We have launched our mobile app, get it now. Call : 9354229384, 9354252518, 9999830584.  

Current Affairs

Filter By Article

Filter By Article

The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 20 January 2020


Bull and gore

  • Celebrated in Tamil Nadu
    1. display of valour
    2. inevitable part of the Pongal season
    3. promoted as a tourist attraction
    4. symbol of Tamil culture
  • Courts: cruelty on bulls
  • This sport was banned by court, and then restored by law.

    1. The regulations have been tightened from time to time, and no event takes place without official permission or medical supervision.
  • The truth about jallikattu is that it is well nigh impossible to hold an incident-free event.
  • Popular sentiment, political patronage and the cultural instinct to preserve practices.

Needless fracas

  • Governors vs State governments
    1. Kerala: Arif Mohammad Khan
    2. West Bengal: Jagdeep Dhankhar
  • Mr. Khan: it was his duty to defend the laws made by the Centre.
    1. there is no discernible precedent as such
  • His view that his office is not a rubber stamp is true.
  • Constitution envisages the execution of popular will through an elected government.
  • The Constitution seeks to bolster centripetal forces in this vast and diverse country, and the Centre’s power to appoint Governors is one such.
  • The Governor’s constitutional role has been debated and interpreted through several cases.
  • Sagacious occupants have used the Governor’s office to promote national integration.
  • Many others have merely acted as agents of the ruling party at the Centre.
  • The Governor’s role as a link between the State and the Centre shall not be an imperial one.
  • The office of the Governor must be a dialogic and consultative one.

Equity’s weak pulse and commodified medicine

  • Madras presidency 1924: Subsidised Rural Medical Relief Scheme
    1. providing temporary annual subsidies to doctors choosing to settle down and practise privately in villages
    2. an economical way of expanding health-care access in rural areas
    3. The economic depression of the 1930s brought this scheme to a complete standstill
  • Honorary Medical Scheme (HMS)
    1. initially planned to assist full-time permanent medical officers in government hospitals
    2. honoraries soon started to overtake permanent doctors in an attempt to cut government spending on health.
    3. Eventually, any further recruitment into full-time permanent positions (expect in cases of exceptional need) was halted.
  • 1938: only 23% of doctors were in the public sector
  • There were 1,400 enterprises in 1950 and more than 10 lakh in 2010-11.
  • To doctors, this promised greater professional liberty, lesser restrictions, and higher incomes.
  • After liberalisation, the greater focus shifted to the lucrative tertiary-care sector.
  • Business finesse and social adroitness rather than clinical excellence and empathy become the touchstones of calibre in this market.
  • The National Health Service of the United Kingdom, despite having seen a number of pro-market reforms over the years, remains the single largest health-care provider, employs nearly the entire health-care workforce, and makes essential health care available to all practically free at the point of service.
  • A system founded on the concept of equity (which, while remunerating doctors well, is able to separate incomes from patient care decisions by and large) cultivates a totally different culture of patient care.
  • Things such as professional satisfaction and success come to be measured by a different yardstick, and there exists a different kind of motivation towards work, which is then bequeathed to the forthcoming generation.

Why ‘Make in India’ has failed

  • Make in India’: set an ambitious goal of making India a global manufacturing hub.
  • Three major objectives
    1. To increase the manufacturing sector’s growth rate to 12-14% per annum in order to increase the sector’s share in the economy
    2. To create 100 million additional manufacturing jobs in the economy by 2022
    3. To ensure that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP is increased to 25% by 2022 (revised to 2025) from the current 16%
  • The policy approach was to create a conducive environment for investments, develop modern and efficient infrastructure, and open up new sectors for foreign capital.
  • Gross fixed capital formation of the private sector, a measure of aggregate investment, declined to 28.6% of GDP in 2017-18 from 31.3% in 2013-14 (Economic Survey 2018-19).
  • Part of this problem can be attributed to the decline in the savings rate in the economy.
  • Household savings have declined, while the private corporate sector’s savings have increased.
  • Thus we find a scenario where the private sector’s savings have increased, but investments have decreased, despite policy measures to provide a good investment climate.
  • Policymakers neglected the third deficit in the economy, which is implementation.
  • While economists worry mostly about budget and fiscal deficit, policy implementers need to take into account the implications of implementation deficit in their decisions.
  • The spate of policy announcements without having the preparedness to implement them is ‘policy casualness’.
  • Make in India’ has been plagued by a large number of under-prepared initiatives.

Why did fail?

  1. It set out too ambitious growth rates for the manufacturing sector to achieve.
  2. The initiative brought in too many sectors into its fold.
  3. The uncertainties of the global economy and ever-rising trade protectionism, the initiative was spectacularly ill-timed.
  • ‘Make in India’ is a policy initiative with inbuilt inconsistencies.
  • A scenario where there is a quantum jump in the ‘ease of doing business’ ranking, but investments are still to arrive.
  • The economy needs much more than policy window dressing for increasing manufacturing activity.
  • Industrialisation cannot be kick-started by a series of bills in Parliament and hosting investors’ meets.

A net verdict that falls short of expectations

  • Ongoing communications blockade in the Kashmir Valley.
  • Court: any restrictions placed on the Internet, among other things, must meet a test of proportionality.
  • But judicial review, properly understood, entails more than a mere declaration of the law; it involves the application of law to facts.
  • Section 144  + shutdown of the Internet: more than five months
  • Justice N.V. Ramana: The right to freedom of speech and expression, contained in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, the Bench held, implicitly also includes a mandate to a right to information.
  • For, in the judges’ belief, the right to freedom of speech and expression includes within its ambit the freedom to disseminate and receive information through any means possible, including through the Internet.
  • Lord Diplock’s aphorism”, that “you must not use a steam hammer to crack a nut, if a nutcracker would do.
  1. The basic aim that the restriction seeks to achieve is legitimate.
  2. The state must demonstrate that it has chosen the “least restrictive” measure possible to achieve its purported objective.
  3. The state must establish that there exists a rational nexus between the limitation imposed and its purported aim

For Brus, a permanent home

  • A quadripartite agreement in New Delhi on January 16 allowed some 35,000 Bru tribal people, who were displaced from Mizoram and are living in Tripura as refugees since 1997, to settle permanently in Tripura.
  1. Centre
  2. State government of Tripura
  3. State government of Mizoram
  4. Representatives of Bru organisations

  • The Brus, aka Reangs, are spread across Tripura, Mizoram and southern Assam.
  • While many Brus of Assam and Tripura are Hindu, the Brus of Mizoram converted to Christianity over the years.
  • Clashes in 1995 with the majority Mizos led to the demand for the removal of the Brus, perceived to be non-indigenous, from Mizoram’s electoral rolls.
  • This led to an armed movement by a Bru outfit, which killed a Mizo forest official in October 1997.
  • The retaliatory ethnic violence saw more than 40,000 Brus fleeing to adjoining Tripura where they took shelter in six relief camps.
  • The demand to rehabilitate the Brus in Tripura was first raised by Pradyot Manikya, the scion of the Tripura royal family.
  • The BJP-led Tripura government agreed.
  • Chief Minister Biplab Deb called the “solution” within Tripura historic, as did his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga.


  • Ahead of holiday, China gears up to contain virus outbreak
    1. China will step up efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.
  • Centre for tougher law against sexual harassment at work
    1. The Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister Amit Shah, which was constituted to strengthen the legal framework to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace, has finalised its recommendations, a senior official said.
  • Sheikh Hasina says India’s citizenship law is unnecessary
  • Students launch satellites using helium balloon
    1. Twelve payloads consisting of satellites were launched using a helium-filled balloon by school students during the National Space Challenge-2020 (NNSC), organised by the National Design and Research Forum (NDRF) from the launchpad at the Vellore Institute of Technology, here on Sunday.
    2. The balloon is expected to reach an altitude of 20 kilometres.
  • 146 endangered Irrawaddy dolphins sighted in Chilika
    1. According to last year’s census, the Irrawaddy dolphin population in Chilika was 151.
  • More than 80 soldiers killed in Yemen attack

The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 15 January 2020

Theological thicket

  • 9-judge Supreme Court Bench
  • Nature of religious freedom under the Constitution.
  •  CJI: Court will not be deciding the petitions seeking a review of the verdict in the Sabarimala temple case.

 Larger questions

  1. Interplay between freedom of religion and other fundamental rights
  2. Extent to which courts can probe whether a particular practice is essential to that religion or not.
  • Law on women’s entry into mosques/temples
  • Genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohras
  • Entry of Parsi women who marry outside the community into the fire temple
  • Prudent: set out the limits
  •  Unwise: an examination of every discriminatory practice becomes a fresh treatise on Articles 25 and 26
  • Simple test: whether the particular practice is protected by the freedom of religion, or can be curbed on the grounds of “public order, morality and health” .
  •  1954 seven-judge Bench decision in the Shirur Mutt case: religious denominations had the autonomy to decide what religious practices were essential to them.
  • A reconsideration of this “essentiality doctrine” will be useful only if it is a means to rid the court of the burden of entering the theological thicket.

The long wait for empowered mayors

  • Indian metros have been deprived of empowered Mayors who can raise efficiency, productivity and liveability.
  • Mayors in many global cities go on to lead their country. In India, mayors have been reduced to obscure, ceremonial figures by national parties in India.
  • Economic Survey of 2017-18 3rd of the population now lives in urban areas Produce three-fifths of the GDP.
  • India’s overflowing cities lack capacity, infrastructure and leadership.
  • Absence of a single city government in charge
  •  Low spending on infrastructure.
  • State governments amass the large economic output from urban agglomerations, but are averse to a strong Mayoral system.
  • Chief Ministers see a potential threat from a charismatic and empowered Mayor with progressive policies.
  •  In spite of the 74th Constitution Amendment Act of 1992 the idea of giving more authority to the third tier of governance has suffered serious stunting
  • 18 local level functions
  • Average: 9 functions Planning for economic development Social development Regulation of land Construction of buildings Urban planning Public health
  • Newer devices used to bypass local bodies and priorities are styled as special schemes, such as urban renewal and smart cities, directly supervised by the Central government and partnered by State governments.
  • Even on a salient issue such as climate change, Mayors are much in demand.

Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) 2017

  • Covers 23 cities across 20 States
  •  Found 33% of medium and large cities with a provision for directly-elected Mayors, but none in the megacities.
  • A tenure of five years for Mayors is available only in a fifth of the biggest cities, and half of urban Indians live in cities where Mayors can be in office for just two-and-a-half years
  •  Government departments will feel accountable for urban services and infrastructure only under the watch of an empowered leader, who enjoys the mandate of the city’s residents.
  •  John Kenneth Galbraith’s famous description of India as a “functioning anarchy” .
  • India’s cities need a new deal, one that is focused on development. Only elected, empowered and accountable Mayors can deliver on that.

 Chalk and cheese in private vs. government schools

  • Big debate: is whether children in private schools perform better than those in government schools?
  • Do children who start grade one in private schools have a learning advantage?
  • Grade 1 curriculum: children are supposed to be able to identify and read words and simple sentences.
  •  Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2019: 21% children in grade one of government schools could read words compared to 46.7% in private schools — an advantage of 122%.

 How is this possible?

  • Age distribution in grade one of government schools is very different from that in private schools.
  • Private schools stundents come from relatively affluent backgrounds.

National Early Childhood Care and Education curriculum framework

  1. Developing skills related to sequential thinking
  2. Predicting patterns
  3. Observing
  4. Reasoning
  5. Problem solving in the pre-school stage
  • Private pre-schools provide school based curriculum in pre-school itself.
  • The findings of ASER 2019 make a clear case for strengthening these early childhood education centres so that they implement appropriate “school readiness” activities.
  • A case can also be made for streamlining the curriculum at the pre-school stage so that all pre-schools focus on activities that build cognitive and early literacy and numeracy skills.

 A regime that chooses its critics

  •  16|Nov|2019: Central Bureau of Investigation raided Amnesty International’s offices in Bengaluru and Delhi
  • Allegations: violated provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, and of the Indian Penal Code. Amnesty has been vocal about human rights abuses, notably in Jammu and Kashmir and Assam.
  • In early 2019, Greenpeace had to shut two offices in India and reduce its staff.
  • July 2019: raids in the offices of the Lawyers Collective In 2019 alone, more than 1,800 NGOs lost their licence to receive foreign funding.
  •  This is worrying given that international funding is crucial for NGOs to function.
  • The contribution of NGOs to human rights and public awareness is significant in India.
  • Developments in the public provision of health and education are unlikely to come about without pressure by NGOs.
  •  Most NGOs are neither politically powerful nor have great financial capacity.
  •  There is no clear guidance on what constitutes “public interest” .
  •  In 2014, several groups including Greenpeace were accused by the Intelligence Bureau of stalling India’s economic development.
  • The restrictions also have serious consequences on both the rights to free speech and freedom of association under Articles 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(c) of the Constitution.
  •  Democracy requires critics and civil society.
  • This is why invoking the FCRA to curb the work of NGOs is deeply troubling.
  • In a democracy, criticism should be welcomed, not repressed.
  • No government should ever be able to choose its own critics.

 The risk of a domino effect

  • Lebanon is home to Iran’s most important regional collaborator, Hezbollah.
  •  USA’s allay, Israel is confronted by Hezbollah in Lebanon
  • Iraq has been the battleground for U.S.- Iran confrontation
  1. Heightened anti-American feelings
  2. Sympathy wave for Iran in Iraq
  3. Islamic State can resurrect


  •  SC rejects curative pleas of 2 Nirbhaya death row convicts
  • After Modi’s call, Trump likely to visit Delhi in late February
  • Kerala govt. challenges CAA in Supreme Court
  • J&K Internet links partially restored
  • Hallmarking made must for gold jewellery
  •  CRZ rules eased for ‘Blue Flag’ beaches
  •  NIA questions DSP in Srinagar
  • China stands by Sri Lanka, says Wang Yi
  • Iran nuclear deal: EU launches dispute mechanism