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Daily News Analysis 12-11-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

PM has wide ground to cover in London (Page 15)

a)     I.R

a)     PM Modis three-day visit to the UK beginning on Nov 12 will focus on defence and strategic ties and economic relations, with deals estimated at a reported $18 billion expected to be signed during the visit.

2.

A checklist for success in Paris (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     Most people who are following the progress of meetings and processes leading up to the Paris Conference of Parties in early December would agree that there are a few basic elements that need to be part of the final agreement to deem the meeting a success.

3.

India, China ripping off US (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (known for his sweeping and often outlandish remarks) accused India, along with China, of taking advantage of the US.

4.

Thein Sein vows stable transition (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Myanmar President Thein Sein and the powerful army congratulated democratic champion Aung San Suu Kyi, after her party trounced the ruling camp in the first free election in 25 years and was closing in on an absolute majority in Parliament.

5.

Obama, Netanyahu agree to hold Irans feet to the fire (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Seeking to repair his strained relations with President Obama and Democrats in general, Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu (who is on a visit US) said it was vital for him to ensure that Israel remained a subject of bipartisan consensus in the US.

6.

SC to remove gender disparity in judiciary (Page 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     The Supreme Court admitted to decades of institutional disparity in appointing women as judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court despite women practising as lawyers since 1922.

7.

Reforms redux: a welcome signal (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     The announcement of reforms in foreign direct investment norms in a raft of sectors comes as a Deepavali bonanza to investors and the markets.

8.

Government relaxes FDI norms across 15 sectors (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     The Centre announced Big Bang FDI reforms, easing norms across 15 sectors including defence, banking, construction, single brand retail, broadcasting and civil aviation.

9.

GSAT-15 launched successfully (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     Communications satellite GSAT-15 was launched from Kourou in French Guiana in South America.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

PM has wide ground to cover in London (Page 15)

a)     I.R

a)     India – UK relations

b)     Defence ties

c)     Make in India programme

d)     Terrorism and extremism

e)     Islamic State (IS)

a)     PM Modis three-day visit to the UK beginning on Nov 12 will focus on defence and strategic ties and economic relations, with deals estimated at a reported $18 billion expected to be signed during the visit.

b)   PM Modi and PM Cameron are expected to issue several joint statements on the defence and strategic partnership, energy and climate change, development partnership, and a vision statement.

c)     Besides a possible announcement for the purchase of 20 more Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force, Modis visit will see high-level consultations on British investments in defence sector under the Make in India programme, and stepping up of bilateral coordination over terrorism-related issues.

d)     Officials said the two sides had already been exchanging notes on terrorism, especially the growing IS footprints in South Asia and recruitment of South Asian youths from UK for the terrorist organisation.

2.

A checklist for success in Paris (Page 11)

a)     International

a)     Paris Climate Conference 2015

b)     Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

c)     Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)

d)     UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

e)     Green Climate Fund

 

a)     According to the author, most people who are following the progress of meetings and processes leading up to the Paris Conference of Parties in early December would agree that there are a few basic elements that need to be part of the final agreement to deem the meeting a success.

b)     These would be: GHG emissions reduction plans that can keep the world well below a safe level of warming compared with pre-industrial times; considerations of equity where both stock (historical) and flow (annual) emissions are reflected; support from rich countries to developing countries through finance, technology and capacity building; and support for loss and damage.

c)     Still, what different groups or nations might regard as a win on each of these elements could vary a lot. For example, small islands are keen on GHG emissions reductions to levels that warm the planet by only 1.5 degrees, not 2 degrees Celsius, which is what is generally accepted; theirs is an existential crisis.

d)     Annex-1 countries are keen on commitments that are not conditional from large developing countries, and they want little conversation on historical emissions.

e)     Even perspectives on the INDCs differ. A recent Synthesis Report by UNFCCC has aggregated the INDCs from various countries. Based on its findings, assuming that countries would keep their promises, temperature rise could be around 3 degrees Celsius, which is well above where the world needs to be.

f)     The hope is that countries will continue to modify their INDCs and become more ambitious as time goes on. But this bottom up approach has been in many cases a race to the bottom and has not served everyone well.

g)     According to a report, commitments by the major developed countries fall well short of their fair shares, which ought to be 24.2 Gt. of CO2 equivalent, but the ambition gap is 15.2 Gt. Further, most developing countries have made mitigation pledges that are over and above their fair share, but they also have a mitigation potential that exceeds their pledges and fair share.

h)     These ideas underline the real fight at Paris, which is, who will have access to the remaining carbon (emissions) space in the planet? Will rich countries keep going along their trajectories as they have, and take up the remaining carbon space? Or will they leave it for the least developed and developing countries?

i)     There is a similarly misleading fallacy regarding what countries should do within their borders and in the international arena. Should poor countries declare that we would reduce inequality and poverty within the country while we accuse rich countries of being inequitable?

j)     There is little room for enlightened self-interest among negotiators. What may help is greater action by future generations who are among us today. In this regard, movements such as fossil fuel divestment, which is persuading governments, universities, pension funds and charitable organisations to move their money out of fossil fuels, are making progress. But it needs to gather far more momentum to become a driver for change.

k)     Similarly, initiatives to reduce consumption and keep track of personal carbon emissions are also a good starting point, but are not making sufficient headway. Other than these, major disasters may also cause people to act, but it may always be difficult to estimate the specific contribution of climate change to any natural disaster.

l)     What might be needed and is not happening is a clear sharp understanding and articulation of the struggle in Paris as a struggle for development.

m)     Developing countries do not want to take up a head-on challenge with rich countries and many politicians do not yet realise that the international climate regime as it stands today is a fight for development space. This is short-sighted and may turn out to be devastating, especially for the poor.

3.

India, China ripping off US (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     US immigration issue

a)     Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (known for his sweeping and often outlandish remarks) accused India, along with China, of taking advantage of the US. He said the US has lost the ability to negotiate good deals, and every country in the world was ripping it.

b)     India was mentioned only once and there was no further discussion on his suggestion on India, while everyone latched on to the China threat.

c)     He also reiterated his position that all one million illegal immigrants in the US should be deported, not just beyond the border, but far south, that they dont come back. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Kasich opposed him on immigration.

d)     All candidates opposed raising the minimum wage in the US, which is now $8 an hour. There is an ongoing debate in the US on raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, but Republican candidates were unanimous that such a move would reduce American competitiveness.

e)     Most candidates argued that facilitating the resurgence of small businesses in the US, not hiking wages, was the solution to middle class distress in the country.

4.

Thein Sein vows stable transition (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Myanmar elections

b)     National League for Democracy ( NLD)

c)     Myanmars Constitution

a)     Myanmar President Thein Sein and the powerful army congratulated democratic champion Aung San Suu Kyi, after her party trounced the ruling camp in the first free election in 25 years and was closing in on an absolute majority in Parliament.

b)     Thein Sein reiterated that the govt would accept the results of the election and agreed to Suu Kyis request to hold reconciliation talks soon, although the two are still to agree on the time and location of the negotiations.

c)     Suu  Kyis Opposition NLD has won over 80 percent of the seats declared so far in the Lower House and is well ahead in the Upper House and regional Assemblies.

d)     If the final results confirm the trend, Suu Kyis triumph will sweep out an old guard of former generals that has run Myanmar since junta handed over power to Thein Seins semi-civilian govt in 2011.

e)     The armed forces continue to wield considerable power in Myanmars political institutions, under a Constitution drafted before the end of nearly 50 years of rule. It is unclear how Suu Kyi and the generals will work together.

f)     Results so far gave Suu Kyis party 179 of 216 seats declared out of the 330 seats not allocated to the military in the Lower House. Under the junta-crafted constitution, a quarter of the seats in both chambers are unelected and reserved for the armed forces.

g)     To form Myanmars first democratically elected govt since the early 1960s, the NLD needs to win more than two-thirds of seats that were contested in Parliament.

5.

Obama, Netanyahu agree to hold Irans feet to the fire (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     US – Israel relations

b)     Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

c)     Israel – Palestine relations

d)     Palestinian issue

a) Seeking to repair his strained relations with President Obama and Democrats in general, Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu (who is on a visit US) said it was vital for him to ensure that Israel remained a subject of bipartisan consensus in the US.

b)     Netanyahus belligerent opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran, particularly in his address to the US Congress in March, had put considerable strain on the relationship between the two leaders.

c)     Netanyahu said he and the president talked about a long-term understanding on US military assistance to Israel that would ensure Israels qualitative military edge in the region.

d)    Speaking on the road ahead for Israel-Palestine relations, Netanyahu said everything depended on two factors - Palestines willingness to accept a Jewish state and Israels authority to control security threats from future Palestine.

6.

SC to remove gender disparity in judiciary (Page 14)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)     Gender disparity in judiciary

b)     Supreme Court

c)     High Court

a)     Supreme Court admitted to decades of institutional disparity in appointing women as judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court despite women practising as lawyers since 1922.

b)     Justice J.S. Khehar (who heads a Constitution Bench looking into ways to improve the Collegium system of judicial appointments) said recently that the ratio of female judges to male judges must be in the same ratio.

c)  A senior advocate submitted the apparent fact that lack of proper representation for women in the judiciary may raise questions of how gender bias is inherent in the very high temples of justice.

d)   The representation said how since independence, there have been only six women judges appointed in the Supreme Court out of total 229 judges appointed from 1950 till date. It said there are only 62 women Judges out of 611 (including Additional Judges) in the High Courts across the country.

7.

Reforms redux: a welcome signal (Page 10)

a)     National

b)     Economy

a)     FDI reforms

b)     Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB)

 

a)     The decision to relax FDI limits and conditionalities for investment in industries ranging from defence and plantations to single-brand retail and private banking is likely to offer overseas investors and existing promoters in these businesses significant new opportunities.

b)     Among the various sectors, banks, defence and construction could benefit substantially from FDI reform.

c)     The decision to allow foreign institutional investors, foreign portfolio investors and qualified foreign investors to independently or together own up to 74 percent in private banks, subject to management control remaining unchanged, will offer some of them greater flexibility in expanding their capital base.

d)     At the same time, it will give investors the freedom of fungibility. In defence production, investment up to 49 percent has been put under the automatic route, and proposals for higher overseas ownership will now go to the FIPB instead of the Cabinet Committee on Security, shortening the lead times for approval.

e)     Significantly, portfolio and foreign venture capital investors can now hold as much as 49 per cent, double the 24 percent that was permitted earlier. This should give a big fillip to local startups and could help nurture entrepreneurs developing indigenous technologies in a crucial and sensitive sector.

f)     Meanwhile, with a view to boost the availability of housing stock to achieve govts goal of ensuring homes for all by 2022, investment in construction activity has been freed from floor area and minimum capital infusion restrictions.

g)  The combination of all these measures could potentially boost FDI inflows and offer multiple spin-off benefits to the economy, not the least of which would be increased job creation and higher tax revenue. Modi must ensure that the reforms momentum is sustained over the coming weeks and months.

8.

Government relaxes FDI norms across 15 sectors (Page 17)

a)     Economy

a)     FDI reforms

b)     Ease of Doing Business

c)     IMF

d)     World Bank

a)    The Centre announced FDI reforms, easing norms across 15 sectors including defence, banking, construction, single brand retail, broadcasting and civil aviation. The move is aimed at boosting the investment environment and attracting more foreign capital to the country.

b)     According to Industry Ministry data, India received FDI of $19.39 billion during Jan-June 2015, an increase of 30 percent over the same period last year.

c)     The Modi govt in the last few months had introduced many FDI policy reforms in sectors such as defence, rail infrastructure, construction development, insurance, pension, medical devices, white label ATM operations, investments by NRIs on non-repatriation basis and has introduced composite cap for foreign investment.

d)     World Bank had recently improved Indias ranking by 12 places (to 130th rank from 142nd rank last year) in the 2016 Study of Ease of Doing Business. Besides, many global institutions have projected India as the leading destination for FDI in the World. IMF has branded India as the brightest spot in the global economy whereas the World Bank has retained the growth forecast for India at 7.5 percent for FY16.

9.

GSAT-15 launched successfully (Page 8)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     GSAT-15

b)     INSAT-3A

c)     INSAT-3B

d)     GAGAN

 

a)     Communications satellite GSAT-15 was launched from Kourou in French Guiana in South America. Official said the 3164-kg spacecraft will replace the ageing Insat-3A and 4B spacecraft, which are in the same orbital slot, when they expire.

b)    GSAT-15s 24 transponders in the Ku-band will mainly cater to direct-to-home services of Doordarshan and private broadcasters besides VSAT operators who drive Internet services.

c)     GSAT-15 also carries the third and last transponder for GPS-augmentation or GAGAN in the L1 and L5 bands; it will ensure backup for GPS-based satellite navigation across the region.

NOTE: Todays Current Affairs are from Chennai edition.

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