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The Hindu PDF 17 December 2023 Analysis


The Hindu PDF 17 December 2023 Newspaper is considered an important source of news and information for UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) aspirants in India. This The Hindu Epaper PDF newspaper covers a wide range of topics that are relevant to the UPSC exam, including politics, economics, international relations, governance, and social issues.

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The Hindu Epaper Analysis 17 December 2023 for UPSC

School of happiness to take root in Assam: Page 1

  • First-of-its-kind school: International School of Peace and Happiness
  • Location: Bijni in Chirang district, Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR), Assam
  • Foundation: Scheduled to be laid in the first week of January 2024
  • Initiative by: Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC)
  • Background: BTR has a history of extremism and ethnic conflicts
  • Objective: Instill human values for co-existence among youth and community leaders
  • Germination: Idea originated three years ago when BTC government was formed
  • Previous initiative: Bodoland Happiness Mission introduced a year ago
  • Training: 400 youth and community leaders chosen as peace and happiness volunteers
  • Training content:
  • Awareness of laws related to social issues
  • Removing conscious and unconscious biases
  • Barefoot counselling and maintaining right body postures
  • De-stressing exercises
  • Impact on trainees: Increased self-awareness, understanding of others, and breaking community-specific boundaries
  • Testimonials from ‘peace volunteers’:
  • Understanding people beyond family and tribe
  • Correcting mistakes of the past, apologizing, and moving forward
  • Dealing amicably with conflicts at home and social levels
  • Courses at happiness school: To be designed at a later stage

India and Oman in talks to sign an economic partnership agreement: Page 9

  • India and Oman to sign a comprehensive economic partnership agreement
  • Announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s state visit to India
  • Presence of a large number of Indians in Oman seen as a testament to healthy bilateral relations
  • Geographical proximity and thousands of years’ old trade and cultural links highlighted
  • Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s visit is the first state visit to India by an Omani ruler in 26 years
  • Bilateral discussions at Hyderabad House covered the situation in Israel and the Palestinians
  • Sultan Qaboos, the previous ruler, honored with the Gandhi Peace Prize by India in 2020
  • Five documents signed, including an agreement to prevent money laundering
  • Proposal to recreate the maritime voyage of a stitched ship from Mandvi in Gujarat to Muscat in 2025-26
  • Strong condemnation of terrorism in all forms and manifestations by Modi and Sultan Haitham bin Tarik
  • Emphasis on fostering universal values of peace, moderation, coexistence, and tolerance

Navy deploys plane, warship after vessel reports hijack in Arabian Sea: Page 9

  • Navy response to hijack in the Arabian Sea involving a Malta-flagged cargo vessel (m.v. Ruen)
  • Distress call received on the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operation (UKMTO) portal on December 14
  • m.v. Ruen reported six ‘pirates’ illegally boarding the vessel
  • Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft conducted surveillance missions
  • Warship on anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden deployed to locate and assist m.v. Ruen
  • Aircraft overflew the hijacked vessel on December 15, monitoring its movement toward the coast of Somalia
  • Navy warship intercepted m.v. Ruen on Saturday morning
  • Ongoing coordination with other agencies in the area, including responses from the Navies of Spain and Japan
  • Commitment of the Indian Navy to being a first responder in the region and ensuring the safety of merchant shipping

Modi flags off Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra in 5 States, says focus will be on smaller cities: Page 10

  • PM Modi launches Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra (VBSY) in 5 states for small cities’ development.
  • Emphasis on smaller cities’ role in a developed India.
  • AMRUT Mission and Smart City Mission for basic facilities in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.
  • COVID-19 pandemic assistance includes financial support, free vaccines, and rations.
  • “Modi ki guarantee” vehicles cover villages, cities; focus on financial inclusion for street vendors.
  • SVANidhi Yojana provides easy loans for over 50 lakh people.
  • Atal Pension Scheme for social security with six crore subscribers.
  • Ayushman Bharat scheme covers urban poor, saving ₹1 lakh crore on medical expenses.

Optimistic on trade agreement ahead of elections: Swiss, Norway Ministers: Page 11

  • Trade Ministers of Switzerland and Norway discuss Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in Delhi.
  • No specific timeline provided for the conclusion of talks between India and Nordic countries of EFTA for TEPA.
  • Recent talks gained momentum, but several issues, including Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), remain unresolved.
  • Key discussion topics include trade in goods and services, trade and sustainable development, SPS measures, trade remedies, associated trade facilitation, and rules of origin.
  • IPRs and copyright concerns are highlighted as significant issues, described as “bread and butter” matters for Switzerland and Norway.
  • Negotiations with EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) for TEPA started 15 years ago.
  • The negotiating teams on both sides are acknowledged for their hard work, but the impact of upcoming elections on the talks is uncertain.
  • EFTA countries have completed 30 FTAs and are negotiating agreements with MERCOSUR, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
  • Both sides express the need to “speed up” TEPA talks, with multiple visits to India by EFTA representatives.
  • Switzerland’s Ambassador to India remains positive about concluding the deal before the 2024 election, but the timeline may be affected by new lines in the list of goods and ongoing IPR issues.
  • TEPA negotiations have progressed, with key interests exchanged, but specific details about the new list of goods and IPRs are part of ongoing negotiations.
  • EFTA nations emphasize the mutual benefits of a trade agreement, highlighting India’s large market size and the significant number of jobs they generate in India.
  • Norway aims to engage with India on critical mineral mining, potentially contributing to India’s renewable energy plans by 2030.

Taiwan to receive $300 million worth equipment from U.S.: Page 12

  • The U.S. State Department approves a $300 million sale of equipment to maintain Taiwan’s tactical information systems.
  • The sale is for follow-on life cycle support to enhance Taiwan’s Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4) capabilities.
  • The support aims to help Taiwan meet current and future threats by improving operational readiness and maintaining secure flow of tactical information.
  • The U.S. is obligated by law to provide defense assistance to Taiwan, causing tensions with Beijing.
  • The Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency highlights the importance of the sale for Taiwan’s defense capabilities.
  • Taiwan’s Defence Ministry acknowledges the serious threat posed by Chinese military operations and expresses gratitude for the sale.
  • The sale is expected to take effect in one month, pending notification to the U.S. Congress.

Kuwait Emir, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al Sabah, dead: Page 12

  • Kuwait’s ruling emir, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, aged 86, died after a three-year reign focused on resolving internal political disputes.
  • The cause of death is undisclosed.
  • Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber, aged 83, the half-brother and deputy ruler, is expected to become Kuwait’s ruler, making him one of the world’s oldest crown princes.
  • Sheikh Nawaf, sworn in as Emir in 2020 amid the pandemic, succeeded Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
  • His legacy is tainted by criticism for decisions as Defence Minister during Iraq’s invasion in 1990, including alleged orders for tank crews not to fire on Iraqi forces.
  • Emir Nawaf focused on domestic issues during his term, addressing political disputes and overhauling Kuwait’s welfare system.
  • In 2021, he issued an amnesty decree for Kuwaiti dissidents to defuse a government stand-off.
  • The nation faces financial challenges, with limited funds from oil reserves to pay public sector salaries.
  • British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak offers condolences.

Why has Hungary blocked EU aid to Ukraine?: Page 14

  • Hungary blocked the EU’s €50 billion aid package for Ukraine despite allowing EU membership talks to begin.
  • Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a close ally of Russian President Putin, believes Ukraine is not ready for EU membership and should serve as a strategic partner first.
  • Orban opposed the aid, arguing that a non-EU member shouldn’t receive such funds while Hungary, an EU member, faces fund denial.
  • Hungary used its veto power as a bargaining chip to unfreeze funds frozen by the EU, receiving €10 billion before the summit.
  • Orban, urged by German Chancellor Scholz, left the room during objections, allowing the EU to start talks on Ukraine’s EU accession.
  • Ukraine’s EU membership is not guaranteed, as it requires approval from all EU parliaments, including Hungary’s.
  • If Orban persists, the EU may create a trust with the other 26 members to provide aid to Ukraine, potentially causing delays.
  • The EU aid package is crucial for Ukraine, as President Zelensky fears war fatigue and wants to secure support amid challenges in the U.S.
  • Republican lawmakers in the U.S. are losing patience with the conflict, linking aid approval to tightening immigration policies.
  • Zelensky seeks binding political support, such as EU and NATO membership, before potential changes in U.S. foreign policy.

How will Article 370 verdict impact federalism?: Page 14

  • Supreme Court upheld President’s power to abrogate Article 370, impacting federalism.
  • J&K lost “any element of sovereignty” post-1947 accession, affecting federalism.
  • Petitioners argued irreversible consequences during President’s rule violate Article 356 powers.
  • Ladakh’s creation as a Union Territory validated under Article 3.
  • Concerns expressed about diminishing autonomy, impact on federalism, and representative democracy.
  • President can unilaterally notify Article 370 cessation; no State government concurrence needed.
  • President’s power to abrogate Article 370 under Article 370(3) persists after Constituent Assembly dissolution.
  • Article 370 seen as a feature of asymmetric federalism; no sovereignty implied for J&K.

Is the world closer to phasing out fossil fuel?: Page 14

  • Dubai Consensus at COP acknowledges need to “transition” from fossil fuels for net zero by 2050.
  • Marks the first formal acknowledgment since 1995 that fossil fuel emissions drive global warming.
  • “Phase down” coal agreed in COP26; no specific timeline for phasing out all fossil fuels.
  • Challenges include well-established infrastructure for coal, oil, and gas, hindering immediate replacement.
  • India plans to add 87,000 MW of new coal-fired capacity by 2027, highlighting continued reliance on fossil fuels.
  • “Transition fuels” considered, with natural gas as a contender, despite methane emissions.
  • Dubai Consensus emphasizes the need to accelerate and reduce non-carbon-dioxide emissions, including methane, by 2030.
  • Global Methane Pledge signed by nearly 150 countries aims to cut methane emissions 30% of 2020 levels by 2030.
  • India resists pressure to cut methane emissions, citing a significant portion from the agricultural sector.
  • Plans to make energy production processes more efficient to reduce methane release.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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