6th April 2017 | Editorial Simplified

Editorial Simplified : 6th Day of April 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. 

Editorial : In largesse we trust – (The Hindu)

Editorial : A stopgap – (The Indian Express)

Context:

Farm-loan waivers announced by CM Yogi Adityanath

Important Points:

  • In his first decision as the CM of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has approved farm loan waiver scheme, as promised by the BJP in its manifesto, and the same is set to cost the exchequer Rs 36,000 crore.
  • In another story, the Madras High Court has asked the Tamil Nadu government to extend a similar farm-loan waiver scheme in the state and the TN government having spent Rs 5,780 crore for the farm-loan waivers will need to spend another Rs 2,000 crore.
  • All this while our investments in agriculture remain abysmally low. U.P. invested just 2.3% of its total expenditure in agriculture in 2016-17.

Analysis:

  • By this approach, the promise made by the PM of doubling farmer incomes by 2022 stands belied.
  • Such steps could start a countrywide clamour of farmers asking for farm-loan waivers and political parties indulging their demands to reap political dividends.
  • Such moves on the part of politicians hurt the credit discipline that banks want to inculcate in the borrowers, with the SBI chief having already warned against such schemes.
  • Governments have shown little patience to make agriculture a sustainable activity. Linkages to formal market – credit, supply chain, investments are all dimensions where there is ample scope for improvement.
  • Writing off loans creates moral hazard for borrowers, whereby they take loans more than they think they are capable of paying back in the hope that the government in later day would write them off.
  • This could prod the banks away from loaning to farmers to Rural Infrastructure Development Funds, and then the framers would be left at the mercy of the money-lenders.
  • All this is taking us back to the 20th century wherein we are not making use of the tools of the 21st century – satellite imagery, GPS devices, drones – to assess damage and settle claims but rather extending blanket waivers.

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Editorial Simplified : 13th June

Editorial Simplified : 13th Day of June 2016

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 aspirants are advised to bookmark this page for future reference 

Click on the tab below to read the Editorial Simplified for each newspaper

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Business Standard”]

Editorial : The April blues

Context:

Industrial output numbers warn against policy complacency

What is the news?

The IIP number, released last Friday,

Points to be noted (Not to be remembered)

  • Headline number for industrial output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), showed a decline of about one per cent for April 2016.
  • In the last five years, annual industrial growth has stayed below three per cent, including a decline in 2013-14.

Declining Sectors

  • Manufacturing sector, which has a weight of over 75 per cent in IIP.
  • Food products and beverages, tobacco products and electrical machinery.
  • Capital goods sector
  • Consumer non-durables sector

Positive Sectors

  • Electricity sector
  • gems and jewellery,
  • telephone instruents,
  • commercial vehicles and diesel.
  • mining sector

Implications of such volatality

  • Retail inflation has inched up to over five per cent
  • food inflation in particular has crossed the six per cent mark,
  • Crude oil prices are on the rise, putting pressure on fuel prices and the government’s subsidy numbers.
  • Exports with a decline

Conclusion

With industrial output in contraction mode, the current financial year has not begun too well for the economy, and the government ought not to relax on fiscal consolidation and further reforms that can revive both investment and consumption demand.


Editorial : Internet opportunities

Context

Internet opportunities

What is the news?

  • The Indian internet user-base reached 317 million by October 2015, overtaking the United States, courtesy year-on-year growth of 40 per cent.
  • The report by Ms Meeker, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC, has come up with a report for “ internet oppurtunities “ in India.

What does the report say?

Growth should zoom in

  • voice-operated computer interfaces,
  • image-based e-commerce platforms,
  • mobile video advertising,
  • messenger-based marketing
  • communication
  • on-demand transportation.
  • live streaming of sports events with value-addition like real-time statistical updates and interactions on social media

What should be done?

  • review of the telecom policy to enable the building of better physica infrastructure.
  • removal of barriers that hinder investment into multi-brand retail and above all, legislation to ensure data security and privacy of users.
  • Data privacy

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]

Editorial : A rejig in time

Context

Six months after the operationalisation of the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), the government has indicated that the investment model would be altered.

NIIF Tweak

  • The NIIF had been conceived as a fund of funds to finance projects, both greenfield and brownfield, and also those stuck on the ground with a substantial initial corpus of Rs 40,000 crore.
  • The economic signals have been mixed, with some segments such as commercial vehicle sales and cement production showing improvement besides consumption demand, while railway freight fell 13.5 per cent, and exports continue to be on a negative trajectory.
  • Any changes in the NIIF’s investment framework which could lead to higher capital expenditure, especially in infrastructure projects, is bound to be welcomed.

Role of Government

  • State owned banks are also lobbying for a fund or a “bad bank” which will buy out some of their bad loans
  • If the vision is to create an investment vehicle which will be run professionally without undue pressure on returns like in the case of private equity funds, the investment focus ought to stay on infrastructure projects
  • That’s where long term investors such as global sovereign wealth funds are willing to partner a venture where the government too has a stake.
  • It is all the more important, therefore, for the government to act as a facilitator to get more projects off the ground.

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”The Hindu”]

Editorial : Voting to defeat

Context

The editorial studies the results of recently concluded elections to Rajya Sabha.

Important points

  • Surprise victories and shock defeats which are usually a part of direct elections were unexpectedly a part of recent elections (indirect) to the Rajya Sabha.
  • The unexpected jolts in the last round of Rajya Sabha elections were caused by by MLA’s in Congress in Haryana and Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka.
  • Strategies drawn at party levels failed as legislators dissatisfied with the choice of candidates or the style of decision making ensured defeat of official nominees.
  • In Haryana the strategy of Congress joining hands with Lok Dal back fired.
  • The national leadership of Congress now needs to delve into the message from Haryana.
  • In Karnataka, the Congress was the beneficiary of bickering in Janta Dal(Secular).
  • The cross voting in Karnataka is alleged to have happened due to dissatisfaction with the leadership’s style of functioning.

Analysis

  • Like in some earlier Rajya Sabha elections there was evidence of wealthy candidates securing votes across party lines.
  • This has reinforced the belief that elections to Upper House continue to be influenced by power of  money.

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Editorial Simplified : 11th June

Editorial Simplified : 11th Day of June 2016

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 aspirants are advised to bookmark this page for future reference 

Click on the tab below to read the Editorial Simplified for each newspaper

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”The Hindu”]

Editorial : Steering India to safer roads

Context

Recently the ‘Road Safety in India report’ analysed the unsafe Indian roads. The editorial examines the situation.

Important points

  • Road accidents last year took 1,50,000 lives and injured more than half a million people.
  • The risk of fatal injuries has been found to be increasing steadily.
  • Data shows that more than half killed last year were in productive age group of 15 to 34.
  • The report points towards a rising public health emergency in road accidents which need to be reduced.

Suggestions

  • One of the most productive measure might be zero tolerance enforcement of laws and strong policing.
  • A road safety board as suggested by Sundar Committee should be set up and empowered accordingly.
  • Elimination of corruption from certifying and licensing system is necessary.
  • The Central Government should also act on virtual monopoly held by automobile companies on spares and servicing of vehicle.

Concluding Remarks
Research suggests there will be an annual rise in fatalities till 2042. That distressing fact can be changed only through determined action today.
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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Live Mint”]

Editorial : Cracking the payments bank puzzle

Context:

Payment Banks in India

What is the news?

  • 11 players who were issued in-principle approvals for payments bank licences, one (Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd) has received the final licence.
  • Recently , 3 payments banks (Cholamandalam Investment, Dilip Shanghvi-Telenor Financial-IDFC Bank and Tech Mahindra) have wit hdrawn their applications, reviving questions about the viability of the business model.

What was the motive behind these banks

Universal financial inclusion

What might lead to their success?

  • Ability to go beyond serving the well-banked smartphone-carrying consumers who have been the focus of digital payments in India so far.
  • They  need to creatively reach the low-income and financially underserved—the so-called base of pyramid (BOP) consumers.

Key factors critical to successfully serving bop consumers.

  • Players will need to deepen understanding of the unique needs of BOP consumers and develop products and customer experiences tailored to these needs.
  • adopting a hypotheses-based, prototyping approach to identify ideas that have value and can drive up  BOP customer experience.
  • Creating a set of KPIs and skill-enhancement programmes so that the entire organization across various functions—product, sales, operations, etc.—is involved in  BOP customer experience projects.
  • Need to embed the ethos of providing a respectful and positive customer experience to BOP customers to earn their trust and loyalty .
  • Need to rely on physical agent networks, to serve this segment.
  • Need to harness the potential of the ubiquitous kirana (neighbourhood) store, by making it worth their while to accept digital payments. Today, 95% of retail in India is unorganized, and only 6% of these retail establishments accept digital payments.
  • Increase in awareness & increase interest in trying digital payments for this particular strata.
  • Micro-deposits saving product for BOP customers.
  • Queues and limited opening hours of bank branches and complex formalities for deposit and withdrawal should be made easier.
  • traditional pension products that pay out several years in the future do not tend to resonate; they may need to be blended into “hybrid” instruments that pay out some portion of their value over time.
  • By simplifying and miniaturizing investment products such as mutual funds.
  • Companies will need to design digital user interfaces and user experiences that are tailored to the digital literacy and social contexts of this particular segment

Conclusion

As these banks look to the currently underserved as a potentially important market, investing in understanding their unique needs, and embedding the philosophy of customer centricity across their organization will be critical to their success.

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]

Editorial : A place in the club

Context

Indian entry into Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG)

Problem

  • Little possibility that India’s effort to join the will meet with success any time soon.
  • China argues that since India is being allowed to join the NSG without signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, until now a precondition, the rules of club membership need to be amended for all.
  • The argument is designed to benefit Pakistan, but the NSG members do not wish to be seen to be rewarding Pakistan’s unedifying record of proliferating nuclear technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

NSG-necessary?

  • India needs nuclear technology and fuel but an exemption by the NSG in 2008 allows it access to both.
  • India is mired in domestic debates over liability for nuclear accidents and has been slow to capitalise on the opportunities the exemption opened up.

Way forward

  • India could relegate its NSG bid to the back-burner, and focus on growing its domestic nuclear energy infrastructure.
  • It could, alternately, work towards a bargain where China is allowed entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime, where India is now assured of membership, in return for dropping its veto in the NSG.
  • Finally, India could explore whether a door could be opened for Pakistani membership of the NSG, in return for that country opening up its notoriously opaque nuclear programme to international scrutiny.

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Editorial Simplified : 10th June

Editorial Simplified : 10th Day of June 2016

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 aspirants are advised to bookmark this page for future reference 

Click on the tab below to read the Editorial Simplified for each newspaper

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”The Hindu”]

Editorial : The new symphony in India-U.S. ties

Context

Recently Indian Prime Minister visited the USA. The editorial delves into the trip and budding Indo-US relations.

Present scenario

  • Bilateral relations between India and USA have been becoming better and better especially since past two years.
  • Defence ties have consolidated in three ways:
    1. In defence procurement and co development.
    2. Co-ordination between the two forces
    3. Working together on piracy etc.
  • Most importantly the strategic alliance between India and USA has also changed for the better with declarations such as the one declaring ” India as a major defence partner”
  • The Indian side has also made statements such as ” A stronger and more prosperous India is in America’s strategic interest” suggesting proximity of strategies for both nations.

Issues and Challenges ahead

  • The US government is going to change as elections are just around the corner. India must thus reassess the situation after the change in regime.
  • India must also consider its alliances with neighbouring countries like China and Russia before making any statements on security etc.
  • The editor also feels the need to explain to the Parliament of India the details of the new Info-US relation.

Editorial : Preparing cities for high water

Context

The editorial lays emphasis on the need for protection of cities from calamities.

Important points

  • Indian cities are estimated to produce 80% of total economic goods and services of the country.
  • Events such as floods in Chennai and Mumbai and huge losses to life and property along with a haphazard response from the administration underscore the vulnerability of the cities.
  • Mindless encroachments, construction in flood plains and lack of information systems have increased the vulnerability of the cities.

What needs to be done

The following steps need to be taken to strengthen the cities and reduce vulnerability :

  1. More facilities for water harvesting must be provided.
  2. Suburban lakes should be revived.
  3. A transparent building code should be devised.
  4. Smooth supply of basic requirements like water should be ensured during all times.

Concluding remarks

On the positive side city residents have higher degree of education and financial resources and these might help administrators find durable solutions. Much of urban India is yet to be built and it may be built safer.

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]

Editorial : Close your eyes

Context:

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) determination to trip up the film Udta Punjab on the ground that it defames Punjab by projecting the state’s drug problem has created a controversy.

CBFC’s role

  • When Bollywood seems to be emerging from its cocoon of fantasy films to create works that reflect India’s current realities, the CBFC seems to be making a deliberate attempt to stall it.
  • Chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani has got it all wrong that the CBFC has not been established to provide a moral compass to filmmakers or act as a political filter.
  • Films, like all works of art, try to speak the uncomfortable and inconvenient truth.

Drug problem in Punjab

  • The drug problem in Punjab, has many layers. It’s as much about politics as it is about law and justice.
  • With the assembly elections a few months away, the State govt seem to attack any discussion of Punjab’s drug problem as “a conspiracy to defame” the youth of the state.
  • It was better if movie was taken as timely and much needed wake-up call to a social problem that needs to be addressed urgently.

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Business Standard”]

Editorial : Ending uncertainty

Context:

New Spectrum Formula

What is the news?

Uncertainty over new rate at which Indian mobile telecom service operators should pay spectrum usage fees to the Govt. is likely to come soon.

Recommendations by Telecom Commission

Telecom Commission has made two recommendations:

  • It has prescribed a weighted average formula for calculating the spectrum usage fee for all bands available to a telecom service provider.
  • Usage fee for the spectrum to be auctioned later this year would be 3 % of adjusted gross revenues of telecom service operators. Then this rate would be included for calculating the weighted average formula for spectrum usage fee to be paid by an operator.

How is it calculated presently

  • Spectrum usage fee varies depending on the bands and the manner in which the spectrum has been acquired.
  • For instance, spectrum allocated through administrative orders attracts an escalating charge linked to the usage pattern; the auctioned spectrum is charged at the rate of five per cent of the service provider’s adjusted gross revenues; and the spectrum in the 2,300 MHz band auctioned in 2010 for broadband wireless access is levied a charge at the rate of only one per cent.

What have been the past issues regarding spectrum allocation?

  • confusion and uncertainty over what the spectrum usage fee ought to be for different bands.
  • Varying rates have also given rise to continuing lobbying by telecom companies.

Benefits of the recommendations:

  • It is reassuring that the government did not succumb to enforce a flat fee for all operators using all kinds of spectrum bands..
  • A weighted average formula is based on logic, as it respects the sanctity of the rate that was fixed at the time of allocating the spectrum and also links the levy to the extent of use of a certain spectrum band.

Way forward

Commission’s recommendations will now be taken up by the Union Cabinet and the new spectrum usage charge regime should address many of these concerns.

Conclusion

  • There will be no immediate benefit for the companies since they would continue to pay the amount they paid last year.
  • Hopefully, the weighted average formula would lay the foundation of a more stable regime for levying spectrum user charges in the future.

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Editorial Simplified : 09th June

Editorial Simplified : 09th Day of June 2016

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 aspirants are advised to bookmark this page for future reference 

Click on the tab below to read the Editorial Simplified for each newspaper

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”The Hindu”]

Editorial : Never in Punjab

Context

The editorial delves into the censoring of the film Udta Punjab by the Central Board of Film Certification(CBFC) keeping in foray the law of the land.

Important points

  • Not for the first time are the censors being demanded, have no rational basis and violate constitutional guarrantee of freedom of expression.
  • Udta Punjab is a film set in Punjab which deals with widespread drug addiction problem.
  • The CBFC wants the specific reference to Punjab expunged.
  • The apparent reasons for this censorious zeal are the upcoming Assembly elections in Punjab where the ruling Alkali dal combine with BJP has not been able to control the drug menace.
  • The film producer has taken the matter to court with judgement still awaited.

Analysis

  • Film makers have for long faced resistance from CBFC or assorted groups in forms of threats of violence.
  • The freedom of expression seems to be negotiated politically for the producers.
  • Efforts like the Khosla report to make CBFC independent have failed to sensitize the institution to freedom of expression.
  • A practical solution was offered by Shyam Benegal Committee set up this year.
  • It proposed that the CBFC should only certify the film and its scope should be restricted to categorising the suitability of film according to audience group.

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]

Editorial : Strategic shift

Context

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US has produced evidence that the transfiguration of India’s ties with the world’s principal superpower.

Ties on mend

  • India has agreed on the language for the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement which will allow US troops to use Indian military bases
  • US will grant India licence-free access to strategic technologies
  • Nudged along by the US, Italy also dropped its objections to India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR); MTCR membership will ease the acquisition of high-end technology for the space programme, and targetting equipment on military drones.
  • Finally, there are hopes for progress on the nuclear deal signed in 2005, with Westinghouse beginning preliminary work on a six reactor deal.

Chinese mistrust

  • China’s unwillingness to accommodate India’s concerns on terrorism has fuelled cynicism as well as Beijing’s nationalist muscle-flexing throughout its near-neighbourhood
  • Modi government sees India’s decayed military infrastructure simply cannot deter regional threats without a programme of capacity-building, which in turn requires the acquisition of cutting-edge technology.

Shift in foregn policy

  • In the future, India could find itself more involved in security operations in West Asia
  • India could conceivably be drawn, too, into crisis in the South China Sea — or face greater pressure from China along the borders in Ladakh or Arunachal Pradesh.
  • China could step up support for Pakistan’s missile and nuclear programme, forcing India to make hard strategic choices.

Editorial : Polls apart

Context:

The push from a section of the political class to have simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies have found a resonance with the Election Commission of India (EC).

Challenges

  • The EC has informed the Union Law Ministry it could undertake the exercise if the logistical and financial challenges, are addressed.
  • From beefing up infrastructure and machinery to building a political consensus on drawing up a common poll schedule, the EC had outlined the many impediments

Natural evolution

  • Separation of the poll cycle was the inevitable outcome of the constitutional federalism that defines relations between the Union and the states.
  • The rise of powerful regional parties, often in opposition to the dominant Centre, further strengthened the federal element in the polity.

Benefits of separate elections

  • A common poll schedule for the Lok Sabha and assemblies could lead to fixed terms for Houses, making coalitions a necessity than a virtue.
  • Assembly elections are now fought on local issues and, in the true spirit of federalism
  • Clubbing them with the general election could lead to a situation where the national narrative submerges the regional story.

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Editorial Simplified : 08th June

Editorial Simplified : 08th Day of June 2016

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 aspirants are advised to bookmark this page for future reference 

Click on the tab below to read the Editorial Simplified for each newspaper

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]

Editorial : More Rajan

Context:

Presenting the monetary policy review Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan kept policy rates unchanged.

Fear of inflation

  • Since the last review in April, inflation, especially consumer price index inflation, has firmed up.
  • RBI’s three-month inflation expectations survey of households showed that people do not expect inflation to go down substantially.
  • Fear of firming of international commodity prices like crude oil and implementation of the Seventh Central Pay Commission awards
  • Extraneous factors as well, such as the possibility of a rate hike the Federal Reserve, as well as the uncertainty surrounding the possible British exit from the European Union.

Rajan’s role

  • His single-minded focus on containing inflation by keeping the interest rates high that has contributed to India weathering the global economic maelstrom.
  • He also brought about long-pending structural reforms in the banking sector.
  • Rajan has been a voice of reason on matters of fiscal policy.

Editorial : House matters

Context:

There is unprecedented political activity in several states ahead of elections to 57 Rajya Sabha seats on June 11.

Undermined

  • A sting operation in Karnataka showed MLAs negotiating cash and other incentives in lieu of votes.
  • The Constitution conceived of the Rajya Sabha as a House of States, where elders representing their state of domicile participate in the law making process while also keeping a check on theLok Sabha
  • In 2003, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, was amended and the requirement of domicile for candidates contesting the Rajya Sabha election was dispensed with.
  • Parties now see the Rajya Sabha as a House to park unelectable or defeated candidates from states where they have legislative strength.
  • The political heft of the Rajya Sabha may have risen, but the federal character expected of the House has been lost in the process.

Importnce of Rajya Sabha

  • The Rajya Sabha deserves special attention now since it has effectively become the real arena for the government-opposition contest in Parliament.
  • The role of the Upper House as a bulwark against the lower house forcing its majority on legislative business is enhanced.

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Editorial Simplified : 04th June

Editorial Simplified : 04th Day of June 2016

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 aspirants are advised to bookmark this page for future reference 

Click on the tab below to read the Editorial Simplified for each newspaper

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]

Editorial : Justice, incomplete

Context:

Special designated court has convicted 24 persons in the Gulberg Society case, taking the total number of people held guilty in the 2002 Gujarat riots cases to over 140.

Different riots

  • Gujarat 2002 was the first communal riot to be beamed live into the nation’s drawing rooms.
  • Despite the attention, the pursuit of justice in Gujarat has been a tortuous journey for the victims and their families.
  • Powerful interests involved in the riots did attempt to subvert the criminal justice system.
  • The apex court took serious note of the complaints that investigators and the lower judiciary were collaborating with the riot makers.

Masterminds roaming free

  • The perception is that only the foot-soldiers have been punished while the masterminds go free.
  • Riots are not mere spontaneous acts of violence but often meticulously planned operations carried out by foot-soldiers of political groups or parties.
  • The masterminds remain in the shadows, and, mostly, beyond the reach of law.

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Editorial Simplified : 03rd June

Editorial Simplified : 03rd Day of June 2016

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 aspirants are advised to bookmark this page for future reference 

Click on the tab below to read the Editorial Simplified for each newspaper

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]

Editorial : Reworking the frame

Context

The Jharkhand government has recently ordered that Birsa Munda should not hereafter be represented in chains.

Needless obsession

  • Birsa Munda iconic image has been that of a youth in chains, raging against all forms of exploitation and urging his people to stand up and fight.
  • It is a reminder to the governing classes that the state needs to do much more for Birsa’s people, who are among the country’s poorest and oppressed.
  • History, and its rewriting, should be least of government’s preoccupations at this juncture.

Unmet expectations

  • The divide between the non-Adivasi and Adivasi populations has widened.
  • Unregulated expansion of sectors like mining has led to land alienation and deep disquiet among Adivasis.
  • The government’s attempts to develop the state’s immense mineral resources, instead of ushering in a modern economy and society, have only hardened old exploitative networks.

Ideal emancipation

  • For Birsa to be genuinely relevant, he needs to be discussed in today’s social and economic context.
  • His ideal of emancipation extended beyond merely overthrowing colonial rule.
  • It encompassed the social, economic and spiritual regeneration of Adivasi society and not how his statues and pictures are crafted.

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Editorial Simplified : 01st June

Editorial Simplified : 01st Day of June 2016

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 aspirants are advised to bookmark this page for future reference 

Click on the tab below to read the Editorial Simplified for each newspaper

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]

Editorial : Haryana mayhem

Context:

Parkash Singh Committee report regarding Jat Agitation

Bureaucratic inefficiency

  • Report brings out the manner in which the highest echelons of bureaucracy acted with unwarranted trepidation when circumstances required firm and resolute action against rioters.
  • It seemed that instead of controlling the spiralling violence, the state administration was more worried about how they may have to justify any tough measures in the aftermath.
  • Political interference in recruitment and postings has played havoc with the police force which has come to be dominated by the dominant caste of the state.

Inaction political class

  • Prakash Singh’s remit was restricted to enquiring into the failures of the administrative and law order machinery of the state.
  • It is clear that officials’ inaction would not have been possible without political concurrence.
  • With the Jat community threatening to renew the agitation, Haryana’s political and administration efficiency will again be tested.

Editorial : Not-so-cold war

Context:

Iran-Saudi Arabia relations are on downward spiral and India can ill afford to take sides

IRAN-SAUDI CONFLICT

  • Iran is asserting that the House of Saud are poor guardians of the most sacred places of the Muslim ummah, or nation. Last year, 769 pilgrims were killed in a stampede during the Haj.
  • Saudi Arabia blamed the carnage on Iranian pilgrims, saying they failed to comply with authorities’ instructions.
  • Relations were complicated further when the two countries severed diplomatic relations in January, following a mob attack on Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran after the kingdom executed a prominent Shia cleric.

About power not faith merely

  • Genesis of the conflict lies in Iran’s 1979 revolution, which brought Iran’s new Shia clerical-led regime into frontal confrontation with Saudi Arabia’s Sunni-theocratic order.
  • Tensions rose further that year when King Khalid Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia endorsed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s invasion of his eastern neighbor.
  • Saudi Arabia faces an Iranian ballistic missile programme — which Tehran says is necessary to defend itself against vastly superior, Western-equipped Saudi forces.
  • Saudi Arabia’s oil revenues are declining, even as its restive youth population is drawn to violent Islamism. It is increasingly worried, too, that US support can no longer be taken for granted

For India, with energy and economic interests across both sides of the Iran-Saudi divide, the situation is a deeply uncomfortable one — some say India has to play mediator while wisdom points towards non interference.

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Editorial Simplified : 30th May

Editorial Simplified : 30th day of May 2016

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 aspirants are advised to bookmark this page for future reference 

Click on the tab below to read the Editorial Simplified for each newspaper

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Business Standard”]

Editorial : Avoiding reform

Context:

Two years of the Govt, major reforms seem off the table

What is the news?

Appraisal of two years of Modi Govt.

What is the issue?

There is a mismatch between the over-the-top tone of the publicity blitz and the relatively limited ambitions of the government with regard to future policy reforms.

What are the achievements?

Signs of green shoots in the economy.

Policy areas that stand out and should be addressed:

  • Labour law reform
  • Land acquisition law
  • Privatisation of Govt Sector Enterprises.

Conclusion

 Recognition of how many major reforms have been actually effective in past two years.


Editorial : Only a price controller

Context:

Pharmaceuticals department has achieved little.

What is the news?

Department of pharmaceuticals has released the list of its achievements in the past 2 years.

Achievements as per the govt

Government‘s greatest achievement in the sector: expanding the scope of price control.

Issues to be addresses

  • Quality medicines at affordable prices to all.
  • Drug quality control in India: Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) under the Union health ministry and the state-level drug authorities that have to address the issue of substandard drugs in India
  • Merely placing price caps on drugs can be counterproductive as this deters the drug industry to produce more to meet demand and encourages it to find clever ways of dodging the system.
  • Efficient public procurement system under which the state negotiates for bulk discounts with the producers of drugs of adequate quality.
  • To have an approved list of quality drug manufacturers.
  • Inability to revive prosperity in public sector pharmaceutical companies.
  • Expanding the footprint of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research.

Has there been any committee on the issue yet?

Pronab Sen committee recommended “malpractices” be curbed in bulk purchase mechanisms but little has been done since then.

Health care in other countries

One reason why European health care costs are lower than the US’ is that the former negotiates bulk procurement of drugs for the public health care system whereas the latter does not.

Way forward

  • As for the robust private pharma sector, it can only keep growing fast if there is greater ease of doing business.
  • For this it is critical to have a smooth, transparent and predictable approval procedure for new drugs.
  • It may be a good idea to disband the pharmaceuticals department and consider options such as placing drug price control under the Tariff Commission into which the Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices has already been merged.

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]

Editorial : Task undone

Context:

Even after coming out with new Defence Procurement Policy (DPP), India’s armed forces are still ill equipped.

Requirements galore

  • The Indian Air Force has only 33 fighter squadrons while it needs 45.
  • The navy has only 14 submarines, half the number it wants.
  • The army doesn’t have equipment for the new strike corps being raised on the China border

DPP

  • The new DPP is still not out in its entirety.
  • A major chapter on the strategic partnership model is still pending, as are the details on other new models that have been proposed.
  • Both foreign and domestic defence manufacturers are thus awaiting clarity on the business models they need to build for the future

New committees

  • After Dhirendra Singh Committee report on defence procurement, two more expert committees are formed by Defence Minister.
  • One of them, headed by Vivek Rae, has been tasked to reform the organisation, system and process of acquisition in the ministry.
  • Another committee, headed by Lt General (retd) D.B. Shekatkar, has been tasked with rationalizing expenditure

Editorial : A grim reality

Context:

Masunda Kitada Oliver, who was beaten to death in the capital following an altercation, has let face of prevalent racism in India come out in open.

Response

  • Incident has stirred diplomats from the African nations to anguished action, and had caused them to consider boycotting Africa Day
  • Citizens of Kinshasa capital of Congo, had retaliated, targeting shops and establishments owned by Indians in the city
  • Government is of view that the issue of racism would go away if it was ignored with sufficient obstinacy

Racism in India

  • People of African origin are being baited and attacked in India with shocking regularity
  • Racism is a social affliction which cannot be cured overnight, but the government and social organisations must acknowledge the gravity of the problem and act on it
  • India hopes to compete with China for land, resources and markets in the African continent, but it does not stand a chance if its citizens’ view of humanity is coloured by racist ideas

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”The Hindu”]

Editorial : Enter the superbug?

Context:

SUPERBUG

WHAT IS THE NEWS?

A woman in the U.S. was detected with bacteria resistant to a last-resort antibiotic.

Details:

The 49-year-old was carrying E. coli bearing a new gene, mcr-1.

What is the worry all about?

This new gene is resistant to even colistin, which is last available antibiotic that works against strains that have acquired protection against all other medication.

Has there been such cases before this?

First reported case of the mcr-1 gene in an E. coli strain found in a person living in America, but it raises worries about how far it may have spread.

Has there been any study on this particular issue?

The results of mcr-1 gene identification were published recently in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

When was the gene first identified?

The mcr-1 gene was first identified in China in November 2015, following which there were similar reports from Europe and Canada.

What are the issues to be addressd?

  • In this case a small piece of DNA (plasmid) found outside the chromosome carries a gene responsible for antibiotic resistance.
  • But were the gene to spread to bugs treatable by only last-resort antibiotics, we could be facing the dreaded — and indeed, long-anticipated — superbug.
  • Thus, the discovery of mcr-1 in more countries and settings increases the chances of the emergence and spread of resistance against all available antibiotics.
  • It could well lead to an era without effective drugs to treat bacterial infections .

Effect on animals

  • Unchecked use of antibiotics in livestock is a major reason for the development of drug resistance.
  • Given the widespread use of colistin in animals, the connection to the drug-resistant mcr-1 gene appears quite clear.
  • A November 2015 paper in The Lancet noted that a significantly higher proportion of mcr-1 positive samples was found in animals compared with humans, suggesting that the mcr-1 gene had emerged in animals before spreading to humans.

NOTE:

Besides being administered for veterinary purposes, colistin is used in agriculture.

Is it communicable?

Since the gene is found outside the chromosome, it can spread easily among different types of bacteria, as well as among patients.

Conclusion

Global community needs to urgently address the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in an actionable manner, and fast-track research on the next generation of drugs.


Editorial : Awash in red ink

Context:

NON PERFORMING ASSESTS

What is the news?

It’s been a year since the RBI came up with norm that allowed banks to avoid treating restructured loans as substandard.

Facts about the NPA issue:

  • Forced by the central bank’s time-bound Asset Quality Review to classify troubled loans correctly and make appropriate provisions for them, lender after lender has reported sizeable losses or dramatic declines in profit in recent quarters.
  • The SBI, has said that while gross NPAs (as a percentage of the entire Rs.15 lakh crore it has advanced to borrowers) jumped to 6.5 per cent, or Rs.98,173 crore, at the end of March, it was placing loans amounting to another Rs.31,000 crore on a watch list for ‘exposure under stress’.

What does this reflect?

  • Disclosures of bad and stressed loans reflect the extent of distress its borrowers representing various sectors of the real economy are experiencing.
  • Iron and steel, engineering, power and construction are some of these key industries that undergird the economy.

Way forward

  • An autonomous Banks Board Bureau is now in place, tasked with the specific brief of ensuring that state-owned lenders will hereafter be ring-fenced from political interference in the selection of top management and on business strategy.
  • A Bankruptcy Code intended to improve the legal framework for assisting creditors in taking defaulters’ assets through liquidation and recovery process has won parliamentary backing and could soon be in operation.

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