulnerable nuclear material, break up black markets, and detect and intercept illicitly trafficked material, which led to a series of biennial summits starting in 2010.

d)   Unaudited nuclear weapons and radiological material remains a serious threat to global security and the risk of these material reaching terrorist hands is real. These risks were mostly associated with the republics that once formed the Soviet Union and were left with a lot of nuclear material, but Pakistan has now emerged as a core concern with increasing risk of jihadi groups accessing Pakistans nuclear arsenal.

e)A White House announcement recently said the 2016 will be the last one and these summits have achieved tangible improvements in the security of nuclear material and stronger global institutions that support nuclear security.

2.

Sushma sets the stage for Defence Ministers visit to Russia (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Russia relations

b)     India-Russia summit

c)     Defence ties

d)     Inter Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC- MTC)

 

a)     Setting the stage for the next India-Russia summitmeeting, the just-concluded Moscow visit by External Affairs Minister Sushma began much awaited talkson defence procurement and sensitive strategic cooperation.

b)Sources said that a major part of her visit was aimed at smoothening the way for the IRIGC- MTC, which will be led by Defence MinisterParrikar from the Indian side. He will go on a stock-taking visit, which will assess the fifth generation fighter jet project, the S400 missile system, and naval coproduction plans with Russia.

c)     Russia is raising a new division for Afghanistan along the Tajik border to fight Islamic extremists of Af-Pak that are threatening the moderngovtsof Central Asia. Therefore, its partnership with Pakistan is not expected to last long and that is why India and Russia will work together in Afghanistanregion.

d)     The recent shocking losses under Taliban attack in Kunduz were a lesson for regional powers and India and Russia are expected to work together to stabilise Afghanistan in view of the American plans to stay back in Afghanistan beyond 2016.

3.

Pakistan shows US dossier on Indias role in Balochistan (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Pakistan relations

b)     Terrorism

c)     Balochistan

d)     FATA

e)     Operation Zarb-e-Azb

a)     Pakistan said it has handed over to the US three dossiers, which it claims to contain evidence about Indias role in subversive activities in that country.

b)     Pakistan had earlier said that it had handed over such a dossier to the United Nations. However, the world body has paid no heed to the allegation.

c)     India has been rubbishing Pakistans allegation, maintaining that it has no role in the unrest in Balochistan, Karachi or FATA.

d)     The Pakistani statement said Sharif apprised Kerry of his commitment to seek normalisation of ties with India and efforts to improve relations with Afghanistan. It said Kerry commended the significant gains achieved by Operation Zarb-e-Azb of Pakistan against terrorist groups in the restive northwest border region.

e)     The statement claimed that Kerry appreciated Sharifs commitment to promoting peace and security in the region and reaffirmed US support to work with Pakistan in this shared objective.

4.

Nuclear tango in Afghan shadow (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     US – Pakistan civil nuclear deal

b)     India – US civil nuclear deal

c)     Nuclear Suppliers Groups (NSG)

d)     Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

e)     Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT)

f)     Afghanistans situation

g)     Taliban

a)    As Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif visits the US, it is clear that the US and Pakistan are looking for some kind of a nuclear deal and that the US involvement in Afghanistan once again provides the strategic justification.

b)   This exercise is reminiscent of the time of Ronald Reagans presidency. The outcome then proved to be counterproductive in the long run: by the time Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan and the US re-imposed nuclear sanctions in 1990, Pakistan was already in possession of nuclear weapons, US-Pakistan relations had gone into a downward spiral and, within Pakistan, the jihadi-sectarian virus was taking root.

c)  Fuelled by Paks unhappiness about the NSG exceptional waiver given to India in 2008, a number of Western non-proliferation experts had been suggesting that one way to persuade Pakistan to stop going ahead with Tactical Nuclear Weapons would be to offer it a similar deal. They felt such a deal would also address the countrys obsession with having parity with India. These experts have also been keen purveyors of the South Asia as a nuclear flashpoint hypothesis.

d)     Someexperts stated that Pakistans objective is a civilian nuclear cooperation deal which would require an NSG waiver. Since Indias entry into the NSG is likely to be blocked by China, one way out would be to integrate Pakistan too into the international non-proliferation architecture and put behind its murky proliferation past.

e)     A second rationale is that with the introduction of short-range nuclear capable missiles (60-km range Nasr), described as a Tactical Nuclear Weapon, Pakistan has lowered nuclear threshold and shifted from minimum credible deterrence to full spectrum deterrence.

f)  They suggested that in return for such a deal, Pakistan should accept certain constraints. It should eschew Tactical Nuclear Weapons, shift back to strategic deterrence, maintain its arsenal in recessed (de-alerted) mode, sign the CTBT without waiting for India to do the same, and stop blocking the negotiations in Geneva on an FMCT.

g)     There had been few takers for the idea. Pakistan indicated that it would be unwilling to accept any restrictions on its nuclear posture and underlined the need for full spectrum deterrence.

h)    The factors that contributed to the US-India deal were different. The key drivers included: a growing strategic convergence, commercial and economic interests, Indias clean track-record on non-proliferation, a stable democratic polity and the need for nuclear power as a clean energy resource to meet Indias growing energy demands.

i)     These factors did not hold in Pakistans case and in any event, China had addressed Pakistans nuclear power demands by repeatedly assuring Pakistan of continuing its nuclear cooperation. At last count, China is building Chashma III and IV, with options to build another five, all under concessional financing.

j)     However, later, the Afghanistan factor entered the equation. With just another 15 months left for the Obama administration to complete its term, the goal of a clean and managed exit for the US troops seemed difficult to manage. The peace process between Afghan govt and Taliban had stalled. President Ashraf Ghani was no longer convinced that Pakistan was serious about delivering on the talks with the Taliban.

k)     Suicide bombings and Taliban attacks had gone up with the Kunduz attack being a rude wake-up call. Within the US, there was a growing feeling that a premature US exit would rapidly undo the gains that had been made in Afghanistan; this has already forced President Obama to postpone the departure of 5500 US troops  from 2015-end to 2016-end. Pakistan had become indispensable and needed to be persuaded to be cooperative.

l)     After 9/11, Pakistan again emerged as a front line state, this time as part of the global war on terror. Nevertheless, by 2009, there was growing scepticism in the US about Paks intentions. All terror attacks (in the West or elsewhere, whether successful or thwarted) were traced back to Pakistani madrassas and training camps; Osama bin Ladens presence in Abbottabad just reinforced US misgivings.

m)     However, Pakistan had received economic and military assistance amounting to $19 billion since 2002, with an additional $13 billion as reimbursements from the Coalition Support Fund for allowing transit to Afghanistan and use of its ports and airports for coalition troops and equipment transfers. However, this has not helped Obama to manage a responsible exit from Afghanistan.

n)     The US-Pakistan nuclear tango in the 1980s took place during the Cold War. Today, India-US relations are qualitatively different and successive leaders in both countries have contributed to realising the potential of the newfound strategic partnership. PMModi has gone out of his way to build a personal rapport with President Obama, reflected in the frequent summit-level interactions.

o)    However, recent US moves in Afghanistan, like promoting peace talks with the Taliban on any terms, pushing the Afghan government towards unrealistic concessions and turning a blind eye to Pak Armys continued policy of distinguishing between good terrorists and bad terrorists, have created serious doubts about the strength of US-India engagement.

p)     Practically, the Obama administration will be unable to deliver what Pakistan wants in the limited time that it has (the Indian deal took more than three years, 2005-08, to reach fruition) but this short-sighted policy will certainly have an adverse impact on India-US relations in the long term.

5.

Sri Lankan Army committed war crimes: govt probe panel (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankas human rights issue

b)     UNHRC

a)    Agovt probe panel has said allegations that the Sri Lankan Army committed war crimes during the civil war with Tamil rebels are credible and backed UNHRCs recommendation that foreign judges be part of a role in domestic inquiry.

b)   Former President Rajapaksa said his govt had never contemplated the appointment of foreign experts as judges in Sri Lanka.He said such a move was politically unacceptable to our people and stands against the basic provisions of the constitution of Sri Lanka.

6.

Cameron hails historic nuclear deal with China (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China – UK relations

a)    PM David Cameron has said Chinas agreement to partly finance a UK nuclear power plant is a historic deal that will create thousands of British jobs.

b)    President Xi Jinping signed an agreement that will see Chinas state-owned power company take a 6-billion 35 percent share in a new plant to be built with Frances EDF.

c)     The plant has become a focus for critics of Britains push to increase relations with China, the worlds second-largest economy. Some accuse Cameron of wooing the Chinese for trade deals while ignoring the countrys human rights record.

7.

Thank you, Assad tells Putin in Moscow (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Russia – Syria relations

b)     Syria crisis

c)     Islamic State (IS)

 

a)     President Putin of Russia called his counterpart Bashar Assad of Syria to Moscow for an unannounced visit to discuss their joint military campaign and a future political transition in Syria.

b)   The surprise visit (evidently Assads first outside Syria since the civil war began there in 2011) highlighted how the political and military horizon of the long war of attrition has shifted drastically because of Russias intervention.

c)     The most obvious focus of the talks was the fight against terrorist and extremist groups, issues of the continuation of the Russian operation supporting the offensive of Syrian military.

d)     Aside from the obvious issues of mutual concern given the current military alliance of Russia and Syria, the meeting was another chance to highlightRussias re-emergence as a crucial player in West Asia. Part of the inspiration for Russian interference in Syria was to break out of the isolation imposed on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.

8.

Consumption injurious to the planets health (Page 11)

a)     International

b)     National

a)Climate change

b)     Carbon emissions

c)     Sustainable development

d)     Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)

e)     Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

a)   There has been a lot of buzz over the past several weeks about the INDCs, the climate goals set by each country for 2030. India made its own announcement quite dramatically on October 2, Mahatma Gandhis 146th birth anniversary.

b)     Most observers also agree that the govt has set ambitious goals and the sustainable development framework mentioned in the INDC is just what the country needs, given our energy challenges.

c)     What most of these discussions do not address or rarely mention is consumption, the singular economic driver of climate change. The Indian INDC refers several times to the countrys sustainable lifestyle and low levels of per capita consumption and gently suggests that developed countries can certainly bring down their emission intensity by moderating their consumption.

d)     The dictionary meaning of consumption is the use of resources, primarily ones used to produce goods and services, all of which require energy. Therefore, it is fair to say that carbon is embodied within the goods and services we consume and is associated with the entire life cycle of their production from the mining of raw materials to the disposal of waste in landfills.

e)     Economic logic indicates that rich people everywhere and rich countries would have higher levels of consumption compared to the poor, and this is indeed borne out by facts. Each person in India on average emits about 1.8 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, but since the poor have few energy services, their emissions are very low. In terms of averages, Indias per capita values turn out to be low in comparison with those of rich countries.

f)  Nevertheless, disaggregating consumption levels by income groups suggests that Indians too have a lot to answer for. About five percent of Indians, constituting 60 million people consume at the same level as Europeans, but this is also growing at an alarming rate. Moreover, they set aspirational bar for most other Indians moving up the economic ladder, which itself demands that we be less sanguine about our sustainable lifestyle.

g) The Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC points out that a sustainable development pathway for the world depends on two distinct types of decoupling. The first is that of material resource consumption (including fossil carbon) and environmental impact (including climate change) from economic growth dematerialisation. The second is the decoupling of human well-being from economic growth and consumption.

h)  In order to really make these kinds of transformative changes a reality, we need innovation and technology, but to change lifestyles seriously, we will need to wrestle with multiple vested interests, reframe the political economy landscape, and craft new institutions that promote sustainability. As of now, neither India nor any other country appears to be considering these medium term requirements to deal with climate change or sustainability.

9.

An industrial hub waiting to be born (Page 9)

a)     National

a)     Amaravathi

b)     Visakhapatnam-Chennai and Bengaluru-Chennai industrial corridors

c)     Asian Development Bank

a)   Krishna and Guntur districts (which constitute the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region) are poised for a significant industrial growth in the coming years.

b)     It is mainly due to their location in Visakhapatnam-Chennai and Bengaluru-Chennai industrial corridors that are being funded to a large extent by Japan International Cooperation Agency and Asian Development Bank.

c)     The region was found by the Confederation of Indian Industry to be suitable for food processing and agriculture and allied industries with not much potential for large manufacturing units.

d)     On its part, the govt of Andhra Pradesh has recently identified key thrust areas - agro and food processing, life sciences (including pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical equipment), textile and apparel, electronics and information technology, aerospace and defence manufacturing, automobiles and auto components, petroleum, chemicals, petrochemicals, energy, minerals and leather.

10.

Measures for judicial reform (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)

b)     Collegium system

c)     Judicial independence

d)     Judicial review

e)     CJI

f)     Supreme Court

g)     High Court

h)     Parliament

a)    The Supreme Court has spoken on the NJAC. Right or wrong, it is final, till a larger bench overrules the verdict, which seems unlikely in near future.Expansive arguments and expositions of Constitution and the laws were advanced during the hearing and have been considered by the Court.

b)     The Constitution does not envisage a collegium of judges to select judges. The lawyer community and the public were distinctly uncomfortable with the intrusions into the independence of the judiciary in the 1970s and 1980s, reposed enormous confidence in the judges, virtually suggested the collegium system, and gave a euphoric welcome to the system when Supreme Court devised it.

c)     The judiciary has acknowledged the deficiencies of collegium system but fondly hopes to reform the same. The alternative (the NJAC) has been rejected in a clear expression of lack of confidence and faith in the political class to preserve and protect the independence of the judiciary.

d)     There are immediate areas which need attention. First, vacancies in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts need to be filled up. Second, persons of doubtful integrity who might have been appointed by mistake of collegium have to be weeded out. This follows logically, as a consequence of the acceptance by the Constitution Bench of the defective functioning of the collegium. But a method has to be found without the process of impeachment, and voluntary retirement could be an option. Third, the infrastructure in the courts needs improvement. Fourth, there needs to be appointment of ad hoc or additional judges to clear pending cases.

e)     The Supreme Court at the hearing on Nov 3 should lay down institutional mechanisms for transparent functioning of the collegium. The following measures will be crucial: one, accepting applications for appointments as High Court judges. This is followed in the UK and can be adopted in India too. There must be full and complete disclosure of relationships and affiliations of applicants to sitting and retired judges. Minimum eligibility criteria for consideration need to be laid down, including appearances in important cases.

f)     All the three organs of the state should introspect as to why there has been no or inadequate representation in the higher judiciary from amongst women.

g)  Parliament should also enact changes to provide a uniform retirement age for judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, so that the present practice of some of the judges seeking to be in the good books of the existing or prospective members of collegiums in the Supreme Court is avoided. The retirement age should be raised uniformly to 70 with a condition that no judge retiring at 70 shall be appointed as a member of any Tribunal.

h)    The continuation as a judge after the age of 65 should be subject to being found not unfit by Permanent Commissions. A minimum tenure of two years should be provided to the CJI and the CJ of High Courts. Consequently no judge who is more than 68 years should be made a Chief Justice. Court management should not be vested with Judicial Officers but assigned to trained managers.

i)To allay the fears of intrusion into the independence of judiciary, a three member Permanent Commission to scrutinise the credentials of candidates and recommend names may be constituted. The Commission may consist of three retired Chief Justices of India for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court. Four such similar Commissions may be constituted for the four regions of India with a retired judge of the Supreme Court as a Chair Person and two retired Chief Justices of the High Courts as members.

j)     The tenure of the Chair person and members of the Commission should be 3 years. The recommendations of the collegiums in the High Court may be forwarded to the Regional Permanent Commission which shall then send its recommendations to the collegium in the Supreme Court. The selection of these permanent commissions should be made by a committee consisting of the CJI, two senior most judges of Supreme Court, the PM and the Leader of the Opposition in LokSabha.

k)     The collegium in the High Court may recommend a panel which is twice or thrice the number of existing and expected vacancies and, on scrutiny, the Commissions can recommend a pruned list of names to the Supreme Court Collegium.

l)     These Permanent Commissions should also be vested with the power to scrutinise complaints of dishonesty and lack of integrity of judges, to make recommendations to collegiums to withdraw work from those judges pending impeachment.

m)     Individuals come and go but institutions have to survive and gain the confidence of the people. The average citizen has greater trust and confidence in the judiciary than the legislature or the executive. The Constitution Bench says the court will reform itself and wants no intrusion from Parliament and the executive.

11.

RBI Governor went with majority view for rate cut (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)    Monetary policy

b)     Repo rate

c)     Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)

d)    Technical Advisory Committee

e)     RBI

a)     The RBI Governor Rajan went with the majority view of external members on the Technical Advisory Committee on the policy rate to announce the rate cut.

b)     On policy options, six members recommended reduction in the policy repo rate - two suggesting a reduction of 50 basis points (bps), one being flexible within the range of 25 to 50 bps, while three wanted to move cautiously with a reduction of 25 bps.

c)     One of these members also recommended forward guidance to discuss risks to the medium-term growth and inflation estimates and suggested a reduction in the SLR by 50 basis points.

d)   One member recommended that the policy repo rate be kept unchanged. The member was of the view that the RBI needs to be careful and should keep stressing on data dependency to avoid getting into a Fed-like trap.

Branches

Ashok Nagar Branch
1-10-223/A, Sub-register office Line
Hyderabad
+91 9052 29 29 29, 9052 19 29 29

Madhapur Branch
Plot No.3, 2nd floor, Raghuma Towers
Hyderabad
+91 9052 492929

Delhi:
Old Rajendra Nagar

Send to mail

Request for call