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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 13 March 2020

Danger ahead

  •  Nitin Gadkari has expressed optimism that the significant amendments made to the Motor Vehicles Act have begun reducing the terrible death toll due to accidents on India’s roads.
  • Data on those who lose their lives or are incapacitated do not reflect a marked decline.
  •  A chronic malaise such as deadly road accidents begets only token measures.
  • Motor Vehicles law does have more muscle.
  • Scientific road system
  • A key mechanism of change are District Road Safety Committees, which were enabled even by the 1988 Act, but remain obscure.
  •  Make the Collector, local body and police accountable.
  • Making dashboard cameras mandatory, with the video evidence accepted in investigation, would protect rule-abiding motorists and aid enforcement.
  • In the absence of good hospitals and cashless free treatment, no significant improvement is possible in the quest to save life and limb.

 Fighting COVID-19 together for a shared future

  •  COVID-19 outbreak is a major public health emergency
  • President Xi Jinping has personally taken charge of the nationwide response.
  • On March 10, President Xi went to Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province and the epicenter of the epidemic, to inspect prevention and control work there.
  • He paid respects to the front-line workers and local residents.
  • This has greatly encouraged and inspired the people of Wuhan and the whole nation.
  1. Formulated timely strategies for epidemic prevention and control
  2. Strengthened a unified command and response in Wuhan and Hubei
  3. Coordinated the prevention and control work in other regions
  4. Strengthened scientific research, emergency medical and daily necessity supplies
  5. Effectively maintained social stability
  6. Strengthened public education
  7. Actively engaged in international cooperation
  •  The bigger the difficulties and challenges China faces, the more cohesion and fighting spirit the Chinese nation demonstrates.
  • The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, described China’s sacrifice in fighting and containing the spread of COVID-19 as a great contribution to all mankind.
  •  China and India have maintained close communication and cooperation on epidemic prevention and control.
  • We appreciate the medical supplies provided by India and have helped facilitate the safe return of Indian nationals in Hubei.
  • The history of civilisation is also one of a history of fighting diseases and a great journey of ceaseless global integration.
  •  President Xi Jinping has said that to prevail over a disease that threatens all, unity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon.
  • The world is facing a real threat as WHO characterises COVID-19 as a pandemic.
  •  China will strengthen international coordination and cooperation, and jointly safeguard our only home, the blue planet, together with the world.

Delhi’s shame is India’s shame

  • What went wrong?
  •  It is quite evident by now that collective failure lay at the root of what could have been restricted in scope, if not entirely prevented.
  • The 1984 Sikh riots took the authorities by surprise, while the country has been in a kind of ‘slow burn’ ever since the CAA was passed by Parliament in December 2019.
  •  Over time, protests against the CAA became larger in scope, specially in urban centres such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru, but no attempt was made on the part of the authorities to defuse the situation.
  •  The statement of Supreme Court judge, K.M. Joseph, that timely action by the Delhi police could have saved lives, set-off a flurry of accusations by others against other organs of the state as well.
  • One former Justice of the Supreme Court argued that had the judiciary been more proactive, lives lost in the recent violence could have been saved.
  •  The Chief Justice of India, Sharad Bobde, opined that courts were not ‘equipped’ to handle palpable ‘pressure’ being created to somehow step in and prevent violence.
  •  Provocations from both sides of the political divide thus largely fanned the violence.
  •  The Home Minister is reported to have kept himself abreast of the situation in northeast Delhi, but seemed to have done little else.
  • The Chief Minister’s failure to apply the necessary balm to try and contain the situation has certainly stained his image.
  •  Insecurity and law and order parlance, intelligence and police constitute the vital last 10%.
  • Provocation was there in plenty from both sides.
  • The steady build-up of tension was all too obvious.
  • The most widely held view is of political interference with actions being dictated by political considerations.
  • Delhi’s shame is India’s shame.
  • The Delhi police need to set their house in order for, alongside other police forces across the world, they need to prepare for a future in which technological advances are creating an entire new paradigm of threats.
  • Should distressed private banks be saved by PSBs?
  •  Is a bailout of a failing private lender by a public sector bank justified? And if so, on what grounds?
  •  I think the first option should always be to have a private investor come in and infuse his capital into the private bank.
  • The RBI did give some time to the Yes Bank management to work out such an arrangement but evidently that did not succeed.
  • The next option then, the straightforward option, would have been for the government to simply nationalise Yes Bank. And as you know, that’s exactly what happened during the global financial crisis with innumerable private banks all over the world.
  •  But here the government is facing severe fiscal constraints.
  •  That perhaps explains the reluctance of the government to nationalise Yes Bank.
  • Why is it that in the case of a private lender, unlike, say, an airline, there’s a reluctance on the part of authorities to let the bank fail?
  • The total balance sheet size was close to ₹3.5 lakh crore, lots of depositors, lots of businesses.
  • And one thing which the Financial Stability Report of the RBI does kind of enumerate is the level of inter-connectedness within the financial services ecosystem.
  • I’m sure given the choice, the SBI management would have probably rather not gotten themselves involved in a Yes Bank rescue.
  • But as the chairman and managing director of SBI himself said, when the country’s interests come to the forefront, people have very little choice.
  • As per the Financial Stability Report, public sector banks have 12.7% of gross non-performing assets (NPAs) as of September 2019.
  • Very element of the financial services ecosystem requires governance reforms.

Governance is a cross bank and cross-institutional issue.

  •  Are we creating a larger number of banks that potentially become ‘Too Big to Fail’ ? The RBI had earlier identified only SBI, ICICI and HDFC Bank as Domestic-Systemically Important Banks.
  •  The systemically important banks are banks which are tracked more carefully and which are also subject to higher capital requirements under Basel III.
  • But that is not to say that banks which are relatively smaller in size, such as Yes Bank, do not pose a systemic risk and therefore, should not be rescued.
  •  Are there wider risks to banking stability given the underlying stress among corporate borrowers in a wide range of sectors from telecom to power to aviation?
  •  Now, while we have a very good Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and the NCLT [National Company Law Tribunal] process, I don’t think it’s geared to handle the overhang of stock that we have right now of NPAs.
  • We already have more than 2,000 cases pending at the NCLT courts. The rescue plan for Yes Bank is a starting point.
  • But there are various other things that need to be done.

NEWS

  •  India’s first COVID-19 death in Karnataka; cases touch 74
  •  Sensex slumps 2,919 points, Nifty sinks to 33-month low
  • A day after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, equity markets worldwide went into a bear phase — denoted by more than 20% fall from the recent highs of the benchmarks.
  • Delhi declares COVID-19 an epidemic, shuts schools, colleges and cinemas
  •  L-G holds meeting with CM Kejriwal, reviews preparedness
  • M.P. Speaker serves notice on 13 rebel MLAs
  • CBI seeks maximum punishment for Sengar
  •  The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday sought maximum punishment for expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar and others, who have been held guilty in the two cases linked to the death of the Unnao rape victim’s father in 2018.
  •  The quantum of sentence is scheduled to be announced on Friday.
  • No Minister to travel abroad in coming days, says Modi
  •   PM urges people to avoid non-essential travel Bills on bankruptcy code, mineral law get RS nod Social media platforms to be made accountable
  •  The government is finalising the ‘intermediaries guidelines’ to make the social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, more responsive and accountable.