1.Prejudice makes no distinction (The Hindu)
2.Towards a zero defect India (Mint)
3.Scottish Independence Referendum
1.Prejudice makes no distinction (The Hindu)
Synoptic line: It throws light on the issue of violence faced by Indian diaspora and the role they should adopt.(GS paper II)
- Indian diaspora especially in USA are witnessing racial attacks lately. It is a grave mater of concern as it can lead to new trend of targeted violence overseas.
- To fight such as issue American Indians or Indians as a whole in every lot of country should engage with civil societies and NGO(s) to disseminate the issue more seriously.
Status of Indian Diaspora:
- According to a survey survey conducted by the UN department of economic and social affairs (DESA) in 2015, India has the largest population of diaspora living abroad (approx. 16 mn.)
- Indian diaspora is also one of most affluent class of diaspora as a relatively young immigrant group (87.2% being foreign born) at 1% of the population (around 3 million), we could claim to have the highest per capita income ($88,000 median household income compared to all U.S. median at $49,800)
- Moreover, Indian origin residents have the highest levels of education (70% of those age 25 and older with college degrees, two-and-a-half times the figure for overall population) of any ethnic group.
Hate crimes against Indians
- India have witnessed hate crimes in various host countries such as UK, Australia and USA to name a few.
- It is not a new phenomenon as when Rabindranath Tagore entered the US from Canada in 1929, he was subjected to humiliation which made him cancel his tour and depart at once.
- Often, the attacks are directed against the religious identity (which is often mistaken with Muslims as few years back a Sikh man was shot as the attacker confused him as Muslim) because racism treats all people of a particular colour or ethnicity as an undifferentiated mass, “erasing individuality, distinctiveness and humanity.”
How Indians should respond
- Indian class of people living abroad has constantly attached themselves to their homeland which is good but Indian should be more politically active to espouse plight of Indians living abroad.
- Indian-Americans are not supposedly strengthening their roots in America, not getting involved enough in the civic organisations in America, and not engaging enough in the American issues of the day. The stakes have become dangerously high and the are needed urgently especially in the light of recent hate crimes against South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Jewish communities.
- Response against this issue has to be layered as government should engage diplomatically with the host country while people living there should form the alliances to put their issue more seriously.
- India should also practice what it preaches as India also witnessed various ethnic crimes against Africans living in India. Hence, we should also curtail this behavior at home to set an example for other countries to follow.
- Cultural and religious sensitization should be increased in host countries and masses should be educated about the immense value and benefits that immigrants bring with them. Cultural exchange programs should be enhanced to create an awareness about the rich culture of India.
- Soft power diplomacy should be pursued rigorously to create an amicable environment for Indians living abroad.
2.Towards a zero defect India (Mint)
Synoptic line: it throws light on the need of efficient quality standards authority to promote the high quality manufacturing in India. (GS III)
- India is inching towards being a world manufacturing hub. Growth is to be driven via Industries and the initiatives like “Make in India” are steps in this regard.
- However, Industries should deliver high quality goods if India wants to be the next “China”. India is trying to achieve such high quality manufacturing with mottos such as “Zero defect Zero effect” but certain more steps are needed at regulatory front.
- India is on the threshold of major reforms and is poised to become the third-largest economy of the world by 2030. India offers the 3 ‘Ds’ for business to thrive – democracy, demography and demand.
- However, manufacturing sector in India constitutes around 17 per cent to GDP whereas in China, manufacturing sector contributes to 36 per cent of GDP and in Thailand it is 35 per cent.
- Hence, “The Make in India” (MII) initiative is essentially to create the right environment for manufacturing sector to grow alongside scaling up.
Zero defect Zero effect
- The extended domain of MII also covers the policy measures under “Zero defect Zero effect “which means that Indian growth will cause least damage to the natural environment (zero effect) and the products and services produced in India will conform to the highest quality standards (zero defects).
- This mild looking phrase has very broad implications for India’s industry.
- A high-quality product is an acknowledgment to the capacity of the domestic industry to absorb technology and use advanced skills of production at par with global standards. It prepares the domestic industry for connecting with global supply chains.
- It is also a tribute to the sensitive consumer, who has become important as the middle class expands. These arguments add value proposition to the adoption of high standards in our manufacturing and service industries.
Requirement of Unique standards architecture
- Industrial regime cultivated over decades in a protectionist environment is bound to shy away from a high-quality assurance ecosystem. While it will encourage the imposition of such a system on others, it would prefer to keep itself out.
- It will seek to avoid subscribing to an allegedly high-cost quality regime, argue that such a system will create disincentives in a price-sensitive market.
- An important way in which Indian industry can fight its present low competitiveness is by pushing high-quality products in the global market.
- Thus, a strong need arises to have an independent and Unique standard architecture to sustain a high growth trajectory.
- However, Strong industry resistance has not allowed the adoption of such an ecosystem. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the central agency for development of product and service standards. It has assumed the role of a certification, conformity assessment and even accreditation agency, defying the principle of conflict of interests.
- Several other agencies responsible for sectorial standards notify their standards under the BIS Act.
- The Quality Council of India is jointly promoted through industry-government cooperation. It has ambition but lacks teeth. The unitary structure, and sensitivity to human health, has allowed FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) to evolve a relatively effective architecture.
- Hence, it is evident that there is an environment of inconsistency and incoherence. This does not reflect well upon India in the context of the global quality ecosystem. And it is often interpreted as a manipulable and weak system.
- India must institutionalize a “National Mission on Quality”. The mission would create a “National Standards Coordination Agency” integrating all the vertical institutions on the subject at a higher level of control and direction.
- In an emerging economy, the continued involvement of the state in core functions of quality assurance is necessary. The mission would create an enabling legislation for a globally contemporary standards ecosystem for products and services, and roll out a vision on quality.
- Above all, it would promote a major area for investment from the private sector. This will be an important step towards making a zero-defect India.
Scottish Independence Referendum
- Scotland is demanding independence from United Kingdom to become an independent sovereign state.
History of Scotland in United Kingdom
- The Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England were established as independent countries during the Middle Ages. After fighting a series of wars during the 14th century, the two monarchies entered a personal union in 1603 (the Union of the Crowns)
- The two nations were temporarily united under one government but this was dissolved when the monarchy was restored in 1660.
- Scotland and England again united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Great Britain in turn united with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Most of Ireland left the Union in 1922 to form the Irish Free State; consequently, the full name of the United Kingdom since 1927 is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- For all practical purpose, UK comprises – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Scottish Referendum for Independence:
- The First Scottish national referendum was held in 2014. Voters were asked to answer either “Yes” or “No” to the question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” 55.3% of voters answered “No” and 44.7% answered “Yes”.
- Thus, first referendum resulted in favour of Scotland being a part of Kingdom.
- Now, the second Scottish referendum is mooted to decide the fate of Scotland.
- However, recent developments seem to have hardened public sentiment against continuing in the United Kingdom among the Scots, who had voted overwhelmingly in June 2016 to remain in the EU.
- Now, the greatest political challenge for the Conservative government in England as it acts to take Britain out of the EU is to put forward a coherent and convincing case for Scotland to remain in the U.K.
- The “Yes” camp puts forward 10 reasons to vote “yes” in Scotland’s Referendum for Scottish Independence such as making a fairer Scotland by moving all powers to Scotland, getting the government Scots choose, no more building nuclear power plants, securing oil funds in the North Sea, having resources and finances to become independent and creating more jobs among others. These are the benefits for an independent Scotland.
- Also, the old U.K. might lose its right to have a seat on the U.N. Security Council if Scotland and the new U.K. become two new states. Some commentators do not believe that it will be an issue as a new U.K. would retain the greater share of the population (92 percent) and territory (68 percent) of the old U.K. Yet it is highly possible that this issue will be exploited by Britain’s rivals in the forthcoming days.