Comprehensive News Analysis – 25 September 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Rafale deal welcome but fleet small: Experts

2. An independent MP seeks Bill to declare Pak. a terrorist State

3. 2016 G-4 Summit

4. Sri Lanka’s tamils rally for greater devolution

C. GS3 Related:

1. Pakistan’s MFN tag may stay for now

2. NASA-funded rocket solves cosmic mystery

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

The Hindu

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
I. Archives

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Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. Rafale deal welcome but fleet small: Experts

Category: Bilateral

Topic:  Indo-France

Key Points: 

  • According to a group of experts, the conclusion of the deal with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets is a welcome step to augment the capabilities of the Indian Air Force but the number is too small for logistical and operational reasons. According to them until India builds its own aircraft, the increasing diversity in the fleet cannot be addressed, another cause of concern for the IAF.

A retired Air chief marshal remembered the success story of the Mirage deal and said it should have served as a template. India has procured three squadrons of Mirage 2000 fighters from France.

 

  1. An independent MP seeks Bill to declare Pak. a terrorist State

Category: Bilateral: Indo-Pak

Topic: Terror attacks

Key Points:

  • Rajeev Chandrashekhar, an independent Member of Parliament in the Upper House has written to Rajya Sabha chairman, Vice-President Hamid Ansari giving notice to introduce a Bill to declare Pakistan a terrorist state.
  • The Bill titled Declaration of States as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016 – It aims at declaring some States as sponsors of terror and withdrawing economic and trade relations with the said State, creating economic and travel sanctions for citizens of the said State.

 

Provisions of the bill –

  • Pakistan harbours agents of terrorism and is a continual risk to the peace and security of the region.
  • It has a number of prohibitions applicable to the government, citizens and corporates of a State sponsoring terror: travel in India, meaning no grant of visas; trade with India or its citizens, etc. The government of India is, however, permitted to make some relaxations.
  • It also lays down that any person violating the provisions of the law is punishable with imprisonment for a term extending to five years in prison, or fine, or both.

 

  1. 2016 G-4 Summit

Category: International summits

Topic: G-4

Key Points:

  • The G-4 nations (India, Germany, Japan and Brazil) met on the sidelines of UN General Assembly annual meeting at New York; the group passed a resolution to continue to push for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council.

 

A joint statement issued by the G-4 Nations said, “More than 70 years after the founding of the UN, the Security Council also has to adapt in order to cope with the ever growing global challenges”

 

  • India said it wants permanent membership of the Security Council for themselves, and wide and far-reaching reform of the UN.

Overview:

The G-4 nations are four countries which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.

G-4 comprises of Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan

The G-4 nation’s bids are often opposed by Uniting for Consensus movement, and particularly their economic competitors or political rivals.


4. Sri Lanka’s tamils rally for greater devolution

Category: International affairs

Topic: Tamilians issue in Sri Lanka

Key Points:

  • Thousands of Tamils in Sri Lanka led by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran participated in a rally in Jaffna titled Eluka Tamil (Rise, Tamil!), drawing attention to Sinhala colonisation and rampant militarization of Sri Lanka’s North and East.

 

Mr. Wigneswaran had said that while the Sri Lankan government made big promises to the international community, it was yet to meaningfully devolve powers to the Provinces.

 

  • The Tamil People’s Council, (TMC) in a declaration released after the rally, put forth a host of demands, including a call for federalism, return of land in the Army’s control, release of political prisoners and addressing of concerns relating to missing persons. Further, it highlighted challenges facing Northern Tamil fishermen.

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. Pakistan’s MFN tag may stay for now

Category: Economy

Topic: Indo-Pak bilateral: MFN

Key Points: 

  • The Centre is not considering any proposal to withdraw the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan as even without the move the level of bilateral trade is very low.

The MFN status to Pakistan was accorded in 1996 as per India’s commitments as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). According to the MFN principle of the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) to which India is a signatory/contracting party each of the WTO member countries (including India and Pakistan in this case), should treat all the other members equally as ‘most-favoured’ trading partners. According to the WTO, though the term ‘MFN’ suggests special treatment, it actually means non-discrimination.

In the wake of the deadly attack on Indian soldiers in Uri, an incident for which India is holding Pakistan responsible, there have been calls in India for tough action against its neighbour, including the revocation of the MFN status.

  • Minuscule trade – Bilateral trade between the two South Asian neighbours was just $2.6 billion in 2015-16 (of which $2.2 billion constituted India’s exports to Pakistan) which represented a minuscule 4 per cent of India’s overall goods trade worth $643.3 billion in the same year.

 

Therefore, even if India revokes the MFN status it would only have a symbolic impact, sources said. On the other hand it would hit India’s exports to Pakistan if there are retaliatory actions and it could also result in India losing goodwill in the South Asian region (where it enjoys a trade surplus and is a party to a free trade pact called SAFTA, which also includes Pakistan). The move may also not go down well at the WTO-level.

  • The MFN concept is an integral part of the WTO agreements and is among the principles forming the foundation of the multilateral trading system. As per the WTO, whenever a country brings down a trade barrier or liberalises a sector, “it has to do so for the same goods or services from all its trading partners whether rich or poor, weak or strong.” However, exceptions allowed to this rule include free trade pacts and special benefits to poor nations.
  • Trade curbs – After the attack in Uri, in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed, international trade experts said India could consider making use of a ‘security exception’ clause in the GATT to deny the MFN status to Pakistan or bring in certain trade restrictions. This is because Article 21(b)(iii) of GATT states that “Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to prevent any contracting party (including India in this case) from taking any action which it considers necessary for the protection of its essential security interests taken in time of war or other emergency in international relations.”
2. NASA-funded rocket solves cosmic mystery

Category: Space

Topic: NASA

Key Points:

  • Scientists of NASA have confirmed that some of the X-ray emissions in our universe originate from a huge bubble of hot ionised gas enveloping our solar system, a finding that strengthens our understanding of the early history of solar system’s neighbourhood.

 

In the 20th century, humans realised that space is filled with types of light we cannot see from infrared signals released by hot stars and galaxies, to the cosmic microwave background that comes from every corner of the universe. Some of this invisible light that fills space takes the form of X-rays, the source of which has been hotly debated over the past few decades.

  • Researchers from University of Miami in the U.S. confirmed some of the theories about where these X-rays come from, using data from NASA-funded DXL (Diffuse X-ray emission from the Local galaxy) rocket, which was launched in 2012.

The two known sources of X-ray emission are the solar wind, the sea of solar material that fills the solar system, and the Local Hot Bubble, a theorised area of hot interstellar material that surrounds our solar system.

DXL also measured some high-energy X-rays that could not possibly come from the solar wind or the Local Hot Bubble.


D. GS4 Related

Nothing here today folks!


E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

Nothing here today folks!


The Hindu
Nothing here today folks!


F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  • Multi-role fighter jets
  • Most Favored Nation (MFN)
  • WTO – TRIPS, GATT
  • G-4 nations
  • Electro-magnetic spectrum


G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS


H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Recently, G4- Nations were in news. Which of the following is/are not a part of it?
    i) India
    ii) South –Africa
    iii)China
    iv) Germany
    v) Brazil

a) ii) iii) & iv)

b) i) ii) & iii)

c) ii) & iii)

d) All are Part of it


Question 2: Which of the following statements are correct regarding Most Favored Nation (MFN)  -
  1. According to WTO, the term ‘MFN’ means non-discrimination.
  2. India is a signatory to the MFN principle of the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

a) (1) only

b) (2) only

c) Both (1) and (2)

d) Neither (1) nor (2)


Question 3: In 2008, the centre formed an exclusive institution to investigate terror and insurgency related cases. Which is the agency?

a) National counter terror centre (NCTC)

b) National Investigative Agency (NIA)

c) National Security Guard (NSG)

d) Special Protection Group (SPG)


Question 4: In 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was formed. The origin of WTO can be traced to –
a) General agreement on trade and tariff (GATT)

b) General agreement on trade in services (GATS)

c) Trade related intellectual property rights (TRIPS)

d) None of these


Question 5: ‘Jaffna Peninsula’ and ‘Elephant pass’ appears in news. It is in
a) Sri Lanka

b) Bangladesh

c) Pakistan

d) Nepal


Check Your Answers

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