Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 03 February 2022
- Imperial excess
- Ink India-Britain free trade, unlock new opportunity
The recent hostility between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has revived the debate about the role of Governors in relation with the elected government and legislature.
GS II: Role of Governor, State Legislature, Centre-State Relations
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is the Issue?
- Reason for the Confrontation
- Issue in Maharashtra
- Issue in Tamil Nadu
- Way Forward
What is the Issue?
- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata blocked the Twitter account of the Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. The war of words over then twitter was triggered by constant criticism by the Governor against her.
- The Governor then sent her a message for “dialogue and harmony amongst constitutional functionaries” but promptly posted that too on Twitter.
- The Chief Minister said the Governor was trying to treat the elected government as “bonded labour”.
Reason for the Confrontation:
- State Executive: The issue of the Governor constantly summoning the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police on a regular basis and if they fail to turn up, the Governor often took up the issue on twitter tagging the Chief Minister.
- Legislative: The Governor also had a run-in with Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee recently, on the premises of the State Assembly.
- He has withheld his assent to the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2021, delaying polls to the civic body.
- Other issues:
- Made allegations of impropriety in welfare schemes,
- Questioned Government claims about investments in the State
- Recent weeks have witnessed similar issues in the states of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, where the Governor of these states appears to test the limits of their power and confronting the elected governments and legislatures.
Issue in Maharashtra:
- Changing Rules of State Assembly: The Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari has stalled the election of Speaker. The post is vacant since February 2021.
- This is viewed as a reaction over the amendments in the legislative rules for holding the Speaker’s election through voice vote instead of secret ballot.
- The Governor held that the State Assembly cannot decide its own rules and it is unacceptable to the ruling coalition.
- Political priorities: In the past the Governor has battled for the Opposition, supporting its demand for a special session of the Assembly on women’s safety and security.
- Non-cooperation with the Executive: The Governor has refused to accept the recommendation of the Council of Ministers on the nomination of 12 members to the Legislative Council, until the matter reached the High Court.
Issue in Tamil Nadu:
- Indefinite delay: Inaction of the Governor R.N. Ravi with reference to the T.N. Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, adopted by the Assembly in September 2021.
- Rather than sending the bill to the President for Approval or returning it for reconsideration by the Assembly, the indefinite delay in decision making is unjustifiable. It undermines the State Legislature.
- T.N. Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill:
- The Bill proposes to dispense with the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical graduate admissions in the State.
- State-Centre relations:
- NEET has been criticised for curtailing State powers.
- Governor’s delay in processing the Bill is only aggravating the situation.
- Most of these issues require thorough debate and discussion before resolution.
- Governors must refrain from aligning themselves to any political ideology. They must work within constitutional parameters, not as agents of the Centre
-Source: The Hindu
Ink India-Britain free trade, unlock new opportunity
India and United Kingdom has declared the goal to more than double the bilateral trade by 2030, which totalled over £23 billion in 2019.
GS II: International Treaties & Agreements, Government Policies & Interventions, Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests
Dimensions of the Article:
- India-United Kingdom partnership
- Businesses in both the Nations
- Significance of FTA for India and UK
- Impact of U.K.-India trade agreement
- Way Forward
India-United Kingdom partnership:
- India and UK have announced a shared vision for a transformative decade for the India-United Kingdom partnership and are determined to turn their shared political will into action.
- Both the Governments aim to reduce the barriers to trade, and to complete the groundwork necessary to begin work on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by the end of 2021. This presents a bigger opportunity for both the countries.
- They look forward to finish negotiations on a comprehensive and balanced FTA by the end of 2022.
- Recent measures to stimulate growth: The governments have initiated concrete measures to stimulate growth- namely
- Unlocking the export of British apples to India
- Enabling a greater number of Indian fisheries to export shrimp to the U.K.
Businesses in both the Nations:
- In India: There are nearly 600 U.K. companies in India employing more than 3,20,000 people. The British companies support Prime Minister’s vision for an Atmanirbhar Bharat. Example:
- JCB’s products manufactured in India are exported to over 110 countries across the globe
- Consumer goods giant Hindustan Unilever headquartered in Mumbai
- In Britain: India is already a big investor into the U.K., especially in dynamic sectors such as fintech, electric vehicles and batteries.
- In 2020-21, India was the U.K.’s second largest source of investment in terms of number of projects.
- Recently, Essar Group and Ola Electric announced investments into the U.K.
Significance of FTA for India and UK:
- Given the size of our two economies, India being the sixth largest economy and Britain holding the fifth place in the world, the trade relations between the countries has underperformed.
- FTA for UK:
- Having left the European Union’s common trade bloc after 47 years (in 2020), the country is looking for building a network of like-minded democracies committed to free trade.
- U.K.is a country that thrives on free trade
- It is significant to note that both governments are negotiating with similar countries, for example, Australia.
- FTA for India:
- India being at the heart of the Indo-Pacific region is home for almost half the world’s population and is a place where 50% of global economic growth is produced.
- Free Trade with UK will help through greater access to a highly open and competitive market, offering valuable opportunities for India’s booming companies
Impact of U.K.-India trade agreement:
- The FTA between India and U.K. would significantly boost the Economy. It’s also good for strategic reasons.
- It will stimulate growth and employment in both countries.
- U.K. government analysis shows that, depending on the depth of the deal, an FTA would add around £14.8 billion to the GDP of India and the U.K. collectively by 2035.
- A trade deal helps diversify supply chains by making it easier and cheaper for more businesses to do business across borders.
- Lower barriers coupled with greater regulatory certainty would incentivise new small and medium-sized enterprises to export their goods and services.
- Improvement in the variety and affordability of products.
- With increasing geo-strategic competition across the world , dynamic democracies like India and U.K. need to work closer together to promote open economies.
- An FTA gives a new framework within which the two countries can witness significant growth and provide opportunities for both countries to build a sustainable future.
-Source: The Hindu