14 Sep 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
CULTURE
1. Brihadisvara Temple
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Prison of patriarchy
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. President Ram Nath Kovind appoints Justice Ranjan Gogoi as CJI
2. Ethics Committee Lok Sabha
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. MILEX
GOVERNANCE
1. Right to be forgotten
2. How localization of data will affect firms, consumers?
C. GS3 Related
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
EDUCATION
1. Higher education in India
F. Tidbits
G. Prelims Fact
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

Since there was no issue of ‘The Hindu’ newspaper yesterday, we have compiled today’s CNA using ‘The Indian Express’ and ‘Livemint’.

A. GS1 Related

Category: CULTURE

1. Brihadisvara Temple

 

  • Rajarajesvaram or Peruvudaiyar Koyil, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
  • It follows Dravidian architecture.
  • It is called as Dhakshina Meru (Meru of south).
  • Built by Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD, the temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”, along with the Chola dynasty era Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple and Airavatesvara temple that are about 70 kilometres.
  • Built out of granite, the vimana tower above the sanctum is one of the tallest in South India.

Context

  • Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Trust, the custodians of the Dagdusheth Ganpati Temple, has a 75yearold tradition of making replicas of historic temples across the country on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi said Ashok Godse, president of the Trust.
  • 2018, a 100 ft by 100 ft replica of the 11th century Brihadeeswara temple would be featured as part of the Trust’s 126th year of public Ganesha festivities.

Category: SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Prison of patriarchy

Why India’s female workforce participation is so low?

  • India’s female workforce participation is among the lowest in the world. The Economic Survey 2017-18 revealed that women comprise only 24% of the Indian workforce.
  • Marriage is a career stopper for the majority of Indian women and this cultural abhorrence towards women working continues.
    • The cultural baggage about women working outside the home is so strong that in most traditional Indian families, quitting work is a necessary precondition to the wedding itself
    • This phenomenon is far more significant in higher income demographics, implying that the richer the family is, lower the chances that they allow women to pursue a career.
  • Childbirth and taking care of elderly parents or in-laws account for the subsequent points where women drop off the employment pipeline.
  • A survey by Catalyst, a management consultancy firm said that the most significant drop-off point is between the junior and middle management levels
    • It pegged this number at a whopping 50%, compared to 29% in other Asian economies
  • In fact, as India grows economically, the number of women in workplaces is declining steadily. This, even though the enrolment of girls in higher education courses is growing steadily — to 46% in 2014 from 39% in 2007.

Concerns

  • On the macroeconomic level, this suggests that we’re giving up on a 27% boost to the country’s GDP.
  • At the individual level, without any recourse to financial means, women stay tethered to the family.
  • Ending a marriage is such a daunting task — socially and legally — that even the thought of embarking on it without financial independence is terrifying.

SC sets 25% of ex-husband’s net salary as benchmark for alimony

  • The Supreme Court has stated that 25% of a husband’s net salary might constitute a “just and proper” amount as alimony in order to protect her financially leaving divorced women with full custody of the children at a quarter of the family income.

Conclusion

  • With India aspiring to be a global superpower cultural impediments should be set free and women need to be given wings of freedom to explore the right to live with independence and support self financially.

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. President Ram Nath Kovind appoints Justice Ranjan Gogoi as CJI

Context

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the next Chief Justice of India, law ministry confirmed. Taking the baton from CJI Dipak Misra, Justice Gogoi will assume office on October 3, 2018, as the 46th CJI, tenure ending in November 2019.

Details

  • Chief Justice Misra has followed convention by recommending the next senior most Supreme Court judge, Justice Gogoi, as his successor.
  • By convention, the outgoing Chief Justice of India selects the most senior then-sitting Supreme Court judge.
  • This convention on appointment of the CJI comes from historical practice, and has been affirmed by the Supreme Court in the Second Judges Case in 1993, in which it was held by the majority that:
    • Appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of India should be of the senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office.

Seniority at the apex court is determined not by age, but by:

  • The date a judge was appointed to the Supreme Court.
  • If two judges are elevated to the Supreme Court on the same day,
    • The one who was sworn in first as a judge would trump another;
    • If both were sworn in as judges on the same day, the one with more years of high court service would ‘win’ in the seniority stakes;
    • An appointment from the bench would ‘trump’ in seniority an appointee from the bar.

The seniority convention tells us who should become the next CJI, but how this is to be done is laid out in the Memorandum of Procedure (MOP) between the government and judiciary.

The steps to be followed are:

  • The Union of Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs will seek the recommendation of the outgoing CJI as to who should be the next CUI. This is to be sought at “the appropriate time”, ie, near to the retirement date of the outgoing CJI.
  • The CJI should recommend the “senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office”. However, if there are any doubts as to the fitness of the senior-most judge as per convention, the CJI needs to consult the Collegium to decide if a different judge needs to be recommended.
    • It is not entirely clear what fitness means in this context, though during the proceedings of the NJAC case, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and the bench opined that this was only a question of physical or mental fitness.
    • If such issues do come up, again, it is not the CJI alone who gets to consider whether a judge is fit or not, but the Collegium of the CJI and the four next senior-most judges.
  • After receipt of the CJl’s recommendation, the law minister will forward the recommendation to the prime minister, who then advises the President as to this recommendation.

Does the Government have Say in appointment?

  • Despite the involvement of the law minister and the prime minister, the government actually gets no say in the appointment of the CJI. This is best illustrated by comparing the provisions of the MOP on appointment of the CJI as against appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.
  • When it comes to appointing judges to the Supreme Court, the government can send recommendations of the Collegium back to them for reconsideration — and if the Collegium reiterates those names, the government cannot object any further. This process is described in the MOP in detail.
  • However, no such process exists for the appointment of the CJI, meaning the MOP does not envisage any possibility of the government disagreeing with the recommendation of the CJI.

Background

  • There have been 45 Chief Justices of India (including the incumbent CJI Dipak Misra) since the establishment of the Supreme Court in 1950, and the seniority convention has been followed all but twice in that time. Both these took place in situations where the Executive (in particular PM Indira Gandhi) wished to supersede those who would have been appointed under the seniority convention.
  • Justice Ray was fourth in terms of seniority when CJI SM Sikri retired on 25 April 1973, behind Justice JM Shelat, KS Hegde and AN Grover, despite which he was appointed as the next CJI.
  • When Indira Gandhi and her government bypassed the seniority convention in the 1970s, the primacy of the judiciary in such matters was not judicially enshrined. Since then, Second and Third Judges Cases (1993 and 1998) and the NJAC case (2015), the judiciary’s role has been clarified, and the government cannot gainsay them.

2. Ethics Committee Lok Sabha

 

  • Formulate a Code of Conduct for members and suggest amendments to it from time to time.
  • To oversee the moral and ethical conduct of the Members
  • To examine the cases referred to it with reference to ethical and other misconduct of the Members
  • The committee can also initiate suo moto investigation into matters related to unethical conduct of a member and make recommendations.

Background

  • Rajya Sabha was the first among the two Houses to form an ethics committee, with a full standing committee status, on 30th May, 1997.
  • Lok Sabha, in contrast, formed an ad hoc ethics panel in 2000 and has been operating as one until August 2015 when it was given a permanent standing committee status.
  • The ethics committee in the Lok Sabha has 15 members, while the Rajya Sabha has 10 members

Context

  • Senior BJP leader L K Advani has been renominated as the chairman of the Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. MILEX

Context

  • The first joint military exercise of the seven member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) was conducted in Pune.

Details

  • The aim of the exercise is to practice the BIMSTEC Nations in planning and conduct of counter-terrorist operations.
  • The exercise is focused upon learning of best practices, team building & special tactical level operations in a counter-terrorist environment in semi-urban setting.
  • The exercise will include training in search-and-cordon operations and handling and neutralisation of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) among other things.

Nepalese Prime Minister decides not to let the country’s army participate in the joint military drill of the Bimstec

  • A number of people have seen these developments as Nepal’s response to India’s economic blockade of the land-locked nation in 2015-16
  • Nepal’s abrupt withdrawal from the BIMSTEC military exercise causing significant diplomatic awkwardness for India, which is trying to project the regional grouping as an alternative to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)—the latter has Pakistan as one of its members.
  • Even as Oli scuttled Nepal’s participation in the Pune military exercise, the Nepalese army is preparing to leave for a 12-day military exercise with China in Chengdu.

Lessons for Nepal

  • While there are lessons for India, there are warnings for Nepal too.
  • It is alright to play the China card with India and the India card with China—almost all Indian neighbours indulge in similar practices.
  • But Oli may end up taking his country in a very different direction with his unnecessary provocations to New Delhi.
  • No country has come out healthier after a tight embrace with Beijing. Oli would do well to look at examples ranging from Malaysia to Sri Lanka, and even Pakistan right now.

Port support to Nepal by China

  • The government in Kathmandu has concluded an agreement with China to gain access to Chinese ports, including Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang.
  • Nepalese goods will also have access to dry ports at Lanzhou, Lhasa and Xigatse.
  • Nepal’s exports through Chinese ports will never materialize to the extent that its current account will be worsened by infusion of Chinese goods and capital.

Conclusion

  • India needs to develop sharper instruments to coerce hostile leadership in the neighbourhood. The blockade was a blunt instrument which caused substantial harm to the common people. But the recent engagement with Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepal’s former prime minister and current ally of Oli, is a step in the right direction.
  • Nepal on other side should focus on what is good for people of Nepal and set aside political backlashes. Use of Chinese port will leave the economy in bad shape increasing the deficit as Indian ports are easy to access than the Chinese.

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Right to be forgotten

Context

  • Justice BN Srikrishna Committee’s draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 is introducing a new right — the right to be forgotten, to remove very old, irrelevant and unnecessary information links from social media networks.

What does the bill say?

  • As per the Srikrishna Committee’s Bill, an adjudicating officer, who is not a judge but a bureaucrat, will decide.
  • According to Section 27 of the Bill a data principal (any person or individuals of that data) has a right to prevent the data processor or data fiduciary (could be a TV, web portal or newspaper) from using such data or information if data disclosure is no longer necessary, the consent to use data has been withdrawn or if data is being used contrary to the provisions of the law.
  • Section 27(2) says the adjudicating officer can decide on the question of disclosure, and the circumstances in which he thinks such disclosure can override the freedom of speech and the citizen’s right to information. In determining this, the adjudicating officer has to consider five factors listed in subsection (3). They are:
    • the sensitivity of the personal data;
    • the scale of disclosure and the degree of accessibility sought to be restricted or prevented;
    • the role of the data principal in public life;
    • the relevance of the personal data to the public;
    • the nature of the disclosure and of the activities of the data fiduciary, particularly whether the data fiduciary systematically facilitates access to personal data and whether the activities would be significantly impeded if disclosures of the relevant nature were to be restricted or prevented.

Exceptions

  • The PDP Bill says the rights of the data principal, including the right to be forgotten, are exempted if the purpose of data processing is in the interest of the security of state (Section 42).
    • But, the Bill says, Parliament should pass a law explaining the procedures to determine the interests and to create another authority to decide the disclosure.
  • Further, these rights will not apply to the processing of data in the interests of prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of any offence or any other contravention of law (Section 43).
    • For that, too, however, Parliament has to make a law to consider and achieve such interests.

Appellate

  • Aggrieved by the order of the adjudicating officer, one can file for a review.
  • If he reaffirms the decision, an appeal can be made to the appellate tribunal.

Concerns

  • But when the data principal is a public servant (for instance, a former minister or a Bureaucrat), and the data fiduciary is a newspaper or web journal, the freedom to criticise the public personalities for their public policies based on their past statements and activities will be in jeopardy, and a journalist has to wait for the decision of the adjudicating officer to clear her writing about it.
    • The right to be forgotten in the Bill might spell a danger to press freedom.
  • An exemption “for journalistic purpose” is provided in Section 47 saying that where the processing of personal data is necessary for or relevant to a journalistic purpose
    • It says Section 27(1) applies only where the journalist demonstrates that the processing is in compliance with any code of ethics issued by —
      • the Press Council of India,
      • any media self-regulatory organisation.
    • This means the journalist has to prove that privacy was taken care (Section 4) and all safeguards prescribed were complied with (Section 31).
    • These are additional pre-publication restrictions on citizens and media which were never contemplated by the Constitution and rejected by the judiciary.
  • A citizen seeking access to such information will be confused whether to approach the CIC or DPA — these adjudicating officers are subordinate to members of the Data Protection Authority.

World Over

  • This concept is prevalent in the European Union (EU) and France, though it was not preferred in the US to the more valuable press freedom.

Conclusion

  • Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution did not provide “privacy” as a ground for imposing restrictions.
  • This Bill fails on constitutional verification by the judiciary, unless “privacy” is added in Article 19(2) by a major amendment to the Constitution.
  • The Data Protection Bill is going to be a serious threat to press freedom and RTI.

2. How localization of data will affect firms, consumers?

What is data localization?

  • Data localization is the practice of storing data on any device that is physically present within the borders of the country where the data is generated. Free flow of digital data especially that which can impact government or regional operations, is restricted by some governments.
  • Many try to protect and promote security across borders and, thus, encourage data localization.
  • While there is enough reason to support data localization, misguided policies can have harmful consequences for citizens and economies alike.

What has RBI said?

  • All system providers shall ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India.
  • Data should include the full end-to-end transaction details/information collected/carried/processed as part of the message/payment instruction

What’s the rationale for the RBI regulation?

  • RBI says unfettered access to data stored by system providers and third-party vendors in the payments ecosystem will ensure better monitoring.

Issue Area

Global digital payment firms such as Visa, American Express, Facebook, PayPal, Mastercard and Google are likely to be impacted by the regulations.

  • Data localisation is not just a business concern, it potentially makes government surveillance easier, which is a worry.
  • It could lead to increased government demands for data access.
  • Technology firms worry the mandate would hurt their planned investments by raising costs related to setting up new local data centres.
  • The issue could further undermine already strained economic relations between India and the United States.

C. GS3 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: EDUCATION

1. Higher education in India

Introduction

  • Higher education in India has grown exponentially in recent years.
  • A survey by the All India Survey on Higher Education published shows that the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) was 25.8% in 2017-18, up from 10% in 2004-05.
  • GER is a statistical measure for determining the number of students enrolled in undergraduate, postgraduate and research level studies within the country and is expressed as a percentage of the population
  • For higher education, the survey calculates the ratio for the age group 18 to 23 years. Internationally, the age group 18 to 22 is also used.

Comparison with other key countries

  • India aims to attain a GER of 30% by 2020, it’s still much behind countries like China, which, currently, boasts an enrolment ratio of 43.39%. USA’s GER is 85.8%
  • Though the GER for higher education in India is still less than what it is in developed countries, the growth rate is still quite impressive. The next step is to ensure that the outcome of academic programmes by higher education institutes (HEIs) is acceptable.

Radhakrishnan Commission Report (RCR)

  • The RCR recommended a well-balanced education with ‘general’, ‘liberal’ and ‘occupational’
  • The report advocated that general education and specialised/professional education should proceed together.
  • The study of languages should be given equal importance as one communicated to the outside world only through the medium of language. Therefore, a lack of communication skills could be a handicap.
  • The report focused on laying stress on fundamentals of the subject so that individuals could think independently where they would be able to derive a firm conviction rather the focus on acquisition of special knowledge
  • The RCR drew inspiration from the emphasis on general education in universities in the U.S.

The American parallel

  • The National Academies Press (NAP) of the U.S. represents the national academies of sciences, engineering and medicine published the report
  • The report attached significant importance to the integration of Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine and humanities in university teaching in both the RCR and NAP reports.
  • It says the purpose of higher education is to prepare graduates for work and life, as well as active and engaged citizenship — achieved only through the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies related to the profession they chose to specialise in and also written and oral communication skills, ability to work as a team, ethical decision making, critical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge in real world settings.
  • The RCR, in turn, talked about including general education as an essential element. But the NAP report goes much beyond what the RCR states and advocates integrating the teaching of humanities in STEM.
    • Problems in a real-life setting are interdisciplinary and require an appreciation of related fields.
    • The NAP report acknowledges that disciplinary specialisation has resulted in many developments but also points out that emerging problem are multi-disciplinary.

Current status in India

  • The current scene in India in HEI is far from integrated.
  • Several engineering, and science education and research institutes have embedded general education programmes at the undergraduate level. Such programmes are missing in most university-affiliated science colleges.
  • There are institutions that cater to a single stream which prevent the possibility of even an informal interaction between students and faculty with different specialisations.

Conclusion

  • So, there are debates focused on Governance and Autonomy in higher education. The deliberations should also focus on content. The focus of undergraduate education should be on classical disciplines, with enough credits for general education. Focus on specialisation can wait until the post graduate level.

F. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!

G. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. With reference to One IP- Two Dispensaries scheme
 
  1. It is an initiative of Ministry of Health

  2. It gives an option to an Insured Person (IP) to choose two dispensaries, one for self and another for family through an employer

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer

 

Question 2. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is in the state of
 
  1. Karnataka
  2. Kerala
  3. Andhra Pradesh
  4. Telangana

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements with respect to Bhishtis:
 
  1. They are the traditional water carriers of South Asia

  2. They are tribe found in Mizoram

  3. Bhishti is derived from the Tibetan word bahisht, meaning paradise

The incorrect code is:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All the statements

See

Answer
Question 4. Jharnapatachitra is a painting from the region of 
 

 

  1. Maharashtra
  2. West Bengal
  3. Gujarat
  4. Rajasthan

See

Answer

I. Practice Questions for UPSC Mains Exam

  1. India’s relation with central Asian countries has failed to meet the expectations. Examine. Also, discuss what can India do overcome this issue?

  2. The intellect has sharp eye for methods and tools, but is blind to ends and values. Illustrate with examples.

  3. Explain the various technological tools that can be used in Disaster Management.

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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