9 PM Current Affairs Brief – March 11th, 2020

Sir Creek Issue:India-Pakistan

News:Recently, the former Pakistan Minister has said that it had invited the then Indian Prime minister to sign an agreement on Sir Creek in 2006.However,the agreement was not signed.

 

Facts:

 

About Sir Creek:

  • Sir Creek is a 96-km strip of water disputed between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch marshlands. 
  • The Creek opens up in the Arabian Sea and roughly divides the Kutch region of Gujarat from the Sindh Province of Pakistan.

 

Importance of Sir Creek:

  • Sir Creek’s core importance is fishing resources.It is considered to be among the largest fishing grounds in Asia.
  • The creek is also important due to possible presence of great oil and gas concentration under the sea which are currently unexploited due to dispute on the issue.

 

About the Dispute:

  • The dispute lies in the interpretation of the maritime boundary line between Kutch and Sindh. 
  • Before India’s independence,the provincial region was a part of the Bombay Presidency of British India.But after India’s independence in 1947, Sindh became a part of Pakistan while Kutch remained a part of India.
  • Pakistan claims the entire creek as per paragraphs 9 and 10 of the Bombay Government Resolution of 1914 signed between then the Government of Sindh and Rao Maharaj of Kutch.
  • However,India claims that the boundary lies mid-channel as depicted in another map drawn in 1925 and implemented by the installation of mid-channel pillars back in 1924.

 

Gaur back in Valmiki Reserve after increase in grassland cover

News:According to a report,Gaur (Bos Gaurus) has returned to Bihar’s Valmiki Tiger Reserve(VTR) due to an increase in grassland cover.

 

Facts:

 

About Gaur(Indian Bison):

  • The gaur also called the Indian bison is the largest extant bovine.It is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  • The local names of the Gaur are a) Seladang — Malaysia b) Pyoung — Myanmar and c) Gayal or mithun — domesticated form of gaur.
  • It is the State animal of Goa.
  • Listed as Vulnerable under IUCN Red List.
  • CITES- Appendix I
  • Threats: a) Hunting for consumption b) Loss of suitable habitat and c) contract diseases transmitted by domestic cattle.

 

Additional information:

 

About Valmiki Tiger Reserve:

  • Valmiki National Park, Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary is located at the India-Nepal border in the West Champaran district of Bihar on the bank of river Gandak.
  • It is the only National park and Tiger Reserve of Bihar.

 

India Data Portal(IDP) 

News:Indian School of Business(ISB) has developed a portal called India Data Portal(IDP).

 

Facts:

 

About the Portal:

  • The Portal was launched in 2018.It serves as a one stop open-access portal for journalists, researchers, students, policy makers among others to access interact and visualize information, data and knowledge related to agriculture and financial services.
  • The project was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

 

Centre can’t brand an organisation as ‘political’: Supreme Court

News:Recently,the Supreme Court has held that the central government cannot brand an organisation as political and deprive it of its right to receive foreign funds for using legitimate forms of dissent to aid a public cause.

 

Facts:

 

Background:

  • The judgement came on a petition filed by the Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) challenging certain provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA),2010 and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules of 2011.

 

About FCRA Act,2010 and the Rules:

  • The Foreign Contribution(Regulation) Act, 2010 and rules framed under the Act in 2011 regulate the receipt and usage of foreign contribution by non-governmental organisations(NGOs) in India.
  • The act aims to prevent use of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality for any activity detrimental to the national interest.
  • It is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs,Government of India.

 

Various Provisions challenged in Court:

  • Section 5(1) of the FCRA: It allowed the Centre to decide freely whether a seemingly non-political organisation was actually political in nature.
  • Section 5(4) of the FCRA: It did not exactly identify the authority before which an organisation could represent its grievance.
  • Rule 3 of the 2011 Rules: This provision identified the various types of ‘political’ activities for which/organisations whose foreign funding could be stopped by the government.

 

About the Judgement:

  • The Court observed that an organisation which supports the cause of a group of citizens agitating for their rights without a political goal or objective cannot be penalised by being declared as an organisation of a political nature.
  • However, foreign funding could be stopped if an organisation took recourse to these forms of protest to score a political goal.

 

United Nations adopts political declaration on women’s rights

News:The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women has adopted a political declaration to reaffirm the 1995 Beijing Declaration to achieve gender equality.

 

Facts:

 

About the declaration:

  • The declaration aims to promote women’s emancipation and advancement around the world.
  • It underlines the importance of gender equality to progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
  • It also noted that 25 years after the Beijing Declaration no country has fully achieved gender equality.

 

About Beijing Declaration:

  • The Beijing Declaration was a resolution adopted by the United Nations(UN) at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. 
  • It sets strategic objectives for the advancement of women and gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern like women and health, women in power and decision-making, the girl-child, women and the environment.

 

About Commission on the Status of Women(CSW):

  • The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was established in 1946 as a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • It is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

 

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