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The Hindu PDF 21 December 2023 Analysis


The Hindu PDF 21 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 21 December 2023 for UPSC

LS passes Bills to replace British-era criminal laws: Page 1

  • Lok Sabha passed three amended Bills replacing colonial-era criminal laws.
  • Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill (BNSS) replaces Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill (BSS) replaces Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
  • Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill (BNSSS) replaces Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.
  • Terrorism offenses integrated into general crime law; sedition dropped.
  • Mob lynching now punishable by death penalty.
  • Bills emphasize justice over punishment, designed for the next century.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah highlighted removal of British imprints in the laws.
  • Amendment to BNSS excludes doctors from prosecution for medical negligence deaths.
  • Hit-and-run accidents now punishable by ten years imprisonment.
  • Definition of terrorism included in BNSS as a separate category.
  • Opposition members absent during the voice vote; 97 suspended during the session.
  • Home Minister stressed no scope for misuse of terror provisions in BNSS.
  • Sedition replaced with “deshdroha” (offense against the nation) in the new law.
  • Opposition concerns about impact on minority and underprivileged communities.
  • Clause 187 of BNSSS allows police custody up to 90 days; opposed by some MPs.
  • Home Minister insisted total police custody would remain at 15 days.

India’s defence budgeting and the point of deterrence: Page IO

  • Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) program cost around $10 billion in 2007.
  • Purchase of 36 Rafale jets fell short of the required 126 aircraft, leading to depleting squadron strength.
  • Indian Air Force (IAF) squadron strength currently at an abysmal 32.
  • India’s Army and Navy also face reported deficiencies.
  • Allocation for defense in Budget 2024-25 could be impacted, especially during elections.
  • Deterrence posture crucial for defense preparedness.
  • Question raised: Should ‘affordable defense’ or ‘affordable effectiveness’ drive defense Budget allocation?
  • IAF opts for 97 more Tejas Mk1A fighters despite the initial plan for 114 multi-role fighter aircraft.
  • Focus on the need for judicious assessment of India’s war strategy, considering threats on northern and western borders.
  • Importance of balancing imports and indigenous development for defense potency.
  • India’s defense budget, in real terms, has been stagnant; decline in defense expenditure as a percentage of central government expenditure.
  • Research and development expenditure in India at 0.7% of GDP; China spent 2.54% of GDP on R&D in 2022.
  • Government’s emphasis on indigenization through schemes like iDEX and service-specific projects.
  • Restructuring of the Ordnance Factory Board and negative lists for imports to boost the private sector.
  • Recognition that indigenization efforts have a long gestation period and require sustained momentum.
  • Need for defense budgeting to be election-proof, emphasizing bipartisan statesmanship.
  • Caution against compromising national security imperatives for electoral imperatives.
  • Reference to China’s increasing defense budget and global geopolitical shifts.
  • Call for giving due importance to India’s defense budget and national security imperatives.

What causes inflation in India: Demand or supply issues?: Page 11

  • Inflation in India is influenced by both supply and demand factors.
  • During the COVID-19 waves, supply disruptions were the main cause of inflation.
  • Post the Russia-Ukraine conflict, factors related to demand became more prominent in driving inflation.
  • Lockdowns during the pandemic led to a decline in production and demand, causing a drop in economic growth.
  • The reopening of the economy, vaccine distribution, and pent-up demand resulted in a rapid recovery of demand.
  • This demand recovery outpaced supply, leading to rising pressures on commodity prices.
  • The Russia-Ukraine conflict intensified supply chain challenges and added to commodity price pressures.
  • Analysis using consumer expenditure data indicates that categories like vegetables, oils and fats, milk, eggs, pulses, and sugar frequently experience supply-side constraints.
  • Items like non-alcoholic beverages, personal care products, and health-related goods are mainly affected by demand-side factors.
  • On average, supply-side factors accounted for about 55% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) headline inflation from January 2019 to May 2023.
  • The impact of demand-side factors on headline inflation decreased during the COVID-19 crisis but saw intermittent increases post the waves and after the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
  • Over the entire period from January 2019 to May 2023, the contribution of demand drivers to inflation stood at 31%.

Outcomes of the COP-28 climate summit: Page 12

  • COP-28 held in Dubai focused on climate crisis addressing mitigation, adaptation, financing, and the role of developed vs developing nations.
  • Loss and Damage (L&D) fund operationalized with a pledge of $790 million, falling far short of the required $100-400 billion annually.
  • Global Stocktake (GST) introduced, emphasizing transitioning away from fossil fuels and tripling renewable energy and nuclear capacity by 2030.
  • Declaration on climate justice includes mention of ‘transitional fuels’ like natural gas, allowing continued fossil fuel use in certain sectors.
  • Green finance mechanisms established, with $3.5 billion for the Green Climate Fund, $188 million for the Adaptation Fund, and ALTÉRRA aiming for $250 billion by 2030.
  • India didn’t sign the climate and health declaration, citing potential harm to healthcare infrastructure growth due to GHG reduction commitments.
  • India also abstained from the Global Methane Pledge, focusing on methane’s lower lifetime and its significant role in Indian agriculture.
  • COP-28 outcomes include firsts like the climate and health declaration, emphasis on nature-based solutions, and a landmark agreement on transitioning to sustainable food systems.
  • Challenges persist, including differences on fossil-fuel subsidies, L&D fund management, market mechanisms, and private sector engagement.
  • Mixed outcomes with progress on renewable energy targets but concerns about fund management, risky technologies, fossil fuel use, and contentious issues.

Ministry signs deal for six offshore patrol vessels: Page 14

  • Defence Ministry signed a ₹1,614.89-crore contract with Mazagon Dockyard Shipbuilders for six next-gen offshore patrol vessels for Coast Guard.
  • Four vessels to replace aging ones, and two to augment the Coast Guard fleet.
  • Modern, high-tech ships to enhance surveillance, law enforcement, search and rescue, and maritime pollution response.
  • Vessels equipped with multipurpose drones and AI capability for advanced capabilities.

Lok Sabha passes Telecom Bill 2023 to replace 138-year-old Telegraph Act: Page 14

  • Lok Sabha passes Telecom Bill, 2023, replacing the 138-year-old Indian Telegraph Act.
  • Aims to reform and simplify telecom regulatory and licensing, removing infrastructure bottlenecks.
  • Grants government authority to temporarily control telecom services for national security.
  • Introduces a non-auction route for satellite spectrum allocation.
  • Provides mechanisms for laying telecom infrastructure in public and private properties.
  • Allows Central government measures to protect users, including a do-not-disturb register.
  • Requires authorization for establishing and operating telecom networks, services, or possessing radio equipment.
  • Spectrum allocation through auction, with exceptions for specified entities and purposes.
  • Union Minister emphasizes the bill as the most significant telecom sector reform, streamlining authorizations.
  • Provisions for intercepting telecommunications on grounds like security, public order, or offense prevention.
  • Telecom services may be suspended in cases of public emergencies or for public safety.
  • The Bill will now move to the Rajya Sabha for passage after being introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 18.

Disinflation may pave way for interest rate cut: RBI officials: Page 17

  • Central bank officials, led by Deputy Governor Michael D. Patra, suggest a potential interest rate cut due to disinflation in an article in the RBI’s December Bulletin.
  • Global interest rates may decrease as the pace of global growth slows in 2024, with varying disinflation in different regions.
  • In India, sustained economic activity expected due to easing input costs and corporate profitability.
  • CPI inflation rose to 5.6% in November, but officials anticipate easing to an average of 4.6% in the first three quarters of 2024-25.
  • Domestic financial markets lifted by the strength of the real economy despite global headwinds.
  • The Indian economy remained the fastest-growing major economy in 2023, with a cautious but optimistic outlook.
  • Consumer confidence remains positive, and perceptions about current income improved in a November 2023 survey.
  • Supply chain pressures in India are below historical average levels, and the RBI’s economic activity index forecasts GDP growth for Q3:2023-24 at 6.7%.
  • Despite global challenges, the officials expect sustained growth in H2:2023-24 and 2024-25 with some moderation.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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