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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 06 March 2021

Q) On September 25, 2020, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at ______ ruled that India’s imposition on Vodafone of ₹27,900 crore in retrospective taxes, including interest and penalties, was in breach of the India-Netherlands BIT.

  1. Mumbai
  2. Singapore
  3. Rotterdam
  4. The Hague

Q) The British Parliament will discuss the three farm laws on

  1. March 5
  2. March 8
  3. April 5
  4. April 8

Q) The Biden administration will stop pursuing the nomination of ________ for Director of the powerful Office of Management and Budget

  1. Tulsi Gabbard
  2. Susan Rice
  3. Neera Tanden
  4. Katherine Tai

Panchatantra Version 2021| ET

  • Covid-19 has presented us with unique opportunities
  • Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and later China
    • focused on sunrise sectors
    • unleashed a wave of reforms
    • embraced innovation to grow on a sustained basis

Mobility

  • US: 900 cars per 1,000 persons
  • Europe: 800  cars per 1,000 persons
  • India: 20 cars per 1,000 persons
  • Switching to an affordable, accessible and clean mobility ecosystem
  • In 2010, average price of a lithium battery that was over $1,000 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)
  • It has has fallen to a mere $137 kWh
  • It will further come down in 3 year, below $100
  • Such steeply falling prices have made high-mileage electric vehicles (EVs) cost-competitive.
  • To support the EV segment, GoI has already brought about numerous interventions
    • lower GST structure
    • tax deduction on interest for loans
    • FAME 2 scheme
  • Two-wheelers constitute over 70% of India’s total vehicle population.
  • In the two- and three-wheeler EV ecosystem, India has a huge opportunity to become the lowest-cost global manufacturer.
  • For long-distance transportation, India needs to focus on green hydrogen, the next-generation energy carrier.
  • New-age technologies, such as polymer membrane-based electrolysers and advanced fuel cells such as solidoxide fuel cells, are pushing the envelope of the hydrogen economy.
  • India has achieved great success in enhancing contribution from renewable energy and reducing solar prices to as low as ₹1.99/kWh (2.7 cents).
  • With these prices, green power to produce green hydrogen is the future.

Advance cell chemistries

  • India’s market for EV batteries alone could be $300 billion till 2030
  • Newage lithium solid-state batteries are challenging the hegemony of traditional liquid electrolyte-based batteries
  • GoI has provided a boost through its production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
  • There are disruptions that look beyond lithium, such as sodiumion, silicon- and zinc-based batteries.
  • India should take the lead in supporting the manufacturing and scaling up of these new-age chemistries that will advance battery storage.

Artificial intelligence

  • Eight of the top 10 companies are tech and digital companies, and the fastest-growing jobs globally are those of AI specialists and data scientists.
  • AI has the potential to boost India’s annual growth by 1.3 percentage points by 2035.
  • This amounts to an addition of $957 billion, or 15%, of gross value added (GVA) by 2035.
  • India has one of the lowest data costs in the world and over 650 million internet users, one being added every three seconds.
  • It now needs to move from being data-rich to data-intelligent by making available clean, structured and annotated data, and work with the best AI researchers to find solutions to tuberculosis, cancer and enhanced agricultural productivity.
  • An AI-enabling policy environment, supplemented by data-hungry entrepreneurs and product managers, is crucial.
  • India needs to reorient its academic institutions into centres of excellence, producing world-class talent for data science and UI/UX (user interface/user experience) design, and AI scientists.

5G

  • Fifth generation mobile network technology will make a paradigm shift to interconnect people, control devices and objects, and ensure faster and better communications.
  • It will be a backbone for the Industrial Revolution 4.0, AI, blockchain and all emerging technologies.
  • India was substantially late in exploring 2G, 3G and 4G technologies.
  • 5G’s user experienced data rate will see a 10-times jump, the spectrum efficiency will be three times higher, the latency in milliseconds 10 times better, and will connect 10 lakh devices per sq km, compared to a mere one lakh devices in 4G.
  • It will drive Internet of Things (IoT) technology carrying huge amounts of data.
  • Security will be a major concern
  • Licence conditions for 5G should, therefore, ensure that Indian companies get access to background intellectual property rights (IPR) from global players on FRANDS (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms.
  • So, India must create its own end-to-end 5G ecosystem.

Genomics

  • Recent findings in our genomic history and the sharply declining costs of genetic testing and analysis can transform the way public health is delivered.
  • A virtuous cycle of private investment in genetic testing, analysis, counselling and therapy must be set in motion.
  • Last year, GoI launched the IndiGen project, under which the full genomes of over1,000 individuals are sequenced, and the data handed over to the individuals on a smart card.
  • Anational genomics platform is necessary to zero in on the major risk factors individuals face.
  • This can sharply help reduce the incidence of many diseases.
  • The more genomes there are on the platform, the more useful it will be for finding solutions to diseases.

New space

  • With the launch of Brazil’s Amazonia-1 satellite last week from Sriharikota, a new chapter has begun in India’s space history.
  • The satellite, a 637-kilogram entity, was the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited, a two-year-old commercial arm of the Department of Space.
  • This is not the first time that NSIL has organised a launch of foreign satellites aboard an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launch vehicle.
  • The organisation has had launches last November as well as in December
  • However, the primary satellites aboard both these missions were Indian satellites — the RISAT-2BRI and the EOS-01 — with smaller satellites from several other countries, as well as India, piggybacking on them.
  • The Amazonia mission also saw 18 other satellites being launched and was the first fully commercial mission.
  • India has so far launched 342 foreign satellites from 34 countries using its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle platform and many of them have involved ISRO’s first commercial entity, the Antrix Corporation.
  • There is still confusion on how exactly the responsibilities of NSIL differ from those of Antrix.
  • But with the formation of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) — a regulatory agency — as well as plans of an independent tribunal to adjudicate disputes among private space entities, there is a potential explosion of market opportunities from space applications on the anvil.
  • Though the private sector plays a major role in developing launch and satellite infrastructure for ISRO, there are now several companies that offer myriad services.
  • Many of these companies want to launch their own satellites, of varying dimensions, and the experience with ISRO has not been smooth always.
  • The most conspicuous has been the controversy involving Devas Multimedia, to which the Government of India owes nearly $1.2 billion going by an order of a tribunal of the International Chamber of Commerce and upheld by a United States federal court last year.
  • Much like unfettered access to the Internet has spawned industries that were inconceivable, similarly, space applications and mapping have barely scratched the surface in terms of the opportunities that they can create.
  • NSIL has a broad ambit and will be involved in collaborations spanning from launches to new space-related industries.
  • NSIL is also expected to be more than just a marketer of ISRO’s technologies; it is to find newer business opportunities and expand the sector itself.
  • NSIL must endeavour to not be another Antrix but be continuously in start-up mode.
  • It must conceive of ways to aid space start-ups reach out to rural India and facilitate more recruits from India’s young to facilitate careers in space applications and sciences.
  • It must see itself both as an Indian ambassador and disruptor in the space arena.

The Kremlin’s buzzword now is Russia looking East

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared last month that although the European Union (EU) was Russia’s biggest trading and investment partner, Moscow was “ready to break ties” with the EU after criticism of the jailing of Opposition figure Alexei Navalny.
  • He added that Russia worked with the EU in only a few areas, dealings with the EU were “sporadic” and related mainly to energy and foreign policy issues such as Syria and Iran.

  • A Swedish soldier in the 18th century, Philipp-Johann von Strahlenberg, defined the Ural Mountains as the border between Russia and Europe, a view warmly endorsed by Russians associated with Tsar Peter the Great’s westernisation programme.

  • In 1962, French President Charles de Gaulle proposed “a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals”, the idea of a common European home echoed later by Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Gorbachev.
  • President Boris Yeltsin (1991-99) pursued this concept, but his commitment to refashion Russia after the European model failed to result in the inclusion of Russia in European security or political architecture or the removal of Cold War tensions.
  • Instead, Moscow’s embrace of liberalism legitimised sovereign inequality, with the EU lecturing Russia on liberal norms and assuming a role to influence Russia’s domestic affairs, though treating Russian influence beyond its borders as illegitimate and ‘meddling’.
  • The EU’s attitude was never sustainable since it rested on sovereign inequality.
  • Democracy was advanced when the West assumed the right to promote liberal values in Russian civil society and shape its political opposition, but democracy was under attack whenever Russia attempted to influence the West.
  • Europe’s mistake in dealing with Russia after the re-unification of Germany in 1990 was in expecting it to westernise unilaterally.
  • This ignored Gorbachev’s warning that “the states of Europe belong to different social systems; recognition of this fact and respect for the sovereign right of each people to choose their social system... are the most important prerequisites.”
  • After its transitory revival in the 1990s, the objective of a common European home remains as unrealisable as ever.
  • On the contrary, it seems that after 300 years, Russia will end its West-oriented approach although Europe and the United States have yet to acknowledge this historic shift.
  • The West’s support for the 2014 Ukraine uprising, and the NATO and EU’s relentless forward policy in States bordering Russia are intensely resented in Moscow, and the EU’s claim to a monopoly of European values and identity fuels this animosity.
  • The Kremlin’s Greater Europe concept has now been replaced by the more feasible Greater Eurasia Initiative, with Russia looking East for economic connectivity and institutional integration.
  • The current emphasis is on Russia’s sovereignty and independence, the idea of a unified European civilisation replaced by competition in values, and instead of closer collaboration with Europe, the Russian and European integration initiatives will go their separate ways.
  • S. President Biden, after pledging to pursue values-based diplomacy, now adopts Washington’s tried-and-failed toolkit of sanctions and use of force.
  • Moscow rejects EU efforts to intervene in its domestic affairs while the EU feels disrespected and rebuffed.
  • Russia is transitioning from Greater Europe to Greater Eurasia, and diplomatic disengagement may be expedient until the new reality is understood.
  • India, under ever-closer international scrutiny over its human rights abuses, should scrutinise the EU-Russia stand-off and draw the relevant conclusions.

Financial News

  • FY21 GDP Performance may Beat Estimates, Says Finmin
    • Economic activity in India has gathered pace and the financial year could end better than projected in the second advance estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) released last month.
    • The mild rise in Covid cases has not dented the steady uptick in consumer sentiment, which has been bolstered by the inoculation drive.
    • There is further strengthening of the “V-shaped recovery” that began in the second quarter
    • The Central Statistics Office has estimated an 8% contraction in GDP in FY21.
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) industrial outlook survey (IOS) conducted in the third quarter of FY21 has also reaffirmed this optimism, the report noted.
  • India can Use Cheap Oil in Reserves: Saudi
    • Saudi Arabia asked India to use the cheap oil in its strategic reserves to deal with the current price rally as the Arab nation and its allies ignored New Delhi’s plea to increase supply.
    • Crude rose to $68 a barrel on Friday.
    • India had bought oil from Saudi Arabia and other producers to fill its strategic reserve for about $19 a barrel last year when the pandemic had hit demand.
    • Rising crude prices, up nearly 70% since October, had prompted India to criticise producers’ extended supply cut.
    • While warning that the higher prices would impede the economic recovery from the pandemic, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan had repeatedly sought easing of supplies.
    • India is world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer.
    • Experts said the strategic reserves are too meagre to be used for price management.
    • The reserve of 5.3 million tonnes can meet 9.5 days of the country’s oil needs in case of supply disruption but is too small to have any meaningful impact on international oil prices
    • Moreover, the current policy permits domestic refiners to price fuels in line with international rates, and just making cheap crude available for a few days to them wouldn’t solve the high retail price problem
  • Singapore Top FDI Source in Apr-Dec
    • Singapore was the top source of foreign direct investment into India in the first nine months of FY21 at $15.71 billion, followed by the US at $12.82 billion and Mauritius in third position at $3.47 billion.
    • FDI equity inflows rose 40% to $51.47 billion in April-December of FY21 from $36.77 billion in the year-ago period, the government said
    • Officials said Gujarat garnered the highest share of FDI with $21.23 billion, followed by Maharashtra with $13.63 billion.
    • In the October 2019-December 2020 period, FDI in Gujarat was $23.82 billion and in Maharashtra it was $20.89 billion.
    • India’s high foreign inflows come as global FDI collapsed in 2020, falling 42% to an estimated $859 billion from $1.5 trillion in 2019, according to UNCTAD.
    • Computer software & hardware garnered FDI worth $24.38 billion in April-December. Construction witnessed the second-largest FDI inflows at $7.14 billion. Services, including banking, financial and insurance, drew $3.85 billion of FDI.
  • PLIs to Raise Output by $520b: PM
    • The production-linked incentive schemes, aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing and exports, are expected to increase the country’s production by $520 billion in the next five years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday.
    • “There is also an estimate that workforce will double in the sectors that have been given PLI. This will help increase income and demand.”
    • He also said the government aims to reduce 6,000 compliances on businesses at the central and state levels to increase ease of doing business in the country.
    • The government had announced 13 PLI schemes in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic last year to encourage large companies to ramp up manufacturing base and boost exports from India.
  • The Worst of Pandemic is Over for Economy: Debroy
    • The worst of the Covid-19 crisis, economic activity wise, is over, and one can look forward with some optimism for the economy in general, said Bibek Debroy, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.
    • The real growth comes from four different sources — consumption, investment, government expenditure and net exports, Debroy noted, speaking at the Dun & Bradstreet BFSI & FinTech Summit 2021.
    • One of the messages in this budget is that tax rates will have stability, Debroy said.
    • He observed that the budget focused on promoting growth by driving reforms to boost consumption, investment and government expenditure.
    • Speaking at the same event, chief economic adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian said India’s financial sector has not really grown as fast as it should have and is still very small.

NEWS

  • PM Modi to chair Valedictory Session of Combined Commanders' Conference at Kevadia in Gujarat
  • India expects China to work together to ensure that disengagement in remaining areas in Ladakh is completed at the earliest: MEA
  • Climate Change can be fought through policies, laws, rules and orders as well as behavioural change, says PM Modi
  • Govt constitutes National Committee headed by PM to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence
  • Over One Crore 90 lakh people administered COVID19 vaccination in the country
  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah to reach Kerala this evening
  • ITBP hands over SCME to Himachal Pradesh Police personnel deployed on Atal Tunnel Security
  • Hike in platform ticket a temporary measure to prevent overcrowding at stations: Railways
  • Govt describes Freedom House report which downgraded India’s status as misleading
  • India's total vaccine supply under Vaccine Maitri initiative reaches 461.66 lakh doses
  • India grants NRs 44.17M to build new school building under Nepal-Bharat Maitri Development Partnership
  • National Security Adviser of Nigeria visits New Delhi for First Strategic, Counter-Terrorism Dialogue between India-Nigeria
  • China sets economic growth target ‘above 6%’ for 2021, defense budget to be hiked by 6.8%
  • EAM Dr S Jaishankar speaks to his German counterpart