IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains
Focus)- 05th September 2018
Extremist right-wing fringe organisations on rise?
Part of: GS Mains III – Internal Security
- Four thinkers – Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M.M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh — were killed in Maharashtra and Karnataka between 2013 and 2017.
- Investigations have found that an unnamed group, some of whose members have been associated with the right-wing Hindu outfit, are behind these killings.
- Investigations have identified over 60 recruits, who were radicalised and trained to use firearms. This is an army of highly radicalised youth, trained in arms, to “protect Hindu Dharma”.
- Examples of such Extremist right-wing fringe organisations – Sriram Sene, Hindu Yuva Sene, Shivapratishthan Hindusthan and recently formed gaurakshak samitis.
GM mustard and GEAC
Part of: Prelims and Mains III – GM Crops; Agriculture; Science and Tech; Biodiversity and Environment
- Environment ministry and GEAC to decide on field-trial approvals for the controversial transgenic mustard developed by the University of Delhi’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP).
- CGMCP had applied to grow transgenic mustard (Dhara Mustard Hybrid, DMH -11) in plots in Delhi and Punjab to test the plant.
- GEAC had initially cleared the GM crop for “commercial cultivation”, however later backtracked and demanded more tests and additional data on honeybees and other pollinators and on soil microbial diversity.
- GEAC is the apex regulator of genetically modified crops and transgenic products.
- GEAC is constituted in the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) under ‘Rules for Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms/Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells 1989’, under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
- GEAC is responsible for approval of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle
- The GEAC is also responsible for approval of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered organisms and products into the environment including experimental field trials (Biosafety Research Level trial-I and II known as BRL-I and BRL-II)
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – International; Multilateral organizations; Indian Economy
- RCEP, 16-nation group, accepts some key demands from India: on differential tariff regimes for different country groups like China, and in allowing a 20-year implementation period of the agreement.
- Another key area where India scored was in establishing a linkage between services and goods negotiations, given that some countries were not as welcoming of allowing movement of labour.
Do you know?
- RCEP includes 10 ASEAN nations + India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.
- Of the 16 countries that have been negotiating for the RCEP, India does not have Free Trade Agreements with three countries — Australia, New Zealand and China
Person in news:
- Justice Ranjan Gogoi
- Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra recommends Justice Ranjan Gogoi as his successor and the 46th Chief Justice of India.
- CJI Misra has followed convention by recommending the next senior most Supreme Court judge, Justice Gogoi, as his successor.
- Jalaluddin Haqqani
- Haqqani network founder – Jalaluddin Haqqani – dies
- Google to help EC track political ads
- After Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, an orphanage for girls in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar is under the scanner for alleged sexual exploitation of its minor inmates.
- Japan to test mini ‘space elevator’ – It’s the world’s first experiment to test travel between two mini satellites in space.
TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Social issue; Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice(Social Services related to Education and Human Resources)
Still too many children out of school
- Education is the right of every child guaranteed by Indian constitution; also it is part of social justice.
- Objective of universal education will only be fulfilled if sincere efforts are made by the States under the guidance and prodding of a committed Centre.
Do you know?
- The Directive Principles of State Policy mandate the state to provide children the right to access education (Under Articles 41, 45, 46).
- The 86th constitutional amendment Act of 2002 (inserting Article 21A under fundamental rights) and the RTE Act of 2009 dictate its implementation.
Official Data: How Far it to be reliable?
- The official numbers of out-of-school children in India are either out of date or contradictory.
- According to the 2011 Census, the number of out-of-school children in the 5-17 age group was 8.4 crore.
- According to a survey commissioned in 2014 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the number of out-of-school children in the 6-13 age group was only 64 lakh.
- This is a gross underestimation. It is quite unlikely that the number of out-of-school children came down so drastically from 2011 to 2014, especially given that there were no significant changes in objective conditions, warranting such a miraculous reduction.
Most recent estimates
- A study on the basis of the 71st round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) carried out in 2014 and taking into account the 6-18 age group, out-of-school children in this age group were more than 5 crores in the country, which is 16.1% children of this age group.
- The proportion of out-of-school children was higher in rural India (17.2%) than in urban India (13.1%). In rural areas, the proportion of out-of-school girls (18.3%) was higher than of boys (16.3%).
- The proportion of children from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) was the highest, followed by Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
- Among religious groups, the proportion of Muslims was as high as 24.1% in rural areas and 24.7% in urban areas.
- There are seven states, Odisha, UP, Bihar, MP, Rajsthan, Gujrat and West Bengal, where nearly one fifth of the children of 6-18 age group, are out of the school.
- Kerala, Goa, Sikkim, Himachal Pardesh and Tamil Nadu are the states where out of the school children are less than the national average.
Frequent and Common Reasons for dropping out of school:
- The most important reason for boys to drop out of school was to take up jobs to supplement the family earning.
- For girls, it was the compulsion to participate in household work.
- There is also a prejudice against educating girls that is prevalent in India.
- An important reason for drop-out is the socio-economic conditions of the parents of the children. Therefore, calls for a more comprehensive approach that is not reflected in the RTE Act.
- The most important social reason for drop-out is a lack of awareness of the importance of school education.
- According to the RTE Act and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, these out-of-school children fall under the category of child labour.
- It is, therefore, not surprising that the largest number of child labourers in the world is in India.
What can be done to bring more children to school?
- We would not have been confronted with this high proportion of drop-outs if all the provisions of the RTE Act had been implemented within the time limit prescribed in the Act (latest by April 2015).
- The Act provided for the availability of a school at a distance of 1 km from the residence of the child at the primary level and 3 km at the upper primary level.
- Until an adequate number of schools at the prescribed distances from the children’s homes become available, it would be necessary to provide secure modes of subsidised travel to schools, particularly for girls.
- If all the infrastructure facilities prescribed in the Act would have been put in place, another reason for drop-out (environment not friendly) will disappear.
- Another important provision which ought to have been included in the RTE is financial support to poor parents, adequate to enable them to send their children to school.
- The RTE aimed to provide a framework for private schools to supplement the efforts of the state to uplift disadvantaged sections of society through the means of education.
- We need to act immediately to address the gaps in the implementation of the law. The future of our children depends on it.
- There is need to create awareness of the fact that education is now a legal fundamental right.
- Ironically, education is the most important instrument for creating this awareness. Thus, education is a quintessential example of being vested with intrinsic as well as instrumental value being both the means and the end.
Connecting the dots:
- Even after a decade of enactment of Right to Education Act, 2009, we have not achieved objectives in terms of quantity as well as quality. Critically comment.
TOPIC: General Studies 2
- India and its neighbourhood- relations
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
BIMSTEC Summit: Green shoots of revival
- Fourth BIMSTEC summit is going to held this week at Kathmandu, Nepal.
- Basic aspects about BIMSCTEC has been covered in Mains Focus of 30 August 2018 IASbaba DNA.
- There some positives which this summit is going to contribute in the progress of BIMSTEC and also there are some concerns which needs to be taken care for further developments.
- The work begins now on drafting a charter for BIMSTEC, which has functioned so far on the basis of the Bangkok Declaration of 1997, and outcomes of the past three summits and the Leaders’ Retreat in 2016.
- A Permanent Working Committee will be set up to provide direction during the period between two summits and also to prepare the Rules of Procedure.
- The Secretariat has been promised additional financial and human resources and enhancement of its role to coordinate, monitor and facilitate the grouping’s activities.
- As the institution has been handicapped due to lack of financial muscle, the leaders took the decision to establish the BIMSTEC Development Fund.
- A push to increase its visibility and stature in the international fora will also be made.
- Recognising that 16 areas of cooperation represent too wide a spectrum, the BIMSTEC governments will make a serious endeavour to review, restructure and rationalise various sectors, identifying a few core areas.
- In this exercise, Thailand has proposed a new strategy of five pillars (viz. connectivity, trade and investment, people-to-people contacts, security, and science and technology). This will be considered, although the difficulty in dropping specific sectors dear to individual member-states should not be minimised.
- As to the debit side of the balance sheet, it should be noted that of at least six legal instruments awaiting finalisation, only one, the Memorandum of Understanding on Grid Interconnection, could be inked in Kathmandu.
- Fourteen years after signing the framework agreement on Free Trade Area (FTA), final agreement is yet to be signed.
- The Thai Prime Minister bravely urged participants to accept making BIMSTEC a Free Trade Zone by 2021 as “our common goal”, but this did not find a place in the summit declaration.
- The Myanmar President pointed out that the grouping had established its Energy Centre in 2009, but it is waiting for operationalization.
- India rightly emphasised that “the biggest opportunity is connectivity — trade connectivity, economic connectivity, transport connectivity, digital connectivity, and people-to-people connectivity.”
- Every participant dwelt on the advantages and potential of connectivity. The Kathmandu Declaration has spelt out a number of measures, old and new, to secure this objective.
- However, the Motor Vehicle Agreement and the Coastal Shipping Agreement would still need more time for finalisation.
- BIMSTEC summit is not an annual or regular affair. Probably the timing of the next summit will be determined by the degree of progress ministers and officials achieve in the coming months. If the grouping succeeds in holding its next summit in 2019, it will be seen as a healthy sign.
- Plans to revitalise the Business Forum and the Economic Forum should be welcome if they help in fully engaging business and industry.
- Cooperation in the security domain has been progressing satisfactorily, with a new instrument added to the arsenal: a meeting of home ministers.
- This will be in addition to annual meetings of national security advisers and the first meeting of army chiefs, which is due to take place in Pune this month.
- Also envisaged is a sound plan to establish forums for parliamentarians, universities, cultural organisations and the media community.
- The summit articulated a vision for the Bay of Bengal Region heading towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future. The region is now widely viewed as a common space for security, connectivity and development.
- Think tanks are fond of advising governments that they should walk the talk. But the Nepalese Prime Minister and the summit chairman asserted: “Now is the time not just to deliberate, but also to deliver. Now is the time to translate promises into performance.”
- If this prescription is followed by all, BIMSTEC can become a dynamic, effective and result-oriented organisation.
Connecting the dots:
- Though there are many prospects and challenges, BIMSTEC is a natural choice for India. Analyse.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
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Q.1) The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee is constituted under the
- Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
- Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
- Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
Q.2) Consider the following statements with respect to Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)
- It is under the Ministry of Science and Technology
- It is the apex body for approval of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants
- It is responsible for approval of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered organisms and products into the environment including experimental field trials
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
- 1 and 2
- 1 and 3
- 2 and 3
- All of the above
Q.3) Consider the following statements about Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
- It is associated with ASEAN
- All the members of RCEP are members of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
- Cambodia is the only land-locked country among RCEP members
Select the INCORRECT statements
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
- 1 and 3
- Only 2
Q.4) Which of the following countries is NOT a part of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)?
Q.5) Which of the following countries is/are NOT a part of RCEP?
Select the appropriate option using the code below
- 2 only
- 1 and 4 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 2 and 4 only
Routes to Afghanistan: on 2+2 talks
‘Drugs are not sweets’
Addressing soil loss
Where interests meet
Dissent Is Democracy
Make India Vishwaguru again
Re-imagining the university
Teacher vs System