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Insights Daily Current Events, 27 June 2016

Insights Daily Current Events, 27 June 2016


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


India to become full member of Missile Technology Control Regime

India is all set to join the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as a full member. India had applied for the membership of MTCR last year and all the procedural formalities have been completed now.


Since its civil nuclear deal with the US, India has been trying to get into export control regimes like NSG, MTCR, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement that regulate the conventional, nuclear, biological and chemicals weapons and technologies.

  • India’s case in MTCR was opposed last year by Italy which is not happy with New Delhi over the marines dispute. However, after both marines, accused of murdering two fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012, were allowed to return, the Italians have softened their opposition.
  • India’s efforts to get into the MTCR also got a boost after it agreed to join the Hague Code of Conduct, dealing with the ballistic missile non-proliferation arrangement, earlier this month.

About MTCR:

Established in April 1987, the voluntary MTCR aims to limit the spread of ballistic missiles and other unmanned delivery systems that could be used for chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks.

  • The MTCR regime urges its 34 members, which include most of the world’s key missile manufacturers, to restrict their exports of missiles and related technologies capable of carrying a 500-kilogram payload at least 300 kilometers or delivering any type of weapon of mass destruction.
  • Since 2008 India has been one of the five countries that are unilateral adherents to the MTCR. MTCR membership will enable India to buy high-end missile technology and also enhance its joint ventures with Russia.
  • China is not a member of 34-nation MTCR.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


Soon, an e-dropbox for kids to report abuse


The ministry of women and child development (WCD) is working on an e-dropbox that will let children complain about abuse, molestation or harassment in everyday situations in school, bus, tuition classes or at home. Simple language, pictures and icons will be used to ensure that even young children can use this facility.

  • The e-dropbox will be hosted on the website of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). The icons and the response system are being designed by the commission.


The project was inspired by Delhi Police’s ‘Operation Nirbheek’, under which complaint boxes were placed in different schools, allowing girls to anonymously complain about any abuse. Many of the complaints were converted into FIRs. They helped bring to light incidents of abuse at homes and schools that children were too scared or inhibited to speak about.

Why this is necessary?

A 2007 government study found that more than 53% of children in India are subjected to sexual abuse, but most don’t report the assault to anyone. The survey, carried out across 13 states and with a sample size of 12,447, revealed that 53.22% of children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse, with Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and Delhi reporting the highest percentage of such incidents. In 50% of the child abuse cases, the abusers were known to the child or were in a position of trust, and most children did not report the matter to anyone.

Sources: toi.


Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Zika virus may not cause microcephaly: Study


The microcephaly epidemic in Brazil has been speculated to be caused by the Zika virus. However, a new study claims Zika may not be the real cause of microcephaly after all so further research is still needed to verify this.


  • In Brazil, more than 1,500 microcephaly cases have been recorded. But the researchers from the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), an independent research and educational institution, say microcephaly cases were not found in other countries hit with Zika virus, as in the case of Colombia.
  • A recent data analysis reveals that the 12,000 Colombian mothers infected with Zika, all of whom have Zika infection symptoms, did not give birth to microcephalic infants, babies with small head that can lead to learning problems.
  • The findings imply that there could be another cause for microcephaly in Brazil. Some researchers say Brazil’s microcephaly cases could be blamed to the pesticide pyriproxyfen. Pyriproxyfen is used to eliminate the larvae of the mosquitoes that spread Zika, which include the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, Zika’s primary vector. The pesticide is introduced into the drinking water in some areas of Brazil.
  • The research team explains that pyriproxyfen is a juvenile hormone analog that regulates an insect growth, development, and reproduction. This substance is cross reactive with retinoic acid, which has been known to cause microcephaly.

What is microcephaly?

Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. During pregnancy, a baby’s head grows because the baby’s brain grows. Microcephaly can occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, which results in a smaller head size. Microcephaly can be an isolated condition, meaning that it can occur with no other major birth defects, or it can occur in combination with other major birth defects.


Zika virus disease is an emerging viral disease transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. This is the same mosquito that is known to transmit infections like dengue and chikungunya.

Sources: toi.


Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


Crime drops as Chittoor embraces community policing in a big way


With 4,500 volunteers enrolled as Community Police Officers (CPOs) in just five months, the community policing effort launched by the Chittoor district police in Andhra Pradesh has evoked an overwhelming response. Professionals, including doctors, lawyers and engineers and students have signed up to help in various aspects of policing.

  • CPOs are being used in almost all areas of policing, including crime, traffic regulation, night beats, security duties, road accidents, data entry and operations against red sanders smuggling.

Who are CPOs?

CPOs are community police officers who do not require any education qualification. They should be just above 18 years of age with good health and clean background. Women and transgenders can also be CPOs. After preliminary training, the CPOs would also be eligible for special orientation in their field of interest.

The concept’s motto is to promote people-friendly policing where there will be zero crime rate.

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:


  • The Global Fraud Report 2015-16 by risk mitigation consultancy Kroll, with the aid of the Economist Intelligence Unit, has found that the perceived prevalence of fraud in India is the third-highest among all countries and regions surveyed across six continents. Only Colombia (83%) and Sub-Saharan Africa (84%) surpass India. An overwhelming 80% of companies polled in India said they had been victims of fraud in 2015-16, up from 69% in 2013-14. The report’s authors observed that while the incidence of fraud was on the rise globally, a combination of a lack of preventive measures at Indian companies and a poor legal system had resulted in 92% of the respondents saying they had witnessed an increase in exposure to fraud.


  • Panama has opened the long-awaited $US5.4 billion ($7.2 billion) expansion of its shipping canal, completed after nearly a decade of work forecast to boost global trade and improve the 80-kilometre shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Chinese merchant ship Cosco became the first ship to use the expanded canal. The Expansion will double the Canal’s capacity, having a direct impact on economies of scale and international maritime trade. It will help maintain the Canal’s competitiveness and the value of the maritime route through Panama. The original canal has two lanes, each with its own set of locks. The expansion project added a third lane through the construction of lock complexes at each end of the canal. One lock complex is located on the Pacific side, southwest of the existing Miraflores Locks. The other is located east of the existing Gatun Locks. Each of these new lock complexes have three consecutive chambers designed to move vessels from sea level to the level of Gatun Lake and back down again.


  • Domestic airlines can now import aircraft that are up to 18 years old into the country with the government amending more than two-decade rules in this regard. The move is expected to provide a fillip for the government’s ambitious efforts to boost regional air connectivity as it gives more leeway for operators in expanding their fleet. Till now, aircraft that are more than 15 years old were not allowed to be imported. With the revised norms, pressurised aircraft that are not over 18 years old or those which have not completed 50% of design economic pressurisation cycle can be imported. A pressurised aircraft is one which is equipped to handle cabin pressure at an altitude of above 10,000 feet. The regulations would be applicable for entities having scheduled, non-scheduled and general aviation operations.