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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 14th Feb’20 | PDF Download

Managing perceptions

  •  Centre’s decision to take another group of envoys on a guided tour of J&K.
  • Government has been under considerable international pressure to lift restrictions in the former State.
  •  GoI has managed to arrange these three visits without any incident.
  • The delegations have been taken to meet with local groups, and shown a glimpse of ‘normalcy’ in the Kashmir Valley, with shops open, people out on the streets, and boating on the Dal Lake.
  •  The government must recognise that these gains in the immediate present are superficial in the absence of a change in the situation in Kashmir.
  • The chimera of ‘normalcy’ seems patently fragile: the visit had to be postponed by a day due to a bandh call in the Valley; and just a day after the visit, the Internet was snapped once again due to security concerns.
  •  The truth is, managing India’s image is important.
  • But government should keep in mind that its responsibility includes bringing normalcy in J&K.
  •  It is the legitimate expectations of people of J&K and India, not those of the international community, that must be a priority for the government.
  •  Terror and punishment
  • Pakistani government for years tried to protect HafizSaeed.
  • the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks
  • Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and his close aide Malik ZafarIqbal have been sentenced to five-and-a-half years by an anti-terrorism court in two terror financing cases.
  •  Pakistan has to do more.
  • It started cracking down on Saeed’s groups in 2018only after it was threatened to be put on the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body fighting money laundering and terror financing.
  • The government endorsed the UN ban on these organisations in February 2018, just a few days ahead of an FATF meeting.
  •  In the 2019 October meeting, the organisation had warned Islamabad to take “extra measures” for the “complete” elimination of terror financing and money laundering.
  • The fundamental problem is Pakistan’s policy of exporting terrorism to its neighbours for geopolitical leverage.
  • Dual policy: fight it at home but export it through proxies to its neighbours.

Towards a new world order

  • World Economic Forum has become a Mecca for all forms of new capitalism.
  •  It started in 1971 with the noble objective of improving the state of the world, but now serves as a platform for world leaders, billionaires, professionals at the top of the business pyramid, senior government ministerial delegations, and others, who gather to change the world.
  • The messages from Davos drift like snowflakes, on the agendas of the developed world.
  • All the issues can be condensed into just one, relating to survival of the planet itself.
  • Social inequalities and the grim problems of stark and continuing poverty are at the epicenter of the new world.
  • Oxfam Report: 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people.
  • The emergence of billionaires and oligarchs indifferent parts of the world coincides with increased poverty among the already poor people, especially children.
  • One of the chief characteristics of economic development is the intensification of energy use.
  • The developed world’s, and China’s, central objective is to capture energy-generating resources from across continents and put them to use to push GDP growth to greater heights. In the process, sustainability is becoming a casualty.

 Laws of Thermodynamics

  • The first law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it merely changes form and is always conserved.
  • The second law states that when ‘work is done’, only apart of the energy is consumed, the balance is lost. The lost part is called ‘entropy’ and it is proven that entropy always maximizes. The higher the use of energy, the larger the amount of waste generated.
  • The ‘globalisation’ phenomenon has turned out tobe nothing other than exploitation of the developing world, with most countries being treated as a source of cheap labour and critical raw material.
  • Countries in the developed world, and China, are ferociously using up finite raw materials without care or concern for the welfare of present and future generations.
  • High expenses and Intellectual Property Rightsload the system further in favour of the rich.
  •  We should probe and understand the ‘NordicEconomic Model’, which pertains to the remarkable achievements of the Scandinavian countries comprising Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and allied territories.
  • The total population of the Nordic countries is estimated at almost 27 million people.
  •  These nations are among the richest in the world when measured in terms of GDP per capita.
  • They also have large public sector enterprises;extensive and generous universal welfare systems; high levels of taxation; and considerable state involvement in promoting and upholding welfare states.
  • UN reports also indicate that the Nordic countries are the happiest countries in the world.
  • The U.S., in contrast, is in 19th place.
  • Effective welfare safety nets for all
  • Corruption-free governance
  • A fundamental right to tuition-free education,including higher education
  • A fundamental right to good medical care
  • Shutting of tax havens
  • If a just, new world order is to arise, taxes everywhere should go up.
  •  A company’s performance is measured through four ‘Ps’
  • The first is ‘P’ for ‘profit’.The second ‘P’ is for people — how the company sanctions impact not only employees, but society as a whole.
  • The third ‘P’ is for planet — are the company sanctions and plans sensitive to the environment?
  • The four ‘P’ is for purpose, which means the companies and individuals must develop a larger purpose than ‘business as usual’.
  • Using big data and text analytics, a company performance can be measured in terms of all the four ‘P’s and a corporate entity can be thus held accountable.
  • Market capitalisation need not be the only way to measure the value of a company.
  • Much work is yet to be done to uplift the global economic order, but the important point is that new tools are now emerging.
  •  What is required is a global consensus and the will to make the planet more sustainable, so that all individuals can live with justice and equality, ensuring that not a single child is hungry or seriously unwell because of poverty or lack of affordable medical help.

A marriage story for everyone

  • Special Marriage Act of 1954: it allows and facilitates the registration of inter-religious marriages.
  • Supreme Court has championed the cause of individual autonomy in matters of love, sex and marriage, including in Shafin Jahan v. Asokan (2018), Shakti Vahini v. Union of India (2018) and Navtej Johar v. Union of India (2018).
  •  In Navtej Johar, not only did the Court hold Section 377 of the IPC to be unconstitutional, it explicitly recognised the rights of the LGBTQ+ community to express their individuality, sexual identity and love on par with heterosexuals, as fundamental to Articles 14 (right to equality), 19 (right to freedom), and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.
  •  A petition recently filed in the Kerala High Court by a male same-sex couple challenges the constitutionality of the Special Marriage Act on the ground that it discriminates against same-sex couples who want to formalise their relationship through marriage.
  • At one level it seeks a simple and logical extension of the rights already recognised by the Supreme Court in Navtej Johar — the right of same-sex couples to express their sexual identity, right to privacy and non-interference in the conduct of their personal affairs, and the right to be recognised as full members of society.
  • To refuse their plea would cause them very real,tangible damage, considering that marriage carries a range of legal rights and protections, available during the marriage as well as on its dissolution by divorce (the right to seek maintenance) or death (the right to inherit property).
  •  For most people, marriage, commitment and family are not abstract legal concepts, but stages of human development and aspiration which give meaning to their personal lives.
  •  Purportedly, the social purpose of marriage is to provide stability; financial, physical or emotional care and support; sexual intimacy and love to individuals; and to facilitate procreation and child-rearing.
  •  And if procreation were quite so central to marriage, opposite-sex couples would be required to prove their fertility and, indeed, commit to having children before being allowed to register their marriage.
  • The right or the legal ability to marry, it would appear, has little to do with the reasons commonly cited to deny marriage to same-sex couples. The petition before the Kerala High Court represents a unique opportunity: it’s high time love and logic are given a chance to triumph over homophobic tradition.

NEWS

  •  Publish criminal history of candidates, SC orders parties
  • The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered political parties to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections along with the reasons that goaded them to field suspected criminals over decent people.
  • Coronavirus deaths spike in China
  •  Officials said 242 people died on Wednesday, the biggest daily rise since the flu-like virus emerged in the provincial capital Wuhan in December. Total deaths in China are 1,367.
  • Slapping Sec. 144 during CAA protests ‘illegal’: HC
  • Court raps Bengaluru police chief
  • Cloud over trade talks as U.S. official puts off trip
  •  U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer has put off his trip to India this week, at least two official sources said, amid signs that the India-U.S. trade talks have hit a rough patch just ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit.
  • Experts’ meet to discuss restoration of Sun temple
  • A plan to restore and preserve the nearly 800-year-old Konark Sun temple in Odisha would be drawn up soon, after a two-day conference of experts at the end of the month, Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said.  The 13th century temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, had been filled with sand and sealed by the British authorities in 1903 to stabilise the structure, an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official said. Govt. notifies medical devices as drugs

 

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