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Insights Daily Current Events, 16 September 2015
Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Pentagon cell to push India trade ties
The Pentagon has established a first-ever country special cell to speed up its defence ties with India and accelerate the process of co-development and co-production of hi-tech military equipment in the country. (The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, “the Pentagon” is often used metonymically to refer to the U.S. Department of Defense.)
- India is the only country to have a specific cell of its kind inside the Pentagon.
- The purpose of this (India Rapid Reaction) Cell is to work all the initiatives that are ongoing under (India-US) DTTI (Defence Trade and Technology Initiative).
- India Rapid Reaction cell has been instrumental in accelerating the DTTI projects and has started the process to send some new proposals to India for co-production and co-development.
- Currently, seven persons are working on this cell, representing various wings of the US Department of Defence.
- The cell looks at ways to transform bilateral defence relationship without any bureaucratic obstacles, move away from the traditional buyer-seller dynamic to a more collaborative approach, explore new areas of technological collaboration and expand the U.S.-India business ties.
Sources: The Hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: indigenization of technology.
Anti-tank guided missile test-fired
Amogha-1 was successfully test-fired at Babina Army Range, Madhya Pradesh recently.
- It is an indigenously-developed second generation, Anti-Tank Guided Missile.
- It has a range of 2.8 km.
- This is the first-ever design and developmental effort in respect of missiles by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad.
Sources: The Hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges.
Crowdsourcing to counter radical online posturing
Kerala Police have come up with a solution to counter radical online posturing. According to them, Crowdsourcing may be an effective method to detect and counter online IS propaganda aimed at radicalising impressionable youth in the country.
- They (Kerla Police) quote the example of a Kasaragod native who alerted the police recently about the WhatsApp message depicting the black standard of the armed Islamist group.
- The police are mindful of the social media profess of the Islamist State’s online propagandists and the strange appeal they could spin for alienated youth world over.
What is crowdsourcing?
- It is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.
- Crowdsourcing combines the efforts of numerous self-identified volunteers or part-time workers, where each contributor, acting on their own initiative, adds a small contribution that combines with those of others to achieve a greater result.
Citizens can use the online police portals and FB accounts to report online radical activity.
Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.
British Indian on Man Booker Prize shortlist
Indian-origin British author Sunjeev Sahota is among six writers shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction for 2015.
- He has been shortlisted for his novel The Year of the Runaways which centres around the lives of three Indian men — one a Dalit — and a woman, all migrants from India.
About Man Booker Prize:
- The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language, and published in the UK.
- The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and success; therefore, the prize is of great significance for the book trade.
- The prize was historically limited to authors from the U.K., the Commonwealth, Ireland and Zimbabwe; this is only the second year that it has been open to anyone writing in the English language and published in the U.K.
- The prize is the world’s most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.
- It carries £50,000 cash prize.
Sources: The Hindu, mb.
Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests, and international institutions.
G4 leaders plan summit meet
Leaders of Japan, Germany, Brazil and India — the G4— are exploring the possibility of a summit meeting in New York in the last week of September, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA).
- The leaders of the G4 are in favour of expansion of the U.N. Security Council and permanent seats for themselves.
- There are many opponents to the expansion of the UNSC, but the most vociferous of them all are China and Pakistan.
- The G4 nations comprising Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan are four countries which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
- G4’s primary aim is the permanent member seats on the Security Council. Each of these four countries have figured among the elected non-permanent members of the council since the UN’s establishment. Their economic and political influence has grown significantly in the last decades, reaching a scope comparable to the permanent members (P5). However, the G4’s bids are often opposed by Uniting for Consensus movement, and particularly their economic competitors or political rivals.
- The G4 took shape in 2004 when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, along with German Foreign Minister Joska Fischer, issued a joint statement, kicking off their campaign for U.N. reforms, including more representation for developing countries, both in the permanent and non-permanent categories, in the UNSC which has 15 members.
India and UNSC:
- India, which will be competing for a permanent seat with Germany, Japan and Brazil, has the support of Russia, France and the U.K.
- India has long held that as one of the biggest democracies and a growing economy it is poised to take its place in the UNSC complete with the veto. However, China remains a big roadblock as it has not clarified its position on support for India.
- India was among the founding members of United Nations. It is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
- Today, India has over 8,500 peacekeepers in the field, more than twice as many as the UN’s five big powers combined.
- India, since long time, has been demanding expansion of UNSC and its inclusion as permanent member in it. It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.
UNSC: Quick facts
- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
- Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
- The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.
- The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.
The reform of the Security Council requires the agreement of at least two-thirds of UN member states and that of all the permanent members of the UNSC, enjoying the veto right.
Sources: The Hindu, un, Wiki.