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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 09 July 2021

NEWS

  • Union Cabinet approves second phase of COVID-19 Emergency Response Package worth over Rs 23000 Cr to strengthen health infrastructure
    • Addressing media after the Cabinet meeting in New Delhi last evening, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, this scheme aims at accelerating health system preparedness for immediate responsiveness for early prevention, detection and management, with the focus on health infrastructure development.
    • It also includes Paediatric Care and with measurable outcomes.
    • He said, phase -2 will be implemented from 1st of July this year to 31st March 2022 with central and state share. He said, the Centre's share of the project will be 15 thousand crore rupees and State's share will be 8,123 crore rupees.
    • The Health Minister said, the efforts are aimed at strengthening district and sub district capacity for an effective and rapid response to the COVID pandemic.
    • He said, under the new scheme, States and Union Territories would be supported to create Paediatric units in all 736 districts and also to establish Paediatric Centre of Excellence.
    • Mr Mandaviya said, they will also be supported to augment 20 thousand ICU beds in the public healthcare system out of which 20 per cent  will be Pediatric ICU beds.
    • Mr Mandaviya also informed that Undergraduate and Postgraduate medical interns and final year MBBS, BSc, and GNM nursing students will be engaged for effective COVID management.
    • The package will also provide support for installation of help to install 1050 numbers of Liquid Medical Oxygen Storage Tanks with Medical Gas Pipeline System (MGPS), with an aim to support at least one such unit per district.
    • With a view to augment the existing feet of ambulances,      8 thousand 800 ambulances will be added under the package.
    • Under the package, support would also be provided for expanding the National Architecture of eSanjeevani Tele-consultation platform to provide upto 5 lakhs tele-consultations per day from the present 50 thousand  Tele-consultations per day.
  • Cabinet allows APMCs to use Rs 1 lakh cr Agriculture Infrastructure Fund; PM Modi terms it important decision for farmer welfare
    • The Cabinet gave its approval to the modifications in the Central Sector Scheme of Financing Facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
    • Mr Tomar said, the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) will now be allowed to use the One lakh crore rupees to Agriculture Infrastructure Fund which has been announced as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Package.
    • The Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the Coconut Development Board Act, 1979 to make it more efficient to carry out the activities of farming and production of coconut.
    • APMCs will be further strengthened and mandis will not be abolished.
    • Mr Tomar said, this shows the Narendra Modi government's commitment towards farmers' welfare.
    • He said, eligibility has now been extended to State Agencies, National and State Federations of Cooperatives, Federations of Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) and Federations of Self Help Groups.
    • The Agriculture Minister said, for APMCs, interest subvention for a loan upto  2 crore rupees  will be provided for each project of different infrastructure types like  cold storage, sorting, grading and assaying units and silos, within the same market yard.
    • Mr Tomar also informed that at present interest subvention for a loan upto two crore rupees in one location is eligible under the scheme. In case, one eligible entity puts up projects in different locations then all such projects will now be eligible for interest subvention for loan upto  two crore rupees.
    • However, for a private sector entity there will be a limit of a maximum of 25  such projects.
    • Mr Tomar said, the government has repeatedly appealed to farmers' Union that it is ready to discuss with them any proposal related to these laws except their demand of repealing them.
  • PM expresses concern over violation of Corona appropriate behaviour; warns single mistake can weaken fight against COVID-19
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed concern over the violation of Corona appropriate behaviour. Sources say, in the meeting of Council of Ministers yesterday, Mr.Modi said, over the past few days, pictures and videos of crowded places and people roaming about without masks or social distancing have been emerging.
    • He said, this is not a pleasant sight and it should instil a sense of fear in us.
    • Mr Modi added that at such a time, there should not be any space  for carelessness or complacency.
  • Health Ministry says, more than 37.93 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs through all sources so far
  • EAM Dr S Jaishankar to pay two day official visit to Georgia
  • Defence Ministry implements SPARSH, web-based integrated system for sanction and disbursement of defence pension
  • External Affairs Ministry says, Govt's current focus on purposing domestic production towards India's domestic vaccination programme
  • NHRC invites original unpublished articles, stories and poems in Hindi for publication in annual Hindi Journal, Manav Adhikar: Nayi Dishayen
  • Military mission in Afghanistan to conclude on August 31: US
  • Sweden: All nine people onboard a small airplane which crash landed soon after take off found dead
  • India and Gambia sign MoU on Refurbishing Personnel Administration and Governance Reforms
  • Japan declares state of emergency 2 weeks ahead of Tokyo Olympics
  • China bans skyscrapers exceeding 500 metres, citing safety concerns

New phase | TH

  • The reconstitution of the Union Council of Ministers
  • Guided by both political and administrative considerations
  • As many as 36 new faces were inducted and 12 dropped from the council, which now has 78 members, just three shy of the upper limit of 81.
  • In 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) began its rule advertising its 45-member Council of Ministers as an attempt at minimum government, but the restraint was quietly abandoned in the following years.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made an attempt to make his Council more diverse and representative, in a manner that fits his political priorities.
  • Governance issues might have been a factor in the axing of some of the Ministers.
  • Harsh Vardhan, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar were among those who got the marching orders, apparently for mishandling the pandemic, relations with global IT giants and governmental communication, respectively.
  • Individual talent and accountability both can only be contextual, and in a highly centralised system they become immaterial.
  • The Ministers must be empowered to plan and take decisions in their respective areas.
  • The notion of collective responsibility of the cabinet must be infused with meaning.
  • Discussions in the cabinet must be open.
  • Proposals that come for the cabinet’s consideration must go through rigorous technical vetting and wide political consultations.
  • Assembling a team is indeed a crucial task of a captain; allowing them to flourish as individuals while playing as a team is equally critical.

A blip | TH

  • Entering its fifth year, India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) system reported a blip in revenue collections for June, breaking an eight-month streak of over      ₹1-lakh crore in tax receipts.
  • GST revenues tanked to a tad less than ₹93,000 crore last month — the lowest in 10 months — after a record ₹1.41-lakh crore in April and a relatively tepid ₹1.02-lakh crore in May.
  • Generally, the June revenue reflects transactions that occurred in May.
  • With the second wave of the pandemic in full flourish and States enforcing rigorous restrictions on most activities in May, the numbers are not really surprising.
  • However, as May GST compliance dates for smaller taxpayers were extended till early July, some of this revenue also reflects April’s sales.
  • Thus, the actual GST income attributable to May’s economic activity would be lower than June’s gross GST kitty.
  • This is also reflected in the generation of e-way bills, which fell by a sharp 30% in May compared to April, while the sequential decline in revenues was not as steep.
  • With caseloads declining over June and restrictions being pulled back gradually, revenues should pick up next month with 5.5 crore e-way bills generated in June from 3.99 crore in May.
  • Despite the slowdown in May-June, GST collections in the Q1 of 2021-22 have been healthier than pre-pandemic levels, confirming that this year’s restrictions driven by States have inflicted less economic costs than the national lockdown at a few hours’ notice, in 2020.
  • While the second wave setbacks have shaken up business and consumer sentiment, average monthly revenues of over ₹1-lakh crore — which Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has termed the ‘new normal’ for GST — could perhaps sustain through the year, if there is no dramatic resurgence of the pandemic and vaccinations are ramped up as promised.
  • This should give some fiscal breathing room for the Centre and States, but neither can afford to sit back.
  • Structural corrections in the GST regime and the inclusion of petroleum and electricity may take longer, but there is enough that needs immediate attention.
  • Industry has sought temporary rate cuts on some sectors to spur demand.
  • The GST Council must be reconvened soon to take up such ideas to prod the economy’s rebound, apart from holding the promised special session to discuss all the brewing concerns related to States’ compensation.
  • Delaying this will not only foster greater misgivings between the Centre and the States but also make it tough for States to plan their borrowings for the rest of the year.
  • Clarity is also needed urgently on when the ₹1.58-lakh crore of back-to-back borrowings for States in lieu of compensation dues will begin.
  • If the Centre plans to raise ₹5,000 crore a week, like it did last year, it will take roughly 32 weeks to complete such borrowings; so, any delay beyond early August may not be viable.

Tracking fugitives everywhere | TH

  • Indian law on extradition is spread across the Indian Penal Code as well as various laws pertaining to narcotic drugs, Information Technology, hijacking, and so on.
  • Procedural laws have the Code of Criminal Procedure as their backbone but there are other laws too, such as the Extradition Act, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Prevention of Money Laundering, and so on.
  • The bulk of the investigation and prosecution work happens at police stations in the States, while Central agencies take up the important cases.
  • Central agencies have developed reasonable expertise because they are focussed only on investigation and prosecution work, whereas State police forces (except specialised wings) are engaged in law-and-order work as well as investigations.
  • There is a tendency to close investigations once the accused have absconded, and an overwhelming tendency to bank on statements obtained from the accused or during interrogation before closing investigations.
  • It would be interesting to know what proportion of arrest warrants obtained by investigation agencies of States pertain to persons who have absconded or are ‘wanted’, whether within India or abroad.
  • Some police stations do initiate proceedings for attachment of property and declaration of the accused as proclaimed offenders, but the number of cases where coordinated efforts are made to pursue fugitives – domestically or internationally – are hardly documented.
  • If the number of Red Corner Notices issued are of any indication, only about 750 such criminals are wanted by Indian agencies. The number of Blue Corner Notices issued is about 300.
  • Theoretically there exists a system of tracking criminals worldwide – through Interpol Notices and the sharing of immigration databases of different countriesbut there is no coordinated system or database for tracking criminals or wanted persons domestically.
  • In the absence of such a system, it is relatively easy for criminals from one police station/jurisdiction to melt into the population in any other area, almost undetected.
  • The creation of a nationwide database of wanted persons, which could be accessible for police agencies, the public and others (like passport and immigration authorities), is imperative.
  • Perhaps a nation-wide system of ‘Wanted Persons Notices’, similar to Interpol Notices, is required, to help track fugitives domestically.
  • What may also help India plug loopholes is sharing its ‘wanteddatabase or providing access to it to foreign embassies on a reciprocal basis or through treaties or arrangements.
  • All this will help detect possible plans of criminals to abscond abroad.
  • The entire gamut of activities pertaining to fugitives, from investigation to extradition, needs to be incorporated into a specialised set-up with an Integrated International Cooperation Division (IICD) at the top.
  • The IICD should have linkages with proposed fugitive tracking units at the State level. This would ensure that requisite expertise and forward-and-backward linkages are created.
  • Making systems watertight would deter criminals from hoodwinking the law.

Perils of crowding | Tribune

  • The second wave of Covid-19 is nearing its end in India, but the virus is still lurking around, with experts repeatedly warning that the third wave may strike later this year.
  • The Union Health Ministry has taken a serious note of gross violations of Covid-appropriate behaviour in hill stations such as Manali, Shimla and Mussoorie and the markets of New Delhi and other cities.
  • The crowding of public places has heightened the risk of infection, prompting the ministry to warn that the relaxation of lockdown restrictions will be withdrawn if such recklessness persists.
  • With the vaccination rate continuing to be sluggish, a repeat of such irresponsible conduct can hasten the onset of the next wave.
  • The temporary closure of some ‘extremely crowdedmarkets in Delhi is a right step by the authorities, even as shopkeepers and traders have sought the setting up of a Joint Action Committee comprising representatives of the police, the Municipal Corporation and the market association to tackle crowding in markets.
  • Close coordination between various stakeholders is a must to regulate the footfall in such places.
  • With five states — UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur — going to the polls early next year, electioneering is set to pick up pace in the coming months.
  • Sticking to the basics — wearing masks and maintaining social distancing — must become a way of life, failing which we might have to face another catastrophe sooner or later.

ANS

Q.) What is the Pakistan’s highest civilian honour (in the field of arts, literature) called?

  1. Sitara-e-Pakistan
  2. Nishan-e-Imtiaz
  3. Nishan-e-Sujaat
  4. Hilal-e-Imitaz

Q.) Name the Haitian President who was assasinated by gunmen at his home, throwing the struggling Caribbean country into further chaos.

  1. Jovenel Moise
  2. Claude Joseph
  3. Rene Preval
  4. Michel Martelly