Indian Express Explained 13/06/2020

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1)IFLOWS-Mumbai: How it works, and how it will benefit the Maximum City:-

What is ‘IFLOWS-Mumbai’?

IFLOWS is a monitoring and flood warning system that will be able to relay alerts of possible flood-prone areas anywhere between six to 72 hours in advance. The system can provide all information regarding possible flood-prone areas, likely height the floodwater could attain, location-wise problem areas across all 24 wards and calculate the vulnerability and risk of elements exposed to flood.

How will it work?

The primary source for the system is the amount of rainfall, but with Mumbai being a coastal city, the system also factors in tidal waves and storm tides for its flood assessments.

Why was this system needed in Mumbai?

Mumbai, the financial capital of India, has been experiencing floods with increased periodicity.

3)Explained: Why India’s forex reserves are rising, what this means for the economy:- Forex reserves are external assets, in the form of gold, SDRs (special drawing rights of the IMF) and foreign currency assets (capital inflows to the capital markets, FDI and external commercial borrowings) accumulated by India and controlled by the Reserve Bank of India.

The major reason for the rise in forex reserves is the rise in investment in foreign portfolio investors in Indian stocks and foreign direct investments (FDIs). Foreign investors had acquired stakes in several Indian companies in the last two months. According to the data released by RBI, while the FDI inflow stood at $4 billion in March, it amounted to $2.1 billion in April.

After pulling out Rs 60,000 crore each from debt and equity segments in March, Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPIs), who expect a turnaround in the economy later this financial year, have now returned to the Indian markets and bought stocks worth over $2.75 billion in the first week of June. Forex inflows are set to rise further and cross the $500 billion as Reliance Industries subsidiary, Jio Platforms, has witnessed a series of foreign investments totalling Rs 97,000 crore.

On the other hand, the fall in crude oil prices has brought down the oil import bill, saving precious foreign exchange. Similarly, overseas remittances and foreign travels have fallen steeply – down 61 per cent in April from $12.87 billion. The months of May and June are expected to show further decline in dollar outflows.

What’s the significance of rising forex reserves?

The rising forex reserves give a lot of comfort to the government and the Reserve Bank of India in managing India’s external and internal financial issues at a time when the economic growth is set to contract by 1.5 per cent in 2020-21. It’s a big cushion in the event of any crisis on the economic front and enough to cover the import bill of the country for a year. The rising reserves have also helped the rupee to strengthen against the dollar.

The foreign exchange reserves to GDP ratio is around 15 per cent. Reserves will provide a level of confidence to markets that a country can meet its external obligations, demonstrate the backing of domestic currency by external assets, assist the government in meeting its foreign exchange needs and external debt obligations and maintain a reserve for national disasters or emergencies.

2)Need of addressing asymmetries of justice by Judiciary

Source: The Express Express

Syllabus: GS 2 – Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Context: Some recent events have demonstrated the need to introspect judiciary.

Recent events:·        Press conference by four distinguished judges of the SC: They expressed doubts about the Court’s functioning. They expressed concern about the threat to democracy from within the system.

·        Migrants issue: The court did not take notice of the mass migration of workers’ misery of those walking hundreds of kilometers and those sequestered in ill-equipped shelter homes without adequate facilities in the first instance. This was a matter of national concern.

Role of Judiciary: 

  • Undamaged integrity — If the public loses confidence in the courts, democracy will be under threat.
  • Bar community: The criticism of the bar community is not to diminish the dignity of the court. The real threat to the judiciary is posed by an assertive executive that seeks to dominate the court.
  • Impartial decision making: 
    • Last resort: In normal circumstances, Litigants move the court as a matter of last resort because litigation costs are burdensomeand the resolution of disputes takes years.
    • Purity of judicial process: The legal fraternity depends on it for its survival. If the litigant public loses faith in judicial processes, it threatenthe profession.
  • Lack of consistent judicial ideology:Judges speak in too many different voices. A bench of two or more speaks for the entire Court. The same statutory provisions are viewed differently depending on the judges on the bench.

Some issues to the Legal processes of courts: 

  • Inconsistent listing of matters: 
    • Inconsistent administrative structure: Such as a litigant granted a hearing overnight without any apparent urgency while another with papers in order and facing imminent threat of arrest refused a hearing.
    • Departure from settled practices in hearing matters: It is well-settled that habeas corpus petitions are heard the day after they are filed. It should not be changed as done in the case of leaders of the Opposition being in custody for months. Also, highly controversial unique procedures like handing over documents in sealed covers to the Court have gained credibility in recent times.
  • Matters having national effect not listed for long time:
    • Such as the matters relating to the elevation and transfer of judges have become concerning because of the manner in whichthey have taken place. Also, refusal of SC in first instance to migrant crisis had far reaching consequences.

Way Forward

It is in the interest of the democracy that our judges decide cases in the highest traditions of decision-making.


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