9 PM Current Affairs Brief – December 17th, 2019

Explained: What is the UN body that has criticised India for new citizenship Act?

News: The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act for being fundamentally discriminatory in nature.


About Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

  • It is the principal UN entity on human rights. It is a part of the UN Secretariat.
  • It was established in 1993 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Its mandate is to promote and protect the human rights that are guaranteed under international law and put forward in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948
  • The High Commissioner heads OHCHR and leads the United Nations’ human rights efforts.

Additional Information:

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

  • It is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States. It was established in 2006 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • UNHCR is responsible for integrating human rights into all areas of its work and works closely with the OHCHR.

Key takeaways from CoP 25

News: UNFCC CoP25 concluded in Madrid, Spain


Key takeaways

  1. No agreement on carbon markets: No agreement was reached on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Article 6 establishes the Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM) as a new carbon market instrument for the period after 2020
  2. Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), 2020: The index developed by Germanwatch, New Climate Institute and Climate Action Network (CAN), ranked USA and Saudi Arabia as topmost polluters. India was ranked 9th.
  3. “Ocean deoxygenation: Everyone’s problem”: The report by IUCN noted that levels of oxygen in the oceans fell by around 2% from 1960 to 2010.
  4. Global Climate Risk 2020 report: The report by Greenwatch, ranked Japan, the Philippines and Germany at the top for overall climate vulnerability in 2018. India was ranked 5th.
  5. Global Carbon Budget 2019: In 2018, the global carbon dioxide emissions were dominated by emissions from China (28%), the USA (15%), the EU (9%) and India (7%)
  6. Launch of Platform of Science-based Ocean Solutions: It aims to enhance the sharing of knowledge created by various actors in the ocean and climate community to advance ocean-climate action.
  7. State of Global Climate Report 2019: Released by World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO), the report noted that the global average temperature in 2019 (January to October) was about 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period.
  8. Emission Gap Report: UNEP released Emission Gap Report which noted that at the current pace, the world is heading for a 3.2°C temperature rise.
  9. Climate Ambition Alliance: 73 countries joined the Climate Ambition Alliance which was launched by Chile in September 2019. It aims to accelerate the transformation needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Article 371

News: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and J&K administration’s has given separate statements on Article 371


Article 371, contained in XXI of the Constitution, grants some temporary, transition and special provisions to some states in India.

Article State Provision
371 Maharashtra and Gujarat Governors of the states are given special responsibilities to set up development boards in regions such as Vidarbha, Marathwada, Kutchh etc.
371A Nagaland Parliament cannot legislate in matter relating to religious/social practices of Nagas, Naga customary law and procedure, transfer of land& resources
371B Assam President may provide for the constitution and functions of a committee of the Assembly consisting of members elected from state’s tribal areas.
371C Manipur Same as Assam
371D & E Andhra Pradesh 371D: Safeguards local people rights in matters of employment and education 371E: Parliament may by law provide for the establishment of a University in Andhra Pradesh.
371F Sikkim Legislative Assembly must consist of not less than 30 members, seats provided to different sections in Sikkim.
371G Mizoram Same as Nagaland
371H Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly must consist of not less than 30 members. The governor will have special responsibility with respect to law and order in the state.
371I Goa Legislative Assembly must consist of not less than 30 members
371J six backward districts of Hyderabad-Karnataka region Equitable allocation of funds, equitable opportunities in government jobs and education.
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