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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd September 2022

  • IASbaba
  • September 3, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Cri-MAC Portal

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: At least seven States and one Union Territory have not uploaded any data on the Centre’s online platform meant to share information and coordinate action among law enforcement agencies on serious criminal incidents, including human trafficking.

Cri-MAC Portal

  • The Crime Multi Agency Centre (Cri-MAC) was launched in 2020 by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to share information on crime and criminals 24×7 with various law enforcement agencies and ensure a seamless flow of information among them.
  • The application run by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) aims to help in early detection and prevention of crime incidents across the country.
  • West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Sikkim and Union Territory of Dadra, Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu have not uploaded a single alert on Cri-Mac since the portal was launched in March 2020.
  • Delhi, Assam and Haryana uploaded the maximum number of alerts on the portal, which included information on release of a hardened criminal from jail or an incident of terror, murder, dacoity among others.
  • As on July 1, the number of alerts uploaded on the portal stood at 35,145 though there are 16,361 police stations in the country.

Source: The Hindu


New Naval Ensign

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: Prime Minister of India unveiled the new Naval Ensign (flag) at Kochi, which bears the seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who laid the foundations of a modern navy.

How does the Indian Navy identify with Shivaji (reign 1674-80) and the great Maratha admiral Kanhoji Angre (1669-1729), and how did they ensure Maratha supremacy of the seas?

Shivaji and the seas

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj put great emphasis on sea-faring prowess, and laid the foundations of a modern naval force in the 17th century.
  • The Indian Navy has named a training establishment in Lonavla as INS Shivaji and a shore based logistics and administrative hub of Western Naval Command as INS Angre after Kanhoji Angre, the acclaimed Maratha naval commander.
  • The use of the octagonal design of the seal of Shivaji on the new Naval Ensign is a formal stamp on the umbilical ties of the Indian Navy with the navy of the Maratha empire.

Extent of naval prowess

  • Shivaji’s strategic thought ensured that a strong naval presence was established along the Konkan coast to protect the sea trade of the Maratha empire.
  • The navy under Shivaji was so strong that the Marathas could hold their against the British, Portuguese and Dutch.
  • Shivaji built ships in towns such as Kalyan, Bhivandi, and Goa, both for trade and to establish a fighting navy.
  • He also built a number of sea forts and bases for repair, storage and shelter. Shivaji fought many lengthy battles with Siddis of Janjira on coastline.
  • He started trading with foreigners on his own after possession of eight or nine ports in the Deccan.

Kanhoji Angre

  • Kanohji Angre was the commander of Maratha navy, and is credited with laying a strong naval foundation which ensured that the Marathas were a sea-faring power to reckon with.
  • Kanhoji is credited with holding his own against the English, Portuguese and Dutch naval forces.
  • He ensured that the merchants plying their trade for the Maratha empire were protected on the seas.
  • He set up a base in Colaba with more bases at Suvarndurg and Vijaydurg near Ratnagiri.

Siddis of Janjira

  • Janjira State was a princely state in India during the British Raj.
  • Its rulers were a Siddi dynasty of Habesha descent and the state was under the suzerainty of the Bombay Presidency.
  • Janjira State was located on the Konkan coast in the present-day Raigad district of Maharashtra.

Source: Indian Express


SPARK Program

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Government Schemes and Policies

In News:

  • The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), has launched an initiative to support the research efforts of youth of the Country by developing the Studentship Program for Ayurveda Research Ken (SPARK) for Ayurveda (BAMS) students studying in recognised Ayurveda colleges.
  • SPARK program is primarily developed to help students develop acumen for research and to further support and incentivise their research ideas.

Source: Pib.Gov

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to ‘Stand Up India Scheme’, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2016)

  1. Its purpose is to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women entrepreneurs.
  2. It provides for refinance through SIDBI.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

IMF bailout

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Economy

In News: Sri Lanka has reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of about $2.9 billion.

How IMF lending helps?

  • IMF lending aims to give countries breathing room to implement adjustment policies in an orderly manner, which will restore conditions for a stable economy and sustainable growth.
  • IMF financing facilitates a more gradual and carefully considered adjustment.
  • As IMF lending is usually accompanied by a set of corrective policy actions, it also provides a seal of approval that appropriate policies are taking place.

Lending instruments

  • The IMF’s various lending instruments are tailored to different types of balance of payments need as well as the specific circumstances of its diverse.
  • All IMF members are eligible to access the Fund’s resources in the General Resources Account (GRA) on non-concessional terms.
  • The IMF also provides concessional financial support (currently at zero interest rates through June 2021) through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust which is better tailored to the diversity and needs of low-income countries.
  • Historically, for emerging and advanced market economies in crises, the bulk of IMF assistance has been provided through Stand-By Arrangements (SBAs) to address short-term or potential balance of payments problems.
  • The Standby Credit Facility (SCF) serves a similar purpose for low-income countries.
  • The Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and the corresponding Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for low-income countries are the Fund’s main tools for medium-term support to countries facing protracted balance of payments problems.
  • To help prevent or mitigate crises and boost market confidence during periods of heightened risks, members with already strong policies can use the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) or the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL).
  • The Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and the corresponding Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) for low-income countries provide rapid assistance to countries with urgent balance of payments need, including from commodity price shocks, natural disasters, and domestic fragilities.

Reflecting different country circumstances, GRA-supported programs are expected to resolve the member’s BoP problems during the program period, while PRGT programs envisage a longer duration for addressing BoP problems.

Must Read: Sri Lanka’s Crisis

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1)”Rapid Financing Instrument” and “Rapid Credit Facility” are related to the provisions of lending by which one of the following?

  1. Asian Development Bank
  2. International Monetary Fund
  3. United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative
  4. World Bank

INS Vikrant

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science & technology – Current Affairs

In News: The nation’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1) was commissioned recently to Indian Navy.

  • The INS Vikrant – the 44,000-tonne indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) – is the first to be designed and constructed in India.
  • It is built by Cochin Shipyard Ltd.

Features:

  • The Vikrant stretches 262 metres in length, exceeding that of two football fields and is 62 metre wide. Around 20 aircraft can be parked in the hangar.
  • It has a top speed of around 28 knots (more than 50 kmph) and a cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles.
  • Over 76 per cent of the material and equipment on board the carrier is indigenous, including 21,500 tonnes of special grade steel developed indigenously and used in Indian naval ships for the first time.
  • The Made-in-India warship is a feather in the country’s cap, as only five or six nations have the capacity of building an aircraft carrier.

It will be carrying:

  • the Russian-made MiG-29K fighter jet,
  • Kamov-31 early warning helicopters,
  • the indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters and
  • the MH-60R multirole helicopter made by the American defence major Lockheed Martin.

Must Read: INS Vikrant

Source: Indian Express

The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which one of the following is the best description of ‘INS Astradharini’, that was in the news recently? (2016)

  1. Amphibious warfare ship
  2. Nuclear-powered submarine
  3. Torpedo launch and recovery vessel
  4. Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – International Relations
  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

Context:

  • The Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concluded recently.
  • Marking 52 years of a treaty that every speaker described as the ‘cornerstone of the global nuclear order’
  • And after four weeks of debate and discussion, the delegates failed to agree on a final document.

NPT’s success and weakness

About NPT

The NPT was negotiated during the 1960s to reconcile three competing objectives

  • Controlling the further spread of nuclear weapons beyond the P-5 countries (the U.S., the U.S.S.R., the U.K, France and China) that had already tested;
  • Committing to negotiating reductions of nuclear arsenals leading to their elimination; and
  • Sharing benefits of peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology.

Success

  • Over the years, the non-proliferation objective has been achieved in large measure.
  • Despite apprehensions that by the 1980s, there would be close to 25 nuclear powers, in the last 50 years, only four more countries have gone on to test and develop nuclear arsenals — India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan.
  • After the end of the Cold War and the break-up of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, non-proliferation remained a shared priority for the major powers and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Weakness

  • Progress on the other two aspects took a back seat; no meaningful discussions or negotiations on nuclear disarmament have ever taken place in the NPT framework. In fact, in the early 1980s, there was a growth in nuclear arsenals.
  • All that the five nuclear-weapon-states party to the NPT could manage at the conference was a reiteration of the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev declaration that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’.
  • The statement remains valid but clearly sounded hollow in the face of growing strategic rivalry between China, Russia and the U.S., rising nuclear rhetoric, and modernisation plans for nuclear arsenals being pursued.

Concerns

Nuclear modernisation

USA

  • The U.S.’s 30-year nuclear modernisation programme, intended to provide ‘credible deterrence against regional aggression’ is already underway.
  • This has been used to justify developing and deploying more usable low-yield nuclear weapons.

Russia and China

  • Russia and China is developing hypersonic delivery systems that evade missile defences as well as larger missiles that do not need to travel over the Arctic.
  • Also on the cards are nuclear torpedoes and new cruise missiles.
  • Recent, satellite imagery over China revealed that at least three new missile storage sites are being developed.
  • China is on the track to expand its arsenal from current levels of approximately 350 warheads to over 1,000 by 2030.
  • Such a dramatic expansion raises questions about whether this marks a shift in the Chinese nuclear doctrine that has relied on a credible minimum deterrent and a no-first-use policy for the last six decades.

Cyber Threat

  • Developments in space and cyber domains are blurring the line between conventional and nuclear weapons, leading to nuclear entanglement and rendering command and control systems vulnerable.
  • This, in turn, compresses decision-making time and creates incentives for early use, raising nuclear risk.

Other treaties, their state

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

  • Frustrated by the absence of progress on nuclear disarmament, the nuclear have-nots successfully negotiated a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW, also called Ban Treaty) in 2017 that entered into force in January 2021.
  • All 86 signatories are nuclear have-nots and parties to the NPT.
  • It is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination.

Strategy:

  • For those nations that are party to it, the treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance and encouragement to the prohibited activities.
  • For nuclear armed states joining the treaty, it provides for a time-bound framework for negotiations leading to the verified and irreversible elimination of its nuclear weapons programme.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

  • The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was concluded in 1996 but has yet to formally enter into force because two major powers, the S. and China, have yet to ratify it.
  • The CTBT is the Treaty banning all nuclear explosions – everywhere, by everyone.
  • The Treaty will enter into force after all 44 States listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty will ratify it. These States had nuclear facilities at the time the Treaty was negotiated and adopted.
  • India, North Korea and Pakistan have not yet signed the Treaty.
  • While it is true that they do observe a moratorium on nuclear testing, modernisation plans could soon run up against the CTBT.

Nobody wants a breakdown of the NPT but sustaining it requires facing up to today’s political realities. The rivalries in a multipolar nuclear world create new challenges, different from what the world faced in a bipolar era of the 1960s when the NPT was concluded. Without addressing the new challenges, the NPT will weaken and with it, the taboo against nuclear weapons that has held since 1945.

Must Read: The return of nuclear weapons on the global platform

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following countries: (2015)

  1. China
  2. France
  3. India
  4. Israel
  5. Pakistan

Which among the above are Nuclear Weapons States as recognized by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Nuclear Non-Proliferaton Treaty (NPT)?

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

India’s cyber infrastructure

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Schemes and Policies
  • Mains – GS 3 (Internal Security – Cybersecurity)

Context:

  • There has been a steady spike in cases of cybercrime in the last five years.
  • In India, cybercrime is increasing with the increased use of information and communication technology (ICT).
  • However, despite this alarming trend, the capacity of the enforcement agencies to investigate cybercrime remains limited.

Need for Cyber Security

Increasing Number of Cyber Attacks:

  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), from 12,317 cases of cybercrime in 2016, there were 50,035 cases registered in 2020.
  • One in four Indian organisations suffered a ransomware attack in 2021 — higher the the global average of 21%.

Increased Digital usage Post-Covid:

  • Critical infrastructure is getting digitised in a very fast way — this includes financial services, banks, power, manufacturing, nuclear power plants, etc.

Cyber terrorism

  • It is premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence.

For Protecting Critical Sectors:

  • It is particularly significant given the increasing interconnectedness of sectors and proliferation of entry points into the internet, which could further grow with the adoption of 5G.
  • There were 6.97 lakh cyber security incidents reported in the first eight months of 2020, nearly equivalent to the previous four years combined, according to information reported to and tracked by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).
  • A local, state or central government maintains a huge amount of confidential data related to the country (geographical, military-strategic assets etc.) and citizens.

For Individuals:

  • Photos, videos and other personal information shared by an individual on social networking sites can be inappropriately used by others, leading to serious and even life-threatening incidents.

For Businesses:

  • Companies have a lot of data and information on their systems.
  • A cyber-attack may lead to loss of competitive information (such as patents or original work), and loss of employees/customers’ private data resulting in complete loss of public trust in the integrity of the organisation.

Challenges

No procedural code

  • There is no separate procedural code for the investigation of cyber or computer-related offences.
  • As electronic evidence is entirely different in nature when compared with evidence of traditional crime, laying down standard and uniform procedures to deal with electronic evidence is essential.

Shortage of technical staff

  • Second, there have been half-hearted efforts by the States to recruit technical staff for the investigation of cybercrime.
  • A regular police officer, with an academic background in the humanities and management may be unable to understand the nuances of the working of a computer or the Internet.
  • Further, the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 insists that offences registered under the Act should be investigated by a police officer not below the rank of an inspector.
  • The fact is that police inspectors are limited in number in districts, and most of the field investigation is done by sub-inspectors.

Lack of Infrastructure – cyber labs

  • Third, the cyber forensic laboratories of States must be upgraded with the advent of new technologies.
  • Offences related to crypto-currency remain under-reported as the capacity to solve such crimes remains limited.
  • While most State cyber labs are sufficiently equipped to analyse hard disks and mobile phones, many are yet to be notified as ‘Examiner of Electronic Evidence’ to enable them to provide expert opinion on electronic records.

Need for localisation

  • Most cybercrimes are trans-national in nature with extra-territorial jurisdiction.
  • The collection of evidence from foreign territories is not only a difficult but also a tardy process.
  • In most social media crimes, except for the prompt blocking of an objectionable website or suspect’s account, other details do not come forth quickly from large IT firms.
  • Therefore, ‘data localisation’ must feature in the proposed Personal Data Protection law so that enforcement agencies are able to get timely access to the data of suspected Indian citizens.

Measures Taken By the Government

  • Information Act, 2000: The Information Act, 2000 is the primary law for dealing with cybercrime and digital commerce in India.
  • National Cyber Security Policy, 2013: The policy provides the vision and strategic direction to protect the national cyberspace.
  • The CERT-In (Cyber Emergency Response Team – India): CERT-In has been operational since 2004. It is the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents as and when they occur.
  • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C): It deals with all types of cybercrimes in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra: Launched in early 2017, the Cyber Swachhta Kendra provides a platform for users to analyse and clean their systems of various viruses, bots/ malware, Trojans, etc.
  • Cyber Surakshit Bharat: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, launched the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative to spread awareness about cybercrime and building capacity for safety measures for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT staff across all government departments.
  • The Cyber Warrior Police Force: In 2018, the government announced its plans to introduce CWPF. It is proposed to be raised on lines of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF).
  • Cyber-Crime Prevention against Women & Children’ Scheme: Implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the scheme aims to prevent and reduce cyber-crimes against women and children.

Way forward

  • Building capabilities: There is an urgent need to build capabilities and capacity for application, equipment and infrastructure testing.
  • Human resource: Immediate attention has to be given to human resource development which would increase the number of experts who can effectively manage the cyber security of the country.
  • R&D: Investments should be made on R&D to develop more innovative technologies to address increasing cyber security threats.
  • Policy and Governance: It is important to bring a robust policy and effectively implement the same.
  • Further, duties and responsibilities should be defined clearly for smooth functioning and better coordination among departments and stakeholders.
  • Awareness: A periodic awareness campaign by the government and big private organizations should be conducted to aware people about cyber security threats.
  • Strengthening Private Partnership: It is important to strengthen the public- private partnership on cyber security.

Source: The Hindu


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements about Cri-MAC Portal

  1. Cri-MAC was launched in 2020 by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  2. The application is run by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
  3. It aims to share information on crime and criminals 24×7 with various law enforcement agencies and ensure a seamless flow of information among them.

Choose the correct statements:

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements about Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act

  1. All the offences under the NDPS Act are non-bailable.
  2. The bail provision requires the court to have “reasonable grounds” to believe that the accused is not guilty.
  3. No relief can be sought by the drug convicts by termination, remission, and commutation of sentences passed.

Choose the incorrect statements:

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements about cervical cancer

  1. All cervical cancer cases are linked to certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), which is transmitted through sexual contact.
  2. The body’s immune system usually gets rid of the HPV infection naturally within two years.
  3. Cervavac is India’s first indigenously developed Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV), against cervical cancer.

Choose the correct statements:

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’3rd September 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 2nd September – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d

Q.2) – c

Q.3) – a

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