DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC | 12 MAR 2021 |RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

12 MAR 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

Scope for scandal: On court orders restraining media.

 The Hindu

2

Working towards climate justice in a non-ideal world

The Hindu

3

The secret of the Quad’s renewed viability? India’s manufacturing ability

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

India, Japan space agencies review ties

Syllabus- 

GS2-Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Analysis:

  • Indian and Japanese space agencies recently reviewed cooperation in earth observation, lunar cooperation and satellite navigation, and also agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in “space situational awareness and professional exchange programme”.
  • India and Japan are already working on a joint lunar polar exploration (LUPEX) mission and the two space agencies have been working on the mission that aims to send a lander and rover to the Moon’s south pole around 2024.
  • Early this month, India and Italy decided to explore opportunities in earth observation, space science and robotic and human exploration.

Centre to HC: Dismiss plea on RTE Act extension up to class 12

Syllabus- 

GS2- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education

Analysis:

  • Under RTE Act Section 12(1)(c), private schools are required to reserve 25% seats for students belonging to EWS and disadvantaged groups.
  • However, the benefit is limited up to class VIII.
  • Seeking dismissal of a petition praying for extension of free education under the RTE Act beyond class VIII for children belonging to disadvantaged and economically weaker sections, the Centre has told the Delhi High Court that its policy statement for school education — National Education Policy 2020 — “does not talk about” the extension.
  • It further said that such students, after passing Class VIII from private unaided schools, are provided admission in neighbourhood government secondary schools.

On Quad agenda today: ‘free, open’ Indo-Pacific, maritime security

Syllabus- 

GS2- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Analysis:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet, through virtual mode, for the first ever Quadrilateral grouping’s leaders’ summit.
  • This will be Modi’s first meeting with Biden, after the new US administration assumed office in January this year.
  • The foreign ministers of the Quad grouping have met thrice so far, twice in-person, and once virtually.
  • Among the issues that are likely to be discussed at the leaders’ meeting are: supply of vaccines across the world, collaborating on building a reliable rare-earth supply chain, joining hands on climate change, and securing free and open access to the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement that the leaders will discuss regional and global issues of shared interest, and exchange views on practical areas of cooperation towards “maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region”.

IT Min steps up cyber-attack vigil, asks cos to raise defence

Syllabus- 

GS3- Challenges to internal security through communication networks.

Analysis:

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has stepped up its vigil of cyberattacks on Indian companies in the vaccine, logistics, pharmaceutical and power sector, and has asked these to report “any and all major cybersecurity” incidents to the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) team every week.
  • The frequency of such attacks has definitely increased over the last one year.
  • But for each such attack that gets reported or is flagged by some external agency, at least 10 others are stopped in track before they can do any harm.
  • CERT-In has been in touch with all these companies.
  • On February 28, Recorded Future published a report saying it had observed a “steep rise” in the use of resources like malware by a Chinese group called Red Echo to target “a large swathe” of India’s power sector.
  • It said 10 distinct Indian power sector organisations were targeted, including four Regional Load Despatch Centres that are responsible for smooth operation of the country’s power grid.

Mains Analysis

Scope for scandal: On court orders restraining media.

Why in News: – 

Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi landed thick in the middle of a controversy after a police complaint was registered against him alleging sexual harassment of a ‘job aspirant’ and issuing threats to her and her family of dire consequences.

Syllabus: – 

GS GS-3: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security
  • Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi landed thick in the middle of a controversy after a police complaint was registered against him alleging sexual harassment of a ‘job aspirant’ and issuing threats to her and her family of dire consequences.
  • It is quite regrettable that politicians are often hit by scandals arising from leaked footage purportedly showing them in intimate proximity with women.
  • Minister obtaining an interim High Court order, that media organisations should abide strictly by the Programme Code prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act.

The challenges: –

  • Section 20 of the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995,states that the government can regulate or prohibit the transmission or retransmission of any programme that it feels is not in conformity with the Programme and Advertising Code, which oversees television content in India.
  • In order to keep track of cable operators, it has mandated a compulsory registration for cable operators.
  • It also lays down provisions to regulate content to be broadcasted by the cable operator.
  • Under the Act, district magistrates, sub-divisional magistrates and police commissioners are the ‘authorised officers’ to ensure that the Programme Code is not breached.
  • Under this Act about 70 media organizations, including television channels, social media platforms, digital media outlets and newspapers have been arrayed as respondents.
  • HC order is unexceptionable; the broadcast media are expected to conform to the Code. However, when such an omnibus order is passed, it could become a tool of harassment.
  • The Code, which is part of the Cable Television Network Rules, is widely worded. For instance, anything that offends good taste or decency, or amounts to criticism of friendly countries, is violations.
  • It also considers defamation, half-truths and innuendo as potential violations.
  • In the absence of judicial orders, it may be unsafe to leave such matters to the discretion of the ‘authorized officer’.
  • The Section 4A was inserted into the Act by the TRAI (Amendment) Act, 2002.
  • Section 4A deals with “transmission of programmes through addressable system

Government has made a new draft Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020:

  • Government has proposed to amend the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 with the approval of Hon’ble Minister for Information & Broadcasting.
  • It has increased the monetary penalty amount and insertion of a new subsection regarding penalties for violation of the Programme Code and the Advertisement Code.
  • The proposed amendment has deleted the existing provision of subsection (1) of Section 4A, i.e. (4A) Transmission of programmes through digital addressable systems
  • Another proposed provision includes the inclusion of ‘broadband internet access’ in right of way, shifting data maintenance from manual to electronic form;
  • Maintenance of register, inclusion of certification of the equipment by BECIL or any other technical auditor, power to seize equipment used for operating cable television network and addition of other relevant laws and updating the existing ones.

The controversial decision: –

  • A key consideration to decide on the content of any broadcast that may be controversial is whether it touches upon any public interest.
  • In this case, it is not merely the private moment of a serving Minister, but his public conduct that is under scrutiny for the allegation is that he had promised a job to a woman in exchange for sexual favours.
  • Of course, in the absence of any complaint from the woman, or even any knowledge about her, it is difficult to prove any wrongdoing.
  • The sections of the media may have considered that there is enough public interest to draw attention to the footage, even if they had no intention to air it.

Way forward: –

  • There was a lot controversy with respect to implementation of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation).
  • It is important to understand the structure of the cable market. The cable market is divided into three categories.
  • Broadcasters, who are at the top of the pyramid, the Multi-System Operators are in the middle and the local cable operators are at the bottom of the pyramid.
  • The Central Government, in public interest can put an obligation on every cable operator to transmit or retransmit a programme of any pay channel through addressable system.
  • In public interest the central government may also ‘specify one or more free-to-air channels to be included in the package of channels’ basic service tier.
  • The onus is on media outlets to show discretion in dealing with such ‘leaks.
  • Greater discretion may be warranted for political leaders, especially those with a record of political dishonesty, for it is difficult to blame the public if they expect the worst of them.

Question: –

The Central Government, in public interest can put an obligation on every cable operator to transmit or retransmit a programme of any pay channel through addressable system. Discuss.

Working towards climate justice in a non-ideal world

Why in News: –

New Delhi has to leverage its green commitment to ensure carbon and policy space for its developmental aspirations.

Syllabus: – 

GS-2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. / Disaster and disaster management.
  • Joe Biden as U.S. President has catapulted climate change to the top of the global agenda, allowing him to keep his promise to “lead a major diplomatic push” to increase global climate ambition.
  • The USA President Joe Biden in his first address to the annual Munich Security Conference declared that the ‘transatlantic alliance is back’ and stressed the need to defend democracy around the world.
  • This works well for him in rebuilding the trans-Atlantic alliance apart from keeping at bay the domestic fissures from a tenuous hold of the Democrats in the U.S.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization:

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of 4th April, 1949, by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
  • NATO provides a unique transatlantic link for political and security cooperation and NATO is a political and military alliance whose primary goals are the collective defence of its members and the maintenance of a democratic peace in the North Atlantic area.

The Trans-Atlantic alliance:

  • Transatlantic crossings are passages of passengers and cargo across the Atlantic Ocean between Europe or Africa and the Americas. 
  • The majority of passenger traffic is across the North Atlantic between Western Europe and North America.
  • A Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) is a proposal to create a free-trade agreement covering Europe and North America, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Since 2013 an agreement between the United States and the European Union (EU) has been under negotiation: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The U.S.’s moves:

  • The U.S. is not just striding back to the Obama signature achievement of the Paris Accord with its voluntary commitments but also to the Bush days.
  • The Major Economies Forum (MEF), which was first convened in March 2009, originated in the Bush-era U.S. efforts to rope in major emitters.
  • It was also to push a way forward on climate change without heed to the principle of differentiated responsibilities and recognition of historical responsibilities, which are rightly hallowed principles of the climate discourse given the decades of staying power of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.
  • The serious unwillingness of emerging economies to be labelled “major emitters” saw the meeting retitled “Major Economies Meeting” given the clear link between GDP and GHG.
  • While the meeting’s purport was not hidden, the retitling provided a feel-great and one from which retraction was not possible for the emerging economies.

 

Stern message, border levies:

  • This time the push appears to have come to shove, with all countries being told to commit to net zero (GHG emissions) by 2050with credible plans to ensure meeting this domestic target.
  • Indeed, the Chinese, who posited themselves as reaching there by 2060, have been sternly told to be there a decade earlier.
  • Taking a cue from the new U.S. Administration, the UN Secretary-General has even called on countries to declare national climate emergencies apart from building a coalition for a carbon-neutral world by 2050.
  • As of today, countries representing around 65% of global CO2emissions have already agreed to this. The UN Secretary-General would like this figure to reach 90% within

The plans and their implementation:

  1. These plans and their implementation will, undoubtedly, be subject to international reviews and verification.
  2. Historical responsibilities and differentiation, obviously, have no place in this discourse; but neither does the level of development.
  3. Adding to the challenges of this proposed global goal is the distinct possibility of the EU imposing carbon border levies on those who do not take on high carbon cut-down targets and do so unilaterally if there is no global agreement.
  4. The new U.S. Administration appears ambivalent on these border levies, the possibility of their coming around cannot be ruled out. In such a scenario, World Trade Organization (WTO) rules that presently exclude the use of tariffs on environmental grounds will certainly get modified.

A fund pay-in idea:

  • The issue of money, especially the lack of it, is a perennial one in the climate discourse, and those above the global average would pay, while those below would receive the monies.
  • In this context, Raghuram Rajan has recently put forward a proposal for India to consider it calls on countries to pay into a global fund amounts based on their carbon emissions over and above the global per-capita average of five tons.
  • While this would suggest certain equity, it may be unacceptable to the developed countries even though Mr. Rajan has gone along with the drumbeat to forget historical responsibility.

India’s concerned:

  • As far as India is concerned, for starters such a proposal may appear attractive as India today has per capita CO2 emission of only 2 tons and is a global record setter in pushing renewable.
  • But will real Indian politics allow a major economy to benefit from such fund flows or indeed even be the recipient of any form of concessional climate finance.
  • The long-term implications of such a proposal in a setting of a sharply growing economy and reliance on coal-produced electricity for several decades require examination in detail,
  • The apart from factoring in the twists and turns that negotiations could give to such an idea. And then, of course, there are alternatives such as emission trading.
  • The proposal focuses on current and future emissions, and in keeping with the contract and converge approach, it double penalizes developing country while giving developed countries a certain free pass.
  • Here it bears noting that more than 75% of the carbon space available to humankind to keep global temperature rises to 1.5° C has already been taken up by the developed world and China.

How World build a carbon-neutral world by 2050 (Suggestion):

  • No Country will be able to ignore the social and economic pressures as climate impacts become more severe – but the longer it takes, the more expensive it will become. Governments, states, cities, businesses and investors know this.
  • The Paris Agreement provides an international framework for countries to set clear goals and increase their ambition, over time, to reach a net-zero carbon worlds.
  • The Carbon Neutral Coalition– comprising 26 countries, 15 cities, 17 regions and states, and 192 companies – is spearheading ambitious efforts to implement policies and incentives that will support the process
  • The Under2Coalition of 205 jurisdictions– representing 43 countries and six continents – is developing deep decarburization plans for 2050. And 412 companies have committed to set ‘science-based targets’ to achieve the same aim.

 

Way Forward:

  • India, with its huge population and now one of the world’s largest economies, can easily be in the crosshairs of such a discourse no matter its extraordinarily small carbon footprint in per-capita terms and huge development imperatives.
  • India to carefully calibrate its approach including on the economic and political fronts.
  • The Climate negotiations are not just about the environment and human well-being or even energy, but are also about global governance, and will henceforth be pursued with a vigor which requires.

Question: –

Climate justice is an imperative for India, which needs to leverage its green and pro-nature commitment to ensure carbon and policy space for its developmental and global aspirations. Critically evaluate.

The secret of the Quad’s renewed viability? India’s manufacturing ability

Why in News: –

The First Quad Leaders’ Summit will be held virtually on 12 March 2021. Prime Minister of India, Australia, Japan and US will participate in the first Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework.

Syllabus:

 GS 2: India and its bilateral relations

International organisations

  • The First Quad Leaders’ Summit will be held virtually on 12 March 2021. Prime Minister of India, Australia, Japan and US will participate in the first Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework.
  • The Leaders will discuss regional and global issues of shared interest and exchange views on practical areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
  • The Summit will provide an opportunity to exchange views on contemporary challenges such as resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security and climate change.
  • The Leaders will also discuss ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19 pandemic and explore opportunities for collaboration in ensuring safe, equitable and affordable vaccines in the Indo-Pacific region.

Significance Of Quad:

  • The strategic case for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, better known as the Quad, has always been sound.
  • A rising China, with its authoritarian one-party system, is a challenge to the democratic order.
  • It made sense, therefore, for democracies around China to pool their resources and strengths and present to the world a better and more sustainable model of governance.
  • The strategic case for the Quad has, however, always faced a tactical hurdle. China was the factory of the world.
  • It had become an almost indispensable cog in the global supply chain owing to its low-cost manufacturing prowess at a mass scale.

China’s Challenge: –

  • It was exactly this dilemma that stunted the first iteration of the Quad soon after its birth in 2007.
  • As long as there was no equivalent manufacturing destination to rival China, the case for an “arc of democracies” would remain confined to concept papers in think tanks.
  • Two recent developments have completely changed the dynamic.
    • Australia returned to the Malabar Naval exercises in 2020, after 13 years.
    • And on March 12, the first summit-level meet of the Quad — comprising the US, India, Japan and Australia — is scheduled to take place.

QUAD 2.0: –

First, the success in PPE kits.

  • At the beginning of the COVID-19pandemic, India was manufacturing zero PPE kits.
  • As the world — including the developed economies — was scrambling to secure supplies from China, India not just created an overnight world-class manufacturing capacity to meet its own needs but also started exporting PPE kits.
  • From zero to almost a million kits a day — the ability to scale was breathtaking.
  • The same was the case with ventilators and other essential supplies, such as the drug HCQ.

Second, the soft power of Vaccine Maitri.

  • While the developed countries are scrambling to secure vaccines for their domestic population, India is not only vaccinating its own people faster than any other country.
  • It is also exporting millions of vaccines to countries in need — and all through domestically-manufactured vaccines.
  • From Canada to Pakistan and from the Caribbean Islands to Brazil — Made in India vaccines have been a life vest across the globe.

 

Third, the enterprise of India’s private industry — a hallmark of the deepening manufacturing base.

  • As a recent New York Times report noted, when it came to syringes — without which the vaccines were useless — the global scramble again led to India and Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices, among other manufactures.
  • Hindustan Syringes alone has ramped up its manufacturing capacity to almost 6,000 syringes a minute!

 

Fourth, India’s success in precision high-end manufacturing.

  • The PLI scheme launched for electronics’ manufacturing evinced unprecedented global interest with 22 top companies, including the top manufactures for Apple and Samsung mobile phones.
  • Over the next five years, a manufacturing capacity of over $150 billion and exports of $100 billion have been tied up through this scheme.

 

Fifth, the success of India’s fourth-generation fighter jet programme and the orders placed by the Indian Air Force for 83 Tejas jets.
  • Very few countries have the ability to indigenously manufacture such high-tech fighter planes and India’s success is one more milestone in its journey towards emerging as a global manufacturing destination.

 

Significance for India: –

  • India has been reforming its economic policies to make it even more attractive as a manufacturing destination.
  • India has the lowest tax rate anywhere in the world — 15 per cent for new manufacturing units.
  • FDI norms have been relaxed across the board and automatic approval processes instituted for FDI even up to 100 per cent.
  • Privatisation of PSUs is now an established process.
  • Labour laws have been finally reformed and compliance burdens significantly eased. Taxation is now faceless, thus ending the spectre of rent-seeking.
  • A well-functioning, world-class bankruptcy law is in place. Interest rates are low.
  • India’s digital infrastructure rivals the best in the world and in many cases beats it.
  • All of this has enabled the world to envision India in a new light — as the new global manufacturing hub.
  • All the benefits that China provided — quality, scale, speed, skilled manpower and a vast domestic market — are now operative for India but without the drawbacks of the Chinese model.

 

Way Forward

  • The only arrow that was missing in the quiver of the Quad has now been attained.
  • The strategic case for the Quad was never in doubt.
  • The dependence on China’s factories is what kept the grouping of democracies from emerging. India has raised its hand to solve that problem.
  • 0 is now a viable global alliance. It’s no wonder that the Quad summit will be the first high-profile global meet that the new US president, Joe Biden, will be attending.
  • The new world order post-COVID is being rewritten before our eyes and India, led by Prime Minister of India is playing a leading role in establishing this order.

Question: –

Comment on the significance of QUAD 2.0 for Indian growth in international market.

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