Daily Editorial Analysis for 26th February 2020

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What Delhi government can/cannot do?

Paper: II

For Mains: Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States, Issues and Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure, Devolution of Powers and Finances up to Local Levels and Challenges Therein.

Context of News:

  • Amid the violence that has rocked Delhi, a Union Territory, a key question being raised is whether or not the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi can take any action to bring law and order under control.

Provisions under which Delhi Government Function:

  • The NCT of Delhi, under Article 239 AA, has been given a special status, which gives powers of law-making and administration to an elected legislature and the council of ministers. The law, however, puts two subjects; public order and police directly under the Union government.
  • Even here, there are exceptions. Two sections of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) —129 & 130 — give the Executive Magistrate certain powers relating to “unlawful assembly”. If a group is found in unlawful assembly under Section 129 CrPC, the Executive Magistrate can issue orders to these persons to disperse. If this fails, the magistrate can use the civil force, which is the police.
  • If these efforts too fail, the Executive Magistrate, under Section 130 CrPC, can call an officer of the armed forces of the Union to disperse the assembly. This section states that it can be invoked for “public security”. Therefore, under these two limited powers, the Executive Magistrate, who reports to the Chief Minister, can issue orders relating to public security.

Functioning of Crpc 130:

  • Use of armed forces to disperse assembly:
  • If any such assembly cannot be otherwise dispersed, and if it is necessary for the public security that it should be dispersed, the Executive Magistrate of the highest rank that is present may cause it to be dispersed by the armed forces.
  • Such Magistrate may require any officer in command of any group of persons belonging to the armed forces to disperse the assembly with the help of the armed forces under his command, and to arrest and confine such persons forming part of it as the Magistrate may direct, or as it may be necessary to arrest and confine in order to disperse the assembly or to have them punished according to law.
  • Every such officer of the armed forces shall obey such requisition in such manner as he thinks fit, but in so doing he shall use as little force.

Does a full-fledged state have more powers to call the armed forces?

  • While public order and police are under the state list, the state government may request the Union government to make available armed forces to help restore public order. Even in circumstances where public disorder is not so serious as to fall in the category of an “internal disturbance” as defined in Article 355 of the Constitution, the Union Government may accede to the request.
  • it is important to note that except for the limited purpose of dispersing an “unlawful assembly” and arresting its members for which Section 130 CrPC empowers the Executive Magistrate to requisition the aid of the Army neither the state government nor any authority under it has been conferred by the Constitution any legal right to call the armed forces while dealing with a public disorder or “internal disturbance”.

Concerns Associated with Delhi Violence:

  • The Delhi Police is the best resourced police in the country. It is looked upon as a model by state police forces across the country. However, it has not covered itself with glory while dealing with recent agitations. Its response, in fact, shows a disturbing pattern. There have been extremes of action and inaction.  Police response invariably reflects the bias of the ruling party. The partisan police response to situations, which were strikingly similar, has caused dismay and consternation among the people.
  • Protest in Delhi which started as Pro and Against of CAA turned to communal tension of Hindu against Muslim with blink of eyes. Following which arm has to come on the street. This protest lead to communal flaring in minority community’s area.
  • Question is also raised against late wake up of both central and state governments, if situation was going out of the control from last 2 days and this street fight was on the paper, why enough force was not deployed as precautionary measures.

Way Forward:

  • The police are, no doubt, to blame for not being able to function in an objective and impartial manner. There is definitely a failure of leadership also. But can political parties across the spectrum escape the blame for continuing to use the police as an instrument to further their political agenda?
  • Can the media escape its responsibility for treating the police as a convenient punching bag from time to time and not taking up the cause of police reforms as aggressively as it should be doing? And, are the people of the country also not to blame for not being vocal enough about police reforms? The Supreme Court would also need to introspect as to why the implementation of its directions has been so ineffective.

India, US decide to elevate ties

Paper: II

For Mains: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Context of News:

  • US President Donald Trump, on his first State visit to India, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to elevate ties between their countries to a “comprehensive global strategic partnership”, giving it broader scope and scale.
  • Trump, who held bilateral talks with Modi at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, announced a defence deal of more than USD 3 billion under which India will buy US military equipment including MH-60R naval and AH-64E Apache helicopters.

Present Scenario of Trade between India and USA:

  • USA’s Demand:
  • India and the United States failed to arrive at a limited trade deal that was to have been announced during this visit of Prime Minister of India to the U.S. The deal stumbled over duties imposed by India on ICT (information and communication technology) products — the U.S. wanted the 20% duty on mobile phones and Ethernet switches to be reduced or eliminated.
  • USA is also demanded to have demanded greater access to the Indian market for medical devices such as stents and knee implants apart from its dairy and agricultural products. These are sensitive products politically for the Indian side.
  • India’s average tariff rate in 2018 was 17.1 per cent. The tariffs on Harley-Davidsons — a product that Trump is particularly fussed about — used to be 100 per cent. And let’s not even mention American walnuts — with a whopping 120 per cent tariff. In comparison, the US, Japan and the EU had average tariff rates between 3.4 per cent and 5.2 per cent. India’s rates are high even in comparison with other emerging market nations, Brazil, China and South Africa, all averaging between 8 per cent and 14 per cent.
  • India’s Demand:
  • India wanted the Generalized System of Preferences which gives preferential market access for its products in the U.S., restored.
  • These are so far as a “limited trade deal” goes; a full scale trade agreement would pose bigger challenges on issues such as intellectual property, e-commerce and the ticklish subject of H1B visas.
  • India want to secure its energy security by continuing importing Iranian oil .India also want to buy s400 Missile From Russia ,which is considered to be Important for India.
  • USA is not providing H-1B visas for lower-skilled jobs and nearly three out of every four H-1B visa holders are Indian citizens.Revocking H1B act can have disastrous impact of service sector of India.

Present Trade Differences between India and USA:

Undermining the multilateral system in favour of a limited trade agreement, even with a strategically important ally is the new normal of all countries around the world:

  • S.-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has been in the news from very long but, so far no concrete step has been taken so far.
  • There is also difference between both of countries in tariffs on medical devices, electronic, telecommunications and dairy products; the expiration of India’s preferential trade status under the Generalized System of Preferences.
  • Yet the more troubling aspect of this bilateral conversation is the direction that it is taking — implicitly pushing “mini trade deals” over the broader commitments made to the WTO.

Agreement made by Both Leaders:

  • President Donald Trump announced that the US will sign deals to sell the “absolute finest, state-of-the-art military helicopters” and other defence equipment to India worth $3 billion.
  • Two leaders said they looked forward to “early conclusion” of defence cooperation enabling agreements including Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) and “expressed interest in the concept of the Blue Dot Network, a multi-stakeholder initiative that will bring governments, the private sector, and civil society together to promote high-quality trusted standards for global infrastructure development.
  • The US reaffirmed support for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group “without any delay”, and the two sides supported “an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process that results in a sustainable peace; cessation of violence; elimination of terrorist safe havens.
  • Why this Defence Trade Deal is win-win for both sides:
  • Defence deals with the US are a win-win for both sides. While India is able to diversify its defence acquisition, away from dependence on legacy Russian equipment ,the US President can leverage this to create jobs in America. This deal could turn out to be the main takeaway of the visit.
  • Modi and Trump seek to elevate the bilateral relationship to a higher level:
  • The ultimate question is: What will all this lead to? There is the trade deal, but Trump’s style is to talk and talk about trade deals till he gets something really good for his side. Given the November date for the US presidential election and the crowded schedule Trump will have due to campaigning, it is more likely the deal will be signed in December than before.
  • But a deal is guaranteed. Trump went out of his way to emphasise how large a volume of trade each country has in the other. This is a mutually beneficial deal. India has suffered too long from the mistaken belief in self-sufficiency and suspicion of foreign trade.


  • India and USA at present are sharing common ground on many aspects and the need of an hour is to diversify the strategic cooperation between these countries to take their cooperation to next level that could be beneficial for other countries too.
  • The U.S. and India can also scope out areas of cooperation, including concrete initiatives: advancing the Green Climate Fund; providing technical help on shale gas exploration; cooperating on solar, wind, and hydro-power technologies; cooperating on forests policy, especially conservation and accounting; cooperating on climate resilience (drought, flood and coastal issues); and developing state-to-state and city-to-city cooperation on resilience, mitigation, monitoring and assessment.

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