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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 05 November 2020

Republic of Police | IndExp

  • Maharashtra police arrested Arnab Goswami
  • Reason: for alleged abetment to suicide in a case of allegedly unpaid bills
  • Goswami has been arrested in a case in which the Maharashtra police had filed a closure report last year citing lack of evidence.

306 section of the Indian Penal Code

  • A person is guilty of abetment when:
  1. He instigates someone to commit suicide (or)
  2. He is part of a conspiracy to make a person commit suicide (or)
  3. He intentionally helps the victim to commit suicide by doing an act or by not doing something that he was bound to do
  • As per the 305 section of the IPC, if any person under eighteen years of age, any insane person, any delirious person, any idiot, or any person in a state of intoxication commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
  • Goswami has left no opportunity to target the Uddhav Thackeray government.
  • Looks like the police is marching to the tune of political vendetta
  • The alacrity with which several members of the Union Cabinet — from the Home Minister down — have come out in support of Goswami, invoking the Emergency and raising spectres of besieged media freedoms and “fascism”, only confirms how the political battle lines have been drawn in this case.
  • Their outrage is selective. It does not extend to journalists being picked up and slapped with draconian laws of sedition or UAPA in other states, especially BJP-ruled governments.
  • This should worry not just journalists, but all citizens who have stakes in a media that informs without taking sides, holds the powerful to account, speaks for the weak and those without a voice.

The financial capacity of States is being weakened

  • State governments drive a majority of the country’s development programmes.
  • Greater numbers of people depend on these programmes for their livelihood, development, welfare and security.
  • States need resources to deliver these responsibilities and aspirations.
  • Unfortunately, the financial capacity of the States is structurally being weakened.
  • The ability of the States to expand revenue has been constrained since the GST regime was adopted.
  • While both face a very challenging fiscal environment, the Centre, instead of finding mutually beneficial solutions, has repeatedly opted to undermine the current and future fiscal capacities of the States.
  • It has systematically cut the share of States in taxes raised by the Union government (devolutions), it has reduced the pool of funds to be shared with the States by shifting from taxes to cesses and surcharges, and it is needlessly thrusting measly options to overcome the GST shortfall.
  • Finance Commissions recommend the share of States in the taxes raised by the Union government.
  • Prior to 2014, devolution of funds to the States were consistently and cumulatively more than 13th Finance Commission’s projections.
  • The year 2014-15 commenced with a shock: actual devolution was 14% less than the Finance Commission’s projection.
  • Subsequent devolutions have been consistently less every year, ending the period 2019-20 with a whopping -37%.
  • Between 2014-15 and 2019-20, the States got ₹7,97,549 crore less than what was projected by the Finance Commission.
  • This is an undeniable and substantial reduction of the fiscal resource capacity of the States.
  • Between 2014-15 and 2019-20, cesses and surcharges soared from 9.3% to 15% of the gross tax revenue of the Union government.
  • This systematic rise ensures that the revenue that is fully retained by the Union government increases at the cost of the revenue that is shared with the States.
  • In 2019-20 alone, the Union government expected ₹3,69,111 crore from cesses and surcharges.
  • GST compensation will end with 2021-22. But cesses will continue.
  • Apart from the streams discussed above, Central grants are also likely to drop significantly this year.
  • The States may experience a fall of 20%-25% in their revenues this year.
  • The fall in funds for development and welfare programmes will adversely impact the livelihoods of crores of Indians.
  • Strong States lead to a stronger India.

Star status

  • Kamal Nath - ‘star campaigner’ for the Congress
  • Chief Justice S.A. Bobde appeared convinced that the ECI has no such power, and ordered a stay on its order.
  • Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 - relates to a candidate’s election expenditure
  • RP act does leave it to the political party itself to decide who its “leaders” are and allows every party to submit a list of such ‘star campaigners’ to the election authorities.
  • However, it should be noted that the ‘star campaigner’ status comes with a clear privilege: the expenditure incurred on the campaign done by those from the list of star campaigners is not included in the expenditure of the candidate concerned.
  • After all, the star status ensures that some leaders can charter helicopters and travel extensively to cover more territory and constituencies without breaching any individual candidate’s spending limit.

American muddle | Statesman

  • The United States (US) presidential election has turned out to be another nail-bitingly close race.
  • Due to the coronavirus epidemic and concerns about visiting polling booths, a record number of Americans opted to use mail-in ballots; more than 40% of them mailed in their votes.
  • The Democrats maintain that an election can be declared only after all votes are counted
  • Mr Trump argues that votes that have not reached by counting day should not be considered and says he will challenge legally any process that goes beyond this.
  • The Supreme Court has a 6:3 conservative majority
  • The point of contention arises because some states especially Pennsylvania that hold the key to the election have announced they will consider all votes that were posted on or by polling day ~ 3 November ~ and that they will be guided by the postal mark in determining whether or not a vote is valid.
  • This means it could take up to 6 November before all the votes are in and counted.
  • The central problem of course is that a democracy as mature as the United States is follows an electoral system for its highest office that is riddled with inconsistencies.
  • For instance, it is not the person who secures the most votes who becomes President but the one who secures most electoral college votes.

The electoral uncertainty in the US | HT

  • The potential for legal challenges is exacerbated by the fact the US does not have a federal-level Election Commission.
  • Each state has its own responsibility, with varying procedures for registering, voting and counting.
  • This would also be a setback to US soft power globally.
  • On China, the broad consensus in the US now is that the earlier expectation of deepened engagement leading to political and economic liberalisation had failed, especially under Xi Jinping, and the country was now a peer economic, technological and military rival, with aspirations for global leadership, norms and rule-setting.
  • But whatever the outcome, the broad positive trajectory of the US-India relationship is expected to be sustained.
  • The US-India relationship continued to consolidate under Trump. His administration placed India under STA-1 (Strategic Trade Authorization Level 1) for technology releases on par with the US’s closest allies and partners.
  • He started the 2+2, the joint foreign- and defence ministers- level dialogue in 2018.
  • He visited India in February, and travelled to Houston in September last year to address a joint rally of 50,000 Indian-Americans with visiting Indian prime minister.
  • With Biden as vice-president, the Obama administration had declared support for India’s permanent membership of United Nations Security Council, and designated it as a major defence partner to enable higher level technology releases.
  • India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement
  • India will need to navigate the next four years, mindful of stresses and trends within US society, and its resulting foreign policy compulsions.

NEWS

  • Enhanced PINAKA rocket successfully flight tested
    • Development of Enhanced Pinaka system was taken up to achieve longer range performance compared to earlier design with reduced length.
    • The design and development has been carried out by Pune based DRDO laboratories, namely  Armament Research and Development Establishment, ARDE and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, HEMRL.
    • A total of six rockets were launched in quick succession and the tests met complete mission objectives. All the flight articles were tracked by Range instruments such as telemetry, radar and Electro Optical Tracking Systems which confirmed the flight performance.
    • Enhanced version of the Pinaka rocket would replace the existing Pinaka Mk-I rockets which are currently under production.
  • Paddy procurement during current Kharif Season goes up by more than 20% over last year
  • CBDT issues refunds of over Rs. 1.29 lakh cr to more than 39.49 lakh taxpayers
  • 2nd batch of three Rafale aircraft lands at Jamnagar Air Base in Gujarat
  • Cinema halls, drama theatres, multiplexes, auditoriums to re-open in Maharashtra
  • ECI organizes 3-day International Virtual Election Visitors Programme for Foreign Election Management Bodies
  • Prasar Bharati signs MoU to launch 51 education TV channels
  • 12 labourers killed in Ahmedabad godown fire
  • SC lays down guidelines for matrimonial cases
    • Deserted wives, children entitled to alimony from date of application, says court
    • China remains quiet on Pak.’s Gilgit-Baltistan move
  • Delhi clocks over 6,000 cases
    • Along with Kerala, the national capital is leading in new COVID-19 cases
    • Plan to raise retirement age in military
    • The Department of Military Affairs (DMA), headed by Chief of the Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, has initiated proposals to increase the retirement age of officers and also cut down the pension of officers opting for premature retirement.