Summary of The Hindu 8th FEBRUARY 2024

Opposition is creating a ‘North South ‘ divide : PM

Speaking at the President thanks motion in Rajya Sabha, PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday alleged that the opposition was creating a “ North South “ divide and asked the Congress to stop divisive politics .

He was “ apparently reacting “ to the protest by Karnataka Government against the alleged “ step motherly “ treatment of the center .

PM Modi speaking his agony said .

“ Stop these new narratives “ , “ An entire state is speaking this language , nothing can be worse for a country than this … .and it is very painful that such language is emerging from a national party ….it is very sad . “

Karnataka CM Protest

Currently Karnataka CM is protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar . The Karnataka CM alleged that Karnataka and other South Indian states  were not given due share  of taxes in GST . And South Indian states were being discriminated against .

Currently the Supreme Court is hearing Kerala Govt’s petition that the center  has held more than ₹20,000 crore that needed to be disbursed to the state .

No discrimination in tax sharing with states says finance minister

Nirmala Sitharaman termed Karnataka govt’s allegation charges about inadequate tax  devolution , mischievous ; she says center has followed the fifteenth finance minister recommendation to the tax sharing with states to “ the last word “ .

Sharad Pawar faction gets a longer name day after Ajit retained NCP symbol

The election commission has given the name and symbol of the Original Nationalist Congress Party ( NCP ) to Ajit Pawar , nephew of Sharad Pawar.

Sharad Pawar  group has got a new name Nationalist Congress Party – Sharad Chablndra Pawar  ( NCP – Sharad Pawar ) , The party has got a new symbol as Banyan tree .

In July 2023 , at least 37 members  out of a total 55 members defected from NCP joining Eknath Shinde govt .

Uttarakhand assembly passes Uniform civil code

Uttarakhand assembly passed the Uniform Civil Code on Wednesday . CM Pushkar Singh Dhami termed it “ historic moment “ , Congress MLA say they are not against the bill , but it’s provisions need to be examined in detail so that flaws can be removed .

AIMPLB criticized :

All India Muslim Personal Law Board ( AIMPLB ) the body that governs personally laws of Muslims , dismissed the bill as “ mere eyewash and nothing more than political propaganda “ .

“ The bill is inappropriate , unnecessary , and against diversity . It’s real target  is only Muslims “

Under UCC “ halala “ and “ iddat “ are made punishable . Also daughters have been given equal rights in property as son . All these are against Muslim personal laws .

Can’t treat SCs as homogenous group , observes CJI led bench

A seven Judge constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y Chandrachud on Tuesday observed that scheduled castes cannot be treated as a “ homogeneous group “ for granting reservation as some may have advanced in society while others continue to remain “ particularly underprivileged “ .

The court said that diverse groups , clubbed together in the Presidential list under Article 341 ,can not be treated “ alike “ .

The SC issues hearing a petition in which states want its say in recognising subcastes .

Under Article 341 and Article 342 the President has been given power to recognise castes and subcastes for SC and ST community .

Satellite based toll collection may roll out before LS polls

The plans to implement a satellite based toll collection on highways before the model code of conduct  for the Lok Sabha election kicks in .

“ We are trying to implement a satellite based toll collection system very soon .Perhaps before the  Lok Sabha Election kicks in .”

Mr Gadakari said that Photos of the registration plate of the vehicle will be captured and and toll amount will be debited based on the actual length of the Highway traversed by the vehicle .

This will replace the Radio frequency identification based FASTags system , Till now 8.13 crore Fastag has been issued , and a penetration of 98% has been achieved .

World

30 killed in twin blast on the eve of Pakistan elections

At least 30 people were killed and more than 40 people injured on Wednesday in twin blasts targeting election offices in Pakistan’s Balochistan province , a day before the general election .

In the first blast , outside the office of independent candidate Asfandyar Khan Kakar in Pishin district killed 20 and wounded 30 . Less than one hour later a blast in the Kila Abdullah area claimed the lives of 10 people , and injured 22 .

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the two blasts .

No Israel ties without independent Palestinian state , says Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia foreign ministry said on Wednesday that it will not establish ties with Israel until an independent Palestinian state “ is recognised “ in the Gulf . The statement also said that Israeli “ aggression “ in Gaza must also stop and Israeli forces must withdraw from the seized territory ,Riyadh said .

Saudi Arabia does not recognise Israel . The USA has been trying to mend ties between Israel and SaudiArabia  for quite a time . Recently statements came from the US side that Saudi Arabia was showing positive signs to recognise Israel .

Many Arab countries used not to recognise Israel . In 2020 , the Abram Accord was signed through which UAE , Bahrain and Morocco established formal ties with Israel .

These countries used not to recognise Israel earlier .

Despite post pandemic growth , Maldives at high risk of debt distress , warns IMF

Despite strong post – pandemic growth , Maldives remains at higher risk of debt distress , the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) has warned .

“ Without significant policy changes , the overall fiscal deficit and public debt are projected to stay elevated , and the Maldives remains at risk of external and overall high risk distress . “ the IMF said . The IMF suggested Maldives go for “ urgent policy adjustment “ .

Currently Maldives Debt to GDP ratio is 115% , which is on a higher side .

During the visit to China Mr. Muizzue had sought Beijing’s assistance in the second phase of airport expansion.

China is the Maldives largest bilateral creditor .

EU and Hungry at odds  once again over country’s new ‘sovereignty ‘ law

Hungry recently passed a law , by which Hungarian authorities will be able to use Intelligence services , to investigate individuals and organizations involved in democratic and electoral processes , and allegedly receiving foreign funds .

Violation of EU values

The EU commission said the law , which came into effect in December , violated the democratic values of the EU and right of privacy of its citizens , and freedom of association among other concerns .

Hungary recently had held 54 billion dollar funding by the EU to Ukraine  which was later passed after Hungry removed its veto .

Hungry still is holding Sweden Membership in NATO

Sports

Bumrah becomes first  Indian pace bowler to top the ICC Test rankings

Text/ Context

A history of the Northern Ireland conflicts

On February 3 , Pro Irish Unity politician Michelle ‘O’ Neil from the Sein Fien party made history by becoming the first nationalist first minister of Northern Ireland .

Governance of Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is governed by a power sharing agreement which believes that power should be shared equally between various sectarian groups in the state  , in this case between pro Irish Unity faction and , called they Nationalist or Republicans , and the Pro UK faction which is called Loyalist or Unionist .

History of Northern Ireland

 Ireland got Independence from the UK IN. 1916 . However out of 32 counties in Ireland six remain with the UK forming Northern Ireland .

North Ireland was the site of a 30 year civil war between 1968 and 1998.  This was  because the Nationalist and Loyalist were at confrontation with each other . The civil war killed about 3500 people .

Good Friday Agreement

The Good Friday Agreement was to end the civil war .

Key points in the Good Friday Agreement is : –

     Northern Ireland Govt would be formed on wishes of both Republicans and Unionists and that they would share governance equally .

     Citizens of Northern Ireland can seek reunification with Ireland any time subject to a referendum

     Citizens of Northern Ireland can seek Irish or British Nationality or both .

Michelle ‘O’ Neil recently became the first Nationalist. ( Pro Irish ) first minister on February 3 . In elections her Party Sien Fihn got the highest 29 % of votes while second was DUP with 21.3% votes .

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