Editorial Simplified | 16th March 2017

Editorial Simplified : 16th Day of March 2017

This Series of posts covers the essential Editorial from prominent newspapers. The Editorial from the newspapers are compiled by the Subject Teachers form the Academy and provided in notes format so that the aspirants does not waste their precious time in sifting through the newspapers. 

The Hindu

Editorial : Gauntlet at Sukma

Context

The attack by Maoists on CRPF men in Sukma district

Important Points

  • A road-opening party of the CRPF’s 219 battalion was ambushed about 450 km from the State capital Raipur. 
  • The insurgents used improvised explosive devices, country-made mortars and arrows mounted with explosive heads, and made off with some weapons and radio sets of the force
  • Twelve personnel of the CRPF were killed in the ambush.
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Lok Sabha that left-wing extremist incidents were on the decline especially in Chhattisgarh where there was a 15% drop and this was causing restlessness among them.
  • It is estimated that over the last two decades at least 15,000 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence. More than 3,000 of them were security personnel.

Analysis

  • This attack should serve as a wake-up call for the security forces to beef up their standard operating procedures, especially intelligence-gathering capabilities, in the Maoist heartland in central India.
  • The precision and scale of the attack are an indication that the Maoists continue to hold formidable sway in Sukma, their long-time stronghold.
  •  The government has over the past decade taken a patchy approach to bringing the so-called “red corridor” under its writ. The only presence of the state consistently visible across the region has been of the security forces, not of the civil administration.
  • Counter-insurgency operations by the security forces have often been undermined by poor intelligence, flagging alertness of the security forces and the absence of a multi-layered political strategy.
  • The Maoists do not survive merely on ideology; they have a well-oiled machinery providing protection to various interest groups in the absence of a robust state responsive to the security and welfare needs of the civilian population.
  • The State needs to counter this to fight these non-state actors.

The Hindu

Editorial : It’s complicated

Context

The growing crisis between Turkey and EU

Important Points

  • Relations between Turkey and the EU took a nose-dive when Mr. Erdogan started his high-voltage campaign to mobilise tens of thousands of Turks living in Europe to garner support for the referendum to be held in April.
  • Several European countries, including Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands, and some German towns, banned such rallies, raising security concerns as well as fear of domestic political repercussions. 
  • The situation escalated when Netherlands refused landing rights to a plane carrying Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was on his way to address a referendum rally
  • Mr Erdogan has called these as “Nazi practices” and used the terms such as “fascist” and “a Nazi remnant” to refer to them.
  • The Turkish government has also hinted that it would scrap an agreement reached with Europe last year to curb the passage of migrants through Turkey in return for financial help from the EU.

Analysis

  • The referendum is crucial for Mr. Erdogan’s ambitious plans to overhaul Turkey’s political system.
  • It is therefore unsurprising that Mr. Erdogan is turning the diplomatic crisis into a political battle to appeal to nationalist sections of the electorate. 
  • But Mr. Erdogan’s high-pitched campaign could have unintended consequences in that it could help the anti-Muslim far-right parties in Europe who raise questions about the loyalty of Dutch Muslims of Turkish origin.
  • Turkey and Europe need each other. The EU is Turkey’s largest trading partner. And Turkey is a NATO member. Both sides will be tested to keep the situation under control.

The Indian Express

Editorial : Message from Beijing

Context

Increase in defence spending by China

Important Points

  • China has announced an around 7% increase in defence spending, taking it to $157 billion from $147 billion. This is thrice the Indian defence budget.
  • Chinese defence budget is 1.3 percent of its GDP while India spends 1.57 percent of its GDP on defence. But the huge difference in size of economy makes the difference here.
  • Also, Chinese defence expenditure doesn’t include spending on its strategic assets, including nuclear weapons and missile systems. If these are included, Chinese defence spending is 1.9 percent of its GDP.
  • The US spends 3.3 percent of its GDP on defence.

Analysis

  • This will widen the gap over India where the defence ministry is struggling with a shortage of funds to sign even ongoing defence procurements.
  • In light of this, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on defence has been critical of the budgetary allocation on military and has asked the Finance Ministry for a non-lapsable fund for capital expenditure on defence.

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