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Editorial Today (English)

in this section, we are presenting our readers/aspirants compilation of selected editorials of national daily viz. The Hindu, The live mint,The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Economic Times, PIB etc. This section caters the requirement of Civil Services Mains (GS + Essay) , PCS, HAS Mains (GS + Essay) & others essay writing competition

1.Rein in the urge to lock things down

There has been a steady rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country. The pace of infection has been rising, with India registering a million cases in 35 days. Nearly 69,000 fresh cases were reported in the last 24 hours. Nearly 85% of the new cases are from eight states, with Maharashtra accounting for 40,000 cases. There is strong pressure on governments to show they are taking countervailing action and to announce lockdowns. The sensible thing to do is to resist that pressure and intensify the vaccination drive, enforce observance of the Covid protocols of social distancing and mask-wearing, and to discourage offices that have been getting along fine with work from home from hastening to call their employees back to the office.

The bulk of fresh cases are from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh. These states must step up efforts to identify areas of concentration and take measures to contain the spread. It is likely that other states will register surges at different points of time. Therefore, to limit the number of cases, state governments must work with businesses and other stakeholders to find ways to work without risking infections such as allowing employees, wherever possible, to work from home. People should be encouraged to avoid congregating in public places, particularly cinemas, malls and restaurants. Even with larger cohorts being eligible for a Covid vaccine, herd immunity is a long way off. At the current pace of three million doses a day, India will achieve herd immunity in 18 months. When newer vaccines receive authorisation and production is stepped up, vaccine supplies will increase. Even then, at a rate of 8.5 million doses a day, it will take another six months for herd immunity. In the interim, people must observe the Covid imperatives: wash, mask and keep distance.

After a year of the pandemic, fatigue and complacency has set in, especially with vaccines becoming available. But it is critical to remember that no one is safe till everyone is safe.

2.Govt should bear cost of interest waiver

When the Supreme Court ordered that borrowers who had availed themselves of a moratorium on servicing their loans during the pandemic should not be asked to pay interest on the unpaid interest, it did not specify who should bear the cost. Now, the government reportedly says the banks should bear the cost. This is unreasonable. The government is best placed to bear that burden.

The financial system depends on debts being honoured, and compounding of interest is a routine practice of banking: interest for the overdue period is treated as a fresh loan on which interest is charged. After all, the banks cannot skip interest payments to their depositors, nor shed its cost of operations. The rationale for the SC’s verdict is that borrowers’ failure to service their loans stems not from delinquency or inefficiency but from a pandemic that forced an economic shutdown. Clearly, the cost of the waiver has to be borne by society at large. The government, on behalf of society, should shoulder the burden, not banks.

Reportedly, ICRA estimates the compounded interest for six months of moratorium across all lenders at ₹13,500-14,000 crore. If the cost were to be transferred to banks (read: a bulk of it would be transferred to public sector banks), it would have to be borne by shareholders, principally, the government, in any case, in the form of lower returns or fresh capital infusion. Depositors could also possibly be offered lower rates of interest on fresh deposits, although this could turn business away to banks that have not lent much to industry and have healthier books. Rather than bear the cost indirectly and have a weaker set of public sector banks, the government is better off bearing the cost directly and leave the banks no worse off.

3.BJP can heave a sigh of relief with MVA government in deep trouble

The Maha Vikas Aghadi, born out of an alliance of unprecedented political compulsions, has landed itself in choppy waters. The arrest of police officer Sachin Waze and his political ties to Shiv Sena, the allegations of extortion made by former Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh against home minister Anil Deshmukh of the NCP, and an alleged meeting between Union home minister Amit Shah and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has strained the alliance, perhaps even to the point of breaking.

For BJP, the new developments couldn’t have come at a better time. The prospect of the Sena-NCP-Congress enduring till the end of this assembly’s term would have worried BJP no end. For one, Maharashtra is India’s richest state by a fair distance and governing it helps the opposition build up political funding. Secondly, the electoral alliance of the three parties would pose a headache for BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

If the MVA collapses under the weight of its contradictions, the familiar trope of MLAs resigning or switching sides won’t be needed. The developments also feed into BJP’s narrative of corruption, instability and chaos in coalition politics. With Congress watching from the sidelines, it falls to Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar to chart the way ahead. Interesting times beckon Maharashtra.

4.The missing voice of the developing world | HT Editorial

In an article for Project Syndicate, economist Arvind Subramanian — who served as the chief economic adviser in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in its last term — and political scientist Devesh Kapur, who has written extensively on global economic institutions, exposed the deep imbalance that exists in the world of knowledge production of development economics.

They pointed out how the field, which is focused on improving lives and incomes of the poor in developing countries, has barely any representation from the global south. None of editors or co-editors of The Journal of Development Economics, a leading academic journal, are based in developing countries, with Asia and Africa entirely unrepresented; the flagship conference of the World Bank on development economics saw no participation from an institution from a developing economy in 2019 and only 7% of the papers presented at the conference in the last three decades are from the global south. Mr Subramanian and Mr Kapur also flag the problems associated with the growing use of randomised controlled trials, and how it has had exclusionary consequences, both because of the costs associated with it and the fact that gatekeepers are located, once again, in the developed world.

 

 

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Editorial Today (English)

in this section, we are presenting our readers/aspirants compilation of selected editorials of national daily viz. The Hindu, The live mint,The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Economic Times, PIB etc. This section caters the requirement of Civil Services Mains (GS + Essay) , PCS, HAS Mains (GS + Essay) & others essay writing competition

1.Rein in the urge to lock things down

There has been a steady rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country. The pace of infection has been rising, with India registering a million cases in 35 days. Nearly 69,000 fresh cases were reported in the last 24 hours. Nearly 85% of the new cases are from eight states, with Maharashtra accounting for 40,000 cases. There is strong pressure on governments to show they are taking countervailing action and to announce lockdowns. The sensible thing to do is to resist that pressure and intensify the vaccination drive, enforce observance of the Covid protocols of social distancing and mask-wearing, and to discourage offices that have been getting along fine with work from home from hastening to call their employees back to the office.

The bulk of fresh cases are from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh. These states must step up efforts to identify areas of concentration and take measures to contain the spread. It is likely that other states will register surges at different points of time. Therefore, to limit the number of cases, state governments must work with businesses and other stakeholders to find ways to work without risking infections such as allowing employees, wherever possible, to work from home. People should be encouraged to avoid congregating in public places, particularly cinemas, malls and restaurants. Even with larger cohorts being eligible for a Covid vaccine, herd immunity is a long way off. At the current pace of three million doses a day, India will achieve herd immunity in 18 months. When newer vaccines receive authorisation and production is stepped up, vaccine supplies will increase. Even then, at a rate of 8.5 million doses a day, it will take another six months for herd immunity. In the interim, people must observe the Covid imperatives: wash, mask and keep distance.

After a year of the pandemic, fatigue and complacency has set in, especially with vaccines becoming available. But it is critical to remember that no one is safe till everyone is safe.

2.Govt should bear cost of interest waiver

When the Supreme Court ordered that borrowers who had availed themselves of a moratorium on servicing their loans during the pandemic should not be asked to pay interest on the unpaid interest, it did not specify who should bear the cost. Now, the government reportedly says the banks should bear the cost. This is unreasonable. The government is best placed to bear that burden.

The financial system depends on debts being honoured, and compounding of interest is a routine practice of banking: interest for the overdue period is treated as a fresh loan on which interest is charged. After all, the banks cannot skip interest payments to their depositors, nor shed its cost of operations. The rationale for the SC’s verdict is that borrowers’ failure to service their loans stems not from delinquency or inefficiency but from a pandemic that forced an economic shutdown. Clearly, the cost of the waiver has to be borne by society at large. The government, on behalf of society, should shoulder the burden, not banks.

Reportedly, ICRA estimates the compounded interest for six months of moratorium across all lenders at ₹13,500-14,000 crore. If the cost were to be transferred to banks (read: a bulk of it would be transferred to public sector banks), it would have to be borne by shareholders, principally, the government, in any case, in the form of lower returns or fresh capital infusion. Depositors could also possibly be offered lower rates of interest on fresh deposits, although this could turn business away to banks that have not lent much to industry and have healthier books. Rather than bear the cost indirectly and have a weaker set of public sector banks, the government is better off bearing the cost directly and leave the banks no worse off.

3.BJP can heave a sigh of relief with MVA government in deep trouble

The Maha Vikas Aghadi, born out of an alliance of unprecedented political compulsions, has landed itself in choppy waters. The arrest of police officer Sachin Waze and his political ties to Shiv Sena, the allegations of extortion made by former Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh against home minister Anil Deshmukh of the NCP, and an alleged meeting between Union home minister Amit Shah and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has strained the alliance, perhaps even to the point of breaking.

For BJP, the new developments couldn’t have come at a better time. The prospect of the Sena-NCP-Congress enduring till the end of this assembly’s term would have worried BJP no end. For one, Maharashtra is India’s richest state by a fair distance and governing it helps the opposition build up political funding. Secondly, the electoral alliance of the three parties would pose a headache for BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

If the MVA collapses under the weight of its contradictions, the familiar trope of MLAs resigning or switching sides won’t be needed. The developments also feed into BJP’s narrative of corruption, instability and chaos in coalition politics. With Congress watching from the sidelines, it falls to Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar to chart the way ahead. Interesting times beckon Maharashtra.

4.The missing voice of the developing world | HT Editorial

In an article for Project Syndicate, economist Arvind Subramanian — who served as the chief economic adviser in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in its last term — and political scientist Devesh Kapur, who has written extensively on global economic institutions, exposed the deep imbalance that exists in the world of knowledge production of development economics.

They pointed out how the field, which is focused on improving lives and incomes of the poor in developing countries, has barely any representation from the global south. None of editors or co-editors of The Journal of Development Economics, a leading academic journal, are based in developing countries, with Asia and Africa entirely unrepresented; the flagship conference of the World Bank on development economics saw no participation from an institution from a developing economy in 2019 and only 7% of the papers presented at the conference in the last three decades are from the global south. Mr Subramanian and Mr Kapur also flag the problems associated with the growing use of randomised controlled trials, and how it has had exclusionary consequences, both because of the costs associated with it and the fact that gatekeepers are located, once again, in the developed world.

 

 

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