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Restricted Area Permit (RAP) system

Topics covered:

  1. Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  2. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  3. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

 

Restricted Area Permit (RAP) system

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: RAP- features, important Islands in Andaman and Nicobar.
  • For Mains: Need for RAP, challenges faced by indigenous tribes and the need for international collaboration for the protection of these tribes.

 

Context: The Centre is planning to revisit its decision to lift the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) system from 29 islands of Andaman and Nicobar.

 

Need for review:

To develop tourism, the RAP regime, in place since 1963, was lifted around August this year from 29 islands, including the North Sentinel. The lifting of the regime proved problematic and the decision had “many pros and cons that needed to be re-looked”. Recently, U.S. citizen John Allen Chau was killed in the North Sentinel Island.

 

What is Restricted Area Permit (RAP) regime?

RAP regime was notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963.

  • Under it, foreign nationals are not normally allowed to visit protected or restricted area unless Government is satisfied that there are extra-ordinary reasons to justify their visit.
  • Every foreigner, except citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in protected or restricted area, is required to obtain special permit from competent authority having power to issue such permits to foreigner, seeking it.
  • Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are exception and are not allowed to enter such areas.

 

Sources: the hindu.

Mains Question: Discuss the threats and challenges faced by the tribes such as Sentinelese in India and how they need to be protected?