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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 25th September ’21 | PDF Download

Howdy, Biden, It’s India Here | ET

  • Narendra Modi and Joe Biden met yesterday.
  • Covid-wracked world has brought enormous new challenges to both India and the US
  • Staying together on multiple issues is essential
  • Investments and related areas – low-hanging fruits
  • The US’ direct position abroad in 2020 was at $6.15 trillion
  • Of which India got $41.9 billion
  • $124 billion went to China
  • China has suddenly taken a turn towards ‘more equity’ at home, which poses a significant threat to US investments there.
  • Beijing has also put government officials on the boards of Alipay, DiDi, Tencent & other such companies.
  • There is talk of nationalising DiDi, the world’s biggest ride-hailing company.
  • Edtech, luxury companies and technology giants lost billions of dollars in market value by the time they figured out that Xi meant business when he spoke of ‘common prosperity’.
  • Thus, US companies would need to figure out alternatives, and India should position itself at the head of the table during Modi’s US visit.
  • This poises India deliciously to go on an overdrive with the Fortune 500 companies to manufacture more in India.
  • Already, about 400 of them do their R&D and back-office analytics here.
  • Vietnam today routinely exports $30-35 billion (₹2.2-2.6 lakh crore) worth of mobile phones every year.
  • India, in comparison, stand at $2-3 billion (₹14,769-22,154 crore) — despite having one of the largest mobile phone factories in the world.
  • For most mega investments, the challenges are three-fold: land, incentives and approvals.
  • A PMO-led empowered team, alongside the concerned GoI secretaries and, say, five state governments (where clusters for specific industries exist) should reach out to these companies.
  • Why can’t the leadership of Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, for instance, go with GoI and pound the doors of Tesla or First Solar with their respective mega investment offerings, including draft agreements and contracts, which can be modified after negotiations with each company?
  • After all the glitzy presentations are over and done with, real business can’t be left to the mercy of our bureaucracies or local political leadership.
  • For the first time in decades, India has chosen to send the right signals to investors by offering an attractive hassle-free settlement to ongoing litigations with Cairn, Vodafone et al.
  • Another stellar signalling effect would be for the dialogues in the US to put at rest all the issues around the equalisation levy (EL).
  • e-Commerce operators are to calculate equalization levy as a percentage of the entire consideration for supply collected by them, as opposed to the commission accruing to them.
  • If US immigration allows pre-boarding clearance to passengers in Abu Dhabi and Ireland, the same can be extended to Bengaluru and Mumbai.
  • This will be a boon for techies and corporates who wouldn’t have to wait in queue in the US on arrival.
  • Reciprocally, India could consider Indian immigration clearance in ‘hubs’ such as San Francisco, Houston and New York, which will greatly benefit Indians coming to India.
  • This is a simple gesture that can enhance goodwill and help people in both countries.
  • Investors usually say that the biggest risk for anyone is not to be in China.
  • But given Beijing’s recent efforts, many US investors could well be reconsidering their positions.
  • India should position itself as a friendly alternative to fill the gap, while assuaging investors about genuine concerns they have about India.
  • Make no mistake — there are no long lines waiting to rush into India, as we would like to believe.
  • India needs to build that line, through sustained, careful positive aggression to attract investors.

The New EU Kid on Geopolitical Block | ET

  • Formation of a new Australia, Britain and US grouping only strengthens the Quad and its purpose of keeping the Indo-Pacific free and open.
  • In other words, India stands only to gain from the so-called Aukus.
  • Speaking to the European parliament, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged the creation of European defence capability.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron had talked of the need for Europe to redefine its strategic capability outside US-led Nato.
  • Now, in the wake of Joe Biden’s decision to leave Afghanistan before the end of August, announced without consulting his European allies, and the mess that it has created, European receptivity to the need for Europe to carve out its own geopolitical identity increases.
  • But prolonged dependence on the US for geopolitical leadership has left Europe inert in the face of challenges that trouble the US relatively less, such as when Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko ‘diverted’ a Ryanair flight to an unscheduled stop in his country to arrest a dissident.
  • India is conditioned to think privacy regulation and trade talks, when it comes to the EU.
  • The EU is more than its individual members, with most of whom India has excellent ties.
  • Time for Indo-EU political engagement.

Tackling hate speech | TH

  • A speech by a Bishop belonging to the Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala – ‘narcotic jihad’
  • He accused a few Muslim groups of giving Catholic girls narcotics or wooing them with the aim of religious conversion or of taking them to terrorist camps abroad.
  • This controversy has occasioned intriguing questions about hate speech regulation.
  • It is important to consider — philosophically and morally — what justifies prohibiting hate speech.
  • In Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942), the U.S. Supreme Court held that their Constitution does not protect “insulting or ‘fighting’ words — those which, by their very utterance, inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”
  • This is the core principle behind hate speech prohibition.
  • It is important to think why liberal democracies prohibit some types of speech on grounds that they are ‘injurious’.
  • Lord Bhikhu Parekh, a British academic, said: “(Hate speech) views members of the target group as an enemy within, refuses to accept them as legitimate and equal members of society, lowers their social standing, and… subverts the very basis of a shared life. It creates barriers of mistrust and hostility between individuals and groups, plants fears, obstructs normal relations…, and… exercises a corrosive influence on the conduct of collective life.”
  • In Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan v. Union of India (2014), the Supreme Court of India quoted from the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision in Saskatchewan v. Whatcott (2013). It said that hate speech “impacts a protected group’s ability to respond to the substantive ideas under debate, thereby placing a serious barrier to their full participation in our democracy.”
  • Relentless accusations have successfully sidelined the real concerns of the community, including social and educational backwardness.
  • Values of social tranquility and substantive equality justify laws such as Section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which prohibits “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc. and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”.
  • In a national scenario where hate has become an ideology and its impact on society is fatal, we need to think about countering it with political and jurisprudential means.
  • In India, hate speech is not defined under the Constitution or in the penal statutes.
  • There is no specific legislation on it.
  • It is not easy to design an accurate anti-hate speech law, due to its inherent potential for misuse.
  • This is why we need a political and pedagogical solution to the menace.
  • The Constitution’s ideas of equality, liberty and fraternity must be made topics of continuing public education.
  • It must also take a secular stand based on the rule of law and educate the masses.


  • Indian economy on path of revival & growth getting stronger: FM Nirmala Sithraman
  • Centre notifies Production Linked Incentive Scheme for automobile & auto components
  • More than 84.82 crore vaccine doses administered in country so far
  • President Ram Nath Kovind confers National Service Scheme Awards for 2019-20
  • UPSC announces final result of Civil Services Exam, 2020; Shubham Kumar gets 1st rank
  • MIB Anurag Thakur inaugurates five days ‘First Himalayan Film Festival’ in Leh
  • IIT Bombay stands among top 22 % in 2022 QS Graduate Employability Rankings
  • Union Minister Piyush Goyal to arrive in Shimla today on 3-day visit to Himachal Pradesh
  • General Atomic CEO Vivek Lall lauds India’s policies and reforms in the field of drones
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warns of human rights catastrophe under military rule in Myanmar
  • Over 70 people arrested in Burkina Faso in connection with money laundering, funding of armed groups
  • Five climbers dead after a blizzard on Europe’s highest peak ‘Mount Elbrus’

Q.) 2500 Rhino horns were turned to ashes in which state on World Rhino Day?

  • West Bengal
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Arunachal Pradesh

Q.) Which vaccine has been authorised by US as a booster shot for elderly and high-risk adults?

  • Janssen by J&J
  • Pfizer
  • Moderna
  • Covishield


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