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THE HINDU NEWSPAPER AND CURRENT AFFAIRS 10TH DECEMBER 2019

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Q.1 Uplift of the backward classes was the main programme of the
(a) Prathana Samaj
(b) Satyashodhak Samaj
(c) Arya Samaj
(d) Ramakrishna Mission

Q.2 The foundation of modern educational system in India was laid
by
(a) the Charter Act of 1813
(b) Macaulay’s Minutes of 1835
(c) The Hunter Commission of 1882
(d) Wood’s Despatch of 1854

Q.3 Variable reserve rates and Open Market Operations are
instruments of
(a) Fiscal Policy
(b) Monetary Policy
(c) Budgetary Policy
(d) Trade Policy

ARTICLE 370

NEWS: A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice N.V. Ramana, will on Tuesday begin hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the Centre’s decision to abrogate the special rights of the Kashmiri people by diluting Article 370 and to reorganise the State of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

WHAT WAS THERE IN  ARTICLE 370 THAT  GOVERNMENT REVOKED?

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was a ‘temporary provision’ which granted special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir.

  • Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions”, the state of Jammu & Kashmir was accorded special status under Article 370.
  • As a result of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir had its own Constitution, and laws passed by Parliament were not be applicable to the State unless the State government gave its concurrence.
  • The President was empowered to decide what provisions of the Constitution of India would be applicable to the State and what are the exceptions, but with the State government’s concurrence.
  • The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, lists the Articles and provisions that apply to J&K. These special measures can be altered only on the recommendation of the Sadar-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers or by the “Constituent Assembly” of that State. As of now, there is no “Constituent Assembly”.
  • All the provisions of the Constitution which were applicable to other states were not applicable to J&K.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS UNDER THE ARTICLE:

  • According to this article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, Parliament needed the state government’s concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.
  • Indian citizens from other states could not purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Under Article 370, the Centre had no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. It can declare emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression. The Union government could not therefore declare emergency on grounds of internal disturbance or imminent danger unless it is made at the request or with the concurrence of the state government.
  • Under Article 370 the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state.

CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT BILL 2019

NEWS: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) that seeks to give citizenship to refugees from the Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Zoroastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The Bill was passed 311-80 with zero abstentions, after the Opposition put up a spirited attack against it.

WHAT DOES THE BILL CONTAINS?

The Bill 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 purpose of the Bill says that it will enable acquisition of Indian citizenship by persons who were forced to seek shelter in India due to persecution or fear of it on grounds of religion and will extend the facility to the class of persons presently facing hardships and difficulties in acquiring citizenship.

The Bill 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 Bill 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).

Citizens of other States require ILP to visit the three States as per the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. 

ABOUT INNER LINE PERMIT

Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside certain states, to obtain such a permit.
At present, the ILP is in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. In Manipur, large scale protests have called for its implementation for years.
Under the ILP system, a certificate can be issued to outsiders only for travel in the areas covered by ILP. A non-resident also cannot buy property in these areas.

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX

NEWS: India ranks 129 out of 189 countries on the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) — up one slot from the 130th position last year — according to the Human Development Report (HDR) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Monday.

India’s HDI value increased by 50% (from 0.431 to 0.647), which places it above the average for other South Asian countries (0.642).

In the Gender Inequality Index (GII), India is at 122 out of 162 countries. Neighbours China (39), Sri Lanka (86), Bhutan (99), Myanmar (106) were placed above India.

Norway, Switzerland and Ireland occupied the top three positions in that order. Germany is placed fourth along with Hong Kong, and Australia secured the fifth rank on the global ranking.

Among India’s neighbours, Sri Lanka (71) and China (85) are higher up the rank scale while Bhutan (134), Bangladesh (135), Myanmar (145), Nepal (147), Pakistan (152) and Afghanistan (170) were ranked lower on the list.

ABOUT HDI

The concept of human development was introduced by Dr Mahbub-ul-Haq.

Dr Haq has described human development as development that enlarges people’s choices and improves
their lives.

People are central to all development under this concept

The HDI measures average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development —

Life expectancy,

Education and

Per capita income

The indicator chosen to assess health isthe life expectancy at birth. A higher life
expectancy means that people have a greater chance of living longer and healthier lives.

The adult literacy rate and the gross enrolment ratio represent access to knowledge.

The number of adults who are able to read and write and the number of children enrolled in
schools show how easy or difficult it is to access knowledge in a particular country.

Access to resources is measured in terms of purchasing power (in U.S. dollars).

Each of these dimensions is given a weightage of 1/3.

The human development index is a sum total of the weights assigned to all these dimensions.

The closer a score is to one, the greater is the level of human development.

 

AIR QUALITY INDEX:

NEWS:Air quality in the Capital stayed in “very poor” category on Monday and is likely to be in “severe” category in parts of the city on Wednesday, chiefly owing to slower winds, said government-run monitoring agency System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

People are advised to avoid all outdoor physical activity and keep medicine handy if they suffer from asthma. 

ABOUT AIR QUALITY INDEX:

Air Quality Index is a number used by the government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted air currently is and how polluted it is expected to become.

There are six AQI categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe.

AQI considers eight pollutants

  1. PM10,
  2. 5,
  3. NO2,
  4. SO2,
  5. CO,
  6. O3,
  7. NH3, and
  8. Pb)

Air Quality Index was launched  in 2014 by Central Pollution Control Board under Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.

 

ABOUT SAFAR

  • SAFAR stands for System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research
  • It is a research program to build Air-Pollution mitigation strategies in consonance with nation’s economic development
  • It is launched in greater metropolitan cities of India to provide location specific information on air quality in near real time
  • SAFAR was developed indigenously by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and operationalized by India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • Comes under Ministry of Earth Sciences
  • Pollutants monitored: PM1, PM2.5, PM10, Ozone, CO, NOx (NO, NO2), SO2, , Methane (CH4), Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), VOC’s, Benzene, Mercury.
  • Monitored Meteorological Parameters: UV Radiation, Rainfall, Temperature, Humidity, Wind speed, Wind direction.

 

UNIFORM CIVIL CODE

NEWS:The Delhi High Court on Monday gave more time to the Centre to submit its response to a plea for framing of a uniform civil code (UCC) to promote national integration and gender justice, equality and dignity of women.

Firoz Bakht Ahmed, the chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University and grand nephew of first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad too filed a petition on the issue.

All the petitioners, in their respective pleas, have contended that India “urgently needs a Uniform Civil Code” to promote national integration as well as gender justice, equality and dignity of women.

The petitions have claimed that a UCC would replace the personal laws, based on the scriptures and customs of various religious communities, with a common set of rules governing every citizen of the country.

ABOUT UNIFORM CIVIL CODE

Article 44 in Part IV

the State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territories of India,

Despite exhortations of this Court in the case of Shah Bano in 1985, the government has done nothing to bring the Uniform Civil Code

The Supreme Court hailed the State of Goa as a “shining example” where “uniform civil code applicable to all, regardless of religion except while protecting certain limited rights”.

Under this Code practised in Goa, a Muslim man whose marriage is registered in the State cannot practice polygamy, a married couple share property equally, pre-nuptial agreements are the order of the day and assets are divided equally between the man and woman on divorce.

In 2018, a Law Commission of India consultation paper had however said the Uniform Civil Code is “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage” in the country. The Commission said secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country.

 

NEW ISSUE IN INDIA BANGLADESH RELATIONS

NEWS:

A visa regulation, introduced by India about a year ago, has deeply irked Bangladesh.

Following the regulation, members of the majority community of Bangladesh, Muslims, are now paying a penalty which is at least 200 times higher compared to the minorities, mainly Hindus, if they overstay in India.

The issue surfaced during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Kolkata visit about two weeks ago. Bangladeshi cricketer Saif Hasan had overstayed his visa. He informed the Deputy High Commission office in Kolkata, which in turn spoke to the FRRO.

This means if Liton Das (a Bangladeshi cricketer, a Hindu) overstays for a day, then he will have to pay ₹100, whereas if the person’s name is Saif Hasan, he will have to pay over ₹21,000, which is what Mr. Hasan paid.

 

BHIMA KOREGAON

NEWS: Activists, lawyers and literary figures on Monday demanded the release of the nine human rights activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case, calling the charges and case false and an act of political vendetta.

On June 8, 2018, the Pune police arrested Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Sudha Bharadwaj in connection with the case. All nine have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Activist Gautam Navlakha and academic Anand Teltumbde have also been charged in the same case.

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.

 

FOOD SECURITY ACT

NEWS: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the States to produce proof on record that they have established a mechanism for the poor to complain about the inaccessibility to food under the Public Distribution System (PDS).

What is Food Security?

  • Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.

Food security is the combination of the following three elements:

  • Food availability i.e. food must be available in sufficient quantities and on a consistent basis. It considers stock and production in a given area and the capacity to bring in food from elsewhere, through trade or aid.
  • Food access i.e. people must be able to regularly acquire adequate quantities of food, through purchase, home production, barter, gifts, borrowing or food aid.
  • Food utilization: Consumed food must have a positive nutritional impact on people. It entails cooking, storage and hygiene practices, individuals health, water and sanitations, feeding and sharing practices within the household.

 National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, legally entitles up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System.

  • The eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above is mandated to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards under the Act.

 

FIRST EDITORIAL: UNEQUAL, UNSECULAR

ISSUE: CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT BILL

WHAT DOES THE BILL CONTAINS?

The Bill 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 Bill 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 Bill 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).

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

EDITORIAL’S VIEW

Bill is brazenly discriminatory and it is only a matter of time before its constitutionality is subjected to severe judicial scrutiny.

In both its intent and wording, the proposed amendment singles out a community for hostile treatment.

The CAB creates a category of people on the basis of their religion and renders them eligible for its beneficial effects.

A key argument against the CAB is that it will not extend to those persecuted in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, from where Rohingya Muslims and Tamils are staying in the country as refugees.

Further, it fails to allow Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims, who also face persecution, to apply for citizenship.

If protecting persecuted neighbourhood minorities is the objective, the classification may fail the test of constitutionality because of the exclusion of some countries and communities using religion.

Editorial concludes by highlighting that bill challenges the founding principles of equality and secularism and it should not be allowed to pass.

 

LEAD ARTICLE

ISSUE: ARE ENCOUNTERS SOLUTION FOR RAPE? 

BACKGROUND: Last Friday, of the four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad were shot dead by Cyberabad Police.

This has revived the debate on the “right to kill”, or “extra-judicial killings” or “fake encounters”, which is the ugly reality of our country.

Author highlights that such encounters are blot on our criminal justice system and no solution to problems of violence against women.

In the new and “resurgent” India, we have started celebrating this instant and brutal form of justice. Blood lust has become the norm in preference to due process and constitutional norms.

In the new India police have become the judge and the media, especially electronic, has started behaving like a court.

WHAT COULD BE DONE TO FAST TRACK JUSTICE IN SUCH CASES?

The right thing to do in rape cases is to appoint senior judges in fast track courts; no adjournments should be permitted, and rape courts should be put under the direct control of High Courts; the district judge should not have any power to interfere, and the trial must be completed within three months.

CONCLUSION

Author hopes that higher courts will take cognizance of such cases and justice will be done.

 

SECOND ARTICLE : CLIMATE TREATY AT A TIPPING POINT 

ISSUE: CLIMATE CHANGE

Author highlights that the world’s major emitter has rejected multilateralism, premised on burden sharing. Similarly European Union has also set its target for net zero emissions by 2050.

Author says that through these actions these developed countries are shifting burden on developing countries like India and China.

WHY INDIA AND CHINA CAN NOT BE BLAMED?

In China, electricity consumption per-capita is a third of the European Union (EU) and a sixth of the U.S.

China also has less than a sixth of the number of cars with respect to population than the EU, while the U.S. has nearly two times that number. In China, nearly 40% of the distance travelled is by public transport, which is two times that of the EU.

Author highlights that  India, is responsible for just 3% of cumulative emissions, is the most carbon efficient and sustainable major economy.

Excessive resource use by a fifth of the world population in a small part of the planet in the West is still responsible for half of global material use and the cause of climate change. Asia with half the world’s population is responsible for less than half of material use, and living in harmony with nature.

CONCLUSION

Western countries should learn from Indian and Chinese sustainable model.

 

SECOND EDITORIAL: LETHAL MISGOVERNANCE

ISSUE: FIRE IN ANAJ MANDI DELHI THAT KILLED 43 PEOPLE

This tragedy highlights the precarious condition of Indian workers.

Editorial says that both central and Delhi government are responsible for this tragedy.

Administrative agencies cannot escape responsibility for allowing the factory and other such units to function illegally, without safety audits.

Public safety should not be allowed to fall victim to irresponsible wrangling of political parties.

WHAT COULD BE DONE?

Political parties, civil society and government must chart a new course, with a plan to make the older, built-up areas safe.

Rules under the new occupational safety code must be strong enough to protect workers. Less government and lax enforcement is bad policy. It costs lives and harms the economy.

 

OP-ED PAGE

LEAD ARTICLE: THE AGE OF V K KRISHNA MENON

ISSUE: EXCERPT FROM THE LATEST BOOK OF JAIRAM RAMESH

NAME OF THE BOOK: A Chequered Brilliance

WHO WAS V K KRISHNA MENON?

India’s defense minister at the time of 1962 Indo-China war.

Menon also holds the record for having made the longest speech at the United Nations in 1957, defending India’s position on Kashmir.

Menon is held chiefly responsible for India’s debacle in the war with China in 1962 and was forced to resign as Defence Minister that November.

In this article political contest between  V K Krishna Menon (supported by Nehru) and J B Kriplani (supported by Raja Gopalachari and J P Narayan) has been highlighted. In the end V K Krishna Menon won the election from North Bombay.

After winning the election he returned as defence minister.

In May and June 1962, Krishna Menon was back in the UN, making four thundering speeches on Kashmir, which won him further plaudits at home. That he had taken on Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, the foreign minister of Pakistan who had got the better of Gopalaswami Ayyangar in 1948, added to his lustre.

SECOND ARTICLE: BLUSTER. BIGOTRY AND BOLSONARO

ISSUE: ANALYSIS OF POLICIES OF BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT JAIR BOLSONARO

WHY HE IS BEING DISCUSSED?

In January, Jair Bolsonaro will become the third Brazilian President to be honoured as chief guest at the Republic Day parade, the first two being Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1996) and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2004).

Mr. Bolsonaro’s popularity rating within Brazil has fallen sharply, while his standing amongst world leaders is woeful. A culture of toxicity pervades Mr. Bolsonaro’s coalition, whose views on women and minorities, and promises and policies on environment and culture, tear apart any shred of consensus in Brazil.

On his first day in office, he ordered the Human Rights Ministry to disregard the complaints of the LGBTQ population.

United Nations data show that hunger in Brazil, which had been largely eradicated by the Lula administration’s Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) programme, is now back in the country.

Mr. Bolsonaro withdrew Brazil from its commitments to the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration.

What does it mean for a country like Brazil to no longer be in this Compact? It means that Brazil is under no obligation to treat migrants with decency but, more than anything, it sends a signal to believers of the far-right ideology inside Brazil that the dignity of migrants no longer needs to be recognised.

CONCLUSION

Most Brazilians are against this government, though they have not been able to effectively unite against it. Many still shake their heads in disbelief that Mr. Bolsonaro is their President.

After 580 days in prison, Mr. Lula (former President) has now been released. He is now travelling across Brazil, addressing enormous crowds, building resistance against Mr. Bolsonaro’s toxic agenda.

 

DEPARTMENT RELATED STANDING COMMITTEES

NEWS: After reprimanding members for bunking Standing Committee meetings and Ministers for skipping the House without prior information on Thursday and Friday, respectively, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Monday wrote to leaders of the 29 political parties in the House, urging them to ensure regular attendance of their members in the meetings.

Last week, he held a meeting with the Chairmen of 8 DRSCs (Departmentally-related Standing Committees) and 12 Standing Committees of the Rajya Sabha.

ABOUT STANDING COMMITTEES

The Standing Committees were introduced in 1993 as mini-Parliament where each and every legislation can be closely studied.

There are a total of 24 DRSCs, mandated with detailed scrutiny of the Bills referred to them and focussed examination of issues/subjects chosen by the Committees for reporting.

Each DRSC has 31 MPs, including 10 from the Rajya Sabha and 21 from the Lok Sabha, nominated based on the strength of each political party.

WHY COMMITTES? 

  1. Given the volume of legislative business, discussing all Bills under the consideration of Parliament in detail on the floor of the House is impossible. Committees are PLATFORMS FOR THREADBARE DISCUSSION on a proposed law
  2. Allows MORE OPEN, INTENSIVE AND BETTER INFORMED DISCUSSIONS. Committee meetings are ‘closed door’ and members are not bound by party whips, which allows them the latitude for a more meaningful exchange of views as against discussions in full and open Houses where grandstanding and party positions invariably take precedence.
  3. Allows DETAILED ANALYSIS of a piece of legislation.
  4. department standing committees go one step further and hear from SENIOR OFFICIALS of the government in a closed setting, allowing for more detailed discussions.
  5. This mechanism also enables parliamentarians to UNDERSTAND THE EXECUTIVE PROCESSES CLOSELY.

 

CONDITIONS FOR ANY COMMITTEE TO BE RECOGNIZED AS PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE

  1. Is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker/ Chairman
  2. Works under the direction of Speaker/ Chairman
  3. Presents its report to the House or to the Speaker/Chairman
  4. Has a secretariat provided by the Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha

TYPES OF COMMITTEES

  1. STANDING: existence is uninterrupted and usually reconstituted on an annual basis;
  2. SELECT COMMITTEES: formed for a specific purpose, for instance, to deliberate on a particular bill. Once the Bill is disposed of, that select committee ceases to exist.

The three financial committees are the PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE, THE ESTIMATES COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC UNDERTAKINGS.

Parliament is not bound by the recommendations of committees.

The first Parliamentary Committee was constituted in 1571 in Britain

CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEES

  1. They consist of members of parliament from both the houses of parliament.
  2. Minister/ minister of state in charge of the ministry concerned is the chairman.
  3. Constituted by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

 

RCEP

NEWS: Despite India’s decision to walk out of the ASEAN-led 15-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Free Trade Agreement last month, officials from India’s Indo-Pacific partners Australia and Japan are still discussing the issue in the hope that the government will rethink the decision.

ABOUT RCEP

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a proposed free trade agreement between ASEAN countries and  five Asia Pacific states (China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea) with which ASEAN countries have FTA.

RCEP was proposed in 2012 ASEAN meeting in 2012.

First RCEP summit was held in 2017 in Manila Philippines.

RCEP is considered as an alternative to TPP that includes many Asian and American countries but excludes India and China.

MAJOR AREAS OF CONCERN

  1. Whenever India has rushed into an FTA negotiation, trade deficits have always widened after signing free-trade-agreements. India already has high trade deficit with China and many countries in the bloc like South Korea and Australia.
  2. Indian markets could become dumping ground for Chinese products
  3. India’s insistence on lower services investment and visa barriers for its professionals is not making headway.

 

UIGHURS

NEWS:  People who were at vocational training centres in China’s far west Xinjiang have all “graduated” and are living happy lives, an official said on Monday.

But Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities from the region say their family members continue to be arbitrarily detained in camps and prisons.

ABOUT UIGHURS

The Uighurs are a Muslim ethnic minority mostly based in China’s Xinjiang province. They make up around 45% of the population there. Xinjiang is officially designated as an autonomous region within China, like Tibet to its south.

Human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have submitted reports to the UN committee documenting claims of mass imprisonment, in camps where inmates are forced to swear loyalty to China’s President Xi Jinping.

INCREASING PRIVATE INVESTMENT

NEWS: Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian on Monday said private investment was the key to economic growth and the recent cut in corporate tax rate was done to boost investments.

India’s GDP growth slowed sharply to 4.5% in the July-September, hit by a slump in manufacturing output. The pace had moderated from 5% in April-June and 7% in the July-September quarter of 2018.

In September, the Centre slashed the corporate tax rate to 22% from 30%. It also lowered the tax rate for new manufacturing companies to 15% to attract new foreign direct investments.

ABOUT CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR

  1. Post in Government of India and is equivalent to rank of secretary to the Government of India.
  2. CEA is the head of the Economic Division of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
  3. CEA is the ex officio cadre controlling authority of the Indian Economic Service.
  4. Until 2009, CEA’s position was a UPSC appointment and until 1970’s almost all the CEA’s were members of the Indian Economic Service.
  5. At present CEA is appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

 

SHORTFALL IN CENTRAL GST COLLECTION

NEWS:

The Central GST collection fell short of the budged estimate by nearly 38% during the April-November period of 2019-20, according to the data presented in Parliament on Monday.

The actual CGST collection during April-November stood at ₹3,28,365 crore while the budgeted estimate is of ₹5,26,000 crore for these months, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

ABOUT GST

  • Goods and Services Tax is a comprehensive indirect tax which is to be levied on the manufacturesaleand consumption of goods and services in India.
  • GST eliminates the cascading effectof taxes because it is taxed at every point of business and the input credit is available in the value chain.
  • Francewas the first country to introduce GST system in 1954.
  • More than 140 countries have implemented the GST.

PERSON IN NEWS

Zozibini Tunzi:  Miss South Africa was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday in after a lavish ceremony filled with glitter and heartfelt speeches about female empowerment.

Zozibini Tunzi, 26, finished first ahead of the Puerto Rican and Mexican finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by TV personality Steve Harvey.

SANNA MARIN: Finland’s Social Democrats elected a 34-year-old former Transport Minister to the post of Prime Minister on Sunday, making her the youngest head of government in the country’s history.

Sanna Marin narrowly won Sunday’s vote to replace outgoing leader Antti Rinne, who resigned on Tuesday after losing the confidence of the coalition partner Centre Party over his handling of a postal strike.

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