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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 22 September 2020


In The Air

  • February - Wuhan Institute of Virology - first proposed airborne transmission.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is revising its guidelines to acknowledge the spread of the novel coronavirus through aerosols, and to point to inhalation of particles as a common way the virus spreads.
  • Airborne particles can spread even by breathing, remain suspended in air and be inhaled and spread beyond six feet in certain enclosed settings.
  • July 9 – WHO - acknowledged that the virus can be airborne in closed settings
  • Many countries had on their own denied permission for certain enclosed settings to operate
  • Universal masking - can avert infections, and if infected, the amount of viral load one is exposed to will be less, thus leading to only asymptomatic infections or mild disease.

A point of order

Voice vote versus division

  • A voice vote involves the chairman putting a question to the house and then asking members to put forward their opinion in the forms of ayes (yes) or noes. Based on a rough measure of which side was louder, the speaker decides if the motion was passed or fell through.
  • Division is achieved by getting MPs and MLAs to vote electronically.
  • Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh’s refusal to conduct a division of votes on two controversial pieces of legislation on Sunday, despite persistent demands from members, was unprecedented in its sheer brazenness.
  • The rules of procedure regarding voting are unambiguous that if a voice vote is challenged, “votes shall be taken by operating the automatic vote recorder or by the members going into the Lobbies”.
  • Even if a single member demands a division, it is required to be carried out.
  • Chair said: members were not demanding a division from their seats and the House was not in order
  • The disorder was triggered by the Chair’s refusal to order a division.
  • Parliament is a deliberative forum and not a theatre for protest demonstration.
  • Upper House functions have been significantly curtailed by the arbitrary labelling of money bills, which bypass it.
  • The flat out denial of a division of votes was a new low in parliamentary history.

With China as backdrop, New Delhi’s Moscow watch

  • India pulled out itself from Russia’s Kavkaz 2020
  • Participant: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
  • Will it impact India-Russia partnership?
  • June - Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers meeting - ended without an official communiqué.
  • Rajnath Singh - 75th Victory Day parade
  • September 4 - SCO Defence Ministers’ Meeting
  • Indo-Russian naval exercises, INDRA, in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • September 4 - S. Jaishankar attended the online BRICS foreign ministers meeting
  • September 9-10 - SCO Foreign Ministers meeting
  • In fact, in November, India will host the SCO Heads of Government Meeting.
  • Mr. Jaishankar has noted that we live in a ‘curious world’ where one cannot view engagement with different parties as a ‘zero-sum game’.
  • Both India-Russia recognise the value of having a diversified portfolio of ties.
  • India sees Russia in its vision of the Indo-Pacific
  • Reports indicate that a proposal for a India-Russia-Japan trilateral is being explored.
  • The strategic space both provide to each other is critical and only underscores the need to insulate their bilateral relationship from the vagaries of the international system.

Interpreting the India-China conversations

  • September 15 - in Parliament - Rajnath Singh – talked about LAC
  • India wanted to peacefully resolve the ongoing military confrontation, it was fully prepared to deal with any situation.
  • While India wanted to peacefully resolve the ongoing military confrontation, it was fully prepared to deal with any situation.
  • Earlier, on the sidelines of the Russia, India, China Trilateral meeting (RIC) in Moscow in early September, the Indian and Chinese Defence and Foreign Ministers had met to try and sort out matters.
  • The blunt exchanges between the Defence Ministers did little to assuage ongoing concerns.
  • What emerged from the talks, however, fell well short of expectations.
  • The ‘Five Point Consensus’ limited itself to urging the two sides to take guidance from “the consensus of their leaders on developing India-China relations, including not allowing differences to become disputes”.
  • Huge trust deficit between the two countries.

  • Understanding Chinese motives are difficult at any time.
  • Countries such as India should not pose a challenge to China’s rise.
  • Defusing tensions demands patient diplomacy, but it is not a character trait that Mr. Xi demonstrates.
  • India needs a carefully drawn-up plan as also an effective strategy to deny Beijing its immediate objectives, including its determination to establish regional dominance.
  • India must be prepared militarily and otherwise to keep a check on China’s burgeoning ambitions.

Dilution without adequate deliberation

  • September 19 - the government withdrew three Bills related to labour laws and replaced them with new ones.
  • These Bills make significant changes to regulation of labour and the employer-employee relationship in several ways.
  • India has a complex regime of labour laws, and several committees have recommended simplifying and rationalising them.
  • Last year, the government introduced four labour codes as Bills to replace 29 existing laws.

  • The Code on Wages was passed by Parliament last year.
  • Over the last few months, the Standing Committee on Labour presented its reports on the other three Bills.
  • It is these three Bills that the government has replaced and introduced in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Factories Act of 1948 defines any manufacturing unit as a factory if it employs 10 workers (and uses electricity) or 20 workers (without using electric power).
  • These thresholds are being raised to 20 and 40 workers, respectively.
  • The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 requires any establishment employing over 100 workers to seek government permission before any retrenchment; the threshold has been raised to 300, with the government empowered to raise it further through notification.
  • The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act of 1946 requires employers to formally define conditions of employment under them if they have at least 100 workers.
  • The 2020 Bill has increased this threshold to 300 workers.
  • 2020 Bills provide the government with the power to exempt establishments from any or all of their provisions.
  • The Code on Industrial Relations governs working conditions, trade unions, retrenchment and layoffs, dispute resolution, and establishes industrial tribunals.
  • The government may, in public interest, exempt any new industrial establishment from the provisions of this Code.
  • The Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions specifies leave and maximum work hours, requires health and safety norms including adequate lighting and ventilation and welfare measures.
  • It subsumes 13 Acts including the Factories Act.
  • The 2020 Bill allows the State government to exempt any new factory from its provisions in the interest of increased economic activity and employment generation.
  • There are some changes related to contract labour.
  • The 2019 Bill was applicable to establishments which employed at least 20 contract workers and to contractors supplying at least 20 workers; these thresholds have been raised to 50 workers.
  • The 2020 Code prohibits the employment of contract workers in any core activity, and specifically permits employment in a specified list of non-core activities including canteen, security and sanitation services.
  • The 2019 Bill on Occupational Safety allowed the government to prohibit employment of women in undertaking operations that could be dangerous to their health and safety.
  • The 2020 Bill removes this power to prohibit employment and instead allows the government to require employers to provide adequate safeguards.
  • All the three Bills (both the 2019 and 2020 versions) also show a major shift in approach from the earlier laws.
  • The provisions of the Bill affect every person working in India and every employer, and address complex issues.
  • Therefore, it is important that there is wider scrutiny and public discussion on these Bills.
  • They should be referred to the Standing Committee.
  • After all, a complete revamp of labour laws should be done only after due deliberation.


  • PM Modi hails passage of farm bills in Parliament; reiterates commitment to Govt procurement & MSP to farmers
  • Govt announces increase in MSPs for six Rabi crops
  • PM Modi lays foundation stone of nine NH projects in Bihar via video conference
  • Parliament nods Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020
  • Covid recovery rate improves to 80.12 percent
  • PM Modi to address convocation of IIT, Guwahati through video-conferencing today
  • Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad terms Opposition’s unruly behaviour against RS Dy Chairperson as shameful, irresponsible
  • MoRTH advises States, UTs to stamp International Convention of Road Traffic on 1st page of IDP
  • Permits not required for Transport Vehicles carrying Oxygen: Govt
  • Parliament passes Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • No postponement of elections in Myanmar despite COVID 19 surge
  • Pakistan’s Main Opposition parties formalise alliance to unseat Imran Khan govt
  • Bangladesh maritime ports hoist warning signal 3 as low pressure forms over Bay of Bengal
  • 50th meeting of border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh concludes in Dhaka.