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The Hindu Editorial News Analysis 5th Dec 2017

The one-election idea is a farce

  • Case for holding simultaneous elections in the diverse, federal Indian polity is weak
    Address on National Law Day 2017, PM Narendra Modi -“one nation one election”
  • Mr. Modi – four reasons:
    1)-Massive expenditure;
    2)-Diversion of security and civil staff•from primary duties;
    3)-Impact on governance due to the model code of conduct, and
    4)-Disruption to normal public life.
  • The cost factor
  • The Election Commission incurs a total cost of roughly •8,000 crore to conduct all State
    and federal elections in a span of •five years, or roughly •1,500 crore every year.
  • Nearly 600 million Indians vote in India‟s elections, which means, it costs •27 per voter
    per year to keep India an electoral democracy. Is this a “massive” expense?
  • Surely, 0.05% of India‟s total annual expenditure is not a large price to pay for the pride of being the world‟s largest and most vibrant electoral democracy.
  • The notion that elections are prohibitively expensive is false and misleading.
  • Code of conduct and polls
  • If India is indeed embarking on a path of “cooperative federalism”as the PM also claims,
    then more such projects will be undertaken by each State and not by the Centre.
  • So, why should elections in one State hinder governance in the rest of the States?
  • The solution is to reform the code and not the electoral cycle.
  • Real reason is that the two national parties are excessively dependent
    on their national leaders‟ campaigns in State elections, as seen in Gujarat
  • Voter behaviour
  • My research on all simultaneous elections to State Assemblies and Parliament between
    1999 and 2014 shows that simultaneous elections do have an impact on voter behaviour.
  • In 77% of these constituencies, voters chose the same political party for both State and Centre
  • Political autonomy
  • Today, any elected State government can choose to dissolve its Assembly and call for
    fresh elections- If elections are to be held simultaneously, States will have to give up
    this power and wait for a national election schedule.

Stand up against torture

  • India has undermined its prestige by repeatedly promising and failing to ratify Convention Against Torture
  • Convention Against Torture (CAT) came into force in 1987 and India signed it in 1997.
  • Today, the CAT has 162 state parties; 83 are signatories.
  • In refusing to ratify the CAT, India is in the inglorious company of Angola, the Bahamas,
    Brunei, Gambia, Haiti, Palau, and Sudan.
  • In 2008, at the universal periodical review by the Human Rights Council
    (HRC)-India‟s response was that ratification was “being processed”
  • India‟s NHRC had reported a significant number of torture cases involving police and
    security organisations.
  • Again this year,at the universal periodical review, India reiterated “its commitment to ratify
    the CAT”-India has been making promises but doesn‟t seem intent on keeping them
  • torture cases have escalated in India- In Raghbir Singh v. State of Haryana (1980),
  • Shakila Abdul Gafar Khan v. Vasant Raghunath Dhoble (2003)
  • Munshi Singh Gautam v. State of M.P. (2004)

A step forward

  • Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 was an excellent attempt by Parliament to draft new
  • Which focusses on
    1)-Murder and broken bones (grievous hurt),
    2)-Torture was expanded to include food deprivation,
    3)-Forcible feeding,
    4)-Sleep deprivation,
    5)-Sound bombardment,
    6)-Electric shocks,
    7)-Cigarette burning, and other forms.
  • The Bill was allowed to lapse.
  • Law Commission of India was considering the issue
  • implementing its promises made to the UN, the government has undermined
  • India‟s prestige- To be a world power, India must act like one.

Bail-in doubts

  • Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017.
  • Introduced in Parliament this August, it has caused great anxiety about the safety
    of funds parked by millions of households in bank deposits — fears that it will enable
    banks to be „bailed in‟ by depositors‟ funds rather than being „bailed out‟ by taxpayers
    (or potential buyers)
  • The government has promised a •2.11-lakh crore recapitalisation plan for public sector banks that are now taking haircuts on defaulted loans being put through Insolvency and
  • Bankruptcy
  • A bail-in is rescuing(बचाव) a financial institution on the brink of failure by making its
    creditors and depositors take a loss on their holdings.
  • A bail-in is the opposite of a bail-out, which involves the rescue of a financial institution by
    external parties, typically governments using taxpayers money.
  • Mr. Jaitley said a „lot of corrections‟ could still take place
  • The Bill proposes the scrapping of the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (set up in the early 1960s in the aftermath of the collapse of two banks), which guarantees
    repayment of bank deposits up to •1 lakh in case a bank is liquidated.

Prelims Focus Facts-News Analysis

  • Page-1– Rape of minors to attract death in M.P.
  • The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a Bill awarding death to tho se found guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below.
  • With this, Madhya Pradesh becomes the fist State.
  • Opening bank account in new city to get tough
  • If you are going to move cities, you will need to submit proof of your new address
    as validated by your passport, driving licence or voter card, within three months of opening
    a bank account
  • requirement stems from a change in the antimoney laundering rules as notified by the
    Finance Ministry that mandates •five specific documents as proof of „present‟
    address that a customer needs to submit to a bank branch for opening a new account.

  • Extradition hearing of Mallya starts
  • Rahul is sole nominee for post of Congress president
  • Actor Shashi Kapoor passes away
  • Rajasthan Ordinance lapses
  • The controversial criminal law Ordinance of the Rajasthan government, which
    gave protection to the public servants and imposed restrictions on the media,
    lapsed here on Monday
  • Centre prepares to redefine „employment‟
  • Government‟s own data showed that job creation in the formal sector was slowest in almost a decade- NITI Aayog.
  • 15th Finance Commission to get inputs from stakeholders
  • The Fifteenth Finance Commission held its •first meeting on Monday, where it held
    preliminary discussions regarding its terms of reference, and agreed that it would expedite meetings with the government and the various stakeholders in order to meet those terms.
  • Coffee exports rise 8% till November
  • „Maggi meets latest food safety norms‟


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