Editorial Simplified : 18th Day of March 2017

This Series of posts covers the essential Editorial from prominent newspapers. The Editorial from the newspapers are compiled by the Subject Teachers form the Academy and provided in notes format so that the aspirants does not waste their precious time in sifting through the newspapers. 

The Hindu

Editorial : Cloak of invisibility

Context:

Very discreetly, the government has brought in amendments through the Finance Bill, 2017 that turn the clock back on the transparency in political funding

Important Points:

  • Till now, companies could only contribute up to 7.5% of their average net profits in the past three financial years to political parties. They were required to disclose in their profit and loss accounts the amount of contributions and the names of political parties to which they were made.
  • The ceiling has now been dropped, paving the way for a firm to deploy unlimited capital into political coffers irrespective of its own financial and operational health. Companies would still have to reveal the extent of their financing of parties, but no longer have to name their preferred parties.

 Analysis:

  • This opens up new avenues for the proliferation of crony capitalism.
  • Pressure could be exerted on a company awaiting government clearances, or a loan restructuring from public or cooperative sector financiers. Even a publicly listed company can set up subsidiaries just to fund parties.
  • This removes any pretence of transparency in the process as the donor will not have to disclose who he paid; the recipient has no such obligation either.
  • This scheme comes along with the proposal to float electoral bonds to give anonymity to political donors.
  • This belies the government’s efforts to make the funding process transparent and its narrative on the same appears hollow in the face of anonymous transactions, unlimited corporate donations, relaxed disclosure norms and the persistence of cash. 

The Hindu

Editorial : Terror in London

Context:

The terror attack in Westminster, London

Important Points:

  • If terror plots are planned by networks that use modern communication systems and amass weapons, the chances of detecting them are higher.
  • But after the rise of the IS, its followers, mostly radicalised youth, have used different tactics. They stay off the intelligence radar, wait, and use even commonly used public goods as weapons to kill.
  • IS has claimed that the assailant was a “soldier” but in the absence of a direct communication with the organization it is difficult to establish links and detect such attacks.
  • Creditably, the IS has a dynamic online propaganda system and so the risk of radicalization remains.

 Analysis:

  • The immediate response by Britain’s political and community leaders of unity is commendable. They should deny any space to the far-right fringe to use such an event to target the entire community of British Muslims.
  • The bigger challenge, going ahead, will be to prevent more such non-conventional attacks, for which security officials need to have better human intelligence and community relations. 

The Indian Express

Editorial : Matter of principle

Context:

The five-judge collegium formed to negotiate a Memorandum of Procedure with the government has rejected the proposal of the government to veto candidates on the grounds of national security

Important Points:

  • Its five-judge collegium has unanimously dismissed the proposal that government should have the power to reject candidates for the post of high court judge on the plea of national security. This would have conferred a sweeping veto power to the government.
  • The collegiums proposes that the government can bring material on board in support of national security concerns. However, if the collegium is unconvinced and insists on the candidate in question, the government must propose the name to the president.
  • The collegium has also rejected the proposal to set up a permanent secretariat to collect lists of candidates, and to vet them.
  • It insists that such an agency can only operate in a clerical relationship with the existing system of selecting judges.
  • The face-off with the government over veto powers has been in process since May last year, when the previous chief justice was in office. The judiciary must be commended for steadfastly refusing to compromise on its independence

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