Daily News Analysis 18th feb 2023

Hindenburg-Adani case | Supreme Court says no to sealed cover suggestions

Relevance in UPSC: General Studies paper -3:  Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development, and Employment.


The Supreme Court on Friday chose transparency over the government’s sealed cover containing “suggestions” for a committee proposed to examine Hindenburg Research’s damning report on the Adani Group, saying that public confidence would take a hit if an impression was created that the Centre was steering the process with the court’s nod.

Short selling

  • Investors borrow shares and sell them, expecting to buy them back later at a lower price before returning them to the lenders and making profits on the difference between the higher sale price initially and the lower purchase price subsequently


Two views

  • For some, short selling provides liquidity and helps price corrections in over-valued stocks. Some say it is vulnerable to manipulation

Global view

  • In all major jurisdictions, instead of prohibiting short sales, regulators permit it within a regulated framework



Centre turns focus on key G-20 meeting

Relevance in UPSC: General Studies paper -2:  Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


With the one-year anniversary of Ukraine war next week, India’s top diplomatic machinery has been working the phones and racking up air-miles to ensure a smooth G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) on March 1, less than a week later, where Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will attend.


·       Origin:

ü The G20 was formed in 1999 in the backdrop of the financial crisis of the late 1990s that hit East Asia and Southeast Asia in particular.

ü Its aim was to secure global financial stability by involving middle-income countries.

·       Objectives:

ü Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic stability, sustainable growth;

ü To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises; and

ü To create a new international financial architecture.

·       Members & guests: 

ü Members: 

§  Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

§  Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.

ü Others:

§  Each year, the Presidency invites guest countries, which take full part in the G20 exercise. Several international and regional organizations also participate, granting the forum an even broader representation.

·       Together, the G20 countries include:

ü  60 percent of the world’s population,

ü  80 percent of global GDP, and

ü  75 percent of global trade.

·       Presidency of G20 & Troika:

ü  The presidency of the G20 rotates every year among members.

ü  The country holding the presidency, together with the previous and next presidency-holder, forms the ‘Troika’ to ensure continuity of the G20 agenda.



Significance of India’s G20 Presidency

  • India’s G20 logo juxtaposes planet Earth with the lotus, India’s national flower and the theme is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘One Earth-One Family-One Future’
  • G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation representing around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
  • During the course of its G20 Presidency, India will host about 200 meetings in 32 different sectors in multiple locations across India.
  • The G20 Leaders’ Summit at the level of Heads of State/Government is scheduled to be held on September 9 and 10, 2023 in New Delhi.
  • The G-20 Presidency presents a great opportunity for India to correct the long-standing anomalies that go against developing countries, especially in the domain of agriculture and food subsidies.


India\’s G20 Priorities

  • Green Development, Climate Finance & LiFE
  • Accelerated, Inclusive & Resilient Growth
  • Accelerating progress on SDGs
  • Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure
  • Multilateral Institutions for the 21st century
  • Women-led development

Article 370 case | CJI pledges to take call on listing of pleas

Relevance in UPSC: General Studies paper -2:  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.



  • Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on Friday yet again assured that he will “take a call” about listing petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which deprived Jammu and Kashmir of its special privileges and led to the bifurcation of the State in 2019.
  • The Article 370 case has been pending in the Supreme Court for over two years. The case had not come up after a five-judge Bench refused to refer the petitions to a larger Bench in March 2020.
  • The petitions have challenged a Presidential Order of August 5, 2019 which blunted Article 370.

What is Article 370?

  • The Instrument of Accession, which Maharaja Hari Singh, the former monarch of J&K, signed in 1947, gave rise to Article 370.
  • Jammu and Kashmir was exempted from the Indian constitution by Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which was enacted on October 17, 1949, as a “temporary clause,” allowing the state to create its own constitution and restricting the legislative authority of the Indian Parliament in the territory.
  • In the draught constitution, it was proposed as Article 306A by Sir Narasimha Gopalaswami Ayyangar.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly was dissolved after creating the state constitution, and on January 25, 1957, it did so without endorsing either the abrogation or revision of Article 370, leaving the clause’s status in doubt.

Article 35 A

  • Permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir were given exceptional privileges and rights under Article 35 A, including the ability to purchase property there, preference in hiring for positions in the public sector, and other benefits.
  • According to this article, only citizens of Jammu and Kashmir who dwell there year-round are eligible to purchase real estate there and cast ballots in local elections.
  • Article 35A was repealed by the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act of 2019.
  • The Central Government will not require permission from the state’s government to implement laws once Article 370 has been successfully abrogated.
  • After Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was repealed, Article 35 A lost all of its effects. Simply put, there won’t be any distinction between J&K’s permanent residents and the rest of the state’s citizens.

Removal of Article 370

  • In accordance with the authority afforded by Clause (1) of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, the President of India issued the Constitution (Implementation to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 on August 5, 2019, repealing the special status previously accorded to Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Jammu and Kashmir no longer has its own constitution, flag, or anthem, and its population no longer has dual citizenship as a result of the repeal of Article 370.
  • Jammu and Kashmir now abides by all legislative amendments made by the parliament, including the Right to Information Act and the Right to Education Act.
  • Now that Article 370 has been abolished, Jammu & Kashmir is fully covered by the Indian Constitution and all 890 Central legislation.
  • Jammu and Kashmir was seen as being a part of India in both letter and spirit after Article 370 was repealed.
  • The Indian Constitution’s Article 370 was viewed as a temporary and ineffective provision that needed to be repealed.

Over 1,000 pangolins poached and trafficked in India between 2018 and 2022

Relevance in UPSC: General Studies paper -3:  Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.


  • International non-profit organisation TRAFFIC has reported that 50% of seizures included live pangolins and 40% involved pangolin scales, used as an ingredient in traditional medicine in China and Southeast Asia
  • World Pangolin Day observed on February 18
  • Up to 24 States and one Union Territory saw seizures of pangolins and their derivates.
  • Odisha reported the maximum number of incidents, with 154 pangolins in 74 seizures. It was followed by Maharashtra with 135 pangolins in 47 seizure incidents.
  • The publication, titled ‘India’s Pangolins Buried in Illegal Wildlife Trade’, has tracked 342 total incidents during this time period. Eight incidents of online trading were also recorded.


  • The pangolin, also called scaly anteater, is an elongated, armour-plated insectivore mammal.
  • It uses these scales as armour to defend itself against predators by rolling into a ball when threatened.
  • Also, a pangolin’s long claws help it to dig the ground for termites, which is its staple food.

Species of Pangolin

  • Seven species of pangolin are found across the world, of which, two are found in India, namely Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) and Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla).
  • The Indian Pangolin is found throughout the country south of the Himalayas, excluding the north-eastern region while the Chinese Pangolin ranges through Assam and the eastern Himalayas.
  • The Chinese pangolin is distinguished from other Asian pangolins by its almost helmeted appearance, smaller scales than the Indian pangolin.



  • It is adaptable to a wide range of habitats including primary and secondary tropical forests, limestone and bamboo forests, grasslands and agricultural fields.


  • Once known to be found in large numbers, its population is rapidly declining in its range due to habitat loss and rampant poaching for its skin, scales, and meat.
  • It is a highly trafficked mammal; due to their huge demand for medicinal purposes, pangolins are smuggled through roads and rails and sent to China.

Protection Status

  • As per International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the pangolin is part of the “red list”.
  • While the Indian pangolin is listed as “endangered” and the Chinese pangolin has been listed as “critically endangered”.
  • All pangolin species are listed in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix I.
  • In India, pangolins, both Indian and Chinese, are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
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