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The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 21 September 2023

The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC

The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 20 September 2023

  • Twenty-seven years after a Women’s Reservation Bill was first introduced in Parliament, the Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed such a Bill with near unanimity, to amend the Constitution and provide one-third reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies.
  • The Bill will now be taken up by the Rajya Sabha for passage in the remaining two days of the Special Session of Parliament and might require approval from half of the States.

 The Hindu Editorial Today

  • With 454 members of the Lok Sabha supporting the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Eighth) Bill 2023, the constitutional requirement of a “two-thirds majority of the members present and voting” was easily met. Only two members, the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s Asaduddin Owaisi and Syed Imtiyaz Jaleel, opposed the Bill.

  • Share of women parliamentarians has never exceeded 15% in the past general elections
  • First introduced in 1996 in the Lok Sabha by the H.D. Deve Gowda-led United Front government, the Bill did not get the approval of the House. It was reintroduced many times subsequently but failed to pass muster and lapsed with the dissolution of Houses.
  • As per the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2023, or the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, a third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies is proposed to be reserved for women. However, the amendment to the Constitution comes with a caveat that it can be implemented only after a delimitation exercise — scheduled to be held in 2026 — has been completed, using data from the latest Census conducted after the passage of the Bill. This effectively pushes the earliest year of implementation to the 2029 general election.
  • After implementation, there should be at least 181 (approximately 33.3% of seats) women members in the Lower House. At present there are 82 women in the Lok Sabha which amounts to 15% of its member
  • In the case of the sitting State Legislative Assemblies, the share of women MLAs is far lower with just one State — Tripura— touching the 15% mark
  • In the 2023 election, Nagaland got its first two women MLAs. Mizoram too has not had a women MLA in the past seven Assemblies.
  • The share of women in India’s Parliament is also among the lowest in the world. When compared with BRICS nations, including the new members, India has the second-lowest share (15%), just above Iran (6%). Over time, South Africa and Ethiopia have made giant strides in women representation in their national legislatures.

  • The itch to get there first and fast is human. Being competitive is part of the human’s survival instincts.
  • With the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1958 seeing many players becoming active in Antarctica, and fears of Cold War rivalry taking unexpected turns, United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower convened in 1959 an Antarctic Conference of the 12 countries active in Antarctica during the IGY, to negotiate a treaty.
  • The earth’s seas and ice are different from the sky and its spheres but we know that there has long been an Antarctic-type race in outer space between the powers which have perfected, with great toil and at great expense, to penetrate it and go higher and higher, faster and faster, than their several peers.
  • “The success of Chandrayaan 3 is not just India’s alone but it belongs to all of humanity” — was wise and responsible.

  • What is the Outer Space Treaty 1967?
  • The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies is a treaty that lays the foundation of international space law.
  • India is a party to the Outer Space Treaty.
  • The treaty prohibits countries from placing nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction into orbit around the Earth.
  • Furthermore, it also restricts the use of such weapons on celestial bodies, such as the moon, or in outer space, all parties to the treaty agree to use them exclusively for peaceful purposes.

  • The standout from this meeting was the elevation of U.S.-Vietnam relations to a U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
  • he geopolitics involving China’s growing belligerence in the Pacific theatre, felt most palpably in the waters surrounding Vietnam and the broader South China Sea, has proven to be a first order deterrent for Vietnam’s great power engagements.
  • This complex foreign policy legacy is the reason why hitherto Vietnam has entered into a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ with only four nations: China, Russia, India and South Korea.
  • This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords signed in 1973 to end the Vietnam War.
  • The war in Europe has thrown new challenges for Vietnam as its weapons import from Russia — its largest defence supplier — has been hit by West-led sanctions.

  • India had its rain-wise driest August in a century this year.
  • One of the more desperate, and dangerous, ideas to have emerged from this impetus is solar radiation management (SRM): to block some of the incoming solar radiation to cool the earth’s surface. SRM’s dangers emerge from the fact that it interferes with natural mechanisms with unavoidable planet-wide effects.
  • For example, if an SRM experiment by one country leads to more rain over the Horn of Africa than expected, it could trigger a locust swarm that eventually destroys crops in Pakistan and India.
  • The enormity of climate change requires quick and decisive action, but when better solutions have not been implemented as well as they can be, and while there is still time to do so, it is disingenuous to contend that more high-risk solutions should remain on the table.

  • The Abraham Accord between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain is mediated by the USA. It is the first Arab-Israeli peace deal in 26 years.(2020)
  • Bringing Israel, the UAE and Bahrain together reflects their shared concern about Iran’s rising influence in the region and development of ballistic missiles. Iran has been critical of both deals.
  • Even so, the scope of trade between Israel and other West Asian countries increased 74% between 2021 and 2022. Another example is tourism, mostly non-existent in the past, which has skyrocketed. In 2021, visits from Israel to the UAE increased by 172%. Meanwhile, the number of Israelis flying to Bahrain since the establishment of direct flights has increased exponentially.

  • Azerbaijan and Armenian forces reached a ceasefire agreement on Wednesday to end two days of fighting in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region that has been a flashpoint for decades, officials on both sides said.
  • On Tuesday, Azerbaijan unleashed heavy artillery fire on Armenian positions in Nagorno-Karabakh — a mountainous region that is part of Azerbaijan and came under the control of ethnic Armenian forces during a separatist war in the 1990s.
  • While Turkiye threw its weight behind Azerbaijan, Russia has taken on a mediating role and brokered the armistice that ended the 2020 fighting.

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