Q1-) Name the commission that was formed in 1966 to solve border issue between Karnataka & Maharashtra
- Mahajan Commission
- Variava Commission
- State Reorganisation Commission
- SK Dhar Commission
CPEC | HT
- China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
- Flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
- China’s “rightful’’ great-power status
For China, CPEC is
- An alternative route to transport oil and gas
- Spurt economic growth and development across its remote western regions
- Persian Gulf
- Maritime connect to Djibouti and the littoral states
For Pakistan, CPEC is
- Panacea for ailing economy
- Energy transportation systems - have the potential to stretch across to Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and even to Mongolia
- China committed to spending US $35 billion to build up to 19 new power plants
- Following the effective nullification of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on August 5, 2019, India has reiterated its long-standing claim to GB in POK.
- Baloch nationalist movement are against CPEC
- Exploitation of the region’s natural resources
- Sahiwal Coal power plant project in Pakistan’s Punjab province
- Forced to part with agricultural land
- Health issues - water contamination
- The prevalence of asthma, pneumonitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is on the rise in the area.
- India’s support is vital for BRI
- India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, a project initiated without consulting India
- “Debt Trap” financing
Autopsy of a pandemic | HT
- New Zealand’s former Prime Minister Helen Clark and Liberia’s former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
- Committee released an interim report
- Criticised the responses by China and the World Health Organization
- Ignoring crucial signs in the early days
- China did not make adequate efforts to contain the outbreak
- WHO dragged its feet till the end of January (and did not declare a pandemic until mid-March)
- Many countries ignored evidence that the virus spread between humans
- The world now needs to look back in detail on how it allowed an outbreak despite warnings from scientists, who for years said a pandemic was coming.
- The autopsy of the failed health emergency mechanism should form the bedrock of a global reset so that the next pandemic is identified for what it is before it debilitates us again.
Schools reboot | ToI
- On Monday, students of Class 10 and 12 in Delhi attended classes in schools for the first time since last March.
- Partial restart in Tamil Nadu
- Next week, Maharashtra
- Staggered reopening of schools across India
- Advent of the vaccination - last phase of the battle against Covid-19
- India must continue on the path towards opening up
- Low levels of activity in many areas have taken a large economic and social toll.
- Our economy will shrink around 7.5-7.7%
- Pushed many families back into poverty
- China’s annual growth will be 2.3%
- Balance the current vaccination drive
- Balance the current vaccination drive
A stress test for American democracy
- Oldest democracy – barely survived stress test
- Considerable damage has been done
- Need to deploy 20,000 National Guard troops
- An outgoing President who has been impeached a second time in his term
- Remember: democracy, however deeply rooted, can’t be taken for granted and needs constant nurturing and protection to prevent its descent into populism and mobocracy.
- Mr Trump will be gone, but Trumpism will be a tougher challenge to deal with.
- Joe Biden won over 81 million votes, Mr. Trump managed an impressive tally of 74 million
- Mr. Trump had been urging his supporters to protest in Washington, D.C. against the certification, sending out tweets, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” On that day, he sent them to Capitol, urging, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore”.
- While many Republicans held Mr. Trump responsible, they were reluctant to impeach him.
- Only 10 of them supported the motion that was carried by 232 votes against 197.
Populism and social media
- Somewhat belatedly, Twitter and Facebook removed Mr. Trump’s accounts along with a number of other right-leaning platforms linked to QAnon.
- Apple and Google stopped carrying the right-wing chat group Parler app while Amazon declined to host its data on its servers.
- This has led to legitimate questions about free speech, the monopoly of social media platforms, the viability of their economic model and who should determine policy in the digital public domain.
- The European Union is accelerating consideration of new rules to guide content moderation policies of social media networks.
- In How to Lose A Country (2019), Turkish writer Ece Temelkuran writes about how a democracy descends into populism, majoritarianism and finally authoritarianism.
- The Opposition is delegitimized
- The leader claims to represent the real people, who claim title to victimhood thereby aggressively claiming their dignity
- The elites become either irrelevant or, worse, instruments of oppression
- Terms of political discourse shift, secular liberals become “sickular libtards”, facts are questioned, and an alt-reality takes shape firing up the believers.
- PM Modi to release financial assistance to over 6 lakh beneficiaries of UP under PMAY-G
- India to begin supply of indigenous COVID-19 vaccine to several neighbouring and key partners countries from today
- Tenth round of talks between Centre and farmers representatives to be held in Delhi today
- US President elect Joe Biden to be sworn as 46th President under thick security cover
- India to gift 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh
- Union Minister Kiren Rijiju assigned additional charge of Ministry of AYUSH
- Inspection teams to check air pollution levy environment compensation charges of about Rs 76 lakh on non-compliant entities
- VP M Venkaiah Naidu calls for measures to prevent agro brain drain
- Home Minister Amit Shah to chair 69th Plenary Session of NEC in Shillong on 23rd and 24th January
- Foreign students post open letter to Chinese govt, demand clear plan for their phase wise return
- Chinese mainland reports 209 new COVID-19 cases
- Bangladesh urges Myanmar to expedite verification process for Rohingya repatriation