Equality for what?
- Hegel suggests that poverty is a social phenomenon.
- Society is complicit in the creation and recreation of poverty. Destitution, that is, is the outcome of a skewed economy.
- Poverty breeds unfortunate consequences, such as suffering, which seriously demoralizes human beings.
- The existence of large numbers of the poor pose a direct threat to the social order, simply because the poor are (justly) resentful of their exclusion from the benefits of society.
- In a paper aptly titled ‘Indian income inequality, 1922-2014: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj?’, they conclude that income inequality in India is at the highest level since 1922, when the country’s income tax law was conceived, and that the top 1% earners corner 22% of income.
- There is more to the proposition that some persons are poor beyond belief, and others are rich beyond belief in India.
There is urgent need, in the face of government inaction and insensitivity towards people trapped in inequality as a social relation to invoke the collective conscience of Indian citizens.
What if right to equality violated:
- If the right violated, citizens should be exercised or agitated about this violation.
- But for this to occur, for society to feel deeply about the right on offer, we have to incorporate the right to equality into political thinking, into our values, and into political vocabularies.
- The project requires the harnessing of creative imagination and courage on the one hand, and careful reasoning, persuasion, and dialogue on the other.
- The task also demands the investment of rather high degrees of energy and time.
[Op-Ed] Sub nationalism not a threat
- Along with the rhetoric of nationalism, India is also witnessing the re-emergence of subnationalism as a political idea.
- This is emerging most strongly from Karnataka, which is neither ruled by a regional party nor has shown any significant separatist or secessionist tendencies in the past.
- The key issue of contention is regarding a separate State flag for Karnataka.
Karnataka has had an unofficial yellow-and-red flag for almost 50 years.
The government is now considering adopting an official State flag.
- The other issue is the protest against the imposition of Hindi, most notably on the signboards of Namma Metro stations in Bengaluru.
- Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has strongly come out in support of the State flag and against the use of Hindi signboards in the Metro.
- Even if the narrative around Kannadiga pride is impelled by the government with an eye on the upcoming Assembly polls, the larger questions around identity it raises cannot be ignored.
- The counter-narrative hence brings into question the place of linguistic and cultural rights in a plural society with a federal Constitution.
Indo-Russian war games in Oct.
- India and Russia have begun discussions to work out the modalities for their first tri-service military exercise to be held in October.
Why its important?
- It will be India’s first bilateral military exercise with any country involving all three services.
- In April, the two countries decided to upgrade Indra from an individual service exercise into an integrated tri-service.
- The Army will send about 350 soldiers from the infantry, artillery and armoured streams.
- While the soldiers will take with them infantry weapons, ammunition, radio sets and related equipment, the issue of taking T-72 tanks and other heavy equipment will be decided in the FPC.
- The Navy is fielding two ships, a stealth frigate, INS Satpura , and an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, INS Kadmatt , along with two on-board helicopters.
- The naval component is likely to include an ASW component, the details of which are awaited.
- The Air Force, which flies a large number of Russian aircraft, is likely to share fighter jets of the host.
Income limit raised for creamy layer
- The ‘creamy layer’ ceiling for OBC reservation has been raised to Rs. 8 lakh per year, according to an official order issued on Wednesday.
- In 1993, the limit was kept at Rs. 1 lakh.
- It was raised thrice — to Rs. 2.5 lakh in 2004, Rs. 4.5 lakh in 2008 and Rs. 6 lakh in 2013.
India has ‘narrow’ pool of mustard varieties
Slamming activists for spreading “misinformation” on genetically-modified (GM) mustard, India’s premier association of agricultural scientists has said that India has a “narrow” pool of mustard varieties.
- India had over 9,000 varieties of mustard and was the “centre of origin and diversity (of mustard) ” was among the key arguments made by Prashant Bhushan in the Supreme Court, as part of a petition by activist Aruna Rodrigues.
- Earlier a Supreme Court-appointed Technical Advisory Committee had also recommended a stay on GM mustard citing the breadth of India’s genetic diversity in mustard and that introducing it would lead to “irreversible” contamination.
- In June, a 230-member quorum of the NAAS had passed a resolution unanimously supporting the commercial release of Dhara Mustard Hybrid 11 (DMH-11), a transgenic food crop that had been cleared by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for commercial release.
Why its important?
- Unlike in wheat, for instance, where the male and female can be crossed to make a wide genetic range of hybrid seeds, mustard is a self-pollinating plant that isn’t amenable to such crossings.
- DMH-11 uses a combination of genes from a soil bacterium that makes mustard amenable to hybridisation.
- The NAAS also refuted claims that non-GM varieties of rapeseed (a sister species of mustard and an oilseed) in Europe out-yielded GM varieties grown in Canada.
- In a rejoinder, a coalition of activists slammed the NAAS report and accused it of being a “public relations” agent.
An elusive recovery
- Growth in industrial output, according to the Index of Industrial Production released by the Central Statistics Office on Tuesday, has slumped to 1.2% in July as against a much higher rate of 4.5% recorded during the same month last year.
- July’s industrial output growth is still higher than the growth rate of -0.2% witnessed in June.
- Retail price inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose to a five-month high of 3.36% in August as compared to 2.36% in July.
- These numbers follow the slowdown reported earlier this month in the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) during the first quarter of 2017-18.
RBI is not comfortable with bitcoins.
The Reserve Bank is uncomfortable with “non-fiat” cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the central bank’s executive director Sudarshan Sen said on Wednesday.
- Bitcoins for example. That’s a private cryptocurrency.
- The fiat cryptocurrency was a digital currency which would be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in place of the physical one at present,adding that the central bank was studying this aspect at present.
- The RBI has been repeatedly cautioning everyone about the usage of cryptocurrencies, flagging a slew of concerns.
- It had stated that Bitoins posed potential risks.