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Daily News Analysis 09-11-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Pak in a losing nuclear race (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Pakistans official position is that it needs more nuclear weapons to counter Indias conventional arsenal. Its expected to become the worlds third largest nuclear power with as many as 120 warheads, behind the US and Russia.

2.

Millions vote in Myanmar polls (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Millions of citizens voted in Myanmars historic general election that will test whether the militarys long-standing grip on power can be loosened, with Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyis party expected to secure an easy victory.

3.

Only democracy can decide future (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     As Chinas top newspaper warned peace was at risk if it opted for independence, Taiwans opposition leader and presidential frontrunner said that only the people of Taiwan can decide its future and will do so in elections in January.

4.

Cameron says he will not rule out UKs exit from European Union (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     After months without a breakthrough, David Cameron will finally give more details of what reforms he wants for Britain to stay in the European Union before a looming referendum.

5.

Frances climate warning: life on planet is at stake (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Frances top diplomat (who will preside over a year-end Paris summit tasked with inking a global pact to rein in global warming) warned of a looming planetary catastrophe.

6.

Pluralist vision triumphs in Bihar (Page 10)

a)     National

a)     The clear mandate for the Grand Alliance of the Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress in Bihar is not only a vote for social welfare and economic development, but also a vote against all forms of divisive politics of communal hate and religious intolerance.

7.

Perils of being a hegemon (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)     Hegemony is defined as political, economic or cultural dominance or authority over others. When applied to the current global economy, hegemony refers to the primacy of the American dollar in relation to other currencies.

8.

Mars Orbiter Mission is in good nick, says ISRO chief (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said that the health of the Mars Orbiter Mission or Mangalyaan was extremely good.

9.

Amateur archaeologists discover Mesolithic rock paintings in Kadapa (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)      Amateur archaeologists have stumbled upon Mesolithic period rock paintings at Gandikota Fort in Kadapa district.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Pak in a losing nuclear race (Page 12)

a)     International

a)     Pakistans nuclear weapons programme

b)     Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

a)     According to The New York Times, persuading Pakistan to rein in its nuclear weapons programme should be an international priority. It said Islamabads competition with India (which is adding to its own nuclear arsenal) is a losing game.

b)     Pakistans official position is that it needs more nuclear weapons to counter Indias conventional arsenal. Its expected to become the worlds third largest nuclear power with as many as 120 warheads, behind the US and Russia.

c)     The NYT has also urged the US to keep trying to reach a deal with Pakistan aimed at reining in its nuclear programme.

d)     The major world powers spent two years negotiating an agreement to restrain nuclear ambitions of Iran, which does not have a single nuclear weapon. Yet there has been no comparable investment of effort in Pakistan, which (along with India) has so far refused to consider any limits at all.

e)     The Obama administration has begun talks with Islamabad in this regard. But a nuclear deal similar to the one with India is not on the cards. US officials are discussing what Pakistan needs to do to justify American support for its membership in the 48-nation NSG, which governs trade in nuclear fuel and technology.

f)     It is worth noting that the NYT editorial comes at a time when tensions are running high between India and Pakistan. The editorial also criticises PM Modi for not doing anything to engage Pak on security issues, and he also bears responsibility for current tensions.

2.

Millions vote in Myanmar polls (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Myanmar internal issues

b)     National League for Democracy party

c)     Union Solidarity Development Party

 

a)     Millions of citizens voted in Myanmars historic general election that will test whether the militarys long-standing grip on power can be loosened, with Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyis party expected to secure an easy victory.

b)     It was the first time even for Suu Kyi, the epitome of the democracy movement who had defied the junta for decades.

c)     Although more than 90 parties are contesting elections, the main fight is between Suu Kyis National League for Democracy and the ruling Union Solidarity Development Party, made up largely of former junta members.

d)     Certainly, though, the election will not bring full democracy to this nation, which spent nearly five decades under brutal military rule and the last five years under a quasi-civilian government.

e)     Myanmars constitution guarantees 25 percent of seats in Parliament to the military, and was rewritten to keep Suu Kyi (the countrys most popular politician) from the presidency.

f)    After taking power in 1962, the junta first allowed elections in 1990, which Suu Kyis party won overwhelmingly. A shocked Army refused to seat the winning lawmakers, with the excuse that a new constitution first had to be implemented, a task that ended up taking 18 years.

3.

Only democracy can decide future (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     China – Taiwan relation

b)     One China policy

a)     A day after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou held historic talks in Singapore, Tsai Ing-wen (leader of Taiwans independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party) said the leaders meeting had done nothing to make Taiwans people feel safer.

b)     As Chinas top newspaper warned peace was at risk if it opted for independence, he said that only the people of Taiwan can decide its future and will do so in elections in January.

c)     Referring to the rule of the China-friendly Ma, sources said that progress over past seven years has been possible due to a joint political will to oppose Taiwan independence and accept there is one China, albeit it with different interpretations.

4.

Cameron says he will not rule out UKs exit from European Union (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     European Union

a)     After months without a breakthrough, David Cameron will finally give more details of what reforms he wants for Britain to stay in the EU before a looming referendum.

b)     He also highlighted that there would have to be four months between any deal being agreed and the vote being held. In recent weeks, European partners have put increasing pressure on Cameron to lay out in more detail what kind of reforms he wants.

5.

Frances climate warning: life on planet is at stake (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Paris Climate summit 2015

b)     Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

c)     Global warming

 

a)     Frances top diplomat (who will preside over a year-end Paris summit tasked with inking a global pact to rein in global warming) warned of a looming planetary catastrophe.

b)  With the key UN conference just three weeks away, he also announced that Russias President Putin would attend the Nov 30 opening. Russia (a major oil producer) is seen as a deal-maker or breaker in the years-long attempt to negotiate the worlds first truly universal pact to rein in global warming by curbing climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

c)     He added that there is absolute urgency in chasing UN goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

d)     The Paris agreement will be the first uniting all nations in curbing GHG emissions.

6.

Pluralist vision triumphs in Bihar (Page 10)

a)     National

a)     Bihar politics

b)     Janata Dal (United)

c)     Rashtriya Janata Dal

d)     Congress

e)     BJP

a)     The clear mandate for the Grand Alliance of the Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress in Bihar is not only a vote for social welfare and economic development, but also a vote against all forms of divisive politics of communal hate and religious intolerance.

b)     Between the Lok Sabha election of 2014 and this years Assembly election, politics in Bihar saw unprecedented churning, bringing together parties of different ideologies and social bases in the face of a rising tide of aggressive majoritarianism stirred up by the BJP.

c)     As a matter of fact, the seeds of the BJPs defeat in Bihar in 2015 were sown even before its spectacular victory in 2014 Lok Sabha election. As Modi became the national face of the BJP in 2013, the prime mover of the JD(U) (CM Nitish Kumar) was quick to  recognise the social cost of his political alliance with the saffron party.

d)    After his attempt to emerge as the sole alternative to BJP ended in failure, with the RJD and the Congress occupying the political space for a secular opposition, Kumar pieced together the Grand Alliance with his long-time political foes. Thus Lalu Prasad became his principal ally against a marauding BJP, which was feeding into a highly divisive communal agenda.

e)     But it was not just the electoral arithmetic that worked against the BJP. In the months since the Lok Sabha election, the party pushed the Hindutva agenda very hard even while paying lip service to growth and development.

f)     Kumar must now use the mandate to scale up his vision for Bihar and build on efforts to improve governance. A lot was done in the last 10 years to alter Bihars image as one of the most backward States in the country, but he needs to do more. But most importantly, the new govt in Bihar will need to counter the socially disruptive agenda of Hindutva elements. After all, the vote is for a pluralist vision of India, for an idea of Bihar that is both inclusive and progressive.

7.

Perils of being a hegemon (Page 16)

a)     Economy

a)     Global economic situation

b)     Global financial system

c)     Reserve currencies

d)     Currency devaluation

e)     Current account deficit

a)     Hegemony is defined as political, economic or cultural dominance or authority over others. When applied to current global economy, hegemony refers to the primacy of the American dollar in relation to other currencies.

b)     Whether justified or not, the primacy of the dollar over a long period of 70 years has brought about a degree of stability to the global financial system and by extension to the global economy. The dollar has remained the superpower of the financial and monetary system.

c)     According to the Statistics, there are seven major reserve currencies. Apart from the dollar, the reserve currencies are the euro, British pound, Japanese yen, Swiss franc, Canadian and Australian dollars. About 62 percent of international currency assets are held in US dollars, 23 percent in euros and 4 percent in yen and sterling. Almost two thirds of Indias forex reserves are said to be in dollars.

d)     To qualify as a reserve currency, the country must run a large current account deficit which will be easily financed by other countries desiring to park their reserves in that currency. For most parts, the dollar has been the first choice of central banks to invest their reserves.

e)     Yet and not for the first time doubts have been raised as to the stability of the system presided over by the dollar. This is because the dollars supremacy rested on a strong US economy. The USs share of global GDP is 23 percent and its share of global merchandise trade is 12 percent.

f)     Those are impressive numbers but not sufficient to reinforce its number one position when one considers that 60 percent of the global output lies within a de facto dollar zone (currencies are either pegged to the dollar or move in tandem with it).

g)     The USs share of global corporate investment has been declining. However, it is Wall Street that has an overreaching influence over stock markets everywhere.

h)     As the Economist puts it succinctly the costs of dollar dominance are starting to outweigh the benefits. As seen in India too, currencies and stock markets suffer wild gyrations. A miniscule rise in the American interest rate or even a talk about it is enough to cause huge reverse flows of dollars invested elsewhere.

i)     Second, there are limits beyond which the US can make up for liquidity shortage in the global financial system which has grown enormously. Three, Americas political system is seen to be dysfunctional. The question needs to be asked for how long countries will tie their financial systems to vagaries of US politics. Finally, the US is not averse to using its financial clout to achieve political objectives.

j)     The case for one or more currencies sharing the burden with the dollar looks strong. However, over the years no other currency, not the euro not even the much touted yuan can occupy that place.

k)     The yuan particularly has a strong backing in India and other emerging market countries. Sooner rather than later the yuan will acquire reserve currency status. However the recent slowing down of its economy as well as series of currency devaluations have lent some opacity to Chinas macro management. A very recent report from China talks of accelerated financial reforms which will inter alia allow the currency to trade freely by 2020.

8.

Mars Orbiter Mission is in good nick, says ISRO chief (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

b)     Chandrayaan-2

c)     Astrosat

d)     Aditya

e)     GSAT-15

f)     ISRO

a)     ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said that the health of the Mars Orbiter Mission or Mangalyaan was extremely good.

b)     He said all five payloads of MOM were sending data on a regular basis. It is completing one revolution around the Mars roughly in two and a half days. The satellite is expected to last for quite some time.

c)     He said Chandrayaan-2 would carry a lander and a rover. It would help in having a controlled landing on surface of the moon. The rover would move on the surface of the moon. It would collect data and send it to Earth. Chandrayaan-2 was likely to be launched in 2017 or 2018.

d)     The ISRO was planning to launch Aditya, (the satellite) which would help in studying solar eclipses on continuous basis and also other aspects of the Sun.

e)    All the five payloads of the Astrosat (the dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory launched by the ISRO in Sept) were functioning well.

f)    In the immediate future, the ISRO planned to increase its launch frequencies. GSAT-15 (a communication satellite) would be launched on Nov 10. There would be a launch every month from Dec 2015 to March 2016.

9.

Amateur archaeologists discover Mesolithic rock paintings in Kadapa (Page 9)

a)     National

b)     Geography

a)     Mesolithic rock paintings

b)     Gandikota Fort

c)     Penna river

d)     Archaeological Survey of India

a)     Amateur archaeologists have stumbled upon Mesolithic period rock paintings at Gandikota Fort in Kadapa district.

b)     They found the paintings on the rocky surface at Peddakona (also known as Dongalakona), located next to Farah Bagh area on the way from the Anantapadmanabha temple of the fort to the gorge of the river Penna.

c)     The paintings representing geometrical designs are seen on a big boulder executed in red ochre. The lines painted in the shape of rectangles, triangles and circles denote abstract forms of some animals.

d)     They inspected the site and confirmed that the rock paintings belong to the Mesolithic period datable to 10,000-8000 B.C.

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