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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 4th July ’20 | PDF Download

A nation’s message [IndExp]

  • PM’s address to the nation from Ladakh.
  • PM’s speech casts away any remaining ambiguity of the political response.
  • PM met troops at the 14th Corps headquarters at Nimo, a short distance from Leh
  • Address to the nation + a message to China
  • India would protect the territory of Ladakh.
  • Veerta hi shanti ki poorv shart hoti hai (peace requires courage) was a message that India’s quest for peace with China should not be seen as weakness or political naivete by Beijing or the rest of the world.

“आपका ये हौसला, आपका शौर्य, और मां भारती के मान-सम्‍मान की रक्षा के लिए आपका समर्पण अतुलनीय है। आपकी जीवटता भी दुनिया में किसी से  भी  कम  नहीं है। जिन कठिन परिस्थितियों में, जिस ऊंचाई पर आप मां भारती की ढाल बन करके उसकी रक्षा करते हैं, उसकी सेवा करते हैं, उसका मुकाबला पूरे विश्‍व में कोई नहीं कर सकता। आपका साहस उस ऊंचाई से भी ऊंचा है जहां आप तैनात हैं।”

  • History is witness, that expansionist forces were forced to turn back.
  • India and China at peace with each other could guarantee both the stability and economic development of the region and the world.
  • From Beijing’s swift response that both sides were engaged in talks, and “no party should engage in any action that may escalate the situation at this point”, it seems that the message may have gone home — if it hasn’t, it should.

Lessons for India

  • February 2012: two Kerala fishermen shot dead by Italian marines from the Enrica Lexie about 5 nautical miles off India’s coast.
  • An international arbitration court has ruled that India does not have jurisdiction to try the marines, who, it held, were entitled to immunity as they were acting on behalf of a state.
  • The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague admitted that both India and Italy had concurrent jurisdiction in the matter but concluded that the marines’ immunity precluded India’s jurisdiction.

  • PCA said that Enrica Lexie violated the right and freedom of navigation of the Indian fishing vessel under UNCLOS.
    • Loss of lives, property and harm, merited compensation
  • It asked the parties to consult each other on the compensation.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that only the Centre, and not Kerala, can prosecute the marines.
  • The National Investigation Agency invoked the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002.
  • This caused a diplomatic furore as it provides for the death penalty.
  • The EU threatened to impose trade sanctions.
  • The PCA’s award, which is final and has been accepted by India, is a huge setback for the expectation that the two marines would face a criminal trial in India.
  • In the end, Italy succeeded in taking the matter out of India’s hands.
  • It should now make good on its commitment to have the marines tried under its domestic laws.

Reset rural job policies, recognise women’s work

  • A survey by the Azim Premji University, of 5,000 workers across 12 States — of whom 52% were women workers — found that women workers were worse off than men during the lockdown.
  • Among rural casual workers, for example, 71% of women lost their jobs after the lockdown; the figure was 59% for men.
  • Data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) also suggest that job losses in April 2020, as compared to April 2019, were larger for rural women than men.

The pre-COVID-19 situation

  • According to national labour force surveys, a quarter of adult rural women were in the labour force (or counted as “workers” in official data) in 2017-18.
  • If we examine data from time-use surveys, that is, surveys that collect information on all activities undertaken during a fixed time period (usually 24 hours), the picture changes radically.
  • There are no official time-use survey data: the National Statistical Office did conduct a time-use survey in 2019 but the results are not available (a previous pilot survey was conducted 20 years ago).
  • Almost all women came within the definition of “worker” in the harvest season.
  1. Rural women face a crisis of regular employment.
  2. Women from all sections of the peasantry, with some regional exceptions, participate in paid work outside the home.
  3. Young and educated women aspire for non-agri work, while the older women are willing to do manual labour.
  4. Women’s wages are rarely equal to men’s wages.
    • This gap is highest in non-agri work.
    • Growing source of employment
  5. Work day is exceedingly long and full of drudgery

Lockdown and jobs

  • Agricultural activity continued during lockdown but, employment available to women during the lockdown was limited.
  • Health and education sectors
  • Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHAs have become frontline health workers , although they are not recognised as “workers” or paid a regular wage.
  • The burden of care work mounted.
  • The already high levels of malnutrition among rural women is likely to be exacerbated as households cope with reduced food intake.

In a plastic crisis

  • Single-use plastic (SUP)
  • Now we have an increasing number of COVID-specific, SUP-based products.
  • McKinsey 2018 report: the world generates 350 million tonnes of plastic waste a year of which only 16% is recycled.
  • WHO: planet is using about 89 million masks and 16 million gloves each month.
  • The Guardian: there are possibly more masks than jellyfish in the oceans today.

  • In pre-coronavirus times, different nations had their own programmes to handle plastic waste.
  • Canada and US:recycling of plastic is classified as essential
  • India 2019: PM made clarion calls for a jan andolan (people’s movement) to curb the use of SUP and to ensure proper disposal of all plastic waste.
  • September-October 2019: Swachhata Hi Seva campaign
  • Plastic is not the problem, our handling of it is.
  • We need plastic, but not SUP.
  • Uganda’s face shields
  • We need a tectonic shift in the behaviour of consumers.
  • True change is only possible when each one of us takes responsibility for the environment around us and takes necessary steps to Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and, when all else fails, Remove, or dispose of plastic waste safely and effectively.
  • Hopefully we will find a vaccine for coronavirus in near future.
  • If each of the 8 billion people around the world had to be inoculated, this would amount to an additional plastic consumption of 400 tonnes.

NEWS

  • Line of Control and the International Boundary
    • India has registered its strong protest at the continued unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan forces along the Line of Control and the International Boundary which are in contravention to the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding.
    • New Delhi has  also conveyed its strong concerns at the continued support being extended by the Pakistan forces for cross border infiltration of terrorists, including through covering fire.
    • Despite these concerns having been shared, including through the channel of Directors General of Military Operations, the Pakistan forces have not ceased such activities.
    • This year, till June, 14 Indians have been killed and 88 Indians have been injured in more than 2,432 unprovoked ceasefire violations carried out by Pakistan forces.
  • Union Power Minister R K Singh has said, India will not allow import of power supply equipment from China without permission from the government.
    • He added that such an import may be used as a Trojan Horse element which can be potentially used to trigger a power grid shutdown in the country.
    • Addressing the virtual State Energy Ministers Conference today, Mr. Singh asserted that Indian companies will need government permission to import all power supply equipment and components from China or any other country.
    • Singh stressed on the need to promote Indian manufacturers of conductors, transformers, tower elements and parts of electric meters.
    • Review all imports from foreign countries including China for equipment which are manufactured in the country and instructed to stop such imports.
  • Union Cabinet Secretary today held a high-level review meeting on preparedness for COVID-19 with the States and Union Territories.
    • Union Health Ministry said, early detection and timely clinical management of COVID-19 cases have resulted in increasing daily recoveries.
    • During the last 24 hours, more than 20 thousand COVID-19 patients having been cured, taking the cumulative figure to three lakh 79 thousand 891.
    • The recovery rate amongst COVID-19 patients has crossed 60 per cent and it now stands at 60.73 per cent.
    • The Ministry said, presently, there are over two lakh 27 thouand active cases and all are under medical supervision.
    • Health Ministry said, Coordinated efforts at all levels of government for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19 are showing good results.
  • Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR is planning to launch indigenous Covid-19 vaccine for public use by the 15th of August after completion of all clinical trials.
    • ICMR has partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited to develop this path breaking, Covid-19 vaccine.
    • ICMR has asked Bharat Biotech to fast track the clinical trial mechanism and ensure that the subject enrolment is initiated by 7th of July.
    • Bharat Biotech has stepped up its efforts to meet the target, however, final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical sites involved in this project.
    • This is the first indigenous vaccine being developed by India and one of the top priority projects of the government.
    • The vaccine is derived from a strain SARS-COV2 isolated by ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune.
  • The Odisha Government has decided to start plasma therapy in the state in four of its hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
    • The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by the Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das
    • The committee will prepare a blueprint for its successful introduction in the state.
    • The committee will also create awareness among people regarding plasma therapy and submit a detailed report to the government.
    • Odisha has 8,106 COVID-19 positive cases, of which 5,502 patients have recovered while 29 have died so far.
  • Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the suspension of all scheduled international commercial passenger flight services in the country till 31st of July.
    • It has said that the restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and specially approved flights.
    • DGCA has said that international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis.
  • India has brought back over five lakh stranded Indians from foreign countries under the Vande Bharat Mission.
    • Under the world’s largest repatriation mission, Vande Bharat, which was initiated by the Central government on 7th of May this year, stranded Indian nationals from 137 countries have been brought back so far.
    • Terming it as a significant achievement, Ministry of External Affairs said that the number of Indians repatriated under the mission is much higher than the initial target of bringing back two lakh nationals.
    • Under the Vande Bharat Mission, Kerala with over 94 thousand people, received the largest number of stranded Indians, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

 

 

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