Current Affairs 7th January, 2019

PAPER - 1

Topics Covered

1. Art and Culture - Awards

KIRTI CHAKRA AWARD

Image result for kirti chakra award

What to read?

Prelims - About the Award

  • The Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle.

  • It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, including posthumous awards. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra.

  • It is second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards; it comes after Ashoka Chakra and before Shaurya Chakra. Before 1967, the award was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class II.

  • Established as the "Ashoka Chakra, Class II" by the President of India, 4 January 1952 (with effect from 15 August 1947). The statutes were revised and the decoration renamed on 27 January 1967.

  • Medal : It is circular in shape and is made of standard silver.

  • Obverse : On the obverse of the medal shall be embossed a replica of Ashoka Chakra in the centre, surrounded by a lotus wreath.




PAPER - 2 and PAPER - 3

Topics Covered

1. Governmental intervention to protect the vulnerable sections in India

2. Public Distribution System

STRUGGLE FOR FOOD - TRIBES OF WEST BENGAL

West Bengal tribals battling food scarcity: study

What to read?

Prelims - Tribal groups in West Bengal, Facts on tribes in India

Mains - Highlights of the study

Communities are ‘far behind’ in terms of human development, says survey of 1,000 households by Professor Amartya Sen’s institute.

Tribal Groups in West Bengal

  • Asur,

  • Khond,

  • Hajong, Ho,

  • Parhaiya,  

  • Rabha,

  • Santhals,

  • Savar

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Note - There are no Scheduled Tribes in Punjab, Delhi, Chandigarh, Pondicherry, Haryana.

  • The scheduled Tribes in India form the largest proportion of the total population in Lakshadweep and Mizoram followed by Nagaland and Meghalaya.

  • Madhya Pradesh has the largest number of scheduled Tribes followed by Bihar.

Work Participation Rate

Section of working population in the age group of 16-64 in the economy currently employed or seeking employment.

Highlights of the study

  • A survey report has identified “food scarcity in varying degrees” in about 31% of tribal households in West Bengal.

  • The study titled was ‘An Inquiry into the world of the Adivasis of West Bengal’, conducted by Professor Amartya Sen’s Pratichi Institute and Asiatic Society.

  • Low Human Development

In many areas, tribal of the State are “far behind” in terms of human development.

  • Lower life Chance

Poverty-born vices like alcoholism [and] the fragility of the public health system seemed to have resulted in a much lower life chances among the Adivasis than their more privileged co-citizens.

  • Early Death

Degradation of forest and environmental degradation are cited as two more reasons for “reduced availability of natural nutrients” resulting in early deaths.

  • Work Participation Rate

The work participation rate [WPR] is higher among the Adivasis in Bengal “forcing the children of school going age to discontinue their studies in order to fend [for] themselves and support the families".


PAPER - 2

Topics Covered

1. Governance

2. Polity - Executive action

Panel formed to determine level of reservation in Assam Assembly elections

What to read?

Prelims - Panel - its study area

Mains - Assam Accord, Impact of Citizenship bill

Panel

The Centre has set up a high-level committee headed by former IAS officer M.P. Bezbaruah to assess the appropriate level of reservation of seats in the Assam Assembly and local bodies for the Assamese people, besides providing employment opportunities.

It will suggest measures to be taken to protect Assamese and other indigenous languages of Assam.

The committee can also suggest any other measures, as may be necessary, to protect, preserve and promote cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

It will submit its report within six months from the date of notification (January 5).

The panel will be facilitated by the North East Division of the Home Ministry, and the State government will provide necessary administrative and logistic support to the committee.

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Assam accord and the Panel

The Home Ministry said the committee will examine the effectiveness of actions taken since 1985 to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

Clause 6 of the Accord - “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people”.

Impact of Citizenship bill meanwhile in Assam

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The committee and its Terms of Reference (ToR) were notified a day before the joint parliamentary committee on the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, is expected to table its report in Parliament, paving the way for India to grant citizenship to six persecuted minorities — Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists — from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014.


Citizenship Bill in Violation of Assam accord

There has been a strong resistance to the Bill in Assam as it would pave the way for giving citizenship, mostly to illegal Hindu migrants from Bangladesh in Assam, who came after March 1971, in violation of the 1985 Assam Accord.

Probable Mains Question

Protection of integrity is the prime duty of every government. In this context, Examine how India is efficiently dealing with the internal strife in Assam due to the influx of Bangladesh migrants.



PAPER - 3

Topics Covered

1. Defence

2. Privatization

EASE OF DEFENCE MANUFACTURING RULES

Different bracket:Items are listed in 3 categories — defence aircraft, warships of all kinds, and allied items of defence equipment.AFP

What to read?

Prelims - DIPP, Strategic Partnership under DPP

Mains - How does the ease of rules in Defence manufacturing benefit India

The government simplified the process for approval of manufacturing of a range of defence and aerospace equipment and components by private industry, by bringing them under the licensing authority of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Changes by the Current notification

  • Items are listed in three categories — defence aircraft, warships of all kinds, and allied items of defence equipment.

  • The list of defence items requiring industrial licenses being pruned down by removing the requirement of licensing for ‘parts and components of the equipment

  • Segregates defence items in two categories covered by two different Acts — the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951, and the Arms Act, 1959.

Department of Industrial Production and Promotion

  • The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) was formed in 1995 under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

  • In 2000, the Industrial Development department was merged with it.

  • The DIPP is responsible for formulating and implementing growth measures for the industrial sector in line with socio-economic objectives and national priorities. DIPP is basically mandated with the overall industrial policy formulation and execution, whereas the individual ministries take care of the specific industries’ production, distribution, development and planning aspects.

Strategic Partnership under DPP

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  • The policy is intended to engage the Indian private sector in the manufacture of hi-tech defence equipment in India.

  • It is an establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with qualified Indian industry majors through a transparent and competitive process.

  • The Indian industry partners would tie up with global OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) to seek technology transfers and manufacturing know-how to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chain.

What is action plan of SPM?

  • SPM will kick start the process by selecting strategic partners for four segments, namely, fighter aircraft, submarines, armoured vehicles, and helicopters.

  • In a separate process, MoD will also select the foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) who could supply a particular platform required by MoD with transfer of the requisite scope, range and depth of technology for its manufacture in India.

  • The process of selecting the platform would have to follow the same procedure as laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure, which, among other things, entails lengthy field trials.

Significance of Ease of Defence Manufacturing rules

  • It helps foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) looking for partnerships with the private sector.

  • The Defence Ministry has formulated an ambitious Strategic Partnership (SP) model under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), covering four specific areas to promote role of private sector in defence manufacturing. However, progress on finalising the projects under the SP model has been slow.

  • With the list of defence items requiring industrial licences being pruned down by removing the requirement of licensing for ‘parts and components of the equipment’, this would accrue benefits towards Tier-I/Tier-II vendors giving a boost to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

Probable Mains Question

India is moving towards Indigenous character in Defence Manufacturing sector. Illustrate.


PAPER - 2 and PAPER - 3

Topics Covered

1. Legislative action

2. Indian Economy

First Fugitive Economic Offender

What to read?

Prelims and Mains - Fugitive Economic Offences Act, 2018

Vijay Mallya became the first person to be declared a fugitive economic offender by the special court hearing cases under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA).

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Features of the act

The FEOA, which became a law on July 31, 2018, allows for declaring a person as an offender after an arrest warrant has been issued against the individual and the value of offences exceeds Rs. 100 crore.

Another condition for declaring a person a fugitive economic offender (FEO) is when the individual refuses to return to the country to face prosecution.

As per the new law, a special FEOA court can order the confiscation of a FEO’s properties, including those which are benami, and the proceeds of crime in and outside India. Once properties are confiscated, the Union government has the right over them, and it can dispose them after 90 days.

Impact of the act

Image result for Fugitive Economic Offences Act, 2018 upsc

The Act is expected to re-establish the rule of law with respect to the fugitive economic offenders as they would be forced to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences.

This would also help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions. 

It is expected that the special forum to be created for expeditious confiscation of the proceeds of crime, in India or abroad, would coerce the fugitive to return to India to submit to the jurisdiction of Courts in India to face the law in respect of scheduled offences.

Probable Mains Question

Analyze how effective the Fugitive Economic Offences Act can curb the scheduled economic offences.