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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 2 August 2021

 

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically. 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021.

2. Police stations must display legal aid info.

3. India assumes UNSC presidency.

4. Pak. finalises Bill to grant new status to Gilgit-Baltistan.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Assam, Mizoram border dispute.

2. Section 66A of the Information Technology Act.

3. Integrated theatre commands.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC).

2. India, China establish hotline in north Sikkim.

3. Ashwagandha.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021


Click here

Context:

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, which seeks to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, was recently passed in Rajya Sabha.

 

As per the amendments:

  1. The District Magistrates have been further empowered under the Act to ensure its smooth implementation, as well as garner synergized efforts in favour of children in distress conditions.
  2. It means that DMs and ADMs will monitor the functioning of various agencies under the JJ Act in every district- including the Child Welfare Committees, the Juvenile Justice Boards, the District Child Protection Units and the Special Juvenile Protection Units.
  3. The DM will also carry out background checks of CWC members, who are usually social welfare activists, including educational qualifications, as there is no such provision currently.
  4. The DMs are also to check possible criminal backgrounds to ensure that no cases of child abuse or child sexual abuse are found against any member before they are appointed.
  5. The CWCs are also to report regularly to the DMs on their activities in the districts.
  6. Serious offences will also include offences for which maximum punishment is imprisonment of more than seven years, and minimum punishment is not prescribed or is less than seven years.
  7. Instead of the court, the District Magistrate (including Additional District Magistrate) will now issue adoption orders.

 

Significance:

  • The changes give increased powers and responsibilities to District Magistrates.
  • This has increased protection of children at the district level, with checks and balances in place, and will also speed up the adoption processes in the country.

 

What is the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015?

The Act was introduced and passed in Parliament in 2015 to replace the Juvenile Delinquency Law and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act) 2000.

  • It allowed the trial of juveniles in conflict with law in the age group of 16-18 years as adults, in cases where the crimes were to be determined.
  • The nature of the crime, and whether the juvenile should be tried as a minor or a child, was to be determined by a Juvenile Justice Board.
  • It received impetus after the 2012 Delhi gangrape in which one of the accused was just short of 18 years, and was therefore tried as a juvenile.
  • The Act streamlined adoption procedures for orphans, abandoned and surrendered children and the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has been given the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know about “The Beijing Rules”? Read Here ( Know only in brief )

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About CARA.
  2. About Juvenile Justice Boards.
  3. Provisions of the 2015 Juvenile Justice Act.
  4. Recent Amendments.
  5. What are Child Welfare Committed.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for reforms in Juvenile Justice Act of 2015.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Role of civil services in a democracy.

Police stations must display legal aid info:


Context:

Supreme Court judge Justice U.U. Lalit has said that every police station in the country must have display boards informing about the right to legal aid and the availability of free legal aid services.

 

About NALSA:

  • NALSA has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, to provide free legal services to weaker sections of society.
  • The aim is to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reasons of economic or other disabilities.
  • ‘Nyaya Deep’ is the official newsletter of NALSA.
  • It organises Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes.

 

Composition:

  • As per section 3(2) of Legal Service Authorities Act, the Chief Justice of India shall be the Patron-in-Chief.
  • Second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court of India is the Executive-Chairman.

 

State and district legal services authorities:

In every State, the State Legal Services Authority has been constituted to give effect to the policies and directions of the NALSA and to give free legal services to the people and conduct Lok Adalats in the State. The State Legal Services Authority is headed by Hon’ble the Chief Justice of the respective High Court who is the Patron-in-Chief of the State Legal Services Authority.

In every District, District Legal Services Authority has been constituted to implement Legal Services Programmes in the District. The District Legal Services Authority is situated in the District Courts Complex in every District and chaired by the District Judge of the respective district.

 

Do you know what Article 39A of the Constitution of India states?

The State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know who is Entitled to Free Legal Services under the Legal Services Authorities Act? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who appoints Patron-in-Chief and executive chairman of NALSA?
  2. Eligibility criteria?
  3. Who heads state and district legal services authorities?
  4. Constitutional provisions in this regard?

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of NALSA in ensuring free legal aid to the poor and needy.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

India assumes UNSC presidency:


Context:

India has assumed the rotating Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of August.

  • This is India’s tenth tenure.
  • This is also India’s first presidency in the UNSC during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC.

 

About Security Council Presidency:

  1. The presidency of the Council is held by each of the members in turn for one month, following the English alphabetical order of the Member States names.
  2. It rotates among the 15 member-states of the council monthly.
  3. The head of the country’s delegation is known as the President of the United Nations Security Council.
  4. The president serves to coordinate actions of the council, decide policy disputes, and sometimes functions as a diplomat or intermediary between conflicting groups.

 

About UNSC:

  • The United Nations Charter established six main organs of the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
  • The Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.
  • Permanent and Non-Permanent Members: The UNSC is composed of 15 members, 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent.
  • Each year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term.

 

Proposed UNSC reforms:

Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues: categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship.

 

Case for Permanent Membership of India in UNSC:

  1. India is the founding member of the UN.
  2. Most significantly, India has almost twice the number of peacekeepers deployed on the ground than by P5 countries.
  3. India is also the largest democracy and second-most populous country.
  4. India’s acquired status of a Nuclear Weapons State (NWS) in May 1998 also makes India a natural claimant as a permanent member similar to the existing permanent members who are all Nuclear Weapon States.
  5. India is the undisputed leader of the Third world countries, as reflected by its leadership role in Non-Aligned Movement and G-77 grouping.

 

Insta Curious:

Have you heard about the “coffee club”, which is an informal grouping comprising 40-odd members? What are its objectives? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About UNSC.
  2. Members.
  3. Election.
  4. Functions.
  5. About the UNSC Presidency.
  6. About the UN Charter.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for reforms in UNSC.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Pak. finalises Bill to grant new status to Gilgit-Baltistan:


Pakistani authorities have finalised a law to award provisional provincial status to strategically located Gilgit-Baltistan.

  • As per the proposal, the Supreme Appellate Court (SAC) of Gilgit-Baltistan may be abolished and the region’s election commission is likely to be merged with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

 

Current Status of Gilgit-Baltistan:

  • It is an autonomous region now and with this elevation, it will become the 5th province of the country.
  • Currently, Pakistan has four provinces namely Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh.

 

India’s position:

India has clearly conveyed to Pakistan that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of the country by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession.

 

Where is Gilgit Baltistan located?

  • It borders China in the North, Afghanistan in the west and Kashmir in the south east.
  • It shares a geographical boundary with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • The region was a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, but has been under Pakistan’s control since 4th November, 1947, following the invasion of Kashmir by tribal militias and the Pakistan army.
  • The China Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through this region.

 

Its present status:

  1. The area is currently under the occupation of Pakistan, in violation of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) resolution of 28 April 1949.
  2. The occupation took place without the consent of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and, despite the UNCIP’s calls for Pakistan to withdraw its forces from the disputed area, the occupation remains to this day.
  3. For over 60 years now, the area of Gilgit-Baltistan has lacked a proper constitutional status, a working legal system and political autonomy.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that China is helping Pakistan build the Kohala hydropower project? Where is it located? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Gilgit- Baltistan- Location, neighbours and important rivers flowing through.
  2. What is Karachi Agreement related to?
  3. The 1963 Pak- China Boundary Agreement.
  4. 1972 Simla Agreement.
  5. About PoK and CPEC.

Mains Link:

Where is Gilgit- Baltistan? How it came under the control of Pakistan? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

Assam, Mizoram border dispute:


Context:

The Chief Ministers of Assam and Mizoram have sought to ease tensions along the border.

 

Recent incidents/developments: 

The police forces of both States exchanged fires on July 26. This left six Assam policemen and a civilian dead and 60 others injured.

  • Assam claimed the firing was one-sided and unprovoked, while Mizoram said they retaliated to the aggression by the Assam police.

 

Origins of the dispute:

The two States share a 164.6-km volatile border and the conflict is decades-old.

At the center of the dispute are two notifications- 1875 and 1993:

  • Mizoram claims that the land is theirs is based on an 1875 notification, which came from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873.
  • Assam claims that the land is theirs based on a 1933 notification that demarcated the Lushai Hills, which Mizoram was formerly known as, from the province of Manipur.

 

Impacts of such incidents:

Since the July 26 incident, locals in Assam have blocked the National Highway-306 besides uprooting a stretch of the lone railway track connecting Mizoram. Transportation of people and goods to and from Mizoram has thus been affected.

 

What needs to be done?

  • The Supreme Court should be approached for an amicable solution.
  • CRPF forces should patrol and monitor the region under the direct supervision of the Union government should be increased.
  • Avoid posting sensitive messages and make judicious use of social media platform” to prevent any possible escalation of the situation.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that besides Assam and Mizoram, there are seven such conflicts that the home ministry says are ongoing? Here is a brief overview, 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Border between Assam and Mizoram.
  2. Reasons for the Border dispute.
  3. North East states that have international borders.
  4. NH 306- location.
  5. Overview of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873.

Mains Link:

Suggest measures to end the Assam- Mizoram border dispute.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security.

Section 66A of the Information Technology Act:


Context:

The Centre has said that the Ministries of Information and Technology and Home Affairs had done their best to disseminate knowledge about the Supreme Court judgment in Shreya Singhal case on Section 66A. Despite this, many cases have been registered under this section.

The Centre has made the following observations:

  1. Since the police and public order were “State subjects” under the Constitution, the onus lies with the states to implement the apex court’s 2015 judgment quashing the ‘draconian’ section 66A of Information and Technology Act.
  2. Law enforcement agencies share equal responsibility to comply with the apex court judgment. They take action against cyber crime offenders as per the law.

 

What has happened?

On July 5, the Supreme Court had expressed shock and dismay over police continuing to register cases under section 66A despite it being quashed six years ago.

  • As of March 2021, a total of 745 cases are still pending and active before the district courts in 11 states, wherein the accused persons are being prosecuted for offences under Section 66A of the IT Act.

 

What is Section 66A?

  • Section 66A defines the punishment for sending “offensive” messages through a computer or any other communication device like a mobile phone or a tablet.
  • A conviction can fetch a maximum of three years in jail and a fine.
  • It empowered police to make arrests over what policemen, in terms of their subjective discretion, could construe as “offensive” or “menacing” or for the purposes of causing annoyance, inconvenience, etc.

 

Why did SC strike down section 66A?

The SC had noted that Section 66A arbitrarily, excessively and disproportionately invades the right of free speech, under article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution, and upsets the balance between such right and the reasonable restrictions that may be imposed on such right and the definition of offences under the provision was open-ended and undefined.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know about ‘ Doctrine of Revival’? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

  1. About Section 66A of the IT Act.
  2. About Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
  3. Shreya Singhal case is related to?

Mains Link:

Discuss why Section 66A of the IT Act was struck down by the Supreme Court.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

Integrated theatre commands:


Context:

A table-top war-gaming exercise was held recently among the three services of the armed forces (Navy, Army and Airforce).

 

Background:

  • India currently has 19 military commands with 17 of them service-oriented. While both the Army and the Air Force have seven commands each, the Navy has three.
  • India also has a Tri-Service Command — Andaman and Nicobar Command — besides the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which looks after the country’s nuclear stockpile.

 

What are integrated theatre commands?

  • An integrated theatre command envisages a unified command of the three Services, under a single commander, for geographical areas that are of strategic and security concern.
  • The commander of such a force will be able to bear all resources at his disposal — from the Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Navy — with seamless efficacy.
  • The integrated theatre commander will not be answerable to individual Services.

 

Why does India seek theatre commands?

  • This will help in better planning and military response and also bring down cost.
  • While the cost may go up in the immediate future since all theatres would have to be armed with sufficient systems, it will prove to be cost-effective in the long term as all acquisitions will be a unified one.
  • It will provide a unified approach to fighting the future wars.

 

Proposals in this regard:

The need for a unified approach to war fighting was brought out in the deliberations after the 1999 Kargil battle.

  • The Kargil Review Committee and the then Group of Ministers besides the Naresh Chandra Committee had called for structural changes in higher defence management.
  • It was the Shekatkar committee, headed by Lt Gen. (retd) D.B. Shekatkar, which had recommended the creation of the post of CDS and theatre commands.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the Nuclear Command Authority? Who heads the organisation and what are its functions? Reference

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC):

To solve the Assam- Mizoram border dispute and to arrive at a permanent solution, the Centre has asked the North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) to map and demarcate the State boundaries using satellite imaging.

About NESAC:

  • Established in 2000, it is a joint initiative of the Department of Space (DoS) and the North Eastern Council (NEC).
  • It is located in Shillong.
  • It helps in augmenting the developmental process in the region by providing advanced space technology support.

 

India, China establish hotline in north Sikkim:

The hotline has been established between the Indian Army at Kongra La in north Sikkim and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Khamba Dzong in the Tibet Autonomous Region to further the spirit of trust and cordial relations along the border.

  • At present, India and China have two military hotlines in eastern Ladakh, among others at Chushul and Daulat Beg Oldi.

A hotline is a direct phone line set up for a specific purpose, especially for use in emergencies or for communication between heads of government.

 

Ashwagandha:

The Ministry of Ayush has collaborated with the U.K.’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to conduct a study on ‘Ashwagandha’ for promoting recovery from COVID-19.

Key facts:

  • ‘Ashwagandha’ (Withania somnifera) is commonly known as ‘Indian winter cherry’.
  • It is a traditional Indian herb that boosts energy, reduces stress and makes the immune system stronger.
  • It is classified as an adaptogen, which means that it can help the body to manage stress.
  • Ashwagandha is widely grown in dry parts of subtropical regions. Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are major ashwagandha growing states in India.
  • Being a hardy and drought-tolerant crop, ashwagandha requires a relatively dry season throughout its growing period. Areas with 60-75 cm rainfall are suitable for its cultivation.
  • Temperature between 20°C to 35°C is most suitable.
  • It grows well in sandy loam or light red soils having pH 7.5-8.0. Black or heavy soils having good drainage are also suitable for ashwagandha cultivation.

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