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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 12 March 2020

For a level playing field

  •  Electoral democracy has strong root in IndiaWe have to accept the fact that, some unhealthy patterns have emerged.
  •  Candidates and winners in Assembly and Lok Sabha polls have largely been from affluent sections — some even with several criminal cases against them.
  • Expensive elections, richer candidates.
  • Regulating social media will be difficult.
  • Idea of an Aadhaar-linked remote voting system
  • Ruling against judicial transparency
  •  Chief Information Commissioner v. High Court of Gujarat case
  • The Supreme Court, regrettably, barred citizens from securing access to court records under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

 Importance of sharing records

  • Decisions taken by the courts influence our daily life
  • Every prosecution before a criminal court is essentially an opportunity to hold the police accountable just as every writ petition is an opportunity to hold the government accountable.
  • Similarly, a significant number of commercial lawsuits are opportunities to learn more about corporations and the manner in which commercial translations are executed in the country.
  • In all of these cases, the pleadings filed by either party contain reams of information that are useful to a range of stakeholders such as citizens, journalists, academics, shareholders, etc., who can better inform the public discourse on the ramifications of these decisions.
  • Judicial proceedings takes place in open court.
  • It is completely legal for anyone to sit in court and take notes while a lawyer narrates the content of pleadings.
  •  For those with deeper pockets, it is only a matter of paying out a bribe to get copies of pleadings “informally”.
  •  Section 22 of the RTI Act which states that the RTTI Act shall override any other law to the extent that the latter is inconsistent with the former.
  •  The Section states: “Act to have an overriding effect — The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.”
  •  Despite this crystal-clear wording of Section 22,the Supreme Court and, on previous occasions, the High Courts, have concluded exactly the opposite.

From a citizen’s perspective, this decision is problematic for two reasons.

  1. Most High Court Rules allow only parties to a legal proceeding to access the records of a case.
  2. Some High Courts may allow third parties to access court records if they can justify their request.
  • This is entirely unlike the RTI Act, where no reasons are required to be provided thereby vastly reducing the possibility of administrative discretion.
  • Most High Courts and the Supreme Court require physical filing of an application with the Registry, and a hearing before a judge to determine whether records should be given.
  •  The Supreme Court fails to understand that the judiciary's track record of transparency is vastly inferior when compared to other arms of the state.
  •  In today’s world where every public institution is striving to become more transparent, the continued resistance from the judiciary to making itself transparent in a meaningful manner will have an eroding effect on its legitimacy.
  • Economic uncertainty rises
  • ‘Manic Monday’ hits global share market
  • Rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to more than100 countries

Olympics to be held in Japan this summer may be postponed

  • Travel and trade have been severely affected in largeparts of the world, with restrictions on movement and cancellations of visa, etc.
  •  China: largest supplier of many basic andintermediate goods, has come to dominate the supply chain of production of a large number of final goods.
  •  electronics, medicines, automobile parts and components used by small and cottage sectors
  • China produces multiple items cheaply on a scalethat other countries cannot match.
  •  Finding domestic producers who can quickly rampup production is not easy.
  •  The impact on the small producers is likely to besharper due to the fact that they have small working capital.
  • As the economy declines, the already substantialNPAs of banks and the NBFCs will increase in India.
  • Consumer confidence will remain low for a while even after the intensity of the spread of the virus declines with the onset of summer.
  • People save more when the future is uncertain
  •  WHO says that not enough is known about this virus.
  • In brief, the problem is not fully understood but fears of a big impact have grown.

Fail-safe exit for America, but a worry for India

  • Peace deal between the United States and the Taliban
  • Geopolitically disadvantageous for India, and has serious implications for our national security.
  •  It is an honorable exit route for the U.S.’s Trump administration
  • Within 24 hours of the much-publicized deal, violence and major disagreements about the deal began erupting in Afghanistan.
  •  The Taliban today is also more worldly-wise and might have learned, during its exile, to deal with the international system and play the game of balance of power.
  • Today’s Taliban does not share the same animus for New Delhi.
  • New Delhi, therefore, could have rejigged its approach to Taliban this time around. However, it put all its eggs in the Ashraf Ghani basket, even on the eve of the signing of the peace deal in Doha.
  •  India would only talk to the legitimate government in that country, is a self-defeating position.
  • The world is not that perfect.
  • Smart statecraft, therefore, is dealing with what you have and making the best of it.
  •  Iran feels let down by India given how the latter has behaved towards it at the behest of the Americans.
  • Taliban and Kashmir angle : psychological impact
  • “If the mighty superpower USA could be defeated by the Taliban in Afghanistan with help from the Pakistan army, defeating Indian forces in Kashmir won’t be impossible after all.”
  •  The return of the Taliban, however unavoidable that maybe, signals a victory of religious fundamentalism in the region and it will have serious implications for the region as a whole.

NEWS

  •  COVID-19 now a pandemic, says WHO; India confirms60 cases
  • Jyotiraditya Scindia joins BJP, says Congress is in denial
  •  Suspension of seven Cong. MPs revoked
  • Role of L-G and govt. intertwined: Madras HC
  • SBI cuts fixed deposit, lending rates
  • Amit Shah lauds police for controlling Delhi riots
  • U.S. diplomat’s visit cancelled
  • U.K. Health Minister tests positive for coronavirus