Gist of Editorials: Plan Before Making A Bid | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (Development & Welfare)

[500 words reduced to 100]

  • India has expressed interest to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.
  • India must consider several issues if it wishes to host the Games:
  • India must leave a mark at the 2020 Olympic Games.
  • India should host multisport events to prove its prowess.
  • It should ensure high investment from the private sector.
  • India should ensure clean and safe facilities for the athletes.
  • India should identify locations for hosting the games early on.
  • It is only when we view the Games as a long-term development enabler that it can be made a sustainable proposition.


Gist of Editorials: Being a Good Neighbor (The Hindu) | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (International Relations)

  • India must work towards South Asian integration.
  • South Asia is one of the world’s least integrated regions.
  • Problems:
    • India has ideational disinclination towards its neighborhood.
    • Neighborhood has not been seen as an opportunity by India.
    • There has been a steady decline in India’s influence and goodwill in the region.
    • Persistent absence of a coherent and well-planned regional policy
  • Present scenario
    • Recently India made grand foreign policy commitments to neighboring countries.
    • However, it tried to interfere in the internal affairs of Nepal and Sri Lanka.
    • India seemed clueless on dealing with political crisis in the Maldives.
    • India’s refugee policy on Rohingyas went against its own traditional practices.
    • Arrival of an India-friendly Ibrahim Mohamed Solih regime in Male.
    • Return of India friendly Wickremesinghe as Sri Lankan Prime Minister
    • Nepal has reached out to India to put an end to the acrimony.
    • Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh are also positively disposed towards India.
    • Relationship with Pakistan continues to be testy and directionless.
    • What should India do?
    • India must shed its aggression and deal with diplomatic finesse.
    • It must not meddle in the domestic politics of neighbor countries.
    • India must follow up on its promises to its neighbors.
    • India must invest where China falls short.
    • India must invest a great deal more in soft power promotion.
    • It must also look for convergence of interests with China.
    • There needs to be better regional trading arrangements.
    • India should construct border infrastructure and ease restrictions on border trade.
    • There should be attempts at forging multilateral arrangements.
  • India has a real opportunity today to re-calibrate its neighborhood relations.


Gist of Editorials: Restoring The Balance (The Hindu) | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (International Relations)

[900 words reduced to 200]

  • A tumultuous phase in India-Maldives ties has come to an end.
  • Recent India-Maldives relation
    • Maldives called India its “closest friend”.
    • India announced a financial assistance package of $1.4 billion .
    • Both agreed to keep other’s security interests in mind in IOR.
    • They agreed to strengthen maritime security cooperation in IOR.
    • Increased opportunities for Indian investment in Maldives.
    • Areas such fisheries, tourism, health, education etc. earmarked for enhancing bilateral cooperation.
  • The China factor
    • Under Mr. Yameen, Maldives had become close to China.
    • China’s role in the Maldivian economy is under scanner today amid growing concerns about Chinese loans.
    • Faced with the loan crisis, Maldives is looking to India for more budgetary support.
    • China will continue to play an important role in Maldives economy.
    • However, geography will make India’s role critical in Maldives.
  • Mature handling of the Maldives crisis
    • India’s patiently handled the Maldives crisis.
    • It coordinated its response with other like-minded players.
  • India’s significance for Maldives
    • Maldives will need support of India because:
    • Maldives challenges remain acute.
    • The institutional fabric has been battered under Mr. Yameen.
    • Islamist extremism has grown in potency.
    • Governance will continue to be challenging .
    • Instead of viewing from a China perspective, India must think of the long term.


Gist of Editorials: Is it Time to Abolish the Death Penalty (The Hindu) | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (Polity and Governance)

[1800 words reduced to 180 ]

  • This year India introduced the death penalty for those who rape minors.
  • Arguments for abolition:
    • Most of the civilized world has abolished it.
    • It does not deter murder more than life imprisonment.
    • The death penalty is error-ridden.
    • It unfairly targets the poor and marginalized.
    • Punishment should not imitate crime; we do not rape rapists.
    • Administering the death penalty is traumatic.
    • UN resolution calls for a moratorium on the death penalty.
  • Arguments against abolition:
    • Proportionately punishment is just.
    • It has been upheld in liberal democracies.
    • India’s neighborhood is not peaceful.
    • A punishment cannot be judged by its impact on criminals.
    • This punishment is a reflection of societal mores.
    • The punishment is not arbitrary as courts exercise caution.
    • It is given only in rarest of rare cases.
    • In the last 13 years, only four people have been executed.
  • Way forward
    • Death must only be imposed when no alternative is left.
    • Both severity and swiftness of punishment should coexist.


Gist of Editorials: Island Hopping (The Hindu) | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (International Relations)

[850 words reduced to 250]

  • Recently, the President of the Maldives, visited India.
  • Under Yameen a serious deterioration in ties with India occurred.
  • Maldives under Solih
    • Solih has assured a ‘India First’ policy.
    • India enjoys a special place in his worldview of good governance.
    • He called India Maldives’ “closest neighbour”.
    • Solih’s visit reflects a fine balance between the interests of both countries.
  • India’s – Maldives deals during Solih’s visit
    • India has worked out a $1.4 billion assistance package.
    • India has offered visa facilitation.
    • India has offered support to the Maldives to rejoin IORA.
    • Four agreements relating to IT, culture, agri, and visa have been signed.
    • Maldives has assured to be fully sensitive to India’s security and strategic concerns.
    • Both nations have agreed to be mindful of each other’s concerns
    • They plan to enhance maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • What India hopes to gain from the ‘ new’ Maldives?
    • Indian Navy and Coast Guard will now be able to secure better cooperation from the Maldives
    • Intelligence agencies hope to nurture better collaboration in combating terrorism
      India Inc. hopes to increase its presence in the Maldivian market.
  • The China factor
    • China’s footprint in South Asia has increased in recent years.
    • It is not feasible for India to supplant China in neighbouring countries.
    • But India has its own advantages which it should leverage fully.
  • A new grouping of India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and the Seychelles looks attainable.
  • After repairing ties with the Maldives, New Delhi should strengthen its Indian Ocean outreach.


Gist of Editorials: RBI’s Independence (The Economic Times) | GS – III

Relevance : GS Paper III (Indian Economy)

[900 words reduced to 150]

  • A pushback is underway, globally, against central bank independence.
  • Though independent central banks are better at controlling inflation., economies with independent central banks don’t always do better in financial crises.
  • There is a dilemma on how much to leave to experts as compared to popularly elected governments.
  • The recent global trends
    • During the global economic crisis of 2008, the US Federal Reserve was accused of causing the crisis.
    • In 2013 the Bank of Japan agreed to coordinate policy with the government.
    • In recent years India’s RBI has been accused of starving a growing economy of much needed liquidity.
  • The assumption that former bureaucrats are sure to be pliant RBI governors is misplaced.
  • RBI governor needs to find a balance between taking tough, unpopular decisions and urgent economic imperatives.


Gist of Editorials: Towards a Genetic Panopticon (The Hindu) | GS – III

Relevance : GS Paper III (Science and Technology)

[1300 words reduced to 150]

  • The DNA Bill, 2018 is to be considered by the Rajya Sabha.
  • Problems with the draft Bill:
    • disregards ethical dilemmas
    • treats DNA as infallible
    • infringement of civil liberties is seen as legitimate trade-off
    • proposed law is vague
    • allows DNA collection in civil cases as well
    • failure to place sufficient checks on the misuse of DNA evidence
    • a range of privacy protections are absent in the Bill
    • enhances the State’s coercive powers
  • Why do we need a DNA law?
    • Genes encoded in DNA are important tool in forensic science
    • DNA profile helps in establishing the identity of a suspect.
    • only a small amount of genetic material is needed to create DNA profile.
    • DNA evidence used across the world in complex investigations.
  • We should not the government untrammelled access to deeply personal material.


Gist of Editorials: The Spectre of Deportation (The Hindu) | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (International Relations)

[800 words reduced to 150]

  • The outcome of the NRC exercise has implications for India’s ties with Bangladesh.
  • Threat for India:
    • Many Indians are working in Bangladesh.
    • Bangladesh is a high source of remittances.
  • Bangladesh is not in a position to accept people deported due to NRC exercise because it is already under burden of hosting Rohingya refugees.
  • ‘Neighbourhood first’ policy not being implemented:
    • Nepal has tilted towards China due to 2015 Nepal blockade
    • India-Bhutan relationship has also been strained ever since India’s withdrawal of subsidies in 2013.
    • Sri Lanka and the Maldives have also made a shift towards China.
  • Bangladesh: India’s most trusted neighbour:
    • It has cooperated in India’s crackdown on insurgents.
    • It is India’s biggest trading partner in South Asia.
    • Bangladesh has facilitated connectivity with the Northeast
  • The NRC issue threatens to disturb the equilibrium in India-Bangladesh ties.


Gist of Editorials: Quick Fix for the Farmer (Indian Express) | GS – III

Relevance : GS Paper III (Indian Economy)

[1000 words reduced to 150]

  • Recently, thousands of farmers held protest in Delhi.
  • Demands of farmers:
    • debate in Parliament on farm distress;
    • one-time loan waiver; and
    • raising MSPs and making them legally binding on private traders
  • Rationality of these demands:
    • debate would help understand and address farm distress better
    • loan waivers will largely help the well-off farmers, and will also hit public investments in agriculture adversely
    • an MSP formula based on just cost and ignoring demand would be inefficient
    • making MSP legally binding will turn out to be anti-farmer as it will discourage private traders
  • Way forward
    • need of reforms in agri-markets
    • encouraging contract farming, futures trading, etc.
    • investments to improve the functioning of markets
    • thinking of a sustained income support for farmers.
    • financial inclusion of small and marginal farmers
    • implementation of PM’s AASHA by state govts.
  • Quick fix of loan waivers is not a solution of farm distress.