15/11/2019 The Hindu Newspaper Self Analysis
SC dismisses pleas to review Rafale ruling
The Supreme Court has dismissed a review petition seeking a court-monitored criminal probe in Rafale fighter jet deal between the Indian government and France’s Dassault Aviation.
- The Rafale deal pertains to a government-to-government agreement signed between India and France to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from the French aerospace giant Dassault. The deal was signed by PM Narendra Modi during his first term in office.
- The petitioners had alleged irregularities in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault Aviation.
- The deal became controversial over allegations that the government had bypassed established norms of acquisition to sign the deal and that industrialist Anil Ambani received undue favours under the deal.
- In December 2018, the Supreme Court said it had not seen any evidence that could raise doubts over the government’s decision-making process and so, it ruled to dismiss the pleas seeking a court-monitored probe into the deal.
- The three-judge bench was presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprised Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph.
- The bench stated there was no merit in the review petition and that no probe was required in the purchase deal.
- In a unanimous verdict, the bench concluded that it was not appropriate to order a roving inquiry into the allegations.
- The petition was dismissed on the grounds that it is not within the purview of judicial review.
India is home to 77 million diabetics
The International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) Diabetes Atlas highlights the fact that one in six people with diabetes in the world is from India. The numbers place India among the top 10 countries for people with the disease, coming in at number two with an estimated 77 million diabetics.
- The ninth edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas offers projections that continue to put India at the second slot right up to 2045.
- The numbers are staggering — just over 134 million Indians will be diabetics in the next 25 years.
- India is at the top among a clutch of countries in Southeast Asia — Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Mauritius.
- The IDF has stressed the urgency to develop and implement multi-sectoral strategies to combat the growing epidemic.
- It has made it clear that India needs to pause and re-evaluate its strategy to combat diabetes.
- Diabetes, being a lifestyle disorder with multidimensional causative factors, definitely needs a multidimensional approach.
- The way ahead, all experts concurred, was a focus on prevention. It is believed that India needs a more effective national diabetes prevention programme which will require cooperation from several quarters, including medical education, health awareness in schools, and urban planning.
- Since India also has a huge burden of pre-diabetics, if efforts are made towards dissemination of information on the right lifestyle options to help keep blood sugar, lipids and blood pressure under control, at least a third could be prevented from developing diabetes.
Tariffs removal a ‘condition’ for U.S. trade deal, says China
China has said that eliminating tariffs was a condition for reaching a trade agreement with the United States, a demand U.S. President said, he had rejected.
- Beijing and Washington have been embroiled in a trade war that has weighed on the global economy, and two sides have slapped punitive tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade.
- Amid signs of easing tensions, the Chinese Commerce Ministry had said that the two sides had agreed on a plan to roll back tariffs in stages. Mr. Trump has denied that any such plan had been made.
- Trump has now warned that he could even increase tariffs further if a partial deal with Beijing failed to materialise.
- Economic data show the uncertainty created by the dispute between the world’s two biggest economies is undermining global growth.
- The International Monetary Fund has cut its global growth forecast and warned that implementing all the announced tariffs would cut $700 billion out of the world economy in 2020.
- Telecom majors feel sting of top court’s verdict on AGR
Vodafone Idea, India’s second-largest telco by number of subscribers, reported a record net loss of Rs. 50,922 crore, the largest in Indian corporate history, due to a one-time provision of Rs. 30,774.5 crore made post the Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of the Department of Telecom’s interpretation of adjusted gross revenues (AGR).
India’s requests for Facebook user data rising sharply
- According to the Transparency Report of the US-based social networking site, the Indian government’s requests for user data from Facebook increased nearly 37% in the first half of 2019, and was the second-highest globally only after the United States of America.
- Facebook responds to government requests for data in accordance with applicable law and terms of service.
- Facebook also restricted access to 1,228 pieces of content in response to legal requests from law enforcement agencies and the India Computer Emergency Response Team within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The majority of content restricted was alleged to violate local laws relating to defamation of religion and hate speech.