IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus]- 2nd December 2017
Draft law — Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act
Part of: Mains GS Paper I- Social empowerment
- The Centre has drawn up a draft law which makes triple talaq a “cognizable and non-bailable” offence, punishable with three years jail and a monetary fine.
- It allows a woman who has been given instant triple talaq to move court, seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and dependent children, as well as custody of minor children.
- The proposed law, which empowers Muslim women, applies to instant triple talaq in “oral, written, electronic or any other form”.
- Any declaration of talaq-e-biddat by a Muslim man shall be “illegal and void”, says the draft law.
- Marriage and divorce figure in the concurrent list. Still, the Centre in view of the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, consulted states.
- In a landmark verdict on August 22, the Supreme Court had “set aside” the centuries-old practice of instant triple talaq in which Muslim men divorce their wives by uttering talaq three times in quick succession.
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National Nutrition Mission
Part of: Mains GS Paper II- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States
- The Union government announced the launch of the National Nutrition Mission aimed at 10 crore beneficiaries, mainly children up to the age of 6 years, pregnant and lactating women, and adolescent girls.
- Half of the amount required for the scheme is proposed to come from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other multilateral development agencies.
- The mission sets a target to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, and low birth weight by 2 percent per annum, and anaemia by 3 percent annually.
- It would be executed with the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) as the nodal ministry along with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which is in-charge of immunisation.
- The mission aims to bring down the stunting percentage as per the National Family Health Survey-4 (2014-15) from 38.4 percent to 25 percent by 2022.
- ICT would be used for real-time monitoring of the services provided by anganwadi workers, ASHA workers (accredited social health activists) and auxiliary nurse midwives.
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TOPIC: General studies 3:
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
- Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Retreat of globalisation
- U.S Trump’s opposition to globalisation is stark. He is still to appoint his emissaries to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Opposed to multilateralism in trade, he also wants American corporations to invest less abroad.
But globalisation’s retreat is not confined to the US alone.
- Germany, Britain, France and Italy are the four biggest European economies.
Via Brexit, Britain has already given in to an inward-looking pullback; right-wing populist political forces are showing signs of revival in Italy.
A right-wing populist party has emerged from nowhere in Germany to become the third largest party in parliament, causing a substantial erosion of popular support for the centre-right and centre left and making it hard for a government to emerge.
What is globalisation?
- In its purest economic form, globalisation represents a free movement of capital, goods and labour across national boundaries.
- The reality, of course, departed from this ideal type. Compared to capital and goods, labour was always allowed lower freedom to move.
- Moreover, since different countries opted for varying degrees of integration with the global economy, even the movement of capital and goods, while less constrained than before, was not entirely free.
- India and China globalised incrementally, and Argentina in the mid-1990s. Hundred years until the First World War constituted the first era of globalisation. Since last four decades, we are seeing globalisation 2.0.
Meaning of globalisation:
- Greater economic freedom beyond national borders than perhaps ever before.
- Within that larger trend, freer movement of capital and goods than of labour.
India and China:
They have been two of the biggest beneficiaries of Globalisation 2.0. In 1980, China and India were not even among the 45 largest economies of the world. In 2016, China’s GDP was second only to the US and India’s GDP was the seventh largest in the world.
What is forcing the retreat?
- It is not economic arguments against globalisation that have forced the retreat.
- It is the new political forces that have done so.
- If market-based economics mastered politics for the last four decades, politics is now displaying its mastery over economic policy.
Economic arguments against full-blown globalisation:
- In 1998, Jagdish Bhagwati, famous for his arguments in favour of trade globalisation, wrote vehemently against free movement of capital, arguing that capital markets were prone to extreme instability unlike trade in goods, which was more stable.
- Economists have argued against unrestricted free trade, claiming that many losers from trade liberalisation would lose permanently. All boats would not be lifted.
- The freer the trade, the bigger the government would have to be — to help those hurt by trade liberalisation.
Political contentions that have reshaped the emerging trends:
- There is a grave imbalance between the global nature of markets and the national scope of state sovereignty.
If wages in the US are high, businesses can simply move overseas, hurting US workforce. Greater popular control over capital, according to this argument, was necessary.
- Even though movement of labour across national boundaries has been less free than the movement of capital and goods, international migration has nonetheless been more substantial than before.
- The anti-immigrant wave of politics, often taking ugly racist forms, is born out of the anxiety produced by the changing demographic composition of polities.
In the US, the Hispanics and Muslims became the object of a majoritarian ire; in France, North African Muslims; in Britain, new migrants from Europe and elsewhere; in Germany, refugees from the Middle East, etc.
- Labour migration will almost certainly be badly hurt: Ethnicity continues to be an obsessive concern of modern nation-states.
- Capital is likely to be hit least. Its power is ubiquitous.
- Moreover, the complex supply chains and other international networks in which businesses have got deeply embedded cannot be easily broken.
In sum, globalisation is in retreat, but nationalist politics is unlikely to touch nationalist economics.
Connecting the dots:
- Globalization is in retreat. Critically analyze.
General Studies 2:
- India and the world; India – Japan Relations
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
Japan’s Strategic Vision for Asia and its Partnership with India
Japan’s geopolitical context has been undergoing dramatic changes in recent years.
Some major factors which have brought those changes:
- First and foremost factor is certainly the remarkable rise of China, that is, China’s rapidly growing political influence and economic power.
- Second, is pending issues with North Korea. North Korea has posed threats to Japan with its nuclear program and by launching ballistic missiles into waters in the neighbourhood of the Japanese archipelago.
- Third, is the unpredictable nature or mood of Trump-led U.S. regime and Japan no longer believes that a wholescale reliance on the U.S. for a defence umbrella is sufficient to secure its best interests.
- Fourth, the vacuum created by the U.S.’s withdrawal from the leadership in Asia.
All these factors led Tokyo to cast off its diplomatic slumber and rethink its role in Asia.
Increasing role of Japan in Asia:
- Japan has realised that remilitarizing alone will not provide the country with an effective solution to its diplomatic dilemmas.
- It believes that there is a need to prevent the region from (succumbing to a Pax Sinica) or surrendering to Chinese hegemony.
Southeast Asian countries are the ones to which Japan provided massive official development assistance after the Second World War, contributing to the build-up of their important infrastructure and paving the way to their economic development and prosperity.
However, while Japan still continues to enjoy friendly and cooperative relations with them, it is natural that they have to pay more and more attention to Chinese claims and positions these days, particularly on issues of contention between Japan and China, and tend to take a neutral position on the sensitive issues.
- Japan realizes that it has to use its strengths, its capital, its technological know-how and its democratic credentials to win friends and influence countries across the region and beyond. It needs to beat infrastructure sugar daddy China at its own game.
- It wants to lead rule-making on trade in the Asia Pacific, rather than let China set the agenda with alternatives to TPP such as the Beijing-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Recent actions taken by Japan:
- Japan is attempting to stake leadership on the regional platform with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). With the U.S.’s departure from trade negotiations, Japan has become the principal driving force keeping the deal alive.
- At November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, Japan got the 11 countries still involved to agree on the “core elements” of a deal.
- Japan is stepping up aid and investment in Southeast Asia. A train line near Manila, a seaport in Cambodia, and assistance in the reconstruction of Marawi City in the Philippines.
- As the top source of development aid to Vietnam, it has helped construct a new airport terminal in Hanoi as well as the first subway line in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Japan government recently committed 1 trillion yen ($8.7 billion) to the Philippines over the next five years, with a continued focus on infrastructure development.
- Japanese investment in major Southeast Asian countries is estimated to have averaged $20 billion per year, from 2011 to 2016, more than double the average annual flows between 2006 and 2010.
Recent India and Japan relations
- To compete and match China’s $900 billion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure, Japan and India have announced an Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, aimed at creating sea corridors linking the countries of the Indo-Pacific to Africa.
- Japan is cooperating with India in infrastructure projects such as Iran’s Chabahar Port, Sri Lanka’s Trincomalee port, and the possible joint development of the Dawei port along the Thai-Myanmar border.
- Japan has bagged the $17 billion contract to build India’s first high-speed railway line, linking Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
- Tokyo is also investing in development projects in the Northeast and the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
- Japan’s Diet gave the go-ahead to a Japan-India civil nuclear energy deal earlier this year.
- The possibility of purchasing Japanese submarines and search-and-rescue planes to help the Indian Navy is being discussed.
- A free and open Indo-Pacific, a phrasing that places India as a major actor in the Pacific, is an idea being proselytised by Japan in conjunction with the U.S.
- This is a response to concerns over the expansion of the Chinese navy and Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, waters through which a huge majority of Japanese energy supplies transit.
- It is against this background that Japan’s championing of the Quadrilateral dialogue with the U.S., India and Australia aimed at creating a community of democratically oriented interests in the region must be understood.
Connecting the dots:
- Strengthening ties between India and Japan should be seen in the context of emerging geopolitical trends viz, the rise of China and the shift of the geopolitical centre of gravity from the Euro-Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific region. Analyze.
- It is imperative that India and Japan look beyond their lofty geopolitical aims, at the more basic aspects of bilateral engagement. Critically analyze.
Scripting another Asian narrative
Court versus choice
Give accountability a chance
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