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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 10th February ’21 | PDF Download

 Dams and damages

  • Niti Valley in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district
  • Reni village – birthplace of the iconic Chipko movement
  • This area is dotted with hydropower projects
  • Dams are not victims of disasters; they, in fact, exacerbate disasters.
  • The use of explosives has repeatedly been questioned
  • Deforestation takes place when dams are constructed
  • Often, compensatory afforestation norms are flouted
  • Construction waste is chucked into the river
  • 2013 floods – Uttarakhand
  • October 2013 – Supreme Court ordered to constitute an expert body
  • Chopra Committee report of 2014
  • Dams exacerbated the 2013 deluge
  • Dams are not only damaged in floods, they also cause immense damage in downstream areas
  • The Chopra Committee suggested that 23 of the 24 proposed dam projects it reviewed be cancelled for the potential damage they could do.
  • Himalayan glaciers are receding and disintegrating as a result of climate change
  • Snow cover in the Himalayas is also thinning
  • In terms of earthquake risk, Uttarakhand lies in Seismic Zone-IV (severe intensity) and Seismic Zone-V (very severe intensity).
  • The State plans to construct up to 450 hydropower projects of 27,039 MW installed capacity.
  • Which country has halted the use of Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca?
    1. UK
    2. India
    3. Canada
    4. South Africa

Belated, but bold

  • FinMin has announced large-scale monetisation of government sector assets
    1. Vast tracts of land
    2. Air India
    3. BPCL
    4. Listing of LIC
    5. 2 public sector banks
    6. 1 General insurance company
  • Atma Nirbhar Bharat package – government will exit all businesses in non-strategic sectors, with only a ‘bare minimum’ presence in four broad sectors.
  • These strategic sectors are —
    1. Atomic energy, space and defence
    2. Transport and telecom
    3. Power, petroleum, coal and other minerals
    4. Banking and financial services
  • Apart from raising precious revenues, the sale or closure of such firms will help the exchequer stop throwing good money after bad, and funnel it into more productive endeavours.
  • Now that the policy is in place, tactful execution will be crucial

Fine-tuning the State-of-the-app technology

  • Indian consumers are becoming more aware and concerned about data protection and privacy — a trend that has become stronger in the recent past.
  • The development of COVID-19 mobile apps was well-received and perceived as a strong proactive initiative, especially by sections of the population that were digitally empowered.
  • Various mobile apps on COVID-19 operated by the different State governments lack consistency in terms of the features, functionalities, and frequency of information updates they offer.
  • Most of these State mobile apps also differ significantly on the data privacy they provide, depending on the information or permissions they request from the user.
  • 2 commonly accepted principles of data privacy
    1. Necessity (is the data necessary for the mobile application to achieve its goal?)
    2. Proportionality (is the collection of data proportionate to the extent to which an individual’s right to privacy is being infringed?)
  • Several mobile apps of the State governments employ a centralised approach.
  • Can we achieve same goals through a decentralised information flow?

India must return to traditional diplomacy

  • The target audiences of Indian diplomacy’s public articulation and responses are changing radically.
  • It aims to forcefully convey to foreign audiences, India’s unwillingness to accept perceived or real interference in the country’s domestic affairs.
  • Is it more effective in advancing Indian objectives?
  • While the statement’s origin will not be authoritatively known, it can be legitimately surmised that it was/could not have been through the normal processes of the MEA.
  • Hence, it would have been on the basis of a political decision.
  • The hash tags attached to the statements lend credence to this view as also the intensely orchestrated social media response from Indian personalities to tweets by Ms. Rihanna and others.
  • There is nothing intrinsically wrong in building public opinion; all governments as well as groups do so.
  • It is part of the global political and diplomatic processes but must be part of a careful strategy to achieve objectives.
  • Otherwise, it can be counter-productive.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reply to motion of thanks on President’s Address in Lok Sabha today
  • Prime Minister to inaugurate World Sustainable Development Summit-2021 this evening
  • Home Minister Amit Shah assures, Centre is taking every possible step to rescue people and bring back life to normalcy in Uttarakhand
  • Chief Election Commissioner to meet political representatives and officials in Chennai today to review poll preparedness
  • WHO team concludes investigation of origin of COVID-19 virus in Chinese city Wuhan; Says virus did not leak from laboratory
  • Nitin Gadkari calls for ‘all-round’ efforts to reduce road accidents by 50 pct before 2025
  • Govt procures more than 620 lakh tonnes of paddy in current Kharif Marketing Season
  • More than 187 lakh Kisan Credit Cards issued to farmers in last one year, says Anurag Singh Thakur
  • India to make up biggest share of energy demand growth at 25% over next two decades
  • Govt. says, 58,843 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are staying in 108 camps in Tamil Nadu

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