News: July 08, 2020

Sub: Politics
Topic: Judiciary
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 1/6

Cases And Committees In Focus

Committees

  • Justice Verma Committee, 2013
    • On amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women.  
    • Recommended insertion of Section 53A in the Indian Evidence Act wherein previous good character should become irrelevant in criminal proceedings.
  • V.S. Malimath Committee, 2003: reforms in the criminal justice system 
    • The panel recommended a modification to Article 20 (3) of the Constitution that protects the accused from being compelled to be a witness against himself/herself. The Committee suggested that the court be given freedom to question the accused to elicit information and draw an adverse inference against the accused in case the latter refuses to answer
    • The panel recommends replacing "proof beyond reasonable doubt" with "if the court is convinced that it is true" as basis to convict accused in criminal cases
    • Recommended setting up of a National Security Commission and State Security Commissions
  • M.R. Shamshad committee - Delhi riots
  • Kris Gopalakrishnan committee - The committee was formed by ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) , to formulate a framework for Non-personal data (NPD)

Cases

  • Constitution
    • Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillu, 1992: Judicial review for member disqualification is only available after final decision by the Speaker/Chairman. Till then he acts as a tribunal.
  • Information Technology
    • Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India, 2020  - Internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir under the pretext of Section 144
  • Police Reforms
    • Prakash Singh v. Union of India (2006) - Supreme Court pushing for legislation for governing police forces. Grievance redressal was a key component
    • Joginder Kumar v. State of UP, and D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal - Guidelines for right to life and right to know. To ensure that an accused person is made aware of all critical information regarding her arrest and also convey this to friends and family immediately in the event of being taken in custody.
  • Sexual assault 
    • Shri Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Shubra Chakraborty - suggest that a large number of women still fail to report rapes to the police 
    • Mahmood Farooqui v. NCT of Delhi (2017) - On consent in relationship
  • Torture
    • Raghbir Singh v. State of Haryana (1980), Francis Coralie Mullin v. Union Territory of Delhi (1981)
    • Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra (1987) : Court condemned cruelty and torture as violative of Article 21
    • DK Basu v. State of West Bengal: Prisoners and detainees are not deprived of their Fundamental Rights under Article 21 barring restrictions permitted by law
    • Nilabati Behera v. State of Orissa: Supreme Court made sure that the state could no longer escape liability in public law and had to be compelled to pay compensation

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Madhya Pradesh Council of Ministers exceeding prescribed limit
    • Controversy over Justice Krishna Dixit's “misogynistic” remarks
    • "Committee for the Reform of Criminal Laws" created by Ministry of Home Affairs. Its consultation exercise would start on July 4 and go on for the next three months.
    • Non-personal data committee invites public comments on framework
    • Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillu, 1992 case in judicial review powers of high court

Sub: Society
Topic: Human Development Education
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 2/6

Higher Study Bodies And Surveys

Bodies

School education is on the State list, and higher education is on the concurrent list

University Grants Commission (UGC)

  • UGC is a statutory body set up in 1956, and is charged with coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education.
  • University Grants Commission provides recognition to universities and disburses funds to them.
  • In 2019 a Bill was proposed to replace UGC but was scrapped later

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

  • AICTE is a statutory body under the aegis of Department of Higher Education, MHRD.
  • It is a national-level council for technical education responsible for planning and coordination of technical education and management of education system in the country.
  • It accredits graduate and post graduate programs at Indian institutions.
  • AICTE acts more as a guidance board

National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE)

  • For planned and coordinated development of the teacher education system throughout the country
  • Statutory body under National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993
  • It lay down guidelines for minimum qualifications and fees charged by recognised institutions
  • Suitable performance appraisal system, norms and mechanism for enforcing accountability on recognised institutions
  • Take all necessary steps to prevent commercialisation of teacher education

Surveys

  • National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)
    • Launched in 2015, is a methodology adopted by the MHRD to rank institutions of higher education in India.
    • The parameters give higher weightage to Teaching, Learning and Resources, Research and Professional Practices, Graduation Outcomes, Outreach and Inclusivity; and low weightage to Perception. 

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • NIRF: IIT-M tops India Rankings in 2020
  • July, 20
    • Students in limbo as UGC yet to decide on final year exams
    • UGC to take action if States cancel exams

Sub: Geography
Topic: Environment Ecosystem Biodiversity
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 3/6

Species in focus

Animal Species 

  • Asiatic lion
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Found in Saurashtra region
    • There number have risen to 674
  • Common Leopard / Panthera pardus 
    • IUCN status: Near Threatened
    • Found in India near shivaliks, Egypt
  • Gangetic river dolphin
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Listed in Schedule I of India’s Wildlife (Protection), Act, 1972
    • India's national Aquatic Animal
    • It is primarily found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra, in fresh waters. The dolphin uses echolocation as they are effectively blind.
  • Gee's golden langur
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Found only in Assam and Bhutan
  • Golden birdwing butterfly
    • IUCN status: Least Concern
    • endemic to himalayan region, China, South Asia
    • Became largest butterfly in India in 2020, breaking 88 year old record
  • Indian Gaur / Indian Bison
    • IUCN status: Vulnerable
    • Native to South and Southeast Asia,
    • Found in evergreen forests or semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests
  • Indian Pangolin
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Of the eight extant species of pangolin, the Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata and Chinese Pangolin M. pentadactyla are found in India.
  • Indian rhinoceros /  Greater one-horned rhinos
    • IUCN status: Vulnerable, CITES appendix I
    • Found only in South Asia and South East Asia
      • Of the 2000 rhinos living, 1800 are in two places; Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India and Chitwan National Park, Nepal
    • Indian Rhino Mission 2020: Started in 2005 by Assam government, International Rhino Foundation, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Bodoland Territorial Council to attain the rhino population of at least 3000 in seven protected areas of Assam by the year 2020
  • Pashmina goat / Changthangi
    • Found in Tibet, Burma, Ladakh
    • Reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh
  • Tibetan antelope / Chiru Goat
    • IUCN status: Near Threatened 
    • They are hunted for their fur - shahtoosh

Plant Species

  • Globbaandersonii / "Dancing ladies"
    • IUCN status: Critically endangered
    • Usually grows in a dense colony as a lithophyte (plant growing on a bare rock or stone) on rocky slopes in the outskirts of evergreen forests

[In News: Latest]

  • July, 20
    • A Himalayan butterfly named golden birdwing is now India’s largest butterfly
    • Assam floods
  • Aug, 20
    • Gang smuggling pangolin scales arrested
    • Leopard poaching by a study by TRAFFIC is highest in Uttarakhand, Maharashtra

Sub: International Relations
Topic: India and its neighbors
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 4/6

Indo China Relations

Defence

Current conflict

  • Galwan river - Galwan river is a tributary of Shylok river, a tributary of Indus river. It flows from Aksai chin to Ladakh.
  • Pangong Tso - Lake in Ladakh and Tibet. Not part of Ramsar Convention
  • Five fingers of the Tibetan palm - Cited in the 1950s by Chinese officials, Xizang (Tibet) was China’s right palm, and it was its responsibility to 'liberate' the fingers, defined as Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA, or Arunachal Pradesh).

LAC agreements

  • Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, 1993
    • Neither side shall use or threaten to use force against the other by any means.
    • Two sides shall strictly respect and observe the line of actual control. No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control
  • Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, 1996
    • Neither side shall use its military capability against the other side.
    • The two sides reiterate their determination to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question.
    • Reaffirmed in 2003 in Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between India and China
  • Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India–China Border, 2005
    • The differences on the boundary question should not be allowed to affect the overall development of bilateral relations
    •  The two sides will give due consideration to each other’s strategic and reasonable interests, and the principle of mutual and equal security.
    • The boundary should be along well-defined and easily identifiable natural geographical features to be mutually agreed upon between the two sides.
    • In reaching a boundary settlement, the two sides shall safeguard due interests of their settled populations in the border areas.
  • Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination of India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), 2012
    • WMCC is focussed on management of relations between the troops on the ground in border areas, the Special Representatives mechanism between the two countries is engaged in finding a solution to the vexed boundary issue between the two neighbours. 
    • It is headed by joint secretary-level officials from both sides
  • Border Defence Cooperation Agreement between India and China, 2013
    • The two sides shall implement border defence cooperation by exchanging information, by jointly combating smuggling, by assisting other side if a personnal or livestock crosses other's side.
    • Resolve border deference  through flag meetings and periodic meetings
    • Work with the other side in combating natural disasters or infectious diseases that may affect or spread to the other side
    • Two sides may establish Border Personnel Meeting sites in all sectors, as well as telephone contacts and telecommunication links
    • The two sides agree that they shall not follow or tail patrols of the other side in areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control 
    • In case a doubtful situation arises with reference to any activity by either side in border areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control, either side has the right to seek a clarification from the other side. 

Initiatives

  • The Chinese and Indian armies have agreed to not use unmanned aerial vehicles at the friction points in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)

Trade

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

  • China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), erstwhile One Belt One Road, in 2013 to improve connectivity and cooperation on a transcontinental scale.
  • Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) is not part of initiative after India's reservations over China's expansion
  • CPEC : India opposes it as the road is bound to pass through Gilgit-Baltistan

Geography

  • Islands
    • East China sea
      • Senkaku Islands / Diaoyu Islands - disputed island between Japan and China

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • border talks
  • July, 20
    • Pakistan committed to completion of CPEC
    • Japan accuses China for sending its ships to Senkaku Islands

Sub: International Relations
Topic: Internal Security Defence
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 5/6

Defence Bodies And Contracts

Bodies

Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC)

  • Set up in 2001 for defence procurement, based on Group of Ministers recommendation on 'Reforming the National Security System'
  • Chaired by Defence Minister. Key members include Minister of State for Defence, Chiefs of three bodies, Defence Secretary, Secretary Defence Research & Development, Secretary Defence Production
  • Acquisition proposals are divided into 'Buy', 'Buy & Make' and 'Make'
  • Does field trial evaluation
  • Recent Initiatives
    • June, 20 - Deals approval worth 38900 crores for - additional Mig-29, Su-30 MKI; Pinaka ammunition, armoured vehicle BMP armament upgrades, Software Defined Radio; Long Range Land Attack Missile Systems of over 1000km range, and Astra Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles

Initiatives

draft 'Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020'

The DPEPP 2020 is envisaged as overarching guiding document of MoD to provide a focused, structured and significant thrust to defence production capabilities of the country for self-reliance and exports. 

  • To achieve a turnover of Rs 1,75,000 Crores (US$ 25Bn) including export of Rs 35,000 Crore (US$ 5 Billion) in Aerospace and Defence goods and services by 2025.
  • To develop a dynamic, robust and competitive Defence industry, including Aerospace and Naval Shipbuilding industry to cater to the needs of Armed forces with quality products.
  • To reduce dependence on imports and take forward "Make in India" initiatives through domestic design and development.
  • To promote export of defence products and become part of the global defence value chains.
  • To create an environment that encourages R&D, rewards innovation, creates Indian IP ownership and promotes a robust and self-reliant defence industry. 

MoD initiatives

Defence import embargo for Atmanirbhar Bharat

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his address to the Nation on May 12, 2020 had given a clarion call for a self-reliant India based on the five pillars, i.e., Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography & Demand.

  • Taking cue from that evocation, the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Ministry of Defence (MoD) has prepared a list of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them.
    • Notable ones are: G SAT-6 Satellite Terminals, Satellite GSAT 7R, Conventional Submarines, ASTRA-MK I Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVR AAM), Long Range – Land Attack Cruise Missile, etc.
    • With latest embargo on import of 101 items, it is estimated that contracts worth almost Rs 4 lakh crore will be placed upon the domestic industry within the next five to seven years.
  • The embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024.
  • MoD has also bifurcated the capital procurement budget for 2020-21 between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes. A separate budget head has been created with an outlay of nearly Rs 52,000 crore for domestic capital procurement in the current financial year.

Global

USA

  • Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), 2017
    • CAATSA enables U.S. government to sanction countries that engage in ‘significant transactions’ with Iran, Russia, and North Korea.   
    • As per section 235 of CAATSA denial of visas to persons closely associated with the sanctioned person can be imposed.
    • Prohibition of ExIm bank assistance for exports can be issued.

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • In the back drop of recent defence minister's visit, USA cautions its partners about sanctions under CAATSA
  • Aug, 20
    • Ministry of Defence (MoD) on puts out a draft ‘Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020’ for public feedback.
    • Defence import embargo for Atmanirbhar Bharat

Sub: Economics
Topic: Development Infrastructure
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 6/6

Railways And Roadways

Bodies

Border Roads Organisation (BRO)

  • BRO, formed in 1960, develops and maintains road infrastructure in border areas
  • Composition: BRO consists of Border Roads Wing under the Ministry of Defense, and the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF). Officers are selected through IES examination conducted by UPSC
  • It is also staffed by officers and troops drawn from the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers on deputation (extra regimental employment)

Roadways

  • Indo-China Border Roads (ICBRs)
    • Started in 1999, ICBR focuses on construction of "strategic roads" (73 roads), along Indo-China border
    • Majority of the roads are being built by BRO (61 of 73)
    • Roads in focus
      • Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road : 255 km road to be completed by October, 20 by BRO
      • Tunnel work in Sela Pass (Arunachal Pradesh) to be completed by 2021, and Rohtang in 2019
      • Srinagar-Kargil-Leh NH1 in J&K (Zoji La pass tunnel)
      • Leh-Manali Highway in J&K

Railways

  • Kisan Rail:
    • It is the first ever multi-commodity train service in India. Started from Devlali in Maharashtra to Danapur in Bihar 
    • The train has been equipped with frozen containers and apart from fruits and vegetables, it is expected to build a seamless national cold supply chain of milk, meat and fish.
    • This train’s freight will be charged as per Indian Railways’ parcel tariff of normal train 
  • Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor: The project will connect four rail routes originating from Delhi: Delhi-Palwal-Mathura, Delhi-Rewari-Jaipur-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Rohtak-Bhatinda and Delhi-Ambala-Chandigarh. 

[In News]

  • Aug, 20
    • Kisan rail started operation
    • Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor to reduce congestion in delhi

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