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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 7th September ’21 | PDF Download

Grow Up, States | ToI

  • The recently released white paper by the Tamil Nadu government saying that its fiscal position is precarious and that the state is deeply mired in debt makes for distressing reading.
  • Fiscal federalism is a politically contentious issue in all federations.
  • East Timor separated from Indonesia entirely because of a deepseated grievance about resource apportionment.
  • The current troubles in Ethiopia are only superficially ethnic
  • It is certainly true that states are structurally disadvantaged in raising revenues commensurate with their expenditure needs.
  • The entire scheme of central transfers to states is premised on correcting that imbalance.
  • Importantly, the bias in the scheme of resource transfers to states, and in the matter of autonomy over their use, has over time shifted substantially in favour of states.
  • As per the original constitutional mandate, states were getting a share in just two central taxes – personal income tax and Union excise duties.
  • That arrangement was changed in favour of states through a constitutional amendment in the year 2000 by giving them a share in the total taxes collected by the Centre on the ground, among other things, that states should enjoy the buoyancy of the entire pool of central taxes rather than just a couple of them.
  • The abolition of the Planning Commission too has increased the autonomy of states vis-à-vis the Centre.
  • Under the Planning arrangement, the Centre decided how much grant to give each state and for what use.
  • Now states get that money as part of statutory transfers with full discretion over where and how to spend it.
  • Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) are another perennial sore point.
  • CSS monies are given to states invoking the provisions of Article 282 of the Constitution.
  • The introduction of GST has opened another battlefront.
  • GST rates are decided by the GST Council
  • Some give and take is inevitable
  • GST led tax base expansion
  • Arresting tax leakage
  • Issue of cesses and surcharges
  • No matter how vociferous their demand, states are unlikely to get substantial additional support from the Centre given the latter’s own fiscal compulsions stretching into the medium term.
  • It is therefore imperative for states to restore the health of their finances through their own efforts if they want to get on to a virtuous cycle of growth and development.

Drone’s Economic Impact Will Match Internet’s | ToI  

  • Use of drone for mapping property
  • Transport medicines to a remote village
  • India enjoys a comparative advantage in terms of a large IT and engineering talent pool, as well as a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Conducive regulatory system
  • After several iterations and stakeholder consultations, and a strong push from the PM himself, the New Drone Rules 2021 were rolled out last month.
  • Riding on the fundamentals of trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring, the new rules mark a new paradigm for light-touch governance.
  • Right from procuring a Unique Identification Number necessary to register drones to self-generated permissions, ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ runs as a common thread with a clear delineation of the government’s role as a facilitator, and not an overbearing regulator.
  • Many approvals and clearances have been abolished
  • Fee categories have gone down
  • Security clearance before registration or licensing has been done away with
  • A single window clearance system called the ‘Digital Sky Platform’ for obtaining permissions, and an airspace map for identifying zonal restrictions will be released soon.
  • In the manufacturing sector itself, there are hardware components which form the skeleton of a drone.
  • Far more critical is the brain of the drone i.e. the software, which tells the drone where to go and what to do while flying from point A to B.
  • The emerging ecosystem would also trigger a multiplier effect in employment, as new job opportunities shall arise across the value chain, including but not limited to drone manufacturing, sales, insurance, pilots, counter-drone systems, drone repairs and so on.
  • Entrepreneurship will witness an explosion in terms of a whole new set of innovative startups.
  • These would catalyse virtuous demand and supply cycles that would help realise the PM’s Atmanirbhar Bharat vision.
  • Our eyes are set on the destination – the goal of India becoming the global drone hub for R&D, testing, manufacturing and operations by 2030.

From fighters to rulers | TH

  • After postponing the announcement twice, Taliban spokesmen have said that they expect to have a new government in Afghanistan this week.
  • The differences between the Taliban leadership in Helmand, Kandahar, and the political office in Doha, seen as the more “moderate” face, as well as between the “original” Afghan Taliban leadership and the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, a designated terror entity.
  • The jockeying is reportedly over cabinet portfolios, the appointment of governors in the 34 provinces, control of the cities and the possibility of including non-Taliban Afghan leaders.
  • Reports of the differences have escalated and the appearance in Kabul of the Pakistan ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, is believed to have been an attempt to smooth over the cracks in government formation.
  • Any government that gives the Haqqani group key positions will make it difficult for India to have a role in either diplomacy or development projects in Afghanistan, given previous terror attacks.
  • Any overt role for Pakistan, as well as China, will also raise red flags for New Delhi.
  • The Modi government has announced that it is now engaging the Taliban, with the first publicly acknowledged meeting in Doha last week.
  • India must use its voice on the international stage forcefully.
  • This includes blocking any move at the UNGA and UNSC to recognise the new regime, and stopping the delisting or exemptions to Taliban leaders at the 1988 sanctions committee, which India chairs, until the Taliban regime shows a willingness to comply.


  • PM Modi to address inaugural conclave of Shikshak Parv at 10:30 AM today
  • India administers over one crore doses of COVID vaccine in a single day; Vaccination coverage crosses 69.68 crore mark
  • 11 persons in contact list of Kozhikode Nipah virus victim develop symptoms of infection
  • Centre asks Kerala Govt to strengthen hospital, community based surveillance to contain outbreak of Nipah Virus
  • Railways introduces new AC-3-tier Economy Class coaches with reduced fare
  • Mansukh Mandaviya participates in G-20 Health Ministers Meeting 2021 hosted by Italian Presidency
  • Each and everyone of us should adopt at least one child to prevent malnourishment: Smriti Irani
  • ED questions TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee in coal smuggling case
  • PM Modi to address inaugural conclave of Shikshak Parv today through video conferencing
  • Afghanistan: Taliban claims to capture Panjshir Valley

Q.) How many women judges does the Supreme Court currently have?

  • Nine
  • Eleven
  • Three
  • Four

Q.) The Mukhyamantri Paryatan Samvardhan Yojana was launched earlier this year by the sitting CM of which State to promote local heritage and tourism sites?

  • Shivraj Singh Chouhan
  • Yogi Adityanath
  • Himanta Biswa Sarma
  • Ashok Gehlot


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