News & Editorial Analysis 29 December 2022


News & Editorial Analysis 29 December 2022


The Hindu Analysis

1 – About the Eklavya Model Residential Schools:

GS II

Topic Government Schemes and Interventions

Context:

Arjun Munda, the minister of tribal affairs, officially opened the two-day training programme for teachers of tribal students at Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) on Wednesday. The initiative is intended to be “a stepping stone in creating awareness about the potential of computer science in students of EMRS,” the ministry said in a statement.

About:

Building model residential schools for India’s Scheduled Tribes is the aim of the EMRS programme (ST). Between 1997 and 1998 was when it began.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs established the Eklavya Model Residential School in Shinde (Nashik) to encourage superior education among the local tribal villages.

The CBSE curriculum is used in the EMR School.

To provide tribal pupils with a high-quality education, Eklavya Model Residential Schools are being constructed with an emphasis on the holistic development of indigenous children as well as academic training.

There are currently 384 operational schools around the nation that were built to the same standards as Navodaya Vidyalaya with an emphasis on unique, cutting-edge facilities for protecting regional art and culture in addition to providing education in sports and skill development.

Coverage:

A minimum of one EMRS must be constructed in each Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) or Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) with a 50% ST population, according to the 2010 EMRS Guidelines, which are now in force.

According to the budget for 2018–19, by 2022 there should be an Eklavya Model Residential School in every neighbourhood with at least 20,000 tribal members and a population of more than 50% ST.

What objectives does EMRS pursue?

Each student enrolled in a certain EMRS undergoes holistic growth in terms of their socially applicable physical, mental, and academic abilities.

Give children the resources they need to make a difference in their communities—first in their classrooms, homes, and towns, then globally.

In order to meet their unique needs, place a clear emphasis on the educational support that should be provided to students in Standards XI and XII as opposed to those in Standards VI through X.

In order to ensure that the personnel is adequately compensated and that the facilities are maintained, support the annual operating expenditures in a certain way.

To meet the demands of students’ physical, ecological, and cultural environments, promote the development of infrastructure.


2 – Details of the West Bank:

GS II

Topic International Relations:

Context:

In a coalition agreement with its ultranationalist backers on Wednesday, Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming hard-line government pledged to annex the occupied area and legalise several illegally constructed outposts as one of its main goals.

Residences in the West Bank:

The West Bank is a landlocked region in West Asia that is over 1.5 times the size of Goa. Additionally, it includes a substantial portion of the western Dead Sea.

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Jordan seized possession of it, but Israel reclaimed it during the 1967 Six-Day War, and it has been Israel’s territory ever since.

Over 26 lakh Palestinians live in the West Bank, where 130 Israeli settlements are permitted.

Global Position on Settlements in the West Bank:

The majority of nations consider the West Bank settlements to be illegitimate and situated on occupied land.

The Fourth Geneva Convention has been violated by the West Bank settlements, according to the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, and International Court of Justice.

An occupying power “must not deport or transfer elements of its own civilian population into the zone it occupies,” according to the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949).

How to Continue:

The Oslo Accords of the 1990s stipulated that Israel and the Palestinians would negotiate about the settlements’ status. But for a while now, the bargaining process has all but vanished. To resolve the Israel-Palestine problem peacefully, the entire world must cooperate.


3 – About the Decriminalization of Politics:

GS II

Topic Election related issues

Context:

Every law-abiding and right-minded individual is concerned by the growing number of elected officials with criminal backgrounds who sit in state legislatures and the Parliament. Along with the rise of massive corruption, the unsettling trend of criminalising politics has been eroding the foundations of our democratic system. The judiciary as well as all political parties must intervene to stop this dangerous trend.

Political criminization has several root causes, including:

Politicians’ success rate: Political parties allot tickets to candidates based on their chances of winning. In comparison to 4.7 percent for a candidate with a spotless record, a candidate with open criminal charges has a 15.5 percent chance of winning the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

Use of Money and Muscle: The amount of funding an election receives has a significant impact on its outcome. Many times, large sums of money guarantee the political victory of candidates who have committed previous offences.

185 (34%) of the 2014 election winners had filed criminal charges against themselves, compared to the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, when only 30% of the 542 MPs were examined.

There are links made between government employees from different agencies, politicians, law enforcement officers, criminals, and corporations as a result of red tape and corruption in the government and bureaucracy. In the end, all of these help people with criminal backgrounds into politics.

Rising voter turnout and poor legal system Bank Politics: The public’s declining confidence in the government and police is a result of lax rule of law.

People’s faith in democratic institutions has diminished as a result of societal divisions brought on by caste, religion, and other factors as well as the incapacity of authorities to respond quickly in the face of social tensions.

As a result, strongmen prosper and are able to rule the citizens of their own neighbourhood.

Lack of intra-party democracy: In India, the top leadership selects the candidates who will compete in elections because there is no intra-party democracy. As a result, the party’s organisational structure and grassroots volunteers are able to shield lawbreakers from being investigated.

Poor Conviction Rate: There aren’t many MPs and MLAs in India who have been found guilty of crimes. The political party still backs candidates with a criminal history despite the drawn-out proceedings and low conviction rate.

Election commission without teeth: The election commission requests information from candidates regarding their property, pending legal matters, educational background, and election expenses when they submit their nomination papers.

The election commission, however, lacks the power to make the candidates answerable because they frequently provide false information.

How to Prevent the Criminalization of Politics:

The Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 should be amended to include a minimum sentence of two years in prison for anyone found to have misrepresented or omitted information on Form 26. This would be in accordance with Section 125A of the Representation of Peoples Act.

The 244th Report of the Law Commission suggests that trials against sitting MPs and MLAs be concluded in a year.

With the required precautions in place, everyone who is currently being looked into for a crime that entails a sentence of more than five years will be disqualified.

Falsifying an affidavit is punishable by a two-year prison sentence under section 125A. Disqualification ought to be an option if it turns out to be accurate.

With the requirement that charges be brought six months prior to the election, the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission proposed amending Section 8 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 to bar candidates who are suspected of committing serious crimes or engaging in corruption from running for office.

If campaign finance is more transparent, political parties will find it less appealing to collaborate with criminal organisations.

Important Supreme Court rulings:

Any candidate for public office must disclose both their financial condition and their educational history, according to the Supreme Court’s 2002 decision in the case Union of India v. Association for Democratic Reforms and Anr.

In the 2005 case of Ramesh Dalal v. Union of India, the Supreme Court declared that any sitting member of Parliament or state legislative assembly who is found guilty of a crime and given a term of two years or longer in jail is ineligible to run for office.

In the 2013 Lily Thomas v. Union of India case, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 8(4) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which permitted convicted MLAs and MPs to maintain their positions while an appeal against their convictions was being heard, was unconstitutional.

Thus, if found guilty and given a period of two years or more, MLAs and MPs would be quickly removed from office. If the appellate court upheld the conviction, the union administration informed the supreme court in 2017 that the MLAs and MPs would be let to remain.

Moving forward:

The foundation of democracy is impacted by the criminalization of politics and corruption. Criminally-charged candidates for public office, as well as the political parties that support them, should be given special consideration.

The funding of political party campaigns has to be more transparent. By putting the Right to Information Act into practise, political parties will be held more responsible and transparent.

To stop the growing criminalization of politics, the Parliament should approve legislation. The legalisation of politics would also require courts that deal with elected officials.

It is crucial to implement the recommendations made by the Law Commission, Supreme Court, and Election Commission in order to remove people with criminal backgrounds from the Parliament and state legislatures.


4 – Details of the City Finance Ranking:

Prelims Specific Topic

Context:

The Union administration unveiled the guidelines for a new financial-based municipal ranking system on Wednesday. The new method would rate urban organisations according to 15 crucial criteria, including resource mobilisation, spending effectiveness, and financial control. An unbiased ranking will assess each city’s visual appeal.

What are the city finance rankings?

The City Finance Rankings’ aim is to assess, honour, and commend urban local governments based on 15 indicators that take into account three financial factors: resource mobilisation, expenditure performance, and fiscal governance frameworks.

The top three performing cities in each of these categories will be recognised at the national level and within each state or state cluster.

This ranking aims to assess the ULBs’ current financial standing and identify any areas where they could improve.

Cities will be urged to consider altering municipal funding as a result.

It will also highlight the successes of local governments at the local and state levels and provide crucial policymakers with information on the financial stability of ULBs.

About the City Beauty Contest:

The “City Beauty Competition” aims to support and promote ULB programmes that revitalise Indian cities and wards and create beautiful, welcoming public spaces.

The wards and public spaces of the city will be ranked using the five main criteria given below:

Accessibility

Amenities

Activities

Aesthetics

Ecology

The competition’s objective is to determine the city’s most beautiful wards and public areas.

Locally and statewide awards will be given to the top-performing wards.

The most picturesque public spaces in cities, like as waterfronts, green spaces, tourism and heritage attractions, as well as market and commercial zones, would receive attention at the state level. They will then be put on a shortlist for a national honour after that.

ULBs will be motivated to enhance their basic infrastructure and build aesthetically beautiful, inclusive, and sustainable cities due to competition among Indian cities and wards.

The wards and cities will be evaluated by a fair jury of experts from various fields, including as urban planning, engineering, design, cultural studies, environmentalists, etc.

#Eklavya #Model #Residential #Schools #West #Bank #Decriminalization #Politics #City #Finance #Ranking #GS-II #Government #Schemes #Interventions #International #Relations #Election #Issues #India #Prelims #Mains #IAS #UPSC #State_PSC #Geo_IAS #The_Hindu_Analysis


The Hindu Editorial Analysis

Population Control In India

Context:

Nishikant Dubey and Ravi Kishan, two Bharatiya Janata Party legislators, started introducing a private member’s bill in the Lok Sabha in December with the intention of depopulating India. The Bill claims that population growth is the main factor behind India’s slow rate of progress and that population management is urgently required.

India’s population is changing:

Population growth has been a source of worry and discussion in India ever since it attained independence. One of the first countries to address its population issue and call attention to the negative effects of crowding was India in 1951.

India’s population has increased dramatically, yet the country’s overall fertility rate has also decreased significantly (TFR). The TFR has dropped from 5.9% to 2% since 1950. (fifth round of the National Family Health Survey, or NFHS). The relationship between fertility rates and economic success was shown to be inversely proportional after the 1970s, with a sharp fall.

Politically charged statement:

In India, the necessity for population control has drawn more political attention. Ultimately, the study of development suffers from the frequent reduction of such a challenging topic to a minor theological dispute.

About six months before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2022, the State Law Commission of Uttar Pradesh and the UP government submitted the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization and Welfare) Bill, 2021. Others claim that the Bill fueled political polarisation and supported majority appeasement strategies.

In the Hindi heartland, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, population is a major issue, but the proposals were more political than useful. The attempt to defend the majoritarian policies in force was clear. For example, the Bill barred couples with more than two kids from applying for any government jobs.

However, it was not made clear what would happen if a person had a third kid after working for the government or if a parent of two children remarried for any reason and had a third child.

Nationwide Population Plan (NPP) 2000:

Its pillars were free will, informed consent, and attaining a level of reproduction equal to replacement.

It attempted to solve difficulties with maternal health, child survival, and contraception all at once.

The National Family Planning Programme of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare oversees and coordinates the implementation of the National Population Policy 2000.

Information demonstrates the reverse:

But the data suggest the contrary. The disparity between Muslims and Hindus has significantly closed despite Muslims having a greater fertility rate than Hindus. Currently, there is only a 0.35 gap between Hindu and Muslim fertility rates, compared to a 1.1 difference in 1992–1993. It is instructive to carefully examine Census data on average fertility rates.

For instance, the TFR decreased from 5.8% in 1981 to 2.7% in 2011 in Uttar Pradesh, where there are about 20% of Muslims living there. With a population of around 33% Muslims, Assam has a TFR of 1.9%. Studies also reveal that Muslims have embraced better family planning practises than Hindus.

India’s population control measures have greatly improved with a TFR of barely 2%. Even lower than the replacement level is this number. India obviously doesn’t require a law enforcing coercive population control.

China, India’s neighbouring neighbour, is the best example of a country that used forced population control measures that did not function successfully. A population imbalance has resulted from the one-child policy’s failure. Due to population control measures put in place, China’s population is ageing more quickly than the populations of any other developed nation.

Moving forward:

Support the delivery of healthcare:

India needs to implement population management strategies. Instead, emphasis should be placed on enhancing public health infrastructure and increasing understanding of the significance of population control. Any form of coercive management will affect how rapidly people age.

According to data from the UN, the number of seniors will increase while the number of young people will decrease in many countries. Despite the fact that the style originated in developed nations like Japan, it is now more frequently seen in developing nations, particularly in Southeast Asia. Forceful population control will undoubtedly be bad given these trends.

Conclusion:

In order for India to take use of its demographic dividend, consensual “population management” is currently required rather than a forceful population reduction strategy. This might be the foundation for our upcoming national population policy (2023).

#Population #Control #India #Prelims #Mains #IAS #UPSC #State_PSC #Geo_IAS #The_Hindu_Editorioal_Analysis


The Indian Express Editorial Analysis

Where China Is Headed & What It Means For India

Context:

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the most significant geopolitical development that occurred in the world in 2022. The Ukraine problem, however, is more than just a geopolitical one; it has seriously harmed globalisation.

The turbulence in the grain and energy markets brought back an old paradox that John Maynard Keynes first discovered.

Keynes stated that traditional politics cannot solve the issues caused by international economic integration in a single state. Therefore, it might jeopardise world peace.

An important case of globalisation:

The world economy was more integrated than ever in 1914, but the outbreak of World War I significantly destroyed that economic cohesion over the long run.

Major conflicts and economic globalisation, according to Keynes, couldn’t coexist.

Globalization advanced during our time as long as conflict was restricted to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The logic of security, however, won out over the logic of economy as Russia brought war right into the centre of Europe. Trade’s supposed ability to foster interdependence has been debunked numerous times.

The re-coronation of Xi Jinping as the People’s Republic of China’s leader for a third term was the second most significant event of 2022.

Two relevant post-Mao Chinese standards were broken by the appointment: shared accountability (replacing the idea of concentration of power in a single leader as during the Maoist era).

Both party and governmental leaders are subject to term limitations. No one is denying the possibility that Xi’s power could be extended further or even indefinitely.

There are two reasons why this is crucial. Unlike Russia, whose economy will rank 11th globally in December 2021 and whose primary source of income will be the oil business.

The second-largest economy and market in the world, China is also one of the top recipients of foreign investment and its top trading partner outside of its own country.

If security and economics diverge, China will be much more able to destabilise the global economy than just natural gas, oil, and food grains.

Second, Xi and China believe Taiwan has no reason to continue to exist independently because it has long been a significant part of China, which is similar to what Putin said about Ukraine.

Along with the obvious strategic repercussions, such whether the US or Japan will help Taiwan’s defence, there will also be significant economic ones.

Taiwan has a first-world economy, unlike Ukraine. Taiwan’s per capita income in December 2021 was close to $35,000, whereas Ukraine’s was only about $5,000.

The advanced industries like semiconductors make up over $820 billion of Taiwan’s GDP. The GDP of Ukraine was about $200 billion.

Compare China and Russia in this as well. China’s GDP in December 2021 was $17.7 trillion, or less than a fifth of the world GDP, compared to Russia’s GDP of $1.5 trillion. Because of this, the direction China is going under Xi is now essentially a global concern rather than a Chinese problem.

To be more specific, does Xi prioritise economic growth before security, as China did for more than three decades after Mao.

Given how tightly intertwined security and economics are under Xi, the publication of an article on China’s economic model in a reputable security journal should serve as evidence.

According to Chinese scholars Pearson, Rithmire, and Tsai, the most accurate term to characterise Xi’s economic system is “party state capitalism,” as opposed to “state capitalism.”

The latter simply means that the private sector cannot threaten the hegemony of state-owned enterprises despite an economy that is more and more dependent on markets (SOEs).

At the top of the hierarchy were SOEs, foreign-invested firms (FIEs), and privately owned local businesses, or what he called “ethnic Chinese enterprises” (ECEs).

The idea of “party state capitalism” adds something novel to this narrative:

It illustrates how a fundamentally different strategy—the establishment of party cells within enterprises and the appointment of party members to company boards—can be utilised to establish the Communist party’s control over businesses.

Executives in the private sector are expected to uphold political loyalty, especially by retaliating against those who support commercial autonomy.

By 2018, 1.88 million nonstate firms, or 73% of all businesses, had established party cells, claim Pearson, Rithmire, and Tsai. The distinction between the Chinese state and businesses is extremely hazy under Xi’s worldview. It blurs the distinction between the party-state and corporations.

Concerns about international security and the world economy are growing:

If the party-state infiltrates high-tech industries like semiconductors, robots, aircraft, and maritime engineering, there are serious security risks, particularly for the US and Japan.

If party cells develop in the textile and shoe industries, economic and security concerns are unrelated; nevertheless, if high-tech private enterprises collaborate with the government, they are related.

As a result, the USA decided to forbid the shipment of semiconductors and chips to China.

It also forbids the transfer of strategic knowledge by any US citizen or resident, as well as the sale of cutting-edge chips, the sophisticated technology needed to create them, and the advanced equipment itself.

These chips are currently essential to the creation of “future technologies” in almost every industry, from medicine and artificial intelligence to defence and weapons.

If US partners cannot come in to cover the hole, which is highly improbable but not impossible, then China will essentially have to create these chips on its own, which can substantially restrict its further economic advancement.

Conclusion:

Delhi should keep in mind that China has adopted a security over economics posture, making a Chinese concession less likely, when discussing the most recent border disputes with Beijing.

#China #India #Strategy #World #Prelims #Mains #IAS #UPSC #State_PSC #Geo_IAS #The_Hindu_Editorioal_Analysis


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