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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 19th November ’21 | PDF Download

Agreeing to disagree | TH

  • Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping virtual summit
  • There are multiple points of continuing strategic dissonance between the U.S. and China.
  • Both nations have things in their minds: find common ground on contentious issues including trade and tensions surrounding Taiwan and the South China Sea

  • March 2021, at a meeting in Anchorage, Alaska between senior officials from both countries
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that without the rules-based international order there would be a “much more violent world” and that Chinese activities in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, threaten that order, and were not internal matters.
  • Mr. Xi is consolidating power to secure a third term for himself, a process that will culminate next year in the CPC’s 20th Congress.
  • At the top of the policy agenda that is causing bilateral friction is trade.
  • After the bruising trade war with China prior to 2020, under a Trump White House, relief came in the form of the Phase 1 Trade Agreement, which requires that China buy $380 billion worth of American goods by the end of 2021.
  • That has not happened, according to some analysts, in part owing to a shortfall in orders from Beijing for Boeing aircraft in view of the aviation slowdown.
  • On Taiwan, the U.S. post-summit readouts suggest that Washington is adhering to its long-standing policy in this matter — that it acknowledges but does not recognise Beijing’s claim over Taiwan under the One China policy
  • The Chinese side indicated that Mr. Xi said, “It is playing with fire…..”

  • Such comments likely signal that China will respond robustly to any western moves seen as strengthening Taiwanese independence, for example through direct arms sales to Taipei.
  • Both sides will have to be even-handed in managing their conflicts on trade and regional tensions or else risk these issues spilling over into the global arena and disrupting the fragile ongoing recovery in economic growth and public health.

A stimulating alliance | TH

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: The Centre will release over ₹95,000 crore in one stroke to States this month.
  • Centre States must work in tandem to rev up the economy.
  • The Government set aside the spate of recent confrontations with States over revenue, GST compensation concerns, and their fears about ‘encroachment’ on their powers, to initiate an economy-focused dialogue independent of Budget consultations and GST Council machinations.
  • Its ready acceptance of States’ request to expedite the sharing of taxable revenues — as in the case of GST compensation for this year — is a token of the faith it seeks to imbue.
  • While most States have positive cash balances, access now to double the funds than usual will help them ramp up capital expenditure.
  • The cash flow could also help several States catch up on their capex targets, on which hinges an additional borrowing limit of 0.5% of their Gross State Domestic Product.
  • The Finance Ministry’s clarification that the excise duty cuts on petrol and diesel shall not dent the tax pool shared with States has also soothed frayed nerves.
  • The rare and ‘one-off’ meeting with CMs yielded several ideas and policy proposals, including a simple demand that the Centre share leads about prospective investors and enunciate a clear policy on green clearances.
  • While the Finance Ministry believes that investments are on the cusp of a take-off, public investments will need to do the heavy lifting for several more quarters before the private sector can be expected to spur the economy’s growth.
  • The Centre and States need to combine forces to make it an easier and swifter journey through red tape for potential investors.
  • Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said that just 10 States have joined the single window clearance system for investors, and four more may join next month.
  • It not only makes sense to sustain this free-wheeling economic dialogue with States because the economy still needs collective hand-holding, but it also merits a broad-basing of the framework to include key economic ministries, and occasionally, the Prime Minister too.
  • Closing this somewhat informal channel for dialogue with the States, outside the framework of NITI Aayog and the National Development Council, would be a wasted opportunity with embedded economic costs.

The heavy lifting on climate action must begin | TH

  • Will the recently concluded, and much reported on, Glasgow climate meeting (COP26) make a difference to humanity’s efforts to address global climate change?
  • Glasgow’s success was that it finished building the scaffolding for climate action initiated through the Paris Agreement.

  • But true success depends on whether countries are receptive to these nudges.
  • COP26 – ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDCs)
  • Glasgow strengthened the Paris Agreement mechanism of eliciting pledges from countries and ratcheting them up over time.
  • It requested countries to update and strengthen 2030 emission targets in their NDCs by the end of 2022, earlier than previously expected, created a benchmark of five yearly cycles for updates, urged countries to prepare long-term emissions strategies, and strengthened mechanisms to scrutinise both.
  • The Paris, and Glasgow, approach focusing on target-setting gives insufficient importance to the challenge of implementing those targets.
  • Long-term aspirational targets to ‘keep 1.5 alive’ get the headlines, but detailed shorter term 2030 targets, for which today’s politicians can be held accountable, have received less attention.
  • On coal specifically, India is actually on a strong footing substantively, as our investments in new coal-fired plants have been much less than projected even a few years ago.
  • From an environmental point of view, more explicit discussion of coal, but ideally all fossil fuels, is a positive, including for India.
  • From a developmental view, however, India is concerned that explicit mention of coal constrains us in our choice of fuel.
  • A possible way out is for India to explicitly seek global support for an accelerated transition away from coal, an approach taken by South Africa.
  • Climate finance promised to be the central issue of COP26, with considerable frustration from developing countries that the decade-long commitment of $100 billion had not been met.
  • South Africa announced it had received multi-donor support of $8.5 billion to support a ‘just transition’ out of coal, and India is reportedly negotiating support from the World Bank to address coal mine closures.
  • Developing countries have long insisted that publicly funded climate finance is a right devolving from the ‘polluter pays’ principle rather than aid.
  • There were two particularly important ‘nuts and bolts’ elements of what is called the ‘Paris Rulebook’ that were completed in Glasgow.
  • The transparency framework was completed, which includes reporting rules and formats for emissions, progress on pledges and finance contributions.
  • Completion of agreed rules for carbon markets, the complexities of which had stymied agreement for four years.
  • What Glasgow accomplished was necessary, if not sufficient, for accelerated climate action.
  • But the real determinant of success or failure rests on national politics and popular support for climate change within countries — how countries use the scaffolding.
  • A balanced view requires consideration of both objectives.

Sewa Amidst Strife | ToI

  • Gurdwaras have risen to the occasion – once again.
  • In the midst of a bitter and deeply troubling altercation over Muslims offering ‘jumma namaz’ at designated sites in Gurgaon, a committee overseeing five gurdwaras in the area has made it clear their doors are open to all to do ‘ibadat’, irrespective of religious denomination.
  • Remember how various gurdwaras had swiftly set up ‘oxygen langars’ when the second wave left people gasping for breath.
  • Or when last year’s north-east Delhi riots devastated even people with well-stocked kitchens, Sikh samaritans swiftly stepped in with cooked meals.
  • Such examples of Sikh ‘sewa’ are spread across the world, but in India they are countless.
  • In its unconditional hospitality, the langar has from its very origin been an explicit rejection of inequality, whether it be of religion, caste, class or gender.
  • The Gurgaon committee’s members reminded everyone that no one has to show their Aadhaar card to avail langar food, and neither will anybody have to show it to offer namaz on the gurdwara premises.
  • Heartwarmingly, especially in these times, these gurdwara leaders have also said that standing alongside harassed religious minorities is about holding together the nation.
  • In a country where religion spills over onto the streets everyday, observance and spectacle hand in hand, upholding of public order must be equitable.
  • The sanctuary from bigots that the state should have provided is being offered by gurdwaras, reminding us again why India should be proud of and learn from Sikhs’ concept of sewa.

Financial NEWS

  • The production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes will help Indian companies to achieve economies of scale and compete internationally, chief economic adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian said.
  • “It’s directed towards growth thereby providing firms incentives to get closer to the optimal scale. Consequently, reap economies of scale and reduce their average cost,” Subramanian said speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII’s) Global Economic Policy Summit on Thursday.
  • The scheme was launched to boost manufacturing in the country and make it self-reliant in certain key products.


  • PM Modi announces, Centre to repeal all three farm laws; Appeals to protesting farmers to call off agitation and return home
  • Govt to form a committee to promote zero budgeting based agriculture and make MSP more effective and transparent, says Prime Minister
  • Farm Unions and Opposition parties welcome Centre’s decision to repeal farm laws
  • Prime Minister to launch multiple initiatives to boost country’s Defence sector at ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’ at Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh
  • Over 115 crore 23 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the country so far

Q.) Which city will house the National Institute of Fashon Technology’s (NIFT) largest campus in the country?

  1. Srinagar
  2. Jodhpur
  3. Chennai
  4. Hyderabad

Q.) Which state has decided to give ration to only those who are fully vaccinated?

  1. Maharashtra
  2. Uttarakhand
  3. West Bengal
  4. Madhya Pradesh

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