News & Editorial Analysis 06 JUNE 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – Sedition Law in India:
Government Policies and Interventions
The 153-year-old colonial statute of sedition in India has been retained, according to the statute Commission of India.
The Indian Sedition Law:
The IPC’s Section 124A states:
It was written by TB Macaulay and inserted in the IPC in 1870. It deals with the crime of sedition, which is not punishable by bail.
Anyone who incites or seeks to incite hatred, contempt, or disaffection towards the legal government of India through speech, signs, or other forms of visible expression will be penalised.
Penalties under Section 124A: Under the law, penalties range from a fine and three years in prison to a life sentence.
Section 124A is required in order to effectively confront terrorist, separatist, and anti-national groups.
Concerns about Section 124A:
According to Gandhiji, it is intended to restrict citizens’ freedom.
According to Jawaharlal Nehru, it is quite disagreeable and the sooner we get rid of it, the better.
It was designed for a colonial regime and is out of touch with the current social climate.
frequently abused to silence opposition.
low rate of conviction.
In SC’s opinion:
In Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar (1962), the supreme court maintained Section 124A’s legality while also attempting to limit its potential for abuse.
The sedition clause cannot be used to censor free expression since it needs the presence of a malicious intent to incite violence.
Citizens could not be imprisoned by the state merely for choosing to object to its policies.
Views that differ from official government policy cannot be characterised as seditious.
In 2022, the SC essentially suspended the colonial-era penal clause and ordered the federal government and the states to stop making arrests and bringing legal cases based on it.
The Union administration recently informed the Supreme Court that the “final stages” of the legislative process to review and alter the Sedition Law were already underway.
On sedition law, the Law Commission of India:
A reasonable constraint on the right to free expression is the sedition legislation.
The security and integrity of the nation may suffer significantly if the legislative requirement is repealed.
The simple fact that a certain legal requirement has colonial roots does not make the case for its repeal.
States like the US, UK, and others have combined their anti-sedition laws with anti-terrorism laws.
Amendments to Section 124A of the IPC are suggested:
to match it with the SC’s 1962 ruling and to increase the clarity with which the provision is interpreted, understood, and used.
should demonstrate actual violence or a serious threat of violence in order to replace mere propensity to incite violence or create a public disturbance.
Increasing the alternative sentence to “7 years” will provide the judges more discretion to determine the appropriate punishment based on the seriousness of the offence.
procedural protections to reduce abuse. For instance, Section 154 of the CrPC may be changed to state that a police officer must first undertake a preliminary investigation before registering a FIR under Section 124A.
Source à The Hindu
2 – Lateral Entry in Central Government:
Governance related issues
The administration has planned to use lateral entry to hire 17 senior executives for the Central government from the private sector.
The government has proposed its fourth such recruiting drive since beginning lateral entry in 2018 to attract new talent and increase the pool of available labour.
Regarding Lateral Entry:
The word “lateral entry” refers to the hiring of specialists, primarily from the commercial sector, in organisations run by the government.
Recommendations from committees about lateral entry:
The Surinder Nath Committee (2003), Hota Committee (2004), and Second ARC (2008) have all supported the notion.
In its three-year Action Agenda (2017–2020), NITI Aayog suggested that middle and senior management employees be hired for the federal government.
To successfully implement lateral entry, it’s critical to establish a balance between the benefits it offers and the difficulties it presents. The selection procedure should be open and trustworthy, with clear criteria that draw notable people and subject-matter specialists. In order to help lateral entrants navigate the bureaucratic work culture and ensure effective collaboration with current civil officials, adequate training and support should be made available to them.
Source à The Hindu
3 – Li Ion Battery Recycling Technology:
Science and Technology
Nine recycling businesses and start-ups have received cost-effective lithium-ion battery recycling technology from the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) as part of the Mission LiFE’s “Promote circularity campaign.”
With the use of this home grown technology, many types of used lithium-ion batteries may be processed, with over 95% of the lithium, cobalt, manganese, and nickel contents being recovered in the form of purity-approximately 98% oxides/carbonates.
What steps are involved in recycling?
Lithium-ion battery recycling requires a number of procedures.
The batteries are gathered, sorted, and disassembled initially.
The electrodes are then extracted by a process known as leaching, in which the electrodes are immersed in a solvent that dissolves the precious metals lithium, cobalt, manganese, and nickel.
Following this, the metals are cleaned to get rid of impurities, producing compounds of high purity for lithium, cobalt, manganese, and nickel.
to minimise the impact on the environment and reduce the need for mining by recovering precious materials from lithium-ion batteries. It supports sustainable production methods for batteries and aids in resource conservation.
The government of Telangana and an industry partner worked together to create the technology at the Centre of Excellence on E-waste Management.
India produces around 50,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery trash per year, with growth rates of between 40 and 80 percent. India now imports 70% of its Li-ion cell needs from China and Hong Kong and all of its Li from Australia and Argentina.
Source à The Hindu
4 – Draft Aircrafts Bill, 2023:
Government Policies and Interventions
To replace the current Aircraft Act of 1934, the Civil Aviation Ministry has released the Draught Aircraft Bill, 2023.
A simpler approach to rules (covering design, manufacturing, possession, use, operation, sale, import, and export) is the goal of the draught legislation in order to satisfy the current needs of the civil aviation industry and do away with any redundancies from the 1934 law. Additionally, it aims to harmonise India with the Chicago Convention.
the establishment of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau, two statutory organisations. These organisations would carry out regulatory and supervision duties in addition to being in charge of implementing the Standards and Recommended Practises (SARPs) outlined by the Chicago Convention.
Adequate authority for statutory regulating organisations like the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Regarding the Chicago Convention:
It is a 1944-established international treaty that is also referred to as the Convention on International Civil Aviation. It establishes the fundamental guidelines for international air travel and established the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to supervise its execution. Nine air freedoms are recognised by the agreement, with the ICAO officially recognising the first five. Countries are given the ability to fly over, land in, and transfer people and goods across borders.
Source à The PIB
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
The horrifying train disaster that occurred on June 2 at Bahanaga Bazaar railway station in the Balasore district of Odisha claimed the lives of over 288 passengers, putting a spotlight on the safety measures required to stop such tragedies.
About Kavach System:
The Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) and the Indian industry collaborated to develop the KAVACH, an indigenous Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system.
The South Central Railway organised the trials to increase safety in train operations on all Indian Railways. Modern electronic system that complies with Safety Integrity Level-4 (SIL-4) criteria. One of the least expensive technologies, “Kavach,” has an error probability of 1 in 10,000 years.
By prohibiting trains from passing the signal at Red, which denotes danger, and avoiding collision, it is intended to provide protection. If the driver doesn’t maintain control of the train within the speed limits, it automatically engages the train’s braking system. The collision between two locomotives with operable Kavach systems is also avoided.
Additionally, the system relays SoS communications in emergency circumstances. The Network Monitor System’s centralised live train movement monitoring is an additional function.
How do Kavach’s railway systems operate?
The Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) assists in two-way communication between the station master and loco-pilot to deliver any emergency message with the aid of technology on board the locomotive and transmission towers at stations connected with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.
The loco-pilot is assisted by the instrument panel inside the cabin in knowing the signal ahead of time without visual sighting as well as the permitted speeds to be maintained.
The technology takes control and applies abrupt brakes if a red signal is skipped and two trains collide on the same track. Additionally, the hooter sounds on its own when a level crossing is approaching, which is a huge help to loco-pilots in foggy weather when vision is poor.
Causes of the mishap and Kavach deployment’s scope:
The Yeshwanthpur-Howrah Express and the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express were both devoid of KAVACH-TACS. However, Jaya Varma Sinha, a member of the Railway Board’s Operation and Business Development, argued that because the train was moving at a high speed, the reaction time and distance were very short.
The South Central Railway (SCR) Zone is a leader in the KAVACH – (TACS) implementation. Till March of this year, 77 locomotives and 135 stations had the Kavach system deployed over 1,465 km in the SCR boundaries. The ‘Centre of Excellence’ for Kavach is additionally housed at the Indian Railways Institute of Signal Engineering & Telecommunications (IRISET), which has its headquarters in Secunderabad. The Railway Board has given IRISET the task of educating the in-service railway workers on Kavach. The Kavach lab of the Institute runs year-round training activities.
In order to support the Minister of Railways, the Railway Board was established in 1905 as the principal administrative and executive body.
It now has a Chairman and 4 members who are responsible for infrastructure, operations and business development, rolling stock, and finance following a reform in 2019.
Sectoral experts from the disciplines of industry, finance, economics, and management are also represented on the board.
How to improve rail safety:
The Railway Board has taken a concentrated approach to implementing Kavach. As a result of the closer spacing between the trains, the High Density Routes, New Delhi-Mumbai, and New Delhi-Howrah Sections are given priority over all other routes.
The Highly Used Networks are the second priority lines, followed by Other Passenger High Density Routes and, of course, Covering All Other Routes.
Three companies have received RDSO approval to supply Kavach equipment, and two more are in the works. Radio communication problems in tunnels, ghat sections, stray livestock on the track, and vulnerabilities of a vehicle passing a closed level crossing have all been fixed.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
NET ZERO CHALLENGE:
The RBI recently released its “Towards a greener cleaner India” report, which covers a wide range of topics and outlines the central bank’s future path of action.
It serves as a timely update to its earlier findings, which had many wondering how it will address climate change.
The Sustainable Economy’s Contribution to Combating Climate Change: (Report Highlights):
India has pledged to achieve net zero status at CoP26 by 2070. The analysis shows that the path to net zero will not be easy.
The RBI offers a much-needed conceptual framework for analysing trade-offs between economic growth, inflation, and efforts to move towards a net-zero economy.
India’s desire to become an advanced economy by 2047 and its desire to reduce its emissions are at odds.
A 9.6% annual GDP growth rate would result in net GHG emissions that are 10.5 times higher than they were in 2021–2022.
India would need to increase the proportion of green energy in primary energy consumption to 82 percent by 2070 and decrease emission intensity by 5.4 percent yearly in order to meet the dual goals of net zero by 2070 and advanced economy status.
It is alarming to learn that nationally decided contribution will reduce economic production by as much as 9% by 2049, according to the analysis.
The losses from extreme weather events and decarbonization could only be reduced to 3% by 2049 with a more ambitious approach of achieving net zero by 2050. How can India scale its ambition given the limitations imposed by investment costs is the key policy challenge.
The report compares the existing quo’s inflationary effects to the option of reaching net zero by 2050.
The latter will result in price increases during the following three years but will, in the long run, tame effects of persistent inflation. Therefore, it is evident from the empirical data that a global transition to net zero by 2050 could be preferable.
The report emphasises the risk associated with assets dependent on fossil fuels:
The productive life of current fossil fuel-based assets will be limited as the economy shifts towards renewable sources of energy, exposing the banking sector (via loans) to these assets.
For banks in the public sector, these risks are more obvious. But there are other sources of financial risk as well; non-conventional energy saw an increase in the proportion of industry bad loans. Associated financial system risks are predicted to cost 5–6% of GDP annually in investment costs.
The rising frequency of catastrophic weather occurrences poses hazards to assets and, as a result, to the banking system. According to the RBI, a one-period climatic shock can cause output to drop by 1% for up to five quarters. As a result, incomes and consumption will decline.
Fiscal policy’s role in mitigating climate risk:
The importance of fiscal policy is emphasised throughout the paper. It argues in favour of fiscal action in the form of a carbon tax or an emission trading scheme.
It concludes that, in addition to other policy measures, a carbon tax of between $25 and $50 per tonne of CO2 can be effective.
Unquestionably, a carbon tax is essential, especially in light of the G7’s support for trade-based tax policies. But the effects on distribution are not even mentioned.
The analysis’s recommendations for the carbon tax rate that is most compatible with various growth goals are still uncertain. Additionally, it is not apparent which tax redistribution strategies can lessen the effects on distribution.
The report establishes the direction for monetary policy going forward. The necessity for a taxonomy and sectoral paths that are linked with net zero are two policy issues that are also laid out in the report.
It does, however, touch on the significance of shifting manufacturing to industries like fisheries, textiles, land transportation, and services that require less energy. For these industries, which have long dealt with legacy problems, there is no plan. To confront the issues, fiscal policy and regulatory measures are also required as the RBI assumes responsibility for managing risks.
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