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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 11 August 2021

Choppy waters | TH

  • UNSC on Maritime Security
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the stage - the first Indian premier to do so
  • At the heart of the strident claims and counterclaims regarding allegations of abuse of maritime resources and disrespect of territorial sovereignty rights of nations were the U.S., on the one hand, and China and Russia on the other.
  • Modi said, “Free maritime trade has been associated with the culture of India since time immemorial… Oceans are our shared heritage and our maritime routes are the lifelines of international trade. These oceans are very important for the future of our planet.”
  • Five-prong plan to enhance maritime security worldwide through cooperation
  1. Removing barriers to legitimate maritime trade
  2. Settling maritime disputes peacefully and based on international law
  3. Jointly facing natural disasters and maritime threats created by non-state actors
  4. Preserving maritime environment and resources
  5. Encouraging responsible maritime connectivity
  • The sustained interest of India in promoting maritime security also draws from Mr. Modi’s SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision plan aimed at strengthening economic and security connections with regional maritime nations.
  • If there are strategic barriers to creating momentum in achieving these goals, they are associated with specific regions of maritime tension including the South China Sea and the Black Sea.

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken decried the “dangerous encounters between vessels at sea and provocative actions to advance unlawful maritime claims”, rejecting “actions that intimidate and bully other states from lawfully accessing their maritime resources”.

  • Mr. Blinken at the UNSC debate hit out at what Washington considered “continued aggressive actions against Ukraine... which are disrupting commerce and energy access”.
  • While some may deride UNCLOS as lacking teeth for enforcement, ultimately it is the only comprehensive framework of laws available to maritime powers to assert their rights consistent with the rules-based international order.
  • Through its UNSC presidency and beyond, New Delhi must faithfully advocate for ratification of UNCLOS by all major maritime powers, including the U.S.

Green on your own | ToI

  • The sixth IPCC assessment report has served as a reality check on world governments.
  • The key finding is that unless there are immediate and huge reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the goal of limiting warming close to 1.5°C or even 2°C – calculations are based on using the period 1850-1900 as baseline will be beyond reach.
  • Climate change solutions need global efforts as spillovers are not confined to national borders.
  • But it will be unrealistic for GoI to proceed on the assumption that the main polluters, both historically and today, will enable a smooth transition to the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities.
  • The vaccine response to the pandemic is illustrative.
  • Of the 4.03 billion vaccine doses administered globally, more than 80% have gone to richer countries.
  • Even India has prioritised its needs over those of poorer countries.
  • Therefore, India will have to take care of its own needs on climate change even as it contributes to the global response.
  • With our long coastline and monsoon-dependent rural economy, we are already witnessing the fallout.
  • According to IEA, both energy and emission intensities of India’s GDP have declined by more than 20% the past decade.
  • A large section of the population ekes out a precarious existence which makes growth the topmost priority of public policy.
  • The pursuit of growth needs to be accompanied by policy action in areas that are at the heart of both economic performance and climate change mitigation.
  • There are some gains here, particularly in the rapid ramp-up of solar energy production.
  • However, to meet emerging needs, fiscal policy needs to be reoriented to encourage more R&D in India.
  • The scale of our needs makes renewable power an area where Indian firms should be at the vanguard of research.
  • Cleverly designed fiscal incentives can make that happen.

Undermining justice | TH

  • Union government delaying judicial appointments hit the headlines again.
  • The Supreme Court has voiced concern over the Government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the large number of vacancies in High Courts and tribunals.
  • Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana confronted the Government with a list of 240 vacancies in various tribunals.
  • He asked rather bluntly whether there was a plan to close down some tribunals.
  • Many tribunals lack presiding officers, and recommendations made by selection committees have not been acted upon.
  • The vacancies in High Courts are at a staggering 455, as on August 1.
  • It appears that exhortations from the courts, and even a judicial order from the top court in April — fixing time-frames for the Intelligence Bureau and the Government to process names forwarded by the Collegium for making appointments to the High Courts or returning files and for accepting names reiterated by the judges’ body — has not imparted a sense of urgency.
  • A two-judge Bench has noted that the Centre’s delay in making appointments to the High Courts is adversely affecting the adjudication of commercial disputes.
  • The judiciary’s concern over the vacancies in the tribunals is quite justified, as the jurisdiction previously exercised by High Courts is now being exercised by the tribunals, and the failure to adjudicate or dispose of disputes in these fields would amount to denial of justice to the parties.
  • The present regime’s eagerness to undermine the independent functioning of tribunals is quite apparent.
  • It has been repeatedly framing rules that seek to provide for greater executive control over the tenure, emoluments and conditions of service of those manning the tribunals.
  • If specialisation, domain expertise and relatively quicker adjudication are the reasons for which certain kinds of disputes are being resolved through tribunals, these purposes are lost if these bodies are rendered nearly dysfunctional through a large number of vacancies.
  • To compound the problem, the Union government has been inexplicably reluctant to create a national body for overseeing the work related to the appointment of members on tribunals as well as the appraisal of their functioning.
  • As far as higher judiciary appointments are concerned, there is little to enlighten the public on what is causing the delay.
  • Whether it is a dispute over the undoubtedly problematic memorandum of procedure, or the desire of the executive to subject the Collegium recommendations to its own political scrutiny is not clear.
  • In any case, the delay is causing great harm to India’s justice delivery system.

Danger ahead | Pioneer

  • Climate change is a global phenomenon but the challenges are local.
  • The harsh fact is that carbon dioxide is and will be the chief cause of global warming.
  • The United Nations secretary-general has said the report “must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels before they destroy our planet”.
  • India’s Environment Minister has asked the developed countries to decarbonise their economies at once.
  • The report paints an inhuman picture of what the environment is going to be if the countries refuse to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • On the one hand, the greenhouse gas emissions by India are the third largest in the world after China and the United States.
  • The main source of this pollution is coal.
  • India emits roughly three gigatonne of these gases every year.
  • That amounts to 2.5 tonne per person.
  • The country’s emissions are seven per cent of the global total.
  • The emissions came down during the pandemic lockdown in 2020 as industrial production halted or drastically slowed down.
  • The economic recovery this year is expected to push emissions 1.4 per cent above the 2019 levels or nearly 200 metric tonne higher than in 2020.
  • The expected rise in coal-fired electricity generation in 2021 could be thrice the generation through renewables.
  • On the other hand, India is on track to meet its target of producing 40 per cent of its power from renewable energy sources.
  • It is also in a position to reduce by one-third, carbon emitted per unit of output by 2030.
  • The Environment Ministry says that if the renewable capacity under construction is taken into account, the share of renewable capacity in the installed capacity comes close to 50 per cent.
  • What India declines to do is achieve net-zero emissions.
  • India, instead, asks the developed world to reduce their emissions to vacate carbon space and support the aspirations of developing nations.
  • For most Indians, faster progress on climate means forgoing material fruits of economic progress.
  • The logic also says the developed nations are more responsible for the historical emissions.
  • The worry is that if India continues on its current path, its emissions may double in the next two decades.
  • It is already quite vulnerable to climate change and is experiencing cyclones, erratic rains, rising temperatures and heavy pollution.
  • India will have to transit from fossil fuels to renewables and the earlier it is, the less painful it will be.
  • It will mean using solar or wind power for every activity, embracing hydrogen technology for heavy industries and a massive reforestation drive to build carbon sinks.

Unpacking the resiliency of global trade, yet again | TH

  • Dammu Ravi is a serving Foreign Service Officer, currently working in the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • In the last year, the devastating impact of COVID-19 pandemic has shrunk the world economy by 4.4% and global trade by 5.3%; job losses have been estimated to be to the tune of 75 million.
  • Around the world, countries have responded to pandemic-induced shortages with protectionist reactions and nationalist aspirations with the potential to disrupting complex cross-border supply chains.
  • The blame game on trade openness and trade agreements for widening trade deficits, income inequalities and growing unemployment are all but natural domestic reactions.
  • These trends make projections for the post-COVID-19 world even more dismal and depressing.
  • The Second World War created sustaining multilateral institutions; besides the United Nations, the Bretton Woods Institutions such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Trade Organisation (ITO) were created to help rebuild the shattered post-war economy.
  • The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was negotiated in 1947 as a means to reducing barriers to international trade.
  • The oil shocks of the 1970s led to the establishment of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 1974 to manage oil supply disruptions and went on to create awareness on the need for global energy security.
  • The financial crisis of 2008 led to the G20 Leaders Summit, an elevation from the G20 Finance Ministers forum in 1999, in a bid to take cooperation beyond the G7 in a global quest to control inflation due to fiscal expansion.
  • These developments had a consequential impact on global trade, with dramatic surges in volumes; from a mere $60.80 billion in 1950 to $2,049 billion in 1980; $6,452 billion in 2000; $19,014 billion in 2019 (Source: wto.org).
  • The patterns above leave much hope for optimism for global trade in the post-COVID-19 crisis in the collective belief that international trade is vital for development and prosperity, while competition is central to generating competence.
  • In a post COVID-19 world, members of the World Trade Organization are expected to stitch trade facilitating rules that may impinge on national sovereign policy space with a collective resolve to discipline errant nations that are known to dumping goods and erecting trade barriers through multilateral rules.
  • Countries that harness technology are expected to dominate international trade in future with a transformational impact on the global economy.
  • Just as the steam engine in the 19th century and computing power in the 20th century, data will be the main driver of economic growth in the 21st century.
  • Businesses will aim to harness data for innovation to remain ahead of the curve in a post-COVID-19 world.
  • Rapid growth in e-commerce and the virtual world will demand entirely new skills from the workforce.
  • Therefore, economic policies are likely to focus on stronger safety nets for workers; income protection, skill training, health care and educational support for families.
  • India’s GDP contracted by 7.3% according to the National Statistical Office; and about 10 million jobs were lost according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. Ltd; trade remained subdued at $493 billion (goods at $290 billion and services at $203 billion).
  • The projections of the International Monetary Fund for India’s economic growth ahead are positive and in line with the general trends world-wide, assuming that the widespread vaccination might limit the COVID-19 agony.
  • Merchandise exports for the second quarter of 2021 from April-June at $95 billion (+6%), is indeed encouraging, but would need to remain focussed on value added products, beyond the traditional exports basket comprising refined petroleum products, pharma, gems and jewellery, textiles and garments, engineering items, rice, oil meals and marine products (Source: DGCI&S).
  • Building an ecosystem that incentivises value-added manufacturing and technology-induced finished products should form a part of our long-term strategy.
  • Plug and play manufacturing units under Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) schemes, if carefully nurtured, could lead the industry on that path.
  • Beyond the timely stimulus packages for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), supporting them with cheaper input costs, including raw material and intermediate goods would help sustain them with job creation at the local level.
  • Developing a synergistic relationship between the big industry and MSMEs is at the core of a successful Atmanirbhar Bharat; the former should be encouraged to move into technology space and finished products, while the latter feeds them with locally made inputs at competitive prices.
  • Skills upgradation to global standards should form a part of India’s strategy in a post-COVID-19 world.

NEWS

  • Ujjwala 2.0 scheme to provide maximum benefit to lakhs of migrant labour families: PM Modi
  • Both Houses of Parliament witness frequent disruptions by opposition over Pegasus, farm laws & other issues
  • Lok Sabha unanimously passes Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, 2021
  • Earth Sciences Ministry to implement Deep Ocean Mission at total budget of Rs 4077 crore in five years
  • Govt sets target of achieving 175 Giga Watt of Renewable Energy capacity excluding large hydro by December 2022
  • More than 51 crore 45 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far; Recovery Rate stands at 97.4 per cent
  • Govt issues security advisory to Indian citizens in Afghanistan to return home immediately
  • Govt to organise Fit India Freedom Run 2.0 throughout country as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations
  • 42% decline in tobacco use among 13-15 years school going children in last decade: Govt
  • Ashwini Vaishnaw stresses upon adaption of technology for smoothening process of education
  • Greece: Wildfires force Evia Island residents to evacuate
  • China recalls its ambassador to Lithuania in protest over Lithuania’s decision to allow Taiwan to open its de facto embassy
  • Lockdown crackdown: Sydney police to step up enforcement after COVID record
  • Guinea confirms West Africa’s first case of Marburg disease
  • Bangladesh: Record COVID deaths in a day, positivity rate declining
  • India’s Olympic medal-winners accorded a grand welcome by government in felicitation ceremony held in New Delhi

Q.) After _______, Bajrang Punia is the first Indian Wrestler to win medals in both Olympics and the World Championships.

  1. Sakshi Malik
  2. K.D. Jadhav
  3. Ravi Kumar Dahiya
  4. Sushil Kumar

Q.) A combination of Covishield and _____ elicits better immunogenicity than two doses ofthe same vaccine, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

  1. Covaxin
  2. Sputniv V
  3. Janssen
  4. Spikevak