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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB: 10 JUNE 2019

UPSC - Daily Current Affair

SL. NO.

TOPICS

THE HINDU

PAGE NO.

1

St. Petersburg Consensus  

10

1

A clear arc from India to Nigeria

10

3

All states, union territories can now set up foreign Tribunals  

01

4

Inhumane, and utterly undemocratic

10

5

First gene-edited babies at early death risk: study

24

6

Is NITI Aayog old wine in a new bottle

11

7

Poised for Growth  

15

8

Sportswear giant set to tap Indian firms’ PET project

09

 

Title

St. Petersburg Consensus  (The Hindu Page 10)

Syllabus

Mains GS paper II: International relations

Theme

St Petersburg Consensus  

Highlights

Context: strengthening of Russia and china ties amidst tension with US

 

Washington Consensus:

  • The term Washington Consensus usually refers to the level of agreement between the International Monetary Fund(IMF), World Bank, and U.S. on a set of economic policy recommendations for developing countries.

  • The policy recommendations were neoliberal in nature that supported the free market and the reduction of state involvement in economy.

 

St. Petersburg Consensus:

  • Used in context of international politics, of cooperation between Russia and China to form a changed world order, in opposition to US led world order.

 

Aspects of St. Petersburg Consensus: 
 

  • Strategic cooperation:  Security and military cooperation such as E/I of military equipment’s, military exercises, etc.

  • Diplomatic Cooperation:  Adopting common positions on critical international issues such as Iran nuclear deal, Syrian Crisis, etc.

  • Economic cooperation such as under Belt and Road Initiative, exploit the Northern Sea Route along the Arctic as an alternative transportation hub, etc 

  • Both countries are opposed to sanctions imposed by US on Russia, tariffs imposed on China, US presence in Eurasia, among other aspects of US foreign policy.



 

 

Title

A clear arc from India to Nigeria (The Hindu -Page.10)

Syllabus

Mains GS Paper II: International Relations   

Theme

India – Nigeria relations   

Highlights

Context : strengthening of India- Nigeria relations

 

Similar Problems: 

  • Security against terrorism, monetary and fiscal conundrums, a communal and sectarian divide, chronic unemployment, rampant corruption, rural distress and a fragile neighbourhood.

  • Both countries can evolve mechanisms especially academic exchanges to address these issues and cooperate with each other based on shared solutions. These solutions can be changed to an extent to suit local conditions of both countries.

 

Importance of Nigeria: 

  • Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country (191 million) and largest economy ($376 billion). It is also the world’s sixth largest oil exporter (about 2 million barrels per day).

  • Due to this, Nigeria is also a diplomatic power in African Union. 
    Now India's current engagement with Africa is focussed upon Eastern coast of Africa in particular South Africa.

  • However, India can evolve its relationship with Nigeria which can become an important partner of India in West African coast. 

  • Both countries need to facilitate direct connectivity of air travel, banking and shipping — steps which could have promoted the ease of doing bilateral business.

 

Trade & Commerce:

  • Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa (19th overall) with total trade estimated at $13.5 billion in 2018-19. India is also Nigeria’s largest trading partner.

  • However, Nigeria enjoys 4:1 surplus in bilateral trade with India as India main import is oil. 

  • Both countries can improve their trade basket to include machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical products, textile items, iron and steel articles and plastics. This can be seen as India's growth in exports to Nigeria is one of the largest at 27%.

 

Cultural Cooperation: 

  • Approximately 50,000 high-skilled Indians reside in Nigeria, with most of them are professionals, such as engineers, accountants, bankers, trainers and health-care experts.

  • However, India needs to make their visa program easier so that Nigerians can avail Indian medical and educational facilities which is strict due to fear of drug trade related Nigerians entering.

 

Title

All states, union territories can now set up foreign Tribunals (The Hindu -Page. 01)

Syllabus

Mains: GS Paper II: Polity

Theme

Foreign tribunals        

Highlights

Context:  In the backdrop of updation process of National Register of Citizen in Assam, Ministry of Home Affairs has amended the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964.

The amended order has empowered District Magistrates in all States and Union Territories to set up tribunals to decide whether a person staying illegally in India is a foreigner or not. Earlier, the powers to constitute tribunals were vested only with the Centre.

 

Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 on Illegal migrants

  • The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for acquisition and determination of Indian Citizenship.

  • As per the 1955 Act, a person may become an Indian citizen if they are born in India or have Indian parentage or have resided in the country over a period of time.

  • However, illegal migrants are prohibited from acquiring Indian citizenship under the 1955 Act.

  • As per the Act, an illegal migrant is a foreigner who enters the country without valid travel documents, like a passport and visa, or  enters with valid documents, but stays beyond the permitted time period.

  • Illegal migrants may be imprisoned or deported under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. As per the Act, “foreigner” means a person who is not a citizen of India.

  • These Acts empower the Union government to regulate the entry, exit and residence of foreigners within India.

 

National Register of Citizens (NRC) updated

  • National Register of Citizens, 1951 was a register prepared after the conduct of the Census of 1951.

  • Any citizens whose does not find his/her name in NRC shall be considered as foreigner under Foreigner’s Act, 1946 and shall be liable for deportation.

  • NRC regards all migrants who have come to India after March, 24, 1971 as illegal irrespective of their religion. Such illegal immigrant needs to be deported back to their home country as per Assam Accord.

 

The link between illegal migrant & NRC of Assam

  • The issue of illegal migrant and their deportation has been in news because of implementation of Assam Accord which mentions about updation of National register of Citizens (NRC).

  • Assam Accord was signed between Government of India, State government of Assam and the leaders of Assam movement i.e. All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) on 15th August, 1985.

  • The leaders of Assam movement were against granting of Indian citizenship to illegal migrants in the state.

  • As per the Accord, 1st January, 1966 shall be the base date and year for purposes of detection and deletion of foreigners.

  • Foreigners, who came to Assam after 1st January, 1966 and upto 24th March, 1971 shall be detected in accordance with the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964.

  • Names of Foreigners so detected will be deleted from the electoral rolls in force.

  • Whereas NRC regards all migrants who have come to India after March, 24, 1971 as illegal irrespective of their religion.

  • Such illegal immigrant needs to be deported back to Bangladesh as per Assam Accord.

 

Implementation of Assam Accord

  • To implement Assam Accord, section 6A was added through an amendment in the Citizenship Act of 1955. It mentions that all those who came to Assam on or after 1st January 1966 but before 25th March, 1971 from Bangladesh and since then have been ordinarily resident in Assam, must register themselves with the government of Assam.



 

 

Title

Inhumane, and utterly undemocratic (The Hindu -Page. 10)

Syllabus

Mains: GS Paper II: Polity

Theme

National Register of Citizens        

Highlights

Problems highlighted in the article

  • The article has highlighted the discrepancies in updation of NRC and the role played by Tribunals and Courts in protecting and upholding rule of law.

  • To highlight discrepancies and irregularities in process, the article highlights the case of Mr. Sanaullah who was declared as illegal immigrant by Foreigners Tribunal despite the fact that he worked for Indian Army for almost three decades. He is currently out on bail granted by Guwahati High Court.

  • The author highlights that to declare someone as an illegal immigrant is a serious issue and there should be proper checks and balance in the process as there are consequences of being declared as a non-citizen.

  • Such declaration of a person as non-citizen impacts their right to vote, exclusion from public services, incarceration in detention camps, statelessness, deportation and also affects their basic human and fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution of India.

  • Administrative and procedural discrepancies affect the marginalised and vulnerable the most as they are not able to produce enough documents in limited time due to their limited access.

  • There have been instances where due to lack of procedural safeguards, Tribunals have issued notices to entire families, instead of just the suspected “foreigner”. This makes the entire family vulnerable to orders of the Tribunal.

  • There are reports which shows that Foreigners Tribunals habitually declare individuals to be “foreigners” on the basis of clerical errors in documents, such as a spelling mistake, an inconsistency in age, and so on. This affects the marginalised and vulnerable the most.

  • At times tribunal passes orders without hearing the other side. This results in putting people in detention camps without being heard.

  • The article has also criticised “family tree method”approved by the Supreme Court which is a new method to ascertain citizenship as it was done under sealed cover without debate and public scrutiny. People had difficulties in putting together their family trees and at most times the onus to prove lineage fell upon women.

  • NRC updation also provided for an option for people to file their objections against people included in the list. Thus, onus fell on those people against whom objections were filed.

  • This resulted in extreme hardship and trauma as such people have to go through double verification.

 

Conclusion:

  • Thus, the article argues that it is the duty of Supreme Court to protect the right of citizens and ensure that every institutions of this country follows rule of law in letter and spirit

  • However, the Supreme Court while enforcing NRC has rather transformed itself from the protector of the rule of law into an enthusiastic abettor of its daily violation.



 

 

Title

First gene-edited babies at early death risk: study (The Hindu -Page.24)

Syllabus

Prelims: science and technology  

Mains: GS Paper III: science and technology  

Theme

CRISPR/CAS 9

Highlights

Context:  The first babies whose genes were reportedly altered to help them fend off HIV infection are more likely to die younger due to their increased potential for influenza infection.

 

What is CRISPR/CAS 9?

  • CRISPR/Cas9 is a bacterial immune system turned into a powerful gene-editing tool. It consists of a DNA-cutting enzyme called Cas9 and a short piece of RNA that guides the enzyme to a specific spot that scientists want to edit.

  • Once the editing machinery reaches its destination, Cas9 cleaves the DNA. Cells can repair the break by gluing the cut ends back together, or by pasting in another piece of DNA. It can allow conversion of one DNA base to another

 

What is Germline DNA?

  • The DNA in germ cells (egg and sperm cells that join to form an embryo).

  • Germline DNA is the source of DNA for all other cells in the body. Also called constitutional DNA

  • Changes to germline DNA become inheritable to offsprings.






 

 

Title

Is NITI Aayog old wine in a new bottle (The Hindu -Page.11)

Syllabus

Mains GS paper II: Polity    

Theme

NITI Aayog   

Highlights

Context: Need to review of NITI Ayog to see what it has achieved

 

Summary of the Article

  • The NITI Aayog, which replaced the Planning Commission was set up to act as a catalyst for change and development in India.

  • It was set up with the objective of promoting cooperative federalism, carry out critical evaluation of government's schemes and programmes and act as think-tank to provide new policy inputs to the Government .

  • In this regard, the NITI Aayog was required to adopt new and innovative approaches to fulfill its mandate. However, the article highlights that NITI Aayog has continued to use the old methods of the Planning Commission such as excessive emphasis on external controls and providing expert solutions from above without taking into account ground realities. Thus, NITI Aayog has remained old wine in a new bottle.

  • The article highlights that the there is a need for carrying out open minded review of the role played by NITI Aayog and assess whether it has developed capabilities to fulfill its new mandate.


 

 

Title

Poised for Growth  (The Hindu -Page.15)

Syllabus

Prelims : Economy

Mains GS paper III: economy

Theme

Medium Small Micro Enterprise    

Highlights

Context: growth of MSME sector in India  

 







 

 

Title

Sportswear giant set to tap Indian firms’ PET project to cut virgin plastic use (The Hindu -Page.09)

Syllabus

Mains GS paper III: Environmental conservation

Theme

Pet bottles to cute virgin plastic use    

Highlights

Context: Adidas aims at eliminating the use of virgin plastics in its products by 2024. It is doing so because according to the United Nations, around 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced every year with eight million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the oceans. PET bottles are the main contributors to plastic waste globally and in India.

 

Solution:

  • It is taking the help of Polygenta Technology Limited, a Maharashtra based company  which is the only one company in the country to produce yarn out of discarded PET bottles.

  • PTL takes Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles & breaks them down to the base product - an ester, which is then used to manufacture yarn and convert them into polyester filament yarn. The yarn produced would be used by Adidas’ to be converted into sportswear.

  • Mechanical recycling is unable to effectively remove colours and other contaminants from PET, thus resulting in lower / inconsistent quality end-products, whilst in chemical recycling which decomposes PET into its individual "monomers")processes around are highly expensive. 

 

Solves another problem:

  • PET material collection rate in India is nearly 80% — among the best in the world — but a good portion of these bottles are downcycled, eliminating the possibility of further recycling. Downcycling is reuse of waste in a manner that the recycled product is of lower value than the original material.

  • The PET recycling by PTL uses an upcycling process which  consumes 86% less water and 75% less energy than conventional manufacturing. However, it costs approximately 10% more.

  • Upcycling from PET bottles can be further improved by is by curbing the level of contamination in PET bottles such as removal of labels and caps and by source segregation.

 




 

 

Relevant articles from various news sources:

Paper 2:

Topic covered:

Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031

 

What to study?

For prelims: key features of the strategy.

For mains: significance, need for, challenges in implementation and expected outcomes.

 

Context: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Cabinet has adopted a National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031.

 

Aims:

  • To make UAE a world leader in quality of life by undertaking various strategic objectives and initiatives.
  • To promote an integrated concept of wellbeing, thereby supporting vision of UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial 2071.

 

Key highlights of the proposed strategy:

  • National Wellbeing Observatory: It proposes to establish a National Wellbeing Observatory, which will support policymaking process.
  • Functions of the observatory: monitoring a number of indicators of wellbeing in UAE, submitting regular reports to UAE Cabinet, proposing training programmes for government employees and will launch Academy of Wellbeing future generations. In addition to this observatory is also charged with formation of a National Wellbeing Councilto manage and coordinate national strategy.
  • National Wellbeing Strategy is based on a national framework of three main levels- Individuals, Society and the Country.
  • It includes 14 key areas and 9 strategic objectives, which includes enhancing people’s wellbeing by promoting healthy & active lifestyles and good mental health and adopting positive thinking.
  • Under the strategy 90 new projects will be launched that will target more than 40 priority areas and will improve physical, psychological and digital health of future generations.

 

Sources: the Hindu.


Paper 1 and 3:

Topics covered:

  1. Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location.
  2. Disaster and disaster management.

 

Pacific ring of fire

 

What to study?

For Prelims: About Mount Sinabung, pacific ring of fire and key geographical locations.

For Mains: Volcanic eruptions- causes, effects and management.

 

Context: Mount Sinabung volcano recently erupted.

Where is it located? in Sumatra Island, western Indonesia.

It had erupted in 2010 for the first time in past 400 years.

 

 

Background: Indonesia sit along the Ring of Fire region, an area where most of the world’s volcanic eruptions occur. The Ring of Fire has seen a large amount of activity in recent days, but Indonesia has been hit hard due to its position on a large grid of tectonic plates.

 

Vulnerability: Indonesia is at the meeting point of three major continental plates – the Pacific, the Eurasian and the Indo-Australian plates – and the much smaller Philippine plate. As a result, several volcanoes on the Indonesian islands are prone to erupting. Indonesia is home to roughly 400 volcanoes, out of which 127 are currently active, accounting for about a third of the world’s active volcanoes.

 

What is the Ring of Fire?

The Ring of Fire is a Pacific region home to over 450 volcanoes, including three of the world’s four most active volcanoes – Mount St. Helens in the USA, Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. It is also sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt.

Around 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur in the Ring of Fire, and 80% of the world’s largest earthquakes.

 

Location:

  • It stretches along the Pacific Ocean coastlines, where the Pacific Plate grinds against other, smaller tectonic plates that form the Earth’s crust – such as the Philippine Sea plate and the Cocos and Nazca Plates that line the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
  • The 40,0000 kilometre horse-shoe-shaped ring loops from New Zealand to Chile, passing through the coasts of Asia and the Americas on the way.

 

Risk:

The people most at risk from activity in the Ring of Fire are in the US west coast, Chile, Japan and island nations including the Solomon Islands. These areas are most at risk because they lie on so-called subduction zones – which are boundaries that mark the collision between two of the planet’s tectonic plates.

 

How was the Ring of Fire formed?

The Ring of Fire is the result from subduction of oceanic tectonic plates beneath lighter continental plates. The area where these tectonic plates meet is called a subduction zone.

 

Why does the Ring of Fire trigger earthquakes?

  • The world’s deepest earthquakes happen in subduction zone areas as tectonic plates scrape against each other – and the Ring of Fire has the world’s biggest concentration of subduction zones.
  • As energy is released from the earth’s molten core, it forces tectonic plates to move and they crash up against each other, causing friction. The friction causes a build-up of energy and when this energy is finally released it causes an earthquake. If this happens at sea it can cause devastating tsunamis.
  • Tectonic plates usually only move on average a few centimetres each year, but when an earthquake strikes, they speed up massively and can move at several metres per second.

Sources: the hindu.

Mains Question: What is Pacific Ring of Fire? Explain its relevance in the case of recent volcanic eruption in Indonesia?


Paper 2:

Topic covered:

Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

 

Leader of Opposition

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: LoP- status, roles, significance and what needs to be done to strengthen the office of LoP?

 

Why in News? Congress, with 52 MPs, has declined to stake claim for the position of Leader of Oppositionin Parliament.

Background: Any party that has 55 members can get the post as recognised as such by the speaker/chairman.

 

Who is the Leader of Opposition?

The LOP is leader of the largest party that has not less than one-tenth of the total strength of the house.

It is a statutory post defined in the Salaries and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977.

 

Significance of the office:

  • LoP is referred to as the ‘shadow Prime Minister’.
  • She/he is expected to be ready to take over if the government falls.
  • The LoP also plays an important role in bringing cohesiveness and effectiveness to the opposition’s functioning in policy and legislative work.
  • LoP plays a crucial role in bringing bipartisanship and neutrality to the appointments in institutions of accountability and transparency – CVC, CBI, CIC, Lokpal etc.

 

What reforms are needed?

There arises a problem when no party in opposition secures 55 or more seats. In such situations, the numerically largest party in the opposition should have the right to have a leader recognised as leader of the opposition by the speaker.

Besides, the 10% formulation is inconsistent with the law ‘the salary and allowances of leaders of opposition in Parliament Act, 1977’ which only says that the largest opposition party should get the post.

 

Sources: the Hindu.

Mains Question: What is the significance of Leader of opposition in Indian Polity? Explain in what way an effective opposition is crucial to an effective democracy?


Paper 2:

Topic covered:

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

 

Draft National Education Policy (NEP)

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: key features and significance of the policy.

 

Context: the draft National Education Policy (NEP) has been released.

 

Highlights of the draft:

  • It proposes expansion of the RTE Act. It aims to cover the three years of preschool before Class 1.
  • It wants early childhood education to be overseen and regulated by the Ministry of HRD as part of the school system.
  • This will be in addition to the private pre-schools and anganwadis that currently cater to the 3-to-6 years age group.
  • It suggests a new integrated curricular framework for 3 to 8-year olds with a flexible system based on play, activity and discovery, and beginning exposure to three languages from age 3 onwards.
  • The NEP could result in an upheaval in the anganwadi system which has been overseen by the Ministry of WCD for more than four decades.

 

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Relevant articles from PIB:

Paper 2:

Topic covered:

Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

 

Cabinet Secretary

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: Cabinet secretary- roles, functions, appointment and significance.

 

Context: Govt Amends 60-Year-Old Rule to Pave Way for Cabinet Secretary Extension.

With this, the current Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha, has become the longest-serving bureaucrat in the post in the country’s history.

 

Key concept- changes made:

A cabinet secretary is appointed for a fixed tenure of two years.

According to All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement-Benefits) Rules, 1958, the government can give extension in service to a cabinet secretary provided the total tenure does not exceed four years.

As per the modified rules, the central government may give an extension in service for a further period not exceeding three months, beyond the period of four years to a cabinet secretary.

 

Role of the cabinet secretary:

The cabinet secretariat is under the direct charge of the prime minister.

The administrative head of the secretariat is the cabinet secretary who is also the ex-officio chairman of the civil services board.

Functions:

  • The cabinet secretariat assists in decision-making in government by ensuring inter-ministerial coordination, ironing out differences amongst ministries or departments and evolving consensus through the instrumentality of the standing or ad hoc committees of secretaries.
  • Management of major crisis situations in the country and coordinating activities of various ministries in such a situation is also one of the functions of the cabinet secretariat.
  • Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for the administration of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961 and the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961, facilitating smooth transaction of business in Ministries/ Departments of the Government.

 


 

Facts for prelims:

 

Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman (AYDMS):

What is it? It is a new award instituted recent life by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(I&B).

Objective: to recognise contribution made by media in spreading awareness about Yoga and for promotion and commemoration of International Yoga Day, held every year on 21 June.

 

G20:

Context: G20 Ministerial meeting on Trade and Digital Economy was recently held in Japanese city of Tsukuba.

About G20:

Formed in 1999, the G20 is an international forum of the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.

Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 85 percent of the Gross World Product (GWP), 80 percent of world trade.

The G20 has no permanent staff of its own and its chairmanship rotates annually between nations divided into regional groupings.

Objectives:

  • The Group was formed with an aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
  • The forum aims to pre-empt balance of payments problems and turmoil on financial markets by improved coordination of monetary, fiscal, and financial policies.
  • The forum seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organisation.

Member Countries:

  • The members of the G20 consist of 19 individual countries plus the European Union (EU).
  • The 19 member countries of the forum are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The European Union is represented by the European Commission and by the European Central Bank.

 

Various initiatives launched in India on the eve of World Food Safety Day:

State Food Safety Index (SFSI): The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has developed first State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure performance of States on five parameters of food safety. This is an effort of ministry to motivate states to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens. Chandigarh topped the 2018-19 food safety index. The first State Food Safety Index (SFSI) was to measure the performance of States on five parameters of food safety. The categories included human resources and institutional arrangements, compliance, food testing – infrastructure and surveillance, training and capacity building and consumer empowerment.

 

Raman 1.0: It is hand-held battery operated equipment that performs rapid detection, in less than a minute of economically driven adulteration in fats, ghee and edible oils.

 

Food Safety Magic Box: It is do-it-yourself food testing kit comprising of a manual and equipment to check for food adulterants. This can serve as innovative solution to take food safety to schools.

 

Eat Right Awards: instituted by FSSAI, with aim to recognize contributions made by food companies and individuals to empower citizens to choose safe and healthy food options so as to improve their health and well-being.

 

SPICE 2000 guided bombs:

Context: Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed a deal with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli defence firm to procure a batch of SPICE 2000 guided bombs.

  • The SPICE stands for Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective. It is guidance and maneuvering kit manufactured by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
  • SPICE can overcome errors in locating target, GPS jamming and also reduces collateral damage.

 


 

Summaries of important Editorials:

 

Is NITI Aayog old wine in a new bottle?

Why review the composition and working of NITI Aayog?

The country’s economy has not performed to the expectations of the citizens since it was created.

 

Need of the hour:

  • Review what NITI Aayog has achieved so far to adopt the new role described in its charter — that of a catalyst of change in a complex, federal, socioeconomic system.
  • Assess whether it has transformed its capabilities sufficiently to become an effective systems reformer and persuader of stakeholders, rather than merely an announcer of lofty multi-year goals and manager of projects, which many suspect it is.

 

Current concerns over it’s functioning:

There is deep concern that NITI Aayog has lost its integrity as an independent institution to guide the government; that it has become a mouthpiece of the government and an implementer of the government’s projects

 

What needs to be done?

  • NITI Aayog must have the ability to independently evaluate the government’s programmes at the Centre and in the States. 
  • The transformational approach to planning and implementation that 21st century India needs, which is alluded to in NITI’s charter, requires evaluations and course-corrections in the midst of action.
  • It requires new methods to speed up ‘organisational learning’ amongst stakeholders in the system who must make plans together and implement them together.
  • There is a need for new methods of cooperative learning and cooperative implementation by stakeholders, who are not controlled by any central body of technical experts with political and/or budgetary authority over them.

 

Way ahead:

There must be a review of what the think tank has achieved to adopt the new role described in its charter.

 

Note: The topics on Foreigners tribunal and Traffic index will be covered tomorrow.

 

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