- S. intelligence assesses that Russia could be planning a multi-front offensive on Ukraine as early as next year, involving up to 1,75,000 troops.
- Russia denies it plans to invade and says the West is gripped by Russophobia
- Russia faces massive consequences and severe costs if President Vladimir Putin attacks Ukraine, the Group of Seven (G7) warned in a statement.
- The G7 (or Group of Seven) is an organisation made up of the world’s seven largest so-called advanced economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- The group regards itself as “a community of values”, with freedom and human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and prosperity and sustainable development as its key principles.
POST PANDEMIC PARTNERSHIP
- The novel coronavirus pandemic has once again highlighted the criticality of international cooperation in combating current and future challenges.
- Key among these include economic growth, building competitiveness of the investment climate, ensuring sustainable development paths and adapting to technology acceleration.
- Trade and investment flows have proved to be an engine of growth for many countries, in spite of temporary supply chain glitches.
- India’s recent reforms, role in combating the pandemic, and start up vibrancy, among other factors, have attracted global attention and can help it attain a faster growth path, provided its integration with the world economy and trade gains strategic intensity.
- As the world adapts to a new normal post-COVID-19, building resilience to cope with the threats posed by pandemics and other man-made and natural disasters has necessitated strengthening global partnerships now more than ever.
- The issue of growing inequality of incomes among countries as well as within countries must be addressed.
- Mechanisms for reviving growth in certain parts of the world should be coordinated effectively so as not to disrupt it in other parts of the world.
- Second, the pandemic severely disrupted global supply chains and set the global trade trajectory on a downward path.
- As the free flow of goods, services and capital will continue to play a dominant role in the global economic recovery process, collaborative efforts from countries across the world would be required in facilitating trade partnerships at both regional and multilateral levels to better protect consumers and producers.
- Competitiveness will be key in facilitating growth and inclusive development.
- New opportunities and avenues across potential high growth sectors such as manufacturing and start-ups must be leveraged.
- An ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation with targeted policies and interventions will contribute to enhancing productivity and generating employment.
- The rise of telemedicine, remote work and e-learning, delivery services, etc. necessitates equitable adaptation to advanced technologies and tools, building robust infrastructure, and occupational transitions.
- Skill development and worker training, investments in education and vocational training, and capacity building would be some key areas of focus for filling technology gaps and nurturing new and existing talent.
- International alliances and cooperation on building sustainable solutions, green technology, resource efficiency, sustainable finance, etc., must be promoted to fast track meeting the sustainable development goals and for ensuring all-round development.
- Sedition is a colonial law. It suppresses freedoms. It was used against Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak.
- Is this law necessary after 75 years of Independence?
- The CJI said the sedition law, or Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, was prone to misuse by the government.
- “The use of sedition is like giving a saw to the carpenter to cut a piece of wood and he uses it to cut the entire forest itself.”
- The CJI’s remarks have also opened the floor for debate and introspection on the court’s own verdict in 1962, in the Kedar Nath case, which upheld Section 124A.
- The Kedar Nath judgment upheld the constitutional validity of sedition as defined in Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code.
- And the Court read down the provision by holding that only writings or speeches which incite people to violence against the Government will come within the mischief of sedition.
- Section 124A of the IPC, which contains the law of sedition, categorizes four sources of seditious acts.
- They are, spoken words, written words, signs or visible representations.
- The gist of the offence is: bringing or attempting to bring the government into contempt or hatred, or exciting or attempting to excite disaffection towards the government.
- Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body. The job of delimitation is assigned to a high power body. Such a body is known as Delimitation Commission or a Boundary Commission
- In India, such Delimitation Commissions have been constituted 4 times in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952, in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962, in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002.
- The Delimitation Commission in India is a high power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court. These orders come into force on a date to be specified by the President of India in this behalf.
- The copies of its orders are laid before the House of the People and the State Legislative Assembly concerned, but no modifications are permissible therein by them.
- The Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission will base its final report on the 2011 Census and
- will also take into account the topography, difficult terrain, means of communication and convenience available while delimiting seven additional seats for the 83-member Assembly of the Union Territory (UT),
- Besides granting reservation to the Schedule Tribe (ST) and Schedule Caste (SC) communities.
Urban cooperative banks
- Series of scandals have engulfed the urban co-operative banks in the state.
- Thousands of small depositors, lured by the comparatively higher interest rates offered by some of these banks, lost their life savings and not know who to turn to.
- Most of these urban cooperative banks were floated after deregulation of the banking sector in the 90’s.
- The intent behind creation of these banks is that they will raise and deploy resources locally and function as community banks.
- These banks were supposed to bridge the credit gap to small traders and small businesses that don’t have access to commercial capital
- There are plenty of practical suggestions:
- strict monitoring to ensure that only persons with impeccable credentials promote banks;
- higher capital adequacy and liquidity norms;
- Mandatory annual credit rating;
- Making public the annual RBI inspection reports and
- Strict and unambiguous regulatory supervision of RBI over banking. If a cooperative bank is faltering, it is better to allow it to convert into a society and permit acceptance of deposits only from members.
- Recent government decision
- The Government’s decision to raise the insured limit for bank deposits to ₹5 lakh from ₹1 lakh with a 90-day time limit to pay out such deposits as ‘landmark’