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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 21 July 2021

NEWS

  • Both Houses of Parliament face disruptions over various issues including Pegasus snooping
  • Rajya Sabha takes up discussion on management of Covid-19 pandemic
  • PM Modi asks BJP MPs to counter misinformation spread by Opposition about COVID-19
  • Govt always open to discussion with farmers to resolve the issue: N S Tomar
  • Over 41.18 cr COVID vaccine doses administered so far under Nationwide Vaccination Drive
  • National COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 97.37 per cent
  • 40 crore population of the country still vulnerable to COVID19: Govt
  • Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated across country today
  • CBDT grants further relaxation in e-filing of Income Tax Forms till Aug 15
  • More than half of Australia’s population under COVID lockdown
  • Bangladesh PM expresses resolve to win the battle against COVID 19
  • China’s 600 kph maglev train makes public debut
  • US and its allies accuse China of state sponsored massive global cybercrimes
  • IAF’s Sarang helicopter team all set to perform in Russian air show

Union of disputes | ToI

  • Recurrent flare-ups - Assam-Mizoram border
  • Assam officials: encroachment of forest land by people crossing over from Mizoram
  • Assam’s tensions with neighbouring Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Meghalaya date back to their creation from undivided Assam

  • 2014 Assam-Nagaland border skirmishes in which 11 people were killed and thousands fled their homes
  • Obsession with ethnic identity and lack of economic development, subsistence agriculture in dwindling forest land
  • Local politics
  • Maharashtra’s claim over Karnataka’s Belagavi (Belgaum) is pending in Supreme Court.
  • Odisha has land disputes with four neighbouring states
  • Kasaragod’s amalgamation with Kerala has its malcontents among Kannada speakers
  • Parliament having sole prerogative to fix state boundaries
  • On interstate water disputes, central and judicial intervention has kept the peace between upper and lower riparian states.
  • Some view nationalisation of rivers as the only solution.
  • Last week’s GoI takeover of Godavari and Krishna irrigation projects in Telangana is triggering protests there, but was predictably welcomed in Andhra.
  • The cold hard reality is that no dispute over land or water can be solved to the satisfaction of contesting regional, ethnic or linguistic groups.
  • Rather, these disputes must evolve towards conserving both natural and cultural heritage, while also being mindful of sustainable development.

The fifth coming | Pioneer

  • Sher Bahadur Deuba has made it to the Nepal Prime Minister’s seat for the fifth time.
  • Easily secured the confidence of the Lower House
  • Nepali Congress Party issues
  • Big payoffs pending for other parties
  • The foreign policy of Nepal is clearly in a shambles with no clarity on friends or encroachers.
  • Deuba is seen as leaning towards India and that sure isn’t pleasing for China that has been pumping in finances and building infrastructure in the Himalayan country to maximise its influence in the region.
  • As Nepal acts as a buffer between the two Asian giants and can’t afford to antagonise either, it would be a tightrope for the new Prime Minister though he has already traversed this path four times.
  • Nepal’s foreign policy has already taken shape.
  • However, Deuba and Narendra Modi have already spoken on the phone and talked about “working together to further enhance the wide-ranging cooperation between India and Nepal”.
  • Let’s hope for happier times ahead!

Economic stimulus, green energy transition | IE

  • In a few months from now, around Diwali, the burning of rice crop residue in northern India will create an air pollution crisis.
  • This can be avoided by procuring all the crop waste at a remunerative price.
  • The waste can be converted into briquettes, which can be substituted for coal in thermal power stations.
  • NTPC has already done this successfully without adding to the cost of generation, as the cost of briquettes is comparable to that of coal in energy terms.
  • The crop waste can be given for conversion into briquettes to private entrepreneurs.
  • Dispersed private investment for conversion would take place, creating demand for the conversion equipment, labour and transport. Air pollution would be reduced without any cost to the government.
  • The time to begin is now.
  • Electric vehicles (cars, three and two-wheelers) are available in the market.
  • They do not cause air pollution.
  • They are also considerably cheaper to run on a life cycle per km basis.
  • But demand is not rising because of the lack of charging infrastructure.
  • Till a critical mass of charging infrastructure on roads as well as in residential and office complexes is created, demand for EVs will not pick up and the investment on charging stations would not generate returns — a classic chicken-and-egg conundrum.
  • A national programme for building charging stations in all cities with a population of over a million is called for.
  • India has shown admirable ambition in going well beyond its commitment under the Paris agreement to aim for 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  • An easy way of achieving progress is to have a national policy guidance for the states to get electricity distribution companies to announce a remunerative price (feed-in tariff) at which they would buy solar power in the kw range from the rural areas.
  • Distribution companies would save money as their actual cost of delivering power in the rural areas is well over Rs 7 per unit whereas a remunerative feed in tariff for solar power could be around Rs 4 per unit.
  • Solar power generated in a village would make it much easier to provide electricity in the day to farmers for irrigation.
  • Now that all households are getting LPG stoves and cylinders and have already got electricity connections, cow dung is no longer required for cooking.
  • It can be converted in small village-level plants to gas which can be used as a fuel for cooking and transport, or, to generate electricity.
  • A government-promoted system for procurement of this gas, or electricity generated from this gas, at a remunerative price would create the right incentives for private investment and income generation across all villages.
  • India has the largest cattle population in the world and the goal should be to convert all the cow dung into useful commercial energy.
  • This would be a fit case for a bit of cross-subsidy. Cross-subsidy was used to get the National Solar Mission going. Costs have since fallen dramatically.
  • These are some innovative and affordable pathways for a green stimulus which would create dispersed demand and jobs with large multiplier effects.

National Insecurity | IE

  • When a list of phone numbers of potential targets for surveillance using Israeli malware is bared to the public through a collaborative investigation by an international consortium of journalists, and when among those in the India list are individuals belonging to Opposition parties, civil society, journalists (including three editors of The Indian Express, two current and one former) and a constitutional authority, the government must set up a probe into the matter.
  • When the Israeli vendor insists that the spyware is sold only to “vetted governments”, the government does not have the option of brazening it out or resorting to conspiracy mongering.
  • The new minister for Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, has said that the outing of the list is a bid to “malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions”.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah has spoken darkly of “disruptors” and “obstructors” and recycled his own disturbing formulation from an earlier time, “aap chronology samajhiye…”
  • Minister Vaishnaw has also spoken of the presence of established procedures and protocols through which lawful interception of electronic communication is carried out for national safety and security.
  • The growing impression that red lines have been breached, for government or its agencies to target political opponents, dissidents and activists.
  • This is about the constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy of individuals, and also about more than that.
  • The Pegasus allegations have cast a shadow on the integrity of institutions.
  • The government that is called upon to explain the alleged misuse of spyware is one that wears on its sleeve its intolerance of dissent, and which has sought to criminalise the dissenter by weaponising vaguely worded laws.
  • Also on the list of those selected for possible surveillance by the spyware are phones connected with the woman who in April 2019 accused the then sitting Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment — he was subsequently cleared by an in-house SC committee and nominated to Rajya Sabha by the BJP-led regime.
  • The apex court must take note — and this is not the only reason why it must step in.
  • The Pegasus allegations are debilitating in their potential effect on the trust that underpins the pact between government and people.
  • The court must play its role in ensuring that the questions are answered, and due process is followed, no matter where it might lead to.
  • Of late, the government has been pushing back at Big Tech — and with reason — on what’s right, and wrong.
  • It has been celebrating, rightly, the rise of tech unicorns in a range of services where the citizen’s phone and her data are, effectively, the engines of entrepreneurship.
  • Trying to snoop unlawfully is what maligns Indian democracy.
  • For the sake of national security, the department of dirty tricks needs to come clean.

Ans

Q.) Pegasus, a spyware that has been sold to governments to snoop on smartphones, is a product of which technology company?

  1. NSO Group
  2. Texas Instruments
  3. FireEye
  4. Fortinet

Q.) Who was the first Indian woman to receive an Olympic medal?

  1. Mary Kom
  2. Karnam Malleswari
  3. Sakshi Malik
  4. Saina Nehwal