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Daily News Analysis 26-11-2015

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

1.         

 

Russia-NATO tension hits South Block; Deputy PM visit cancelled (Pg 12)

a)     I.R

a)     The international crisis following the downing of a Russian Su-24 by the NATO-ally Turkey has claimed its first victim in Indias diplomatic calendar.

2.

Sri Lanka may have new Constitution by mid-2016 (Pg 14)

a)     International

a)     The 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka may well become a thing of the past by the middle of next year if the present plan fructifies.

3.

2015 to be hottest year on record: WMO (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     The World Meteorological Organisation said that this year will be the hottest on record and 2016 could be hotter due to the El Nino weather pattern, warning inaction on climate change could see temperatures rise by 6 degrees Celsius or more.

4.

Russia to deploy missiles in Syria (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Russias President Putin ordered state-of-the art air defence missile systems to be deployed at a Russian air base in Syria following downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey, a move that raised the threat of a military confrontation between the NATO member and Russia.

5.

Dangerous provocation (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     The downing of a Russian plane by Turkey near the Syrian border is indeed a dangerous act that could escalate the already complex Syrian conflict into a much wider war.

6.

Looking for a winter turnaround (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)    Given Parliaments importance in deliberating the legislation and scrutinising the work of the govt through debates, one hopes the washed out monsoon session was an aberration.

7.

Chetia has given support to peace talks: Rajkhowa (Page 8)

a)     National

a)     ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia has given his support to the ongoing peace talks between the banned outfit and the Centre.

8.

7.5 percent GDP growth will help boost business: Moodys (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Moodys official said that healthy 7.5 percent GDP growth for India for the fiscal year ending March 2017 (FY2017) and a pick-up in manufacturing activity will be broadly supportive of business growth.

9.

Mars to lose a moon, wear ring like Saturn (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Scientists say that Mars largest moon Phobos is slowly falling towards the planet and is likely to be shredded into pieces that will be strewn about the red planet in a ring like those encircling Saturn and Jupiter.

 

S.NO.

NEWS ITEM

SYLLUBUS

BACKGROUND

IMPORTANT POINTS

1.         

 

Russia-NATO tension hits South Block; Deputy PM visit cancelled (Page 12)

a)     I.R

a)     India – Russia relations

b)     Defence cooperation

a)     Russian sources informed that in view of the escalating battle of nerves between Russia and the NATO, Kremlin has cancelled Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozins planned visit to Delhi.

b)     The visit was expected to focus on routine bilateral affairs, defence cooperation, and was meant to assess preparations on the ground for the Moscow visit by PM Modi in the year-end.

2.

Sri Lanka may have new Constitution by mid-2016 (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Sri Lankans internal issues

b)     1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka

c)     Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)

d)     United National Party (UNP)

 

a)     The 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka may well become a thing of the past by the middle of next year if the present plan fructifies.

b)     As of now, it has been proposed to convert the existing 225-member-strong Parliament into Constitutional Assembly, whose primary responsibility will be to produce a fresh Constitution.

c)     In the case of the 1972 Constitution, the process took nearly 2 years for completion. The process lasted hardly a year during the drafting of the 1978 Constitution.

d)     Billed as the countrys first republican Constitution, the 1972 document was adopted when the SLFP-led United Front was in power and Sirimavo Bandaranaike was the Prime Minister.

e)     The 1978 Constitution (which ushered in the system of executive presidency) was made when the UNP was in power and J.R. Jayawardene at the helm of affairs.

3.

2015 to be hottest year on record: WMO (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Climate change

b)     Paris Climate talks 2015

c)     Carbon emissions

d)     Global warming

e)     El Nino

f)     World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

a)  The WMO said that this year will be the hottest on record and 2016 could be hotter due to El Nino weather pattern, warning inaction on climate change could see temperatures rise by 6 degrees Celsius or more.

b)     But decisions taken at a summit of world leaders in Paris starting on Nov 30 could keep global temperature rises within 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times, a target set down in 2010 to try to prevent dangerous climate change.

c)     Global average surface temperatures in 2015 were likely to reach what the agency called symbolic and significant milestone of 1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial era. This is due to a combination of a strong El Nino and human-induced global warming.

d)     Chinese President Xi will discuss climate change and bilateral relations with Francois Hollande and Barack Obama on November 30.

e)     China (the worlds biggest emitter) has emerged as a leader in curbing such emissions six years after it was accused of obstructing the last high-level climate talks in Copenhagen. Observers hope China will persuade other developing nations to sign up to a deal.

4.

Russia to deploy missiles in Syria (Page 14)

a)     International

a)     Islamic State (IS)

b)     Syria crisis

c)     NATO

a)     Russias President Putin ordered state-of-the art air defence missile systems to be deployed at a Russian air base in Syria following downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey, a move that raised the threat of a military confrontation between the NATO member and Russia.

b)     Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to play down tensions with Russia after Turkeys downing of a Russian warplane on the Syria border sparked fears among NATO allies of a wider conflict.

c)     US President Obama said Washingtons NATO ally Turkey had a right to defend its airspace, but added his priority was to make sure the standoff did not escalate.

5.

Dangerous provocation (Page 10)

a)     International

a)     Syrian conflict

b)     Islamic State (IS)

c)     Kurdish forces

d)     NATO

a)     The downing of a Russian plane by Turkey near the Syrian border is indeed a dangerous act that could escalate the already complex Syrian conflict into a much wider war.

b)     Ankaras claim that it acted only to defend its territory because the Russian jet had violated its airspace is hardly enough reason to justify its ghastly act.

c)    An airspace violation is not the rarest of the rare incident in the modern world; nor does every country use firepower to deal with such occurrences. Turkey itself has a long history of violating airspaces and coping with such incidents in its airspace diplomatically. Israel had violated Turkish airspace to bomb Syria in 2007. Turkish and Greek planes violating each others airspaces was quite common in recent years.

d)     More important, Syria is a complex war theatre where two coalitions consisting of dozens of countries and their proxies are fighting a jihadist group. Turkey (which at least on the record is part of the US-led coalition) should have acted as a responsible power.

e)     It could have taken up the issue with Moscow and pushed diplomatically for solutions to prevent confrontations in the air. But by deciding to shoot down the Russian plane, Turkey has not only provoked Russia but strengthened jihadis hands by making it more difficult to settle the Syrian crisis.

f)   It is not a secret that Ankara has been a supporter of Syrian rebels since the beginning of the civil war. Four and a half years into the conflict that killed lakhs of people and led to the rise of Islamic State, Turkey still appears to be obsessed with the removal of the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.

g)     Though Turkey, under global and domestic pressure, declared war on IS earlier this year, the focus of its bombers was not really on jihadist group but on the Kurdish militias who were fighting IS on the ground. All these incidents pose serious questions about Turkeys commitment in war against IS.

6.

Looking for a winter turnaround (Page 11)

a)     National

b)     Polity

a)      Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill

b)     Electricity (Amendment) Bill

c)     Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill

d)     Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill

e)     Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill;

f)     Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill

g)     Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill

h)     Right to Information (RTI) Act

 

a)     The winter session of Parliament that starts on Nov 26 follows a monsoon session that did not see any work being done in the Rajya Sabha and only a few discussions in the Lok Sabha. The govt has listed 20 bills for consideration and passing.

b)     The GST Constitution Amendment Bill is just the first step in the legislative process to introduce this tax. The Constitution Amendment needs to be passed by both Houses by a two-thirds majority - it has been passed by the Lok Sabha but will be referred back to that House if Rajya Sabha amends it. Then it needs to be ratified by 15 State Legislatures before it gets the Presidents assent.

c)     This would set the stage for the introduction of the Bill in both Parliament and the State Legislatures to impose the tax, and repeal various other tax laws such as excise acts, sale tax acts, and so on.

d)     Given the supermajority requirement, the GST Bill will require the support of most of the opposition parties. This Bill was referred by Rajya Sabha to a select committee. The dissent note given by the members of the Congress indicates that they support the idea of GST with some changes in the Bill.

e)     These include setting a cap of 18 percent on the tax rate, creating a dispute settlement authority for implementation issues by the Centre or the States, removing the 1 percent tax on inter-State sale of goods, and inclusion of tobacco, alcohol and electricity in GST.

f)     The Electricity Bill is a significant move towards greater competition in the sector. The Electricity Act 2003 trifurcated the sector into generation, transmission and distribution. It further bifurcates distribution by enabling supply companies. The Bill envisages multiple supply companies in a geographical area which would compete for business and lead to improved customer service and lower tariffs.

g)    The Real Estate Regulation Bill seeks to regulate the transactions between developers of residential property and buyers. It recognises the information and power asymmetry between developers and customers, and establishes various norms for developers.

h)     The Juvenile Justice Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha and has to be taken up by the Rajya Sabha. The age at which a person may be tried as an adult is being reduced from 18 years to 16 years in case of heinous crimes (which carry a maximum punishment of at least 7 years imprisonment).

i)    The Bill also has provisions for children in need of care and protection, and adoptions (a single male cannot adopt a girl child). It sets punishment for offences, some of which do not appear proportional to the gradation of the offence.

j)     The Child Labour Act is being amended. Currently, children below 14 years of age cannot be employed in hazardous industries (which include domestic service). The Bill amends this to prohibit the employment of children below 14 years in all occupations except when child helps his/her family after school hours. The Bill prohibits children between ages of 14 and 18 years from entering hazardous occupations.

k)     Two Bills related to curbing corruption are also part of this sessions list of business. Currently, the Prevention of Corruption Act makes giving a bribe to a public servant an abetment to the main offence. It amends this provision to explicitly make this an offence. The Act requires prior sanction for prosecution of public officials; the Bill extends this protection to former officials.

l)     The Whistle Blowers Protection Act was passed last year to protect persons making disclosures related to corruption. This Act is being amended to prohibit disclosures under 10 categories (the same list under which information may be denied in the RTI Act).

m)     The agenda also includes the introduction of 14 Bills. These include the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill, an earlier version of which was introduced by UPA govt but lapsed with dissolution of last Lok Sabha, and the Indian Institutes of Management Bill which will regulate these institutions and give them the power to grant degrees.

n)     Other than legislative business, several members are likely to raise other issues for discussions. The government also needs to get supplementary demand for grants to be passed.

7.

Chetia has given support to peace talks: Rajkhowa (Page 8)

a)     National

a)     Northeast peace process

b)     ULFA

 

a)     ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia has given his support to the ongoing peace talks between the banned outfit and the Centre.

b)     Meanwhile, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi said that the State Government has all along been pursuing with the Centre for repatriation of Anup Chetia and now since he has been repatriated, he should be associated with the peace talks.

8.

7.5 percent GDP growth will help boost business: Moodys (Page 15)

a)     Economy

a)     Indias economic growth

b)     GDP

c)     Inflation

d)     Moodys

a)     Moodys official said that healthy 7.5 percent GDP growth for India for fiscal year ending March 2017 (FY2017) and a pick-up in manufacturing activity will be broadly supportive of business growth.

b)     Moodys 2016 outlook presentation for Indian non-financial corporates said that most non-financial corporates Moody rates in India (Baa3 positive) will benefit from strong domestic growth and accommodative monetary policy, although weak global growth and a potential US rate hike will weigh on businesses.

c)  The fall in commodity prices has benefited many Indian corporates given the countrys status as a net importer of raw materials and its recent history of high inflation.

9.

Mars to lose a moon, wear ring like Saturn (Page 20)

a)     S&T

b)     Geography

a)     Phobos

b)     Mars

c)     Saturn

d)     Jupiter

a)     Scientists say that Mars largest moon Phobos is slowly falling towards the planet and is likely to be shredded into pieces that will be strewn about the red planet in a ring like those encircling Saturn and Jupiter.

b)     Though inevitable, they say the demise of Phobos is not happening anytime soon. It will probably happen in 20-40 million years, leaving a ring that will persist for anywhere from 1 to 100 million years.

c)     Just as Earths moon pulls on the planet in different directions, raising tides in the oceans, for example, so too Mars tugs differently on different parts of Phobos.

d)     As Phobos gets closer to the planet, the tugs are enough to actually pull the moon apart. This is because Phobos is highly fractured, with lots of pores and rubble.

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