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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 10 August 2020

 

 Tabletop tragedy | ToI

  • Tragic aviation accident at Kozhikode airport.
    • claimed 18 lives
  • Issue of aviation safety in India
  • The aircrafts overshot the runway while trying to land in rainy weather.
  • Kozhikode has a tabletop airport, the aircraft plunged 35 feet.
  • The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been recovered, which should help the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau identify the cause of the accident.

  • The last such major mishap in India took place at Mangalore, another tabletop airport on the west coast, in 2010.
  • The Court of Inquiry, headed by an Air Force veteran, found that the Mangalore accident was on account of the pilot’s mistake.
  • Aviation safety
  • An investigation two years ago by The Economic Times, using RTI, unearthed that 98% of the airports did not even calibrate the critical Instrument Landing Systems in a timely manner.
  • The investigation also found that Shimla’s tabletop airport did not have service roads to allow fire engines quick access in the event of an emergency.
  • Separately, there have been reports of near misses at different airports.
  • The government showcases the vibrancy of India’s aviation market.
  • It has made increasing the density of India’s aviation network by using dormant regional airports a key policy plank.
  • Transparent safety audit reports

Safety deficit

  • The Civil Aviation Ministry should make a full disclosure on the technical evidence gathered, the integrity of which will be scrutinised by safety organisations worldwide.
  • The instance of an Air India Express plane suffering a tail strike in the same airport last year should have led to a full assessment, following up on the recommendations made after the 2010 crash in Mangaluru.
  • Bad meteorological conditions such as rain and wind, and runway surface problems such as stagnation of water or rubber deposits that contribute to skidding endanger passengers and crew.

A new direction for India-U.S. ties

  • The United States under the leadership of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the early 1940s once pressed Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill to free India and co-opt India as a formal ally in World War II.
  • India achieved its freedom.
  • India stabilised after a bloody Partition in 1947, declared its commitment to democracy, fundamental rights, free press and non-violence in a written Constitution which came into force on January 26, 1950.
  • India thus appeared to the U.S. as worthy of replacing China in the most important body of the United Nations, namely the Security Council, as a Permanent Member with a Veto in view of the Communist overthrow of the Chiang Kai-shek-led government.
  • According to a recent study by Dr. Anton Harder, “Not at the Cost of China: New Evidence Regarding US Proposals to Nehru for Joining the United Nations Security Council” Working Paper #76”, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Washington, DC, USA, March 2015” (https://bit.ly/3fOXY0N), the author states that the U.S.’s offer for India to join the UN Security Council was conveyed by India’s Ambassador to the U.S. then, viz., Ms. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister.
  • In late August 1950, Mrs. Pandit wrote to her brother from Washington DC that: “One matter... in the State Department should be known to you. This is the unseating of China as a Permanent Member in the Security Council and of India being put in her place.”
  • “Nehru’s response to his sister within the week was unequivocal: ‘In your letter you mention that the State Department is trying to unseat China as a Permanent Member of the Security Council and to put India in her place.
  • ‘So far as we are concerned, we are not going to countenance it. That would be bad from every point of view. It would be a clear affront to China and it would mean some kind of a break between us and China.
  • In 1953 after India’s tilt to the Soviet Union and China in the Korean war, the U.S. turned to Pakistan as a possible counterweight in South Asia against the Soviet Union and China.
  • We have to learn from our past mistakes.
  • Today there is a new opportunity with the U.S. but it is not on a clean slate.
  • The Democratic party rival and Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has already taken a hostile stand against our government, with the Left wing and liberals in the U.S. highly critical of the Narendra Modi government, such as rubbishing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act passed by India’s Parliament with a two-thirds majority.
  • We need to build trust with the U.S. that we will give to the U.S. as good as it gives us, and not give us lectures instead.
  • India-U.S. relations require give and take on both sides.
  • India needs U.S. hardware military equipment. India does not need U.S. troops to fight our battles against China on our border.
  • India needs the support of the U.S. and its ally, Israel, in cyberwarfare, satellite mappings of China and Pakistan, intercepts of electronic communication, hard intelligence on terrorists, and controlling the military and the Inter-Services Intelligence in Pakistan.
  • India needs the U.S. to completely develop the Andaman & Nicobar, and also the Lakshadweep Islands as a naval and air force base, which the U.S. can share along with its allies such as Indonesia and Japan.
  • India needs technologies such as thorium utilisation, desalination of sea water, and hydrogen fuel cells, but not Walmart and U.S. universities to start campuses in India.
  • U.S. must allow India’s exports of agricultural products including Bos indicus milk, which are of highly competitive prices in the world.
  • Tariffs of both India and the U.S. should be lowered, and the Indian rupee should be gradually revalued to ₹35 to a dollar. Later, with the economy picking up, the rupee rate should go below 10 to the dollar.
  • India should not provide the U.S. with our troops to enter Tibet, or be involved in the Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • In the last point, in the long run, India, the U.S., and China should form a trilateral commitment for world peace provided Chinese current international policies undergo a healthy change.

Bringing nuclear risks back into popular imagination

  • Among the risks of nuclear use, the highest likelihood is that of inadvertent escalation due to miscalculation or misperceptions.
  • Studies indicate that use of even a fraction of the weapons held in medium-sized arsenals would cause a massive human tragedy and have long-term repercussions for food and water availability, agricultural output, climate change, migration, etc.
  • During the Cold War, citizens of affected nations were made to undergo regular nuclear drills.
  • Public pressure translated into civil society movements that demanded action from political leaders to engage with the subject of risk reduction through unilateral, bilateral or multilateral measures.
  • The end of the Cold War pretty much brought down the curtains on nuclear weapons for the common man.
  • At present the nuclear risks remain high but the desire to address them is low.
  • Creative media can help by tapping available modern means of mass communication to create stories with identifiable characters and situations that tug at the heart and instil a larger respect for humanity.

At stake is our bodily integrity

  • Governments around the world are increasingly turning to technology as a tool to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In India, these tools have ranged from various contact tracing apps to using drones.
  • Privacy concerns have been raised by activists, lawyers and concerned citizens about the use of such intrusive digital technologies.
  • We live in a world where data about us are constantly being collected.
  • We need to include matters such as bodily integrity, autonomy and dignity.
  • Thus, the potential misuse of our data raises concerns beyond just privacy. It can lead to individuals feeling humiliated, publicly targeted and shamed, raising concerns of dignity and discrimination.
  • In Hyderabad, derogatory posters targeting trans people were put up saying interactions with them could lead to COVID-19

NEWS

  • PM Modi to inaugurate submarine Optical Fibre Cable connecting Chennai, Port Blair today
    • The foundation stone for the project was laid by Mr Modi on 30th December 2018 at Port Blair.
    • The submarine cable will also connect Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep, Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island, and Rangat.
    • This connectivity will enable delivery of faster and more reliable mobile and landline telecom services to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
    • Enhanced telecom and Broadband connectivity will boost tourism and employment generation in the Islands and also give an impetus to the economy and raise standards of living.
    • Better connectivity will facilitate delivery of e-Governance services like telemedicine and tele-education.
    • Small enterprises will benefit from opportunities in e-commerce, educational institutions will utilize enhanced availability of bandwidth for learning and knowledge sharing.
  • PM launches Rs 1 lakh cr agriculture infrastructure fund; Also releases 6th installment of PM-Kisan scheme
    • Fund to give a leg up to post-harvest management and marketing of agricultural produce.
    • Mr Modi said the scheme will provide better warehousing and cold storage facilities for farmers.
    • He said new jobs will be created as food processing and post-harvest facilities are set up in rural areas.
    • Prime Minister said, the scheme will enable startups to scale up their operations and India to build a global presence in organic and fortified food.
    • The fund was launched with 1,128 crore rupees of new loans disbursed to more than 2,200 cooperative societies.
    • During the event, the Prime Minister also transferred 17,100 crore rupees to more than 8.5 crore farmers under the PM-Kisan direct income assistance scheme.
    • Under the infrastructure scheme banks and financial institutions will provide one lakh crore in loans to cooperative societies, farmer producer companies, self-help groups, entrepreneurs, startups and infrastructure providers.
    • The objective is to provide medium to long-term debt financing for setting up of post-harvest infrastructure and community assets for marketing of farm produce.
    • Industry welcomes Defence Ministry's move to stop import of 101 defence items in phased manner
    • Indian industry has welcomed the defence ministry’s move to stop import of 101 defence items in a phased manner.
    • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday announced to put 101 items on import embargo to boost indigenisation of defence production.
    • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) director general Chandrajit Bannerjee welcomed the curbs and the announcement that 52,000 crore rupees will be earmarked for procurement from domestic manufacturers.
    • He said, defence minister's announcement for negative import list of defence systems and platforms marks the launch of a 'new glide path' for AtmaNirbhar Bharat.
    • FICCI has described it a great leap forward for Atmanirbhar Bharat program in defence production.
    • FICCI’s defence committee head SP Shukla said earmarking of 52,000 crore rupees for domestic capital procurement fulfils a request by the industry chamber to provide long-term visibility on defence procurement plans.
  • 7 lakh tests of COVID-19 samples in single day
    • India has achieved a remarkable feat yesterday by performing more than seven lakh tests of coronavirus samples in a single day.
    • Union Health Ministry said, continuing the streak of more than six lakh tests in a single day for several days, India’s tests have grown exponentially.
    • The Ministry said, states have been advised to firmly focus on comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation and effective treatment.
    • Several meetings have been taken in the past week to engage with States that are showing higher fatality rates.
    • India's COVID-19 recoveries have crossed the historic peak of 1.5 million.
    • Health Ministry said recovery of more than 15 lakh has been made possible because of the policy of Testing aggressively, Tracking comprehensively and Treating efficiently.
    • It said better ambulance services, focus on Standard of Care and use of non-invasive oxygen have given desired results.
    • COVID-19 infection still remains concentrated in 10 States that contribute more than 80 percent of the new cases.
  • Health ministry's tele-medicine platform provides over 1.5 lakh online consultations
    • Health ministry’s initiative eSanjeevani OPD, a telemedicine service, has registered one lakh 58 thousand online consultations.
    • Health and family welfare minister Harsh Vardhan said, since last November, 23 states have launched the services covering 75 per cent of the country’s population, while others are in the process of rolling it out.
    • The eSanjeevani platform has enabled two types of tele-consultations-doctor-to-doctor (eSanjeevani) and patient-to-doctor (eSanjeevani OPD).
    • Railways to observe cleanliness week from today to mark Independence Day
  • Beirut Explosion: US Prez Trump calls for Lebanon to conduct transparent investigation
  • Digital India transforming India into digitally empowered society, knowledge economy
    • The Digital India programme was launched on the 1st of July, 2015 for transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
    • The Digital India journey in the past 5 years has centred around empowerment, inclusion, and digital transformation.
    • It has positively impacted all aspects of the lives of Indian citizens identity management through Aadhaar, Direct Benefit Transfer, Common Services Centres, DigiLocker, mobile based UMANG services, participatory governance through MyGov, Ayushman Bharat, and PM-Kisan.
    • Digital India Corporation CEO Abhishek Singh said Indian citizens are more digitally connected to the government today and it is helping government to deliver better services.
    • Digital India’s initiatives have also played a pivotal role during the CoVID-19 situation, such as Aarogya Setu, E-Sanjeevani, sensitisation through MyGov and Social media platforms.
  • Beirut Explosion
    • US President Donald Trump has called for Lebanon to conduct a full and transparent investigation into the huge explosion that hit Beirut, and expressed his support for protests demanding reform in the country.
    • Trump said that the United States stands ready to assist the Lebanon government in the investigation.
    • US President called for calm in Lebanon and acknowledged the legitimate calls of peaceful protesters for transparency, reform, and accountability.
    • Lebanese army said that hopes have dwindled of finding survivors at the blast site following days of search-and-rescue operations.
    • Lebanese environment minister Damianos Kattar resigned yesterday in the wake of a powerful deadly blast in the port of Beirut that killed 158 people and injured over 6,000 on Tuesday.