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Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Mar 10, 2021

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Status of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act(UAPA) in 2019

What is the News?

The Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) informed Lok Sabha about the number of cases registered under the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act(UAPA) in 2019.

Key Data Provided by MHA on cases under UAPA:

  • Persons arrested under UAPA: In 1226 cases around 1948 persons were arrested under UAPA across the country in 2019.
    • This is a 72% increase in the number of persons arrested under the UAPA in 2019 compared to 2015.
  • The Highest Number of Cases: In 2019, the highest number of cases were registered in Manipur. This is then followed by Tamil Nadu, Jammu, and Kashmir, Jharkhand, and Assam.
  • The Highest Number of Arrests: The highest number of arrests in 2019 was made in Uttar Pradesh. The is then followed by Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Jammu, and Kashmir and Jharkhand followed the UP.
  • Terrorist Organisations: The government has declared 42 organisations as terrorist organisations and listed their names in the First Schedule of the UAPA.
  • Convictions: Only 2% of cases registered under the UAPA between 2016-2019 ended in convictions by the court.

Read about National security Laws

About Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act(UAPA):

  • UAPA was introduced in 1967 to target secessionist organizations. It is primarily an anti-terror law aimed at preventing certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations.
  • Investigation: The cases under the UAPA are investigated by the State police and the National Investigation Agency(NIA).
  • Bail: Under the act, getting bail is rare. The investigating agency has up to 180 days to file a charge sheet.

Click Here to Read More about UAPA

 Source: The Hindu


“Cyber Volunteer programme” for Citizens

What is News?

The Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) informs the Lok Sabha that a “Cyber Volunteer programme” has been rolled out. The Ministry also informed that the services of Cyber volunteers will be utilized by the State police as per requirement.

 About Cyber Crime Volunteers Program:

  • Launched by: Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C)
  • Aim of Cyber Volunteer programme: To make citizens contribute to the fight against cybercrime in the country. Further, assisting the State/UT Law enforcement agencies in their endeavour to curb cyber crimes.
  • Features: Under the Cyber Volunteer programme, citizens can register themselves as Cyber Crime volunteers. They will help the law enforcement agencies in identifying, reporting and removing illegal/unlawful online content.

What is Unlawful Content? The unlawful content has been categorised as the following:

  • Contents against sovereignty and integrity of India.
  • Any digital contents Against defence of India, Security of the State etc.
  • Contents affecting friendly relations with foreign States.
  • Content aimed at disturbing Public Order and disturbing communal harmony.
  • Any Child Sex Abuse materials.

Terms and Conditions: Cyber Volunteer programme has certain terms and conditions for citizen enrolment as a cyber volunteer. They are:

  • The Cyber volunteer is strictly prohibited from certain things. Such as,
    • creating social media accounts in the name of this programme
    • Issue any statement or express opinions on public platforms on behalf of the Cyber Volunteer programme.
  • Cyber Volunteers have to maintain strict confidentiality of tasks assigned or carried out by him/her.
  • Volunteers shall be de-registered in case of any violation or breach of the conditions.
  • Further, the State nodal officers reserve the right to take legal action.

About Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre(I4C):

  • Nodal Ministry: It was established in 2018 under the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA).
  • Purpose: I4C act as a nodal point at the National level in the fight against cybercrime.
  • Components: I4C  has seven key components. They are,
    • National Cybercrime Threat Analytics Unit(TAU)
    • National Cybercrime Reporting
    • Platform for Joint Cybercrime Investigation Team
    • National Cybercrime Forensic Laboratory(NCFL) Ecosystem
    • National Cybercrime Training Centre(NCTC)
    • Cybercrime Ecosystem Management Unit
    • National Cyber Crime Research and Innovation Centre.
  • Location: New Delhi

About National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal:

  • It was launched in 2019. The portal provides a centralized mechanism to the citizens. Using this portal the citizens can report all types of cybercrime incidents with a special focus on cyber crimes against women and children.

Source: The Hindu


“Mission Shakti, Mission Poshan 2.0, and Mission Vatsalya” – 3 Umbrella schemes of Ministry of WCD

What is the news?

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has decided to classify all of its major programmes under three Umbrella Schemes- Mission Shakti, Mission POSHAN 2.0, and Mission Vatsalya.

This step has been taken to ensure the effective implementation of various programmes and schemes of the Ministry.

What are the three umbrella Schemes?

 Mission Shakti:

  • Mission Shakti will consist of the schemes and policies for the empowerment and protection of women.
  • Schemes: Mission Shakti will cover schemes under two categories:
    • SAMBAL: This category will include schemes such as One Stop Centre, Mahila Police Volunteer, Women’s Helpline, Swadhar, Ujjawala among others.
    • SAMARTHYA: This category will include schemes such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana among others.
  • Mission Shakti will run in convergence with the other two Umbrella Schemes.

Mission Vatsalya :

  • Mission Vatsalya will be looking into the child welfare services and child protection services all over the country.
  • Schemes: Mission Vatsalya will include the Scheme for Child Protection Services, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

Saksham Anganwadi and Mission POSHAN 2.0 scheme:

  • Schemes: This will include schemes such as Integrated Child Development Scheme(ICDS), Anganwadi Services, Poshan Abhiyan, Scheme for Adolescent Girls, National Creche Scheme among others.
  • Mission Poshan 2.0: The government will be merging the Poshan Abhiyan and supplementary nutrition programme to launch Mission Poshan 2.0.
    • Mission Poshan 2.0 will look into the ways and measures for strengthening the nutritional content, outreach, delivery, and outcomes.

Source: Economic Times


Report of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development

What is the News?

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development has submitted its report to the Lok Sabha.

What did the Parliamentary Panel say in its report?

Parliamentary report On Pensions to Senior Citizens, Widows and Disabled:

  • Increase in Pension Amount: The Central Government must increase the small amount of pensions provided for poor senior citizens, widows and disabled people under the National Social Assistance Programme(NSAP).

About National Social Assistance Programme(NSAP):

  • Nodal Ministry: It was launched in 1995. It is a welfare programme administered by the Ministry of Rural Development. The programme is being implemented in rural areas as well as urban areas.
  • Aim: To provide financial assistance to the elderly, widows and persons with disabilities in the form of social pensions.
  • Current Schemes under NSAP: There are five different schemes being implemented as part of NSAP:
    • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme(IGNOAPS): Under this, senior citizens of the Below Poverty Line(BPL) households will get Rs 200 to Rs 500 a month.
    • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): Under this, widows aged over 40 years in BPL households will get Rs 300 to Rs 500 a month.
    • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme(IGNDPS): Under this, Rs 300 a month will be provided for persons aged 18-79 years with severe or multiple disabilities in BPL households.
    • National Family Benefit Scheme(NFBS): Under this, Rs 20,000 are provided upon the death of a breadwinner aged 18-59 in BPL households.
    • Annapurna Scheme: Under the scheme, senior citizens not receiving any pension benefit will get 10 kg of food grains (wheat or rice) per month at free of cost.
  • Significance: The programme represents a significant step towards the fulfilment of Article 41 of DPSP. Article 41 directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of old age, unemployment, sickness and disablement etc.

Parliamentary report on MGNREGA:

  • Delay in Payment of MNREGA Wages: The panel has pointed out the Department of Rural Development(DoRD) for delays and disparities in the MGNREGA wages and unemployment allowances.
    • Example: During COVID-19, there was an increase in the demand for work under MGNREGA. However, there was an excessive delay in the release of 40% of the funds.
  • Weak Implementation by States: The panel has asked State Governments to ensure proper implementation of the unemployment allowance of MGNREGA. As it has found that unemployment allowance under MGNREGA the provision is not implemented in letter and spirit at the grass-root level
  • The disparity in MGNREGA Wages between States: Despite the Constitution provides for equal pay for equal work, there is a wide disparity in MGNREGA wages in different states

Click Here to Read about MGNREGA

 Source: The Hindu


‘Mobilising Electric Vehicle Financing in India’ – A report of NITI Aayog

What is the News?

NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute(RMI) India jointly releases a new report titled ‘Mobilising Electric Vehicle Financing in India’.

Purpose of the Mobilising Electric Vehicle Financing in India report:

  • The report highlights the role of finance in India’s transition to electric vehicles(EVs). Further, the report also identifies solutions for capital and financing to aid in India’s EV transition.

What does the report say about Electric Vehicle Financing?

India’s Electric Vehicle ecosystem has so far focused on overcoming adoption hurdles. These hurdles are associated with technology cost, infrastructure availability, and consumer behaviour. However, financing is the next critical barrier that needs to be addressed to accelerate India’s electric mobility transition.

  • According to the report, the transition to Electric Vehicles(EVs) will require a capital investment of over 19 lakh crore rupees. This has to be spent on electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and batteries over the next decade.
  • Moreover, India’s Electric Vehicle financing industry is projected to be Rs 3.7 lakh Crore in 2030. It is about 80% of the current size of India’s retail vehicle finance industry.

Suggestions: The report has provided several solutions that financial institutions can adopt in catalysing Electric Vehicle financing.

  • Inclusion of EVs in Priority sector lending (PSL): Reserve Bank of India(RBI) can include EVs in PSL guidelines. This would incentivise banks to increase lending towards the sector.
  • Interest rate subvention: Government can provide interest rate subventions to make loans affordable. This has already been enacted in other sectors and at a state level. For example in Delhi.
  • Product guarantees and warranties: The manufacturers of EVs can provide guarantees and warranties on the performance of their products. This would improve their bankability.
  • Risk-sharing mechanism (government and multilateral-led): Partly or entirely covering the possible losses associated with Electric Vehicle financing can build trust in the sector.
  • Secondary market development: Government can help develop a secondary market for electric vehicles. This will improve the resale value of EVs and improve their bankability.
  • Digital lending: The loans for EVs can be provided digitally. This will help in overcoming the operational and logistical challenges of Electric Vehicle financing.
  • Open data repository for EVs: Financial Institutions(FIs) need access to data on EV specifications, actual charging costs, and operating expenditures. This will help institutions accurately assess risk, determine appropriate interest rates, and design effective leasing programmes.

Source: PIB


Indo-Uzbek Joint “Exercise Dustlik-ll”

What is the News?

Exercise Dustlik-II between India and Uzbekistan will be held in Uttarakhand from March 10 to 19.

About Exercise Dustlik-II:

  • Exercise Dustlik is a military exercise between the Indian Army and Uzbekistan Army.
  • First Edition: The first edition of the Exercise Dustlik was held in 2019 at Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
  • Aim: The aim of the exercise is strengthening Counter Insurgency (CI) and Counter-Terrorism (CT) operations. Especially in mountainous, rural and urban scenarios under United Nations(UN) mandate.
  • Other key Focus Areas of Exercise Dustlik:
    • During the exercise, the Indian Army will share the experiences and lessons it has gained in Kashmir.
    • Exercise Dustlik will also focus on people-centric intelligence-based surgical operations. Further, It also incorporates technological advancements to minimise collateral damage in army operations.
  • India’s Participation: India has nominated Army’s 13 Kumaon regiment. It is also called the Rezang La battalion for its heroic action in the 1962 war with China.

Other Exercises between India and Central Asian Countries:

  • Exercise KAZIND: It is an annual military exercise between India and Kazakhstan army.
  • Exercise KHANJAR: It is a joint military training exercise between India and Kyrgyzstan.

Source: The Hindu


The Doha agreement and Afghan Peace Process

What is the News?

The U.S Secretary of State has confirmed the US intention to fully withdraw all forces from Afghanistan as per the Doha Agreement.

About Doha Agreement:

In 2020, the United States signed a historic deal with the Taliban. The deal aims to end the 18-year-war in Afghanistan. The deal was signed in Doha (Qatar) and thus termed as Doha Agreement.

The key features of the Doha agreement are:

  • Troops Withdrawal: The US will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Further, the NATO or coalition troop numbers will also be brought down simultaneously. At last, all the troops will be out of Afghanistan within 14 months.
  • Taliban: Taliban will not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups including al-Qaeda to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.
  • Prisoners: Exchange of prisoners between the Afghan government and the Taliban will be done according to the Doha agreement. This is to build trust between the two sides.
  • Sanctions Removal: As per the Doha agreement, US and UN sanctions on the Taliban leaders will be removed.
  • Intra Afghan Dialogue: As per the Doha agreement, Intra-party talks will be held. The parties include Afghan government officials, opposition figures, civil society representatives and the Taliban. They will discuss a political road map for bringing an end to Afghan the war.

Source: Indian Express

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