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Friday, 9 February 2018

The Hindu Editorial : In Different Courts

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The Hindu Editorial : Biologics, Patents And Drug Prices

Title: In Different Courts

(Selective judicial activism is now seen as the dominant force against democratic representation in Pakistan)
The deposed former Prime Minister of Pakistan, who has been debarred (perhaps for life) from public office by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, is not just fighting back, but has been reinvigorated by the huge public response that he has been receiving in jalsas across the country, as he takes his case to the people with elections due in the next few months.

• There is still some confusion whether Mr. Sharif has been barred for life or for a number of years.

• It is not only Mr. Sharif who has been removed from the Prime Minister’s Office by the Supreme Court in recent years — in 2012 so was Yousuf Raza Gilani of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), who had been elected following Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.

• With Pakistan dominated by the military for many decades, all conspiracy theories regarding changes in government, or the dismissal of Prime Ministers, naturally land on the military’s door. Hence, many retired generals and analysts stated, without offering any proof, that Mr. Sharif's dismissal by the Supreme Court was on the behest of the military, rather than a decision made independently by the court.

• Under a notion of the ‘Doctrine of Necessity’, the Supreme Court legitimised the three military takeovers — in 1958, 1977 and 1999. Each time, while the military regime differed as did its actions, the Court came to support such anti-democratic intervention, allowing ample space for military rule in Pakistan.

• Perhaps the key test of how independent the judiciary really is, whether its pro-democracy credentials are substantive and how much respect and trust it truly deserves, rests on how the Musharraf case is addressed.

Title: Big discoveries have small origins

• (One route to help the cause of science is to provide more funds for small-scale research projects)

• The Economic Survey carries an entire chapter on transforming science and technology in India. It calls for doubling research and development expenditure from its current level of about ₹1 lakh crore, amounting to 0.8% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Even if instantly doubled through a miraculous diktat, it would still lag behind China, Israel, Japan and the U.S., each spending more than 2% of their GDP on research.

• Seminal innovations often result from the efforts of scientists working alone or in small groups with a tight budget rather than in well-funded mega projects.

• In 2012, the discovery of Higgs boson had its humble origins in seminal theoretical works of several scientists, including Peter Higgs, working independently.

• Google began as an innovative mathematical idea of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, funded by modest grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), at Stanford University.

• Through the 1960s, Vikram Sarabhai was experimenting with simple sounding rockets that ultimately grew into the Indian Space Research Organisation of today, that we can justifiably be proud of.

• In this year’s Budget, the ₹27,910 crore allotted to science ministries, ₹900 crore, or 3.22%, is earmarked for basic science projects to be disbursed as competitive research grants by the statutory body, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB). In comparison, the apex body for medical research in the U.S., the National Institutes of Health, alone disbursed $25 billion as research grants in 2017, representing 36% of the country’s non-defence science budget.

• In India, as elsewhere, a significant fraction of the science budget goes to mission-oriented projects in the areas of defence, space, nuclear and environmental sciences.

• The mission-oriented work in these areas need not be diluted to favour small research grants.

• Nearly every big science venture of today began as a budding small idea yesterday.

• It is imperative to incentivise the small ideas as some of them might ultimately scale up to join the big league. One route to help the cause of science is by provisioning more funds for small-scale research projects as well. The Economic Survey offers that glimmer of hope.

Vocabulary words:

Dominant (adj) = Having power or influence over others (प्रभावशाली)

Depose (verb) = Remove from office suddenly and forcefully (उपदस्थ करना)

Debar (verb) = Exclude officially from doing something (वंचित)

Reinvigorate (verb) = Give new energy or strength (फिर से जान डालना)

Stipulate (verb) = Demand, specify (निर्धारित)

Posit (verb) = Put forward as a fact for argument (तथ्‍य मान लेना)

Dismissal (noun) = Discharge (बरख़ास्तगी)

Assassination (noun) = Murder, killing (हत्या)

Diatribe (noun) = A forceful and bitter verbal attack (अभियोगात्मक भाषण)

Behest (noun) = A person’s order or command (आदेश)

Speculation (noun) = The forming of a theory without firm evidence (चिंतन)

Notion (noun) = Belief, concept (धारणा)

Doctrine (noun) = Theory, principle (सिद्धांत)

Complicit (adj) = Involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong

Articulate (verb) = Pronounce clearly or distinctly (साफ़ साफ़ बोलना)

Trample (verb) = Tread on and crush (रौंदना)

Condone (verb) = Take no notice of (ध्यान न देना)

Bravado (noun) = A bold manner to impress (साहस प्रदर्शन)

Intervention (noun) = Involvement (हस्तक्षेप)

Recede (verb) = Retreat (पीछे जाना)

Denude (verb) = Debar, shear (वंचित करना)

Hegemony (noun) = Leadership (नेतृत्व)

Treason (noun) = The crime of betraying one’s country (राज-द्रोह)

Inflexion (noun) = Swing (मोड़)

Affront (noun) = Insult (अपमान)

State of the Day: Arunachal Pradesh

• Chief minister = Pema Khandu

• Governor = BD Mishra

• Capital = Itanagar

• Major rivers =Kameng, Subansiri,

• Siang, Dibang, Lohit, Dehang

• National Parks = Namdapha National

Park, Mouling National Park

• It is known as ‘Land of the Rising Sun’

• It is also known as ‘Orchid State of India’ 

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