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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 08 February 2021

The cost of Internet shutdowns

  • Shutdowns of Internet services
  • We shut down internet more than any other  democracy in the world
  • 400 shutdowns in last 4 years
  • 223 days shutdown in J&K makes it the longest in the world
  • Collective punishment for people
  • An overreach of governments on citizens’ rights and liberties
  • January 2020 - Supreme Court - right to access the Internet is one of our fundamental rights, alongside the freedom to carry on any trade, business or occupation over the medium of Internet, under Article 19 of the Constitution.
  • India is estimated to have lost over ₹20,000 crore in 2020 because of Internet shutdowns.
  • As the pace of globalisation, digitisation and connectivity accelerates, balancing civil liberties with security concerns will become an increasingly difficult task.
  • Create modern, independent institutions

Reconnected | Pioneer

  • Restoration of 4G internet services in J&K
  • In today’s world, snapping the high-speed server for long is neither workable nor sustainable
  • The services were resumed 18 months after being suspended on August 4, 2019
  • The people there no longer want to live in the eerie silence that prevails following the imposition of curfews and restrictions.

India-EU Trade Pact...

  • New Delhi plans to start negotiations on investment and trade agreements with the European Union (EU)
  • The discussions that began on a comprehensive free trade agreement in 2007 but were aborted due to differences on movement of professionals, labour, human rights and environmental issues and India’s high tariffs, inconsistent tax regime and non-payment of arbitral awards.

  • After months of tortuous negotiation over Hungary and Poland’s objections, member States finally agreed on a long-term budget and a COVID-19 recovery package of $2 trillion.
  • Elections are due in many EU States, including Germany and the Netherlands, which both have strong Eurosceptic movements.
  • EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment
  • Europe will resist taking sides in any U.S.-China tug of war
  • A common security and defence policy also causes division.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to riots in the Netherlands for the first time in 40 years, and the resignation of the Italian Prime Minister.

Staying watchful

  • RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has expectedly yet again left benchmark interest rates unchanged and reiterated that it will continue with its accommodative stance.
  • The ongoing recovery is “still to gather firm traction” making it crucial to provide continued policy support for restoring growth.
  • The sharp deceleration in retail inflation in December, when headline CPI inflation eased to 4.6% after being stuck above the RBI’s upper tolerance threshold of 6% for six straight months.
  • The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme
  • As well as the Union Budget’s proposals to give a boost to infrastructure, and innovation and research, among other things, have been recognised as factors likely to restore confidence and lend a fillip to the growth momentum, respectively.
  • Farmers protest - has the potential to disrupt farm output threatening both growth and inflation dynamics.

Staying the course | Ind Exp

  • The RBI has also lowered its inflation forecast for the fourth quarter of the current financial year from 5.8 per cent in its December policy to 5.2 per cent now.
  • In the months thereafter, it expects inflation to range between 5-5.2 per cent, trending downwards to 4.3 per cent by the third quarter of 2021-22, easing the committee’s constraints.
  • It now expects the economy, aided largely by a favourable base effect in the first half of the year, to grow at 10.5 per cent in 2021-22 — lower than the International Monetary Fund’s projection which pegged growth at 11.5 per cent.

NEWS

  • Relief & rescue work underway in full swing in flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand
  • Govt to reply to discussion on Motion of Thanks on President's address in Rajya Sabha today; Lok Sabha to resume discussion on Motion of Thanks
  • PM Modi dedicates to nation four infrastructure projects worth Rs 4,700 crore at Haldia in West Bengal
  • More than 58 lakh people administered COVID-19 vaccination in country so far
  • DG NDRF says, teams will ensure safety of every missing person in Uttarakhand
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says government trusts the taxpayers and working as facilitator
  • Jitendra Singh reiterates new farm laws are for welfare of farmers
  • US sanctions will not be lifted for talks: US Prez Biden
  • Netherlands blanketed by first major snowstorm to hit in a decade
  • Bangladesh launches nationwide Corona vaccination programme
  • China issues anti-monopoly rules aimed at internet players
  • Ajay Singh re-elected as President of Boxing Federation of India