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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th July 2019

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  • July 9, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th July 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Netanyahu expected in Delhi in September

Part of Prelims and mains GS II International Relations 

In news

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to travel to India in September 2019.

India Israel relations 

  • India-Israel relations have been growing rapidly in the past few years. India Israel relationship is moving in an “upward trajectory”. 
  • Mr. Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel in 2017, a visit Mr. Netanyahu returned in January 2018, which marked 25 years since the establishment of full diplomatic relations.

Bilateral talks

  • In the run-up to the visit, bilateral talks on defence issues have focussed on the emergency procurement of ‘Spike’ anti-tank missiles and the purchase of more precision-guided munitions. 
  • The two sides are also discussing a long-pending proposal to buy 2 Phalcon AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System).
  • Israel is expected to make a case for India to align itself less with Tehran to join Israel and the U.S. in putting pressure on the regime there.
  • Israel considers Iran as number one threat to regional and global peace & security.

India’s stand

While India has fallen in line with the U.S. sanctions on cutting its oil imports from Iran, it retains a strong relationship with the Iranian government, and has publicly expressed its concerns over the impact of a war in West Asia on the millions of Indians living and working in the region. 


Odisha plans scheme for witness protection

Part of Prelims and mains GS II Judiciary 

In news

  • The Odisha government has come up with a special ‘Witness Protection Scheme’ to provide security to witnesses facing threat during the course of a legal battle.
  • According to the notification, a district-level standing committee, chaired by a district and sessions judge, with the district police head as its member and the head of the prosecution in the district as its member secretary, will take a call on the need for protection.

Procedure Analysis and report

  • The district police chief will submit a report with regard to the seriousness and credibility of the threat to the witness or his/her family members if the person applies in a prescribed form.
  • The report will detail the nature of the threat to the witness or his/her family members, their reputation or property. 
  • Besides, the intent and motive of the person issuing the threat and the resources available with him/her to execute it will figure in the analysis.
  • The threat analysis report, prepared with “full confidentiality”, will reach the competent authority “within five working days of its order for inquiry”.
  • Based on the report, the authority will pass an order for protection of identity of the witness.
  • The Witness Protection Cell will then ensure that the identities of the witness and his/her family members, including names, parentage, occupation, address and digital footprints, are fully protected.
  • Provision of relocation of the witness to a safer place has also been made in the scheme.
  • In appropriate cases, where there is a request from the witness for change of identity, based on the threat analysis report, a decision can be taken to confer a new identity upon the witness through a competent authority.

Dedicated cell and fund

  • A dedicated cell of the State police or Central police agencies will be assigned with the duty of implementing the witness protection order. 
  • The ‘Witness Protection Fund’ proposed to be created will bear the expenses incurred during the implementation of the protection order.
  • In case the witness has lodged a false complaint, the State home department could initiate proceedings for recovery of the expenditure from the applicant.

RBI board finalises ‘Utkarsh 2022’

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Indian Economy, Banking

In news

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board finalised a three year roadmap to improve regulation and supervision, among other functions of the central bank.
  • This medium term strategy, named Utkarsh 2022, is in line with the global central banks’ plan to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory mechanism.

Details

  • Worldwide, all central banks strengthen the regulatory and supervisory mechanism, everybody is formulating a long-term plan and a medium-term plan. 
  • RBI has also decided it will formulate a pragramme to outline what is to be achieved in the next three years.
  • An internal committee was formed to identify issues that needed to be addressed over the next three years. 
  • While around a dozen areas were identified by the committee, some board members felt that areas could be filtered and lesser number of areas can be identified for implementation in the next three years.
  • The idea is that the central bank plays a proactive role and takes preemptive action to avoid any crisis.
  • RBI board finalised the three -year medium-term strategy document of the Reserve Bank, which covered, inter-alia, its mission and vision statement.
  • Other matters discussed by the board included issues relating to currency management and payment systems, etc.

(MAINS FOCUS)


INTERNATIONAL

TOPIC: General studies 2

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

Reclaiming the Indo-Pacific narrative

Background

At the 34th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok in June 2019, its member states finally managed to articulate a collective vision for the Indo-Pacific region in a document titled “The ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific”. However, it is a non-binding document.

ASEAN reluctance

ASEAN has been reluctant to frontally engage with the Indo-Pacific discourse as the perception was that it may antagonise China. But there was soon a realisation that such an approach might allow others to shape the regional architecture and marginalise the ASEAN itself. And so the final outlook that the ASEAN has come up with effectively seeks to take its own position rather than following any one power’s lead.

Indian Response: India has welcomed the ASEAN’s outlook on the Indo-Pacific as it sees “important elements of convergence” with its own approach. 

Significance

  • The ASEAN’s intent to be in the driving seat is clear as it seeks to manage the emerging regional order with policy moves.
  • ASEAN to reclaim the strategic narrative in its favour in order to underscore its centrality in the emerging regional order.
  • The rise of material powers, i.e. economic and military, requires avoiding the deepening of mistrust, miscalculation and patterns of behaviour based on a zero-sum game.
  • Should also complement existing frameworks of cooperation at the regional and sub-regional levels.
  • Quick conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, an increasingly contested maritime space which is claimed largely by China and in parts by the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. Tensions continue to rise over the militarisation of this waterway.
  • The ASEAN outlook does not see the Indo-Pacific as one continuous territorial space, it emphasises development and connectivity, underlining the need for maritime cooperation, infrastructure connectivity and broader economic cooperation.

Connecting the dots:

  • Explain briefly: The significance of ASEAN in Indo-pacific.

NATIONAL

TOPIC:

General studies 2

  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability
  • Human rights and justice system

General studies 3

  • Security challenges and their management – linkages of organized crime with terrorism. 

Crimes that India’s statute books have failed to define

Introduction 

While pronouncing the judgment in State v. Sajjan Kumar (2018), Delhi high court expressed with grief that neither ‘crimes against humanity’ nor ‘genocide’ has been made part of India’s criminal law. It is a lacuna that needs to be addressed urgently. 

Crimes left out 

  • Crimes against humanity like genocide or mass killing of people which are usually engineered by political actors with the assistance of the law enforcement agencies. Eg 1984 Sikh genocide.
  • Internationally such crimes are dealt with under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). They are defined as offences such as murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, torture, imprisonment and rape committed as a part of “widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack”.
  • Since India is not a part of the Rome statute it is under no obligation at present to enact a separate legislation dealing with CAH. 
  • India has ratified the Genocide Convention (1948), yet has  not enacted it in domestic legislation.

Reasons for reluctance

  • India did not become a party in the negotiation process on a separate Convention on CAH, which started in 2014, because the convention adopted  the same definition of CAH as provided in the Rome Statute. 
  • The Indian representatives at the International Law Commission (ILC) have stated that the draft articles should not conflict with or duplicate the existing treaty regimes.
  • India had objected to the definition of CAH during negotiations of the Rome Statute on three grounds.

Three grounds for rejecting Rome statue 

  • First, India was not in favour of using ‘widespread or systematic’ as one of the conditions. It wanted it should be ‘widespread and systematic’, because it would require a higher threshold of proof.
  • Second, India wanted a distinction to be made between international and internal armed conflicts. This was probably because its internal conflicts with naxals and other non-state actors in places like Kashmir and the Northeast could fall under the scope of CAH.
  • Thirdly, India did not want the inclusion of enforced disappearance of persons under CAH. Though India is a signatory to the  UN International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances , it has not yet ratified it. Hence including it in convention would as it would put the country under an obligation to criminalise it through domestic legislation.

Conclusion

  • India’s missing voice at the ILC does not go well with its claim of respect for an international rules-based order. 
  • Turning a blind eye to the mass crimes taking place in its territory and shielding the perpetrators reflect poorly on India’s status as a democracy. 
  • It would be advisable for India to show political will and constructively engage with the ILC, which would also, in the process, address the shortcomings in the domestic criminal justice system.

Connecting the dots:

Neither ‘crimes against humanity’ nor ‘genocide’ has been made part of India’s criminal law, a lacuna that needs to be addressed urgently. Comment


(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


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

Note: 

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

Q.1) India is procuring ‘Spike’ anti-tank missiles from,

  1. United states 
  2. France
  3. Israel
  4. Russia

Q.2) With respect to defence of India, “Phalcon” is

  1. Anti tank guided missile 
  2. Airborne Warning and Control System
  3. Both a and b
  4. Neither a nor b

Q.3) “Utkarsh 2022” recently seen in news is,

  1. Mid term strategy to reduce malnutrition in India
  2. A three year roadmap of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to improve regulation and supervision
  3. Program of ISRO to launch small satellites by 2022.
  4. None of the above

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