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The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 4 May 2023

The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC

The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 3 May 2023

  • The Union government informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it was willing to form a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary to consider administrative measures for addressing “genuine, human concerns” faced by same-sex couples in their daily lives in areas such as banking and insurance, without delving into their petitions for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
  • The Chief Justice said the court could now go into whether same-sex couples have a “right to cohabit together in a normal, peaceable environment in our country without facing any form of discrimination, societal or otherwise”.
  • The court said the suggestion from the government to form a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary indicates its readiness to recognise the incidence of cohabitory relationships among same-sex couples.

 The Hindu Editorial Today

  • India’s services sector recorded its highest uptick in new business and output levels since June 2010 this April, led by a strong upturn in the finance and insurance segment, as per the seasonally adjusted S&P Global India Services PMI Business Activity Index, which rebounded from a decline to 57.8 in March to 62 in April.
  • A reading of 50 on the index indicates no change in business activity levels.
  • PMI is compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide.
  • IHS Markit is a global leader in information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide.
  • IHS Markit is part of S&P Global.

Purchasing Managers Index?

  • It is a survey-based measure that asks the respondents about changes in their perception about key business variables as compared with the previous month.
  • The purpose of the PMI is to provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision makers, analysts, and investors.
  • It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is also constructed.
  • The PMI is a number from 0 to 100.
  • A print above 50 means expansion, while a score below that denotes contraction.
  • A reading at 50 indicates no change.
  • If PMI of the previous month is higher than the PMI of the current month, it represents that the economy is contracting.

  • Operation Kaveri, the Sudan rescue mission, is an example of why the ethos and the training that goes into the special operations of the Indian Air Force crew should not be diluted
  • During the ‘Kandahar’ incident of December 24, 1999, when an Indian Airlines flight IC-814 was hijacked while on a flight from Kathmandu to New Delhi — it ended on December 31, 1999

  • For the fourth consecutive year, the government has expressed outrage and rejected the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) latest report, calling it “biased and motivated”.
  • In its report released on Monday, the independent congressional body has called for India to be designated a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) for its “worsening” record on religious freedoms.
  • The report has targeted the Indian government for “promoting and enforcing religiously discriminatory policies”
  • What is USCIRF?
  • USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan US federal government commission, dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.
  • It is an advisory body to the US Congress.
  • USCIRF’s 2022 Annual Report provides recommendations to enhance the U.S. government’s promotion of freedom of religion or belief abroad.
  • It is Headquartered in Washington DC.
  • Established by the US government in 1998 after the inaction of the International Religious Freedom Act, recommendations of USCIRF are non-binding on the state department.
  • Traditionally, India does not recognize the view of USCIRF.

  • With multiple State governments announcing reversion to the old pension scheme (OPS) and some more speculating to do the same, the debate on pensions is hotting up.
  • Firstly, since the State has to bear full burden of pensions, it will become fiscally unsustainable in the medium to long run.
  • Second, such an unsustainable rise in pension allocation in the Budget can only come at the cost of other more pressing welfare expenditures allocated to the poor and marginalised sections.
  • Public sector workers are asking for a guaranteed pension in place of the new pension scheme (NPS), which fluctuates according to the returns prevailing in the market

What is the Old Pension Scheme (OPS)?

  • OPS offers pensions to government employees on the basis of their last drawn salary. 50% of the last drawn salary.
  • The attraction of the Old Pension Scheme lay in its promise of an assured or ‘defined’ benefit to the retiree. It was hence described as a ‘Defined Benefit Scheme’.
  • The OPS was discontinued by the Central government in 2003.

What is New Pension Scheme (NPS)?

  • As a substitute of OPS, the NPS was introduced by the Central government in April, 2004.
  • This pension programme is open to employees from the public, private and even the unorganised sectors except those from the armed forces.
  • The scheme encourages people to invest in a pension account at regular intervals during the course of their employment.

  • India’s ranking in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index has slipped to 161 out of 180 countries, according to the latest report released by the global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
  • In comparison, Pakistan has fared better when it comes to media freedom as it was placed at 150, an improvement from last year’s 157th rank. In 2022, India was ranked at 150.
  • Sri Lanka also made significant improvement on the index, ranking 135th this year as against 146th in 2022.
  • Norway, Ireland and Denmark occupied the top three positions in press freedom, while Vietnam, China and North Korea constituted the bottom three.
  • Reporters Without Borders (RSF) comes out with a global ranking of press freedom every year. RSF is an international NGO whose self-proclaimed aim is to defend and promote media freedom. Headquartered in Paris, it has consultative status with the United Nations.
  • The objective of the World Press Freedom Index, which it releases every year, “is to compare the level of press freedom enjoyed by journalists and media in 180 countries and territories” in the previous calendar year.
  • RSF defines press freedom as “the ability of journalists as individuals and collectives to select, produce, and disseminate news in the public interest independent of political, economic, legal, and social interference and in the absence of threats to their physical and mental safety”.

  • First cyclone to form this year will be called Mocha; weather agency says various models suggest that the cyclone could form by May 9 and grow to a severe cyclonic storm the next day.
  • The name was proposed by Yemen, after the Red Sea port city, following an international convention on naming cyclones.
  • Tropical Cyclones?
  • A tropical cyclone is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterized by low atmospheric pressure, high winds, and heavy rain.
  • A characteristic feature of tropical cyclones is the eye, a central region of clear skies, warm temperatures, and low atmospheric pressure.
  • Storms of this type are called hurricanes in the North Atlantic and eastern Pacific and typhoons in SouthEast Asia and China. They are called tropical cyclones in the southwest Pacific and Indian Ocean region and Willy-willies in north-western Australia.
  • Storms rotate counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

The conditions favourable for the formation and intensification of tropical storms are:

  • Large sea surface with temperature higher than 27° C.
  • Presence of the Coriolis force.
  • Small variations in the vertical wind speed.
  • A pre-existing weak low- pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation.
  • Upper divergence above the sea level system.

How the cyclones are named and what are the guidelines on adopting their names?

  • In 2000, a group of nations called WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), which comprised Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, decided to start naming cyclones in the region.
  • After each country sent in suggestions, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) finalised the list.
  • The WMO/ESCAP expanded to include five more countries in 2018 — Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  • The list of 169 cyclone names released by IMD in April 2020 were provided by these countries — 13 suggestions from each of the 13 countries.

Q) ‘Bhastrika’, ‘Kapalbhati’ and ‘Bhramari’, recently seen in news, are:

  1. Yoga exercises
  2. Musical forms of Carnatic Music
  3. Indian folk dances
  4. Harvest festivals in North-East India

हाल ही में समाचारों में रहे ‘भस्त्रिका’, ‘कपालभाति’ और ‘भ्रामरी’ हैं:

  1. योग व्यायाम
  2. कर्नाटक संगीत के संगीत रूपों
  3. भारतीय लोक नृत्य
  4. उत्तर-पूर्व भारत में हार्वेस्ट उत्सव

About Yoga:

  • Yoga is the basic foundation of Indian culture which is the biggest medium of self-development.
  • More than 50 centuries ago, yoga’s journey as an ancient Indian science of healing and exercise started somewhere in the Indus-Sarasvati civilisation in northern India.
  • The word “yoga” means “to yoke or join”. It means the “union”, the ultimate union between our consciousness and the higher consciousness, which some call God or divine.
  • The word also refers to the union of body, mind and spirit, which we can achieve through various practices and postures.
  • Benefits:
  • Yoga exercises such as ‘Bhastrika’, ‘Kapalbhati’, ‘Anulom Vilom’ and ‘Bhramari’, among others can make both the body and mind healthy.
  • Decreases the levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone in our body.

Q) Consider the following statements with reference to the Padma Awards:

  1. Government servants except Doctors and Scientists are not eligible for Padma Awards.
  2. No monetary grant is attached to these Awards.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

पद्म पुरस्कारों के संदर्भ में निम्नलिखित कथनों पर विचार करें:

  1. डॉक्टरों और वैज्ञानिकों को छोड़कर सरकारी कर्मचारी पद्म पुरस्कारों के पात्र नहीं हैं।
  2. इन पुरस्कारों के साथ कोई मौद्रिक अनुदान संलग्न नहीं 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

About Padma Awards:

  • The Padma Awards namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, are amongst the highest civilian awards of the country.
  • These Awards were instituted in 1954 and they are announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day.
  • The award seeks to recognize ‘work of distinction’ and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in all fields/disciplines, such as- Art, Literature and Education, Sports, Medicine, Social Work etc.
  • Eligibility for the nomination-
  • All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex are eligible for these Awards.
  • Government servants including those working with PSUs, except Doctors and Scientists, are not eligible for Padma Awards.
  • Awardees receive a Sanad (Certificate) and Medallion, a small size replica (miniature) of the main medal is separately handed over to the recipient but no monetary grant is attached to these Awards.
  • Who decides the winner?
  • All nominations received for Padma Awards are placed before the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
  • The Padma Awards Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and includes Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and four to six eminent persons as members.
  • The Prime Minister and the President of India finally review and approve the recommendations.

Q) Which one of the following countries is not a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)?

  1. Singapore
  2. Malaysia
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. Myanmar

निम्नलिखित में से कौन सा देश दक्षिण पूर्व एशियाई राष्ट्र संघ (आसियान) का सदस्य नहीं है?

  1. सिंगापुर
  2. मलेशिया
  3. श्रीलंका
  4. म्यांमार

Key facts about Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN):

  • It is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten Southeast Asian countries.
  • It was established in 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok declaration.
  • Aim: To promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitate economic, political, security, military, educational, and socio-cultural integration among its members and other Asian states.

Members: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Q) Which one of the following is the best description of ‘Windfall Tax’, that was in the news recently?

  1. It is imposed on an industry’s profits when it experiences a sharp increase in revenue due to unrelated external events.
  2. It is a tax on specific goods and services due to their ability, or perception, to be harmful or costly to society.
  3. It is a type of penalty that businesses must pay for excessive greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. None of the above

निम्नलिखित में से कौन-सा ‘अप्रत्याशित कर’ का सबसे अच्छा वर्णन है, जो हाल ही में समाचारों में था?

  1. यह एक उद्योग के मुनाफे पर लगाया जाता है जब यह असंबंधित बाहरी घटनाओं के कारण राजस्व में तेज वृद्धि का अनुभव करता है।
  2. यह विशिष्ट वस्तुओं और सेवाओं पर उनकी क्षमता, या धारणा के कारण समाज के लिए हानिकारक या महंगा होने के कारण कर है।
  3. यह एक प्रकार का जुर्माना है जो व्यवसायों को अत्यधिक ग्रीनहाउस गैस उत्सर्जन के लिए भुगतान करना होगा।
  4. उपरोक्त में से कोई नहीं

About Windfall Tax:

  • What is it? It is a higher tax levied by the government on specific industries when they experience unexpected and above-average profits.
  • When is it imposed?
  • When the government notices a sudden increase in an industry’s revenue, they impose this tax.
  • However, these revenues cannot be linked to anything the company actively pursued, such as its business strategy or expansion.
  • Consequently, a Windfall Tax is imposed on an industry’s profits when it experiences a sharp increase in revenue due to unrelated external events.
  • Rationale behind the imposition of windfall tax:
  • Redistribution of unexpected gains, when high prices benefit producers at the expense of consumers;
  • To fund social welfare schemes;
  • As a supplementary revenue stream for the government;
  • As a way for the Government to narrow the country’s widened trade deficit;

Q) Consider the following statements regarding Article 142 of the Indian Constitution:

  1. It deals with the Supreme Court’s power to exercise its jurisdiction and pass an order for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it.
  2. Any order made under Article 142 shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

भारतीय संविधान के अनुच्छेद 142 के संबंध में निम्नलिखित कथनों पर विचार करें:

  1. यह सर्वोच्च न्यायालय की अपने अधिकार क्षेत्र का प्रयोग करने और उसके समक्ष लंबित किसी भी मामले या मामले में पूर्ण न्याय करने के लिए आदेश पारित करने की शक्ति से संबंधित है।
  2. अनुच्छेद 142 के तहत किया गया कोई भी आदेश पूरे भारत में लागू होगा।

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

About Article 142 of the Indian Constitution:

  • It deals with the Supreme Court’s power to exercise its jurisdiction and pass an order for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it.
  • It provides the apex court with a special and extraordinary power and is meant to provide justice to litigants who have suffered traversed illegality or injustice in the course of legal proceedings.
  • Article 142(1) states that “The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or order so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe”.
  • Significant cases where Article 142 was invoked:
  • Babri Masjid Case: The article was used in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case and was instrumental in the handover of the disputed land to a trust to be formed by the union government.
  • Bhopal Gas Tragedy: The SC invoked its plenary powers in the Union Carbide vs Union Govt case and intervened to provide compensation to victims of the deadly Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

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