# Comprehensive News Analysis - 21 October 2016

##### E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

The Indian Express:

Live Mint:

##### I. Archives

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### Useful News Articles

##### A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!

##### B. GS2 Related

Category: Governance

Topic:  Secularism

Key Points:

• The thicket of legal dialogues on the validity of triple talaq conceals the result of churnings that have already taken place in our courts on this subject
• The renewed debate has come through a questionnaire circulated by the Law Commission where it posed the question of whether triple talaq should be abolished or modified, along with a score of other questions predominantly in the context of framing a uniform civil code (UCC)

Triple talaq and Islamic countries

• From the earliest days of Islam, a husband could divorce his wife on pronouncement of talaq in three successive tuhrs(menses-free time)
• The first and second pronouncements are revocable and resumption of cohabitation is possible
• It is the third pronouncement that dissolves the marriage. Pronouncement of talaq at one go, called talaq-e-bidat, was a latter-day innovation to get an incorrigibly acrimonious couple to part ways as quickly as possible
• Turkey adopted a modified version of the Swiss Civil Code in 1926, taking away the religious imprint and allowing for judicial control
• Egypt framed a law in 1929 terming triple talaq pronounced at one sitting as a single pronouncement open to easy revocability
• Syria followed in 1953 with a slight modification that if the pronouncement of talaq is with reference to number, every talaq shall be revocable, except a third talaq or a talaq before consummation or for a consideration and expressly stated to be irrevocable
• Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have fashioned their own interpretations to Ibn Tamiyah’s view
• In Iraq, since 1959, divorce could be effected only after approval by government-run personal status courts
• Algeria has adopted the same law, making a further provision for completing the reconciliation process within 90 days
• In 1956, a similar interpretation was adopted in Pakistan

Handling the current imbroglio

• Now then, the approach shall be:
 (i) Triple talaq at one go shall be treated as a single pronouncement not yet capable of bringing an irrevocable coup de grace to end matrimonial ties. There is no need to abolish it since it is judicially pronounced to be ineffective (ii) The pronouncements shall be tested on their reasonableness and parties shall undertake a compulsory conciliatory effort before their utterance (iii) The interpretation of personal laws of all communities is — like every other law — amenable to be tested on its constitutionality on the touchstone of fundamental rights in the Constitution (iv) The Law Commission, which is a recommendatory body, will do well to let the pronouncement of the Supreme Court clear the air

Category: Polity

Topic:  Democracy

Key Points:

• The maturing of Indian democracy with the slow but sure strengthening of representative institutions, the separation of powers, and increased participation in elections is a triumph for the people
• But there are questions about the depth of our democratic consciousness

Two recent referendums

• As we ponder these questions, referendums — instruments of direct democracy where citizens get to directly vote on specific and important issues rather than for representatives who will make a choice on their behalf on those issues — have been in the news recently

 Examples: –          The Brexit referendum, on whether Britain should stay in the European Union, concluded on June 23 with 52 per cent (of 72.2 per cent of the electorate that turned out) voting to “Leave” –          The October 2 referendum called by the Colombian government to ratify the accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) resulted in a “No” vote favoured by 50.3 per cent of the less than 38 per cent of the electorate that turned out

Relevance in the Indian context

• If there are provisions which enable public voting on certain legislations it could go a long way in not just sensitising the public towards important laws but also for a means of getting popular approval for them
• However, referendums can lead to majoritarian and not just majority outcomes and therefore constitutional safeguards on the kinds of Bills and Acts that can be brought up for voting are a must
• A lot of thought has to go into creating the mechanisms that allow for referendums

Conclusion

• India, according to studies on referendums held across the world till 1993, is one of only five democracies to have never held them
• It is worthwhile to consider this mechanism at least as a limited device to enhance our democracy into a substantive one

Category: International Relations

Topic:  India-Pakistan

• India and Pakistan are now at a point where the oscillating political situation between the two is expected to shape future dialogue and economic discourse

• Cross-LoC trade takes place between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir along two routes — Uri-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot
• The modalities of this trade have been recorded in the form of a standard operating procedure (SOP), which also lists 21 local items that can be exchanged in barter, based on zero tariff
• To build on the success achieved over the past eight years, various complementary measures are needed in addition to the existing modalities to boost this trade and help it achieve its economic potential
• In addition to basic measures, increasing the number of vehicles, augmenting the type of tradable commodities, promoting cross-LoC tourism, fostering communication amongst people from both sides, and encouraging greater stakeholder engagement are required to give LoC trade a boost

Stakeholders in the peace process

• At a geostrategic and micro level, the importance of LoC trade needs to be understood in the context of the free flow of trade raising prosperity levels of people on both sides of the LoC and enabling them to become key stakeholders in the peace process
• At a macro level, the governments can use this as a means of mitigating the long-drawn-out conflict in the State
• With firm political will, there is immense potential to transform this into positive economic gains for the people in the State
• Such a transformation can prospectively act as a driver of peace between India and Pakistan, which can then view Kashmir not as a subject of contention but as a subject of economic interest

##### C. GS3 Related

Category: Indian Economy

Topic:  Infrastructure

Key Points:

• The Centre is considering a proposal to mandate galvanisation of steel in sectors such as automobile, construction and infrastructure in a bid to build corrosion-resistant vehicles and buildings
• India is the third largest producer of zinc but our consumption should also be higher and this will boost consumption of zinc as well as steel and curb losses of thousands of crore to the economy due to corrosion
• Steel usage would also be substantial in the smart cities program launched by the Prime Minister so there is an imperative need to adopt corrosion control methods in order to provide uninterrupted services to infrastructure users and prolong the life of such national assets
• India loses around 4 per cent to 5 per cent of gross domestic product annually on account of corrosion losses, according to our internal analytics

##### E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Indian Express:

Category: Environment

Topic: Climate change

Key Points:

• With India and other major growing economies ratifying the Paris climate change agreement, the threshold for the agreement to come into force has been reached
• The notion of climate justice was agreed to, politically, at Paris. But it remained unresolved operationally. Along with sustainable lifestyles, climate justice is regarded as a significant principle in environmental parlance
• The principle of climate justice made its way to the preamble of the Paris agreement, presumably under the compulsions of an evolving international dynamic, and has become part of the lexicon of climate change
• The Bolivarian group of countries, who have been the most ardent advocates of climate justice in the past, have relied on the notion of “compensation for damage” for the over-exploitation of the earth’s ecosystem
• While it is certain that the principle of historical responsibility, the centerpiece of the Kyoto Protocol, is no longer the only basis of actions, or the firewall between the developed and developing countries — as the climate negotiators put it — future actions will continue to be different amongst countries and driven by their capability and sustainable development goals
• Under the Paris agreement, all countries committed to implement their Nationally Determined Actions (NDCs). India is committed to reduce its emissions intensity of GDP, by 33 per cent to 35 per cent by 2030 from its 2005 level and protect its population from the adverse impacts of climate change
• All countries have flexibility under the agreement to determine NDCs, according to their national circumstances
• Justice in climate is, therefore, not confined to actions relating to mitigation but includes the wider notion of support for adaptation to climate change and compensation for loss and damage

Live Mint:

1. Preserving central bank independence

Category: Economy

Topic: Regulatory Institutions

Key Points:

In most of the developed world, central banks are free to set monetary policy without the interference of those who depend on voters for their employment
Central bank independence isn’t enshrined in the laws that govern the universe; the Bank of England, for example, has been free to set interest rates as it sees fit for less than two decades. And while worries that independence is under attack might seem overblown

• Governments have abdicated responsibility for economic stability to their central banks. They’ve set inflation targets of 2% almost everywhere
• Politicians can’t complain if their appointees attempt to fulfil their mandates by keeping interest rates at record lows—even when that hurts savers. But the more powerful central bankers become, the more tempted politicians will be to meddle
• But trying to bully central bankers into raising interest rates by threatening to annul their independence seems like a dangerous game—especially given the fragility of the global economy

##### F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
• India-Pakistan
• Independence of central banks
• Paris climate summit
• Climate Justice
• Direct democracy

##### H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following countries border both India and Pakistan?
a) China and Afghanistan

b) Tajikistan and Afghanistan

c) Afghanistan only

d) None of the above

Question 2: Which of the following are part of ‘freedom of religion’ according to the constitution of India?
a) All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion

b) Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion

c) Freedom to manage religious affairs

d) All of the above

Question 3: Which of the following is not true regarding the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)?

a) The Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934

b) The bank performs a wide range of promotional functions to support national objectives

c) It manages the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999

d) None of the above

Question 4: Which of the following is true regarding the concept of ‘Climate Justice’?
1. Climate justice links human rights and development to achieve a human-centred approach,
2. It safeguards the rights of the most vulnerable people and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its impacts equitably and fairly

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 5: Which of the following is true?
1. Galvanisation is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron, to prevent from rusting
2. Hot-dip, electrogalvanising, sherardizing are some of the methods for galvanizing steel

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2