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Insights Daily Current Events, 03 June 2016

Insights Daily Current Events, 03 June 2016


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Hindus from Pakistan, Bangladesh will get to claim Indian citizenship

 

The home ministry has prepared draft amendments to citizenship law that will exempt minority citizens of Pakistan and Bangladesh who have come to India out of fear of religious persecution from being tagged as “illegal migrants“.

Details:

  • The changes to the Citizenship Act, 1955, will give a legal path to the refugees to remain in India and even claim citizenship.
  • As per the proposed amendments to Citizenship Act, December 31, 2014 will be designated as the cut-off date for refugees to be eligible to apply for citizenship.
  • Also, Section 2 (1)(b) of the Act will have a provision that will exempt such citizens from being deemed “illegal migrants”.
  • Besides, the government is also looking at simultaneous amendments to the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and Foreigners Act, 1946.

Way ahead:

The draft will shortly be shortly sent to the cabinet for its approval.

Implications:

The move stands to benefit nearly 2 lakh Hindus from Pakistan and Bangladesh who often complain they are treated as “second-class citizens” and are vulnerable to violence. They have also often found themselves at the receiving end of blasphemy laws.

Sources: toi.


 

Paper 3 Topic: disaster and disaster management.

 

PM Modi releases country’s first National Disaster Management Plan

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP). This is the first ever national plan prepared in the country.

Key facts:

  • The plan aims to make India disaster resilient and reduces loss of lives.
  • The plan is based on the four priority themes of the “Sendai Framework,” namely: understanding disaster risk, improving disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction (through structural and non-structural measures) and disaster preparedness, early warning and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.
  • The plan covers all phases of disaster management: Prevention, Mitigation, Response and Recovery.
  • It provides for horizontal and vertical integration among all the agencies and departments of the Government.
  • The plan also spells out the roles and responsibilities of all levels of Government right up to Panchayat and Urban local body level in a matrix format.
  • The plan has a regional approach, which will be beneficial not only for disaster management but also for development planning.
  • It is designed in such a way that it can be implemented in a scalable manner in all phases of disaster management.
  • It also identifies major activities such as early warning, information dissemination, medical care, fuel, transportation, search and rescue, evacuation, etc. to serve as a checklist for agencies responding to a disaster.
  • It also provides a generalised framework for recovery and offers flexibility to assess a situation and build back better.
  • To prepare communities to cope with disasters, it emphasises on a greater need for Information, Education and Communication activities.
  • It even calls for ethical guidelines for the media for coverage of disasters as well as self-regulation. The plan wants the media to respect the dignity and privacy of affected people.
  • Also, in a move aimed to stop rumours and spread of panic, the plan directed the authorities to schedule regular media briefing (depending on the severity of the disaster) and designate a nodal officer for interacting with the media on behalf of the government.

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

India joins The Hague Code of Conduct

 

India has joined The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC).

  • India’s joining the Code signals its readiness to further strengthen the global non-proliferation regimes.
  • The government has also made it clear that this joining will not have any impact on the national security as well as country’s missile programmes.

About HCoC:

HCoC is a global ballistic missile proliferation regime established in 2002. It is a voluntary legally non-binding multilateral body aimed at preventing the spread of ballistic missiles that can deliver weapons of mass destruction.

  • It is the only multilateral code in the area of disarmament which has been adopted over the last years. It is the only normative instrument to verify the spread of ballistic missiles.
  • The HCOC does not ban ballistic missiles, but it does call for restraint in their production, testing, and export. Presently, there are 137 signatories.
  • The Code is meant to supplement the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) but its membership is not restricted. Under the Code, States make politically binding commitments to curb the proliferation of WMD-capable ballistic missiles and to exercise maximum restraint in developing, testing, and deploying such missiles.
  • Given the similarities between the technologies used in ballistic missiles and civilian rockets, the Code also introduces transparency measures such as annual declarations and pre-launch notifications regarding ballistic missile and space launch programs.
  • Austria is the administrative Central Contact of the Code, coordinating the information exchange under HCOC.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Crucial meetings await Parrikar on sidelines of Shangri-La Dialogue

 

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is in Singapore to attend the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue. On the sidelines, he will also be holding crucial meetings with his counterparts from France and the U.S.

  • The Shangri-La Dialogue hosted annually by independent think-tank International Institute for Strategic Studies, is being held from June 3-5.
  • It is attended by defence ministers and military chiefs of 28 Asia-Pacific countries besides those of other countries.

What is the Shangri-La Dialogue?

The dialogue, also called as IISS Asia Security Summit, was launched in 2002 by British think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Singaporean government. This annual dialogue brings together defence ministers and military chiefs from 28 Asia-Pacific countries to talk about security in the region. It gets its name from the location of the meeting, the Shangri-La hotel in Singapore.

Why is the Shangri-La Dialogue important?

  • The dialogue gathers military representatives from some of the world’s most powerful countries to discuss pressing and significant defence and security issues.
  • The meeting is a chance for defence ministers, military chiefs and high-ranking defence officials to hold bilateral meetings on its sidelines.
  • It is also attended by legislators, academic experts, journalists and business delegates from around the globe, making it a vehicle for public policy development and discussions on defence and security in the Asia-Pacific.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Singapore Arbitration Centre to open India office

 

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) is all set to establish a representative office at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) to resolve international commercial disputes.

Background:

SIAC has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company Limited (GIFTCL) and GIFT SEZ Limited (GIFT SEZ).

Details:

  • SIAC will establish a representative office at GIFT City to promote its international arbitration services to Indian users. Indian parties are among the top five foreign users of SIAC in the last five years. It was the top foreign user of SIAC in 2013 and 2015.
  • As per the terms of the agreement, GIFTCL, GIFT SEZ and SIAC will collaborate to promote the use of arbitration, mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms, including the innovative ‘Arb-Med-Arb’ service offered by the SIAC and the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC).

What is IAC?

An international arbitration centre or IAC is a centre where disputes arising out of commercial agreements from sectors like insurance, shipping, construction, private equity and other trades are handled. Arbitration is different from court litigation and is typically less time-consuming as it is done in private between the lawyers representing the aggrieved parties.

Arb-Med-Arb:

Arb-Med-Arb is a process where a dispute is first referred to arbitration before mediation is attempted. If parties are able to settle their dispute through mediation, their mediated settlement may be recorded as a consent award. The consent award is generally accepted as an arbitral award, and, subject to any local legislation and/or requirements, is generally enforceable in approximately 150 countries under the New York Convention. If parties are unable to settle their dispute through mediation, they may continue with the arbitration proceedings.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: cyber security.

 

Reserve Bank tells lenders to expedite cyber security policy

 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked the commercial banks to ‘immediately’ put in place a cyber security policy, duly approved by the board, in the wake of increasing cyber attacks in the financial system.

Key facts:

  • According to the RBI, the policy should elucidate the strategy containing an appropriate approach to combat cyber threats given the level of complexity of business and acceptable levels of risk.
  • The policy would also include setting up an adaptive incident response, management and recovery framework to deal with adverse incidents/disruptions, if and when they occur.
  • Banks have also been asked to formulate a Cyber Crisis Management Plan (CCMP) which should be a part of the overall board-approved strategy.
  • According to the central bank, CCMP should address the following four aspects—Detection, Response, Recovery and Containment.
  • The regulator has emphasised that the cyber security policy should be distinct and separate from the broader IT policy/IS Security policy so that it can highlight the risks from cyber threats and the measures to address or mitigate these risks.

Why this is necessary?

With the use of technology by banks gaining momentum, the number, frequency and impact of cyber incidents/attacks has increased manifold in the recent past.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Facts for Prelims:

 

  • Using the Very Large Array (VLA), located in New Mexico, US, an international team of scientists has detected a faint signal emitted by hydrogen gas in a galaxy more than five billion light years away. This incredible measurement is almost double the previous record of distance. According to scientists, these signals would have begun their journey before our planet even existed. As the most abundant element in the universe, and the raw fuel for creating stars, hydrogen is used by radio astronomers to detect and understand the makeup of other galaxies.

 

  • For the road project of widening of the Madhya Pradesh/Maharashtra border – Mansar section of the existing NH-7 which cuts across the tiger corridor in the state of Maharashtra, NHAI has approved Rs. 186 Crore for wildlife mitigation measures to take care of any possible adverse impact on the tiger population in the Pench – Kanha Tiger Corridor. This is only a part of the amount to be spent for the purpose. As per the recommendations of the Wildlife Institute of India and the National Tiger Conservation Authority, also endorsed by the Hon’ble High Court at Nagpur, NHAI is providing elaborate mitigation measures on the stretch. The measures include three elevated sections of 750m, 750m and 300m length, so that wildlife can move across the highway alignment following their natural paths. Besides these, 6 other wildlife crossings of different dimensions are also being provided.

 

  • Mega Luxury Cruise Vessel “M.V.Ovation of the Seas” has reached the Cochin Port for a 2-day stop-over in its circuit of Dubai-Muscat-Kochi-Penang-Singapore. “M.V.Ovation of the Seas” is a brand new ship of the Royal Caribbean Lines which was floated out in April this year. It is 348 m long and is in the 2nd largest class of cruise vessel.

 

  • V.O. Chidambaranar Port, Tamil Nadu has bagged National Award for Excellence in Cost Management for the year 2015 from The Institute of Cost Accountants of India under the category of Public Service Sector- Small. The port participated in the 13th National Awards for Excellence in Cost Management-2015, organised by The Institute of Cost Accountants of India. This is the third time this port is receiving the award , the earlier years being 2008 and 2012. The award has been given for exemplary performance of V.O. Chidambaranar Port towards optimization of manpower, savings in electricity, implementation of Solar Energy Systems, reduction of overall cost of handling by mechanization and improvising efficiency and logistics support. The Institute of Cost Accountants of India, a statutory body under an Act of Parliament, presents awards for excellence in Cost Management to promote and recognize Cost Management practices in the Corporate Sector.

 

  • The Home Ministry has signed an agreement to join the global terror database maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) of the U.S. The U.S. has already finalised such agreements with 30 countries and the Terrorist Screening Center has details of 11,000 terror suspects on its database, including nationality, date of birth, photos, fingerprints (if any) and passport number. Under this arrangement, both sides will give each other access to terrorism screening information through designated contact points, subject to domestic laws and regulations.