Current Affairs 13th February

Not conceded any territory, says govt. #GS2 #IR

The disengagement at the south bank of Pangong Tso (lake) will see Indian troops moving to their post in Chushul and China to the Moldo garrison. In the next phase, additional Indian troops will move further down, around 40 km to Tara-Rhongo post and Chinese troops to Dorjo.

In August 2020, Indian troops had taken advantageous positions on the hills in the south bank following which China matched presence, leading to an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation. This incident followed China blocking Indian patrols at multiple locations in Eastern Ladakh-north Pangong, Gogra-Hot Springs, Galwan, Depsang and CNN sector in Demchok, followed by amassing of troops and armaments.

Patrolling curbs

The official said the moratorium on patrolling had been recorded in the agreement document signed by the military commanders.

The agreement mentions in as many words that suspension of patrolling is temporary and will resume once both countries take a final decision. The right to patrolling in traditional areas is not compromised.

The suspension of patrolling is similar to what exists in the Galwan Valley, where 20 soldiers were killed on June 15, 2020, in a violent clash with the Chinese PLA. A buffer zone has been created here, adding that this was also a temporary mechanism. The main phase of disengagement at the north and south banks of Pangong lake is expected to begin. 

Outstanding issues

According to the Defence Ministry statement, the Defence Minister’s statement also made it clear that there are “outstanding problems to be addressed, including at Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang.”

The outstanding issues are to be taken up within 48 hours of the completion of the Pangong Tso disengagement.

Stating that the assertion that the Indian territory is up to Finger 4 at Pangong Tso is categorically false, it said the territory of India is as depicted by the map of India and includes more than 43,000 sq km currently under illegal occupation of China since 1962. “That is why India has persistently maintained the right to patrol up to Finger 8, including in the current understanding with China,” it said.

Permanent posts of both sides at the north bank of Pangong Tso are longstanding and well-established, the Ministry said. On the Indian side, it is Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3 and on the Chinese side, east of Finger 8.

On the ongoing disengagement process, a defence official said India and China had put in place additional verification mechanisms to ensure that both sides adhere to the understanding reached for disengagement in Pangong Tso.

This was done given the trust deficit and photography and videography are being done by both sides during withdrawal at each step and reported to their respective higher ups. The disengagement process is very slow and deliberate at each step. As the progress is under way, there is daily communication between local commanders directly and through the established hotline.

Benefit of the NewsIndia- China border disputes

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/not-conceded-any-territory-says-govt/article33826007.ece

A puppet master with a chip in the brain #GS1 #Culture

When tradition meets modernity, the result can sometimes be amazing. A puppet with robotic movements may not sound very charming but in a melding of traditional art and cutting edge technology, a shadow leather puppet in Kerala’s famous temple art Tholpavakkoothu is being animated by a robot.

For the first time, the famous shadow leather puppets will tell stories of the epic Ramayana with the help of robots.

The first robotic leather puppet was installed at the Palakkad District Heritage Museum. Although there is a wide variety of art and cultural symbols showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Palakkad at the museum, the shadow leather puppets installed at Navarasa zone-5 have been a big draw with visitors with their robotic movements.

According to Lakshmana Pulavar, the most difficult part of Tholpavakkoothu is the limb movements of the puppets. These are now being controlled through robotics.

Tholpavakkoothu is a traditional temple art in Kerala having its roots in Palakkad and neighbouring regions. It used to be performed in the Bhadrakali temples of Palakkad, telling tales from the Ramayana. It is also known as Nizhalkkoothu and Olakkoothu.

Benefit of the News Temple art Tholpavakkoothu

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/a-puppet-master-with-a-chip-in-the-brain/article33826021.ece

Inter-marriages can reduce caste tensions, says court #GS1 #Society

Educated youngsters are showing the way forward to reduce caste and community tensions in India by tying the knot in inter-marriages, the Supreme Court said in a recent judgment.

Educated younger boys and girls are choosing their life partners, which, in turn, is a departure from the earlier norms of society where caste and community play a major role. Possibly, this is the way forward where caste and community tensions will reduce by such inter-marriages.

Justice Kaul quoted B.R. Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste , in which the Father of the Constitution said, “I am convinced that the real remedy is intermarriage. Fusion of blood can alone create the feeling of being kith and kin, and unless this feeling of kinship, of being kindred, becomes paramount, the separatist feeling — the feeling of being aliens — created by caste will not vanish.”

Even as more and more cases challenging religious conversion laws enacted by several States reach the Supreme Court, Justice Kaul observed in the judgment on February 8 that “consent of the family or community or clan is not necessary once the two adult individuals agree to enter into a wedlock and that their consent has to be piously given primacy”.

The court quashed the case against the couple and directed the police authorities to not only counsel the investigating officers but devise a training programme to deal with such cases for the benefit of the police personnel.

Benefit of the NewsInter- marriage situation

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/inter-marriages-can-reduce-caste-tensions-says-court/article33825985.ece

Data buoys: inflation cools to 4.06%, IIP rises 1% #GS3 #Economy

India’s retail inflation slowed to a 16-month low of 4.06% in January, helped by a sharp deceleration in food prices, while industrial output rebounded to growth of 1% in December aided by increases in electricity and manufacturing.

Inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which was 4.59% in December, continued to decelerate after being stuck above the RBI’s upper tolerance threshold of 6% for six months from June to November. Rural inflation eased last month to 3.23%, while urban inflation stood at 5.1%.

The moderation in consumer prices was driven by a broad-based softening in food inflation, with the Consumer Food Price Index rising just 1.89% in January, appreciably slower than December’s 3.4% pace.

Concern over core

However, Core inflation, excluding food and fuel prices, was estimated to be at about 5.7% and hovering close to the same level as in December. Economists foresee a resurgence in overall inflation from February as a base effect wears off.

The sequential momentum in core inflation had risen, following the highest ever WPI-core momentum reading in December, rising mobility indicators and falling COVID-19 cases.

Going forward, the base effect which helped recent lower prints, will wane in February and March and the magnitude of disinflation in vegetables would also most likely ease, while the price movement in pulses and vegetable oils needs to be watched closely.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data for December provided some cheer as it revealed a recovery in output following a 2.1% drop in November. The rebound was led by a 5.1% jump in electricity production and a 1.6% increase in manufacturing output.

Our forecast of 0.1% was against the backdrop of negative growth in the core industries, but the situation has been buffered by an impressive performance of consumer goods — both durable and non-durable — with the base effect providing an upward bias, adding that increases in electronics, auto and capital goods output had also helped.

The December data once again reinforced the view that the uptick witnessed in September and October was due to a combination of festive and pent up demand and the recovery was still fragile, opined Sunil Kumar Sinha, principal economist at India Ratings. “However, the positive aspect of the December 2020 factory output is that it has now crossed the pre-COVID level,” he added.

Benefit of the NewsAbout recent inflation data

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/data-buoys-inflation-cools-to-406-iip-rises-1/article33825893.ece

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