News & Editorial Analysis 13 February 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – Appointment of Governor:
GS II Topic Appointment to Constitutional Posts
One of the six rookie governors selected on Sunday by President Droupadi Murmu is Justice S. Abdula Nazeer, a former Supreme Court justice.
The President also accepted the resignations of R.K. Mathur, the lieutenant governor of Ladakh, and Bhagat Singh Koshyari, the governor of Maharashtra.
Biswa Bhushan Harichandan, the incumbent governor of Andhra Pradesh, has been sent to the Chhattisgarh Raj Bhavan. A nominee for the position of governor of that state is Justice Nazeer (ret. ), a member of the five-judge panel who delivered the Ayodhya verdict in November 2019.
The governor is chosen by the president and is subject to his hand and seal.
The SC declared in 1979 that the office of governor does not fall under the purview of the federal government. It is a legally autonomous office that is not subject to or managed by the federal government.
The following is the rationale for the governor appointment system:
Elections for leadership would not function under the state-instituted legislative system.
Choosing a direction could lead to conflicts.
It would be expensive to choose the direction.
An elected governor might not be unbiased.
The presidential nomination process allows the centre to maintain influence over the states.
The aforementioned factors were taken into account when filling out the governor’s appointment form (This model is followed in Canada).
He should be a citizen of India.
He should have turned 35 by now.
Norms that have developed as a result of governor appointments.
He cannot live in the state in which he is appointed.
Before selecting the governor, the president must consult with the state’s chief minister.
For the governor’s office:
He shouldn’t be a member of the State Legislature or the House of Commons. If one of these candidates wins the position of governor, it is expected that he will have resigned from that seat on the day he enters office.
He shouldn’t have a high-paying job.
He is entitled to use his official residence without being required to pay rent.
He is qualified for the compensation, advantages, and privileges that the legislature judges suitable.
While in office, his pay and perks cannot be cut.
In the event that he is chosen to serve as governor of two or more states, the president will choose how much each state would pay towards his compensation and benefits.
He will not be held personally responsible for his official acts.
While in office, he is immune from all criminal prosecution, even for activities taken on a personal level. He cannot be imprisoned or kept in a cage.
However, after giving two months’ notice, civil lawsuits for personal conduct may be initiated against him while he is still in office.
The governor is sworn into office by the Chief Justice of the appropriate High Court.
Term of office of the governor:
He will be in charge for five years.
The President, though, has the option of staying in office longer.
The constitution makes no mention of the president’s authority to oust the governor.
After their tenure is over, a governor may stay in office until their successors take over.
2 – West Bank:
GS II Topic International Relations
The Israeli army attacked a refugee camp outside the Palestinian city of Jericho on February 4. It besieged residences it believed were being used as safe houses for Palestinian attackers and opened fire on people who fired fire. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the conflict left six Palestinians hurt, including two who were in critical condition. It rattled the generally tranquil oasis town, which has seen less carnage than other West Bank cities.
Where is the West Bank?
It is a landlocked region adjacent to the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bounded to the east by Jordan and the Green Line, which separates it from Israel, to the south, west, and north. In addition, the West Bank has a sizable chunk of the western Dead Sea shore.
Exactly what are we attempting to resolve here?
The West Bank was governed by Jordan after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Israel regained possession of it during the 1967 Six-Day War, and it has been under its administration ever since. During this battle, the country defeated the united forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.
It has built some 130 formal settlements in the West Bank, and during the past 20–25 years, a comparable number of smaller, unofficial villages have appeared.
Approximately 4 lakh Israeli settlers, many of whom are fanatical Zionists who claim a Biblical birthright over this region, live here alongside about 26 lakh Palestinians.
Because so many Palestinians live there and want it to be a part of their future state, there are still disputes about the territory.
After Israel took control of the region in 1967, Jews were given permission to settle there, but the West Bank is still considered to be Palestinian territory that has been illegitimately occupied.
Does the law prohibit these settlements?
The United Nations General Assembly, UN Security Council, and International Court of Justice all agree that the West Bank settlements constitute a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The Fourth Geneva Convention states that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer elements of its own civilian population into the zone it occupies” (1949).
According to the Rome Statute, which created the International Criminal Court in 1998, such transfers are classified as war crimes, along with “extensive damage and expropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”
The United States: Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, stated in November 2019 that the Trump administration no longer considers Israeli settlements to be illegal under international law and that they are necessary to protect Israeli security.
At the end of January, during a press conference with Netanyahu, Trump also announced his two-state solution for resolving the Middle East issue and stated that the deal would be advantageous for both nations.
3 – MGNREGA:
GS II Topic Government Policies and Interventions
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act ensures 100 days of wage-based employment per year for rural households nationwide (MGNREGA). Independent evaluations show that there is increasing demand for jobs offered through this programme. The government has reduced the financing for this programme in the 2023–24 Union Budget to 61,032.65 crore, which is 30% less than the previously updated estimate of 89,154.65 crore for 2022–23. With less than 0.2% of the GDP allocated, this is the smallest allocation in history.
On August 25, 2005, Indian lawmakers approved the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), often known as the MNREGS or the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
Adult members of any rural family who are willing to work 100 days per fiscal year in unskilled manual labour related with public work for the statutory minimum pay are officially guaranteed employment under the MGNREGA.
In collaboration with state governments, the Indian Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) is in responsibility of overseeing the full implementation of this initiative.
This law seeks to increase the purchasing power of rural Indians, particularly those who are employed in low-wage, semi-skilled jobs and are below the poverty line.
It makes an effort to close the wealth and poverty gaps in the nation.
Women must make up roughly one-third of the workforce.
Adults in rural households provide the Gram Panchayat with their name, age, address, and photo.
Following inquiries, the Gram Panchayat registers residences and provides employment cards.
The job card for the adult member includes both their name and photo.
A registered person should write to the Panchayat or the Programme Officer to submit an application for a position (for at least fourteen days of continuous work).
A letter outlining the work will be issued to the applicant and posted at the Panchayat office after the Panchayat/Program officer approves a valid application and dates it as received.
Within a 5 km radius, there will be work; if further, additional pay will be given.
An applicant must be an Indian citizen in order to be eligible for MGNREGA benefits.
The job applicant was of legal drinking age at the time of application.
The applicant must reside locally (i.e. application must be made with local Gram Panchayat).
The applicant must be able to perform manual labour.
A rural family that has people who volunteer to perform unskilled manual labour is entitled to 100 days of paid work each fiscal year under the MGNREGA.
Members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, small- or marginal-farmers, people who have benefited from land reforms, or those who have benefited from the Indira Awaas Yojana of the Government of India may submit individual beneficiary-oriented works for consideration.
The applicant will receive a paid job offer within 15 days after submitting their application, or on the first day that labour is required.
The applicant is entitled to unemployment benefits if no employment is obtained within fifteen days after making an application or from the date work is sought after.
After the service is finished, payment is due within fifteen days.
Gram Panchayaths are permitted to operate on a wide range of projects.
The economic and social empowerment of women is a key component of MGNREGA.
the “Green” and “Decent” jobs provided by MGNREGA.
Forcing social audits for MGNREGA programmes fosters accountability and transparency.
The MGNREGA programme seeks to safeguard farmers from such dangers, minimise their dependency on climate change, and maintain natural resources.
The primary forum for wage labourers to express their concerns and make requests is the Gram Sabha.
The list of MGNREGA projects is approved by the Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat, who also determine the projects’ priority.
4 – Manufacturing Sector in India:
GS III Topic Indian Economy
The latest recent estimates of industrial output from the National Statistical Office reveal a general decline in momentum in December, with total production growth falling to 4.3% year-over-year from a rate of 7.3% in November. The largest sector, manufacturing, with a weight of nearly 78%, was the biggest drag on growth as it slowed to 2.6% from the previous month’s 6.4% increase, despite activity in all three of the sectors that make up the Index of Industrial Production—mining, manufacturing, and electricity—being either flat or moderate. Whether compared sequentially or month-to-month, mining and manufacturing both witnessed slowdowns; only power saw increase after declining by 1.5% in November and rising by 7.6% in December.
India’s manufacturing sector contributes significantly to the country’s economic growth. It employs roughly 12% of the labour force in India and accounts for 15% of the country’s GDP. The industry is diverse and is composed of a range of companies in the textile, pharmaceutical, automotive, and consumer durables sectors.
One recent initiative the Indian government has implemented to boost the manufacturing sector is the “Make in India” programme, which aims to increase manufacturing’s contribution to the country’s GDP and encourage the expansion of domestic manufacturing. To encourage foreign investment in the sector, the government has also created a number of special economic zones (SEZs).
India’s industrial sector has faced a variety of hurdles despite these measures, including a lack of infrastructure, a labour shortage, and difficulties obtaining loans. A decrease in demand on a worldwide scale and increased competition from countries like China have also had an influence on the business.
However, this offers opportunities for sector growth, and it is projected that it will continue to contribute significantly to the rise of the Indian economy with long-term reforms.
What are the growth drivers for India’s manufacturing sector?
The government raised investment in the budget for 2022–23 by providing Rs. 2,403 crore (US$ 315 million) for the promotion of electronic and IT hardware manufacturing and Rs. 757 crore (US$ 104.25 million) for the manufacture and adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles more quickly in India (FAME – India).
With a big pool of semi-skilled labour, several government initiatives like Make in India, high levels of investment, and a sizable domestic market, India has all the components necessary for its massive industrial drive.
Due to government incentives like free land for establishing a base and a 24 hour electricity supply, India is becoming more competitive on a global level.
By 2030, the middle class in India is expected to account for 17% of global consumption, signalling a significant demand. By 2025, it is expected that India’s market for consumer electronics and appliances (ACE) will have grown from USD 11 billion in 2019.
Possibility of Growing into a Global Hub: India’s manufacturing industry is already being impacted by Industry 4.0, a world in which everything is interconnected and every bit of data is analysed.
In fields like textiles and pharmaceuticals, Indian companies are already global champions and at the forefront of R&D.
The sector is also giving automation and robots the proper attention.
What challenges does India’s industrial sector face?
The competitiveness of the industrial sector is significantly impacted by a lack of technology-based infrastructure, particularly when it comes to skilled labour, transportation, and communication.
Large cities are where you may find the majority of telecom connectivity facilities. The bulk of State Electricity Boards are in dire need of repair and run at a loss.
Access to Finance for MSME: The MSME sector often has less favourable access to credit and higher working capital costs as compared to medium- and large-scale industrial and service sectors.
Lack of Trained and Skilled Manpower: India’s manufacturing sector is experiencing a labour crisis that is limiting its ability to grow.
Poor Supply Chain and Complicated Rules: The manufacturing sector in India is subject to a number of complicated regulations, including licencing, tendering, and audit, which can be burdensome for businesses and obstruct their growth.
Furthermore, poor supply chain management regularly affects the sector, which can lead to inefficiencies and increased prices.
Imports and Worldwide Rivalry: India’s manufacturing sector faces intense global competition, which can make it difficult for local businesses to compete on the international market.
Additionally, items including plastics, iron, steel, paper, chemicals, fertilisers, and both electrical and non-electrical equipment continue to be imported into India.
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
India’s Law And Order Matrix Needs A Reboot:
Unlike past years, when a number of themes covered at the biennial All India Conference of Directors General/Inspectors General of Police made headlines. As a result, there was some disagreement about how some matters, notably those pertaining to the border, were handled, but not much else.
Deeper conversation suffers:
Due to the large number of themes being covered at recent conferences and the participation of an increasing number of delegates to cover the multiple topics, there is little place for in-depth discussion.
In-depth discussions on cutting-edge policing concerns like cybercrime, the dark web, crypto, maritime security, the threat from drones, as well as problems brought on by an unchecked social media, are desperately needed. The security risks of today are global in scope.
Along with counterterrorism, drug trafficking, border security, and left-wing extremism are some of them. When there is not enough time to adequately explore these issues, the quality of the arguments and possible conclusions frequently suffers.
Even while we might not be at the beginning of time right now, the shifting security landscape is causing a number of internal and external problems. The twenty-first century will see a sharp rise in the occurrence of security-related problems. However, it is already evident that, in order to address the concerns brought on by rapid technological change and the emergence of data war fighting, the coming issues would call for a demonstration of newer cognitive abilities as well as higher inventiveness and agility. As a result, in these circumstances, decision-making must go through fundamental changes that require more focused discussion at higher levels.
In this case, law and order management would be a good place to start. This issue might appear irrelevant in a society where technology is king. However, it currently necessitates a set of more contemporary skills in crowd management and technology, both of which are in limited supply within the security industry.
As a result of the majority of the country’s security agencies concentrating their attention largely on persistent threats like terrorism, law and order management has suffered. A new set of skills and natural talents beyond merely technology are required to deal with the irate and frequently disruptive mobs of today.
A domineering attitude typically makes things worse rather than better. Any method of this nature only widens the gap between the public and law enforcement at a time when newer tactics and skills are required.
It follows that much more is obviously required than simply restating the notion that technology, in particular artificial intelligence, can provide solutions to a range of present difficulties. The ability to read the psychology of enraged mobs and persuade them to recognise the dangers in their own proclivities before things get out of hand requires practise. This requires greater concentration.
Therefore, it is essential to provide police and security organisations with the necessary skills, and to do so, they must undergo adequate training. A top-down strategy would be required since there would be fierce rivalry for resources inside the agencies for other things like advancements in technology and armament. It would be considerably more important to ensure approval of any such move’s utilitarian components.
Pay attention to aptitudes and choice:
Additionally, a full overhaul of the hiring process for security agencies, particularly the police, will be required. The twenty-first century is turning out to be extremely different from the twentieth, therefore selecting the people who will work for security agencies requires more thought than has hitherto been given to this duty.
The majority of the debate over this topic has occurred outside the police agencies rather than within them, and senior officers within the forces haven’t given it much thought. The police must be a reflection of the society in which we currently reside and capable of defending against modern threats.
The latter routinely monitor shifting conditions using a variety of techniques and skills as well as widespread iconography, especially on social media and Twitter. This indicates that the police and security forces must develop new skills as well as a new way of thinking that acknowledges when employing force isn’t always the best course of action.
In a world where the Internet, social media, and other innovations frequently give protesters and agitators the upper hand and frequently undermine law and order, security organisations’ human resources must now be suitably qualified.
The importance of “Open Source Intelligence” (OSINT), which security organisations typically disregard, has increased as a result. In many law and order situations today, the efficient deployment of OSINT may very well be the determining factor. Currently, there is a big gap between what is needed and the best approach to apply knowledge from open sources.
In addition to the already disorganised mix of events, crises, and situations, another problem is the existence of various security organisations, including intelligence and investigative agencies. These organisations infrequently function with an unified aim. They usually choose inconsistent techniques and procedures due to their divergent approaches. Although the development of specialised agencies for special needs was anticipated to result from the expansion of agencies, this has not happened. They typically don’t lighten the load on particular authorities; instead, they frequently make thorough analysis and inquiry more difficult.
As a result, it is clear that there is a pressing need to consider how to modify intelligence gathering procedures, investigation techniques, actual conditions, etc., as well as how to enhance the security discourse in relation to the variety and types of threats. Conventional wisdom holds that an apex level assembly of DGPs/IGPs would offer the necessary direction and policy imperatives.
The truth is that a broad scope, both in terms of the topics discussed and the number of attendees, tends to degrade the quality of the conversation, even among serious professionals. Meaningful talks cannot occur when the scale of the conference precludes in-depth, unfiltered conversation even in a formal environment. In this situation, like in many other parts of life, small is beautiful.
Simply put, there is a case to be made for splitting the annual conference of DGPs/IGPs into two separate conferences — a higher level conference of DGPs/IGPs to discuss policy related issues, and a separate conference to be held of intelligence and security specialists (IGs/CID) to discuss the finer points of methodology, techniques, and acquisition of new skills for current and future problems. Then, the findings would be more applicable to current and future security requirements.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
What A Tangled Web:
Pratap Bhanu Mehta claims that the Supreme Court’s nomination of Justice Victoria Gowri was yet another brilliant own goal.
The term “collegium system” describes the system for electing and dismissing judges that was established by Supreme Court rulings rather than by Acts of Parliament or Constitutional provisions.
The Collegium, which is headed by the Chief Justice of India, is composed of the four seniormost Supreme Court justices.
The leaders of the collegium are the incumbent Chief Justice and the two other High Court justices with the maximum seniority.
The selection and advancement of Supreme Court and high court justices is one of the system’s grey areas.
The full exclusion of the executive from the judicial selection process led to a system where a small number of judges covertly appoint the remaining judges.
Because there are no specific procedures for screening candidates for the position of Chief Justice of India, there are several potential for nepotism and favouritism.
The door is shut since there are no official minutes of collegium deliberations.
The growing number of court cases and judge vacancies has defied the Collegium’s efforts to curb them.
The issues in this scenario shouldn’t be interpreted in terms of a particular person. Let’s put the question of Justice Gowri’s appointmentability on hold for the time being. Instead, focus on the institutional forces at play.
In the first, there is an unusual institutional situation where the Court makes its own decisions. The petition challenging the Justice’s appointment was heard by judges who weren’t members of the Collegium, it is true. But as Gautam Bhatia so beautifully highlighted, in this instance the court is sitting in judgement of its own choice, with the Chief Justice presiding over the bench. This is a complete legal oddity, to put it simply.
The second issue is the material provided to the Collegium regarding a potential appointment and how it is presented. If it has the power to suggest appointments, it must have all the resources and processes required to ensure that every applicant has undergone a rigorous screening process.
The Court admits that the nomination has been disputed, but it then puts the judges who are currently sitting in an unfavourable position. It’s not entirely apparent what exactly a judicial review of a candidate’s eligibility may involve, to start.
The fundamental question of whether the Collegium system is required to safeguard the core principles of the Constitution cannot be resolved by the Supreme Court by itself through a judicial decision. It calls for a wider discussion.
It should go without saying that the Supreme Court’s reputation as the defender of our fundamental liberties and the keeper of constitutional values would be greatly enhanced if it aggressively engaged with other state branches on the aforementioned topics.
After all, in addition to judicial review, the Supreme Court has noted that the separation of powers and checks and balances are important components of the Constitution’s basic structure.
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