Contents

  1. From the Brink of War
  2. Reality Check: On Govt. Projecting Slower GDP Growth
  3. A Multilateral alternative, by Asia
  4. The Indian Constitution’s unitary tilt

FROM THE BRINK OF WAR

Why in news?

  • US president, Donald Trump made a statement following the missile attacks on US bases in Iran and said that there were no causalities reported from the side of the U.S.

Self-defence of Iran

  • Foreign Minister Javad Zarif invoked Article 51 of the UN Charter, which allows member states to take military actions in self-defense if they come under attack.
  • He said Iran has taken and concluded “proportionate measures in self-defense”, which can be interpreted that Iran is now ready for de-escalation.

Implication

  • Mr. Trump did well to step back and not push the Gulf region into a disastrous cycle of violence and destruction.
  • The international community should now push for a diplomatic settlement of the crisis and find ways to revive the nuclear deal which could bring long­ term peace to the Gulf.

REALITY CHECK: ON GOVT. PROJECTING SLOWER GDP GROWTH

Why in news?

  • The National Statistical Office (NSO) has estimated that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will expand by 5% in the 12­month period, in line with the Reserve Bank of India’s sharp downward revision last month in its full­ year growth forecast from 6.1% projected earlier, to 5%.

GDP growth estimates

  • The pace of growth slumped to a six and ­a­ half year low of 4.5% in the second quarter, thus dragging the first half’s expansion to 4.8%.
  • NSO’s estimates also paint a picture of a distinct uptick in the final six months of the current fiscal in a key sector.
  • Full ­year growth in Gross Fixed Capital Formation is estimated at just about 1% compared with 10% in the last fiscal year.

A MULTILATERAL ALTERNATIVE, BY ASIA

Why in news?

  • After 200 years, Asian economies are again larger than the rest of the world combined. As India and China resolve their border dispute, Asia is providing the multilateral alternative to the world divided by values, and no longer by ideology.
  • As the world leader in digital transactions, China is developing block chain­ based financial infrastructure in BRI countries and exploring an international blockchain currency for digital settlements without relying on the dollar, thus reducing U.S. leverage

Implication of the rise of China

  • NATO has recently discussed the implications of the rise of China; China, like India, is not part of any collective security system
  • The threat to the global leadership position of the USA.
  • India is skeptical about the predatory economics and rise of the military power of China, tilting the power balance in Asia.

THE INDIAN CONSTITUTIONS UNITARY TILT

Fresh debate on the federal question

  • The recent political developments around the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) have revealed some of the most significant crevices of Indian federalism.
  • Soon after the protests erupted, several State governments declared that they would not implement the law.
  • Further, in a somewhat unprecedented move, the Legislative Assembly of Kerala went to the extent of passing a resolution, stating that the law “contradicts the basic values and principles of the Constitution”.
  • Indeed, the resolution is only symbolic and has no legal ramifications. And, though the passage of any such resolution is not constitutionally barred, it may not be in tune with the federal scheme under the Constitution.

Law in relation:

  • Article 256 of the Constitution obligates the State government to ensure the implementation of the laws made by Parliament. If the State government fails to do so, the Government of India is empowered to give “such directions to a State as may appear… to be necessary”.
  • The refusal to enforce the law even after the Centre issues directions would empower the President to impose President’s Rule in those States under Articles 356 and 365.
  • The Supreme Court of India has also confirmed this reading of the law in S.R. Bommai v. Union of India — arguably the most significant case on Indian federalism.
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