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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 05 August 2021

Maldives and Indian relationship | Pioneer

  • Maldives and India are having a relationship crisis owing to media articles and social media posts attacking the dignity of the Indian High Commission office in that country.
  • The Indian High commission wrote a letter to the ministry of external affairs that was shared with the Maldivian local media.
  • The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) blamed the whole drama on a local newspaper, Dhiyares, and its owner, Ahmed Azaan.
  • The MDP believes that the anti-India campaign run by Azaan is a well-funded, tailor-made, and intricately choreographed political campaign to bring ties between the Maldives and its closest ally, India, to breaking point.
  • The reason for the ‘India out’ campaign was the military presence in the Maldives, which according to the locals, is a threat.

  • Back in 2013, when the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) was in power, international relations between India and Maldives took a hit. PPM, led by Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, had tilted towards the Chinese.
  • To please the Chinese, the Yameen government indulged in anti-India slogans and policies.
  • India gifted two Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALF) in 2010 and 2015.
  • These helicopters were to be operated by Indian officers and to be used for ocean search and rescue operations, airlifting patients across the islands, and Maritime weather surveillance.
  • In 2018, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih came to power and scrapped agreements that proscribed the use of choppers and he extended the stay of Indian personnel stay in the Maldives.
  • According to Maldivian law, any agreement has to be tabled in Parliament and needs parliamentary approval.
  • But the Solih government, in the name of national security, does not share any data with Parliament.
  • The signing of Sifvaru-Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF) harbour project agreement between India and the Maldives in 2021, under which India will be developing a Maldives National Defence Force Coast Guard Harbour.
  • The Indian motive behind signing this agreement was the growing presence of the Chinese in the Indian Ocean region.
  • This agreement would satisfy the strategic interests of both India and the Maldives.

A grand tax bargain in danger of coming apart | TH

  • After four years, the promise of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) remains substantially unrealised.
  • It is a far cry from the attempted avoidance of cascading and continues to be a not very transparent multi-rate system with associated difficulties in computing and assessing tax liability, tax burden and tax incidence.
  • States have less headroom in handling GST collection shortfall after surrendering their fiscal autonomy.
  • When the period of five years of compensation ends in 2022, will we see a continued flawed system or a freshly minted GST 2.0?
  • The fundamental weakness of the GST is its political architecture which is asymmetrically loaded in favour of the Centre.
  • In the current structure, no particular body is tasked to adjudicate this though the original Constitution (115th Amendment) Bill 2011 (GST Bill) had a provision for such an institution.
  • In the voting, the central government has one-third vote and States have two-thirds of total votes (with equal voting rights regardless of size and stake).
  • With the support of a dozen small States whose total GST collection is not more than 5% of the total — and their Budget is mostly underwritten by the central government — the game is hugely in the Centre’s favour.
  • With equal value for each States’ voting, larger and mid-sized States feel shortchanged.
  • The contraction of GST revenue across the country means that the compensation amount will be higher and the clamour for a continuance of compensation scheme is inevitable.
  • Nearly 45% to 50% of commodity value is outside the purview of the GST, such as petrol and petroleum products.
  • In addition, States which export or have inter-State transfers or mineral and fossil fuel extractions are not getting revenue as the origin States and need a compensation mechanism.
  • Most trading and retail establishments, (however small) are out of the fold of the GST.
  • Exemptions from registration and taxation of the GST have further eroded the GST tax base compared to the tax base of the pre-existing VAT.
  • Theoretically, exemptions at the final stages reduce tax realisation.
  • Petroleum products remaining outside the purview of GST has helped the Centre to increase cesses and decrease central excise, in what would otherwise have been shareable with the States.
  • Equity requires that petrol and diesel be brought under the GST.
  • Apart from the complexity it creates in record keeping and ‘granting ITC’, in the present form it also leads to a cascading which the GST avowedly tried to avoid
  • The gap in filing GSTR-1 was 33% in 2019-20 and has been increasing.
  • Fraudulent claims of Input Tax Credit (ITC) because of a lack of timely reconciliation are quite high though it has come down by two thirds.
  • In the long run, voluntary compliance will suffer and equity in taxation will be violated.

A language ladder for an education roadblock | TH

  • Every great change starts with a revolutionary step.
  • The recent decision of 14 engineering colleges across eight States to offer courses in regional languages in select branches from the new academic year (https://bit.ly/3lsPuma) marks a historic moment in the academic landscape of the country on which rests the future of succeeding generations.
  • On a parallel note, the decision of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), to permit B. Tech programmes in 11 native languages in tune with the New Education Policy (NEP), is a momentous one.
  • This monumental move opens the door to a whole world of opportunities — to students of B.Tech courses, in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, Assamese, Punjabi and Odia.
  • The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in his address marking the first anniversary of the National Education Policy (NEP), hailed the move and pointed out that the NEP’s emphasis on the mother tongue as the medium of instruction will instil confidence in students from poor, rural and tribal backgrounds.
  • Importantly, he added that even in elementary education, the mother tongue is being promoted and referred to one of the key drivers in this regard — the Vidya Pravesh programme launched on the occasion.
  • Interestingly, in a survey conducted by the AICTE in February this year, of over 83,000 students, nearly 44% students voted in favour of studying engineering in their mother tongue, underscoring a critical need in technical education.
  • The progressive and visionary NEP 2020 champions education in one’s mother tongue right from the primary school level — improving the learning outcomes of the child and the development of his/her cognitive faculties hinge upon this.
  • Multiple studies have proved that children who learn in their mother tongue in their early, formative years perform better than those taught in an alien language.
  • UNESCO and other organisations have been laying emphasis on the fact that learning in the mother tongue is germane to building self-esteem and self-identity, as also the overall development of the child.
  • Unfortunately, some educators and parents still accord unquestioned primacy to English, and resultantly, the child’s mother tongue ends up as their ‘second/third language’ in schools.
  • It would be pertinent to recall the words of the great Indian physicist and Nobel Laureate, Sir C.V. Raman, who, demonstrating exemplary vision, observed, “We must teach science in our mother tongue. Otherwise science will become a highbrow activity. It will not be an activity in which all people can participate... (https://bit.ly/2VvakX6).”
  • While our educational system has seen phenomenal growth to the extent that it offers courses of international repute in engineering, medicine, law and the humanities, we have, paradoxically, excluded our own people from accessing it.
  • Over the years, we have ended up building academic roadblocks, impeding the progress of the vast majority of our students and remained content with creating a small bubble of English-medium universities and colleges, while our own languages languish when it comes to technical and professional courses.
  • Among the G20, most countries have state-of-the-art universities, with teaching being imparted in the dominant language of their people.
  • In South Korea, nearly 70% of the universities teach in Korean, even as they aspire to play a role on the international stage.
  • In a unique move, with the increasing craze for learning English among parents, the South Korean government, in 2018, banned the teaching of English prior to third grade in schools, since it appeared to slow pupils’ proficiency in Korean.
  • Similarly, in Japan, a majority of university programmes are taught in Japanese; in China too, universities use Mandarin as the medium of instruction.
  • In Europe, France and Germany offer us great insights into how nations protect their languages.
  • France went to the extent of having a strict ‘French-only’ policy as the medium of instruction in schools.
  • In Germany, while the language of instruction in schools is predominantly German, even in tertiary education, more than 80% of all masters’ programmes are taught in German.
  • In Quebec, a province with a majority French-speaking population, French is the medium of instruction in primary and secondary education in many schools, as also a number of universities.
  • In this global context, it is ironic that India has an overwhelming majority of professional courses being taught in English.
  • The NEP outlines the road map, demonstrating to us the means to protect our languages while improving the access and quality of our education.
  • For professional courses, while the initiative of the 14 engineering colleges is commendable, we need more such efforts all across the country.
  • Private universities must join hands and offer a few bilingual courses to begin with.
  • One of the biggest bottlenecks for more students to take up higher education in the native languages is the lack of high-quality textbooks, especially in technical courses, and this needs to be addressed urgently.
  • A welcome development in this regard is the collaboration between the AICTE and IIT Madras to translate SWAYAM’s courses in eight regional languages such as Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam and Gujarati.
  • Laying the stress on instruction in the mother tongue is not exclusivist in nature — as I often say, one should learn as many languages as possible, but what is required is a strong foundation in the mother tongue.
  • In other words, what I am advocating is not a ‘Mother tongue versus English’, but a ‘Mother tongue plus English’ approach.
  • Together, we must work to remove the sense of inferiority some of us display when it comes to speaking in our own languages.
  • We must unlock the full potential of our youth, without letting their seeming inability to speak a foreign language impede their progress.

NEWS

  • PM Modi to interact with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in Uttar Pradesh today
  • Centre asks States to consider imposing Covid restrictions, curb mass gatherings in view of upcoming festivals
  • More than 48 crore 89 lakh doses of Corona vaccine administered in the country so far
  • Indian and Russian Armies begin joint Exercise INDRA 2021 at Volgograd in Russia
  • Tokyo Olympics: India win bronze medal in men's hockey defeating Germany 5-4
  • External Affairs Minister Jaishankar to be on two day visit to Iran from today
  • US Army Chief General McConville arrives India on two day visit
  • Venkaiah Naidu meets leaders of various political parties
  • Cabinet approves MoU between IIST and TU Delft Netherlands for research activities
  • India’s nuclear power capacity is expected to reach 22,480 MW by 2031 from current 6,780 MW: Jitendra Singh
  • US approves arms sales worth 750 million dollars to Taiwan amid tensions with China
  • Attack targeting Afghan defence minister left 8 dead
  • Three dead, dozens injured in Czech train crash
  • Bangladesh Railway earns record revenue carrying freight at India-Bangladesh interchange points
  • ASEAN appoints envoy to open dialogue in Myanmar
  • Tokyo Olympics: Wrestler Ravi Dahiya to fight for Gold in 57 Kg free style category

ANSWER

Q.)PM Modi launched ____ a person and purpose-specific cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment?

  1. e-INDIAPAY
  2. e-PAY
  3. e-RUPI
  4. e-DIGIPAY

Q.) Lashkar Gah is the capital of which province in Afghanistan?

  • Helmland
  • Baghlan
  • Khost
  • Laghman