9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – June 17, 2021

Good evening dear reader

Here is our 9pm current affairs brief for you today

About 9 PM Brief- With the 9 PM Daily Current affairs for UPSC brief we intend to simplify the newspaper reading experience. In 9PM briefs, we provide our reader with a summary of all the important articles and editorials from three important newspapers namely The Hindu, Indian Express, and Livemint. This will provide you with analysis, broad coverage, and factual information from a Mains examination point of view.

About Factly- The Factly initiative covers all the daily news articles regarding Preliminary examination. This will be provided at the end of the 9 PM Brief.

Dear Aspirants,

We know for a fact that learning without evaluation is a wasted effort. Therefore, we request you to please go through both our initiatives i.e 9PM Briefs and Factly, then evaluate yourself through the 10PM Current Affairs Quiz.

We plan to integrate all our free daily initiatives to comprehensively support your success journey.
Happy Learning!

The SC ordered the closure of Italian Marines case in India

Source – The Hindu

Syllabus – GS 2 – Foreign Policy of India

Synopsis – What is the case of the Italian Marines, what was the conflict between India and Italy over the issue and the possible reason of delay in prosecuting the matter.

Introduction –

  • After Italy deposited Rs 10 crore in compensation, the SC ordered the closure of court proceedings in India against two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012 after mistaking them for pirates.
  • The diplomatic turbulence, legal tangle over jurisdiction between India and Italy caused the delay in resolving the Italian marine’s case.

What was the dispute over the Italian Marines case?

  • India
    • India alleged that the Italian marines on board “Enrica Lexie” had violated the freedom of navigation rights by shooting at the fishing boat.
    • As the two fishermen were killed without warning, India has jurisdiction over the matter.
    • The NIA the NIA invoked anti-piracy law, the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA).
  • Italy – The prosecution under the SUA Convention was challenged by Italy for comparing the occurrence to a terrorist attack.
    • According to Italy, as the Indian vessel approached, the Italian marines determined that it was a pirate attack. As the fishing vessel continued to head towards the tanker despite sustained visual and auditory warnings, and the firing of warning shots into the water.
    • Italy claims the marines had been hired to protect the tanker from pirates and they were only carrying out their duties.
    • Italy also claims that the marines enjoyed sovereign functional immunity in India and Italy alone had jurisdiction to deal with them.

International tribunal’s ruling-

  • In 2020, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that the two Italian marines were on a mission for the Italian government and so should be sent to Italy, where they would face criminal charges.
  • By the ratio of 3:2 votes, the Italian marines were entitled to diplomatic immunity as Italian state officers under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and that India could not exercise jurisdiction against them.
  • The UN tribunal had also ruled that the Indian fishing boat and its victims were entitled to compensation as the Italian vessel, had violated the boat’s right of navigation under the Law of the Sea.

Way forward-

  • If India had accepted Italy’s offer of compensation and a trial in its own jurisdiction sooner, the delay in prosecuting the matter could have been avoided.
  • As a result, a lesson learned is that such cases should be handled with using both legal and diplomatic means to get a speedy resolution.

Why Record FDI Inflow is Not a Cause for Celebration?

Source: The Hindu

Gs3: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.

Synopsis: The record level of FDI inflows in India for the year 2020-21 does not match the development priorities of the government.


  • In a recent press release, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced that India has attracted the highest ever total FDI inflow (U.S.$81.72 billion) during the financial year 2020-21.
  • This is 10 percent higher than the last financial year 2019-20.
  • Also, given that there was a decline in global FDI inflows in 2020 by 42% compared to 2019, and inflows to developing countries had fallen by 12%, this is a significant development.
  • Effective implementation of FDI policy reforms, investment facilitation, and ease of doing business were credited for the record level of FDI inflows.
  • However, an analysis of FDI inflow data reveals that the reality of FDI in the Indian economy does not help India’s development priorities.

Why FDI inflows accounted for the year 2020-21 will not benefit India’s development priorities?

  • First, the nature of the bulk of the investments involves just a mere transfer of shares without creating productive assets in the country. This is contrary to the expectation that FDI can contribute to the revival of the economy
  • For instance, take the case of Reliance Group companies, the largest recipients of FDI for the year 2020-21. It accounted for 54.1% of the total equity inflows during the three quarters.
  • In this case, FDI inflows were meant to facilitate Reliance Industries to withdraw its investments already made in the form of Optionally Convertible Preference Share.
  • This, therefore, amounted to the indirect acquisition of shares held by Reliance Industries.

Optionally Convertible preference shares: This class of shares can be converted into equity shares either at the option of the holder or at the option of the company. The convertible portion can be in full or in part

  1. Second, according to RBI, though FDI inflows were stronger in 2020-21, their distribution was highly skewed.
    • For instance, the manufacturing sector received just 17.4% of the total inflows during 2020-21.
    • Whereas, the services sector attracted nearly 80% of the total inflows, with information technology-enabled services (ITeS) being the largest component.
    • Further, according to the RBI, non-acquisition-related inflows into the manufacturing sector were the lowest in 2020-21.
  2. Third, the bulk of the investments in Reliance Group companies will not facilitate sharing of managerial experience and technical expertise. Because investors’ share is pegged at 9.9%. For instance, Facebook’s shareholding in Jio Platform was pegged at 9.9%.
    • According to the International Monetary Fund and also the RBI, a foreign investor, holding 10% or more of voting shares in a company, can exercise a significant influence on its management.
  3. Finally, there are other issues related to FDI inflows in India for the year 2020-21. For example,
    • According to RBI data, there was a 47.2% increase in repatriation/disinvestment in the year 2020-21.
    • Further, RBI reports that there was a high increase in portfolio investment (FII) for the year 2020-21. This was the second-highest level of FIIs’ involvement in India.
    • Surely, sustained sizeable repatriation of the long-term FDI, together with a large increase in speculative capital (FII’s) is not good for a country’s Economic Health.

Cryptocurrency in India – Lessons from other Countries

Source: click here

Syllabus: GS 3

Synopsis: No legal classification of cryptocurrency in India should not be the reason for its ban. There are some international examples, from where India can adopt some ways to deal with Cryptocurrencies.


El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. This shows the rising global trend of accepting cryptocurrencies with all their associated risks. Almost all countries are permitting the growth of the cryptocurrency market subject to certain safeguards.

However, India is still thinking about whether to prohibit or regulate cryptocurrencies.  Globally, there is an inclination towards regulations that recognizes the freedom of choice of people for using a medium of exchange other than a central bank-backed fiat currency.

How has India responded to the crypto business so far?

The cryptocurrency market in India has advanced in a mainly unrestrictive regulatory space since the first recorded cryptocurrency transaction in 2010. 

  • Firstly, between 2013 and 2018, the government’s response to the rise of virtual currencies was cautionary. It alerted users to the potential risks posed by cryptocurrency transactions. These concerns arose from its potential use in criminal activities such as money laundering, terrorist financing, and tax evasion.
  • Secondly, in April 2018, RBI effectively banned cryptocurrency trading. However, the Supreme Court in 2020 overturned this ban.
  • The court said that RBI can take other regulatory measures instead of an outright ban through which risks associated with cryptocurrency trading can be curbed. 
  • Now, the draft Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 has been introduced. The draft Bill plans to criminalize all private cryptocurrencies while also laying down the regulatory framework for an RBI-backed digital currency.

Minister of State for Finance stated in the Parliament that regulatory bodies do not have a legal framework to directly regulate private cryptocurrencies. Then, how these currencies should be regulated?

What are the lessons that India could learn from other countries?

India can take a few lessons from the U.K., Singapore, and the U.S.  UK. They have categorized cryptocurrency as property. This has made the way for cryptocurrencies to be included within a regulated legal framework in the country’s economy.

  • The U.K. wants to regulate the working of crypto-businesses while still imposing some restrictions to protect the interests of investors.
  • There is no precise legal classification of cryptocurrency in Singapore, but the flexibility of cryptocurrency transactions to the contract law framework of the country has been resolutely recognised and there is now a legal framework for cryptocurrency trading.
  • In the U.S., the authorities are taking an open approach, It led to the taxing and regulation of trade-in cryptocurrency.


  • These approaches are country-specific and cannot be directly implemented in India. However, the global regulatory attitude towards cryptocurrencies gives valuable insights into the other ways to achieve balanced regulation.
  • In India, the absence of an existing legal classification of cryptocurrency should not be the basis to ban its use. The government should use this as an opportunity to allow private individuals the freedom to harness a powerful new technology with appropriate regulatory standards.

Energy Efficient homes are key to low Carbon Economy

Source: The Hindu

GS-3:- Conservation, Environmental Pollution, and Degradation

Synopsis: The demand for cooling appliances is bound to grow in the future to keep citizens healthy and productive. Thus, Energy Efficient homes will be the key to make India a low carbon economy.


  • In the last three decades, India experienced 660 heat waves which caused 12,273 deaths.
  • These intense heat waves are expected to rise with a rise in global temperatures due to climate change.
  • This rising frequency and growing intensity of heat waves are resulting in increased demand for cooling in Indian homes.
  • The growing demand for cooling will make India the world’s largest energy user for cooling, but this area has not gained much significance in Indian homes.

Why India needs energy-efficient cooling in Indian homes?

  • Firstly, it is going to play a huge role in India’s adaptation to climate change.
  • Secondly, energy inefficiency in Indian homes cooling system will have disastrous effects on mitigation efforts taken by India to curb Greenhouse gas emissions.
    • The India Cooling Action Plan projects the number of room air conditioners to become about four times in the next 10 years, and about 10 times in the next 20 years.
  • Thirdly, large-scale adoption of efficient cooling appliances is essential to achieve a low carbon economy as per the Paris climate deal.

Why Energy efficiency in homes remains underexplored in India?

  1. Firstly, there is a lack of data regarding consumer’s preference for energy-efficient cooling systems.
    • For example, how and why people make their purchase decisions.
  2. Secondly, the implications of an increase in residential cooling demand have not been carefully examined by policymakers in India.
    • For instance, the factors which will determine the extent of future cooling demand have no empirical evidence.
  3. Thirdly, energy efficiency does not feature as a priority in the purchase of cooling appliances.
    • For instance, only 7% of the households have an energy-efficient (star-rated) fan, and 88% of the coolers are locally assembled.
  4. Fourthly, there is a lack of awareness about energy efficiency.
    • For example, one-third of the households are unaware of the Star Labelling program.
    • It is a government programme mandatory for refrigerators and air conditioners.
  5. Lastly, there is the higher upfront cost and low market availability for energy-efficient appliances.

Way forward:

  • Investment in cooling technologies, infrastructure is required to lock in energy-efficient consumption patterns.
  • Awareness campaigns should be conducted on energy efficiency.
  • Subsidies and financial incentives are needed to drive up the adoption of more efficient technologies.
  • Efficient building designs can also help in reducing dependence on energy-intensive cooling technologies.

Indian homes can play a major role to achieve net-zero emissions but along with the usage of energy-efficient technologies, there is a need to promote alternative cooling strategies.

Protecting the right to dissent from UAPA

Source: Click here

Syllabus: GS2

Synopsis: The Delhi High Court granted bail to young student and activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Asif Tanha. The present judgement of Delhi HC will go a long way in strengthening the most important pillar of our democracy – right to protest and dissent.


  • The three young students and activists were imprisoned for over a year in connection with the riots in North-east Delhi, and the anti-CAA-NRC protests.
  • They were arrested under some serious charges including those under UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).
  • Delhi HC granted them bail and explicitly stated that the foundations of our nation is unlikely to be shaken by a protest, howsoever well-organized by a tribe of college students.
  • Those arrested under UAPA generally languish in jail for years without trial. If this judgment is upheld in the Supreme Court (Delhi Police has gone to the Supreme Court on appeal against the verdict) then it’ll help other dissenters arrested under UAPA without sufficient evidence.
Also read: UAPA explained from UPSC perspective – All you need to know!

What are the problems faced by courts in granting bail under UAPA?

Under UAPA, the accused does not have the option of anticipatory bail. It presumes the accused guilty solely on the basis of the evidence collected. Courts usually face these two problems:

  • Legal bar on granting bail: Firstly, Under Section 43D(5) of UAPA, there is a legal bar on granting bail if the court is of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accusation against those held is prima facie true.
  • No detailed examination of evidence at bail-stage: Secondly, the burden to demonstrate to the court that the accusation is untrue lies with the accused only. This has been made more problematic due to a 2019 Supreme Court judgment. This judgment bars a detailed analysis of the evidence at the bail stage and rules that bail can be denied on “the broad probabilities” of the case.
Also read: Status of UAPA in 2019

How Delhi HC got around these two problems?

The High Court ruled that

  • Available evidence can be examined: The bail court can look at the available evidence to satisfy itself about the prima facie truth of the case. In other words, there is no statutory invincibility to the prosecution case merely because the UAPA has been invoked

Other important remarks by the court

Delhi HC remarked that,

  • Riots are matters concerning public order and not the security of the state. The court observed that the state, in its anxiety to suppress dissent, has blurred the line between the constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and “terrorist activity”.


Delhi HC judgment makes a clear distinction between those accused of offenses against the country’s integrity and security on the one hand, and protesters or dissenters arrested unjustifiably under the criteria of terrorism. This distinction shall help secure citizens two of the most sacred rights in a democracy: the right to protest and the right to dissent.

Pandemic-induced brain drain – Should India be worried?

Source: Times of India

Syllabus: GS 2

Synopsis: Recently, the COVID pandemic has exacerbated the brain drain problem in India but instead of obsessing over the issue of brain drain, government should be more concerned about implementing structural reforms. This will ensure that we create an environment where every last individual is able to thrive to his/her fullest potential.


  • India has wrestled with the problem of brain drain for many years. COVID pandemic has only given a turbo-boost to this phenomenon. It has amplified a pre-existing trend of high net-worth individuals leaving emerging economies for citizenship of advanced economies.
  • COVID has accelerated the brain drain problem in India. Many high net-worth (HNI) individuals are leaving India for greener pastures. Well-off parents too are sending their children abroad especially USA.

But, the real problem is a lack of investment in the people which stay in India. This needs to be resolved as a policy-priority.

What is brain drain?

It is defined as emigration of highly-skilled labor as a proportion of the potential educated labor force in sending countries​.

Brain Drain from India – figures

  • A Global Wealth Migration Review report has revealed that nearly 5,000 millionaires, or 2% of the total number of high net-worth individuals in India left the country in 2020 alone
  • A 2018 bank report found that 23,000 Indian millionaires had left the country since 2014.
  • As per OECD data, around 69,000 Indian-trained doctors and  56,000 Indian-trained nurses worked in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia in 2017.

Trend of brain drain from India

  • The first big post-Independence wave of educated and/or well off Indians emigrating started in 1960s. India lost many skilled professionals in medicine, science and information technology starting as early as the 1960s to countries including the U.K., U.S. and Canada.
  • India saw the reverse migration of skilled IT and other professionals during the economic boom of the late 2000s. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these reversed flows have slowed down as the pace of economic growth has dropped.
    • This phenomenon of back and forth movement of skilled people in a globalized world has been termed brain circulation.
Also read: Brain Drain in the health sector

Should India be worried?

No. As per author, India should not be worried about this recent increase in brain drain because of the following reasons:

  • No problems from brain drain: Emigration from India that began in 1960s continued all through the post-reforms era. Despite this India has witnessed growth in its economy. Even the economic crisis of 1990s happened due to Indian socialism and not due to brain drain from India.
  • Indian diaspora helps: Indian diaspora acts as a soft power multiplier for the country, as well as a network through which both ideas and investment arrive here.

What should India focus upon?

Instead of worrying too much about brain drain, India should lay emphasis on the following:

  • Responding positively to the pandemic-induced crisis: GoI and states should respond to the pandemic-induced economic downturn and implement necessary structural reforms.
  • Focus on education and employment: India has too few institutions of excellence and of professional studies. Getting into ‘good’ Indian colleges is often harder than getting into US universities. No country has gone up the wealth ladder without widespread availability of both good public education and regular, skilled employment.

Building world-class public education infrastructure and coupling it with structural reforms is the way forward because we have enough people. All we need to do is to focus on leveraging this asset. Brain drain is not the actual problem, brain waste is.

Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 17 June, 2021

Print Friendly and PDF[social_warfare]