9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – December 26, 2020

9 PM DAILY BRIEF

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GS-2 

The Wistron Dispute and China’s lessons. 

TPSA (Tibet Policy and Support Act) of US 

The positive side of National Family Health Survey report 

GS-3 

New norms for DTH television distribution sector 


9 PM for Preliminary examination

Factly News articles for December 26, 2020

 The Wistron Dispute and China’s lessons.

Source: The Hindu 

Gs2: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation. 

Synopsis: Wistron case shows that hasty labour laws violating labour rights is economically suicidal and damaging to India. 

Background 

Recently, contract workers attacked the Wistron’s iPhone assembly that resulted in property damage of worth Rs. 50 crore. 

  • According to a preliminary inquiry report by the State labour department into the incident Wistron and its labour contractors violated many provisions of the laws that resulted in sacking of its vice-president for its India operations.  
  • Also, The Apple Corporation has put further business on hold until Wistron addresses the labour dispute. 
  • The violence at Wistron unit will negatively affect India’s efforts, to attract foreign direct investment through production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, to boost domestic production (‘Make in India’) and India’s step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. 

What are the reasons for such violence? 

  • First, non-payment or delay in payment of wages along with violation of labour laws, such as non-issuance of the wage contract, employing women workers in night shift without providing adequate safety etc has led to the violence. 
  • Second, the anti-labour reforms brought by Karnataka government’s ordinances to amend Factories Act 1948, to attract foreign companies seeking to relocate from China, brought deep discontent among workers in the State.  
  • For example, it repealed the rule of standard eight-hour working day with a 12-hour working day and also brought overtime related changes. 
  • Third, low living wages. For example, the average daily earnings of casual workers in urban India in 2018-19, as per the official Periodic Labour Force Survey is well below the official living wage as defined by the Seventh Pay Commission for central government employees. 

What India can learn from China?  

Although some of the states might be following the labour policies of China, but there are few positives in China’s labour policy that need a consideration  

  • China mandates employers to provide dormitory accommodation for workers close to factories. Factory-provided dormitory accommodation is the principal reason for slum-free Chinese industrial cities, unlike in India. 
  • Apart from this, to subsidise production costs, China’s local governments compete with each other to offer excellent physical infrastructure and ensure adequate credit to industrial enterprises through the national development banks. They also act as midwives for Industrial promotion. 

Indian government policy to emulate only china’s stringent labour policies such as long working days and flexible use of labour, while ignoring the social benefits offered by china to its labours are bound to face resistance. 


The positive side of National Family Health Survey report 

Source: Click here 

Syllabus: GS-2, Malnutrition and hunger 

Synopsis: There has been a divergence in the actual NFHS data and the interpretations by the critics. 

What are the features of NHFS report 2019-20? 

  • The initial results of NFHS have been released for 2019-20 along with comparable data for the 2015-16 survey. 
  • Population coverage of approximately 700 million and 21 states have been covered under the NFHS data. 
  • Tabular data for 131 variables have been released for 2019-20. 
  • The data show that there has been significant improvement in many of these 131 indicators of social welfare. 

Analysis provided by NFHS has been misinterpreted by the critics. Comment 

It is important to compare India with the rest of the developing world. Trends in hunger, nutrition, inequality, and growth among others can be carefully evaluated in a comparative angle with the help of World Bank data provides. Some of the misinterpreted data is as follows: 

  • Firstly, Bangladesh underweight percentage in 2015 was stated as 22 per cent but the World Bank data states it to be 30.1 per cent, which makes it 4.7 percentage points (ppt) lower than India, not 12.8 ppt lower. 
  • Secondly, teenage pregnancies in India were 19.9 per cent in 2005 which reduced to 8.7 per cent in 2015 and further got 1 ppt lower in 2019. Hence, net improvement was about 12 ppt in 15 years.  
  • Whereas the level was 10 ppt higher constantly in the developing world during the same period. Even then some editorials claimed of worsening of teenage pregnancies in India. 
  • Thirdly, welfare improved between 2015 and 2019 according to a very large number of NFHS indicators. A summary of these data is as follows: 
  • Child Mortality: Data on three indicators (neo-natal, infant and under-five) show an improvement between 3 and 4 ppt.  
  • Immunizations: It improved drastically. For instance, the hepatitis B vaccine percentage (for children 12-23 months) increased from 64.8 per cent in 2015 to 83.6 per cent in 2019.  
  • Breast-feeding and diet of children 6-23 months: Average gain of 4 ppt for four indicators. 
  • Negative trend in seven young women indicators is 0: Modern birth control methods, age at marriage, teenage pregnancies, and sexual violence all show improvement. The average improvement in these seven indicators is 3.9 percentage points. 
  • Negative trend in 15 adult indicators is 0: Average gain is 4.1 percentage points. 
  • Other improvements: Some of the indicators show an increase of 9 percentage points and above in households with electricity (9.2 ppt), improved sanitation facilities (17.3 ppt), clean fuel for cooking (18 ppt) and women having a bank account that they use (29.8 ppt increase to a level of 77.2 per cent in 2019). 

The points stated above show a large divergence in factual data and its interpretation. There is improvement in close to a 100 indicators and stagnation in less than 5 indicators. 


TPSA (Tibet Policy and Support Act) of US 

Source: Click here 

Syllabus: GS-2, International developments and their effect on India 

Synopsis: The Tibet Policy and Support Act (TPSA) was passed by the US Assembly and will become a law after the US President signs it. 

What are the provisions of TPSA of US? 

The TPSA is an amended version of the Tibet Policy Act of 2002, which came into being during the Bush Administration. Most US administrations have extended support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama; and kept a balance between diplomatic relations with China. Following are the changes in the new policy:  

  • Firstly, the recent amendment in the TPSA makes it a US policy, to oppose attempts by Beijing to install its own Dalai Lama. The law refers to a statement made by the spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry which said: 
  • The “reincarnation of living Buddhas including the Dalai Lama must obey the Chinese laws and regulations and follow religious rituals and historical pacts”. 
  • Any Chinese interference in the process of selecting Tibetan Buddhist leaders will face will attract sanctions. 
  • Secondly, the TPSA has introduced provisions for protecting the environment of the Tibetan plateau and urges for more international cooperation and bigger involvement by Tibetans.  
  • Thirdly, the TPSA appeals for a regional framework on water security as they claim that China is diverting water resources from Tibet. 

What are the stances of the US, China and India on Tibet? 

  • The United States has made it very evident that Tibet remains a priority by passing the TPSA. They will continue to support the Dalai Lama and the CTA.  
  • This does not come as a shock because the US-China relations have become much more difficult over the last two decades. 
  • China had said that the TPSA has sent a wrong message to Tibet independence forces and strictly broken international law and basic norms governing international relations. 
  • China has also claimed that this is an attempt to interfere in its internal affairs which they do not allow. 
  • The country has outrightly opposed the bills which contain ill contents on china. 
  • China’s foreign ministry has asked the US to stay out of their domestic affairs and not implement the bill that targets China and undercuts its interests. 
  • India has mostly abstained from using the Tibet issue against China, and like the US, has a one China policy.  
  • However, things changed this year in the on-going Ladakh standoff. India used its special forces made up almost completely of Tibetan refugees to occupy strategic heights in Pangong Tso’s south bank.

New norms for DTH television distribution sector 

Source: The Hindu 

Gs3: Changes in Industrial Policy and their Effects on Industrial Growth. 

Synopsis:  The reasons why a revised scheme for the Direct-to-Home (DTH) television distribution sector has been brought in. 

Background 

  • Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved a revised scheme for the Direct-to-Home (DTH) television distribution sector which were in due for last 6 years after the TRAI gave its recommendation to reduce the license fee. 
  • Under the new norms, 
  • 100% FDI in Direct-to-Home (DTH) television distribution sector has been allowed. 
  • The licence period has been extended to 20 years from the present 10.  
  • The license fee has been reduced to 8% of Adjusted Gross Revenue, as opposed to 10% on Gross Revenue now.  

What is the need? 

  • Firstly, The Direct-to-Home (DTH) television distribution sector has been impacted by technological change like high bandwidth Internet and Over the Top (OTT) channels. 
  • Second, some DTH operators are under pressure as few big DTH players have made their presence on Internet service and OTT as well. 
  • Third, Fee reduction will address the concerns of petitioners filing the case in SC against high fees which is yet to get hearing. 
  • Fourth, as per the operators, the amended New Tariff Order (NTO) by TRAI has made them mere carriers of channels, with taking away the pricing power. Thus, high fee is not feasible. 

What is the way forward? 

  • India with an estimated 200 million cable and satellite households serves as one of the biggest single markets for audiences. Any regulation should serve the consumer rather than the businesses. 
  • The broadcasters must realise that only authentic programming and entertainment along with best combination of technology and pricing can attract viewers. 

Factly News articles for December 26, 2020

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