Current Affairs 21st Jan 2021

In a thaw, Centre offers to put off farm reforms for 18 months #GS2 #Governance

Farm union leaders will consider a proposal from the Central government to suspend the implementation of the three contentious farm reform laws for the next year-and-a-half while a committee is formed to look into their demands. Union leaders said the Centre had also offered to submit an affidavit to the Supreme Court to this effect.

The proposal was made during the 10th round of talks on Wednesday, and is the first serious sign of movement in the negotiations since tens of thousands of farmers began their protest on the borders of Delhi almost two months ago. Their major demands have been a repeal of the three laws on agricultural marketing, and a new legal guarantee for minimum support prices.

Benefit from this News – Having a track about Farmer agitation going

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/in-a-thaw-centre-offers-to-put-off-farm-laws-for-18-months/article33622162.ece

Karnataka tops in innovation, shows NITI Aayog index #GS2 #Governance

Karnataka retained its leadership position in the major States category in the second edition of India Innovation Index released by NITI Aayog.

It was followed by Maharashtra, which moved past Tamil Nadu to occupy the second place. Other States in the top 10 are Telangana, Kerala, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Barring Maharashtra, all other States in the top five are in the south.

Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar scored the lowest on the index, which put them at the bottom in the “major States” category.

Karnataka’s rank is attributable to its substantive number of venture capital deals, registered geographical indicators and information and communications technology exports. Its high Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow has also enhanced the innovation capabilities of the State.

With the pandemic triggering an economic shutdown, the role of innovation to revitalise the economy has never been more important, it added. Delhi topped among Union Territories.

The India Innovation Index, aims to create an extensive framework for a continual evaluation of India’s innovation environment. The index aims to rank States and UTs based on their scores, recognise opportunities and challenges, and assist in tailoring government policies to foster innovation.

The India Innovation Index will create synergies between different stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem, thus enabling India to shift to competitive good governance. The India Innovation Report also pointed out that the best practices observed within the States should often be documented and disseminated to encourage peer-to-peer learning.

In addition, to ensure that the index’s framework is even more robust to capture the best picture for the Indian innovative ecosystem, a micro-analysis of the State-level policies must be done.

The objective of this reform is to focus on state innovation policies, local innovation cells, and the Knowledge Output developing from such entities. This will further delve into the state-level nuances required to understand the underlying innovative tendencies within a state.

Benefit from this News – Learn about India Innovation Index and latest rank for quoting in exam with respective states to gain an extra mark. 

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/karnataka-tops-in-innovation-shows-niti-aayog-index/article33622160.ece

Sweets, souvenirs in Thulasendrapuram #GS2 #IR

As the countdown for the inauguration ceremony began in Washington D.C., celebrations broke out in Thulasendrapuram, the ancestral village of new U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris in Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu.

From children to octogenarians, residents descended on the streets, against a backdrop of lush green paddy fields, to celebrate the “momentous” occasion. The villagers said her assumption of office will strengthen the relationship between the two largest democracies.

Her elevation to the position had made her ancestral village popular even in the United States. “We await her visit to Thulasendrapuram.  Women were particularly enthused over Ms. Harris’s success. S. Arulmozhi, a resident said,“She has emerged as a symbol of women’s empowerment and inspires us all”.

Benefit from this News– For State exams, this could be a prelims question related to location; Secondly an example about Women empowerment along with globalisation impact of women.

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/sweets-souvenirs-in-thulasendrapuram/article33622156.ece

Supreme Court dismisses Aadhaar review petitions #GS2 #Governance

The Supreme Court, in a majority view, dismissed a series of petitions seeking a review of its 2018 judgment upholding the Lok Sabha Speaker’s certification of Aadhaar law as a Money Bill and its subsequent passage in Parliament. However, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud dissented with the majority, saying the Aadhaar review petitions should be kept pending.

Two questions had come up for review regarding the five-judge Aadhaar Bench’s judgment in 2018. One, whether the Speaker’s decision to declare a proposed law as Money Bill was “final” and cannot be challenged in court. The second, whether the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 was correctly certified as a ‘Money Bill’ under Article 110 (1) of the Constitution.

On the first question, the majority judgment in 2018 said the Speaker’s decision could be challenged in court only under “certain circumstances”. On the second, it concluded that the Aadhaar Act was rightly called a Money Bill. Justice Chandrachud, who was on the Bench, had dissented on the second conclusion in 2018.

Benefit from this News – To know about Speaker decision for money bill can be challenged under certain circumstances

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/supreme-court-dismisses-aadhaar-review-petitions/article33622111.ece

India sends vaccines to 2 countries #GS2 #IR

India began the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to six “neighbouring and key partner countries”. The delivery began with two special flights carrying the first consignments of Covishield to the Maldives and Bhutan. Sources said Bangladesh and Nepal will receive two large consignments of the same vaccine followed by supplies to Myanmar and the Seychelles.

As part of the vaccine diplomacy, Bhutan is the first country to receive the vaccine manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII). On the request of Bhutan, India has also fast tracked the release of Rs. 501 crore for Thimphu’s “reprioritised projects” to meet the emerging challenges caused by the pandemic.

A consignment of 1,00,000 doses was received at the Male airport by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Health Minister Ahmed Naseem.

Maldives is [among] the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s a gift from India. India has proved to be a solid friend of the Maldives. India gave us support when our students had to be evacuated from Wuhan in China. In these difficult circumstances, India is the first country. 

India will ‘gift’ one million doses of Covishield to Nepal and two million doses to Dhaka.

Benefit from this News– This provides a detail of India relation with neighbours along with one should read about India relation with the countries named mentioned in this article.

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/india-sends-vaccines-to-6-countries/article33622121.ece

Weak reform push, financial sector woes may damp growth #GS3 #Economy

Fitch Ratings said India’s medium-term growth potential is at about 6.5% but weak implementation of reforms, combined with continued financial sector problems, could lower its potential. It said the revival of the reform agenda is among the Indian government’s policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic shock.

‘Partially offset’

If implemented effectively, we believe these reforms may help to support India’s medium-term growth and partially offset downside pressures to investment from renewed asset-quality challenges in the financial sector and damaged corporate balance sheets.

Fitch estimates medium-term growth potential to be some 1.7 percentage point lower than otherwise as a result of the scarring effects of the health crisis and financial sector weaknesses.

The ratings agency last week said India’s gross domestic product (GDP) would expand by 11% in the financial year 2021-22, after witnessing a 9.4% contraction in the current fiscal period ending in March 2021.

Benefit from this News– Can be used as an example in current India economic scenario. 

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/weak-reform-push-financial-sector-woes-may-damp-growth/article33622054.ece

Emerging market NPAs to continue rising: S&P #GS3 #Economy

The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath will continue to dominate the credit story for emerging markets (EMs), including India in 2021. Bank systems in its sample EMs were exposed to major sources of risk including that of likely deterioration in asset quality.

It said profitability of banks in EMs was likely to remain below historical levels due to lower global interest rates and slower growth. In India, SMEs [accounted] for around 20% of total exposures at mid-2020. Stress in SMEs is somewhat tempered by the government’s guarantee of new loans taken by SMEs, up to 20% of their total loans.

Benefit from this News– Just an add on point for NPA.

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/emerging-market-npas-to-continue-rising-sp/article33622043.ece

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February 2020 Hindu & IE Editorial Compilation & Imp. Article for quoting as an example 

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March 2020 Hindu & IE Editorial Compilation & Imp. Article for quoting as an example 

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April 2020 Hindu & IE Editorial Compilation & Imp. Article for quoting as an example 

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May 2020 Hindu & IE Editorial Compilation & Imp. Article for quoting as an example 

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June 2020 Hindu & IE Editorial Compilation & Imp. Article for quoting as an example 

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July 2020 Hindu & IE Editorial Compilation & Imp. Article for quoting as an example 

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August 2020 Hindu & IE Editorial Compilation & Imp. Article for quoting as an example 

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September 2020 Hindu & IE Editorial Compilation & Imp. Article for quoting as an example 

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