CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 04-November, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


04 November, 2017

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The rise and rise of Xi Jinping {International Relation}

(The Hindu)


Context

China’s road map to achieving its great power ambitions has significant implications for India.

Why in news?

The recently-concluded 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was an intricately choreographed political theatre which showcased President Xi Jinping’s primacy, his vision and his status as the helmsman of the party and the nation.

Highlights

The Congress has confirmed Mr. Xi’s standing as the most powerful Chinese leader in the post-Deng era.

“Xi Jinping’s thought will be China’s signature ideology and the new communism”.

Mr. Xi has become the only leader after Mao (with his “Mao Zedong Thought”) to have his eponymous ideological contribution written into the party charter while in office. “Deng Xiaoping Theory” was adopted after Deng’s death, and contributions of two of Mr. Xi’s predecessors, Hu Jintao (“Scientific Outlook”) and Jiang Zemin (“Three Represents”), are not named after them.

Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping (22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997) was a Chinese revolutionary and politician. He was the paramount leader of the People’s Republic of China from 1978 until his retirement in 1989. After Chairman Mao Zedong’s death, Deng led his country through far-reaching market-economy reforms.

 Deng era

  • During the last three decades, Deng Xiaoping’s thoughts have been the guide for China’s foreign and domestic policies.
  • Much of the world may have forgotten that it was Deng who took over from the Maoist rule and launched the economic reforms that has made China the world’s second largest economy today.

Deng’s model

According to geopolitical experts, the Deng model rested on three pillars

  • The first was economic pragmatism, allowing for capitalist style incentives domestically and channels for international trade.
  • The second pillar was a foreign policy of cooperation. The lack of emphasis on political ideology opened space for international maneuver with economic cooperation as the basis for new relationships. China would maintain a low profile and avoid taking the lead.
  • The third pillar was the primacy of the Communist Party System. Reform of the political system along the lines of Western countries could be envisioned but in practice would be deferred.

 Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) 

Related image

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, better known as the One Belt and One Road Initiative (OBOR), The Belt and Road (B&R) and The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy proposed by China’s paramount leader Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the oceangoing Maritime Silk Road (MSR). The strategy underlines China’s push to take a larger role in global affairs with a China-centered trading network.

Vision

  • New Eurasian Land Bridge, running from Western China to Western Russia through Kazakhstan.
  • China–Mongolia–Russia Corridor, running from Northern China to Eastern Russia
  • China–Central Asia–West Asia Corridor, running from Western China to Turkey
  • China–Indochina Peninsula Corridor, running from Southern China to Singapore
  • China–Myanmar–Bangladesh–India Corridor, running from Southern China to Myanmar
  • China–Pakistan Corridor, running from South-Western China to Pakistan
  • Maritime Silk Road, running from the Chinese Coast through Singapore to the Mediterranean

History

According to historical analysis and Silk Roadology, the success of the legendary trade route was dependent on three factors.

First, the greater security situation in the region due to the presence of strong empires – the Han Empire, the Kushanite Empire, the Persian and Greek Empires.

Second, there were great cultural and religious exchanges along the old Silk Road, which further eased the ways for travellers and traders.

Third, sea routes were yet to be discovered, and trade flowed mostly through land and caravans.

India’s Concern

  • India has stayed away from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summits
  •  As many as 120 countries, including 29 at the top leadership level, attended the inaugural, underlining President Xi Jinping’s description of this being the “project of the century.”
  • India has cited the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which passes through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir as the main reason for refusing to participate in the summit.
  • India has also expressed concern on the evolution of the BRI. The foreign ministry spokesperson pointed out that mutual agreements on infrastructure projects should be transparent and debt repayments be made easier for recipient countries.
  • The context of this rising tension is important. Chinese troops have allegedly crossed the Line of Actual Control that separates India in April 2013, in September 2014 during Xi Jinping’s visit to India, as well as in October 2015 and mid-2016.

The missing women {Social issue}

(Indian Express)


Context

This article recommends various steps for gender equity.

Why in news?

The World Economic Forum’s just-released report — the Global Gender Gap Index, 2017 — shows that India’s poor showing on gender equity has hit rock-bottom.

It has been ranked 108 out of 144 countries, a fall of 21 places from last year’s 87 — and its lowest since the index was developed in 2006.

It would take centuries to close the wide gap between Indian men and women at this pace.

Indicators for the ratio

 “Health and survival”, where India is in the bottom four, largely as a result of its losing battle against a falling sex ratio at birth and the lack of access to healthcare.

“economic participation and opportunities for women”. Despite gains in education, women’s work participation rate stands at an abysmal 27 per cent.

Facts

  • the number of working hours: 24.5% of women  vs. 8.2% of men are part-time workers
  • occupations and sectors: women account for 78% of the work force in health and social work and 70% in education
  • earnings: among full-time employees, women earn 16% less than men in the OECD
  • career progression: women account for less than a third of senior managers in the OECD and only one women for every 10 men gets to the boardroom
  • entrepreneurs: only 2% of working women are entrepreneurs, 6% of men.
  • According to a World Bank report, about 19.6 million women have dropped out of the workforce between 2004-05 and 2011-12.

Possible solutions

  • Governments can do a lot to increase financial support to working families, as shown by the experience of Nordic countries and France.
  • A key factor promoting employment among parents is making parental leave entitlements more gender balanced. Many countries extend parental leave entitlements to fathers and often reserve parts of the parental leave for them.
  • Providing more access to good and affordable formal childcare for children of pre-school age is particularly important. Childcare support is associated with higher full-time female employment. The greatest female employment and childcare enrolment rates are observed in the Nordic countries, the biggest investors in public formal childcare services. They need to be affordable, good quality and flexible in terms of hours.
  • Encouraging firms to offer more family-friendly workplace benefits and flexible working arrangements helps mothers and fathers combine work and care commitments more effectively. Measures include part-time work, flexible starting and finishing hours and teleworking.
  • countries should address cultural barriers and the stereotyping of women’s roles in society, business and the public sector.

A welfare test for Aadhaar {Public Policy}

 (Indian Express)


Context

Exclusion and denial of benefits to the poor needs urgent attention

In news

the starvation death of an 11-year-old girl in the Simdega district in Jharkhand, allegedly because of denial of PDS ration due to Aadhaar linking problems, is appalling.

What was the fault?

The relentless push of Aadhaar without adequate justification or calibration, with complete disregard of the distress it may be causing to the poor and the under-privileged, is symptomatic of high-handed decision-making and technological muscle-flexing.

It is rapidly setting an example of how not to do public policy interventions. Both the last UPA and the current NDA governments must share the blame for these faults of Aadhaar

UPA for its careless introduction, and NDA for pushing it so thoughtlessly.

Disruption in welfare schemes

It has primarily been based on denial, on dubious savings claims, and on the lame quoting of the Aadhaar Act to say that nobody should be denied their entitlements because of Aadhaar.

Various questions that arises

  •  Whose responsibility is it to ensure that no deserving person is denied their due benefit?
  • Shouldn’t the Central and the state government functionaries be at the forefront to ensure fair and efficient disbursement of PDS ration?
  • Where are the ground reports from the district administrations about the PDS denials because of Aadhaar? Who has designed and deployed the Aadhaar-based PDS?
  • Is there any standardisation across the country and are the designs available for public scrutiny?
  • What is the biometric failure rate across the population, sorted according to age, gender, occupation and region?
  • Are the failures inherent to the technology or are they avoidable process errors?
  • What exactly are the problems with the Aadhaar linking processes and can they be rectified?
  • To what extent is the problem due to connectivity failures?

An effective design of using digital identity in PDS is not possible without a thorough understanding of the ground realities.

How can these situations be tackled?

The offline identity verification may simply be based on digital reading of an encrypted and digitally signed photograph of the beneficiary encoded on the ration card, followed by physical comparison and storing for records along with a time-stamped photograph acquired on the spot with a tamper-proof device.

We have to ensure, with or without Aadhaar, that people do not go hungry in this country. 

Public Distribution System

Under the Minimum Common Need Programme of Government of India, the poor families in the State were provided food grains at subsidized rate w. e. f. 1 st June, 1997. BPL Yellow rationcard holders are provided with 35 Kgs foodgrains (Wheat + Rice) and APL Saffron rationcard holders are provided with 15 Kgs foodgrains (Wheat + Rice )

Tricolour Ration Cards Scheme

      The affluent families do not purchase foodgrains under PDS and therefore with a view to curb diversion of foodgrains and provide more foodgrains to the needy families, the State Govt. introduced Tricolor ration card scheme w. e. f. 1st May, 1999. Accordingly, as per following criterias 3 different colored ration cards are issued in the State

Yellow Ration Cards

          Under Targeted Public Distribution System the following criteria are applied

  1. Families having annual income up to Rs. 15,000/- having been included in IRDP List of 1997-98.
  2. None of the members in the family should be a doctor or a lawyer or an architect or a chartered accountant.
  3. None of the members in the family should be a professional tax payer, a sales tax payer or an income tax payer or eligible to pay such tax.
  4. The family should not posses residential telephone.
  5. The family should not posses four wheeler vehicle.
  6. None of the family members should hold total two hectare rain fed or one hectare semi-irrigated or 1/2 hectare irrigated (double in drought prone talukas) land.
  • The Govt. has taken decision to issue BPL Ration Card, on temporary basis to all the Vidi workers, all members of Pardhi & Kolhati community vide GR dated 9.9.2008.
  •  The Govt. has taken decision to issue BPL Ration Card, on temporary basis to the Abandoned women vide G.R. dated 29.9.2008 & 21.2.2009 and amendment has been made to the same vide G.R. dated 17.1.2011
  • The Govt. has taken decision to issue BPL Ration Card on temporary basis to all the non-working cloth mills,cotton mills & sugar factories workers vide GR dated 17.3.2003.

Criteria For Saffron Ration Cards

  • Families having total annual income of more than Rs. 15,000 and less than 1 lakh.
  • None of the members in the family should have four wheeler mechanical vehicle (excluding taxi- driver).
  • The family in all should not posses four hectare or more irrigated land.

Criteria For White Ration Cards

The families having annual income of Rs. 1 Lakh or above, any member of the family possessing a four wheeler or the family aggregately holding more than 4 hectare irrigated land are issued white ration cards.

 

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