Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 22nd February 2019

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  • February 26, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 22nd February 2019



Assam Rifles granted power to arrest anyone in the Northeast

Part of: GS Mains III – Challenges to Internal Security; Linkages between development and spread of extremism

In news:

  • Assam Rifles has been empowered by the Centre to arrest anyone and search a place without warrant in the border districts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.
  • “An officer of the rank corresponding to that of the lowest rank of members of the Assam Rifles” has been given these powers under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • Earlier, Assam Rifles was making arrests only in areas where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was in effect.

Do you know?

  • Section 41 of the CrPC states that any police officer may, without an order from a magistrate and without a warrant, arrest any person.
  • Section 47 gives powers for search of place entered by person sought to be arrested.
  • Section 48 says a police officer may, for the purpose of arresting without warrant any person, pursue such person into any place in India.
  • According to Section 49, the person arrested shall not be subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape.

Lakhs of forest dwellers face eviction

Part of: GS Mains II and III – Social/Welfare issue; Tribal issue; Environment and Biodiversity conservation

In news:

  • A recent Supreme Court order may lead to the eviction of lakhs of persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs) categories across 21 States.
  • Their claim as forest dwellers have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act of 2006.

Do you know?

  • Section 6 of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006 shows a multi-layered and hierarchical procedure for recognition or rejection of forest-dweller claims starting at the gram sabha level with multiple appellate committees at the State level.
  • The Act is intended to provide a framework to “recognise and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.”


Pakistan banned JuD and its charity wing FIF

In news:

  • Pakistan banned the Jamat-ud-Dawa, which is led by 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, amid intense global pressure to rein in the militant groups following the Pulwama terror attack.

Do you know?

  • Saeed was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.
  • The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack.



TOPIC:General studies 2

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests ; 
  • India and the World ; India and its neighbourhood- relations. 
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

India’s Dilemma with West Asia


  • Over the past few years, India’s relations have show more inclination towards Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) compared to its ties with Iran.
  • The current government has demonstrated a preference for working with the three regional powers rather than Iran. India finally appears to be moving away from its traditional “balancing” approach to West Asia.


  • Since the 1990-91 Gulf War, India has officially adopted a “balancing” approach to West Asia. (legacy of non-alignment)
  • This approach has allowed India to avoid involvement in regional disputes and de-hyphenate relations with regional rivals including Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
  • However, at the same time the policy has also constrained India’s ability to press its geopolitical interests in the region.

Current Situation in West Asia and India’s Dilemma

Situation in West Asia —

  • rise of Shia influence,
  • the Iranian nuclear issue,
  • tensions between Iranians and their Arab neighbours,
  • tensions between Iranians and Israelis,
  • the Arab Spring,
  • Saudi under MBS and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) escalation of their battle against political Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood,
  • recent dispute with Qatar,
  • tensions between Israelis and Iranian-backed forces in Syria

Therefore, India’s interests are interspersed with all these developments. These have entangled India’s policy so much so that responding and dealing with them within set parameters has become difficult. The interconnectedness of these issues makes it difficult for India to accept any side or position.

India-West Asia: Recent developments

  • Saudi Crown Prince announced to share intelligence with India and other countries that were willing to fight terrorism.
  • In recent months, the UAE has also ramped up its security cooperation with India, extraditing at least three suspects wanted in relation to the AgustaWestland case.
  • India’s defence and security partnership with Israel has already proven useful to its security and military modernisation drive.
  • India and Israel have collaborated on a $777 million project to develop a maritime version of the Barak-8, a surface-to-air missile that India successfully tested in January.
  • India has also reportedly agreed to purchase 54 HAROP attack drones for the Indian Air Force and two airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) worth over $800 million from Israel.
  • Israel has become one of India’s top suppliers of military technology.
  • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) visited India recently and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit India soon.
  • Saudi to invest in $44 billion oil refinery in India – Ratnagiri refinery and petrochemicals complex joint venture – Saudi Aramco is set to partner with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
  • Saudi Arabia is already one of the three largest suppliers of oil to India.
  • Expansion of trade and investment: MBS said he foresaw up to $100 billion worth of Saudi investments in India over the next few years, including a plan by the Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to acquire two LNG plants.

India and Iran: Current developments

  • Iran’s support for Islamist militancy (by transferring advanced missile technology to Islamist groups and militias in Lebanon and Syria) has led to an increase in tensions with Israel. (Therefore, India should carefully balance its ties with Israel and Iran)
  • Simultaneous attacks that claimed the lives of 27 members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and 40 members of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) are likely to bring India and Iran closer together against Pakistan.
  • From an economic perspective, U.S. sanctions have turned Iran into an unreliable economic partner.
  • India is shoring up plans to find alternative sources as the six-month waiver from the U.S. reaches its term.
  • Indian investments in Iran, including the Shahid Beheshti complex at Chabahar and the Farzad B gas field, have languished for years, reflecting the severe constraints on doing business with Iran.

In crux, there is no much momentum in generating better bilateral relations with Iran.

However, India’s tilt towards Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE is not a risk-free move.

  • Iran continues to exercise much influence in West Asia and can help shape events in Afghanistan by shoring up the Taliban against the U.S.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port represents a strategic investment for India which hopes to use the facility to connect with the International North-South Transit Corridor (INSTC) that extends to Central Asia and to bypass Pakistan en route to Afghanistan.


India could find it difficult to maintain a ‘balancing’ approach between different West Asian powers.  For now, the current government seems to have taken its pick by practically abandoning the “traditional balancing approach”.

India has placed its bets on Israel and the Gulf monarchies, relegating relations with Iran to the side.

Connecting the dots:

  • What are the dilemmas facing India in dealing with the present crisis in West Asia? Discuss how should India mitigate these dilemmas?
  • Discuss how should India balance its foreign policy towards Iran vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia; Iran vis-à-vis Israel; and Iran vis-à-vis the US?


TOPIC:General studies 2 and 3

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate
  • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
  • Role of external state and nonstate actors in creating challenges to internal security
  • Security challenges and their management

Need for an international system of accountability


There have been many incidents of few states deploying asymmetric tactics (actively aiding insurgencies and terrorist organizations) to achieve their goals.

  • For instance, in 2014, hundreds of mysterious (pro-Russian) gunmen appeared on the streets of Crimea and began taking over local government buildings.
  • While Russia initially denied the existence of the “little green men”, but later admitted that they were Russian military. (complete violation of the Geneva Conventions)
  • Similar tactic has been deployed by Pakistan (usually through proxies). It has a history of supporting terrorist and insurgent groups in Jammu and Kashmir. However, it has denied any such involvement to shield itself from international backlash as Russia did.

The logic behind such tactic is to prevent retaliation from the enemy county or other countries and avoid global backlash.

In future, states like Pakistan may be tempted to turn toward new methods to achieve their goals. LAWS are one such avenue.

The below article deals with why there is a need for an international system of accountability to check machine-driven weapons like LAWS.

Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS)

  • LAWS can detect, select and attack targets without human intervention.
  • LAWS present several benefits for “middle powers” as they increase the reach and effectiveness of forces, reduce casualties and enable persistent presence in vast, inaccessible terrains.
  • Countries like India or South Korea, which operate in a complicated geostrategic context, can therefore use LAWS to effectively police and protect their territory.


1. Absence of comprehensive international framework agreements on LAWS:

  • International rules around LAWS are relatively underdeveloped, and in the absence of clear norms on human accountability and attribution for autonomous weapons, we could see states like Pakistan deploy LAWS for operations outside their borders.

2. LAWS can be used by state and non-state actors to engage in asymmetric tactics:

  • A state could directly deploy LAWS against an adversary state
  • A state could equip proxies such as insurgent or terrorist groups with autonomous weapons units
  • A non-state actor steals or otherwise illegally acquires autonomous systems or units.

Do you know?

  • Four of the Permanent-5 powers in the United Nations — the US, France, Russia and UK — have explicitly rejected moving toward a new international law on autonomous weapons.
  • The US and Russia are actively pursuing AI-driven military systems, with UK following up.
  • China has called for a ban, but its military has continued to research and develop LAWS.
  • It therefore seems likely that these powers would support a regime on LAWS, if at all, only after they have developed and perfected the technology themselves.

Need of the hour:

  • Strong comprehensive international framework agreements on LAWS.
  • Creation of export controls and rules.
  • To keep a check on private companies, developing an internal ethical guidelines for AI technologies is important.
  • Basic stipulations on accountability in cases of theft or hacking.
  • AI and weapons industry must craft specific standards for physical and non-physical safeguards to protect their LAWS technologies.
  • Persistent surveillance of LAWS manufacturing facilities.

Connecting the dots:

  • What is asymmetric warfare? Explore the possible tactics and challenges involved.
  • Countries now face a new type of adversary who will fight electronically and psychologically, not just only physically. Discuss the measures needed to effectively address the increased threat from futuristic warfare.


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)


  • Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  • IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) With respect to Indian Missile system, which of the following missiles is/are an example of Ballistic Missiles

  1. Nirbhay
  2. Dhanush
  3. Brahmos

Choose the suitable option

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. 1 and 3 only

Q.2) India is progressing on acquisition and exploration of the ‘Farzad-B’ gas oilfields. In which country does this oil field belong to?

  1. Papua New Guinea
  2. Iran
  3. Turkmenistan
  4. UAE


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