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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 13th July ’20 | PDF Download

Malabar moment | IndExp

  • India’s annual naval exercises with the US and Japan is called Malabar Exercise.
  • Delhi’s reported openness to Australia’s participation in Malabar exercise.
  • Hopefully, this will be an end to India’s slow adaption and heistation in choosing partner for security cooperation.
  • Change is need of the hour in a rapidly changing maritime environment in the Indo-Pacific littoral.

  • Way back in 2007, the Indian Navy invited the maritime forces of Japan, Australia and Singapore to join its annual bilateral Malabar naval exercises with the United States.
  • China objected it by calling it Asian NATO.
  • The then defence minister AK Antony faced opposition from Left Parties.
  • An angry Antony pulled the plug on any multilateral naval exercises, but also applied political and bureaucratic brakes on the ambitious defence cooperation agenda that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his predecessor in the defence ministry, Pranab Mukherjee, had agreed to in 2005.
  • Chinese navy now maintains a permanent feature of the Indian Ocean.
  • first military base in Djibouti
  • Karachi and Gwadar are already de-facto naval facilities.
  • There is mounting speculation that Iran is about to let China develop port facilities at the mouth of the strategic Hormuz Strait in the Gulf.

The good news | IndExp

  • Farmers have completed sowing of kharif crops in nearly 55 per cent of the season’s normal area by the first week of July.
  • Last year at this time, they had achieved hardly 38 per cent coverage.
  • The primary reason has been the southwest monsoon’s timely onset and the country receiving 14% above-normal rains so far.
  • With water levels in major reservoirs at 146 per cent of the last 10-years’ average for this time and groundwater tables recharged from the good pre-monsoon showers as well, farmers have sought to capitalise on the excellent soil moisture conditions.
  • Not surprisingly, every crop — from paddy and pulses to maize, bajra, jowar, small millets, soyabean, sesamum, groundnut and cotton — has posted a significant acreage jump over last kharif.
  • Fertiliser sales registering high double-digit growth every month from November is further proof of farmers’ inclination to plant and also invest in their crop.
  • Monsoon should continue same pace between Aug-Sep
  • Last year, there was very little rainfall till the last week of July, after which it poured so much that 2019 ended up as the wettest year in a quarter of a century.
  • The opposite happening — good rains now giving way to extended dry spells — cannot be ruled out this year.
  • There should be no Locust Attack.
  • The Food and Agricultural Organisation has warned about breeding already occurring along the Indo-Pakistan border.

The Dharavi project | Pioneer

  • Asia’s largest slum Dharavi, has a population density of 2.27 lakh per sq km.
    • Its 6.5 lakh residents live in an area of just 2.5 km
  • Mumbai’s slum cluster has shown that it is possible.
  • Synchronised human drill
  • Dharavi is indeed a test case of how resource-deprived zones can fight the virus, too.
  • 80% of the slum-dwellers are forced to use community toilets
  • The BMC decided to take the problem by its horns and involved the community in its chase of the virus.

  • Between April 1 and July 10, a whopping 47,500 households were scanned by doctors and private clinics.
  • More than 3.6 lakh people were screened, out of which 14,970 people were screened in mobile vans, thus supplementing the work of overworked health centres.
  • As many as 8,246 senior citizens were surveyed and as the key to containing any pandemic is rigorous testing, the BMC also ran fever clinics to let people get themselves checked without fear.
  • They also checked people’s oxygen saturation levels and if they were below 95 per cent, they were taken to quarantine centres.
  • Local clubs and schools were converted into quarantine facilities where free food and health check-ups were provided.
  • All private hospitals were taken onboard and acquired for treatment.
  • What Dharavi did was that it focussed on community engagement.
  • Politicians and NGOs provided thousands of free meals and rations while Bollywood actors and businessmen donated gear, oxygen cylinders, gloves, masks, medicines and ventilators.

The creation of Vikas Dubey | IndExp

  • When I joined the police in 1953, I could not have dreamt that such (Vikas Dubey) a criminal would be created in India.
  • There were criminals in those days also, and there were gang lords. But they were afraid of the police and respected their authority.
  • No criminal would dare to attack the police, least of all ambush and decimate a police party led by a senior officer.
  • The police is the first port of call for any citizen who wants to put the criminal law in motion.
  • The prosecutor, defence lawyers and judges come next in the chronological order.
  • If the first stakeholder in the system is influenced by money or by political pressure, the complaint itself is jinxed.
  • The SHO will hum and haw, offer 20 or more reasons for avoiding registering the FIR that is needed to put the law in motion.
  • If the FIR is indeed registered, the fate of the investigation is doomed from the start.
  • Statements of witnesses will not be recorded correctly or enough lacunae will be left for the defence to exploit.
  • The SHO and investigation officers often decide to protect the offender due to monetary inducement or because they feel that it is in their interests to please their political masters.
  • If an officer has secured his posting through a patron with political interests, as is routinely happening these days, you can be assured that the culprits will get away if they approach the right person for protection.
  • The politicians in charge soon after Independence did not interfere in crime investigations.
  • As far as Mumbai is concerned, it all changed in 1980s.
  • The criminals offer not only money to fight elections, they also provide muscle power.
  • Criminals have less scope to operate when one leg of the three-legged stool is wobbly.
  • Vikas Dubey, who did not give a tuppence for the men in khaki and flourished all these years because of political and police patronage, would not have risen in the hierarchy of criminals if he had been bottled up in the infancy of his chosen career.

Sure power | TH

  • Tap solar energy to substantially power the economy and everyday life.
  • 750 MW photovoltaic project at Rewa, in Madhya Pradesh
  • We need domestic solar manufacturing industry.
    • volumes of quality photovoltaic cells, modules and associated equipment
  • India’s installed base of this green power source is about 35 gigawatts (GW)
  • The Chinese story is one of a steady rise from insignificant manufacturing capability in the 1990s, to virtual dominance through active government support in identifying and acquiring top technologies globally, importing critical raw materials such as polysilicon, acquiring solar manufacturers abroad, and investing in third countries with ready capability.
  • Importantly, the domestic market was treated with great importance while promoting exports.
  • Future growth and employment should align itself to environmental and sustainability objectives, particularly in energy production, away from dirty fuels such as coal.
  • Make solar energy a strategic sector.
  • Rapid progress requires a strategic shift to aid competitive domestic manufacturing.

The sum and substance of the EU’s China dilemma

  • June 9, Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, publicly proclaimed that “China is without doubt one of the key global players. We have to engage with China to achieve our global objectives, based on interests and values”, a logical assumption might be that there is unlikely to be any change in the Europe-China relationship after the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  • China and the European Union (EU) jointly account for nearly 35% of global GDP in PPP terms.
  • China’s efforts to cultivate separate European sub-constituencies like the 16+1 Format with the Central and Eastern European States, and meetings with the Nordics and the Southern Europeans
  • The sailing of the PLA Navy into the Baltic Sea for joint exercises with Russia in 2017
  • Cross-sectoral hybrid threats including information operations in European countries
  • Chinese behaviour in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean
  •  Targeted acquisition of key high-technology companies such as Kuka in Germany or key ports like Piraeus in Greece
  • Even before the pandemic, the “Strategic Outlook” recommended that the EU should shift towards “a more realistic, assertive and multifaceted approach” to China.
  • China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea, on the Line of Actual Control with India, and in Hong Kong, among others, have also gained European eyeballs, so much so that even though China remains critical to European economic health, the EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, after the virtual Summit with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on June 22, 2020, said that Europe’s relations with China are “simultaneously one of the most strategically important and one of the most challenging that we have”.
  • “The United States, Europe and Japan have common interests in curbing China, but China, Europe and Japan also have much to gain in tapping the potential of their relations.”
  • None of this should lead to the inference that the EU will follow the U.S. in ‘de-coupling’ or join an ‘against-China’ camp.
  • The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, which recently released its Business Confidence Survey 2020, says that most European businesses are chiefly “in China, for China”.
  • The deteriorating relationship between China and the U.S. is causing many new investors to look for alternative investment spaces.
  • Political conditions are favourable especially after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom.
  • The Europeans recognise India’s role in helping provide peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.
  • If the Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement can be put back on track or, at the very least, if we conclude a new investment agreement, and if we are ready to join in high-technology collaboration including 5G and artificial intelligence, we may be able to align our stars.

Museum to mosque | TH

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision to turn Hagia Sophia back into a working mosque is a major setback to the country’s secular values that are already under attack from Islamists.
  • The sixth century Byzantine monument had been at the centre of the conflict between Ottoman Muslims and eastern Orthodox Christians for centuries.
  • Built as a cathedral by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, it was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans after Mehmed the Conqueror captured the city in 1453.

  • For five centuries, it was a jewel in the Ottoman Sultan’s crown.
  • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of modern Turkey, closed down the mosque in 1930 as part of his secularisation drive and reopened it as a museum five years later.
  • Turkey’s most visited monuments as well as a symbol of Christian-Muslim co-existence.
  • Mr. Erdoğan has rewritten the Constitution, turning Turkey into an all-powerful executive presidency, and launched a war against journalists and critics at home.

NEWS

  • Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan plunges into crisis after Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot declares open rebellion.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah praises security forces for their efforts to fight COVID-19 in the country.
  • Uttar Pradesh government issues guidelines to start next academic session in state universities; Undergraduate classes to begin from October 1.
  • Jammu and Kashmir government issues guidelines for arrival of tourists in the union territory; Tourism sector to open in phased manner from tomorrow.
  • Income Tax Department launches tool for Banks to ascertain TDS applicability rates on cash withdrawals.

 

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