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My notes by RB 30-03-2016

My Notes – 30 march 2016

Editorials

 

Terrorism in Lahore –U2

Pakistan sees a short term military solution for terrorism. In the long term civilian Government and reformed administrative apparatus shall be central to the internal security architecture of a nation. Fighting against militancy need a holistic view on Extremism, justice and citizenship taken up by the state.

Solar panels in India – Issue at WTO - Solar panels and WTO ruling – E8q4

Issue

India’s national program encourages production of solar energy by the private players and Government guarantees the buying of electricity so produced and distributes it to the customer. It applies only if the company sources solar cells and modules from domestic manufacturers. It is line with Make in India. It is described as domestic content requirement.

Arguments

USA challenged this as discriminatory in WTO, as this violates the national treatment clause. (According to this, a country shall give the goods produced in the country a same treatment as the goods produced in its own boundary). India tried to take the protection under

  • Government procurement – India argued that the solar cells are meant for Government procurement and not for a commercial resale or use in production of goods for commercial sale.
  • General exception clause – It is meant to fulfill the international law obligation relating to ecologically sustainable development and climate change. So, it can be exempted from national treatment clause.

WTO in its judgement stated that

  • Government is not directly procuring the solar panels and it is actually buying the electricity
  • India failed to point out any specific obligation under the international law that can have a direct effect in India. So, general exception is not available.

Conclusion – Freedom for the customers to buy the goods of his choice can give him better quality and price. India shall not seek protectionism under health and environmental grounds rather it shall increase its industrial competitiveness.

Counter point

Initiatives such as the solar mission, with its social relevance and significant implications for a green economy, can be viewed only from the prism of a pure business opportunity.India has gigantean goal of achieving 1,00,000MW of electricity from solar mission by 2022. 

Given India’s size and also the need to provide meaningful job opportunities for millions of people, fight against climate change is not an exclusive factor separated from economics of the day; it has to move in tandem with the provision of jobs and the creation of an environment that facilitates a green economy.

At least nine states in USA also have a clauses that provide protection to the domestic manufacturers.

 

Judiciary –P8q7

Indian Judiciary and bar are male dominated. In this context, note the following statements

1)      In a healthy democracy, judiciary shall be a mirror of the whole society

2)      Providing a greater representation to women is not a debate in merit vs inclusion – that generally exists along with reservations.

3)      Gender diversity will only enrich the jurisprudence.

Defense procurement policy – E5q7

1)      The new policy places the highest preference to a category of Indigenous Designed Developed and Manufactured. This category refers to procurement from an Indian vendor, products that are indigenously designed, developed and manufactured with a minimum of 40 per cent local content, or products having 60 per cent indigenous content if not designed and developed within the country.

2)      A 10 per cent weightage has been introduced for superior technology, instead of selecting the lowest bidder only in financial terms.

3)      Offset clause – it is compulsory for all contracts more than rs 300cr earlier and the minimum contract value is increased to rs 2000cr

4)      Government identifying few private sector companies as strategic partners is dropped (originally recommended by the DhirendraSingh committee). Government said it will be notified later.

5)      India has all the necessary prerequisites for a robust military-industrial complex: a diverse private sector, a large base of engineering institutes, and a growing defence budget. In this context, India shall become self-sufficient as soon as possible.

News

FDI in Retail –E8q6

1)      100% of FDI is allowed through automatic route in the market place model of E commerce. It is not been permitted in inventory based model.

2)      The marketplace model has been defined as providing an “information technology platform by an e-commerce entity on a digital and electronic network to act as a facilitator between buyer and seller. Market place can provide support services to sellers in warehousing, logistics, order fulfillment, call centre, Payment collection and other services.

Minorities in Myanmar –D1q3

  • Rohingyas are the Muslim minorities residing in the Rakhine state in Myanmar. There are ethnic clashes between Buddhists and Rohingyamuslims.
  • Rohingyas are denied citizenship and state discriminates against them. This has led to a huge humanitarian crisis and mass migration.
  • Today, outgoing president Thein sein lifted the state of emergency in Rakhine state.

India –EU – D2q3

  • Broadbased trade and investment agreement between India and EU has become a victim of ongoing diplomatic tensions.

1)      Issue of Italian marines

2)      EU sanctions on Indian generic drugs on procedural grounds.

  • For India, EU is the largest trading partner and export destination.
  • In the upcoming session in Brussels, leaders are expected to make a statement on

1)      EU-India agenda for action 2020

2)      Declaration on clean energy and climate

3)      Common agenda on migration and Mobility

4)      Declaration on Terrorism

Presidents rule in Uttarakhand– P15q2

High court of granted permission to CM Harish Rawat to prove his majority on the floor of the house. It also allowed for the participation of defected MLAs in voting.

Indian Express

Starving MGNREGA – O8

Aruna Roy

1)      MGNREGA is an attempt to institutionalize responsibility

2)      Payment delays by the Centre are having disastrous consequences on implementation of the program.

A state in Freefall – Punjab crisis

1)      Farmers suicides, debt crisis, drug abuse by youth makes Punjab a home to building crises.

Great barrier reef sees worst mass bleaching ever recorded–V1q3

  • Coral bleaching occurs due to abnormal environmental conditions like heightened sea temperatures and changing PH of the waters. In these circumstances corals expel their photosynthetic algae outside and becomes pale. It is described as coral bleaching.
  • The most pristine section of the great barrier reef is experiencing the worst mass bleaching now.

New lending rate regime from April 11 – E10q3

Marginal cost of funds based lending rate – In this, Monthly rates are set based on the rates offered on new deposits, which would reflect the market rates.

 Question of the day

Do you think Defense procurement policy of India is in alignment with Make in India initiative. Elaborate how India can create a strong Military industrial complex.

 

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