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Daily News Analysis 13-11-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

India not intolerant: Modi (Pages 1 and 19)

a)     I.R

a)     India and the UK announced an enhanced defence and strategic partnership as well as a civil nuclear agreement as PM Modi and his British counterpart David Cameron met on Nov 12.

2.

IAF takes delivery of 75th Pilatus aircraft (Page 18)

a)     I.R

a)     The Indian Air Force has taken the delivery of the 75th PC-7 Basic Trainer Aircraft, but a deal for 38 additional planes is delayed as talks remain inconclusive.

3.

Suu Kyis party just two seats short of majority (Page 20)

a)     International

a)     Myanmars official vote count inched closer to confirming a parliamentary majority for Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyis opposition party, as the military establishment that has been her nemesis for decades appeared ready to toss in the towel.

4.

The Maldives needs democracy (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     While the Maldives governments decision to lift a state of emergency after less than a week is indeed a welcome move, it is yet to convincingly explain why it took the extreme step in the first place.

5.

S. China Sea may top Chinese Generals agenda (Page 20)

a)     International

a)     China is expected to convey in detail its perception about disputed maritime boundaries in the South China Sea during the visit of a top military official who left Beijing on Nov 11 for Pakistan and India.

6.

EU free travel zone in danger as nations fence out refugees (Page 20)

a)     International

a)     European leaders scrambled to keep their passport-free travel zone from collapsing, after Germany, Sweden and Slovenia acted on their own to tighten borders or erect fences to slow the relentless influx of people marching into Europe.

7.

Wresting back Sinjar from the Islamic State (Page 20)

a)     International

a)     Kurdish forces (backed by US air power) launched Operation Free Sinjar – an offensive to retake the strategic Iraqi town from the Islamic State militants who overran it in an onslaught more than a year ago.

8.

Towards peace in the Northeast (Page 16)

a)     National

a)     Bangladeshs decision to hand over United Liberation Front of Asom general secretary Anup Chetia to India is an important step towards peace in the region.

9.

On Diwali night, India gasped for breath (Page 19)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Twenty of 26 air quality monitoring stations across the country recorded severe air quality at midnight on diwali night, a level of pollution that India officially rates as its worst possible, and describes as one that affects even healthy people, and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

10.

GSAT-15s orbit being raised (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     The ISRO performed the first of three post-launch orbit-raising manoeuvres on the new GSAT-15 spacecraft in the early hours of Nov 12.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

India not intolerant: Modi (Pages 1 and 19)

a)     I.R

a)     India – UK relations

b)     Trade ties

a)   India and UK announced an enhanced defence and strategic partnership as well as a civil nuclear agreement as PM Modi and his British counterpart David Cameron met on Nov 12 and said trade deals worth £9 billion would be signed during Modis three-day visit.

b)     Facing questions for the first time about protests over growing intolerance in India, Modi told British journalists that the Constitution protects freedom and thoughts of every individual.

c)     PM Modi is learnt to have told his British counterpart David Cameron that Indian intelligence agencies had information that two gurdwaras (one in Birmingham and the other in Glasgow) were being used to espouse radical views among the Sikh youth.

d)     Modi is learnt to have told Cameron that radical groups were being trained there with the help of live demonstrations to make improvised explosive devices. These classes were held in Dec 2014 and Jan 2015.

e)  On the economic front, India announced the first govt-backed rupee denominated bond for the Indian Railways, which Cameron called a part of UKs desire to become number one partner to finance the immense economic vision of PM Modi and make London the centre for off-shore rupee trading.

2.

IAF takes delivery of 75th Pilatus aircraft (Page 18)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Switzerland relations

b)     Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA)

c)     Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

d)     Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)

 

a)     The Indian Air Force has taken the delivery of the 75th PC-7 Basic Trainer Aircraft, but a deal for 38 additional planes is delayed as talks remain inconclusive. BTA is used for Stage I flying in the three-stage training schedule of the IAF for rookie pilots.

b)     India signed a deal with Pilatus of Switzerland in 2012 for 75 PC-7 MkII aircraft in a Rs. 4000-crore deal. The first aircraft was delivered in Feb 2013 and the entire delivery completed in 42 months.

c)     The DAC had in February cleared the procurement of 38 additional aircraft as the IAF decided to exercise the follow-on order. However, the progress for a final deal has been delayed due to differences in fulfilling offset requirements on the part of Pilatus.

d)     While the Air Force has a requirement for 181 BTAs, the remaining number will be fulfilled by HAL, which is working on a BTA expected to fly in 2016.

3.

Suu Kyis party just two seats short of majority (Page 20)

a)     International

a)     Myanmar elections

b)     National League for Democracy ( NLD)

c)     Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP)

d)     Myanmars Constitution

a) Myanmars official vote count inched closer to confirming a parliamentary majority for Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyis opposition party.

b)     The office of army commander Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said the military will hold talks with Suu Kyi after the election results are complete.

c)     The election commissions announcement on Nov 12th night showed that the NLD needed just two more seats to reach the 329 for a majority in the 664-member Parliament.

4.

The Maldives needs democracy (Page 16)

a)     International

a)     Maldives internal issues

b)     Maldivian Democratic Party

a)     While the Maldives govts decision to lift a state of emergency after less than a week is indeed a welcome move, it is yet to convincingly explain why it took the extreme step in the first place.

b)     The Abdulla Yameen administrations claim that the emergency was meant to protect the people in wake of security challenges seems to be a convenient excuse, given the political crisis that is brewing in the Indian Ocean nation.

c)     The declaration of emergency was not an isolated incident, but latest in a series of steps the govt has taken over the past few months to bolster President Yameens authority. Recently, the govt sacked the Defence Minister and police chiefs. It also arrested the Vice-President Ahmed Adeeb in connection with a blast on the presidential boat on Sept 28.

d)     Ever since Yameen became President through a controversial election in 2013, the countrys democracy has faced tough challenges. President Yameen (half-brother of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom) has adopted a confrontational approach towards the opposition and showed little respect to the right to dissent.

e)     The imprisonment of Mohamed Nasheed (the countrys first democratically elected President) after a controversial trial has created fissures in the countrys polity which are actually weakening the state. Despite widespread international condemnation and a ruling by a UN panel that Nasheeds arrest was illegal, the govt showed no readiness to ease its stand.

f)     But in the case of the emergency, maybe in a sign of weakness, the govt bowed to international pressure and domestic resistance. It is worth noting that the decision to lift the emergency came two days before a planned protest by the countrys main opposition, the Maldivian Democratic Party.

g)     Instead of confrontationist approach, the govt should adopt a consensus-building policy, engage political opposition and act like a healthy democratic administration. Such a move would only strengthen institutions in the Maldives, putting it in a better position to address the security challenges.

5.

S. China Sea may top Chinese Generals agenda (Page 20)

a)     International

a)     South China Sea disputes

b)     Spratly Islands

c)     Zhubi Reef

d)     Nine-dash line

e)     ASEAN

a)   China is expected to convey in detail its perception about disputed maritime boundaries in the South China Sea during the visit of a top military official who left Beijing on Nov 11 for Pakistan and India.

b)     The presence of Admiral Sun Jianguo in the delegation is widely seen as a pointer that the South China Sea dispute (highlighted recently by a US naval patrol within 12 nautical miles of the Zhubi Reef, over which China exercises sovereignty) is likely to be one of the focal points, when talks get under way in New Delhi.

c)     Beijings position that the U-shaped nine-dash-line defines its boundaries in South China Sea has been contested by Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines and Brunei.

d)     India has been gradually amplifying its pitch on South China Sea issue. Speaking earlier this month at ASEAN security conference in Kuala Lumpur, defence minister Parrikar backed the legitimacy of freedom of navigation concerns in the South China Sea but fused it with an early conclusion of a Code of Conduct, of which China has been a strong advocate.

6.

EU free travel zone in danger as nations fence out refugees (Page 20)

a)     International

a)     Refugee crisis

b)     EU-Africa refugee action plan

 

a)   European leaders scrambled to keep their passport-free travel zone from collapsing, after Germany, Sweden and Slovenia acted on their own to tighten borders or erect fences to slow the relentless influx of people marching into Europe.

b)     A two-day summit held on Mediterranean island of Malta was meant to focus on how to send back to Africa those who dont qualify for asylum and discourage others from attempting risky journey across seas in search of a better life.

c)     EU to provide initial 1.8 billion euros ($1.9 billion) to a new Emergency Trust Fund to support projects aimed at reducing refugee flows from Africa to Europe and displacement of people within Africa.

d)     Future development cooperation to focus on projects which will reduce migratory pressures: includes fostering jobs and economic growth in areas refugee come from or transit through, a scheme to reduce the development impact of remittances by cutting transfer costs and joint research on the causes of migration.

e)     New programmes to be set up by end-2016 to increase protection and economic opportunities of displaced people in the Horn of Africa and North Africa.

f)     Increased cooperation on combatting illegal immigration and people trafficking, including creation of joint investigative team as a pilot project in key transit country Niger.

7.

Wresting back Sinjar from the Islamic State (Page 20)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Kurdish forces

c)     Operation Free Sinjar

d)     Sinjar Mountain

 

a)     Kurdish forces (backed by US air power) launched Operation Free Sinjar – an offensive to retake the strategic Iraqi town from the IS militants who overran it in an onslaught more than a year ago.

b)     The major objective is to cordon off the Iraqi town, take control of Islamic State supply routes and establish a buffer zone to protect the town from incoming artillery.

c)     Sinjar sits astride Highway 47 which links the cities of Mosul and Raqqa – ISs bastions in Iraq and Syria. It is located at the foot of Sinjar Mountain, 50km from the Syrian border.

8.

Towards peace in the Northeast (Page 16)

a)     National

a)     Northeast peace process

b)     Naga Peace Accord

c)     United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)

d)     NSCN (I-M)

e)     NSCN (K)

a)     Bangladeshs decision to hand over ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia to India is an important step towards peace in the region.

b)    During 18 years that Chetia languished in a Bangladeshi prison, convicted for possession of forged passports, illegal arms and unauthorised foreign currency, ULFA split into two. One faction (led by Arabinda Rajkhowa) has entered into talks with New Delhi for a negotiated settlement.

c)     Chetia (who repeatedly sought political asylum in Bangladesh) has since declared his support for the peace talks too. So the return to India of one of the founders of ULFA adds symbolic strength to the pro-talks faction. New Delhi needs to step up the pace of the talks, and show a visible difference on the ground to prove that it is serious about such negotiated settlements.

d)     Chetias return is also a reminder that the most active ULFA militant Paresh Barua continues to be a fugitive, freely moving across the Myanmar-China border, and possibly enjoying some amount of support from official agencies on both sides.

e)     ULFA-Independent (led by Barua) remains a lethal insurgent group, with camps in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, as well as in Myanmar, and with over 200 armed cadres. Therefore, a three-pronged, cohesive strategy is urgently required to take the peace process forward.

f)     One, there needs to be a robust security grid, including a well-trained and well-armed State police force, to respond to insurgent groups and secure innocent lives. Two, India must reach out to neighbouring countries (including China) to ensure that militant groups do not exploit porous borders and find safe havens, only to launch repeated attacks on Indian soil.

g)     Robust partnerships with countries such as China and Myanmar are crucial if India is to defeat the many insurgencies in the Northeast. Three, New Delhi must bind its security responses with a democratic outreach.

h)     The insurgencies of the Northeast are deeply rooted in the regions history, its many tribal identities, peoples grievances, both perceived and real, and the incomplete task of nation-building. New Delhi should deal with the Northeast with a warm heart and fairness, with political accommodation and an eye on strategic location.

9.

On Diwali night, India gasped for breath (Page 19)

a)     National

b)     Environment

a)     Air pollution

b)     National Air Quality Index

c)     Central Pollution Control Board

d)     National Green Tribunal

e)     Green Tax

f)     WHO

 

a)     On Nov 11th night (which was Diwali night), air quality deteriorated across 8 States for which data is available through the Central Pollution Control Boards National Air Quality Index monitoring portal.

b)     Looking at PM2.5 levels (the hourly concentration of very fine particles up to 2.5 micrograms in diameter which can severely affect respiratory functioning) alone, it found that even cities with relatively better air quality saw a dip on that night.

c)     In Delhi, the PM2.5 levels were very poor, while at the BWSSB-Kadabesanahalli monitoring station in Bengaluru, the index was at poor. The Airoli monitoring station in Navi Mumbai was the only one which recorded satisfactory levels of PM2.5 throughout the period.

d)     In Delhi, hourly concentrations of PM2.5 available from Delhi Pollution Control Committee showed that levels spiked to 985 microgram per cubic metre, as against the WHOs safe standard of 60. It was higher than the worst levels experienced by Beijing this year.

e)     In a bid to curb health hazards originating from bursting firecrackers this Diwali, the Pune Bench of National Green Tribunal has directed civic bodies to levy Rs.3000 as green tax from sellers.

10.

GSAT-15s orbit being raised (Page 13)

a)     National

b)     S&T

a)     GSAT-15

b)     Ku-band satellite

c)     ISRO

a)     The ISRO performed the first of three post-launch orbit-raising manoeuvres on the new GSAT-15 spacecraft in the early hours of Nov 12.

b)     The communication spacecraft was put in space on Nov 11 from the French Guiana space port in South America. Two more orbit corrections are slated for the next two days.

c)     The Ku-band satellite is expected to be ready for use in a month once its orbital slot and functions are stabilised.

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