Summary

Page no. 1

Modi, Xi talk Doklam: border peace pre-requisite to take ties forward

With the 9th BRICS summit at the backdrop, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping talked about the issue of Doklam border incident. The conversation among the two leaders which went on for an hour long, witnessed both the Indian and Chinese sides acknowledging that the standoff issue as a tough one. On June 16, People’s Liberation Army soldiers crossed the Bhutanese territory into Doklam and tried to build a road with road building tools with them. When the Bhutanese soldiers protested, they were pushed back by the PLA soldiers. Thereafter, a confrontation by the Indian soldiers led to a long standoff of 72 days between the Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam. Keeping the standoff as a highlight, the PM and President decided to strengthen the existing communication lines and the work coordination between the security personnel at the border area so that incidents like the standoff don't recur. The leaders agreed to move forward together and also look beyond the mistrust which led to the standoff. Sources at the BRICS summit stated that the officers from both the foreign ministries and the military would be meeting periodically to resolve any issues which would affect peace and tranquility along the border. There would also be regular sector commander meetings at border points between the two countries. Indian PM described the meeting with the Chinese President as fruitful and the President stated that India can outlook China's development in a correct and rational way. The President also highlighted the five principles of good and peaceful coexistence under the Panchsheel ethics. The Panchsheel ethics and principles refer to the 1954 treaty of mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of each side, mutual on-aggression, mutual non0interference in the internal affairs of one another, equality and cooperation for mutual benefit as well as peaceful co-existence. Commenting on the meeting, foreign secretary S Jaishankar stated that the two leaders laid out a good and positive view of where the bilateral relationship would head to and that there was a detailed discussion about the different mechanisms which could help both India and China to go forward in that direction. Jaishankar also added that organizations like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and BRICS can supplement and encourage interaction between both the countries at the 'inter-governmental level' to develop a robust relationship in the future.
Page no. 8

Will deepen security cooperation: BRICS leaders

The 9th BRICS Summit in China saw leaders from the BRICS countries coming together and indulging in in-depth exchanges and reaching consensus on issues like international situation, global governance, global and regional hotspots and national security and development. As Indian Prime Minister called for an organized and joint coordinated action on counter-terrorism, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that BRICs leaders agreed to deepen the political and security cooperation and also enhancing mutual strategic trust. Earlier, BRICS for its first time named two Pakistan-based terrorist organizations, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in its declaration for Xiamen. In a response to the BRICS summit, Pakistan states that it is seriously concerned about the threats posed by terrorism and extremism on all South Asian countries. The Chinese President said that it believed that the five countries as a whole are in line with common interests and international expectations for deepening political and security cooperation and also to enhance mutual strategic trust. He also stated that the meeting of the BRICS High Representatives for Security Issues and the first formal meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations which were held earlier this year have successfully injected a fresh impetus into the political and security cooperation between the countries. The five BRICS countries also instituted regular consultations among their permanent representatives in New York, Geneva and Vienna for coordinating their positions on serious issues of common concern. The countries also supported regular efforts to maintain the good momentum of the political as well as security cooperation and also played their crucial role in maintaining world peace and stability. Indian PM Narendra Modi suggested the ten commitments for achieving the global transformation of the BRICS countries. He said that the BRICS countries, which represents almost half of humanity will be successful in achieving global transformation with a proactive approach, policies as well as action based on ten Noble Commitments.
Page no. 11

In SC, govt defends IPC rape section exception

The Centre On Tuesday defended the exception in Section 375 of the IPC in Supreme Court. The Section 375 states that sexual intercourse between a man and a girl who is aged between 15 to 18 years will not be counted as rape if they are married. This means that marital rape is not a criminal offense under the IPC. Senior counsel Rana Mukherjee told a bench which was headed by Justice Madan B Lokur that the Parliament has deliberately opted for not changing the provision keeping in view the social realities prevalent in India. In India, a large number of child marriages occur each year. The Supreme Court is hearing a PIL filed by an NGO Independent Thought which contended that the appropriate legal age for giving consent for any physical relations was 18 years and as such, sex with a girl in cases of child marriage (when the girl is 15-18 years) even with her consent will immediately amount to rape. The PIL filed contends that the Exception of IPC Section 375 is violative of Article 14 (right to equality), Article 15 (right to non-discrimination) and Article 21 (right to live with human dignity). The petitioners have argued that the provisions went against the recent ruling by a nine-judge Constitution Bench which stated bodily autonomy was a part of an individual's right to privacy. The Government counsel stated that the Parliament was fully aware of the international conventions on the issues as well as reports submitted by the Law Commission and others and had thereby retained the provision in its own wisdom. Any change to the law, if any should be done by the legislature.
Page no. 19

Services PMI contracts for 2nd month in August

The services sector contracted for the second month in a row in August as the business activities and new work orders were severely hit by disruptions caused by the new GST regime. A PMI (Purchasing Manager's Index) survey, however, stated that everything was not all thrashed as business orders and jobs fell down at a much slower rate in comparison to July. The Nikkei India Services PMI Business Activity Index slightly improved from 45.9 in July to 47.5 in August. This, however still remained below the crucial 50 mark fixed for the second month. a general reading about 50 highlights expansion and a rate lower than that means contraction. A contraction for two consecutive months was last witnessed in November-December 2016 post the demonetization decision of the government. While the manufacturing sector rebounded into the growth zone during the month of August, a composite index for the services and manufacturing sectors still showed contraction. The services sector earlier contracted in July due to the confusion caused by the GST (Goods and Services Tax) regime. Survey responders earlier felt that the news taxation system and policy, as well as the advertising campaigns, are favoring growth, though there were worries about its effects.
Page no. 23

Lowering the black flag

The Islamic State is slowly losing ground- its effect and hold the territory. At the ends of its self-proclaimed caliphate, the Islamic State group is losing territory highlighted by the fact that it withdrew from Tal Afar on 27th August, the largest city in Iraq under its control. The Islamic State (IS) is a jihadist group which came into the international scenario in the year 2014 after it seized huge territories in Syria and Iraq. It is notorious for its cases of brutality, mass killings, abductions as well as beheadings. In June 2014, the Islamic State group formally declared its establishment as a 'caliphate' group- a state governed in accordance with the Islamic law, or Sharia, by God's deputy on Earth. As the group lost territory, hundreds of its fighters with their families emerged from the cave hideouts in Qalamoun mountains and boarded buses heading towards the east. This situation has taken everyone by surprise. In Mosul earlier, a strenuous fight that went for nine long months of the street to street combat left the city in ruins. However, in Tal Afar, the Iraqi soldiers didn't have much support in form of tight alleyways like Mosul and hence were defeated. Many IS soldiers escaped through routes and the lines of the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces- known as the Peshmerga. However, due to the lack of exit routes with American forces blocking them they gave up ground. The territorial, administration, as well as provision of services, which it earlier boasted of, is all collapsed. Its nothing but a slowly dying group.

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