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23th December 2023 (8 Topics)

23th December 2023

QUIZ - 23th December 2023

5 Questions

5 Minutes

Editorials

Context:

The Telecom Bill 2023 extends the colonial architecture of regulation to digital authoritarianism, marking India’s transformation to a ‘rashtra’.

Political Maneuvering and Symbolism

  • Announcement Strategy: Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnav's strategic tweet announces the passage of the Telecom Bill, emphasizing the PM's vision.
  • Cultural Nativism: Deliberate use of "Bharat" and individual credit to the PM constructs a narrative of cultural nativism, diverting attention.
  • Concerns: Telecom Bill employs strategic political messaging, introduces nationalistic elements, and raises concerns about innovation and authoritarian control, signifying a shift away from democratic principles.

Implications of Telecom Bill 2023

  • Nationalistic Naming: Telecom Bill introduces "Digital Bharat Nidhi" and incorporates Indic influence, emphasizing a nationalistic approach.
  • Structural Concerns: Despite renaming, the Telecom Bill fails to address the deepening digital divide and challenges outlined in reports.
  • Innovation Impact: Provisions favoring "national champions" and market entry raise questions about the impact on private firms and user benefits.

Authoritarian Control in Telecom Act

  • State Dominance: The Telecom Bill maintains state control without altering the colonial architecture, cleverly rewording phrases for severity.
  • Vague Definitions: Definitional vagueness in terms like "telecommunication" expands government licensing powers, potentially impacting services like WhatsApp and Gmail.
  • Surveillance State: Insertions like the undefined "national security" and biometric identification requirements contribute to a growing surveillance state.
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Editorials

Context:

The government has criticised the ‘opaque methodologies’ used by the major global credit rating agencies to arrive at sovereign ratings.

Critique of Credit Rating Methodologies

  • Opaque Assessments: Finance Ministry criticizes credit agencies for opaque and discriminatory methodologies favoring developed economies.
  • Issues with Fitch Assessment: Highlighted concerns include reliance on foreign ownership, non-transparent expert selection, and unclear parameter weights.
  • Impact on Developing Economies: Critique suggests developing nations face challenges in earning credit upgrades due to subjective assessments and arbitrary indicators.

Significance of Sovereign Ratings

  • Creditworthiness Definition: Sovereign ratings indicate a government's creditworthiness, influencing global investors and determining borrowing costs.
  • Economic Implications: Lower ratings raise borrowing costs for governments and businesses, hindering economic growth and development.
  • Developing Country Dilemma: Developing nations, rich in resources but capital-poor, struggle with poor ratings limiting their ability to borrow effectively.

Government's Methodological Criticism

  • Subjectivity Concerns: Finance Ministry questions the reliance on qualitative overlays and subjective assessments in credit rating methodologies.
  • Weighting Issues: Criticism highlights lack of transparency in conveying assigned weights for parameters, hindering a clear understanding of the assessment process.
  • Governance Indicator Controversy: Government challenges the excessive reliance on the composite governance indicator, arguing for a fairer and objective assessment approach.
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Editorials

Context:

Despite skillful diplomatic efforts, India failed to secure a position at the UNESCO table.

UNESCO Election and Global South Diplomacy

  • Unexpected Defeat: India's surprising loss to Pakistan in the UNESCO Executive Board election prompts scrutiny of its Global South diplomacy.
  • Significance of Position: Despite the Vice President's role being relatively minor, the defeat raises questions about India's influence and support among developing nations.
  • Implications for Foreign Policy: The outcome challenges the efficacy of India's efforts to align with developing countries and advocate for their interests on the international stage.

Extradition Efforts and Judicial Diplomacy

  • Kim Davy Extradition Case: India's pursuit of Kim Davy's extradition from Denmark encounters challenges, leading to questions about India's diplomatic and judicial strategies.
  • Changing Dynamics: Despite initial strain, India's relations with Denmark normalize, but progress on the Davy case remains unclear.
  • Evaluating India's Approach: The absence of public updates on the matter prompts speculation about whether India is reconsidering its pursuit of Davy, raising concerns about consistency in foreign policy.

Italian Marines Case and Citizen Protection

  • Handling Judicial Outcomes: India's response to the Italian Marines case highlights the importance of monitoring legal proceedings abroad, especially when Indian lives are at stake.
  • Mission's Role: Questions arise about the Indian Mission's involvement in the case, emphasizing the need for proactive engagement even when unable to influence foreign judicial processes.
  • Public Perception: How India addresses such cases shapes global perceptions, underscoring the significance of consistent and vigilant diplomatic actions in safeguarding citizens' interests.
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