IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 20th April 2019
Suspension of cross-LoC trade
Part of: GS Mains II and III – Centre-State Relations; Security issues; Economy and issues related to it.
- In previous DNA, we read that Ministry of Home Affairs suspended the cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade in Jammu and Kashmir, citing “funnelling of illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency” as reasons.
- The decision is set to impact around 300 traders, and more than 1,200 people who are directly and indirectly associated with the trade on this side.
Now in news:
- Traders and politicians in Kashmir have criticised the government over the sudden suspension of cross-Line of Control trade.
- Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said the government was particularly alarmed by the case of U.S.-origin California almonds, which was not just a violation of the barter arrangement but also was under-invoiced to provide funds to anti-national elements and terrorist organisations in the Valley to fuel anti-India operations.
- The government will revisit the issue of resuming trade after stricter measures are put in place.
Ganga has higher proportion of antibacterial agents: study
According to a study commissioned by the Union Water Resources Ministry –
- Ganga river water contains a significantly higher proportion of organisms with antibacterial properties (called bacteriophages)
- Bacteriophages are a kind of virus that kill bacteria.
- In the river Ganga, the bacteriophages were detected to be approximately 3 times more in proportion.
International Fleet Review
- Indian Navy has sent two ships to take part in the International Fleet Review to be held in Qingdao, China.
- The ships are stealth destroyer INS Kolkata and fleet tanker INS Shakti.
Do you know?
- Pakistan’s Navy is not taking part in the event.
- The Indian Navy had last held an International Fleet Review in February 2016, in which 50 navies of different countries took part with nearly 100 warships.
TOPIC: General studies 2 and 3
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Humanise the law: draft Indian Forest Act
- Indian Forest Act, 1927 is considered to be unsuitable as its provisions having been drafted to suit the objectives of a colonial power that had extractive uses for forests in mind.
- In the colonial era, the British diverted abundant forest wealth of the nation to meet their economic needs.
- While procedure for settlement of rights was provided under statutes such as the Indian Forest Act, 1927, these were hardly followed.
- As a result, tribal and forest-dwelling communities, who had been living within the forests in harmony with the environment and the ecosystem, continued to live inside the forests in tenurial (land) insecurity, a situation which continued even after independence as they were marginalised.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has finalised the draft Indian Forest Act, 2019 to modernize the colonial era law.
Draft Indian Forest Act, 2019
- Currently, only 2.99% of India’s geographic area is classified as very dense forest; the rest of the green cover of a total of 21.54% is nearly equally divided into open and moderately dense forest.
- Therefore, the new law aims at expanding India’s forests and ensuring the well-being of traditional forest-dwellers and biodiversity in these landscapes.
- It encourages community-led, scientifically validated conservation.
- However, the draft Bill reinforces the idea of bureaucratic control of forests, providing immunity for actions such as use of firearms by personnel to prevent an offence.
- In other words, as per the new draft, forest officials have been given the absolute authority to shoot tribals for “violation of laws”.
- The draft bill also contains some of the hardline policing approach such as – emphasis on creating infrastructure to detain and transport the accused, and to penalise entire communities through denial of access to forests for offences by individuals.
- Such provisions invariably affect poor inhabitants, and run counter to the empowering and egalitarian goals that produced the Forest Rights Act.
The way ahead:
India’s forests play a key role in moderating the lives of not just the adivasis and other traditional dwellers, but everyone in the subcontinent, through their impact on the climate and monsoons. Their health can be improved only through collaboration.
Any new forest law must, therefore, aim to –
- Reduce conflicts, incentivise tribals and stop diversion for non-forest uses.
- Recognize all suitable landscapes as forests and insulate them from commercial exploitation.
- Develop partnership with communities on the one hand, and scientists on the other.
Connecting the dots:
- The recent amendments to the Indian Forest Act, 1927 contains some of the hardline policing approach which might invariably affect poor inhabitants, and run counter to the empowering and egalitarian goals that produced the Forest Rights Act. Discuss.
- The recent amendments to the Indian Forest Act, 1927 is even more colonial and frightening. Critically comment.
TOPIC: General studies 3
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Jobs in India: The challenge of creating more employment
- Job creation has become the big challenge for policymakers.
- The lacklustre performance of Indian manufacturing has prevented the absorption of labour force displaced from agriculture.
- Although some have found employment in services such as travel, tourism and hospitality, much of these are stopgap arrangements.
- Labour-intensive manufacturing could have been the most fitting option to absorb the mass labour force. But this did not happen.
Why job-creation in manufacturing sector has failed to take off?
- Rigidities in labour laws preventing easy hire and fire of workers
- Entry and exit barriers for firms
- High capital requirement of labour-intensive sector
The way ahead:
- The idea that labour-intensive industries will work without appropriate capital is misguided. Therefore, it becomes fundamental to reassess the capital proportion of labour-intensive sectors so that appropriate finance policies can be designed for their revival and promotion.
- Infusing appropriate capital into labour-intensive sectors gains primacy for their success in employment creation.
- A coordinated effort involving industry participation in finalising skill development curriculum, ‘on the job’ training as part of skill development and making learning & development a priority in general will go a long way in ensuring that our demographic dividend can truly be realised.
Do you know?
- Government of India plans to increase the share of manufacturing sector in gross domestic product (GDP) from 16% to 25% by 2022 thereby creating 100 million new jobs.
With the right policies, the manufacturing sector can help bring about economic resurgence as it has the highest multiplier effect as compared to any other sector of our economy. Thus, the development of an emerging economy significantly depends on the performance and structure of its manufacturing sector.
Connecting the dots:
- Do you think the manufacturing sector has enough potential to create jobs for the burgeoning labour force in India? Critically comment.
- In India, 12 million young people enter the labour force each year, and millions transfer out of low productivity agricultural jobs. To ensure that such individuals get gainful employment is a mammoth challenge. Discuss the measures to tackle this challenge.
- Examine the role of manufacturing sector in employment generation in India.
Either way, the news is bad for Pakistan
Half MPs half votes
Kapu agitation in Andhra Pradesh
India-Pakistan Talks: Imran Khan wants peace and dialogue
Saving the Indian statistical system