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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 31st August ’21 | PDF Download

Year Of The Unicorn | ToI

  • Unicorn: a privately-held startup that’s valued at over $1 billion
  • Nasscom: India added 12 unicorns last year
  • Total 39 unicorns | third largest globally
  • The unicorn count at the end of year will be well past 50
  • Around $12.1 billion of private capital was raised by startups, exceeding last year’s fund-raising by more than $1 billion.
  • What’s driving this boom?
  • Internet penetration
  • Offline to Online transactions
  • FOMO: fear of missing out
  • Chinese government’s crackdown on its technology companies.
  • America’s National Security Commission on AI: China is an AI peer in many areas and a leader in some applications.
  • Given this background, the technology ecosystems of China and India are not strictly comparable.

The virtue of consistency | TH

  • On August 27, Friday, India set a new record for a single day’s vaccination — 10.7 million doses
  • The steep fall in vaccinations the very next day gives rise to scepticism.
  • Consistently vaccinating a large number of people daily
  • Ensuring that vaccines are available at all centres every day
  • The Government has belatedly revised the June 7 policy such that manufacturers will not set aside 25% of vaccines produced for private hospitals but instead supply as per demand and allot the remaining to the Government.

Taliban-India | IndExp

  • India’s enormous emotional investment in the Kabul government.
  • Taliban’s connections with Pakistan
  • Governments have no option but to come to terms, now or later, with the victor.
  • On August 2, the UNSC warned the Taliban against pursuing a military solution to the conflict and establishing an Islamic Emirate
  • On August 16, both the references were dropped as the Taliban took charge of Kabul.
  • And last week, the UNSC stopped referring to the Taliban by name and moved to a general appeal against letting Afghan territory be used by terror groups.
  • The rapidly-changing ground situation reminds us of the legendary headlines of a French newspaper as Napoleon escaped from confinement in Elba and marched on Paris in March 1815.
    • “The Cannibal has left his den”. “The Monster has landed”, “The Tyrant has passed through Lyon”
    • “The Usurper is 60 leagues from Paris”; “Bonaparte is advancing, but will never enter Paris”
    • “Napoleon will be below our ramparts tomorrow”
    • “The Emperor has arrived at Fontainebleau”; “His Imperial Majesty is in the Royal Palace”.
  • Enduring feature of world politics: there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests.
  • Consider reports that the US is providing intelligence inputs to the Taliban on the terror threats from ISIS-K.
  • When asked whether he trusts the Taliban, US President Joe Biden told the press that “It’s not a matter of trust — it’s a matter of mutual self-interest.”
  • For Delhi, the main interest is in preventing Afghan soil from being used by anti-India terror groups.
  • At least a section of the Taliban is eager to continue political and commercial engagement with India.
  • The head of the Taliban political commission Sher Mohammad Stanikzai underlined the movement’s interest in continuing the partnership with India.
  • Recall that in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi exploited the divisions in the Indian Communist movement for promoting her dominance over the Congress and reorienting India’s politics.
  • In the US, President Richard Nixon and his adviser Henry Kissinger actively exploited the differences between Russian and Chinese communists.
  • Despite its powerful appeal, religious ideology has failed to build durable political coalitions within and across nations.
  • Pan-Islamist movements have quickly splintered amidst sectarian tensions as well as the clash between nationalism and ethnicity on the one hand and the calls for religious solidarity on the other.
  • The various religious groups that Pakistan supported could not unite after the Soviet army was ousted from Afghanistan.
  • It had to create the Taliban to counter the Mujahideen.
  • The Taliban’s capture of power in 1996 produced a new set of ethnic and religious divisions within Afghanistan.
  • The Panchatantra has a more sensible strategy to offer — try and divide your potential adversaries and strengthen your internal unity.

India is indeed walking the green talk | TH

  • Did you know that even at the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (December 2020), India was the only G20 nation compliant with the agreement?
  • Or that the country has been ranked within the top 10 for two years consecutively in the Climate Change Performance Index, released by an independent international organisation that evaluates the performance of countries emitting 90%+ of global greenhouse gases (GHGs)?
  • Or that the Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme is the world’s largest zero-subsidy LED bulb programme for domestic consumers?
  • Despite these accomplishments, global pressures are intensifying on India to commit more towards the Conference of the Parties (COP26), scheduled for November 2021 in Glasgow.
  • Early this year, the COP26 President, Alok Sharma, and the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, visited India.
  • In July, the U.S. called out to every significant economy for committing to a meaningful reduction by 2030.
  • Examining World Bank data for CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita) over two decades since the Kyoto protocol informs that at the current rate, both China and the U.S. could emit five times more than India in 2030.
  • The U.K.’s emission levels could be more than 1.5 times that of India.
  • Brazil, with its dense forests, may end up at similar levels.
  • China, the world’s largest GHG emitter, joined the ‘race to zero’ and targets carbon neutrality by 2060.
  • “Most worryingly, China remains committed to supporting the coal industry while the rest of the world experiences a decline, and is now home to half of the world’s coal capacity.”
  • Recently, the U.S. rejoined the Paris Agreement and committed to reducing emissions by 50%-52% in 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.
  • The French government, during the novel coronavirus pandemic, set green conditions for bailing out its aviation industry.
  • Third instance in Australia when climate issues brought down its Prime Minister.
  • It illustrates how difficult it is for governments to develop policies to mitigate climate change.
  • India is on track (as reports/documents show) to meet and exceed the NDC commitment to achieve 40% electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based sources by 2030; this share is 38.18% (November 2020).
  • Similarly, against the voluntary declaration for reducing the emission intensity of GDP by 20%-25% by 2020, India has reduced it by 24% between 2005-2016.
  • As part of its mitigation efforts, India is implementing one of the most extensive renewable energy expansion programmes to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030.
  • India has also coupled its post-pandemic revival with environmental protection.
  • As part of the fiscal stimulus, the Government announced several green measures, including a $26.5-billion investment in biogas and cleaner fuels, $3.5 billion in incentives for producing efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) and advanced chemistry cell battery, and $780 million towards an afforestation programme.
  • India provided leadership for setting up the International Solar Alliance, a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, a partnership of governments, United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, the private sector, and knowledge institutions.
  • Other countries must deliver on their promises early and demonstrate tangible results ahead of COP26.


  • U.S. ends 20-year war in Afghanistan as final evacuation flight leave Kabul
  • US Secretary Antony Blinken says America’s work in Afghanistan to continue
  • UNSC led by India adopts resolution on Afghanistan; calls for safe passage of Afghans and all foreign nationals
  • India says Afghanistan territory should not be used to attack any country or shelter terrorists
  • Nation should remain vigilant and be prepared to deal with any threat: Rajnath Singh
  • India achieves another milestone in COVID vaccination; Crosses 64 crore mark
  • EAM S Jaishankar holds talks with diplomatic advisor to UAE President
  • VP M Venkaiah Naidu to launch digital quiz contest ‘Amrit Mahotsav With Khadi’
  • INS Airavat reaches Ho Chi Minh City Port in Vietnam with COVID Relief Material as part of Mission Sagar
  • PM Modi telephoned Sumit Antil, congratulates him on winning Gold & for historic performance
  • United States: Hurricane Ida weakens to tropical storm
  • North Korea appears to have restarted Yongbyon nuclear reactor, says IAEA
  • Janmashtami celebrated in Bangladesh, Govt. committed to build country in non-communal spirit says minister Obaidul Quader
  • India seeks response from Bangladesh to resume air-bubble flights from September 3
  • ‘All parties’ should guide the Taliban, China to US; calls on US to support new Afghan “political structure”
  • Tokyo Paralympics: India ends Day 6 on historic five Medal High; Prez, VP, PM laud medal winning para-athletes
  • Himachal CM announces cash reward of Rs 1 crore for Nishad Kumar for winning Silver medal at Paralympic Games
  • Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur launches FIT India Mobile Application

Q.) Who is in line to be the first woman Chief Justice of India?

  1. Justice Bela M Trivedi
  2. Justice Hema Kohli
  3. Justice B.V. Nagarathana
  4. Justice Indira Banarjee


Q.) India is expecting to conclude the Reciprocal Exchange of Logistical Agreement (RELOS) with which country, whose Defence Minister visitis India later this year?

  1. Poland
  2. Russia
  3. USA
  4. Belarus


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