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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 25 October 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. Liaison Officer (LO) at the Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR).

2. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. International Snow Leopard Day- October 23.

2. National Fund to Control Drug Abuse.

3. Detention centre for declared foreigners in Assam.

4. What Mauritius exiting FATF grey list means for India?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Ambergris.

2. Gorias.

3. Extra neutral alcohol (ENA).


 

Liaison Officer (LO) at the Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR):

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Context:

The Netherlands has said that it is interested in posting a Liaison Officer (LO) at the Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) for Maritime Domain Awareness and information sharing.

current affairs

 

About IFC-IOR:

  • The IFC-IOR was set up in 2018 to coordinate with regional countries on maritime issues and act as a regional repository of maritime data.
  • It presently has linkages with more than 20 partner countries and multi-national agencies across the globe.
  • It is located in Gurugram, India.

current affairs

 

Roles and functions of a liaison officer:

The liaison officer will be based full-time at the centre, working directly with the Indian armed forces and fellow liaison officers from partner nations to enhance maritime domain awareness in the region.

 

Insta Curious:

Have you heard about U.K. Carrier Strike Group (CSG)? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is IFC- IOR?
  2. What is the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC)?
  3. Who established European-led mission in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH)?
  4. Locate Persian Gulf and strait of Hormuz.

Mains Link:

Discuss how observer status at the Indian Ocean Commission helps India secure its strategic objectives.

indian_ocean

Sources: the Hindu.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC):

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: India and neighbours.

 

Context:

The chief of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority has accused the U.S. of sabotaging the multi-billion dollar project, the economic lifeline of Pakistan.

 

Background:

Pakistan is the seventh largest recipient of Chinese overseas development financing with 71 projects worth $27.3 billion under way as part of the CPEC.

 

About CPEC:

Launched in 2015, the CPEC is the flagship project of the multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, aimed at enhancing Beijing’s influence around the world through China-funded infrastructure projects.

  • The 3,000 km-long China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) consists of highways, railways, and pipelines.
  • CPEC eventually aims at linking the city of Gwadar in South Western Pakistan to China’s North Western region Xinjiang through a vast network of highways and railways.
  • The proposed project will be financed by heavily-subsidised loans, that will be disbursed to the Government of Pakistan by Chinese banks.

current affairs

 

But, why is India concerned?

It passes through PoK.

  • CPEC rests on a Chinese plan to secure and shorten its supply lines through Gwadar with an enhanced presence in the Indian Ocean. Hence, it is widely believed that upon CPEC’s fruition, an extensive Chinese presence will undermine India’s influence in the Indian Ocean.
  • It is also being contended that if CPEC were to successfully transform the Pakistan economy that could be a “red rag” for India which will remain at the receiving end of a wealthier and stronger Pakistan.
  • Besides, India shares a great deal of trust deficit with China and Pakistan and has a history of conflict with both. As a result, even though suggestions to re-approach the project pragmatically have been made, no advocate has overruled the principle strands of contention that continue to mar India’s equations with China and Pakistan.

current affairs

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is CPEC?
  2. What is BRI initiative?
  3. What is string of pearls initiative?
  4. Where Gilgit- Baltistan?
  5. Important ports in Pakistan and Iran.

Mains Link:

Discuss India’s concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. Suggest how India should tackle the challenges posed by this alliance?

Sources: the Hindu.

International Snow Leopard Day- October 23:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

Oct 23 is recognised as International Snow Leopard Day.

current affairs

 

Background:

The day came into being with the adoption of the Bishkek Declaration by 12 countries on the conservation of snow leopards.

About Snow Leopard:

Scientific name: Panthera uncia.

Habitat: Snow leopards live in the mountains of Central Asia.

Numbers: There are only between 3,920 and 6,390 snow leopards left in the wild.

Range extends through twelve countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

current affairs

 

Conservation Status: Snow leopards were considered endangered species until 2017 but the status was changed to vulnerable later in the year.

Conservation efforts- National level:

As per reports, India is home to about 450-500 snow leopards which can be spotted in the upper Himalayan regions of the country.

  1. India has been conserving snow leopards and their habitats through the Project Snow Leopard (PSL).
  2. India has also been part of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) Programme since 2013.
  3. For conservation, India has identified three large landscapes, namely, Hemis-Spiti across Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh; Nanda Devi – Gangotri in Uttarakhand; and Khangchendzonga – Tawang across Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
  4. Snow Leopard is in the list of 22 critically endangered species for the recovery programme of the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change.
  5. SECURE Himalaya: Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded the project on conservation of high-altitude biodiversity and reducing the dependency of local communities on the natural ecosystem. This project is now operational in four snow leopard range states, namely, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Sikkim.
  6. Community volunteer programme “HimalSanrakshak” to protect snow leopards.

 

Conservation efforts- International level:

  • In 2013, the Bishkek Declaration set a goal of protecting at least 20 snow leopard landscapes with viable snow leopard populations by 2020, and led to the formation of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP). Since then, October 23 is commemorated each year as International Snow Leopard Day.
  • The Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme (GSLEP) was also launched on the same day to address high-mountain development issues using conservation of the snow leopard as a flagship.

 

Challenges to their conservation:

Increased habitat loss and degradation, poaching and conflict with communities.

 

Insta Curious:

Have you heard about the Snow Leopard Trust? What are its objectives? Reference: read this

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. IUCN Conservation status of snow leopard.
  2. About Project Snow Leopard.
  3. Snow Leopards in India- distribution and conservation centres.
  4. About GSLEP.
  5. About the Bishkek declaration.

Mains Link:

Comment on national level efforts to conserve the snow leopard species in India.

Sources: the Hindu.

National Fund to Control Drug Abuse:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

 

Context:

The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has recently recommended that the National Fund to Control Drug Abuse be used to carry out de-addiction programmes, rather than just policing activities.

current affairs

 

About the National Fund to Control Drug Abuse:

  • It was created in accordance with a provision of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
  • It had a nominal corpus of ₹23 crore.
  • Funding: Under the NDPS Act, the sale proceeds of any property forfeited, grants made by any person and institution, and income from the investments of the fund, go towards the fund.
  • Usage of the fund: The Act states that the fund would be used to combat illicit trafficking of narcotics, rehabilitating addicts, and preventing drug abuse.

 

World Drug Report 2021:

  • Around 275 million people used drugs globally in the last year. Over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders.
  • Rise in the use of cannabis during the pandemic has been reported by most countries.
  • Non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs has also been observed in the same period.
  • The latest global estimates say, about 5.5 per cent of the population between 15 and 64 years have used drugs at least once in the past year.
  • Over 11 million people globally are estimated to inject drugs – half of them have Hepatitis C.
  • Opioids continue to account for the largest burden of disease-linked to drug abuse.

current affairs

 

Major Reasons for Drug Abuse:

  1. To be accepted by the peers.
  2. Increasing economic stress.
  3. Changing cultural values.
  4. Experimentation.
  5. Neurotic pleasure.
  6. Ineffective Policing.

 

Drug abuse cases and numbers in India:

  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s Crime in India 2020 report, a total of 59,806 cases were lodged under NDPS Act.
  • In 2019, there were 3.1 crore cannabis users and 2.3 crore opioid users.

current affairs

 

Indian Government has taken several policy and other initiatives to deal with drug trafficking problem:

  1. The ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ or a ‘Drugs-Free India Campaign’ was flagged off on 15th August 2020 across 272 districts of the country found to be most vulnerable based on the data available from various sources.
  2. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has begun implementation of a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.
  3. The government has constituted Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD) in November, 2016.
  4. The government has constituted a fund called “National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse” to meet the expenditure incurred in connection with combating illicit traffic in Narcotic Drugs; rehabilitating addicts, and educating public against drug abuse, etc.

 

Insta Curious:

The day June 26 was chosen by the UN General Assembly, on December 7, 1987, as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Why was it chosen? What were its objectives? Reference: read this.

Do you know what Project Cohesion and Project Prism are? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About UNODC.
  2. Overview of scheme of “Financial Assistance to States for Narcotics Control”.
  3. Composition of Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD).
  4. National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse.
  5. About Narcotics Control Bureau.
  6. International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and theme this year.

Mains Link:

India is vulnerable to narcotic drug trafficking. Critically examine its causes. Also comment on the role of Government in combating drug problem.

Sources: the Hindu.

Detention centre for declared foreigners in Assam:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

 

Context:

The Assam Government has overshot a 45-day deadline set by the Gauhati High Court for the completion of a standalone detention centre for declared foreigners.

 

What’s the issue?

The court had on August 11 asked the State Government to complete the construction of the detention centre, now called transit camp, at Matia in western Assam’s Goalpara district and file a status report within 45 days.

  • The Gauhati High Court had also sought the shifting of 177 inmates across six existing detention centres within as many central jails.

 

Who is a declared foreigner?

A declared foreigner, or DF, is a person marked by Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) for allegedly failing to prove their citizenship after the State police’s Border wing marks him or her as an illegal immigrant.

  • People adjudged non-citizens are sent to detention centres.
  • Such people are tried after the Assam police’s Border wing serve them notice on suspicion of being foreigners.

 

What is a Foreigners tribunal?

Foreigners’ Tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies established as per the Foreigners’ Tribunal Order, 1964 and the Foreigners’ Act, 1946.

Composition: Advocates not below the age of 35 years of age with at least 7 years of practice (or) Retired Judicial Officers from the Assam Judicial Service (or) Retired IAS of ACS Officers (not below the rank of Secretary/Addl. Secretary) having experience in quasi-judicial works.

 

Who can setup these tribunals?

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has amended the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964, and has empowered district magistrates in all States and Union Territories to set up tribunals (quasi-judicial bodies) to decide whether a person staying illegally in India is a foreigner or not.

  • Earlier, the powers to constitute tribunals were vested only with the Centre.

 

Who can approach?

The amended order (Foreigners (Tribunal) Order, 2019) also empowers individuals to approach the Tribunals.

  • Earlier, only the State administration could move the Tribunal against a suspect.

 

Insta Curious:

Which other states have Detention Centres apart from Assam? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) (IMDT) Act vs Foreigners Tribunal (Order) 1964.
  2. Burden of proof under this order.
  3. Powers to approach the tribunal and kind of cases to be decided by the tribunal.
  4. Composition of the tribunal.
  5. Tribunals vs Courts.
  6. Geographical location of Assam and other NE states.
  7. Refugee vs illegal Migrants.
  8. Fundamental Rights available for Foreigners and other constitutional provisions wrt to Foreigners.
  9. Human Rights vs Fundamental Rights.

Mains Link:

Discuss briefly the laws that are in place to tackle illegal non-citizens in the country. Why was the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 amended? Explain.

Sources: the Hindu.

What Mauritius exiting FATF grey list means for India?

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Money laundering related issues.

 

Context:

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has moved Mauritius out of its grey list.

current affairs

 

Why is Mauritius no longer subject to FATF’s increased monitoring process?

Mauritius has strengthened the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering and terror financing process, and has addressed related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in February 2020.

 

Why was it included in the list?

For several years, there have been apprehensions about Mauritius being a money laundering route for FPIs due to its limited regulatory oversight.

 

Implications for India:

  • The move would enable Indian non-banking and other financial services companies to receive foreign direct investment from funds and vehicles incorporated by international investors in Mauritius. This may indirectly lead to higher investment to India from the Island nation.
  • It is also expected that now there would be less scrutiny by custodian banks on the ‘beneficial ownership’ (BO) of Mauritius vehicles coming in as FPI and FDI.

current affairs

 

Background:

Mauritius, which has been one of the largest contributors of FDI, has been recently losing out to jurisdictions like Singapore, Cayman Island, etc., partly because of amendment in the tax treaty with India and also due to it being put on the FATF grey list. Mauritius was put on the list in February 2020. After inclusion in the list, FDI inflow from Mauritius fell from Rs 57,785 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 41,661 crore in 2020-21.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that India backs Mauritius over its claim on the disputed Chagos islands, which is home to Diego Garcia — the key military base of the UK and the US in the Indian Ocean? What is the dispute all about?

Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:

Ambergris:

  • Ambergris, used for making perfumes, is produced in the stomach of sperm whales when indigestible parts move into the intestines and bind together.
  • They slowly become a solid mass, growing over many years. “When the animal vomits the mass, it floats a foot below the surface of the sea.

current affairs

 

Gorias:

Goria is Assam’s ethnic indigenous Muslim community.

current affairs

 

Extra neutral alcohol (ENA):

  • It is a byproduct of the sugar industry.
  • Formed from molasses that are a residue of sugarcane processing.
  • It is the primary raw material for making alcoholic beverages.

Features:

It is colourless food-grade alcohol that does not have any impurities.

It has a neutral smell and taste and typically contains over 95 per cent alcohol by volume.

Other applications of ENA:

  • An essential ingredient in the manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products such as perfumes, toiletries, hair spray, etc.
  • Utilized in the production of some lacquers, paints and ink for the printing industry, as well as in pharmaceutical products such as antiseptics, drugs, syrups, medicated sprays.

current affairs

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

1. China’s new law ‘formalises’ its LAC actions.


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