9 PM Daily Brief – September 17th, 2020

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Here is our 9pm current affairs brief for you today

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9 PM for Mains examination


  1. Growing crisis of Indian federalism
  2. New strategy needed to Counter China
  3. Disability issues


  1. Income support for households and firms

9 PM for Preliminary examination


1.Growing crisis of Indian federalism

Source- The Hindu

Syllabus- GS 2- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Context- Federalism and India’s democratic nationalism.

What were the features of nationalism before India achieved Independence?

  1. Single state based on unified culture-
  • The idea that a community with a strongly unified culture must have a single state of its own, bifurcated into two nationalisms one for muslims and another for hindus:
  • For example, forHindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League,  Hindus and Muslims were separate nations and needed states of their own.
  • Consequences-The primacy of Hindu identity potentially had adverse consequences not only for religious but also linguistic minorities, including those Hindus who viewed their mother tongue as important as their religion. For Hindu nationalists, Hindu identity permanently outweighed being Tamil or Punjabi.
  1. State based on common culture-
  • Historical source –Common culture was defined by shared historical experience, the struggle against British colonial rule, and developed through an interpenetration of ideas emanating from different cultural sources.
  • It is secular; composite content is qualitatively different from Hindu or Muslim nationalisms.
  • Similarity with Hindu nationalism-Common culture’s basic form is not unlike Hindu nationalism. It too conceives common culture in terms of a strong idea of unity that marginalises or excludes other particular identities.
  1. State based on common culture which belongs to everyone-
  • Coalescent nationalism-Communities nourished by distinct, territorially concentrated regional cultures have the capacity to design states of their own as also educational, legal, economic, and other institutions. They possess self-governing rights.
  • They give up independent national aspirations, seeing themselves as constituents of a larger, equally significant common culture with another state that belongs to everyone.
  • Conflicts in common culture-Occasional conflicts between the common culture of the central state and distinct cultures of constituent states are admitted but mechanisms to prevent them are also created. This may be called “a coalescent nationalism consistent with a fairly strong linguistic federalism”.

What were the views of Jawaharlal Nehru about ethno- religious nationalism?

  • A federation structured along ethno-linguistic lines might tempt politicians to mobilise permanently on the basis of language and divert attention from issues of material well-being.
  • Like religious identities, it might ‘freeze’ linguistic identities and increase the likelihood of inter-ethnic violence, encourage separatism and eventually lead to India’s break up.

Which ideology is adopted as the official ideology with the rise of the Constitution and what are the reasons to do so?


  1. Civic Nationalism-When the Constitution came into force in 1950, India adopted unitary, civic nationalism as its official ideology.
  2. Coalescent Nationalism-
  • After some time India shifted its allegiance slowly to a system of states that rejected the wholesale absorption of ethnic identities into larger civic identity.
  • Soon a commission was set up to reorganise states on a linguistic basis. However, commission argued that justice requires the creation of partially self-governing states that recognise all major linguistic groups.

Reasons to adopt-

  1. Civic Nationalism-
  • Though a federal arrangement was accepted, the second tier of government was justified in functional terms not on ethical grounds of the recognition of group cultures.
  • The security and unity of India were cited as the primary reason.
  • A unitary mind-set shaped by the experience of a centralised colonial state was revived.
  • A special commission concluded that language-based provinces were ‘not in the larger interests of the Indian nation’.
  1. Coalescent Nationalism-
  • Creation of regional state governments improves administrative efficiency, deepens democracy, and alleviates anxieties of regional minorities induced by fear of linguistic domination.
  • Only federalism can block language-based majoritarianism, contain conflicts and strengthen Indian nationalism.
  • Only coalescent nationalism creatively combines claims of unity with claims of recognition of diverse cultures.

Way Forward

Centre needs to work on resolving the problems by deepening not abandoning coalescent nationalism. It should make sure that regions are treated respectfully and norms of democratic functioning works accordingly, only then the entire polity will work smoothly.

2.New strategy needed to Counter China

Source: Indian Express

Syllabus: Gs2: India and its Neighbourhood

Context: In the wake of rising Chinese aggression across the LAC, a new strategy combining diplomatic and military means is needed to counter China.

How it started?

  • China in March-April started to concentrate troops opposite Indian posts in Aksai China at Galwan, Finger posts and Depsang.
  • By May-early June, they had consolidated close to 40,000 troops and accompanying artillery and armour.

What are the different views regarding border clash?

1st School of thought:

  • Territory expansion: The Chinese exercise was a territorial snatch in Aksai Chin, which they believe is entirely theirs.
  • To teach a lesson to India: India’s firm stand on not conceding Aksai chin is seen as aggressive attitude. Indian Survey of India maps shows the entire Aksai Chin as Indian territory up to the Johnson-Ardagh line.

What is the Flaw in this interpretation?

  • Unresolved questions: China has not clarified what is their version of LAC and talks between NSA and Chinese counterparts are also not made public. It shows China want this issue to be shifted to next generation.

What are implications of recent border skirmishes?

  • China Gained territory: Militarily, the recent mobilisation of 40,000 troops, artillery and armour has gained approx. 800 metres at the western LAC.
  • For India:Due to the recent expansion China has forced India to move forward three divisions to the western LAC (Line of Actual control). It is unlikely that China had thought of border clash for a tiny extension of their LAC.

2nd school of thought:

  • To lay down rules of world governance: China is growing into perhaps the most powerful nation on earth, overtaking the actual US GDP by 2030.
  • India Standing against China: India contest their entire southern border. India has also refused to join the Belt and Road initiative.
  • India seen as rivals: India is also trying to create an anti-China maritime coalition and compete with them for influence in South East Asia and Africa. India is unsupportive of crackdown on Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang and moving ever closer to the United States.

Possible Implications of this interpretation:

  • Chinese political thought: Chinese don’t follow Voltaire, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Descartes, Diderot, Locke, Kant and Spinoza, which can lead to the concept of establishing a democratic secular republic like USA.Secularism, democracy and the rights of man will play no part in Chinese foreign policy
  • Domination: Chinas follows a hands-off policyonly with nations which are paying its tribute to China such as North Korea.

What India needs to do?

  • Deployment of troops to defend border:  If Chinese intention is to capture Indian territory, then India needs to strengthen border security.
  • Evolve new diplomatic and military strategy:If the Chinese intention is to “teach us a lesson” or make us submissive. For example; strategy in India Ocean
  • Focus on larger picture:After Galwan and Pangong Tso India needs to clearly approach the larger picture from a position of tactical inferiority.
  • Develop punitive capabilities:India needs to develop punitive capability, which it seems could only be in the Indian ocean.

China wants India to accept Chinese superiority which is Chinese trait. India should not talk from the position of inferiority as it will not lead to equitable solution.

3.Disability issues

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS-2- Society

Context: The differently-abled community offers a massive potential that can be tapped with the right steps.

Why was United Nations created? What are its values?

  • The United Nations (UN) was created to restore faith in the dignity and worth of humans, and in the equal rights of women and men, almost 75 years ago.
  • Its fundamental values suggested that in order to live sustainably, we must practice tolerance and endorse the values of equality.
  • Staying true to UN values:It is important to bring marginalized communities from the peripheries back into the development mainstream.
  • Importance of counteracting the cycle of oppression:it is essential to achieve the greater equality which was promised many years ago.

How disabilities make life difficult for the affected?

  • Largest global minority: According to the World Health Organization, nearly 15% of the world’s population has some or the other form of disability, making disabled people the largest global minority.
  • Continuous discrimination denies them equal access to education, employment, healthcare and other opportunities.
  • Capabilities considered essential for human development:The stigma attached to persons with disabilities, compounded by a lack of understanding of their rights, makes it difficult for them to attain their valued “functioning”.
  • High risk of gender-based abuse: Women and girls with disabilities are at a higher risk of experiencing sexual and other forms of gender-based violence.
  • About 80% of the estimated one billion persons with disabilities worldwide live in developing countries.
  • 6% of persons living with disabilities in India are outside the labour force.Those with mental disabilities, women with disabilities and those in rural areas are the most neglected, according to the International Labour Organization.

What were the steps taken to deal with the worst-hit group (the disables) during the pandemic?

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had its worst impact on marginalized communities.
  • For instance, students with disabilities have found it extremely difficult to access remote learning through digital platforms.
  • The UNESCO’s 2019 State of the Education Report of India acknowledges thatinclusive education is complex to implement and requires a fine understanding of the diverse needs of children and their families across different contexts.
  • UNESCO joined its partners in the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network to raise awarenessabout the need to put in place strategies to lessen the impact of school closures on learners with disabilities.
  • The implementation of the groundbreaking National Education Policy 2020 provides a historic opportunity to utilise the immense potential.
  • India has made considerable progress in terms of putting in place a strong legal framework and a range of programmes that have improved enrolment rates of children with disabilities in schools.

Way forward

  • Further measures are needed to ensure quality education for every child to achieve the targets of Agenda 2030, the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goal 4.
  • With the right investments, youth with disabilities in India can also be the country’s largest asset.

4.Income support for households and firms

Source- The Indian Express

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

Context – Income support to households and firms  for recovery post-pandemic.

What is Brazil’s Capped Government Expenditure Act- 2016?

Act- The amendment sets a cap on most federal expenditures for the next 20 years. This law effectively set a ceiling on government spending at around 20 per cent of GDP that can only be reviewed in 2026.

Outlays on healthcare, education, pensions, infrastructure, and defense will only be permitted to rise with the rate of inflation inevitably decreasing real spending per capita.

Purpose of the Act-

  1. Proponents of the amendment point to the need to regain market confidence and keep inflation under control to avoid a future debt crisis.
  • Market confidence– It is linked with foreign investors and their proposed ability to generate jobs and income.
  1. The spending cap sets a transparent fiscal anchor that restored macroeconomic stability.

What is income support and its advantages?

Income support- It is an income-related benefit for some people who are on a low income, but have a reason for not actively seeking work.

The outbreak has caused broad and large economic impacts on firms and households, and expenditure policy responses face the task of addressing a number of issues rapidly and simultaneously by following measures-

  1. It can protect, to varying degrees, household and SME balance sheets from the extensive damage.
  2. Liquidity support for firms-
    • To allows employers to retain employees.
    • Companies accept reduces working hour.
    • Keep viable firms alive.
  3. Income and in-kind support for the vulnerable, including the unemployed.
  4. Preserving employment linkages.
  5. Direct income support to jobless, freelancers and self-employed.
  6. Facilitates post crisis recovery.

Target– To specific households and firms involves several tradeoffs that need to be carefully managed.

  • Protection– Targeted policy measures focusing on the most impacted households and firms can provide better protection for a given spending envelope and help contain fiscal costs, which is especially important in countries with limited fiscal space.

Way forward

Appropriate economic measure now can have a much bigger and long-lasting impact when the pandemic has been brought under control and an economic recovery gets underway in earnest. Government needs to provide income support for households and firms now so that the recovery is not hamstrung by excessively damaged balance sheets.

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