9 PM Current Affairs Brief – September 1st, 2018

Download the compilation of all summaries of all the news articles here

GS 2

Root out terror: BIMSTEC

Root out terror: BIMSTEC


  1. BIMSTEC nation unanimously taken resolution on terrorism.

The BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) is a regional grouping comprising India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

Important Facts:

2. BIMSTEC nation to hold state/non-states accountable that encourage, support terrorism and provide finance to them.

3. They described the terrorism is a threat to international peace and security.

4. On the second day of Summit, they declared act of any form of terror activity anywhere in the world will not be tolerated.

5. Stressed on commitments for multilateral cooperation by India PM.

6. Unanimously adopted deceleration to fight against terrorism will not only include terrorist, terrorist organization but statethat encourage or support such activities will also be held accountable.

7. Deceleration focused on multidimensional connectivity for better economic integration among the nation.

8. MoU was signed to provide for better optimization and promotion of energy resources.

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The sedition debate

The sedition debate


  1. The Law Commission, for the third time in five decades  trying to revisit section 124A

Important Facts:

2. Valid or intelligent criticism everywhere has been taken as a disaffection and disloyalty against the government

3. Section 124A has been invoked against activists, detractors, writers and even cartoonists on several occasion to suppress their freedom of speech and expression.

4. The Law Commission, for the third time in five decades is trying to revisit section 124A.

5. Questions has been put into public debate such as why India have such section which was introduced by Britishers to suppress freedom struggle and they themselves had abolished.

6. Law commission in its earlier report in 1961 had rejected idea of repealing and 1971 it wanted to extend the scope to includeConstitution, the legislature and the judiciary against which ‘disaffection’ should not be tolerated.

7. Wide definition is another objectionas it do not clear what action is harmful and what is not.

8. Presently, strong criticism against government policies and personalities, slogans voicing disapprobation of leaders etc. can attract sedition charges.

9. Recently incitement to violence or tendency to create public disorder which are the essential ingredients of the offence has been forgotten.

10. Sedition should not be seen as a reasonable restriction on freedom of speech on the ground to preserve public disorder.

11. Law commission has recommended to either repeal section 124A or amend it with limited scope.

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Story of a leaking ship

Story of a leaking ship


  1. Pankaj Sekhsaria has talked about crucial question on holistic development of A&N Island.

Important Analysis:

2. Niti Aayog and A&N administration would be organizing investors meet for holistic development for A&N Island.

3. The main idea is to provide world class infrastructure with low environment impact and provision for social-economic involvement of local people.

4. Long, Neil, Smith and Avesare the four Island on which development project are being undertaken by Island Development Agency

5. The development project will also include infrastructure, power and water management, floating jetty, adventurous sport and banqueting and conference rooms.

6. Simultaneously, the administration seems to be working on Air Strips, Jetty, Helipads, Roll on/Off Ferries and road works.

7. In Aug, Niti Ayog CEO has talked about opening of tourism in 100 island of A&N and Lakshadweep.

8. It has been said the development will provide economic and livelihood opportunity to the local people.

9. The author has pointed out major concerns associated with such development, such as

  • How cultural and ecological sensitivity will be preserved
  • Will it really benefit local people.
  • Is Island really need this development

10. According to author the cost of development is being paid by local people and environment.

11. A truly holistic development plan for an island system should have a robust shipping system as its first building block.

12. If such a basic and critical element cannot be ensured, what is the guarantee that the grand plans and promises will not meet the same fate?

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India and the U.S. — it’s complicated

India and the U.S. — it’s complicated


  1. Rakesh Sood, a former Diplomat has talked about how about India-U.S strategic development and issues.

Important Analysis:

2. India-US 2+2 dialogue is a significant development for both countries. It reflects the growing strategic development.

3. Author has discussed few factors which led to development in strategic partnership.

  • End of Cold war.
  • Opening of Indian economy for American private sector (Currently it stand $120 Billion with target of $500 Billion in next five years)
  • Balanced Foreign Direct Investment by both countries ($20 Billion by US and $15 Billion by India)
  • Another factor is three-million-strong Indian diaspora.
  • Participation of Indians in US congress.

4. Though engagement between both countries seems to be moving into positive direction, it has not been very smooth.

5. Concern raised by Author

6. US dominant nature when dealing with its junior partner countries.Due to unequal bargains in bilateral talk, US find India’s approach is rigid.

  • Both countries have a habit of preaching and problem arises when they try to preach each other.

7. However both countries are exceptional as US is the oldest and India is the largest democracy.

8. Despite all these argument both countries has able to foster strong relation and leading to 2+2 dialogue.

9. Both countries have learned by treating each other as equal partners.

10. Both countries was involved in dozens of talk between 1998 and 2000 covering nuclear issues post 1998 nuclear test and sanction imposed by US.

11. Significant Strategic development

  • Establishment of India-U.S. bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2008.
  • Defence Dialogue began in 2005 and took final shape after a decade in 2015 in a form of India-U.S. Defence Framework Agreement.
  • Currently India conduct maximum number of military exercises with USA.
  • During cold war era three-fourth of India’s defence equipment was of Soviet Union but now U.S and Israel are the major defence supplier.
  • India Air Force acquired C-130J Hercules, C-17 Globemaster aircraft, Apache attack helicopters and Chinook heavy lift helicopters from USA
  • Indian Navy acquired a troop carrier ship and the P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
  • The Indian Army acquired M-777 howitzers and artillery radar
  • Agreement for 24 multi-role helicopters for the Indian Navy is expected soon.

12. During Obama administration, beside defence cooperation, development in technology sharing took place and led to establishment of Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTII).

13. Pathfinder project was an outcome of this initiative.

14. 2016, India was designated as a ‘Major Defence Partner’ country.

15. Entry of India into Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) category which enabled India access to technology at par with other allies.

16. However there are some obligation associated with Indian access to US technology such as:

  • Obligation related to logistics support, communications compatibility and security, and exchanges of geospatial information
  • GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) signed in 2002.
  • Standard logistics support agreement to provide logistics supplies during port visits and joint exercises.

17. Major issues to be addressed in 2+2

  • To deal with Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) which enables the U.S. government to sanction countries that engage with Russian military and intelligence entities.
  • The proposed purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia would attract CAATSA sanctions
  • Later Provision of waiver has now provided to India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • Despite U.S. sanctions on Iran India is showing interest in building Chahabar port and import crude oil.

18. Creative involvement of India is required in 2+2 dialogue to tackle these challenges.

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No need for uniform civil code now, says law panel

No need for uniform civil code now, says law panel


  1. Law commission is not in favor of Uniform Civil Code (UCC).

Important Facts:

2. Commission said UCC is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage.

3. According to recent report

  • It has sought to strike right balance between the secularism and the plurality prevailing in the country.
  • The cultural diversity needs to be preserved and ensure the changes through UCC shall not become threat to territorial integrity.
  • Accommodate cultural diversity keeping in mind it does not compromise with human rights.
  • Voice of majority to bring to bring UCC should not lead to undermining of religion and religious diversity.
  • It is in the favor of equality with the communities, rather than equality between the communities.
  • Instead of imposing UCC, universal principal is required by rearranging the different religious practices.
  • Recommended uniformity to deal with marriage and divorce cases which is accepted by all religion.

4. Amendment in personal laws include, making adultery a ground for divorce for men and women, fixing marriageable age to 18 for both men and women.

5. Polygamy is a criminal offence and should be applicable to all communities.

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GS 3

Census 2021 to collect OBC data, use maps

Census 2021 to collect OBC data, use maps


  1. Census 2021 to collect OBC data for the first time.


  1. Census 2021 will for the first time collect data on Other Backward Classes
  2. Use of maps/geo-referencing will be considered in the process.
  3. The correct data will help to get the correct perspective on their social status such as which community has developed as which has not.
  4. No explanation was given on reservation for undeveloped community.
  5. The 2011 caste data collected as part of the Socio-economic Caste Census (SECC) is yet to be released.
  6. Technological improvement and innovation are required to expedite the process.
  7. Home Ministry has also focused on improvement on registration of birth and death in remote areas.
  8. Strengthening registration system for estimating the data on mortality rate, maternal mortality rate and fertility rate.
  9. There are 2,479 entries on the Central list of the OBCs as per the National Commission on Backward Classes.
  10. For new data house listing will start in 2020 and headcount in 2021.
  11. Some important Facts:
  • Census Organization was set up on an ad-hoc basis till 1951
  • In 1948 census act was enacted.
  • As per the 2011 Census, the country’s population is 1.21 billion, almost equal to the combined population of the U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan put together [1214.3 million]
  1. Home Ministry has said the data collected in 2021 will be stored electronically. Currently it is stored in a physical form.
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Submerging markets

Submerging markets


  1. Indian rupees hits new all-time low of Rs.71.

Important Facts:

  1. Emerging market economies currencies slides against the U.S. dollar.
  2. ImportantNumbers
  • Indian rupees hits new all-time low and touched the mark of Rs.71 against $1
  • Loss of about 10% of its value against the dollar since the beginning of the year.
  • Argentina Peso lost more than 50 % of its value in 2018 and sharp loss of 10 % alone on Thursday despite 15 % increase in interest rate.
  • Turkish Lira almost lost half of its value this year.
  1. Domestic economic issues in Turkey and Argentina has further intensified the crisis.
  2. But the common reason is increasing demand for U.S Dollar in emerging markets.
  3. Tightening monetary policy and increase in interest rate by U.S federal bank has yielding high results.
  4. As a result of this investors shifting their capital from Emerging markets to American assets.
  5.  Emerging countries earlier benefited from easing of monetary conditions in the West are now facing challenges on reversal of monetary policy and cannot blame western countries for currency crisis.
  6. Management of economic policies such as high inflation rate in Argentina and Turkey has a major impact.
  7. Drastic change in emerging market monetary policy is required in a long run.
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GDP grows 8.2% in April-June

GDP grows 8.2% in April-June


  1. Indian Economy grew 8.2 % in Apr-June this year.

Important News:

2. The figure was highest in 2 years.

3. The pace of growth is highest since 2016 when it grew 9.6 %in Jan-March quarter.

4. Annual growth is estimated of 7.5 %

5. Q1 growth rate is based on the lowest base (5.6) in the last 8 quarters.

6. The growth is attributed to Manufacturing, construction and farm sectors.

7. Industry Wise Facts:

  • Manufacturing sector grew 13.5% in first quarter of 2018-19.
  • Construction sector grew 8.7%
  • The GDP in the first quarter of 2018-19 is estimated at Rs. 33.74 lakh crore as against Rs. 31.18 lakh crore in Q1 of 2017-18.

8. It is expected Indian economy remains the fastest growing economy in the world.

9. Inflation to be moderate and well controlled.

10. But high oil price and depreciating rupees may induce inflation.

11. Despite adverse global condition India economy has sustained growth.

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