Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 8th June 2022

CURRENT AFFAIRS

 

TOPICS :

Decoding China’s occupation

GS II International Relations

The shadows over global growth recovery are long

GS III Effects of Liberalization on the Economy

Tamil Nadu tops food safety index

GS III Food Processing

Chancellor conundrum

GS II Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States

Advisory Board on disability not reconstituted since 2020

GS I Social Empowerment

 

 

Decoding China’s occupation

Context:

China’s constructing activities on Pangong Tso and its consequences.

History of China’s behaviour and India’s concerns

  • China built a road through Aksai Chin linking Tibet and Xinjiang (1957)
  • India’s war with China in 1962 revealed its diplomatic miscalculations and inadequacies in defence preparedness
  • There is still trauma in India surrounding that war
  • China does not seem to favour the idea of entering into treaties for resolving territorial disputes and maritime disputes with its neighbours.

Eg: Constructing a bridge on a portion of Pangong Tso

Violent clashes in 2017, 2020

  • China does not adhere to the general rules of international law.
  • China tries to derive its claims on the basis of historic rights to the detriment of the rights of its neighbours

Eg: South China Sea dispute.

This dispute in the eyes of international law:
  • Pangong Tso in the category of occupied and disputed territory
  • In the eyes of international law, occupation is a temporary phenomenon
  • India has neither accepted China’s unjustified claims on that portion nor its construction activities.
  • According to UN charter all the members have to settle their disputes by peaceful means.
ICJ judgments:
  • Israel constructed a wall in Palestine territory.
  • Nicaragua vs Costa Rica dispute

The construction of pipeline and deployment of troops in the border of Costa Rica by Nicaragua. ( disputed area )

It added that Nicaragua’s consideration that its activities are within its own territory does not exclude the possibility of characterising the activities as unlawful.

Thus, the fact that China is constructing a bridge on the lake without using armed force or without using fire or causing injury to humans does not make the activity lawful.

 

The shadows over global growth recovery are long

Though it was not a full recovery from the aftershocks of the COVID19 pandemic, the global economy was on the mend until the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Economic prospects have worsened since then, exacerbating the divergence between advanced economies and developing economies.

Inflation concerns

Globally, in some of the advanced economies, Inflation has reached its highest level in the last 40 years.

  • According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “inflation is expected to remain elevated for longer”.
  • Commodity prices, Oil and gas prices and Food prices would remain high.
  • A spike in oil and gas prices due to a tight fossil fuel supply and geopolitical uncertainty have led to substantial increases in energy costs worldwide.
  • In developing economies, rising food prices have had cascading effects, culminating in higher overall inflation.
Impact on households

In developing economies, higher prices for food impacts different sections of the population differently based their consumption pattern.

  • Households in the low income strata often consume diets with just one type of grain and are particularly vulnerable to price changes.
  • Higher energy prices affect cereal prices as a result of rising transportation costs and increased input prices such as fertilizers.

Persistent short supply and increases in food and fuel prices could significantly increase the risk of social unrest as the poorer sections are pushed to poverty.

Capital outflows
  • Emerging markets suffered their portfolio outflows
  • Investors have become more selective, as higher risk sensitivity mounts due to tighter monetary conditions and rising inflation
  • Interest rates tightening in the United States is associated with capital flow reversals from emerging markets.
  • Developing economies, the result of sudden large capital outflows is currency depreciation and tighter external sector conditions, leading to growth fluctuations.

As the IMF’s ‘World Economic Outlook’ makes it clear, data from developing countries show that debt levels have touched an all time high following a huge fiscal expansion in many countries during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Massive expenditure programmes directed toward the health sector and income support measures had become necessary as part of such fiscal expansion.

Safety nets needed

Expenditure pruning should encompass targeted income support measures that can be used to alleviate stress on household budgets.

Such measures should be designed to deliver maximum relief to the most vulnerable at lower costs.

 

Tamil Nadu tops food safety index

Context:

Tamil Nadu topped the 4th State Food Safety Index (SFSI) this year, followed by Gujarat and Maharashtra. Among the smaller States, Goa stood first, followed by Manipur and Sikkim.

  • The SFSI measures the performance of States on the basis of five parameters set by the Health Ministry. The rating is done by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
  • This index is based on performance of State/ UT on five significant parameters, namely, Human Resources and Institutional Data, Compliance, Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance, Training & Capacity Building and Consumer Empowerment.
  • The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.
  • To build a healthy nation.
  • States had an important role in ensuring food safety and healthy food practices.

 

Chancellor conundrum

Context:

The West Bengal government’s decision to make the Chief Minister the Chancellor of State run universities, instead of the Governor.

Governor vs State government:
West Bengal case:
  • Difference of opinions in the appointment of Vice Chancellors and the functioning of universities.
  • VCs were appointed without the approval of the Chancellor
  • Some occasions, VCs had not turned up for a meeting with the Governor Chancellor.
Tamil Nadu’s case:
  • Tamil Nadu recently passed Bills to empower the State government, instead of the Chancellor, to appoint VCs.
  • It also passed a separate Bill to establish a new university for alternative systems of medicine with the Chief Minister as its Chancellor.
Kerala’s case

In Kerala, there is a different kind on controversy, with Governor Arif Mohammed Khan asking the Chief Minister to take over the Chancellor’s role in the light of alleged political interference in the functioning of universities.

Original Intent

The original intent of making Governors hold the office of Chancellor and vesting some statutory powers on them was to insulate universities from political influence.

Justice R.S. Sarkaria Commission Recommendations:
  • The use of discretion by some Governors in some university appointments had come in for criticism.
  • Commission acknowledged the distinction between the Governor’s constitutional role and the statutory role performed as a Chancellor, and also underlined that the Chancellor is not obliged to seek the government’s advice.
  • However, it did say there was an obvious advantage in the Governor consulting the Chief Minister or the Minister concerned.
M.M. Punchhi Commission:
  • The Justice M.M. Punchhi Commission, which examined Centre State relations decades later, was quite forthcoming in its 2010 report.
  • Noting that the Governor should not be “burdened with positions and powers… which may expose the office to controversies or public criticism”.
  • It advised against conferring statutory powers on the Governor.
  • It felt that the practice of making the Governor the Chancellor of universities ceased to have relevance.

The time may have come for all States to reconsider having the Governor as the Chancellor. However, they should also find alternative means of protecting university autonomy so that ruling parties do not exercise undue influence on the functioning of universities.

 

Advisory Board on disability not reconstituted since 2020

Context:

The Central Advisory Board (CAB) on Disability, which is mandated to meet every six months under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, has not been reconstituted since November 2020.

About the Central Advisory Board (CAB)
  • The CAB, which has a three year tenure
  • It function as the national level consultative and advisory body on disability matters.
  • The CAB is the highest policy making body for disability issues
  • The panel is meant to facilitate the continuous evolution of a comprehensive policy for the empowerment of persons with disabilities and the full enjoyment of rights.
Need of the hour
  • It was the need of the hour during the COVID19 pandemic and after the pandemic as well.
  • The government should reconstitute the CAB as per the act regularly and have meaningful discussions.
  • It is missing the targets year after year in the flagship Accessible India Campaign. So targets should not be side lined.
  • Merely constituting the CAB is also not enough.
  • In the current format, the CAB is heavily loaded by bureaucrats and officials and has very minuscule representation from people with disabilities and their organisations. This has to be changed.

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 8th June 2022

Our Courses

Watch Our Videos on YouTube 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.