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DAILY HINDU CURRENT AFFAIRS 1ST JANUARY 2020

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Q.1 Which of the following is correctly matched?

  1. Ahmadnagar: Nizam Shahi
  2. Bijapur: Adil Shahi
  3. Golconda: Qutb Shahi

Select the correct option given below

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. 1 and 2 only

D. 1.2 and 3

 

Q.2 Battle of Banaras was fought between

A. Dara and Shuja

B. Dara and Murad

C. Dara and Aurangzeb

D. Aurangzeb and Shuja

 

Q.3 Consider the following statements about Mughal Painting

1. Mughal Painting reached is zenith under Akbar

2. Baswant and Dasawan were the famous painters in the court of Jahangir

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. 1 and 2 only

D. None of the Above

 

INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

NEWS:

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has outlined plans to invest more than ₹102 lakh crore on infrastructure projects by 2024-25, with the Centre, States and the private sector sharing the capital expenditure in a 39:39:22 formula.

This would be a significant increase over the last six years, when the Centre and States together spent ₹51 lakh crore on infrastructure.

On Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced plans to invest ₹100 lakh crore on modern infrastructure. This is the expenditure needed to achieve a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25, according to an official statement.

Another ₹3 lakh crore worth of projects are likely to be added soon, Ms. Sitharaman told journalists on Tuesday, adding that the idea was not to exclude any State, but rather that certain States are yet to put forward their pipelines.

The investment is phased over a six-year period, including the current financial year.

The plan calls for a ₹13.6 lakh crore investment in 2019-20, a big ask considering that 2018-19 investment in infrastructure by the Centre, States and the private sector was only ₹10 lakh crore, a slight drop from the previous year’s investment of ₹10.2 lakh crore.

The funds would come from budgetary and extra-budgetary resources, as well as funds raised from the market and internal accruals of the relevant state-owned companies, said Mr. Chakraborty.

 

CORE SECTOR

Showing no signs of improvement, the output of eight core infrastructure industries contracted for the fourth consecutive month in November by 1.5%, according to official data released on Tuesday. Since August, these industries are recording negative growth.

The output of coal, crude oil, natural gas, steel, and electricity declined by 2.5%, 6%, 6.4%, 3.7% and 5.7% respectively, according to the data.

ABOUT EIGHT CORE INDUSTRIES

  • The eight core industries comprise 40.27% of IIP.
  • Eight Core Industries are: Coal, Crude oil, Natural Gas, Refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement and electricity.
  • Base year for eight core industries is 2011-12.

 

SWACHH SARVEKSHAN 2020

NEWS: Indore and Jamshedpur have topped the cleanliness charts for two consecutive quarters among cities with over 10 lakh population and with 1 lakh to 10 lakh population respectively.

Kolkata remained at the bottom of the ranking of 49 major cities across both quarters as West Bengal did not participate in the nationwide exercise. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) on Tuesday announced the results of the first and second quarters of the Swachh Survekshan 2020.

The rankings, being conducted in a league format for the first time, were split into three quarters (April to June, July to September and October to December 2019) and different categories based on the population of the city.

MoHUA secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said Indore, which had been judged number one in the past three sanitation surveys, remained the top slot in the first two quarters of 2019. Bhopal,which came in second in the first quarter, was replaced by Rajkot in Gujarat in the second quarter. Surat was at number three in the first quarter, but Navi Mumbai made it to the third spot in the second quarter rankings.

A national-level survey of cleanliness of cities will begin from January 4, leading to the final Swachh Survekshan 2020 rankings.

HUA Minister Hardeep Puri said the cleanliness survey had become a “part of our consciousness”, after starting from a limited survey of 73 cities in 2016 to today, covering almost all urban areas.

 

NATIONAL POPULATION REGISTER

NEWS: The National Population Register (NPR) form used at the trial stage in September 2019, seeking details of the “place of birth of father and mother”, is likely to be finalised as the authorities did not receive any adverse feedback from a sample set of respondents.

The present NPR has a database of 119 crore residents.

About National Population Register

  • Definition:
    • It is a list of “usual residents of the country”.
    • A “usual resident of the country” is one who has been residing in a local area for at least the last six months, or intends to stay in a particular location for the next six months.
  • Legal Provisions:
    • The NPR is being prepared under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
    • It is mandatory for every “usual resident of India” to register in the NPR.
  • Background:
    • The data for the NPR was first collected in 2010 along with the house listing phase of Census 2011.
    • In 2015, this data was further updated by conducting a door-to-door survey.

 

ANTI CITIZENSHIP ACT PROTESTS

NEWS:

Protesters who have been camping in south-east Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh around-the-clock to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act for two weeks now, rang in the New Year with slogans of ‘Azadi’.

Scores of people from across the city flocked to the Noida-Kalindi Kunj Highway in a show of solidarity.

CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT

WHAT DOES THE ACT CONTAINS?

The ACT seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 by seeking to grant citizenship to undocumented non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.

The ACT says the six non-Muslim communities “shall not be treated as illegal migrant” for violating provisions under Passport Act, 1920 or the Foreigners Act, 1946 that pertains to foreigners entering and staying in India illegally.

The ACT shall not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the sixth schedule of the Constitution and States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland protected by the Inner Line Permit (ILP).

ACT has reduce the time period required for naturalization from 11 years to 5 years for members of these communities.

 

LOCUST ATTACK IN RAJASTHAN

NEWS:

A special crop assessment survey has been launched in three districts of western Rajasthan, where swarms of locusts from across the international border have caused widespread damage to the rabi crops, for finding out the damage in monetary terms. The farmers will be compensated for agricultural losses.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who visited the locust-affected villages in Barmer, Jaisalmer and Jalore districts on Monday, witnessed the extent of damage as well as preventive measures adopted by the farmers and administration. He examined the crops and saw the locusts killed by the spray of insecticides.

The Union Agriculture Ministry’s Locust Warning Organisation (LWO), headquartered in Jodhpur, has launched efforts on a war footing to control locusts. Teams carrying equipment were rushed to the villages this month to spray high-intensity malathion insecticide to prevent the spread of locusts to other areas.

About Locust

  • A locust is a large, mainly tropical grasshopper with strong powers of flight. They differ from ordinary grasshoppers in their ability to change behaviour (gregarize) and form swarms that can migrate over large distances.
  • Locusts are generally seen during the months of June and July as the insects are active from summer to the rainy season.
  • Locusts have a high capacity to multiply, form groups, migrate over relatively large distances (they can fly up to 150 km per day). They can rapidly reproduce and increase some 20-fold in three months.
  • Threat to Vegetation: Locust adults can eat their own weight every day, i.e. about two grams of fresh vegetation per day. A very small swarm eats as much in one day as about 35,000 people, posing a devastating threat to crops and food security.
  • FAO provides information on the general locust situation to the global community and gives timely warnings and forecasts to those countries in danger of invasion.
  • Locust Warning Organisation (LWO), Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, is responsible for monitoring, survey and control of Desert Locust in Scheduled Desert Areas mainly in the States of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

 

BORDER ROAD ORGANIZATION

NEWS: An Arunachal Pradesh Minister and two legislators literally walked across an eastern Himalayan mountain to raise hopes for turning a century-old porter track into a road.

The team also included a few Border Roads Organisation and other government officials and some porters. Their four-day trek from Molo village in Siang district ended in Miging village in Upper Siang district.

ABOUT BORDER ROADS ORGANIZATION

Border Road Organization develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and in friendly neighbouring countries.

Currently the organization maintains operations in 21 states , one Union Territory (Andaman and Nicobar Island) and neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Bhutan.

Formation: 7 May 1960

Ministry: Ministry of Defence

 

BHIMA KOREGAON BATTLE

Lakhs of devotees, neo-Buddhists, members of Ambedkarite outfits, politicians, students and other visitors are expected to congregate near the ransthamb or victory pillar in Bhima-Koregaon village for the 202nd anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle of 1818 on New Year’s Day on Wednesday.

About the Bhima- Koregaon battle:

A battle was fought in Bhima Koregaon, a district in Pune with a strong historical Dalit connection, between the Peshwa forces and the British on January 1, 1818. The British army, which comprised mainly of Dalit soldiers, fought the upper caste-dominated Peshwa army. The British troops defeated the Peshwa army.

 

Outcomes of the battle:

  • The victory was seen as a win against caste-based discrimination and oppression. Peshwas were notorious for their oppression and persecution of Mahar dalits. The victory in the battle over Peshwas gave dalits a moral victory a victory against caste-based discrimination and oppression and sense of identity.
  • However, the divide and rule policy of the British created multiple fissures in Indian society which is even visible today in the way of excessive caste and religious discrimination which needs to be checked keeping in mind the tenets of the Constitution.

Why Bhima Koregaon is seen as a Dalit symbol?

  • The battle has come to be seen as a symbol of Dalit pride because a large number of soldiers in the Company force were the Mahar Dalits. Since the Peshwas, who were Brahmins, were seen as oppressors of Dalits, the victory of the Mahar soldiers over the the Peshwa force is seen as Dalit assertion.
  • On 1 January 1927, B.R. Ambedkar visited the memorial obelisk erected on the spot which bears the names of the dead including nearly two dozen Mahar soldiers. The men who fought in the battle of Koregaon were the Mahars, and the Mahars are Untouchables.

 

GHATPRABHA RIVER

The Ghataprabha river is an important right-bank tributary of the Krishna River and flows eastward for a distance of 283 kilometers before its confluence with the Krishna River at Chikksangam.

The river basin is 8,829 square kilometers wide and stretches across Maharashtra and Karnataka states.

FOREST FIRES

About 21.40% of forest cover in India is prone to fires, with forests in the north-eastern region and central India being the most vulnerable, the 2019 report by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) has said.

The finding has emerged from a study carried out by the FSI along forest fire points identified across the country from 2004 to 2017.

The analysis showed that extremely fire prone areas account for 3.89% of total forest cover, very highly fire prone areas account for 6.01% and highly fire prone areas for 11.50%. Together, the three categories come to 21.40 % of forest cover.

Lalit Kumar Sharma, a scientist with the Zoological Survey of India, said that one of the major reasons for forest fires in the north-east is slash-and-burn cultivation, commonly called jhoom or jhum cultivation.

While the overall green cover has increased in the country, the forest cover in the north-east — particularly in Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland — has decreased. On being asked if there was a link between forest cover reduction and fires, Mr. Sharma said the fires could be one of the causes.

Central Indian States also recorded a high number of forest fire alerts, with Madhya Pradesh accounting for 2,723 alerts; Maharashtra 2,516; Odisha 2,213 and Chattisgarh 1,008 alerts between November 2018 to June 2019.

According to Mr. Sharma, the reasons for fires here are manmade, particularly in cases where people visit forests and leave burning bidis, cigarette stubs or other inflammable materials.

In cases of natural reasons, the scientist pointed to thunderstorms as the most likely cause.

 

CHANDRAYAAN 3

NEWS:

India will launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday, adding that the mission would cost less than Chandrayaan-2.

Mr. Singh, who is the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said it was wrong to term Chandrayaan-2 a disappointment since it was India’s maiden attempt to land on the lunar surface and no country could do so in its first attempt.

He added that the experience gathered from Chandrayaan-2 and available infrastructure would bring down the cost of Chandrayaan-3. However, he declined to specify the month of the third lunar mission launch.

ABOUT CHANDRAYAAN 2

  1. India’s second lunar mission and first lunar lander rover mission.
  2. Launched on July 22 from Sri Harikota (sriharikota is a barrier island off the bay of bengal coast located in the nellore district of andhra pradesh, india. it houses the satish dhawan space centre, one of the two satellite launch centres in india.) using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle.
  3. Chandrayaan 2 was expected to be the first mission to reach and study the south pole of the moon.
  4. It was made up of an orbiter, a lander named ‘Vikram’, after Vikram A. Sarabhai, the founding father of space science research in India, and a rover named ‘Pragyan’, which means ‘wisdom’.
  5. Chandrayaan-2’s 27 kg robotic vehicle Pragyan, which translates to ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, can travel up to 500 m from the landing spot on the Moon and leverages solar energy for its functioning.
  6. The lander carried three scientific payloads to conduct surface and sub-surface science experiments, while the rover carries two payloads to enhance our understanding of the lunar surface,

RAILWAY PROTECTION FORCE

NEWS: The Railways renamed the Railway Protection Force (RPF) as Indian Railway Protection Force Service and accorded it organised Group A status, according to an order issued on Monday.

ABOUT RPF

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) is a security force, established by the Railway Protection Force Act, 1957; enacted by the Indian Parliament for “the better protection and security of railway property“.

It has the power to search, arrest, investigate and prosecute, though the ultimate power rests in the hands of the Government Railway Police. The force is under the authority of the Indian Ministry of Railways.

The Railway Police Service (RPF) is responsible for the security of the railway tracks, personnel and equipment.

 

TRANSFER OF COMMUNITY RESOURCES

NEWS:

The Government has no right to transfer “invaluable” community resources like village water ponds to a few powerful people and industrialists for commercialisation of the property, when many areas of the country perennially face water crisis and access to drinking water is woefully inadequate, the Supreme Court has held.

“Protection of such village commons is essential to safeguard the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 21 of our Constitution. These common areas are the lifeline of village communities, and often sustain various chores and provide resources necessary for life,” a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Surya Kant observed in a recent judgment.

The court said the State cannot divest villagers of their existing source of water even if it promises to provide them an alternative site where the water body can be replicated. Such an attitude would display “a mechanical application of environmental protection,” the court said. There is no guarantee that the adverse effect of destroying the existing water body would be offsetand people would be compelled to travel miles to access the alternative site, said the SC.

The National Green Tribunal had refused to intervene on Mr. Singh’s plea that excavators and other heavy machinery were attempting to take over a common pond used by the villagers for a century.

Setting aside the Tribunal’s order, the apex court ordered the authorities and the industrialists to remove all obstructions and restore the water bodies within three months.

Article 21 in The Constitution Of India 1949
21. Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

ISSUE: INTERFERENCE BY OIC

NEWS: Last week, according to Pakistani officials, the OIC decided to convene a special meeting in Islamabad in 2020 to discuss the Kashmir issue and the repercussions of the CAA, after discussions the Saudi Foreign Minister had in Islamabad.

EDITORIAL’S VIEW

In any case, the basis of the OIC is a unity between theocratic Muslim states, an idea that India, as a secular country with a large Muslim population has never been aligned with. At all costs, attempts by the OIC to make statements and arrogate to itself the well-being of India’s Muslims must be rebuffed as gross interference.

New Delhi must note that the OIC’s recent statements also stem from a broader tussle within the grouping that has become a concern for traditional leaders, the KSA and the UAE.

The challenge comes chiefly from Malaysia, where Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has revived his plans for a “reformed” OIC, and has enlisted other challengers to the Riyadh-Abu Dhabi domination of the pan-Islamic movement including Iran, Turkey and Qatar.

In that sense, the OIC’s criticism of India is a clear attempt at reaffirming its leadership of the movement.

New Delhi must strengthen ties with its strategic partners in the region on both sides of the divide without taking sides or becoming collateral damage in the internecine warfare between them. But it must also be wary of groupings with nothing in common other than a religious world view.

 

LEAD ARTICLE: IT IS EVERYBODY’S CONSTITUTION

WHY IT BELONGS TO EVERYONE?

the Indian Constitution was born in an act of public participation.

The Constitution is not merely a legal document but a charter of values and principles; a vision of a free, just, and equal society. And it is a vision that is not static in time, but subject to constant renewal as each generation discovers anew, through discussion and debate, the founding principles of our Republic.

IMPORTANCE OF PREAMBLE

The Preamble, of course, is not a legally binding document.

But the Preamble is something more than that: in its declarations of universal justice, of equality, and of fraternity, it speaks to us of the kind of country that we aspire to be.

IMPORTANCE OF ARTICLE 14

Article 14, with its majestic promise of equality before the law to all persons, is about much more than formal legal doctrine. Indeed, this was recognised by the Supreme Court itself. It forms the conscience of the Indian Constitution.

As Justice Bose realised all those years ago, debates around equality cannot avoid deeper questions about the nature of our democracy, and what it means for human beings to be treated justly and fairly. And these are not debates that can be settled in courtrooms, but rather, in enduring public conversation between citizens.

IMPORTANCE OF CONSTITUTIONALISM

While different institutions can take different views about what the Constitution says, no one institution exercises a monopoly over constitutional truth or wisdom. And this is why it is so vital for constitutionalism to exist, live, and thrive, outside the domain of institutions.

SECOND ARTICLE: PUBLIC SECTOR PRIVATIZATION DEBATE

There seem to be broadly three positions with respect to the privatisation of public sector undertakings (PSUs).

LEFTIST STAND: The left position is “PSU is family silver and should not be sold irrespective of its performance”.

RIGHTIST STAND: The divergent stand is that “business is not the business of government”, which found resonance in the United Kingdom, and, of late, in India.

MIDDLE STAND: There is also the third position: Why privatise profit-making PSUs? Why do you sell the family silver? Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) which is making handsome profits, comes under this category.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE FOR LOSS MAKING PSU’S? 

Loss-making PSUs certainly merit privatisation — but no one would buy them with their huge debt and employee liabilities. The government may even have to pay the buyer, as it happened in the case of the Delhi Discom privatisation. Even then it may be worth it, since privatisation will stop fiscal flows to these PSUs.

Alternatively, there is the exit route through the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

Some of the major loss-making PSUs, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited and Air India should go under the block as their losses are greater than their revenue. The Economist has a term for such entities — value subtracting enterprises.

WHEN SHOULD WE GO FOR PRIVATIZATION?

Privatisation is not a default option; rather, it is resorted to only out of extreme necessity. As World Bank consultants said on the Delhi Discom privatisation: “Privatization is resorted not just when the firm makes losses, but only when the physical performance is so bad that the PSU becomes a political embarrassment to the Government.” T

Should profit-making PSUs be privatised?

It is good to remember what former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once said on the issue. He made the assurance that the government would not “privatise profit making PSUs working in competitive environments”. That is, if the output price is a competitive price and you still make a profit, then you are efficient and the need to privatise does not arise.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IN CASE OF MONOPOLY BUSINESS LIKE BPCL,HPCL?

But if the output price is set in a monopoly background — the case now being the monopoly cartel of the oil majors, BPCL, Indian Oil Corporation Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited — with the autonomy given being used for monopoly pricing, then your profit is no longer an index of your efficiency. In that case, privatisation will still bring in benefits of the efficient operation of private sector through reduced costs.

 

OP-ED PAGE

ISSUE: POLICE BRUTALITY IN HOSPITALS

WHY IN NEWS?

In Mangalore shocking video footage has emerged of police personnel inside the hospital charging at people injured during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA). They were also seen trying to force open the door of many wards.

There were also reports of a tear gas lobbed inside the hospital building, quite close to the intensive care unit, and two thrown near the parking area inside the hospital premises.

Geneva Convention rules

Even wars have rules of engagement, especially with respect to hospitals. Article 18 of the fourth Geneva Convention, of which India is a signatory, underlines the special protection accorded to hospitals even during times of war. It says: “civilian hospitals organised to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.”

The situation in Mangaluru was nowhere even close to a war-like situation and the hospital was in no way being used for acts that could be deemed to be ‘harmful’ to the state. Even if that were the case, the Geneva Convention mandates that protection conferred to hospitals will cease only after “due warning has been given” and after a “reasonable time limit”.

Elsewhere, in Delhi, a team of doctors belonging to the Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF), which has been providing medical assistance to protesters, was denied access inside Daryaganj police station for about an hour. Further, near Assam Bhawan, the Delhi police attacked a medical van and detained two volunteers who were providing medical assistance.

IMA’s new-found courage

The Indian Medical Association, which has denounced attacks on hospitals in other countries during armed conflict, condemned police action inside the hospital and for denying protesters access to medical care. “No violence is acceptable in a hospital. Hospitals are sacrosanct and are exempted even in a war zone,” said a statement by the IMA. “Disturbing reports of denial of access to medical care are merging. This is unacceptable. Everyone has the right of access to medical care. The government and its establishment have no right to deny anyone their right of access.”

As an aside, the more surprising element in the IMA statement was its new-found courage to speak truth to power. “The visuals of a policeman violently opening an ICU door by stomping is [sic] a clear indication of the New Truth and the New Standards,” it said. It ended the statement by saying: “Indian doctors will never let down whoever requires care. No politics can dilute this resolve.”

DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AFFAIRS

The Department of Military Affairs (DMA) has been created in the Defence Ministry, and General Bipin Rawat, who will take charge as the new Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) on Wednesday, will head it.

The notification, issued by the Cabinet Secretariat dated December 30, says the CDS will also function as a Secretary in the Ministry. Under the guidelines approved by the government last week, the CDS will function as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister and the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The DMA will be the fifth department in the Ministry after the Department of Defence, the Department of Defence Production, the Department of Defence Research and Development and the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare.

Under the guidelines, the DMA would deal with the armed forces; the integrated headquarters of the Ministry, comprising the Army, Naval and Air and defence staff headquarters; the Territorial Army; and works relating to the three services and procurement exclusive to them, except capital acquisitions.

The broad mandate of the CDS includes bringing about a jointness in “operations, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services, within three years of the first CDS assuming office.”

The DMA’s mandate includes promoting jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the Services; facilitating restructuring of the military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about a jointness in operations, including through the establishment of joint/theatre commands and promoting use of indigenous equipment.

NEW ARMY CHIEF

On Tuesday, Gen. Rawat demitted the office of Chief of the Army Staff on superannuation, and Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane took charge in his place.

Gen. Naravane is the third Army chief from the Sikh Light Regiment after Gen. V.P. Malik and Gen. Bikram Singh. He had been the Vice-Chief of the Army Staff since early September. Prior to that, he served as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command, and Commander, Army Training Command.

An alumnus of the NDA and the IMA, Gen. Naravane was commissioned into the 7th Battalion, Sikh Light Infantry Regiment, in June 1980. He has commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Kashmir, served in the Assam Rifles and has been part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka. He has also served as Defence Attache to Myanmar.

 

5G TRIAL

NEWS: China has welcomed India’s decision to include telecom major Huawei in the 5G trial. The decision has ended months of speculation over Huawei’s participation in the 5G trial, which was opposed by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch.

Inclusion of the tech giant in the Indian scene had become a diplomatic issue with opposition from the U.S. and Japan. The Chinese major was banned by the U.S. in May which led to an international campaign to stop other countries from including it in 5G projects. The Swadeshi Jagran Manch had also cautioned the Modi government against its inclusion.

In July 2019, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the “Make in India” project would be considered while deciding on the 5G participation by Huawei.

Mr. Pompeo had earlier stated that the U.S. remains concerned with the choice of telecom networks in areas where U.S. information travelled.

ABOUT 5G TECHNOLOGY

WHAT IS 5G?

It is the next generation cellular technology that will provide faster and more reliable communication with ultra low latency.

A government panel report points out that with 5G, the peak network data speeds are expected to be in the range of 2-20 Gigabits per second (Gbps). This is in contrast to 4G link speeds in averaging 6-7 Megabits per second (Mbps) in India as compared to 25 Mbps in advanced countries

In April, South Korea and the U.S. became the first countries to commercially launch 5G services. South Korea claimed it was the first to do so, beating the U.S. by a couple of hours, a claim disputed by U.S carriers.

5G is expected to form the backbone of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine communications, thereby supporting a much larger range of applications and services, including driverless vehicles, tele-surgery and real time data analytics.

The ultra low latency offered by 5G makes the technology desirable for such use cases.

Latency is the amount of time data takes to travel between its source and destination.

5G will extend the use of wireless technologies — for the first time — across completely new sectors of the economy from industrial to commercial, educational, health care, agricultural, financial and social sectors.

One of the primary applications of 5G will be implementation of sensor-embedded network that will allow real time relay of information across fields such as manufacturing, consumer durables and agriculture.

5G can also help make transport infrastructure more efficient by making it smart.

5G will enable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, making driverless cars, among other things, a reality.

5G is expected to create a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion in India by 2035.

NJAC JUDGEMENT

Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Kurian Joseph, has said he regrets his decision quashing the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) “after seeing things now.”

Justice Kurian was a member of the Constitution Bench which struck down the 99th Constitutional Amendment which introduced the NJAC to replace the collegium system of judicial appointments to constitutional courts.

He said this on December 28 while delivering the inaugural address on ‘The Challenges faced by the Indian Constitution in the Present Era’ at Kochi during the 13th National Conference of the All India Lawyers Union.

On 16 October 2015, in a 4-1 majority verdict, the Supreme Court held that both the Constitution (Ninety-ninth Amendment) Act, 2014, and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014, were unconstitutional as it would undermine the independence of the judiciary.

  • The majority said the two laws affect the independence of the judiciary, and judicial appointments, among other things, should be protected from executive control.

 

About NJAC and the Act:

NJAC is a body responsible for the appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary in India. JAC Bill sought to replace the collegium system of appointing the judges of Supreme Court and 24 High Courts with judicial appointments commission wherein the executive will have a say in appointing the judges.

  • A new article, Article 124A, (which provides for the composition of the NJAC) was to be inserted into the Constitution.
  • The Bill provided for the procedure to be followed by the NJAC for recommending persons for appointment as Chief Justice of India and other Judges of the Supreme Court (SC), and Chief Justice and other Judges of High Courts (HC).

 

According to the bill the commission will consist of the following members:

  • Chief Justice of India (Chairperson, ex officio)
  • Two other senior judges of the Supreme Court next to the Chief Justice of India – ex officio
  • The Union Minister of Law and Justice, ex-officio
  • Two eminent persons (to be nominated by a committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister of India and the Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha), provided that of the two eminent persons, one person would be from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes or OBC or minority communities or a woman. The eminent persons shall be nominated for a period of three years and shall not be eligible for re-nomination.

PHASE ONE TRADE DEAL

NEWS: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that ‘Phase One’ of the trade deal with China would be signed on January 15 at the White House, though considerable confusion remains about the details of the agreement.

The deal, struck earlier this month, is expected to reduce tariffs and boost Chinese purchases of American farm, energy and manufactured goods while addressing some disputes over intellectual property.

However, no version of the text has been made public, and Chinese officials have yet to publicly commit to key planks, such as increasing imports of Americaqn goods and services by $200 billion over the next two years.

 

CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT

NEWS: India’s current account deficit (CAD) narrowed to 0.9% of GDP, or $6.3 billion, in the September 2019 quarter, on account of lower trade deficit. It had stood at 2.9% of the gross domestic product (GDP), or $19 billion, in the corresponding quarter of 2018-19.

During the first half of the current financial year, CAD narrowed to 1.5% of the GDP from 2.6% in the corresponding period in 2018-19, on the back of a reduction in the trade deficit, which shrank to $84.3 billion as compared with $95.8 billion a year ago. The balance of payments stood at $5.12 billion in the second quarter and $19.1 billion during the first half of this fiscal.

The net inflow on account of external commercial borrowings (ECB) was $3.2 billion in the second quarter as compared with $2 billion a year earlier.

WHAT IS CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT?

  • It means the value of imports of goods/services/investment incomes is greater than the value of exports.
  • It is sometimes informally referred to as a trade deficit.
  • Sustained period of CAD can lead to currency depreciation, high rates of inflation which further effects the incoming foreign investment.
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