News & Editorial Analysis 25 January 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
National Human Rights Commission:
GS II Topic Statutory and non-statutory bodies
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is a statutory institution in India that promotes human rights. It was established on October 12, 1993 by the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA) of 1993, which also established the State Human Rights Commission.
Either a retired Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge serves as chairperson.
They are appointed by the President based on the suggestions of a six-member group that includes:
Opposition leaders in both Houses of Parliament Union Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior (head) The Lok Sabha’s Speaker is Rajya Sabha’s Deputy Chairman
Office Term and Termination:
They serve for three years or until they reach the age of 70, whichever comes first, and the President has the ability to remove them from office under specific situations.
Minimum Support Price:
GS III Topic Agriculture related topics
What is MSP, exactly:
The government purchases grains from farmers at the minimum support price (MSP). MSPs have already been established for 23 crops grown during the Kharif and Rabi seasons.
What is the method for calculating it:
The MSP is the price at which the government buys crops from farmers, and it is estimated at least 1.5 times the producers’ cost of production.
According to the Union Budget for 2018-19, MSP would be retained at 1.5 times the cost of production.
The MSP is determined twice a year, based on recommendations from the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), a governmental body that issues reports for the kharif and rabi seasons.
Which manufacturing costs are taken into account while establishing MSP:
The CACP includes both ‘A2+FL’ and ‘C2’ expenses when recommending MSP.
All monetary and in-kind expenses incurred by farmers on seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, hired labour, fuel, and irrigation, among other things, are included in A2 expenditures.
On top of A2+FL, C2 expenditures account for the rent and interest foregone on owned land and fixed capital assets, respectively.
The MSP’s disadvantages include:
The main concern with the MSP is a paucity of government procurement machinery for all products except wheat and rice, which are actively procured under the PDS by the Food Corporation of India.
Farmers in states where the grain is completely procured by the government benefit the most, while those in states where the grain is procured less frequently are frequently affected.
Caste Wise Census:
GS I Topic Population related issues
What is the government’s justification for declaring the data “unusable”:
The government estimated that there had been 4,147 castes in 1931, but SECC data shows that there are now over 46 lakh castes. Even if certain castes divide into sub-castes, the total number of sub-castes cannot be exponentially large. • The entire effort was polluted because the data collectors used separate words for the same castes. Many responders, as per the authorities, refused to disclose their castes.
How have caste statistics been acquired so far:
While the census enumerators collect data on SC/STs, they do not collect data on other castes. The most popular method is self-declaration to the enumerator.
Until date, several states’ backward classes commissions performed their own demographic counts to ascertain the amount of backward castes.
What type of caste information does the Census release:
Every census in independent India between 1951 and 2011 provided data on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, but not on other castes. Until 1931, caste information was recorded in every census.
What is the purpose of SECC 2011:
The 2011 Socio-Economic Caste Census was a humongous endeavour to collect data on diverse communities’ socio-economic condition.
It was divided into two sections: a survey of rural and urban households and their classification based on predetermined variables, and a caste census.
Only the details of people’s economic circumstances in rural and urban areas, however, were made public. The caste statistics has yet to be released.
What’s the difference between the Census and the SECC:
Because the Census is controlled by the Census Act of 1948, all data are considered private, whereas the SECC collects personal information that can be used by government departments to grant or deny benefits to households.
Caste census benefits:
Knowing the exact population of each caste would help adapt the reservation policy so that everyone is fairly represented.
Issues relating to:
It’s probable that some people will get the shivers, leading to requests for higher or distinct quotas.
It has been suggested that just labelling someone as belonging to a particular caste helps to keep the system in place.
National Investigation Agency:
Prelims Specific Topic
About the NIA:
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a federal investigative agency based in India.
It is a National Counter-Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency with the authority to pursue terror-related offences across state lines without the need for special state authorization.
The National Investigation Agency Act, which was passed in 2008, established the agency. The regulating body is the Ministry of Hime Affairs.
If a case has been filed for one of the offences mentioned in the NIA Act’s schedule, the State Government may request that the NIA handle the investigation.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) can also be instructed by the Central Government to take over the investigation of any scheduled offence anywhere in India.
Officers from the Indian Police Service and the Indian Revenue Service make up the NIA.
NIA Special Courts:
Under Sections 11 and 22 of the NIA Act 2008, the Central Government of India has notified a number of Special Courts for the trial of charges lodged at various NIA police stations.
Any question of these courts’ jurisdiction is decided by the Central Government.
The Central Government appoints a judge to preside over them on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court with jurisdiction in that region.
In light of the realities in that state, the Supreme Court of India has also been given the jurisdiction to transfer cases from one special court to another special court inside or beyond the state if it is in the best interests of justice.
Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the NIA Special Courts have all the powers of a court of sessions for the trial of any offence.
On both facts and law, a Special Court judgement, sentence, or order that is not an interlocutory order may be appealed to the High Court.
State legislatures have also been given the power to appoint one or more special courts in their jurisdictions.
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
Single Use Plastics
About Single Use Plastics:
It amounts to single-use plastic objects that are thrown away.
The highest percentages of plastic produced and used are:
One of the largest percentages of plastic produced and used is single-use plastic, which includes food packaging, polythene bags, face masks, coffee cups, cling film, garbage bags, and bottles of shampoo, soap, and cosmetics.
a third of the plastic produced globally is produced by:
A 2021 research from the Minderoo Foundation, an Australian nonprofit, states that a third of all plastic produced worldwide is made of single-use plastics, of which 98 percent are made from fossil fuels.
The majority of plastic that is thrown away, 130 million metric tonnes globally in 2019, comes from single-use plastic and is either burned, buried in landfills, or dumped into the environment.
Contribution to Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
It has been estimated that by 2050, single-use plastic might be responsible for 5–10% of greenhouse gas emissions, depending on the production trajectory currently in place.
According to the survey, India, at number 94, is among the top 100 nations for producing single-use plastic garbage (the top three being Singapore, Australia and Oman).
India produces 4 kg of single-use plastic garbage per person yearly, with 11.8 million metric tonnes produced domestically and 2.9 million tonnes imported.
The difficulties of collection and, consequently, recycling led to the selection of the first batch of single-use plastic items for the ban.
Microplastics are created when plastic is left in the environment for a very long time without decomposing and then enters our food supply before eventually making its way into our bodies. This is incredibly dangerous.
As much as 95% of all single-use plastic comes in the form of packaging, which includes everything from toothpaste to shaving cream to frozen foods.
The fact that the things selected are low value, low turnover, and unlikely to have a significant economic impact could be a contributing factor.
How will the prohibition be put into effect?
The State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), which will report to the Centre on a regular basis, and the CPCB from the Center will both monitor the prohibition.
Directions were given:
At the national, state, and local levels, instructions have been given to all petrochemical companies, for instance, not to supply raw materials to businesses that manufacture the prohibited goods.
Additionally, instructions have been given to SPCBs and Pollution Control Committees on how to change or cancel the permission to operate granted under the Air/Water Act to businesses that manufacture single-use plastic items.
Local governments have been ordered to provide new commercial licences with the requirement that SUP items will not be sold on their premises and that any permits already in place would be revoked if it is discovered that they are doing so.
Promoting Compostable and Biodegradable Plastics: The BIS passed standards for biodegradable plastic, and the CPCB gave one-time certificates to 200 manufacturers of compostable plastic.
Penalty: Under the Environment Protection Act of 1986, anyone caught in violation of the ban is subject to a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh, up to 5 years in prison, or both.
The SPCB may also require violators to pay environmental damage compensation.
Municipalities have rules governing plastic garbage and their own penal codes.
How do other nations handle single-use plastic?
A resolution to draught a future agreement that will make it legally binding for the signatories to address the complete life of plastics from manufacture to disposal, to halt plastic pollution, was signed in 2022 by 124 parties to the United Nations Environment Assembly, including India.
68 nations had plastic bag bans in place as of July 2019 with various levels of enforcement.
Countries that forbid plastic use:
Bangladesh: In 2002, Bangladesh was the first nation to outlaw thin plastic bags.
New Zealand: In July 2019, New Zealand became the most recent nation to outlaw plastic bags.
China: China announced a phased-in ban on plastic bags in 2020.
US: Eight US states, starting with California in 2014, have outlawed single-use plastic bags. In 2018, Seattle became the first significant US city to outlaw plastic straws.
The Single-Use Plastics Directive entered into force in the European Union on July 1, 2021. (EU).
According to the directive, some single-use plastics for which there are substitutes are prohibited from being sold in EU member states. This includes single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks, and cotton buds.
The same policy is applied to cups, expanded polystyrene food and drink containers, and all products made of oxo-degradable plastic.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
5G Sector In India:
The fifth-generation mobile network is known as 5G. Next-generation cellular technology will offer ultra-low latency communication that is quicker and more dependable. According to a government panel analysis, peak network data speeds for 5G are anticipated to be between 2 and 20 Gigabit per second (Gbps). In comparison, 4G connectivity speeds in India only average 6-7 Megabit per second (Mbps), compared to 25 Mbps in developed nations. The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) defines and oversees the standards for the use of 5G. (3GPP).
5G benefits for the communication sector include:
According to a government-appointed panel’s research, the cumulative economic impact of 5G in India is predicted to reach $1 trillion by 2035.
In a separate analysis, telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson predicted that India’s 5G-enabled digitalization revenue potential will exceed $27 billion by 2026.
The GSMA, a worldwide trade association for the telecom sector, also predicted that by 2025, there will be roughly 70 million 5G connections in India.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine communications are two developing technologies that 5G is predicted to be the foundation for.
It would be able to enable a considerably wider variety of services and applications, such as autonomous cars, telemedicine, and real-time data analytics.
Implementing sensor-embedded networks that enable real-time information relay across industries including manufacturing, consumer goods, and agriculture will be one of the main applications of 5G.
By enhancing its intelligence, 5G can also help make transportation infrastructure more effective.
Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication will be made possible by 5G, paving the way for the development of driverless cars among other things.
For these use cases, 5G is a desirable technology due to its extremely low latency.
The amount of time it takes for data to go from its source to its destination is known as latency.
India’s desire to deploy 5G and play a vital role in its development and growth has been mentioned by the government on numerous occasions. A high-level forum was established in 2016 to advise India on a 5G strategy.
The potential of this spectrum was recognised in the National Digital Communications Policy of 2018, and TRAI has recommended a reserve price for the auction of 5G spectrum in the 3.3-3.4 GHz and 3.4-3.5 GHz bands.
Economies of scale challenges:
Allocation of frequencies: Indian operators have much less spectrum than foreign operators. The hefty investment costs that give telecom businesses second thoughts about their ROI.
Network investment: There are problems with capital augmentation in the Indian telecom industry that need to be fixed.
Lack of investment capital: A large number of Indian operators are also burdened with debt.
Telecom companies appear hesitant to take part in the auction, citing the high reserve price of 490 crore per MHz and the inadequate amount of spectrum available.
Legislative limitations: Faster rounds of new technology introduction bring more complexity because earlier technology investments haven’t yet been recouped.
Technical Difficulties: It is difficult to create an IT architecture that can be used globally while still allowing for regionally specific technology.
Lack of government incentives: Given the growing pressure on its revenues, particularly following the COVID-19-induced slowdown, government has little motive to sacrifice income.
Discouraging Taxes: The current flat rate of 6% of adjusted gross revenue for licence fees and 3% for spectrum usage charges has discouraged telecom companies from making new technological investments.
Ineffective auction design keeps valuable spectrum unutilized.
This comprises priceless 5G spectrum in the 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands as well as the highly coveted E and B bands.
Steps to Take:
Digital India must be compatible with 5G technologies.
Encourage the development and production of 5G technology, goods, and services in India.
It is necessary to release unused spectrum, at least until it starts to earn sizable profits.
Provide funding and incentives for local telecom and technology companies to build up their internal capabilities, which will aid in the adoption of 5G technology in the nation.
Encourage 5G start-ups that allow these manufacturing and design capabilities.
Encourage the creation of IPR for the aforementioned designs.
Reward spectrum usage that is effective,
the modernization of narrow-band networks
The growth of markets.
The production of 5G chipsets may necessitate significant investments.
The right test environments and technological foundations to support and enable the Indian technical ecosystem’s competitive advantage in 5G.
Accelerated deployment of the next generation of ubiquitous, high-speed internet infrastructure, with 10 Gbps of coverage in metropolitan areas and 1 Gbps in rural areas.
A unified management strategy will be necessary for smooth mobile networks to provide uniform standards, and coverage, dependability, and scalability must all be optimised.
According to the World Economic Forum, there will be a stunning 9.1 billion mobile subscriptions by 2023. Digital India will be sparked by 5G, marking a turning point in the digital transformation. The fifth generation of cellular technology, or 5G, is about to arrive in India. It gives businesses a chance to access international markets, while consumers benefit from the economies of scale. Better service delivery, quicker access to services, and broader adoption of digital services can all be aided by it.
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