The Hindu Daily Editorial DiScussion 11/2/19 By - Ashish Singh
Ashish Singh VERIFIED Edit Profile IB ACIO II-2017(Mains Qualified), UPSC aspirant Exam cleared- SSC CPO (2014) SSC CGL Tier (2016-Qualified for Mains) DSSSB (Mains) 18,017 Views in last 30 days N286,717 Lifetime Views 62 Courses 9.8k Followers 28 Following NEWS Indian Polity By Ashish Singh By Ashish Singh By Ashish Singh February 2019: The Hindu Daily Editorial and Prelims Based.. (Hindi) February, 2019 The Hindu Daily Editorial and Prelims.. (Hindi) Understanding Entire Polity Through MCQs 31 Lessons 31 Lessons 5 Lessons
Page 8 Page 9 No zero-sum games Links beyond boundaries . India and the U.S. must work to halt trade hostilitiesTo insist that the Aryans were a distinct urgently people is to impose present-day borders on the remote past Congress and cow The Madhya Pradesh government's use of the NSA forstories cattle offences is out of line Major investigations are never stand-alone It takes several reports on a topic to give us the larger picture Caught between two ex Wahhabi influence and Hindu nationalism are responsible for the radicalisation of a small segment of Muslim youth tremisms .The art of the state In his address, Amol Palekar was only shedding light on the state's insidious takeover of institutions of culture . The solution is universal .Strengthening the MGNREGA would be more prudent than a targeted cash transfer plan like PM-KISAN
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No zero-sum games GS PAPER 2 Bilateral, agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests design and implementation
There are alarm bells in India over a possible decision by the U.S. Trade Representative to withdraw the Generalised System of Preferences status. Under this, India is able to export about 2,000 product lines to the U.S under . zero tariff. The revocation of the GSP, which was first extended to India in 1976 as part of a global concession by the U.S. to help developing countries build their economies, will be a blow to Indian exporters, and the biggest in a series of measures taken by the Trump administration against India to reduce its trade deficit.
GENERALISED SYSTEM OF PREFRENCES (GSP) o The GSP is a system whereby developed countries grant preferential treatment to eligible products imported from developing countries. The preference-giving country is also known as the donor country, and the preference receiving country as the beneficiary country
President Donald Trump's case on what he calls "unequal tariffs" from India rests on the trade relationship in favour of India: Indian exports to the U.S. in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were $26.7 billion. The measures are in line with Mr. Trump's campaign promises. On the matter of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, he spoke directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on at least three occasions, demanding that India zero out tariffs to match U.S.rates on Indian motorcycles In March 2018 the U.S. began imposing tariffs on several Indian products, and in April, the USTR began a review of India's GSP status, based on complaints of trade barriers from India it had received from the dairy industry and manufacturers of medical devices. In November the U.S. withdrew GSP status on at least 50 Indian products.
In retaliation, India proposed tariffs of about $235 million on 29 American goods, but has put off implementing these five times in the past year in the hope that a negotiated trade settlement will come through. The latest deadline expires on March 1. India has also attempted to address the trade deficit with purchase of American oil, energy and aircraft. There have been dozens of rounds of talks between officials over the past fevw months, but no breakthrough. U.S. officials say the decision on data localisation for all companies operating in India, and the more recent tightening norms for FDI in e-commerce have aggravated the situation
Both sides should work towards calling a halt to trade hostilities and speed up efforts for a comprehensive trade "package", rather than try to match eaclh concern product by product. The U.S. must realise that India is heading into elections, and offer more flexibility in the next few months. India must keep in mind that the larger, global picture is about U.S-China trade issues, and if a trade deal with the U.S. is reached, India could be the biggest beneficiary of business deals lost by China. benefidary of business deah ltst by nd The visit of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to India this week will be watched not as much for substance, as for signals that New Delhi and Washington understand the urgency in breaking the deadlock
Caught between two extremisms GS PAPER 1 .Secularism ExtmIS SIT
News reports about occasional acts of terrorism outside of Jammu and Kashmir, which for historical reasons forms a special case, attributed to young Indian Muslims have appeared intermittently in the press. In addition, several recent reports suggest that global jihadi organisations such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) have recruited a few Indian Muslim youth primarily by exploiting the latter's local grievances to serve their own global goals.
Wahhabi infuence The first is the increasing influence of Saudi Wahhabism and related forms of Salafism on Islam as practised in the Indian subcontinent. This is the result of several inter-related variables but the most important of these is the vast increase in employment opportunities in the energy-rich West Asian countries following the oil boom of the 1970s. . This resulted in many Indians of all faiths temporarily locating to these countries in search of higher earnings While a much larger number of Indians belonging to other religions moved to West Asia in search of lucrative iobs, both white and blue-collar, the religio-cultural impact of the encounter with the fundamentalist form of Islam followed in these countries, especially Saudi Arabia, on a section of Indian Muslim emigrants was qualitatively different
Protected by Sufisnm But this display of presumed orthodoxy constituted merely the tip of the iceberg The impact of Wahhabi/Salafi Islam on the mindset of a segment of returnees, who also passed on their preferences to a much larger group of relatives and acquaintances already impressed by the former's newly acquired prosperity, was more profound. Islamic beliefs and practices among some Indian Muslims began to approximate the harsh Wahhabi dogma, which stands in stark contrast to the indigenous version of Islam in India. The vast majority of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent belong to the Hanafi sect based on the most liberal school of Islamic jurisprudence.
Moreover, traditionally Indian Islam has been greatly influenced by Sufi and is, therefore Visitors to maior Sufi shrines, such as those of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer and Nizamuddin Aulia in Delhi, where people of all confessions come to pray and seek blessings, can testify to the syncretic spirit of Indian Islam. Consequently, it harbours natural defences against extremism in belief and practice. The ideological infiltration of Wahhabism/Salafism has eroded some of these defences and made a section of Muslims more insular and, therefore, open to extremist ideas. and open to extremist ideas.
This feeling grew exponentially a decade later in 2002 with the massacre of about 1,000 Muslims in Gujarat under BJP rule to avenge the death of 59 kar sevaks who were burnt to death in a train at Godhra after an altercation with local Muslims. .What added insult to injury was the inaction, or, as the Human Rights Watch report on the bloodbath put it, the refusal of the state machinery to protect Muslim citizens.
More recently, the disenchantment caused by these earlier events has been reinforced by the lynching of several Muslims in northern and central India on the pretext that they were taking cows for slaughter or eating beef. The lynching of Mohammad Akhlag in Dadri, in western Uttar Pradesh, in 2015 on suspicion that he had stored beef in his house was the most chilling example of such incidents. It was followed by additional acts of mob violence carried out with relative impunity by the so-called gau rakshak (cow protect or) vigilantes. Such incidents have led to a widespread feeling among Indian Muslims that the state, instead of providing security to them, now colludes with those determined to intimidate them into submission. This series of actions and reactions makes it evident that the growth of Hindu nationalism has acted as a major stimulus for the radicalisation of a section of Muslim society in India and that the two phenomena feed of each other
Onus on governing elites Opinion leaders and religious scholars from within the Muslim community have the primary duty to confront and defeat the malign Wahhabi-Salafi influence on Indian Muslims in order to preserve the liberal and syncretic nature of Indian Islam thus pre-empting the spread of extremist ideology among Muslim youth. However, the impact of the growth of Hindu nationalism on the Muslim psyche can be countered only by the policies and actions of the governing elites at the Centre and in the States, Only they can take concrete steps, such as quick and impartial action against those responsible for creating mayhem in the name of religion, to reassure Muslims that the state will not shirk its responsibility of providing them physical security and ensuring that they are treated with fairness and dignity.
The soluton is universal Rural distress has hit unprecedented levels. According to news reports, unemployment is the highest in 45 years. To allay some misgivings of the distress, one of the announcements in the Budget speech was that "vulnerable landholding farmer families, having . cultvable land up to 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support at the rate of 6,000 per year".
Pradharn Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). Pradhan Mantri KIsan SAmman Nidhi [PM-KISAN) INTERIM This cash transfer scheme has been called Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN). 2019-20 The Ministry of Agriculture has written to State Direct income support of 6,000 p.a for farmers, effective 01.12.2018 governments to prepare a database of all eligible beneficiaries along with their Aadhaar numbers, and update land records "expeditiously". To benefit 12 cr small and marginal farmer families having cultivable land upto 2 ha Direct transfer into the bank accounts in three equal instalments First installment upto 31.03.2019, to be paid this year itself The letter further states that changes in land 75,000 cr in outlay for 2019-20 and 20,000 cr in RE 2018-19 records after February 1, 2019 shall not be considered for this scheme.
Undoubtedly, farmers' distress needs urgent attention but let's see if the PM-KISAN is a reasonable solution. Let us first compare some basic numbers with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). . For example, if two members of a household in Jharkhand work under MGNREGA (picture) for 30 days, they would earn 10,080 and a household of two in Haryana would earn 16,860 in 30 days. Jharkhand has the lowest daily MGNREGA wage rate, and Haryana the highest. .Put simply, a month of MGNREGA earnings for a household is more than a year's income support through PM-KISAN anywhere in the country.
her t isundlear ho tenan tarof t sca Further, it is unclear how tenant farmers, those without titles, and women farmers would be within the ambit of the scheme. There is also substantial evidence to demonstrate that universal schemes are less prone to corruption than targeted schemes. In targeted programmes, it is very common to have errors of exclusion, i.e genuine beneficiaries get left out. Such errors go unrecorded and people continue to be left out. It is in some of these contexts that strengthening an existing universal programme such as the MGNREGA would have been a prudent move instead of introducing a hasty targeted cash transfer programme.
The Agriculture Ministry's letter states that "funds will be electronically transferred to the beneficiary's bank account by [Government of India] through State Notional Account on a pattern similar to MGNREGS" There are important lessons to be learned from the MGNREGA implementation. The Centre has frequently tinkered with the wage payments system in the MGNREGA. It's creditable that timely generation of pay-orders have improved, but contrary to the Centre's claims, less than a third of the payments were made on time. And in contempt of the Supreme Court orders, the Centre alone has been causing a delay of more than 50 days in disbursing wages ore than S0sfansih been
Moreover, repeated changes in processes result in a hurried bureaucratic reorientation on the ground, and much chaos among workers and field functionaries alike. Field functionaries are pushed to meet stiff targets. Being short-staffed and inadequately trained, this results in many technical and unforeseen errors A case in point is the rushed manner in which Aadhaar has been implemented for the MGNREGA.
Several MGNREGA payments have been rejected, diverted, or frozen as a consequence. In the last four years alone, more than 1,300 crore of the MGNREGS wage payments have been rejected due to technical errors such as incorrect account numbers or faulty Aadhaar mapping. There have been no clear national guidelines to rectify these. There are numerous cases of MGNREGS payments getting diverted to Airtel wallets and ICICI bank accounts.
Despite a letter to the Prime Minister by citizens and MPs in January 2019, (as of February 8) all MGNREGA funds have been exhausted. While the country stares at an impending drought, workers languish in unemployment. The MGNREGA is neither an income support programme nor just an asset creation programme. It is a labour programme meant to strengthen participatory democracy through community works. It is a legislative mechanism to strengthen the constitutional principle of the right to life.
That the MGNREGA works have demonstrably strong multiplier effects are yet another reason to improve its implementation. Despite all this, the MGNREGA wage rates in 18 States have been kept lower than the States' minimum agricultural wage rates. This acts as a deterrent for the landless. Yet, work demand has been 33% more than the employment provided this year underscoring the desperation to work. By routinely under-funding this Act, the Bharatiya Janata Party government continues to undermine the constitutional guarantee.
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