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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 17th September ’21 | PDF Download

Three is company | TH

  • AUKUS – a new trilateral security partnership
  • Enduring freedom and openness in the Indo-Pacific region
  1. It complements several pre-existing similar arrangements for the region, including the Five Eyes intelligence cooperation initiative, ASEAN and the Quad, the last including India
  2. That it proposes to transfer technology to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia within 18 months

  • Australia has ratified the nuclear NPT
  • Mr. Biden went to lengths to assure the world that AUKUS was “not talking about nuclear-armed submarines.
  • These are conventionally armed submarines that are powered by nuclear reactors.
  • Australia will become only the second nation, after the U.K., that the U.S. has ever shared its nuclear submarine technology with.
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: under her country’s 1984 nuclear-free zone policy, Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines would not be allowed into the New Zealand’s territorial waters.
  • It also appeared to upset the political leadership in France, with whom Australia had struck a deal — now cancelled — for $90 billion worth of conventional submarines.
  • The creation of AUKUS begs relates to the unstated challenge that the group poses to the regional hegemonic ambitions of China
  • The transfer of nuclear propulsion technology to an ally in this context was intended to “send a message of reassurance to countries in Asia”.
  • Whether or not the purpose of AUKUS is to contain China’s aggressive territorial ambitions, the imperatives of the Indo-Pacific would be better served by broadening strategic cooperation initiatives of this sort to include other powers that are deeply invested in the region, including India, Japan, and South Korea.

Telecom reforms | Tribune

  • Digital India programme: aimed at transforming the country into a ‘digitally empowered society and knowledge economy’
  • Union Government has approved a major relief package for the debt-burdened telecom sector.
  • Such a bailout plan was long overdue – VI was on the brink of bankruptcy
  • In all, Vodafone and other telecom firms owed about Rs 92,000 crore to the Centre as licence fee and Rs 41,000 crore as spectrum usage fees.
  • The confidence-building measures include a
  1. Four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues
  2. The scrapping of the Spectrum Usage Charge for airwaves acquired in future spectrum auctions
  3. 100 per cent FDI (foreign direct investment) in the sector under the automatic route
  • The breather should hopefully spur the firms to overcome their financial woes and provide affordable and improved services.
  • The government has claimed that the reforms package is adequate for the survival of the existing players and will ensure robust competition, besides paving the way for the entry of new players.
  • What’s needed is a level playing field that can attract new firms and encourage investment, along with a sustainable tariff regime.
  • From the consumer’s point of view, the more choices he has the merrier.
  • India’s telecom sector has the potential to spearhead an economic turnaround.
  • The nation accounts for the world’s second-largest telecommunication market (after China) with a subscriber base of over 115 crore.
  • It is estimated that over the next five years, the rise in mobile phone penetration and the drop in data costs will add 50 crore new Internet users.
  • The disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past year and a half have driven more people towards digital platforms.
  • Still, the digital divide persists and the government has a key role to play in making digital resources universally accessible.
  • Much will depend on how transparently and effectively the reforms are implemented.

Lifeline for telecom | Business Line

  • Telecom sector – huge debt, low profit and declining cash flows for the past few years.
  • Slew of reforms is now aimed at  – improving the financial viability of the sector but also reducing procedural hassles impeding the provision of quality services to consumers.
  • Over the last 20 years, the telecom sector has turned out to be a graveyard for over two dozen companies, leading to massive erosion of value for stakeholders.

Unscientific | Telegraph

  • India’s telecom market is at the brink of becoming a duopoly with two of four key operators struggling to stay afloat.
  • The Centre wants to create a digital infrastructure to provide utility services like banking, education and healthcare to all.
  • The shift from voice to data services has meant that telecom operators have to invest billions in laying out new networks and acquiring spectrum to support bandwidth-guzzling applications.
  • Vodafone Idea would have had to shell out about ₹9,000 crore towards the AGR payments by March 31, 2022 and over ₹15,000 crore during FY23 towards spectrum.
  • The moratorium will help the industry in making debt repayments and undertaking capex.
  • According to ICRA, the moratorium will yield an annual cash flow benefit of ₹46,000 crore for the industry.
  • Analysts estimate industry debt at over ₹3.6 lakh crore, of which Vodafone Idea’s debt is pegged at nearly ₹2 lakh crore.
  • But if the Centre wants to ensure a long-term solution, it must bring down levies and taxes on telcos, who pay nearly 30 per cent of their revenues to the government.
  • Since the operators are buying spectrum through an auction mechanism, there is no reason to continue collecting licence fee or spectrum usage charge in the form of revenue share.
  • The reserve price for spectrum also needs to be brought down to match market sentiment.
  • That said, the industry should focus on offering best quality services instead of riding on sops.
  • India, according to a study, has emerged as the biggest source of misinformation pertaining to Covid-19 since the pandemic began.
  • Having trawled through over 9,000 pieces of ‘data’ across several countries, a researcher found that one out of six pieces of misinformation had been generated in India during this period.
  • Some of the nuggets reveal the extent of public ignorance.
  • Many Indians, for instance, were told that camphor, cloves — the researcher did not add cow dung — can neutralize the virus.
  • Centre’s decision to reopen the economy and press ahead with electoral exercises.
  • For instance, a former chief scientist of the Indian Council of Medical Research echoed the Narendra Modi government’s prejudicial targeting of an Islamic gathering as a super-spreader: the singling out of the congregation by the Centre was, subsequently, reprimanded by the Supreme Court.
  • Even more worrying is the charge of a diktat preventing scientists from publishing data that torpedoed the government’s claim that the situation was satisfactory.
  1. The first has been the wilful erosion of the scientific spirit so that myth can pass off as fact.
  2. The other is the weaponization of science to suit a political or ideological agenda.
  • Control over data — scientific, economic, health — would give an elected dispensation unwarranted power to distort public narrative.
  • A second — related — challenge concerns the contraction in the autonomy of scientists and the institutions they serve.
  • The Indian scientific fraternity must come forward to resist these predations by the government.
  • An examination of the history of science would show that scientific thought has always functioned as a form of resistance against dogma and bigotry, both of which ail India’s body politic today.

Just Not Justice | ToI

  • NCRB’s Crime in India report 2020
  • Much policing effort went into enforcing Covid-related social distancing norms
  • Covid also massively hobbled the judiciary, with lower court pendency up from 3.2 crore pre-pandemic to over 4 crore cases now.
  • Judiciary’s struggle is best illustrated by rape trials.
  • Besides 1.46 lakh rape cases pending trial from 2019, another 23,693 cases were sent for trial in 2020.
  • But only a paltry 3,451 cases from previous years and 363 from 2020 ended in conviction out of a total of 9,898 cases disposed of by courts.
  • In essence, backlogs grew to 1.6 lakh rape cases.
  • NCRB also throws light on states clamping down on protest.
  • UP’s resort to Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act (logging nearly half of India’s 4,500 cases) gives it the dubious record of accounting for nearly 40% of offences against the state in India.
  • Across states, 50,000 rioting and 10,000 unlawful assembly cases were lodged, a 12% rise from 2019.
  • But many categories of rioting offences saw abysmally low conviction rates, in the 10-20% range.
  • They also saw high court pendencies of over 96%.
  • The futility of widespread application of sedition charge is evident from the police adding 73 cases in 2020 to 157 pending investigations from previous years.
  • Courts initiated 23 sedition trials apart from 86 pending from previous years, and disposed of merely six cases by year end (four of them acquittals).
  • Ultimately, NCRB’s data makes a strong case for expediting judicial appointments given the huge pendency rate and improving the quality of policing, evident from low conviction rates in many heinous offences.
  • Will policymakers act?


  • PM Modi to address 21st Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State tomorrow
  • PM to participate in Quad Leaders’ Summit in Washington on September 24
  • Govt announces guarantee of up to Rs 30,600 crore to back Security Receipts to be issued by NARCL
  • FM Sitharaman to chair 45th meeting of GST Council tomorrow
  • Two Defence Office Complexes inaugurated in New Delhi
  • Govt says, COVID weekly positivity rate for last 11 weeks is below 3%
  • India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crosses 77 crore landmark milestone
  • Defence Ministry constitutes High-Level Expert Committee for a comprehensive review of NCC
  • Union Minister Narayan Rane lays foundation stone for development park in J&K
  • Target has been set by Centre to set up a water testing lab in all blocks of the country by 2023: Jal Shakti Minister
  • Heads of Tax Authorities of BRICS countries hold virtual meeting under Chairship of India
  • South Korea successfully tests submarine-launched ballistic missile

Q.) The Supreme Court on Monday called for reforms in the grounds for divorce and said the legislature has so far been reluctant to introduce __________ as a ground for divorce because marriage is considered “sacramental” and is supposed to be an “eternal union of two people” under the Hindu Law.

  1. Irretrievable breakdown of marriage
  2. Adultery
  3. Forceful sexual intercourse
  4. Financial abuse

Q.)The Government has restricted the funding for a group of 10 American, Australian and European NGOs dealing with environmental, climate change and child labour issues. They add to the more than 80 international voluntary agencies now on the PRC list of the fovernment. Whatdoes PRC stand for?

  1. Probhibition Resources Classification
  2. Preventive Reserve Category
  3. Prior Reference Category
  4. Peremptory Restrictions Classification



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