Insights Daily Current Affairs, 09 November 2016
Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.
‘Keep birth database to curb female foeticide’
The Supreme Court has issued 16 directives to curb sex-selective abortion in the country. These directions aims to ensure immediate and effective implementation of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act and the Rules framed thereunder.
- The Court, expressing concern over the worsening sex ratio in the country, has also said that any discrimination against women was “constitutionally impermissible”.
The court passed the verdict while disposing of a PIL by NGO Voluntary Health Association of Punjab urging it to intervene in the matter in view of decreasing number of girls-boys ratio in the country.
- All the States and the Union Territories in India shall maintain a centralised database of civil registration records from all registration units so that information can be made available from the website regarding the number of boys and girls being born.
- The information that shall be displayed on the website shall contain birth information for each District, Municipality, Corporation or Gram Panchayat so that a visual comparison of boys and girls born can be immediately seen.
- The states and UTs which do not have any incentive schemes for the girl child shall frame the same.
- If there has been violation of any of the provisions of the Act or the Rules, proper action has to be taken by the authorities under the Act so that the legally inapposite acts are immediately curbed. The courts dealing with such complaints shall be fast tracked and the concerned High Courts shall issue appropriate directions.
- Courts dealing with such complaints shall hear these matters in promptitude and submit the quarterly report to the High Courts through the concerned Sessions and District Judge.
- The Chief Justices of all the High Courts should constitute a Committee of three judges to periodically oversee the progress of these cases.
- The judicial officers who are to deal with these cases under the Act shall be periodically imparted training in the Judicial Academies or Training Institutes, as the case may be, so that they can be sensitive and develop the requisite sensitivity as projected in the objects and reasons of the Act and its various provisions and in view of the need of the society.
- The court has also directed the authorities concerned to carry out awareness campaigns on this issue and asked the State Legal Services Authorities to give emphasis on these campaigns.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
Centre extends AFSPA to check Naga factions
The Centre has decided to extend the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh. It is being extended in the districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding, all bordering Assam.
- The three districts were being declared as “disturbed area” under Section 3 of the AFSPA as “Naga underground factions including NSCN-IM and NSCN-K continue to indulge in extortion, area domination, recruitment of locals and inter-factional rivalry.”
One of the primary reasons cited by the Centre is “extortion and intimidation” by the cadres of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), who are “contriving to dominate areas hitherto occupied by NSCN (Khaplang).”
The notification has been issued even after the government signed a ‘framework agreement’ with NSCN-IM in September 2015 to find a final solution to the six-decade-old Naga issue. However, the government defends its move by saying that the ceasefire signed with NSCN-IM is only for Nagaland. It does not include Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
What is AFSPA?
AFSPA, enacted in 1958, gives powers to the army and state and central police forces to shoot to kill, search houses and destroy any property that is “likely” to be used by insurgents in areas declared as “disturbed” by the home ministry.
- The Act provides army personnel with safeguards against malicious, vindictive and frivolous prosecution.
- Security forces can “arrest without warrant” a person, who has committed or even “about to commit a cognizable offence” even on “reasonable suspicion”.
Which states are under Afspa?
It is in force in Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur (except the Imphal municipal area). In Arunachal Pradesh, only the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts plus a 20-km belt bordering Assam come under its purview. And in Meghalaya Afspa is confined to a 20-km area bordering Assam.
What are ‘disturbed’ areas?
The state or central government considers those areas as ‘disturbed’ “by reason of differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.”
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
No change in our stand on India’s NSG entry bid: China
Ahead of NSG meet in Vienna, China has said there is ‘no change’ in its stand on India’s membership bid. The development comes just days after India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, failed to reach a consensus on the issue.
What China says?
China has maintained its stand that India’s bid will only be considered if rules for entry of non-NPT countries are finalised by the elite group.
India and Pakistan, which have applied for NSG membership, have not signed the NPT.
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that may be applicable to nuclear weapon development and by improving safeguards and protection on existing materials.
- Interestingly, the NSG was set up in 1974 as a reaction to India’s nuclear tests to stop what it called the misuse of nuclear material meant for peaceful purposes. Currently, it has 48 members.
Once admitted, an NSG member state:
- Gets timely information on nuclear matters.
- Contributes by way of information.
- Has confirmed credentials.
- Can act as an instrument of harmonization and coordination.
- Is part of a very transparent process.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Indo-Japan MOU for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India has been approved by the Cabinet.
- The advancement of academic research in the field of Earth Sciences for the benefit of the peace and human welfare is the prime objective of the MOU.
- The collaboration with JAMSTEC will not only enhance capability in the field of atmospheric and climate research, ocean technology observation and hazard mitigation but also provide much needed exposure and hands-on experience to Indian scientists.
- The cooperation between parties and under Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be pursued primarily through joint survey, cruise and research and development activities, exchange of scientific visits, joint scientific seminars, workshops and meetings or exchange of information and data.
Paper 3 Topic: awareness in space.
Water detected on metallic asteroid Psyche
Scientists have detected the presence of water on Psyche, the largest metallic asteroid in our solar system and the target of a proposed NASA mission.
- New observations from the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii show evidence of water or hydroxyl on its surface.
- While the source of these molecules on Psyche remains a mystery, scientists propose a few possible mechanisms for its formation.
- Scientists say, water-rich minerals detected on Psyche may have been delivered by carbonaceous asteroids that impacted Psyche in the distant past.
Psyche is about 300 kilometre across and is made of almost pure nickel-iron metal. Located in the asteroid belt, it is thought to be the remnant core of a budding planet that was mostly destroyed by impacts billions of years ago.
Sources: the hindu.