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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 19 August 2021

A delayed intervention

  • After much delay, the Government has notified the rules and rates based on which exporters can claim rebates on taxes paid on their outbound cargo.
  • That it took nearly eight months to come up with these critical details after the scheme promising such rebates kicked in has meant that exporters have had to conjure up additional working capital to the extent of taxes paid but not refunded during this period.
  • A new scheme was necessitated to replace the erstwhile merchandise exports incentive scheme after the WTO dispute settlement body held it was not compliant with the multilateral trade watchdog’s norms.
  • The Government is confident that the new scheme, Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP), and effective from January 1, is WTO-compliant.
  • Covering 8,555 tariff lines, or roughly 65% of India’s exports, the remission rates now notified, range from 0.5% to 4.3% of the Freight On Board value of outbound consignments.
  • For some goods, there is a cap on the value of the exported items.
  • Steel, pharmaceuticals and chemicals have been excluded from the RoDTEP.
  • Some sectors are concerned about the rates being lower than expected, while engineering firms are worried that taxes on key raw materials are not adequately offset.
  • Fine-tuning may be needed, but a vacuum has been plugged at last.
  • There can be no doubt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to scale up exports to $400 billion this year helped expedite the disentangling of inter-ministerial red tape over the RoDTEP scheme.
  • A new foreign trade policy, a couple of smaller export-related schemes and a mechanism to fork out the last two years’ pending dues under the earlier export incentive programme are expected by September.
  • This urgency must not be lost.
  • Having opted out of RCEP, India is looking to re-ignite free trade pact negotiations with Australia, the U.K., the EU and the U.S.

Keeping an eye on China’s expanding nuclear stack

  • China is expanding the size of its nuclear arsenal by building more missile silos.
  • The construction of the nuclear missile silo field in Xinjiang region in western China indicates the PRC is fielding a larger nuclear force based on fixed land-based capabilities.
  • The site is believed to host 110 silos.

  • This development comes against the backdrop of evidence that China had built a site with 120 silos in the arid region of Yumen, in the Gansu province.
  • The most likely reason behind the current expansion of China’s nuclear arsenal is: increase the survivability of its arsenal against a first strike from their nuclear adversaries, most prominently the United States.
  • However, other countries too loom large in China’s nuclear expansion such as Russia and India.
  • Chinese nuclear forces stand at roughly anywhere between 250 to 350 nuclear warheads according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) as well as the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
  • Last year, the United States Strategic Command (USTRATCOM) chief Admiral Charles Richard stated that the PRC could double its current operational stockpile which is still in the “low 200s” over the next decade.
  • In all probability, the PRC is expanding its nuclear forces if not to match the larger nuclear forces fielded by the Americans and the Russians, but sufficient to withstand a first strike and then execute a retaliatory attack that would defeat U.S. missile defences.
  • The PRC has refused to enter any tripartite arms control negotiations with Americans and Russians that could forestall the deployment of a more numerically robust nuclear arsenal, and possibly sees its current build-up as a necessity to bridge the nuclear asymmetries it faces vis-à-vis Washington and Moscow.
  • The growth in China’s nuclear arsenal might not have an immediate impact on India, but its development of land-based nuclear silos in the Xinjiang province should worry decision-makers and strategic elites in New Delhi given the region’s proximity to India.
  • More importantly, it is likely to have an impact on the ongoing boundary stand-off between the two countries in Eastern Ladakh.
  • The issue is not so much actual nuclear use by the PRC against India, but the coercive leverage fixed land-based nuclear capabilities give the Chinese in consolidating their territorial gains in Depsang, Demchok and Gogra-Hotsprings.
  • The more extreme and adverse outcome for India is that New Delhi is left with no choice but to accept China’s fait accompli.
  • The strategic balance between China and India is unlikely to be altered because of the Chinese nuclear expansion, but New Delhi would be wise to keep a close eye on its neighbour and work on enhancing its own strategic capabilities.
  • Amidst an all-round sharpening of great power contestation, the nuclear issue will continue to challenge policymakers.
  • U.S. President Joe Biden’s heart does not ache for the people of Afghanistan.
  • Democrat Biden was only taking forward the intent expressed by the Republican Donald Trump at election time that he would bring the troops back.
  • The American historian Stanley Wolpert has provided a useful foil to much of the academic history writing on India from Britain, characterising the U.K.’s departure from India in 1947 as ‘Shameful Flight’.
  • In the British official records, this event is presented as ‘the transfer of power’, eliding the partition of a subcontinent on religious lines and the horrific butchery that had followed.
  • After the Second World War, Britain’s mantle was taken over by the Americans.
  • Ostensibly to checkmate a communism that suppresses human rights they preferred a Pakistan ruled by dictators over a democratic India, mercilessly bombed first Vietnam and then Cambodia, and effortlessly switched their allegiance from Taiwan to their one-time foe Mao Zedong.
  • In their unflinching support to their ally Pakistan, they even sent the Seventh Fleet to intimidate an India that had gone to war in Bangladesh following a genocide unleased by Pakistani generals.
  • In pursuit of this strategy they finally reached Afghanistan which had been overrun by the Soviets.
  • The Americans funded the mujahideen, the forerunners of the present-day Taliban.
  • Then 9/11 happened, and the hunt for Osama bin Laden began.
  • Believing him to be hiding in Afghanistan, they first bombarded and then invaded it, only to find him ensconced in Pakistan.
  • Weak-willed, like the British after the Second World War, the Americans have re-enacted a shameful flight, leaving millions to face the Taliban, known for their misogyny, visceral hatred of democracy and intolerance towards anyone who dares question their interpretation of Islam.
  • This is a moral disaster for the west, that has for the past 200 years projected itself as the pre-eminent defender of liberty and egalitarianism, the bedrock of democracy.
  • In world politics, India is on her own now, and has no option but to be the sole defender of human rights.
  • Will we rise to the challenge?

The police we need

  • Ranjeeta Sharma, an Indian Police Service (IPS) probationer from Haryana, bagged the honour recently of commanding the passing-out parade at the National Police Academy (NPA).
  • She won two awards: the Best All-round IPS Probationer and the Sword of Honour for the Best Outdoor Probationer.
  • Interestingly, the honour of being the Best Probationer went to a woman officer, Kiran Shruthi, last year too.
  • He or she is expected to be an all-rounder.
  • The Best Probationer award recognises good conduct, empathy and a quick reflex.
  • These are the ideal qualities of the police who are required to intervene in dangerous situations and also go to the rescue of the poorest when they are harassed by anti-social elements.
  • Technology savvy
  • However, it is distressing to note the declining levels of integrity among senior IPS officers who are expected to be role models for their junior colleagues.
  • Recently, a case of alleged extortion was registered against a former Mumbai Police Commissioner. A senior IPS officer in Tamil Nadu was recently served a charge sheet in court in connection with a case pertaining to the sexual harassment of a woman officer.
  • What does an average citizen want from the police?
  • Citizens desire a friendly police force which treats the rich and poor alike.
  • They would also like to see less rapacious police stations where they receive service to which they are entitled, without having to pay any bribe.
  • We are still a country where crime against women is high.
  • In an ideal world, brilliant and straightforward officials would be chosen to occupy public positions calling for objectivity and skill.
  • Many officers are given plum posts based on their links and loyalty to the ruling party.
  • Ultimately it is the honest and hard-working officer at the top who will make the difference between good and tendentious policing.

NEWS

  • Cabinet approves implementation of National Mission on Edible Oils- Oil Palm with financial outlay of over Rs 11,000 crore
  • Govt clears package of Rs 77.45 crore for revival of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited
  • SC passes interim order allowing women to sit for NDA examination
  • RBI issues revised guidelines for hiring of locker facility provided by banks
  • India administers over 56 crore 57 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses so far

ANS

Q.) How much does the tyre industry contribute to the natural rubber consumption in India?

  1. More than 90%
  2. More than 70%
  3. More than 80%
  4. More than 60%

Q.) What is the name of the Godfather of Sudoku who died on Tuesday?

  1. Maki Kaji
  2. Momofuku Ando
  3. Satoru Iwata
  4. Kaz Hirai