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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 16th August 2022

  • IASbaba
  • August 16, 2022
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Lok Adalat

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Polity & Governance
  • Mains – GS 2 (Polity & Governance)

In News: Over 75 lakh pending and pre-litigation cases, many of them part of the huge backlog created by the pandemic, were settled across the country in the third National Lok Adalat.

  • In a move away from convention, the legal services authorities under Chief Justice of India-designate, Justice U.U. Lalit, who is the executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), used technological platforms to conduct ‘digital lok adalat’ in Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
  • Of the more than 74 lakh disposed cases, 16.45 lakh disputes were pending ones and another 58.33 lakh were in pre-litigation stages.

Significance

  • Lok adalats have not only become an efficient substitute to seek redressal, but significantly help in reducing the burden of the courts pertaining to backlog and pendency of cases.
  • Seeking justice is no longer a luxury, it is one‘s right.

Lok Adalat

  • The Lok Adalat is a forum where the cases which are pending in a court or which are at pre-litigation stage are compromised or settled in an amicable manner.

The Supreme Court has explained the meaning of the institution of Lok Adalat in the following way

  • The ‘Lok Adalat’ is an old form of adjudicating system prevailed in ancient India and it’s validity has not been taken away even in the modern days too.
  • The word ‘Lok Adalat’ means ‘People’s Court’. This system is based on Gandhian principles.
  • It is one of the components of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) system.
  • As the Indian courts are overburdened with the backlog of cases and the regular courts are to decide the cases involving a lengthy, expensive and tedious procedure. The court takes years together to settle even petty cases.
  • The Lok Adalat, therefore, provides alternative resolution or devise for expeditious and inexpensive justice.

Statutory Status

  • The first Lok Adalat camp in the post independence era was organised in Gujarat in 1982.
  • This initiative proved very successful in the settlement of disputes. Consequently, the institution of Lok Adalat started spreading to other parts of the country.
  • In view of its growing popularity, there arose a demand for providing a statutory backing to this institution and the awards given by Lok Adalats.
  • Hence, the institution of Lok Adalat has been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.

Organisation and functioning of the Lok Adalats:

  • The State Legal Services Authority or the District Legal Services Authority or the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee or the High Court Legal Services Committee or the Taluk Legal Services Committee may organise Lok Adalats at such intervals and places and for exercising such jurisdiction and for such areas as it thinks fit.
  • Every Lok Adalat organised for an area shall consist of such number of serving or retired judicial officers and other persons of the area as may be specified by the agency organizing such Lok Adalat.
  • Generally, a Lok Adalat consists of a judicial officer as the chairman and a lawyer (advocate) and a social worker as members.
  • The Lok Adalat shall have no jurisdiction in respect of any case or matter relating to an offence not compoundable under any law.
  • Any case pending before the court can be referred to the Lok Adalat for settlement if:
  • the parties thereof agree to settle the dispute in the Lok Adalat
  • one of the parties thereof makes an application to the court referring the case to the Lok Adalat; or
  • the court is satisfied that the matter is an appropriate one to taken cognizance of by the Lok Adalat.
  • In the case of a pre-litigation dispute, the matter can be referred to the Lok Adalat for settlement by the agency organizing the Lok Adalat, on receipt of an application from any one of the parties to the dispute.
  • The Lok Adalat shall have the same powers as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure (1908), while trying a suit in respect of the following matters:
  • the summoning and enforcing the attendance of any witness examining him on oath;
  • the discovery and production of any document;
  • the reception of evidence on affidavits;
  • the requisitioning of any public record or document from any court or office; and such other matters as may be prescribed.
  • Further, a Lok Adalat shall have the requisite powers to specify its own procedure for the determination of any dispute coming before it.
  • Also, all proceedings before a Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code (1860) and every Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a Civil Court for the purpose of the Code of Criminal Procedure (1973).
  • An award of a Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a decree of a Civil Court or an order of any other court.
  • Every award made by a Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the parties to the dispute. No appeal shall lie to any court against the award of the Lok Adalat.

Significance

  • There is no court fee and if court fee is already paid the amount will be refunded if the dispute is settled at Lok Adalat.
  • The basic features of Lok Adalat are the procedural flexibility and speedy trial of the disputes.
  • There is no strict application of procedural laws like the Civil Procedure Code and the Evidence Act while assessing the claim by Lok Adalat.
  • The parties to the dispute can directly interact with the judge through their counsel which is not possible in regular courts of law.
  • The award by the Lok Adalat is binding on the parties and it has the status of a decree of a civil court and it is non-appealable, which does not cause the delay in the settlement of disputes.

In view of above facilities provided by the Act, Lok Adalats are boon to the litigating public as they can get their disputes settled fast and free of cost amicably.

Source: The Hindu


Punjab government bans 10 insecticides for 60 days

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: The Punjab government banned the use of 10 insecticides, which are mostly used in aromatic paddy (Basmati), for 60 days.

  • The insecticides include Acephate, Buprofezin, Chloropyriphos, Methamidophos, Propiconazole, Thiamethoxam, Profenofos, Isoprothiolane, Carbendazim, and Tricyclazole.
  • Reasons
  • One, there is a risk of higher pesticide residues than the maximum residue level (MRL) fixed by the competent authority in the Basmati rice grains on account of the use of these Agrochemicals.
  • Secondly, the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana, has recommended alternative Agro chemicals to control pests in Basmati rice in Punjab.
  • Third, the Punjab Rice Millers and exporters Association has also reported that many samples got tested by them contain the residue value of these pesticides is much higher than the MRL values in Basmati rice.

The association requested a ban on these agrochemicals to save the Basmati produce and to ensure hassle-free export of Basmati rice to other countries.

Such time-to-time bans won’t stop dealers from storing or farmers from using such insecticide in rice crop. Most of these insecticides are used in wheat, vegetables, fruits and sugarcane and so these are easily available with farmers. Such chemicals should be banned parmanently in the state as several foreign consignments of basmati rice are rejected every month because of high MRL.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Triclosan considered harmful when exposed to high levels for a long time, is most likely present in which of the following? (2021)

  1. Food preservatives
  2. Fruit-ripening substances
  3. Reused plastic containers
  4. Toiletries


Aurobindo Ghose

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – History

In News: Prime Minister remembers Sri Aurobindo on his Jayanti.

About Sri Aurobindo

  • Aurobindo Ghose was born in Calcutta on 15th August 1872.
  • He was a yogi, seer, philosopher, poet, and Indian nationalist who propounded a philosophy of divine life on earth through spiritual evolution.
  • He died on 5th December 1950 in Pondicherry.

Education:

  • His education began in a Christian convent school in Darjeeling.
  • He entered the University of Cambridge, where he became proficient in two classical and several modern European languages.
  • In 1892, he held various administrative posts in Baroda and Calcutta.
  • He began the study of Yoga and Indian languages, including classical Sanskrit.

Indian Revolutionary Movement:

  • From 1902 to 1910 he took part in the struggle to free India from the British.
  • He attended Congress sessions and at the same time, helped establish the Anushilan Samiti of Calcutta in 1902.
  • As a result of his political activities, he was imprisoned in 1908 (Alipore Bomb case).
  • Two years later he fled British India and found refuge in the French colony of Puducherry, where he devoted himself for the rest of his life to the development of his “integral” yoga with an aim of a fulfilled and spiritually transformed life on earth.

Spirituality:

  • In Puducherry he founded a community of spiritual seekers, which took shape as the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1926.
  • He believed that the basic principles of matter, life, and mind would be succeeded through terrestrial evolution by the principle of supermind as an intermediate power between the two spheres of the infinite and the finite.

Teachings:

  • He propounded a philosophy of divine life on earth through spiritual evolution.

Literary Works:

  • He was also a journalist, editing newspapers such as Bande Mataram.
  • He was also a journalist and his first philosophical magazine called Arya was published in 1914.
  • Among his many writings are The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga and Savitri.

Source:Pib.gov

Previous Year Question

Q.1) He wrote biographies of Mazzini, Garibaldi, Shivaji and Shrikrishna ; stayed in America for some time; and was also elected to the Central Assembly. He was? (2018)

  1. Aurobindo Ghosh
  2. Bipin Chandra Pal
  3. Lala Lajpat Rai
  4. Motilal Nehru

Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science & Technology

In News: In a first, an indigenously developed howitzer gun, ATAG, became part of the 21-gun salute during the Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort.

  • Developed by the DRDO, the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) was used alongside the traditional British-origin ’25 Pounders’ artillery guns.

The 21-gun salute tradition

  • When the National Anthem is played by the Military Band after the unfurling of the Tricolour at the Red Fort by the Prime Minister, a 21-volley gun salute is fired by a ceremonial battery from an artillery regiment.
  • The tradition of gun salutes originates from the Western navies where guns from the ports and those from incoming ships used to be fired in a particular manner to convey that there was no belligerent intention.
  • This tradition was carried forward as a way of paying respects or for according official welcome to the Crown, royals, military commanders and heads of states.
  • India inherited the tradition from the British rulers who had gun salutes comprising 101 volleys, 31 volleys and 21 volleys, and so on depending on the hierarchy.
  • In India, artillery gun salutes are fired on the Republic Day, the Independence Day and also at the time of oath taking ceremony of the President, among other occasions.
  • Over the years, this 21-gun salute — which are blanks — was fired by the World War era howitzers of British make known as ‘Ordnance Quick Fire 25 Pounder’ or just ’25 Pounder’.

Inclusion of ATAGS

  • This year, two Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) howitzers joined the battery that fired along with other 25 Pounders
  • The ATAGS is an indigenous 155 mm x 52 calibre howitzer gun developed by the DRDO with its Pune-based facility Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) being the nodal agency.
  • Howitzers is an umbrella term for a category of long-range artillery guns.

Induction of ATAGS into Army

  • The system is currently undergoing an evaluation by the Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) marking its final stage before the Army places orders for it.
  • The DGQA is a nodal agency for the quality assurance of all arms, ammunition, equipment and stores supplied to the Armed Forces.

ATAGS features

  • The armament system of ATAGS mainly comprises barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm calibre ammunition held by Army with a longer range, accuracy and precision and provides greater firepower.
  • The ATAGS is configured with all electric drive to ensure maintenance free and reliable operation over a longer period of time.
  • It has advanced features in terms of high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night firing capability in the direct fire mode.
  • During its test at Pokhran, the maximum ranges of 38.5 km and 48 km, with boat tail and extended range full bore types of projectiles, were achieved.
  • During the same trials, a minimum range of 4.7 km was achieved from the systems meeting the critical parameter of minimum range at high angle
  • The specialised gun system is compatible with C4I (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) systems like the Artillery Combat Command and Control System (ACCCS) called Shakti for technical fire control, fire planning, deployment management, and operational logistics management of the Army.

Source: Indianexpress.com

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to the Agni-IV Missile, which of the following statement(s) is/are correct? (2014)

  1. It is a surface-to-surface missile.
  2. It is fuelled by liquid propellant only.
  3. It can deliver a one-tonne nuclear warhead about 7500 km away.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

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

Dornier aircraft

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science & Technology

In News: India handed over a Dornier aircraft to Sri Lanka in the presence of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, reaffirming its security ties with the island nation.

  • Security of India and Sri Lanka are enhanced by mutual understanding, mutual trust and cooperation. Gifting of Dornier 228 is India’s latest contribution to this cause.
  • The Indian gift was in response to a request from the Sri Lankan government in 2018 for two Dornier Reconnaissance Aircraft to enhance the maritime surveillance capabilities of the island nation
  • The gift to Sri Lanka will equip the country to contribute more towards the security of the Indian Ocean Region at large.
  • Sri Lanka is a member of the ‘Colombo Security Conclave’, which began as a trilateral initiate involving India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and later included Mauritius, for maritime cooperation in the region.

Dornier 228

  • The Dornier 228 is a general aircraft with twin engines capable of carrying at least 19 passengers.
  • With its Short-Take off and Landing (STOL) capability, it is capable of operating on short runways as well as in hot environments.
  • The Dornier 228 has been marketed as a general-service aircraft capable of operating in many roles such as military transport, couter aircraft or cargo hauler.

It carries our special missions such as:

  • Maritime Surveillance
  • Border Patrol
  • Medical Evacuations
  • Search and Rescue
  • Paradrops
  • Environmental research
  • It is fitted with special equipment such as 360-degree surveillance radar, searchlights, operator stations, enlarged fuel tanks, satellite uplink etc.

Must Read: Sri Lanka’s organic farming disaster + India-Sri Lanka relations

Source: The Hindu


Places in News

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography (Map Based)

Nagorno-Karabakh

In News: The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh has been at the centre of three major wars and multiple clashes for decades.

  • The recent flare-up began on August 3 after Azerbaijan claimed that it had captured the territory in Karabakh in a retaliatory campaign, after an Armenian attack killed one Azerbaijani soldier.

Nagorno-Karabakh

  • Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous and heavily forested region that under international law is recognised as part of Azerbaijan.
  • However, ethnic Armenians who constitute the vast majority of the population there reject Azeri rule (the legal system of Azerbaijan).
  • After Azerbaijan’s troops were pushed out of the region following a war in the 1990s, these ethnic Armenians have been in administrative control of Nagorno-Karabakh, with support from Armenia.

Strategic Significance:

  • The energy-rich Azerbaijan has built several gas and oil pipelines across the Caucasus (the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea) to Turkey and Europe.
  • Some of these pipelines pass close to the conflict zone (within 16 km of the border).
  • In an open war between the two countries, the pipelines could be targeted, which would impact energy supplies and may even lead to higher oil prices globally.

What is the Genesis of the Conflict?

  • The conflict can be traced back to the pre-Soviet era when the region was at the meeting point of Ottoman, Russian and the Persian empires.
  • Once Azerbaijan and Armenia became Soviet Republics in 1921, Russia gave Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan but offered autonomy to the contested region.
  • In the 1980s, when the Soviet power was receding, separatist currents picked up in Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • In 1988, the national assembly voted to dissolve the region’s autonomous status and join Armenia.
  • However, Azerbaijan suppressed such calls, which led to a military conflict.
  • The self-declaration of independence by Nagorno-Karabakh in September 1991 in the backdrop of an imminent collapse of the USSR resulted in a war between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh — supported by Armenia.
  • This clash lasted till a ceasefire agreement was reached in 1994, mediated largely by Russia.
  • Since then, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group co-chaired by the USA, Russia and France have engaged Azerbaijan and Armenia extensively to resolve the conflict.
  • By that time, Armenia had taken control of Nagorno-Karabakh and handed it to Armenian rebels.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following pairs: (2022)

Regions in News             Country

  1. Anatolia – Turkey
  2. Amhara – Ethiopia
  3. Cabo Delgado – Spain
  4. Catalonia – Italy

How many pairs given above are correctly matched?

  1. Only one pair
  2. Only two pairs
  3. Only three pairs
  4. All four pairs

Postal Index Number (PIN)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: It was on August 15, 1972, that the Postal Index Number (PIN) was introduced in India.

  • The 75th Independence Day coincides with another milestone in the country’s history — it was on August 15, 1972, that the Postal Index Number (PIN) was introduced in India.

Why was the PIN code introduced?

  • According to the Department of Posts, there were 23,344 post offices, primarily in urban areas, in India at the time of Independence. But, the country was growing rapidly and the postal network had to keep pace.
  • The PIN code was meant to ease the process of mail sorting and delivery in a country where different places, often, have the same or similar names, and letters are written in a wide variety of languages.

How does the PIN code work?

  • The PIN is made up of six digits.
  • The first number indicates the postal region — Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern; and number 9, which signifies the Army Postal Service.
  • The second number denotes a sub-region, and the third represents the sorting district.
  • The remaining numbers narrow the geography further to the specific post office making the delivery.

Who was the person behind the initiative?

  • The person behind the initiative was Shriram Bhikaji Velankar, additional secretary in the Union Ministry of Communications and a senior member of the Posts and Telegraphs Board.

Source: Indian Express


3D printing

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science & technology
  • Mains – GS 3 (Science & Technology)

In News: Researchers from Hyderabad have 3D-printed an artificial cornea and transplanted it into a rabbit’s eye.

What is 3D Printing?

  • 3D printing uses computer-aided design (CAD) to create three-dimensional objects through a layering method.

Principle

  • In 3D printing, a 3D printer makes a three-dimensional object from a CAD (computer-aided design) file.
  • The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes.
  • In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created.
  • Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced cross-section of the object.
  • 3D printing enables us to produce complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.

Working of a 3-D Printer

  • A typical 3D printer is very much like an inkjet printer operated from a computer.
  • It builds up a 3D model one layer at a time, from the bottom upward, by repeatedly printing over the same area in a method known as fused depositional modeling (FDM).
  • Working entirely automatically, the printer creates a model over a period of hours by turning a 3D CAD drawing into lots of two-dimensional, cross-sectional layers—effectively separate 2D prints that sit one on top of another.

What kind of “ink” does a 3D printer use?           

  • Where an inkjet printer sprays liquid ink and a laser printer uses solid powder, a 3D printer uses neither.
  • The 3-D printer deposits layers of molten plastic or powder and fuses them together (and to the existing structure) with adhesive or ultraviolet light.

The most common 3D printing raw materials are the commodity thermoplastic polymers:

  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
  • Polylactic acid (PLA)
  • Polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified (PETG).

Advantages of 3D Production Process

  • Faster production – 3D printing can manufacture parts within hours, which speeds up the prototyping process. This allows for each stage to complete faster.
  • Better quality products – 3D printing produces a consistent quality of product.
  • Great for design and product testing – 3D printing is one of the best tools for product design and testing. It offers opportunities to design and test models to allow refinement with ease.
  • Cost-effective – 3D printing, can be a cost-effective means of production. Once the model is created, the process is usually automated, and raw material waste tends to be limited.
  • Product designs are almost infinite – The possibilities of 3D printing are almost limitless.
  • 3D printers can print using various materials – Some 3D printers can actually blend or switch between materials. In traditional printing, this can be difficult and expensive.
  • Environmentally Friendly – As this technology reduces the amount of material wastage used this process is inherently environmentally friendly.
  • Advanced Healthcare: 3D printing is being used in the medical sector to help save lives by printing organs for the human body such as livers, kidneys and hearts. Further advances and uses are being developed in the healthcare sector

Disadvantages

  • Reduction in Manufacturing Jobs: There could be potential reduction in human labour, since most of the production is automated and done by printers.
  • Limited Materials: 3D Printing can create items in a selection of plastics and metals. But the available selection of raw materials is not exhaustive. This is due to the fact that not all metals or plastics can be temperature controlled enough to allow 3D printing. In addition, many of these printable materials cannot be recycled and very few are food safe
  • Restricted Build Size: 3D printers currently have small print chambers which restrict the size of parts that can be printed. Anything bigger will need to be printed in separate parts and joined together after production. This can increase costs and time.
  • Design Inaccuracies: Some printers having lower tolerances, meaning that final parts may differ from the original design.
  • Part Structure: With 3D printing parts are produced layer-by-layer. Although these layers adhere together it also means that they can delaminate under certain stresses or orientations.

3D printing has the potential to democratize the production of goods, from food to medical supplies, to great coral reefs. In the future, 3D printing machines could make their way into homes, businesses, disaster sites, and even outer space. As this technology spreads, it could help connect marginalized and difficult-to-reach populations with essential products. All in all, this emerging technology has the potential to revolutionize our societies, and transform the development sector.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) “3D printing” has applications in which of the following? (2018)

  1. Preparation of confectionery items
  2. Manufacture of bionic ears
  3. Automotive industry
  4. Reconstructive surgeries
  5. Data processing technologies

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1, 3 and 4 only
  2. 2, 3 and 5 only
  3. 1 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Death by inequality

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 1 (Society)

Context: Violence against Dalit student in Rajasthan is stark reminder of nation’s unfinished tasks.

  • A nine-year-old Dalit child from Rajasthan’s Jalore district succumbed to injuries, inflicted by his teacher.

What happened?

  • The boy drank water from the pot that had been kept separately for the savarna jati (upper caste) teacher.
  • The teacher abused him with casteist slurs and beat him up, resulting in internal injuries.

This incident should prick the nation’s conscience, and remind policymakers of unmet promises and unfinished tasks, as India begins the “Amrit Kaal” to the centenary of its Independence.

  • That casteist violence is a grim lived reality — at odds with India’s constitutional principles — for a large section of the country’s Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities is borne out by numerous reports and surveys.
  • National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data show that a crime was committed every 10 minutes against a person from an SC community in 2020.
  • Rajasthan along with Bihar, UP and Madhya Pradesh accounts for two-thirds of such crimes though these four states constitute about 40 per cent of the country’s population.

Crimes against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

  • Cases registered for crime against SCs rose from 42,793 in 2018 to over 50,000 in 2020, and of crime against STs from 6,528 to 8,272 in the same period.

Reasons for Crime against SC/ST:

  • Caste discrimnation still exists and not much has changed. It is taking new forms that have led to crimes against dalits from time to time.
  • Another factor contributing to the spike in anti-Dalit violence is rising living standards of Dalits, which appears to have led to a backlash from historically privileged communities.
  • The increase in crime rates is also a reporting effect. More crimes against Dalits are being reported and registered.
  • SC and ST are viewed as enjoying all the privileges through reservation, thereby leading to a feeling of hatred for them.

Provisions safeguarding the rights of SCs and Sts in India

The Indian Government has enacted laws to remove negative discrimination and has also brought in many reforms to improve the quality of life for the weaker sections of society. Few among them are:

  • Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights
  • Provision of reservations in places like educational institutions, for employment opportunities etc
  • Establishing social welfare departments and national commissions for the welfare of scheduled castes and tribes.
  • Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
  • Right to Equality
  • Articles 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Constitution of India highlight the Right to Equality in detail.

What needs to be done?

  • SC/ST commission should start a national helpline number for any harassment on the basis of caste.
  • Improving the training of police officers in dealing with POA cases so that they can solve the cases without any pressure or prejudice.
  • Efficient implementation of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
  • Increasing awareness about several legal remedies and different rights available to the marginalised community.
  • State Protection of a witness is a must in order to raise voice against atrocities.

Source: Indian Express


India-EU ties

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

Context: While India celebrates its 75th year of Independence, it also celebrates 60 years of diplomatic relations with the European Union (EU).

Evolution

  • A cooperation agreement signed in 1994 took the bilateral relationship beyond trade and economic cooperation.
  • The first India-EU Summit, in June 2000, marked a watershed in the evolution of the relationship.
  • At the fifth India-EU Summit in 2004, the relationship was upgraded to a ‘Strategic Partnership’.
  • The two sides adopted a Joint Action Plan in 2005 towards strengthening dialogue and consultation mechanisms in the political and economic spheres, enhancing trade and investment, and bringing peoples and cultures together.
  • The 15th India-EU Summit, in July 2020, provided a common road map to guide joint action and further strengthen the partnership over the next five years.
  • The road map highlights engagement across five domains: foreign policy and security cooperation; trade and economy; sustainable modernisation partnership; global governance; and people-to-people relations.

Areas of cooperation

  • The India-EU partnership has grown rapidly ever since.

Economic Partnership

  • Bilateral trade between the two surpassed $116 billion in 2021-22.
  • The EU is India’s second largest trading partner after the U.S., and the second largest destination for Indian exports.
  • There are 6,000 European companies in the country that directly and indirectly create 6.7 million jobs.

Climate Partnership

  • India and the EU have several avenues of collaboration.
  • For example, the ‘green strategic partnership’ between India and Denmark aims to address climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and the India-Nordic Summit in May focused on green technologies and industry transformation that are vital for sustainable and inclusive growth.
  • All this will act as a catalyst for enhanced cooperation between the two regions.

Defence Partnership

  • Cooperation with the EU in the defence sector has also increased substantially.
  • India and the EU regularly conduct joint military and naval exercises which reflects on their commitment to a free, open, inclusive and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.
  • The first maritime security dialogue between the two in 2021 focused on cooperation in maritime domain awareness, capacity-building, and joint naval activities.
  • France’s on-time delivery of 36 Rafale fighter jets and willingness to offer Barracuda nuclear attack submarines to the Indian Navy reflects the growing level of trust in their relationships.
  • Leading European defence equipment manufacturers are willing to partner with Indian companies for defence projects aligned with the ‘Make in India’ programme.

Innovation Ecosystem

  • Another rapidly growing area of engagement is the start-up and innovation ecosystem across India and Europe.
  • Furthermore, the Science and Technology Joint Steering Committee between the two focus on areas such as healthcare, Artificial Intelligence, and earth sciences.
  • In 2020, there was an agreement for research and development cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy between the European Atomic Energy Community and the Government of India.

Challenges

  • Both have differing opinions and divergent interests in some areas.
  • India’s reluctance to explicitly condemn Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, and the country’s increasing economic cooperation with Russia, has been one area of disagreement.
  • India has called out the EU’s double standards on the same, for the EU purchases 45% of its gas imports from Russia in 2021.
  • There is also ambiguity on the EU’s strategy in tackling the rise of China.
  • Its muted response during the Galwan clash is a case in point.
  • India’s economic, political and demographic weight could be deftly leveraged by the EU to counterbalance China’s influence across the region. But there seems to be some hesitancy about this.

Way forward

  • India and the EU should not let such divergences of views overwhelm the many areas of convergence among them.
  • The proactive resumption of the ambitious India-EU free trade and investment agreement in 2021 is a step in the right direction.
  • European partners acknowledge India as an important pillar in ensuring stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The EU wants to be more than just a trading bloc and is seeking alliances with like-minded countries like India.

India and the EU are political and economic poles in an increasingly multi-polar world. Our ability to work together, therefore, can shape global outcomes.

Source: The Hindu


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements about  Aurobindo Ghose

  1. He helped establish the Anushilan Samiti of Calcutta in 1902.
  2. He was arrested in connection with the Alipore Conspiracy Case.
  3. He developed a kind of Yoga called Integral Yoga.

Choose the incorrect statements:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. None
  4. 1 and 2

Q.2) Consider the following statements about Lok Adalats

  1. The institution of Lok Adalat has been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987
  2. Lok Adalat has no jurisdiction in respect of any case or matter relating to an offence not compoundable under any law.
  3. Every award made by a Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the parties to the dispute.

Choose the correct statements:

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

Q.3) Nagorno-Karabakh, recently seen in news is a conflict area between?

  1. Russia – Ukraine
  2. China – Mongolia
  3. Armenia – Azerbaijan
  4. Sudan – Ethiopia

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’16th August 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 15th August 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – c

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