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GS: 2

How the ‘deep state’ gamed the system

Article:

  1. Zorawar Daulet Singh, fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, analyse that democratization in Pakistan would eventually transform the geopolitics of the sub-continent.

Important facts:

2. Uninterrupted democracy for the past decade has inspired hope that Pakistan is changing.

3. The peaceful transition to a new electoral force represented by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is seen as further proof of an evolving system where civilian politicians are emerging from the shadow of an army-dominated state.

4. Since civilian politics do not have any apparent stake in confronting India, democratisaton in Pakistan would eventually transform the geopolitics of the sub-continent.

5. Pakistan’s tryst with democracy has always been a complicated affair.

6.Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan is the closest we can trace to a genuine civilian advantage over the military structure.

7.The Pakistan army in the 1980s consciously cultivated a new network of politicians to counterbalance the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

8.Imran Khan should be viewed as another strategic investment by the deep state that dislodged the erstwhile two-party structure monopolised by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) and the PPP.

9. If an assertive civilian political elite could send the Pakistan army back to its barracks, Indian policymakers would welcome and even encourage that trend.

10. But any hypothesised civil-military struggle rests on two fundamental assumptions.

11. The civilian elite must be genuinely committed to re-defining Pakistan’s identity towards a more positive nationhood.

12. It is presumed that the army cannot game the civil-military system or successfully neutralize any challenge to its authority or rival conceptions of the national interest.

13. October 2017 Gallup survey found that 82% of Pakistanis trusted their army more than any other political institutions even as a majority (68%) welcomed democracy as a political system.

14. Such favourable ratings would quickly disappear with martial rule, as the army discovered first-hand during the Pervez Musharraf years.

15. On the civilian side, there is no evidence to claim a defiant struggle with the military establishment is in the Pakistani politician’s conception of her or his own interests.

16. Pakistani scholar Ayesha Siddiqa’s thesis of a symbiotic military-civilian relationship where politicians rarely question the primacy and vanguard role of the army and both groups collectively profit from the systematic plundering of the economy remains more plausible than ever before.

17. The recent election in Pakistan suggests a more sophisticated system – has come into being whereby the military establishment, has promoted an alternative framework so that there is a ‘buffer’ between the army and society.

18. The political parties and civilian elite seem to have embraced their role in this metamorphosis of Pakistan’s “managed” or “guided” democracy.

GS: 3

Kerala’s trauma

News:

  1. Kerala is facing its worst flood in 100 years.

Important facts:

2. Heavy rains in recent days triggered flooding and landslides while also leading to collapse of homes and bridges and severely disrupted air and train services in the southern state.

3. The State government faces the challenging task of rescuing people and moved them to relief camps.

4. The rescue efforts are led by soldiers, and the central government has asked armed forces to send additional teams to the southern state.

5. Following remedial measures can be taken to address the situation:

  • Private and governmental efforts need to be stepped up to assist flood-affected people.
  • The task of reconstruction will have to be addressed, covering public buildings, residential homes, roads and other infrastructure.
  • Subsidised housing programme may be needed in the worst-hit areas , with tax breaks offered to residents.

Continental shifts: On Jakarta Asiad

News:

  1. The Asian Games begin in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang, providing Indian sport a bracing opportunity to prove its composite progress at the global level.

Important facts:

2. After giving brilliant performance in the last edition (2014) at South Korea’s Incheon, China also secured the third highest number of gold medals in the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.

3. South Korea and Japan, which also finished in the top three at Incheon, were among the leading ten at the Olympics.

4. In the last edition, India finished eighth, with a tally of 57 medals, including 11 golds.

5. In badminton, India has never gone beyond the bronze at the Asian Games.

6. All the same, athletics has brought the country more than half its golds across Asiads.

7. Now, much depends on how the Athletics Federation of India handles the Nirmala Sheoran issue.

8. The Asian women’s 400 m champion had stayed away from national camps.

9. The women’s and men’s hockey teams have had an encouraging run leading up to the Asian Games, and they would look to make a statement in style two years ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

10. India won 5 in tennis in 2014, including a gold.

11. Indonesia 2018 will provide a glimpse of the changing profile of sport, with eSports debuting as a demonstration sport.

Civic bodies can raise more funds: Smart Cities Mission Director Kunal Kumar

News:

  1. The process to calculate GDP for a pilot city may start by the year-end, Smart Cities Mission Director Kunal Kumar said.

Important facts:

2. “National GDP is a well-established process, but we have so far not had city-level GDP in India.”, Director said

3. Advantages:

  • City-level GDP calculation would help give shape to the economic indicators needed.
  • City-level GDP data , could help municipal bodies make better decisions on needed infrastructure and investment .
  • Also leverage their economic strength to raise funds to finance their needs.

4. Three main components of smart cities:

  • An improved quality of life,
  • A robust economy leading to job creation
  • Sustainability built into every aspect.

5. One of the aims of the Smart Cities Mission has been to increase the share of municipal financing of infrastructure projects.

6. The EIU has recommended a top-down approach based on sectoral income data for the calculation of city-level GDP as it would balance detail and resource-effectiveness in the long term.

7. The data requirements may be too challenging and a top-down approach using household expenditure data may be more feasible in the short term.

 

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