News & Editorial Analysis 2 March 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – Gift City:
GS III Topic Indian Economy:
Two Australian government universities, Deakin University and University of Wollongong, will be the first foreign educational institutions to open campuses in GIFT City, Gujarat. On Wednesday, Dharmendra Pradhan made the announcement with former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist and Australia’s Minister for Education Jason Clare.
Banks, stock exchanges, and financial services firms have established their international operations in Gujarat International Finance Tec City (GIFT City), the first and only International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in India.
Plans are for the development of almost 62 million square feet of built-up space, including 67% commercial, 22% residential, and 11% social space, over 886 acres.
Multi Service SEZ: The complete city project has been split into a 261-acre multi-service Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and a 625-acre exclusive domestic tariff area (DTA).
Tax Exemptions: The Center has provided organisations that begin their global operations in the GIFT City with a number of tax exemptions. As a result, the BSE and NSE both established their own international stock exchanges, 17 banks—including 12 domestic and 5 foreign banks—received operating licences, there are more than 100 broking services, depository clearing operations, and more than 19 companies have begun operating their non-life reinsurance businesses.
The Center’s IFSC-related relief measures also include a tax holiday for capital gains for aircraft leasing companies, a tax exemption for aircraft lease rentals paid to foreign lessors, a tax incentive for transferring foreign funds into the IFSC, and an exemption for foreign banks’ investment divisions.
Resolution of Disputes: Because Singapore is a hub for global financial services, the International Bullion Exchange is likely to go into operation soon, and the Singapore Arbitration Centre has also been formed.
By offering top-notch infrastructure and a regulatory environment that meets international standards, the IFSC aims to bring the financial services and transactions that Indian corporate entities, as well as overseas branches and subsidiaries of financial institutions, currently conduct in offshore financial centres back to India.
GIFT City: Prospects
Integrated Development (Office, Residential & Institutional).
Various Services Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
India’s first centre for global financial services (IFSC).
Intelligent, green, and sustainable infrastructure.
enough space for one window.
quality of life.
GIFT City: Benefits:
Due to the Central Government’s proactive assistance in making the country a centre of international financial services, The GIFT City has become the preferred location for both domestic and foreign firms.
Investment returns are also enhanced by tax breaks.
Many new employment will be produced. According to a 2007 study by M/s Mckinsey & Co., the GIFT City project will generate 10 lakh direct jobs by the year 2020.
Infrastructure is essential to GIFT City’s continued economic prosperity and high standard of living. International best practises and modern technologies are wisely combined to supply infrastructure services. All of these elements working together provide a global quality of life and employment.
As more businesses join to base their operations in the rapidly expanding metropolis, The GIFT City is expected to grow in importance over the next years.
2 – S 400 Missiles:
GS III Topic Internal Security of India:
The delivery of five regiments of S-400 air defence systems under a $5.43 billion agreement with Russia is expected to be completed by year’s end or the start of 2024, according to official sources. The topic of delayed payments as well as insurance and reinsurance will probably come up when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar outside of the G-20 Foreign Ministers meeting, which occurs shortly after the first anniversary of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
India and Russia concluded a 5.43 billion USD contract for the S-400 Triumf missile system in October 2018 despite criticism from the US and the possibility of sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Details on the S-400 Triumf Missile System
The S-400 Triumf mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system was developed by Russian engineers. It is considered to be the most hazardous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world, being far more lethal than the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
The system is capable of targeting various types of aerial targets, including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), ballistic and cruise missiles, within a 400 km radius and at a height of up to 30 km.
The device can track 100 flying targets while engaging six of them at once.
According to India, China is also purchasing the system. 2015 will see the acquisition of six system battalions by China and Russia. It began to be shipped in January 2018.
The purchase of the S-400 system by China has been referred to as a “game changer” in the region. Yet, it only has a small effect on India.
Even against the highly developed F-35 US fighter planes, India’s purchase is crucial to repelling assaults in a two-front conflict.
3 – Anti Defection Act:
GS II Topic Election related issues:
The Supreme Court noted that the anti-defection law is applicable even if a faction splits from a political party and is able to garner a majority within the party itself during a hearing regarding the political dispute between former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and current Eknath Shinde.
What Do Laws Against Defection Mean?
Certain MPs and MLAs who switch parties are subject to penalties under the anti-defection act.
It was added by Parliament to the Constitution’s Tenth Schedule in 1985. Its objective was to maintain political stability by discouraging MPs from switching parties.
The Tenth Schedule, popularly known as the Anti-Defection Act, was included into the Constitution by the 52nd Amendment Act of 1985.
It spells out the conditions under which elected officials are ineligible to serve if they switch political parties.
This response was brought about by the party-hopping MLAs who overturned numerous state administrations during the 1967 general elections.
Nonetheless, it does allow a group of MPs or MLAs to join (or join forces with) a different political party without running the risk of paying a defection penalty. Political parties are also not penalised if they support or oppose rebellious lawmakers.
A “merger” was defined by the 1985 Act as the “defection” of one-third of the members of an elected political party.
Nevertheless, this was changed by the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003, and now, at least two-thirds of the members of a party must support a “merger” in order for it to be regarded as valid.
The members of Congress who are ineligible to serve in the House may compete for office in elections under any political banner.
A “Judicial review” will be conducted before the Chairman or Speaker of that House makes a decision about disqualification based on defection.
However, the statute does not provide a timeframe within which the presiding officer must decide whether to take action in a defection case.
How Does a Defection Occur?
Voluntarily giving up:
If an elected official voluntarily renounces their membership in a political party.
Violation of Instructions:
If, without first receiving permission, he votes or abstains from voting in that House against the wishes of his political party or anybody else with such authority.
In order for him to be disqualified, his failure to cast a ballot must not have been allowed by his party or the designated person within 15 days of the incident.
How Does Defection from the Political System Affect?
Voting mandates being broken:
Lawmakers are said to be disregarding their people’ wishes by defecting when they are elected on the platform of one party but then decide it would be more convenient to transfer to another party due to the temptation of cabinet positions or financial benefits.
Effects on Routine Government Operations:
In the 1960s, the infamous “Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram” slogan was developed in reaction to the ongoing defections of lawmakers.
The defection disrupts the political system and has an effect on the executive branch.
Defection promotes legislator horse trading, which is manifestly contrary to the democratic system’s ideals.
4 – Vande Bharat Express Trains:
GS III Topic Infrastructure related issues:
Much progress was made this week in the two big semi-high-speed trainset tenders that benefited the Vande Bharat project.
On Wednesday, approximately a week after two big corporations submitted their technical proposals for 100 aluminium Vande Bharats—a first in India—in a tender that was released a few months ago, it is anticipated that five contestants would meet the conditions for building 200 trainsets. The world leader in rolling stock from France, Alstom, the Swiss company Stadler, and the Indian company Medha are the two companies who have filed a bid for the 200 trainsets.
What railroads operate Vande Bharat?
Since the launch of Rajdhani trains, this semi-high-speed, self-propelled train has been hailed as the Indian Railways’ next significant advancement in terms of speed and passenger convenience.
The first Vande Bharat was created at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, as a part of the “Made in India” programme, costing around Rs. 100 crore.
India’s initial effort to replace the more traditional practise of using passenger coaches drawn by individual locomotives was the Vande Bharat.
While being complex, the train set layout is faster, simpler to maintain, uses less energy, and offers more flexibility in train operation.
There are currently two Vande Bharat Expresses departing from New Delhi, one to Katra and the other to Varanasi.
Aiming for “greater efficiency,” the 400 new trains will be built, and some of these trainsets might be made of aluminium rather than steel.
Each trainset will be 40–80 tonnes lighter than a contemporary Vande Bharat thanks to its aluminium body, improving its potential for speed and requiring less energy.
What Constitutes the Brand of Vande Bharat Railways?
These trains, referred to as “Train 18,” were built without a locomotive and are propelled by a distributed traction power system that gives each of the train’s cars its own independent power source.
A few of the amenities offered to passengers in its coaches include onboard WiFi, GPS-based passenger information systems, CCTVs, automated doors in every coach, spinning chairs, and bio-vacuum toilets similar to those found in aeroplanes.
Due to quicker acceleration and deceleration, it can travel at a top speed of 160 kmph, cutting the travel time by 25% to 45%.
Also, it has a smart braking system that regenerates electricity, which reduces expenses, energy use, and environmental impact.
What does it all mean in the end?
The fabrication of 400 of these trainset attachments will result in the addition of 10,000–15,000 jobs over the course of three years.
The nation’s rolling stock industry would get an investment of almost Rs 50,000 crore, which would be very advantageous to supply and component manufacturing businesses among others.
Also, it will raise budgets and productivity for the railroad.
How to Continue:
Improved next-generation trains from Indian Railways usher in a new era of travel. The new trains can help railways maintain and perhaps grow their business in an era of intense competition from low-cost airlines and well-developed road systems.
The success of the Vande Bharat project would be greatly enhanced by the early completion of the ambitious project and taking into account the need for various classes of travel.
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
Manish Sisodia was recently denied bail in the excise policy case by the Supreme Court after a Delhi court ordered him to remain in CBI custody until March 4.
The Supreme Court rejected Sisodia’s direct approach to it under Article 32 of the Constitution while he had the option of approaching the High Court under Section 482 of the CrPC.
Sisodia was placed under arrest by special CBI judge M K Nagpal because he “failed to offer sufficient replies” during the investigation. The court had rejected Sisodia’s attempts to exercise his right to self-incrimination.
What does a person’s right to be silent mean exactly?
The privilege against self-incrimination has its roots in Roman law but was subsequently recognised by English law as a distinct right.
The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that no one may be forced to testify against himself in a criminal proceeding without getting due process of law. The term “taking/pleading the Fifth” refers to this option.
According to Article 20(3) of the Indian Constitution, “No person accused of any offence will be required to be a witness against himself.”
The right to be believed innocent unless proven guilty and the right to remain silent during an interrogation are both essentially supported by this constitutionally protected protection against self-incrimination.
Additionally, this right guarantees that no one can be forced by the police to confess to a crime and be convicted as a result of such confession.
What circumstances fall within the courtroom’s privilege from self-incrimination?
As it is the burden of the state to establish the case against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt, a person cannot be forced to testify against himself or provide information that could be used against him in court.
An eleven-judge Supreme Court bench ruled in the well-known 1961 case The State of Bombay v. Kathi Kalu Oghad that taking a suspect’s picture, fingerprint, signature, and thumbprint would not violate their right to remain quiet. The difference between offering testimony and offering evidence was noted by the court.
The Supreme Court broadened the definition of handwriting samples to include voice samples in its ruling in Ritesh Sinha v. State of Uttar Pradesh in 2019 and claimed that doing so would not violate the privilege against self-incrimination.
In Selvi v. State of Karnataka earlier that year, the Supreme Court decided that conducting a narcoanalysis test without the accused’s consent would violate their Fifth Amendment privilege against being forced to testify against themselves.
Yet, it is permitted to obtain a DNA sample from the defendant. If the accused refuses to offer a sample, the court may draw conclusions that are unfavourable to him in accordance with Section 114 of the Evidence Act.
What happened in the Manish Sisodia case?
The CBI informed the special court that it would need custody of the prisoner because he behaved evasively throughout the interrogation.
Dayan Krishnan, a senior attorney who defended Sisodia, said there cannot be a reason for the plea for remand: “Their argument is that I, Sisodia, did not respond as they had intended. I’ll go into detail as to why it doesn’t warrant remand. He declared that the judge’s approval of remand for self-incrimination would be a “travesty.”
What was the rationale given by the court?
In his decision granting remand, Judge Nagpal made an effort to distinguish between “offering legitimate replies” and asserting the privilege against self-incrimination. The judge did not elaborate on what would constitute “legitimate” answers.
It is true that he cannot be expected to make self-incriminating statements, but the order requires that he give some acceptable answers to the questions the IO is asking him in order to uphold justice and conduct a fair inquiry.
According to the court’s reasoned judgement, this can only be accomplished during the accused’s questioning while he is being held in custody. A proper and fair investigation necessitates that some true and valid answers to the questions being presented to him regarding the same be found. According to the court, “several of his subordinates were found to have exposed certain information that can be construed as incriminating against him and some documentary evidence against him has also already surfaced.”
What grounds did the SC cite to reject Sisodia’s plea?
The SC decided not to become engaged in Sisodia’s detention at this point. He had petitioned the SC in accordance with Article 32, which allows people to do so when their fundamental rights are violated.
No provision of the CrPC “can limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, to prevent abuse of any Court’s process, or to otherwise secure the ends of justice,” as stated in Section 482 CrPC. A bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud instructed Sisodia to “avail alternate remedies.”
Therefore. A person has a fundamental right against self-incrimination, as stated in Article 20(3) of the Indian Constitution. This right, however, cannot be used to keep from public view anything that is required for a full investigation.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
Adopt A Heritage Scheme:
It is possible for private companies, corporations, and governmental organisations to come to agreements about the adoption and maintenance of state-owned archaeological sites or monuments. Businesses that enter into such agreements are known as Monument Mitras.
The looming threats:
The goal of this initiative, which was started in February 2023, is for 500 protected sites to be accepted by August 15 and another 500 sites immediately after. The number of locations featured in the controversial 2017 “Adopt a Heritage” campaign has increased tenfold, as seen by this number. If the “revamped” plan is not shelved, the nation’s priceless pluralistic legacy is in jeopardy.
Under the recently modified “Adopt a Heritage” initiative, businesses may utilise their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to construct and maintain ticket booths, restaurants, museums, interpretive centres, bathrooms, and walkways at certain places. They could organise excursions, arrange cultural events, maintain the machinery for light and sound shows, and illuminate landmarks.
National treasure corporate appropriation issues
The magnificent monuments of India are put in jeopardy when corporations are given the choice of building museums and interpretation centres and creating their own content instead of trained professionals.
The current strategy also disregards the mandate of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), abandoning the Sarnath Initiative, a set of guidelines created by the ASI, the Getty Trust, the United States, the British Museum, and National Culture Fund to safeguard excavated objects and present them to visitors in an engaging way.
A few of the monuments selected for the programme that have existing tourism infrastructure include the stupas at Sanchi, the Brihadeshwar temple in Thanjavur, and Akbar’s imperial capital at Fatehpur Sikri.
The “Adopt a Heritage” program’s provision for corporations to take prime public property and develop their own brands is another element that worsens the condition of the neighbourhoods near famous landmarks.
Since they are on ASI lists, many of the monuments selected for the “Adopt a Heritage” programme are protected by the central organisation. The archaeology directorate of the other people chosen for the programme is responsible for protecting them. The program’s selection of monuments includes several that are neither ASI-protected nor situated in states with archaeological directors. Companies who accept these monuments as their own through the Union Ministry of Culture may be able to alter their historical value.
Local neighbourhoods and their ties to historical landmarks will suffer as a result of the strategy. Workers of large corporations that have been given permission to adopt a monument may conduct guided tours that endanger the livelihoods of people who once lived there.
If Monument Mitras does not adopt a monument within the allotted time, what will happen to it?
The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has reportedly started giving these monuments to the tourism department so they can be converted into hotels, according to media reports. They include the residences of the Nawabs of Awadh and Chunar Fort, a fort with a view of Barwasagar Lake. The plan continues to put hasty commercial and tourism interests ahead of historical preservation.
The future: corporate heritage protection in India:
Businesses can inform the public of the significance of monuments. This can be done by allocating CSR funds for grants for the creation of cutting-edge and effective historical teaching techniques as well as for the study, creation, and distribution of excellent textbooks.
Traders and store owners can donate money to school libraries to buy historical records that are relevant to monuments in the area and will assist students comprehend the value of monuments, such as books, maps, and old pictures.
Companies could elect to emulate Sudha and N.R. Narayana Murthy and donate to organisations like the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune to support its continuous work to create history by logically connecting the textual record and the archaeological data.
After the COVID-19 pandemic began, some schools’ humanities and social science departments have halted hiring. Other universities are merging these departments. Corporations can revitalise them by establishing fellowships, endowing professorships, and funding research training programmes.
Industrial buildings can make a substantial contribution to the preservation of historic buildings by allowing visitors to peek inside. Their CSR funds can be used to purchase new equipment that releases fewer toxic gases that corrode and darken marble structures, as well as fewer effluents into rivers, lowering the risk that these waterways will act as a breeding ground for microbes that accumulate on the walls of old buildings built on riverbanks and cause their decay.
The time is now for businesses to support interdisciplinary teams working at the Development and Research Organisation for Nature, Arts, and Heritage (DRONAH) Foundation and the Centre for Advancement of Traditional Building Technology and Skills to protect historical sites from looming threats like climate change.
India’s progress in a variety of fields is currently being recognised at G-20 meetings all throughout the nation. By implementing innovative historical preservation techniques, companies, government agencies, and civil society organisations may highlight India’s true achievements in this area. Maybe the results of their work may inspire more individuals to help with the pressing task of preserving India’s rich past.
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