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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 15th June’20 | PDF Download

 

No longer special

  • The Oli government’s decision to pass the constitutional amendment ratifying a change in its maps that include Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura, territories that India controls, marks a decidedly new phase in ties.
  • The issue is an old one.
  • In 2000 and 2014, both nations agreed to hold talks.
  • Lack of diplomatic manoeuvring.
  • Kathmandu says the MEA has rejected 2                 dates suggested by the Nepal MoFA.
  • Routinely dismissed requests from the Nepal Ambassador for a meet with the Foreign Secretary.
  • Mr. Oli’s purposeful manner in pursuing the amendment at exactly the same time as the India-China border stand-off bolsters the belief among some in New Delhi that he is speaking with confidence borne from Beijing’s backing.
  • The speed with which the constitutional amendment was passed has left little space for diplomacy now.
  • Both sides moved quickly this week to manage the fallout of border firing by Nepali police on a group of Indians that left one dead.
  • The same alacrity is needed to manage the fallout of Saturday’s amendment vote, on the once celebrated “special” relationship between the two countries.

Nepal Map: A failure for Indian diplomacy

  • A provocative step that will worsen ties between Kathmandu and New Delhi.
  • After passage of the Bill, Oli government has sought a dialouge with India.
  • Mr Oli is exploiting territorial issues to hide his govt’s failures.
  • Nationalism: other political parties have no option but to support the government.
  • The bill is passed by the Lower House and now it will be tabled in the Upper House.
  • Chinese have been systematically raising their profile in Nepal.
  • The cartographic crisis with Nepal also represents a huge failure of Indian diplomacy.
  • Oli govt. knows it very well that, it will take far more than passing a few bills to get control of territory that is historically Indian.

Behind the curve

  • GST Council: decided to relax late fees and interest payable for those taxpayers failing to file returns on time.
  • For businesses with no tax liabilities under the indirect tax regime, the late fees were completely waived.
  • In March, GST collections had slipped to ₹97,597 crore after surpassing the ₹1-lakh crore mark over the previous four months, and the numbers for April and May will not be known before July.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has told State representatives in the Council that just 45% of the indirect tax target had been met in the past two months.
  • Several States have been urging the Centre to
    • Extend emergency fiscal support
    • Release past GST compensation dues
  • GST compensation due to States for         December 2019 to February 2020 was only released on June 4.
  • Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act: Centre enhanced States’ power to borrow, but only part of that was completely unconditional, and a large chunk was contingent on States undertaking specified reforms.
  • These reforms may be long-pursued ideals, but whether this is the right time for prioritising them has been questioned.
  • Centre-State ties could turn more fractious, especially in the GST Council where things have usually evolved with consensus so far.
  • One of the ideas on the table, officially discussed for around two months, is to raise loans against future GST cess accruals in order to recompense States.

Let Data Speak

  • Data gathered through testing, hospital and death records, contact tracing, sero surveys, etc – valuable in epidemiological studies of the coronavirus pandemic – lie exclusively with ICMR, Centre and state governments.
  • Epidemiologists, health activists, mathematicians, data scientists, economists and journalists are poring over whatever data they can find to understand the pandemic’s trajectory.
  • All testing centres of course have to upload real-time information on tests to ICMR.
  • Post anonymisation, this is valuable demographic data offering better granular understanding of transmission rate, asymptomatic spread, and morbidity by age, gender and location.
  • Every public health institution is stressed and a larger pool of experts and volunteers with access to this data will be a force multiplier.
  • The lie in the data only helps the virus turn deadlier than it really is.
  • Karnataka reached a testing frequency of 12,000-15,000 samples every day until June 5 and then deliberately slowed down.
  • Delhi has pivoted to testing more with the Centre giving its seal of approval, after imprudent bans on testing asymptomatic persons.
  • Tamil Nadu government earned public opprobrium following a report in this newspaper on undercounting of deaths and quickly replaced its health secretary.
  • Data from Mumbai suggests a strong link between delayed testing and consequently delayed hospitalisation and fatalities.
  • Only incontrovertible data can remedy systemic shortcomings. So it is crucial to improve public access to both healthcare infrastructure and the accompanying data.

For the doctors

  • Nothing can be more disconcerting than the country’s apex court having to intervene to ensure that doctors and medical workers at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 are paid their salaries and given proper accommodation.
  • In war, you do not make soldiers unhappy. Travel the extra mile, address grievances,’ the Centre had to be told.
  • Doctors having to strike work over non-payment of wages for three months and that too in the national capital, right under the nose of the Union and Delhi governments, is shameful.
  • The Supreme Court’s censure over the treatment meted out to coronavirus patients in various states and the undignified disposal of bodies, described as ‘horrendous, horrific and pathetic’, demands serious introspection.
  • Repeat incidents can only be seen as systemic indifference.
  • Is humanness losing out in the process of saving human lives? Is paranoia taking precedence over concerns of health safety?
  • On the list would be an honest endeavour, no matter the constraints, to provide every citizen who tests positive the best possible care.

UAE stands with India and Indian expatriates

  • Of the more than 200 nationalities that form the diverse and tolerant society we cherish in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is difficult to think of a single expatriate community that has contributed more to building the fabric of our nation than people from India.
  • UAE and India enjoy a shared history that pre-dates the world’s geopolitical boundaries as we know them today.
  • Migration, trade and cultural interchange between our peoples go back centuries. The strong relations between our governments have allowed these ties to flourish.

  • The entrepreneurship and work ethic of Indians is known, indeed admired globally.
  • In UAE, this business acumen has given the country some of its most recognised brands such as the Lulu Hypermarkets, Jumbo Electronics, GEMS Education, and the Landmark Group.
  • Culturally, UAE is the richer for the enormous contributions the people from India have made to our diversity through religion, food, cinema, art, education, and, of course, cricket.
  • Indian expatriates have been involved in the rapid evolution of UAE’s economy.
  • Apart from constituting a large number of white collar professionals, they also provide the bulk of the country’s manual labour force.
  • It is no exaggeration to state that UAE would not be the successful and prosperous nation it is today without their help.
  • Like all good partnerships, this is a symbiotic relationship. UAE has provided fertile ground to make a good living. It has invested heavily in providing an environment that is business-friendly as well as tolerant, open, welcoming, and safe.
  • Last year, AED 169 billion ($46 billion) in remittances flowed out of UAE — more than half of it into the countries of South Asia, of these India primarily.
    • This remittance flow is the second highest in the world.
  • Many businesses have been forced to temporarily close and most air routes suspended.
  • In all countries, expatriate workers tend to be the most vulnerable to economic shocks, and UAE government is aware of its duty of caring for its large expatriate workforce.
  • I want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to support workers during this difficult time.
  • Our priority is health and well-being, including providing free Covid-19 testing and free medical treatment for anyone who requires it, regardless of legal status, occupation or nationality.
  • Those who test positive are moved to high-quality isolation facilities to continue their treatment while not infecting others.
  • The UAE government has legislated to ensure that the most vulnerable of workers continue to receive food and accommodation, even if they are temporarily out of work, and has introduced measures to provide financial support to them and their families.
  • A nationwide Ten Million Meals campaign was underway during Ramadan to ensure no one in UAE went hungry.
  • The government has also granted automatic extensions of all visas, including residency and work permits.
  • Those who are currently unable to work in their chosen field can register to participate in an online labour market where employees can take temporary job assignments without impacting their employment rights or status.
  • Some workers will prefer to return to their home countries during these uncertain times.We have been working with many governments to assist in this .
  • I would like to personally thank the Indian government for its cooperation and friendship.
  • We very much hope that this is “see you soon” however, and not goodbye — an Early Leave Initiative allows workers who wish to return home temporarily to take leave entitlements or leave without pay while having their terms of employment held open until their return.
  • UAE is also making significant humanitarian aid contributions during Covid-19, supplying more than 570 tonnes of medical equipment and other supplies to more than 50 nations, including those of South Asia.

NEWS

  • Home Minister Amit Shah said the Narendra Modi government is committed to check the spread of COVID-19 in Delhi and keep the national capital safe.
  • He said that the COVID-19 testing in the national capital will be doubled within the next two days and trebled after six days in order to check the Corona virus spread.
  • The Home Minister chaired a meeting to review the COVID 19 situation in Delhi which was attended by Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Delhi LG Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other senior officers.
  • Mr Shah said, in view of the scarcity of beds for Corona patients in Delhi hospitals, the Centre has decided to immediately provide 500 converted rail coaches to the Delhi Government.
  • With this, eight thousand more beds will be available in Delhi and these will be equipped with all facilities in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
  • The Home Minister said house-to-house health surveys will be conducted in Containment Zones in the capital to improve Contact Mapping, and the survey report will be available within a week.
  • The Home Minister also said a Committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. VK Paul, Member NITI Aayog to ensure the availability of 60 percent of their Corona beds by private hospitals at lower rates and fix the rate of Corona testing and treatment. The Committee will submit its report by today.
  • The Home Minister said the Government has decided to issue fresh guidelines regarding the last rites of the deceased, which will reduce the waiting time.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah yesterday held a meeting with top functionaries of Delhi’s three municipal bodies along with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in the national capital.
  • This was the second high-level meeting held during the day in the wake of the rising cases of novel coronavirus.
  • The Commissioners of the three municipal corporations also attended the meeting.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah has convened an all-party meeting today to review the management for Coronavirus in the National Capital.
  • The Government has said that a viral message on social media claiming re-imposition of strict lockdown is false.
  • A similar fake message is also doing rounds on  Facebook claiming a strict lockdown from 18th June.
  • In a tweet, Press Information Bureau clarified that there is no such plan under consideration.
  • PIB has urged people to beware of rumour mongers.
  • The recovery rate of COVID-19 patients has improved to over 50 percent in the country.
  • Over eight thousand COVID-19 patients have been cured in the last
  • 24 hours. So far, one lakh 62 thousand 378 patients have been cured.
  • In a statement, Health Ministry said the recovery rate indicates that of all the cases of COVID-19, half of them have recovered from the disease.
  • Timely case identification and proper clinical management has been the road to recovery.
  • India’s first infectious disease diagnostic lab is now ready. This rapid response mobile labrotary is part of the government Aatmnirbhar Bharat.
  • This laboratory was built in a record time of eight days from the date of receipt of Automotive Chassis, from Bharat Benz.
  • It is built with the support of Department of Bio-Technology.
  • The lab is a BSL-2 facility with on site Elisa, real-time reverse tranion polymerase chain reaction test and Bio chemistry analysers.
  • This lab can test Elisa about 200 per day and RTPCR about 50 per day.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the government is engaged in talks with the Chinese side at diplomatic and military levels to resolve the issue of border standoff with China.
  • He said, China has also expressed the desire to resolve the dispute with India through talks.
  • Addressing Jammu Jan Samvad rally through video conferencing the Defence Minister assured the opposition that the central government will not keep the Parliament or anyone in the dark about developments on the border and will share the details at an appropriate time.
  • In Jammu and Kashmir, as many as 2027 ceasefire violations by Pakistan have taken place along the Line of Control this year till 10th of June.
  • The highest number of 411 violations took place in the month of March, recording an increase of almost 69 per cent as compared to the same period in 2019.
  • The security forces have gunned down around 100 terrorists, including over a dozen top commanders of various outfits, in different gun battles in the Union Territory this year.
  • The increased ceasefire violations are seen as an attempt by Pakistan to provide fire cover to terrorists sneaking from across the border.
  • Today is World Blood Donor Day.
  • The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank the blood donors.
  • This year the theme is – Safe blood saves lives. Blood is an important resource, both for planned treatments and urgent interventions.
  • It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions and supports complex medical and surgical procedures.
  • The day is also an important occasion for all government, national health authorities and national blood services to provide adequate infrastructures to increase the collection of blood from regular unpaid blood donors.

 

 

 

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