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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 21 May 2021

NEWS

  • Govt continuously engaged in maintaining supply of Covid vaccine: PM Modi
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the need to avoid wastage of Covid vaccine, as wastage of a single dose of vaccine means not being able to provide the necessary protective cover to one life.
    • The Prime Minister interacted with the District Officials of ten States on the Covid-19 situation on Thursday.
    • Mr. Modi said, Union Health Ministry is providing the information for the availability of the 15 days’ stock of vaccines to the States and Union Territories.
  • PM Modi to interact with doctors, paramedical staff, other frontline health workers of Varanasi
  • Cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered cross 19 crores in country so far
  • National COVID recovery rate improves to 86.74%
  • Israel- Hamas ceasefire comes into force in Gaza Strip
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh lauds efforts of Armed Forces and Indian Coast Guard in rescue operations following Cyclone Tauktae
  • Income Tax Department to launch new e-filing portal www.incometax.gov.in on 7th June
  • Govt issues guidelines for care of elderly during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  • Govt asserts, shortage of Amphotericin-B used for treatment of Mucormycosis will be resolved soon
  • Railways delivers 12,630 metric tonnes of LMO in more than 775 tankers across country so far
  • Prime Minister Hasina gives away Independence Award 2021
  • European Parliament likely to pass motion to freeze European Investment Agreement with China
  • India and Oman renew MoU on military cooperation along with its annexure as well as on maritime issues
  • Group of scientists slams WHO for their report into origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan
  • Sri Lanka to close its borders for 10 days beginning Friday, May 21, for arriving passengers

Power’s New Dimension

  • Cyberspace - free, open, decentralised, distributed, and selfgoverning
  • Its very openness and freedom have become the source of its vulnerabilities.
  • Authoritarian regims fear this openness
  • Cyber attacks and geopolitics
  • Easy entry
  • Rogue states and well-organised digital terrorist groups use footloose hackers to steal intellectual property, and pry into diplomatic and strategic plans.
  • Cybersecurity attacks are unobtrusive, stealthy and insidious.
  • No rules of the road protect cyberspace, the domain where all our activities – military, economic, commercial, political and cultural – are being done now.
  • Power grids, financial systems, defence networks could be brought down by not only hostile states but also non-state actors acting alone or in collusion with their state governments.
  • A cyberattack shut down the electrical grid of Mumbai
  • The May 7 ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, one of America’s largest fuel suppliers, was carried out by a criminal hacking group DarkSide’s affiliate, for which it had to pay the ransom in cryptocurrency, 75 Bitcoin (nearly $5 million), according to media reports.
  • Cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology is a possible future for global finance.
  • Ransom in cryptocurrency cannot be traced at present.
  • One of America’s most precious assets, intellectual property, is under constant threat.
  • Chinese hackers have been accessing major US weapon system designs to modernise its military.
  • A few years ago Mandiant, a US computer security company, was able to pinpoint that a PLA unit located in Shanghai had “systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data” from US corporations, organisations and government agencies.
  • They stole “product blueprints, manufacturing plans, clinical trial results, pricing documents, negotiation strategies and other proprietary information from more than 100 of Mandiant’s clients”.
  • China continues to be the largest origin of IP theft today.
  • “IP theft needs to have consequences, with costs sufficiently high that state and corporate behaviour and attitudes that support such theft are fundamentally changed.”
  • The report recommended, “both technology and law must be developed to implement a range of more aggressive measures that identify and penalise illegal intruders into proprietary networks.”
  • The National Security Agency conducts surveillance under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
  • It collects metadata from telephone companies and internet data from internet service providers.
  • It watches cross-border data flow.
  • With so much data collected through its surveillance power, the NSA should have known through its Early Awareness System about DarkSide’s ransom attack before it occurred.
  • One would think that Silicon Valley tech wizards should have developed foolproof encryption to protect the nation’s data.
  • But they haven’t yet.
  • Cyberspace, in the ultimate analysis, is nothing but data.
  • Data is power, as Dartmouth Tuck School’s Dean Matthew Slaughter and David McCormick of Bridge Associates argued in Foreign Affairs.
  • With 5G technology and the Internet of Things that would turn everything into a networked object, data will expand exponentially.
  • Cyberspace has been called the fifth domain: Land, air, water, space and now cyberspace, for which the US established Cyber Command, the Pentagon’s offensive cyber force that Trump elevated in 2017 to a separate unified military command to strengthen cyberspace operations.
  • America, like India and other technologically advanced nations, has become a data nation. Data gives us power, but it creates vulnerabilities of which the DarkSide and Mumbai attacks gave us a foretaste.
  • Who will determine the new world order in the digital age?
  • Techno-autocratic nations like China and Russia or the world’s democratic nations, the US, Japan, India and others?

Circumvention

  • Wielding power at the Centre comes with great responsibility.
  • A major responsibility in a federal country with strong centralising features is to maintain the balance, as well as mutual respect, between political structures at the central and State levels.
  • Constitution - Articles 256 and 257
  • These provisions stipulate that the States are obliged to comply with laws made by Parliament and also allow some directions from the Union government.
  • It is an obligation of the Centre to refrain from bypassing the elected leadership while dealing with States.
  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held two virtual meetings with district magistrates and State officials to review the COVID-19 situation.
  2. Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal held a virtual meeting to discuss the National Education Policy, and related matters such as the conduct of Class XII examinations with State Secretaries in charge of education.
  • While such meetings may help the Prime Minister or any Union Minister get some feedback from the field across India, it is quite unusual for leaders in the central political executive to bypass their counterparts in the States.
  • The Tamil Nadu Minister for School Education, Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, took the right stand by not deputing any official to represent the State in Mr. Pokhriyal’s virtual interaction.
  • If the Prime Minister belongs to one party, and the officials addressed are from a State run by another, there is bound to be resentment that the elected representatives of the State are being bypassed.
  • The Disaster Management Act has been invoked to specify guidelines on lockdowns, restrictions and relaxations and to ensure smooth medical supplies.

Balancing act

  • At the open UN Security Council session on Sunday on the Gaza conflict, India, a non-permanent member, attempted a delicate balancing act by reaffirming its traditional support for the Palestine cause without abandoning its new friend Israel.
  • T.S. Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative at the UN, expressed concern over the violence in Jerusalem and the “possible eviction process” of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah and warned against “attempts to unilaterally change the status quo” in Jerusalem.
  • He also reiterated India’s “strong support for the just Palestinian cause and its unwavering commitment to the two-state solution”.
  • There is a direct condemnation of the rocket attacks from Gaza but no direct reference to the disproportionate bombing Israel has been carrying out on the impoverished Gaza Strip since May 10.
  • Until 2017, the Indian position was that it supported the creation of an independent, sovereign Palestine state based on the 1967 border and with East Jerusalem as its capital that lives alongside Israel.
  • When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has a good rapport with Narendra Modi, thanked 25 countries that he said stood with Israel, there was no reference to India.
  • For India, which voted against the creation of Israel in historic Palestine in 1947 in the UN General Assembly, ties with Israel have transformed since the early 1990s.
  • In 2017, Mr. Modi became the first Indian PM to visit Israel and Mr. Netanyahu travelled to India in 2018.
  • Throughout the Cold War, it remained a strong supporter of Palestinian freedom, taking a moral and legal position against the Israeli occupation, in line with international laws and norms.
  • It established full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, in the context of improving Israel-Palestine ties after the Madrid Conference and the changes in the global order following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, but never abandoned the Palestinians.
  • India’s Palestine policy had realist underpinnings too.
  • India has been energy dependent on the Arab world.
  • It cannot alienate the Arab voices or be isolated in the General Assembly, where most member-countries oppose the occupation.
  • These factors should have driven India to take a more emphatic position against both the indiscriminate rocket attacks into Israel, in which 12 people were killed, and the disproportionate bombing of Gaza, which has claimed at least 230 lives, including over 60 children.

The outdated nature of bureaucracy

  • COVID-19 has tested the resilience of all public institutions. Despite its efforts, bureaucracy has emerged as a major concern for the ineffective response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • This inadequacy is the reflection of the outdated nature of public bureaucracy.
  • In the 21st century, democratic countries are still relying on traditional bureaucracies to perform public policy formulation and implementation roles.
  • Weberian bureaucracy still prefers a generalist over a specialist.
  • A generalist officer (IAS and State civil service officials) is deemed an expert and as a result, superior, even if the officer works in one department or ministry today and in another tomorrow.
  • Specialists in every government department have to remain subordinate to the generalist officers.
  • Healthcare professionals who are specialists have been made to work under generalist officers and the policy options have been left to the generalists when they should be in the hands of the specialists.
  • The justification is that the generalist provides a broader perspective compared to the specialist.
  • Weberian bureaucracy
  • Traditional bureaucracy is still stuck with the leadership of position over leadership of function.
  • Leadership of function is when a person has expert knowledge of a particular responsibility in a particular situation.
  • The role of the leader is to explain the situation instead of issuing orders.
  • Further, the rigid adherence to rules has resulted in the rejection of innovation.
  • The reform often suggested in India is new public management.
  • This as a reform movement promotes privatisation and managerial techniques of the private sector as an effective tool to seek improvements in public service delivery and governance.
  • Further, COVID-19 has shown that the private sector has also failed in public service delivery.
  • Collaborative governance
  • The most appropriate administrative reform is the model of new public governance.
  • This model is based on collaborative governance in which the public sector, private players and civil society, especially public service organisations (NGOs), work together for effective public service delivery.
  • As part of new public governance, a network of social actors and private players would take responsibility in various aspects of governance with public bureaucracy steering the ship rather than rowing it.
  • During the pandemic, we see civil society playing a major role in saving lives.
  • It needs flexibility in hierarchy, a relook at the generalist versus specialist debate, and an openness to reforms such as lateral entry and collaboration with a network of social actors.
  • All major revolutions with huge implications on public service delivery have come through the collaboration of public bureaucracy with so-called outsiders.
  • These include the Green Revolution (M.S. Swaminathan), the White Revolution (Verghese Kurien), Aadhaar-enabled services (Nandan Nilekani) and the IT revolution (Sam Pitroda).

ANS

Q.) According to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, India’s unemployment rate increased from 6.5% in January 2021 to _____ % in April.

  1. 8.2
  2. 7.9
  3. 7.2
  4. 8.8

Q.) Who is the Chancellor of Austria?

  1. Werner Kogler
  2. Christian Kern
  3. Heinz Christian Strache
  4. Sebastian Kurz