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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 15 September 2020

 

Afghan Peace Talks | ToI

  • 9/11 terror attack - US military intervention in Afghanistan
  • Peace talks in Qatar: Taliban & Afghan government
  • Intervention killed tens of thousands of Afghan civilians and more than 2,400 American troops.
  • But despite the US-led war on terror, Taliban have survived.
  • Donald Trump - bring back American troops
  • Upper hand of Taliban - peace negotiations will be tough
  • Bad news for India – Pakistan can use Taliban for targeting Indian assets on Afghan soil.
  • India enjoys huge goodwill among Afghan people.
  • Many within Taliban have been wary of Pakistan
  • It makes sense for New Delhi to reach out to those elements within Taliban willing to work with it.
  • This could even bolster the moderate Taliban factions and help the group mainstream itself, while preserving Indian interests in Afghanistan.

The cost of peace

  • Feb 2020: U.S.-Taliban and U.S.-Afghanistan agreements
  • Talks have been delayed for many reasons.
  • The hard part begins now.
  • First task - a permanent ceasefire
  • More challenges will turn up on how to shape Afghanistan’s future
  • S. Jaishankar attended the inaugural ceremony in Doha via videoconferencing
  • “Afghan-led, Afghan owned” process

How To Grow Digital India | ToI

  • April 2020 - India stopped automatic approval for Chinese investments - since then, not a single investment from China has been approved.
  • Google and Facebook - investing nearly $10 billion into Reliance Jio
  • Indian digital startups are under siege.
  • Chinese investments - Indian digital ecosystem
  • SIGNAL: India can set the rules of its economy.
  • ALLOW INVESTMENT from China – KEEP CONTROL of the firm in India
  • In sectors with large user bases, or in sectors where businesses control significant or sensitive data, India should ensure fully localised data storage and processing, and demand accountability from the highest decision maker of the operating company.
  • These companies should have one ‘country head
  • Dual-class shareholding systems: domestic founders maintained control of their assets, even as their ownership diluted below 50%.
  • Zuckerberg owns less than 15% of Facebook, but controls 58% of voting rights.
  • By mandating American ownership of sensitive assets, America has both maintained entrepreneurial opportunity and enterprise, while protecting national interest.
  • India has an enormous opportunity at hand.
  • India should take control of how capital is utilised in its country, and how its digital economy should develop.
  • Economically, India should empower local companies to become stronger and more competitive by maximising passive investment.
  • The World Bank has paused the publication of its ‘Doing Businessreport because of statistical irregularities.
  • Flawed survey - rankings encourage countries  - health and environment.

 

For a different yardstick

  • The World Bank’s independent evaluation group (2008) and an external independent panel (2013) together flagged 15 shortcomings in the index, many of which are still relevant.
  • The survey excludes the informal sector.
  • Curiously, low scores for China and India were associated with high growth in FDI.
  • The biggest drawback is that the index sidesteps societal costs of deregulating pollution, worker safety, and health risks.
  • China and India improved their scores sharply in 2019 and 2020, though the world’s first and third largest emitters increased carbon effluents significantly.
  • Another 2020 Index ranked China 120, and India 168, out of 180 countries on the environment.
  • India’s Parliament is considering an Environment Impact Assessment, the draft of which is filled with dilutions of the environmental law.
  • The survey assumes that lower tax rates are best, which overlooks each country’s fiscal requirements.
  • The survey neglects indicators of infrastructure, entrepreneurship, and competition.
  • A revamped indicator should reward, not penalise, investments in workers’ skills, health and safety, low polluting activities and climate resilience.

 

India’s great silence is the loudest sound

  • We have no one in public office telling us what-is-what, convincingly, authoritatively on the epidemic.
  • Is community transmission happening?
  • Is the virus now migrating from the smitten cities to our villages?
  • Likewise, we do not know, authoritatively, the scale of the impact of our crippling contraction on salaried jobs and non-salaried livelihoods.
  • We do not know what farmers and agricultural labour are going to do with what has been harvested if the country’s purchasing power has dwindled, and its exports have been hit.
  • Will we see the cruel irony of our godowns being full and stomachs empty?
  • Our cities and towns are getting our milk supplies alright, but do we know if the dairy provider is getting paid fairly?
  • There is no one to tell us with the voice of thunder as the late Anil Agarwal would have, that it is the loot of both natural and human resources for the rank profit of monopolies that has wrought and is deepening this pandemic.
  • To know is to be able to control.
  • War and viruses make a deathly cocktail.
  • We need to know, and the Executive needs to tell us, details of the likely cost in terms of public health, public finance of such a war.
  • The situation on the India-China border needs today not the dangerous diversions of jingoism but pragmatic, diplomatic engagement with the country being taken into confidence about it.
  • In a salutary half-step forward, our Parliament is currently meeting, physically, for a fortnight.
  • But sessions of the House are one thing; the spirit of the House another.
  • The national emergency 1975-1977, we will recall, got the approval of the Parliament of the day.
  • This is where the third pillar, the judiciary, comes in.

NEWS

  • Parliament passes National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill and National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill
  • Harivansh re-elected as Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha
  • COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 78 pct
  • Prime Minister to inaugurate, lay foundation stone of projects worth Rs 541 cr in Bihar tomorrow
  • Japan's ruling party elects Yoshihide Suga as its new leader to succeed PM Shinzo Abe
  • Parliamentary proceedings begin; 15 newly elected MPs take oath in RS
  • Nominations for Padma Awards to be open till Sept 15
  • Health Ministry holds virtual meeting with States, UTs to ensure adequate Oxygen availability in all healthcare facilities
  • Responsibility of all MPs to remain answerable to people: Speaker Om Birla
  • Around 495.37 lakh MTs rice estimated for procurement during forthcoming Kharif Season