Daily News Headlines 23-02-2022
GS 3, Front Page
India said it was watching the latest developments along Ukraine’s eastern border and Russia’s recognition of separatist states in the Donbas region “with deep concern”, but stopped short of criticising Moscow’s actions, during a debate at the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday
Panel on AFSPA removal misses ‘45-day’ deadline
GS 2,4, Front Page
A committee constituted by the Union Home Ministry in December to study the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, or AFSPA, from Nagaland, slated to submit a report within 45 days as claimed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, is yet to conclude its findings. The panel was formed in the wake of growing civilian anger against the botched ambush by an elite unit of the Army that led to the killing of 13 civilians at Oting in Nagaland’s Mon district on December 4.
Untangling Kerala’s Lokayukta controversy
GS 2, Editorial Page 6
The controversy surrounding the amendment to the Lokayukta Act of Kerala — effected through an ordinance —has raised the political temperature in the State with the Opposition accusing the Government of trying to whittle away at the powers of the Lokpal.
The State’s Lokayukta Act needs to be reexamined by an Assembly committee and brought on a par with the Lokpal Act.
Gs 3, The Editorial Page 6
Putin’s actions are aimed at wresting from the West guarantees against NATO expansion.
After weeks of ratcheting tensions, and frenetic diplomacy across Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin has played a major move by announcing formal recognition for the Donbas region enclaves (Oblasts) of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine, one which changes the course of the present diplomatic efforts.
A new measure of inflation is brewing on the horizon
Editorial Page 6
Traditional statistical practices could be getting redefined, as an initiative by British campaigner Jack Monroe shows.
Another important concern is that while the CPI corresponds to a “common man”, nobody knows who that common man is. Should we put a piece of imported chocolate, say, in the basket in the perspective of today’s India? And what should be its size? Well, as the consumption pattern widely varies across different economic classes, different CPIs may help understand how different economic layers of the society are affected by the increasing cost of commodities
Biden is risking his Indo-Pacific strategy
GS 3, Page 7, Op-Ed
At a time when America’s global pre-eminence is being severely challenged by China, the future of the present U.S.-led international order and America’s own standing are likely to be settled in the Indo-Pacific region, especially Asia. This explains why Joe Biden is the third successive U.S. President to commit to shifting America’s primary strategic focus to the Indo-Pacific. Yet, it is far from certain that he will succeed where his two predecessors failed.
Russia faces sanctions after Putin move
Gs 3, Page 11, The World
U.S. terms Russia’s troops deployment in eastern Ukraine ‘invasion’; West to announce new sanctions.
Russia faced the prospect of harsh new Western sanctions on Tuesday after President Vladimir Putin recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine and ordered the deployment of troops there, deepening Western fears of a major war in Europe
Examining the Russia-China axis
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described current relations between Russia and China as the “best in their entire history”. The biggest factor behind their current closeness is their shared discomfort with the U.S. and its allies. This has been reflected in their growing military closeness as well as their two-way trade. China in 2014 became the first foreign buyer of Russia’s S-400 missile defence system. Their joint exercises have also grown in scope. Commercial trade was up 35% to $147 billion, driven largely by Chinese energy imports. China has been Russia’s biggest trading partner for 12 consecutive years and accounts for close to 20% of Russia’s total foreign trade (Russia, on the other hand, accounts for 2% of China’s trade).