News & Editorial Analysis 22 February 2023

News & Editorial Analysis 22February 2023

The Hindu News Analysis


1 – UPI:


GS III Topic Indian Economy:



All overseas visitors to India now have the option to utilise the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to make local payments while they are there, according to a statement from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday.

The regulator made this announcement in its February 2008 Announcement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies.

The service is initially available to visitors from G-20 countries at Bangalore, Mumbai, and New Delhi’s international airports.

Information on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI):

Users can transfer money between various bank accounts using a technology called UPI without giving the other party access to their bank account details. Many bank accounts are combined into a single smartphone app (of any participating bank).
It was launched in 2016 by the NPCI, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the Indian Bankers Association. (IBA).

Performance of UPI:

The UPI transaction value for the month of October (2022) hit a record high of Rs 12.11 lakh crore with 7.3 billion transactions.
According to the RBI’s Payment Vision 2025, UPI is expected to grow by 50% on average yearly.

Why the growth? In order to achieve overall market equilibrium while taking into account the current usage and potential of UPI, other current and new participants (banks and non-banks) have adequate time to improve their customer outreach for the extension of UPI.

Impact of this behaviour:

Due to the 30% cap, millions of Indians will not be able to use UPI payment services, undermining the amazing growth of Indian digital payments.
It recognises that current and upcoming UPI firms will need to put in more time, effort, and money in order to enhance their own UPI market share.

Who will profit and who will suffer from the extension?

PhonePe and Google Pay currently hold the vast majority (80%) of the market share for UPI.
The losers are WhatsApp Pay, Paytm (15 percent of the market), and other market players.


2 – G 20:


GS II Topic International Relations:



Before the G-20 working group committee meeting, which is scheduled for the end of March, construction on the seaside development between Rushikonda and Tenneti Park stretch is moving swiftly. In addition to constructing three new beaches at Sagar Nagar, next to the ISKCON temple, and at the renowned Jodugullapalem, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has deployed its staff to establish two perspectives (Near Seethakonda).

What is the G20?

A informal alliance of 19 countries, the EU, and representatives of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund makes up the G20.
The G20 membership represents the greatest developed and developing economies in the world, accounting for more than 80% of global GDP, 75% of worldwide trade, and 60% of global population.

How was the G20 formed?

As a result of the G7 inviting both developed and developing countries to discuss the 1997–1999 ASIAN Financial Crisis, this ministerial-level gathering was established. In 1999, the first gatherings of governors of central banks and finance ministers took place.
With the 2008 Financial Crisis, the necessity for fresh political consensus building was acknowledged all across the world. It was decided that the G20 leaders will meet once a year going forward.
To aid in preparation for these summits, the G20 central bank governors and finance ministers continue to hold separate, twice-yearly meetings. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund also meet at the same time as them.

What Is the G20’s Process?

The G20’s work is divided into two tracks:

The finance track includes all discussions with the governors of the G20 central banks and their designees. They meet regularly throughout the year and focus on topics including financial regulations, money and finances, etc.
The Sherpa track covers broader issues including political involvement, corruption prevention, development, energy, etc.
A Sherpa, who works on behalf of the head of state to plan, direct, implement, etc., is assigned to each G20 nation. An Indian named Shri Shaktikanta Das worked as the G20 sherpa in Argentina in 2018.

Who comprises the G20?

The other G20 members are Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.
Being a constant non-member invitee, Spain takes part in leader summits.

What are the Structure and Purpose of the G20?

Over time, a system that alternates the G20 Presidency on a yearly basis promotes regional balance.
For the purpose of choosing the president, the 19 nations are split into 5 groups with a maximum of 4 nations in each group. The president rotates between each faction. Each year, the G20 elects a country from a different group to lead the organisation.
India is in Group 2 together with South Africa, Russia, and Turkey.
The G20 does not have a set secretariat or headquarters. Instead, it is the G20 president’s job to put together the G20 agenda in response to changes in the global economy and after speaking with other members.
TROIKA: Every year, a new country takes over as president, and it works with both the outgoing and incoming administrations. TROIKA is the name of this procedure. This ensures the continuity and stability of the group’s agenda.


3 – NATO:


GS II Topic International Relations:



As the Russian invasion of Ukraine moves into a more challenging stage, US Vice President Joseph Biden will meet with NATO members from the eastern flank on Tuesday in Poland.

Putin will update Russia’s elite on the conflict in Ukraine in a significant speech.
After an unplanned visit to Kiev on Sunday, Mr. Biden left for Warsaw on Monday in an effort to strengthen Western unity as both Russia and Ukraine prepare to launch spring offensives. The battle, which has already claimed tens of thousands of lives and is the worst in Europe since World War II, has also severely damaged Ukraine’s infrastructure and the global economy.

About NATO:

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949 as a military alliance to provide collective security against the Soviet Union. It was sometimes referred to as the Washington Treaty and was signed by the United States, Canada, and other Western European nations.
There are now 30 member states.
The original members of the group were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Greece and Turkey joined the original signatories in 1952, followed by West Germany in 1955 (renamed Germany in 1990), Spain in 1982, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in 1999, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia in 2004, Albania and Croatia in 2009, Montenegro in 2017 and North Macedonia in 1999. (2020).
France remained a NATO member but vacated its position in the organization’s integrated military command in 1966. 2009 saw its comeback.
Recently, interest in joining NATO has been shown by Finland and Sweden.
Brussels, Belgium, is the headquarters.
The Allied Command Operations headquarters are in Mons, Belgium.

What objectives does NATO intend to fulfil?

Protecting each member state’s freedom and security through political and military action is NATO’s primary and ongoing objective.
Political objectives: NATO promotes democratic principles and offers members the chance to engage and cooperate on defence and security-related issues in order to resolve disagreements, build trust, and, in the long term, prevent conflict.
Military Objectives: NATO is committed to finding peaceful solutions to conflicts. If diplomatic attempts fail, it has the military power to carry out crisis-management operations.
According to a United Nations mandate or the collective defence clause of the Washington Treaty, Article 5, which served as the foundational agreement for NATO, they are carried out independently or in cooperation with other nations and international organisations.
Only once, on September 12, 2001, in reaction to the 9/11 attacks on the US World Trade Center, did NATO ever use Article 5.

How is NATO set up?

Although NATO has an integrated military command structure, the organisation only fully owns a small portion of its forces and resources.
The majority of forces continue to be under total national command and control until member nations choose to carry out NATO-related duties.
Its members must preserve the essential values that underpin the Alliance, such as democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law. Decisions made by the Alliance must be unanimous and consensual. In the Alliance, each of the 30 allies has an equal voice.
NATO members are not covered by the alliance’s protection during civil conflicts or internal uprisings.
NATO is financed by its members. The United States covers three-quarters of NATO’s budget.

Why did NATO initially form?

Following World War II in 1945, Western Europe had a weak economy and a weak military. (By the end of the war, the western Allies had rapidly and significantly decreased their army.)
In exchange for their collaboration and participation in cooperative planning to hasten their various recoveries, the countries of western and southern Europe received vast amounts of economic help under the Marshall Plan, which the United States initiated in 1948.
Under the terms of the Brussels Treaty of 1948, the United Kingdom, France, and the Low Countries—Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg—created the Western European Union, a collective-defense agreement.
Yet, it soon became clear that a more robust alliance would be required to provide the Soviet Union with a potent military counterweight.
In March 1948, the three governments began discussing a multilateral collective-defense strategy in the wake of a communist virtual coup d’état in Czechoslovakia in February. This strategy would improve democratic values while bolstering Western security.
These discussions eventually included France, the Low Countries, and Norway, and as a result, the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in April 1949.
After World War 2, when ties between the US and the USSR started to deteriorate, the Cold War started.
While the USSR wanted to use the promotion of its communist ideology to strengthen its position in Europe, the US regarded it as a danger to its way of life.
In 1955, as the Cold War was heating up, the Soviet Union established the Warsaw Pact. Socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe were included (1955). The Pact, which was essentially a political-military alliance, was considered NATO’s main geopolitical opponent.
It included East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Albania (which left in 1968).
The Pact was formally terminated in early 1991, following the fall of the Soviet Union.


4 – Char Dham Project:


GS I Topic Indian Culture:



The Joshimath issue has raised awareness of how delicate the ecosystems and surrounds of the Himalayas are. One of the immediate impacts was the Indian government’s choice to cease work on the Helang-Marwari bypass, a part of the Char Dham project, close to the town.

Info on Chardham Project:

The project, which is expected to cost Rs. 12,000 crores, involves expanding and building over 900 km of national highways to link the important Hindu pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
The project to develop it will be called as Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana, and the road will be known as Char Dham Mahamarg (also known as the Char Dham Highway) (Char Dham Highway Development Project).

What Environmental Issues Were Flagged?

Since they enhance the risk of landslides by removing trees and shifting rocks, large-scale development projects in steep terrain are tragedies waiting to happen.
The project’s implementation did not adhere to required environmental approvals or environmental impact assessments (EIA).
It is very concerning for the area’s delicate environment that more than 25,000 trees have reportedly been removed to make room for the project.
Broader carriageways would require more excavation and blasting, making the landscape more prone to slippage and landslides, which could jeopardise the goal of having an all-weather roadway.

Current updates on the Chardham Project:

In December 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Char Dham road project.
The project was, however, challenged in court on environmental grounds, with petitioners alleging irregularities about the project’s environmental clearances and that it was being pursued in violation of recognised rules.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) approved the project in September 2018, but the decision of the NGT was challenged because it was rendered by a different bench from the one that had heard the case. In October 2018, the Supreme Court issued a stay of the NGT order.
In response to a writ petition, it released a ruling in September 2020 stating that the Union Road Transport Ministry’s 2018 circular’s directive that roadways for the Char Dham project not exceed 5.5 metres in width should be observed shall be obeyed. Yet in December of same year, the Military Ministry asked for a modification to the directive, allowing the breadth to be 10m.
The top court then asked the HPC to investigate the Center’s claims about the width of the roadways.


#India #World #Daily #The_Hindu_Analysis #IAS #UPSC #Stact_PSC #Prelims #Mains #GeoIAS



The Hindu Editorial Analysis


Slow Progress To Creating A Safe Workplace For Women:



We were shocked to learn of the most recent allegations of sexual harassment against numerous Indian sportswomen (wrestling). Those affected had to protest by sitting in the capital in order to be heard. Because of this, it can be shown that the internal complaints body, if there is one, is ineffectual. It’s also possible that the wrestlers were unaware of it.

The Vishaka recommendations and the POSH Act of 2013:

The Supreme Court (SC) enacted it in 1997 to address the legal loophole regarding the sexual harassment of women. It is now a parliamentary act known as the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013 (POSH Act).
The guidelines for reporting harassment of women are intended to be followed by both public and private organisations. Given the delicate nature of the circumstance, the Union Sports Minister appointed a “oversight committee” to look into the allegations made against the head of the Indian Wrestling Federation, led by a female Olympic medallist.
The Act specifies a definition for workplace sexual harassment and a process for handling complaints.
Every business must establish an internal complaints committee, which must be present in every office or branch with ten or more employees. The same power to obtain evidence as civil courts is available to the complaints committees. The complaints committees must offer conciliation if the complainant requests it before starting an investigation.
Those employers who break the law will pay a price. For infractions of the Act’s obligations, a fee will be charged. Persistent offences may lead to higher fines and the revocation of a business licence or registration.


The Union Ministry of Women & Child Development has introduced the Sexual Harassment Electronic Box (SHe-Box). To make it simpler to report sexual harassment, it is a single point of contact for all women, regardless of their job status, whether they are employed in the organised or unorganised, private or public sector. When a complaint is submitted using the “SHe-Box” portal, it is instantly sent to the appropriate authorities who have the power to look into the matter.

Arranging for violence:

Acts of violence at the workplace might be either direct or institutional. Although the environment that fosters reporting of physical violence has increasingly improved, indirect violence is still being fully addressed because it is so rooted in our social and economic structures.
It is made more clear by the gender wage difference that exists in both organised and unorganised businesses. The historical fact that society is still patriarchal and that women are not just in the minority but also hold a small percentage of the higher positions as a result of there being more men in the workforce makes men feel entitled and empowered to take unfair advantage of this fact.

Information on the workforce:

The Worker Population Ratio (WPR) of women increased from 16.5% in 2017–18 to 24.2% in 2020–21, and the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) increased from 17.5% to 25.1%, but it is still significantly lower than that of men, according to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) annual report for 2020–21.
The LFPR and WPR figures from the most recent Quarterly Report (April-June 2022) are also unimpressive. WPR is the proportion of the population that is employed, whereas LFPR is the percentage of the population that is in the labour force (i.e., both employed and unemployed or seeking employment).

Moving ahead start early and at home.

The absence of a supportive and secure work environment is one of the factors contributing to women’s low labour force participation. The present procedures for obtaining justice are either nonexistent or insufficient, and it is widely acknowledged that few women report sexual harassment. Because it is easy to threaten their employment in return for improper favours, they are more likely to be used by their supervisor.
If the idea of treating men and women equally is not ingrained early on during character development during childhood, it will be difficult to change the stereotyped power relations between men and women in the future.
The “nature versus. nurture” debate contends that a person’s development is influenced by both heredity and environment. While some characteristics of a person’s personality may be predetermined by their DNA from birth, social conditioning, the home environment, and early schooling have a greater influence on a child’s development.
If both parents do not respect one another and do not treat their boy and girl children equally in all respects, they will grow up perceiving this imbalance as a natural phenomenon that could even lead to the emergence of criminal tendencies in men. The start must therefore be completed at home.

Defining goals:

Similar to this, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide a secure workplace. The employer requires that the workplace be safe and inclusive of women. However, it has been observed that whenever allegations of sexual harassment are made against superior authorities, the accused either turns to numerous litigation attempts to stall the due process or attempts to discredit the victim on dubious grounds, rather than having the complaint promptly investigated under the law, i.e., the POSH Act, 2013, rather than having the complaint promptly investigated under the law. The problem gets trickier when the accused is in command of it.
It is so important to set objectives to improve the working environment for women. Creating the required infrastructure for women, internal complaint committees, and increasing knowledge of grievance resolution law and process could all be short-term goals.
Raising the percentage of women in the workforce, improving the tooth-to-tail ratio, and providing incentives to keep kids in school, such as paid maternity leave, can all be considered medium-term goals.


In order to overcome the systemic structural and cultural violence that disadvantages women, long-term change is required. Until society as a whole consistently tries to execute the essential reforms in the current socio-cultural and economic institutions to remove indirect violence from the root up, the current scenario might not improve.


#India #World #Daily #The_Hindu_Editorial_Analysis #IAS #UPSC #Stact_PSC #Prelims #Mains #GeoIAS


The Indian Express Editorial Analysis


Our Language Our Selves:



In November 1999, UNESCO declared February 21 to be International Mother Language Day in reaction to the global demise of various languages.
The theme for this year, “Multilingual education: a requirement to transform education,” emphasises the importance of using multiple languages in creating an efficient educational system.
According to UNESCO, learning performance may be negatively impacted by a monolingual educational system that places a strong emphasis on “providing education in only one language that is not necessarily shared by all learners may impact negatively learning performance, and the development of socioemotional and foundational literacy skills.”

India is a nation with a strong cultural heritage:

India is a long-established country with a great diversity of languages and cultures, including thousands of dialects and hundreds of different languages.
We honestly convey our deepest feelings, ideas, aspirations, and literary endeavours in our home tongue.
Our languages, which were a vital part of our prehistoric civilization, give us a sense of ourselves. The value of a person’s mother tongue was emphasised by Koichiro Matsura, a former director-general of UNESCO, who said, “The languages we acquire from our moms are the birthplace of our innermost ideals.”
The International Mother Language Day has special relevance in India, since 42 of our languages and dialects have fewer than 10,000 speakers due to the threat posed by westernisation to their survival.
The situation is equally bad around the world, where just 40% of the 6,700 language speakers have access to education in their native tongue.
Reviving languages that are fading or are in danger of extinction is thus a fitting Mother Language Day topic for this year.

Why bilingual education is important for maintaining linguistic and cultural diversity:

Several studies have shown the importance of multilingual education in maintaining cultural and linguistic diversity.
The integration of multilingual education based on mother tongue should receive the utmost priority.
Societies like ours must act swiftly to create plans for boosting access to, equity in, and inclusion of high-quality education given how technology and artificial intelligence are changing the educational landscape around the globe.
Teachers, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions (colleges and universities), policymakers, and schools must all be involved.

According to Nobel Prize-winning physicist C V Raman, we need to teach science in our own language. Otherwise, science will become a pretentious endeavour. Not everyone will be able to participate in that endeavour.
In a 1921 piece for Young India, Mahatma Gandhi expressed worry about the pressure of the foreign medium that had “turned our children into crammers and imitators.” “The foreign media has successfully made our children foreigners in their own land,” Gandhiji opined.

(Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav) Eliminate your reliance on English, a colonial legacy:

Even though we celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorating 75 years of independence, our colonial heritage has left us dependent on England.
The child is forced to learn his or her mother tongue as a “second/third language” in school since parents and educators continue to grant English undisputed primacy.
Ironically, the educational system has become exclusive and restrictive as a result of our emphasis on English.
As a result, we restricted access to information in technical and professional courses to a small group of students, making it unavailable to the great majority of our students. We didn’t even seem to be conscious that we were creating barriers in the path of our progress.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a progressive initiative that encourages instruction in one’s native language beginning in primary school.
Several studies have shown that young children who receive their education in their mother tongue outperform those who receive it in a foreign language.
Throughout my extensive career in public life, I have emphasised the value of teaching and learning in one’s mother tongue in the whole development of children’s personalities.
NEP), congratulated the AICTE for making the historical decision to permit BTech programmes in 11 indigenous languages. He went on to remark that the NEP’s emphasis on using students’ mother tongues for education will boost the confidence of students from disadvantaged, rural, and tribal backgrounds.
These initiatives need to be scaled up at all levels and their purview broadened in order to provide access to high-quality education and make it more egalitarian and inclusive.


It’s a good idea that the Center is committed to emphasising native languages when it comes to employment and job creation.
It is also positive that the Staff Selection Commission has decided to provide exams in 13 additional Indian languages in addition to Hindi and English. It is also crucial that the Supreme Court’s rulings be made available in all Indian languages.
In particular, when it comes to technical and professional courses, we must produce content in mother tongues more swiftly. Technology will lead advancement in this direction. Let’s keep this example in mind whether we are educators, administrators, or policymakers.


#India #World #Daily #The_Indian_Express_Editorial_Analysis #IAS #UPSC #Stact_PSC #Prelims #Mains #GeoIA

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