The HINDU Notes – 10th May 2019 - VISION

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Friday, May 10, 2019

The HINDU Notes – 10th May 2019

πŸ“° Pushing for a 'full court', Collegium recommends Justices Gavai, Surya Kant’s names for elevation to SC

CJI Ranjan Gogoi-led Collegium also rejects government's disapproval for elevation of two others as top court judges.

•In a single stroke on the same day, the Supreme Court Collegium, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, recommended the names of two judges to the court and rejected the government’s disapproval of the elevation of two others.

•If the four judges are elevated without delay, the Gogoi Court would reach the full sanctioned judicial strength of 31 judges by the time it re-opens in July after the summer vacations.

No review of decision

•On Thursday, the Collegium refused the government’s request to reconsider its April 12 recommendation to elevate Jharkhand High Court and Gauhati High Court Chief Justices Aniruddha Bose and A.S. Bopanna as Supreme Court judges. The Collegium said their names were recommended after all parameters were considered. The Collegium said there was no reason to agree with the government as there was nothing adverse found in the two judges’ conduct, competence or integrity. Now, the government is bound to appoint Justices Bose and Bopanna to the court.

•On May 8, the Collegium also recommended Justice B.R. Gavai, a judge of the Bombay High Court, and Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court Surya Kant for elevation to the Supreme Court.

•On this recommendation, the Collegium said it zeroed in on Justices Gavai and Kant to provide “due representation”, as far as possible, to all High Courts as well as to all sections, including those belonging to the SC/ST/OBC categories, women and minorities.

•The Collegium said Justice Gavai superseded three judges in the Bombay High Court, but this should not be misconstrued as a reflection on the ability of the three senior judges.

•It said that though seniority was to be given due weightage, merit should be the “predominant consideration”.

•Representation for the SC/ST category seems to have played in the mind of the Collegium while recommending Justice Gavai’s elevation.

•The Collegium noted that “on his appointment, the Supreme Court Bench will have a Judge belonging to the Scheduled Caste category after about a decade”.

πŸ“° Assam NRC: Supreme Court frowns on foreigners’ tribunals plan

Court questions Assam government, favours release of inmates with steps to keep an eye on them

•The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned a proposal by the Assam government to quickly throw open 1,000 foreigners’ tribunals all over the northeastern State to try suspected illegal immigrants.

•A Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it looked like the State government hatched the plan without bothering to conduct a “basic study” of how to carry it out. This, especially when the deadline for publishing the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) looming large.

•“A 1,000 tribunals means a 1,000 judicial officers to preside over them. Where will you find them overnight? How many advocates above the age of 35 years would be willing to join? What is the available pool of retired judicial officers? Should the government not have foreseen this situation, considering the fact that the final NRC for the State would be published by July 31? Do we judges have to tell you everything?” Chief Justice Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Assam government.

•The CJI hinted at the possible flood of petitions which would hit the foreigners’ tribunals once the final NRC was published on July 31. These petitions would be from people who had not been able to prove their Indian citizenship. “Remember, the final list of NRC will be published in three months,” CJI Gogoi addressed the Assam side.

•“We propose to have 200 tribunals immediately,” Mr. Mehta submitted.

•The court, which is also examining the plight of 900-odd illegal immigrants languishing in Assam’s detention centres for years, said it was in favour of releasing them, provided that a foolproof mechanism was evolved to keep an eye on them. The court agreed with amicus curiae Prashant Bhushan’s suggestion that detenus should be released after six months or a year. Mr. Bhushan said they could be released if Indian citizens stand surety for them. “And what happens to these Indian citizens if the person they stood surety for does not turn up eventually?” the CJI asked Mr. Bhushan.

•Mr. Bhushan suggested “some imprisonment”. To this, the CJI asked “under what law would we imprison these citizens?”

•“Mr. Bhushan, this court has to be provided with a mechanism by which their production is assured. When you can suggest such a mechanism, we will pass the order,” the Chief Justice said.

•But Mr. Mehta interjected saying opening such a window for release of illegal immigrants after six months of detention would become an “incentive for more people to infiltrate”.

•“Infiltration has gone substantially high... Jail should be a deterrent,” Mr. Mehta urged.

•“Then deport them... you are not doing it. Instead you keep showing us some envelopes. They are in there due to your own failure. Evolve a mechanism by which you can release them but at the same time be assured of their production when summoned by authorities,” Chief Justice Gogoi said.

πŸ“° Navy joins exercises in South China Sea

Takes part in group sailing with U.S., Japan, Philippines.

•Navy ships INS Kolkata and Shakti carried out Group Sail with the naval ships of Japan, the Philippines and the U.S. in the South China Sea (SCS) from May 3-9, the Navy said on Thursday.

•“The ships undertook various exercises en route which included formation manoeuvring, under way replenishment runs, cross-deck flying and exchange of sea riders,” the Navy said in a statement.

Committed to safety

•“The group sail exercise showcased India’s commitment to operating with like-minded nations to ensure safe maritime environment through enhanced interoperability,” it said.

•China, which claims a major part of the SCS, has disputes with most of its maritime neighbours. Six ships, including a frigate and helicopter carrier JMSDF Izumo from Japan, a Philippines frigate and an Arleigh Burke class destroyer from the U.S. Navy took part in the six-day exercise. Indian Navy ships were on return passage from their deployment to the South and the East China Seas as part of the annual Eastern Fleet overseas deployment during which they visited Vietnam, China and South Korea.

•In China, the ships took part in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the People’s Liberation Army (Navy). They later took part in the Phase I of the maritime security field training exercise under the aegis of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) from May 1 to 3 off South Korea.

πŸ“° N. Korea fires missiles as U.S. envoy visits Seoul

This comes less than a week after the test-firing of multiple rockets by Pyongyang

•North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Thursday, the South’s military said, less than a week after its leader, Kim Jong-un, oversaw the test-firing of multiple rockets and a missile.

•The launches came as U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun was in Seoul for talks with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and his counterpart, nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon.

•South Korea’s President said the tests seemed to be a protest by the North after Mr. Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump failed to reach agreement on the North’s nuclear weapons and missile arsenal at a February summit. “North Korea seemed to be discontented it could not reach a deal in Hanoi,” Moon Jae-in said in an interview with South Korean broadcaster KBS.

•The two missiles were fired from the northwest area of Kusong, in an easterly direction, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. They covered distances of 420 km and 270 km and reached an altitude of about 50 km before falling into the sea, they said.

•After Thursday’s launch, South Korea’s military said it had stepped up monitoring and security in case of another launch, and was working with the U.S. to get additional information on the missiles involved.

•South Korea’s presidential Blue House called the missile launches “very worrisome” and unhelpful for efforts to reduce tensions on the peninsula and improve Korean relations.

•In his KBS interview, Mr. Moon said even if the missiles were short range, they could still violate UN resolutions barring North Korea from developing its ballistic missile force.

•Still, Mr. Moon said he saw the tests as a sign that North Korea wanted to negotiate, and said he planned to push for a fourth inter-Korean summit with Mr. Kim.

πŸ“° Europe rejects Iran’s ‘ultimatum’ but stands by nuclear agreement

Tehran has warned that it would defy the deal’s provisions

•European powers denounced Iran’s threat to resume nuclear work on Thursday but vowed to save a landmark deal with Tehran despite U.S. pressure.

•Iran said it would defy some limits it accepted under the 2015 agreement, and threatened to go further if Europe, China and Russia fail to deliver sanctions relief within 60 days. Tehran says it is responding to unilateral U.S. sanctions imposed after President Donald Trump ripped up what he called a “horrible” deal, dealing a severe blow to the Iranian economy.

•Europe has stressed the importance of the deal — in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief — for its own security, and EU president Jean-Claude Juncker said it would be on the agenda at Thursday’s summit in the Romanian town of Sibiu.

•French President Emmanuel Macron appealed for calm, saying Europe must work to convince Iran to stick with the deal.

•“We must not get jumpy or fall into escalation,” Macron said.

•EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and France, Germany and Britain — the three European signatories to the deal — voiced “great concern” at President Hassan Rouhani’s dramatic intervention. “We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPOA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps,” they said in a joint statement, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.” Macron warned that leaving the deal would “unstitch what we have achieved”.

•“That’s why France is staying in, and will stay in and I profoundly hope Iran will stay in,” Macron said as he arrived for the summit.

•The EU statement stressed the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) role in monitoring Iran’s compliance with the deal — suggesting that no concrete action is likely until the inspectors’ next report at the end of May.

•Mogherini said she had “a lot of concern” about this week’s developments but stressed that Iran was so far still “fully compliant” with the deal.

•“We will continue to see the compliance of Iran to its commitments to the JCPOA through the lenses of the assessments that the IAEA will continue to do,” she told reporters in Sibiu.

•But there are tensions within the EU, with some countries under domestic pressure to take a tougher line on Tehran, particularly after Iranian intelligence was accused of mounting assassination plots in France, Denmark and the Netherlands.

•Europe and Washington have been at loggerheads over how to deal with the Islamic republic since Trump took office. In recent days, the US deployed an aircraft carrier strike group to the Gulf – raising military tensions alongside the diplomatic discord.

•Trump hit back at Tehran’s threats by tightening the economic screws further, slapping sanctions on the Iranian mining industry to add to swingeing measures on oil exports – the country’s main money-maker.

•“Tehran can expect further actions unless it fundamentally alters its conduct,” Trump said in a statement.

•Since the US pullout, Europe has sought to keep Iran in the deal by trying to maintain trade via a special mechanism called INSTEX to clear payments without falling foul of American sanctions.

•The European statement reiterated its commitment to helping the Iranian people enjoy the benefit of sanctions relief, condemning the US reimposition.

•Europe is “determined to continue pursuing efforts to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran” including through INSTEX.

•But their efforts have borne little fruit so far, with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissing them as a “bitter joke”.

•Macron and Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss Iran with their EU colleagues at Thursday’s summit, which was called to start the race for the top jobs in Brussels and to sketch a future without Britain.

•The 27 national leaders are meeting just two weeks before European Parliament elections that could usher in a new wave of populists to haunt EU decision-making.

•The 28th head of government, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, will be absent as the others discuss a five-year strategy to reinvigorate the union and argue over who should lead it.

•The meeting will seek to agree a “Sibiu Declaration” – a short document with 10 overarching commitments to reform in various areas, known tongue-in-cheek by some Brussels diplomats as the “10 Commandments” for the next EU Commission.

πŸ“° Bank credit grows 13.2% in FY19

Loans to services and retail sector spurs growth, central bank data shows

•Bank credit grew by 13.2% in financial year 2018-19 as compared to 10.3% in the previous financial year, mainly aided by loans to services and retail sector.

•Deposit growth also gained momentum, growing by 10% as compared to 6.7% a year ago.

•“We have to be a bit careful while looking at this data because a bump-up has happened in the month of March. If you see, up to February, credit growth was not that strong,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, CARE Ratings.

•Banks typically tend to push for more loan disbursement and also try to get more deposits ahead of the end of a financial year to shore up their balance sheet and meet year-end targets.

RBI data

•The Reserve Bank of India’s data on deployment of gross credit across different sectors shows healthy credit growth in the services sector followed by retail sector. Credit growth in services sector till the middle of February was 23.7% and in retail sector it was 16.7%. Credit growth in the industry sector was 5.6%. “Most of these are happening in the retail segment and also services sector. Manufacturing is also better than last year but there is a base effect,” Mr. Sabnavis said.

•Banks have also benefited from the liquidity crunch that non-banking financial companies are facing following the IL&FS crisis. NBFCs have slowed down their loan growth since their cost of funds increased substantially after September-October. This is particularly true for retail loans, where NBFCs are a major player.

•Banks have been pushing loans to the corporate sector at a slower pace after sharp rise in bad loans, mostly in sectors like infrastructure, power, and iron and steel.

πŸ“° ‘India to add 3 million tech jobs by 2023’

New jobs to come up in digital technology areas such as AI, machine learning and blockchain, says ISF

•The Indian tech industry will add another three million new jobs in the next five years, said Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), the apex body for the ‘flexi’ working industry.

•With the additions, the size of the country’s tech army will be 7 million by 2023.

•Rituparna Chakraborty president, ISF, told The Hindu that all these new jobs would come up in digital technology areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Internet of things (IOT), data science, analytics, big data, blockchain and augmented reality. Jobs would also be created in newer technology areas that are presently unknown but are expected to emerge and evolve in the next few years.

•The ISF’s tech employment projection comes as a big relief to millions of young techies and software engineering students amid talks of the move towards jobless growth with automation that replaces humans with robots. “We, at ISF, are confident of making this job projection for the next five years based on our constant interactions with a wide range of companies, including Indian tech firms, MNCs, global capability centres of hundreds of international firms, enterprises across segments including e-com, BFSI, pharma and telecom,” she said,

•There is a visible behavioural change happening in the IT and ITes sectors, Ms. Chakraborty added.

•India now has about 1,300 captive units. Some 400 new captive units are coming up in 2019. “The shift is attributed to a sharp rise in hiring by existing and new global in-house centres (GCCs) due to technology innovation activities in India for their global markets.”

Changing technology

•Ms. Chakraborty further said the industry had been witnessing winds of change in technology. Today, a robot, with infinite memory analytical capacity, is connected to the cloud. It’s impact on productivity of businesses would be ‘huge’. Some 63% of CEOs think that AI would have a larger impact than the Internet and some 39% of them had already started AI-related initiatives in their organisations.

•Ms. Chakraborty further said, “I would like to emphasise the fact that India does not have a job problem, but it has an employed poverty problem.

•“When we think about addressing this problem, the only sustainable way to achieve this is through formalisation, industrialisation, urbanisation and financialisation of the human capital.”

•Staffing organisations in India are going to play a vital role in helping the industry reach this hiring milestone in terms of identifying and sourcing billable talent Ms. Chakraborty added.

πŸ“° Gujarat facing massive water crisis

Gujarat facing massive water crisis
Except the Narmada, all other waterbodies and dams have negligible water: Chief Minister

•With rising mercury levels and severe heatwave, Gujarat is facing a massive water crisis. The scarcity is particularly acute in the Saurashtra region, Kutch, North Gujarat and parts of tribal pockets in central and South Gujarat.

•More than 20 districts are severely affected as towns and villages hardly get water twice a week. In more than 500 villages in 14 districts, drinking water is being supplied through tankers; the number will only rise in days to come.

•Recently, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani admitted that the State is in the midst of a major water shortage but assured that drinking water will be provided to every village. Except the Narmada, all other waterbodies and dams have negligible water, he said.

The challenge

•“The available water in all the dams of these regions is negligible. However, thanks to the Sardar Sarovar dam and the Narmada canal network, people will not face any difficulty till July-end. Water is available in the dam. The only challenge is to supply it to far-flung areas, some 500 km away from the dam,” Mr. Rupani said after reviewing the situation.

•Subsequently, the State government asked the district administrations to start plying tankers in villages where water was not available.

•“After a review and reports from local authorities, we have decided to provide drinking water to villages located in different districts by tankers so that people don’t face any shortage,” said Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.

•According to officials, the number of villages needing water tankers will only rise due to high temperatures that push the demand.

Supply on alternate days

•In Rajkot, water is supplied only for 20 minutes a day and in many localities and societies located on the outskirts, supply is on alternate days or through tankers.

•Even in Jasdan, the Assembly constituency of Kuvarji Bavalia, the Water Supply Minister, shortage of drinking water forced villagers to hold protests demanding its regular supply.


•Local legislators have made representations demanding adequate water supply in areas where the Narmada water is the only source now.

•“In my area, more than two dozen villages are facing acute shortage. I have written to the Minister and demanded that all villages are provided water through tankers and tanker trips be doubled,” said Congress legislator Virji Thummar from Amreli district.

πŸ“° SC defers NGT levy over sand mining

Tribunal asked State to pay Rs. 100 cr.

•The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred an National Green Tribunal order directing the Andhra Pradesh government to deposit Rs. 100 crore for not checking illegal sand mining in the Krishna river. The decision was based on a civil appeal filed by the State.

•In its appeal, the State argued that the Tribunal went beyond the provisions of the law and initiated suo motu proceedings on the sole basis of a letter containing “vague, false and misleading allegations” about illegal sand mining. The Tribunal had even asked the Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Board to conduct an inspection on the basis of the allegations levelled about illegal mining in Prakasam Barrage in Krishna river.

•“Despite the finding that there is no illegal sand mining and the fact that there were orders of the district collectors concerned for allowing de-siltation of the Barrage, NGT proceeded as if illegal sand mining has taken place and directed the Andhra Pradesh government to deposit Rs. 100 crore as an interim measure without hearingthe Andhra Pradesh government,” the appeal submitted.

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