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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 11th November ’21 | PDF Download

Investigate the deal | TH

  • Mediapart, a French portal, has now published a set of alleged fake invoices, and claimed that Dassault Aviation paid middleman and defence contractor Sushen Gupta over €7 million in kickbacks between 2007-2012.
  • The Hindu, had revealed procedural violations, raised questions over
  • the high price of the fighters
  • the choice of offset partners
  • the removal of anti-corruption clauses
  • waiving the requirement of a bank guarantee among other issues related to the India-France Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) signed in 2016

The red truth of China’s ‘Common Prosperity Discourse’ | TH

  • Mediapart’s articles point to the dubious role of middlemen both in the proposal to buy 126 aircraft that was withdrawn, and later in the IGA for flyaway aircraft in 2016.
  • In its price-redacted audit report on the Rafale deal, the CAG report, tabled in Parliament in February 2019, while examining the earlier bid process between 2007-12, had pointed out procedural violations in defence procurement — Dassault’s technical bid was rejected and later it was allowed to incorporate India-specific enhancements to meet bid-compliant qualitative requirements.
  • Defence preparedness and national security interests dictate that operational readiness goes hand-in-hand with procedural propriety in defence procurement.
  • From a regulatory crackdown on tech unicorns to clampdown on private tutoring, from exhorting the rich to redistribute wealth to fintech companies forming unions for their workforce, a series of verbal assertions and administrative measures have been upending people’s lives in China over the last few months.
  • The common thread binding these disparate actions together is the term, Common Prosperity (gongtong fuyu).

  • Common Prosperity is not an entirely new term, having figured in all political reports at different congresses of the Communist Party of China (CPC) since 1992.
  • The top-down campaign is aimed at engineering a “profound transformation” of the country, in achieving prosperity for all people in their material and spiritual (and moral) lives.
  • The Party-state is anxious about social disintegration and political polarisation, which would end up destabilising its authoritarian rule and question its legitimacy.
  • This drive desires to tighten the Party-state’s control over monopolies, regulate the private sector, expand the size of the middle class, and check wealth accumulation.
  • Though he wishes to divide the cake well, he is silent on simultaneously increasing its size.
  • ‘996’ work schedules (9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week)
  • That the success of the Chinese economic development model is built on labour repression is a grim reality.
  • The Third Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan hosted by India yesterday was a bold attempt on New Delhi’s part to bring regional countries on the same page.
  • The conference saw participation of all five central Asian republics, Iran and Russia.
  • The Delhi Declaration strongly objected to the use of Afghan soil for planning, financing and carrying out terrorist activities.

  • It also called for collective cooperation against the menace of radicalisation, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region.
  • In other words, the conference was meant to find ways for the participating countries to coordinate and counter terrorist threats from Taliban’s Afghanistan.
  • True, Pakistan and China did not attend the New Delhi conference.
  • If anything, their non-participation was yet another proof that the China-Pakistan axis will continue to undermine Indian interests.
  • Besides, China and Pakistan’s perception of the security threat from Taliban’s Afghanistan is very different from that of India’s or Iran’s.
  • Nor should the Delhi conference be juxtaposed with Pakistan’s Troika Plus summit on Afghanistan kicking off today that will see participation of China, US and Russia.
  • India would do well to start full visa services for Afghan citizens who may want to temporarily leave Afghanistan.
  • Given the multi-dimensional uncertainty around Afghanistan India needs both defensive and proactive strategies.
  • It must shore up domestic security and work with both the US and Russia.
  • There are no easy options in this, especially given the China-Pakistan threat.

May a Thousand Nykaas Bloom | ET

  • In the case of Nykaa, it is beauty products, the technology going into whose making is nothing exceptional.
  • But it is in the use of technology to build the brand, reach out to consumers in small towns across India’s vast geography, directly engage consumers and track their preferences that makes it different from traditional beauty businesses.
  • Nykaa’s success, which has made its founder, former merchant banker Falguni Nayar, India’s biggest self-made billionaire, is bound to produce imitators, not only of its method but also of its products.
  • Traditional beauty businesses might rapidly adopt and adapt to online modes.
  • With Nykaa, we have a woman-led startup that finds global-scale success focusing primarily on the Indian market and the purchasing power of its women, in a matter of nine years.
  • Nykaa’s success should inspire many more women to shed their anxieties and embrace entrepreneurship, powered by technology.
  • The same success should encourage venture capital to fund such entrepreneurs.
  • That should change social attitudes towards women, their capabilities and ambitions, and move society closer to gender equality.

Financial News

  • The government on Wednesday approved increase in ethanol prices, restoration and continuation of Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), and support of ₹17,408.85 crore to Cotton Corporation of India for minimum support price (MSP) operations.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also raised prices of sugarcane-based ethanol by up to ₹1.47 per litre for blending with petrol for the supply year 2021-22.
  • The price of ethanol extracted from C heavy molasses has been increased to ₹46.66 per litre, from ₹45.69, and that of ethanol obtained from B heavy molasses to ₹59.08, from ₹57.61.
  • Ethanol produced from sugarcane juice, sugar/sugar syrup is ₹63.45 per litre, up from ₹62.65.
  • Transportation charges and GST will have to be paid separately.
  • Oil marketing PSUs such as Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL obtain ethanol from distilleries at government-determined rates to mix with petrol.
  • The Cabinet also approved the restoration of MPLADS for the remaining part of FY22, wherein MPs will get ₹2 crore for local area development.
  • From next fiscal year, they will get ₹5 crore per annum till 2025-26.
  • US Joins India-led International Solar Alliance as 101st Member
  • This will be an important contribution to more rapid deployment of solar globally.
  • Given the criticality of solar energy in the transition to a net-zero economy underpinned by a transition away from fossil fuels and the geopolitical situation, the US participation in the ISA was a logical step.
  • Solar energy is at the heart of the urgent climate action,” said Kerry in his address to the ISA Assembly.
  • India is keen to lower imports of 102 products, including computers, urea, cotton, lentils, cameras, tractor parts and machinery.
  • The commerce and industry ministry has identified these ‘priority products’ and asked at least 15 other ministries to explore ways to enhance domestic manufacturing capacity to reduce imports.

NEWS

  • Efforts in field of indigenization through Make in India initiative is showing results: Rajnath Singh
  • President Kovind to preside over 51st Conference of Governors, LGs today
  • India’s COVID vaccination coverage crosses 110 Crore
  • Heads of National Security Councils of seven nations call on PM Modi
  • EAM S. Jaishankar holds talks with Secretary General of GCC Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf
  • India has mere 37 months before the deadline to end TB in country: Dr Bharati Pawar
  • Vice President, PM express grief over loss of lives due to bus-tanker collision in Rajasthan
  • Myanmar’s junta charges detained US journalist with terrorism, sedition
  • 10th Nov is World Science Day; Theme for this year is ‘Building Climate-Ready Communities
  • Polish PM accuses Russian President of masterminding Belarus migrant ‘attack’
  • US judge rejects former President Trump’s request to keep papers secret in Capitol riot probe

Q.) Indian Government has decided to lift its ban on which Italian defene firm that was involved in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal?

  1. Leonardo
  2. Dassault
  3. Thales
  4. Alenia

Q.) Which city has been selected by UNESCO as a creative city?

  1. Delhi
  2. Lucknow
  3. Srinagar
  4. Kolkata

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