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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 13 April 2020

Trade in tatters

  • WTO’s outlook: merchandise trade to plummet by anywhere between 13% and 32% in 2020.
  • Economists at the WTO: things are going to be far worse than 2008 Financial Crisis.
  • IMF Managing Director: global economy is set to contract sharply in 2020
  • WTO + IMF: current downturn is unique
  • Services trade — in which India has a higher global share as an exporter ($214 billion, or 3.5%, in 2019) than in merchandise exports — may be significantly affected by the transport and travel curbs.
  • Information technology services: work from home + people order essentials + drugs online + socialise remotely.
  • WTO chief: a rebound in global economic activity will require trade to flow freely across borders as vitally as any fiscal or monetary stimulus.
  • The world will be best served if nations do not turn insular and erect new barriers to the movement of goods, services and people in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Cease fire

  • Both countries have not been able to uphold a ceasefire along the border areas and the Line of Control.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh claimed just two months ago that “all violations of ceasefire are taken up with Pakistan authorities at the appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings as well as weekly talks between the Directorate Generals of Military Operations of the two countries”.
  • February: 3,479 violations for 2019, which works out to almost 10 every day.

  • Upward tick since Article 370
  • What utility do these mechanisms have if the violations continue unchecked?
  • Army blames Pakistan for initiating the shelling in Kupwara’s Keran sector to facilitate infiltration which seems to have picked up pace as have operations against terrorists.
  • That as many as five highly trained para commmandos should have lost their lives in exchange for the lives of five infiltrators is unfortunate and unacceptable.
  • Wherever possible, exercising the option of precise, surgical, preventive action against such infiltration, to minimise collateral damage, through better use of technology, such as drones, might be preferable.

Wanted, a collective national endeavour

  •  The Central government claims that if we had not locked down, we would have 800,000 infections by April 15, not the 8,000-plus at present.
  • All political parties should work together to deal with what we are told is the severest crisis since Independence.
  • We must open our doors as wide as possible to advice from the best minds and most skilled persons, whoever they may be and wherever they might be, in the government and outside, political friends and enemies.
  • The most productive effort will be an equal partnership between the Centre and the States.
  • Dentralisation of decision-making
  • Jaan bhi, Jahaan bhi (“Life and economy are both important”)
  • More generous with how we can support the millions.
  • Chief Minister of Kerala’s detailed daily press briefings have built confidence.
  • Control social tensions
  • Economy cannot be operated with an off-on switch.
  • Recover that humanity

Disingenuous and no antidote

  • Fake news is a menace not only because it is usually motivated by an intent to deceive and misinform but also because it may induce people to act on the information.
  • An opinion that you disagree with, cannot be branded as “fake news”, because it is just that, opinion.
  • Government’s response to the mass exodus on affidavit to the Supreme Court of India in response to petitions that migrant workers need to be provided for during lockdown, says that the only culprit for the loss of life and hardship of migrant workers is, simply, “fake news”.
  • Apparently, the sole reason that migrant workers undertook the punishing journey back home across hundreds of kilometres back home was “fake news” that the lockdown would extend to three months rather than three weeks.
  • The government cannot be permitted, by the artifice of “fake news”, to bypass the criticism that it should have planned better, coordinated between Centre and State governments, and been clear in strategy and communication.
  • Lessons could and should have been learned from deficiencies in similar announcements made earlier by foreign governments regarding COVID-19 measures.
  • The Supreme Court passed an order on March 31 directing the media to carry the official version of events of the pandemic, which the government is to publish on a daily basis.
  • If false information circulated on social media is dangerous because it can trigger action, misleading statements or lack of clarity in government messaging is even more dangerous, given the credibility of the source.
  • No government should be permitted to hide behind a vague assertion of “fake news” to abdicate responsibility for its actions.

COVID-19 and the crumbling world order

  • COVID-19 will fundamentally transform the world as we know it: the world order, its balance of power, traditional conceptions of national security, and the future of globalisation.
  • Humanity into uncharted waters.
  • Post lockdown: new political and social realities
  • Institutions created right after World War II were not designed to serve humanity at large.
  • The global institutional framework is unrepresentative
  • China appeared to use its manufacturing power to its geopolitical advantage.
  • COVID-19 shock will further feed states’ protectionist tendencies fueled by hypernationalism.
  • Former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon warns, “we are headed for a poorer, meaner, and smaller world.”
  • State intervention in economic matters and protectionism are the easy way out, and that’s precisely what states will do once the crisis is over.
  • Given the symbiotic relationship between the state and big capital, states have become used to protecting the interests of their corporations, often at the cost of the general public.
  • Consider, for instance, that the first response of many Western states was to protect their capital markets than be concerned about public health.
  • New-age racism: Globally, societies could become more self-seeking and inward-looking leading to further pushback against liberal policies regarding migration and refugees.
  • New questions are likely to be asked about the source of goods.
  • More stringent imposition of phytosanitary measures by advanced states on products emanating from the less developed countries might become the new normal.

NEWS

  • Bracing for a rapid surge in cases: govt.
    1. With the nationwide death toll from COVID-19 touching 273 and the number of positive cases reaching 8,447 on Sunday, the Union Health Ministry said India is preparing for a possible exponential surge in cases.
    2. “We would rather be over-cautious and over-prepared,” a Ministry official said while admitting that the recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases in some countries was a matter of concern.
    3. According to data released by the Ministry, the country registered as many as 909 new cases and 34 deaths since Saturday evening.
    4. The fatalities included 17 from Maharashtra, five from Delhi and three each from Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. As many as 716 persons have been cured/discharged after treatment.

  • 11 held for chopping off policeman’s hand
    1. Eleven persons were arrested on Sunday for an attack on a police party by a group of Nihangs, a Sikh warrior sect, at a vegetable market in Punjab’s Patiala.
    2. The hand of assistant sub-inspector Harjit Singh was severed with a sword in the attack that followed when the Nihangs were asked for curfew passes, the police said.
  • Pandemic impact: first batch of Rafales likely to fly in late
    1. The arrival of the first batch of Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force is likely to be delayed by around three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as France battles rising infections and deaths, and continuing lockdown restrictions, which have also impacted the training schedule, defence sources said.
  • India talking to U.S. over visa sanctions
    1. The government is “engaged” in talks with the U.S. administration to reconsider President Donald Trump’s orders to impose visa sanctions on countries that don’t take back illegal “aliens” in the U.S. within a week.
  • ‘Remove fear from mind, don’t lose confidence’
    1. After trumping COVID-19, Rajesh Aswara is eager to return to the isolation ward of the M.Y. Hospital. The fear evoked by the disease, he has defeated it with grit. And going back to duty as a male nurse now, he can tell others how he became the first in Indore to do it.
    2. To all nurses across the world, he says: “First of all, remove fear from your minds. Second, treat a patient only with a personal protective equipment(PPE) kit on. Don’t work without it.”
  • Enough grains for 9 months: Paswan
    1. The Central government has enough stock of grains to feed over 81 crore beneficiaries of the public distribution system (PDS) for nine months, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Sunday, expressing confidence that its granaries, expecting a boost from a “bumper” wheat crop, will have adequate stock for a much longer period.
  • Chinese bank picks up 1% stake in HDFC
    1. The People’s Bank of China, the Chinese central bank, has picked up over 1% stake in HDFC Ltd., India’s largest mortgage lender.
    2. According to the March-end shareholding pattern disclosed by the mortgage lender to the stock exchanges, People’s Bank of China has 1.75 crore shares, or a 1.01% stake, in HDFC.
  • IMF was established in which year?
    1. 1991
    2. 1945
    3. 1979
    4. 1980
  • WTO was estabished in which year?
    1. 1948
    2. 1949
    3. 1994
    4. 1995