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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 17 July 2021

NEWS

  • Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed while covering clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters
  • Defence Minister holds interaction with three recognised Defence Civilian Employees’ Federations
  • MeitY enables map services in UMANG App through MoU with MapmyIndia
  • PM reviews COVID-19 situation with Chief Ministers of six states
  • PM Modi dedicates to Nation several development projects in Gujarat
  • Consistent decline in daily active cases of Covid -19: Health Ministry
  • National Recovery Rate reaches 97.3%
  • Government launches digital platform Kisan Sarathi
    • Government today launched digital platform Kisan Sarathi to facilitate farmers to get right information at right time in their desired language.
    • The platform Kisan Sarathi was jointly launched by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw through video conference on the occasion of 93rd ICAR Foundation Day.
    • Farmers can avail personalised advisories on agriculture and allied areas directly from scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra through the digital platform.
    • This initiative of Kisan Sarathi will empower farmers with the technological interventions and reach farmers in remote areas.
  • Govt launches 8 new routes to boost regional aerial connectivity from Madhya Pradesh to Maharashtra and Gujarat
  • India’s focus in last few years has been to rebuild links that were diminished by colonial period: EAM Dr S Jaishankar
  • At least 80 dead, hundreds unaccounted for in Germany after floods
  • European Union’s Disease Agency predicts sharp rise in Covid19 cases by Aug 1
  • WHO DG Dr. Tedros asks China to be “transparent and open and to cooperate” in second phase of investigations into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Chinese Premier asks Pakistan PM to hold accountable culprits in bus attack

State of bureaucracy | Pioneer

  • Karl Marx had wished the state to wither away.
  • Bureaucracy became more and more relevant.
  • In capitalist countries too, the bureaucracies have come to stay.
  • We, in India, have our brand of bureaucracy which is castigated, pilloried, used, abused, harassed yet pampered, cultivated, and cajoled to assist in policy formulation and in executing such policy decisions.
  • Is the entire bureaucracy corrupt?
  • Does the present-day bureaucrat have the choice to remain honest?
  • Has the choice become limited over time?
  • Can the bureaucracy afford to be honest?
  • Does the politician (the prime decision-maker) want integrity in bureaucracy?
  • What is the price to be paid for remaining honest?
  • Is merely being honest sufficient for a bureaucrat?
  • Corruption is ubiquitous and has been in existence ever since the emergence of the human race.
  • The shift from ‘nazrana’ (a practice of giving gifts to the emperors and kings as recognition of their tutelage) to ‘jabrana’ (extortion by state agencies, including bureaucracy) is a serious cause for concern and requires to be addressed.
  • However, perhaps the most dangerous development has been the acceptability of corruption as a way of life and in a certain context, recognition provided to its perpetrators in public life.
  • A close look at the history of criminalisation of politics will help us understand the milieu in which the bureaucracy has had to function.
  • Immediately after independence, the country was driven by standards set by those who sacrificed their lives to free India from British rule.
  • The politician would keep criminals at a safe distance.
  • This changed during the post-Nehru era when criminals started helping politicians but still the politicians would shy of openly associating with criminals.
  • With the changing political environment and the emergence of coalition politics, criminals became necessary to subvert the political process.
  • Bihar set this trend but it was soon pursued in other states as well.
  • The association between crime and politics started becoming visible as governments became increasingly insecure.
  • The next stage of criminalisation of politics was marked by direct participation of the criminal in the political process, contesting elections and winning them in style.
  • The last nail in the coffin was driven in the form of these criminals starting to dominate the political process by becoming cabinet ministers.
  • The bureaucrat was to directly report to that very person who he would have incarcerated at some point in time.
  • Coalition politics and unstable governments led to some other unfortunate consequences as well.
  • The politician could not see beyond a few months.
  • The politician was more interested in transfers and postings of officers that provided pecuniary gains.
  • In some of the underdeveloped States, the only industry that is known to flourish is the “Transfer Industry”.
  • However, what is even more dangerous is the move to destroy institutions and systems to ensure that unfettered discretionary powers remained with the decision-maker.
  • This enabled the decision-maker to extract a price for every decision.
  • The destruction of institutions and the threat of harassment were often used as a lever to extract as much as possible from the bureaucrat.
  • The critical factor is not efficiency or the lack of it, but pliability.
  • If you do not conform, you are shown the door and harassed.
  • It is much worse amongst the lower echelons of the bureaucracy as they are more vulnerable to such extortionist pressures.
  • However, the bureaucracy has to share the blame for the present State of affairs.
  • It is a different matter that the political environment encourages pliability and corruption.
  • Generally speaking, a bureaucrat would fall into a combination of the following categories: Honest, efficient, not pliable, dishonest, inefficient, and pliable.
  • It would be an honest admission to accept that the combination of an honest, efficient, and non-pliable bureaucrat has become a rare occurrence.
  • As mentioned earlier, the politician would prefer a pliable and dishonest officer who is also efficient.
  • Not surprisingly, most of the known corrupt bureaucrats are efficient as well as pliable.
  • The corrupt bureaucrat-politician nexus is increasingly emerging as a major threat to the system where the majority of fence-sitters amongst the bureaucrats are succumbing.
  • Far from appreciating efficiency and honesty, the politician is busy evolving ways and means to use this tool called bureaucracy to fulfill one’s personal and political goals.
  • If honest bureaucrats have suffered on account of harassment and transfers, so have the dishonest ones as the law catches up with them one day.
  • The high and mighty amongst the bureaucracy have paid a heavy price for being dishonest and pliable.
  • There is greater recognition today, both by the media and the public, of the good work being done by bureaucrats.
  • The number could well increase once it dawns on the bureaucracy that there is no other option.
  • And it does not end with honesty alone. The officer has to perform and deliver.
  • A bureaucrat cannot afford to be inefficient but has to be aware, accessible, disciplined, and above all, transparent.
  • The issue is not the survival of bureaucracy. The bureaucracy has to thrive, in the interest of our country and our people.

Overdue review | TH

  • It is gratifying to note that the Supreme Court, while indicating its intention to reconsider the sedition provision in the IPC, has raised the question most relevant to the issue: “Why does Section 124A continue in the statute book even after 75 years of independence?”
  • The Chief Justice of India, N.V. Ramana, has also pointed to its rampant misuse by the police across the country, and reminded the Government that it was a legal provision that the colonial regime had used to suppress the freedom movement.
  • The issues flagged by the CJI may set the tone for what would be a comprehensive reconsideration of a section that has been frequently and wrongfully used, especially in the last few years, to suppress dissent, criminalise strident political criticism and taint opponents with the tag of being ‘anti-national’.
  • Even though it is often argued that the misuse of a law alone does not render it invalid, there is a special case to strike down Section 124A because of its inherent potential for misuse.
  • Recent cases show that sedition is used for three political reasons:
  1. To suppress criticism and protests against particular policies and projects of the government
  2. To criminalise dissenting opinion from rights defenders, lawyers, activists and journalists
  3. To settle political scores, sometimes with communal hues
  • It is not to be forgotten that the section was upheld in 1962 by a Constitution Bench mainly by reading down the import of the terms “bring into hatred or contempt”, or “to create disaffection towards the government established by law” and limit its scope to only those instances of speech or writing that show a pernicious tendency to create public disorder.
  • Without this attenuated interpretation, the restriction imposed on free speech by Section 124A would have been declared unconstitutional.
  • The Court is now seized of several cases that seek a reconsideration of the 1962 verdict, citing more recent judgments expanding the scope of fundamental rights and doctrines that have been subsequently evolved.
  • In 2016, the Government itself admitted in Parliament that the definition of sedition is too wide and requires reconsideration.
  • The Law Commission’s consultation paper in 2018 had said: “In a democracy, singing from the same songbook is not a benchmark of patriotism... People should be at liberty to show their affection towards their country in their own way.”

Not A Buzz-kill | ToI

  • After the recent drone attack at the Jammu air base, there were concerns that the government would drastically curtail drone use.
  • However, draft rules released by the civil aviation ministry, reportedly with inputs from the top of the government, are liberal and forward-looking.
  • Drones above a certain weight need to have unique ID numbers, which can be created on the digital sky platform.
  • Airspace is divided into colour-coded zones, permission is needed at certain heights in specific areas.
  • New rules also relax some onerous regulations, and focus on countermeasures like real-time tracking beacons and geofencing.
  • Businesses will find it easier, with single-window permissions, and smaller non-commercial drones will be free to fly without elaborate security clearances.
  • While drones are a new frontier in warfare, and terror drones like the one in Jammu must be deterred, a blanket ban is no solution and cannot effectively halt an advancing technology.
  • Drones, like any piece of tech, are neutral tools, and have benign uses in farming, mining, relief operations, disaster management, photography, package deliveries, research and much more.
  • They are easy to buy and soup up.
  • They can also be put to destructive use, to slam into critical targets, destroy infrastructure and so on.
  • There cannot be any one policy to address all these uses.
  • Combat drones are a whole other story, and India needs to invest in its own UAV systems and counter-drone technology to detect and track threats, especially around critical assets.
  • There are soft-kill and hard-kill methods, jamming the drone’s communication systems or crashing it, using missiles or other drones to shoot it down, or using pulses and lasers.
  • Given these complexities, new drone rules strike a balance between security and openness, keeping pace with an evolving and now-essential technology.

ANS

Q.)  The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the continuation of which flagship scheme by the Central Government as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for another five years till 2026?

  1. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
  2. Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana
  3. Ayushman Sahakar Scheme
  4. National Ayush Mission

Q.) Saad Hariri stepped down as the Prime Minister-designate of which country?

  1. Lebanon
  2. Syria
  3. Jordan
  4. Morocco