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The Hindu PDF 7 December 2023 Analysis


The Hindu PDF 7 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 7 December 2023 for UPSC

114 seats, migrant quota cleared for J&K Assembly: Page 1

  • Lok Sabha passes Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023
  • Reservation of seats in the 114-seat J&K Assembly for Kashmiri migrants, those displaced from PoK, and Scheduled Tribes
  • Home Minister Amit Shah emphasizes that the reservation ensures the community’s voice is heard in the Assembly
  • Reorganisation Bill increases total seats from 107 to 114, with nine reserved for Scheduled Tribes
  • Lieutenant-Governor empowered to nominate three members, including representatives of Kashmiri migrants and PoK refugees
  • J&K Reservation Bill replaces “weak and underprivileged classes” with “Other Backward Classes” in the 2004 Act
  • Opposition’s claim that the law cannot be amended due to a Supreme Court challenge is refuted by Shah
  • Shah criticizes Nehru’s historical blunders, stating that PoK would have been part of India if not for these mistakes
  • Congress members walk out in response to Shah blaming Nehru; BJD leader mocks Congress, referencing the “Himalayan blunder”
  • Shah clarifies that the removal of Article 370 did not guarantee an end to terrorism but aimed at reducing separatist ideology spread

MP Index reduction under the NDA is flawed: Page 8

  • Samuel Johnson on poverty’s impact on human happiness, liberty, and virtues
  • Amartya Sen’s perspective on well-being: capabilities and functionings
  • UNDP’s National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2023 report criticized for flaws
  • MPI shows a near-halving of India’s national MPI value, declining from 24.85% to 14.96% (2015-16 to 2019-21)
  • Reduction implies about 135.5 million people exited poverty, and intensity of poverty decreased
  • Criticisms: MPI relies on NFHS 4 and 5, blocked NFHS 5, and ignores NSS on household consumption expenditure
  • COVID-19’s economic impact, loss of livelihoods, and decline in GDP growth challenged MPI estimates
  • Analysis focuses on MPI covariates: per capita state income, urban population, health, and education expenditure
  • Drastic income decrease led to MPI spike; urban location, education expenditure associated with lower MPI
  • Health care expenditure and criminal MPs linked to higher MPI; rising share of criminal MPs noted
  • Selective review suggests official MPI reduction estimate (9.89%) may be exaggerated; poverty increased in Uttar Pradesh
  • MPI contrasts with conventional poverty measures, potentially obfuscating a contradictory story of poverty

Navigating the U.S.-China relationship: Page 10

  • U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a summit on November 15, aiming to improve strained bilateral relations.
  • The key outcome was the decision to restore military-to-military communications between the two nuclear states to prevent miscalculations.
  • Military Maritime Consultative Agreement channels, closed after Nancy Pelosi’s controversial Taiwan visit, will resume regular exchanges.
  • Taiwan’s status is contentious, with China seeking reunification, and the U.S. providing security guarantees under the “one-China” policy.
  • Trade dispute involves the U.S. blacklisting Chinese companies, export controls on advanced computer chips, and restrictions on tech exports.
  • China responds with bans on gallium and germanium exports, curbs on graphite exports, and tightened anti-espionage and data protection laws.
  • Both countries leverage economic strengths to inflict damage on the other, with a focus on critical technologies like AI and semiconductors.
  • Despite previous muscular approaches, there is a subtle shift under Biden towards exploring pragmatic coexistence to de-risk the two economies.

The role of special inquiry committees of Parliament: Page 10

  • TMC MP Mahua Moitra is facing an inquiry by the ethics committee of the Lok Sabha for alleged “unethical conduct” and “breach of privileges.”
  • Accusations include asking questions to target a business house at the behest of a businessman in exchange for cash and sharing login credentials.
  • The ethics committee, established in 2000, oversees the moral and ethical conduct of members, examining cases of unethical conduct referred to it.
  • Prima facie inquiry is conducted before examining a complaint, and the committee presents its report to the Speaker for consideration.
  • The privileges committee, or special inquiry committee, handles more serious accusations against a member, similar to the ‘cash for query’ scam in 2005.
  • Expulsion is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, but conflicting Supreme Court judgments exist on the power of Parliament to expel members.
  • Balancing privileges of the House and democratic representation is crucial, especially considering the serious nature of allegations against Moitra.
  • Questions arise about the proportionality of expulsion as punishment and the impact on citizens without a representative until the next election or bye-election.
  • Recommendations for legal inquiries are made, emphasizing the need for fast-track courts to ensure timely resolution and preserve democratic representation.

An experiment in education at grassroots level schools in Bangladesh: Page 11

  • Academic and activist Swati Narayan’s book “Unequal: Why India Lags Behind Its Neighbors” discusses systemic inequalities in India.
  • Narayan’s five-year study across India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal reveals that even poorer neighbors outperform some Indian states in social indicators.
  • The Kajoli Early Childhood Education Model in Bangladesh showcases innovative teaching methods in pre-primary schools operated by NGOs.
  • Bangladeshi preschool teacher Shaheen’s classroom, despite basic infrastructure, emphasizes joyful learning and peer interaction.
  • Bangladesh’s collective financing, mothers’ committee contributions, and community involvement contribute to the success of the education model.
  • Survey results show that nearly 90% of grade 5 students in Bangladeshi villages can read at least a grade 2 level paragraph in Bengali.
  • In Bihar, India, affluent families’ children outperform poorer counterparts due to spending on private schools and tuition.
  • Learning levels in Nepal are not influenced by family income, and Bangladesh shows a high progressive ratio, with poor students excelling.
  • Factors contributing to Bangladesh’s educational success include competent and dedicated teachers, joyful learning techniques, timely availability of textbooks, scholarships, and cultural emphasis on education.
  • Signs of decay in Bihar schools, such as simultaneous teaching of different grades and corporal punishment, highlight challenges in the Indian education system.
  • Many children officially enrolled in Bihar’s government schools do not attend classes, contributing to the risk of displacement by private coaching centers.
  • Private tuition is prevalent in both private and government schools in Bihar, contrasting with lower percentages in Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • The draft Bangladeshi Education Act proposes a ban on private coaching centers, private tuition, and guidebook publication.

India reminds Myanmar to return to ‘federal democracy’: Page 14

  • Amidst the conflict in Myanmar’s Chin, Shan, and Sagaing provinces, India reminds Myanmar to return to the path of federal democracy.
  • Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra delivers the message during a Foreign Office consultation with a Myanmarese delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister U Lwin Oo.
  • Discussions cover border situation, security, trade, commerce, connectivity, status of bilateral development projects, and concerns related to transnational crimes.
  • India reiterates support for Myanmar’s transition towards a federal democracy.
  • Myanmar’s military is facing armed insurgents leading to intense conflict and displacement of Myanmarese nationals, including former military personnel, seeking refuge in India.
  • Ministry of External Affairs expresses deep concern over the conflict and discusses security, border management, and transnational crimes during the consultation.
  • India reaffirms support for people-centric socio-economic developmental projects, connectivity projects, and programs for the benefit of the people of Myanmar.

Garba dance of Gujarat makes it to UNESCO list: Page 14

  • Gujarat’s traditional dance form ‘Garba’ has been included in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • This recognition makes Garba the 15th cultural item from India to be included in the UNESCO list.
  • The inclusion is under the provisions of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • UNESCO describes Garba as a ritualistic and devotional dance performed in India.
  • The last cultural item from India added to the UNESCO list was Kolkata’s Durga Puja, two years ago.

‘Food prices likely shot up in Nov.’: Page 16

  • Vegetarian food plate cost surged by 10% in November on a month-on-month basis.
  • Non-vegetarian meal prices rose by 5% over October.
  • Overall retail inflation eased to 4.87% in October, but food costs remained virtually unchanged at 6.6%.
  • Average vegetarian meal costs were at a three-month high of ₹30.3 in November.
  • Compared with November 2022, vegetarian food plates cost 9% higher last month.
  • Onion and tomato prices increased by 58% and 35%, respectively, contributing to the uptick.
  • Pulses’ cost surged by 21% due to lower sowing compared to the previous year.
  • Non-vegetarian plate cost increased at a slower pace due to a 1%-3% decline in broiler prices.
  • The rise in food prices is attributed to festive demand and lower output in the kharif season due to erratic rainfall conditions.

Google unveils ‘Gemini,’ Al tech trained to behave like humans: Page 16

  • Google unveils AI project “Gemini” designed to mimic human behavior.
  • Gemini will roll out in phases, with versions named ‘Nano’ and ‘Pro’ integrated into Google’s AI chatbot Bard and Pixel 8 Pro smartphone.
  • Google claims Bard will become more intuitive and adept at planning tasks with Gemini’s assistance.
  • On Pixel 8 Pro, Gemini will summarize recordings and provide automatic replies on messaging services, starting with WhatsApp.
  • The Ultra model of Gemini, expected early next year, will launch ‘Bard Advanced,’ an upgraded version of the chatbot.
  • Initially, Gemini will operate only in English worldwide, with plans to diversify into other languages.
  • A demonstration suggests “Bard Advanced” could perform advanced AI multitasking, recognizing and understanding presentations with text, photos, and video simultaneously.

Who is responsible for farming’s impact on the environment?: SCIENCE Page II

  • Large areas in India used for international grain, fruit, and vegetable demand, stressing soil and water resources.
  • Global agricultural product demand leads to social and environmental consequences.
  • India, due to its size and market, is a global anchor in the trade of agricultural products.
  • Expansion of imports contributes to environmental pressure in exporting countries.
  • Traditional production-based accounting measures impacts at the place of production, raising concerns about accountability.
  • Consumption-based accounting attributes impact at the point of consumption, urging consumers to take responsibility.
  • Developing economies like India contribute less to global emissions but face substantial impacts from consumption in developed economies.
  • Consumption-based approach emphasizes the responsibility of developed states to mitigate impact and the rights of developing economies.
  • It considers trilateral supply chains and encourages cleaner production and higher living standards in producer countries.
  • Benefits include addressing deforestation concerns and facilitating global environmental action based on shared responsibilities.
  • Challenges include implementation difficulties, liability concerns, and the need for monitoring and compliance.
  • Consumption-based accounting can be applied domestically to encourage changes in consumption behavior.

Climate change is making the world sick: SCIENCE Page II

  • Public health is increasingly compromised by climate change, discussed for the first time at COP28.
  • Malnutrition, malaria, dengue, diarrhea, and heat stress are expected to increase global death tolls by 250,000 annually from 2030, according to the WHO.
  • Climate change shifts disease-carrying mosquitoes into new regions, contributing to the growth of reported dengue cases and unpredictable impacts on malaria.
  • Floods in Pakistan and other climate-related events lead to a rise in malaria and cholera cases.
  • Cholera cases increased by 25% in 2022 compared to 2021, with cyclones, floods, and drought impacting water access and bacterial growth.
  • Diarrhea, exacerbated by erratic rainfall, is the second leading cause of death in children under 5.
  • Heat stress is projected to impact hundreds of millions as temperatures rise, with dangerously high temperatures experienced for an average of 86 days in 2022.
  • If the world warms by 2°C above pre-industrial levels, yearly heat-related deaths could more than quadruple.
  • Climate change contributes to drier forests, fueling extreme wildfires globally in recent years.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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