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9 PM Daily NEWS Brief

9 PM Daily Brief – 18th October 2016


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Front Page / NATIONAL

[1]. Cauvery panel tells SC of drought, debt

The Hindu

Context

The parched Cauvery basin has become a fertile reason for farmers’ suicides and mass migrations in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, a Supreme Court-appointed High Level Technical Team told the court

In its report, the team, said the “ground realities” of the Cauvery delta region include drought, rising unemployment, bore wells dug a 1000-feet deep and withering of acres of crops in both States.”

Why the team was set up and by whom?

On 4th Oct, 2016, a Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra, set up the team to conduct a field inspection. The hearing is scheduled for 18th Oct, 2016

[2]. Now, India has a nuclear triad

The Hindu

Context

India has quietly completed its nuclear triad by inducting the indigenously built strategic nuclear submarine INS Arihant into service.

What is a nuclear triad?

A nuclear triad refers to the delivery of a strategic nuclear arsenal by which consists of three components: strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

In simple terms, it is the capability to deliver nuclear warheads from ground, aerial or submarine based platforms. After induction of INS Arihant in the navy, India is now in possession of a nuclear triad.

Importance of a triad

The purpose of having a three-branched nuclear capability is to significantly reduce the possibility that an enemy could destroy all of a nation’s nuclear forces in a first-strike attack; this, in turn, ensures a credible threat of a second strike, and thus increases a nation’s nuclear deterrence

What does INS stands for?

It stands for Indian Naval Ship (INS)

Arihant’s capabilities

Work on INS Arihant began under Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project in 1980s

  • Arihant is capable of carrying nuclear tipped ballistic missiles, the class referred to as Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN). SSBNs are designed to prowl the deep ocean waters carrying nuclear weapons and provide a nation with an assured second strike capability
  • It will be armed with the K-15 Sagarika missiles with a range of 750 km and eventually with the much longer range K-4 missiles being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
 What is second strike capability?
It is the capability to strike back after being hit by nuclear weapons first
  • India follows a ‘No-first Use’policy as a part of its nuclear doctrine so second strike capability assumes importance

[3]. Law Commission suggests changes in govt. draft Bill on child abduction

The Hindu

Context

The 21st Law Commission in its first report on 17th Oct 16 recommended a series of changes in the draft Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill-2016, proposed by the Women and Child Development Ministry

Related conventions

The principles of best interestof the child can be found in the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, which came into force on September 2, 1990, and the Preamble and object of the Hague Convention, 1980

Changes proposed

  • one-year jail term for wrongful retention or removal of a child from the custody of a parent
  • The offenders may include one of the parents or family, relatives and others
  • three months’ punishment for wilful misrepresentation or concealment of fact as regards the location or information about the child or for voluntarily prevent the safe return of the child

Editorial/OPINION

[1]. Only about terrorism?

The Hindu

Context

BRICS summit has concluded in Goa. Author stresses on the fact that instead on focusing solely on the terrorism issue, India should have talked about measures to bring in prosperity across the region.

Author states that,

India had already expressed its outrage over Pakistan sponsored terror activities in India in G-20 summit in China, the ASEAN summits in Laos, the UN General Assembly, the Non-Aligned Movement meet in Venezuela.

So, at the BRICS summit, India should have discussed ways of ensuring economic growth throughout the region instead of limiting itself to terrorism itself.

[2]. Reimagining BRICS

The Hindu

Context

Author points out some key measures taken during the BRICS summit at Goa

Following decisions were taken,

  • Establishment of the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform, BRICS Railway Research Network, BRICS Sports Council, and various youth-centric fora (plural of forum)”
  • Fast tracking the setting up of a BRICS Rating Agency
  • Focus on terrorism: Without naming Pakistan, India used the BRICS platform to refer to the country as the “mothership of terrorism”, and forcefully argued that a “selective approach against terrorism” would be both futile and counterproductive. India further added that BRICS needs to work together and act decisively to combat this threat, a message primarily aimed at China
  • Chinese position on Azhar: China have put a technical hold at the United Nations and prevented Azhar from being designated a global terrorist. India failed to make change the Chinese position on the issue
  • India stated that ‘’those who nurture, shelter, support and sponsor such forces of violence and terror are as much a threat to us as terrorists themselves’’. By doing this it has decided to use the multilateral platform to pressurize China into shifting its position on Azhar
  • Reaching out to neighbors: India, this time, has used the BRICS summit to reach out to its neighbors by initiating the BRICS-BIMSTEC outreach
  • Indo-Russia ties: In Goa, the two states reaffirmed the strategic nature of their friendship once again. India signed three major deals worth billions of dollars with Russia: five S-400 Triumf air defence systems, four stealth frigates, and a joint venture to manufacture Kamov-226T utility helicopters in India.

Facilitator of economic co-operation in South Asia

India has now decided to lead the regional economic cooperation efforts against the backdrop of isolating Pakistan in South Asia

What is BIMSTEC?

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) now includes Nepal and Bhutan apart from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

  • It was founded in 1997
  • Set up with the objective of enhancing technological and economic cooperation among South Asian and South-east Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, it has been neglected so far by its members

Conclusion

As per author, recognizing the internal divergences and the limits of the BRICS forum itself India has tried to utilize it to serve its strategic ends.

 INTERNATIONAL

[1]. BIMSTEC waxes as SAARC wanes

The Hindu

Context

India unveils road map for members, with greater coordination in law enforcement, trade and digital symmetry.

India has declared its commitment to play an asymmetric role in rejuvenating the Bay of Bengal community that held its first global diplomatic outreach during the weekend with the BRICS countries.

India again highlights Pakistan

Indian PM said that ‘In South Asia and BIMSTEC, all nation states, barring one, are motivated to pursue a path of peace, development and economic prosperity for its people. Unfortunately, this country in India’s neighbourhood embraces and radiates the darkness of terrorism”

Unresolved issues

Some unsorted issues remain between the BIMSTEC countries, like,

  • Unsettled borders
  • Refugee issues
  • Ethnic tension among BIMSTEC member countries

Specific issues: Rohingya issue between Bangladesh and Myanmar, the issue of citizenship rights in Nepal and Bhutan, and also the Myanmar-Thailand border problems

ECONOMY

 

Live Mint

[1]. Hunger solutions from the soil

Live Mint

Context

Article deals with the problem of agricultural production in the backdrop of climate change

India has 2.4% of the world’s arable land and more than 17% of the global population

16 October, World Food Day.

Climate change vs Food production

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts a rise in global temperature of 1.1-6.4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Estimates show that each one degree rise in temperature will cause grain yields to decline by 5%, posing a serious threat to food security

Agricultural Soil

Agricultural soils are among the largest storehouses of carbon

  • They have immense potential for carbon sequestration. It is a natural or artificial process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form but increased temperature can lead to the soils releasing carbon and enhance the carbon concentration in the atmosphere
  • Rising levels of atmospheric carbon can influence the growth and productivity of agricultural crops
  • Decreased soil quality, due to loss of soil organic matter, will affect essential soil properties, including nutrient availability, soil structure, water-holding capacity and erosion capacity

Food security

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

  • India: In the last few decades, advances in agriculture technology have led to increased food production and bolstered food security. India’s achievement in attaining food self-sufficiency in food production has been impressive. The net availability of foodgrains per capita has increased from 144.1kg per year during 1951 to 179.3kg per year during 2014 (GOI, 2016)

Soil degradation

The expansion and intensification of agriculture, including crops, livestock and forest-based systems, has led to soil degradation and loss of biodiversity, and greatly affecting environmental and human health.

Threats to soil

The “Status Of The World’s Soil Resources” report released by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, 2015) has documented seven major threats in the Indian context. These are

  1. Soil erosion both by water and air
  2. Salinization/alkalinity
  3. Acidity
  4. Organic carbon losses
  5. Nutrient imbalance
  6. Pollution/contamination by toxic substances
  7. Soil sealing and capping

Promoting soil health

Following strategies can be useful to address the issues of climate change and food security by sustainably increasing farm productivity without affecting the soil health and water resources.

  • Restoration of degraded soils
  • Sustainable management of land and water resources
  • The promotion of agricultural systems and agro-ecological practices that nurture soil biodiversity. The practices include organic farming, zero-tillage, crop rotations and conservation agriculture

Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in India

  • FAO, in partnership with the government of India, has undertaken projects that work on crop productivity and water management. It worked in seven drought-prone districts of Andhra Pradesh on groundwater conservation for improved crop production
  • FAO is also collaborating with the Union ministries for agriculture and environment on a green agriculture project, focusing on eco-restoration of one million hectares of degraded land; self-replication through sustainable business models and conserving keystone species in project states—Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

 

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