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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 19 March 2021
  • Duarte Pacheco
  • Swapan Dasgupta
  • Principal Advisor

Q.) Inflation targeting was introduced in Indian economy in which year?

  1. 2004
  2. 2008
  3. 2012
  4. 2016

Q.) The Lok Sabha approved which bill allowing the central government to draw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India for its operational requirements and implementation of various programmes?

  1. Appropriation Bill
  2. Operational Funds Bill
  3. Supply Bill
  4. Consolidated Fund Bill

Q.) All States and Union Territories have been tagged to 10 national labs under the ______ consortium with the National Centre for Disease Control as the nodal institute.

  1. INSACOG
  2. ERMED
  3. INDEST
  4. CUGH

 

Lateral Entry | Ind Exp

  • PM Modi in Parliament: complained about the overreach of the elite IAS cadre
  • Lack of administrative reform
  • One of the key focus areas of such reform is enabling lateral entry
  • Eight professionals were recruited for joint secretary-level positions in various ministries.
  • Some other positions at the joint secretary and director-level have been advertised.
  • But this is unlikely to shake up the system which is the entire logic of lateral entry.
  • In the permanent system, IAS officers get promoted to joint secretary level after 17 years of service and remain at that level for ten years.
  • The IAS and permanent system are strictly seniority-bound — nobody gets promoted ahead of time.
  • That makes the average age of a joint secretary around 45.
  • Now, if similar experience requirements are used for lateral entry, it is unlikely that the best will join because in the private sector they rise to the top of their profession, in CXO positions, or tenured professorships, at that age.
  • Their aspiration will be for a higher position.
  • To attract the best talent from outside at the joint secretary level, entry requirements need to be relaxed so that persons of 35 years of age are eligible.
  • IAS officers become secretaries to the government after 30 to 33 years of service, which means they are 55 or above.
  • The best talent from outside would only join at 50 or less.
  • If one looks at lateral entry in an earlier generation, among economists, there was much greater flexibility.
  • The likes of Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Bimal Jalan and Vijay Kelkar were joint secretaries in their mid-30s and secretaries by their late 40s or by 50.
  • That is one of the reasons they left lucrative assignments abroad.
  • The second challenge is whether the system is facilitating lateral entrants for success or is indifferent to the point of failure.
  • For a start, there are several joint secretaries in each ministry who handle different portfolios.
  • If assigned to an unimportant portfolio, the chances of not making a mark are high.
  • There must also be clarity in what precisely is the mandate for the lateral entrant.
  • There is a difference in bringing expertise and being part of the decision-making process.
  • To be disrupters, lateral entrants need to be able to stamp their authority on decision making.
  • On past evidence, the lateral entrants who made the biggest impact are those who served in the system for a length of time and at different levels.
  • A recent lateral entrant like Parameswaran Iyer succeeded because he had served in the IAS early on.
  • Lateral entry, like competition in any sphere, is a good thing.
  • But serious thinking is required on entry requirements, job assignments, number of personnel and training to make it a force for positive change.
  • Some reform of the “permanent” system — particularly its seniority principle — may be a prerequisite.

Aadhaar’s Limits | ToI

  • Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond to a PIL’s claim that nearly 3 crore ration cards have been cancelled because they’re not linked to Aadhaar.
  • India’s PDS is the bedrock of the entire welfare system
  • The National Food Security Act (NFSA) covers about 814 million people and the thrust towards computerisation and biometric authentication is built into the legislation.
  • Today, around 91% of ration cards are linked to Aadhaar database and more than 70% of transactions are done through biometric authentication.
  • The legal position is that biometric authentication is not mandatory to access foodgrains from PDS and the Centre has reiterated that point.
  • It’s states who’re responsible for operational aspects of NFSA, including weeding out fake ration cards.
  • Between 2013 and 2020, almost 44 million ration cards were cancelled.
  • Research in 2016-17 in Jharkhand by economist Karthik Muralidharan showed that some cancellations were of genuine beneficiaries whose cards were not Aadhaar seeded.
  • In Assam, almost 4 million people who’re contesting the final NRC list have been locked out of the Aadhaar system.
  • Over four years, 2017 to 2020, more than half of almost 21 million card cancellations happened in one state: Uttar Pradesh.
  • On the other hand, Bihar didn’t witness a single cancellation in four years.
  • The data suggests that it’s prudent for the Centre to withdraw its March 31 deadline to complete Aadhaar seeding of cards.

Aadhaar as a hurdle

  • The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, did the right thing by terming as serious the allegation by a petitioner that three crore ration cards were cancelled for not being linked with the Aadhaar database and that these were connected to reported starvation deaths in some States.
  • Nearly 90% of India’s projected population has been assigned the Aadhaar number
  • Inefficiencies in biometric authentication and updating, linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, and the use of the Aadhaar payment bridge.
  • There are reports that show failures in authentication having led to delays in the disbursal of benefits and, in many cases, in their denial due to cancellation of legitimate beneficiary names.
  • Despite being designed to store finger and iris scans of most users, doubts about the success rates of authentication and the generation of “false negatives” have always persisted, more so for labourers and tribal people.
  • Those engaged in manual and hard labour, for example, are susceptible to fingerprint changes over time.

For a reset

  • As top diplomats from the U.S. and China begin their meeting in Alaska, there is no question that their conversation will be a difficult one.
  • The meeting, between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Yang Jiechi, CCP Politburo member and Director, Central Foreign Affairs Commission, accompanied by U.S. NSA Jake Sullivan and Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi
  • Trade tariffs, 5G telecommunication, tech espionage, Chinese maritime actions and U.S. sanctions on China, and further exacerbated over the pandemic, which Mr. Trump called the “China virus”
  • Biden administration officials have said that they will bring up China’s crackdown in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Chinese aggression against U.S. allies and partners, in particular pressure on Australia over trade bans, aggression against Japan in the Senkaku islands and even the PLA’s incursions over the LAC, which China considers bilateral issues.
  • Mr. Blinken prefaced the Alaska meet with visits to Seoul and Tokyo where he promised an American “pushback” to China, and he goes into the talks with the backing of the recent summit-level Quad conversations, with a commitment to ensuring a free Indo-Pacific.
  • In particular, China wants an end to the U.S.’s trade sanctions, restrictions on American firms manufacturing in China and visa bans, and a reopening of its consulate in Houston.
  • Expectations are low of any breakthrough
  • Mr. Blinken’s formulation that the U.S. will be “competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be and adversarial when it must be” with China, chalks up climate change, the COVID-19 challenge and global economic recovery as areas of possible discussion.
  • Research quoted by the World Economic Forum predicted that the U.S.-China tariff war itself could cost the world $600 billion.

FINANCIAL NEWS

  • HC Backs Amazon Plea
    • The Delhi High Court stopped Future Group from going ahead with the sale of its retail assets to Reliance Retail, upholding Amazon’s argument that the Emergency Award of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) should be adhered to.
    • The single-judge bench also asked why Future Group founder Kishore Biyani and others shouldn’t be sent to civil prison, imposed costs of Rs 20 lakh on Future Group and told the latter to approach the authorities to recall all approvals granted to the Future-Reliance deal.
    • The court held that Future Retail Ltd (FRL), Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL), Kishore Biyani and others were in violation of the October SIAC Emergency Award that had halted the Future-Reliance transaction until the arbitration was completed.
    • The court was hearing Amazon's plea seeking a direction to order the enforcement of the SIAC ruling.
    • Future Group had announced in August last year that Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) would acquire its retail assets on a slump-sale basis for about ₹25,000 crore.
    • Amazon, which owns a 49% stake in Future Coupons, a Future Group holding company, objected to the deal.
    • Amazon said Future Group had breached a contract that gave the ecommerce giant right of first refusal and barred a sale to entities including Reliance.
    • Lawyers for Future Group and Reliance Retail had argued that the SIAC doesn’t have jurisdiction and that the interim ruling wasn’t valid in India.
    • However, justice JR Midha rejected the argument.
    • Amazon had taken its ongoing legal tussle with Future Group to the Supreme Court last month, seeking to restore justice Midha’s interim order that had put the deal on hold and was subsequently quashed by a division bench of the Delhi High Court on February 8.
    • The Supreme Court appeal is among several cases filed by both sides over the past few months. The Supreme Court had directed Midha to deliver a judgment independent of the other cases.
    • The Supreme Court had on February 22 sought a response from Future Retail (FRL) in a plea by Amazon Investment Holdings challenging the Delhi High Court order that had stayed the implementation of status quo direction issued by the single judge.
    • The next Supreme Court hearing will be in April.

NEWS

  • Foreign Minister of Kuwait, EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar review all aspects of India-Kuwait bilateral relationship
  • Labour and Employment Minister releases four volumes of Compendium on CPI for Industrial Workers
  • Life Insurance Corporation not going to be privatized: Govt
  • Redevelopment of railway stations across country is priority agenda of Railways Ministry: Piyush Goyal
  • Tough to meet 1st May deadline to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan: US President Joe Biden
  • China's top diplomat, State Councilor Wang Yi to meet US Secretary of State & NSA
  • Taiwan gives regulatory approval to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine
  • European Commision's president outlines plans for Green Pass to reopen access to international travel
  • Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina inaugurates Amar Ekushey book fair in Dhaka
  • India’s Nikhat Zareen stuns world champ Paltceva Ekaterina to enter Bosphorus boxing QFs
  • Rajya Sabha passes Insurance Amendment Bill, 2021 increasing FDI limit from 49 to 74 percent
  • Campaigning gains momentum for assembly elections in four states & one UT
  • Over 3.7 crore job opportunities will be created with implementation of Vehicle Scrapping Policy: Nitin Gadkari
  • Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, and Amazon Web Services announce new initiatives to boost innovation, entrepreneurship in India
  • Cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in country crosses 3.89 crore