News & Editorial Analysis 25 May 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – New Marriage Age for Women:
· Why is the ICPF opposed to hiking the retirement age?
· Because raising the age of marriage for women to 21 will make it illegal for young adults to marry, especially those who marry without their parents’ agreement.
· When women utilise their right to marry, it will empower patriarchal violence against their autonomy.
· Bill 2021 to Amend the Prohibition on Child Marriage:
· It recommends raising the marriage age for women from 18 to 21 years.
· The bill would change the following:
· The Christian Marriage Act of 1972 in India.
· The 1936 Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act was enacted.
· The 1937 Application Act of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat).
· The 1954 Special Marriage Act.
· The 1955 Hindu Marriage Act.
· The 1956 Foreign Marriage Act.
· What is the law?
· Currently, the legislation stipulates that men and women must be 21 and 18 years old, respectively, to marry.
· The age of majority, which is gender-neutral, differs from the age of marriage.
· According to the Indian Majority Act of 1875, an individual reaches majority at the age of eighteen.
· The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, Section 5(iii), stipulates that the bride must be 18 years old and the husband must be 21 years old. Child marriages are not unlawful, but they can be declared void if the minor in the marriage requests it.
· The marriage of a minor who has reached puberty is valid under Islamic personal law.
· The Special Marriage Act of 1954 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006 both provide that women and men must be 18 and 21 years old, respectively, to consent to marriage.
· Source à The Hindu
2 – About the Puri Heritage Corridor:
· What exactly is the Puri heritage corridor initiative?
· The Puri Heritage Project, which began in 2016, intends to turn the holy city of Puri into a worldwide tourist destination.
· The project comprises the revitalization of Puri Lake and the Musa River.
· Puri Jagannath Temple Information:
· It is an important Vaishnavite temple in Puri, Odisha, dedicated to Jagannath, a manifestation of Sri Krishna.
· King Anatavarman Chodaganga Deva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty is thought to have built the temple in the 12th century.
· The ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ of Jagannath Puri temple is where, according to Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama,’ the god of death, has been negated in Puri due to Lord Jagannath’s presence.
· The Ratha Yatra, or chariot festival, is held every year at the Puri temple, during which the three main deities are hauled by gigantic and ornately decorated temple cars.
· Source à The Hindu
3 – China Tibet Conflict:
· What happened to Tibet?
· Tibet is a region in Asia that covers about a quarter of China’s land area and is located on the Tibetan Plateau.
· It is the Tibetan people’s and some other ethnic groups’ traditional homeland.
· How did China come to govern it?
· Tibet, according to the People’s Republic of China, has been a part of China since the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty.
· Tibet’s authorities were compelled to accept a treaty imposed by China in 1951.
· The “Seventeen Point Agreement” promises Tibetan autonomy and respect for the Buddhist religion, but it also authorises Chinese civil and military headquarters to be established in Lhasa (Tibet’s capital).
· The Tibetan people, including the Dalai Lama, believe it is invalid and that it was signed under duress.
· Tibetans have called this a cultural genocide on numerous occasions.
· Tibetans living abroad:
· Over 1 lakh Tibetans live in India, with the rest settling in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Mongolia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and other nations.
· Source à The Hindu
4 – GST Council:
Prelims Specific Topic
· Is there anything else the Court has said?
· The GST Council’s suggestions have “persuasive value,” but they are not binding on the federal government or the states.
· Article 246A gives the Parliament and state legislatures “equal, simultaneous, and unique authority” to pass GST legislation.
· Consequences of this decision:
· This would have far-reaching repercussions on a variety of other issues where the states disagree with the GST Council’s judgement, particularly with the compensation period coming to an end in June.
· The GST Council’s role is explicitly defined in the ruling: to advise and recommend on GST problems. Accepting such recommendations and passing relevant legislative revisions is solely the responsibility of the federal and state legislatures.
· What exactly is GST?
· It is a single tax on the provision of goods and services from the producer to the end user.
· It is a destination-based tax, as opposed to the current origin-based taxation regime.
· Source à The Hindu
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
INDIA FRANCE RELATIONSHIP:
Recent Bond-Strengthening Efforts:
Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership: The two governments have decided to create a collaborative project called the Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership.
By gathering and exchanging regional experiences and skills among important Indo-Pacific public and private natural park managers, this collaboration aims to increase the Indo-Pacific region’s capacity for sustainable protected area management.
Both parties agreed to the “India-France Roadmap on the Blue Economy and Ocean Governance.”
Through institutional, economic, infrastructure, and scientific collaboration, the approach aims to strengthen blue economy alliances.
They also agreed to deepen India-EU ties during France’s presidency, as well as the necessity of initiating free trade and investment discussions and executing the India-EU Connectivity Partnership.
Strengthening Multilateralism: They also agreed to work together in the UN Security Council on issues of mutual concern.
Both Ministers agreed to strengthen the Strategic Partnership in sectors like as trade and investments, defence and security, health, education, research and innovation, energy, and climate change.
Facilitating People-to-People Contact: Agreed to complete a Joint Declaration of Intent in the Field of Sports as soon as feasible to enhance people-to-people contact.
Long-term cooperation between the competent authorities on public management and administrative changes.
What are the areas where India and France collaborate?
In January 1998, India and France announced a “strategic alliance,” which was one of the first after the Cold War ended.
France was one of the few nations to support India’s choice to test nuclear weapons in 1998.
France has emerged as India’s most trustworthy partner in the areas of terrorism and Kashmir.
Both countries hold a defence debate at the ministerial level.
Drill Shakti is a regular defence exercise for the three military branches (Army, Navy, and Air Force) (Air Force)
The French Rafale multi-role combat aircraft was recently delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
In 2005, India and a French business signed a technology transfer agreement to build six Scorpene submarines in India’s Malegaon dockyards.
A Reciprocal Logistics Support Agreement was also inked by the two countries.
Economic and trade relations between two countries:
The Administrative Economic and Trade Committee (AETC) between India and France provides an adequate structure for reviewing and developing strategies to boost bilateral trade and investment while also accelerating market access concerns for the advantage of economic operators.
The global agenda includes climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, terrorism, cybersecurity, and digital technologies.
There have been joint attempts to limit climate change and build the International Solar Alliance.
A cybersecurity and digital technology road map has been agreed upon by both countries.
Steps to Follow:
France has cleared the way for more engagement with Europe on global issues, especially in light of the BREXIT uncertainty in the region.
New collaborations with France, Germany, and other like-minded countries, such as Japan, for example, might boost India’s global impact tremendously.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
MULTIPLE CRISIS IN INDIAN UNIVERSITIES:
What are some of the warning signs that India’s universities are failing?
Government Spending: Higher education funding has been stable at 1.3-1.5 percent of total government spending since 2012.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Education is asking colleges and universities to raise admission capacity by 25%. (in order to put the 10% quota for economically disadvantaged groups into effect),
Surprisingly, despite an increase in the number of students registered, the Ministry of Finance has sought to ban the creation of additional teaching positions.
In FY 2022-23, student financial aid was reduced by 8% to 2,078 crores, down from 2,482 crores in FY 2021-22, and research and development funds were reduced by 8% to 218 crores.
What are the challenges that universities face?
Universities face a number of challenges:
University infrastructure spending has decreased. Overcrowding, poor air and sanitation, and insufficient housing plague the majority of Indian universities and colleges.
The HEFA’s budget was cut from 2,000 crore in FY 20-21 to 1 crore in FY 21-22, which funds all infrastructure loans to colleges and universities.
The payment of deemed/central university salaries has been postponed due to a financial flow issue.
As a result, most universities are in debt; for example, Madras University was forced to seek an 88 crore loan from the state government.
Faculty members had been waiting months for their salaries, which arrived just a few weeks ago.
As a result, many Delhi institutions are unable to pay for basic database and journal subscriptions, reducing discretionary spending.
Minor and major research project funding has been decreased by the UGC from 42.7 crores in FY 2016-17 to 38 lakh in FY 2020-21. Due to a shortage of finance and facilities, only 2.7 percent of India’s institutions provide PhD programmes.
The National Research Foundation (NRF), which aims to boost university research infrastructure, has yet to be established and will have a small budget ($5-6 billion over five years).
Standards are deteriorating:
Academic expectations and procedures are not being followed.
Exam papers have started to leak: At June 2021, the University Grants Commission announced the Hindi test for the National Eligibility Test, which allows post-graduate students who pass to teach in State and Central colleges.
Repression: Universities have a long history of contributing to the strengthening of democracy and civic society. Madan Mohan Malaviya’s Central Hindu College in Delhi, for example, was a hotbed of political debate throughout the national movement. In recent years, institutional apathy has resulted in persecution.
The arrest and imprisonment of students for campus protests at a select schools (such as JNU and Jamia Millia) has placed a pall over freedom of expression on college campuses.
What are the necessary actions to take?
Increased funding is important, as is the introduction of dedicated funding streams for infrastructure grants/loans and financial aid. Universities can use the money saved to invest in new revenue streams like start-up royalties and advertising.
Increased research funding: Rather than replacing existing research funding programmes, the National Research Foundation (NRF) should augment them (including those from the Ministry of Science). Undergraduates should have access to course-based research opportunities.
To improve the integrity of the examination process, a decentralised approach will be required, with universities having the authority to make decisions about academic programmes, promotions, cohort size, and other issues.
We must cultivate tolerance for a variety of viewpoints because our kids have formative experiences on our campuses and require the opportunity to develop as individuals.
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