9 PM Daily Brief – June 2nd ,2020

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9 PM for Main examination

GS-2

  1. What is the difference between India and China’s approach with Africa?
  2. For a strong and vibrant Bar
  3. Jammu and Kashmir

GS-3

  1. Economic slowdown
  2. Earthquakes in India

9 PM for Preliminary examination

FACTLy


1.What is the difference between India and China’s approach with Africa?

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS 2-Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Context: India and China have increased their outreach to Africa to help them fight the COVID-19 by providing medical assistance.

Economic and public health conditions are extremely vulnerable in Africa: 

  • Ill-equipped: They have shortages of masks, ventilators, and even basic necessities such as soap and water.
  • Dependence:Africa’s cycle of chronic external aid dependence continues even in medical needs.

Critical aspects for China and India:

China India
Money, political influence and elite level wealth creation.

 

An equal partnership with Africans and not merely with African elites concerned.

 

Strong state-to-state relations as opposed to people to people ties.

 

More people to people relations
Hard infrastructure projects and resource extraction. Building local capacities

Beijing’s donation diplomacy approach:

  • To raise Beijing’s profile as a leading provider of “public goods” in the global public health sector:China, being Africa’s largest trading partner, dispatched medical protective equipment, testing kits, ventilators and medical masks to several African countries.
  • China’s billionaire philanthropy: 
    • Tech founder Jack Ma donated three rounds of anti-coronavirus supplies.
    • Chinese embassies across Africa have taken the lead by coordinating both public and private donations to local stakeholders.
  • Controlling Guangzhou narrative:For the most part, it succeeded in achieving these ends until China faced widespread backlash over the ill-treatment of African nationals in Guangzhou city. China has been successful in controlling the Guangzhou narrative due to the depth of its political influence in Africa.
  • Relying heavily on diplomatic support and cooperation from African countries in multilateral forum: Beijing used African support for securing a win for Chinese candidates as the head of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and in the World Health Organization (WHO).

New Delhi’s approach:

  • Opportunity to demonstrate its willingness to shoulder more responsibility: Even with limited resources, India fighting the virus at home and reaching out to developing countries in need is a proof to India’s status as a responsible and reliable global stakeholder.
  • Development assistance: Africa has been the focus of India’s development assistance and diplomatic outreach as seen in plans to open 18 new embassies.
  • India’s role as ‘the pharmacy of the world’:India is a supplier of low-cost, generic medicines.
  • Pharmaceutical products along with refined petroleum products account for 40% of India’s total exports to African markets.
  • India is sending consignments of essential medicines, including hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and paracetamol, to 25 African countries in addition to doctors and paramedics at a total cost of around ₹600 million ($7.9 million) on a commercial and grant basis.
  • The initial beneficiaries were the African Indian Ocean island nations of Mauritius, the Seychelles, Comoros, and Madagascar under India’s ‘Mission Sagar’.
  •  e-ITEC COVID-19 management strategies training webinars: It is a timely initiative exclusively aimed at training health-care professionals from Africa and the SAARC nations and sharing of best practices by Indian health experts. Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, and Namibia have been beneficiaries.
  • Health care partnership: A few African countries such as Mauritius are pushing for health-care partnerships in traditional medicines and Ayurveda for boosting immunity.
  • Role of Indian Diaspora: 
    • The Indian community, especially in East African countries, has also been playing a crucial role in helping spread awareness.
    • Prominent Indian businessmen and companies in Nigeria and Kenya have donated money to the respective national emergency response funds.
    • Country-specific gurdwaras and temples have fed thousands of families by setting up community kitchens, helplines for seniors and distributing disinfectants and sanitisers.

Way Forward

Both New Delhi and Beijing need to adapt to the rising aspirations of the African continent.

2.For a strong and vibrant Bar

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS 2-    Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Context: A showcause notice has been issued by the Bar Council of India (BCI) to Dushyant Dave and other members of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).

Bar Council of India: 

  • It is a statutory body created by Parliament under the Advocates Act, 1961.
  • It prescribes standards of professional conduct, etiquettes and exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar.

Whether this is an attempt to curb the independent functioning of lawyers and lawyers’ associations? Notice was issued to them for not having obeyed the BCI’s May 10 resolution to stay SCBA’s decision to suspend its Secretary and for having made derogatory remarks against the resolution.

How the problem unfolded?

  • Origin of problem:Justice Arun Mishra described the PM, at an international judicial conference in February 2020, as an “internationally acclaimed visionary” and a “versatile genius”.
  • Condemnation: These statements drew severe condemnation from various quarters, including the SCBA as it felt that such a statement reflects poorly on the independence of the judiciary. It can unintentionally show the closeness of Judiciary to the Executive.
  • Misuse for political purposes: The Secretary of the SCBA called for a general body meeting for the removal of Mr. Dave as President and from the primary membership of the SCBA alleging misuse of the body for political purposes. However, the SCBA’s Executive Committee suspended the secretary saying his actions were against the interests of the association.

Remedy of the problem: 

  • Own functioning: Working out within the SCBA is the only proper course as it is an independent body that functions within its own laws.
  • Show cause notice: The BCI strangely assumed powers and passed a resolution reinstating the secretary. Criticism by Mr. Dave resulted in the issuance of the show cause notice.
  • BCI powers to interfere in a Bar Association’s internal matter: There is no such provision under the Advocates Act of 1961 and the BCI rules. The BCI appears to be relying on the provisions of Section 7 of the Advocates Act, which lays down the functioning of the BCI. However, Section 7 does not justify such intrusion by the BCI into an independent Bar Association affairs.

How it is dangerous incursions upon Bar council’s functioning?

  • Bar Association Lahar v. State Bar Council of M.P. and Another (2018):There is no provision of statute or any Rule that has been conferring power to the State Bar Council to interfere with the election process and internal affairs of the Bar Associations.
  • Playing a supervisory role over the SCBA: The BCI is encroaching upon the SCBA’s internal functioning. BCI role has been confining to maintaining professional standards of lawyers towards clients. But it is now playing a supervisory role over the SCBA which is not provided for in the statutes.
  • Problem with BCI interference: It has a deep and pervasive effect on the independent functioning of the Bar Associations not only in the SC but throughout the country. With a strong executive, the importance of an independent judiciary becomes all the more

Way Forward

The BCI should not intrude into the affairs of an independent Bar Association. A strong and vibrant Bar is an essential condition for a fair and fearless judiciary.

3.Jammu and Kashmir 

Source – The Hindu

Syllabus – GS 2 – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Context – Until August 2019, J&K enjoyed a special status (Article 370) under the Constitution, which restricted its jobs, property for natives. This has now changed with new domicile rules.

New Definition of domicile – The central government introduced a new definition of domicile in the union territory through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020.

The new definition allows all Indian citizens to apply for government jobs in J&K if they fulfill certain conditions.

Certain conditions one should fulfill to qualify as a domicile applicant —

  1. Applicants should have resided in J&K for 15 years, or studied in the state for seven years and appeared in either the Class 10 or the Class 12 examination there.
  2. Children of central government officers (Army, paramilitary forces, IAS, IPS), and employees of public sector undertakings and banks, central universities etc who have served in Jammu & Kashmir for 10 years will also be eligible to apply for gazette and non-gazette government jobs. These included those who work outside the state.
  3. Migrants registered by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner need not fulfill the aforementioned requirements and will automatically be eligible for a domicile certificate.

Implications 

  1. Change in administrative set-up – The domicile rule makes all local government jobs available to non-natives, including those in police and administration, which means they will now be able to serve in all such positions. As a result, the immediate implication of this change will most likely be reflected by the administrative set-up, which has so far been dominated by J&K natives.
  2. More divisive politics– Parties across the political spectrum has criticized these rules which will prepare the ground for more divisive politics and mobilization of local people on lines of hatred against non-natives.
  3. Invite more investment in region– With non-natives being welcomed in the union territory though these rules, there will be surge in investment in state. This holds truer for Jammu which already has vibrant economy and peaceful environment as compared to Kashmir.
  4. Upsets the local demography – New domicile rules will pave way for more competition in the state for resources and job and will change the social composition in region. This can prove detrimental to the local youth who then would be easy targets of radicalization for militants.

Way Forward – The new rules pave for better integration of the region with India where people to people ties will enhance the socio-economic aspects of Union Territory.

4.Economic slowdown

Source – The Hindu

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

Context – Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released the data for the fourth quarter (January to March) of the last financial year (2019-20) as well as the provisional estimates of the full-year GDP growth rate.

Estimates presented by MOSPI

  1. GDP Growth rate
    • Real GDP growth in FY20- 4.2%
    • Nominal GDP growth in FY20 – 7.2%
  1. Frequent and significant revisions in quarterly GDP
  2. Poor Performance of manufacturing growth

Implications 

  1. Slowdown before COVID induced crises– This sharp deceleration in nominal GDP growth, shows the continued weakening of India’s growth momentum even before it was hit by the Covid 19 induced lockdown in the last week of March
  2. Affects all other economic calculations– The nominal GDP growth rate is the base of all fiscal calculations in the country. The government bases its calculations — the amount revenues it will raise and the amount of money it will be able to spend — on this initial assumption. For instance, a sharp fall means the government does not get the revenues it had hoped for and it can’t spend as much as it wanted to.
  3. Poor fiscal marksmanship of government – Poor fiscal marksmanship, in turn, leads to inaccurate policy making because a government could end up making policies for an economy that doesn’t exist on the ground.
  4. Undermines Government’s credibility– The  Frequent and significant revisions in quarterly GDP undermines government’s credibility which in turn impacts the rating by credit rating agencies.
  5. Manufacturing slowdown– The demographic dividend can only be reaped if the youth enters the manufacturing sector as agriculture already has disguised employment and there are structural barriers in service sector which need high skills. Slowing of manufacturing is thus not a good sign for policy makers and Indian labour force.

Way Forward – Data is the new oil for economies. This holds true for the macro-economic data required in the policy framing and investments in any financial year. Government need to be transparent regarding data projection for effective policies and for reviving economy

5.Earthquakes in India

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS-3: Disaster Management

Context: Recently, Delhi experienced its seventh earthquake in two months.

Earthquakes: Earthquakes are vibrations of the earth, caused by the rupture and sudden movement of rocks that have been strained beyond their elastic limits.

Earthquakes in India: The Bureau of Indian Standards with the help of Indian Meteorological Department has grouped the country into four seismic zones, based on modified Mercalli scale.

Why are some regions in India prone to Earthquake?

  • North-East India: Most earthquakes occurring in the region are related to subduction of the India-Burma tectonic plate under the Java-Sumatra tectonic plate.
  • North India: This region is prone to earthquakes as it is located near the boundary between the Eurasian and Indo-Australian Plate
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Sea floor displacement and underwater volcanoes disturb the equilibrium of earth’s surface
  • Peninsular India: Due to the presence of rifts, shear zones and old orogenic belts, the ancient zones of weak crust get reactivated from time to time and rupture.

Earthquake Prevention and Mitigation in India: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Guidelines: The NDMA has listed down pre-disaster and post-disaster preventive measures.

Pre-Disaster Prevention Measures:

Long-term 

  • Re-framing buildings’ codes, guidelines, manuals and byelaws and their strict implementation- Tougher legislation for highly seismic areas
  • Incorporating earthquake resistant features in all buildings in high-risk areas.
  • Making all public utilities like water supply systems, communication networks, electricity lines etc. earthquake-proof.

Medium -Term

  • Retrofitting of weak structures in highly seismic zones
  • Getting communities involved in the process of disaster mitigation through education and awareness.

Post Disaster Measures: These include maintenance of law and order, rescue and evacuation, ensuring supply of supply of food and drinking water etc.

Initiatives taken:

  1. National earthquake Risk Mitigation Project: The project aims at strengthening the structural and non-structural earthquake mitigation efforts and reducing the vulnerability in the high-risk districts prone to earthquakes.
  2. National Building Code (NBC): The salient features of the NBC 2005 include meeting the challenges posed by natural calamities and reflecting the state-of-the-art and contemporary applicable international practices.
  3. Seismic retrofitting: It is the modification of existing structures to make them more resistant to seismic activity, ground motion, or soil failure due to earthquakes

Conclusion: According to seismologists, minor earthquakes indicate that a major earthquake could hit the city of Delhi. It’s high time that the government should make earthquake proof architecture mandatory. Also, in the long term, the government should take measures to de-congest cities.


9 PM for Preliminary examination

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