THE HINDU EDITORIAL : JULY 9, 2018
THE HINDU EDITORIAL : JULY 9, 2018
THE HINDU EDITORIAL – July 9, 2018 is one of the must read for the competitive exams like SBI PO Mains , SBI CLERK Mains Exam, BOB PO Manipal Online Exam. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension , Cloze Test or in Error Detection topics in the forthcoming exams. So gear up for your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.
a) The democratic mandate in Delhi
“Nations fail when institutions of governance fail. The working of a democratic institution is impacted by the statesmanship (or the lack of it) shown by those in whom the electorate vests the trust to govern,” writes Justice D.Y. Chandrachud in his concurrence to the Supreme Court’s judgment in Government of NCT of Delhi v. Union of India. A story from across the border illustrates precisely what the judge means.
A cautionary tale
The Indian company Mahindra & Mahindra is today well-known for its rugged vehicles. The enterprise began when two brothers with engineering backgrounds and bureaucratic careers quit to form a company to manufacture the American Willys jeep on license in India. That jeep has had several avatars and its descendants, the Scorpios and the XUVs, still rule Indian roads. The company however began as Mahindra and Mohammed.
The Mohammed in question was Sir Malik Ghulam Muhammed. A chartered accountant who looked after the financial side of the enterprise, he was formerly a civil servant of the Indian Railway Accounts Service. After Partition he left the company for Pakistan and became its first Finance Minister under Liaquat Ali Khan. When Liaquat was assassinated, Pakistan’s Governor General, Khawaja Nazimuddin, became Prime Minister and Mohammed, Pakistan’s next Governor General.
Unlike India, which had adopted its Constitution in 1950, Pakistan had not succeeded in framing a Constitution. The Government of India Act 1935 and the Indian Independence Act 1947 continued to operate. When language riots broke out in East Pakistan in the 1950s, Governor General Ghulam Mohammed dismissed Prime Minister Nazimuddin, resorting to reserve powers under the colonial scheme of the Government of India Act of 1935. When the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan sought to limit the Governor General’s powers, he dismissed the Assembly in 1954.
The Assembly petitioned the Sindh High Court, which ruled in its favour, but the decision was overruled by a split decision in the Pakistan Supreme Court by a bench headed by Chief Justice Muhammad Munir. Justice Munir had held that it was necessary to go beyond the constitution to the common law, to general legal maxims, and to English historical precedent. He had relied on Bracton’s maxim, “that which is otherwise not lawful is made lawful by necessity”.
An appointed Governor General thus effectively became the ruler of Pakistan. Ghulam Muhammed however fell ill, and appointed another former bureaucrat, Iskander Mirza, as acting Governor General. In 1955 Mirza dismissed Ghulam Muhammed, to become Governor General himself. Later when Pakistan’s Constitution was finally adopted in 1956, Mirza became President. In 1958 he was overthrown by his own hand-picked army commander, General Ayub Khan. When martial law was challenged in the Supreme Court in 1958, the doctrine of necessity was again used to repel the challenge. Judicial interpretation thus made necessity the mother of martial law.
In recent times, Najeeb Jung and Anil Baijal, as Lieutenant Governors of Delhi, seemed to play Governor General. They overruled the elected government of Arvind Kejriwal (himself another former bureaucrat) on almost every issue of administration. They relied on a proviso to Article 239AA of the Constitution, which provides that “in the case of difference of opinion between the Lieutenant Governor and his Ministers on any matter, the Lieutenant Governor shall refer it to the President for decision and act according to the decision given thereon by the President and pending such decision it shall be competent for the Lieutenant Governor in any case where the matter, in his opinion, is so urgent that it is necessary for him to take immediate action, to take such action or to give such direction in the matter as he deems necessary.”
Sealed by the court
Thus in almost all administrative matters of consequence, the Lieutenant Governor acted as though he was the final word and that it was not necessary for him to seek the aid and advice of the elected government. A government for 20 million residents of Delhi was told that it could not govern if the Lieutenant Governor chose to not let them govern. Last week’s Supreme Court judgment in the Government of the NCT of Delhi has finally put an end to such constitutional coups. Cutting to the heart of all the political and constitutional wrangling, the judgment unanimously affirms the principle of an elected representative being vested with the power to administer democratically. It negates the bureaucratic usurpation of power that sought to operate in constitutional interstices, at the instance of an inimical central government.
The majority judgment of Chief Justice Dipak Misra says: “There is no room for absolutism. There is no space for anarchy… Ours is a parliamentary form of government guided by the principle of collective responsibility of the Cabinet. The Cabinet owes a duty towards the legislature for every action taken in any of the Ministries and every individual Minister is responsible for every act of the Ministry… This principle of collective responsibility is of immense significance in the context of ‘aid and advice’. If a well deliberated legitimate decision of the Council of Ministers is not given effect to due to an attitude to differ on the part of the Lieutenant Governor, then the concept of collective responsibility would stand negated.”
Justice Chandrachud in his concurrence holds that, “In a cabinet form of government, the substantive power of decision making vests in the Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head. The aid and advice provision contained in the substantive part of Article 239AA (4) recognises this principle. When the Lieutenant Governor acts on the basis of the aid and advise of the Council of Ministers, this recognises that real decision-making authority in a democratic form of government vests in the executive. Even when the Lieutenant Governor makes a reference to the President under the terms of the proviso, he has to abide by the decision which is arrived at by the President.”
Justice Ashok Bhushan while broadly concurring with the other two judgments holds that the “LG has to be kept informed of all proposals, agendas of meeting and decisions taken. The purpose of communication of all decisions is to keep him posted with the administration of Delhi. The communication of all decisions is necessary to enable him to go through the proposals and decisions so as to enable him to exercise the powers as conceded to him under 1991 Act and Rules 1993… the purpose of communication is not to obtain his concurrence….”
Three and a half years of a five-year term have been lost in a constitutional wrangle, caused as much by the bureaucracy as by the politicians. Apart from administration, what has suffered is the reputation of the bureaucracy for impartial, apolitical governance. Bureaucrats have picked sides in the political battle and have lost, in court and in public esteem. Administrative paralysis has been used for political chokeholds.
A telling pun
I leave you with one last story of Pakistan. In 1958 the President responded to a state of political chaos by declaring martial law, and calling out the army. A section of the public punned on the term ‘martial law’, saying, “Pakistan mein ab toh mashallah ho gaya (by the grace of God, things in Pakistan are well now).” We in India are fortunate that our courts have not had to resort to the doctrine of necessity. Our politicians and bureaucrats may have in this instance failed, but the Supreme Court has, for the moment, delivered us from mischief. Amen to that, and may our quasi-federal Union long endure as a democratic polity.
b) No one wins: on the US-China trade war
The trade wars have finally begun. After exchanging several threats over the last few months, both the United States and China implemented a tariff of 25% on imports worth $34 billion last Friday. This marks the official beginning of what China dubs as “the biggest trade war in economic history”. While this trade war is far from the biggest the world has seen, it has the potential to cause some significant damage to the world economy. U.S. President Donald Trump, who began the year by imposing tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, has vowed to possibly tax all Chinese imports into the U.S., which last year added up to a little over $500 billion. Mr. Trump’s tariffs against China will likely resonate with voters who believe in his “America First” campaign and perceive the trade deficit with China as a loss to the U.S. economy. China, not surprisingly, has responded by targeting American exports like soybean and automobiles, a move that could cause job losses in American states that accommodate Mr. Trump’s voter base. Other major U.S. trading partners such as the European Union, Mexico, and Canada have also slapped retaliatory tariffs on various U.S. goods.
In a globalised world, no country can hope to impose tariffs without affecting its own economic interests. Apart from disadvantaging its consumers, who will have to pay higher prices for certain goods, tariffs will also disrupt the supply chain of producers who rely on foreign imports. So both the U.S. and China, which have blamed each other for the ongoing trade war, are doing no good to their own economic fortunes by engaging in this tit-for-tat tariff battle. The minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve June policy meeting show that economic uncertainty due to the trade war is already affecting private investment in the U.S., with many investors deciding to scale back or delay their investment plans. China, which is fighting an economic slowdown, will be equally affected. The ongoing trade war also threatens the rules-based global trade order which has managed to amicably handle trade disputes between countries for decades. It could also isolate the U.S., which has refused to settle differences through serious negotiations, as other global economies strike trade deals on their own. In March, for instance, 11 Asia-Pacific countries went ahead to sign a trans-Pacific trade deal while leaving out the U.S., which had pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in early 2017. If global trade tensions continue to simmer, however, it may not be too long before countries resort to other destructive measures such as devaluing their currencies to support domestic exporters. The world economy, which is on a slow path to recovery, can do without such unnecessary shocks.
Meaning: Have a strong effect on someone or something.
Example: “High interest rates have impacted on retail spending”
Synonyms: Affect, Influence
Meaning: The fact of two or more events or circumstances happening or existing at the same time.
Example: “The incidental concurrence of two separate tumours”
Meaning: (Of clothing, equipment, etc.) strongly made and capable of withstanding rough handling.
Example: “The binoculars are compact, lightweight, and rugged”
Synonyms: Durable, Robust
Antonyms: Flimsy, Fragile
Meaning: Relating to a system of government in which most of the important decisions are taken by state officials rather than by elected representatives.
Example: “Well-established bureaucratic procedures”
Synonyms: Administrative, Official
Antonyms: Simple, Relaxed
Meaning: Murder (an important person) for political or religious reasons.
Example: “The organization’s leader had been assassinated four months before the coup”
Synonyms: Execute, Eliminate
Meaning: A violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd.
Example: “Riots broke out in the capital”
Synonyms: Uproar, Rampage
Meaning: A native or inhabitant of a colony.
Example: “A rebellion by Dutch-speaking colonials”
Meaning: An earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances.
Example: “There are substantial precedents for using interactive media in training”
Synonyms: Model, Exemplar
Meaning: The action of explaining the meaning of something.
Example: “The interpretation of data”
Synonyms: Explanation, Elucidation
Meaning: A condition or qualification attached to an agreement or statement.
Example: “He let his house with the proviso that his own staff should remain to run it”
Synonyms: Condition, Stipulation
Meaning: On or following from the thing just mentioned.
Example: “The order of the court and the taxation consequent thereon”
Meaning: Regard or consider in a specified way.
Example: “The event was deemed a great success”
Synonyms: Consider, Judge
Meaning: A sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.
Example: “He was overthrown in an army coup”
Synonyms: Overthrow, Deposition
Meaning: Have a long, complicated dispute or argument.
Example: “The bureaucrats continue wrangling over the fine print”
Synonyms: Argue, Quarrel
Meaning: State emphatically or publicly.
Example: “He affirmed the country’s commitment to peace”
Synonyms: Declare, State
Meaning: To take control of a position of power, especially without having the right to.
Example: “Local control is being usurped by central government”
Meaning: A state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems.
Example: “He must ensure public order in a country threatened with anarchy”
Synonyms: Nihilism, Revolution
Antonyms: Government, Order
Meaning: Have an obligation to pay or repay (something, especially money) in return for something received.
Example: “They have denied they owe money to the company”
Meaning: Able to be defended with logic or justification; valid.
Example: “A legitimate excuse for being late”
Synonyms: Valid, Admissible
Antonyms: Invalid, Unjustifiable
Meaning: Deny the existence of.
Example: “Negating the political nature of education”
Synonyms: Deny, Dispute
Antonyms: Confirm, Ratify
Meaning: Accept or act in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation).
Example: “I said I would abide by their decision”
Synonyms: Obey, Observe
Antonyms: Flout, Reject
Meaning: Treating all rivals or disputants equally.
Example: “The minister cannot be impartial in the way that a judge would be”
Synonyms: Unbiased, Neutral
Antonyms: Biased, Partisan
Meaning: Respect and admiration.
Example: “He was held in high esteem by colleagues”
Synonyms: Respect, Admiration
Meaning: Inability to act or function properly.
Example: “The paralysis gripping the country”
Synonyms: Shutdown, Halt
Meaning: A tight grip round a person’s neck, used to restrain them by restricting their breathing.
Example: “The police have banned chokeholds”
Meaning: Complete disorder and confusion.
Example: “Snow caused chaos in the region”
Synonyms: Disorder, Disarray
Antonyms: Order, Orderliness
Meaning: Favoured by or involving good luck; lucky.
Example: “She’d been fortunate to escape serious injury”
Synonyms: Lucky, Favoured
Meaning: Playful misbehaviour, especially on the part of children.
Example: “She’ll make sure Danny doesn’t get into mischief”
Synonyms: Badness, Misbehaviour
Meaning: Remain in existence; last.
Example: “These cities have endured through time”
Synonyms: Last, Live
Antonyms: Fade, Short-lived
Meaning: A tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports.
Example: “The reduction of trade barriers and import tariffs”
Synonyms: Tax, Duty
Meaning: Grand and impressive in appearance.
Example: “An imposing 17th-century manor house”
Synonyms: Impressive, Striking
Antonyms: Unimposing, Modest
32) Added up
Meaning: To increase gradually until there is a large amount.
Example: “The changes in air quality are small, but after a while they do add up and affect people’s health”
Meaning: Produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound.
Example: “The sound of the siren resonated across the harbour”
Meaning: Become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.
Example: “His mouth fell open as he perceived the truth”
Synonyms: Discern, Recognize
Meaning: Impose a fine or other penalty on.
Example: “The United States slapped a huge tax on European wine imports”
Synonyms: Impose, Levy
Meaning: (Of an action) characterized by a desire for revenge.
Example: “Fears of a retaliatory attack by the victim’s friends”
37) Rely on
Meaning: To need a particular thing or the help and support of someone or something in order to continue, to work correctly, or to succeed.
Example: “The success of this project relies on everyone making an effort”
Meaning: Characterized by friendliness and absence of discord.
Example: “An amicable settlement of the dispute”
Synonyms: Friendly, Cordial
Antonyms: Unfriendly, Hostile
Meaning: A disagreement or argument.
Example: “A territorial dispute between the two countries”
Synonyms: Debate, Discussion
Meaning: Discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.
Example: “A worldwide ban is currently under negotiation”
Synonyms: Arbitration, Conciliation
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