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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 27 May 2021

NEWS

  • Cyclone Yaas moves north-westwards; leaves behind heavy damage to property and life
    • Extremely high tidal waves and stormy wind along with heavy to very heavy rainfall flooded low lying and coastal areas and also submerged nearby villages and towns in several districts of Bengal.
    • Agricultural land has been extensively damaged due to inflow of saline water in the fields.
    • Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata today that at least 1 crore people have been affected and three lakh houses damaged due to rough weather conditions arising out of the cyclone.
    • 134 river embankments along the coastal districts have either broken or been damaged by its impact.
    • The Chief Minister will visit the affected areas of North and South 24 Parganas and East Medinipur on 28th and 29th of May.
    • The Odisha government has undertaken post cyclone restoration works on a war footing in the affected districts.
    • Though the severe cyclonic storm Yass has already crossed the north Odisha coast around noon today, the adjacent interior district of Mayurbhanj is still witnessing heavy rain and wind.
    • The cyclone has also induced high intensity rainfall in the Similipal biosphere reserve area.
  • Odisha, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands are much affected by Cyclone: IMD
  • PM Modi addresses Virtual Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Purnima
  • National daily COVID recoveries continue to outnumber new cases for 13th consecutive day; Recovery rate improves to 89.66%
  • Over 72,000 vials of anti-fungal drug Amphotericin-B allocated to all States, UTs in last 5 days
  • Govt has no intention to violate Right of Privacy, says Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
  • NHAI issues guidelines to ensure service time of not more than 10 seconds per vehicle at toll plazas
  • Indian Railways delivers over 17,945 MT of Medical Oxygen to various states
  • PM Modi speaks to Emmanuel Macron; thanks Macron for assistance rendered by France to India’s Covid response
  • History will remember Indian Railways for its immense contribution to the fight against Covid: Piyush Goyal
  • Over a million people die in China due to smoking-related diseases every year: NHC-WHO report
    • More than a million people in China are killed by smoking-related diseases every year, and the number will double by 2030 if the current smoking trend continues, a report warned on Wednesday.
  • Schools, colleges may open on June 13 in Bangladesh: Education Minister
  • US Secretary of State Blinken meets Egyptian President Sisi to shore up Gaza cease-fire efforts
  • Iran bans cryptocurrency mining for 4 months amid power cuts
  • EU lawyer accuses AstraZeneca of contract breach

FINANCIAL NEWS

  • RIL Rolls Out Mega Vaccination Drive
    • In what might be the biggest vaccination drive by a company, oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL) has signed contracts for sourcing vaccines from Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute for potentially 1.3 million persons, which includes its own employees as well as those of its partners such as BP and Google.
    • RIL has also extended the vaccination programme to family members of its employees.
    • Further, all retired RIL employees and their families will also be covered as part of the programme that will be rolled out in 880 cities, said officials close to the development. India’s most valuable company will pick up the tab.
  • More Indians Mull Shifting Base Abroad Amid Pandemic Pain
    • A 50-year-old businessman living in northwest Delhi for several decades has firmed up plans to emigrate with his family to New Zealand or Canada after a close relative lost his son to Covid despite money being no object when it came to treatment.
    • Another resident of Noida recently flew his family to Qatar, hoping to provide them with better healthcare opportunities in the future.
  • Gujarat Tops Black Fungus Cases
  • Amartya Sen Gets Spain’s Top Award in Social Sciences
    • Indian economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Kumar Sen has been conferred with Spain’s top Princess of Asturias Award in the social sciences category, the Spanish prize foundation announced on Wednesday. +
    • Sen, 87, was selected out of the 41 candidatures from 20 nationalities put forward for the Social Sciences Award, the Princess of Asturias Foundation said in a press release.

Imperious missteps  

  • Lakshadweep, an archipelago of 36 islands totalling 32 square kilometres in the Arabian Sea
  • Praful K. Patel, a BJP politician from Gujarat, who arrived as Administrator in December, appears determined to upend the landscape and recast the lives of the islanders, around 70,000 of them, all according to his authoritarian imagination.

  • The draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 gives sweeping powers to the Administrator to take over land and forcibly relocate people, and proposes harsh punishment to those who resist.
  • Consumption or sale of beef, a part of the food habits of many, could be an offence punishable by seven years in prison
  • Those who have more than two children cannot contest panchayat elections
  • Anyone could be held in prison without reason up to a year, under a new Goonda Act, in a place that has a very low crime rate.
  • The traditional livelihood of fishing communities has been impeded by mindless regulations that deny them access to coastlines.
  • Their sheds on the coastal areas have been demolished, saying they violated the Coast Guard Act.
  • Dairy farms run by the administration have been shut.
  • In March, the Mumbai police named him as an accused in a case related to the death by suicide of seven-time Dadra and Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar.
  • Commercial interests could be at play, and the land that inhabitants are forced to part with could be transferred to buyers from outside.
  • There could also be ill-advised political plans to change the demography of the islands.
  • The rationale for carving out Union Territories as an administrative unit is to protect the unique cultural and historical situations of their inhabitants.

How US has weakened WTO

  • The future of the global trading system?
  • Though global merchandise trade took a significant hit in the first half of 2020 and fell as much as 15% in the second quarter, it exhibited astonishing recovery in the second half of the year.
  • According to a March 31, 2021, press release by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), merchandise exports fell by only 5.3% over the full year.
  • This compares with a whopping 12% fall in 2009 following the global financial crisis.
  • WTO predicts that merchandise exports volume would rise by 8% in 2021.
  • Global merchandise exports have thus survived well the onslaught of Covid-19.
  • We would still face challenges posed by the fissures and fractures in the WTO system.
  • Central to the enforcement of multilaterally agreed rules under the auspices of WTO is its DISPUTE SETTLEMENT BODY (DSB), which does for international trade disputes what domestic courts do for civil disputes.
  • If a WTO member feels that another member has violated its trading rights enshrined in WTO rules, it can bring a case against the latter in DSB.
  • If the initial efforts to settle the dispute through intermediation fail, DSB appoints a panel to investigate and hear the case and give a ruling.
  • If either party is dissatisfied with the ruling by the panel, it can take the matter to the appellate body (AB).
  • Ruling by AB is final and binding.
  • Judges to AB are appointed for a four-year term (renewable for at most another term) by consensus among WTO members.
  • At any time, AB can have up to seven members of which three make the quorum for hearing a dispute.
  • For more than a decade, the United States has been unhappy with the rulings by AB in cases brought against it.
  • As a result, beginning in 2011, it has been vetoing the renewal of AB members completing their first term as well as the appointment of others to succeed them.
  • Cumulative effect of the vetoes has been that the total number of AB members fell to two on December 11, 2019, one short of the quorum for a hearing.
  • Consequently, WTO is no longer able to enforce its rules.
  • While the United States has expressed its displeasure with a number of features of how DSB has operated, so far, it has not placed a proposal to reform it to WTO membership.
  • Therefore, the path to bringing the DSB process back on track is simply not clear.
  • The United States also remains unhappy with developing-country status (which qualifies them for special and differential treatment under WTO rules) to countries such as China, India and Brazil.
  • Additionally, it wants greater transparency and better enforcement of WTO notification obligations.
  • Unfortunately, rule-making negotiations are currently stalled and may take some years to return on track.
  • As far as India is concerned, with global merchandise exports holding up at $18-19 trillion and commercial services exports at another $6-7 trillion, it has much to gain from the current system even if it is somewhat broken.
  • To return the country quickly to 7-8% growth path in the post-Covid-19 era, it must unwind its higher tariffs rather than continue with the losing strategy of import substitution.

Tackling rural economic distress

  • Several States are under lockdown again.
  • This will have severe implications for the livelihoods of those in the informal sector.
  • There is adequate evidence that migrant workers and the rural poor have been facing great distress over the past one year and the crisis for food and work is only going to intensify further.
  • Hunger Watch’ report
  • The survey involving 4,000 respondents across 11 States exposed the life and livelihood uncertainties of people belonging to low-income categories in the informal sector.
    • In October 2020, 27% of the respondents said that they had no income
    • 40% respondents said that the nutritional quality of food had become “much worse”
    • 46% of the respondents said they had to skip one meal at least once in the day in October 2020
  • 2nd wave: many have once again headed to their villages, a large population has got stranded in different parts of the country without work.
  • Stranded Workers Action Network
    • 81% of the people whom they reached out to said that work had mostly stopped since April 15, 2021
    • 76% of the workers said they are short of food and cash and require immediate support
  • The government announced 5 kg free foodgrains for individuals enlisted under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), for May and June 2021.
  • The government should expand PDS coverage immediately and include all eligible households under the schemes.
  • According to an independent study, about 100 million people are excluded from the ration distribution system owing to a dated database based on the 2011 Census.
  • The Centre should also extend the free foodgrains programme to a year instead of limiting it to two months.
  • The economic crisis is likely to last for a long time.
  • It is being reported that India procured record amounts of rice and wheat last year through mandis.
  • The Centre had allocated ₹73,000 crore for 2021-22 for MGNREGS and notified an annual increment of about 4% in wages.
  • Both these provisions are inadequate to match the requirements on the ground.
  • The central allocation for MGNREGS is about ₹38,500 crore less than last year’s revised estimate.
  • Of the 7.56 crore households which worked in MGNREGS in 2020-21, even if 1 crore households opt out of the scheme this year, the Centre should still budget for 75-80 days of employment in the year for 6.5 crore families given the current scale of economic distress.
  • By this rationale, at the current rate of ₹268/day/person, at least ₹1.3 lakh crore will have to be budgeted.
  • The government should also re-consider its decision of a mere 4% increase in MGNREGS wages and hike it by at least 10%.
  • This will mean another ₹10,000 crore.
  • Therefore, at least ₹1.4 lakh crore will be required to ensure uninterrupted implementation during the year.

ANS

Q.) Name the current Administrator of Lakshadweep

  1. Mohanbhai Sanjibhai Delkar
  2. Natubhai Gomanbhai Patel
  3. Praful Khoda Patel
  4. Lalubhai Patel

MCQ

Q.) In 2019, Odisha was struck by an extremly severe cyclone named?

  1. Phailin
  2. Gaja
  3. Fani
  4. Ockhi