According to the recently released 2011
Census migration data, immigration rate has decreased 0.6% in 2001 to 0.4%
The number of Indian residents born
outside the country has decreased from 6.2 million to 5.3 million between
2001 and 2011.
According to Census 2011, the number of
Bangladeshis in India is falling. Based on the basis of birth, the number
for Bangladeshis fell from 3.7 million in 2001 to 2.7 million, and based
on the place of residence, it fell from 3.1 million to 2.3 million in
Nepalese numbers rose by around 30%
between 2001 and 11. A striking feature is that it fell by 6% for males
and grew by 60% for females.
The number of Sri Lankans remained roughly
the same at around 150,000 on the basis of last residence and fell from
over 200,000 to 183,000 on the basis of birth.
Further, the migration data has indicated
that a number of Indians have begun to return from foreign destinations
like the US, Australia and the Gulf countries.
The number of people born in the US and
enumerated in India grew ten times from roughly 3,000 in 2001 to 36,000 by
2011. Also, the numbers from United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia
An inter-ministerial committee (IMC) that
was set up to assess the viability of virtual currencies has recommended
that India should ban private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
A cryptocurrency is a subset of virtual currencies.
It is decentralised, and protected by cryptography. Example: Bitcoin,
A virtual currency is a digital
representation of value that can be digitally traded. It functions as (a)
a medium of exchange, and/ or (b) a unit of account, and/or (c) a store of
value. However, unlike fiat currency like the rupee, it is not legal
tender and does not have the backing of a government.
All virtual currencies use Distributed
Ledger Technology (DLT). It refers to technologies that involve the use of
independent computers (also referred to as nodes) to record, share, and
synchronise transactions in their respective electronic ledgers. Unlike
traditional ledger, data in DLT is not centralised.
Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin uses
Blockchain technology- a special kind of DLT. A Blockchain is a digital,
immutable, distributed ledger that chronologically records transactions in
near real time.
Internationally, the application of DLT is
being explored in the areas of trade finance, mortgage loan applications,
digital identity management or KYC requirements, cross-border fund
transfers and clearing and settlement systems.
The inter-ministerial committee (IMC) has
recognised the potential of DLT and Blockchain. It has recommended the
Department of Economic Affairs to take necessary measures to facilitate
the use of DLT in the entire financial field after identifying its uses.
Further, it has also recommended that that
regulators — RBI, SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA, and IBBI should explore evolving
appropriate regulations for development of DLT in their respective areas.
However, it has called for a ban on
private cryptocurrencies. It also noted that the RBI Act has the enabling
provisions to permit the central government to approve a “Central Bank
Digital Currency” (CBDC) as legal tender in India.
The IMC has highlighted a number of
concerns regarding private cryptocurrencies. These are: a) non-official
virtual currencies can be used to defraud consumers, b) scaling up such a
currency system over a large population would exploits huge levels of
energy resources, c) the RBI would lose control over the monetary policy
and financial stability as it would not be able to keep a tab on the money
supply in the economy, d) anonymity of private digital currencies make
them vulnerable to money laundering and use in terrorist financing
activities, e) there is no grievance redressal mechanism in such a system,
f) transactions are irreversible in such a system.
On 27th July, Central
Reserve Police Force (CRPF) celebrated its 81st Raising
The force came into existence as the Crown
Representative’s Police this day in 1939. It became the Central Reserve
Police Force (CRPF) on the enactment of the CRPF Act on December 28, 1949.
The CRPF is India’s largest Central Armed
Police Force (CAPF). It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home
The mission of the CRPF is to enable the
government to maintain rule of law, public order and internal security
effectively and efficiently, to preserve national integrity and promote
social harmony and development by upholding supremacy of the Constitution.
The CRPF has been the lead force in
dealing with the militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, fighting the Left-Wing
Extremism and insurgency in the Northeast.
There are seven CAPF in India. They are a)
Assam Rifles (AR), b) Border Security Force (BSF), c) Central Industrial
Security Force (CISF), d) Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), e) Indo
Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), f)National Security Guard (NSG) and g)
Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
On the occasion of Global Tiger Day,
celebrated on 29th July, Indian Prime Minister has
released the All India Tiger Estimation Report– 2018.
The count of tigers in India, has risen to
2967, in 2018 from 2,226 in 2014. Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of
tigers at 526, closely followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).
Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in tiger population.
Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh
recorded the highest number of tigers, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in
Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement” since 2014
The tiger census is carried out by
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The first census was
conducted in 2006.
The tiger census provides details on the
number of tigers in the 18 tiger reign states with 50 tiger reserves.
However, the current census also included data collected from the rough
terrains of north-eastern states which was not possible due to logistic
The All India Tiger Estimation 2018 has
used M-STRiPES (Monitoring System for Tigers-Intensive Protection and
Ecological Status). M-STRiPES was launched in 2010 by NTCA and along with
the Wildlife Institute of India. It is a patrol-based wildlife monitoring
GIS database, designed to assist wildlife protection, monitoring, and
management of Protected Areas.
India had launched Project Tiger in 1973
with an aim to limit factors that leads to reduction of tiger habitats and
to mitigate them by suitable management. Established in 2005, NTCA
oversees management of Project Tiger and Tiger Reserves in India.
In 2010, the governments of the world’s 13
tiger range countries put forward the Global Tiger Recovery Plan. The plan
outlines how each country could double the number of tiger population in
The Plan was part of the ambitious species
conservation goal called Tx2 set up by the World Wildlife Foundation
(WWF). The goals is to double the number of wild tigers by 2022.
An initiative called Project Sahara by the
Ahmedabad district administration has reduced maternal deaths due to
postpartum haemorrhage (PPH).
Under Project Sahara, Non-pneumatic
Anti-Shock garment (NASG) has been provided to primary health centres in
the district. At present, 40 PHCs in Ahmedabad have an NASG suit each.
Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) leads to
continuous and excessive bleeding. The rapid loss of blood because of PPH
reduces the body’s blood pressure and can even cause death.
The NASG applies pressure to the lower
body and abdomen, thereby forcing the blood that was getting accumulated
in the pelvic area to other essential organs of the body.
According to Sample Registration System
data of 2016-17, Gujarat’s maternal Mortality Rate was 91.
Maternal mortality refers to the number of
maternal deaths which occur due to pregnancy or as a result of a
complication of the same. Maternal mortality rate (MMR) is taken as the
number of recorded maternal deaths, for every 1 lakh live births.
United Nations’ Sustainable Development
Goals (SDG 3.1) calls to reduce MMR to less than 70 per 100,000 live
births by 2030.
Nagaland’s Deputy Chief Minister has
backed Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN). He has
argued that it will help to safeguard the State from outsiders.
The RIIN was announced by the Nagaland
state government in June 2019. The exercise began on 10th July
and will be completed in 60 days.
It is aimed at preparing a master list of
all indigenous peoples. It is being prepared to stop the issuance of fake
indigenous inhabitant certificates.
December 1, 1963, the date on which
Nagaland attained statehood is the base year for determining an indigenous
inhabitant of the State.
The exercise is being conducted through an
extensive survey of residents in every village and ward in the state and
is based on existing official records. The list will be prepared under the
supervision of each district administration.
Election commission of India’s motto of
‘Accessible Elections’ was successful in making the India’s elections
inclusive and participative for all.
EC had used several key initiatives such
as electors with disabilities and senior citizens were mapped polling
station wise to provide them targeted and need based assistance on the day
During the election, all the polling
stations were equipped with enough supply of wheelchairs and it was
ensured that all polling stations had sturdy ramps for the convenience of
Persons with Disabilities (PwD) electors.
EC had also launched a ‘PwD App’ to enable
PwDs to request for new registration, change in address, change in
particulars and mark themselves as PwD through the app.
Further, EVMs used in the elections were
also embossed with Braille signage for the visually impaired voters
assistance. It was also the first time that Electoral Photo Identity
Card(EPIC) with braille were provided to the visually impaired electors.
Other than nationwide initiatives States
also innovated and enhanced the spirit of accessibility. In states such as
Uttarakhand, Himachal and J&K initiative of DivyangSarathi and
DivyangDolis was rolled out to facilitate PwDs and senior citizens.
Sikkim Chief Minister (CM) has requested
the Election Commission (EC) to grant him a waiver of the remaining period
of his disqualification to retain the post.
Sikkim CM who was appointed on May 27, 2019
needs to be elected to the Assembly within six months of his appointment. However,
he is barred from contesting polls as he has been convicted in a
Under the Representation of the People
Act, 1951, those convicted and imprisoned under the Prevention of
Corruption Act are disqualified from contesting elections during the
period of incarceration and until six years after release.
However, Section 11 of the Representation
of the People Act,1951, empowers the Election Commission(EC) to remove or
reduce the period of disqualification.
Earlier, the EC had exercised its powers
under Section 11 to remove or reduce disqualification of a convicted
person. In 1977,EC had reduced the period of disqualification of two Uttar
Pradesh MLAs who were convicted of criminal offence.
The Central Government is planning to
release a Model Detention Manual,2019.
The manual has asked all states and union
territories to set up at least one detention centre each with modern
amenities for illegal migrants/ foreigners.
The aim behind setting up such detention
centres is to restrict the movement of foreigners staying back illegally
and thereby ensure that they are physically available at all times for
expeditious repatriation or deportation.
As per the manual, states will not need
any specific approval from the Union home ministry for setting up a
detention or holding center.
Further, every detention centre shall have
a cell which will provide help to the detainee foreigners for contacting
the concerned embassy or their family through proper procedure.
The manual also says that a skill centre
and crèche facilities for children may also be provided within the
detention camp. Further, observing that detention centres in most states
were being run from prison, the manual has also directed that detention
centres or camps be set up outside jail premises.
This manual comes in the backdrop of the
exercise in Assam where the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being
finalised for which the Supreme Court has extended the deadline till
According to Citizenship Act 1955, an
illegal migrant is a foreigner who enters the country without valid travel
documents like a passport and visa or enters with valid documents but
stays beyond the permitted time period. Illegal migrants may be imprisoned
or deported under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into
According to a report, Integrated Battle
Groups(IBGs) which the Army plans to create as part of overall force
transformation is close to implementation.
Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) are
brigade-sized, agile, self-sufficient combat formations which can swiftly
launch strikes against adversary in case of hostilities.
Each IBG would be tailor-made based on
Threat, Terrain and Task and resources will be allotted based on the three
Ts. They will also be able to mobilise within 12-48 hrs based on the
IBGs will be defensive and offensive. The
offensive IBGs would quickly mobilise and make thrust into enemy territory
for strikes. On the other hand, defensive IBGs would hold ground at
vulnerable points or where enemy action is expected.
The Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) idea
was initiated after the terrorist attack on the Parliament where the
Indian military undertook massive mobilisation but the Army’s formations
took weeks to mobilise losing the element of surprise.
Following this, the Army formulated a
proactive doctrine known as ‘Cold Start’ to launch swift offensive but its
existence was consistently denied in the past. Its existence was
acknowledged for the first time in January 2017.
Recently, a high-level government panel
has decided to do away with the need for foreign firms to store a copy of
all personal data within India.
But the panel has said that all critical
personal data must still be stored and processed in the country.
Further, the panel has decided to hold further
discussions with all stakeholders to decide what would constitute critical
However, this panel’s order is a dilution
of the recommendations of the Justice Srikrishna committee. The committee
had recommended that while personal data can be processed and stored
abroad, a copy needs to be stored here.
The committee had also said that all
critical personal data to be stored only in India.
The committee had said that critical
personal data will include passwords, financial data, Health data among
others. However, it had added that the government should define critical
Australian High Commissioner to India has
said that Indian government must convince the industry of Regional
Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP) benefits.
Recently, Indian Commerce minister had met
industry bodies to review issues that India would need to keep in mind
when continuing deliberations on the RCEP in China.
The associations had said that industries
are apprehensive of India signing RCEP because of fears that China will
use it to enter and dominate the Indian market by dumping it with cheaper
However, the Australian envoy has said
that Indian government should explain to the industry that RCEP will open
the door for Indian industry to multiple markets.
The RCEP will also allow Indian industry
access to a number of countries in the region and is a pathway to India’s
Further, she said that other challenge
would be if RCEP countries decide to go ahead without countries like India
and China as these are the two biggest economies of the region.
RCEP is proposed mega trade pact between the ten member states of
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Burma
(Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has
existing Free trade agreements(FTA’s)(Australia, China, India, Japan,
South Korea and New Zealand).
It aims to boost goods trade by
eliminating most tariff and non-tariff barriers — a move that is expected
to provide the region’s consumers greater choice of quality products at
affordable rates. It also seeks to liberalise investment norms and do away
with services trade restrictions.
Karnataka Assembly Speaker has
disqualified 14 MLAs under the tenth schedule of the Constitution (anti
The disqualification bars the legislators
from contesting Assembly polls for the term of the current Assembly and
also bars them from holding constitutional posts during this period.
The Anti-defection law is
contained in the 10th Schedule of the Constitution. It was enacted by
Parliament in 1985.
The purpose of the anti-defection law is
to curb political defection by the legislators. The law applies to both
Parliament and state assemblies.
It lays down the process by which
legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding
Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the
There are two grounds on which a member of
a legislature can be disqualified: a) if he/she voluntarily gives up the
membership of his/her party and b) if a legislator votes in the House
against the direction of his/her party and his/her action is not condoned
by his party.
There is an exception that has been
provided in the law to protect the legislators from disqualification. The
10th Schedule says that if there is a merger between two political parties
and two-thirds of the members of a legislature party agree to the merger,
they will not be disqualified.
In Kihoto Hollohan vs Zachillhu and Others
(1991),the Supreme Court Constitution Bench had declared that the
Speaker’s decision was subject to judicial review.
Further, the Speaker of the House does not
have the power to review his own decisions to disqualify a candidate. Such
power is not provided for under the Schedule and is not implicit in the
The two-day BRICS foreign ministers was
held in Rio de Janeiro,Brazil. This meeting was held in preparation for
the 11th BRICS summit in November,2019.
During the meeting, the foreign ministers
called on all States to prevent the financing of terrorist networks and
terrorist actions from their territories.
BRICS nations also said that a
comprehensive approach is necessary to ensure effective results against
terrorism. The comprehensive approach should include (a) countering
radicalisation (b) recruitment (c) travel of foreign terrorist fighters (d)
blocking sources and channels of terrorist financing (e) dismantling
terrorist bases and (f) countering misuse of the Internet by terrorist
The ministers has also called for an
adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT)
in the UN General Assembly.
The five nations also reaffirmed their
commitment to support international cooperation in combating illicit
financial flows from all types of criminal activity including within the
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO).
The ministers also agreed to further
deepen BRICS three-pillar-driven cooperation in the areas of economy,
peace and security and people-to-people exchanges.
BRICS nations also reiterated the urgent
need to strengthen and reform the multilateral system including the UN,
the WTO, the IMF and other international organisations.
However, there was a conflicting views on
(a)Political crisis in Venezuela and (b)on the approach to the crisis in
the Persian Gulf.
Ministry of Development of North Eastern
Region (MDoNER) has announced that Assam will become the first state to
have first-ever Bamboo Industrial Park in the northeast.
This industrial park will be set up in
Manderdisa in Assam’s Dima Hasao district. This project is set to be
completed by March 2021.
Further, the central government has also
planned to set up another project for Bamboo Park in Itanagar, Arunachal
Pradesh which would be taken up by the North eastern Council (NEC).
North Eastern Council (NEC) was constituted as a statutory advisory
body under the NEC Act,1971 and came into being on the 7th November,1972
The eight States of Northeast India are
members of the council with their respective Chief Ministers and Governors
representing them. Sikkim was added to the council in the year 2002.
The headquarters of the council is
situated in Shillong, Meghalaya and functions under the Ministry of Home
Affairs of the Government of India.
The Council was initially set up as an
advisory body but now sanctioned as a Regional planning body since
2002.They can now discuss any matter in which the North Eastern States
have a common interest and decide the action to be taken on any such
Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has
decided to focus on select 3-5 lakh women Self Help Groups(SHGs) with a
view to convert their nano enterprises into micro enterprises.
This Initiative is taken up as part of
Aajeevika-National Rural Livelihood Mission(NRLM).
The NRLM mission aims to
organize the rural poor women into SHGs and continuously nurture and
support them to take economic activities till they attain appreciable
increase in income over a period of time. This will help them to improve
their quality of life and come out of poverty.
Since 2011-12, SHGs have been entitled to
get up to Rs 10 lakh as loan without collateral over a period of six to
Further, the government is also planning
to bring more women SHGs into micro and small enterprises through, bank
loans, registration on government e-market portals and similar e-commerce
portals such as Amazon.
The Union Budget 2018-19 has also
substantially increased funding to NRLM by 60% and offers Rs 1 lakh MUDRA
loan to one woman in each of the SHGs with a view to make them more
self-reliant and increase their incomes.