WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in...

of 72 /72

Transcript of WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in...

Page 3: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Table of Contents

The Hindu

1. Pardon refused to Balwant Singh Rajoana .................................................................................................. 1

2. After Cabinet nod, Citizenship Bill ready for tabling in Parliament .............................................. 1

3. The bail order in Chidambaram case restates fundamental principles on granting bail ......... 3

4. Encounter of Hyderabad rape accused ................................................................................................ 4

5. Why does government wants Supreme Court to reconsider stand on SC/ST creamy layer? . 6

6. The laws on rape and sexual crimes: How have they changed over the years? When was the

death penalty clause included? ............................................................................................................. 8

7. T.N. local body polls delayed ................................................................................................................ 10

8. 6 years on, Lokpal is yet to get prosecution wing ........................................................................... 11

9. Anaj Mandi fire tragedy in Delhi ......................................................................................................... 13

10. Supreme Court flags delay in appointment of judges ..................................................................... 13

11. In Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, what is the unease over the Citizenship (Amendment)

Act, 2019? ................................................................................................................................................ 16

12. Pervez Musharraf given death sentence ........................................................................................... 18

13. Kuldeep Singh Sengar gets life imprisonment in Unnao rape case ............................................. 19

14. Idea of three capitals for Andhra Pradesh ........................................................................................ 20

15. What are the regulations on salt and trans-fat in junk food, and why is the FSSAI draft still

not law? .................................................................................................................................................... 21

16. What connects the NPR, NRIC and Census? ..................................................................................... 23

17. Jharkhand votes for JMM-Cong. alliance, BJP tally slumps ............................................................ 27

Page 4: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

18. Position of Chief of Defence Staff ........................................................................................................ 28

19. CAA protests: What does the law say about detention of minors? ............................................. 29

20. India announces $450 million to Sri Lanka ...................................................................................... 30

21. India up one rank in UN development index .................................................................................... 31

22. Bougainville may be 194th nation of world ..................................................................................... 32

23. Why are Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple facing antitrust issues? .................................. 33

24. Portugal sets up Gandhi prize .............................................................................................................. 35

25. Donald Trump impeached. What next? ............................................................................................ 35

26. India has been following the principle of voluntary repatriation in the case of Sri Lankan

refugees..................................................................................................................................................... 37

27. GST revenues not enough for States’ compensation: Centre ........................................................ 39

28. India’s forex reserves cross $450 billion for the first time ........................................................... 40

29. Why has SEBI banned Hyderabad-based Karvy Stock Broking from taking on new clients?

What happens to the clients? .............................................................................................................. 40

30. IIP shrinks again, inflation accelerates .............................................................................................. 42

31. GST Council votes for 28% GST on all lotteries ............................................................................... 42

32. Double trouble: On uneven inflation and sluggish growth ........................................................... 43

33. Is the economy in really bad shape? Is this a result of a cyclical phenomenon or has it been

driven by a structural malaise arising from deficiencies in the economic framework? ........ 44

34. What is ‘carbon market’, why was it felt necessary, and what are the major points of

disagreement? ........................................................................................................................................ 47

35. Pollution can be linked to mortality: Against Prakash Javadekar’s comments ........................ 49

36. No deal as longest climate talks end in Madrid................................................................................ 50

37. How will the FASTag toll collection programme help cut delays and losses on India’s highways? ................................................................................................................................................ 51

38. Battling anti-microbial resistance....................................................................................................... 52

39. Need to spread awareness about measles vaccines ....................................................................... 54

40. 50th PSLV launch carries radar satellite RISAT-2BR1 ................................................................... 55

Page 5: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

41. What does the doping ban mean for Russia? ................................................................................... 55

42. Fresh SIT report on 1984 riots may pave the way for reopening scuttled probes .................. 57

43. What is the directive on detention centres? .................................................................................... 58

44. Dealing with sex crimes ........................................................................................................................ 60

45. Packaged foods breach safe limits of salt, fat: CSE study ............................................................... 62

46. NCLAT reinstates Cyrus Mistry as Tata Sons executive chairman .............................................. 64

47. Massive locust invasion threatens Gujarat farmers ........................................................................ 66

Page 6: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

1 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

1. Pardon refused to Balwant Singh Rajoana Read only for understanding; Polity & Governance Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed the Lok Sabha that Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted of the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, had not been pardoned. Contrary to previous comments In September, Home Ministry officials said the government had decided to commute the death sentence of Rajoana to life imprisonment as as a “humanitarian gesture” on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Who is Rajoana? A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister and 16 others. In July 2007, a special court awarded the death sentence to Rajoana and he was scheduled to be hanged on March 31, 2012. However, the execution was stayed two days before the scheduled date after the Shiromoni Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), the Sikh religious body, filed a mercy petition.

2. After Cabinet nod, Citizenship Bill ready for tabling in Parliament Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 paving the way for its introduction in Parliament on December 9. Provisions of the bill 1. The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 by seeking to grant citizenship to undocumented non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. In other words, the Bill says the six non-Muslim communities “shall not be treated as illegal migrant” for violating provisions under Passport Act, 1920 or the Foreigners Act, 1946 that pertains to foreigners entering and staying in India illegally. The Bill also proposes to protect the applicants under this category from all pending legal cases.

Page 7: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

2 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

2. The Bill shall not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the sixth schedule of the Constitution and States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland that are protected by the Inner Line Permit (ILP). The exemption means that Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Parsi, Jain and Sikh communities from the three neighbouring countries will not be able to take up jobs, purchase land or settle down in these areas. Implications of bill 1. The purpose of the Bill says that it will enable acquisition of Indian citizenship by persons who were forced to seek shelter in India due to persecution or fear of it on grounds of religion and will extend the facility to the class of persons presently facing hardships and difficulties in acquiring citizenship. The earlier form of the Bill cleared by the Lok Sabha in January did not have these provisions. 2. The immediate beneficiaries of this amendment would be the non-Muslim people out of the over 19 lakh people who were excluded from Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on August 31. 3. It also seeks to provide immunity from any proceedings going on against a non-Muslim illegal migrant before any authority including Foreigners Tribunals, courts etc. and such proceedings shall stand abated on conferment of citizenship. Assam is the only State which has Foreigners Tribunals in place. 4. The Bill will enable a person belonging to the six communities who does not have proof of birth of his parents in support of his being Indian origin, to apply for citizenship by naturalisation on completion of six years residency period in India. 5. The Bill seeks to insert a clause that will enable the Central government to decide “the condition, restrictions and manner for granting citizenship.”

Page 8: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

3 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Reaction to the bill Northeast States erupted in protests against the Bill as it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants, irrespective of religion. The National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was updated as per the accord.

3. The bail order in Chidambaram case restates fundamental principles on granting bail Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Polity & Governance The Supreme Court has restated the basic principles of granting bail while ordering the conditional release of former Union Minister P. Chidambaram in the INX Media ‘money-laundering’ case. That these principles required fresh iteration indicates a problem in the way courts have been handling certain applications for bail in recent times.

Page 9: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

4 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

In a case largely turning on documentary evidence — and one being probed by two agencies concerning the same transactions — it was quite astonishing that the former Minister was incarcerated for over 100 days, even after being subjected to prolonged custodial interrogation. Rules for granting bail 1. As rightly pointed out by the three-judge Bench, bail remains the norm and its refusal the exception. 2. The denial of bail is directly related to the possibility that a remand prisoner who has been released may not appear before the court to face trial. As securing the presence of a suspect is the primary ground for keeping a person in judicial custody prior to trial, there is no reason to jail someone who is unlikely to abscond. 3. Another valid reason is the potential for a person to tamper with evidence or influence and threaten witnesses. 4. The apex court has conceded that sometimes the gravity of the offence may be an additional consideration, but underscored that it cannot be used to deny bail based on allegations yet to be tested in a trial. Arrest on sealed cover evidence A disconcerting trend in the superior judiciary has emerged in recent times, wherein material provided in ‘sealed covers’ has been relied upon for adjudication, despite the content not being available to all parties. The Supreme Court has now formally disapproved of courts using purported material contained in sealed cover to record one-sided findings. In a principled intervention, it has deprecated the High Court treating prosecution claims submitted in a sealed cover to make some observations on the merits of the case against Mr. Chidambaram. The allegations contained in the confidential material are indeed grave, but the onus remains on the prosecution to prove them. What the Supreme Court was concerned about was whether such untested material could be used as a ground to deny bail. It is a matter of concern that larger issues of due process have to be revisited each time a public figure is arrested in the course of investigation, giving rise to a perception of political vendetta. Investigative agencies would be better advised to focus on gathering relevant material and moving for an early trial. The legal system is already in place for expedited trial against political leaders through special courts. There is no necessity to vitiate the process through dramatic arrests and prolonged pre-trial imprisonment.

4. Encounter of Hyderabad rape accused Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance

Page 10: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

5 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Justice in any civilised society is not just about retribution, but also about deterrence, and in less serious crimes, rehabilitation of the offenders. The heinous rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad in late November shook the collective conscience of India and resulted in an outcry for justice for the victim and outrage over the persisting lack of safety for women in public spaces. Such societal pressure for justice invariably weighs upon legal institutions, as the police are required to find the culprits with alacrity and the judiciary to complete the legal process without undue delay. But these institutions must uphold the rule of law and procedure even in such circumstances. Encounter of four accused The killing of the four accused of the rape and murder of the veterinary doctor by the Cyberabad police raises disturbing questions. The police claim that two of the accused snatched their weapons and fired at them when the four had been taken to the crime scene to reconstruct the sequence of events late after midnight, and that they killed them in self-defence. The National Human Rights Commission has deputed a fact-finding team to Hyderabad to probe the incident. The guidelines set by the Supreme Court to deal with such events, including the need for an independent investigation, must be strictly observed to get to the bottom of this sordid episode. Reaction of people The jubilation seen on social media platforms and on the streets over the killings by the police stems from the public anger and anguish over the burgeoning crimes against women. There is a perception that the legal institutions are ill-equipped to deal with such crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice. What needs to be done? Yet, while much more needs to done in terms of registration and charge-sheeting of sexual crimes by police and addressing the pendency in court of such cases, there has been greater awareness and improvement in both the policing and judicial process following the horrific bus gang-rape in December 2012 in New Delhi. The Telangana government had, in this case as well, issued orders for setting up a fast-track court to try the four accused and if the successful prosecution in the Delhi case had been applied as a precedent, this should have brought closure to the case in a time-bound manner. Existing laws on sexual crimes and punishment need better application, but a recourse to brutal retribution as suggested unwisely by many is no solution. On the contrary, the political sanction of “encounter killings” to deliver swift retribution would only be a disincentive for the police to follow due process and may even deter them from pursuing the course of justice.

Page 11: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

6 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Far from ensuring justice to the victims, bending the law in such cases would only undermine people’s faith in the criminal justice system.

5. Why does government wants Supreme Court to reconsider stand on SC/ST creamy layer? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance On December 2, the Central government asked the Supreme Court of India to refer to a seven-judge Bench the question whether the creamy layer concept should apply (or not) to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes while giving them reservation in promotions. Attorney General K.K. Venugopal urged the court to reconsider a past ruling and refer the issue to a larger Bench. What does the government want? The Narendra Modi government wants the Supreme Court to reconsider its stand that socially, educationally and economically advanced “cream” of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) communities should be excluded from the benefits of reservation in government services. The government has asked the Chief Justice of India, Sharad A. Bobde, to refer a September 26, 2018 judgment of a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in Jarnail Singh versus Lachhmi Narain Gupta to a larger Bench of seven judges for a review. The court in the Jarnail Singh case had upheld the applicability of creamy layer to affluent SCs and STs. In Jarnail Singh, the court had agreed with its 12-year-old verdict in the M. Nagaraj case that the creamy layer applied to SCs and STs in order to prevent the socially advanced in a backward community or class from eating the whole cake while leaving the weak among them impoverished. But the government believes that the ‘creamy layer’ will become a ruse to deprive the backward classes of the benefit of reservation. The Attorney-General of India, K.K. Venugopal, said the SC/ST community as a whole still continues to bear the yoke of centuries’ old backwardness. What is the creamy layer concept? The ‘means-test and creamy layer’ first finds expression in the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in Indra Sawhney versus Union of India, delivered by a nine-judge Bench on November 16, 1992. The judgment recorded lawyers describing the ‘creamy layer’ as “some members of a backward class who are highly advanced socially as well as economically and educationally... They constitute the forward section of that particular backward class — as forward as any other forward class member. They lap up all the benefits of reservations

Page 12: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

7 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

meant for that class, without allowing benefits to reach the truly backward members of that class”. The Indra Sawhney judgment had upheld the government’s move, based on the Mandal Commission report, to give 27% reservation to Other Backward Classes. But it held that the creamy layer (socially advanced persons) “can be and must be excluded from backward classes”. The court said “economic criterion could be adopted as an indicium or measure of social advancement” in order to identify members of a creamy layer in a class or a group. The court asked the Central government to fix the norms for income, property and status for identifying the creamy layer. In 1993, the creamy layer ceiling was fixed at 1 lakh. It was subsequently increased to 2.5 lakh in 2004, 4.5 lakh in 2008, 6 lakh in 2013, and at 8 lakh since 2017. How was the creamy layer made applicable to SC/ST members? The Indra Sawhney verdict had held there would be reservation only in initial appointments and not promotions. The Centre introduced Article 16(4A) through the Constitution (Seventy-seventh Amendment) Act on May 31, 1995 to overcome the effect of this judgment and continue with its policy of extending quotas for SCs and STs in promotions, reasoning that their representation in States’ services has not reached the required level. Article 16(4B) was also introduced in the Constitution to carry forward unfilled vacancies in subsequent years and not apply the 50% cap on reservation to these vacancies. Article 335 of the Constitution was amended in 2001 to allow relaxations in qualifying marks and lowering of standards in favour of SCs/STs. The amendments were challenged in the Supreme Court and referred to a five-judge Bench in the M. Nagaraj case. In 2006, the five-judge Bench, in Nagaraj, laid down three conditions for promotion of SCs and STs in public employment. The court held that the government cannot introduce quota in promotion for its SC/ST employees unless it proves that the particular community was backward, inadequately represented and providing reservation in promotion would not affect the overall efficiency of public administration. The opinion of the government should be based on quantifiable data. The judgment in Nagaraj also held that the creamy layer was applicable to SCs and STs in government promotions. What happened in the ‘Jarnail Singh’ judgment? In Jarnail Singh, another five-judge Bench led by then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra upheld the 2006 verdict’s reasoning that the creamy layer principle was based on the right to equality. The court held that quota benefits should go to the weakest of the weak and not be snatched away by members of the same class who were in the “top creamy layer”. Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, who wrote the September 26, 2018 judgment in the Jarnail Singh case, said the creamy layer concept ensured that only the genuinely deserving members of an SC/ST community get reservation benefits.

Page 13: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

8 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

The 2018 judgment, while modifying the part in the Nagaraj verdict which required States to show quantifiable data to prove backwardness, rejected the Centre’s argument that Nagaraj had misread the creamy layer concept ushered in by Indra Sawhney by applying it to SCs and STs. Justice Nariman had observed in his judgment for the court: “The whole object of reservation is to see that backward classes of citizens move forward so that they may march hand in hand with other citizens of India on an equal basis. This will not be possible if only the creamy layer within that class bag all the coveted jobs in the public sector and perpetuate themselves, leaving the rest of the class as backward as they always were.” The 2018 judgment said that when the court applied creamy layer to SCs and STs in the Nagaraj case, it did not tinker with the Presidential List under Articles 341 or 342 of the Constitution. The caste, group or sub-group named in the List had remained intact. The court had thus refused the government’s plea to refer the case to a seven-judge Bench.

6. The laws on rape and sexual crimes: How have they changed over the years? When was the death penalty clause included? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance After the rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad on November 28 and the burning of a rape survivor in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, on December 5, there has been an outcry for justice for the victims. Within and outside Parliament there has been a clamour to make the criminal justice system tougher on an offender committing sexual crimes against women and children. What has been the system in place? ‘Rape’ as a clearly defined offence was first introduced in the Indian Penal Code in 1860. Prior to this, there were often diverse and conflicting laws prevailing across India. The codification of Indian laws began with the enactment of the Charter Act, 1833 by the British Parliament which led to the establishment of the first Law Commission under the chairmanship of Lord Macaulay. The Law Commissioners decided to put the criminal law of the land in two separate codes. The first to be placed on the statute book was the Indian Penal Code formulating the substantive law of crimes. This was enacted in October 1860 but brought into force 15 months later on January 1, 1862. The first Code of Criminal Procedure was enacted in 1861, which consolidated the law relating to the set-up of criminal courts and the procedure to be followed in the investigation and trial of the offence.

Page 14: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

9 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

What did the IPC say? Section 375 of the IPC made punishable the act of sex by a man with a woman if it was done against her will or without her consent. The definition of rape also included sex when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested, in fear of death or of hurt. Also, sex with or without her consent, when she is under 18 years is considered rape. However, under the exception, sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape. Section 376 provided for seven years of jail term to life imprisonment to whoever commits the offence of rape. What happened in 1972? For over a century after 1860, the criminal law relating to rape and sexual assault cases remained unchanged until the watershed incident of the Mathura custodial rape case. On March 26, 1972 a young Adivasi girl named Mathura was allegedly raped by policemen in the Desai Gunj Police Station in Maharashtra. In the trial that ensued, the sessions court came to the conclusion that she had sexual intercourse while at the police station but rape had not been proved and that she was habituated to intercourse. While the sessions court acquitted both the policemen, the High Court reversed the order of acquittal. When the case reached the Supreme Court, it overturned the High Court verdict saying that “the intercourse in question is not proved to amount rape”. The top court, in its September 15, 1978 verdict, said no marks of injury were found on the girl after the incident and “their absence goes a long way to indicate that the alleged intercourse was a peaceful affair”. Why was the Criminal Law Act amended? The controversial verdict sparked widescale protests across the country seeking a change in existing rape laws. This culminated into the Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act of 1983. A new Section 114A in the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 was inserted which presumed that there is absence of consent in certain prosecutions of rape if the victim says so. This applied to custodial rape cases. In the IPC, Section 228A was added which makes it punishable to disclose the identity of the victim of certain offences including rape. Are the laws gender neutral? Following the direction of the Supreme Court in a public interest litigation (PIL) initiated by a non-governmental organisation to widen the definition of sexual intercourse in Section 375 of the IPC, the Law Commission in its 172th report recommended widening the scope of rape law to make it gender neutral.

Page 15: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

10 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

While the rape law in India even today remains gender specific, as the perpetrator of the offence can only be a ‘man’, the 172nd report led to the amendments in the Indian Evidence Act in 2002. A new provision was inserted which barred putting questions in the cross-examination of the victim as to her general ‘immoral character’ in rape or attempt to rape cases. Are rape laws stricter now? The nationwide public outcry, in 2012, following the December 16 gang rape and murder in Delhi, led to the passing of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act in 2013 which widened the definition of rape and made punishment more stringent. Parliament made the amendments on the recommendation of the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, which was constituted to re-look the criminal laws in the country and recommend changes. The 2013 Act, which came into effect on April 2, 2013, increased jail terms in most sexual assault cases and also provided for the death penalty in rape cases that cause death of the victim or leaves her in a vegetative state. It also created new offences, such as use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe, voyeurism and stalking. The punishment for gang rape was increased to 20 years to life imprisonment from the earlier 10 years to life imprisonment. Earlier, there was no specific provision in law for offences such as use of unwelcome physical contact, words or gestures, demand or request for sexual favours, showing pornography against the will of a woman or making sexual remarks. But, the 2013 Act clearly defined these offences and allocated punishment. Similarly, stalking was made punishable with up to three years in jail. The offence of acid attack was increased to 10 years of imprisonment. What about offences against minors? In January 2018, an eight-year-old girl in Rasana village near Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir was abducted, raped and murdered by a group of men. The news of the shocking act led to nationwide protests and calls for harsher punishment. This led to the passing of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 which for the first time put death penalty as a possible punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years; the minimum punishment is 20 years in jail. Another new section was also inserted in the IPC to specifically deal with rape on a girl below 16 years. The provision made the offence punishable with minimum imprisonment of 20 years which may extend to imprisonment for life.

Page 16: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

11 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

The minimum jail term for rape, which has remained unchanged since the introduction of the IPC in 1860, was increased from seven to 10 years.

7. T.N. local body polls delayed Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance Three years after they fell due in 2016, rural local bodies in Tamil Nadu will witness elections in the last week of this month. It is a travesty of the law that these elections have been delayed. Cities, towns and villages have been under the rule of unelected officials for too long. Under a Supreme Court order, polls for all local bodies will have to be held, except in those districts that have been divided recently to create new ones. It is the first time since local self-government became the third tier of governance under the Constitution that polls have not been held on time in T.N. — timely elections were held every five years since 1996. Reasons for delay in elections Administrative lapses and political litigation over ward delimitation in various local bodies in accordance with the latest population figures in the 2011 Census resulted in the unprecedented delay. Originally announced on time in 2016, the notification was cancelled by the Madras High Court, citing irregularities in it. Since then, the issue of delimitation, the announcement of new districts and occasional litigation have contributed to the delay in setting in motion elections to the vital tiers of grassroots democracy. Change in election method There have been frequent changes in the mode of electing mayors of city corporations and chairpersons of municipalities. Originally, direct elections were held, but it was changed to indirect mode in 2006. The present regime has changed its mind twice. In 2016, the Jayalalithaa regime opted for indirect elections, that is, only ward councillors would be elected by the people and these representatives, in turn, would elect mayors and municipal chairpersons. The current Edappadi K. Palaniswami government reversed the decision and chose the direct election mode. Recently, it once again changed its mind and restored the system of indirect election, citing “better accountability and collective responsibility”. It claimed that there was scope for conflict between a directly elected head and the councillors, and that this would be eliminated if councillors themselves elected the mayor or chairperson.

8. 6 years on, Lokpal is yet to get prosecution wing Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance Almost six years after the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, was signed into law, several key provisions needed for the anti-corruption ombudsman to function have still not been operationalised. The process of constituting the Lokpal’s inquiry and prosecution wings has

Page 17: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

12 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

not yet begun, and regulations for how to conduct preliminary investigations have not been made. History of Lokpal Movement The movement to ensure accountability through an anti-corruption ombudsman has been long. The term Lokpal was coined in 1963 but it was not until January 2014 that the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act came into force. It was more than five years later, in March 2019, that the first chairperson and members of the Lokpal were appointed.

Present position 1. More than eight months later, the institution is functioning out of a government-owned hotel in Delhi. 2. While it approved a logo and motto for itself last month, the Lokpal has not yet notified a format for filing complaints. 3. Despite that obstacle, 1,065 complaints were sent to the Lokpal office. “After scrutiny, complaints that did not fall within the mandate of the Lokpal were disposed of and

Page 18: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

13 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

complainants have been informed accordingly,” says a note on the Lokpal website, adding that 1,000 such complaints have been disposed of until September 30. 4. The Lokpal would find it difficult to investigate complaints that do fall within its mandate as it has no inquiry wing or regulations for inquiries. The process of constitution of Inquiry Wing of Lokpal is yet to be initiated in consultation with the government of India. 5. Similarly, asked about the setting up of a special wing to prosecute public servants for corruption, as mandated by the Act, the Lokpal’s office said, “The process of constitution of Prosecution Wing of Lokpal is yet to be initiated in consultation with the government of India.” 6. Section 60 of the Act gives the Lokpal the power to make regulations on “the manner and procedure of conducting preliminary inquiry or investigation”. It also deals with making regulations on the website display of the status of all complaints — pending or disposed — along with records and evidence. However, in response to an RTI query, the Lokpal said, “Till now, no regulations have been made by the Lokpal under Section 60.” 7. The rules for the disclosure of assets and liabilities by public servants have not been notified either. This is a key provision as the amassing of assets disproportionate to the known sources of income is often the basis for a complaint. The draft rules of 2017 were referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee, which submitted its recommendations to the government in July 2018. The Centre is yet to submit any Action Taken Report to the Rajya Sabha.

9. Anaj Mandi fire tragedy in Delhi Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance Fire in unregistered bag factory The deadly fire at dawn on Sunday that swept through an unregistered bag factory in Delhi’s Anaj Mandi area killing 43 workers is a shocking reminder that for every big industrial unit showcased as evidence of an emerging power, there are scores of Dickensian ratholes in which workers toil under crushing, dangerous conditions. Neither the Delhi government nor the Centre, which has control of law and order in the national capital, can pretend to be surprised at the many casualties. It is well known that poorly paid labourers live and work in several residential buildings turned into unregistered factories, and those who died due to suffocation or burn injuries were no different. Most of them came from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and virtually slept at night next to the machines they worked on. If it is confirmed by a probe that the victims were locked in and obstructed by materials stacked on staircases, the culpability of those responsible would be enormously higher. A small consolation is the rescue of several people given the narrow

Page 19: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

14 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

approach to the stricken building, and a mass of tangled wires. The building’s owner and the manager have been arrested to mollify public anger, but administrative agencies cannot escape responsibility for allowing the factory and other such units to function illegally, without safety audits.

10. Supreme Court flags delay in appointment of judges Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance Pending appointments in High Court Two hundred and thirteen names recommended for appointment to various High Courts are pending with the government/Supreme Court Collegium, the Supreme Court said in a judicial order. At least the names on which the Supreme Court Collegium, the High Courts and the governments had agreed upon should be appointed within six months, the order said. What was the need of order? The order is significant, coming at a time when inordinate delays in the appointment of High Court judges and depleting numbers in the higher judiciary threaten to affect the justice delivery mechanism. What has the Supreme Court done in the matter? The court has asked for a list with details of the 213 names, including when their files were forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the time taken by the Law Ministry to forward them to the PMO. On the Supreme Court collegium clearing the recommendees, the Union Law Ministry has to put up within three weeks the recommendations to the Prime Minister who would advise the President on the appointment. However, no time limit has been prescribed for action by the Prime Minister and the President.

Page 20: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

15 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

The Bench directed that the list, which has to be vetted by Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, to also have other details of the 213 pending names, including the date when each recommendation was made by the High Court collegium concerned; date when the recommendation was forwarded to the collegium after consulting with the State government by the Law Ministry; the time period between these two dates; the date when the collegium cleared the names; the time period, etc. Trend of appointments in the past The Bench observed in the order that the number of judges appointed to the High Courts has steadily dipped since 2017. Judicial appointments to High Courts have nearly halved in 2019 compared to 2017 and 2018. Only 65 judges have been appointed to High Courts in 2019. It was 115 in 2017 and 108 in 2018. The High Courts are functioning at nearly 50% of their sanctioned judicial strength. Of a total 1,079 judges sanctioned in the High Courts, there are 410 vacancies. Only 669 judges are working in the courts. In 2019, only 65 judges were stated to have been appointed to the High Courts as on 2.12.2019 as against 115 in 2017 and 108 in 2018.

Page 21: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

16 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

11. In Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, what is the unease over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance Curfew was eased on Saturday for some hours in towns and cities of the Brahmaputra Valley including Guwahati in lower Assam and Dibrugarh in upper Assam after days of violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 since the Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on December 11 and the President of India gave his assent on December 12. Some States were kept outside the purview of the Act, which will grant citizenship to Hindus and other non-Muslim minorities of three countries, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, under the Sixth Schedule and the inner line permit (ILP) system, but there is unease on the ground about what it will mean for the ethnic diversity of the region. In Assam, for example, observers say the division between the Assamese-speaking Brahmaputra Valley and the Bengali-speaking Barak Valley is likely to deepen; and that relations between tribals and the Bengali-speaking majority in Tripura will suffer. The rules of CAA under which Hindu and other minorities may get amnesty have not yet been specified. Why is Assam agitated? Between 1979 and 1985, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad spearheaded a movement against illegal migration, which had been simmering for long, leading to widespread violence and insurgencies by various outfits including the United Liberation Front of Assam. After thousands of lives were lost, the Assam Accord was signed in 1985 that aimed to address two key concerns of the Assamese people: stop “foreigners” from Bangladesh and provide some constitutional safeguards for Assamese citizens. First, the cut-off date for foreigners to gain citizenship was set at March 25, 1971, though, initially, the leaders of the movement wanted illegal migrants to be expelled as per the National Register of Citizens 1951 of Assam; agitation leaders had also spoken of a 1967 cut-off; and Clause 6 of the Accord stated that “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.” The AASU on Friday filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India challenging the Act, according to the outfit’s chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya. He told a gathering which had defied curfew to protest against the Act: “[Narendra] Modi had promised to deport all illegal immigrants after May 16, 2014. He did not send back a single illegal Bangladeshi, instead he is now welcoming them.” According to Census 2011, Assam has a population of 3.12 crore, with 61.47% Hindus, and 34.22 % Muslims. Around 12.44% of the population is tribal, comprising Bodos and others. Tribal States of the Northeast have got protection from the CAA with the ILP system, unlike Assam. What about protection under the Sixth Schedule?

Page 22: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

17 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

The CAA, 2019, while inserting a new sub-section 6B, listing out the provisions to grant citizenship rights to Hindu and other non-Muslim minorities of three countries, says “nothing in this section shall apply to tribal area[s] of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and the area covered under ‘The Inner Line’ notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873”. The Sixth Schedule allows constitution of autonomous district councils in tribal areas: of Assam (three), Meghalaya (three), Mizoram (three) and Tripura (one) — 10 in all in the Northeast. Thus in Assam, there are the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (for the Karbi Anglong District), the Dima Hasao Autonomous Council (for the Dima Hasao or the erstwhile North Cachar Hills District) and the Bodoland Territorial Council (The Bodoland Territorial Areas District). These regions are exempt from the purview of the Act. How does the Inner Line Permit help? As Home Minister Amit Shah met political and civil society groups from the region, one of the suggestions that came up was to expand the ILP system. The ILP regulates the visit of outsiders to States under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. It was in force in three northeastern States, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland, but on Wednesday, Manipur too came under the ILP regime, a demand of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government of the State. The ILP was withdrawn from Manipur in 1950.The State government's attempts to reintroduce it through three bills led to violent protests by tribals in 2015. [When the bills were passed in August 2015, it pleased the Hindu Meitei community, indigenous to the State, because it would restrict entry of ‘outsiders’ under the new ILP-like laws and define who can claim to be from Manipur with 1951 as a cutoff date, but the tribals, mainly the Kukis and Nagas who live in the hill districts, erupted in anger. The tribals felt that the bills would allow Meiteis to buy land in tribal districts – these areas have some protection under Article 371C but are not under the Sixth Schedule unlike other tribal areas of the Northeast barring Nagaland, which is covered under ILP. Manipur's tribals were also upset with the cutoff year as they felt those who moved to the State post 1951 would lose out.] Chief Minister N. Biren Singh mooted the idea again in 2018 and one of the bills, the Manipur People’s Protection Bill, was passed after consultations with all stakeholders including tribals. The bill, which is awaiting the President’s approval, sought to introduce a system similar to the ILP, regulating the entry of outsiders. After the Centre extended ILP to the State, Mr Singh said its implementation would protect the indigenous people of the State. But there’s still some uneasiness between the valley’s Meiteis and the hills’ tribals. Manipur has a population of 28.56 lakh, according to the 2011 Census, with 41.39% Hindus and 41.29% Christians and a host of tribes including the Tangkhul Nagas and Kukis. In Nagaland too, Dimapur, the commercial hub of the State which had been outside the ILP, was brought under its purview. Dimapur has a large population of non-tribals. The Nagaland government notification says that every non-indigenous person who settled or entered Dimapur on or after November 21, 1979, will have to obtain an ILP within 90 days. Now that Dimapur too has become a “tribal belt”, all 12 districts of Nagaland are under ILP. As the

Page 23: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

18 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

National Register of Citizens was being updated in Assam last year, the Nagaland Tribes Council, Tribal Hohos and a group of civil organisations petitioned the State government to seek changes in the colonial era law (Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873) to bring the entire State under ILP to protect the “indigenous people” from outsiders, including “illegal migrants” from Bangladesh. Around 19 lakh people have been left out of the final NRC list and have to prove their citizenship in Assam’s foreigners’ tribunals. Why are Tripura and Meghalaya rattled? After the passage of the Bill, Mr. Shah met delegations of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, which is an ally of the BJP in the State, and Tripura’s royal family head, Kirit Pradyot Deb Barman, who later tweeted: “Told him [Shah] we are going to SC [Supreme Court] against CAB as we cannot compromise! No retreat no surrender!” Around 32% of the people of Tripura, which has a population of about 36 lakh, are tribal. In 2015, after insurgency appeared to have waned, the Tripura government revoked the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, or AFSPA. The AFSPA, which had been in force in the State since 1997, was repealed after elections to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council. It had been a long-standing demand of tribal parties such as the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura and the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura. After the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed, protests broke out in at least four districts, shattering years of peace. Journalist Patricia Mukhim wrote in the Mint: “The state has been overrun by migrants, first from East Pakistan and later from Bangladesh. Now, the Bengali-speaking population is a majority in Tripura and runs the affairs of the state. Fears of a similar fate are real and widely held across all states in the region.” Most of Meghalaya is protected from CAB because of the Sixth Schedule — some areas of capital Shillong, however, fall outside its purview. But there is a demand to extend ILP to the State. Protesters want the Governor, Tathagata Roy, to give his nod to a proposed ordinance that seeks mandatory registration of outsiders entering the State. There were protests against Tura MP, Agatha Sangma (daughter of P.A. Sangma and sister of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma), who voted in favour of the CAB for the National People’s Party, an NDA ally.

12. Pervez Musharraf given death sentence Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance A Pakistani special court’s decision on Tuesday to hand down the death penalty to former dictator Pervez Musharraf is perhaps one of the most consequential decisions by the country’s judiciary in recent years. What are the charges against Musharraf? Mr. Musharraf, who captured power through a bloodless coup in 1999, was found guilty, under Article 6, of high treason for declaring a state of emergency in 2007.

Page 24: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

19 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Then, Mr. Musharraf, faced with massive protests against his regime, suspended rights, carried out a nationwide purge against rivals and placed key figures under house arrest. The high treason case was filed by the Nawaz Sharif government in 2013. What did the court say? The court, in a 2-1 verdict, stated that Mr. Musharraf was guilty of violating and subverting the Constitution and gave him the highest punishment under the High Treason (Punishment) Act of 1973. Mr. Musharraf, currently in Dubai, can appeal. If the Supreme Court upholds the death penalty, he could still seek presidential pardon. Implication of judgement While the legal battle can continue, what is clear is that the ruling is a setback to the military and the government. The Imran Khan government had earlier moved the Islamabad High Court, asking it to restrain the special court from passing the final judgment in the Musharraf trial. The High Court delayed the verdict and allowed the government’s prosecution team to present fresh arguments. But none of these came to his rescue. This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a military chief has been found guilty of treason and given the death sentence. It is significant given the complex institutional power dynamics in which the military has always held great sway. Still, that is what the judiciary is doing in recent days. Last month, the Supreme Court cut to six months the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s three-year extension given by the government. If he has to continue beyond the six-month period, Parliament has to pass new legislation in that regard, according to the court. If that was a challenge to the military-government nexus, the death penalty awarded to Mr. Musharraf, the once-all-powerful leader, has struck a blow against the establishment. It could act as a legal deterrent against any military intervention in civilian affairs. It also strengthens the judiciary as an institution further, redrawing the institutional equilibrium in Pakistan’s power dynamics. The civilian authorities should seize the moment to alter the balance in civil-military relations. What Mr. Musharraf’s fate should be is up to the higher courts to decide. But the spirit of the special court’s judgment is to hold the men in uniform accountable for their actions and enforce the primacy of the Constitution. That is good news for democracy.

13. Kuldeep Singh Sengar gets life imprisonment in Unnao rape case Relevant for GS Mains Paper Paper II; Polity & Governance Judgement of the court 1. A Delhi court sentenced former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar to life imprisonment for raping a minor girl in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao in 2017.

Page 25: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

20 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

2. The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 25 lakh on Sengar, awarding an additional compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs over and above the amount of Rs. 25 lakh earlier awarded as ex-gratia to the victim's mother. 3. From the fine amount of Rs. 25 lakhs, on its payment or realisation, Rs.15 lakh will be paid to the State government to meet the prosecution and trial expenses. 4. As directed by the court, the family members of victim will continue to live for a year in a rented accommodation arranged by the Delhi Commission for Women, and the Uttar Pradesh government will pay the rental charges of Rs. 15,000 a month till November 2020. 5. The CBI has been directed to ensure the security of the family members and keep assessing the threat perception every three months. The CBI can approach the Member Secretary of the Delhi State Legal Services Authority or the District Witness Protection Committee (West) for any assistance. 6. The court proceedings started in August. It acquitted co-accused Shashi Singh, giving her the benefit of doubt. What are the other charges? Sengar also faces prosecution for the alleged murder of the victim's father in judicial custody on April 9, 2018. He has been charge-sheeted by the CBI in another case of alleged conspiracy and criminal intimidation.

14. Idea of three capitals for Andhra Pradesh Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy hinted that the South African model of three capitals was best suited in his State and that his government would work towards this. What is the system in South Africa? In South Africa, the administrative capital is in Pretoria, its national legislature in Cape Town and its judicial capital in Bloemfontein. Rationale behind Mr. Reddy idea Mr. Reddy’s idea seems to stem from the reasoning that a distribution of executive, legislative and judicial governance across Visakhapatnam, Amaravati (the current capital) and Kurnool would allow for “a decentralised development of the State”. The location choices are in the upper, central and lower geographical regions. Such an arrangement follows the recommendations of the expert committee appointed by the Home Affairs Ministry in 2014 to study alternatives for a new capital. Chaired by K.C. Sivaramakrishnan, the panel had argued against the need for a greenfield capital city and to instead focus on distributing

Page 26: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

21 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

locations of governance beyond the Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali-Mangalagiri urban area, while utilising the time period of 10 years to continue functions from Hyderabad after bifurcation. The Chief Minister’s idea has got support from the government-appointed G.N. Rao committee; it has recommended that the Assembly’s location be retained at Amaravati, with the Secretariat and High Court moved to Visakhapatnam and Kurnool, respectively. What is the present status? Despite the expert committee’s recommendations, the A.P. government led by the Telugu Desam Party had decided to build a grand capital in Amaravati, and had acquired large parcels of land from farmers. The Secretariat and Legislative Assembly were shifted to Amaravati in 2016, while the High Court began functioning in the beginning of 2019. Amaravati, which still requires significant development, has become a functioning State capital for all purposes now. But it is no surprise that many farmers, who had agreed to give up fertile land for the expansion of the capital as part of a land pooling scheme and were to have received residential and commercial plots among other forms of compensation, have protested the decision to decentralise capital functions. If the government limits Amaravati to hosting only the Assembly, it must take into account the concerns of affected farmers. That said, the fact that considerable work has been completed in Amaravati to utilise the fledgling city as a functioning capital must be taken into account before embarking upon the “decentralisation” idea, which was best served before the works in Amaravati began. Abandoning the plan that is already in place will render the grand city an unviable one. As in politics, in governance, timing is everything.

15. What are the regulations on salt and trans-fat in junk food, and why is the FSSAI draft still not law? Relevant for GS Prelims & mains Paper II; Polity & Governance The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) unveiled a new study this week which showed that salt and fat in an array of “junk food” was well above proposed regulatory thresholds. The packaged and fast foods analysed were chips, savouries, pizzas and burgers that are widely available in restaurants and other commercial outlets. This is not the first time that the CSE has conducted such research. However, the findings are significant as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is yet to make into law draft regulations on setting limits, and publicising information, about nutrients in fast and packaged foods. How did the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) conduct the study? Its Environment Monitoring Laboratory tested salts, fat, trans-fat and carbohydrates in 33 foods using 14 samples of chips, savouries, instant noodles and instant soup. There were also 19 samples of burger, fries, fried chicken, pizza, sandwiches and wraps, sourced from

Page 27: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

22 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

grocery stores and fast food outlets in New Delhi. The pizza, burgers, chips and snacks to be tested were stored in laboratory conditions and ground to a powder or paste. Then they were chemically analysed to determine the salt, fat, trans-fat and carbohydrate levels. The aim was to find out the levels of these products in actual servings/packets of the foods. How was it established that these nutrients were above thresholds? To calculate this, the organisation relied on the concept of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), a daily ceiling on the amount of salt, fat, carbohydrate and trans-fat. The RDA is based on scientific consensus and has been agreed upon by expert bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad (in India). It says that, ideally, an adult should consume no more than 5g of salt, 60g of fat, 300g carbohydrate and 2.2 g of transfat every day. Further, the RDA from breakfast, lunch and dinner should not be more than 25% and that from snacks (assumed to be those munched between meals), must be no more than 10%. Thus, a snack should ideally have no more than 0.5g of salt and 6g of fat. What is the law on disclosing nutritional components? Current Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 only require companies to disclose energy (kilo calories), protein, carbohydrates, total fat, trans-fat and saturated fat contained per 100g or per millilitre or per serve. It is not intuitively easy, without some mental math, to figure out how much is actually contained in your serving. There are also no disclosures on high salt content and added sugar, and no compulsion on companies to disclose nutritional information on the front of the pack. In 2013, the FSSAI, the apex food regulator under the Union Health Ministry, set up a committee to regulate packaged snacks. This committee, which consisted of doctors, nutrition experts, public policy activists and the CSE itself, recommended in 2014 that information on calories, sugar, fat, saturated fat and salt be displayed upfront. In 2018, the FSSAI came up with a draft law, the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2018. The draft recommended that a packet should have clear information on how much each nutrient, such as salt, sugar, contributed to the RDA. The draft said salt must be declared as sodium chloride for instance, and that those ingredients which breached the RDA should be marked in ‘red’. Food companies had reservations mainly because they felt ‘red’ signified danger, fearing that this would give consumers the impression that they were consuming toxic food. The draft regulations never became law. Instead, a third committee was formed, headed by B. Sesikeran, a former director of the NIN. Based on this committee’s recommendations, a new draft (Draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2019) was prepared. This replaced sodium chloride with salt, total fat with saturated fat and total sugar with added sugar, which CSE says, dilutes information on the health harm posed by packaged foods. The new draft also exempts beverages less than 80kcal. In theory, a beverage can breach “added sugar” RDA without informing consumers as long as it is within the energy requirement. The proposed law allows companies three years to adjust to the new laws. However, the contribution of each individual nutrient to the RDA and whether it is breaching safe limits will have to be displayed on the front of the package. Though the draft regulations

Page 28: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

23 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

have been out in the public domain since July, it is yet to become law. The CSE’s calculations are based on recommended nutritional values in the draft versions of these laws. Why is industry opposed to the proposed laws? Other than the red labels, the industry says the norms are unscientific and that packaged food is made to cater to the “taste” of people. Moreover, the packaged industry argues, immense quantities of junk food — think samosas or fried food sold on unregulated pushcarts — are consumed in the country with no check on their nutritional status and there is an inherent unfairness in regulating one section alone. Because nutritional information only guides consumers on how to regulate their intake, the industry feels people should be advised on what makes a healthy diet, the role of exercise and consuming appropriate amounts of food. They claim the current regulations only contribute to fear-mongering. Why has not the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) moved on the draft? A top FSSAI official told The Hindu that nearly 700 comments had been received on the 2019 draft and there were thorny issues to be resolved. To brand packaged food in different colours sends out the message that they are unsafe or “toxic”; this would be counterproductive to the larger aim of having a regulated but viable packaged food industry and people being educated about their food choices. Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI said he did not agree with the CSE’s analysis and that there was still considerable work to be done on establishing appropriate “thresholds” (for salt, fat, etc) for India. He said regulation is “inevitable” and there would be more scrutiny of nutrient levels but in a way that would give packaged food companies time to adapt to stricter norms. What is the practice internationally? The CSE says that the proposed labelling regulations publish too many numbers and an assortment of colour codes. This could potentially confuse people particularly because India has a vast non-English speaking population. Chile, for instance, has a system where a black hexagon in a white border appears on the front of a package. In the hexagon is a phrase that says a product is “high in salt” or “high in trans-fat.” The more the hexagons the less desirable the product becomes for the consumer; surveys suggest that even children are becoming more conscious about the health impact of their favourite snacks and often influencing parents’ buying choices. Surveys undertaken by the WHO show that a vast majority of European countries have some form of front-of-pack labelling, but fewer countries have interpretive systems which explain the health factor of foods.

16. What connects the NPR, NRIC and Census? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance How is the National Population Register compiled? How is it related to citizenship and the decennial census? And, can States refuse cooperation with the NPR process?

Page 29: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

24 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

As protests spread all across the country against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 and the proposed National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC), West Bengal and Kerala suspended work related to the preparation and update of the National Population Register in their respective States. The NPR, a register of residents of the country with demographic and biometric details, was supposed to be prepared between April 2020 and September 2020 ahead of the Census slated for 2021. Preliminary work on the NPR has begun in several States. In Bengal, civil rights activists had been protesting against the compilation of the NPR alleging that it had nothing to with the Census, but the “first step to initiate the National Register of Citizens” in the State. According to Section 14A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 (which was inserted in 2004), the Central Government may compulsorily register every citizen of India and issue a national identity card to him; and it may maintain a National Register of Indian Citizens. What is the National Population Register (NPR)? The NPR is a database containing a list of all usual residents of the country. Its objective is to have a comprehensive identity database of people residing in the country. It is generated through house-to-house enumeration during the “house-listing” phase of the census, which is held once in 10 years. The last census was in 2011, and the next will be done in 2021 (and will be conducted through a mobile phone application, according to the Home Minister, Amit Shah). A usual resident for the purposes of NPR is a person who has resided in a place for six months or more, and intends to reside there for another six months or more. The census involves a detailed questionnaire — there were 29 items to be filled up in the 2011 census — aimed at eliciting the particulars of every person, including age, sex, marital status, children, occupation, birthplace, mother tongue, religion, disability and whether they belonged to any Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. On the other hand, the NPR collects basic demographic data and biometric particulars. Once the basic details of the head of the family are taken by the enumerator, an acknowledgement slip will be issued. This slip may be required for enrolment in NPR, whenever that process begins. And, once the details are recorded in every local (village or ward), sub-district (tehsil or taluk), district and State level, there will be a population register at each of these levels. Together, they constitute the National Population Register. What is the legal basis for the NPR? While the census is legally backed by the Census Act, 1948, the NPR is a mechanism outlined in a set of rules framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955. Section 14A was inserted in the Citizenship Act, 1955, in 2004, providing for the compulsory registration of every citizen of India and the issue of a “national identity card” to him or her. It also said the Central government may maintain a “National Register of Indian Citizens”.

Page 30: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

25 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

The Registrar General India shall act as the “National Registration Authority” (and will function as the Registrar General of Citizen Registration). Incidentally, the Registrar General is also the country’s Census Commissioner. The NPR is the first step towards establishing the NRIC. Is there any link between the NPR and Aadhaar? Better targeting and delivery of benefits and services under the government was one of the early objectives of the NPR. During the early days of the NPR enrolment, under the United Progressive Alliance regime, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) scheme for issuance of Aadhaar numbers was also concurrently on. There was a conflict between the Union Home Ministry, which administers the NPR, and UIDAI, leaving the impression that there was duplication of work, as both involved gathering personal particulars, including biometric data. Ultimately, they agreed that both databases will exist with different objectives, and that each will use the other’s biometric data. Those already enrolled for Aadhaar need not give their biometric details again during NPR. At the same time, data captured for NPR would be sent to UIDAI for “de-duplication”. In case of discrepancy between Aadhaar and NPR data, the latter would prevail. The present regime decided to update the NPR originally created after the 2011 Census. What will happen after the NPR is compiled? Out of the NPR, a set of all usual residents of India, the government proposes to create a database of “citizens of India”. Thus, the “National Register of Indian Citizens” (NRIC) is a sub-set of the NPR. The NRIC will be prepared at the local, sub-district, district and State levels after verifying the citizenship status of the residents. The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 spells out the rules for operationalising the idea of registering all citizens and issuing national identity cards to them. However, so far, there has been no decision on introducing a national identity card. The rules say the particulars of every family and individual found in the Population Register “shall be verified and scrutinized by the Local Registrar ...”. In the process, details of those “whose citizenship is doubtful” will be entered with a comment suggesting further inquiry. The family or individual will be informed about it and given an opportunity of being heard by the Sub-district or Taluk Registrar of Citizen Registration before a final decision is made on excluding them from the NRIC. The decision should be made within 90 days. Is the NRIC complete after this step? No. A draft of the Local Register of Indian Citizens shall be published to invite objections or claims for inclusion or corrections.

Page 31: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

26 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Any objection or request for inclusion must be made within 30 days of the publication of the draft. The sub-district or taluk registrar shall summarily dispose of the objections within 90 days. Thereafter, the entries in the Local Register will be transferred to the National Registrar. Any person aggrieved by an exclusion order can appeal to the District Registrar within 30 days, and the appeal should be disposed of within 90 days. In case, the appeal succeeds, the names of those concerned would be added to the NRIC. What are the documents that would help establish citizenship? The government is yet to notify a date for generation of the NRIC. It has not yet prescribed rules for the sort of documentary proof that would be required to prove citizenship. The government says any document that shows date of birth or place of birth, or both, will be sufficient. And that common documents will be accepted, and those unable to produce documents may produce witnesses or other proof supported by members of the community. Many State governments have said the NPR would not be implemented. Is this possible? As of now, this is a political decision. Kerala and West Bengal have put on hold activities related to NPR work. Most State governments would have, by now, re-issued a Central government notification on the initiation of work to update the NPR. As the house-to-house enumeration is a part of the Census operation, it is unlikely that the NPR process can go ahead without State governments agreeing to deploy their staff for the purpose. The legal position is that while the Centre is in charge of the census, the State governments are expected to provide staff whenever required. Section 4A of the Census Act, inserted through a 1994 amendment, says: “Every local authority in a State shall, when so directed by a written order by the Central Government or by an authority appointed by that Government in this behalf, make available to any Director of Census Operations such staff as may be necessary for the performance of any duties in connection with the taking of census.” Further, Rule 5 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, lays down that “Every official of the Central Government, State Government, local bodies or their undertakings shall assist the Registrar General of Citizen Registration or any person authorized by him in this behalf, in preparation of the database relating to each family and every person, and in implementing the provisions of these rules.” In any case, it is compulsory on the part of every citizen to assist in the preparation of the National Register of Citizens, the rules say. In practical terms, it may not be possible for the process to be undertaken without the State government’s cooperation at the local level. What is the relationship between the NPR and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act?

Page 32: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

27 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

There is no direct link. But remarks by the Home Minister that the CAA would be followed by the NRC has given rise to fears that when people are excluded from the final citizenship register, the CAA may help non-Muslims take the CAA route to apply for citizenship, and leave Muslims with no option. However, the government seeks to allay these fears.

17. Jharkhand votes for JMM-Cong. alliance, BJP tally slumps Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-led alliance on Monday is on course to post a convincing victory in the Assembly election, handing a crushing defeat to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has lost another State after the recent setback in Maharashtra. Election results The JMM, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal crossed the halfway mark in the 81-seat Assembly by a comfortable margin. The JMM and Congress party also emerged victorious in 47 seats — their highest ever tally of seats won individually since the formation of Jharkhand in 2000.

In this process, the JMM also became the single largest party with 30 seats, pushing the BJP to second position with 25 seats compared to 37 in 2014. The Congress increased its tally to 16 compared to six in 2014.

Page 33: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

28 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Interestingly, over 33.4% of the votes went in favour of the BJP while JMM and Congress polled 18.7% and 13.9% votes respectively. CM routed JMM executive president Hemant Soren won from both the seats he contested — Dumka and Barhait — while outgoing Chief Minister Raghubar Das could not retain his Jamshedpur East seat. The chief ministerial candidate for the Opposition alliance, Mr Henant Soren, is credited with ensuring the convincing victory. JMM sources said he had conducted 165 rallies in 28 days, covering each constituency at least twice. He also held numerous informal meetings with civil society organisations, activists, government employees and other associations.

18. Position of Chief of Defence Staff Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance The government has acted with reasonable alacrity to create the post of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who will head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA). This move will install the CDS, in the rank of a four-star general, as Secretary, DMA. When was the post announced? It was only four months ago, on August 15, that the Prime Minister stressed the importance of creating this post, whereas two Defence Ministers came and went after Manohar Parrikar promised that this move was very much on the government’s agenda. What was the reason for delay? To be fair, the delay has been more a result of fears in the minds of the three services — the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force — of how such a development could impact on the role and functioning of the three arms of the armed forces, in terms of curtailing or inflating their importance. Objective of creating CDS There is no doubt that the job of the CDS will be exceedingly challenging. The CDS has to restructure the military commands into appropriate theatre or joint commands for which a critical prerequisite is ‘jointness’ — a term that envisions the various arms of the armed forces working in unison towards a goal. Since Independence, the armed forces have been working separately, with no concept of jointness. The only jointness that comes into play effectively is when officers of the various services go to courses in, say, Wellington, at the Defence Services Staff College, or at the National Defence College, Delhi. Three years target

Page 34: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

29 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

According to the cabinet release, the new incumbent will have three years to achieve this. It flows from this urgency therefore that the name of the next CDS will have to be soon announced. It is also necessary that the first incumbent is given a term of three years so as to be able to carry the ambitious vision laid out in the cabinet note through to its conclusion.

19. CAA protests: What does the law say about detention of minors? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance As protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 rocked the country over the last two weeks there have been several instances of police clashing with and detaining protesters. In several cases, those detained were minors under 18 years. Two notable instances have been reported. Last week, the Uttar Pradesh police detained at least five minors, between the ages of 13 and 17, at the Bijnor Police Cantonment and allegedly tortured them over a period of 48 hours before releasing them. In another instance, eight minors were among 40 detained after violence broke out near Delhi gate in Daryaganj, part of the old city (Delhi), during protests. Acting on the complaints of lawyers, these minors were released by a magistrate who noted that the detention of children in a police station in the first instance is a ‘flagrant violation of the law’. What does the Juvenile Justice Act say about detention of minors? The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 has specific procedures and rules in relation to children found to be in conflict with the law. Under Section 10, it says that as soon as a child alleged to be in conflict with law is apprehended by the police, the child shall be placed under the charge of the special juvenile police unit or the designated child welfare police officer. That officer in turn, should produce the child before the Juvenile Justice Board within a period of 24 hours excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place where the child was picked up. In no case, it clearly states, should a child alleged to be in conflict with the law be placed in a police lock-up or lodged in a jail. What are the statutory bodies responsible for protecting the rights of children in India? The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is a statutory body set up in 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005. The objective of the commission is to protect, promote and defend child rights in India including the rights adopted in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 — with an accession by India in 1992. The same convention defines a child as being a human being under 18. The NCPCR was established by an Act of Parliament, and is thus a statutory body. The commission works under the aegis of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. State Commissions for the protection of child’s rights are also to be established under its supervision. What are the powers of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)?

Page 35: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

30 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

The powers given to the commission are extremely broad. It examines and reviews the safeguards provided under any law for the protection of child rights and recommends measures to the government. It can present a report annually, or as it deems fit, for implementation of these measures. The commission can also inquire into the violation of child rights and recommend initiation of proceedings in such cases. While inquiring into such matters, the NCPCR has the powers of a civil court. In addition, it has a host of other powers in terms of commissioning research and framing policy for child protection and safety. Has the NCPCR intervened in the matter of minors being detained during the anti-CAA protests? Not directly. When the protests first started, the NCPCR, on December 14, issued an advisory to the Directors General of Police of all States regarding the “use of children in unlawful activities like stone-pelting during the protests in various States against the amended Citizenship Act”. The NCPCR said it had come to its notice that certain groups of protesters were involving children in unlawful activities such as stone-pelting and other violent acts during the protests. The NCPCR said that that such use of children violates the rights of children under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Guidelines of the NCPCR in respect to children’s rights in areas of civil unrest, state that police and military authorities should avoid blanket characterisation of adolescent boys as security threats and that “they” (authorities) should take any arbitrary detention, mistreatment, or torture of children extremely seriously, investigate any reports of grave violations immediately, and take action against personnel involved.

20. India announces $450 million to Sri Lanka Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Bilateral Relations India and Sri Lanka agreed to cooperate on counter-terrorism during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President Gotabaya Rajapaksa here on Friday. Security As part of this common strategy, India announced a special Line of Credit of $50 million for strengthening Sri Lanka’s abilities to counter terror threats. The April 21 Easter bombings, blamed on IS-inspired Sri Lankans, left at least 259 dead and hundreds of others injured. Issues of Tamils This was in addition to the $400 million Line of Credit that India announced for infrastructure development in the island nation. Mr. Modi pointed out that India has been building housing units in the Northern and Eastern parts of Sri Lanka to assist the people who were displaced during the war of 2009. “We are

Page 36: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

31 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

delighted that under the Indian Housing Project, 46,000 houses have been constructed for the internally displaced in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. There is good progress in the construction of 14,000 houses for Tamils of Indian origin in the Up-Country region,” said the Indian leader. Bilateral Relations Mr. Rajapaksa extended an invite to Mr. Modi to visit Sri Lanka as the first foreign head of government to be hosted by the new presidency. Mr. Rajapaksa’s visit to India is being viewed as a significant step for the new leader especially since the Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar took up the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils when he met him on November 19. Breaking a long silence on the issue, India had conveyed that Sri Lanka should address the Tamil national question and provide the Tamils with “peace, dignity and justice.”

21. India up one rank in UN development index Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; International Organizations

Page 37: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

32 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

What is the performance of India according to latest report? India ranks 129 out of 189 countries on the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) — up one slot from the 130th position last year — according to the Human Development Report (HDR) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). What does HDI measure? The HDI measures average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development — life expectancy, education and per capita income. Which are the top-ranking countries? Norway, Switzerland, Ireland occupied the top three positions in that order. Germany is placed fourth along with Hong Kong, and Australia secured the fifth rank on the global ranking. What is the performance of India’s neighbours?

Page 38: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

33 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Among India's neighbours, Sri Lanka (71) and China (85) are higher up the rank scale while Bhutan (134), Bangladesh (135), Myanmar (145), Nepal (147), Pakistan (152) and Afghanistan (170) were ranked lower on the list. Region wise performance As per the report, South Asia was the fastest growing region in human development progress witnessing a 46% growth over 1990-2018, followed by East Asia and the Pacific at 43%. India’s HDI value increased by 50% (from 0.431 to 0.647), which places it above the average for other South Asian countries (0.642). Performance on Gender Inequality Index The report notes that group-based inequalities persist, especially affecting women and girls and no place in the world has gender equality. In the Gender Inequality Index (GII), India is at 122 out of 162 countries. Neighbours China (39), Sri Lanka (86), Bhutan (99), Myanmar (106) were placed above India. The report notes that the world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030 as per the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It forecasts that it may take 202 years to close the gender gap in economic opportunity — one of the three indicators of the GII.

22. Bougainville may be 194th nation of world Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; IOBR With Bougainville’s overwhelming vote for independence from Papua New Guinea (PNG), the country has crossed a milestone in the peace process following the civil war that ended in 1998. The non-binding referendum, to ascertain a preference for either greater autonomy or separate statehood, was a promise enshrined in the 2001 Bougainville Peace agreement. Results of the referendum Presently, Bougainville is a province of fewer than 3,00,000 population. The Bougainville Referendum Commission undertook the commendable task of enlisting inmates in hospitals and prisons and non-residents to ensure that the conduct of the franchise was inclusive. A testament of the participation was the 85% turnout in the plebiscite. With 98% opting to secede, the people spoke emphatically at the end of an animated campaign. History The demand for separate statehood in Bougainville dates back almost to PNG’s independence in 1975. This sentiment was further crystallised by the conflict over the open cast copper mine in Panguna town — among the world’s largest and richest — whose revenues accounted for over 45% of the country’s export earnings. In the confrontation that centred around sharing the mineral resources, the Bougainville Revolutionary Army was pitted against the PNG security forces for a decade. An estimated 20,000 lives were lost and many were displaced.

Page 39: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

34 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

23. Why are Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple facing antitrust issues? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; IOBR After years of blistering growth driven by an ever-growing share of the online ad market and big data, the giants of Silicon Valley, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, are facing an unprecedented challenge — calls by lawmakers to curb their market monopoly power. There are two sources of tension relating to these four tech firms that have caused alarm across the United States, Europe and elsewhere: first, that they may have engaged in anti-competitive behaviour over many years thus undercutting smaller potential rivals and holding onto an outsized market share; and second, that as a result of this metastatic growth, they now have a vast influence on politics, policy and personal reputations across the spectrum, making cost of data privacy breaches by these firms catastrophic. Thus, in July 2019 the United States Justice Department and the House Judiciary Committee separately announced major antitrust investigations into Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple promising “a top-to-bottom review of the market power held by giant tech platforms.” What are the main concerns with each platform? Amazon: Given the disruptive effect of its online sales platform on traditional retail markets and smaller sellers, lawmakers for years and in multiple countries have contemplated regulations to clamp down on Amazon’s alleged anti-competitive practices. For example, questions have often been raised on whether Amazon favours its self-branded products over those of third-party sellers, by requiring other sellers to use its advertising services or fulfilment network, by rankings of product search displays, or by using data on other sellers to tweak its own offerings to its advantage. Regulators are also said to be looking into the conglomerate’s acquisition of Whole Foods, an upmarket U.S. grocery chain. Apple: In September 2019, U.S. congressional investigators demanded documents from Apple to shed light on the company’s App Store policies, specifically regarding how Apple ranks search results on that platform, questions surrounding how Apple determines the share of revenue it takes from in-app purchases, and the exclusion of certain competing apps from the Store. For example, Spotify and those behind certain parental-control apps have filed complaints to regulators in the U.S., Europe, and Russia about Apple’s alleged restriction of their apps once the tech giant introduced self-made competing services. Facebook: Regulators have focused their attention on Facebook’s acquisitive streak in capital markets, for example, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enquiry into whether Facebook defensively purchased certain companies to maintain its pre-eminent market position in the social networking ecosystem. Specifically, questions have centred on Facebook’s relationship with Onavo, a data analysis firm that Facebook purchased in 2013, which then allegedly helped the social media giant see off potential competitors. Investigators have also started looking into allegations that Facebook may have cut off certain third-party apps from its data.

Page 40: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

35 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Google: This company handles more than 90% of online searches across the world, so regulators have been observing its delivery of search results under a microscope. In recent years concern has grown over the fact that Google has increasingly been sending users to its own sites to answer their queries, including products such as Google Flights and Google Maps. Thus, Google may find itself grilled by regulators over whether it is abusing its search dominance, to the detriment of rival content producers. The European Union has already fined Google $5.1 billion in 2018. Who is leading the charge against the tech firms? In March 2019 U.S. Senator and Democrat Elizabeth Warren announced as part of her 2020 presidential campaign, a plan to break up Amazon, Facebook, and Google. Shortly thereafter, on June 3, the House of Representatives’ Antitrust Subcommittee announced a bipartisan investigation into competition and “abusive conduct” in the tech sector. In mid-July, the U.S. Department of Justice publicly announced that it had started an antitrust probe into “market-leading online platforms”, following which Facebook confirmed that it was being investigated by the FTC, and Google that it was facing a Department of Justice antitrust probe. Over the next few months Attorneys-General across 50 U.S. states and territories announced a joint antitrust probe into Google and Facebook, and the House Antitrust Subcommittee made an enormous information demand to all four tech giants, requesting 10 years’ worth of detailed records relating to competition, acquisitions, and other matters relevant to the investigation. The case against these four Silicon Valley firms is also bolstered by the fact that U.S. President Donald Trump could hardly be considered an ally. In August 2018, he warned that tech companies could be in a “very antitrust situation.” What is the prognosis for the antitrust case? In the U.S. the cases against the four tech firms will likely be centred on possible violations of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts — two laws that have been foundational in the past century of federal antitrust prosecutions. While the firms have, more or less, complied with the various investigations against them, they have on occasion provided only limited information.

24. Portugal sets up Gandhi prize Relevant for GS Prelims; IOBR Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced the setting up of a Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize while attending the second meeting of the National Committee for the Commemoration Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary chaired by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Purpose of setting award The only foreign Prime Minister to be a part of the committee, Mr. Costa said Portugal would launch the prize in order to promote Gandhi’s ideals. Every year, the prize would be inspired by Gandhi’s thoughts and quotes, he said, adding that the first edition of the prize would be

Page 41: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

36 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

dedicated to animal welfare. Gandhi had said “the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Who are there in the committee? The committee, which includes Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Cabinet, Chief Ministers, Gandhians etc.

25. Donald Trump impeached. What next? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; IOBR Donald Trump became the third President in American history to be impeached on Wednesday night with a majority of Representatives voting in favour of the two articles of impeachment drawn up by House Democrats. The articles, essentially the charges against the President, accuse him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, both related to the Ukraine scandal. How the House voted? It was certain before the vote that the impeachment resolution would go through the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Democrats. In the 435-member House, the Democrats have 233 members, while the Republicans have 197. The House voted on the impeachment articles largely along party lines. The first article got 230 votes. The tally on the second article was 229-198. Two Democrats — Reps. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson of Minnesota, both from districts that backed Mr. Trump in the 2016 presidential election — voted against both articles. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, whose district was also carried by Mr. Trump in 2016, voted for the first article but against the second. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) of Hawaii voted “present” on both votes. Why Trump was impeached? Both articles of impeachment are related to the Ukraine scandal, which means the House did not consider the Robert Mueller report on Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and Mr. Trump’s handling of the issue. The first article, on abuse of power, is about Mr. Trump’s conduct in the Ukraine scandal. The Democrats allege that the President abused his power by putting pressure on Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch a probe against Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and a Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 presidential election, and his son Hunter Biden. The President is accused of withholding both a White House meeting and military aid to Ukraine. The article states that Mr. Trump “corruptly solicited the government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations” into Mr. Biden and into “a discredited theory” that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential election. The second article, on obstruction of Congress, alleges that Mr. Trump obstructed the Congressional impeachment inquiry by refusing to cooperate with it. The President, who has denied all charges, urged several witnesses not to testify before the House panel and asked

Page 42: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

37 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

the White House and other government departments not to comply with House subpoenas. President Trump “has directed the unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to his ‘sole Power of Impeachment’,” states Article II. Is Trump out of office? No. Impeachment by the House doesn’t remove an American President from office immediately. Impeachment means a majority of House Representatives have approved the articles raised against the President, setting the stage for his trial in the Senate. After the trial, the Senators will vote on his conviction. A President can be convicted and removed from office with the support of at least two-thirds of the Senate (that is 67 Senators in the 100-member U.S. Senate). In the current Senate, the Republicans have a majority with 53 seats, while the Democrats have 47 (including two Independents). This means, for Mr. Trump to be convicted, the Democrats have to make sure that none of their Senators crosses the party line and at least 20 Republicans do that and vote for the conviction — an impossibility given the partisan mood in the Capitol. So far, the Republicans have rejected the charges against the President. So, it’s almost certain that Mr. Trump will be acquitted in the Senate. Then why the impeachment? Democrats say it is their constitutional duty to start the impeachment proceedings as the President’s actions threaten the Constitution. The underlying message is that as the next election is less than a year away, the voters can decide whether they want to re-elect a President who has been impeached by the House. It’s also about bad legacy for Mr. Trump. He’s gone down in history as the third President to be impeached in the U.S. — the first was Andrew Johnson in 1868 after a showdown with Congress over his dismissal of the Secretary of War and the second was Bill Clinton in 1998-99 over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Both were acquitted in the Senate. Former President Richard Nixon, embroiled in the Watergate scandal, resigned in 1974 before the impeachment proceedings could begin. So, the impeachment has put Mr. Trump in rare company. It is not clear how the impeachment would impact the 2020 election. A Wall Street Journal/ NBC News survey, released on Wednesday, suggests that Americans are split 48-48% on whether to sack Mr. Trump from office. Some 90% of Republicans oppose the impeachment, while 83% of Democrats support it.

Page 43: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

38 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

26. India has been following the principle of voluntary repatriation in the case of Sri Lankan refugees Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; IOBR Critics of the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019 ask why Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka will not be given citizenship under the new law. The government’s response to this has not been convincing. Both critics and the government seem to have glossed over the long history of voluntary repatriation. Influx of refugees From the time Tamil Nadu began witnessing an influx of refugees from August 1983 following Black July in Sri Lanka, the Indian government has maintained that these refugees should go back on their own. In other words, India has been following the principle of non-refoulement and favouring voluntary repatriation. In October 1983, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi publicly asserted that the country “cannot and will not take millions of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka”. While making this observation, perhaps she had in mind the problems posed by the migration of refugees from Bangladesh (East Pakistan) to India in the early 1970s.

Page 44: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

39 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

But despite her statement, India received thousands of refugees from Sri Lanka over the years. At one point, Tamil Nadu had 2 lakh refugees. Between 1983 and 2013, around 3.04 lakh persons came to the State. At the moment, there are 59,714 refugees living in 107 camps and 34,355 persons outside the camps. Since the end of the civil war in May 2009, nearly 14,000 refugees have returned home. In May 1984, responding to a point raised by MP Jayalalithaa during a debate in the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao emphasised that the refugees “belong to Sri Lanka and they have to go back to Sri Lanka. They may remain here as long as it is needed.” Nature of repatriation In the early 1990s, especially after the assassination of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991, a controversy erupted over reports of sections of refugees being sent back “forcibly”. Consequently, the Indian government and Prime Minister Rao agreed to allow representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to screen refugees to ascertain the voluntary nature of the repatriation. Broadly, there has been no change in this position. The UNHCR is also involved in counselling the refugees, helping them obtain necessary documents, paying for their international travel and providing reintegration grants and post-return support. On its part, the Indian government has been taking steps in its own way to facilitate voluntary repatriation. While visa fee is waived and overstay penalty is granted to non-camp refugees on a case-to-case basis, camp refugees are given this benefit as a matter of routine. Also, New Delhi is conscious of the adverse demographic impact that the civil war has had on the Tamils of Sri Lanka. The numerical strength of MPs from Tamil-speaking areas has gone down over the years as Sri Lanka follows proportional representation. If the refugees go back, this will help Tamils get more representatives in the Sri Lankan Parliament. The Indo-Sri Lankan Accord There is one more reason why the refugees could not have been included in the scope of the Act. The 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan Accord talks of repatriation, though much water has flown under the bridge since then. The 2011 report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, set up by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime in May 2010, not only called for voluntary repatriation but also stressed the need for creating a conducive environment for the refugees to return to and for initiating a formal bilateral consultation process. With the Rajapaksas back in power and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa being receptive to the idea of refugees returning to Sri Lanka, India should resume negotiations with Sri Lanka to give a push to the process of voluntary repatriation. But first Colombo should create

Page 45: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

40 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

conditions that will ensure the safety and security of the refugees returning to their homeland.

27. GST revenues not enough for States’ compensation: Centre Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Economics The Centre has written to all the States voicing concern that due to the lower Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections, the compensation cess might not be enough to pay for losses arising out of the tax system. The communication comes at a time when several States, including Rajasthan, Kerala, Delhi, Punjab and West Bengal, have publicly urged the Centre to transfer pending compensation payments as they have not received the dues for several months.

What was the promise made by centre? This situation assumes significance because it was the promise of compensation to the States for losses arising out of GST implementation that convinced a large number of reluctant States to sign on to the new indirect tax regime. The Centre had promised compensation for any shortfall in tax revenue due to GST implementation for a period of five years.

Page 46: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

41 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Poor GST Collections The government had budgeted for 6,63,343 crore in GST collections for the current financial year 2019-20, out of which it has collected only about 50% in the first eight months. It had targeted 1,09,343 crore of compensation cess collections, of which it has so far collected 64,528 crore.

28. India’s forex reserves cross $450 billion for the first time Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Economics The country’s foreign exchange reserves crossed the $450-billion mark for the first time ever on the back of strong inflows. At $451.7 billion, the country’s import cover is now over 11 months. Why Reservers has increased at such a pace? Net foreign direct investment rose to $20.9 billion in the first half of 2019-20 from $17 billion a year ago while net foreign portfolio investment was $8.8 billion in April-November 2019 as against net outflows of $14.9 billion in the same period last year.

29. Why has SEBI banned Hyderabad-based Karvy Stock Broking from taking on new clients? What happens to the clients? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Economics On November 22, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) passed an ex parte ad interim order against Karvy Stock Broking, a Hyderabad-based firm, prohibiting it from taking new clients in respect of its stock broking activities. In view of the recent developments in the securities market, the National Stock Exchange issued an 11-point advisory to investors on how to keep stocks safe. How many customers does Karvy have? Karvy Stock Broking has more than a million retail broking customers and executes over two lakh transactions almost daily on behalf of its clients. The broking firm has been in the news for the last few weeks as some of its clients complained of delayed payouts. Typically, a person should get the money in his account on the third day of the transaction but some clients alleged that they did not receive the money after more than a week of executing the trades. Why was the payout delayed? The broking firm had initially said the delay in payouts was on account of technical issues, but according to a preliminary probe by SEBI and the NSE, the late transfer was on account of alleged misuse of client securities. According to the SEBI order issued on November 22, the broking firm credited funds generated by pledging client securities into its own account.

Page 47: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

42 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

SEBI has barred Karvy Stock Broking from signing new clients. Further, an amount of 1,096 crore was transferred from the broking outfit to its group entity Karvy Realty between April 2016 and October 2019. Incidentally, appeals filed at the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) further reveal that the broking firm raised funds from entities such as Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and IndusInd Bank by pledging client securities. For instance, Karvy Stock Broking owes more than 300 crore to Bajaj Finance. As per the lenders, Karvy Stock Broking had even given an undertaking that the securities that were being pledged were its own and not of the clients. What happens to the affected clients? Most of the affected clients have got their shares. While it is estimated that a total of around 95,000 clients of Karvy Stock Broking have been affected, the depository has already transferred the securities of nearly 83,000 clients from the broking firm’s account to the respective client accounts. The rest of the clients will have to wait since SAT has put a stay on any further transfer of securities from Karvy’s account to client accounts. This directive was issued based on the appeals filed by the lender entities, Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and IndusInd Bank, wherein the lenders argued that since these securities were pledged with them, they have a right on the shares. SAT has told SEBI to give the lenders an opportunity for a hearing and then pass an order by December 10. What is the current status? The Bombay Stock Exchange and the NSE have suspended the broking membership of Karvy. The NSE is conducting a forensic audit to ascertain further details regarding alleged misuse of client securities. Karvy Stock Broking filed an appeal at SAT to challenge its suspension, but the appeal was dismissed with Karvy being directed to file an appeal with the NSE. The coming week would see the regulator decide on the appeal filed by the lenders from whom Karvy Stock Broking raised funds by pledging client securities. The capital market watchdog will take further action against Karvy Stock Broking as well since the earlier order was only an ex parte interim order. What is the way out for investors? While clients of Karvy Stock Broking have obvious reasons to be worried, the SEBI order has clearly stated that the broking firm will not be able to further misuse clients’ securities even if it has the power of attorney as the depositories have been given clear instructions in this regard. More importantly, most of the affected clients have already got their securities in their respective accounts. Clients of Karvy Stock Broking, however, should ensure that all their holdings are being reflected in their demat accounts, say market experts. This can be easily done by logging into the demat account and checking the portfolio. If an investor is yet to receive the payout for a trade executed more than 3-4 days back, it is better to approach the stock exchanges — the Bombay Stock Exchange or NSE — as they have an in-house dedicated investor grievance redressal mechanism to deal with such cases. Also, since the broking licence of Karvy Stock Broking has been suspended, its clients will have to switch the account to another broking firm, which can be done easily.

Page 48: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

43 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

30. IIP shrinks again, inflation accelerates Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Economics Industrial activity contracted for the third consecutive month in October by 3.8%, driven by a fall in activity across sectors, according to official data released on Thursday. Separate data showed that retail inflation had surged to a 40-month high of 5.54% in November, driven by rising food inflation. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had contracted by 4.3% in September and 1.1% in August. Growth in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) accelerated in November for the fourth consecutive month. It stood at 4.62% in October. This combination of contraction in industrial activity and rising inflation has led experts to fear that India is entering a phase of stagflation (a situation in which there is persistent high inflation combined with stagnant or declining demand).

Page 49: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

44 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

31. GST Council votes for 28% GST on all lotteries Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Economics The GST Council broke its tradition of taking decisions by consensus at its 38th meeting, with a first time vote on a proposal to tax all lotteries at the uniform rate of 28%. After Kerala pushed for a division, States voted 21-7 in favour of the proposal. Falling revenue There have been widespread concerns about the shortfall in tax revenue at a time of economic slowdown and lower consumption. In the first eight months of this financial year, only about 50% of GST collection targets and 60% of compensation cess collection targets have been achieved. Speaking to journalists as he left the meeting, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said that the Centre’s revenue projections indicated that it would run out of money to compensate states by February 2020. He also worried that social sector spending would be cut as a result. Tax on lotteries With regard to lotteries, there is a dual rate regime at present, with state-run lotteries taxed at 12%, while state-authorised lotteries (run by private players) face a 28% tax rate. Maharashtra and Puducherry were among the states who opposed the proposal along with Kerala, concerned about losses to state revenue, sources said. However, the vote went in favour of the proposal and a uniform 28% tax rate on lotteries will come into effect from March 1, 2020.

32. Double trouble: On uneven inflation and sluggish growth Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Economics Policymakers face a tricky dilemma as prices in the economy continue to rise even as economic growth has plummeted to well under 5%. Food inflation, now in double-digits, has caused significant pain. The International Monetary Fund on December 23 called for “urgent” policy measures to reverse the current slowdown. The warning is timely given the economy’s precarious state and the government’s lack of urgency to reverse the slowdown. Inflation with slow growth leads to dilemma However, what makes the job of policymakers a lot more complicated is the non-uniform nature of the current price rise. Even as food prices have risen rapidly — food inflation has crossed the 10% mark for the first time in many years — sectors such as manufacturing have witnessed mild deflation as demand for products drops. What is the response of RBI?

Page 50: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

45 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, while terming the recent spike in inflation as a transient phenomenon, has called for countercyclical measures and structural reforms to help the economy. The central bank’s hands have been tied down by the recent spike in inflation, and it has halted its rate cut spree that began in February this year. What is the possible cause of uneven inflation? Still, what is really behind the wide divergence in inflation rates across various sectors is anyone’s guess. It may well be that the current food price inflation is the result of seasonal factors that have affected crop production. If so, it should certainly be a transient phenomenon that will not trouble policymakers for anything beyond a few quarters. At the same time, it should be noted that various prices in the economy generally do not rise or fall in tandem. Policymakers, however, tend to view the economy as an entity with a general price level that responds in predictable ways to their policy actions. Such an assumption is likely to cause practical difficulties in implementing policy.

33. Is the economy in really bad shape? Is this a result of a cyclical phenomenon or has it been driven by a structural malaise arising from deficiencies in the economic framework? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Economics On November 30 this year, India’s statistical machinery revealed that growth in the quarter from July to September had slipped to 4.5%. This was the lowest level recorded in six-and-a-half years, with the 6.1% nominal GDP growth (real growth plus inflation) coming in as the slowest in a decade. Compared to the previous quarter when growth clocked 5%, the 4.5% print was not a dramatic downswing, but capped off a slow and steady dip in growth over six quarters in a row — following a robust 8.1% growth recorded between January and March of 2018. Growth in the first half of this financial year has been just 4.8%, compared to 7.5% in the same period of 2018-19. Fixed investment slumped to 1%, private consumption growth halved year on year, and manufacturing activity contracted by 1%. What do the numbers mean? The omens from high frequency economic indicators for the first two months of the third quarter do not augur well for the third quarter’s performance to improve much, if at all. Industrial output shrank 3.8% in October, the second straight month of contraction following a 4.3% dip recorded in September and belying expectations that festive demand may revitalise production activity. Manufacturing activity dipped for the third month in a row in October. But most telling was the 12.2% decline in electricity generation (the second month it had dipped) as it is a good barometer of demand generated by all economic activity, not just

Page 51: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

46 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

industrial production. Imports, merchandise exports, automobile sales, bank credit… metrics one would usually look at to assess economic activity and consumption, are glowing red in official statistics. For November, Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections crossed 1,03,000 crore, registering a 6% growth after two straight months of negative growth. It remains to be seen if this can be sustained, even as bank credit growth is expected to hit a 58-year low in 2019-2020. Amidst this gradual slowdown over the past year-and-a-half, the saving grace for the economy and consumers was that inflation had been friendly and benign. That is no longer the case with retail inflation hitting a 40-month high of 5.54% in November, more than double the 2.3% recorded a year ago. Food inflation hit 10%, led by vegetables (think of onions) and pulses. This has led to worries about India entering a phase of stagflation, where growth and employment are low but inflation is high — a difficult morass for policy makers to swim out of. Any further spike in inflation, that takes it closer to or over the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) tolerance limit of 6%, will take the option of cutting interest rates for spurring growth out of the equation, for instance. The official third quarter growth numbers will be out on February 28, weeks after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the second Union Budget. But an advance GDP estimate for the full year is expected early next month. Why is former Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian calling it India’s great slowdown? The economy’s “seemingly sudden” illness is unusually severe, Mr. Subramanian has noted in a new working paper co-authored with Josh Felman for the Harvard University’s Center for International Development. “This is not an ordinary slowdown. It is India’s Great Slowdown, where the economy seems headed for the intensive care unit,” the paper stresses. Comparing indicators for the first seven months of this financial year with the past, the two have made the case that the current slowdown is closer in nature to what was faced as far back as 1991 — the year India liberalised. While dissecting the slowdown, many have argued on whether this has been driven by a structural malaise caused by significant deficiencies in the economy’s framework, such as archaic rules governing factor markets. Several others, including some in the government, suggest that this is a cyclical phenomenon and will pass like the circle of life… what goes up, must come down, et al. The World Bank has said this cyclical slowdown is severe. This camp’s rationale for the slowdown focuses on demand collapsing due to reasons ranging from poor rural income growth, the ghosts of demonetisation and a hastily implemented Goods and Services Tax (GST). Mr. Subramanian’s paper with Mr. Felman reckons that India’s current crisis is driven by both cyclical and structural factors — but problems in finance have exacerbated the slowdown.

Page 52: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

47 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Demonetisation and GST may have hurt growth, but cannot be the reason for the precipitous fall in recent quarters. The preface to this crisis began in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, when slower growth threw out of whack bullish assumptions driving large infrastructure investments. That was the first stress point for banks, and investment and exports that had driven growth through the early 2000s stumbled. That India’s growth recovered without fixing these problems adequately, the paper ascribes to a series of fortuitous developments such as lower oil prices and a boom in credit from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) which may be partly driven by demonetisation sending more cash into the formal financial system. With the collapse of IL&FS in late 2018, that party has ended too. And now the twin balance sheet crisis (of stressed banks and corporates with infrastructure bets) that Mr. Subramanian flagged as a CEA, has become a Four Balance Sheet challenge (adding stressed NBFCs and real estate firms). The paper, titled “India’s Great Slowdown: What Happened? What’s the Way Out?”, underlines: “All major engines of growth, this time also including consumption, have sputtered, causing growth to collapse… Something must be done to get India out of its current vicious cycle, in which low growth is further damaging balance sheets, and deteriorating balance sheets are bringing down growth.” What are rating agencies and multilateral institutions saying? The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had already pared India’s growth estimate for this year to 6.1% in October from its earlier forecast of 7%, but is now expected to slash it further with the country in the “midst of a significant economic slowdown”. The World Bank had said in October that it expects 6% growth but even achieving this range (6% to 6.1%) would require a significant uptick in the second half of this fiscal. The most glaring downgrade for India came from global rating agency Moody’s Investor Services which switched India’s sovereign rating outlook from “Stable” to “Negative” in early November, citing enhanced growth risks. A week later, it also lowered growth expectations to 5.6% (from an earlier 6.2% hope) for 2019, saying the slowdown is lasting longer than it expected. In October, Fitch Ratings lowered its growth estimate for 2019-20 to 5.5% from 6.6%. Similar revisions have come from almost every other global institution, including the Asian Development Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P). These gloomy estimates still appear rosy compared to expectations from those closer to the ground. India-based, S&P-owned rating agency CRISIL has pegged down its growth hopes from 6.3% to just 5.1%, stressing that the slowdown has deepened. What can the Union Budget do to help? The government has rolled back several measures perceived to be deterrents for investors in the Budget for 2019-20 presented in July; in September, it even slashed corporate taxes significantly in a bid to attract fresh investments. The Finance Ministry has unveiled some

Page 53: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

48 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

packages for particularly embattled industry sectors such as NBFCs and real estate to salvage the situation even as it has hinted that the slowdown is not structural, but cyclical and driven by global growth pressures. On its part, the central bank has slashed its key interest rates by 1.35% or 135 basis points over the past year, in a bid to spur growth too. In an interview to this paper, the RBI Governor has mooted some “countercyclical steps” (read tax cuts and higher public spending) and continuation of structural reforms to revive the growth project. But the room for tax cuts — after those announced in September set the exchequer back by Rs. 1.45 lakh crore — is very limited. GST collections this year have also been tepid and below target, leaving little room for the Centre to spend its way out of trouble. Stoking of inflationary pressures also need to be avoided. Given the constraints, the challenge for the Finance Minister is unenviable, but a focus on fixing the core crisis afflicting India’s financial entities, creating a sense of certainty and predictability about India’s policy direction, be it in taxation matters or reforms of labour, land and other restrictive laws, could provide some salve to the bleeding economy. We will know in 33 days from now.

34. What is ‘carbon market’, why was it felt necessary, and what are the major points of disagreement? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Environment & Biodiversity Almost halfway through the climate conference in Madrid, one big thing it had to resolve — disagreements over setting up a new carbon market — remains contentious as ever. Carbon markets, which allow for buying and selling of carbon emissions with the objective of reducing global emissions, is an unfinished agenda from last year’s meeting in Katowice, Poland. The market mechanism Under the Paris Agreement, every country has to take action to fight climate change. These actions need not necessarily be in the form of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which can constrain economic growth. India, for example, has said it would reduce its emissions per unit of GDP. Only the developed countries have included absolute emission cuts in their action plans. Yet, there is scope for absolute emissions reductions in developing countries too. For example, a brick kiln in India can upgrade its technology and reduce emissions. But because India does not need to make absolute reductions, there is no incentive to make this investment. It is to deal with situations like these that the carbon market mechanism is conceived. Markets can potentially deliver emissions reductions over and above what countries are doing on their own. For example, if a developed country is unable to meet its reduction target, it can provide money or technology to the brick kiln in India, and then claim the reduction of emission as its own. Alternatively, the kiln can make the investment, and then

Page 54: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

49 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

offer on sale the emission reduction, called carbon credits. Another party, struggling to meet its own targets, can buy these credits and show these as their own. Carbon markets also existed under the Kyoto Protocol, which is being replaced by the Paris Agreement next year. The market mechanisms being proposed under the Paris Agreement are conceptually not very different, but are supposed to have more effective checks and balances, and monitoring and verification processes. How to set up a market The provisions relating to setting up a new carbon market are described in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. These are enabling provisions that allow for two different approaches of carbon trading, more or less on the lines described earlier. Article 6.2 enables bilateral arrangements for transfer of emissions reductions, while ensuring that they do not double-count the reductions. Article 6.4 talks about a wider carbon market in which reductions can be bought and sold by anyone. Article 6.8 provides for making ‘non-market approaches’ available to countries to achieve targets. It is not yet very clear what these approaches would constitute, but they could include any cooperative action, like collaboration on climate policy or common taxation, that are not market-based. What is contentious The main tussle is over two or three broad issues — what happens to carbon credits earned in the Kyoto regime but not yet sold, what constitutes double-counting, and transparency mechanisms to be put in place. Developing countries have several million unsold CERs (certified emission reductions), each referring to one tonne of carbon dioxide-equivalent emission reduced, from the Kyoto regime. Under the Kyoto Protocol, only developed countries had the obligation to reduce emissions. In the initial phase, some of these were interested in buying CERs from projects in India or China, which were not obliged to make reductions. In the last few years, several countries walked out of the Kyoto Protocol, and those that remained did not feel compelled to fulfil their targets. The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2012-20) never came into force. As the demand for CERs crashed, countries like India were left with projects generating CERs with no one to buy them. India has about 750 million unsold CERs and, along with other similarly placed countries, wants these credits to be valid in the new mechanism too. Developed countries are opposing it on the ground that the rules and verification procedures under the Kyoto Protocol were not very robust; they want the new mechanism to start with a clean slate. The second issue is that of double counting, or corresponding adjustment. The new mechanism envisages carbon credits as commodities that can be traded multiple times

Page 55: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

50 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

among countries or private parties. It is important to ensure that in this process, credits are not counted at more than one place; whoever sells carbon credits should not simultaneously count these as emissions it has reduced. The developing countries argue that the country that reduced emissions should be able to show it even after selling the credits, and that adjustments should be made only for subsequent transfers, if any. Is it a good idea? Carbon markets are not essential to the implementation of Paris Agreement. But with the world doing far less than what is required to prevent catastrophic impacts of climate change, the markets can be an important tool to close the action gap. Developed countries and many civil society organisations say they would rather have no deal on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement than have a bad or compromised deal that would allow transition of Kyoto regime CERs or any kind of double counting. Some developing countries, on the other hand, prefer to have an agreement finalised in Madrid.

35. Pollution can be linked to mortality: Against Prakash Javadekar’s comments Relevant for GS Mains Paper III; Environment Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said last week that no Indian studies have shown a “direct correlation” between pollution and mortality. International studies estimating that thousands have died from causes linked to air pollution have caused a “fear psychosis among people” when the situation is actually not so bad, Mr. Javadekar said. Why are his comments untenable? Last year, the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative (ISLDBI), which consists of at least 100 health professionals, reported that one in eight deaths in India were attributable to air pollution and that “...the average life expectancy in India would have been 1.7 years higher if the air pollution levels were less than the minimal level causing health loss.” ISLDBI studies are funded by the Union Health Ministry and involve the Public Health Foundation of India, the Indian Council of Medical Research, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. These studies were part of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 and were published in the peer-reviewed journal, The Lancet Planetary Health. How is mortality from air pollution calculated? Researchers overwhelmingly rely on modelling. Epidemiologists and public health professionals routinely rely on correlation to draw countrywide estimates of the health risk posed by a particular pollutant or any risk factor that they’d like to investigate. In principle,

Page 56: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

51 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

this isn’t different from estimating what level of temperature rise in the oceans can lead to increased cyclones. In the case of pollution studies, first, data on emissions in an area are collected. While there are a range of pollutants, the bulk of contemporary research interest lies in measuring PM 10 or PM 2.5 levels. A study’s ambition depends on how fine-grained the emissions data are. The data can be from a city, industrial regions within a city, a State, residential areas or commercial pockets. It also depends on the sophistication of the sensors used to measure the level of pollutants used. This is influenced by the budget. Invariably, the exercise will involve averaging the emissions in a region to a much larger space. The next step is to collect data on hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, cancer and associated mortality. Then exposure-response curves are drawn that show how particulate matter concentrations relate to death and disease prevalence. The other category of investigations involve regularly monitoring the pollution levels people are exposed to over time and recording mortality levels. This is a more time-consuming approach but considered more ideal to single out the effects of pollution on death rates. What kind of evidence exists to determine mortality from pollution? The bulk of studies done to gauge exposure response have been conducted in the U.S. and Europe, in cities that have, on average, good air quality. This is because an increase in particulate matter concentrations, above background levels, can be more reliably estimated and correlated to the rise in mortality (gauged from hospital records). Most such studies have found a linear relationship between mortality and PM 10 levels. The caveat is that on average those observed were exposed to less than 10 micrograms per cubic metre. Beyond a certain level, the response “flattens out” and it’s hard to estimate if concentrations, say, 10 times more, would lead to a mortality spike 10 times more. That’s the kind of information relevant for India because background concentrations are much higher than in Europe. The ISLDBI relies on these computed exposures, calculates the pollution levels in various States, finds how many Indians may have been exposed, and computes a death rate. It also adjusts for other causes of mortality. Are there exposure studies being done in India? India has embarked on a 20-city plan to calculate exposure levels among Indians, including pregnant women. These are funded by the Union Environment Ministry and are expected to be published next year.

36. No deal as longest climate talks end in Madrid Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Environment & Biodiversity The international climate talks were held for 14 days, 2 more days than the scheduled 12 days. Issues on which the talks have failed:

Page 57: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

52 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

1. Major polluters resisted calls to ramp up efforts to keep global warming. 2. The regulation for global carbon markets was also postponed for the next year. 3. In the end, delegates from almost 200 nations endorsed a declaration to help poor countries that are suffering the effects of climate change, although they didn’t allocate any new funds to do so. The final declaration called on the “urgent need” to cut planet-heating greenhouse gases in line with the goals of the landmark 2015 Paris climate change accord. What was the Paris accord? The Paris accord established the common goal of avoiding a temperature increase of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. So far, the world is on course for a 3- to 4-degree Celsius rise, with potentially dramatic consequences for many countries, including rising sea levels and fiercer storms. Next summit Negotiators in Madrid left some of the thorniest issues for the next climate summit in Glasgow in a year, including the liability for damages caused by rising temperatures that developing countries were insisting on. That demand was resisted mainly by the United States.

37. How will the FASTag toll collection programme help cut delays and losses on India’s highways? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology From December 15, 2019, FASTag, a prepaid rechargeable tag for toll payments, on national highways will become mandatory for all vehicles. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways extended the earlier deadline of December 1 on Friday. What is FASTag? It is a prepaid radio-frequency identification-enabled tag that facilitates automatic deduction of toll charges. The new system will now do away away with a stop-over of vehicles and cash transactions at toll plazas. Projected as the ‘Aadhaar’ card for vehicles, the FASTag electronic toll collection programme is being implemented by the Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL), a company incorporated by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), and the National Payments Corporation of India in coordination with Toll Plaza Concessionaires, tag issuing agencies and banks. Currently, FASTag can be bought from 22 certified banks, through various online platforms, online applications and at select points-of-sale locations.

Page 58: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

53 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

The tag, which can be recharged through cheque or online payments, is fixed on the windshield of a vehicle, ideally on the glass just behind the rear-view mirror. It is scanned by the tag reader and the toll amount is deducted when the vehicle approaches a toll plaza. The user gets a short message service (SMS) alert on the registered mobile phone about all transactions and the available balance. Service providers have developed a ‘My FASTag’ mobile application to provide a one-stop solution to users. An NHAI prepaid wallet has also been launched, giving users the option of not linking the tags to their bank accounts. FASTag has a validity of five years. Over 70 lakh FASTags had been issued till November 27. Why does it matter? A joint study in 2014-15 by the Transport Corporation of India and the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta (launched by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari in 2016) estimated the cost of delay on Indian roads at $6.6 billion per year. The cost of additional fuel consumption due to delays was also put at $14.7 billion per year. The report had suggested that to expedite the toll collection process, India should gradually move towards electronic toll collection, which would not only reduce congestion and queues at toll plazas but also reduce operating costs for toll operators and plug revenue leakages. How did it come about? The electronic toll collection system was initially implemented as a pilot project in 2014 on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai stretch of the Golden Quadrilateral. It was gradually extended to other parts of the country. The tag is currently accepted at more than 500 National Highways and about 40 State highway toll plazas. Till September, the total collection through FASTag was over 12,850 crore. What are the benefits? Apart from plugging revenue leakages and reducing the cost of delays and fuel consumption, which is also likely to cut down the nation’s GDP loss, according to the government, the tag helps remove bottlenecks, ensures seamless movement of traffic and saves time. The centralised system provides authentic and real-time data to government agencies for better analysis and policy formulation. It also helps reduce air pollution and the use of paper besides cutting the cost of managing toll plazas. What lies ahead? On October 14, 2019, the IHMCL and GST Network signed a memorandum of understanding for integrating FASTag with the e-way Bill system. The arrangement has been made for a more efficient ‘track-and-trace’ mechanism involving goods vehicles. It will also check revenue leakage at toll plazas. The integration, which will become mandatory across the country from April 2020, will help revenue authorities check whether goods vehicles are

Page 59: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

54 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

actually headed to the specified destination. Suppliers and transporters will also be able to keep track of their vehicles through SMS alerts generated at each tag reader-enabled toll plaza. The Central government also plans to enable the use of FASTag for a range of other facilities such as fuel payments and parking charges. Several States have already signed memoranda of understanding to join the system.

38. Battling anti-microbial resistance Relevant for GS Prelims & GS Mains Paper III; Science & Technology In November, the world observed Antibiotic Awareness Week. In July, in its fight against the growing problem of resistance to antibiotics in disease-causing germs, the Indian government banned the manufacture, sale and use of colistin in the poultry industry. Colistin is considered the last-resort medicine to treat a person with life-threatening infection. The government’s move is among the numerous steps that will contribute to global efforts to preserve and prolong the efficacy of antibiotics and prevent the world from moving towards a dark, post-antibiotic future. Becoming ineffective Antibiotics have saved millions of lives till date. Unfortunately, they are now becoming ineffective as many infectious diseases have ceased to respond to antibiotics. In their quest for survival and propagation, common bugs develop a variety of mechanisms to develop antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The indiscriminate use of antibiotics is the greatest driver in selection and propagation of resistant bugs. It has the potential to make fatal even minor infections. Complex surgeries such as organ transplantation and cardiac bypass might become difficult to undertake because of untreatable infectious complications that may result post-surgery. The pipeline for the discovery, development and dissemination of new antibiotics has virtually dried out. No new class of antibiotics has been discovered in the past three decades. The reason is simple. Availability of a new antibiotic takes 10-12 years and an investment of $1 billion. Once it comes into the market, its indiscriminate use swiftly results in resistance, rendering it useless. The resistance to antibiotics in germs is a man-made disaster. Irresponsible use of antibiotics is rampant in human health, animal health, fisheries, and agriculture. While in human antibiotics are primarily used for treating patients, they are used as growth promoters in animals, often because they offer economic shortcuts that can replace hygienic practices. Globally, use of antibiotics in animals is expected to increase by 67% by 2030 from 2010 levels. AMR has been recognised worldwide as an important public health challenge with serious impact on economy and development. The Sustainable Development Goals have articulated

Page 60: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

55 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

the importance of containing AMR. Similar articulations have been made by the UN general Assembly, G7, G20, EU, ASEAN and other such economic and political platforms. Earlier, the O’Neill report on AMR warned that inaction in containing AMR is likely to result in annual mortality reaching 10 million people and a 3.5% fall in global GDP by 2050. Inter-country development agencies (WHO, FAO, and World Organisation for Animal Health) developed a Global Action Plan on AMR. India developed its National Action Plan on AMR (NAP) in 2017. It is based on the One Health approach, which means that human health, animal health and the environment sectors have equal responsibilities and strategic actions in combating AMR. A global movement Implementation of India’s NAP needs to be accelerated. The health of humans and animals falls in the domain of State authorities, and this adds complexity to the nationwide response. The magnitude of the problem in India remains unknown. Surveillance networks have been established in human health and animal health. The FAO has assisted India in forging the Indian Network for Fishery and Animals Antimicrobial Resistance for the generation of reliable data on the magnitude of the problem and monitoring trends in response to control activities. It is critical to expand and sustain such surveillance networks. There is an urgent need to augment capacity for regulatory mechanisms, infection control practices and diagnostics support, availability and use of guidelines for therapy, biosecurity in animal rearing practices and understanding the role of the environment and the engagement of communities. For this, the world must launch a global movement to contain AMR.

39. Need to spread awareness about measles vaccines Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology Even as reported measles cases globally during 2000 to 2018 decreased by 59%, there has been a spike since 2016. Compared with over 1,32,000 reported cases in 2016, the numbers shot up to over 3,53,000 in 2018. While the numbers in 2018 were more than double the previous year, the numbers in 2019 have already surpassed those of 2018. By mid-November 2019, over 4,00,000 cases were reported globally. Global picture Last year, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Somalia, and Ukraine accounted for 45% of all reported cases. The situation worsened in Congo by November, with a nearly four-fold increase in cases (from 65,000 in 2018 to 2,50,000 in 2019) and over 5,100 deaths. The situation in Ukraine is grim. Reason for rise in cases 1. Vaccine hesitancy has been highlighted for the staggering spread in cases globally. In DR Congo, there is low institutional trust, misinformation, vaccine shortage and even attacks on health-care centres and workers leading to the spread of both measles and Ebola.

Page 61: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

56 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

2. The Philippines and the small Pacific island of Samoa serve as a textbook case of the sudden emergence of vaccine hesitancy. Mass immunisation using a newly approved dengue vaccine in Philippines, before the risks associated with the vaccine were reported by the manufacturer, shattered public trust in vaccines; so low vaccine coverage led to measles and polio outbreaks. 3. In Samoa, an error in preparing the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) injection led to the death of two infants. Fear-mongering led to a fall in vaccine uptake, leading to an outbreak of measles. 4. In many European countries and the U.S., vaccine hesitancy has been on religious grounds and primarily due to anti-vaccination campaigns spreading fake news about vaccine safety. Laws making vaccination mandatory To counter rising hesitancy, about a dozen European countries have already introduced laws making vaccination mandatory. New York City too introduced such a law when the U.S. nearly lost its measles elimination status. Such laws may prove counterproductive in the long run, and the only way to increase vaccine uptake is by educating the public. With 2.3 million children not vaccinated against measles last year, India has much to do to protect its young citizens.

40. 50th PSLV launch carries radar satellite RISAT-2BR1 Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) marked its ‘Golden Jubilee’ launch on Wednesday by injecting India’s advanced radar imaging satellite RISAT-2BR1 and 9 other customer satellites from Japan, Italy, Israel and the U.S.A. into their intended orbits. Observation satellite The RISAT-2BR1 will be used for agriculture, forestry, disaster management support and national security. ISRO will launch the next version of RISAT within the next two months. Achievements from PSLV 1. This was the the 50th launch for the PSLV. Initially, the PSLV had a carrying capacity of 850 kg, and over the years it has been enhanced to 1.9 tonnes. 2. The PSLV had helped take payloads into almost all the orbits in space including Geo-Stationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), the Moon, Mars and would soon be launching a mission to the Sun, the ISRO chief noted. 3. In the last 26 years, the PSLV had lifted more than 52 tonnes into space, of which about 17% were for commercial customers.

Page 62: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

57 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

4. The PSLV has failed only twice in its history — the maiden flight of the PSLV D1 in September 1993 and the PSLV C-39 in August 2017.

41. What does the doping ban mean for Russia? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology On December 9, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced a decision to ban Russia from global sporting competitions for a period of four years. The 12-member WADA executive committee voted unanimously to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) “non-compliant” with global anti-doping rules. The move was a ratification of the findings by the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) which had recommended that Russia be banned. The anti-doping watchdog’s decision is expected to affect Russia the most at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics where the nation’s flag, name and anthem will not be allowed. What triggered the ban? It dates back to the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games when an independent commission set up by WADA found a “deeply rooted culture of cheating” in Russian athletics. Barely weeks before the Games, whistle-blower reports alleged that Russia ran one of the most sophisticated doping programmes in the world in which the Russian sports ministry, the intelligence service and the country’s anti-doping experts colluded to hide large-scale violations. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi — in which Russia topped the medals tally — was under the scanner, where it was alleged that dope-tainted urine samples were replaced with clean ones. It led to a series of sanctions; the IAAF (now called World Athletics), the world athletics’ governing body, suspended Russia’s athletics federation (a ban that continues till date) before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and WADA followed suit by de-recognising the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and RUSADA respectively. Last September, as part of the resolution of the case, WADA threw a lifeline by asking Russia to turn over raw data stored in its Moscow laboratory in order to corroborate the findings in the whistle-blower reports. Russia reluctantly agreed, only for WADA to now rule that Russia had tampered with this evidence too, leading to the latest reprimand. How far does the ban go? Apart from the Olympics, the ban can extend to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, provided Russia qualifies. Sports and government officials from Russia will not be able to attend competitions, and Russia cannot host international events during the four-year period. It does not however apply to Euro 2020 which is considered a continental (and not global) football competition and Russia will remain a co-host. WADA’s very own Athlete Committee, though, is dissatisfied and has termed the sanctions piecemeal. Even as Russia, the nation, stands barred, individual Russian athletes deemed untainted can still participate as neutrals, like they had at Rio and the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games (South Korea). In the latter, Russia’s men’s hockey team played as the “Olympic Athletes from Russia” and even won the gold medal. The only meaningful action, according to the Athlete Committee, is a complete

Page 63: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

58 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

ban on Russian participation. The legendary Edwin Moses, the current chairman of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and a two-time Olympic gold medallist, said anti-doping leaders and the IOC have prioritised Russian sentiments over those of clean athletes from elsewhere. Moses told The New York Times recently: “The Russians are asserting their athletes that may be clean deserve the opportunity to compete. They destroyed all the evidence that could have exonerated them.” What is the International Olympic Committee’s stand? The IOC, under its president Thomas Bach, has always opposed a blanket ban. He has maintained that he favours “individual justice over collective punishment”. An athlete whose views have played a significant role in shaping the IOC’s thinking is Penelope (Penny) Heyns, a South African gold-medallist in the 100-and 200m breaststroke events at the 1996 Olympics. In an interview to The New York Times, she said it would be wrong to penalise an entire generation of Russian athletes for the misdeeds of their predecessors. “They were 10 or 11 when all of this was going down; they are not part of the system,” Heyns said, referring to a swimming event where young Russian swimmers participated. “It’s our duty to ensure all clean athletes have the right to compete, including those from Russia who can honestly prove their innocence.” However, unlike during the Rio Olympics, where the IOC Executive Board had left the decision to allow Russian teams to individual sports federations, the orders this time are expected to come from the very top. Immediately after the CRC made its recommendations public, the IOC said that it will support “the toughest sanctions against all those responsible” and urged WADA “to take further action given the seriousness of the manipulation”. Post ratification, the stance has remained unchanged. Seen along with WADA’s standard code on compliance, the governing bodies of different sports are likely to enforce the strictures in a similar manner. What next for Russia? Russia has three weeks (from the date of the order) to appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the signs are that it will. While Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “we have all the reasons to file an appeal,” ROC’s president, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, dismissed the ruling as “inadequate, illogical and excessive”. According to Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated’s legal analyst, CAS would consider the appeal under “de novo review”. This is a form of appeal in which the court holds a trial as if no prior trial had been held, thus providing a window to produce new evidence and arguments. A line of defence already advanced by Russia is to discredit the whistle-blower, Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow lab who is now under the protection of the US Federal Witness Protection Program. Generally, an arbitration is expected to take six to 12 months, which means that regardless of whether an appeal is filed, Russia will not be present at the Winter Youth Olympic Games that starts in Lausanne, Switzerland from January 9, 2020.

42. Fresh SIT report on 1984 riots may pave the way for reopening scuttled probes

Page 64: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

59 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Internal Security A confidential report by a court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) may contain answers to the question of whether there will be any significant improvement in the country’s poor record in securing justice for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom. It is a matter of shame that successful prosecutions have been few and far between, and each time a new probe is ordered or a fresh report submitted, it is seen as major progress. About Special Investigation Team The SIT was formed by the Supreme Court a year ago to examine the record in 186 cases relating to the carnage that took place in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Another SIT had earlier scrutinised 293 cases, and closed 199 of them. A two-member team of retired apex court judges scrutinised these 199 cases, along with 42 other matters that had been closed earlier. The supervisory committee gave its views on these 241 cases and the Bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, was informed that 186 cases merited further investigation. A fresh three-member team, headed by retired Delhi High Court judge, S.N. Dhingra, was asked to examine these 186 cases. Last week, the team submitted its report. Regardless of how many cases out of these result in prosecution, there is little doubt that the development offers a glimmer of hope to the victims of 1984. The country cannot forget that as many as 3,325 people from the Sikh community, including 2,733 in Delhi alone, were killed in the pogrom. Why it is difficult to secure conviction? It is not easy to secure convictions in instances of communal riots and sectarian violence, especially those that involve thousands of offenders gripped by mob frenzy. Further, in 1984, there was little effort in the early days to bring to book the high political functionaries of the Congress who were suspected to have instigated the riots. However, in the last 12 months, there have been at least two rare instances of success. In November 2018, two men were convicted of murder in a case that was closed many years ago and resurrected by the government’s erstwhile special probe team. One of them was sentenced to death, and the other to life. A month later, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was sentenced to life by the Delhi High Court after being acquitted by the trial court five years earlier. Otherwise, the 35-year-long quest for justice is largely a story of failure due to political influence, scuttled investigation and shoddy prosecution. The country has seen other large-scale riots and pogroms after 1984, but has not been able to ensure substantive justice. The time may have come to consider the Delhi High Court’s suggestion in its verdict on Sajjan Kumar that there could be separate legislation to deal with mass murders that amount to genocide or crimes against humanity.

Page 65: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

60 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

43. What is the directive on detention centres? Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Internal Security On December 24, the Union Cabinet approved an outlay of over 3,941.35 crore for updating the National Population Register (NPR) across the country, barring Assam. A mandatory exercise, the NPR is to be conducted between April-September 2020. The NPR, first collated in 2010, already has a database of 119 crore residents. The fresh exercise will collect data on additional parameters such as “place of birth of father and mother, last place of residence” along with details like Aadhaar (optional), voter ID, mobile phone and driving licence numbers. As in the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, and subsequent response furnished by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in Parliament from 2012 onwards, the NPR was the first step towards compiling the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) or National Register of Citizens (NRC). According to the Rules, a person’s citizenship status will be decided by local officials. No new law or rules are needed to conduct this exercise across the country. The Assam NRC, conducted under the supervision of Supreme Court, excluded at least 19 lakh out of 3.29 crore residents. There are apprehensions that people will have to dig out old documents to prove their residency in India on the lines of the exercise done in Assam. After the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed on December 11, there are fears that those excluded from NPR-NRC will be sent to detention centres. The government has denied that the NPR and the NRC are linked. What are detention centres? The Centre has the power to deport foreign nationals staying illegally in the country under Section 3(2)(c) of The Foreigners Act, 1946. State governments have also been entrusted under Article 258(1) of the Constitution to take similar steps. In 1998, the MHA under the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government wrote a letter to all States and Union Territories asking them to restrict the movement of convicted foreign nationals who had completed their jail sentence. The letter said that they be confined to one of the detention centres/camps, pending confirmation of their nationality from the country concerned and to ensure their physical availability at all times for expeditious repatriation/deportation as soon as the travel documents are ready. The centres are also used to hold foreigners who have been caught overstaying their visa term. In 2009, the instructions were sent again to States, “conveying the detailed procedure to be adopted for deportation of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh”. States were asked by the MHA to set up sufficient number of detention centres where the “suspected illegal immigrants would be detained pending their deportation”. Similar letters were sent in 2012, 2014 and 2018. On January 9, 2019, a detailed manual on “model detention centres” was circulated to make a distinction between “jails and detention centres”. The manual was prepared after a petition filed by activist Harsh Mander on September 20, 2018 in the Supreme Court of India to highlight the plight of families languishing in six

Page 66: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

61 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

detention centres in Assam where members of the families who were declared foreigners were put in camps separated from each other. Which are the States that already have detention centres? Delhi has one detention centre at Lampur on the outskirts. It is under the operational control of the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) and is maintained by the Delhi government. The ward holding Pakistanis is under the watch of the Special Branch of Delhi Police and other nationalities are under the FRRO. Both FRRO and the Delhi Police report to the MHA. A detention centre was set up at Mapusa in Goa on February 7. Rajasthan has a detention centre located inside Central Jail in Alwar. As of now there is no separate detention centre in Punjab and foreigner detenues are kept in a segregated place at Central Jail in Amritsar. A separate detention centre is going to come up in a new jail being constructed in Goindwal Sahib in Tarn Taran district that is expected to be completed by May 2020. A detention centre on the outskirts of Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru is all set to get operational from January 1, 2020 onwards. Maharashtra identified land to build a detention centre at Nerul in Navi Mumbai. But Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray assured a delegation that it was not connected to NRC. There is a report that the plan has been scrapped. What about West Bengal and Kerala? West Bengal had identified two locations, at New Town in Kolkata and Bongaon in North 24 Parganas district to construct the detention centres. But on Friday Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she will not allow any such centre in the State. Kerala, which was in the process of identifying a location to build a centre, has put it on hold. What is happening in Assam? The final NRC to segregate Indian citizens living in Assam from those who had illegally entered the State from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971 was published on August 31, 2019. Nearly 19 lakh people were excluded from the final list. Those who have been excluded may move Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) and can also appeal to courts if the FTs give a verdict against them. This process has not started. The Assam government wants the NRC to be repeated. From 1985 till October this year, the FTs declared 1,29,009 people as “foreigners.” through ex parte (one sided) proceedings. A total of 4,68,905 matters were referred to the FTs during this period. Most declared foreigners ended up in the six detention camps. To handle the influx of applications following Assam’s NRC, the MHA sanctioned 1,000 additional tribunals. Presently, there are 100 FTs in Assam of which 64 were established in 2014. According to a MHA reply in Rajya Sabha on November 27, as on November 22, 2019, 988 foreigners were lodged in six detention centres in Assam. From the year 2016 up to October 13, 28 detenues died either in the detention centres or in hospitals where they were referred to, the reply said.

Page 67: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

62 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Former Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi said in a tweet that detention centres were first built in Assam under High Court’s orders in 2009 for detaining declared foreigners. “Subsequently, the BJP Government allotted funds of 46.41 crore in 2018 and supported the construction of a big centre in Goalpara (picture) for housing around 3,000 inmates,” the tweet said. On May 30, the MHA amended the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 which empowers district magistrates in all States and Union Territories to set up tribunals. Earlier such powers to constitute tribunals vested with the Central government only. The MHA later issued a clarification on June 11 that “since the FTs have been established only in Assam, and in no other State of the country, this amendment is going to be relevant only to Assam at present”.

44. Dealing with sex crimes Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper I; Social Issues Demand for stronger laws Last week’s brutal rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad has led to an outpouring of anger across the country and in Parliament. Several MPs questioned the adequacy of criminal laws and a judicial system that permits under-age convicts to get away with lenient punishment and others sentenced to death to escape the noose through mercy petitions. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the government was “ready to make more stringent provisions in law”. Present legal system After the 2012 Nirbhaya outrage in Delhi, and on the recommendations of the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 was passed, by bringing in changes to the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. Key amendments were brought in to provide for death penalty for rape that led to death of the victim or reduced the survivor to a persistent vegetative state and anyone found guilty of rape more than once. In 2018, further changes introduced death as the maximum punishment for every perpetrator in a gang-rape when the victim is less than 12, and life-long imprisonment if the victim is less than 16. In the Delhi case, a fast-track trial court sentenced four to death in September 2013, while the only juvenile accused was freed after a stint at a remand home.

Page 68: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

63 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

The Supreme Court dismissed their appeals against conviction in 2017; two years on, the convicts have filed curative petitions in the court and one has already written to the President of India for clemency. Crimes against women in India As protests rocked Hyderabad demanding speedy justice, four lorry workers, arrested on charges of raping and killing the veterinarian returning from work, were kept in solitary confinement. After the Nirbhaya incident, the UN Human Rights chief had called rape and violence against women in India a “national problem” which would need “national solutions”. Unfortunately, in the past week, rapes and assault have been reported from Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. The National Crime Records Bureau which released its 2017 data this October said a total of 3.59 lakh cases of crimes against women were reported, a 6% rise compared to 2016. Of this, assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty comprised 21.7%, and rape 7%. For every rape reported, there are many which go unrecorded as patriarchal mindsets remain unchanged. What should be done? Better policing, fast-track courts, quick sentencing are the need of the hour as each can serve as a deterrent. What should be included in every curriculum is gender sensitisation, right from school. Public places must be made safer for all. Boys and girls should be raised right in an atmosphere of freedom and a culture of mutual respect.

45. Packaged foods breach safe limits of salt, fat: CSE study Relevant for GS Prelims An array of packaged snacks and fast foods breach safe limits of salt and fat content, says a laboratory analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment. What did the CSE study? The agency tested salt, fat, trans-fat and carbohydrates in 33 popular “junk foods”, which consisted of 14 samples of chips, salted snacks, instant noodles and instant soup, and 19 samples of burgers, fries, fried chicken, pizzas, sandwiches and wraps. The samples were collected from grocery stores and fast food outlets in the city. What was the basis of calculation? To calculate how unsafe the foods tested were, the organisation relied on the concept of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) — a daily ceiling on the amount of salt, fat, carbohydrates and transfats. The RDA is based on scientific consensus and has been agreed upon by expert bodies such as the World Health Organisation, and the National Institute of Nutrition in India. It says that, ideally, no more than 5 gm of salt, 60 gm of fat, 300 gm carbohydrate and 2.2 gm of transfat should be consumed by an adult every day. Further, the

Page 69: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

64 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

RDA from each breakfast, lunch and dinner should be no more than 25%, and that from snacks no more than 10%.

What were the findings? The CSE found that given the size of the servings and the amount of nutrients per 100 gm, a single packet of packaged nuts, soup or noodles ended up having these salts and fats well over the recommended limits. For instance, Haldiram Aloo Bhujia, a popular savoury snack, with a serve size of 231 gm, had the equivalent of 7 gm of salt and 99 gm of total (saturated and unsaturated) fat. A single serving of the Nestle’s Maggi Masala (70 gm) exhausted 50% of the composite RDA for a snack, and a serving of Haldiram’s nut cracker exhausted 35% of the salt RDA and 26% of the fat RDA, the CSE analysis found. Need to declare RDA Contribution

Page 70: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

65 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

According to the proposed draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, packaged food companies will need to declare nutritional information such as calories (energy), saturated fat, trans-fat, added sugar and sodium per serve on the front of the pack. The food labels are also required to declare, per serve percentage contribution to RDA on the front of the pack. Though under discussions since 2015 and several drafts — the latest one came out in in July — these rules have yet to become law, and to be operationalised. ‘Red Octagon’: Warning symbol The CSE took the values prescribed in the drafts for their calculations and concluded that all of the popular snacks and fast foods ought to be displaying a ‘Red Octagon’, a warning symbol employed in packaged foods in Chile and Peru. The Red Octagon, which should be printed on the front of the pack, has a number and the name of the food component within that indicates how widely off the RDA a particular ingredient is. Thus a Red “3.1, Salt” on a pack of Lay’s India’s Magic Masala by PepsiCo indicates that the salt it contains is 3.1 times the RDA for snacks.

46. NCLAT reinstates Cyrus Mistry as Tata Sons executive chairman Relevant for GS Prelims Three years after Cyrus Pallonji Mistry was unceremoniously removed from the post of Executive Chairman of Tata Sons, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) ruled the decision “illegal”, paving the way for his reinstatement. Tata Sons is the holding company of companies within the Tata Group. Option to appeal against the decision The replacement of the present ‘Executive Chairman’ and reinstatement of Mr. Mistry will however come into effect after four weeks during which Tata Sons has the option to challenge the tribunal’s verdict before the Supreme Court. Additionally, the tribunal clarified that the Mr Mistry will be reinstated as Director of the ‘Tata Companies’ with immediate effect. Conversion to Private Limited declared illegal It also declared as illegal the conversion of the ‘Tata Sons Limited’ from ‘Public Company’ to ‘Private Company’ by Registrar of Companies. The tribunal remarked the decision to convert the company private was ‘prejudicial’ and ‘oppressive’ to the minority shareholders including ‘Shapoorji Pallonji Group’. Shapoorji Pallonji Group are in business with Tata Group i.e.— ‘Sir Dorabji Tata Trust’ and ‘Sir Ratan Tata Trust’ for more than four decades. Earlier Mr. Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, father of Mr. Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, was appointed as the Executive Chairman of the Tata Sons.

Page 71: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

66 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

For better protection of interest of all stakeholders, the tribunal said that in future at the time of appointment of the Executive Chairman, Independent Director and Directors, the ‘Tata Group’ which is the majority group should consult the minority group - ‘Shapoorji Pallonji Group’.

It also barred Tata Sons from invoking its power under Article 75, which empowers the ‘Tata Sons Limited’ at any time to transfer ‘ordinary shares’ of any of the shareholders without following the normal procedure of transfer, against Mr Mistry and other minority member. Rationale by Mistry The tribunal’s ruling came on a plea by Mr Mistry challenging his sudden removal from the post of ‘Executive Chairman’ pursuant to a decision of Board of Directors’ of the ‘Tata Sons Limited’. Mr Mistry had contended that Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Mr. Ratan N. Tata and Mr. N.A. Soonawala kept “interfering in the affairs of the company and demonstrating their insecurity about their legacy being undermined instead of looking to what is in the best interests of the company”. About Tata Sons

Page 72: WhatsApp No. 88986-30000 · A former Punjab police constable, Rajoana was convicted of his role in an explosion outside the Punjab Secretariat in 1995 that killed the then Chief Minister

67 | P a g e For updates on WhatsApp, share your Name, City & Email ID on WhatsApp No. 88986-30000

Website: www.prepmate.in Telegram Channel: @upscprepmate

Prepmate Cengage Books Preview:https://prepmate.in/books/ Youtube channel: PrepMateEdutech

Tata Sons Private Limited is the holding company of the Tata Group and holds the bulk of shareholding in the Tata group of companies including their land holdings across India, tea estates and steel plants. Tata Sons Private Limited was established as a trading enterprise in 1868, engaged primarily in the lucrative opium and tea trade with Mongolia and China. About 66% of the equity capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts endowed by members of the Tata family. The biggest two of these trusts are the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Sir Ratan Tata Trust. Tata Sons is the owner of the Tata name and the Tata trademarks, which are registered in India and several other countries. It is one of the largest conglomerates in South Asia. Natarajan Chandrasekaran took over as Chairman of Tata Sons on 21 February 2017. The company also undertook conversion from a public limited company to a private limited one in 2017

47. Massive locust invasion threatens Gujarat farmers Relevant for GS Prelims Sharing borders with neighbouring Pakistan, Gujarat is under attack from hoppers — new-born locusts (locally known as tiddis)— that have flown in across the international border. As the swarms mature, they have ravaged farms in North Gujarat, devastating farmers in the three border districts Banaskantha, Patan and Kutch. Why it is difficult to deal with locusts? Gujarat has not witnessed such an invasion of locusts since 1993-94. Among the four districts, Banaskantha is the worst affected. The insects fly in during the day and settle on the farms at night making it difficult to ward off the swarms. The farmers under seige are hiring workers and using age old techniques like beating drums and vessels to scare the locusts away without much success. Route followed by Locusts Originally, the locusts emerged in February this year from Sudan and Eritrea on Africa’s Red Sea Coast and travelled through Saudi Arabia and Iran to enter Pakistan, where they invaded the Sindh province and from there they moved into Rajasthan and Gujarat. Response of administration The government has now assured farmers that the administration will carry out a survey to assess the damages and will accordingly compensate farmers. However, farmers feel that the government’s efforts and assurance are too little and too late.