9 PM Daily Brief – August 31st,2020

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Here is our 9pm current affairs brief for you today

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9 PM for Mains examination

GS-1

  1. Age of marriage

GS-2

  1. China’s dual circulation policy
  2. Idea of one nation, one tax
  3. Sub-classification among SCs

GS-3

  1. Attracting foreign investors

9 PM for Preliminary examination

FACTLy


1.Age of marriage

Source: The Indian Express

Syllabus: GS-1- Society

Context: The proposed policy to raise women’s age of marriage could lead to substandard outcomes affecting the poor and marginalised sections of the country. 

Marriages in the poor and marginalised sections in India: The socio-economic groups and regions where under-age marriages are prevalent are marked by a lack of quality schooling and opportunities for higher education, poverty and limited economic opportunities. 

What are the reasons for increasing women’s age at marriage? 

  • To get rid of the gender gap in the legal age at marriage between men and women. 
  • Change the underlying social norm which expects women to be younger than men at the time of marriage. 
  • Evidence suggests that transition from adolescence to adulthood is likely to be optimal for those who study longer years, have better nutrition and delayed marriage and parenthood. 

Effects of marriage at an early age 

  • Adolescent girls suffers from multiple forms of under nutrition, chronic energy deficiency, iron deficiency and micronutrient deficiency. 
  • It can also lead to child stunting and mortality to multiple diseases at a later stage. 

Steps to be taken  

  •  The concept of “autonomy-enhancing paternalism” advocates that autonomy-enhancing policy intervention promotes self-empowerment and aims to free individuals from irrelevant influences. 
  • It aims to improve well-being by improving the process of decision-making. 
  • Education till Class 12 and meeting the nutritional needs of girls enhance their autonomy and improve their health and nutrition. 

Way forward  

  • More encouraging and innovative approaches are required to implement the existing policies effectively. Some examples of the same are: 
    • the incentive-based approach of Janani Suraksha Yojana.  
    • A variety of incentivising schemes, from cycles in Bihar to laptops in Tamil Nadu, already exist towards ensuring girls’ education. 

2.China’s dual circulation policy

Source- The Indian Express

Syllabus- GS 2-  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Context– The shift in economic perspective is apparent across the world, in lesser or larger measure. 

Globalisation and China  

  1. Early 1990s- China has been the chief beneficiary of the globalisation of the world economy since the end of cold war.  
  1. Transformation as a manufacturing and export hub- The phase of relatively free movement of capital and technology and goods and services enabled China to transform itself into a low-cost manufacturing hub for the world. It became an export powerhouse leveraging its access to the large consuming markets of the US, Europe and Japan.  
  1. No disruption during Global financial crisis- Due to its brand of state capitalism and managed markets, China emerged relatively unharmed from the global financial crisis (GFEC) of 2007- 2008 while the advanced capitalist economies of the West faced prolonged disruption and stagnation. 

China- US Competition 

  1. Trade restrictions- China has been critical of the US tariffs on Chinese imports and restrictions on Chinese investment in the US. It has been particularly hurt by America denying Chinese companies access to high-tech components. 
  1. Relations with other countries- China is also facing challenges in its economic relations with Europe and Japan. 
  1. Competitive sentiments – There is a rise in protectionists sentiments in the west, due to loss of intellectual property to Chinese firms. 

Disruption of China- centred global supply during COVID 19

Dual Circulation of China VS  Atma-nirbhar of India  

  • Dual circulation of China is calculated shift from an investment and export-led growth strategy to one based on domestic consumption and services. On the other hand, atma-nirbhar focuses on building up the export industry as well as developing a domestic market of consumption. 

Way Forward 

There is an acknowledgement that the global economic environment will become progressively less conducive to free trade and capital and technology flows. Nations like China which have benefitted from globalisation, would therefore have to rely more on domestic drivers of growth. It presents an opportunity for India to fill the export gap left by China by bringing reforms in manufacturing policies. 

3.The idea of one nation, one tax

Source: LiveMint

Syllabus: GS2: Issues and Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure, Devolution of Powers and Finances up to Local Levels and Challenges Therein

Context: The recently held Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting highlighted that idea of one nation, one tax is at risk. 

Issues: 

  • Compensation issue: GST dues owed to states—computed on the basis of the 14% annual growth. GST reform was cultivated through mutual give-and-take between members of the Council ever since GST was launched on 1 July 2017. 
  • Coercive federalism: The non-payment of dues to states which was decided also jeopardizes the idea of cooperative federalism.  
  • Fall in revenue: the covid-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns have caused economic havoc—one of which is manifesting in a massive tax revenue shortfall, both for the central and state governments. 
  • Poor tax collection: If the economy is projected to contract 5-10% in the full year, tax revenues are going to fall, affecting fiscal devolution.  
  • Increasing demand for bailouts from various constituencies afflicted by the pandemic, may further add to fiscal constraints. 

Challenges before GST council: 

  • The immediate task before the GST Council is three-fold: 
    • It needs to fix the flawed GST architecture. 
    • It has to address the challenge posed by the covid-19 pandemic-induced economic meltdown on GST collections.  
    • The issue involving states’ dues need to be resolved amicably. Especially before it reaches the judiciary. 

Way forward: 

  • Fiscal stimulus: Union government needs to step up spending to protect lives, and now has to generate funds for an economic stimulus. 
  • Strong political will and art of bargaining: All three challenges require a strong political leadership and resolve. Political intervention and cooperative federalism are required at the highest level to save India’s boldest economic reform experiment. 

4. Sub-classification among SCs

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: Gs2: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States

Context: There is need to revisit bar on States giving preference to the most marginalised among Scheduled castes. 

Background: 

  • 2004 E.V. Chinnaiah vs. State of Andhra Pradesh Judgement: The supreme court bared the state legislatures from sub classification of scheduled castes.  
  • Present status: The Supreme Court has given reasons for a reconsideration of the verdict given by a five-judge Bench in 2004. 
  • The judgement says that classifying Scheduled Castes into groups amounts to ‘tinkering’ with the Presidential list. 

Need of Sub-Classification 

  • SCs include many castes and cannot be treated as a homogeneous group. It has recognised the obligation of States to identify the more disadvantaged sections withing the Scheduled castes. 
  • Rationale behind Court’s observation to sub-classify: 
  • Article 342A: under this article the President notifies, in consultation with the States, the list of Backward Classes, with a caveat similar to the ones in respect of Scheduled Castes (Article 341) and Scheduled Tribes (Article 342) that Parliament can make inclusions or exclusions in this list. 
  • As the BC list can be divided into ‘backward’ and ‘more backward’, the same could be done among SCs too. 
  • Reconsider E.V. Chinnaiah vs. State of Andhra Pradesh (2004): Recently, five-judge Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra has affirmed the competence of the States to give preferential treatment to the weakest among the Scheduled Castes without depriving other castes of any benefit. 

Significance of sub classification of SCs: 

  • Ensure Social Justice: In the present case, Punjab wanted to give preference to Balmikies and Mazhabi Sikhs among seats reserved for SC candidates, but the measure was struck down by the High Court, citing E.V. Chinnaiah. Tamil Nadu has also carved out 3% compartment for Arundhatiyars within the 18% SC quota. 
  • Trickle down benefit of reservation: It will help states to fulfil their obligation to the castes within the SC communities that have made the least progress. 

5. Attracting foreign investors

Source- The Hindu

Syllabus- GS 3- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development

Context- India needs to attract foreign investors as a better relocation destination than China. 

India’s advantages

India’s challenges 

  1. Taxes and different policies- There are many policies which pose disadvantage for foreign investors. 

For example- Policies such as taxes on foreign e-commerce companies and education providers are disadvantageous for foreign investors. 

  1. Competition from other nations – For example – Vietnam and Bangladesh. 
  1. Social Disturbances – The protests, strikes and movements which are recurrent in India creates instability and prevent foreign firms from investing here. 
  1. Border issues – Instable border and perceived threat to national peace and territorial integrity act as hindrance for inviting foreign investors as they lack confidence in nation’s government. 

China’s plan to offer foreign investors 

  1. Strategic plan– China continues to offer foreign investors many advantages, such as manufacturing infrastructure and skill level that allows innovations to move quickly from prototype to product. 
  1. Industrial zones– China’s specialised industrial zones, companies, factories, logistics and even research and universities have state of the art technology and represent economies of scale. 

India’s plan to offer foreign investors

Other steps needed for increasing foreign investment  

  1. States which can produce and export– India should focus on developing in those States that have already demonstrated the ability to produce and export in key sectors. 
  1. Investing foreign capital in infrastructure- Foreign capitals could also greatly increase infrastructure funds beyond government spending alone.  
  1. Geography based locations- India might build up new industrial centres while focusing on geographically advantageous locations 
  1. States ruled by opposition parties Investing resources into states not led by the ruling national party will signal that it is committed to economic openness, no matter who is in power.  

Way Forward 

A policy framework that is transparent, predictable and provides increased consultations with existing and potential foreign company stakeholders before introducing new Indian economic policies will play a crucial role in determining India foreign investment outlook. 


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