9 PM Current Affairs Brief – December 2nd, 2019

Explained:What is Inner Line Permit, and will it address N-E states’ concerns over CAB

News:Union Home minister has said that the Citizenship Amendment Bill,2016 would provide protection to such regions and states where the Inner Line Permit (ILP) is applicable.


About Inner Line Permit(ILP):

  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the government of India.It is required by Indian citizens residing outside certain protected states while entering them.
  • The aim of the ILP is to regulate movement to certain areas located near the international border of India.
  • The origin of ILP dates back to the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873.
  • The regulations prohibited British subjects or Indians from entering certain protection areas (such as areas with tea, oil and elephant trade). In 1950, the word British subjects was replaced by Citizens of India.
  • Currently,the ILP is in force in (a)Arunachal Pradesh (b)Mizoram and (c)Nagaland.

About Citizenship Amendment Bill,2016:

  • The citizenship amendment Bill amends the Citizenship Act,1955 to make illegal migrants who belong to certain religious minorities (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians) from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.
  • The Bill seeks to reduce the requirement of 11 years of continuous stay in the country to six years to obtain citizenship by naturalization for these communities belonging to these 3 nations.
  • The Bill also provides that the registration of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders may be cancelled if they violate any law.

How Citizenship amendment bill has a connection with Inner Line Permit(ILP):

  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill aims to make it easier for non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to obtain Indian citizenship.
  • If the bill is implemented with provisions for excluding from its ambit the states under the ILP regime, it means that beneficiaries under CAB will become Indian citizens but will not be able to settle in these three states.

20th Edition of Hornbill Festival begins in Nagaland

News:The 20th Edition of Hornbill Festival has started in the state of Nagaland.


About Hornbill festival:

  • The Hornbill Festival is a celebration held every year in Nagaland.The festival is also called the ‘Festival of Festivals’.
  • The festival is organized by the Nagaland State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments.
  • The festival aims to encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote culture through colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies.
  • The festival is named after the Great Indian hornbill,the large and colourful forest bird which is displayed in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes.
  • The festival was established in 1963 and was inaugurated by the then President Dr. S Radhakrishnan.The festival was held for the first time in 2000.

About Great Indian Hornbill:

  • The Great Indian Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) also known as the great pied hornbill is one of the larger members of the hornbill family.
  • The bird is the state bird of Kerala and Arunachal Pradesh.But it is not a state bird of Nagaland.
  • The bird is listed as vulnerable species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.
  • The bird is predominantly fruit eating but is an opportunist and preys on small mammals, reptiles and birds.
  • The impressive size and colour of the bird have made it important in many tribal cultures and rituals.
  • The bird is threatened by (a)Logging (b)Forest clearance for agriculture (c)susceptible to hunting pressure among others.

6 European nations join Iran barter system

News:Recently,six European countries have joined the barter mechanism called INSTEX which is designed to circumvent US sanctions against trade with Iran by avoiding the use of dollars.


What is INSTEX:

  • The Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges(INSTEX) is a payment mechanism set up by the governments of France, Germany and Britain to secure trade with Iran and circumvent US sanctions.
  • This mechanism was established after the US had pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions on Iran.
  • It is registered at Paris,France with an initial 3,000 Euros in the capital and a supervisory board with members from France and Germany and chaired by the UK.
  • The mechanism is expected to receive the formal endorsement of all 28 EU members.

How will INSTEX work?

  • The new entity acts as a sort of euro-denominated clearing house for Iran to conduct trade with European companies.
  • In effect, the new trading mechanism works as a barter arrangement operating outside of the US-dominated global financial system.
  • However, initially it will be used for non-sanctionable trade including humanitarian goods such as medicine, food and medical devices.

Significance of the mechanism:

  • This mechanism is the first concrete step by the EU to counter Trump’s unilateral decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal.
  • The backing of France, Germany and Britain to this mechanism could help reduce the likelihood of further U.S. sanctions.It may also encourage the private companies to join the mechanism.

Additional information:

About Iran Nuclear Deal:

  • Iran Nuclear deal is also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • The deal was signed in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group (US,UK, France, Russia, China and Germany).
  • The deal restricts Iran’s nuclear programme,in return for lifting most economic sanctions against it.
  • Iran had stopped complying with some commitments in the 2015 nuclear deal after the United States had unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 and renewed sanctions on Iran.
  • The US had also stepped up its pressure on Iran by ending exemptions from secondary sanctions for countries such as India from buying Iranian oil.This move crippled the Iranian government’s principal source of revenue.

Explained: What Fundamental Duties mean

News:Recently, the Prime Minister, President and Vice President have said that citizens should remember their fundamental duties as they remember their fundamental rights.


About Fundamental Duties:

  • The Fundamental Duties were incorporated in Part IV-A of the Indian Constitution by the Constitution 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 during the time of Emergency.
  • The concept of Fundamental Duties has been taken from the Constitution of Russia.
  • The idea behind their incorporation was to emphasise the obligation of the citizen in exchange for the Fundamental Rights that he or she enjoys.
  • Currently,there are 11 Fundamental Duties described under Article 51-A, of which 10 were introduced by the 42nd Amendment and the 11th was added by the 86th Amendment in 2002.
  • However,these fundamental duties are statutory duties and are not enforceable by law.But a court may take them into account while adjudicating on a matter.

The Eleven Fundamental Duties:

  • To abide by the constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem
  • To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom
  • To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India — it is one of the preeminent national obligations of all the citizens of India.
  • To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so
  • To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women
  • To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture — our cultural heritage is one of the noblest and richest, it is also part of the heritage of the Earth
  • To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures
  • To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform
  • To safeguard public property and to abjure violence
  • To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement
  • Who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

Additional information:

Other changes made under 42nd Amendment Act:

  • Apart from adding the Fundamental Duties(FD),the 42nd Amendment also changed the Preamble to the Constitution to include the words ‘Socialist and Secular’ to describe India.This is in addition to its being ‘Sovereign Democratic Republic’.
  • Several new ‘Directive Principles’ were added and given precedence over Fundamental Rights.
  • Further,the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts to review constitutionality of the laws was curtailed.
  • The High Courts were also prohibited from deciding on the constitutional validity of central laws.
  • A new Article 144A was inserted prescribing a minimum of seven judges for a Constitution Bench, besides stipulating a special majority of two-thirds of a Bench for invalidating central laws.

Changes of 42nd Amendment which are still in effect:

  • In 1977,the 43rd Amendment restored the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts to review the constitutional validity of laws.
  • The 44th Amendment changed the grounds for declaring Emergency under Article 352 substituting internal disturbances with armed rebellion besides requiring of the President that he shall not do so unless the decision of the Union Cabinet is communicated in writing to him.
  • Right to Liberty was strengthened by stipulating that detention under the Preventive Detention Act shall not be for more than two months.
  • Right to Property was converted from a Fundamental Right to a legal right, by amending Article 19 and deleting Article 31.

To track economic offenders, India to collate e-database

News:The Central Government is preparing a comprehensive database of economic offenders called the National Economic Offence Records(NEOR).


About National Economic Offence Records(NEOR):

  • The National Economic Offence Records(NEOR) will be a web portal that will disseminate information to grassroots level officers of enforcement and investigating agencies.
  • The database will help in coordinated actions by multiple agencies against corrupt officials and corporate houses indulging in financial frauds and money laundering.
  • The database is being prepared by the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB),an arm of the finance ministry along with National Informatics Centre(NIC).

Which agencies are included in the database?

  • All agencies including CBI, Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax, Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence have been asked to regularly update the portal from their nationwide offices.
  • In addition to central agencies, the economic offences wing of state police and other agencies will also have to participate in the NEOR.
  • The individual database of these agencies will be automatically incorporated into the NEOR through specific software application.

What is the present mechanism?

  • Currently,the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) runs a captive database called Secured Information Exchange Network(SIEN).
  • The SEIN operates on intranet (not available online) and information on economic offenders are shared with headquarters of 13 select central agencies.

Additional information:

About Central Economic Intelligence Bureau(CEIB):

  • Central Economic Intelligence Bureau(CEIB) was setup in the year 1985 under Department of Revenue,Ministry of Finance.
  • It is the nodal agency for economic intelligence mandated to ensure effective interaction and coordination among all the concerned agencies in the area of economic offences.
  • It is headed by a Director General who carries the designation of Special Secretary to the Government of India.

About National Informatics Centre(NIC):

  • The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is an institute set up by the Indian government in 1976 to drive its technology and e-governance initiatives in the country.
  • The institute is part of the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s Department of Electronics & Information Technology.
  • NIC has the mandate to set up, implement and support all the information technology led-programs of the central and state governments and other government organizations in India.

Operation ‘Clean Art’ to crackdown on illegal trade in mongoose hair

News:Recently,Operation Clean Art was conducted in India to ensure that the mongoose hair brush trade be closed down across the country.


About Operation Clean Art:

  • Operation Clean Art was the first pan India operation to crackdown on the smuggling of mongoose hair in the country.
  • It was conceived by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) with the aim of ensuring that the mongoose hair brush trade should be closed down across the country.

About Mongoose:

  • Mongooses belongs to the Herpestidae family.They are commonly found in the open forest, cultivated land and close to human habitation.
  • There are six species of mongoose found in India which are (1)Indian grey mongoose (2)Small Indian mongoose (3)Ruddy mongoose, (4)Crab-eating mongoose (5)Stripe-necked mongoose and (6)Brown mongoose.
  • The mongoose are listed in Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 making its hunting, possession, transportation and trade a punishable offence.
  • They are listed as Least Concern in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.
  • The Mongoose hair is in high demand among artists worldwide because of the quality of brushes they help create which define lines clearly and hold paint properly.

Additional information:

About Wildlife Crime Control Bureau(WCCB):

  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is a statutory body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment and Forests to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
  • It assists the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of the Wild Life Protection Act, CITES and EXIM Policy governing such an item.

Functions of WCCB:Under Section 38(Z) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act,1972, it is mandated to

  • To collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities and to disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies.
  • To establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank.
  • To coordinate actions by various agencies in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of the Act
  • To assist foreign authorities and international organization concerned to facilitate coordination and universal action for wildlife crime control
  • To build the capacity of the wildlife crime enforcement agencies for scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes and assist State Governments to ensure success in prosecutions related to wildlife crimes and
  • advise the Government of India on issues relating to wildlife crimes having national and international ramifications.
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