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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 29 August 2016

 

 


Insights Daily Current Affairs, 29 August 2016


 

Paper 3 Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

 

MHA oversight for all NGOs?

 

The Home Ministry has asked the Finance Ministry to surrender its powers to monitor non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). This move is aimed at bringing all NGOs which receive foreign contributions under one umbrella for better monitoring and regulation.

 

Current practice:

Currently, there are nearly 100 international NGOs and associations which receive foreign funds through their liaison offices and disburse them to NGOs across India. Few international donors are registered under FEMA but not the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.

  • The Home Ministry monitors foreign funds donated to NGOs and organisations through the FCRA. And, FEMA is regulated by the Finance Ministry.
  • Many NGOs and foreign donors do not want to register under the FCRA due to its stringent provisions.

 

Why a common head is necessary?

There are certain NGOs which are registered under FEMA and continue to disburse foreign funds to various associations in India. Since FEMA is regulated by the Finance Ministry, there are many occasions when the Home Ministry is not able to monitor the flow of funds effectively. Hence, these powers should be given to the Home Ministry. This helps in better monitoring and regulation of NGOs.

 

Background:

The FCRA was brought into force to regulate flow of foreign funds to voluntary organisations with the objective of preventing any possible diversion of such funds to anti-national activities.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is mandated to administer the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, for regulating the receipt and utilization of foreign contribution by the associations/NGOs.

  • Expeditious action is taken as and when adverse inputs of violations of provisions of the Act are received against any association. The NGOs/Civil Societies registered/given Prior Permission under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 are required to follow the provisions of Act, Rules and instructions issued in this regard from time to time.
  • The Government receives inputs from various security agencies, including Intelligence Bureau, from time to time, about the violations of FCRA, however, action is initiated against the alleged violators only after due scrutiny and following due process as prescribed in the said Act.
  • If any NGOs/Civil Societies violate any of the provisions of the Act and Rules, then only, action is initiated as per provisions of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. Actions include compounding of offence, putting in prior reference category, suspensions of registration, freezing of accounts, cancellation of registration, prosecution etc.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

Silk Road’ train to reach Afghanistan

 

China recently launched its first cargo train to Afghanistan. The train carrying 84 containers departed from Nantong City, east China’s Jiangsu Province, to the Afghanistan city of Hairatan.

  • It is China’s first cargo train service to Afghanistan and it takes about 15 days passing through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Hairatan is the border town located close to Uzbekistan.
  • This move is aimed at consolidating ties with Kabul, as part of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative along the ancient Silk Road.
  • The decision to run a cargo train follows concerted effort by China to play a leading role in imparting political stability to Afghanistan, in tune with the scaling down of NATO forces from the country.

 

OBOR:

One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative aims to connect major Eurasian economies through infrastructure, trade and investment.

  • The “Belt” is a network of overland road and rail routes, oil and natural gas pipelines, and other infrastructure projects that will stretch from Xi’an in central China through Central Asia and ultimately reach as far as Moscow, Rotterdam, and Venice.
  • The “Road” is its maritime equivalent: a network of planned ports and other coastal infrastructure projects that dot the map from South and Southeast Asia to East Africa and the northern Mediterranean Sea.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

 

India plans anti-terror drive at NAM

 

Ahead of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, India is planning a major diplomatic outreach in order to push through the ‘Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism’ (CCIT).

  • In this regard, India is expected to launch a campaign during the September 13-18 Non Aligned Movement summit in Venezuela.

CCIT:

What is it?

It is a draft proposed by India in 1996 that is yet to be adopted by the UNGA.

What does it call for?

  • Universal definition of terrorism: no good terrorist or bad terrorist.
  • Ban on all groups regardless of country of operation, cut off access to funds and safe havens.
  • Prosecution of all groups including cross border groups.
  • Amending domestic laws to make cross-border terror an extraditable offence.
  • It also addresses, among other things, the issue of Pakistan’s alleged support for cross-border terrorism in south Asia.

 

Concerns expressed by various countries:

  • US + allies: concerns over definition of terrorism, including acts by US soldiers in international interventions without UN mandate.
  • Latin American countries: concerns over international humanitarian laws being ignored.
  • There are also concerns that convention will be used to target Pakistan and restrict rights of self-determination groups in Palestine, Kashmir etc.

Sources: the hindu.


 

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

 

India, U.S. to sign logistics agreement

 

India and the US are set to sign a key logistics agreement during Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s upcoming visit to the country which will enable both militaries to use each other’s assets and bases for repair and replenishment of supplies.

  • The agreement is known as ‘Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement‘ (LEMOA). The agreement was announced during the visit of Carter to India in April this year.

 

About the agreement:

The agreement will give two nations access to logistic support from each other besides refueling and birthing facilities.

  • It requires both countries to provide their bases, fuel and other kinds of logistics support to each other’s’ fighter jets and naval warships.
  • Logistical support with regard to weapons facilities would involve non-offensive military equipment.
  • This support will involve cashless transactions on a reciprocal basis.
  • It would be particularly beneficial at the time of disaster relief operations like the one India undertook in the wake of the Asian Tsunami in 2004.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

ISRO successfully test-fires scramjet engine

 

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently successfully tested its own scramjet engines from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The mission was successful.

  • In this mission, the ISRO has successfully demonstrated its capabilities in critical technologies like ignition of air breathing engines at supersonic speed, air intake mechanism and fuel injection systems.
  • With this, India became the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of a scramjet engines. This mission is a milestone for ISRO’s future space transportation system.

scramjet engine

What is scramjet?

Rockets usually carry both fuel and oxidiser for easy combustion. Scramjet engine uses the oxygen from atmosphere to compress fuel, thus reducing the weight of rocket and increasing the efficiency.

  • The scramjet engine is used only during the atmospheric phase of the rocket’s flight.
  • These engines have no moving parts. Instead of the rotating compressor and turbine in a jet engine, air is compressed and expanded by complex systems of shockwaves under the front of the aircraft, inside the inlet and under the fuselage at the rear.
  • The scramjet engine can also liquefy the oxygen and store it on board.
  • Scramjet engines will help bringing down launch cost by reducing the amount of oxidiser to be carried along with the fuel.
  • Scramjet engines designed by ISRO uses hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidiser.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Completes Its First, And Closest, Jupiter Flyby

 

NASA’s Juno spacecraft recently successfully completed the first of its 36 orbits of Jupiter. At the closest point in its orbit around the gas giant, Juno flew at a distance of just 2,600 miles above Jupiter’s atmosphere. This flyby, during which the spacecraft was traveling at a breakneck speed of 130,000 miles per hour, is the closest Juno will get to Jupiter during its prime mission.

 

Background:

Juno was launched in August 2011 and traversed nearly 2 billion miles of space to reach Jupiter. The spacecraft, named after the Roman god Jupiter’s wife, will spend the better part of the next year-and-half trying to peer through the thick clouds surrounding the massive gas giant.

  • The primary goals of the $1.1 billion mission are to find out whether Jupiter has a solid core, and whether there is water in the planet’s atmosphere — something that may not only provide vital clues to how the planet formed and evolved, but also to how the solar system we live in came into existence.
  • At the end of its mission, Juno will dive into Jupiter’s atmosphere and burn up — a “deorbit” maneuver that is necessary to ensure that it does not crash into and contaminate the Jovian moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

Sources: the hindu.