Insights Daily Current Affairs, 26 May 2018
Topic: Women related issues.
Women Safety Division in MHA
Context: MHA has created a new Division to address issues of women safety comprehensively.
About the Women Safety Division:
- The division, headed by a joint secretary level officer, would deal with all aspects of women’s safety in coordination with the relevant ministries, departments and state governments.
- Besides dealing with crimes against women, the new division will deal with crimes against SCs and STs, crimes against children and elderly persons, the anti-trafficking cell, matters relating to prison legislation and prison reforms, all schemes under the Nirbhaya fund, Crime and Criminal Tracking and Network System and the National Crime Records Bureau.
- In order to address offences against women, particularly rape, in a time-bound manner, the division would focus to enhance capacity of the existing administrative, investigative, prosecution and judicial machinery, along with appropriate measures for rehabilitation of victims and bringing attitudinal changes in society.
- For Prelims: Women Safety Division.
- For Mains: Security of women- Challenges, issues and solutions.
Topic: 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.
Inter-State Council (ISC)
Context: Inter-State Council Standing Committee under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh completes its deliberations on Punchhi Commission report.
The recommendations in Volume VI of the Punchhi Commission report are related to Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure. The recommendations in Volume VII are related to Socio-economic Development, Public Policy and Good Governance.
Punchhi Commission notified in 2005 submitted its report in 2010. The recommendations of the Punchhi Commission, which are contained in seven Volumes pertain to History of Centre-State Relations in India; Constitutional Governance and Management of Centre-State Relations; Centre-State Financial Relations and Planning; Local Self-Governments and Decentralized Governance; Internal Security, Criminal Justice and Centre-State Cooperation; Environment, Natural Resources & Infrastructure; and Socio-Economic Development, Public Policy and Good Governance.
About the inter-state council:
What is it?
The Council is a recommendatory body to investigate and discuss subjects, in which some or all of the states or the union government have a common interest.
- Article 263 of the Constitution of India provides for the establishment of an Inter-State Council.
- It considers recommendations for the better coordination of policy and action, and also matters of general interest to the states.
- The inter-state council is not a permanent constitutional body for coordination between the states and union government. It can be established ‘at any time’ if it appears to the President that the public interests would be served by the establishment of such a council.
The Council shall consist of:
- Prime minister who is the chairman.
- Chief ministers of all states who are members.
- Chief ministers of union territories and administrators of UTs as members.
- Six union ministers of cabinet rank in the union council of ministers nominated by the prime minister are also members.
- For Prelims: Inter- state council- composition, functions and constitutional provisions.
- For Mains: Punchhi commission report- highlights.
Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
RIMPAC naval exercises
Context: The United States has decided to disinvite China from participating in the Rim of the Pacific naval exercise, held near Hawaii. The decision to withdraw the invitation extended to China was made in response to Chinese activity in the South China Sea.
China first participated in the RIMPAC exercises in 2014, as noted by The Diplomat. Back then China’s participation was lauded and viewed as a step toward cooperation. In Asia’s current climate, these exercises are especially important. Tension in both the South China Sea and East China Sea tends to increase during summer months, when activity is on the rise due to the presence of fishing and trade vessels.
What is RIMPAC?
RIMPAC is the world’s largest set of international maritime war games. The exercises occur every two years and are led by the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet, headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. They are seen as a unique opportunity for Pacific Rim nations to cooperate as they train and work together to solve problems. Also, the games are seen as a way of ensuring open access to important shipping lanes in Asia’s increasingly contested waters. The exercises are also a display of power — in the sense that participants are able to understand the technological capabilities of other participants — and thus perhaps act as a deterrent to further aggressive action.
Observer nations: Several observer nations are usually invited, including China, Ecuador, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Russia. While not contributing any ships, observer nations are involved in RIMPAC at the strategic level and use the opportunity to prepare for possible full participation in the future.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Technology missions.
Context: Food Processing Ministry to collaborate with international labs for wider acceptability of NIFTEM approved products.
- NIFTEM is the brainchild of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI)Government of India.
- It was created to cater to the needs of various stakeholders such as entrepreneurs, food processing industry, exporters, policy makers, government and existing institution.
- It works actively for assisting in setting up food standards, businesses incubation and can also include knowledge sharing.
- It would also be an apex institution in the field of food technology and management, networking and co-ordinating with other institutions in the same field in India and Abroad.
- For Prelims: NIFTEM.
- For Mains: Need for markets for Indian foods worldwide.
Biodiversity award for Arunachal reserve
Context: Singchung Bugun Village Community Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh has been awarded the India Biodiversity Award for its effort to conserve the critically endangered bird – Bugun liocichla.
About Bugun liocichla:
- Bugun Liocichla ( Liocichla bugunorum) was discovered in 2006 in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. The bird has been named in honour of the efforts of the Bugun community of Singchung village in West Kameng district in conserving the wildlife and forest of the area.
- The known population of this species is between 14 and 20 individual birds and occupies an extremely small (3 to 4 square kilometre) area in the temperate forest around 2,200m which is entirely within the traditional lands of Singchung village.
- The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has classified this species as critically endangered.
The Singchung Bugun village community reserve was formally created on February 6 last year following intensive conservation efforts by the Arunachal forest department. The SBVCR, 17 square kilometre in size, is the core area of a larger conservation area on traditional Bugun lands.
What are community reserves?
Conservation reserves and community reserves in India are terms denoting protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India.
- Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited and completely owned by the Government of India but used for subsistence by communities, and community areas if part of the lands are privately owned. Administration of such reserves would be through local people and local agencies like the gram panchayat, as in the case of communal forests.
- The 2002 Amendment to the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972) calls for a new category of protected areas, a ‘Community Reserve’ (cr).
Facts for Prelims:
India Biodiversity award is conferred annually by the National Biodiversity Authority.
- For Prelims: Community Reserves and other protected areas, Bugun liocichla.
- For Mains: WPA Act and its key features.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Indz of technology.
Context: DRDO chairman S Christopher recently said that Rustom- 2 drones will be delivered to the Indian armed forces by 2020.
About Rustom- 2:
- Rustom 2 drone is a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, developed on the lines of predator drones of the United States. The objective of this drone is to carry out surveillance for the armed forces with an endurance of 24 hours.
- The drone was developed for use by all three services of the Indian armed forces, primarily for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.
- The medium-altitude prototype can fly at over 22,000 ft and is a long-endurance (MALE) UAV that has an approximate flight time of 20 hours.
- It can fly at around 280 km/h and carry a variety of payloads like Medium Range Electro Optic (MREO), Long Range Electro Optic (LREO), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT).
- Rustom 2 can fly missions on manual as well as autonomous modes. The onboard way-point navigation system allows the drone to conduct missions autonomously.
Significance of drones:
Modern warfare is heavily dependent on drones and India had deployed its imported drones effectively during the surgical strikes it carried out across the Line of Control in Pakistan in September 2016.
- For Prelims: Key features of Rustom 2.
- For Mains: Drones- uses and challenges.
Sources: the hindu.