TABLE OF CONTENT
A. GS1 Related Indian Society 1. Every third child bride in the world is Indian: report B. GS2 Related Polity 1. Mentally retarded adult not a child: SC C. GS3 Related Economics 1. WCO lauds India’s trade facilitation plan 2. Digital trade games Environment and Ecology 1. A Sunderbans denizen staves off extinction D. GS4 Related E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
UPSC Current Affairs 2017: News Analysis
Report: ‘Eliminating Child Marriage in India’, released by ActionAid India highlights-
- Every third child bride in the world is an Indian.
- There had been some improvement in the age of marriage, but that India still accounted for about 33% of all child marriages in the world. Of the married female population in India, 30.2% had been child brides.
- 75% of all child marriages took place in rural areas as on 2011. The number was even higher for the period between 2007 and 2011, at 82%.
- Uttar Pradesh accounted for the highest percentage of child marriages in India, at 16.6%. U.P., Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh accounted for 70% of all child marriages in India as of 2011.
- A “mentally-retarded” adult cannot be considered a child and given refuge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act of 2012, the Supreme Court held.
- The case before the court was that of a rape victim, whose biological age is 38 though medical reports conclude that her “mental age” is that of six-year-old.
- The petitioner said the biological age of a person should not be the governing yardstick for POCSO, which seeks to protect children from sexual abuse.
- Treat them with fragility and provide them gentle care throughout the criminal trial and swiftly punish the guilty.
- Any person, even an adult, who is incapable of understanding what is happening to her, is equal to a child.
- A holistic interpretation of the term ‘child’ to include intellectually-vulnerable adults serves the basic purpose of the 2012 Act.
- In separate judgments, agreed that a judge cannot take on the role of the legislator.
- It is not for the judge to decide “what the law ought to be instead of what the law is”.
- Definition of the term ‘child’ in Section 2(d) is exhaustive and includes only persons below the biological age of 18.
- The 2012 Act recognises the phenomenon of “mental disability,” but confines its ambit to only the mental disability of minors.
- The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 Definition of a child under the Act: The Act is gender-neutral and defines a child as any person below the age of eighteen years.
- The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 provides:
- Precise definitions for different types of Child abuse crimes
- Stringent punishments
- Mandatory reporting
- Child-friendly procedures
- Under Section 45 of the Act, the power to make rules rests with the Central Government
- Qualifications and experience of interpreters
- Arrangements for care and protection
- Criteria for award of compensation by the Special Court
- The rules rely on the structures established under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.
- The World Customs Organisation (WCO) describes India’s National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) as a ‘best practice’ other nations can adopt
- The WCO is impressed by the fact that as many as 51 of the 76 activities mentioned in the NTFAP “go beyond” the implementation requirements of the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
- The TFA is meant to ease Customs norms for faster flow of goods across borders- had come into effect in February 2017
What is NTFAP?
- It aims to cut cargo release time for exports and imports as part of measures to boost goods trade
- The NTFAP is to be implemented between 2017 and 2020, is part of India’s efforts to improve its ease of doing business ranking
World Customs Organization
- The World Customs Organization (WCO) is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium
- It has 182 member nations (including India) that manage more than 98% of world trade.
- The WCO is noted for its work in areas covering the development of international conventions, instruments, and tools on topics such as commodity classification, valuation, rules of origin, collection of customs revenue, supply chain security, international trade facilitation, customs enforcement activities, combating counterfeiting in support of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), drugs enforcement, illegal weapons trading, integrity promotion, and delivering sustainable capacity building to assist with customs reforms and modernization
- The WCO maintains the international Harmonized System (HS) goods nomenclature, and administers the technical aspects of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements on Customs Valuation and Rules of Origin
Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
- The TFA is the WTO’s first-ever multilateral accord that aims to simplify customs regulations for the cross-border movement of goods. It was outcome of WTO’s 9th Bali (Indonesia) ministerial package of 2013
- The agreement includes provisions for Lowering import tariffs and agricultural subsidies: It will make it easier for developing countries to trade with the developed world in global markets
- Abolish hard import quotas: Developed countries would abolish hard import quotas on agricultural products from the developing world and instead would only be allowed to charge tariffs on amount of agricultural imports exceeding specific limits
- Reduction in red tape at international borders: It aims to reduce red-tapism to facilitate trade by reforming customs bureaucracies and formalities.
- Need for an efficient ‘data flow’ strategy for India
- Many countries are placing great limitations on digital policymaking in the name of promoting e-commerce
- Few people understand the real nature of the digital issues involved
- And the relevant policy requirements of the present and the future
- Free global flow of data is wrongly presented as being the same as the free flow of information
- The data that underpins global media, or personal/social communication networks is one thing
- And the data basic to banking, retailing, the defence forces, public services, health, education services,etc is an entirely different matter
Needs to be done?
- Instead of seeing it as a global flow of data, one must see it as a global flow of intelligence
Nature of digital intelligence
- First, digital intelligence is going to be by far the single most important economic resource
- Whoever has it controls everything
- Second, digital intelligence tends to concentrate strongly around a few poles or centres
Effects of digital intelligence on future world
- The nature of digital intelligence will results in every sector getting organised around a very few centres of sectoral digital intelligence
- Countries will be forced to negotiate with countries which supplies most of their A.I. software, for example, China or the United States
- Why: to essentially become that country’s economic dependent
- How: by taking in welfare subsidies in exchange for letting the “parent” nation’s A.I. companies continue to profit from the dependent country’s users
- Such economic arrangements would reshape today’s geopolitical alliances
Digital Industrialisation in India
- India must consider a digital industrialisation strategy
- Why: to ensure that digitally-induced efficiencies in every sector to be retained within India and not allowed to flow out without any obstruction
- This will not only ensure that our economy and society are not controlled from outside but also protect existing jobs and create many more new ones
- But if it allows such outflows, it will soon find itself on the wrong side of digital colonisation
Requirements for starting a Digital Industrialisation in India
- This requires an independent digital policy, including protections for India’s digital industry
- A critically endangered- the rare Northern river terrapin (Batagur baska), resident of the Sunderbans is set to get a new home, beginning a slow journey to recovery from a disastrous decline in the wild. It is more threatened than the Bengal tiger, but far less known.
- Batagur baska, the 60-cm-long turtle that is presumed extinct in several Southeast Asian countries, is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN) in its Red List of threatened species. The tiger, by comparison, is endangered.
- Batagur baska is described as the world’s second most endangered turtle.
- The Yangtze giant soft shell turtle, Rafetus swinhoei, is considered the most endangered freshwater turtle.
- Habitat of Batagur baska: river estuarine.
- Of six large fresh water turtles of the genus Batagur, three are found in India. Batagur kachuga (Red-crowned roofed turtle) and Batagur dhongoka (Three-striped roofed turtle) are found in the tributaries of the Ganga, such as Chambal.
Nothing here for Today!!!
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1. The rare Northern river terrapin has been classified as _______, under IUCN’s Red data book.
Question 2. Consider the following statement with reference to Trade Facilitation Agreements
- The agreement includes provisions for Lowering import tariffs and agricultural subsidies
- TFA aims to reduce red-tapism to facilitate trade by reforming customs bureaucracies and formalities
Choose the correct statement.
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Question 3. The Green Climate Fund has been established by the _________.
- World Bank
- United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
- Bonn Convention
Question 4. Consider the following statements:
- In case of any delay in conducting the election of new President by any reason, the Vice President acts as President until a new President is elected
- When a vacancy occurs in the office of Vice President for any reason other than sickness, the Chief Justice of India acts as the Vice President until a new Vice President is elected
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Question 5. Which one of the following island-countries is NOT located in the Indian Ocean?
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GS Paper II
- “Spreading education and building confidence among girls enables them to resist child marriage and chart their own lives” Discuss.