The Hindu PDF 19 May 2023 Analysis

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The Hindu PDF Analysis for UPSC

Meghwal replaces Kiren Rijiju as Law Minister: Page 1

  • The Modi government has removed Kiren Rijiju as Law Minister and appointed Arjun Ram Meghwal as his replacement.
  • Arjun Ram Meghwal, previously Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, has been given independent charge of the Law and Justice Ministry.
  • S.P. Singh Baghel, the MoS for Law, has been moved to the Health Ministry.
  • The changes come at a time when there is a perception of a possible conflict between the judiciary and the government.
  • Arjun Ram Meghwal emphasized that the executive and the judiciary have a cordial relationship and will continue to maintain a constitutional rapport.
  • Kiren Rijiju has been allocated the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • Reasons for Rijiju’s removal from the Law Ministry include slow progress on important legislative business such as the Uniform Civil Code, a core ideological issue of the BJP.
  • Rijiju has been critical of the existing collegium system for appointing judges and made controversial remarks about a section of retired Supreme Court judges being part of the “anti-India gang.”

Congress ends uncertainty, picks Siddaramaiah as CM: Page 1

  • Siddaramaiah, an eight-term MLA, has been announced as the next Chief Minister of Karnataka by the Congress party.
  • D.K. Shivakumar, the president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, will serve as the Deputy Chief Minister.
  • The announcement was made after a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Bengaluru, where the newly elected MLAs unanimously endorsed Siddaramaiah as the CLP leader.
  • The Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and a group of Ministers will be sworn in on Saturday at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
  • Several leaders from like-minded parties, including Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, D. Raja, and Sharad Pawar, are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
  • The Congress delegation called on Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot to stake their claim to form the government.
  • The intervention of former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was reportedly required to resolve the deadlock between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar for the top job.
  • The decision on the chief ministerial and deputy chief ministerial candidates was taken by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge after consulting senior leaders, including Sonia Gandhi.
  • Shivakumar will continue as the KPCC president until the Lok Sabha election in 2024.
  • The selection of the Chief Minister was not a smooth affair, and the formation of the Cabinet is expected to be challenging due to the large number of aspirants vying for ministerial berths.
  • Former KPCC president G. Parameshwara, a Dalit leader, has demanded the Deputy Chief Minister’s post, emphasizing the need for representation of Dalits in the Cabinet formation.

PM launches railway projects worth 0,000 cr. in Odisha: Page 3

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched railway projects worth over ₹8,000 crore in Odisha and flagged off the State’s first Vande Bharat Express, connecting Puri to West Bengal’s Howrah.
  • The launch and flagging off ceremony took place via videoconferencing.
  • The PM highlighted the significance of Vande Bharat Express and stated that it represents India’s speed and progress.
  • The train will reduce the travel time between Kolkata and Puri from 7.5 to 9 hours to six-and-a-half hours, opening up business opportunities.
  • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requested the PM’s cooperation in setting up an international airport in Puri.
  • The proposed international airport in Puri is expected to be operational within three to four years.

Warming warning: Page 8

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has projected an increase in global temperatures in the next decade, with the annual mean global near-surface temperature likely to be 1.1°-1.8°C higher than the average from 1850-1900.
  • There is a 66% chance that the global near-surface temperature will exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in at least one year before 2027.
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has emphasized the need to stay below the 1.5°C threshold to avoid disastrous consequences of global warming.
  • Current climate policies are not aligned with keeping temperature rise within this limit, and the globe is projected to heat beyond 2°C by the end of the century.
  • The WMO predicts that at least one of the years from 2023 to 2027 will be the hottest on record, surpassing the temperature recorded in 2016.
  • The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is expected to be positive during December to February 2023-24, leading to warmer Central Equatorial Pacific Ocean and potentially impacting India’s monsoon rainfall.
  • Hotter oceans contribute to stronger cyclones, as seen in the recent Cyclone Mocha in Myanmar.
  • Although the WMO update does not provide specific inputs for India, indicators suggest that India, with its dependence on rain-fed agriculture and long coastline, will face significant challenges due to global climate changes.
  • India’s forecasting capabilities for cyclones and weather anomalies have improved, but there is a need for greater investments in disaster-related infrastructure to enhance resilience.

A long-drawn test for India’s diplomatic skills: Page 8

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is embarking on a week-long journey to Japan, Papua New Guinea, and Australia.
  • Global issues and India’s position in the multilateral sphere will be the focus of discussions with G-7 leaders.
  • Bilateral issues will take a back seat during the trip, with a focus on India’s role in the changing world order.
  • The Quad Summit in Sydney has been canceled, but all four Quad leaders will meet on the sidelines of the G-7.
  • Prime Minister Modi will have a state visit to the United States in June to strengthen India-U.S. ties.
  • India will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, where leaders from China, Russia, Pakistan, and Central Asian states will be present.
  • The SCO represents a largely anti-western grouping, and India finds comfort in its common stand against unilateral sanctions.
  • The article highlights the need for India to strike a balance between different geopolitical alliances and manage its relations with China, Russia, and the West.
  • India’s engagements with the European Union, BRICS, and G-20 are also mentioned, emphasizing the country’s global diplomatic efforts.
  • The article mentions the importance of India’s role in forging consensus and maintaining a fair balance between conflicting interests on the global stage.
  • Various scenarios, such as Ukraine’s success, China’s aggression, or external pressure on India, could potentially disrupt India’s diplomatic balance.
  • The upcoming SCO, BRICS, and G-20 summits will be crucial in determining India’s reputation and its ability to navigate global challenges.

Elections and the airwaves: Page 10

  • During elections, political parties in India are provided free airtime on public broadcasters like All India Radio (Akashvani) and Doordarshan.
  • The provision for free airtime was given statutory basis through the 2003 amendment to the Representation of People Act, 1951.
  • The rationale behind the scheme is to ensure fair and equitable access to airwaves, which are considered public property, during elections.
  • The Supreme Court has held that the use of airwaves should serve the greater public good, and the misuse of airwaves for unfair electoral advantage is a regulatory concern.
  • In countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, similar provisions exist to maintain fairness and equity in electioneering on airwaves.
  • In India, time vouchers are distributed by the Election Commission through a lottery system to ensure a transparent process and avoid preferential treatment in primetime slots.
  • The transcripts of political parties are vetted to ensure adherence to relevant codes, which prohibit content critical of other countries, religious attacks, incitement of violence, and personal attacks.
  • The scheme provides diversity and color to the electoral process by offering State-sponsored airtime that is not affiliated with specific political parties.
  • The guidelines also mandate the airing of panel discussions to promote informed citizenry and allow parties to debate and criticize each other’s policies and manifestos.
  • Operational challenges include debates over equity due to the scheme’s availability to national and recognized State parties and the constraints of practicality in allocating airwaves.
  • There are calls to extend the provision to cover private broadcasters and differentiate political broadcasts from regular news broadcasts and programs.
  • The effective use of airwaves is crucial for nourishing and enriching Indian democracy, especially in the context of the upcoming 2024 General Elections.

What are RBI regulations on green deposits?: Page 10

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced a regulatory framework for banks to accept green deposits from customers.
  • Green deposits are similar to regular deposits but with the distinction that banks commit to allocating the funds toward environment-friendly projects.
  • The RBI’s framework requires banks to establish rules and policies approved by their Boards for investing green deposits.
  • Banks must disclose information on the amount of green deposits received, how they were allocated to green projects, and the environmental impact of these investments.
  • Third-party verification is necessary to authenticate banks’ claims about the projects and sustainability credentials.
  • The RBI has provided a list of sectors eligible to receive green deposits, including renewable energy, waste management, clean transportation, energy efficiency, and afforestation.
  • Green deposits cannot be invested in sectors such as fossil fuels, nuclear power, tobacco, gambling, palm oil, and hydropower generation.
  • The new rules aim to prevent greenwashing, where misleading claims are made about the environmental impact of an activity.
  • Green deposits may provide satisfaction to depositors who prioritize environmental concerns, but there are challenges due to the limited range of eligible projects.
  • There is debate about the effectiveness of green investment products in actually benefiting the environment, with critics arguing that they can be a form of “feel-good” marketing.
  • Assessing the true environmental sustainability of projects can be challenging, considering the complex and indirect effects involved.

India is planning to hold Quad meet in Japan, says Foreign Secretary: Page 12

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a three-nation visit to Japan, Papua New Guinea, and Australia.
  • In Japan, he will participate in the G-7 summit as a guest country and unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Hiroshima.
  • India plans to hold a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) meeting on the sidelines of the G-7 summit.
  • Mr. Modi will then travel to Papua New Guinea to jointly lead the summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC).
  • India has been supporting sustainable development, solar energy, and health programs in FIPIC member countries.
  • Bilateral meetings with FIPIC leaders, including Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea and Chris Hipkins from New Zealand, are scheduled.
  • The visit will conclude in Sydney, Australia, where Mr. Modi will hold bilateral talks with the Australian Prime Minister.
  • Discussions are underway to upgrade the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement between India and Australia to a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.
  • The Prime Minister will engage with Australian CEOs and business leaders during his visit.

Modi to inaugurate new Parliament building on May 28: Page 12

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the new Parliament building on May 28.
  • The new building has been constructed at an estimated cost of ₹970 crore by Tata Projects Ltd. and designed by HCP Design, Planning and Management.
  • It is a four-storey building with increased seating capacity compared to the old building.
  • The Lok Sabha chambers can seat 888 members, while the Rajya Sabha can accommodate 300 members.
  • Joint sittings of both Houses will be held in the Lok Sabha, which can accommodate 1,280 MPs.
  • The inauguration is scheduled two days after the completion of nine years of the Modi government.
  • The Monsoon Session of Parliament will be held in the new building.
  • The old Parliament building, completed in 1927, is almost 100 years old.
  • The construction of the new building was driven by the need for more space and modernization.

Govt. clears appointment; Mishra, Viswanathan to be sworn in as SC judges today: Page 13

  • Prashant Kumar Mishra and K.V. Viswanathan will be sworn in as Supreme Court judges.
  • Prashant Kumar Mishra was the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
  • K.V. Viswanathan is a direct appointment from the Supreme Court Bar.
  • Their appointments were cleared by the government in a quick process.
  • K.V. Viswanathan has the potential to become the 58th Chief Justice of India in 2030.
  • He is the ninth lawyer to be elevated directly to the Supreme Court Bench.
  • Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice M.R. Shah, who recently retired, are being replaced by these appointments.
  • Justices K.M. Joseph and Ajay Rastogi, along with Justice V. Ramasubramanian, will retire in June during the summer holidays.

Centre pushes vaccination as lumpy skin ravages cattle: Page 14

  • Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, and Sikkim have reported fresh cases of lumpy skin disease in May.
  • The Union Ministry of Animal Husbandry reviewed the situation and concluded that it was under control, despite 10,000 cases being reported in the past two weeks.
  • The infection is not as contagious as it was last year, partly due to the protection provided by vaccinations done last year.
  • The Ministry suggested increasing vaccination efforts to further control the disease.
  • Around nine crore cattle have been vaccinated so far, and the recovery rate is above 94%.
  • The gravity of the infection is lower than last year, as cattle have developed herd immunity.
  • The Ministry has urged the states to step up vaccination drives and take precautions during the monsoon.
  • Fogging and disinfection drives are recommended in risky areas.
  • Central teams have visited Maharashtra, and visits to Uttarakhand and Karnataka are planned to monitor the situation.

Papua New Guinea to sign security pact with U.S.: PM: Page 15

  • Papua New Guinea (PNG) will sign a security pact with the United States, granting American troops access to PNG’s ports and airports.
  • The agreement is part of the U.S. administration’s focus on the Pacific region due to concerns about China’s growing assertiveness.
  • The Prime Minister of PNG, James Marape, announced that two agreements on defence cooperation and maritime surveillance have been agreed upon with the United States.
  • The agreements will be formally signed after parliamentary approval and can be renewed every 15 years.
  • The United States will have access to PNG’s waters near sea routes to Australia and Japan, while PNG will gain access to U.S. satellite surveillance.
  • Although a leaked draft version of the defence cooperation agreement mentioned broad autonomy for American forces at key entry points, Prime Minister Marape clarified that any access would require approval from the PNG government.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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