Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – July 13

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1. What is Transports Internationaux Routiers Convention? How does it benefit India?(GS 2) Live Mint | The HIndu Transports internationaux Routiers convention :-

  • The multilateral international transit treaty Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets is also referred to as the TIR Convention and functions under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
  • India became the 71st signatory to this international transit system, designed to facilitate the seamless movement of goods throughout these countries in Asia and Europe..
  • The ratification is a part of India’s multi-modal transport strategy that aims to integrate the economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity.
  • The TIR Convention establishes an international customs transit system with maximum facility to move goods:
    • in sealed vehicles or containers;
    • from a customs office of departure in one country to a customs office of destination in another country
    • without requiring extensive and time-consuming border checks at intermediate borders;
    • while, at the same time, providing customs authorities with the required security and guarantees.
  • The TIR system not only covers customs transit by road but a combination is possible with other modes of transport as long as at least one part of the total transport is made by road.
  • TIR will enter into force in India six months after the date of accession

Benefits to India :-

  • It will help India access transnational multi-modal connectivity and play an important role in the proposed transportation architecture in the region and beyond in the backdrop of India recently ratifying the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • TIR will help facilitate India’s trade with its eastern and western neighbours and comes against the backdrop of China’s ambitious “One Belt One Road” initiative.
  • On the eastern front, it will help India to integrate with Myanmar and Thailand as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • On the western front, it will enable India to move cargo along the International North-South Transport Corridor via Chabahar port in Iran, to access landlocked Afghanistan and the energy-rich Eurasian region.
  • India’s decision to implement the TIR system will have far reaching benefits for trade and will save significant time and money by streamlining procedures at borders.
  • The TIR system secures customs duties and taxes and provides a robust guarantee mechanism, thereby reducing trade transaction costs, and facilitating higher growth of intra-regional and inter-regional trade.
  • TIR will also help India move goods along the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) an ambitious multi-modal transportation project established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India to promote transportation cooperation.
  • India’s decision to implement the TIR system will have far reaching benefits for trade and will save significant time and money by streamlining procedures at borders, reducing administration and cutting border waiting times.
  • The TIR Convention will also facilitate India’s current national and multilateral connectivity-related initiatives to improve cross border road transport, facilitating overland trade integration with both eastern and western neighbours. It will also help India in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which entered into force this year.
  • The Convention will help Indian traders to have access to fast, easy, reliable and hassle free international system for movement of goods by road or multi- modal means across the territories of other contracting parties,” an official statement had said in March. By joining the convention, the need for inspection of goods at intermediate borders as well as physical escorts en route shall be obviated due to reciprocal recognition of Customs controls,

2. The institution of governor is increasingly seen as an agent of centre. Critically comment on the evolution of this institution with relevant examples. (GS 2) The Hindu | Indian Express Why is governor seen as an agent of centre?

  • President appoints governor with the aid and advice of council of ministers so a neutral impartial duty by the governor is difficult .
  • Indian Constitution is silent on the manner of appointment of chief ministers by the governor when there is no clear majority by any of the contesting political parties.
    • Equally overwhelming is its silence on the conduct of floor tests in assembly/Parliament.
    • These deafening silences give the governors unyielding power.
  • Also when imposing president’s rule reserving the bill for president’s consideration gas been misused earlier like in the Arunachal Pradesh case.
  • Favoured bureaucrats and loyal political retainers were appointed to gubernatorial posts as a reward for their services
  • Over time, governors have turned into agents of the Centre, destabilising state governments..

Evolution of governor :-

  • Before 1967,the channels through which the interaction between the states and the centre took place was outside the office of the Governor as there was a single major political party and therefore they did not have much opportunity of playing an important role.
  • The Governors came into great prominence after 1967 when they were faced with difficult situation especially as no one political party could secure a clean majority. This provided Governors an opportunity to exercise their discretionary powers.
  • Numerous governors who did not belong to the ruling party were elected to power in the states.
  • Centre chose to appoint party loyalists as governors, whose only brief seemed to be the destabilisation of state governments. Soon, in contravention of all constitutional norms, the Governor became an ‘agent’ of the Central government..
  • There have been numerous instances of the powers vested in the Governor being misused. One of the more famous examples was the dismissal of the SR Bommai (Janata Dal) government in Karnataka in 1989. The then Governor refused to allow the democratically elected chief minister to prove his majority on the floor of the Assembly.
  • The same partisan attitude was displayed by the governors of Andhra Pradesh and Goa, who dismissed the respective governments.
  • Post 1990’s:-
  • New recommendations by the Punchi commission made government to appoint governors outside the state to which they do not belong.But the institution has repeatedly in the limelight for the misuse of the position
  • With the recent examples from Manipur, Goa the governor’s role has again come to the forefront.

What can be done?

  • The Sarkaria Commission had stressed that the honour and prestige of the office of Governor could be maintained only when “eminent” individuals from outside the state with no “vested” interests, were appointed to the post..
  • It is imperative that apolitical persons with exemplary professional records be considered for this post.
  • There needs to be a selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Minister of the state concerned.
    • This committee must also be legally mandated to consult eminent jurists and public intellectuals,persons who will take ethical decisions irrespective of the pressures they may be subject to.
    • Only this will ensure that Centre-State relations are free of acrimony and mistrust.

3.“The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is the attribute of strong.” For this quotation, bring out what it means to you in the present context (GS 4) Previous Year Mains Question Forgiveness :-

  • In the event of being wronged by someone, to overcome that hurt inflicted upon us by the other person and to not hold a grudge for that act is forgiveness. To let go, to leave the anger behind is forgiveness.

How is forgiveness is the attribute of the strong :-

  • When some serious acts affect you like you being victim of the crime or you have lost a loved one in the terror attacks it is very difficult for one to forgive.
  • So one should forgive for one’s own mental liberation.
  • The longer people hold a grudge, the heavier is its burden on their mind and soul.Forgiveness frees the guilty of the sin and yourself of the hatred. It helps you move on with your life with a clearer mind and a healthier heart.
  • Without forgiveness, moving forward is impossible; the future is limited, and you become stagnant. Through unforgiveness, you turn the controls of your emotional life over to someone else.There is no freedom in that.
  • In South Africa,The Truth and Reconciliation Commission established post Apartheid, invited perpetrators of violence an opportunity to give testimony and request amnesty with the idea of restorative justice and not retributive justice.

However there are some cases where forgiveness cannot be done :-

  • If the person does a mistake for first time, it may be due to his/her ignorance, so forgiving that person gives him/her the chance to correct the mistake from within. But if the mistake is deliberately repeated again and again, we by forgiving him/her are acting as per our strength of character, but he/she may perceive it as our weakness. This brings the limits to the “forgiveness”. For example it is not wise to forgive serial killer/terrorist.
  • Forgiveness can be obeyed when the issue is not impinging upon security and sovereignty of the country.

Being strong enough to free one’s Self from the prison of unforgiveness is a choice. It is a chance to be reborn, to fill your mind with peace, to heal, and move on within that energy lies unlimited strength.

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