Deepanshu Singh is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
EDITORIAL ANALYSIS OF NEWSPAPERS IN LESSTHAN 10 MINUTES Presented B 201 chrome
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QUESTION FOR ANSWER WRITING PRACTICE . To what extent, Geography has helped the peninsular states in India to enable them to grow faster and advanced more rapidly economically?Discuss. [Course] February 2017- Editorial Analysis of The Hindu and Other Major Newspapers / Test preparation UPSCIAS general-awareness The Hindu and Other Major w..ompleted deepanshu.n.singh Pinned Topics unacademy.com Unsceleny 201 Newspapers. The course will bring you in-depth analysis of Important editor norm leadng newspapers like The Hindu Indian Express Livemint etc which are relevant for Government examinations. These will help you in your Mains as wels as prelims preparation PReply
EDITORIALS COVERED IN TODAY'S LESSON THE HINDU o THE ECOLOGICAL BALANCE-SHEET o SHARPENING THE FIGHT AGAINST TOBACCO
TH: SHARPENING THE FIGHT AGAINST TOBACCo Gs-1/2 o Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the tobacco sector o Although India banned FDI in tobacco manufacturing in 2010, foreign tobacco companies are allowed to invest through technology collaboration, licensing agreements and by forming a trading company o the Commerce Ministry sent a note to the Cabinet proposing a blanket ban on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the tobacco sector, which is opposed by NITI Aavog! ( But Why now? the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as the reason for this step As per this convention, India is under an obligation to reduce high consumption of tobacco products which pose a grave public health danger.) This proposal as expected has not gone down well with major manufacturers Philip Morris International (PMI), keen to maintain a foothold in the $11 billion Indian tobacco market, has written letters to the Commerce Minister and to NITI Aarog arguing that such a ban would be discriminatory, and protectionist'. o Possibility of a challenge under India's bilateral investment treaties (BITs) similar cases in Australia and Uruguay. o Though PMI cannot bring a BIT case against India because there is no India-U.S. BIT, its Swiss affiliate could surely bring a claim under the India-Switzerland BIT, which protects not just direct investment but also shares, stocks and other torms of participation in a company. o The reported termination of this BIT by India will not impact any such claim because the treaty contains a survival clause promising protection to existing foreign investment for the next 10 to 15 years.
o Suggested Alternative measures o One such measure is adopting plain packaging regulation. This is better than banning FDI completely for two reasons: one, while the FCTC does not contain any provision on banning FDI as a means to reduce tobacco consumption. it specifically talks about countries adopting packaging and labelling requirements to create better awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco consumption India would be on a much stronger legal wicket in defending it than defending a complete ban on FDI o Second, we are unsure how prohibiting FDI through licensing arrangements, etc. would help reduce tobacco consumption. Domestic players could occupy the market freed up by foreign players. Also, did banning FDI in tobacco manufacturing in 2010 result in reduced tobacco consumption? On the other hand, studies from Australia show that smoking rates plunged by 12.2% after plain packaging regulations were introduced. o The plain packaging regulation still remains a pipe dream despite repeated attempts and bills (COTPA etc.) Another effective measure is to increase taxes on tobacco products Though they have increased over the years, some studies argue that overall taxes on cigarettes in India are still low relative to other countries What about bids? have often been exempted from increase in excise taxes despite being the most commonly used tobacco in India.The 2017-18 Budget has only marginally increased the excise duty on handmade bidis, from Rs. 21 to Rs. 28 per thousand. Also, we need a strong willed Government without vested interests that does not drag its feet when it comes to adopting tobacco regulations as it happened in the case of implementation of the 85% pictorial warning requirement on cigarette packets? This notification was finally implemented from April 1, 2016 after the Supreme Court's intervention
TH: THE ECOLOGICAL BALANCE-SHEET Gs-3 o The Union Budget allocated Rs. 2,675.42 crore to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), an apparent increase by 18.88% from last year. But the finer details present a worrying scenario The udgetary approach appears to be as fragmented and flawed as the legal approach: Environmental issues though interconnected (Forest management, Resource conservation, Pollution control, Wildlife protection) are treated in isolation with attention paid only at the macro-level. o Good measures are countered by lax regulation in other sectors such as energy and large industries- Allocating funds won't help until there are corresponding measures to boost alternative energy sources, curbs on polluting industries and vehicles and adopting sustainable development approaches Concerns Funding for renewable energy forms, solar use in rural areas, etc. has been reduced. o The pluses of additional funding have been offset by paltry efforts at consolidating environmental conservation. o Budgetary Allocation is inadequate- a measly sum of 40 crore and 74.30 crore have been allocated to the Climate Change Action Plan and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), it's the same with other environmental bodies. ambitious projects like Project Tiger having the budget slashed by 30 crore and Project Elephant receiving a marginal boost of 2.5 crore. There has been superficial renaming of 'Clean Energy Cess' levied on coal, lignite and peat as 'Clean Environment Cess, with an increase in the rate of levy to 400 per tonne.
Under-utilisation of funds:> The rise and slump in allocations have been perplexing as they do not appear to have beern based on receipts and expenditures of the preceding financial year. In 2015, the total budget for the Ministry was reduced by 25% to 1,681.60 crore, only to be increased to 2,327 crore the following year. Centrally sponsored schemes have also experienced similar ups and downs with Project Tiger witnessing a slash of 15% in 2015, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has been allotted an arbitrary sum of 8.15 crore. The expenditure budget for the MoEFCC reveals that under the Centrally sponsored schemes transfers made to the States and the Union Territories remain grossly under-utilised For instance, Project Tiger has barely managed to utilise half the funds allocated to it, same with State projects as well. o Priorities and problems There is need to address the problems of disappearing wildlife, increasing conflicts, deterioration of ecology and habitat destruction For this, scientific, sustained and intensive measures of conservation are required A small step in this regard would be to acknowledge the role of the environment in budgetary allocations and ensure rational dedication of funds A de o Despite various hardships being faced due to deteriorating environment and various Conventions signed taking pledge to protect environment, even today, the seriousness about the Environment seems lacking. Underutilization of funds further shows that there is slack in working towards environment and related policies