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Daily News Analysis 04-11-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Boost trade ties with Indonesia, says Ansari (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     In spite of India and Indonesia having been trade partners since the 2nd Century B.C., Vice-President Hamid Ansari said that their bilateral trade and investment had not realised its full potential.

2.

Amid crisis, Afghan NSA to visit India (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     Days after he warned that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are regenerating in Afghanistan, the Afghan National Security Adviser is visiting New Delhi on November 7 and 8 for meetings with his Indian counterpart.

3.

Dangerous perceptions (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     There is a dangerous game of perceptions being played between India and Nepal, and death of a young Indian in Nepali police crackdown on Madhesi protestors must come as a wake-up call to both New Delhi and Kathmandu on the urgent need to end this standoff.

4.

US to keep operating in South China Sea (Pg 14)

a)     International

a)     US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter told his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan that the American military would continue to operate in South China Sea.

5.

Towards an honourable exit for all (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     The recent Vienna meetings of regional powers with the US and Russia have opened up a new diplomatic initiative in the Syrian conflict that has left the country broken.

6.

Turkey hits Kurd rebels, rounds up rivals (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Turkey launched new air strikes on Kurdish rebels and rounded up rivals of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an early hint of the hardline tactics his party intends to pursue after its surprise election win.

7.

Centre: new law can end collegiums (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     In a signal that it has no intention of giving up its offensive against the collegium system of judges appointing judges, the Union govt said that nothing could stop Parliament from passing a new law to take the place of the recently struck down the NJAC Act and end the collegiums supremacy.

8.

Impose AFSPA in Garo Hills, says High Court (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     At a time when there is a growing demand to revoke the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 from several States, the Ministry of Home Affairs is finding itself in the soup after the Meghalaya High Court asked the Centre to consider enforcing AFSPA in the militancy-hit Garo Hills region in the State.

9.

Economic performance of US and India - bright spots for Sri Lanka (Pg 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said the recovery of the US economy and Indias growth prospects are bright spots for the Sri Lankan economy.

10.

Dracula ant discovered in Western Ghats (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)      A group of citizen scientists have obtained the first photographic record of the Dracula ant from Kerala. They believe that their find may be a new species belonging to the Stigmatomma group of predaceous ants.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Boost trade ties with Indonesia, says Ansari (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Indonesia relations

b)     Trade ties

a)     In spite of India and Indonesia having been trade partners since the 2nd Century B.C., Vice-President Hamid Ansari said that their bilateral trade and investment had not realised its full potential.

b)     He pointed out that, in 2014-15 Indias total imports from Indonesia totalled as much as $15 billion while the exports came to just $4 billion.

c)     India (the largest buyer of crude palm oil from Indonesia) also imports coal, minerals, rubber, pulp, hydrocarbons in significant quantities from the nation. Among its major exports to Indonesia are refined petroleum products, maize, telecommunication equipment, commercial vehicles and oil seeds.

d)     Ansari identified infrastructure development and energy security as key areas of cooperation with its long-term strategic partner.

2.

Amid crisis, Afghan NSA to visit India (Page 13)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Afghanistan relations

b)     Afghanistan situation

c)     Al-Qaeda

d)     Taliban

 

a)     Days after he warned that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are regenerating in Afghanistan, the Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar is visiting New Delhi on November 7 and 8 for meetings with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.

b)     The visit of Atmar is being seen as a reach-out by the Afghan govt as it faces a severe security crisis.

c)     Sources said India might also fulfil the remainder of its commitment to Afghanistan on eight attack helicopters, two of which were handed over shortly before President Ashraf Ghani visited Delhi in April this year.

d)     However, India has been wary of spelling out its strategic partnership with Afghanistan, given the Ghani govts cosiness with Pakistan, and the military and the ISI in particular.

3.

Dangerous perceptions (Page 10)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Nepal relations

b)     India-Nepal economic blockade

c)     Nepals new Constitution

d)     Madhesis concerns

e)     Terai

a)     There is a dangerous game of perceptions being played between India and Nepal, and death of a young Indian in Nepali police crackdown on Madhesi protestors must come as a wake-up call to both New Delhi and Kathmandu on the urgent need to end this standoff.

b)     For starters, while the Nepali govt has every right to deal with internal unrest as it sees fit, it should be aware of the trans-national consequences of its action in Birgunj, given the open border that India and Nepal have enjoyed for decades.

c)     The new govt of K.P. Oli has shown some desire to reach out to the protestors in the Terai, but its efforts (both on talks and on discussing constitutional amendments) are far slower than what is necessary to calm the situation. At the same time, it is doing nothing to quell the perception that India is responsible for all of Nepals problems.

d)  Despite talks with the Indian govt in New York and New Delhi, Olis govt continues to rake up at international forums, including the United Nations, what it calls Indias blockade.

e)     While it is hoped the Chinese offer of oil will ease the immediate crisis for Nepal, it is hardly a long-term and cost-effective solution for the country, and the govt would be wise to not try to play regional rivalries in the present scenario.

f)   Govt must consider whether its persistent messaging on supporting Madhesi rights in Nepal Constitution is inciting Indian citizens to assist or join the protests in any way. As the crisis across border escalates, the govt must see that it too will be singed by fires within Nepal, and both sides must work together quickly to quell them.

4.

US to keep operating in South China Sea (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     US – China relations

b)     South China Sea

c)     Spratly Islands

a)     US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter told his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan that the American military would continue to operate in South China Sea.

b) With tensions still simmering following a US naval vessels cruise near China-claimed islets last week, the pair met for about 40 minutes on the sidelines of a regional defence meeting. Sources said Carter also raised Washingtons concerns over alleged Chinese cyber-attacks.

c)     Chang reiterated Beijings position that the islets are sovereign Chinese territory and its displeasure with the guided missile destroyer USS Lassens presence. The ship had sailed within 12 nautical miles of at least one of the land formations China claims in the disputed Spratly Islands.

5.

Towards an honourable exit for all (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     Syrian crisis

b)     Islamic State (IS)

c)     Jabhat al-Nusra

d)     Al-Qaeda

e)     National Coordination Body

a)     According to the author, everyone agrees that a ceasefire and a political settlement are necessary for Syria. Too many people have been displaced; too much destruction has been wrought on this country. In many ways, Syria is broken.

b)     In 1965, an Irish journalist wrote that the country had become a mirror of rival interests on an international scale. Regional powers have vied for this great prize. Therefore, the 2011 uprising easily morphed into a battleground for regional interests - with Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the US rushing in to form their own proxies, as Iran and Russia joined in to help the govt.

c)  Russias military intervention a few weeks ago was designed less to hit IS targets and more to pressure Qatari, Turkish, Saudi and al-Qaeda proxies along the western axis of Syria. Cooperation with the US to prevent any mid-air accidents and coordination with Iraq and Jordan over air strikes suggest acquiescence with the Russian project. Russian aircraft and ground forces closed off the possibility of Western-backed regime change in Syria.

d)     Therefore, it forced the regional powers to reconsider their commitment to regime change. Bashar al-Assads journey to Moscow in late October indicated that the Syrian govt no longer fears a precipitous removal. The state institutions and the coalition that runs them are confident that they will remain intact.

e)    The Vienna meetings of the regional powers with the US and Russia on Oct 23 and Oct 30 opened up a new diplomatic page. In 2012, these regional powers had created a Syria Contact Group, which met in Cairo. That Group was not permitted to make an impact because of the Wests insistence on regime change. Now (with regime change off the table) diplomacy has been allowed to proceed.

f)     Though the communique from the Vienna meeting was anodyne, far more was established. Saudi Arabia was the least invested in any dialogue but did not leave the table. The Saudis are already overstretched in Yemen and unable to move a more robust agenda for their proxies in Syria. They require a way to walk away from this war. Turkey too is not capable of honouring its pledge to remove Assad.

g)     Assad is no longer the issue. Western capitals now acknowledge he is personally weak. What they fear is the collapse of Syrian state institutions. To push harder against Assad might risk the destruction of these institutions. The process of a political settlement will have to come with him because insistence on his departure has lengthened the process and threatened the state institutions.

h)    When Assad returned from Moscow, he announced early elections as a way to signal this 6-month timetable. The second Vienna meeting echoed this statement. The idea of elections is merely symbolic. Half of Syrias population is displaced, a major population center (Aleppo) is a battlefield and IS holds another city (Raqqa). It would be difficult to see current call for elections as anything other than an indication of the new balance of forces, with the President gesturing for an opening to the opposition.

i)     In January, the new leader of external opposition (Khaled Khoja) told that his coalition had become marginal. At that time, Khoja said that he would not join a Moscow-backed dialogue. He said the Assad govt would be alone at table. But Khoja has neither been able to unite the opposition nor make close links with militants on the ground. He had pinned his hopes on breaking the alliance between Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda.

j)     The Councils previous head Muaz al-Khatib (although bitter at Damascus) is most likely to lead some kind of opposition platform toward a dialogue. By al-Khatibs side would possibly be the left-leaning National Coordination Body for Democratic Change, led by Hassan Abdul Azim.

k)     This January, five secular fronts (including the National Coordination Body) met in Cairo to pledge themselves towards a political solution reached through negotiations and towards a platform to awaken and mobilise Syrians in the fight against terrorist organisations inside Syria.

6.

Turkey hits Kurd rebels, rounds up rivals (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Turkeys internal issues

b)     Justice and Development Party (AKP)

c)     Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)

d)     Kurdish forces

e)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     Turkey launched new air strikes on Kurdish rebels and rounded up rivals of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an early hint of the hardline tactics his party intends to pursue after its surprise election win.

b)     The West has voiced deep concerns about the vote that returned Erdogans Justice and Development Party to power, amid escalating fears that its landslide victory will lead to increasingly authoritarian rule in the Muslim-majority state.

c)     The military said its warplanes bombed bases of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party in southeastern Turkey and in their northern Iraq stronghold on Nov 02.

d)     Analysts say anxiety over the resurgent Kurdish conflict that has plagued Turkey for three decades and a spate of bloody attacks by the IS group were key reasons why voters flocked back to the AKP.

e)     Ankara unleashed a new air war against PKK rebels after renewed militant violence in July, destroying a 2013 truce and hopes of fresh talks to end a conflict that has claimed 45,000 lives since 1984.

7.

Centre: new law can end collegiums (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Collegium system

b)     National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act

c)     Parliament

d)     Supreme Court

 

 

a)     In a signal that it has no intention of giving up its offensive against the collegium system of judges appointing judges, the Union govt said that nothing could stop Parliament from passing a new law to take the place of the recently struck down the NJAC Act and end the collegiums supremacy.

b)     The Centres submission evoked no response from the Constitution Bench, which had struck down the NJAC law and revived the collegium in a majority verdict on October 16. Instead, Justice J.S. Khehar stressed the non-adversarial spirit of the current proceedings in which the judiciary and the govt were all on one side to better the collegium system.

c)     Noting that the collegium system had its source in a 1998 judgment from a nine-judge Bench, the Centre said the only way to realise Justice Kurian Josephs ideal of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (re-structuring) in the collegium was to refer the issue of reforms to a larger Bench.

8.

Impose AFSPA in Garo Hills, says High Court (Page 13)

a)     National

a)     Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) 1958

b)     Garo Hills

a)     At a time when there is a growing demand to revoke the draconian AFSPA 1958 from several States, the Ministry of Home Affairs is finding itself in the soup after the Meghalaya High Court asked the Centre to consider enforcing AFSPA in the militancy-hit Garo Hills region in the State.

b)     The order (issued in a bid to check the threat posed by militants) also said that the Chief Justice and judges of the High Court are also getting veiled threats that they would have to face the consequence after their retirement.

c)    Official said the Centre is contemplating challenging the order in the Supreme Court and will soon seek a legal opinion on the order.

9.

Economic performance of US and India - bright spots for Sri Lanka (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Sri Lankas economic growth

b)     Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL)

c)     GSP Plus

a)     Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said the recovery of the US economy and Indias growth prospects are bright spots for Sri Lankan economy. The UK (a major buyer of Sri Lankan apparel products) was faring well and this would also be a good augury for local economy.

b)     However, he said the slow growth of the European economy could have an adverse impact on Sri Lanka unless the concession of GSP Plus was restored and the ban on export of fisheries to EU was lifted.

c)     GSP Plus was withdrawn five years ago due to a host of factors that included failure to implement international conventions on human rights. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government has been taking steps for the restoration of GSP Plus and fisheries exports.

d)  On the outlook for economic growth of Sri Lanka, he said the country was expected to grow above 5.5 percent during 2015.

10.

Dracula ant discovered in Western Ghats (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Dracula ant

b)     Stigmatomma group

c)     Western Ghats

 

a)     A group of citizen scientists have obtained the first photographic record of the Dracula ant from Kerala. They believe that their find may be a new species belonging to the Stigmatomma group of predaceous ants. They have found the ant from the Western Ghats region of the State.

b)   They said the Stigmatomma group was commonly referred to as Dracula ant because at times of scarcity, they puncture the bodies of their own larvae and drink the hemolymph. The subterranean ants (nearly 1 cm long) have poor vision and feed on centipedes.

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