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The Hindu Newspaper 04/06/2020 | TEMS IAS

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1)U.K.Sinha Committee sometimes seen in the news recently is constituted for which of the following purposes?

a.  To review norms pertaining to prevention of insider trading 

b.  To suggest recommendations for fair market conduct

c.  To review regulations pertaining to Market Infrastructure Institutions

d.  To review the current framework for the MSME sector

Answer : d

The committee formed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), headed by former SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha has submitted its report to the RBI Governor recently.

2)Food and Nutrition Security Analysis – India is a report prepared in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation by which of the following agencies?

a.  NITI Aayog

b.  World Health Organisation

c.  UN World Food Programme

d.  Food and Agriculture Organisation

3)Wildlife experts have recently discovered the Impressed Tortoise also known as the Manouria impressa in which of the following regions?

a.  Western Ghats

b.  Gulf of Mannar

c.  Arunachal Pradesh

d.  Andaman and Nicobar Islands

News:- Depsang tensions echo 2013 standoff

News: The tensions between India and China have increased after reports of a heavy Chinese presence at Depsang Plains.

Facts:

  • Depsang Plains: It is an area at a crucial dip (called the Bulge) on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  • Controlled by: India controls the western portion of the plains as part of Ladakh whereas the eastern portion is part of the Aksai Chin region which is controlled by China and claimed by India.
  • Concerns: The buildup invokes memories of the 1962 war when Chinese troops had occupied the Depsang plains and also the 2013 standoff when China had set up a temporary camp.

News:- Rajasthan tops in virus management index

Rajasthan has occupied first rank in the COVID-19 management index analysed for 10 States by the Central government, which included parameters such as active cases, recovered cases and mortality rate.

News: ‘Operation Sugam’:- Odisha has launched operation SUGAM, ‘Operation Sugam’ was started by the Ganjam District Rural Development
Agency in association with local social service organisations — YSD, ARUNA, ISARA and PREM — to ensure no migrant worker was required to walk in Odisha. Migrant workers were provided bus transport for 100 km —from
the Andhra Pradesh border to the Ganjam-Khurda border in Odisha. They were also provided cooked and dry food, drinking water, and othe basic necessities, before they boarded the buses to Khurda.

News:- India slams defacement of rock carvings in Gilgit-Baltistan

India has reacted strongly to reports of vandalism and defacement of ancient Buddhist rock carvings in Gilgit-Baltistan under Pakistan’s
control. The engravings have been in news recently also because of the Diamar Bhasha hydro power project that the Chinese and the Pakistani companies will construct nearby.

The Diamer-Bhasha Dam is located on the Indus River in northern Pakistan between Kohistan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Diamer district in Gilgit Baltistan.

News:- Kolkata Port renamed after Syama Prasad Mukherjee

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the renaming of Kolkata Port
as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, after the founder of the Bharatiya Jana
Sangh.

News:- Nation’s name plea can be sent to Centre: SC

There was a petition to remove the word India from Article 1 only BHARAT should be there.

Article 1 of the Constitution, which says “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States…”. It wants ‘India’ to be struck off from the Article. “This will ensure citizens of this country to get over the colonial past and instil a sense of pride in our nationality. Will also justify the hard fought
freedom by our freedom fi ghters”, it said.
The court had dismissed a similar petition in 2016. Then CJI T.S. Thakur had
said that every Indian had the right to choose between calling his country ‘Bharat’ or ‘India’.

News:- Philippines’ U-turn on U.S. pact

Name of the agreement : Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)

Earlier Philippines was trying to get out of the agreement, but now since Chinese aggressiveness is increasing in the south china sea, Philippines wants to stay in the pact. As this pact is trying to contain China.

News:- Mobile trading surges during lockdown

Mobile trading refers to transactions done in the stock market using a mobile phone. While the share of mobile trading touched a record
23% in each of the two months — April and May — on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the share touched a high of 11.72% in April on
BSE.

About BSE:-

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), now known as ‘BSE Limited’, is the oldest stock exchange in the entire Asia. It was established in 1875 but became the first stock exchange to be recognized by the Government of India in 1956. The Sensex was launched by “Bombay Stock Exchange” (BSE) on January 1, 1986.

The Sensex measures the stock prices of 30 listed companies of the Bombay Stock Exchange. The main reason behind fluctuation in the Sensex is the up and down in the share price  of top 30 companies.

The reason behind the growing transgressions by China along LAC

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS 2-India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Context: There are growing numbers of reports about Chinese troops crossing the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India in the Ladakh region.

Source: Observer Research Foundation

Background:

  • There are around 400 transgressions/faceoffs each year on an average along the LAC.
  • Doklam (2017): The 2017 standoff between India and China at the Doklam trijunction was the first major military standoff between the two sides in a long time in which New Delhi demonstrated it was not a military pushover despite China’s conventional superiority over India.
  • Mounting territorial aggression by China:Chinese troops are yet to withdraw from the transgressed territories which are traditionally considered by both sides to be on the Indian side of the LAC.
  • Two options for India:
  • Accept territorial loss.
  • Force or negotiate a reversal to the status quo unless the PLA unilaterally withdraws.

Explaining the China’s growing territorial aggression?

  • New Delhi’s pointed statements about Aksai Chin following the Jammu and Kashmir reorganisationThe Indian Home Minister’s statement that PoK and Aksai Chin are also part of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019 have been viewed by China of India upping the ante.
  • Construction of infrastructure projects along the LAC: China’s border aggressions in Sikkim and Ladakh may be attributed to India’s infrastructure enhancements at borders.
  • The Chinese angle to the J&K conundrum: 
  • China’s China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC): India is critical of CPEC which passes through the Karakoram and has the reported presence of PLA troops in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  • Larger Chinese strategic calculations:China has given up its traditional slogan of ‘peaceful rise’ and is beginning to assert itself as the next superpower. China wants to give a clear message to India and its smaller neighbours about its rising power.
  • Political messaging in Beijing’s LAC aggression:
  • China could use the military aggression to show political resolve. It will also help to divert attention from other issues like problems in Hong Kong and faliuresin its handling of COVID-19.

Why an all-out confrontation or nuclear use is not possible between China and India?

  • Undesirable military escalation: A direct fight with India does not suit Beijing’s interests. Infact carrying out minor military expeditions with the objective of inflicting small-scale military defeats on India precisely suits the Chinese political and military leadership as they are cost effective, less escalatory and the message gets conveyed.
  • Political constraints: It affects India’s military response by acknowledging such territorial losses. if New Delhi acknowledges loss of territory, it wouldhave to regain it but doing so using the conventionally superior power would not be easy.

Limits of Chinese adventurism:

  • Tit for tat tactics by India:There are several places along the several thousand kilometres long LAC where the PLA is militarily weak. The Indian Army can retaliate back along those places.
  • Maritime domain: China enjoys continental superiority over India but maritime domain is China’s weak spot particularly Beijing’s commercial and energy interest to which the maritime space is crucial.
  • Economic front: Beijing’s interest does not lie in damaging the $100 billion trade with India with its military adventurism.

Way Forward

The time has come for India to checkmate China’s aggression even in the backdrop of maintaining robust economic ties.

The role of Parliament in handling COVID-19 Pandemic

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS 2-Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Context: Indian Parliament has not met and questioned the government on their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parliaments questioning their governments over Pandemic around the world:

  • Through video conference:The Canadian Parliament held its first lockdown meeting towards the end of April with MPs attending through video conference.
  • Hybrid Model:The British Parliament adopted a hybrid model of in-person and video attendance.
  • Combination: Several other countries held sessions either with physical distancing (fewer MPs attend with agreement across parties) or video conferencing or a combination of the two. These include France, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.

Role of Parliament in our system of governance:

Expected role During Pandemic
Checks and challenges the government· Accountability: It helps in holding the government accountable on a daily basis through questions, motions and debates.· Absence of Scrutiny of government actions: As the Parliament and its committees have not met for over two months. 
Highest Law-making body · Passing an appropriate Law: Parliament passes appropriate laws by taking the opposition views in mind.· This is done by most democratic countries through an Act with suitable checks and an expiry date, which could be renewed by Parliament.· Handling the pandemic under the Disaster Management Act, 2005: It was not designed to handle epidemics.· The reasoning is that the central government had no choice as there was no other law that provide it with powers to impose a national lockdown across the country.
Expenditure of government· The Constitution requires all expenditure by the government to be approved by Parliament.· No Parliamentary scrutiny or approval: To the measures announced by the government to address the economic crisis sparked by the health crisis and the lockdown.
Discussions· Represent the people: MPs have a duty to shape policy, guide the government and raise issues in national interest in Parliament.· Forum to raise important issues: Important issues are discussed and a plan of action is agreed upon. · Challenges due to pandemic: These include addressing questions on how to stall the epidemic from spreading, how to treat people who are infected and how to minimise the loss of life to the virus.· Humanitarian issues:  Mitigating the impact on the most vulnerable sections of the population which include the mistreatment of migrants.· But without Parliament all these questions remain unanswered.

How to hold a Parliamentary session during Pandemic?

  • Rules to hold sessions:
  • The President summon the Parliament.
  • The Rules of Procedure of both Houses require the Secretary-General to issue summons to each member specifying the “date and place for a session” of the House.
  • Hybrid meetings:These enabling clauses can be used to hold hybrid meetings or remote meetings. The Rules require parliamentary committees to sit within the “precincts” of the House but the Speaker may permit meetings to be held outside. Thus, there is no prior parliamentary action required to permit meetings through videoconferencing.
  • Use of technology: 
    • Using Fiber optics: All district headquarters are linked with fiber optic lines and these can be used to connect the constituency office of MPs.

Way Forward

Parliament should harness the power of technology and should be convened soon to fulfill the aspirations of the people.

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