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Insights Daily Current Events, February 08, 2014

Deepa M


February 08, 2014


India-Pakistan bilateral trade for 2012-2013 increased

In 2012-2013 it was $2.6 billion up from previous year $1.9 billion.
Several proposals between two sides pending:

  • 24/7 trade of all goods through wagah-attari border,
  • Dismantling of negative list of 1209 items bringing down the sensitive list of items to 100 under south Asia free trade agreement
  • At present only 137 items can be traded through attari-wagah border. By eliminating Pakistan negative list it would lead to non-discriminatory market access (NDMA) for India that is most favour nation status.

Most Favoured Nation- It is status or level of treatment accorded by one state to another in international trade. The country which is recipient of this treatment must nominally receive equal trade advantages as the most favoured nation by the country granting such treatment( trade advantages include low tariffs or high import quotas). MFN is cornerstone of WTO trade law. MFN clauses have following benefits:

  • A country that grants MFN on imports will have its imports provided by the most efficient supplier.
  • Granting MFN has domestic benefits having one set of tariffs for all countries simplifies the rules and makes them more transparent.
  • MFN promote non-discrimination among countries they also tend to promote the objective of free trade.

India granted MFN status to Pakistan but Pakistan has not yet granted the status to India. Pakistan had committed in the past however there are increasing calls in Pakistan to grant the MFN to china. During negotiation for $6.64 billion bailout package from IMF Pakistan had given undertaking that it would take positive steps to grant MFN status.

UN convention on Rights of child

  • It is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, economic, political, social, helath and cultural rights of children. The convention defines a child as any human being under the age of 18. Nations that ratify this convention are bound it by international law. Compliance is monitored by the UN committee on rights of the child which is composed of members from countries around the world. Currently 193 countries have ratified.
  • Child labour in India- the Indian constitution has framework within which ample provision exist for the protection, development and welfare of children. There are a wide range of laws that guarantees children their rights and entitlement as provided in the constitution and in UN convention.
  • As part of various 5 year plans numerous programmes have been launched by the government of India aimed at providing services to children in areas of health, nutrition, and education.
  • Government of India adopted National policy for children in 1974 which lays down recommendations for a comprehensive health programmes, supplementary nutrition for mothers and children, nutrition for mothers and children, free and compulsory education upto age of 14 years etc. The policy provided for a National children’s board to act as a forum to plan, review and coordinate various services directed towards children.
  • Also government had initiated the national child labour project (NCLP) scheme in 1988 to rehabilitate working children in 12 child labour endemic districts. The objective is mainly to look after rehabilitation of child labour. Project societies at district level are fully funded for opening up special schools for child labourers. The funding is provided by central government.
  • In India there is law for children under the age of 18 should not work, but there is no outright ban on child labour. Little is being done to address the problem since economy is booming and more nuclear family is spreading increasing demand for child labourers.
  • Under UNICEF government of India specified outline means of change and improvement in child care and many trusts such as Child Line, Plannindia and savethechildren are too taking efforts to outdate child labour from India.


Power generating lagoon

  • Largest capacity of 7300 MW in Britain Swansea bay planned.
  • The Indian state of Gujarat is also planning to host south Asia first commercial scale tidal power station. The company Atlantis resources planned to install a 50 MW tidal farm in the Gulf of Kutch on India’s west coast.
  • Tidal power issues- Tidal power can have effects on marine life. The turbines accidently kill swimming sea life with rotating blades.
  • Salt water causes corrosion in metal parts. It can be difficult to maintain tidal steam generators due to their size and depth in the water.
  • The use of corrosion resistant materials copper-nickel alloy, nickel-copper alloys and titanium can reduce or eliminate corrosion damage. Mechanical fluids such as lubricants can leak out which may be harmful to marine life Proper maintenance can minimize the amount of harmful chemicals that enter the environment.


Cyber Threat from imported defense system

India faces major cyber security from imported defense products which are with snooping virus and malwares. Equipment like C-17 and C-130J super Hercules aircraft are brought from US and India has no control over the same as most foreign countries do not provide source code for the equipment. There is need to ensure that the hackers are not able to target the “critical core systems”.

Some measures:

  • Guidelines to protect systems against subversion and requires new paradigm in purchase processes.
  • DRDO developing cyber technology tools and also taken installation work of controlled networks and securing local networks. It is working on own security mobile system, development of Avdhani processors and developing its own routers operating systems and analysis systems.
  • The defence forces on their part have adopted information warfare doctrines, which include information security as vital element.
  • Development of ‘TRINETRA’ an encryption system for secure communication by Indian navy in collaboration with IIT Kanpur.
  • The dilemma of selecting an appropriate vendor has been to a large extend addressed by CII online defence directory- a web based listing of Indian software related systems and applications.
  • The private companies offer a wide base of security solutions ranging from security auditing and consulting to implementation of solution like firewalls, encryption technology and intrusion detection devices.

Holistic approach to address the issue:

  • Legislation- need to identify the minimum critical information infrastructure and secure it with utmost resolve. Critical areas include- Banking, finance, energy, transportation (railways, NHAI, civil aviation), defence, telecommunication, vital public conveniences.

A national strategy should issue guidelines and determine mandatory practices for government, defence, industry and individuals.

  • Policy- Information shall be categorized. Restricting access to internet and relying on isolated frame computers to store vital information resources.
  • Technology- Customized security solutions comprising smart cards, firewalls, intrusion detection devices, encryption algorithms, biometric systems.