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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 27 October 2021

Political Economy Affects Audit Quality | ET

  • Shaktikanta Das is right to underscore the need for statutory auditors to improve the quality and depth of audits to prevent malpractice.
  • Eagle-eyed accountants are supposed to flag irregularities in audit reports and maintain the integrity and independence of the audit process, while discharging their fiduciary role.
  • However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has found many instances of related-party transactions between group companies not being valued at arm’s length, leading to diversion of funds and transfer of profits to connected parties, including at NBFCs and a few banks.
  • In April this year, the RBI updated the guidelines for appointment of statutory auditors in banks and NBFCs, putting in place ownership-neutral audit regulations to ensure independence of auditors and avoiding conflict of interest in auditor appointments.
  • Bank loans are opaque.
  • There will be greater transparency if there is a secondary market for bank loans and if projects are funded through bonds traded on the market.
  • Rightly, with the increasing complexity of the financial system, auditors must upgrade their skills.
  • Leveraging on modern information technology that is capable of identifying patterns that suggest foul play from analysis of all transactions among financial and non-financial companies taken together makes eminent sense.
  • The pull to inflate project costs and set apart a portion of the padding to make informal payoffs would come down if businesses can operate without having to grease palms.
  • Transparent political funding will remove the pressure on industry to build war chests with funds diverted from loans.
  • This means concurrent audit of political expenditure at disaggregated and macro levels, and to account for the financing.

Safety first | TH

  • The Supreme Court’s direction on Monday to the supervisory committee for the Mullaperiyar dam on the issue of the maximum water level has revived the controversy surrounding the dam.
  • Located in Kerala, the water body is operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu to meet the water requirements of five of its southern districts.

  • Despite the Court’s nod in 2014 to store water up to 142 ft, Tamil Nadu has been careful in drawing as much water as possible so that the level does not reach the permissible level ordinarily.
  • A few days ago, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to his Tamil Nadu counterpart, M.K. Stalin, referring to the heavy rainfall in the catchment and emphasising the “urgent need for the gradual release of water”.
  • During a debate in the Assembly on Monday, Mr. Vijayan categorically stated that there was no threat to the dam and was also appreciative of the Tamil Nadu authorities, who, he noted, were “highly empathetic” to Kerala’s demands.
  • With camaraderie prevailing between the two States, Mr. Stalin and Mr. Vijayan would do well to send out a strong message that there is no room for passion and chauvinism on a technical and complex subject such as the operation and maintenance of Mullaperiyar.
  • As the issue of dam safety is a recurrent one, it would be in the interests of all stakeholders that the remaining works to strengthen the dam are done at the earliest, for which the approval of the Kerala and Central governments is required.
  • Tamil Nadu too should ensure that all the instruments for monitoring the safety and health of the dam are installed and are functioning properly.

Preparing for outbreaks | TH

  • The inability of the private sector to share the burden drove the point home that healthcare services cannot be left to independent forces.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (ABHIM) is another addition to the arsenal we have to prepare for such oubreaks in the future.
  • This was launched with an outlay of ₹64,180 crore over a period of five years.
  • In addition to the National Health Mission, this scheme will work towards strengthening public health institutions and governance capacities for wide-ranging diagnostics and treatment, including critical care services.
  • The latter goal would be met with the establishment of critical care hospital blocks in 12 central institutions such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and in government medical colleges and district hospitals in 602 districts.
  • The importance of laboratories and their lack of readiness during an outbreak in terms of having a robust surveillance system and diagnostic interface has never been more pronounced than in recent times.
  • The government will be establishing integrated district public health labs in 730 districts to provide comprehensive laboratory services.
  • The current labs for different programmes shall be integrated to deliver clinical, public health surveillance and diagnostic services for predicting outbreaks, epidemics, and more.
  • ABHIM will focus on supporting research on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, including biomedical research to generate evidence to inform short-term and medium-term responses to such pandemics.
  • The government also aims to develop a core capacity to deliver the ‘one health’ approach to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in humans and animals.

  • The plan to achieve that bio-security preparedness and pandemic research strengthening would be realised via four regional National Institutes for Virology, the regional research platform for the World Health Organization Southeast Asia Region, and nine Biosafety Level III laboratories.
  • In India’s endeavour to keep ahead of the infectious organisms that bring our life to a halt, expanding and building an IT-enabled disease surveillance system is on the cards too.
  • A network of surveillance labs will be developed at the block, district, regional and national levels for detecting, investigating, preventing, and combating health emergencies and outbreaks.
  • Surveillance will get a huge boost with 20 metropolitan surveillance units, five regional National Centre for Disease Control branches, and an integrated health promotion platform in all the States.
  • This will be based on international standards and easily accessible to citizens.
  • A major highlight of the current pandemic has been the requirement of local capacities in urban areas.
  • The services from the existing urban primary health centres will be expanded to smaller units – Ayushman Bharat Urban Health and Wellness Centres and polyclinics or specialist clinics.
  • The urban primary health centres will be established closer to the community to meet the needs of the urban population and polyclinics will guarantee care through improved access to expanded high-quality services and establish referral linkages.

Coup in Sudan | TH

  • The move by Sudan’s military to dissolve the Sovereignty Council where it shared power with civilian leaders has thrown the African country’s fragile transition from dictatorship to democracy into chaos.
  • Almost three years ago, tens of thousands of Sudanese rose against the regime of Omar al-Bashir in what they call a “revolution” that eventually led to the dictator’s fall in April 2019.

  • Ever since, the military and leaders of the civilian movement came together to form a transitional government.
  • In their agreement, the acting Prime Minister would run the day-to-day affairs while the military chief would remain the leader of the Sovereignty Council for two years.
  • Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military chief, was scheduled to hand over the leadership of the transitional government to the civilian leadership in a few weeks.
  • Instead, he disbanded the government, proclaimed himself the new leader, declared a state of emergency and imprisoned the civilian leaders, including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
  • Pro-military mobs had been carrying out protests demanding the government’s removal amid soaring prices of essentials.
  • Port Sudan, the country’s largest port, on the Red Sea, had been blockaded by a tribal group, with help from the military, which worsened the economic situation, including acute shortages of food, currency and fuel.

  • The civilian leadership had accused the military of exploiting the economic crisis.
  • The overthrow of the Bashir regime and the promised democratic transition were the best hopes for Sudan to end its international isolation, heal the wounds of decades of oppression and state violence, and build a stable economic and political order in an otherwise violence-ridden Horn of Africa.
  • Last year, the U.S. removed the country, which hosted Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and announced financial aid.
  • Earlier this year, the IMF had reached a $50 billion debt-relief agreement with the transitional government.
  • The civilian leaders had promised that they would send Bashir to The Hague to prosecute him over allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
  • The country was also gearing up to organise its first free and fair elections in decades.
  • The protesters who brought down Bashir are back on the streets fighting the security personnel.
  • The military should release all the arrested leaders, restore the transition government and let free elections decide the future of the country.

NEWS

  • Union Health Minister asserts that Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission to help in fight against the pandemic-like situation in future
  • India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crosses 103 crore 48 lakh mark
  • Union Minister for Culture and Tourism G.Kishan Reddy launches Amrit Mahotsav Podcast
  • Central Consumer Protection Authority takes strong action on violations of consumer rights
  • India, ADB sign project readiness financing loan to support urban mobility in Mizoram
  • Envoys of four Nations present credentials to the President of India
    • President Ram Nath Kovind today accepted credentials from Ambassadors of Luxembourg Ms. Peggy Frantzen, Ambassador of Slovenia Ms. Mateja Vodeb Ghosh, Ambassador of Israel Naor Gilon, and Ambassador of Egypt Wael Mohamed Awad Hamed at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Vigilance week is being observed across the country
  • Government has a zero tolerance policy towards terrorism, asserts HM Amit Shah
  • Decision on Covaxin's emergency use listing recommendation expected within 24 hours, says WHO
  • Dozens of women protest in Kabul against closure of schools for girls in Afghanistan
  • ASEAN pulls up Myanmar for non-participation in the summit meeting
  • Defiant anti-coup protesters remain on the streets of Sudan
  • Glasgow to host COP-26 summit from Oct 31
  • BIMSTEC to adopt connectivity master plan worth USD 124 billion: Secretary General Tenzin Lekphell

Q.) S. Jaishankar became the first Indian External Affairs Minister to visit which country, after meeting his counterparts from Russia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to discus regional  cooperation?

  • Armenia
  • Turkey
  • Azerbaijan
  • Kazakhstan

Q.) Which country will hold next round of regional discussion on the future of Afghanistan?

  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • India
  • China