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India committed to boosting BIMSTEC connectivity: PM

News:

  1. PM went to nepal for fourth BIMSTEC summit

BIMSTEC – is a regional grouping, comprising India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

Important News:

  1. India commitment to BIMSTEC
  • To working with the BIMSTEC member states to enhance regional connectivity
  • To work with in critical sector and addressing issue arising of terrorism and drug trafficking.
  • Explore opportunity in trade, economic, transport and people to people connectivity.
  • Seeing BIMSTEC is the way to pursue “Neighborhood First and Act East Policy”
  • Seeking coordination and cooperation in disaster relief exercise as BIMSTEC state are located between Himalaya and Bay of Bengal and more prone to natural disaster such as flood, cyclones and earthquake.
  • Proposed Center for Bay of Bengal at Nalanda Universities for research on art, culture and other subjects.
  • To enhance its national knowledge network in the field of digital connectivity in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Myanmar and Thailand to be included.
  • Co-operation among states is required to bring peace, prosperity and development in the region.
  1. Nepal PM said, BIMSTEC is not a substitute to SAARC and both organization will complement each other.
  2. He emphasized to implement Millennium development and Poverty elevation plan.
  3. Stressing the need for deeper economic integration for speedy regional development.

 

High water discharge from China threatens Arunachal

News:

  1. High discharge of water from china is threatening to flood along river siang in arunachalpradesh.

Important News:

  1. 2 villages in Arunachal Pradesh along the river Siang are under threat of flood after China discharge water which is highest in 50 years.
  2. The Siang has already eroded 12 acres in Borguli village in East of Siang
  3. Assam has also issued the similar alert.
  4. As per the report, due to heavy rainfall in Tibet has caused high discharge of 9020 cumec (cubic meter per second) as compared to 8070 cumec of water from YarlungZangbo (Tsangpo). Incremental discharge of 950 cumec is matter of concern.
  5. India has shown the concern, besides talking to China an effective measure is need of an hour to tackle the situation.
  6. Central water commission need to watch the level of water closely, as it holds the importance at National, International and Local level strategically and geographically.
  7. High level of water in Siang can also impact Bangladesh.
  8. It seems the water is discharged suddenly from man-made dam which was formed due to landslips caused by earthquake in Tibet region of China.
  9. India concern was needed as it has a potential to cause disaster at large scale once collapse.

 

‘Pan-India reservation rule applies to Delhi’

News:

  1.  Supreme Court held that the reservation is state pacific.

Important Facts:

2. Five judge constitution bench held, a person belonging to a SC/ST in one State cannot be deemed to be a Scheduled Caste person in any other State to for the purpose of employment or education.

3. Benefits of reservation provided by the Constitution would confined to the geographical territories of a State/Union Territory.

4. According to Supreme Court also said for Delhi Pan-India reservation rule applies in accord with constitutional scheme.

5. Means people belonging to Scheduled Casts (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) and migrated to the Delhi from other states cannot be denied benefit of the reservation in government jobs.

6. However Justice Banubhati of the same bench has expressed differed views and said, the reservation in employment should be provided only to those SC/ST specified for the respective Union Territories.

 

The fear of a black flag

News:

  1. Zero tolerance by the state against political activism.

Important Facts:

2. Recently the two girls from Allahabad University was arrested and beaten for an act of waving black flag in protest against the state government treatment.

3. Same incident happened last year, where a student from UP had to spend more than a month in a Jail for weaving back flag.

4. It also led to denial admission in colleges and universities to student involved into protest which makes the mockery of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao“campaign.

5. According to author Waving black flag is considered to be the safest form of non-violent protest.

6. It does not include dharna, public rally or a rousing speech. All of which are protected under the Indian constitution.

7. Black Flag protest require lone individual and a piece of black cloth as compared to good number of likeminded people, coordination and resources in other form of protest.

8. It doesn’t even need publicity or mass media to build pressure as in case of hunger strike.

9. In last author raised a concern about state action against such form of protest

 

Speeding up the adoption process

News:

  1. Delay in issuing child adoption order by court.

Important Facts:

2. As per an audit report of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights,only 8 special child adoption agencies got positive reviews out of 208.

3. It has also been observed that due to heavy load, court is delaying in issuing adoption orders.

4. Due to pending of 629 cases in court, children continue to stay in childcare institutions even after getting family.

5. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill of 2018, proposes to amend the act to empower District Magistrate to issue adoption order instead of courts.

6. It will ensure fast track process of adoption and provide orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children with family care and protection.

7. The juvenile Justice Act of 2015 dealing with adoption seems to be in conflict with the interest of children in need because it was drawn from

  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The United Nations Millennium Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1985 (the Beijing Rules),
  • The United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (1990)
  • The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Inter-country Adoption (1993) and other related international instruments.

8. Some important sections the Act.

  • Section 56 (1) – To ensure right to family.
  • Section 63 – Adoption is final once the court order is issued.
  • Section 61 (2) – Court proceeding of adoption shall be held in camera and court to dispose the case within 2 months.

 

No troops to Afghanistan, says China

News:

  1.  China helping Afghanistan to enhance counterterrorism capacity.

Important facts:

2. China defence Ministry has said, it was not sending troops or setting up military base in Afghanistan.

3. However the Ministry has acknowledged China was supporting Afghanistan to develop its defence and counterterrorism capacity

4. Earlier the China has said, it has started construction of Military base and will deploy one battalion troops however in later report it says China was helping Afghanistan set up a mountain brigade to boost its counterterrorism capacity.

5. And now China cleared there will be no military personal on Afghan soil.

6. According to a spokesperson, China and Afghan had “normal military and security cooperation”.

7. Now, China to provide financial assistance, all material and technical expenses, weaponry, uniforms for soldiers, military equipment and everything else necessary to build a military base inside Badakshan.

8. Counterterrorism effort will not be confined to Badakshan but entire North Afghan region.

9. Concern is, largest group of Uighur militants already resides in Badakhshan and can easily move to China impeding China’s belt and road initiative.

10. There was a plan to build route between Xinjiang and Tajikistan and Tajikistan and Afghanistan to connect to west Asia.

 

Russia, China set to launch joint military exercises

News:

  1.  China and Russia to conduct joint exercise VOSTOK.

Important Facts:

2. China and Russia conducting giant 5 days military exercise in sept 2018.

3. Mongolia will be the third country to participate.

4. The exercise will be bigger than Zapad 81 carried out in Eastern Europe by the former Soviet Union in 1981.

5. Joint exercise is a clear indication to USA in response to

  • National security strategy
  • Presence of NATO in South China Sea in Taiwanese Straits
  • Permanent USA troops on Russia western border.
  • The intentions of US as ‘hegemonic power’ for safeguarding peace and stability of the region and the world.

6. China and Russia has been named “revisionist powers” by USA

7. Facts about Vostok-2018

  • Will involve 300,000 troops.
  • Will engage tri-service mock-operations, involving 1,000 military aircraft, two of Russia’s naval fleets and all its airborne units
  • 36,000 military vehicles will participate in the drills at Russia’s Tsugol training range in the trans-Baikal region.
  • China will dispatch about 3,200 troops, along with more than 900 pieces of weaponry.
  • 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters of China

8. Last year Both Russia and China has also concluded joint Missile Exercise.

9. Russia has also said, nuclear conflict either Russia or china will naturally involve both.

10. Upcoming exercise is a clear indication of deepening “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”.

11. US National defence strategy has said Russia and China as “principle strategic challenges” to the U.S

12. US said,primary focus of US is to deal with competition of power and not terrorism.

13. However such exercises will defeat the purpose of escalating pressure by USA on Russia and China.

 

Pride and foreign aid

Article:

  1.  Happymon Jacob, has talked about the India’s argument in context of Foreign aid for Kerala disaster.

Important Analysis.

2. According to author it is unfortunate that central government has declined UAE and other countries offer for Kerala disaster relief.

3. This reflects the poor judgement, bad vision and goes against the cooperative federalism.

4. Moreover, the hostile attitude towards foreign funded NGO reflect sense of insecurity.

5. Arguments to justify the Government decision.

Policy Precedent

  • 2004 policy did not allow to accept foreign aid in times of natural disaster.
  • It says the state can deal with the situation on its own.
  • Author argue that according to then PM statement this policy doesn’t restrict completely but sought help if needed
  • Various document since 2004 have suggested, the government may or may not accept the help during emergencies.
  • NDMP plan 2016 says the government may accept the offer, if made voluntary by another country as a goodwill gesture.
  • National Policy on Disaster Management of 2009 and Disaster Management of Act 2005 allows to accept the coordination from foreign countries.
  • 2009 Policy also says disasters do not recognize geographically boundaries.

6. Another set of arguments falls in context of National Pride.

  • India is not a poor country anymore and doesn’t need any charity.
  • Statement is misleading as it clearly indicates only poor countries take help. But USA has accepted the help from India in 2005 to deal with Hurricane disaster and China took during Sichuan earthquake.
  • It’s been a routine, country dealing with the disaster have accepted the emergency aid irrespective of how rich or poor they are.

7. Next argument says, India being a self-sufficient country do not need any help to deal with natural disaster.

8. But in contrary to this central government has provided only a fraction of assistance despite repeated appeal by Kerala state government and clearly indicated the lack of sufficient fund with center.

9. Another argument is, foreign aid or loans from Western Nation or World Bank will demand India to restructure its economy and government priorities.

10. But there is fundamental difference between funding and humanitarian assistance.

11. Malayali people are important for development in UAE and acceptance of its assistance on humanitarian crisis will only make the bonding strong.

12. On one side government is restricting the operation of foreign funded NGO by enabling Foreign Contribution regulation Act, it recently amended the FCRA to allow foreign funding for political parties.

13. The last argument involve how the monetary aid will help in the absence of administrative capacity for proper distribution, reconstruction and governance.

14. Without focused governance monetary aid could even make the situation worst.

15. It has been argued government decision without consultation from state goes against the spirit of Federalism.

16. India should not seek regular foreign aid, but at the time of humanitarian crisis it should accept as China, US and Japan did in the past.

17. A sensible, practical and empathetic guidelines are required to deal with receiving aid in case of emergency.

 

Law Commission calls for re-think on sedition clause

News:

  1. Law commission either to repeal or redefine section 124A of Indian Penal Code.

Important Facts:

2. Commission is center’s top most advisory body on Laws headed by Former Supreme Court Judge.

3. It has said criticism and Dissent of government are essential ingredients of healthy debate.

4. Supreme Court says dissent is the safety valve of democracy.

5. Commission has recommended to repeal section 124A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) or either redefine it.

6. Charges against sedition are imprisonment of 3 years to life term.

7. Important argument of commission against section 124A involved

  • It is against the fundamental right of speech and expression.
  • It was introduced by British to suppress Indians.
  • British themselves have abolished the law.

8. Commission also said frustration over the state cannot be considered as an act of sedition.

9. Person should not be charged for merely expressing thoughts against government and government should be open to valid criticism.

10. Right to criticise one’s own history and the right to offend are rights protected under free speech

11. National security is important but it should not be used to curb the freedom of speech.

 

Panel’s draft bats for simultaneous polls

News:

  1. Simultaneous election to Lok Sabha and State assembly, recommended by Law Commission.

Important Facts:

2. Recommendations are based on positive and negative public suggestions.

3. Bare minimum constitutional amendment with consent of state will be required to achieve it.

4. Elections to 12 State Assemblies and one Union Territory (with legislature) can be synchronised with the general elections in 2019.

5. Political will and state acceptance can make it possible.

Benefits:

  • Help government to focus on developmental activities.
  • Reduce financial burden on government.
  • Better implementation of government policies on time.
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