The Hindu News Analysis – October 13, 2018

/The Hindu News Analysis – October 13, 2018
The Hindu News Analysis – October 13, 2018 2018-10-13T19:35:40+00:00

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News Analysis from THE HINDU (October 13, 2018)


1. Panel to study issues raised by #MeTooIndia

The government will set up a committee of judges and lawyers to examine the existing legal and institutional framework to deal with complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace, Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi announced on Friday.

The decision comes even as the government is yet to make a statement on allegations by several women journalists against Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar. “I believe in the pain and trauma behind every single complaint. Cases of sexual harassment at work must be dealt with a policy of zero tolerance. The Ministry will be setting up a committee of senior judicial & legal persons to examine all issues emanating from the #MeTooIndia movement,” Ms. Gandhi tweeted.


2. No preferential treatment at GTB Hospital: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court on Friday quashed a Delhi government circular giving preferential treatment to city residents over others at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in east Delhi as a pilot project.

A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V.K. Rao said it led to the creation of a “class within class” of identically placed citizens which was “impermissible”.

No justification

The Bench also rejected the State government’s defence that the decision was taken due to lack of facilities, saying that the State “cannot avoid or shirk away” from its constitutional obligations on account of financial constraints or lack of infrastructure and manpower.

The court did not approve of the State government’s decision to classify patients as Delhi residents and non-residents based on their voter identity cards, saying such a classification “was based on no reasonable justification”.


3. Inflation up, industrial output slows

Consumer price inflation accelerated marginally in September to 3.77%, from 3.69% in August. Inflation in the food and beverages segment quickened to 1.08% from 0.78% over the same period, according to official data released on Friday.

The clothing and footwear segment saw inflation slowing to 4.64% from 4.88% over the same period. Similarly, inflation in the housing segment slowed to 7.07% in September from 7.59% in August.

The pan, tobacco and intoxicants sector, however, saw inflation accelerating to 5.57% from 5.41%.

Industrial production slowed to a 10-month low of 4.3% in August, due in large part to a drastic deceleration in the manufacturing, mining, and consumer durables sectors, the data showed.

The starkest slowdown, however, was in the consumer durables sector, which saw growth come down to 5.2% in August from 14.36% in the previous month.


4. Birds die in hundreds

Among the casualties of cyclone Titli were hundreds of open-billed storks. The dead birds were seen scattered around the Jagannathpur railway station and the adjoining fields on the city’s outskirts. Many birds were injured and their nests damaged. “These birds never harmed our crops. For us they were beautiful guests in our fields,” Anil Kumar Nayak, secretary of Narendrapur village committee, said.


5. Collegium recommends CJs for five High Courts

The Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has recommended appointment of Justices N.H. Patil and D.K. Gupta as Chief Justices of the Bombay and the Calcutta High Courts.

It recommended Justices Ramesh Ranganathan, A.S. Bopanna and Vijai Kumar Bist for appointment as Chief Justices of the High Courts of Uttarakhand, Gauhati and Sikkim, respectively.

The Collegium, including Justices Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph, noted in its resolutions that while Justice Patil is currently the Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, Justice Gupta is functioning as the Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court.

The three-member Collegium also recommended appointment of three additional judges of the Madras High Court — Justices R.M.T. Teeka Raman, N. Sathish Kumar and N. Seshasayee — as permanent judges of that High Court.

It recommended making seven additional judges of the Karnataka High Court — Justices Kempaiah Somashekar, K Somappa Mudagal, Sreenivas H. Kumar, John Michael Cunha (who convicted former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in a DA case), Basavaraj A Patil, N.K. Sudhindrarao and Dr H.B.P Sastry — permanent judges. It recommended elevation of advocates V.G. Arun, N. Nagaresh and P.V. Kunhikrishnan as judges of the Kerala High Court. It recommended elevation of two judicial officers, T.V. Anilkumar and N. Anil Kumar, to the High Court.


6. India wins election to UNHRC

India was elected to the ’ top human rights body on Friday for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019, getting 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates.

The 193-member UN General Assembly held elections here for new members to the UN Human Rights Council. The 18 new members were elected by absolute majority through a secret ballot. Countries needed a minimum of 97 votes to get elected to the Council.

In the Asia Pacific category, India got 188 votes followed by Fiji with 187 votes, Bangladesh 178, Bahrain and Philippines 165 each.

India had previously been elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council for the 2011-2014 and 2014-2017 terms.


7. Mission to sequence genes of a ‘large group’ of Indians

India is planning a major mission to sequence the genes of a “large” group of Indians — akin to projects in the U.K., China, Japan and Australia — and use this to improve the health of the population.

This was among the key decisions taken by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (STIAC) at its first meeting on Tuesday.

The Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the Biotechnology Department will be closely associated with the project.

Ever since the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in 2009 announced that it had sequenced the genome of an Indian, then making India one of six countries to achieve such a feat, several research labs have analysed genes from Indians for disease susceptibility. However, no compendium of genes that differentiate Indian populations from, say, Caucasian or African genomes exist.

A group of Indian scientists and companies are involved with a 100k GenomeAsia project, led by the National Technological University (NTU), Singapore, to sequence the whole genomes of 100,000 Asians, including 50,000 Indians.


8. PM to pay ‘working visit’ to Japan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Japan on October 28 and 29 to attend the annual bilateral summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The visit is being billed as “a working visit”, and the two sides are expected to discuss several agreements on enhancing defence and trade cooperation and hold talks on the “Indo-Pacific” region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Japan on October 28 and 29 to attend the annual bilateral summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The visit is being billed as “a working visit”, and the two sides are expected to discuss several agreements on enhancing defence and trade cooperation and hold talks on the “Indo-Pacific” region.

“Prime Minister Modi’s visit will reaffirm the traditional bonds of friendship between the two countries and strengthen their multifaceted cooperation. It will also advance the vision of India and Japan working together to promote peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” a statement by the External Ministry Affairs said, indicating talks on synergising India’s “Act East Policy” with Mr. Abe’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”.

Ahead of the visit, Japan’s National Security Advisor Shotaro Yachi visited India and met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Japan’s Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu met last week to discuss Japanese investments in developing the northeastern States.


9. Swaraj flags global terror threat

Terrorism is an overwhelming threat to the international order and countries should cooperate with each other in dealing with this threat, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in her statement at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ministerial meeting in Tajikistan. Dwelling on the Indian point of view on regional affairs, the Minister said India would like to host the next round of SCO-Afghanistan discussions.

“Terrorism remains the most overwhelming threat to our common goals of development and prosperity. As the footprint of terrorism expands, governments must assume their national responsibility and cooperate with each other,” Ms. Swaraj said in Dushanbe on Friday.

During the meeting, the Minister also met Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah. India extended support for the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled” peace process.

“In this context, we welcome the signing of the Protocol of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group on the sidelines of the Qingdao Summit,” Ms. Swaraj said.

The ministerial meeting in Tajikistan provided a platform for Indian and Pakistani Foreign Ministers when they stood together for a group photograph. Ms Swaraj praised the recent counter-terror exercise of SCO members where Indian and Pakistani military members participated.


10. Conde wins alternative Nobel

Guadeloupean author Maryse Conde on Friday won an alternative award formed in protest to the Nobel Literature Prize, postponed this year over a rape scandal that came to light as part of the #MeToo movement.

The New Academy Prize in Literature was formed in protest to denounce what its founders called the “bias, arrogance and sexism” of the venerable Swedish Academy, which selects Nobel laureates. The Swedish Academy was plunged into turmoil in 2017 over its ties to Frenchman Jean-Claude Arnault, who was jailed for two years in early October for rape.

Ms. Conde “describes the ravages of colonialism and post-colonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming,” the New Academy — founded by more than 100 Swedish writers, artists and journalists — said more than a week after the Nobel Literature Prize would have been announced.

Swedish librarians nominated 47 authors, who were later voted on by nearly 33,000 people from around the world, leaving four authors — two women and two men — on the short list.


11. Plane lands in U.S. after world’s longest flight

An Airbus jetliner arrived in Newark on Friday after a nearly 18-hour trip from Singapore, completing the world’s longest commercial flight. It marked the revival of a route that had been eliminated in 2013. The plane was carrying 150 passengers and 17 crew members as it traveled 16,500 km.


12. AVA Group to open Ayurveda Hospital

Ava Group, makers of ayurvedic soap Medimix, has constructed a 110-bed multi-specialty hospital ‘Sanjeevanam Ayurveda Hospital’ in Pallikara, Kochi, which will be opened on October 18. The hospital will offer specialised treatment for musculoskeletal disorders, obesity-related disorders, neuromuscular disorders, obstetrics and gynaecology, skin and hair care clinic and lifestyle management, according to a statement.


13. India richer by five more gold medals

Gold medals in athletics, chess and badminton ensured India continued its impressive performance at the Asian Para Games on Friday.

K. Jennitha Anto clinched the gold in women’s individual rapid P1 chess event after beating Manurung Roslinda of Indonesia 1-0 in the final round, while Kishan Gangolli got the better of Majid Bagheri in the men’s individual rapid VI-B2/B3 event to claim the top spot.

In para-badminton, Parul Parmar notched up a 21-9, 21-5 victory over Wandee Kamtam of Thailand to win the women’s singles SL3 event.

It was double delight for India in the men’s javelin throw F55 event as Neeraj Yadav and Amit Balyan clinched gold and silver medals respectively. While Neeraj’s best effort was 29.84m, Amit threw the spear to 29.79.

It was a one-two finish for India in the men’s club throw F51 event too with Amit Kumar and Dharambir bagging the gold and silver respectively.

Amit Kumar created a Games record too with a throw of 29.47, while Dharambir’s best was 24.81.

In swimming, Swapnil Patil clinched silver in the men’s 100m backstroke in the S10 category.

India won a bronze in the men’s C4 individual pursuit 4000m cycling event through Gurlal Singh.

Earlier, Rio Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik bagged her second medal when she clinched the bronze in the women’s F51/52/53s discus throw. Deepa had earlier finished third in the F 53/54 javelin event.

In the women’s discus throw F11 category, Nidhi Mishra claimed bronze.

India now has 63 medals, including 13 gold and 20 silver.


14. India to take on China

India and China — with billion-plus populations but laggards in a truly global sport — will go head to head in a football friendly for the first time in 21 years on Saturday with the home team a firm favourite despite poor recent form.

India is playing an international match for the first time in China though the senior sides have faced each other 17 times in the past. China has played in India seven times, all of them in the invitational Nehru Cup.

India has not won a single match of these while China has trumped on 12 occasions; five have ended in draws. The senior teams last played in the 1997 Nehru Cup in Kochi which the ‘Red Dragons’ won 2-1. Saturday’s match here, around 100 km from Shanghai, has attracted a lot of interest among football fans and media.


15. Manu Bhaker signs off with a silver

Shooting sensation Manu Bhaker became the second Indian after judoka Tababi Devi to win two medals at the Youth Olympic Games after winning a silver in the 10m air pistol mixed international while both the men’s and women’s hockey teams moved into the semifinals with wins over Poland.

Manu, combining with Tajikistan’s Bezhan Fayzullaev, settled for a silver after losing 10-3 to Germany’s Vanessa Seeger and Bulgaria’s Kiril Kirov. Saurabh Chaudhary, partnering Pakistan’s Nubaira Babur, lost in the first knock-out round.


16. Salazaar wins feature

Salazaar (Srinath up), won the Governor’s Cup, the chief event of the races held here on Friday (Oct. 12). The winner is owned by United Racing & Bloodstock Breeders Ltd and trained by Irfan Ghatala.


17. Bedi honoured with Chidambaram award

Former India captain and spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi was honoured with the Dr. M.A. Chidambaram birth centenary award, instituted by MAC Charities in memory of the former BCCI president, at a grand function here on Friday.

N. Ram, chairman, THG Publishing Private Limited, was the chief guest and gave away the award to Bedi.

The function, held on the day of the birth centenary, was attended by former Test cricketers like C.D. Gopinath, V.V. Kumar, G.R. Viswanath, K. Srikkanth and T.A. Sekhar.


18. Abbreviations:

Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)
Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (STIAC)
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)


19. Things to Remember:

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister – N. Chandrababu
Prime Minister of Japan – Shinzo Abe
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey


20. Improve your Vocabulary:


Meaning 1 – (of a body of water or the atmosphere of a confined space) having no current or flow and often having an unpleasant smell as a consequence.
Example – ‘a stagnant ditch’
Synonyms – still, motionless, immobile, inert, lifeless, dead, standing, slack, static, stationary

Meaning 1.1 – Showing no activity; dull and sluggish.
Example – ‘a stagnant economy’
Synonyms – inactive, sluggish, slow, slow-moving, lethargic, static, flat, depressed, quiet, dull, declining, moribund, dying, dead, dormant, stagnating

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