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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 22 June 2021

A time to give | TH

  • The Centre’s stated position before the Supreme Court on paying a standard ex gratia compensation to families of those who died of COVID-19 shows poor appreciation of the fallout of an unprecedented disaster.
  • After initially asserting that such payments were beyond the Government’s fiscal affordability, although there is a provision in the Disaster Management Act for compensation.
  • What the Government says it wants to do is to deploy funds in health care, enhance social protection and support economic recovery of affected communities, rather than give one-time compensation payments (₹4 lakh) or notified ex gratia sought by the petitioners.
  • The Economic Survey called for higher public spending of 2.5%-3% of GDP on health.
  • Lending a helping hand to families now impoverished should also be a priority.
  • Universal public health system
  • In court, the Home Ministry has said that confining solutions to compensation would be narrow.
  • Families who have lost breadwinners need help while orphaned children need support.
  • The Centre should not hesitate to review its tax basket to rely more on the wealthiest to compensate those who have been hit the hardest.

Ebrahim Raisi | TH

  • The head of Iran’s judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, won the presidential election in Iran on Saturday, June 19 with 61.95% of the vote.
  • His victory has come as no surprise, especially as he was considered the main choice of the Iranian hardliners.
  • Iran’s Guardian Council

  • From the point of view of experts and observers of Iranian politics, this election was carefully engineered and controlled by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who have been influencing all decision-making concerning Iranian domestic and foreign policies.
  • Ayatollah Khamenei is 82 and there are already rumours that the best candidate to replace him in the long run, as the Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution, is Mr. Raisi.
  • Mr. Raisi’s victory is an important opportunity for Iranian hardliners to win control over the most important branches of government after being out of office for many years.
  • The reformists were to be blamed for having failed to bring in meaningful change in easing political and social restrictions in the country and helping the expected rise of the hard-liners.
  • Though unified in their support of Mr. Raisi, the Iranian hardline factions did not succeed in energising Iran’s disaffected public.
  • As a matter of fact, there was a minimal interest in the presidential election among many young Iranians who continue to struggle on a daily basis to make both ends meet amid a continually deteriorating economy that has been crushed by sanctions by the United States.
  • Unsurprisingly, a high percentage of the Iranian population does not find in the new President a possibility of a better economic situation and improved ties with the West.
  • Many Iranians, even those born after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, are quite aware of Mr. Raisi’s long career in Iran’s judiciary and his participation in a four-member committee which ordered the execution of thousands of Leftist and the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MKO) political prisoners in 1988.
  • As in foreign policy, the new President will continue good relations with Russia and China, while he will persist in reinforcing Iran’s strategic relations with Syria and Iraq.
  • As an ultra-conservative, Mr. Raisi will certainly continue to collaborate with the IRGC decision-makers in order to play a significant role within Iran’s hegemonic enterprise in West Asia.

A perpetual war | TH

  • The dilemmas of ending the U.S.’s ‘forever war’ appeared to fall heavily upon the shoulders of President Joe Biden, who is now helming his country’s rush for the exit before the self-imposed deadline of September 11, 2021, the 20-year anniversary of the WTC terror attacks.
  • While he clearly signalled his intention to remain engaged with the war-torn country.
  • The U.S.’s troop withdrawal sends opposite signal

  • Ever since February 29, 2020, when the U.S. and the Taliban signed the Dohaagreement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan, Taliban-linked violence has risen steadily, U.S. intelligence reports have assessed that al-Qaeda still has a presence in Afghanistan and the terrorist outfit’s decades-long ties with the Taliban have been undiminished.
  • Facing tepid resistance from the ANDSF, now with ever-reducing access to U.S. air support, the Taliban have managed to fight, hold on to and even take back the territories from the government.
  • Potentially allowing agents linked to Pakistan’s military and intelligence establishment a freer hand to engage with extremist elements in Afghan with possible blowback for India.
  • What will become of New Delhi’s long-sighted, soft-power investments into education, training and infrastructure and civil society development?

Towards a more federal structure

  • Preserving the unity of India was a great concern at the time of independence.
  • The rulers of Travancore, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Bhopal and Junagadh wanted their own separate countries.
  • In October 1947, Kashmir was invaded with the backing of a very young Pakistan government.
  • Goa was liberated from the Portuguese only in 1961.
  • It was natural that India opted to be a Union unlike the U.S. and many other countries which have federal governments.
  • The essential difference is that the Central government has more authority and power in a Union government.
  • Direct taxes are income tax and corporate tax.
  • In the U.S., both the federal and State governments collect such taxes from individuals and corporations.
  • This is true in Switzerland and some other countries as well.
  • However, in India, direct taxes go entirely to the Central government.
  • The Central government is supposed to distribute 41% of its gross tax revenues to the State governments.
  • In the U.S., the federal government distributes about 15% of its revenues.
  • State governments get funds from the Central government according to the Finance Commission’s recommendations.
  • Meanwhile, the Central government has added cess on various items which adds up to over ₹3.5 lakh crore.
  • This is not shared with the State governments.
  • State governments also raise their own funds largely through taxes on liquor, property, road and vehicles.
  • At an all-India level, the States get 26% of their total revenue from the Central government.
  • Some of the so-called poorer States get up to 50% of their total revenue from the Central government, making them even more dependent.
  • This gives more economic power to the Central government and allows ruling parties at the Centre to use these funds to their advantage.
  • Another issue is regional disparity. Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka contribute the lion’s share of taxes to the government.
  • These three regions along with Tamil Nadu and Gujarat contribute 72% of the tax revenue.
  • Uttar Pradesh, which has the largest population in India, contributes only 3.12% but gets over 17% of the revenue distributed by the Central government.
  • Revenue distribution is based on complex considerations including population and poverty levels.
  • For every ₹100 contributed, southern States get about 51% from the Central government, whereas Bihar gets about 200%.
  • The population growth rates in the south have come down to near zero, whereas the population in central and north India continues to grow.
  • On the other hand, political power is concentrated in the north because there are more Lok Sabha seats.
  • The number of seats in each State will be revised in 2026 perhaps based on population and other factors.
  • This has already created apprehension in the southern States that they will be further politically marginalised.
  • One step could be to provide greater economic power to the States so that they can directly collect more taxes and be less dependent on the Central government.
  • This would improve Centre-State relations.
  • For poorer States, a period of transition is perhaps required.
  • Regional differences led to violence in Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka and between East and West Pakistan.
  • A transition to a more federal structure will allow the Centre to focus on external threats instead of internal dissensions.
  • Our internal divisions helped invaders from West Asia and the British.
  • Hopefully, we will learn from our history.

NEWS

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Q.)  WHO on Saturday officially announced the end of Guinea’s second _______ outbreak which was declared in February.

  1. Ebola
  2. Influenza
  3. Enteric Fever
  4. Small Pox