The Hindu Important Articles 12 November 2018

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The Hindu Important Articles 12 November 2018

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# Blasts rock Chhattisgarh red zone on poll eve, BSF SI dies

Patrol team targeted ahead of first phase polling in 18 constituencies
A day before the first phase of polling in the partly Maoist-dominated areas of Chhattisgarh, insurgents triggered a series of improvised explosive devices (IED) in the Koylibeda block of Kanker district, killing one BSF sub-inspector and injuring another.

Inspector-General of Police (Raipur Range) Dipanshu Kabra said a BSF team was out on an area-domination exercise in view of the election on Monday, when Naxals detonated at least six IEDs in a forest in Kanker district, around 200 km from the capital Raipur. The incident took place between Udanpur and Gattakal village, officials said.

Sub-Inspector Mahendra Singh was killed in the blasts, said Mr. Kabra, the nodal officer for the election-related security in the State. In a separate incident in Bedre village in Bijapur district, a suspected Maoist was killed, the police said.

All in Bastar

In the run-up to the first phase of polling, in 18 out of 90 constituencies, half-a-dozen incidents of violence have killed 13 persons, including security and media persons. All the incidents took place in the Bastar division of south Chhattisgarh, partly dominated by the left-wing insurgents. Many civilians and even a local leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Kalmu Dhurwa, were among those killed. Locals told The Hindu that the situation in the interior area had “deteriorated” over the last fortnight following a boycott call by the Maoists.

Special Director-General (anti-Naxal operations) D.M. Awasthi said around one lakh security personnel, including those of Central paramilitary forces, have been deployed.

( With PTI inputs)

# Uttam, Ramana meet Kodandaram

Praise the TJS president’s role in Telangana agitation
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy met Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) president M. Kodandaram at his office at Nampally on Sunday evening along with T-TDP president L. Ramana.

Though it is said to be a courtesy call, the TPCC chief is said to have impressed upon Mr. Kodandaram that it was people’s wish to have the Grand Alliance and they all should work together towards their goal of rooting out TRS.

‘Minor’ differences

Recalling the contribution of Mr. Kodandaram to Telangana agitation and how effectively he ran the show with the Joint Action Committee, Mr. Reddy told him that he would also have to play a major role in meeting the aspirations of the people now.

The leaders reportedly discussed ‘minor’ differences over seat-sharing and decided to sort it out so that it does not hamper the alliance’s main agenda of seeing a people’s government in the State.

Later addressing the media, Mr. Uttam Kumar said candidates of all the alliance partners who were being denied ticket now would be accommodated suitably once the government was formed.

# ‘Gaja’ to bring rain for 2 days

System may intensify into severe storm in the next 24 hours
The deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into Cyclone ‘Gaja’ on Sunday. North Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are likely to get good rain on November 14 and 15, India Meteorological Department officials said.

Named ‘Gaja’ by Sri Lanka, the cyclone lay 840 km east of Chennai and 880 km east of Nagapattinam.

It is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours.

May weaken gradually

It is expected to move west-northwestwards during the next 36 hours and then west-southwestwards towards the north Tamil Nadu–south Andhra Pradesh coasts in the subsequent 48 hours.

While moving west-southwest, it is likely to weaken gradually and cross the north Tamil Nadu–south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Cuddalore and Sriharikota during the forenoon of November 15, officials said.

The Indian Meteorological Department said rainfall in most places with heavy spells at isolated places is likely to start over north coastal Tamil Nadu and south coastal Andhra Pradesh from the evening of November 14.

# Two children suffocate to death

They were locked up at home when there was a fire
Two children suffocated to death following an accidental fire at the outhouse of an apartment complex at Basavapura on Hosur Road on Sunday.

The deceased were identified as Shrujan, 5, and Lakshmi, 2, children of Devendra and Roopeshi, a couple from Nepal. Devendra is a security guard at Paradise apartment where the incident occurred, while his wife, Roopeshi, works as a domestic help.

The family was given an outhouse in the basement of the apartment complex, where they had been living for the past one-and-half years. The couple would lock up the children at home when they headed out to work. On Sunday, they left for work around 8 a.m. while the children were asleep. Roopeshi also shut the window of the house, the Electronics City police said.

When Roopeshi returned around 11 a.m., she found smoke billowing out of the house. She found the bed on fire and the children lying unconscious away from the bed. She raised an alarm, prompting the residents and Devandra to rush to the spot. They took the children to a hospital where doctors declared them brought dead. Doctors said the children died owing to suffocation. There was no place for the smoke to go out, a police officer said. The children did not suffer any burns.

The police suspect children were playing with a matchbox, leading to the fire. Only the bed in the house caught fire; other furniture was intact, the police said.

# CVC likely to reveal Verma probe outcome

14-day time frame for inquiry ends today
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is expected to inform the Supreme Court on Monday about the outcome of its inquiry into allegations against CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma.

Though there is no explicit direction from the court to the CVC to present a report or inform it about the outcome of the inquiry, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, who represents the commission, may provide the court with an update, especially since the court had put the top vigilance body on a deadline and appointed a retired Supreme Court judge, Justice A.K. Patnaik, to ensure the inquiry is completed within 14 days from October 26.

# The Sri Lanka crisis deepens

Dissolution of Sri Lanka’s Parliament negates the letter and spirit of constitutional reforms
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved Parliament after it became evident that Mahinda Rajapaksa, who he had appointed Prime Minister two weeks ago, did not enjoy a legislative majority. It is an act of desperation to prevent a likely loss of face for both leaders after Mr. Sirisena’s controversial dismissal of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister on October 26. Sri Lanka has been roiled by political uncertainty ever since lawmakers of Mr. Sirisena’s party withdrew support from the ‘national unity government’ to facilitate Mr. Wickremesinghe’s removal and the swearing-in of Mr. Rajapaksa in his place. With many parties questioning the legality of the dismissal, the President suspended Parliament. This was a move to buy Mr. Rajapaksa time to garner support through defections. With around 100 MPs each in the 225-member House, both rival camps claimed they had the majority. But a 15-member alliance of Tamil MPs and six Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna lawmakers refused to support the newly installed regime, and Mr. Rajapaksa’s continuance became untenable. The President had to ask him to face possible defeat in a floor test or call elections as a way out. He has chosen the latter. However, a provision in the Constitution, introduced through the 19th Amendment by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration in 2015, stipulates that the House cannot be dissolved for four and a half years after a parliamentary election, unless two-thirds of its total membership seeks dissolution through a resolution. Mr. Sirisena’s action has come in the face of this restriction.
A fig leaf of constitutionality has been made up, citing Article 33(2)(c), which says the President has the power to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament. However, it is difficult to see how a general provision enumerating some powers can override a specific provision elsewhere in the Constitution that expressly limits those powers. It is only a little over three years since the last election, and there is no request from MPs seeking the dissolution of Parliament. The promise held out by the 2015 reforms seems to have vanished with Mr. Sirisena’s actions. Given the manner in which recent constitutional reforms have been undermined, the process of writing a new, inclusive Constitution for the country may no longer inspire much confidence. The Sirisena-Rajapaksa camp has, expectedly, welcomed fresh elections, claiming it would reflect the true will of the people. Free and fair elections are, no doubt, central to a democracy; but when conducted in the wake of the questionable sacking of Parliament, they may be anything but. The Opposition parties are now set to challenge the President’s action. Sri Lanka is at a crossroads where it has to make a crucial choice between democratic consolidation or a retreat to authoritarianism. The judiciary has a crucial task at hand.
A fig leaf of constitutionality has been made up, citing Article 33(2)(c), which says the President has the power to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament. However, it is difficult to see how a general provision enumerating some powers can override a specific provision elsewhere in the Constitution that expressly limits those powers. It is only a little over three years since the last election, and there is no request from MPs seeking the dissolution of Parliament. The promise held out by the 2015 reforms seems to have vanished with Mr. Sirisena’s actions. Given the manner in which recent constitutional reforms have been undermined, the process of writing a new, inclusive Constitution for the country may no longer inspire much confidence. The Sirisena-Rajapaksa camp has, expectedly, welcomed fresh elections, claiming it would reflect the true will of the people. Free and fair elections are, no doubt, central to a democracy; but when conducted in the wake of the questionable sacking of Parliament, they may be anything but. The Opposition parties are now set to challenge the President’s action. Sri Lanka is at a crossroads where it has to make a crucial choice between democratic consolidation or a retreat to authoritarianism. The judiciary has a crucial task at hand.

# Ripples of discord: on gravitational waves

A forthcoming paper on the detection of gravitational waves will be illuminating
On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made the Nobel prize winning detection of gravitational waves. These waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time, arising from the merger of a pair of black holes in distant space, and their detection had been a long-time pursuit of physics. LIGO’s feat was among the most electrifying announcements in recent years. Since detecting this binary black hole (BBH) merger, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) has made six such observations. Five of these were mergers of black holes in very different locations in space and with very different characteristics such as mass, and one was the merger of a pair of so-called neutron stars (binary neutron stars). Such mergers had been modelled theoretically even before the detection. The measurement was made easier because the team had templates for the type of signals to expect. The last few detections have been done in conjunction with another detector, Virgo. After the first discovery, the LSC made public its data. Analysing this, in 2017 a group of scientists questioned the validity of the first detection. They argued that the two detectors belonging to LIGO were correlated and that this led to a correlation in the noise factor. Weeding out noise from the signal is crucial in any such experiment, and James Creswell et al claimed that this had not been done properly by the LSC. Since then, a version of their preprint has been published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. After a long silence, on November 1, the LSC has put up a clarification on its website.
The clarification is cryptic, referring to “misunderstandings of public data products and the ways that the LIGO data need to be treated” by those raising objections. This encompasses a range of things, starting with lacunae in the analysis of data by Mr. Creswell and his collaborators. It transpires that in their analysis Creswell et al had used the data supplied by LIGO for a figure in their paper rather than the raw time series data that were made publicly available. While responding with a defence regarding processing of data is fine, it is unfortunate that the LSC team supplied data for the figure in the published paper that differed from the raw data. That said, a simpler and more direct corroboration of LIGO’s discovery stems from the wide variety of its sources. Now, the LSC plans to come out with a paper that carries detailed explanations. This would not be a second too soon. Put together, this is how science makes progress — in leaps and bounds, with thoughtful critiques and interventions in between. And in this case, the attendant controversy has captured the interest of even those beyond the world of science.

# Economic growth held back due to demonetisation and GST, says Raghuram Rajan

Commenting on the rising Non-Performing Assets (NPA), he said the best thing to do in such a situation is to “clean up”.
Demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are the two major headwinds that held back India’s economic growth last year, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has said, asserting that the current seven per cent growth rate is not enough to meet the country’s needs.

Addressing an audience at the University of California in Berkley on Friday, Dr. Rajan said for four years — 2012 to 2016 — India was growing at a faster pace before it was hit by two major headwinds.

“The two successive shocks of demonetisation and the GST had a serious impact on growth in India. Growth has fallen off interestingly at a time when growth in the global economy has been peaking up,” he said delivering the second Bhattacharya Lectureship on the Future of India.

Dr. Rajan said a growth rate of seven per cent per year for 25 years is “very very strong” growth, but in some sense this has become the new Hindu rate of growth, which earlier used to be three-and-a-half per cent.

“The reality is that seven is not enough for the kind of people coming into the labour market and we need jobs for them, So, we need more and cannot be satisfied at this level,” he said.

Sensitive to global growth
Observing that India is sensitive to global growth, he said India has become a much more open economy, and if the world grows, it also grows more.

“What happened in 2017 is that even as the world picked up, India went down. That reflects the fact that these blows (demonetisation and GST) have really really been hard blows…Because of these headwinds we have been held back, he said.

While India’s growth is picking up again, there is the issue of oil prices, the economist noted referring to the huge reliance of India on import of oil for its energy needs.

With the oil prices going up, Dr. Rajan said things are going to be little tougher for the Indian economy, even though the country is recovering from the headwinds of demonetisation and initial hurdles in the implementation of the GST.

Rising non-performing assets
Commenting on the rising Non-Performing Assets (NPA), he said the best thing to do in such a situation is to “clean up”.

It is essential to “deal up with the bad stuff”, so that with clean balance sheets, banks can be put back on the track. “It has taken India far long to clean up the banks, partly because the system did not had instruments to deal with bad debts,” Dr. Rajan said.

The bankruptcy code, he asserted, cannot be the only way to clean up the banks. It is the only one element of the larger clean up plan, he said and called for a multi-prong approach to address the challenge of NPAs in India.

Capable of strong growth
India, he asserted, is capable of a strong growth. As such the seven per cent growth is now being taken granted.

“If we go below seven per cent, then we must be doing something wrong,” he said adding that that is the base on which India has to grow at least for next 10-15 years.

India, he said, needs to create one million jobs a month for the people joining the labour force.

The country today is facing three major bottlenecks. One is the torn infrastructure, he said, observing that construction is the one industry that drives the economy in early stages. Infrastructure creates growth, he said.

Second, short term target should be to clean up the power sector and to make sure that the electricity produced actually goes to the people who want the power, he said.

Cleaning up the banks is the third major bottleneck in India’s growth, he said.

Part of the problem in India is that there is an excessive centralisation of power in the political decision making, he said.

“India can’t work from the centre. India works when you have many people taking up the burden. And today the central government is excessively centralised,” Dr. Rajan said.

An example of this is the quantum of decisions that requires the ascent of the Prime Minister’s Office, Rajan said as he highlighted the recent unveiling of the ‘Statue of Unity’ of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as an example of a massive project that required the approval of the PMO.

# Govt. denies move to seek ₹3.6 lakh cr. from RBI

Sure of meeting fiscal deficit target of 3.3%, says official
Dismissing reports of the government seeking ₹3.6 lakh crore from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as speculation, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg on Friday said that the only proposal under discussion is to fix an appropriate economic capital framework for the central bank.

“Lot of misinformed speculation is going around in [the] media. Government’s fiscal math is completely on track. There is no proposal to ask RBI to transfer 3.6 or 1 lakh crore, as speculated,” Mr. Garg tweeted.

“[The] only proposal under discussion is to fix appropriate economic capital framework of the RBI,” he added.

The government and the RBI have been at loggerheads on several issues, including a proposal for the central bank to transfer a portion of its surplus reserves to the government.

The rift between the two became public last month after a speech by RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya in which he cautioned that “governments that do not respect central bank independence will sooner or later incur the wrath of financial markets… ignite economic fire, and come to rue the day they undermined an important regulatory institution…”

Talking about challenges in maintaining the RBI’s independence, Mr Acharya had said, “Having adequate reserves to bear any losses that arise from central bank operations and having appropriate rules to allocate profits (including rules that govern the accumulation of capital and reserves) is considered an important part of central bank’s independence from the government… A thorny ongoing issue on this front has been that of the rules for surplus transfer from the Reserve Bank to the government.”

Mr. Garg, on the other hand, expressed confidence in meeting the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% for the current financial year, and added that the government has actually foregone ₹70,000 crore of budgeted market borrowing this year.

He pointed out that the government’s fiscal deficit in FY 2013-14 was 5.1%. From 2014-15 onwards, the government has succeeded in bringing it down substantially, he said.

To assess reserves
The Economic Capital Framework, as per an RBI annual report, was formulated to assess the RBI’s capital and internal reserves position in a structured and systematic manner.

In its annual report for 2014-15, the central bank had said, “The exercise to put in place an economic capital framework is a challenging one as the Reserve Bank plans to cover not only the risks in its balance sheet but also its ‘contingent risks’ which arise from its public policy role in fostering monetary and financial stability.”

# Third T20 international: India scampers home off the last ball in dramatic finish

Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant smashed the bowling apart as India chased down the score.
On view was brutal force. The ball was bludgeoned to different corners of the ground. And India sealed another run-chase …but only after a scare.

The Delhi duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant, both left-handers and both explosive, cut loose when the match seemed in the balance.

Then came a twist in the tale. Pant (58) was castled by Keemo Paul and it boiled down to five runs off the last over from left-arm spinner Fabian Allen. It became one off three when Allen, holding his nerve, delivered a dot ball and had Dhawan (92) caught in the deep off the fifth.

With a single needed off the last ball, Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik scampered for a single. What a finish!

It was a dramatic last-gasp conclusion but eventually the blitzkriegs from Dhawan and Pant enabled India complete a 3-0 sweep of the West Indies in the T20I series at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.

Tricky
India chased down a tricky target of 182 on a surface where the odd ball spun. The six-wicket margin was hard earned and the 130-run partnership in 80 balls between Dhawan and Pant took India to the doorstep.

Dhawan bats with the instincts of a gambler. A buccaneering left-hander who can hit the ball with enormous power, he can harness the pace on the ball too. The six over mid-wicket off the fast and furious Oshane Thomas was a tremendous blow. Here bat-speed combined with powerful wrists as the ball was sent soaring into the stands.

And the punishing Pant cut and pulled the pacemen, played the reverse sweep to unsettle the bowlers and simply smote the spinners. This swashbuckler’s batting is a lot about confidence. Pant disrupts the rhythm of the bowlers with his unique brand of strokeplay where he doesn’t always seems balanced but connects his shots.

Dhawan and Pant took the game by the scruff of its neck after Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul fell early.

Earlier, the West Indies put up a challenging score. Perhaps, the need to bat without the pressures of the scoreboard was behind its decision to set India a target.

Flying start
And the Caribbeans had their two bright young batsman — Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer — at the top of the order. The right-left combination was off to a flier.

The engaging Hope does have a trigger movement forward but is balanced and organised with the ability to time the ball through the open spaces.

Hetmyer inflicted damage, too. He is more impulsive than Hope, his aggression is rather visceral in nature, and he does use his feet.

Racing away
The southpaw clipped Khaleel as he strayed in line, swung an off-colour Bhuvneshwar past the ropes, and struck Washington Sundar over his head. West Indies had raced to 51 in the six PowerPlay overs.

Rohit Sharma, a smart captain, was pro-active with his changes. He replaced Washington with Krunal Pandya for an over, then brought in Yuzvendra Chahal.

West Indies lost wickets and momentum as Chahal struck. The leg-spinner bowled well, spun the ball and brought his googly into play.

Washington, bowling his off-spinners with a measure of control in his comeback match, had Denesh Ramdin playing on to a quicker delivery not quite short enough for the cut.

Skilful, explosive
India had fought back but then came a change in the script. Two southpaws — the skilful Darren Bravo (43 not out) and the explosive Nicolas Pooran (53 not out) — went ballistic with an unbeaten 87-run stand for the fourth wicket in only 43 deliveries.

Bravo’s six over long-off off Krunal was all about timing. The ease in his methods, whether travelling forward or back, is pleasing to the eye.

Pooran’s batting bristled with bat-speed, power and innovation. He pulled and off-drove Bhuvneshwar for sixes, and used the reverse sweep effectively.

Khaleel proves costly
The Indian attack wilted towards the end with Khaleel, who had earlier sent down some useful toe-crushers, conceding 23 in the final over.

In the end, it boiled down to one run. And India was home running.

Reference

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