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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 21st March 2019

  • IASbaba
  • March 21, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 21st March 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Nipah virus alert in Tripura

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II- Government internventions in key sectors; Health issue

In news:

  • The Tripura government sounded an alert after the death of five members of a family in Nipah virus attack in a Bangladesh village bordering West Bengal.

Key pointers: About Nipah virus

  • Nipah Virus is an emerging infectious disease that broke out in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999.
  • It first appeared in domestic pigs and has been found among several species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep.
  • The infection is also known to affect human beings.
  • The organism which causes Nipah Virus encephalitis is an RNA or Ribonucleic acid virus.
  • Nipah virus infection gets its name from the village in Malaysia where the person from whom the virus was first isolated succumbed to the disease.

Pic: https://iasbaba.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/PIB.png

How does Nipah spread or get transmitted?

  • The disease spreads through fruit bats or ‘flying foxes,’ of the genus Pteropus, who are natural reservoir hosts of the Nipah and Hendra viruses.
  • The virus is present in bat urine and potentially, bat faeces, saliva, and birthing fluids.
  • Nipah Virus, which is a zoonotic disease, was known to affect humans in Malaysia and Singapore after coming in direct contact with the excretions or secretions of infected pigs.

Symptoms of the Nipah infection:

  • The human infection presents as an encephalitic syndrome marked by fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, coma, and potentially death.
  • There is no specific treatment for Nipah Virus. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care.

‘Rights of children caught in parental conflict need focus’

Part of: GS Mains II – Social/Children issue

In news:

  • Supreme Court expressed its “deepest concerns” about the plight of children caught in the emotional roller-coaster of their parents’ divorce and custody battles.
  • The rights of children caught in the middle of an ugly divorce or a custody battle between parents need specific articulation, the SC said.
  • Innocent child ultimately suffer due to legal and psychological war waged between the parents.
  • SC calls for negotiated settlement between petitioners.

(MAINS FOCUS)


INTERNATIONAL/SECURITY ISSUE

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
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
  • Security challenges and their management
  • Governance issues

Countering Islamophobia

Context:

  • The massacre at Christchurch in New Zealand show Islamophobia is real, deadly and spreading around the world.
  • The incident has forced many countries (esp. European) into deep introspection.
  • People are being asked to look at the reality of increasing malice and hatred against Muslims in particular and immigrants in general.

Islamophobia

  • Islamophobia is the fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims and people perceived to be Muslim that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance.
  • It is motivated by institutional, ideological, political and religious hostility, and can merge with racism to target the symbols and markers of a being a Muslim.

A string of attacks targeting Muslims

  • The past few years have seen a number of deadly Islamophobic attacks in Europe and North America.
  • India, home to the second largest population of Muslims in the world, has also witnessed attacks on mosques — Malegaon, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sharif etc.
  • Such attacks, therefore, not be dismissed as the act of one deranged person acting alone but as a manifestation of deep-seated hatred against Muslims among some segments of societies.

Roots of Islamophobia:

There are several factors –

  • Acts of terrorism carried out by extremist Muslim groups against innocent civilians. Attacks on 9/11 and other similar acts in London, Madrid, Orlando, Mumbai and elsewhere have augmented the feeling against the “barbaric” world of Islam.
  • Historical depiction of the Muslim world as the definitive “other” in the Orientalist literature produced from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries by European authors. Perception of Muslims has traditionally been highly negative in character.
  • Muslims were perceived to be racially and militarily inferior and at the same time as perpetually rebellious subjects against colonial rule. Since many rebellions adopted the religious idiom of “jihad” to garner popular support they were perceived in the metropolitan countries as wars between Islam and the West.
  • Exclusivist Wahhabi ideology that preaches hostility toward non-Muslims as well as Muslims who refuse to accept its narrow and insular interpretation of Islam.
  • Clashes between exclusivist ideologies – White supremacy and Islamist radicalism.
  • Hundreds and thousands of column inches of hatred printed in the press, many Muslim-hating politicians and unchecked social media bigotry.
  • Policy makers and implementers unabashedly express their Islamophobia under cover of national security.

The way ahead:

  • It is important that the people work constantly to identify Islamophobia in all forms and demand action against those who promote it.
  • Only education that emphasizes anti-racism and acceptance of cultural and religious diversity will eventually be able to do counter the above mentioned factors encouraging Islamophobia.
  • The ultimate goal in countering Islamophobia should be to create a fair and just society for all, one that values and safeguards the citizenship of its members.

Connecting the dots:

  • The past few years have seen a number of deadly Islamophobic attacks around the world. Critically examine what factors are leading to the proliferation of Islamophobia and what measures/strategies are needed to counter Islamophobia.
  • How did the 9/11 attack in the United States change the world? Discuss.

SECURITY ISSUE

TOPIC: General Studies 3

  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
  • Security challenges and their management
  • Governance issues

Countering Terrorism

Context:

  • Terrorism has no place in a civilised world and is completely contrary to all religious tenets.
  • India has emerged as one of the world’s most consistent targets of Islamist militants.
  • Thousands of civilians (including the armed forces, paramilitary forces and the police) have died in India in terrorist strikes.

How to counter terrorism in a manner far more effective than what has been done by governments so far?

  • The country suffers from a fragmented and inefficient bureaucracy, far fewer resources than developed countries even though it faces a higher threat level, and a political elite focused primarily on electoral politics.
  • There have been absences of accountability and repeated failures by intelligence agencies, the police, the Army, and bureaucrats and politicians who frame and implement policies.
  • Counterterrorism and intelligence units, especially local police, are often poorly trained and equipped.
  • In addition to these organizational challenges, many of the security institutions at all levels of government are understaffed, undertrained, and technologically backward.
  • Lives and productivity of people is dependent on the quality and efficiency of public services.

Conclusion

  • The government must act swiftly and let citizens know that it means business when it says it will fight against terrorism. It is not enough to remember the dead, hold prayer meetings, and compensate families.
  • True homage can only be paid when action is taken against those responsible for failures.
  • For instance, attacks in Pathankot and Uri in 2016 revealed chinks in India’s armour. However, apart from taking action against a few, no large-scale accountability was fixed by the Modi government.
  • Godhra tragedy in 2002: No responsible officer from the civil or police administration in Gujarat was held accountable for failing to save the lives (even after intelligence inputs of a possible attack in Godhra were available).
  • The fight against terrorism can never succeed without holding those in power responsible for costly lapses.
  • The process of bolstering Indian counterterrorism capabilities will be long and difficult, and is unlikely to bring any sudden successes, but it is nevertheless essential.

Connecting the dots:

  • Examine how to counter terrorism in a manner far more effective than what has been done by governments so far?
  • What strategy should India adopt in order to deal with proxy-wars from the neighbouring countries?

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