The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC
- More than three decades after the 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts, which gave constitutional status to local governments, State governments, through the local bureaucracy, continue to exercise considerable discretionary authority and influence over panchayats.
- In India, the powers of local elected officials (such as these sarpanchs in Telangana) remain seriously circumscribed by State governments and local bureaucrats in multiple ways, thereby diluting the spirit of the constitutional amendments seeking to empower locally elected officials.
- Gram panchayats remain fiscally dependent on grants (both discretionary and non-discretionary grants) from the State and the Centre for everyday activities.
- Broadly, panchayats have three main sources of funds — their own sources of revenue (local taxes, revenue from common property resources, etc.), grants in aid from the Centre and State governments, and discretionary or scheme-based funds.
- Even when higher levels of government allocate funds to local governments, sarpanchs need help accessing them. An inordinate delay in transferring approved funds to panchayat accounts stalls local development.
- State governments also bind local governments’ through the local bureaucracy. Approval for public works projects often requires technical approval (from the engineering department) and administrative approval from local officials of the rural development department, such as the block development officer, a tedious process for sarpanchs that requires paying multiple visits to government offices.
- The situation in Telangana is a reminder for State governments to re-examine the provisions of their respective Gram Panchayat laws and consider greater devolution of funds, functions, and functionaries to local governments.
- 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments were passed by Parliament in December, 1992. Through these amendments local self-governance was introduced in rural and urban India.
- The Acts came into force as the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 on April 24, 1993 and the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992 on June 1, 1993.
- These amendments added two new parts to the Constitution, namely, added Part IX titled “The Panchayats” (added by 73rd Amendment) and Part IXA titled “The Municipalities” (added by 74th Amendment).
- Independent Election Commission in each State for superintendence, direction and control of the electoral rolls (Article 243K).
- India has identified several priorities, i.e. green development, climate finance and LiFE (lifestyle for environment); accelerated, inclusive and resilient growth; accelerating progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); technological transformation and digital public infrastructure; multilateral reforms; and women-led development. Given that the priorities are global, the motto “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, or “One Earth, One Family, One Future”, underscores how interconnected our world is.
- The majority of problems that South Asian countries face are global in nature, transcend national borders, and necessitate group effort.
- India needs to promote collective action at the G20 that results in economic stability and peace in the region.
- As South Asia’s largest country with the largest economy and significant global clout, India is well poised to represent the subcontinent at these international fora.
- The majority of South Asian nations produce their energy from fossil fuels; 63% of the region’s emissions of greenhouse gases come from energy generation. Since dollars are short in supply, it has become challenging for countries to keep up with energy production.
- Improving health infrastructure is quite important for South Asia and the G20 agenda. The discussion of global cooperation needs to go beyond technology transfers and financial aid to cover losses and damages brought on by climate change.
- For South Asia, it is important that multilateral organisations and development finance institutes supporting economic development and good governance are reformed as these countries are major stakeholders for these global institutes.
- Being the only G20 member from South Asia, India has added responsibilities since many non-G20 nations (particularly those in the global South) look upon India to represent their interests at the G20, whose choices have an impact on their future prosperity and well-being.
- All eyes are on India’s G20 leadership to provide a road map to tackle some of the major challenges before the subcontinent at a time when multilateralism itself is experiencing a crisis of relevance.
- India should use its G20 chair to reform international governance procedures and ensure fair negotiations.
- December 2022 marked the steepest fall in two years for India’s goods exports, with products worth $34.5 billion shipped out — 12.2% lower than a year ago.
- These include the clouds of recession blowing through Europe and the U.S., the COVID-19 situation in China and a reversion towards protectionism in some markets.
- Amid these tumultuous times, a month-on-month reading of export trends is perhaps a better way to gauge the situation.
- The last time China’s population saw a decline was in 1961, in the midst of a devastating four-year famine following Mao’s failed “Great Leap Forward” campaign. The latest decline in population, however, is no blip. The shrinking of the world’s most populous country by as much as 8,50,000 in 2022 marks a watershed moment with lasting consequences for China and the world.
- China’s economy is already feeling the impact of demographic change. The 16-59 working age population (2022), was 875 million, a decline of around 75 million since 2010. Wages are rising, and labour-intensive jobs are moving out, predominantly to Southeast Asia.
- The paper pointed out that India’s proportion of child and elderly population in 2020 was similar to China’s in 1980, just when its economic boom took off. That was made possible only by making the most of its demographic dividend by investing heavily in health care and education to fashion a workforce capable of powering what would become the world’s factory.
- Google is laying off 12,000 workers, or about 6% of its workforce, becoming the latest tech company to trim staff as the economic boom that the industry rode during the COVID-19 pandemic ebbs.
- Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google’s parent Alphabet, informed staff Friday at the Silicon Valley giant about the cuts in an e-mail that was also posted on the company’s news blog.
- It’s one of the company’s biggest-ever round of layoffs and adds to tens of thousands of other job losses recently announced by Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook parent Meta and other tech companies as they tighten their belts amid a darkening outlook for the industry. Just this month, there have been at least 48,000 job cuts announced by major companies in the sector.
Q) What is the main factor that determines a country’s total fertility rate (TFR)?
- The number of children per woman
- The number of women of childbearing age
- The number of marriages in a country
- The number of births per year
किसी देश की कुल प्रजनन दर (TFR) को निर्धारित करने वाला मुख्य कारक क्या है?
- प्रति महिला बच्चों की संख्या
- प्रसव उम्र की महिलाओं की संख्या
- किसी देश में विवाहों की संख्या
- प्रति वर्ष जन्म की संख्या
- TFR is calculated by taking the number of children born per woman and multiplying it by the number of women of childbearing age.
- It is a measure of the number of children that a woman is likely to have in her lifetime.
Q) What are the main functions of the United Nations Security Council?
- To maintain international peace and security
- To promote human rights and economic development
- To resolve disputes between member states
- All of the above
संयुक्त राष्ट्र सुरक्षा परिषद के मुख्य कार्य क्या हैं?
- अंतरराष्ट्रीय शांति और सुरक्षा बनाए रखने के लिए
- मानव अधिकारों और आर्थिक विकास को बढ़ावा देने के लिए
- सदस्य राज्यों के बीच विवादों को हल करने के लिए
- उपरोक्त सभी
- The United Nations Security Council has multiple functions, including maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, and resolving disputes between member states.
Q) How can individuals protect themselves from falling for fake news?
- Only reading news from reputable sources
- Checking multiple sources for the same story
- Being skeptical of clickbait headlines
- All of the above
फेक न्यूज के झांसे में आने से लोग खुद को कैसे बचा सकते हैं?
- केवल प्रतिष्ठित स्रोतों से समाचार पढ़ना
- एक ही कहानी के लिए कई स्रोतों की जांच करना
- क्लिकबैट सुर्खियों में संदेह होना
- उपरोक्त सभी
- All of the above strategies can help protect individuals from falling for fake news. Reading news from reputable sources, checking multiple sources, and being skeptical of clickbait headlines can all help individuals identify fake news.
Q) World Social Report 2023 is released by
- UN DESA
विश्व सामाजिक रिपोर्ट 2023 किसके द्वारा जारी की जाती है
- यूएन डीईएसए
- The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) published the World Social Report 2023, with the theme “Leaving No One Behind in an Aging World“.
Q) What is the criteria for appointment of Chief Justice of India?
- Political Affiliation
- Both a and b
भारत के मुख्य न्यायाधीश की नियुक्ति के लिए मानदंड क्या है?
- राजनीतिक संबद्धता
- दोनों ए और बी
- The appointment of the Chief Justice of India is based on both seniority and merit.
- The senior-most judge of the Supreme Court is considered for the post, but the President also takes into account the judge’s qualifications and experience.
Mains Practice Question:
Q) Critically evaluate the functioning of NITI Aayog since its inception. (150 words)
नीति आयोग की स्थापना के बाद से इसके कामकाज का आलोचनात्मक मूल्यांकन करें। (150 शब्द)
- India has undergone a paradigm shift over the past six decades – politically, economically, socially, technologically as well as demographically. The role of Government in national development has seen a parallel evolution.
- Keeping with these changing times, the Government of India set up NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), in place of the erstwhile Planning Commission, as a means to better serve the needs and aspirations of the people of India. NITI Aayog is basically a policy think tank of the Government of India and State Governments.
- Cooperative Federalism: It has enabled States to have active participation in the formulation of national policy, as well as achieving time-bound implementation of quantitative and qualitative targets through the combined authority of the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers.
- Competitive Federalism: This Cooperation is further enhanced by the vibrancy of Competitive Federalism. NITI Aayog comes up with performance-based rankings of States across various verticals fostering a spirit of competitive federalism. For eg. Health Index, Composite Water Management Index etc.
- Shared National Agenda: NITI Ayog has helped evolve a shared vision of national development priorities and strategies, with the active involvement of States thus furthering the ideals of unity and integrity in the nation.
- Knowledge and Innovation hub: NITI Aayog has acted as an accumulator as well as disseminator of research and best practices on good governance, through a state-of-the-art Resource Centre which identifies, analyses, shares and facilitates replication of the same. NITI Ayog has established more than 1,500 Atal Tinkering Labs in schools across the country to improve the innovation ecosystem in India.
- Monitoring and Evaluation: Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office monitors the implementation of policies and programmes, and evaluates their impact. This not only helps identify weaknesses and bottlenecks for necessary course correction, but also enables data-driven policy making, leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness of policies and programmes.
- NITI Aayog needs to adopt a bold, unconstrained and unconventional approach to resolve inherent contradictions of our systems and find innovative solutions to the differences among the states and between the centre and the states to take this country forward on a sustainable path of all-inclusive development on a substantially higher trajectory.
Mains Practice Question:
Q) Do you think that Constitution of India does not accept principle of strict separation of powers rather it is based on the principle of ‘checks and balance’? Explain. (2019) (250 words)
क्या आपको लगता है कि भारत का संविधान शक्तियों के सख्त पृथक्करण के सिद्धांत को स्वीकार नहीं करता है बल्कि यह ‘नियंत्रण और संतुलन’ के सिद्धांत पर आधारित है? समझाना। (2019) (250 शब्द)