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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 20th July 2019

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  • July 21, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 20th July 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Supreme Court questions the need for re-verification of NRC

Part of: GS Mains Paper II – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

In news:

  • The Centre and the State of Assam had urged the Supreme Court more time to conduct sample re-verification process of NRC.
  • However, the Supreme Court has questioned the need for re-verification of NRC.

With exam point of view, one needs to focus on the following –

  • About NRC and background
  • Benefits of NRC
  • Why has the National Register of Citizens (NRC) been in controversy lately?
  • Issues/Challenges with NRC process
  • Conclusion

We have already learnt about NRC

National register of citizens is a register containing names of all genuine Indians residing in India. Assam faced influx from Bangladesh, to remove the illegal migration from neighbouring countries NRC as prepared in 1951.

Benefits of NRC:

  • Detection of illegal immigrants, inclusion will be a shield against harassment and a ticket to enjoying all the constitutional rights and safeguards and the benefits of government schemes.
  • To safeguard the indigenous population and civilization.
  • Illegal activities like terrorism, human trafficking, drug trafficking can be checked.
  • To safeguard Voting rights and properties such as land and house.

Controversies related to the National Register of Citizens (NRC):

  • Laborious process: Adding a person to NRC is complex procedure because of presenting many documents and layers of verification.
  • Document verification: “Family tree verification” has become difficult process for left out children.
  • Rejection of certificate: More than 40 lakh people are rejected for panchayath residency certificates.
  • Citizenship related: Failed to ensure legal clarity over the manner in which the claims of citizenship could be decided.
  • Role of Supreme Court: lack of monitoring process, inability to comprehend political and policy actions in case of loss of citizenship.
  • Huge population: Given the size of India’s population, implementation of the NRC will be a mammoth task and demands a detailed analysis.

Criticism of the NRC:

  • The first report was announced on December 31-January 1, 2017, the removal of 40 lakh people leads to a major social and political crisis.
  • The mass insecurity and social crisis stalking the 40 lakh people of Assam.
  • Many people are in stake who lives in strategic and sensitive border state. Their documents are being ambiguous.
  • Assam has a peculiar problem of villages getting ravaged, or disappearing, due to annual floods unleashed by the fiery Brahamaputra. Documents get destroyed, geographies shift, addresses change.
  • Several cases of transparent injustice whereby families have been divided – some declared Doubtful Voters and foreigners, others as bonafide citizens.
  • Widespread perception that specifically linguistic and religious minorities are being targeted – namely, Bengali speaking Muslims and Hindus.

Conclusion

It is important and essential for the union government to proactively come out with an equitable, predictable and transparent plan on the way forward, for those who will be identified as ‘foreigners’. The left out from the NRC must be handled carefully on humanitarian basis.


The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019

Part of: GS Mains Paper II – Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Amendments proposed:

Sl.No. Provisions under original Act Amendments proposed
1. Under the current Act, the chairperson of the NHRC is a person who has been a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Bill seeks to provide that a person who has been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or a Judge of the Supreme Court will be the chairperson of the NHRC.
2. The Act provides for two persons having knowledge of human rights to be appointed as members of the NHRC. The Bill seeks to allow three members to be appointed, of which at least one will be a woman.
3. Under the Act, chairpersons of various commissions such as the National Commission for Scheduled Castes(NCSC), National Commission for Scheduled Tribes(NCST), and National Commission for Women(NCW) are members of the NHRC. The Bill provides for including also the chairpersons of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities as members of the NHRC.
4. The Act states that the chairperson and members of the NHRC and SHRC will hold office for five years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier. The Bill reduces the term of office to three years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.

 

 

Do you know?

  • NHRC is established under the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993.
  • The act defines Human Rights as the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.

The Chairperson and members of the NHRC are appointed by the President of India, on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:

  • The Prime Minister (Chairperson)
  • The Home Minister
  • The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha (Lower House)
  • The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House)
  • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Lower House)
  • The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House)

Bill to help Transgender introduced in Lok Sabha

Part of: Mains GS Paper I – Social empowerment

In News:

  • The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, was introduced by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister in Lok Sabha
  • The Bill has defined transgenders and has ensured family life for transgender children, made provisions for sex reassignment surgeries, psychological counselling and protection against any form of discrimination against transgender people

Highlights of the Bill

  • The Transgender Persons Bill gives a person the right to choose to be identified as a man, woman or transgender, irrespective of sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy
  • The government has ensured that a person does not have to appear before a district screening committee to be declared a transgender (This was part of earlier draft that received criticism from human rights activists). The new bills has recognised a person’s “right to self-perceived gender identity”.
  • The bill de-criminalised begging by transgenders.
  • The bill provide for major education, social security and health facilities for transgender people. The government has decided to pay for medical care facility including sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy for transgender people through a health insurance scheme.
  • The Bill also provides protection for transgender children. Section 12 (1) says: “No child shall be separated from parents or immediate family on the ground of being a transgender.

Do you know?

  • Transgender was declared as third gender only recently in 2014, through a Supreme Court judgement in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India case.
  • Moreover, the court also held that because transgender people were treated as socially and economically backward classes, they should be granted reservations in admissions to educational institutions and jobs.

Miscellaneous

Happiness Department of Madhya Pradesh

  • It has always been felt that material prosperity alone can never be the yardstick of measuring happiness and wellbeing. For a holistic and happy human existence, inner wellbeing is of utmost significance along with our material advancement.
  • People need to be exposed to well researched behavioural tools and time tested ethical practices, which would help them stay positive, sustain adversities and lead fulfilling balanced lives.
  • Madhya Pradesh has set a precedence in the country to have a government organization – Rajya Anand Sansthan (State Happiness Department) – dedicated towards the aforesaid purpose.

Rajya Anand Sansthan

  • RAS came into existence for this purpose in August 2016 and has since been engaged in providing tools and techniques of incorporating positivity and joyful healthy habits for holistic growth and overall peace.
  • Soothing the tempers of government officials since its inception, the Rajya Anand Sansthan has now opened its doors to the general public.

(MAINS FOCUS)


AGRICULTURE/ECONOMY

TOPIC: General studies 3

  • Indian Economy, Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management).

A Sign of economic growth and Improvement

Context:

  • The growth of key sectors by shifting gears as the current economic conditions are smooth in terms of macroeconomic stability to expand growth.
  • The adequate investment reforms in primary sectors.
  • There by, accomplishing the vision of a $5-trillion economy by 2024.

Concerns:

  • Adequate Investment in primary sector is the need of hour.
  • Insufficient investment in the agriculture sector in most developing countries over the past 30 years has resulted in low productivity and stagnant production as per FAO.
  • Agriculture remains the most trusted sector in helping alleviate poverty, hunger and malnutrition and ensuring better income distribution.

Food and Agriculture organisation:

  • It is a UN body
  • It leads international efforts to defeat hunger
  • Established in 1945 and its headquarters is in Rome, Italy.
  • FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.
  • There are a total of 197 members comprising 194 member nations, 1 member organization and 2 associate members.
  • India is a member of FAO

Key areas of investment

  • Investment is the key to unlocking the potential of a developing economy
  • Investment in Agro-processing, Agro-startups and Agri-tourism

Outcomes:

  • Boosts Agri-tourism by attracting tourists towards farm staff and farm operations
  • Generates in-situ employment.

Investment in Agri-education and research 

Outcomes:

  • It would also serve as a stage to demonstrate resource conservation and sustainable use through organic, natural and green methods, and also zero budget natural farming.

Investment in livestock technology

Outcomes:

  • Productivity enhancement
  • Conservation of indigenous germplasm, disease surveillance, quality control, waste utilisation and value addition.

Investment in renewable energy generation

Outcomes:

  • It would help reduce the burden of debt-ridden electricity distribution companies and State governments,
  • Enables energy security in rural areas.

Private investment to agriculture

Outcomes:

  • Linking Farm business organisations with commodity exchanges would provide agriculture commodities more space on international trading platforms .
  • It reduces the burden of markets in a glut season, with certain policy/procedural modifications

Barriers for the Investments:

  • Issues of enumeration, maintenance and accessibility to help maintain agri-data on various fronts.
  • There also needs to be a centralised institutional mechanism to help maintain farm level-data available for real time (virtual) assessment, while also helping plug the loopholes in subsidy distribution, funding and unrealistic assumption in production estimation.
  • It needs dedicated investment in behavioural farm research sets
  • There is a need to converge fragmented investments (public, private and foreign) to address the structural weaknesses in the agriculture sector.

Conclusion:

  • Agriculture and its allied sectors are believed to be one of the most fertile grounds to help achieve the ambitious Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs).
  • However, with the current pace of agriculture growth, India requires ‘patient capital’, as financial returns to investment are unlikely to materialise in the initial years.
  • An inclusive business model facilitating strong investor-farmer relations should be created, with a legal and institutional framework for governance.
  • Expanding institutions is essential to accommodate the developmental impacts of foreign agricultural investment.

Connecting the dots:

  • Investment is the key to unlocking the potential of a developing economy. Elucidate.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


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

Note: 

  • 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) Consider the following statements about National Register of Citizens

  1. Only once before has an NRC been prepared, in 1951.
  2. However, NRC is now being updated in Assam
  3. The process of updating NRC is being headed by Chief Secretary of Assam under the overall guidance from Union Home Ministry.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements about National Human Rights Commission

  1. NHRC is a Constitutional body
  2. It was established through 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978 post emergency period which witnessed human rights abuses.
  3. The chairperson of NHRC is appointed by President upon recommendations of a committee consisting only of Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in Loksabha and Speaker of Lok Sabha.

Which of the following statements is/are not correct?

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements about Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

  1. It is a statutory body
  2. It was established in 1999 post Asian financial crisis for orderly development of securities market in India
  3. The penalties levied by the SEBI already goes to general fund of SEBI

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

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

Q.4) Which is the first state to establish Rajya Anand Santhan (State happiness Department)?

  1. Karnataka
  2. Gujarat
  3. Madhya Pradesh
  4. Delhi

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