We have launched our mobile app, get it now. Call : 9354229384, 9354252518, 9999830584.  

Current Affairs

Filter By Article

Filter By Article

The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 07 August 2021

The benefits of breastfeeding | TH

  • UNICEF states that “breastfeeding is among the most effective ways to protect maternal and child health and promote healthy growth and optimal development in early childhood.”
  • Infants should be breastfed within one hour of birth, breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their lives, and be breastfed after six months in combination with solid, semi-solid and soft food until they are about two years old.
  • Breastfeeding provides greater immunity for children against infection, allergies, cancers and obesity; and improves brain maturation.
  • It is also beneficial for the mother: it promotes faster weight loss after birth, reduces postpartum bleeding, and protects her against breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.
  • Data from The Lancet show that more investment in breastfeeding could add $300 billion to the global economy and prevent about 8,20,000 child deaths every year.
  • Globally only 25%-40% of babies are breastfed
  • Breastfeeding and later wet nursing were the norm for millions of years.
  • During the Renaissance period, breastfeeding came to be seen as unfashionable.
  • Feeding bottles and formula milk were aggressively advertised leading to a reduction in breastfeeding between the 17th and 19th century.
  • However, during the late 19th century, an increase in infant mortality rate and rise in noncommunicable diseases during adulthood were attributed to bottle feeding.
  • This prompted experts and leaders everywhere to push for breastfeeding across the world.
  • The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was established in 1991 to create awareness about the importance of breastfeeding.
  • In 1992, WABA in coordination with UNICEF introduced World Breastfeeding Week during the first week of August every year.
  • India enacted the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods Act in 1992 with stringent regulations.
  • However, the National Family Health Survey-5 data show that there has been a decline in early breastfeeding in as many as 12 of the 22 surveyed States and Union Territories while the share of institutional births has increased.
  • The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has promised in its manifesto that maternity leave in Tamil Nadu would be extended to 12 months.
  • This is essential as women are entering the workforce in large numbers while society has shifted to a nuclear family system.
  • Such a move will ensure uninterrupted breastfeeding.
  • Nevertheless, counselling and educating the parents, establishing breast milk banks, providing lactating mothers with subsidised breast milk pump equipment, and setting up exclusive facilities to breastfeed will prove to be beneficial for mothers to provide exclusive breastmilk for children up to six months.
  • The inclusion of husbands in this conversation is incumbent. Both the mother and newborn are vulnerable for the first 12 weeks.
  • Getting used to breastfeeding takes at least 14 days. Therefore, assistance from the partner is indispensable during this time.
  • However, Indian law only allows for 15 days of paternity leave.
  • It is imperative to extend this to 12-16 weeks.
  • Communicable and non-communicable diseases hamper our economic growth.
  • The theme for World Breastfeeding Week this year is ‘Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility’.
  • Governments must allocate specific funds, rigorously implement the law, invest in educating parents and health workers and involve civil society organisations and the media in spreading awareness.

The post-Covid economic recovery | Pioneer

  • The monsoon rainfall, including the ongoing, has been benevolent to India for the past couple of years, raising hopes of a post-pandemic, quick economic recovery.
  • However, a parliamentary committee on commerce in its report has not accepted the government’s view of the “V-shaped” economic recovery.
  • On the contrary, it has expressed concerns regarding missing data on positive economic indicators that attract foreign investors.
  • It has torn into the government’s claims of healthy indicators such as E-way bill, rail freight, port traffic, and GST collections promising a return of GDP to pre-pandemic levels, citing a lack of empirical data.
  • The PLI scheme is a well-thought-out scheme and if implemented well and pursued with the right rigor by an able business leader could put India on the growth path unheard of in the pre-pandemic times.
  • The parliamentary committee rightfully seeks from the government answers that most investors have to convince their global headquarter seniors about before pushing seeking funds for setting up a factory.
  • Every business plan before approval has to be backed by data and, therefore, should be easily accessible.
  • The government has informed about the setting up of an empowered group of secretaries chaired by the cabinet secretary to monitor the progress of the scheme, establishing an Investment Clearance Cell (ICC), and a one-stop digital platform -a central Single Window System (SWS) integrating the existing clearance systems of the various ministries and departments of the government of India and the state governments.
  • The only missing link is having a business manager monitor the efforts.
  • The PLI scheme has the potential to become a game-changer for making India the next destination for seamless integration with global supply chains.
  • The unexplored markets of Africa, the Middle East, and India’s immediate neighborhood in Southeast Asia are easy targets for these manufactured goods.
  • Smart managers are required for this as also the willingness of the junior bureaucracy to accept new ways of working for ‘ease’ of doing businesses.
  • The other factor contributing to success would be to remove compliance burdens for investors.
  • One may have heard of the famous saying in the investor community about the ‘art of doing business’ rather than ‘ease of doing business in India’.

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier | IE

  • With INS Vikrant embarking on its first sea trials, India can rightfully take its place in an elite club of six countries — US, UK, Spain, Russia, France, China — that have the capability and capacity to design and build an indigenous aircraft carrier.

  • The first INS Vikrant, inducted in 1961, and INS Viraat which joined the Indian Navy in 1982, were British naval ships, and the INS Vikramaditya is a Russian aircraft carrier.
  • The brand new INS Vikrant is said to be “75 per cent” indigenous, and as such, it is the first big ticket example of atmanirbhar India.
  • Begun in 2009, Vikrant was to be commissioned by 2014
  • India needs to shed its sea blindness, and convey to its superpower neighbour that it not only means business on protecting its interests in the Indian Ocean, but is also willing to play further afield to recalibrate maritime equations.
  • It will operate the Russian MiG-29K fighters and the Kamov 31 helicopters, as well as the soon to be acquired American MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.
  • In signing up to the Quad security grouping of four countries, each with its own China problem, India has in a sense already signalled a shifting of focus from land to sea.
  • Strengthening the Navy should be the logical next step.
  • The budget allocated to the Navy does not seem to suggest that this is the thinking in the top echelons of the military.
  • By comparison, India, which deployed the old INS Vikrant to good effect in the 1971 war against Pakistan, is an old hand at aircraft carriers.
  • But going by how many years it took for the Vikrant to be completed, atmanirbharta takes long. A shorter delivery time may serve the purpose better.

Burying the ghost of retrospective taxation | HT

  • Amid the disruption in the Parliament, the Narendra Modi government introduced a bill, on Thursday, aimed at correcting a momentous blunder in the contemporary history of taxation laws.
  • This blunder pertains to the Manmohan Singh government’s notorious retrospective amendment in the Income Tax Act in 2012.
  • After losing a tax dispute to Vodafone on the issue of taxation on indirect transfer of Indian assets, the government nullified the judgement by altering Section 9(1)(i) of the Income Tax Act retroactively.
  • Vodafone and Cairn Energy sued India before investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals constituted under the India-Netherlands and the India-United Kingdom bilateral investment treaty (BIT).
  • Both the ISDS tribunals indicted India for violating the fair and equitable treatment (FET) obligation under the two BITs.
  • India didn’t comply with the awards, which compelled Cairn Energy to start enforcement proceedings aiming at attach Indian assets in several countries.
  • Exorcising the retrospective aspect of Section 9(1)(i) implies that the tax department can no longer pursue taxation claims against Vodafone and Cairn Energy for its pre-2012 transactions that involved indirect transfers of Indian assets.
  • The taxes collected would be returned without interest.
  • Both Vodafone and Cairn Energy will have to withdraw their legal claims against India including under international law.
  • Also, the investors will have to waive their right to pursue legal claims for retrospective taxes. This implies that Section 9(1)(i) and the attendant tax provisions would continue to apply retrospectively if investors do not meet these conditions.
  • The ISDS tribunal ordered India to pay $1.2 billion (the tax collected) plus interest and other costs, totalling about $1.7 billion to Cairn Energy. As per the bill, India will only return $1.2 billion (the principal amount) to Cairn Energy.
  • What did India gain out of this misadventure that lasted for more than nine years?
  • On top of it, taxpayer money and other scarce resources were spent in fighting expensive cases in international tribunals.
  • Plus, India’s reputation in the eyes of the world as a prime destination for foreign investment was tarred, upsetting India’s growth story.
  1. Legal certainty is an aspect that foreign investors value enormously.
  2. There must be a better internalisation of India’s BIT obligations by the government.
  3. While the right to tax is indeed a sovereign right, a fact attested by numerous ISDS tribunals, this right has its limits.
  4. Amending tax laws retroactively is a bad idea.
  • The Shome committee — a special committee appointed by Manmohan Singh to examine the implications of the 2012 amendment — categorically said that retrospective application of tax law should occur in exceptional cases such as to counter highly abusive tax planning, rather than expand the tax base.

NEWS

  • India, China disengage their troops in Gogra region in Eastern Ladakh
  • Both Houses of Parliament adjourned for the day following Opposition ruckus over Pegasus snooping, farm laws and other issues
  • Exports to play essential role in building Aatma Nirbhar Bharat of our dreams: PM Modi
  • Around 5 cr beneficiaries enrolled, over 4 cr trained under PM Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan Scheme so far
  • Center ready to discuss farmers issues in both Houses of Parliament says, Agriculture Mnister
  • India makes historic record by administering over 50 cr doses of Covid Vaccines; recovery rate stands at 97.36%
  • Home Minister Amit Shah welcomes PM’s decision to rename Khel Ratna Award
  • ED conducts searches at a college linked to Anil Deshmukh in connection with money laundering case
  • I&B Ministry undertakes special drive for providing financial assistance to families of journalists who succumbed to Covid 19: Govt
  • Textile Ministry to celebrate 7th National Handloom Day today
  • MoS Education Subhas Sarkar participates in G20 Research Ministers’ meeting
  • AIR Live streams on NewsOnAir App getting popular across the world
  • Taliban assassinates director of Afghanistan’s media and information centre
  • India closely monitoring security situation in Afghanistan, continues to call for immediate ceasefire
  • Olympics: Wrestler Bajrang Punia loses in Semi-Finals of Men's Freestyle 65 kg category, will fight for Bronze tomorrow

Q.) Where is the world’s highest motarable road located?

  • Umling La in Eastern Ladakh
  • Dungri La (Mana Pass) in Uttarakhand
  • Semo La pass in Tibet
  • Khardung La in Ladakh

Q.) Which former Finance Minister introduced Restrospective Taxation in India?

  • Pranab Mukherjee
  • Arun Jaitley
  • Manmohan Singh
  • P. Chidambaram