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The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 24 November 2022


The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC

docile “yes-man”
docile “yes-man”

The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 23 November 2022

  • The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the country needed Election Commissioners (ECs) who would not shirk from even taking on the Prime Minister if required, and not just “weak-kneed” yes-men.
  • “Suppose the Election Commissioner is asked to take on none less than the Prime Minister… we are just giving an example… And the Election Commissioner is so weak-kneed that he does not get around doing it. Will it not be a case of complete breakdown of the system?” Justice K.M. Joseph, heading a Constitution Bench, asked the government.
  • The court said an Election Commissioner should be one who could take a stand even risking his life, and not a docile “yes-man” whom the government knew would do its bidding.

The Hindu Editorial Today

ECI’s independence
ECI’s independence
  • The ongoing hearing before a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India on the need to have a neutral mechanism for appointment of Election Commissioners raises important questions on the election body’s functional independence.
  • However, given the Court’s vocal concern about the ECI’s independence, the relevant question now is whether the Commissioners should be appointed on the recommendation of an independent body.
  • Article 324(2) envisages a parliamentary law for the purpose, but no law has been enacted so far.
  • However, it should be remembered that since 1993, the ECI has become a multi-member body, comprising a CEC (chairman) and two Election Commissioners (EC).
  • The CEC has a six-year tenure, but should demit office on attaining 65. The Court has questioned the practice of appointing CECs close to that age so that they have only a brief tenure.
  • The real difference is security of tenure that could come from operational freedom and space. While Supreme Court judges have security of tenure — they can be removed only by impeachment by Parliament — only the CEC enjoys the same status.
  • The ECs can be removed on the CEC’s recommendation. There is a good case for extending the same tenure security to the ECs too, regardless of what kind of appointment process is in place.
Jallikattu is both a religious and cultural event
Jallikattu is both a religious and cultural event
  • Jallikattu is both a religious and cultural event celebrated by the people of Tamil Nadu and its influence extends beyond the confines of caste and creed, the State government has told the Supreme Court.
  • A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice K.M. Joseph is expected later in the week to hear a batch of petitions seeking to strike down a Tamil Nadu law which protects Jallikattu by claiming that the bull-taming sport is a cultural heritage of the State and is protected under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution.

What is Jallikattu?

  • The bull-taming sport is popular in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts known as the Jallikattu belt.
  • Jallikattu is celebrated in the second week of January, during the Tamil harvest festival, Pongal.
  • A tradition over 2,000 years old, Jallikattu is a competitive sport as well as an event to honour bull owners who rear them for mating.
  • It is a violent sport in which contestants try to tame a bull for a prize; if they fail, the bull owner wins the prize.

So, is it legal or banned now?

  • In January 2017, massive protests erupted across Tamil Nadu against the ban, with Chennai city witnessing a 15-day-long Jallikattu uprising.
  • The same year, the Tamil Nadu government released an ordinance amending the central Act and allowing Jallikattu in the state; this was later ratified by the President.
  • The amendment was subsequently approved by the President of India, effectively overturning the Supreme Court ban and allowing the sport to be played without any legal hurdle.
  • PETA challenged the state move, arguing it was unconstitutional (Article 29(1)).
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court referred the Jallikattu case to a Constitution Bench, where it is pending now.
Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022
Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022
  • The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022 has brought more unwelcome news for India, as far as its global ranking on a vital indicator of human development is concerned. India ranked 107 out of 121 countries.
  • The index is jointly released by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe
  • The GHI is an important indicator of nutrition, particularly among children, as it looks at stunting, wasting and mortality among children, and at calorific deficiency across the population.
  • And this is by no means an international conspiracy — India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) from 2019-21 reported that in children below the age of five years, 35.5% were stunted, 19.3% showed wasting, and 32.1% were underweight.
  • For instance, the Government of India implements the Saksham Anganwadi and Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition (POSHAN) 2.0 scheme (which now includes the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme), which seeks to work with adolescent girls, pregnant women, nursing mothers and children below three. However, the budget for this scheme for FY2022-23 was ₹20,263 crore, which is less than 1% more than the actual spend in FY2020-21 — an increase of less than 1% over two years.
  • The other flagship scheme of the Government of India is the PM POSHAN, or Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman, known previously as the Mid-Day Meal scheme (National Programme of Mid-Day Meal in Schools). The budget for FY2022-23 at ₹10,233.75 crore was 21% lower than the expenditure in FY2020-21. Even if we accept that 2020-21 was an exceptional year (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), it is clear that the budgets being allocated are nowhere near the scale of the funds that are required to improve nutrition in the country.
  • To summarise, not only are key nutrition schemes underfunded, but it is also the case that the funds available are not being spent effectively. Fixing these schemes is the obvious answer to addressing India’s multi-dimensional nutrition challenge.
  • The effect of cash transfers is also limited in a context where food prices are volatile and inflation depletes the value of cash. Equally, there are social factors such as ‘son preference’, which sadly continues to be prevalent in India and can influence household-level decisions when responding to the nutrition needs of sons and daughters.
  • The need of the hour is to make addressing child malnutrition the top priority of the government machinery, and all year around. A month-long POSHAN Utsav may be good optics, but is no substitute for painstaking everyday work.
Central Information Commission (CIC)
Central Information Commission (CIC)
  • The most vital mandate of the Central Information Commission, the apex body under India’s transparency regime, is to decide whether certain information sought by a citizen ought to be disclosed or not. Its primary duty is to decide the disclosure or the non-disclosure of information. But the commission has seemingly relinquished this primary duty in cases of larger public importance.
  • At the centre, it is the Central Information Commission (CIC). Until the 2019 amendment to the RTI Act, Information Commissioners (ICs) appointed to the CIC were equal in status to the Chief Election Commissioner, and that of a Supreme Court judge. They had a five-year fixed term and terms of service. After the amendments of 2019, the Centre gave itself powers to change and decide these terms whenever it wished, thereby striking at the independence of the commission and those who man it.

About Central Information Commission

  • It is a statutory body constituted under Section 12 of RTI Act, with effect from October 2005.
  • Composition: It consists of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and such number of Commissioners not exceeding 10 as may be deemed necessary.
  • Selection Committee for Appointment: It is there for appointments, which are done under the hand and seal of the President of India. It consists of:
    • Prime Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the committee.
    • Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
    • Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
  • Tenure: The Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner shall hold office for such term as prescribed by the Central Government or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
low number of cases and hospitalisations,
low number of cases and hospitalisations,
  • Given the very low number of cases and hospitalisations, the situation in India is no longer cause for concern. Even with most businesses and educational institutions back to functioning as in the pre-pandemic days and large gatherings being seen even in poorly ventilated places with almost no voluntary mask wearing, there has been no spike in cases since the peak of the third wave. This makes a strong case to ease any mandatory COVID-appropriate behaviour, masks included.
  • A week ago, India made mask wearing optional for air passengers precisely because of the improved ground situation. It is only in hospitals and health-care settings that mask wearing should remain mandatory.
  • The low level of infection notwithstanding, it is advisable that the vulnerable population including the elderly and those with comorbidities at least wear a mask to reduce the risk of infection. Long COVID is real and poses a risk even to otherwise healthy people.
G20 members represent over 80% of the world’s GDP
G20 members represent over 80% of the world’s GDP
  • G20 is usually about a lot of polite, sanctimonious motherhood — ‘wash your hand before you eat’ kind of statements. Decision-making happens only when all the 20 countries of the group given their consent on any major step. That, as any organisational theorist will tell you, is an impossibility.
  • Together, the G20 members represent over 80% of the world’s GDP, 75% of international trade and 60% of the population. There are a few wins possible for India.
  • For example, the Italian presidency’s agenda rested on the three pillars of people, planet, and prosperity. The Saudi presidency also had three objectives: empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers. India must come up with a formulation that showcases its true strengths.
  • Using the G20, India should press the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank to open new windows for financing climate infrastructure to support the Panchamrit goals.
Mother Dairy hiked the price of full cream milk by ₹1
Mother Dairy hiked the price of full cream milk by ₹1
  • Earlier this week, Mother Dairy hiked the price of full cream milk by ₹1. This means a litre of milk will now cost ₹64. This was the fourth hike in price this year by the leading milk supplier in New Delhi.
  • Inflation of milk and milk products has continued to go up even though India’s overall retail inflation came down in October. Milk inflation accelerated to 7.7% in October, the highest level seen in 7.5 years. Inflation of ice cream accelerated to 10.5% in October — the highest level in at least eight years. Curd inflation was at 7.6%. And baby food inflation at 8.8% was again the highest in at least eight years.
  • The rise in milk prices will hit the poorest the most.
  • the price rise will disproportionately impact women in poorer households more as they will be the first to give up drinking milk to compensate for the price hike, widening the inequality further.
Regulation of wheat and atta exports has helped control their prices
Regulation of wheat and atta exports has helped control their prices
  • Regulation of wheat and atta exports has helped control their prices, the Union Food and Public Distribution Ministry said here on Wednesday. Food and Public Distribution Secretary Sanjeev Chopra told presspersons that the increase in the prices came down from 15% to 5% after the regulation.
  • “Now, more stock is available for domestic consumption and public distribution system. As a result, the prices, compared to the prices in May 2022, have came down about 7%. If MSP [minimum support price] is factored in, the increase will be about 5%,” he said adding that an inter-ministerial committee met on a weekly basis to monitor the situation.
Measles :It  is a highly contagious viral disease
Measles :It  is a highly contagious viral disease
  • The Centre on Wednesday set up high-level teams to tackle the measles outbreak in Ranchi, Ahmedabad and Malappuram.
  • Measles vaccination falls under the Universal Immunisation Programme. India has a target of eliminating the viral disease by 2023.
  • Measles :It  is a highly contagious viral disease. Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine, measles remains an important cause of death among young children globally, and can also lead to serious adverse outcomes such as blindness, pneumonia and encephalitis.
  • Measles
    • In the pre-vaccination era, while polio paralysed about 1% of all children before the age of five, measles actually killed 1% of all under-five children.
      • During measles outbreaks, the case-fatality rate was about 10%-15%.
    • Children who recovered would have lost weight as well as the steady momentum of cognitive development and scholastic performance.
    • Measles affects the immune system rendering the child vulnerable to other infectious diseases, leading to high mortality over the next two to three years.
  • Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP):
    • India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) provides free vaccines against 12 life threatening diseases.
    • It provides life-saving vaccines to all children across the country free of cost to protect them against Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea. (Rubella, JE and Rotavirus vaccine in select states and districts)

Q) With reference to the Election Commissioners, consider the following statements:

  1. The power to appoint the CEC and the ECs lies with the President of India under Article 72 of the Constitution of India.
  2. The Commissioners are appointed for a 6-year period, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

चुनाव आयुक्तों के संदर्भ में निम्नलिखित कथनों पर विचार कीजिये:

  1. भारत के संविधान के अनुच्छेद 72 के तहत सीईसी और ईसी नियुक्त करने की शक्ति भारत के राष्ट्रपति के पास है।
  2. आयुक्तों की नियुक्ति 6 ​​वर्ष की अवधि के लिए या 65 वर्ष की आयु तक, जो भी पहले हो, के लिए की जाती है।

उपरोक्त कथनों में से कौन-सा/से सही है/हैं?

  1. केवल 1
  2. केवल 2
  3. 1 और 2 दोनों
  4. न तो 1 और न ही 2

Appointment of Election Commissioners:

  • View of Constitution:
    • The power to appoint the CEC and the ECs lies with the President of India under Article 324(2) of the Constitution, which states that “the President shall fix the number of ECs in a manner he sees fit, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament”.
    • Thus, Article 324(2) left it open for the Parliament to legislate on the issue.
  • Procedure:
    • But, in the absence of any Parliamentary law governing the appointment issue, the ECs are appointed by the government of the day, without pursuing any consultation process.
    • There is no concept of collegium and no involvement of the opposition.
  • Tenure: The Commissioners are appointed for a 6-year period, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • Qualification: There are no prescribed qualifications for their appointment, although convention dictates that only senior (serving or retired) civil servants, of the rank of the Cabinet Secretary or Secretary to the GoI or an equivalent rank, will be appointed.

Q) North field accounts approximately 10% of the world’s known liquefied natural gas reserves.​ It is located in:

  1. Qatar
  2. India
  3. Maldives
  4. None of the above

उत्तरी क्षेत्र में दुनिया के ज्ञात तरलीकृत प्राकृतिक गैस भंडार का लगभग 10% हिस्सा है। यह स्थित है:

  1. कतर
  2. भारत
  3. मालदीव
  4. उपरोक्त में से कोई नहीं

North Field:

  • North Field is at the centre of Qatar’s expansion of its liquefied natural gas production by more than 60% to 126 million tonnes a year by 2027.
  • North field accounts approximately 10% of the world’s known reserves.​
  • China is the first country to seal a deal for North Field East.

Q) Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary is located in:

  1. Rajasthan
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. Bihar
  4. Gujarat

नाहरगढ़ वन्यजीव अभयारण्य स्थित है:

  1. राजस्थान
  2. उत्तर प्रदेश
  3. बिहार
  4. गुजरात

Explanation :

The Rajasthan forest department lodged an FIR against another state government body, the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), for allowing a party after sunset inside Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary (NWLS).

  • It is located about 12 km from Jaipur.
  • The sanctuary has been named Nahar, because it falls under Nahar Village (Nahad village).
  • It encompasses a large area of 720 hectares and is situated under the Aravalli range.
  • It is home to 285 species of birds, Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, sloth bear, hyenas, panthers, deer, crocodiles etc.
  • Nahargarh Biological Park (NBP) is famous for the lion safaris.
  • It has now become a convenient breeding centre of lions.

Nahargarh Fort:

  • Nahargarh Fort was made by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II as a defence mechanism for the Jaipur city.
  • It is a magnificent fort offering panoramic views of the Pink City.

Q) With reference to the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, consider the following statements:

  1. It is the first of its kind in the country, with time-bound action plans and multi-sectoral collaborations to achieve reduction in suicide mortality by 1% by 2030.
  2. It also seeks to integrate a mental well-being curriculum in all educational institutions within the next eight years.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

राष्ट्रीय आत्महत्या रोकथाम रणनीति के संदर्भ में निम्नलिखित कथनों पर विचार कीजिये:

  1. यह 2030 तक आत्महत्या मृत्यु दर में 1% की कमी लाने के लिए समयबद्ध कार्य योजनाओं और बहु-क्षेत्रीय सहयोग के साथ देश में अपनी तरह का पहला कार्यक्रम है।
  2. यह अगले आठ वर्षों के भीतर सभी शैक्षणिक संस्थानों में एक मानसिक कल्याण पाठ्यक्रम को एकीकृत करने का भी प्रयास करता है।

उपरोक्त कथनों में से कौन सा/से सही है/हैं?

  1. केवल 1
  2. केवल 2
  3. 1 और 2 दोनों
  4. न तो 1 और न ही 2

Explanation :

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently announced a National Suicide Prevention Strategy.

  • It is the first of its kind in the country, with time-bound action plans and multi-sectoral collaborations to achieve reduction in suicide mortality by 10% by 2030.
  • The strategy broadly seeks to establish effective surveillance mechanisms for suicide within the next three years.
  • It aims to establish psychiatric outpatient departments that will provide suicide prevention services through the District Mental Health Programme in all districts within the next five years.
  • It also seeks to integrate a mental well-being curriculum in all educational institutions within the next eight years.
  • It envisages developing guidelines for responsible media reporting of suicides, and restricting access to means of suicide.
  • The stress is on developing community resilience and societal support for suicide prevention.
  • While the strategy is in line with the WHO’s South East-Asia Region Strategy for suicide prevention, it says it will remain true to India’s cultural and social milieu.

Q) World Fisheries Day is celebrated every year on:

  1. November 21
  2. November 12
  3. November 27
  4. November 18

विश्व मत्स्य दिवस हर साल मनाया जाता है:

  1. 21 नवंबर
  2. 12 नवंबर
  3. 27 नवंबर
  4. 18 नवंबर

Explanation :

The Department of Fisheries under Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India and National Fisheries Development Board, celebrated the ‘World Fisheries Day’ in Daman.

  • World Fisheries Day is celebrated on 21st November every year to demonstrate solidarity with all fisher folk, fish farmers and concerned stakeholders throughout the world.
  • It started in 1997 where “World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers” met at New Delhi leading to formation of “World Fisheries Forum” with representatives from 18 countries and signed a declaration advocating for a global mandate of sustainable fishing practices and policies.
  • The event aims to draw attention to overfishing, habitat destruction and other serious threats to the sustainability of our marine and freshwater resources.
  • The celebrations serve to focus on changing the way the world manages global fisheries to ensure sustainable stocks and healthy ecosystems.

Mains Practice Question:

Q) How do subsidies affect the cropping pattern, crop diversity and economy of farmers? What is the significance of crop insurance, minimum support price and food processing for small and marginal farmers? (2017)

सब्सिडी किस प्रकार फसल पैटर्न, फसल विविधता और किसानों की अर्थव्यवस्था को प्रभावित करती है? छोटे और सीमांत किसानों के लिए फसल बीमा, न्यूनतम समर्थन मूल्य और खाद्य प्रसंस्करण का क्या महत्व है? (2017)


UPSC Mains Result 2022


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