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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th November 2022

  • IASbaba
  • November 9, 2022
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22nd Law Commission

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Polity

In news: The Centre constituted the Law Commission of India with Justice (retd) Rituraj Awasthi, former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, at its head.

About:

  • The Law Commission is a non-statutory body that is constituted by a notification of the Government of India in the Official Gazette.
  • It carries out research in the field of law and vital review of the laws in India.
  • It makes recommendations to the Government (in the form of Reports).
  • It was first constituted in 1955, and has so far submitted 277 reports.
  • The Commission would have a tenure of three years from the date of publication of the Order of Constitution.
  • Functions: The Commission shall, among other things,
  • identify laws which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed
  • examine the existing laws in the light of Directive Principles of State Policy and suggest ways of improvement and reform and suggest such legislations as might be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble of the Constitution
  • revise the Central Acts of general importance to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities.
  • The tenure of the 21st Law Commission, which was headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice B S Chauhan, came to an end on August 31 2018.
  • The 22nd Commission has been constituted two and a half years after it was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2020, just before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following statements: (2017)

  1. The Election Commission of India is a five-member body.
  2. Union Ministry of Home Affairs decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and bye-elections.
  3. Election Commission resolves the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognised political parties.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

G20 logo

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – International Relations (Important Forums)

In News: Prime Minister of India unveiled the logo, theme and website of India’s G20 presidency.

  • The logo bears a lotus and the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — One Earth, One Family, One Future’.

Significance of the G20 logo

  • The lotus is a symbol of hope.
  • The logo reflects our idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole earth is a family), because of which India has always believed in global harmony.
  • The lotus flower symbolises our Puranic heritage, our aastha (belief) and boddhikta (intellectualism).

G20

  • The G20 was formed in 1999 in the backdrop of the financial crisis of the late 1990s that hit East Asia and Southeast Asia in particular.
  • Its aim was to secure global financial stability by involving middle-income countries.
  • Its prominent members are: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US, and the EU. Spain is invited as a permanent guest.
  • It represents around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

How does the G20 work?

  • The G20 has no permanent secretariat.
  • The agenda and work are coordinated by representatives of the G20 countries, known as ‘Sherpas’, who work together with the finance ministers and governors of the central banks.
  • The first G20 Summit took place in 2008 in Washington DC, US.
  • In addition to Summits, the Sherpa meetings (that help in negotiations and building consensus), and other events are also organised throughout the year. Each year, the presidency invites guest countries.

G20 Presidency

  • India will assume the presidency of the powerful G20 grouping from the current chair, Indonesia, on December 1, and hold the post for a year.
  • The G20 Leaders’ Summit at the level of Heads of State/Government is scheduled to be held on September 2023.
  • The presidency of the G20 rotates every year among members, and the country holding the presidency, together with the previous and next presidency-holder, forms the ‘Troika’ to ensure continuity of the G20 agenda.
  • During India’s presidency, India, Indonesia and Brazil will form the troika.
  • This would be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies.
  • During the course of its G20 Presidency, India will be holding about 200 meetings in 32 different sectors in multiple locations across India.

Source: Indian Express

The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to the “G20 Common Framework”, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. It is an initiative endorsed by the G20 together with the Paris Club.
  2. It is an initiative to support Low Income Countries with unsustainable debt.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.2) In which one of the following groups are all the four countries members of G20? (2020)

  1. Argentina, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey
  2. Australia, Canada, Malaysia and New Zealand
  3. Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam
  4. Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea

United Nations Human Rights Council

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – International Relations (Important Forums)

In News: U.S., Belgium to question India on CAA, minority rights, hate speech at U.N. Human Rights Council.

  • Treatment of journalists and human rights defenders, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), hate speech, internet shut downs, issue of hijab in Karnataka, anti-conversion laws, cow slaughter laws and custodial torture are expected to dominate the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
  • Countries have submitted advance questions to the council.
  • The Universal Periodic Review will be conducted on the basis of the national report provided by India, information provided by independent human rights experts and groups, and international human rights groups.

UN Human Rights Council

  • The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world.

Formation:

  • The Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006. It replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
  • The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) serves as the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council.
  • OHCHR is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Members:

  • It is made up of 47 United Nations Member States which are elected by the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
  • The UNGA takes into account the candidate States’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledges and commitments in this regard.
  • The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows:
  • African States: 13 seats
  • Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
  • Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
  • Western European and other States: 7 seats
  • Eastern European States: 6 seats
  • Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

Procedures and Mechanisms:

  • Universal Periodic Review:
  • The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. T
  • he UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.
  • Advisory Committee: It serves as the Council’s “think tank” providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues.
  • Complaint Procedure: It allows individuals and organizations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Council.
  • UN Special Procedures: These are made up of special rapporteurs, special representatives, independent experts and working groups that monitor, examine, advise and publicly report on thematic issues or human rights situations in specific countries.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to the United Nations General Assembly, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. The UN General Assembly can grant observer status in the non-member States.
  2. Inter-governmental organisations can seek observer status in the UN General Assembly.
  3. Permanent Observes in the UN General Assembly can maintain missions at the UN headquarters.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Q.2) With Reference to the “United Nations Credentials Committee”, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. It is a committee set up by the UN Security Council and works under its supervision.
  2. It traditionally meets in March, June and September every year.
  3. It assesses the credentials of all UN members before submitting a report to the General Assembly for approval.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Glyphosate

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: The Union Agriculture Ministry has restricted the use of glyphosate, a widely used herbicide.

  • This comes even as the Supreme Court is about to take up a plea seeking a ban on all herbicide-tolerant crops, including transgenic hybrid mustard and cotton.

What is glyphosate?

  • It is a herbicide used to kill weeds — undesirable plants that compete with crops for nutrients, water and sunlight.
  • Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that can control a wide range of weeds, whether broadleaf or grassy.
  • It is also non-selective, killing most plants.
  • When applied to their leaves, it inhibits the production of a protein ‘5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS)’.
  • This enzyme, produced only by plants and microorganisms, synthesises aromatic amino acids that are necessary for their growth.

Use in India

  • There are nine glyphosate-based formulations containing different concentrations of the chemical registered for use under the Insecticides Act, 1968
  • These are approved largely for weed control in tea gardens and non-crop areas such as railway tracks or playgrounds.
  • Farmers also apply glyphosate on irrigation channels and bunds to clear these of weeds, making it easier for water to flow and to walk through them.

Concerns

  • In general, though, the scope for glyphosate use is limited for the very reason that it is non-selective.
  • Designed to kill all plants coming into contact with it, the chemical cannot ordinarily distinguish between crop and weed.
  • Hence, it can be used in tea or rubber plantations, but not in fields where the crops and weeds are at almost the same level.

What exactly has the government now done?

  • The Ministry issued a notification stating that “the use of glyphosate involves health hazards and risk to human beings and animals”. It has, however, not banned and only “restricted” its use.
  • The spraying of glyphosate and its derivatives shall henceforth only be permitted through “pest control operators”.

Why has this been done?

  • Glyphosate application has increased only with the advent of genetic modification (GM) or transgenic technology.
  • In this case, it has involved incorporating a ‘cp4-epsps’ gene, isolated from a soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, into crop plants such as cotton, maize and soyabean.
  • This alien gene codes for a protein that does not allow glyphosate to bind with the EPSPS enzyme.
  • The GM crop can, therefore, “tolerate” the spraying of the herbicide, which then kills only the weeds.
  • In 2019 alone, some 81.5 million hectares were planted worldwide with herbicide-tolerant (HT) GM crops. The global glyphosate market is annually worth $9.3 billion, with over 45 per cent of use on account of GM crops

How valid are the health concerns over glyphosate?

  • The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in March 2015, classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency, on the other hand, has held that there are “no risks of concern to human health from current uses of glyphosate” and “no evidence” of it causing cancer. Its findings are based on “a significantly more extensive and relevant dataset

For now, what’s not in doubt is the demand for herbicides and crops that can withstand their application among Indian farmers.

The Union Environment Ministry’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), recently recommended the commercial release of GM hybrid mustard. This crop can also tolerate the spraying of glufosinate ammonium, a non-selective herbicide similar to glyphosate.

Must Read: GM Crops and their regulation

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

Garuda VII

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: Chiefs of Indian, French Air Forces join ongoing Garuda-VII air exercise.

  • Indian Air Force (IAF) and French Air and Space Force (FASF) are participating in ‘Garuda VII’ at Air Force Station Jodhpur.
  • It is being hosted by India for the fourth time so far.

Garuda VII

  • Garuda VII is the seventh edition of the bilateral air exercise between India and France that is taking place after a gap of two years.
  • The first, third and fifth editions were conducted in India in 2003, 2006 and 2014 at Air Force Stations Gwalior, Kalaikunda and Jodhpur, respectively.
  • The exercise, includes four Rafale fighters and one A-330 multi role tanker transport aircraft from the French side.
  • Apart from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), the IAF contingent consists of Su-30 MKI, Rafale and Jaguar fighter aircrafts, as well as Mi-17 helicopters.

Significance:

  • This joint exercise provide a platform for both the countries to enhance operational capability and interoperability, while also sharing best practices.
  • Participation of the IAF and FASF in this exercise promotes professional interaction, exchange of experiences and enhancement of operational knowledge, besides strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

Source: The Hindu


India's first private rocket - Vikram-S

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: India’s first privately developed rocket — Vikram-S — is set for a launch between November 12 and 16, Hyderabad-based space startup Skyroot Aerospace announced.

  • The maiden mission of Skyroot Aerospace, named ‘Prarambh’ (the beginning), will carry three customer payloads and is set for launch from Indian Space Research Organisation’s launchpad at Sriharikota.
  • The launch mission will be a suborbital spaceflight.
  • Among the three payloads is a 2.5kg satellite of another space startup, Space Kidz India, which has been built by students from India, the US and Indonesia.
  • Skyroot, a two-time national award winner, is the first start-up to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ISRO in this regard.

Vikram-S rocket

  • The Vikram series, named after the founder of India’s space programme Dr Vikram Sarabhai, are all-carbon-fibre structures that can launch up to 800 kg of payloads to the Low Earth Orbit.
  • The Vikram-S rocket is a single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle which would carry three customer payloads and help test and validate the majority of the technologies in the Vikram series of space launch vehicles.

Suborbital spaceflight:

  • A suborbital spaceflight refers to a height of around 100km from the Earth’s surface, and is done at a lower altitude than an orbital flight, which reaches at least a low-Earth orbit — between around 200km to 2,000km from Earth.
  • Suborbital flights are known to be important for conducting tests of space missions, before final commercial missions take place.

New era for Indian space sector

  • With this mission, Skyroot Aerospace is set to become the first private space company in India to launch a rocket into space, heralding a new era for the space sector which was opened up in 2020 to facilitate private sector participation.

Must Read: Privatisation of Space Sector + Role of private sector in Space

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to India’s satellite launch  vehicles, consider the following statements: (2018)

  1. PSLVs launch the satellites useful for Earth resources monitoring whereas GSLVs are designed mainly to launch communication satellites.
  2. Satellites launched by PSLV appear to remain permanently fixed in the same position in the sky, as viewed from a particular location on Earth.
  3. GSLV Mk III is a four-staged launch l vehicle with the first and third stages l using solid rocket motors; and the second and fourth stages using liquid rocket engines.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct.?

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

Mother Tongue Survey of India

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has completed the Mother Tongue Survey of India (MTSI) with field videography of the country’s 576 languages.

What is the MTSI?

  • The Mother Tongue Survey of India is a project that “surveys the mother tongues, which are returned consistently across two and more Census decades”.
  • It also documents the linguistic features of the selected languages.
  • The NIC and the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) will be documenting and preserving the linguistic data of the surveyed mother tongues in audio-video files.

How many “mother tongues” does India have, and what is spoken the most?

  • As per an analysis of 2011 linguistic census data in 2018, more than 19,500 languages or dialects are spoken in India as mother tongues.
  • The category “mother tongue” is a designation provided by the respondent, but it need not be identical with the actual linguistic medium.
  • After linguistic scrutiny, edit and rationalisation, they were grouped into 121 mother tongues.
  • According to the 2011 linguistic census, Hindi is the most widely spoken mother tongue, with 8 crore people or 43.6 per cent of the population declaring it as the mother tongue.
  • The next highest is Bengali, mother tongue for 9.7 crore individuals, and accounting for 8 per cent of the population.

Where does the mother tongue feature in the education of children?

  • The new National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for the foundational stages of education, has recommended that mother tongue should be the primary medium of instruction in schools for children up to eight years of age.
  • The new NCF, which deals with pre-school and classes I-II, emphasises the virtues of the mother tongue as the primary medium of instruction, saying that by the time children join pre-school, they acquire significant competence in the “home language”.

Source: Indian Express


Marie Curie

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: The 155th birth anniversary of Marie Curie, a name synonymous with one of the  earliest examples of women’s successes in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), was celebrated.

About:

  • Marie Skłodowska Curie was born on November 7, 1867 in in Russia-occupied Poland.
  • She got married in 1895 to Pierre Curie.
  • Curie’s death in 1934, at age 66, was likely caused by radiation exposure.
  • Curie did her thesis on radiation, which was discovered in uranium by Henri Becquerel.

Achievements:

  • First individual to win the Nobel Prize twice in two different fields of science – Physics (1903) and Chemistry(1911) and still is the only individual to receive the prize in two different science categories.
  • Nobel prize in Physics (1903): Curie became the 1st woman to win Nobel Prize in Physics when she and her husband discovered polonium.
  • It was a new element that was 400 times more radioactive than uranium and was added to the Periodic Table in 1898 (named after Curie’s birth country of Poland).
  • Nobel prize in Chemistry (1911): Given to Curie in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element.
  • Curie discovered an even more radioactive element, radium, and made the discovery that radiation was not dependent on the organisation of atoms at the molecular level but the atom itself. The atom was not, as scientists believed at the time, inert, indivisible, or even solid.
  • Curie promoted the use of radium to treat diseases and during World War I and personally volunteered for the work.
  • Marie became the first woman to teach at Sorbonne University, Paris.
  • More substantially, the doors Curie opened have led to significant increases in the number of women involved in STEM, not by one action but simply through pioneering working in the field at a time when women were thought incapable of possessing intellectual capabilities for working in STEM.

Source: Indian Express


Greenwashing

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment
  • Mains – GS 3 (Environment)

In News: In the first official acknowledgment of ‘greenwashing’, UN Secretary General warned private corporations to desist from such practices and mend their ways within a year.

Greenwashing

  • Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or misleading information about how a company’s products are environmentally sound.
  • Greenwashing involves making an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly or have a greater positive environmental impact than is true.
  • Greenwashing may occur when a company attempts to emphasize sustainable aspects of a product to overshadow the company’s involvement in environmentally damaging practices.
  • Performed through the use of environmental imagery, misleading labels, and hiding tradeoffs, greenwashing is a play on the term “whitewashing,” which means using false information to intentionally hide wrongdoing, error, or an unpleasant situation in an attempt to make it seem less bad than it is.
  • There is a growing tendency among firms and governments to mark all kinds of activities as climate-friendly.
  • Many of these claims are unverifiable, misleading, or dubious. While they help in boosting the image of the entity, sometimes even helping them garner benefits, they do nothing in the fight against climate change.

Greenwashing – Example

  • A classic example of greenwashing is when Volkswagen admitted to cheating emissions tests by fitting various vehicles with a “defect” device, with software that could detect when it was undergoing an emissions test and altering the performance to reduce the emissions level.
  • This was going on while to the public the company was touting the low-emissions and eco-friendly features of its vehicles in marketing campaigns. In actuality, these engines were emitting up to 40 times the allowed limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants.

Effects of greenwashing

Greenwashing has numerous effects on consumers, companies, green industries and the planet itself.

For consumers – there is a growing body of evidence that shows consumer sentiment is slanted toward being green and environmentally sustainable.

  • When a company, product or service is caught or discovered to be greenwashing, there is a general sense of distrust that occurs. Consumers will no longer trust the brand or product in question, and might also begin to question other claims.

For companies engaged in greenwashing – consumers will likely choose other organizations that are more ethical.

  • Greenwashing can degrade customer satisfaction, erode brand loyalty and potentially affect repeat purchases.
  • Companies also run the risk of fines from government and regulatory agencies around the world.

For green industries – the risk of greenwashing is a lack of trust from consumers. If there is a lot of greenwashing, then consumers will simply not trust green claims from anyone — including legitimately green industries — as they will not know whom to trust.

On Planet – Ultimately, the biggest effect of greenwashing is existential.

  • Each act that an organization or individual doesn’t take with real green initiatives has a potential negative effect on the planet.
  • With the effects of climate change continuing to manifest on humanity, there is no time to waste in taking steps to help improve sustainability such that humanity and Earth itself will continue to survive.

How to avoid or prevent greenwashing

  • Be specific – Organizations shouldn’t use generic terms that don’t have a specific meaning. For example, saying a product is eco-friendly is generic and doesn’t specifically identify how the product or service is green.
  • Use data – When making specific claims, it’s imperative that organizations use data. The data should support the claim and numerically detail the effects of the actions being taken.
  • Be truthful – Fact-based statements that are truthful should be the standard for any and all types of marketing or claims about the environment.
  • Certification – The processes, methodologies and institutions to measure, report, create standards, verify claims and grant certifications must be set up.
  • Strong social accountability and a tripartite system, consisting of an organisation, a regulatory authority, and a third party (made up of stakeholders, civil society members, NGOs, etc.) have been suggested as ways to curb greenwashing.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which one of the following best describes the term “greenwashing:”? (2022)

  1. Conveying a false impression that a company’s products are eco-friendly and environmentally sound
  2. Non-Inclusion of ecological/ environmental costs in the Annual Financial Statements of a country
  3. Ignoring the disastrous ecological consequences while undertaking infrastructure development
  4. Making mandatory provisions for environmental costs in a government project/programme

Counter-terror diplomacy

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 International Relations

In News: India decided to host the special session of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (UNSC-CTC) which focused on new and emerging technologies

  • India will also host the third edition of the “No Money For Terror” (NMFT) conference that will look at tackling future modes of terror financing.
  • India will chair a special briefing on the “Global Counter Terrorism Architecture” at the end of two-year term of India’s Presidency of UNSC

Context:

  • There are many examples of terrorism and their post-terror responses such as U.S.’s flattening of Afghanistan post-9/11, Pakistan’s aerial strikes on its own populations in Swat and Balochistan, India’s crossing of the UN-monitored Line of Control after the Uri attack (September 2016) and missile strikes on Pakistani territory (Balakot in 2019) after the Pulwama suicide bombing (February 2019), or Israel’s relentless bombardment of buildings in Gaza in retaliation for rocket attacks.
  • The hard reality for India is that the future of counter-terrorism cooperation is going to be less cooperative, and counter-terror regimes such as the UNSC Resolutions 1267, 1373, etc. rendered outdated and toothless.
  • Weak international reaction to the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, and its persecution of women and minorities in the country, demonstrate rising fatigue levels in dealing with “another country’s problems”.

UNSC’s role:

  • Resolution 1267 – is a global list of terrorists and was adopted in 1999.
  • China has been blocking proposals by India and the United States to designate Pakistan-based terrorists on the list.
  • Resolution 1373 – adopted in 2001 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks to establish a dedicated Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC).
  • Counter Terrorism Committee:
  • It is a subsidiary body of the UNSC.
  • It has 15 members and aims to increase the ability of states to fight terrorism.
  • It is not a sanctions body nor does it maintain a list of terrorist groups or individuals.
  • In 2004 Resolution 1535 was adopted, creating the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to provide the CTC with expert advice and technical assistance

Challenges:

  • Global War On Terrorism (GWOT) was conceived by a post-9/11 United States
  • During IC-814 hijacking in Dec 1999, India was forced to release all terrorists to the al-Qaeda leadership) and no help was received from US. However, later, US negotiated with Taliban and withdrew from Afghanistan.
  • Pakistan’s role as the U.S.’s ally, and China’s “iron friend” ensured that the UNSC designations of those who threatened India the most, including Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed, never mentioned their role in attacks in India.
  • Pakistan has recently been removed from Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s grey list.
  • Growing polarisation and inequality
  • Growing global polarisation over the Russia-Ukraine war is shifting the focus from terrorism and also blurring the lines on what constitutes terrorism.
  • The polarisation has rendered UNSC paralysed because it is unable to pass any meaningful resolutions that are not vetoed by Russia or western members
  • For example, Russia claims that the U.K. helped Ukraine launch drone attacks on Russia’s naval fleet.
  • On the other hand, drone attacks by Yemeni Houthis on the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure were condemned as terrorist attacks.
  • China has been able to block as many as five terror designations requested by India and the U.S.
  • Slow progress:
  • India’s proposal, of 1996, of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) – very little progress has been made on issues such as the definition of terrorism, concerns over human rights law conflicts, and the old debate on ‘freedom fighter vs terrorist’.
  • Emerging technologies:
  • Weaponisation of mechanisms for terrorism purposes such as drones being used to deliver funds, drugs, weapons, ammunition and even improvised explosive devices.
  • Use of biowarfare, and Gain-of-Function (GoF) research to mutate viruses which could be released into targeted populations.
  • Use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems and robotic soldiers to perpetrate mass attacks while maintaining anonymity.
  • Terror financing uses bitcoins and cryptocurrency
  • Terror communications use social media, the dark web and even gaming centres
  • State-sponsored terrorism: Pakistan, Iran and North Korea are the most obvious examples of countries where the establishment has supported terrorist groups carrying out cross-border strikes, drone attacks and cyberwarfare.
  • Next drivers of strike will be global inequity, food and energy shortages, climate change and pandemics.

Way forward:

  • Global stakeholders are at present distracted by territorial disputes and narrow political differences.
  • Unless there is global consensus on regulating the use of these emergent technologies by all responsible states, it will be hard to distinguish their use from those by designated terror entities, or state-sponsored terrorism.
  • Terrorist acts of the future will grow more and more lethal, will need fewer people to carry out, and with their sponsors having more and more anonymity.
  • India, as host of these counter-terrorism events, and of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the next G-20, must stop fighting the “last war” on terrorism, and steer the global narrative towards preparing for the next ones.

Source: The Hindu


G20 Presidency of India – Voice for developing world

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 International Relations

In News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the logo, website and theme for India’s presidency of the G20, setting the tone for the country’s G20 presidency, beginning December 1 2022.

Context:

  • With the global population expected to cross eight billion this year, one is reminded of Gandhi’s caution, that the world has enough for everybody’s needs but not for everyone’s greed.
  • India’s G20 presidency coincides with its growing confidence, matched by its rising stature and high economic growth rate.
  • It must nonetheless countenance a complex geopolitical moment, with tensions between G7 nations and Russia over the war in Ukraine, and growing friction between the US and China.

Significance:

  • Geopolitics:
  • During its G20 presidency, India can be a voice for developing world.
  • India’s commitment to advancing South-South cooperation is well acknowledged.
  • It can lead towards new multilateralism and reassessment of the Global Financial Order to ensure adequate credit enhancement and blended finance for sustainable green transitions.
  • PM Modi’s recent advice to President Putin that “now is not the time for war” is anchored in the ethos of peace and non-violence, the legacy of Buddha and Gandhi.
  • Climate Change:
  • At the COP26 in Glasgow, Modi proposed Mission LiFE, which places individual behaviour at the centre of the global climate action narrative.
  • The Mission intends to establish and nurture a global network of individuals known as Pro-Planet People (P3), committed to adopting and promoting environmentally friendly lifestyles. This is based on the idea that responsible individual behaviour can undo the damage wrought upon nature.
  • India’s global initiatives in recent years such as SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in The Region), “blue economy”, “clean oceans”, and disaster-resilient infrastructure have the potential to gain traction in the G20.
  • PM Modi’s “Panchamrit” announcements at COP26 — net zero by 2070, non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030, 50 per cent of energy requirement through renewables by 2030, reduction of carbon emission by 1 billion tonnes by 2030, and reduction of carbon intensity in the Indian economy to less than 45 per cent by 2030 — established India as a climate leader.
  • The G20 presidency will provide India with an opportunity to give impetus to several of its initiatives for clean energy partnerships — especially in solar, wind and hydrogen — with the EU, Japan and the US.
  • It will provide a platform to give a fillip to the idea of, “One Sun, One World, One Grid”, first mooted by Modi at the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in 2018.
  • Economy:
  • India has the scale and capacity to set a shining example of rapid and decarbonised economic growth to help realise the G20’s global net zero ambitions.
  • India’s commitment to digital transformation will be a key element in forging an accessible and inclusive digital public architecture.
  • Success with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Direct Benefits Transfer and Aadhaar authentication in welfare schemes
  • Use of the CoWIN platform enhanced vaccine accessibility and equity.
  • Covid-19:
  • India has made a strong pitch for a TRIPS waiver to ensure equitable access to vaccine production.
  • At the height of the pandemic, India provided 250 million vaccine doses to 101 countries, apart from other medical assistance.

Challenges:

  • Multilateral institutions are perceived today as unrepresentative, ineffective, or worse still, both.
  • Disruption of supply chains due to the Ukraine crisis and unprecedented energy and food crises (PM citing at the SCO Summit).
  • There are emerging challenges in energy transition, trade and technology.
  • Stagflation in the US, China and Europe affects global economic outlook.

Suggestions:

  • At the “Global Supply Chain Resilience” meeting in 2021, Modi advocated cooperation on three critical aspects — trusted source, transparency and time frame — to improve global supply chains.
  • Focus attention on climate finance, beyond the existing annual $100 billion pledge by Advanced Economies (AEs) to assist developing nations in climate change adaptation and mitigation from 2020 to 2025.
  • Digitalisation of economies and to develop a consensus on an open source, open application programming interface (API) and an interoperable framework for public digital platforms on which the private sector can freely innovate.
  • This would help maximise the impact of the digital transformation for the global public good, including new data, measurement tools, indicators of economic growth and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Key for a green economy is a viable international framework for development and international trade in GH2, together with green ammonia and green shipping.
  • The climate challenge is sure to be one of the significant themes for India’s presidency.
  • Green hydrogen can replace fossil fuels on an industrial scale, including in hard-to-abate sectors such as refineries, fertilisers, transport and cement.
  • Reliable supplies of critical minerals and technological collaborations for energy storage, including a global battery coalition, could provide answers.
  • G20 could work toward an expanded and robust civilian nuclear energy cooperation framework, including for small modular reactors.

Way forward:

  • India’s presidency should represent the widest and most vulnerable constituencies. It can also advance intra-South Asian economic integration which is essential for India’s rise.
  • It is truly India’s moment, to infuse new hope and point the world towards a values-based future, beyond mercantilism, the blight of the pandemic, war and ideological chafing.

Source Indian Express


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements about the ‘Counter Terrorism Committee’,

  1. It is a subsidiary body of United National Security Council.
  2. It maintains a list of terrorist groups or individuals.

Which of the following statements are correct?

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

Q.2) Consider the following countries:

  1. Mexico
  2. Italy
  3. Israel
  4. North Korea
  5. South Korea
  6. Ukraine

Which of the above are among are not part of G20?

  1. 1, 2, 4 and 5
  2. 3, 4, and 6
  3. 1, 3, and 5
  4. 2, 3, 4 and 6

Q.3) Consider the following statements about UN Human Rights Council

  1. The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body for the promotion and protection of human rights around the world.
  2. It is made up of 43 UN Member States which are elected by the UN General Assembly.
  3. Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

Choose the correct statements:

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’9th November 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st


ANSWERS FOR 8th November – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – a

Q.3) – a

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