Current Affairs


Daily Current Affairs Analysis 2019 - 2020

for UPSC IAS Civil Services Examination

Nov
11
Mon
2019
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Nov 11 @ 9:30 am
Headlines (Video)

Online Current Affairs

 

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News (Text)
Nov 11 @ 11:00 am

          NEWS

11 NOVEMBER 2019

 

Daily Current Affairs based on ‘The Hindu’ newspaper as per the syllabus of UPSC Civil Services Examination (Prelims and Mains) Compiled by Mrs. Bilquees Khatri.

 

Sr. No. Topic News
1. GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS After BJP opts out, Governor invites Sena
2. GS II: SOCIAL -UNREST Ayodhya ruling: Doval meets religious leaders
3. GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST SC not to entertain claims against actions of Mughals
4. GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST Ruins don’t always indicate demolition, observes SC
5. GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST 77 arrested in U.P. for ‘offensive’ posts
6. GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS Former CEC Seshan dead
7. GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS The man who cleaned up the Indian electoral system
8. GS II: SOCIAL – RIGHTS Bhima-Koregaon: 2-member panel gets fourth extension
9. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH Maternal deaths on the decline: report
10. GS III: ENERGY Gujarat govt. grants approval for CNG port terminal at Bhavnagar
11. GS III: CORRUPTION International bookie arrested
12. GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS All eyes on SC verdict on disqualified Karnataka MLAs
13. GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY Now, even trees have QR codes
14. GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN Study moots lowering the age of consent
15. GS II: SOCIAL – LABOUR Centre gets responses to draft Social Security code
16. GS II: SOCIAL – RIGHTS Indian seafarers abandoned and adrift on land
17. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – SOUTH AMERICA Bolivia’s President agrees to new polls after damning OAS audit
18. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA U.S. court refuses to ban work permits for H-1B holders’ spouses
19. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA Jordan to retake lands leased by Israel

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

After BJP opts out, Governor invites Sena

  • Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Sunday asked the Shiv Sena to indicate its willingness and ability to form a government in the State, after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the single largest party, announced that it does not have the numbers.
  • The invitation to the Shiv Sena comes against the backdrop of the BJP accusing it of disrespecting the mandate given by the people to the pre-poll alliance of the two parties. Mr. Koshyari, who was informed by the BJP about its inability to form a government, then invited the leader of the Shiv Sena, Eknath Shinde. Following this, Shiv Sena leaders got into a huddle at the Thackeray residence, Matoshree.
  • “Yesterday, Devendra Fadnavis was called upon to express his willingness and ability to form [a] government. However, today, he has shown unwillingness. The Governor has, therefore, asked the leader of the elected members of the second largest party, Shiv Sena, Shri Eknath Shinde, to convey its willingness and ability to form the government to him,” a release from Raj Bhavan said.
  • Earlier, the BJP blamed the Shiv Sena for not being able to form the government in spite of the mandate given by the electorate.
  • Last-minute attempts
  • Announcing the decision after meeting Mr. Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil accused the Shiv Sena of disrespecting the people’s mandate. The decision came after daylong deliberations of the State BJP’s core committee at Mr. Fadnavis’s official residence, and last-minute attempts to contact the Shiv Sena, which is firm that the Chief Minister’s post should be shared by the two parties for 2.5 years each.
  • Wishes Sena good luck
  • “The mandate of the people of Maharashtra was for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. The Shiv Sena has disrespected that, hence we have decided to not stake claim to form government. We have conveyed our decision to Governor Koshyari,” Mr. Patil announced.
  • The BJP wished the Shiv Sena good luck, if it went on to form the government with the help of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress, ignoring the mandate, he said.
  • In the 288-member Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, emerging as the single largest party, but falling short of the majority mark of 145. The Shiv Sena with 56 seats came second, while the NCP and the Congress won 54 and 44 respectively.
  • While resigning from the CM’s post on Friday, Mr. Fadnavis accused the Sena of cutting all communication lines, and denied that any arrangement to share the top post for 2.5 years had ever been reached in his presence. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had hit back claiming the party was turning its back on a commitment given to seal the alliance.
  • Thackeray told his legislators earlier in the day that the Sena would not be a palanquin-bearer any longer. A Sainik would sit in the palanquin (of Chief Ministership). Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray visited party legislators at a Madh Island resort on Saturday and stayed the night there. On Sunday, Mr. Uddhav Thackeray also met the legislators.
  • At the meeting, Mr. Thackeray reportedly told his MLAs that he had not called off the alliance and that his (party’s) doors were still open, but reiterated the stand on the CM’s post. Amid calls for ‘Aaditya as CM,’ Shiv Sainiks put up hoardings outside the Thackeray residence in support of their demands.
  • Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut told The Hindu, “We had given our best wishes to BJP. They were adamant on having their own CM, but could not form the government and we feel sorry about that. Today, Uddhavji has made clear that the Sena will have its own CM.”
  • When asked if his party would ally with the Congress-NCP, he said, “We are close to taking a decision, there is no need for too many meetings. We are in no hurry, the Governor now has to invite us as second largest party. But we will not keep Maharashtra in limbo.”
  • Must quit NDA: NCP
  • Amid reports that the Sena would tie up with the NCP to form a government, the latter clarified that it should first quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and resign from the Union Cabinet. NCP Mumbai chief and chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said the party could not take any decision until the Sena officially made a proposal and quit the NDA.
  • “Let us first get the proposal. If they want our support then they have to show the willingness to quit the NDA. Only then can the talks move forward,” he said.
  • Meanwhile, the Congress, which shifted its MLAs to Jaipur, clarified that there was no question of joining the Sena to form the government. “Our high command has clarified that there is no question of supporting the Sena. We have not won the mandate and there will be no move from us,” Maharashtra in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge, told reporters in Jaipur.

GS II: SOCIAL -UNREST

Ayodhya ruling: Doval meets religious leaders

  • National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met a group of Hindu and Muslim “religious leaders and intellectuals” at his residence here on Sunday, a day after the Supreme Court allowed the construction of a Ram temple at the site where the Babri Masjid stood in Ayodhya.
  • A joint statement issued by Mr. Doval and those who attended the meeting, including members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawrat, said: “Those attending the meeting were alive to the fact that certain anti-national and hostile elements …may attempt to exploit the situation to harm our national interest.”
  • The invites were sent out three days ago, one of the participants told The Hindu.
  • He said the invite did not mention that the meeting was related to the verdict. According to the statement, the religious leaders pledged full support to the government’s efforts to maintain peace and order. “The interaction helped to strengthen communication between top religious leaders to maintain a spirit of amity and brotherhood among all communities,” the statement said. “All the participants reposed faith in the rule of law and the Constitution.”
  • Akhtarul Wasey, president of Maulana Azad University, Jodhpur, who attended the meeting, said, “A new channel of communication was opened. There should be no misunderstanding, and the conversation was done in a harmonious manner. The NSA appreciated the stand taken by leaders of both communities.”
  • The other attendees included Swami Avdeshanand, Swami Paramatmananda and Swami Nirmalananda; the VHP’s Alok Kumar, Champat Rai, Surinder Jain and Jiveshwar; Maulana Saeed Ahmed Noori, president of Raza Academy, Mumbai; Dr. Zahir Ishaque Kazi, president of Anjuman-I-Islam; and Pir Farid Ahmed Nizami of Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah, Delhi. The statement further said, “The leaders resolved to honour the decision of the Supreme Court and appealed to all countrymen to abide by it [the verdict], emphasizing that the national interest overrides all other considerations. They extended their full cooperation to the government in ensuring peace and communal harmony and upholding the rule of law.”
  • The leaders noted with satisfaction that millions of Indians displayed a great sense of responsibility, sensitivity and restraint in accepting the verdict, it said.
  • The Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind (JUH), one of the largest Muslim organisations, issued a statement expressing disagreement with the verdict.
  • It termed the ruling “unjust” and said it disregarded “the truth and evidence”. The statement, issued by JUH general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani, said, “The honourable five judges of the Supreme Court, despite admitting that the placing of idols and destruction of the Babri Masjid were serious violations of the rule of law, gave the land to those who had committed such crimes. This is a clear discrimination against the particular community, which was not expected from the court.”

GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST

SC not to entertain claims against actions of Mughals

  • The Supreme Court cannot entertain claims about the actions of Mughal emperors against Hindu places of worship, the Ayodhya verdict said.
  • “This court cannot entertain claims that stem from the actions of the Mughal rulers against Hindu places of worship in a court of law today. For any person who seeks solace or recourse against the actions of any number of ancient rulers, the law is not the answer. Our history is replete with actions that have been judged to be morally incorrect and even today are liable to trigger vociferous ideological debate,” the Ayodhya judgment said.
  • With this, the court shuts its door on future claims of alleged atrocities committed by ancient rulers against Hindu places of worship of yore.
  • Watershed moment
  • The court said differences on the basis of religion, skin colour and ancestors died with the adoption of the Constitution.
  • “The adoption of the Constitution marks a watershed moment where we, the people of India, departed from the determination of rights and liabilities on the basis of our ideology, our religion, the colour of our skin, or the century when our ancestors arrived at these lands, and submitted to the rule of law,” the judgment said.
  • To the question then why the Supreme Court entertained the appeals on the civil suits for determination of title and possession of the Ayodhya land, the judgment reasons that “this court can adjudicate upon private property claims that were expressly or impliedly recognised by the British sovereign and subsequently not interfered with upon Indian independence.” “With respect to the disputed property, it is evident that the British Sovereign recognised and permitted the existence of both Hindu and Muslim communities at the disputed property upon the annexation of Oudh in 1856,” the judgment observed.

 

GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST

Ruins don’t always indicate demolition, observes SC

  • The ruins of an ancient religious structure under an existing building does not always indicate that it was demolished by unfriendly powers, the Supreme Court held in its 1,045-page judgment in the Ayodhya case.
  • “Existence of the ruins of an underlying structure is not a reason in itself to infer that it was demolished for the construction of a new structure which rests on its foundations,” it held.
  • The observation is significant, and will form the basis of an argument against future claims that Hindu places of worship were destroyed centuries ago by rulers to build structures of other religions.
  • The Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, was dealing with the question of whether a Hindu religious structure was demolished to build the Babri Masjid in the 16th century.
  • The court agreed with the Allahabad High Court’s reasoning that “when a structure has been constructed several hundred years ago, it is difficult to conclude with any degree of certainty whether the underlying structure on whose foundations it rests had collapsed due to natural causes or whether the structure was demolished to give way for the structure of a mosque”.
  • The judgment noted that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report merely says the mosque was not built on vacant land and there was an underlying non-Islamic structure of large dimensions. It does not touch upon how that structure went to ruins.
  • “The ASI report has left unanswered a critical part of the remit made to it, namely, a determination of whether a Hindu temple had been demolished to pave the way for the construction of the mosque,” the Supreme Court said.

GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST

77 arrested in U.P. for ‘offensive’ posts

  • persons have been arrested across Uttar Pradesh for posting “offensive” content on social media regarding the Ayodhya verdict, the police said on Sunday.
  • The police have been monitoring social media for posts that it says could “spoil communal harmony.”
  • Apart from the 77 arrested, the police have also registered 34 cases. Of these, 22 FIRs were lodged and 40 persons arrested in the past 24 hours.
  • The police took action against 8,275 social media posts, including 4,563 over the past 24 hours, the U.P. DGP headquarters said in a statement. The action included removing the posts, asking the users to delete “offensive” posts and also suspending the profiles, if needed.
  • The posts were mostly put up on Twitter, as per the police data, with action taken against 2,869 of them since Saturday. A total of 1,355 posts on Facebook and 98 videos and profiles on YouTube were also flagged.
  • Monitoring to continue
  • “The monitoring of offensive posts and videos on social media and action against them will continue,” the police said. DGP O.P. Singh on Saturday hailed the people of Uttar Pradesh for showing restraint and keeping the State “totally peaceful”.
  • “All sections of society have risen to the occasion and displayed exemplary solidarity, respect, restraint & cooperation,” the DGP tweeted, while appealing for communal harmony.

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

Former CEC Seshan dead

 

  • Former Chief Election Commissioner Tirunellai Narayanaiyer Seshan, who cracked the whip on money and muscle power in elections and proved a nemesis for political parties, died here around 9.15 p.m. on Sunday. He was 87. His wife, Jayalakshmi, predeceased him early last year.
  • A family member told The Hindu that Mr. Seshan did not suffer from any major ailment. His end came at his house on St Mary’s Road in Alwarpet. His final rites are expected to be performed on Monday evening.
  • Seshan was the only one to hold the post of CEC for six years from 1990 to 1996 in the last 50 years.

 

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

The man who cleaned up the Indian electoral system

  • N. Seshan, as Chief Election Commissioner during 1990-96, initiated the process of cleaning up the electoral system. The introduction of electors’ photo identity cards was a measure towards this direction. He also saw to it that the model code of conduct, till then considered a document of academic interest, was taken seriously by the parties and candidates. Despite facing a volley of criticism that he had exceeded his brief, Mr. Seshan had demonstrated to the outside world that his post was no pushover.
  • Born on December 15, 1932 in Palakkad, Kerala, Mr. Seshan belonged to the 1955 batch of Tamil Nadu cadre officers of the IAS. An alumnus of the Madras Christian College, he, as an IAS officer, did a year-long course in management at Harvard University in the 1960s.
  • Anti-Hindi agitation
  • Though the Tamil Nadu part of his career was largely regarded as uneventful, he, as Madurai District Collector during 1965-67, came into public attention when he dealt sternly with participants of the anti-Hindi agitation. According to K. Govindan Kutty’s biography Seshan: An Intimate Story (1994), the then Chief Minister, M. Bakthavatsalam, was “flooded with complaints of suppression of civil rights” in the district. Yet, Mr. Seshan was left intact.
  • In the Tamil Nadu government, he held positions such as Industries Secretary and Agriculture Secretary during M.G. Ramachandran’s first innings (1977-80) as Chief Minister. His differences with his political masters forced him to opt for a Central posting.
  • His batchmate-friend and former Vigilance Commissioner in Tamil Nadu P.N. Vedanarayanan said he was not surprised by what Mr. Seshan did as CEC. “His qualities as an administrator were clearly evident when he was part of the State government,” he recalled.
  • At the Centre, Mr. Seshan held several positions, including Environment and Forests Secretary, Defence Secretary and later, Cabinet Secretary.
  • Meant business
  • When Chandra Shekhar became Prime Minister with the support of the Congress, Mr. Seshan was made CEC in December 1990. Soon, he had shown that he meant business.
  • He was known as a no nonsense CEC and one who had enforced, in his own way, discipline on political parties and contestants. He earned the wrath of several politicians including former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who had once described him as an “embodiment of arrogance.”
  • During the Karnataka Assembly elections in December 1994, he famously pulled up Union Ministers Sitaram Kesri and Kalpnath Rai for “attempting to influence voters”.
  • It was during Mr. Seshan’s period that the Commission was made a multi-member body in October 1993.
  • Briefly in the mid-1990s, Mr. Seshan was seen as a crusader against corruption and electoral malpractices. His work was recognised internationally when he was given the Ramon Magsaysay award for 1996.
  • In July 1997, Mr. Seshan unsuccessfully contested the presidential election against K.R. Narayanan. Two years later, in the Gandhinagar parliamentary constituency, the Congress fielded him against then Union Home Minister L.K. Advani but he lost.

GS II: SOCIAL – RIGHTS

Bhima-Koregaon: 2-member panel gets fourth extension

  • The two-member commission set up by the State government to probe the causes of the Bhima-Koregaon clash that occurred on January 1, 2018, and identify those responsible for it has received another extension for a period of three months.
  • According to advocate Ashish Satpute, a lawyer for the commission, the State Home department issued a letter on November 8 granting it an extension till February 8, 2020.
  • This is the fourth extension granted by the government, which had formed the commission, comprising retired Kolkata High Court chief justice J.N. Patel and former Maharashtra chief secretary Sumit Mullick, in February 2018 to inquire into the sequence of events leading to the New Year’s Day violence in Bhima-Koregaon and the adjoining villages, which left one person dead besides heightening tension across the State.
  • The commission has so far received nearly 500 affidavits — from victims, Dalit outfits, NGOs, right wing groups, government, and police officials — across Pune, Mumbai and Thane.
  • Since its constitution, the commission has been granted two extensions of four months each and another extension of six months before being given this three-month extension.
  • Ambedkarite parties have repeatedly expressed concern over the allegedly tardy progress of the two-member commission. Outfits like the Republican Yuva Morcha have accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of trying to shelter the true perpetrators.
  • “The commission was supposed to submit its finding within four months. However, proceedings have dragged on for 18 months now. We hope that this fourth extension is the last such required by the panel to wrap up the probe,” said Republican Yuva Morcha’s State president Rahul Dambale.
  • He said leaders of fringe right wing outfits like Sambhaji Bhide which had an affinity with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had not yet been investigated.
  • In its status report submitted to the government, the commission secretary said so far examination of 17 witnesses has been completed and that eight have been partially heard. Also, it said more than 50 witnesses are needed to be called.
  • For several Dalit activists, the narrative of the Bhima-Koregaon battle, where Mahar community members fought under the Union Jack to allegedly defeat Peshwa Bajirao II’s numerically superior forces in 1818, signified a major step in the ongoing struggle against caste oppression and Brahminical domination.
  • While lakhs of Dalits converge near the victory pillar (Ranstambh or Jayastambh) each year to pay their respects, the celebrations in 2018 were marred by the clash.
  • Since then, there have been two investigations. The Pune Rural police have lodged an FIR against Hindutva leaders Mr. Bhide and Milind Ekbote, naming them as the orchestrators of the violence. The Pune City police have conducted multi-city crackdowns and have arrested nine lawyers, writers, intellectuals and activists, including advocate Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen, poet P. Varavara Rao, and Sudha Bharadwaj for their alleged links with Maoist outfits and for their roles in the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ and the subsequent Bhima-Koregaon clash.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Maternal deaths on the decline: report

  • A special bulletin on maternal mortality has revealed that Indian women in their 20s make up for the biggest chunk of maternal deaths. The report by the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) from 2015 to 2017 shows 68% of deaths were among women in the age group of 20-29. The three-year data also reveals a positive development of reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) as compared to 2014-2016.
  • “It is heartening that the MMR of India has declined from 130 in 2014-2016 to 122 in 2015-17. The drop has been most significant in empowered action group (EAG) States from 188 to 175,” the report said.
  • The SRS had categorised the States into three groups — the EAG States comprise Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Assam; southern States consist of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu; and Other States cover the remaining States and Union Territories. “Among the southern States, the decline has been from 77 to 72 and in the Other States from 93 to 90,” the report said.
  • As per the World Health Organization (WHO), maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy. The WHO says the MMR dropped by 38% worldwide between 2000 and 2017. However, an estimated 810 women died every day in 2017 from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
  • According to gynaecologist Dr. Ashok Anand, who is attached to State-run JJ Hospital in Mumbai, women have to prepare their bodies and be fit for pregnancy. “Unfortunately, the aspect of fitness is simply ignored.”
  • JJ Hospital carries out 8,500 deliveries annually. Dr. Anand said bleeding, hypertension, and infections are among the leading causes of maternal deaths. He said the highest number of deaths are seen in the age group of 20-29 because most women get married and get pregnant in this age group. “This is also the most fertile age group.”
  • Nearly 4% of deaths were in the age group of 15 to 19 which highlights the problem of early marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country. The sustainable development goals set by the United Nations target reducing the global MMR to less than 70 per one lakh live births by 2030.

GS III: ENERGY

Gujarat govt. grants approval for CNG port terminal at Bhavnagar

  • The Gujarat government on Sunday gave its approval for a compressed natural gas (CNG) terminal at Bhavnagar with a proposed investment of Rs. 1,900 crore, an official said.
  • A State government release said the facility, approval for which was given by the Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board headed by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, would be the world’s first CNG port terminal.
  • It will be developed jointly by UK-headquartered Foresight Group and Mumbai-based Padmanabh Mafatlal Group.
  • The Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) had signed an MoU with Foresight Group to set up this port terminal at Bhavnagar in the Vibrant Gujarat Summit held in January, the release said.
  • Apart from the CNG terminal, the investors would develop a Ro-Ro terminal, liquid cargo terminal, and container terminal at Bhavnagar port with a cumulative investment of Rs. 1,900 crore. The proposed CNG port terminal will have a capacity to handle 1.5 million metric tonne per annum (MMTPA).
  • The GMB manages the existing port at Bhavnagar, having a capacity to handle three MMTPA cargo, and the new terminals would take the overall capacity to nine MMTPA.
  • While the consortium would invest Rs. 1,300 crore in the first phase, Rs. 600 crore will be invested in the second phase.
  • To develop CNG and other terminals on the north side of the existing port would require major modifications in the existing infrastructure, including dredging in water channel of port basin, construction of two lock gates, and off-shore infrastructure for CNG transportation, the release said.

GS III: CORRUPTION

International bookie arrested

 

  • The Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths probing the KPL international betting scam and spot-fixing in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) on Sunday arrested Sayyam, an international bookie and prime accused in the case who had fled to the West Indies after the scam was unearthed in September.
  • The CCB officials, who got a Lookout Circular (LOC) issued against him, traced his address and forced him to fly back to New Delhi, from where he was picked up.
  • A native of Haryana, Sayyam is close to Ali Asfak Thara, an international bookie having links with many players in international and local cricket, Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), said. Thara, who owns Belagavi Panthers, was arrested earlier and is out on bail.
  • Sayyam was booked in a match-fixing case along with Bhavesh Bafna, also a bookie and drummer for Bijapur Bulls. An FIR was registered against the duo following a complaint by Ballari Tuskers’ bowler Bhavesh Gulechha at the J.P. Nagar police station. Bafna is now in judicial custody. Both the accused were arrested after Gulechha gave a statement to CCB during questioning.
  • Gulechha confessed that Bafna had offered him a few lakhs of rupees to bowl slow. The accused was a childhood friend of Gulechha and both hailed from Rajasthan. Gulechha played for Jawans Cricket Club, a KSCA-affiliated team. Bafna met Gulechha in July, soon after he joined as drummer for Bijapur Bulls.
  • Officials said Bafna asked Gulechha to give away 10 runs per over or even more, but Gulechha refused. Bafna approached him many times with the offer, but he rejected. Gulechha said Bafna approached him one more time, asking him to meet him at a hotel at the Kempegowda International Airport to discuss his selection to the IPL. There, he introduced Gulechha to Sayyam and offered Rs. 2 lakh for giving away 10 runs per over. He promised more money and other facilities. But Gulechha rejected the deal and helped his team finish runner-up in the tournament.
  • Following his complaint, the duo was booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy and Bafna was arrested on October 2.
  • The CCB had arrested Thara, bowling coach Vinu Prasad, players Vishwanathan, Nishanth Singh Shekhawat, C.M. Gautham, and Abrar Khazi in three cases registered so far.

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

All eyes on SC verdict on disqualified Karnataka MLAs

  • With the Election Commission announcing enforcement of model code of conduct from Monday in 15 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka where byelections are scheduled on December 5, all eyes are now on the Supreme Court which is expected to pronounce its verdict on Wednesday on petitions of 17 disqualified MLAs of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular).
  • Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar told presspersons on Sunday that the model code would come into effect from Monday only in constituencies where byelection is scheduled and not in the entire district.
  • The process for filing nominations will commence from Monday. The last day for filing nominations is November 18.
  • Pending petitions
  • The EC had postponed the bypoll, which was earlier scheduled on October 21 to December 5 in view of the pending petitions of the disqualified legislators. Before the postponement of elections, 29 nominations had been received. All the nominations remained valid, Mr. Kumar said.
  • Though the electoral notification had been issued by the EC on September 27, enforcement of the model code was suspended till November 10 since it would adversely impact development programmes of the government, particularly the poor, the CEO said.
  • The Congress has taken strong objection to suspension of the code of conduct after the issue of the electoral notification. It has also decided to oppose the plea made before the court by disqualified legislators seeking postponement of the Assembly bypoll. Elections to two of the 17 constituencies — Maski in Raichur district and R.R. Nagar in Bengaluru — have been withheld as separate election cases related to them are pending in the High Court of Karnataka.
  • Results of the byelection will play a crucial role in stabilising or destabilising the BJP government. The BJP has to win at least eight constituencies to reach the magic figure of 113 in the 225-member Lower House to ensure a simple majority.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Now, even trees have QR codes

  • While the world seems to be going digital, people lack the time to read books and process the information they contain. Hence, the Botany Department in the PB Siddhartha College of Arts and Sciences has decided to exploit the growing platform for a unique purpose.
  • Students on the lush green campus were seen using their phones, not to play games or take selfies, but to scan QR codes hung on the trees for its information.
  • These codes give students all the information they need to know about the tree — from its scientific name to its medicinal value. They only need to put their smartphones to use. The days of scanning voluminous books seem to be over.
  • “Students now do not have the time to learn about the things around them via books. To keep up with the digital trend, we collected the database of all the trees in the college and assigned QR codes to them, making it easier for everybody to learn about a plant or a tree at the tip of their fingers,” said Ch. Srinivas Reddy, Head of Department, Botany.
  • The college has 20 different species of plants on the campus, some of which are not found quite often in the city, said Mr. Reddy, adding that the students and the faculty of the department worked for a month to catalogue the trees and assign them QR codes.
  • ‘Great response’
  • “Any app generating a QR code, which is available for free on the online stores, can be used to avail the information of the trees. We started this as an experiment but the response has been overwhelming. We see a lot of students, teachers and even visitors extracting information about the trees via the QR codes,” said the Head of the Department.
  • “With the installation of QR codes, gaining knowledge about the trees has become easier as it helps us save time and effort that is required to scan books at the library,” said N. Yamini, a third-year B.Sc. student.

  • ‘Bulbul’ leaves a trail of destruction

 

  • At least 10 people were killed and 25 injured as Cyclone Bulbul smashed into the low-lying areas of Bangladesh on Sunday, bringing in its wake torrential rains coupled with gales.
  • The cyclone packed winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour (kmph) when it made a predawn landfall before weakening into a deep depression, forcing the authorities to evacuate over 21 lakh people from the low-lying areas of the country.
  • Disaster Ministry secretary Shah Kamal said they initially planned to evacuate 14 lakh people to 5,000 cyclone shelters. However by Saturday midnight, the figure rose to over 21 lakh.
  • Airports shut down
  • The authorities have ordered a temporary ban on boat and ferry movements on internal riverine routes and coastal waters, besides closing air traffic operations near coastal airports for nearly 24 hours.
  • At least eight people in seven coastal districts have been reported dead from a combination of falling trees, collapsed houses and illness after the cyclone ripped through southern Bangladesh, bdnews24.com reported.
  • The Health Directorate’s Health Emergency Operation Centre and Control Room confirmed the death toll on Sunday, the report said, adding that 25 people have been injured in the cyclonic storm.
  • The Met office on Saturday issued its highest “great signal numbers” 10 and 9 for the southwestern and southeastern coastlines, prompting authorities to launch a massive evacuation campaign. However, on Sunday the office lowered the number to 3.
  • Army called in
  • The government suspended weekend leave for government officials in 13 coastal districts on Saturday. Troops of the army were also called in to supplement preparedness for the cyclone.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Study moots lowering the age of consent

  • A new study calls for a need to distinguish between self-arranged marriages among older adolescents and forced child marriages to protect teens from social stigma, parental backlash and punitive action.
  • The report titled “Why Girls Run Away To Marry — Adolescent Realities and Socio-Legal Responses in India” is based on a qualitative study of 15 girls, aged 15-20, from Jaipur, Delhi and Mumbai, who had been in a consensual romantic relationship. Some of these resulted in self-arranged marriages. The participants included those who entered into a romantic relationship when they were aged 12-19 years. These case studies involved intra- and inter-caste and interfaith relationships with boyfriends who were older and younger than 18. These cases were from between 2010 and 2016 to assess the impact of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.
  • The study — authored by Madhu Mehra and Amrita Nandy and published by Partners For Law in Development — makes a case for an age of consent that is lower than the age of marriage to decriminalise sex among consenting older adolescents. This will protect them from the misuse of law for enforcing parental and caste controls over daughters.
  • In most of the studied cases, a couple elopes fearing opposition from parents, resulting in a situation where families approach the police, who then book the boy for rape under POCSO and abduction with the intent to marry under the IPC or the Prohibition of Child Marriages Act (PCMA).
  • In one case a couple was terrorised by the spectre of caste violence. In at least three cases, the girl gets married but her parents refuse to accept it. There were also three cases where the boy abandons the girl fearing punitive action following a police complaint by the girl’s parents.
  • The study also records that while girls face restrictions on their mobility, premarital relations and sexuality, the same was not true for boys of the same social milieu, who enjoyed greater freedom.
  • The study also assumes significance when the government has been discussing amending the PCMA to declare all child marriages null and void ab initio. In its current form the law only permits one of the consenting parties to seek annulment of their marriage as children until two years after they turn adults (in case of minors, their parents can seek annulment).

GS II: SOCIAL – LABOUR

Centre gets responses to draft Social Security code

  • The draft code on social security, which subsumes eight existing laws covering provident fund, maternity benefits and pension, is being further worked upon after a recent round of public consultations, officials of the Labour and Employment Ministry have said.
  • A draft of the social security code, one of the four codes that are part of the Centre’s labour reforms agenda, was published on September 17 for public comments and suggestions till October 25.
  • Officials said over 400 comments or suggestions have been received. The draft might be finalised in time for the session of Parliament beginning on November 18, an official said.
  • However, many trade unions are against the proposal for provident fund, pension and insurance funds to be administered by a central board, and a national pension scheme that employees can opt for.
  • Recently, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said it had rejected the draft code in its comments submitted to the Ministry. The BMS said in a statement that the first draft had provisions for the right to social security for all and establishment of a central apex council, headed by the Prime Minister, but these were missing from the latest draft.

GS II: SOCIAL – RIGHTS

Indian seafarers abandoned and adrift on land

  • When the marriage proposal came, Gagandeep Kaur’s folks felt her prospective husband had a “good, standard” job. After the wedding in 2014, Ms. Kaur realised her husband’s job involved much hard work. But little was she aware of how risky his merchant marine profession was.
  • On November 3, Ms. Sidhu, a resident of Ludhiana, landed in Shanghai along with her father Charanjit Singh, a farmer in Jalandhar. She had left her two-year-old son with her in-laws. She had waited for nearly three months, hoping that her husband, Captain Jagvir Singh Sidhu, detained in Ningbo, China, would be released.
  • Smuggling charge
  • Captain Sidhu was arrested by the Chinese police and Coast Guard in July on charges of smuggling in frozen cargo at Ningbo on the vessel MV Hai Yue. Ms. Sidhu realised that the vessel’s owner and the manning agent who had recruited her husband had washed their hands of the case.
  • Yogini Deshpande’s WhatsApp status message recalls the Hindi film song Jindagi, ek safar he suhana, which urges the listener to stay in the moment, because life is unpredictable. Ms. Deshpande, a resident of Pune, has been married for 10 years and knows that her husband’s job involves long periods away from home. But nothing had prepared her for the ordeal ahead.
  • Her husband, Mithun Vasudev Deshpande, was a second officer on board MT Riha when the ship was apprehended by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz on July 13. The charge: illegal travel through their waters, later changed to oil smuggling, she says.
  • House arrest
  • Her husband is under house arrest in Qeshm Island along with two others. Iranian courts have sentenced him to three years in prison or to pay a fine of $13 million.
  • Deshpande says their lawyer has stepped away, citing non-payment of legal fees by the ship’s charterer. Since his arrest, she has spoken to her husband for just a minute over phone.
  • Meanwhile, in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, R. Thandapani has been trying to pick up the threads of his life. His ship, Seaman Guard Ohio, was seized by the Indian Coast Guard in October, 2013 and brought to Thoothukudi. Mr. Thandapani was among 11 Indians and 23 foreigners charged with illegally procuring fuel while in Indian territorial waters, conspiracy and illegal possession of weapons. Facing action from the Coast Guard, the ship and its crew were abandoned by the owner, AdvanFort.
  • Thandapani, a certified Able Seaman, has been working in a printing press since his release by the Madras High Court in November 2017 after it found him to be innocent. After nearly two years, a company has offered him a shipping job. As part of the process of placement, the company asked him to obtain a US C1/D visa that is needed for seafarers joining a ship in the U.S.
  • The three cases are illustrative of what has accompanied a boom in jobs for Indians on merchant ships — seafarers being recruited by dodgy owners and their manning agents in India.
  • The boom has its roots in labour arbitrage. Indian seafarers were relatively less expensive but well trained. Also, Indian certificates of competency for these professionals are valued worldwide.
  • Today, some 2.1 lakh Indian seafarers, forming 10% of the global seafarer population, are in the job market on one lakh ships.
  • Some seafarers get entangled in illegal operations by the owner, as with Captain Sidhu. Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, a seafarer is deemed to be abandoned if the ship owner fails to cover the cost of his or her repatriation, does not provide necessary support, or unilaterally severs ties with the seafarer.
  • In the case of MV Hai Yue, says Vikram Singh, who was the Chief Officer of the ship, “The Captain is innocent. It was the second officer who was acting as the de facto master.”
  • Suspicious moves
  • The owner of Hai Yue, a relatively small ship, some 76 metres long, with one cargo hold, is in Henan province of China, and the vessel is operated by V-Star Ships of Hong Kong.
  • Vikram Singh and six other Indians including Captain Jagvir joined the vessel in Taiwan on June 17. They were recruited by Marvin International Ship Management of Mumbai. Within five minutes of the crew boarding the vessel, Hai Yue departed, Mr. Singh says.
  • There was a Chinese second officer on board who told the crew that they were sailing to China. Throughout, he was either on the satellite phone or, if the vessel was close to the coast, on his cell phone, taking orders from the owner, Mr. Vikram Singh says. The second officer said the owner knows only Chinese, not English.
  • Two or three days later, the Chinese second officer said provisions would have to be taken and two pilots would take the vessel to port. “I saw two people coming in a fishing boat, not a pilot boat. They didn’t look like legitimate pilots,” Mr. Singh adds.
  • He says the second officer asked the captain to leave the wheelhouse. The Indian chief officer saw the vessel going alongside at what he calls a “blackout port”, with a warehouse or a factory nearby.
  • When Captain Jagvir and Mr. Vikram Singh went to check, the second officer told them to leave. At this point, the Captain argued with the second officer. The Chinese officer told him that these were the owner’s instructions. In a few hours, the cargo was discharged and the second officer ordered the ship to move.
  • When the vessel had sailed some 15 to 20 miles, the second officer asked that the ship drop anchor for repairs. After two days, the second officer said the owner had called him and told him to rush to Taiwan since a warship and Chinese authorities were coming. “The second officer cut the anchor chain with a grinder and set sail to Taipei,” Mr. Singh says.
  • The Captain and six others then told the Chinese second officer that something illegal was happening and all the Indian crew wanted to sign off, he recalls. The second officer said they would be signed off at Busan in Korea, Mr. Singh says.
  • During the voyage from Keelung, Taiwan, to Korea, the vessel was again adrift, as per the owner’s instructions, near Ningbo. This was when the Chinese Coast Guard seized it.
  • Flew to Delhi
  • The six detained Indian crew were at a hotel for nearly a month until August 14 when they were released and they flew to Delhi. The Chinese Coast Guard took care of the crew and paid for the flight, he said. They did not allow Marvin International representatives to meet them or talk to them. The Captain remains under detention.
  • Gagandeep Kaur Sidhu says she tried to meet Marvin staff in Mumbai several times. “They did not refuse to help but did not do much either, and wasted nearly two months,” she says. She sought assistance from Sanjar Parashar, chairman of the International Maritime Federation.
  • Finally, Marvin engaged a lawyer with whom she was in touch over WeChat. When the lawyer said the company had not paid her dues, she decided to go to Shanghai.
  • In the week of November 4, Ms. Sidhu met Indian consular officials in Shanghai including the Consul-General, Anil Rai, and the Ambassador to China, Vikram Misri, who also promised help. “Indian consular officials are saying that the matter should have been resolved by the owner or agent before it reached the courts,” she says. On November 9, Mr. Rai assured her that Mr. Sidhu would get consular access and medical assistance.
  • Sidhu met the Chinese lawyer who, she said, told her she would continue to handle the case. She then wrote to the Directorate General of Shipping, which had suspended the licence of Marvin International. Marvin is among some 400 Recruitment and Placement Services (RPS) agencies for Indian seafarers.
  • In the case of Hai Yue, the DG Shipping has told Ms. Sidhu that Marvin does not have a relationship with the owner. “Marvin has an agreement with an agency in Vietnam for placement of seafarers for a Chinese-owned vessel but the relationship between the Vietnamese agency and the owner is not established,” Mr. Parashar says.
  • The email notes that the documents submitted by Marvin do not show evidence of Protection & Indemnity insurance (P&I) Club cover for the vessel, which could have helped Ms. Sidhu, he adds.
  • In its note to Ms. Sidhu, the DG Shipping has said the legal fees could be paid by cashing the bank guarantees of Marvin International. Ms. Sidhu hasn’t t met her husband who continues to be under detention in Ningbo.
  • Yogini Deshpande went to the Indian consulate in Dubai where officials arranged a meeting with one of the three charterers of Mt Riha on October 22. She said the officials had told the charterer to either go on appeal or negotiate the fine.
  • Visa interview
  • When he got the job offer in September, Mr. Thandapani felt he was seeing light at last. He attended the U.S. visa interview on September 13 and gave his biometrics. During the interview, he told the interviewer about the Seaman Guard Ohio case and submitted all the relevant documents and the release order. His shipping company told him he was to join the ship at Ennore on October 25. The previous day, Mr. Thandapani went to the consulate. He wanted at least to collect his passport, with or without the visa. But, he couldn’t succeed. And without the passport, he could not join the ship either.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – SOUTH AMERICA

Bolivia’s President agrees to new polls after damning OAS audit

  • Bolivian President Evo Morales agreed on Sunday to hold new presidential elections after an audit of the disputed October 20 vote found serious irregularities, while pressure mounted on the leftist leader to step down.
  • The Organization of American States’ (OAS) report, issued on Sunday, said the vote should be annulled after it had found “clear manipulations” of the voting system that called into question Mr. Morales’ win, with a lead of just over 10 points over main rival Carlos Mesa.
  • New electoral body
  • Morales, speaking at a press conference in La Paz, also said he would replace the country’s electoral body. The department has come under heavy criticism after an unexplained halt to the vote count sparked widespread allegations of fraud and prompted the OAS audit.
  • Morales, who came to power in 2006 as Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, has defended his win but had said he would adhere to the findings of the OAS audit.
  • The weeks-long standoff over the disputed election escalated over the weekend as police forces were seen joining anti-government protests and the military said it would not ”confront the people” over the issue.
  • “The manipulations to the computer systems are of such magnitude that they must be deeply investigated by the Bolivian State to get to the bottom of and assign responsibility in this serious case,” the preliminary OAS report said.
  • “The first round of the elections held on October 20 must be annulled and the electoral process must begin again,” the OAS added.
  • Voting should take place as soon as conditions are in place to guarantee it being able to go ahead, including a newly composed electoral body, the OAS said.
  • Morales should resign
  • Luis Fernando Camacho, a civic leader who has become a symbol of the Opposition, said the report clearly demonstrated election fraud and reiterated his call for Mr. Morales to resign.
  • Mesa said Mr. Morales and Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera should not preside over the electoral process or be candidates.
  • Meanwhile, Bolivia’s Attorney General’s office said that it had ordered an investigation into the members of the electoral tribunal.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA

U.S. court refuses to ban work permits for H-1B holders’ spouses

  • In a temporary relief to thousands of Indians living in America, a U.S. court has refused to strike down, for the time being, an Obama-era rule that allowed spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in America.
  • The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations.
  • A 2015 rule issued by U.S. President Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama allowed work permits for certain categories of H-4 visa holders, primarily spouses of those having H-1B work visas waiting for their Green Card, to work in the U.S.
  • Indians, in particular women, were the greatest beneficiary of this rule, which has been challenged by several U.S. workers with the current Trump administration supporting their cause, saying that it wants to rescind the rule.
  • ‘Determine the merits’
  • A three-judge bench of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday sent the case back to a lower court noting that it is “best to remand” to give the district court an opportunity to thoroughly assess and finally determine the merits in the first instance.
  • “Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s grant of summary judgment and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion,” the federal court said in its order on the lawsuit by Saves Jobs USA, which comprises of American workers who claim that they have been laid off due to the policy of the Obama administration to provide work permits to H-4 visa holders.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Jordan to retake lands leased by Israel

  • Jordan has pulled out of a 25-year-old landmark agreement that allowed Israeli farmers to cultivate in two pieces of agricultural land that was leased by Israel.
  • Under the deal, part of the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty, two territories straddling the border were recognised as under Jordanian sovereignty but with special provisions allowing Israeli farmers to work the land and visitors to tour the Isle of Peace park in the area.
  • But in 2018, Jordan said it did not want to continue the arrangement, in what was widely seen as a sign of increasingly strained diplomatic relations.
  • King Abdullah formally declared on Sunday the end of the special regime, which most Jordanians saw as a humiliation that perpetuated Israeli “occupation” of Jordanian territory.
  • “I announce the end of the work in the special annex in the two areas Ghumar and Baqoura [Naharayim in Hebrew], in the peace treaty and impose our full sovereignty on every inch of them,” the king said in a speech marking the start of a new parliamentary session.
  • For the Israelis farming the land, the agreement’s expiry is a sharp blow. “It was like a punch to the face,” said Eli Arazi, 74, a farmer whose community worked one of the land parcels in Baqoura.

Editorial
Nov 11 @ 1:00 pm
Editorial

                  11 NOVEMBER 2019

Peace and justice

 

In paving the way for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the Supreme Court prioritised communal harmony over all else

There comes a time when the need for peace and closure is greater than the need for undoing an injustice. In allowing a temple to come up through a government-appointed trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya, the Supreme Court has apparently chosen a path most conducive to social harmony. To compensate the Muslim litigants, who were deprived of the centuries-old Babri Masjid through an illegal act of demolition, the court has asked for the allotment of a five-acre plot of land elsewhere in Ayodhya that may be used for building a new mosque. That this is more of moral consolation by way of a political compromise and less of adjudication in recognition of their religious rights is obvious. The final award will always be a source of discomfiture for those to whom closure goes beyond ensuring peace in a communally polarised environment. But what is most welcome about the 1,045-page verdict of a Bench of five judges is its unanimity. For, it sends out a message that the judiciary has, with a single mind, ventured to give legal burial to a prolonged dispute that began as a minor litigation, expanded into a divisive political cause, and became a festering wound on the body-politic for years. The fact that the case is over at last must come as great relief to all peace-loving people.

 

This sense of relief masks the bitter truth that the fear of a Hindu backlash if there was an adverse verdict was genuine. After nearly three decades of unrelenting pursuit of communal polarisation, the majoritarian, revanchist forces in the country have fatigued their secular adversaries into passive acquiescence. The Bench indeed has done well to record its revulsion at two incidents that represented an onslaught on the psyche of secular India: the desecration of the masjid in 1949 when Hindu idols were planted surreptitiously under its central dome, and the planned destruction of the whole structure by the foot soldiers of Hindutva on December 6, 1992. But what is most disappointing about it is that the relief spelt out by the Bench may amount to legitimising the very demolition it unequivocally condemns. Having declared that the suits are representative of the two communities, organised violence by one party ought not to have been ignored. It is common knowledge that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which spearheaded the temple movement with the active backing of the Bharatiya Janata Party and organised the demolition of the mosque, got a foothold in the litigation through an individual who represented the deity, Ram Lalla, as “a next friend” in a fresh suit filed in 1989.

A reading of the judgment reveals that the outcome is not wholly in line with the evidentiary conclusions the court itself reaches. It notes that archaeological evidence — procured only because excavation was made possible by the demolition and as such not available to the parties at the time of institution of the suits — only shows the existence of a 12th century Hindu religious structure underneath, but does not prove any demolition or explain what happened in the intervening centuries. It acknowledges that namaz was offered at the mosque between 1857 and 1949, and declares that Muslims did not abandon it, but offers no relief even though their religious rights stand proved. The entire disputed area covering both the inner and outer courtyards are awarded to one side contrary to its own conclusion that Muslims had a right, albeit a contested one, in the inner courtyard. While it holds that Hindus had possessory right over the entire outer courtyard to the exclusion of Muslims, it does not decide whether they had exclusive title; on the other hand, it rejects the Muslim claim solely on the ground that they failed to prove “exclusive title”. Also, the court says evidence of Hindu worship was available for a period prior to 1857, while there was proof of namaz only after 1857, without accounting for the fact that it was in that year that a massive riot took place that led to the British administration putting up a railing to divide the mosque from the Hindu shrines in the outer courtyard. The case has been decided on the balance of probabilities that Hindus have proved a better title than Muslims. While it is true that “preponderance of probablities” is the standard of proof in civil law, it is doubtful whether this can be invoked to the exclusion of an acknowledged right belonging to the other side.

 

It will be disappointing to the country as a whole if the judgment in favour of Hindu litigants does not end the belligerence of Hindu organisations that ran the movement to build a temple at the very spot on which the Babri Masjid stood until that fateful day in 1992. For none can deny that the politicisation and communalisation of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute left in its wake a trail of violence and led to terrible loss of lives and property across the country. To the toxic effect of the sectarian strife set off by the temple movement through processions and the infamous ‘rath yatra’ of BJP leader L.K. Advani, one can attribute many deadly riots and a wave of retaliatory bombings by Islamists since the late 1980s. There would be a real sense of justice only if those who plotted and executed the demolition are convicted in the ongoing trial in Lucknow. The rulers of the day owe this much to the nation. And in the spirit of the ‘new India’ put forward by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it would be in the fitness of things if the VHP and other organisations which participated in the demolition are expressly excluded from the proposed trust to build the temple. In paving the way for the building of a temple for Ram on the spot believed to be his janmasthan, the Supreme Court held up the faith of millions of Hindus. But it cannot allow the judgment to be perceived as an endorsement of any challenge to the rule of law in the name of faith.

Question Bank
Nov 11 @ 2:30 pm
Question Bank
                                    11th NOVEMBER 2019
QUESTION BANK
(1 Questions)

Answer questions in NOT MORE than 200 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length.

Links are provided for reference. You can also use the Internet fruitfully to further enhance and strengthen your answers.

 

GS III: INDIAN ECONOMY

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/after-rcep-reticence-need-for-reform-recalibration/article29938553.ece

Q1. Discuss the negative impact of withdrawing from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, on India.

Ans.

  • India decided to withdraw from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. A long-standing goal for India, articulated by multiple governments from across India’s political spectrum, is to generate a high level of sustained economic growth. Such growth matters for two reasons: within India, it will create millions of jobs and secure a stable future for India’s young population, and externally, to facilitate India’s rise as one of the poles in a multipolar 21st century. The government launched the “Make in India” programme to create employment and self-employment opportunities for our youth and to make India a Global Manufacturing Hub.
  • India has enormous strategic and long-term economic imperatives to join the RCEP. India’s ambitions to become a global hub for manufacturing means that it is the country’s long-term national interest to be integrated into global value chains. However, in Asia today, there are effectively now two economic structures — the RCEP and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) — which will effectively determine global value chains for manufacturing in Asia for years to come. India, now a part of neither architecture, will continue to remain unintegrated in such supply chains, and will see its ambitions of becoming a global manufacturing hub further delayed.
  • Returning to India’s articulation of its national interest, this delay in integrating with global value chains will impact India’s internal and external ambitions. The World Bank found that when coupled with domestic reforms, joining such global value chains can “boost growth, create better jobs, and reduce poverty”. India’s own evidence shows that jobs linked to global value chains earn one-third more than those jobs focused on the domestic market. The inability to accede to the RCEP and ensure India’s integration into these emerging global value chains means India will lose out on a key opportunity to create such high-quality, high-paying jobs. Moreover, India’s absence in both of Asia’s two key economic architectures will take away from India’s goals as a regional and Indo-Pacific power, as well as a prospective global power.
  • Given India’s own ambitions to generate growth and jobs through spurring manufacturing within India, and becoming a key player and rule-maker on the world stage, India must integrate itself into the global value chains and unleash Indian manufacturing.
Daily Compilation (PDF)
Nov 11 @ 2:45 pm
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The Daily Current Affairs News Analysis section for UPSC Current Affairs Preparation is an initiative by A A Shah’s IAS Institute to prepare IAS aspirants in making easy and effective current affairs notes available online FREE for all.

Current Affairs is an integral part of study for IAS UPSC- Civil Services Examinations, not only for Prelims but for Mains as well. UPSC syllabus for General Studies Paper I of Preliminary (Prelims) Examination starts with Current Events of national and international importance. 

The important keyword here is “National and international importance”. Thus candidates are required to understand which news is important and relevant for UPSC CSE point of view.

It may further be noted that UPSC doesn’t ask any factual questions, as such candidates are not required to learn or remember factual data.

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