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5th February – Editorials/Opinions Analyses


  1. Need of the hour : Protest and CAA
  2. Continuity and fiscal follow­ through: 15th Finance Commission ‘s Interim Report
  3. A case of a maritime presence adrift
  5. A nutrition-rich India can do more, and do it better


Why in news?

  • As protests continue to ripple in many parts of the country against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, or the CAA, the National Population Register (NPR) and allied issues, their nature, content and direction have drawn critical attention
  • The discriminatory CAA targets Muslims, but the protests were driven by the wider civil society at the beginning
  • Incendiary speeches and slogans at anti-CAA protests, and even support for Islamist politics, have put non-sectarian opponents of the law in a difficult spot

Way ahead 

  • The BJP must immediately adopt a path of reconciliation and resolution, by making a further amendment to the CAA that will not prioritize religious persecution over other forms of persecution
  • Amending the law to remove the arbitrary selection of countries and religious groups, the current turmoil can be easily calmed
  • No protester is against welcoming the persecuted from three neighboring countries listed in the CAA, issue is against the arbitrariness in choosing the countries and excluding Muslims from these countries. 


Why in news?

  • The appointment of the Fifteenth Finance Commission by the President of India under Article 280 of the Constitution was notified on November 27, 2017.
  • It was required to submit the report by October 30, 2019 for five years for the period 2020-21 to 2024-25
  • Notifications were issued first, on July 27 extending the tenure of the Commission up to November 30, 2019, and again on November 29 requiring it to submit two reports, one for 2020-21 and the second covering the period of five years beginning April 1, 2021 Further extending the tenure up to October 30, 2021
  • The first report submitted by the Commission was placed in Parliament by the Union Finance Minister before presenting the Union Budget on February 1, 2019

The reasons for extending the tenure of commission was 

  1. The abolition of Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir required the Commission to make an estimation excluding the Union Territory.
  2.  Second, the deceleration in growth and low inflation has substantially slowed down the nominal GDP growth which is the main tax base proxy; making projections of tax revenues and expenditures based on this for the medium term could have posed serious risks.
  3. Poor revenue performance of tax collection and more particularly Goods and Services Tax combined with the fact that the compensation agreement to the loss of revenue to the States was effective only two years of the period covered by the Commission’s recommendations posed uncertainties

Addressing States’ concerns

15th FC, In addition to income distance, population and area and forest cover, has used two additional factors

  1. Demographic performance
  2. Tax effort.

Changes adopted 

  1.  It has assigned 15% weight to the 2011 population
  2.  Reduced the weight of income distance to 45%
  3. Increased the weight to forest cover and ecology to 10% 
  4. 12.5% weight to demographic performance 
  5. 2.5% weight to tax effort

Local body grants

  • The recommended grants for local bodies amount to ₹90,000 crore comprising ₹60,750 crore for panchayats and the remaining ₹29,250 crore for municipal bodies.
  • All the three layers of panchayats will receive the grant and 50% of the grant is tied to improving sanitation and supply of drinking water


Why in news?

  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations agency tasked with regulating shipping, mandated that merchant ships should not burn fuel with sulphur content greater than 0.5% beginning January 1.
  • Prior to the mandate by IMO, there was 3.5% of Sulphur in the fuel
  • It was said to damage the vessels and even causing marine pollution

Impact of this decision 

The sulphur cap, for instance, will reduce emissions and reduce the health impact on coastal populations but ship operational costs are going up since the new fuel product is more expensive

IMO and India

  • The IMO currently lists India as among the 10 states with the “largest interest in international seaborne trade”
  • India’s participation in the IMO to advance its national interests has been desultory and woefully inadequate
  • Indian permanent representative in IMO at London has remained vacant for the last 25 years


Why in news?

India sent an amphibious warship, INS Airavat, to Madagascar in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to help in rescue efforts after the island nation was hit by a cyclone.

As part of Operation Vanilla, the Navy delivered clothing, food and medicines, and also provided diving and communication assistance for evacuation

More examples 

  1. In March 2019, the Navy deployed four warships for relief operations when Mozambique was hit by Cyclone Idai
  2. A few months later, the Navy sent two warships to Japan to assist in rescue efforts following Typhoon Hagibis
  3. Indian vessels had delivered urgent medical assistance to Sulawesi, Indonesia, after it was struck by a high-intensity earthquake.  Operation Samudra Maitri was launched 
  4. SAGAR – security and growth for all in the region is the strategy followed by india stressing its neighbourhood first policy  
  5. Navy played a crucial role in the humanitarian crisis caused by Tsunami in 2004


Context: The wasting of millions of young children, owing to malnutrition, is a key imbalance


  • The next decade is going to be decisive to irrevocably rid ourselves of deficiencies
  • One critical imbalance to eliminate is that of inequalities of opportunity
  • Due to malnutrition- we are wasting of millions of our young children and the inability of large swathes of would-be mothers to give birth to healthy babies
  • The importance of good nutrition goes back to the nutritional health of the mother during pregnancy and critical nutritional inputs to the infant
  • The lack of nutrients possess a significant impact on the physical and mental health of the infant, which often carries through the life of the individual.
  • Need to improve the health of mothers and children in the rural areas by improving nutrition
  • Opportunities to young population to greater access to good education and, finally, provide them with job opportunities
  • This is essential as with these things only can we make India a happy Nation
February 2024