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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 15th November ’21 | PDF Download

A lost cause | TH

  • Gadchiroli remains one of the few districts “severely affected” by left-wing extremism.
  • Gadchiroli, a largely forested and tribal-dominated district, is among Maharashtra’s poorest.
  • Deaths of 26 rebels in a police operation in Gadchiroli
  • There have been major encounters in the district, with recent ones involving the deaths of 40 Maoists in two separate operations in April 2018 and a landmine blast claiming 15 police personnel and a driver in May 2019.

  • In cycles of violence, they have managed their own strikes against security forces, but such attacks have not provided them any heft in expanding their presence or increasing their support base.
  • Neither are the conditions in India remotely closer to that of China in the 1920s, nor are the peasantry — whose support the Maoists deem as crucial to their project — enamoured of the Maoist programme or its reliance on guerilla struggle.
  • The Maoists’ refusal to acknowledge the diverse industrial base in the country, their rejection of liberal democratic instruments in the Indian state and the faith of the poor in the robust electoral system have blinded them to pursue a futile cause.
  • Maharashtra must not rest on its success in militarily diminishing the Maoist threat in Gadchiroli.
  • It must act continually in winning over the support of tribals in the region and retaining their faith in the liberal democratic institutions of the state.

Learning from the best in India’s COVID-19 fight | TH

  • During second wave of COVID-19, officials deep inside Madhya Pradesh’s tribal districts had to contend with an additional crisis: vaccinating a people firmly resistant to any coronavirus vaccines.
  • Jhabua, district in Madhya Pradesh: with one of the highest percentages of Scheduled Tribes population in India.
  • It was April 15, 2021, and less than 10% of the eligible population had been vaccinated.
  • By July, Jhabua saw a five-fold increase in vaccination uptake, with approximately 40% of eligible people in the district having received at least one dose.
  • In fact, as members from the department of Women and Child Development handed out turmeric-smeared rice to rural houses as a traditional means of welcoming people to vaccination programmes across the district, vaccination drives across the district saw a discernible uptick.
  • In February 2021, when India’s vaccination drive was initiated, health-care workers in Janefal, a rural hamlet with just over 500 residents in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district had a difficult time convincing people to get vaccinated.

  • To build trust and confidence, village heads and other front line workers set an example by getting vaccinated first.
  • They also did this on April 27, Hanuman Jayanti — an auspicious day for the locals.
  • In Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, the district administration in collaboration with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) addressed vaccine hesitancy effectively, too.
  • The NGOs enlisted the help of community members to write songs in tribal languages to share the benefits of getting vaccinated.
  • The district administration also recorded statements from village leaders in their own languages, regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness, and broadcast those messages throughout the district’s different villages.
  • In East Champaran, Bihar, district officials remarkably achieved 95% COVID-19 vaccination of adults in the Bankatwa block in just two days using what has been dubbed the “Bankatwa Way”.
  • If we can effectively share and disseminate learnings and highlight the best interventions from across different domestic geographies, we can take a step towards being better equipped to tackle health crises in the future.

Creating safe digital spaces | TH

  • UNESCO: first Thursday of November as the International Day against Violence and Bullying at School

  • The aim is to raise awareness among students, parents, members of the school community, education authorities and others about the problem of online violence and cyberbullying.
  • In India, an estimated 71 million children aged 5-11 years access the Internet on the devices of their family members, constituting about 14% of the country’s active Internet user base of over 500 million.
  • It should also be noted that two-thirds of Internet users in India are in the age group of 12-29 years.
  • School closures as a response to the COVID-19 lockdowns have led to an unprecedented rise in unsupervised screen time for children and young people, which in turn exposed them to a greater risk of online violence.
  • There is growing scientific evidence which suggests that cyberbullying has negative consequences on the education, health and well-being of children and young people.
  • A 2020 study by Plan International, involving 14,000 women aged 15-25 from across 22 countries, revealed that 58% of girls in the Asia-Pacific region reported online harassment.
  • Globally, of the girls who were harassed, 14% who self-identified as having a disability and 37% who identified themselves as from an ethnic minority said they get harassed because of it.
  • Children who are frequently bullied are nearly three times more likely to feel left out at school than those who are not.
  • We encourage students, parents, schools, education authorities, members of the education community and its partners to take part in preventing online violence and promoting the safety and well-being of young people.

Financial News

  • The central bank is likely to approach the Centre to secure tax benefits for retail investments in sovereign securities under the Retail Direct Scheme (RDS).
  • RDS which takes India into an elite club of nations democratising ownership of government debt.
  • Tax exemptions, have the potential to burnish the allure of the scheme.
  • Experts believe it could also attract global fintech companies such as BondEvalue.
  • Bonds globally haven’t been as successful as equities in drawing retail investors.
  • However, countries such as Japan have funded their development using domestic retail bond markets.
  • The US and Brazil, too, have put in dedicated efforts.
  • In India, fixed-income products such as small savings schemes or debt mutual funds offer better returns with similar tax structures.
  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana accounts, for instance, earn 7.6% while the Debt GILT funds offer on average 8.77% through a 10-year period, show data from Valueresearch Online.
  • By contrast, benchmark bonds yield 6.36%.
  • GOI bonds can be an alternative to LIC annuity plans as retail investors can invest in the longest maturity until 2061.
  • If an investor sells bonds from a demat account after holding them for more than a year, s/ he will have to pay a10% capital gain tax on investment appreciation.
  • Moreover, the annual coupon rate is taxed as per income tax slabs.
  • Collectively, that eats into investment returns.
  • In the February credit policy, Governor Shaktikanta Das had suggested retail participation in government bonds.
  • While the minimum investment is ₹10,000, the maximum a retail saver can invest is ₹2 crore per security without tax breaks.
  • The high-profile meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on cryptocurrencies on Saturday underscored the divergence between the government and the central bank on India’s stance toward virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and their trading platforms.
  • Most stakeholder departments at the meeting favoured some form of regulation of cryptocurrencies, but RBI is believed to have reiterated its advocacy of a ban, citing macroeconomic and financial stability concerns.
  • The wider view within the government is for a middle path favouring some form of regulation of cryptocurrencies, reasoning that technological changes and digital advances need to be taken into account.
  • One of the key issues flagged at the meeting by the central bank was that these virtual currencies were intangible, making regulation and taxation challenging.
  • The origin of virtual currencies or exchanges being outside the country would also make regulation difficult.
  • Security agencies also fear its wider use in money laundering and terror funding, while from the central bank’s view it poses a challenge on account of capital flows.
  • India is one of the countries yet to take a stand on whether to regulate or ban virtual currencies. While Japan has permitted them, China has imposed a ban.

NEWS

  • PM Modi transfers first installment of PMAY-G to more than 1.47 lakh beneficiaries of Tripura; More than Rs 700 cr credited directly to beneficiaries
  • President Ram Nath Kovind promulgates two ordinances extending tenure of CBI and ED Directors for up to 5 years
  • PM to virtually inaugurate Birsa Munda Museum today in Ranchi as a mark of respect to legendary freedom fighter; Also to address Jan Jatiya Diwas Mahasammelan in MP
  • Railways Passenger Reservation System to be shut down for six hours for next seven days: Railway Ministry
  • PM Modi to inaugurate Redeveloped Rani Kamlapati Railway Station in Bhopal today
  • Vice President Venkaiah Naidu calls for providing equal property rights to women
  • Ministry of Women and Child Development to host events for awareness on child rights
  • Union Minister Parshottam Rupala to launch Nationwide AHDF KCC Campaign today
  • Registrations for 52nd International Film Festival of India open; to showcase more than 300 films from across the world
  • Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri to attend Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference on a three-day visit to UAE

Q.) The Indian Airforce will showcase the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas at an air show next week. Where will the air show be held?

  • France
  • Germany
  • UAE
  • Malaysia

Q.) Which State Govt will bring a resolution in the Assembly against the Centre’s move to increase the territorial jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF)?

  • Rajasthan
  • Punjab
  • West Bengal
  • Gujarat

 

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