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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 25 June 2021

NEWS

  • PM Modi says delimitation has to happen at quick pace so that polls can be held in J&K
  • Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal to interact virtually with students today on evaluation of CBSE Board Exams
  • President Kovind to arrive in Kanpur today by special Presidential train on five day visit to Uttar Pradesh
  • Over 30.79 crore doses of Covid vaccine administered in country so far
  • 120 crore out of 140 crore bank accounts linked to Aadhaar in country so far
  • EAM S Jaishankar to leave on visit to Greece and Italy today
  • NSA Ajit Doval meets his Russian counterpart in Tajikistan
  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurates and lays foundation stones of several road projects worth over Rs 6000 crore in Himachal Pradesh
  • CBI registers case against Mumbai based pvt firm and others for causing around Rs 2435 crore loss to SBI and other consortium banks
  • Centre, Mizoram govt and World Bank sign USD 32 million Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project
  • US bars some solar products made in China’s Xinjiang region; alleges human rights abuses
  • World health, IP, trade bodies launch platform to tackle COVID-19 pandemic
  • Dozens of people reportedly killed or injured after Ethiopia's air force bombs market in northern region of Tigray
  • Philippines grounds its entire fleet of Black Hawk helicopters after a new aircraft crashes and kills all 6 on board
  • Saurabh Chaudhary bags bronze medal at ISSF World Cup Shooting
  • Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray lauds Maharashtra Police and recommends advanced training for them
  • Offline classes for college students in Karnataka to begin only after completion of 1st dose of vaccination for students in July
  • Odisha reports slight increase in COVID-19 positivity rate

Hope On Kashmir | ToI

  • Article 370 were neutralised in August 2019.
  • The meeting PM Modi had with leaders of political parties from the region.
  • A significant step to advance the restoration of the political process in the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

  • The legislative step was accompanied by long detentions of leaders from Kashmir.
  • That they were now meeting GoI’s top leadership accounts for the importance of the meeting’s symbolism.
  • A Constitution bench of the Supreme Court is seized of the legal issues pertaining to Article 370.
  • Political leaders from Kashmir indicated that they will abide by the outcome.
  • Restoration of the political process began last year through direct elections of sarpanches and members of the District Development Councils.
  • The outcome suggested that old political parties such as NC and PDP retain enough support to make them essential to the deepening of the political process.
  • DDC elections were followed by the restoration of 4G services in February.
  • Peace in Kashmir has been hostage to cross-border terrorism.
  • The most important next step is to complete the ongoing delimitation exercise.
  • The current exercise for J&K has run into a problem as the associate members from Kashmir have not participated in the delimitation commitee meetings.
  • What is delimitation? Delimitation refers to the process of demarcation of the boundaries of parliamentary or assembly constituencies.
  • The process is carried out every few years to ensure that each constituency has approximately an equal number of voters — the underlying logic being that a set number of voters have one representative in the Lok Sabha as well as in the state assemblies across the country.
  • Therefore, the exercise is carried out after every census.
  • The presence of all political stakeholders is essential to cover all aspects and ensure the credibility of the process.
  • Hopefully, this meeting will persuade some political parties to shed their reluctance and join the process.
  • The long-term goal is restoration of statehood.
  • GoI recently approved a financial package of Rs 28,400 crore spread over 16 years for J&K’s industrial development.
  • This is a large commitment.
  • In a democracy, such spending needs to be overseen by elected governments.

Stopping the surge | TH

  • After a debilitating second wave of COVID-19, cash-strapped State governments have responded to falling cases with a swift unlock programme in most districts.
  • Some States have opted to open the floodgates, allowing dine-in restaurants, gymnasia, most shops and religious centres in areas with low test positivity rates for the coronavirus.
  • Lockdown-weary citizens, on their part, have greeted the reopening with road trips to tourist centres, even travelling across inter-State borders.
  • The déjà vu moment, worryingly similar to the misplaced optimism following the first wave, is a time for caution and to avoid the missteps that produced the deadly second wave.
  • Already, Maharashtra has expressed worry that there is a noticeable rise in cases in just a week; the experience of other States will soon be known.
  • There is a lot to be concerned about, since the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus that overran cities and rural areas in April-May continues to threaten unvaccinated populations, senior citizens and people with weak immunity in particular.
  • The likely risk for children also causes apprehension.
  • With the unprecedented knowledge base created in just over a year on COVID-19, governments have the resources to plan finely tuned reopening strategies.
  • The current consensus on preventing spread, as WHO points out, is to avoid the three Cs — crowded places, close-contact settings and confined and enclosed spaces.
  • A significant number of people are unwilling to wear masks and adhere to distancing, making it difficult to stop transmission, including on trains and buses.
  • Neither have State governments moved to provide certified masks to the public liberally, to be able to insist that they be worn.
  • The insurance and banking sectors have made slow progress in enabling employees to work from home using real time platforms that can reduce crowding in offices.
  • It is clear that until vaccines are freely available and cover every individual, the economy can reopen with a modicum of safety only with strong leadership.
  • A record vaccination rate on a given day may encourage more people to come forward to be immunised, but there are not enough doses available, and data show rural areas are doing badly compared to cities even for the first dose.
  • The Centre is cautious this time, warning of a third wave, but the imperative is to open windows of activity gradually without dropping the ball on safety.

India’s Africa policy | TH

  • Africa is considered a foreign policy priority by India.
  • The Narendra Modi government designed a forward-looking strategy to deepen relations with African countries.
  • Its implementation was managed quite well, with much political will invested in expanding the multi-faceted engagement.

  • Even as the COVID-19 era began in March 2020, New Delhi took new initiatives to assist Africa through prompt despatch of medicines and later vaccines.
  • But now the policy implementation needs a critical review.
  • India-Africa trade is on a decline.
  • According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, in 2020-21, India’s exports to and imports from Africa stood, respectively, at $27.7 billion and $28.2 billion, a reduction of 4.4% and 25% over the previous year.
  • Thus, bilateral trade valued at $55.9 billion in 2020-21, fell by $10.8 billion compared to 2019-20, and $15.5 billion compared to the peak year of 2014-15.
  • India’s investments in Africa too saw a decrease from $3.2 billion in 2019-20 to $2.9 billion in 2020-21.
  • Total investments over 25 years, from April 1996 to March 2021, are now just $70.7 billion, which is about one-third of China’s investment in Africa.
  • India’s top five markets today are South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and Togo.
  • The countries from which India imports the most are South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Angola and Guinea.
  • India’s top three exports to Africa are mineral fuels and oils (processed petroleum products), pharmaceutical products and vehicles.
  • Mineral fuels and oils, (essentially crude oil) and pearls, precious or semi-precious stones are the top two imports accounting for over 77% of our imports from Africa.
  • These latest trends in bilateral economic relations should be assessed against two broad developments.
  • First, COVID-19 has brought misery to Africa.
  • As on June 24, 2021, Africa registered 5.2 million infections and 1,37,855 deaths.
  • Given Africa’s population (1.3 billion) and what happened elsewhere (the United States, Europe and India), these figures may not have drawn international attention, but Africans have been deeply affected and remain ill-equipped.
  • A recent World Health Organization survey revealed that 41 African countries had fewer than 2,000 working ventilators among them.
  • Despite these shortcomings, Africa has not done so badly.
  • Experts suggest that the strength of community networks and the continuing relevance of extended family play an important supportive role.
  • Flows of assistance and investment to Africa have decreased.
  • Africa experienced a sharpened international competition, known as ‘the third scramble’, in the first two decades of the 21st century.
  • A dozen nations from the Americas, Europe and Asia have striven to assist Africa in resolving the continent’s political and social challenges and, in turn, to benefit from Africa’s markets, minerals, hydrocarbons and oceanic resources, and thereby to expand their geopolitical influence.
  • A mix of competition and contestation involving traditional and new players, especially the United States, the European Union (EU), China, Japan and India, has attracted much attention from governments, media and academia.
  • While China has successfully used the pandemic to expand its footprint by increasing the outflow of its vaccines, unfortunately India’s ‘vax diplomacy’ has suffered a setback.
  • This came in the wake of the debilitating second wave of COVID-19 in the country and the shortage of vaccine raw materials from the U.S. Geopolitical tensions in Asia and the imperative to consolidate its position in the Indo-Pacific region have compelled New Delhi to concentrate on its ties with the United Kingdom, the EU, and the Quad powers, particularly the U.S.
  • Consequently, the attention normally paid to Africa lost out.
  • This must now change.
  • For mutual benefit, Africa and India should remain optimally engaged.
  • It was perhaps this motivation that shaped the substantive intervention made by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on May 19 in the UN Security Council’s open debate on conflict and post-pandemic recovery in Africa.
  • Touching on politico-diplomatic dimensions, he regretted that “the voice of Africa is not given its proper due” in the Security Council
  • He highlighted India’s role in peacekeeping in Africa, in lending support to African counter-terrorism operations, and contributing to African institutions through training and capacity-enhancing assistance.
  • India’s aid for economic development in the African continent is set to continue, he assured.
  • His visit to Kenya (June 12-14 ) has helped to re-establish communication with Africa at a political level.
  • It is time to seize the opportunity and restore Africa to its primary position in India’s diplomacy and economic engagement.
  • The third India-Africa Forum Summit was held in 2015
  • The fourth summit, pending since last year, should be held as soon as possible, even if in a virtual format.
  • Fresh financial resources for grants and concessional loans to Africa must be allocated, as previous allocations stand almost fully exhausted.
  • Without new commitments, India’s Africa policy would be like a car running on a near-empty fuel tank.
  • Industry representatives should be consulted about their grievances and challenges in the COVID-19 era.
  • Developing and deepening collaborations in health, space and digital technologies.
  • Finally, to overcome the China challenge in Africa, increased cooperation between India and its international allies, rates priority.
  • The recent India-EU Summit has identified Africa as a region where a partnership-based approach will be followed.
  • Similarly, when the first in-person summit of the Quad powers is held in Washington, a robust partnership plan for Africa should be announced.

ANS

Q.) Which document did India sign at the G7 alongside other guest countries, criticising “authoritarianism, disinformation and politically motivated Internet shutdowns”?

  1. Democracy Allyship Statement
  2. Digital Civic-Space Statement
  3. Open Societies Statement
  4. Good Governance Statement