25 Feb 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

25th FEB 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Income scheme to cover fewer farmers
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. ‘Most feared military equipment’on offer
2. Is Trump doing a balancing act on Pakistan?
C. GS 3 Related
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. Mizoram asks Centre to review border with Assam
2. Sensitive information leaked by naval personnel, says NIA
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. The issues around data localisation
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. A U.S. strategy only meant to isolate China
2. Guns, gas and technology
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Banks’ profitability remains fragile, says Das
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. ‘Most feared military equipment’on offer

Context:

The U.S President, while announcing that defence deals worth around $3 billion would be signed during his visit, offered a range of high-tech defence equipment to India.

Details:

  • The deals are for 24 MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters for the Navy worth $2.2 billion and six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Army worth $800 million.
  • The other big-ticket deals in the pipeline are for armed drones, an air defence system, MK-45 127mm naval guns and six more P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft among others.
  • While these are at various stages of procurement, the U.S. State Department has recently notified the sale of an air defence system to Delhi in a deal worth $1.8 billion.
  • The long-pending proposal to procure armed Predator drones from the U.S. for the three services is back on the table and the Qualitative Requirements are currently being finalised.

The two deals were earlier approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). This issue has been covered in 19th Feb 2020 CAN. Click here to read.

2. Is Trump doing a balancing act on Pakistan?

Context:

Addressing the crowd at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium, the U.S. President Donald Trump also referred to Washington’s relationship with Pakistan, which he described as “a very good one”.

Concerns:

While both India and the U.S sit together for bilaterals, the Pakistan factor may continue to be an irritant in the larger scheme of the strategic partnership.

Details:

  • Both the Trump administration and Islamabad have taken sustained efforts in recent months to improve bilateral ties, despite India’s earnest attempts to isolate Pakistan over its support for terrorist groups operating from its soil.
  • Trump’s visit to India happens at a time when the U.S. and the Taliban are observing a seven-day period of violence-reduction in Afghanistan.
    • If the test period passes without any major violent incident, both sides are expected to sign a peace agreement under which the U.S. would pull out its troops from the war-torn country.
    • Pakistan, which hosts the leadership of the Afghan Taliban as well as the Haqqani Network which is a key constituent of the Taliban, had played a critical role in facilitating direct talks between the insurgents and the Americans.
    • If the U.S. leaves Afghanistan, it will directly strengthen the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan, which means Pakistan’s profile in Afghanistan will be lifted. This would leave the U.S. overly dependent on Pakistan to shape Afghan politics in the future.
  • After the February 2019 Pulwama attack and the subsequent dogfight between India and Pakistan, Islamabad has taken efforts to charm the Trump administration.
    • When Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Washington in July 2019, Mr. Trump offered mediation between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir crisis — in doing so, he practically endorsed the Pakistani position as India has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.
  • In the most recent example of the U.S.’s soft policy towards Pakistan, Washington and its allies along with China raised no adverse remark on Pakistan in the review meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental organisation combating money laundering.
    • Pakistan has already been put on the FATF “grey list” with warnings to do more to combat terror financing.

Conclusion:

  • The Trump administration’s policy is to stay engaged with Pakistan with offers for limited protection, while seeking to strengthen trade, defence and strategic ties with India.
  • The biggest challenge before the Indian side, while pushing to deepen ties with Washington, is to reconcile with the Pakistan factor or find ways to address it.

2. Sensitive information leaked by naval personnel, says NIA

Context:

Thirteen Navy personnel, who were arrested on charges of espionage, have reportedly leaked highly sensitive information to the Pakistan intelligence operatives.

Details:

  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA), Naval Intelligence and the Counter Intelligence of Andhra Pradesh have arrested the sailors from different States and naval bases.
  • The NIA’s investigations have found that huge sums of money were transferred to the Navy personnel who passed on crucial information.
  • The investigating agencies are questioning bank officials on why suspicious transactions were not flagged and the concerned authorities alerted.

Concerns:

  • The arrested Navy personnel reportedly revealed the names of the ships and submarines, top-level officers, routes they operate and details of other colleagues recruited recently from various naval bases.
  • They also disclosed some vital locations and movements of warships and submarines.
  • The Naval Intelligence, NIA and the State and Central agencies, who collected the details of the bank transactions and the chats between the sailors and the women reportedly arranged by the Pakistani handler, confirmed that several transactions were made.

Operation ‘Dolphin Nose’:

  • The Intelligence wing in concert with Central Intelligence agencies and Naval intelligence had launched Operation Dolphin’s Nose.
  • They kept a vigil on the movements of suspects in the Navy of different bases, their mobile phones & social media contacts and unearthed the espionage racket.

Terror angle:

  • The National Investigation Agency is also probing whether any terror groups were involved and the plan behind gathering this intelligence.
  • The investigating agencies are checking if terror groups were planning to target the Navy or carry out a major operation through the sea route.

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