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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS from THE HINDU 8th September 2017 By Jatin Verma Educator Unacademy
What's new in the News Today I. 1993 Blast Case: Death for two. 2. PM visits Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. 3. U.S. backs sale of fighters to India. 4. Where Kerala's birds go for higher studies 5. CIC backlog grows as vacancies remain unfilled 6. India keeps off Bali Declaration 7. Debt, project delays worry 8. China pushes for more UN action, talks 9 'Crystal clear, on moving to alternative auto fuels: MoRTH
Page-I: Death for two in Mumbai blasts case. [GSM- 2&3: Security & Bilateral Relations] . Twenty-four years after 12 bombs exploded across various locations in Mumbai on March 12, 1993, killing 257 people and injuring 713 others, the trial came to a conclusion with the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court awarding capital punishment to Firoz Khan and Taher Merchant alias Taklya. Page-l l:Life term for Abu Salem violates treaty' The life term awarded to Abu Salem has triggered a complex legal debate which could have a bearing on future extradition treaties between India and other countries. e Courts have to consider the assurance given by the Indian government of not sentencing him for a term beyond 25 years, while extraditing Salem, his lawyer had argued while seeking minimum sentence in connection with the 1993 serial bomb blasts. . The other thing that can happen is that Salem can approach the Portugal Supreme Court and ask for re-extradition.
Page-1 :PM visits Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. Art & Culture [GSM Paper-land 2:Art & Culture & Bilateral Relations] Shwedagon Pagoda The 99-metre-tall (325 ft) pagoda is situated on Singuttara Hill, to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, and dominates the Yangon skyline. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, as it is believed to contain relics of the four previous Buddhas of the present kalpa. These relics include the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Kon gamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa, and eight strands of hair from the head of Gautama. . The origin of pagodas, like that of Buddhism, can be traced to India. The relation between Buddhism and pagodas is explained in Buddhist literature, which says that pagodas were originally built for the purpose of preserving the remains of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. . PM also visited the 12th-century Ananda Temple in the ancient city of Bagan. The temple is being renovated with India's assistance after it was damaged in a tremor last year PM caps Myanmar trip with visit to Bahadur Shah's grave.
. Page-l: U.S. backs sale of fighters to India.[GSM 283: IR & Make in India] The Trump administration has told the U.S. Congress that it "strongly supports" the sale of F- 18 and F-l6 fighter planes to India, built by American companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin respectively Both companies have offered to assemble these planes in India, should-ew Delhi decide to buy them. Make in U.S.: Donald Trump is in principle against companies relocating facilities abroad. "Will help reduce U.S.trade deficit' Defence cooperation with India is so vital to U.S. interests because: [i] U.S. needs India to be a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific [ii]America needs to do more to reduce the deficit. Exports to India support over 2,60,000 U.S. jobs across all 50 States.
F1 l 6, built by Boeing and Gripen, built by Swedish company Saab, are competing for the proposed single engine fighter acquisition for the lAF French Rafale & Boeing's FIA-18 are competing for the contract for the Navy's twin engine fleet for its aircraft carriers. . Lockheed Martin and Tata have formed a joint venture to make F-16, while Saab announced a JV with the Adani group last week for Gripen
Page-l: W here Kerala's birds go for higher studies Environment & Ecolo gy] 7 Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary-Kerala Secretive Watercock, the threatened Oriental darter, and the migratory Common sandpiper. Two species endemic to the Western Ghats, the Malabar grey hornbill and the Crimsonbacked sunbird, occur here. These species including the Hill myna and the Indian peafowl are listed under Schedule l of the Wildlife Protection Act. Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 It has six schedules which give varying degrees of protection. I.Schedule I and part Il of Schedule il provide absolute protection - offences under 2 1 3 are prescribed the highest penaltie 2. Species listed in Schedule Ill and Schedule IV are also protected, but the penalties are much lower. 3. Schedule V includes the animals which may be hunted. 4.The plants in Schedule VI are prohibited from cultivation and planting.
Page-7: CIC backlog grows as vacancies remain unfilled. GSM-2: Polity-Statutory Bodies- Functioning; Fundamental Rights-Article-19] Reasons for increasing Backlog: [i] CIC blame the lack of sufficient staff strength; [i] Issue of CIC and IC vacancies. Other lacunae in the proper functioning of the Act: National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI) highlighted the lack of transparency in the process of appointment of information commissioners DoPT has denied information about the process adopted for shortlisting candidates. Question. Critically analyse the functioning of RTI Act over last one decade. Also, throw some light on roadblocks being faced in effective impelmentation of the Act. What steps do you suggest to remove these roadblocks?
Page-10: India keeps o ff 'Bali Declaration, [GSM-2: IR-Bilateral-Myanmar] In a show of solidarity with Myanmar, India refused to be a part of a declaration adopted at an international conference.An Indian Parliamentary delegation,led by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, dissociated itself from the 'Bali Declaration' adoped at the 'World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development' held at Bali, Indonesia as it carried "inappropriate" reference to the violence in Rakhine State from where 1,25,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh. . This was in view of the fact that the declaration, which was to be adopted at the conclusion of the Forum, was not in line with the agreed global principles of 'sustainable development' India reiterated its stance that the purpose of convening the Parliamentary forum was to arrive at a mutual consensus for implementation of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) which required inclusive and broad-based development processes, it said. The part of the declaration to which lIndia objected spoke of the forum expressing"deep concern on the ongoing violence in the Rakhine State of Myanmar,amongst others..."
Page-10: Debt, project delays worry Bhutan [GSM-2: International Relations.] . At the India-Bhutan Dialogue that was attended by delegates from Bhutan and India Bhutan expressed the concern that it is necessary that the issues that have come up due to debt and delay are addressed at the earliest. [I] Delay in Execution of hydro power projects [I] India's status as apower surplus country . The"Hydropower Committee" set up by the Bhutanese government highlighted the emerging challenges from the growing debt burden Bhutan carries due to delays in the major hydropower projects As of July 2017,Bhutan's debt to India for the three major ongoing projects: [i] Mangdechhu [ii] Punatsangchhu l and 2 is approximately 2,300 crores which accounts for 77% of the country's total debt, and is 87% of its GDP. . While the cost of the 720 MW Mangdechhu project has nearly doubled in the past two years of construction, both Punatsangchhu I and 2, each of 1200 MW have trebled in cost and been delayed more than five years over the original completion schedule
Page-13 Business Page: 'Crystal clear' on moving to alternative auto fuels: MoRTH. [GSM-2 & 3: Govt Policy, Enviromment- Biofuels,Automobile Sector] Giving a stern warning to the auto industry, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways said the government was 'crystal clear' about moving to less-polluting transport options and those resisting the change would be 'dragged' along . He exhorted industry to research on alternative fuels, adding that the cabinet note on electric vehicles was ready. Mr. Gadkari said the government policy was crystal clear, on reducing pollution and curbing imports, so the industry should work towards it and not complain later that 'they have huge stock of old vehicles that do not run on alternative fuel' It was also pointed out that the sector was already leapfrogging to BS-VI from BS-IV within three years.