News & Editorial Analysis 03 JUNE 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – Global Slavery Index:
The Walk Free Foundation’s Global Slavery Index 2023 estimates that 50 million people are subject to modern slavery, a 25% increase over the previous five years.
It alludes to exploitation scenarios in which a victim is unable to refuse or leave because of compulsion, assault, threats, or deception.
It takes the form of commercial sexual exploitation, forced employment, child labour, forced marriage, debt servitude, human trafficking, etc.
The index of global slavery:
It is a review of the state of modern slavery in 160 nations.
It makes use of information made public by organisations like the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the International Labour Organisation, etc.
The Index provides rankings for three factors: vulnerability (political instability, inequality), government reaction, and problem size (prevalence).
As India has the G20 presidency this year, with a focus on sustainable development and climate change mitigation, the 2023 index is significant.
The Global Slavery Index 2023’s highlights include:
In 2021, there were 50 million people who were subject to modern slavery on any given day.
Due to Covid-19, armed conflict, weak government, and other factors, the practise has increased in prevalence over the last five years (by 25%/10 million).
More than half of all people in modern slavery live in G20 countries, where commerce and global supply chains facilitate human rights abuses.
India tops the list of G20 countries with 11 million individuals forced into employment, followed by China, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey, and the United States.
SDG 8.7 [stopping contemporary slavery and forced labour]: The challenge in accomplishing this target by 2030 is highlighted by the high incidence of modern slavery and the lack of progress being made by the government.
Various economic sectors encourage contemporary slavery: Similar to how the textile sector encourages forced labour, low pay, and a lack of benefits (maternity leave, for example).
Poor government policies: The “Sumangali” initiative in Tamil Nadu, for instance, entraps women and girls from underprivileged areas to labour in abusive conditions in spinning mills.
More transparency in value chains, social protection for workers at all levels, and corporate accountability in international and bilateral free trade agreements are all benefits of south-south cooperation.
putting in place more stringent regulations and laws to stop businesses and governments from obtaining products and services that are connected to modern slavery.
incorporating anti-slavery measures into sustainability initiatives to combat climate change.
Children should get elementary and secondary education, and laws prohibiting child and forced marriage should be tightened.
The empowerment of vulnerable populations must be ensured through strong legislation and G20 nation accountability.
The right of access to public goods, global commons, and decent labour are the keys to preventing forced labour.
Source à The Hindu
2 – Insurgency in Manipur:
The Kuki National Organisation (KNO) has refuted the Manipur CM’s assertions that security forces killed 40 rebels amid recent violence in Manipur.
How did the clashes get started?
The Kuki tribe was opposing the Meitei community’s desire to be recognised as a “Scheduled Tribe” when violence broke out in the Kuki-dominated Churachandpur area.
Because the Meiteis claim to be the most marginalised group in society, the tribes consider that giving them ST status would violate their rights.
Manipur’s history of warfare dates back to the 1950s, when the Naga national movement—India’s first organised insurgency—was raging in the region.
The rebel organisations in the Valley:
The United National Liberation Front (UNLF) was established in 1964 with the goal of breaking away from India.
Multiple Meitei insurgent groups (PREPAK, PLA) subsequently emerged and were armed and trained by China.
These organisations operated with the dual goals of achieving independence from India and putting down Naga rebel organisations.
The Kuki-Zomi rebel organisations:
It began as a deterrent to other groups’ hostility but quickly evolved into a call for Kukiland, an envisioned nation encompassing the Kuki-Zomi-inhabited regions of India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.
This became reduced to a simple demand for a distinct state.
The entire state was covered by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which was passed in 1958.
Manipur was designated a disturbed area in the 1980s.
2008 saw the signing of a tripartite Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement between the Kuki-Zomi groups, the state, and the Centre.
AFSPA has been repealed in a number of locations as the state of law and order has progressively improved.
The UNLF, which is regarded as the mother of all Meitei insurgent groups, and other Valley insurgent organisations, however, have never reached a settlement with the Centre.
Activist organisations in politics and society:
Manipur’s daily existence is inextricably entwined with the militant factions.
They hold protests and impose moral standards such as a ban on Hindi-language media.
They also impose “taxes” on the general populace.
The political life of the state is where the factions are most apparent today. Cross-party candidates run for office with insurgent support, and the groups tell the electorate who should win.
Source à The Hindu
3 – Article 299:
According to a recent Supreme Court decision, the government cannot assert immunity under Article 299 of the Constitution from the terms of a contract it enters into in the President’s name.
Regarding the case:
Glock Asia-Pacific Limited, a manufacturer of pistols, and the Centre (government) were parties to the case. The Ministry of Home Affairs and Glock had a contract for the supply of pistols, but a disagreement emerged when the government used a performance bank guarantee. Glock requested arbitration, however the government objected to the arbitrator’s selection due to a tender requirement.
The arbitration clause that let a government official to serve as an arbitrator was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court, siding with Glock in the decision. A retired judge from the Supreme Court was chosen by the court to serve as the arbitrator.
As stated in Constitutional Article 299:
The terms and conditions of government contracts are outlined in Article 299 in detail. The purpose of this article is to prevent unauthorised or illegal contracts that can use up public funds by requiring that contracts negotiated by representatives of the government follow a set procedure.
Contracts must be articulated for the President or Governor to make them.
The President of India or the Governor of a State must be specifically identified as the maker of all contracts formed in the exercise of executive power.
Contract execution: Contracts and property guarantees formed in the exercise of executive power must be carried out by individuals authorised by the President or Governor.
The President and the Governor are not personally responsible for any agreements or assurances made or carried out in accordance with Article 299 of the Constitution.
Also exempt from personal liability are individuals who sign contracts on the President or Governor’s behalf.
The government is not exempt from the implementation of statutory legislation when engaging into contracts under Article 299 of the Constitution.
The relevant legislation continue to bind the government.
Source à The Hindu
4 – Babool:
Environmental Conservation related issues
Arid plant babool has a wide range of advantages, according to studies.
Arabic for “babool” or “gum” (Acacia nilotica)
It is an evergreen perennial tree that is native to the Indian Subcontinent, as well as tropical Africa, Burma, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the west and east Sudanese states. It happens in India’s tropical and subtropical regions.
Seeds’ Nutritional Value:
Protein, fat, fibre, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and manganese are some of the nutrients.
Pods’ antibacterial activity:
Effective against gram-positive microorganisms like Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus.
Food Preservative: Natural:
Extracts from pods can prevent microbiological deterioration and replace synthetic food preservatives.
Eco-friendly pest management:
Major farm pests can be managed without the use of chemicals by using babool seed oil.
Young leaves enhance digestion; woody stems maintain healthy gums and teeth; Bark is used to cure wounds that are infected and burns; Numerous health concerns are helped by the resin.
Animals are fed leaves and pods, which are similarly nutrient-dense to cottonseed meal.
Fixing and recycling nitrogen:
Babool fixes nitrogen and serves as a windbreak, both of which aid in the rehabilitation of degraded lands.
Climate resilience and biological diversity:
Babool tree planting promotes biodiversity and prevents desertification.
Source à The Hindu
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
LITHIUM INDUSTRY IN INDIA:
The discovery of lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir, which could be considerable, has received widespread acclaim. Lithium is a key component of the batteries used in electric vehicles and other renewable energy infrastructure.
India’s lithium industry’s current state:
The discovery of lithium in Jammu and Kashmir may not be the country’s first instance of the element. In Mandya, Karnataka, lithium reserves weighing over 1,600 tonnes were discovered. However, up to this point, there hasn’t been a commercial supply of the metal from that location.
Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Rajasthan are just a few of the other states where the government is now conducting lithium exploration programmes.
India currently depends on imports. India bought lithium and lithium ion worth over 14,000 crores in fiscal 2022. Future demand is probably going to skyrocket.
The majority of the world’s lithium reserves are located in three South American nations—Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile—with 50% of the resources being concentrated there. While China controls 75% of the world’s lithium refining, it enjoys an advantage over other countries.
Lithium uses include:
The use of lithium is widespread and is expected to rise sharply in the ensuing decades.
In the crust of the earth, there is a soft, glossy metal called lithium. It is an alkaline metal that is quite reactive.
It is mostly utilised in the production of aluminium, greases, medicinal compounds, air conditioners, and ceramics and glasses, among other things.
Due to its maximum energy storage capacity per kilogramme, batteries are its primary purpose. For electric car manufacturers like Tesla, its tremendous energy storage capacity and incredibly low weight make it the ideal option.
Possession of these minerals:
A three-judge panel of the Supreme Court of India decided in July 2013 that the land’s owner has rights over everything underground, “down to the centre of the earth.”
Large tracts of land, however, are publicly held, including forests (which make up more than 22% of India’s landmass), hills, mountains, and revenue wasteland.
The Supreme Court further underlined that, as is already the case with uranium under the Atomic Energy Act of 1962, the Union government could always forbid private parties from mining sensitive minerals.
Lithium is just as significant as uranium in the modern world, if not more so.
Mine challenges for lithium:
It may negatively affect air pollution, water pollution, and other environmental issues. It requires a lot of water to extract lithium from its ore; one tonne of lithium requires roughly 2.2 million gallons of water.
The Himalayas are a highly vulnerable and ecologically sensitive terrain that is susceptible to the long-term negative effects of unforeseen development activities.
In the eco-sensitive Himalayan region between J&K, mining could result in a huge loss of biodiversity.
Since so many rivers originate in the Himalayas, any mining activity will contaminate the entire riparian ecosystem.
The excessive carbon emissions, water use, and land use practises associated with mining and processing lithium can further imperil the availability of food.
Lithium water-mining practises could contaminate local water basins and consume a limited supply of water intended for rural residents, animals, and crops in locations where access to clean water is already a problem.
It is noteworthy that the appropriate growth of this industry will necessitate a very high level of effectiveness on the part of the Indian state as India investigates and develops its own lithium sources.
A significant portion of India’s mineral wealth is extracted from areas that have extremely high rates of poverty, environmental damage, and low governance.
If India’s development of rare minerals is to achieve its numerous goals—social well-being, environmental safety, and national energy security—effective and careful management of the industry should be of utmost importance.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
WHY INDIA AND CHINA ARE STRONGER AS PARTNERS:
The global economic condition has been impacted by previous and present events including the Covid-19 outbreak, the Ukraine conflict, and interest rate increases in the United States, and it is generally not hopeful.
Fragility in the recovery is a result of instability and uncertainty, and stabilising growth is a challenge for all nations. The recent strong economic results of China and India have garnered a lot of attention in this context.
India’s economic situation:
India’s economy has grown to be the fifth-largest in the world. India placed seventh among the top 20 receivers of foreign direct investment in 2021, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s “World Investment Report 2022.”
India’s digital economy is expanding quickly, with 107 unicorn businesses and more than 82,000 start-ups.
According to the “2022-2023 Indian Economic Survey Report,” India’s economy will develop at one of the quickest rates in the world between the fiscal years 2023 and 2024.
China’s economic situation:
In the meantime, China’s economy fully recovered, with first-quarter GDP increasing by 4.5% year over year.
The SME Development Index, which is based on a survey of 3,000 small and medium-sized businesses, reached 89.3 points between January and March, indicating a recovery in market vitality.
The non-manufacturing Business Activity Index and the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index both remained above the boom-and-bust line, and hopes for private businesses gradually increased.
Both countries may significantly contribute to both world development and their own economies:
The two countries are the world’s two most populated emerging nations and top two developing economies.
More than 35% of the world’s population and more than 20% of the world’s economic output are shared by these two nations.
Human development is significantly influenced by China and India, whose rapid economic expansion is essential to the world economy’s recovery.
India and China have both made significant contributions to reducing poverty worldwide.
More than 800 million people have been brought out of poverty by the Chinese government over the previous more than 40 years of reform and opening up.
A total of 410 million individuals in India have been pulled out of poverty between the fiscal years of 2006 and 2021. The International Monetary Fund predicts that China and India will contribute more than 50.3% of this year’s global economic growth.
A stronger relationship between China and India will contribute to global growth:
China and India are two significant emerging economies that are now driving the revival of global economic growth.
India and China are both going through a crucial stage of modernization.
Therefore, bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, respect and learn from each other, contribute to each other’s success, pursue a new path of peaceful development and common revitalisation between neighbouring major countries, so as to boost our respective national rejuvenation and inject stability and positive energy into world peace and development.
With its leadership of the G20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), 2023 will be a turning point in Indian diplomacy.
China is ready to work with India to enhance international economic governance, protect the shared interests of developing nations, and uphold international equity and justice.
Therefore, China and India will undoubtedly give the recovery and expansion of the global economy a bigger boost by enhancing their practical collaboration in a variety of sectors.
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