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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 19 July 2021

NEWS

  • Monsoon Session of Parliament to begin today
    • During the session, Six bills will be brought to replace the ordinances.
    • The Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021
    • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021
    • The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021
    • The Essential Defence Service Bill, 2021
    • The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2021
    • The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2021
    • The proceedings of the Lok sabha and Rajya Sabha will begin from 11 AM.
    • During the session, 31 Government business items, including 29 Bills and two financial items will be taken up.
    • The session will conclude on 13th of next month.
    • The leaders of the political parties have assured the government of their full support, for smooth conduct of both the houses of parliament.
    • During the sitting, all covid protocols will be strictly followed.
  • PM Modi seeks cooperation from all political parties for smooth functioning of both Houses
  • NCST slams West Bengal govt over post-poll violence; says tribal communities living in fear
  • Two terrorists including top LeT commander killed in encounter in J&K’s Shopian district
  • Nationwide COVID-19 vaccination coverage crosses 40 crore doses mark
  • UGC postpones implementation of CUCET till next academic session
  • Minister of Earth Sciences Dr Jitendra Singh reviews Monsoon trends at IMD headquarters
  • Pegasus phone tapping: Govt dismisses surveillance allegation, says it has 'no concrete basis'
  • Vice President advises MoS for Defence to look into closure of roads in Secunderabad Cantonment
  • Manish Sisodia meets Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
  • New PM of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba wins vote of confidence in House of Representatives
  • UK PM, Chancellor Rishi Sunak will now self-isolate after Covid positive contact
  • Huge rush of people leaving Dhaka, COVID positivity above 29 percent
  • Devotees demand preservation of places associated with spiritual guru Thakur Anukulchandra in Bangladesh
  • South Africa President says calm has been restored in most parts of the country

AI’s Dark Side | ToI

  • Extraordinary advances of artificial intelligence (AI)
  • ‘Roadrunner’ uses Deep Fake technology to show Anthony Bourdain mouthing words he never uttered.
  • Deep Fakes are a subfield of AI that allow realistic forgeries of both video and audio.
  • The speed of advances in AI have made it possible to create Deep Fakes using freely available software and computer processing power that can be rented.
  • AI is perhaps the most transformative technology under development.
  • Deep Fakes can quickly undermine trust, the invisible bond that holds many collectives together.
  • Deep Fakes circulation during some electoral contests
  • US is gearing up to face new challenges.
  • US has been hit repeatedly by ransomware attacks, where hackers introduce malicious software code into networks to prevent victims from accessing their data.
  • The US is investing in talent and technology needed to cripple hackers’ cyber infrastructure.
  • Such enormous challenges mean GoI must build on its existing technology talent pool.
  • Social and economic costs of unchecked Deep Fakes and ransomware will be far greater.

Leaving the past behind | TH

  • Two events in Central Asia last week, which India attended, saw Afghanistan’s neighbours seeking solutions to the conflict there.
  • The first was a meeting in Dushanbe, of the Contact group on Afghanistan of SCO Foreign Ministers, and the second, a Central and South Asia connectivity conference in Tashkent.

  • Just days after the U.S. and NATO completed their pullout from the Bagram air base, and most other key locations, it is clear that the Taliban are making advances to return to power, by force if necessary.
  • Of particular concern are the Taliban’s attacks on border posts, particularly the border with Central Asian countries, and the Spin Boldak-Chaman border with Pakistan, which are for territorial control and to cut off crucial supply chains to the government in Kabul.
  • At such a time for the SCO Ministers’ grouping that includes Russia and China, India and Pakistan, and four Central Asian countries to have issued a joint statement, albeit without naming the Taliban directly, that decried the violence by terrorist groups, was significant.
  • At Tashkent, the host, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, also gave Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani the opportunity to confront Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for Pakistan’s failure to keep its promises on stopping the Taliban from crossing over and ensuring the Taliban conduct peace negotiations in earnest.
  • Despite Mr. Khan’s protests, the message is that the region, and global players, will not support the Taliban to enforce its brutal regime in Afghanistan through violent means.
  • For India and the Central Asian States, the worries are about the violence at the frontiers and the resultant refugee influx, extremism, and support to transnational groups such as al Qaeda, LeT, JeM, ETIM and IMU, as it happened earlier under Taliban rule.
  • As External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said, Afghanistan’s past cannot be its future, and in an interview to The Hindu, Mr. Ghani made it clear that the Afghan forces will not simply crumble this time.
  • The emergence of the regional consensus to shun any attempt to take power by force will also give the Taliban and its backers in Pakistan reason to pause, and the high-level intra-Afghan talks in Doha over the weekend, and the Taliban’s Eid announcement that they will pursue a political solution “seriously” and to assure neighbours they will not allow Afghan territory to be “used against any other country” may be evidence that the message has been received.
  • As the future of Afghanistan is decided in the weeks ahead, it is necessary for the neighbourhood’s voice, Central and South Asia included, to emerge more united and determined to protect the gains the nation has made over two decades.

Sensitive and precise | TH

  • Undoubtedly, trafficking is a pernicious offence, one that societies and governments must have zero tolerance for, and yet, handling the offence of trafficking needs precision, not a sledgehammer.
  • In its current form, the draft Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021 seems to be lacking in nuance, even if well intentioned, to stamp out exploitative trafficking.
  • The Bill, which will shortly be introduced in Parliament, aims at preventing and countering trafficking in persons, particularly women and children, to provide for care, protection and rehabilitation to the victims, while respecting their rights, and creating a supportive legal, economic and social environment for them.
  • This is the Bill’s second iteration; the first was passed in the Lok Sabha, in 2018, but then meandered into nothingness as it was never introduced in the Upper House.
  • Notably, the Bill has expanded the area under coverage to include offences taking place, not only within India but also outside it.
  • It envisages the setting up of anti-trafficking committees at the State and national levels to implement the provisions, when passed.
  • In the days the Bill was up in the public domain for comments, civil society activists and legal experts have criticised its various provisions, and submitted that an overzealous approach would blur the nuances and an understanding of the contributing factors, including vicious poverty, debt, lack of opportunity, and development schemes missing their mark.
  • Vociferous opposition has arisen over the key aspect of handing over investigation in trafficking crimes to the NIA both by those who believe that it would burden the already stretched unit further, and those arguing that this move would be an attack on federalism, by removing local enforcement agencies out of the picture.
  • Another key criticism of the Bill has been its broad definitions of victims, smacking of refusal to consider consensual sexual activity for commerce.
  • This would only land up criminalising sex work and victimisation of the exploited.
  • Bringing pornography into the definition of sexual exploitation would not allow even for any adult consumption of non-exploitative, consensual material.
  • Reporting of offences has been made mandatory with penalties for non-reporting, but those with an understanding of the tortuous processes, point to the fact that victims often do not want a complaint to be recorded.
  • The mention of the death penalty for various forms of aggravated trafficking offences needs to be flagged too.
  • While sexual exploitation and trafficking can be ghastly crimes invoking public horror, for the state to not employ a wholesome approach, cognisant of the causative factors, one that would be sensitive and precise, would be equally horrific.

Time to build a valuable economy | TH

  • This July marks the 30th anniversary of the economic reforms launched by the Narasimha Rao government in 1991.
  • The hallmarks of the reforms were lessening of government control and opening the economy to international trade and capital flows.
  • In mid-1991, India had foreign exchange reserves that would barely finance three weeks’ imports. In mid-2021, the import cover is estimated at well over 12 months.
  • A disappointing feature, though, is that the foreign exchange reserves have accumulated as a result of financial inflows rather than export surpluses, as was expected.
  • It is now apparent that competitiveness cannot be established by simply reducing government control over the private sector.
  • The history of globally successful economies shows that publicly provided infrastructure, private R&D and a facilitating government machinery are crucial for a country’s export competitiveness.
  • Most of these ingredients have been present in the case of India’s software services-exporters but are not equally available for exporters of goods.
  • The occasions since 1991 when there has been a trade surplus have been rare.
  • The balance of payments has been shored up by portfolio capital. Such capital can flow out just as easily, leaving reserves to deplete rapidly.
  • The only guarantee against balance of payments stress is a consistently strong export performance.
  • The reforms were also meant to raise the rate of growth of the Indian economy, which they did. Though the acceleration took some time coming, the rate of growth of the Indian economy has been higher after 2001.
  • However, it started slowing progressively after the demonetisation of 2016, dropping to less than pre-reform levels even before we were struck by the pandemic.
  • We realised how inadequate our health system is, as we watched helplessly the scramble for oxygen, the overflowing hospital wards and the overburdened crematoria.
  • But our rickety healthcare infrastructure is merely a metaphor for the absent ecosystem for living in India.
  • Sanitation, transportation, urban governance and the producer services, from power supply to waste management, needed to undertake economic activity, are all inadequately available.
  • The necessary infrastructure would have to be first created and then managed to supply the stream of services expected.
  • We have learned the hard way that the value of an economy depends on the extent to which it serves our needs.
  • The current crisis of lives and livelihood in India is the time to start building a valuable one.

ANS

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

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

Q.)  Meteorologists were stunned this week when three successive thunderstorsm swep across the icy Arctic, unleashing _________ in an unsual phenomenon that scientists say will become less rare with global warming.

  1. Lightning bolts
  2. Tornados
  3. Hail
  4. Typhoons